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The dead in windowsills

I don’t like finding the dead bodies of insects

anywhere ‘round my house.

Don’t get me wrong, I smash and swat and kill

the little buggers when they trespass on my space.

They are disgusting after all, and especially to me;

when I consider how alien they seem,

but still share my ancestry.

 

How I hate thinking that they still foment

within their genetic recipe

the blueprints for my symmetry.

 

No, my distaste for finding the leftover husks

of dried out insects comes from the deep

realization that I share that fate with them.

 

That their grotesque beauty should be

so fragile in the end, and so easily extinguished,

left without ceremony, to be collected in a dustpan.

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2016. All rights reserved.

Martin and Malcolm and Bobby and Jack.

You still hear their echoes inside of books.

Heroes are killed, and they never come back.

 

Stepped to the front and took lead of the pack.

Out of the valley and onto the brooks.

Martin and Malcolm and Bobby and Jack.

 

Believed in defense, but not first attack,

avoiding the jabs, the crosses and hooks.

Bullets kill heroes, and they never come back.

 

Tried to save Rome from the sieve and the sack,

warning the people of liars and crooks.

Martin and Malcolm and Bobby and Jack.

 

Were placed center stage and then on the rack;

received with suspicions and sideways looks.

Villains kill heroes, and they never come back.

 

Their efforts and names are fading to black,

for whatever they said has been mistook.

Martin and Malcolm and Bobby and Jack.

People kill heroes, then they want them back.

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2016. All rights reserved.

Take out your number two pencils.

Do not tear off the plastic before I tell you to do so.

Write in your name and your address.

Get used to filling in bubbles and giving out info.

Make sure you erase your mistakes completely.

Read the instructions and follow directions.

You’ll have half an hour for each of the sections.

You cannot look forward or backward.

You cannot use your own paper.

You’ll have five-minute breaks when I say so.

You can have a drink and a snack then, but no more.

When work starts again, I’m shutting the door.

If you don’t follow the rules you can’t take the test,

Because you don’t take the test, you won’t have a score,

And without a score you can’t get very far,

Since you won’t get very far,

we’ll never know who or where you are.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2015. All rights reserved.

No … and no … and no.

We cannot go

We will not go

No … and no … and no.

Back into the darkness,

where the laws are said to be,

handed down from heaven

to a lone prophet in secrecy.

Whispered to in loneliness,

and given the only set of keys

into the majestic,

that isn’t meant for you or me.

.

No … and no … and no.

We cannot go

We will not go

No … and no … and no.

One book is not enough,

to answer all our questions.

One man’s take on what is love,

cannot fulfill all our suggestions.

One book and one belief,

leads to the closing of our minds.

One book and one belief,

is for me, how hell’s defined.

No … and no … and no.

We cannot go

We will not go

No … and no … and no.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2015. All rights reserved.

I don’t know

what you’ve been told,

about what happened

long, long ago;

but it’s happening still

and forever will.

So even as

you sit around

bored or absorbed

by retold stories

of the horde you were born to,

learning the sayings and prayers

making your exit and entrance

being just merely a player,

you should come to learn,

through peace

and through violence

there’s a greater tale told

of black hole horizons,

and dreams from hadrons

collapsing in silence …

… particles blinking

in and out of existence

ignoring the gravitational resistance

…………..that allows you and me

to walk around on this earth

and for whatever it’s worth

whether you accept it or not

this story has got

……………………….no point.

For in a curious twist

the multiiverse missed,

what no good writer ignores.

Who is this story for?

cropped-the-view.jpg

We look across the flat lands of New Mexico,

from a seat on the Sandilla Mountains.

It is near sunset and the whole scene looks red

and reminds me of a blazed clay shell

occasionally interrupted by the jutting of an

ancient cordillera spine. It is the backbone

of the native western earth; it is where the sun

was stored at night for safekeeping, away from

the Old World’s shores. We watch low clouds

cross below us, stoking the hard earth with

their shadows, and I imagine they must cool

whatever life there is down there. It is hard

to see anything but red, red earth. Hard to

imagine anything good growing here.

And she just sits next to me in silence, too.

Looking out and imagining who knows what.

She is quiet and unwilling to pose for a picture,

unwilling to participate in the pure illusion of a moment.

Instead she sits next to me looking out at the horizon,

like a person sitting at the bottom of the ocean

wanting air.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2014. All rights reserved.

* NOTE ABOUT THIS POEM: This poem was originally written in 1994 and is about one of my favorite personal pictures. The picture was taken by my friend, Camille Pansewicz, and it is of my future wife and I from behind, looking out across the horizon. There are too many reasons why this picture is one of my all time favorites to explain here. The poem is not one of my faves, but it is a reminder that writing is like taking a picture with words.

Plan B

(for my students & my sons)

…..

Be strong and dare to dream;

……….your life is more than what it seems.

Be good, be well, be nice;

……….these things you don’t consider twice.

Be calm, be fit, be smart;

……….take careful measure from where you start.

Be brave, be kind, be wise;

……….learn to tell the truth, even when disguised.

Be fair, be just, be true;

……….these things with time, get harder to do.

Be strange, unique and pure;

……….keep people guessing what else is in store.

Be bright, alive and … smile.

……….recall our lives, are but a while.

 ……….

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2014. All rights reserved.