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Posts Tagged ‘poetry about the self’

(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.

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for Gabriel, who is fourteen

.

Wrestling with you, nowadays,

both in spirit and in form,

reminds me how much you’ve grown.

When I brace myself,

my arms around you,

trying to hold you,

I can feel you breaking free.

I don’t know how much is me,

getting older and what is you,

growing stronger;

but it makes me think of Jacob

and the angel, in the end,

wishing the night could

be just an hour longer.

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hermano, amigo

               I don’t gots nothing more

                    but words for you …

an open invitation

   like the blanket I hung

    as a door when we lived

side by side, all the places

          where we were young together

 .

even these things are leaving

               us now,

          that we don’t talk,

                    that you can’t call

     to say “I love you too”

               now that I’m just another

          Facebook friend or bit I.M.

 .

Te acuerdas,

               remember how we met?

          ¿como todo paso?

how by accident your mother

               bought the house across the street

          from ours? How twelve years

               earlier we had both surprised

          our fathers and bent their tomorrows.

 .

¿Que cosas, no?

 .

that so much had to go,

               had to break a certain way

to find us playing tag in

               the summertime, dodging

between cars or playing kick the can

              and waiting for the street lights

to turn on.

 .

Te acuerdas como nos conocimos?

 .

                    You doing your imitation of John

              Travolta from Saturday Night Fever

                 and singing the Bee Gees’

                    “Staying Alive”

                   to mock whoever the hell was “it”

                … except me …

         we were already running as a team

        Ploying silently to keep the

                rest at bay, pushing to be better

               than each other because no one

            wanted to be Robin, because

          we both felt absolutely golden,

      whenever we were together,

          you were Larry and I was Magic

              even though our skin said

                   we had it backwards

                      … we knew better

 .

Ya tu sabes!

 .

So here’s a list that only

          you will understand with your

decoder ring and secret index

        of punchlines and memories

Pink Champale and Greased Lightning,

     Lower Grant and their mutant bigs,

Hershey Park spinning on its side,

     Reggie, the bleachers and spaghetti,

Willie on the train and the fucking fractions,

     Missions to van Sicilen, Crescent or Norwood

The middle of winter and a rat’s nest,

     Pitufas and soft shelled crabs,

The Dominican outback needing dancers,

     Fernando in the ambulance,

Shoeless football, stir fry and home grown,

     Seafood Mamajuanas, Billy Joel and

about a million other words I could

     string together to hang around our necks

like totems signifying we know

     exactly what they meant.

But we don’t.

We have our own stories, no?

          Even if we shared that

glory time so long ago, all things

          can gather enough dust

to be covered in the end.

Te acuerdo, te amo, te extraño.

.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2011. All rights reserved.

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What the doctor says to me

               in his soliloquy …

and in terms that are expressed

               really best by his eyes

and the puffing of his chest

              by the stance he finally

takes, breaking our distance

              and the way he holds

his clipboard as a shield

              against death; that’s

the way he says without a

              breath, “this is serious”.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2010. All rights reserved.

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Every day the light

comes up at the top

of the world

.

the churn goes on

grinding down

and pushing out

as well

.

everything is going

on as before

according to

the same laws —

.

the furthest star

is twice as far today

than one we’ll see

tonight

.

the only thing

that’s changed

are the subtle

combinations —

.

the queerest force

called chance by most

who fail to comprehend

.

the only mark we leave

in time is what we do

while living.

.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2010. All rights reserved.

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not baby blue,

soft and comforting

as the breadth of sky

that breaks at the horizon …

or a cornflower blue

cotton short sleeved shirt

that fit right around the shoulders

the summer you started getting looks …

but true blue.

melting towards the darkness,

rushing for the edges

of the rainbow

and messing with

the indigos of mourning …

the kind of blue

with heavy names like

Duke, Prussian, Navy

and Midnight that

cover other colors

with their spectrum …

the blue in your bruises,

that fade into jaundiced

patches and the blue

that creeps into dead lips

kissing the world goodbye.

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved

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I approach a day of raking

like I have arrived at a crime scene,

finding evidence that Persephone’s

white arms were dragged by;

her nails digging into the earth

as she clawed against being pulled

into the early darkness, the shorter days –

she scratched October’s face until he bled

the colors of a parade, and left a cryptic

message in the curled leaves on my lawn.

From the center of the world

she paints this picture of the fires

all around her; a portrait that breaks

in the wind and that I collect into piles.

Looking at the bursting colors

still clinging to the branches is

just a reminder that she’s been taken.

A sick ransom note from her captor,

like a naked picture of her outline

at the beach while

her curves eat half the sun.

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved

 

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