Ignite Me

They say the pen
Is mightier than the sword
And I believe this is true
A broken relationship
Will not heal on its own
Of this I’m reminded
Every time I look at you

They say knowledge
Is power
And I believe this is true
Fences cannot be mended
Until both neighbors acknowledge the damage
Of this I’m reminded
Every time I look at you

They say the most important thing in your world
Is me
And I hope this is true
Like cars, relationships won’t last
Without regular maintenance
Of this I will be reminded
Every time I look at you

They say knowing your enemy
Is the key to victory
And I acknowledge this is true
You can’t know anything at all
Until you first know yourself
Of this I will remind myself
Every time I look at you

They say the eyes
Are the windows to the soul
And I believe this is true
When there is darkness behind the glass
All you see is a reflection of you
Of this I want you to be mindful
Next time you look at me

They say you should put on your own oxygen mask
Before you help your neighbor
And I know too well this is true
I nearly smothered the fire inside me
Each time I tried to refuel you
Of this I want you to be mindful
Next time you look at me

They say you can’t start a fire
Without a spark
And I believe this is true
I have but a spark left inside me
And I think there’s still one within you
Of this we need to be mindful
Next time we see each other

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Why

I stopped asking why
It was a pointless question
Why bad things happen

Even worse, “why me?”
Surely nothing good can come
From these questions, right?

Or so I was told
And so I believed until
I found the answer

Sleep on it, they say
When life’s perplexing riddles
Seem unsolvable

The simple act of
Stepping out of our own way
Often forgotten

Perhaps one of the
Most powerful tools we have
We don’t use enough

I thought my problem
Impossible and as such
I set it aside

I did not give up
Hands were not thrown in the air
To air frustration

Nor out of anger
Did I walk away from this
As some would assume

It was not worthwhile
I had better things to do
With my precious time

So I let it go
And I guess it kept going
While my back was turned

Pleasantly surprised
When suddenly it hit me
From out of nowhere

I had the answer
Now I keep it close to me
When I question life

You want to know why?
Because I can handle it
That is the answer

Invisible Son

Lately my writing
Has been an exercise
In putting words on a page
I can’t believe how quickly
Everything can change
I want to get back to me
Not the stranger I see
Staring from the mirror
With the vacant eyes

Something just isn’t there
If you could see that stare
Every time you look ahead
You’d be haunted too
Like the piano man said
It’s something I’d never lose
It’s something somebody stole
I don’t know the word for that
I don’t know if it will ever come back

Every night I search my shattered soul
For any sign of the younger me
For any scraps of a hungrier me
That hyper kid with too much energy
That place I found my poetry
So gritty and real and insane and edgy
The part of me that made this all look so easy
Now I struggle just to spit out some words
Damn that really hurts

It’s pointless to ask why
Anything happens in this life
So instead I wonder how I found out
How much it hurts when you land
In a hole that’s twenty years deep
I know my way from here at least
I size up the steep sides I’ll climb up
And as I look up toward the blue sky
I search for any good card in my hand

I didn’t ask
To be invisible
I didn’t try
To be invincible
How did I become so lost
And finally know where to go
Others claim to see the real me
But the only thing they see
Is what they want me to be

The ones who understand
Don’t use help as a guise
To disguise criticism when my
Life didn’t turn out how they planned
They just lend a helping hand
With no strings attached just rope
Enough to hang myself confident I won’t
Enough to let me pull my own weight
My own way up out of this quicksand

Others might wonder why
Someone so bright can write
So much that’s so dark for so long
This is just one piece of me
Some people get sucked in so easily
Staring at the blackness deep within
Too busy fixing what isn’t broke
To see the real me starting to shine
Through the cracks in my fractured soul

This isn’t even what I sat down to write
I had more of an anthem thing in mind
But this invisible cloak is smothering me
I don’t know if I’ll ever be whole again
I do know I’ll get out of this hole again
I know there’s darkness on the way out
There was plenty of it on the way down
The best way out of the darkness is through
Take my hand if you want you can come too

Keep preaching about how the future is bright
Keep in mind there can’t be day without night
These words I wrote they aren’t quite right
Inaccurate and imprecise is not quite me
But they’re real and raw and close enough
Someone somewhere may figure out what they mean
And in them I see faint reflections of who I want to be
So these words I found will have to do for tonight
How am I supposed to get it right if I don’t write

Can you feel the thing inside me just building and growing
Labeled a monster by experts with no way of knowing
My beast has a soft underbelly only the blind seem to see
Past the fear of illusions appearing on the verge of exploding
Seems nobody cares to hear the desperate screams
Of an invisible person who only wants to be seen
Stay focused on the ugly and you won’t get close to me
Bask in my warmth and I don’t care if you can’t see me
Shine