She: A poem for women

In honor of International Women’s Day, I’ve written a poem for women, today.
I may not be a fan of much of the way that the modern feminist movement has become politicized – but I believe strongly that women are amazing, and equal.

She.

 

She is a diamond. She is gold. She is a ruby.
She is a treasure, a daughter, a princess.


Heed this, Washington!
You have politicized and ostracized her.
Lined her up in both aisles, stirred up her angers to float your own agendas.
I’m not just  calling out one aisle or one house.
I’m not just calling out the presidential, the judicial, or the legislative branches.
You are all users, pushers, and you play her like an organ, like a flute.
Your monuments are full of men. Your halls are full of men. And yet you use her to secure your offices. You dress her up in a pantsuit or with a protest sign and tell her what to chant.
You strip her of her voice and her vote. Meanwhile you pad your cushy office with her cash, while she forwards you calls.

She is a diamond. She is gold. She is a ruby.
She is a treasure, a daughter, a princess.

Heed this, Hollywood!
You have painted her, sculpted her, and cast her for a mold for your assembly line.
She was young, and beautiful, but you told her she was not.
She was pure and innocent, but you awakened and corrupted her – and told her it was empowerment.
Convinced her her value was in red lips, swaying hips, and some other color hair.
You told her that to be bare is to be in charge.
You told her that to be touched is to be loved.
You told her that the old ways are wicked, and that it’s good for her to accept your perverted gaze and your dirty intentions.

 

No, her innocence was not weakness.  Her patience and virtue were good. But you convinced her to trade them for love, but what you offered her wasn’t love at all!

Her beauty didn’t need greasepaint.
Her lips did not need puffed, nor her eyebrows plucked. Her hips were not too wide.

 

She is a diamond. She is gold. She is a ruby.
She is a treasure, a daughter, a princess.

 

Heed this, Wall Street!

She is not a demographic. She is not a figure in a spreadsheet. She is not of lesser value than any man.
You told her she has no place among the elite. And when you granted her a place, you used it to show her off as a trophy, as proof of your progress, and yet in the back room, you gambled her savings on bloated houses, and you resigned with her pension.


Heed this, Woman!

You are a diamond. You are gold. You are a ruby.
You are a treasure, a daughter, a princess.

The Sun Shining on a Cool Misty Morning #poetrythursday

On a cool misty morning,
the spritz of rain accompanied by the decrescendo of the orange October temperature,
makes gray the vibrant reds and burgundies as they hang on to their hardwoods.

The dust cloud behind the humming street sweeper is knocked down, and instead becomes a trail of brackish oily froth. He hums along, erasing a year’s worth of road grime – or at least relocating it to the curb.

And the little boys, with tousled blonde curls, ready to climb and leap and play in the cool autumn morning are imprisoned by bars of near icy mist and currents of water dripping from the roofs.

“Why can’t I go outside, mother? Why is the sun not shining?”
And the mothers, at least the wisest of mothers, with their infinite knowledge of what happens above the clouds, and on the other side of the earth while their sons are sleeping, tell the little boys,

“Sons, the sun is always shining. He is always shining somewhere.”

Cordoba #poetrythursday

I wrote this about a year before I met the girl of my dreams. I was in college, surrounded by late nights of drinking tea and studying geography books. I was fascinated with the city of Cordoba, and horribly lonely as I imagined who my love would one day be.
I’d love to take my wife to see Cordoba some day.

Cordoba

I gazed across the cobblestone street, focused on the hurdy-gurdy beggar.
The silver coin in his cup danced with him, winking.
I drummed my fingers, half-eager, half-anxious, against my third cup of tea,
still dreaming. I still asked words almost on my lips, “Who is she?”

The woman of my dreams sifts through my perceptions
and becomes as real as my bones, smiling a gentle blush,
fingering the handle of her cup, porcelain, still with a sip or two
of chocolate in the bottom.

“So how do you like Cordoba?”
“It’s beautiful.”
“I’m glad you came.”
“I’m glad to be here.”
“How was your flight?”
“I hardly remember it.”

Every word meant more than was spoken, and as
we drank the morning in that Cordovan cafe,
“Daniel” on the record player, every second in her eyes caressed me.
I placed my folded hands on the table in front of my cup.

“I… I don’t know what to say.”

She reached for my hands, and I winced inside, hoping she’d not see the scars.
With her hands in mine, I noticed she had them too.
We sat through midday, and watched the children on the streets of Cordoba
play with their smiles and laughter.
We watched the hurdy-gurdy man’s eyes gleam as a stranger would leave
a coin and a nod and walk on.

We talked about our pasts, and our futures, and our dreams. We watched midday to afternoon, and saw fathers coming home from the tannery. The hurdy-gurdy man packed up and bought a sandwich from his beggar’s fortune. The sun dipped deep to slumber and the moon blotted out the stars.
“Well, I have to leave now.”
After a soft kiss, and a squeeze of my hands,
she sifted back through my perceptions and
returned to that corner of my heart where she is always.
I push my chair under the table, and walk
down the empty streets of Cordoba, humming “Daniel”,
and drop a coin for the hurdy-gurdy man to find tomorrow.

Journals of a man divided – #poetrythursday

journalsofamandividedThis is a poem I wrote probably around 1997. It’s a series of short poems entitled “Journals Of A Man Divided” – and each poem is based on one of the words in the title.

Some people look back on their college poetry and get depressed or embarrassed. I’m not ashamed of mine, to be honest. I was a young and raw poet then – today I’m an older and rustier poet.

 

 

Journals

Amid stacks and piles,
three miles sratospherically,
a word and a pen
scratch along paper
and create a
mystic dream
with tigers and cherubim
trees and skyscrapers
fog and stars…
wirebound worlds,
visions of unseen…
love unsaid…
and
journals of every
moment that has
passed before
a poet’s painted eye.

Of

mice live simple,
in theivery
and flight…
Atiny heart pumping
a hundred quiet beats
for every one of your own
quickly
sprints his way across
across
scratched linoleum,
under a heavily treaded rug,
to a hole
neatly gnawed through
a most invisible corner.
Mice… a lot like man.

A

keep it precise…
You keep getting too wordy,
trying to articulate what can be said without all the words you use
to describe every little detail not noticed by the naked eye.
You speak in circles and never stop going around the bush-beaten path you’ve
trodden down.
Get to the point.
Get to a point.

Man
Simple.
Honest.
Wise.
Hard to understand,
things that make sense.

Suspended.
Lifted.
Hung.
Higher than our heads,
yet lower than heaven.

Bleeding.
Fleshless.
dead.
Mortal in our eyes,
yet still to resurrect.

Eternal.
Loving.
God.
Man just for a moment,
to hold our very hearts.

Divided.

Deleted from the sweet freckled face, a smile hides in
my pocket.
Hides next to my pencil, and bubble gum, and it clings to my keys.
Sometimes i smile…
sometimes i don’t
so i won’t say i am not divided..

Poor Boy Rich Kid – #PoetryThursday

I write this poem back in 1996. Not about anyone in particular… but I found it in a stash of old files, and I think my old college poetry is kind of cool to stumble across!

Your folks have been keeping up with the Jones’s so long
You thought they’d never die:
Collecting a backyard full of motorhomes,
Televisions, and
GAP jeans.
They don’t understand your scowl,
ripped shirt, side-burned…
Daddy’s deep pockets buy you
cigarettes and caffeine,
so you can long strung-out sucked-in-cheeks.
Poor boy rich kid,
skinny by choice,
fat daddy fat wallet
filet mignon
you whine for canned beef stew.
Legal boxers
slug in a civil oak ring
to support your shifty-eyed
smile.

 

Broken Old Heroes

I was driving through my old hometown.
It’s been a decade since I lived there, and the signs on the stores have all changed, and the names on the mailboxes have changed in some parts of town.

And I watch with a bit of confusion as the heroes of my childhood fumble across the street…

One man, white haired, his head hung low, to watch each tentative steps as they scrape across the asphalt.
His arms smaller, his back hunched,  his chest hollow, his mind dulled.

These were the lumberjacks, the soldiers, the factory workers, the janitors, the shoe salesmen, the intellectuals, the gentlemen I remembered…
whose strength were oaken,
whose constitution was golden,
whose witsPSX_20140604_103240 were sharp like blades.

And for a moment, I realize that in my own oncoming middle age, that this too may be my destiny.

I was a hero in my youth, jostling timbers, lifting stones, and running along mountains.

And now, I’m closer to my broken old heroes than I am to the young man I once was.

Poems for Holy Week

I’ve got a number of poems that I’ve written about the crucifixion… I thought them fitting on this Holy Week.

Nail

This first poem has inspired a song that I wrote. Watch the video – or purchase the original recording.

His blood coated me,
but not in redemption…
As I held the weight
of Him on
my own
scarred steel shank,
I knew I could not have held Him…
I could not have held Him there
against his will…
Many have counterpoised,
and many have died,
to pay for their own,
but that day I held
more weight on His unstruggling shoulders
than any other weight
these nails have held.

Backbone

I see my frailty…
and the
backbone
I pretend to have;
second-hand porcelain.

and the
backbone
I wish was mine;
ten-by-ten,
hand-hewed, oaken.

Nonetheless

Turn your back
and go your way
But I’ll still
love you.
You could cut me
into a thousand
pieces
and not steal my love.
You could lift me up
spikes through my hands,
and smear the blood in my eyes,
Strip me
of this
fleshly robe,
and mock my
Deity.
I see you frolic
and laugh
as my blood
and tears
stain
my skin (Red stains deep).
I beg to see you
in Paradise.
I plead for your forgiveness
and love you nonetheless.
————————————

My Hands / His Hands

My Hands

I have
Bloodless, mottled hands,
with slender fingers,
and pink
chewed away nails,
tough fingertips,
callused by phosphored bronze
and silvered steel
And gentle palms
that a sliver
would wreck.
A solitary childhood scar,
definitely from a
jackknife rests on
the first knobby knuckle of
my index finger,
and short,
dark hair
trails
down to my
curved
little pinky.

His Hands
He has
strong, meaty
palms, rough
and scarred,
and sinew-wrapped
fingers, muscle to the bone;
Dirt pushed back beneath
His unmanicured nails, broken
by hammers and ironwood.
Scars deep through His wrist,
Through back and front,
Blessed are
His scars.

————————————

Resurrection

We went to a friends house for dinner… and He took over..

He served the bread and he served the wine.. said something about it being his flesh briken and his blood shed.

 

As always.. talking in riddles.. I didn’t understand it…

I didn’t really know.

I couldn’t comprehend

What he was trying to show..

 

So we went to the garden, and he went off to pray.. I was keeping watch, and dozed off.. he ticked off, and I could tell he was hurt that I couldn’t stay awake for ten minutes while he prayed.

 

And then it came, and I’ll never forget. The night that rocked me to the core.

It was black. And their torches burned the air.. they took him at the point of their sword, as though he would have fought them off..

 

At the trial, they set him up, and they beat him so bad,, I couldn’t recognize his face anymore…

I was so scared theyd come for me.

I kept hiding in the shadows..

I kept hiding in the shadows..

 

When they whipped him the next morning, I wanted to tell them to stop

I wanted to scream and stand in his place,

but I was too petrified to move.

I was too terrified to prove

that I was a friend of his

they led him to the place, where they executed thieves and murders…

I know he wasn’t that popular, but he didn’t deserve this..

 

As they stripped him naked, and mocked him, and the blood from his beating scabbed his back, they braided a crown of three in ch thorns, and dug it in his scalp…

 

I wanted to cry.. but afraid my tears would give me away.. I stood in silence, as the led him down the way…

 

The spikes were iron and gnarled, and they tore through his wrists and his feet, the blood splattered on their faces, and the laughed like rabid beasts…

 

He cried, he screamed, but he didn’t fight back.

I wanted to cry, I wanted to scream, I wanted to fight back..

But scared to join in his fate, I just stood silent in the back…

 

 

They hung him up. And I watched as his life slow faded away.

A prayer for their forgiveness..  he struggled so hard to say…

 

MY GOD MY GOD, WHY have you forsaken me?

 

He whole earth screamed as the sky went dark, and I ran off into the blackned daylight…

 

When they pulled his body off of the cross, eack drop of blood had drained.

Limp and dead, beaten beyond recognition, they laid him in a grave.

 

 

Meanwhile I thought back to every word he had said… and I realized that he was a lamb…

 

He was a sacrifice..

 

A sacrificial suicide.

Willingly he died.

 

When the whips tore thru his back it was for me

When the nails pierced through his hands it was for me

When the blood spilled from his veins it was for me

When the Father turned his back it was for me………

 

If he died for me, I couldn’t bare the shame.

I was smother in grief, lambaasted in blame.

 

On Saturday , I just laid there..

hiding out… scared to death.

Shaking in fear, and hating my own breath..

 

I deserved to die, so why did he?

 

 

They woke me up Sunday.

Said that his body was gone…

I raced to the graveyard to see it,

Met up with pete and john

They were white as ghosts, but the grins on their face spread wide..

They said “He’s Risen… JESUS IS ALIVE”

 

 

 

 

and as i turned around i saw him..

i could recognize his scars..

and he told me that he loved me

and he took me in his arms..

 

and he whispered something to me

that i never will forget

he said “i forgive you”

and it was spinning in my head

 

do i run or take it in… do i kill myself or die of shame

 

and that’s when i realized why

 

all of this happened the way it did.

 

he died to take my place

 

but he rose so i’d be free…..

he rose so i’d be free

 

All I Have To Give You… #poetrythursday

#poetrythursdayIf I could give you any gift,

I’d give you
cathedrals, spires and
hollow, with
a gargoyle choir to scare demons
and chase monsters from your closet.

I’d give you
Serengeti grassland, stampedes of
gazelle, and
sunset to match your eyes, sparkling.

I’d give you
rivers, and ponies, and gentle downy goslings.
And simple clouds to roll across your face in the morning.
Mountains and valleys, and oceans and lakes, and eternity
baked in a pie…
but all I can give you
are ink scribbles
and smiles,
and pictures painted with words,
and a forehead kiss goodnight.

His Hands – Poetry Thursday by Josh Hatcher

His Hands

I have
Bloodless, mottled hands,
with slender fingers,
and pink
chewed away nails,
tough fingertips,
callused by phosphored bronze
and silvered steel
And gentle palms
that a sliver
would wreck.
A solitary childhood scar,
definitely from a
jackknife rests on
the first knobby knuckle of
my index finger,
and short,
dark hair
trails
down to my
curved
little pinky.

His Hands
He has
strong, meaty
palms, rough
and scarred,
and sinew-wrapped
fingers, muscle to the bone;
Dirt pushed back beneath
His unmanicured nails, broken
by hammers and ironwood.
Scars deep through His wrist,
Through back and front,
Blessed are
His scars.