Happiness Is Spelled With Leaves Of Gold

The children are happy behind the fence, you know.

This is all you’ve ever been told.

You see them run past, sometimes;

your face pressed to the wooden slats,

eyelid peeled back inside the crack —

sight reaching out to meet their running forms.

 

They will always know peace, you know.

While war has always torn your ground apart,

their side will never run dry of fleshy fruit

or the ripened ribs of those creatures they farm.

 

Knowing this, you look around your side.

 

There are no children playing here;

they sit listless in the dust, ground down by the countless

sticks and stones thrown over the fence in playful ignorance of whom they’ll hit.

If they hit you they’ll ruin you, you know.

This is all you’ve ever been told.

 

And still you watch:

the splinters in your cheeks of years and years of breathless watching

though the crack have made you bitter — the wooden shards have hardened you,

yet still you watch, wide-eyed in disbelief and longing.

 

Happiness has gone extinct on this side,

and happiness is spelled with leaves of gold on theirs.

 

Everything they stole from you was branded

with the gilded promise of a wish:

for bluer skies and cleaner air and food to eat.

 

And yet — and yet!

You hear the children cry.

 

The grass is always green for them and all you have is dust,

and still they whimper at their feast.

 

The children are happy on the other side, and so

they will never see your sallow eyes shrivel in this heat.

 

Their happiness is built on never seeing how they’ve come to rest their heads

on these stolen leaves of luscious gold.

 

That —

that

is how they di(n)e in peace.

The Cliché of Chaos

The concept of if is monumental;

it shows humans as beings of potential —going wrong, going right,

spilling our decisions over others like drinks in a bar past midnight.

All these things happen only by chance

and there are two ways to read that fact:

either God is Dead and Life is Shit

— or —

anything means everything;

from the faintest static in the radio

to the way you two first kissed.

Every atom ever aligned has done so by chance,

every idea spawned in your mind is built on thoughts in the past.

Never shake off the ancestors clinging to your back.

You are webbed into history for all of eternity;

let your if echo out in the night.

You are you by every situation life has put you though:

meeting (her)

seeing (that)

expecting (more)

Fill in the blanks; we’ve all lived a little bit.

We’ve managed to make the best things accidentally:

the Chocolate Chip Cookie

a weak reusable adhesive

a cluster of cells bearing life

So remember we are only strings of coincidental meetings.

From atom to atom,

or Adam to atom,

or Adam to Adam and Eve.

If you listen closely

happenstance and circumstance

are what your heart keeps beating.

So listen closely.

Maybe this was some kind of cliché

that had never been taxonomized before

Read into the coincidences and notice the norm;

every moment deserves its own museum,

so curate your own collection.

Every 4 am awake’s a monumental accident.

We are series of cells addicted to cell phones,

beings afflicted by fatal mutations

caused by one twist of a gene.

And stories can twist by the turn of a word:

Did he die?

Or didn’t he?

We are the accretion of countless decisions;

a game of chance never brought to completion,

coins wheeling and glinting for as long as there’s air.

Our tales are told by idiots, full of sound and fury,

signifying everything but nothing.

If human beings are made of potential,

chaos unfolding is what brings us light.

Fallen Leaves & Shodden Skin

I did my growing-up in kingdoms and swing sets splattered far and wide

across this worn Earth-world.

Vine-covered buildings dropped their leaves at my arrival,

and armed with only a glue gun and a green marker

I tried to right the wrong of my being

in the place I was living.

 

No-one told me it was natural.

 

Natural to shed one’s coat or skin

either because of personal growth

or a season’s whim.

 

No-one told me it was natural,

 

seven years behind us now,

to be imperfect every once in a while.

That sometimes nature has ideas bigger than

our day-to-day interactions and reactions.

That sometimes leaves will fall and skins will stretch or shed

for the best of us and the best of them.

 

Yet when they do, see not a naked scar

but a rugged skeleton letting

life in.