Category Archives: Love

Exploding Heart 031519

I know that the human heart

houses no emotions

but why does it feel

like my chest is exploding

in slow motion

when you are near?

 

There is a coldness,

a separation,

as loneliness and distance

envelope and overcome me.

 

I am weak

powerless to move,

to turn away

until you look at me

and then I am flung to the depths

of my own despair

because there is nothing in your eyes.

 

There is no love or hate,

apathy or annoyance.

As if I don’t exist in your life

and I don’t exist in my own

conception of happiness.

 

So I stand alone,

chest exploded

dripping life

having not the energy to stand.

Body immobile

air like prison

hardly breathing

having not the energy to breathe.

 

As I fade,

fading slowly

fade away into the dark,

dark places of my soul.

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Flower

A flower grew in a barren field.

She will probably break my heart tomorrow.

But today her scent is sweet

And her petals are desirous to touch.

 


Keep me in your prayers

I recently hit a rough spot

In a life filled with rough spots.

In a weak moment,

I told an acquaintance.

She said, “I’ll keep you in my prayers.”

I’ll keep you in my prayers.

That is all she offered to me

In my sorrow and pain.

 

Now to some that is enough.

A social understanding

That we are all helpless

In a raging shit-storm.

So I will say this phrase

And we can part

And avoid any unpleasantness

And think there is hope.

 

To me, prayer was always

More for the one who prays

Than for the object of her prayers.

It makes that person focus on a problem

Until a solution appears

Which should eventually lead to an action.

 

“God, please give me that promotion.”

Eventually, you will realize that

Until you merit that promotion

By going the extra mile,

You don’t deserve that promotion.

And that will change you

Into someone who deserves the promotion.

 

But does God listen?

“Prayer hotline, this is God,

How can I help you?”

If God is God,

Shouldn’t he already know our sorrow?

Will he help us only if we ask?

And only if we ask in the right way?

Does that mean that God wants us to suffer?

Should a parent not feed her baby

If the baby doesn’t ask?

 

If God will listen to me, and not to you,

Does that mean that God favors

One person over another?

One group over another?

Does this mean the racists are right?

Of course not.

 

This is an ego trip,

If you think you have a direct

Hotline to an all powerful being.

Is God your errand boy

And you just give him a honey-do list?

 

If you must pray,

Ask for guidance

On how you could help,

And then help.

 

And the next time someone

Tells you their sorrow,

Ask, “How can I help?”

And then do what you can.

 

Prayer is not a substitute for action.

It is action.

 

“He prayeth best,

Who loveth best,

All things both great and small,

For the dear God who loveth us,

He made and loveth all.”
-Cooleridge


Sliver Moon 011019

I was walking my dog

Late last night.

It was cold and clear.

I was in a hurry being

Tired and wanting

The comfort of my bed.

 

It was then I saw her.

Old Mrs. Mulvaney.

Standing on her porch,

Holding on to the bannister,

To steady herself in the frigid air,

Looking at the moon.

 

It was just a sliver of a moon.

A thin smile

Cheshire cat like

With secrets to tell,

If you would share some of your own.

 

Mrs. Mulvaney had shared,

With the moon and the man she loved

For over fifty years.

He had left her long ago,

To make a place for her in heaven.

And now he waited for her,

Quietly, patiently.

She was not ready to go

But she missed him.

 

So she looked to the moon

Like she did with her husband

And thought of the happy times,

Small moments of joy

Which filled her heart,

So full, that there was no room

For sadness.

 

My dog stopped to look at her

For a moment

And so I stopped as well

For a moment.

And I thought

As I continued on my way,

If only someone, someday

Would look at the moon,

And think of me.

 


Sleeping With Macbeth

Just out, my latest book of poetry, Sleeping With Macbeth.

Ernest Hemingway once said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” There is a lot of blood in this book. There is blood from where we are as a society. There is blood from the courage we all need to get out of bed every morning. and the compromises we must make. And there is blood that has leaked out from our broken hearts.

I was never the kind of writer to cover up the pain with pretty phrases. I hope there is some eloquence here, but not at the expense of honesty. Subjects explored in Sleeping With Macbeth are life, love, writing, Ireland, holidays, and people. This book documents my struggle during a very dark period and the desire to begin again, not with another love, but with life.

Available at my website, http://www.afwinter.com, or on Amazon,

https://www.amazon.com/Sleeping-Macbeth-F-Winter/dp/1974316831/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1545597129&sr=1-2&keywords=sleeping+with+macbeth

 


A Jar of Macadamia Nuts

“Things aren’t important.

Things are important.

Does that make sense?”

 

She stood before me

In the supermarket.

A friend, I haven’t seen in over a year.

A disease that is slowly melting her cartilage away.

She smiled joyfully at me,

In front of the shredded cheese.

Her happiness had nothing to do with the cheese.

I hope.

 

“I think so.” I replied.

“Big things aren’t important.

Small things are.”

 

Her smile continued.

“Yes last year I couldn’t stand.

I might have to have surgery to fuse my spine.

I won’t be able to move my head ever again.”

 

I said, “Like this?”

Slowly moving my back, neck, and head from side to side as one

Imagining what life would be like,

Like a naive child learning about homeless for the first time.

 

“Yes,” she said.

We stood, for a moment, in silence as the Friday shoppers passed us,

In a frenzied passion,

As if the three for two special

Held the meaning of life

Or the riches of Solomon.

 

“You look well,” I said and I meant it.

In fact, she looked beautiful,

With a knowledge and understanding

That few possess.

 

 

“Thanks,” she smiled again.

Her eyes closed as discomfort from her condition took hold of her.

“I can only get around now for small amounts of time

And I’m about done.”

 

I noticed a jar of Macadamia nuts in her hand

And looked around for her cart.

“Is you cart somewhere?”

 

No, this is all I came for.”

I looked confused

So she continued,

“Last year I couldn’t stand,

I couldn’t clean.

I couldn’t be the mother

I wanted to be.

Everything I thought I once was,

I wasn’t.

I couldn’t even bake.

I love baking.

For now,

At this moment,

I can do things,

Small things,

Simple things.

Today I can bake cookies.”

She looked at the jar in her hand

And smiled sadly.

“Today I can bake,

Silly really.”

 

Not silly at all.


My Sentence

I look at my picture

Taken just a few minutes ago

I don’t recognize myself

Who is this unhappy man?

 

My hair hurts.

I run my fingers

Through my scalp

Grasping and pulling

The tortured, graying strands

 

My eyelids heavy.

I lay down on my cot.

I can’t sleep.

But I can’t move.

Laying there for hours.

Until I feel the devil

Grasping and pulling

Me down where demons dwell.

 

Startled at the reality

Of this living hell.

Can’t escape the reality

Of this living hell.

Resolved to the reality

Locked in my prison cell.

Never again to hold

My sweet, sweet Annabelle.