Draw from me
This life
Which hardly begs
To question
What root
Is your intention
And determines
Fate in hand

Yet carries
Precious flow
Like grace through drops
Cascading
Down bark
So parched when waiting
For rain
Such presence makes –

Your moisture
Seeding earth
With feeling
Harsh but fickle
While syrup
Bleeds off timber
Where agony
Tastes as sweet

Forgetting
Pleasure hurts
Off branches
Thick with bristles
Obscuring suns
Above me
From gifts
Of precious waste,

Falling
Oddly near
As their fruit
Of daily beatings
Is a joy
Called being punished
Based on
Weather’s mood

For I merely
Long to keep
This truth
Which towers demons
High as dreams
Relentless
Weeping loves
Once lost

Showering
Dangerous lies
Upon
Our seasons missing
Each day
We dare to blossom
As long as trees
Can stand.

– J. Pigno

My pride
Just can’t admit
To the joys
Of being
Complacent

With an ease
I deem
Unnerving
For anything good
Which waits

And arise
As miracles
Should
When evading work
Intended

By God
In his transient
Heaven
Where energies fade
As they must

Like hope
Now passing by
Enjoying
Such moments
Wasted

Avoiding deeds
Unworthy
Of the effort
It takes
To dream

And pursue
Our fates unknown
To the spite
Of invisible
Pages

Among answers
Scripted lightly
Through authors
Begging
Their clocks

For respite
From these hands
As memories
Scribbled
In margins

Show forever tasks
Unnoticed
In this struggle
Of cyclical
Days

Like searching hard
For sport
Just to spit
In the face
Of reason

Arguing
Something wagered
Is never
A payoff
Gained.

– J. Pigno

My fear
Is an act of
Constriction
Becoming
What hope
I have left

To end
Such hurt
Prematurely
By the cutting
Of blood
From my soul,

Redeeming veins
That are
Crunched
And narrowed
When losing
Conviction

Behind
These muscles
Swollen
Which sustain
What faith
Doesn’t flow

By a sudden
But dangerous
Change
Where arteries
Crushed
Cannot question

Or betray
One’s heart
As the vessel
For believing
Love
Still exists.

– J. Pigno

Just like that
They’re gone
These words
Which were my
Pillars

Bearing down
On metals
Bent
At weakened
Knees

Like steel
That’s not so
Tough
With feelings
Inconsistent

From passions
Burning greatly
Where emotion
Makes
Its mark

As floors
May seek collapse
When anger
Grows
Like fire

Within
Each tallest building
Of dangers
Meant
To break

Lasting
For our sins
Until
Those needs
Are vanquished

By destruction
Once deliberate
So the fall
Can claim
My voice,

Empty
Though confused
As smoke
Pours out
From windows

Obscured
Like what
Comes after
These flames
Are long put out.

Foundations
Left unearthed
Still prove
By fractured
Remnants

How footings
Just can’t handle
That I’ve nothing
Left
To say.

– J. Pigno

I hear
From your empty room
Those sounds
Of the saddest
Sleep –

A stirring
Of rigid linens
In darkness
Bold
And hushed,

Where screaming
Breaks with noise
This silence
Smashed
Like crystal

What rest
Is hardly peaceful
Where fear
And nightmares
Dwell.

As I listen
Down that hall
From my bed
A tomb
Of mourning

To calls
Behind each
Doorway
Of whispers
Told at night

So candles
Lit with prayers
Bear flames
Of dancing
Shadows

On walls
Aglow with phantoms
Like ghosts
And formless
Shapes –

Among
Our brightest
Days
Held inside
That fire

Projected
Into darkness
Through light
Which piereces
Black

Recalling
Times well spent
Amidst
These quiet
Echoes

And reasons
Worth believing
My tears
Bring certain
Haunts.

– J. Pigno

What about
Those boys
Whose hurt is
Merely guidance
In lieu of
Absent mothers
Where fathers
Pick up slack

Believing
Nothing hurts
As long as
Feelings swallowed
Are answers
To their pressures
When denying
Sadness builds

Agreeing
Bouncing balls
Can rid them
Of this silence
To suffer pain
So lonely
On cold and angry
Streets

Beating
Desperate means
With fists
Into submission
Assuming kids
More fragile
Are targets
Worth their grief

Near courts
Of asphalt dreams
With hoops held high
Elusive
Like survival
Leaving winning
The only answer
Making sense

Excluded
From these friends
By fear
Of being needy
Afraid to
Hug or kiss them
Or say that
Love is real

As men
Teach other males
Frailty
Is some sickness
And trait
Left just for women
Which embodies
What they fear

Resenting
Female ways
Like laws of heart
Made certain
Through action
Showing kindness
Is far from
Being weak.

– J. Pigno

What lives
You learned to fight
Have never gone
Unnoticed

In ways
My heart takes ransom
These dreams
You’ve won for me,

Not from
Easy scars
But means
I’d never envy

When swords
Of inner demons
Bear hilts
Most cannot lift

Which always
Seem to share
Such weight
We hold regardless

Of the difference
Left unspoken
During battles
Waged on time –

Our separate
Kingdoms come
Like answers
Better silenced

For sins
Called understanding
Where resentment
Takes its toll.

Your sacrifice
Never scared
Even if
Staying angry

And keeping me
Fairly nourished
At expense
Of taking hits,

Too sad
To see your gifts
Fall among
Such freedoms wasted

Perceived
Not by your child
But a man
Who’s barely strong –

Nowhere near as you
Crushing pasts
Under conquered
Mountains

Claiming
Raging soldiers
Where death
Is certain choice

And accepting
Daily pain
For the sake
I may not have it

Admitting
Daily bloodshed
Is the way
You’d stay alive,

As fathers
Make their sons
Out of courage
Breaking limits

Combatting
Countless armies
Each day
They long to give.

– J. Pigno