The cold air
Purses both lips,

As low rooftops
Pray for each exhale,

And await those now
Who can feel it
As they fly in their dreams
Overhead –

Seeing these streets
From above,

Where lamplights fade
Like depictions,

Of better thoughts had
Before falling
Between thick sheets
Pooling sweat

And believing one’s death
Ever close
Behind lifetimes spent
Upon pillows

When reality hurts
More than sleeping
Every illness away
As we wish.

No radical change
Coming soon,

Short of scarier nights
Getting ready
At the cusp of dawn
Feeling anxious,

But ready to jump
Nonetheless –

Fearing God won’t catch
Certain stars
Thrown off hopes
Out of heavens
Since pain keeps clouds
As faith’s cushion
Before cutting us loose
Through such gas.

Plumes can’t lift
Heavy hearts
Pushed by grief
Facing illness,

Dancing with loss
Growing winded –

Every song ends
During sleep.

  • J. Pigno

Another day
Wasted on waiting,

Avoiding all trace
Of expression,

As the poetry
Sits in my stomach
Growing rife
With nauseous disease

Which churns
Each festering verse
Through repulsive whims
As they spasm

While agony builds
Deeper meaning
Hidden so deep
It gets lost –

Abandoning voice
Like belief,

Finding my God
Always questioned

Who employs such ills
Through obsession
When denying that dream
For too long

By compulsions grand
Though divisive
Inside my soul
Feeling empty
And denying words
Getting lonely
Deriding their choice
Keeping faith.

Religion can’t cure
Certain things
Where fear has told
Better stories
Than promised hope
Chasing glory
Most would assume
Does exist,

After death
Expels every reason
Worth creating art
Being idle –

Worried heaven itself
Never answers
But instead
Forces sickness to speak.

Why worry ourselves
Finding roles,

Or requiring work
Staying busy,

Since tomorrow hangs
Ever nearer
Soon threatening life
Via age –

One dangerous phrase
From fate’s laugh,

Facing chapters closed
Needing endings,

Seeking legacies
Hardly accepted –

Now become just lines
Left behind.

  • J. Pigno

With the grace of God
I will sleep
Until this breath
Appears heavy
To wake once more
Out of feeling
My heart race fast
In this bed –

Another night
Watching each star
Faraway now
Through these windows
But near enough still
For believing
Someday my soul
Just might reach

A heavenly space
Lacking fear
Or risk of death
Always looming
As age bears down
Making moonlight
The only hope here
Which exists

For escaping weights
Pressing hard
As evening nerves
Begin shifting
Into dreams whose glow
Remains faded
Like sparkling skies

Yet dimly there
Turning thoughts
By their simple wish
Towards believing
Such levity waits
Upon leaving
Our bodies so old
Seeming young

Soon begging relief
From their pulse
Since skipping beats
Imply endings
Inching more close
Than expected
If imminent bliss
Follows suit

When floating above
Darkened rooms
Seeing streets grow small
Soaring gently
While flying outside
Praying wishes
Are realities
Chased beyond clouds.

  • J. Pigno

There is so much
Left in this pen
That my heart
Can’t find
Any ink
But the blood
Which keeps
Pouring crimson
Through agonies
Written instead –

An unsure word
Here and there
From a childhood
Still dependent
On fading thrills
Growing weaker
That fear
Can’t sustain

When facing age
Bearing down
Through movement
Needing substance
Like wisdom
Holding no meaning
But passion
Of martyrdom
Passed –

How pain itself
Doesn’t last
But holds
Some truth
Feeling ruined
When nasty as death
Running rampant
Amid poetry
Between laughs

Across finite rows
Trauma yields
To grow up
Among grasses
Once nourished
By throwaway phrases
Make strong
Spilling rain

If speaking hearts
Should demand
Giving everything
Seeking nonsense
Then purging hurt
Pushing phrases
These days
Will allow.

  • J. Pigno

It’s not very hard
To perceive
I’m the king
Of the privileged

Losing my breath
With each blessing
Which hurts more
Than any grace

By these gifts
Which scathe
Like belief
Riddled with glass
That has shattered

And scattered
Through grains
Without notice
Along this coast
Doubting waves

As oceans engulf
Many ships
In my mind
Growing faithless

Where daydreams
Beyond beaches
Into jagged remains
Leaving scars –

How agony floats
Certain vessels
While others
Just sink
Into vagueness

When reality
Every moment
Worth swimming back home
Towards the shore,

Since scapegoats
Notice no blood
As conviction
Their redness

But merely
Savor such burning
As seawater’s
Enters wounds

To redeem
Those forgotten
Counting each sand
Chasing pebbles

Remaining hurt
Now on purpose
Below every

  • J. Pigno

Maybe hearts
Keep acceptable distance
To preserve what love
Remains fearful
Like a child whose wish
Knows no answer
Other than faith
During growth

And hope feels real
Despite life
Crushing each dream
So elusive
While outlasting truth
Ever honest
Though hardly close
When we reach

Towards harsher fates
Drawing near
With our changing plans
Seeming futile
By attempting feats
Never certain
Since assuming roles
Without choice

If embellished lies
Were some cure
Where sickness speaks
Small hyperboles
In demanding pills
Always empty
But expecting results

Now dosing frowns
For their farce
Selling scripts
Called faraway friendships
Numbing needs
Only humans will suffer
Through medicine
Traded on touch

Until loneliness
Doesn’t suffice
Behind phone screens
Getting thicker
Taking videos
Sadly mistaken
As substitute souls
Being near.

  • J. Pigno

In that dream
He stood at the door

His hair all frizzed
Running wild

As if telling me
Chaos is natural
When meaning itself
Appears bold

Leading us soon
With a chord
Off strings wound tight
Forming coils
At the head of his axe
Almost wooden
If frets weren’t souls
Which would sing

Strumming their voice
Belting out
What prophets alone
Couldn’t muster

Making those notes
Speak of gospel
Since music was made
To uphold

Such fortunate nights
Become news
After terrible days
Facing silence
Where God sat still
Losing sunshine
Behind thick clouds
Causing rain

Letting silent prayers
Always beg

Or endure through storms
Hearing thunder

But enjoy loud bangs
Bringing rhythms
Drums will beat
Seeking noise

Needing every pulse
Now attuned

How Bob might use
Trailing poems

Tugging small threads
Over puddles
Guiding weary ears
Fearing words

Drowning melodies
Tethered by rage
Once built on hope
Drawing pictures
High fidelity sounds
Paint abstractly
Yet inherently feel
Playing hard

Swinging ropes
Some sinners might climb

Though dangling faith
With resistance

Fighting empty lines
Against heartbeats

While lyrics inside
Remain screams.

  • J. Pigno

Our trees
Bear colorful lights
Shining within
Every window,

Through glass which
Captures that magic
Hiding those stars
Very small –

In each twinkle
The distant past,

Burning so bright
Like time’s memory
Of a fiery life
That once sparkled

But now seeks peace
Before death.

I must fear
How winter proceeds
Despite such warmth
Seeming certain
Around holiday hearths
Always glowing
Where families sit
Sharing gifts.

They can’t understand
Why tragedy
Follows their merriment

When agony’s wrapped
Besides presents
Every Christmas Eve
Spent at home –

Just feeling too sad
To face what truth
Begins mounting
While clocks ring out
After midnight
Telling me still
There is hope –

If God was birthed
Long ago,

For His purpose
Relieving all judgment,

From mankind’s fate
Getting darker

As my own ills
Appear much worse.

  • J. Pigno

We ruin our lives
With regret
Since pursuing
Supposed forgiveness
From the pain which
Promises nothing
When grace
Is purely received,

Never gained
But already earned
If belief means
Suffering greatly
After failures’s faced
Become mountains
Moved by faith
Now instead –

These tethered hands
Always forced
Until that day
We are sorry
After learning God
Doesn’t bargain
But provides free gifts
Unlike us.

Effort itself
Cannot change
This weakened flesh
Making choices
Towards sinful work
Merely dreaming
Of transient hope
Built through hurt –

Moments lost
In their riches
Like memories found
Seeking penance
Beneath each wrong
Weighing heavy
Until those souls
Truly grieve

What family formed
Throwing stones
Where honest love
Stood neglected
Over years spent
Praying on empty
Wishing money
Might fill them again.

Redemption speaks
Under stress
Between bad days
Finding chances
Offering threats
Hardly worthy
At rejecting
Heaven’s approach –

Steadying hands
Steering fate
So determined
No one would notice
How human flaws
Shape existence
Still learning mistakes
Never miss.

  • J. Pigno

No one believes
I am sick ,

And perhaps
That’s part of the illness –

Forever ignored
Despite pleading
For assistance from pain
They can’t see.

My days
Are an endless threat
Of combatting
Various symptoms
Whose invisible scars
Always surface
Without any
Obvious cause –

A war on life
Leaving marks
Hidden by looks
Seeming youthful
Yet aging beneath
Holding secrets
This heartbeat alone
Only tells,

Though it survives
Defying skips
More persistent
Than dwindling hope
Hardly faithful
God may change
What’s to come.

Waking up
Means trying again
At appointments
Where laughs remain common
While doctors uphold
Their appearance
So tomorrow proves
Emptier still.

Another place hurts,

Not like before
But unusual,

Feeling too sore
Beyond normal –

How many things
Can get worse?

  • J. Pigno