A water bottle
Sits
On the shelf
Where I may perish
Besides
My bedroom window
Shuttered tightly
During sleep

To denounce
What day may bring
Though rest which
Sees me tremble
With an open mouth
Still gasping
Begging liquids
From thin air

Denied
That arid breath
Since each terror
Leaves me longing
Between these sheets
Entangled
Like a bush
Of sweated death

But stirring
If I must
Long enough
For thirst to notice
How resistance
Seems indecent
Staring God
Right in the face

By His vessel
Left real close
While remaining
Ever fearful
So no hand
Or desperate fingers
Could seek respite
Out of reach

As that drink
Eludes my grasp
Amid dreams
I cannot finish
Waking often
From this penance
Feeling parched
Alone at night.

– J. Pigno

I wake up
As that child
Whose been running
And out of breath

On that playground
Where my leisure
Is the illusion
Time should wait –

For this innocence
To unravel
Like my swing
Which winds from usage
Ever telling
In its motion
No new heights
Just could be reached

While remaining

Back and forth

Since enjoying
Constant pacing
So ideal if seen
As changes
Though such truth
Is simply fun,

Unrelenting
Through each game
Of obsession
Without purpose
Or some product
Besides feeling
What love God
Must have bestowed

When our triumphs
Often fail

And good health
Expires always

After chasing
Dreams of meaning
Off that seesaw
Pure as faith

Trusting death
Is sure release
Into frolic
Without hindrance

Viewing heaven
Amid slumber

Interrupted
By life’s grief.

– J. Pigno

I found death
A most comfortable
Gray

Outside my
Hospital window

As that morning
Grew polluted
Where each tree
Stood oddly
Still

Watching daylight
Imbue fog
Spread like smoke
Through each their
Branches

In what breeze
Came off that shoreline
Just besides
This island’s
Coast

Hearing patients
Down those halls
Echo sadness
I had witnessed

Since new winter
Saw them
Struggle

While December
Proved
Their fears

When remaining
Soaked with sweat

Calmly trapped
And bound by
Plastic

Slave to fevers
God intended
Would remove us
Soon
From Earth

For that illness
Offered peace

And its dreaming
Meant surrender

Learning life
Was passing
Slowly
On this bed
No man
Should rest

Till his end
Might really come
If such silence
Should take
Notice

Plaguing rooms
Like empty shadows
Across faces

Scared
But wrong

Praying dimness
Was their
Fate

Not the sun
As once
Suggested

Sensing brightness
Broke composure
Stirring naps
Forever dark

Lacking heaven
I did face

Losing sight
And breath
Together

Waking somewhere
Barely present

Yet assured
Things weren’t
Done.

– J. Pigno

I’m not entirely sure
This is a better
Use of my time

Sitting here
Waiting on answers
From the room
Which offers
None

In its quiet
Turn of phrase
By an awful air
That lingers
As if silence
Shouldn’t furnish
What this dust
Would whisper well

Through old age
And stagnant breath
With such ripe
But telling odor
Speaking cruel
Yet honest wisdoms
Like this sound
Of creaking chairs

Where each ghost
Remained at rest

Though their movements
Echo softly

Among light
Dispersing shadows
Tracing outlines
Now long past

Hearing voices
In my ear
Wish each word
Were somehow faithful
To these moments
Ever fleeting
When all poems
Write themselves

And I never
Lose this line

Or find meaning
Trailing blindly
Behind verses
Uninspired
While those days
Go rambling on

Since I’d rather
Sit and play

Follow nonsense
Into boredom

Idly worship
Doing nothing

Than approach
My doubting pen.

– J. Pigno

I believe
That God’s not there
Each time
I die in my sleep
When fear
Is a dream eternal
Unreal as the dark
Which calls

Convinced
My breath could pass
Without these eyes
Wide open
Now worried
If pain continues
Beyond this plane
Of flesh

Since rest
Should shield me not
And tranquility
Pull feet under
Into fits
With quiet weakness
Drowning peace
From further woes

Tightly wound
Around my neck
During moments
I lay praying
For what rope
Doubt often dangles
Behind eyes
Whose shore is lost

Once ignoring
Every boat
Tying knots
Though bearing reason
Treading waves
In present torment
Upon pillows
Headed back

To where feelings
Fade like sand
Before claiming
Life had purpose
Struggling wildly
Within currents
While the captain
Casts His net

So those tangles
Find their catch
Proving faith
Becomes unruly
Still assuming
Land was waiting
As thick water
Fills my lungs

Learning heaven
Shows no grace
Toward our bodies
Sinking quickly
During slumber
Stopping heartbeats
Living shipwrecks
On high seas.

– J. Pigno

Daylight
Never questions
What sick form
Our shadows take
When escaping
Sideways mirrors
In their dark
And shapeless paths

Over pavement
Where they stretch
Trading places
With each maker
Finding concrete
Shows no pattern
Leaving footsteps
None can trace

Whose ambition
Dawdles still
As these bodies
Pace forever
Across sidewalks
Less indifferent
To their image
Underfoot

Like those figures
More distinct
Than this face
That’s always hidden
Far beneath
Some tired passage
Of cement
We tread on top

Strolling gently
Towards one death
Bright as sun
Which blinds our journey
Under heavens
Blue from shining
Through these rips
In trailing clouds

Pouring glitter
Upon Earth
Still assuring
Those who wander
Besides lines
Of bare reflections
Every contour
Has two sides.

– J. Pigno

My God
Is equal parts innocence
And the tainted
Spark of rebellion
Who ignites each
Charred creation
By fear
I admit must burn

And thrill which
Doesn’t concede
To a torch whose blaze
Is weakened
Where His slowest tongue
May linger
Like dancing flares
On its wick

And heart
Whose cheapened wax
Still melts from words
In smoulders
Through lights that
Carry feelings
As they express
Their warming glow

Upon this page
Left blank
Within bedrooms
Starved for worship
At the edge
Of shadowy cursive
Where these cinders
Speak out loud

Just racing
Towards completion
So such flames
May find expression
Amid darkness
Hiding phrases
Even I can’t
Always grasp

Are divine
If born of heat
Scorching hands
Who brand their message
Writing madly
While they’re hurting
Showing marks
Considered death

To the lives
Not very fair
Missing purpose
Since obsessing
Over nightfall
Lacking lanterns
But what darkness
Comforts them

Tracking beacons
Yielding fast
When forever
Begs attention
From great flashes
My pen follows
Now defiant
More than scared.

– J. Pigno