Some say
God doesn’t punish,

That vengeance
Is just human perception
Since reality
Offers no meaning
But man’s cruelty
Left in fate’s wake.

At home I was taught
Something different,

How experience
Builds our compassion
Through these hardships
Mutually suffered
At the hands of hate
Doing harm –

A vicarious hurt
Often shared
When watching crime
Ravage cities
While spoken prayers
Go unanswered
But heroic acts
Cure disease,

This plague called sin
Twisting hope
Into countless needs
Never realized
As children raised
Without parents
Learn jobs yield love
At sale price.

Maybe all faith
Remains dead,

Watching young crowds
Take their photos
On smartphones
Posing distracted,

Seeing emptiness
Grinning for likes –

But belief dies hard
Left intact
Among those souls
Bearing witness,

Worried Christ Himself
Answers vaguely
So art must speak
Now instead.

Help me find
That smiling Jesus,

True divinity
Painted with poems

Outside textbooks
Pushing religion
Not everyone thinks
Appears good –

Mortal prejudice
Often disguised
By an imagery
Mocking existence,

Knowing damn well
Heaven watches
Rather than help
Where it can.

  • J. Pigno

There once were
Dreams worth writing,

Instead they are
Softly spoken

With feet treading ground
Once hallowed
Upon sacred dirt
Soon to hold
What living bones
Take their walk
Over calling graves
Being buried –

Deeper each day
While we suffer
These minutes
So tragically fast.

Those blades of grass
Only know
An existence
Repeatedly trampled
Like our own breaths
Always too shallow
Chasing distance
Never that close –

Though we push
On subsequent hopes,

Even working hard
Getting soiled,

When trailing mud
Pushing further
Through a graveyard
Running away.

This experience
Entombs us all –

Such useless lies
Offer silence

Since words
Ambitiously falter
If uttering none
After death.

But loss tells tales
In itself,

Much how rain
Creates puddles.

Perhaps poetry
Is forever conversing
Politely from hell
Here and now.

  • J. Pigno

I thought there would be
Some escape
Now returning
To Sunset Beach,

Watching as dawn
Becomes morning
Seeing Atlantus
Just off her coast

During visits
Opposing such namesakes
Feeling evenings
Ruin distinction

Secluded by night
Hiding memories
Appearing more bold
When it’s bright,

Where daylight builds
Over wave breaks
And histories crash
Across shorelines

Echoing dreams
Long forgotten
But almost afloat
Like that wreck –

While my other lives
Drift out at sea
Finding happiness
Treading deep water,

Held between tides
Beneath oceans
Under storms so great
They get lost.

Perhaps no proof
Should remain
As artifacts state
There was meaning.

Childhood hopes
Along storefronts
Sipping soda with mom
Never last.

Each current
Must carry this soul
How captured sand
Within bottles

Tells stories
Of places we visit
Before shattering
After you leave.

  • J. Pigno

Dear WordPress family,

It is an honor to announce the publication of my newest poetry collection, A Fear For Every Dream. A compendium of my most recent pieces, this chapbook has been an idea of mine for a long time. Now, thanks to the help of my wife (Dani), my desire to finally release my work officially has been realized once again. You can purchase a copy at Proceeds will help me continue to create further compilations and support a fellow artist. 

I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who continuously follow, comment, and like my posts. I know there are quite a few of you, and trust me, I notice. You truly help me survive and inspire me in ways you don’t even know. 

May God bless all of you, and please stay safe during these dark times.


J. Pigno 

What kind of life
Means silence
Out of worrying
How pain will follow –

The voice which fails
Despite pushing
Empty air
From heavy lungs?

I can’t confide
In my friends,

Or tell Danielle
How this feeling
Persists despite
Begging these doctors
For an answer that
Just never comes.

Andrew says
Hope is a scam.

Perhaps he’s right
Being angry,

At every god
Worshipped with money
Promising help
Soon to fail.

Things fell apart
So damn quick
As growing up
Piled on ignorance.

We watched our childhoods
Over families
Disputing their share –

Left behind
Sorting those lies
Around storefronts
And hospitals crowded
While viruses cursed
Long before masks
Were still used.

Home betrayed us all
Pushing work,

Believing such greed
Offered safeties
While allowing plagues
Full dominion
Like bigoted fools
They elect.

Was freedom’s ruse.

Love rests
Alongside memories
Buried deep down
Below symptoms
Killing each joy
Fear has lost.

Getting better
Never will happen.

Hurt finds doubt
More appealing.

Faith sleeps
Since agony wakes me.

Accepting death
Matters more.

  • J. Pigno

I’m happy
With what I have,

Because even pain
Can be precious

And life itself
A hard lesson

About easy truths
We can miss.

It’s a journey
Across those lines
Made long
Between short distance
Our eyes will judge
Upon meeting
And bridging gaps
Feeling fear.

It’s facing lies
Without doubts
So faith endures
Despite limits
Only damaged minds
Swear are infinite
Yet knowing
Humanity fades.

It’s disaster
Followed by rain
While God pours hope
Shaping puddles
Meant for feet
Always splashing
Rather than sinking
Far down.

It’s poetry
Sparing each word
Among new friends
Speaking freely
Bounded by fate
Sharing eras
No soul will recall
Given time.

It’s my mom
Making favorite foods
Standing at sinks
In her kitchen
With kids old enough
To not be there
But choosing to stay
Cause they must

Out of love
Revered to a fault,
Like sacrifice
Savored from sickness –

Such ways real work
Had provided
At the cost
Of needing help quick.

It’s marriages
Held within halls
One house enjoyed
Over decades,

Echoing vows
Now eternal
As we realize
Home is right here.

I won’t go
Where you’re not.

I refuse to leave
What is written
Along these walls
Growing yellow
When portraits
Cover empty holes –

Needing paint
Not memories patched,

Learning greed
Is vacancy waiting
Beyond those gates
Seeming better

Abandoning days
We adored.

  • J. Pigno

You always tell me
That people
Live forever on film.

Our mutual
Love of cinema
Is something
Exceedingly precious –

Consistently shaping
My worldview,

Providing solace,

And creating
Countless memories
Beyond creation.

We share
A deep love of art –

Such fascination
With fiction,

Because fantasy
Means gauging experience
For us
And making it better.

It is the rubric by
Which we measure
The beauty of
Mortal narratives,

How we often
Strive for better
And aim to achieve
Like legends.

I always said
We are villains
Or heroes
Defending our purpose,

Action figures
In toy stores
For divinity
To open and use.

But you, mom –
You are immortal
To the people
Who feel your presence.

I am
Well beyond lucky.

I get the honor
of being your son.

There is no higher
Than to hear your thoughts
Like whispers,

Your saddest stories
And fears of
Growing forgotten,

Bouncing off walls
Where daydreams
Are reflected off
Glowing TVs –

Gazing upon
Movie magic,

A type you wish
You had.

In fact,
What if I told you,
You were
That kind of magic,

Taking this time
To contemplate
The odds of
Mother and son?

Infinites variables,
The math which
Accounts for sharing,
One fated bond
Only could Himself
Could bestow?

That’s how I swear
You and me
Are significant
Through mutual journeys
Those answers waiting
Remaining blessed
Through hurt.

Your ripples
Scatter across
This pond of
Transient stories,

And to me
They are giant waves
In an ocean
You’ve given life.

How is that
Not eternal?

Remember now
You’re my star,

In our motion picture daydream
Tracing lines with lasting legacy,

A celebrity saint
Still walking
Her red carpet
Within these words.

Theaters outside
Go dark.

But the ones within
Stay lit,

As long as we’re willing
To savor
Those reels our time
Has shown.

I’ll always watch
What’s passed.

And I know you’ll
Be gazing back at me.

Heaven and Earth
So sacred,

Feature presentations

  • J. Pigno

The Inner Harbor
Looked so gray
At the peak of that
Particular summer,

Covered by clouds
Nearly offset
With rays of sun
Peering through,

As I walked past crowds
Sharing tables
Along those fronts
Sporting awnings

Where couples would stop
For their dinners
Dodging such storms
Soon to hit.

It made me think
How my future
Was like those rains

When seeing thick fog
All around me
Build over time
Out of fear –

Worried how lonely
I’d grow
And continue this path
Near the ocean,

Watching small waves
Rattle vessels,
Disturbing big boats
Even docked.

My seaside walk
Had persisted
Well into days
Beyond winter,

Through springs
And autumns apparent
As life still waned
Like that glow

Amid long skies
Hiding woes
Where hopeful beams
Appeared brightest,

Scorching this ground
Getting hotter
And burning each dream
Left behind.

I was lost
Among costumed faces
And stuck between
Visitors laughing,

Truly happy
Besides their partners
I was certain
My God wouldn’t grant

To men like me
Always jealous
As the city itself
Felt ignited

While vacationing pairs
Took their pictures
And attended cons
Dressing up.

My tomorrow
Was laced in regret
Staring back
On empty hotel rooms,

Having nightmares
About strange phone calls
From muses
Who never picked up –

A clock turned dim
Over stoves
Hanging near screens
Quickly flashing

Amid silent suites
Begging questions
Asking answers
She couldn’t reply.

My wife stirs slow
During sleep
As I grab her hand
Just to kiss it,

Still recalling
Those years long before her
When her husband
Was homeless inside –

Suffering fate
Not responding
Across those streets
Once congested

Where his angels
Strolled angry boardwalks
Hearing prayers
Facing heatwaves endured

In museums
Once wandering shipwrecks
Pushing limits
Of imagined disasters,

Throughout memories
Become second nature
The August
Baltimore died.

  • J. Pigno

My mother had
Bought me a train,

The kind which played
Lights and music,

To remind
How her child is crying
Still somewhere inside
This old man.

I won’t let mom
See any tears
When hearing that toy
While remembering,

Wishing those scenes
Weren’t daydreams
But forever our time
Spent alone,

Not stories
My wife will just learn

Or ghosts
Left having long lunches
Between tables
At restaurants shuttered
Before all hurt
Became real –

Sundays spent home
Without meals,

Worrying sick
Over nothing,

Fighting so long
Even baskets
Bearing gifts
Cause problems
Too much.

Christ did rise
Every Easter,

It’s what we were told
Despite grieving

These once great lives
Getting ruined

Finding sin
Means losing belief –

By doubting God
Through each fear
Built on death
Always looming,

Like being grown up
Around family,

Always silently
Suffering pain.

Thoughts don’t age
But our senses
Fail those truths
Staying youthful,

From knowing disaster
Inevitably falls
After joy –

Behind bright rains
Beneath rainbows
Over grasses
Carelessly watered,

Letting storms
Taint better horizons,

Thinking clouds
Serve blossoming truths

None will feel
Gaining figures
Speaking of love
Soon eternal

Since smiling dolls
Offer solace
Innocence holds
Lacking voice.

  • J. Pigno