Sleep
Is appropriate language
In which God
Can tell us
Stories

From the world
Outside each window
Now that home
Has become
Our bed

Where life
Provides long rest
Yet clings
To sobering
Daylight

Reminding us
Time still passes
Even if
Such sun
Seems strange

During hours
Meant for work
Now a theater
Ripe
With leisure

Letting fear
Project its pictures
Under blankets
Pulled
On heads

Over eyes
Who grow concerned
Watching nights
Just entertain
Worries

Seeing stars
Across skies too vivid
Crystal clear
From worlds
At pause

Before films
Behind closed veils
Prove hits
While indulging
Solace

Upon screens
Viewing classics
Routinely
Most souls would agree
Should distract

Since images
Take their stage
And reveal
Sacred insights
Begging

To explain
How destinies
Tethered
Will collectively
Dream their fate

Performing
One-act plays
When an audience
Thrilled
Yet captive

Believes
These narratives
Witnessed
Replace moments
Actually seized.

– J. Pigno

These cinders
Coat my throat
As the pain
Goes down
Real easy

Mistaking air
For fire
While both lungs
Expel
Clear smoke

From a furnace
Burning steam
Within
This chest
Left begging

Between
What breaths
I swallow
To assume there is
Still hope

When gagging
On tiny coals
Too small
For life
Extinguished

By flames
Not fearing water
Since that ash
Will fill
Each hole

And line
Exploding veins
Through our mouths
Hung open
Daily

In disbelief
Now common
How those embers
Fuel
Such thoughts

Near death
At simple coughs
Wishing God
Was always
Greater

Than His heat
Which passes judgment
Upon sickness
Earned
With sin.

– J. Pigno

The road
On which we tread
Isn’t dirt
But ash between us

Amid trails
Of growing distance
Our new world
Can’t seem to grasp

Like one fate
That travels wide
Beyond making
Any difference

Besides leaving
Open stretches
Where dead men
Now matter less

Bending bridges
From their weight
Beneath bodies
Piled daily

Under sunshine
Falling golden
Upon faces
Blind from rage

Shining wrongly
Through this scourge
Sitting heavy
Where we dawdle

Watching Spring
Appear through windows
Mocking hours
With its warmth

Banging loudly
While each lung
Mourns fresh air
Becoming rarer

Than distinction
Among houses
Sporting rainbows
Between bars

Behind glass
Now battered steel
Begging insight
Into purpose

Spying neighbors
Carry sadness
Through those doors
They call their own

Pacing rooms
While taking calls
Wandering halls
Left unattended

Sharing nothing
But dead silence
So unsettling
Though at peace

Now suggesting
God has split
Altogether
Since that moment

Earth had sighed
Such tired judgment
Making yawns
We finally heard.

– J. Pigno

I get so damn
Excited
Since my heart
Wants to always
Stop

When the dream
Of pursuing meaning
Becomes
These words
Expressed –

Whether wrong
Or somehow clear
In their brief
And scattered
Rhythms

Still defined
Not by true answers
But what realm
God proves
Through verse,

Hanging value
On each space
Stuck between
Short lines
Uneven

Trading pauses
For salvation
If that phrase
Should move
One soul

Whose own vision
Seems unclear
Digging keys
Beneath
Those doorways

Finding choices
Never open
Broken handles
Called
Our gift.

Every artist
Knows how faith
Is a turning
Path
Towards freedom

After claiming
False surrender
Under rules
Instilled
From fear –

How all laws
Determine death
Hiding life
Behind
Old habits,

Altered only
With conveying
Conjured worlds
Where prisons
Speak.

– J. Pigno

I’m no safer
In my dreams
Than on tired days
Which follow
Such long
And anxious vigils
Praying God
Might help me
Sleep

While car horns
Blare outside
Just beyond
These open windows
Finding mornings
Without ending
Feeling fresh air
Touch this
Face

Learning sunlight
Proves no threat
To what sadness
Keeps us present
Despite begging
Every moment
For just one more
Chance
At rest

Even if
That nervous wish
Means attempting
Braving demons
Whose existence
Echoes anger
Upon whispers
Said
When still

Mocking eyelids
Hanging low
Tempting fear
With staunch expressions
From old times
Best not remembered
Flashing failures
Thought
Long passed

Gripping pillows
Like restraints
Knowing peace
Is unbecoming
Of those minds
Still screaming loudest
During slumber
Lost
Each night.

– J. Pigno

There are no
Heroes in death
Or war
Which eliminates
Bias

But the cruel
And breathless reminder
How our world
Has had
Its fill –

Still tired
We credit belief
In men
Who apparently
Wasted

What Earth
Had initially
Gifted
Before this cough
Made sense,

Now finally
Leaving us sick
Without even
Asking that
Question:

“If human lives
Were so sacred
Than why
Would they sully
Themselves?”

Perhaps
Only fools
Should grieve,
Passing these days
Without reason,

Losing business
Fearfully wishing
Their ills
Were tomorrow’s
Cure –

Finding failure
Means more work
Behind eyes
Unknowing
Though weary

Under systems
Heavy with burdens
All alone
Weighted down
On sin.

Since hope
Is appearing safe,
Selling masks
Where faith
Doesn’t matter

If assuming
God had intended
Torture
Was appropriate
Fate.

– J. Pigno

A shouting man
Can’t hear
What his dreams
Are trying to
Whisper

With those fears
He often argues
At loud volumes
In each
Thought,

Always thankful
There is noise
Finding quiet
Much too
Dangerous

Where belief
Disrupts intention
Since deliberate
Peace
Should fail

By engaging
Certain whims
Like raw feelings
Based
On nothing

But disaster
Known as static
Banging drums
While God
Still talks –

Seeking help
For gnawing pain
Caused from sound
Which nearly
Itches

Between boundaries
Deemed essential
Failing lies
That plug
Both ears,

Still believing
Yells can change
What these senses
Find
Most heinous

Never learning
Daily silence
Holds our heaven
Hushed
So close.

– J. Pigno

Uncertainty
Fuels obsession
Which sees me
Losing my
Grip

As I wake up
Into disaster
On mornings
Found
Out of place

Where death
By fear
Still reigns
Becoming God
In our silence

Left worrying
Locked
Without answers
Behind doors
That kept us safe,

Now jailed
Between these walls
Waiting things out
For some
Reason

As if life itself
Should gain purpose
To continue
Beyond
This point

When normal
Remains obscene
While leaders
Appear
Every minute

So tomorrow
Might prove
Convincing
Though failure
Eludes their choice –

Still denying
Fate can’t change
Watching news
Show those
Not breathing

Stopping time
From advancing
Forward
Since together
We grieve all hope.

– J. Pigno

Let’s give it
What we have
Even though that’s
Not real much
When faced with
Imminent danger
Which our eyes
Still strain to see

While deciding
What comes next
Learning quickly
Loss is fated
Since revealing
Better natures
Once believed
Just certain luck

Through the lens
Called human grief
Despite grasping
Choices matter
Taking action
Besides praying
God should save
Who matters most

For in fact
Faith never lasts
Staking safety
Upon riches
Finding poor men
Line those hallways
Grinning warmly
As they cough

Knowing death
Means true relief
Seeking solace
Outside bodies
Made of flesh
Decaying daily
Falling victim
Breathing germs

Where resistance
Empties hope
Taking torment
Missing respite
Chasing answers
Within workdays
Thinking wallets
Offer cures

So instead
Remain unknown
Keeping humble
Doing favors
Turning chances
Into changes
Loving always
Ceasing hate

Shedding fear
Before each end
Kissing hands
Whose fingers tremble
Shining light
Beyond thick darkness
Gently proving
Life endures.

– J. Pigno

Long have I
Been removed
As God’s
Unholy witness
Who received
His strange
Dictation
Through verse
Not claimed
My own –

Wandering
Daily mists
Within these dreams
Forsaken
When gardens
Gray
And sulking
Pervade
What sleep
Stays fogged,

While soon
Such visions tell
Of gates
Where ivy
Tether
An entrance
To that channel
Among
Old headstones
Bare

Like rare
Yet sacred dreams
Which share
Bare answers
Scattered
Between each
Vivid passage
With words
Whose worth
Feels wrong.

New graveyards
Follow suit
During evenings
Fate becomes me
Minding tongues
No mouth can
Utter
Seeking ways
Those phrases
Speak

Upon pages
Missing seams
Failing gifts
Once deemed
Effective
Yielding proof
Most prophets
Stutter
Using language
True
But flawed

Showing signs
All lines
Deceive
Without faith
Behind their meaning
Haunting daylight
Still so lucky
It should come
Despite
This test,

Since our sun
Demands we pray
Even if
Tomorrow
Kills us
Still agreeing
Death forever
Is believing
At high
Cost –

Never learning
Faith redeems
Doubting hearts
Relieved
By poets
Fearing judgment
They must suffer
For forgiveness
Art may
Grant,

Though I gather
Every term
Lifts me higher
Now
Towards heaven
Granting solace
Outside coffins
Lining nightmares
Pens
Will write.

– J. Pigno