I’ve got holes
In empty walls
Where this fist
Leaves jagged imprints
Making marks
Of disappointment
During days
Such anger builds,

Screaming loudly
Down long halls
Thinking no one
Ever hears me
Except ghosts
Whose silent vigil
Judges memories
Hands express

And mouths bleed
Through spoken angst
Spilling verse
Once thought cathartic
Soon replaced
By brutal methods
While still crying
Fears out loud –

Causing echoes
Cursing pasts
Lacking reasons
But obsession
With that hurt
Recurring always
Every day
Her words ring true.

How our picture
Went right there
Holding spaces
White from blankness
Tracing outlines
Accidentally
Marking dust
Around each frame –

Happy scenes
Like better days
Now long gone
Among lost portraits
Beneath attics
Near old comics
Where all heroes
Go to die,

Under boxes
Shedding dust
Finding innocence
Going dormant
Burying childhood
Getting married
Having kids
Then getting sick.

Some realities
Temper faith
Despite miracles
Caught on camera
Once removed
Though felt forever
Even present
As they fade.

  • J. Pigno

I’ve closed
An open burner
Because flames
Are always jealous
Of those chefs
Who cook inspired
By what faith
Remains so cool,

Even under
Heavy heat
Or those lies
Which keep us guessing
Whose expression
Says it better
Felt with meaning
Much more pure –

Always real
Despite man’s needs
For this flesh
Still being nourished
Begging truth
And taste substantial 
Where cuisine
Becomes our hearts,

Held inside
These stomachs raw
Now ingested
Like we’ve waited
For that special love
God promised
On His table
Breaking bread.

Yet some stoves
Ignite from dreams
Boiling wishes
Once unnoticed
As they seethe
Without attentions
Left neglected
Till things waste,

Making smoke
When ovens burst
Hearing whistles
Loudly wailing
Over reasons
Turned to cinders
Finding life
Has no alarm.

Forgive skeptics’
Charred remains
Among wordplay
Lacking beauty
Knowing phrases
Melt disaster
If implying
Blazes work,

Torching lines
Good food ignores
Only pleased
While savoring talents
Atop tongues
Such sweetness lingers
Chewing prayer
Alongside art.

  • J. Pigno

We are never
Relieved of shadows
Which trace our pasts
Like phantoms
Chasing steps
Each darkness follows
To remind us
Time stands still

Where memories
Pursue this pace
Towards tomorrow’s grief
Uncertain
Of the shape which
Yesterday colors
Trailing changes
Misery loves

In haunted walks
Through sunshine
When guilt itself
Chews brightness
And fear ensues
While believing
Beneath that sky
Unsure

If God looks down
Disgusted
With sins who stroll
Besides us
Even more pronounced
From daylight
As beating rays
Cast stones

Since silhouettes
Mock our stride
Dancing close behind
Though exposure
Means further proof
Their existence
Threatens those
Whose life seems fair

Or pleasant
Before they strike
Smacking grins off
Smiling faces
Like pure souls
Suffering torment
For these reasons
Now long gone

Learning pain
Has multiple forms
Whose features
Deceptively carry
Tiny truths
Upon old figures
Good gestures
Never quite fix

Only building hells
Less known
Than deepest pits
Always nearest
By turning backs
Just adjacent
Finding demons
Pressed against walls.

  • J. Pigno

Relieve me
Of empty breaths
Where each gasp
Means struggling daily
Through their effort
To find what cadence
Still exists
Inside this chest,

As I wrestle
With stifling words
Whose pressures
Weigh down on solace
Leaving burdens
So vaguely inspired
Placed above what dreams
Should talk –

How my heart
Heaves heaviest loads
When believing whims
Beyond reasons
Worth losing sleep
For expression
Or dying young
Chasing art,

Each sudden wish
Once pursued
Now finding air
Much more precious
If neglecting
Spontaneous pleasures
Like these lungs
Whose inhalation fails.

Just accept
Forever is gone
While the mind which speaks
Stays silent
Growing lethal
Besides that anger
Since abandoning faith
Through life’s pen,

Always claiming
Tomorrow has jaded
An impossible phrase
Learning patience
Seeking heaven
Between some pages
No truth but hell
Could perceive.

God’s answers
Rest soundly with pain
So peace itself
Might seem harmful
Disappointing lies
Sharing beauty
Only tired lines
May convey,

How poems fear
Being wrong
By agreeing prose
Lacking color
Approaches ends
Coming quickly
Begging purposes
Forcefully felt.

  • J. Pigno

My God
Is not some bigot
That these states
Would have you
Believe

At a time
His message misses
Through what
Zealous means
Have pushed –

Touting flags
Blood red and streaked,
Blue from air
Still sorely
Missing,

Wringing necks
While going maskless
Spreading germs
Where hate
Obscured

Buys us lies
Thought often pure
Leaving money
Stained
Like fabric

Waving stars
Atop high banners
White as evil
Claims
Is right.

Should I err
On science blessed,
Trading faith
For studied
Safeties,

Feeling souls
Are hardly special –
Just frail bodies
Graced
With meds?

Saying change
Brings dangerous good
Keeps excuses
Fresh
When waiting

If tomorrow
Failed its promise
Of redeeming
Sins
Which last –

Each procedure
They said
Worked,
Every system
Showing bias,

Since delusion
Blinded science
Now dividing
Those who
Pray

Knowing politics
Isn’t fact
Though real morals
Guide
True progress

Seeking life
Without exception
Begging miracles
Made
In labs.

Christ would hope
We pursue love
Without boundaries,
Fear,
Or judgement,

Proving lies
Espousing gospel
Offer nothing
But
More death.

  • J. Pigno

Make great art
While you can
Before youthful bliss
Should expire
And engage in love
Without reason
While embracing pain
If it shows.

Do not risk
Or rummage experience
For lessons lost
Seeking hindsight,
But redeem
What fantasy lingers
By pursuing dreams
Here and now.

Instead,
Find passion in interests
Where forever sits
Biding moments
Knowing days stand still
Since we wish them
Yet another chance
At this gift.

Achieve those goals
Idealistic,
Even though your woes
Become heavy –
Let reality
Buckle from madness
Watching someone
Defeat their own sin.

Build bridges
Across new heights,
Letting paths unfold
Though they waver
Like wooden planks
Shaking wildly
Daring walks above
Fallen worlds.

Make faces turn
Hiding envy,
Quitting jobs
Whose roles imply nothing,
Choosing poverty
Over successes
Only gaining
Man’s worsening ills.

Time bends these limits
We’ve tested,
Leaving fate unsure
Despite caution,
So toss these lines
Bearing weakness
Fighting God
On terms more insane.

Choose words
Immortal as death,
Sacred bets
All writers must wager –
No phrase
Lives beyond our gamble
Fearing brokenness
Beautifully said.

  • J. Pigno

I’m no longer
A man whose vision
Aligns
With his empty spirit

As each day
Keeps offering colors
Which my sight
Discerns as grey,

In that soul
Now far from centered
Where this vacant need
Still wishes
Words were painted
On those shelters
Hiding feelings
Deeply held

So their canvas
Has some hues
Sharing truth
Before exposure
Much how life
Demeans expression
When our genius
Gets found out –

Behind walls
Too strongly built,

Sealing light
Between enclosures:

These long murals
All around me
Facing beauty
Towards blind eyes.

Like experience
Lost through faith,
There is talent
Worth escaping
When believing
Written devils
Leverage poems
Left askew –

Taking leaps
To die once more,
Fearing God
May not inspire:

Caging passions
Once thought special,

Fading dreams
Too bright for use.

  • J. Pigno

I’m okay with 
Losing my voice

And the fact
This writing falters

Where expression
Becomes misleading 
And passion proves
Unsure, 

While attempting
Redundant feats
Out of feeling
Entirely different 
Than I had
When creating poems 
From fear
My soul would waste.

Now here is
One last try
To convey that Lord 
Whose comforts
Provide these words
Through solace 
In being 
Wholly content –

Unknown
But truly free,

Gracing faithful men
Well-meaning,

Outside cheers
Or idle worship
Our now fallen world
May yield.

See belief
Sees scorn its praise
As one dirty term
Depicted
Amid twisted acts 
Most witness
On small touchscreens
Hands will hold,

Though Christ’s heaven
Knows how silence
Yields much greater fruit
Than screaming
Over airwaves
Telling stories
Every living saint 
Must bear.

I can tell you
God is NOT
How most biased crooks 
Still sell Him –

Neither racist,
Nor homophobic,

Never sexist   
Or seeking cash.

He encompasses
Every flag
While condemning
Marching bigots,

Watching zealots 
Wield their weapons,

Mourning nations
Housing hate:

Begging peace
Yet leading hearts, 

Holding tongues
Since passing judgments,

Blazing paths
By sheer example
Causing changes
Time does show. 

For I’m learning
Loudest sins
Are relieved
Through quiet gestures –

If my prose 
Should only whisper,

Then perhaps its best
Unheard. 

  • J. Pigno

Through contrast
Of light and dark
Did her chamber
Appear to glow,

A peculiar
Lavender radiance
From behind
Its square-shaped frame –

Beneath my
Basement steps,

Tucked behind
That hissing boiler,

Making nightfall
Seem most ominous
Peering in
Such paneled glass.

All windows showed
Were stars
As their dimness
Pooled on carpets

With thick glares
Below high fixtures
Swinging brightly
Overhead,

While those lamps
Would flicker fast
As I paced
Toward plated portals

Soon discovering
Evil’s presence
Where this cellar
Once had walls –

Now just gateways
Breaking seals

(Yielding pain
Lost faith encouraged),

Tearing holes
Around deceptions
Wholly metal
But so sure

Shuttered hatches
Harbored rage

How fading carpets
Obscured footprints

Leading victims
Near disaster
Lurking quietly
Among dust

Since revealing
Satan’s image

Finding eyes
Believing figments:

Some old woman
Smiling wryly
Sporting wrinkles
Bearing death.

She emerged
Youth’s living shadow,

Lacking form
Yet still resembling

Every sin
I ever witnessed
Or committed
Biding time.

Even screaming
Couldn’t help,

Waking sweated,
Feeling nauseous,

Knowing grief
Casts odd reflections
Upon fate
Our panic dreams –

Metal doors
Once welded shut,
Fearing locks
Each future tells us

May just open
If we cherish

False salvation
Called success.

  • J. Pigno

Poetry
Isn’t hard –

In fact,
It’s just being honest.

But that’s something
With which I struggle
Every time
These thoughts begin

Doubting terms
My cursor throws,

Spitting text
Upon this template,

Like derision
Made from phrases
Using wordplay
As disdain.

Each new image
Eludes their worth
When my reticence
Precedes passion
Best expressed
By subtle changes
Or perhaps
Repeated lies –

Now inadequate,
Though engaged,

Like an audience
Feigning worship
At two feet
Maintaining balance
Upon failure
Always poised.

Written genius
Beckons peace,

Open books
Rely on blankness,

Citing pages
Better empty
Than composed
Through hollow lines.

So forgive
What wishes spoil
Once exposed
To open spaces,

And agree
How recognition
Taints those talents
Soon confined.

Certain mysteries
Must remain
Much too beautiful
For revealing,

Leaving caution
Behind promise
Boldly claimed
Yet hidden deep.

I’m still silenced
Chasing whims,

Finding impulse
Hardly easy –

Maybe muses
Do abandon
Those who try
Instead of feel.

  • J. Pigno