Lacks real substance
Falling fast
In colorless words,

A distilled
And quieted anger
Like cold droplets
Caught from rain
On that pale
New winter’s morn
Where this wheeze
Called frozen drizzles
Spills past clouds
Whose subtle weather
Offers weak
And meager snow –

Hailing tears
Once blue as lips
Before God Himself
Kept coughing
Over open skies
So dreary
Only silence
Seems more pure
Than raw voices
Shouting claims
How old dreams
Became despondent
Among shadows
Clothing landscapes
Hung by illness
Heaven makes.

I’m speechless
If not bored
Wasting time
Since watching flickers,

Teasing screens
Which tell me stories
Lost between
Those pages scrolled –

Serving single suns

Flashing smiles
Forced but vivid,

Leaving scenes
Of digital brilliance
Lighting pathways
Through each day.

My world outside
These windows
Is what truth
Eludes all senses –

Though time keeps passing,

Darkens drifts
When white seems wrong.

Some feelings
Gasp for air,
While most others
Fade entirely.

Such faith melts
Much too quickly.

I’m still only
Seeing gray.

  • J. Pigno

I keep opening
Empty doors

Behind old dreams
Like curtains

Which hide those stages
Beneath thick cloaks
Of red –

Where drama
Plays its ghosts

Hearing actors
Echo madness

Held inside
These phantom theaters
Plaguing silence
Rife with fear,

Knowing scripts
Have reached their peak

Much how God Himself

Posing questions
Leaving stories
Sharing grief.

Though His audience
Does applaud

Some refuse
Such adoration

Watching spotlights
Taint experience
Fade each rose
Between both feet –

Still just words
Whose frequent praise

Authors tears
Through honest readings

Only gained
By shedding wisdoms
After learning
Books can lie.

All dialogue
Seems absurd
While depiction
Precedes essence

Urging frowns
Around exposure
To what art
May hollow souls.

Every dogma
Betrays meaning

Digging access
Below courage

Finding pain
That secret entrance
Among gates
When faith should close

Broken latches
If they swing
Letting hinges
Draw attention

Deeming noise
Another vessel

For expression
Soon obscured.

  • J. Pigno

There’s a set
Of crystal stairs
Upon which my feet
Seem weary
When ascending dreams
Like this wish
To be more heard

Gaining fame
By eyes who pry
Before morning
Lays its silence

Through that gentle sun’s
Where each daylight
Sees me fall

While I climb
These spoken steps

Playing fate
Without much effort

Treading glass
Above these dangers
Through ambitions

Letting hearsay
Become truth

Spreading rumors
Weaving gospel

Growing lives
Beyond old whispers
Wayward souls
Could only tell

Proving meaning
Tears new cracks
Over lengths
Once nearly shattered
From defeat
At seeking notice
Or existing
Past our deaths,

Failing heaven
Frail as mirrors
In defeat
No poet utters

Daring words
So uninspired

Only plunging down
Has depth.

  • J. Pigno

All possible outcomes
Now that lies
Have become our gospel

And whispers
The loudest of voices

Allowing their hate
To be known.

We’re complicit
Not only in ignorance,

But accepting
These deeds by silence

Like a country
Once bent on kneeling
Towards those hands
Which smack its face.

This siege
Shows every symptom
Through society’s
Selfish lifestyle –

An enabled illness,

Like pride
Some killer disease.

Though rampant still,

How similar themes
Remain telling

Even when nature
Germs are also
Despicable men.

  • J. Pigno

The world
From cellar windows
Is an uncomfortable
Black and white,

As I peer
Beyond my garden
Through such framework
Fit for grey –

Sitting on
Basement stairs,

Sharing views
With tiny spiders,

Watching scuttling legs
Grow weary
Near this draft
Which feels so cold.

I’m jealous
Of life outside,

Once believed
My only freedom –

Now just scenes
Whose silent pictures
Prove why insects
Die in webs.

Drawn to cycles
Oddly pure,

Letting nature
Echo reasons

Better creatures
Steal our meaning
Feeding purpose
Chewing fate.

Even dreams
Deserve their death
So each change
Can filter color

Under earth
Where dirtied panels
Held by glass
Reveal my truth –

Wishing God,
Was always here,

But those prayers
Remain unanswered

While I mourn
What days expired
Long before
This virus hit.

  • J. Pigno

I’m dancing
In deepest dreams
And sleeping
Through shallow days,

Jumping past
Puddles muddied

By what solitude
Festers hate.

This grief
Makes open windows
Dare that leap
More living beckons,

As I fall
From heightened nothings
Chasing whims
Towards utter peace.

Empty space
With tainted air,

Raining fear
Like bodies burdened,

Heaving news
Upon weak shoulders
Watching friends
Die all alone.

These men
Were once my brothers,

Missing faces
Most won’t notice

Or still can’t
Despite their protest
Waving flags
While wasting breath.

Who cares
What clothes we wear
When it’s time
Upstairs comes calling?

Heaven claims
Such little intention
Of perceiving
Garments lost –

Our flesh
An honest mistake,

Just appearances
Colored by envy

Strictly lying
To those whose difference
Remains merely
On the outside.

  • J. Pigno

There is no relief
While I’m waiting
Inside plush sheets
Where these headaches
Are the least of my
Waking nightmares
Which assure me
Fears come true.

Death burns
Beneath that face,

Making pressure
My only savior

To bind this brain
Growing desperate
For an answer
Even if scared.

I’m tired
Of pillows and worries
Like agonies
Kneading old corpses
Upon gentle slabs
Whose torture
Cradles traumas
Soft to their touch.

When will pain
Finally cease
On carousels
Carrying bodies,

Such feathery pits
Finding freedoms

At their bottoms
When falling so ill?

Assumes all pain
Was worth what dream
Remains living
Beyond those eyes
Seeing blotches
Near their edges
Almost asleep –

Nauseous sounds
Getting louder
During silence
Echoing static

Tolling bells
Relentlessly ringing
Despite empty rooms
Still unchecked,

Leaving chambers
Harboring noise
Between eardrums
Playing loud music

After years
Demanding experience
Relieve deep rage
Through some song.

Tonight I’ll expire
Watching TV
Cast its bright shadows

Upon walls
Whose filthy appearance

Reminds me
Hurt always lasts.

  • J. Pigno

Last night
I called upon Christ
As the fireworks
Echoed our madness,

Ringing in
Oncoming worries
And emptiness
Shrouded by joy –

Begging Him
Easy relief
From experience
No longer human

Through redemption
Worthy of freedoms
Outside this flesh
Where we wait

For those chances
Hardly deserved
Finding ignorance
Much more appealing

Than existing
Between each disaster
While believing
Tomorrow can change.

Why celebrate
Numbers on paper
When suffering
Triumphs emotion,

Losing empathy
Mandating passions
Making memories
Meaningfully drawn?

Leaving us
Somehow alone
Behind doorways
Shuttered from anger

Watching newsmen
Tell us which heroes
Deserve better
Though people feel scared.

I’m afraid
All science is faith
Like my prayers exclaimed
Without fanfare,

Hearing crowds who cheer
Lacking wisdom
Thinking reason
Could save every soul.

Life remains
Just one long day,
Deeming time
An irrelevant measure,

So savor what year
May have suffered
To acknowledge
It never will pass.

  • J. Pigno

Because you’re desperate
Is the only way
Words feel real,

Holding keys
To passions forgotten
Amid truths which spark
Each word.

Remembering now,
I’m confident
In embracing
This phrase once buried-

An instance
Pleasure surrendered
Or love itself
Did forget,

Tracing warmth
On lips grown cold
While her mouth
Had removed those vermin

Finding pain
Our perpetual vessel
Despite my bride
Saying yes.

I’ll dig up
Every last nightmare
Where spiders
Scuttle through memories,

Spinning webs
Around these failures
Deeply burrowed
Beneath raw earth –

Such talent
Unwillingly hidden
Under layers
Of happiest wishes

Keeps its answers
Shielded by waiting
For that moment
When dirt seems right,

Between daydreams
Hanging like threads
Around holidays
Sullied from sickness

And with smiles
Soaking up venom
Learning agony
Tells things best.

I’m back
For what youth expired
Trailing innocence
Dangling wisdoms

Breaking limits
Newly inspired
Chasing dangers
Crawling down walls.

  • J. Pigno

They found him
In front of the couch,

He was only
Thirty-three years old –

With his girlfriend
Now catatonic,

And father
A silent wreck.

My fears
Of something amiss
Were affirmed
When mom kept
Calling –

Her texts spoke
Utter volumes

Through phrases,


To the point.

I remembered
Days we’d work
While standing
Beneath that awning
Of a house
I’d built from worries
Telling me
He had none –

Leaning on stucco,

Waiting by a pit
Of mortar,

His jeans
That product of labor
Sporting patches
Pridefully stitched.

Were times we spoke,

For youth
Was our common

But death
Mocks age regardless
Of what faith
Or god
You hold.

I can recall

His words
While breathing heavily,

“These lungs
Exposed to ashes
Each day will
Fail me soon.”

To admit
I nearly cried
Would ruin
What meaning lingers

Since learning
Life is sacred
By what virtues
Pain does speak.

Those coming months
Prove much worse
Than grief

Brings hurt abundant,

Hurt may yield.

Yet forever
I’ll always see him

Pouring concrete
Over driveways –

Knowing an innocence
This year
Nearly all
Have lost.

  • J. Pigno