It’s not that
Bad guys
Last

Any longer
Than good men
Tortured

But a proof
How God
Keeps giving

Those shots
At a chance
To be saved

Even
When facing
Death

Despite
Old wounds
Still healing

Unlike
Raw deals
Waiting

Without
Ever earning
Their peace

To prove
How actions
Speak

Like a clear
And just
Vindication

By the guns
Of pain
Redemptive

And the bullets
Aimed
As cause

Toward heartbreak
Burned
Like scars

In the chest
Of outlaws
Changing

When admitting
Fate
As heroes

Is the wrong
To make things
Right.

– J. Pigno

Some stones
Are merely
Cast

From the time
Our chance
Has rippled

Beyond
What hand
Is waving

Those rocks
We seem
To throw

When tossed
In waters
Deep

By their true
And failing
Message

Whose rage
Is always
Honest

But the hardest
Choice
We make

So they sink
Like broken
Dreams

Where the means
Have fallen
Victim

To the lies
Left floating
Gently

Behind
On brackish
Swells

When ponds
Are oceans
Vast

Within
These empty
Spaces

Hollowed
While we
Narrate

Creation
Through our
Hands

From channels
Lined
With grief

Among thick
And drowned
Expressions

Claiming
Life is
Easy

With pebbles
Dense
As weights

For In fact
I’ve served
No fate

Other
Than daring
Purpose

Gifted
With certain
Struggles

At the corner
Of sudden
Death

To ask me
What
I am

As I’ll tell you
Faith
Is worthless

Cause hope
Can never
Surface

Or survive
On borrowed
Time.

– J. Pigno

Those waves
Were a restless gray
Beyond
What bluffs
Laid highest

Above
That sea
Which wrestled
Near the jetties
Glazed with foam

And splashed
As tempers rose
Within
Such depths
Still rising

As they jutted out
From landings
Below
Our distant
Cliff

Where the mansion
Stood in watch
Over shorelines
Bare
And waiting

For this moment
Storms
Would claim us
At a house
Which had its ghosts

Like that woman’s
Sitting chair
Now rocking
Back
So gently

Without nudge
Or provocation
Other
Than being
Scared

For each
And every wind
Which grazed
Our bitter
Faces

While the radio
Played to silence
Near a room
Her spirit
Walked

When music
Calmed our fears
If the tune
Could ever
Save us

From a death
That’s always waited
For this moment
Caught
By chance

To speak
Through crackling
Flames
Like the fires
Voicing whispers

Beneath chimneys
Nearly coughing
From years
Of missing
Use

Telling us
Our ways
Are an effort
Dull
And wasted

With proof
Like reassurance
How our
Presence
Surely lasts

Among
These vacant halls
Just besides
That ocean
Grieving

Claiming
Every spirit
Has a heaven
Lost
On Earth.

– J. Pigno

I’m nothing
Short of astounded
To learn
How we survive

Each day
Without intervention
As far as sight
Can see

Or claim
Within our path
Beyond such
Measured distance

To exist
As taken chances
In the eyes
Of playing God

Who looks
Not on our place
But the fate
Our context wishes

Is the push
All choices muster
For a change
To mean as much

Peering down
Through stars
So small
Their dimmest glimmer

Shows signs
Of watching angels
That guide
Our efforts blind

Twinkling
From their perch
Across heavens
Barely witnessed

Under evenings
Blessed with radiance
So faint
Yet shimmering still

To remind us
Lives are sealed
This moment
Hearts receive them

Upon birth
Or even thinking
Those potentials
Could bear breath

Having voice
And keeping faith
Near the start
Of staying special

But challenged
As they’re ruined
From the minute
Reason creeps

Like doubt
Which quiets proof
Inside
What souls receptive

Go seeking
Answers waiting
Among cities
Built by men

Not Christ
Or former saints
Just cars which crash
At random

While sickness
Running rampant
Affects families
Fallen ill

Reminding me
Our shot
Is avoidance
Of that system

Where flesh
Is traded daily
And spirits
Lose their way

Hopeful
Through this fact
How prayer
Can buffer chaos

When actions
Could be dangerous
The moment
Luck resigns.

– J. Pigno

Each time
I force this
Shit
Is another
Day that’s
Wearing

On words
Which have
No meaning
Outside
What spark
Has passed

Until
These feelings
Rear
Such phrases
Short
And scary

Like passing
Bolts
Of thunder
Which strike
At ground
This hard

To unleash
Their spoken
Wrath
With stories
Told
From caring

Too much
As God
Would put it
For memories
Old
Yet raw

Still nagging
In this
Rain
Which pours
On open
Spaces

Where fields
Inside
My being
Are drenched
When anger
Flows

But waits
For coming
Rays
Through release
Of clouded
Tensions

Spoken
As my
Lightning
Is witnessed
Near that
Sun

Beyond
What danger
Cracks
Within dark
And scattered
Systems

Plaguing
Minds left
Empty
Across heavens
Clear
And real

Beneath chance
Or fated
Storms
So dark
I cannot
Witness

How skies
Are open
Daily
Over holes
I always
Chase

Through fog
That lingers
Low
Between cracks
That have me
Begging

Amid fears
Like distant
Doldrums
For my writing
Come
And gone.

– J. Pigno

Allow me
This day to exist
Without fear
Of death
Drawing near

For the time
Which keeps me
Certain
Our life
Is a borrowed dream

When I wake
To caress your cheeks
Between
These sheets
So tender

Imagining
Every shadow
Of that morning
Sun
Is me

Tracing
Lines which curve
Around
Your dimples
Sweated

Placing
Fingers gently
Near the mouth
You keep
At rest

To pretend
We just won’t know
That love
Is always
Reaching

From the heat
Our bodies
Mingle
Like a furnace
Burning chance

Of the thread
Which ties
Our hearts
Bonding flesh
That’s waited

Believing
Each breath sacred
As the one
Which could be
Last

While never
Knowing fate
If the feeling
Comes
Too frequent

Where nerves
And passing answers
Give us solace
Through their
Test

Grateful
We have danced
And perhaps
Have even
Said this

How words
Lose reservations
On nights
We choose
To share.

– J. Pigno

Her husband
Was the kind of man
Convinced
He had to make
Money

No matter what cost
Of spirit
For his soul
Was a lineage
Marked

As he toiled
Looking ahead
Consumed
With fleeting
Successes

Depressed
Anna was married
To him
As a bride
Impure

Through rivals
Within his trade
Both heirs
Of certain
Distinction

Filling cups
From crystal
Holding cash
Which often
Flowed

Building worlds
Uncorked
At tables
Vast
Yet many

Conquering
Parties frequent
Whenever
Those drinks
Were asked

And questions
Poured
Like fate
Where miseries
Mounted quickly

Each time
These customers
Wondered
If driving
Would be okay

While Anna
She worried sick
Hating
The fact
She’d chosen

Her spouse
So focused
And ready
To reap such seeds
Of waste

By lives
Shortened
And victim
At the hands
Of dangerous excess

Like her babies
Gone
From fretting
His need
To merely advance

Always
Demanding change
From her face
And home
They settled

An estate
Ripe with envy
For the vineyards
Bigger
Than theirs

Producing
What he claimed
Was the fount
Of purest
Wishes

Dismayed
How Anna begged him
For a bliss
Their union
Shared

Though pregnant
As she was
That night
The record
Shattered

Waking him
From sleeping
To a vinyl
Cracked
And split

As the needle
Slowly swayed
Over air
Without
Its purpose

To present
Such aging music
On the side
His wife
Preferred

Noticing
She was gone
With blood
Beyond
Their quarters

Smeared
Far down
The corridor
To their kitchen
Glowing dim

Following
Screeching sound
From a TV
Left
With static

Frightening
After midnight
As the emergency
Broadcast
Test

Blared
Among those halls
Of a mansion
Hushed
And silent

Seeking
Anna’s presence
He felt
Behind him
Weak

Like whispers
In his ear
Which spoke
Of phantoms
Witnessed

Discovering
She was dangling
Just above him
Come
New dawn.

– J. Pigno