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

Even now
After I’m married
There are moments
Which cloud my feelings,

Those pictures
That haunt each memory
Catching reels
On single frames:

Turning any
Particular girl

Into ideas
Some women stay muses

Well beyond
Your time spent with them
Or perhaps
Never meeting at all –

This belief
Of irony blessed,

So wrong
In every actual aspect,

While validating
Toxic perfection
During films
We’ve always watched.

It’s obsession
Become salvation,

Appearances
Preceding essence,

Such wayward looks
Existing,

Destinations
Lost but found –

When attention
Grows inspired
By what force
Her smile conjures,

Capturing snapshots
Carrying daydreams
Still projecting
Needs not met.

Why do I search
Bad habits
Keeping reality
From exceptions,

Yet ignoring
Changes needed
For maturing
Without grief?

I’m mourning
Teenage years
Spent inside
Enjoying movies,

Wishing females
Were just angels
Who’d accept me
Lacking depth.

Knowing God
Moved highest mountains,

Finding love
Seems much more special

By this miracle
Called commitment
Trading vows
I’d hardly earned.

She has proved
Fixations pass
Learning lonely prayers
Climb summits
Above partners
Stuck near morals
Only lowly souls
Deem fair,

Soon forgetting
Steepest kisses,
Cold and stinging,
Sore like sorrows –

Meaning symptoms
Conquer fantasy,

Though my wife
Relieves their ills.

  • J. Pigno

I wake
To the moaning gales,

Sacred sounds
Of a wheezing tempest,

Leaving me
Strangely comforted
By feelings so cold
They howl.

What weather
Could speak such peace
How this morning wind
Keeps whistling,

Its screeching breath
Pure solace
Through pity
Of angry storms?

For God Himself
Is shrill –

His voice
An Arctic whimper

Upon gusts
Whose frigid graces
Remain salvation
Sought.

There is faith
Among those sighs,

Where winter’s cry
Bears mercies,

When wailing snow
Earns penance
Within fearful souls
Which froze.

My sheets
Become that shrine
Shielding bones
Behind thick layers,

Much like flesh
Protects our growing
Held inside
Each mother’s womb.

No temple
Besides birth
Would ever yield
Such pleasure
More devoted
Than rare whispers
Spoken only
Through short bursts –

Holy gusts
Describing fate
Beyond windows
Peeking daylight,

Hiding now
Beneath old blankets
Soon exposed
If getting up.

Forgive me
While I bask,

Listening still
For faintest traces,

Always weak
Though oddly freeing

Cheating death
So often warm.

  • J. Pigno

Poets do not work. They sail the seas of boredom, and pursue their idle journeys towards such freedoms deemed too poor.

They never seek shore of success, but instead sink fast like shipwrecks – forgotten but drowned through silence, submerged as our relics lost.

They are victorious purely in mystery – plundered only by feeling, and revealed as dangerous expressions when discovered on ocean floors.

They exist for beauty to fade, and age to indulge their meaning, to preserve how God or muses dwell where ghosts swim chasing fame.

Do not fear this brine. For praise is much more lethal. Like dry land, mere shadows of wisdom, proving money an obvious threat.

  • J. Pigno

Expression
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
Observed,

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 –

Deceives
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
Darkened
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
Intended

Posing questions
Leaving stories
Open-ended
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
Translucent
Like this wish
To be more heard

Gaining fame
By eyes who pry
Before morning
Lays its silence

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

While I climb
These spoken steps

Playing fate
Without much effort

Treading glass
Above these dangers
Through ambitions
Well-preserved

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

Believe
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 –

Money,
An enabled illness,

Like pride
Some killer disease.

Deadly,
Though rampant still,

How similar themes
Remain telling

Even when nature
Expresses
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