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

I don’t write anymore for love.

Love doesn’t promise answers.

It rarely even offers solace.

In fact, it gives nothing at all.

That’s the problem with selfless hearts.

Their faith is an empty addiction – devoted to dreams less fortunate than the ones which assume we can float.

Though adrift we have rightly sailed, upon comforts veiled by these hatreds, fate’s ocean widens its mysteries within struggles bluer than fear.

Askew is the charted path.

Our journey has veered more wayward, towards conclusions scarily noticed within actions claimed were a must.

Time navigates meaning eroded within days of dispassionate pleasures sold as the bargain of choices weighed down by freedoms we waste.

Our will is a clouded perspective muddled by lies called successes.

Relationships hinge on presumptions that humans are good to a point.

That’s not the approach we should take, but somehow God bemoans instinct.

His reward for imagined benevolence is a smack to the face when we pray.

There is no truth but distinction among forms of elaborate aggression disguised as smiles and handshakes, or hugs between lovers who cheat.

Each sin is a different shape. Every knife feels increasingly jagged.

Only fools could buy into penance since forgiveness is debt never paid.

Deep down, I’m afraid I’m wrong, knowing cynics are often most reckless with words that dismiss certain values once believed still alive in this world.

Ask the lost, does virtue exist, when people turn hope into weapons – placing masks upon frowns in an effort to conceal one’s disease never cured?

Stray as the boat which sails off the shoreline harboring safety, so does penance appear less likely to save souls left to drown far beneath.

Life’s undertow proves too strong – sinking seems inescapable destiny.

If there were ever a moment worth swimming, here and now is the tide we should catch.

I don’t write anymore for love.

Love doesn’t promise answers.

Yet rage could provide better chances for surviving the wave which comes next.

  • 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

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