The world
Below
Is an ocean
Which begs
I drown
Where I walk

Pulling me
Deep
Even further
Despite
What balance
Remains

As dizziness
Claims
My faith
Where pain
Is a water
Relentless

And waves
That symptom
Of sinking
Which questions
My savior
At best

Like Christ
Himself
Upon currents
Still standing
Tall
Over surges

But that’s
Okay
For believers –

I wouldn’t
Swim
If I could.

– J. Pigno

You did it
All on your own
Without one thanks
Or reason

Other than
Staying persistent
For these things
You love the most –

Keeping real
When they’re fake
Finding truth
Where its missing

Seeing life
As it isn’t
And could be
If we all tried

Like you have
In your belief
Of passions
Widely insisted

Are futile
Though being cherished
By communities
Teeming with faith,

The kind of folks
Who claim
Such dreams
Are hardly foolish

If the shoes
Just make them happy
And clothes
Reveal their choice

Of identities
Bold and brash
Creating shapes
Which vary

Across fresh
Yet motley visions
Whose look
Is art as choice

Proving
Most are weak
Unlike men
Who carry

Their need
Within that vision
To create
Outside known lines.

That is
Who you are
My close
And always champion,

A cousin
Friend and mentor
Whose influence
Knows no bounds

And potential
Shatters walls
Where barriers
Aren’t answers

But questions
Losing limits
For this soul
Which conquers bricks

So amazing
In his quest
To denounce
What wrongs are written

Through each stitch
And colorful sweater
From a hand
I know has gifts.

– J. Pigno

Somewhere
In there
Is a person
Pretending
He’s really
Alive.

When the truth
In fact
Is much different –

Sadly,
He’s already
Gone.

Never
A part of
This place,
For the days
And meaning
Escape him

Where faith
Is hardly
His constant

But the pain
Just always
Exists

As a failing
Wish
Which demands
Each hour
Pass
Even slower

Maintaining
Guilt as his
Reason

Without prayer
Or choice
To remain.

Yes,
Such breath
Is a shame
If chance
Is better off
Wasted –

That man
Within
Is a carcass,

And soul
A mirror
He breaks.

– J. Pigno

Real art
Is a finite blessing
Of the truth
Which bears
No point

Other than
Being resistant
To these souls
Who dare not
Test

Their cry
Of broken
Persistence
Faceless
As it is written

In a guise
Of glorious fiction
Beyond sanity
Hope
Or a cure –

One final lie
Off their chest
With failure
Veiled
As its message

So the youngest
Learn
What’s sacred
Like gospels
Scared of their own.

– J. Pigno

I’ve become
This bitter demon
By losing faith
With questions
Like the kind
You just can’t
Answer
From bastards
Sporting wings

As they peddle
Hopeless guilt
Through beliefs
Not of my choosing
To establish
Lines of credit
For a God
Who houses
Debt

If prayer
Is losing fast
When that suffering
Seems accepted
As established
Gifts of waiting
For these sins
We often
Make

Where choosing
Hurts us more
By a fate
So rarely wrestled
All whims
Are lies transparent
From submission
To said
Will

Knotted
Like our souls
On threads
Of dying bodies
Awaiting
Final judgment
For that test
Which never
Ends

Starting
During birth
As we cry our way
Towards nothing
Inhaling breaths
More shallow
Than each one
That came
Before

Anticipating grief
Beyond
Such chance
Of smiles
For durations
Losing meaning
While we work
And fight
Too hard

Agreeing
Most won’t win
Or even find
Some solace
As experience
Finally shown me
How this illness
Is our
Curse –

A failure
Made of joy
And blessing
Oddly current
As the world
Which caves
Around us
Deserves that pain
It gets.

– J. Pigno

I knew you’d stay
Without question
When we saw
That buck
In our street

Standing still
And majestic
Near the fountain
Covered
Out front

On a night
Where stars fell dim
Though they shimmered
Bright
For that moment

As he gazed
Revealing forever
Through a stare
So peaceful
It hurt

Leaving us
Quiet and weak
To ponder
Such sacred
Existence

From a symbol
Answering wishes
We thought
We would never
Ask

Amid flakes
Of lingering snow
Like the prayers
Of heaven
Which visit

Atop pines
And evergreens waiting
For the chance
To prove
There is God

Lighting trees
Every season
With a mystery
Wrapped
As His present

Kindling flames
Within forests
Whose frost
Has determined
Their path

Hidden from truths
That remain
Deep
Beneath ice
Slowly melting

Warmed
By the grace
Of an ornament
Upon branches
Begging their touch

From this gesture
Simple and etched
Handing me
Glass
That is fragile

Bearing our names
In their elegance
Black
With gold
Showing love

Between deer
Whose kiss
Has been blessed
By a meeting
Fatefully permanent

Much like hope
During winter
On a holiday
Sharing
That dream.

– J. Pigno

You’d agree
We’re all to blame
Even when
Our choice is
Driven

From the grip
Of blind perceptions
Which assumes
This world
As wrong

And askew
Like twisted shapes
Which define
Their lines
Of meaning

By a curve
With folded edges
Losing dots
Our mind
May blur

As they fade
Beneath each end
Just below
That jagged
Margin

Where belief
Can’t find
Our pencil
For the corners
Left untraced

To determine
Hints of faith
Still hidden
From open
Vision

Through a pain
We call existence
But in truth
Is really
Learned

If depression
Seems more blessed
Than a dream
Of fate
Encountered

Held along
Those miseries
Found among
New gods
We seek

Now drawn
As often
Feared
On a paper
Green and willing

To propose
How lives
Are wasted
For these measures
Made of sin

Passed
Like daily graphs
With statistics
Bound
To temper

Our need
For real graffiti
Which speaks
To souls
Inside

Easy
Though they pass
Between borders
Crisp
And tattered

These marks
Of pens determined
To exploit
Such lies
Defaced

This gift
As lingering scribble
No matter
What hands
May touch them

Or exchange
Without being
Noticed
Those doodles
Meant to resist.

– J. Pigno