These lungs
Are a falling star
On which my breath
Keeps wishing
Some pleasant dream
May find me
As this final light
Will fade

Before what hope
Should pass
As grief sticks hard
Like mucus
Within this chest
From inhaling fear
So long –

That hurt
Most lives won’t face
Or convey through verse
Too anxious
For sensible jobs
And safeties
I never could stand
Very much.

The room is dark
While waiting
Each day now
Suffering dimness
Where silence sits
Near windows
Left shuttered
Since sadness persists,

Beyond new suns
Come morning
While its promises
Age every evening
Reminding us
Time grows inspired
Only if pain
Edges close.

Nothing can save
Filling airways
Begging their God
Offer voices
One last chance
At expressions
Eagerly told
Before death –

Left behind
But somehow awake
Despite such sleep
More fleeting thoughts
Than expected
Though worrying now
Over words,

Those gasping lines
They forget
Were ever your own
After passing
But ignoring truth
When it’s written
Still immortal
Yet misunderstood.

  • J. Pigno

Our minds
Always choose cliches
As poets themselves
Will become one
While trying so hard
To avoid it
Despite knowing how life
Seems to work –

This terrible need
Sharing words,

On which faith gags
Spouting humor,

Without seeking laughs
From a reader
Whose only job
Was belief

Or at least not grin
When we choke
Downing rancid truths
Nearly swallowed
By corrupted faith
Snuffing candles
Despite chasing lines
Burning bright.

This lighted path
Leading pages
Traces margins dark
Lacking wisdoms
Such hallowed terms
Turned cathedrals
Offer pious flames
In that space,

Trading legacies
Honestly said
Behind every term
Casting shadows

Across what hell
Remains empty

Finding heaven
Through phrases between.

Keep writing those fears
Facing doubts
For sainted scribes
Remain anxious,

Though immortal
Since forcing uniqueness
Beneath weighted sins
Grown devout –

Traumatic lies
Since tired jobs
Make us heavy,

Feeling sad
But never spontaneous

Yet oddly mad
There is hope.

Perhaps suffering
Eases all staleness
If expression
Proves soullessly basic
Leaving deeper dreams
Beyond standards
Death often wills.

  • J. Pigno

Many dreams
Are an act of God
Which provide us proof
For existence
Outside this realm
Where real torture
Is knowing such limits

Within these chains
Leaving anxious thoughts
Always tethered
Besides what hope
Sleeping offers
Like nightmares had
While awake,

Needing desperate truths
Visions give
Sharing angry signs
Through our terrors
Warning every soul
Remain open
To those humble clues
Horror tells

By assuring fear
Reveals strength
Shedding honest light
Upon failures
Searching memories lost
After missing their point
All along –

Showing splitting paths
Soon becoming whole
Once we realize
Humans merely sin
Being selfish
Seeking joy long gone
Facing death

As toy shelves bend
Over time
Still inside old minds
Growing jaded
Watching teddy bears
Tattered and dusty
Reveal hidden tears
During play

Only children’s hearts
Can perceive
Grieving innocent days
Going missing
Feeling decades pass
Between moments
A few short breaths
Often steal

Since the present
Eludes making sense
But forever works
How imagined
Seeing heaven drift
Behind eyelids
So tired
From finding life hard.

  • J. Pigno

I am a man
Of faith
Which means that
There is no coincidence
Except what
Circumstance beckons
These doubtful lines
Over fear.

How words still fail
Every dream
My more innocent mind
Believed valid
Despite such years
Spent pursuing
All the empty leads
Without proof

Where miracles fade
When we touch
Their tangible gifts
Going missing,
So rarely sought
After aging
Since getting old means
Falling ill

By feeling sick
In our heads
After being told work
Can achieve them
Proving efforts earn
Almost nothing
But jaded eyes
Losing sight –

Obscuring God
Through success
While focusing now
On achievement
Rather than life’s
Subtle angels
Who comfort souls
Growing weak

And inspire art
Beyond grief
Yielding beauty
Outside this perception
Nearly killed
From daily obsessions
Like aggression forced
To survive.

It is gesture
Destined by verse
Showing heaven exists
Between margins
As writers churn out
Sullen wisdoms
Merely sharing truths
Most neglect,

Choosing voices
Few barely hear
Though discerning tales
Fate imagines
Are better spent
Speaking surprises
Only hidden
If being closed off.

  • J. Pigno

Real mirrors
Show many reflections
From lies which change
Our appearance
Through perceptions
Growing unsettled
By things we see
Looking back

And staring still
Getting numb
To ignore each flaw
Seeming bigger
When mornings drag
After nightmares
Less disturbing
Than what they’ve become –

These tortured days
Peeling faces
Like faithless husks
Feeling skinless
Through repeated tasks
Seeking purpose
But eroding hope
Where it cracks

Since desire means
Biding time
When failing hard
Despite working
Just watching flesh
Slowly wrinkle
Seeking money
While missing success

That exceeds relief
Fleeting fast
Yet explaining fate
Before losing
Such precious youth
If prolonging hurt
Before death.

Tomorrow’s curse
Remains shadows
Hanging empty shapes
Upon spaces
Projected now
Across hallways
Housing figures sad
Light exists,

For silhouettes
Capture those lines
In darkness formed
Hiding damage
Concealing breaks
Always telling
How age has cursed
Every soul –

Drawing fear
Using permanent ink
Smearing paint
No makeup can cover
Watching tiny holes
Erode smiles
Sin’s ugly mark
Leaves behind.

  • J. Pigno

We’re a frantic bunch
Whose worries
Become what words
Escape us
Over desperate thoughts
Which carry
Into days spent
Rambling on

About every fear
That lasts
Beyond bitten tongues
Left begging
For a chance to scream
And shout their dreams
At stones,

Never hearing
Our common voice
When selecting terms
Conveying such
Focused phrases
With intentions made

By embittered lines
Hoping weary souls
Still smolder
Under ashes held
While believing art
Builds smoke

Before burning bright
Out loud
Since explosions sound
Among embers snuffed
Through silence
Lost faith has since
Imposed –

Taking jobs
No person wants
Though some believe
Yield meaning
Despite real life
Between these roles
Most play

Where bliss includes
Each laugh
Tearing dollar bills
Now worthless
From agreeing love
Should forfeit
All attachments held
Towards grief,

Finding pain
Ensures true verse
If accepting God
Is leisure
Letting pleasure spell
Of catharsis sought
As one.

  • J. Pigno

I’d often think
Terrible things,

Like imagining death
In that instance
When no one’s around
And it’s quiet –

Just peaceful enough
To feel scared.

There wouldn’t be
Calling for help,

Hearing family’s tears
During passage

Towards an unknown risk
Which awaits me
After living so long
In this shell,

But judgment’s breath
Filling air
While clouding lungs
Soon expired
Amid silent ghosts
Always watching
Between crowded walls
Become home.

Such fear
Means nirvana exists
Beyond false hopes
Of our choosing –

Simple pleasures
Leaving us empty,

Hands with cash
Buying sins,

Never satisfied
Clawing at whims
Since forgetting needs
Remain useless
If faith finds God
Going missing
Over decades spent
Losing hope.

Happiness sits
Outside failed dreams
Chasing wishes
Men’s labors make
Appear futile
Tricking flesh
Through working too hard.

Having heart
Seems very unfair
Until skipping beats
Surface daily,

Telling plainly
Mortality beckons,

Quickly wondering
“Why suffer more?”

Whether heaven
Or hell does await,
My anxieties grow
Oddly neutral –

Those horrors
Bring miserable solace,

Every vision
Yields cathartic relief.

  • J. Pigno

My damages
Go too deep
Like a fracture
Below the gum line
When mouths appear
Straight as an arrow
But beneath them
Is shattering bone

Where my jaw sits
Crooked like sin
From fighting fears
Against failing
Taking punches
Meant for disasters
Whose every breath
Remains hard

As existence
Forces this clench
Between both halves
Always gritting
While row meets edge
Grinding further
What suffering teeth
Still exist –

Those molars
Throbbing with pain
And pent up rage
Feeling tender
Over sleepless nights
Chewing fragments
Left neglected
Since breaking apart.

Each piece
Keeps driving me mad
Reminding spit
How aggression
Will eat us alive
If we let it
Though such anger
Persists undefined

Inside raw lips
Hiding speech
Now staying shut
Being spiteful
Knowing holding words
Ignites fires
To gnaw at souls
Grating stone –

Frail enamel
Burning up dust
Making ashes spark
Tiny cinders
Amid weakened fangs
Chomping harshly
Across surfaces
Getting more dull,

That tongue
Tasting coming demise
Or surgeries
Barely successful
Nibbling nasty shards
Shaping relics
Only smiles
Could easily show.

  • J. Pigno

I adore that
Which has no filter
Like a midnight kiss
Between spouses
Whose collective needs
Become reasons
Why God exists
Through their touch,

This semblance
Of heaven made flesh
Across those sheets
Feeling sacred
As sweat drips life
Shedding meaning
In an intimate pose
After dark –

One moment
Where worries can fade
Like background noise
Beyond windows
Trading gentle stares
Under moonlight
Growing tired
From days not shared

When existence
Precedes such joy
Holding time itself
For faith’s ransom
Merely earning pain
By tomorrow
While believing love
Always waits

To endure our fears
Getting deeper
Beneath thick lies
Morning sells us
Finding empty truths
Killing pleasure
Only sacred vows
Ever know,

Lacking pretense
But genuine joy
Despite money
And Earth’s expectation
Demanding work
Become special
Over ecstasy
Artists must write

Building narratives
Written with tears
Seeing crying eyes
Before sleeping
Yielding poems
Divinely inspired
Embracing fates

One story
Across two hearts
Is truth itself
Getting naked
Upon what bed
Defeats fiction
Casting roles
Against purposeless tales.

  • J. Pigno

Death row
Is that spiritual place
Where all men go
After losing
What God Himself
Has provided
In their privileged fate
Called love –

Our undeserved grace
Become flesh
Through partnership
Sullied by failure
After waiting years
For her presence
To redeem what soul
We have left,

Finding jail at home
With each thought
Like every belief
Being broken
And feeling condemned
Among memories
Vacant as hearts
Missing faith

She provided once
Knowing grief
Soon enduring days
Always hurting
Watching joyous times
Sully quickly
Over moments spent
Fighting back

Against selfishness
Making things cold
Growing farther apart
Despite staying
Getting angry
Since lacking connection
Needing empathy
Rather than sins.

How distance
Eliminates warmth
While drifting flames
Barely burning
Find lasting sparks
Provide lessons
When imprisoned
Behind crying eyes,

Arguing greed
Was the cause
But agreeing fear
Pulls its trigger
Learning panicked minds
Cannot reason
Upon answered prayers
Going wrong –

From those gallows
Nooses will hang
Stringing ropes which sit
Merely waiting
Near these ended dreams
Gone forever
Punishing souls
Still alive.

  • J. Pigno