No hero
Should run and hide
When the villain
Becomes their shadow
But engage
Those reflected demons
To translate fear
Into hope

As they shape
What legends believe
All worthy change
Isn’t judgment
When mirrors break
Throwing punches
Likes stones we cast
Fighting back –

Each shattered piece
Cutting deep
So every scar
Provides reasons
For claiming hate
Without purpose
Or drawing lines
Between friends,

Worried peace
Means dreaming alone
While surrounded now
By accusers
Whose obvious threat
Peddles justice
Through riotous words
Left unchecked.

How such ignorance
Carries out crimes
More than hearsay
Buries our innocence
Since sinfulness
Echoing arrogance
Chisels gravestones
Gaining applause –

These monuments
Most will forget
Yet eternally cast
Upon victims
Over nothing
Obscuring importance
Behind faces
Listening less.

This world needs art
That ignores
Such countless lives
Keeping silent,
Proving valiance
Spoken expression
Which dares defy
Every risk

Most poets learn
Donning capes
Sporting phrases
Dangerously honest –
Tempting failures
Only forgiven
If God Himself
Offers strength.

  • J. Pigno

Reality
Doesn’t make sense
When life itself
Is a program
Like another game
Based entirely
On perfection lost
Long ago –

Our divinity
Digitally drawn
Leaving hands obsessed
With discoveries
Which find us
Retracing patterns
Never forwards
But stuck in reverse,

As fingers type
Writing laws
Over loops that lead
Towards confusion
From equations posed
Needing answers
But inventing gods
Undefined

Since staring still
At these screens
Seems our liturgy learned
From inception
Watching parents slave
Behind keyboards
Thinking miracles
Can be reset.

This sacrifice
Simulates ease
While boredom waits
Fearing silence,
Feeling right
Until we have noticed
Today has passed
Between texts –

Gaining levels
Expertly played
Before heroes die
Facing riddles
Such numbered moves
Employ daily
Forcing mystery
Where there is none.

How happiness
Shadowed by doubt
Lacking save points
Holding my progress
Proves experience
Fabricates meaning
During chapters
Worthily failed.

  • J. Pigno

People will
Often pick sides
When they’re never
Easily taken
Without learning
Lines drawn distinctly
Become what shapes
We have feared,

Facing swiftly
Partisan rules
And agendas backed
By divisions
For causes made
Spewing hatreds
Like laws obsessed
With defeat –

For both parties
Trading their blows
Thinking answers grow
From exclusions
While its us against them
Always fighting
But ignoring flesh
All the same

If you really look
Beyond glares
Into eyes so deep
Hiding damage
Or past whose lives
Seem more varied
Than circumstance
Wrongly suspects.

I acknowledge
Difference is real
Though emphasis
Placed on experience
Can bridge those gaps
Needing context
To alleviate
Distances shared

Which begins new trust
Felt unsure
Losing privileges
Marring perspective
Building platforms
Over expanses
Very vast
Where questions remain,

Despite newsmen
Peddling answers
Through big networks
Garnering ratings
Choosing barriers
Offering voices
Making noise
That blocks out our own.

Only chaos
Assumes every change
Should follow rage
Still accepted
Asking families
Facing each other
Why progress
Must not forget.

  • J. Pigno

I’m afraid
This isn’t me
Or perhaps
Some sudden reflection
Of what fear can build
Through chaos
Knowing perfection
Doesn’t exist,

As appearances
Speak their truths
When our souls
Remain too silent
Like these agonies
Told by signals
On new clothes
And shortened hair –

That strange image
Staring back
While we gasp
Before wet mirrors
Within bathrooms
Steamed from showers
So damn hot
We hope they kill,

Feeling off
But looking right
If ignoring those
Who tell us
Every subtle change
Has meaning
More important
Than perceived.

This whole image
Just seems wrong
Though appropriate
Since agreeing
With old demons
Judging shadows
Casting figments
For real men

Among masses
Most will gauge
Still believing
First impressions
Yet neglecting
Better pictures
Told with words
All actions tell.

There is safety
Standing out
Watching fashion
Hide afflictions
Every mental wound
Has festered
Over years
Spent insecure,

Seeing small flaws
Become big
Letting flesh
Fixate regardless
Cutting strands
Off smiling faces
Only proving
Style screams.

  • J. Pigno

I’m pretending
Days don’t pass
To stall what meaning
Dwindles
As it fades
From hours begging
Such short minutes
Find some hope

Lasting only
For what seems fast

When in truth
Reality lingers

Beyond bodies
Always failing
With each dream
Our suffering takes

Doing tasks
Through gasping breaths

Making chores
Of empty spaces

While enduring
Boredom evident
By this fact all faith
Should yield

Under pressures
Measuring lengths
Easy gods
Have called successes

Purely hateful
Though still raging
Against freedoms
Time does hold

Fearing nothing
But men’s laws

Pressing rules
Upon forever

Pitting duty
Against divinity
Losing trust
Between both worlds.

How does waiting
Seem more fair
Than experience
Idly wasted

Immaterial
Though oddly finite

Proving boundaries
Nature’s joke?

Passion thrives
Where doubt recedes
Deeming worry
Inexplicable

Falsely gauged
Among expressions
Swearing feelings
Keep us whole.

Life’s real mystery
Promising death
Knows now art
Outwits extinction

Like those limits
Science has worshipped

Becoming gospel
Inevitably preached.

  • J. Pigno

Abandoning
These words
Is like running
From my God
As they find me
Facing penance
For what sins
Such silence brings,

Grieving days
Now lacking light
By their absent flame
Once kindled –
Bearing wisdoms
Left extinguished
Held inside
Like dying truths,

Since this ash
Shares certain smoke
Where each fear
May mother candles
Long before
Beliefs can answer
Through new wicks
Lost faith must trim.

There is scripture
Being burned
Upon tongues
Obscuring fire,
Hiding open pits
Still raging
Within mouths
Who’ve fallen mute.

I’m convinced
Creation suffers
When depression
Stifles meaning,
Trying hard
While missing nothing
But that peace
Remaining numb.

Some expressions
Force our wills
Towards redemption
More outspoken,
Knowing morning
Beckons waking
Only if blue skies
Show sun.

Should tomorrow
Seem less dark
Than gray clouds
Today has sheltered,
Trust how color
Follows efforts
Fueling dreams
Real feelings rain.

Purpose flares
Among dim stars
Only shining
Before spirits
Never giving up
Those wishes
Across heavens
Gleaming ink.

  • J. Pigno

How I’ve missed
These graphic tales
Which inspire dreams
Through heroes
Tackling feats
Sustaining wishes
Despite life itself
Gone wrong

Across panels
Side by side
Spread like murals
Faith inhabits
Where our myths
Gain honest meaning
Letting pictures
Show us God

Knowing deities
Do exist
Not in skies
Or drawn on pages
But much closer
Than expected
Sharing visions
Hope imbues

Watching failure
Run its course
Making villains
Seem more special
While true legends
Rise above them
Learning losses
Build strong wills

Fighting fear
Though still unsure
Any wisdoms learned
Can linger
If that issue
Come tomorrow
Should find stories
Incomplete

As each destiny
Unfolds
Over eras gold
From virtue
Turning silver now
Soon brooding
Almost bronze
Since darkness waits

Beyond duties
Never done
Finding reasons
Worth enduring
Turning underdogs
Towards glory
Along journeys
Seeking fate

Squashing doubts
With every pose
Proving innocence
Eternal
Among hearts
Whose champions capture
Imaginations
Left untouched.

  • J. Pigno

We are never
Relieved of shadows
Which trace our pasts
Like phantoms
Chasing steps
Each darkness follows
To remind us
Time stands still

Where memories
Pursue this pace
Towards tomorrow’s grief
Uncertain
Of the shape which
Yesterday colors
Trailing changes
Misery loves

In haunted walks
Through sunshine
When guilt itself
Chews brightness
And fear ensues
While believing
Beneath that sky
Unsure

If God looks down
Disgusted
With sins who stroll
Besides us
Even more pronounced
From daylight
As beating rays
Cast stones

Since silhouettes
Mock our stride
Dancing close behind
Though exposure
Means further proof
Their existence
Threatens those
Whose life seems fair

Or pleasant
Before they strike
Smacking grins off
Smiling faces
Like pure souls
Suffering torment
For these reasons
Now long gone

Learning pain
Has multiple forms
Whose features
Deceptively carry
Tiny truths
Upon old figures
Good gestures
Never quite fix

Only building hells
Less known
Than deepest pits
Always nearest
By turning backs
Just adjacent
Finding demons
Pressed against walls.

  • J. Pigno

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 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