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

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

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

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

There is no relief
While I’m waiting
Inside plush sheets
Where these headaches
Are the least of my
Waking nightmares
Which assure me
Fears come true.

Death burns
Beneath that face,

Making pressure
My only savior

To bind this brain
Growing desperate
For an answer
Even if scared.

I’m tired
Of pillows and worries
Like agonies
Kneading old corpses
Upon gentle slabs
Whose torture
Cradles traumas
Soft to their touch.

When will pain
Finally cease
On carousels
Carrying bodies,

Such feathery pits
Finding freedoms

At their bottoms
When falling so ill?

Escaping
Assumes all pain
Was worth what dream
Remains living
Beyond those eyes
Seeing blotches
Near their edges
Almost asleep –

Nauseous sounds
Getting louder
During silence
Echoing static

Tolling bells
Relentlessly ringing
Despite empty rooms
Still unchecked,

Leaving chambers
Harboring noise
Between eardrums
Playing loud music

After years
Demanding experience
Relieve deep rage
Through some song.

Perhaps,
Tonight I’ll expire
Watching TV
Cast its bright shadows

Upon walls
Whose filthy appearance

Reminds me
Hurt always lasts.

  • J. Pigno

Writing
Because you’re desperate
Is the only way
Words feel real,

Holding keys
To passions forgotten
Amid truths which spark
Each word.

Remembering now,
I’m confident
In embracing
This phrase once buried-

An instance
Pleasure surrendered
Or love itself
Did forget,

Tracing warmth
On lips grown cold
While her mouth
Had removed those vermin

Finding pain
Our perpetual vessel
Despite my bride
Saying yes.

I’ll dig up
Every last nightmare
Where spiders
Scuttle through memories,

Spinning webs
Around these failures
Deeply burrowed
Beneath raw earth –

Such talent
Unwillingly hidden
Under layers
Of happiest wishes

Keeps its answers
Shielded by waiting
For that moment
When dirt seems right,

Between daydreams
Hanging like threads
Around holidays
Sullied from sickness

And with smiles
Soaking up venom
Learning agony
Tells things best.

I’m back
For what youth expired
Trailing innocence
Dangling wisdoms

Breaking limits
Newly inspired
Chasing dangers
Crawling down walls.

  • J. Pigno

There are days
When the morning sun
Feels as if
It has a beating pulse,

Spreading such warmth
By waking
Through these veins
Of scattered clouds

And gushing
God’s promise kept
Like that hope which
Bleeds from heaven

By radiance
Burning with prospects
Since tomorrow
Begins once more –

Where those skies
Keep shining light
Seeping in
Between my windows

Here for now
Soon gone forever
Once impossible
Yet so real,

Hearing hearts
Still beating steady
During hours
Truth seems brightest

Before darkness
Claims this cadence
Nature echoes
Between sleep.

  • J. Pigno

My nights
Are a tortured canvas
On which dreams
Can paint their worries
Leaving streaks
Of scary futures
Staining scenes
Like blotted ink –

All these visions
I can’t flee

Or avoid
By praying daily,

Those empty pleas
I bargain
Beneath bedsheets
Soaked in sweat,

Every evening
Floating free
Over coffins
Where my loved ones
Gather mourners
Throwing flowers
Besides caskets
Housing bone.

For some fears
Will still remain

Though I choose my colors
Darkest,

Hiding memories
Forming thickest
Inside substance
Made of ash –

Facing death
Towards coming days,

Finding sunlight
Mixes nicely

Among shades
Whose waking palettes
Seem important
Besides black.

Yet my bad ways
Keep repeating
Thinking drawings
Have existence
Outside sketches
Demons conjure
Within confines
Called our nerves,

As they outline
Every wish

Then divide them
By obsession

Doing math
That predicts nothing
Proving faith
Just doesn’t work

While both eyes
Are closed to God
Signing portraits
Through His promise
Letting art
Hide better angels
Behind terrors
Sleeping brings.

  • J. Pigno