Tuesday, July 6, 2010

of boxers, dragons, angels & demons

what is it he sees
on the corner of 5th &
Rivermont, where all roads
lead in & out of town?

he shadow boxes
the street sign
with taped up fists
jab-jab-jab
haymaker
dancing round & round,
arms ripped, flying a'flurry
until the light
turns red &

he sits in a folding chair,
drug this morning
from the mission,
splashing water on his head
from a dirty blue bucket,
toweling off while
mumbling to himself,
waiting on green
to have another go...

is it angels & demons,
or fiery dragons of
his mistakes or others
that pull him here,
each day, to fight back &
do we just do a better
job hiding
our own struggles?

This poem is for One Shot Wednesday, a new gathering place for poets & writers to showcase their talents. Post a poem today and come join us. Mr. Linky opens at 5pm EST.

82 comments:

Mrsupole said...

Twice, I cannot believe it. Yippee.

God bless.

Steven Anthony said...

your words never disapoint....magical.

CM said...

Brian, you always have an eye and a heart for the underdog, the invisible, the forgot. A good reminder to care about those we often don't notice. I feel convicted many times when I stop by here.

Excellent poem, such vivid details.

Paul C said...

'angels & demons,
or fiery dragons of
his mistakes or others
that pull him here,..' From a distance they look strange on the street corner with their antics, until we look deeper inside.

Mrsupole said...

I think we all have inner demons to fight on our own, and sometimes with help. I think it is similar to the saying that we all come from dysfunctional families, in that my demons are different from your demons. Some things we think about and have to fight everyday, while others just pop up every now and again.

The sad thing is how one goes about handling one's inner demons. Sometimes the choice one makes in how to handle them just causes one to have even more demons. I guess that saying, "The Devil made me do it." can apply to those who handle it in a way that causes more demons, which one would think that the devil wants one to handle things this way.

I think acceptance that each of us is not perfect and never will be, can help one to handle our inner problems. Somehow it is hard for us to realize that we are not perfect, especially in today's world where there are so many famous people who are seemingly perfect. But as we all know they are far from perfect, it is just very sad that young people idiolize these types of people instead of their hard working, normal, loving family members, and friends.

This is just such a sad statement of life today.

God bless.

steveroni said...

Brian, thank God I am not at that road any more, wondering "Where did they all go? Those days, months, years?

Ans to Q: We had coffee and apple rolls, sitting on concrete bench in beautiful river setting. We both spoke, no BS. He even smiled a couple times. He was pretty far gone mentally, but who knows, maybe a little hope filtered its way into his psyche.....

Caty said...

I think some of us hide our demons and not let them be so obvious as this guy.

One stop Wednesday looks like a great challenge and lots of fun, too! Great idea :)

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

20 years ago, I was driving in grid lock traffic with my best friend and my daughter (one at the time) was in her car seat. Our car at the time was a beater with no air conditioning. It was 90 out and probably 90% humidity.

Daughter was screaming and thrashing. As I tried to quiet her, my BFF said, "leave her alone, she is only doing what every other person wants to do. I'd scream and thrash right now if I thought I could get away with it."

drybottomgirl said...

We have a man like this in our neighborhood. He rides his bike from dawn til dusk, having conversations with himself and at times kicking his bike. I've heard he suffers from Tourette's Syndrom. Everyone knows who he is in town and we all quietly look out for him. You captured is so well with "angels and demons" because we will never know...well done!

Eva Gallant said...

your imagry is amazing.

Daniel said...

You see beauty in the others the rest of us cast off. I continue to see the world differently since I came to know you.

Kat_RN said...

I know some like him, when they lose the battle temporarily, they wind up on my floor. We patch them up and hope that this time, they will stay patched.
Kat

william said...

AS HUMANS WE ARE GROOMED TO FIGHT BACK WHEN WE DO WE DONT FEEL LIKE THE UNDERDOG, GOOD POST FRIEND :)

TechnoBabe said...

However he got to that place he is staying in shape. I don't blame some people for not wanting to live in reality. I have been in that place a few times myself. But my inner strength won and showed me I could do it.

Pete Marshall said...

again Brian I doff my cap to the lord...excellent piece well done

Tabor said...

Never disappointment in coming here Brian. Sometimes I think I will just skip and head somewhere else and then I read the first lines and you have me!

PattiKen said...

(Absolutely amazing. There were 5 comments when I clicked on "comments," and by the time the comment page loaded, there were 16!)

But, oh, yeah, I came to comment on the post. Short attention span here.

I love the theme of fighting one's hidden demons. Most of us do it, but with much less drama, lest they lock us away. Great, as always.

natalee said...

awww...You always seem to capture those poor souls struggle... GREAT JOB

blueviolet said...

We definitely all have struggles, and it's hard to see those who can't seem to beat them.

Cinner said...

Your words always take me to another place Brian, you are a brilliant writer. take care.

Brian Miller said...

good job mrsu...lol. a quick thought on this guy. i see him all the time when i am heading through town though i think he is quite gone...i tried talking with him but got little...he is still a person though so i try to look out for him...

SuziCate said...

I often wonder what other's stories are as I see them doing their thing. This is very vivid, a touching piece.

slommler said...

We definitely do a better job!! Well written!
Hugs
SueAnn

Bonnie said...

So compassionate Brian.

And yes, we are all pretty much the same, except some of us have not had the cap that holds down what we repress blown away by trauma.

otin said...

Not quite sure what it means...

benjity said...

I love this poem. For me it gives a glimpse into the mind of the homeless gentleman I see downtown. thanks

Pastor Sharon said...

Very nice, Brian.

I sometimes wonder while we are all struggling to mask our own shadows to box, when will we decide it's too much to hold back anymore. . . just like the shadow boxer in this poem.

moondustwriter said...

There really is an internal struggle wrapped up waiting to be freed. Your subject represents too many in our world.

Nicely portrayed Bri

hey come on over to 1 Stop Wednesday - "Oh you are hosting? My bad"

Everyone else is welcome too!!!!!

sheila said...

How incredibly sad that there are so many of this person out there. :o(
Beautifully told.

soundoffreedom said...

We have a guy who is very similiar to this one in our little town sometimes I wonder is he possessed or am I the one who is really crazy because he seems at least free in some strange way..wonderful read and a very vivid description that provoked a great deal of thought for me.

Adam said...

Amazing how you create a possible mental landscape from behavior. cheers (for One Stop as well!)

Mona said...

Most people tend to remain seed than wishing to flower and release their fragrance...because they fear that it might reveal their stinks..of jealousy, hatred and the likes.

Wonderful poem.

In India we have readings of Urdu poetry all night long. They are called 'Mushaira' nights.

Prayer Girl said...

I did not blog or read blogs while I was gone so I am happy to be back and to read once again your wonderful words.

PG

Ocean Girl said...

You could see more than the average folks like me, but the way you describe what you see, is unmatchable. You are alone Brian.

signed...bkm said...

reminds me of what my brother and husband call "wetbrain" - when alcoholics get to the point of no return....(blessing they are both recovered and do recovery work now)...reality does have its bites...great job...bkm

Liza said...

i know someone just like this, and it is getting harder and harder to be around. i find myself on the defense during much of our interactions, and it is exhausting. always a fight, always a struggle, always drama!
i love her though,
always will.

Deb said...

You touch upon a subject which our society chooses to ignore. So many people choose to look the other way, pretending to not notice.

And don't we all have our own angels and demons ? Many of us just hold it all in until...

Magpie said...

My greatest fear is being locked in my mind...demons and dragons. You always champion the forgotten ones, Brian. Thank you for your wonderful point of view.

TALON said...

The last stanza is so powerful, Brian. And I think it's true - we just hide our struggles better.

You capture a hurting soul so well.

ds said...

I can see this guy, literally wrestling with his demons. Perhaps he is more honest than the rest of us in showing them. Do we hide them better, or just differently?

You gave us a brilliant word-picture, and made me think. Thank you.

Mama Zen said...

I can see him . . .

Luisa Doraz said...

Small battles...big wins. :) Have a fun Wednesday.

lakeviewer said...

Brian, you have an acute eye for those invisible.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Wow, just wow.
jj

LadyFi said...

Vivid, dramatic, compassionate. Great writing.

She Writes said...

he shadow boxes
the street sign
with taped up fists

Heaviness that can't be punched out, but at least an attempt sometimes has to be made for sanity's sake I am guessing.

I know man who was homeless at one time and the rage it left in him is still tangible.

Dianne said...

go dog go
the story is the same
we just got older
and thought we were wiser

smiles, and hugs,
dianne

Lorraine said...

what to say, it's all been said...you have such a way of making us feel right smack in the story, wow

Valerie said...

Thought provoking, sad, and disturbing, but cleverly written.

Lorenzo said...

A striking image followed by a damn good (rhetorical) question. Your 'chronic' empathy for the outcast amongst us is on good display here, Brian. Makes me wonder if I am any less strange than this street corner shadow boxer when I go out on my jogs and bike rides...

adeeyoyo said...

I agree we all have our demons which we have to conquer to preserve our sanity - thing is that most of us bury them and pretend they don't exist - unless we live in the past! Excellent, Brian.

Vicki Lane said...

Wonderful snapshot of a life.

Peter Stone said...

Loved the conclusion Brian, do we in fact do a better job of hiding our own struggles?

Just Be Real said...

Oooo yepper I can relate. Good one Bri- Blessings!

Birdie said...

sigh. for the beauty of this post Brian!

Alan Burnett said...

For some reason it puts me in mind of Paul Simon's The Boxer.

Tom said...

i think he's fighting off something we can't see--probably the last hope of mankind.

5thsister said...

"...do we just do a better
job hiding
our own struggles?"

Powerful conclusion. My answer is a resounding YES WE DO! Unfortunately, it gets very tiring.

Jill said...

Living his life is not all bad. He does what he wants...even if it is not reality.

I envy that on a level.

Leah said...

You've gotten it so spot-on...another incarnation exists in Brooklyn too...

Claudia said...

You look at things when others look away - I like this.
My husband used to work with such people - and they have many sad stories to tell

poemsbysam said...

nice. love the ending... tying it all together... where it becomes about "us" and not just "him"...

~ smj

Cheryl said...

The visuals are stunning.

The Bug said...

I really love how you write - it seems simple on the surface, but there's not really any simple there, really.

I definitely restrain myself from "acting out" in public. Wonder what it would be like if I just let go?

Tina said...

A beautiful poem, reminding us of the person inside of the shell we see. Vivid and thought-provoking. Your last stanza really got to me.

Emmanuel Ibok said...

Nice...I like the thoughts you posed at in the last stanza.

Help! Mama Remote... said...

Sounds like my personal life.

secret agent woman said...

Or brain damage from one to many coup/contrecoup injuries! Literal in boxing, but metaphorically true for the rest of us.

buffalodick said...

I would say, Yes...

Kira Stann said...

You have a way with words. I like the portrayal of struggle between inner demons and those we face on the surface. The title is awesome.

Nancy said...

I am with you on this post. Open hearts, open minds.

Chris G. said...

We all have our demons to fight, and our crosses to bear...

Beautiful imagery, and possessed of a sense of compassion far too many seem to lack. An excellent look at the downtrodden elements of society so many try to forget exist at all.

Ruth said...

Wish he had someone in his corner. But maybe that's part of what got him out there, not having someone. Well, your poem is its own "Burgess Meredith."

Thanks for the One Stop Poetry project, which I look forward to, whether I participate again or not.

Syd said...

I wonder what the demons are and where are the angels.

Jessica Graf said...

beautiful poem! I LOVE it!

desk49 said...

Questions we need to ask our inter souls

Do We?

AmyLK said...

I like this one! You just get better and better!

finallygettingtoeven.com said...

Very nice job, I am glad that I have visited your site.

Pat said...

We all have our demons and battles to fight, maybe not as public. Great as always.

Ruth said...

This poem really moves me with its portrait of a homeless man, sandwiched as it is between questions about what he sees/ is fighting, and whether he's really all that different from the rest of us, except in degree.

island of peace said...

we all have demons and angels inside us i guess :)

at least i have armies of each.

J. said...

I love the replay value of your poems. The read, then reread I find myself doing with your posts is fixating and immersive. So glad I stumbled upon your site!