Tuesday, February 22, 2011

one shot: weak currency

the breadth of feathers
adorning my angel wings
has been plucked, pour
peroxide where it festers

my closed fists beat on
the doors of heaven, i am
a vagrant palming alms
strangers slip into my bowl

hollow, stomach growling
for meat, i peal scabs
off my feet from walking
streets where buildings reach

Babeling heights, my halo
can be bought at the pawn
shop for a ten spot, but it
got me dinner off the dollar menu

where we make it
your way, right away
just to feed the disease &

if you find it hard to swallow
it was for me too, i am your
neighbor, you smile at, each
morning when you step out

to get the paper & we are
One nation, under each other,
passed hand to hand,
weak currency.

It's that time again, break out your poems and get ready to jump in the pit,,,it's One Shot Wednesday! Gates open at 5 pm EST, and I'll be the Emcee on the mic tonight. Go write a poem, come join us!

104 comments:

Reflections said...

Deep wounds of a troubled world resonate through your words... eluding to better moments past, hoping for better times to come, hand to hand passed on.

Nice.

Syd said...

A hard time for so many. Our neighbors try to cover up their pain but it is real.

TechnoBabe said...

Neighbors usually try to hide the hard times they are experiencing. Trying to keep up appearances. Being hungry is a situation that is hard to swallow.

Heather said...

we never know what goes on behind closed doors of a neighbor, etc. we must be thankful for what we have every day...it could all change in an instant. there are so many hungry children out there...we don't even know about - sad. nice work!

Daniel said...

I am all to happy to let the relationship peak at "Hi, how ya doing". There has got to be some way to get through these walls I erect so automatically. Who am I trying to keep out?

happygirl said...

I need to call my neighbor. We exchanged Christmas gifts this past Christmas without actually seeing each other. Just dropped them at the door. Not nice. Your words touch me today.

trisha said...

really touching brian. its a really hard time for lot of people around the world. hope it will be over soon.

trisha

TALON said...

So sad and so much truth, Brian...circumstances can change on a dime...

autumnraven said...

the currency of the day is weak indeed. well said.

Fireblossom said...

sparkly!

keep writing, you have talent

C+

LOL

Betsy said...

It's true...you don't have to travel across town to find someone in need.

Sue said...

Boy, it just pours out of you, Brian...yet another poem that manages to do it all in very few words.

=)

Friko said...

Seriously, your work is always engrossing.

CM said...

Social commentary with a bite. My favorite line, "pour peroxide where it festers"...good description of our current state of health care, or lack thereof.

Claudia said...

yep - again this brings tears to my eyes..

Tara Miller said...

Imagine if we started reaching out to those in our community on a regular basis. Everyone has a story, everyone has a hurt... everyone wants to share their story, their hurt....but are we willing to listen; really be present and listen? Thanks for this challenge, love.

LauraX said...

powerful Brian...like a fist around my heart.

McGillicutty said...

Powerful words but did he have to eat scabs? Seriously? ;0)

kkrige said...

I have to second McGillicutty here. Gross Brian, but you certainly get your point across. time to take off the blinders?

deb colarossi said...

it's hard. so hard

Rhymetime24 said...

Wow you went real deep, stating things that people wish would stay hidden in a trash heap.
Hard times are there indeed, as people try to get at least one lead.
I doubt it will be over soon, as certain figures are pretty much the equivalent of a goon.
But lets hope everyone has the might, to continue the find.
Enjoyed the read, good job planting the seed.

repressedsoul said...

Sad thing is, you never know what happens behind closed doors. Pours salt on those wounds, harking back to loss of community. Great words my friend x

Pat said...

We are all guilty, I am sure, of passing up a homeless person and not giving them some money. But you do wonder what they do with the money. Sometimes it's better to offer them a free meal.

Bernie said...

So much pain and suffering going on in today's world, so much that it cannot be hidden or kept behind closed doors any longer, and that is how it should be, out in the open so wounds can heal....:-)Hugs

Old Ollie said...

lotta truth in here

nice one shot

Dulce said...

Ain't it a shame?
So many around us having less than little... and meanwhile others complaining about so unimportant things...

Natasha said...

Pride is the worst enemy of those in need. I have been on both sides of this fence. keeping up appearances and denying the obvious and being in a position to help those who need it. A wonderful telling, reflecting what is so wrong with this world. First, to swallow the pride and admit to the help you need...second, being in a position to cast judgement on determining who needs the help more. Much thought as the result of this piece, Brian. As per the norm you've left this reader impressed...and pondering the ways of our world.

anthonynorth said...

Hard words for hard times. Nicely done.

G-Man said...

The Poet Laureate of Blogdom...

annell said...

I read your poem and the end there was a deafening silence. Did you hear it too?

Kavita said...

That was a really moving one, Brian..
I guess our own insecurity and inhibitions make us even worse off than beggars at times...
Your words paint a very REALISTIC image of the ways of this world, my friend..
" i peal scabs" -- now that's some powerful imagery there!!!
Simply too good!! Really liked the message in this one,B... WOW!!!

Chris G. said...

Some angels never really get to see heaven...ragged and worn, they can but rattle the gates, and despair.

Painfully potent tale, hits one like a punch in the gut, as much for the timely reality of it as the work itself. Look around. So many suffering from such pains. So many more that try to hide from them, to pretend they don't exist; others try to hide it from the world, to keep on going in their eyes, but as you say, "One nation, under each other,
passed hand to hand,
weak currency."...a tragedy.

azfree said...

Wow! And getting weaker it sometimes seems. At least we can feel good to know that we peel off our scabs, our skin regenerates fresher than before. You should come sell your Halo to a Vegas Pawn Shop, then you can be on an episode of Pawn Stars ... ugh Reality TV, another example of weak currency!

Kodjo Deynoo. said...

thought-provoking and sad, deep work

L.L. Barkat said...

you smile at, each
morning when you step out

to get the paper

I liked that. Such a simple act. Belying the weakness of the bond?

william said...

another winning write friend :)

lori said...

This is amazing on many levels.

"...my halo can be bought at the pawn shop for a ten spot..."

Wow.

I think mine is there, too. Wonderful job. Very raw.

Betty said...

Your imagery made me think of a wonderful book I read last year, called The Vintner's Luck. The story of a fallen angel. Very moving, like your poem.

JStar said...

I soooo missed your writing Brian...But I am back now...I just gotta write something...I have been quite busy

marousia said...

Stunning *bows to greatness*

Ténèbres à la lumière... said...

Hi! Brian...
"if you find it hard to swallow
it was for me too, i am your
neighbor, you smile at, each
morning when you step out
to get the paper & we are
One nation, under each other,
passed hand to hand,
weak currency."


This last "stanza" sums up your poetry to me perfectly...Because it indicate(s) that any and everyone Of us is just one pay check away from being homeless or in dire straits.
Thanks, for sharing the One Shot Wednesday too!
DeeDee ;-D

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

just a tenspot at the pawn for that halo?
Chumlee ripped you off :)

Brian, this one is special to me, it really touched my heart. smile

jayinshanghigh said...

It's a wicked world at best.

hedgewitch said...

Neighbor today, me tomorrow--but we never think that way--it's always that person's fault when it's everyone's fault or no one's. Or certain people that ought to be put away with their buddy Madoff. Nice one, brian.

Carys said...

Stunning write Brian, I adored the imagery throughout, particularly in the first three stanzas.

Asobime said...

This goes beyond poetry, to social consciousness.

Thank you for the lead back.

Lady Nyo

Thoughts Not Lost said...

Great social commentary, well penned!

flaubert said...

Brian, this is one of the saddest
and most truthful pieces, I have read
in a very long time.

Pamela

gautami tripathy said...

Everyone can relate to this. Wonder poem...

captured memories

Grand Pooba said...

Yeah, I lived next door to my old neighbor for 7 years and couldn't even remember their name!

Cindy said...

what a talent, such a gift (to me)

Neva Flores said...

Very powerful piece Brian.........

drybottomgirl said...

What happens in the lives of others we really have no idea. We look at people and think, "it must be nice to have such a wonderful life" and yet they are full of pain and hardships we will never know. You speak the truth my friend, excellent "one shot".....

Shannon said...

so true...so real!
THANK YOU!

Jill said...

Why do people work so hard to hide troubles? It is a tough and lonely world.

Big Sur Blogisphere said...

Spirit still happens in a crazy mixed up world
Even though way back when..
..when the stork delivered the pinkish babe
You thought you had been abandoned
And life ain't easy down here
Those angel feathers don't stay white very long
Soiled by just the thought of begging
For handouts from punks and psychologists
And priests who like to judge
But behind the zipper in your persona
There still lies the undefiled country
Where your kids play and laugh
And where just one peaceful moment
Opens up rich vistas
Of kaleidoscopic beauty
That only a loving God could fashion.

Tiger

Brahm (alfred lives here) said...

Beautifully put.

We never know what goes on with our friends and our neighbours, do we?

ds said...

So profound. "if you find it hard to swallow/it was for me too..."
We are all neighbors, and who can know who might be the fallen angel among us?
Thank you for this.

Vicki Lane said...

I nominate you for King of the Live Poets Society.

signed...bkm said...

life is rough out there for many ...and pawn shops are making a killing on pawned items...bkm

The Empress said...

We are all on this planet together, I always always think that.

Amity said...

A poignant and harsh reality in life...:(

But we are as helpless with such scenarios...

Very powerful poem!

Shashi said...

Hi Brian

Good one shot!!!
From your words...
'a vagrant palming alms
strangers slip into my bowl'
... to the end of the verse... it was a smooth transitioning...bringing in the neighbor and connecting the image of a vagrant to the real life on the street to the currency.. its all so smooth and flowing.. I liked it so much...


ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com/2011/02/whispers-tanka-and-search-for-being.html
Connect with me at Twitter @VerseEveryDay

David Agnew said...

I shall say Good Morning to my neighbour when I go out today

Katherine said...

Brian this is a very poignant post and it's sadly filled with the terrible truth that there are many, some of whom are not too far away, that are struggling in silence. Your words are perfecto!

kenny said...

Super, the last stanza pay-off is great, I'd love to hear it on mic!

the walking man said...

I see the problem, it is the solution though that needs the answering to. Good write Brian. Now is the time to seize the day, the moment, the hour.

adeeyoyo said...

We may be 'nodding acquaintances' but hardly ever actually 'know' people's pain. You have such a nack of exposing our souls, Brian.

hpicasso said...

no one ever says "I knew he was good to go" when we hear of a mind crossing to rage..."33 killed at office party..."...Bill?...not Bill, he was so nice..I used to golf with him...he was my son's coach...

and yet no one knew him...

weak currency, indeed

Peace, hp

blueviolet said...

Sometimes I think it's best not to know.

natalee said...

so true.... why do you always hit the nail on the head???

Mama Zen said...

"where buildings reach

Babeling heights"

That is an outstanding, thought provoking image.

trisha said...

brian, i am trying two things and will be so happy to have you in both/one. will you check out these blogs and decide?

http://etherealheights.wordpress.com
http://earthinbw.wordpress.com

if you will join me then all you wil have to do is leave the url of your selected work in the Thursday Post so we can read it.

Olivia said...

Strong sentiments indeed!
That's how it goes.. unfortunate n true.

Touching n heartfelt. Actually my neighbors have never known how it is with me- That's fine.. I have mastered the art of putting up a facade!

Your words instantly put all the neighbors I have ever had in just a few words.

Warm wishes xox

mairmusic said...

Keen observation, as usual w/ your verse. Well written!

Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

This really sucks!
Just awful!

No, wait!
The exact opposite of that!

(Sorry, I get confused)

Nice One Shot, Brian!

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

tough to take real looks into the doors of the neighborhoods so close and so broken, we all really don't know what's inside another in full truth, only what they open the veil/door a crack to show.

mama-face said...

Maybe it's kismet, (If I understand that word), (and I doubt that I do), that I was thinking this morning, (before I read this), about neighbors and the way we live our separate lives. Wouldn't our lives be so much richer if we shared our lives to some extent? (Unless they're THOSE kind of neighbors... you know what I mean... maybe; I'm rarely clear with my thoughts. :)

And maybe I missed your point. Loved it anyway-that's the beauty of poetry, no?

Alice Audrey said...

Hard-hitting one, Brian. Very evocative.

I have an award for you.

Alegria Imperial said...

Wow! Excellent poem, Brian! The images work so well that the dimensions of reality reflect a universe we're hardly aware of--if uncaring, unaware, blind!

Thank you!

Just Be Real said...

Yeah, hard times ahead and even now. Blessings to you Brian.

Debbie said...

What a sad world we live in. Beautiful words and a great message for us, Brian.

betweenhearts75 said...

Seems that place, alongside each other, knowing in some vague sense, yet unknowing the pains beyond the closed doors. Well layered, this projection of a closeness that can be so distanced as neighbors can be. Very well done! ~April

poemblaze said...

a lot of powerful word pictures here.

Joanne said...

Always the barbed dichotomy of images. Very sharp, your pen-sword. Love the "dusty, human" angel imagery.

blueoran said...

Amen. I love the framing device of a poem under duress of weak currency. Everything falls into its shadow. -- Brendan

Stacy Uncorked said...

Absolutely beautiful yet again, Brian! :)

John Fitzpatrick said...

Haunting imagery. Too many suffering during these difficult times. Well put.

Rachel Hoyt said...

Great poem, Brian! It is definitely a very hard time for many. And, sadly, where I live, most of us are lucky to even know our neighbor's name let alone what's going on in their life. I wish it wasn't that way...

Birdie said...

very touching again Brian, we are on the same boat all of us aren't we? ... happy days to you and yours :-)

Luke Prater said...

Well done that, man! Well expressed indeed. I do like your work... I missed being around. Well I'm back for a while I hope!

Cheers Brian

luke

Heather Grace Stewart said...

"if you find it hard to swallow
it was for me too, i am your
neighbor, you smile at, each
morning when you step out"

This touched me. Well expressed message Brian.

Magpie said...

Weak currency? Brian, I'm lost. I couldn't tie the weak currency into the rest.

Laura Lynn said...

Amazing poem. The last few lines really hit my heart...."weak currency" is by far my favorite line. It is so true. Great piece!

randallweiss said...

I always enjoy your pop culture references.

The theme is very moving. So much pain in our world.

liv2write2day said...

Brutally realistic take on where so many are today, Brian. You attention to detail adds so much to the experience of the poem.

Reggie said...

"hard to swallow"...indeed. Our own wounds are so small in the grand scope of things...thank you Brian.

tolbert said...

my closed fists beat on
the doors of heaven, i am
a vagrant palming alms

you nailed it with this one brian!
sitting in church, singing hymns of praise, listening to a sermon,never really knowing the people you sit beside just as they never know you...coins jingle in our pockets as children go hungry...well, as i said...you nailed it. a social commentary well written!

trisha said...

This sure is painful, the way so many of us are suffering due to global crash of economy.

thanks for joining us brian.

Versebender said...

Superb...really speaks to the state of humanity these days. Very well done. Vb

Marla said...

I'm still thinking this one through. Sometimes you are so deep and I am so not that I wonder how you see what you do and how I miss it. Your view amazes me Brian.

ladynimue said...

your words give hope that pain is still understood, even if of others ..

Rebecca S. said...

This one surprised me. I had to read it a few times to get the meaning, but when I did I thought it still worth being the 103rd person to tell you how good a poem it is.

Steve Isaak said...

Again, excellent, thought-provoking, all that entails superbness.