For our incarcerated

Their chambers do not hold anything but bone and air
musty and thick to congest the sick
Prisoners must stand forever in their illness so fragile
still agile enough to bend through bars of steel
yet never free enough to wield words
across the world to peel our scars unhealed

For revealing thought
he traded his pen for a pin stripe suit
his pencil for a hammer
his safety and manners
for the sake of the survival of scammers
Now they take no more bribes
and he no longer thrives
but he’s as free as can be
for the sake of their lives
but more importantly
everything inside us that matters

For the artists who have been wrongfully incarcerated

Rhyme Cycle IV

Replace regression with digression from primal political positions
I reserve rights like Reservations deserve the slight and punishment from establishments numb to hushed conditions
But not in the slightest does the brightest of my counterparts see darkness cloud these misconceived faces and warmth of breaths
Whose interest is it to storm the cleft of people and place barbed wire fences around the breadth of the scorn that’s left ?

Their drastic and bombastic appeals to nations
from round tables with clear drinking glasses
between the breaks for tear gasses ready to cloud our startled visions
A Navajo from Sarajevo will tell you of bombs and the beauty of wild horses
from below trampled hooves, releasing doves from atop the bombed holes of their scenic roofs incisions

With precision they must miss their targets and falsely communicate with the masses
But somewhere between a rock and a hard place, we walk away through the cliffs and mountain passes, as green as the grass is, and sure as seeing tomorrow slip away from our grasp is

Smear into eyes the dampened disguise of safety to blot the terror of silent cries
Violent lies do little to discard the beauty of our waking truths
and one man can do more than a flock of a million sheep
as long as he stands defiant while the others choose to sleep away like youth

Nature

Nature has grown on me, into my skin, and into my lifestyle over the past few years. The benefits of a lush and serene greenery can prove to have a calming effect for the mind and body. A city boy from birth, I had long considered living in urban settings the best option for my life but over the years living in the clean spaces of Nordic terrain, I have grown quietly fond of such tranquil scenery.

The focus within remote settings and rural landscape is getting away from noise and distraction that so often overwhelm the most resilient and conditioned of human minds. The once eerie isolation of the countryside and woodlands is now second nature. The substance is often with the escape itself, and silence recharges and ignites energy. Entertainment surfaces in different forms. The fresh air carries an alternative to the city air and life slows to a manageable pace, just enough to engage the senses with qualities essential and compelling to human nature.

I am still a city boy, drawn to interesting city streets, shops and bookstores, and museums, and malls, but time spent on walks in forests, away from society at large is a refreshing change. Nature can calm the restless soul and the crowded mind, just enough to offer a temporary release of tension and provide a restful break from whatever the demands of life may have to throw my way.

For friends and enemies

Is there a war of races
Of colors, of faces
From different backgrounds
And different people
From many places?

The menu of life had much to offer me
An Indian in Catholic school
A couple of other choices for religion if i pleased
Multilingual since I could speak
And friends from every background and creed I could conjure up in my dreams

I pointed at places on maps and used to say “what’s it like there?” ( I still do)
I stared at unknown and unfamiliar faces
And wondered how they got that color hair

I did not understand the need for unity
Just as I did not understand what it was to be a fool
I wasn’t protected from poison
But I always thought I knew what was and wasn’t “cool”

I never knew of real hate
Until I heard words and actions so fatal
Like an eternal curse
Kneading and convincing itself into the everyday thoughts and routines of people

There are many poisons but not so many antidotes
Just as there are many historic figures
With many symbolic and meaningful everyday quotes

I know life is a roller coaster
And there are others on this ride
I also know there isn’t a heaven on earth
But I still try to be nice to the ones seated by my side

Epilogue: Travels

An orange strip of sunshine sits in the horizon within the clouds like the layer of a cake. There is no one seated next to me as I peer out into the distance. This is how I wished my vacation to end, and the spectacular view from my airplane seat is the icing on my summer treat. Through Madrid and California, the days have passed too fast and now, as I return home, I prepare for work and the routine of daily life.

The walks, the meals, the museums, and other events have proved to be as fulfilling as they have been refreshing for the body and mind. I look forward to vacations with great anticipation. The moments of booking tickets for the upcoming voyages or hotels, whether internationally or within a couple of hundred kilometers, sparks the charge in the lifeblood of my internal battery. The drives and different scenes, settling into engaging books, and enjoying delicious foods and beverages are all part of relishing the process of relaxing vacations. This trip has been longer than usual and one to remember. From the wide and crowded streets of Madrid and San Francisco to the beach strips and warm summer atmosphere of coastal California, I think of the remarkable adventures and experiences. Reuniting with family, indulging in culinary feasts, and sleeping deep and sound despite initial jet lag and fatigue have turned this vacation into a success. I look forward to many more such travels.

On the plane, I pull my book from the seat compartment and read through as much as possible before locking in on the screen embedded in front of me. A movie based on the life of Vincent Van Gogh keeps me entertained for a couple of hours. I think back to the paintings I saw at the Thyssen and at the SF MoMa, and the exquisite rooms and galleries holding countless pieces of artwork. Yet, there is still more to see, more to explore, and there are many places to visit. Whether I head back to San Francisco, travel within Europe, or go somewhere entirely different for my next trip, the thrill of vacation and the pleasure of repose will once again bring back the spark to my eyes and the beat in my adventurous heart.