Tougher (60yrsb20yrs)

comin’ up fast don’t fuck with me
twenty years older than dad ever got 2b
doc says my blood looks fuckin’ good
livers living good
bloods pumpin’ good

got nothin’ 2bitch about
no tears 2cry
someday in 40yrs i’m gonna die
’till then just get outta my way
’cause nothing you do is gonna
stop, stop, stop me

im tougher at 60 shit
than ive ever been
been fucked with
fucked over
and still standing and strutting
not being knocked down
so fuck you, you, and you
for thinking im gonna stop
or even take a dive
to make you feel good

still kicking, alive, screaming
bloody murder and never
gonna give up my path
’cause im tougher now
than i ever ever have been
’cause 60 is gonna b my 20
more is comin’
just you watch
just started growin’
watch your back
watch your ass
im havent even started
with you yet

copyright 2020: all rights reserved

photo: 1cufflink 3wedding bands 1set of ivories (Herdic Inn, 2020)

Stillness Now

stillness in the form
of the hawk circling
above aging headstones
and my timeless love

warm sun embraces
the tops of my bare feet
and the grass–their grass
tickles my toes and soles

i am here now with them
meditating at their resting places
breathing with none
of the urgency–of the fear
they had so freely given me
when they walked Earth

the sun drifts lower
as evergreens and the hawk
protect me and my breath

yet i feel safer with Mom and Dad
hearing them speak
directing me to tell
my brother how much they love him
sharing that greatness
is headed my way
confident that my ex
will do well in her new life

hawk, trees, sun
all breathing with
my bare feet resting
in the warm cozy grass

literally grounded right now
i re-affirm my pledge
to not get wrapped up in doing
and instead endeavor
to embrace being

stillness now
forever now

Sister’s Voice (Heal)

January 11 2016 PHX PHL WFL 673 Modfied

The night that brought me sister’s voice
Was dead quiet and still as those
Midnights when Mom made her terror all mine
Over four decades and two dozen lives ago

Sister’s voice was also as quiet and still
As she talked about fear and death and failure
Just as Mom had when calmly referencing hitmen and demons
Though instead of sitting on my bed in Fassett
Her voice was thousands of miles away

Prayers and love and concern sent with all my might
Could not erase that fear from her voice
Any more than my aggression and abuse could
Calm Mom’s rising fears and pervasive terror
All those years ago

Sister, sister where have you gone
Why are you back in the hell we once knew
I couldn’t protect you then and I can’t protect you now
From the you running deeper into your darkest head

The growing split that tore her from reality
Made perfect terrifying sense to her
Just as mine did 41 years ago
When I knew in fear Tony would kill me
If he only had the chance

When I heard her voice over the phone
2018
Did not become
1997
Did not become
1973
Because I no longer am just an orphaned son
Made into the Man of The House
Burning down all around my family
Because I am stronger now
In feeling and being loved
Because I know
About hormones PTSD
Medications TIAs CVAs
Such letters and words
Part of my cells’ memory
Angels told me Sister would emerge
They spoke of turbulence
This warrior I am now summoned
The Universe to help her heal
Quieting those voices that became her fears
As wisdom slowly seeped onto her path
I did as I was told and advised from afar

Sending in Angels
Speaking in Tongues with spirits
Conversing in jargon with siblings nurses
Prayers, chants, lessons, consults
All the time knowing her voice
Would soon heal and return

Sister sister heal now through love
Wisdom flowing through me to you
Across our thousands’ miles
Strengthening your Inner Voice
As I sit alone and meditate
Unlike when I was a child
And could only hear
Hell’s voice inside Mom’s head

 

 

Copyright © 2018 by John David Higham: All Rights Reserved
Photo: Infinity (Lehigh Tunnel)

Without Pen (No Life I)

There calls me
Solitude needs me
I need nothing
I need no one

Pen in my hand
I am complete
Soul bursting to leak out
Without Pen
(No life I)

Words, approximations
Of here and now
Moments lost
Like unrepentant ghosts
This soul I bleed
Through my pen’s point
In life’s forests

Without a word
(No life I)
Instead living without description
Sensing without meaning
Flowing into a void
So lost so dead

My letters are my words
Are my sentences are my paragraphs
Are my pages are my books
Are my collections
Are my soul are my essence
Growing to places beyond
The ground scraping
My belly and the sun
Burning my skin

I am
I am me
I am you
I am us just then
In that blessed union
Of pen to paper
Of fingertip to keyboard
Of words
Of worlds
Joining me to you
Though no one can compete
With all those worlds
Inside my head
That I keep discovering
While contemplating
No one living being

Still I shall
Leave you crumbs
Shaped like letters
On the floor
Of this forest
Read my words
Embrace your worlds
Hurry hurry
Hurry before
Ravens and crows
Eat them all

 

Copyright © 2018 by John David Higham: All Rights Reserved
Photo: EXIT 152 (July 2018)

When Visions Come

September 26 2015 111

When visions come
All these things
I see I hear I taste I smell I feel
That you and you and you
Cannot will not ever want to
Come flowing through my consciousness
Coursing like water through a pipe
Creating endless curiosities
In my silly logical mind

These visions are not me not mine
Not you not yours
But are briefly of me of mine
Of us of them of everyone
As they cross my awareness
In dreams in waking slumber

Death love pain bliss success failure
All woven into a cosmic blanket
Draped over my naked soul
I am nobody I am everybody just then
I am that vision that scene that place
So torn away from my corporeal self
Wandering Earth a lost and found spirit
Until it drifts away to memory
Until it becomes manifest
In the now in the then in the later

You must warn them
The fearful say
Saving the innocent
And defeating the demons

You must use them
The ambitious say
Taking all that is yours
And manifesting your destiny

You must disown them
The religious say
For knowing such things is evil
And you must please God

You must stop them
The doctors preach
For having visions is crazy
And require me be treated

No mortal not even I
Know my role my sanity
Even after visions come
Am I cold to the victims’ blood
For listening to The Angels
Who speak from beyond religion
Who speak from beyond morals
Who speak from beyond reason
Who speak to enlighten me

No Devil No God
I have looked into both eyes
And felt their touches
In my spirit in my life

I am
My path my future my past
A thousand times each moment
Knowing what is mine
Knowing what is yours
The visions make them ours
For an eternal moment

Knowing being doing
Are the eternal problems
Grounding grounding grounding
Meditating meditating meditating
Fasting fasting fasting
Are the eternal solutions
When visions come

 

Copyright © 2018 John David Higham: All Rights Reserved
Photo: The Solitary Tree (Windfall: September 2015)

Thirty-Nine Years On

 

July 14 2015 Sedona and Phoenix 093

 

How broken me nineteen
Bits of pieces scattered around
A room, rented
Out of money
Out of home
Out of love
Out of time
Nothing but a razor in my hand
And determination to stop being

No hero me
Just a child felt tossed away like scraps
For the flies and carrion birds to feed on
This homeless victim orphan drop-out

T-shirt faded
Wrapped ‘round my bicep
Shiny razor in hand
Scratching, scratching, scratching
From wrist to elbow to wrist to elbow
Steel and skin waiting their final
Dance into oblivion

Eyes mine saw hand upon my steel
Mine all mine all mine all mine
My choice my action made so ludicrous
Just then and then and then and forever

Hand mine holding death’s instrument
Like a pen in search of my blood’s ink
This is what I am doing to do what I must?

Homeless orphan drop-out failure loser me
Put down that blade
Loosened the stained t-shirt
Felt blood flowing just then
From wrist to elbow to wrist to elbow
Still within my veins beneath that scratch

No disappearing that day or nevermore
No matter labels no matter wounds
No matter pain no matter losses
No matter solitude no matter fears
No disappearing that day or nevermore

Turning pain into prose poetry
Suicidality into intuition empathy wisdom
And all that into abundance love bliss
From weapon of self-destruction to warrior
From self-hating to sending healing
From lost in darkness to flying into sunrises
Living each day each moment each now
Even during this glorious anniversary
Thirty-nine years on

Copyright © 2018 John David Higham: All Rights Reserved
Photo: Sunset Rainbow (Sedona, July 2015)

Mothers Three

Mothers Three May 13 IMG

Mothers three I’ve had this life
The first from who I emerged
Fought and fought and fought to live
And did so but for her shortest decade
Before paradise crumbled all around her
And she called my name in darkest night
To protect her and her other children
From all the Hells Dad and her imagination
Created and re-created in worlds real and deluded

Before she crossed over, I knew her fate
Though remained her loyal son at all costs
Believing the unbelievable
Accepting the unacceptable
Controlling the uncontrollable
So many bruises my fists did make
Upon both flesh and souls

Mother Two loved Her Jesus
Blaming Mom for her own death
And saw us six kids as sinners to be rescued
Through neglect and abuse
Justified in her mind when converting
The Poor Higham Children into Christians

Her hands I grabbed when she tried to hit me
Her life I held in mine just then at the top of the stairs
Balancing her just so ‘til she promised to never hit
Never try hitting me again during that Summer of Hell
Wise in her terror, she backed down and I too softened
To her words though remained on guard until
My siblings and I could find another mother

Mother Three was there as best she could
When I was desperately lost and called to her
When all my pain roared forth and threatened to end me
In my freedom that became my Hell that only she could stop
Though when she later ended our relationship I laughed it off
During my three-minute visits at her office
Filled with conversations planning for arrangements
Destined to never take place

On this Mother’s Day I know Mothers Three
Each did their best to love and nurture
On my path I now see bits and pieces of each in the mothers
Who come through my office with their troubled children
Trying to make sense of the illogical
Trying to be wise in the face of chaos
Trying to show love toward the hostile

Their paths are never easy and their burdens are many
This I know in more than a few ways as I
Send in The Angels to their lives their souls
And to the Mothers Three

Copyright © 2018 by John David Higham: All Rights Reserved

Photo: Mom (Circa 1945)

Snake (Transmutation)

Snake (Transmutation) Image May 11 2018 IMG-3866

This road that punctured my skin
Injecting venom into my viscera
How it stopped me on my path
And brought death so close
That I had to stop living and breathing
And just be in the flickering twilight
Where language lost all meaning
Where love lost all feeling
Where time lost urgency
Where will lost all power

Too scared to move as the creature
Wrapped its head around my world
And sprayed its stream into my every limb
Rendering each lifeless and flaccid
I knew not life
I knew not joy
I knew not me

No pain I felt except in thought
As numbness now coursed through
My each and every fiber of my being
Freezing everything and everyone about me
Paralyzing me in my poisoned pool of me
Others could not see because I did not show
Others could not hear because I did not speak
Others could not know because I did not educate
As what I called life was sucked out my veins

No crises answered could they try
As this road’s fangs were mine to remove
From my violated flesh though this beast
Not an enemy to be once removed
But instead placed gently on a heated rack
For it to bask so that I will always know
The lessons it had brought in changing me
From that someone I had once been
And no longer need to be

Copyright © 2018 by John David Higham: All Rights Reserved
Photo: Sky, Land and Road Through Windshield (Windfall, 2018)

I Am Here

I Am Here 8 26 17

I am here
Alive and ready for this path
No matter the joys the pains or how often
My feet may pause or my tongue may become still
Though my eyes may not appear to see
All going on around me on my path
And my ears my not seem to hear the laughter the crying
And my hands may not move to heal pain to defeat evil

I am here Smelling the trees as they quietly grow season to season
And looking over the grasses and the flowers and the skies
And sending joy out to all who look upon such scenes
With their eyes with their imaginations with their memories
As they seek refuge in their darkest night or to make their noon brighter

Together, we grow our strength ever beyond strong
Fed by hope and love even as whirlwinds uproot lives all around us
And give rise to fears from hellish pasts or intimidating futures

In the stillness of our souls as the power of The Universe
Cleanses our every cell, flowing through us replenishing us
No matter how far apart we are measured by mere miles mere lifetimes
As we remain eternally joined through our souls

We are here
Alive and ready for our intertwined paths
As The Universe’s DNA
 

© Copyright 2017 by John David Higham. All rights reserved.

Photo: Meditation Landscape (Lewisburg, August 26, 2017)

Dear Death

Death 8 21 17

 

I sense you
I feel your long pale fingers
As they touch and take the lives around me
Indeed, I sense the coldness of your touch
The killing frost that you are to all who could grow

Twenty-five years ago
I learned of your path into my body
You either didn’t think me a listener as you whispered
In that Reiki Master’s ear or else figured I wouldn’t feel her
Remorse when she recognized your energies entwined with mine

You fool
I had heard your dirges over a decade before
When we played together in my room late at night
A cord tied tightly ‘round my neck
As you patiently waited for my feet to step off and into your arms
Even before you seduced Mom with promises of release
As “How Long” and “When Will I See You Again”
Sang questions that I alone answered aloud to both myself
And you in the crumbling bunker of my adolescence

You didn’t scare me then
As instead the living called to action by The Angels
Forced me so deep into hell that I then begged with my razor
For you to escort me to my ancestors

As a child of nine thirteen years earlier
You caught me off-guard just once
Because then you were just something that happened
To people on TV named King and Kennedy, not Higham

You broke into my life a little at a time back then
Stealing Saturday afternoons and chess games from me
A secret companion Mom shared only after you had come and gone
On Mother’s Day as if her not mentioning you until after you stole Dad
Might make you forever disappear

I sense you
In the faces of a friend’s child
Those who ask me for prayers and energy
On Facebook
In the news
In my waking world
In my dreams or
In the future wrinkled faces
Of my children

I feel the bones the lives the families that you will shatter
As I walk among the ruins you’ve created
My tears and my grief are not for you
Even as I will continue to sense
Who you will only touch and who you will take
And how you will finally take me
But I will never again fear you
Or again deceive myself
Into believing you should
Into persuading you must
Embrace me before your time

© Copyright 2017 by John David Higham. All rights reserved.

Photo: Death (August 21, 2017)