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)

four-1 (yrs) on no1 2tell

stories told
days left empty

four-1 (yrs) on no 1 2tell
re: battles fought
victories claimed

success i 8
shoveled on my dish
w/o rhymes or metre
2 make cents
out of nonsense

all that flow, flow, flowing
throws me out of kilter
words splinter my soul
visions unknown

seeing all i believe
believing all i see
me 2 believe in me

so mean rt now
full of btw
thrown like darts
missing bulleyes
missing battles

losing lost (again)
finding new challenges
living new stories
told in
four-1 (yrs)
2 no1

copyright 2019: all rights reserved

photo: Rt 549: 41 Yrs on. (Mill Creek, 12/19)

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

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)

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)

Sky Eagle River

IMG_0308

Don’t be afraid to be the sky
And share your beauty and inspiration
So that all will look up at you
And see themselves

Be endless in your passion your life
And see the love in all
No matter if your mind makes them
Of your above of your below

Be boundless in your life your space
And open to others being within it
Breathing in your air
As you breathe in theirs

Don’t be afraid to be the eagle
And show others how to fly alone
Even before they’ve grown their wings

Be generous with your gifts your wisdom
And stay grateful to receive all things
From all who you encounter
While you soar

Be patient in your flight
With those who aspire as you did you do
Hope and aspiration
Lifts many an otherwise grounded wing

Don’t be afraid to be the river
And quench the thirst of those who drink
And cleanse wash their wounds
That would otherwise stain them

Be patient when they block they impede
And instead bounce off
Always cleansing always connected always flowing

Be willing to join others
Yet know when you need to transform
Evaporating up to the sky
Crashing back down to Earth

Don’t be afraid to be the mountain
And stand firm in your storms
Remaining formidable to your foes

Be open to allowing others to explore
Your vistas your dark crevices
As you both discover your mysteries

Be fearless in allowing the river
To erode your valleys your gorges
And turn your stone into rich soil
That helps feed others you may never know

Don’t be afraid to be the wind
And blow away fears while bringing passion
To those in the doldrums and caught in their webs

Be forceful and present in your passion
Be quite and still in your solitude
Carrying voices like secrets
Accepting that they are not yours

Move around move over
As obstacles mean nothing
Though beware the collision of hot of cold
That can mold you into a tornado
That can mold you into a hurricane

Don’t be afraid to be the rock
And allow others to balance on your firmness
To see beyond their worlds beyond their limits

Be resolute and know when to yield
Accept that you must become the soil
And be transported by the wind the rain
As part of your journey off your mountain

Don’t be afraid to be the sun
And illuminate both your path and those on it
With your abundant hope and optimism

Shine light accept light
Others give off by just being
No matter their universe
Illuminate their darkness your darkness
Heat your cold their cold

Sky eagle river
Mountain wind rock and sun
Be each at your time
Know each in your day
As each calls to you

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

Photo: Being at Thirty-Five Thousand Feet

The Home I Grew Up In

The home I grew up in
Had no roof
So that the sun could shine through
So that the moon could cast its glow
On all that I did
And
So that the clouds could cover the sun
And the rain
And the snow
Could water my body
Could water my feet
Could water my family
Whenever they needed it.

The home I grew up in
Had no exterior walls
So that wind could sweep
Out all the dust and cobwebs
Whenever they needed sweeping.

The home I grew up in
Had no doors
So that everyone living there
Could come and go
Whenever they needed coming or going.

The home I grew up in
Had no windows
So that my eyes could see
So that my ears could hear
My neighborhood
And it could see
And it could hear
As much of me as it wanted
Whenever they needed seeing or hearing.

The home I grew up in
Had no interior walls
So I could learn never to lean
So I could learn never to back against anyone
So I could learn never to back against anything
So I could learn never to be cornered
Whenever I desired leaning or backing or being cornered.

The home I grew up in
Had no floor
So that the earth could hold me
When I stood
When I ran
When I slept
When I crouched down
When I leapt with all my might
Far away from that home.

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

Deepest Night

img_3629-1-27-17-deepest-night

In the deepest night when the dark is darkest
The roar of the wind threatens to blow away the world
My dreams have been chased away by nightmares
The mouth made cold by words I cannot speak.

The eyes can only see the diabolical
The skin turns so brittle that even a butterfly’s touch
Makes it crumble
And dissolve into the desert sands.

I would be lost if I moved, but instead I freeze
Or worse, turn circles counterclockwise as I try twisting
Into the barren sheets in search of elusive sanctuary.

Waking alone, blue skies postponed and cancelled
Memories now prisons and plans now absurd fantasies
Flaming wreckage from all my tumbling castles
Obliterating the path and hindering my progress.

My house no longer a home in my empty bed
But still I rise and find that day, find that sunrise
That only I can see, that only I will celebrate.

May you never suffer my deepest night
The eternal strength it gives me
The optimism and hope growing stronger
After my every infinite sojourn through Hell
And re-emergence with soul and scars glowing.

© 2017 by John David Higham: All Rights Reserved
Photo: Desk (Windfall, PA: January 27, 2017)

I Am the Sun

img_3402-i-am-the-sun-1-22-17

When the sky darkens
With the approaching storm,
When the sky darkens
With the fading day,
I will not retreat.

When the shouts drown out the smiles
And children stop being happy,
When sadness becomes infectious
And metastasizes into gloom,
I will not despair.

When the numbers overwhelm
And all feelings become scary,
When all lose forever all hope
And desperation paints all into corners,
I will not surrender.

When heavy rains turn creeks into torrents
Of heavy brown turbulent mud
That erodes both earth and lives,
I will not get swept away.

When death and its stench
Foul the land and our nostrils,
When sobbing is the only
Sound greeting the morning,
I will not stop living.

I will not succumb
To all the hells that have been
To all the hells all around me
To all the hells that will be.

I am burning bright even in darkest night
Glowing above the most terrifying storm
Not dimmed by events on Earth or in sky;
My eternal joy, hope and optimism burn
Stronger than mere dogma, fear, and power.

I am the sun.

© 2017 by John David Higham: All Rights Reserved
Sky, Sun, and Earth (Windfall Road, January 21, 2017)