"The Poet's Wall" by Ivy C. Machida

Walls separate, walls shield, walls crumble

A sprawling walled-in hideaway
A sacred spread of greenery
A haven of bliss and tranquility
Secluded from raucous sound and sight

A rippling, meandering rivulet
Glided around rustic rocks and trees
Flowering shrubs and blooming stalks
In tune with nature's wondrous hues and tints.

Alone in the vast embrace of earth and sky
Sheltered beneath the cloak at dawn and dusk
He sat and mused with his rocks and stones
And penned his mystic melancholic tones

In zen-like reverence; lamenting, eulogizing
Bemoaning his long-departed love
Who left before her time in that cloistered garden
They snugly tilled and toiled, away from all.

Bereft now of human warmth and touch
He nursed and tended the flowering plants
And gently nestled her favorite ones
Grieving with each remembered loss and pain.

One day in May when the sun was out
Half-hidden by a cottony cloud
A gust of wind swirled around him
Rustling the winsome sweet Forget-me-not

As he knelt to caress the wavering plant
The wandering wind gushed swiftly by his ear
As she whispered, "Take heart, do not fret, I am here"
He felt her essence deep within, but the wind was gone.

He clasped his hands as the tears fell,
And praised his caring, doting deity.

He lingered long in his wooded habitat
Amidst fragrant scents and chirping insects
And song-birds zigzagging in the air
Deriving strength to meet each dewy day.

And it came about, one day abruptly
When he felt the stab within his heart -
A call to relinquish all that's stark and earthly
And in zen-like meditative stance, take his leave.

He felt his knees buckling as he weeded,
His legs stiffening and his chest suffocating -
His mind spiraled toward a passing cloud
Hailing it as he reached out for a ride.

He cried to his deity
Yielding a reality that came his way.

He heeded the call to smash the wall
That protected all in his secluded hermitage
To let them fade and fall like all things archaic -
His rocks and trees and worldly whims.

I watched as he bade adieu to what he cherished most -
The tears oozing like his roving rivulet
Streaming down his barren neck and heaving chest
To reach the nooks and crags of his grieving heart

The time is nigh to scrap this brief temporal span
And return to dust what once was dust assuredly
And retreat sublime to the void of Zen tranquility
Eternally thus entwined with the rustling wind

In a garden anew with seeds of love and affection
A heavenly harvest reap forevermore.

"I Doubt" by Joe Zanghi

I doubt. . .
I doubt things will get better
You know what I’m talking about. . .
I doubt my hair will regrow
Aging vs anti-aging
Anti-aging is all the rage these days, but it’s really nothing new.
Someday, science may inject stem cells as a cure
for whatever ails you
The future is uncertain; this I know

I doubt. . .
If fact, I’m full out doubts”
I doubt I’ll ever bowl a perfect game
I doubt I’ll ever get a hole-in-one
I doubt that I’ll live to 101
I doubt I’ll ever win the lottery
A stroke of luck—the odds of winning, 100 million to one
The lucky winner: one day the person is a penniless bum
The next, that person is now blessed with life of fun
And all the person did to earn this was: to take a chance
“Everything in life is luck,” I once heard Donald Trump say.
A man who also said, “The point is that you can’t be too greedy.”
What a pig, that pussy grabbing president of the USA.

They say, “life isn’t fair.”
Isn’t that the greatest understatement ever made.
A lot of it—Luck—depends on where you were born.
I doubt. . .
I doubt in world Peace
I doubt wars will end
I doubt Jesus will come back again

In fact, I doubt there is a God
Preachers, oh, they’ll tell you what to believe
But if you knew nothing about the Bible
And instead tuned on the TV
On the screen, there was a story of some Super Man
Who created a planet 13.6 billion years ago
Looking down, watching our every move
Who has a plan. . . and a judgment day
If you believe this, I will sell you swamp land
Or you’d vote for a con man
Is everything like reality TV?
Are we living in the Twilight Zone?

I doubt sayings like “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Sometimes, I clearly hear myself say, “No Fucking way!”
Doubt is not fake
Doubt is acceptable, certainty is absurd
“Buddhism is not a creed, it is a doubt” said Gilbert K. Chesterton

And I believe, the sun will come up tomorrow
The sun will come up whether I’ll awake to see it, or not.

And I doubt. . .
I doubt that I’ll get laid tonight.

"What would you do for love?" - Joe Zanghi

What would you do for love?
In pursuit of an answer, I have a few other questions to help sort out this conundrum:
Would you walk, say, walk 500 miles, over hot burning coals?
Would you cross a desert . . . would you journey across the sands without even a canteen?
Would you swim across the sea . . . of shark-infested waters?
Probably not . . .
Would you climb a mountain to the top of the world’s highest peak
Then capitulate, jumping off the cliff, and plunging into Love’s abyss?
And would you call this Love or hyperbole?

Or, do you play it safe and retreat?
Spending your time . . . spending your life wandering the endless streets
Checking out bland faces
In a world of common want and greed
But, I don’t want play the role of the cynic here either

The times of falling in Love are very few . . .
In your whole life, maybe just one or two
Maybe counting Love on only one index finger
The kind of Love that comes just once in a lifetime
To have such a Love, just this one time—
Infinitely better than having found no love at all—
At least this is what poets say.

What would you do for love?
For that someone who takes your breath away
When they send you floating instead of walking down the street
Lifting you up… with the feeling of being so high you can touch the stars
Riding on the Milky Way

When you like to look at that person
They seem to shine in your eyes
When the conversation is give and take
And not a one-way street
The way she turns me on
A state of ecstasy, to be in a trance-like state
She takes me home
Watching her sleep
As if she were dreaming the same dream as me
Love is a drug (and you know how I like drugs)

When you think of that person day and night
Their image stays in your head
When she is not there, something seems wrong
Infinitely worse than when your iPhone is missing (for comparison)
The world is askew . . . you have no idea what to do.

Love . . . Love has no rules
And upon this reflection, I can’t decide whether this fact:
Love has no rules
You tell me: is Love kind or is it cruel?

What would you do for love?
Would you give up everything?