Strive

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i don’t recognize this smile

winking behind uncharted waters

buoyed, backlit

by joy and expectation

used to be, could only see

floor free depths of drowning

currents concaving + flexing

not even bothering to beckon

sandprints

venturing far, far away from

chartered courses

into unanticipated undersea caves of

human emotion

bristling bone carapaces teeming with

squirmy sentiment

lit only mildly with

blue burning deathless torches of apathy

but cobalt hues and gray questions

no longer surround me, striving to

fulfill the commands

of their rock bottom masters

i learned to be

unstoppable force and swaying reed

give both the respect they deserve

and, flung free,

flourish

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Probe

Dim the lights

and cue the madcap introspection tango

stagger leap across the stage as

we rummage through

the tag sale of our thoughts&history

probe our emotional fault lines with gloves on

glide past the burnt metal tang of failure

the smoky rich umber of nostalgia

dip & inspect the chalk outlines

dotting our sidewalks of sins

as we pick through our offerings.

all too often our biased goggles

spin & sift past the positive pickings,

only to hone in

on the polished, soiled gold of negativity.

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