Tree Songs

Endure, we’re all seeking to endure——-like a stationary pine tree trying to out run a forest-fire.  It’s not fair that out of control forest fires are called wildfires and are measured by the acres of forest they feed on; but tree’s are measured by the rings that spiral our from their center. Tree’s don’t have a heart that beats, but they have sap for tears, slow motion tears dripping down their bark like skin. 

I never really considered a tree being a tree, nothing more—- nothing less——-no different I suppose than you and I——nothing more, nothing less.  I sat and stared at a tree today.  It was windy out, and I watched as it swayed and danced in the breeze. I listened to the wind through its branches, and it sang a sweet song. I never consider the songs of a tree—-it made me smile.  Native Americans believed that all things——-tree’s, boulders, bears, all have souls——-and maybe they’re right. One religion holds no moral high ground over any other religion. Praying, meditation, fasting, wind through a pine tree——-they’re all, more or less, the same. 

I talk to tree’s, I listen to the secret language of rushing rivers, I thank the sun for her warmth, I let the stars guide me. Most call this crazy talk, but this comes from the ones handcuffed to their cell phones, imprisoned by made up virtual worlds——we’re all, more or less, crazy.  

If Jesus could walk on water, then why is it strange to believe that trees can sing? 

“Looking at life from a different perspective makes you realize that it’s not the deer that is crossing the road, rather it’s the road that is crossing the forest.” – Muhammad Ali

Things I Wish I’d Said

There are words I wish I’d said. But I always told myself there’d be time for words, 26 letters assembled into some future confession of love.  But tomorrow is never guaranteed——-the future is a theory, an algebra problem where x doesn’t always equal y——a law of physics that can’t explain the speed of loneliness. But it takes courage to say what’s often left out because it’s so much easier to comment on the weather. Why is “I love you” a secret tattoo hidden beneath your long sleeved heart. I tell myself, “Oh it’s obvious, they already know how I feel.” But that’s bullshit I feed myself. Do you ever check to see if your emotional Fitbit has reached your quota of kind words required in a day? Why is it that anger and petty complaints come so much easier than kindness and compassion? These emotions are stuck on mute in a movie with no subtitles. It’s easy to mistake a deep kiss for a vampires siphon, like that feeling you get from someone who’s always taking, but never giving back. But then, without warning, there are those who’s humanity walks me back from the edge. Things I wished I’d said, “Jackie Gleason was right, baby you’re the greatest.” “I’m so fortunate to have you in my life”. “You make me laugh, cause you’re the only other person I know who’s favorite movie is ‘Herold and Maude’”. “Thanks for ‘getting me’.”  “You make ‘goodbye’ the saddest of all words.” “Thank you, thank you, thank you for being you.”

Don’t let anyone tell you that poetry is ‘nice’, because it’s not, it’s a clumsy coping mechanism to escape the chains of depression. It storms the tower and breaches the walls of isolation. It doesn’t make everything okay, but it makes the darkest hours of the soul tolerable. Tolerable?—–Thinking too hard, feeling too deeply, is a road leading to a cliff just beyond the horizon. I put my thumb over your wrist until I feel your pulse match mine, we gradually fall into a comfortable rhythm. The heart is a muscle because it takes so much strength to reach out to another.  Things I wish I’d said, “I choose you.” “If I had to be quarantined for the rest of my life, I’d want to spend it with you.”  “You make me wish I were a piano, cause your touch makes me feel like music.” “You make me believe everything is gonna be okay, one moment at a time”. “You’ve always been there for me and I’ll always be there for you.”  “You stood up for me when the ones who I thought would give a shit just couldn’t be bothered.” “My heart will always be your 7-11, a bit shabby but open day or night for you.”

Love isn’t like a pair of flip flops that claims one size fits all. I’ve tried on the wrong size only to be left with painful blisters. Sometimes love is something you struggle to squeeze into because it no longer fits comfortably.  Sometimes it’s all false bravado and make believe——it takes trust to be allowed inside another’s world——-Be careful who you share you world with, it may leave you with painful blisters and a bad case of athletes foot—-one size doesn’t fit all. I know this because, I have small feet and a big heart. In all this chaos that makes up a life, finding a true friend is a rare and beautiful thing. Things I wish I’d said,“ ”You and I are a good fit”. “I desire you”. “In this world of 7 billion people, I’d always choose you to be my partner”. ”After all the meanness this world can dish out, you somehow make it worthwhile.”.  “When my day has been shitty, you have a way of making me feel better”.  You taste like spicy chili on a snowy January night, you’re my comfort food.” “You smell like a July afternoon at the beach, a blend of Sea and Ski suntan lotion and a salty sea breeze—-you’re the sun on my face”. “I won’t let anyone hurt you.” “You make me laugh in a world constructed of bullshit and lost promises”. 

There are those who will tell you that you have all the time in the world, but that’s a lie. Time is a Salvador Dali clock slowly sliding off the shelf of your life. But we pretend we are immortals, that we can transcend life and death with a foreverness, but forever is like trying to comprehend a blackhole where at its center time stands still. If I could, I’d pull you in beyond the event horizon and give you a forever kiss. And who say’s “Theoretical Physics” can’t be romantic? When I think of these impossible thoughts for too long, I scare myself. My emotions are like the lone hitchhiker on a dark stretch of a deserted highway.  Should I stop and pick this stranger up or just keep moving on? You can never be sure who or what you’re letting in.  It might be a stranded depression, a deserted memory, or an abandoned truth.  Or, perhaps emotions are more like Jenga?  You just never know what will happen by pulling out a single block from the tower of teetering blocks. And, if it all comes down, do I have the time to put it all back together? It takes a lot longer to build something than it is to tear it down. Time is a rogue wave, you never see it coming until its crashed on you and swept you out to sea. Things I wish I’d said, “If you were drowning, I’d dive in and save you.” “I feel better just knowing you are out there”. “Thanks for listening.” “Thanks for making me feel like I belong.”  “Lets you and I take a walk in the woods.” “When I was ready to take the ten count——When everyone was screaming for me to just stay down, you gave me the strength to get back up, you are my second wind.”

One Sided Prayers

We must have a long talk on all these things, even though there is no answer at the end of the stammering and good intentioned pledges.  We’ll just walk and talk never knowing where it’s all leading. We’ll open up, share a laugh and resurrect our forlorn secrets about first loves, ——-lost loves—— and those forbidden loves that don’t stand a chance——-these loves are always the deepest of the deep. I put up with the day to day bullshit, with all its tedium and pain, if only to have another teaspoon of her. The kiss intended for her is now covered in dust. But, if that kiss were ever reclaimed from the janitors lost and found closet, it would be tainted with the taste of Lysol and Bleach. And perhaps that explains why the smell of cleansers make me horny.

I measure my worth by the longevity of my friendships, and you are unmistakably one of the remaining few. I scare most off with my “unconventional ways”——-which is a nice way of saying I’m “weird”—— too intense, awkward, strange, vulnerable, unpredictable, complex, infuriating, difficult, opinionated and hard to get close too. And my list of bad qualities is the flip side of societies constrained definition of normality. I’d rather be a freak—–instead of another sheep.

Let’s take a “trust walk” back to that street where we grew up, back to those hard learned lessons. Where we first discovered we were different from the rest. We told the bullies to fuck off, cause we’re proud motha-fuckas, not needing anyones approval or acceptance. Lonely people sacrifice their true identity to find companionship—-but I’ve never been lonely. In fact, being around people usually leaves me feeling fatigued and ironically alone. Hung across the door of my soul is a sign that reads “No Soliciting”. I observe, I wonder and then I write shit down. Fiction, non fiction, they’re just stories we tell ourselves. Fuck it! Smile for the camera. Perhaps, today will someday be our “good ole days?” Our “Camelot”. But for now, meaning is slippery, truth malleable and love overrated except for movies, songs and wet dreams. Forbidden fantasies is all that holds my evaporating life together.  

It’s another late afternoon, filled with a Sunday sadness, those long summer shadows overtaking my half written poems and one sided prayers. This time of day inspires nothing, but rather leaves me feeling all but forgotten, like a silent scream underwater. I want to light my words on fire, but my words like you, are out of reach——-as distant as dry lightening, like the space between what is, what use to be or what could have been?——- I’v grown weary of trying to bridge these ever expanding gaps. This life has become a Rubik’s cube in the hands of a blind man.

When does hope trade places with apathy and love become a panhandling beggar? I’m not sorry, if the things I say no longer reach you. My words like a dull blade run across your jugular, scarlet ribbons running down my hands….

Words, words, words——they twist and turn in the wind—-they can be so vague and misleading, but when used with skill and art-fullness, they can sing with such eloquence that they cut straight to the heart bypassing our clever minds. Some think in words, some feel in words——but words are flawed representations, sometimes it’s all cold left overs and truth scraps.

My love is like a mime, it requires no words.

Victor S. Uriz II