Rope Burns

As life gets heavier,
my grip naturally tightens.
I am playing tug of war,
and on the other side
of the rope is the fear
that I lose all hope.
I am always trying
to stay grounded when
my mind is flying.
I am trying to live
instead of thinking
of death or dying.
When I try to pull,
I feel that the hole
in my soul becomes
filled: almost full.
In this life, I tug, tug,
and tug. I attempt to
stand on top of a rug
that is being pulled
from under me. See,
these rope burns
come easy. I won’t
slip or lose my grip
until the sweet taste
of victory drips off
of my quivering lips.

The Dumb Idiom Bum

I think he caught his second wind.
He keeps his cards close to his chest.
His back to the wall, he does his best
to weather the storm. Most thought
of him as a dumb idiom bum. Yet,
he was richer than the rest. He lives
in a house of business cards. Bet
he is a cat among the pigeons.
He buries every hatchet and burns
every bridge. He goes out on a limb
in cold blood. When life seems dim,
he looks on the bright side. Life is no
picnic, but it doesn’t get out of hand.
He writes his poems in a black book
in front of black cats with black caps.
He may give you the cold shoulder
or a skeleton from his closet. He is
the only human in a room full
of elephants wearing tight pants.
He raises the bar outside the lines.
He stays in the loop: has the scoop.
He will not drain his swamp.
No pain. No gain. And, he is here
to stay. The dumb idiom bum
chooses to live against the grain
because he is a free-spirit up to
no good for God knows how long.