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Monday, October 01, 2012

Childhood Cheerios and Memories

I just dropped some Cheerios on the floor,
and I flashed back to a time when they were yours,
falling from your high chair, spilling from your bowl,
and you, happy faced, cherishing them like gold.

Sitting in just a diaper, carefully using your little fingers,
you put them one-by-one into your two-toothed mouth.
You slobbered and grinned, the memory still lingers,
you seemed to savor the flavor, but then spat them out.

And there they were, on the tray, some in your hair,
some inside your diaper (not sure how they got there),
you laughed as I cleaned you, pausing to tickle your feet,
said "no" so seriously when I asked if you needed more to eat.

Then, off to the races the moment you hit the ground,
and I chasing after, yelling for you to slow down;
you laughing hysterically, never turning around.

I now understand, it was a metaphor for the rest of our lives,
and soon you both will be wanting husbands and wives,
and I will move ever more slowly as you two are fruitful and multiply.

Who would believe? All of that from a bowl of breakfast cereal?
Memories so fleeting, generating emotions sublime and ethereal.

I wonder and marvel at this thing we call "time,"
how it causes children to age at near the speed of light.

How, today, I am the one digesting memories and dropping food on the floor.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tree of Life

No matter how high a tree may grow,
it can never touch the sun.
Yearn though it will, strive how it might,
it can never reach that golden height.

God planted the tree of life in His garden,
firmly rooted upon this good earth.
We are the fruit borne of that tree of life,
grown in the beautiful garden of God's delight.

We, too, yearn for the heavens,
offering our sincere prayers to the sky.
We, too, struggle to reach that light,
to move from shadow into God's sight.

Like apples, sometimes we fall quickly,
smashing down with a rock hard thud.
Or like leaves, we take momentary flight,
twirling gently down into God's good night.

Either way we can never fully attain
the elevation needed to rise above the stain,
we are the bruised fruit of this worldly life,
and our children, our seeds, inherit our blight.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

A Shade of Love

I see a dark shape pass quickly by,
just a glimpse from the corner of my eye,
but when I turn to face the open door,
I see nothing but my shadow upon the floor.

Still, a cold shiver bumps up my skin
as I wonder why it happened again,
this feeling that it is you,
or, rather, your love's shade,
that frequently visits me
in this discomfiting way.

My father, my mother,
my sister, my brother
-- all of whom now soar
on ethereal wings --
any of them, I ponder?
Could they be visiting me
from their new home up yonder?

But I know that isn't true.
In heaven, I am sure
there are better things to do
than to visit again this baleful earth,
or to pine for love left behind,
here inside this painful curse.

No, it is certain that if I am haunted
by the wight of a love that once I vaunted,
then that shade of love is certainly yours,
so why, damned ghost, be so demure?

Out from the shadows, out from the heart,
you shade of love hidden there in the dark.
Out of my life, and out of my mind,
quit stealing my joy, quit robbing me blind.

Leave me alone now, you dreadful ghost,
and rest in peace, you whom I loved the most.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Carry The Present

Multiply your future happiness,
add in a few more years,
remember to carry the present,
subtract time for past tears,
and then you have a tally,
the mathematics of being here.

Shoulder your current burdens,
lift them up and soldier on,
remember, too, carry the present,
the gift of God's love here and yon.
To bear the yoke and heaven's rein,
carry the present ever and anon.

We are repeaters of heavenly powers,
receivers of signals, like radio towers
we carry the present will of God,
we transmit His invisible thought abroad,
in our thoughts, our actions, and our prayers,
we make this present reality from His rarified air.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

How Question Mark

How often do I think of you?
As often as one plus one is two;
Whenever the sunny sky is blue;
That's how often I think of you.

How much do I wish for you?
Every time a star shines through;
Every time the grass makes dew;
That's how much I wish for you.

How long will I wait for you?
Until the end of days is through;
Until my name upon cold granite is hewn;
That's how long I will wait for you.

How often? How much? How long?
Until my heart is dead and gone.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Interstice

Truth often shines brightest from the interstice,
that unconscious space between
purposive thoughts when, unguarded,
a flash of intuition gives us an unobstructed
view of our truest selves.

Unvarnished, unflattering, undeniable,
like drunken words uttered late at night
to a lover for whom the heart has grown cold,
the truth of ourselves is hard to touch,
hurtful to hear, impossible to escape.

Judge not lest ye be judged,
an unrelentingly hard way to compose a life,
but the truth of those words
never shines brighter than when
we see ourselves through the interstice,
perceiving ourselves through God's fingers
spread across His disappointed face.

Let not the narrow spaces be a discomfort,
take joy in the fact that truth
intercedes so sparingly into ordinary life.
More frequently, and our spirits would be crushed.
More brightly, and our souls would be scorched
by the heat of unprotected truth.

God's gift may be His decision to give us His
truth in poisonous little drops that we can endure,
and which we can only receive through the interstice.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

Craving What You Cannot Have

Type two diabetes is a death sentence
for the way you used to live your life.
Suddenly the sweet things you loved to eat
are no longer a part of your diet.

So you change. You adapt.
You learn to accept that bland
food, and aspertame after taste,
are all that you have left
to look forward to for
the rest of your ever loving life.

But you never stop craving
the things you can't have.

In a lot of ways, it is
like my love for you.

No longer available,
no longer good for me,
no longer a pleasure to
anticipate and enjoy.

Saccharine sweet, you were,
but your love left me with a
very bitter after taste.
Had I indulged you further,
it would have been the death of me.

And still, I find myself
craving what I cannot have.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Buddha Cookie

The Buddha says I can search the universe
and still never find someone who deserves my
love as much as me.

The cookie fortune I have in my office
tells me "Love yourself first and
everything else falls into line."

Buddha
and the fortune cookie company
are conspiring to send me
a message.

If only loving myself
was as easy as eating
a Buddha cookie.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Homesick

I have always been homesick.

When I was seven, I went to stay with cousins
in a town one hundred miles from home.
I missed my family so much that I believed
I could walk that distance completely on my own.

By the time they found me, I was miles away,
walking fast, purposeful and strong;
and though I was tired, scared and hungry,
I was determined to journey on.

That stubborn lonely child within still exists;
after a life of more than half a century,
the urge to journey home continues to persist.

Now most of my loved ones have a different home,
a place of eternal light and blessed peace,
where time and distance have no meaning,
and pain is no longer a tree within reach.

I am grown homesick to see them all again.
Homesick, too, for the father I have yet to meet.
I am weary of a world gone seemingly insane,
so ready for this long strange journey to be complete.

There are days when I can hear heavensong
playing somewhere inside my heart,
and I feel a deep thrill of anticipation as
I wonder when it will be my turn to depart.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Sometimes Love

Sometimes love is a lie we tell ourselves
so that we can do whatever it is we want to do.

The heart, the mind, the soul in time
all conspiring with the will to believe it is true.

But love fades, it rips and trades,
bartering old love for a taste of new.

It cheats and cries with crocodile eyes
and takes a toothsome bite out of you.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Old Geezer

Wheelchair maniac.
One arm,
one leg,
mangled in a war --
aren't all forgotten heroes? --
left to rot in a place
that no longer
felt like a home.

Geezer taught me
the secrets of a trade
he called living.
When I listened,
I knew --
he was telling me
the truth.

It wasn't friendship.
I was always afraid of him.
More like morbid curiosity,
and the old man's need
to share.

He told me
one day
that he was dying.
I didn't care.
I was young,
and his rotten floor
was creaking.
That was more
concern to me.

He said:
"Boy,"
Creeee
"you'll understand some day,"
eeeeeaaaaaaaa
"I been trying
to help you see."
aaaaaaaaakkkkkkkk.

The next day
he was gone.

I don't miss Geezer.
Didn't really like him
that well.

Now his words
make sense
though.
I wish
I had listened
more.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Let Me Kiss You

Let me kiss you
in all of your secret places.
Let me see the hidden beauty
that you have kept locked away.

Let me caress you
and see all of your faces,
the ones that sadness and passion
contort at the end of the day.

Let me hold you
in darkness and in the day,
let me love and kiss you
those times your mood turns fey.

Let me delight you
with the loving touch you desire,
let me stand and fight for you
those dragons that threaten
to lock you away
like golden treasure in a lair.

Let me kiss you
in all of your secret places,
and let me miss you
every minute you cannot stay.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

The Blame

If I take it all,
the blame, the responsibility,
the shame, the inability
to change,
will you be satisfied?

If I agree that it wasn't you,
but always and only me
who could not clearly see
what a treasure you are,
may I be forgiven?

No, I thought not.
Because we both know
it is not true. We both
know that it was you
who abandoned our love.

Nothing I can say or do
will ever change or ring true
all the lies I gladly ate for you.

I was never mentally fit to play
the games you strung out day by day,
nor, now, to believe a single word you say.

In the end, though, I take it all,
I accept the blame for our love that fall,
that autumn breeze that blew my heart
skittering like a leaf down a road in the dark.

It was my decision, it is my fault
that our love now lies in a granite vault,
waiting and hoping for resurrection day.

It was my wrong, it is my sin and shame
that goad me now into accepting blame
for finally having the courage to walk away.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

Moorings

The human heart
yearns for security,
to be moored
to other human hearts
in love and predictability.

But ropes that secure
also can become the
ties that restrict and bind.

Hoping for forever,
lashing ourselves
one to another,
we succumb to
the inevitability of
resentment caused
by our very moorings.

When the ocean swell
of life crests beneath us,
when the ebb and flow,
the tide of love,
stretches the rope of our patience
so tightly that it finally snaps,
we feel remorse instead
of feeling loved and secure.

The human heart
is a fickle thing.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Sunday, May 06, 2012

An Unmanly Man Swept Away

An unmanly man.
Surely that must be
what I am.

For I weep with impotent sorrow
at my wasted tomorrows,
and for the love that
I so cavalierly threw away.

I cry about my losses,
my over-demanding bosses,
and for loved ones who
have all passed away.

I sit amongst the ashes
of once thrilling passions,
and ponder how gold
can so easily burn away.

For days upon end
I worry heaven with lament
over mistakes and decisions
that frittered my life away.

For years upon years
I have prayed through tears
as my children matured
and then finally moved away.

Yes, an unmanly man,
that's what I am,
for savoring the sadness,
and bemoaning the madness,
of a life spent upon this stage and
now being hurriedly swept away.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Friday, May 04, 2012

Love Is Not Enough

Love is not enough
to stop the tide of change.
Love can do nothing
to bring love home again.

Time is a cruel mistress,
her ravages mark and maim,
she squeezes love drop by drop,
leaves you bereft and drained.

Love is not enough
to defy the angel death,
to conquer sheol's cold grip,
or buy you one more breath.

The grave holds all power
over love's feeble strength,
and death is even welcome
when love was just a minx.

Love is not enough,
and this we know through pain.
Love can do absolutely nothing
to coax love home again.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

Just Like You

You claimed I did not understand you,
but you left because you know I do.

I know every nuance of your sickness,
how you crave and need your next thrill,
the power of being so much wanted,
the excuse that it is because you are ill.

There was danger in your great passion,
there were tears when you were ashamed,
when you knew that you were repeating
the same pattern again, again and again.

Too many times, now, to remember,
and that only adds to your remorse;
layer upon layer of regret and sadness,
leading inexorably to a bitter divorce.

You claimed I did not understand you,
but you left because you sensed that I do.

When at last I sought to interdict,
and coax you, in honesty, to confess,
that is when your resolve faltered,
the very next day is when you left.

You claimed it was because you love me,
said I deserved to have the very best,
and with you love would not matter,
said your leaving was at God's behest.

Of course I understood that you were lying,
I know the need to be both victim and savior,
the truth is your next thrill was waiting,
your next conquest, your latest flavor.

You told me I did not understand you;
the more frightening truth is, you know that I do.
And had your courage allowed the asking,
you would have learned that I, once, was just like you.

So you claimed I did not understand you,
but you left because you know damn well, I do.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Transistors

We all can do it.
There's really nothing to it.
We all were created for one reason alone,
to be the aperature through which God flows.

It does not require that you try, or even believe;
you don't need faith, although that is a key.
You are the faucet of God's great love,
releasing it slowly to prevent a great flood.

God's love is power, radiant energy unbound,
too much at once, and the world might drown;
so God created regulators to control the release,
individual transistors to tamp down the heat.

We are the transfer medium that manifests love,
we control miracles flowing down from above.
Just like a transistor, we are an energy gate,
transmitting God's power as either love, or hate.

The secret is that there is no secret;
plant an acorn and see what tree you get;
it is our nature, the reason for our creation,
we cannot deny or prevent our participation.

Nor should we let ourselves become deluded,
we are not ourselves God, but the path that He uses.
Just like the oak cannot claim to be the whole earth,
we do not own divinity; we cannot hold it in our purse.

Miraculous power, however, we can and do wield,
like planting a seed in a vast, fertile field,
that to which we give our heart and our desire
is that which will manifest 'ere we expire.

The prophet named Jesus said it the best,
the kingdom is inside you, at your behest,
and neither dogma nor doctrine can explain or delay
the mystery of God's children, His power relay.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

If I Could

I would heal you if I could,
take away the pain you feel
and give you blessed peace.

If I could.

I would defend your honor,
so that you would no longer
feel shame for past indiscretions.

If I could, I would.

God knows, I have prayed for you,
laying in my bed in the dark,
speaking your name to His heart,
asking him to grant you all you need.

I would give it all to you, if I could.

If only I could.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Legacy of Ayn

To rise so high,
and yet feel so low,
that is the curse of
life in this modern world.

To have so much,
yet possess so little,
that is the plight
facing us all today.

We live surrounded
by surplus and wealth,
yet so little of it can
nourish us in our souls.

We are content to allow
injustice in the world,
as long as our square acre
goes unmolested.

We turn a blind eye as
the privileged claim to be the pious,
and the poor are expected
only to nod their self-hating assent.

If I were a courageous man
I would clamor for revolution,
I would breach the walls of Sodom,
and break Gomorrah's foundation.

If I were a holy man,
I would pray for God's justice
to roll down from heaven
like waters across a plain.

But I am neither.
I am a modern man,
living a life of quiet desperation,
satisfied to see others suffer
while stuffing my overfed maw.

The prophetess who denied God,
Ayn Rand, the darling of those
who call themselves conservative,
and Christian,
would see the poor mown down like grass.

She would overturn a religion of compassion
founded upon the sacrifice of a son.

Her legacy is this modern world,
this unjust economy,
this empty soul,
this collapsing nation,
and this modern man.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Monday, February 06, 2012

Apt Metaphor

You are like heroin.
No wait, that isn't good.
You are like fine bourbon,
aged in oaken barrel wood.

Well, that isn't good either;
and the fact is, you are neither.
You are the woman that I love,
and not some facsimile thereof.

I wanted to write you a Valentine,
a smoochy, kissy I love you,
but I can't find an apt metaphor
that says it like I want it to.

How does one convey eternity?
Or love that flows beyond measure?
Can it be reduced to trite cliche?
Would chocolate love be your pleasure?

Wait, that last thing could be taken wrong.
What I meant was, I am as sweet as candy.
Oh hell, this love poem is getting sketchy,
and I'm coming off as namby pamby.

Look, it's simple, so I'll just come right out and say it,
your body is like a song, and I really want to play it.
You are the one for whom my heart most yearns,
your love is the axis about which my whole world turns.

Okay, so I admit it, this poem is a complete disaster.
Still, I think you get the gist of what I'm going after.
So how about it? Is it possible that you will be mine?
Will you hold me, and love me, and be my kissy kissy Valentine?

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Demon's Voice

You called me the other night
and you were dead, stinking drunk.

Every other word was a curse word
as you heaped abuse upon the world,
while I only listened and prayed.

Your voice was dark and growling.

You said you had a cold.
"A fucking bad cold,"
you called it.

But I think it was the demon's voice,
the distilled spirit that now vies
for your soul.

Until that night I held hope for you;
believed that you could give up
drinking and start living life again.

Before that night I doubted
the existence of demons,
the kind that torment
lost and empty souls.

But that night, I heard a demon's voice
coming from someone that I love,
and I realized that you are now
in God's hands, and He alone can save you.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Comma

Four siblings and then, one.

And I was the comma.

Two older boys,
two older sisters,
me and baby brother.

Hand me down toys,
hand me down clothes,
and a neurotic mother.

Small wonder, then,
that I was lost in the bustle,
a little half-Mexican boy
overlooked in all the shuffle.

Always coats and shoes,
never going without food
they did the very best they could
with an overweening brood.

Still, to feel an after thought,
as though you do not matter,
it can warp a young child's mind
into damn near a mad hatter.

Six kids and a former POW for a father,
a controlling mother who was a complex martyr,
slugs in the kitchen and roaches in the larder;
these explain why, for me, joy is so much harder.

Now mostly dead and gone,
they are ghosts who care no longer,
and yet the I, the comma, still remain,
pausing breath and blowing stronger.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

The First Time

The first time I saw you.
The first time our eyes met.

The first time we talked, and laughed.
The first time my heart missed a beat for you.

The first phone call.
Our first date, first text message, first email.

The first time you let me kiss you.
The first time we touched as more than friends.
The first time we pressed skin to skin.

The first time we avoided saying I love you.
The first time we said I love you.
The first time we believed it was love.

Our first holiday together and apart.
The first poems I wrote for you.

The first time we were not well together.
The first time you took care of me.
The first time I cooked for you.

The first time I realized
that I always thought of you first.

Our first misunderstanding.
The first hurt feelings.
Our first argument.
Our first breakup and makeup.

Our first goodbye.
Our last goodbye.

These are the things I remember.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Prayer for My Children

My beloved children:

I pray that God will always help
you know and remember
the difference between fun and too far.

My prayer is that your Heavenly
Father will always protect you
those times I cannot keep you from harm.

I beseech our great Creator
to grant you intimate knowledge
and closeness with Him that I
could never achieve.

I petition Him to be your blessing,
to grant you health, prosperity,
unbroken love that is pure
and always brings you peace.

Sweet children, my love for you
flows heavenward each new day,
as I ask for angelic intercession
should challenge come your way.

For you, my beautiful gifts from God,
my rich blessings from His treasure,
I offer the very prayers of my soul
for your happiness without measure.

May you always walk in His
light and stride upon His path.
For you, my much loved children,
these are all the things I ask.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Intentional Love

I love you on purpose.
I love you without pause.
I love you deep and surface.
I love you just because.

My love is intentional,
the way philosophers use the term;
meaning that in my mind
you are the love that I love.

In a way, you could
have never even existed.
My intentional love
is about you, but it is not you;
my thoughts encompass you,
but you exist elsewhere,
not just in my mind.

If intention were magical,
I would have you always here;
no more a mental phenomenon,
instead my beloved most dear.

Because I love you on purpose,
and I love you without pause,
and I love you deep and surface,
and I love you just because.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Daring the Darkness

Darkness descends upon the world.
It falls like a knife on the horizon,
beginning at the contours of my mind,
growing 'til it engulfs both hemispheres.

I am standing in the darkness.
I feel the claws of unpleasant
memories and toxic emotion
tearing at my psychic skin.

Fear and panic are there, too,
pulling at my mind, trying
to rip it out of my head.
My heart beats in the gloom.

Step by step, I will myself
to continue moving forward.
I pull a sword of prayer from
the hard scabs in my soul.

The sword flashes in the dark
as I swing it left and right,
driving back demons who
go scuttling away in chains.

I am strength now,
a knight who walks in night.
I am fearless now,
finding hope in god's dim light.

It is a fight that everyone faces.
None are spared their season,
none are immune from that time
when they must dare the darkness.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Will No More

There was a time when I would die for you,
a time when I would fight to keep you;
days when I would have wrestled with angels
just to have you one day longer.
I will no more.

There was a time when I would deny for you,
cheat myself of both time and money,
steal love from my children and give it to you
just so I could hold you in my arms.
I will no more.

To say I regret having you in my life is not true.
Nor can I truthfully say I am glad to have known you.
You are a ghost now, a bothersome phantom
pain from my amputated heart.
I used to think about you and pray for you every day.
I will no more.

I have only the remainder of my life to live,
and every day without you becomes a little easier.
Perhaps easier is not completely accurate; rather,
I am grown adjusted to living life in pain.
I used to anesthetize my lingering love for you,
but I will no more.

I have discovered that happiness, like love,
is a completely voluntary decision to make.
You made your choices, seeking happiness in the arms
of codependent addictions and your other lovers.
I used to let that make me sad and lonely.
I will no more.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Frogs

(With apologies to Emily Dickinson)

Little people,
like big frogs
in tiny ponds,
sing to their bogs.

Sitting on a Lotus,
padded safe and dry,
admire their watery reflection,
live from fly to fly.

And go hiding in a moss bank
when at night the Gigger comes
shining his bright light at them,
spearing with his prongs.

"Oh no, the Gigger!"
they cry and jump away,
then lurking in darkness,
they gather quietly and pray.

For they know
the Gigger knows
when frogs outgrow
their bogs.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

Brick In My Pocket

I hate my phone
when you don't ring it.
I carry it always
but wonder why I bring it.

Might as well be a brick
I carry in my pocket,
or a big box of breath mints,
for the way you used to stop it.

They told me it was a smart phone
which is one reason that I bought it,
but it couldn't tell me how to keep you,
so its "smartness" I cannot plaudit.

Someday they will invent a new invention,
a handheld device for breakup prevention,
you will simply wave the thing over your lover's head,
and it will reanimate all the feelings that were dead.

No longer, then, will I be carrying bricks upon my person,
no more waiting on phone calls as self esteem is worsened;
a simple matter, then, of making human love by cold machine,
a technological fix to ensure that this king is always queened.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mistakes

I have made more than my share
of mistakes in life and love.

I have burned bridges,
forgotten friends and family,
neglected neighbors and niceties,
and lost much beloved lovers.

I have missed the point,
missed the mark and
missed the deadline
of too many
important opportunities.

I have found God,
lost God,
and found God
again and again.

The Hebrew word for "sin"
is "chet," which actually
means "mistake."

Too many sins,
too many mistakes,
too many second chances.

I am living proof of God's
benevolence, loving kindness
and eternal patience with
his learning-challenged children.

From my mistakes I have learned
the things not to do, and valuable
lessons about the reasons why.

From my sins, I have gained
much wisdom, much pleasure,
and especially God's eternal love.

Mistakes.
Sins.
Regrets.
Soul lessons.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

Man and Wife

Sometimes a man and his once loving wife
become so accustomed to cold angry strife
they invite it into their once wedded house,
grow bitter and content with a contentious spouse.

Lovers at first, then partners in life,
honeymoon over as husband and wife,
hold grudges for years, perennially grouse
over things that need fixing all 'round the house.

Make cutting remarks with wedding gift knives,
go silent for days and cold sexless nights,
resenting each other for adding some pounds,
take secret lovers as vows they renounce.

Make broken promises, repeatedly try
to reignite passion as cold years fly by,
only to end up old and all alone,
unsure how they lost their once loving home.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Afflictions

You were my addiction.
I was a self-sacrificing victim
of your much-loved self-afflictions.

Your obsession with perfection,
the need to control every situation,
moving people around like pawns,
keeping track so your lies did not
beat you home before the dawn.

In the days before I got sober,
went cold turkey from your love,
you were all I would consider,
my substitute goddess from above.

Now there is only day to day,
thinking up ways not to think
about the joy, the loving play
that could take you to the brink.

Now you are my affliction,
and I am a self-hating victim
of my much-missed love addiction.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

A Fine Line

There is a fine line
between art and anguish,
a very thin line
between hurt and hate.

I walk that line most days now
like a drunken driver walks
the line at the side of the road.

Boundaries mean nothing
in the game of in-betweens,
when angels become demons,
when red gets the better of green.

They say guilt can be forgiven,
but shame is a permanent stain,
the one can beg for mercy,
the other becomes your name.

So there is a fine line
between heaven and hell
when truth becomes theory
and hope is hard to sell.

A short and broken line
between living and dying,
a very short distance
between true love and lying.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

The Judas Spirit

You are full of the Judas spirit,
self-righteous in your suffering,
self-serving in your sacrifice.

Addicted to suicidal ideation,
craving your cutting edge
like a junkie craves the needle.

Confused in your spirituality,
claiming god as your savior
yet willing to destroy the very life
he graced you to possess.

I do not believe you will go to hell.
I believe you will be relegated back to life,
to bear all the pain of living again,
serving successive life sentences
as god teaches you that love
is the only thing that matters,
the only reason we exist.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Love Yourself

Love yourself,
you child of God.

Revel in your parentage.
Accept your portion of the kingdom,
and dance while you can.
No, you do not reach perfection,
but that, child, is the perfect plan.

The creation is perfect
in its very imperfection,
no two of you alike,
and so out of chaos
grows ever abundant life.

Yes, your Father is distant,
having thrown you from the nest,
He equipped you with all you need
and now you must do the rest.

Pay homage when you are able,
never believe you are in His debt,
you are always welcome at the table,
with His grace and love are you blessed.

So love yourself,
you child of God,
and want for nothing
until you inherit all.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Self-Mortification

In earlier times,
to atone for sin and shame,
we practiced self-mortification.

A lash on the back for
a lustful thought.

A hair shirt to wear
for the sin of pride.

Long fasts to demonstrate
our worth to an inscrutable
and distant God.

Today, our self-mortification
masquerades in various forms.

The dieter who becomes bulimic
is the modern equivalent of the
fasting penitent sinner.

The fitness buff, running for
miles to atone for an extra
doughnut is the reincarnated
practitioner of self-flagellation.

More serious are those
whose shame and guilt
for sins imagined or real
drive them to addictions.

Drinking and drugging,
sexing and loving,
religion and money,
gambling and ever-sunny
dispositions all substitute
for self-mortification.

Rescuing others,
finding new lovers,
prosperity preachers,
new age secret keepers,
depression and bipolar diagnoses,
obsession and self hating neuroses;
all are ways we have
of punishing ourselves,
while trying to answer the
self-loathsome questions:
"What is wrong with me?"
"What will it take to
finally break free?"

But mortifying flesh has
never healed or satisfied
a broken spirit, nor
helped or saved a
lost and hurting soul.

We post-modern flagellants
are no better or worse,
no more sinful or hurt
than our distant cousins
in time whose model
we unknowingly role.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Love You

I love you more
than the sun loves light.
I need you more
than the stars need night.

I want you more
than birds want flight.
I long for you more
than eyes long for sight.

Loving you is the purpose
for which I was created.
Declaring my love for you
is why my lungs were first inflated.

For you my arms
are ever extended,
holding you their only
design intended.

When God in his heaven
wrote out his grand plan,
he etched our names together
in time's eternal sand.

Now and for eternity
it is my great joy to ponder
how you and I may merge forever
when the roll is called up yonder.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Hobbledehoy

No longer ashamed,
limping and lame,
riding a three-legged horse,
drowning in his own remorse.

No longer
the scared little boy,
no more the loser,
the Hobbledehoy.

The warrior awakens,
raises shield and sword,
salutes to the heavens,
bows to his Lord.

Filled now with clarity,
the warrior inside
earns a new place of purity,
arouses his pride
and rides gladly into the fray.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012

Monday, January 02, 2012

Dead Inside

I have a friend
who is dead inside,
you can hear it in his voice,
you can see it in his eyes.

Never takes responsibility
for the things that he does,
never feels remorse
for losing those he loves.

Always blaming others
for the failures in his life,
always finding faults
with his friends and his wife.

Thus passed his middle age,
as he tried to dull the pain
with alcohol and soft core rage,
and holiness movement shame.

He sits now upon a couch,
the throne from which he rules his house,
and refuses any chance to change,
claims the Bible will clean his stain.

And all who enter his home can see
a man trapped like Osiris in a tree,
a selfish martyr, full of selfish pride,
a living man who is dead inside.

© Francisco G. Rodriquez, 2012