scribbles

a scribble here, a scribble there
words you didn’t know i wrote
instead you attributed the poem to someone else
and not me as i had hoped

at least it’s a consolation to know
that in the end, i write these poems for me
it’s how i can assess the damages
after falling for you so foolishly

knowing full well you’d only break my heart
just like the others who came before you
the scars they left behind hidden in the poems i wrote
although their names have long fallen through

the cracks of my memory
widening with every passing year
as i grow ever older wishing i’d one day learn the lessons
that go with every broken-hearted tear

but maybe it’s a good thing you’ll never know
that i wrote all those poems for you
it allows me to salvage what’s left of my dignity
while i pull through like i always do.

nothing to say

i can write you a book
and tell you everything i know
about love and friendship
and laughter.
something i’ve done
more times than i
can count.

yet why is it when your own letter comes,
i can count the words you dole out
like they’re just too precious
to spare on someone
you have no use for
anymore?

quiet spaces

dark places, quiet spaces
you know them all
for you were there when i fell
when i ignored the call
my heart’s warning to stand back
and keep my doors closed
you were simply too real for me
your words, your voice left me exposed
to the many lies i kept hidden
the stories i kept believing in
yet you knew one day i’d unfold
every secret i held onto finally revealed
no stone unturned, nothing concealed
dark places, my quiet spaces
thank you for staying
till i healed

after we play

after we play, don’t look into my eyes
for you’ll find someone who’s fallen for you
every wall she’s built broken, every lie and every disguise
unmanned, unravelled, her heart split in two
she’s all softness now,
lost in the dreams you drew

instead fix your tie, comb your beard
we both know you’ve got somewhere else to go
give me time to pull myself together, my emotions secured
from every single yearning you will never know
until the next time we come together
and the moment i watch you go

at the table

there are things we don’t talk about around the dinner table
but it’s there, there’s no mistaking it festering like a hot boil

it can’t be hidden behind smiles anymore because we know what you are
even if you hold titles like dad or mom or baby brother

we see your hypocrisy, your racism and deep-seated hatred
as you pass the potatoes with a smile, your bigotry translated

behind carefully crafted words of inclusion and tolerance
words you know nothing about so it’s best if you remain silent

for there’s no more hiding no matter how hard you try to convince us
actions speak louder than words. what else is there to discuss?

madness

what is this madness?
what have we become
to allow hatred and bigotry to have its day?
where have decency and morality gone?

how much longer do we turn our faces away
from what’s really happening out there
as we watch democracy crumble
with barely a shot fired in the air?

instead they’re let in with their flags of division
allowed to do whatever they please,
their hatred for the other
bringing democracy to its knees.

but we are stronger than that,
and for our children, this is my hope
that we can work together
and pull ourselves off this dangerous slope

maybe it won’t happen today;
maybe it’s just too soon.
but we need to start now before the world we know
hurtles even faster toward its doom.

stripped

what is it about you that strips me raw
in places i’ve long forgotten?
those dark corners where my secrets lie hidden,
the disappointments, and the self-loathing?

why does it take just a word from you
for all of them to spill out?
and with them the tears i’ve long kept at bay,
all the shame and self-doubt?

what is it with your choice of words
spoken in a voice that always unravels me?
do you know of the places i speak of?
have you seen the things i can still see

the demons in their alcoves,
those moments of shame they whisper in my ear
of the times when i wasn’t brave enough,
when my constant companion was fear

is that why you know exactly what to say,
words that strip me of all the masks i wear?
is it because you know where i have been?
is it because you’re still there?

a new year

it’s a new day, a new year
and for the first time last night
i went to sleep without you
whispering in my ear

i’m sad. but i’m relieved, too,
for this means i can finally move on
and live my life without
this need for you

a parting gift maybe, that last goodbye
for you were never meant to stay
or be my friend, and now it’s time
to let your good intentions die

for it’s a new day, a new year
time to let go of the things that no longer
serve me like the loneliness
i’ve always feared.


Too Much by Tyler Ford

do you remember the first time you were called annoying? 
how your breath stopped short in your chest 
the way the light drained from your eyes, though you knew your cheeks were ablaze
the way your throat tightened as you tried to form an argument that got lost on your tongue?
your eyes never left the floor that day.
you were 13.

you're 20 now, and i still see the light fade from your eyes when you talk about your interests for "too long," 
apologies littering every other sentence,
words trailing off a cliff you haven't jumped from in 7 years.
i could listen to you forever, though i know speaking for more than 3 uninterrupted minutes makes you anxious.
all i want you to know is that you deserve to be heard
for 3 minutes
for 10 minutes
for 2 hours
forever.

there will be people who cannot handle your grace, your beauty, your wisdom, y our heart; 
mostly because they can't handle their own. but you will never be and have never been
"too much."
from Poetry July/August 2015

do you remember the first time you were called annoying?
how your breath stopped short in your chest
the way the light drained from your eyes, though you knew your
cheeks were ablaze
the way your throat tightened as you tried to form an argument that
got lost on your tongue?
your eyes never left the floor that day.
you were 13.

you’re 20 now, and i still see the light fade from your eyes when you
talk about your interests for “too long,”
apologies littering every other sentence,
words trailing off a cliff you haven’t jumped from in 7 years.
i could listen to you forever, though i know speaking for more than
3 uninterrupted minutes makes you anxious.
all i want you to know is that you deserve to be heard
for 3 minutes
for 10 minutes
for 2 hours
forever.

there will be people who cannot handle your grace, your beauty,
your wisdom, y our heart;
mostly because they can’t handle their own. but you will never be
and have never been
“too much.”

~Tyler Ford