Jun 03
Maisie N's picture

Aftertaste

Morning coffee tastes bitter
But your lips taste so sweet
Waking up never felt better
Yet you don't know what you are to me.
I write your name in clandestine letters
That I will never let you read
For I refuse to be a beggar
I refuse to let you see me.

For you are the blood I spit into the sink
After I brush my teeth too hard
Wash it away, give you no reason to think
That I feel anything in your regard
Scrub from my mouth the taste of yesterday
Tear your hands away from my heart
For I'd sooner let it bleed than ask you to stay
Your fingernails leaving crescent moon scars.

You are the first aid cabinet that I run too
When my wounds are dripping blood
But you are also the ground that I hit too hard
When I trip over myself trying to run.
The truth is that yes, you are the fire
But just as much the flood
You douse the flames you dare to start
May 28
Maisie N's picture

Parting Wishes

Name the feeling I get
As I watch you undress
Forgetting myself entirely

Name the rhythm of my heart
As I listen to you confess
Secrets for my ears only

Name the colors of your eyes
That enrapture and obsess
My mind with sparkling subtlety

Name the sound of a bullet
Exiting the chamber
Name the sound of losing me.

If I get shot down in the hallway
I want you, the last to see me
Not to place roses on my grave
Or an altar in the library
I want not to be remembered
As a headstone in the cemetery
Just spread my ashes on the river
Force no one else to grieve.

No good has come from headlines
From politicians with empty minds
From statisticians and protest signs
In the hands of children unrefined
So easy still to dismiss
Yet getting harder to ignore
"America, you have to stop this
Before we all turn out like her."
May 12
Maisie N's picture

Sistine

You were a dark, abandoned chapel
At the end of a long and winding road
You were the place to which I escaped
On the nights that I needed to be alone
The words that collected between my lips
Spilled onto pages, the poems that I wrote
For you, for pain, for love, for the world
Journals filled with heart and anecdotes.

I could write for hours and hours
And still be without words to show how I am feeling
How you are the best thing in my life
My masterpiece on the chapel ceiling
You may call me Michelangelo
And I will call you, my love, Sistine
For of all the wonders in this world
You are the most worth seeing.

I believe shattered glass to be beautiful
And scribbles in margins worth reading
That every word is meaningful
Regardless of who is speaking
You live your life by different rules
You call me young and naive
So alone, I walk your hallowed halls
Apr 16
Maisie N's picture

Hephaestion

Every feather that now lies on the ground
Fell from your angel skin
And I miss having you around
But your heart is now cold and hardened
Wrapped amid a snowy shroud
I stretched you far too thin
I wonder where you are now
As the pieces of you drift listlessly on the wind.

You told me that it hurt very much
The day that you fell from heaven
Banished by the ones you loved
I didn't dare ask what you did
You said that I was a glimpse of above
Of the home that you so missed
You were so sad and beautiful
I didn't dare ask what you meant.

I want to hold your hand when we're eighty
And tell people that we made it
But angels tend away from aging
While there are already lines on my skin
There may be tatters in your wings
But your heart is still so young
With the wisdom of a thousand years
And the look of a life just begun. 

Mar 04
Maisie N's picture

Piano Man

He told about the news stories
But in a different sort of way,
Making unspeakable tragedies
A little easier to say.

Children dying in their schools
People fighting in the streets
And we hear about it every day
But never ask what's behind the scenes.

Schools ravaged by bullets
He played along and sang
And his honey voice could be heard
From miles and miles away.

One man's trash is another man's treasure
One man's treasure is another man's pain
One man's pain is another man's pleasure
And so it goes on that way.

He wore his treasures on his left wrist
Bracelets tied from found stones and strings
His right hand he used to create his music
Unburdened by heavy, stone rings.

He said his left hand was for decoration
For protecting and for holding.
His right hand was for callouses
For playing, writing, working.

Audio download:
rec_pianoman_0.mp3
Feb 19
Maisie N's picture

Control

Every day is a bitter end
Every night is a tragedy
That we conveniently dub an accident
So easy to ignore
Harder still to forget
Tear-stained, tired cheeks
And bloodstains on the carpet.

We were young and lived in fear
But now we succumb to numbness
No longer surprised by the voices on the radio
Reporting deaths in the masses
When a boy holds a gun
He becomes a man
It takes a shot in the dark
For his abusers to listen
So confused and so lost
He does it for attention
A problematic child
Who no one thought to mention.

Don't tell me I have no idea
Don't tell me I'm too young
That I'm disillusioned-- don't understand
I see what's going on
A gun is not a child's toy
Only meant to defend and hunt
For it can kill and mar and scar
Ending lives that haven't yet begun.

I see it in my classmates' faces
During every lockdown drill
Jan 31
Maisie N's picture

Goodnight

All was golden in the sky
The moment day first met the night
The moon, she sighed contentedly
For the sun had caught her weary eye.

You said that if I concentrated
I could see without my eyes
And if I ran just fast enough
I could teach myself to fly
Said that I was far from ordinary
For the treasures in my mind
And I swear I felt invincible
With your soft, sweet lips on mine.

But would you love me without my art?
Without my words sublime?
If I lost the pain that makes me think?
And thus, my desire to write?
If I grew to bore or disappoint you?
If I lost my touch with time?
The only thing worth loving is an artist
But my art only immitates life.

My poems are but a reflection
Of the pain and love I feel
My words seem small and insignificant
Next to what is true and real
All the things I long to experience
All the things I want to believe

Jan 12
Maisie N's picture

Jazz

The bass on the radio reminds me
Of your voice on Christmas day
A blues-adjacent harmony
To the trumpet you would play
Our two pairs of green eyes
Watching orange coals in the fireplace
A childhood we left behind
Memories we carry to this day.

This music makes me think of you
The sharp, focused melody
In time with deeper blues
Jazz plays in my head as I walk home alone
Follows me no matter what I do.

You held the song in your magic hands
Shaking, beckoning the crowd to their feet
But you hid them under the cuffs of grey suits
Forgot what it was like to play music for free
Your trumpet now rusts lonely in its case
You gave up the magic for the mundane
You made a party trick of what would have been great
Substituted genius for talent and talent for nothing.

And every night you hate to remember
The people we used to be
And keep your curtains drawn
Dec 23
poem 3 comments challenge: Love
Maisie N's picture

Quartet

A broken soul cannot be fixed
As dead as a bird with broken wing
And I care so much about you but
I don't want you to miss all the things
That someone else could give you
You must not wonder, though it may seem strange
That I can no longer look at you.

I do not posess the words to describe
The things you make me feel
The capacity of birdsong is finite
And I, myself, have never been musical
No note I know seems to justify
What is right and what is real
You occupy my thoughts--my mind
You fill the pages of my journal
My soul bleeds the color of your eyes
But still I can't make sense of the world.

The birdsong changes, when you catch my eye
To the beautiful blend of a string quartet
My heartbeat, the metronome
Your words the sound of a beautiful violin
You take away all other senses
Ruining-- obliterating-- my concentration
Dec 22
Maisie N's picture

Resist

I cannot take another day
I cannot take another minute
I will not let myself grow numb
I will not let myself get used to it.
We stand in the streets
We shout, we resist 
But how much more
Can we take of this?
When every day we speak
But our voices are silenced
I cannot, I will not
This is not progress.

Yet I cannot stop wishing
For my voice to be stronger
For my heart to keep beating
For my arms to get longer
Wishing there was something I could do
For I have taken treetops, cars
And shooting stars
But I still cannot reach you. 

I pride myself on the pieces of me
That have been labeled as flawed
And unfit to be seen
What makes me an outlaw
Is what makes me, me
My voice, my power
My grandmother's jewelry.
My heart that beats slow
and my amateur poetry.
Of all the things that I have hidden

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