Monday, December 30, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

Paper Trail

Factions distractions precipitate dissolving days
days without anchor without skeletons zombie forward unheeded until the bite
Why can't I just sleep at night?
But even the day's like a dream
like water in a stream slipping, stumbling toward the ocean found no more

they feel like nothing.

A quiet burning of a book I always wanted to read
whose pages black no longer support their inky inhabitants
I was told I had a chance to make this almanac a story
filled with adventures boring into the hearts of it's hearers
oh but I fear there's been a mistake
because all my pages are blank
yet the epilogue is coming

like laughter from a joke no one told
like giving hope to a man who is old
who long fret a watershed of shame and ocean's blame
I caught a glimpse beyond this vapor stage
There I stood upon the waves but for a moment

There just long enough to see

I have not days, but they have me

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


by Mark Bishop

Veiled in white power
icy peaks and piping chimneys line the streets
drawn in tightly 'gainst the hollow winter wind
fluffy coats fall along tin scarves draining mushy gifts
to gray shawls paved in winters mold
all shrink in the growing cold

Some are flecked with shimmering lights
others stark against the night
doors guard hearts with laws and rights
what are they like inside?

Only the best is on display
windows cast a subtle play for stop signs and parked cars
countless bars of repeating white shells along stained decks
craned necks perched on fences posting bail for privacy

If not for the biting chill would playgrounds swing and porches fill?
would talking, laughter silence kill?
This spring of sunlight waits until
another day I'm left here still
asking "what are they like inside?"

Monday, December 23, 2013


by Mark Bishop

I used to have a jar
which had every word that you had spoken to me
I kept it on the mantle
Where the fires I kindled each night would keep me warm
and when the fires were not enough
I unfolded each little paper 
and I saw you
like looking through slits in a fence
to a field of wild flowers stretching out into the sun

How I longed to hop that fence
How I longed to run along the rivers edge
to be laughing, drenched in the pollen,
the sweet nectar of your heart.
To catch the dazzling sun lest it be claimed by the horizon
and fix it in the sky to light the beauty of that field

But this land could not be purchased
It could not be claimed
as each night in sight of a thousand glowing embers
I placed that jar back on my mantle 
to weather the cold nights and howling winds
in this old drafty house
I vowed to add to it tomorrow

Now I have boxes
In an attic, in a creaky house, far away
with thousands of days etched on endless pages
I don't visit them very often
I don't make fires any more
There's so much you've said that I've forgotten

But when I'm standing by the river 
and catch sight of that old wooden fence
When I wake up covered in nectar 
I don't miss my little jar
because I am journeying
deep in my beautiful field

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hybrid Car

By Mark Bishop

Should I pray now?
Should my hands find the steeple
with all God's people
casting forth amens like old pillows.
Weeping willows bowed low and dreary?
Eyes tired but not driven to tears.

Some days this vehicle takes us high above the clouds
into that resplendent throne room where the angel choir crowds
where warm welcomes wash barnacled feet and dark desires flee

Some days it can't quite make the drive
Instead this lifeboat springs a leak and gives us to the sea

Is it not good that wields both blessing and cessation?
Is it not for my own sake I bear this pain?
Perhaps oh Lord I do not want
to be as good a man I claim

Yet discipline unasked and un-kept
Produces as before this lament:
that I did not suffer more truly those trials he gave to me.
instead I sought escape
and I cried out to be free.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

And I Bled Ink

Poetry is what comes out of me when I'm cut.
When I bleed it's ink,
it's words which pour and weave 'long parchment roads to arrive at places I never will
to stand for things I can't support.
Lasting languages, promises, purports
to know and feel more deeply that which was once mine
but now I've passed on.
Poor words.

Why should they suffer this pain.
Why should they hear as I hear?
Oh why create them at all?
Because I am lonely?
Because I want for company
and words are just the friends.

They will reflect and demand nothing.
With thoughtful care they will console
In their forms mirror my soul
Their's is the script of the heart
Be born fair words 
and listen thus.