poetry critical

online poetry workshop



You Don’t Get Eyes Like These For Nothing
candykid

You don't get eyes like these for nothing;
 1
they've seen despair and homelessness,
 2
skinned knees and broken minds-
 3
Watching too often the good ones die young, leaving this heart to want to believe that everything happens for a reason,
 4
Even though reason will ever usurp the power of a child's smile or the joy felt in a child's laughter-
 5
 
 
The kind of laughter that lifts
 6
even the most despondent of souls-
 7
As if they were the ones getting wings.
 8
 
 
We are all grounded here,
 9
Tethered to asphalt to bare
 10
witness to the world as it changes landscape.
 11
We watch its people change too.
 12
 
 
Lives are taken away as if war
 13
was the equivalent of a subtraction problem.
 14
 
 
The borrowing, the taking away.
 15
My eyes have seen violence.
 16
They've become the pounding
 17
waves of a perfect storm,
 18
losing the clarity of a blue sky
 19
They've been sullied
 20
by those who don't clean the
 21
messes that they, themselves, make -
 22
Leaving hearts and shores
 23
worse than they found them,
 24
Littered with trashed emotions-
 25
Never again to return.
 26
 
 
As if the shoreline wasn't attached
 27
to an ocean
 28
And the heart
 29
wasn't attached to the mind.
 30
 
 
And despite this recklessness
 31
that has only served to teach me
 32
that my good heart is not good
 33
enough to see past a smile of
 34
indifference and disregard,
 35
 
 
I still look.
 36
 
 
It's not that I disregard my guarded heart
 37
nor marvel at the risk of another's.
 38
 
 
I'm not into watching train wrecks
 39
or addicted to seeing it all go down.
 40
Like the tabloid magazines that sit in
 41
perfect view at the grocery store--
 42
Headlines divulging new and shocking details, their bolded titles
 43
ALL CAPS
 44
The latest announcement of yet
 45
another supposed scandal.
 46
 
 
My soul doesn't understand it.
 47
It doesn't understand what is sees  
 48
or how looking at pages of celebrities
 49
at inopportune moments makes me
 50
any better for buying them.
 51
 
 
But the sales go on, telling me
 52
that there's an audience fiending for
 53
debacles as long as they are on
 54
someone else's doorstep.
 55
 
 
We read.  We watch.
 56
The news anchors flash on our television screens with a this-just-in urgency, announcing a mass killing, train derailment, keeping a tally of fatalities on the screen
 57
as if they were keeping score for game.
 58
 
 
We stare; we gawk.
 59
We know there are no winners.
 60
There is no 7th inning stretch.
 61
 
 
We become sucked into the grittiness of humanity.     
 62
No, we are not all twisted.
 63
 
 
There a Notion here:  death is part of life.
 64
 
 
So rare the relationship between
 65
the two, for they are
 66
as antithetical as they are symbiotic.  
 67
We stare at death In awe,
 68
knowing only of the life that it precedes,
 69
Capturing  moments the best we can,
 70
Still finding beauty in the fleeting
 71
moments of our existence.
 72
 
 
Like finding life in the places that
 73
we'd thought none exists,
 74
The silver stars of space,
 75
 
 
I find silver linings in the most
 76
desolate backgrounds,
 77
amid the most despairing of times-
 78
 
 
times when blackness veiled my
 79
eyes until my soul was nearly sold
 80
on the idea that the life I once lived
 81
no longer existed.
 82
I begin to watch memories
 83
In my mind go from familiar to foreign.
 84
 
 
What despondency does to a soul,
 85
convincing it that such memories
 86
are not its own from which to derive joy,
 87
 
 
This is not the result of a bad day-
 88
Or even a bad year.  
 89
The process of depression
 90
is to strip a painting of its color
 91
and watch the outline of its image
 92
fade into something-rather someone
 93
whom no one can any longer identify.
 94
 
 
I've seen my own ghost, a shell wrapped
 95
In a body unable to believe
 96
the in the gold in my eyes still shined,
 97
waiting in the Black Sea of a quiet night,
 98
hoping for a loved one to be my lighthouse-
 99
to help me make sense of my loneliness.
 100
 
 
But no lighthouse can provide
 101
the same as your own rising Sun.
 102
 
 
When day finally broke,
 103
I saw the the gold of my eyes set afire,
 104
The sunlight sang across undulating waves -
 105
No longer at whim of the current.
 106
The spirit becomes different after
 107
the turbulence of tears,
 108
For Despite the wan and ebb of life
 109
experiences, and better yet,
 110
because of them,
 111
My eyes blazed in the brightest green.
 112
 
 
The irony of crying with eyes like these--
 113
how bright they become.
 114
And what have I become?
 115
 
 
I've become someone with eyes like these,
 116
Knowing God doesn't take orders.
 117
There is no asking for an extra few
 118
minutes of a golden hour.
 119
 
 
There are golden opportunities
 120
and beauty in the world
 121
But not the kind that even my eyes know of.
 122
Sure, beauty exists in the moments
 123
spent watching a child playing at the park or
 124
watching lightbulb moment of understanding,
 125
 
 
But A hug from a child feels like sunset.
 126
 
 
All the colors of my world coming
 127
together just to say good night.
 128
We hold onto these moments,
 129
 
 
But like the photographer who
 130
snaps the shot of the ocean
 131
At the perfect time to marvel
 132
at the essence of its beauty without
 133
having swam the depth of its tides:
 134
We can only understand each other so much.
 135
 
 
The world admires the beautiful and the disastrous from afar, and beyond that-
 136
We love others from the confines
 137
of our own bodies, and then we leave...
 138
always wishing we'd taken
 139
more time to View the world
 140
around us and swim amid
 141
the depths of the souls we miss.
 142
 
 
I push back the tears in an attempt
 143
to tame the ocean,
 144
knowing of it as an impossibility.
 145
 
 
But I still look.
 146
 
 
You see, despite the power of the  ocean and the hopelessNess of knowing that there's darkness In the world,
 147
There’s a gold strip here
 148
In the middle of the green waves,
 149
And some days-it shines as bright as the sun
 150
 
 
But to see it In its golden hour,
 151
you must have survived the storm of tears.
 152
And if you have,
 153
you now stand face to face with me,
 154
having thrown down your anchor
 155
to bare your soul
 156
despite the chaos of impending storms.
 157
 
 
And for that moment...that quiet moment-
 158
The world around us simply doesn't exist.  
 159
 
 
And that-
 160
that is why
 161
I still look.
 162
 
 
After all, you don't get eyes like these for nothing.
 163
 
 
 
 
 
 
~Jennifer~
 164

28 Nov 17


(define the words in this poem)
(32 more poems by this author)



Add A Comment:
Enter the following text to post as unknown: captcha

Comments:

0.349s