Yours to Keep

YOURS TO KEEP

Little girl
you grow before my eyes and
the feel of your hand in mine as I walk you to school
stills my restless demons;
I am far from a perfect man but
I live to be flawless in your eyes.
Every kiss you bless upon my cheek
reminds me that while I am responsible
for protecting your life,
you have saved mine.
Sometimes I see glimpses
of the woman you will grow to be and
your subtle grace melts me.
Please know that being your father
is my greatest achievement and honor;
with the very first flutter of your eyes
I became yours to keep

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Dulled

DULLED

I need to listen closely—
the pain you share
should be sharp yet
comes delivered dull, spoken
at the price of a worn tongue;
how it rends me to hear you
recall the worst of all you have been;
I sit quietly
listening to your soft grace
betrayed by the broken
fragments of your words:
I can’t ever glue you back together
but I can hold you in my hands.

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Savior

SAVIOR

Man of Steel
why won’t you come down from
your perch high above Metropolis
save me
I have desperately tried to fly in your cape
but you left me no field guide and
in this world I need to be more than just
a hero
Do you remember when
I gazed upon you with wonder
an unflinching conviction that you were no
mere man
Please can’t you see
how hard I struggle to soar and
I’ve no currents with which to take flight—
a cry
And from my booth I dash
carrying this child in my arms
shielding her from life’s evils, forever
her guardian
imperfect savior;
to the skies I search in vain
bemoaning mine.

 

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Just Not Here

I mentioned in last week’s post that the idea behind my short story LUNCH came from a poem I had written back in December 2012. For curiosity’s sake, here it is:

JUST NOT HERE

On this darkened night I hold you
Arms empty. Your memory my solitary light
Wind raps at pane, sneaks under door
The only thing ever to cross this threshold again
Sandwich on counter grows old with mold
Milk sour. Spoiled.
None of it matters; this candle flickers
And ghosts, they creep along the floor
Sounding so much the way your footfalls once did
When you’d kiss my cheek standing in the hall.
I’d walk somewhere if it wasn’t raining so hard
These clothes already stuck to skin
The weight of everything
The wait for anything…
I’ll sit here then
Because somewhere, you are there
Somewhere. Just not here.
On this darkened night I hold you
Somewhere. Just not here.

© Copyright 2012 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Boy on Strings

My last January breath rose in a plume to the sky
and left me wondering if this would be how
my soul would one day escape me,

wispy vapored , twanged by fingers of Northeast wind;
I suppose I will always be a puppet but the excuse
of ‘oh, it will be much warmer tomorrow’ keeps me from cutting

the fishing line. I love the dangling, but if you should ask me I
will vehemently deny it, blow frozen curses into your
face – then request for you to reposition me. Please.

A light snow falls; February knocks and soon all trace
of my existence will vanish from the air. Still, I will
always dangle here, waiting for your hand to guide me.

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

In Peace

I said a prayer in the moments before I saw you that

my composure would be steel and yet your

utter silence broke me down in ways I never expected.

 

Forgive me, I faltered when taking your still hand into mine and

realizing your sleep would be an endless one,

began to pity myself.  And in your dignified manner, you stilled me,

 

imparted sweet memories; you allowed me a time I thought had

long past and selfish as it may be, I am grateful for holding you

one last time.

 

I want you to know that behind your closed eyes, I still saw

you as you should be and as you will always be

to me: smiling

 

You were such a gentleman in every sense of the word.

 

Dear friend, I hope you heard me when I whispered

that I would not say farewell.  I kissed your cheek

and I meant it.  There are no goodbyes; there are only see you later’s.

 

So sleep in peace, and within your warm cocoon

learn of your new wings now.  Fashion your Heaven as

it should be

 

As one day, I will mine.

 

We will have a party then for the ages,

won’t we?  Be with love and light, dear

friend.  I’ll meet you then at the bar come nine.

~ for Rich

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Yesterday’s Fable

Yesterday’s Fable
Was it just yesterday you told me your time had come?
Under a cloudless sky
Nothing but myth and unspoken promise between us
It was an alabaster lie
I realize as much now
But I was so blind to my own beliefs
That I forgot to realize
My faith belongs
Only to borrowed time.
It still hangs in the air
Of that cloudless sky
So fleeting when spoken
So final when reminisced
I might not be here tomorrow
I might not see you at all
I laughed; not at you, of course
But at your absurdity
Something I steadfastly refused to own
But with today’s cloudless sky born new
And yesterday’s fable yet grown old
I realize how shabby these beliefs are in my own pocket
And you’ve forced me to throw them all away.

© Copyright 2013 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Coffin Hop 2013: Day 6 Giveaway: ‘Nothing Else’

Welcome to Coffin Hop 2013!

While racking my brain trying to decide what to do for Coffin Hop this year, I decided – what the hell, I may as well give away three prizes. Besides the prose I offer below, I’m going to pick three winners from those who comment on this post and offer each an e-copy of an anthology I was recently published in. Three lucky winners, three great books, one new home for each anthology. I’ll be picking who gets what, so if by chance you have already won one of these from me, just speak up and an exchange will be made.

anthologies

Even horror authors have a heart, albeit blackened.  The following is a quick song I crafted some time ago after exploring a cemetery.  Must have been the spirits that whispered to me…

Nothing Else

Gazing out your window

Your cemetery of hope haunts your moments

Ghosts beneath your lids once your dreams

Tonight will be a long one

When you can’t reach pass your means.

But I’m the rain streaks your pane

I’m the soft breeze stirs your curtains

I’m the lone star in your dark sky

When nothing else remains.

Just outside your window

Your cemetery of life steals your darkness

Ghosts beneath your lids once your dreams

And tonight will be a long one

When you can’t breathe pass your means.

But I’m the bird sings your song

I’m the soft kiss on your full lips

I’m the one ghost never have left you

When nothing else remains.

Oh I’m the rain streaks your pane

I’m the soft breeze stirs your curtains

I’m the lone star in your dark sky

When nothing else remains.

Yeah tonight will be a long one

But I’m the one thing to count on

When nothing else remains.

© Copyright 2013 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

A Final Toast with Death

A Final Toast with Death

I await you

My bravado more resolute than ever

This snifter in my hand unwavering

These drops of whiskey delivered faithfully to my lips.

So come to me, Sir Reaper

You whose work is never done

You’ve stolen a good man from this world

Left behind his only son.

I have no fear of you this day

Not while my veins run hot

Coward!

A good man seeks retribution

His weapon his only son.

I await you

Be a gentleman and share this final whiskey

Drink with me, Sir Reaper

I’ve business with you yet done.

© Copyright 2013 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Fakes Need Not Apply

Fakes Need Not Apply

The thing about this mask
Is that I choose not to wear it
I’m comfortable
Exposed.

Without this mask
You see me for all I am
So shame on you
For not seeing me coming.

But you
And your kind
You wear the masks I choose not to
You wear the masks I see through.

A brilliant disguise?
Please
Spare me.

I walk raw, naked and senses alive
Even while the rest of me dies
Just do me this favor
Only this one
When I’m gone
Display this mask alongside my casket
To serve as constant reminder
For the fakes who attend.

© Copyright 2012 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.