Three New Poems

by Darryl Price

"A man's soul or lack of it will be evident with what he can carve upon a white sheet of paper."--Charles Bukowski



We built a secret road and rolled it into a crumpled ball and pushed it deep into an empty wine bottle

And dropped it into the laughing ocean for much, much later, but like all young dreams it was

Found out by busy strangers and turned into mounds of vanishing cash. We still had ourselves a perfect

Picture of what the innocent sun looked like through red broken glasses. There's

Always something you can do with the sea and a little leftover sunlight if you're willing.

Maybe those few drops of pure dream were only alive for those people we were. I

Honestly thought we would help to remember who we were before the

World came knocking on the door and took us away in separate cars. If

You cared as much you would have shouted something amazing and sweet from your prison window.

If you cared you would have thrown something meaningful at me that only I

Would ever know how to catch. I don't blame them. They are

Nothing more than partly animals, nothing more than hungry, hungry mouths,

Nothing more than nibbling plants with perfumed hidden agendas, but you, you were

A close friend and that makes things infinitely worse. The stars grinned all of a sudden

And their rotten teeth were terrible to behold and smell. All because you thought it

Was all a sleepy little game to be dressed up for and later abandoned to some gruesome

Sort of creepy scrapbook for adults only. I never thought we'd sink so low so suddenly into

The solid ground like that. It didn't make any great sense to me. Until I saw your reflection

In the reflection. Then I knew. And my heart snapped in two like a broken summer fish.

For Birds


The tree outside my window

Suddenly lit up like a tortured

Lamp and then it was simply

Gone and the room felt

Like an abandoned monastery. That's


Just one explanation for your

Departure that doesn't involve dumb mutiny

Or sad motive. I haven't got

The time to solve the

Mystery to everyone's literary satisfaction.  


One-way trip was started and

A slipped-away trip was taken. It's

The same for all the contestants,

Probably even those who choose

To stay in the darkened


Room and wait for the

Lights to turn back on. A

True love is always left behind

When there's free fun to

To be had. Do you


Really need a metaphor to

Read between the betrayed lines? People

Are left frozen on the grass,

For no more than a

Shared cigarette and an illegal


Gun in the mouth.  After

All these years, has it been

Worth it? I'm a poet, you're

Whatever you are. It doesn't

Matter anymore. Other stories have


Covered ours up like something

Forgotten underneath snow. The thaw is

All mine. It's just another piece

Of art. It's not even

For you. It's for birds.

 That Rare Moment


Words are only the windows I want you to look through

For now. Mostly because they can give you a seeing key

To unlock the many rooms of my feelings. Don't worry. It's

Nothing more than a vase for some flowers, a glass for

Some spilled sunlight. I know it's momentary for you. But you

Can't pretend in the face of the big reveal, or else

Everything falls apart, and that would make a disastrous picture of

A singular spectacular sky. I don't know where the brightness comes

From that illuminates you to me. I mean I know it

Is you, but it is also me, some part of me

That recognizes in your voice, in your face, in your hair


A movement that gives me a raw courage I never knew.

So the words become like curtains, they are meaningless in themselves.

They need these alphabetical walls, the whole spinning language outside streaming

Through the Inner airways to make their introductions, to ask you

To dance. That's its whole, strange phenomenon, like a favorite song,

You can't help but feel fantastic in its presence if only

For that rare moment it plays around in your head. The

Silly artistic purpose here is only to not be a liar.

The real purpose here is to be authentic as we live

And breathe. The personal purpose is to be honest without faking

A special boredom with you. I didn't make this up. The


World existed well before the spark created by our crossing paths.

I felt it enough to bleed forth this poem. You may

Not have noticed it happening at all. That's not my problem,

But it is my mortal awareness, owned or disowned, soul-wise

Speaking for the taking. It shouldn't matter to you. I'm only

Saying you made a big difference in my heart that deserves

A little notice of thanks on my part. You probably receive

These kinds of awards daily. I'm more than happy to add

Mine to the shelf because it certainly belongs there among all

The others, but I will not be lumped in with the

Strangled stars when I am the one bringing you the moon.

Bonus poems:



I would want you to be as happy at the

End as at the beginning. I would want the courage

That you found to be as natural as your high

When you can't help yourself. I would want the thrills

To be all your moment like a panoramic view from

The lighthouse of the heart. I would want to feel

The happiness in your fingertips as we walked along the

Edges of your own shoreline. I would want you to

Feel at home in your own gait, your own laughter,

Your own stance. The poem wouldn't adorn you as much


As fly by you and give you its wind, wave

You its wing on a nodding shaft of sunlight. I

Wouldn't want you to be named after any star because

That field could not begin to account for the amazing

Blue depth in your eyes to me. I would want

You to be able to dance with every adventurous drop

Of rain. I would want you to be free to

Explore your own strength for beauty. I would want you

To climb into my arms for naked peace, with fun

Goodwill, but not without a healthy curiosity. I would want


You to always be the person inhabiting your soul. I

Would want you to be still growing into yourself even

At your age. I would want you to disregard these

Crazy ramblings and kiss me over and over again. I

Would want you to be anything you want to be

And not what any poet wants you to be. I

Would want you to be surrounded by caring friends who

Could never harm you. I would want you to be

Your own poet, although I'm more than happy to step

Into the role when you need me, but you don't.


Consider this a letter of resignation. I'm honored by your

Presence. It's the purest proof that love is worth every

Humiliation, every trip and fall, every injury and setback. I

Would only want you to be careless as well as

Careful when it comes to matters of the heart. You

Will know what I mean when you are standing at

The crossroads. Trust in yourself first. Safety is as much

An illusion as anything else with bars on the door.

I would want you to be the one who gets

The job of living well done with kindness and mercy.


I would want you to be engaged with the energy

That heals the world. I would want you to be

The last human being standing. I've said about all there

Is to say. I just wanted you to know. These

Words are all I have to hold you with now.

I want you to be blessed one more time. It's

Important to me. Otherwise I wouldn't say it. I would

Want you to be smiling as you read this. It

Is real if we make it an action toward being

So. I would want you to be sure and ready.


Hello is the one thing that isn't loaded with stuck-up

false notions. Hello isn't yet

capable of sweetly lying to your

eyes. It hasn't the nerve.

Hello lets open the possibility that some things are worth

believing without a shred of

asking for the inevitable ruined return

to spoil the moment. Hello

acknowledges the physics of immediate joy. It accepts the

understanding. Like a deep breath

hello breaks into the room by

walking through its walls. Hello

doesn't hate goodbye. It carries the will to connect all

sinews by the cord of

years found inside every shared movement.

Hello pulsates. Hello's magic lives

to perform, but it's not

a trick, it's a natural

progression yowards painting the picture. Hello's all I've got. You're the

one with more to offer.