Urban Forest

In a sea of gray skyscrapers and concrete,
The familiarity of suburban row houses,
Screeching subways and honking cars,
A little quiet doesn’t exist.

No giant sequoias or wildlife here,
But the charming London planes
Scattered across the streets
Offer some green.

Within this steel metropolitan glamour,
Pockets of peace can be found,
In the space of a small yard,
Beside a sapling fig tree.

As the wind blows on a restless summer eve,
The susurrus of leaves and twigs
Create a soundscape redolent
Of the distant forest.

War

The mighty hand that falls,
Crushing hope and any fight.
Phantom terror seeps into the bones
—paralyzing—distorting—numbing—

A warm day: bright sun, cloudless sky,
Children’s laughter as they run,
Chasing monsters and demons,
A day lost long ago.

From within a storm brews,
Spinning fury and anguish,
That nothing from without
Can possibly contain.

Fear lodged in the throat,
Smothering a voice.
A body breaks and heals,
This rebel rises again.

Ha

A friend once said,
She knew I had arrived
By the sound of my laugh.
At first I felt sheepish.

A hearty cackle,
That turns heads.
Another friend once called me
—a hyena, many years ago.

But now I shrug it off.
If my enjoyment irks people,
Better to let them be grumpy.
I will laugh and laugh and laugh.

The Peacock

A man in a suit, neat Oxfords, crisp shirt,
Saunters down the street, a giant flirt.
Checks his watch, a glittering metallic eyesore,
He grins with arrogance oozing from every pore.

He shakes his wrist again to flaunt that watch,
The reflection blinds a woman, whose purse meets his crotch.
He screams, and she then screams—
Karma delivers beyond my wildest dreams.

A Study in People

You see, but you do not observe.
Okay, chill out, Sherlock.
Take a look at the world today,
A mass produced commodity.

Within the sea of bright patterns,
Gaudy jewelry, trendy haircuts,
Who can tell the truth worth
Of a person at single glance?

Tiny details at every turn,
And sometimes—most times—
The effort worthless.
Individualism, a facade.

Mere observation answers not,
Every inquiry.
The solution: conversation.
But I’m too tired for that!