Flightless Birds & Fireballs

I am not love, and
lust is no object I possess;
attention is a cardboard city
strung with garish Xmas
lights.

I am not man or woman—
my present state attained by
psychosomatic chromosomal
elimination.

I am not indulgence or delight;
the food I chew is cold and
bland, plucked from a gaunt
metal grid under the pale
light of a wheezing
refrigerator.

I am not corporeal, my
two-dimensioned body
won’t be discovered in
sunshine or by dark,
for I have sidled
into a realm of gray
on gray—an endless
archipelago of mist-clung
uncertainties.

I am not the skeleton key to
your locked strongbox of
happiness or despair—
not the kindling or the
matchhead to strike
sparks upon your dry
desires.

I am not genius, nor am I
revolution at the tip of
a sword, the end of a
gun, or in the gleaning of
catchphrase words on a picket
sign.

I am but moth wings,
passed through the slits of
too many fingers—my flight
powder dispersed among the
unstill bodies in a ceaseless side-
walk shoulder rub; wiped
like chalk off a board by
a populous that I can’t call
kin.

Earthbound, I sit on a slab—
legs crossed and parted, a
silhouetted jet plane, grounded
on the tarmac by
an inclemency of
spirit.

I have picked a perch from
which to watch the dusking of
our kind—I bathe in the holy
heat and glow of come-and-go
wildfires, punctuated by the
distant ripples of exploding
souls.

And this is how we
end—slathered with
napalm gel, lit on fire in
a frenzied dance of hugs and
handshakes, setting all the
other people ablaze in a
brief, impersonal
embrace.

But, remember, I am nothing and
I am no one; so, I resign to
watch and wait, and
wonder, before I curl
fetal, drifting into dream,
as one by one, our once-
flames flicker, smolder, and
wane—

myriad
solitary
cooling
suns.

Wake Me When It’s Over

A link to my latest poem, published on Sudden Denouement. If you aren’t familiar with the poets on their site, please take the time to get to know them—they are some of the most talented and beautiful people I’ve come across.

“Wake Me When It’s Over” – Nicholas Osborne

-Nick

Thoughts 1/1/2016

The year ends, and so also ends this black-checkered composition book I’ve been scribbling in. Coincidence that the final page is filled on the last evening? Maybe my subconscious drove me to it.

Either way, I am still here—still writing, though you may not know it. I hope that what I have produced is meaningful and satisfying for you. I write for me, but also for you.

I want to thank you all for bearing with me this year. It’s a doozy for the record books, I think. Your readership, love, and support has gotten me through many more difficult days and nights than you will ever know. You have given me a reason. For that, I thank you.

Here’s to fresh starts and bold undertakings.

 

-Nick

The Approaching

Thunder clouds roll
over this nighttime land—
above homey streets and sanctums
where all fear is foreign,
and the lights always burn.

Booming, as sky trumpeters,
an army is marching,
with such resonance
that rattles walls and
dislodges pictures
hung in all the little houses.

You fear storms,
with their cannon shot reach:
an unstoppable arm
that penetrates your
dark places—
your hidden chambers,
whose wall shelves overflow
with your secret things.

You fear the photograph flash
of cleansing blue lightning.
Without warning, it publicizes
the acts that you perpetrate
while the sunlight has fled.

……

From your bedroom window,
you see a barefoot man;
he sprints through
the roiling exterior.

Naked to the waist,
his over-white skin and underfed ribs
are covered in deep red welts
from a castigating hail;
his hair, sopping—
plastered to his furrowed brow
from a deluge of spite.

He has risked his only flesh
to bring you a warning,
because he has appraised
your safety as more valuable
than his own.

……

A heaving chest gives voice;
he pleads that you shutter
your windows, burn all
that is false from your
shadows, and shelter yourself.

He has offered himself to the
abuse of the elements,
deeply and often,
for a chance to place
in your hands this missive.

……

With ears, plugged
by wax and by hubris,
you cast him back into
the worsening weather,
because you believe the
walls of your lies
impermeable.

You fail to recognize that
all to which this being lays claim
are the tatters clung to
his knifelike bones
and the ferocious will that
is a burning coal at his core.
He owns nothing that
can be taken—
he doesn’t possess the desire
or the means to hold secrets—
while you stand to be shattered.

……

You watch as he walks,
shoulders squared and undaunted,
back into the wild and danger—
he does not doubt
his continued survival.
For the first time, you realize
a courage that you neither know
nor own, thrumming in his breast
like an uncovered beacon.

The man who devoted himself
to your protection resolves
to do so no longer.
He mourns for you—
come morning, every untruth
that you’ve hid
will have been blown into
the full force of daylight
for the knowing of all.

……

Now, this soul is chained
to a terrible sadness,
beyond comprehension.

You’ve always feared storms,
and you should fear this one.