We All Rise Eventually by James Diaz

We All Rise Eventually

Everything that matters
comes at you
a little bit at a time
so much rain on a windshield
so much mud on a shoe
no shortcuts
no easy-through
the pain is baked in

And I want to say it’s better that way
but I’m on my knees
and it hurts to breathe
and even still
there are miles calling out to me
more to go
and well, you know
how it is

you think you can’t
but you do

I don’t know about you
but I’ll take it how it lays
and I’ll kick it on up the road
me and mine
and all of the awful is a kinda wonder
in someone’s eyes
I suppose
if you can’t see the glory in stumbling
than the ride you’re on is riding you
things’ll turn around in the dark
in ways you can’t put your hands to

time is that friend who tells no lies
tonight, it’s mirror fight
against the dying light
and try as you might
it’s all there in the skin
written in, stories of pain
songs of shifting road and god is good
I doubt it
but I don’t doubt this:
we’re hard to please even when it’s easy

I’m on my knees tonight
but I’ll rise
and ain’t it always a surprise
how you rise
when you feel wedded to the floor

I’ll take this one wild ride as long as it goes
till I run out of road
and even then, hell, who knows:
maybe dying is just a beginning again.

Again.
Play it again;
right into the ground.
Things turn around.
And you will too. In wonder.
In wonder.

by James Diaz

Twitter: @diaz_james

Editor’s Note: This conversational poem seems deceptively simple, but it mirrors the complexity of life, and more importantly, how important and difficult it can be to choose to live.

You will fall through the world on fire by James Diaz

You will fall through the world on fire

And on the days when you need hope most
you must pretend it’s there

root around in the dirt
until the dark reveals its truest face

pain is always more convincing than everything else
tell the dumber story

laugh louder than you meant to
don’t look around in embarrassment

be all looks at once
be your own eyes upon yourself

we are all telling the same story;
badly

ok, so you don’t really know who you are
what’s so bad about that?

I have seen the clouds, like Joni says
I really don’t know the world

but I know the pain
the stumbling, doubting, dumb, useless shit

let go of it
arrive at the party soaking wet

or not at all
eat pizza alone in the park

smiling at squirrels being squirrelly
join them

I’ve seen it done
I’ve wanted a freedom like that

it’s always there
beneath all the dark

you can run right into it
and never come back out

it’s an easy thing: to hate your life
I’ve been there, I stayed longer than I meant to

and on those days when I forget where I came from
I look up at the sky

because there’s no bottom to it
because heaven is just a twisting of the neck

look, there, all that true-blue
and you…

by James Diaz

Twitter: @diaz_james

Editor’s Note: Sometimes a poem reaches out and grabs the reader by the throat. This poem’s first line is brilliantly true.

From the archives – The Balance Between Us by James Diaz

The Balance Between Us

arranged as you are
verdant and sleeping
hard rain shimmering
like veins under the skin
my metaphors are all mixed up
these days

I have this scar I can’t get rid of
you said on that long drive home
I wanted to say something
you might find comforting
but I know how these things work
you only make it worse when you think words
can dispel something like this

and the avalanche of aching
where do you put that?
in the palm of my hands
I hear myself saying

the lights of the houses in the field
seem like some kind of cruel heaven
and we out here on the road
so lost, so far from home.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, March 2, 2016 — by James Diaz

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

Best of the Net Nominations – 2017

botncover

I am happy to announce the following poems have been nominated for the Best of the Net 2017:

Abiding Winter by Risa Denenberg

Affidavit by Terri Muuss

The Balance Between Us by James Diaz

Bone-Chilled by Martin Willitts Jr.

Poem Only Half About Myself by J. Rod Pannek

Tuesday Morning by George Longenecker

Congratulations!

There is no Safety Here by James Diaz

There is no Safety Here

this morning
in the garden
your words fell out
your mouth opened
and ran out
of things to say
light abandoned
every corner
you went hard
into the spaces
hid away
you became
another voice
in the wind
no one notices
when the snow
begins and the motels
close and none of the roads
lead home
and none of the homes
even have roads
that could take you there
this morning
you collapsed
in on yourself
and it was only the air
that felt your falling.

by James Diaz

Editor’s Note: The title’s assertion opens this poem with emphasis, while surreal imagery unbalances the reader until the ending word affirms the title’s meaning.

The Balance Between Us by James Diaz

The Balance Between Us

arranged as you are
verdant and sleeping
hard rain shimmering
like veins under the skin
my metaphors are all mixed up
these days

I have this scar I can’t get rid of
you said on that long drive home
I wanted to say something
you might find comforting
but I know how these things work
you only make it worse when you think words
can dispel something like this

and the avalanche of aching
where do you put that?
in the palm of my hands
I hear myself saying

the lights of the houses in the field
seem like some kind of cruel heaven
and we out here on the road
so lost, so far from home.

by James Diaz

Editor’s Note: The dreamy imagery of this poem feels like a long drive. The closing stanza continues the sense of lost yearning beyond the confines of the poem.