Poetry By Herb Stevenson (page 2)


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Eternal Faith

"Dear Lord" commences an enigmatic search for celestial wholeness.

"Jesus" cries from an empty heart in need of hope.

"Allah" begs for a sign that life has meaning.

"Buddha" pleads for a quiet mind and peaceful soul.

"Where are You" bares the truth in a chaotic world.

"When are You" festers from the endless stream of unanswered prayers.

"Why won't You" wails the weakening belief in a spiritual haven.

"Which One" connotes the realization of mythical stories peddling ecclesiastical dependence.

"Why not One" annotates the fallacy of one god versus another.

"Oneness" unsheathes bygone wisdom waiting for another dawning.

"Thy will be done" relinquishes the societal myths blocking the Way.

"Shalom" accepts the ray of life as the Light of all days.

"Ommmmm" surrenders to the eternal vibrations waiting to be freed.

"God" whispers from a heart in effortless waves of Love.


Each morning
I awake to see
you waiting, patiently
waiting, for me
to open my eyes
and remind me
that you are always
with me.

When I look into the
mirror, you stare back
with black eyes
gleaming like you
know something
that I don’t or something
that I don’t
want to know.

When I get dressed,
you remind me that
some clothes are less
safe than others or maybe
that it is safer to wear
these clothes, the same
ones I wear every day
to find comfort.

When I walk into
a large room of people or
visit someplace new,
you meet me at the door
with arms wide open,
squeezing the wind
from my lungs and
piercing my heart.

When I leave the house
you wait for me
in the car or
at the end of the drive
riding on the front bumper
watching my reactions
to each sign, symbol,
person or pebble.

When I need to work
you occasionally let me
place you on the shelve
or in a box,
or under a rock
to wait until I get done
so that I can try
to make a living.

When I need to look
normal you let me
pretend that you
are not here, now,
so that I can seem
calm or happy
or alive and have
conversation with others.

When I need to feel
safe, you seem
to know just when
and how much
to leave me alone
be it for a minute, or
an hour or a month, yet
you always come back.

I wonder if I will ever
not be with you, or
if I will ever
feel safe enough
to not need you
to know that I am alive,
or if I will ever look into a
mirror and just see my face

Denial of Darkness

Flesh of Emotions

The darkness feels terrifying
as if it is stripping the skin from my body.
It is tearing into the flesh of my emotions.
It is tearing into the flesh of my emotions.
It is tearing into the flesh of my emotions.

“Who are you?”
echoes in the distance
as if thoughts, my thoughts,
are bouncing off the
walls of my mind.

“What are you?”
thunders between my ears
as the agitation rises
shooting bolts of heat
through my burning veins.

“What do you want?”
deafens the senses
as shrilling fear surges
exploding any semblance
of self into oblivion.

“Who are you?”
blisters each cell
as if wanting, my
is impossible to know
yet must be voiced.

“What are you?”
pierces each muscle
like burning arrows
ripping through the
defiant defenses.

“What do you want?”
weakens to a mere
droplet of hope
that relief, any relief,
is remotely possible.

“Who are you?”
hides in the folds of skin surrounding the eyes,
my eyes,
waiting to be seen
for the first time.

“What are you?”
waits in the presence
of a past catching up
to itself, never having known it was gone.

“What do you want?”
sits no more in the
darkness waiting
to be called into
the day of life.

Ghosts in my Head

There are ghosts
in my head,
flying to and fro,
waiting for the precise
moment that will scare
the living bejesus out of me.

I cannot see them.
I hear them
swooshing back and forth,
up and down like clothes
in a washing machine.

The Good Son

I have tasted the fruits of being "the good son"
as tested by the fires
of your humanness.

I have succumbed to the
lambasting words that propelled me into
emotional obli­vi­on.

I have lain in fear from the vivid portrayals of what happens
to boys like me.

I have cowered under the thu­nder of your angry
arm swinging the leath­er belt of destruction.

­I have languished in your
simmering resentment
for being responsible
for my well-being.

I have tasted the fruits
of being the "good" son
as tested by the icy
cooln­ess of your life.

I have borne the chill
of your alienation from
your self, your life,
and your inbred strif­e.

I have carried the bite
of your isolation from
crawling out of bed day- after-day to feed me.

I have worn the cloak
of your desperation
as I lived your drea­ms
while forgetting my own.

I have seen the vacancy
behind your eyes as you smiled for someone,
obviously, not me.

I have felt the trem­bling
hands that simply
wanted to walk away
with no place in mind.

I have seen the weariness
of a barren soul hiding
the desires to ignite the fires buried within.

I have tasted the fruits
of being a good "son"
as tested by the dripping
dew of your inner child.

I have been blinded
by the sullenness
from not allowing
joy to express itself.

I have been pulled
apart from the missing
words of encouragement
to find myself.

I have been wordlessly
informed of what is
expected with-out
question, without consent.

I have been shown
that everything
has a price, often far
in excess of its worth.

I have lived in the
confines of deleterious
directions of how life
is to be lived.

I have given what's mine, to fill what was taken as yours, no more. Now,
"I am" the good son.

April 1996

A Healing Hug

I yearn
for a healing hug—

the ones where the
world ends
in the peacefulness
of each
other's breath.

the ones where
wounded children
come out from hiding
to peak over rocks
to see if it's real.

the ones where
hearts ache
with so much love
that true compassion
is understood.

Yes, I yearn
for a healing hug—
as do you
and you
and you.

How Do I Know

"So be it"
echoes the note
of finality
back and
back and
back and

"The End1
is near"
the spine
and back up
twice more
as the image
of cataclysmic
changes erupts.

"The Path"
then clouds
as doubts
and fears
and family
and friends
grab hold
like lead weights
upon the heart.

"What's right,
not wrong"
the perceptions
as the
what's felt
and sensed
as Truth.

"Why me"
the possibility
of making
a decision
for this
celestial task
that cannot
be verified
in this life.

"Why not me"
the question
as a sense
of well-being
and deep
rises up
to the heart
and explodes.

"Why me"
re-emerges as
of aches
and pains
and raw
emotions spewing
appear like a
big-screen TV.

"Why not Me"
softens and
the soul
as a soothing
Light flickers
from within
melting the
fears and tears

"So Be It"
rings the note
of finality
of Knowing
the unknowable
Truth of the
trip to a


March 1994

I Thought

I thought.....

you wanted a relationship
one where “we” were
more important than me
one where you and me
were more than you or me
one where “us” was
more and not less

I thought.....

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