The S On My Chest

Something so soldered, spraypainted so sharply,
Spiraling, snaking, set squarely, centered near my heartbeat,
It’s a hot brand, scarred so deep,
a neverending feeling that I’m somehow letting someone down, even in my sleep.
Be it me, or the world, or the people in between, that one unchecked box on my to-do list locks me in.
Perfection is a religion with no salvation, and an infinite way to feel guilt and commit sins.
It’s a lose-lose when the bar is so high
that I inexplicably expect to take off and fly
to reach goals so lofty, grandiosely ambitious,
and when I fall short I blame my lack of wings
instead of realizing I may be taking on too many things.
We praise hard work and precision
to a point where a day without ‘being productive’ is regarded as a bad decision,
A lazy waste of time that lacks drive and vision.
So on my chest shines the red ‘S’ that the ubermensch-turned-comic book hero has long worn,
adorned, on my skin,
indoctrinated since childhood
to overachieve or die trying, either master the universe or regret being born.
The only kryptonite I have is my own scorn. -RSM

Chaotic Alignment(s)

Thick, dry ropes, with strong flames, burning,
running parallel, at different speeds, converging,
The flames race on, hiss and move along, swerving,
so much uncurling to do, it’s unnerving –

A full, blue moon hovers over big changes,
that shape and carry on the flames to their next stages,
The coming days, weeks, years, you’ll feel the full force
of where these winds of change blow the flames’ embers to-wárds.

Some of the ropes run a straight, narrow line,

keeping their flames the same – a slow, steady grind,
others slither-and-wind, flames wither-and-die,
Ultimately they all spiral together and combine.

This fire is all we have – the present is the blaze,

The past are the charred ropes, smoke rising in a haze
and future are the ropes ahead, yet to be burned – unfazed
by the warmth of the moment that we feel day to day.

So many of the burning strings entangle at angles
that show a grim picture – the near future looks mangled,

the present feels pretty unpleasant, we’re not fine;
headed toward uncertainty, as crooked timelines intertwine.- RSM

Through the Abnormal

As I wake up to grey skies shrouding the muted, orange sun,
I react with a subtle shrug; things have changed.

“What’s normal anymore, anyway?” Something I think to myself – an open-ended question with no answer coming soon.
We only have left a handful of hope, hanging onto ‘the usual,’ the baseline we all knew.

This year has been ripe with things that make me cringe,
On the fringe of science fiction, dystopia, and humanity paying for it’s environmental sins.

Common sense has followers, but nonsense has #believers;
disciples of convenience – masks, they can’t wear it, swearing they don’t need it.

The virus spreads on, even though we all know what’s best,
And fires rage out west – a bad combo for your chest –

2020’s been a bad year for the lungs, the eyes, the heart, the mind; life has shifted.
We carry on with heavy burdens, hoping the weight will be lifted,

we’re all tired souls, but love has persisted.

We fight for the ones we love through it all, we claw forward if we have to, so our little ones can crawl.
We still find ways to laugh, to make light of our collective plight,

we hold our friends and family tight, we mourn deaths and celebrate life.

Whatever ‘normal’ might mean next year, we’ll see,
But in 2020 – ‘normal’ is vulnerability.
Confusion is normal, fatigue, sadness,
numbness, exhaustion, hysteria, anguish,

new hobbies, revisited talents,
Zoom calls with your technology-inept parents,
Career changes, new dangers, politics vs. science –
And love is present in all of the above, and through the abnormal, love will guide us.– RSM