Monday, January 2, 2012

The Trial and Tribulation

In the human hive I live in, an old
woman circles an upstairs room,
round and round again for all to see,
though she cannot care. An open
window exhales the lonely male
banging on the door to be let in,
his girlfriend pleading to be left
in peace and alone to sleep.

Arriving home late from work,
the nurse with groceries in a bag
walks quickly past where I smoke,
eyes on the ground, unwilling to add
another illness to the heap
that might extinguish a hope
left untended by too little time
and too much pain.

A young woman stays in all day
and like a shut-in wears a ratty robe.
She has a camera and wi-fi
and she broadcasts eight hours a day,
tending to the flowers of predictable
desires that a credit card buys.

Few raise eyes to see the common ordeal.
Paper thin as the skin of an onion,
peel away the scab that protects the hour.
Hear thru the window a voice not meant
to be heard. Follow the leaky ceiling
to knock at an upstairs door that might
open to humdrum void or the mystery
you waited to solve for all eternity.

Say words that make sense of the day's remains,
but know that they tell as much about you
as they do about reality. Cash-driven or mad
with wild desire, the life you miss
in a few minutes can haunt or redeem you,
and you never know if it counts
or not, or even if counting matters,
but that just desire and choice make it so.

(c) Copyright 2012 Charles David Miller. All rights reserved.


  1. Really like the last sentence. All of it is good. Great snapshots of the lives of people and insightful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Beautiful Charles, such delicate handling of all the small lives, that could be bigger, & all our lives, that however small, are actually bigger, than we ourselves could ever know...gentle & subtle handling of pain, lost, yearning, and the weight of living these things impart..K-a

  3. love how you observe the people and let us see them..the nurse..the girl who broadcasts 8 hours a day...i saw them like i was standing there...Few raise eyes to see the common ordeal.
    Paper thin as the skin of an onion,
    peel away the scab that protects the hour.. great write charles...and thanks for the birthday wishes..

  4. What Claudia says! You create such wonderful pictures of people in this poem.

  5. feel like Im looking through a microscope ..... Love your visions of life Your words take me to each of these heartbeats ...a thought .. films your poetry for me is like films watching films Your writing is GREAT! always Beez :))

    1. really great capture...i love observing others and you put me right there doing it in your words...nice rich depth to your characters as your descriptions....great stuff...

      hey sorry i am so late, not sure if you knew but blogger is having major problems with embedded commenting and dont know when it will be fixed so many might not be able to comment...just an fyi