Ghosts of lives lived

My father’s father survived a war torn land as a child but could not survive the war that raged within him.

My father’s mother carried the weight of a broken generation on frail shoulders and fed it with pockets full of imitation love.

My father perpetually relived the death of his dreams till Death finally came for him.

My maternal grandfather built the Interstate of Integrity through the Badlands of prejudicial injustice.

My mother’s mother was born to please Earth with her scent – like Night Blooming Jasmine – only to be gone by morning.

My mother lived her life for others except for a momentary lapse that left her a lone wolf without a pack.

I live as a ghost in a life of lies built on the expectations of others.

 

[Another contribution by JW: art and words.]

[For those who may be curious, Kat is doing much better, but is still dealing with some issues. But I’ve got months of medical issues still ahead in the near future. So we are grateful to JW for all he’s done and continues to do for us here.]

Wisdom of Wounds

 

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The innocence of beauty
and the wisdom of wounds
can be a powerful combination
when harmoniously balanced.
Yet beauty’s teaching will always be
inferior to the wisdom of wounds.
Beauty is fleeting.
The wisdom of wounds endures.
The wise learn from their wounds:
yet fools see the same wound multiply,
since wounds, untreated,
expand.

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However, only a masochist seeks pain.
Like a society worshipping youth
and beauty above experience and wisdom
forever doomed to repeat
its self-inflicted wounds.
How many of tomorrow’s pains
could we be spared if we’d only
learn from the wounds of today?
There truly is…
wisdom in wounds.

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[Another contribution from JW: art and words.]

The human condition

 

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The human condition is far from perfect,
and yet there’s still no greater beauty.
In fact, the closest we can get to perfection
is in overcoming our imperfections,
while overlooking those of others.
Though it is true, imperfections, like beauty,
are in the eye of the beholder.
Nothing can be done to alter that fact.
A person cannot be forced to view others
through more compassionate eyes
in order to see the true beauty.
It’s their God-given right to be a fool.
Needless to say,
it is wiser to be true to oneself…
scars and all.
Heed not those who habitually point out
the imperfections of others, as they
simultaneously, though ignorantly,
spotlight their own.
Those who confess no imperfections shine a
beacon on that which they confess.
To judge without knowing is like intelligence
without common sense, it’s nonsense.
How one responds to imperfections, one’s own
or others, is a great indicator to
individual self-worth.
Therefore, sex appeal isn’t what others see in you,
it’s what you see in yourself.

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Love can always look beyond imperfections
to find the beauty.
Always.
Including a healthy love of self.
A proper course of action:
cease dwelling on imperfections.
The cost is too great.
Everything of substance is forfeited in the process.
Imperfection is a part of life,
deal with it and move on.
You’re perfectly imperfect just as you are.
And if you show me anyone without a blemish
I’ll show you someone to avoid when
the shit hits the fan.
Part of the grand design is that humans can
overcome imperfections, individually and
collectively, proving miracles still happen.
Which does not imply all such miracles include
a transformation from
imperfection to perfection.
Nor does it imply mere acceptance.
Humans conquer their imperfections by not
allowing the obstacle control over their lives:
keeping them from their desires.
Individuality, confidence, peace of mind:
Living with imperfections.
Never allowing imperfections to hinder
living to the fullest.

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[Another contribution from JW: both art and writing.]

 

The True Perfection

[Another contribution from JW: both art and poetry.]

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The true perfection of humanity,
in a sense,
lies within our imperfections.
And vice-versa:
Beauty can be an imperfection.
Doubtless, not the common-thread
we would’ve selected
for ourselves.
Yet a bond, never-the-less,
binding us together.
Humans are equally yoked
in imperfection.
Alas, perfection is merely a state
of mind: often misconceived.
Humanity is a state of being:
a state where we each reside.
Neighbors.
Who then, when equally yoked,
has the right to condemn?
Yes, beauty has its appeal,
but it’s still a façade.
After all, today’s beauty
is tomorrow’s has been;
like today’s wannabe
is tomorrow’s never was.
Attempting to uplift oneself
by degrading another,
especially when unable to prove
one’s own perfection, is, sadly,
more than a waste of breath.
It’s a prevailing symptom
of an epidemic.
An ever-increasing pastime…
An ill-inspired comedy of errors…
With but one fate…
a Greek tragedy.

Who am I?

[Another contribution from JW: both art and poem.]

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Who am I?
I am the interpretation of my scars – seen and unseen.
I’m told everyone has a story.
I do not know but mine.
The beauty of youth once graced the cover,
but scars have always been the text.
Twas’ once… and only once… I bore no scars.
That was the time I had yet to live.
The first scar to my name
came at the point of birth.
Had I known what was coming
I might’ve curled back up inside.
I have several scars through child’s play.
Then another here, and two more there,
from adults who misbehaved.
With skin to asphalt I learned
that road, like skin, does have a rash.
O’ fighting scars, my history holds,
three-hundredfold, no jest partake:
though more within than out remain.
Till off I’m sent for our common uncle,
signed-up five days past seventeen.
I’m told adventure will be mine,
a man I will become.

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Stepped on soil in foreign places:
learned a truth I want to forget,
a truth no recruiter will tell a child.
In order to put away childish things,
a step taken to manhood,
it merely cost the lives of others –
and my blood staining the sand.
My skin did part like the Red Sea
as Moses held hands high.
First once… twice… than twice again,
so many surgeries past.
Uncle Sam, he did disown me.
His promises were dust.
Though it was he who set the policy,
it was I who paid with pain.
Pain to me is life…
my daily diet.
Scars now live… inside and out,
these scars I know so well.
The unseen ones are just as real,
and oft-times they bear more honor.
I pity those whose visible scars
were self-inflicted.
All beauty is not appealing.
All scars are not unappealing.
Beauty forges vanity,
scars forge character.
It is the “beautiful” people who shun me the most.
Their character has never been tempered.
My scars testify to my courage.
Scars from heroism trump the beauty
so common on the model runway.
I’ll take my battle scars
over your beauty awards – any day.
Maturity understands
why battle scars are beauty marks.
There’s a reason pretty boys die in battle,
while this junkyard dog survived.
Beauty on the battlefield is merely cannon fodder.
Battle scars: a clearer fashion statement
than scarification, body piercing, or tattoos.

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Every masterpiece appears scarred
when still a work in progress.
Yet when it scars with age
it becomes no less a masterpiece.
Society urges me to bare my medals,
yet hide my scars.
While shunned by others
I’ve learned to cherish myself – scars and all.
“Vet” now rolls off my tongue,
no longer caught in my throat.
I am scarred for life,
yet feel no shame.
Who am I?
I am the interpretation of my scars – seen and unseen.

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[JW has become closer than a brother. We’re both disabled Vets and compatible in many other ways. And kat and I wish to thank him again for all he’s done during this bad period we’re going thru.— AJT]