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C.S. Smith

The Matador

I long for the life of the matador
Where the delicate balance of life
Is determined only by whoever's blood
Covers a hundred roses

A life where the cries of thousands
Allow me to see with closed eyes
And adoration lifts me to heaven
Heaven - where the sword alone
Could never take me

Yes - the life of the matador is a privileged life
For only they know that the blade
Lies behind the cape

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Brown Autumn Leaves

Late night - stars bright - early December
I quietly and contently go mad
Unexpressed - unspoken - unuttered
Wistful
I look down to the depths of hell
Cold feet rest upon frozen ground
Attached to shaking knees
Connected to quivering body
One with fearful mind
Capable only of wonder
And wonder fueling hope
Hope of everlasting life
But expecting only brown autumn leaves
Covering the sacred resting ground of my soul

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Last Words Unheard

Did my grandfather think his last words would
be spoken to the leaves?
That Ave Maria would echo in the church
And stand as his final say?
Would anyone be around to hear
My last words?
Hear me say, as I lay dying
That it was a miracle that I lived
And it shall be a miracle that I will die?
Or will a hymn resonate off the unflattering
Portrait that sits atop my casket
And serve as my last words
Instead of the final defiant stanzas
Of one last poem

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The Location of Love

Love can be found in Pompeii
But not in Rome

Love can be found in the sewers of Paris
But not in the Eifel tower

Love can be found floating down the Nile
But not within the Pyramids

Love can be found in a lower east side apartment
But not the Hearst Castle

Love can be found in a junkyard
But not in a factory

Love can be found in front of a Chinese tank
But not at the United Nations

Love can be found deep in a dream
And still be there when you awake

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What's Ours

Every day is ours
Every face in the crowd - ours
Every morning we wake
Every breakfast we eat
Every breath we take
Ours
Every dollar we give to those in need
Ours
All that is right and good
Ours
Our life
Ours
Our Salvation
Ours

But death is also ours
Every tearful eye is ours
Everyone we hurt is ours
Every act of hate
And greed

[...] Read more

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Counselor

Great thinkers were placed under arrest
And are awaiting life sentences in the confines of their minds

Human organs decay as the spirit recoils in horror
Dying patients suffering from legion of the body and mind

The sounds of the apocalypse are only beautiful
Because they are earth's final words

Automobiles, gunshots, and atom bombs echo in my head
And for one brief holy moment
Past present and future come together to form the perfect life
For all to experience

We are all Messiahs

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The Intentions of a Child

Children live in a state of constant discovery
Their youth - a testament to genuine wonder

They hold no grudges
They bear no scornful eyes
No beards to stroke while planning world wars
No cigar smoke obstructing their view of impoverished nations
No clenched fist that rises - leading soldiers to death
No silver tongue forging desperate lies
No sinister hope of an immortal legacy

But innocence

A tiny finger that points to the stars
A crooked smile that radiates from the mantelpiece
And joy that can ease the heaviest of hearts

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Love Thy Self

Is it selfish to hope my love will be as beautiful as the flame streaming and dancing off of the tip of a match, but weep when things go up in smoke?

Is it selfish to wrap my arms around my love's legs and beg her to take me with her, but, later, long to be back home?

Is it possible to love her as much as a new pair of socks in a rice paddy trench?
Is it possible to love her as much as the homeless love a park bench?

Is it possible to love her as much as my last cigarette when the bell tolls for thee?
Is it possible my love will love me?

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An Ode to Greybeard

After leaving the convenience store, we smoked cigarettes insatiately, and were approached by a man with a long grey face, pink from the chilled wind.
Homeless, the man made due with a pile of jackets.

Spare a cigarette? He asked, like clockwork. And received what he bade for.
Without breaking his sight of his caretaker's eyes, he bit the filter out of the end and inhaled so deeply, he must have drank the smoke.

Thanks, pal - crept out from under his mustache and snuck by his cigarette.
His eyes turned slowly to meet mine and were as grey as his beard.
- Remember me when I die

He spoke also - with his eyes.
And mine spoke back - he knew I would
A legacy is only memory.

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In My Grandfather's Workshop

The stairs lead to the basement
And creaked just as they had
During the days leading to his passing

My grandfather loved woodcarving
The blessed mother smiles warmly in the kitchen
Surrounded by a halo of purple rosewood

My father and I filed silently into the old workshop
Where I had half expected all of his tools and works
To have been taken up with him

Body and soul

Every chisel remained unmoved on the great wooden bench
Every nail sat in it's cup - heads bowed in reverence
Time had stopped - all was quiet - all but the whispering furnace

The shepherd was gone - the sheep are lost

[...] Read more

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