When I First Experienced Death

I was first exposed to the concept of death when I was between four and six years old. The backyard of my home was the battleground for my education. The lawn was large and green and full of life. Frogs, toads, and little animals and bugs ran free in the lawn, keeping the place natural and healthy-looking. It was beautiful. The flowers and plants were a nirvana for most of the small animals, including myself. You could truly feel the positive glow of it all.

I used to help my father mow the lawn. Imagine the horror that these little creatures beneath the grass felt, seeing a massive metallic blade spin overhead, sucking everything into its path. I didn’t realize the scope and grandeur of our work on the lawn until I sat there one day, on the newly cut grass, enjoying the smell and feel of it. To my right I noticed a frog hopping with difficulty. He was a victim of the blades. He was bleeding a greenish yellow puss from under its belly, and its eyes were wide and blank.

I didn’t want to pick it up; it was gross. I simply watched it from above. I was so young, and ignorant of the truth. I didn’t see it die. I saw it give up. Its breathing was labored; it was trying to keep its motion fluid and find solace in the trees nearby. Wouldn’t you want to lay your body down in the comfort of the forest when you realize your life is ending? But it stopped, and it just laid there, within arm reach of me, among the clover patch and freshly trimmed grass. I crawled over it and watched it lay there. It was such an innocent situation to witness – a little boy on his hands and knees, head hanging below his shoulders, looking at something on the ground, waiting for something to happen. Nothing happened. I looked at his face for signs, but saw nothing. That was the first encounter.

a Home to call My Own

I’ll be waiting at this bus stop,
near the bench that sits there

The 88 bus, it comes in
easy just past Vinal Avenue,
right on big old Highland, truly
above the rest of Somerville.

Like a mountainous valley,
Highland holds the crest with
rich red brick stone foundations,
and open common places
in the center of it all.

It was all about the sights
and smells that I experience
whenever I go somewhere new.

Especially when I’m running,
when the world is passing me by
so quickly, but not quickly
enough. Quick enough
to let it digest in my reality,
and quick enough to see
and smell enough of it all.

That was what it was like
out there, a new home
to call my own.

Secluded on the Left Side

The left side,
Wind blowing,
Endless blue.
The sea watches,
I watch it too.
Seclusion covers it by water.
The trees are freed,
The clouds look;
They plan.
The water breaks,
The motions die down,
Wind grows stronger than before,
Water gathers from light to dark.
I watch secluded on the left side.
The car watches me from afar
Even though I’m in it;
Darkness makes the distance.
Streaming along side,
I watch the island
Lights are showing the way,
Riding endlessly to my new home;
Way away from everything in my world.
A new home, away from my real home,
It opens out as I get closer to freedom.
Normalcy has bit the dust as I fly;
I fly in the clouds above me,
The tools of life help me,
The car is my wing,
My arms stretched full,
Watching secluded on
The left