Day 15 “first draft” for NaPoWriMo 2013


on the senseless Boston Marathon bombing


to kill this way
cold as a viper’s stare

what could have happened
for you to lose your heart
to forfeit your soul
to abandon your humanity
so completely

human life as arbitrary
as landfall of a wind-blown leaf
the victims of your faceless rage
as random as that leaf

you shock us
you repulse us
but you will not
frighten us

you will not hold us captive
we will live our lives
with even more passion
we outnumber you

today we were a new parent
a lost friend found
a healer
a teacher
a laugh over dinner
an overdue book returned
an overdue dream realized

and what were you
a coward

• • •

rob kistner © 2013

Hot Water

Day 14 “first draft” for NaPoWriMo 2013

Hot Water

memories of falling in love


waiting for the water to get hot
hearing it resonate
ringing the stainless steel of the sink
I’m caught in a brief daydream

it’s 1987
I am standing over another sink
a girl I recently met
I offered to do the dishes
so out of character
but I wanted to impress

she invited me over for dinner
great meal
great evening
great face
great smile

though several decades
since I’d been a teenager in love
but I am smitten
I remember the feeling
almost giddy

as I plunge into the suds
searching for another plate
we are deep in conversation
I remember
I love talking with her
love hearing her laugh
love her velvet skin
love her great green eyes
love her

it’s true
I’ve fallen in love
like some school kid
and at my age
but the feeling is intoxicating

how nice it would be again
for even just one day
to feel that new
that innocent
that energized
that taken by another

her voice calls from the other room
lifts me from my reverie
I am still at her house
but it’s now our house
has been for many years

her skin is not quite velvet any longer
but her smile
still captivating
I’m still soothed by her voice
still love spending time with her
even now

how much time do we have left

certainly enough to finish these dishes
and the water is finally hot

• • •

rob kistner © 2013

Life is Duality

Day 13 “first draft” for NaPoWriMo 2013

Life Is Duality

on catching a glimpse of the Great Mysery


I sometimes get very dark
my emotions get brittle and heavy
– an anger at life swells

every time I dig deep enough
be it on my own
or in a counseling session
I find two constants

they are things I cannot change
but they have left a most indelible mark

one unfolded over a horrendous period of early years
one happened in a horrible flash during my mid-life
both so horrific they changed forever my humanity

try as I do their darkness still surfaces
and my inner light gets smothered
— but I will never stop facing them down
when I feel them getting a chilled grip on my essence

that is what life is
keeping the good fight
and embracing with love and gratitude
the beauty we have also been given
and we have been given so much so amazing

life is duality —
life is balance —
the keeping of it —
and the regaining of it when it’s lost…

if you have lived long enough
is DOES get lost at times – often very lost

but life is an awesome opportunity
an experience of the profound and mysterious
the mystery we are not meant to solve
but rather to celebrate with grace and wonder

peace to all this Friday night
may love touch all of our lives
for love is the gateway to the great mystery

as one of our last great modern prophets, John said —
love is all you need
and in the end
the love you take is equal to the love you make…

so find your lover and make love
with great freedom, abandon, gratitude,
and the energy of the spheres…!!! 🙂

• • •

rob kistner © 2013


Day 12 “first draft” for NaPoWriMo 2013


on nightmare situations


it’s nightfall
the darkness now descends
the hand of grief extends
terror is knocking at the door

it’s nightfall
words of sorrow stain my lips
slip through my fingertips
and scatter ‘cross the floor

it’s nightfall
the shadows hide my tears
but I am haunted by my fears
I am broken evermore

it’s nightfall
dark waves of misery
are rising like the sea
I am stranded on the shore

it’s nightfall
I am lost I am alone
confusion grips me to the bone
horror chills me to my core

out of the nightfall
I hear you call my name
I have finally gone insane
it is the end for me I’m sure

again I hear you call
then I know what this must mean
this has all been just a dream
I have simply been asleep
albeit very very deep
soon my eyes will open
once this nightmare’s spell is broken
soon the sun will rise once more
at least I pray that’s what’s in store

• • •

rob kistner © 2013

Talking To The Wind

Day 11 “first draft” for NaPoWriMo 2013

Talking To The Wind

on being open and vulnerable


to the angry wind
finds you conversing
only with yourself

the hardened stone
your hidden secrets
keeps them untold

with the lofty tree
your broken dreams
you hurt alone

you need connection
with a pulsing heart
tender flesh
with blood and bone

a battled brother
a seasoned sister
someone to hear you
to feel to see

to dry your tears
to call your shit
if that is how
it needs to be

someone who’s there
someone to care
but only if you
if you care too

only if you live
outside your self
where you can be found
and heard and felt

where you can feel
where you’re vulnerable
where you are real
with much to lose

if you do this
then you can love
if you put yourself
out there for love

then all your secrets
your broken dreams
all your precious stories
will find a home

a healing place
to be touched and held
to feel pleasure
to balance pain

but first
are you ready
are you willing
have you reached that place
where it’s ok
to lose it all
to find yourself
to find your grace

only out here
on this deeply bruised
and bloodied edge
midst real fear
can you ever be
all you can be

wholly human
truly free

• • •

rob kistner © 2013

Stardust Thief

Day 10 “first draft” for NaPoWriMo 2013

Stardust Thief

on courage


ride the moon
like the ferryman’s craft
to the secret place of dreams

ride the moon
like the stardust thief
pilfering the jeweled night sky

ride the moon
to seek the truth
hidden in the folds of time

it sparkles there
just out of reach
waiting for the worthy man

• • •

rob kistner © 2013

No One

Day 9 “first draft” for NaPoWriMo 2013

No One

on independence


if one is not author of the life one lives
it is plagiarized
its essence forged

do not contain me in your truth
I live beyond the lie

do not seek me on the surface
I break deep below the false

do not expect I ignite for you
you are not my flint

do not attempt to chart my course
I search my own horizon

do not summon me to your queue
you are not my piper

the cadence to which I tight step
pulses in my heart alone

I fall in line for no one

• • •

rob kistner © 2013

I shared this poem at dVerse.

The Ache

Day 8 “first draft” for NaPoWriMo 2013

The Ache

on love’s regret


there is a brilliant darkness
of the broken soul
from which springs a well
of melancholy
so deep
and bittersweet
as to stir the tongue
of the brooding poet
to loose a torrent
of sorrowed yearning
so rich with longing
that the hearts
of all who read
will ache
with raw desire
for the one true
and burning love
lost to fate
and all of time

• • •

rob kistner © 2013

…inspired by Mag 163
the visual prompt
at Magpie Tales
seen here

“Woman With a Towel”
Degas 1898

also inspired
by image above



my love
you step from your bath
draped softly in towel
gracefully poised
midst the fog of steam

your skin radiant
a’blush from the heat

your auburn hair
fondles damp ’round your shoulders
embraces your lithe neck

a sensuous vision
igniting a spark in my soul
stirring the passion of my heart
setting fire to my imagination

my love
your are venus
a goddess of desire
and my love

I can see your butt

• • •

rob kistner © 2013

*sorry about this cheeky bit 🙂


Day 7 “first draft” for NaPoWriMo 2013
part of my Smalling Downâ„¢ series


on hearing a mouse under the bed


where do you come from
little guy

under our bed

what are you doing
waking us
from our sound sleep

what is your intention
what’s under there
that’s so interesting

perhaps a morsel
of snacks-in-bed
maybe a wayward
snip of thread

certainly your intention
is not to hide
not scratch scratch
scratching on the frame
like you are

it’s just your nervous tick

I get it now
my wife’s annoyance
with my constant leg bounce

but then
there’s her incessant tapping
with her writing pen

marriage is nothing
if not tolerance

but her sister
damned hard to believe
she’s from her family

and you
down there
where do you come from
where is your little house

you’re lucky
you know
you’ve been pardoned
granted a reprieve

my wife loves critters
critters all
large and small

she thinks you’re cute
she thinks you’re funny
she thinks you’re innocent

though you and me
we know better
don’t we

you’ve picked the right house
little mouse
the right bed
to be under
to pursue your plunder
you’re safe

…for now

• • •

rob kistner © 2013


Day 6 “first draft” for NaPoWriMo 2013
part of my Smalling Downâ„¢ series


on finally reaching the end


as he reached the threshold
he hesitated
breathed in
partially turned
head cocked
breath caught
hand resting on the door

their eyes met
each wanting to speak


she sighed
looked away
he dropped his head
pushed open the door
stepped through
walked slowly on
never looking back

it had all been said

• • •

rob kistner © 2013


Day 5 “first draft” for NaPoWriMo 2013


on being wholly smitten


there is a quiet golden
in this evening as it settles
unequaled in its beauty
by even that of precious metals

it embraces vesper’s hour
with a subtle gentle heat
lays down upon the land
like the roll of amber wheat

it dances in the air
strokes your hair aglow in smolders
folds its warmth upon your face
fondles fiery ’round your shoulders

it ignites a special magic
as though dreams are coming true
paints the world in sensual splendor
almost beautiful as you

like a goddess of the sun
in this moment you catch fire
my heart a helpless tinder
now sparked by love’s desire

caught by beauty’s reaching flame
I’m filled with passion’s yearning
my soul is set ablaze
please don’t leave me burning

before I am consumed
quench me with your precious kiss
for if I am to be consumed
I pray it be in bliss

• • •

rob kistner © 2013


Day 2 “first draft” for NaPoWriMo 2013
part of my Smalling Downâ„¢ series


the traffic ticket


went to court today
first speeding ticket in over 30 years
pristine driving record
no accidents
safe-driver insurance discount

the situation that caused this
this disturbance
in my time space continuum
that put this ripple
on my deep lake of careful
that caused this snag
in my perfect cloth
was a dangerous
unfortunate turn of events
which required I react safely
and wisely

I did that
I received a citation
and not for valor

sometimes truth isn’t truth
intention must be allowed
allowed to play a role
shouldn’t it

of course
that assumes justice
and that can be a damned ‘iffy’ thing

I know precisely what happened
but precisely
what is the truth
about speeding

entering the freeway
found myself driving
in a dangerous situation
trapped in the inside lane
a dead-end lane
by a huge wide-load semi
forcing me too near the berm

car in front
car behind
hemmed in
doing near 60
to keep pace
wide-load drifting
in and out of my lane

responsibility meant
driving my way out of trouble
meant accelerating
meant driving fast

saving one’s ass
isn’t speeding

judge opened my eyes
to the truth about truth

truth wears many faces

• • •

rob kistner © 2013

Calypso Hearts

Day 1 “first draft” for NaPoWriMo 2013
part of my Smalling Downâ„¢ series

Calypso Hearts

on buying bananas at the market


were they sun-stained souls
with calypso hearts
that carried this bunch
through the magical sounds
of the tropical night
down to the shore
and onto the banana boats

all the while singing
moving rhythmically
thinking about the freedom of morning

thinking, “daylight come
and me wanna go home”

and me
my small shopping cart
black wooden cane
dangling from the handle
eyeing three semi-ripe ones

a little green
like my wife favors
and home they will go
up onto the fruit rack
above the counter
in the kitchen

and she will eat one
maybe just a half
the other half on cereal
maybe saved until later
another to work
for that 3:00 o’clock lull

wonder if those calypso-hearted souls
dealt with a 3:00 o’clock lull

wonder if they had the luxury of time
while loading that boat
to even consider a lull

wonder if they are
those calypso-hearted
sun-stained souls

but once they were
who toted those bunches

and they sang
and they worked
and they sweat
and they longed to go home

and they loved

so I thank them
and their calypso hearts
or gone

perhaps big soulless machines
tear through the banana trees now
ripping their yellow bunched plunder
without a thought of song
or the warmth of sun
or the sweetness of fruit
or the beauty of a tropical night

or what’s happening to the planet

Kathy will love these bananas
they are the perfect green
even more special
given we lose a little green

but that’s not for me
I just do what’s on the list

list says
get bananas
someone else
will have to save the planet

I do hope it’s on someone’s list

just wanna go home now

• • •

rob kistner © 2013