Early or Late (day 1772)

I am not secret letters
Or a piece of written word
I am not Spring’s blossoms
Or twigs left to the wind
I am not warmth in a hug
Or laughter of memory
I am not sweet sun so high
Nor pale moon tonight
I am not bed to rest thy head
Or coffee to rouse morning dread
I am not sound from croaking frogs
Or serenade from happy birds
I am not late
Or early
I am
Or I am

Early or Late by Ned Tobin

Napkins (day 1622)

Ladders have begun
To disseminate my mental state,
Unpacked and re-packed
Long term storage boxes,
Dusty cardboard napkins.

Zigzagged metropolitan markets
With wicker baskets lined
With checkerboard napkins
And leftover spices
Under soiled paper napkins.

This night train is lonely
When the lights flicker just so,
I spend spare moments of memory
Re-reading the same four lines
Written on a folded square napkin.

Busy at the Crossroads (day 1173)

Before too much longer I had remembered what I had left home to find,
And it was at that exact moment my memory served me most correct.
I could only get there one step at a time
To a rhythm that was rolling like a Bob Dylan rhyme.

The scene wasn’t written in the papers, nor was it written down in time.
I was left with dried pens smashed up against my soul,
Where my concert was mid-encore;
Pinnacle of loudly unspoken madness.

Large Oak trees to my South side, Highlands to the North.
I’ve been busting these long clouds with my pointed perfection
Rattling off my unchained fancy-foot tongue.
And here I am all bustling around.

Liner Notes (day 1112)

List me forever.
List me like giant trees
That skyscrape before me
In absolute synchronicity
With wild honey bees
Hovering deeply around me.
List me like a fowl’s thump;
Deep within me,
Light steps ahead of me.
List me like I’m off the wall,
Like I’ve been abandoned
And recycled
And re-crafted into love
So deep my eyes are shining blue.
List me cause I’ve got your name
Written on every page I’ve scribbled,
Inside the liner notes,
And circled with my blue pen.
List me
And I’ll step with you.

She Liked Me (day 977)

She liked me because I made yam fries.
She liked me because of chopsticks on our first date.
She liked me because at all hours of the day,
Our stomachs growled in unison.

She liked me because I had dreams in my eyes.
She liked me because I’d read her poems I’d just written about her.
She liked me because every reason told her to be afraid,
But she’d still tuck her hand deep betwixt my warm nooks.

She liked me because when she licked, it tasted good.
She liked me because it wasn’t about the money, or the test.
She liked me because I liked it each and every time,
No matter how far we’d gone, or how loud we’d been getting there.

She liked me because we fought in the kitchen.
She liked me because I pinned her against the counter, frequently.
She liked me because she was changing me,
One smile after another, one spell after the other.

She liked me because I’d let her buy dark chocolate.
She liked me because I dug deep for strength.
She liked me because it just wasn’t the same,
When roads pulled our hands and spaces awaited patiently.

And I like her just the same.

Written (day 965)

Letters budge my soul
They dig deep
They remind me of a moon lit sky
Shining down on my half inebriated eyes
A little goblin that wrestles with trees
Dark and settling in
Just holding form until scripts are written

Letters make me remember
Not just my latest flirtations
But memories of my soul’s soul
That existed when plastic didn’t fill
Empty holes mines didn’t dig
Long ago, filtered through memories

So remember
As letters float on by my closed eyelids
As fat cats dodge rat traps
That morph their edges into lost doorways
It’s not just whispers that shift unfiltered frequencies
It’s corpses and serifs, un-written and un-scripted
Un-animated in a midnights grace
That pull my toes tight in a grip of pure delight

Written Down the Back of my Neck (day 934)

Lines have been written down the back of my neck
Ancient scrolls, unintelligible
In a language spoken when men and women
Lived together in deep respect and love

My throat has begun to burn
The ink has started to bleed
Where once was smooth innocence
Crawling with anticipation of the turning times

Return to a fantasia built upon sorcery
Filled with myth so blood-soaked and deep
Memories flood the virgin landscape
And the Oracle speaks once again