Give Me Your Arm

and I’ll give you mine

Give me your arm;

I will wrap it around me

on nights when I don’t dream,

when my mind has been as blank

as it is in the daytime,

and I want the vibrancy

of knowing I’m safe and warm.

Give me your arm;

use it to reach out to me

like grabbing for the rope

of a boat that is about to start

drifting away from the dock,

and I’ll use mine to reach back to you,

knowing that even with both of us

filling the distance,

we will never feel close enough.

Give me your arm;

I’ll interlace my fingers in yours,

locked together and prepared to face

the rolling wind descending from

the mountainside

when the world threatens to end.

Give me your arm;

you know I’ll use it well.


Photo by Josh Hild from Pexels

Morning Meditation

clouds stuck in my head

I pay money for a good app,

but I don’t use it as much as I should.

Rather, I find solace in the quiet moments,

watching the other buildings of my apartment complex

as the sun does his best to peek his light

above their roofs.

This is the alone time that I cherish,

when it feels like a choice and not a punishment.

That feeling doesn’t always last.

Stuck in my head too long, the world tries

to convince me that I am better off

without solace.

When I think things like that,

I try my best to come back to the light,

but it’s hard on mornings like these

when the sun’s gleam is swallowed by clouds

and the trees in the distance look spindly

and winter-dead.

Maybe if I write the clouds a thousand love letters,

they will part for me,

or maybe someone will give me the power to part them myself

in an attempt to set my emotions free–

emotions that have been trapped inside of me

for so long that they don’t remember

their home in my voice

or coursing through my body.

Once more I try to come back to the light,

but it is hard to see,

so I focus back on the clouds.

There is some sunrise color reflecting off them,

and I realize they don’t block the light,

they provide me with a different way

to see it.


Photo by Alesia Kozik from Pexels

Light and Truth and Life

the candle feeds the flame

A candle is melting into nothing–

wax becoming air and wick becoming

singed

and maybe becoming air, too.

And what is air, really,

other than a way for us to describe

all the space that is around us

that we don’t really know the contents of

unless we deliberately hone in

with measuring instruments?

The candle still burns brightly.

And what is god, really,

other than a way for us to describe

all the power that is around us

that we don’t really know the face of

unless we deliberately hone in

with our thoughts and our breath?

There is a small amount of wax left.

And what is truth really

other than a way for us to describe

all the fervor that is around us

that we don’t really know the meaning of

unless we hone in

with the best of intentions

and a willingness to be wrong?

The wick runs out and the flame ceases.


Photo by George Becker from Pexels

Lover, Here Are My Words

Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her;
If you can bounce high, bounce for her too,
Till she cry “Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover,
I must have you!”

—Thomas Parke D’Invilliers

A million secrets whispered

muffled by that which is crystallized

and my mouth a swollen, sullen thing

that cannot produce any heat

nor passionate verses

when surrounded by such chill and char.

But, lover,

look at the frost–

how it glistens.

The whole world is melting

and I let tears stream down my face

to match the damp outdoors–

dripping off my nose and onto my lips

so I can taste the brine within me

when I part those lips to speak.

But, lover,

look at the sun–

how it radiates.

And I just let all these words flow out of me–

no, fall out of me–

when I opened my jaw in this heat.

I uncapped my pen

and left an inky, blobby mess on the page

with scribbled words nearly indecipherable.

But, lover,

look at the bounty–

how it is.


Photo by Andreea Diana Sintean from Pexels

Again Today – Guest Post by Leon Stevens

I saw that guy again on my walk today

I saw that guy again on my walk today

We are at the point when we pass

That a pursed lip smile

Will suffice

Or a nod

When, I wonder, will the relationship progress

To where I have to say hello

I saw that woman with the cart today

Wearing all that she owns (clothes that is)

Tattered coat, even though it’s warm outside

Worn out shoes

On tired feet

When will I feel obliged

To offer…anything

I saw that child with the others today

With matching daycare vests

Tugging dandelions off to the side

With a smile

Only he knows

Why he is

The center of his own attention

I saw that girl with the dog today

We often pass each other

Today I was running

When I passed her she was crying

Only I kept going

Was none of my business I told myself

Though I wonder.


Photo by Leon Stevens


Leon Stevens is an author, composer, guitarist, and an artist with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020, followed by a book of original classical guitar compositions, Journeysand a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

His current projects include a second collection of poems called, A Wonder of Words, and two novellas based on a short story from The Knot at the End of the Rope. Visit his website at: www.linesbyleon.com


To read “Passersby”, a poem by Joy also about strangers walking past, click here.


If you are interested in writing a guest post for The Yellow Brick Ave, please reach out through the Contact page!

Of the New Year

awake and alive

When I think of the new year,

I think of early morning walks

when the sun is just about

to send streamers of peach and delicate rose

across the sky

to celebrate the beginning of the day.

I think of how I will be awake and alive

to join in the gaieties,

how I will conduct an orchestra of songbirds

as they first begin to tell of each dawn–

the poetry of their whistles

stating their trust that it is always worth rejoicing

in a beginning.

When I think of the new year,

I think of saving memories,

of sealing them to pages of a book with glue,

of scratching down words so as to never forget,

of decorating the days with doodles and stickers.

I think of living life in a memorable way

and making sure those memories stick

and learning to be content with the small things

by proclaiming them noteworthy, too.


Photo by Binti Malu from Pexels

That Belongs to the Children

when the moon comes crashing

I’m usually awake before the moon falls down,

crashing into the horizon

and splintering into billions of different pieces.

I don’t participate in the collection of its fragments–

that usually belongs to the children,

laughing jovially as they sprint toward the dispersion of moon rock,

lifting the bottom of their shirts to form little baskets

so that they might carry those pieces close to their bellies

as they race to the place where it comes back together.

I don’t participate in the reassembly–

that also belongs to the children.

They stack the pieces and squish them together

and sometimes use just a little bit of glue

until the moon is whole and healthy and round once more.

And I don’t participate in setting the moon aloft in evening time–

that too belongs to the children.

They let it float up like a helium balloon that gets lost

except that they are rooting for this rising,

watching it with wonder-filled eyes,

though they see the same moon night after night,

just in different phases.


Photo by Brian Lazo from Pexels

Mosaic

together

We fit together,

not like puzzle pieces,

not compensating for one another’s juts and grooves;

besides, we are each whole in our own rights.

Rather, we’re tiles;

we lie neatly beside each other just like we’re supposed to

with a little grout to fill any gaps,

grout that has been gingerly wiped from our faces with a careful hand,

so that together we can form a vibrant mosaic.


Photo by rotekirsche 20 from Pexels

Protection

the overgrown lapdog

There’s a jingling outside the window.

The overgrown lapdog rushes over, stares outside, and offers a deep, prolonged growl.

A cat on the couch nearby takes heed of the dog’s warning and moves somewhere else in the apartment to stay safe far away from the mysterious jingling.

I peer through the glass and see nothing, but I too heard that strange sound that had no business being made directly outside our second story window.

And it was probably just a trick of the wind or a dog’s collar on ground level that sounded much closer than it actually was,

but I still feel safer as the dog keeps guard near that window, steady and alert.


Photo by stiv xyz from Pexels