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June 12, 2021 / Samuel DiPaola

Naked

My mind is blank.
I’m in a prison.
No family.
No friends.
No relationship.
No purpose.
Past interests fade.
And lackluster memories reflect an endless series of meaningless events
that waste time and produce the illusion of importance.
When you die you can say, “Look at all I’ve done.”
But over time those events will be forgotten,
and future generations will care less.
Believing they can somehow reach immortality through cleverness and action alone.
If you manage to die with one friend by your bed,
holding your hand as you gasp your last breath,
you will have succeeded more than if you climbed Mount Everest.
Who will be by my bed when I die?
And will all that I care about fade away with me?
My few belongings given to Goodwill,
or thrown in a community dumpster.
I realize now how foolish I have been,
attempting to carve out my place in society.
As if fancy clothes and dinner parties have any purpose other than to illicit transient pleasure
that can never be a substitute for true fulfillment.
The birth of my children remain the sole pleasures of life that I consider extraordinary.
Nothing in life compares.
Were my parents as happy the day I was born?
That moment when a life is brought into the world. . .
A feeling of hope.
Hope that this new life will somehow figure out the riddle and transcend beyond the ordinary.
But that moment of excitement fades.
Only to be replaced by struggle.
A life of struggle.
I’m tired.
And all the meditation, centering, positive thinking, or prayers to God won’t fix it.
I just want to be left alone.
When I die, my version of heaven is a small cottage in the woods with plenty of firewood,
and an endless supply of all the books I can read.
Don’t look for me.
And don’t try to visit.
There will be no one around to yell at me, criticize, or make fun of me.
While God has an endless sandbox universe, I only need my solitude.
And I will treat my friends as they have treated me, and walk away.
My thoughts echo in my head.
A chamber.
More like a chamber of carnival mirrors.
Reflecting a distortion of nothing.
Emptiness.
I look around.
The entrance, a vanishing point in time.
The exit, unknown.
Unavailable.
Are there others here with me, staring into the same void?
I stand naked in a crowded room and wonder why the rest of the world is wearing clothes.
They say clothes make the man.
I say, men make the clothes,
and man is still naked.

March 28, 2021 / Samuel DiPaola

I am Secure

There was a strong wind last night
I always feel secure when a strong wind threatens to blow down my house
Howling from the depths
The feeling of sitting inside a cocoon
Akin to being back in the womb
I listen for a secret message

The shutters bang
I convert it into Morse code but translation evades me
There must be a meaning
Mathematicians always look for order out of chaos
Proof of intelligence
Because chaos is cruel
And meaningless

My life must have meaning
Surely, I am different from the rest
Or am I?
Just like the four seasons
Civilizations come and go
Empires rise and fall
I can no more control my fate as I can a coming storm

So, I listen to the wind
And know that we coexist
Order, not out of chaos
but from within
The wind may howl
The shutters bang
But I am secure

March 27, 2021 / Samuel DiPaola

Point of View

I see red and blue, but not purple
Green, but not tan or brown
I see you, but you don’t see me
It’s all about point of view and interpretation
The stars are out tonight
Do they look down on us and judge our incompetence?
I look up and see perfection
Is up preferred to down or vice versa?
Gravity should be considered an inferior force

March 26, 2021 / Samuel DiPaola

The Good Samaritan

Cold seeps in. Deep – penetrating. It threatens to misalign my persona. I’m worried it will end up in a disagreeable state. Not that I haven’t already been accused of being disagreeable from time to time. But to end up as a malformed Popsicle after having been half melted, pressurized and then flash-frozen into a grotesque facsimile of my former self seriously disturbs me.

I was once open-minded and optimistic. The world was mine for the taking. But then life got in the way of my plans. How I ended up in this frozen wasteland is a story I only partially remember.

There was a knock on the door. I should have never opened it. A woman with well-placed morals in need of a spare tire. What was supposed to be a quick fix, attach a jack, loosen a few lug nuts, and inflate a sad, white sidewall, unexpectedly turned out to be a redirected life path decision. As payment for being a good Samaritan. . . By the way, Did I mention that my name is Sam? So as payment, she wanted to take me to dinner. I wasn’t even hungry. So why did I get in the car?

The view from my window had been obscured by the overnight growth of hoarfrost. I paced the room and waited.

To be continued!

March 24, 2021 / Samuel DiPaola

More of the Same

I talked to her today
Thought it would be different
But it was more of the same
The discussions I had in my mind confused me
Made me believe that she changed
It was her birthday
After all these years I still remembered
She asked when my birthday was
So typical
She never cared to remember
I talked to her today
Thought it would be different
But it was more of the same
The discussions I had in my mind confused me
Made me believe that she changed
I used to believe that people could change
That they would strive to become more
Better
But it was more of the same
I wanted to believe that I changed
Became more
Better
I talked to her today
Thought it would be different
But it was more of the same

March 20, 2021 / Samuel DiPaola

Darkness

The sun is out
but I’m not ready for it.
The light threatens to show the world my imperfections.
Darkness is comfort.
A way to hide.
Pretend that I fit in.
They all left
but I’m still here.
The darkness a friend.
When I close my eyes it welcomes me.
Holds me
and accepts.
I once ran to the light and was blinded.
Space expanded.
Time – endless.
I had to make a decision,
to stand in place or move.
Was there a point to all of it?
Did it matter?
The darkness is secure.
No choices to make.
Just me.
Nowhere to be.
No place to go.
The sun is out
but I’m not ready for it.

March 13, 2021 / Samuel DiPaola

World Peace

When I die, crows will eat my flesh.
Children will take my bones and craft musical instruments.
A collection of sounds will harmonize to bring about world peace.
If not for the feast of crows, world peace would be lost,
and children would never learn of beauty and the power of creativity.
I should have died long ago.

February 12, 2021 / Samuel DiPaola

I Sit and Wait

I sit and wait
Wait for calls
Never returned
Wait for friends
Never heard
Wait for meaning
Meaning
A life of meaning
Does not exist

Dreams
Do not exist
Still
I wait for dreams
Never to be
Lost possibility
Unfulfilled
A life of obstacle

I sit and wait
Wait for calls
Never returned
Wait for friends
Never heard
Wait for meaning
Meaning
A life of meaning
Does not exist

Still
I dream
I sit and dream
Always see
Never to be
Lost possibility
Unfulfilled
Must be strong

Strong for who?
You?

Save the prize
I see it in your eyes

I sit and wait

June 10, 2014 / Samuel DiPaola

Power

To what point
All this madness
And lust for power?
You can have it.
Leave me be.

April 4, 2013 / Samuel DiPaola

The Reluctant Lazarus

Call me the reluctant Lazarus
Each night I return to the tomb
In hopes of eternal rest
But the Gods consider it amusing
To raise me at morning break
They proclaim it a miracle
I, a curse
Bound to the rock as Prometheus
My liver feeds the masses
With no consideration of right
Wrap me in linen
Return me to the dust
From which I came
And let me sleep