Broken – Original Poem

feet in the sand

By Mark A. Leon

This broken heart is shattered in pieces, but still beating
The light continues to blink “Don’t Walk”
No movement in any direction
No sign of life
I’m falling apart
Don’t let me let you go

I remember the nights we were invincible
The memories left under the sheets
The shots to endless embrace
We swore our youth would never be stolen
Every weekend was an endless beach party

I loved those days
You wouldn’t let them fade
Singing under only the light of the moon
It was a love made for teens
Bar close was only the beginning
That sun dress lying in the sand caressing your flip flops
Splashing waves and blowing kisses
You were all we needed the summer

No school, no work, no glimmer of a world we knew we had to face

Radio on the porch, a beer and great friends
It was a story written in simplicity with a splash of ink to the one I love
The one I would always love

Then we toasted over the harbor with a promise
Friends forever
Fireworks exploded cascading reality
Summer turned to fall
Sun faded with the falling leaves

So too the promise
Let us raise our glasses and with arms wide open one last embrace

*Photo by Raquel Avila

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Those Times Remain – Original Poem

Memories play all night in my head without sound
Familiar faces defying space and time creating a collage of thought and reflection

Friends moving on, promises made, jokes buried for another day
As we go on, we remember
Some through song; others images

The places stay the same, the footsteps have changed

Invincible to youth, we lived without despair or regret
A mistake was just our way of trying again

We kissed at the dance and promised forever, when forever was just a day away

We had the shore to sweep away our problems
Lying in the sand at midnight with the sounds of JT on the boombox and the stars peeking in on the awkward moments of two teenagers

As we lie there certain of our adolescent uncertainty, the words of our favorite poet from English class would save the moment and secure the kiss

The reflection of the moon in your eyes branded in my head
Thinking back to those life lessons; those words of our elder teachers about risk and safety
Where was the love?

It hit us like a set of bricks

After the tans
The drinks
The laughter and pride

We just wanted to be a boy and girl and stay young forever in these simple moments

Lives change
Responsibility blinds us to a false sense of value
Time crashes into our ride giving us whiplash

As I remain still on this concrete jungle I am filled with sweet emotion
In my conscious, my friends remain forever

With my eyes closed, I think about those few girls and boys that have filled my life with fondness and provided me with the true eduction of life’s classroom

Remember when……Life was simpler

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As we get older we mature, we begin to look at the world a different way and make adjustments to our perspectives. We see more value in things we didn’t see initially when we were younger and see the importance of family, respect and love.

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Still, we have undergone unprecedented change in the last ten plus years. Not as dramatic as the first light bulb and telephone but clearly we are seeing life and experiencing things in a way we have never before. As we look at our children, we consciously know, they will never know the life we have.

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Maybe it is time to sit down with the little ladies and lasses and bring on a little journey to the past when things may not have been right at our fingertips but they sure brought us happiness.

Let us talk a walk on the yellow brick road of memories.  Follow me now as we journey to a time of innocence and simplicity..

Remember when…

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    • You put a VHS tape into the VCR to watch a movie and not click a poster to stream it on Netflix

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    • You spent hours trying to figure out Rubik’s Cube instead of spelling out a word on Words with Friends once every two hours
    • A company newsletter was printed  and handed out at staff meetings and you could flip the pages and read it; not view it on the intranet site

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    • A card was made with construction paper, markers, lace and love, not an ecard from Hallmark.com
    • You wrote a note on a napkin or piece of notebook paper; not a text
    • Your appointments were written in a planner with a pen, not on Google calendar

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    • Birds weren’t angry (We love you Tweety)

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    • Apple knew how to “Think Different” and never stop “Imagining”
    • When you won the big race or scored the game winning basket, you cut out the article in the newspaper and put it in your scrapbook; not find the URL online and share it on Facebook

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    • You didn’t need Match.com or EHarmony to find a date; you walked up to a girl and handed her a piece of paper that said “Will you go out with me:  Yes or No”

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  • You stood on line for hours to purchase concert tickets at Ticketmaster for bands you idolized; not buy them online, download them and scan them at the door

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  • You sent a postcard from the amazing places you visited; not take a picture with your IPhone and Instagram it
  • When you met a boy or girl at a bar or club, you got a number on a coaster; not add them as Facebook friends and get lost in the shuffle

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  • A photo album consisted of pictures you took that you couldn’t see for a minimum of one hour; not a digital screen of images
  • A creative image of yourself was a caricature at Disney World or the shore; not an app on your IPad that takes a picture and warps it to look cool

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  • If you had an opinion, you would write an editorial and handed it in to the local town or school paper.  Then you were a blogger
  • MTV showed videos and network television had shows with plots, no celebrities and no sign of reality anywhere

Times were different.

Some argue life is better now; life is easier; life brings the world closer together.

Is it?

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I liked my friends in the neighborhood that played wiffle ball until we couldn’t see the ball anymore, playing hide and seek on eight different yards, going out for Halloween and not even needing our parents, having the door unlocked at night, riding bikes instead of riding a virtual bike on Wii, buying the first baseball cards of the season during a snow storm just so you could do it first, walking into each other’s houses and eating their food, making mix tapes for our friends and girlfriends and just enjoying things a little simpler.

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Yesterday – Original Poem

In a moment, I woke up to find a weariness in my eyes
Life moved in fast forward while I slept

My youth has suddenly disappeared
I turned around only to see the decay of a path not chosen

I don’t recognize this face in the mirror
It reminds me of a time yonder, but I fear it is nothing but a fleeting memory

I can see myself on the playground
I can hear the voices that remind me of home
I can feel the pain of a bruise that now scars

Another breath
A deep sigh
A heaviness in my heart

Behind me is the fear of comfort gone
Ahead the fear of darkness

Happiness is a blessing clinging to the soul
It is in all of us but must be harnessed and shared to fulfill its goal of a life lived with passion

Again I must find the answer
It is in the book of love we write the next chapter

Life is only beginning to unfold
It is full of blank pages and with this pen I write the future

One Winter – Original Poem

The first snowfall of winter
The flakes take it slow on their journey to coat the earth with the purity of a white blanket washing away the guilt of the autumn

The smell of home
The longing for a time of simplicity and pleasure

A kingdom of crystals
Castles larger than life

Winter was our ice palace.
The villagers would flock in from the countryside
Rid of the tyranny of school

A new fortress of hope protecting us from the elements
We were safe now inside these icy walls
The evil parents behind enemy lines

With the freedom of imagination the yard is now a colony and I, it’s unconditional ruler

One Winter, I am King
One Winter, I am free
One Winter, all the world is at peace

How I miss the fall of the snowflake landing by my feet reminding me that a winter wonderland is arriving

Hibernation – Original Poem

Our friendship took a back seat on that fateful day
The haunting stillness in the air freed the angels of death to reign on the broken bond that was once bound in blood

With one final glance you disappeared into the fog of a clear blue sky
Only memories remain
Darker and darker with each passing day

The thought of long auburn hair blowing in the wind
The touch of you fingers on my face one last time
The sight of the blue in your eyes soothing my failing youth

It was a time of yesteryear
A time of innocence
A time of comfort where the words from your heart warmed my senses

Each day, thoughts shared without a spoken word
Moments of reflection became a symphony of bliss

A force guided us home when lonely was our only friend
A stronger force showered away the laughter and broke the chain

Now, time is the enemy as I prepare to look into my past
It is you that forever remains in the hourglass of time drawing sand to the ground leaving our memories behind

Is this regret or a new beginning?

I used to believe in Scientology and didn’t even know it…

Fifteen seasons ago, prior to the highly anticipated debut, I was one of the first band wagon South Park fans. After all, they took the basic premise of common sense, looked at how people skew the obvious and taught us weekly lessons from the eyes of four extremely obnoxious third graders. They didn’t riddle us with deep Aaron Sorkin type dialogue or amaze us with expensive stop animation. Their characters were simple, the stories were topical and the memories were priceless.

Over time, life got in the way and I slipped away from my weekly routine of checking in with Cartman, Kenny, Stan and Kyle, but have slowly found some nostalgia with late night syndication.

Having realized that I have yet to see one of the most controversial episodes of all time, the infamous Tom Cruise Scientology episode, I thought it time I sit down and view it. It was all I expected and more. As I watched comedy genius at work, I began to reflect on my own youth and remembered a time, where I in fact, believed in a form of Scientology and I hadn’t even read Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard. Believe me, I saw the commercial enough though.

As a youth, I was presented with the idea of evolution and the idea of the Old Testament (Creationism). I had a very creative mind, but also was grounded with a bit of realism as well. How could Adam and Eve start humanity and all existence on Earth and have micro-organisms come from the ocean and evolve to current species?

I know, right. Baffling. There had to be some explanation.
Either one was wrong and one was right, both were wrong, or both were right.

Darwin…Creator of the Universe…My mental dilemma was growing. There had to be a logical answer to this quandary. As a sleuth detective at age 8, I was going to figure it all out.

Then it hit me. The answer to all answers. Both were true!!!!

Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden did in fact happen but on another planet in another galaxy. Yes, Yes, Yes. We are not natives of this planet but another planet that was developed and then due to overpopulation or some Superman affect and the planet was blown up, we had to re-populate and start over on another planet.

So in order to adjust to the changing weather, atmosphere and climate of this new planet Earth, there had to be an evolutionary process to adjust all the living components once again.

There we had it. I solved the greatest mystery of mankind and I wasn’t even ten years old yet. Both creationism and evolution were true.

I believed in a form of a Scientology. Now times have changed of course. Tom Cruise and John Travolta movies starting getting worse, Battlefield Earth…Do I need to say more, and the brash silliness of my theory become less plausible.

But for a moment during that one fateful summer, I deduced the impossible. I answer the question that has rattled society for hundreds of thousands of years.

“Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you’re in diapers, the next day you’re gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul. I remember a place, a town, a house like a lot of other houses, a yard like a lot of other yards, on a street like a lot of other streets. And the thing is, after all these years, I still look back, with wonder.” (Yes I stole that from the final scene of the Wonder Years)

It is funny how amazing the imagination of a child can be. Never hold back your children. Let them think free, act free and see the world from their eyes. It is those eyes that will change the world someday.