smile, my dear

there’s so little time
in this world,
so few are these moments
we smile anymore

from this lonely heart
to yours, one day
we’ll find a place
where this darkness

though it’s gone now,
and we stumble and fall
and give up
what little hope
we have

imagine what i would give
for just one more smile,
for just one more chance
to touch your bruised
and battered heart,


№ 75: Lost Love


what becomes of you

or i
if neither will surrender,
throw down arms
and time-worn trifles,
give humility
a fighting chance?

put pride away
in some dark closet,
— his services
no longer required —
lock the door
and toss the key

it’s not his fault
just his nature;
a timeout would do him well

toss the key,
my dear…
as far as you possibly can

i’ll wait,

as always, i’ll wait

i tossed mine
long, long ago

№ 74: Lost Love


when we kiss

in the shadows,
i always wonder why:
why you hide
in plain sight,
why you hide
from me

we’ve done this dance
already, too many times to count,
tiptoed around
an inconvenient fact,
the one you wish
you could un-know

but that’s not how
this works, my dear,
— i’ve asked —
you can’t just run away
— i’ve asked —

distance doesn’t seem to matter;
the heart knows what it wants

i wait for you to understand…
to hear me, see me,
look me in the eyes

and tell me,

               this can never be

№ 52: Progress

i don’t know
all there is to know,
но я стараюсь

La Vie est belle

when you’re ready
to see всё
и ничего

so take chances
n’ayez pas peur;
se tromper

and smile

i still believe,
after all these years,
in all i’ve learned
— there’s nothing more profound,


or as they say
where i come from:


(my bastion
of hope)

№ 35: The Transfer Game

This poem was written as an attempt to put into words the feelings I have regarding (once again) attempting to transfer to a 4-year university. It’s a mad, infuriating, and stressful process: one I hope to finally escape from this time around. (I’m ever the optimist, but the application process still manages to stress me out.)


there is uncertainty
a general hesitation

i might be scared
— of rejection
of success
of not measuring up
and of who knows what else —
but should that terror
so strongly?

should i be left
in place


on tracks
i have spent
countless years laying
directing towards
this very point?

that heavy judgement
i know all too well
brings memories of wounds
whose scars appear on hands
long-since healed
— by change of heart
and soothing passage of time —

the biting
gnashing of the teeth

values its homogeny
keeps me out as best it can
and so deeds long-since
committed to the earth
rise up
oppress any hopes i hold
i cling to secretly
begging questions
for which answers are beyond
my ordinary grasp — why can’t i
start anew
sell my phantoms
as noble failures making possible
a miraculous reversal of fate?

— of this i am scared

what are precedents
but crude approximations
of future events
mistaken all too often
as promises
in an uncertain game
— ancients tossing dice
against the crumbling edifice
of their temple
gambling away
what isn’t theirs


treasures we shall never
know — i no longer
(wish to) play?

№ 9: The Phoenix

Red, red
as saffron,
like torrid love
consuming our fragility
until there is nothing,
nothing left but dust
and ash and the memory
of before – from white
to gray; now clouded,
now alive.

Red, red
as fire,
like molten steel
waiting to be cast –
what we’ve always needed,
but never had the courage
to do ourselves –
against the wind and rain
and carelessness we know
we sometimes suffer.

Plumage, red
as sunrise,
like royal blood
made divine by right
and nothing less –
a cinder, growing hotter
every day since
arising from that moment
we’d thought we might regret;
a spark, a start.

What Brings the Rain


and dark and lovely,
and always menacing
to the sense of Self
so small,
in comparison –
cultivated by years
of p-r-a-c-t-i-c-e,
of existing merely –
or merely existing? –
in the here, the NOW,theNEAR,

the far.

RoILED – so tu\r/bi/d –
and announcing your presence
with passion, with FEROCITY –
as i imagine i might do
one day:
the heads
of those who would [|[|oppose.

bringing `terror and {comfort}
and purpose.

trumpeting / HIGH \



bringing Life,
and asking for ∅
but our attention.

how could we not look
when you darken the
skies, and DEAFEN
WITH the *clap* *clap* *clap*
of effervescent mists colliding,
tearing a-part
the very [structure] of the air
we ~breathe~?
How could we notice

and not feel small


By Benjamin A. Wallsten