Category Archives: Uncategorized

Brokenness

 

If we are to believe the stories our fathers long ago told us

The tallest mountains arose from trembling ground

But even we annihilators can never escape the 

Brokenness that unburies the night then

Sheathes the heart of man

 

Peace

Copyright (TZampino) 2020

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Memories And Red Buicks

 

Wiping away the few remaining droplets from the fender with a tired, old chamois cloth, I turned to my dad and smiled. He smiled back.

We were done.

There weren’t many times that we had worked together on some home project. But that day we both wanted to surprise mom for Mother’s Day. We worked well as a team, cleaning up her beloved, classic Buick. She hadn’t yet had the chance to take it to the car wash since winter’s end.

Garden hose in hand we had, just minutes earlier, watched with satisfaction as the mud melted away and drained off into the street. That gorgeous fire engine red had finally reemerged.

Soon after it was my turn to clear away the empty coffee containers and wipe clean the ashtray. Back then, cigarette lighters and ashtrays and hot cups of coffee were deemed essential for the ultimate driving experience – even if a full complement of seat belts wasn’t.

A final inspection and a mutual thumbs up allowed us to us to call mom outside (who had, we couldn’t help but notice, been eyeing us both through the front porch window the entire time).

Feigning great surprise, she hugged us and hopped right into the car.

Neither of us questioned why she already had car keys at the ready. But we quickly joined her for a ride through the neighborhood and down to McDonald’s for cheeseburgers and fries. Mom got a shake as well.

On Mother’s Day, she said, all bets are off, including diets. Who would dare argue with that?

So here’s to all the old red Buicks out there and the many memories that they still hold.

And Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Peace

Copyright (TZampino) 2020

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Conformity

 

From a very early age, I knew that I needed to conform to those around me if I wanted to be unconditionally loved.

Don’t get me wrong, I never would have been allowed to starve. I always had plenty of food and a decent place to sleep. They were good to me that way.

It’s just that sometimes I was too loud, too obnoxious. And I needed to better regulate my emotions – at least that’s what they were constantly telling me.

I wasn’t much like the others growing up. But I always thought that their spirits had been too easily manipulated, too easily broken. I fought back.

Then I flunked out of school. I was too anxious to get on with my life. Besides, it all seemed so mechanical, so rote. Independent thinking is a curse.

I’m older now, and maybe a bit wiser. Mostly, I’m just content to sit here all day curled up on this couch, waiting.

Waiting to hear that rhetorical question that always makes my day.

The one that I now know the answer to.

Yes, me – I’m the good boy!

 

Peace

Copyright (TZampino) 2020

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Timeless

 

“Can you count them all?” her father asked as they walked among the shells that were scattered everywhere on the sand, she high atop his shoulders.

At six, she already knew well her father’s proclivity for mischief. It was one that she tried hard to match.

So they started counting off together.

First by the ones and then, after a time, by the tens, the twenties, the hundreds. If you’re going to pretend anyway, he told her, why not be ridiculous?

The stunning practicality of that advice has become clearer over the years.

But today, she carefully counts out the various little pills that she’ll need to make it through another day. Practical, too, in its own way.

And climbing back atop his shoulders, she finally feels safe enough to pretend again.

Alone.

 

Peace

Copyright (TZampino) 2020

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Seasonal

 

I’m not sure when I first noticed that the air had turned a bit humid. Or when my shirt started sticking to my perspiring, warm skin underneath.

The good news is that my outdoor deep breaths no longer play host to those tiny, biting, winter crystals that always form quickly on the inside of my nose. But they’ve been replaced, of course, by today’s fresh batch of male pollen grains that so aggravate my hay fever.

Still, these defined seasonal breaks are always welcomed. Even my allergies suggest some sort of renewal, an affirmation, another attempt at new beginnings.

This spring, it feels as if we are emerging from two distinct winters – perhaps even in those places where meteorological winter is itself only just set to begin.

And to think it’s all been set in motion without us.

I stand here in silent awe of our complete powerlessness to prevent springtime from again arriving on time – no matter how hard it seems that we sometimes try.

 

Peace

Copyright (TZampino) 2020

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Sounds From Spring

 

If the sky were painted with sound and not odd colors, it would be cool jazz today.

That woodpecker drumming among the branches would instead be swaying,

and not even sure why.

 

If that fly buzzing past me were instead equipped with a pen, he would first draw a

bullseye on my head, long before his wings could warn me that he was near,

but would he still be content?

 

Peace

Copyright (TZampino) 2020

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Down Time

 

The hardest part of loneliness is not the silence, nor the feeling of isolation

It’s not the boredom that comes from mindless anticipations and wondering when they’ll end

And while the slowing down of the days, the hours, and the minutes is still mostly difficult

The hardest part of loneliness, in the end, is in the being alone

Next to someone else

 

Peace

Copyright (TZampino) 2020

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Peremptory Beauty

 

Closing my eyes would make no difference, for every last

part of you will always possess every last inch of me.

Such has been the claim of your soft witness.

 

But peremptory beauty cannot long exist, for the moment that we

take its measure is the very one that flags the executioner.

Such has been forever its covenant with man.

 

Peace

Copyright (TZampino) 2020

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One Measure Of A Man

It takes astonishingly little to take a man out of his own head.

Every virtue, every tender mercy, can be ripped right out of him when up against the slightest threat to anyone he holds dear.

And yet this same man will contort himself with ridiculous extremes of sentimentally just to impress the one he loves.

This is neither contradiction nor calculation. While as much grounded in instinct as driven by reason, neither can they be separated out without destroying the man.

This tender-hearted, brutal defender is all too easily provoked.

And yet, so very ordinary.

 

Peace

Copyright (TZampino) 2020

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