Disclaimer

Don’t respond to me;
I’m just bored and
lonely and
a couple of minutes away from
disappearing.

Come on too strong, afraid that
to do otherwise will make you lose interest.
Waxing poetic, electronic pen pals are
what most become;
asking to meet has never been
my strong suit.

I can be kind, loyal, and thoughtful;
thoughtless, selfish, and bloated by my
self-importance.

Everyone has their own path to walk;
some get partners, others don’t.
Some covet being alone, while
others daydream of someone else.

Come along then,
if you will.
I promise I’ll be the
one who is hurt.

by Erik Shinker

Winter Air

There is a piercing quality to
it; bringing both
clarity and
threat.

Mislabeled as blankets, pillows, and soft
hills of white, freezing is always
an afterthought; too late once the
digits have gone
black and
blue.

The possibility of frostbite in
the silent-scape of twilit sundry.
Snow rises to
contradict its cliches.
Floating flakes are
pushed along a current, as the
breath of the God(ess) exhales.

Nostalgia covers the truth of
Winter’s harsh Nature as
songs and poems
romanticize what was once
humanity’s greatest nightmare:
the cold and the
lonely dark.

by Erik Shinker

Mother

Strength despite frustration;
the natural enemy of death as
the embodiment of creation.
Venerated for the gift she gives,
we would be nothing without her;
she is sometimes taken for granted,
despite our best intentions.

Soft enough to nurture, she
hides a fury for
the safety of her
cubs, her
chicks, her
creation.

She is sacrifice;
from the nigh unbearable pain of
birth through the attrition of
daily struggle.
And though it may seem
piecemeal in comparison, she
renews her promise with each
Daughter’s rising and setting Son.

We owe everything to her,
for better or worse;
though for the best, more
often than not.
Some have said that God is Love;
they forget their Mother.

by Erik Shinker

Le Noire

Starting with a misstep after
skipping over my own tongue.
Taken in stride by your
quick wit held aloft by
a charmed laugh.

Smitten by an
unexpected connection;
altered plans,
perhaps serendipitous,
led our paths to cross.
But, as ever, I am unsure;
past friendliness so often
mistaken for interest.

I play back our time
together; reminiscing already
in the wish of repeating.

I hope we meet again,
if only for another chance to
make a fool of myself
for you.

by Erik Shinker

White Lies

“Be honest with me,”
she lies;
her expectations higher than
I could ever reach.

Tact versus truth;
to tell what is, rather
than what she’d prefer, would
be a shovel of my own devising.

Save her feelings and
avoid another fight, or
foster conflict for the sake of
catharsis.

The thing of it is
I can’t even distinguish between
what’s real or fantasy anymore;
truthfully, I stopped trying
a while ago.

by Erik Shinker

The Worst

Cutting people off is
easy, especially when it
becomes a habit.
Having an exit strategy
becomes natural when
you assume.

A ticking clock, counting
down to the day they disappear,
or give you cause to.
A reflex with
not a thought of
any alternative.

Rough breakup?
Snip / Gone.
Missed expectations?
Snip / Gone.
Overpowering paranoia?
Snip / Gone.

How can someone love you
if you have one foot out
the door?
When self preservation has
become the goal,
can you really blame me for
expecting
the worst?

by Erik Shinker

Transplant

Born in another land;
weened and raised in the North.
Conditioned to the cold and
pragmatic temperament of
those who surround.

I am a man between homes;
born in the prairie, but cast
into the woods.
Adapting; never settled.
Skin turned to bleached birch bark;
brittle, but still tougher than the
windswept wisps of the grasslands.

There are no roots
digging downward to
establish something like
enrichment.

Yes, one day that
may come to pass, but
for now,
I remain transient;
between my origins and
my ending,
praying that
this transplant takes.

by Erik Shinker