Poetry

It’s the warmth of a summer sun
pressing through and pouring between the
gaps of illuminated tree leaves;
it’s the peaceful, calming noise of pouring rain that
trickles through gutter and pipe;
it is imagery conjured into something more real
than the spell of any grey-bearded sorcerer or
maiden, mother, and crone.

Attempts have been made to trap and categorize it;
free verse, rhyme, rhythm.
Something so primal, yet we
try to define and cage something
part of ourselves

Storytelling is written into the components of our DNA;
empathy is what sets us apart from the
teeming masses of inscrutable animals.
No matter the meter or method,
poetry is the thread that binds us.

by Erik Shinker

A Human Construct

I once took time
by the burning of a cigarette;
ash fell in lieu of sand to fill my hourglass.
The immortality of youth led me to
scoff through my coughing as
I would joke of my
elongated suicide.

I kept time in the hours between
classes and marching band practice;
wasting my wonder at why I
seemed to have such a hard time while
all my my friends around found
lovers like their lives depended on it.

Time stayed at bay while I
lazed laconic in my indecision.
“If only”
would be the epitaph
upon my tombstone.

But I no longer
track time’s passing as I once did;
I measure it by
the length of songs that soothe and
ease my muddled mind.
They comfort me through my meandering;
though they still tend to taunt in
their ability to
restart, to
rewind.

by Erik Shinker

Minnesota’s Best Emerging Poets 2019

I have some very exciting news to share today; last month, I had a poem accepted to be included in the upcoming book, Minnesota’s Best Emerging Poets 2019!

The book will be available to buy through Amazon and Z Publishing’s website on November 30th, but you can pre-order now at this link for a copy.

Minnesota’s Best Emerging Poets 2019 contains 30 poems by writers like myself discussing relevant and poignant topics with each of us doing our best to seek and realize our truths.

Feel free to check out Z Publishing House’s website for more information on this and other books that they have published.

Thank you for reading and enjoy a photo of my cat being a ham!

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Posturing

Edit.

Show only what elevates and
discard the real.

Tell others how to live, but
call it “leading by example”.
Coach a life,
whatever that means.

Be the envy;
picturesque products of our
wants and desire.

Hide the snot, and
shit, and
refuse of
who you are;
spew the aesthetic
you would have others
perceive.

Sell yourself, and a
life; if only there was a
Devil to take your soul, but
even he would balk
at your narcissism.

by Erik Shinker

Scapegoat

I look at beauty and
can think only of
what I lack.

How selfish I am to
believe that I could give
nothing, and simply
take advantage.

She could never love me?
No, that’s not
the truth.

It isn’t fair, to put
so much of
the blame on
her
when my own belief that
I am unlovable
is closer to clarity.

So I take a step back,
vanishing into electronic ether;
never to be heard from again for fear
that I may hurt her feelings, or
she shatter mine.
Rejection is easy; building
something successful
is not.

by Erik Shinker

Frustration

An unspoken barrier.
A pantomime in possibility
as I mentally rehearse
what it would be like to
take such a small step.

“Hello”
“Is this seat taken?”
“I’m such and such”
“It’s so nice to meet you.”

Introversion isn’t cute
when it becomes debilitating.
Am I afraid she’ll say no? Absolutely.
Am I afraid she’ll say yes? Even more so.

I understand the implication;
the effort and expense.
So, yet again,
apprehension gets the
best of me, and those
soft, quiet smiles are all
I have to look forward to.

by Erik Shinker

Growth

I am trying
to focus more on what
I do have in my life
than what
I think I’m
missing;

to identify the challenges I
can overcome
by myself, those that
require the help
of others, and
being able to
discern between the two;

to really
hear the beauty in the music
I love, see the splendor in art
that speaks to me, and
spend my time
more meaningfully
away from
screens and social media.

I am trying
to move past this
unrealistic ideal of a partner
I have created
in my mind;

to know that I am enough, and
that my path isn’t necessarily
one that converges with,
or even runs parallel to,
yours.

I am trying
to take pleasure in the
lessons I have learned and
be willing
to leave the
past where it is;

to be more accepting
of those who are not like me,
and those who
disagree with me on
a fundamental level;

to gain patience, to temper
my aggression, and
to respect those
around me.

I know that this is something that
will never be
complete until my
life ends.
But, still,

I am trying.

by Erik Shinker