POETRY by Rob Imes

(last updated on May 29, 2002)

Tall Tree
(One of my very first poems, circa 1983-84, age 13)

Tall tree, O tall tree,
So little dost thou know
Day by day, little by little
Slowly shalt thou grow
What knowest thou of human grief?
of fear, love and despair?
Of this world, what dost thou see?
Growing grass? flying fowl?
Hear! hear! seasons changing every year?
How I envy thee.

Gemworld Warrior
(Written circa 1985, inspired by the DC comic "Amethyst")

Purple diamond gemstone glimmers
and drifts through the thick white

falling to earth

to its owner's hand
in a band of bright,
and explosion of rainbow

She smiles slighly, this warrior in gentle guise,
and brushes aside a wave of golden locks upon
her glowing shoulders.

The beauty
remains and the shadowed clouds open
light flashes through in a
tremble of thunder,

and the purple warrior
of the gemstone
comes home


Beneath the Veil of Night There Hides
(Written circa 1994)

A million masks and capes I had,
and hoods to wear, to hide behind
a mood for each, some good, some bad
or better dead, some undefined
through lack of wear, though tempting me
to stop. Now wonder I
how such a mask might look on me
down moonlit streets -- now wander I
unmasked, disguised still, milling past
some drunken derelicts, no wings
to fly my feet on rooftops fast,
away from night and frightful things.

The Yellow Car
(Written circa 1994)

In a parking lot full of snow it sits, it sits
when summer melts snow from its yellowed hide, it sits
it sits for snow to come again, this car won't go, won't drive
it sits over by the side, out of the way, rusting
yellow car won't go, won't drive
in snow, in sun, it sits, it sits.

(written on September 8, 1991 at 2:30am)

I make love to my full length mirror
posing there where light has fallen
sunlight piercing through the shades
burns back in Daniel's eyes
"It can't last," he sighs
runs hand through dyed black hair
that falls perfectly back into place
I stand naked before glass
fondle my body
"I am beautiful"
my eyes stare into each other
hear that sigh behind me
see green eyes that flit too fast
Daniel in his awkward repose
sloppy blue shirt and raggedy jeans
sunlight halo around his head
my punk angel
collapses onto bed
winds the blanket about him
shaping a companion to sigh beside
tries not to return my stare
brown searching in green
for one color they might share
I cross the room
revolution in my head
lean into the light
find his palm
then clasping it whisper
"All that remains is for we to make love."
Daniel but sighs
turns away
glares at the sun that will soon be dying
bands of light reflect upon my mirror
portrait of a naked thought
turned into word

four "walking" poems
(all written on September 9, 1991 around 9:00pm, while on a walk)

they walk at night

let me follow
this man
let me see
where he goes
shall i someday
know his name
shall we someday
kiss at dawn
he looks
so cool and kind

i wish
someone would
follow me
take the trouble
not to lose me
compose a poem
on the way
and later
if i was truly
cool and kind

fog green

misty tree
on my street
surely this must be heaven
so why are angels
laughing like lunatics
two doors

night light

street light you blind
to the mystery
just outside
your glow.
you work of man
this work of man
hates you.

pry me

people are so afraid
to dig deeper
into me
don't want to know
my secret
of what they might find
i show them
these personal lines
in my hand
and all they can say
is i like
how that rimes

my life and times and me
(originally appeared in THE ZONE #1, June 1988)

carried along as a coffin
and just as wooden,
i strode through me
and my time in this place
(on a spinning blue orb
in outer space)
like a sleepwalker waking from dream
and unable to explain
how i ended up
where i ended up.

me not me is not me
(originally appeared in THE ZONE #1, June 1988)

now if only i could distance myself from myself!
love as obsession would be love as emotion
fear and screaming become mere cautioness seeming
and anger at another bastard poem
would produce only a brief frown.

(originally appeared in MAGIC MUSHROOM #2, April 1988)

All your Clapton albums
can't help you play guitar,
All your Bowie 45s
can't help you be a star,
All your favorite Dylan tunes
can't stop those bombs in the sky,
Imagine there is no heaven
and yeah, we're all gonna die.

(Written circa 1992)

you got scars on your wrists and a face
like the mona lisa all in gray
you can't move fast enough
to get where you need to be
your legs are slow and weary
from running all the time
your eyes can't see past anything anymore
you thought you had solved all of this
just because it's simple
don't mean it's easy, bitch
you haven't stopped shaking
and your face is slick with sweat
got yourself a good degree
of fear worming inside you
you can't even finish a sentence
there's nobody left to tell
already your friends are moving on
those numbers they left mean nothing now
don't get up, the sight
ain't worth the effort it takes to move
fuck the story, that shit
don't interest you anymore
mommy and daddy are always talking
about how you've let them down
but inside you really know you
haven't touched bottom yet
don't keep trying to be your best
assassin with a mercy pill
you can sit in the sand
you just wait and the earth will bury you

A Boy and His Kite
(Written circa 1994 for class assignment)

Walking the trail alone, this park I own (this moment),
When aloft from fence flies flapping wings, an artful leap in blue,
The mystery in air, breath escaping, a summer dare,
A boy and his kite, running from string, looking up, up still,
Sailing blue jet, in blue sky swirling, the magical laugh of God,
a boy, running, whose eyes cannot match without glowing
The kite he's made fly, over nearby rooftops, so even I can see
His kite, kite's boy, flying.

backward step
(Written on September 15, 1991 at 7:00pm)

listening to silence now
paranoid mind can't quit
two clocks tick out of synch in my room
lions crawling over my body in bed
reflecting on her words
blanketed beneath harsh music
my name unspoken
promises discarded like muddy clothes
i am nothing
wounded over the phone
blown off for the last time
now she's gone
i'm listening to silence now
trying to hear my name
the way she spoke it
looking in my hands
for something she gave me
i find only silence
it's over
our friendship's dead

(originally appeared in MAGIC MUSHROOM #4, September 1988)

given: the following

for whom?
for me, for you.

I love you does not compute.

Given: A number; Given: A name.

Too plus Too equal For
but I love you means something more.

(written in 1985)

Time twists out and inward like the juggling saucer
across a sea of numbers
And as I stood upon the nightly shore, far out there,
I waited and watched its slumber

And cried out to the raisins of fury
And silence, then, I knew.
Then, there, then -- no one to cry to.
Nay. Only you.

Twilight settle over the stars in a cloak of gray and graying
I once spoke with her here, what I was saying
upon this nightly shore.

Ah yes -- divine -- her heart -- and mine
I gave freely that night, you see.
Oh yes -- you know -- why she must go
While parting, passing, through me.

Liar. Liar. How I struggle to fly (it's a lie)
higher and higher into the sky...

Sifting through the blanket of sounds
Drifting through the ocean of clouds

Oh thee,
I see,
I saw,
I know,
I long,
I want,
I hope,
I have,
I hold,
I lie,
I cry:


Ode of the Forbidden World
(Written circa November, 1985)

Sometimes I am lost and seek,
For a glimmer of something I cannot regain.
If I even truly wish to.

Laughter enters in and madness colored bleak.
Can I ever understand between the pain
and what I see in you?

Hatred for a friend, I angrily admit.
My precious candle,
sit upon the mantle,
your candlewick I have not lit.

Always, always, have I intervened.
Stupid, stupid, am I such a fiend?
Never can I sever? can I ever?

What magic does she hold?
Never, ever, am I told --
What magic does he hold?

Goodbye, old friends, I wish you to stay,
But relationship comes; we must go our separate way.

Let me know:
Why must I go?

Please stay, I say, I said many times before.
Begone jealousy and desire, through my heart it tore.

My hand for my sake
I beg you to take.

Why -- oh why -- do I crumple to cry?
Your actions beyond me, I wither and die,
Without you there, I see not the sky,
Withering, withering, I want not to die.

I feel so alone
As I have not known
-- Why you have all grown!
... As the seeds have been sown
And the wind has now blown.

Stay with me now, my only friend,
-- Why jealousy and desire!
How truly do they blend?
A feeling I have hoped to send --
Never more.

Please stay for me today
if only for a day.

...My friend?

All poems on this page were written by Rob Imes. All songs Copyright 2002 by Rob Imes and may not be reprinted or reproduced without permission.