Poetry: Selections from Robert Pegel

Weight of the World

It’s no small thing
to lose the one
you love the most.
When you’re on the brink
of a breakdown.
Where do you go
for hope?
In this life of highs and lows
no one knows
when the waves will
wash them away.
I couldn’t say
which direction to turn
while standing at
the crossroads.
Pure love.
It breaks my heart.
But it will never go away.
Is there no one to protect us?
The silence at night
will howl forever.
Nothing left to do but crawl.
Return to the source.
The center of it all.
Too much to ask
to be left feeling like this forever.
Suspend this act in the middle.
The audience cannot bear the ending.
The power of its weight
will traumatize for a lifetime.

Wings and a Soul

The cardinal was there for days.
Who knew the reason.
Repeatedly tapping the foyer
window with its beak.
Look at me I’m here
it seemed to say.
I’m someone you know
visiting with a message.
Make sense of it all.
Day after day
switching from one
window to another.
A second floor bedroom
window today.
Down to the first floor
window the next day.
A narcissist bird in love
with its own reflection?
Perhaps a showboat
bird trying to impress its
mate lingering in a pine
tree nearby.
Or maybe something
altogether different.
A spiritual agent.
Bringing good news
or forbearing
the worst about to come.
The secret power of the
most sacred bird.
We owe it to ourselves
to at least stop and
recognize one
who crosses our path.
Thankful it graced us
with its presence
at a moment in time
and opened us fully
to a sense of wonder
beyond our understanding.

Levels Apart

When time doesn’t matter
soon is around the corner.
Awakening from your nap,
My thoughts return
to that dream.
Giving hope.
All will be well.
In your new home
I hope that
you barely have time
to miss us at all.
StilI I look for you
searching from room to room.
Thinking that you
shouldn’t be hard to find.
But there are oceans in between us
for now.
Hard as it is to accept.
No one and nothing is to blame.
Faith follows tragedy
when there are no answers.
Try to not to break down.
Strengthen my will
anyway I can.
As the days number in hundreds
heading to a thousand
I know you will remain
by our side.
Unseen but present.
Patiently waiting.
We will be together again.
How did we get to this place?
I ask myself every day.
I’d scream out to the world
if anyone had an answer
or knew what to say.
The silence is loudest at night
when the sorrow can’t be tamed.
Have to last beyond the pain.
The kind that I can’t explain.
Who am I to question
if God’s will is done?

Nature’s Reminder

Ideas woven in the mind
can’t be uprooted deliberately
or by chance.
Heed the warning mindfully
measuring extremes.
Fly gracefully as if owning
the wings of a monarch butterfly.
At the moment there is
no purpose in hiding.
Witness a baby rabbit feeding
on fresh cut grass on
the manicured lawn.
Not a worry in the world
knowing nothing of death
in this lifetime.
Take a walk outside
nature has nothing to hide
and a perfect order
to it all.
Follow its lead and flow
with relentless rhythm.
Syncopated heart music
surrounds us all.
Awaken to your calling
as the moonlight magic
draws near
where the nighttime
sounds come alive whether
heard or not.
Life’s labor is lessened
for a little while.
A brief respite restores
order to the mind
and soul.
The world and all its
trouble matter less
than ever before.
Nature’s magic prevails
yet another day.

Daydreaming in Technicolor 

The painted sky summons
the imagination to think
beyond the clouds of this world.
Contemplate all that could be.
Use the part of your brain
that has never been used before
while we walk in wonder.
See the vast expansion
over the horizon.
The magnificent colors envelop
our wariness.
It is safe and welcoming
to move forward.
Take the next step until the
circle is complete.
The moment is all that matters now.
You will feel peace
and union indescribable
as you continue
on your journey.
You are watched over
and all is well
in this world and beyond.

Robert Pegel is a husband and father whose only child, his son Calvin, died in his sleep at age 16. Robert writes to try and transform his grief by creating. Robert also holds a BA in English from Columbia University and has been published in Backchannels, Resurrection Magazine, Goat’s Milk, ZiN Daily, Fahmidan Journal, The Madrigal, 433 Magazine and others. He has work forthcoming in Door is a Jar and North Dakota Quarterly.


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