Speak it…

If the average human interaction had a ringtone

it would sound like four ears,

two mouths and

one set of conscious souls encased in flesh,

colliding at no particular point in conversation.

It would sound like the echo of a friend’s presence,

and the metronome of concern powered by only what’s convenient.

It would sound like missed calls

and irrelevant text messages

that bear nothing but the bad news of indifference.

It would sound like unmentionables at family dinner,

like secrets heavy enough to paralyze the progression of entire legacies,

like extroverts with no compassion for shyness,

like the price of bad jokes

and the investment of one chuckle per pound of a nervous heart.

It would sound like first impressions

accented by awkward moments and side-glances,

like animosity erupting from the small spark of whispers,

like the birth of rumors and

severed friendships dripping with the should-a-beens and could-a-beens of the future.

It would sound like Sunday morning benedictions

charged with the energy of unanswered questions,

like apologies with inaudible volume,

like compliments with intangible tenor,

like lost memories buried beneath one side of a story untold,

like lies unharnessed,

truth subdued,

like speaking

…but out of turn.

If the average human interaction had a ringtone, it would sound like room for improvement,

like infinite opportunities

to speak up and speak out but speak gently,

to speak with instead of speaking to,

to speak into and not just until the conversation’s over.

It would sound like a call to be more than conscious souls encased in flesh and merely colliding,

to be bridged by language spoken with the hearer always in mind,

to have four ears,

two mouths

and one connection…


© 2013 Micah Morgan. All rights reserved.





A Day’s Artistry (Inspired by Simone Savannah)

The bus thumped down the road. Pedestrians waxed and waned in size, the sounds of car horns and miscellaneous shouts raised and lowered in pitch. Jesse didn’t mind the soreness radiating through her furrowed brow. She pressed the corner of her forehand against the glass so firmly because watching the lines in the concrete was worth the pain. Those lines were beautiful in their brokenness. They were white and yellow invitations to play Hide and Seek. They were predictable surprises, for she knew she could find them stowed away just under the side of the bus when they were temporarily out of sight. She looked forward to them every time the bus abandoned one road for another, making asymmetrical left turns across unsuspecting intersections. Those lines were the only delight of her morning bus ride and she needed their company now more than ever.

At 7am on a Friday, Jesse would normally find herself still-birthed beneath a comforter somewhere in her Seattle loft. She would normally have two more hours to sleep in, one hour to get dressed and thirty minutes to catch the bus to work. But this Friday was a special occasion. And although the bus driver was still rude when she entered the bus and it was still uncomfortably cold outside, she was determined to honor the special nature of the day…

all by herself.

“Is someone sitting here?”

The question plopped into Jesse’s right ear.

“Ma’am,” the voice nervously intruded again after a brief pause. “Do you mind?”

Jesse reentered reality and turned to join the conversation.

“Umm, yeah. Sure. I mean… no. Go ahead,” she stammered.

She wasn’t always so clumsy with words, but there was a man in a black suit hovering over her in hopes of sharing her bus seat. The part of her that wished to enjoy a bus ride without a random person sitting beside her- the same part that was preoccupied with the sounds of special Fridays and the sight of beautiful street lines- all but quietly wrestled with the part of her that wished to be polite. She was at odds with herself. And what better way to manifest such internal chaos than to awkwardly stumble over the first words shared with a stranger?

“Thanks! I always have trouble finding a seat on Fridays. Makes no sense! I’m Randy, by the way.”

Jesse shook Randy’s extended, moist hand as he sat down beside her.

“Jesse,” she dryly replied.

“Nice to meet ya! I see you and the window are awfully close this morning. Does that hurt?”

It took a few seconds for Jesse to trace Randy’s gaze to the spot on her forehead she once had pressed against the bus window. She could only imagine how red and distracting the mark must have been.

“Oh! Umm…” Jesse chuckled bashfully.

“Yeah, I don’t know why I do that. Every bus ride too. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t bruise easily,” she said.

“Ha! True! Or else you’d get a few more weirdos like me bold enough to ask about it,” Randy quipped. “But, hey, I hope I didn’t offend though. Really.”

Jesse noticed the change in his posture immediately. He was mousy, skittish, fidgety. He was frail. He spoke with his head bowed and his eyes slightly widened compared to the expected size of casual, conversational eyes. But, most noticeable of all, he was sincere.

“No, no! Not at all. I’d be curious too,” she assured him.

Randy’s expression relaxed as he chuckled and signaled a thumbs up. He removed the messenger bag from his shoulder and Jesse reasserted herself upon the window to her left. She was happy to ease his discomfort- for whatever it was worth. It was probably true that he didn’t mean to offend and Jesse figured it wouldn’t have done any good to inform him that he had in fact offended her.

The bus made a left turn at Jefferson and 5th Street and Jesse’s thoughts were suddenly racing down another path. She figured she very well could have thrown Randy’s comment out of proportion or simply informed him that he had overstepped his boundaries. In fact, there were surely plenty of people in the world who would have been very supportive of her choice to do so. Who did he think he was anyway? What right did he have to make such an intrusive observation? Her contrary choice, however, was the mark of someone who knew all too well what it felt like to sacrifice one’s dignity for the sake of normalcy. Randy wanted normal, bus-seat-buddy small talk more than he wanted to appear socially savvy. And Jesse once wanted a normal, shortened, drug-induced lifestyle more than she wanted to retain a bit of the dignity she had left.

But this Friday- this new day- was special.

It beared a fresh truth for Jesse. It was white and yellow lines in the concrete truth; a truth that was inviting, predictable; a truth she thought she’d always find hidden beneath every bus and in between the lines of every conversation. It was an undeniable truth. It had smeared its way down the meridian of her life’s journey just three months before. It was five doctor’s appointments, a series of tests, and then a bleak prognosis truth: Lou Gehrig’s disease would claim her life in about six months. But Jesse’s truth required that she live outside of those terms.

The pain in Jesse’s forehead returned. It had been thumping against the window now for another three blocks. She didn’t recognize the scenery, but she knew perfectly well the significance of her location. The bus was still driving down 5th street. And according to MapQuest, there were just two more stops to go: 5th street and Principium Avenue, then the 5th street entrance to St. Raphael Medical Center.

Randy stirred against Jesse’s right arm.

“Welp! Guess this is the end of the road! You got much farther to go?”

Jesse turned and revealed a stiff smile.

“No, not too much farther,” she replied. She watched him as he zipped his bag and placed the strap across his chest and over his shoulder.

“Good! I’d hate for you to have to be out here in the cold too much longer. I hear the roads get icyer as you go down 5th.”

Jesse forced another smile. While her manners prevailed, she was growing more and more tired of the conversation.

“Thanks, I appreciate it. I should be fine though. Just a couple more blocks.”

“Sounds good,” Randy said. “And hey, nice meeting you by the way. Create a great day!”

Randy was already up and awkwardly shuffling down the aisle before she could reply. She sat and watched him until he stepped out of the bus. Somehow she still felt the impression of his presence at her side and the echo of their conversation replayed in her mind. She was struck by the delicate delivery of his phrases. He was so anxious. It was almost as if he feared offending during their conversation almost as much as he wanted to have it. He was cautious yet so ambitious. She had certainly never met anyone who spoke or acted like him before. And it was hard to shake him off.

The bus screeched to a halt.

“St. Raphael,” the bus driver flatly announced.

Jesse suddenly felt heavy. I’m here, she thought. She knew it was time to get up and get off of the bus, but something wouldn’t let her move. This was it; the culmination of her special Friday, her special occasion. This was the moment she had been awaiting for three months: three months of reading the pamphlets, three months discussing her Last Will & Testament, three months dreaming of what it meant to exist like any person deserves- with dignity. But despite all that preparation, all that built momentum, she was now sitting on a bus with nothing but the coat on her back and the wallet in her back pocket, too weighed down to get up at her stop.

“Last call.” The bus driver was still irritated. Still rude.

And Jesse was still heavy but somehow dug up the strength to stand and move her right foot.

She exited the bus and walked under the St. Raphael bus stop awning. It had been a difficult journey to that ordinary point on her special day. She had spent years in a hyper-emotional state, prone to dropping things and to falling unexpectedly. She had become noticeably thin, was always sick, in pain and inept at breathing quietly and normally. She was forty-five and her health was failing. And according to state law a certified physician could help free her from all of this. All she had to do was walk into the hospital, sign a few forms and pick up a perscription.

That was it.

But soon another bus thumped and jostled down 5th street. The gust from its passing wafted against Jesse’s skin and quieted her anxious senses. She looked across the street and noticed busy pedestrians waxing and waning in size as they strolled in and out of the cafe. The distant sounds of car horns and miscellaneous shouts reminded her of Fridays past. And the biting scent of winter settled in her nose and pressed gently against her sinuses. Jesse still didn’t mind the soreness radiating through her brow. She found herself, quite suddenly, missing the sensation of bus window glass firmly pressed against her forehead. The lines in the street were still beautiful to her. She still looked forward to them, still yearned for their captivating brokenness.

Jesse began walking toward the crosswalk. She eyed the cafe and glanced both ways down the street. Randy swiftly crossed her mind. Create a great day, she thought.

“I could sure use some coffee.”

© 2013 Micah Morgan. All rights reserved.





Poetic Thoughts on Silence

Silence would never show us what praise looks like without a new song sung

from congregations of saints lifting their voices as one.
It would never paint pictures of God’s warriors:
armed with double-edged swords
unattended by the psalms that once rested in their mouths,
that once spewed from blessed lips with Wisdom’s proverbial roar.
It would never illustrate the sadness of crowds sulking in a strange land,
harps absent from their hands
and instead hanging from stems

that are, to silence as well,

It would never relinquish its power.
It would never set us free to sing, shout,

speak, or whisper…

…unless it were forced to.



© 2012 Micah ‘Awair’nyss’ Morgan. All rights reserved. 


The Style of Efficiency

Pinstriped procrastination

embroidered with a silken fascination

with being fashionably late

has always been out of date.

Like Poly and Esther,

decked in a dotted vest or

under-priced and barely dressed,

putting off a change in fitting labor,

it never quite seems to savor

well-used moments

the way Nike does.

Which is why Nike does justly,

for itself and all those mistrusting themselves

with the tasks at hand,

by addressing the master plan

in style and with haste:

honorably clad in a refusal

to procrastinate.


© 2012 Micah ‘Awair’nyss’ Spencer. All rights reserved.

The Bottomless Pot

No one asks if there is more.

So, palms glazed with the tears of broken hearts

and the abandoned bonds of yore

will proceed to pour anyway.


Any day now,

emptied corners will howl in the wind

and their webs will shrink and sway in the gust.

But you will always trust that tipped bases will lend to filled spaces,

that tilted spouts will shower out the contents of choice,

regardless of choice.


I do not wish to be poured anymore.


But relentless palms

void of alms and compassion

will always proceed to pour…




© 2012 Micah ‘Awair’nyss’ Spencer. All rights reserved.

A Graduation Poem: “Impossible Unknown”

“It wasn’t impossible to get here,” we say.

Knowing that today we are present in our present
regardless of pasts that looked nothing like the future we now face,
we wouldn’t dare reduce pace.

It wasn’t impossible.
And we’ll keep saying it as new opportunities fall into view,
keep remembering that all we’ve done
wasn’t impossible to do-
even though some told us otherwise,
told us there was another try harder than ours,
another drive greater than ours,
another sky higher than ours,
it wasn’t impossible.

We’ll say goodbye to the small failures behind us,
dismiss the things that once tried to define us
without acknowledging our potential.

We are influential-

by virtue of simply sitting here,
by standing up for who we are,
standing in for those who came before us,
standing between now and the greatness destined for us.
We’ve known nothing of impossible.

Gifted in ways we have yet to know,
we have no choice but to grow larger than this-
this place where we sit.
And when our futures become far brighter than ever expected,
we’ll turn back and look upon it,
with success fresh upon our shoulders,
settled neatly for those destined for possibilities to come.

We’ll draw this moment into focus,
possess it in strong palms and hope it
will remind us-
every time-

that it wasn’t


© 2012 Micah Spencer. All rights reserved.





Brief thoughts on Love (Part 1)


Share a space that is peaceful with the ones you love.

A Mother’s “Thank You”

Saturday mornings were once technicolored,
outlined in black on TV screens,
fragranced by Froot Loops and yet-brushed teeth,
accented by the sounds of your broken sleep…

…‘cause it had always been a long night.

But you rose
like ambient sunlight:
mixing batter, water and eggs with optical raindrops that have yet to fall,
and fatigue you always had to hide,
until the table was covered by
morning delights.

You fed open mouths that hadn’t quite learned to savor your work properly
and it took us far too long to say “thank you”:
longer than it took for us to demand privacy,
to close our bedroom doors,
for us to fall in love for the first time,
and to think we had nothing more to learn.

But your arms were always open.
You were always available,
hoping that your love was deep enough to protect us from ourselves
and everyone else who didn’t know how to love us,
always there to tell us more of what we didn’t know,
and less of what you had told us so
many times before-

because you knew that it was History that repeats herself,
not Wisdom.

So, you were gently straightforward,
trusting that your advice, once given alongside pancakes and saturday morning cartoons,
was still buried somewhere deep in our hearts
waiting to bloom like the “thank you” yet to be spoken.

Each word:
a token of your past and the pain you had already endured,
the journey you had already taken,
the time you bought for us,
time only your quiet strength could afford.

We let them pour,
wash over us like
high school showers you always said were too long,
let them accumulate like text messages and minutes on a fixed plan,
pile up like the dishes we never wanted to wash before weekend outings.

And one day we awoke with adulthood sprouting at our toes,
the years of our childhood reaped after having been abundantly sown.
Your patience,
your love,
your grace:
each accruing value far greater than anything replaceable.
And we could finally say,
after thousands of technicolored Saturday mornings
and hundreds of bowls of Froot Loops,


Thank you.”

© 2012 Micah ‘Awair’nyss’ Spencer. All rights reserved.

Maternity Repaid

A mother cradles the head of her son for the first time

and reaffirms a prenatal promise:

to have and to hold in heart

until death’s parting,

as an irremovable subject of affection,

of an unwavering commitment

and devotion.


She’s the willing victim of Love’s strongest potion.


And he will live her life for him,

cry her tears for him,

fold her brow in determination over an office desk for him,

stress for him,

stretch for him,

hope for him.


And he will learn to love her for her sacrifice.


He will count her tears jewels and precious rubies

to crumble in tissues he helplessly raises before her from a quilted bedside.

He will harbor confused resentment and appreciation for her desk

and the stress that ensues therefrom.

Her stretching will bruise,

will harm and abuse a heart more desirous of her smile

than her willing pain endured upon extending the extra mile

for him.


He will hope that one day he can honor the worth of a promise

made dozens of years ago,

that he can show gratitude worthy of her gift,

finally show

appreciation comparable to her offering…

…but only after leaving her womb,

after leaving her cradling arms

and her nurturing home

can such a feat be achieved:


for a mother won’t easily accept a son’s claim to the gesture of manhood,

until, by matriculation’s swift motion,

he leaves.

© 2012 Micah ‘Awair’nyss’ Spencer. All rights reserved.

Diem’s Curse (#NaPoWriMo2012 Entry#9)

Writing Prompt: Write about growing older. You’ve got 5 minutes. GO!

He told himself tales of ages past
knowing Time would never ask him permission to erase them.
Time was faithful that way.
You could set your clock by the
momentous stories it would snatch from you,
check your calendars for the days it would never get back to you-
just out of respect.
It was mine,” he would tell himself.
Refusing to forget that seizing days required that they were
never yours in the first place,
that you could never afford them in the second–
not even if you were forever young
and restless enough to run until Time simply left you alone.


So, now all he has is his tales,
the sight of his youth running past him,

and the receipts from seized days that could never be his.

© 2012 Micah ‘Awair’nyss’ Spencer. All rights reserved.

@NaPoWriMo2012 #NaPoWriMo

Want to try this writing prompt? Reblog this post and attach some original poetry of your own. Can’t wait to read what you come up with!

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