If dreams

Can dreams be real? They exist
at night — in the dark
ineffable phantoms haunting us
like hazy ephemera disappearing
when we watch too long.

No — I think of other dreams,
the ivory hopes spring
for however long we have. We write
them on the clouds until
we dream up something higher.

Are dreams real before
they come true? Does it matter?
I prefer to spend energy
Finding time to nap.

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My first poetry collection is available now!

I am thrilled, delighted, terrified and other emotions to announce that my first collection of poetry is now available to purchase: If you’ve enjoyed reading my poems here on my site, you will definitely enjoy this collection. Paint the living, plant the dead is a nice mix of poems I’ve posted here and a few that have never breathed fresh air.  Seriously, folks. I am incredibly proud of this. Check it out! With humor, foresight, and rarely hidden effort, Phillip Knight Scott dares to ask important, existential questions in his first collection of poems. There may be few answers in PAINT THE LIVING, PLANT THE DEAD – indeed the whole thing is a bit absurd – but sometimes asking the questions can be enough. What is the point of life? Why is my hair gray? Where are my keys? These poems won’t answer these questions, but you’ll at least have something to read on your way to wherever you end up.

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Spiders are fine. They’re fine.

I wouldn’t call it arachnophobia.
I’m not paralyzed at the sight of a spider
proudly squatting on a sticky throne
creepily waiting,
enormous bug eyes surveilling
the nightmares of smaller bugs soon to wander
through a web of foreboding.

But the thought of eight legs skittering
across my skin — pincers pelting me with jitters,
tremors rippling over me
in concentric circles of panic,
now unsure of my link
on the food chain.

Oh hell. Now I can’t sleep.

read more Spiders are fine. They’re fine.

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The voice

I heard the voice — whirling in my ears
like a breeze whistling on leaves
with the bluster of November not expecting
December to overshadow it — though
in my delirium I could not find it.

The voice — alien and incoherent as it seized
my mind without a through to the impression
it left — told me to leave (bounded
in lunacy and invisible) to
the irrational rabble wrapped in regret.

Was it mania — a psychic knot tied
to some forgotten tram unspooling and
unwelcome — or merely benign?
I am not delusional enough
to think I know the difference.

read more The voice

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Stuck in a vase

What intimacy in a rose —
unafraid to draw blood it
entangles (or ensnares) all brave enough
to reach (stuck in that moment)
for a thrill.

Its perfume no longer pricks
my nose (in moments overcome
by desire I stick my nose in)
bred instead for its petals —
so red (or pink).

I’ll let this rose rest in a vase,
passion burning in tepid water
(I must remember to change
the water) — safe from plucky hands
(and fingerprints).

read more Stuck in a vase

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These memories may thaw but
they refuse to melt away —
stubborn stains impervious to
my meticulous clawing.
Blankets and band-aids cover scars
but the scorn burns — contempt
for what was and won’t be.

We lack agency in our most
chilling moments, coughing
against whatever fate has consigned
to us (Did I cough when
you left? That particular
memory escapes me) futilely
clutching a blanket for warmth.

read more Scars

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A cosmic chorus

The lyrical sun meets the day hopefully,
a low trill softly rising like the hum of footsteps
falling on the hillside, bringing goodwill
to those who listen. That subtle, haunting
sound warbles in the ears of humanity,
perched above us but inviting fellowship.

There’s a lesson here, I think — the light
recedes and returns (a tide for the whole
planet not just the flustered oceans)
permitting the moon to hold luminescence
until it illustriously trumpets its return —
an example of civility for deaf ears.

Are we more moon than jelly fish?
Do we hold a mirror to the light, feigning
a warmth we have not within us? Or can we glow
from within, lighting a course for people
to accompany us as we find the chords
to harmonize with the orbiting haloes
circling us in a cosmic chorus?

read more A cosmic chorus