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Poems from ‘Pebble on the Edge of a Cliff’ by Franco Cardiello

By: Franco Cardiello


You invented the clock.
You created many seasons.
You designed the house where you reside.
You chiseled contradicting laws into stone.

I try my hardest to adjust my circadian rhythm until it stops.
I search for shade in your heat and warmth in your blizzards without your reason.
I guard and maintain the home, as you like with my hands and backside.
I, a criminal, uphold your law and rally your troops until they are grown.

You adjust the clock’s hands when you prefer.
You rain on sunny days and melt winter ice at your leisure.
You change the locks and close the kitchen with out notice.
You break your own laws when it suits you.

I never know what time it is for her.
I embrace the storms and try to appreciate the rare sunlight under your seizure.
I wait on your doorstep and try to peek through a window with onus.
I live under a regime that I’m not yet used to.

You determined these daily and annual traditions.
You demand results despite freezing or burning.
You take refuge, compliments and credit from this home all without due.
You expect order among the followers under your rule.

I seek enjoyment under your so-called celebrations.
I show results despite struggles or yearning.
I adore my seldom time inside this home with you.
I uphold the law and educate myself in your school.

You never seem to have enough time in these times.
You are never content with which way the wind blows.
You reject your home like an insult.
You insist these laws need strengthening and never serve you.

I manage schedules while my heart and clock winds.
I dress appropriately for the weather you chose.
I respect this home as if it were my own vault.
I make due under the laws that restrict me like firm chains of servitude.

You created an entire universe for yourself, but you hate it.
I love my ever-changing faulty world because you create it.



I say I’m no crossing guard.
I describe varied roads ahead to be deep and shallow.
I announce I’m no bodyguard.
I expound protection is not found in my shadow.

I explain that my armor won’t fit you.
I clarify I will not become your air.
I admit my weapon may even the score.
But I declare life will never be fair.

I express my worry for your needing.
I insist on whispering every poem.
I hope you understand why I quit feeding.
If you carry every stanza then you’ll never be alone.

I remind you that you’ll always hear my voice.
We all have voices in our heads.
Utters tell you to utterly leave me without choice.
I tell you to listen and to not have any regrets.

I divulge my eyes are the stars.
My smile is in the crescent moon.
Warm sunrays convey my tightest hugs.
Soft kisses when spring buds bloom.

But thunder and lightning are not my anger and rage.
Rains are not my tears so don’t you assume.
The storms are not my whirlwind of emotions.
And winds are not my coming back to you soon.

Profess your love deeply as I, but remain suspicious, too.
I preach no matter what, it’s never too late to start a new.
I spell out that you are only as strong as you are true.
I beg you never forget that I will always love you.

I have spoken a few words.
You asked a million questions before I was dead.
I will be quiet from now on.
I hope you remember everything I said.



Youth play on carpets stained with yesterday’s bloody memory.
We pay for the paint so politicians can stroke lies with symmetry.
No such thing as black and white 1950’s cookie cut magazines.
Things aren’t as bad as they seem. As they seem.
Perhaps the fools always knew life’s only and simplest truth.
Life is only lived within the experiments.
Finding what you’re looking for is luck.
Not finding what you’re looking for is experience.

Stop looking at your man made clock.
Tic Toc… Tic Toc…
Does anyone know what time it is?
Tic Toc… Tic Toc…

Years throw you around. Moments catch you at ups and downs.
Society grants austere punishments and undeserving crowns.
We can perpetuate problems and we can ridicule solutions.
We want more! We want more! Yet we ridicule pollutions.
All movement eventually quit circling, but they forever wheel in time.
I hope my generation is not a fruitful crime.
A world so desperate for self-righteous titles, boxes, and signs.
What will the future generations label mine?

Stop looking at your smart watch.
Tic Toc… Tic Toc…
Does anyone know what time it is?
Tic Toc… Tic Toc…



My eyes have not had you lately.
But I still taste you on my lip.
My arms have not held you in forever.
But I still feel you by my hip.
My fingers have not touched this season.
But I think I’m holding your hand.
My legs have not walked this year.
But I’m taking a stand.

You said you loved me once.
I declared my love, too.
Your love rotates like hands on clocks.
All day I love you.
Can you see us behind the mountain?
Can you envision my head through the clouds?
Can you squeeze through the horizon?
Can you swim through your overflowing doubts?

Stars only shine from a distance.
Chemical bonds go up in smoke.
Noble gases only bond to themselves.
Bonds of your heart broke when you got close.
Entire worlds illuminated by an unchained gleam.
You are the shadow I cast on landing.
My knees crash on the street at your feet.
I don’t know how I’m standing.

You said you loved me once.
I declared my love, too.
We circle each other like hands on clocks.
I wish to be still with you.
My world’s crumbling around.
Maybe this is our ending.
My feet shake on the quake of your ground.
I don’t know if I’m standing.



Tell me, Momma. Can we change our lives this weekend?
Tell me, Momma. How is freedom?
Tell me, Momma. Do we need him?
Let me tell you, Momma. I’m dying to leave him.

Have you ever been there? You speak of magical places.
If not, how do you know we can make it?
For now, I believe. My mind will travel with you there.
Can I come with you? Please let me. I’ll be good. I swear.
I put on a Band-Aid and I think of what you wanted me to be.
I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be any of those things.
You speak of chests holding treasures you want me to find.
Will you be mad at me if I lose them? What else can I bring?

Tell me, Momma. Why do you smile all the time?
Tell me, Momma. Why do your eyes defy your smile?
Tell me, Momma. How do you swallow your pride?
Let me tell you, Momma. I can see the things you try to hide.

My book bag is packed. I’m ready for this journey.
I brought some snacks. And I couldn’t forget my Teddy.
I’ll follow you anywhere, but I would prefer hand in hand.
I’m sure I’ll fight with you, but it’s part of the bargain.
Enemies and allies will both kill for us. I’d kill for us.
Cities will crumble behind us. Kingdoms will build for us.
All we have to do is stay together. Don’t you dare lie to me!
I will fight to the death. Would you make a sacrifice for me?

Tell me, Momma. Where do we go? Where?
Tell me, Momma. When do we go? When?
Tell me, Momma. Are all of your words true?
Let me tell you, Momma. I might stop believing in you.

I roam the pavement without making a payment. I’m so alone.
Lines now painted. Allies now acquainted. Opinions now stone.
Immigrants searching. Home separated.
Villages burning. Soldiers are decorated.
No place to call home, but everyone loves to place blame.
Everyone wants to play, but nobody wins a war game.
Is the first one to walk away the strong one or the weak one?
Are you coming or going? Either way, you must leave one.

Tell me, Momma. Do you play fair anymore?
Let me tell you something, Momma. I don’t care anymore.


  1. These are beautifully written! Standing spoke so much to me.
    ‘ Your love rotates like hands on clocks.
    All day I love you.’
    Comparing his endless love to the continuation of time is completely heart melting.

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