Unforgiving Places – Sky to Falling Sky

End of another Day - The Barn at Soergel Hollow - Evans City, PA

End of another Day – The Barn at Soergel Hollow – Evans City, PA

Time for me to get out of this unforgiving place…
Sun on my back and the wind blows on my face…
Time to run from the never ending pain…
Four hours till darkness and no sign of rain…

Under the full moon I quietly hug the end…
A law is to be broken and rules will bend…
Stars brightly shine from sky to falling sky…
Sobriety is low and the good memories high…

Windows cracked open to let in the warm breeze…
The ground settles down as the trees lose their leaves…
Distant train warning approaching with speed…
Another soul in back while the others take the lead…

How long must one wait to understand paradise…
The breeze through the trees is my only advice…
Heavens gates separate the mighty church and state…
When the trees lose their leaves we will understand fate…

Broken branches fall in the storm of our existence…
Life is of hardships and death is of resistance…
Mountain sides slide into the shaded valleys below…
A swamp simply sits while the great rivers flow…

To give is to practice empathy like planting a seed…
The poor become flowers while the rich nurture weeds…
Into the forest a mother chases her one and only son…
Only after death do the different function as one…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Memories in Orange – Yellow and Blue

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“Yellow Skeletons on Distant Blue” – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – Standing on the side of a mountain… Photograph of the trees…

Excuse me while I slip out the door…

Memories… Memories of another time…
Memories of my darkest hours… Days… Weeks… Years…

I have been to the end before… A land of perpetual night…
Even in the darkness we must strive to see the light…
Self inflicted pain hangs from an orange extension cord…
Surrounded by needles… Surrounded by rotting boards…

Fate is an excuse we blame when life has got us down…
Heaven is alternative to our souls rotting in the ground…
Experience is relative… Darkness is a state of mind…
Walk across the dirty water and you are who you’ll find…

Blood in the water… Muddy sewers mainline to nowhere…
Mind like a pantry… Shelves empty and the fridge is bare…
Alone in this nightmare because no one knows the lie…
If a junky dies in the city… Does anyone care if he cries…

Orange street light reminder of the places I have been…
When you fight a dragon choose a sword over a pen…
Frost falls on the minds of those who lay out in the cold…
Every one of us dreams about the rainbows promised gold…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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In the Dark – Stay Outside and Play

Ramp

“In the Dark” – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

I am but a tiny being on this massive rock… I am a rock…
I am but an observant soul… Lost… Looking for a way to be found…
Looking for a way to ask for something I can’t define…
Looking for that elusive sign… Looking for myself…
Searching through the darkness…
Realizing I am of the darkness…

All is well… Everything is just peachy…
My lie of a smile denies you the real me…
Blue skies combined with yellow clouds in gray…
Evenings approach ushers in another orange day…
Another day of labor… Another day in the heat…
Another day I didn’t wave the white flag of defeat…

Ninebark

“Ninebark at Night” – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

I am a fighter… I am on the outside one-percent…
And I have no desire to come inside…
I have no desires because my addictions took them away…
Fingerprint ID and the mug shot to display…
That is why I garden… That is why I plant seeds…
That is why I consider you when figuring for my needs…

I am not equal to anyone… I am six-feet below you…
I am staring up at the ground looking for a new view…
Looking for a way to erase these horrid memories…
Looking for a way to find peace with my enemies…
Looking for a way to find peace with myself…
With my memories… With my past… With you…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Dreams of Paradise in Orange

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“Perfect Fleabane” – Hamnett Way – Wilkinsburg, PA – Beauty in the ordinary… Hope in the gutter…

Orange glow from the buzzing street lights…
Shining through the blinds of my broken windows…
Cool air sending me off to honeysuckle dreams…
Cool air coupled with the full moons beams

My body is in paradise… But my mind resents…
Among the sleepy trees and urban spring scents…
Surrounded by the energy of those who no longer…
The ability to perceive will only make us stronger…

The pain in your mind is probably a product of me…
Close all the windows… Light a candle and see…
I am still standing… I am a ghosts from your past…
I am a green thumbed vagabond and I expect to last…

Despite your best attempts to silence all my voices…
Talking trash and stacking shit to take away my choices…
I still have a voice… I still have a mind… I still have you…
I still have what most people consider a deeply flawed view…

Reality is relative… Reality is individuality…
Reality is a fucked up place you’d have to cut out of me…
When my mind is idle I dream of the most messed up scenes…
Heroin memories in the gutter dissolve into lucid dreams…

All encompassing reflections of pure misery and pain…
When I’m down I swear needles fall from the sky like rain…
Needles always land with their point to the ground…
Every day I try to scream but can’t muster a sound…

I feel so lost… I feel alone… I feel destroyed… I am beat…
If I had a white flag I would wave it in defeat…
Memories flash through my head like brilliant bursts of light…
Realize I’ve lost my mind but at least I have my sight…

Take me to a greener land of Goldenrod and Ironweed…
Take me to your gardens grand and show me to your seeds…
Show me all the secret places that you find so grand…
A warm embrace is the only way to settle shaking hands…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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A Little Help from my Friends

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The following post was not easy to write… before the emails and comments start I have to say that I am alright… I won’t be accepting comments on this particular post… Read it for what it is… A deeply personal piece of art… Enjoy… plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello This work is licensed […]

Slaying Dragons – Felon Dreaming

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“The First Rays of Sunlight” – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – An older photograph… But perfectly suited for this poem… This cairn is a representation of how I want to feel… I want rays of sunshine… Not the black cloud often seen following me…

Eyes on the ceiling… Back to the ground…
Rain drops drop in a rhythmic sound…
Thinking about how my life would be…
Living without heroin and a felony…

My arms show the scars of a million pricks…
Result of a mountain of heroin bricks…
Experience that only earned me a fight…
Desire to live lies in my will to write…

Writing is my last shot at redemption…
Art and photography my only salvation…
The few worlds where pain gets you paid…
One of the trades I bring in spades…

No options but to carve my own path…
Stand up and give the haters my wrath…
Take away my voice but can’t take my pen…
Thanks to God I still have a friend…

My only option is to continue writing…
Accept reality and continue fighting…
I will never be a part of the white-collar crowd…
Searching for a way to make someone proud…

Looking for a reason… A will to live…
A continuing reason to charitably give…
Locked out of opportunity… Left alone…
Societal failure… I’m on my own…

Can’t look down I gotta keep looking up…
When my glass is half empty I’ll hit you with my cup…
The world always seems to be pushing me down…
The jokes on you… My best work is on the ground…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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The Other Side of the Noose

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“Self Portrait” – © chriscondello 2013 – Conceptual Composition – Hamnett Way – Wilkinsburg, PA – Alley puddle… Mud… Food Coloring… And my reflection…

It’s 2 AM and sleep eludes me… Honestly… I don’t know how I ever sleep… I have gone 7 days without sleep or food… I’ve gone months without real rest… Shit… I’ve gone years without rest… The only difference now is the absence of opiates… I still can’t seem to shake the baggage…

Damn people… I’m really struggling…
Ups and downs like I’m constantly juggling…
The moment I stand I’m torn to the ground…
You chop me down without making a sound…

Five hundred and sixty five days clean…
Still not sure what they meant by serene…
I wish that I could unload these bags…
Even if it’s just my shitty used rags…

A hundred dollar camera… Decade old computer…
Tough to add value when you were just a junky user…
Resumes a joke… All my teeth are broke…
Writing this makes me want to cry and choke…

I need to find a place that I fit in…
A place where they will see past my grin…
A place where I can feel accepted…
Instead of feeling repeatedly rejected…

Until then… I’ll cover up with my hood…
Trying to find a medium that will be understood…
Took some time to look into school…
Met with roadblocks because I’m a felonious fool…

Someday I hope to find a way to make a dollar…
In industries dominated by brilliant fucking scholars…
Photography… Writing… Artistic behavior…
Doesn’t mean a thing unless your the lord our savior…

How can I compete against a CMU degree?..

I can’t…

I have to constantly remind myself I’ll be ok…
Suicide is not an option… I’d rather pray…
Pray to a god that doesn’t give a fuck about me…
Laughing at the broke guy writing about trees…

Empty wallet… Empty life… Another fucking joke…
Talking to plants… Perpetually broke…
What I lack in money… I make up in heart…
Praying for daylight… Another fresh start…

It doesn’t matter… I’ll just fuck it up…
Fill it up then spill the cup…
You make me painfully aware I have no value…
A sentiment that I was already aware…

I need to find my place on this earth…
A simple attempt to rationalize my birth…
I mean… You untied the noose around my neck…
I was happily dead during the Emergency check…

Why the fuck didn’t you leave me hang?..
Instead I’m here as a broken ass man…
I have the tracts to prove my stupid move…
Ten years spent in the heroin groove…

Try to get a job with that reference…

So tomorrow… I’ll take my cheap ass camera to work…
Till the earth with my broken pitch fork…
Dreaming… Believing my life will work out…
Believing there’s a reason I didn’t check out…

There has to be a place for me… I’m just not sure where to find it… Or… If it will find me…

Until then… I’ll keep on keeping on…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Scribbles from the Mind of a Struggling Soul

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“Sucked Dry” – © chriscondello 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

Before you read this… Allow me to add a bit of context… These poems were scribbled on whatever I could find over the past week… When I work… I meditate… Although meditation usually takes me to a good place… It doesn’t always…

This week has been filled with triggers… And I have been emotionally struggling… But I am ok… I am stable… I am writing…

Higher Power

Staring through the waves of light…
Energy from the heavens…
Power from the mighty earth…
The source of my confidence…
The creator of me…
My higher power…
Apparently has no power…

Let it go…

Confidence lacking… Earth shattering…
Life scattered around me…
No idea where I’m going… No clue where I’m at…
I need to let it go…

Hunting for a dream… A direction…
Constantly avoiding my own reflection…
My back hurts from all this baggage…
I need to let it go…

Meditation reflects harmony and peace…
Hate absorbs hate… Anger attracts anger…
Bottled up… Ready for market…
I need to let it go…

My past dreams amount to cons and schemes…
Just another sad drug addict theme…
Spirit like Swiss cheese… Soul like a fallen tree…
I need to let it go…

Carrying the weight of my world around…
Thoughts simply add to my load…
I need to let it flow… I need to let it blow…
I need to let it all go…

Away…

Searching for a direction…

Every street looks the same…
Every fucking sign says stop…
Every corner I turn…
I see a fucking cop…
Standing here on the corner…
Surrounded by used needles and empty bags…
Shaking… Scared… But surprisingly strong…
I know what people expect…
Fuck… They tell me all the time…
They think I’m still a user… Loser…
A worthless drug abuser…
Let’s get something straight…
I don’t care about you… The haters…
You’ve left me no choice…
And this choice is mine…
I may not have a worldly direction… Yet…
I’m definitely not like you…
And I really don’t like you…
Though I can be kind…
I will never be your kind…

Thankfully…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Complimentary Colors

"Buddies" - © chriscondello 2013 - Frick Park - Pittsburgh, PA - Complimentary colors... Growing in the same patch... Yet... None of them were close enough together to photograph... So I put them together...

“Buddies” – © chriscondello 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – Complimentary colors… Growing in the same patch… Yet… None of them were close enough together to photograph… So I put them together…

To address my last post quickly…

Complimentary Colors – We call two colors complimentary if their pigments mixed together, yield a neutral gray-black. physically, light of two complimentary colors, mixed together, will yield white.

Two such colors make a strange pair. They are opposite, they require each other. They incite each other to maximum vividness when adjacent; and they annihilate each other, to gray-black, when mixed – like fire and water. – Johannes Itten – The Art of Color

Take it however you want…

To address the comment calling me a closet junky…

My arms show the scars of a million needle pricks…
I can still see them… I can still feel them…
And if I think hard enough… I can still taste them…
Memories are powerful…

Memories of the bad…
Should not supersede the good…
Life should be celebrated…
And death understood…

I would die a million deaths…
To save you from this one…

I know what I am… My question is…

Do you know what you are?..

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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There Is No Scale For Beauty

There is no measurement for aesthetics... If you took a Van Gogh painting and asked a group of school kids to recreate it using the exact same materials... Although you and I would recognize a difference... A scientist would say that they are exactly the same...

“Stuck in the Middle with Blue” – © chriscondello 2013 – Wilkinsburg, PA – There is no scale for beauty… If you took a Van Gogh painting and asked a group of school kids to recreate it using the exact same materials… Although you and I would recognize a difference… A scientist would say that they are exactly the same…

I once was in a meeting with 30 of my peers… Mostly good people with good intentions… They were openly picking my brain to see what makes me tick… Why I was a gardener?.. Why I live in Wilkinsburg?.. As far as I could tell… They just wanted to know why I was sitting at their table…

At some point in my introduction, my blog was brought up. I have to admit that I am not very confident in my writing, my hesitation to openly talk about it was immediately obvious to the other people at the table…

So once again I had to answer the question why… Why was I hesitant to divulge the web address to my blog. I can think of a million reasons, but the answer I gave was rather simple. I explained that I had only begun to write 2 years ago, and that I had only really started learning how to spell properly within the past year… Not to mention not having any knowledge of grammar… Or a relative grasp on the English language…

So… The room erupted in laughter… They almost couldn’t contain themselves… They had absolutely no clue that I was dead serious… I have to admit… This was a painful and embarrassing moment… I am often reminded how different I am… But laughter doesn’t typically accompany the reminder… I’m not sure how they would have reacted if they knew how I felt in that moment… It’s making my stomach hurt just thinking about it…

Now I obviously knew that only two or three people at the table had any clue about my past… And given the type of meeting it was… Well… I probably had no business sitting at that table anyways… I guess that’s what makes this journey fun for me… Yeah… They hurt my feelings… And their toilet paper probably costs more money than I will ever see in my entire life…  But we do have one thing in common… Something that I’m actually pretty good at too… Gardening… Gardening always ends up being my equalizer… On some level… Everyone is interested in gardening…

I spent a third of my life trying to kill myself by euphoria… I came close… But I was ultimately unsuccessful… I’m convinced it had to be for a reason… And for that reason alone… I garden…

Gardening brought beauty into my ugly life… I write about it to help you bring beauty into yours… It may just save your life someday…

The only garden yield that matters to me anymore is peace… Peace for the earth… Peace for the animals… Peace for you… And ultimately… Peace for me… That my friends… Is beauty…

peace – chriscondello

This was originally intended to be a Practical Permaculture article… That didn’t go so well… So you got this… I hope you enjoyed my little sidetrack…

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