Big Time Woes

You’ve taken their money to pay your way,

Now you must do exactly as they say.

It’s hard to condemn the hands that feed you.

You hear their voices as they rant and rave,

What part of their message do you want to save?

It’s hard to ignore the voices that tuck you in at night.

The stench of death hoovers over those who died.

Do their screams fill you with pride?

It’s hard to wash death from your hands.

Walls protect you, you’re losing your touch.

You hate everyone, and few people like you very much.

Splotches of blood are on your face.

You cannot escape death’s embrace.

Bright crimson flows down the street,

Staining souls, heads, and feet.

august 16, 2017

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IS IT TIME?

FORGIVE AND FORGET

 

Time goes by so fast,

And it takes two to let go of the past.

Their lives are not over yet,

If they are ready to forgive and forget.

He’s still got his kids

Though his life is on the skids.

It is not a good time to dump him.

She considers his needs

And why he closes the door.

But she needs to talk, to feel his hurt,

She can’t stand silence anymore.

The children expect presents and fun,

While his life is coming undone.

But it’s not a good time to dump him.

She wonders why their relationship

Is completely off the track

Maybe it is over and done

And they might never get it back!

Birthdays, anniversaries,

All are markers of time.

Is this the time to dump him?

Holidays are coming

And the world is full of joy and peace.

Will wonders never cease?

Is this the time to dump him?

At first she tries to fight

But his barbed words rip her deep.

She thought she could win the war,

But the price for winning is steep.

She stumbles as she walks,

Her voice breaks as she talks.

Her eyes are soft and clear

But her face shows wear and tear.

Her feelings are dripping with hate

Her emotions are burning within,

If he won’t listen

She will find a way to punish him.

Things said are venomous and terse,

As they attack again and again.

But the battle only gets worse.  

There is no way either can win.

Is this the time to dump him?

barbed,August 14, 2017

AMPLE ROOM TO GROW

There are many who believe there are no angels,

But I believe angels walk wherever there is light.

When we block the light,

 We are deceived by demons who are quick

To lead us astray.

I make choices, not just to please others,

But to prove who I am, and who I want to be.

I am not deceived to think only good exists,

Or that evil is out of control.

Neither do I believe that evil drives my soul.

I realize that hormonal imbalances, prescriptions and

Drugs not meant for you or me,

Stress to a high degree,

Listening to the beat of different drums,

Persuasions of power or envy,

All take their toll as I struggle to make sense of an illogical world.

I believe there are liars who walk among us,

And sometimes it is me.

I am not a psychologist who understands all I need to know,

I make many mistakes, which leaves ample room to grow.

I am just a simple poet who goes where few care to go.

I walk among you but I am no angel.

My light shines in the darkness but many lights are needed to illuminate the world.

I want laughter, not tears, Wisdom, not fear,

I am broken, needing repair, needing love, not despair.

I walk among you not as an angel, but as a friend.

Give me your hand and we will lift each other up to the Promised Land.

8/5/17

FIX THE LEAKS

FIX THE LEAKS

As I get older I fit into society better than ever.

I think about my health, my finances, religion and weather.

It’s more than finding out what’s wrong

Because it’s been of great concern all along.

I listened to our President and I’m beginning to freak,

Because it’s time that I should fix my leak.

The problem is around me and everything depends

If I have control straight through to the end.

Tires get leaks, roofs leak too,

Leaks keep me awake nighttime through.

Boats spring leaks and become dangerous and sink,

Footballs get leaks and drive men to drink.

All over the country it’s the topic of the week,

Surely someone knows how to fix a leak.

Leaks in government destroy security and trust,

Yet I want our government to be true and just.

Too much power in the hand s of a few

Without restraints concern me and should alarm you.

The President seems anxious to fix his leak.

If he doesn’t fix it soon he could be up a creek.

Leaks in gossip are entertaining to hear,

But leaks without controls could bring destruction near.

I hope it is simple to fix a leak,

And all my words are truthful as I speak.

There is less need to fix a leak,

If I am honest and it’s truth I seek.

August 4, 2017

 

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Born Lucky

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I was born lucky.  I would have chosen my parents right from the start.  I was loved and I felt loved. Maybe they chose me and maybe I chose them.  They were a perfect fit.  I would never claim I was better than others or worse than others.  I know that I saw the world around me with a different view than others had.  When my friends and neighbors complained about their siblings or parents, I  remained silent or said I would choose the same two brothers and the  same four sisters and the same parents.

We didn’t always agree on some subjects but I  knew that our parents were special.  It wasn’t about money.  Money didn’t buy happiness. It wasn’t about material things at all.  We learned to enjoy the foods we had, mostly beans and potatoes and corn bread, and occasionally biscuits and gravy.  It wasn’t about the things we didn’t have.  We learned to use what we had and do without the things we didn’t have. Flour sacks became clothes. Hand-me-downs were common.  Time spent with family was valuable time.  Respect and truth and love were important.  Each day was part of a life-long learning experience.

Even though I didn’t have much I learned how to work, how to play, how to enjoy the world every day.  I was not perfect but I didn’t feel mean or rotten.  I wanted to help people who were hurting, sad, or lonely.  I was usually considered “nice”.  I was a good person, willing to help neighbors and friends.  I could change a tire, carry buckets of water, travel across countries, and participate in games without getting angry as long as there were rules to follow.  I believed in rules and fairness.

Lucky? Maybe I should say I was treated fairly in life. When I saw what others had, what they needed, and the conditions surrounding them, I knew I was blessed.  The world around us did not appear fair in its treatment to others.  Perhaps I was so naïve or oblivious to problems that I escaped what could have been painful experiences.

When I compared my circumstances with others, I began to wake up and observe.  When I visited a friend who  made great claims regarding things he owned, I discovered the truth.  His imagination gave him all the things he didn’t have.  He didn’t live in a mansion. He didn’t drive a fancy car.  He was surrounded by problems that he chose not to see.  He was ashamed to invite me inside his house. The house was tiny and crowded. The windows were broken and needed replacements. The floor had holes.  The house was cold and damp.

The worst of it was the human factor.  How could they survive with conditions like this? It got worse.  In another room his brother sat on a bed in dirty clothes. His eyes were glazed over, flies were clustered all over his face, and yet he was smiling.   I could not imagine living in that home.  His parents were sitting at the kitchen table, discussing the weather, waiting for some super cells to hit the area, and wondering where to go.

Maybe that is why I began volunteering, helping out when I could.  I came into this world looking to do something for others and this was my opportunity to quit talking and begin acting.  I am lucky because I got a good start in life. My life has been blessed even though I have physical problems. Physical problems will not hold me back. I am a poet and a writer.  I must encourage others to help make the world a better place. I must act quickly because death is always waiting and I don’t have time to die.

July 23, 2017

 

YOU THINK?

Your story reminds me of an incident that happened long ago and far away, and it’s a true story.  I was divorced and dating a woman with three kids.  The oldest child would do some creative thinking when he was bored.  He could be very good but he was bored often and needed attention.  One afternoon I decided we could go to a park and play softball.  It seemed harmless enough at the time.

the kids weren’t ready to play so they began looking for things to rip apart or accidently destroy. I was young once so that seemed reasonable. When they began throwing rocks at each other, I was hesitant about letting it continue. But their mother thought it was o.k. until another family complained about the rocks bouncing off their car.  They suggested we take our family to a quiet place with thick metal bars.

We compromised by letting them throw water balloons at each other.  Harmless, right? It didn’t take long before they were soaked and cold.  They didn’t have other clothes to wear so they began whining and fighting.  Perfectly normal, right? The oldest began teasing his sister.  His mom blew up! She was tired of all the noise.

They were hungry, wet, and cold. I suggested I could buy them lunch at a mini mart close by.  I pulled up, set the hand brake and kept it in gear. The space was slanted but we were all going inside. But, no! Because the oldest had been bad he would be punished by staying in the car. No supervision, one mad child, hungry, cold, wanting to get away……Now it doesn’t seem like such a good idea.  At the time I was very concerned but I went inside with them.

It didn’t immediately dawn on me that customers and workers were running in the same direction for a reason. I wanted to see what was so exciting!  I was almost run over by the crowd so I went to check on Toby. I thought he must have seen the exciting action(whatever it was).  There was a catch! I couldn’t find Toby,  And, yes, the car was missing!

While we were in the store Toby decided he would run away, er, drive away. He was able to take the car out of gear AND release the hand brake. When nothing was holding the car in place, Toby turned the steering wheel and the car went backwards down the hill, up a small ramp, jumped over two cars without touching them, and came to a stop suspended between two large lamp posts. I climbed up and carefully opened the front passenger door.  Two dark eyes in a very pale face stared back at me.

“Toby, are you o.k.?” I asked him several questions before turning him over to his mother. Cars were blocked from using the road so two tow trucks hooked onto my car, front and back, and slowly lowered it to the ground.  I gathered everybody and we returned to civilization. Score: nobody hurt, no damage to car, no arrests.  Just one tired boy with one big adventure. And yes, just like many of my stories, I believe angels always watch over me and those with me.

july 23, 2017

 

 

TRADITIONS OF TRUTH

Traditions

Our family had traditions,

Coffee, morning newspaper, crossword puzzles,

Discussions about upcoming plans,

American holidays, political candidates,

The winners and also rans.

The discussions blended together

And nobody cussed,

But one thing was sure, we sought the truth,

We took pride in knowing George Washington

Didn’t lie when he chopped down the cherry tree,

And Lincoln was known as “honest Abe”,

They were leaders we could look up to.

We believed our country attracted the world’s best,

And with hard work and determination

We could rise to the top with all the rest.

Our leaders were thoughtful and honest,

 We believed in a handshake or giving our word,

To lie or to cheat was simply absurd.

We believed in who we were fighting for or voting for,

And we wanted to be known for  loving more.

But somehow our love relationships and respect

For each other has gone out the door.

There are no more honest presidents like George or Abe.

Our words are not true and our relationships worthless to save.

We are not honest and always true,

Ugly Americans, we are called, and other words too.

Where are the immigrants, natives, and protectors of rights?

We hide in the darkness and run from the light.

It’s time to tell the truth.

July 22, 2017

 

 

CHOICES

 WHICH CHOICE SHOULD I MAKE?

 

I’m not crazy even though you disagree.

I’m simply a man wanting justice, for people like me.

This world is full of lonely people ready to explode

They carry heavy burdens and they need to unload.

Just because I got angry when you killed the cat.

Life to me is precious. What do you think about that?

“Animals are just creatures”, you said once or twice.

Some should be burned alive, the others frozen in ice.

You called my mom a slut right in front of her face,

I love my mom. Your remark was way out of place.

My blood was boiling, your tongue had no control,

Yet you continued talking, words that were cruel and cold.

You laughed, “There’s no reason for her to live.”

We had both watched a bag lady pull children from a fire,

Without concern for her own life, she didn’t stop to enquire,

What color, social group, language they spoke,

They were children, worthy of rescue from the blazing pyre.

You laughed, “There’s no reason for her to live.”

You continued talking, words that were cruel and cold,

My blood was boiling, and I finally lost my control.

Am I crazy? People might have a reason to ask.

I’m almost sorry I chose you to be my very best friend,

And now I’m trying to decide whether I can forgive you.

Should I walk away, turn you in, or let our friendship end?

July 15, 2017

 

THE WORLD IS READY FOR LOVE

I do not believe hate can destroy hate. Hate only intensifies when more hate is added to the flames.  Love is the only way to keep hate from growing.   Love’s powerful emotion will gradually smooth and soothe until hate runs and hides.  Only love can mend broken people, broken nations, and broken hearts.

 

The world tries to hide its shame.  Wars, rape, hunger–who’s to blame?

“Turn off the news!” someone shouts.  “It’s going to be another terrible day.”

When you close your eyes and cry, and do nothing except watch someone die,

Are you giving up without another chance to try?

The words of poets are powerful and should wake us and inspire,

I think we have a bigger purpose than simply preaching to the choir.

My friends, I hear voices from the graves.  They honor poets and writers

as those who are brave.  Words that carry love and dissipate hate will live long after our bones have crumbled.  Speak up and let love once again retake our land. Go in peace and love.

June 29, 2017

 

CRINGE

Whenever I make a huge mistake I cringe inside, upset with myself for making such a blunder.  I find many mistakes in my life and I try to correct them as I go.  Unfortunately, I’m falling behind.  I can’t catch them all. My only consolation is that my repairs turn into experience and experience turns into wisdom.  And if all else fails, I will sit quietly and let everyone think I’m wise.

I cringe when I think there is so much I can do to help others. There is so little time and so much I could do. I know I don’t help enough. I used to complain I was the one who was hurt, but I’ve learned to complain less.

I think I was born lonely with a huge empty place in my heart waiting to be filled with love. Others couldn’t make me happy with shovelfuls of love. I couldn’t wait for that.  I had to bring love to the world and the empty space will fill up.  Love always replaces itself. I decided that if I do kind deeds, love others with passion, and treat all people with respect, love will be there flowing through me.

I cringe when I think of wasted years, wasted tears, all because I held on to negative ideas and pain, when I could have used the power within to help others.  To love others without reward keeps my heart overflowing.  I can reach out to friends, family, and strangers. This world is tough and I am ready to help.

june 25, 2017