There Is An Undying Desire

There is an undying desire
to save it all,
what we have, what we see —
the earth, the sky and the sea.
There is a desperation
as we watch it all die
an unnatural death right
in front of our eye.
The rich are the rich
are the rich and will
never change;
Looking to them for
help just brings pain.
Lobbying legislators
is like caressing alligators
so some sit at writing desks
for years and years hoping
to pen the books to
cast out fears;
others fear that time
is running out
and write short essays
and poems
like a wake up shout.
Will it work anyway
as the precious world
passes away?
Who knows?
We just keep shooting
warning arrows
into the sky
before we have to
say goodbye —
before all is through
and we offer adieu.
We have to do
what we have to do.

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Uncorking the Bottle

The big three, the Unholy Trinity —
Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney
(Oh, and then there’s # Four —
Wolfowitz, the territory carnivore)
pulled the cork
and the rest is a sort
of lingering Middle East
misery
spreading from country
to country.
The malevolent genie
laughs
as he breathes
his noxious gas
and sends millions
over the edge
and out the gate
and little boys
grow up to hate,
hate, hate
and retaliate
and now, of
course, in their wake,
the Russians
are coming
and Vladimir
keeps puttin’
a salacious smile
on his cherubic face.
Little men with
compensatory complexes of
inferiority and superiority
will always find ways
of winning over the
gullible majority
who follow like
lemmings but
send children
into a violent,
meaningless
void of
nihilism
and let’s be
perfectly clear here,
as presidents like to say,
but this time let’s
really BE
perfectly clear —
it’s always, always
because of
fear.

He Struggled Night and Day

He struggled night and day, day and
night with outdated routers, long-lost
passwords, modems, cable connectors,
not to mention Indians in India whose
accents were thicker than anything he
ever heard down south and other
technicians who started by saying ad
nauseam — perfect and then ad infinit-
um — sorry. Reducing channels, add-
ing streaming, he thought he would
be a screaming mimi, so he went to
bed only to dream frantic dreams of
cables snaking around his feet and
modems nipping at his heels but that
was nothing compared to exchanging
cable and wifi equipment at the local
network store the following morning
only to be greeted at the sign in desk
by Frau Mueller barking orders at him
to move over, go here, stay there, be
quiet and stand still until she gets
her job done. Later, as he sat juggl-
ing four remotes and a bewildered
look on his face, he thought how glad
he was for all the advancements in
media technology making life ever so
much simpler.

Letting Go

Twice a year he examines his clothes
closet for things to be taken to the
second-hand store. “What haven’t I worn
for a year?” he asks himself checking
himself on what he let pass six-months
ago — a pair of really nice hiking boots
(“Hey, I’ve got two left,” he reminds
himself.), two polyester tees for jogging
and casual wear which don’t fit all that
well anyway, a pair of really, really nice,
nearly new jogging shoes which he won’t
wear now that he has discovered the maximal-
ist brand with the crazy name, which make him
feel like he’s jogging on clouds. Then he
moves to the guest bedroom where his wife
says, “We have to do something to upgrade
this stuff; it’s too big for the room,” —
said stuff being the solid maple bed frame
which he has had since he was a kid and has
dragged all over creation and which has the
image of the cracked Liberty Bell carved
into the headboard that he still thinks looks
more like a jack-rabbit’s head and the solid
maple dresser that has about a much family
history. He looked at the room and said, “It’s
solid stuff, in really great shape.” He hes-
itated and said, “I agree; it’s more than
time to downsize and move on. Maybe some
kid will get the bed frame and think it
really looks like a jack-rabbit’s head
instead of the Liberty Bell, too.”

Whites Don’t Want to Know

He heard on the radio that blacks who
receive equal health care to whites
actually respond better and are
healthier than whites.
 
And whites don’t want to know.
 
From track to basketball to football to
baseball and now to tennis and golf
and soon to be domestic soccer
and maybe swimming, economics
permitting, blacks are there and
whites aren’t so much anymore.
 
And whites don’t want to know.
 
And once the scales of justice are
balanced and blacks are out of jail
and into academia, there exists the
possibility that blacks will outshine
their white counterparts in every
field from science to the arts
and humanities.
 
And whites don’t want to know.
 
Maybe whites just got too far away from
home all those millennia ago and the
genes just couldn’t keep up with
the demands of adjustment
and adaptation.
 
If so, whites just don’t want to know.
 
And when the political power and
economic power shift,
 
well, even Moses was lifted
out of De Nile probably kicking
and screaming but, thank God,
not shooting.

An Interesting Camping Trip

It had been an interesting four-day,
end of the season camping trip, not
far, just about an hour north along
the Big Lake to a place they had
visited frequently. By then most
of the seasonals had gotten to know
him pretty well. In fact, because he
is a retired minister, several availed
themselves of some free counseling
in spite of his protestations that he
is a retired minister not currently
on call and then there were the visit-
ing Labrador Retriever experts who
freely offered advice upon unsolicited
advice on how the man and his wife
should care for their Chocolate and,
of course, the guys who wanted to
know all about the stem cell trans-
plant he had on his right knee until
he actually started telling them about
it at which point they just gave advice
upon un-solicited advice pertaining to
knees and the general state of ambu-
lation. However, there was one fellow
who didn’t offer any advice; he just
shared books and thoughts and quest-
ions — what a rare fellow indeed and
a breath of fresh air, as fresh as the
breeze coming in off the Big Lake —
like fetches causing cooling waves
to wash over bathers on a hot day.

a lime in sublime time while listening to jazz

he thinks about all the ways
life could go astray
and then he wonders if there
is any meaning at which to stare
or perhaps even embrace
for a short or longer space
and rattittattat time
and then he thinks that right
now he’s alive and fine.
the farmer’s market has
started on time
and sometimes
a simple future event is enough
to make life temporarily
sublime,
like maybe a fresh, soft,
squeezable lime
from the farmer’s market
this time.
he’ll go when the jazz ends
or maybe buy some beets
after the down beat
ends.

Art and Artlessness

He read the phrase “pithiatric prattle,”
in a book given to him by a friend
only to have it explained as hysterical
rambling and then he knew for sure what
it was as he watched the Republican debate
and saw all the manic mandibular motion
with little or nothing to show for it. If
art is consonance, as that same writer
offered, the pope proved positively artful
before the US Congress while artless politic-
ians proffered, pitiful, pithiatric prattle
to frenzied folk with itching ears and not
much between them.

Wanderlust

He read a poem where the author
wants to live in a little shack
with one door. The poet will sit
in the door frame for years. He
thinks about that and concludes
that wanderlust wouldn’t take him
to a one door shack. It would take
him to where he is right now writ-
ing this. Sometime though, he
might like to go on a European
river cruise, especially if it is
as nice as it looks in the T.V.
ads. Then again, there are National
Parks which beckon. He used to like
watching the Travel Channel to get
his vicarious fix, but there is more
eating and drinking going on than
traveling. He misses watching that
cute, perky, blond, travel guide
whose name he can’t recall. She got
around. He moves around on the chair
and thinks to himself that this is a
pretty comfortable vehicle in which
to travel. This way, it is easier to
travel with the Chocolate Lab who
sits next to him contentedly chewing
a bone. In a minute the man’s wife
will ascend the stairs and ask him,
“Are you ready to go camping?” The
dog’s ears will perk up and his tail
will wag. The man will say, “Have a
cup of coffee first, dear.”

The Muses With A Scythe — Six Haikus

The scythe swings back and
forth ever so rhythmically.
Demiurges rise.

Words effortlessly
flow through neural connectors
swinging back and forth.

Outside of one’s self
muses congregate and sing
and swing poetry.

Words on paper swing
back and forth rhythmically like
the farmer’s sharp scythe

cutting through to truth
in a pleasing harmony —
penned effortlessly,

cutting down to the ground
both wheat and chaff together —
now wheat can be saved.