Dreams Did Commence

Stephen King wrote, “Fifty-one
was too old for dreams of the
future. At fifty-one you had to
keep running just to escape the
avalanche of your own past.

The reader agreed with the second sentence,
but having married his love at fifty,
for him sweet dreams certainly did commence.

What Credentials Do You Have To Do That?

When he was offered a job
as a therapist, someone asked,
“What credentials do you have
to do that?”

Even though he holds a bachelor’s,
master’s and doctorate, they still
asked of him, “Sure, but what
credentials do you have to do THAT?”

When he started writing poetry
a friend asked, “What credentials
do you have to do that?”

When she started making artistic
sculptures, people asked, “What
credentials do you have to do that?”

When people started overlooking
(literally) her sculptures in shows,
she wondered if the pieces could
be placed on higher stands.

When people kept overlooking
her now-placed-higher sculptures
in shows because they were used
to looking at walls, she just
shook her head.

Then one day, she was awarded
an award and, voila, she was an
overnight success and she still
just shakes her head.

People still ask her for her
credentials, but now she just
takes pride in feeling like
a female version of the ball
player in The Natural.

She’s a natural they now say
but she works her tail off
each and every day.

He has self-published two
books after twenty-five years
of jumping through hoops and
getting twenty-five articles
published, but people still
ask who his publisher is as
if to ask, “What credentials
do you have to do that?”

He now just says, “A highly
selective, small press
’boutique’ poetry book
publishing company in
Phoenix, Arizona.”

Self-publication was good
enough to get Walt Whitman
and Ezra Pound going.

He wonders if anyone
ever asked them, “What
credentials do you have to
do that?”

Maybe they were granted
certificates in being naturals
but only after receiving
some good reviews.

The Futility of Defining the Difference Between Oranges and Apples

Is poetry without irony simply prose?
Is prose with irony really poetry? Who knows?
If all words are metaphors,
what are metaphors for?
It’s like saying if such and such is all
then it is nothing at all,
because there is no comparison to
so to make a comparison, differences
are needed, for heaven’s sake.
It’s like comparing oranges and apples;
They’re both fruit examples,
but they are very different fruit samples.
So, it is with prose and poetry comparisons.
They are both forms of writing done by Ralph Waldo Emerson
who might say to defining the difference
between poetry and prose,
“Who knows?
For me, it’s like comparing oranges and apples.
I think that’s a pretty good metaphorical sample,
without needing any further example.”

Why Did I Start?

Why did I start? I don’t know,
but I don’t want to stop. I
wasn’t very good; in fact, I
was a really bad long distance
runner in high school. I was
a sprinter — hundred yards,
two-twenty at most. We had
to run cross-country if we
wanted to try out for the
basketball team. Then, at
twenty-five, I just started.
I think I loved the look of
the shoes, running shoes.
If I put them on, I could
fly. I loved the feeling of
the shoes on my feet. Were
they like the red ballet
slippers? She danced to
death. I didn’t want to die;
I just wanted to fly, at
least it seemed like flying
in my mind for about 40,000
miles with feet on the
ground in forty-six years,
now just slow trail jogging
several times a week. Counting
distance is now finished for a
timeless thirty minutes — but
still flying through the sky in
a new pair of running shoes.

We Want Warrior Kings

We want warrior kings —
giants with big egos
to show
everyone else how it goes —
authoritarian populists lifting
all the fears
gathered for years
throwing all the fears into a fiery
shouting, “See!!! Trust me.”
Crying out like an erupting
“I am the one
to save you, you know,”
destroying all that would cross
the giant’s path
and freeze it in molten ash —
this enemy and that.
Phoenix, rising from the
charred embers, this a bird
of prey.
He will do it, those who crave
authoritarianism, say.
Evangelicals, who say
they follow the lamb,
fold their hands in
irony and pray
for the warrior king
to save the day.
Give us Thor,
give us Ares,
not enough, give us more,
give us Donald J.
And in light of that yearning,
searching, fearful folly
that promises heaven but
only leads astray,
we all must pray.

Deer Devour Tiger Lilies

Deer devour Tiger Lilies
which grow along the deer path.
Woodchucks chuck and chew
apples and peaches and blue-
berries in the orchard; the
pears aren’t quite ripe.
Chipmunks gobble up bird seed;
squirrels dive bomb feeders
from nearby branches of trees.
They were all there before
the invading aliens who fight
for what they say is their right;
but are not quite
willing to exterminate
Alvin and Bambi;
that would take
the hate
the Invaders reserved
for the Indians.

The Great Getaway Weekend

Fifteen young couples decided
to get away for the weekend.
Camping would be fun. Friends
from their college days, they
arrived with tents, pop-ups and
a yurt, really, perhaps just to
show off, and, of course, the
kids – little kid after kid after
kid and the getaway turned into
day care each day of the weekend
getaway — tykes on bikes, tykes
on trikes, tykes in the water,
kids swallowing water, mothers
swooping up potentially drowning
kids, parents chasing tykes on
trikes, parents changing diapers,
parents fixing meals for kids
on wheels, one mother wondering
where her kids were and offering
them to two senior citizens as
soon as she could find the five
and the three-year-old — take
my kids for example; please
take my kids — kids climbing
on and falling off of playground
equipment, kids screaming bloody
murder, kids being consoled,
kids discovering potable water
hose and drenching each other
much to mother and father’s
chagrin, parents drinking more,
parents breaking camp, parents
packing up, mothers dreaming of
a romantic getaway with a fantasy
lover, fathers smiling while think-
ing of getting back to work and
much needed rest, kids dreaming
sweet dreams after their great
getaway weekend.

A great take
on what folly
doth make:

From the moment the eighteenth-century French revolutionaries set up the goddess of Reason on the high altar of Notre Dame, there wasn’t a head in all Paris that was safe.
— Frederick Buechner

He Thought It Would Make Him Feel Better

He thought it would make him
feel better than what he is
still feeling, but….
The poem, climbing the ladder
against the side of the travel
trailer, washing, waxing, but….
Getting ready to go — someplace
upon which they can’t decide,
but they are close, but….
Breathing deeply makes him
feel better and maybe that’s
the whole point, but….