Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Any Relief

Is there any comfort in
words when there’s
blood in the water
and the sharks are circling?

“Hang on,” we say.
“We’re praying for you,” we post.
“Our hopes are with you,” we shout.
“We’re here for you,” we wish.

Can any words besides,
“You’re fully insured and will
be adequately compensated,”
really do anything to help.

Waves of sympathy,
ocean currents of empathy,
are fine and good, but no match
for actual ocean waves.

Where is the power of words
in the abyss of horror?
Are words the afterthought of
the aftershock?

It’s a uselessness I feel to use
my own words to be anything
other than a shill for the vague
emotional notions of my heart.  

I want the words to carry the burdens
away, but maybe I’m not that smart,
or maybe I’m not that good of a poet,
or maybe, just shutting up is the right thing to do.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Will They Call Me Mister

I’ve more gray hairs than
I used to, my chin whiskers
now fill in with snowy patches
of stubble. I ache in places
for no reason and am
usually exhausted by
9:00 pm.

I still don’t feel like a
grown-up though.
I’m not even sure what
a grown-up is.
I’ve no children,
I’ve no wife,
no mortgage, or grown-up things.

What makes a grown-up?
Is it knowing things that
younger people don’t?
Because I certainly do that,
but I’ve always done that.
Is it money? Success?
Vitamin pills every morning?

I get curmudgeonly and surly
and irritated by stupidity, is
that being grown-up?
I tell those damn kids to
get off my lawn, in my head,
because I don’t have a lawn,
for lousy kids to play on.

Is it political awareness that makes
a grown-up? Clearly not, what with all
the childishness going on now.
Is it being able simply to do and say
whatever I want within the context of
the law? Doesn’t really feel like that’s
what being a grown-up is.

Grown-ups sleep on their couches,
and tinker and meddle,
Grown-ups worry about money, gas,
car payments, insurance, dental care,
sexual failure, liver disease, being wanted
for who they are and not what they should be,
and having to clean up after themselves.

If that’s all it is to be a grown-up,
then I’m not sure I want to be a part
of it all. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing
and maybe one day, that kid in the mirror,
with wrinkles and gray hair will finally look
familiar, and he’ll wink at me.
And we’ll laugh through our senility.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Seeking Wisdom, Again

The Great Guru of Guru’s,
the wisest of the wise,
the most knowledgeable of
knowable knowledge,
sat atop a snow swept
mountain. The cold winds
blowing through his long
scraggly white beard and
wisps of white hair remaining
on his head.

His eyes were closed as he
breathed in deeply and silently,
he exhaled gently and slowly,
over and over, he barely seemed
to move, as if he was part of the
mountain itself.  He was one with it,
 the snow, the winds,
rains, rumbling of the mountain
when it shuddered. He was the
image of peacefulness and harmony.

The Great Guru, arms and legs folded,
lotus position, remained motionless as
a great grunting rose from the temple
steps leading up to the Guru.  The grunting,
followed by wheezing, coughing and cursing,
soon revealed a raggedy man. Dirty, bruised,
battered and unshaved.  He fell at the feet of
the Guru, after climbing the 1,000 steps to
the mountain temple the Guru occupied in his
corporal form.

“You’re holiness, great Guru of the mountain,
I’ve come again for your guidance,” said the dirty,
disheveled man.
The Guru didn’t move from his breathing position.
“I gave up all my worldly goods; I tried to treat each man
as my brother, each woman my sister, I’ve loved
without hesitation, I’ve fed the poor, tended to the
sick, kissed my enemies and I meditate each day;
I’ve given up meat, I’ve been beaten up, I’ve
made each sunrise matter,” said the man.

The Guru still with his eyes closed,
breathing gently, remained silent.
“Yet, I’m not happy. I’ve not attained
any enlightenment, I’m just as miserable
and scared as I was the last time I was here,
when I first came to you for advice,” said the man.
He began to sob into his hands and wail.
He cried and moaned, hugged his shoulders
and rocked back and forth, snot running
from his nose.

The Guru opened his eyes and looked at the man.
The Guru’s face was calm and gentle.
“Did you vote,” asked the Guru.
“Huh,” said the man, wiping the tears from his cheeks.
“Did you vote in the Presidential election,” asked
the Guru.
“Well, no. I thought we were above such trivial things,”
said the man.
“Oh, well, there’s your problem,” said the Guru.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Eclipse Prescription

Next Monday there is a Solar
Eclipse that will pass over the
United States of America.
It’s the first time in 26 years
that it’ll happen.  I think we need

The path of the eclipse will
pass over 14 States. The Sun will
be blotted out by the Moon for
varying times, Southern Illinois
will have the longest eclipse period
with 2m 44s of totality.

Meaning the Moon will cast a
shadow over Illinois for a full
two minutes and 44 seconds. And it’ll
be dark. Dark as night. The total
Celestial event will last for a full
1h 33m 16.8s.

The event literally happens at the
speed of light. It’ll happen no matter
what is going on down here on Earth.
In fact, the cosmos doesn’t care
what is happening on Earth.  

The divides between people,
ideologies, religions, Nations,
and politics are all meaningless
compared to the pure majesty of
nature and the universe.  The
Sun and the Moon, don’t care.

They don’t care if you’re Black,
White, Brown, Yellow, Red, or
every conceivable color known.
The Sun, Moon, Stars, just don’t
care. A great Shadow will traverse
the Globe with or without you. 

The bigotry, hatred, and divisiveness
we heap on each other on this
insignificant space body is just dumb
when you get down to it.
There’s no point really.
Your perceptions are not permanent.

So, I really can’t believe I have
to say it all again. I’m not sure
how many times will be enough.
Your beliefs in one Race, Creed,
Theology, or superiority is
a waste and a weight on us all.

As the shadow of the Moon
passes over your homes I hope
it’ll help to show you how small
you are and how little the universe
cares about your point of view.
It doesn’t care about my point of view.

A Country, cast in shadow for a short time,
a mini Dark Age, hopefully to emerge bathed
in enlightenment, about who we are on the
World and who we want to be in the short
time we have.  Because in the dark,
we’re all the same.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Caterpillar on the Hood

I saw little antenna peeking
up over my windshield wipers.
A caterpillar on the hood of my car
looked right at me. “Where are you
going little caterpillar,” I asked.

“I’m going to Hollywood to
become a famous movie star,” said
the caterpillar on the hood of my
car. He rose up on his many rear legs
and flexed a little.

“I’m not driving to Hollywood,” I said.
“Why not? Don’t you think I have the
charisma, the charm, the guile to be a
famous movie star,” asked the caterpillar
on the hood of my car.

“Well, I’m not a Hollywood agent, talent scout
or otherwise in the know type, but I’m not
sure there’s a high demand for caterpillar movie
stars,” I said.
I drove forward in the left turn lane.

“See what an action star I am, hanging on
the hood of your car,” said the caterpillar,
who was indeed hanging on the hood of
my car. “C’mon, take me to Hollywood,”
it said, two legs folded in prayer.

“No. I’m afraid I just can’t do that,” I said,
turning onto the highway.
“Whoa, where are you taking me? West is
the other way,” said the caterpillar on the hood
of my car.

“I’m sorry. Really I am. You’re really impressive I’ll admit.
Maybe when you’re a butterfly, I’ll reconsider,” I said as I accelerated.
“You’re loss. I won’t mention you when I give my
best actor speech at the Oscars,” said the caterpillar
on the hood of my car.

The caterpillar slid off the hood,
aloft in the breeze, disappearing from
my sight. Maybe to land on another hood,
and get the right sort of ride.
I’ll won’t hold my breath though.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Aw, Put That Away!

The Cold War was very
real when I was a boy.
It seemed like any day a
nuclear war would break out
between the U.S. and the Soviet
Union and the world would be
plunged into a dystopian nightmare
akin to The Road Warrior or some
Orwellian State.

Millions of lives could be lost
in a strange “Biggest kid on the Block”
muscle party and I was terrified.
I had childhood anxiety as I was
obsessed with this idea that our
extinction might be at hand.
It directly led to my adult anxieties
without question.

And here we are again, saber rattling,
whipping our nuclear dicks out,
shouting, “You want some of this!”
And it’s terrifying. I mean that imagery
is pretty disturbing, but the real
rhetoric is even worse. It’s scary.
I’m scared.

I think we’ve forgotten that bitter taste of
fear and mistrust of our Global neighbors,
I don’t believe it’s a flavor I’d like to revisit.
In the meantime, I’ll be nervous, but not
as terrified as I was as a child. I’ll hope for
the best and that cooler, rational heads

I hope they put their dicks away,
wash their hands and remember
how many times we’ve come to the brink
of desolation and pulled back, remembering
how terribly finite our existence is on this little
planet. There’s no future in reliving the past.
And I’m not sure my anxiety can handle it this
time around. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Sort of the Same

Spent, shattered shards,
splintered, spewed and
splayed, spread rough shot,
across shifting scapes, in
swirls of soil and sand.

Seems especially similar
since I’ve certainly summarized
this sort of scene before,
something stunningly same,
of slender artistic equities.

I’ve said it some other time,
these alliterated stories of
sorrow, sadness or sweetness,
summed up and spat out,
a series rerun.

A sequel to something I said,
about trees, or hearts, or sex,
or lovers, signifying a desperation
for substance, sorely lacking with
substandard alliteration.

So, something to say, supple in
seriousness and specialness.
A sure show stopper to send the
senses spiraling into space,
a spectacular spectacle.

Something worthy of Shakespeare,
or Sam Shepard, I’m steady, ready,
steamed and sharp, so I’ve just to
say it. To say it, the something,
something stupendous.


Stupid stuttering syllables.
So many disappointments.
Shattered, shards of sentiment,
spelling nonsense,

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Turtle Rodeo

The Turtle Rodeo
is a spectacular
extravaganza of
unanticipated thrills,
chills, spills and various
other ills of all manner.

You will not believe your
eyes when you see the
skill, the bravery, the raw
power, of the world famous,
wild and rugged,
Turtleboys of Madagascar.

See them rope, ride, bust,
and break turtles of all breeds
in this once in a lifetime opportunity!
It’s action like you’ve never seen,
nor were ever likely to believe.
Your jaw will drop!

Cheer, ooh and ahh, with your
friends as Bucky the Box Turtle Breaker
goes for the Turtle Rodeo record of
seven hours before being thrown
to the grassy arena of doom.   
Will Bucky survive!?!

You’ve watched other catastrophes
before, so why stop now.
Don’t worry about the ASPCA,
they don’t care about turtles,
so bring your turtle shell soup bowl and
tell the babysitter you’ll be late!

You’ll be at the Turtle Rodeo
having the greatest time
mortality can provide!