The Young Turks: Wisdom of Frogs and Toads

When I ran with the dogs,
with the whippets and hounds, but mostly
with many young mongrels,

Confident advice flowed with barking
ignorance as Young Turk wisdom without
benefit of time or trial.

All things were defined by toads little wiser
or experienced than were we pups, with
foibles and foolishness all their own.

Success and failure were measured by the ignorance
of prediction rather than outcome, by dreams
over reality, by desires above experience.

Dead war dog stories try telling us
that neither happiness nor success
bother to dress up in frogskins.

Shine your light when you look both ways.
Mind and mine deeply gaps of the past
filled with learned experience.

Sammi’s Weekend Prompt #127 (3 Poems and a joke)

Click to link to Sammi’s site.

I prefer to write Sammi’s weekend prompt on Sunday. When I looked at it on Friday, I wrote a poem. It just happened: oops, a poem. I decided this weekend’s prompt could be for each day of the weekend, including Friday. My three on replace:

Going Home Again (Friday)

I’ve tried to go back home,
to the place where
I was born.

It was the right place,
but I was not the him who
I was when I left.

I was unable to replace me,
and you weren’t who
you once were.

No longer was I one of you,
not of the same tribe,
only a memory.

Once you leave, it’s done.
You can never go home again,
we can’t go back in time.

What was is finished,
only the whisper of memory
holds us in the past.

***

Irreplaceable Love (Saturday)

If you lose someone you love
you can’t replace them
nor the love you felt.

Each love is unique. It may
change or flat-out die,
but most love remains in us.

We can’t feel so much love
that we wear it out,
like an old pair of shoes.

The love we feel is at least
for as long as one shall live,
I hope all my love lasts forever.

Be it a pet or a person, family
or friend, music or memory,
no love can replace a true love.

***

Relief Strategy (Sunday)

Planning battles, reserves
are replacements,
part of the relief strategy for
casualties and the weary.

In basketball they are the bench,
In football, second string,
baseball has relief pitchers from
the bull pen that replace starters.

My Dad referred to men
as being on relief. Years later,
I learned he meant welfare,
not to replace.

Then there is that personal relief we crave
during difficult or painful times, like in
the Jerry Clower story about coon huntin’—
I been coon huntin’ and lemme tell ya,
it’s just that funny.

***

Look both ways in them Mississippi swamps.
Mind the gaps for Lynx.

*

Jerry Clower’s most famous story was his coon huntin’ story about the time he and his friends went hunting that evolved into an entanglement… if Jerry don’t make you laugh, you need relief. If you got the time, he’s irreplaceable.

Poetry: Boys Only

Jimmy and me, and his sister June,
all about the same age
of seven or eight were standing
in the alley behind my house.

On that day I did not know
that in seven or eight more years,
me and June would share the experience
of lost virginity, the one and only day
she did not spurn my teenage romantic advances.

We three friends were all shirtless and discussing
whatever pre-pubescent children talked about
in the 1950s, when the shrill voice of their aunt
Dorothy demanded June not remain shirtless.

June did not get a satisfactory answer to her ‘why?’
(did we ever?), only that girls don’t do topless.

I looked June over, brown hair to barefoot toes
and could see no reason but forced socialization
of such things was commonplace and
in some circles probably still is.

Jimmy and his aunt died years ago. June is
a great-grandmother and we don’t keep in touch.
That’s too bad. I wonder what June remembers.

Look both ways before removing your shirt in the alley behind my house.
Mind the gaps, not the nipples, and aunt Dorothy, too.

Poetry: For a Little While

For a little while longer
I will annoy you with my
banal sarcasm, seasoned
with a pinch of wit.

For a little while longer
I will stare into your eyes—
making you uncomfortable.
I may annoy your sensitivity

With wise cracks or politically
incorrect observations of truth,
but only for a little while longer.

Until I stop, I will stake my claim
to a share of our relationship.

I may touch you, hug, or even kiss you
for a little while longer, and for as long
as I can. For a little while longer,
maybe forever, I will continue
to love you.

Of the forever possibilities, we’re all ignorant.
Look both ways here and now.
Do it now, say it now, mindfully minimize the gaps.

Poetry: Dog Poop

From my screened in back porch
I get to see the sun rise,
it’s better in fall and winter.

The neighbor’s yard is being watered
because it’s Tuesday and grass
will die in the heat, or the shade.

And I see people pass on the
sidewalk, across the field which needs
neither water nor mowed,

but it is mowed twice each year
and then persistently grows back
waist high and only
Mexican mowers walk on it.

Dogs walk people so they can
sniff, pee, and shit; and old people
pick up dog poop and tie their shoes

while they’re down there. Few
run or jog and the mockingbirds mock
purposefully and others mock back.

The dogs don’t care and
the cats aren’t there and
the mower would upset them

and the walkers walk, maybe
to stop and talk. It’s somebody’s birthday
before it gets too hot,
it’s a dogless walk day for me.

Eat healthy, exercise, walk the dog, and look both ways.
Mind the sidewalk gaps.

Poetry: Edible Confession

Did homework, still had questions.
I noted the downstairs medical dispensary
but took stairs up to the recreational second floor,
where a kind young man tried to not
embarrass me with age and ignorance.

As we chatted he looked over my license
to be sure this old man was over 21,
not some state guy hired to sneak past
and get them punished for not checking me out.
He directed me through an open door

into a room with two ATMs for cash,
(purchase is cash only)
a long glass counter like a jewelry case was
staffed by attractive young ladies (and men)
I like to call bud-istas, and behind them
more cases with low drawers full of products to sell.

Around the room more glass cases displayed
all forms of product, much that looked
identical to others but with different fun names
from the Indica and Sativa families:
Grape Ape, Obama Kush, Alaskan
Thunder Fuck, Dirty Girl and Berry White,
all with varied chemical content on signage.

It reminded me of brewery tap room menus
that display the ABV and IBU or SRM; only these
reflected the type and quality of cannabis so patrons
know what they will soon consume.

Unlike taprooms, off premise consumption
is a must. Then it was like going to confession
when one of the bud-estas smiled
and offered to help me figure it out.

Forgive me Sister for I have sinned. This is my first confession. I been booze drunk on my ass, said and done incredibly stupid shit, driven drunk, and picked bar fights I couldn’t win. I’ve sucked tobacco smoke from cigarettes, pipes, cigars; and chewed the leaves. I ignorantly supported foolish laws that prevented others from doing this. My greatest sin: I’ve never used pot in any form. Now humbled before you, I beg your advice and assistance. What is all this stuff?

She called an older male assistant,
closer to my age, to aid my ignorance.
Thirty minutes later I knew
what this marijuana stuff was:
THC, CBD, and all that.
(oils, vapers, creams, grinders, and papers)
Particularly the edibles.

He told me it would take over an hour
for the edible effects to top out,
like drinking a glass of wine, only
the buzz would last through the evening.

I now say it’s more like two glasses,
properly stoned at two hours,
and semi-hosed for the evening.
But cogently sociable. Namaste.

If you’re fortunate enough to live in a state
with legal recreational ganja use, give it a go
if ya never have (unless yer a Fed, need CDL, or military).
But look both ways, bring cash, and smile for the camera.
Mind the gaps and do your homework.