The Greatest Gift

There’s joy,
in the smiles of others,
in visions of those we love,
people we care about,
that is where truest,
most honest, happiness thrives.

To see such dancing zest is to feel
the same in my bones, heart, and mind;
while tears of delight run down
my cheeks. When babies laugh.
Hope laden felicity. Even
an old man simply must smile.

To sing and dance
with those we love most,
to see and hear them rise
in rebirth to life’s glorious days,
to overcome fears and sadness
that come with what we call
our human condition.

How strange, that we may
give or receive no greater gift,
no higher prize,
no nourishing of the spirit,
no deeper love than to allow
others to be and to see us
high on being alive.
Even more, to here and now
let love swirl among us all. Hallelujah!


Look both ways for the joy of love.
Mind the gaps, but live and let live.

Sammi’s Weekender (unknown)


Turning Into the Wind

Like Bob Seeger’s line,
“I wish
I didn’t know now
what I didn’t know then,”
back when my lost
happiness was
still unknown.

Before I won these emotional
and physical scars;
blissfully, foolishly ignorant;
lucky, privileged;
without foible; free to be me;
a self-centered fool
with a college degree.

Now a recovered lover
of painful truths I never sought.
But I’m proud of our past.


Look both ways,
to the earth and into the heavens,
into the night and through each day’s light.
Mind the gaps and face the facts. It was what it was, and so were we.

***

Note: Song lyrics are from “Against the Wind” by Bob Seeger & The Silver Bullet Band.

Poetry: Rainy-Day Me


It is raining.
Outside everything is wet.
My long walk this morning
was in the rain. I wore
that red rain jacket,
got soaked only below my waist,
and I loved it.

Now it is afternoon
and the rain is still here,
and I should be reading,
drinking coffee, and
sitting on my back porch,
contemplating life and pondering
about what’s next.

But I’m having poetic thoughts
about rain (again), about
writing, and about Julie,
and I need to make some notes.

I’ll go sit on the porch now
where I can enjoy the rain more.
I hear distant thunder,
nature’s version
of rainy-day drama.
I can think about Zeus
or any one of dozens of other
gods of thunder and lightning.

I shall read, drink coffee,
and enjoy the rain, maybe
some thunder, if it’s not right
in my face. Maybe I’ll wonder.
We should wonder often, right?
I wonder what I’ll wonder about.


Look both ways for desire and disfavor.
Mind the gaps for indifference.

Interrogative Poetry: Any Way the Wind Blows (NaPoWriMo day 28)

First, I want to wish Yolonda a Happy Birthday and many more.

This prompt challenged me to write a poem that poses questions. I think I am starting to get silly. Two more days after this.


If it has no effect on us, and some like that,
why feel bad when someone does good?
I mean, WTF is that? And where the fuck’s it at?

If the speed limit’s X and I’m in the groove,
why do I want to dive X + five and my motor
wants us to move?

Why do I like anyway the wind blows?
It seems wishy-washy, and why was
a bow-legged woman doing the boogaloo?

Why do I hate being asked if I need help
if she got the jive and I don’t?
But I do hear crickets at Fat Jack’s downtown
If it’s easy come, easy go, how do I know?

Do I like cats that keep the beat?
Do I like dogs that make me move my feet?
Why do I forget the drummer, drummer I want to remember,
but recall useless shit without trying?
Easy come, easy go.

Is it possible to think hard, or even harder? Can you give me the beat?
Is there a euphemism for euphemism?
Has the guitar player been around the world?
Can’t he play a lick for lookin’ at the girls?

One two three four five six seven,
will you change your ways just to get to heaven?
If eleven just lays there to rhyme with seven, then why
do some like this and some like that?
And don’t some know where it’s at?

If you don’t get loose, if you don’t groove,
will your motor make it or your motor not move?

If easy comes and easy goes, can it be anyway the wind blows?
If time won’t tell you then don’t ask me. Easy come,
easy go, which away does the wind blow?


Look both ways for nonsense questions.
Mind the gaps and keep your motor running.

Maybe you’ll wanna read the poem again after the video.

Poetry: Sijo for Two (NaPoWriMo day 20)

The NaPo prompt for day 20 was to write a poem in a traditional Korean poetic form called sijo, in English of course. Sijo is a specific form with a little flexibility unless one wished to exercise poetic license to color outside the lines. Since these are only three lines of 14 to 16 syllables each, I wrote two for Tuesday.


Marvelous Melancholy

I forgot about something important. What being bored feels like.
Oh, how I long for the days when I could do what I wanted.
Now I can’t just up and do, up and go. I mustn’t fall on my ass.

***

A Taste of Tint

Like yellow, it has never been one of my favorite colors.
Did I ever favor any one color over another?
I’m starting to like orange. Never saw a color I didn’t like.


Look both ways. Then smile. Sing a song, “I’m Alive!”
Mind the gaps for forgotten sorrow or the taste of color.

Epistolary Poetry: Some Writer’s Thoughts (NaPoWriMo day 11)

Today’s NaPo’s challenge was to write a two-part poem as an exchange of letters. The first stanza, part, or poem was to be the letter-poem that I wrote to someone. The second part, the letter I received in response. The length, form, and subject matter were to be of my choosing.

I wrote one letter to two men, George Carlin, and Johnny Cash. Each answered separately. Cash used a poem he wrote 18 years ago.


Dear Messrs. Carlin and Cash,

I am sometimes compared to George,
but seldom to Johnny Cash.
I love music and humor, especially
the more cerebral, sarcastic jokes
of George’s accompanied by adult language.
Every day, I listen to Mr. Cash recite the poem,
The Cremation of Sam McGee
as part of my playlist. All three of us spent
time in the Air Force, although the length of time
and conditions of departure differ. I like
to write. I know that both of you considered
yourselves writers. But you were better known
in other professions, which was how I found you.
If this letter gets to you (I’m told you died),
please give me advice about my writing.
You can see it on my blog.

Regards (I miss you both), Bill

***

Dear Bill,

I asked around about you. I learned that, like me, you were raised in the Catholic faith and attended parochial school, but now you’re out of all that. A synonym for parochial is narrow- or closed-minded. Never forget that. You’ll never get over it. You are not like me. So, don’t worry. We have no wifi or computers or cell phones here, but no matter. If you want to write just do it. Fuck what anyone else thinks. Remember, both the man in black and I had our stage personas and our real acts. Recall also that I loved the live performances. I can’t speak for Johnny, but I bet he did too. Holy shit, he did concerts for prisons. Oh, you have a lot goin’ on. Enjoy it all man, for as long as you can.

Best of Luck, Old Man.
George

***

Hey Mister Bill,

Don’t cha just love writing poetry? I did for sure.
Songs too, but it’s all about the same stuff.
I’m gonna give you my answer as a poem
I wrote back in 2003, Called “Forever.”

“You tell me that I must perish
Like the flowers that I cherish
Nothing remaining of my name
Nothing remembered of my fame
But the trees that I planted
Still are young
The songs I sang
Will still be sung”*

Good luck to ya, Sir. And
God bless….Johnny

*Poem “Forever” by Johnny Cash from Forever Words: The Unknown Poems.


Look both ways and try to accept what help you can get.
Mind the gaps and truth behind the masks.

Poetry: A Pantoum


Morning Cat

Sometimes, in the morning I stretch like a cat.
It feels good to expand my arms into the air,
to feel my body push against itself,
to feel my life physically trigger another day.

It feels good to stretch my arms into the air,
quietly announcing my arrival before dawn upstages me.
I want to physically trigger another day in my life.
before dawn steals my self-awareness, that “I’m alive” feeling.

I enjoy quietly announcing my arrival while
admiring the cobalt blue and sunny pink sky colors,
as sunrise steals my awareness, an “I’m alive” feeling
that makes me want to make the best of the day to come.

I admire the cobalt blue and sunny pink morning skies
and I want to feel my body push against itself,
as I hope to make the best of the day to come.
Sometimes, in the morning I stretch like a cat.


Look both ways when you’re feeling a bit catty.
Mind the gaps. Especially the ones behind the eyes.

Sammi’s Weekender #189 (troglodyte)

Click to open Sammi’s blog

Favored Bonds

With nothin’ left to lose, they closed their doors.
Perennials, long past thirty-seven point eight median years,
they lived what’s left of life.

She, an unwilling anchoress,
he a happy troglodyte of hopeful health.
With preeminence declining,
they stood their ground.

They shunned from their bubbled bastion those
who denied reality or died in denial
of reality’s science, as plagues of nonsense
took many from loved ones.

Together, they danced ‘till the end of love,
touched by mature minds.
Happy to be alive in a new world, until
the end of time comes for them.


Look both ways crossing life’s boundaries.
Mind the gaps and keep moving.

Poetry: Another Morning


Awakened hours before sunrise,
he must guard, lest they come and kill;
this boy filled with fear and shock,
barely 19, taught to hate and kill,
now loyal to his clan, this new family,
his only friends, his only protection
as war has become his real world.

Miserable, hardened in every way,
unsympathetic, unimaginably deadly,
drawn to flashing light, learning
what he never wanted to know, addicted
to the battle, to the intoxicating fight.

He celebrates life with death, seeks random
revenge where none is possible,
has forgotten questions, never asks why,
lives in his personal accepted hated hell.

Sunrise lifts despair from his soul.
He smiles, alone, at the light of life,
happy to survive one more night.
He looks for answers, for that part of him,
now dead because he kills without a care.
Can he ever again be who he was born to be?


Look both ways to find another view.
Mind the gaps where questions decay away.