Poetry: Salty Meditation (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-nine

Today I am writing to you from the boonies of Colorado City, Texas. My Monday morning challenge was to produce a meditative poem from a position of tranquility (it is like that here this morning, but I’m snickering), on an emotion I have felt powerfully. I’m not sure what I did, but I felt that.

Salty is a state of mind
on the inside;
on the outside,
Salty is all personality
one must acquire
a taste for the attitude,
with peppery retorts,
for a bit of salt
poured
on the wound,
for the taste of a tear
on my lips,
off your cheek,
on the rim of my Margarita,
or on my hands
with lime juice
for shots of tequila.
Today
my state of mind
is Salty.
© Bill Reynolds, 4/29/2019

Look both ways, attitude follows attitude. Mind the gap in meditative morality.

Poetry: Colorado Sky in Texas (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-six

Today, my poem uses repetition. As prompted, I may repeat words or a phrase.

It is a place and people live there.
But I can’t tell you why.
The interstate curves or jogs
as the Colorado River passes,
going somewhere,
But I can’t tell you where.
It’s hot in Colorado City
and it’s dry,
But I can’t tell you why.
In that small west Texas
town lives some of my love
But I can’t say much.
The water is bad, yet some things
grow, but I can’t tell you
how. Not much grows,
but they try—I can’t tell you why.

Confinement and warehousing
of living human flesh is done,
down yonder, in some
depressing hole, but I can’t
tell you much. Jobs, I guess.
The big white metallic groaning
wind monsters are there to send
volts and amps and megawatts
to somewhere, but I can’t tell
you where. Colorado City in Texas
has a past, tough people
in a rough place. It has a
future (maybe) but
I can’t tell you what.
They have a liquor store,
I think I know why.

Look both ways and don’t blink or you’ll miss why, or how, or where, maybe what.
Mind the gap near the dip, misery sleeps there.

Poetry: The Stock of Love (NaPoWriMo) Day Fifteen

Today, I’m challenged to write a dramatic monologue poem. I tried to create specific voices of character that act as both narrators of the poem and participants, which could be acted out by someone reciting it.

****

He is just there, out of reach for now.
Or is it us? So waiting and watching his stare.
Dare we touch such darkness, or look upon him,
in a time to sample solutions?
To this time we have come, as you and I will have done,
to seek his work in our lives.

The darkness that follows, at times closer or farther,
but always, always there.
We look not to see into his darkness
as he looks upon us with calm eyes
for seeking an inevitable time, when we
feel his welcome breath as a wind of the wise.

With a song he beckons us to release
this pain of our suffering into his care.
This love has been our personal world,
but now we may touch an eternal threshold of peace.
Release me not, but allow you go with me
in search of our final love of his prize.

With pain and regret I feel deep in my bones,
to him, I send you in my despair.
Such shaking a coward deep within me,
I step into our eternal new home.
As we lie here in the dark, and together we sleep,
for a time never again to rise.

© Bill Reynolds, 4/15/2019

Look both ways to feel the times of birth, love, life, and death.
Mind the gaps in space and time.

Poetry: Why am I Me? (NaPoWriMo) Day Eleven

My poetry challenge today is to write a poem of origin. Where am I from geographically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. And having come from there, where am I now?

It’s not really a home, but it’s where I am from,
a place and a people from whom I’ve come,
other places they called home were not theirs.
Were they as proud as I, of who they were?

My look, perhaps a taste or a talent; a religion
or a language, this tribe of people like me.
Am I good enough? Were they? My foibles,
both pride and shame cloud my reality,
I don’t know what to feel about who or what I am,
or that I am at all, or who or what they were.
Why does it matter now? Is it because
knowing you is knowing me?

Why should I care? Am I a conduit of genes, maybe
I pass on life, survival, perhaps some weakness?
Who am I? Why am I? Why now? What do I want?
Taste, beauty, mindful intelligence, with durability
all passed from them to me, then to continuous family.

Why am I and what did you want? Life until death?
What is it that I don’t know? Not just life, but
thoughts. What did you think? What did you cling to?
Did your strength or weakness pass to me?
We’re from there, and there, and other places.

The you I’ve never met, secrets you’ve never told,
burdens never experienced, fears not shared,
friends, enemies, jealousies, hatreds that
may have traveled, but then died with you.
So much of what I am flowed from you to me.
Maybe I simply pass on, or maybe I just do.

©Bill Reynolds, 4/11/2019

Careful as you peer into the gaps of history but look both ways.

 

Poetry: Boy, Howdy! (NaPoWriMo) Day Ten

My challenge today was to write a poem that starts from a regional phrase, particularly one to describe the weather. I am not a native Texan, but my wife and children are. I couldn’t do just one because the Texas culture is overflowing with verbal and cultural clever terms and phrases. The dialects for these (and there are so many more) shift, depending upon which part of the state you are in, and whether you’re in a city, small town, or rural setting. Disclosure, I can talk like this and at times, I do.

Boy, howdy!!
Looky o’r yonder,
I could sit still for that,
But she’s in a horn tossin’ mood.

Where y’all from?
It’s so dry Ima spittin’ cotton
Here abouts, it’s drier
than a popcorn fart.

Got all gussied up ta
go shoot out the lights,
but just cuz a chicken got wings,
don’t mean it can fly.

It’s hot, y’all!
Hotter ‘n a two-dollar pistol,
Like a billy goat in a pepper patch.
Yes’m, it’s hotter ‘n blue blazes.

Tomorr’a they’ll be frost on the pumpkin,
cold as my ex-wife’s heart,
I mean, cold as hell
with the furnace gone out.

Y’all come,
Ya hear?
Ain’t no butt ugly,
we all just sweetness an light.

Lord willin’ and
the creek don’t rise.
Speakin’ of suckin’ hind tit,
how ‘bout them Cowboys?

Y’all oughta be a-smilin’
like a jack-ass eatin’ briars.

©Bill Reynolds, 4/10/2019

Look both ways and listen close.
Mind the gaps in logic and teeth, they’ll tell you something.

Essay: Shit Happens

  1. My mother said, “What did I ever do to deserve this?”
  2. My wife looked at my adult son and said, “Everything happens for a reason.”
  3. The minister looked into the eyes of the congregation and said, “There is no such thing as a coincidence.”

I forget the exact contexts and situations.

To my mom I would say, “You did nothing to deserve cancer; no one does.” While there may be reasons someone gets cancer, it is not punishment for being not good enough or for being bad. However, it is no joke that a lot of people think like this because of religion.

To my wife I say that most things have a cause and effect. Many things happen due to natural causes, environments, and special situations. Some things are random and have disastrous outcomes. Shit happens.

When someone is fired from (or not selected for) a job, and they later get a much better job, that is good fortune probably assisted by the fact that the person is well qualified for both jobs and it is fortunate that they snagged the better one. The opposite also happens. While such a comforting phrase may bring minor, temporary solace; it is not true that everything happens for a (supernatural) reason. A spiritual being causing a temporary problem to bring about a happier or sadder outcome fails any common-sense test.

To the minister I say that coincidence may not mean exactly what you think it means. According to one (MW) dictionary it relates to coinciding of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have a connection. Better words might be random, arbitrary, pointless, haphazard, or desultory.

Whether one believes in a god or not, and regardless of the influence of any god, those words exist because things and happenings can be random, pointless, and desultory.

I recall reading a poem in Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones: Spiritual Answers to Psychological Questions by the late Father Benedict Groeschel. The poem of unknown authorship is titled “The Weaving.” The last of three, eight-line stanzas goes,

At last, when life is ended,
With Him I shall abide,
Then I may view the pattern
Upon the upper side;
Then I shall know the reason
Why pain with joy entwined,
Was woven in the fabric
Of life that God designed.

While the poem is beautiful and weaving as a metaphor for a life designed by a god is useful, it also points to the unknown reason for the suffering in life. It implies that we will find no reason until after death, and then only if we are in heaven with the deity who will, presumably, make it all clear. In other words, it makes no sense.

I prefer this outlook from the song “The Sad Café” by the Eagles.

***
Now I look at the years gone by,
And wonder at the powers that be.
I don’t know why fortune smiles on some
And lets the rest go free
***

Shit happens. It’s not our fault. Blame it on whatever imaginary entity you choose. That may be the only reason you ever find.

© Bill Reynolds 1/10/2019

Look both ways for the reasons in life, but don’t accept not knowing—wonder.
Mind the gaps, they are real, but may be overcome with knowledge.

Poetry – City Boy on the Farm

That Summer on the Farm

It was hard work, that summer
filled me with memories
and lessons about life,
living close to nature, those feelings,
a life lived as few city boys knew.

The smell of manure spread on the fields
the milk cow faces up-close to touch
the unlimited number of stars in the sky
first seen by me at fourteen.
Few city boys knew or saw.

The noises of the day, the life,
the tractors, lifting bales of hay
with a hook. The smells, our sweat;
and the taste of fresh raw from-the-cow, milk
and garden peas right out of the pod.
Things learnt, few city boys knew about.

The quiet of an amazingly still cool night,
the sleep of a man who is still just a boy,
the sun in the morning when the cock crows
the waking of nature and all that is life.
Amazing stuff, few city boys know.

The smoke from the fires
the good feeling of hard work finished,
the wait for tomorrow’s harvest and
the craziness of good friends.
Things this city boy soon knew.

The past not forgotten,
the touches, the pain, the
cries and the laughs all
implanted like extra brains in
my heart and my head, parts of me.
Few city boys will ever know.

And there it will stay
till one lucky day — it happens,
I’ll be back on the farm when
I’m finally a boy again, in an old man’s body.
What every city boy knows is true.

©Bill Reynolds

Look both ways in the farmer’s fields.
A man is forever a boy, so mind the gap.