Monday’s Rune: Pride Month Poetry


Looking Both Ways

There’s tragedy in America
and over the world today.
One that has always been there
brewing trouble bubbling,
either hidden or ignored.

Without love, honor, and respect
inside and out,
sans pity and pride, compassion, and sacrifice,
we are doomed
to be less than
the best of humanity’s history.

Let nature and nurture battle on,
let knowledge
and wisdom wrestle
with feeling and emotion.

Nature’s questions asked without fear,
safe for all, with courage
to face battles between
sweet dreams of hope
and nightmares of reality.

Ally with truth, with
compassion, without weakness or fear,
with hope to continue
standing with universal rightness.


Look both ways and try, try, try to understand, it’s not magic, man.
Mind the gaps in the human condition as you embrace its diversity.

Note: I will be reading this poem (and others) at the Lark & Owl Booksellers in Georgetown, TX, 30 June 2022 @ 7:30 PM.

Friday Fictioneers for June 24th 2022

Sliding off the summer solstice, now fully back in her Mistress role as maven of Friday Fictioneers, Rochelle has selected a photo of a suspicious looking senior gentleman entering a resale store, cane in hand. My fib-ulous 100 words follow the photo by John Nixon.

Click the PHOTO PROMPT © John Nixon to trip on over to la belle Rochelle’s purple tent-blog to get the script on how to jump in and play.

Genre: Old Fart Fiction
Title: Secondhand Security
Word Count: 100

***

I didn’t think they would need security. It was a fun gig that beat boring-ass Wally world.

The text, 4 guns @ seconds, meant four armed robbers at the secondhand store.

It was close.

There’s no fool like an old fool, but younger is dumber.

I smiled as I walked in.

I cane-zapped one guy as I ‘tripped.’ The owner shot another.

Number three went down when he shot himself in the foot. The fourth man just gave up and started to cry hysterically.

As we were cleaning up the owner said, “Just like the good old days, right, Dad?”

***


Look both ways when taking on more responsibility.
Mind the gaps, walk slowly, and carry a stun gun walking stick.

Click on the stun gun for more takes on the photo prompt.

This is one of my favorite old-fart Texas guy scenes from the movie, Secondhand Lions.

Sammie’s Weekender #263 (vernacular)

Click this graphic to open Sammi’s page in a new tab.

Dead and Gone

When they ask me, where do I say I’m from?
Why ask? What difference does it make?

Do I say from a blended Irish Catholic coal miner family
of the northeastern Pennsylvania Wyoming Valley?
From a time and place, now too far away?

A way to which I cannot return. My blood no longer mixes.

A place foreign to the vernacular of history,
now threatened by polite inclusiveness.

Now none of me lives there.
Only cold rainy nights and forgotten headstones
on lost graves of people I never knew remain.


Look both ways for ancestral truth, but the past is gone.
Mind the gaps for reality’s dark shadows before landing right here, right now, in this world.

Memorial Day

I’ve decided to kick the Monday Rune a week down the road because today is Memorial Day in the USA.

My mother still called it Decoration Day even long after 1971, when Memorial Day was declared a national holiday. If you want some good information and background on the day, click HERE.

On this and every Memorial Day, I hope Americans remember what it’s factually all about. It is a day of memorial, a day to honor and remember people who died in service to the country.

Saying happy Memorial Day is inappropriate, but curbing that gets more difficult every year as more people lose sight of the purpose, which I consider unfortunate, if not sad. While it may never be incorrect to thank a veteran for their service, this day is about the dead, not the living. Veterans Day in on November 11th each year and it is totally correct to say happy Veterans Day, which is also a national holiday.

There are entire vet organizations set up for exactly this purpose: to get it right on Memorial Day. While there is a lot of hoopla, sales, and military prominence on this day, the purpose is still to memorialize the dead. I hope we don’t forget that.

 

I realize it’s Veterans Day (no apostrophe), but it is not my meme and it gets them message across.

Monday’s Rune: Big Country Swap Meet


Listen: Brack-In Ridge

Reportage from Abilene, Texas.

The parking lot guy collects a five spot.
I joke: five dollars to see my
brother-in-law?
The good ol’ boy
with the best trash and
the biggest damn stash east of the Pecos.
I suppose west of, too.

A cowboy swap meet.
Auto stuff, mostly.
Kind of a thing in a place,
next to a silent (today) drag strip.
I spied more vendors than not.

Gear heads. Rust is the most
favored color and condition.
Many men’s junk—treasures
for another’s home, yard, or garage.
To be sold again one day down the road.

Huge bushy mustachios, semi-clean blue jeans
with stained dirty shirts work, baseball caps
of some kind to cover secret coded bald heads,
hidden lips that barely part
speaking a strange dialect,

What’s the least y’all take?
I’h gotta have ‘at old junk.

Gotta get that much,
‘at’s mah last one,
except fer ones I ain’t sold yet.

Big sky country, gateway to western Texas.
And women looking. And high priced
cars, trucks, scoots, and toys
that been rustin’ for years.
Who knows where?

It’s a tribe thingy.
I like ‘em,
but I don’t get them.
They don’t get me. Seems fair enough.
Still, it’s fun to sit and stare. To look,
and to listen.


Look both ways, be y’all a seller or a buyer.
Mind the gaps for the best deal.

 

Monday’s Rune: Standing Down

It was unthinkable, back when
my without-resumé or bona fide
job was Dad: our father,
leader, wizard, fixer of all
things and people broken,
savior of my tribe; shaman,
vet, and driver out of all demons.

Despite my foibles,
hidden as many were—
we managed to cope.

Burdened with adversity and misguided history
we owned our piece of the world,
we held the keys that controlled the universe,
wherein I was (am?) suddenly
no longer the center to which they would turn.

Call it what is, that’s life, dismissing
whenever shit happens, when I’m forced
to admit I don’t know why. To say
I was wrong about so much.
I think and think again about it all,
the ultimatum. It wasn’t you. It’s me.


Look both ways when seeking the mysterious purpose of life,
or finding of the true self, or taking on the vocation mantle of service.
Mind the gaps for the distractions of relief are dear.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 29)

Click for the prompt page and more.

Today, I was to write a poem where I muse on the gifts I received at birth.


Forbidden to Miners

I call for my childhood muse
to whisper of the child, to
remind me, as Mnemosyne, goddess
of memory, me within and without,
of sorrows and gifts and that I am

a coal miner’s son, given blessings
and burdens, Irish Catholic (then),
yet named for mother’s father,
a Welsh Presbyterian, a coal man; me,
youngest with three half-blood sibs.

First of family raised by both parents,
by father’s discipline tempered
by mother’s love; I, imperfect in this
less perfect world, a boomer now,
some say a most hated gen.

No special gift, proudly average,
a boy being a boy, some friends,
learner of the hard way, too afflicted
by others, not an unhappy child,
but happy to have survived to 75.

Kismet, space dust, late bloomer,
they gave me life, what happened after
was up to me. Made good and done bad,
but here I am writing about it. A poet?
That was neither planned nor expected.


Look both ways. Try to remember.
But, above all, tell your story.
Mind the gaps and fill them as best you can.

Friday Fictioneers for April 22, 2022

Mistress Rochelle, the colorful manager and FF maven of artistic madness, prompts us today, with the aid of a Carole Erdman-Grant photo of an abandoned building with a marvelous paint job.

PHOTO PROMPT © Carole Erdman-Grant Click on the picture to zip on over to Rochelle’s page for all the news and graphic rules.

Genre: Family Fiction
Title: Overheard Gen Art
Word Count: 99

“Mom! Look at that! It’s beautiful. Let’s get dad to buy it.

Julie, that is junk. It’s sad—the worst of gang graffiti. It’s ugly.

Mother, you have no taste. That rocks—it is the fucking bomb. That’s great urban art.

Sweetheart, that is not art. It’s gang turf tagging and watch your language. This was once a nice place to eat. Now look at it: a concrete canvas for bored morons.

It’s metaphorical, Mom. You’re so shallow. If dad doesn’t buy it, I’ll kill myself.

And if he does you won’t have to because I’ll kill you both.”


Look both ways for all that is seen and felt.
Mind gaps and don’t touch the wet paint.

Click on Mels (sic) drive-in from the American Graffiti movie to find more fictioneering.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 19)

Click the graphic for the prompt page and more poems by other participants.

Today’s challenge is to write a poem that starts with a command.

I wrote my poem as a more respectful, loving plea rather than a command, but the words suit the prompt’s intent well, as far as I’m concerned. My inspiration was the Peter, Paul, and Mary song, Day Is Done.


Our Day Undone

Tell me why you are sad, my son.
Let me hold your hand and listen
as you speak of woe. Call me
to your side as we talk, and we walk.
Stay near me. Tell me your regrets,
intone unknowns we both fear.

Is it wise for us to ask why, sadness
so deep we must cry? Tell me,
my son. I’ll be right here
until my last day is done. Burden my
purpose of commitment. I ask no easement,
but for your silence to clear.

Allow me to share this distress and bother
just as I’ve carried you before. I rejoiced
in your life, now let me suffer with you
the worst of your troubles. Let us be
like some small support
as we lean upon each other
and lift this load
until the healing is done
and sadness has passed.


Look both ways mindful of love’s burden.
Let compassion fill the gaps,
allow time and love to ease the pain until the day is done.

If you’re not familiar with the tune:

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 17)

Click the graphic for prompt page and more poems.

Today’s assignment was to be another fun one. It was a prompt developed by the comic artist Lynda Barry, (see the full tweet prompt here). For NaPoWriMo, it asked me to consider dogs that I’ve known, seen, or heard of. Then I was to use those thoughts as a springboard for a poem.


Must I?

Must it be one or the other?
Either I prefer cats to dogs, or vice-versa.
Like I must take sides in some
canine versus feline conflict.
Must I own one to prove some
provocative preference?

Is it wrong to treat an animal as a loved pet,
or to suggest an aggressive breed as not the best?
Synonyms for pets include loved, not family,
not as human, and now here comes the guilt trip.
Others see pets like children. Fine for them. To be right,
must I see the world through their eyes?

I’ve had a few pets, loved most, regretted few.
Most memories are good when all was well.
But all my pets, like many
of my family and friends are gone.

Unlike the Billy Collins humorous poem,
The Revenant, most dogs seem willing to
let me be, the cats I’m still uncertain about.
And they like it that way.


Look both ways respecting nature’s fauna.
Mind the gap between the lion and the lamb.