Thursday’s Rune: My Friendly Reminder


I used to ponder the meaning
when an attractive young lady
(she could be 50 or 60 nowadays)
would cast a trusting smile
my way and say,
‘you remind me of my father.’

Was she calling me old (true ‘nuf),
a difficult, somewhat deaf defender
(also true), or childhood disciplinarian?
A boomer, for Christ’s sake.

Perhaps it’s my ego,
maybe just plain self-guilt,
conceivably a DSM diagnoses.
I don’t know. Anyways.

I’ve finally realized
she could pay me
no greater compliment,
no higher honor, than to say,

in whatever loving way,
(or not)
she thought of him. When
she looked into my eyes,

she saw him. The first man
she ever loved.


Look both ways to understand.
Try to see yourself as another sees you.
Mind the gaps for confusion and clear understanding.

***

Gloss: DSM refers to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the taxonomic and diagnostic tool published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Thursday’s Rune: Candles in Darkness

Thanks to Dale for the photo.

(Time to go home)

The streetlight was
outside my second-floor bedroom window,
about sixty feet away,
kiddy corner from me,
but right across from Packy’s Bar.
At night, it dimly lit my bedroom.

(I didn’t like the pull-chain single bulb
that hung from a chain in the middle of the room.)

There was another light
a block farther up on Main Street,
and another was down on Washington
where a traffic signal clicked
when it changed to another color (all night long).
It had to be late and quiet to hear.

I didn’t care.
When I pushed my bed next to the window,
I could feel and smell smoke-free night air.
I saw and heard street and sidewalk sounds,
I watched the glorious night rain,
and sometimes people who were quieter at night.
Summertime I could see bugs flying around the light
as I listened to the raucous people up at Packy’s.

The light was near enough
to work with my mind adding drama to boredom
as the nearby maple-tree limbs and leaves
silhouetted diabolical shapes and shadows.

That’s how I saw them.
Frightening then. Old friends now.
Along with rain, the streetlight showed me
falling snow or eerie fog on dark nights.

Streetlights comforted me.
Now, when I get up before sunrise, I look out
to see another lonely, bored streetlight father away
on a much quieter street with no bars (just houses with old people).
I recall the days when I looked out for the light to tell me things.

I still do.


Look both ways to see the light.
Mind the gaps, the bars, and the interesting shadows.
Watch people.

Thursday Rune: Arrogant Demerits


I admit it. Sometimes I joke about lesser folk,
about how I am grateful to them
for making me look better than I am.
We called them shit screens,
or wedges that raised everyone else up
the totem as they forced their way into
the bottom of the pile. Isn’t that awful?

I don’t know by what standard I should be judged,
nor how I should think about myself.
I just want hot coffee on cold mornings
and time to think about a full life,
or to worry about people I love,
for no specific reason except I care.

To all those whose tarnished image I have improved
when I wedged my own way down,
or screened out the shit storm on my own,
or played the bug on your windshield,
you’re most welcome,
from the bottom of my sniffy faults.


Look both ways and reflect on things like envy and greed.
Mind the gaps as dysfunction becomes the new normal.

A Thursday Rune (walk with me)

’tis Raining Intimacy

Here’s the thing, people think I’m crazy
when they scramble for cover
seeking unrequited protection
from spit and sprinkle.
As my smile betrays my thing for rain.

Well, you see, proud me knows
what they don’t.
I feel something
they flat-out won’t.
Yet I’m not alone.

I dig walkin’ in all the rains—
deluge or drizzle,
mist or mizzle, or
let it pour a storm.

Control Nature? I cannot!
But guess what that
atmospheric effect does for me.
If I could, I’d make it so, and gawd,
you’d see; it would rain a lot.

I dunno, though,
cuz here’s another thing;
what I get is more than wet.
Rain’s just Nature’s grace
poured out on us
says no less than the likes of
John Updike. I get what he meant.

Anyway, it’s more than water,
more than moisture,
rain refreshes me, spiritually
cleanses me, it quenches my thirsty soul.
You know what I mean?

And Jeeze Louise, we always need rain.
It’s a feeling—a cosmic commune—
with what, I’m not so sure, but it,
in fact, flows with cycles of life.

Okay, I get it. No freezing cold.
Likewise,
I’ll pass on thunder and lightning
so close
it makes me mess myself.

Don’t worry though, I dress for temperatures.
On warm days, it’s shorts and old cotton tees;
my warm red rain jacket at colder times.
I eschew ducking under umbrella’s shadow.

I wear wet-able shoes. And I walk alone.
But then again, don’t you know?
I’d never refuse a fellow Pluvio,
and we’d want to dance
to the music and the rhythm of falling rain.


Look both ways.
Feel it, smell it, taste it, hear it, and see the rain;
all that it does, all that it loves.
Mind the gaps, the dips, and the puddles, unless you’re five.
Then, just dive right in.

Sammi’s Weekender #239 (smuggle)

Click the prompt graphic to teleport to Sammi’s blog and other poetry or prose.

Egregiously Absurd

Smugglers
of humans seeking better lives, liberty, to taste
freedom, asking only workman’s wages.

They flee to us with wicked problems,
bringing constantly changing confusion,
due to undefinable inequalities of states.

By coercion or consent, trusting snakeheads,
coyotes, or polleros; at great cost and risk,
begging asylum from worse.

We pick them up, send them back;
our failed fences, blank walls.
WTF is beautiful about that?


Look both ways and “Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too.”
Mind the gaps on the high road of morality.

Sammi’s Weekender #238 (familiar)

Click to go to Sammi’s blog and read other literary wonders.

A Poet’s Niche at Night

I sit alone,
here in my nook
surrounded by dark night’s midst,
awakened by who knows what.

It’s not gloomy to me
in my shadowless gray nest,
with familiar walls tinted sepia
by computer screens,

And light from my
black plastic, ergonomic keyboard.

I like it dark without sounds
I couldn’t hear anyway, just midnight feels.
I like them, too.

As I think,
I write
this poem thingy
cuz that’s what poets do,
in the middle of the night.


Look both ways when you sit alone in the darkness.
Mind the gaps,
the things you hear,
the things you feel,
and especially those you don’t.

Thursday Rune: Thanksgiving Poem

Grateful

The mythical geneses
of Thanksgiving Day
doesn’t matter to me,
nor the religious significance,
or supposed underpinnings
of this America’s holiday.

It’s healthy to have
the attitude—to feel
thankful, to reflect,
to summon love & respect
for others in my life—
today and those past.
There is the good,
the bad,
and the ugly.

My family, love,
music, art, health,
heart, happy stuff,
rain, books, writing,
babies, moms, medicine,
motorcycles, children,
grandkids, good coffee,
air conditioning,
electricity, good teeth,
this poem.

Today is about all the good!


Look both ways with a grateful mind and heart.
Mind the gaps but see the good.

Sammi’s Weekender #234 (Empire)

Click the graphic to go to Sammi’s Blog. There you may read more prose or poems, and you can play along.

Yearning for Old Broadway

The Empire State’s
wonderful people
of the city that never sleeps.
Coney Island, Manhattan,
Central Park, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
That tall building, George M!,
Lady Liberty, the Bronx,
‘the city so nice
they named it twice,’
Gotham,
Broadway Joe, the fucking Yankees
in the Big Apple.
Herald Square, Times Square.
How I want to be there.
Sadly, the day of many hearts
broken by hate.
I love New York!


Look both ways.
Take the Staten Island Ferry and the NYC Subway.
Mind the gap, as in watch your step in the City of Five Boroughs.

Midweek Poetry:


When Love is not Enough

They thought it was indestructible.
A once mighty oak.
Then one day, there it lay—
one fragile, entropic stick, atrophied
by the dominance of green fire,
enraged temperament morphed
from past passions into
mislaid trust, then to castaway love,
and finally, to the pain of the end.

Did he willingly dance away from the fire?
Did the stepping turn of his heel find and
finally crush that last unwilling, wilting twig?
Was it he or she who stood in the dark,
alone, searching for some deeper truth
without understanding? Only able
to struggle against the monster’s eye,
leaning in against injury
from false charges and
intolerable miscreant treatment.

Had they become allergic to love?
Did they both just get lazy?
Whatever cannot be, simply isn’t.
Trust-based survival
needn’t be defended against
blows from the unbridled ax of envy.
Then—it was just the inevitable end,
when even love was not enough.


First, look both ways. Then, look all around.
Finally, mind the gaps and cut your losses.