Midweek Poetry

My White Rabbit

I like beer, pizza, and poetry.
And those mysterious rabbit holes.

Poetry is to life
what hearing is to sound,
what thunder is to lightning, what love is
to marriage,
what sex is to love,
what water is to thirst.

I like dark beer, such poems
I love to hear. Poetry
is to me what color is to art.
It’s the butter
upon life’s devolving bread.

Poetry is to life as dreams
are to sleep, like light is for day,
poetry is rain ending a drought.

Life and poetry, infinity woven
together like two heads for sister.
A poem is my White Rabbit.

Life without poetry is sad,
dysfunctional and ignorant,
like breathing without air.
It lacks reason and purpose.

Poetry is as human as skin,
as thoughtful as mind, it goes
deep – beyond any abyss.

No culture is without poems.
The poem-less are like sailors
without songs or sirens,
poetry is a beacon for living,
it’s an eternity for the dead.

Not every poem is perfect, but poetry is
the ancient sound of a beautiful gift
waiting at the core of a newborn,
as the eye of a painter or a touch
of the sculptor forms art,
the words of the poets
are the pipes and drums of humanity.


Look both ways.
Be skeptical of all you see but shed foolish ignorance as soon as you smell it.
Mind the gaps. They didn’t put themselves there.

And this, just cuz I can…

Sammi’s Weekender #227 (ramshackle)

Click on this graphic for Sammi’s blog.

 


Revelation of Genesis

Deserted, dangerous
Ramshackle houses
Former family homes, once
Functional buildings,
Businesses, barns, refuge
From the hot Texas sun
Or driving storms of
Wind and rain.

Suppertimes, nights of dreams,
Homework, plans to plow
Cotton-farm acres.

Now it’s all abandoned, forgotten,
Seen but unnoticed or ignored
Peppered along the otherwise
Scenic road drives on, once dirt,
Now blacktop paved roads
Memories forgotten or
Buried in nearby family
Cemeteries. Unwanted,
Unloved by ungrateful
Outsiders who see
Only haunted eyesores, sadness.

A mess to be cleaned up
By the next generation.
Past lives carried into the
Graveyards of the forgotten.


Look both ways and wonder.
Who were they? What were they like? Where are they now?
Pay attention to the message and mind the gaps.

Midweek Poetry


Good Company and Not

Four forty-sixers
Clinton, Dubya, Donny Bone Spurs, and me.
Holy shit! Same summer. Folks ask
what happened? Me not being Prez and all.
I ask, what happened to them?
Boomers all, but jeez Louise.

Serial killers Bundy, Tobin,
and Harold Shipman, shake
the skeletons in our closet.
Our birth year black sheep.

I’m proud of our singing and acting 46ers
like Cher, Liza, Rocky, sweet Dolly,
and the late Freddie. Linda Blue Bayou
sings no longer, sadly. Buffett from
that sleepy little town of Pascagoula,
Mississippi is resort Jimmy.
(I didn’t make the talent cut either)

Sajak, Barry (the last Gibb), Andre the Giant,
Glover and Cheech (we smokin’ dog shit?);
I thought Al Green moved on, but no.
Entertainers all. What’s Donovan doing?

And the Deepak guy who gets pissed
when the argument suggests
he makes a killing writing woo-woo.
May he forgive my snarky snicker.

It must not have been a good year.
Brit poet (the late) Peter Reading
was even born
on the exact same day as me.
I am still here
writing poems
as good as
(my neighbor)
Dubya’s paintings.


Look both ways from birth year to death days.
Even Reggie Jackson still loves October and minds the gaps.

dVerse Quadrille #135: Shake that Poem Groove Thang

https://dversepoets.com/2021/09/06/quadrille-135-shake-that-poem-groove-thang/


Top Guns Care

An odd pair were we.
Everyone’s friend, as
SpineRipper called me
(to rib my neutrality),
knowing I was his.

Navy fighter pilots,
tailhookers all.
JW, warrior to the core.
Taught me to call the ball
when in the groove.
We cried at kiss off.


Look both ways except on short final to your carrier.
Fly the ball, not the deck, and mind the gaps.
Aviators die here.

Gloss: Captain John (SpineRipper) Waples (USN) was my boss and friend (sort of). He was also one of the greats of Naval Aviation with 1,300+ aircraft carrier landings, 400 at night (a rumored record). He flew many combat missions. He was the original shock and awe combat leader.

I met him after we had both hung up our flight suits, although John still owned and  flew his own biplane (he called a kite). Wapes was an enigma to me. Blunt and easily angered (thus the call sign/nick name), yet amenable, and a man who seemed to care about people. We had little in common except for what seemed to be an honest mutual admiration that neither of us ever understood. I didn’t know until the end. I will never understand why. Call the ball, in the groove, and kiss-off are USN fighter pilot jargon.

Poetry: Moving Forward


The boy hid quietly in the back,
never raised his hand, got low grades
for lack of class participation. A shy,
quiet, introverted mama’s boy—
a child, it was his nature.

Adults criticized that he cried too easily.
He cared too much.
Felt too deeply. For a boy.
They would not let him be.
His siblings knew
and encouraged another side.
He learned to deny
his own deep-felt emotions.
Authority ran his life,
maybe his spirit.

He listened, learned, observed,
and grew; first, into a troubled teen, then
he became a young man.
Gradually, he moved
closer to the front, like a warrior
toward danger. Down range.

Today, an old man walks in and sits
front and center. Sharp tongued,
the quick-witted septuagenarian,
with a grin of secret wisdom,
is ready to advise any damn fool
playing games of authority.


Look both ways in the spirit of the young
and the eyes of the old.
Be careful what you wish for,
watch your step, and mind the gaps.
Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.

dVerse: Quadrille #134: We {heart} poems

A quadrille is a 44-word poem. See the rules at the dVerse Page.


My Fountain of Youth

Fist sized, emotionally uninvested, hearts
are busy little buggers. Mine’s bionic:
seven stents, a new bovine based aortic valve,
and a safety pacer to keep it pumping
1,680 gallons via 100K systole beats
every day. Deathrate’s down two thirds.
Tricky business, this staying alive.


Look both ways and exercise physically and mentally.
Mind the gaps and feel the beats.

Midweek Poetry: Medical Warriors


 

My hips, thighs, and especially calf muscles
become painful when I walk. It’s poor
blood circulation with several medical names,
thanks to my poor choices such as who
my paternal grandfather was, my dad,
and my long past smoking. But I walk anyway.

Almost every day. I like it. I’ve always
exercised. Completed a dozen marathons
after age 60, always been a bit of a gym rat.
Now I swim too. Doctors like it all better
than pills. I must endure such pain
in my battle to delay inevitable days.

They do their best. Me too. It’s okay.
I have countless privileges denied others.
Like life. I can and I must endure,
for as long as I can. I’ll keep mindful
of those less privileged who fight in fear
tougher battles than I’ll ever see.


Look both ways and see all around.
Smell, taste, touch, and hear everything.
Mind the gaps as you fill them with knowledge.

And “sing with me, sing for a year
Sing for the laughter, and sing the tear
Sing with me, if it’s just for today
Maybe tomorrow…”
(Lyrics from Dream On by Aerosmith)

Sammi’s Weekender #222 (glow)

Click on graphic for Sammi’s blog.

 


Felt Humanness

We see and seem to know nature from first smiles
to the sound of a baby’s giggles
there is a special happy glow in the hopeful eyes
of helpless, needy life.

And as years pass over, our senses tell us more,
who they are and who we’ve become,
and we learn there is light because of darkness,
that happy grows from sorrow and loss.

When the child looks back
do we see through the years, the fears, and the tears?
Into the now aging eyes to find the hopeful baby,
still there, now aware.


When we look upon others, do we see with humanness?
Do we look both ways to either a distant history or a promising future?
Look both ways to the very young and very old.
Mind the gaps where perfection is a trap.

Poetry: It’s August Again


It’s August again. Just another
one of twelve named collections of days
to mark our planetary position
relative to our Sun, called sol, in our
solar system spinning reliably about
in some outer spiral arm
of our Milky Way galaxy. Our home.

August is supposed to mean something important,
like some Roman title signifying reverence;
to hold in high regard. I don’t do that for August.

As a child, school started next month,
I was often bored, sunburned, a year older.
Halloween and Christmas were far off.
I feared some raging red-faced nun’s pounding footsteps
and bone rattling beads storming my way,
with some weapon of horror in her hellish hand.
Hormones made me feel things I didn’t understand.
I still don’t get all that. Crazy life.

As an adult, August now means hot and dry. West coast
wildfires raging on while US Forest Service bureaucrats
either fight or fiddle for smarter management
policies for mother nature to ignore.

I try to be respectful of August.
It’s the end of summer, the gateway for September
as promised glories of Autumn soon fall upon us. Coolness.
And color. And feelings. October promises more.
My apologies to summer lovers, tanned bodies,
teacher’s times off, vacations (because kids), and to Caesar.
I say it every year. Only Christmas can save August.


Look both ways to seasons past and yet to come.
Mind the gaps in government policies.
They’re only human, even if they can’t admit it, until the mic is hot.

Poem: Black Diamond Banks


They were big, ugly, dangerous,
and ubiquitous to us. Black piles
of sandy slag, hundred foot high
hills of grief daring us
to climb to the top, for no reason,
sometimes at our own peril.

This stuff was soft like black, dry
quicksand. My foot would sink
and the slag would rise above my ankle,
sometimes to my knees,
allowing the scree into my shoes.
Each step was a challenge.
Maybe that’s why we climbed,
for the challenge, the thrill, the view,
perhaps the danger.
We’d been warned not to go.

Sometimes culm banks caught fire.
Children fell into their sink holes
and suffocated. Anthracite coal
was the black diamonds of the barons,
deadly job resources for citizens.
All overlooked, denied, or shrugged-off,
both human exploitation and environmental
degradation. They were witnesses
to the need and to the greed.

I didn’t know it then,
most of the world’s anthracite
coal supply was crushed by eons
of pressure beneath my feet. It was also
why we were there: the sons, daughters,
and grands of the men who built the banks.


Look both ways with two perspectives, theirs and ours.
Mind the gaps as you watch for the traps.

One of several historical societies in Northeastern PA is the Luzerne County Historical Society