Poetry: Work through it

Work through it, he said,
more pain is good gain.
Can you go farther?
(implying the pain
I should endure)
To do more?
Through it, he said. I asked.

“I understand, Doc,
but do you?” Push
through — more pain—
limping, then numbness
and excruciating
pain, then physical collapse.
The pain.

Then I sense some gain.
Then more. Must I now confess
at the end of the battle?
Doc, you were right.
Muscles are tight
and sore as hell,
with pain and cramps,
but improvement costs,
some weight’s been tossed.

Should I go on, and on?

Pain goes both ways, some is beneficial, some is a warning to stop.
I Listen to, and learn, my body. I mind the gaps to learn the differences.

Sammi’s Weekender – Flash Story: The Little White Lie


The young man stood straight as the teacher’s loud, angry voice bristled. She berated his atrocious spelling and wretched grammar. He held back tears of shame and anger as she publicly humiliated him. She declared his entire family abysmal failures as human beings destined for an eternity in hell.

He found abysmal in the dictionary. When his mother later asked how he had done on the school paper he worked on so diligently, he reported that the teacher said it was very deep and that the entire family was destined for infinite success.


Look both ways. They may forgive, but they’ll not forget.
Mind the gaps. No memory is flawless.

Poetry: Famous Shit Float

Not since Mobile Bay’s view
of the infamous Poop Cruise ship
(2013 docked view from I-10)
have I joined thousands on
a wasteful float to who-cares where,
doing nothing to be in the
vulnerable middle of
a watery nowhere.

Cruise food may be good
and if you are looking
for the ten pounds I lost
you may find it there,
but must we live
in postage stamp rooms
with a view of nothing
ever new, to overeat well?

I’m done with cruise line
silliness, getting on and off
and making memories
I’d like to forget,
but I hope not
so much for eating well.
ROAD TRIP!?

***

To look both ways, we must know one from the other.
In the middle of truly nowhere, not even the gaps can feed the fish.

Poetry: Sammie’s Weekender 138, lollygag


Sad how they fooled around
with lollygag, it’s just too bad.
Come with me my sweet,
upon my lap have a seat.
We shan’t dawdle,
but we may well diddle
if you’re up for some
geometric osculation
mixing DNA marks us
a fine pair of
dawdling shillyshalliers
out for a pleasant afternoon poke.
For the best, we both have hope.

Look both ways for that quiet little corner for making memories.
Mind the gaps and camera angles.


“Nowadays, lollygag doesn’t usually carry such naughty connotations, but back in 1946, one Navy captain considered lollygagging enough of a problem to issue this stern warning: ‘Lovemaking and lollygagging are hereby strictly forbidden…. The holding of hands, osculation and constant embracing of WAVES [Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service], corpsmen or civilians and sailors or any combination of male and female personnel is a violation of naval discipline….’”
(Source: The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lollygag. Accessed 5 January 2020.)
No apologies.

Poetry: Risk & Danger = Life

The mature doctor who would begin residency
for Psychiatry in the morning
after 25 years as a surgeon,
a guy I liked but only saw
one time, turned to look at me
as he was walking out the door,
after I told him about me owning
a motorcycle and he said,
“Well, don’t ride it.”

Too dangerous? This,
after we had discussed
my heart disease with six stents,
and a severely wonky-donkey
heart valve, my high-grade,
lingering dangerous
sarcoma cancer, and my head
to toe clogged arteries holding
three more stents—strokesville?

oh,
and my good old age,
bad high blood pressure,
and the pending possibility of
dangerous surgery and
risky hospital stay.

Risk and danger have been
my companions
since childhood (we have
an understanding). A
motorcycle accident might kill me
faster than a mistake
by a doctor—a surgeon,
maybe.

He was giving up surgery
to be a shrink, so he “could
help people.”

Kind a makes ya wonder,
don’t it?

Look at risk and danger both ways,
but gamble not with the welfare of others.
How well we walk through the fire depends on the width of the gaps.


“Too often the people complain that they have done nothing with their lives and then they wait for somebody to tell them that this isn’t so.” ― Charles Bukowski, What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire

Poetry: Makin’ My Bed

Retired me. Who cares?
Nothing left to lose.
But I make my bed
almost every day, if I so choose.
That means something,
but I have no idea what or why.

On most days, that’s a lie cuz,
for five decades,
Yolonda did
but when she don’t,
I do
if I can get there
first and I wonder why.

I look at the sheets, covers, and depending
on the time of year, the top bed spread
searching for signs of how I slept that night.
I mean. Who cares? Right?

The pillow goes to the floor, I press a button
to flatten the mat before the sheet is pulled
to the tight top where
it is — only when made.
Like a surgeon
I begin the art
of vanishing lumps and wrinkles.

The Air Force gave me Army lessons
on how to make my bed,
more like a bunk or cot.

Rudely rousted at reveille with
bright lights and loud
everything to fall out into
the dark of early morning
in a few minutes for roll call.

At 18, mom’s boy had to be
all bright and spiffy,
a sharp troop at Dress right,
DRESS, attentive eyes FRONT.
A bed made so tight
two-bits bounced a foot
or gigged in for the weekend,
shining brogans, boots, buttons, and brass.
Our racks trashed.

Who cares? Right? I did then.
I look at my bed now,
no olive drab green wool blanket,
tightly tucked with
no fake pillow
too small for a human head,
no quarter to bounce.

Retired but bed made.
No gigs. Weekends free, still. A made
bed is work of art, a memory,
and if nothing else,
it’s ready for me at the end of this day.

Play Retreat first, then Taps, sleep well,
final Reveille sounds early.

***

Both ways begin with dreams at night,
in the morning it’s high and tight.
Look both ways.
Mind the gaps and the gigs. FALL OUT!


Gig is military slang for demerit. Gigged in means restricted to barracks due to excessive demerits. “Gig ‘em, Aggies!” is not the same gig.