Monday’s Rune: Independence Day


On This July Day

Born a year after
the last big war,
for decades,
I said the pledge
with hand over heart and sang
patriotic songs.

I took cover under my desk,
was a Boy Scout of America
who could properly fold the flag
and post the colors at twelve.
I prayed every day. I trusted God.

I played at war and we
always won. We were
always right, better,
and stronger. Powerful,
but merciful.

I enlisted before
graduating from high school,
I saluted. I knew, followed,
and respected flag etiquette —
still do. I swore
to protect our Constitution.

I spent two careers in the service of
(willing to, but not wanting to,
die for) my country—my people.
I thought I taught my children well.

Now,
examining my conscience
I find I am a man of a different mind,
No longer as certain of our goodness,
of our unitedness, of our honest
democracy. I feel fooled and
deceived. I feel hated by my own.

It’s not the date, it is the old spirit
where I question my allegiance,
to what or whom?

It is still in me. I still care.
But nothing is the same.
Confidence is dead. For our
freedoms, I worry with dread.

I feel conflicted. Lost.
Our enemies are close.
How patriotic am I?
I should be. I want to be.

In truth, I feel this way
not because I no longer love
my country,
but because I still do.

Happy 4th, anyway.
Be careful out there.


Look both way as we try to understand.
But deeply mind the gaps.
Even the Nazis thought they were right.

According to THIS Gallup poll, it’s a thing.

 

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 10th 2022

Today the marvelous maven of Friday Fictioneers tempted us with a majestic photo of scenic waterfalls by David Stewart. What one-hundred-word (or fewer) story does it inspire you to tell us?

Click the pic to swim on over to Rochelle’s purple blog for the rules and to sign up for future email notices.

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

Genre: Romantic Fiction
Title: The Big White Lie
Words: 100

***

My fiancé and I hiked into the forest and up to the beautiful, dramatic waterfall scene.

She said, “Look how beautiful, Bill—proof that God exists.”

I took a deep breath. “Yes, Babe. It’s a wonderful gift of nature. No poem would be enough. Thanks for bringing me here.”

“Bill, I’m not sure about us marrying.”

“Why? Because I’m atheist? You want me to lie?”

She said, “Yes. Or at least don’t tell anyone. It’s embarrassing.”

I kissed her cheek. “I’ll think it over, Love.”

She looked puzzled. We left.

Her parents still think I’m a dad-burn heathen Yankee Catholic.

***


Look both ways as you decide what is most important and to whom.
Mind the gaps around the falls and in concerns of the heart.

Click this couple to dive into other micro-fiction stories.

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.

Friday Fictioneers for May 27th 2022

Brenda Cox threw in with the ever-mystical mistress of purple, Rochelle our belle, who took time from the pool to deliver this refreshingly cool love shack photo to inspire one hundred words of well mused Friday Fictionary to charm and warm all readers.

Click on the PHOTO PROMPT by © Brenda Cox to outrigger on over to Kansas City’s most swimmingly artistic native, the maven of purple, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ addicting blog.

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

Genre: Twisty Memoir
Title: Escape
Word Count: 100

***

I walked up to the bar and told my lady, “I’ll have a piña colada, please.”

She smiled and said,

“If you like piña coladas
And gettin’ caught in the rain
If you’re not into yoga
If you have half a brain
If you like makin’ love at midnight
In the dunes on the cape
Then I’m the love that you’ve looked for
Let’s plan our escape.”

I replied, “I never knew. Meet me tomorrow noon, At a bar called O’Malley’s.”

Me and my old lady been on the run since then, never fallen into the same old dull routine.

***


Look both ways and love the love
of musical tunes and magical lyrics, especially 70s tunes.
Mind the gaps and put a wedge of pineapple with the rum, coconut, coco lopez,
and suck it through a fat straw.

***

Click on the 19-year-old love birds (now [27 May 1966] married 56 years) to read a bunch of other inspired stories.

***

If you’re not familiar with the piña colada song (Escape), here it is with lyrics. Hopefully, this works for everyone. Cheers, y’all.

Sammi’s Weekender #260 (omphalos)

A big congratulatory shout out to Sammi for five years of weekend wonders.

Click on the omphalos prompt for more 91-word creative wonders on Sammi’s blog page.

Navel Gazing

Am I lost, have you seen me?
Am I crying or standing angry?

I listen but I also speak,
I read but I write, I love—
but I also hate and abominate.

I must find myself,
so I may contemplate my bile.

Every day, untethered, to consider
my center, my core omphalos
being wisely chosen.

Not fooled by feelings or desires,
looking deep and true
before winter blows

that last breath from my chest,
before my dust returns to the cosmos
before it is too late,
true to myself, my love.


Look both ways at your best and the worst.
Find the true you without judgment or odium.
Mind the gaps and look there too,
for the stain of truth is better than vain and useless glory.

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.

Friday Fictioneers for May 13th, 2022

Today is Friday Fictioneers’ photo prompt release day, posted two days prior to Friday the thirteenth, an inauspicious Gregorian calendar arrangement in the superstitious minds of many.

Central to Mistress Rochelle’s well-chosen pic from the artistic eye of our friend to the north, Dale Rogerson, is a red rose. “O my Luve’s like a red, red rose/That’s newly sprung in” May; is partly from the famous Robert Burns poem.

What can one do with the flower of love on the most traditional day of western bad luck? My go is below Dale’s photo. My gratitude to both wonderful, bonnie lasses for giving direction to this week’s micro-fiction collection.

Click on Dale’s red rose for a ride over to Rochelle’s rockin’ blog for how it’s done.

Genre: Padded Journalism
Title: Guns and Roses
Word Count: 100

The blonde was his beauty. He was her beloved beast. They struck out for freedom armed with guns and motivated by love.

“We’ll never blend in, Casey. You’re too tall.”

“Vicky, look! It’s them laws. Let’s die like Bonnie and Clyde. We’ll be famous.”

“But dead as hell. Drive fast, Babe. If they get close, they’ll flip us.”

There was a loud bump. Casey’s driving skills failed to keep them from the grassy Indiana ditch.

Her last words were, “I love you, Babe. See you in hell. They could have at least waited until Friday.”

A gunshot, then cops everywhere.


Look both ways when on the run in the Alabama sun.
Mind the gaps and ditches.
Keep in mind that at six-foot-nine, you’re not that hard to find.

Click on Casey & Vicky for your risk free ride to more marvelous stories.

Friday Fictioneers for May 6th, 2022

Na’ama Yehuda’s lovely flower garden picture posted by the incomparable Rochelle, mistress of pools of water and writers was both inspirational and challenging. A rose by any other name is a tulip, even on Friday Fictioneers, right?

 

Click on the flowers to get more info from Rochelle’s. The PHOTO PROMPT by © Na’ama Yehuda.

Genre: Murderous Fiction
Title: I never promised you a
rose tulip garden
Words: 100

We were so much in love, hotly in lust, blindly infatuated—the perfect couple. I decided I could trust him with my biggest secrets. We just clicked.

“Hey Babe, I need to tell you one more thing.”

“Oh, Sweetheart, you can tell me anything. Without trust, there’s no us.”

“I worked as a hooker when I lived in Reno.”

“Okay, Love…that’s over now.”

“I also shot a man there just to watch him die.

“You did what? You’re a murderer? We need to get that mess cleaned up.”

“I’ll be packing tonight. Don’t worry about me leaving. I’m already gone.”


Look both ways to see that no one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes, we can only be who we are. Mind those gaps so you don’t forget that your truth may be none of my business.

***

My story was musically inspired by: (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden by Lynn Anderson, Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash, and Already Gone (also maybe the line, And there’s some rumors going round, someone’s underground from Witchy Woman) by Eagles (sic).

Click on the flower gun to link up with more marvelous stories by the Friday Fibbers cast.

Friday Fictioneers for April 29th, 2022

Yesterday, Fictioneers Mistress Rochelle dealt us an urban photo by Ted Strutz from which we were prompted to contrive, via inspiration, a micro-fiction story. May my tardiness be forgiven. Three more NaPoWriMo poems and my life returns to whatever my normal may be.

Click on the prompt picture to be hustled over to her purple majesty’s page for the plan.

Genre: urban fiction
Title: Tony Loves Rosie
Word count: 100

The slow walking old man stopped. He remembered this corner with ambivalence, but that day with dread.

The ironic sign was near where he’d shot and killed Ted Coffey during the gang rumble. Hearing the Third Avenue elevated pass brought a tear. The bike lay were he almost bled to death. Behind him the spot where Rosie died. Then, her loud voice.

“Tony fucking Del Toro. Is that you? Remember me? It’s Rosie Reyes. I heard you died in Viet Nam. Marines, right? Hey, let’s get a cup a joe and talk old times. Good memories.”

Seeing her changed everything.


Look both ways, even on one-way streets.
Mind the gaps hidden in the crevasses of your mind.

Click on the movie scene to read more stories inspired by the prompt.