Thursday’s Rune: Poésie de l’escalier


I thought, he’s like Cousin Eddie.
He sat there,
smart in his mind,
middle-aged,
“right” minded,
then he asked me
(innocently enough).

“What do you do,”
he says to me,
to keep busy?

Busy?
Suddenly,
I had a moment!,
ya know?

Maybe
it weren’t his fault, but still.
I swallowed hard and
played nice by avoiding
my roar of revenge.
(Fuck you very much
for asking.)

I listened
as he bragged on
for hours
giving testimonial evidence
of his high holy wonderfulness,
and dogged dedication
to his personal
world of work.

I nodded and smiled. Bit my lip,
while slowly bleeding
feigned interest.

What do I do to keep busy?

For God’s sake, Bumpkin.
I waste my few remaining days
listening to friendly folks,
feeding on family fodder;
pleasingly holding my tongue,
and sitting on my hands.
Legs crossed.
I smile

like Hannibal Lecter
pondering…

mon ne pas savoir répliquer
sur le moment
.


Look both ways. Dine well.
Choose friends from the menu, accept family from the stars.
Mind you, there are gaps.
Ponder politely the wellsprings of innocent idiocy and the moods of sensitive old lions.

***

Glos: In English, the title means staircase poetry. The last line translates as my not knowing how to reply at the moment. ‘Cousin Eddy’ is a character (Randy Quaid) from the National Lampoon Christmas Vacation movie. As for Hannibal, “Well, Clarice. Have the lambs stopped screaming?”

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.

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.

Friday Fictioneers: Let’s Party

Many thanks to the wonderful lady, talented artist and writer, and patient friend Rochelle, for herding us cats on Friday Fictioneers. We write micro-stories (fact or fiction) to a new photo each week, provided by some very creative and imaginative compatriots. Here is my story for this week.

This week’s prompt (PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.) provided, and I bet painted, but Rochelle. Click the image and go to her blog to learn all about it.

 


Happiness Is

The outdoor social party was to welcome new arrivals to the senior center near Seattle. Bill, a newcomer, volunteered to serve special lemon-flavored ice cream.

“This is the best party. Everyone is happy to meet you, Bill,” said Marilyn, the Social Director.

Bill said, “Have some ice cream, Dear, everyone loves it.”

Back at their condo, Yolonda said, “Gawd! I can’t believe you spiked their ice cream. I hope no one finds out.”

Bill removed the bottle of lemon-flavored drops from his pocket. “A little THC never hurt anyone. We’ll need a big bus for next week’s pot shop run.”


Look both ways and share the love.
Mind the gaps and quash old fears.

Click the meme to read all the other stories.

 

Friday Fictioneers: Tanner’s Plague

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson. Click photo to go to Rochelle’s prompt page.

“Father” Tanner, had a lovely wife, two wonderful daughters, and a future as church rector. Young, bright, athletic, and handsome; he inspired the congregation’s vibrant teen and Boy Scout groups. Eventually, he was ordained to the priesthood.

However, Tanner’s sexual relationships with teenage boys were discovered. He was defrocked, dismissed, and ordered to therapy, without legal action. Soon “cured,” he was again hired as Sexton and advisor to parish youth groups.

Thirty years, over 450 victims, and 2,500 counts of sexual assault later, Tanner was imprisoned, where at 67, he died of natural causes; shamed and disgraced, but never cured.


Click for link to other stories.

Look both ways.
Be alert for predators where least expected.
Never expect victims to confess.
Mind the gaps, remain skeptical, and verify if you trust.

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.

Poetry: Enigmatic Paradigm


Bukowski said
he dedicated much of his life
to avoiding people.
Humanity, he said.
Yet he wrote about people.
So, I assume he failed,
or he lied.

An allegedly unwilling celebrity
bemoaning attention,
lambasting unlively banality,
complaining constantly
about women. His ladies.
Many men, too.

I understand the blessing
of being alone.
I like many fine souls, yet I confess
to not always being kind
(yet not exactly cruel) to
undeserving deplorables.

Hank asks; is he ugly,
unkind (sometimes),
misanthropic, or misogynist?
Some thought so. Maybe he was.
I really don’t know.

Crackpot, with no hope of love?
Bitter and unfair?
Did he put glass in our sandbox?
Was he without morals or mercy?
(Maybe he was.)

Is he my phantom’s mask?
or am I his? Or yours?
What is truth? What love?

I neither know nor care
what most others thought
of Charles Bukowski.
He’s long dead. But
I read and re-read his poetry and prose.
I must have some reason.
Do I want to know my reason?
Do I care?
Or, is this one of those things?
His paradigm, or mine?


Look both ways when considering and discerning humanity.
Mind the gaps. Every day is judgment day.

Sammi’s Weekender #217 (requisite)

Click to go to Sammi’s blog.

Tread At Your Own Risk

American men and women at war,
fighters. May I call them warriors?
For their military service
we want to thank them.
Combatants
share experiences
only they understand.
Only they feel it.

Requisites are hated enemies,
courage, weapons, desire for glory, fear,
comrades, pride; and a cause
to die for, one worth killing for.

There’s more.
Much more.
They carry much.

To fear death, or not? To love
and despise simultaneously?
Is war forever part of humanity?
Are we the only creatures
that kill our own for no reason? Just to kill.
To cause death unnecessarily?
Is that combat?


Look both ways for glory and dishonor.
Mind the gaps between mind, heart, and soul.

 

The Greatest Gift

There’s joy,
in the smiles of others,
in visions of those we love,
people we care about,
that is where truest,
most honest, happiness thrives.

To see such dancing zest is to feel
the same in my bones, heart, and mind;
while tears of delight run down
my cheeks. When babies laugh.
Hope laden felicity. Even
an old man simply must smile.

To sing and dance
with those we love most,
to see and hear them rise
in rebirth to life’s glorious days,
to overcome fears and sadness
that come with what we call
our human condition.

How strange, that we may
give or receive no greater gift,
no higher prize,
no nourishing of the spirit,
no deeper love than to allow
others to be and to see us
high on being alive.
Even more, to here and now
let love swirl among us all. Hallelujah!


Look both ways for the joy of love.
Mind the gaps, but live and let live.

Poetry: Bloqueo de Escritor


My brain
or is it my mind?
Whatever. It’s rebelling.
Just for today,
as they say in AA.
It will not allow
even a crumb
of creative thought
to come in,
much less,
fall
to the page.

“No, no, no,” it says,
“I will not go!”
As I sit here.
(Ever have this?)
It feels like fear,
but otherwise,
I’m empty
of emotion and purpose.
Where to start?
Much less, any thought
of how to finish.

Just this silence.
The sleep that disallows
doing the exercise,
I’m unprompted
with lines pulled too tight.
I feel stymied
by an overworked
empty whiteness.

Sometimes,
it simply does not
work for me. I’m sorry.
I have ED of the mind.
I should leave.
Take a nap. Wane a bit.
They call it “block.”
I’m sure it’s temporary.
But what a shitty
suffocating feeling.
I feel museless.


Look both ways for the walls of chaos.
Mind the gaps, gasps, and gyps. And this…

“Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.” – Margaret Chittenden