Poetry: Prisonless Thoughts

Freedom is a place
for minds and bodies,
one where I don’t belong.
It’s not where I am. I’ve never been.
It’s just not me. Can’t be.
And you’re not me.

With me?
Is freedom
no masters—no gods?
Am I free when I owe nothing?
Or, perhaps it’s something more;

I’m a life-long indentured servant.
Tell me what is freedom—will you?
Irresponsible of me to ask—but,
if freedom isn’t free, how can it be,
Freedom? Can you see?

Are we ever free?
Completely free, like birds.
A tree is more free
than are you and me.

Is there such a thing as truly free?
Can a society of people be free?
Or can’t you see,
the reality
of being
truly, truly free?

Ya know, it don’t matter to me—
we alone know
what it means to be,
or not to be
free. It just don’t matter to me.

Is there happiness in freedom?
How the fuck should I,
or should you, know?
We are a lot of things.
Free is not one of them!

© Bill Reynolds, 5/20/2019

Look both ways and be not slave to follies and deceit.
Heed the gaps for they may be the crevasses of your mind.

Poetry: Losing It

Losing it – not sure what it is,
specifically, but it has to do
with confidence and independence.
It is a quickness of response in
mind and body, of movement
and of deciding, an awareness.

We all grow into this from the
beginning and those confusing
middle years, even later
when I ran, as an old man –
marathons, and was fit as
ever, but now – that was then.

We don’t lose anything
but things change and fade
as we age, that’s how it works.
Or we die.

Some are old, others older,
some didn’t make it this far.
With each new day we gain
another new way to discover
and to find who we are
and to do or be,
or am I just too old,
and losing it?

©Bill Reynolds, 5/16/2019

Look both ways. Pay attention, listen closely, or they’ll say you’re losing it.
Mind the gaps. Many have lost it in the gaps.

Poetry: Unbleached Face of Death

Universal Death patiently awaits
each, forever it’s permanently there
welcoming every kind of life over eons
it’s always been the same, birth before Death,
if birthed at all, and some sort of demise
for both the stupid and the wise.

The universe knows each speck of dust,
each one of us for thousands of years
and will do the same for thousands hence.
We may count the minutes, hours, and days,
but in the end Death only counts the ways.

© Bill Reynolds, 5/6/2019

Look both ways in life, but we’ll not see beyond the veil.
Mind the gaps, in the end is the last gap.

Poetry: Colorado Sky in Texas (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-six

Today, my poem uses repetition. As prompted, I may repeat words or a phrase.

It is a place and people live there.
But I can’t tell you why.
The interstate curves or jogs
as the Colorado River passes,
going somewhere,
But I can’t tell you where.
It’s hot in Colorado City
and it’s dry,
But I can’t tell you why.
In that small west Texas
town lives some of my love
But I can’t say much.
The water is bad, yet some things
grow, but I can’t tell you
how. Not much grows,
but they try—I can’t tell you why.

Confinement and warehousing
of living human flesh is done,
down yonder, in some
depressing hole, but I can’t
tell you much. Jobs, I guess.
The big white metallic groaning
wind monsters are there to send
volts and amps and megawatts
to somewhere, but I can’t tell
you where. Colorado City in Texas
has a past, tough people
in a rough place. It has a
future (maybe) but
I can’t tell you what.
They have a liquor store,
I think I know why.

Look both ways and don’t blink or you’ll miss why, or how, or where, maybe what.
Mind the gap near the dip, misery sleeps there.

Poetry: The Autumnist (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-five

Taking a cue from the John Keats poem, To Autumn, I must write a poem that is specific to a season, uses imagery related to five senses (I used more than five), and includes a rhetorical question, such as where are the songs of spring from the Keats poem.

Wasted days and wasted nights
for the sheer pleasure of guiltless
unproductive quietude of awareness,
as days are for summer, so are
nights fit for winter.
Loving both, I favor the transitions
of dusk and dawn, different but equal.

Each year, I am not the same person
I was. Nor am I the same each season.
I am at least four, maybe more
as I sense the changes each year
with each season, each day
brings new perceptions.

I belong within reality and metaphorically,
spiritually, and practically
somewhere within a transition
from summer to winter. An
autumnist is what I am,
but different of type with the
arrival of my knowing about cold
temperatures before I walk
and see changing leaves, I miss the
now gone migrating birds.
I do not hear them now.

Gradually, it seems, everyone thinks pumpkin
is my choice of taste, and the
traditional spice. Smell that
pumpkin pie or is that your latte?

The brisk autumn air is more
noticeable than in spring. It feels
different, more promising.

Pain seems less in Fall than
in Summer. I dance more at
Octoberfest, my balance is stable
and my sense of thirst has proven
stronger. I know my place
during those months with Halloween
and Thanksgiving.

Even my sense of passing time,
it’s more acute when the dog days
have come and gone. It is Spring
now—who will I be this year?
And next? What then? And
what about you?

© Bill Reynolds, 4/25/2019

Look both ways for seasons gone and those in years yet to come.
Mind the gaps when days visit from other times.

Poetry: Unintelligent Design (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-three

Today I was prompted to write a poem about an animal.

Note: Prometheus (forethought) and Epimetheus (afterthought) were spared imprisonment in Tatarus. Zeus gave them the task of creating man. Prometheus shaped man out of mud, and Athena breathed life into his clay figure.

Thus Zeus,
before humans roamed Earth,
set Forethought and Afterthought
to task. Animals lived and roamed
without reincarnation or karma
fish swam, birds flew, and each
creature of day or night,
did the natural things, no karma required.

Dinosaurs upset a jealous god—gone!
With Athena, Prometheus made man.
But then monkeys mated with people
and Afterthought declared, “now
we need second chances”—
reincarnation, and karma came to be.

Humans did not know
what they were nor what to do.
so they caused trouble for goddess Gaia,
fought, became reincarnated afterthoughts
in lower and lower life forms to learn,
but each time, the lower form of
human was worse than the last.

Afterthought said to Forethought,
“look now, lower forms we need
for karma, these are slow learners.”
They created Lumbricus terrestris.
Earthworms that eat dirt and crawl
into the ground and are slimy and ugly
and are both male and female,
thus confused and lost bird food.
But to no avail as human nature
continued to confuse the gods.

Nirvana was vast and empty
when Afterthought reminded
Forethought, “Have you noticed,
we create humans, they fuck with monkeys,
die into lower karma never moving up,
and Zeus is pleased, laughing at us?”

Forethought said, “Indeed. We need a cover story.
I have one about a talking snake, two naked
humans too dumb to know it, some other god,
a garden, a tree, and an apple or some variety of fruit.”
Afterthought said,
“Without reincarnation and karma, no one
will ever believe that story. You need
worms, snakes are too hissy.”

Look both ways in forethought and afterthought but live in this now.
Mind the gaps and respect the worms,
you too have a next life and karma keeps adding up.

Poetry: The Tale of the Trail (NaPoWriMo) Day Sixteen

Today, I’m challenged to write a poem that uses the form of a list to defamiliarize the mundane.

The path, or trail if you like,
is a story. I know it’s a story,
because
it has a beginning, a middle
and an end. The path has composition
or a tale about the trail, it tails off,
or degenerates its form with
decomposed granite. The path
is decomposing hard stone
of different size rocks
down to powder, dust – granite.
The trail speaks with a crunching
voice, almost a groan I hear
with each step. The deer leave prints
when its wet after rain. Ants build their trail
on the path to cross perpendicular. I see it.
The sand of their trail is like a vein
across the path I walk, sometimes a snake
will try the trail, but not for long.
A variety of insects share their path.
Grasses and bushes, acorns for trees
find the trail worth a try. Bluebonnets
are undeterred by the inhospitable
and decomposing hard crushed pebbles,
and they grow through it to prove it.
There are sticks
and some leaves on the path,
on the sides, grasses push in
to reclaim what was
once not even a dirt path,
an unmarked open flowering field.
A bench sits
beside the trail and invites me
to stop, to rest, and to ponder
the stories of the trail, and the deer,
the birds, busy squirrels, sniffing dogs,
maybe a mysterious cat or two.
I accept the invitation before
I finish walking through
the story
told by the path that talks to me
(with a very special gravelly voice)
beginning, middle, and the end.

© Bill Reynolds, 4/16/2019

Look to both sides, to front and back, and listen to inhale it all.
Mind the gaps made by ants.