Sammi’s Weekend Prompt #127 (3 Poems and a joke)

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I prefer to write Sammi’s weekend prompt on Sunday. When I looked at it on Friday, I wrote a poem. It just happened: oops, a poem. I decided this weekend’s prompt could be for each day of the weekend, including Friday. My three on replace:

Going Home Again (Friday)

I’ve tried to go back home,
to the place where
I was born.

It was the right place,
but I was not the him who
I was when I left.

I was unable to replace me,
and you weren’t who
you once were.

No longer was I one of you,
not of the same tribe,
only a memory.

Once you leave, it’s done.
You can never go home again,
we can’t go back in time.

What was is finished,
only the whisper of memory
holds us in the past.

***

Irreplaceable Love (Saturday)

If you lose someone you love
you can’t replace them
nor the love you felt.

Each love is unique. It may
change or flat-out die,
but most love remains in us.

We can’t feel so much love
that we wear it out,
like an old pair of shoes.

The love we feel is at least
for as long as one shall live,
I hope all my love lasts forever.

Be it a pet or a person, family
or friend, music or memory,
no love can replace a true love.

***

Relief Strategy (Sunday)

Planning battles, reserves
are replacements,
part of the relief strategy for
casualties and the weary.

In basketball they are the bench,
In football, second string,
baseball has relief pitchers from
the bull pen that replace starters.

My Dad referred to men
as being on relief. Years later,
I learned he meant welfare,
not to replace.

Then there is that personal relief we crave
during difficult or painful times, like in
the Jerry Clower story about coon huntin’—
I been coon huntin’ and lemme tell ya,
it’s just that funny.

***

Look both ways in them Mississippi swamps.
Mind the gaps for Lynx.

*

Jerry Clower’s most famous story was his coon huntin’ story about the time he and his friends went hunting that evolved into an entanglement… if Jerry don’t make you laugh, you need relief. If you got the time, he’s irreplaceable.

Sammi’s Weekend Prompt #126: Haven

Unable to sleep, I wrote two poems.

***

With no refuge, unrequited love
without heavenly haven,
without healing, without beginning
or end. When a kiss is not a kiss,
when one love is lost in lonely
pain, unable to mend.

***

how can we ever be happy
alone in this depressing darkness
void of all meaningful life
enduring these threats from a determined death
never knowing how or when, it will all end?

***

Look both ways, the yin and the yang.
Mind the gap hiding good news and bad.

Poetry Report: September Poems

Hello, October; goodbye September for another year. For some of us, the march of time is the welcome process of growing up, while others (like me) are alarmed by rapidly advancing days.

Where I live, this year’s September had more days over 100 degrees Fahrenheit than ever, by a large number. Technically, it’s now Autumn. Climatologically, it’s not even close. And some rain, please! (Welcome to Texas)

Personally, it has been a difficult and challenging month for me with family issues demanding my attention and needing my practical and emotional participation. Some of that drama, fear, and heartache are rolled into my poems. But not as much as I would have expected. I did not like the shit storms at all, but I was grateful for the emotional fodder. For me, this is often less craft and more about the art of breaking things. I do like the feeling of being useful and having a purpose.

Thirty days hath September and I wrote 30 more poems. I wrote more on some days because when Muse speaks, I write, but those extras don’t count for the dailies. The titles of the daily poems were:

  1. Sit on my lap Forever
  2. Disrespectful Dress
  3. See Bugs Try
  4. When It’s Real
  5. Sometimes, It is Something
  6. Sit Up
  7. Monet at Kimbell
  8. Pissing Inappropriately
  9. Boys Only
  10. Watching the World go by (standing by a busy interstate highway)
  11. Pat’s Day
  12. Old Hank
  13. The Genocide of Humanity
  14. Those Tears Count
  15. Delicate
  16. Longer Nights
  17. Bureaucratic Control
  18. Skinny Short People
  19. Best and Worst
  20. Under the Red Veil
  21. Barter
  22. So They Say
  23. Global Baking
  24. No Innocents
  25. Cutthroat
  26. The Young Turks
  27. Good Enough
  28. The Ultimate Ultimatum
  29. Prim’s not Proper
  30. My Coffee

Look both ways, but what matters most is that it is officially Fall,
the third season. A beautifully decorative time of year.
While we should always mind the gaps, we should also enjoy the time.

 

Poetry: Forgave You – Not

I opened the door and walked into a crowded room.
People, most I did not know, were sitting around,
all seats taken. I had a right to be, and should have been,
invited to the meeting, but since I’m a half-breed — excluded.

Everyone stopped talking and stared at me. I knew I was
the unwanted black sheep in a room of wolves and vultures,
there only to devour carrion and pick the bones of the dead.
Something in my nature delighted in their obvious discomfort.

They declared the meeting over and said I should have
been there. I did not ask the location of my invitation.
I thought, y’all low life vulture mother fuckers,
but I said, “No problem. Things will somehow work out.”

Oh, the sweet feeling of justice and the touch of revenge,
oh, the fine fit of the suit called, we’re even.
Did they think I would not know or gain?
I almost felt guilty for twisting the knife,
but guiltlessly I prompted their pain.
Putting things right feels real nice.

Look both ways in rooms empty or full.
Mind the gaps. That’s where the evil hides.

Poetry Report: August Poems

As August washes into September for another year, we shimmy along into the later first part of the second half of 2019, with all it has to offer. School has started in most places and a Labor Day weekend presents itself as the final holiday of the summer, or the first one of the Fall, or both. I prefer to think positive: Fall.

Even though my now grown children always started school in August, I never adjusted to that as anything but an egregious school requirement during the hot summer months. It’s wrong. I never liked school.

My childhood experience was for the madness of school to begin on Tuesday following Labor Day. I don’t hate any month or time of year, it’s just that on the one-to-twelve rating scale, August comes in 12th place for me. I also don’t ever know what to do with it, so I write about it.

I continue to flex my poesy (or is it prosy?) braincells and muscles each day.

August poem titles were:

1. C-man
2. Relax, Old Man
3. Antipathy
4. Impractical End
5. Cicada Call
6. Some Days
7. Seven Times
8. Give Me Time
9. Learning How
10. Song
11. The Greeting
12. DIY
13. My Grief
14. Long Live Sadness
15. The Quacks
16. For Reality Pray
17. My Monster
18. Sabbat Lost
19. Social Sadness
20. The Horror of Love
21. I did It!
22. Big Bang Theory
23. Noted Brilliance
24. Vintage
25. That Shit Sucks
26. End of the Trail
27. For a Little While Longer
28. The Hope Within Hopeless
29. Road Trip
30. Wrong Again!
31. Temulence

Look both ways more than once.
Trust your senses and verify that things have not changed.
Mind the gaps lest you find yourself in difficult embarrassment.

Be a Stranger to Death: Know his Work

A first funeral for me was in our church. I was too young and didn’t know him. But I cried—it was so sad. Others did too. My family all asked me why I cried. A man I didn’t know had died. They took me to his funeral, and I cried because I felt so sad. Why did they ask me why? It was a funeral. I saw others cry. But I felt sad for his friends and family, and for him. My family seemed to be telling me that I should not cry or feel sad. They were telling me how I should feel.

It was my first taste of ultimate reality and sadness at a level I had not yet known. Six decades later I still recall their questions and the implication that I should not be sad because some man had died. And since I did not know him, I should not care about his death.

They knew him. But none of my family cried. I was confused by their lack of sadness. How could they not feel it? I didn’t wonder then why we went to the funeral, but I do now.

I should not feel emotion or act out my feelings if I do. I did not understand why others didn’t feel as I did. Too young, but already being told not to feel too deeply—to not be a sensitive man boy (later a man). Stoicism was and is associated with strength and manliness. Strong silence.

Years later I attended an emotional funeral for two young children of a workmate (auto accident). Later, another workmate criticised the people who cried at that funeral. I wonder more about former than the latter. How could he not cry and why criticize those who did?

Now, I am sometimes spoken of as a sensitive man by some; as one who reflects sensitivity back upon people. They say so because they read my writings. Not because of how I behave.

But not always. I suffer fools poorly and bullies with quite limited tolerance. I am sensitive to violence toward others, but I can do what it takes to be just and fair.

I cannot ask why they tried to teach me not to cry, or not to feel, or to be not sensitive about those who died. And they cannot answer. I doubt any would understand why. I went to their funerals and I cried because they had died and I loved them.

I cried when each of them died. Nobody asked me why. But I still hid my tears. I cried when I was alone. They had taught me well, but they never changed me. Show them only the face they wish to see. Be the strong, stoic, liar.

I remain an emotional little boy society calls sensitive (or weak or worse). They, in their curiously socialized hearts and minds will never understand me—nor will I, them.

Why cry? Must you ask?

Look both ways and deeply into the abyss of human emotions.
Mind the gaps but be consistent. Be yourself.