This poem was rendered to meet today’s dVerse challenge offered by Paeansunplugged from Delhi. We are to write about the good and evil in mere mortals, the good in evil and/or the evil in good. For me, at no time is that enigma more profound than in times of war and battle.
One story I’ve never told,
if evil were evil enough,
if good were good enough,
I would simply tap a secret reservoir of courage…
but courage, too, has finite quantities,
yet it offers hope and grace to the repetitive coward.
I can’t fix my mistakes.
Once people are dead, I can’t make them undead…
killing and dying are not my special province.
Am I too good for this war?
Too smart, too compassionate, too everything?
I’m above it. It’s a mistake, maybe.
Look both ways at good and evil or take Hamlet’s advice and think it so.
Mind the gaps between and within our perceptions of what is better and what is truth.
Okay, boys and girls and everyone:
come close—closer—and listen to this.
The odds against us, you, or me,
being viable, of being born, of living on for years,
make it nearly impossible
to have happened at all. Statistically,
the chances that any of us exist is virtually zero.
Therefore, god or no-god,
each person living is by definition
a feckin’ miracle. Existence is miraculous.
We are, each of us, marvelous.
Let’s start acting like it.
Congratulations! Here. Have a cigar.
Look both ways and take in all that is seen.
Mind the gaps because in the game of existence,
their enormity is incomprehensible.
If you are interested, click here to read all about your chances of being.
And, finally, a bit of music: “Have a Cigar” (Pink Floyd) as covered by Elephant Revival.
I returned to your place of business, like I said I would.
A clown-man there told two jokes. At first,
I glared at him to the silent end. The other
I interrupted so I could give you my coffee order.
I allowed him to finish. I again stared
before telling him his joke was unfunny and that his
comedic skills were woefully lacking behind his
overflowing obnoxiousness. Was he your father?
You would not take my money. He paid.
I sat quietly, typed my poem, drank the
Americano and chewed the muffin.
Now I wish I hadn’t. You
did not look at me or say another word. Then,
Sorry. Henceforth, the city library
has much more to offer and
better silence, too. No jokes.
Is Divinely Beautiful your real name?
Tell your father that my low opinion
of him has declined and my vote
is not for sale.
No apology necessary.
Look both ways but think on your feet.
Mind the gaps of silence when the wind passes.
‘hello-‘ello! C’mere, lad.
I hope you’ll be keepin’ well.
It happens every year
after a wee bit, a donnybrook
somewhere near here,
sorry now, so
me shillelagh’s swingin,
callin’ fer bacon.
Not well then are ye?
wackin’ the cod,
wi’ narry a nod, nor a bandage
or pad to be had.
T’ank you for feelin’
brave to go, smart to not.
Look both ways on whisky drinkin’ festival days.
Mind the gaps at the tube and lads at the pub.
The annual Donnybrook Fair near Dublin included fiddlers and dancers, but it was best-known for the frequent eruption of whiskey-fueled fighting – often involving heavy clubs known as shillelaghs. “Bacon” is Irish slang for police and “cod’ for fool.
They were not smart or rich. Some might write. Few to none finished school. In many ways they were all slaves.
The children, the men, and the women were trying to survive, to make it through the night.
No great athletes, not a genius among them. The company was the enemy. The boss.
I think of them on Labor Day. About my dad, the filthy coal miner, who swore I’d never work in the mines.
He was right.
When the mines shut down, he was lucky to find any job. He was a plumber’s helper. He mowed lawns and dug sewer ditches. Finally, as a nurse’s aide for the same pay I got as a teenage knucklehead, for my summer job, as a gardener’s assistant, he worked until it was finished.
Mom was a cleaner of footwear in a shoe factory. She had to take two early morning buses and often walked home. Her hands were always dirty and stained from cleaning factory shoes. Sucky work.
I never did piece work, nor had black lung, but at a young age I knew all about both.
Labor Day! I love it, but the more I think about it, and the more I learn about the labor movement, the more pissed off I get.
Wars and soldiers did not build this country. The rich damn sure didn’t. Cowboys (not the jerks in Dallas) and labor did. Workers built America.
“No gods, no masters.”
Look both ways and try to understand.
All workers and all labor around the world are brothers and sisters.
Mind the gaps and may we treat them well. Welcome to America.
Soldiers, farmers, and lovers all seek the same shelter. Protection from nature’s miseries is ubiquitously sought and taken. Adapt or die. Respect not given wisely results in lessons learned only for brief periods.
Her glorious beauty shows in the warm sunrise that follows the night’s frightful, unsheltered story. The singing bird allows for the climax of thunder as from lightening, all seek cover. Even snakes warm in the sun.
Rain or dry seasons, Nature judges the foolish lover, the seeker of warmth without cover, harshly. Live and learn; learn and live.
respect nature first
awesome beauty is the beast
take cover or die
Look both ways when seeking escape or shelter.
Better to mind the gaps and wait for the storm to pass
than to win the latest Darwin Award.
at the park, the
San Gabriel River slow flows as
trees, grass, and gardens grow,
ducks and squirrels search
while dogs wander;
people—few kiddos play,
adults do nothing—just relax while
idle athletic fields recover, empty
picnic tables under shade; and
boulders and benches go unused,
feel the summer zephyr, nice,
some souls are alone, but
I’m with you.
It’s Wednesday. Recover.
Relax. Everything else
Look both ways — up and down stream;
mind the gaps for crossings over to another side.
Sometimes just go and be — hear, feel, and wait and see.