Tuesday Rune: Health

Nine on Tuesday

It’s nine o’clock on a Tuesday.
The patients just shuffle in
with oxygen tanks and walkers,
some in wheelchairs, hoping
for something better
for medical science
to keep them in one piece
to keep us alive and well.

Now, for some, is the time
of politics over health,
religion over medicine,
conspiracy over science.

I look around
and I say to myself,
man, what are you doing here?

It’s nine in the morning
and I am just one
of these people.
Another old fart
or flatulentess
getting a test to tell us
what we already know.

Some day this shit’s
gunna kill us,
if our own stupidity
and pride
fail to do it first.

It’s a lovely, sunny, cool day
here in Temple, Texas,
for wondering, Bill,
what are we doing here?

So, we sit and wait,
neither early nor late,
to have some clinician guide
say it has not gone away.
“If you stroke out,
give us a call, and
have a nice day.”


Look both ways.
Understand life backward but live it forward for as long as you can.
Mind the gaps for the fountain of youth, the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and life everlasting. Amen.

Sammi’s Weekender #237 (mudlark)

Click the graphic to open Sammi’s blog.

 


Over The Susquehanna River

From New York it winds
nine hundred mudlarkable shoreline miles
through the Chesapeake Bay to the Atlantic.

Unlike Billy Collins, I fished it,
caught carp, sucker, catfish, perch; swam
polluted waters; climbed and walked
bridges and trestles. I grubbed its mud.

Remember disasters. Before mountains rose.
The Susquehanna is in my blood.


Look both ways when the river flows.
Here it comes, there it goes.
Mind the gaps, the pits, the whirlpools, and vermin.

***

Poetic license: The Susquehanna River is 444 miles long from New York, flowing through the State of Pennsylvania (where I knew it) into the Chesapeake Bay. That’s 888 miles of shoreline. I rounded up. Disasters include the Knox Mine crime, Three Mile Island, pollution and environmental catastrophe on an epic scale, and many devastating floods.

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.

Thursday Rune (Kip)

Temporary Friendships

I never understood him.
He told me things,
as others have,
where truth
may have been shaved,
distorted, or it was not
exactly as it was.

He was my roommate,
at times a friend,
but solid ground
did not bridge us
for very long after
I went one way,
he another.

Many silent years later,
Yolonda found Kip.
Living in Florida,
where he has since died.

It’s hard to say
what matters,
so many years later.
I wonder what
I saw then, that
I cannot recall now.


Look both ways but mind the gaps.
Hold on to dreams and memories. But sometimes,
I wish I knew then what I now know. At other times,
I wish we didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.

Sammi’s Weekender #235 (mirror)

Click for Sammi’s blog and links to other blogs for prose and poems.

Timeless Reflections

For twenty-seven thousand days and nights
what you have seen is not all that ever was.
You see in me today’s truth, one perpetual now.

With one look I never judged anyone.
I reflected an eternal present
without darkness, forgiving the past,
each glimmer gone, days and nights
numbered and stacked
upon your tired shoulders.

Like ashes from wood burned
in past fires, days forgotten, names confused,
adjusted appearances, time
carefully dealt from fate’s shuffled deck,
one at a time until there was none.
Lines of life get clearer, youth
forgotten there, inside grandfather’s mirror.


Mirrors can’t look both ways.
The reflection they cast is only today.
Mind the gaps and fix the cracks, everyone has history.

This mirror hung in my grandfather’s house 100 years ago, then in our dining room from before the day I was born. Click on the photo to read Sylvia Plath’s poem, “Mirror.”

Thursday Rune: Vet’s Day Poem


Why I am Here

Are we united? One,
indivisible nation
facing all that division
and diversion
has to offer.

When politically
trapped rhetoric becomes
the dark knight, when
lies form gospel,
when logic is lost, when
hate becomes faith,
we form our own
deep “Troubles”
dis-united.

On this Vet’s Day,
let us remember,
and never forget,
why we are here.


Look both ways and work for peace.
Mind the gaps as we make it a better world.

Sammi’s Weekender #234 (Empire)

Click the graphic to go to Sammi’s Blog. There you may read more prose or poems, and you can play along.

Yearning for Old Broadway

The Empire State’s
wonderful people
of the city that never sleeps.
Coney Island, Manhattan,
Central Park, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
That tall building, George M!,
Lady Liberty, the Bronx,
‘the city so nice
they named it twice,’
Gotham,
Broadway Joe, the fucking Yankees
in the Big Apple.
Herald Square, Times Square.
How I want to be there.
Sadly, the day of many hearts
broken by hate.
I love New York!


Look both ways.
Take the Staten Island Ferry and the NYC Subway.
Mind the gap, as in watch your step in the City of Five Boroughs.

Thursday Rune: “Tom”


We were
crew mates and friends,
Tom and I.
He came from
South Carolina,
via the
University of Hawaiʻi.

Partners.
A team of two.
For a couple of years,
we had laughs.
But it ended.

Lieutenant Tom, an enigma,
half of a nuclear bombing team,
a pot smoker,
beer drinker (me too),
almost certainly
a skeptic.

A kind of Buddhist,
politically left,
a sky diving
motorcyclist, and
the class clown.

We were different.
Tom deeper,
more spiritual,
and funnier.

After the Air Force,
Tom became a teacher,
back in South Carolina,
and a renowned
BASE jumper.

An avocation
that brought
an early end to Tom’s life
at the bottom
of a high SC tower when
his parachute gear
failed.

I’ll not forget.
I wish it had been
different. I’d call him.


Look both ways and remember even brief friendships.
Mind the gaps, they sometimes hold truths.

Sammi’s Weekender #233 (vellichor)

Click on graphic for hyperlink to Sammi’s blog.

Because it was not in my MW online dictionary: John Koenig wrote that the word vellichor, which he apparently created, refers to “the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time…”


Dear Enemy

When Jean Webster
lived, wrote, and died,
grandmother was still alive.
Both lives ended
from new life inside.

My century+ old copy
with stains and library marks
has redolent suggestions
of hidden stacks in bookstores.
Vellichor, the petrichor of paper,
print, and the souls
of past passionate readers.


Look both ways as you hold hundreds of years in your human hands.
Mind the gaps in time as we admire the history of the human mind.