Sammi’s Weekender #267 (return)

Click on the graphic to link over to Sammi’s blog page and links to more 31-word wonders.

 


 

Time would stop,
no mellowness
or ripening dead,
no ageing,
green callowness everywhere
on everyone;
sameness would be
one forever season
as it was for me
to never return home again.

 


 

Look both ways but remember that life is lived in the eternal present,
planned forward, understood backward,
and we each have a story.
Mind the gaps, and keep a nickel for the exit fee, or you may never return.

***

Sammi’s weekender (as I call it) is a word use and number/count challenge. But I am often called to music and songs by prompts, as in this case. The chorus from the song M.T.A. (or Charlie on the MTA) written in 1949, and recorded and made famous by The Kingston Trio in 1959, (one of my favorites) while unrelated to my poem, is still fun for me. If you buy a ticket today for the (now MTBA) Boston subway (if you go, ride it), it is called a CharlieCard because of this song.

“But did he ever return?
No he never returned
And his fate is still unlearned (poor old Charlie)
He may ride forever
‘Neath the streets of Boston
He’s the man, who never returned”

(33 words, but not my entry)

Monday’s Rune: Independence Day


On This July Day

Born a year after
the last big war,
for decades,
I said the pledge
with hand over heart and sang
patriotic songs.

I took cover under my desk,
was a Boy Scout of America
who could properly fold the flag
and post the colors at twelve.
I prayed every day. I trusted God.

I played at war and we
always won. We were
always right, better,
and stronger. Powerful,
but merciful.

I enlisted before
graduating from high school,
I saluted. I knew, followed,
and respected flag etiquette —
still do. I swore
to protect our Constitution.

I spent two careers in the service of
(willing to, but not wanting to,
die for) my country—my people.
I thought I taught my children well.

Now,
examining my conscience
I find I am a man of a different mind,
No longer as certain of our goodness,
of our unitedness, of our honest
democracy. I feel fooled and
deceived. I feel hated by my own.

It’s not the date, it is the old spirit
where I question my allegiance,
to what or whom?

It is still in me. I still care.
But nothing is the same.
Confidence is dead. For our
freedoms, I worry with dread.

I feel conflicted. Lost.
Our enemies are close.
How patriotic am I?
I should be. I want to be.

In truth, I feel this way
not because I no longer love
my country,
but because I still do.

Happy 4th, anyway.
Be careful out there.


Look both way as we try to understand.
But deeply mind the gaps.
Even the Nazis thought they were right.

According to THIS Gallup poll, it’s a thing.

 

Sammi’s Weekender #266 (flippant)

Click to flip over to Sammi’s blog and more 74-word wonders.

Was it something I said?

Many things I’ve done and not done
which brought me much self-inflicted grief;
like transfers or removals from jobs,

I’ve sat smiling at wrong times,
adulted too young, or the drink I tasted
when I got more than a little bit wasted,
‘twas most often my spectacular speech
that others appreciated the least.

I’m gifted this flippantly waggish tongue
emitting my intently presented voice
speaking a cutting language, exposing
my cantankerously lighthearted snarkastic choice.


Look both ways when words fly like the breath of buzzards.
Mind the gaps and if your gunna do it, go all the way.

Monday’s Rune: Pride Month Poetry


Looking Both Ways

There’s tragedy in America
and over the world today.
One that has always been there
brewing trouble bubbling,
either hidden or ignored.

Without love, honor, and respect
inside and out,
sans pity and pride, compassion, and sacrifice,
we are doomed
to be less than
the best of humanity’s history.

Let nature and nurture battle on,
let knowledge
and wisdom wrestle
with feeling and emotion.

Nature’s questions asked without fear,
safe for all, with courage
to face battles between
sweet dreams of hope
and nightmares of reality.

Ally with truth, with
compassion, without weakness or fear,
with hope to continue
standing with universal rightness.


Look both ways and try, try, try to understand, it’s not magic, man.
Mind the gaps in the human condition as you embrace its diversity.

Note: I will be reading this poem (and others) at the Lark & Owl Booksellers in Georgetown, TX, 30 June 2022 @ 7:30 PM.

Monday’s Rune: Perspective Poetry

Saturday (June 18th) , I wrote this poem at the Round Rock Writers Guild Word Yoga (poetry) exercise Zoom workshop. My friend, Kathrine, said she wanted to see it here. Who am I to disagree?

Her excellent blog is published at: https://lklatham.com/. Her exceptionally wonderful books of dark, speculative fiction designed to beguile the imagination and convince you the things that go bump in the night are real is sold wherever great lit can be had.

 


A Moment of Time

My mantra is right here, right now
in this place with my life
that is the sum total
of forty-million moments;
some so frightening
I thought I would die,
others so boring
I thought I would die,
but here I am,
right here, right now,
just me—Mister Bill—
and my 40-million moments,
greedily hoping for
ten or twenty million more,
when frightening or boring
are equally
(un)important to me.


Look both ways with awareness of time, but this moment is all we have.
Mind the gaps for good days and bad, as pleasantry is a matter of perspective.

Sammi’s Weekender #264 (Picturesque)

Click on the graphic for more 54-word wonders and Sammi’s blog page.

Damn Reality

Here I go again reading
Bukowski’s clear vision voice
poems lacking picturesque pastoral principles,
with plainly different aesthetic dispositions
of attitude nobody loves.

We know that deep inside,
his way is part of us;
part of him, hides in us.
How many ways
can we paint the same picture,
or tell the same story.


Look both ways reading anyone’s poems.
Mind the gaps hiding deep within when writing your own.

Monday’s Rune: A Metamorphosis


When does it happen, if it happens at all?
The innocent child becomes a troubled teen,
Then a vicious young man with an M-sixteen,
Or a rivetted young woman focused on his fall.

Is this the formula of a coming dystopia?
Is the excitement of the fight so much greater
Than desire for tranquility and gods’ opium?
Is power over people the dark masturbator?

Some change. Many don’t. Over time
We all morph and grow to some degree
For better or worse, but will I ever be free?
Human life’s permanent paradox of paradigm.


Look both ways with conscious contemplation of then and now.
Mind the gaps for lessons of fortitude,
not the comfort of fear.
You can only die once, Bukowski notwithstanding.

Sammie’s Weekender #263 (vernacular)

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Dead and Gone

When they ask me, where do I say I’m from?
Why ask? What difference does it make?

Do I say from a blended Irish Catholic coal miner family
of the northeastern Pennsylvania Wyoming Valley?
From a time and place, now too far away?

A way to which I cannot return. My blood no longer mixes.

A place foreign to the vernacular of history,
now threatened by polite inclusiveness.

Now none of me lives there.
Only cold rainy nights and forgotten headstones
on lost graves of people I never knew remain.


Look both ways for ancestral truth, but the past is gone.
Mind the gaps for reality’s dark shadows before landing right here, right now, in this world.

Monday’s Rune: Live Well

 


I Admit It

Sometimes I don’t understand, or
(and it’s not the same thing)
I misunderstand, hoping
somehow to be brought
to correction and truth,
by way of clarification,
minus animosity.

Like one day
writing to prompts.

A young lady made clear
her (pre-pandemic) intention
to complete
the several months long hike
of the Appalachian Trail,
Georgia to Maine.

Starting in February,
finishing in May (unlikely),
by hiking
twenty-seven miles
every day for months.

She had done eighteen miles in one day,
no more; none
during March or July
on a rocky or muddy ascending trail.

I wanted to say,
that’s a marathon a day,
every day, for at least three months
(more like five to seven)
bearing a pack, food, and water.

But I didn’t. Is it for me to say?
Lest I dash her dream with reality.
Is it for each person to discover
our dreams? To defeat challenging demons?
Not with wisdom but with grit.
Each of us must, on life’s long wander,
one day, one step at a time, take the risk.


Look both ways on every trail.
Watch where you step and mind the gaps lest you find a limp.
Follow your dreams.
Wisely.

Click on the photo of my favorite trail bench for more info on the Appalachian Trail.

 

Sammi’s Weekender #262 (zest)

Click the graphic to peel on over to Sammi’s blog for the rest of the plan and more fantabulous 41-word writings.

 


Booklovers

Unlike the discomfort people feel toward harmless book collections, fearful of those pillars of civilization, even dumb readers are smart. Readers aren’t rich, poor, intelligent, or stupid. They zestfully relish reading books like the ignorant cling to guns and unread bibles.

Look both ways and cherish lifelong learning. Mind the gaps and be who you are and what you are, enjoy life, and read on into eternity.