Monthly Archives: May 2014

Dogeared Pages

There are bent corners on the pages
of the old book,
not the intentional dogeared mark
of a favorite passage
but the random damage of being
shoved into full shelves
or empty pockets.
The arbitrary nature of the damage
is almost as sad as having
hopeful expectations and turning
to a page
of no significance.

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Ugly Words

Ugly words have a history,
muttered under vile breath
or spit into the face
of their target,
the fallback of cowards
and the ignorant.
fag, freak, nigger, wetback,
chink, towel head

Other ugly words have
become an accepted norm,
the first attack in defense
of ideas, policies
and perceptions of oppression.
racist, bigot, uncle tom,
chauvinist, intolerant

There is a forgotten concept
once promoted by those seeking
an equal voice, the idea
that we can disagree without
the necessity of hate.

Let us debate based on the merit
of our ideas,
and do not assume my dissent
has anything to do with your race,
gender, religion or station,

we might simply disagree.

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On The Menu

It is entirely possible (probable) we tend
to complicate things which are perhaps
best left simple, the sandwich, for instance.

Now, I am all for “flavor profiles” and “building
layers of flavor”, but not every meal
has to be a masterpiece.

Start with good, fresh bread — I prefer sourdough,
but rye works exceptionally well — toast lightly,
apply a sufficient amount of mayonnaise.

Next, thin slice fresh tomatoes, not those awful
things at the supermarket, and layer on the bread,
applying salt and pepper to each layer, and…

…nothing else. Have napkins on hand, the cold
beverage of choice – southern iced tea being best –
and a sunny place to eat.

Actually, it is, indeed, a masterpiece.

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Free Poetry

I’ve seen them a few
times — twice on the streets
of New Orleans, once
in Atlanta, on a television show
in Grenada, Spain — students,
or homeless, or hippies (the voluntarily
homeless) perched on a curb
with an old typewriter, or pencil,
and paper,
with a poorly written sign
offering free impromptu poems,
though I am sure they would
accept a gratuity if one were
so inclined.
Given a certain conflux
of circumstances I suppose
I would be tempted
to try my hand in the endeavor,
but I fear the output
of my pen might be lacking
in the ability
to generate sufficient compensation,
not so much due to any
lack of talent or skill,
but primarily because most
of those passing by will
not care for what I have
to say.

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Of Choices and Sacrifices

An abundance
of bullets has never
been a guarantee of peace,

a dearth of them,
and those willing to use them,
is an open invitation for domination.

There is a choice
to be made between being
free or being subservient to armed masters.

Sacrifices
are required
for either decision.

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Another Poem About Cottonwood Snow

Each year I am tempted
to write
of the cottonwood snow,

to capture the flight of tufts
of white as they dance
on the air, slaves to the whimsical
twirling of spring winds,
destination determined
only by chance,

to compare the falling fluff
to the flakes swirling in the skies
of a different season,

to make some connection
between the white
show of warmth
and that of winter.

Each year I attempt
to find meaning
in the cottonwood snow.

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Neighborhood Night, on a Slant

The dog is proud of the stick
she found in the yard,
convinced my shared admiration
is the only reason I would
choose to sit on the porch.

There is some dishonesty in efforts
to depict a night as silent.

The neighbor’s dog announces
the presence of each passing car,
crickets and frogs vie for dominance
of the stream bed, my dog bites
and chews on her newfound toy,

only the silhouettes of the trees are
content to remain quiet.

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Questions No One Wants to Answer, Much Less Ask

Did you search for days on end to find the perfect home
for your mother, or offer her your own?

Did you think to allow a perfect home to find your child,
or was that too inconvenient?

Did you think your stand against owning a gun would
prevent the criminal from using his against you?

Did you trust the politician to care about your needs
when you had no access to his pocket?

Did you accept said politician taking over any part of your life
had anything to do with your welfare?

Did you believe bowing to another’s demands would make them
more inclined to respect yours?

Did you aspire to be morally superior by refusing to judge
another’s lack of a moral compass?

Did you imagine your opposition to those men kissing would change
the way they felt about each other?

 

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A Table for Two

I requested a table
for two – something quiet,
intimate – where we
could be alone … with each other.

The mood was right
the lighting perfect
the food excellent
the service superb

Her eyes swirled like
the spoon stirring her
coffee, and never met
my own.

I requested a table
for two, but at no point
were we ever alone…
with each other.

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Are You So Inclined

There is an inclination
to try and force

order into
the place of chaos,

bread into
the void of hunger,

plastic people into
positions of power,

any alabaster disaster
into a lack of faith,

something of yours
to become mine,

a demographic
to be subject to an elite,

achievers of altitude
to be brought back down…

 

I disagree with your ideas
of forced solutions.

 

Keep your order,
I will create my own.

Keep your bread,
and the associated  dependence.

Keep the plastic people
where they can do no harm.

Keep your carved deity,
there is one I worship.

Keep what is yours,
leave me what is mine.

Keep your ideas of subjection,
I will choose freedom and responsibility.

Keep your subjective equality,
I will strive for the stars.

 

Why would I willingly subject
myself to the ideas
of societal behavior
with which I disagree?
Are you so inclined as
to abandon yours,
…in favor of mine?

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