Poem: Chains


Years a slave

finally walking free

mud-caked down dirty shoes

dragging home

Will the soul ever sing on key

after bent down beat work

freedom is loaded

heavy with ropes

pulling on out

but ever tying

things tight low hopes


Forty years in Penitentiary

then hitting the street

smelling the air of

humanity

Bars and walls now left behind

the etching of punish

carved carefully through time

The binding gavels

final thud to close

the pathways forward


And words and words

to wound and cut

much bloodier than what

a gun can shoot

Inside the body disappears

until  it seems to be

just hollow fears

Fly away or gather others

yet sounds still linger close

will any time

seem anew

and recapture the ghost


Slave, prisoner and abused

can liberate some day

and wanna walk hard away

from hellish past

with head up and

chains left in a rusting mass

 

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Poem: Speak Sweet


His words then

ring ring

true today

the voice that

speaks sweet

only time can solve race injustice

some said to him

It has not

Black ghost

talking before us

still

unheard

in winters of delay

When will The Dream come true?

destinies of Negro and White man tied together

Rip the bonds of inequality

and weave nets strong enough

to catch us all

as we come together

through time

 

Note: I am spending today listening to Martin Luther King Jr speeches, especially some I have never heard before. The words in italics are his.

Distraction


Tis the season for jing a ling and tra la la. Lots of shopping and running around. Too much Christmas music, tinsel and glitter or gathering for Hanukkah gelt and food of all kinds. Or whatever your holiday is, this is the time of year for…well, distraction.

Many of us may find much of this holiday season annoying: too much traffic, too many crowds, too much stuff and just plain too much consumerism. The holidays seem to have gotten away (in most cases) from what they were really supposed to mean and what all the symbols are meant to represent. I bet in many cases folks don’t know anymore. It’s just become: buy, buy, buy and rush, rush, rush and what’s on sale. They may know the basics, but unless you are deeply entrenched within your religious community, it’s all just Hallmark nonsense.

It’s exhausting and sad and often stressful.

But this was the first year I had an insight to it all.  Because the world has become such a harsh place and each year it only seems to get worse, maybe we all need this nonsense. Between the natural disasters and man-made horrors of the world, I truly believe we all suffer, on some deep level, from a global/connected/deep-seeded depression. Most of the time when we tune into what ever we tune into (our preferred media source), it’s some new calamity bombarding us. All year-long we must endure hearing about our fellow humans suffer, or our planet dying or animals being exterminated. It’s a wonder any of us get out of bed at all.

And then, along comes the holidays. Time for our own little fantasy world of tinsel and glitter, pretty lights and toys. And even magic and a crazy man, elves and reindeer bringing happiness to the whole world. And even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you may still have your own holiday celebration within your own religious belief; one that brings your family together, one where you can remember better times and get time off from work.

All these holidays have one thing in common: they help us remember our past, not only our personal one when we were young and things were simpler and maybe happier; but our human past. That’s why they were celebrated in the first place; to acknowledge an important event in history.

And the days when many of us are celebrating our respective holidays on those special days specifically set aside for these historic days from our past, we are not thinking about all the terrible things going on presently that usually occupy our minds. This may be the most important gift of all.

For those precious moments at least, we can let our hearts and souls fill instead with the sounds of our families, children and homes (after the rush and stress have died down). The smells of cooking, the visits from those we haven’t seen, the familiar decorations all give a sense of well-being and safety. These feelings may be rare for us these days. So we lap it up in the swell of the holiday tide. This is the part we take for granted, the feelings, but this is the part of life we are missing every day in this painful world. This is what the holiday season gives us.  Positive feelings.

So, for the first time in many years, I say: go ahead and enjoy. Play the incessant Christmas music. I get all the lights and sparkly stuff.  Sure, I would still rather people not buy so much ‘stuff’ because it’s not good for the world, but I do understand better why they do…it’s for the feelings they produce. But mostly, I just understand the whole ‘thing’ of the holidays more this year: instead of global depression, it’s global jublilation.

Maybe that’s why they call it a magical time of year.

Poem: Choices


Howling thoughts in my head

lying awake in my bed

my soul is filled with silent dread

Walking in the night alone

the trees can’t speak but can only moan

it seems the world is stripped to bone

Figures hide behind every door

and seeing kindness is no more

times of love have turned to lore

Where has all the beauty gone

the lovely eve and blazing dawn

humans now are all just pawns

They had the chance to save the earth

to clean their mess and show their worth

and instead of killing choose re-birth

But time slipped on and they lost their way

most figured it would happen on another day

so in the end sweet home was left to pay

***

In my mind I know this is not yet true

yet slight is the chance to make it new

bring back life to this planet blue

As time is running out for you and me

for every animal, bird and tree

It’s all our jobs to set us free

Poem: Upward


I transcend

breathing soft air

and ascend behind flashing eyelids

free now

from egos gravitational lure

Climbing over yesterdays clutter

a wraith rising

through the worldly walls

to wander upon higher plains

Weightless

drifting in dark spirals of space

tiny bits of astral dust

spinning

away away

I shine and hover

as humming of the cosmos

levitates me till

the end of time

 

Poem: Food For Free


School Lunch Lines

with hair net lunch ladies

and cement paste potatoes

and spit filled ketchup

But today the book said:

159

(160 if you count 5-year-old Luciana)

Lining up outside

long before the prison-bolt door is let loose

drawn like a vortex

walking and sweating with bags and backpacks

or stopping in front from the city bus

and the cars stuffed full as they hope they will be too

“Sign the book”: is the weary demand

it is the Payment

The Price

for all you will get

Fill your bags and your belly

“I have no teeth, so no corn on the cob”

“No dessert because I am diabetic”

“I am homeless and live in the streets”

Gracias

Thank you

I am now the lunch lady

I give food for free

 

 

Ironic??


Is it ironic that I saw this Mockingbird perched upon the American flag  today: July 4th, 2017 given the state of our nation?

Maybe this bird understands something many folks seem to be missing these days….

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Poem: I Am Flowers


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I am Snap Dragon

with fire fingers

which have lost their click

 

I am Rose

that has learned to kneel

to hide my height

 

I am Queen Anne’s Lace

now a pauper

begging for freedom

 

I am Bird Of Paradise

wings clipped

roaming the sands

 

I am Tulip

mouth quiet

because no-one will listen

 

I am Bleeding Heart

ever battling

slowly dying

 

I am Iris

forever watching

but never seen

 

I am Freesia

saving your soul

while lost in the night

 

I am Marigold

filled with riches

only a few can see

 

And I Crocus

much as I speak

I’m heard as a toad

 

We are Pink

We are Hellebore

We are Mugwort

And Phlox

 

Touch-Me-Not

for I can never be

reached

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Art: Blazing Hope


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Hope, I am perfectly willing to admit, is one of those things I’ve relied far too much on. My life hasn’t maybe been as tidy as I’ve wanted it to be, but I keep thinking it’s OK because I always have that thing called hope. It can be plastered on anything really and comes in handy for so many situations…

For you see, the discussions for me happen pretty much in my own head: over and over. That looping of thoughts, both of all the stuff that I shouldn’t have done–(it doesn’t last for too long anymore)–and that almost immediate glow of hope trying very hard to wipe out those other stale ruminations of the past.

So I talk with myself constantly (sometimes quite out loud)–trying to set the hope free: that burning hope. I figure if I keep this chatter on long enough, maybe eventually it will set ablaze and blast off into reality.

Endless Mind


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Living free may only be an illusion as there is always something hidden waiting to confine the beauty of unfettered space. Maybe an unsuspecting visitor or fence covered with lush camouflage that pretends to be part of the landscape. It fools and traps the wandering dreamer.

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Step by step the visionary may walk, hopeful of its future. And in the moment all seems at peace. The surrounding landscape is hushed and still. It lulls those that pass into a false sense of calm. But what may come at the next bend? Is all as it seems?

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Best to tread lightly these earthly footsteps. Cautiously move and trust home is within. Freedom may only be skin deep. Found in the echoes of  the ancestors. Search for it not in tomorrows, but inside the endless mind.