Poem: Lights Out


In dreams

we can want

or walk through

the past

in a chosen Universe

And also be

the better us

we never were

So please

Do not disturb!

 

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On Dying


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I was in the presence today of a dying person. No, not like you and me–I mean actively dying. We are all dying of course, but this is part of my hospice volunteering, my first day meeting with my new patient.

It’s not at all like being a paramedic because we aren’t given much: only a name. No diagnosis, no real history, no nothing. Of course, I’m not your average volunteer, so I can deduce some things. But, I’m not there to fix really. Only to sit. And maybe to provide some small comfort, maybe some smiles and to help a caregiver get some respite.

In this case I am reminded how much we can tell by someone’s eyes. They may not be able to speak much anymore, but their eyes speak volumes. And maybe they aren’t able-bodied any longer, but it is easy to remember that this same person was someone else, someone before they were dying.

They were like you and me: laughing loudly, arguing, dancing, quilting, walking around, loving, working and most of all–living.

It makes me wonder why people spend time while they are alive wasting it on unhappy things. On things that upset them. On things that they can never reclaim. On people who will never care enough. Why I did.

I need to spend more time living while I’m dying. Because we never know when it will be our turn that the dying will become active. Or maybe the living will simply stop.

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Poem: Keep On Walking


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Keep walking on

into the fretful night

where strangers surround your empty mind

maybe they fill that hollow hole

as your hobo self lurches forward

Keep walking

even after you’ve fallen

with your bruised knees

from the crawling you’ve done

to keep you low to the ground

But keep on walking

even though the horizon looks flat

because of the secrets it holds

it may bend to your will

as you approach

Keep on walking

with those weary old feet

which have carried you far

Keep walking

Keep walking

it won’t be long now

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Poem: Seek Not


Just gotta keep on walkin

till the paths divergent go

or a single one does open up

and your feet are raw and muddy

keep on pushin

however slow

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Just gotta keep on walkin

though the road may be tough

you may meet many strangers

who you never even know

some greet you friendly

but some are mighty rough

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Just gotta keep on walkin

and push the branches back

they’ll tear your legs and

rip your arms

the blood may drip bright red

and it will leave a track

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Just gotta keep on walkin

following  the trail

wherever it may lead

you may not know

but it’s your path

seek not the Holy Grail

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Walking


During my walk through my ‘village’, I am constantly struck by what an alien landscape it is to me. Even the name of the place reminds me of some sort of Sci Fi novel where you can’t be quite sure who is human and who might appear so, but is really a look-alike with highly functioning artificial intelligence.

The homes are all blazingly white, with only specifically allowed colored shutters and all laid out with the same floor plan–this giving the effect of some weird colony created by Big Brother (it was actually in the ’70’s, and BB was the usual group of condo types trying to create the ultimate paradise), but getting cookie cutter instead. It was a good thought and the prices were good, so the humans came…

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But as I stroll around a corner and am by myself, the southern sun shimmering off the dazzling white homes, I feel transported to decades into the future. Maybe I am the last ‘real’ human left here, wandering the streets, pretending to be one of ‘them’. They sit behind their curtains, with no honest food in their refrigerators (because they don’t eat) and their hollow laughs echoing in my mind. Who are they really?

I walk and wonder. Do they know who I am? Do they watch me from behind those standard colored shutters? Am I safe? My heart picks up a pace. The heat beats down.

Then I turn a corner. Music drifts from one of the identical homes. I listen: some 60’s tune I recall… And in the driveway next to this home, a car has a bumper sticker: COEXIST. You know the one: with each letter representing some spiritual symbol.

And I snap back: maybe they are really human after all? I remember now, it’s 2017 and it might be OK.

As I’m walking, I briefly look up at the empty blue sky above me. And just for a moment, I imagine a huge billowing mushroom cloud. I lower my head and keep walking…

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