Sunday, July 31, 2011

Twelve Baskets Full

Twelve Baskets Full

Today, I preached.
The day was a watermelon, sweet and made
to cool the heat. Seeds spit into fertile soil
of being alive. The word of the Lord
came upon me like a bee searching
for orange lilies. The text I worked
was two, Paul wishing his people
would return to the lord to point
of having himself accursed by God
and Jesus feeding the five thousand.
Such compassion. All compassion
is like a chef emptying his pantry
for a meal he will not intend to eat, only
to be invited after the first course. Again,
it is a minivan drive by a man longing
to drive the convertible at home
in his garage. Again, compassion
empties itself like a paper cup of coffee
consumed by a doughnut maker
at 2:00 am in the morning. Then I
prayed for a man with caner,
his wife looking at through the glass
of wonder and fear. Then, I talk
with others. Then, I pushed my
two year old in red jogger home, stopping
at park for a bit, stopping to raid
Cherry tree. My son was asleep
as we got home. He remained
asleep as I gently placed him in the crib.
Then, a voice said, "See, you shall call nations
that you do not know, and nations
that do not know you shall run to you, because
 of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you."
Amen


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Poem

Small Poem

My love is gone,
gone for just two days,
two days with my being with our son.
Our son woke in terror,
in terror he cried out,
cried out for Mama.
Mama hikes the mountains,
the mountains of her childhood.
Childhood filled with huckleberries,
huckleberries tart and sweet,
sweet with juice, juices
her friendship with Sarah.
Sarah, who knows my wife before me.
Before me spreads out my life,
my life with my love, my love
longing in the mountains
for the largest berries.

Friday, July 29, 2011

So Football retuns while Iron Mike doesn't


The Ballad of Iron Mike

Then they returned, those men of muscle
and chemicals, to do battle for our pleasure.
Fast men of crashes, their stadiums filled
with colored jersey uniforms. Hated and loved,
they feel the sore of Mondays, when
the toll of destruction for cheers and curses
goes to the bone. They know they will soon
be wadded up and pitched into the heap
of has beens once their bodies give out.
Best to focus on the next play, the next
pass. They are cut open with daggers
of numbers. Others’ fantasy football
is their real pain. Never enough, like
when Mike Webster, the anchor of a center,
finished sacrificing his brain cells
for the joy of over gorged Steeler fans,
their jello bellies flapping in the wind,
he could only find sleep by shocking,
tazer in hand, his dying brain. They
found him dead, the game had killed
him. But by the then, new players
were blowing the brains on Sunday
afternoons, and no one noticed.
No one cared.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Debt Ceiling Debate and Human Nature poem 22

 Poem 22

Debt Ceiling Debate and Human Nature

Death, knowable and friendly,
really rejects the title of con man.
Our pretence lies to us with a small
thought which sooths. “I never
knew it was coming.” Double cheese
burgers lead to weaken hearts, and
then the fat dies, falls down mowing,
or trying to keep up with his children
and we are shocked. We calm
the funeral with a claim of coming
out of the blue and no one expected it.

Take the driver that weaves in and out.
The driver who thinks intimacy applies
to man made metal traveling past
the speed limit. After the cash and the baby
dies, the driver claims remorse
and sorrow over the accident that
no one could have seen coming, and
denying blame, cries out to the cruel
fates. Yes, the tragedy of man cries
ignorance of the cliff. The young girl
pregnant, and both parties shocked
by what happened. Yet, death does
appear unannounced. The signs
are not a deep puzzle. Your mother
was right about eating veggies.

Today, the dance continues.
The puffed up blow fishes,
Poisonous and popular will shout
Out pride like prized mucus, then
The days will follow and the shrugged
Shoulders and point at each other,
And saying the answer as common
As ugly.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

And If I Go Blind- day 21


The eyes are the soul of the person goes a common and ridiculous saying. I think about it as my only good eye-the other blind since birth-and the doctor I just saw say the pressure of my Glaucoma has inched up.Now more drops and another possible laser surgery. My thoughts as I walk away from her office was how beautiful the colors were. If I go blind, then memory of the world's visual beauty will be all I have. I start to hunt and store like never before. Everything around me was so radiant, like a sun dried dog licking water out of a tin bowl. I could not get enough. My eyesight maybe be slowly squeezed into darkness, but I will live each sight as the gift that it is. The world exists to be seen, felt, touched, heard and tasted. I will see until ... The poem, part of the 30 days of poetry,  below is my ode to how my Glaucoma awoke me to the sights of the world. 

Ode to my stubborn Glaucoma

My pressure, after lasers and drops,
returned. The doctor gave a choice
more drops or more intense light
shot into my eye. Walking
from her office, I saw the red 
of red lilies, various cars and trucks
in shades of a new rainbow. 
I remembered my son's smile
as I left in the morning. Today,
I learned that losing makes
the wine sweeter. The cross
leads to live. I may be blind
one day, but my eye will
be a hunter until then. My
memories of the geography 
of my love, the sight of paintings
we have hanging in our living-
room, the color of my wife's
eye, al this I must hunt down
as sight is a sweet peach
picked before consumed to be
part of my flicker of being.



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 20


 

The Great Cloud of Unknowing

The morning stroll of escaping parades
flow on various screens, TV and Computer, in news-
papers, magazines and movies. Escaping
from what? The sleepy haze that we
walk around, broken only by the momentary
jolt of coffee, Redbull or Rockstar. Maybe.
Maybe the reason of the myth of Rocky,
loser given a chance to win, who works
hard and wins in the end, sings us
a fantasy of life. Maybe. Maybe our
judgment of another’s self destruction,
Amy Winehouse, Elvis, or whatever
movie star cheating with whatever co-star
gives us a jolt of self-righteousness. Maybe.
Maybe our stories of pain forces
us to numb the whole for fear of the little.
Margaritas, salted rims, Mities with dreams
of paradise and paper umbrellas, cloud
our already misty minds. Escaping not
the real, but illusions we made from purple
lens of perception. We want to escape
our knowing that views life in a great
unknowing. Unlike the pillar of fire
guiding the wandering tribe,
or the mystical cloud of God,
our unknowing fails to creates itself 
into our prison. Then, like last night,
a six year old niece comes with excitement
of have caught six crickets. Wisdom
in the real.





Monday, July 25, 2011

The Echo of the First Kiss - Day 19

Today, I write another love poem to my wife. 30 days of poetry and I have reconnect with my poetic voice. All the old forms and techniques return. I write in what Denise Levertov call organic form. Any one who writes poetry in contemporary English should at least read her essay. Organic form unlike, say, free verse, means I look for the form as it develops. I also found my voice again to express my love for my wife. Form is both found and shapes reality. I write love poetry to my wife and I experience the love I have for her in my bones and skin. They ache anew for her.

Love poetry usually conjures images of the chase. The expression of found love is far smaller than the book shelves full of verse to love pursued.  It makes sense if you see poetry as utility. Poems and songs just another tool in the acquisition of the love object. Love as a transaction, bought and sold in the romance business, has more play than love fulfilled. But love is not a bargin and love fulfilled is every bit as interesting to the human condition. Lace and I are going to celebrate our 10 years of being together, ten years since the moment of our meeting at Welcome Week for new Fuller student.

The Echo of the First Kiss

The deer, who roam our neighborhood,
have eaten the naked buds of our lilies.
Only one, red with golden speckles.
made to bloom. It was enough to prove
my love for your. You water our flowers
in sun of dusk. Our young oak stands naked
as it matures. The beginning always lives
before the fig leaf hides our vulnerability.
That night, long ago in a California gone,
we touched lips in the tentative tremble
of love breaking the soil with small
stem and new leafs lives again. I see your
eyes and my nose in a two year old
playing with his beloved cars. The mysteries
of tangled vines and grapes grown
for sweet wine, for red wine, for all styles
of wine was our journey after our mutual
“I do.” Honeymoon, want a strange
combination of a word. Honey, sweet
nectar of insects with stingers and moon,
a body of the heavens that moves around
our world in 29.53059 days, combine to form
the celebration of love's beginning.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 18 and the wells is dry

The day of taking off, of failing to write. Sometimes the subject of the day is the lack of anything


Writer’s Blues


Today, I promised a poem, but
I have none. Empty, not like Jesus,
but like a drained kegger at a Frat boy
party. The party stalls, for lack of ale.
What to write? The push for life:
taking care of the son on a Sunday,
relatives visiting and birthday
parties to go to. Sabbath
and the words disappear. The crime
on no rhyme, metaphors dissipate
like dew in the midmorning heat.
Finding the beat of language
beats me for the day. Irony
has ironed out its spell on me.

Forgive me. I write
only to say
no poem today.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Norway and another poem.

My son is asleep for his midmorning nap. Today is my birthday and my mind has been thinking about all who are suffering in Norway. The terrorist looks to be a native ring wing who claims to be Christian. Scripture would argue against him being a Christian as the fruit of his actions are nothing more than death. He will most likely cling to his stated beliefs, and I think what will emerge in the coming days is how banal he truly is. I think there is a lot of wisdom Hana Arendt's understanding of the banality of evil, to which I would add that the Bible pairs off evil with foolishness. Evil is both banal and foolish. Much like he made bombs out of shit, Anders Behring Breivik has made himself into shit.

Here is the poem for toady.

The Day of My Birthday And The Day After Terror

Peace, the ink not yet dried, must be composed
in the act if living. Not the absence of war,
peace must be active in saying yes to life.
Today, I celebrate my birth 47 years ago. Today.
young people in Norway are find their way
toward tears and a return of life. The same tears
shed by Jesus. Blasphemy of the divines name,
the buffoon plan to use dung to blow up
his hatred, only to express the dung in his head.
Guns and bombs, and dead and dead and dead.
Peace must be made every day, every moment,
and act of prayer. What a fool to think that his
hapless act would prove him right. Fool and evil
are pared off in the Bible. And what of those
who live and remain? Today the sun is hot.
Today, we start to speak the word peace.
Writing peace as a poem needs to first find
its form in its making. The ink can never dry
and we have to keep blowing on the paper.
Peace bring the act of living. Today,
I love my two year old and give him
a new toy car. Peace is the act of living.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Midlife Crisis


Another day and another poem. I wrote this one after reading the first poem of Pablo Neruda's first poem in Winter Garden on the bus to work. It made me reflect on my stage of life, middle age heading to old fast. Last night we, my church, served dinner at Ronald McDonald House. Since coming back from our trip Seattle Children's Hospital and their amazing Craniofacial clinic for my son's surgery, I want to  serve at our local RMH, out of gratitude for all that we were given. Last night, in the afternoon sun, we grilled hamburgers and exchanged stories, the currency of love. Children fighting cancer played, shooting baskets,
riding trikes and laughed. I was overwhelmed by gratitude.

Afternoon High Tea By The Beach 
     -A Reflection

On the shores of my afternoon of life, the sun
shines hot as it begins of its return journey
to the horizon of non-being. The palm trees
full of fruit: dates, children, friends and loves.
The waves announce the coming low tide.
The water remains warm and swish of surf
Deposits more sand, adding to my land.

Lace, my love, watches as the my son Tito
plays in the sand of possibilities. I have passed
the beginnings and passed the pretending
the what I will be that marks the early morning
of life. The angst of midmorning is but a memory
to bore grandchildren around the life's evening bonfire
that is sure to come. I am comfortable in prayer,
in work, in poetry. I preach of love once a week.
I have tasted the good.. Ah, the afternoon of the 40s,
50s, and 60s, time of ritual high tea, of coffee,
and good conversation. I refuse to listen
to the romantic siren call of a midlife crisis,
That foolish dream of retuning to surfing.
when the body is was strong, and the mind
tossed in turn in a search of prefect wave.

I know too much of love. Love. Love
as the breads of sweat form words
which I have lived into, spoken with knowledge
and judgment abdicated to the other
better than I. I am too grateful
to turn myself into a buffoon chasing
his younger self. Gratitude, my heart is
fill with the stuff. But enough of that,
the bell has sounded and its time
to return to work.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Daily Bread - Poem 14

Today poem written about finding joy our world of both suffering and love. 
Sieger Koder



Our Daily Bread

To receive life with joy,
that mix of suffering and love,
goes to the axis of prayer spinning
around the scared center.
Different from happiness,
that mixture of luck and lust,
joy declares thanks for the flowing
of blood through the topography
and heights of the body,
and for the breath filling our necks
with the air made of gases
of stars long age dead,
but alive in the cells of
our skin and bone.

Take the memory of the funeral
of my abuelita, my grandmother.
The man-tears of uncle Tito, too
much for him to handle, came
hard to the guy we all knew
as so strong and happy.
My mother, my aunts, her daughters
and my uncle Tito, her son, becoming
orphans, as destiny dictates.
Bitter at the loss, and lost
in remembering, they mourned.

I prayed to Jesus to receive
my abuelita's spirit in front of them,
the ritual of grandchildren,
funeral homes and Masses.
I recited a poem by her favorite
poet, Pablo Neruda that sung
of fallen light, wells of darkness
and of patience in fishing for the light.
The black of their clothes
brought no comfort. But
remembering the stories of her life
made her alive. Suffering and life
mixed in our narrative
and she lived in her absence,
such joy. Joy reciting the story
in a tone of thanks.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Murdoch and the News Of the Week - Day 13

Here is today's poem for the 30 day challenge. Day 13 and not even half over.





Murdoch and the Dragon – A Tragedy

Sing of the great man of gossip, Murdoch.
Sing of a tale of woe and sorrow. He,
the man, who spat upon power with contempt.
Sing of him who found the well of blood
the public, that dragon, loves to gulp from. Sing,
of how he pored more and more from the buckets
of titillation and black ink, and images to quench
the dragon’s thirst. The dragon fire, Murdoch blew.

The seduce by sleaze, he founded his kingdom
as knights against the elites. His power grew.
The public’s thirst grew, more blood was needed.
His stories told of private lives and he whipped
the powers under him. Three families later,
and movies, news, TV, and Iinternet, the wiley fox
commanded presidents and prime ministers.

The bowed to him, for gossip had made him King.
His minions had their numbers, their phone numbers.
Each knew to bow to the man. Palin, Blair, Bush
they all kissed his ring for his was alchemy
of boobs, right wing and a faux outrage that fed
and forged the public opinion. Such was the King.

But the public wanted more of gossip to feed
the blood lust. Gives us more than politicians,
for we know they squeal for vanity’s appeal.
Give us more than peeking at celebrities drinking
and parading in their undies. Give us more
than outrage, give us blood. The dragon
grew and grew beyond his control.

Then he fed it the life of innocents. Missing
children, worried parents, morning parents,
and the dragon turn. It wanted now the blood
the man, Murdoch. Old and weak he fought
but the dragon talk and shouted for his blood.

He gave it the News of Week, and still it
Wanted more blood. He gave it friends, editors
And colleagues, and still it went after him.
Soon he will feed it his son, but low, the dragon wanted
more."You are the elite and I want your blood now."
the dragon shouted. It soon will feast and tear
the flesh of the old man, Murdoch.
:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Sacred Act of Eating - Day 12

A Popov's painting hanging on our wall. Landscapes are spiritual
 Today's poem was written on the way to work on the bus. 30 days of poetry with a full time job is fun.


The Sacred Act of Eating

We grow by eating our landscape.
Consuming most of will change the landscape
into desert. Sand taste dry, indeed.

Many times we no nothing of the landscape
we eat. Metal shacks with dying red
heifers, conveyer bets of progress’s
procession producing the latest omega 3
tainted tasteless treats. But there is a lot
of us to feed what is to be done?

We will soon be up in the mountains,
hunting red, purple, and even pink little
globes of heaven. In the wild,
among beers, moose, and elk, they
grow in patches. The roots reaching down
to my wife’s family to before the Eugene
Debs, Dale Cargnigy and Teddy Rossevelt.
The large berries are around the next ridge.

That quest for the best berries existed
long before we went hunting. Season
of life, measures in great berry summers.
1983, 2007, and others were great years.
Huckleberries the size of cow knuckles.
Freeze in May in 2011 made for subprime
berries, little and few. Illusions of control
mark the hunting berries. These mountains
have hosted the human hunters of berries
since the time of Jesus, most likely
longer. Here is the wonder.
To taste a freshly pluck berry
makes the the landscape come
alive in my body and I give thanks.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Middle of Just One Day - Day 11 of poems

I took the day off so my wife could clean for a friend's house. I got the joy of being with my son, Tito for the day. This day will one happen once as all days only occur once. No new insight, I know, but one that has to be realized every day. This poem just came to me hanging out with my son. Somehow I think we have forgotten how to live face to face. Martin Buber's famous quote from I and Thou: "All real living is meeting." has been sticking in my mind like bubblegum. Meeting my son, meeting my God, meeting the heat of the summer, all reveals real life.

The Middle of Just One Day

Drinking the day of heat, he stands
with his head facing up toward the sun.
He gulps from a recycled water bottle.
The pomegranate molasses laced water pours

down his neck, and he remembers,
the Hebrew words for neck and soul
are the same word. Neck and soul
are interchangeable for God’s chosen.

His son runs around with plastic
forged in shapes of red, blue, and yellow
cars. In the distance a railroad sounds
and the little boy, startled and happy,

Yells, “I hear Cho Cho ... listen. Cho Cho...”
Joy pores off the brow, arms and legs
of the man and the boy. The wind blows like
the spirit’s breath on this hot day, clover sprouts

in the middle of the grass lawn. Three summers
alive, the boy learns new words and sentences
everyday “plum, jet plane, honeydew, crayon,
and I don’t like it” and forgets the real. We are

all destine to forget the real,
the man thinks. He picks up
the big wheel, the cars as it is
time for boy’s nap.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 10 poems



 
Stories Told in Delight

Run, oh king without a kingdom.
I found my father’s grandmother
was driven out of a Parrel for love.
I was born in Parrel and the town
lives for me in myth. She betrayed her
first husband for a soon to be second.
The first found the second sharing
a bed with his wife. The shotgun
pointed but no shot was fired.
After he chased the second away,
he pleaded for answers and when
none satisfied, he threw out his wife
into the world. No children, so the paper
and the rumors were all that was needed
for the divide. Crossing the town
in the storm of delighted gossip
became too much to bear, the nails
of outrage of the ladies wearing
a dying Jesus around their necks
became the latest way of fighting
the tedious life a ranch town.
The new couple, disgraced by scandal,
and immortalized in romance
ran to the North for escape. The victim
of love also so left, cuckolded
and ashamed. No shotgun large
enough to cleanse his bed. My father’s
father returned from the land of fallen
women to the cousins, aunts and uncles
his mother left behind. The story remained.
Told in terms of novels, poems and
legend. The unfaithful wife in flight
for love. Another marriage and then
my father was born and given
the story of his grandmother’s passion
in schoolyards taunts, in kids play
and dreamy girlfriend’s questions.
He never trusted my mother.
After twelve years and three children,
I his youngest, and he ran for fear
of the runaway woman. He ran for want
of being sure, a servant to a story
a king with only tears. Why
did the story end with me?
I was forty when I heard it
from my sister that I never knew
I had. Stories needs us to be kept
alive.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Song of songs: day 9 poems

This is the first love poem I have written in the 30 days challenge. Almost a third of the way through the challenge before writing a love poem. I think I have been afraid of love poems because of vanity. Readers are disappearing and love poems might make it worse. Love, while the most intensive form of life, has fallen out of favor. Love does not help in chasing material goods and getting the trophy wife of the Donald Trumps are beyond love. Only women that a man will treat as a real woman is woman of love. The Song of Songs is the Biblical collection of love poems and strangely beyond the American habit of turning everything into a consumer good. 

Ode to Love Poems in Land of Ads

In the line of men,
hungry and forgotten, I know
I must love you. I must love
beyond the hatred of the fat minded 
who mock my tracing the curves
of our history.  Our country
has gone broke
in searching for poverty
of seeking wealth.  Listen,
love us live elsewhere than store
shelves. Our son, our sharing
of biology, pomegranates
tickle of mingling colors. I am
different from the ten years
shared. I still cannot find
the  right word for the shade
of your eyes. Aqua is too green.
Blue too blue. And what of golden
ring slowly outlining
your pupil. I am a student
of your seasons of the shades
of your year. Darker red in
winter as the spring
blooms grass, your hair lightens
with blonde flakes to the colors
of fallen autumn leafs. Only
love that takes me over and
changes my lead into
precious metal, purifying
the poverty. We are poor
in love and life became a graveyard
of expansive expensive homes
in foreclosure. Yes, we are
poor in Spirit. Yes, we need
to refine the memories
of truth. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hemmingway’s Ghost - Day Eight

Today's poem needs no commentary.



Hemmingway’s Ghost

I dare you to read this but you won’t ....
as I wish I could write like Hemmingway, Ernest not Mariel, in those lovely short sentences that don’t burden a short attention span reader with long drawn out thoughts of trying to capture the minnow darting like workings of the mind short on attention, which can make the reader remember the time they went skinny dipping with the opposite sex for the first time and try hard not to notice the emerging differences, but never diverting the attention to the task at hand of telling those stories of bull fighting, big fishes that didn’t away, but dissolved in food for other fishes, (and what was the symbolism of that: darkness of always losing, I am not sure of ever going fishing again as smell of dead fish is not all that pleasant) of war heroes and expats in Paris acting of parts of bad soap opera, and yet the sun never rises on my mind to stop short as it goes on and on and on on trivial matters like the bus being late this morning and me being short in the wallet have no money for a simple Starbucks coffee and having to settle for hot water filtered through cheap grounds from home; making the morning short of anything but misery and dread, all the while wishing that I could write like Hemmingway . Heaven is sad.

Today, I tried to write.
I failed.
Hemmingway weeps.


Commentary 
While the writer,
which of course is me,
makes an attempt at humor.
An astute read will notice
that the above poem is a joke,
written in the style of László
Krasznahorkai. By taking the most
extreme form of anti-Hemmingway
style and ending with very short sentences,
he hopes to dig at the writer.
Which one? Hemmingway? Krasznahorkai?
Himself? All three? It is unclear.
What is clear, though. is the poet,
which is me, maybe a bit too
pompous for his own good.
Maybe the writer of the poem
Is just playing. No one can be
Certain, not even the writer,
which is me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day Seven - Brooding rejected

Here is day 7 on 30 days of poems and the readers have evaporated. I have notice that poems are no longer respected.  Maybe they have become too much thehome for self-importance brooding or shallow love. I have those crimes on my wrap sheet, so I must complain that others must read poetry? Such calls to eat green peas will meet with hiding poems in the dinner napkin only to meet their end in swirl of a toilet later in the evening. The plate will be emptied but the spirit will be left unfed. Listen, do not read poetry because it is good for you. We need the dance of words.


Gratitude

The crowd gathered and spoke
the ritual chant, “Why have you wasted time?”
The fingers of the man formed a harmless
pistol and answered in a guttural voice,
“Purr-uee” The finger falsely jerking
back in a pretend recoil. Waste time,
how ... by chasing riches of the entangled
bodies, metal created to roll past others,
leaving them in awe and jealousy, and
donning clothes with names of designers
chasing the same dreams. Is this wasted
time? The man was asked to repent but
did not feel like it. Though he felt
the eternal jadedness of turning into
lifeless jade, hard, green and beautiful.

The chant return in the shaken dust off leafs.
The man, now a father, again demands
to be left alone. “Waste time,” the audacity
of such a cry. He has the memory of a son’s birth
and the big wheels in the lawn. He jumps
again on furniture, kisses his wife and eats
uneaten chicken nuggets. Still the chant returns,
and returns like a child’s series of whys. Finally,
he curls in expression of a tight fist and shouts,

“Leave me being, dark and brooding spirit.
I have no time for you. I am too busy eating
Tomatoes grown in my backyard, of drinking
Coffee with friends’ faces as company,
And finding the new aches of middle age.
There is still too much of life to be lived. Be gone
Until you return in the midnight of my life
When I a weak. I know the truth beyond
Your hymn. Leave me for awhile. For the truth
Is in the dirt from the great ages that have passed
And will pass. It is in the rings of trees. It is
Here for me to hear in a tonality lost song:
Truth: time wasted me.”

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day Five of Poetry: High School Reunion


 I got a Facebook notice that my high school class is staring to plan for our 30 year reunion I found both a dread and the itch of nostalgia forming within me. The dread I address in the poem below. It had nothing to do with anyone who will actually be in the reunion, but a multiple source dread with its roots in reflection, death, and the question of what creates the good life. Question that the below boy (me in High School) could not understand. Questions that I am beginning to live into understanding.


The Bullies

The thin ice of reflection freezes enough
in the cold of a High School reunion being
planned to hold you from the fear of falling
into the dark waters of remembering. I fear
the bully of my youth. The one who will laugh
at my life when I return, even as he never grew up.
His dreams still wallow in the mud of unknowing. 
It is he I fear most.

Distance in time and space creates a blackhole
of accounting from one’s life. No so much
for those once friends, enemies. and acquaintances
who are, in reality strangers wearing faces
you vaguely remember, but for the judgment
of the teenager you once were. It is he, the bully,
and his dreams and his pettiness that holds
you at knife point. Have we measured up
to the sweating dreams under the cap and gown
of the kid we were? What could he have known
of the melodrama of death, or of the drift
of age, or even of having failed his dreams.
I failed his dreams, but his dreams needed
to be rethought through like a Chem 1 experiment. 
Dreams of the young and foolish will fail,
I see his face faintly see it in my mirror.
He could not know how much love 
of my family: wife and son would
change me.

Can we march to that dream of returning
10, 20, 30 years later, triumphant in conquest.
As if an ending zero means much of anything.
Then comes the realization that our numbers
diminish with next parties zero. 30 years
and the first of us are having grandchildren.
The loss of hair, of eyesight, of steps
balanced by the gain of pounds, of regrets,
and yes, triumphs. The real bullies are the wrinkleless
people we were. The hall dances with them.
The wear the ugly yellow band of hall monitor,
disappointed with our tardiness. He, my
bully of memory wedgies lacks the mysteries
of love, of time, of fate. Faith has to be lived
into. And this, and this, and this is the secret
the secretes from our lives lived, and
eludes the boy bully. He played games
with only assumed rules of his making.

The truth bully fails to notice in his
mocking of my life. I have seen more than
that boy had imagined. I have shed tears more
than the bully had laughed. The flow of blood
that makes the love is beyond that boy
I was at any age.