Archive for the ‘poem’ Category

Fishy, fishy, swimming around

April 26, 2017

Fish

Fishy, fishy, swimming around,

in the site and in the sound;

what venturesome hand or eye

could encode thy swishing symmetry?

From what current, sloshing seas

did you swim aground ‘neath GMO trees?

On what slickery limbs did you then crawl

to spy out land and stand up tall?

And what shoulder, and what art

could twist the sinews of thy heart?

And when thy fins began to crawl

what encoding hand did guide it all?

What the software? what the mode?

In which startup was it written, your code?

What bold investor? what venture tax-free

dared to make investment in thee?

When companies tossed out their dividends

and water’d the world with their vested friends:

did they rejoice their work to see?

Did them who wove the web weave thee?

Fishy, fishy, swimming around,

in the site and in the sound;

what human hand or eye

could create they swishing symmetry?

Glass Chimera

Oh, Give Me My Naivete Any Day

April 5, 2017

Oh how naive we are!

We people of faith,

we God-believers,

Let us glory in our mental density!

Oh, how the erudite people of this world

do reign so smartly over us. Oh how they excel in their

proficiencies. Let them revel

in their victory!

Praise be to the savants who

have got it all figured out.

From geologic ages hidden in the mists of time,

they have creeped and crawled and

uprighted themselves from the muck and

the mire. They have propelled themselves in their

homo erectus mobilities and they have evolved

ever so incrementally

in their homo sapiens profundities

not to mention their post-modern

efficiencies

while we fairy-tale tellers grovel in our

religiosity and our neanderthal

naivite.

We stand stupefied

in amazement at the sight of sunrise/sunset

while we mumble prayerful phrases from

of old

from the mists of our antiquity

and the annals of our simplicity, such as:

Oh Lord, my God, You are very great;

you are clothed with splendor and majesty,

covering Yourself with light as with a cloak,

stretching out heaven like a tent curtain.

He lays the beams of his upper chambers in the waters;

He makes the clouds His chariot;

He walks up the wings of the wind;

He makes the the winds His, flaming fire

His ministers.

He established the earth upon its foundations.

Oh what simpletons we be!

So chauvinistic and simplistic to believe

such anthropomorphic allegority.

Oh what mumbly-peggish muck we maintain when we insist to proclaim

all this ancient metaphoric modality,

while nowadays

every educated erudite knows

that PreCambrian begat Cambrian, and all that Paleozoic jazz,

which worked itself into Triassic and Jurassic razzmatazz

and so forth and so on through Mesazoic, then Cenozoic

on into Paleolithic and Prehistoric Man

who persists in doing whatever he can

in the wake of Pleistocene ice

which is nice and will suffice

to explain a lot of glacial turbidity

and anthropologic historicity

instead of anthropomorphic naiveté.

So we see eventually we evolve along

without a prayer, not even a song,

in the midst of Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon arcanity,

destined for humanic profundity

through  Mitochondrial  Eve,

not Adam and Steve

with no assistance from above

while meanwhile push cometh to shove

except an occasional shower or two

a shower for me, a bath for you.

And hey,

if I’m a simpleton in this my childish view,

what’s it to you?

Huh?

At least I don’t say um between every word,

stalling,

so as  not be interrupted by my esteemed colleagues.

Please forgive my simple revery,

amidst my disprespecful levity

as I was a-saying,

‘though maybe its more like praying:

You covered it with the deep

as with a garment;

The waters were standing above the mountains.

At your rebuke they fled, at the sound of Your thunder

they hurried away.

The mountains rose; the valleys sank down to

the place which You established for them.

When every school boy nowadays knows

that such Genesic biblical prose

is just some old Mosaic tale

of Noah, and Jonah in a whale?

Really?

Be that as it may, I insist as I persist:

You set a boundary that they may not pass o’er,

so that they (the floods) will not return to cover Earth.

When every school boy nowadays knows

that if we don’t stop these  carbon-spewing  shows

then the polar ice will melt,

polar bear will lose his pelt

and all the coasts will flood

with climate change like spewing blood

and life as we know it will come to an end

only to begin again

just like the good book predicts

in spite of all our international edicts.

Selah.

And Rah ra, sis boom ba.

On the other hand,

ice is nice and will suffice.

Glass half-Full

March 14, 2017

March 14, 2017

Why the Diagonal, y’all?

TreeDiag

Because it’s the shortest distance

between two

points?

or

because what goes up must come

down?

or

to break up the conformism of these trunkated

lines?

or

because it

snowed?

or

because this old tree was just ready to begin its

fall?

DiagTree

or

because its time had come, y’all?

or

because that’s

all

she wrote

or

maybe it was just the final

call,

from seed to tall

from spring to fall.

It could happen to us

all,

y’all.

From seed to fall,

that’s all?

Prob’ly not,

I do believe.

SeedEating

You?

Glass half-Full

Tear me up.

March 7, 2017

FalnTre3

Tear me up, life,

just tear me up,

stomp on me if you want to

pick me up and throw me ‘cross the world.

I don’t care.

Go on now,

get on with it.

Watch me like a hawk,

and when I’m at my tenderest,

most vulnerable point,

pounce!

Take your best shot!

What you do not see

is the One who died for me.

His sacrifice has made all the difference,

and will yet again

when I rise with Him.

So just get along now.

Go find someone else to pick on.

You think I don’t see you.

But I do.

And I will.

IrisB2

Glass half-Full

Deer February

February 1, 2017

DeerMrn

Yesterday morning the deer passed through;

first there were four; then there were two.

The deer in the snow made a beautiful scene;

compared to the world, they’re much more serene.

DeerTwo

Today came differently, in a fiery surprise

as the sun shone magenta, over the rise.

The news today brings greater probability

unborn babies will get life possibility.

Selah.

Sunrise

Glass half-Full

Home, home on the Strange

January 23, 2017

PlotSqr

Oh, give me a home where Americans roam

where the donkeys and elephants still play,

where seldom is heard, a fake newsy word

and talking heads are nice to each other all day.

How often at night when the talking heads fight

in the light of a flat TV screen

have I sat here so sad, and yes, even mad!

at the downfall of American dreams.

Yes, my Home, home’s way out here;

here in flyover country so dear,

where manipulated stats, and alternative facts

don’t mean diddly-squat all the year.

Oh give me a home, where civility’s not gone

where we still have a song and a prayer

where seldom is heard, a vindictive word

and for alternative facts we have not a care.

Glass half-Full

A Woman from the War

January 13, 2017

I think it was several thousand years ago that we heard about a war between the Greeks and the Trojans. And this collective memory in our mankind memory bank is evidence that this war thing that we hear about– and sometimes catch a glimpse of while others of us jump bravely into the fray–this war thing has been with us for a long time.

Now it is not very often you meet a woman who has spent 28 years in the US Army, but this is what happened to me yesterday.

I walked into a room where some folks in my hometown were gathered for a certain purpose, and at the end of the meeting I met Lieutenant Colonel Lory Whitehead. What she had to say seemed important to me, so I gave her some money and she handed me a book of poems she had written. This is what happens in America. She had something to sell, and I bought it. And when I read the little book of poems it knocked my sox off. May we always be so free to exchange information without censorship and without meddling from whomever is surveilling at any particular place and time.

I’ve never been in the military, but I know people who have served us in that way. I have no understanding of what these brave souls go through; but because I read Lory’s collection of letters, memoirs and poems that she collected over almost fifty years, I at least have some feeling about what these people go through to defend our freedom.

I was born in 1951. But about ten years before I came into this world, there was one hell of a big war that happened on this planet. While growing up, I learned about it in school, and every now and then I’d meet someone who fought in it, but it wasn’t until much later in life–like about a year ago when I began seriously researching a different war, the war that dominated the politics of my youth. (You know the one I’m talking about.)

Twenty years before we got into Vietnam, when the Big War was going on– the one where we drove the Nazis back into their holes– most of us Americans who were alive at that time, early 1940’s, banded together for the purpose of winning the damned thing.

At that time, women played a large part in our collective effort to defeat the Axis powers (Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Emperor-worshipping Japan), but what the women were doing then was not much connected to combat. You’ve probably heard that old song from the period about Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from Company B. That song, always sung by a female vocal group, is closely associated with the role of our women during World War II–to mostly act in supportive roles, Stateside.

All that changed (like everything else) in the 1960’s when women became more and more directly involved in our military endeavors. By the time of Desert Storm, women were taking some combat roles.

Lt. Col. Lory Whitehead’s poems include profound reflections of her experience in war, most notably in Kosovo.

What I would like to bring to your attention today is a poem that whe wrote and published in her 2014 book, reluctant warriors. The poem I have selected is: mama’s two hands. I never in my life thought I would read anything like this, but as it turns out, I have read it, and perhaps you should too. Read ’em and weep.

mama was a soldier, her right hand

knew how to hold a salute

and had learned to fire

handguns and automatic weapons,

even grenade launchers

that strong hand waved men

forward as she led them

into harm’s way.

and covered her eyes in pain

at memorial services

for fallen comrades.

mama was mama, her left hand

held a nursing baby to her breast

and was always available

to erase the tears of toddlers

frightened by loud noises.

that was the gentle hand, it pulled

errant children out of danger

and toasted the living

at weddings and christenings.

poor mama, it was often difficult

to keep each separate hand

in its proper place

and always the right hand

would be envying what

the left hand was doing.

RelWarrior
(Copyright © 2014 by Lory Whitehead)

Reading a poem like this made me realize just how much the world has changed, even in the time-range of my lifetime. And this world is still changing, probably getting faster and faster. Because: while humans have always been changing, modern technology has enabled us to step up the pace of change, exponentially. I’m just hoping it does not spins out of control beyond repair.

Nevertheless, if our world does ever spin out of control, my ultimate hope is in Christ, which is to say, God. Not any man, nor woman.

Smoke

He be smooth

January 2, 2017

Boss man Barack  he come striding in ’09

like buffed up bees’s knees on a slickery dime

he come glidin’ in on rhetoric and cool

he be together, ain’t no fool.

He say Watch out! you tea party duds

he drives ’em crazy til dey stuck in the muds

Now time come he say see you later

He be cool. He be Smooth Operator.

SmoothWet

Now the Donald he be smoothie of a different kind

though he look like bull in china shop some time

now he flaunts his assets like they going out of style

he be big cheez cuz he gots a big pile

Watch out! you lefty whiners he taunts

there’s no end to his assets he flaunts

with flapping big mouth like wild alligator

yet he too be a Smooth Operator.

Now here’s the thing:

Though Barack look like he from the hood

he got his ducks in a row real good.

Now here come the Donald like a bull from the stall;

he act like he know how to take charge of it all.

Look to me like Obama be crafty and cool,

while the Donald be pushy and cruel.

It look to me like age of Statesmanship be gone

as another Smooth Operator come struttin’ along.

Glass Chimera 

A Poem for Christmas

December 24, 2016

Chrsms

Every Christmas season that comes and goes brings an emphasis that is different from previous years. This year’s discovery is something called a “Christmas market.”

This term, which seems to indicate a market that is in some way unique to the Noel season, a market that is more joyously conducted, perhaps, than just any old assemblage of vendors selling stuff. I first pondered the phrase while reading sad reports of the murderous bus driver at the “Christmas market” in Berlin. A day or two later, while Pat and I were skyping with our daughter, who is in Europe, Katie mentioned that Christmas markets are “all over the place” over there.

This Christmas eve morn, I was sitting in the chair by the tree,  listening to Handel’s Messiah, and wondering about the Christmas market phenomenon, and how it might be different from just any old walmart or kreske store. In order to learn what it is, I thought I’d look it up. But suddenly, a star shone brightly in my brain and I decided to write a poem about it instead, without even knowing what a Christmas market really is!

Oh Christmas market, O Christmas market free,

How lovely are your goods to see!

Though not in session when summer’s here,

You’re only in the Noel time of year!

Oh Christmas market, O Christmas market free,

How lovely are your figs and pears to see!

Oh Christmas market, O Christmas market free,

How festive Man hath profited from thee!

Thou biddest us to all buy faithfully,

Our trust in free enterprise, consumerly!

Oh Christmas market, O Christmas market free

How enterprising  Man hath been with thee!

Oh Christmas market, O Christmas market free,

Thy giftings gleam so, so brightly!

Each purchase doth add its tiny part

To make our economy glow and spark!

Oh Christmas market, O Christmas market free,

Thy prosperity doth shine so,  so brightly!

Oh Christmas time, O Christmas time so holy,

Thy nativity’s obscured now almost wholly

by buying and selling of so many services and goods.

We would buy them all, if we could!

Oh Christmas child, O Christmas child,

Where art thou now in this world so wild?

But hey! What light through yonder darkness breaks?

Still through our dark markets shineth

The everlasting light.

The thoughts and gifts of all our years

are giv’n in Thee tonight!

Feliz Navidad, Jesus!

Glass half-Full

Riggedy Rigged, Jiggedy Jig

October 31, 2016

Nevermore

Once upon an election dreary,

while I desponded, weak and weary

over many a banal and boring

email of Clintonian yore,

suddenly there came a tapping,

as of someone gently rapping,

rapping at our nation’s door.

My mind was wobbly, cluelessly wobbling

when suddenly there came a goblin,

as some terrible beastie toppling

toppling down our Rule of Law!

Screamed the raven, Caw! Caw! Caw!

Screamed the maven, No more Law, No Election Law!

Then quoth the maven, Rigged, Rigged!

And quoth the raven, Jiggedy Jig!

And then I saw it, in media gone wild

with citizenry by hearsay now defiled

as Comey’s call flew through  the door,

Our Elective legitimacy cometh Nevermore!

How this happened, I am not sure.

I only hope we’re not beyond a cure.

But as the storm rolled o’er our news-tossed shore,

I heard  again, the raven, Nevermore!

I mean, um, I woke up.

It seemed like the eye of the storm had passed. But then this past weekend we started to feel it– those first ominous stirrings of a fierce backwind–phase two–the last rumblings of a frightfully destructive political maelstrom.

It was Hurricane Donilldary swirling up again from the dark depths of our dysfunction; so soon doth it roll again and again like bungling banshees o’er the coasts of our confusion, until the end, November 8th, the very end.

Highly unstable air–blown up between Donald’s hot bluster and Hillary’s cool cloud’cover– now takes control of what used to be an orderly democratic-republican system for  presidential selection.

Makes Watergate look like a walk in the park, McArthur’s Park. Someone left the cake out in the rain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWFHVBnR7G0

I don’t think the Weatherman faction could have come up with a more destructive gunpowder plot for blowing up–or at least hopelessly confounding–our constitutionally-established electoral process.

I mean, it has been like this:

The Donald railed loudly that the thing was rigged, carelessly casting, like,  acid rain on the wild winds of our discontent. But then, like the scary surprise ending of a Hitchcock movie, we open our jaded eyes to find, in the final (week) scene, that maybe it turns out to be the Hillary who, on the morning of 11/9, perches accusedly at the doorpost of our darkest fears, and there she calls out, caws out, repeatedly, frantically cawing,

Rigged! Rigged!

So While Comey’s last-minute disclosures in the background then do fade,  America’s confidence in the rule of law then fades,

to charade, a giga-question mark tirade,

of fear and loathing from near and far

While squawks the Raven, Bizarre!, Bizarre!

And Anonymous hackers call Who’s the next Star?

of this, our ghastly ghoulish game,

which no constitutional precedent can tame

and who’s the next candidate for our feathering and tar?

Guy Fawkes couldn’t have plotted it better.

We read it in a subpeona’ed email letter.

Quoth the Maven from afar,

so Bizarre, so Bizarre!

Glass Chimera