Archive for the ‘poetry’ 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

The Tower and the Ball

February 4, 2017

Out in Berkeley Cal they have a big sculpted ball;

while The Donald building in Chicago is straight and tall.

Berkball

Notice  the Berkeley ball has a chunk out of it,

while The Donald building is a gleaming megalith.

ChiTrump

The blown-out ball suggests anarchic demising,

while the skyscraper implies  capitalist uprising,

We note here in the devolving USA today

we have two different extremisms now on display,

The Berkeley cadre’s unrest has unfurled

as the Donald crowd is getting up in the world,

Some Trumpist whacko named Milo came to speak,

so the lefty radicals in Berkeley had to freak.

In fact the Berkeley riot had gotten so violent

that the talking TV heads could not remain silent.

The Righties said it was instigated by Lefty Professionals,

while Lefties blamed it on Whitey Right Radicals.

Both sides are flinging the fascism word,

to the point that now it’s getting absurd.

In reality however the fascist delusion

stalks us through both Leftist and Rightist confusion.

So whether you’re grabbing power and wealth,

or radical revolution inflicted by stealth,

the real question’s do you plan to kill and maim,

or does your strategy retain the law and order game?

If by the sins of Hitler or Stalin your impose your will,

We the people will oppose you by the rule of law still.

Of dragging us down that murderous path–

don’t even think about inflicting your wrath.

Whether you’re destroying by hook or by crook

we will defeat it by throwing at you the book.

Smoke

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 

The Snowbird Lesson

December 30, 2016

When I was a child in Mississippi, we had a book about birds of North America. For some reason, I know not what, I became fascinated by a certain bird that was pictured therein. It was the snowbird. Being a boy from the deep south, I had not seen much snow, which was a rarity where I come from.

Perhaps that rarity factor is the reason I was fascinated by the picture of the snowbirds in my little book.

Now I’m sixty-five, and living in the Blue Ridge mountains, which can be quite snowy this time of year.

Early this morning, December 30, we did discover the first snow of the season, and I have to tell ya– along with the whitey flakes the snowbirds made their visit known to us.

Snowbird

Later in life, When I had become young man, I became fascinated with a song called “Snowbird” that was a hit on the radio at that time, 1960’s. It was a tear-jerker tune, sung perfectly by a lady known as the Canadian songbird, Annie Murray.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pq9bHd58-LA

“Snowbird” is a sad song about unrequited love.

“When I was young, my heart was young then too. Anything that it would tell me–that’s the thing that I would do.

But now I feel such emptiness within for the thing that I want most in life’s the thing that I can’t win. . .

and

“The breeze along the river seems to say, that she’ll only break my heart again, should I decide to stay.

So little snowbird take me with you when you go to that land of gentle breezes where the peaceful waters flow.”

. . . and yet, beneath the poem’s cold mantle of forlornness there is a trace of hope, a mention of “flowers that will come again in spring.

As it turned out, in my life the flowers did “come again in spring.” Those misadventures in love that later became a flood of heartache ultimately were buried in the fertile ground of life’s demands. Not only were seeds of new love sewn providentially into my life, but those seeds have yielded new flowers and more seeds.

Yet still, “the snowbird sings the song he always sang, and, as it turns out, eats the seeds always needs.

The snowbirds visited our house this morning, and wow! did they have a feast!

Snohello

Those little critters are much like the two humans–my wife and I–who find much joy in providing seed for them during this snowy season. There’s Snowy on the ledge, and his wifey down in the tree:

SnoMates

Thanks to love and marriage, which go together, you know, like a horse and carriage, or like . . . snowbirds and snow, my life has turned out to be a love feast instead of the festival of the broken-hearted that might have been, had not a wonderful loving woman come in and changed all that lovesick blues to pure white marital love, 37 years of it.

I wouldn’t trade marital love for anything in the world. It’s so much better than the broken heart that might have become bitterness. Thank God for true love that is lasting and faithful.

Here’s another version of the song, “Snowbird,” as recorded by the songwriter, Hank Snow.

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBwqqH0LTyI

And here’s a parting pic of little Snowy with his Finchy friend.

Snowb&finch

Glass half-Full