Posts Tagged ‘life’

Ignite It

Posted: July 16, 2017 in free verse, poem, poet, poetry, writing
Tags: , , , , ,

It’s time to rid the page of the negative
and gently scribe the positive.
Somewhere deep within the jelly of the mind and skull,
shaking there, quivering there within it.
A small spark is firing,
a spark waiting to be fueled,
igniting a more good thought.
The combustible will come from outside it.
It will be a kind word,
the purr of a cat,
or noticing the beauty of young unblemished skin.
The fuel is everywhere.
Let that small moist spark ignite it.

DSS

(An oldie but goodie)

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July, it feels like a new start or it feels we are reaching the end. July, the seventh month, the half way there to the end. Was January that long ago? Is December that long to come?

We plow through the month like a carton of cigarettes and we are chain smokers. Leaving the remnants of ourselves, the ones we love and our work in over-filled ashtrays. We are all different. There are the smokers and the non-smokers. We all have our used up leftovers we leave behind.

We non-smokers have our own useless disposed of hours and days, too. Whether we treat the month like a case of Aquafina, Budweiser or a damn giant jar of Pistachios, we consume the days and at the end of the month what we have to show for it may be just a few dozen plastic bottles or aluminum cans for the re-cycle or our ashtrays are only filled with green tinted lightly salted nut shells. And you that suck on sunflower seeds all month and spit out the hulls on the pickup floorboards, I have no sympathy for ya. You probably only have a month of mess to clean up.

July, we always start it out with fireworks, red,white and blue, good intentions and picnics and end the month with the garbage cans full of watermelon rinds, potato salad and the drive-way covered with black burnt spots that don’t wash off until we find ourselves in the dog days of August.

July, a very hot and messy month. It’s not like any of the others. It is really hard to get anything useful done in July. An interesting month of time.

E

 

My “first”, we have all had our “first”. Just name it and hopefully you have had it. Nothing better than getting our “first” done and over with, no matter what or who it was. Which “first” immediately came to your mind when you first read this? Now just because something was your “first” doesn’t mean it was a pleasant experience. I remember my first beer with my old man.

On a very hot July afternoon, I was cutting weeds on my grandmother’s farm with my father. I came upon a very thick elm tree sprout along the fence line that the hand scythe wouldn’t cleanly cut, so I began to use a small hand saw. On my first stroke, the saw bounced  across the limb and landed squarely on my finger at the base of my thumb nail. It cut deeply into the flesh and nail.  The pain on my thumb and the sight of white bone made me a little sick and woozy. I asked for a drink of water, which we had just ran out of, so my father gave me the last cold can of beer in our cooler.

On that hot, humid day, I remember the coolness of the can and the sound of the crunch of making the two triangular holes in its top with the beer can opener. (Yes, before “pop-top” cans) I took a long, long cool swig of the Hamms and immediately got light-headed, sicker at my stomach and threw up.  That was my first beer with my father at the age of 12.

Not as good of an experience that you would dream, of a young man’s first sharing of a beer with the old man, but I do remember it distinctly and perhaps a little fondly. As I stood there, bent over, spewing and ridding my stomach of my over accumulation of the contents of that day’s water jug and its first introduction of beer on a hot day, my old man says “well it is too hot to waste it that way, if you aren’t going to finish that beer, I will sure as hell finish it for ya”. He threw me another rag to wrap around my thumb and we left for town to get the stitches put in.

And yes, after he evidently smelled my breath, the doctor asked , “have you been drinking?”.  I belched. The Doc looked at the sheepish grin on my old man’s face and only smiled and shook his head.

OC

 

It is not that the events of the past few months are not interesting, bazaar and in the words of others, “totally unbelievable – unbelievable”. It is just me writing about them that would probably just make them a boor, or is it a bore?

It reminds me of an experience I had while an electronic communications specialist. I received a formal “squawk” via email, from a dispatcher, that many management names were also copied, informing me and they that a vital communications receiver’s audio was at an  “unbelievably loud level“. And he was requesting that the equipment be repaired immediately.  Since so many “higher-ups” were copied I responded promptly assuming that there was something very wrong with this very expensive piece of gear. After “repairing” the receiver, I replied-to-all this short report of the fix.

“Turned the radio’s volume control knob down to a more “believable” level”.

I received the most replies and accolades and chuckles from management on that single “repair” than any other that I’d done in my entire career.

I guess the point I’m making here is, we could use a lot less “unbelievable” adjectives and adverbs these days spewed from the Administration. And it would probably do the Country much more good if before a lot of huge adjectives are used and unnecessary squawking is done, perhaps things should first just be turned down to a more believable level.

E.

 

 

Among the tormented men of thought
Of the wrecking ball of what God has wrought
The confusing voices from men of vote
Scramble our minds by the words he spoke
They chew and spit and disagree
No thought left for just you and me
Only profit’s greed and rising stock
Big dividends exchanged for hardened locks
They lust for cash and Highest Office Space
The low of the lowest of our human race
Sells their soul for fortunes chance
Learns each waltz of the devil’s dance
Boast and lie, distort the facts
Pile the load on middle class backs
But to hear them rally rant and shout
Rich man scams those that must go without
As they go back to their little pink homes
He flies South as if it’s Nero’s Rome

E.

I was walking down the street last Thursday
and a dog with bright white teeth and a big smile
approached me from the right.
He said he enjoyed walking with humans and asked if he could join me.
I, a man of great tolerance, said OK, glad to have ya!
We had walked only a block or two and he starts sniffing the street light poles and fire hydrants.
And with that big smile on his face he raises his leg and pisses on one of the posts.
Shocked…. I said, “look, that is very embarrassing to me, to be walking with you and then
having you do that. people will think you are my dog and blame me for messing up the sidewalk.
And how can you do that with such a big smile on your face?”

He said, “Smile on my face? I’m not smiling, dogs don’t smile! I have an urinary infection!” Then he gave me the finger!

OC

I’m not rockin’, really.
Just thinkin’
A question or two.
Not really.
You probably want to know
what thing would keep me up
awake, rustling the bed-sheets
fluffing and re-fluffing the pillow.
Not about a dollar gained or lost
a love lost or dreamt of.
An aching back or swollen knee,
a boner
none of these.
A red digital clock flashing a new number
every 60 seconds
every goddamn minute.
Maybe that is it,
the minutes silently ticking away
without a sound, a shout
or fond farewell
just a goddamn flash
of a sequential number.
Can’t live with them
can’t live without them
clocks
so many goddamn clocks
reminding us of the passage of time
passing at the speed of light
The only way to slow it down
is to keep moving
the faster the better.
Or live in the millisecond
ya, that might do it.
stretch it out to a thousand pieces.
Ok, I’ll meet you downtown
at 6:01:23.003
Don’t be late.
I have not a millisecond to waste.

OC

 

 

Friday March 12, 2010

There’s an old fashion saying, “Home Is Where the Heart Is”. Perhaps I really didn’t appreciate the meaning of that until today.

After a two-week absence, spending all but two nights in hotels, I arrived at my own digs today. But the house was empty. As in, my wife was out-of-town. She is staying one more day with our children and grandchildren. As I reported yesterday, I was able to spend some family time with her and the kids Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. But I must regroup today and Saturday for a return trip to my project in Illinois on Sunday afternoon.

So now you may know what I’m talking about. I’m at my house but I’m not yet home. Home will arrive tomorrow in a red Prius with my wife. It’s funny because my wife believed home arrived today with me in a white Tundra. Home is a very complex concept that is sometimes hard to identify and keep track of. Although we were not in our house, we probably were more at home Thursday night at the middle school in Leavenworth attending Em’s band concert.

But we have been married many years and we have learned that we can adapt easily. I think you call it “rolling with the blows”. We have been very lucky to have raised our two children and now we get to watch our children as they raise their five and create homes for themselves.

Hopefully tomorrow after Marcia’s visit ends, their houses will be just a little bit less home without us. Just as ours through the years has become just a little bit less without them.

Such is the life of John

I approached a large green intersection sign and it said “Will Rogers Turnpike Next Right”. I have taken that tollway a few times and I have seen it on maps and I have just driven past it as I did last week. But I’ve never really thought about something. What I’ve never thought of but now seems so apparently ironic is this. Did the person that suggested Will Roger as the name for that tollway really know anything about him?

I have read a lot about Will Rogers and I have seen his films. His political satire is the best and very cutting. But he didn’t appear to give any politician a free ticket. Or a free pass or maybe you could call it a free toll ticket. He was the biggest promoter of a free public transportation system. But I now can’t help but think what Ol’ Will would have to say about having his name up in lights not at the movies theater but up in lights in the middle of a big 30 foot green tollway sign. And you may know some tollways in Oklahoma. You are stopped every 20 miles or so to pay another toll. Now I can’t help but think about how Mr. Rogers would be impatiently chewing his gum faster and faster searching for change before and after each one of those damn toll gates. Now that’s funny! I’m sure he would be writing about it in his daily newspaper columns.

Rest in peace Will, there are plenty of other things named after you, like airports. Oh my god! I never thought of that! What would he be writing about airports nowadays? Now that’s even funnier to imagine!

Such is the life of John

Deep down in Louisiana  *
close to New Orleans,
Way back up in the woods
among the evergreens
There stood a log cabin
made of earth and wood,
Where lived a country boy
named Johnny B. Goode
Who never ever learned
to read or write so well,
But he could play a guitar
just like a ringing a bell. *

“Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry

 

My name is John. I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s. So when the music “Johnny B. Goode” came out, I instantly had a new name.

February third ’59 may have been the day the music died in Clear Lake, Iowa but in St. Louis, MO, they were still singing about “Memphis” Tennessee  and still playin’ “Rock and Roll Music”. And things were just fine “Back in the USA”.

If there is a Heaven, Roll Over Beethoven” and listen, you’re going to meet one hell  of a Rock ‘n Roll Man!     And Ludwig, I guess even if you aren’t ready for this yet, your kids are gonna love it. **

We are going to miss you Chuck.

John

*  Lyrics from the Music  “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry
** Words roughly quoted from movie “Back to the Future”