A Tribute to the Fools I Know, May God Forgive Them

Fools laugh at ridiculous jokes
About things they pretend they don’t control
Simultaneously affixing blame and credit
Upon some mythical God
To whom even they don’t pay homage

I watched the sunset last night
Thinking it might well be my last
At least theoretically
Not in a remorseful or resentful way
But in the frame of mind I was born with
That open pure mind seeing life afresh

I thought about the fools I know
Asked them to forgive me
For taking such pleasure in the sun
Slipping past the horizon
Landing smack dab in my heart

The Liar

It’s not just his evening drinking
Drowning out the make-believe day he lived
It’s how he sees himself, or doesn’t

It’s the endless anesthetizing lies
That strip him of his real skin
Leaving just the flawless plastic sheath
He draws around himself every morning
As he mindlessly shaves at the mirror

He doesn’t get it
That life is much simpler, and definitely easier
Than keeping all the lies straight
Like the thick noose about his neck
He claims is a Charvet necktie

My only regret is I haven’t the guts to tell him
People like you best when you’re real
And that they smell bent truths, like rats
Crawling from a liar’s rectum
Desperately trying to get inside you
To turn you into something you’re not

He keeps looking
Stumbling through the shadows–
Over the mound of empty bottles in the kitchen
He hides there–in the bottles
Swimming down each one
Hoping he’ll find the truth
At the bottom of the bottle, or anything
Even the cold, smooth white pine box
They’ll bury him in someday

I wish I had the guts to tell him
I’m just like him–
Lost, afraid, lonely
Seeking a way out of the entangled web
I’ve spun, and called my life
Maybe if I told him, he’d wake up
Maybe if I told him, I’d hear my own words
And I could be who I really am

In Defense of the Resistance

Always remember Grasshopper
Life definitely comes and goes
No “this or that” right or wrong
In the eyes seeing past it all

Being rich and famous gets you nothing special
No date with the ultimate queen
No special time with her father, and
No forgiving your countless speeding tickets

I’ve given up feeling sorry for anyone
Proclaiming they are “county commissioner” special
Someone demanding our obedience
Expecting our surrender to their misplaced sense of favor

Call me an idealist, or
Someone who just doesn’t cope well
With social injustice, or forsaken compassion
But every offense indeed deserves a defense

And in this case
You should know you’re dealing with
A 900-pound middle linebacker
Running the 100-yard dash under 9 seconds

Rain When You Want Sunshine

It rained this weekend, again
I wanted sunshine
In the yard, in my life

I didn’t curse God
I just felt sorry for myself
Too much rain in my life
Too many days without sunshine
Too many things slipping through my fingers
Lost and wasted chances
Spilling on the floor
Cluttering my life
Like the dump where we shot rats
When I was a boy with hope, and dreams

It’s not the rain that bothers me
It’s the dreariness, the gloom
The heavy gray clouds pinning me to the muddy earth
Covering up the dream I hoped could be my life

It Feels Over

It feels over
Like the best part of me has ended
Leaving little of what I once called my life

It feels over
More water under the bridge
Than waiting its time to flow

It feels over
Accomplishments, getting things done
A looking forward to tomorrow

It feels over
No need for a calendar to remind me
Of what I used to look forward to

I can’t help but wonder
If it’s something I did, or didn’t do
That drove it all away

Cell Phone Babblers

Mindless cell phone babblers irk me to death
Raising serious questions about technology’s role in our evolution
They bark, hiss, snark and cackle
In otherwise quiet city parks at noontime
Where gifted bird quartets sing spring into existence

Miraculously, you even find these nefarious twits
Along serene country brooks
The kind running the edge of remote pastures
Where halcyon cows wordlessly eat grass
Some days as much as twenty-five pounds
And whose digestion will surely suffer
Hearing the tinny voices of these squawking heads

Don’t get me wrong–
I own a cell phone
And use it when necessary
But never while sitting on the commode
At Chicago O’Hare Airport
One of few places
Where travelers can quietly enjoy the company of their own farts

A Tribute to Shirley Buck Welton

God always seems to know
When certain people should show up in our lives
That is the case with Shirley Buck Welton
An amazing woman, one hundred years young
Who signifies an undying passion for life
Not just life, but a rich and creative life

Shirley was also my mother’s name
Mom lived a short life, just 59 years
This Shirley, a more refined work of art than my dear mother
A deeper sense of who she is
And able to live that sense each day
That’s something to admire and emulate

Shirley’s blue eyes sparkle with life
Letting those she encounters know
That something beyond what we seek
Is embedded within us, deeply
Undeniably omnipresent
Unforgettably shaping us, and all we touch

Shirley showed me her Steinway piano
With her since ten years of age
Which will likely endure beyond in that special place
Where played piano notes linger forever
Feeding the reverberating hum of the universe
A sound only our hearts can hear

With these words, I honor my new friend Shirley
Giving thanks to her, and God for sending her my way

Trying to Sort Out

We try so hard, at times
even desperately seek
That part of us, appearing
so very lost, lonely, and
Often forgotten, yet
Always yielding unknown possibilities

No easy way, getting
to the right point, where
reality reminds us, that
the unknown serves the infinite–
That place we come from, and
ultimately end up

I look at the waning evening sky, which
always gives way, to
That some place lost inside us, where
not even memory survives, but
something larger beckons, till
darkness ends, and the morning sun shines

And some days, when hope gives out, there
is always a memory, ever so faint
That carries the day, and
Finally allows each of us
To march past our stumbling, and
Find a much better life

Discovering Spring’s Promise One Early April Morning

Spring’s back, her presence all about
Bluebells soaking up sun by the giant oak tree
Perky yellow daffodils lining the cobblestone walkway
Gossiping in the gentle morning breeze

Cardinals and robins know what’s ahead
Things we can’t foresee
Their sweet songs drift across the back woods
Poetry in honor of spring’s eternal promise

One can’t help but dawdle
Linger in the sunshine
Robin egg blue daydreams fill our heads
Carrying us off, another place and time

No escaping her contagious spell
Cast upon us, we dally
For just an instant, forget ourselves
Remembering things that really matter

A Sparrow Worthy of Honor

I watched him closely, as he watched me
Our eyes locked, just for seconds
But long enough to see his soul
That something wrapped about him
Like a sheer linen blanket
The sort of material grandma used
To make living room curtains
Light, airy, gently filtering light
Never blocking it
Or letting too much in

Once our eyes disengaged, I thought
He’s just a simple bird
An ordinary bird, wearing drab brown and orange feathers
Much like myself, I must admit
But there is something special about this bird
Certainly not his colors, or his official pedigree
And not even his choice of music
Some almost unknown Bach overture
Perhaps it was the fact, he called me by my name
And perched upon my right shoulder
That I believe, entitles him to some praise

Early Spring Promises

On this eve of first April
We cannot but wonder
Whether fools we are by nature
Or partisan glad tidings we keep

March has nearly passed
Just moments left to go
Before we turn the page
Another month we must ready to go

They speak of spring
Its renewing praises we sing
Yet monarch butterflies lie so far ahead
Warm weather surely awaits us all

Sometimes I sit in hopeless wonder
Wishing intermittent patches of sun
Could only grow
Filling us complete, inside and out

Spring of course waits no person
Not a one ever so worthy
And so I sit and patiently wait
Spring, its promises, never can break