SUNDAY VERSES #13

3 WINTER HAIKU

Winter ice on trees
glitters like festive tinsel
under morning sun

***

When days are shorter
fiercely blows the winter wind
piling snow in drifts

***

Frigid air on skin
Persistent chill burrows deep
Winter wet and cold

sunday verses #11

4 haiku for the end of Autumn.


(12/01/21)
Leaves begin their fall.
Colors changing while you watch
autumn's rich pageant.

(11/27/19)
Cold, dark, windy night;
trees shudder; dead leaves unchained 
make fierce their escape

(12/01/21)
Distant in the dark.
Sweet sounds the soft piano.
Music in the night.

(12/01/21)
Chill'd, damp autumn night.
Sleepless bare trees sway slowly.
Unwrapp'd, expos'd heart.

sunday verses #10

(untitled) 1/29/19 1AM

… with bigoted clam-shelled-shut heart
pinched accusation and fervent digit all gesticulation
their unctuous moral fortitude no reverence for creation
razes the standard none can achieve
happy to fail, happy to fall 
into the boiling cauldron of righteousness
reason lost

Who will avail the good, decent, compassionate 
and forgiving soil?
… planting seeds to each grow its own kind
fruit bearing and fruitless
watered by streams of untethered acceptance.

Virtues are best left in deep shadows
where they are not exposed to the light of…
…haughty self-aggrandizement,
bleached by self-promotion or discolored by false humility….
… left in the heavy darkness when eyes close 
and sound fades to sleep…
… perchance to dream.

sunday verses #9

HOLES IN MY CITY   (2014)

There are holes in my city
where buildings used to stand.

Empty spaces are all that remain
where factories made my world.

A dream that never was
cannot be remembered or built upon.

There is no foundation 
there is only dust and wind.

Remembrance is only a delusion
sickness of mind and soul
for a community that is trapped
in its struggle to free itself from nothing.

There are holes in my city
where buildings used to stand.

Places where people lived
where the voices of children could be heard.

Now there is silence
even the ghosts don't linger here.

Some say silence is golden
but the same silence can drive a person mad.

There are holes...

sunday verses #8

PLAYERS SONG (date unknown)

what you lookin’ at?
what you laughin’ at?
what you makin’ fun of?

the end has come 
lights gone down
crowds are gone
strides across 
this sawdust clown

baggy pants
dirty shirt
worn out shoes
treading through
another broken town

hotel room
lonely bulb
peeling paint
dingy and dank
inhabited mold drown

what you lookin’ at?
what you laughin’ at?
what you makin’ fun of?

the naked man 
in the bathtub
smokes a cigar
wearing the painted 
face of a clown

milky surface
soapy water
shimmers like diamonds
one deep breath
he’s sliding down

what you lookin’ at?
what you laughin’ at?
what you makin’ fun of?

warm wet meditation
wraps up the man
mind quiet, at peace 
distant thunder 
smoking cigar lifeline 

rising up
paint-stained flesh
reveals the man
washed renewed naked
suffering reality frown

what you lookin’ at?
what you laughin’ at?
what you makin’ fun of?

sunday verses #7

11/6-11/16/21

EYE OF THE STORM

Dark brooding
sadness and anger
storm clouds swirl all around me
warning and threatening 
A shadowy pretense of power

I see the rain like spit from the heart
of those who should know better
pummel and drench and flood
loosing all the foundations of decency
get trampled in the mud

I hear the wind
roaring out of the mouths of fools
nostrils flaring like steeds being driven by demons
tearing and stripping away 
wounding and destroying all that was built

but I stand in the calm
sun blazing, giving countenance
to the peace within me
a centered solution to the storm
the hardest place to be

rage on, rage on o’ storm
you will not defeat me
I am within you and without you
and will remain until you sputter out and dissipate 
all your venomous energy wasted

---------------------------------------------------------
Ephesians 6:13 "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."
Some times just being able to STAND is all you need.  
https://youtu.be/zWhDbkTmJHA

sunday verses #6

POEM FOR LATE AUTUMN (*composition date unknown most likely sometime between 2007-2009)

Skeletal beauty
Parade of bones
Rooted in mire
Grasping heaven

A bridge between divine and profane

Waiting for winters blanket 
Redemption in white
Covering past sins
Peace and rest in a season of sleep

*while I don't remember when this was written I do know it was inspired by a line "snow falling, falling like forgiveness from the sky" in the song "Darling Christmas is Coming" by Over The Rhine from the album SNOW ANGELS (2006)
https://youtu.be/IinpwBPwRZI

sunday verses #5

10/27-28/21
ENTER THE EVENING

A shadow crept across early evening.
As I was retrieving the mail
I stopped in my tracks and looked up. 

A thousand wings whispered across the autumn sky
in undulating murmurations of velvety simplicity.
None collided with the other but danced a ballet 
in perfect synchronicity across heaven.

The tinted hues of sunset;
royal purple and brilliant orange painted
against a dark blueing background.

Even the cricket at my foot that stopped its chirping
and, propped up against my shoe, 
seemed to look up in amazement.

A pair of local chipmunks scurried about in the chilled air
foraging for nuts and berries to store for winter -
oblivious to the magic in the sky.

In one step I had travelled 
from the reality of a chaotic and stressful day 
into a calm, quiet and peaceful evening.

sunday verses #3

 UNTITLED  4/24/2021

We are living in the time of parables and revelations
choosing sides
retributions
morality plays
we are “everyman” 
we are the evil that haunts our reality
passport economy 
buy and sell 
only if you carry 
the number of the beast 
innocuous as an inoculation 
tremors and terrors
of the soul 
as those who are weak from fear
strike out and seek control 
of the courageous
their souls listing off the coast of truth
drowning in their desperate 
thrashing and gnashing of teeth
marching and clawing
up the mountain of victims
they create
toward heavens inverted hell
fear of a zombie apocalypse
the walking dead 
if we look at the soul
it’s already here.

We consume media
we consume ourselves
we consume everything
humanity’s legacy on earth will be our consumption
we’ve lost too much to turn back now
in the past our consumption was tempered
tempered by 
“out of stock”
“special order” 
“import only” 
cash shortage
but that has changed
online everything is available
all the time
any time
for a price
on credit
with our very own pay pal
we forgot the payback
we forgot the shark will come 
hunting for what is owed
the environment
culture
social
religion
politics
science
all will come hunting
and haunting
enslaving
for what they are owed.

sunday verses #2

WE ARE MEDIA (10/02/2021)

Welcome citizen,
WE are Media.
WE are message.
WE are massage.
WE are information masturbation
That you WILL enjoy.

If you do not believe
                what WE tell you to believe,
And if you do not act on
                what WE tell you to do,
Even though WE show you 
                only what WE believe you need to know,
Even though WE show you
                a heavily redacted, edited, one-sided view,
Even though, when WE do show an alternate view
                it is completely ridiculous, unbalanced and unbelievable,
Then, you are a bad citizen.
A bad and corrupt member of society.
Suited only for OUR censorship.

Dear citizen,
You and WE both know that you, 
A mere individual, 
Are incapable of making an informed decision.
Information is power that WE control for you.
WE simplify the information for you.
You are free only when WE say you are free.
WE have done all the work for you.
You may now bow down and thank US.

You're welcome citizen.
We are Media.

https://youtu.be/sfCLt0kTd5E

sunday verses

Toilet/Potty Poem (10/2021)

Sitting on the toilet in
Solemn contemplation
Staring at the shag rug
Covering the Autumn-chilled tile floor

Faces and shapes emerge
Beasts and people
Both fantastic and frightening
Revealing themselves
Emerging in the trampled fibers
Of bare footed traffic
Before I roll them up
To erase their existence
In the reality of life's washing machine
Like shaking an etch a sketch
Re-setting the tabula rasa of imagination

Tower of Babel

TOWER OF BABEL (19.8.21)

you turn on the TV
blah blah blah
you turn on the internet
blah blah blah
you turn on your cell phone
blah blah blah
our tower of babel moment

everyone talking 
blah blah blah
people listen only to what they want
blah blah blah
preaching to the choir
blah blah blah
our tower of babel moment

we live in a versus world
us vs. them
black vs. white
police vs. everyone
republican vs. democrat
vaccinated vs. unvaccinated
Christian vs. Muslim
enemy vs enemy
against the other
our tower of babel moment

when we speak the same language
we speak different languages
we’ll go our separate ways
enlarge the distance between
our pride shamed
our arrogance wounded
our tower of babel moment

otherwise, we can do anything 
together

----------------------------------------------------------

What if this passage is not an "origin story" on the evolution of language but instead an allegory on human arrogance and it's consequences? 
Genesis 11:1-9
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech....
They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.  That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

CHAFF IN THE WIND

I remember when Saturday 

Felt like Sunday

And I was dreading Monday

Feeling like I’m strung out on junk

(Which I never tried) 

I was strung out on life

(Which I couldn’t escape)

And it wasn’t pretty

I hated my life 

The world I lived in

Staked to the ground

Face up in some tribal ritual

Eye lids propped open

Waiting for the sun to burn me blind

I just wanted to die

But couldn’t

Feeling rejected 

Outcast, judged and ridiculed

Was it done to me? 

Or did I do it to myself?

In the back of my mind

In the shadows of 

What I remember myself to be

I felt there was another side

I just had to get there

But the road was dark

There was no light to light my way

Shadows loomed large and mean

In my withdrawal

Happy is an illusion

And I wanted to get lost in that illusion

But knowing the magicians secrets

Is it possible to ever enjoy the magic again?

Are these fancy words for a poem,

A memoir or just letters jumbled with meaning

meant to get lost and scattered like

so much chaff in the wind

something fishy

I once saw a fish

washed upon the shore.

I stared down as it lay 

on its sandy grave

taking its last breath

then stepped away

as the seagulls came

tearing away at the carcass.

 

And I thought.

This is the best we can hope for – 

not to be remembered – 

but to provide for whatever comes after us. 

Knowing, like the fish,

when to live

and when to die.

 

The older I get

the less optimistic I feel.

Fantasy is for escape,

reality is for living;

however unpleasant it may be.

yet 3 more haiku on death & dying

No more dreams to live
Heart stops, brain ceases, life ends
A cold grave welcomes

*********************

Freedom on the wind
A bird will fall from the sky
Its heart beats no more

*********************

And when the end comes
Can there be beauty in death?
Flowers in the snow

3 more haiku on death & dying

Ending transitions
Matter to anti-matter
Life turns into death

********************

Flesh will decay fast
When life is present no more
Bones will decay slow

********************

Circumstance unknown
I know neither time nor place
When death comes for me

3 haiku on death & dying

When death comes to call
Alone I will fade and fail
remembered no more

************************

When the body dies
Software will be deleted
And hardware destroyed

************************

Autumn to Winter
All life has been drained away
Dry leaves in the fire

even more haiku on lightning, rain & thunder

Weathers town crier
Thunders crashing box of rocks
announces the rain.

*******

The pink noise of rain
With distant lightnings white noise
A cool breeze for sleep

*******

Music in the night
This ambient symphony
A chorus of rain

3 more haiku on lightning & storms

Restless dreams at night
Toss’d ’bout on flashes of light
Ships on stormy seas

*******

A thunder not heard
The storm can’t hide its approach
Bright lightning flashes

*******

The quiet of night
Static on the radio
The rain comes lightly

3 haiku on lightning

Across the night sky
A visual symphony
Heat lightning flashes

*******

Disturbing the night
Punctuating the darkness
Heat lightning dances

*******

Dark blanket of Night
Heavens dome with light flashes
White doves in dark skies

diamond in the rough

we are diamonds
born of the earth
the diamond does not understand the jeweler
the diamond seeks to defend itself
against the jeweler’s knife
we struggle to hang on
hang on to absolutely everything we can about ourselves
not realizing that every little bit that is cut away
reveals a facet of the inner self
the diamond only sees
a piece gone here
another piece gone there
another hit, another blow from the chisel
piece by piece it sees itself whittled away
and it is afraid
for it cannot yet see it’s shining glory

coastal haiku

gulls flight in the night
coastal lights guiding their slumber
humans haunting sounds

————————————–

seagulls on the prowl
dive-bombing at lunch in hand
McDonald’s french fries

From The Coast

knowing when to make someone’s day

knowing when to
“make someone’s day”
means not being selfish
like knowing when to give
when not to give
being sensitive about what you say
when you say it
and when not to say it
knowing when to do nothing

knowing that to
“make someones day”
means knowing when
to leave them alone
alone to their own devices
alone in their misery
no matter how much it
bothers you to do so
there are just some things
people need to work out for themselves

Knowing that if
you don’t leave them alone
you may make their misery worse
knowing that if you help
help them figure things out
they are being forced
to deal with their problems
in a way that may be unnatural to them

knowing that “being there”
may be all they need
your presence is enough
your gift is your silence
your gift is not the answer given
but the question shared
your gift is the answer
discovered together in their time

knowing when to
“make someone’s day”
means that sometimes
the less you do
is the most you can do
the best thing to do
and that’s okay

knowing that sometimes
we have this wisdom
sometimes we don’t
and it all depends on
how “invested” we are
in any given situation

ramblings on suffering

RAMBLINGS ON SUFFERING (6/21/19)

Of all living things
the most fortunate are
those who escaped….

I saw a still-born hippo
floating in a pool,
it’s legs reaching to the sky
as it’s grieving mother swam, circling around it.

Why did the opossum cross the road?
Did it not see the car speeding onward?
Now just another memory of life
flattened on asphalt.

There’s a black man hanging from a tree, like my savior,
with a sacrilegious cross burning in the yard.
The sounds of wailing through tears
mocked by fleeing hooded jeers and laughter.
And I’ve seen a black man stopped by police
because of the color of his skin
Unjustly harassed, searched and thrown against the car
only to find nothing.

My dear Ophelia, drifting underwater
what was your last thought
watching the last air bubble, wobble
and rise toward a liquid sky?

To a woman: Did you feel free
the moment you jumped
from that high blue bridge
and flew toward the earth?
The broken red wings of your spirit
spilling through your cracked skull
onto the pavement one summer morning.
Your twisted body, lying there
in front of me behind the wheel,
on a street called North when you went South.
The subject of a undisciplined and indiscriminate passerby
who just had to wiggle out of her red van,
before the police arrived, get up close
and take a photo with her cell-phone.

The mosquito gorging itself
on the blood-feast of its host
takes no notice of the hand that will kill it.

The fly for all it’s many eyes
still cannot see
that it feeds, mostly, on shit.

Does the flower feel pain
as each of its petals fall until
all that is left is a withered stem?
Does the tree feel pain
when its limbs are stripped from the trunk
during the storm or when
this living thing is cut down
by the chainsaw massacre of deforestation?

I’ve seen wild mice care for the injured young in a nest disturbed.
I’ve heard the piercing, shrieking squeal of injured rabbits.
I’ve seen the Killdeer risk its life to distract a predator
and I’ve looked into the sad, fearful eyes of an unloved dog.
I’ve seen a deer hit by a car get up and limp away
only to die by the side of road while looking back
as if to apologize for disturbing traffic.
I’ve seen a butterfly with a broken wing
clinging to hope while wishing it were back in its cocoon.
I’ve seen the fish
stranded too long on the beach
its glassy eye blinded by sunlight
its gaping mouth filled with sand and
its scales sticky with death

In Alaska, I found a cassette tape
by the side of the road
the middle of nowhere
the wilderness, no one around for miles
wet and muddy, its case cracked
I don’t know what made me
pick it up and take it home.
I let it dry, cleaned it, rewound it and carefully placed the tape in a new case.
My proud first attempt at restoration.
Then I put it in the player and pressed “PLAY”
I was assaulted by the sounds of thrown objects
hitting something and someone,
cursing, screams, cries, anger, hatred, vicious argument,
begging and pleading.
There were no names.
Only he
Only she
and the sound of a crying child hiding in a corner whimpering “please stop”
Threats and the dull sound of fists hitting flesh
meting out punishment where once there was love.
I sat listening. Frozen. Unable to move.
As the sun set I cried.

I’ve smelled living death
The stink of blood mixed with piss
as the cancer-fill man stood naked by the toilet.
His unbathed pasty flesh clammy with sweat.
He is too weak to bathe himself so I have to help
as I try to disguise my gagging reflex;
and I wonder if this is what the mortician sees, feels and smells.

And I’ve smelled the death of a slaughterhouse
the mindless cruelty and knock of a thudding blow
to the head of a cow with a stunbolt
the still live animal lying helpless, it’s throat now slit,
blood gushing in rivers onto the dirty, stained concrete floor,
the twitching limbs of a dying years supply of hamburgers and steaks.

I’ve even smelled the death
of a carcass in the hot summer sun
at the dumping grounds of livestock no longer “live”.
Cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, goats piled indiscriminately
the rotting remains, not yet destroyed
lying in an open trailer to a buzzing soundtrack
the pungent waves of nauseating stink
this unmovable feast for flies and their maggot young
The bodies juices oozing
from the rusted corners of the container.

I’ve heard the uncontrollable impulsive
wailing of the living that accompanies
the release of the recently dead

Maybe I’ve seen too much
Maybe I’ve heard and smelled too much.
Maybe I’ve even said too much.
But of all the things that have touched me –
Have I let them move me?
Or do I stand in shock,
immobilized by the glare of oncoming lights
that are driven by forces beyond my control?

I sometimes wonder
if the luckiest child is
the one never born
into this world of suffering –
and of those already born;
if the most fortunate ones
have already escaped
the suffering that is yet to come.

REJOICE! it’s what we do

REJOICE!

Humanity will become

                      a slave to its creation.

REJOICE!

Just as God became 

                      a slave to humanity.

REJOICE!

Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

REJOICE!

I sometimes feel sorry for God.

REJOICE!

Maybe one day our creation will feel sorry for us.

REJOICE! Again, I say REJOICE!

imagination and practical reality

Imagination And Practical Reality
(6/11/19)

Where are the words
that have escaped me?
All I find is an empty wire cage
I hear the fluttering of wings
in the darkened corners of the room
Yet I see nothing clearly
vague inferences and impressions
opaqued shapes
undulating slowly
in a heavy pre-dawn fog
Yet I am happy

And once the sun rises
and the fog is burned away
all will be made clear
Without mystery
Without inspiration
Forgotten worlds
Like the man who looks in a mirror(*)
and when he turns away
immediately forgets what he looks like
Left to wander
groping in the clarity of
the harsh light of day
Lost in the multi-sensory overload
Writing without understanding
the words on the page
And I am sad once more.

 

*  James 1:24

What Happened To My Country? (this messy slam poem)

What Happened To My Country?

(5/2019)
What happened to my country?
I feel like an alien in my own land
where everything old is new again
old arguments
new context
the earth is flat
we never landed on the moon
the return of nazism returns and
white supremacy, nationalism, dictators
abortion rights
suppression of the press
the end of free speech
power of the gun
more walls fewer bridges
tiki torches over electricity
more bombast less wisdom
voter suppression
denial, deny everything
forcing yes by saying no
lie, lie, lie like there’s no tomorrow
the holocaust never happened
domestic terrorism rules the day
a normality of school shootings
armed teachers
corporate kings keep half of America
addicted to opioids
never once asking if they should
they knew they could earn a ton of dough
from the drug trade
so they would
act now apologize later
Is this the death of America or just democracy?
the all-you-can-eat
brimstone and treacle buffet

Every moral notion I’ve EVER had
is being crushed by
the people who taught me
everyone has their religion but no one believes
religion is politicized, weaponized and bastardized
everyone is talking
no one is listening
technology moves forward
while humanity falls
faster backward

Where are the lovers the haters have killed?
we pray for ourselves by cursing others
we pray for our kind and curse differences
as if only we matter
sameness perpetuates division
diversity has become a word
to bring attention to our differences
not the things that unite us

Everyone wants to be Goliath
the bigger the better
determined to change history
but they forgot David won the war
believing they can turn back the clock
moving forward in the delusion of progress
taking a life synonymous with birth
the rights of the living aborted for
the rights of the unborn, the nonhuman,
the corporate, the government, the powerful
the dog serves its master
the worm serves the fish
and the pigs shit everywhere

America, where is your
o, beautiful for spacious skies?
when did the battle hymn of the republic change?
Now we only trample through the vineyard
where we grow our own grapes of wrath
and prepare to loose the lightning
of our own swift sword
beating the drum to war
unnecessarily we forgot the
beauty of the lilies and
Christ irrelevant born
forget about his glory transfiguration
it’s just you and me

(sung) Glory, glory hallelujah
Glory, glory hallelujah
glory, glory hallelujah
only the lie is marching on

America America
God shed his
onward christian soldiers
white privilege freedom thieves
now crown your good
white brotherhood
from sea to shining sea
and Jesus doesn’t love the children
all the children of the world
red and yellow, black and white
white are precious in his sight
that’s not the way the fucking songs go!

Hopefully artificial intelligence
will be ‘cause actual intelligence
seems to be the victim of extinction
let there be peace on earth
and let it begin with
someone else

FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!
God will not intervene!
even God wouldn’t deny the freewill
that humanity denies each other
God knows no borders
yet the rich and powerful use God
to force crisis borne of political expediency,
build walls and wage wars

Protect the money
grow the money
protect the money
grow the money
say it with me
protect the money, grow the money!

there is no happy ending here
man may have been made in the image of God but
God is still an extra-terrestrial alien creator
killed by its own creation
just as humanity will be killed by technology
the thing it creates
there is no rapture
the second coming came and went
it’s hard to imagine heaven
when all we create is hell
God damned humanity and
only humanity can save itself

I’m sorry if you were hoping for
words of encouragement
words of hope
words of inspiration
this vessel has been emptied and
washed clean
ready for a new beginning
let it begin
let the day begin!

On second thought
I think I’ll leave it empty for awhile