On and On
Words are almost here
The sun sets
The moon lingers
The stars breathe
The hurt pales
The hope wilts
And Life stumbles on
20-year-old port wets the crystal
The big game is over
We hope the best team won
And a new dream presents
Invitations float off
Covington demands and calls
Mail and bills must be sorted
Gone the powder we might’ve snorted
Warrior cats claw and leap again
In 20 minutes begins afresh the rain
And Life stumbles on
It’s never what I meant
But you can’t text that
Clever coy advances
Seem always to fall flat
No cat to feed
Nor litter box to empty
But a caterwaul calls my soul
And a wild heart may still tempt me
As Life stumbles on
A Safe Place
I’ve lost that place to let a tear;
My heart’s gone to its safe place.
How could things go so wrong?
What new horrors must we face?
Barricades fall from Seattle town,
But nothing’s better, not at all.
I’ve no stamp for my letter
Begging to be allowed to call.
Things today sing with a minor key,
But youngin there’s just one thing:
Passion stills, for just a moment, the longing—
Yet loneliness in old age still prides its sting.
Did she survive the novel virus?
Will she return to us fully alive?
Glasses for all to share the sauterne!
Breathe the air! Dance! Sing! Thrive!
I’ve lost the time to shed a tear,
My words go without a decent rhyme,
The End: how will we deeply know?
What new pain unfolds with wrinkled time?
Come sing this song,
If you can feel Life’s Love
Then you’re welcome to come along.
Raise your sweet voice;
If you crush on the next sunrise,
Then you know that this joy is the best choice.
You, over there—
You’re my brother or sister, oh man;
Lend your heart and strength,
We’re all just doing the level best that we can.
Hey! you right here—
Take a chance to know:
That together the hate barriers will fall.
And, as One, United, we can make this Life Love grow.
Come sing this sweet song;
If you’re still in this, our Life with Love,
You know you’re most welcome to come on along.
Remember when we did as we pleased?
Now we’re wrinkled, gray, and diseased
With Rage that crushes any caring heart,
And drops us low to our knees—
There is no succor or understanding
For respite or for relief for any parents’ pleas.
Why do we think ourselves
Into such boxes of darkness
Into that snare of ever wrong turns?
To put down hard roots
Into a never loved land,
Grasping, with our heart that burns—
Another lost kite strung over a high tree,
Another lost thing we swore to safe keep—
Living a clueless life beyond what we hear or see;
As now I lay me down to sleep?
–Amberly Alexis Barnett’s body was found in an undisclosed location early Saturday morning hours after authorities began searching for the 11-year-old, who was last seen at her aunt’s house in Mt. Vernon, Ala.
Maple Leaf Dance
Faraway from the witnessing sun,
Escaped away from reproving glances of dead roses never sent,
Once dared think our love might grow,
But crushed beneath small expectation to answer for a knee unbent.
Loose laced shoes carry old feet forward on,
Stumbling with a book of ill written rhyme to find you there—
Polite as always but with nothing to add.
Assaulting the ramparts of indifference, I wonder if or should I care.
A frisson of longing ever lingers—
Some memories of dancing in our Maple Leaf Bar;
Happily ever after slips from old fingers
While an indifferent Moon grandly outshines any old star.
I find myself caught in the mist between maybe and the maybe not,
With this shredded rudder and a jib which fails at its level best.
Is life always so testable? Please let it be multiple choice—
As fat fingers reach for another glass filled to its crest.
Now with passing rains that’ll never leave any trace,
We’re all a part of this same tired joke—
All of us punching the tattered line;
Whispering guffaws our parents wouldn’t have dared spoke.
Randomness lingers without offering any answers;
Hope smugly rises, then fades like a chimera.
There’s a late train passing thru Folkston—
COTU waves warm and deeply into the camera.
Passion calls bravely:
No one ought respond.
Remember the days of Doctor Who
And those wished-for nights with Amy Pond?
The poem yearns for some fulfilling reason;
Something clever, poignant, worthy of being read.
Ha! Good luck with all that—
I’m virtually going back to Ashland VA instead!
Shouldna (c’est la vie)
Shouldna kissed her fast
Shouldna thrown that glass
Shouldna taken the road less traveled
Shouldna known to let it all pass
Shouldna went along
Shouldna stayed up all night
Shouldna trusted to chance
Shouldna let her pass from all sight
Shouldna made my point
Shouldna made it hard stick
Shouldna thought it’d all work out
Shouldna been quite so dammed thick
Shouldna trusted to luck
Shouldna gone to ground
Shouldna flown to LA
Shouldna left the lost and found
Shouldna quit my job
Shouldna ever let her go
Shouldna mustered out
Shouldna did so much blow
Shouldna listened to the gods
Shouldna listen to the Oh So Wise
Shouldna left New Orleans
Shouldna slammed shut both my eyes
Shouldna been born when I was
Shouldna believed in the mardi gras
Shouldna drown in the sorrow
Shouldna disbelieve in the power of tomorrow
Seeing you are a Goddess
It’s not that hard to see
You’ll be breaking hearts
Lovely in Yellow
Dazzling all who care to glance
Mongrels like me
Never get half a chance
Oh, but I can two-step
And Zydeco better’n most
Do you take your poached eggs
With or without whole wheat toast?
Allons aller a Lafayette
And cut up that old Girard lawn.
Chances linger gossamer,
And spit, they’re gone!
But I reach above my station;
I’ve learnt the pattern of the tiled floor;
But Life careens ahead
Leave behind Less, go for All the More
See You On Down The Road
Made it back home
Between the here and gone
Left the hugs all alone
And then cogitated on them tears
So many beautiful spirits
Sitting right next to you
If you’d only let a clue
In through all those clutched tainted years
Finished the timesheet
Liz needs them in by noon
As Love walks in cartoon—
Hey, that Guinness makes some handsome beers
Allman Brothers swear its true
Twixt the done and the doggone
Tangled up in the lost and the only one
Have you really met your peers?
But the neurosis pales in the wash
And now sitting alone all by myself
It’s not so bad up here on the shelf
I’ve a smitten merlot, cheers!
–last day FullTime Social Worker at hospice. Moving on….