Monday, May 22, 2017

Angel Tears


Oh

Will it ever stop raining?

Will the angels

Ever stop crying?

At least

Long enough for the sun

To

Shine!

So my tools

Will

Stop rusting

So my tools

Will

Start working

Because

The dollar is slim

On these

Long wet days

When you make a living

Working in the dirt!

Too much rain

Is far from refreshing

When the crops

Sour

In the fields

When

The mud soaked ground

Can no longer

Sustain them

When the ditches

That need

To be dug for a paycheck

Collapse from

Rushing water!

The car washers

The landscapers

The irrigation men

The roofers

Are all out of work

On days like today!

So

Here I now sit

Looking out the window

Into the black and blue clouds

With their

Thundering roars

And

Heavy sounds

Like Gaye Advert’s Bass Guitar

Rumbling its riffs on stage!

I sit watching flashes of light

And

Small pieces of ice

Fall from the sky

These angel tears

Have become

My judge

My jury

On

Days like today!

White crookneck cranes

March in procession

Off in the distance

Palm trees sag and drip

On their ends like hair

On a sheepdog!

Still waiting 

I think back

On

The drought years

How miserable

They were!

How they

Snuck upon us

Like a thief

Like a pickpocket

Stealing moisture

From the landscape

The sun scorched

All in its path

Relentless waves of heat

Turned

Crops in the fields

Lifeless and brown

Roasting them

Under the burning sun

Day after day

We watched

The earth dry up

It cracked and flaked

Like dead skin

Then blew in the lonely wind

Blew over equipment

Blew over rented out land

Blew over barbwire fence-lines

And

Cattle moaning for food

Then shadows crept in

And covered the ground

As clouds

Finally started to form

The windmill creaked

As the cool wind picked up

Then the rain came

And

Gave us relief

If only there was a balance

Too much

Too little

Can affect many

That depend on the weather

To survive



Friday, May 19, 2017

In The Beginning


The wolves’ teeth

Are sharp

Ivory daggers

Dripping

With

Bloodlust betrayal

A striking contrast

From what was shown

Yet

Is it really our fault

When we believe

What we are shown?

What we are told?

When we take someone

At their word?

When we become

Pawns or puppets

By lies!

By trickery!

We all see

What we want to see

In the beginning

Until the truth

Sinks its teeth into us!

Somehow

In some strange way

The bitter taste

Of

Truth

Comes as relief

In the form of reality

Painfully pushing us forward

Like fuel in a piston

Like food for your

Innermost thoughts

You awake one day and see

Lies are like sugar

Their taste becomes empty

In the end

Hollow

Transparent promises

Seen through!

Like a gypsy peering into

A crystal ball

You will see through every word

As if they were made of glass  

In time

Days become puzzle pieces

Linking together into a

Perfect picture that will be

Impossible to turn away from!   

Hollow gifts

Showing there fangs

Empty words

Empty promises

Swarm like bees

In the spring

Their honey

Ever so sweet at first

So tempting

Till the wolf

Gnashes its teeth

And

You see

The truth

In his smile

And all

Is balanced once more



Grunts


An old boss of mine

Once told me

“I work to pay you!”

I speculate

If you’ve come from nothing

And

Are struggling to

Make your way in this world

You’ve probably heard

Something similar! 

It seems to be

A favorite saying

Amongst business folks

To the grunts they hire!

Instinctively they sense the ones

Desperate for a paycheck

They know these folks

Will take all the abuse

Dished out to them

With a smile!

I say this with conviction

For

I’ve seen it happen several times

Over the past 30 years!

Not every owner is this way

But

The ones who are

Can be hard on the mind!

Yet

The soul grows stronger

With every promotional promise

Fed to it

Then taken away!

Every condescending remark

Lobbed at it!

Yes

The soul grows stronger!

Then there’s the owners

That have

Overseers

Managers  

That do their bidding for them!

The owner’s outside appearance

Seems as asleep and peaceful

As a Charles Perrault character

But they’re not asleep

And

Their actions or inactions

Have nothing

To do with the word, “beauty!”   

After a few decades

Of

Working these kinds of jobs

Your spirit will be unbreakable

Or

Broken!  

For years I drifted  

From

One dead-end job to another

Like Richard Kimble

In “The Fugitive”

I didn’t stick around long

When things became too much

My spirit would not allow it!

Make enough to survive and write

Was good enough for me!

Writing was what I was

Put here to do

My commitment

To the written word

To the craft of language

Was all that mattered

So every day after work

I would begin

A night of writing

Bringing characters to life

Collecting my thoughts

Like a child

Collecting their toys!

Looking back

I remember the truly good people

I’ve worked side by side with

And

I remember the bad!

I see how fast it’s all gone by

Like trains I now hear

Running in the distance

Outside my window

Their sounds disappear

Into the darkness of night

Like I soon will do

Falling asleep

While lost in the thoughts

Of

Today and the days gone by!



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

This World


This world

Is made by us

Absolutely

Lived by us

No one

But us!

Choices…

What will we choose?

Will we listen to

The all-knowing

Of

The norm?

The average?

Or

Will we listen

To our dreams?

Our hearts?

I say

Listen to our dreams

And

Listen to the dreamers

Listen to the words whispered

By the poets of the past

The poets of today

Take hold of your dreams

They’re speaking to you

And

Only you!

LISTEN TO THEM!!!

So many live

With thoughts and hopes

Of

The next life

Being the grandest

The mind can imagine

Or living with

Fears of forecasted fiery flames

In the hereafter

Without ever living this life!

Stop living with, the what if?

Simply start living!

For

If you spend a lifetime

Without opening your mind

Your mind

Will be

Just as asleep

In the next world

And

All the streets

Paved of gold

Will mean nothing

All the riches will be

As wanted as

30 pieces of silver to Judas

Once the rope tightened

And

His last breath was gone!

Find the true riches in this life

By being alive in it

Not just going through it

Hoping things will be better

In the next!




Monday, May 15, 2017

The Sunset Of Helios

I rest now
My back against
A towering tree
Breeze cooling
The sweat on my skin
Nothing comes easy in this land
Of
Briars and weeds
Thistles and thorns
Tangled vines
And
Cat claws
That tear at your flesh
But this day of work
Is behind me now!
As I stand to walk
Back home
Beneath
The sunset of Helios
I think to myself
Days like today
Remind me of my
Humble beginnings
Refocus my mind
On the chessboard of life!
For, your opponent, “This World”
Is clever and crafty
In its moves!
You must dodge its pawns
Its Knights
Its Bishops
Its Rooks
Its Kings and Queens
Take your hits
And
Move on!
Savor your victories
For, your victories are sometimes
Merely surviving
That day!
Yet
Never forget your days
Under
The sunset of Helios


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Artwork 2002


The Suwannee Walk


A friend and I

Went on a

63 mile hike down

The Suwannee River

We packed our gear

And

Hitched a ride to a place

On that mighty waterway

Called Big Shoals

Not far from the

Georgia line

North East

Of

White Springs Florida

I tried to make my pack

As light as possible

A few canteens of water

Matches

Light weight food 

A raincoat

Because in the dead of winter

Staying dry

When it’s 30 degrees

For hours on end 

Could mean

Not getting hyperthermia!

A hatchet

And

A Swiss Army Knife

Topped off my list of

Must-brings

And

Must-brings are everything

When everything

That keeps you alive

Is carried on your back

The one thing I didn’t bring

Was a tent

I knew it would add

Much weight to my hike

I gambled on

Not encountering rain

But that was a gamble

I would soon regret

Dropped off in

The middle of nowhere

A calm

Quickly draped over me

It lay softly on my shoulders

Reassuring me

I was in a far better place

Than the busy streets of the city

No cell phones

No reminders

Of the outside world

Except for the occasional Jet

Dividing the baby blue skyline

With its smoky white trails

That hug there above us

Like stick clouds of cotton

Long after the Jet

Disappeared from sight

That night

The fire was soothing to my cold hands

The soft sand by the river

Was as good as any bed

I had laid in before

At least it felt that way

After a day of nonstop walking

Sometime during the night

I woke to the sound

Of something close by

I shined my light

And

Scanned the river bank

I couldn’t see

What was making the noise

But

I did see

What looked like

A thousand eyes

Staring back at me

It was hundreds of spiders

I had never seen something

So amazing

Their crystal like eyes

Glowed like diamonds

In the beam of my flashlight

I clicked my light off

Hoping

They had somewhere else to be

Than crawling on me in my sleep

The next morning

I saw what was making

The mysterious sound

Raccoon tracks on

Each side of me in the

White sugar sand

It had made its way down

To the river to drink

Exactly where

I was going to do the same!

The water was stained

From

Thick Bottom Cypress

That grows near the river’s edge

Their gnarly roots pierce

The water’s surface

Like dull daggers

Jutting upwards to make

A forest of water stumps!

After filtering the water

I drank

It was bitter but good

We packed up and started

To walk once more

At midday

I saw a man near the trailhead

Dressed in a white robe

His bearded face was dirty

And

Lined with an

Expression of many hardships

Lived in his life

His eyes wore a rugged stare

On his shoulder

Was an aluminum cross

Plenty large enough to crucify

A grown man!

He was dragging it step

By

Agonizing step

The cross’s exterior was dressed

With writing from top to bottom

Scriptures from the bible

Written with

The utmost conviction

Bold lettering that

Screamed from the silent voice

Deep from within! 

We passed one another

Never saying a word

Yet

In some way understanding

One another’s plight! 

Once the burning sun

Had fallen from above

And

Disappeared behind the tree line

The day’s walk was over

Bats had awoke for the night

They darted around us

As we made camp

On the edge of a lake

We shared a cold can of spaghetti

Then slept on the ground

We were too tired

To even take off our shoes

About five in the morning

I woke to the sky opening up

Cold raindrops stinging my skin

We grabbed our packs

And

Made our way to an overhang

By now

My friend was running a fever

We were roughly

26 miles from his truck

Which had been dropped off

The week before

We knew if we rented a canoe

We could make it

To his ride by sundown

Then drive

To the nearest town for medicine

Walking up to the canoe outpost

Our faces dropped

With heavy disappointment

When we saw a sign

That read

“Closed for the month of January”

We sat on the porch out of the rain

And

Thought of what to do next

Suddenly an old truck

Spotted with rust

Drove up in front of us

A man stepped from the cab

His skin was burnt brown

From years

Under the hot Florida sun

He was one of the shop owners

After we explained our situation

He was nice enough to rent

An old canoe to us

If we promised to bring it back

We did

And

Off we went down stream

In the drizzling winter rain

Dripping ice water

From the sky

6 hours and 26 miles later

We arrived

Weary and worn out

On the banks of

Suwannee River State Park

After setting up camp

We made our way into town

For medicine

And

A hot meal

The cars and lights

Seemed so foreign

After 8 days

Of

Living off the grid

They blinked and glowed

With

A lush luminous luster

After getting supplies

We

Stopped at a pizza joint

As the waitress took our order

A woman with eyes wide

And

Constantly combing over us

Walked over

And

Handed me a coupon

“You boys need this more than I do!”

I guess we looked homeless

We hadn’t had a bath in a week

And

Had been sleeping

On the wet ground

Sick

Tired

And

Dirty

None of it mattered

For

We were free for eight days

From the constant

Whirlwind of the civilized world 

And

Had survived

That shadowy river

Called

The Suwannee




From my book, When The Cedars Shade Your Grave