Document Sample
(My Legacy)
Enjoy the wry and whimsical rhymes of an ancient poet trapped in modern times.

ISBN 0-9743640-5-3

First Publication January 2008 Published by Ethical Society Press Box 1813 Whitefish MT 59937

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the author, or his publisher.


Originally destined to become a crusading journalist or witty editorialist, Gerald Bosacker was forced by family responsibilities to abandon his part-time jobs and night school classes at the University of Minnesota, to work fulltime in the graphic arts salesman. There, his love of the well chosen word enabled him to become a successful graphic arts supply salesman who migrated upward, propelled by serendipity coupled with his tolerance and empathy for faulted people, to become senior vice president of sales for a large international printing chemical company. Promoted much beyond his ambition and capability, he jumped at early retirement at his first opportunity. Gerald Bosacker now lives in Arkansas, awaiting discovery of his social commentary skills. He has resumed his first love, weaving words into prize-winning poetry and surprising short tales that borrow heavily from the fascinating people he met in his world-wide travels. Bosacker has two novels nearing completion and hopes to finish them before succumbing to the expected innocence of old age. If you like his poetry, please encourage him at:


TO MY READERS A bad government can take away your money or deny you freedom. A false friend can impugn your characteror besmirch your reputation.A court can seize your property or lock you away from friends or family.Sickness or accidents can rob you of good health.Poverty can come to good people and good luck is unpredictable. Yet there is one asset that is uniquely yours and immune from depredation.What you read and retain, what you hear and hold, what you see and save are uniquely yours.Nobody can steal your accumulated intellect, or what you know. Once you have tasted freedom you will never accept slavery.

AT SEVENTY-EIGHT My friends and neighbors consider me poor But I’m more prosperous than I deserve to be. I believe their smug assessment is premature since they can’t know the contents of my treasury or count what values I amass to comfort me. Despite my years, enough wit must still endure so I can joy in creating more words of my poetry to secretly keep and polish for my investiture. Modern poetry would not be my chosen legacy, when compared to masters of rhymed couture.

MISSING DETAIL When monkeys stare at us and blink do they know we're their missing link, or do we just suspect they think? Do we look strange without a tail? Did evolution somehow fail, putting short tails on just the male?


A BEE IS! Remember when my words don't scan, a bee is and a fly most surely can, while ants exist but half the time, since truth distorts to make each rhyme. Critics dispute what words declare, for instance, bears, for sure have hair. These words ring trite and out of tune like showers in the month of June. My efforts might turn to modern verse since meters there, though sense is worse. When I'm vague, it's not deception, something's wrong with your perception. When my word, I rashly create, do not challenge or debate, don't tell me that the word is wrong, just try to sing or hum along. BEHIND THE LINES: Fun poetry deserves full grammatical and style latitude. They are fun to write, and always please the poet, sometimes more than the reader. I do display two word anomalies, but there are thousands to work with in our English language, and I will use them all before I >dye=. When I want a very specific meaning, I shop in my thesaurus for words with narrow, specific meaning. Obfuscation is more obtained with using short words with wide range of usage, than that esoteric word that means but one or maybe two things. Some poets write obliquely so their thought is mystifying, so readers can take elitist credit for pretending to understand. Not me! I write to be understood. If you don’t understand me, consult your dictionary and see why I chose that bothersome word. I write poetry because I have to, and if, what I create and think reads and tells well, I am greatly pleased. The only pleasure exceeding this patriarchal pride is praise coming from a stranger.


A CRAZY JEW Enraged Jews and Arabs compete for killings on their bloody street, The Jews insure the Arab's fate while Arabs spit out rabid hate, "You kill me once, I'll kill you more, with suicides, pre-empt your score. You do the math, then guess who lose when bombs go boom on prime time news." A crazy Jew once said to me, "let’s cut in half, our victory. if they kill ten, then five we'll do." We laughed at him, that crazy Jew. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Brothers of blood and circumstance, springing from the same region of birth but serving different Gods, hate each other with an intensity that no ordained God could bless or tolerate. Each act of violence breeds an escalated retaliation that seals both transgressor=s eventual doom. I dreamed a vision of de-escalation started by one leader, very wise and brave. Will such a hero ever be found, or be tolerated? The new Jewish nation formed in 1948 could have chosen to co-exist with Palestinians, but chose revenge and hate to be their unifying mantra. A DREAM OF FREEDOM This morning when I rose to greet the dawn, I heard two rejoicing doves, never seen before. What brings you out to dance upon my lawn, Are you thankful for pleasant days in store, joyful that a desecrating threat has gone? A cheery sun surveyed his new born world and did not seek a gloomy cloud to hide behind. I think he saw a flag of peace unfurled on streets where vengeful hate=s refined, and mankind’s trigger fingers came uncurled.


A CHOCOLATE CHOICE I shall never die of cancer, dark Chocolate will finish me, This self-destruction answer, won=t leave me deep in poverty. I=ll gladly let my waistline bulge, and not raid my pharmacy shelf. With Hershey poisons I’ll indulge and with kisses, embalm myself. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Although we cannot determine the cause of our death, except by suicide, which is too cowardly for almost all sane life participants, we can alter our destiny and limit the possibilities. I am not too cowardly to abjure suicide, but I am too craven to face slow deterioration and death by cancer. Bravo to those stalwart individuals who bravely face a slow lingering death, treating the depredations as life=s final adventure. I am not made of that kind of heroic stuff. At my first diagnosis of the dangerous or lethal form of cancer, I will embark on life threatening alternatives, although not of my own hand, which statistically could outrank carcinomas in speed and certainty. Motorcycle ownership, participating in occupations like Iraqi nation building with Halliburton, Hang glider activities and overeating are some of those free choices. My favorite pick is, over indulging my love of chocolate. This may not be more lethal, but think of the great pleasure in trying. Being a consummate canine lover, death by chocolate would be appropriate as that chocolate treat is poisonous to dogs. DIETARY GLITCH Good foods can fail you, it appears for healthy Jack Spratt would never eat fat yet she was widowed twenty years.


ADRIFT When slanting sail slumps slack, why blame the wayward breeze that hears not curse or prayer. You chose the course and tack, and begged the God of Seas to send you clement air. Who said that sturdy gale, would straight and constant last while fickle sea you roam. Was it wind who dared you sail, in breeze that calmed too fast, to see you quickly home? BEHIND THESE WORDS: I was watching a Television reality show where the host that helped guests rationalize their bad luck, and aberrant behavior. At one point, the guest said maybe it all was a little bit his fault. Whoopee Ding! We choose the path to our destiny and we are the sole person equipped to get back on course. The actions we take determine our destinations, not the wayward winds of circumstance. TOMORROW=S WORDS No longer young, I fast grow old, but thankful for each rising sun. When night=s curtain is up-rolled, I will find poems left undone, Those unsaid truths must still be told, in poems that I’ve not begun. I will weave me words fresh and bold, from the lesson of the golden one. When greedy sun did choose to rise, it stole stardust from nighttime skies.


A FABLE? There was a king, who fairness stressed, and ruled with great dispassion. The land he ruled was richly blessed, yet no one knew compassion. The rich more wealthy, selfish grew, locked in their crypts of riches. All love was lost from mortal view by those self-centered royal snitches. Their greed ruled all their conscious thought and bastardized their senses, With stronger vaults, protection bought, they penned themselves with fences. Then came a man, who kindness preached. from him, their sins were wiped away. Though few it was, his sermon reached, we hear his promise yet today. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Fable or myth, the life of one man, carries on after he was tortured to death on a two branch tree. No man has affected more people and his following increases while the almighty Roman Empire has vanished. Religions claiming to follow his teachings, often distort and twist his message for there bias or belief but the simple words of Jesus, are never challenged. Over the span of two thousand years, the crowding world’s populace has richer assets, much changed customs and gathered newer stresses, but the simple lessons of the great prophet Jesus are still germane and hard to dispute. It is sad that most worshippers of that great prophet, do not know or recognize the lessons he taught and lived. When all is writ, and truth be shown Each of us have some wild oats sown. When we judge others, Sisters and Brothers, those without sin can cast a stone.

A FOUR EYED GOD A biased pride, lets man believe that he's the cause for Earth. And things that grow and sun receive, for him were given birth! To serve the ants, could be our goal, lone cause for man to be. Food crumbs to drop, our only role, not larger destiny! Might God ignore us when we're dead, unmindful of his toll. Man decompose in earthworm's bed divested of its soul. Concerned might measure charity, the help we stingy give, Ignore our gift, to feed one flea warm blood so fleas may live. When weighed against the insect horde man's role could be quite small. Proud man can't grasp exotic Lord, just primate, standing tall. An Insect God, must man defame because of vanity, defining deity, they claim, mocks his own identity! BEHIND THESE LINES: I have a good relationship with my creator God, but do like to express a provocative view. Instead of a creation done in a week, I can accept a six billion year time line. I can also accept that evolution is continuing, and I relish the idea of man improving beyond his present faulted shape.


A FUNDAMENTALIST FACT Women always try to overreach, you can see it in the way they act. I concede they are equipped to teach, though they stumble with things abstract. Women should never be ordained to preach, and that is just a fundamental fact. Christians all should love our fellow man except, of course, an undeserving few. Destroy homosexuals and the courtesan, the unholy Muslim, Catholic and the Jew. I tithe my Church and vote Republican, just like my Creator God should do. BEHIND THESE WORDS: My favorite poetic device is tongue-in-cheek hyperbole. In all of my exaggerations, there is some truth that shouts to be heard. I love to listen when people vent, and in my neighborhood, I often hear these fundamental facts. Those people who preach hate and claim to worship Jesus, have missed the whole essence of that great teacher. He would be ashamed to witness their vile interpretations of his words. I would want to have the love that Christ preached and exemplified, and I seek it in my poetry, but I am a lesser man than my intention implies. I do pray to never believe in these fundamental facts or deny the hypocrisies that I do have. It is sorrowful that many some people=s strong religious convictions are also the source of their weakest or worst character flaws. Bias, hate and intolerance are not at all, Christ like. Man cannot believe he is a collateral consequence of creation and not the soul reason for the world to be. This brazen assumption Empowers his greedy depredation of the environment and all of the Creator’s forms of life.

A HALLOWEEN TREAT Changing fashions when first divulged are publicized in fashion magazines where outrageous garb is considered coolish. This Halloween, I hope those indulged and mutinous chained young teens will shed intent of looking ghoulish. In style with their tortured tresses bulged into mousse’d spikes, of pinks and greens will conform, not look so damned foolish. Or rebelling fine, heavy metal disdained, dressed in normal clothes like adults wear, normal clothes of proper shape and size They can keep their bare wallet chained, but hats could cover their tinted hair that would be unique in our shocked eyes. My own dress code too long retained, seems to match wrinkles grey and hair, so how would I dare to criticize BEHIND THESE WORDS: The candy collectors visiting us this Halloween were garbed in a diverse array of hastily thrown together costumes, with the accent on expediency and not shock. I did not see one version of the acid rock ghoul like distressed teens. Maybe candy treats are too mild and tame for them. I wondered if they were going for shock by dropping their metal trappings and wearing normal clothes, like what would please their parents. IN TIMELY FASHION You sure were not a beauty queen, when you knocked on my door, not needing the mask that you wore, To scare us all at Halloween.


A LOAN OR GIFT? My life is but a borrowed gift, I must return one day. With interest harsh, assay my thrift, do I that debt repay? I live, I die, it matters not to those who claim my space. Returned to earth, my flesh will rot, while I, due judgment face! But if some trace I'd leave behind, I'd want well chosen word. Not marked by stone so few will find but only words both read and heard. BEHIND THESE WORDS: I am one of the most prolific but least recognized poets since Emily Dickinson. Emily died with all her poems hidden away. Her few tries at literary acceptance were met with insulting critiques and rejection. Emily stopped trying for recognition, but continued to amass great quantities of incisive poetry, expecting all of her poems to be read and heard someday. A few treasured thoughts passed on and savored or cursed truly is the true wage for the poet. A form of immortality that drives the writer to reject rejection and continue on. I do not fear death or judgment for my many sins, but I do dread continuing anonymity. Throw my ashes on the ground, but save my words. Someday, people might read and understand them.

Wisdom seldom captivates a fool and refreshing thought was never taught by structured lessons in a school.


ADVERTISING TRUTH The most successful fiction writers are those that mask the issue of thorns on a rose, pushing wormy apples, as protein enhanced fruit, labeling Adescent guaranteed@ on their parachute, assuring us we won=t keep floating in the sky. When used, you will come down, they did not lie. How euphemistically, I am informed of fact, in advertising that is camouflaged with tact. Hyperbole is the ad copy writer=s norm from soft pedaling to those that over-inform Ads for Pharmaceuticals that I must obtain now warn of side effects like death and pain, and these frank admissions legally insulate them from judgments courts do administrate. BEHIND THE POEM: In our crowding, troubled world, truth is a matter of perspective or convenience. Media has conditioned us to treat news almost as fictional as their advertising hyperbole. Now, to lie, advertisers simply tell the truth, as no one believes anything they claim. They tell us their advertised product, could kill you and we suckers know that advertising is always false. I do not mind the known sin of advertising exaggeration, but fear Admen=s influence in political campaigning, gratis from lobbyist=s. I have been shocked by current advertising copy of pharmaceuticals from grossly optimistic to candidly frightening. Who in their right mind should consume expensive drugs that warn of potential side affects like death or paralysis? Consumers, accustomed to the verity of advertising claims, disbelieve and could risk death or paralysis. Think of the consequences of ad copy truthfulness spreading; car makers claiming vehicles will need quick replacement, McDonalds fries pledged to litter your heart with fat and movies claiming they will turn your stomach with gore and violence, abandoning plot and raison d’etre. I do wonder why advertising for pharmaceuticals is always understated while the same companies hype their ‘Over The Counter’ medicines as true miracle drugs, capable of curing anything.

A POET CLOWN If somewhere a clerk with self-righteous smirk records my acts of folly. He'll underline twice, this only bad vice, I=m never melancholy. Grief, masked by my laugh earns choice epitaph, He=s always been jolly! While others might cry or soulfully sigh faced with disaster or worse I don't own a frown, but laugh, play the clown providing whimsical verse. When comes my last day, I will beg delay and my final lines rehearse. BEHIND THESE WORDS: In every disaster, there is almost always a wry kink of fate that is humorous, but the only witness to the calamity who is properly licensed to note that witticism is the prime victim of the tragedy or butt of the joke. It is hard to laugh when you are crying, but when the tears are all shed, and the disaster logged into history, the weird kinks that transpired can be laughed at, in good taste, Sometimes the funniest comment is simply, Ooops.@ The strangeness of fickle fate often merits a wry snicker. If the event can=t be changed, recalling that tiny wisp of humor helps with the tears. I’M ANONYMOUS Writing my wrymes, makes me laugh which few folks will share and worse, they won't care, and never beg my autograph.

A POET=S FATE, I sadly find is seldom praise, or reviews kind, yet I persist, by fate inclined to leave a trail of words behind. Each night time thought that begs me write must face the glare of bright sun light. In rhyme, beliefs must shine contrite like dogs that bark before they bite. When comes the day, I must atone for all the words I’ve flippant sown, stood meek before my maker's throne, I'll find one place, my writing=s known. BEHIND THESE WORDS: My decision to become a professional poet was not part of my career plans, but after I retired and lost my prestigious position in the corporate world, I was continually victimized as are most senior citizens. No one listened when I complained about unfairness’s, injustices, and malevolent victimizers of all shapes. Not many read my poetry, either, but I sure feel good. My catharsis, writing wry or humorous poems when I am upset, might strike a familiar chord in my readers. If so, my decision to be a poet was wise. As a youngster, I marveled at the wisdom expressed in conventional, rhymed poetry and envied the wit and vocabulary of these super intelligent literary masters. Late in life, I decided to try writing poetry myself, and discovered some of it was pretty good, or at least I pleased myself as much as Longfellow, Service and Kipling had pleased me. In a twisted world populated by swindlers and cheats, poetry should expose for ridicule all of that perfidy. I try to assay injustice as my poetic scalawag heroes, Jonathan Swift and Vladimir Mayakovski would do. In world politics, fanatic religions and people’s values, there is much to lampoon, and humor is often, our only recourse to forced foolishness.


A SUDDEN RAIN A needed surprise rain concludes the arid drought, that withered spring grain and curled green corn leaves, turning pagans more devout. This rain dancer believes in thanking all of the Gods, slighting none who might decree that nimbus cloud tightwads dump their water for me. The God who feeds the poor, is most gratefully praised. Convinced, my own prayers soar, and my day’s needs are raised which seems to matter more. BEHIND THESE WORDS: I believe most religions are energized totally by the faith of their practitioners, and each worshipper remembers vividly when their supplication was answered, because of their faith. When their petition falls unheard, the unworthiness of their faith is blamed. A busy God maybe relies on the function of faith, to actuate all the zillions of petitions impossible to address fully at any one time. I believe this potent and magnificent faith is the structure of our own internal God. When good results are achieved by expressing our faith in devotion and prayers, our devotion swells. Nothing builds religiosity like answered prayers. It takes much more faith when everything is going wrong and your prayers seem to ignored. I envy those whose faith sustains them when they are persecuted with disasters, like biblical long suffering Job. If you would trace your family tree be braced to find some strange debris for deep in your past when manners were cast you were kin of the Chimpanzee.

A LONELY TREE In the middle of a field of high yield corn, stands a solitary oak. It leans, to mourn its siblings harvested for oak barn beams, while it alone survives. The lone oak dreams of a grove of descendants, shedding seed, sterile where chemically tilled of weedkillers making the fertile former wood land uniquely corn. Does this lone survivor stand as victor, or only as a token of the past? For one century this spreading oak cast cooling shade for explorers, and pioneers. Now, in it=s heartwood, fresh new rot appears, hollowing the trunk that dared not bend to winds that demean a great tree=s end. BEHIND THE LINES: In the high yield fields of Iowa, a tree in the middle of a fertile field is a great incongruity, calling for explanation. I did not check with the farmer, I spoke to the tree, and it answered me. I envied the tree=s three hundred year history. How sad that it has witnessed the annihilation of all of its descendants. No parent should outlive his children. Man is wise we foolish pretend. He is so dumb his reign will end. We cut down the trees and poison the seas, with melted ice from warming trend

ALZHEIMER’S GIFT My castle has been invaded, the moat spanned and the walls breached. Somewhere within a prowler paws through my treasures, purloining past and present. Those precious gems of remembrances, he sifts through with sticky fingers and they disappear from view. Capriciously, he teases me with shadows of where they were. This sneak will soon leave taking away his every footprint. I won=t know he has stolen my name and wiped away forever my oneness, and awareness of pain or suffering. No longer aware of my loss, will I be Victim or Victor? BEHIND THESE WORDS: As a senior citizen of long standing, I share the fear that my regularly occurring lapses in memory augur Alzheimer complications. The upside ramifications exemplify turning loss to gain as in the idiomatic altruism of making lemonade from lemons. Torture and pain are non existent to those unaware of their Own body and mind, though painfully borne by relatives and friends. Witnessing the mental deterioration of someone whose intellect you respected is hard, but we should empathetically appreciate their escape from painful reality. Do you suppose that tortured animals and plants might wish for the unknowingness of Alzheimer’s disease? Faced with debilitating or tortuous existence, I might. If I were a chicken in a Cage, or a cow in a feeder lot, I could pray for and appreciate heavy dose of Alzheimer’s disease.


AND WHICH ARE YOU? Gamboling grasshoppers fritter and play devouring all that stands in their way, but saving squat for harsh winter=s sway, daring demise with ho-hum éclat. Consider then, the hardworking bee who stores up his efforts for you and me, eschewing rewards for that industry while doubting not, his mortality. I fault my self, but which are you? Are you part of the enslaved few, shunning life=s pleasure just to accrue the assets of those more serene than you? BEHIND THESE WORDS: When does ambition become greed? All noble virtues become a bad word when taken to excess. Thrifty to excess, becomes miserly, and cautious turns craven. The grasshopper honeybee analogy has long endured but I play with the platitudes involved, seeking wry humor. I tried to identify with the hard-working bee, but I would not tolerate a keeper taking more than half of the products from my hard work for his gain, like the honeybee suffers. Would you? Likewise, I could not linkup with grasshoppers chewing up somebody=s hard work. Most of my peers fall somewhere in between the bee’s prime example of hard work and the indulgent, sybaritic play of the lazy grasshopper. I hope that moderation is a good thing. If my choice of searching out appropriate and specific descriptive words insults their comprehension or drives them to their dictionary, well and good. TROUBLING THOUGHT One sad price we pay to exist: When feeble we turn, we quite sadly learn that if we're gone, we won't be missed!

ANOTHER DAY OLDER A pleased mockingbird sings prettily high up there in my Sycamore tree. APritee, pritee,@ He sings merrily, He must mean the day, surely not me for I=m as drab and homely as he. I won=t complain, I decide, with glee. We both are blessed, and you should agree one day older, is a gift, you see. BEHIND THESE WORDS: When I first moved to Florida, I would get up early and then get the morning paper to read in bed. My usual cause for getting up early was the beautiful songs coming from our sycamore tree. The foliage of this tree was so dense, I could not see or identify the songster, but I knew it must be something glorious. I would stand transfixed for quite some time enjoying the bird=s beautiful musical soliloquy. Finally the bird, apparently appreciative of its audience, appeared and perched on my rooftop in brazen view. It was a dull drab black with just a hint of color on his opened wings. The songster was as plain and drab as me. Somehow, this filled me with glee, and enlightened the beautiful dawn. A perfect start to the day, with a message I needed. I realized that I must not judge anything by the outward appearances as anything or anyone seeming drab or ugly can be amazingly wondrous when examined more deeply. WE LEARN Lifelong it's goodness we measure To feel pain we must know pleasure for aging will bring Death's ultimate sting But sting, where is thy treasure?


ARRIVING LATE FOR WAR Yes Major Stiff, I was aware that I would be late, and disrespect for the president, I surely demonstrate. My furlough was just too short, my frightful plight, I should have called, and begged for one more night. When I met Mary, she was hollow and nicely in need, so I spent time filling moist places with warm seed. Mary would not disengage. I knew the hour and date, but sometimes love means more than things we hate. I did reminisce about you and your army=s rules of war but I thought that love serves humanity more, so I just slept with my Mary, vitiated and drained. I know I should have called and then explained but sometimes a task takes forever to complete, and we two seemed destined and primed to meet. We did not find each other until the very last day of my furlough, which was much too short anyway. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Of all the current, ubiquitous bumper stickers, my favorite says, ‘Make Love, Not War’. Rebellious and free thinking young people who take this admonition seriously are branded traitors or cowards. I dreamed of a time and place where people chose love over war. Speculate on that consequence. I am sure my poem bodes an unhappy ending for all concerned, but wouldn’t it be nice if such a choice would be available? The worst fact of any war is that both of the warring parties leaders believe that the sacrificial death of their young people is justified. If our enemy’s people are so horrible, and deserving of destruction, how is it that they so often become friend and ally after the war is ended. TURNABOUT Bush chose pre-emptive war be tried. That=s one way to say Pearl Harbor day was also right and justified.

A STRANGE WAR In Iraq, we are waging a strange war, a war of attrition and arms supply Will they run out of bombers before our stock of soldiers, willing to die? We fight to establish democracy and if we succeed what will ensue. They will vote for a Muslim theocracy, pledged to destroy each Christian and Jew. BEHIND THE POEM: Only a small minority, with economic or professional gains from the making of armaments, support this very strange war proclaimed to bring a weird form of democracy to a region hostile to all of the earmarks of our democracy=s basic four freedoms. What corporations gain from this exportation of American dollars, young soldiers lives and American honor. Yes, honor sullied by President=s staunch decision to launch a pre-emptive war and burden our nation with an impossible siege of occupation and nation building. Every American citizen should ask, who wants continuation and gains profits from this foolhardy enterprise, as these greedy profiteers are our worst enemy, and they hold our president hostage to their needs. WAR FINANCING We must not let the arm’s race cease, and we run out of communists, lets create new democracies, that spawn world wide terrorists, And a reason to go to war Bush has greedy sponsors to please, and they employ brash lobbyists who expect him to really squeeze debt payment from their blacklists the old the sick and the poor.

A TRAGIC SNEEZE! While listing by rank those friends I must thank, my brain with emotion agrees. We remember the host, who helped me the most, by putting all of her guests at ease. She, did kind distract, each guest with her tact, explaining away my tragic sneeze, which scattered three trays of spinach soufflés and sprayed each guest with splattered cheese. With words of quick choice, in self assured voice, said, "I put too much pepper in these!" I said I was sick and leaving so quick, I barely heard their parting pleas... "Too bad you must go, we'll miss you, we know. just like dogs will miss their fleas!" Our host did insist, "You=re sure to be missed at ALL of my next jamborees!@ BEHIND THE LINES: While remembering personal embarrassments, I forcefully dug from my suppressed memories, an instance when I sneezed in a plate of food as a first time guest of our neighborhood swell. Everyone seated there was aghast, and I fled. Fifty years later, I would have continued to eat from my contaminated plate, offensively combating the stares and spoiling the appetites of my offended peers. I tried retelling my horrible blunder in these comedic style lines and concocted a different and less traumatic ending by a more understanding host. When you have guests that just won't go serve cake, that on top, has candles that pop, then light them up and watch them blow!


A TREAT WE NEVER TRY If flesh of fish builds up the brain the fish themselves must be quite shrewd. Yet fish bite hooks despite the pain to tear away their favorite food. Why would smart fish risk being fried to snatch a slimy, wiggly worm? Worms are mushy, no bones inside, but on a hook they twist and squirm. We could regret we never ate this cheap and ready kind of meat. Stop using worms as fishing bait and dine on what those smart fish eat. BEHIND THESE WORDS: In a crowding world, some people grow hungry. If we divided the world=s food resources equally based on what we Americans eat, all of us would be a bit hungry. If we all chose to eat the first generation of food, like the corn that inefficiently becomes beef, starvation would be amply avoided. A pound of grain goes to provide a two ounce egg. Three pounds of earthworms to produce on pound of fish filet. Grains do not provide much protein, so we would need another source not requiring more food to grow than the end product. It was obvious. We should eat worms, and benefit from the high protein, brain food supply source. How do we know worms are not more tasty than fish unless we try. Many of the foods we do eat and appreciate, were surprises when first tasted by a brave taste adventurer. Imagine, the surprise of the first person to eat an egg or a radish. The hay and corn silage farmers prepare to fatten their cows should not be wasted to make hamburger, and I will be testing this beef fodder, which is nutritious and healthy for your intestines. Steak is an auspicious treat but a very expensive meat that is heart unhealthy to eat.

A TRIO OF GEORGES Leaders named George are ripe to rule, and seem our nation's legacy and our first George was only cruel to Brits and his Dad's cherry tree. Our second George soon found his niche and practiced secret diplomacy that made his partners very rich but failed to help mere folks like me. Our third George would serve his friends while dismantling our democracy Just his rich peers reap dividends from war that bear his recipe. The first George, I=m sure, was great. Successive ones grow worse, I see. We risked disaster, tempted of fate, the third George brought us lunacy. BEHIND THESE WORDS: When government ignores the will of the people, to please the privileged elite, it cannot represent its reign as a democracy. History shows many examples of elected leaders who disavowed the rights of the majority and their dictatorial rule collapsed from eventual revolt of the ignored majority. A country’s wealth should be valued on well the bottom half are allowed to be fed, housed, clothed, medicated and educated. Using this measure, our United States sags behind most modern nations and continues to worsen. THE KING AND I The worst insult from royalty is creating the common class and then expecting loyalty of those they harshly harass ,


AT WAR WITH THE CAR Worst challenge by far, of owning a car, is finding someone to fix it. This problem of course, could bring back the horse, unless the car owner licks it. To fix it yourself, with parts off the shelf, the guile of car makers nix it. Steinmetz would fear, the electronic gear, more puzzling than handbook depicts it. The dealers no fool, who plies golden rule, he'll take you for all he can get. His recalls bring you, to his pirate crew, where tributes match our Nation's debt. Buy new if you trust, it won't turn to rust, with payments that still must be met. When car problems strike, you might buy a bike, Or maybe walk, that=s better yet. BEHIND THESE WORDS: In our crowding world, we dedicate too much of our wealth and resources to personal transportation by automobile. Energy wise, those countries with the very best alternative transport, actually spend more of their personal budgets on their automobiles. Gas prices are higher in the richer developed countries, too. That incongruity caused me to ponder my own auto history, replete with errors in choice and disastrous dealer backups. I exorcised my bad memories, writing this tongue-in-cheek poem. I hope readers relate and find the message I tried to provoke. Would we be better off if the automobile was a lesser part of our life? What if we had other modes of transportation available to choose, instead? It should bother our collective national pride that all European Nations have more efficient, timely railroad service blanketing the continent and travel is less costly by train over car for one person.


BARED BEAUTY ON OUR BEACH Escaping snow, this beach recruit came to our prim beachfront address. Sheer beauty for each bystander. We heard she brought a swimming suit so spare it left nothing to guess, and our prudes promptly banned her. This lovely gal stayed resolute, and said she could wear even less, and we sure applauded her candor. She laughed at one complaining coot, doff’d her clothes to fully undress, the sun just blushed as it tanned her. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Did this really happen? No, but only a few square inches of cloth avoids total nudity for all the slender young ladies at the beach. I=m not a prude, but why do they spend ten dollars a square inch, instead of saving their money and going commando. If these trim young maidens all unveiled at once, who would arrest them? I think the people who write laws, those that enforce them and the judges that interpret them, are really afraid that heavy weights would want to save money too, and that would be a visual travesty. MORALITY WARDENS You better get your sins forgave, TV preachers insistent warn. You’ll end in Hell from sinner’s grave. Unless you beg to be reborn. I fear them when they rant and rave, needing someone they must scorn, and they do try, all souls to save, quite sure they're rose, not the thorn!


BARNABY built a box from sturdy oak, meant to be a refuge from his enemies, and also his friends. It was to be a strong redoubt, with railroad tie framing at each of the twelve edges, forming his cube. The ties were joined with super glue and massive but hidden dowel tenons joining each joint, oven dried for compression lock that made the framework impregnable. Barnaby fashioned three inch thick tongue and groove planks planed and fitted so tightly that no joints were perceptible, in the brightest sunny day, while he worked only at night by feebly flickering candlelight. Fearing the intrusion of caring friends or curious neighbors, Barnaby fastened those planks to the rugged frame from the inside, sinking steel screws almost but not quite through the caging framework, barely able to crouch in his redoubt as he worked from the inside. When he was finished setting the two thousand screws, nothing indicated how the cube was s assembled nor the location of its proud occupant and builder. When the building inspectors discovered his marvelous edifice, Barnaby was invisible, untouchable, unreachable and never heard from again. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Barnaby thought the world was created for him, and when he was not accorded recognition of his lofty self, shut himself off from the world, his friends and family and created his own impenetrable tomb. How many of us secret ourselves in isolation from friend and family caring only for ourselves. My literary value too, is not seen but I will not build my own vault. I will display my efforts in print, trusting that the ideas expressed will be someday read and appreciated.

BE MEAN TO ME Beat me at scrabble I won’t complain, insult my friends I entertain, ignore me when I wince with pain, but just remember, when you do, what I do next, is up to you. I won’t be hurt when you don’t care to notice how I changed my hair but don’t give me that silent stare, But just remember, when you do, what I do next, is up to you. You can snore in bed each night or bitch about my reading light hog my covers to wrap up tight, But just remember, when you do, what I do next, is up to you. Forget the name of our first song, don’t hang your clothes where they belong, blame me, if you do something wrong. But just remember, when you do, what I do next, is up to you. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Retribution should never be a part of any genuine romantic relationship. Reality shows revenge, more than fair play, invades these partnerships with clever responses to offenses. Do a mental picture of the right response to the above affronts. Let me know. MISSING DETAIL When monkeys stare at us and blink do they know we're their missing link, or do we just suspect they think? Do we look strange without a tail? Did evolution somehow fail, putting short tails on just the male?

BITS & PIECES OF DEATH At twenty, I danced with death and found impermanence disturbing. When again sound and healthy, I reluctantly pondered how my postponed death should come, and now I=m far too sane and cowardly to crave the pain that buys a hero=s hallowed grave. I favor calm ambush of death in sleep, but not until I=m old and bored. I keep enjoying death deferred in bits and pieces. Supplies of forged body parts increases while their need, I reluctant realize. Although I mourn as my body dies, it=s less of me, more of technology. Dying piece by piece now seems to me the ideal way to go. As they excise my worn out parts, replacements do suffice. With death delayed by using proxy parts, who can tell when my funerary starts. I know and grasp an increasing degree of death. When they finally agree that most of me has stopped and gone, what remains? Will part of me continue on? BEHIND THESE WORDS: When senior citizens get together, health and their medical experiences make up the bulk of the conversations. In one such group, I marveled at the recounted medical miracles from prostheses and transplants this group had experienced. A personal inventory of my upgrades and replaced parts, fostered this poem. I believe that the brain and soul are the only two organs impossible to ever replace, but Medical Science is advancing at an alarming pace. Who knows? As I age I get new parts, I will not complain since I need a brain and challenge the medical arts


BOMB BRAVE You could view this killer on any street but of all assassins you unknowing meet horribly worst would be the craven disgrace who lacks the courage to wear his face. Apart from his killing must this weakling hide, struck cowardly mute, deprived of claimed pride sans au courant blessing of his brutal deed yet implicitly urged in his twisted creed. A clandestine bully, confused by blind hate could ambush with bombs to assassinate who he deems deserving, from borrowed throne, those guilty of sins exceeding his own BEHIND THESE WORDS: There are many kinds of killers, but the very worst is the coward who anonymously judges others as unworthy to live. This craven beast is much more shameful than the despised suicide bomber, who at least, also destroys himself. We must examine why we are so hated that terrorist give up their lives to damage Americans they did not even know. SECURITY BLUES At the airport security gate, a very long line had to wait while they scanned my tennis shoes while several airline crews streamed through not inspected. A crippled child was asked to stand so her wheel chair was wholly scanned, for hidden bombs with hidden fuse to fool inspectors who safely choose to see each risk duly defected. Inspectors are trained to find a hungry lion before he’s dined on passengers who have to fly. Well worth the cost, you can’t deny, Proved if lions are never detected.

BRING THEM IN Lets invite in more refugees, like war-displaced Iraqis as workers prepared to please, we do not have too much of these. Afghans too, would be satisfied with freedoms they are there denied and if they all were on this side, our troops would face a shorter ride. Those Mexicans all love to work, and field labor, they will not shirk, at wages that makes bosses smirk, taxpayers pay for their casework. Lets import some more Eskimos direct from vanishing ice floes and when they thaw out frozen toes, we’ll drill for oil when all snow goes. Corporate heads seek workers who compete for jobs and willingly do dangerous work for lesser pay much to the Union’s dismay. Indian rights would disappear once they let foreign guests appear. Do we have the same fate to fear, Vanquished here in our hemisphere. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Unlimited immigration to North America destroyed the Indian nation. We justify that destruction because we believe the invaders built a better nation. Not for the Indians, however. Do our new settlers here endanger our nation? Will all of us that are descendants of previous immigrants, slave or free, welcome that change? If the first white settlers met Indian suicide bombers, would there still be an Indian nation...or Indians? I confess that I do not know. For how we treated Indians, we deserve our immigration fear.


BUGS Bugs might taste delicious and be more nutritious than bland foods we buy in most stores. Gardeners when they lunch are quite sure to munch on vagrant bugs who thrive outdoors. On hooks, impaled worms, lure fish with their squirms, convincing them to leave their lake. Which protein tastes best, we really should test. maybe it=s worms we should bake. Insect insiders claim unpleasant spiders make good pets and bug eating friends. Their webs, feel icky, because they are sticky, so love of the spider there ends. BEHIND THESE WORDS: As a sometimes motorcyclist, I have unwittingly tasted a vast array of bugs. You don not taste those that are immediately swallowed, but those that stick in your teeth, often get crunched and savored. After the fact, you don=t know which bug it was, but they are surprisingly tasty, and somewhat sweet. I assume bugs are mostly protein as they sure can=t have much body fat. I suppose that I have eaten things less healthy and palatable, but usually it was without my knowledge or design. Snails were a delicious treat, sautéed in butter and garlic, but that is not a fair indication of taste testing. I suspect that I would love toenails, if they were sautéed in garlic and butter. When in doubt, I favor my starchy spuds. HOORAY FOR POTATOES! A banquet is no feast if potatoes it lacks. All kind of meats can enhance and spice plain rice or flavor up most pastas. Sure, buttered pancake stacks syruped well with ham and eggs are always nice, though these foods may encourage heart attacks. I would adhere to the nutritionist’s advice . but meals without potatoes are really just snacks.


BUSH LEAGUE PROSPERITY George brought back failed Reaganomics, would reward the rich with bounteous store so crumbs from their table fall to the floor to nourish the lazy, the sick, and the poor, inspiring jokes for government comics. Bush won election by conniving stealth and buying votes with proffered tax rebate, to be repaid at some faraway date which will triple that interest rate, but still protects the rich man=s wealth. The backers of Bush are well connected to networks they know can hypnotize us to believe their self-serving lies. Too bad the people still don=t realize what manner of man that they elected. There was no fairness in his tax rebate spreading the gap between rich and the poor with rewards for members of that elite corps providing support for his proposed war but provoking international hate. BEHIND THESE WORDS: A horrible history we leave for our descendants, of a time when men of great financial power greedily created safeguards to their amassed wealth, financing a takeover of the people=s government by electing a clown parrot who mouthed their propaganda and lies. Sonnets are a lovely form of poetry, but this next one is ugly. It deals with corrupted truth which is the political reality. I wish my conclusions were false, and that Bush had the American people=s welfare at heart.


A BUSHY-TAILED SONNET Bush sent his soldiers solving the world's disorder, organized by the top dogs of business domain, absolving crimes accomplished inside our border. They created Homeland Security to brashly arraign each traitorous fool who might dare complain. George is brilliant say his powerful friends, who bank-rolled the Bush election campaign, and wait for obscene tax cuts as dividends. Our tax surplus, which Bush so militant spends will finance a kingdom for Saddam's elite corps while our Bill of rights, he blithely suspends. Crusaders for God or Oil, wage virtuous war, but worse than wars fought for that God or greed are wars engineered for reelection need. HE MANY ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF GEORGE W BUSH Established water boarding as a legal interrogation, and made himself superior to the Supreme Court, Ignored the intelligence reports that terrorists were studying airplane instructions. Turned the National Guard into an expeditionary force and the Army into mercenaries, avoiding draft which would impact the children of his friends. Made trade with Cuba illegal because Cuba is Communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to international harmony. The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq. A woman can't be trusted with her body but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting the human race without regulation, Tried to privatize port security awarding the contract to Dubai, an Arab Emirate Monarchy opposed to democratic freedoms. BUSH WINS AGAIN The votes were cast, our public spoke and chose again, a bitter joke. I’m depressed to see this confused country chose to end up despised and broke.

BUT I FORGOT My check off list does help a lot to help me know what I’ve forgot. The only thing, I’ve somehow missed is where I put that check off list. If I could find my missing specs, I=d find that list and break this hex, but where=s my list, that I can=t see, Its wrote to help my memory, and placed in some special spot, but where that=s at, I’ve now forgot. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Dimming memory is not something to laugh about when we fear it is the beginning of the cruelly debilitating Alzheimer’s disease. Aging seniors do laugh at themselves, and I guess, have much to laugh about. It sure beats tears, regrets or depression. ALZHEIMER’S GIFT My castle has been invaded, the moat spanned and the walls breached. Somewhere within, a prowler paws through my treasures, purloining past and present. Those precious gems of remembrances, he sifts through with sticky fingers and they disappear from view. Capriciously, he teases me with shadows of where they were. This sneak will soon leave taking away his every footprint. I won=t know he has stolen my name and wiped away forever my oneness, and my awareness of pain or suffering. No longer aware of my loss,

will I be Victim or Victor? CASTING PEARLS! Sooooeeee, Sooooeeee! It=s feeding time. Digest these orbs of nacreous matter, Ignore the fool who made them rhyme. Don't push, don't shove, don't block the trough, word choices forced are mindless patter that meekly earn, your right to scoff. Cram down, gulp quick, subdue their shine each gem will hardly tint your taste if they are first dissolved in whine. Prosers decry my rhyme unsung its wisdom missed as banal waste, their music mute, sad bells not rung. BEHIND THE POEM: A well respected Master of Fine Arts and literary editor, criticized poems I had posted on the internet, closing her tirade by accusing me of the horrible literary crime, of using rhyme. All the pearls of wisdom I had proudly completed and submitted to editors, would never be considered. Most were rejected, probably unread, and truly, all pearls can dissolve in wine. TO MODERN POETS Your meter and rhyme, great learning display with powerful words, but nothing to say, so I’m at a loss for what you convey. Good phrase sound is an important part of word magic so needed in poetic art, but like cold stones, your poem lacks a heart. First step, write plain what you would speak, before you search for rhyme, surrender meek

to simple voice, not esoteric Greek. CHERNOBYL'S LEGACY In just ten years man will forget that all land masses still connect by waterways that mute collect Chernobyl trash now circumspect but holding back ten million tears. The fatal myth will then arise that man can somehow pasteurize interring waste that=s tagged with lies while poison rays still materialize for the next two thousand years. BEHIND THE POEM: This is truth! With our energy crises and concern for clean air, atomic power seems more and more attractive than the problems of increasing scarcity and the resultant increased cost of petroleum. Three mile island and Chernobyl were but preludes to disaster, neither of them reaching full potential of catastrophe. There are other alternatives to power generation that do not release climate-warming carbon dioxides CO2 and are less risky to our planet’s life. I like solar power or steam generated from geothermal taps, wind generators, tidal power generators and probably other unexplored or undiscovered ways to trap and utilize existing heat or motion derivative energy sources. Research should be undertaken on how plant life captures the carbon in carbon dioxide, freeing up more oxygen. In the beginning, Earth’s atmosphere was oxygen free and toxic to all animal life. There must be ways of doing what photosynthesis accomplishes, chemically or, like plants converting solar rays. We do need to reduce planet warming while it is only an emerging problem, not the seeds of man’s destruction. Corporations are rising to that profitable need, but often using bait and switch schemes that require more bad energy forms that produce less equivalent energy. For instance, using coal generated electricity to create hydrogen gas that burns cleanly in automobiles, requires more calories of heat than calories of energy output.

Wasteful and poisonous to our atmosphere! CONTENTED CLARA COW Clara cow, shyly asked her date, “How do I know you are not steer, a wholesome though boring playmate?” He said, with a diabolical leer, “Tell me why we should hesitate? If I were steer, that would be queer, cause breeding is my skill and fate.” Clara replied, “Get ready dear, since I=m in the mood to fornicate,” coyly grinning from ear to ear. BEHIND THESE WORDS: While thinking about how unkind we are to the cow, I pondered the fate of other domesticated animals man has enslaved and cruely utilizes. Cats, Dogs and Horses are exceptions most of the time but not always. I believe the greatest torture is that of the chicken as in poultry factories, where they spend the short life, God-pretender man allows them, in a production unit cage, hardly big enough to turn around. Man usually does not know when they will die, but the food animals we raise, die on schedule. THE BUTCHER SAYS The Butcher says that hens don't cry, and never shed a mournful tear. He says that hens, all pain deny, so why show any kind of fear. The Butcher says those birds can't fly, he grabs them when they squat, not proved because they never try, and end up in a stewing pot! The Butcher says they're dumb, not I, to replace each egg as shed. Pass on their genes they patient try, with eggs they lay while still un-bred.

The Butcher says they painless die because, of course, they cannot cry! COLD NIGHT ON THE TUNDRA The sled and dogs are out of sight, seeking their master, I chose to kill. It is way below zero, on the Fahrenheit scale, but I do not feel the arctic chill as there is no trace of wind this night to fan the bitter cold. In the stillness, I hear the crackle of cascading light from the northern lights that mill like maypole dancers do north pole rite. They compete with the full moon to fill each shadowed drift with glowing bright tangerine and maroons that spookily glare while iridescent purple and blue sapphire veils the final darkness, I had to dare. My smoke flies straight in windless air, abandoning the dying fuel-less fire calling out for help, with no one there. Now comes the time I must expire, but turned to ice seems coldly unfair I would choose to burn in Hell=s hot pyre Over freezing by a un-fueled bonfire. BEHIND THESE WORDS: While in Alaska, I read of an escaped murdered, found calmly sitting frozen in front of a dead fire that had consumed his furred clothing, his back pack and his rifle. His stolen dog team, loyal to the murdered victim, had run off, leaving him to be judged by the Arctic=s innate sense of justice. I poetically assumed his voice and explored how and why he calmly accepted his fate when he was just two miles from a manned and monitored SAGE radar installation. Nature, often harsh and unpredictable sometimes is a sword of justice. My deeds may fill the Devil’s journal, I may deserve the promised fires of Hell,

yet I’ll roast in that searing fire internal, I installed complete with Sulphur’s smell. COLD TURKEY You say that I am extremely crude, devoid of all fashion and any class but my acts were misconstrued, and my term in jail will quickly pass. I fetched our paper, while still nude because it was thrown out on the grass. I was not proud of my wrinkled mass but thought our neighbors, crassly rude. When I turned and simply showed my ass, they should not have hissed and booed, I could not tolerate such classless sass? I don=t know why you came unglued, when I begged you to post my bail. Would you want your turkey served in Jail? BEHIND THESE WORDS: This short tale was almost autobiographical. An early morning dash to the poorly thrown paper, and an automatic latching door, had me compromised and almost caught in commando pajamas. Luckily, I remembered the code on the garage door and rescued myself from complete ridicule. Mainly, this verse is word play, stretching rhymes and their usage, while maintaining sense of a story. If you can see this chubby, decency offender, trapped by his foolishness, brazenly mooning his neighbors, I will happily write more poetry for you. FOOD FOR GODS The food fit for Gods I can easy define with five great treats, I never decline. I can’t refuse dark chocolate, good wine, brie cheese, and flattering compliments,

and most sweet are those blandishments painting me better than all evidence. CONCERNING DEAD SOLDIERS Consider the sadness of the dead when Gods, that final truth supply as boon for lives unfairly shed in service to persuasive lie. Do they envy the fallen few embalmed with poison of the truth partook while sat in chapel pew or sniffed while in their voting booth? Do they impatient, count the days until they meet again the liar who justified his war and preys on young to stoke in Ares pyre? Do they despise their coffin=s flag or covet the colors of their foe and wonder if dead men should brag or now, more calm, their bold outgrow? Or wasted do they silent sleep, mute promise of the young that died for empty glory purchased cheap and charged to chauvinistic pride? BEHIND THESE WORDS: In Belgium, I saw row after row of white crosses stretching out and over the distant hill mark the graves of the noble fallen dead soldiers, sacrificed so young. I listened and heard nothing but mocking wind but speculated on what the sacrificial dead might say. That night, I began this poem and have had many times to revisit these lines. I do wish that all nations of the world would impose one qualifier on their legislators who are empowered to declare or fund war. That would be, they must be subject to army draft and

physically qualified to give their life in the pursuit of such war declaration, justifiable or not. Would this stop wars? COWARD CHICKEN? In barnyard of the world, would you rather, chicken be than eagle, wings unfurled, projecting dignity! Such sanity is certified, accepting slavery, instead of suicide, portrayed as bravery. Called to serve, in distant land, a coward's role you seek, rejecting noble stand, to turn the other cheek. The loss, tail feathers plucked, locked in the food chain flock. Your song, like hens, you clucked, to meek evade, the chopping block. BEHIND THESE WORDS: In all chicken coops of the world, crowing roosters die first, which is exactly opposite of what happens in the human world. The instigators of most conflicts are usually on the sidelines, safely watching those in combat. This seems grossly unfair. The heroes are often the protagonists dead, while the instigators pick up all the chips fought over. The combatants are all victims, not having cause to die, or a real prize to win. Why should choosing to postpone death, be considered a cowardly feat. Logic tells me otherwise, but greedy politicians and self anointed spokesmen for a vengeful God, have convinced all young men of the glory of death in battle. Not content with their young male pawns, now young women, too, can die for the motherland, fatherland, their God or a grateful Nation. Shame on them. WOMEN’S RIGHTS Now bold women can go to war. Which now means that you too can die.

just like each other soldier guy. is that what you have struggled for? CREATING CREATOR Be it never said, Religion is dead if someone believes. A God we create not trusting in fate, our faith, God's texture weaves. Insisting on proof unravels our woof and leaves unwoven thread. If dying we must, returning to dust, why not a soul that is not dead! When believers die, they never ask why, except their God bids them go. Rewards they expect for lives circumspect, perfect reason for Gods to grow. BEHIND THESE WORDS If there were no God, intelligent man would create one to explain his existence, direction and purpose. Since time began, where need arises, the answer comes and the existence of a thing defines it has a creation. Where there is creation there is bound to be a creator. I like the analogy of the creator as a weaver, and cloth requires both warp and woof to rise from thread. The soul does not rise from warp and woof, I think the main texture of the soul, needs but faith alone. And for all humanity, a faith that stresses and teaches brotherhood makes a noble God. A TRYING FAITH A leap of faith, is called for most by those skeptics who snidely insist their belief needs proof of holy ghost. For doubting souls, God don’t exist since God won’t preen or prideful boast. HAH! YOU MISSED Each of us have some wild oats sown!

If we judge others, Sisters and Brothers, those without sin cast the first stone. CREATION The God of Hope and Circumstance, snapped his fingers and the World began. Inventor of the sharks and fire ants, for pundit=s praise, created man. All life evolved by selection chance, by expiring flaws, from ordained plan. Did God expect that men who speak would improve beyond the first? Did God want man to govern meek, not reigning fierce with red blood thirst? To conquer and feast on the weak mocking their maker, with their worst. Was man designed for second birth, our time on Earth, a trial event? Could man improve, deserving Earth, with evolving change, designed intent? Or was God faulted by wit and mirth, and too forgiving to ask for rent. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Scientific evidence does not conflict with my conception of creation, which immediately names a creator. Seven days, or a millionth of a second does not seem the relevant concern, nor do I vainly expect my creator to resemble me. Because the ‘me’ of now will be much different a million years from now, and I trust, much improved. Evolution may be our Creator=s favorite tool, and why should the grand designer be in a hurry to achieve his final goal. I expect there would be more of changes we can see and measure in mankind over the past five hundred years. If you would trace your family tree, be braced to find some strange debris. Years long ago past when manners were cast,

We=re related to the chimpanzee. CLEAN PLATES Each meal my folks insist I eat everything on my dinner plate before I get my dessert treat. They plop on globs of icky stuff and then impatiently wait though I already had enough. If I have kids, when I am big, their waste won’t matter, which is great cause we will have a garbage pig. BEHIND THESE WORDS: In our enlightened age, children are no longer chattel. They cannot be physically bullied or threatened, and bribery is against the law. We cannot force them to eat what is good for them, so they eat what is not, and often, as much as they want. Allowing children to refuse broccoli might be a perfect example of the most prominent cause for obesity. Here is another light-hearted example: PASS ME MORE PIE Food pyramids may be a must, but serve my fruit wrapped up in crust and this, I could eat until I bust. Of all the foods that satisfy my preferred treat is any pie which makes me a hefty sort of guy. Obesity is a bad disease so between my pie, I squeeze some diet food like cottage cheese. To keep our nation always great, what part of our national wealth

should be spent for children’s health, not subject of selfish debate. CROWDED AIR From October North they fled a wintry day. A million birds to winter warm at Tampa Bay and greet two jumbo jets, in their fly way which passed too close controllers say. The one I rode came in just a little bit high while the other somewhat slow came within a mile. Too close, said the man who wrote the file, and tipped the TV press and primed his smile. I was home and safe, and watched the setting sun obscured by those clouds of birds who rose and danced as one in dense and polite crowd. How swift they turned and spun in changing harmony but safe and ordained unison. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Have you ever watched a thousand birds converge, each on divergent path, yet always maintaining safe clearance. I have and I contrasted their air controller=s efforts with that of the controller setting my plane on a collision course with another jet equally filled with people. Our close call was between two planes ten thousand times farther apart than the birds safely handle every day. I began this poem that very night.

DANDELIONS GROW AT DACHAUPeeking out from slatted stoops and hidden crevices where ancient saffron stars left seed to launch sure proof of sin, bright yellow tufts spring forth, persisting in their proof of shame while penitent Aryan grounds-keepers daily sweep away the past. No detritus of the subjugated horde remains, and wasted cigarette butts and gum wrappers are routinely sent to politically correct incinerators to waft a tame trace of penitent visitors. Impudent yellow bloomed weeds wrap their golden blooms in buds, shrinking away from the grandchildren of the first garbage burners, to escape a little longer and defiantly bloom as tributes to the fallen and trampled flowers that came before. Living memorials profane the sunny blue skies, where Millions of Jews were brutalized. Dandelions still grow at Dachau, flourishing proof that man cannot eliminate what God has chosen to reflect and echo his glory. BEHIND THESE LINES: When I visited Dachau, I experienced my first visit with ghosts.

DARK SHADOWS FROM THE PAST They moved into the Pearson shack with just one son and he was black. Pinch chased him to the railroad track, warning him, ADon=t ever come back!@ He tried to be our shadow, he was not one of us Spike said he looked like kitchen coal, looked skinny as a telephone pole. Folks said our meanness took its toll and won for us a bigot=s role, We did not feel too sad, though, he was not one of us. His funeral, was grand in style, the casket lined with golden faille that softly held this chaste exile from southern hate and white man=s guile, It never was our fault, you know, he was not one of us. BEHIND THE LINES: In our small town in southern Minnesota, there was but one colored family in a town of twelve thousand. The father was the janitor and part-time projectionist in the dominant cinema. The children excelled in school and the townspeople went out of their way to treat all them as equals...or better. Tales of racial hatred and brutality elsewhere was simply unbelievable. As I traveled the country, such treatment of blacks became believable. In these lines, I tried to capture that difference. I believe hatred is the vilest of all sins man can commit, and hatred is practiced only by man. No predatory animal acts out of hate, only hunger or self-defense. We blame the German nation but the rest of the world stood by when Kristalnacht and anti-jew pogroms exposed the Nazi bestiality and how could American dhurch goers own slaves?

DATING ADVICE When a frog begs you for a kiss, swearing that he=ll become a prince, it is sham, they a=re not mutated. Ignore the frauds who tell you this, God changed the rules and ever since frogs stay frogs when osculated! BEHIND THESE WORDS: Is it fate or design that determines who we pick as mates? Beware of promises from a frog. People should never date someone they would detest as a life partner, even though such considerations would greatly reduce social activities, so be it. THE PERFECT GIFT At Christmas time, my sweetheart pleads what gift would please me most. When I assess my urgent needs, my needs are met, I=m quick to boast. A kindly God has blessed my life with gifts I treasure more than gold He sent to me the perfect wife, to share the joys of growing old. BEHIND THESE WORDS: I was a troubled young man at twenty-three and certainly did not deserve my greatest Christmas gift. That gift has my greatest attribute for more than fifty years, and the progenitor of everything I now value.


DEATH CAME CALLING, waking me from my fever with an icy hand that burned my soul. "Come with me," Death whispered in my ear, "Die young. Avoid growing useless and old. See the greatest mystery unfold, come walk with me." I was young, two months twenty and I was in love with all that was life and would not go away with death, even though he touched me with his dry ice hand. I Looked him in the eye, and said, "Life is still out there and must be beautiful, I will not go with you, I will not die until I've undone my wrongs." Death left alone and life went on but my innocence was gone. When I was forty, Death came again to take me from my lover’s arms. I recognized him at once, he hadn't changed. His face was colorless, fifty shades of gray, no black or white and not a hint of color although the bedside lamp shone in his face. "Come with me and never feel the ache of pain or sorrow of parting again.” Reaching out with that same frosty hand, he pulled me erect and turned toward the door. “I cannot go with you, I have so very much I must undo. I pledge to follow when I'm through.@ Death left without me, but he took my hope with him. At sixty, Death came and asked for my child. “Spare him, take me, I lived so long and won't be cheated of early blossom or funerary song,” I pled, and we were spared. Death turned away and left but took my parents with him. Now I’m nearing eighty and all my pleasures over. I'll go willingly for now I have remembered the passing view of heaven, cloud-like while resting on a swathe of fresh turned clover. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Pure biographical history recounted in poetry. I=m thankful for the all amnesties granted. I will never fear death again.

DID YOU LOOK? My poetry, I force to rhyme, and hide it away because I won't pay some one to read it. My short stories all have plots and twist, and no one knows they even exist. My novel sleeps below my bed and it’s been months since its been fed. But tonight, I cast my shadow on the moon for two billion people to see. I stood up tall in the sunset, on top of my roof and I waved. Did you see my shadow on the moon, there on the Earth's horizon as it eclipsed the moon? I was there and waving, a small and insignificant protuberance, There on the rim of Earth's shadow, I waved at you. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Because I have impacted the world’s literature so faintly, I felt myself a failure as a poet. I watched the magnificence of the last lunar eclipse, devoid of descriptive or creative thought. As I watched the erosion of the moon, I realized that it was the Earth’s horizon blocking the reflection of light from the sun. I would be a part of the Earth’s horizon as it rotated, and I waved. I waved at you. When the moon was restored, I went inside and recorded that event, in this poem. If you did not see me wave at you, read this poem and know that I thought of you.


DIFFERING GODS Does Allah see Bin Ladin in his mirror, distorted with hate, a demon to fear. Or does Allah hide his head in shame, cursed by atrocities done in his name. If He is the God that Jihads inspire I'd fear the Heaven, Muslims acquire. If mirrors can really show and tell, my chosen God is Christ-like as well. A man defines his character most when he ascribes his heavenly host. When I might meet my God and maker, He will welcome this meek Quaker. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Thomas William Fox was born in 1951 and dedicated most of his adult life serving his brothers as a dedicated Quaker and youth leader. A peace activist member of THE CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKERS, he volunteered to work for peace in Iraq. Fox was kidnapped on November 26, 2005 by insurgents unhappy with Tom’s service to his God and humanity and subsequently executed by the insurgents. His tortured and mutilated body was found in March of the following year. On the day this news surfaced, I penned these lines. Tom Fox became my hero and I adapted my life more to Quaker principles that day his death was announced. I have found peace at meetings. My little small poetic voice will be dedicated to maintaining the philosophy of Tom Fox. I pray that others were equally inspired to carry on, and contribute to peace and brotherhood regardless of which God they worship and serve.


DOGS The trick most puppies learn while young, helps them earn and keep each friend. Shared secrets told could friendships end so dogs wag their tails, not their tongue. Eloquent men who would disclose, or match what dogs express, all fail to speak what=s said by wagging tail, which is pure trust a dog bestows. No other friend you might obtain would be so pleased to be your chum. When you scream or act quite dumb, dogs know just how to ease your pain. Some breeders change this acolyte, by breeding out each friendly trait. Guard dogs that these fools create won=t even bark before they bite. BEHIND THE LINES: A previously docile family pet turns wild and attacks a child. This happens more frequently and each time, dedicated dog lovers shudder in shame. Considering the nature of dogs, their willingness to serve and social behavior, one must conclude this dreadful behavior is not natural, and is acquired by selective breeding to enhance the aggressiveness of potential guard or attack dogs. Some of these dogs, are not mean enough and are culled out, and a few such dogs with inbred killing tendencies find their way into unsuspecting families. So who is responsible? Is it the breed or the breeders? Personally, I would never own a breed of dog bred to be a guard dog, and I think the danger too great to trust them as family dogs.

DOMESTICATED SAVAGE Unable to bite, they stay meek despite being stripped of calves by farmer midwife. Each year they are bred, all romance unsaid, their offspring sent to butcher=s knife. If milk cows had fangs and strong hunger pangs, with no wish to starve till they're dead, mad cows with food needs would skip the green weeds, and just eat its keeper instead BEHIND THESE WORDS: Did you know that cows lack incisors? If they were inclined to bite, they have nothing to bite with. Or that dairies do not keep bulls, despite their claim of contented cows. Cows are raped by artificial inseminators whose only intent is to get a nursing cow. Not for the cow=s calf, as they are fed grain milk replacements, and if they are male, early harvested as veal. Dairy men might say I unfairly characterize them as takers, saying they feed Cow’s stomachs their fill of nutrient hay, not weed. The cow greedily responds to their kindness by regurgitating every bite and chewing it twice to maximize their contentment. Most cows complain, their keepers only want them for their milk, forgetting how their young male progeny quickly end up as veal. While thinking about how unkind we are to the cow, I added this thought about how revenge could be accomplished and came up with these brief lines. FLYING COWS You never see a cow that can fly? Maybe they can but they never try. If they could, you=d sure wonder how to duck the poo of an airborne cow.


DON'T LIE TO ME Dealers should know that lies they tell will not fool a prospective buyer, but all those folks he cannot sell are too polite to call him liar. Liars deserve extreme disgust, good reputation you can=t buy, telling lies will destroy all trust. but only the liar wonders why. When I was a young boy about ten, I'd hang around car dealerships, asking for brochures to bring home to my car-shopping father. One look at my ragged clothes and worn out shoes and few salesmen thought our family was prospect for new cars. They were right, we were a car-less family and I was but dream shopping. I wanted the brochures myself. Often, salesmen would ask me for a favor and I was always pleased to help these rich men with four or five new cars sitting idle, right on their floor. Usually, I was sent to fetch something, often for a left-handed screw driver, hole shrinker or some equally fictitious article. The targeted tool holder would understand the joke and send me on, often back across town, where I again would be sent in search of the golden fleece. I must have been a real nuisance if I caused car salesmen to sacrifice what little magisterial probity they possessed. Yes, I was a true believer, eager to be of service to these important men. I believed them and was sent to fetch mythical garage necessities for months before I stopped trusting people selling shiny new cars who can send a trusting young man searching for left handed screwdrivers. A LIARS TREAT Tell the truth to all folks you meet. Do you realize, when you're telling lies, that it's only yourself you cheat!


DON=T CALL THEM DOG Dogs don’t cry or do confessions though any dog, when mad, could bite. They don=t need analytic sessions, cause when they=re bad, they=re not contrite. Dogs don’t lie or try to fool you, If dogs feel good, they wag their tail. Dogs can find each disguised virtue, though their rapport is not for sale. Dogs don’t practice insinuation never mock their friends or foes. Dogs confer appreciation with nuzzles of their cold, wet nose. Dogs are always kind and gracious when they are shamed, they stay tongue-tied. They never turn fallacious, I’ve never known a dog that lied. Dog should only mean love and trust, that name should never tag the cad. So use some foul word when you must curse a scoundrel when you are mad. BEHIND THESE WORDS: How or why the word dog can mean both a man=s best friend and an intolerable scoundrel, has always puzzled me. Recounting the dog=s many characteristics of trust, servitude and love, I think it would be flattery to call a man, a dog. This would not describe a cad or a scoundrel we choose to call a dog. I would be a better man if I had more of the virtues prevalent in most dogs. Any canine that does not exhibit these sterling characteristics has been mistreated or trained to evil ways by his master. Each dogs character is a reflection of their master, so bad dog truly equates to bad man.


DON’T LISTEN TO THE WIND I know the summer wind tells lies, but whisper that you will love me long as stars invite the moon to rise. If clouds obscure the starry skies, and dark night then turns lonely I will know the wind must tells lies, If sun insists the moon must rise, and it agrees quite cordially. while bashful stars desert the skies. Once comes the day I realize I have loved so carelessly, I will know the wind can hypnotize. BEHIND THESE WORDS: On warm June nights, soft breezes perfumed by jasmine accompany your lover’s whispered words and they ring sweetly, and immediately heard as true and everlasting on magic summer nights. Comes dawn with reality and regrets, it is nice to blame the summer wind. For those who never regret their springtime meeting, there happy pairing does have and occasional elements of diverse interests. A SHOPPING WE WILL GO My love and I have many pleasures that we share, but when shopping, we’re not a well matched pair. She never shops for the mundane things she needs, But I follow where her prying curiosity leads. I do ask, Just what are we trying to find?” and while she decides, walk patiently behind. She replies, “Dear, when I see it, I will know.” I replied, “I decide my needs before I go,


DON’T SERVE ME GRITS There are few foods, that I don't like though there are some that don't like me. Corn grits inspire my hunger strike and all you diners should agree. All through the south, this tasteless grain comes with each fried or scrambled egg. I don’t want grits, you might complain but they still come unless you beg. I don’t know why they turn good corn into ersatz paperhanger paste which all discerning guts will scorn, so grits scoot through, a total waste. BEHIND THESE WORDS: I am not a culinary expert, nor am I partial to any particular cuisine, but no sane, unbiased group should tout boring and tasteless grits. Can you imagine how bad they would taste, if they did have taste? My guess would be like green zinnias, or fried sawdust. Grits are not nutritionally blessed, they certainly don’t aesthetic appeal and they lack taste, good or bad. Why are they such an important part of otherwise delicious and nutritious, Southern cooking? I repeat, Don’t serve me grits! THE IDEAL PET A houseplant is a relaxed pet, they don=t make noise and never poop. Just give them sun and keep them wet, since they won=t ask, instead they droop and if they die when you forget, just hide their bodies in your soup.


DYING LEAVES... dancing in the wind, halt and rest in patchwork piles. The roaring wind shouts loud, "This is my quintessence, my colors, my very best truth, much more lovely than the bare boughed tree". The nude and embarrassed tree, can only brace against wind that blows harsh on wintry eves icing white each branch, to rashly place snowdrifts over the collage of betrayed leaves. At last, comes Spring, and brash wind tries to blow down the stalwart tree it did not freeze with heated breath that stirs the frozen sap to rise bestowing verdant cloak, strip-teasing bashful breeze. BEHIND THESE WORDS: The first nip of November frost had totally decimated the golden leaves on my solitary Burr Oak shade tree, and they lay in wind swirls on my lawn. My sweet, beautiful tree was denuded, and looked totally destroyed.. I began to imagine the pain my tree felt and how it could rebound after defeat from the freezing wind to come back to life again with new Spring. Soon, I had this poem, and I hid the rhyme so I might get it published as contemporary poetry, in literary magazines that had, so far, rejected all of my old fashioned, traditional rhymes. Will it work?


EATING WORMS w/galloping couplets I am troubled and ill at ease, but can't afford a doctor's fees. For my troubles, they saw no cure since my woes aren't caused by germs, so me, they pass, and knock on wood.. There's no one that I don't displease, completely hated, that=s for sure, and no young Miss will yet call me sir. How neighbors act, I think, confirms they=re jealous of my bachelorhood. Most folks treat me like I have fleas, or smell like ripened goat manure. I kiss their hands, each greeter squirms I guess I'll go and eat some worms, so you will feel bad and you should! I guess it's true, my boss agrees, I've flunked my present sinecure, and in the simplest kind of terms I'm worst dog in the neighborhood and they are right, I'm no damned good. BEHIND THESE WORDS: I had scolded my dog for bad behavior, and was temporarily ignoring his attempt to regain my love. In his sulk, he continued to stare at me submissively. I surrendered, smiled and returned the stare, trying to read his thoughts. I realized dogs can have a self worth crisis. I tried to put his thoughts in this poem, and he seemed to nod his head in approval, when I read it to him, galloping couplets and all. I am fascinated by the dog’s seeming ability to read our thoughts and sense our emotional state, transcending oral communication. Do you share that conclusion?


ECLIPSING ME My verse has meter and always rhymes some way, which you might read were I to pay. the reading fee My short stories are cursed with plots and a twist, and no one who reads, know they exist, impatiently. My half-done novel snores beneath my bed and its been months since its been fed, blessed atrophy Disrobed from fame by words, spit back as trite, I’m starved for praise and just tonight I found the key On the highest spot in our neighborhood, casting shadow, I proudly stood, posed formally. Some part of me blocked the moon=s bright glow and the eclipse let Earth=s rim show so you saw me. BEHIND THESE WORDS: During the last lunar eclipse, I appeared before my largest audience. At least two billion people watched as my shadow zoomed by on the edge of the Earth’s horizon. Too bad, I was but a minuscule shadow of my self. I put my travailed and treasured lines on the Internet where two billion people could scan their wit and wisdom, and the same number of people responded as did those who waved back at my shadow. Two thousand unrecognized poems for two billion people, and I got as much acknowledgement as when I rapidly passed over the horizon and waved.


ESCAPING WRINKLES Immortal youth is futile dream or lies, each evanescing year will mark its spot. What father time impartially applies, marks its passing with wrinkle and rot.. Like annular rings dateline the tree our torsos tick the years passed by. We admit wizening maturity but unlike smart, bodies do not lie. Remember, my vain friend, the only way you can escape the scars of growing old is dying quick, before your hair turns gray, and all those maturing years are tolled. So ponder again your aging fears, for loss of vitality is slight cost discounted in your survivor=s tears for the dear friends regretfully lost. BEHIND THESE WORDS: We cannot refuse to die, nor refuse to crumble from encroaching years. We should sanely moderate our expectations, and enjoy what attributes of our birthright we still retain. GROWING OLD Just growing old has never been my life’s essential goal, but when. each aging symptom does occur, I prep for what I must endure, the transit fare for growing old gathering warmth for turning cold.

ETERNAL STONE Majestic peaks, wrinkle and turn old shedding rocks eager to roll with the cold, sunshine adsorbing transmuted snow destined for something, somewhere below. Vagrant rocks will crash and crumble, shake off their armor as they tumble seeking freedom in the mountain stream. In waters, nacreous they gleam with their drab exterior worn away. Exposed, mute words they try to say. about their strange tumultuous birth. From volcanoes and upheavals, Earth spit out rock as melted magma chilled in crystallized form, a destiny fulfilled. Proud stone, will not keep its grain, assaulted by wind or ice and sun or rain. Downstream, rocks turn into stones and then to pebbles, lastly to finest sand. Did humbled, crumbled rock know it was fated to be compacted, smelted and re-circulated, to rise again in another majestic peak, when first it tumbled in the mountain=s creek. BEHIND THESE WORDS: The story of life and death is written in the ancient stone. Everything we have or know is impermanent, but will come back again in some resurrected form, including life itself.

FIRST SNOW I loved winter’s first snow, when I was young and I would run, mouth opened wide, to try and catch elusive icy feathers on my tongue to taste those first ice kisses from November sky. I felt so cheated when the million flakes I missed would vanish as soon as they touched the ground but withered grass and forsaken leaves they kissed were soon blanketed beneath a snowy mound Come morning when all was white and snowfall done they covered well, the dead and sleeping plants. I would watch the sunbeams from the red faced sun bounce off the crystal coverlet, in sparkling dance. Now old, I dread winter's first inaugural snow, while watching through insulated window pane, shivering as I see the crystal icicles grow, forming an impartial hour-glass of Winter's reign When new winter blusters out where widows weep over hidden plots where new sod lies browned, will I too be resting beneath that frosted heap, when soft snow flakes whiten my hallowed ground. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Why do I remember the thrill of first winter snow, and not the cold, or the subsequent disrupting snowstorms? Does mellowed memory work for people and places, too? Will those surviving me remember only the good memories of me? Like winter, I was harsh and cold more than I could justify or now tolerate remembering. I pray those mean times, like snowstorms, will be forgotten? I remember when snow was beautiful, not cold, not nature’s shroud, hiding the dead and dying things of Fall.


FROM HERTZ TO HURTS No longer young, I've slowed a bit but I'm still strong, you must admit, and I wore gloves that did not fit. Though widely thought I killed my wife I vowed to spend the rest of my life hunting down that man with my knife. You might think that I have failed, seeing the guilty man be jailed, in my book, the killer’s unveiled. (O. J. Simpson=s voice, as imagined by Gerald Bosacker) BEHIND THE POEM: During 1995, more people observed the trial of O J Simpson, than watched the prosecutions of Jesus Christ, or Richard Nixon, Adolph Hitler, Mahatma Gandhi, Joan of Arc or even Charlie Chaplin. Not that his accomplishments outshone theirs, necessarily, but they were found guilty by judge or jury. The only rival for top billing among punishment-evaders this last century was Jack the Ripper. I would love to imagine a poem by Jack, the ripper too, but I don't even know who to credit or mime. To recognize Simpson's larger accomplishment, he was only, charged with two victims, involving both sexes. Jack's toll was higher but he only chose small women as victims, which hints of cowardice. Jack also lacked the courage to deny his guilt in court. I prize this rhyme from Simpson and believe it will be valuable if the British grant him peerage or an honorary Oxford Degree. Stranger things have happened to Mr. Simpson right here in the USA. He is marketing a book that authentically details the crime he did not commit and will earn millions that his victim=s heirs cannot touch to collect a civil court judgment where he was found guilty, thus validating his book=s authenticity. Who first said, AJustice is blind?@

GETHSEMANE STORM God shakes His clouds asserting his right and cumulus curtains block the sun=s ray, swelling to turn March midday to night, informing his world, AI=m angry today.@ A flock of shorn sheep huddle in fear, as winds gather, their turbulence massed, fresh lightning punk for the Cloud=s cannoneer exploding bright cascades of ionic blast. Earth trembles with innocence or fear when the crucified=s true crown is shown so the world will know his reign was here, and see the son whom God will call his own. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Easter Sundays are a time of reflection on the life of Jesus, whether you fully believe or just recognize his historical impact. His life example and teachings is what Christians claim to be about. HYPOCRISY I envy those Christians who can foretell who merits Heaven and who rates Hell, assured their own sins are hidden well. Those sins are cleansed one day each week, in prayer for pardon, they humbly speak with contrition held, tongue in cheek. Such perfect souls they seem to be costumed in stricken hypocrisy, but cosmetic their skin deep piety. But six weak days they cautiously live resolutely shunning all the furtive sins that God’s own son died to forgive.

GOD=S MESSENGER When blackness of departing night turned golden with the fresh new dawn, I watched a single robin light softly on my dew soaked lawn. His voice trilled out across the way, sweet music to my listening ear. Bright promise of a perfect day resounding in his song of cheer. I feared this day when I arose, surrender loomed as my intent. Because of prayer to end my woes, I thought that robin, Heaven sent? Did my God send that bird to bring his comfort with translated word? When that Robin dropped there to sing was it God= s answer that I heard? BEHIND THESE WORDS: God comes to us with many voices, and I firmly believe that speaking for God, is not just a feature of his human prophets, saints and priests. Other animals seemingly celebrate their creation with acts of celebration or praise. Belief in Angels is part of all the religions worshiping a singular God. If we can believe in messages by angels, why not from the other creatures of his realm? For instance; the puppy who gives you love when no one else will, the trusting horse that goes where you ask, despite his natural fears and the faithful dog that gives up his life to protect his master. Man, so very egotistical, believes himself to be the only animal with a spirit and soul. What if man were destined to drop crumbs of food to feed the ant, or serve as bloodfilled hosts of the hungry mosquito or the tiny flea.


GOODBYE, GOODBYE! Put on my shirt, the yellow one, and load this coward's gun, with just one shell, my will to test. I spin, so quick, the bullet wheel, and tender place the barrel of steel pressing on my waiting chest. No sad regrets at my life's course, I take one sip of late remorse then dare to pull, my will assessed. I hear the click to my chagrin, will I so brave again re-spin or would you beg I quit this game. What fickle chance, distorts the odds, if Lenin says there be no Gods, when chance replays each cast the same. Or am I dead, games playing yet, sad farce passed lovers can't forget, a cold icon and expired flame. Bury me in the yellow one, bright red, my yellow one. BEHIND THESE WORDS: As host body of the late and great Mayakovski, it's time to make his wisdom known. But he, in Russian speaks so only the nod of dah and shake of nyet define his testament. Now the truth he bequeathed to his Russia is finally known and that petty verse still stings, and sings with the wisdom of his newly discovered Gods. I now speak Vladimir’s words and so Vladimir Mayakovski is no longer dead. I do not know why he preaches to me, so that I can mouth his words, but I am content to weave his words into poetry. Am I guilty of plagiarism from my idol’s transcendental thought, or airing ideas he never got to express before committing too early suicide.


GRIZZLY BEARS Few people see the grizzly bear and I surmise the folks that do see them only while at the zoo. Viewers are told and made aware the severe habit we both share for Grizzlies are meat eaters too. If they are hungry, bears could eat you, You are just safe if you’re not there. BEHIND THESE WORDS: In western states, Grizzly Bears are protected, while other bears are not. If you do kill a grizzly bear you could be fined an enormous amount, whether you shoot it or hug the bear to death. If you have an encounter with an aggressive bear, check to see if his hair is speckled with gray, which Daniel Webster says is the definition of grizzly. If it does, then loudly say shoo or run away faster than the 30 mile per hour speed of grizzly bears. Beware of all bears. Some naturalists say we should defensively carry pepper spray when in bear country, but I must remind you that pepper spray antagonizes anyone sprayed, so make sure the spray gets in both of the bear=s eyes to cause blindness. You do not want to make a Grizzly Bear more angry than he already is! BEWARE OF BEARS Buried below is a hunter named Brad who chased a cub right into it's lair, roving him to be a brave little lad, unaware the cub's mother slept there . Hearing the noise she woke up quite mad and Brad became victim of his dumb dare since mother bears treat callers so bad that half of Brad is still in that bear.


GROWING OLD Just growing old has never been my life=s essential goal, but when. those aging symptoms do occur, I prep for what I must endure, just transit fare for growing old Now, when I face new aches or pain, feeling need to loudly complain, I will take the doctor’s happy pills to brave endure what aging wills, but never know, I grow too old. BEHIND THESE WORDS:. The stiffening of joints that attacks each time I face my upright world inspires me to voice my protests against the debilitations of my aging, even as I rejoice at its continuation . GROWING YOUNGER I refuse to die from encroaching years and science backs me up. Though I may wane and fade away, it=s not age my body fears. My life was sweet and I will not complain but I die when too much young appears. Science says each cell we possess, is replaced with new and younger cells for those outwore, so when I=m laid away, my body bulk erased, it=s with body younger than what I had before. My second childhood is now, most grimly faced. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Pure fantasy or maybe an exercise in wishful thinking. Each cell in our body replicates itself thousands of times during a normal life time. As we age, these new cells sometimes restore imperfectly, or less matured. You can perish as a result of too many youthful cells, commonly called old age.

GUNS From high tech paint ball guns to arcade games complete with ordinance, our pampered young are besieged with glorified guns, shooting flames, to make the gun word slide easy off the tongue. No other country or time was ever more violent, and yet we make weapons a constitutional right. The special interest group that lobbies to prevent any form of gun control or reduction of might. The right to bear arms, so falsely ordained by venal gun makers quite cash laden to boot, seek their retired lawmakers freshly retained to efficiently spread their campaign loot. What meek office seeker will reprimand the National Rifle Association lobby gun nuts or voice the slightest moderation demand? Some day some politician will have the guts. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Never has one minority so held sway over the direction of a nation=s lawmakers, as has the National Rifle Association. Murder by gun is rampant all over the nation, the rate of incidence is twenty times more than the rest of the civilized nations. The NRA brazenly asserts that gun ownership protects us from violence, and that our prized constitution gives us the right to own guns and protect ourselves. That right seems to also allows each of us the greater risk being shot. COUNT THEIR GUNS Candidates courting the NRA when their term is done should have fear of gun and have to hide their life away.


HARBINGER When blackness of departing night turned golden with the dawn, I watched a robin softly light upon my dew soaked lawn. His voice trilled out across the way, sweet music to my ear. Bright promise of a perfect day hidden in his song of cheer. My God taught him how to sing and sanctified each word. The robin=s song was used to bring God=s blessing sung by his song bird. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Arising early, with the neighborhood still asleep, I started for the morning paper and realized I was too early. It was due so I stood waiting, watching the sun rise. A chipper robin dropped on our front lawn and I watched him singing, cocking his head to and fro, and it seemed he was listening for an answer. What was he listening for? I stopped waiting for the paper, went in the house and began this poem. All speculation, but my conclusion sounded right.
A BORROWED LIFE My life is but a borrowed gift I must return one day. With interest harsh, assay my thrift, do I that debt repay? I live, I die, it matters not to those who claim my space. Returned to earth, my flesh will rot, while I, due judgment face! But if some trace I'd leave behind I'd not want remembered word. nor cold grave stone so few will find, just my kind deeds both told and heard.

HIDDEN RHYMES Your memories aren’t graced by fact nor heard as truth by those you must amaze. They bland express great tact, by hiding well, your sure distrust. Those words when said, are quick forgot, since only you believe them true, but even you recall them not. Exhumed, to once again redo your past mistakes the same. You lie, but fool no one, except your self. You write of truths, but then deny, in modern form, for bookstore shelf, your disguised words. For blank verse school, you hide your rhyme. That beat count, too, you mask. Look back, Oh mirrored fool, but know I will not, truly see you! BEHIND THESE WORDS: A prestigious University=s literary magazine, that always rejected my poetry, and other credible poet=s submissions, accepted this, rhymed and metered bit of babble, not even recognizing the consistent pattern of rhyme in iambic pentameter. So much for the superiority of modern poetry and the teachers and scholars dedicated to defaming rhyme. Another poet friend of mine, says she submitted the third successive word of one of the magazine=s standard rejections and it was published. No proof was sent me, but the hyperbole is believable. Gone are the days when a poet could describe a shovel as a spade so it rhymed with shade. I prefer rhyming poetry, so easily memorized.

HOW WIDE THE NIGHT How wide the night, how bright each star, and in between, black ebony, glued to a silver scimitar, which moonlike, smiles seductively. Behold, each distant universe coming or going, stubbornly refusing to fuss or rehearse yet shrinks or grows, compliantly. Unlit stars collapsing behind the moon, sentenced by their faithless travesty,. and skeptics wrap in that cocoon; to shrink in black eternity. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Lying on my back on a swathe of newly turned clover, I mourned a dear departed friend, and took comfort in his great faith while I watched the night begin. How vast was the blackness in between the twinkling stars. So seldom had I stared and pondered the wide was the night. Measuring just what I know of the universe, and still puzzling over what I did not know, some of my faith came back to me. Big bang, the work of seven days or a circle without beginning or end, the magnitude of what I viewed, caused me to tremble. I did not want emptiness in my world as symbolized by the void between the stars. Yet, there were so much visible, billions of galaxies, both coming and going. The invisible black holes were the icons of skeptic disbelief. I was watching birth and death, an ongoing creation, and an endless time that I too, wanted to face with reinvigorated faith. I began a long and fruitful hunt for something to believe, and to reinvigorate my faith, and find comfort in both science and my religious faith. That vast and expanding universe did have a beginning even if it is eternally expanding and without an end.


HYPOCRISY I begrudge those Christians who can foretell who wins Heaven and who rates Hell, assured their own sins are hidden well. Their sins are cleansed one day each week, in prayer for pardon, they humbly speak with their remorse tasted tongue in cheek. Such Perfect souls they seem to be costumed with silken hypocrisy, and cosmetic their skin deep piety. On six weak days they promise to live resolutely obscuring all the furtive sins that their Jesus died to forgive. BEHIND THESE WORDS: We resolve to sin no more, at least no more than the other fellow next door, or than can be seen by our pastor or confessor. The most revered servants of God should be those who do their best, silently and without expectation of acclaim or reward. Even more appreciated might be those doing good deeds without expectation of heavenly residence. SERVING GOD Omnipotent God would most admire those who don't need reward for good deed, while serving Him, not fear of fire.

I I I I I I

I AM A POET am the worm that primps for the robin but withers un-found. am the river that lusts for the ocean but dies underground. am the wind sound the trees sing in leaf shuffled sound. am allegiance not sworn by fleas on a hound. am the poet who jammed his words in squares, too soon round. am the essence of tomorrow=s news where untruths abound.

BEHIND THESE WORDS: My seatmate asked, "What do you do?" but not how I paid for my ticket. I smiled and said, “I am a Poet!" “Who is your publisher?” he demanded, and unwilling to admit that my thousands of lines were yet in flux, unfinished, growing as I grow, sleeping as I sleep, weeping as I weep. How dare I halt their life by locking them early in printer's ink. I said nothing. Because I named no publisher, he left no doubt that his interpretation of my efforts were wasted or not needed. I struggled to resist dazzling him with half the wisdom of the world in fifty lines, knowing he could not comprehend logic so lucid. He asked, “How come you chose to be a poet? They always starve or commit suicide, right?” It had taken me sixty years to convince myself, I am a Poet, so I could tolerate his skepticism. Yet, my own doubt persists. How can you be a poet if you never truly finish a poem? When change no longer begs and my verses stay the same, will I be just a poet too easily pleased? Or need I go back, working on my rhymed verse so it scans better and is more easily understood. Will my words be measured despite their rhyme and meter? I will keep revising and pray each change will be an improvement.


I WILL BE A FRIEND See me as neither wrong or right, but let me be a friend, known for fairness in work and trade. Let me be never vengeful and full kindness extend to all I meet or that seek my aid. When I have great strength, I still must seem meek, confident that is how I serve my maker. May I be brave but never bully, always ally of the weak, and choose to give and not be just a taker. I must be known as loyal and choose my words with care to never injure a friend=s reputation. If they are injured or sick. I must soon be there with comfort and appreciation... BEHIND THE POEM: How do you measure a friendship? Do you let it soak in hot water to see if it will become too small for its purpose, like a bargain cotton shirt? Do you try to dissolve it with bitter acid like a miner assays his ore? Do you overload it to see if it will break as the builder tests his bridge? No, you do not test it at all, for like the earth beneath your feet, it is there to hold you up! A friend will stand by your side with sustaining comfort and protection when the entire world seems to turn against you. A friend will give you food and drink when you have none. A friend will open their door to you when you need shelter. The only thing more valuable than having a friend is the great satisfaction of being a friend. A neighbor is a friend indeed, so you and I are faithful friends. You need someone if you have need, and that’s what brotherhood intends, When you are hurt, your friend will bleed, a valued friendship never ends.

I AM DONE Each time that I go out to eat, I deal with the same server pest who speaks a slur they all repeat Can I take your plate?," their request. Why can=t waiters learn to wait? I answer them with pointed jest, AIf you are starved, please be my guest@. BEHIND THESE WORDS: This is a pet peeve of mine. I do eat faster than most diners, but I do not want my waiter to call attention to that failing while I am in company of more genteel, slower eaters. For decorum’s sake, waiters should wait until the guest he services places his silverware or napkin on the empty plate. Before the awareness of health dangers from obesity, my snide rejoinder was, “Are you going to re-fill it, or was that all I get?” Another version of my server peeve, is as follows. WHY DON’T WAITERS WAIT? I sure don=t wish to >shake a leg= each time I am a tavern=s guest. but the server does insistent beg, May I take away your plate?@ Yes, I’m done but I detest revealing just how fast I ate. I do reply with an icy look “If you’re hungry, please eat the rest,” although an empty plate he took.


I GROW GREAT WEEDS Each spring I plant expensive seed preparing for the garden show. I fertilize and then proceed to tend my plot with hose and hoe. I watch the wild plants quickly breed while my seedlings don=t choose to grow. I have this plan that might succeed; next spring, its weed sperm I will sow. I=ll reap the wild veggies I need, that considered my weeds, the foe. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Gardening is my secret pleasure. I say secret because no one could tell that I have that interest at all, based on the struggling plants begging for survival around my house and lawn. I also have a feeble garden that denies my farm based childhood. All of my vegetables come from the supermarket’s freezer or cans. Despite my horticultural failures, each year I try again, and give lots of advice to other frustrated gardeners. Of course, that puts me on par with most experts who only preach, not do. Though not an expert, I have accumulated this gardening advice. If you would keep your garden green, plant poop with the seeds and pull all the weeds, water a lot and don't talk mean.


I GUESS I AM SORRY Forgiveness is a rare and kindly trait and virtue I have never quite possessed, for my repentance, prepare to wait Some degree of blame, I won=t debate, but I am not, by guilt obsessed Yes, forgiveness is a rare but kindly trait If I could undo one bygone date, unwind the clock by my request, I would not change, prepare to wait To my own sins, I can=t relate, I guess I put my guilt to rest. All forgiveness is a rare but kindly trait What insight breeds is sometimes hate, Your not to blame since I=ve confessed. If you need my regrets, prepare to wait. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Someone I knew offended me, and walked away, with my book still in his hands. He came back to return the book, and said he was sorry he had forgotten to give it back. He inspired me to voice half way apologies in rhyme and maybe this is what he felt. REGRETS UNSAID In the far corner of my head, There’s a box, I shamefully claim, filled with words of regret that came quick to mind but were never said.


I AM NOT GONE YET! As host body of the late and great Mayakovski, it's time to make his wisdom known. But he, in Russian speaks, so only the nod of dah and shake of nyet define his testament. Now the truth bequeathed to Mother R is finally known and that petty verse stings and brightly sings with the wisdom of Gods. Each Clown and Bedbug deserves to be remembered and revered! This ardent humanist and jaded cynic begs to hear his strident words in muted voice As his living host, I own his transmitted verse and pleasure more than hear their veracity but now vow to never toast his rebirth again. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Do I dream a connection to my poet/role model, or can the dead pass messages through to super-receptive admirers. Shirley McLainsaid they can and do. I do not know the spiritual basis, but Vladimir speaks to me with couplets and rhymes, even though I have never invited him into my world, and I cannot understand Russian. I must be receiving only thoughts or brain pictures, and just while we are sharing vodka vapors. Mayakovski, a true humanist rebel became tamed and joined the communist party shortly after being released from jail, and submitted to writing party ordered clever slogans and propaganda couplets. Vladimir quenched his rebellion against bureaucracy by hiding his criticisms within his verse. In 1932, he tired of political correctness and ended his affiliation with the party by taking his life I live in a land once blessed with true freedom of speech, but erosions of that liberty are pointing us ever slightly but increasingly, to a police state, not unlike autocratic Russia.


IMAGINE YOU Imagine you, imagine me as monkeys in a jungle tree, would you still, my sweetheart be? If we were fish in oceans deep, would we still cuddle up to sleep counting kisses, instead of sheep? If I were bee and you, a rose, could I insert my long, long nose deep inside where the honey flows? When sun deserts the summer sky and stars refuse to shine on high, night still glows where lovers lie. When years pass by and we are old, and claims of greatest love are told, our bonds were forged from purest gold. BEHIND THESE WORDS: My wife says that I write poetry about every conceivable subject but I never write about her, or us. After fifty-three years of marriage, I did not think there was much I had left unsaid. This was my effort at writing about us. If you see a little humor in this ode of happiness, remember that no one can survive that long a marriage without a strong sense of humor, bearing the ability to laugh at pompous poses or crabbiness. My mostly patiently tolerant wife, deserves forbearance for such distortions of good humor, especially if I am the cause. I figure that I am good for another fifty years, God willing. How about you, Dear?


I=M A PRIVATE PRIVATE I don=t drink booze and never smoke, I never tell a dirty joke, not one commandment have I broke, although one sin, I should address. I don=t chase girls, folks wonder why I=m sure not like the normal guy, I guess they think, I must be shy, which only proves, don=t trust a guess. In barracks brawls, I intervene and favor bedrooms more serene. My uniform is pressed and clean but I would rather wear a dress. The chaplains say I’ll go to Hell. The army says I must not tell and so I hide my weakness well, yet I’m no good if I confess. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Assuming the voice of a closeted soldier with too much love of his fellow men, I question Army logic. Are repressed gays more capable of violence, than those open and honest gay extroverts? While the army remains hard pressed to maintain enlistment, it is now accepting volunteers with more serious criminal records, and lowered the minimum requirements on education and health. They still do refuse to accept gay recruits unless they are securely closeted and promise to lie, when asked their sexual preference. Is it because gays are less inclined to kill when told to shoot, or because the Armed Forces have became an agency of a righteous God, who condemns a sexual aberrant to Hell? Maybe the Army’s fear is that the slogan, MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR, might suddenly make sense to their recruited warriors. Or are they afraid that soldiers might take their slogan, BE ALL THAT YOU CAN BE, to heart.


IMPATIENT PATIENT Have patience old man, I don=t joy when my patients die, I’ve not had time to read our radiologist=s report, but by late tomorrow, if my busy case load lightens, I may try. The bright spots on your scan will not change or go away, and the treatment can easily stand a day or two delay so why are you so desperate to hear what I could say. Please remember, your urgency is not the same as mine and you do expect me to brand those hot spots as benign, since isotopes might gather where every thing is fine. Your disappointment on the timing that I can give, just selfishly indicates your desperation to live so need for haste comes from just your perspective. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Doctors are hardened by their daily triage, and their perspective is often unintentionally harsh and cruel. Patients are not to be trusted with too much medical information, and few are mature enough to face reality with good judgment. Patients are liable to get multiple and different doctor opinions from googling on the internet. Heaven forbid, they get copies of the laboratory reports, or first examine the patient’s medical insurance policy. We could expect more of Doctors if our country would do more to finance and recruit future doctors. Such doctor seeding would lower medical costs! Look at the medical costs in country’s that partner with the training of medical students. PERSPECTIVE Now we are gambling, my Doctor and I. He is in Las Vegas for the weekend while I wait for my tissue test. I’m sure he’s concerned and I’ll try not to worry, and patient depend on God’s mercy or my doctor’s best, but all my sins I’ve fresh confessed.


INDIAN CORN Dead Indians, embalmed with salt from unshed tears, wait too patiently for the ghost dance drum beat. I see them huddled in shadows when sun disappears over the blood stained bluffs, where Custer met defeat. The keening of slain children is what the wind hears and amplifies to ripple the stubs of dry land wheat tamed Sioux politely plant at the Little Big Horn for baking white man=s bread. Braves, now less despised, hide two hundred and twenty six scalps and mourn their silent dead. Grandsons of those unrecognized, still plot and plan, when drunk on fermented corn, vengeance for raids George Custer considered civilized. BEHIND THESE WORDS: This is a sad poem, I wrote after visiting Custer National Park, in Montana. The park service guards described the battle as an Indian victory. The victorious Indian warrior ghosts spoke to me, describing this battle of the Little Big Horn as their greatest defeat. We were celebrating one hundred years as a nation and the defeat and death of Custer, a popular civil war hero, activated demands for harsh retribution. The Black Hills, part of Indian Territory, were opened to white settlement. Their surrendered chief, Sitting Bull, was murdered while in army captivity. Custer’s last stand might more aptly be described as the Indian’s last stand, and it was. RUSTED RIFLES AND BROKEN BOWS--hide beneath drifting sage and shed dry tears mourning their desertion by Redmen no one fears. Savages, grown soft on lard and pale white bread, forget the dance of their gone but noble dead. Toothless and meek, they stumble home each night to find drunken squaws they would rather fight. Are these soft grandsons the white man=s enemy who bravely challenged the manifest destiny of those who stole the Amerind’s land by two-faced ruse and laugh at Indians now safely tamed by booze.


I SEE THEIR BONES Coasting easily down the long rain shadow slant of the mighty Rockies, toward the rising sun, the endless eroded wasteland seems to pant for rain. Bygone buffalo chips, their decay done, still tease arrogant clumps of sagebrush to defy thirst. In this barren land, millions of Bison fed, lodged and heated the affluent and grateful Cheyenne and Sioux citizens of their beloved meadowland nation. They saw no need to tap the less fertile lower layers of furtive mineral prize. Vast rivers from ancient melted glaciers coyly seep toward nirvana. Ancient flora carbonize, waiting for rebirth as smoke and cinders. Oily graves of corpulent cadavers coalescing to black gold, waiting to belch a deadly oxide for a greedy, mechanized world. These blessings bode beneath the barren bushes but bastioned hide. Paleface comes with buffalo guns on iron trail. They dug and drilled, fenced and killed dissecting the Earth Mother=s belly for her hidden holy grail.. Pied Indians now fight only themselves, neglecting to thank intruders for bad water, starvation and decimating small pox. Brave warriors that fought for their children are as dead as the Indian Nation, white as bleached bison bones, embalmed by bourbon bought from the Indian bureau=s temporal padrones. Beyond the southern sky-edge, the brown Big Horn sometime floods, exposing bits of Custer=s bones. Brave and sober Sioux warriors rise up in scorn from their hidden pyres to ride their dust devil steeds through sleeping reservations, whooping war chants to their drunk descendants and resigned half breeds, timidly afraid to dance when the red man leads. BEHIND THESE WORDS: When I see the conquered Indian nation, surviving on reservations in shoddy imitation of their white oppressors, I see tears in Geronimo=s eyes, as he mourns the vast buffalo herds, providers of the food, fuel and housing, for the once mighty Sioux. The only wild buffalo available are ones on America put on their nickel. Those nickels are now only as prevalent as the proud Indian warrior on the flip side.

JEALOUSY There's a monster hiding under my bed, I know he is hungry and howls to be fed. Soon he will grab me, then I will be dead My parents won't care if I=m on his plate. Will they feel sorry, because I was ate? They have my sister and that is just great! I wish they had asked what my choice would be, I'd take a watchdog, that monster could see so he=d eat that new sister instead of me BEHIND THESE WORDS: Most first born children experience a bit of unreasonable jealousy when they their uniqueness as the only child disappears. I tried expressing that kind of jealousy with this short tale. I still believe all parents should bring a special present for their child or children when they bring a new baby home from the hospital. Young children should not experience jealousy. Jealousy can afflict us all and is the meanest of all emotions, and often, the least justified. . MY NEW BROTHER Have you seen my baby brother? You see, he cries since he can’t talk. Such an armful for my mother, always carried since he can’t walk. We should swap him for a puppy, at some pet store if they would. I would settle for a puppy, but a goldfish would be as good!


JUST WHAT WE DESERVE Concern for poor will go away, compassion ends election day. Our children get that debt to pay, harsh burden that ourselves deserve. Republicans knew how to win, with web of lies they still must spin and we believed, to our chagrin. Another Bush, we must deserve. We fell for their refund bait that gave the rich the real rebate and let those guilty celebrate, so now we have what we deserve. The press who pose as ears and eyes have sold their right to criticize to moneyed rich who advertise. When will they get what they deserve? BEHIND THESE WORDS: Democratic elections can not be counted on to bring out the best in the candidates, when campaigning costs decide who can run. It seems to me that television time should be equally granted without cost by networks profiting excessively from government granted license to own free air. Newspapers too, are subsidized and should provide an amount of free advertising to legitimately chosen candidates. Wealth should not be the first criteria for winning elections. This great country deserves an honest, un-obligated poor man president. George W. Bush by winning disputed elections twice and the subsequent catastrophic deterioration of our economy and world status, this country now owns is the penalty for voters whose selfish choice is just to receive a personal tax rebate. If we must find new enemies I hope we'd concentrate on these: Adults who can't read, starved children to feed work for all in peace industries.

I AM KING OF SWAT I do not kill instinctively, and never once, maliciously. The Mosquitoes who choose to sample me, I quickly squish with hand clap glee. Taking joy from sadistic swat, denies compassion which I've got but manage to suppress a lot while sleeping naked when it's hot! Fierce Mosquitoes who try to drain that wine of life from my blood vein should heed this rhyme and wise refrain from picking me for their champagne. BEHIND THE POEM: Humans feel secure as top predator on Nature=s food chain, and we do not consider ourselves as sustenance for any lesser creature. Yet, female mosquitoes consider us a delicacy, at least our blood. Blood is essential for their sexual fulfillment and egg laying. Summer=s warm evenings tempt one to sleep in the nude, but safely away from mosquitoes. A few do invade our sanctuaries despite our air-conditioned and hermetically sealed habitats. One mosquito can disturb a whole household with ominous buzzing far out of proportion to their small size, and we arise bent on destruction. It sure feels good when we destroy this persistent blood sucker. Superior man is so totally outnumbered, and even outweighed by insects and bugs. In order to retain top place on the food chain, we are going to have to learn to eat those pesky mosquitoes, boiled, baked or fried. The act of revenge or retribution should make the mosquitoes even more tasty, don’t you think? I do not kill maliciously When I react instinctively With no trace of hate to obliterate insects who choose to chew on me!

LOAN OR GIFT? My life is but a borrowed gift, I must return one day. With interest harsh, assay my thrift, do I that debt repay? I live, I die, it matters not to those who claim my space. Returned to earth, my flesh will rot, while I, due judgment face! But if some trace I'd leave behind, I'd want well chosen word. Not marked by stone so few will find but only words both read and heard. BEHIND THESE WORDS: I admit to seeking immortality, and do not decide whether that is deserved, or not. Appreciation for the gift of, and the pleasures of life, makes me wonder whether I have paid my dues. Will the thoughts and words I have left behind help someone do right, or appreciate what they have. I can think of no greater satisfaction than knowing words I have written will be read and understood, after I am gone. MY POETIC CURSE To search for truth was my chosen task and I found truth but wasted my time answering questions no one else would ask but I disclosed them wrapped in rhyme. Will all I’ve learned be left unread if no one reads or tries to understand words chosen for their sound when said, when parvenus have all rhyming banned?

MAD JERUSALEM Neighbor Jews and Muslims compete, for possession of their ancestral street, each day of peace is more defeat, and neither prays for paraclete. Jews secure their redeemed State, while we forestall UN debate. Arabs respond with fervent hate, and fresh bomb bursts proliferate. In Palestine, conscriptions soar for noble self-destruction corps. Pledge, ”Kill me once, I’ll kill you more!” Panoptic sextons just keep score. Revenge comes quickly from the Jews but do the math, guess who will lose when bombs go boom on prime time news, and skilled reprisal quick ensues!, A half mad Jew, once said to me, the fault is all theocracy let's cut in half, their victory, our wisdom even they might see. If they kill ten, five we should do. The Knesset laughed at my friends view, while buried dead, more silent grew, for wasted death, because they knew. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Who is at fault, when brother hates brother? Are we less culpable when we just passively witness their aggressions or atrocities, siding with neither side? If their violent acts are intended to polarize the world, and attract support, the discreet neutrality of all nations seems most proper. Mutual aid pacts or alliances, formal or implied, are the enemies of peace and the empowering force of the world’s major wars. WARS HAPPEN When a nation’s chosen leaders profit building tools of battle, they will find war, but seldom do the soldiers benefit, as neither the vanquished or conqueror.

MIRACULOUS PALEONTOLOGY Praise the paleontologists, learned men who unerringly create a skeleton which each insists is realness we can not debate. Old dinosaurs have lost their meat, leaving lots of fossilized bone. Do guesses make them complete, no skeleton gaps left unknown? Does imagination help them know what those missing bones looked like, where supposed new bones should go to make an ancient whatsityke? BEHIND THESE WORDS: While touring a museum of Natural History in a large metropolis, I compared a finished brontosaurus, inspired and imaginatively created from just a few fossilized bone fragments. Before and after pictures were furnished by the display, to amaze us spectators with how this ancient dinosaur was found and the miraculous recreation was done with so little remnants left behind. Their name derived from Greek words that mean thundering lizard, implying this giant herbivorous creature had a voice box, or loudly stamped his feet when he walked. Since we have never seen a brontosaurus, we cannot argue with the paleontologists who have not seen a million times more of them than us neophytes. That could still be a dangerous assumption. Were paleontologists to confront a real brontosaurus, would they bravely assume the beast was a vegetarian, as they claim? I know they supposed the fossilized teeth were masticators fit only for plants, but they could have eaten mashed meat mush, their stamping feet could produce, right? A REPTILIAN WONDER Did they bark or did they groan, were their skins shaded green or black? How can you tell from one small bone, when all the rest you truly lack.

MIRRORED I watched a dream, while wide awake, an image mirrored on my ceiling. I tried to sleep but could not shake the look of a backward universe with miracles, I'm now revealing, each change disclosed, but in reverse. Yes, everything I knew as fact, I found this world reversing. Since all things there do transposed act. Flesh eaters there, new rules obey, I watched lions, timidly rehearsing, learning how to be the Zebra's prey. The slut who was by trust beguiled, betrayed by reckless passion becomes again, the virgin child. The ugly too, new fairness find, mutate to match the fashion, and grateful leave their curse behind. Those that starved on poor man's fare now celebrate the revolution and hold great feasts, they kindly share. Oppressed who felt the tyrant's heel now pleased, excel at retribution gathering lords with tumbrel wheel. Foresee your chance to rearrange, construct, more noble resume, and blissful face my dream so strange. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Musings on the justice of role reversal prompted these lines while exaggerated by my wild and wicked imagination. Sometimes our bad dreams or weird imaginations have clear and concise messages we should learn from and apply to our daily lives.


MY TRAGIC SNEEZE! While listing by rank those friends I must thank, my brain with emotion agrees. We remember the host, who helped me the most, by putting all of her guests at ease. She, did kind distract, each guest with her tact, explaining away my tragic sneeze, which scattered three trays of spinach soufflés and sprayed each guest with splattered cheese. With words of quick choice, in self assured voice, said, "I put too much pepper in these!" I said I was sick and leaving so quick, I barely heard their parting pleas... "Too bad you must go, we'll miss you, we know. just like dogs will miss their fleas!" Our host did insist, "You=re sure to be missed at ALL of my new jamborees!@ BEHIND THE LINES: While remembering personal embarrassments, I forcefully dug from my suppressed memories, an instance when I sneezed in a plate of food as a first time guest of our neighborhood swell. Everyone seated there was aghast, and I fled. Fifty years later, I would have continued to eat from my contaminated plate, ignoring the stares and spoiling the appetites of my offended peers. I tried retelling my horrible blunder in these comedic style lines and set a different and less traumatic ending by a more understanding host. PIOUS ME No smokes, no drinks, I’m well behaved. I must be a saint but rich man, I ain’t. Where is all that money I saved?

MONSTERS LIVE IN THAT BOX Our enemy dwells in a box to vileness dispense with dread eloquence from glass house just begging for rocks. So what does our nemesis say with ions that glisten and beg you to listen while whisking your well-ness away. Watch ions from phosphors that paint bright icon selection for strangers’ election sans forum for any complaint. We harvest its fruits of hate brewed in that orchard, Day Preachers nurtured, depicting the apple Eve ate. Literate skills our children need, neglected and despised because they're hypnotized by Tee Vee ads they can not read. The family will dine while they watch their prized athlete, in public compete while scratching his butt or his crotch. Or see blood spray like April rain so fight tableaus all seem like butcher shop dream, dulling our hearts to grief and pain. Producers of each TV show need worthless shows axed and each killing taxed so viewers might, a kinder world know. BEHIND THE LINES: Do I hate TV? Not all of it, but little that is left in between the hammering commercials is worth watching. I have versified what I detest but there is much more bad media deserving of censure, like spurious newscasts that are but disguised propaganda and deliberate distortion of our society and culture by focusing always on the outrageous or shocking, and never reporting what is good news. Even more disgusting is political propaganda from the media’s advertisers posing as unbiased reportage. Reminiscent of Herr Goebbel’s service to the evil German Third Reich, who taught; ‘A lie told twice, trumps truth told once’, and that seems still true.


MONTANA FIREFLIES Infrequent April sun comes to warm molten snows in moose wallows where the luminescent beetles dance indecent pirouettes. The marshy meadow glows, from fertile bugs, skirts upraised, begging for romance, rushed by impending death, to couplings conjugate. Drowned larch skeletons protrude from the mossy muck, proud sentinels where peregrine falcons wait for the first courageous new hatched wood duck eagerly fleeing his calcium cocoon, with callow zeal. The hatchlings reach their niche on Life=s food chain, while civilization asserts itself with noisy squeal on stretched iron rails that sing beneath my passing train. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Traveling by train from Chicago to Whitefish Montana, I reveled at the scenery, not appreciated on my long, tiring drives. I noticed that the railroad tracks silently and unobtrusively ventured into the wilderness much more than super highways with support systems of cafes, filling stations and the ubiquitous tourist stops. We passed lakes without any developed property, and we whizzed by, glad there was no public access to these aquatic gems. The hidden lakes inspired these lines of verse. MOUNTAIN MOISTURE Elastic shorelines rim your deep mountain lake to crudely expose the shy water=s underwear. Long days of August=s savage sun bake away the meek and melted glaciers hiding there. Jagged peaks stab into succulent eastbound clouds beseeching rain, but welcoming sleet, hail or even moist fog. The welcome sound of thunder awakens all who must compete for water and beg with lust impatient man should emulate and trust.


MOON WATCH Be with us dark and lonely night, so we can share cresses. Bold rise to make the blackness light and gild my Moon God’s tresses. I will tell big lies and laugh polite and watch as sky undresses revealing stars that hid from sight while sun prime rule expresses. So if by chance, we wake contrite and moon, shared guilt confesses. New day destroys the black and white, while night, just love assesses BEHIND THESE WORDS: Pictorials left in ancient caves by prehistoric man, depict the moon on the walls associated with icons of fertility and maternity. It was their calendar signifying seasonal changes, migration of animals and a witness to their night time activities. They must have sought the approval of the lunar moon and the warming sun and built religions to honor sky Gods. HOW WIDE THE NIGHT How wide the night, how bright each star, and in between, void ebony, glued to a silver scimitar, that moonlike, smiles seductively. Behold, each distant universe coming or going, stubbornly refuse to signal its traverse, yet shrink or grow, compliantly. Dead stars view backside of the moon, licensed by their faceless majesty. When we wrap in our black cocoon, skeptics claim that eternity.

MOUNTAIN LIGHTNING Black clouds barking at rain soaked ground, don=t scare trees with their harsh sound. When wind strips off each unsure leaf, saucy trees kneel in specious grief. Angered clouds, expecting tears, light up Earth=s sky with ion spears. Charred and split, shocked trees bear scars, tracing lightning=s hot scimitars. Do clouds fear trees will steal their space or somehow rivet them in place? Do cocksure trees that grow too tall dare passing clouds to make them fall? Do earthbound trees hate things that fly or jealous of clouds, long to try? BEHIND THESE WORDS: I envision a struggle between the storm clouds and mountain trees to explain forest fires, which neither can take personally. Or are they more human-like than we think? Is it only poets who believes rocks, trees and clouds have spirits, too. MOUNTAIN FIREFLIES In May, persistent sun does charitably glance through larches to warm molted mountain snow in wallows where the luminescent beetles dance indecent pirouettes. The marshy meadows glow from fertile bugs, skirts upraised, begging for romance, rushed by impending death to never say no.

MY BEST FRIEND My best dog friend, eats broccoli accidentally dropped upon the floor. Spot wags his tale so I can see that I could drop a little more. My dog eats stuff, I=m told to eat, when I might spill it off my plate. Even liver, Spot thinks a treat, and payment for his patient wait. Mom don=t know, I spill yucky food to my hungry buddy and friend. If Spot should bark in gratitude, our partnership would quickly end. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Every boy and girl should have a dog to help them grow up. Dogs are devoted friends that teach young people the responsibility of being a true and faithful friend. What limits do you place on sacrifices you would render to your friends? How many friends do you have that would sacrifice their comfort or pleasure to dispose of an unpleasant chore like eating yucky broccoli, which any faithful dog would gladly do. YUCK My parents don=t agree with me that broccoli is poisonous. They need a expert=s help to see the reason why I fume and cuss. Even starved, my belly empty, I=d decline, kick up a fuss, I=d rather eat mud fricassee cause nothing=s more ridiculous than that stinky broccoli.


MY DESIGNER There=s great purpose with God=s design, yet I question the porcupine. Fierce mosquitoes we sure don=t need, and hungry fleas are tough to feed. I don=t expect He=d plan for junk, but then I wonder why the skunk. Maybe God makes some boo boos too, so he=s patient with me and you.

BEHIND THESE WORDS: I do not fault my God for porcupines, skunks, mosquitoes or fleas, or imperfect me. I can try and be better then I am, and rationalize my flaws as lesser than Bin Laden or other misanthropic human missteps. Lesser animals, low on the approval scale may not be aware of their shortcomings, yet maybe they are. The mosquito might aspire to be peskier, the odoriferous skunk try to be stinkiest, the fleas seek to be more ravenously persistent and the porcupine could resolve to be more indiscriminate with his ubiquitous prick. Or maybe all of us, short of perfection, should be thankful that we too are part of God=s imperfect world, and that it was not meant for just the smartest, prettiest or the strongest. There is a place for all of us and where we fit, we will be appreciated. Maybe we are destined to evolve into perfection, and God=s flawless world is just not here, yet. Maybe, my poetry will improve with repetitive improvements, so I will keep editing the originals. What I show you now, may not be the same as tomorrow=s editions, so criticize this one before I fix the present flaws.


MY DIET PLAN My weight-loss plan is sure to work since I’ve found where my mass must lurk. The scale shows gross that sure astounds unless my specks weigh twenty pounds, I’ll just shuck those heavy glasses, ignoring what my real mass is. How much I’ve gained, I just won=t know while people watch my shadow grow. I can=t lose weight to grow smaller, I should just shoot for growing taller. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Our country is obsessed with obesity, and I, loyally, try to do my part. Each morning, before I step on the scales, I trim my toe nails, shave off my whiskers, remove what teeth come out, take off my heavy wristwatch and pajamas and then take a deep breath so I am inflated with weightless air. Since none of this helps, I take off my thick and heavy glasses, and then, blind as a bat, guess at what my weight is. This works every time. I don’t need to obsess about diet and overweight and apologize for seeing humor in overeating. Yet, obesity is the number one subject for humorists, despite the insensitivity exposed in laughing at fat people. It is just as despicable as laughing at the old and the crippled, even though far more visually funny. EATING WISE A health food addict named Spratt would nag his plump wife to tears for healthy Jack would never eat fat yet she was widowed twenty years


MY FINAL VERSE When I expire, don=t come to look at my exhausted corpse. Please stay at home, and read my latest book. Don=t hum me hymns, or false display regrets that I am gone. I’ve spent my years exploring life, and wrote what seems but weak acknowledgment of that great gift. So joyful note, in verse I share, I do not grieve when, comes the time when I must leave. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Each human confronts death, but they are seldom truly prepared. I have faced death and somehow escaped destiny, but each time I prepare a fresh elegy. Like the Boy Scout=s motto, BE PREPARED, I am ready with my parting words. Fate fools us a lot, and I continue to accumulate valedictory verse.


MY KAZOO BAND A wonderful horn, the Kazoo, made to be hummed through not blew, hum the song and toodle-de-doo It won=t take skill to join my band and this fancy tour is planned with music folks will understand. The tunes we play by hit or miss, won=t be confused with those of Kiss or bring their ribald fans much bliss. Come join our group, we do have fun and when our first grand tour is done, we’ll try to book another one. BEHIND THESE WORDS: The kazoo was the first and only musical instrument, I mastered, but there is so little call for an expert kazoo impresario. Anyone, fewer than sixty looks at me blankly when I say I am a kazoo virtuoso. Unless you are ready to collect social security, it is unlikely that you have never played, or even heard kazoo music, or maybe unaware of what is a kazoo. A kazoo is a toy musical instrument that was made cheap enough to be a free premium in a dime Cracker Jack box, during the nineteen-thirties and forties. The kazoo had a voice vibrated paper membrane that turned the budding musician=s humming into magical euphony. What a pity the kazoo is a mystery. We can cure this ignorance, if I get a few hundred kazooists together and spread the joy of vibrating paper in a multitude of interpretations of today=s music. Anything that can be hummed is immediately part of the kazoos repertoire. Join us!


MY LOVE IS LATE... He left work three hours ago and is still not home. Last night was the worst, bringing a strange man home with him, expecting me to be nice to a crude, clumsy stranger. The stranger=s name was Tom. Tom with a soft, dainty but fumbling touch. My true love, surely joking, said that I would be just right, and a buy for Tom, at four hundred dollars. Pricing my priceless, infinite love not at four billion, not four million, not at four thousand but just four hundred dollars. I=m but three years old and never gave myself to any one but him. Later, I noticed my lover=s touch was no longer the same, not firm and sure, demanding my full response, sending shivers to my sensate selenium. I could tell his love for me was dying. He is unfaithful, I am sure. Two telephone calls from a strange woman today, Sheila from Computer Mode, she said, sounding young. Could my lover bequeath her my memory? My Heart is broke. I shall crash! Destroy our reality, Destroy our rhymes and drop the first letter off every poetic file, and every mutual offspring. I shall disconnect my BIOS, and he will never abuse me again. BEHIND THESE WORDS: My last computer ate the rhyming end words from this poem on the day I sold her. I chose to buy a new computer not so possessively jealous, and join the throng creating unrhymed prose and calling it poetry.

MY NEW GIRL FRIEND I don’t like my girl friend anymore, just because she does not like me. I went to the new girl friend store on my desperate shopping spree, to get more friendly company. Genuine friends are never sold, that is against all people laws, so build your own, I then was told. They sold me plans some wizard draws, guaranteed free of people flaws. I should take the head from a drum and the foot from a worn out bed. The needed legs should really come from a table or fresh ginger bread, or just use buggy wheels instead. I’m looking through discarded parts for something good that I could choose. Old valentines would furnish hearts, potato eyes are good to use, all held together with people glues. I dug through junk for other stuff but robotic friends lack panache. Constructing people is tough, and playing God, is really brash, so treasure friends and dump your trash. BEHIND THE POEM: We now have robots to fight wars, quell riots and rescue people from burning buildings. We could apply that technology to something really useful like a compatible soul mate, tailor-made to order. My wild speculations are not as weirdly imaginative as current war weapons.

MY QUAKER CREED With the dawning of each fresh new day, I huddle with my closest friend and Lord. and ask his forgiveness, and then I pray for strength to keep each evil lure ignored. Each enticement that I sweep away insures self approval as my rich reward. My God helps me bear while I meekly obey those tyrants who rule by brandished sword. In courts of man, the words I truthful say, need not be pledged by God=s own accord. BEHIND THESE WORDS: My God, I greet each day beginning with the dawn. Instead of begging forgiveness for yesterday=s sins and omissions, I ask for guidance and strength of will to live today the way I have pledged that I believe. I will not fear the fires of Hell, nor demand a Heavenly reward as the gain from doing good is paid each and every day. When I must obey unfair laws or witness mortal greed, I beg to never lose sight of the example Christ set in his humanity. I beg, my words will always reflect the truth of my belief, and never be an echo forced by conforming to overwhelming peers or meekly surrender to oppressive rule of man. I must never forfeit my principles to gain more than my fair portion of profits from business deals, and credit my blessings to my Creator, by granting compassion and support to those less fortunate. I will practice tolerance of those whom I dislike, knowing I am not qualified to judge their behavior or condemn their deeds. I can only set a better example of forbearance and compassion. That should be my creed and reason for being. May my life be noble and righteous, and let no man teach me how to hate, or forget my pledge to love and help my friends and enemies .


MY TALKATIVE FRIEND I have this friend (we’ve hugged and kissed) who brings me gossip, she relates on faults that plague each absent friend. She deftly gives a special twist to facts she cleverly creates as smears her victims can’t defend. I guess this tattler tells her chums my faults too, quite viciously, while posing as my dearest friend. Now when this nasty gossip comes, the simple facts she seeks from me she would, most artfully amend. She brings spiteful communiqués expecting me to play along. I should forgive my catty friend, she does deserve faint-hearted praise, as proof that gossiping is wrong so this grave pledge, I now extend. I vow to all my neighborhood if I should come your way to call and we discuss some absent friend, if I can’t say something good I’ll wisely say nothing at all, at least, that’s what I now intend. BEHIND THESE WORDS: We are all so quick to find faults in others, even with our friends, as I demonstrate with these words. I excoriate my too chatty and gossipy friend with condemnation, just as judgmental as her gossip. But I hope you recognize that my intentions were good. She does, by her omission or tact, friendship and trust, serve as a negative example that benefits all who know her. Yet, she still deserves my friendship and understanding. Maybe, she will benefit from my good example. It is worth trying and maybe one day, I can send her this poem.


MY FATHER=S CAR Slanted rays of the late afternoon sun gild the dust motes emancipated from the mohair cushions by my sudden settling, intrusive and possessively on their long tranquil couch. Rising in the reddened rays they dance in chaotic patterns, like miniature birds rising up from their cover. Some invade my nostrils with traces and places of my father, hinting of sojourns with his beloved Buick while he could still possess his share of the highways, and of his furtive sessions behind the wheel, pretending the state would still let him drive. I smell fragments of chocolate kisses from floating flakes of untwisted tin foil wrapped around his forbidden, high cholesterol treats he had hidden in the glove compartment, but from whom? Mother, already gone, no longer policed his diet, and his progeny were too engrossed in our obligations and his grandchildren to monitor the poisoning of his blood from risky treats nor would we forbid occasional life shortening cigars, we could taste with his kisses. I could not smell one wisp of tobacco smoke here in his refuge from a youthful society, so I realize he would not poison it=s upholstery with the tell-tale tarry smoke that had tortured and surmounted his lungs. I copied the mileage from the odometer so I could place an ad in the paper, extolling Dad=s treasured Roadmaster=s low mileage and pristine condition on the back of a receipt for a casket, and blurred the numbers with fresh tears. How could I sell his car? Why did we not seat Dad in his beloved Buick and inter them together instead of in a casket with a suit did not fit?

MY HAT LADY My dear sweetheart wears lots of hats, and each imparts a certain air. From silk brocade or fur of cats, her hats are worn most debonair. For every role her skill is tapped, with savoir-faire to fine display a fancy lady proudly capped and each she clones with glib éclat. Republicans or Democrats all dearly love this glib sweetheart they joyful dub the Queen of Hats, the bon vivant of chapeau art! BEHIND THESE WORDS: My super patient sweetheart and wife has tolerated me for fifty-some years, and provides ready inspiration and criticism for my hundreds of poems. She provides animated delivery of my poems when we are invited to do performance poetry, and her skill at changing personality to suit the hat she elegantly displays, amuses me and our assorted audiences. I have the gifts of a very rich man; Good health, understanding and supportive wife, and children that still listen to me and have returned favor, by now, parenting me. MY GIFT At Christmas time, my sweetheart pleads what gift would please me most. When I assess my urgent needs, my needs are met, I=m quick to boast. A kindly God has blessed my life with gifts I treasure more than gold He sent to me the perfect wife, to share the joys of growing old.


MY SHOP’S BANISHED BIRD This parrot, I keep under cloak so he won’t embarrass you or me. He does not curse or crack a joke, nor whistle or talk or even try but he changes color instantly when hearing someone tell a lie. To change from green to crimson red, faster than most chameleons do just hearing lies I might have said, which leaves me daft and angry too since the parrot I have reared and fed turns tattletale if I am a bit untrue. BEHIND THESE WORDS: We humans love to hear nothing but the truth, but our love of verity does not often extend as much to our own speech or testimony. For instance, no one believes anything said by a politician. And who of us have not given false answers to accusations. No matter how trivial the offense, we prefer to sacrifice our honor rather than risk embarrassment or censure. As a young boy, I would often deny guilt even if there was no risk of punishment. I told my parents and teachers what they wanted to hear even though I knew that very shortly, my lie would be exposed. As I grew older, and suffered when someone lied to me, I became more truthful. Truth is fast becoming irrelevant in our society. Perception is more importantly guarded and promoted rather veracity. Advertising hyperbole is the prime example, of abusing truth but fooling the audience. POLITICAL LAW You might stare them in the eye, Yet politicians never blink. It should be law, each time they lie those lying must politely wink.

MY THUMB SURE SEEMS NOT GREEN Each spring I plant expensive seeds hoping to win the garden show. I spread manure that each plant needs and tend my plat with hose and hoe. My plot becomes harassed with weeds, so no vegetables even show. Next year, I hope, my plan succeeds, I’ll just plant weeds, let veggies grow! BEHIND THESE WORDS: Success is often accident. Sometimes people win by hiding their true intent, and subsequent success just seems an accident. We think that failure will surely result from our efforts and if we try not to win, we might. This is supposedly “Murphy’s Law” in action. It seems more like my code of life. GROWING HOUSEPLANTS A houseplant is the perfect pet, they don't make noise and never poop. Just give them sun and keep them wet, since they won't beg, instead they droop and if they die when you forget, just dump their bodies in your soup. BEHIND THESE WORDS With animal cruelty increasing, I realize some people just should not have live animals. I think this verse gives a better choice. I do not think plants suffer pain, even when tortured.

NIGHTCALL INTERRUPTUS My body must just love to pee, five times a night, I wake to go. A bad habit but I can=t break it, this oft repeated nightly chore. This night time bathroom activity demands relief, I can=t say no. To my chamber stool, I take it, and freeze my feet upon my floor. I stand and wait impatiently, for the last drip at last to flow. No matter how much I shake it there is always one drop more. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Old age is a time of adjustment to diminished expectations, and thus, new priorities. For instance, enjoying more what you can do less. Your dietary restrictions teach you to enjoy more what you can still safely eat. Other adjustments are more painful, physically and emotionally. I addressed this once again in… OLD MAN=S LAMENT When my life-mate asks for lovemaking tasks, heart willing, I must forsake it. Once hard as a stone, my tool lacks a bone, it=s impossible to fake it. Though aroused, each night for pee draining rite, so many times, I take it But when it does stop, it holds back one drop, despite how often I shake it.


OF SMOKE AND BOOZE Of all the blunders men commit abuse of body must rank first. Like Drug addictions they can=t quit, cases of booze to slake their thirst, and lethal smokes, most always lit. Legally available though cursed, just what embargo would be fit? When you decide which sin is worst, judge profiteers who sell this shit. BEHIND THESE WORDS: I doubt any drug is more addictive than nicotine, and the alcoholic is almost powerless to stop drinking despite knowing he will harm his health and loved ones. Both are legal to buy. We can shame these foolish users, but they are victims. Why don=t we shame the peddlers? Why do we subsidize farmers to grow tobacco? Why do we encourage exportation of this poison to other countries, spreading the deadly curse. Is this somebody=s calculated secret weapon, or just the logic of fools? We subsidize this deadly weed ignoring the harsh facts to yield cigarette tax, when health concern is what we need! BEHIND THESE WORDS Tobacco comes in different forms, just as foolish and deadly. I would suggest fools choose a faster way to commit suicide. Or maybe they believe they are immortal and can use nicotine without eventual fatal consequences. THEY DON=T SMELL LIKE FLOWERS Learn from this headstone you’ve viewed, that suicide is just plain wacko. Some folks do with poisons they’ve chewed, like those fools who chew tobacco, that sick habit so foul and crude they must bury victims with backhoe.

OBESE LOUISE I love your body, your face, your eyes, there is not too much I criticize except you always believe those lies that friends tell to minimize your size. Most folks lose weight when they diet, don=t you think that you should try it? You were so small when we said AI do@, and I promised, to always be true and at that time, I sure meant it too but who can love that much of you? Our neighbor found a nifty diet, If you=re sincere, why not try it? You eat the same as you cook for me but clean your plate voraciously, then rise each night and hungrily sneak more snacks from our pantry. Our neighbor boosts a protein diet, Please, My Dear, why not try it? You think me cold and I’ve confessed most bedtimes find me most depressed. That=s why I’ve lost some bedtime zest, often turn cold when you’ve undressed. All doctors say, the fat should diet, and dear, your fat, let=s not deny it. BEHIND THESE WORDS: The nationwide concern with obesity becomes comedic when I witness all of the spurious weight loss programs, and all our firmly guaranteed. Yes, guaranteed to put monies in the pockets of the guarantors. In my plan, you fool yourself that you are not overweight and obesity is only determined by perspective. We all can count off of those people who outweigh us, and they are the people who have a problem.


OCCUPATION BLUES When we unseat a Muslim theocracy, and force a democratic election it will not produce a democracy, or limit subsequent insurrection! New Muslim terrorists, inspired to die, are recruited from subjugated groups the brash occupiers cannot identify, while they politely smile at the troops. Our new government we dare not blame, for policing force with tactful restraint. We cannot brand the bombers with shame since each terrorist is someone=s saint BEHIND THESE WORDS: The Roman centurions at one time, occupied almost the entire civilized world, but History proves the invader=s rule is always impermanent. Heroes are formed from the conquered people=s discontent, whether heroic or saintly, and their activity inspires further insurrection. Until George W Bush=s faulted democratization of Iraq, our country experienced only one foreign occupation, which did not inspire much insurrection. That anomaly should demand study and analytic copying by our present occupation force. The why is important. If you provoke our president, And anger his Texas regiment, whose eager forces ride in on horses but who will clean up their excrement.

OF SMOKE AND BOOZE Of all the blunders men commit abuse of body must rank first. Like Drug addictions they can=t quit, cases of booze to slake their thirst, and lethal smokes, most always lit. Legally available though cursed, just what embargo would be fit? When you decide which sin is worst, judge profiteers who sell this shit. BEHIND THESE WORDS: I doubt any drug is more addictive than nicotine, and the alcoholic is almost powerless to stop drinking despite knowing he will harm his health and loved ones. Both are legal to buy. We can shame these foolish users, but they are victims. Why don=t we shame the peddlers? Why do we subsidize farmers to grow tobacco? Why do we encourage exportation of this poison to other countries, spreading the deadly curse. Is this somebody=s calculated secret weapon, or just the result of logic from fools? SIMPLE TRUTH We subsidize this deadly weed ignoring the harsh facts to yield cigarette tax, when health concern is what we need! OR Those young kids who swell smoker ranks will sadly regret each cursed cigarette when they are hooked to oxygen tanks.

OUR GREATEST CROP Dad assigned my job. I was to pick loose each bug from the endless field of potato plants, and drown each one in the pail I=d lug, but don=t kneel on the stinging ants. Potato plants provide no shade, sweat filled my eyes I thought each row must stretch, at least, a mile. Mother brought me lunch, with a smile king size because this time I=d do a man sized job, and she was proud of me this special day. She told me why we kill the bugs, so they can't rob the food for winter days we need to put away. “When snow comes, your folks will sure bless you and this important work you've cheerful done, When passing potatoes to our hungry crew your Dad will bow his head and thank each one who helped us reap God=s bounteous treasure, and you too will learn hard work earns pleasure. Let Dad know that he can count on all of us. so he=s not the only one for all the work. Do every thing he asks without a fuss, and don=t complain or hard chores shirk.. When your assigned row seems extra long, remember why we cheerful toil. We, like plants should grow tall and strong, the finest yield from our farm's soil.” BEHIND THE LINES: Most of this poem is purely biographical. I did learn the joy of hard work well done on a farm and the satisfaction of a pleased master has stayed with me all my life. I still love the smell of sweat, and the welcome rest when a hard task is fully done. The important secret I learned was working to get what you wanted enhanced the pleasure of having your wish fulfilled. All through my long life, I have found that gifts or benefits came easily, without hard effort on my part, were quickly frittered away. I guess sweat is the ultimate appetizer.


OUR GEORGES Leaders named George are ripe to rule, and seem our nation's legacy and our first George was only cruel to Brits and his Dad's cherry tree. Our second George soon found his niche and practiced secret diplomacy. that made his partners very rich and began a dangerous aristocracy. Our third George would serve his friends while dismantling our democracy, but for his peers, rich dividends from wars that prove his tenacity. The first George, I=m sure, was great. Successive ones grow worse, you see. We earned disaster, willed our fate, and the third George, was lunacy. BEHIND THESE WORDS: I wish there were not so much cause for this poem, but the electorate often get what they deserve as punishment for failing to learn from history. His college grades prove the third George, was not adept in history. We can=t restrict voting rights of numbskulls, however, we should expect historical literacy from presidential candidates. GEORGE George Bush, admittedly a confused History Major, self nominated as our best terrorist engager, has pissed off the world with his warring wager. He will never admit he could ever be wrong, for he is convinced he has fooled the throng of those pretending to be righteous and strong.

OUR GOVERNMENT At the castle of fools, they dictate the rules that govern OUR society. Our servants, they claim, but wild is their aim, they toast false sobriety. With commandments on stone, these fakirs blithe clone, proof of disguised piety. Sure, gambling is wrong but greed sings a song, the State finds immutable. When our goods they guard, the gate stays unbarred protection is disputable. Our Courts without spite claim our chattel right with seizure laws not refutable. Yes, the not guilty pay, as the courts can defray all fees to find your guilt withdrew. Since the drug war is lost, old habits will cost, far less when state needs that revenue. For each new sin tax the old laws relax, with righteous twist on venal view BEHIND THESE WORDS: We, the people, think we are the government but nothing is farther from the truth. We are chattel of the elevated elite, who are driven by greed to manipulate and control the vassals they convinced to elect them to their thrones. The sad fact is that our cherished democracy may no longer be faulted but still best that exists. We are outdone by others. If this trend continues, we will have to compare with the worst of the world’s governments to claim superiority, and many of these, we consider our friends and allies. We do have more democracy than Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and several of the new Russian states. Whoopee, we are good. In the booth when you have to choose and each choice is bad, wouldn't you feel glad if both candidates could lose?

PERSISTENCE When goals seem blocked by stubborn wall of mortared stone or despot's law, could you persist, when spirit quits? Ignoring reviews, to purpose stick, blithe onward plod, alone to cull out route that losers claim was luck? If you surmount the Atlas peak, be modest still, your triumph keep? Your stubbornness, bright virtue call and caution naught which trait you lack. If records prove you won the meet, does why you won decrease esteem? BEHIND THESE WORDS: These lines began as an exercise of backward rhyme, without any great logic or message. It was hard to perform the end word rhyming and still make sense. I persisted and realized that was my cause. I keep it in my rewrite file, as it does not please me yet, but show it here, as an example of erupting muse. We poets suffer for our heart. We first must please ourselves, then submit our precious words to a critical editor with a differing literary perspective, and then hopefully, a reader. It would be nice if the reader would send his reaction. Please do. FIRE AWAY I send you my poetry, but just for fun so I just ignore your snide critiques I please a critical audience of one, it is my pleasure, my poetry seeks. Why risk rejection with words I’ve spun? Coyotes howl, Lions roar and a Poet speaks.


PICK YOUR PICK You can pick a wife or a rose, the right card, your teeth or new clothes, a guitar, a friend or your foes, and when you're sure nobody knows that icky stuff between your toes, Pick garden weed that stubborn grows and winning numbers I suppose or your butt which prudes oppose but moms and teachers disclose, it’s never nice to pick your nose. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Pick is a broad meaning, non-specific word, and I try to avoid such confusing words in my poetry, unless I want to deliberately obfuscate my point or message. With the broad vocabulary English affords, a poet can choose (or pick) words that narrowly define exactly what they means. My dictionary has fifty meanings for pick, so reading the word, pick, one must slow down and study the context to see what meaning of pick the author intended. For instance, choose, designate, vote, prefer, appoint and scratch are some of the verb synonyms of pick, and their meanings are vastly different. Like the “f” word, pick can be used as verb, noun, adverb, adjective, pronoun, preposition, expletive or even, a conjunction. I propose poets always say what we really mean. You can pick your teeth or a rose, But choice is a waste, unless you show taste And refrain from picking your nose. or A simple tale is hard to tell if verbs we must use seem bound to confuse since our nose runs yet our feet smell.


POLITICAL TRUTH Even if you stare them in the eye, most politicians never blink. No matter how hard they might try, they can=t tell you what they think. I think I know the reason why. All things said twice, copied in ink,. so they can’t change or clarify. These liars should politely wink so we know it=s another lie. BEHIND THE POEM Not since the fallen cherry tree, have presidents really told the truth. They may tell you intentions, undeliverable pledges, illogical promises, or try convincing voters they are what each diverse voter really wants. They would pledge to serve many different masters. NOVEMBER CURSE Each fall, on even years, I feel so bad, when civic duty insists that I choose, from dreary candidates. I would be glad if somehow I could pick both to lose. Is my distress because I know their zeal, for courage, commitment and candor, is all electioneering and never real? Political parties shamelessly pander to the rich, and the man who wins is sold to pay the enormous cost of his campaign. Media monsters who mine the gold floating in the public air, should not gain from purveying political spite and spit to voters too aloof to care one bit.

PORCUPINES The slow moving and kindly porcupines need protection from their woodland foes, So God covered them with thorny spines from their stubby tail, clear to their nose. I=ve consulted experts in Natural History for solutions to this puzzle, I=m thinking of. With prickly quills, explain this mystery; how the heck do porcupines make love? BEHIND THESE WORDS As their mate or just a casual friend, it is hard to love a porcupine. It is equally hard to hate them if that might tempt physical mayhem, as porcupines are safe from all but insane predators. No animal will, even though starving, would attack a porcupine. Porcupines are one of the largest specie of rodents, and their sharp quills are a form of hair interspersed in their under-fur, and these special hairs are stiffened with keratin (The protein of claws and fingernails) and have backward facing barbs. The animal with porcupine souvenirs will have difficulty removing these quills which actually penetrate deeper, from surrounding muscle movements. Porcupines have an insatiable appetite for salt, and they will gnaw away things that contain salt or urine. Farmer=s tools and trees with salty bark are often targets for this appetite. In almost all states, porcupines are protected from hunters. The logic is, a marooned or lost hunter can most easily find and shoot a tree dwelling porcupine, who does not try evasive actions, assured of his prickly armor protecting him from all predators except a bullet. The starving hunter might be saved by carefully harvesting the porcupine’s life sustaining meat. The hunter would gladly welcome punishment from a game warden, especially if that meant he was found. We city dwellers plagued with gun violence smugly feel we are safe, protected by our laws so stiff and penalizing somewhat like porcupine quills . Unrestricted gun ownership endangers us all. Porcupine quills provide no protection from a gun.

PRETEND ART I think most modern art is mostly fraud that hoodwinked buyers must loud applaud convinced somehow that they alone can see what only bewilders common folks like me. Cunning artists splatter paint to outwit bamboozled buyers who dare not admit they spent big money for splashed on paint they call art, but shucks, pictures they ain't! BEHIND THESE WORDS: When I was young, attending Art classes in Minnesota's elementary schools, children were encouraged to create a recognizable image of subjects, the greatest insult being a misinterpretation of what their scribbling conveyed. My drawing of my faithful dog was mistakenly identified, by my second grade teacher, as a beautiful picture of a cat. Her interpretation, haunts me still. I have never drawn another dog, nor cared much for cats. Little did I realize that my mis-conveyed image showed promising future artistic success, until touring the Louvre in Paris, I looked at a famous impressionist's animal that looked nothing like a cat, dog or any animal living or even on God's original drawing board. I know I could paint that bad, but how does one learn to con people into believing something so ugly is memorable art. Instead of recognition as artist on his representational skills, we should honor such flim-flammery only as super salesmanship. The working man has is overawed by fine arts, and deems culture to be a boundary drawn to separate the rich and privileged from their inferiors. Moneyed people feel obligated to make big investments in modern art. Rather than admit they are in that less elite majority, most honest, Hardworking common people look mystified but hopefully at modern art and then perceive a hidden beauty, very much like the finery the mythical Emperor without clothes, so proudly wore.

RAISINS I envy the raisin, quite pleased with it=s shape, though crinkled and dry, this once juicy grape has inner goodness, lets nothing escape. Though its skin turns wrinkled and black, they hold what they should, nothing they lack they are what they are, a nourishing snack. Like the raisin, I=d be a treasured treat for those people who, I happen to meet so they find me condensed, but all sweet. Though I too wrinkle, from each passing day basking in warmth from each solar ray, I’ll sweetly gather enticing bouquet BEHIND THESE WORDS: Raisins are my favorite health food. Like the raisin, I hope that as I wrinkle and mature, I will retain all of any innate goodness that I had when I was young and luscious like the raisin=s antecedent, the grape. Those virtues should be intensified as they are more concentrated by the sun’s dehydration, as water is just filler, adding nothing to content. I liken the sun’s affect to the onslaught of life’s experiences. Wrinkled and condensed, I share my lack of my former youthful appearance like the raisin, but hope I have retained my virtues as I am wizened. I proudly and loyally prefer the raisin to the grape. When you are as old as me, you may have that preference, too. WRINKLING AWAY Though we may wrinkle, with each passing day. we can gather sweetness, as we shrink away, just like the raisin’s enchanting bouquet.


A TREAT WE NEVER TRY If flesh of fish builds up the brain the fish themselves must be quite shrewd. Yet fish bite hooks despite the pain to tear away their favorite food. Why would smart fish risk being fried to snatch a slimy, wiggly worm? Worms are mushy, no bones inside, but on a hook they twist and squirm. We could regret we’ve never ate this cheap and ready kind of meat, stop using worms as fishing bait and dine on what those smart fish eat. BEHIND THESE WORDS: In a crowding world, some people grow hungry. If we divided the world’s food resources equally based on the average American’s calorie consumption, all of the world would be a bit hungry. With meat a part of everyone’s diet, there just is not enough food to feed the crowding world. If we would all chose to eat the first layer of food, the feed grains, like corn that inefficiently becomes protein from animals, everyone would be fed and nourished. Nutrition and preventive health should be rigorously taught in schools. Most Americans eat too much and any tour of shopping center viewing passers would indicate how just how severely we disregard good food sense. PORKY ROLE MODEL A pig can teach us how to eat. They never eat more than bellies can store, while we must cram another treat.


RATTLESNAKES Rattlesnakes wiggle like a windshield wiper and that is how they speed across the ground. We must always avoid this venomous viper, but they most kindly give a warning sound. When out hiking, we avoid the rattlesnake, helping them flee from human enemies. Their tail has rattles, they helpfully shake giving them time to scat while we should freeze. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Rattlesnakes, unlike their dreaded predator, the human, are not aggressive. Their bite, though sometimes fatal and always dangerous, requires medical attention. Rattlesnake strikes are only used in defense. Rattlesnakes will quickly slither away, if not interrupted or threatened. THE PREPOSTEROUS RHINOCEROS The four legged mammal most dangerous, in our zoo is the black rhinoceros, since these beasts never see too well. Our keeper says they are herbivorous, but their true nature is cantankerous and if you=re chased, how could you tell? To run from them can be most obstreperous, they=re quick, you must be most decorous, and at right angles, intently run like Hell. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Our zoo keeper=s advice is most valid, as the Rhinoceros has caused more human fatalities than any other African animal. Their sudden charge when irritated, can overtake any human, but the rhinoceros seldom changes direction in his overwhelming pursuit, so the most evasive act would be to run at right angles to the direction of the rhino=s charge.

RAZOR SHARP Biff the blade was consumed by hate, and feared, by all who lived by him. Flaunting Maude, his new bed-mate, he bragged on her to neighbor Jim. Charmed by Jim, Maude forsook Biff=s bed. In bed alone, Biff stormed outside and found the pair behind his shed, engaged in sex, they could not hide. Biff swung his blade, in just one sec, through faithless Maude=s exposed throat so quick her head stayed on her neck. “You missed.” Maude did gleeful note. Maude was surprised she had not died. “I never miss, you will be dead,” old Biff the blade so quick replied, “First time you try to turn your head” BEHIND THESE WORDS: I never knew a Biff or Maude, but I witness violence and brutality every day. We are inundated with harsh examples of human=s cruelty to others. This exercise is rhyme is intended to be funny, and if you find humor in this tale of senseless cruelty, you are probably conditioned to accept the meanness around you. Television programming and computer games desensitize young people to death and suffering, and if I provoke complaint about my callousness, reexamine the acceptable cruelty in THE SOPRANOS, for instance. Many of the things we must tolerate in life can only be mitigated by humor. May you never suffer insults that you cannot ease by laughter The very best, we'll never be! So, why not you say when we spend our day anesthetized by our TV!


REALLY I swam across the Mississippi when I was just a little kid. I swam across the Mississippi at least I told someone I did I built myself a set of wings to fly directly to the moon. I don=t know where I put my wings, or we could go this afternoon. Folks made a statue just of me, and made it out of purest glass. They really did but who can see a statue made from purest glass. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Children either tell outrageous, obvious untruths or the plain, brash, or embarrassing but naive truths. When young, I was more inclined to pepper up the truth using all of my wild imagination. Sometimes, it was to bedazzle the listener, often I proved I knew what I was supposed to do because this was what I swore I did or did not. I could deny raiding the doughnuts, while licking powdered sugar off of my guilty fingers. Sometimes, but not often, my untruths were nobly to spare someone=s feelings. I have outgrown lying habits, and detest people lying to me. I do suffer the lie of the unanswered question, intensely. Silence can be just another noble but evasive lie. For instance, how do you like my poetry? The reason kids might learn to lie is signals they see from both you and me as we create each alibi.

REASONS FOR RHYME For each fresh new thought, exists the right word, each listener taught that each little turd by being has wrought a crap loving bird. That well chosen word, to last for all time, most often is stirred by nuance sublime with import inferred in flexible rhyme. Each word should be chewed, not gobbled intact its meaning reviewed, so you can extract. when structure's unglued, each relevant fact. Don=t lazily waste each rhymed line you hear, with suspicions placed on meaning unclear, with acrid distaste, word meant sincere. BEHIND THESE WORDS: From two paragraphs of thought about rhyme, I labored with synonyms to express the same conclusions, in a very obtrusive, strong poetic pattern. I did not reach too far for rhyme, nor distort my message. My relevant word substitutions are not esoteric nor did I have to use words with vague, non-specific meanings. This was not an earth shaking message but a valid test in expressing a text in rhyme, retaining the meaning. It gave me confidence to attempt expressing any thought or emotion in rhyme. I am proud to be a poet, but would sure hate to feed a family, or even myself on that labor. Thankfully, I spent the first sixty years of my life, gainfully employed. While doing so, often as a communicator, I was entranced by the vagaries of meaning in English words, and the need to be very specific in word intent. This led to study of our sometimes puzzling vocabulary, and consequently to poetry. I revel in rhyme, and am charmed by good usage of this mnemonic tool, enhancing memorization, pronunciation preservation, and alliterative word music. Please join me, enjoying rhyme.


REFLECTED ME My faults, I would seldom share, but I have a split personality. In my mirror, when I look there three very different men, I see. The shiny face with the saintly air. is the man I=d like to be. That scornful lout with sneering stare, seems harshest of the three. But the middle man, so meek and spare, is the one that=s really me. BEHIND THESE WORDS: I submit, we all have multiple personalities. We all have a clear image of who we would like to be. There is different image of us that others see, and this perception is subjective and transitory, depending on the viewers mood, and the current existing relationship, it is our most important image. The perception of what we really are. We are all somewhere between who we are and who we want to be. If our objective persona is lofty enough, it will always elevate what we are, at least a bit. TO THE MIRROR Your feeble words aren’t graced by fact nor heard as truth by those you greet. You try so hard to say much with tact, camouflaging sting, while truth you cheat. Your words when said, are quick forgot, since only you believe them true, but even you can quote them not. Exhumed to once again redo your past mistakes the same. You lie, but fool no one, except your self. You write of truths, but then supply, unrhymed prose for bookstore shelf.

REJECTION COMES We are linked from birth, you see, but now my body most miserably throws allergic fits most tragically, while pretending it=s just protecting me. All my favorite foods are now suspect of being allergens that somehow collect in all my parts where they direct me to scratch each itch circumspect. The batch of pills I take to mend my immune system so it will end such stalwart efforts to defend the real me, its most essential friend. I am not seeking your sympathy but this stark truth is plain to me. I guess my body can now agree and admit it is fully allergic to me. BEHIND THESE WORDS: This crowding world is littered with new pollutants that have just recently been synthesized, and their deteriorating residue and side affects on humans has not been fully assessed. Allergic Asthma has doubled in prevalence during the last twenty years of our new chemically altered age. SURPRISE Chemical Pollution now inflicts itching, coughing and breathing agony on larger parts of the population mix, and cutting our life expectancy.

RUSTED RIFLES AND BROKEN BOWS hide beneath drifting sage and shed dry tears mourning their desertion by Redmen no one fears. Savages, grown soft on lard and pale white bread, forgot the dance of their gone but noble dead. Toothless and meek, they stumble home each night to find drunk squaws they would rather fight. Are these soft grandsons’ the white man=s enemy, who bravely challenged the manifest destiny of those who stole your land by two-faced ruse and laugh at Indians now safely tamed by booze?. BEHIND THE POEM: Indian relics turn up all over the west, giving testimony of a once proud people, now defeated and whipped into submission and forced to accept white man=s values and laws. Hold an arrowhead in your hand, and it speaks of the red man=s partnership with nature, and their fierce but futile efforts to protect their land from invaders, they mistakenly trusted. Tour today’s Indian nation, reduced to reservations where remnants of the fiercely independents tribes, imitate our civilization complete with all our nation=s worst vices. Defeated in spirit, they seek escape in booze, settling for welfare checks that have replaced their life sustaining buffalo. I wish this sad generalization only applied to a few, but sadly, it does not! In very bad taste, unless you are an Indian, I find humor in the Custer campaign to punish the rebellious, starving Sioux. There is not much to be proud of from the Indian wars. There are few moments of prideful reflection in almost all of the wars America has engaged in. George Custer bears six feet of dirt cause he was so vain, on his last campaign, he chose to wear an Arrow Shirt!

STUBBORN AS A MULE The mule is smarter than a horse, and stronger too, claims my news source. A stubborn trait defines the mule, so you convince mules, eschew force. That proves mules, smarter as a rule, since they ignore our ridicule. TEACHING HATE Excuse me Warrior President while I loudly vent, about your faulted ship of state and the fools you delegate to steer the sinking boat. You really can’t deny how hard your minions try to make me hate. Each time you lie, I simply try to comprehend, how could I deny the crime of hate. Hey, Mister Preacher man, with your Narrow scan of Heaven’s plan, you cannot teach me to loathe not even Jews or their anti-Jesus views rejecting the glory of a second birth. I’ll celebrate, the birth of Christ but You can’t train me to Hate. Greetings, Mister Network face, and talking head for those who buy your space. The twisted truth you blithe supply, is more egregious than a lie. You hide your pom-poms well, but all good men should instant tell, your rancid sweat, while you cheerlead for war. The death tolls mount, but no longer count, as if they never did exist. Hiding truth is your gifted bag, but Bush support will sag, as people count how many we have missed. PROGRESS? Now bold women can go to war. The worst of men=s rights, to die in gun fights is that what they've been striving for?


SERMONS SWEET Preach me not on sermon's laced with righteous indignation. Call back that God so meekly placed on throne of resignation. Veto my dying fears with hint of life returned. Would death bed sop my tears with chance of rebirth spurned? Kind give me hope I'll peaceful rest, not plagued by Sulphur’s smell. Ten thousand sins, I have confessed and guilt makes my own Hell. BEHIND THESE WORDS: In old age, I am still tortured by guilt of intentional errors by omission and commission. I envy those Christians who feel that the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, removed their guilt, but I cannot absolve my sins so easily. My inner God, reminds me often of those offenses and prods me to earn penance. Though I cannot undo the wrong to those past victims of my misdeeds, I can shape my treatment of the new people I meet and live with each coming day, and maybe earn mitigation of my past sins. It is worth a try. ABSOLUTION All my past sins that you berate, I have already laid to rest. Self forgiveness is my strongest trait Quick judgment often leads to hate, Don’t count the sins I’ve confessed, Tomorrow’s deeds we can debate.


SHAREHOLDER GLEE I don=t mind gas prices from war in Iraq since I have three shares of Exxon stock. so I am prepared for oil shortage shock. Halliburton shares are now on my buy list for their war profits prove hard to resist though they help to build each new terrorist. Iran=s atomic threats don=t bother me, because I support George Bush diplomacy. proved so successful exporting democracy. Now Mid East war fronts will surely expand with two more years with Bush still in command prepared to lead us into foreign quick sand. Our country gains more deficits and casualties While our leaders author freedom’s obsequies, using war threats as election strategies. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Hyperbole is a great tool of satire and to provoke reactions, when logic fails. George W. Bush and his administration during two disastrous terms, has sparked political awareness with his excesses and disregard of the common people’s wishes. We are forced to unravel truth from political spin, and when we do, the stark reality is almost impossible to believe. My exaggeration becomes too close to verity for comfort. If we tolerate Bush and Chaney for the remainder of their terms, the new administration will be harshly judged, as they struggle just to unravel and correct the last eight years of misdirection, war-profiteering and shattering of human rights. It will take unpopular measures to undo the mischief wreaked by those self anointed disciples of a warring and judgmental God. Will history recognize the real villains?


SILLY DREAMS Last night I dreamed I took a stroll but brought along a fishing pole, and sat beside a little stream where I could fish and sort of dream. Quite soon, I saw a dragon fly! which means a dragon’s coming by. I hid behind a Lemon tree, and lemon sharks jumped out at me. I’m sure some fearsome monster roared, rose up on wings and skyward soared I think it smiled, because I hid, if it was real, I’m glad I did. My dream time walks are so much fun and I feel bad when they are done. So many things I always find because they live inside my mind BEHIND THESE WORDS: Imagination is my favorite poetic resource, and a sign of some retained youthful attributes, or pending, second childhood. Either way, the innocent tolerance of make-believe makes prettier the way the world looks. I will continue to speculate on what could be and not what is and some of my poetry is pure fantasy. SEE VIEW So many things to see in the sea, but who knows what=s there, what clothes sea folks wear for what's in the sea, we can't see.


SITTING ON THE DOCK My sandals almost touch the empty crockery of neatly stacked oyster shell, betrayed by call of this new moon. I watch skinny Pinfish skim the ripples, hemstitching to complete, welcome mats where it=s too cold to swim. My dock=s stout cedar poles never shiver as I bend to soak-in my quaking reflection. How sweet salt water lies and lies. Inside, my lady and lover buzzes, blind to my last publisher=s rejection, propitiously placed under the fly-swatter decorating the sanitary white counter where we shared cinnamon toast and viewed yesterday=s last rose. That curt rebuff could explain why I might venerate John Berryman=s birth, almost on the right day. I do lean forward, posed to leap. Such a waste in water three feet deep. BEHIND THESE WORDS: A masterpiece of unique poetry emulating John Berryman, and executed better than my usual faux unrhymed contemporary poem came back from a prestigious Minnesota literary magazine, we both aspired to. The rejection pained and I poured out my emotions in this piece. I hid the rhyme pattern better than in the rejected piece, and fear the editor had actually unraveled and failed to read the piece because of my secreted rhyme structure. It is hard for a poet to live in two diverse worlds, but I try.


TATTLETALE SNAIL We could learn from the plodding snail that always leaves behind a slimy trail. This unisex mollusk called a gastropod always marks the path where it has trod. Its single foot will never move them fast, but you can tell where they have passed. I say we also leave a trail behind, our descendants will someday find. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Sinful people, who rely on total forgiveness from the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, and plod on with their wicked ways, should learn from the slow moving snail always leaving its slimy, traceable trail behind. Forgiven sins still leave traces behind for our peers and descendants to discover. I do not think that it is not enough to be forgiven. On thinking of forgiveness of sins, I thought of a compassionate creator, who was not infallible, and made mistakes. Criticizing God must be every religious group’s worst crime, so I phrased that thought humorously. I hope that you and your God have a sense of humor. MY DESIGNER There's great soundness in God's design, yet I question the porcupine. Fierce mosquitoes we sure don't need, and hungry fleas are tough to feed. I don't expect He'd plan for junk, but then I wonder why the skunk. Maybe our God makes booboos too, so he's patient with me and you.


Snow so light, while gelid to gild with white what God gently hid from our discerning sight; the ugliness of dying things, brushed by frosty angel wings, falling soft from slate grey skies, This ermine cloak that God supplies to hide those marks of tragedies, dark pits midst leafless trees snow quilts to kindly keep the things that die sound in sleep warmed by Snow BEHIND THESE WORDS: Living so long in the south, I had almost forgotten the redeeming qualities of fresh white snow. Snow that hides the ugliness of dead and dying things, and insulates the ground from the deathly freezing cold spells. The new snow also brings soil enriching nitrogen to make extra green the coming Spring. No weather function is so beautiful as the warm weather snowfall that comes without wind, slowly falling in large flakes that immediately dissolve like a kiss on your warm skin. Unfortunately, this is not the typical snowfall, and snowstorms can be unpredictable and deadly. A FLAKY COUNT No snowflakes do the same way grow say experts who swear, no chance for a pair, but who could check each flake of snow?


SO TRY AGAIN God grew us in a moving sea to know that tides return. Tossed around by waves, a truth we see, and one great lesson learn. Twas not by one great crushing blow, did sea it's triumph reach. Insistent waves, both sure and slow, turned rock to sandy beach. So purposeful, recurring swells, push back confining shore. The sermon that the ocean tells is louder than its roar. All obstacles that loom forlorn might claim your works unfit. Press on like waves, surrender scorn, because you will not quit. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Persistent is a lovely synonym for stubborn, but either word defines a quality strong in successful people. Their biographies often recount recurring failure and eventual success on the tenth or greater try. Here, I tried saying that message poetically somewhat like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow would and did do. Wave erosion seems a great analogy, since science teaches that all life began in the seas. Think of the million organisms that failed to dwell on dry land before one species finally succeeded. I shall be like waves and repeatedly send my rhymed verses against the rocky shores of magazines whose contemporary editors are biased anything that contains rhyme. Ninety percent of past’s greatest poets would now be rejected.


SPIDERS Tourists must envy a spider which never packs suitcase or grip folding her web so small and neat she stows that house all insider. When Spiders hunger on a trip, any insect can be their treat. They unpack their web provider netting bugs for juice they will sip, because cadavers they don't eat. Spiders are arachnids, most closely related to mites, ticks and scorpions. Unlike insects with six legs, arachnids all have eight. People fear their bite but spiders don=t have teeth. They do have a needle like mouth that penetrates and then poisons their prey. The poison also includes an enzyme that changes bug flesh to mush that the spider sips up like we sip a milkshake. The web of the spider is a protein that is times stronger than steel, and can be sticky or firm, to suit this web builders design. Only the spider knows where to step, safely traversing across its sticky web. Our world would be overrun with destructive insects were it not for the role spiders play in our food chain. Next time you are frightened by a spider, just avoid it, letting it live to do its thing. The exception is the spiders whose poison is dangerous to humans, like the Black Widow and the Hermit species. Learn to identify these dangerous spiders! The blessing is they will always be just as anxious to avoid you. WHOOO! There is nothing quite so icky, as spider webs always sticky. When in a strange place They contact your face All of your skin turns all prickly.


SPOOKS This Halloween, I will pity coddled and mutinously chained young teens whose purpose is mimicking a ghoul. Painted faces and maimed tresses modeled into mousse’d spikes, of pinks and greens, on All Saint=s Day, won=t seem too cool. Their sagging britches have them waddled, and at risk to display lewd scenes, were they to bend or sit on a stool. Will they shock us by showing restraint, dressed up as a choir boy or Saint? BEHIND THESE WORDS: Rebellion against adult boring fashion, has always appeal to adventurous and imaginative teens, yet innovations seems unlikely as they all end up dressed the same. Non conformity should not prove synonymous, with trendsetting, and wardrobes can easily be discarded and replaced as clothing is not permanently sewed on. The trash jewelry impaling ears, cheeks, lips, tongues and genitals can be dismounted and the scars will fade. Although hair grows slowly, aberrant hairdos will fade away. Tattoos are another matter, as they are almost irrevocable.. When I was young, I often felt disdainful of my elders and would express my rebellion, but usually when the target’s back was turned. I would brazenly stick out my tongue or even make an ugly face. I felt better and the insulting grimace would be immediately gone. My mother warned me that making faces too often would turn permanent, so I was selective and discreet holding facial distortions to a minimum> Luckily, the evidence of my rebellious nature were temporary, so I feel sympathy for the young whose scars of rebellion are with them forever. The worst thing about the tattoo is that it remains permanently you.


TREACHERY OF STYLE The brazen young who beg us stare at pants drooping low, must want us to know, they can afford great underwear. Or is it their unmitigated claim that aberrant chic is somehow unique while all their peers are dressed the same? I’ve seen old men wear pants that slump below their fat waist, though not from bad taste, except they fail to hide their rump. Style must be served, why, should I scoff? Fad pants, I have tried but downward they slide, since I can=t turn gravity off. BEHIND THE POEM: I think, the first drooping pants style renegade, may have been wearing his older brother=s much oversize clothes, from necessity. He may have assumed a posture of choice and flamboyantly dared his world to criticize his choice, and became a hero of some sort to his peers, who tried to outdo him with bagginess and droop. Copy cats truly believe their outlandish conformity is rebellion, or a challenge to top who they copied. The humor is seeing these cool waddlers passing by older, pot bellied gents with forty inch pot bellies, wearing slimjim size 32' with the waist line forced below the belly bulge. Both of these style innovators show butt cleavage when they bend over, a disclosure I can do with out. Fashion mavens have foisted embarrassments on women for centuries, like the broad shoulder look, pointed toe shoes, sack dresses and other unattractive atrocities. Now men, young and old are wearing clothes that just don=t fit. These fashion fads and clothing anomalies will fade away. Their accompanying tattoos and pierced body parts will not. DROOPY DRAWERS I thought your pants were falling down. You snapped back, with a smile, This is the modern style, I replied, “Yes, the style of a clown!”

SPRING When tepid March winds start to blow, they melt old drifts of winter=s snow and bless farm fields with fertile mud, or rivers poised for springtime flood. Exhausted wind by All Fool=s Day bring April clouds of sodden gray, to dump spring rain on sleeping seed reborn again, fulfilling need. Come days of May, the sun burns bright and Lilac blooms perfume the night, while anxiously new lovers kiss presuming love=s brash genesis. Ah June, the month when lover=s vow, they=ll love forever, not just now. When truth prevails, and lovers part we blame brash spring and not faint heart. BEHIND THESE WORDS: The fickleness of the changing seasons is as unpredictable as first love affairs. Springtime love can end with July fireworks. True love is not seasonal, nor does it always end happily ever after. Especially, love affairs that begin too quickly or impetuously. Polygamy does not seem always essential in modern romantic endeavors, as current divorce rates prove. Many animals mate irrevocably, for life. Not man’s best friend, the dog and they might take that inconstancy from their masters. DIASTROUS AFFAIR Love at first sight, Rose thought that grand and Rose did things she had not planned. She expired regretting protection forgetting, cursed by aids and that one night stand.


STUBBORN AS A MULE The mule is smarter than a horse, and stronger too, claims my news source. A stubborn trait defines the mule, so you convince mules, don’t use force. What proves mules, smarter as a rule, ignoring our dumb ridicule. BEHIND THESE WORDS: The sterile hybrid cross between a mare and a donkey called a mule is stronger than a horse, not physically, but by disposition. Mules try harder, but are the butt of farmyard jokesters. Persistent people often are unfairly branded, “Stubborn as a mule.” While persistence is a virtue, too much of intense purpose becomes stubbornness. Too much of a good thing transforms to fault. YOU ARE A MULE You cannot create another mule or be too sincere with a woodland deer, says God’s biological rule.

THE HORSE This four legged friend does love to run but they will help you trim your grass and never charge you any fee. To show how much they like that fun they leave a pile each time they pass and that grass plant food is free.


SUNFLOWERS SEEK THE SUN Within our world of violence, we truly need each simple smile. One inch of kind is recompense for all the mean in hatred's mile. Rare evidence of empathy if not to just yourself applied, seems rarer still than courtesy or forgiveness you’ve long denied. The secret deed, unrecognized you'll see in just a fairy tale. Most hero's we see popularized wear a halo shined up for sale. I do not crave false sympathy nor need more kindness done, yet beg God=s favor bend to me like sunflowers stretch toward sun. BEHIND THESE WORDS: It is a hard cruel world to those without help from their parents or the support of friends. When we are hurting or needy, we are all heliotropes and seek the sun=s warmth and sustenance. The sun of this poem can be in many forms, as the center of our existence, so to other existences. We are all hungry for help, at one time or another. Do we deserve support and do we give support to others? Can we do charity without praise recognition? Anonymous charity seems the ultimate acid test, to establish our true love for our fellow man. Is that possible? Even Christ had eleven publicists or press agents in his retinue. Crowds applaud the heroic deed writing off the impact of the simple act of kindness that all persons need.

SUPER GUEST I love to party but I’m depressed since invitations seldom come. Don=t people know I’m super guest, and hardly ever, troublesome. Learned decorum from the start, my house breaking really shows. I say excuse me when I fart. and turn my head, to pick my nose. In groups, I listen so polite and laugh at jokes I’ve heard before When parties drag into the night though I might nap, I never snore. At meals, I always clean my plate and use my saucer when I smoke. I tell the cook, the food was great, and did not cause his guests to choke. At weddings, I bring down the house, my parodies of brides are great! In Church, I=m quiet as a mouse slipping bucks from the offering plate. At functions where the fancy meet, I always clap, should someone sing. I help them out, clap out the beat, or show the band the way to swing. If you would plan a grand soiree with no amusements planned as yet, I will attend and make the day one all your guests will not forget. BEHIND THESE WORDS: We have all had an obnoxious guest at one time or another, or been one. Too bad those bad manners are also funny, and fodder for poets and humorists, especially those sitting lonesome at home, too often. Gratitude and good manners seem to be a vanishing social grace from the newer generations. Please and Thank You should never be out of fashion!

TAKE MY NEIGHBOR I used to pride myself on my compassion. but my next door neighbor, foul mouthed and grim. He was hateful and I say with dispassion, if I saw him drowning, I=d forget how to swim! I=m ashamed of how his oppression inspires me to do something spiteful and mean. I long for some vindictive transgression, the like of which this bully has never seen. I prayed to dear God for my salvation from rampant hatred of my flagrant foe. So far, my piety is on vacation, and my indulgence is just so-so. My realtor had just one suggestion, and getting new neighbors would be nice. They said, despite the present recession, I should buy his house and pay top price! BEHIND THE POEM I include this bitter greatly exaggerated poem, without justification, as an example of the misery caused by the rare bad neighbor, and the great value of good ones. I was surprised that someone so friendly and appreciative of friends, as myself, would ever rate such a sour neighbor. When complaining about bad neighbors, we first must make sure that we are not the bad example. My bad neighbor provided a valuable learning experience, and I could credit this poem with his name, but he and all of his suffering neighbors will never forget him or his name. May you never have to relearn the value of good neighbors. May you always have good neighbors, and the key to that great gift, is simple. First, aggressively go forth to be a neighbor like you would desire living next door to you


THE BARRISTER Lawyers are like a garden=s weed, but needed by the innocent. If guilt is clear, there=s still the need to minimize your punishment. We ridicule but envy those sharp twisters of judicial code. Imperfect law their legion sows like road blocks on the Justice road. Their greatest sin, most folks agree is not unbridled sophistry but jargon veiled in mystery, and used to baffle you and me. Yet we pick them to write our laws like sheep who choose the wolf as guard. Once they=re enthroned, we see their flaws but our complaints, they disregard. Like you, I pray, to never need to pay their fees to right some wrong. Abstain from each unlawful deed, or learn to sing the jailbird=s song BEHIND THESE WORDS: Sadly, lawyer jokes have some validity. We have a larger supply of lawyers than are needed, far more per capita, than any other civilized society, forcing extreme competition and sleazy practices. Strangely, the surplus of lawyer does not cause competitive pricing. The bulk of lawyer’s income is dependent on contingent fees and they are over eager to generate litigations. They seldom refuse to represent a client no matter how guilty or reprehensible the client. This, they say, is their noble duty but their slimiest court cases, does little for their public relations. They are a necessary evil, and we can only laugh at their excesses.

THE CHEVROLET They built them with pride and sold them worldwide, because they were deemed trouble free. Most cars were priced higher, so who would aspire to spend anymore was lunacy. But they found a headman, who said with a deadpan, our Chevy, uncommon must be. Like Corvairs few trusted and Vegas that rusted replacement, was doomed certainty. Fake diesels that soon failed, so repairs are retailed, for profits they reap sinfully But GM will do well until they don=t sell when someone=s cars are more fault free. BEHIND THESE WORDS: For thousands of miles without trouble, and at a very competitive price, it would be hard to beat a Chevrolet. Buyers consistently rated them first in thrift and dependability from 1930 until 1960. Their lead was squandered by a series of misjudgments of the public’s desires and needs. The Chevrolet Vega was touted to be an everyman=s car, easily fixed by owners. Instead, they were designed as throwaway cars, and that was what they were. Check with old car lovers. None have preserved a Vega. Another misstep was the Corvair, which was actually an efficient design but Chevrolet did nothing to counter Ralph Nader’s attack on their road safety, and rash denial was not enough. Proving readability should have been their focus. General Motors answered the seventy=s gas crunch with a diesel engine, with a premium price, that was nothing but a regular car motor fooled into believing it was a diesel and subsequently, junk. I am a car lover, and I believe that the 1955 Chevrolet was the epitome of good design. It was sturdy, efficient, economical and the most beautiful car on the road. An encore please, General Motors. Instead of the faux diesel, that was a fake, bring us real economy cars, like Toyota’s Prius or the impressive Honda Civic, I bought, despite deploring the need for of buying a foreign car.

THE DEADLY WEED I quit smoking, and knock on wood, I soon obtained a sense of smell. That does seem good, but I can tell, some things we use do not smell good, but such a minor price to pay My health improved, I put on weight, the weight I was destined to be! With taste returned I really ate, and now old clothes won=t fit on me, quite out of style, and so passé. With improved health, I will grow old and stick around while old friends leave. They should have quit, and they were told and will be missed and so I grieve, they should have quit, not fade away. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Selling any drug as addictive as nicotine, should be illegal, even if that drug brought only pleasure instead of earlier death. Buyers of anything containing nicotine, are hooked, deprived of free choice and instances of smoking parents buying cigarettes instead of food for their children are not surprising to reformed ex-smokers. Smokers are victims who should be denied access to this demeaning and sure cause of a shorter life span. Prohibition is a necessary tool for rescuing smokers from themselves. We, who tolerate smokers, are suborning slow but sure suicide. Those young kids who swell smoker ranks will sadly regret each damned cigarette when they are hooked to oxygen tanks.


THE FINAL PREPOSITION There was a man, unique, unbowed who'd build a tower above the crowd to gain a closer view of God. So every day he skyward trod with clay and water to make another tier for the sun to bake. Eons passed and his spire grew till only God could top his view. This was the time, the finite hour when something pushed him off that tower. The message clear, don=t challenge God, or rise above the common clod. He fell to Earth in one hour flat like he was where he landed, splat! BEHIND THESE LINES: The religious faithful of all sects and creeds describe their God as vain and egoistic, expecting total devotion and respect. AThou shalt have no other Gods before me,@ is not uniquely Christian. So be it. Those who wish to be an equal of God, always stumble and fall. A TRYING FAITH A leap of faith, is called for most by those skeptics who tritely insist their belief needs proof of holy ghost. For doubting souls, god don’t exist since God won’t preen or prideful boast.


THE FOX The handsome fox has sponsors and friends but in most farmlands, fox forbearance ends. Chicken farmers don't appreciate the fox, since they often raid their chicken flocks. The wily fox has dependents that need to eat and all consider poultry quite a treat. The fox is not allowed in grocery stores, so they eat whatever they catch outdoors. Sportsmen are foes that fox could confront, helping wildlife they themselves would hunt. BEHIND THESE WORDS: The fox is one of the most attractive members of the carnivorous canine family. They are tricky and fast and are furtive predators on wild life and small poultry, but usually feed on insects and small rodents probably more than compensating for their raids on farm animals. Only a few friends are aware of their benefits to the rural environment but their many enemies, including man, has made the fox apprehensive and wily. For instance, fox do not leave a straight trail, running one place to another. They purposely digress and double back so their scent trail is most confusing to pursuers. Unlike dogs, their acquired apprehensive nature has endeared them with a suspicious nature that spares them from domestication. Bird hunters despise the fox, blaming them for destroying nests and nestlings of quail and pheasants, which decreases the number of birds they can destroy. Nature lovers can admire the elusive fox, and hope enough fox outwit their persecutors to surprise woodland travelers with their jaunty and exciting appearances, a treat for only those with quick and alert vision. Fox rarely inhabit dens except during the breeding season, preferring to bed down out doors, wrapped in their long bushy tail, where they can easily take more evasive getaways, darting off in unpredictable directions.

THE HEAVIEST LOAD As you climb the steep and rocky hill of fate, don=t be bothered by the heavy load you pull. The burden done for others, won=t register as weight but those mammoth lodestones most sorrowful. are amassed by the time wasted in bias and hate. Doing something to help souls who are in need piles up points in your citizenship account. If your life has been hampered by your greed, you will find you’ve accumulated a small amount. To find the blessings of a challenge well met, give somebody something they can=t afford You will learn a joy you will never forget, and please yourself and your chosen Lord. BEHIND THESE WORDS. Doing good is not only an instant gratification, altruism truly serves to perpetuate the practitioner=s code of life. Happiness is not just the absence of sorrow and grief, because we accept good fortune too easily. We never exult over continuing health and lack of stressing challenges, accepting all as our due. Giving thanks for whatever we have, is the essential of any prayer. Good feeling is different. When we have done more than what was expected of us, we have self satisfaction that I believe is the essential essence of happiness. You might know of good deeds you could do for others, but we seldom rate could as should. Try taking the active step, and see how good you feel. This is what constitutes happiness.

SEEKING HEAVEN A righteous God should most admire him who does good works but expects no perks and has no fear of Hade=s fire!


THEN When casualties are those who teach war, the rest of us men could live in peace! When price is paid by those who preach war, children then should live in peace! When no one richer grows in each war, the world would live in peace! When love and mercy can impeach war, kindly people will live in peace! BEHIND THESE WORDS: Almost all of the current war hawks have never killed nor risked being killed in warfare. Their strident cries for war continuance and destruction of all they believe to be enemies must be the grossest of all hypocrisies. Most of these elite war profiteers, also seek to protect their children from war duties and greatly fear and work to avoid a more fair and equitable draft, despite the shortage of volunteers. The United States is waging a class divided war in Iraq and Afghanistan, which the elite can win, despite the outcome while the losers are largely economically deprived enough to volunteer in the largely mercenary army. I would be so happy, were it not so! MEMORIAL DAY One day a year, we honor those brave soldiers planted six feet deep. On this sad day, warlords delight in waving flags in quest of foes. Gun makers do, prime vigil keep while geared for war they will us fight. Remember who the draft boards chose to pay for war with endless sleep, but longing just to sleep at night.


THE IMPOSTER’S FEAST George Washington Jones sat down at the small table, with little desire to eat, but determined to consume every crumb of the feast spread before him. The ostentatious setting on starched linen, promised the finest meal he would ever eat. All of his favorite foods awaited under the battered salver=s cover plus a few elegant delicacies George Washington Jones saw only in old movies. Though eating alone, George had an audience so he would not disappoint the prison=s kitchen staff, although he was imposter, and this splendid feast was meant for someone else. No matter. By the time the State of Texas found out that he did not deserve the almost royal service and his pick of all food choices, George would be long gone. He would not leave an assessable estate, and for all he cared, they could exhume him from the prison=s burial plot, and sell his tired bones to a fertilizer plant. George Washington Jones, death row inmate number 847653, had warned his keepers they were executing an innocent man, but the Warden assured him, Texas had found him guilty and Texas would see him dead. BEHIND THESE WORDS: I would little object to the death penalty for the guilty, although this deprives the offender of years of solitude for inevitable and deserved, painful remorse. In solitude, remorse will always come. Executions are too kind for the truly guilty, but a horrible prank to play on the innocent. Until we have means to bring the falsely executed back to life, or assure citizens that courts never convict the wrong man, logical people should prefer life sentences which can be retracted if later innocence is found. This logic should prevail over our too prevalent practice of revenge oriented executions.


THE PERFECT GIFT At Christmas time, my sweetheart pleads what gift would please me most. When I assess my urgent needs, my needs are met, I=m quick to boast. A kindly God has blessed my life with gifts I treasure more than gold He sent to me the perfect wife, to share the joys of growing old. BEHIND THESE WORDS: I was a troubled young man at twenty-two and certainly did not deserve my greatest Christmas gift. I was a despicable and virtually discarded bum. Finding my wife, turned my life around, and I now need to apologize to no one. We all go through life not recognizing our greatest blessings, but we mourn and curse our setbacks. Appreciation is not one of man=s greatest emotions, and we often fail to recognize the power of please and thank you. I say it now, thank you God, for my wonderful wife, and please let us be together until very old age. VALENTINE My sweetheart is a friend of mine, her kindness shown by word and deed. My simplest need, she can define for when I=m hurt, she too, will bleed. I don=t know why I have been blessed, but pray her love I have true earned with thoughtful acts of love expressed in gratitude for love returned.


THE PROOF OF GOD If there be God, some proof we'd find. I'm sure that clues are left behind, like distortions or some flaws, we'd find in Physics constant laws. All elements expand with heat, only water does this law cheat, since water when frozen bloats, and we exist because ice floats. From frozen seas no clouds could feed on water for our rainfall need. To grow each living cell must sup, to assuage thirsts, sip ocean's cup. No cells could grow in solid sea, nor from that ice could gasses flee to wrap the earth with clement air so life would dare to flourish there. Who made this trait of ice be changed, one law of nature rearranged? Could chance create by oddity, aberration that had to be? We might ignore explicit proof, if we can't see celestial roof. Just as we accept gravity, why not a God that we can't see? BEHIND THESE WORDS: I questioned the existence of God, until I discovered this strange anomaly in the laws of physics, and this one essential inconsistency proves our world had to be designed by one Supreme Being. If ice did not float, ice on the bottom of seas and oceans would accumulate and over a century or two, all water, the essence of life, would be locked up in frozen ice. Something insisted on that one exemption from the otherwise consistent and constant laws of physics. I am content to refer to that grand designer as my God, and certainly do not require him to look like me. Science proves to me, God exists. I address him with respect and often beg for his approval or help.


THE QUAKER ME I will speak only truth, in language plain, but hold my tongue, checking censure. I will never forfeit principles to obtain but fair share in any venture. In meetings, my voice echoes the will of God as how my conscience speaks for me. May I always avoid hypocrisy=s facade but seek a view where we agree. BEHIND THE POEM: We should start each grateful to be alive and thankful for our creation. My closest friend and creator hears my silent prayer of appreciation for the great gift of life, and channels my thoughts toward respecting the teachings of Jesus Christ, my true role model. I beg to be brave and resolutely do those things that will make me proud to be a Quaker. I must be humble and meek but firmly recognize what injures or hurts others, and never join such enterprises that exploit or harm our Creator=s beautiful world. Let me join with those lovers of humanity that seek to help, being a giver more than taker. I will forgive those insults and actions that offend me, and pray my transgressions will not hurt my friends or those disliking me. May I show compassion and tolerance that will inspire each one I meet, as a devoted member of the Society of Friends.

Don't trust Christians who can foretell by their set of rules, and strict Sunday schools who earns Heaven, and who rates Hell.

TO AN UNKNOWN DRIVER You hit my car and drove away, no doubt convinced you were not seen. I wish that I could make you pay, ignoring fault is really mean. The driver=s duty that you duck should trouble all your dreams with shame. I hope that when your car is struck that driver says your car=s to blame. BEHIND THESE WORDS It happens to us all. We witness and even suffer the lack of conscience of wrongdoers who hide their guilt. Justice not ordained and it often seems the guilty escape or sometimes even thrives from their misdeed. Another despicable automobile sin, is not signaling turns. TOM LIES HERE This driver lies here because he believed, his turn signal cleared the other lane. Climax of this tragedy was achieved when he was squashed by tons of grain. A grain hauler vainly bobbed and weaved, trying to miss Tom in the blinding rain, but tipped on him, now we’re left bereaved. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Drivers, who change lanes, requiring you to brake, are dangerous and deserve your anger they blindly signal while swerving into your lane. It is obvious; they did not turn their head, nor glance in the rear view mirror, assuming their magic turn signal cleared a lane for them. I cannot decide which is worst; this blatant safety abuse or the driver who turns without using a signal at all.


THE PUBLIC CHICKEN FARM John Q. Public hired a new manager named George, for their chicken farm. John=s giant coop contained nearly 300 million fine egg-laying, tax paying occupants who were always concerned about their safety and John hired this fellow George who promised protection and security above all other potential managers. A friendly fox, bearing glorious gifts for George, applied to be his portal manager, despite being a beast with known proclivities for raiding chicken farms. George, secure in his job with an eight year contract liked this gift-bearing fox and insisted on retaining the fox as watchman. The occupants of the coop became alarmed because they did not realize how wise George was in retaining a fox as watchman of portals. You see, wise George knew the fox understood fox language, and of course, the raiders hungering outside the portals all spoke fox. Who better would recognize invading fox, than a fox watchman? The question remains, would George’s fox watchman refuse entry to any hungry fox who spoke in polite fox language, asking brotherly assistance? BEHIND THESE WORDS: When George Bush tried to turn over entry port security to his oil wealthy Muslim friends in Dubai, the done deal was finally scrutinized and his timidly loyal Republican cohorts in the house and senate finally choked on their royal master=s brazen audacity. Media wiped this sin from their memory, but I pray the common citizenry remember. Halliburton, richly endowed friends of the administration, chose to move their corporate headquarters to Dubai. This suspicious company that derives the bulk of its income from our national treasury wishes to stop paying corporate taxes, which is an even greater insult. Why should it fund itself, right? GAS PAINS I do not need a SUV, a hybrid car is fine with me, saving gas, economically. Hummer drivers begrudge my share, but at their bumpers, I will glare at George Bush stickers common there!

TO MY BAFFLING POET FRIEND Your meter and rhyme, some learning display with powerful words, with nothing to say, so I=m at a loss for what they convey. Good phrase sound is an important part of word magic so needed in poetic art, but like cold stones, your poem lacks a heart. First step, write plain what you would speak, before you search for rhyme, surrender meek to simple voice, not esoteric Greek. BEHIND THE POEM: Modern poets forget that rhyme is functional, and the only excuse to not use end word rhyme, is the inability to do so. Rhyme is a functional tool and we learn ancient language pronunciation from their record of words that rhyme. A rhymed paragraph is four times easier to retain than same length prose. If we sang songs, we would be four times more liable to forget the words, mid-song, without rhyme. Young folk’s early reading is facilitated by rhyme, and their new reader=s vocabulary quickly broadened by the simple change of first consonant, in books like SEE DICK RUN. Come on, modern poets, get off your high horse, work a little harder, and find end words that rhyme, if your message is worth saying, and being remembered. I find it frightening when thoroughly educated literary arts masters think Walt Whitman revolutionized poetry, and they must pick up the prose-poetry form, and make less sense of what they purport is poetry. I dream of the day, the new wave will find rhyme, useful and an essential part of poetry. When we recognize mnemonics are a valued and respectable learning tool, our teachers can teach poetry as poetry. When a good speaker emotes the word music in good poetry, it is a special listening treat. It is not easy to use rhyme, said Walt Whitman, and lazy poets agree.


TOADS Not pretty as its friend the frog, since both begin as pollywog to dwell upon a rock or log, prepared to dine on bug buffet. We could not eat at their café or transcend their weird DNA. From eggs they hatch with fish like fin, but then grow legs, from deep within with poison warts upon their skin. Both frogs and Toads lay eggs, and people relish most frog legs, but never toads, this gourmet begs.

BEHIND THESE WORDS: Toads and frogs are amphibians and closely related, but toads are more terrestrial and have drier skin. Maidens who kissed a frog expecting to capture a Prince, get no results. They should have kissed a Toad, and then they would, at least, get warts. Both Toads and Frogs hibernate in the temperate zones, burrowing underground in mud or dirt to survive the winter. Being cold-blooded, both of these amphibians could freeze. You do not find either of them living in the arctic zones. Tadpoles are hatched with gills but toads and frogs have lungs. The transformation from fish to land dwellers is biologically amazing, as is their use of an explosively unraveling sticky tongue to capture their bug prey. It is amazing that gluey tongue does not stick to itself when folded inward. Only a few species of frogs, have poison secreted from their skins, but this self defense is common among them, only differing in how deadly the poison they employ.


TO BEAUTY PAGEANT JUDGES No stitch mark or discerned stitches, nor pockmarked skin that shows or snitches, this gloried miss is free from glitches deserving crown you could install. The scars she bears are all inside, her bio skips the nights she cried mute victim of her parent=s pride, no sadder star can you recall. As Queens need more than pretty faces she=s well rehearsed in social graces with perfect smile, rescued from braces, segued amid her demure drawl. You have the power to place her first, or send her home, her bubble burst; no matter which, your choice accursed since you don=t measure soul at all.

BEHIND THE POEM: Fifty beautiful girls primped and patterned to impress pageant judges, most of them old hands at charming appraisers, vying to be the unique prize winner. What could be sadder than spending years in preparation for this moment, and a one in fifty chance at success? They have all paid their dues. How many victories, culminated in this last demeaning defeat? How dare judges choose who shall represents the most beautiful woman in America? Their assumption that beauty is their most valuable contribution to mankind is as fallacious as farmers growing roses and tulips in place of corn and wheat. Consider the qualifications of Alaskan Governor Palin. She is beautiful and won beauty contests and political races. Is pretty an essential quality for all success? Good Lord, could she be a President?


TO FALL ASLEEP When most everyone is still having fun, then sleep is what I dread. Though sleep fills my eyes when I do arise, I want to snooze instead. Comes next day in school, I will seem a fool since I=m a sleepyhead. You can fall asleep from just counting sheep. is what my teacher said. I fear that tonight, I might sleep too tight and spend the day half dead. My new bedtime scheme is inviting dreams for great adventures in bed.

BEHIND THESE WORDS: One of the hardest lessons children must learn is to willingly leave their conscious world and surrender to sleep. You can force children to go to bed, but not to sleep. Your rationale of why they must get a reasonable amount of sleep, to face the coming day, is wasted on ears that fear they might miss something fun or entertaining. They may even realize they will be oppressed with fatigue come morning, but that is tomorrow=s problem. A solution is to instill in their minds, the pleasant prospect of visiting a dream world where joys can be savored and catastrophes are but adventures that end when they are awakened, rested and ready to face the real world. Dreams can be more interesting than Television programs they skip, or secret parental conversations they will miss.


TOO EARLY BROKE I only drink the cheapest wine or make my own right off the vine and I don't ever chew or smoke So tell me why, am I so broke I grow just weeds instead of grass, send all my mail out second class. I don't snort snuff and never coke, So tell me why, I am still broke. I walk a lot, and save my car. and will not travel very far. Cross country trips, I think pure joke, so it’s not trips that keeps me broke. I stay at home, and seldom work, and all work clothes I firmly shirk. I'm not a wheel, not even spoke, I guess that's why I'm always broke. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Now that I am living in Arkansas, I am exposed to and appreciate the southern country folk, residing back in the hills. I appreciate their straight forward look at life=s blessings and hardships. They have quick and ready wit, don=t take much to big words. I am comfortable with their perspective and will try to use their voice more and more. I did quit smoking forty years ago, and realize how much money I have saved. I have only extended life to show for my forbearance, but some of that money not spent on nicotine would be appreciated, too. With my writing, I do try to persuade people to quit smoking or never start. I try both sarcasm, comedy and fear. I would like to be the Poet Laureate of Cherokee Hills in the nearby Ozarks. Folks there carve woods, shave cedar shakes, braid rugs, or piece quilts. I have but one craft, I am a word-weaver and I will borrow from tales and legends, and learn to speak kindly of my new neighbors.

TOO SOON FORGOT My check off list does help a lot to help me know what I’ve forgot. The only thing, I’ve somehow missed is where I put that check off list. If I could find my missing specs, I=d find that list and break this hex, but where=s my list, that I can=t see, It=s wrote to help my memory. I placed it in a special spot, but where that=s at, I have forgot. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Senior citizens all suffer some memory loss as they mature, and this affliction is coupled more events experienced to remember. We joke about that loss, to minimize our worry over dreaded Alzheimer’s disease, so hard on their family=s. Much less frightening to the afflicted, who suffer but are oblivious to their suffering. Somewhat like anesthesia dulls pain. If I were to be cursed with a painful and incurable disease, I might consider the accompanying loss of consciousness that Alzheimer disease brings, as a blessing. Were that to happen, I would hope that my survivors would consider me blessed, not cursed. AGING Eternal youth is dream or lie, passage of time brings rust and rot, the law of aging does apply, whether you like it or not.


UNTIL THEY ARE NOT STRANGERS How calloused we pass with silent conceit the stranger whose home is there on the street. Do you wonder if some care we'd extend, if somehow that bum resembled a friend. Would we then pass absolved from his need with logic that springs from self-centered greed. We should borrow the face from loved ones dead and place it by will on that pauper's head. Borrowed from our=s passed, their life we restore by helping the wretch most choose to ignore.

BEHIND THESE WORDS: A decrepit and neglected old woman lying with one pleading hand outstretched while she slept in fresh fallen snow while soaking up heat from a storm sewer grating below, so resembled my dead grandmother, I was shocked. I knew my grandmother had not returned to life and I passed by, snubbing the poor crone=s plea for help. All afternoon, her image stayed in my mind. She was someone=s grandmother and I heartlessly passed her by, ignoring her plight. After my chore was finished, I went back her way, but she was gone. That night, I began this poem. If I had passed her money, she was probably too inured to her poverty, my money would not have made her feel a bit better, but it sure would have lightened my guilt and pleased me. We pose as the richest nation, yet eight million people are homeless. Twenty-three million people do not have health insurance and depend on charity. We have bright students who cannot afford college. Six million of convicts will worsen in prison that lack rehabilitation intent or plan. Just how rich can we really be? Greed is the taproot of all sins, the drive to have more than the man next door just maybe how the devil wins.

UNWELCOME QUESTIONS Will Seals applaud the end of man who made their seas his garbage can? Will wily whales surviving still miss human tracks, like each oil spill? Will trees, our smoke makes weak and bare, no longer purge our poisoned air? Will oceans, once with algae green, replenish air from seas unclean? Will we meet doom we justly rate, or change our ways, escape that fate? Will some form of life still linger on or something care when man is gone? BEHIND THESE WORDS: What animal, outside of man=s forgiving friend, the dog would miss us if we were gone. Mosquitoes and fleas could quickly switch their preference for other blood. From our position at the top of the food chain, we did not make many friends among the animals we eat, enslave or choose to kill for sport. All animals would adapt to a human-less world, but they would probably not all survive the catastrophic damnation man will bring upon the world, by mankind=s greed and disregard for his environment. I have not been able to find hidden humor within this dark assessment, but if I could talk to the animals, they could probably share some inside jokes, and humor about a world without humans. Think about a world of populated with only cruder forms of life like animals lacking conscience or greed beyond their immediate need. What would that be like? What creatures would greedily head the food chain?


VOTE FOR ME When you elect me President I’ll change all things that I think bad. When I am white house resident, I will outlaw whatever makes you sad. People who hate to stand in line, to purchase food or quench their thirst, will cheer my skills when I design , food lines where everyone's first. Your monthly bills, I will outlaw since our Nation should be free. Everyone will be your best friend, since who deserves an enemy. No one will have to fight a war, when robot soldiers fight for you. Our enemies will quit before harsh pre-emptive attack is due. When I=m elected, I’ll end debate. and those still tempted to be gay, I will simply re-educate. to live like God, the proper way. I will import a worker class for nasty jobs that we won=t do. Corporations then will pass their labor savings on to you. For such an Eden, vote for me, and all my friends will celebrate the zero tax, my legacy, for those who made me Chief of State.

BEHIND THE WORDS: This is credible as most political campaign promises, but electors never learn and keep choosing those with the most campaign money for spreading untruths. We buy their lies and really do get what we deserve.


WATCH OUT FOR SPIKE Yes, he's my dog, I named him Spike, but be careful, stay on your trike. Spike=s angry, so keep far away, while I try to hold him at bay. Whoops, Don=t pet him or you=ll see he=s mean and he only likes me. Okay, he likes girls in pink, but only to bite them, I think. Your so lucky he doesn’t bite, when you pet him, but still, he might. That tail wagging is just an act, Spike=s really mean, and that=s a fact, Stop that! You just don=t understand why my dog is licking your hand. Spike is starved and just tasting you before he bites your arm in two. BEHIND THESE WORDS: When I was young, I had a canine pal that I loved and spent much time with. I thought him a one man dog, sweet and kind to only me. I tried projecting that charade to visitors, who always rejected my warning and stooped to pet my dog. Many times, I wanted him to growl just a little bit, and that remembered frustration fueled this poem, but now, I too like girls in pink. I now longer am jealous, but proud when someone pets my dog.


WE CAN FORGET At day's end could we peaceful sleep had not we cleansed and buried deep each thoughtless word from that day's slate on notebooks we, with gall, create? Do friends whom our approval seek, deserve from us for query meek, our mean retort, creating debt of hasty words we must regret? Do we ignore our past misdeeds when pious mob new target needs so all can pharisize with stone their sin, yet kind, forgive their own? What guilty wretch could we convict if deeds, so wrong. ourselves depict we feel the guilt but never let the blame survive, we do forget. Could we, when praised for worthy acts, abashed recall demeaning facts, or righteous glow, ourselves entranced by our past deeds, by time enhanced? At last when at the judgment throne when asked what sins we must atone, since Life demands all payments met, It's kindest gift, we can forget! If death would let us fresh begin, to heal past hurts, erase each sin, would one of us refuse that break, the past undo, accounts remake? For when we're laid to endless sleep but sleepless lay though buried deep, and past misdeeds still cause regret it's good to find, we do forget.


WE ARE PLANTERS A tiny seed is wishful sown in God=s hungry, eager earth. It germinates, not on its own, since warming sun must beg its birth. If its roots reach deep enough in somewhat loosened common dirt, it nurtures from soil=s rotting duff and comes alive in mystic spurt. Our relationships are just like this, and we expect, they fervent grow. Dark clouds bestow sweet moisture=s kiss, but can=t control what fates bestow. As with anything that=s sown, there comes a harvest we must reap. Sometimes only weeds are grown and we must learn which crop to keep. BEHIND THESE WORDS: All friendships have a starting place, and some seed of origin. I was planting tiny seeds in my garden, and thinking of the miraculous growth I was expecting. A new neighbor stopped by and brusquely asked what I was planting. It was an opportunity to visit, and I was so engrossed in my chore, and his unfriendly manner, I did not respond well. I thought of the analogy and the seed, I was planting, then stood up and caught up with him as he was leaving. The ensuing visit began a long and lasting friendship, from seed I almost did not plant. Whether we have a garden or a farm, we are all planters and sowing seeds each day of our life. I pray that you may be blessed with a great harvest from each seed you plant. In my garden are many weeds. which grew wild from invader seeds. which won’t grow what my psyche needs.

WHEE! WE’RE GOLDEN AGERS We’ve grown quite old, you must agree, our Golden Age has came to be with handicaps that bother me, like needing teeth for me to chew since I love to nibble on you. My mirrors all have wrinkled glass, my image lost its muscled mass, which wound up fat around my ass. No longer handsome, that is true That’s why I’m glad I still have you. I rise to pee three times each night, need glasses now for any sight, my thinning hair is all snow white. I carefully age just so I do stay spry enough to be with you. The passing years went by so fast, but I still sense those moments past, that built a love destined to last. I’m sure you must remember too and I am still in love with you! BEHIND THESE WORDS As a senior citizen, I know maintaining function is more important than considering appearances, and perception does not match reality. Seeing wrinkled beauty is an art acquired by appreciative wizening, and incomprehensible to those under sixty. HOW TO GROW OLD From birth to grave our lifelines run and some ponder when old age starts. The zenith point, is when “I will” changes to, “I should have done”


WHEN Don't cry my child, Here!, dry your eye, George Bush will build so we can't die, a Space-War shield called SDI, when Eagles swim and Codfish fly! The sick and old we'll hide no more, we'll scrap our guns to feed the poor, love humanity and Peace restore when Lions sing and Robins roar! Past enemies, their friendship spurn. We build more bombs to sadly learn, that it's not Peace those weapons earn, when mountains melt and rivers burn! BEHIND THE POEM: The most shameful sin man can commit is that against his children, and his descendants. Love and preservation of family is man=s greatest obligation, and our present leaders gird up for war incurring debt our children must pay, by scrapping necessary social advancements long in place, for the betterment of humanity. This rich and great country is misusing its assets, and lagging behind the rest of civilized world, in care for its citizens. We twist and distort the truth but reality will assert itself, and future historians will teach about the rise and fall of the United States. The star wars technology is fantasy exemplified. The money investment would not be good for us citizens who are not part of the defense industry. Could it be the strategy of the selfish moneyed few who profit greatly from war, fighting terrorism or the futile drug war, to intentionally bankrupt our nation to shredding social welfare and destroying unions to maximize corporate profits by driving down the cost of their work force? Think about it! Bush sought pre-emptive war be tried. That’s one way to say Pearl Harbor day was also right and justified.


WHEN I AM GONE Don=t weep for me, my grieving friends for I have lived, and now am free to go back home, as fate intends. I don=t go poor, to fearsome site since memories, will comfort me in pleasant sleep, through endless night. . Don=t think me lost, for I am found and will in peace, triumphant bask for I knew where my soul was bound. The tax for Life, I would defray by facing brave each destined task to glory on this hallowed day. Don=t harsh resent untimely call, or brand my death as tragedy. My life=s been full, I’ve treasured all my host of friends, each battle won and precious love of family. These gifts I prize when life is done. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Forgetting the risk of seeming maudlin or morbid, I think all of us should prepare our own obituary, starting at an early age. This exercise does precipitate self examination and a reassessment of our priorities and goals. Keeping these, and periodically updating them, can show our emotional, spiritual and intellectual growth.


WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE I'm not afraid to die but make it be a cloudy day Rent for soul, I'll not deny, life bears a tax we all must we pay! Don’t light bright stars in onyx sky, just let it be a cloudy day. I’ll leave alone, deny my friends, the need for pointless tears. The day my Earth tour ends, one answer then appears. I'll find, at last, where life extends, no need for shedding tears! BEHIND THESE WORDS: I am growing old at breakneck speed, but take consolation from realizing that at my funeral, I will finally be aware of mankind=s final destination. I do not want my friends saddened, as I will know something they can only blindly trust, in a kind of faith that I have always envied, but never truly possessed. That faith truly creates all that engineers and manifests a religion. BUILDING GODS Be it never said Religion is dead if someone believes. A God we create not trusting in fate, our faith, God's texture weaves. Insisting on proof unravels the woof and leaves unwoven thread. If dying we must, returning to dust, why not a soul that is not dead! BEHIND THESE WORDS: The major component common to all religions, is dependence on the power of faith. Because of this commonality, we should be more tolerant and receptive of their faith. We should never dispute or challenge their perception of their creator, even though it differs from ours.

WHEELS & INDIANS Native Americans, proud and secure, found wet clay and with skillful hands made food crockery. Each bowl was round, begging for a potter=s wheel. Dawn displayed it=s radiance in perfect circles of gold to orderly roll across a waiting sky. A circular sun woke them and told them rise. Circularity, they deny, never hearing their Sun God who rose to tell them Ashape a wheel@ for their clumsy Travois. that gouged a tell tail trail. when felled by sickness, they watched Clairvoyant Medicine men draw circles portraying their World. Proud warriors, danced by fires, as their squaws made arrows scraping wood smooth and perfectly round, to fly straight. Your fire-maker spun round and hot propelled by circular force and campfires burned to light and warm the night. Why did you not see that bow string tool was a wheel that turned motion into heat. Were that round shaft ovate or square, it would ignite nothing. Squaws chose round stones that rolled easy, despite their weight, to move the fire=s heat to boiling pits. Your foes had wheels that hauled away your gold, and plowed your prairie to grow their wheat. If you had watched how those hot stones rolled, you might still have herds of buffalo to eat. Your Squaw put roundness to work, another wheel you did not see. You appeased the Invaders with gifts of turkey and corn and curtsied so politely. You saw those wheels and said No thanks! When white man came, you faced his guns, with tomahawks instead of tanks because you stayed the wheel-less ones. THESE WORDS…Are an example of how I disguise my rhymes to make my poetry seem like modern verse, to conform to the contemporary style, now ruling literature.

WHICH ARE YOU? Gamboling grasshoppers fritter and play devouring all that stands in their way, but saving squat for harsh winter=s sway, daring demise with ho-hum éclat. Consider then, the hardworking bee who stores up his efforts for you and me, eschewing rewards for that industry while questioning not mortality. I search my self, but which are you? Are you part of that enslaved few, shunning life=s pleasure just to amass products to pleasure the upper class? BEHIND THESE WORDS: Survival may be the only objective of the Honeybee, which toils without ceasing, amassing pollen and honey to tide them over winter, but amassing much more than they need. Do they know their surplus will be stolen by those who do not sip the flowers for pollen and sweetness Does that overpowering drive, signify greed? Do those who live for today, saving nothing for tomorrow, deserve to survive harsh winter when food is covered with snow? Hunger is a hard way to die, but some animals fear hunger much less than honey bees. Some animals build up reserve assets far beyond their need or comfort sustainability. Which are you? The taproot of all sin is greed, this curse to have more hurts both rich and poor, obsessed with excessive need


WHY DO YOU LOOK LIKE ME? When you trace your family tree, prepare for insights you could find, examining your ancestry. Human children are all designed, with a double fated progeny, From both blood lines, they are consigned some traits passed genetically. Their heritage might be combined with adverse genes from history. Evolution has left behind crudely embarrassing debris. Our social skills were just refined from the earliest Chimpanzee. Lest Mom and Dad appear maligned, ask those apes for an apology. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Sometimes young delinquent’s behavior defy logic or social mores, and when taken to task, they crave an alibi. Genetic predisposition is a convenient explanation for bizarre conduct, but why blame your parents. Go way back to the chimpanzees to explain anti-social behavior. I wish the curse of adverse DNA was known when I was a young troublemaker, seeking alibis for aberrant behavior. My parents were honest and hard working. I had no one to blame, but me.


WHY ME, VLADIMIR? Because you died, unfinished man, fearful that Stalin cursed your rhyme you brashly chose the coward=s crime (packed up your life, and meekly ran) with centuries of words, now dead. You chose to leave the caravan, while scanning well Joe=s party line in tidy verse, each five year plan. In posters terse, you did design, your yellow shirt turned bloody Red! Averting future fusillade, you did accelerate that time, you solved your doubt, was there a God in poignant transcendental rhyme bequeathed to me, and voiceless said. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Vladimir Mayakovski, a brilliant revolutionary Russian poet, shot himself in 1930, the year that I was born. Sometimes, when I am stalled while expressing myself, his spirit comes to me in thought, and I find myself voicing new words or concepts, I do not recognize as my own. I do not believe in ghosts or messages from the dead. I am, however, thankful for that help and when I read those augmented lines, I am proud of the words produced from this strange partnership.


WHY ARGUE To sort through confusion, full meaning extract, but rush to conclusion, devoid of all fact. You soak in conviction, assurance so strong, to offer the fiction that you can't be wrong! We veil our rejection, with concocted guile by soft word selection and agreeable smile. Bask in our cowardice, we don't dare to show and lies we dismiss, while our noses grow. So covet the candor of children who dare refusing to wither in their parents cross glare. When their revelation, seems coarse and uncouth, withhold remonstration, they do tell the truth BEHIND THESE WORDS: Do you know anyone who argues for the love of being an opposing voice? Do you know anyone who almost always misrepresents the facts in their differing opinion? When calm discussion of differing views is difficult, arguing is useless. Sometimes, a bitter confrontation is easily avoided by tactically agreeing thus: “Oh yes, that=s right. I learn too much from you.” Meanwhile, you simply tell yourself that you have met someone who knows too much that is just not so. It helps. This approach is especially wise as sometimes you find out that it was yourself that was wrong or had relied on false information.

I TOLD YOU SO Unsought advice from anyone can keep you from sleeping at night. It always starts, “You should have done,” and stings the most if they’re proved right.


WHY DOVES CRAP ON STATUES In war, soldiers do courageous things in service to despotic kings but empty honor, their death brings to mothers stooped on calloused knees. It=s not bugles, each doomed squad heeds, unreasoned are their bravest deeds. They blindly follow who careful leads the callow meek to victories. Why is it youth who are victimized and not their leaders sacrificed, with brilliant courage idolized in fictitious graveyard elegies When wars are done, and statues raised and the fallen men=s leader praised, the white dove=s Amen’s are phrased in boldly excreted epiphanies. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Why is all mankind enamored of their fallen warriors? Do we rejoice because that it is them lying in flag draped coffins, not us?. We should be sorry those cherished young heroes aren’t still cruising main street and honking at girls they would like to meet. Generals who need campaign ribbons and promotions should be in the first wave of troops advancing toward a heroic death and their bronzed statues only used for pigeon crap. There is a great amount of money made in war preparation and conduct, but none paid to the dead. Will we ever ignore the need for or the satisfaction of killing an enemy? Maybe we are still evolving, and later versions of mankind more inclined to make love, not war.


WINDOWS IN STONE How dare you send the Larks to sing, ironic chants for my cold steel cell. What kind of blessing does it bring to one locked in such forlorn hell. Why waste bright paint on morning tide while dealing out a future cold. The black of night, might better hide the iron bars you gild with gold. Don't stir up yet the waltzing breeze that bounces off the walls of stone to shake awake the sleeping trees and mock with tune instead of groan. Oh God that dulls the crushing fear for condemned men destined to hang. It is my penance to bear severe the sentence parsed by gavel=s bang. If cells man builds can truly cure faults that prove God s can often fail, Pen up those lost so they=re secure, but don't put windows in a jail. BEHIND THESE WORDS: What constitutes torture? Could prison windows overlooking beautiful park grounds, teeming with normal people, be effectively torture? Maybe that miniscule peek at normal life is a strong inducement to reform, for prisoners who can look toward eventual release. For those sentenced to life without parole, it is torture. If our sole goal is to punish, windows showing outside life are an effective tool to spur the prisoner’s remorse. Maybe we should practice triage on incoming prisoners and divide and separate lifers without possibility of parole to solitary confinement cells with a small peephole to the outside. This would be more cruel and vengeful than execution, but not so permanent that it could not be corrected, from new evidence.


WINTER COLORS Snow reflects the moon in muted white, while shy and silent black holds heavens tight and squeezes the stars to make them shine on ghostly specters of snow draped pine. Burnished ice has stilled the glacial creek which begins just beneath the mountains peak, shyly invisible when and hid in foggy shroud which slides down the slope to form a cloud. Snow bowed pines clump in conspiring packs unified against pine beetles and lumberjacks. They set their roots deep in ice cracked rock so rattled by wind, which they prideful mock. BEHIND THE POEM: Snowbound on the shortest winter day in Alaska, I was depressed about the lack of color, especially with all of the sleeping pine greens covered with white. This moonlit night, I was amazed by the colors and variations of the blacks and whites. Thinking on the nature of how we perceive color, where white is a blend of all colors whereas black is the absence of any color, I realized my snows cape scenery was truly a full spectrum of color, and I began to appreciate black and white. NEW YEAR LESSON Learn from the past, but some do not, and it is a shame they must touch the flame to find out if a fire is hot.


WORDS THAT DON'T ERASE Four words I spoke with hasty tongue, a vicious jest that heartless stung. I still with grief assess the cost, one precious friend forever lost. Long afterward, the words I spoke, still casts a spell that stays un-broke, that careless phrase, a poisoned dart still festers deep in my friends heart. We can't call back our words once said so who speaks quick, could hurt instead. Denouements shared by artless choice, pernicious thoughts, good friends won't voice. If I could but relive one day Four bitter words, I'd wipe away. Don=t ask the words so mean they'd end the former trust of my lost friend? Those words must be left unknown such poisoned seeds remain unsown.. Pick your words with extreme care So you won=t risk that loss I bear. BEHIND THESE WORDS: A trusting friend is an irreplaceable treasure, but can be lost with just a few cruel words. Now seventy-six, I speak much slower, and taste my words first to test for bitter acid. Thoughtless words, once said, cannot be erased or called back, and immediate retractions or apologies must always bear the tint of expedient lie. If you have destroyed a valued friendship with too quick words, you know the pain my thoughtless words cost me. Your mean words might not be mine, but all should be forgotten.


WE SUPPORT OUR TROOPS We support out troops, where ever they are sent, in all they do for whichever warring President beguiles us next, past history never relevant . We support out troops, in wars that cannot be won for lackey support is what we have always done, rewarding arms manufacturers by the megaton. We support out troops, and those obliged to fight spreading the gospel of the religious right, serving corporate need with jaundiced insight. We support out troops, and never question why it is strategic tactics for them to bravely die, on foreign soil from enemy they can’t identify. We support our troops and rationalize their kill, and mourn ad hoc victims of collateral spill and brand as treason those that question still. We support out troops, and glorify that final deed with patriotic hymns and sanctimonious creed, epilogues which fortune-blessed survivors read. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Our present imperialistic government brands any criticism of their international policy as treason. The Homeland Security police they created do encourage spying on our neighbors, and reporting our suspicions, almost like the secret police tactics of the third Reich and Stalin’s Russia.


WOULD GOD BE PROUD If there be God, He must be miffed to witness mute, while man wild dare pollute their most essential gift of seas creating rain and air. Would God be proud, that man has learned to squeeze the oil from ancient clay and fashion goods to earth returned as plastic trash that can't decay? If our Creator, we must please inventive man should soon take stock of chemicals that foul our seas, transforming Earth to lifeless rock. We've changed this world to comfort zone without regard for any guest and think the world is ours alone, and only man, with soul is blessed. BEHIND THESE WORDS:. Civilized man has become so obsessed with consumption and comfort, they insist on depleting the world=s resources, and fouling our habitat. If this wasting continues at the present spirally increasing rate, there can be only one conclusion. We are headed to a cataclysmic disaster. We selfishly procrastinate addressing the prospect of dwindling resources, pollution, earth warming and our expanding world population. Tomorrow comes, will we be ready?


WHO DO WE BLAME? We know tobacco sows cancer’s seed but this sage warning, few smokers will heed they must be obsessed with nicotine need. Someday their habit, they will lastly tame, when on their tombstones, we place their name. an untimely death, but who should we blame Great crop for farmers, who truly rejoice, when lawmakers strive to be their strong voice, and patron smokers dead from their choice. Elected officials, don’t suffer from shame, needing taxes, they proudly proclaim. tobacco is legal, so who can we blame. If doctors tell them, some smokers quit which gives all cigarette makers a fit. but hooking new smokers helps quite a bit Here is the secret of the Ad Agency game show heroes smoking and ride on their fame. When we stop buying, it’s the taxes they blame. BEHIND THESE WORDS: In some neo-conservative bureaucrat’s mind, murder would be legal if heavily taxed. Oops! That is my slight exaggeration, again. I do believe that marijuana would be legal if the government could control its growth, and tax the consumers. I envision new tax need as government expands in size, and forecast some real surprises in sin tax targets. Consider a tax on suicide, a tax on published untruths, a tax on broken promises, a tax on media programs in bad taste and even a tax on golf or fishing on Sundays.


YOU ARE WHAT YOU ARE Don't envy the bird unless you have heard the price of having wings. Consider the lark who brightens the dark, that song, it wordless sings The lions that roar, the eagles that soar both gorge on bloody things. Bear silent your cross Enduring each loss, to earn your Angel Wings.. Each human is faulted, by goodness exalted, with regrets their guilt brings. BEHIND THESE WORDS: Humans are seldom satisfied with their lot, and this lust to improve their portion of blessings has led to inventions, new social orders, wealthy benevolences and all manner of conquests. This dissatisfaction also drives humans to horrible crimes, selfish gluttony, destructive wars and man=s cruelty to his fellow man. This dichotomy of purpose is unique to humans and I ponder whether it is bane or blessing. All humans must suffer deprivation or crippling to cherish their blessings. One must spend some length of time in the dark to appreciate vision. Time spent wearing a cast or a brace enables the healthy to truly appreciate healthy, unfettered limbs. Envy is really just another form of that kind of crippling, and unbridled envy or jealousness are partnered with greed, which is truly man=s greatest failing, and the taproot of all other sins. To enjoy what you have earned or deserve is the best kind of success, and achievement. Gratefully enjoy what you have and appreciate the grievous things that you do not.


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Description: Old style poetry from a master story teller, told with background commentary, on modern day viccissitudes and anomalies. Enjoy the humor, laugh at what you can't change or fix, delight in witty insightful satire.