Tuesday, August 31, 2021

 

Not My Final Answer

(at the prospect of turning 90)


Something funny happened

     must stay awake when

          it happens again

The moving finger

     writes to extend three

          score and ten

Now that I

     have forgiven

          my past

Having escaped

     the illusion

          of boxes

Living in the intense

     reality of

          transformation

Engaged in

     the search for

          better questions

Letting go of the

     clutch of clever

          defense mechanisms

Shaking off

     the need

          to fit in

Joyously aware that

     age is not a

          disability

Enriched by rare

     moments

          of joy

Injured when I didn't

     know enough

          to be sorry

Scars of mostly

     self-inflicted bumps

          and bruises

Little time left

     to belabor

          life's offenses

No room to host

     fear or

          anger

Cutting back

     on sighing

          and arguing

Going to bed in

     love waking up

          in love

Reviewing new

     ways to say

          thank you

Tracing new designs

     from recycled

          trash

Challenged by

     a God that

          grows with me



Saturday, August 21, 2021

 

As

It

     happens

          as I

Keep the energy

     lose the fear

          accept the grace

Reserve anger's energy

     to break the evil

          build hope's path

Embrace the dark

     look through

          the pain

Forgive the past

     accept healing

          strengthen joy

Stay the course

     play the ball

          where it lands

Rest my soul

     pause to thank

          rise to pursue

Just so will

     I write

          my life



Monday, August 16, 2021

 

A Memoir of Sorts



The fourth move in as many

     years leaving little

          to carry

It could have been a pro

     shop when faded

          dreams still had a pulse

Two rooms one faucet

     and a necessary

          path out back

Three people who would

     live without privacy

          and still have love

Dad displaced from the

     classroom by

          diseased feet

Growing minnows in a

     hatchery where golfers

          would have played

Mother counting and selling

     fish bait little money

          hard life honest work

Sunrise to sunset and beyond

      they worked through

          pain and sorrow with humor

My inheritance would be truthtelling

     honest dealing the

          saving grace of humor

I used a rifle my grandfather once

     swapped his warped false teeth

          for to shoot bullfrogs

I mostly kept my rebellion

     to myself and when I didn't

          dad's weakness was the paddle

I carried more books home

     from school than

          anyone except Lois Gordon

I opted out on football

     memorized Shakespeare

          recited to mother

Moments of joy

     punctuated the

          boredom

My sister was born there later

     I would claim to be an

          only child as could she

Dad's health improved they left

     the cabin mother got

          a job I left home

The log cabin long gone can't

     imagine that a single person

          has missed it

Hard times linger in memory

     good has a longer

          attention span

Valued imprint left on my psyche

     comes in handy in repacking

          my metaphorical suitcase



Saturday, August 7, 2021

 

A Life in Progress

The clerk smiled

     when she

          said it but

Have a

     nice

          day

I accept it

     as a

          challenge

Check out

     new

          directions

Hold out

     against

          equilibrium

Balance

     is often

         overrated

Courage

     against

         entropy

Concede the

     darkness

          certify light

Look both

     ways look

          again

Revise and

     extend

          my life


Thursday, July 22, 2021

 

A Place From Which


Before I become

     complacently

          trivial

Idly stitching

     together

          memories

Basking in

     cleverly designed

          myths

Urge me awake

     from dreams to

          imperatives

Spurred by

     moral

          upsettings

Trembling on

     the edge

          of prayer

Help to get

     through the

          noise

A place to push

     off from in

          search for truth

And unite the two

     so oft divided

          justice and love

To find active

     peace in the

          eye of the storm



Tuesday, June 29, 2021

 

Critical Respect Theory


Racial scarring

     reminding of

          unhealed pain

Honest study of past

     damage leading

          into truth

Looking directly deep

     into masked

          pain light throbs

Opening routine allowing

     curiosity and

           novel excitement

Dancing with the stranger

     staying the course

          to make amends

Reclaiming the joy

     of moral

          health

Confident that critical love

     surging from

          caring depths

Subdues dissension

     honors community

          allows healing

And word went out

     throughout the land

          that God smiled



Saturday, June 19, 2021

 

Sorrow Unmasked

Enigmatic she came alone

     clear eyed with a

          promise of deep

Before the golden buzzer

     I knew she was

          better than OK

Multi-tasking cancers

     in the background

          gave her two per cent

Declining the odds

     she intoned her

           chance of joy

Don't wait til things

     are not hard

          to be happy

I held that nugget in

     in my mind pondered

          it in my soul

She echoed the poet's

     tome joy is sorrow

          unmasked

Looked deep deeper into

     pain and found

          sustaining joy

Can it be that blindness

     to joy has been my

          greatest pain

Restored I bookmarked

     the heart shared

          wisdom

And joined the chorus

     I'm OK, I'm OK

          I'm OK, I'm OK, I'm OK

Jane Marczewski sang on America's Got Talent. She was 30 years old, diagnosed with multiple cancers and given a 2% chance of survival. Her musical voice and the music of her spirit so mesmerized the judge's panel that Simon gave her the golden buzzer. Her lyrics included a repetition of "I'm OK, I'm OK" and she ended with the admonition, "You don't have to wait until things are not hard to decide to be happy."

We watched the episode on June 8th. It was reported that Jane Marczewski, also known as Nightbird, died on June 10.