Holiday Blues

         

What do you tell the children

who find no quarters under their

pillows – the missing gift of the

tooth fairy – when the proper

homage has been paid?

What do you tell the sad little girl

whose stocking is empty

Christmas morn – after leaving the

last cookie and a small cup of

milk – the thanks for the Santa

who never came?

What do you tell the young boy

who has no basket to leave on

the table – decorated with colorful

paper eggs and filled with shredded

newspaper – and all that’s inside are

a few stale jelly beans?

What do you tell the teenager

whose fifteenth birthday came and

went – with no party, no gifts, no

happy times – to mark the majestic

coming of age?

What do you tell the lonely ones

who never get a heart-shaped card

or candies – a sign of friendship and

love – who had only wished that just

one person would care?

What do you tell the little ones

who have no feast to cram into

their mouths – in honor of those who

survived – and so bite into stale

peanut butter sandwiches?

What do you tell all the unloved

children, young and old, who rise

day after day – wanting nothing more

than a gentle hug – and receive

harsh words instead?

For some children have everything

they could ever want while others

have nothing but emptiness – no

hope for more – the rejoicing washes

over, leaving not a drop of joy.

Let us cry for them

And then pick up our mantle

Of gentleness and offer whatever we can,

Whatever small bit of joy

Lurking in cabinets and pantries

Deliver it to a charity

Where we can witness the joy

That abounds in simple giving.

A Simple Request

            

Wishes wasted on what-nots and

Wing-dings wear away in time,

While fabulous fantasies of futures

filled with wondrous windows of

opportunities allow for nothing

but disappointments

Instead innocence insulates believers,

inspiring individuals to dream devilish

dances, daydreams of defiance, dramatic

challenges coursing through lives

unbroken, undefiled by demons of despair,

hearts healed and whole withstanding

weather-related attacks against

conformity.

Dream on, dreamers.  Dance with the stars,

sending sparks spiraling through the universe,

understandably lighting lustrous lives

leavened by luminous love,

spirited souls searching for something

of substance, something to shatter

defamations and destroy doubters.

Give me guidance, goodness, graciousness,

generosity that I may share my successes, spreading

goodwill and good cheer whenever my tired feet tread.

Help hinder the disbelievers, doubters, nay-sayers,

never noticing nothing that threatens to toss around

their firmly held convictions, no matter how mundane,

how mutinous.

  

Grant me the ability to appease, appreciate, applaud

those whose talents top mine, to see the dedication

and hard work woven into each wondrously crafted

creation, recognizing remarkable determination to succeed.

 Allow me to march with those who mark places,

who work with the angels, who weave satisfying stories

and craft perfect poems, earning the everlasting

satisfaction of success.

These things I ask.

A Huge Loss

                  

What do you do when your eyes dim

and gray clouds cover the world

and you live to read and write and

admire the photos of your grandchildren?

What do you do with your time when

it hurts to read and the words dance

in crazy swirls that hop across the page

and you have stacks of books to read?

What do you do when you feel like

crying about all the lost joys that

you most recently discovered, knowing

that, in time, they will fade away?

What do you do when you want to write

but the words drown in a sea of gray

sinking to the bottom of a speckled pit

and fall out of your mind like dandruff?

What do you do when the world you used

to see disappears behind a distorting mist

that threatens to take away your freedom,

your driver’s license, your mobility?

What do you do when hope seems to have

abandoned you in your time of need and

when you are too young to fall apart and

there seems to be only a steeper fall ahead?

You cry, weep, moan and seek the company

of family and friends who will listen and

understand how truly great the loss is

and offer sympathy without comment.

You get down on your knees and pray

to the Lord of all, to the God of mercy,

and ask Him to give you a few more good

years of loving the printed page.

You think of all the good years that have

come and gone, all the places seen and

friends loved and family times shared,

and rejoice in the Lord’s blessings bestowed.

A Dream of Peace

              

I dreamt that I traversed the sands of time

to a place mysterious and sublime.

Where gigantic trees with branches stout,

safely nestled all feathered friends about,

providing shelter from many foe,

yet allowing freedom to come and go.

Silky soft leaves whose gentle caress

becalms restless souls, soothes with fine finesse

young and old alike; no bias here

where all live in peace for many a year.

Through the sands a winding river ran

giving sustenance to both beast and man.

Surprisingly blue with not a trace

of sinister longings upon its face.

It speaks of a sweet love; it calls to me,

“Step right in,” it says, “ and I’ll set you free

from all that ails; as well sin and pain.

You have nothing to lose, but much to gain.”

With tremulous step I slowly crept

into her warm, comforting arms.  I slept.

Or thought I did, for there soon appeared

hosts of angels. I panicked, afeared

of my demise. But to my surprise

they lifted me on high with joyous cries.

The night did end. My dream soon left.

The suffering world found me quite bereft

and yearning for that heavenly place

whose welcoming arms did me quick embrace.

One thing alone I brought home with me:

knowledge that all men could soar high and free

seeking truth, wisdom, righteousness, and grace.

making earth a truly heavenly place.

The Gift

there are days when I

yearn for silence

no revving of motors or

screeching of tires

no planes lowering their

landing gear

as they begin their descent

no loud rap music

vibrating my windows with

its repetitive bass beats

no leaf-blower roar

or vacuum-cleaner whine

the vile swearing of the

teens next door

never greeting my ears

the phone, mercifully,

does not ring

I revel in this precious

moment

a gift of stolen time

as if the world stopped its

persistent revolution

simply for my enjoyment

when those seconds tick away,

and the silence suddenly ends,

I feel as if I witnessed

a miracle

a rebirth

Drifting Along

Sunny summer days

Drift along

Taking my lazy ways

Across river deep and wide

Burst-of-color leaves

Silently fall

Calling my soul to grieve

For things unfinished

Speckled blue skies

Fill with migrating birds

Loudly, their cries

Call, inviting me along

\I yearn to travel

To see family far away

Concerns, worries unravel

Twisting around my fingers

Earth-bound am I

When winter approaches

Eager eyes look to the sky

Seeking freedom

Tough Words

When your dream becomes a reality

you will believe, with some certainty

all your hard work was worth the effort

now earning you well-deserved comfort.

The sky is the limit, some will say

and encourage you to not delay

the constant climb for the cherished prize.

Only then will there be no surprise.

The path is rutted and deadly steep,

filled with boulders and crevices deep.

Yet each small step leads toward success.

You have to focus, with faithfulness.

Dreams are supposed to inspire us, true.

Failure and struggles will challenge you,

orchestrating real disharmony.

Though the reason is still unclear to me.

           I Await

Insomnia plagues my nights.

She tickles me between the ribs,

plays with my fingers and toes,

counts them one by one

as she props open my sagging

eyelids with her prickly fingers.

She sends shock waves down

my trembling spine. She cramps

muscles well-past exhaustion,

and pinches stretched-thin nerves.

After raking her nails down my

tightened calves, she sits back

and cackles, reveling in my misery.

How I long to slap her face,

To send her flying into my

neighbor’s bed so she can inflict

herself on another unsuspecting soul.

But I don’t.

I restrain myself, praying that she’ll slip

away as quietly as she arrived,

leaving me in peaceful slumber.

Insomnia, you are not my chosen

best friend or my bosom-buddy. 

Leave me alone that I may travel

the distant shores of my dream-world,

experience the refreshing dip into the

pools of numbness, and drift deep

into the night, soaking up energy.

Sleep, come to me as softly as

a kitten tiptoeing into my lap.

Lick my parched lips with your

roughened tongue.  Caress my

cheeks with your silky fur.

Drip sleep-inducing nectar into

my eagerly waiting eyes, then

rock me to sleep with the rhythmic

beating of your heart.

I await.

    Buffalo Dreams

  

Visions of a long ago past

keep clouding my brain,

carrying me back in time

when herds of shaggy buffalo

roamed the verdant plains,

grazing peacefully on the lush

grasses and thinking of little

except taking the next bite.

Nomadic tribes followed the

mighty herds, giving praise

to their gods for the wonders

of sustenance freely given.

Every sinew, every shard of bone,

every inch of hide valuable gems

for improving the quality of life.

Brave warriors, dressed in hides

and lathered in specially-made

potions encircle the unmindful

beasts, seeking those best suited

for the entire tribe’s needs.

Never taking more than would be

consumed, never wasting gifts

for the sake of one small part,

and always thanking the beast’s soul,

for dying so that others may live.

Traditions broken by the arrival

of ungrateful hunters who willingly

destroyed the herds to line their small

pockets with precious gold coins,

in their wake leaving only the

footprints of times long past. 

A Wistful Repose on a Winter’s Eve

Oh, to be a kitten

To pounce

And leap

With joyful abandon

Instead of the earthbound soul that I am.

Oh, to be a dolphin

To spin

And soar

And splash

With creative pleasure

Instead of the earthbound soul that I am.

Oh, to be an eagle

To dive

And float

And hunt

With crafty precision

Instead of the earthbound soul that I am.

Pouncing, leaping, playing.

Spinning, soaring, splashing.

Diving, floating, hunting.

Loving, laughing, living

The life I’ve been given

As the earthbound soul that I am.