Sunday, June 8, 2014

Do not Pity me

There's a woman around town I see,
Who turned and said, "Don't pity me."
With that she retreated in gait and in mind,
Pushing a baby carriage with garbage to find.

Her hunchback tells of a relentless quest,
It began with her daughter who lay in eternal rest.
Burned alive 30 years ago at the age of ten,
The woman blames herself now as she did back then.

The need to keep the gravesite clean,
Spread as a cancer, deadly and unseen.
Fed by guilt and neglected remorse,
Compulsion driven by malignant force.

But soon keeping the grave free of debris was not enough,
Garbage tormented her from the city center to the far off bluff.
The woman spent her days collecting trash all over the place,
Before retreating to her cats and decrepit home base.

Vicious rumors spread throughout the town,
People pointed, threw stones and pushed her down.
With pity I watched as teenagers approached her en masse,
And a rock hit her head as she continued to dig through the grass.

She didn’t seem to notice and no one else gave the scene much heed,
Except for me as I cried out, "Can’t you see you’ve made this woman bleed!?"
They only laughed and turned on me then, too;
The woman saw and challenged, "Now what'll you do?"

I hesitated a moment, not knowing what to say,
As the stones changed direction and came my way.
That's when I saw the look of pity on her face as she stared at me,
And in a shower of rocks, a hail of taunts, I too got down on my knee.

Together we scavenged without speaking a word,
The projectiles stopped, the taunts were no longer heard.
And just when I thought we'd finally been left alone.
I looked and there I saw three girls had joined us all on their own.

The Nurse

Mary was a nurse
A long time ago.
Compassion was always
Her bittersweet foe.

Her conscience worked overtime
On Extended Care,
When she came upon an
Old woman in a wheelchair.

Someone had placed
The elder facing a wall,
As if she was not even in
The wheelchair at all.

The room was filled
With a sorrowful sound,
Like a whimpering dog
Kicked to the ground.

Mary went to see
What she could do,
And leaned in close,
To ask, "Can I help you?"

The old lady mumbled
Her terrible plea,
Noticing Mary she said,
"Please just kill me.”

Mary replied, "I can’t do that,
But I can do this,”
And hugged the woman long and tight,
Before giving both cheeks a kiss.

The old lady’s eyes,
Brimmed over with tears;
No one had touched her,
So gently in all her aging years.

Creative Abuse

My creativity inspires,
And then bullies with doubt.
It pushes my brush stroke,
And forces images out.

It schemes with charcoal,
Graphite and oil paint.
It purges scenes,
Both surreal and quaint.

It spews typed font,
Moves the flow of ink.
It expounds fabrications,
Before I can pause and think.

But when the canvas has dried,
And the draft has been saved,
My creativity scoffs –
Its responsibility waived.

Why that color?
Why that word?
What were you thinking?
You're trite and absurd.

The abuse becomes too much,
Until from creativity I retreat.
But eventually it beckons me once again,
With its encouraging deceit.

What Inspires Me

I would like to say I am inspired
By the glistening morning dew,
Chirping birds, rainbows,
And skies of brilliant blue.

Snowcapped mountainous ranges,
Perseverance, forgiveness and love;
I appreciate and am thankful for the
Beauties of life and the stars above.

But the morbid truth of
What inspires me,
Is the suffering, pain,
And injustice I see.

It suppresses joy,
Fuels outrage,
And forces me on
A creative rampage.

The goodness in the world
I have no urge to explore.
For that I have faith,
And need nothing more.

It is the reprehensible
That spurs me to create,
If only to release me
Of my melancholic state.

How does one human being,
Strike another to the ground?
Bludgeon them to death with,
The remains never to be found?

How can adults abuse children,
And be aroused by that fear?
Force acts against their will,
When their pain is so clear?

How can people torture whimpering
Animals, the marginalized, the elderly?
With trauma on their faces as obvious,
As the atrociousness of such cruelty?

I would rather dwell on laughter,
And the broad ocean expanse,
But those things are taken care of,
And do not need a moral stance.

I am thus inspired by what
Is tragic and sad;
It moves me to canvas,
Pen and writing pad.

The Leaves Deserve to Fall

It's been a delirious spring,
An arduous summer –
The leaves deserve to fall.
They tease the ground with,
A slow, wayward flutter,
As if ignoring Autumn's call.

But there's no urgency,
As they enjoy their descent,
Riding a carefree gust of wind.
The leaves are still alive
In shades of scarlet and fire,
And not quite ready to rescind.

But they're still wise,
To where they're headed –
No denial exists here.
Falling leaves will eventually
Settle in an earthy grave,
As the early frosts appear.

It's a destined transition
To glide from the trees,
And land to decompose –
To nourish future life,
Born anew in the valleys,
Mountains and meadows.

And when the time comes to
Slip from that Great Oak,
I hope to go like the falling leaves,
Blowing in the wind,
Carried with friends,
Along a peaceful breeze.

The Fall of my Life

It's the fall of my life and the leaves are descending,
Summer is done and the winter is pending.
The air has a bite and daffodils are a thing of the past,
I miss those warm, lazy days but know they don't last.

Memories of sweet blossoms, hot sun and new greenery,
Brilliant landscapes alive with potential in lush scenery,
All replaced by brooding clouds in shades of grey,
And the fire hues of autumn in the process of decay.

Seasonal rain goes on for days without restraint,
Before surrendering to fog, misty and faint.
Then the overcast skies open and pour torrential rage –
The days become shorter and the wind begins its rampage.

But when clouds part and the moon chases the sun from the sky,
And the ponderous stars twinkle clearly in heavens up high,
September's equinox is prime harvest time before a great rest,
And the fiery richness of creativity finally showcases its best.

Accidental Sea Monster

Do you remember last summer on the coast,
When I tripped and fell fully dressed in the sea?
As if the rising tide with which we were engrossed,
Had surged forth like an unseen shark to swallow me.

We were on the beach watching a playful otter,
In our sweaters and jeans because it was cold.
And we skipped smooth flat rocks across the water,
While in the distance crab and fishing boats trolled.

We complained of the confused northern weather,
And decided climate change must be to blame.
And as you went to pick up an eagle feather,
I slipped on some seaweed and cried out your name.

But before you could stand up and look,
I hurtled forward again and again,
And screamed as I impaled a barnacled hook,
Like some accidental sportsman in pain.

I was already submerged a few feet out,
By the time you saw me gasping for air.
You shook with laughter so hard you could barely shout,
"What the hell are you doing out there?!"

When I finally found my footing and emerged,
Dripping like a screeching monster from the sea,
Out of the clear blue sky a seagull converged,
And to your great delight landed atop of me.

My outrage over your amusement and joy,
Only encouraged more of your snorts of glee.
And as I jumped around to make the bird deploy,
You wet your pants as I slipped right back into the sea.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hippie Chick with a Guitar

She played her guitar with dirty nails,
And the scent of patchouli in the air.
Hemp and jade hung from her neck,
And daises were woven through her hair.

Anything that moved with purpose,
Stopped to watch before passing by,
From people on the sidewalk,
To cars on the street, to birds in the sky;

All enchanted more by the beauty,
Of what they saw than of what they heard,
As she skillfully plucked her strings –
So serene and self-assured.

She closed her eyes and smiled,
Like she knew something they did not,
All the while performing her magic,
For anyone within earshot.

Her skin sparkled from salt crystals
That still clung to her from the day before,
When she set up on a seawall to perform
In front of a breezy ocean shore.

Sometimes she sang her notes off cue,
And other times she hummed.
But no matter what she did, with confidence
She always, always strummed.

The crowd she drew made judgment calls
That left them feeling on edge,
As if it was they and not she, the mad one,
Who would one day end up on some ledge.

For she was the one who entertained for pennies,
And made her home on the street.
And it was she who collected money,
In an old tweed case left open at her feet.

But she didn’t care about her destitution,
Or where she was going so why should they?
Move along with your sanctimony,
And leave this free spirit to play!

And play is what she did until her voice was hoarse,
And her fingers bled.
Then like a far off rolling tide she and her music
Faded into a setting sun of fiery red.