A Summer Night in Jackson

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Recorded Poem: https://www.dropbox.com/s/uhhdqw6tc4r0hbg/a%20summer%20night%20in%20jackson.wav?dl=0

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The moon was a great shining orb
That southern evening in
As I prepared to start my car
A journey to begin

To visit some acquaintances
With whom I close had grown
I lived out in the suburbs and
My friends they lived downtown

In a little neighborhood
Which time had near forgot
Weeds grew lush and verdant
In every vacant lot

And those which were inhabited
Bore houses had been built
When kitchen gardens fed the folk
Who slept beneath a quilt

Made by hand their women of
When children did their share
And neighbors weren’t so niggardly
With warm brotherly care

Such houses every Spring
Have all their windows taken in
And at the start of Autumn
They are put back up again

The cranky heater situated
One front room within
But little does to cut the chill
Their tiny bedrooms in

But there’s a type of quiet
On the bumpy lane outside
That’s hard to find in modern days
It pays to take the ride

As if it were a time machine
Which brought you to this place
Having succeeded somehow
To one hundred years erase

No telephone my friends possessed
So necessarily
I had to go to their front door
To find if there they be

And though upon this evening
They sure enough were out
I spent some moments gazing
That small neighborhood about

Nestled in the bucket seat
My little roadster of
Gazing at the shining moon
Dreaming dreams of love

Across the street a Doberman
Made his evening round
Up from the insect kingdom rose
A symphony of sound

Permeate with melody
The warm and balmy air
Treasuring this moment
I lingered seated there

When up the road behind me
Two local children came
A sight more picturesque than they
No chronic’ler mght name

One girl was thin and lythe and tall
Her friend a little chunkier
One had her hair in little braids
The other shorter locks prefer

Both were dressed for summer
That torrid region in
Shorts and t’s and flip flops
Rested light on ebon skin

As they passed my window
The first girl took a look
Then after but a few more steps
She turned, those steps retook

And came back to my window
To ask me if I was okay
Before I reassured her
And she turned to go away,

Leaving me to contemplate
This wonderful example of
Truly selfless, undemanding
Uncondit’ional love

This child was destined from the day
Of impoverished birth
Caught inside a culture
Ignorant of her worth

To live her limited life through
Bagging groceries
Or at some shop attempting
Snooty women to appease

And I am of the master race
But yet she stopped to see
If there were any little thing
That she could do for me

The Doberman — a Southern dog
Ceased his evening walk
So full of eager happiness
He looked like he could talk

And when the two got close enough
To his expected mark
He stood quite still across the street
Let out one little bark

From other evenings well he knew
The children in this neighborhood
Had of his canine brethren
Exper’ienced little good

And sure enough those two young girls
Panicked obligingly
Which for that Doberman the finest
Entertainment be

They jumped, then turned, and then they grasped
Each other hard the shoulders by
Each screamed into the other’s face
And then they turned to try

That grinning doggie to escape
In good short order from
But found that in the screaming
They tangled had become

The larger, therefore slower, girl
Leaned first to left and then to right
Assessing her trajectory
For most efficient flight

Her slender friend, however
Seemed to be perfectly clear
In her conviction she should be
Immed’iately away from here

Unable to run left or right
She took the center way
Finding my little roadster
Exactly in her way

And in a manner that I yet
Marvel to relate
This little Mississippi girl
Didn’t hesitate

Those thin legs stretched out long
Yessir, those legs they stretched out wide
Into a bounding, elegant
And fleet African stride

One foot upon my engine
One foot over my head
One on my trunk, and she was gone
Somewhere far ahead

So swift and strong her purpose that
Those flip flops on her feet
Had stayed right where they’d landed
In the middle of that street

The Doberman could not have known
How precious Summer shoes can be
To someone who never a spare
Penny of money see

But being pretty sure they would
Return those shoes recover to
He stayed stock still as he’d begun
Keeping them in view

And sure enough, here the girls came
Though kept their distance from
That inward laughing Doberman
Their problem had become

Gone was the striding Nike
Gone the wild African Queen
And back the little Mississippi girl
She had earlier been

When as they passed my car again
She saw me smile at her
Unsure of what she ought from
That unused-to smile infer

She gazed into my eyes and then
She sadly shook her head
And “Lady, I’m so sorry”
Is what she fin’ally said

“Oh, don’t be sorry,” I replied
“That was magnificent!
I think for running track and field
You certainly were meant!”

To my surprise I watched both girls
A fit of giggles melt into
I guessed that where they went to school
Track and field were not in view

They went a little further
Together stood the curb upon
Gazing at those flip flops
Egging one another on

In the meanwhile the Doberman
Had not one muscle moved
He waited till the thinner girl
Commenced, as it behooved

Her mission in that moment do,
To step into the street
Then with a second single bark
Did he that effort greet

Gratified expectations
More entertainment for
Immediately came to him
When those girls screamed some more

And leaped right back upon the curb
Which no protection be
If that Doberman should decide
This something other than play be

By now I’d seen about enough
‘Twas time to intervene
I placed my Northern confidence
That dog and children in between

Rescuing the flip flops
That to this girl so much meant
The dog for silence realized
A strong personal bent

And that young girl so touchingly
And humbly grateful be
More grateful than most businessmen
Another million see

As I drove away that night
A smile upon my mouth
I knew I’d glimpsed the best and worst
Of the modern South

*****

Among us, poets are ill paid. In order to continue her work, this one currently lives in her minivan, on an income of a fraction of our nation’s poverty level. If her work has moved, enabled or uplifted you, a contribution to this effort may be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/kx4xka-are-you-a-patron-of-the-arts

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May I Have Your Tickets, Please? 🤪

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Recorded Poem: https://www.dropbox.com/s/m4jwcyml19ggkch/may%20i%20have%20your%20tickets%2C%20please.wav?dl=0

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May I Have Your Tickets, Please?

We don’t know how wrong life can be
Till summoned to the DMV
To be served incompetently —
Workers who cannot agree

From one dim counter to the next
On any tiniest pretext
We get increasingly perplexed
Oh, someone rescue me

From chairs of plastic in a grade
As hard as any ever made
In which we have for hours stayed
Uncomfortably flexed

With people to the right and left
Similarly of hope bereft
That we’ll still have a penny left
After we have paid

The taxes, fees and penalties
Assessments for amenities
To gods of government appease
(It all amounts to theft)

But if we do a powder take
Know it would be a big mistake
We’d better the decision make
To stay in misery

Along with all the rest of us
Better not even make a fuss
Or they will all call us a wuss ~
Tomorrow, we will take the bus!

*****

Among us, poets are ill paid. In order to continue her work, this one currently lives in her minivan, on an income of a fraction of our nation’s poverty level. If her work has moved, enabled or uplifted you, a contribution to this effort may be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/kx4xka-are-you-a-patron-of-the-arts

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How Much I’d Rather

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How Much I’d Rather

How much I’d rather be the one
Who was the butt of others’ fun

Than understand it of myself
I’d done the same to anyone

*****

Among us, poets are ill paid. In order to continue her work, this one currently lives in her minivan, on an income of a fraction of our nation’s poverty level. If her work has moved, enabled or uplifted you, a contribution to this effort may be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/kx4xka-are-you-a-patron-of-the-arts

*****

to the profs: did my little poem make you mad?

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to the profs: did my little poem make you mad?

you’re telling me it
created
a reaction

right?

~ the single
sole
and only criterion

remaining

by which
you judge
a good poem

… right?

*****

Among us, poets are ill paid. In order to continue her work, this one currently lives in her minivan, on an income of a fraction of our nation’s poverty level. If her work has moved, enabled or uplifted you, a contribution to this effort may be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/kx4xka-are-you-a-patron-of-the-arts

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The Writing of “Words of Will the Woodworker”

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The Writing of ‘Words of Will the Woodworker’

For only about a week, this poet lived at a house in a neighborhood in Mississippi described in her poem “A Summer Night in Jackson.” (The poet promises to publish this poem soon.)

Although her fellow residents, native Southerners all, could not be said to be of mystical bent, everyone noticed a new shadow which appeared on the living room wall the first night of that week — looking uncannily like the head of a man wearing an old fashioned country cap.

This poet has been channeling all her life, and knew an entity which wanted to speak when she saw one.

“Would you like me to find out who he is, and whether he has a story to tell?” I asked.

“Well, I suppose…” came the answer in a slow Southern drawl, “If he’s going to be here, we should get to know him a little…”

So that evening the poet got out her pen, sat comfortably, and opened herself up in just the same way she does to receive the sonnets she typically composes in well under fifteen minutes’ time.

And wrote. Until dawn, without stopping at all.

That’s how we’ve come to have the words of Will the Woodworker, later put into rhyme by their channel and published here.

When next she visited the little house in Jackson, the shadow was gone.

*****

Among us, poets are ill paid. In order to continue her work, this one currently lives in her minivan, on an income of a fraction of our nation’s poverty level. If her work has moved, enabled or uplifted you, a contribution to this effort may be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/kx4xka-are-you-a-patron-of-the-artsp

*****

Words of Will the Woodworker

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Recorded Poem: https://www.dropbox.com/s/g83hkf2t8gw4gsc/words%20of%20will%20the%20woodworker.wav?dl=0

*****

Words of Will the Woodworker


A hundred years ago I lived
In the sunny light of day
As carpenter and woods worker
I strove to make my way

But I was e’er a dreamer
Who should have a poet been
And I was dreaming on that day
I found myself between

The hard and stony ground
And a swiftly falling tree
And that is how I came
An unhappy ghost to be

Trapped within the wall
Of a house from that tree built
With nothing more than memories
Sorrow, regrets and guilt

The memories were not so bad
There were moments in the sun
There were tender moments, too
And times when I’d had fun

Though there were also times I’d change
If I had them to do again
I must remain within the wall
Remembering that when

I had the chance to make
For my loved ones more delight
And leave with less unhappiness
Confusion, sorrow, fright

Those souls who’d wandered with me
Through the paths the living of
I failed the opportunity
To tell them of my love

As often as I should have
Or to leave them well prepared
For if disaster should befall
And I should not be spared

In those old days a house was built
From base to chimney smoke
From growing tree to finished home
By just one group of folk

They camped upon the promised land
Harvested the timber there
Planed and placed and nailed the planks
Into a human lair

Back then the men who did this work
Unlettered, brawny, tough
Hilarious in laughter
When they had drunk enough

Also had a wide ol’ streak
Of meanness in their blood
Which sometimes nasty forms could take
Down in that southern mud

Sometimes one would tuck a snake
Inside another’s bag
Or two or more one man would take
And by his heels they’d drag

His head through thorny brush till
Their “good humor” petered out
They loved to swagger, fight and swear
Burp and spit and shout

In short, there wasn’t much delight
In their hairy company
For a young man with dreamy eyes
And thoughtful head like me

On working days — of seven, six
I did my level best
Somehow to make myself act
As disgusting as the rest

But I was like a bird set free
Upon that seventh day
So soon as called the rooster
I was up and gone away

To wander in the world around
Little of which I’d seen
Since all my twenty years of life
Had hidden in deep country been

At first I set my footsteps
Toward a nearby town
Just a string of little stores
With cabins all around

And a handful of nice houses
Set upon a hill
But it was grand and great enough
To fascinate young Will

I’d wander and I’d watch
What appeared to be
Many people going by
Meditating me

For the first time in life I saw
Fine ladies walking there
With hands that did no baking
And lovely, upswept hair

Who spoke with neat precision
And who moved with languid grace
Oh, many were the novelties
I saw within that place!

Kids who didn’t farm
But rather spent their days at school
Learning to cipher, read and write
And to recite the Golden Rule

Gentlemen who, portly, wore
Their Sunday suits all through the week
And smoked enormous, thick cigars
Round which they had to speak

Dogs who’d never chased a pig
But sleekly bathed, with shining fur
Made every other dog I’d known
Into a shabby cur

And in those stores was merchandise
The like of which I’d never known
I’d walk, and sit, and watch and think
And marvel all alone

I noticed that the wealthy
With the poor refused to speak
Unless giving an order
Or delivering critique

People were frequently unkind,
It seemed to me, without a need
And many were subjected
To the few by basic greed

But one afternoon I met
A woman different from the rest
Although she was a lady
Always beautifully dressed

You’d see her go in places
Other ladies never went
To hospital, infirmery
Shabby cabin, tenement

And because it was her habit
Compassionate to be
She even stopped one afternoon
To speak to simple me

Oh, she was lovely, she was fair
She was decent, she was good
And many blessed her presence
Within the neighborhood

For though she was the banker’s wife
She never sought to be
Neglectful of the souls she met
Who lived in poverty

She never issued orders
Ran her errands for herself
When waited on within the store
Here’s what came off the shelf:

Blankets for the children
Shoes for walking feet
Medicine for illness
For the kids, a little sweet

Chicken for the famished
Bandages for limbs
And for th’impoverished devout
Little books of hymns

Clothing for the naked
Books to take to school
For he who wished to be employed
The necessary tool

Nor did she send them packing
In the hands of any boy
But brought them to the homes herself
Which augmented their joy

For once within she gracious was
Unfailingly polite
Onto those in darkness
Her smile shed lovely light

Nor ever sought to patronize
Those whom her kindness benefit
As do seek all too many
To give charity see fit

I heard her talked of in the town
By other women of her rank
Whom for her good example
The lady did not thank

She showed them up for what they were
Without ever trying to
As vain, as shallow, as unkind
As miser and as shrew

She was the woman in the dreams
My recent boyhood of
The reader will not be surprised
To know I fell in love

I never understood just how
She’d wedded come to be
To that unpleasant banker
Who held the town in fee

The gossips made dim reference
To debts her aged parents owed
And I suspect she went with him
To help alleviate their load

He seemed not to appreciate
Her loveliness one bit
And treated her so carelessly
I had a hard time watching it

From what the other women said
He wasn’t satisfied
To have such loveliness and grace
About his chosen bride

He wanted her to stay at home
And wait upon him hand and foot
He didn’t like her money to
On lesser people put

Expecting rather that she spend
Those funds her gowning on
And jewels, feathers, furbellows
To put herself upon

A higher plane than all the rest
Like his suit and his cigar
And glide about upon his arm
Like some cold and distant star

He didn’t want a woman
Of ordinary flesh and blood
Flushed from walking in the sun
Shoes dirty from the mud

And as I watched he made her know
In a hundred little ways
He despised all that she stood for
Hated how she spent her days

It made me furious to see
Him walk before her through a door
Forgetting that a lady
Goes a gentleman before

Blustering and bullying
Demanding that his every whim
Must on the spot be catered to
That everybody look at him

And listen to his every word
No matter how inaptly told
As if it came from mythical
Philosophers of old

I never heard him ask her once
For her own preference
Much less speak or act in any
Little part of her defense

She spoke but seldom in his sight
His interests lay otherwhere
And he would often interrupt
If more than a word she dare

Infuriating youthful I, who would
Given of her company
Have sought first, midst, always and last
Her strength and her support to be

Would have inquired if she might like
Refreshment, or a pause to rest
‘Twould be her and none other’s voice
I’d love to hear the best

And if some fellow treat her
As her husband did each day
One single, solitary time
That fellow would have hell to pay

And there was one thing more I knew
Just looking in her tragic eyes
My passion would have floated her
Right up into the starry skies

And though her knowledge was the less
I think this she suspected too
Good thing the nosy neighbors
Kept us always in their view

And so we met but seldom
Talked too briefly of small things
But every moment of those times
My heart beat as though it had wings

I could see her color rise
And the heartbeat at her throat
Gifting her sweet smile to me
I felt like I could float

She saw her duty very clear
And never would she shun
The burden she had taken up
The pathway she’d begun

And so she’d give her hand to me
Oh, so very much too soon
As if I were the sun and she
The ever distant moon

After I became a ghost
Sometimes within my wall I did
Receive news of those left behind
The rush of life amid

They told me later she had caught
From some unfortunate
An illness which she close disguised
Until it was too late

And found a sweet release
From the sadness of her days
As ’twere, at end of evening
Freed from her constricting stays

She heaved a sigh of pure relief
And put her burden down
Her husband, on the other hand
Began that day to frown

Nor did that sad frown dissipate
He realized what he had had
He understood now it was she
Who’d made him proud and glad

And found he missed her simple ways
Her kindness, her humility
And knew that in this life
He ne’er again would happy be

Sequestering himself within
The grand, fine home that he had made
A place of sadness her before
He used it now to barricade

The world without which he had loved
To dominate and guide
To him became ephemeral
It was as though he’d died

Yet went on living — much like me
But still within the corporeal
And if I chose whom sadder was
It’s sorrier for him I’d feel

Than for myself. Oh, I
Had my regrets, never think not
But he could not a time recall
When he a kindness did for naught

But satisfaction of his shriveled heart
And blessing of his dried up soul
Or just to see the smile of someone
He had helped to make more whole

He saw he’d bartered everything
Worthwhile to living man
For a few empty pennies
Sitting coldly in a can

He ordered out for groceries
And they were left beside the door
The shades kept down, the sun shone in
That lonely house no more

And when at last he died indeed
From heartbreak, it was said
There wasn’t anyone to watch
That night beside his head

But by that time his spirit had
Flown straight to her whom he
Had in this life made miserable
He bowed before her knee

Pronouncing words of most profound
Agonized, genuine regret
About as truly moving as
Heartfelt apology can get

And I know that before they went
Their sep’rate ways, new lives to live
He had the full forgiveness
Which only such as she can give

And she the satisfaction of
Having been recognized
For all the sweet humility
And love that I had prized

Which caused her not so ill about
Her former self to feel — that spite
The sunburn and the mud she may
After all have done it right

And rightest right is what in
The opinion of this callow lad
Done with her mortal life
She absolutely surely had…

Then there were the times when I
Would spend my precious holiday
Walking also — always that
But going the opposite way

Those days I wandered in the woods
Treading on its springy ground
Resting ‘neath the friendly trees
Gazing peacefully around

At all the beauty given us
The which we pass unseeing by
Hurrying money to make
And more possessions buy

One lovely day as thus I sat
Wearing my deeply thinking frown
Upon my unsuspecting head
Nuts and leaves came tumbling down

Followed by the sweetest laughter
I had ever heard
So wild and joyous it belonged
Rather to some exotic bird

Than to the face saw peeping
Mischeviously through
The canopy which o’er my head
Luxuriantly grew

Though ’twere but disembodied yet
That laughter and that face
They filled with tender pleasantry
The well remembered place

Two sparkling eyes, a gamine smile
And a charming little nose
I glimpsed before the branches
Went rustling back to close

“Want to play?” the voice inquired
And again that laughter trilled
My heart, till then so full of care
Mysteriously thrilled

“Come catch me, then!” and she was off
Just like a squirrel through the air
And at that moment suddenly
I had no other earthly care

But to persue the impish girl
Who’d playfully disturbed my rest
And those sweet first impressions
Pleasantly put to the test

But she was frisky, she was swift
Through those branches she went fleet
As any little monkey
I put wings upon my feet

Not for naught had I been raised
Deep in a virgin wood
I knew myself a trick or two
To make her capture good

When she’d been well and truly caught
We lay beside each other there
Giggling and gasping
In the resin scented air

And thus began the happiest
Era of this shortened life
For instantly did I decide
To make this girl into my wife

Many were the rambles we
Together made in joy
Never has this sad world seen
At any time a gladder boy

I knew I’d found the partner
That I had wished and waited for
And that I now would never know
The barren loneliness of yore

Henceforth would live beside me
A pretty and a playful mate
To love and shelter and protect
With diligence both deep and great

But, first, that to have patience
And restraint it was full meet
Until she learned in love to trust
And take me to her home to greet

The family which I’d already
Taken to my hopeful heart
That I might application make
Of it to be a welcome part

Nor did I wait in vain, for when
She did consent at happy last
To bring me there, my welcome was
All that I ever could have asked

Found a contented, happy clan
A father calm, a mother kind
A grandmother, canny and wise
But also near completely blind

Frustrated by the callow world
They had decided it to shun
And built their cabin in the woods
Far away from everyone

Rather than allow small minds
Their sweet tranquility to spoil
They made up for the lack of trade
With hard but willing toil

And won for all their efforts
An uninterrupted grace
I held it signal honor
To be welcomed in that place

Tucked snug beneath their table
Was a chair reserved for me
And when, gambolling up the path
The two of us they’d see

Would rush to set a bowl and cup
And spoon its cleanly cover on
And dish up something savory
For growing love to feast upon

Then afterward the father might
Quietly take me to the side
And fill my ears with what it took
To make and keep a happy bride

We talked, we strolled about the woods
Sometimes we sat to play at chess
They made this stranger one of theirs
Our union silently to bless

I think they had regretted
The loss of sweet society
For their beloved daughter,
Were sincerely glad to see

The smile upon her lips, to hear
The laughter in her heart
And for these blessings gladly made
Of their lives mine a part

And I myself counted the days
And endless hours until I might
Return that little clearing to
The source of my delight

The glad girl who would wait for me
On Sunday mornings in the mist
To wrap her gentle arms around
Offer sweet lips up to be kissed

We planned to build a cabin
Not so very far away
For close to those whom we held dear
We both preferred to stay

And I would cut the wood, and she
Would make the food, and I
Would be the one to comfort her
When something made her cry

And she to mending swift would see
If I should compromise my coat
And both of us together
On each other long would dote

But so falls out the planning
Of ordinary mortal men
What happened next brings deepest gal
Dripping heavy from my pen

I never told the other men
Where I was working where I went
On my days far away from them
Or how that time was spent

I knew that, let those troglodytes
Of my beloved get a whiff
Afterward unrelentingly
Throughout those woods they’d sniff

Until they found the peaceful lair
My adopted fam’ly of
And with their muddy boots they’d
Trample all over my precious love

But much risk there’s in making
Any decision, you’ll agree
When you discover what occurred
After I died beneath that tree

For there was no one to inform
Those people who had brought me near
And encouraged my encroachment
On the peace they held so dear

That I could not come visit them
Though agonizing wished I could
Once more with love lift happy step
Through their sweetly singing wood

To meet the single person
On this whole benighted Earth
Whom I had hoped to cherish,
Hold in such a precious worth

That I would not have ever caused
A single moment’s sorrow to
But rather, when such sorrow came
Create her smile anew

Yet it was I who thus became
The author of her tragedy
She lived and died in that same place
Watching through every day for me

Hoping the whistle had been mine
Of but a nearby bird
Hoping my foot had caused, this time
The rustling she thought she’d heard

Coming through the clearing
After all my time away
Arriving through the heather
In our home at last to stay

An explanation on my lips
A smile within my eyes
Much merriment fond making
Of her joyful sweet surprise

For fifty years and more she watched
Now all alone, now growing old
She never stopped her dreaming I
Her arms would once again enfold

Early she remembered
Early, long and late
The frustration I felt from it
Only true lovers can relate

And when she laid her tired form
Upon the truckle bed
Relieved much more than sad to know
That she would very soon be dead

The souls of her dear parents, there
To welcome her across the Veil
Finally acquainted her
With my spiritual travail

They let her know that I was stuck
The dreadfull wall within
How desperately she’d been missed
How heartbreaking it had been

To know of her prolonged despair
In life upon the lonely land
Whilst grey crept into her bright hair
Unable to lift up my hand

To help her or to hinder others
Who might do her harm unto —
How oft had I regretted
Leading her that life into!

They asked her whether she would like
To pay a visit, on her way
Heavenward, to bring me comfort
Heard her hesitationless to say

That though the pathway to my side
Be fraught with demons at foul play
E’en any dragons might appear
Could not hope to keep her away

And so she came to reassure
Her breathlessly waiting boy
My agony, my ecstasy
My precious one, my joy!

And we made some arrangements
She said I’d forget about
That fine day not too far away
When I would be let out

Once more into the light of life
My shadowy, sad prison from
Again at joyful liberty
A newer person to become

And she had spoken naught but truth
On her visit compassionate
One day indeed I was let out
Beginning to it all forget

Preparing for a future life
As all rebirthing spirits do
Until just a few weeks ago
When I met most delightful you

We fell asleep a meadow in
The sun’s declining glow
I dreamed we were together
Far away and long ago

And when we woke we wondered
As at miracles we do
For lying there beside me
You had had the same dream too

But this time, my sweet love, I have
My painful lesson learned
I will not leave you all alone
That merely money may be earned

Forsaking not the covenant
We made together in that wall
That will not be so difficult
Not difficult at all!

We’ll treasure every moment that
We have been given, you and I
And any little baby soul
Decides to come wandering by

We’ve had a long, sad journey
But because of it I hope I know
How to make you happy
As I could not long ago

And every time I see you smile
I’ll thank the angels on my knees
That I have you nearby again
To comfort and to please

You and I will do everything
Did we unwilling miss
Each tender contemplation
And every single lovely kiss

Notes left on the bedroom door
Gifts to give on holidays
Oh, I’ll invent to bring you joy
A thousand little ways

This time when you listen
For a step, it will be mine
This time I swear you will not have
For love of me away to pine

I swear by all the heav’nly
Angels this time I will get it right
And turn this bitter earth for you
Into a garden of delight

I’ll live to hear your laughter
Die for just one happy glance
Giving thanks from morn till night
Heaven gave me this second chance

And when the babies grow a bit
I’ll tell each one this story so
They will harvest its benefit
Nor any of its sorrows sow

If heaven doth see fit this love
Ten thousand days and nights to bless
Upon my knees I vow to spend
Every one for your happiness

Please say you want me to exceed
All bounds of common sense
In smoothing out the pathway which
We now upon commence

Please say you want my love, please say
I will ne’er have again to miss
That for which I am born again
The heaven of your loving kiss

*****

Among us, poets are ill paid. In order to continue her work, this one currently lives in her minivan, on an income of a fraction of our nation’s poverty level. If her work has moved, enabled or uplifted you, a contribution to this effort may be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/kx4xka-are-you-a-patron-of-the-arts

*****

remind me my friend

*****

Recorded Poem: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1vrpj9doumhkscp/remind%20me%20my%20friend.wav?dl=0

*****
remind me my friend

of what an
idiot i am
willya

that i’ve met
more deserving people
cleaning my floors and toilets

remind me
of what i don’t know:
everything

of souls still today
paying a terrible price
for the ground i stand on now

let me not forget
that i am not worthy to kiss the feet
of those who kiss my feet

i am thanks giving
for all the gifts i have been given
by asking for one more gift

take some of these others
away but leave me
if i may please

only be worthy to
have it left a little
humility

don’t, somehow
let the smiles of good fortune
turn my head

away from
equally deserving, equally
miraculous blades of grass

*****

Among us, poets are ill paid. In order to continue her work, this one currently lives in her minivan, on an income of a fraction of our nation’s poverty level. If her work has moved, enabled or uplifted you, a contribution to this effort may be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/kx4xka-are-you-a-patron-of-the-arts

*****

Gracelessly Aging Maven

*****

Recorded Poem: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ksy1nri55orxqde/gracelessly%20aging%20maven.wav?dl=0

*****
Gracelessly Aging Maven

I’ve got a right to be feisty
I hurt all over myself
Everyone fifty and younger
Keeps trying to put me
Back up on some shelf!

Oh, do you find me somewhat testy?
I’ve had all the bullshit I can
Serenely intake
In one significantly
Hyperextended lifespan

If I seem a little impatient
At your oh-so-lovely display
Of this or of that
For some feminine purpose
Well, I just can’t stand here all day

My hips and my back they are aching
My feet they are totally numb
Your voice in my ears
Is all overlaid
By some constant, anonymous hum

But, as they say, that is okay
Beause I have heard it before
And doubtless I heard it from somebody who
Lied better than you do,
What’s more

Your machinations are transparent
As through the most finely glazed glass
Hidden motivations
All clearly apparent
In these wise old peepers, my lass!

If fortune does favor the foolish
And you get to my age to be
We’ll see with my right
To be badly uptight
If you don’t find you sudden agree

When people all look just like babies
And autos all seem just the same
Many modern words
In each conversation
The meanings of which you can’t name

As if that’s not enough, your back’s bent in half
And feels every bit of it, too
Don’t go anywhere
Because people stare
And folks have to slow down for you

Not even to mention, upon your return
From every side trip to the toilet
Your feeble relief
Comes swiftly to grief:
Another trip comes up to spoil it

Yes, I’ve earned the right to be crabby
Be crabby late and crabby soon
As long as I’m having to listen
To juvenile nonsense,
You little buffoon!

*****

Among us, poets are ill paid. In order to continue her work, this one currently lives in her minivan, on an income of a fraction of our nation’s poverty level. If her work has moved, enabled or uplifted you, a contribution to this effort may be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/kx4xka-are-you-a-patron-of-the-arts

*****

The Work of Love

*****

Recorded Poem: https://www.dropbox.com/s/crpz14guady7h3y/the%20work%20of%20love.wav?dl=0

*****


The Work of Love

There are those meant to make money
There are those destined for fame
There are those of whom posterity
Will make a household name

There are those who lead the people
From a seat political
And then there are the heroes
We don’t hear about at all

Who give their time and money
To help others all their lives
Or spend their best years nursing
Sickly parents, children, wives

Who choose a job with lower pay
To the satisfaction feel
Of a professional pursuit
Which has directly real

Benefits for those they serve
Who go to live far jungles in
That by their work the blessings of
Modern medicine begin

To benefit those far away
From the prosperity
And ease of sweet existence
In which they were born to be

There are those who walk our cities’ streets
Blessing everyone they see
I know because one homeless night
It happened thus to me

And strange to say the story
But later in that very night
I woke to someone standing near
Would give a saint a fright

So pale, so starved, so desperate
He swayed e’en as he stood
I’d nothing but my blanket
Which might do him any good

But plainly did he wish that blanket
Instead wrapped around him be
And plainly he considered
Taking it by force from me

I gazed at him, and he gazed back
No one was anywhere around
He could have killed me if he wished
Not until morning I’d be found

Nor would much interest at all
Be given to my fate
Murder among the homeless
Raises small concern, not great

Although I felt afraid of him
My eyes full of compassion were
And he, through all his suffering
That true compassion did infer

Wrapped arms around him tighter
He sadly bowed his head
And staggered off to find another
Victim in my stead

I cannot but believe
That blessing given just in time
Allowed me from that blanket
The next morning whole to climb

History will not sing about
The one who came out of his home
To pound feet on hard sidewalks
And our ugliest streets roam

It will not celebrate the million
Quiet ministrations of
The legion of sweet sacred souls
Who carry on the work of love

*****

Among us, poets are ill paid. In order to continue her work, this one currently lives in her minivan, on an income of a fraction of our nation’s poverty level. If her work has moved, enabled or uplifted you, a contribution to this effort may be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/kx4xka-are-you-a-patron-of-the-arts

*****

Jardin Sanctuario Arcada

*****
Jardin Sanctuario

This is a body
Of knowledge
He told us

The sun of far fields
Was in his eyes
As he spoke

When to plant
For each season
And how

What to give
In care
In nourishment

How to harvest
How to store
In that season

That way
We eat
All year long…

And his voice was rich
In respect and love
Brought by long partnership

With
Mama
Earth

*****

Among us, poets are ill paid. In order to continue her work, this one currently lives in her minivan, on an income of a fraction of our nation’s poverty level. If her work has moved, enabled or uplifted you, a contribution to this effort may be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/kx4xka-are-you-a-patron-of-the-arts

*****

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