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BORN LUCKY

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Born Lucky

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I was born lucky.  I would have chosen my parents right from the start.  I was loved and I felt loved. Maybe they chose me and maybe I chose them.  They were a perfect fit.  I would never claim I was better than others or worse than others.  I know that I saw the world around me with a different view than others had.  When my friends and neighbors complained about their siblings or parents, I  remained silent or said I would choose the same two brothers and the  same four sisters and the same parents.

We didn’t always agree on some subjects but I  knew that our parents were special.  It wasn’t about money.  Money didn’t buy happiness. It wasn’t about material things at all.  We learned to enjoy the foods we had, mostly beans and potatoes and corn bread, and occasionally biscuits and gravy.  It wasn’t about the things we didn’t have.  We learned to use what we had and do without the things we didn’t have. Flour sacks became clothes. Hand-me-downs were common.  Time spent with family was valuable time.  Respect and truth and love were important.  Each day was part of a life-long learning experience.

Even though I didn’t have much I learned how to work, how to play, how to enjoy the world every day.  I was not perfect but I didn’t feel mean or rotten.  I wanted to help people who were hurting, sad, or lonely.  I was usually considered “nice”.  I was a good person, willing to help neighbors and friends.  I could change a tire, carry buckets of water, travel across countries, and participate in games without getting angry as long as there were rules to follow.  I believed in rules and fairness.

Lucky? Maybe I should say I was treated fairly in life. When I saw what others had, what they needed, and the conditions surrounding them, I knew I was blessed.  The world around us did not appear fair in its treatment to others.  Perhaps I was so naïve or oblivious to problems that I escaped what could have been painful experiences.

When I compared my circumstances with others, I began to wake up and observe.  When I visited a friend who  made great claims regarding things he owned, I discovered the truth.  His imagination gave him all the things he didn’t have.  He didn’t live in a mansion. He didn’t drive a fancy car.  He was surrounded by problems that he chose not to see.  He was ashamed to invite me inside his house. The house was tiny and crowded. The windows were broken and needed replacements. The floor had holes.  The house was cold and damp.

The worst of it was the human factor.  How could they survive with conditions like this? It got worse.  In another room his brother sat on a bed in dirty clothes. His eyes were glazed over, flies were clustered all over his face, and yet he was smiling.   I could not imagine living in that home.  His parents were sitting at the kitchen table, discussing the weather, waiting for some super cells to hit the area, and wondering where to go.

Maybe that is why I began volunteering, helping out when I could.  I came into this world looking to do something for others and this was my opportunity to quit talking and begin acting.  I am lucky because I got a good start in life. My life has been blessed even though I have physical problems. Physical problems will not hold me back. I am a poet and a writer.  I must encourage others to help make the world a better place. I must act quickly because death is always waiting and I don’t have time to die.

July 23, 2017

 

Tales From One Warm Summer Night (Part 3)

Approx. second half of 1880s poster showing An...

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Rhonda said, “If I had lived in a wild west border town,

My man wouldn’t have been riding around gunning people down,

He would have been a farmer, a preacher, or someone grand,

He wouldn’t have carried a weapon to prove he was a man,”

I said, “Women were tough and sometimes wore guns and a cowboy hat,

More like Annie Oakley or Belle Starr or someone like that,”

“You’re right,” Rhonda agreed, “In every role women passed the test,

They stood beside their men and civilized the west,”

I was glad Bill got up and added another log to the fire,

The log burst into flames and sent sparks higher and higher,

Because something behind me took a few steps back,

Considering now if it would still be a good time to attack,

Rhonda was weary and ready to slip into her tent,

But I fervently urged her to wait, and finally she did relent,

She thought it was the stories, but I could imagine what we might find,

If she was alone and unprotected and the unknown thing decided to dine,

Bill was ready and anxious to tell his story for it was late,

And if Bill waited for tomorrow we might not learn the young man’s fate,

“This young man had earned several advances in rank,

His bravery saved many lives and they had him to thank,

Several towns later he again played a brave part,

He took down some snipers and earned a “Purple heart”,

Wounded and bleeding he stayed with his troop,

He felt protective and responsible for all in his group,

When the war was over he became a good priest,

For he had fought his inner demon and conquered the beast,”

Bill’s story gave me courage to face what was unseen,

While everyone watched I prepared for this terrible hidden fiend,

I could sense its location, I had been aware all night long,

Now I was ready to send it back to where it belonged,

I leaped into the air and made myself as large as I knew how,

Something ran towards me, that evil thing turned out to be a cow,

Now what I did so unexpectedly gave everyone a fright,

Then they laughed so hard, no one could sleep all night,

They insisted I stay up all night and share my scary tale,

And I told them about a gigantic monster that I knew so well,

At break of dawn along the path we started to depart,

But blocking our way was the cow and it lay ripped apart,

Huge footprints were evident all over the ground,

We hurried along and not one of us made a sound,

I knew then that my feelings inside had been right,

Something out there had waited for us last night,

I can’t ignore the mysteries that abound,

And I’ve noticed things others might never have found,

My stories have often proven to be true,

And friends wonder what would ensue,

If I shared a story about something really good,

Would they be willing to share tales again in the woods,

Or are they afraid that I see with an inner eye,

For my visions often prove to be true, I am a poet, aren’t I?

 

 

 

“Why, oh Why, Am I in the Who’s Who?”

The Who, original line up, performing in Chica...

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I breathe, I
sleep, I eat, I find ways to exist,

The world
has too many good things to list,

I see the
rich running at a frantic pace,

How can they
enjoy the world they face,

I get questions from those in the know,

As I travel
my path going to and fro,

“Why are you
here, from where did you come?”

“What does
it matter if I follow my own drum?”

Whatever I
asked for, (You might think this is funny),

There was
nothing to be shared in this land of milk and honey,

I didn’t
have a roof over my head,

“You can’t
sleep here, hit the road instead,”

So off I
walked from town to town,

Nowhere was
I allowed to rest and stick around,

“You’re
looking good, you’re so thin,

Tell us your
secrets you keep within,

We’ve tried everything
, the latest fad,”

I said, “Don’t
eat sometimes,” and they went away sad,

When the
world told me what to do,

I didn’t
listen because I was just passing through,

When their
sails puffed up with pompous air,

Should the rudder
listen or should it care?

The same
flowers are there for all to see,

Can that
beauty be kept from you and me?

And the
wonder of the glorious sky,

Is there for
all who have an appreciative eye,

All my needs
each day are met,

Can’t you
see the humor yet?

All the tech
and all the toys, all the cutting edge,

The gossip,
the drama, the rich person’s wedge,

I was thrown
in jail for having no visible support,

My space was
limited with no place to cavort,

A committee
was formed, my case to review,

“I know,”
said one, “Let’s list him in “Who’s Who”,

He’s a
philosopher, a poet, a religious freak,

A traveler,
a health nut, his experiences we’ll tweak,

He’ll be a
hero to the downtrodden throughout the land,

But even
better he’ll be off our hands,”

A penniless
traveler will be on the marquee,

A bum that’s
footloose and fancy free,

Rubbing
shoulders with the filthy rich,

What a
hoot!, The thought makes me itch,

The wealth
of the world is the beauty I see,

And the
earth shares it with the “Who’s Who”, and me.

 

 

Small Simple Things With Love

Small Simple Things With Love (One Poet’s Legacy)

Because I am a poet,

I am wiser than I think,

I see the world with clarity,

Able to mix fantasy with reality,

Discovering beauty wherever I look,

Or find ugliness and mayhem out my door,

I can’t ignore the world and waste my life,

I try to create order out of chaos,

And do small simple things with love,

Because I am aware of life and death,

And within the parameters of my time,

I am working on my legacy,

For a poet leaves more than leaves of grass,

For life’s deepest meaning is in relationships,

For all the experience I learned,

Loves once had, so foolish spent,

Were ground powder fine as the world turned,

But my world is much bigger than loves lost,

My fingerprints have left indelible marks,

Doing a thousand small simple things with love,

Comforting those left standing alone,

Who shed great tears of pain,

Encouraging those who lacked hope,

Lifting their spirits from the depths,

Urging those who needed words of action,

Doing something that would make someone’s life better,

Small simple things with love,

My footprints also linger on,

For I’ve walked carefully throughout life,

Stepping forward in truth and purpose,

Walking tall and unafraid to face the world,

Leaving footprints, I’m sure,

Yet unseen by me if I turn and look,

So I go trudging on,

My words heartfelt and true,

Knowing that my words are powerful,

Solving problems, gathering information,

Abstract thinking, concrete thinking,

Words that have the power of life and death,

Should be words of love and peace,

Kind words, affirming words, a chance to show mercy,

I am a poet and I share my essence,

My heart is open and in my dreams,

I leap barriers that block love’s capricious whim,

I do not want to keep love’s fire without,

It has to burn within,

I am vulnerable to the world,

And my dreams are of love and peace,

Each footprint, each fingerprint, that I leave,

Will be small simple things with love,

For I am a poet.

Exclamation Point!

A yellow exclamation mark

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Exclamation Point!

I didn’t ask to be like Job,

Whose life took a backward thrust,

Yet here I am with shredded heart,

Arising from the dust,

I’ve lost at love one more time,

But it will not hold me down,

Like a Phoenix I’ll spring into the world,

With a smile instead of a frown,

I’m alone but not alone,

For I believe in a higher power,

Hope is there to guide my way,

Each and every hour,

My arms are bare and empty,

I have no one to hold,

So I choose to embrace the world,

Before my heart turns cold,

This world sparkles despite my pain,

My senses are acutely aware,

I see the beauty in this world,

And feel God’s presence there,

I smile at the turns I’ve made,

And all the times I’ve slipped,

Love will thrive the rest of my way,

It’s still within my grip,

Every day is a bonus day,

Full of meaningful things to do,

Challenges spring up daily at me,

Head on I’ll tackle them anew,

I don’t want to end my life,

With a period at the end of my game,

As a poet I want much more flair,

An exclamation point should mark my name!