Life Insists

On a beautiful day in the neighborhood
trees are budding out
folks are chatting in the sunshine
while dogs rest at their feet

There are no indicators present
of man’s inhumanity to man
tragedies recent or ongoing
in other places and there are no
threats to our convictions

But in the back of the mind a nagging question
who would have to go down in a hail of bullets
 to change a mind?
If their child’s finger were on the trigger,
would they blame the gun? Themselves?
The kids at school who were mean to them?

We can pray for a day when the questions
don’t have to be asked. Or we can work
for the day. In the meantime,
trees are budding out
and life insists on persisting.

 
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Secrets

Flat broke and broke down
living day to day
might be a little late now
to learn a different way
tied up on the tracks
waiting for the karma express
but it’s kind of warm and sunny
so I’m not too depressed

the secret to survival
seems to be not dying
the secret to not failing
is to keep on trying
the secret to a clear conscience is
don’t do what you know is wrong
the secret to not getting lost
is to find where you belong

Differently

If the right thing
was easy to do
we’d all be saints
but clearly that’s not true

good is better than bad
truth is better than lies
but people see them differently
I don’t understand why

compromise and forgiveness
are not on the agendas
of the prophets of mistrust
and the Great Pretenders

It’s up to the rest of us
to overcome the despair
it’s a full time job but we must
continue to care

Life Imitates Mixed Media

what is as was was as is
the scaffold from which the façade was erected
the gallows where judgment created itself
the tightrope yielding the mesmerizing plunge
the soapbox of obscure promises
clock towers and book depositories where snipers lurked
the stages where outrages frequently occurred

cameramen capture the actual agony
soundmen shock us with wails of grief
all live as it actually happens
no privacy that can’t be invaded
nothing that is really sacred
no secret too shameful to be cheerfully
admitted to for just the right fee
and fifteen minutes of fame on TV
what a country, what a world
that was as is is as was

 

Written many years ago. Things have not improved.

 

Offer

Scars require no explanation
when broken people congregate
they know how life happens
and they know it’s never too late
for the healing power of laughter
for the healing power of touch
when that’s all they have to offer
each other and the rest is just too much

No Clue Necessary

Don’t have a clue
what house the moon is in
let alone what Jupiter
or Mars are up to
but when she shines
so full and bright
I get a vaguely Aquarian feeling
peacefully harmonic
and whether it is unfolding
or folding the universe
is as it should be
as far as I know or care

Winthrop Street

On Winthrop Street the loose cannons roll
the guardians collect the tolls
nothing glitters, there is no gold
keep a firm grip on your soul

The ladies there don’t really care
for idle promises or desperate prayers
they ain’t seen it all, but they’ve seen enough
on Winthrop Street they’ll call your bluff

The mayor avoids the neighborhood
he can’t do them any good
if he shows up they’ll get on his case
Winthrop Street laughs in his face

The lovers hide under the bridge
and it feels like a different world
the moon gleams on the dirty water
with its oily swirls
everything seems possible
in that magic hour
if you would escape Winthrop Street
love gives you the power

They have a strange idea of fun
you might feel safer carrying a gun
wipe of the fingerprints when you’re done
on Winthrop Street there’s no where to run

The sun don’t shine too bright down there
just too much smoke in the air
Hardly anybody has a minute to spare
on Winthrop Street it’s hard to care

The lovers hide beneath the bridge
and it feels like a different world
the moon gleams on the dirty water
with its oily swirls