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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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.

 

Fun and Games

Often times the cure
seems worse than the disease
if you lie down with the dogs
you might get up with fleas
They say it won’t get better
until we feel the squeeze
and virtually everything
is a matter of degrees
It’s all fun and games
until one you love goes down
the statistic has a name
the expiration has a sound
you feel you should do something
you just don’t know what
anything to help untie
the knots there in your gut
The Golden rule gets lip service
from those in a position
to actually do something
to alter these conditions
and they will gladly help you
if you can pay the price
otherwise you’ll only get
gratuitous advice
Doing no harm is just about
the best that I can do
If I can’t help myself
how am I going to help you
But maybe if enough folks
get together in some way
we could help each other
make it to a better day
It’s all fun and games
until one you love goes down
the statistic has a name
the expiration has a sound

Any Love

The flag hangs limp at the courthouse
no breeze to make it wave
the weeds have taken over
obscuring the hero’s grave
sometimes you can’t see things
but you know they’re there
when it seems impossible
it’s most important to care

There is a battle being fought
but you won’t hear cannon fire
there are hymns in the air
but you won’t hear a choir

Some love her for her body
some love her for her mind
some love her for her spirit
which won’t be left behind
they scorn each others motives
but none are really wrong
any love is true that makes
you feel you that you belong

There is marching behind locked doors
there are plots in incubators
everyone is looking for
like minded conspirators
everybody trying to
advance specific goals
they don’t see that there is room
for all within her soul

There is a battle being fought
but you won’t hear cannon fire
there are hymns in the air
but you won’t hear a choir

Listen For The Sound

Bent but not broken
bloodied but not defeated
in spite of what you might’ve heard
or what somebody tweeted
patience is a virtue waiting
for the go-round to come back around
the winds of change keep changing direction
listen for the sound

They might be hiding
in a cabin in the woods
they might be laying low
in a run down neighborhood
they may be somewhere off the grid
they might even be underground
waiting tor the winds of change to change
listen for the sound

They might say wrong is right
they might say dark is light
they might say that Jesus
was only joking around
but the winds of change will change direction
listen for the sound

When you’re alone
in a crazy place
out beyond laws
of time and space
things you know to be lost
can miraculously be found
when the winds of change change direction
listen for the sound

The pendulum dividing us
someday will stop swinging
then the heavens will rejoice
the angels will be singing
a plumb bob in the center
is where it will hang down
the winds of change will stop changing
listen for the sound

They might say wrong is right
they might say dark is light
they might say that Jesus
was only joking around
but the winds of change will change direction
listen for the sound

Above and Beyond

You can’t make sense of senseless
no matter how you try
been at it for decades now
no closer to a reason why

What does make sense is families
and friends and yes, communities
loving each other
through heartaches and horrors
lifting each other
above and beyond
the how and why of where
being irrelevant compared
to what happens
from this moment on

Agenda

I am socially unconscious
politically unaware
sometimes I wish I did better
sometimes I don’t care
every one has an agenda
they are trying to advance
I just want to listen to
old Motown and dance

Extremists to the right of me
extremists to the left
have me feeling I might be
the next victim of a theft
every dog out on the street
is hungry for a bone
I’m scared to bend down in the shower
and I live alone

Every one has an agenda
they are trying to advance
I just want to listen to
old Motown and dance