Rising

The saying goes
you will reap what you sew
so the goal is to sew good
seeking a just reward
peace and love
and the other cliches
what more dare we ask
of these earthly days

but we are not blind
to the purveyors
of discord and hate
with whom there
can be no debate
I am in awe of those
whose fate
is to be the harvest
which sweeps them away

For there must be
a rising tide of good will
a flash flood of love
God may punish them
on another plane
but if we do not strive
to erase the stain
He will likely ask us
to explain

Why we failed to stand
up and say “No!”

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 and where
being irrelevant compared
to what happens
from this moment on

Mid-life

One continues to mostly hang around witnessing
the frantic goings-on of humanity, bewildered
by the urgency of it all, moved by the disasters
and triumphs but not always getting the point.

One does what one must, usually at the last
minute, and what one should, and sometimes
what one wants. In no particular order.

One takes pleasure where and when possible
knowing pleasure and happiness to be
transitory states of mind.

One isn’t too pleased that states
of mind are all transitory, but tries not to think
about it too much to keep from going crazier.

One tries to appear as normal as possible.
One tries not to complain.
One tries to appreciate his many blessings.
One prays a lot.
One tries to keep the Major Commandments.
One tries to remember to put the seat down.
One continues to wonder.

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

Showing Up

When your heart is in exile
remembering when to smile
might be one of
the problems that you face

Trying to act normal
when you don’t know
what normal is
you might prefer to vanish
without a trace

but we keep showing up
and going through the motions
in the usual strangely
familiar places

Hoping and fearing
for the mask to be stripped away
a return to the light of day
and the state of earthly grace

Blink

Rode hard and put up wet
ain’t the worst feeling I’ve had yet
Gotta be careful what you will or won’t
No tellin’ what they might do if you don’t

When it’s too loud to hear yourself think
and your eyes are burning but you’re scared to blink
’cause what you may take for granted today
will likely up and go away

What you’re holding on to
may be real or not
but you keep holding on
because it’s all you’ve got

Keep telling yourself that it’s all good
if you keep doing the things that you should
except the bad stuff laying in wait
may our hearts be bold enough
to deal with our fates

No Warrior

He washes a plate and a frying pan
he washes a fork and knife
he washes his face, he washes his hands
and settles down for the night
trying to get his head around
the bad news of the day
mind blown by the numbers
of people who need him to pray
and how with a snap of God’s fingers
so many things are shattered
and for each of us at a given time
there is just one life that matters.

He never felt like a warrior
not qualified for the task
but they must really need it
or they wouldn’t ask
So as he lays him down to sleep
he prays the Lord their souls to keep
it may seem too simple
but it’s the bottom line
I’ll pray for yours
you can pray for mine