Homeless Holidays

Too often this time of year, it is habit and standard to think of those closest to our hearts, those we love and cherish and hold above all others. We think of those presents we wish to give them, the smiles on their faces. We think of the cheer on their faces and let it become the holiday, and that is beautiful, and good.

But in that process, we often forget the others – those people that do not have the luxury of that cheer. This is not a wholesale judgment of others, for I recognize the tendency in myself as well – it is only natural, but we must force ourselves to face reality, to turn our minds and our hearts beyond our own.

To that note, for this Christmas Eve I grant a more solemn contribution to the season, the reality of the above:

Carolers sing out,

cheer static smothers cardboard

hides the ringing cups.

This season, just remember, as you are opening gifts and trading smiles with those you care about, that there are others, much less fortunate than we, who will not experience that joy. There are those with naught but memories of these things, and some that have never gotten to experience that holiday joy…please, keep them in your thoughts as well.

Of Turkeys and Bounty

A cornucopia, all for me,
how thankful is the blind man
to the fruits of his fair nothing—
the greenery, grown, beneath the
scarlet massacre-flood
through the sky, the day
the men in their wide-brimmed hats
forgot the sea, learned the barrel
no one ever looks the same
behind the sights.
A turkey stuffed
with all the hands, the hammers,
unsung ringings in the deep
lightly smelling of the smoke,
the factories that brimmed with weary souls,
to bring the table to the meal,
to bring the car that brought the people—
smoking still the stilling rifle,
that bought and held and earned
the right to live, to dine,
the right to never know the pain
of making—foundations
in a crowded horn, this overflowing
but the end, not the means.
No oven fire burns so hot
could give the soul,
we dine upon tonight.
Happy Thanksgiving week, everyone! This here’s my latest submission to the wonderful One Stop Poetry’s One Shot Wednesday.
Does today’s poem look familiar to some of you? Well that’s because you might have seen it hosted on One Stop Poetry on Monday. It’s my holiday dedication piece, and as I will be AWOL over the next few days enjoying the holiday spirits, I thought it only right that this should be the piece I leave you with for the days to come. I hope all my fellow Americans out there enjoy the holiday, and this time with your family. And for those of you from the international community – check out my post on One Stop Poetry from Monday to learn a little about this national holiday, and find some art and poetics to boot.
Cheers!

Give Thanks!

This week’s Quotes are in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday! For all my fellow Americans out there – I hope the week, and these season, treat you well, especially on whatever travels you may be shortly undertaking.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.  ~Theodore Roosevelt

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Father’s Song

I watch them ride

memories of my failures–

wonder if I tried

or all were vaunted blunders.

Too long I’ve been afield,

at war with thought, the world–

from this madness I have tried to shield

and so into the madness, they’ve unfurled.

A father’s love

Staring out the window

the old man sees the picture:

laughter and smiles, these bodies still they

tackle and break and the ball

it floats between, less a joy than a symbol

of a father’s love–

he young, to full of life and love

for dearest son–

he still the younger, laughing, adoration still

he sees this game, a day, a week

and weeps upon the broken knees,

this weary flesh–oh time, time

has rotted;

there is no game for he, this is

Life, life he shall not have, nor give,

but still he looks to the growing faces

of the life beside,

and to this image can but smile–

in that child’s eyes

a word, a look are all he needs

to know the love, the deed–

he cannot do, but love can show

in other ways–

sometimes he just needs the reminder.

Oh these regrets, such bitter things–

thank God, thank God, that child

still smiles at me.

My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! Once you’ve had a look, check out some of the other One Shot Poets as well– they’re a skilled bunch of poets, looking to form a community and support one another.  Enjoy!

Word

Word to the max

Can’t touch this

Illusion of a person, yo

You don’t know me

Or my parents’ money

Can’t touch my grills son

That shine brighter than my soul

Spin faster than my mind–

What is this shallow creature?

I am here and you are not

You can’t label me

With anything other

Than what I’m trying to be–

I’m not, but if I try hard enough

You’ll think I am

You be trippin’

If you can’t accept

The things I’m not

But my bling covers it

Pretty well don’t you think?

Ain’t nothing more intense than me

Except for everything and everyone

That isn’t crying out

Like me.

A Catalog of Colorado

It’s been several weeks now since I returned from Colorado, and aside from a few shots used to accentuate some of my poems, I’ve not posted all that many shots from the trip. This is to set things right. Though I took hundreds of shots while out and about in the mountainous state, I have selected a few here as a sort of highlight real for the trip. WordPress, I think, would be quite upset with me if I tried to upload everything. In fact, I think I’d be liable to break the bloody system.

So here, in a nutshell, is my trip. What better inspiration could one have asked for? Sights featured in my shots include Rocky Mountain National Park, the Red Rocks and Red Rocks Amphitheater, my brother and sister-in-law’s home, and just a few shots from the more nature-inclined areas around Denver, CO.

Moya and Ares

The family.

Red Rocks Amphitheater

My brother, Jim

The folks

At the top of the world.

Moose!

My sister-in-law, Cassie.

The Power Within

This next Haiku is dedicated to my sister-in-law: a wonderful woman, with a strong spirit, and a smile that could light the darkest of rooms. She also packs an unexpectedly strong right hook. Perhaps not the image you would expect when someone utters the words “Black Belt” to you, but she certainly lives up to the title she’s earned.

Small frame, strong spirit

The smile no indication—

Power sleeps within.

Summer Snow

Yep, that's me!

Well I have returned at last from my trip to Colorado. Suffice to say, it was a beautiful trip, every minute of it. I have always felt a calling to the mountains, and I personally feel my brother is a lucky man to live amongst them. Wonderful places–breathtaking scenery, bizarre weather, and the perfect spots for exercise and the embrace of creativity. I now have more than 300 pictures added to my library, some of which you will probably see attached to some of my work in the days to come.

I saw a number of places while I was in-state. From bustling downtown Denver, to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Red Rocks, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the city of Boulder (about as artsy a town as one might find), among others. Between the sight-seeing and the time spent catching up with family, however, I am proud to say I also accomplished a great deal of work. Both there and on the flight, both in terms of poetry and my novel, I made great headway, and I will be posting the results of the weeks to come.

To start us out, I have a poem inspired by a climb to the heights of the Rocky Mountains where, despite broiling 80 degree temperatures below, a beautiful field of snow awaited, and on the peaks for miles around. A bit breezy, by the way, and I had the brilliant idea of hiking in shorts and a t-shirt. Terrible fun, but a wee bit chilly.

So to begin:

14,000 Feet Above the World

Snowball fights in shorts;

The sun beats down

Atop the world.

Slipping along the rocks

I stumble out to see the world,

And I am Freedom,

Dangling over Nothing

In the summer heat.

Nothing is as it seems

I woke up early this morning and literally rolled out of bed with this one on my mind. If it was related to dreams I had last night, then it’s probably a good thing I don’t remember them. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy:

Nothing is as it seems—

The old die old,

The young die young,

One perpetuates the other

In waves of maddening

Disillusion not withstanding—

We are players and audience

The stage ours to watch

And ours to play.

But where is the director?

The play plays on in

Such maddening discourses,

There is a plot twist somewhere—

Is this how it was written?

Read somewhere that parents should

They should never have to bury their children,

But the children fight their wars

And the children fight each other

And the old have lived it all.

The mind reflects in odd ways—

Always they remember the old days as better

Days, but they are gone.

Where is the proof?

The mind is fickle, it remembers

What it wants to remember

So the monologue seems better—

There is no difference.

The old are tired.

All they want to do is to lie down,

But they are watching and waiting—

Am I to die?—

But the young are restless

And in their roaming the world

Every moment and monument is theirs—

But they hasten to sleep

And they do not arise,

And the old weep and laugh in terror.