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Month: May 2022

Grandma’s Blockhouse

In a cinder block building
Formed of red earthen clay
On the farm where it stood
I would while away
The hours of youth
Comprising my day.

The pump-house was home
To a lost childhood
Forty-five acres
Of farmland and wood;
An outpost surrounded
By all that was good.

In the quiet of evenings
Or at the sun’s peak,
From the cold cement floor
Some solitude seek
Alone with the thoughts
Which inhabit the meek.

Troubled the soul
By fortune unknown,
The heavens unbounded
I float on a stone,
Paradox thoughts
Are best served alone.

Consoled in the comfort
Of the mortared and filled,
The ponderous seed
Considered and tilled;
Uncomfortable thoughts,
Soon settled and stilled.

To the lost and abandoned,
A requiem rhyme
Recalled in these thoughts
Of an earlier time.
Salve for the soul;
The blockhouse sublime
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We travel in circles,
  We start and we end,
On a spiritual star
  From which we transcend.

The distance we travel,
  Measured in time,
Moves between moments
  Sad and sublime.
We are lifted at times,
  By others we meet,
And shift in their shadow
  And share in their heat.
In moments too brief,
  In moments soon lost,
The moments we share
  Into time are soon tossed.

We draw from a deck,
  Our lives are unplanned;
In the end we are dealt
  A bittersweet hand.
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Bears ‘n Brutes

Yesterday morning
  On December eight;
They commenced hunting bear
  In this our fair state.

They’re cuddly and cute,
  The bears that abound
In the trees in the forest
  Just hanging around.

But people keep breeding
  And building new homes;
And they cut down the forest
 Where the bears like to roam.
So the bears have to move
  To get out of the way;
And their food becomes scarce
  And they’ve no place to play.

But the people are pigs
  And leave litter about
So the bears find new food
  In the trash they’ve thrown out.

Stingy and selfish
 Folks don’t like to share
The land they have stolen
  From the now homeless bear.

So they make up excuses,
  “There’s too many bears!
Let’s kill off a few
  And make rugs of their hair.”

“They’ll be gone from the land
   They used to call theirs;
It worked on the Indians
  It’ll work on the bears!”
So the State of New Jersey,
  Governed by fools,
Decides killing bears
   Isn’t really that cruel.

Discovering a method
  To collect a new tax
They start selling permits
  And those are the facts.  

So yesterday morning,
  The newsmen kept track,
As bears starting dying
  From the bullet attack. 

Now let’s get this straight,
  The men over breed
And push bears from the land
  So there’s nowhere to feed.

Considering now
  The better or worst,
I remind you again
  The bears were there first.

Is it bears or the men
  From whom we should hide?  
I’m thinkin’ it’s men
  But you’ll have to decide.

Call me a pansy
  But this much I know,
The bears ought to stay
  And the people should go.
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Avian Escape

A close call it was
  At the homestead last night;
I was feedin’ the birds
  And one took to flight.

Out of the door
  From where he is caged,
He fell to the floor
  His flight poorly gauged.

My cats are attentive
  They don’t miss a thing;
From the mantle and counters
  At Pancho did spring.

The Siamese howled
  To the alley cat, “Word!”
My manner was frantic,
  As I dove for the bird.

While the bird in the cage
   Remained on his swing
And mockingly chattered
  And waved with a wing.

The first cat arrived
  As the wings fully fanned;
Then I snatched up the bird
  And the bird bit my hand.

His beak tore a hole
  Through the skin of my hand;
But I couldn’t let go
  Or it’d be his last stand.

Hoisted above
  The cats now below
I opened the cage
  And let the bird go.

Nearly dismembered
  By felines that growl,
Now Pancho’s with Lefty,
 And the cats left to prowl. 
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A story sad and pitiful
  To you, I have to tell;
I bought a tandem bicycle
  It’s used it is not new.

I don’t know why I bought the thing,
  It was lying with some junk -
That I was passing by one day
  “That’s cool,” is what I thunk.

I took it home and fix the things
  That needed some repair;
A tire, a chain, some grease and screws
  With, yes, my loving care.

I wheeled it out into the street
  And mounted up my steed;
And down the road I peddled it
  And quickly picked up speed.

To me it never dawned upon
  The way I might appear
To neighbors watching this old fool
  But soon it was quite clear.

I heard them all a-muttering to
  Each other as I passed;
Hurtful things, demeaning me -
   I tried to peddle fast. 
“It’s that guy that lives alone -
  The old man with the cats;
The dandelions in his yard -
   The guy with all the hats.”

Their faces filled with pity
  As they watched me peddle by –
My bike that’s built for two to ride
  Is ridden by one guy.
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Since my hair has left me,
  And imbued me with my charm;
I need a sunscreen lotion
  To keep my scalp from harm. 
I prefer a lotion
  That reminds me of the beach –
Banana Boat is lovely
  And fragrant as a peach.

Today the sun is shining
  I’ll have to take some care
But it’s a price worth paying
  I love the summer air.

And should you find occasion
  To lose all of your hair –
A shotgun’s not the answer
  Please do not despair.

What you are is what you are
  And that is plenty good –
What you are is no one else
  And be that as you should.
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It’s one of those sounds
That drives me to drink
That woke me up startled,
Unable to think.

A car alarm screamin’
In the dawn’s early light;
And I thought to myself,
‘Oh no, this ain’t right.’

My ears were annoyed
By the noise it released;
It sounded as if 
It came from the east.

The minutes ticked by
And it soon became clear,
That the owner who owned it
Was somewhere not near.

By the time that an hour
Had passed by my life,
The noise through my head
Sliced like a knife.

I cursed at the party
Who’d unleashed the alarm,
Without a regard
To the neighbors he’d harm.

This guy should be fined,
And his car be removed
To teach him a lesson
And his manners improved!

Five hours, six hours,
Then ten hours had passed;
My mental state threatened,
How long can this last??

I was stompin’ and fumin,’
Couldn’t take anymore,
When a doorbell I heard
So I walked to the door.

A friend I expected
Arrived right on cue,
To begin to begin
What it is that we do.

As we left the front porch
To head for a bar,
She asked why I didn’t
Shut off my alarm.

It seemed the alarm
That moved me to ire,
Was coming indeed,
From near my front tire.

As I shot her a look,
Dispatching with cool,
She acknowledged the look
As the look of a fool. 

Don’t cast aspersions,
Should your house be of glass,
For alarmed you will be
To find you are the ass.
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Open Wide

‘Twas in the early afternoon
  That in a chair I sat
Of my dentist, Dr. Cheng,
   Who treats the teeth of Matt.

He placed some cotton on a stick
  He got out of a kit;
Then stuck his fingers in my mouth
  And poked around a bit.

He said he had to place a crown
  Within my regal head;
He gave a shot to ease the pain
  So all my teeth went dead.

As he stretched my open mouth
  I tried to take a nap;
But moments later drool would drip
  Onto my waiting lap.

He placed machinery deep inside
  The confines of my jaws;
And particles of tooth and stuff
  Fell victim to his saws.

The doily strapped around my neck
  Caught flecks of loose debris;
Collecting there for all to see
   The parts that once were me.
Dental boy, he smiles a lot,
  I think he likes his job;
He seems perversely taken
 Watching people sob.
I squirmed a bit. Not much you know.
  I tried to be a man.
But that’s a struggle daily faced -
  I do the best I can.

Open, shut and rinse your mouth
  Is all he ever says;
I follow his instructions well
 ‘Cause then he gives you Pez.

When he was done he seemed relieved
  I hadn’t bit his hand;
I thanked him for the throbbing ache
  Then paid him half a grand.
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Today’s my father’s birthday
  But he’s not here right now;
He stepped out some time ago
  When the snow he went to plow.

He left my mom a widow
  A role she never liked;
So soon she joined my father
  As they both would like.

A cake is in the oven
  Some candles lie in wait;
His gentle way and bearing
  Today I celebrate.
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Another Day

Boys and girls and otherwise
Some words to start your day –
‘Hello, good day, it’s morning time
We’re off and on our way.’

I hope you’ve had your coffee now
And something for a treat;
A cheese croissant, a maple log
Or muffin sweet to eat.

Today you’ll meet some folks you know
And others that you don’t;
You’ll learn and teach, withdraw and reach,
You will and then you won’t.

Another day, another chance
They knock upon your door.
Expand, contract, remain the same -
You’ll stumble or you’ll soar.
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