My life can be measured,
In increments on a line.
Like the man in black I walk that line.
Sometimes it’s three steps forward.
Other times it’s five steps back.
I can’t even stop if I get off track.
Ominous clouds continually threaten.
But my inner peace keeps me focused.
Daily I stay in the present marching on,
I say, “This is where the battles are won.”
Usually I count the moments until
Everything that was confusing becomes clear.
Behind me are my footprints,
Showing me where I blindly
stepped on things I held dear,
But I tromp on in erratic fashion,
Marching to verse that I created
but never got a chance to rehearse.
As I continue my journey,
The world becomes my playground.
I cry, “I want a special friend
Who’ll stay with me until the very end.”
But like children in a park,
Finding the swings are much the same,
They get tired and angry
and move on to other games.
I want to shout, “I don’t want to keep score.
One playground or another
Will have the one I’m searching for.”
I won’t worry about getting hurt or feeling pain
Because there’s the whole world to gain.
Opportunities abound on this timeline.
I can hate and hurt or love and be kind.
I can encourage others and help them along.
I can do what is right and avoid the wrong.
“What’s this?” you say.
“How can I have fun that way?”
I’ve been there so I nod and look wise.
Misguided fun is only trouble in disguise.
When I look back at my tracks
Do they point the way for others to follow?
Or did I find a mud hole in which to wallow?
If I stayed, all would have been lost.
But I struggled free to avoid the biggest cost.
When my timeline comes to an end,
I want people to say, “Here was a good man,
And always he was a friend”.
This holiday season I salute all writers, artists, musicians, actors, etc. Your blogs, poems, and stories inspire me when I struggle and need encouragement. I hope that sometimes my posts provide a springboard for your endeavors also.
As I jump from first person, second person, and third person pronouns, remember I’m really talking to and about you.
To me, Thanksgiving is not about the food I eat. My memories are about the friends I meet. Since I started blogging three years ago I’ve met some incredible people. I haven’t seen them in person but I’ve felt their words and I’ve been allowed into their minds and hearts. Thanks, friends, for being incredible.
Look around the internet. There are bloggers everywhere, established and great. You are part of that growing list and I admire your efforts and the efforts of new writers who are appearing daily, their raw emotions burning the hearts of those who dare listen. Behind them are newer generations, magnificent and courageous, who will soon be emerging on the scene. I expect to enjoy the works of all, for they bring fresh perspectives to my soul and let me breathe.
To my friends I say, Happy Thanksgiving. To my friends I haven’t met yet, I say enjoy the day with friends and family. Life is short. Live it with gusto. Then sit down and write about your actions and reactions.
1. Writers use words of power and grace, To remove a falsehood, And put truth in its place.
2. Give someone hope anew, When she gets writer’s block, Pull her through.
3. This holiday season remember with kind deeds, Those who have needs.
Your actions form a story of compassion. I’m looking forward to reading how you blessed others.
Thanks again for your kind words on my blogs. Be patient with me. I’m still growing.
- Happy Thanksgiving (paradisepartyrentals.wordpress.com)
- “Happy Thanksgiving!” (childrenshealthnaturally.wordpress.com)
- Thanksgiving wishes (vcstar.com)
- Happy Thanksgiving!!!! (medavisdesign.com)
It was the middle of July. A cold front moved from the mountains and clouds settled over the orchards in the valley. Rain fell intermittently. Clark pulled his thin jacket tighter. “We should be picking the peaches now. I’m losing money each day the crew sits idle.”
His friend nodded miserably and added, “This is not the first strange thing to happen. Remember when the sky opened up and pulled Oscar away? We all saw it. No one wants to talk about it. They don’t even want to look up, afraid to get caught in the limitless abyss that opens if it catches you staring. There is something different about this rain, too. It seems dull and lifeless, and yet, it’s waiting for something.”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Clark said in a hushed voice. “It can hear you.”
“How can rain or the sky hear me? Put a halt to such nonsense. All of you are crazy.”
Clark stiffened. “It usually happens on a bitterish day like today. Someone sees it in a daydream and it comes to life.”
“That’s where you differ with me. My reasoning is based on logic. Yours is based on dreams and on perceptions. If it can’t hear or see or breathe, it isn’t alive.”
Rain was falling again, intensely, tugging at Clark’s coat and hat. The rain softened and Clark felt it patting his head and back. Now it seemed to dance with joy. The clouds pulled back, opening up the vast limitless darkness. Starlight splashed over him, filling him with energy and hope. He raised his head and shouted out, “People! Our orchards will be blessed. A non-believer has been washed from our sight. I had to turn him in for the betterment of mankind. Now we are at peace with the universe. Love, Live, Enjoy, and Appreciate everything like there’s no tomorrow. Feel the rhythm of the universe. Our world is back to normal.”
Clark dared to glance up. A small blue-green planet rotated slowly around a star. “Someday,” Clark thought, “I’d like to visit that planet. I bet it’s different than ours.” He laughed at his own little joke. How could things be different somewhere else? He walked inside and hung up his coat and placed his two hats side by side, just as he always did.
The birth was normal but somehow the baby was strangely misshapen. One leg was shorter than the other and he twisted a bit to one side. “He’s a crooked little fellow,” the doctor muttered.
“Oh, no, he’s beautiful,” his mother insisted. “I’m so proud of him!” And to prove how much she loved her baby she gave him a strange name, as mothers sometimes do.
His mom was insistent and the name stayed. Of course, in his early years Jack’s full name was rarely used. Only when his mother was mad did she call him Jack My love Bartholomew and then there were other names liberally sprinkled in.
When he entered school the situation changed. The kids taunted him because of his crooked way of smiling and the way he walked. His name became a special target and he learned to endure the bullies and their little slaves. Jack always thought of the helpers as slaves because they were afraid to challenge any decision made. Suggestions from bullies were commands to be carried out.
“Jack My love”, do this. “Jack My love”, do that. Jack grew tired of hearing his name in jest and sometimes he ignored the tease or refused to answer anything other than Jack.
In high school he began getting recognition in sports as an excellent runner. As a running back in football his slants and cutbacks were different. His crooked way of running gave him unusual opportunities. In cross country and track he became known for his “crooked” miles.
His opponents and some of his teammates asked the coaches to “Make him run right”. He ran at angles but within bounds. Although his coaches listened to complaints they saw how his awkward style led to wins. It was not in their best interests to change him. Therefore the coaches left him alone.
In addition to his talents in sports his writing skills were superior. Because he had spent hours brooding about the taunts and teasing, he kept a journal. At first his teachers tried to change his penmanship because it was so horribly crooked and even left handed students refused to accept him.
As a consequence of his crooked writing his papers were hard to read and were often marked down drastically. Eventually his teachers adapted and began discovering his raw talent. His poems and short stories were wonderful though decidedly crooked. They, not Jack, petitioned the school board for a laptop Jack could carry with him.
Jack’s romantic life was simply nonexistent. Girls remarked that Jack walked funny and when he smiled, his smile was crooked. They would say, “You’re a good friend but………….. and Jack would listen to a range of excuses but never got a date.
After college he thought about becoming a politician but since he was already “the crooked man” he thought that might be a bad idea. He became a lawyer instead.
Jack’s success as a county prosecutor brought publicity about his relentless pursuit of those on the wrong side of the law. His fame spread and he obtained a certain measure of respect but people still made references to his odd name and his peculiar way of walking.
Jack bought an old house on the outskirts of town. It needed renovation and repairs and he went right to work restoring the old mansion. Once it had been a beautiful landmark in town but a series of mobsters had lived there briefly and left it in disrepair. Townsfolk said it was filled with bullet holes and weird stories. Jack was the only one brave enough to buy it and move in.
It was located, oddly enough, on South Crooked Way and situated on the side of a small hill. Everyone who saw it claimed it leaned to one side. For that and other reasons they referred to it as “the crooked house”.
During this time Jack acquired a few animals, hereafter referred to as one crooked dog and one crooked cat. Field mice in the vicinity were decimated by the crooked cat, although there were rumors about town that a couple of malformed mice were ignored by the cat. The crooked dog looked ferocious and strangers did not venture down his road without making a hasty departure.
Jack was lonely, especially at night when the crickets started chirping and the moon rose up full of bright promise. He tried internet dating sites but he could not keep a normal schedule. His “ewomen” gradually drifted away into cyberspace.
During a Purple Passion Poetry posting contest Jack decided to compete and see if his writing talent would give him a chance at winning. He had forgotten one aspect of the contest. The top five writers were required to make a public appearance and read a few poems in front of a live audience.
One of the judges took him aside and asked, “Jack, could you please wear a specially built shoe so you look normal? Oh, and would you please take the time to work on that crooked smile?”
He won the contest which upset most of the long time gentry. While onstage at the awards presentation Jack enraged them more by removing his uncomfortable shoe and smiling at the audience.
The next day newspaper banners read, “Crooked Man Wins Contest!” When some people objected to a crooked man winning, one of the judges was quoted as saying, “I had no choice. It was crooked all the way!”
Jack was not at all pleased with the publicity and the way the public treated him. In spite of the publicity he was offered a partnership with a local law firm that wanted a crooked lawyer. When he accepted their offer he received a large increase of pay, his income doubling immediately.
His crooked smile was front page news in the local paper and one of the top ten internet stories. “Crooked Lawyer Leaves Public Practice to Defend Crooks.”
“Why don’t you sue those insensitive clods on the newspaper?” his partners asked. “They’ve gone way too far. If you won’t do it for yourself, then sue for the sake of all those kids who have to face bullies. Then donate the money to charity.”
His partners were urging him to sue but that wasn’t Jack’s style. They became more insistent, telling Jack he had to be ruthless if he continued with their firm. He resigned and opened an office on the main street of town. The sign above it read simply “THE CROOKED LAWYER”. Rather than fight with those who were ridiculing him, he took the insult as a badge of honor.
The building was nondescript and there were no flashy directions to his office. People would say, “It’s located on the third floor somewhere. You’ll know it when you see it.” Sure enough when visitors made it to the third floor they saw hand painted signs with arrows pointing the way. One sign said, “Love instead of sue.” Another was more dramatic. “Love first, shoot last.”
Across the country the name caught fire. People laughed but when they needed legal help they remembered his sign. Jack’s reputation and his tenacity brought in more clients. It seemed almost everyone wanted the most hardworking, most honest crooked lawyer in the business.
Mob bosses, ministers, thieves, rich men, and poor men wanted Jack to represent them. In his normal crooked way Jack would put up a brilliant defense as he paced back and forth, similar to the slants of his football glory days. The jury was always mesmerized and his victories continued to mount. For Jack it wasn’t all about the money. He wanted to believe in his clients and get them respect.
Because of this honest crooked lawyer many of his crooked clients decided to go straight. They continued to prosper in spite of being honest in their dealings. More importantly, they vowed to remember all that Jack had done for them.
Next door to his office was a quaint coffee shop. Jack enjoyed reading the newspaper and checking the internet over a cup of coffee. There Jack met Melissa, a waitress, who did interest him. As she poured him a coffee each day she talked about her world and wanted to know about his. She never mentioned Jack’s crooked smile. She just seemed happier when he smiled at her. She knew he had an odd way of walking but that didn’t really matter. She saw him go out of his way to say kind words to people and to pet dogs and cats.
The world came alive to Melissa when Jack was there. “Jack My love” took on new meaning after she said, “I love your name.” He excited her and made her feel comfortable at the same time. He, in turn, began sharing his childhood and found she had a genuine interest in this life. Their friendship blossomed. Shortly thereafter they married and lived together in the big crooked house.
It wasn’t long before Jack’s name was bandied about in political circles. “He was okay as a crooked lawyer,” one woman said. “I think he would make an excellent crooked politician.”
(But that’s another story.)
- Of Real-Life Crooks and Villains (opinionhub.wordpress.com)
- Crooked I – Monsters In My Head feat. Slaughterhouse (akahiphop.com)
- W.H. Auden: “You shall love your crooked neighbour/ With your crooked heart.’” (lifeondoverbeach.wordpress.com)
- How to Balance a Crooked Nose Without Anesthesia (bellasugar.com)
- I Am Not a Crook (ellen.warnerbros.com)
“Tell me your story,” I said to him,
“Perhaps I can help your case,”
His voice shook as he began,
“Five years are hard to replace,
I shouldn’t be here, she’s to blame,
It was her fault, you know,
She made me mad and I lost my cool,
Even though I loved her so,
I knew she was my true love,
From the very first moment we met,
She was different than the others,
And not the kind I’d forget,
Her laughter was the kind that haunted,
Her voice found its way into my heart,
She made an impression from the beginning,
I vowed silently that we’d never part,
Her smile was meant for me alone,
She chose me that first day,
Of course she never said that,
I just knew she wanted it that way,
She peeled away my protective layers,
Her thoughts touched my inner core,
She permeated my entire being,
And left me wanting more,
She had no need for others,
There was no one else but me,
She learned to keep me company,
And show her loyalty,
I treated her very special,
With gifts to prove she was mine,
As long as she knew I was in control,
She could earn some free time,
She allowed her friends to disrespect me,
I could see it in their glares,
They tried to get her away from me,
They didn’t know I was aware,
I told her friends to leave my house,
In spite of her tearful pleas,
I didn’t like the way she talked to me,
She had to apologize on hands and knees,
I didn’t mean to beat her,
It was her fault, you know,
But she said she would leave me,
Even though I loved her so,
My tears fell in torrents,
My heart shriveled up in shame,
If she had done what she was told,
There would be no reason for blame,
The world is barren without her,
I can’t get her out of my head,
If she had cared as much about love,
I wouldn’t have shot her dead,
I still have hopes of finding love,
Several women have been writing to me,
I’ll show them what’s best for them,
As soon as I leave the penitentiary,
Each promised to give unconditional love,
Along with their undying loyalty,
That’s all I ever demanded from anyone,
And, there’ll be no one else but me,”
I learned a lot listening to him,
About his life and why he was there,
It wasn’t his fault why he was locked up,
But society just didn’t care.
through our lives were common threads,
They were almost alike but were not the same,
we followed that nowhere led,
As we chased
dreams of fortune and fame,
There were truths and lies we often said,
gave each of us a different game,
were woven and pieces shred,
talked and called your name,
I have no regrets
for all that could have been,
risks that would have brought me shame,
My love was not
squandered at slightest whim,
Our common threads
were not spun the same,
with danger, went out on a limb,
easy wealth that was lying around,
Tried to convince
yourself how life was grim,
went awry and no money was found,
to stay young, all fit and trim,
waited for your ship to come in,
at the edge of life’s rim,
thinking about loss, just expecting to win,
threads woven were not the same,
that money couldn’t buy everything,
spelled out a different name,
You got your
diamonds and had your fling,
I made choices
and my story became mine alone,
convinced my decisions were rash,
were important and I had grown,
I could not
compromise and turned down hard cold cash,
woven into a pattern of my own,
more than I had to remain my friend,
All the love
we had shared and ever known,
keep us together at the end,
But you were woven into my life,
My heart still
dreamed and called your name,
cut through me like a knife,
threads woven were not the same,
I sometimes wondered how many threads,
Needed to be
woven to make you strong,
And how weak
would I be if I continued alone,
turned out differently and oh, so wrong,
you riches and you sold out,
more important than us being we,
At death you’ll
leave it all behind, I have no doubt,
wraps us both, you’ll have the same threads as me.
And all the
shoes will be for a poor country,
of the children don’t have shoes,
And most of
the world doesn’t have a clue,
the children go through,
I’ll grow a
tree that has food and drink,
need that, don’t you think?
bellies and starvation are rarely understood,
world doesn’t share what it could,
I’ll grow a
tree that is filled with songs,
sing, would that be wrong?
If my voice
blends with theirs all day long,
help make hearts strong,
I’ll grow a
tree that is filled with money,
their world into a land of milk and honey,
Instead of them
living from day to day,
subsist on whatever comes their way,
I know one
tree can’t grow enough shoes,
take more than three or two,
And the plant
that grows all kinds of food,
Will have to
be cloned if I could,
You can help
with the tree of songs,
hands and sing all night long,
with money will have to grow,
little tree can’t bestow,
clothe, shelter, and feed,
and every need,
will be large with lots of trees,
I can do
this if you’ll help me please,
If we plant
enough for a country or two,
telling what we can do,
A world of
trees, new hopes and dreams,
A world with
compassion, and fewer regimes,
and sow some magical seeds,
up high and see what the world needs.
- The Mighty Oak and the Quaking Aspen (savings2envy.org)
- Can this apple tree be saved? (ask.metafilter.com)
- Home owners urged to be cautious of tree root damage (money.marksandspencer.com)
- A Lesson (elkinsparkfarm.wordpress.com)
- thirteen ways of looking at trees (liv2write2day.wordpress.com)
Oft I tend
For they tug
at my conscience,
Right to the
They pull me
in nobler directions,
Out of my
heart turns loose compassion,
There is no
For what I
Angels are watching
And they work
hard for wings earned,
afoot I’ll bet,
For I am far
ways are set,
calls out to angels,
To fill its
vanity has grown big and bold,
Over my life
that I’ve known so well,
that quickly fly,
Wait at the
corners of my life,
climb on by,
I might tell
you once or often,
angels among us, tis true,
They come in
there for me and you.
intend to let love in,
there would be too much pain,
Yet my heart
spread wide its arms,
favor I could gain,
pleasantly surprised the day we met,
I was attracted to you,
My love kept
growing stronger yet,
And I was
glad when you said, “I do,”
Long ago you
told me you were plain,
But I smiled as you slept naked beside me,
Like a fawn
shaking off the summer rain,
and goose bumps I could see,
Now as I
hold you I still disagree,
you, but not without a twinge of regret,
For I love
every part that I see,
cherish every moment I can get,
strands of hair from your face,
“You’re beautiful,” I whisper in the dark,
And to plant a kiss I find a place,
kiss might stir a spark,
yearn to hold your many charms,
not hear the words I say,
Those simple words that only my head knows,
with love and might betray,
How much my
heart with passion overflows,
again, already missing your sweet kiss,
I don’t want
to rush life, I want to take life slow,
want to go on loving you like this.
- Lil Wayne Says His New Track ‘How To Love’ Gives Him “Goose Bumps!” (997now.radio.com)
- Stefan’s touch (cvraider73.wordpress.com)
- Will you still love me even if I’m not perfect? (becomeabetteryouin365days.com)
- He had me at ‘Hello’ (mkismkismk.wordpress.com)
- Justin Bieber – Love Me (brookgaleazzi.wordpress.com)
Death is waiting for me,
But it’s not time yet,
He is peering through the
But I’m not set,
He’s visited me over the
Called my name,
Tried to convince me,
To play his game,
But I had too much to do,
Death had to wait,
Until I finished my
Then I’d enter death’s
See where the curtain has
He stares at me,
But I do not fear death’s
For I cannot be,
Part of his entourage,
No, not today,
He’ll have to wait behind the veil,
I’m going to stay,
Try to complete my list of
things to do,
Until my final breath,
When my list is done, I’ll
The spectre called death.