Savage


 

Savage is a term that was both good and bad.  “You’re not dressed for church. You don’t have your “Sunday go to meeting” clothes on.  Neither do you have on your shoes. You can’t go barefoot.  You look like a savage.”

Savages to Grandmother were the painted Indians who ran around scalping the helpless folk. She rarely mentioned the atrocities committed by those who stole Indian lands, killed women and children while the braves were away. It was only when she was mad that she muttered “Indian Giver”, an insult directed at politicians, and other higher ups, a most distasteful term. “Indian Givers” were the whites who solemnly pledged their word and signed peace treaties, knowing full well the treaties were lies and were worth nothing. “Indian Givers” was a term worse than “savages”. “Indian Givers” spoke with a “forked tongue”.

Grandmother knew I couldn’t go dressed like that. Church time was very important. It meant wear your best after getting cleaned up.  It meant being attentive and listening quietly to lessons from the Bible.  It meant no funny faces at the preacher or the girls who giggled because I was misbehaving.  It meant sitting straight without any fun until the preaching was done. It meant my world had to stop until my parents heard the lesson for the week. 

The quiet time gave me time to think.  How could God expect me to be quiet when birds were singing, cows were mooing, babies were crying, and Mom was hushing me?  God also liked lots of music, with voices singing His favorite songs.  Yes, even the savages chanted and sang songs.  On Saturday night, Dad told Indian stories, Cherokee and Choctaw mostly, because he and Mom believed they had “Indian blood.”  After those stories came card games and the adults played with intensity, their voices loud and clear. During those games news of kinfolk and news of the world were exchanged. 

It was easier to be poor during those hard days.  The Dust Bowl and World War II were over but supplies of food were limited.  Mom and Dad grew gardens, bartered, or worked extra jobs to maintain the family.  We lived outside of reservations so we weren’t entitled to Indian rights but we also were free of many of the government restrictions.  The only proof of Indian blood we had were a land grant certificate signed by a President, a box of arrowheads made by an expert warrior, and a few stories handed down orally. The certificate and arrowheads disappeared while we were in the process of moving, and the stories were shared by strangers and claimed to be part of another tribe.

I took pride in having Indian blood related to one of the “five civilized tribes”, a name given to the five largest tribes that were squeezed into Oklahoma.  I could see with an inner eye, follow the stars in the sky, and knew I belonged in the world.

I saw little difference between those of any color, any culture, any language.  At times, all people were savages. All had to stop and sit up straight and listen to the lessons of the week. Then and now, after the lessons, then came the fun time when I could wear comfortable clothes and run barefoot.

July 9, 2017

DASH AWAY!


Just before I dash away to work,

I check the mirror for my smirk.

Yes, the smirk is there. I’m  retired

and I can dash away or not at all.

Yet out of habit I grab my coffee,

my phone, a pen or two,

a notepad, and head for the door,

stopping for a moment or more,

to throw in an extra dash of sugar.

My coffee has to be extra sweet

in case the president calls to remind me

that I’m not so perfect either.

That is a real possibility because I dash around

telling every new friend I’ve found

that our country is still sound as a dollar,

at least for one more day.

July 3, 2017

 

 

 

 

DEBBIE


                SHE FORGOT TO WRITE HER NAME

She was in a rush, at least walking fast.

I thought she might walk on past,

But she didn’t.

She became intrigued by what I was asking.

Asking questions about what her friends knew,

And when they knew it, sort of presidential questions.

“Who are you, and why are you questioning them?” she asked.

“It’s a fun way of finding out more information about friends,” I said.

“What do you mean?” she asked, evidently not convinced.

“Put down ten questions about yourself with answers,” I said.

“Everybody has secrets, more than what you read.”

She was convinced suddenly, and her questions flowed like water in a stream,

Tumbling one after another, as in a rapidly growing dream.

“I want to see what you see when you talk about me.”

Then she blurted, “I want you to make a poem about me!”

In case you are ready to assign blame,

Debbie is her name. Also known as ‘LIL Debbie.

She loves being a grandma with nine kids,

And loves her own three children, if you should ask.

She loves to travel, evidently enjoying the company of others,

Every day she does extra things that make people smile,

 whether it’s a friend, a patient or a stranger.   

She’s married and she loves the food her husband cooks.

Debbie is a shopper extraordinaire, using coupons to have fun

But still stay on a budget.

Debbie was a single mom with three children and three jobs

For many years.  That kept her strong through the years of tears.

Debbie might ask anyone some questions, as I found out.

She wants answers that don’t leave any doubts.

She had to scramble to keep up with her kids,

And she learned to be a multitasker in order to cope.

Debbie is an optimist with lots of hope. 

If you want more information look for her smile,

Then sit her right down and chat for a while.

chope,years of tears,chat, June 24, 2017

PAPER, WASTED


I know I waste too much paper.  I throw away stacks of paper when one of my characters takes a wrong turn and I have to rewrite her direction,  her moods, and her new plans.  If there’s a conflict a whole chapter may be filled with worst case scenarios. Only the final scenes determine which pages remain and which ones burn. Even poetry burns hotter some nights.

Long ago stories were chiseled on rock pages, and were much heavier than paper. Happy was the poet when he could do a little trimming and make his story lighter before he put it on his blog. A long story had to wait until paper was invented and ready to waste. the first story had to be short and sweet. It might have been told like this.  “I threw my spear with skill, moved village near kill.”

The Romans cut the stories even shorter. “Veni, Vidi, Vici.”

There were no paper magazines to advertise clothing. It was use hides and cloth or nothing. Paper was still gaining status until finally it was used as waste, one catalogue page at a time.

Pulp fiction took on a new meaning and paper became the norm. Those who star in the program, “Naked and Afraid,” must have tricks up their sleeves or hidden somewhere or they couldn’t turn down “paper or plastic.” Natural materials are not always as soft as paper.

Once in a country with less wealth and less waste, I discovered huts with cardboard walls.  I was amazed to see toilet paper used once, dried, and used again. I was more careful with waste paper after that. I want to leave this planet cleaner and as a responsible man, not as a paper tiger.

june 22, 2017

JUST ONE MOMENT


Life is a temporary stop in our journey through the heavens.  We will have time to visit without feeling rushed. We will  sing or dance or do all the things we imagined we could do.

Time is a variable. Each plant and each animal has its own time line. My space is located within the space allocated to humans.

I am a transient passing through worlds parallel, overlapping, and superimposed but to me there is only one lifetime I can live. I tried to explain all that to Albert but he was having trouble understanding all of the concepts.  Finally I said, “Albert, time is relative.”

We took a train trip and I explained the difference between riding in the train and watching the train go by. It took a while but gradually he began to understand.  I think he might be able to explain several theories if he pays attention but he is still fuzzy about the speed of light and how light can be bent and go even faster.  I’ll explain it again next week. I’d hate for him to give up when he’s this close. On the other hand, he could learn to be a poet and become famous. No one ever gets famous learning obscure mathematical theories. And maybe Albert could be a politician. No one ever knows what they’re talking about.  (or cares)

June 21, 2017

PUNCTURE


PUNCTURE

 

When I was twelve I had no time for capers,

I had a job delivering newspapers

 by bicycle,

Going to the newspaper office at four a.m.,

Folding one hundred sixty papers,

packing them into a bag,

putting the bag on the back

where it would not sag or drag

and riding across town to my route

where I carefully tossed

or placed the papers

on the porches of their owners.

One mornings I was half asleep

And I forgot about the punctures.

There were two kinds,

One kind of puncture was dog bites,

The other kind was the thorns

Of a plant we called “goat heads”

Because they resembled goats with horns.

Both kinds of punctures hurt

And usually stayed alert

 As I carefully navigated the locations

Where the mean dogs hid.

This morning one dog jumped too quick,

I missed him with my stick and

I tumbled head first into a patch of goat heads.

The dog tried to bite, but he lost all the fight

He had inside,

When he stepped on the goat heads.

He whimpered and cried,

Until I removed the stickers in his paws.

I was distracted and did not see the car,

(it was still too far),

Weaving back and forth.

As it approached I wanted to flee,

It didn’t really want me, did it?

The car hit a pole a few yards away,

This was not going to be a good day.

The car hit the back of my bike,

I flew up in the air, no time to say “yikes!”

And the car stopped at a gas station,

After it knocked over a pump.

All the excitement was not over.

An electric line came dancing across the street.

I wanted to run but I couldn’t move my feet.

Somehow the fire department turned off the gas,

Turned off the power.

I’m thankful I’m still here even at this hour.

Demons were angry and stomped their feet,                                        .

They knew they had me in defeat.

But angels were watching once again,

Final score was demons zero, angels ten.

June 17, 2017

 

OTHERS, LIARS, and MANY MORE


OTHERS, LIARS, AND MANY  MORE

 

Hezer did not listen to their lies.  Everything they said seemed to be poisoned arrows aimed directly at him. Why did they continue to speak their malicious words? Why were they lying? What had he done to deserve this?

                More and more people were beginning to hate him.  He could feel the hatred, see their eyes grow cold, and know they were talking about him behind his back. “Don’t talk to him. He’s not someone we want to associate with.” “Did you hear what he wants to do now?” “People are disappearing.  He’s got to be stopped before it gets worse.”

 The lies were growing, stretching from small sores into festering, gaping wounds that he could not stop.  The more the lies were told, the more the lies were believed. The lies became the truth, comprehended and interpreted to be facts.   Facts were created out of imagined truths and soon there was no distinction between fact and fiction.

His skin was brown and soft, different from theirs.  He was one of the newly created liars, his DNA altered by scientists eager to produce a race of people who could survive under the extreme conditions of a nuclear war.

 At first scientists were proud to claim they had made improvements to mankind. But it was only a matter of time before things began to change.

 The media began with grandiose announcements informing the general public that scientists were gods capable of building a new future.   With the cooperation of everyone the new people could be blended into everyday life with no harmful results. The new people were reputed to be extraordinary workers, requiring less sleep and less rest. In addition, they were very friendly. That brought up the possibility of less hate between nations and less wars.  On paper and in controlled situations everything seemed perfect.  Everybody was thrilled to see changes being made.

As the years passed and war loomed over mankind without actually happening, the differences between the liars and normal humans became festering sores.  All the things humans wanted to do, the new people insisted they could do better.  The liars were reputed to jump higher, run faster, and have better sex.

A lie gets better in the telling, while the truth is always the same.  Stories became ludicrous as the stories stretched and grew.  The liars changed the truth in small increments, made the lies deceive humans who were ready to believe.  Scientists rushed to tell the truth and make claims based on fact, but it was too late.  The lies were no longer lies.  They had been told too often with no opposition and now all the people believed them.

Because the liars had few differences, the others, (the common humans) were concerned the liars would begin taking over. The others struck first, quietly replacing the liars in their jobs. Humans retook  power positions. This time the others were careful to keep the appearance of being fair with no discrimination.  Laws were enacted to increase the number of lies. Lawyers, politicians, and sales personnel were expected to lie consistently.  Their habits were already well established.

The truth is plain, although it has been known to be naked, harsh, or ugly.  Lies come in many colors, and can be very pretty or very ugly.  The liars came in many colors, which made them very special and easily seen.  They were often targets and many had been attacked and killed by frustrated others. Although liars liked being noticed and admired, they were opposed to being killed. The others, or humans as they liked to be called, deviated from the plain truth, and many others would testify in court that liars did not have as many witnesses as others did.  Therefore the liars must be lying. Others ignored the fact that “it only takes one to tell the truth. It takes many to keep a lie.”

Wars did not stop because the liars were created. Wars were often started because of miscommunication between political groups. Liars became the scapegoats in many countries and were forced to defend the truth, especially when others covered up the truth or divided it into small portions.  Liars continued to ask for the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

The world became divided into four distinct levels.  But that was after the world lost much of its wisdom and hope. It was a time of lies and secrets, a time to restore life and love, and a time when all things beautiful became a part of truth. But that’s another story that deserves to be embellished and expanded, stretched and interpreted, loved and hated, and turned into choices which began at the very beginning of time.

 

Others became the highest group. Liars were the middle group. Many were in the next level.

The lowest group were the poets, singers, philosophers, and others who told the truth.  

June 4, 2017