Born Lucky


I was born lucky.  I would have chosen my parents right from the start.  I was loved and I felt loved. Maybe they chose me and maybe I chose them.  They were a perfect fit.  I would never claim I was better than others or worse than others.  I know that I saw the world around me with a different view than others had.  When my friends and neighbors complained about their siblings or parents, I  remained silent or said I would choose the same two brothers and the  same four sisters and the same parents.

We didn’t always agree on some subjects but I  knew that our parents were special.  It wasn’t about money.  Money didn’t buy happiness. It wasn’t about material things at all.  We learned to enjoy the foods we had, mostly beans and potatoes and corn bread, and occasionally biscuits and gravy.  It wasn’t about the things we didn’t have.  We learned to use what we had and do without the things we didn’t have. Flour sacks became clothes. Hand-me-downs were common.  Time spent with family was valuable time.  Respect and truth and love were important.  Each day was part of a life-long learning experience.

Even though I didn’t have much I learned how to work, how to play, how to enjoy the world every day.  I was not perfect but I didn’t feel mean or rotten.  I wanted to help people who were hurting, sad, or lonely.  I was usually considered “nice”.  I was a good person, willing to help neighbors and friends.  I could change a tire, carry buckets of water, travel across countries, and participate in games without getting angry as long as there were rules to follow.  I believed in rules and fairness.

Lucky? Maybe I should say I was treated fairly in life. When I saw what others had, what they needed, and the conditions surrounding them, I knew I was blessed.  The world around us did not appear fair in its treatment to others.  Perhaps I was so naïve or oblivious to problems that I escaped what could have been painful experiences.

When I compared my circumstances with others, I began to wake up and observe.  When I visited a friend who  made great claims regarding things he owned, I discovered the truth.  His imagination gave him all the things he didn’t have.  He didn’t live in a mansion. He didn’t drive a fancy car.  He was surrounded by problems that he chose not to see.  He was ashamed to invite me inside his house. The house was tiny and crowded. The windows were broken and needed replacements. The floor had holes.  The house was cold and damp.

The worst of it was the human factor.  How could they survive with conditions like this? It got worse.  In another room his brother sat on a bed in dirty clothes. His eyes were glazed over, flies were clustered all over his face, and yet he was smiling.   I could not imagine living in that home.  His parents were sitting at the kitchen table, discussing the weather, waiting for some super cells to hit the area, and wondering where to go.

Maybe that is why I began volunteering, helping out when I could.  I came into this world looking to do something for others and this was my opportunity to quit talking and begin acting.  I am lucky because I got a good start in life. My life has been blessed even though I have physical problems. Physical problems will not hold me back. I am a poet and a writer.  I must encourage others to help make the world a better place. I must act quickly because death is always waiting and I don’t have time to die.

July 23, 2017

 

 

 

 

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THROUGH YOUR EYES


I want to travel the world through your eyes,

Finding love and treasures beyond the skies.

My poems may tell of adventures I found,

But my heart will always be homeward bound.

Everything I am, you taught me to feel,

Without your love, nothing is real.

My heart is packed to travel light,

I wish,  I wish, with all my might,

To be with you all through the night.

I miss your laughter, your love, your charms,

You should be next to me, within my arms.

I am growing older with each passing day,

And yet my love grows stronger in every way.

You make me need your love within,

And yes, it’s true, I miss skin to skin.

I claim your heart as I dream about you,

Dancing in darkness until morning dew.

All my life I waited for your kiss,

But I never believed the passion would be like this.

I’ll be in your heart and your dreams too,

Walking, dancing, and loving you.

I’ll travel the world as you cross the sea,

But when you need love, come home to me.

June 26, 2017

Me, My Wife, and the Other Guy


My Wife
My Wife (Photo credit: Abulic Monkey)

 

Me, My Wife, and the Other Guy

 

We sat at a table, the three of us,

 

Me, my wife, and the other guy,

 

Conversation flowed for awhile,

 

But neither could look me in the eye.

 

The place I sat was bypassed,

 

As words zipped and darted,

 

Like little birds flying to nests.

 

From time to time they would

 

Stop to consider and take a rest.

 

Both were annoyed that I remained,

 

And could find nothing else to do.

 

Joining in was out of the question,

 

Therefore I could do nothing but stew.

 

Her eyes bubbled over with images of him,

 

While his eyes were hooded and cold.

 

He wanted to do more than talk,

 

He waited to be reckless and bold.

 

Calmly I lifted my empty glass

 

And pretended to take a sip of my juice.

 

One false word, one slight misstep,

 

And surely all hell would break loose.

 

I studied the two in their interlocking worlds,

 

And decided I didn’t want to be there.

 

Fifteen years of married bliss,

 

And now she no longer cared.

 

Out the door and into the night,

 

Although I had no real place to go,

 

My heart was aching, my marriage breaking,

 

Life had dealt me a terrible blow.

 

With each heavy step from my house,

 

I reassured my shredded heart.

 

The future was cloudy and unknown,

 

But it was time for a brand new start.

 

I contained my anger and let it go

 

Without even raising my voice,

 

They had each other and I walked away.

 

For me it was the wisest choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Valentine Tree


Anthropomorphic Valentine, circa 1950–1960
Anthropomorphic Valentine, circa 1950–1960 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Our Valentine Tree

 

We fell in love on Valentine’s Day.

 

The minute you laughed I knew.

 

I was destined to be yours, my love,

 

And I would be blessed with you.

 

 

 

We planted our special tree that year.

 

We cleared away the snow.

 

You insisted our love would always be strong

 

And you wanted the whole world to know.

 

 

 

You’re in my thoughts again, my love,

 

I imagine you under our tree.

 

Remember all the pledges we made,

 

And the passion between you and me?

 

 

 

The years passed by rather fast,

 

Then our kids were grown and gone.

 

We were there in our empty house,

 

Still together but each all alone.

 

 

 

My heart grew hard and I forgot our tree,

 

I insisted it blocked my view.

 

I was determined to chop it down,

 

Without even telling you.

 

 

 

It was early morning on Valentine’s Eve,

 

When I approached our special tree.

 

I was shocked and pleased with what I saw,

 

Then ashamed of the heart in me.

 

 

 

Instead of the tree being stark and bare,

 

Pink and red covered the tree.

 

Valentines and notes from all our years,

 

Proclaimed your love for me.

 

 

 

 

 

My love had been erratic.

 

There was little that I could boast.

 

But you were there as you always were,

 

Just when I needed you most.

 

My dreams and heart were renewed, my love,

 

By the valentines that covered our tree.

 

There was only one thing I could say,

 

“I’m glad you married me!”

 

 

 

I miss all you gave, my love,

 

And the tenderness you showed to me.

 

I want our love to be clear each year,

 

As I hang valentines on our tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Snake Skins


English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...
English: Santa Claus with a little girl Esperanto: Patro Kristnasko kaj malgranda knabino Suomi: Joulupukki ja pieni tyttö (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Three Snake Skins

 

I counted my presents under the tree

 

I had been generous but only to me

 

It was Christmas Eve and the night was deep

 

My eyelids grew heavy and I fell asleep.

 

 

 

In a dream I couldn’t believe my eyes

 

The world was in for a surprise

 

Christmas would be different this year

 

The sleigh wouldn’t be pulled by deer.

 

 

 

I needed to be good for goodness sakes

 

For Santa’s sleigh was pulled by snakes

 

Diamondbacks, boas, asps, and kings,

 

Flying through the air without any wings.

 

 

 

Down the rooftop they’d slide until they flopped

 

Slithering and wiggling, down the chimney they dropped!

 

One snake per child who had ever been bad,

 

Two snakes for mom and three for dear dad.

 

 

 

The snakes gathered to map out a plan

 

Something bizarre, something evil and grand.

 

People with possessions who didn’t share

 

Were bitten by serpents that didn’t care.

 

 

 

There was a list and it was checked twice

 

To determine who had been naughty or nice.

 

There weren’t many households left alone

 

For greed had turned many hearts to stone.

 

 

 

I awoke from my dream all drenched and wet

 

I had many memories I wished to forget

 

The beggar on the corner I couldn’t look in the eye

 

The family in my neighborhood I simply passed by.

 

 

 

There were incidents my conscience couldn’t ignore

 

This dream had touched me clear to the core

 

I vowed to give clothes and food to those in need

 

And to be more generous in word and deed.

 

 

 

Under my Christmas tree there were no presents to myself

 

But I cleared a space for gifts to others on a shelf

 

This year I was greedy but I’ll be prepared next year

 

Santa will be generous and my conscience will be clear.

 

 

 

I heard bells jingle as the sleigh took flight

 

And I knew that this would be a normal night

 

Eight tiny reindeer were pulling the sleigh

 

And Rudolph was in front leading the way.

 

 

 

I know this was just one of many dreams

 

You might think I made it worse than it seems

 

But I’ve changed my heart and I’m starting again

 

For under my bed I found three snake skins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re Lucky to Have Christmas


English: A postcard from 1919, with artwork of...
English: A postcard from 1919, with artwork of Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

We’re Lucky to Have Christmas

 

Time stood still and my heart stopped,

 

When she announced she was leaving that night.

 

It didn’t sink in that she meant what she said,

 

Until she got on the very next flight.

 

 

 

I think of the time I wasted,

 

Letting it slowly slip through my hands.

 

I could have been loving her,

 

Rather than complaining and giving commands.

 

 

 

She promised she would love me forever.

 

I think she intended it to be true.

 

I said I could survive on my own

 

But deep within my heart I knew.

 

 

 

I could have used time in segments,

 

Dinner for two, flowers, a loving glance,

 

Instead I spent time on my own interests,

 

And time didn’t give a second chance.

 

 

 

It was the season to laugh and be jolly

 

And the time to play in the snow.

 

But it was a sad time for me that year.

 

She wouldn’t be under the mistletoe.

 

 

 

We wouldn’t be watching a parade together,

 

From the very first float to the last.

 

I made many mistakes along the way.

 

And now our parade had gone past.

 

 

 

She talked about having quality time,

 

And times we could just hang out.

 

I insisted she was my very best friend.

 

But I gave her many reasons to doubt.

 

 

 

The Christmas lights in that bar were blurry,

 

The drinks were making me cry.

 

I hadn’t told her how much I loved her,

 

Yet I knew I was a lucky guy.

 

 

 

I was ready to go home and decide what to do.

 

I needed some time to think.

 

I heard a voice calling my name,

 

Then, “Cowboy, can I buy you a drink?”

 

 

 

I’ve never seen a face more beautiful.

 

She had returned and was smiling at me.

 

Now I’m a reformed and loving man.

 

I’m sure that’s the way it should be.

 

 

 

That’s my Christmas story,

 

I hope you take a moment to pause.

 

If she hadn’t returned there wouldn’t be Christmas.

 

If you don’t believe what I told you,

 

Just ask my wife, Mrs. Claus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning to Take Charge


Ice cream at Expo 2010
Ice cream at Expo 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Learning to Take Charge

 

“I want some ice cream,” the little girl said.

 

“No, it’s late and time for bed.”

 

“Can I watch t.v. for a little while?”

 

“O.k.,” said mom, “because you asked with a smile.”

 

The girl sat on the floor waiting for the news to end.

 

Dad sat down and waited for his program to begin.

 

“Why are you still up?” he asked the apple of his eye.

 

“Mom said I could watch a show or two,

 

But now that you’re here, I guess it’s up to you.”

 

“Could I have ice cream?” the little girl said.

 

“Sure, since you’re up.  Then it’s straight to bed.”

 

Mom returns after a long hot shower.

 

“Why is she up,” mom snaps, “at this late hour?”

 

There is little worse than righteous condemnation,

 

Especially since both contributed to the situation.

 

They go to battle because their rules aren’t applied.

 

The little girl learns to manipulate as time goes by.

 

Their friends choose sides and blame the father or the mother,

 

While the little girl plays one against the other.

 

She’ll be in charge when she becomes a teen,

 

But someday she’ll discover she’s not a real queen.

 

 

 

Baby Bee’s Night Before Christmas (Children’s Version)


A child wearing a bee costume.
A child wearing a bee costume. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Baby Bee’s Christmas

 

The hive was snug from the lid to the base.

 

The entrance was wide open for Santa, (just in case).

 

All the cracks had been sealed to shut out the cold.

 

Baby Bee was sleeping and good as gold.

 

The queen had inspected each and every frame,

 

Then she lined up her children and addressed them by name.

 

The youngest ones she checked closely and their noses she wiped.

 

“Is everything ready for Christmas?” she piped.

 

“If the decorations are finished, leave on a small light.

 

Santa Bee will be arriving sometime tonight.”

 

She ordered a plate of honey and pollen so Santa could be fed.

 

Then she hugged all her babies and tucked them in bed.

 

All were sleeping soundly when they heard such a clatter.

 

Santa Bee had arrived in the midst of a swarm.

 

His cheeks were all red and he looked very warm.

 

Dispensing gifts from his sleigh as he raced through the hive,

 

He was interrupted by a question, “Mr. Santa, can I drive?”

 

The other bees were shocked that Baby Bee would ask.

 

Santa Bee chuckled and let her help with his task.

 

All around the world this magical swarm flew.

 

Bringing sweet gifts to everyone they knew.

 

As they left each hive and while they were still in sight,

 

Baby Bee would shout, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

 

 

 

A Bee’s Night Before Christmas


Cover of "Bees (Denver Museum Insect Book...
Cover of Bees (Denver Museum Insect Books)

 

A Bee’s Night Before Christmas

 

It was the night before Christmas

 

And all through the hive

 

Bees were clustered together

 

Keeping warm and alive.

 

 

 

Three pairs of stockings

 

Were glued up for each bee

 

In the hopes that Santa

 

Would put gifts under a tree.

 

 

 

Each young bee was snuggled

 

Way deep in her cell

 

Dreaming of a honey flow

 

That the older bees knew well.

 

 

 

The queen was in her chamber

 

Guard bees sleeping close by

 

All of them as excited about Christmas

 

As a swarm on the fly.

 

 

 

The night was clear

 

The new moon was bright

 

Everyone knew for certain

 

Santa would be there that night.

 

 

 

When up on the roof

 

There rose such a clatter

 

The queen went with the guards

 

To see what was the matter.

 

 

 

On the roof they could see

 

A sleigh full of toys

 

Most of them for workers

 

Only one or two for the boys.

 

 

 

Eight bumblebees had been pulling

 

They made it look hard

 

Would Santa have the time

 

To reach each bee yard?

 

 

 

The driver’s face was red

 

From the cold (I suppose)

 

And icicles hung down

 

From the tip of her nose.

 

 

 

Her eyes were coal black

 

Her mouth made for smiles

 

She looked a little weary

 

She had traveled for miles.

 

 

 

Her coat was real thick

 

Made to keep her warm

 

Her wings were slightly tattered

 

From a late summer swarm.

 

 

 

She was quick as she placed gifts

 

Near where each bee lay

 

Then she pulled a beautiful tree

 

From off of her sleigh.

 

 

 

With a wink she said,

 

“These bumblebees are tired.

 

I’m looking for workers

 

Who want to be hired.”

 

 

 

Six volunteers jumped up

 

(they refused any money)

 

So she promised they’d receive

 

Extra stores of honey.

 

 

 

They darted out of the hive

 

And while they were in sight

 

Santa Bee buzzed, “A golden Christmas to all,

 

And to all a good night!”

 

 

 

Over almond orchards and clover

 

They flew on their way

 

They finished their task

 

Before Christmas Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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