Spin Cycle

(2 rights don’t make a wrong)

Fathers and sons
Caught up in a spin cycle
Heavy loads with
Temperatures rising
Debating euphemisms
And imagined truths
Ideologies
In a whirlpool
spun out and
Hung out to dry
In a world pool.
No fluff.

Ancestors agitated
Visionaries aggravated
Fruit-of-their-loins
Clotheslined by
Societal “norms”
So oxy clean
They’re oxymorons.
More on principle
More fodder for the principal.
Old school
New school
Home schooled
School of hard knocks.
No time for recess.

Cool down
Tumble
Tumble
Low heat
But never quite dry
Never really clean
Slowly revolving
Quickly evolving

Wash.
Rinse.
Repeat.

 

Paragon (poem for mom)

I go there often.

To visit.

I enjoy the after hour quiet when night falls and the crowds leave.

On some visits I laugh hysterically – On others I go to cry.

But with each visit I’ve come away comforted when I was hurt,

Hopeful when I have been doubtful,

Encouraged whenever I chanced to dream.

She has always been an icon of strength, chiseled from fine marble.

She stands erect, polished and poised upon a pedestal.

For years I have stood in the security of her shadow

Admiring her form,

Aspiring to be like her.

I have visited during the daylight hours—

Watched others ogle her, listened to their whispers.

There were many who admired her passion and beauty, and Her spirit,

But they moved on.

Lately, I look at her and wonder. –

Did the stress of the throngs, Pawing and staring

Produce the minute cracks around her eyes?

Are her critics to blame for the fractures across her brow?

Or is it my pains that weigh too heavily on shoulders

I thought were unbreakable?

Perhaps it is simply the minute hand in motion

That chips away at the base of the pedestal I built for her.

I want to cushion her and pack her away before she topples and breaks.

But such actions would only extinguish her smile.

I am inclined to encase her in glass, Distance her from the masses,

But that would merely dim the light that glimmers in her eyes

And prevent her from touching others

As she touched me.

No, I think I’ll let her stand

—removed from her pedestal.

Perhaps I’ll notice that she is only human.

None the less, I’ll always love her.

for Marlene Handy, January 1936-October 2014

Wishing you Joy in the New Year

At the end of every year  I try to purge old files and do a general cleaning of my office and inevitably I come across something that I had tucked away in a book, a corner, or a drawer that I was going to get to “later”. This year I uncovered a few poems from an old friend that I have not seen nor heard from in many years. 

We both belonged to a writer’s group that met up every couple of months or so and as writers do, we exchanged thoughts, fleshed out ideas, shared our writings, encouraged each other, and practiced our craft. It was great fellowship and highly inspirational. I don’t know where she is these days but this poem is the PERFECT opening act for this New Year. And I’d like to use her words to express my sentiment for you in 2014.

BTW, if anyone out there knows Lori C. Fraind, tell her I’m looking for her and would love to read her new works.

********************

Insist

On joy, Consist

Of joy. Persist

With joy. Be kissed

By joy. Exist

In joy.

Smudge your forehead

With joy. Beat your breasts

With joy. Splash your pulse points

With joy. Get joy

Under your fingernails.

Make joy

Your fragrance. Your best protection

Is joy. Your most powerful suit

Is joy.

Let the dawn

Bring joy. Make the day

Bright joy. See the sunset

With joy.

Your best revenge

Is joy. Bridge your differences

With joy. Hurdle your obstacles

With joy. Meet your challenges

With joy. Leap headlong to your goals

With joy.

Exist

In joy. Be kissed

By joy. Persist

With joy. Consist

Of joy. Insist

On joy.

–Joy, 1996