The further twisting of this twisty tongue,
made of words homegrown and appropriated,
has gone unabated since I was young,
and some I have even procreated.
I guess that’s the price for a language loose
as the American vernacular.
I’m fine with words made up by Dr. Seuss,
but it’s the disuse I find spectacular.
You may not notice how the public speaks
as they hear language on TV mangled.
In texts their lack of care or knowledge peaks.
I gave up on participles dangled.
I’ll still weep for Mother Tongue, totally annoyed,
whenever I hear, “completely destroyed.”
Day 24 of my poem-a-day quest, which I’ve already completely destroyed…uh, I mean…
Oh, and the prompt for today was a poem with a title beginning with “Complete…”
I’m certain right now we all can’t agree
that things around here surely aren’t okay.
Online attacks, shootings, guys taking a knee,
we’re messed up in a state of disarray.
I’ve seen a lot in my decades of life,
stuff that made us crazy, yet always great.
Our history reveals days full of strife,
yet we’ve survived those times of raw hate.
But right now I’m scared of what might yet come
from the Us versus Then, Win or Die throng
that shouts down compromise like it’s dumb,
“If you aren’t leaning our way you’re dead wrong.”
Dead wrong or just dead by uncivil fray,
this new United States of Disarray.
Day 14 of my NaPoWriMo poem-a-day challenge. Supposed to be a “state” poem. Fuck that. Just know that I HATE politics, having worked closely outside and inside that disgusting sausage factory. So I always make it a point to not take sides. I’m just pointing out right from wrong. Right now, too many people are just behaviorally wrong. Let’s at least try, for our nation’s (and world’s) sake, to step back, take off our myriad hats, and work together to restore this to being a nation OF the people, BY the people and FOR the people…ALL of the people. I pray we can do that before I die and my granddaughters miss out on what I was lucky enough to share (at least I believe I shared to the best of my being) in my lifetime.
This stuff is killing me, keeping me awake at night and spinning my already hideous gyre of depression into a deep-dive death spiral. It’s crippling me. If some day soon, you notice I don’t visit you anymore (as I’ve seen myself approaching more and more lately) you’ll know all of this strife has become just too much for me and I can’t be me anymore. Today’s poem was not that me.
Apparently I have nothing more to say,
but it’s not only words that will not come.
My heart that bled ink for you ev’ry day
is but a husk now, empty, voiceless, dumb.
I’ve fought like hell and I’ve just let it go,
like a man breaking a horse to saddle
Used all the old tricks, still my heart shakes no,
no longer a poet’s heart. A rattle.
And so I leave you, unfortunate few,
another will take this place, I’m quite sure.
Wordless poets might as well bid adieu,
after we’ve given up finding a cure.
And so to this disease I’ve fallen prey,
even love has failed to heal me today.
I’d ask your name, but I already know.
It’s who you are behind it I forget.
Or perhaps I never really knew, so…
Maybe you are someone I’ve never met.
I’ve forgotten so many old faces,
their names have nothing to hang onto there.
Though sometimes I’ll enter these old places
and recall how that light danced in your hair.
Some tell me this is part of growing old,
losing the treasure of recollection.
But that faculty has long since grown cold
since I felt the sting of your rejection.
So here by this window I sit and write,
of you nonexistent, and times so bright.
Back from making new memories with a sweet little girl in North Carolina to this cold space where I forget so much. Some worth the forgetting. Some not. Which, I can’t recall.
Down the hill Winter bleeds unabated,
leaving behind the wounds we couldn’t see.
With all the trees gone I guess we’re fated
to find a pond where a pond shouldn’t be.
The ground’s still frozen ‘neath its epidermis,
so there’s nowhere but down the hill to go.
Up on top is where the earth’s the firmest,
but down here we’ve an inch of melted snow.
It’s nothing new, just how it goes come Spring
or whatever passes for that these days.
Lately you never know what March will bring,
another blizzard or mid-Summer haze.
It could end up the latter or former,
even both, since we’ve made Earth so much warmer.
If you want to argue or troll, find another poet. I’m too old, too sick, too tired and too sad to get in a pissing match about this.
I guess I’m not the only one who’ll keep
voice mails from the departed on my phone.
To hear one say my name might make me weep,
though to not hear makes me feel too alone.
Some may find this morbid, maybe even sick,
hearing a loved one’s voice as from above.
But for me it’s a special kind of trick
where I listen and think I hear their love.
Sure I’m kidding myself when I press PLAY,
like I’m kidding you, if this far you’ve read.
This voice you’d know if you heard it today.
See, I only said departed, not dead.
I’ll play this call when my heart gets too blue;
then I’ll hear the one I loved and lost…you.
I’m trying to write something happier
something outside of the same old dark stuff.
Problem: I don’t wish to sound sappier,
but convey more than a dog barking “Ruff.”
I said, “Joe, what would make you feel better?”
But the answer didn’t make itself clear.
I knew maybe when my whistle’s wetter…
So I went to the kitchen for a beer.
Sustained, I sat to make happy happen,
but just beer alone can bring on a yawn.
The next thing you know this poet’s nappin’,
rhyming “yawn” with the sound of wood sawin’.
So my hope to write you a poem of joy
lies delayed beneath your sleeping old boy.
I’m trying’ to fake it ’til I make it. Make it out of this long running depressed state. So in a stab at my own form of cognitive behavioral therapy, I figured maybe if I could express some joy in a poem, I might catch that wave out of this eddy of woe. Let’s just say I feel a little more near its perimeter. Hope I made you grin a little. THAT makes me feel better.