Always a Rough Road Between Me and You

“The signs are always in front of you,”
my consciousness has said to me.
“Should have seen that crash coming
from a mile away,” he’ll chide,
when it was he holding the wheel.
I’ve always felt I was a sensitive,
preceptive guy, but where you
might be concerned, I have a cognitive
macular degeneration, a blind spot
smack dab in the middle
of my field of emotional vision.
Perhaps that’s why I never saw,
or maybe I just ignored, the warnings
you laid down for me to let up on the gas.
Even slowing down, though,
the intractability of my
runaway judgment still would collide
with your irresistible force.
The last time, I swerved
at the last instant to save myself
from the inevitable collision
between magnetic attraction and
multiple obsessive-compulsive injuries.
The big problem has always been
what I’d notice from the corner
of my eye as I’d swing past you.
Then I drive for days and days,
looking back into the rearview mirror
with that one eye closed, pondering if
your warning was merely another Caution
or a Detour/Do Not Enter.

For Day #11 of April 2018’s PAD Challenge, I was asked to write a “Warning” poem. Some people just don’t see the warning signs, or maybe they just choose to ignore them. Either way, they tend to regret it down the road. Life’s short, you’d do well to pay attention and accept with gratitude everything about your journey’s sights and sounds. Be a shame to miss some good stuff because you exited Life’s highway too soon. Or maybe you just should have walked.

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A Message Without Words

The western hemisphere of the Blue Marble.
Image Credit: NASA’s Earth Observatory

No birds do I hear
nor squirrels I see running
in the trees out back.
A sign that something’s coming?
Maples dropping leaves
in August is a surprise,
though not unheard of.
I’ve seen it with my own eyes
since I was a small kid
a time or two I would say.
But please tell which wind
would blow the bird songs away.
And shouldn’t squirrels
be stocking their year-end stores
in expectation
of winter’s cold at their doors?
The birds should still sing
if not all day, then morning.
If they don’t, is it
maybe some kind of warning?
Perhaps I see ghosts
or I’m reading ‘tween the lines.
While Fall’s weeks away,
calendars can’t read these signs
that weather’s changing,
even the animals can tell.
They’re telling us
in a language clear as bell
that maybe it’s time
to not just listen, but hear
the warning we’ve missed
that’s told all around this sphere.
They don’t know science,
but instinct sometimes trumps all.
Even animals know
we’ve fucked up our big Blue Ball.

The maples ARE dropping their leaves in August. And yesterday even I noticed the birdsongs had stopped, only the sound of crows remaining. I haven’t seen the squirrels and woodchucks that use my back yard as a combination supermarket and playground for days. I’m sure this is some anomaly, but even this vacuous scribbler can see our weather is changing…and faster than just Earth’s historical shifts. Ergo, I let Nature tell this little rhyming verse in links of five and seven syllable lines — the classic nature poetic form of the haiku.