In seeming innocence you lie upon the warm ochre
about the edges of the dust-strewn street,
a remnants of larger issues, crushed to just the right size by a killing blow.
Before the mob merged, before cat calls raised the hairs on the back of her neck,
she had been of a favorite pet, a cherished wife.
A mother now lays dead, brought down by the bloodlust of the men around her.
Today, the stones are coated rust-red with the blood as the of women of Iraq
are laid low by their husbands, sons, and fathers.
He reads voraciously
to his young children,
beholden and somewhat bewildered
by sweet progeny
their relentless leaching of his words
hungry baby birds, small peep teachings
He reads sporadically
to his father, articles from the paper,
headlines and bylines,
for his dad has cataracts, now, and velum hands
shake newsprint, making a rattling sound
too like the quiver of their cloistered skeletons,
all those remains, all those remains
There is wisdom in comics, he has found,
bucolic rings so like old church bells
tutoring fields through fog
He still tries to read
shared history in eyes,
the geography of long sighs, that topography of belly,
yes, yes, a theology that spills from parted lips
bless each rumpled sheet, that chemistry
which repeats poetry, spoken in a dialect, so rare
He remembers reading an encyclopedia
in the face of a beggar, once,
the prophetical sparking from high brows
which seemed to be only crossed currents,
a lifetime recorded, an unbound edition, A through Z
but when he turned carefully to C,
he'd found a full entry on compassion
Soon, he'll no longer read music notes
through a soft blur, playing guitar for one
a thousand times more educated then he,
this twelve year old girl, her heart
an open lecture hall,
that smile of pure academia,
may she ever be an opus angelorum,
that reaches, will ever reach,
far past mere hospice walls.
written 25th Oct 2013
I don't know if human's will ever see
every soul born, is right where it's meant to be
For the rich to become the richest
there has to be a place for the poorest
The entire world is built up from the same level, dirt
each soul is born without knowledge to cause hurt
Humanity teaches us what a human's life is worth, by money and glory
I am to believe "all lives are priceless, every soul fit's to tell Earth's story
The luckiest to be born, is that of a poor man
he learn's the treasures, of "everything he can
Those born into all riches, have no true understanding of "richness
seeing us not as human's, but those living in poverty "as an illness
Love start's from the soul, and from there, it is taught to grow
the rich find another kind of love, one only brought with dough
Love, trust, compassion and grace, defining the difference in richest and wealth
t'is the beggar off the street, who climbs the toughest road to earn his wealth
He is the most blessed man, he is rewarded with the most valuable key
for his wealth, is humanly "uncountable, for only God know's the value of he...
Authored by Chuck Keys
It had no color,
Lacking shape, size and dimension.
It wasn't moving or breathing.
There was neither aroma nor taste, not here or there.
Touching was useless because it wasn't physical.
It was indistinct and limitless.
Multi-sensually and multi-psychologically
It wasn't here or there and it was.
With no distinction,
It looked like everything else,
Or it could not have looked like everything else.
It never made me feel good nor bad,
Nor happy nor sad
Nor quite nor trite.
In our world of joy and destroy, we sort and distort,
Looking more on the surface and less on the inside,
Ready to judge and be judged from outside in.
The "oneness" of mankind stretches beyond definitions and limits,
From outside to inside and from inside to outside.
We are one distinct and alike world of "oneness."
Differences exist for differences,
Therefore, differences don't exist.
Only "oneness" exists.
This poem is dedicated to Dr. Clayborne Carson and The Gandhi-King Community,
For Global Peace with Social Justice in a Sustainable Environment.
There once was Castle just over the hill
That belonged to a King with an iron will
Nestled safely behind his Castle wall
With an army to insure they wouldn’t fall
It was clear for the entire world to see
Destiny would record him in history
The richest King in all of the land
A beautiful Queen at his right hand
He ruled the land from shore to shore
Tell me, “Could any man ask for more”?
Turns out this King had just one vice
He was so great he forgot to be nice
Against any force he was bound to win
So the devil attacked him from with-in
Such a great King skilled with the sword
Much too great a King to turn to the Lord
Watched his entire Kingdom crumble away
Because he was to great to kneel and pray
Resounding echoes awaken the child
demons in the attic beckon unto him
stark fear grips his Vick's laden chest
shivers vibrate rusty springs of down
footsteps creak closer upon loose floorboards
while steamed filled pipes play taps
a somber teddybear snarls
causing the world to be still
foolish nuns, God doesn't want to "get me"
the sting of a ruler splinters a left hand
blood spurts upon faces of laughter
evil little boy too wicked for a mother
affliction runs in the family
Florence became flop because she always fell
polio never whipped her ass
just abused her now and then
she healed with a smile
Even humility has its price
Jimmy Dean wore sunglasses
maybe his eyes were bloodshot
or maybe he was a child of an alcoholic
and they became part of his attire
degenerate eye disease, masturbation
spattering or battering
does it really matter when you can't see
or understand the difference between ADD and ADHD
Psych 101: Crack can be Prozac
Iron gates surround a new residence
protecting the innocent who peer from outside
rehabilitation means refining bad habits
like those on the outside who have mastered them
twelve years of bars and games people play
provide an education unto itself
seclusion can be the deciding factor
between murder or suicide
self righteous judges choose life
recidivism is a revolving door
of vicious cycles with no engines
only propellers called co-dependants
or co-defendants, take your pick
life repeats itself over and over
only the circumstances change
yet the merry-go-round stops
when the flowers are arranged
Why are most tombstones gray
scared, afraid to die
are you saved?
from what, ourselves
you can't hurt me
Bob Shank-Nov. 30th, 2006
I suck at dying poems
Chemo poems, Metastatic Cancer poems,
Hair falling out in the shower poems
And I told a half truth
When I told you I could write you one
In less than six months (It's been eight)
I apologize for being so late
I wanted your poem to be pink and graceful
Like those ribbons
I see all over the internet
Filled with cheesy generic rhymes
That read like a Hallmark audition
But already my metaphors are melting
And my similes are getting soft
I guarantee you the rhyme meter will be off
When I went to Google
And the typed in the word 'happy'
Three billion links came up
Not a single inference to
Breast cancer, hair loss
No redirects to mastectomies
Yahoo wasn't any kinder
The only thing research could teach me
Is that a good day on chemo
Is when your stool doesn't come out tar Black
And has no blood in it
Or when your urine
Smells better on Wednesday
Than it did on Tuesday
Sleeping less than 12 hours
When 24 would be better
America has more poets
Than it does alcoholics
And Pot smokers combined
And you chose me to be
Your Breast Cancer
Trusting me to write a poem
About the biggest battle in your life
So I refuse to finish this poem
Without something bright and hopeful
And don't think
I didn't notice your Facebook activity
Had decreased by 88%
In the last three months
And you aren't really
Coming to any more of my poetry shows
Ever again. Are you??
But we still have March, April
But even if you had one breast
Or no breast
Or if you had less hair than I do
I promise to look only in your eyes
And never ever even notice
Or even think about it
And never for a moment
Would I feel sorry for you
Yes I suck at lying too...
But I don't suck at loving you
Or at hoping you wake up tomorrow morning
With no Cancer at all
And that The Eiffel Tower will be right outside
Your bedroom window...
And I would be right there with you
Holding your hand while we look down on Paris
And you can impress me with your French again
And if I ever make it
To the Pulitzer Poetry board
I might lose a thousand points
Just for this poem alone
And my hopes for the prize will be smitten
And some old person
With white hair will say
That was the worst love poem ever written
There exists a world where the traffic lights don’t work….
Welcome to the Slums
We the slum dwellers…
The ones condemned at birth by virtue of our parents biting poverty
The ones with no prospects, no options, no apologies
This is our story….
Morning light ushers in a crude awakening to realities
better left in nightmares.
The dash to the community bathroom - for those brave enough to risk
tainting by the oozing, bubbling faeces (provided of course that
they have the cash to pay for the toilet)
The rest of us make use of polythene flying toilets –woe unto
anyone passing nearby.
Forget about breakfast – meals are a luxury
Next stop: Trek to the industrial area
Goal: To find any work needing muscle and employees too poor to
care about meager wages and industrial law.
Sweat, sweat, and more sweat. Work overtime, without protective gear, without lunch break, without job security. And for what – peanuts.
Hand-to-mouth: Live for the day.
The wheel of poverty rotates at superhuman speed. Alighting
equals death – death in the form of the way out -
Boy child: Criminal gang
Girl child: Sea of prostitution
The only reprise comes from the misfortune of others.
Siphoning fuel from a tanker, death is death is death, be it from petrol burns or starvation.
Tapping electricity from faulty lines – it’s not as if the council will
willingly connect us with the commodity.
Being used as mercenaries by greedy businessmen and powerful politicians – work is work, right?
Free primary education –don’t make me laugh.
Rapes, murders, theft –just another day gone by.
In a world where people are a rule to themselves, only one rule remains:
Do what you have to do to survive another day.
All the little bunnies were lined up for a race. Why, you may ask?
Because the dear old Leader Bunny was stepping down with grace.
He had led the others for years without disgrace, in all pursuits.
He was their advisor, friend, and confidant... solver of disputes.
Such a lofty position was dearly sought by all…from all around.
But he could pick only one to wear that lofty, wonderful crown.
So a race was determined to quickly resolve, the question therein.
And a lovely little laurel crown was offered, to the one who did win.
Now many strategies to win emerged from within the race.
The most common was the notion to set the fastest pace…
A few would use tricks that might hurt, in order to slow others down.
A few were mean, for they wanted the power that comes with the crown.
Two were clever and would catapult each other at the very end.
A few just practiced running to gain the added stamina needed to win.
Only one little rabbit found shoes for the poor, for it was a rocky trail.
And when the race began he helped those hurt in the prevail.
Now the dear old leader had never actually worn a laurel crown.
His had been symbolic; his works had brought him his renown.
When the Leader Bunny gave the laurel crown to he who won the race…
Only a few were surprised, when the little helper won the Leader’s grace…
Though some would go on to complain because he had come in last…
It truly takes someone who knows how to serve, to lead and guide the rest.
But my moral to this story is that…. Regardless what some may think…
It takes compassion to correctly lead…and sometimes the last can be the best…
In the wet sand
Footprints of gulls, and man
Disappear in the tidal dance
In the red dust
Feet of man, and horses
Up in canyons, leave no trace of
In the garden
Of such delightful scents
In spring and summer by winter
Of human life
Throughout world's history
However, are reported upon its
Of wins and woes
Like hand prints upon walls
Can't be erased, for their foothold