The ranch on which I hang my hat, though short on most the frills,
Is thirteen sections, give or take, of rugged trails an’ hills.
We call it ‘home’, our little world, our very own frontier,
Amongst the cattle, sheep an' goats; the varmints, hogs an' deer.
Today I watched the breakin' dawn an' whiffed the mornin' air,
A time I often set aside for things like thought an' prayer.
A Mockin'bird an' Mornin' Dove, an' other birds at play,
Were there to sing an' set the mood to start another day.
This mornin' saw the strangest thing, like time itself had merged,
An' all the souls who once were here, appeared an' then converged.
In swirlin' clouds of mist an' fog, right off the bluffs they rolled,
Till all had gathered in the glen, the modern an' the old.
The Indians, conquistadors, an' other ancient men,
The soldiers from this country's wars, an' cowboys from back when…
They all had come from yesterday to help me understand
Our link with those who came before, to heritage an' land.
A crazy notion, so I thought, that they could just appear,
But as the morning went along the reason got real clear.
They rode along with me that day to show me things I’ve missed,
The things I’ve seen a thousand times an’ some I’d just dismissed.
Those wagon roads of long ago, still evident today,
Are carved in rock an' rutted earth, not apt to wash away.
They linked the missions, forts an' towns those many years gone by;
An' left their mark for all to see, as modern times grew nigh.
The artifacts an' weathered ruins attest to yesterdays,
When others came an' lived their lives in very different ways.
We've seen their skill in arrowheads they honed from fired stone,
An' craftsmanship in beads an' tools they fashioned out of bone.
At ever turn and trail we took was something to remind,
The Maker must have had a plan laid out for humankind.
The Earth He made’s been feedin' us a half-a-million years,
An' used it's wonder, force an' change to challenge pioneers.
I do not know if they'll return or if they’ll feel the need,
But I’m prepared to ride the trail, where ever it may lead.
We all are spirits ridin’ time with bodies of the Earth,
Whose time has come to take the reins an’ offer up our worth.
The land has been the legacy we cultivate an’ reap,
The life has been the heritage our father’s fought to keep,
An’ we are bound throughout our time with those who came before,
To put our hearts and souls to it, and make it something more.
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.
Somebody keeps pulling on the rope to swing the bells
Don't touch it. Don't say it. Don't do it. Don't doubt it. Don't think.
Somebody handcuffs my steps. Somebody determines my boundaries.
Before I fully understand free will, there is a slap on my head
and phosphenes like stars that command my orbit.
Before I can recognize differences, there is a slap on my hand
right hand, not left hand...never ambidextrous;
and time out is isolation without a trial...and I learn
the fear of wrongdoing
remote-controlling my existence,
conditional on demand, predesigned
An aborted freedom escaping into the sewer
trying not to get it on the seat
I'm the observer of other lives, not mine
tied up and chained, in captivity
attempting to prove an alibi
for being alive.
No one cares
not even myself
Somebody pulls on the rope to swing the bells
It's dirty. It's ugly. It's bad. It's poo. It's sin.
commitments, commandments... Commandments, Commitments
Sometimes deception makes them ring in a low tone. Sometimes
I do what they say, and not what they do, and not what I want, and not what I think.
Through fragments of this duplicity,
and this duplicity,
I would be able to rebuild myself,
and Myself, into another hypocritical being;
and the intentional perversion of the self proclaimed truth,
or the liar paradox,
will be sovereign
leading to the use of tricks and cotton swabs.
When the remorseless hours run counterclockwise,
I would be happy through imaginary experiences,
consistently believed to be true.
Would I dare to examine the society in which I've been educated and raised?
Would I dare rip my skin...my flesh off of my bones?
How could I blame them? How could I possibly judge them?
Order and obedience in confabulation...in conspiracy...in complicity
If somebody keeps pulling on the rope to swing the bells
If I'm the only one guarding my own cell
If I'm the jailer, and the convict, and the crime.
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.
dadgum doctors, heads up their butts
poking, prodding, pricking skin
neurologist a psychopath
gets pleasure as electric volts pass through my body
family doctor showed little concern
made me paranoid about irregular heartbeat
EKG failed to determine cause
left me more in doubt than at ease
dentist like a character from Dustin Hoffman’s “Marathon Man”
the more pain inflicted
the more he rejoiced
deep root cleaning caused severe infection
bloodwork done by Vampira clones
labs filled with tubes and needles
results not shared with me
yet I footed the bill
optometrist an Oriental who moved so fast
didn’t care if the prescribed glasses worked
boo on you, dang aristocrats
waving your credentials
nurses so slow to respond
MRI promised on CD, but couldn’t be obtained
just like the blood tests, needed a “report”
doctors driving me insane
each should share my mental hospital bills
*Based on ongoing health tests and written for PD’s contest. Assignment Free Verse, 25 lines, category slam, sad and educational, title: Mental Hospital Bills
No where near a force of nature.
Challenging the things that are not for sure.
Building what we can survive.
A small measurement when we strive.
Lessons when it comes to strength.
Multiplying the time found in length.
Stop and learn the sound of weakness.
Hard to find when one is restless.
Improving in a mental task.
The answers are found when we ask.
Stamina is needed between me and you.
To perform bravely in all we do.
Losing the ability to rump for long.
You're out of shape comes in way too wrong.
The idea is to learn when ideas seem to fail.
The wrong action is to bail.
Thinking, thinking what could it be.
Will not solve the problem between you and me.
Practice is the best energy.
Memorize it and stamina will come naturally.
Like many precious diamonds,
Good teachers are hard to find
Yet sometimes one can discover
A rare and priceless kind,
It’s not like all the others
For it out-shines the rest
You know as soon as you see it
That this stone is the best,
A good teacher is that special gem
They do far more than teach
They make you feel, through learning,
There’s no star you cannot reach
In Art, they help you see differently
From new angles, not straight up and down
They make Geography an adventure
As the world you travel around
In History, they make you feel
You’ve lived and breathed the times
And Math is not sums, but puzzles
To stretch and tone your mind
In English they encourage you
To not just write, but feel
So that each one of your stories
Will read as if it were real,
If you ever have a question
You call and they are there
With patience and understanding
Your problems are theirs, they care
There’s usually one in every school
Superior to the rest
For they’re the ‘Star of Education’
And as such are totally priceless!
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.
*Sung to the tune of Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” Intended to be taken
“When are you gonna grow up?
It is in jail you will land
You’ll have to stay after class
And I’ll be talking to your old man”
“You know you can’t hold me forever
The last school bus is now due
You can’t rap my knuckles with your ruler now
Stand in my way and I’ll just run through
So nah, nah, nah…
“So goodbye, St. Joseph’s School
Where the ‘Sisters of Mercy’ were cruel
The Catholic school’s finally closing
The lunchroom’s stopped serving gruel
“I’m taking that bus, might never get off
Don’t want to face my Dad’s wrath
Oh, I’ve finally decided to free myself
And set out on my own path
So nah, nah, nah…”
“How can you earn a living?
You can’t even spell your name
You’ll be required to take some remedial courses
And stop playing silly head games”
“Maybe you’ll get a new convent
I hear there’s some room in Brazil
Students there might appreciate
A no-nonsense sister with a voice shrill
So nah, nah, nah…
“So goodbye, St. Joseph’s School
Where the ‘Sisters of Mercy’ were crude
The altar boys have been set free
The priests are no longer lewd
“I’d like to stay, watch them raze it
The site with torture imposed
Where skeletons still hide in the closets
Nevermore to be exposed
So nah, nah, nah…”
*For John Heck’s “Dear John” contest.
Those of us who attended St. Joseph’s just learned the school is being closed.
Although a good education was provided, some students were beaten there repeatedly.
I feel a good education was provided, but they went overboard with discipline.