I’m Not Insane But They Won’t Let Me Free
Surrounded by white, velvet cushioned walls,
overlaid by speckled ceiling,
pale floor, cold white as iced snow;
looking beyond meshed-screened windows,
seeing others free to roam this city of pain,
wondering what they think, what they feel.
Wondering why they choose to be out there,
instead of here, where people like me are safe.
Safe to think thoughts without harassments.
Safe to utter ideas without ridicule.
The other day I wrote a book of intervals;
should be on the Best Seller’s list forever.
It’s a story about the morning dew,
and the morning don’ts.
About the leaves on a tree,
of others who leaves us behind.
Cars weaving in and out of traffic,
and dealers who traffic their drugs.
Then came the wimps, losers, and cry-baby’s,
and I wrote about the abandoned baby who cried.
How easy it is for man and woman to get a piece,
how hard it is to achieve world peace.
I had to stop;
my staff of white-sheeted workers
stopped by to make sure I stay healthy.
I have to take my medication,
so I don’t become ill.
Once I have, they are happy with me,
and no one has ill-feelings.
I like them when they are happy with me;
maybe I will give them a raise.
Getting back to my book,
the ending is really there.
One day I wake up and find out,
I was never really here.
There Is a Place
Not crowded, nearly desolate,
there is a place where big dog’s roam,
pick-up trucks sit around,
where young and old, stop and go,
and good ole’ boys chew the fat.
Old houses sit in silence,
sagging from age and emptiness.
Railroad tracks busted and rusted,
And an old barn turned movie theater,
long since taken down,
nothing more than a shallow memory,
where overgrown weeds and bush grass,
have taken root for time eternal.
But the store is still there.
In another lifetime,
Gas pumps stood tall at five cents a gallon.
soda pop was a nickel,
and Grandma lit up the place,
as Granddaddy made sure everyone got a fair shake.
The building structure in white,
was the happening place.
Whatever you needed,
But one thing about this place
money could never buy;
the sense of simply being.
Today, the building,
housed in flaked paint, rotted boards,
no gas pumps,
and business, sparse;
stands in the middle of the past.
Yet, like all years past,
it holds a place in unknown history.
where pick-up trucks stop,
good ole’ boys chew the fat,
and you feel you still belong.
(The piece is based on the photo above
though closed, the store still stands)
Sunrise until Noon
As the orange eye grabbed,
tugged and pulled itself to the sky,
twisting, blending colors appeared.
A lazy purple haze, soft yellows, and quiet pinks,
and crashing waves fell on an empty beachfront.
You feel joy walking with the morning,
as if seeing an old friend all over again.
Early morning finds strangers walking;
some running, some sitting, watching,
watching a sea-green wave froth to the shore,
marveling its quiet, magnificent power.
Midmorning surrounds visitors setting up shop,
each looking, searching for a place to soak up sun,
a place to lay food and drink,
a place where they connect with this all-powerful beauty.
Oh, be sure, the day is very young, and soon,
the beach for a far as your eyes take you,
you will see hundreds gathered along its shores.
call it the ritual of pre-nuptial summer.
By now it is noon.
The shoreline filled like a sardine can.
The people will take away your once-upon-a-time paradise.
But tomorrow with early sunrise,
it will belong only to you again.
The photo taken is Wrightsville Beach, NC
A Day at the Beach in April
The sun nearly at its highest point;
voices of vacationer’s echo above waves,
as water gently loams across tan-white sand.
People walk lazily,
as other’s simply sleep,
allowing heat to tan their flesh.
Young bodies, tight and beautiful,
flash their muscles or jog across wet sand.
Children, young and anxious,
cast stones into receding waves,
build their sandcastles,
scamper about squishing sand between their toes.
The older folks;
well, they move slowly,
in no hurry.
They just want to enjoy their time.
Further back lies a string of cottages,
each with their own piece of history.
One in particular,
reminds me of the Bates Motel.
The breeze from the ocean,
like a cooling smile,
is more like a warm touch,
by an unknown, unseen hand.
The rest of the world
hasn’t a clue of this place.
If they had,
the world would embrace this specialness.
For now, people walk,
kite’s fly high,
and the ocean continues to ride toward us all.
And today, calm is good enough.
I roamed the seas in search of true adventure,
never failing to woo a damsel’s heart,
or quell the rage of an enemy vessel.
Lo’, I was a man among the many;
then one night, age crept up on my bones,
and I died.
Traversing city streets in search of adventure,
failing to find real love,
or cure the sadness bound to my soul,
I walk the concrete city alone.
I am my own man,
And couldn’t hold the hurt inside me.
The empty bottle beside my bed,
tells the truth of my story.
Scanning the tele-prompter in search of adventure,
failing to find the perfect match;
selecting the next best option, I sigh,
thinking this will have to do.
Pressing vision-mode, my future is laid before my eyes:
pleasure the woman of my choice,
crush out tyranny of mine enemies,
or cure sadness of the heart.
To stop death would assure my future,
but I cannot.
“Only one short-lived moment to a customer,”
say the instructions.
Humanity begins with a cry.
A child born.
A child grows,
learns, becomes insightful,
Humanity as a whole,
have rules to live by,
but life has no rulebook,
nothing to explain the do’s and don’ts.
As a child grows to adulthood,
only two roads are favored.
One good, one not so good.
Both create change.
One road gives prosperity,
love of family,
love of a soulmate,
children to be blessed,
friendships to be cherished.
The not so good road leads to despair,
agony, self-pity, and loathing,
and forever lost.
Choices humanity make,
make all the difference in your future.
Where your long road home is right in front of you,
and how hard choices have to be made.
This road will be walked more than once,
for many reasons,
but know you at least have choices,
decisions that will alter your life.
This road will be filled with ruts,
cracks, dips, and bends,
all of which will make you stumble,
to make you trip and fall,
and you will fall,
and you will fail.
It is part of humanity’s destiny.
The decisions you make will be simple.
Sit where you fall and do nothing.
Go back where you started
and do the same old thing,
which again equals nothing.
Lastly, get up, dust yourself off,
keep moving, don’t give up,
especially on yourself.
It is a long road to home,
but home is worth the effort,
knowing with each step taken,
you were never really alone.
All those who love you,
and those whom you love,
have been with you from the beginning.
They have suffered with and for you,
and they wait at the end,
as you find your home.
When you finally arrive,
after countless times fallen,
after every temptation has grabbed at you,
that has screamed out your name to turn away;
know too, through it all,
your Creator has walked alongside of you.
home has never looked better.
Once you walk through those doors,
where love awaits.
Gramps and me were a team.
He’d wear overalls
and a yellow straw hat.
He’d pluck a piece of straw
from a bale of hay,
place it between his teeth just so,
stretch his hands upward to touch the sky,
eyes scanning the countryside.
For miles, whichever way you’d look;
it was all his.
I’d stand next to him, belt high,
biting my own piece of straw,
looking at the land,
mimicking his intensity.
Together, we’d board the old John Deere,
allowing me to crank it up,
and from twin pipes,
black smoke would belch into the air.
The old Deere would shimmy, rattle some,
then settle into one volume: loud.
Lindy, my collie, would bark excitement,
knowing what lay ahead.
Time to “head ’em up, move ’em out,”
Gramps would declare with his deep voice.
Before long, a mile or so from home,
John Deere bouncing steadily,
forty Guernsey’s awaited us,
as did the old red barn.
Lindy does her part,
barking out orders, giving direction,
until the cows are herded together.
We parked the old Deere,
milked the cows,
as Lindy stood watching for strays.
The morning passed.
The sun reached noon-time high,
as we herded the cows back to pasture.
Once again, sitting atop the old Deere,
Lindy, lying prone, eyes always watchful;
we made our way back home.
Billowing clouds of snow white,
backed by pure blueness,
found Gramps and me admiring the land,
and all it held.
and we knew we had done good.
Gramps is buried on the hill,
overlooking all that was his,
and another day begins.
I wake my grandson,
who, dressed like me,
is eager as I first was.
He calls to Little Lindy,
as we climb aboard the old John Deere.
We view the land which surrounds us,
and before the day is over,
we’ll know we’ve done good, too.
Ode to Silver Steel
Come each morning to star-filled nights,
wandering over countless highways,
black-topped, rutted dirt alike;
in summer’s blistering heat,
to wind-soaked torrents,
I ride my Silver Steel.
Silver Steel is my power,
my source of inner peace.
She clears my head,
steadies my soul,
makes me complete.
We have traveled every mountain,
striving to travel coast-to-coast,
kicking away rocks and dirt,
struggling to win,
because we never quit.
I have taken her to the gates of hell,
and she has braced herself and won.
We have both been bloodied and scarred,
yet, as a good friend should be;
Silver Steel never dies.
Too much pride.
I can’t help but admire her courage,
her sleek beauty, trusted strength.
Away from her she stands with pride,
waiting, almost calling out to me,
to take one more ride.
We have traveled the quiet,
we have prevailed over rocky times.
We have been pummeled by life itself.
Still, we move on down the road,
in search of a peaceful dream;
Silver Steel is my guide.
Throughout the years we have argued,
though Silver Steel never speaks.
She lets me know when she’s upset.
When we take a spill,
I will pick her up,
dust her off,
but she’ll not move until ready.
It’s her way of saying,
“We’re getting bloodied,
scarred and older;
take it easy.
I’ll get us there, just give me my due.”
She’s right, you know.
I take Silver Steel to parties.
With beer and laughter spilling about;
from the corner of my eye,
I spy Silver Steel proudly surrounded
with her friends as well.
We are the best of friends,
almost lovers if you will.
She has taken me to breathtaking heights,
places I thought I would never see.
Each day is an unknown adventure with her,
my Silver Steel.
When returning home,
from voyages we dared take,
I take my Silver Steel,
and gently sooth her inner soul.
While cleansing her figure;
I grin with pride,
as her chrome comes clean,
and her real name shines.
Harley is my Silver Steel.
It’s All about the 5
Being five, so young and alive,
and fifteen so it seems,
is a stepping stone
to one day being alone,
but at twenty-five,
you have to quit playing,
no more shuck and jive,
for the years are moving fast;
you just haven’t noticed yet.
Here it comes, thirty-five.
Do you have a family?
Or in prison for a crime?
Don’t let life fool you,
when forty-five slaps you in the face,
it’s your wake-up call
to get back into the human race.
Can you believe it?
Now you have something in common
with the interstates.
Your age is equal to speed.
Can you yet see the need?
You still have time;
find your niche in life.
Do you still have a husband or wife?
Sixty-five, the golden years begin,
you’ve gone from tall and strong,
to bent over and thin.
Look back on your life,
are you happy, content?
No? Too bad.
It’s far too late to vent.
what have you to show?
Not much you think,
as you take another drink.
Spouse and kids gone by the wayside,
living in shadows, the best way to hide.
Here you are at eighty-five,
simply amazed you are still alive.
You can’t see as well as days gone by,
your movements jerky and slow,
and deep down you feel,
there isn’t much time left to go.
But look at you,
slobbering spittle at good old ninety-five,
listening to a far-away fiddle,
and suddenly before the lights go away,
close your eyes for the very last time,
you remember what it was like to be young,
carefree and alive;
way back when,
when you were only five.
We All Knew Their Names
The King of the Cowboys,
rode into every home Saturday mornings,
with Dale, Pat, Nellybelle, and Bullet.
They would take on the bad guys,
ending with, “Happy trails to you.”
Gene Autry and his white hat,
Champion, his Wonder Horse,
would ride across your TV set,
with a song and blazing six-guns;
knowing in advance he always won.
There was Tonto and Kemo Sabe,
thrilling us with those days of yesteryear.
Paladin dressed in black,
a knight’s head on a business card,
the same emblazoned on his black leather holster,
and Maverick, playing the odds through Warner Brothers.
Johnny Yuma was a rebel,
he roamed through the west,
but he never met the Bounty Hunter,
Cheyenne Bodie, Bronco Lane, or Sugarfoot,
and Daniel Boone was before his time.
Although Johnny didn’t believe Zorro was ever real;
to me, he rode like a cowboy.
Saturday mornings and Sugar Pops,
hearing Jingles yell, “Hey, Wild Bill! Wait for me!”
They were mornings of adventure,
where the sun never set in the west.
Other cowboys come to mind,
each with their own code of ethics.
Bonanza had family traditions,
Gunsmoke upheld the law.
Those were the days.
The west holds a history,
for this easterner with dreams.
But thanks to cable and late-night reruns,
dreams come back again.
There are others who come to mind:
Wyatt Earp and his Buntline Special,
Cochise, with his Indian sense of justice;
The Rifleman, a single parent filled with pride.
Yes, we all knew their names.
To Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Gene Autry,
Clayton Moore, Jay Silverheels,
Richard Boone, James Garner,
Nick Adams, Steve McQueen,
Clint Walker, Ty Hardin,
Will Hutchins, Fess Parker,
Guy Williams, Andy Devine,
Guy Madison, Lorne Greene,
Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker,
Michael Landon, James Arness,
Amanda Blake, Milburn Stone,
Dennis Weaver, Hugh O’Brien,
Michael Ansara, and Chuck Connors.
A special thanks to:
William “Hopalong Cassidy” Boyd,
who always fought fair,
And George “Gabby” Hayes,
every hero’s sidekick.
Thank you for those thrilling days of yesteryear,
where action never ceased,
and good guys always won.
To paraphrase Gabby Hayes,
“Yer darned tootin’ yes sirre bob!”
Just a tad bit of Gabby Hayes
and a few “Tall Tales”