Poetry: A Blaze of Glory

Warned ya: F-word used cuz I do.

A Blaze of Glory

I should be dead.
Hush! Be quiet.
Listen to me.

I shudda been dead years ago.
Every rock wall or cliff I ever saw
was for climbin’ up or down
got kinda hairy sometimes, ripped pants,
scrapes, scratches, and snakes
got bee stung once.

Every train was our ride, tracks for playing
and high trestles for wide river crossings.
A train’s comin’?
I knew two guys who
killed themselves
jumpin’ off a them bridges.

Every roof was to be jumped from
after a building’s been climbed, got
wrenched, twisted, and sprained —
never broken.

Me and Jimmy swam
butt-naked
in that filthy, dirty, Susquehanna
in our bathing suits, which means naked.
Immunity.

We climbed up shit.
Like towers, bridges, trees, buildings.
Shinnied up rusty poles. If we fell,
we’d die. Motivation!
If a train came, we’d die.

Fucking people jumped
from there
into the river
to kill their selves.
My uncle did – Dad’s brother,
Was his name? James maybe,
Something. Yes it was James. Same as Dad’s dad.
His sons said he was trying to save a dog.
Uncle Jimmy weren’t savin’ no fucking dog,
But glorious if he had.

We poached – fish. Got shot at!
Fuckers missed us – on purpose likely.
When you get shot at,
you hear the bullets buzz past.
Crack, crack,
buzz
buzz.
We left — pronto.
Fish were prolly scared anyway.

It was fun to be
scared. And nothing
scared us more than
death.
But Jimmy and me – we
would live forever.

Then Jimmy died
after heart surgery.
Took him off a machine that
breathed
for him – how fucking
inglorious!

I’ll die too.
Too fucking late for
glorious.
Or is it?

Tom died too. Jumped
off a tower. ‘chute didn’t open.
BASErs say gear malfunction.
Midnight. New Year’s Eve.
BASE jump. Glorious.

Jack died of fucking cancer.
He knew. He called me cuz
he knew. I knew too. When his
wife called to tell me. I
fucking couldn’t talk – I
went totally fucking Dumb.

Give me the Light Brigade.
Fuck pas. Gimme a rifle,
a cause, a revolution, a reason.
Fernando!

Teach me how to
die. All the lessons of
life – not one teaches
me how to die.

Love hard, live fast,
die old. But die for a reason.
If yer gunna die, have a cause.

¡viva la revolución!
Aces’n eights ain’t my hand.
I’m not motherfucking dead yet.

There’s more.
More to tell, more to do.

I toast my comrades: to their glory. Salute!

(Bill Reynolds, © 14 May 2018)

In life, there is a reason for each season. Look both ways and mind the gaps.

NOTES: While I think a poem should stand on its own without gloss, my editorial reconsiderations include these.

If you like, read the Charge of The Light Brigade (esp. last stanza) by clicking here.

Pas is physician assisted suicide.

Fernando is the song by ABBA, click here to listen.

 

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Poetry: Everybody Has a Mother

52 years ago.

Everybody Has a Mother

I had a mom. And I loved her too.
Then she died, as all mothers do.

Now I have this woman here,
Texas gal and hell-of-a-dear.
Not my mother, no siree,
Nor sister or brother, but oh is she
Mother to the progeny,
who are something
that’s part of me.

She is my lady,
you can see,
love ‘er to bits like a
long-time lover
should.
She’s their mother.
They all love ‘er –
she loves ’em too,
as mothers do.

I love her so,
And likewise them.

Mom o’ my children,
all Texas born.
Now all growed-up
with kin a their own
Tex-bred kids
of one kind or other.

We love ‘em all,
short, fat, skinny and tall.

We love ’em up,
but she Loves them
more than I,
‘cuz that’s what Moms
can do. Love them all
a lot, you see,
more than you and more ‘n me.

Daughter, sis, and cuzin to some,
Wife to me, a very special one
Good sport of a kind and sort,
Mom to three,
Oma to more.

Yolonda,
this poem, my dear lady,
is just for you.

(Bill Reynolds © 12 May 2018)

Y’all be lookin’ both ways cuz Momma be comin’ with a spoon.
Mind the gaps.

Poetry — NaPoWriMo: Her Three Cups

The day 27 NaPoWriMo prompt encourages me to pick a tarot card and then to write a poem inspired either by the card or by the images or ideas that are associated with it.

I know very little about tarot cards, and I have never had any kind of reading. I selected a card after reviewing what I could, most of which left me worse off than before I started. I selected the three of cups because after this only three more days will be left in the poetry challenge, three is a prime number, and three has significance in many areas such as religion, superstition, art, and even death. I also like cups, and the three woman pictured seem right. I’ve no idea why I have that thought. I am so not a mystic.

The tarot site said of the card, “Maidens in a garden-ground with cups uplifted, as if pledging one another. Divinatory Meanings: The conclusion of any matter in plenty, perfection and merriment; happy issue, victory, fulfilment, solace, healing, Reversed: Expedition, dispatch, achievement, end. It signifies also the side of excess in physical enjoyment, and the pleasures of the senses.”

Her Three Cups

She held out the cards and said to me,
“You must believe for this to work.”
I smiled to her and looked to see,
“This must work, then I’ll believe.”
Quiet and intense – she made us hot tea.

She poured, “Why so much, you refuse to believe?”
“I accept what is true, I trust in the proof.”
Spread out the cards as she said to me,
“I pick. Minds of deep doubt lead rarely to truth.”
She guided my hand, “This card you must see.”

Three maids with three cups meant nothing to me,
“Thrice blessed or so cursed, look close to this card.
For the rest of your life, the number is three.”
“What is this message? Must this be quite so hard?”
“It is what this is, and what you choose to believe.”

(Bill Reynolds, 4/27/2018)

Look both ways to find the truth.
Mind the gaps in the facts.

Click link to National Poetry Writing Month

Poetry (sort of) — NaPoWriMo: Warnings Cautions & Notes

The day 25 NaPoWriMo prompt encourages me to write a poem in the form of a warning label about myself.

For humor, I decided to twist the prompt a little. I also added too many warning memes for the same reason. Sorry. I hope you laugh. I did.

When I flew airplanes for the US Air Force we used (and carried with us while flying) many technical instructions, called tech orders. All military flying has similar things but may call them something different (i.e. Navy is NATOPS because thou shalt not out acronym the US Navy). The most important of these weighty volumes, now probably carried electronically, was titled a Flight Manual (dash-one in AF jargon). If yer familiar with this, you’ve prolly guessed where I am going.

My poem has three parts: warnings, cautions, and notes. (We had to memorize warnings and cautions.) I am using the same definitions in my poem.

Warnings are operating procedures, practices, etc., which, if not correctly followed, could result in personal injury or loss of life. Cautions are practices that could result in damage or destruction of equipment, loss of effectiveness, or long-term health hazards to personnel. I will add hurt feelings, pain, and tears to the list. Notes are things essential to highlight. The folks who write that stuff don’t just make it up. One never wanted to be the reason for a warning, caution, or note being added to a tech order. But this is supposed to be about me. I used third person, casual.

 

Just so ya know.

I – Warnings

Irrationally defensive of loved ones.
Capital punishment opposer,
…but willing executioner, if necessary.
45 years with US DoD, never kilt a body,
…but might try anything once.
Game to breaking rules & taking chances,
…not tough enough to be too stupid.
Drives safe and wears seat belts,
…but known to play road-rage roulette.

Goats are fake ewes.

II – Cautions

Given to fits of laughter for no reason,
…or at the most inappropriate times.
Thinks snarkasm should be Olympic sport,
…it’s his only chance for a gold medal.
Sheepishly grins at who thinks him harmless,
…often delights in being misunderstood.
Understanding & compassionate listener,
…until your whiney-ass is drama royalty.
He don’t hunt, fish, play golf, or ride a Harley,
…he writes poems, loves animals, & gots a soft heart,
… he’ll edgimacate any who sees it a weakness.

III – Notes

Thinks blunt synonymous with
…clear, concise, and brutally honest.
Loves to use foul language at random.
Likes to argue without knowing why.
Thinks Irish are the soul of humor.
Is way past old enough to know better,
…pretends to no longer give a shit.

Anti-masturbation?

(Bill Reynolds, USAF, Retired, 4/25/2018)

Can’t you see, Ah, Lawd, can’t cha see wha’ dat woman’s been a-doin’ ta me?
Look both ways, my way and yours.
Mind the gaps, cuz Ima’ways right.

It’s them damn atheists again.

Breathing is optional.

Doc asked me what motivated me to quit smoking.

Click link to National Poetry Writing Month

 

Poetry — NaPoWriMo: My Nod to Christopher Hitchens

The day 24 NaPoWriMo prompt encourages me to write an elegy – a poem typically written in honor or memory of someone dead. In this case, an elegy with hopefulness to it.

My Nod to Christopher Hitchens

In person, we have never met
I have not had the chance or honor
To smoke or share a drink with you
Or to ask you many questions,
Some risky business, that would be.
Now we never will.

Yet, I know you so very well
From reading what you so-well wrote
You told me all I need to know
With words of yours, still here with me.
You made the very best of it.
You lived and wrote up to the very end.

Because you were so deep in thought,
You always told the truth, even though
As you admit, you were often of two minds.
How I understand, and wish you were a friend
With your writing talent, you helped so many
You left behind a better world, filled with better words.

Now when I read about your lack of any creed
It makes me kind of smile, because I know
Wherever I go, I can keep you here a while.
So, when I read your cutting words, I see
And I feel you come alive. Back from the dead,
And into my head, and with me all the while.

(Bill Reynolds, 4/24/2018)

 

Look both ways to see the pages and read their very words.
Mind the gaps and skip no pages.

Click link to National Poetry Writing Month

Poetry – NaPoWriMo: Euphonious Rain

The day 23 NaPoWriMo prompt encourages me to write a poem based in sound. The poem could incorporate a song lyric in some way. Euphonious means pleasing to the ear.

 

 

Euphonious Rain

Listen…I Listen with my whole body.
I feel the sounds before I hear them.
They enter my complete being,
I’m mesmerized, tranquilized by sound.
Sounds go deep into my muscles and bones, I feel
enticing beats dive into my groin and pound my chest,
I inhale the rhythm, the beats and the measures.

I feel the music deep within me. As I hear it – I become it.
Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
as it taps above me. Hear the distant drum of thunder.
I am the rain, the tin roof, I release all thought.
My mindless feeling becomes alluring calm.
Feel the rumble and hear the night dance,
calling me into a sound-filled trance.

Into such a compelling sedative of sound
I let it enter, to hear the rain kiss me and touch me
deep within my being, it becomes my feeling,
my loving soul hears sounds of being alive.
To feel. To love. To be soothed. To hear and
Feel the rhythm of the falling rain calling to me.
Who’ll never stop the wondrous falling rain?

(Bill Reynolds 4/23/2018)

Look both ways on rainy days and mind the gaps and puddles.

Click link to National Poetry Writing Month

Poetry – NaPoWriMo: Who Invited You?

The prompt for day 22 of the 2018 NaPoWriMo challenges me to write a poem based on one of six statements asserting something impossible. The poem I write is to have the impossible thing happen. The statement I chose was, A mouse can’t eat an elephant. The elephant and mouse are metaphors for something big (me) and something small: a single cancer cell.

Who Invited You?

Who invited you? This is my party.
You have the wrong cell number,
You were discovered, disguised and in hiding,
Much too small for anyone to see,
And yet, you are a danger to me.

In this dance, docs will lead. I take the next step,
To erase the board and clean the house,
To take out the trash and to purge all the systems,
Flush out the waste and to remove all the danger.
You will be annihilated, to the last little cell.

In the end, you may win, but right here and right now,
the game plays on, and I’m doing the pitching
to cleanse you from my body and soul.
The hurt in me may not be known to you,
But my fear of you continues to grow.

The old man sitting next to me,
Willing to fight what he can see,
It’s you he refuses, cuz he sees only me,
Together we look for the end of the game,
Someday, maybe, not today, not today at all.

(Bill Reynolds, 4/22/2018)

Look both ways and keep your eye on the ball.
Mind the gaps and swing at the strikes.

Click link to National Poetry Writing Month