Thursday, June 22, 2017

Gulch Jumpers

We use to jump through puddles 
In the springtime 
In the rain.
We laughed and then got yelled at 
When our mothers saw 
Our soaking shoes.
We spent our teenaged summers
Jumping gullies 
Falling short. 
We laughed and we got yell at
For our dirty 
Dungarees 
Our chasm grew much wider 
When the leaves 
Began to fall. 
We laughed a little less and yet 
The yelling 
Had been stilled. 
Now wintertime approaches 
And our gully 
Is a gulch. 
And I don’t have the energy 
To jump
To laugh
To yell
To cry.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Awake at Midnight

Watching walls…
         Awake again 
With midnight creeping past my door.
Mind awash with daylight dread, 
Thoughts unsaid, 
        Sad regrets.

A million ways to make amends
For slights and slashes of the tongue, 
Songs unsung or sung so much 
They cannot leave my hollow head.

Nagging hunger for a slice of
Humble pie as recompense. 
Trying hard to make some sense of 
Arguments and quarrels.

Oh, the horror.
         Ah, the humor. 
Steeped in rumored innuendo 
Meant to send no earthly message 
For the masses to ignore.

Oh, that I could clear my head of
Past regrets, 
         Future frets. 
Perhaps I would not find myself alone 
        Awake at midnight.


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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Trust

I will not question your remiss.
You cannot help your folly in
A frenzied, fashioned, frivolous
Profusion of profession.

Within a welt of weariness
Without a weathered wariness
You seethe a certain innocence
That escalates confusion.

How could I doubt?
Why should I shout?
What kind of lout would question?
To taunt or mock
Would cause a shock
But garner no confession.

I will not cry
Or alibi
Or grumble in disgust.
Sometimes the fat
Is rendered to
A simple act of trust.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Blessings Abound

My humble life has been so blessed
In myriad of ways, 
I offer up a thankful prayer 
For every breath I take. 
So many acts of thoughtfulness 
And debts I must repay 
To friend or foe or family 
Or just for kindness sake.

I lift my gaze up to the clouds 
And somewhere far beyond, 
To all of those who’ve gone before, 
Who entered Heaven’s gate, 
Who searched for something to believe
But ended all too soon, 
And took with them a comfort 
That had always been their fate.

Blessings are not hard to find, 
They’re scattered all around.
One only needs to look inside
To see where they abound.


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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fleet Afoot


The racing speed of a desperate cheetah…
The delicate grace of his fleeing prey…
With deft and defiance an agile surfer 
Angles the crest of an angry wave.

High-stepping kickers on pitch, field or rink 
Leap with dexterity, race to the goal…
Turning the tables to stem the aggression… 
Quick to defend… Eager to save.

I stand in amazement, 
Staggered in awe, 
Cheer for the effort 
As if it were mine. 
Praise to the winner, 
Bask in the glory. 
Sharing a toast, let us 
Savor the wine.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Life Goes On

If the end is the beginning and
The portal must be breached,
Then the search need not fall heavily 
Upon the beaten masses who
Sit and weep and keep the vigil 
Deep into the night, 
Who cast their gaze toward heaven til 
The hopeless feeling passes.

And you and I bear witness 
And stalk uneasy truths 
And wonder at the wonder of 
The awful wondrousness. 
Dare we pose the question? 
Dare we to offer answer? 
Are we somehow at fault and 
If we are, do we confess?

For every sparkling dewdrop 
For every baby’s cry
For every lilt of laughter in
A halt and brazen world 
There lives a new beginning 
There lives a sad goodbye  
A bittersweet dilemma 
As the story is unfurled.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

A Heavy Price

Danger is a constant force 
That presses ever closer 
When goals come into focus and 
The prize lies just ahead. 
Tiptoeing around it would be 
Prudent if not easier than 
Bulling past with helmet lowered 
Striking head to head. 
Lying dazed and shattered 
Hazed and tattered from the battle, 
Hearing sideline prattle wanting 
Desperately to know. 
Did I cross the goal line as 
The seconds ticked to nothing? 
Will I ride on shoulders or 
Is this the final show? 
Heroes are just suckers 
Offered up for sacrifice, 
Willingly forsaking as 
They pay a heavy price.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Scary, Scary

Monster faces…
        Scary, scary…
Moaning, wailing 
        In the night. 
Bloody hands reach out 
        In darkness 
Searching for a 
        Throat to squeeze 
Til every ounce of 
        Precious life 
Has left the soul to 
        Take to flight, 
Every thought snuffed 
        Into blackness, 
Life stilled with 
        Delightful ease. 
Damn you, Monster! 
        Damn to Hell 
Your crass satanic 
        Evil ways. 
I defy your 
        Midnight revels, 
Stand with dagger, 
        Sword and shield. 
Ready to defend 
        My castle
With my last 
        Remaining breath. 
Breathe your fire. 
        Do your worst. 
I shall never, 
        Ever yield.


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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Low-balled Again

Blanked and bewildered by 
Low-ball deception, 
Cranked up and shanked with 
A shiv to the gut. 
Offered up lamb-like to 
Bare pagan ritual, 
Left like road kill to 
Rot in the rut. 

You might have thought I would 
Learn by now to 
Stay out of the waters where 
Sharks tend to tread. 
But blinders and short-term 
Memory lapses 
Beckon for strangers to 
Crawl in my bed.

I take exception, 
Protest in anger. 
No matter the offer from 
Stranger or friend. 
My eyes won’t falter. 
My will won’t wither. 
I will never be 
Low-balled again.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Ambush

Who would have guessed it? No one suspected.
You, so lucid, so docile, so meek, 
So filled with scruples, so bent on tolerance,
Never suspected of vengeful bones.

But truth is a bitch who knows no remorse, 
And facts lie before us in humbling rote. 
You, in your passion, committing atrocities 
No one who knows you could ever foresee.

Now in reflection I see you rehearsing, 
Running your lines again and again. 
No room for error. No turning back now. 
Focused obsession your only meal.

Keep your head down and be very still. 
Become invisible. Don’t make a sound. 
Silence and stealth frame an alliance 
Able to bring down the largest of prey.

Wait for your moment to leap from the shadows. 
Pounce with a fierceness that overwhelms 
The bravest heart, crushing resistance, 
Crumbling will like an axe to the skull.

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Old Man

Look at you. You are amazing.
There must be a thousand stories buried deep 
Behind that face. Every wrinkle proudly earned, 
Every crease a battle-scar.
It wouldn’t launch a single ship, 
But tells a tale of odyssey. 
Furrowed deep by sun and smoke, 
Brow and cheeks reflecting but a memory 
Of taut and toned. 
The mirror can be so unkind. 
Burying the past behind a mask so heavy 
That it’s only seen in pictures taken somewhere 
Far away. 
Long ago.

Hard to picture in my mind
You running, skipping, hurdling, 
Making sweet love in your prime, 
Bent to set the world on fire. 
Beg me listen to your story. 
Let me nestle at your feet. 
Teach me. Guide me to your wisdom. 
I have so much yet to learn.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

One Last Word

Let me say just one more thing 
Before I rest my quill and muse. 
I’ll make no apologies to those 
Bewildered or bemused by 
The uncluttered caterwauling 
Found within these simple lines 
And pages to exemplify 
Opinions that are clearly mine.

You may love or hate or view 
My words with bland indifference. 
Mayhap you feel I castigate 
With malice or impertinence.

But wait.

I hold no malice in my heart 
For any who might bid me same. 
To issue harm or cause alarm 
Are items that I dire disclaim. 
But dare not test the limits 
Of my patriotic verve. 
It is resolute, with absolute 
Perpetual reserve.

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Decades

Our lives are made up of decades 
From zero to ninety-nine.  
When we recollect the “Good Old Days” 
It is how we measure our time.

Think back on the roaring twenties: 
Prohibition, speak-easies and flappers. 
Then it all fell apart in the thirties, 
The depression distressing that chapter.

The forties did not fare much better. 
The whole world was a sad battle song. 
Then the fifties saw wars, both hot and cold. 
Thank God! Rock and roll came along.

The sixties saw turmoil with mobs in the street. 
The age of assassins. The pain of defeat. 
The seventies brought our resolve into question, 
And Disco and leisure suits were the obsession.

The eighties and nineties were on cruise control 
As if common sense may have returned to the fold. 
So many lessons. You’d think we would learn.
But we just stalk the sidelines 
And watch decades turn.

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Cross Country

Sometimes you just want to hop on 
That Harley and head off to nowhere 
With no given plans, 
Or leap on a slow-rolling freight train 
To hide and ride thousands of miles 
Across vast open lands.

A countryside long and wide 
Ocean to ocean, border to boundary 
To mountainside, 
City to forest to desert and canyon 
From dawn’s maiden brilliance to eventide.

You may fly through bright clouds 
Laying claim to her wonders, 
Drive her highways and byways in every detail, 
View her marvels and monuments, 
Forests and foundries, 
Follow her mysteries 
Down every trail.

Whether by train or plane, auto or boat, 
No matter how long or how far you may roam 
Across this great land, in all of its splendor, 
One thing is certain: 
There is nowhere like home.

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My Enemy, Myself

Are you my enemy  
Or are you friend? 
Where will we be 
At the end of the day? 
Our pathways are certain to 
Cross many times 
In the struggle and scuffle 
Of life’s great mêlée.

We face across battle lines 
Stranger to stranger 
In xenophobic eccentricity 
Foregoing the foreboding that 
Logic commands, or anything 
That might escort tranquility.

Reason suggests that 
Accord is in order. 
Garner fresh compromise 
Down from the shelf. 
I search in the mirror 
To find your reflection. 
Epiphany unveils 
My enemy. 
Myself.

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Enduring Peace

“What might it take to achieve and preserve the enduring peace that the world deserves?”

“It would take much more patience than we ever have known. We would need to grow wiser than we have grown.” 

“Why must the world be forever at odds? Are our differences such that we cannot agree?”

“Our differences never should keep us apart. After all, we are all part on one family.”

“Are we then doomed to be ever embroiled in the conflict of nations, bent to destroy?”

“The nation of man knows no boundaries or borders, which all of God’s creatures are meant to enjoy.”

“So, I must ask again. Please, tell me, my friend. Will the struggles of war ever cease?”

“When the greed of mankind can leave loathing behind, we may then find enduring peace.”

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

A Constant Vigil

The watchman stands punctilious guard 
As his charges rest in sweet repose. 
He speaks no word, makes not a sound 
To stir the hush as darkness grows.

His mission clear: to still all fear to 
Grant them winsome peaceful sleep. 
His warry eyes rest on the prize, 
Relentless, as he tends his keep.

Woe to those who dare to breach 
The borders he is sworn to tend. 
No interlopers penetrate 
Where he has chosen to defend.

And so must we all watchful be 
With steadfast caution, circumspect 
Of demons lurking in the dark, 
Our one and only task: protect.

Prudence brings its own reward 
Rejoicing with exuberance, for 
Caution begets peace of mind 
To those who practice vigilance.

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Virtues

What virtues do you most admire?
So many to espouse. 
We’ll make a list if you insist 
So we might freely browse. 
They say patience is a virtue, but then 
So’s tenacity, and 
Understanding rates quite high 
Along with purity. 
Ethics makes the list with 
Incorruptibility, and 
Worth is so important to 
Preserve our dignity. 
Honor is the cornerstone 
Of deemed propriety, 
But honesty is vital to 
Secure integrity. 
Innocence is virtue blessed 
By chaste morality, while 
Goodness shadows worthiness, 
The grounds of decency.

But there is one that stands alone 
In virtues, great and small. 
Kindness… simple kindness is 
The greatest virtue of them all.

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Homeland

This is my home, my native land, 
The country of my birth. 
What better place to live and grow, 
To lift my inner worth?

Even though I oft make light 
Or speak of her in mirth, 
No better place can I speculate 
Exists on Mother Earth.

Some people like to travel 
Hither, yonder, near and far. 
They never seem quite satisfied 
Just being where they are.

Exactly what they’re seeking 
Is impossible to know. 
But I’ve got all I need right here. 
I have no need to go.

And when, at last, it’s over and 
My final race is run, 
Embrace my ashes over Her 
And let us breathe as one.

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Friday, June 09, 2017

Loyal to the Last

He couldn’t tell you why 
He volunteered, only to say 
It was something that he felt he had to do, 
To help… to serve. 
There were other options that 
He might have chosen. Better pay, 
Better hours, not as taxing on 
His body or his nerves.

He didn’t mean to make his mother 
Cry so many tears, 
But she couldn’t hide the pride 
She felt inside her breaking heart. 
He only meant to honor her and 
All that she had taught 
Of integrity and loyalty and 
All that they impart.

He knows that any moment can bring 
Turmoil to his life 
Where endangerment can threaten hard and fast. 
But he will never waiver 
In the face on enmity. 
He vows to stay forever faithful… 
And loyal to the last. 

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Thursday, June 08, 2017

The Longest Road

So many highways and byways to roam 
In every imagined direction. 
So many places to go and to see, but 
Too little time for reflection.

Youth is a footpath of foreshadowed trails, 
Much too busy to echo reproach, but 
These pathways grow longer 
As summers traverse 
And culpability comes to encroach.

The cherished path is the lane that is shared 
With the one true love, so adored. 
As the dove lingers long it will warble its song 
Like a wayfaring charmed troubadour.

The roadway of age lingers long, travels slow, 
Pausing frequently to contemplate
All the streets and the avenues 
Crossed and recrossed 
And the memories each one relates.

But the longest road, 
The loneliest road, 
Is covered with cobblestone. 
A thoroughfare paved in shades of despair, 
For the longest road is travelled alone.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

A Twist of Fate

Plans are great… 
            And necessary. 
Everyone should have a goal 
Along with a map to get there 
To help them grasp and keep control.

But plans are often sidetracked by 
A sure but subtle twist of fate 
That recasts hunger’s fierce desire 
And occupies a different plate.

Even blatant surety 
Cannot be grist to guarantee that 
Every plan must carry true to form. 
The ride of cunning circumstance 
Can oft unveil the gypsy’s dance 
And transform to a search for unicorns.

But dreams need not be abdicated 
Just because plans break apart. 
The shattered pieces congregate to 
Find a brand-new place to start.

Focus! Focus on the point. 
Important plans do not abate. 
They can thrive and will survive 
The meanest, harshest twist of fate.

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Out of the Sky

Shock and awe rain out of the sky 
 -A perpetual juddering whirligig – 
Sending even the strongest, shuddering, 
Seeking shelter from the crippling storm.

The constantly pounding juggernaut 
Creating bedlam and confusion til 
Nowhere in this endless night is there 
A place that’s safe from harm.

I pause and ponder what unforgivable 
Evil deed I must have done to 
Summon this Hell from the firmament 
To overwhelm and paralyze .

Surely, there is justice somewhere, 
Some great karma round the bend 
With shielding power to sustain us 
So we might survive.

This is madness, 
Vile nightmare, 
This undue cacophony 
That seems incessant in its measure. 
Must it be the end of me?

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Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Do It Now

Don’t wait. 
There’ll never be a better time. 
Do it now. 
Scratch it off your bucket list, 
Kiss that one you should have kissed, 
Whate’er the fates allow, 
Do it now.

Take a chance 
When the wheel comes spinning round to 
Find romance. 
There’s a one for everyone so 
Set your sights beyond the sun, 
Never leave the race unrun. 
Do it now.

It’s okay. 
There’s no need to put it off 
Another day. 
There’s no time for mincing words,  
Wasting time would be absurd. 
You can argue afterward, 
Just do it now.

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Monday, June 05, 2017

A Ballad of Nations

Here in this land where all are free 
To enjoy the triumph of liberty 
We celebrate a history 
Of constant faith and loyalty.

Beneath Her broad majestic skies 
A royal feast enchants our eyes
And every day brings new surprises 
Filled with fruitful energy.

We are one people, proud and strong 
With balance between right and wrong 
Who bravely sing our victory song 
For us and for our progeny.

When the storm clouds overcome 
And fate belays our dream, 
We’ll lift the torch of liberty 
Rejoicing in Her golden beam.

Kingdoms will fade and empires go 
In melancholic fits of woe, 
But this republic continues to grow 
To seek its greatest destiny.

And when it all is said and done 
We will look back on all we’ve won.

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Sunday, June 04, 2017

Fireworks Over the Harbor

Boom – Pop – Pow – Rumble – 
Flash – Sparkle – Ooh and Wow! 
Glistening off the black harbor waters 
Like flames on a mirror to hypnotize.

Dazzling the gathering throng 
With magical brilliance of wonderment 
In fervent celebration of 
Our cherished nation’s dazzling rise.

Glint and glitter, 
Flurry and flicker, 
The rockets shrill shriek of dismay , 
The burst and the blaze of 
The fierce cannonade. 
How can anyone dare walk away?

We are rows of corn 
Gazing into the skies 
To the rich psychedelic 
Feast for the eyes. 
And fantasy flourishes to extreme, 
Uplifting the soul… 
Inspiring the dream.


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Saturday, June 03, 2017

Night Shadows and Nightmares

Night shadows fall as 
The sun sings his curtain-call 
Eerily stalking in stark apparition. 
Should be a time for peaceful reflection, 
Soothing and still at the end of the day.

Soon eyes must close 
As sleep is a requisite. 
A full day tomorrow… must be refreshed. 
Cannot be slave to inane inconveniences. 
Won’t let clear nuisances get in the way.

But demons have other ideas and intentions. 
They skulk in the background ready to pounce 
At the first sign of slumber 
Dredging up images, 
Horrors, unthinkable, pulled from the past.

So long ago in a faraway place 
Nightmares that time can never erase 
One moment there, bright smiling face, then 
Gone in an instant without a trace.

Oh, God, how long must this wicked night last?

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Friday, June 02, 2017

Pride

Pride is a peacock strutting his plumage, 
Climbing the ego escalator, 
Bubble-wrapped in vanity and 
Void of all humility, 
Vainglory arrogance taken to the nth degree.

Snobbery trumps self-esteem and 
Dignity yields to vain conceit, 
And honor becomes a stranger 
Begging quarters for a bite to eat.

But then…
Nothing’s wrong with hubris tempered 
With a skosh of self-respect, 
An ornamented mystery 
Where truth and logic intersect.

Pride in appearance, 
Pride in community,
Pride in the nation that we serve. 
Pride in our yearning for liberty 
Gives us the freedom we deserve.

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Thursday, June 01, 2017

N.I.M.B.Y. (not in my back yard) 

Everyone agrees it’s a good idea, 
One that will reap a real benefit. 
Just don’t put it in my back yard. 
That’s something I simply will not permit.

Now, I’m not heartless, don’t you know? 
I feel compassion for those folk, 
But I don’t want them in MY neighborhood. 
My God! I think I’d have a stroke

If I had to associate, or 
Even pass them on the street. No. 
Let them find someplace where 
Indiscretion isn’t indiscreet.

What? You think I’m insincere? 
You say that I’m a hypocrite? 
My friend, I have you know that 
I am totally the opposite.

I don’t mind if you have your way. 
I’ll even stand as your vanguard. 
Go! Build the project of your dreams…
Just not in my back yard.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Korea

Bastards took us by surprise 
Pouring across the thirty-eighth 
Like roaring banshees on steroids 
Bashing down the gates of hell.

Why they want this damnable place 
Only Satan can be sure. 
But if they take Korea, where will it end? 
It seems impossible to tell.

The “red threat” has to perish here 
Before it spreads across the sea, 
Else we may lose all we hold 
Of freedom, life and liberty.

Lines are drawn. A stalemate dawns 
And still the clash ensues. 
Sad emissaries play their games and 
As both sides bicker, 
Both sides lose.

Five million precious souls are lost 
In this gruesome “conflict” metaphor. 
What kind of lie let’s so many die 
And they won’t even call it a war.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Fragments of Hope

Even in the worst of times 
When faith dwells near abandonment, 
And trust appears a unicorn 
Impossible to hold, 
These tiny fragments still remain 
And lift their voices in refrain 
To sing that we are foreordained 
To softly tread on streets of gold.

We know not our destiny, 
Dare not rely on prophecy 
To foretell outcome in our “wannabee”. 
But if these fragments are employed 
Their roots can flower into joy 
And lift us from the dregs of drudgery.

Let all rejoice to realize 
That optimism never dies, 
But gently waits in patient afterglow. 
Its colorful kaleidoscope 
Exists in fragments filled with hope 
And that is all we really need to know.

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The Pledge

It may not be the popular trend 
To quote the pledge, hand over heart; 
Some backlash from the “me” generation 
Hesitant to be a part of 
Something larger than themselves. 
They dodge all symbols of commitment, 
Shunning lyrics of allegiance 
With a scowl of vague resentment.

I was taught to show respect 
And carry hubris in my stance
When symbols of my cherished land 
Remind of my inheritance.

The brave, the fearless patriots 
Who gladly gave their all. 
Who held her battle colors high 
And never let them fall.

Red for those who shed their blood 
So others might live free. 
White, for virtues unreproached 
And cherished purity. 
Blue proclaims our loyalty, 
No thought of sacrilege.

Yes, I will stand and raise my hand 
With pride to quote the pledge. 

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Courage


Courage is a baby duckling 
Blindly following its mother 
Without question, without knowing 
Where the final outcome leads.

Courage is a strangling oak 
Pushing up through stony grounds, 
Needing only sun and rain 
To win its struggle to survive.

Courage is the patriot 
Who hides his feelings deep inside 
But stands with pride with hat in hand 
Each time the colors pass him by.

No threat too trivial to challenge, 
Even death cannot deter 
This loyal servant from his duty, 
Valliant to the bitter end.

When the world grows dark we seek 
These bold, intrepid sentinels 
To bear the cause of liberty, 
For freedom grows where courage dwells.

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The Future is Now

“Oh, I’ll get around to it someday,” 
The procrastinator chimes. 
“Right now, this, tomorrow, that. 
It’s only a matter of time.”

But time doesn’t stay, 
It keeps running away, 
And tomorrow may never arrive
We cannot foresee and there’s no guarantee 
We’ll be lucky enough to survive.

The young man may look to the future, 
And the young woman sketches her schemes. 
But chance and delay comes to get in the way 
Causing chaos to shatter their dreams.

Rosanna retires with a whimpering whine 
After decades of struggle and sweat, 
But the greatest desires 
Of her youth have expired 
And now she looks back with regret.

Tomorrow’s dark phantom 
Looks back with a scowl 
To humbly remind us… 
The future is now.

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Watch the Horizon


Life, they say, is much smarter 
When we live in the present and 
Learn from the past.
But this ship moves incessantly forward 
With no clue to how long 
The voyage may last.

So, we watch the horizon 
For sails and for shore, 
Watch the sky for the birds on the wing, 
Bless the bounty below and 
Thank God up above 
For the hope opportunity brings.

But perilous waters on tossed stormy seas 
Give pause and are cause for alarm, 
So, the vigil we keep 
As we traverse the deep 
Is the passport to keep us from harm.

Hence, we live in the moment 
Enjoying the warm, 
But we watch the horizon 
To weather the storm.

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