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Category Archives: Poverty

Notes found on the refrigerator…June 3rd. 2020

two mourning doves: (haibun)

      relationships are being defined in the environment of the nest they live in.

–some in a tree with no leaves that once held dreams.— the true skeleton behind the feathers exposes its heart.

     rattling off to a branch, bones tickling each other, they wait for another Love’s morning.

sunlight drying dew

summer’s warmth removes the sheet

pillow soft asleep

 

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the change in my pocket [rooming house, basement floor]

“…if you do not know yourselves

then you are in poverty,

and you are the poverty.”

                                                                 logion 3, The Gospel of Thomas

 

i emptied my pockets with rattling and scattered coins on the dresser.

facing me, an obtrusive un-welcomed ever-present mirror.    

i could not look away; i was centered within its paint chipped borders.

off to the edge, a stack of black-and-white old family photos;

mixed in with a bunch of sticky colored Polaroid’s

of a motorcycle weekend and penny arcades at Weirs Beach.

and, blurry ones of a start-up rock and roll band

“jamming” at the Beanstalk variety store.

(it’s still at the junction of route 106 and Canterbury road).

i can hear the screeching tires on the curves of Gunstock

and the giggling, lovemaking, in a pup tent between laps.

the racers often change the lead before the lovers

pressed themselves, arm and arm, against the fence again.

i can see in their Polaroid eyes, nothing cared except to be there.

it was a black and white transition for me then.

 

 

pushed up against the mirror, an old mason jar

half full with silver coins. nickels, dimes, quarters,

and one unspent Kennedy half-dollar. a permanent resident.

i found that faded earth smeared mason jar digging in an old bottle dump;

carried it in my backpack, hitchhiking down many promising roads.

never did fill it. always dipped into it. emergency funds, you know.

 

 

on the floor beside the dresser, getting harder to push aside,

squats a fading bluish plastic water cooler jug, three-quarters full of pennies.

my retirement, i suppose.

 

i begin to sort copper from silver and silver from copper.

jar vs. jug.

i smile at myself trying to find something

that i may have forgotten in my pockets.

something, with at least one or two digits to fold.

the mirror returns my smile. we stare at the lines on our faces

listening to each distinctive clink, clunk, and thud

fade into its equally appropriated space.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on February 8, 2020 in Existential, Poetry, Poverty

 

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Under the envelope [ A Post-Graduate Lament] rev.1/30/2020

I just received my three pages of consolidated student loan bills. I slid it under their postage-paid self- addressed envelope; I filed it with the rest of my day.

 

Whoa! A dry empty bottle of tequila, torn packets of salt from the quick Mart

and a dehydrated lemon. Half a pack of cigarettes, two beers,

a bottle of cooking sherry, and half a bottle of vanilla extract,

(mistakenly taken when I left home). Never did “blow,”

never wanted to go that far from “shore”.

 

Dog is fine. I’m great, flat broke. Collecting unemployment,

trapped in my electric blanket ‘til Hell stops freezing over.

Salads are good with imaginary tomatoes. Mold can be cut or ignored.

Dog is tired of eating saltines and cheerios  though.

Shush up, there’s no cheese for that whinin’.

I know! I gotta’ go shopping! Tomorrow.

Where am I  going right now? To check on the sinking oil gauge.

I’m freezing my ass off. Whatever is left of it, at this age.

 

I still have a smoke and a dog; maybe, a part-time job.

Yup! Somewhere I’m overdue. Yup! Wrong diet, wrong choices.

Gettin’ skinny, depressed, avoiding the Sober Halls;

and most of all, having to avoid time.

 

It’s alright; I got yesterday’s coffee grinds, a loyal dog, and a couple of smokes left.

Meet me under the envelope.

 

 
13 Comments

Posted by on February 1, 2020 in Mill Street, Poetry, Poverty, Zen

 

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A Tale of The Weathered Sundial’s Ever-Moving shadow

Years have passed:

 

when we were young, we could tolerate physical pain,

emotional blizzards, and blinding rain.

We sought recognition, fortune, and sometimes illusions fame.

 

We chased stars in glittering summer nights keeping sentry for sunrise,

celebrating each dawn with a brand new name.

We could even cry, winning or losing, without forcing a fight.

 

We could talk, discuss, and compromise.

We recognize the beauty in unsuspected surprise.

We were always able to light a candle in the wind

 Finding our way back home on sad dark nights.

We often laughed at ourselves. Believing that pennies

we flipped, fluttering to the bottom of wishing wells

 

We’d became Peter Pan and Wendy

never growing old. And, totally ignoring Tinkerbell,

we watch our directions flow.

 

Following our hearts and the work of our hands

we traveled roadways, highways, and paths;

where distance seemed far and time immeasurably fast.

 

We floated above concrete, soft tar, and beaches with ankle deep sand.

Even paths that were crooked and twisted in shallow water or on solid land.

We were always on each other’s map!

 

We frolicked in spaces that love only knows

where time, never existed;

along with places, where sadness, was only a short visit.

 

Eventually, I suppose, age and Peter Pan eclipses

those days, when we are young.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There is only time now:

 

when we are old. We sit with aches and pain.

Confused, misunderstanding,

we complain.

 

Our clothes begin to slip or are frayed or they just don’t fit;

along with our recognition, fortune, and the reality of expected fame.

We wear sweaters and warm cotton hats on cool summer nights,

 

seeing only darkness as a distant fading light.

We Sleep uneasily on worn, thin but forgiving linen.

We, sometimes, forget ourselves with mixed memories,

stuttering on birthdays, which have evaporated in wishing wells.

 

We try to avoid being stubborn—  guilt ridden for actions mistaken,

poor mathematical intelligence, slips of jealously, pride,

and recognize that we, as we knew, is we that is forgotten.

 

From steel to rust, from rock to gravel,

from coal to diamond

and back to dust.

 

The sound of muted bells tick off the clock, like muffled thunder

under the hoofs of deaths’ mercenaries; some from heaven,

and maybe one or two from hell.

 

We may shed a warm small tear, becoming a prism, to glitter

In the sliver of a waning moon; signaling with joy—

tomorrow’s brand new day,

 

with its bright sun chasing

A weathered Sundial’s ever-moving shadow

 

~The Night Before Breakfast~ Vol. I                                        Another Draft Revision

 

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Notes Found On The Refrigerator June 2017

21st. century compass has no true North.

It circles quickly left— counter clockwise

 then, clockwise right—  endlessly spinning

in no direction

                                    —until you step on it.

                        Then…

                                    with crystal glass chips or plastic pieces

in the soles of your  steps—  they become new footprints.

Without arrows, digital flags, religion, or discrimination;

moving your steps equally forward in moral direction

for all the children

—We have wished for

Or given birth to—

Wishing peace in each movement

—life in progressive harmony.

—Forgiving each other in step

—without history’s cruel march

of forgotten sins.

*****

How dare you say I ran away!

I escaped!

            — Gun fire, violence in the street,

Whispers about how I look or speak.

I am huddled in an alley finding nothing new.

We agreed for something else—  beyond  boundaries

            —Kicking ass and often hitting the ground

covering our face, committed to our personal space.

I went over the wall

and fucked the barbwire

                                    — escaping with the  truth.

***** 

Ladies I would invite you up for champagne and lobster

but, since I can’t get it up anymore—

would you like cheese and crackers?

Oh, you old ladies of lords!

Let me open the door

and light a candle

that excludes us from history books

banishing us from false assumption

enjoying each others company

—eating crackers and cheese.

     *****

When I said— what I said

and then— did something different

It was not false.

I just moved on—

not convinced of that particular truth.

*****

Sooooooooo…

Scolding me at 70 years old,

having burst in my youth with fire,

is about as productive as a wet match.

 *****

Although, I believe in the right of your opinion

and should be shared—

I also believe  you will treat our intelligence

and our ignorance, with the stipulation—

of mutual respect.

*****

Why do you insist on haunting

me with my past?

I have been forgivin’

…and have made retribution

from history into history

as I have clicked my mistakes

Into humanities recycle bin.

****

The sun has set

into memories—

as so have you—

In the morning glow

of love— my  tears of dew

—misting rainbows from my heart

falling to the ground

eventually dries

in full sunrise

in my opening eyes.

Yes, I miss you.

Though I will rise to dance in the morrow’

with the day’s first quest

half-smiling—  after— sleeping alone.

*****

  All I can do, is adjust the jib until you hoist the sail”

                                                            —I said

As she was running calm waters with only the kicker on

                                                            —leaving the bay

Not needing any wind, just a cool facial breeze

                                                            —ignoring everything I say.

 Still—

in  silence, the wind picked up.

We stood nodding to each other, fore and aft, tightening the main sail.

                                                            —we sat together hand splashing water

                                                            leaning— into a beautiful day

*****

Life is not a bowl of cherries

it’s a nutty fruit bowl of reality

—in full color

transcribed from black & white

over dark ripened rectitude

—spoiled by miss-steps, success,

and the feeling

you’re the only cherry in the bowl—

with sprinkled sugar and heavy cream.

Perhaps, as sour or perky as we are

we still spit the pit onto the floor

of destiny—

bowing on or mats,  kneeling in our pews,

and howling at the empty bowl

—of the rising moon.

 

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Haibun Monday: From the kitchen of poets

Lines/excerpts from: “Family Christmas Songs” combined w/ “New Years Eve at Mill Street ” from the Poetry Vol. Night Before Breakfast, to capture and edit for  this weeks Haibun theme..

ZQ

 

 ~ Baked beans in the pot resting with salt pork, hot dogs browning in a small amount of butter on the stove top, brown bread, peeking’ from wrapped aluminum foil nested by the bean pot steaming, drifting, filling the house with a familiar Saturday night smell. Grandma, the matriarch, while straightening and re-arranging Christmas decorations is shuffled off as the children and their families drop in with hugs and greetings. They shed coats for memories of new years past, recognizing the dining room table and the familiar plates, glass salt and pepper shakers, bread and real butter to toast merriment of a seasons’ joy and the ever-present beginning of a new year.~

All proclaiming it

That true nature within us

Is the prophecy.

 

Note: The Long version “New Years Eve at Mill Street ” w/o the Haiku which belongs to :”Family Christmas Songs”.is linked, if interested.

https://rkgaron.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/new-years-eve-at-mill-street

 

 

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Notes Found On The Refrigerator May 2017

Thankful twigs, children of the blight:

Used as kindling from Camelot to Brooklyn, with ancestry in branches of Majestic Elms—

Extinct in the flames of purification they crackled and glowed in memories

Of the beautiful Main streets with bustling thoroughfares.

—when they, in regal tradition, stole the whole show.

Some interesting research digging around on the subject (for whatever, when it popped up in my mind) about the Elm tree… and perhaps I was looking for something about our future? Understanding and approaching it with history’s humility

: https://growinghistory.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/some-history-of-historic-plants/

 

*****

            No matter where I have been, in my heart I have always heard “welcome son!” And, I am as sure as my sisters have heard addressed— personally to them. The question that accompanies such a greeting is; where exactly are we? That we are being received and welcomed? And, of course, how our etiquette suddenly begins and our exit should end.

Rain falls hard on thorns

Roses soon to bloom perk up

Both will co-exist

*****

Whoa, Silver! Here comes the black stallion to welcome the Pinto.

*****

I sit here by the firelight of life, feeling old, tired, and worn out.

I sit proud with a peaceful heart after battles lost and won—

I notice the imprint of my shield, above the fireplace,

Nicked and gashed in gallant memory as history touts.

It has been sold. Two weeks ago. For bread, vegetables, lettuce, meat,

And sprouts.

I am neither happy nor angry

Nor am I hungry.

 

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A New Day For Love (Rev.5)

 (click on the red circle and white arrow then scroll as you listen and read 🙂

 

A New Day For Love

Wearing in mid-May, on another cold night,

An old worn night-shirt with faded stars and moon.

Blinds closed in the living room,

Shut tight from years of lost nights

Alone, I dimmed the lights.

 

I traded my night-shirt, for all those sad dreams.

I opened curtains, pushed them back

And cracked the blinds to let in sunlight.

Opening the door to the ‘morrow

Wearing new sneakers and comfortable jeans,

 

I heard you knock.

Kissing me on the lips

As I opened the door,

You held my face,

blushing my cheeks.

 

 

 

 
26 Comments

Posted by on May 16, 2015 in Love, New light/New life, Poetry, Poverty

 

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Awaiting My Rescue

I close my eyes to see You washing your hands

I watch the water flow    drip  ping

drip   drip   dropping.

 

My mind creaks      swaying back and forth.

I have to balance myself from completely falling.

 

I ask again      Your forgiveness,

Your understanding   the sincerity     of my last profession:

 

Rejecting ill will       rejoicing accomplishment

without anticipation of reward.

 

Discarding  the cloak and dark shades of truth I have used;

Rejecting reality as anything only visible.

 

I will accept

 all existence      as unparalleled.

 

 

I beg that was not me

drip     drip      dripping.

 

 

let it be my flaws, 

elongated,

heavy with guilt, thinned translucent   

 

in a pool of rippling forgiven sins.

I kneel beneath this water

 

with the joy of revelation, after sadness,

facing a destiny unresolved.

I bow in humility      awaiting my rescue.

 
20 Comments

Posted by on March 29, 2015 in Beginnings, Lent, New light/New life, Poverty, Spiritual

 

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Residivism

Lightning bursting with quick bright yellow flashes,

Lighting the narrow space between stacked metal beds

and the cement floor.  

Flashing for an instant, exploding on a head flattened pillow

in a room without a door.

 

Boxer, twitching and jerking his head uncontrollably,

face still red avoiding an imaginary opponent.

Inhaling and exhaling in short burst,

dodging and bobbing as he tosses and snorts

on strapped springs creaking beneath his bed.

 

Shadows quickly disappear on a cinder block wall.

 

The morning breaks down into neon lit hallways

with the sound of shufflin’an rushin’ in single file, to a breakfast

of hard-boiled eggs and a light portion of cereal on half empty trays.

Some with heads bent in silence, picking at their food with plastic spoons,

learning to balance their cockeyed day in Styrofoam bowls.

Others brag about yesterdays with a mixture of false pride

and disguised ignorance beneath dark blue woolen hats.

 

All remembering last night’s thunder,

all accepting their sentences as another flash in their lives

to re-configure space, and ways to pass time

in the dreadful cadence of ticking seconds, sixty at a time;

that seems to take no short cuts, before it consumes a whole day.

 

Clipboards carried with names blotted in bold,

checked for attendance, minus how long they have to stay.

How much they owe and how much to pay.

And… how much more without fences of barbed wire

or towers of armed guards when released

with empty pockets with no place to hide;

disgraced in discord, shamed and quarantined

to be labored in paper work and in digital files.

 

They have to go, their class has begun

on metal swivel seats, they simply just turn around.

Groupthink is in session. They must pass a test without a score.

They have to learn not to feel repressed in poverty anymore.

Not to steal when they are hungry or get angry without training or work.

 

Surrendered and in retreat,

They will have learned to wipe their nose on the sins of their sleeves.

 

NOTE:                    “…Nonviolent offenders are still law breakers, and they will break laws until
they learn their lesson. What I am saying is that we need to do a better job teaching
nonviolent offenders the right lessons. That takes more than prison; it takes more
than slap-on-the-wrist-probation. Drug and alcohol addiction must be broken;
discipline and job skills must be learned. When that can be done better, outside of
expensive prison walls, that is what we should do. Results matter, public safety
matters, taxpayer dollars matter, saving lives and restoring families matter.”

Chief Justice William Ray Price Jr.,
State Supreme Court

 

 
 

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