Category Archives: unemployed

Notes found on the refrigerator…April 17,18, 2020

April 17, 2020

i have no place to be going to

and with no hurry to get there

it seems, i have been here before.


there is no place to go

other than where i was going.

i am caged within the parameters

of whom i am.


my walk is slow and secure—

as I find where i am going;

with wisdom, compassion, and the knowledge

of understanding of who i am.


walk slowly.




17 days in Q [Haibun]

     Friday afternoons are a strange time of the day for me. Sometime I skip the mornings and late-night dishes; then go out to the safest places I know. Usually to the local grocery store and buy things I’ve never bought before.

     It doesn’t take long to go about short business before I’m back in my “cave”; 4 o’clock and I’m lost on what to do. I hear the cuckoo clock in my head, telling me to go do the dishes then make myself something to eat. Again. I’m coming 😊

Wheels turn when moved

Birds fly from perch of safety

Rain shelters us all


Posted by on April 18, 2020 in Haibun, Poetry, thoughts, unemployed, Zen


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Bonsoir Mémé et le Pépé, Bonsoir

 (curtain rises…both are getting into bed)

Mémé: I’m not asking you to cheat

            Only to tweak. (turning over, back to Pépé)

 Pépé: I refuse to participate, in the choices they make,

can’t you see, Just let it be!

(he does the same and turns over. now both are lying back to back)

Mémé: Get off your arse then, and turn off the light!

            There ain’t nothing right… left to be seen this night.

Pépé: I thought it was your turn

To turn out the lights, tonight.

Mémé: You want to fight?

(as a matter of fact)

            I still got a good right.


Pépé: What is it that you want me to do?

            Again. Before I lay down.

(slowly getting up)

Mémé: Go and tell the grandchildren

            To stop this, this… “Messing around!

…La vie ne est plus le pont de d’Avignon.”


  (re-enters and gets into bed facing mémé)

            Bonsoir Mémé.

Mémé: Bonsoir Pépé.

(Both start humming  ‘Sous le pont de d’Avignon’)

(Curtain closes)


On the lighter side, in my “research”, I stumbled on this and if you have the time… [growing up with this song, I couldn’t help but smile when I saw this.]


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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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New Years Eve at Mill Street

~~Baked beans in the pot simmering with salt pork, hot dogs browning in a small amount of butter, brown bread wrapped in aluminum foil nested by the bean pot warming from the oven baking two very large pans of macaroni and cheese, all slowly drifting filling the house with the scent of a familiar night. The matriarch, still re-arranging Christmas decorations as the children and family drop in, is shuffled off with hugs and greetings. They shed coats for plates, salt and pepper, bread and butter, and toast the cusp of a seasons’ joy and the beginning of a new year.~~


The morning dishes, put away washed and towel dried

by the grand children, who, one by one drifted in last night.

Grandpa pegs out last, losing his second cribbage game

to a thirteen-year-old; “smart young fella with numbers”.

Smiling, the boy gets up and pushes his chair up against the table

with a soft kick, wishes his senior “better luck next year

 if he can hold on and survive that long,”

 patting the deck of cards unknowingly cryptic.


More family arrives with homemade dishes and table ornaments

some placed gifts, for those relatives unseen on Christmas,

under the small well-lit tree, that grandpa boasts

“was negotiated down to ten dollars by grandma.”

New born, wrapped in the arms of entering parents,

begs to be held, cooing for first salutations,

especially those who live “very” far,

but, whose love, promising the child,

will always live nearby.


No need for gifts, they all arrived.


Rocking chair creaking,

child asleep,

grandmother humming.

Grandfather, after meeting with the family

waits his turn.

(Having lost his job last week

with his confidence “hat in hand”,

understanding his limited options

and where his life now stands).


Looking around the house, he cracks a smile

remembering his prime, rocking his last child;

singing quietly with the innocence

 of purity in the comfort of his lullaby.


The mill is officially closing at the end of this month.


He picks up the child from sleeping slipping arms

and starts to hum softly.

The mill whistle shrieks’ a long, long, blast

telling him that the fourth shift ghosts were punching in.

It was eleven-thirty, December 31, the last shift.

His severance check went into savings this Christmas;

his skills outsourced, betrayed by an economy

 for a life diminished.


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A Three Minute Rant

2013 House of Representative Blues

They sit there judging in their immensity

 cheeks without scars,

tee shirts with no visible nipples.

Only their bias

and adherence to laws

 they like

 and those they refuse

to enact.

They are all excited

upholding their own

god’s opinion.


I keep exclaiming,

I am not a criminal,

I am, an out-law

by citizenship.

What do you mean I can’t live here?


you sentence to poverty;

to reconsider my life,

to adjust my out-look

of minimum wage.

 Kicking my ass,

demeaning my life,

demanding, to be as Holy

(or un –holy when necessary)

like you.

To accept everything

you say as truth.

Thumping the bible

or buying ammo

and an automatic rifle.

Oh ya, make that two!


I can’t pay the cost

for my freedom

let alone my incarceration.

How much do I really owe

for this  “Bill” of Rights?

 No unemployment,

less Social Security,

and the county infirmary.

I am unable to say thank you

in this short of time.


You complain that my lower

 middle class

is draining the economy.

You take away our radios,

control the price of television,

diminish our pencils with a power point,

and virtual paper.

You listen and stalk my conversations

to be labeled and graded.

Your economy

is supported through old megaphones,

carried by political liars

that are wired to explode.


Soon, you will have to wash

and fix your own cars,

or, without mechanics,

to neuter miniature barking robots;

eventually unable to trust

the media cooks

to feed  your lovers

and armed surrogates.


You write editorial

letters to yourself.

(Hearing us talk of a revolution

through evolution without chaos.

Disbanding MBAs’ greed,

and their broker institutions

for a lighter more palatable fare

of profit and dreams).


Those who have exhausted

our patience for the need

of more than one home

go off shore.

Not to live,

but to follow their predecessors

who plundered this land

and its settlements,

with lines and displacement;

seeking other impoverished people

to exchange bubble gum and soda

for washing  Mercedes Benzes.


They too will become

A new race for complaint.

Allowing them to rent

slums and live

the illusionary American advertising. 

 Oppressed as a new class

with white bread and injected meat;

with enough chemical protein

to keep them working.

You will import them

until they bleed,

and that’s  just down the street.


Politicians? Dead puppets

on wealthy life-support strings,

unable to tax them

as, they sap

and suck out

“health care whores”

 living on government crackers

and block cheese.


Dear editor,

Let me die,

let me freeze,

shoot me if you please.

It will be cost-effective

and less to feed!

And, besides,

there is more out there,

oh ya,

for the taking! Yup, for free.


Yours, Gravely

C. U. Later



Posted by on October 27, 2013 in AARP, Mill Street, Outlaw, Poetry, Politics, religion, unemployed


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The legend of the sweeper and the broom

Darn, dust buster!

It doesn’t give a dust ball a chance.

 Especially if you’re a big fluffy,

 not a speck in place,

looking wild and dangerous,

scraggly one.

 No cracks to fit in,

no corners to hide in.

Only under beds; reachable.

Dressers; accessible, most times.

Hallways? Are our highways, yeehaw!

Skimming and rolling down the hallway

with the window open, back to our fluff.

Until you hear the sounds of the modern times…

Doors get opened and closed,

along with all the windows.

You shutter more sideways than before,

When you hear the Velcro strap

scratching as it nudges itself into place.

It’s every particle for itself at that point;

and know, you’ll be blindsided

by a silent hand-held

 [nuclear powered ] laser sighting, dust buster.

POOF! You are now microscopic radioactive

particles, that can be swept away

with a passing footsteps’ breeze.

Hey! It can  get you, from five feet away!

But, you know the rest of the story…

we either find each other or

we are part of a new “dustly” family),

collecting as we go “underground”.

Sometimes meeting the last part of ourselves;

or a completely new dusty mutant.

Dog hair, cat hair, gray hair,

mouse hairs, pennies and old buttons

scratched from existence; for living there.

 Fine! Hear me out on this one!

Darn particle busters don’t give us enough time

 to collect! And, you know they are upgrading,

As their owners become vacuumed sealed.

I‘ve heard legends about

 the love of the broom.

it say’s it only pushed us

 further upward and away. And the sweeper

would chase us but, finally to pick us up,

and,  throw us into the fresh air;

For the birds that needed our aid.

 It’s tough being a dust ball in this day and age.

Its purpose and our cooperation

in our existence,

 trying not to feel gloom,

 not to become extinct,

along with the sweeper and the broom.



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