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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.

 

4/18/2020

 

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

 
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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.

(giggling)

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.”

Pépé:  

  (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.]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W1-hZQNdC4

 

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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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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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