Monthly Archives: February 2015

A Shut-In Poet Responds

I’ve known a woman for a long time that many people consider a great poet. She has written a couple of thousand poems and had many published. I asked her to define her poetry style as I find it hard to read. She said, “When writing poetry I avoid pentameter, opting for trimeter, tetrameter and, less often, dimeter. The regular form I use employs the ballad stanza, a traditional form that is divided into quatrains, using tetrameter for the first and third lines and trimeter for the second and fourth, while rhyming the second and fourth lines (ABCB). I often use perfect rhymes for lines two and four. In some of my poems, I vary the meter from the traditional ballad stanza by using trimeter for lines one, two and four, while only using tetrameter for line three.” At this point I was shaking my head as I didn’t know or care what any of that meant. I really feel she needs to have some fun and lighten up.

I asked her to compare my poems to hers. She replied, “Your poems only resemble mine in the fact we both use what I’ll call unconventional capitalization and punctuation. Mine because I find it artsy, you because you’re terrible at spelling, punctuation and the English language in general. My poems sometime contain slanted rhymes, yours contain politically slanted rhymes. I write about spirituality and loneliness. Your poems are rants or ridicules of politics, social norms and trends.”

She certainly has my number. On the other hand, I told her she isn’t able to write about current things like I do. I say that because she doesn’t really get out very often. As she has gotten older she has become a bit of a shut-in. I have often wondered why she has withdrawn so much from people. She use to be fun to hang out with even if she was artsy fartsy. She decided to show me up. She decided to write a poem describing why she has become a recluse. She also took my advice to have some fun. She said she would write her poem in my straight forward silly rhyming style.

This is the poem she sent me:

Why I’m a Recluse in 2015

I sometimes walk to my livery stable,
play pool on my billiards table,
and write poems at my drafting table.
I gaze out from my Victorian gable,
but never go out in public as I’m not able.
Some gab and say I am very unstable.
That talk is all just a mere fable.
I don’t leave the house as I have cable.
I watch it while drinking lite beer.
The TV news brings me no cheer.
It only plays on my fears.
As it warns me about racketeers,
black marketers, mutineers, emirs,
financiers, political spheres, privateers
storms that are severe,
both far and near.
Every month I’m told of a spreading new epidemic to fear.
Swine flu, Ebola, SARs, the measles it’s all hype and insincere.
Meant to benefit that Big Pharma profiteer.
Sorry I won’t let you be my puppeteer.
I’m to fear terrorists from Somali buccaneers
or is it ISIS or the Taliban it’s not clear.
It all makes me off-balance affecting my inner ear
and messes with my celestial and physical sphere.
I realize I have to be a shut-in to persevere.
Politicians who are part of government
want me to fear big government.
I use my good judgment
to realize I fear government
because these clowns are part of government.
I never did anything to deserve this scum as punishment.
I want regular Joe’s to realize their own empowerment.
Staying home keeps me out of trouble day-to-day.
A message lost on our nation who gets into foray after foray.
First military attachés, communiqués, and armament caches
then boots on the ground Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan invasion day.
On to Somalia, Libya, Syria so cops of the world we can portray.
I almost ventured out sometime around Christmas Day
but there was a war on Christmas I heard Bill O’Reilly say.
Calls for war by those who never fight in them will never fade away.
Think I’ll just go to the garden and pick a big bright bouquet.
I don’t pick ones in the woods anymore.
Reality TV has shown me I’m done for
and can expect nothing but gore
if I ventured into the woods on such a chore.
There might be violent moonshiners with guns in their dirty drawers
making killer lightning shit you can’t buy in a liquor store.
I fear there also could be zombies, and vampires looking for bloody goods
or Chupacabras, Big Foot or the Jersey Devil lurking in those backwoods.
I’m into gardens and anything to do with botany
that’s why I thought I’d like that channel HGTV.
The house shows said my life was gloomy, paltry and measly
because I didn’t have granite counters which are the new swanky.
Double sinks in the bathroom is hip all the designers did agree.
Anyone know of a plumber who will put them in my outhouse privy?
My Victorian estate with so many walls is considered shabby and stodgy
as an open floor plan is considered more roomy, homey and cutesy.
What a bunch of dizzy, daffy, dopey, snooty, cheesy hooey.
They said if I don’t remodel, redecorate and upgrade
my house will decay and be worth less than I paid.
Just more crap to make me more and more afraid.
Screw them I say as I open a Mike’s Lemonade.
I haven’t traveled and I haven’t strayed
from my estate in many a decade.
I’m old enough for Medicare but poor enough for Medicaid.
I’ve never had a love and know I’m going to die an old maid.
I’ve corresponded with lots of people so it’s ironic
every one of those relationships stayed plutonic.
All these fears have made me panic
so I ended up a psychotic,
neurotic, hysteric eccentric.
My biggest fear is speaking in public.
and reading at open poetry like a beatnik.

How’s that Jim? ~ Love in spirit Emily Dickinson

Frequently asked questions about Emily Dickinson.

Quoting Napoleon: “Emily Dickinson Tribute”

Freisberg & Sokacic: “I’m Nobody Who Are You?”

“The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise.” ~ Emily Dickinson

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Picking the Bigger Battle

  I’m sure you’ve caught the latest scare in the media. Not long ago it was Ebola and now it is the measles. The debate is turning into a political football. This football is inflating not deflating. It’s people who believe in vaccinations for their children vs. those who don’t believe in them for their children. The pro-vaxxers are calling the anti-vaxxers evil monsters who hate their children. They assume anti-vaxxers are flat Earthers who hate evolution and science. The anti-vaxxers are calling the pro-vaxxers Nazis who want to imprison them for not getting their children vaccinated. I recently got a shingles shot. I did that because I’ve seen my father suffer with shingles. My children have had their vaccinations. We do not run out and get the latest flu de jour flu shots. I do understand some of the suspicions the anti-vaxxers have when they know the vaccine manufactures are on board to make $41 billion in 2015. I’m sure those manufacturers love the media scaring the crap out of the public, about the latest disease making the rounds. I am not pleased with the anger and jargon on either side of the vaccination issue. With all the outrage from both sides I don’t see a solution unless, someone comes up with a vaccine to fight panic and demagoguery I think a little more civility and education would help the situation but don’t see any on the horizon.

I’d rather talk about a different disease all together. It is the disease I’ve lost the most relatives to. It is the disease that I lost my best friend to when we were both 19. It is a disease that makes me deaf to any of the latest media scare diseases. It is the disease that needs more attention than any other. It is a mass murderer causing genocide. It is a disease that has no vaccination. It is a disease that has led me to attending two funerals in the last few weeks. I’m talking about cancer, a disease every family is familiar with. My neighbor Dante age, 52 died of cancer on New Year’s Day 2015. When I went to view him at the funeral home I noted the large number of people who came to pay their respects. The very long line of people standing outside in the cold attested to how many people’s lives and hearts he touched. Dante was the father of three girls. My daughter, Mackenzie grew up playing with his youngest daughter, Kelsey. Kelsey spent lots of time at our house and Mackenzie spent many hours at their house. During those years my wife became ill and bedridden for several months. Dante and his wife Angie found out and came to the rescue. They brought food, offered prayers and were there to help get my kids off and on the bus. I am too proud to ask for help but I didn’t need to because Dante and Angie were intuned to what community is all about. Years later I was remodeling and needed to reroute a gas pipe from my boiler. No plumber would do the job as  it involved working in a crawl space under my dinning room. Dante worked at plumbing and offered to do the job after hearing about my dilemma. He did a great job and refused to take money from me. Kelsey and Mackenzie spent lots of time playing cards with my mother-in-law, who my kids called Baba. When Baba died the December before last Kelsey came over to tell Mackenzie how sad she was to hear. Now Mackenzie has had to say the same to Kelsey about her dad. Dante fought the good fight against cancer and now our community is left with a lot less “common unity.”

Last weekend my wife and I were grocery shopping for her brother. He has been recouping after back surgery. While at the grocery store we ran into the hairdresser who cuts both of our hair. She was wearing a scarf on her head as she lost her hair because of chemo. We were glad to see she is feeling well enough to get out and about. She is soon going to the Cleveland Clinic for some stem cell treatment and is feeling very optimistic. She misses work and wants to return as soon as possible.

The very next day one of my wife’s relatives phoned us. We were told my wife’s cousin, Dave’s wife; Diane had just died of cancer at age, 60. At the funeral Dave told us he felt somewhat blessed. That is because Diane had been given 3 years to live over 7 years ago. Dave said that none the less he still has a lot of questions for God when he sees him. Both Dave’s dad, Ed and my wife’s dad, Ray died in 1973. Ed and Ray were card playing drinking brother-in-laws. Both of them suffered heart attacks dying on the spot. Dave is right it is better to have some time frame about dying. That way you can make a wise decision about what good you can do with the rest of the time you have on this planet. It really is the way we should be living everyday anyway. Diane found her purpose knowing her time was limited. She was an excellent quilter so she decided to teach other how to quilt. Her proudest achievement was working with other women to make a giant cancer quilt. The quilts had many patches each featuring the names of people who had died of cancer. In 2014 more than 559,000 people lost their lives due to the fight against cancer. A quilt that size would blanket the Earth (pun intended).

  I am reminded that Native Americans made quilts. The pride of every Dakota home is the God’s Eye- the morning star quilt. It lies folded in the home to wait as a gift. It is used to cover the bed, and it also wraps the dead. It makes everything it covers sacred. It is  sacramental. It is a visible image that holds an invisible reality. ‘It will not leave you orphans.’”

   Diane and Dante  and caring people like them do not leave us orphans. They leave us with a valuable gift. That gift is learning from them that life should not be lived complacently. Do you really want to die thinking; was just doing no harm enough of a way to live? My life has been blessed knowing so many people like Diane and Dante. I hope you have been so blessed.

Jonathan & the Modern Lovers: “Old World”

“Abu Jamal”

“Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world where people so often either ignore or fight each other. It is a sign that we don’t need a lot of money to be happy–in fact, the opposite.” ~ Jean Vanier


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A Rabid Dog Would Have Been Put Down by Now

1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime. Domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. More than 4 million women experience physical assault and rape by their partners. 1 in 3 female homicide victims are murdered by their current or former partner every year. Domestic violence costs more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment. Workers at women’s shelters have often said that on Super Bowl Sunday more women seek shelter than any other day of the year. Other people have claimed that is just a myth. Recently, we’ve seen a couple of professional football players batter the women and children in their lives. There was less outrage over this than there was over an under inflated football. Most domestic violence incidents are never reported. There continues to be reported case after case of a serial batterer. It is no myth that this man is destined to kill again. He keeps walking away from his crimes with no justice for his victims. He was recently accused of battering another girlfriend. I wrote this poem as an outcry to all the battered women who are afraid to report their batterer.

A Rabid Dog Would Have Been Put Down by Now

Florida resident 17- year-old Trayvon Martin

was shot and killed by Wyatt Earp wannabee

28-year-old George Zimmerman back in 2012.

Trayvon was unarmed unless you count

a bag of Skittles and iced tea as a weapon.

He was going to mix them together

to try to get high on them.

So said drug addicts Beck and Rush

who are both in need of their next fix

so they tend to see everything as a drug.

A jury let Zimmerman walk on a murder charge

because of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law.”

The law lets you kill others

if you feel they threaten you.

Truth is being on the very same planet

with Zimmerman makes me feel threatened.

So, perhaps I should get a gun

and a plane ticket to Florida.

Before shooting Trayvon Martin

George had two run- ins with the law

with one being an assault on a cop.

His judge father got his charges dismissed.

He’s had many more run ins with the law

since he shot Trayvon in 2012.

One involved threatening his wife with a gun

and punching his father-in-law in the face.

His wife was afraid to press charges

which she said she later regretted.

Several months later he was involved in road rage

where he angrily chased down another motorist.

He told the other motorist, “Do you know

who I am, I will fucking kill you.”

The other driver was afraid

so he did not press charges.

George Zimmerman has been making money

signing autographs at gun stores and gun shows.

Now in 2015 George was arrested

for assaulting his present girlfriend

and throwing a wine bottle at her.

Sean Hanitty has called Zimmerman

the victim in the Trayvon Martin shooting.

I’m still waiting on Hannity, FOX NEWS, the Tea Party, conservatives

and the NRA to ask Zimmerman to take personal responsibility for his actions.

Zimmerman’s attorney Don West has stated,

“George is very unlucky with the ladies.”

George considers the bad luck part the fact he keeps getting caught

doing domestic violence to all of the women in his life.

Maybe the women were all wielding bags of Skittles

at George in a threatening type manner.

Why do women keep dating these “bad boy type” of raging lunatics?

Violent creeps like O.J., Phil Spector, Chris Brown and Robert Blake.

Sports figures and actors who have to beat the women off

and do so literally with their fists, knives and guns.

Meanwhile, nice guys who respect women can’t get a date.

I thought 79-year-old Charlie Manson was the craziest person on the planet.

Wrong, it’s the 25-year-old woman who wants to marry him in prison.

Even this obviously insane woman does not deserve to be abused.

No woman deserves to have her life turned into a domestic abuse nightmare.

Women should never believe they are going to be the one

that can turn around one of the abusive monsters.

The women who have had anything to do with George Zimmerman

have become involved in a nightmarish version

of the movie, “Ground Hogs Day”

where George commits the same domestic violent crimes

woman after woman that he dates or marries.

He is ending up with less and less of a sentence each time.

It’s as if he gets a bulk discount for repeated violence

or was wearing a police uniform.

I think it’s high time

George did some time.

Maybe next time, maybe next time, maybe next time.

To be continued………………………………………………….

This is the area where I feature some music that might go along with my subject. Just click your mouse on the underlined links.

“Nobody’s Better Than Me”

Crocked Monsieurs: “Home Sweet Home”

“Do not allow him—the abuser—to tell you who you are or take the blame for his actions.”~  Source Unknown


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