Slow Motion

Like a glacial landslide
Inexorable, inevitable,
One mere inch at a time
The panic grows

Humanity waits alone
At the bottom of the hill,
Daring the drifts to stop
As progress slows.

The cries are anguished,
Circumstances advance
Like a cancer on the skin,
Yet everybody knows.

Keep the tides at bay
Hold the line, tote that bale
Slam shut the heavy doors
While despair feeds the crows.

Life in the Key of Me

i sing
every hour
under my breath,
at the top of my lungs.

i think
every second
about injustice
and the power of love.

i cry
once a day
for lives lost
in needless ways.

an aura
of futility
permeates all,
threatens despair.

yet, i sing
because music
lightens my heart;
takes away the hurt.

  

When Mercy was Murdered

The day they murdered Mercy we all stood still around
Hands inside our pockets; eyes firmly on the ground
Unwilling to witness the death of our dear friend,
Yet complicit were we in assuring her end.

Fierce sun beat down, unabridged, unabated
Sweat’s stench laced with fear filled the street, permeated
No respite in shade on summer’s cloudless day
Mercy lost a step, slumped into a sway.

Sharpened spears in their grasps, old men prodded apace
Laughing and pawing as she fell upon her face
Roughened hands yanked bleeding Mercy sharply to her feet
Spun her in a circle, stomping to a beat.

The scene looked so familiar as we’d lost Hope two days past,
And Mercy’s fate was sealed when she stood up at the last
Calling foul upon accusers, judge, and jury, in the wrong
But the damage was done and Hope was dead before that day was done.

Now most pray that Mercy’s end will come without a hitch
That we can mourn in silence; no one will raise a fist
Surely if we remain inert the murderers will soon tire
Of dragging innocents to their deaths upon a raging pyre.

The grisly deed is drawing near, the wood begins to smolder
Perhaps we ought to save her, perhaps we should be bolder.
But we bargained for this merciless life when we let Charity die
Upon the bloody campaign trail stoked by wicked lies.

Dark

would you clap in delight
when the lights go out,
or would you cower in darkness
afraid to take a single step?

would you cry in despair
believing all was lost,
or pass the time in reflection
recalling the blessings of night?

would you dance in place
swaying with abandon
or collapse in a heap of despair
forever changed by the absolute?

 

After I published this post a friend and fellow writer, Janie Christie Heniford, pointed out that the quote attributed to Galileo is instead from a poem (below) by Sara Williams. Thanks Janie! 

Though my soul may set in darkness,
It will rise in perfect light.
For I have loved the stars too fondly
To be fearful of the night.–Sara Williams

Ajax, Psycho Dog From Hell

Studly once brought home a dog from work, having offered to care for it for a co-worker. You can imagine my, ahem, delight when this large, white, furry ball of frenetic energy entered our home for the first time, jumped on my lap and began slobbering on my face. He then bounced about our living room like a demon dog on steroids, snapping at invisible enemies and licking anything that moved.

His name was Ajax and he really was a beautiful dog. His coat was a glossy white and his eyes a vivid blue. We thought perhaps he might be part Husky. According to his owner he was really smart and knew multiple commands. In Spanish. The only words Studly and I knew in Spanish were of a base nature, and they certainly weren’t words one would use to control a dog. His ears did perk up to phrases such as “por favor” and “adios amigo” but neither of those worked well either.

Fortunately we had a large fenced backyard with plenty of room for Ajax to run and play. I had no intention of having him live inside our home. He was just too big and too energetic. But we played with him every day and made sure he was well cared for.

Those days were really tough for our family, and for the country as a whole. I had gone back to college to finish my degree and Studly was working his butt off in a rather unsavory job at a hide tanning company, earning next to nothing. On top of that we had two small kids and a mountain of debt. All we needed was a bit of a break, a couple of years, and my diploma.

Unfortunately, we found ourselves in a huge financial bind and needed to sell our home before ownership reverted to the bank. So we staged the house for prospective buyers and listed it with a realtor. Every single morning before we left for our respective destinations we made sure the house was immaculate. And yet no one came to view our home. No viewers equalled no buyers. No buyers equalled no sale. No sale equalled possible foreclosure. We really were desperate.

One sunny Saturday morning Studly and I decided to take the kids on a day trip to see his folks in Hereford, Texas. We made sure the house was perfect, the dog was fed and hugged and off we went. Several hours later we returned home, tired, but happy after a much needed break from our routine.

I was the first one in the house. I stopped, backed out, shut the door, and looked at Studly in horror. “Someone has ransacked the house!” I gasped.
We had nothing worth stealing, so it was unimaginable that we’d been robbed, but that was exactly what it appeared had happened.

Studly cautiously opened the door while I stayed outside holding on to the kids for dear life. When I heard him say, “Dammit Ajax!” I knew our culprit had been found. Apparently Ajax became bored. He figured out a way to open the back door and then chewed a hole in the screen door. While we were away and blissfully unaware of his antics, he tried to pull everything from inside the house to his domain in the backyard. There was a trail of bedding, clothing, shoes, and athletic equipment all in various stages of transfer. We didn’t know whether to laugh in relief or cry in despair.

Until we noticed the realtor’s calling card on the kitchen counter. Then I cried. I cried and cried and cried as I tried to put the house back together. I was so humiliated that someone, multiple someones, had seen our home in that condition. Of all days for someone to come looking! Any hope I had that perhaps Ajax had done his deed after the realtor had left were dashed by the note she’d written on her card. It said something like, “Perhaps in the future we should call to make sure your house is in viewing condition.”

Eventually Ajax went back to live with his old family, and we never did sell the house. The bank foreclosed and it seemed like the world had come to an end. But in reality we emerged stronger, smarter, and more determined to survive together. Ajax, the psycho dog from hell was one really bad chapter, but he wasn’t the whole book. That’s still being written.

Peace, People!

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