Don’t be shocked by another school shooting, the eleventh in this brand new year.
Don’t tell me we are better than this; obviously, we are not.
Don’t send up thoughts and prayers. God honors action, not weepy hand-wringing.
Don’t try to console me; your words are empty.
Don’t tell me you are pro-life when clearly you support the industry of death.
Odds and Evens
I’m on a roll with the odd word, feeling lucky in this odd world, moreover,
Never tell me the odds, even if I plead, even if they favor me. Odd one out,
Even Steven, even playing field, even I can read the writing on the wall. After
All, I’m an odd duck, even on my best days, even when I try to fit in. By
The way, this isn’t even one of those days. Odd, don’t you think? Then we’re even.
This piece of nonsense came about when I realized my previous two posts had the word “Odd” in the titles. Since two is an even number I had to go for a third post using the word “odd”; because I believe in evening things out. Or something.
Additionally, I spent the day frittering away my time, getting my hair cut and colored. Holy cow, is my hair dark! I’m even odder looking now. See what I did there?
My waistline is more a suggestion now, instead of a well-defined feature of my anatomy. Because the pecan
Pie I made for Christmas dinner and the baklava my daughter sent packed in a box of gifts,
Were deemed too tasty to ignore in spite of the calories they boast in abundance. Do I feel a New Year’s
Resolution in the making? Elastic waist pants in my future? A regimen of calisthenics in development?
Ask me in a week or so. There are still gourmet marshmallows wrapped in pretty paper on my kitchen counter.
Calories be damned.
Things I Didn’t Do This Weekend
By Leslie Noyes
This weekend I didn’t decorate my house for the holidays, but neither did I run naked through the neighborhood.
On Saturday I didn’t bake cookies, but neither did I shave my head and paint it berserker blue.
I don’t think I cried, but then I really don’t think I laughed, either.
I purposely did not attempt to slide down any banisters; although, I was tempted to throw myself down a staircase.
I’m trying hard to balance the good with the bad, you see. I’m still here. Wondering if that’s good. Or bad.
A Drop in the Bucket
by Leslie Noyes
One shard’s sharp clatter
Finally hitting bottom
Way down in the well
No splash forthcoming
Water dried up years ago
Does no good to cry
Keep shoveling dirt
Keep plowing those narrow rows
Keep harvesting naught
I grew up in the Texas panhandle, one of the areas hardest hit by the Dust Bowl. Although that was before my time, I heard many a tale from my grandparents about the dark days when the dirt blew non-stop, filling every nook and cranny and clogging lungs.
Several years ago, a book club I belonged to in Illinois, read the book, The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. It’s a rather long book filled with firsthand accounts of the Dust Bowl Days, and while I don’t usually indulge in nonfiction, I found this book fascinating.
When the book club members met to discuss The Worst Hard Time I was excited to share my perspectives. One woman, a New Yorker transplanted to Illinois, couldn’t believe that people still live in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. I assured her that not only did people still live there, they thrived.
I highly recommend the book. If you read it, let me know what you think.
Not an Option
By Leslie Noyes
Failure, under the spotlight, turned down a wrong road, dined at the bad trough, lessons learned.
Heartache, walked on the tightrope, fell into an abyss on the highway to hell. Seeking penance forevermore.
Trust, sought, but not earned, squandered in bushels, by deeds too heinous to tell. Forgiveness sought.
Grace, offered in buckets, washed in the blood of the everlasting lamb. Earnest prayers offered with hands raised in praise.
I know my place, here between the have nots and the one percenters. Aware of the inequities and the extravagances,
My heart catches at the injustices, the injuries, those who’ve not fallen through the cracks, as much as having been ground into them.
The ledge I occupy, precarious as it is, teeters on the edge of future fortunes and unseen pitfalls. I know my place.
Where would I go if I couldn’t go home? Would I find the means to travel the world, a vagabond with no tether?
Might I show up in postcards mailed from exotic destinations, wish you here, but secretly glad you stayed behind?
I’m afraid I’d live in a marginal world, on the edge of respectability, begging scraps from passing cars.
If I couldn’t go home, I would never build a new one. I lack the proper tools, but perhaps I’d find a better one.
I can point out the cracks,
The places that never quite heal
This one from Newtown
Another from a Texas church
And all those in between
Etchings on this old heart,
Dinged by each death,
Pitted by the greed of lawmakers
Broken by the callous, rote responses,
Their thoughts and prayers
Who will take this cup from me?
Who wants this scarred heart?
I’m tired of carrying the damage around
Of wounds that don’t mend
And people who don’t care.
Will we take our guns to church now?
Jesus take the wheel, but leave me my pistol
Dylan Roof opened fire in a South Carolina prayer meeting
Now more dead occupy the pews in Texas
Just wondering which firearm goes best with Psalms.
Yea, tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil,
For I am armed with a semi-automatic weapon.
No doubt lawmakers will offer meaningless thoughts and prayers
Their mantra sounding weaker by the hour
Who will answer for these deaths?
Who will offer a solution?