Obligated

A blue sky,
The first in days
An indifferent temperature,
The most comfortable of the year
An impassioned pit bull,
Only worried about our walk

Then came the lady in the fleece
With the Diane from Cheers haircut
Who used this beautiful day
To tell me it’s going to be seventy-two
Next Thursday
Then the waitress from Two Stones
Blowing through a stop sign
Unaware of its true meaning
I suppose
Then she wanted to know
All about my dog
And whether he was a blue or red

I answered, “Independent,”
Which confused her
But she recovered
With a quick come back about his eyes
Or something

Perhaps others can relate
But after a day of work
Especially one requiring talk
For the whole day
I treasure some quiet
Be it in a car
Or at the brake end of a leash
Walking on this beautiful day

Conversations of convenience
Really are not necessary
A simple hello is enough
And I do not take it personally
If there is nothing more said
Weather, gas prices,
The state of sports in Philly
Seem trivial, silly really
So why bother

I know
Being neighborly
Friendly
Social

Obligated…

I should appreciate
The community building aspects
Of conversation
But I’m particular about talking
And stingy with my non-work verbosity
Mostly to a fault
So I’ll apologize ahead of time if I don’t know
The seven day forecast
Or the exact age of my canine hanging partner
And I’ll make sure to tip well
The next time I’m craving a burger
Washed down with a snooty beer
Just so long as you come to a complete stop
And don’t ask me a bunch questions
About my dog
While I eat

Differential Perspectives

Walking in an afternoon chill that is
Warmed by the grayness
Of an October sky
Fresh off a foreshadowing
From a spinning low front’s
Not so delicate
Hinting at winter’s impending arrival
I’m thinking about
How great it is
To feel the sting from the wind
And the smell of those fireplaces
Cranking out the aromas of Colonial Williamsburg
I may as well be walking on DOG Street for I am
Taken back
To the Old Dominion
The peacefulness inside the historic area
Rivaled only by the stillness that
This little cul-de-sac
Is bringing right now

To Be Done

Finding that most uncomfortable spot
Where the tension of
Power and instability convene
To make for the perfect deadlift
Is one of the happier
Pains of life

That moment just before the agonizing pull
When all of the slack has left
The bar, back, arms, and
Doubt
Leaving only certainty across the whole system
That this weight was made for lifting
Is one of the happier
Illusions in life

The instant will defies gravity
The pushing, the pulling
The tensile tenacity of muscles straining
When thoughts are squeezed beyond consciousness
Bringing effort to the pulpit
Allowing enlightenment to shout out aggressively
The peace of a successful lift

Ah, deadlifting…

Maybe Tomorrow

Man, I had a piece of paper
With the best line for a poem
And that most excellent idea which
Is sitting on my desk
In my dark locker room office
Doing me no good right now
I’ve been trolling the papers
Hoping for an idea as good
But all I’m getting is thoughts
Of epidemics, elelctions, and encampments
For terrorists, armies, and refugees

Such drudgery makes for a heavy tomb
So I think I’ll focus on remembering the idea
That rests in mystery at school
Wondering how that handwritten line
Inspired by something about deadlifts
Could have anything to do with the way
My students tolerated my discussion
About scholarly writing
Or the way my other class chipped away
At an ambitious workout
With only a promise of dodgeball
As a reward
Both bringing inspiration to their frustrations
Which is really what school should be about
But alas, I can’t remember
What was on that scrap piece of paper

Maybe tomorrow…

People’s Inability To Listen Is Pissing Me Off

HEY DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND
I’M TALKING TO YOU
BUT YOU DONT LISTEN
SO I MUST ASSUME YOU ARE
NOT LISTENING
OR YOU JUST DON’T CARE
WHAT I HAVE TO SAY

So if you get a bad grade
Or my dog scares you
Or my kids are too loud for you

I COULD CARE LESS
BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T LISTEN
WHEN YOU NEEDED TO
THAT’S WHAT YOU GET
FOR BEING POMPUS
AND ONLY CONCERNED
WITH THOUGHTS OF YOU

By the Brandywine

The back roads take forever
All those turns and deer
But they sure are fun to drive
All that peace and privacy
Sometimes going out of the way
With the windows cracked,
The river determining the path,
And some old school country music playing
Sure beats the hustle and bustle of the road
All the others are taking

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Sunday

A long walk
In the cold October wind
Some cheapish gas
Two bagels with
Hot leftover tomato bisque
A three quarters NFL timed nap
And now a daily post
Under the blanket
Before whatever snoozing
Comes next

Corner Kicks

Maybe the point isn’t
To kick to the other team
But come on,
Soccer is just a cross between
Keep Away
And
Kickball

I know for most of the world
That might be sacrilegious
But the worth of soccer for me
Passed when Kyle Rote, Jr.
Stopped yelling, “Man on!”

Don’t get me wrong
Soccer players have great skill
And the game is beautiful
If you can’t stand NASCAR
Or golf
So let’s keep perspective
On the role soccer
Plays in our kids’ lives

The game must be fun
The lessons of sportsmanship,
Teamwork, and
Commitment must be the focus
Helping the kids find their strengths
While working through their weaknesses

How about we just let them play
Soccer would be much better then

Sacred Chugs

Heavy has been the weight of taste
Strong has been the partner
To the salivary libation
But the time for crisp lightening happiness
Rose from the ashes of classes
Where the rapper never stopped,
The annoyance went on, and
Patience made peace with impulsiveness
To settle on some chanting with
Those merry monks
From up in the valley
Forty eight hours will pass
The suds will wash away the angst
Monday the week will start anew
After a weekend of snooty restitution