Heads In The Ground

I saw a photo of a panel discussion

Where facts based on stats were being used to justify

Incarceration rates of people using drugs

The panel drew conclusions supporting police

Much the way that would be expected from that news group

Conveniently, they failed to represent drug use rates

That are so unequal to the incarceration rates that

Maybe some jail time for inaccurate reporting should come their way

For drug use knows no culture, but prisons seem to accept people

Of different cultures at different rates,

According to government stats at least.

I wonder about the values and attitudes that let the health

Of our public continue to be based on inequality

I wonder if the number crunchers and metrics guys

Understand what is happening

Beyond the Columbo logic of,

“Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time,”

Because there is more at work

Than the seemingly simple choice of, “Just Say No.”

Maybe the attitudes and values of our legal system

Need an investigation to ensure

The good stays with our liberties

And the bad gets changed

Of course, when ostriches debate on network television

Sandy discourse is all we get


Nothing

Sunday peace

My dog sleeping under my head

His rhythmic breathing mixing well

With old Eddie Rabbitt and

New Nikki Lane who came by way

Of Eldon Thacker, an independent voice

Clarifying the importance of individualism on the airwaves

I ramble, though, as Einstein’s snoring grows 

And I just take my opportunity to get horizontal on the floor

Soaking in the sun

Doing absolutely nothing that I have to do

Should I drive to DC and take in Sugimoto

Should I head to Philly hunting out galleries

Promoting local talent

Nah, I’m just going to stay here on the floor

Doing what Sundays do best

Nothing

  


Abandoned Power

  


The Past Far Removed

My dad used to talk of Texas

With a forlorn look and a wistful voice.

He’d remark on the expanse of the land,

Quickly damning the multitude

Of Virginia and loblolly pines 

Obstructing his view.

Yet, I think, on his trips back to the Lone Star,

The pull of the openness was never strong enough

To leave the confines of those sweet Virginia breezes.

My nostalgic trip back to the historic roots of my youth

Took off this week

When I learned that the parent of a student and I

Went to the same elementary school.

Coincidently, the This Is Your Life momentum 

Continued when a different student informed me that

I went to high school with his uncle.

The news back home,

As reported by Google,

Was splattered with names

Of people I remember playing four square 

Or hanging out with by the river.

Now they were involved with ordinances and liquor laws.

Like my father, though, there’s no real pull to return,

I’m a stranger in my hometown.

Development has removed most of what I remember.

Besides, my life just off the corridor is great

With a family I love and a desired complacency

That has pushed aside longings for those southern nights.


Sui Generis

The bucket seat was a one and only

Literally a metal bucket

Excavated from the roadside weeds,

The discarded refuse of some high flying pickup truck

Passing through the emptiness of his loneliness

On the way to the relative excitement of a town that never woke.

But the can was a suitable support for him to plop his boney ass

And just stare down the road,

Making up rhymes

While waiting for the excitement

Of one car to pass by.

One rarely did…

His life was far removed from the sedations

Of the faux urban stylings of the small country town

Somewhere up the way.

His home was way out in the boondocks

Where so little traffic came by

That his rhymes would turn into mumbles,

The boredom scrambling his coherence

As his butt hugged the round bench

Like the weeds that grabbed the bucket

All those years ago.

By chance a reporter noticed him sitting there

In the heat of a Virginia summer 

And pulled over to write the old man’s story.

The young scribe, weened by his parents on Ella Fitzgerald and bebop,

Couldn’t understand a word the man spoke

But when the bucket sitting, bearded rapper spit

His roadside stylings spoke to the journalistic cub who was

Looking for anything to write about

In a town where naps were the pastime and

Time passed frequently under the closed eyes of the locals.

Somehow the Internet picked up the story

Of an old hillbilly hipster hip-hop talent

Performing on a lonely road for just the trees and the wind.

People woke up and began driving out to the country for a listen

To this self taught poet who favored rap to silence

And hung by himself at the end of his country road 

Mumbling some rhymes with a humble beat.

He became a sensation with offers to perform

At the name-your-local-crop-festival,

Which he refused, of course,

Selling out instead

The shoulders along the lush fields of his turf and 

Dropping his obscure rifts,

With the same oratory ease

Once reserved for the wind and trees,

To the rested pilgrims who made the drive

Seeking release from their mundane lives.

All was nearly as it had been before success.

Only now he carried on with two buckets,

One for a seat,

The other for the appreciative donations 

Recognizing his unique talents


Which Is Better

The morning routine changes very little,

Wake, walk, business, shower, eat, work

Then little microbes enter the scene

Throwing things off

And instead of PopTarts for an on-the-go breakfast

A low grade fever and runny nose allow for the time

To change it up a little with couch bound restorative 

Where Peanut M&Ms become the morning meal.

My nutrition mind wonders which is better

The frosted dryness of the ready to go pastry

Or the peanut filled confectionary with the hard candy shell?

Either will help this coughing and sneezing filled day

As I convalesce with sugar filled therapeutics

Inspired by the laziness of my culinary habits.


Peanuts

They sat, huddled over a blue recycling bin,

Much the way that cowboys or cavemen

Might have gathered around a fire.

Neither did the men have the beans to grub

Nor wild game to rip from the bone,

They had peanuts, Viginia’s finest roasted in the shell and

Salted just right.

The sound of the shells’ cracking was the wisdom of the nuts

Inspiring conversation on a higher plane

Than that normally expected from the muscle minded trio

Raised in the gym teacher legacy.

Their personalities different,

One a settler, suited perfectly for the pasture or 

A life of being handy.

Another an orator, blessed with a lightning fast tongue and

A contacts list bulging with connections.

The last a dreamer, lost in the alchemy of pragmatism and hypocrisy

Where black and white squashed gray.

Once the conversation moved beyond crosswords and condiments,

Serious sociological analysis followed with debate of

Finding trouble or being found by trouble.

The Settler opined that there was no trouble

When attachments were not made.

The Orator spoke rapidly of trouble being an opportunist

Able to attach itself to people without cause.

The Dreamer wondered why he got in trouble

When others did the same stuff with barely a reproach.

Through it all the shell crumbs and shards of peanut skin covered the floor

And another lunch passed with large issues

Discussed but not solved.


Surveys

Ask the questions

But be ready for the answers

And fair with the interpretation.

Our blind spots 

Hide accuracy in the application

Of lessons learned

When the querie 

Is judged as 

“Not me.”

An organization cannot grow

Unless all of the reaches

Of the black holes

Are illuminated.


What Matters

Smoke and fire.

Stories with traction.

Private investigations.

I don’t know.

I question the worth of it all,

The rat race.

Networking.

Blind loyalty.

Because after a day of listening to this and that

I hear that a really good guy has a mass on his brain,

That his family will be living the stress

Of medical testing, prayer, and unthinkable possibilities.

This is misfortune for a guy who toiled 

In a company job for most of his working life

Providing for his family

While the owners and business men

Wrangled about profits and contraction,

Ultimately shuttering the business

While they reaped the gain.

Nope. No more.

This idea that work is so important

Is one that defies logic

I’d rather have my family

Our health

Togetherness

The madness we create in the professional world

Means so little

Especially when things go wrong

Racing to the top,

Satisfaction is job one,

Whatever the corporate, government, or sports cliche

Can’t ever take precedence over

Family


As Stanley Says

Penny thoughts from Twitter

Amounting to an hour long session

With a mind altering yogi

Who breathes life 

Into those living on the edge of perfection

The limits of the exactness

Take a toll on the sanctity of peace and relaxation

So take those 140 characters to heart

Settling in the warmth of imperfection


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