No one was out this morning
As I walked away the soreness
The iPod shuffled
Giving me Marley, Mavericks, and Mozart
A wide range of tunes suitable for the time
Somehow my thoughts were in the moment
Free of the worry of it all
I noticed the shapes of sticks
Some curled like worms or snakes
The geese at the pond raising their young ‘uns
And the sky so blue

Peaceful.

I got home this morning
Refreshed from my walk
Only to be reconstituted into the life
Of the fear mongers on the news
Purveyors of panic
Analyzers of doom, gloom
Stay tuned…

Not me…

Nope, I’m living my life
Free of the fear
Facing the risks ostrich style
Except my head is in the clouds
Rather than buried in a bunker
I’m living with hope and excitement
Released from the net
Of advertisers claiming all is wrong
Or pundits explaining the gun control issue.

Nope, I’m going for a walk.

Who is playing Rainsford
Who is playing Zaroff
In this struggle for what is right
And who is wrong

The police are exacting great care,
Searching for suspects
Armed with terror as their weapon,
Officers bestowed with good on their side
The law strapped to their thigh

Of course unless you are the bomber
Probably believing the government
Acts to inspire oppression
While he is a voice of struggle
With righteousness on his side

For me it is clear
My liberal convictions
Taking a conservative left
With all of this ridiculous violence
Fortunately people are fundamentally good
And I still believe in peace, civil liberties, and
Good over evil

Let there be no tolerance
For those willing to kill
Due to their twisted means of whatever
Let the be no acceptance
Of those willing to sacrifice
All that we stand for

Let’s hope Rainsford always prevails.

Faced with a dilemma
Of money versus time
I can’t help but laugh
At the hypocrisy of work

Commitment, dedication
Extra effort
Reward
Do it for the kids
They need teachers willing
To go that extra mile

Really?

How is that helping my kids
When I’m at work all day
And at ten dollars per hour
Is the pay off worth
Our loss of time together

Tough choices for sure
Coaching is very rewarding
But being home with my family trumps
All

I wish our society
Would realize that running around to get ahead
Puts us behind in so many ways
Being a slave to cash or
To competing demands
For the precious commodity that family time is
Just doesn’t make sense

After yesterday
I felt
Compelled to
Run
Once I aspired to Boston
Ten times failing

Yesterday
Seeing the carnage
And motivated
By
The heroes of Boston
I felt the pain of failure

Not for not qualifying
To run the storied marathon
But for making so many excuses
For so much stuff
And allowing myself to let so much slip away

It was those on the screen
Rushing to help the victims
And protecting the runners
From unknown dangers
That pushed me from the couch
Back to the pavement
And that rhythmic breathing
That once soothed my lungs

This first run
While burdened with oxygen debt
Felt so cathartic
Pushing the anger at the terrorists away
Allowing me to think clear thoughts and prayers
For those affected by the terror
And allowing me to feel
The pleasure in my far removed little path

I hope people will continue
Running
With a purpose that reflects the spirit of
Boston
As I think it is to endure
Not letting failure push aside hope and persistence
Rather running is for resolve and determination
And a joy the won’t be taken

What is wrong with people
Who are so passionate about a cause
That they will resort to bombing
The Boston Marathon
Or shoot up schools and theaters

Or anything

Between the bombings
And the mass shootings
Rests the disbelief that such wanton disregard
For people can exist
Yet there are those out there
Who live in some macabre fantasy
That believes killing is worthy of their cause

Movie goers, children, runners
What have they done
Why are they targets
Of such senseless stupidity
How could their killing
Help solve any political
Or personal issue

The wake of terror
Must stop
Now.

Back in ’84
I lived at Carter’s Grove
Where an estate dinner was planned
For world leaders
Who were meeting to make the world
Better for all of us
The whole gang was there
Well, at least seven who had an interest in economic development
Ronnie, Helmut, and all of the others
Were to have a fine meal
Telling stories, mugging for the cameras,
And being regaled by the operatic sounds
Of the resident peacock

Scores of military hid in the woods
State troopers lined the dirt road
My mom, brother and I
Were confined to the yard of our modest house
Bugs were flying through the Tidewater humidity
While my brother and I played whiffle ball
Both dressed in cut off jeans
My ratty Yale t-shirt torn
In the style of 80s adolescent chic,
Showing my persistent disdain for all that formal

As the procession of world leaders made their way by
We paused our game,
Like the baseball playing prisoners did
When Avon walked across the yard,
And each kingpin gave us the same peon attention
We probably didn’t deserve
Japan…ignored
Germany…ignored
France…ignored
England…”Hello, boys!”

What?

With a wave at that…

The Iron Lady broke the accepted protocol
Rolled down her window a bit
Thereby risking her protection from the dirt road’s
Hair messing danger
And let us know
We were somebodies
Even in our relative nothingness

This week she passed away
Reminding me of that day long ago
And I could care less about her world reputation
Whether she was a good leader or not
For at least on that day for those few seconds
She showed a compassion for others
That had nothing to do with votes
Nothing to do with photo ops
Nothing to do with politics

Everything to do with being nice

Good bye, Mrs. Thatcher.

Long ago she moved with the oil
Her father a company man
With a knack for keeping men working
An asset that guaranteed work during lean times
Complete with a crude gypsy lifestyle

She learned basketball
Wanting so badly to be left handed
Before it was really allowed
She married young
Staying with him forever
Even after he passed on
Vain enough to get made up every day
With plenty of boss man from her father
To rough house with her two boys and grandsons

Now the years have caught up
Making the daily chores difficult
Simple trips to the store now a burden
Especially when the keys aren’t right there
Yet her spirit flies a holding pattern
Unafraid of dying
Unwilling to give up her home
She fights to stay alone
In control of her life
At the mercy of her aging
Rather than the mercy of caregivers

Her day will come
John will be there
My great grandfather too
And maybe then
She will be settled