It’s in us,
We have them,
Natural, organic,
They are there
Waiting to be found,
Actualized, reclaimed.

We need to bring them back,
Honesty, and integrity

We need to believe in us,
Our abilities,
Not sham politicians,
Self-aggrandizing celebrites,
Faux faith leaders.
It’s within us,

The rain is falling ridiculously hard
The weather people call it
And I say
Of course it is
It’s so appropriate
That the heavens are crying this way
Maybe this rain
Is washing away the shock
Of our loss
Maybe the rain is meant
To dampen the gloom
What I know is there will be
A day
When the rain will stop
And our feelings will be tempered
Through the passage of time
And when
The sun shines
Our memories will glow
Allowing us to forget
About this heavy rain today

The day is long lately
Seeing the family in pain
Makes my own grief
Hurt all that much more
Finding a way to manage these emotions
Seems to be a bug
With no cure
But what works better than time
Are those old country tunes on 434
Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Johnny Cash
They each sing of lives tortured, tempted, and
Just the way we liked
Three country singing guys pouring out emotions
Detailing their failures, mistakes, and
Just like us
At Azteca, on the deck, or
In a silent code
Two country music loving
White haired dudes
Sharing their feelings for their wives, kids, and
Each other
The shock is waning
The grief is not
The battle though between feeling helpless and
Is starting to turn
As I think of the positive memories
Before our loss

How do lions and tigers do it
They roam
They hunt
They eat and rest
No money
No credit
No possessions
They hang in broods
They know where they stand
They leave when life is too rough

I’m not interested in that
I sit
I gather
I eat and nap as I wish
Some money
Good credit
A few things of import
I hang with my family
Knowing where I stand
And it’s never rough enough for me to leave

So I’ll let the lions and tigers
Wage their battle for survival
While we get together
For celebrations of life
Not wanting for anything
Not caring for the rat race
Only needing the gentle touch
Caring words
And strength found in

A house of clocks
Keeping the time
With ticks, tocks and chimes
They know of the eras
Documented by the possessions and memories

Pliers, screwdrivers, and paints
Big wheels running
Worn spots on basement floors
Dad hunched over his hobby;

The parts
Axles, bodies, carriages
Wire, controllers, tracks
Everything a modeling engineer
Would need to hang
With his daughters while they
Ran the Big Wheels ragged

Occasionally, the clocks will ring
Otherwise I don’t hear them at all
This basement so peaceful
So cool
So perfect for real country music
And remembering our old times

These days of loss take a toll…
Each person trying to make sense
Of the emptiness, sadness, and hope
Each person hoping the pain
Will quickly slide away
Leaving something positive behind

These days of loss take a toll…
Four times now
It has gotten too close to me
Four times now
I’m still confused about dying
And nothing seems to be getting easier to understand
But goodness still comes through

These days of loss take a toll…
By my reckoning
I’ve lost to addiction, choice, disability, and fate
By my reckoning
There is no rhyme, no reason to these losses
Only the whim of unknown forces
Leaving us to sort our lessons and memories

These days of loss take a toll…
Having allowed me to reflect
On the magnitude of my remorse
Having allowed me to reflect
On the greatness of the men
Who in their passing
Have allowed me to become a better man

My grandfather, his demons bottled
His weakness well known
And directed away from me
His weakness well known
A downfall to be respected
I miss his cigarettes, his easy listening music, his waterfall toilet
Most of all, I miss him

My brother, his battles mighty
His weakness well known
As a sense of honor set insanely high
His weakness well known
And unable to live with the betrayal of others
I miss his prickly hair, his goofy smile, his love of classic rock
Most of all, I miss him

My other grandfather, his illness harbored
His weakness well known
In the duty and honor of stillness and hard work
His weakness well known
In the image of a humble handy man
I miss his short finger, his buttermilk and corn bread, his quiet power
Most of all, I miss him

My father-in-law, his destiny ordained
His weakness well known
Born in duty and humility
His weakness well known
As a stately family man
I miss his laugh, his handshake, his curiosity
Most of all, I miss him

Each man
With so much to give
Gave all he had
So we could be better
Their lives sometimes bitter
Other times sweet
Left with us the power to continue
Their legacies
Of durability, trust, ethos, and family

I give thanks for their influence
Showing me that even in weakness
Strengths will rise
So that in these latest days of loss
We can rally, remember, and recover

Death, you thug,
You have returned
With your senseless touch
To rob us of goodness
In the form of our patriarch
Who put honor and civility
Above ego and materialism
Whose faith and family
Will not let you
Bring darkness to his spirit
Or our souls
We will grieve his passing
But rest assured, Death
That our lives will continue
To stand in the light
So brightly borne
By our belief in our lives that were
Nurtured by his gentle way that
You cannot touch
So off with you,
You troublesome hack
Don’t return
For we are over you
And will continue to live
In Poppi’s greatness

She yelled, Tom Henryyyyy,”
With all of the anger and affection
His deed deserved
For he brought the digital aphrodisiac
Of 2048
Too her life

I’m not jealous
I play too
Sliding those tiles
Looking for the score
With the same verve
And passion she brings
To each round

As for Tom Henry
Somewhere I’m sure
He heard his name
Being used in vane
Most likely bringing
A delicate laugh to his
Gaming existence