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Some have said,
“He’s a current event poet,”
I guess meaning
My writing is about what’s happening now.

Okay.

Topical, that’s what it is
Hitting on the highs and lows
Of life in a routine, searching,
Trying to find if there is meaning.

True.

So these things happen,
I write about them,
Maybe changing details,
Maybe creating better versions of a day.

Absolutely.

Yet none of it is true,
Not the absurdities,
Not the bawdiness,
Not the lies.

Maybe.

Perhaps there were pigs and gunny sacks,
There could have been equine prancing,
Would growlers even have a place on the same day
As fashion conversations between aging men bellied up to the sty.

Huh?

Random thoughts inspired by concrete days
Make the miserable bearable through
Inspired laughter about the ridiculousness
Of the lives we lead.

Say, again?

Look, stuff happens,
It gets illuminated here,
It gets amplified there,
If it really ever happens.

You’re losing me…

No, find your meaning in poetry,
The poet says something only known to the medium,
The reader determines what the poem means
Through interpretation and reflection.

Ah…

Yes, the stories of a day
Can tell a bunch about us individually,
How we see the world,
How we lived our experiences.

Makes sense…

So go figure out why your boss is not at the game,
Throw batting practice on an off day,
Wash down drool with snooty beer, and find
The perfect inspirations to describe manicured lawns.

I will.

“Find an independence where action becomes action that supports the whole action that includes everything and does everything that is needed.” (Presence, by C. Otto Scharmer, Peter M. Senge, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers)

Parts become the whole
Everything comes from something
Finding requires all

Each day, escape me
Accept the course of nature
Being one with both

Author’s Note: This week will end twenty-six weeks of writing about systems thinking… Thanks to The Fifth Discipline for kickstarting the fire so many years ago. 

It’s funny how songs
Do whatever it is that they do,
Creeping into our psyche
Bringing a rush of calm
To unexpected moments
All the way from their far away places.

Maybe it’s “Sometimes,”
A happy Franti song
Letting us know that potential rests
Within our spirit
If only we take the time
To believe.

Maybe it’s “The Things We Do,”
A serious Indigenous song
Letting us know that we are from somewhere
And should never forget
That place
Ever.

Maybe it’s “Give It Away, Hard Times,”
A hard driving Blue Mother Tupelo song
Letting us know that life is tough
And we should be there
For those who need
Help.

It’s funny how songs
Do whatever it is that they do,
Creeping into our psyche
Bringing the rush of calm
To unexpected moments
All the way from their far away places.

Sometimes I probably find meaning in things that are more appropriately classified as coincidence. I also carry the idea of webbing (for you technical educators, “concept mapping, semantic mapping, whatever”) a little crazy sometimes. Let me explain:

1. Last summer I read a bunch of books. One of them, maybe it was Stephen King’s On Writing, although I can’t be sure, made mention of Tim O’Brien’s, The Things They Carried. I kept meaning to read the book, but never did.

2. Last month, I was reading an Australian newspaper from the 1930s and came across an article about a guy named Oscar Asche. He had been an actor of some renown and then an author of a book called the Joss Sticks of Chung. Not knowing anything about Mr. Asche or joss sticks, I did some reading which led to me writing a poem about Asche and the sticks.

3. One day at work, my normal printer was not working, so I walked to the school’s library to get finish the job. While I was waiting, I looked at books that the librarian had displayed atop the book cases and there was O’Brien’s book. Of course I had to check it out, but it sat in my office for a couple of weeks. That is, until today…

4. I was totally into the book even though I couldn’t find a link to Stephen King. The story also smashed right into a discussion I recently had with other writers about creative non-fiction and whether there really is such a thing. Near the end of the book, which may or may not be about the Vietnam war, there is a direct reference to a character taking “joss sticks” from villagers.

5. Really?

My mind was swirling the rest of the day. I call things like this “cosmic collisions.” I had to put the map together, which led to another map for a character I write about in this blog named, Rory. He’s a guy who is trying to make sense of things much in much the same way I try to find meaning in these random happenings.

Maybe it’s time for Rory (or me) to burn a little incense…

This solemn day,

As connected to a rabbit

As Christmas is to a jolly dude,

Means so much more.

Promises, redemption, second acts

All holy, all pertinent.

So take this day and

Reflect on its significance

Without worrying whether

The Easter bunny came again.

“The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.” A Bend in the River, V.S. Naipaul

Formidable actions require so little effort
When the focus is on simplicity,
On something.
A man can find a way
Without creating grandiose expectations
Of wealth and possessions.
For a man does best
When he knows who he is,
Someone.
Then the world has another part
Fitting purposefully into the earthly machine that
Wants nothing of lost souls.

Can we get a moment here?
Slow down, World
And I’m not talking the former Sixer
Who reigned “jumpas” as sure
As any shooter could
So long as the rock was leather
Of course

(Back to it)

Really, Life
Explain to me the point
Of a career
Carlin knew it was just about stuff
Which is something I need little of
So what’s the point of working
Why has everything got to come with a cost
I’m sure it’s so people can have more money
But why do they need so much
Because they are worth it?

I guess…

I’m sure World got his
But he also lost it
In the same frenetic environment
That got him paid
For him
The game became
About survival and redemption
Something more noble
Than new rims and a posse
Or sentenced to a big house with stucco
That looks like all the other
Stucco big houses

Maybe if we could slow down
Without the burden of money and
The mortality of bills
We could find true value and meaning
In the things we do