No fireworks, what a drag,
Although, the snap, crackle, and pops
Doesn’t do much for me anymore,
Less for my dog, he scares easily by the booming.

The holiday in the USA has brought some interesting sights,
Phones that don’t float,
Angry dudes in rust bucket mud covered Chevy’s,
Three old ladies having trouble getting out of a Kia,
Any American flag wearing borderline patient patriot
Walking down a busy road returning my salute
As we drove past him,
Countless fire company calls to unknown emergencies,
A return of the karaoke sect down the street,
A flourish-year old taking out the wheel well of an SUV,
The SUV was parked,
At least the kid had a Dragon Ball-Z helmet
So he was not hurt and no damage was done to the auto.

I thought there might be fireworks on that one
As the kid’s mother came running,
The car’s owner came running,
All the while, the five year old sister kept riding her e-bike.

Really, our day was full of ‘Merica,
The craziness that shows the truth of our country
Being a place where all kinds of things are allowed,
Because like they said in The Wire, “we gotta.”
Except when you’re Snot Boogie or some mope from the real world
Who can’t understand that our freedoms are for all people
And you’re warped way of defining what we are
Has to include what the Declaration and Constitution
Say what we are supposed to be,
Which for those of you who didn’t pay attention in school
Means, “together.”
All of us, each and everyone.

On this birthday night,
I’m hoping people can learn that lesson
Despite the fact that there won’t be any fireworks to speak of.

Confusion reigns where loyalties are concerned,
Family, friends, hangers on,
I never quite know where everything rests,
What side of the fence to be on,
To straddle or to choose.

Whatever the right play,
It’s on my values, my beliefs, things important to me,
I can’t support the orange one,
His values do not align with mine,
I hope we come to our senses.

Still though, confusion is there
As I wonder where I fit in those groups,
In, out, mostly out as auto-tune has ruined country music,
Temperance has awakened my sensibilities, and
Ambivalence has calmed my need to fit in.

I’m on vacation,
A time to relax,
A time to let things go,
A time for nothing.
Yet, the conversation around me speaks
Of a time filled with anxiety,
Of a time accumulating annoyances,
Of a time weighted by everything.

Man, I’m out of this shit,
I just want to sit, write, read, anything,
But discussing coronavirus and schools,
Politics and protests,
I’m undoing the last three months
One sea breeze massage at a time.
My time, down time,
Vacation time.

I’ve got my sunblock on,
My flip flops off, the
Sounds of Bakersfield spinning,
A margarita craving raging,
Simple poems flowing,
Hearty provolone sliced,
A mask ready to go, and
Not a care about anything else.

What does experience stand for,
Having lived through mistakes,
Finding the lesson,
To not make the same errors again.

Like when the weather app says 40% chance of rain
And you’re sitting in the car
Ready to play mini-golf
While rain is falling despite the odds.

Experience says, “Don’t get out there, yet.
Come back tomorrow, the pirates will still be there.”
Youth says, “It’s going to pass, let’s go.”
That’s how lessons are learned…raincheck…

Maybe that’s where the country is now,
In a weather delay
Where the experiences have not led to learning,
We’re still going putt-putt in the rain.

Refusal to wear masks,
Gotta get out and get my drink on,
Can’t learn that racism is wrong,
And personal responsibility extends beyond just yourself.

C’mon now, we’ve been at this long enough,
History should show us our mistakes,
We should know better directions to take,
Do right everyone.

Marie and Mike,
Probably related and doing the same thing,
Maybe not,
I don’t know,
But I do have a preference
For seafood.
I like the food when it’s got that touch of love,
Pride, quality over the volume of sales.

Tonight we dined,
Taking in one of the Fish Alley institutions,
Walking away with a boat load of food,
Super nice service, and without
A bad taste from a rush job by the chef.
Dare I say our fare was light and
Easy on the pallet while comparable
To the hit on the wallet last year?

Really good food at M’s…