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Pretty Pretty Girl

I have been going through old journals and found this poem I must have written about twenty years ago.  I never did anything with it, but it seems relevant now with the Me Too movement.  Maybe I was twenty years too early.  Of course, I was full of anger and passion back then.  Now I am much calmer, but still angry over great injustice.

Oh pretty, pretty girl

Why are you so sad?

Pretty, pretty girl,

Why don’t you get mad?

You would be if you could be,

but you can’t

because there are bills to pay

and mouths to feed

and an asshole making promises he can’t keep

and doesn’t really want to.

And you want to believe him,

so you do,

but you can’t live on empty promises

in an old shoe.

But you keep on surviving

and your looks are fading fast,

but it’s your inner beauty and strength that lasts.

You don’t even know you have it in you,

but you could if you looked,

but you don’t,

because you might heal yourself

before someone else hurts you again,

then maybe you’d be happy.

Oh pretty, pretty girl,

Why are you so sad?

Oh pretty, pretty girl,

Why don’t you get mad?

You would be if you could be,

but you can’t

because the boys can’t keep their hands off you,

so you learn to like the attention

because they want you to.

Do you even know what you want anymore?

And it makes you feel good when they say you are pretty,

so you start wearing clothes that are skimpy.

Then you feel like a star,

until some scumbag takes if too far.

Violated, vomiting and victimized,

they taught you to blame yourself for their actions,

so you do.

Diminished, disgusted and desperate,

you learned your only value is your body,

so now what do you do?

And your whole life feels like one big struggle.

It’s like you were born stuck to the sticky floor of one of those open ended cardboard roach motels.

You can see the free world from here,

you just can’t get there.

So after awhile you give up.

Your legs are getting tired

and your not going anywhere anyway.

In fact, it is too painful to even look outside the box

when all you will ever know is inside.

Why tempt yourself?

And it’s all your fault anyway, right?

You took the bait and now your stuck,

so you stop your foolish dreams and give up.

Oh pretty, pretty girl

why are you so sad?

Pretty, pretty girl,

why don’t you get,

why, why, why don’t you get

why don’t you get

MAD!

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The Story of the Stones

The sign at the trail head barely even mentions the Native Americans who inhabited this area on the Hieroglyphic Trail, named for the petroglyphs that can’t be missed at the top of the trail. These rocks tell a story of a time when people in the area knew they were interconnected to the animals that shared the same land.

Rock carvings of deer, snake, lizards, coyote, tarantulas, and scorpions demonstrate all the creatures who gathered at this waterhole; an oasis in the arid desert.  Today, it is just a pool of mucky water, but I have seen it after a rain when it is fed by a descending waterfall which collects in the pool, then moves on through the canyon.

Life granting water to the thirsty desert creatures. Shared by humans and animals alike, the Hohokam and the Apache knew they existed along side the many other life forms that belonged to this land.  There was no us and them. No human world versus the natural world. Humans were not separate from the nature. We were nature. A part of this mysterious thing called life on this planet. They knew not why they were here or where they were going, but they knew something brought them all together at the watering hole.

They knew everyone, animal and human alike, needed water to survive and they respected that.  Mother Nature provided all the resources needed for everyone’s survival. And when they killed, they did it out of respect for the cycle of life and death. They thanked the Earth for giving them the means of their survival.

They did not go to the grocery store and buy a pound of ground beef or get a taco from the taco truck. No, they worked for their food. They harvested plants and hunted deer for their meat.  Today, we are so disconnected from our food that we don’t realized where our food comes from. We need to see this. We need to be out in nature and see the animals, hear the birds chirp, see the art left by ghosts from the past and how they were, we humans, were once a part of it all.

The truth is we are still a part of it all, no matter how hard we try to disconnect ourselves from nature.  We cannot separate the human-made world from nature.  We are a part of nature.

You may think I am stating the obvious.  Of course we are a part of nature, everyone knows that, but the more time we spend in our cars and office buildings, the less time we have to observe how life really works on this planet.  We need to get out of the city once in a while and experience what life is like without concrete and plastic.

Nature finds ways of showing us that. There are little reminders infiltrating our cities, from falcons perching on high rise buildings to mountain lions and bears popping up in suburban backyards. We cannot escape from the natural world because it is our world; the only world we have.

The Story of the Stones

These stones whisper a story.

A story of the human animal living along side many other animals.

A story of a watering hole in the desert.

A gathering place for all.

Water cooler chit chat.

Water cooler art.

An acceptance of all,

recognizing fundamental need.

Trusting the Earth to provide enough without greed.

Respect the mysteries of life.

Hear the story of the stones.

Listen with your heart through the pages of time

and you will know you are home.

Imprisoned by our commodities,

we have forgotten from where we began.

Our complicated lives are really quite simple,

it has been the same since the beginning of woman and man.

Remember, we are still a part of humble beginning.

The truth is, we can be nothing more,

no matter how many black Friday deals you think you get at the store.

Even are “advanced” society cannot make a machine of a human.

We live, we breath, we eat, we drink.

We laugh, we cry, we anger, we think.

And if we ever do become a systematic, well oiled machine,

the odds are, we’re causing suffering.

So, remember the story of the stones.

Hear the whisper of ghosts’ past.

Know we did not get here alone,

and we will not be the last.

Getting Back on the Horse

I just read a blog by a woman a little younger than I am, but middle aged nonetheless, who wrote about the courage it took her to go back to school at her age and to follow her dreams.  It seemed sad to me that something so common place should take so much courage and that she would feel so much resistance in her path.  I know that such obstacles exist, especially for many woman, whose dreams get pushed aside for more important things, like raising a family.

While it seems sad to me now, I remember when I did something which I thought of as wild and crazy for my ripe old age.  I started taking acting classes at thirty-eight and while it doesn’t seem so crazy to me now, having done it, at the time, I felt like it was  a little crazy for my age.  I was in a class primarily full of twenty-somethings with big dreams.

Why do people assume we stop dreaming as we get older?  We assume that young people have the world ahead of them.  They have all the potential for success, but we rarely recognize the role of experience and failure as stepping stones to success.  As I see it, potential exists in experience and failure.  Maybe we do not see the potential in older adults because we know it becomes harder to get back on the horse the more you fall off.

The young person has not fallen yet, and no one knows if they will have the determination it takes to keep going.  Their optimism is inspiring, but they may not have the stamina it takes to endure.

The key to happiness, I have found, is the ability to constantly get back on the horse.  Putting your foot in the stirrup and pulling yourself up is the place where I live.  Success is sweet, but it doesn’t last very long, and then what?  You must create the next challenge.

The potential for the most growth exists in that moment when you are working toward a new goal.  You’ve experienced failure or maybe success, in the past, but in that place where you struggle to achieve a new goal, you learn the most about yourself.  This is the time when you must have an unwavering belief in yourself and your ability to conquer what challenges you.

All to often, as we grow older, we forget how satisfying challenging ourselves can be.  As we achieve success, we must continually strive for something better.  Add one more thing to the bucket list that never ends.  We can always find some new way to grow whether your eight or eighty.

I often see a ninety-eight year old woman in my mother’s retirement community who suffered a stroke and walks with a walker.  Her challenges look a lot different from mine, but she faces them head on.

Every morning she gets out of bed and walks her dog around the block at a snails pace, but she gets up and does it rain or shine.  She has a seat on her walker, but makes a point of saying, “I never sit down.”  She is always going.  May we all have the courage it takes to pursue our dreams and tackle our challenges to the very end.  I will always get back on that horse no matter how hard it is.
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Swim

Swim

Life energy water encompasses my body,

I feel its positivity healing my rotten body and soul

and I am reborn.

Creek waters trickle over rocks,

smoothing the jagged surface,

teaching us even the hardest stone

can be changed by cool flowing

love, hope and purpose.

Now, I’m floating in a sea

thick with cooperation, trust, hope, regeneration, invigoration.

The thunder cracks,

the rain pours,

the lightening bolt strikes,

giving renewed energy,

bringing the walking dead back to life.

I begin moving my feet in a different direction,

now that I’ve seen the light.

When your just trying to fit in,

with storm clouds over head,

survival is a struggle,

unless you teach yourself to swim,

but the surf is nutritious,

when people are vicious,

and sea gulls see all,

even those who can barely crawl,

so I pull myself up time and time again,

and drift in the ocean breeze.

The wind hits my skin and my body sucks up its strength and flexibility,

the ability to go around road block the size of yesterdays,

up side streets and down alleyways,

to continue past your destination,

right there where land meets sea,

drifting, floating, constantly rolling,

that’s where you’ll find me,

and the spirit of nature guides me,

soaring above, blind searching below,

life is just a matter of perspective,

whether you’re riding a wave,

or caught in the undertow.

Have patience with the journey,

I tell myself,

for every experience is a part of life,

the love, the joy,

the pain, the strife.

Then, maybe a true and honest life will come my way,

proving that I’m here to stay.

Let's Queer Things Up!

There were drains hanging from my chest when I made the first phone call. Not even two days before, I was under the knife, having a surgeon — an artist — remake my chest. These are scars that you will never see.

“Hey,” I say softly into the phone. “I think you should come over. I’ll explain when you get here.”

When I hang up, I straighten my spine and I slap myself across the cheek. Our friends are coming over, and I remind myself that I can’t crumble, not now. I’ve never had to disclose that someone is dying, to shatter the world as they knew it with a single sentence. I guess because I was the one that was usually on the brink of death.

This was not the thunder I wanted stolen from me.

There’s a knock on my door, and the words are falling out…

View original post 1,212 more words

Nature Poetry

Life

The Goddess speaks to us

and we listen to her.

She shows us where to go,

for stress, she is the cure.

We are renewed in her Clear Creek

searching for relief

from a world of constant greed.

Gently moving waters

flow into our lives,

a life force energy

reminding us we are alive,

and connected to every other

living thing on Earth.

Every link in the chain

has inherent worth.

For us all I send out this message,

be kind to each other,

respect all life,

the Earth is our only, true mother.

 

River of Tears

The Grand Canyon:

dry gravel appearing to be devoid of breath,

disguises a hidden oasis,

a rapid river of depth.

The Colorado river is a river of tears,

cried by those who survive

this unforgiving land,

for those who have died,

to become part of the sand.

Tears so strong they cut through stone,

cut through years past

to create a home,

for so much life,

from the rattlesnakes and the scorpions,

to the big horn sheep and the mountain lion,

to the California Condor and the Peregrine Falcon,

to the javelina and the Havasupai.

The great circle of life,

the violence of death

and the pain of birth,

all to sustain new life,

new experience,

new value,

and worth.

Because each life means something to another,

we are all mother, father sister and brother.

A place where tears of sadness turn to tears of joy,

a canyon, the Earth, our planet,

our only home,

it’s not a toy.

So, treat it with respect,

the only home we’ll ever know,

with it’s ups and downs,

the world spinning round,

for billions of years,

our insecure fears?

Just a thirty second commercial,

in an ancient river of tears.

 

Manhood in America

Today marks the eightieth anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass where Nazi’s destroyed thousands of Jewish owned businesses in Germany, leaving numerous Jews dead, injured and incarcerated. It also marks only thirteen days since the Pittsburg synagogue shooting in America where a ninety-seven-year old woman, who remembered a time when Nazi’s ravaged Europe, lost her life for being Jewish.
I sit in front of a blinking cursor trying to figure out what to write next. How can this happen in our country, the leader of democracy? What was going through that man’s mind? Why do we have people who carry so much hate? But nothing I say can express my utter disgust for what is happening in our country today.
As violent hate crimes continue to rise in America, fed by the rhetoric of one Donald Trump, I feel the beauty of American ideals being crushed by a very loud, and bold minority, namely white men.
Mass shootings conducted by white men in America have been increasing at an alarming rate. While I believe we need to address the issue of access to the weapons of hatred, it is more important to address the cause of all this hate.
White men clearly are losing their grip as they lose the power to control the rest of us. Sensing a growth in diversity and finally being held accountable for their actions by movements such as, Me Too and Black Lives Matter, some white men no longer welcome the ideals set forth by our forefathers, like equality and justice for all.
I am not referring to all white men, in fact, I know many white men who do not feel threatened, and even welcome the opportunity to relinquish some of the responsibility of a social position of power, but many reluctantly accept these changes.
So, what can we do to change the way white men react to their changing social position? How can we teach them their position of power over the centuries has been unjust, yet prevent them from reacting with greater injustice?
We need a different model of manhood in America. We need to raise our boys to empathize with the suffering of others. We need to nurture our boys more instead, of expecting them to achieve. We need to stop glorifying violence in the movies made for boys and teach them that it is okay cry. We need to teach them to understand their humanity.
Remember Mr. Rogers? What if every boy in America grew up idolizing someone like Mr. Rogers instead of, oh I don’t know, any character that KILLS the bad guys. You name it, Tom Cruise, Matt Damon, the Avengers, Batman, Spiderman. They all kill people. Violence is deemed okay, if they only kill the bad guys. Boys are inundated with images of idols who kill, but Mr. Rogers displayed a sensitivity that we do not view as manly. Why can’t that be manly? Must manly mean killing the bad guys?
Maybe as our society changes, we can develop more male role models with greater sensitivity for humanity, I just hope it happens before more lives are lost.