Don’t Preach Me

Don’t preach me religion
like there’s something you can prove;
being good at treading water
doesn’t mean you can move.

Don’t preach me politics
from the safety of the status quo;
saying that you understand
doesn’t mean that you know.

Don’t preach me civic pride
like I don’t know much history;
acting like the bigger gun
makes the purer pedigree.

Don’t tell me to walk the line
when you’re circling around me;
I don’t believe your anything
has much to do with me.

Don’t preach me right and wrong
like there’s some space in between;
words like that make useful weapons
if you don’t know what they mean.

Don’t preach me morality
like some gold we’re gonna find;
being sane in a crazy world
don’t mean you ain’t lost your mind.

Don’t tell me to seek the truth
when your mouth is full of lies;
I don’t believe your anything
just because it’s super-sized.

Don’t preach me religion;
don’t preach me politics.
Don’t hand me your medicine
when you’re the one who’s sick.

Don’t preach me your civic pride;
don’t preach your right and wrong.
Don’t preach your morality;
I’ve got my own damned song.

14 JUN 2017

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Good Grief: rimas dissolutas

Good grief! What else did you expect?
A world set suddenly to rights,
some glibly promised golden dawn,
rough places sanded down to plain,
and milk and honey handed out
to both devout and infidel?

Instead, you got a fresh train wreck:
horrific days and sleepless nights,
with conflict that just lingers on
and brings no joy at all, just pain.
Why such surprise when people shout
and damn your policies to hell?

My God! Did you expect a prize
for proudly showing ignorance
of what it means to “keep it real”
or silent, suffer in the dark
while your parade glides loudly by
and celebrates your privilege?

And even now, with “opened” eyes,
you make clumsy attempts to dance,
pretending you can still appeal
to those who see you as a shark.
You’re blind to even your own lies
but still call protest sacrilege.

28 APR 2017

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Call It Madness: mad song

You gawk and call it madness,
a sickness that afflicts
  the weak of mind,
  the poor, the kind;
by gods, you’re such a prick.

You practice looking sideways,
avoiding the fool’s eyes:
  a damning mirror,
  where you see clearer
your own decay and sad demise.

You laugh and offer insult,
never a helping hand.
  Why bother trying?
  If purged by dying,
so much improved is noble man.

You ferment malice with no reason;
no one is truly mad.
  What’s real takes practice,
  beyond mere praxis,
what’s done and been had.

Your own mind wavers
from sane to madness:
  one minute’s level,
  the next, the Devil.
A shallow life of mostly sadness.

6 APR 2017

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The Great Lies: curtal sonnet

When all at once the world decides to fail,
on such and such a day, when pundits claim
to clearly see our leaders in the ooze
of mad careening chaos, and then rail,

without a single scrap or crumb of shame,
that all exclusive blame for the great ruse
lies with our high command, not you and I,
what prize can that debate’s proud winner claim?

When of our fictions we are disabused,
what does it matter which of the great lies
we choose?

14 FEB 2017

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Conversate

We conversate, but what’s the point of it
when what we say results in nothing new?
Instead of acts to reinforce our views
we throw up walls of words, then simply quit,

imagining ideas are enough
to put the wheels in motion, so to speak.
Oh, never mind our arguments are weak,
and for the most part, made of silly stuff

we quote and quote, ad nauseum, and feel
ourselves so clever and so in the know;
and so our endless conversations go –
like spears we thrust them onward with such zeal!

And if our words should damage, what real harm?
Why worry over consequence and such?
Our so-called, self-named victims cry so much
that caring has lost both its worth and charm.

Besides, it’s not our fault the world is mad
and will not listen to the sense we preach;
put those who disagree far out of reach,
and write them off, as evil, cruel or bad –

they waste the precious manna of our words,
so surely they do not deserve the air
we need to rule the world from our armchairs.
Let them feed on our crumbs, like starving birds!

But now, enough of that, back as you were:
what was that witty comment I just wrote?
Let’s keeping on talking; we can sugar coat
the world, and keep reality a blur.

11 DEC 2014

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Freedom of Speech

Americans talk loud and often
of their right to speak:
a pillar of democracy
that gives voice to the weak
as well as strong, in equal shares,
so each may truly taste
of freedom’s sweet, delicious fruit
and none will go to waste.

And yet, a legal right to speak
is often not enough;
reality suggests in action
such talk can be tough.
The truth is, outside one’s own home,
and often even there,
we never say just what we want –
we could, but do not dare

to say the speech that we would speak,
if we felt confident
that we could trust those listening
to grasp at what we meant
with honest ears and open hearts
that tried to understand
despite their wish to disagree
or cut us where we stand.

Alas, we all too often hide
behind our words, instead;
encouraging “just bite your tongue
and never lose your head,
take heed of what your friends will think;
the walls have ears, beware!
They’ll use your words against you
if you loose them in the air.”

But truth is not in comfort zones;
it lies somewhere outside
the social structure we impose
to justify our pride
that we are somehow civilized
and will not cause a scene,
regardless of the pain it costs
to forget what it means

when you are truly free to speak,
your voice heard loud and clear,
to cut through the hypocrisy
without regret or fear,
and truly share as equals
in a strength that won’t decay
until we open up our mouths
and find nothing to say.

15 APR 2013

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The Smile That Sells

The smile that sells the message never writes it.
The sweat under the spotlights is for show.
The work it takes to make it all look easy
few understand, and most will never know.

The pain endured to make an hour’s pleasure,
the loss a pittance gained cannot recoup:
how little it seems worth to just continue.
How low is it required that one must stoop?

The easy laugh – how hard it is to fake it:
to hold the sorrow back, year after year.
The work is not enough; nothing can make it
seem less a torture and more a career.

12 APR 2013

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