Not So Simple: heroic sonnet

How simple it seems to be born again:
to never reach the stage of an adult,
but each time that you feel a growing pain,
to plead no contest and avoid the fault,
accepting being only just a child
with no responsibility to age,
nor consequence for acting dumb and wild
besides the reprimand of childhood’s cage.

How easy it must be to start anew
each time you slip in error, to reset
the game, and once again replay it through
retaining what in life you would forget,
thus seeming at advantage to proceed
as if your past mistakes had little cost,
so you advance while others stop to bleed
and you gain opportunities they lost.

Too bad that’s really not the way it goes;
just your belief won’t always make it so.

Absolvo-Meal: an advertising jingle

Your hair is gray and thinning, Jack!
Your prime is gone and won’t come back.
The cure for everything you lack?
Absolvo-Meal, the perfect snack!

Young whippersnappers run the show,
and no one cares how much you know.
When your past actions plague you so,
Absolvo-Meal’s the way to go!

Who needs responsibility?
Who wants the blame? Not you or me!
Besides, no work can make you free;
Absolvo-Meal’s the trick, you see.

It matters not how cruel or wrong
you’ve been so far, to get along,
to rise above the mindless throng;
Absolvo-Meal! The winner’s song!

So, try it now! It’s not too late!
Remove the trouble from your plate!
Don’t weakly give in to your fate;
Absolvo-Meal, the dish that sates.

Your ethics, politics and such:
who needs them? You and I? Not much!
Compassion, empathy? A crutch!
Absolvo-Meal, great in a clutch!

Forget your faults! Don’t make amends,
just have a quick glass now and then.
A clean slate every time, no end:
Absolvo-Meal, your new best friend!

So, is your soul in trouble, Jack?
Do sin and sorrow hold you back?
Just take a slug and then, relax!
Absolvo-Meal, the perfect snack!

10 APR 2014

It’s Our Fault

If the world was better in your youth,
and kids had much more sense;
if things once great have gone to shit,
and nothing makes much sense,

you only have yourself to blame:
your parenting did this.
How damned convenient it must be,
what ignorance and bliss,

to vainly praise your parents’ ways
and how well you turned out.
Explain to me the reason why,
because I have some doubt,

why nothing that you learned so well
you passed on to your kids,
and how, despite your efforts,
our whole future’s on the skids.

2 APR 2014

This is Bliss

I don’t know what you know,
I only know what I’ve been told;
I don’t know just when this thing started,
I only know it’s getting old.

I don’t know where we’re going
(barely remember where we’ve been),
but I can tell which way the wind is blowing.
Look to your valuables, my friend.

They say it’s just the times, but I don’t know;
just saying it don’t ever make it so.

I don’t know how you get through it –
probably much the same as me;
and I don’t know, sometimes I just say screw it.
Could be that’s how it ends, maybe.

I don’t know about your sense of humor,
but I know we’re in this together;
I don’t know sometimes to laugh or cry –
what can you do about the weather?

They say the world’s run out of gas;
just wishing it don’t make it come to pass.

I don’t know what you know;
or if I think it’s worth your thinking.
I don’t know if we can get along,
it all depends on what we’re drinking.

I don’t know where we’re headed;
could be salvation, or destruction.
In either case, we both may have to face
a whole new method of instruction.

They say the end is near, my brother;
not much you can do about it, one way or the other.

What is this? This is bliss:
letting go of letting go.
What is this? This is bliss:
both of us admitting we don’t know.

13 MAY 2011

Difference Song

Just shut your eyes and zip up your lip;
let the illusion of indifference slip

you in a coma of the beautiful life

you pretend.

It doesn’t matter which way you choose.
Your revolution is yesterday’s news,
lost in a column on the bottom right

of page ten.

Here it comes again…

the feeling you should not be feeling,

the knowing right from wrong,
the urge to find the answers,
the make a difference song.

Just keep your mouth shut, don’t say a word.

Don’t let on that you think it’s all absurd, 

a trick of light and mirrors meant

to fool the marks.

It doesn’t matter, those who get paid

are on the right side of the barricade.
The choice is death by drowning,

or life with sharks.

And here it comes again…

the feeling you should not be feeling,

the sense that something’s wrong,
the need to turn the light on,
the make a difference song.

09 JUL 2009

How to Save the World

One of the blogs I read pretty regularly is Dave Pollard’s How to Save the World. Occasionally, something he writes strikes a particularly resonant chord with me — like his February 4th gem A Miniature Truth: Becoming Authentically Yourself.

I’ll admit, some of these things I’ve thought and compiled myself over the years. But to see these 9 ideas strung together, in fact, dependent on each other in such a way that in order to accept one as truth, you really have to accept them all, for better or worse, in order to truly understand the implications of each, is a step I’d never taken until reading Dave’s post. In summary, these truths are:

1. We do what we must, then we do what’s easy, then we do what’s fun.

2. Things are the way they are for a reason; if you have any hope to change something, first understand what the reason is.

3. Life’s meaning, and an understanding of what needs to be done, emerges, most often, from conversation in community with people you love.

4. Community is born of necessity.

5. To get people to change, first Let Yourself Change, to become a model that shows people personally, one-to-one, a better way to live.

6. You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

7. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

8. To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world that is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

9. Our civilization is in its final century.

For more detail, please refer to Dave’s blog 🙂

Crime and Punishment

I would admit a lesser crime
if only it were worth my while;
but in these days when wish makes fact
the simple notoriety
of having lived will sentence me.

There is no justice in the world
when thought alone is quite enough
to stripe a convict without bars,
at least the steel variety,
and clang the door shut on their cage.

What bargain would I strike, besides?
Admit the world is right as rain,
that equal opportunity
exists to knock on every door,
and offers all their dollar’s worth?

What kind of poet would I be,
were that the case? What kind of man,
to live and breathe among such lies?
What shame that such a bold offense
results in nothing but fools’ praise.

I would admit a lesser crime;
but what’s the use? The truth will out,
and I would rather form the noose
from my own actions, my own words,
than feign guilt worth a coward’s mind.

05 AUG 2007