Tuesday, December 5, 2017

One Sunny Day

One Sunny Day
Crows cawed, circling in a sparsely clouded sky as a breeze spoke through erect pines, that shared their fragrance with the statues in City Park.
Couples and solos meandered, stopping to snap a shot here and there. A group of schoolgirls in uniform following their teacher paused to giggle at a nude.
Crows fussed with each other more loudly, while a pair of silver-haired seniors swatted at mosquitoes as they shuffled along. A gaggle of senior girls stood outside the bathroom with hands on their hips wondering where to lunch.
From what seemed like the zenith of the atmosphere two vertical vapor trails appeared. A solitary white swan floated past and the rat-a-tat-tat of a woodpecker could be heard.

A pair of plumes grew from each object hurtling out of the sky, as a lady contentedly sat on a park bench taking a deep breath after which she sighed in a long, slow exhalation, while a chameleon scurried across the path of bricks. “Thank you, God, for this beautiful day,” I heard her say.

The vapor trails stretched from heaven descending in the distance. A woman stood under an umbrella staring at the golden goddess with one foot perched on a globe aiming an arrow for eternity. The woman twirled her umbrella as she walked away. The earth shook, a wall of heat raced across the land, and life as we knew it ended that day.

Monday, November 6, 2017

South Florida Sojourn

On a virtually cloudless Sunday morning,
I traversed the state of Florida
On a tollway known as Alligator Alley.
Dewy spiderwebs sparkled
On sturdy cyclone and barbed wire.
Behind this cypress, palms, and pines
Gave way to amazingly vast expanse,
God terrie’d in swamp grass
Long enough to dump a wetland
Called the Everglades.

Down the fence lined lane,
Feeling like a penal colony guest,
I drove more than an hour before
Welcomed by a rest area.
In the shade of a gazebo
I chopped a tomato and
Smashed an avocado,
I quickly drowned in buttermilk.
Blinding sun rose towards zenith.

Riders rallied round the restroom,
Strolled the grounds,
Finding respite from the road.
Savoring my salad,
Dreading the final miles,
Under the pavilion I sat.
A fine family of foreigners,
Speaking a language,
I don’t know
Joined me under my canopy.
Without looking my way or
Acknowledging my presence,
All five lit cigarettes
Apparently with no regrets.

Having been flatulent all day,
I couldn’t think of a better way
To say so long than to go up wind,
To huff and puff and hold my breath,
To pass gas that smelled like death.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Just Another Pint

Tired of sad and lonely, tired of depressed; want to make it go away. My love left an ache that just doesn't quit, not one little bit. I loved my life with my honey; we were both assholes from time to time, but other times we clicked along beautifully. We were the average people of this planet in love; because of love, I believe in God. Love takes a hard day’s work and transforms it into a gift for someone more important, yeah, someone more important than you.
Do you know how many people haven’t felt that? People tell me to let go of the past so I can enjoy my now, but I cling to the time when love lived in my life. Now, too many angry people want to hurt each other; who wants to go near?
Place, the other great character in any story needs to provide for the plot. I live on a tropical island bitching about being sad and lonely; why don’t I move? Where would I go?
July, the month my honey died, proves painful annually; the month of widowhood picks the scab off wounds not healed. In July lifting weights only hurts, I feel inches away from crying, but it’s my job to make myself feel better. All I can say is repeated applications of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia and hot fudge topping does wonders after four years. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

What's It Gonna Be

To my dear sweet niece,
At twenty I married your mother’s brother; he liked to hang with the guys at the bar, so I went to the library because I like to read. We were young and in love so we picnicked and made love in the woods, but twenty years later, I’d say,
 “Wanna go to the movies; come on, let’s go.”
“Nah, I don’t want to go,” meant an evening watching TV.
If I wanted to go to the movies, I should go to the movies, so I said,
“I’m going to the movies; you want to come?”
He replied with his usual,
“Nah,” not missing a step towards the family room sofa.
Never had I gone to the movies alone; I held the notion that we should do things together, but had to honor that if he didn’t want to go, it was his right, so when I opened the front door, with my heart pounding, I called,
“See ya later.”
Looking back, I wonder why all the drama; the thought of being a married woman alone in a movie theater upset me, but determined to for once do what I wanted to do even if he didn’t, I left.
I remember my fingers being all sweaty, wanting to sob, but being me, I thought, fuck him and started the car, threw it into reverse and backed out of the driveway. Before I could get into forward gear the front door opened; he threw his shirt on while heading to the car.
“Yeah, a movie sounds good,” 
was all he said in his best nonchalant, cool dude style.
Honey, I don’t know anyone’s life but my own, but I have learned to love and value myself enough to do what pleases me.
Your mom and her brother were tight; she’d tell me stories of things she and her brother did. Oh, my, your family had love.
I remember you with long blond hair and bangs; it seems you were one of the taller kids. What a sweet girl, I thought, you took after your mom.
This much I know; a man who loves you may not go to the ballet with you, but he’ll join you on things he likes because he wants to be with you.
The times I went to things without him, surprisingly, I’d come home smiling. Learning I could have a good time alone helped me get out on my own after he passed.
With or without the love of my life, I must try to enjoy my life or be a miserable old bitch; what’s it gonna be, honey?

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Life's Questions and Lessons

We think; we wonder why we’re here or why this or that happened in childhood. Every age challenges us to grow or decline. Pain, suffering, joy, and happiness color our lives.
Each unique journey weaves in and out with others creating the cacophony of our cultures. When life becomes too painful some reach for booze or drugs, some become mean, others turn to religion. We all have a personal solution; even helplessness is a way of dealing with harsh reality.
In one of the neighborhoods I lived in as a young adult, “Take it easy” or “Don’t work too hard,” people said frequently. Their mantra reflected how they limited themselves; from the south side of Chicago, many had never even ventured into the Loop.
Being a driven soul, I bristled at this advice; being young I argued for my opinion as a better way not yet realizing what mental masturbation means.
Over the years we’re exposed to an amazing amount of energy that we absorb and reflect or deflect; through personal choice, we create who we are. Looking back on a life, wondering how well it served my soul, I’m kinder about my mistakes than when I was young.
Not judging others, do we find that difficult? Come on, don’t add lying. Whether we find them wonderful or awful, we judge. Superior or inferior, we see ourselves in that linear way or safe versus frightening; we find valid reasons for judgment.
In my twenties, I doubted that God exists. If you created us couldn’t you take better care of your creations? Who are you kidding? You created everything; that means you created evil. That’s no kind of god I could wrap my head around, so one day for no reason there was this big bang.
Many nights under the stars with cold wind on my face put my thoughts in a different order to glimpse how complex life is and that order began with God. The understanding I have gives me respect for all life whether I like them or not.
How we live now creates our heaven or hell, so it’s not a stretch to think we’re creating our future (life) according to the law of karma.
So now I’m wondering, how do I best set myself up for my next existence? If this life could be a bank account of knowledge I could send to myself, what wisdom would I impart? What questions should a soul preparing for life ask?
Wouldn’t it be nice to know how we pick our families? How many misplaced zygotes are there? Why was I one? Or was I?
And thanks for this life; it’ been a trip.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Unsolicited advice

If people want advice, they ask for it, right? What do you think about this? What do you think I should do? If you were me, what would you do?
It’s reasonable and even prudent to get other points of view. Often rather than accepting advice a la carte off the menu, I re-think and revise my plans, but value the input that sparked a new path.
“Thanks, I’ll think about what you’ve said,” has become my closing line because I’ve found it better to consider gradually; I’m really slow like that.
Don’t people get that venting doesn’t require a sage response? It’s a bitch that doesn’t ask for more acknowledgment than, “Poor baby.”
A tale of similar woe response can be bonding, but a monolog on what I should have done annoys me to the point I find myself sharing less with friends, which means I listen to their gripe-moans without my part of the sharing that cements these relationships. Finding my place in a group of friends has been problematic. Either I piss them off or; don’t get me wrong, I have friends.
I hung out with a woman whose immediate response to whatever anyone talked about was I followed by her experience whether related or not, even this never changing non-empathetic conversation I found better than the you shoulds.
Yes, we must take our friends as we find them or move along, but why don’t people understand that if I don’t ask for your advice, please, don’t keep volunteering it; it’s not the gift you believe it to be.
I’ll admit that if someone has a particular experience or knowledge unsolicited advice is helpful, but overwhelmingly it’s just annoying.
Shortly after my husband died, in one day, I ran into three women I know, each said, “Your husband would want you to be happy,” followed by some variation on the theme. Not a one asked how I was doing. That day my eyes crossed and I wanted to bang my head, my tolerance surpassed; surprisingly, I remained polite but went home aggravated.
Advice givers don’t know how annoying that is because they are well intended. Heaven forbid that the advice is eye-roll worthy like recent advice to get out of my closed mind by taking hallucinogenics. Value to this advice was that great scientists from the 70’s opened their minds with drugs; this is apparently the gold standard for tripping your mind, which firmly asserted could cause one to feel remiss, but I didn’t do it in the 70’s; why would I try now that I’m approaching seventy.
Sometimes, I won’t consider an unsolicited suggestion; why do people act so offended? I could keep saying, “Thanks, I’ll think about it,” but now that I’m just a poor, old widow, it comes some days in backhoes.
I don’t wish to lose my manners; there’s too much of that going around these days. Perhaps, I should learn the art of the conversational dodge; did it rain by you last night? What’s the latest presidential tweet? Nah, we really don’t want to go there.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Senior Lady Dating Manifesto

I'm looking for someone to spend a pleasant day with, who has a zest for life. We don't have forever; each day needs to have a little sparkle. Do you spoil yourself?
My day begins with thanks for another chance and a stretch to bring my soul back into the body followed immediately by coffee. Two hours later coffee and I are on the internet before I head for the gym. My days are lovely, my roads wind through tropical forests with sheer facing rock walls before showing me the ocean.
A handsome man to look into my eyes, who enjoys my wit and finds me attractive spells a fine afternoon, but a man with humor and candor makes a day too short.
The laundrymen listing all they have and what their friends have from the moment we meet are in the top five of those to avoid; what do I care? I’m not a young chick in nesting mode.
An interesting attractive man may command my attention for a while, but drone on and on without wondering about the woman you’re with becomes too braggadocio for my taste; I’m not a chick just out of the nest.
When your stories match his, you feel like you’ve met a male kindred spirit. You could do a freaking happy dance because you’re sharing your stories with someone who has the same sense of adventure. Little by little you question, disbelief dampens the flames of desire. Ladies, you know how deflating a liar is, right.
A man with a passion for almost anything, I prefer to the guy who lists his assets, upon deciding that those assets should be enough to attract you slides rather rapidly into fault finding, a constant complainer. Yuck.
I’ve had real love and I’ve had forever, at least forty-five years of it. As I recall, we built that a day at a time.
A man who loves his job can tell me stories about something I don’t understand; I’ll ask questions while admiring the twinkle in his eyes as he speaks, but he must ask about me. I don’t spew or interrupt a man waxing eloquent on himself. A man who doesn’t ask about the woman he’s with doesn’t care who you are; screw that and bye-bye.
A lively conversation, friendly banter and a bit of innuendo don’t mean a thing, but time well spent; I could enjoy that, but too many woe-be-gone faces want to tell me their problems. They remind me of a very talented woman who applied for a job as my secretary. I was liking her for the job, told her I’d call her, and on the way out the door she said, “I suffer from melancholia.”
Companions, partners, or mates should bring us up; some days we struggle to enjoy our day. Before we’ll help each other; we must care. Time well spent together brings that, so don’t tell me about forever; let’s just make a beautiful day and see what happens.
By the way, I’m a spoiler; do you know what that is?
It’s a woman who when she’s happy, she spoils you silly.  

Friday, June 23, 2017

Whose Government

Chances are few Americans remember the bread lines of the Depression. Since WWII we’ve had a prosperous middle class and unions enabled workers a decent wage and benefits, so we’ve had a good life.
Slowly the rich organized behind the scene in government; first came lobby money. Back then we knew it was a bribe to give money for a vote; lavish trips were given to legislators so they could see what big money wanted, all perfectly legal. Swag bags ensured that legislators looked favorably; who doesn’t like a nice gift?
Election campaigns became more expensive because deep pockets usually win. Integrity doesn’t win elections; money does. Both sides made concessions to the same master. Integrity is always a scarce commodity, but they’re having a sale.
Laws changed to allow PACTS so umpteen dollars could be donated to a cause. Zealots of all makes celebrated, but it’s like Monopoly, sooner or later the biggest pot wins. I heard that one of the Koch bros said that.  
Statesmen, a largely honorable class, have been replaced by people like the carpetbaggers of the time after the Civil War, people who see government service as a career path to riches.
With money legally shifting votes from the benefit of we, the people, to the rich and powerful few, we don’t stand a chance.
The loyal opposition, Dems hold out their hand to tell us they will fight for health care, hold the line on Social Security, support the EPA, and nutritious meals in schools, just send them some money so they can fight big money, whose funds are in their pockets, after all, they can’t win without it.
Does anyone see a problem with this system? What’s the goal?
Yes, we health care, Social Security, and all of that, but until we reverse this system, we will be mired in a swamp of big money, pulled under by the weight of heavy dough.
Unless we get PACT, lobby money out of government and change our election laws so our representatives may not be influenced by big money without facing jail, we will lose. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

What Do We Want?

The world I want runs on compassion, respect, and love; it’s all here. When we behave in harmony with the lessons of Christ, which is my frame of reference growing up in the Catholic Church, life holds some sweet days. I believe in karma and that we’re growing into spiritual beings.
Admittedly, my understanding of the yin and yang concept needs fine tuning, but the Ouroboros symbol of the snake chewing its butt appalls me; can’t we do better than that?
Why does the snake eat its tail? Why is Congress consistently doing things that hurt the people? I can be blind to the obvious sometimes; why do I assume that people want to do good?
A friend of mine, a mafioso type from Chicago once said,
“As smart as you are, how come you’re no further along than you are?”
“I’m honest and do things legit.”
I could hear disappointment and more in the one word.
This reminded me that many big businesses were funded by criminal endeavors; what does it take for me to get it that all the goodness and love in the world won’t change the greedy willing to do anything for money and power?
A career in government has become the latest path to riches and grand lifestyle with big business buying votes on both sides of the aisle.
Remember marching in the 60’s and the 70’s?
“What do we want?”
“When do we want it?”
Mitch McConnell is right Congress will never against big business influencing elections; why would they?
We, the people, need to be clear about what we want, one human, one vote. We don’t contribute all our working lives to have Social Security taxed or robbed by the rich.
As I recall from my studies a long time ago, we have the right of referendum to put something on a national ballot. Getting lobby perks, pact money, and free trips out of government will have to come from us or it won’t happen.

And then we’ll be heading in a direction where respect and compassion might thrive. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Saggy Remainder Years Challenge

Most days I know what I believe, I think about it quite a bit. On what if days, who knows what will cross my mind?
I can see myself as a fat old lady stuck on a broke island waiting to die, which is true or as the adventurous daredevil traveling to beautiful places alone in her spare time, also true.
In between all these good times, I sure can feel sorry for myself. There’s no getting over you, my darling, even after four years.
God, thanks for the opportunity to have the tribulations that balanced my trials. One’s life should be a wild ride; oh, the shit, you do over the years.
Opting out on children means you don’t get to be grandma. It was my husband I never planned on living without. This majorly sucks and how do I let go of the loss enough to enjoy the saggy remainder years of my life?
That’s exactly the challenge; make the best out of the remainder when every day is bitch or brag and the best may be a pain-free day. Our days no longer hold wide open promise; a day working in the garden means happiness.
Daily, my husband suffered physical pain but managed to love his life and bring joy to others; he was one of those guys. I’ve seen a great spirit live a humble life in torture. I can quit complaining. This is me shutting up, accepting the saggy, remainder challenge.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Always, My Love

“Get over it,”
some have had the guts to say.
“Move along with your life,”
others counsel.
“He’d want you to be happy,”
A few console.

Fourth anniversary here in a bit
I miss being your wife
The showers of love poems
Sweet and sappy
People who like me, a small council
But no one on Earth to touch my soul

Alone, no you to hold my hand
Sampling life’s wares
Many shores to meander
Sunsets seen with toes in sand
Postcards wishing you were there
Always, my love

Sunday, June 11, 2017

New Days, Old Ways

Game of Thrones, The Last Kingdom, and The Tudors are some of my favorite shows. Perhaps it’s my overactive imagination, but sometimes I picture the cast of our Congress in medieval attire and our president with a crown banishing and tweeting with abandon waiting for the beheading to begin or maybe it has and I just don’t know it.
In the age of political correctness, we held our tongues and made a stab at considering the other guy’s feelings. Some people took that rather hard.
Given our history, we should understand by now that accepting others isn’t easy and figure out how to get over ourselves, but no, we’re the snake eating its own behind.
In the beginning of the age of political correctness, we learned about how win-win negotiation might actually be better for everybody than the historic win-lose warriors adore.
Paying lip service to respect for your opponent, giving value to the other guy’s wants couldn’t have been all that difficult; could it? What’s the worse that might happen; we gain empathy? Or heaven forbid we appreciate the other guy’s point of view.
Humans considering the wants and needs of others would be so utopia, so Renaissance. We strive for an age of enlightenment; what the hell happened?
Elected official freed to tackle citizen to the floor, power broker sends witch who laughed at him to the stockade, and a first son declares, 
“Democrats aren’t even human.”
Lords and ladies in charge of public programs figuring out how to keep the lower classes barefoot, dumb, and pregnant. If they wore their regal garb, we’d see them for the offspring of aliens they are.
A return to the Dark Ages doesn’t benefit people. If the one percent, the lords have no respect for the needs of the serfs, what are citizens going to do about it?
If we, the people are going to have any power of negotiation, perhaps we ought to do it before robots replace us in the workforce.
Whose Utopia would it be if the 1% outsourced the rest of the human race?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Stay Focused

Is beat up on Bill Maher time over? Who else wants to get the last lick in before we call it enough?
We, the ninety-nine percent need to keep our eyes on the prize, to borrow a phrase. Don’t waste time fighting with friends because rich people want to hurt us.
Bill, a rich white liberal, who actually appears to like black people f---’ed up; he’s not a closet enemy. People who turn on friends ready to pick some bones end up friendless.
He referred to himself as a house nigger, so after the whipping, you’re going to school Bill that the word nigger originally a pejorative for Negro used by whites has been taken back and may now only be used by black people. Holy smokes, I didn’t know there was a memo.  
To me, the saddest thing in the world is to hear one black call another a nigger because that’s the worst thing he can think to call him. You know it happens. That word belongs to the devil, no good comes from its utterance.
Black comedians eased the sting and black people overcame the word, but continued use desensitized your white friends to the horror that word is.
That’s our word you can’t use it; when has that ever worked? Oh, please, he didn’t seriously say that.
I can tell you that the day after a Wanda Sykes performance the word nigger crossed my mind three times about no particular thing; it’s that kind of word, just like when I first learned fuck.
Good for us but not for you is a double standard that goes nowhere good. Oh, and just as a clarification point, do Latinos get to say, nigger? What are the rules on that?
We need to get all of the funds, pacts, and soft money out of government; stay focused like we’re all fighting the aliens.
As a comrade, if not a friend, and friend I hope, may I suggest the bitch slapping be done; remember a humbled friend is seldom a better friend for it.
People in the media will need our support to push for a national referendum to get graft (my opinion) out of government.

Friday, June 9, 2017

It Is a Big Deal

Sometime in my early sixties thoughts switched to retirement. As part of that process, one takes the look over the shoulder to see the accomplishments of a lifetime.  For me, it was the moment of looking myself in the eye to know that I had earned my respect.
So many things in life aren’t as big a deal as we make them out to be, but liking who you are at the end of your career is important. It’s not a number thing like he who dies with the most toys wins; they’re just toys. I’d rather have integrity than more money, but no mistake I wanted to earn a comfortable living and worked hard.
Over the years there’s always bad times, but I plucked along relentlessly. Earning a big salary may be its own reward, but spending years doing something I didn’t like never made me happy, so I followed the rule of love what you do.
Dogs have perfected the art of presence; in silence, they look at us and perhaps wag their tail with no obvious judgment. Since childhood, I have loved dogs; thank you, God.
After jobs and businesses I enjoyed, the last thirty years of my career I worked with dogs; what could be better? I played with dogs for a living until I ran a dog business that played with dogs, which is almost as much fun but paid better.
Nobody wants to leave a thriving business, but age ain’t easy, so you contemplate and consider before rebelliously declaring,
“I have another good ten years in me, maybe more.”
But the property and the business appraised at a tidy sum, so best think about it; it made so much sense to quit in time to enjoy life. My husband suffered from chronic pain, so he voted to go; we put it on the market and buyers came, but nobody could get a loan.
Bankers lead the news each evening, they called it, the “Great Recession.” Too big to fail, that was the slogan, followed by bailout and lay off.
My modest dog business didn’t count for shit when regular clients can’t afford daycare for the kids and dog, so the dog lived in the yard all day and other clients, I carried. My clients, my neighbors were upside down, as they called it, meaning they owed more than the property was worth. I wasn’t in that boat, but found myself working way harder for a lot less; it was an ugly time, I picked to absolutely need to rest.
We're beaten and broken over time, so when we’re done there’s no debating. I hated to give up everything when we were covering for banking crooks by decree of GWB and company because they caused my pain. Who gives a f---, right?
Greedy bankers invented new products to sell for more than it was worth, oops. We, the people, had to pay; I had to pay when I needed my lifetime payout, another oops.
The Dodd-Frank Act became law to prevent these same greedy bankers we bailed out less than ten years ago from doing the same thing to us again.
I am disgusted by a legislature that would consider repeal of Dodd-Frank. Does the abuse of the people need to become a real ass whipping before we say, “No.”
People in power talked around the problem until I felt dizzy, but superb performances from a stellar cast in The Big Short and Margin Call shine a light on the bad behavior of reputable robbers/bankers. These movies are the modern day equivalent of Redford and Hoffman getting the goods on Nixon.
What is my generation supposed to say to the next?
“Every generation gets its ass beat by government whores with fat wallets of big business money, shut your mouth and take it.
Please, don’t.