As I sat on Easter Sunday,
I found a little jelly bean.
I considered many questions:
Where did it come from?
Why was it here?
Was it a sign?
The red mini-bomb of sugar had me wondering:
What was the flavor – strawberry or cherry?
How old was it?
How long had it been there?
I stared and had a vision of eating it.
My mouth watered,
My parotid tweaked,
My teeth hurt.
That little jelly bean on Easter sunday,
Generated so many questions
For such a minuscule thing.
It made me realize how small I was in the universe.
And how much of an impact I have yet to make.
Everywhere he went
He caused a scene
Even at school
He punched the dean
He wore shorts
When they wore jeans
He was dirty
They were clean
It’s no lie
He was obscene
“Eat Crap!” he’d say
See what I mean?
He once dated
The cute prom queen
But he was 30
and she was a teen
There was no way
anyone could intervene
This was the way he was
and his name was Jelly Bean.
He was the tallest,
He was the coolest,
He was you,
He was the first,
There was never anyone like him,
there was never anything like him.
He was my Uncle Sam,
I still weep.
The little man sat cold in the chair
After the chemo drip was attached, the nurse covered him with a fleece blanket.
The blanket screamed SPARTANS!, colored in the familiar green and white.
The man sighed heavily, and resigned himself to watch “The Price is Right”.
During the commercial, he looked up at the IV, which dripped, dripped, dripped in silence.
Again, he sighed.
He closed his eyes.
Behind fluttering eyelids, he saw himself 20 years earlier.
Strong, lithe, healthy.
He was hanging out in a tiki bar in Florida, listening to badass reggae riddims while watching college football on TV.
He could almost taste the Rum Runner, and shivered with the cool memory.
He and his buddies were laughing. Sharing motorcycle stories.
He was the only one left now, and he wondered, opening his eyes again, staring at the plastic bag full of vile chemicals, if he’ll ever get another chance to feel the sand of that warm tiki bar under his feet. Ever again.
It was a long month, and I was finally home.
Don’t get me wrong, I had amazing adventures!
Rolling along Route 66 in Arizona,
Dipping my toes in the Pacific Ocean off Malibu,
Driving through the mountains outside of San Bernardino.
I had rain in New Mexico,
Sunshine in Colorado,
Snow in Utah.
In California I met surfers,
In Nevada I met drifters,
In Texas I met truck drivers.
It was an amazing trip for sure,
Wandering lost for a month in America’s Southwest.
I got as far West as I could get, and after a few years,
I realized that I couldn’t stay.
So I ran
I went as far East as I could go.
I married and settled down.
But after the accident, I was running again.
South, south, south.
I played shuffleboard with old friends, canasta, too.
But I couldn’t stop fidgeting,
So I took off North.
It’s easy to run away,
But you never outrun your demons and habits.
You can try to go home again,
But it’s never really home.
Come On Down!
Wouldn’t you want to go
To see the crazy show
And go where you know
You won’t stub your toe?
Wouldn’t you like to see
A brand new vanity
A place where you can be
And avoid calamity?
A place where you feel welcome
Happy, joyful and then some
No one thinks you’re dumb
And there’s no need to be numb…
We’d love to have you here
A place with ice cold beer
You can stand around and cheer
And there’s nothing at all to fear!
So come on down
Turn around that frown
Don’t be a clown
Come on down!
The Birth of the Season
The autumnal equinox coincided with the full moon.
The farm was hosting a celebration of lightness and harvest, and we were buzzing in vibration.
Costumes weren’t required, but those without them (like me) were out of place.
We stoked the single story high bonfire, and lit humorous cigarettes, breathing the herb deep into our lungs.
Someone thought margaritas were a good idea, and I gladly agreed.
Carl strummed his guitar and Janet (who was pretty weird) played her oboe.
We sat in beach chairs and dug our toes into the dirt.
We welcomed the season with chants and prayers, and spun out of the galaxy as the stars whirled overhead.
I stretched out on the sofa.
Warm summer breezes floated through the room.
I closed my eyes, thinking of nothing in particular.
My thoughts were mine, and only mine.
I thought I smelled the freshly cut grass, and it triggered a memory:
My dad wanted me to start mowing the lawn, and I was so excited!
Like an artist at work, I mowed the lawn into the shape of the British Flag,
I made diagonal cuts instead of horizontal cuts.
I made a mess of the lawn! It was great!
Dad didn’t see the humor, nor the effort.
He quickly decided that I needed to stop mowing the lawn.
On my sofa, I smile.
Pray for Pay
I wrestle with the wording
and I struggle with the phrasing.
Outside my window, the birds cheerily chirp.
I can hear the music coming from the neighbor’s house:
“Working in a Coal Mine” by Devo.
That’s how I feel – chained to this chair by a deadline,
Seeing the writer’s block coming like an avalanche ahead of me.
I’ll be smothered in no time.
I’m reminded of the classic Christmas show “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” as I tap my fingers on the table and repeat my mantra:
“Put one foot in front of the other… put one foot in front of the other… put one foot upside your mother…”
Writing is the life for me!