Week 51 – Strong #2

Uncle Sam

He was the tallest,

the strongest,

the fastest,

the smartest.

He was the coolest,

the nicest,

the wisest,

the hardest.

He was you,

me,

everyone

in between.

He was the first,

the second,

the tenth,

the last.

There was never anyone like him,

there was never anything like him.

He was my Uncle Sam,

I still weep.

Week 51 – Strong #1

Tiki

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.

Week 50 – Home #2

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.

Week 50 – Home #1

Run

I ran

And ran.

I got as far West as I could get, and after a few years,

I realized that I couldn’t stay.

So I ran

And 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.

Week 49 – Welcome #2

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!

Week 49 – Welcome #1

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.

Week 48 – Mine #2

The Lawn

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.

Week 48 – Mine #1

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!

Week 47 – Celebration #2

Gearing up for the Weekend

Man, we cranked the tunes!

Working through the week, the shop gets a little crazy on Friday!

It starts with those crazy chicken breakfast biscuits that the boss brings in,

Then he turns on some funky-ass music from the 70s!

Most of the guys are older than me, so they tell me all the time at lunch about the wild concerts they saw before they had kids.

Man, talk about wild shit!

By the time four o’clock rolls around, the guys have been yelling stories about Led Zeppelin, and the old man brings in all of his Zepp CDs.

One by one the guys play their faves, but the best one is the last song of the day – “Celebration Day”.

By the time we bust out of the joint, we are fired up and ready for a weekend full of beer and whiskey!

Week 47 – Celebration #1

Festival de Equinox

You could feel the expectation in the air.

The warm, soupy summer slowly turned cooler, more people friendly,

The night of the vernal equinox was the perfect night for a celebration.

And boy howdy, celebrate we did!

All day long, the empty 8-foot tables began to fill with food, food, food, wine, and tequila.

The end of summer garden delights were presented with care.

Soon, the music began. The ragingly awesome guitar riffs of Joe Walsh welcomed the partiers.

After Joe Walsh sang about life being good (so far!), someone turned on Los Lobos, who rocked the rest of the night.

The hot food came out – tamales, tacos with fixins, carnitas, cheese, more cheese.

The mental supplementals came out – the guac, the salsa, chips, hot sauce, and more hot sauce.

It was dizzying, yet just the smell had peoples’ mouths watering!

Beer flowed like tequila. Tequila flowed like water.

It was heaven on earth, and hell was raised.

It was like cinco de Mayo on the 22nd of September.

When the party organically started dying down, there was a dulling of the festivities to match the dulling of the senses.

Drinks flowed slower. Food grew crusty.

There was a declaration of the celebration moratorium as the question mark on the flyer leaned towards 3am.

People stumbled and bumbled back to their residences, and lights went out on porches.

Though the hum of the party died out, there were still pockets where you could still hear the buzz – and two or three voices singing shouts of “Tequila” as quietly as a roaring moose.