Thursday, June 23, 2011

An Answer to Lonely Nights

She’s a wild one when she’s mad,

A tiger with slashing claws,

But very reasonable and calm,

Once she has time to pause,

A storm in the mountains,

But a gentle breeze from the sea,

Her friends fill her days,

Yet she yearns to be free,

She believes in fairy tales,

And all her wishes coming true,

But she’ll give her heart to a pauper,

As long as he loves her too,

 In her dreams she flits about,

Much like a butterfly,

Sampling each flower in a random way,

It’s always worth a try,

When her prince arrives,

She’ll welcome him right in,

Her heart is full and ready to share,

She’ll disarm him with her grin,

He’ll be the center of her universe,

As he strums across her heart,

She’s ready to join his life’s song,

And she’s eager to do her part,

He’ll enter her web carefully,

Knowing she is a connoisseur,

He knows exactly what he wants,

So he accepts her honeyed lure,

Her words are pure and clear,

Information that yearns to be heard,

And he will be there, face to face,

Listening to every word,

When they’re behind closed doors,

She’ll be shy, bold, a little bit of a tease,

And he’ll try the best he can,

A thousand ways to please,

Her prince has visited countless times,

And held her in his dreams,

He’s watched over her as she slept,

And planned out his schemes,

Caressed her cheek, each strand of hair,

Whispered sweet nothings in her ear,

Words that meant much to him,

Words she could barely hear,

 Words that were meaningful

 Right from the start,

“You mean the world to me,

I will give you my heart,

And treat you tenderly.”

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Two Dimensions

Two dimensions of time overlapped one day,

Changing my point of view,

I had been all alone,

Pondering what to do,

My life had burned almost to the end,

I’d say it had been full,

Now I waited for what comes next,

And for life’s storms to lull,

But in a flash my world turned,

As the two dimensions met,

When I saw what could have been,

It filled me with regret,

She was in the kitchen,

Standing by the sink,

Staring out the window,

Taking time to think,

I thought she was very alluring,

So I came up behind,

Kissed her neck and said,

“You are mine, all mine,”

Tears welling up in her eyes,

She turned and faced me,

“Why couldn’t we be this way forever,

Why does this have to be?”

I knew what she meant,

I knew why she was crying,

How can her world go on,

When my world is dying?

I had wrestled with time before,

Always I would lose,

Time dances to its own rhythm,

And doesn’t let you choose,

One of the cruel ironies of time,

Is that lifetimes don’t match,

While one world is slipping away,

Another world starts to hatch,

I am being pulled out of orbit,

Into the dark of night,

My world will soon be gone,

While her world will be shining bright,

Why is life so complicated?

It seems like a cruel hoax,

Our lives are so mismatched,

While time laughs at his joke,

I brush a wisp of hair,

Away from her worried face,

“Let’s just enjoy every minute,

Savoring every trace,”

“We will share our lives all we can,

Until time reshifts into place,

That’s all the control we have,

So we’ll let our hearts set the pace,”

Across two dimensions our hearts will search,

Endlessly it seems,

But we will forever bond,

If only in our dreams.

You Are

You Are

You are a social butterfly,

With lots of friends to fill your days,

As you flit from flower to flower,

You could be good for me,

Making my heart glad,

Putting a smile on my face,

You are a hopeful romantic,

Waiting for love to come your way,

Ready to be kissed,

Afraid you’ll be missed,

Your heart is ripe for love,

You are a modern Cinderella,

Looking for magic to touch your life,

Searching for a charming prince,

Looking for a happy beginning,

Waiting for that midnight clock,

To reveal the truth, 

You are a private dancer,

Wanting to please one man,

Playing the role of seductress,

Drawing him into your web,

Closing in quickly,

To secure him with your sweetness,

You are a connoisseur,

Sampling and tasting,

Those that come within reach,

But not committing to one,

While you wait for the special man,

Who will stir your emotions,

You are a modern woman,

Independent and willing,

Ready to call your own shots,

You could be good for me,

What could I do for you?

I could hold you tight,

Each and every night,

Help count the stars above,

I could hold your hand,

Be an answer to your lonely nights,

Fill your waiting arms,

Discover your many charms,

And be there for you,

You are so many things to me,

And I like you just the way,

You are.

The Ocean Is Calling Me

By the ocean is where I want to be,

With sand dunes and ocean breeze,

Calling out to me,

The cry of gull and bark of seal,

Are calling me home,

Where I can feel,

I must return where the ocean pounds,

For I can’t find peace,

Without ocean sounds.

It had been so long since Caleb left.  He remembered driving through the woods, watching the mountains slip away in his rear mirror until he was on flat land in a farming paradise.  The scenery was almost the same in every direction.  There were no nearby mountains.  There were a few trees and houses, just the way he liked it. At least that’s what he thought at the time.

Caleb’s life changed drastically. He endured several years of freezing cold and ice storms.  He also endured springs and summers of torrential downpours, floods, tornados, and sticky humidity.  The weather was not a factor in his decision to stay or go.  Not yet.

 The flatland was good for farming and it did not wrap its tentacles around him like the sea did.  The sounds and smells of the sea grabbed him when he was young and made an impression. The rhythmic waves gently rocked him to sleep. The beach and ocean became his playground.  Later it was his mistress. And in the back of his mind he knew that someday it would be his grave.  The sea would wait patiently through his complete life cycle, from birth to death, expecting him to eventually return to the only home he really understood.

As the years dragged by, he grew increasingly lonely but he understood his need. The thing missing in his life was a good woman, one who would pull him to her bosom and give him a sense of security.  The women who lived by the sea and those on flatland were so different. Those by the coast loved quicker, more fervently, because they understood their men would be called by the sea and could get lost at sea.  Flatlanders usually chose farmers, men who would stay put, men who would be content raising wheat, corn, and kids. 

He adjusted to the slower and richer style of loving and eventually he found a woman whose heart was tender and made him feel loved.  They watched sunsets and dawns, made love passionately, and communicated endlessly.  Life was perfect and the world rotated every day.

 But one day his world stopped cold. A blizzard hit while he was in town getting supplies.  He struggled homeward but did not arrive until early afternoon the next day.  She didn’t come out to greet him, and the house was cold. 

He searched frantically but to no avail. Friends joined in the search.  She was found lying near the barn, her arms wrapped around a frozen calf.  Guilt overwhelmed him.  “That was my job,” he thought, “getting all the animals inside.”  That thought tormented him more and more.  As he withdrew into his shell his friends stopped visiting.  They wondered why he was becoming inaccessible.  He thought they blamed him for his wife’s death.

The things he liked about the sea were coming back to haunt him.  Every night he could hear the relentless pounding of the waves, see the pelicans dipping low as they flew between the swells.  And that salty smell was there in his room.  The sea was calling him, urging him to climb aboard a fishing boat and sail out of the harbor, away from the safety of the shore. 

“Why should I go?” he asked himself. The question remained, unanswered, frozen in the cold air.  But Immediately another question rose.”Why should I stay?” 

Finally Caleb’s mind was made and he prepared to rid himself of the farm and its memories. He sold what he could and gave away the rest.  There was nothing left for him there in the flatlands.  Whenever he saw fields of wheat dancing with the wind, he was reminded of ocean swells.  Whenever he saw a sunset or dawn, he wished he could see the sun hanging just over the horizon with a ship sailing somewhere.

 The sea was his mistress again and each day she was calling, calling him back to where he belonged, back to her open arms.  There were new adventures waiting, new adventures that would help him forget the flatlands and teach him that love once lost can sometimes be found again.  His will to live had suffered a blow.  Now he was willing to dare, to face danger, to love recklessly.  Tomorrow he would set sail and he didn’t care where.

(To be Continued)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Scandal is a Storm with a Voracious Appetite

A Scandal is a Storm With a Voracious Appetite

Stir a Scandal and it only gets bigger.  One misdeed grows larger, getting energy from opposing forces, until it becomes a storm of increasing destructive strength sweeping over a wider area, changing the landscape forever.  And yet, in spite of all the debris and obvious evidence, there is denial that the storm ever existed, or if it did exist, the claims are made that it did no damage.

  A political storm is not about a politician being open and honest with constituents.  It is about truth management.  First, is it necessary to tell the truth? How much truth should be told?  Who needs to know and why?  If the truth comes out will it destroy the power base or the sources of income? To what extent should the sources of truth be stopped? 

A politician is not one person, but the figurehead of an organization.   That organization has spent time and money building an image, lifting the politician to a position of power.  Unscrupulous members might be assigned the chores of keeping bad news or truths hidden.  Small scandals can be countered with lies or money. Large scandals might require more drastic measures.  And the politicians themselves might never know how the scandal is handled.  A scandal is a storm with a voracious appetite, springing up suddenly, and out of control.  Such is the story of Any Mann.

Any Mann began as a small town candidate running for a small office.  He kissed babies, became a member of the school board, the county water district, the city council, and quietly began building his resume.  He had help, of course, from an organization that saw his potential.  He wasn’t particularly bright, but he was handsome and well groomed, did and said what he was told, smiled a lot, and had a clean record.  He was a near perfect candidate and the organization could build a power base around him.

 He was elected to the state assembly on the first try, not because he was so great but because the organization easily outspent his opponent.  After three terms Any was elected to Congress and gradually worked his way onto powerful committees.  Those who had supported him throughout his career now began asking him for favors as a way of repaying their investments. The requests were harmless at first, but the demands became increasingly bold, and were hard to put into bills without public exposure.

The pressures on Any were growing and he began taking prescription drugs to ease his stress.  His political strength was building and he was becoming a name across the country. 

He returned to his home town for a Mother’s Day celebration.  His sister, brother and selected friends joined him.  They partied hardy.   Any relaxed and was glad to be away from the pressures of Washington although he still had his bodyguards. Sometime in the evening drinking and drugs mixed.   Any at first appeared normal but soon he was out of control.  He found his sister, Patti, asleep in another room.  After a brief struggle he overpowered and raped her. 

As morning neared he came to his senses and became afraid.  “Get out! This is your fault!  You’re trying to ruin me!”  He shoved her out of the room.  “I don’t ever want to see you again!”

Their older brother was awakened by the commotion and found Patti sobbing inconsolably, curled in a fetal position.  After a few minutes he asked gently, “What happened?” Patti ‘s eyes widened.  “I can’t tell you,” she sobbed.  “You have to,” he insisted.

 “Any raped me,” she blurted. He held her hand, gradually comprehending the gravity of the situation.  He hugged her and said, “Everything will be all right.  After I find Any I’m taking you to the hospital.” 

He found Any outside the house, talking with a bodyguard.  He walked up to Any and asked bluntly, “Patti’s our sister. Why did you rape her?” 

“Don’t be taking her side when you don’t even know what happened! I knew she’d say something like that.  She’s a tramp!”

Before Any could say anything more, he was knocked down. His brother stated, “I should kill you but after I take Patti to the hospital, I’m holding a news conference and telling the nation just what kind of jerk you are.”

 He spun about and marched out.  Any turned to the bodyguard.  “I guess it’s all over.”

The bodyguard was on his cell phone immediately.  After a few seconds he said, “Go get in my car and wait there.  Don’t talk to anybody. The big boss says hang tight.  We’ll handle this crisis before it gets out of control.”

“What do you mean?”

“This is not the time to ask questions, sir.  Just follow directions.  Everything is already put into motion.”

Any saw his brother and sister drive away in his government issued sedan. He put his head into his hands. “What is going on?  I can’t believe that I’ve screwed up my life.” 

In his anguish he missed the following scene. A gray car pulled out and followed the sedan at a respectable distance.  A few blocks away at a stoplight the gray car suddenly pulled up alongside the sedan.  Several guns fired simultaneously.  The sedan lurched forward and crashed into a pole.

The gray car sped away.

Within the hour a news bulletin was issued.  “This afternoon at 1 p.m. an attempted assassination on Congressman Any Mann was made.  His driver, brother and sister were killed by unknown gunmen.  By a lucky circumstance Any had been called away to an emergency meeting and was not in the car.  Our government has just issued a High Alert until the gunmen can be found.”

The resulting publicity and the way Any handled himself over the next few months raised his ratings in the polls.  He became a presidential candidate and insiders said he had the best chance of winning.

But there were rumors that kept bubbling up and damaging Any’s image. Did someone have a video showing Any and his brother fighting?  Could that bruise on his cheek be explained?   Did someone actually have a tape of Patti’s dying words?  Attempts were made to squelch each and every rumor but that only made the rumors spread.  Did Any order his brother and sister killed?  Should such a man be elected to the White House? 

It wasn’t long before the other congressmen considered Any a liability and began distancing themselves.  They didn’t want to go down with his ship.  Finally the organization behind him cut all ties.  “You can’t do this,” he stated. “I didn’t order my brother and sister killed.”

Within the hour a new bulletin was issued.  “This afternoon Congressman Any  Mann was found dead in his office.  A note was found beside his body.  Any had been described as despondent by several of his close friends. A memorial will be held.”

The storm was over and all was quiet.  The organization was busy, however, looking for a new candidate, someone they could package and sell.  It was not about finding the best person for the job.  It was simply a matter of merchandizing magic.  Tell the people what they want and then convince them that their desires were granted.  Anything can happen in the land where dreams come true.

One Life (From Gandy Dancer to farmer)


Hugh wasn’t sure if he was mostly Irish or mostly Choctaw,

But at the age of eleven there was a determined set to his jaw,

From a hard-working family, he was but one of ten,

Steady, reliable, and able to outwork any two men,

Respectful of his father but tired of being knocked about,

He knew if he remained at home, his future was in doubt,

One night when all were exhausted and fast asleep,

He gathered a few things along with his rifle to keep,

Slung over his shoulder were his food and rifle reloads,

He hurried along until he found the tracks of the railroad,

Following the rails for hours and then hiding outside town,

He hopped the first train that was westward bound,

Hugh met up with the foreman of a rough work crew,

The foreman smiled, “Just exactly what can you do?”

Hugh wasn’t ready to prove he could outwork two men,

So he said boldly, “I can supply your crew with meat now and then,”

The foreman laughed, “You’re young but I admire your spunk,”

“Tomorrow I’ll see what you can do, now let’s find you a bunk,”

Before long the crew was enjoying the fruits of his skill,

The foreman noticed Hugh didn’t waste shots or kill for the thrill,

One day on a hunting expedition Hugh heard a gruff voice,

“Give me that rifle, boy, you ain’t got no choice,”

Now Hugh had learned to treat others with respect,

They should return the favor, something he would expect,

“I don’t bother anything of others is my bottom line,

What’s yours is yours and what’s mine is mine,”

“Hand over that rifle, boy, and you’d better make it quick,”

 Otherwise I’ll just take it, after I give your rear a kick,”

The rifle was Hugh’s, and to make a point he fired one round,

The man cursed loudly and made a hissing sound,

“I think you might be old enough to be digging ditches,

But to challenge me you’re getting too big for your britches,”

“If you’re going to test a man, then you’ll die like a man,

Because I can shoot faster than any man can,”

The bully grabbed his gun and swung it around,

One bullet was fired and then he hit the ground,

The shocked look on his face, one of complete surprise,

His life was over, shot squarely between the eyes,

The sheriff came by but after a look at the evidence,

Declared Hugh was innocent, “Clearly self-defense!”

With one man missing from the railroad crew,

The foreman asked Hugh to fill in there too,

 “We’re one man short I won’t take no for an answer,

You’ll still bring in meat, and you’ll be a gandy dancer,”

Not only was he able to pull his own weight,

He stopped a train robbery and sealed one bandit’s fate,

The robber was bold to walk down the aisles,

But that was the bandit’s last day to smile,

Though roving bands of disgruntled men roamed the west,

Many were not eager to confront and decided it best,

To just watch and wait to see which train Hugh rode,

They worked it out with a secret code,

Hugh settled down and married the daughter of a judge,

The judge wanted a southern man, but he didn’t carry a grudge,

 The War had long been over and Hugh never claimed a side,

The judge, a Confederate officer, still talked of the war with pride,

But the agreement between Hugh, and Emma, his wife,

Was to love each other totally, and not talk about strife,

 Hugh’s compassion and truth were known round about,

After several years had gone by, his name carried clout,

He and Emma had nine children who were active and loud,

They were all industrious, which made Hugh proud,

The children had multiple chores to do around the farm,

Laughing as they worked, they did nobody harm,

But their chickens didn’t stay on the right side of the fence,

And according to Hugh, they didn’t have “a lick of sense”,

His neighbor shouted, “Keep those chickens off my land!”

“I don’t like Union chickens, I’m sure you understand,”

Hugh swallowed his pride and let the insult slide,

If it wasn’t for the children he’d had the man’s hide,

A few days later one of his kids went under the fence,

She grabbed her pet chicken in the chicken’s defense,

One bullet whizzed by and stirred up some dirt,

Another wild shot but nobody was hurt,

One of the others screamed for their dad,

All the commotion told Hugh it was bad,

Hugh grabbed his rifle and headed out the door,

He heard his neighbor yelling, “I can’t take it anymore!”

“Your union children were trespassing on my land,

If you had gotten an education, then you’d understand,”

Hugh tried to keep calm, he’d promised his wife,

But no one should ever threaten his child’s life,

“If you ever shoot this way again you’ll catch lead,

This time you’re lucky, I’ll just warn you instead,”

The neighbor laughed. “You’re just a farmer man,

I was raised in the South as a cultured gentleman,”

“I don’t take threats lightly, especially from a union man,”

He turned quickly and fired the pistol in his hand,

Hugh was a fraction behind but his rifle was steady,

He fired once before his neighbor’s second was ready,

Hugh’s bullet tore the pistol from the man’s grasp,

There was silence and smoke before he began to gasp,

Hugh’s bullet had hit the gun and ricocheted into the man’s chest,

 Hugh had killed the man, and the sheriff showed up for his arrest,

Hugh went quietly, sure it was self-defense,

But the charges filed against him led to some suspense.

The Trial

The civil war had been over for forty years,

Yet there were those who were still shedding tears,

And fighting their hated enemy in mental battles,

Strutting about town as if their sabres still rattled,

The prosecutor was a man who liked to build his case,

A reenactment of the Civil War was his base,

Hugh was portrayed as a Union man with a grudge,

Which didn’t sit well with the Confederate judge,

Railroad men, townsfolk, neighbors called on Hugh’s behalf,

Claimed he was a honest hardworking man who liked to laugh,

But most admitted they were afraid to misbehave,

They believed that anyone who challenged him would lie in a grave,

Things did not go well for Hugh at the trial,

Rumors said he’d dance on the gallows or be jailed for awhile,

Before the trial ended, his luck suddenly changed,

His wife approached the judge with a plan arranged,

The judge called for a recess and they met in another room,

“Judge,” she said quietly, “before you announce Hugh’s doom,

I want you to consider the cards I might deal,

Hugh might go to jail but your fate will be sealed,”

“My dad was a general and respected as well,

He was a proud gentleman but he knew war was hell,

He would have preferred that I marry someone from the south,

But he admired Hugh’s character and the words from his mouth,

He also said that the nation could only be healed,

If justice was fair and the truth revealed,”

“You know that Hugh is telling nothing but the truth,

But if you need more testimony, I’ll enter the booth,

If you dare dismiss my testimony or even imply,

That the daughter of a respected officer would lie,”

“You might upset a few of Dad’s former friends,

Who would take it as his reputation you’ll offend,

If you should sentence Hugh based on other issues,

Then I’d sure hate to be in your shoes,”

The judge didn’t move as she swished through the door,

His eyes were staring blankly at the floor,

He had promised his friends that Hugh had to pay,

Now he had to be creative and find another way,

His friends wanted retaliation for losing the war,

They wanted Hugh to hang and nothing more,

The judge was caught between a rock and a hard place,

But he could still redeem himself without losing face,

“All rise,” the sheriff intoned as the judge entered, “Now take your seats,”

The crowd was quiet, it didn’t want to miss a beat,

The prosecutor was smiling and expecting a win,

There were those in the audience expressing chagrin,

Without raising his eyes the judge said,

“The nation’s wounds have too long bled,

  All the brokenness we have to repair,

That can only happen if justice is fair,”

“The preponderance of evidence is plain to me,

That the accused is innocent in every degree,

If there is nothing more then I’ll insist,

This trial is over, Case Dismissed!

There were those who were in shock,

The ones expecting a conviction, the southern flock,

From the union supporters there was a flurry of tears,

And then realizing victory, a chorus of cheers,

The judge rose and went out the back door,

He wasn’t sure he could please anybody anymore,

He liked his job but maybe it was time,

To move along to another clime,

For the rest of his life Hugh lived down on the farm,

Raising children and animals and doing no harm,

Of course Emma and Hugh grew old together,

Loving each other and talking about the weather.

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