Thursday, June 21, 2007

Meeting old-time friends can produce the BEST of times. Recently I did this, and it was the best of the best.

A True Friendship

I finally got together
(after 30 years),
With an old-time friend
And we shed some tears,
Of happiness and joy
To see each other again,
Old-time friend I thank you
For holding up your end.

We hadn't changed much
In each other's eyes,
We'd done our share of living
No need for secret pries,
Into the unspoken deeds
That we might have performed,
When I left our brief reacquaintance
My heart was truly warmed.

I hope to see you again
Sooner than three decades,
It's likely that amount of time
Creates more significant fades,
Of memory and tissue
But still we could age with finesse,
Sixty years of lifetime rendered
A true friendship, none the less.

Fibril_late; 6/21/07
We nurses are well known for multi-tasking. If not, we'd never get through our day, and manage all the caregiver issues successfully. I have to admit, I'm far better organized, more timely, punctual, reliable, etc. in the work-setting, than I am at home (Type-A, at work; Type-Z, at home). In my abode and peripheral life, I take a more laissez-faire attitude about things; comme ci, comme ca, c'est la vie. A lot of French to describe, laid-back. What it means in real life, is that I miss a lot of birthdays, anniversaries and what-not in a timely fashion. So, I wrote the following poem yesterday, to cover my hmm, for missing a bunch of those things that were due to my son.

Here it is:

Pretty Lax

I suspect it seems
I'm pretty lax,
About anniversary days
And those family pacts,
That tie the knots
Between generations--
It all is true;
My explanation.

So to settle it out
To narrow the rift,
Please accept
This 20th Century gift.

Fibril_late; 6/20/07

Monday, June 18, 2007

Here is a super long and lengthy post. A Traveler Nurse, whom I worked with in 1994, went off to Africa for about 6 months. I wrote roughly 13 poems about that, which finally extended into her USA return, new love in her life, and settling down in North Carolina. I present to you, the collection of "Cannibal Soup". (Jean, I hope you're out there having the good life I imagined for you!):

Cannibal Soup

Oh Jean, I wish
Your trip success,.
But I'm a little worried
None the less,
A premonition?
Call it a hunch,
But I think you're at risk
As cannibal lunch.

This is rarely encountered
In civilized places,
Where the melting pot concept
Has diluted the races,
But in countries where
Civilization is not,
There's a chance, you'll be cookin'
In somebody's pot.

There are simple precautions
That you might consider,
To avoid being sold
To the highest bidder,
Watch what you eat
And keep yourself thinner,
Cannibals prefer
A chunkier dinner.

Wear ugly clothing
Avoid animal tones,
Cover your flesh
And hide all of your bones,
Rub on your skin
Some rhinoceros poop,
'Cause they don't like that flavor
In cannibal soup.


Finally, it's Her

For centuries the voodoo guys
Had a prediction,
They spoke in hushed tones
About their greatest conviction,
And of all life's uncertainties
This was for sure,
They were waiting for someone
Not a him, it was Her.

At the start of your trip
When you dreamed, what to do,
You had legitimate fears
About Cannibal stew,
Now knowing the legends
Of a witch-doctor's cure
Who acknowledged his power
Not from him, but from Her.

When you traveled to Africa
The word got around,
There were rumors and whispers
That the legend was found,
Each village you visited
You created a stir,
The natives in awe, said,
"Oh finally, it's Her".

You mumbled Swahili
And went on safari,
It was better than
Gameboy, or even Atari,
Those days of adventure
Went by in a blur,
And the natives were chanting
"Is it him? No, it's Her.

Then deep in the jungle
The fires were burning,
Not for cannibal soup, but
To celebrate your returning,
With gifts for your spirit
And pelts of fine fur,
The natives bowed down
Not for him, but for Her.

I’m sure they were sorry
When you departed at the ocean,
To say goodbye to their legend
Though you renewed their devotion,
And finally when your ship
Disappeared from their view,
The natives went back
To make cannibal stew.

You came back to the states
Wondering what you had learned,
Your family ecstatic
That you had returned,
They arrived at the airport
Unsure where you were,
Then together, they gasped
“Oh finally, it’s Her”!


A Soap Opera Savior

That wanderlust feeling
Seeped out of her bones,
She was driven to go where
There were no phones,
To touch, taste and feel
Other cultures and creatures,
Something more fascinating
Than cheap double features.

What Houdini channeled
And Nostrodamus foresaw,
The witch-doctor studied
A dead monkey's paw,
Their general conclusion
Was brilliant and clear,
The stars have predicted
That Jean will be here!

Her eager disciples
Are anxiously waiting,
They all want to know
Just who she is dating,
Her sanctified path
And balanced behavior,
Create an aura of mystery
Like a soap opera savior.

Your mission pre-written
On cave-dwellers walls,
You’re saving your money
Till destiny calls,
So, cast aside indecision
Your followers wait,
Be bold, take a trip
Before it’s too late.


A Sketchy History

The European populace
Requests a visitation,
In that continent of Catholicism
You match the saint equation,
An angel in your own right
Your origin a mystery,
Though steeped in their tradition
You have a sketchy history.

The peoples of the ancient times
Bespoke of one to come,
But they somehow merged a mix-up
With the tale of one Tom Thumb,
So they think your general height
Is about ten centimeters,
And when you take a bath
You use, just a couple liters.

It would be a dilemma
For anyone less than thee,
But Jean, I have the feeling
You’ll do it easily.


A Similar Feeling

A similar feeling
Was once felt before,
With suitcases packed
You stood at the door,
A moments hesitation
To turn the latchkey,
A brief glimpse of something
And a sweet memory.

Taking the trip
A path never traveled,
Yet, somehow it feels
Like remembrance unraveled,
And when you return
You're not quite the same,
Your lamplight is burning
With a much, fuller flame.


The Call of the Wild

Dear Jean, I have been wondering
Where you have been,
Have you traveled the dusty roads
On a wanderlust spin,
Do distant lands still beckon you
With the call of the wild,
Is it only a grownup experience
Or did you wander as a child?

I can imagine
Your Mother sometimes said,
“It’s five a.m. and little Jean
Has left an empty bed”,
With the bedroom window open
And footprints in the snow,
I better call her brother
And ask him where she’d go.

I suspect that in your heart
You’ve always thought to travel,
That the mysteries of life
Would unfold and then unravel,
To fill your life with beauty
Astonishment and treasure,
The uniqueness of experience
Is a gift you can not measure.


A Patron Spirit

Whispered incantations
Of ancient pagan rites,
Bonfire dancers chanting
For seven days and nights,
Homage made to spirits
To sanctify and clean,
Make ready sacred vessels
For the goddess known as Jean.

Stargazers have predicted
The dawning of an age,
The writers of the history
Will add another page,
The scholars with an audience
Will ask, “What does it mean?”
The believers, know the answer
In their hearts, they know it’s Jean.

It doesn’t happen often
Like gold, it’s hard to find,
To have a patron spirit
So honest, just and kind,
Preparations bear fruition
The coming of the Queen,
And the natives count their blessings
For the goddess, know as Jean.


Beyond Common Tradition

Hers was a life
Of which legends are made,
She was born in the sun
And retired in the shade,
But somewhere in between
There was a fabulous rendition,
An exemplary existence
Beyond common tradition.

Her family was conservative
She always did her best,
Just follow Mom and Daddy’s ways
It’s safe within the nest,
But it didn’t fill her up inside
It left her feeling hollow,
And though they knew she loved them
She had a different star to follow.

Although I used the word conservative
Her parents had great knowledge,
They encouraged all their children
To attend some kind of college,
Knowing that the value comes
In exploring brand new themes,
They taking the experience
To carry out their dreams.

Her dreams were like a ball of yarn
Just waiting to unravel,
With just a little push, she rolled
Into the world of travel,
Returning now and then
Bearing gifts of life and beauty,
And then that girl would dram again
As though it was her duty.

A legend in her own time
Within the family tree,
When pressed for explanations
She’d say, “Because, it’s me”.


Public Image

Whether on an adventure
Or laying roots somewhere,
Her public wants to know
And strangers always stare,
The curious are quizzical
Her fans expect the most,
Is she settled in the country
Or still traveling coast to coast.

Photographers have captured her
The “Enquirer” reports,
They saw her in Port Lisbon
In a halter top and shorts,
The gossip columns tattle
About her public image,
She was spotted at a “Cowboy’s” game
At the line of scrimmage.

The truth is hard to fathom
The fantasies will fly,
When facts are at a minimum
It’s easier to lie,
About your famous exploits
The jet-set life you lead,
The story bleeds excitement
No matter what the deed.

So where is Waldo
And where is Jean,
Like Elvis Presley
You’ve been seen,
A thousand places
By reports,
In your halter top
And shorts.

This audience knows
The unknown truth,
You’re making the most
Of a beautiful youth,
Because memories form
An inner tapestry,
A special place to travel
When you mind is free.


Dancing on the Breeze

Wanderlust spirit
In another year's life,
A friend of the natives
A lucky mans' wife,
Unfettered creature
Dancing on the breeze,
You walk on the water
Apparently at ease.


The Dreams of Childhood

The thought of planting roots somewhere
Had always sounded stale,
And loving someone deeply
Was just a fairytale,
But now the dreams of childhood
Descended from above,
A quality not known before
She opened up to love.

She settled up her debts
And settled down her soul,
She found a man that cared for her
The half that made her whole;
The spirit of this wanderer
Is finally laid to rest,
With the knowledge that her choices
Were indeed, the very best.


The Saga of Cannibal Soup: Revisited

Picture the scene:
A pretty young lady
Racing around in a panic,
An unlucky heritage
Anxiety enriched
Her Grandparents were on the Titanic,
Wandering about
In hostile territory
Somehow removed from her group,
Unable to recognize
Her potential involvement
In the local dish, cannibal soup.

An American girl
With a childhood dream
To travel and write her own story,
A subconscious urging
On path of discovery
Blazing a trail of true glory,
But now in the midst
Of this frightening jungle
Her childhood dream left behind,
Reality gnawed
On the edge of her fear
That she was the cannibal kind.

A native approached
Bedecked in fine feathers
Brandishing weapons with glee,
Like a well trained scout
He let out a shout
Appearing to say, “Come and see”,
His cadre of comrades
Burst from the jungle
Coming together in a group,
Were they looking around
At the prize they had found
As the meat for their cannibal soup?

As luck would have it
And providence too
These natives were all vegetarians,
Having come a long way
On the evolutionary chain
A far cry from ancient barbarians,
And cannibal soup
Was only a myth
To discourage the curious guest,
With a gallery of heads
And a family sized pot
Invaders were always impressed.

Picture the scene:
A pretty young lady
At dinner with indigenous folks,
Enjoying a variety
Of plant life and grubs
And swapping their cannibal jokes,
Her panic and fear
Long since forgotten
Dispelled by this congenial group,
Forging a memory
Etched with experience
The saga of cannibal soup.


Cute Fixer-Upper

It was a night to remember
Or something like that
The shadows were larger than life,
A message was written
By a hand dripping blood
Pinned to the door with a knife,
There were bats in the belfry
Skeletons in the closet
And a cockroach as big as a mouse,
They knew they had followed
The agent's directions
Home beautiful, this was their house.

A cute fixer-upper
A handyman’s dream
A doll-house of epic proportion,
Close to shopping and schools
Central air / holey walls
The description was one of distortion,
A creek through the property
Filled with bottles and cans
With an occasional carcass of deer,
Water stains on the walls
Of the second floor bedroom
It can flood ninety days of the year.

It shows like a model
It’s aged like her grandmother
It’s family-friendly and clean,
Spoken by a guy
In a seer-sucker suit
His dentures all slimy and green,
It has very sharp lines
The floor tiles are broken
This dream home is ready to sell,
In a gated community
The gun blasts are deafening
This little bit of heaven is hell.

It has country seclusion
With city convenience
The freeway is just past the porch,
It has 220 wiring
But no service for miles
It’s a candle-light dinner by torch,
With lush, lakeside landscaping
Roots in the plumbing
The septic tank, never was pumped,
The city folks eyes
Too glazed for fine print
Another EPA nightmare was dumped.

They patch up the holes
And haul off the garbage
Spreading fresh paint, far and wide,
They shoot at the traffic
With a 30-ought-6
And luckily no one has died,
The still, in the barn
And the buds in the basement
Provide income to pay off their debts,
They’re searching the papers
For a cute fixer-upper
“Why honey, we could double our bets”!


The last one is a classic that I could sell to anyone who has ever bought a used house!

Fibril_late; 1994-95