24

There’s a lady whose time

Marks in rhythm and rhyme,

And she’s writing a stairway to heaven.

 

When she gets there, she knows,

If the bookstores are closed,

With the right word, she can get what she came for.

 

But today’s not that day.

All the words are put away.

And the staircase is littered with poets.

 

All in slumber and sleep,

Their quills gathered in heaps

And their parchment strewn to the heavens.

 

Oh, oh,oh, oh, and she’s writing a stairway to heaven.

 

 

 

Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin, 1971

23 Discordant Day

The instrument let out it’s awful sound.

No matter the time given to practice,

there were but two options:

rhythm OR notes that didn’t screech.

Each screech left Bennet’s ears on edge.

 

The intercom crackled.

“Please have your pupil come to the office

Prepared to leave for the day.”

Another screech and then

The poor, screeched-out accordion was boxed.

 

And that was the last it saw daylight.

There was screeching and boxes,

But not about music.

Daddy had died.

#22 Things That Aren’t as Though They Were

Deep into the canyon, the sun drove its fading light

Between the gathered concrete walls it reached, like some child stretching behind the sofa to get a long-loved toy that has slipped just too far. An inch just too far…

 

She nestled in the murky dawn,

Shivering.

The night had curtained joy so long,

Lingering.

The cold wind, merciless,

Whistling.

The stars, her only warmth,

Twinklling.

 

Frigid fingers ‘round her nest,

Icicling.

The air, itself, held bite,

Prickling.

Many passed her desperate state,

Not noticing.

No comfort came.

But dimly breathed the sun…

 

Despite the darkness all around

She knew that night was nearly done.

 

Repelling thoughts of pointlessness, she stirred,

Lifting notes to meet the dawning hope,

There amidst the frigid winter deep,

Her bare-remembered melody of spring.

 

Calling things that aren’t, as though they were.

21 Doodle and Houdini

Doodle and Houdini

Were resting on the bed,

When Doodle heard a noise,

And lifted up his head.

 

“Houdini, what was that?

Houdini, did you hear?

It sounded like a cat!

Open up your ears!”

 

Houdini stretched and yawned

Before saying “Holy Cow!

I think you’re right, Doodle.

That was a ‘Meow’. “

 

So, off the twosome raced,

Yapping as the sped,

Forgetting further sleep,

Upon the warm, red bed.

Between 20 and 21

“You rest; I’ll pray,”

A friend told me the other day.

Four simple words,

And I’m reduced to tears.

 

Because, for so long

I thought I must be strong

And stay awake

And pray for God to hear.

 

The cries of so much subtle chaos

Of which I am in charge,

To not lay down my duties

And the tasks I had at large.

 

But here my friend was saying,

“Go sleep; I will keep guard.”

“Go be at ease; You’re not alone,”

“Soldier, I’m on duty now”.

 

And so, I laid my pack aside

And I slept a deep, deep sleep

And knew on my behalf,

Between my friend and God,

There was nothing I need do.

Nothing they wouldn’t keep.

 

 

Aside: Here we are, before the Sun comes up, dragging ourselves through. Imagine if another poet said this to you…You sleep; I’ll write. And you were relieved of duty, just when you were too worn to muddle any further. <3

20

And were I vain, the least bit wary, of donning, thus, my wig—

Of scarves fastened fashionably with haphazard pins,

I’d have Eliot write for me, a t-shirt, and this is how it would begin—

 

They will say: ‘How his hair is growing thin!

19

Dear Writer:

 

I will call again to you, no matter what you say.

I will call again to you to lay down here and play.

And rest your head.

And close your eyes.

And let those silly poems synthesize.

That’s right. Zzzz.

Zzzz are our friend.

Zzzzzz……………………………………

18

Dear Sleep,

 

You keep wooing me and I keep saying no.

No. No. NO!

Well maybe.

But stop laying there in my bed telling me that the pillow is soft.

I should rest my head. And you will wake me when its 3.

 

Signed,

 

Me

17

There she stood

Alone in the nave

Needing to talk to the Lord

The colorful glass

Helped her be brave

Like some modern-day Joan with a sword.

16

Some lament their long-gone hair

When chemo steals it, leaves them bald.

Some wear hats to hide behind,

While others flash their flowing scarves.

 

Like hamsters falling from their heads,

Large clumps fall out and make them cry—

But that’s not how my headgear feels;

Mine is a symbol that I’m winning a fight.

Mine is my warrior helmet bright.

Mine tells the world that I’m not afraid

To wear hats or wigs—to go hairless in spite!

 

One friend wore wigs,

Though they itched worse than fleas.

She covered her pate with the greatest of ease

With a straw farming hat just as sweet as you please.

 

One stood on the backstep,

Each day in the breeze,

And flung her gold locks

To the birds in the trees,

With prayers up to God as she tossed it around,

To line their nests with a gift of soft down.

 

Another sweet lady,

Though age-spotted and old,

Skipped out on the wig

Laced with silver and gold—

And instead, got hairdos to wear that were PINK!

And made a statement far bolder, I think.

Than to camouflage her head in retreat

As if nothing was different, and all was complete.

 

And yet still another wore baseball caps,

She wasn’t athletic, but stood staunchly ‘at bat’.

She beat all the odds; she beat all the stats,

Outlasting the chemo and growing it back.

She grew back her lashes, her eyebrows and all.

And gave all the caps to some kid who plays ball.

 

Me, I still have boxes of hats from my Mom,

Who lost her battle and now is gone.

We’d ‘dress to the nines’ on Infusion Day.

Hats, shoes and jewelry, in warrior array.

Because dignity, pride, and holding your ground

Are just as important as the hair on one’s crown

 

If what’s on the inside marks what on your head,

If the hair’s not just for beauty, but battle instead,

Then bring on the armor, and I’ll fight like a bear.

It’s all about battle—and not about hair!

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