A few of my little posts/rants on Facebook that sometimes resemble poetry…

As much as I hated
studying foreign languages…
I have lived in and/or visited
55 countries now.
I am so thankful for my
liberal arts education…
which means breadth, scope, and depth,
and absolutely nothing political,
other than that:
I can feel and think, and
I can think freely and objectively, and
I can respond critically and thoughtfully.
(Yes, Descartes…I actually had to study him.)
I am thankful that I had
to study foreign languages, and
to study different histories, and
to study other religions and philosophies…
so that I know that
my world, our world, THE WORLD
is bigger than my preconceptions,
is bigger than my presumptions,
is bigger than I AM.
My liberal arts education
has been worth every cent
that my parents provided,
every job I undertook, and
every loan I signed and paid off…
because then and now,
I could, can, and will continue
to see, feel, and understand
my world, our world, THE WORLD.
My liberal arts education
has been my ticket to
has been and
will continue to be
my BE ALL.


startling to watch
the truman show
(last night’s cable)

starting to woke
the tru–man show
(last year’s disable)

starving to wake
the true-man show
(last one’s enable)

bubbles do burst
worlds do collapse
facts don’t fable


my return

Today was…
my third trip to the immigration office
this month for visa clearance.
I am a foreigner in a far-off land,
where I cannot speak the language.
I stick out like a sore thumb,
every minute of every day.
(And I have seven months left!)
And everyone I encounter learns quickly
that I am a foreigner…
that I am the “other”…
that I am an American.
And yet,
I hope and pray that this will last,
for my health, safety, and sanity…
and that of my sister in Albania,
and that of scores of Americans
living in far-off, foreign lands,
where we are the “others.”
This reaping and sowing
is a delicate balance.
The world is watching.

Lest you think otherwise…
my world is not Disneyland.
I pic and post the best
of what I see
and what I do.
I choose not to share
the many reminders that
I choose not share
the many days and nights,
when I despair over
I keep and share
a pocket full of coins—
enough to make a day’s difference—
for those who need it most:
as cliche as it might sound.
Crippled grandparents begging for help.
Beaten women begging for rescue.
Hopeless children begging for anything.
My one cold beer today might be
their only warm meal tomorrow.
This is my world.
This is our world.
For me, the Gospel of Christ
lies not in what we say or believe,
but in what we do.
Whatsoever you do
to the least of my brothers,
that you do unto to ME.
I think, believe, and say:
check your doctrine
and your politics
at the door,
and put your money
(and your heart and your soul)
where your mouth is.
If you say you’re a Christian,
there is only one rule,
and it is as bold as it is gold:
Do unto others,
as you would unto you.

It saddens me that friends
I’ve known for so long
no longer sense that we belong
at this time and this space…
where we cannot see, nor hear, nor feel,
what made us friends
in the first place.
Politics and posts…
polemics now past…
Just p words and me words,
when our we’s fade fast.
Don’t pee in my cornflakes
and I shan’t in yours.
What made us once friends
Is so, so much more…
than your cereal bowl
and my box of crayons.

I watched a crippled man
crawl onto the bus today–
on his hands and knees–
with rags taped to his hands for padding
and dragging his one and only leg.
A handsome man not more than thirty,
but so thread-bare, filthy, and forlorn
as to draw the attention of all aboard.
(And his head now an inch from my knee.)
And an old man started yelling at him,
and the man cried out something,
and then crawled off at the next stop…
and then we were gone.
And I’ve been bitching about my sore knee.

I grew up on a small farm in rural Georgia;
the closest town had 500 people.
When I started first grade—
all white, but taught by Mrs. Black—
we lived in a single-wide trailer
and had one black-and-white tv
that got two channels: ABC and CBS.
Life was split between school and farm chores.
Love was plenty but opportunities few.
A penny still would buy a piece of candy,
and my parents knew (and wrote down!)
how every penny was spent.
In second grade, we got a third channel:
Channel 20: GETV, Georgia’s version of the
Public Broadcasting System.
A couple grades later, we got NBC
and in sixth grade,
our schools became black and white
just as our tv sets added color.
Life was never simple, nor easy,
(and rarely even fun),
and that television entertained me…
But Channel 20 did something more:
it taught me, day after day;
it made me a better student;
it made me a better citizen.
(I still can Preamble with the Conjunction Junction!)
It made me a better person.
Of all the positive influences in my life
that made me want to learn hard ideas
and helped me understand a difficult world
and can be credited for my relative success,
PBS ranks at the very top.
Let’s not confuse pennies with politics.

I wish that people
who look other
or sound other
or believe other
might be treated
as well in
my own country
as I have been
in theirs.

Just watched some Mad Dogs
With my sister in Albania
And now ride into Dreamland
On a rickety Fierling wagon
O’er-weighed by Matthew’s planks.
A bumpy ride, for sure, I fear…
Perhaps I should sit down
Or take a knee.

I am not proud to say that I now am sporting
the most expensive haircut in my life:
a buzz of scalp and beard (and ears and brows)…
the tip alone neared what I’d pay
for a whole “do” back in Huntsville.
Barber Frederick says I look much younger;
nameless cashier smiles and nods to agree.
I say that poverty knows no age…
and bla-bla books and covers…
Irony and metaphors wasted
as the next walk-in walks in.

Facebook is proof indeed
I haven’t lost my humanity.
Just read my posts X, Y, and Z
and see my pets and selfie me.
Alive and well. Life’s not a bore!
More friends and likes than ever before!
I’ve heard the news; I know what’s wrong.
My care’s proved here in status song.
I’m mad as hell: just read my rage!
My rant is real; my ire’s on page.
Now, if I could just get
my ass out of this chair
and go unlock the door.
Pizza dude is here.

And Nero fiddled on this night,
And Luna waned without her light,
And Jack soon rent by northland fright,
As Right turned wrong, if just for might.

I think that politics
is a lot like cards:
keep raising the bet,
and you’re sure to find
an ace up each sleeve
from a thread-bare deck
of jokers and jacks.
All side bets gone.
All in. All call.
They’re bluffing, you bet,
and so you raise…
but The House always wins.
Ah, such temptation to fold.

In Belize City now.
First a/c in four days.
Drinkin’ rum punch.
Eatin’ oatmeal cookies.
Scratchin’ skeeter bites.
Watchin’ free cable
as Thelma and Louise
kick all sorts of ass.
“I feel awake.”
Me, too, ladies.
the Mayan ruins
of Altun Ha.
Some things
are worth
sweating for.

Godot arrives
two thousand years late
with orange-hued hide
and merkined pate.
His pipes and pete
the E-lect adore;
goosestep they now for
this Babblin’ ‘ore.
Beware, you blind,
you fighters of sin,
the cross you bear
burns bright from within.
Scorched earth awaits
those addled with hate.
Your Eden lost
will never be great.
Fire hurts
when you
get fired.

If you think that
toilets are the problem
and Trump is the answer,
then you’re sure to be surprised,
when the shit hits the fan.

I saw him only once–
experienced would be the better word.
He didn’t play any of the songs
I bought and thought I wanted.
Instead, he gave himself
and the magic that had to get out.
And that was enough and more.
Hard lesson learned that day:
Art ain’t about the masses
or the money;
It’s about The Artist.
Art can’t be pimped.

The worst thing
about growing older
is the discovery of
what’s really going on
and the realization
that so many others
will never discover
what’s really going on
because they’re so busy
drinking the kool-aid.
More coffee, please

Push your papers,
you bloated ladder tops,
as you wheel your golf carts,
and deal your pig skins,
while our future eats Ramen
and loans itself
into Pellish default.
There are seats aplenty
for you and your tams
in rows Four and Eight.
No registration required.

On this day of all days…
voting for a better America
and then driving to the grocers
to see a mother and daughter
get arrested
for stealing
bread and bologna.
The richest country in the world,
and we are stealing bread.
Les Miz is no fiction.

Berning Love

While I have lost all hope
in self-serving, career politicians, and
in a non-negotiating two-party system, and
in a brutally uncaring economic system
that values profits more than people,
I have not lost hope in America.
I cannot:
This is My Country;
I have no other.
I believe
(and must believe)
that there is a fundamental urge
in most Americans:
to be good,
to be decent,
to care,
to live by the Golden Rule.
I believe that,
as Tocqueville wrote so many years ago, that
“America is great because she is good.
If America ceases to be good,
America will cease to be great.”
I want goodness to prevail.
I want a better America.
I want a different America.
I want an America that cares about Americans…
ALL Americans…
even those who just want to be Americans.
I want to hope for,
to believe in,
to be proud of
My Country.
the wheel must be reinvented.