Guns Are for Cowards

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The native bow and arrow, quiet
and flowing with nature not good
enough to the conquering European
with our war sickness, our gun
powder blowing up targets loudly
and cowardly from distance.

Like splitting the atom, some think
it’s good while others see a diabolical
power unleashed, the Asian invention
and European application satisfied
the war addict, put humans above
nature and God.

Bombs, guns, fireworks—do they please
the Creator?  The birds?  The beasts of
the wilderness?  In battle, do guns
show someone’s courage and honor?
Or… do guns show cowardice, a warrior’s
unwillingness to face his enemy?

From the fields of the native Great Spirit
let us dive into the bible, the other
weapon England and Spain used to
conquer America.  What would Jesus
say to guns?  What does the bible say
about killing?

It’s so easy to hate your enemy, try to
kill them or scare them with something
like guns.  Anyone can hate someone
they do not like, but what strong heart
and soul can love their enemy as a brother,
see them walk on and come from the same

Earth?  From the same great Mother, all
humans human with the same needs,
hopes, fears, doubts… Faith?  Where is
yours, in a loud weapon that creates
fear and noise?  Mine is in love and Peace,
In the rainbow after the rain, in

the great but worthwhile struggle to
love those who persecute you, to see
them as fellow children in this merry-go-
round called Life

My Pledge of Allegiance

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Peace American Flag

I pledge allegiance to World Peace,
And to being peaceful, Loving
and True to God as I understand God,
while tolerating others and their
beliefs, gods and names for them.

I reject nationalism, racism and borders,
accept boundaries as sound and safe,
but not as weapons to degrade, dehumanize
and exclude my fellow human beings
seeking a good and free day, as we all are.

I declare gratitude to God, my higher power,
the Native Great Spirit, the bible, the
Tao Te Ching, all human effort to be godly
and better than we are… We are powerless
over events, results, the future!  Admitting…

Is the start of a happy life, Truth the key;
without it we have nothing, no peace of mind,
nothing to give, sort of like trying to go out
one day without sleep the night before,
thinking you could possibly enjoy…

San Miguel del Mundo!  Not on maps only,
but in my heart, one that prays for a less racist,
honest and peaceful America that admits
the truth that people are not in charge,
Democracies are a myth, and Love is all.

***

(Excerpt from my new poetry book, San Miguel del Mundo: https://www.amazon.com/dp/165567577X)

The Spunk of Life

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Spunk1

Before the big bang, there was something…
Bodies, molecules touching, who or what
created them we do not know but are
free to name, dream and tell.

To understand creation, one must try to
understand him or herself.  What makes you
tick, revolve, move, gravitate, love, burn
with anger, repulse, reject, accept?

That’s the spunk of life—the calm becoming
storm, mountains from molehills fight.
Call it God, the remover to remove, the
Wind today from Earth’s first blast.

Moving, silent, loud, crashing and falling,
supported by each other, the elements in
us like Lao Tzu said, there is no separation!
The mist in us, fog and rocks stray parts—

What is in your heart?  I call it the spunk
of life, the garnered fire and energy needed
to rise, penetrating what we can to express
some inner thanks at dance’s invitation.

Here one moment, a flash of idea and spirit
the next, we call it names like “God” or
good orderly direction, because we want
someone to whom to address our gift.

Imagine the false beginning that never was,
and a scientist tearing out her hair trying
to prove something.  The only certainty is
not explained in words.  Things are.

Why are they?  And, again, who or what first
put them there?  We did, of course, the people
and beings that name things, we of the same
stuff that was here at the start—

I wasn’t fully there, I’ll admit, so guess at patterns
in the sky and mind that tell me birth is as
birth was, an explosion, a rubbing and exciting
of parts creating heat and light…

The spunk of life.

Tesoro

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Tesoro

Nuevo y probando, la
juventud está con todos,
grande y pequeño—

los mejores regalos
a veces en paquetes chicos,
pues reza y ora todo

antes que hacer…
Nunca tener prisa es
sabio y sano, mejor

andar sin ritmo,
preguntando y cuestionando
el camino sencillo,

porque muchos siguen
otros, y ellos no saben
para adonde van,

y otros saben que andan mal,
pero continúan de todos modos
porque el camino para cielo

es bien difícil. Y tú, tesoro,
en paquete grande o pequeño,
¿que vas a hacer?

Reza cada deseo, pide y ora
antes de tomar pasos,
y encuentra su propio ritmo—

allí brillas en la manera
apropiado, Tú el único Tú
que existe, pues enséñanos

algo nuevo!!!

My Last Goal

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Soccer2

My first goal was for the wrong team,
practice at San Marino High School,
Mini Titans I was five years old.

I dribbled the length of the field,
scored it beautifully…

That team was undefeated, I never
scored one in uniform during league
play, got close, started to score
the next year…

Fourth grade was the last AYSO
season for me, made All-Stars,
was a big deal…

Gave it up, moved on, then in
the middle of college between
sophomore and junior year a
friend calls me and says, “Let’s
go to South America!”

So I went, and it was great, and
among other things I fell in love
with soccer. Before that I liked
it, but Argentina… It’s a feeling I
still can’t stop, as I root for
Leicester City Football Club
on my radio link every week.

I got back from Argentina and
started juggling volleyballs in
volleyball practice, my coach
eyeing me a little funny.

I joined a club soccer team in
Santa Barbara, looked at the huge
mountain I wanted to climb,
which was becoming a great player,
and I started to climb…

I left the team, the coach not
playing me enough, kept training,
went to every World Cup game
played at the Rose Bowl in 1994,
played with friends, the passion!

I scored a good one at the Alumni
game, something some still talk
about, for me a midterm exam…

Then I overdosed on drugs, got
depressed, left everything and
everyone, lived in hospitals, let the
ball drop.  Was hopeless!

(It’s called alcoholism)

I got sober, found the ball again,
started to play, found a team fifteen
years after I had last played.

Guess how long it took me to get
into real competitive game shape?

It took 365 days to get into real
football shape, to that place where
I wasn’t thinking about fitness, just
goals and winning games.

***

The coach looked at me one day,
said, “Bill we need you to score some
goals.”  That’s what I was waiting for,
as I didn’t really think they cared until
then. He was of course younger than
me, my whole team with players younger
than me, I was thirty-nine on my last
competitive leg.

Truth is I had retired twice already,
then I’d keep coming back when I
was shopping in the market and
emotion would come, tears that
meant I was not done yet!

“Okay,” I told my young coach,
and next game was on a good synthetic
field in South Central L.A., facing
a good league team with supposedly
one of the better goalies.

A couple white guys on their side,
goalie included, my team all Latino
and me, the lone white dude, playing
Striker, hungry for my first goal
on the team, green lit by the coach
to get it done.

The action was hot from the start,
we pressed, me and my striking
mate, criss-crossing, zig-zagging,
switching play, press, press.

Not long before we broke through,
three on two, I’m in front of the
touted keeper, too close, blast—
he blocks it and tackles me,

Rebound… my mate taps it in
for goal number one, 1-0!

Goalie’s cleat is an inch from me
and he looks disappointed he
didn’t connect.

Our team is pumped in our
Spain colors, an early lead—
almost too early for some of them,
who knew we needed the win to
secure a spot in the Playoffs.

From the back I heard, “It’s zero-
zero!”  I said, “What?  The goal didn’t
count?” And they said, “No!  Play
like it’s zero-zero!”

They were wise for their age, those
kids, and I nodded, kept our press
going to try to get another…

Switch, switch, I criss-crossed from
side to side more than my striking mate
preferred, but the energy was there,
and it felt right to seek space wherever
it called…

Coming from left to right, I tracked
a long ball into the center of the pitch,
ten yards outside the opponent’s
eighteen yard box.  It bounced a couple
times, and by the time I got to it,
their large center back had pushed up
to make a play on it, along with another
defender, one of those times you figured
less is more, let’s do something quick
before the big man has time to show
me just how big he is…

It’s near 50-50, the ball just about
equally between me and the big back,
close enough to him that he starts to
dive in—

Instinct and speed, I got to it first,
chopped the ball out of the scrum
between or by the big defender’s legs
and into space.

He dove, missed, I stayed on my feet,
caught up to the ball I served up to
myself, now just me and the keeper,
as the center back was out of the play.

Best keeper in the league, they said.
And me?  No goals for fifteen years,
finally in shape, just green lit by
a knowing coach,

I never moved my eyes from the lower
right corner of the goal, the ball at
good speed to be left alone as I jogged
at measured pace behind it.

The training’s all done, from San
Marino High School mistakes,
to an undefeated first season to
a spattering of goals, all-stars,
a long break leading to a South
American escape and falling in love.

Pinning the guy to his left, eyeing that
right corner like I was married to it…

I’m close enough now.

Pass it in, the left corner, goalie stuck,
2-0, my last ever goal, we won the
game 2-1,

I shouted afterward, my teammate telling
me I was blessed, and perhaps I was,
that was it.

My coach kicked me off the team a couple
months later for insubordination; I didn’t
let him yell at our team one day after
a hard fought draw 1-1 with a nine-player
team, yes nine on our eleven.  But they were
good, their coach in coat and tie, they
thought they’d show up and take care of us
with their nine…

We fought, it was tense, a great game!
Down 1-0, we fought back, scored the
equalizer, and were pressing for a second
and winner, had it been me I would have
climbed the fucking fence.

But we did not, and we ended in a draw,
the coach blasting us, saying he was
embarrassed.

I stood up and patted our team on the
back, wouldn’t let him berate us.

He called me that night, suggested I
find another team to play on, as we
had different ideas on how to compete.

I switched teams, played a bit more,
stood tall and walked away knowing I
had scored the goal I needed to score.

I had climbed that mountain I started
climbing in club soccer in the Central
Coast of Santa Barbara; I never played
professionally, tried to get a tryout with
the Galaxy in 1999, but they never called.

The goal was enough, on that South
Central synthetic field one day in
December 2011, my hands became fists,
pumping at my sides—

Celebrating life

Orange Court

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Orange Court Image1

I hope it’s Wednesday, ‘cause
then we could see the pro’s play.
Hov and Dodd coming down,
I’ve called some friends from Costa,
Torrance Volleyball Club yielding
fun in the sun, for me a trip across
downtown worth the traffic, this
is Orange Court.

The Beach is Manhattan, the view
always pretty, the picture… snap it
like the wrist on top of the ball,
another off the lip, the wave breaks,
sometimes clear enough we can
see a fish, swimming with the tide,
Rusty boards,

I’ve got a five ten in mind, dude like
a stick figure conjuring Reggae music
on Brett’s boombox, gathered under
Bobby’s umbrella and chair, waiting
for the pro’s to play, finding a court
for our game, maybe Dodd will set
some hitting lines—

This is Orange Court.

The eighties were fun, full of color
on the beach.  Fluorescent memories
to match the vibe heading for college
dreaming of aces and gold medals—
championships, maybe from right
there off Marine Avenue, make a line
down from 23rd—

This is Orange Court.  Hov’s court;
you want “on” it, pay the price, get
through the traffic, play like the fish
with the tide, snap one off the top
of the block, pick your Frohoff one
surfing the other carving cut shots,
waking up as the Pasadena over-
achiever challenges all-comers
to play their A game.

That’s all I ever had to show for
it, rated “A” in SoCal because I got
to the Finals of an A-rated Marine
Avenue event, Cooker from Costa
on the call, chased down an impossible
ball, picked it up, like Andy McGuire
at home against BYU,

“Billy Watkins from Pasadena” yells
the man, Tomy from Spain, we took
it very seriously our game, never forget
the 6-4 side switch with a grunt they
could hear on Highland, the grunt that
says we’re winning this match.  I took
my A on Marine,

On Orange Court.

No Mistakes Too Great

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Awareness is all; Truth paramount,
Words trying so hard, give them
a chance!

Where were you at the middle school
dance?  Were you trying to be cool?
The truth is…

We were all made perfectly, like a
Christian Scientist would say, things
are just right.

“Nothing useless is or low, each thing
in its place is best,” why anyone wrote
poems after

Longfellow is a mystery, to improve on
genius one needs to study history, admit
each feeling.

No matter how bad things got or whatever
mistake or crime one commits, there is
always a way…

A way back, forward, out in overcoming
the problem, give the body and mind
a chance.

I was blinded at the dance, the devil in
my life since I drank with Dad, his last
sip of bourbon,

then I had a first crush and never told her,
the devil happy because I was a liar.  Third
grade!

So when other crushes came down the pipe
in middle school, I was a master liar, looking
for what?

How do you improve on the first girl the
LORD gives you to love?

Haha!  You cannot!

You live a life of lies, until you admit the
truth in a 12-step meeting or somewhere
else safe.

Truth wounds all heals, sews them up,
heals all wounds, over time all mistakes
and sins!

It’s never too late to change, to make
amends, to live the true life where Truth
itself…

becomes your best friend.

She Won’t Be Home For Christmas

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Native15

-by Don Kingfisher Campbell
and Bill Watkins

As Matoax sailed away in the
Spring of 1616, she spent the day
packing her things and wondered
if she’d ever return to Wingandacoa,
a place the English called Virginia.
She’s on her way to another life,
but how can she ever forget her land,
her people, her father?
She cannot, still she goes on ahead…
She traveled to England, a world away
from home.  She makes a new life
as a new wife, but wonders if there can
ever be more than one…
She arrives to find a new world—
That’s what they say, but is it?
She knows her life has changed for good–
That’s what they say, but has it?
She can never return from this place,
The rivers and streams of her
home are her blood.
She walks down the streets searching,
London calling a clash of cultures
She sees someone who can help…
Is it the Great Spirit?  The great
Mother of her own land calling
her back?  She has found a way,
a path… A new way?  One Christmas
in England is enough;
She has received a gift for living.
Will she get one for dying?
She believes her destiny is history;
At Gravesend she was promised
Christmas at home.
She remembered all that she
experienced, before she died in the
Spring of 1617.  She became a legend
in song—
She won’t be home for Christmas.

Where God and Earth Meet

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Mother Earth2

The bible was law, among
other things, code with rules
and goals set for students
and readers to follow for
spiritual fulfillment, and as
a guide to reach heaven.

Civilization needs law, people
packed in together, concrete
and asphalt beginning to take
us away from the Earth, nature
itself being our first and only
needed book to guide us…

The smile is within, the bloom
on the field, many plants in
limbo needing more sun or
more rain, the cycle of life all
around us—including paper
and ink, laws and rules fine…

God, good orderly direction,
higher powers, the Supreme
Mover of all things; it’s a
relationship we may have
with a simple ask, or a prayer.
Use a book or the tree to

help you overcome your fear.
What unifies is a proper guide,
what separates in negative vibe
from a lower power, as my AA
sponsor would say, powerful too—
Pick one, it’s up to you!