Trump’s Wall

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You can’t be too open about
racism and xenophobia and expect
to win people’s approval, even an
election.

So you talk about a wall between us
and them, the whites and the Others.
The ones you know, who speak your
language, and the Others.

We make the gangs in America, have
had a covert one at Langley for years—
then export them to the south.

They get bigger and more powerful
down there, then export themselves
back to America…

But wait, isn’t this all America?  South,
Central, and North—

Ethnocentric we call ours the real
America while we bury old treaties
with real Americans, bury our promise
to give forty acres and a mule, keep
documents and truth “classified top
secret” that point to CIA as the
real murderers of Kennedy, Martin,
Kennedy and John.

Oscar Romero killed by CIA-backed
killers, and Trump blames El Salvador
for MS-13?

“Build the Wall!” they chant instead of
“We hate brown people!”  Hate from
anger from fear, as Yoda said—

nine out of ten people are half-dead,
so don’t hate the folks screaming
MAGA and Lock her Up; they
need our love and forgiveness, a hand
to humbly reach out, as people did
for me in AA, people did for Arno and
Christian following light out of hate
groups tied to the KKK.

Donald’s dad arrested for fighting with
them, racist rental practices, a man
grows up with lies and continues
to lie!

The answer is not hate and walls, but
still—as it’s always been—love and truth.

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Maga

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Donald Trump is not the problem.
He is not the disease, nor King Evil
in this experiment we call the “United
States!”

He did not come over by ship and armor,
lay down a fort, look down a nose
at brown people who saved white lives
from starvation and cold,

praise God and Matoax, her servant—
protect us from ignorance, racism
and violence, Trump a Symptom of
“More-ism,” he’s not the first.

Trump not the devil, just a man vulnerable
to the elements and bedevilments
we’re all susceptible to falling into, the
hole is endless!

We fall and we fall, thinking we’re flying
until we walk into a doctor’s office
and let him or her be our god.  They
tell us we’re sick, and we’re ready
to die…

Maga!

We think politics is power, we hail
chiefs and man’s achievements—
putt-putt, we burn earth going fast
downhill, the cement and asphalt holding.

The cake baked on native blood, risen
up by the yeast of black slave labor,
we push it all aside, fight for white
rights, push all aside that might slow us.

God forgive the right.

Maga!  The fly in the ointment,
the lie in the fight!  Trump the evil
he projects, fake news, a total loser
like me I’m a drunk!

But in admitting truth we rise,
asking for help, apologizing, doing
the humble things that yield peace
of mind!

We cry at Trump’s tear gas at the child?

We cry at shooting towels and lies while
Puerto Rico suffers dark and prolonged death.

We cry at the protest leaving one dead,
talking about “culture” and race?

He separates mothers from children,
desecrating his own mother left and right,
the sickness is not his alone he’s got
ten thousand at the rally,

millions okay, coming out against
difference, immigrants, ethnic
cleansing disguised in code language
like “Make America Great Again.”

“When was is great, sir?”  Maga,
hah!  A slogan so negative and backwards,
flying under radar like it’s no big deal!

Make America White Again!  Bring
back the good old days!

A native American thinking “great!”  You
mean the days before white men brought
disease and beer?

Cursing and disrespect for the earth?

Maga!!  Throw tear gas on the little
girls, they’re brown,

reminding those with soul of Andrew
Jackson’s Trail, Donald’s favorite
president of course, mass murder a thing
okay as long as money’s in it!

Donald Trump is not the disease,
nor King Evil in this experiment we
call the “United States!”

God, not presidents—are solution.
Higher Power, Earth, the great
Mother, Great Spirit, gratitude
for one more day of life.

Maga!  The suit is toxic, embrace
our child, get out of the car, walk
a while barefoot on Truth.

Only God is great.

To Be Whipped

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Blues is not in the color
of skin, but in the life lived,
the pain felt, a willingness to
report it—

We convert it to beauty, try
to please the LORD with
sounds off the Mississippi River
whether you live there or here.

We see and feel a roll of shore-
break, the beat reminding, the riff
from God descending so that we
can rise every other line.

We drive directly into the pain,
know we can do no good by
skirting it to the flank; we give all
we can against the grain.

We see a break in the clouds,
an end to the rain—so keep playing
our woes, the dog barking, the bird
low, inspired chuckling,

Yes we even learn to laugh, as
someone listening understands what
we say!  Has had that bummer, too!
It’s only real if unaltered, just come

with the Truth.

“Anything more would have seemed
too weak” said the poet next to a
farm he farmed poorly but unique,
his pen a fountain run by bugs

and fireflies, wisdom and changing
skies; say it, repeat it and change it
to a good riff, may we smile and laugh
many times before they say we die.

Billy’s War

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We shot our play guns, built forts
in sand—wide is the path to
destruction, narrow to heaven
maybe one in ten.

God forgive the dishonest step;
the careless dream un-whispered
in the vanity of perceived peace of
mind through wealth.

God forgive us as we forgive those
who come across us hard, no one
wanted to wrong it’s just the most
common of songs!

God forgive us!  The chase, the lack
of study, the cramming alcohol down
throats because it looked cool and
signified plenty.

God forgive us the blind walk into
cars, paving roads over native hearts,
concrete over natural falls and rivers,
putting our mark down…

down, down, until the Lower Power
drills into us, putting his mark on us.

God forgive us—we had to decide
to win to win, even if winning was losing
with honor, pick up your feet declare
Victory over Defeat!

God forgive us!!

Give before, impede us from judging,
from playing your part, keep us
enjoying in our lane—make it that
narrow path to heaven;

widen it out for others to follow,
the art to be inspired and in the glow
tell them what you see and know
if frozen pray and go.

God forgive us, the first step without
you nearly off a cliff or worse, we
started to think of you, God, the
Great Spirit, the Hebrew

YHWH, never in vain, keep a few
things sacred, make a study of study
and study hard—not because they
told you but because…

Because you see.  And in seeing, those
momentary glimpses.  Ha!  Pick up a pen
or the artist’s brush, the guitar sitar
stomp a drum out of paper,

Writing it down for the next group,
who, zombie-like, are tempted to
drive off the cliff as you were, having
been told lies.

The devil’s the devil because of his
apparent credibility, the sparkle in
the drink, the sales pitch too good
to be true—

but easy.

Words

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Evolving spirit, I revolve the revolving
door revolutions salute when revolting;
turn back to my past with a key called
loneliness turned into twelve steps turned
into intimacy with one, two, three, until
lo, and behold:

I love all people in the world.

Nothing is possible—to do nothing better
than a thousand bad things—heck,
study the Tao Te Ching!

Evolve spirit, build a bridge… not of
bricks only but perhaps with words,
as well, sharp in spots, muddy!  Get
down into it with those you don’t
understand, open their book and
read their words!

Build a bridge, then reach into the pen
that sets down truth like cold the
‘fridge, giving God a run for money
is the wordless feeling streaming
from extremes called compromise
and peace of mind.

Build a bridge; the words can if
you let them, speak your truth when
the coast is clear—

and when it is not?

Retreat!  Pick a mountain spot, a dream,
a beach or any other sky that’s
pretty in pink.  Take off your dress, the
tie you were tempted to wear
because the others said it was what
was needed there…

Take it all off and jump into the pool
of love that is the true words spoken
in safety on the day of your awakening
of spirit.

I wish you truly well!

Even the folks I felt didn’t treat me so
swell!  We all did our best, even in the
late night mistakes of doing our worst.

The devil is a tempty little punk, but
love him too because without a
challenge like rain—

where would we ever find the rainbow
that is akin to overcoming our pain?

God grant us truth!  A safe room or
space in which to tell it; Courage to
speak the true words,

help us cast the safety of lies away
for good and forever.  Point us the
way toward a better earth, the return
of first peoples, first plants, a rebirth
of native culture—

the wisdom of studying all God’s things,
even that trail of ants.

Renew us in your waters; run the sauce
over our face, cool and calm—

each word a bridge now, each effort a
song to sing as we tidy up the nursery
of our ignorance; the past itself a broken
down palace of god-striving kings
who wallow until the ‘bow that Spring
will surely bring.

I Was Hurting

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Poly, my old school, still shut
me out, not caring even with Dad’s
money in their account.

1985, “Don’t you Forget About Me”
I hear the time machine, enter it
and fight back tears,

shaking for all the harm caused by
not being true.  I loved her and did
not say, I drank “beer” and

called that okay; I joined a team
and tried to look good, I got good
enough grades—chose them over

honest dreams since alcohol on
Dad’s lap, with friends by twelve,
blacking out by thirteen, pre-

pubescent and small, not five feet
tall, not 100 pounds I looked around
and tried to be cool, missing love;

missing truth.

I was alcoholic at a young age, missed
the Spring of life, when fruit is ripe
left untouched on the vine and tree.

God forgive me.

Right to Bear Harms

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AR-15’s and sport, hitting targets
imagining your hate from fear
exploding in space.

Killing as “defense” an excuse
to let our worst instincts express
destructive pace.

Rat-tat-tat we get high on the rush,
the perceived power of killing
life, tearing flesh—

I’m not mad at you, I love you
and am sorry we didn’t talk sooner…
wide is the path,

Destruction like math, if you take
a group of ten people probably nine
are having a hard time.

One buys a gun, starts to shoot.
We cannot stop all evil, just decide
for yourself your role;

Good luck but if born of woman
and hard labor rethink your desire
to plug holes

in others born of woman and hard
labor, the answer is love, I’m sorry
but I love you.

We forgot to love.  In loving, fear walks
away, and without fear there are no
assault weapons.

Murder is murder is murder is murder.
We murder on-screen, video games
become play things.

God bless us

Home Runs with Dad

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Baseball1

A favorite person forms like
a wave inside your own front door,
waiting for him to return from
Jorgensen Steel.

6 o’clock, on the dot it seemed, by
the bannister I waited for him
you could hear a pin drop, the
clippity-clop of the business suit
with shoes,

Old Spice aftershave, and if there
was a smell of coffee or smoke
on a jacket, this was the seventies,
Dad a people person with all types,
smoking, drinking—getting a deal
done, let’s smile but first:

Let’s be safe.  Clean is safe.  The Navy
is clean.  One, two, three, four—
we succeed by clearing the deck of
debris.

Loose will not do.  We can party
later, but for now: it’s time to clean
up our acts, lickity-split get the turkey
in the oven, a ballgame’s on the TV.

Ouch, that’s hot.  Stay away from that,
Billy.  Stephen, can you get my mitt?
Where’s Missy?

Johnny’s hiding?  Oh, he’s with Billy.

Watch out!  That’s hot, too!  I hope
they learn their way—

Crack, I knew it off the bat; Steve Garvey
went deep, Pedro Guerrero, I’ll lift
little Billy in the air until he’s too heavy
or I’m too old, or both.

It’s good to be the king.  It’s good to
win one, but you can’t count on it,
so think of others.

Don’t wait for them to clear the deck,
be ready to do it yourself.

Follow God, through His son Jesus
Christ.  Hold the LORD’s prayer tight.

Be the apple in the eye of all that’s
right—do your best, there’s nothing
more we can.

Crack off the bat, another home run.

Where’s little Billy?  The best us is you
and me, Adele and the song we play
at Christmas time.

Did you get your wreath?

We’re Celtic and Roman and Christian,
go back a long ways, Welshmen brothers
three sailing with Captain John Smith,

we made it with Native help, thank
God every morning and day, say
three prayers at night before you hug
your rainbow-colored pillow, furniture
I bought and painted for your room.

I didn’t do it all my way, her way, their
way.  God runs this ship.

I just kept the deck clear.  Stephen!  Johnny!

Katherine!  Billy!!

The deck’s all clear, deck the halls
do it all with cheer and know I’m always
here.

Did you get your wreath?

Yes, Dad, thanks.  We love it.  We always
do.  Thanks for thinking of us, for going
to Jorgensen everyday for us, for the
lives you touched, for the effort you
made.

The deck is now clear, for the church
and your wreath—the spirit you always
bring, the effort, the song and dance—

a soft shoe because David did it too.

Thanks for a chance to please the LORD,
honor you and Mom.  1925 to 2017 are
numbers, ninety-two times around the sun,
shining bright.

My dad was a clean hit over the wall in
center, a moon over night, a dream for
five year olds at a bannister waiting to
laugh and grow, be first after God in the
heart of an Alhambra-born hero of seven
kids destined to make more, be more, and
do good for as long as I write.

Ted and Eddy, do your parts.  Ring out
to Orange County, Central Coast, the East
and from there across the ocean and
see the Celtic cross we brought across.

Giving effort!  Protecting your family!
Leaving your mark at God’s feet, kneeling
before every strike to be the best
person he could have been.

Rise up, all, with John Watkins in
your heart and step, finish his work
well, never fully-dressed until smiling
meaning the deck is clean, and
the boat’s on a proper course.

The next challenge will be there.

Not with me, but with what you learned;
so turn, don’t… it’s up to you, but know
I’m with you, and hope as I always did
that you turn out well!

Dad.jpg

John Francis Watkins

(1925-2017)

The Disease

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We miss the pitch, seeing what
Dad or others did, so shiny and
apparently fun, a thought is brewed
and we didn’t know anything else
to do.

So drank the liquid.

***

It burned as it was supposed to
burn, hell’s fire tickling up from
below, the devil agrin with hopes
of diverting another soul from the
focus of heaven’s righteous run.

I think I may have been a Fred
Astaire, a triple-threat, whatever
God wanted me to be… hit that piano,
dance and sing

I’m Free, Mom, look at me!

***

All those things I do now, jokes to
tell, from rooms of Alcoholics
Anonymous and Al-Anon, twelve
step beats a native son to meditate
on things gone wrong—

strike the gong, shhhh, be the truth
when we speak it in the safety net
of change.

Serenity is a’coming, Al-Anon like
a spring dress, all a mess like the
duck beneath the water.

On top we quack and splash for
fun, knowing we can quit drinking
the flammable liquid now.

Alcoholism is quite a disease; listen
to me.

Stop and think.  Do not place anything
into your mouth without first
study.

The crux of malady is the confused
insanity of doing hurtful things;

Bill and Bob wrote another chapter
of the Sacred book, you’re reading
it today—men and women both
equal partners in language we
must improve,

Love to soothe,
and peace that rainbow after the rain
coming to the admitted sick
alcoholic like a beat its groove.

Careless Un-Whispered

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She had a failure like me, dripping
unseen—her humanity in the odor
that comes upon us as men and
women, not at eighteen like a
discriminating Constitution and
laws pose.

But at puberty.

For her at thirteen; for me it was
years away, but I still liked her.

I asked her to dance, after I cleared
it with friends (as you do in middle
school).  I was short and cute, she
was normal height, huge to me,
pretty and hair that flared up like
‘80’s hair was supposed to do!

Every man chose a partner; I chose
her, though short of being a man, me
in 7th, her in 8th—me at X School, her
at Y School, visiting for the night
in a dance that would last forever.

Sounds corny?  Out of a George
Michael Wham song?  Ok.  But true,
because I will never forget Melanie
and cry tears of sadness, melancholy
and regret mixed with nostalgia—

hoping to see the light of good memories
to pass onto our children.  Not “ours,”
but hers with a loving husband, my
path poetic and unknown—God whispering
lines in my ear since 1995, Spanish
and English lullabies.

What smashes ties?  Or is it better to
cry.  Just let the tears gush; I’m so
sorry I was alcoholic and am.  I’m so
sorry I couldn’t express love like
I’d have liked. I’m sorry to Anne before
Melanie, JJ between—the lies of loving
but failing to report the love some of
the worst sins known to mankind.

Women of Melanie’s kind deserve better.
Truth and better weather; God loving
us on a lonely dance floor filled with
confused un-guided people.  Some say
“kids,” but we had seen it all by then;

the love sweep, the love deep, dreams
crashing on alcoholic shores of
“what’s the cool thing to do,” fighting
the careless un-whispered purity
I failed to be.  Anne knows, JJ and now
Melanie.

We are all fools in love.

The heaven-bound say so, and love
the ones they love by telling them.