“A Sunset” by Katherine Mansfield

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A BEAM of light was shaken out of the sky
On to the brimming tide, and there it lay,
Palely tossing like a creature condemned to die
who has loved the bright day.

Ah, who are these that wing through the shadowy air?
She cries, in agony.  Are they coming for me?
The big waves croon to her:  Hush now!  There, now,
there!  There is nothing to see.

But her white arms lift to cover her shining head,
And she presses close to the waves to make herself small.
On their listless knees the beam of light lies dead,
And the birds of shadow fall.

***

(Courtesy, The Society of Authors–Literary Representative of the Estate of Katherine Mansfield)

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Pain

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You thought you had something
you did not; your expectations
not met.

Part-abuse, part-my fault for
residing too close to the truth,
you find that if praying on a thing
not omnipotent and perfect,
there’s a decent chance of failure

by nature of Newton’s laws,
entropy and a tendency for all
things to fail.

A rainbow awaits rain’s end,
and similarly with pain.

There is a shelf-life to pain,
an end game not too far from
“this too shall pass.”

It may be that the expectation
was at fault for the loss, and
it was all in a plan to make us
prepare better for next time.

Everything happens for a reason,
they always say from a place of
comfort—

but they’re right.

Is Love in the Brain?

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The answers cosmic to questions
tragic, mystical creation yielding
to childlike intuition.

Is love in the brain?

Heart to heart, the toddler
finds the sandbox and a parent
will remark: look how he plays,
does he know he’s loved?

Does he give and receive with
grace, does he say “thank you,”

Does he have the courage to love?
To be himself?  To give his gifts?

What if he is rejected?

***

We have no power to overcome well
the hurt you feel when your dreams
and feelings expressed get waved off
or denied.

God bless us to a spiritual space,
pass along to our kids not only the
self-confidence to be true;
but the wisdom to keep a Higher Power
there for our appeals in failure.

The higher, mystical truth outside
the lines on structured drawings,
the native Great Spirit—the Hebrew
LORD, Allah, Muhammad and Jesus,
their words, those who raise hands
and praise—

Matoax and her blessings saving a
new white race, the scar of murder
on their face, all forgiven when we ask
for help—

accept her furs, the earth a spaceship
with room for all views, check your
energy, check in prayer every detail.

Are you with Faith or Fear?  How do
we reside where the questions stop,
in peace of mind?

Is love in the brain becomes question
no more on the wind of Spirit, live
for it not her or him, fly with the eagles
and magic, love lost wives and beware
the snares that are mere human
hang-ups, grounding us as long as
resentment lasts.

Ask, receive, love, blast!

Give your song to God and wind
and the denied sandbox dream becomes
only a part of the dance David called
us to before slaying along with
Goliath every prayer-resisting fear.

Wake up, skip the rock and see the
smile on the wind for your life, the hope
the universe has for you being endless
as the pool and its rings in rainstorms.

The rainbow is in the heart;
wait there for all things loving past
insane; it’s all in balance when
love is in the brain.

Dancing on a Star

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How we wonder, standing, sitting
even dancing on Earth—

about our place, why, and who we are.

I think we’re moving pretty fast,
words chosen almost arbitrary
to describe the true Tao which cannot
be spoken, Borges admonishing the
effort getting paid to write them…

Law writes down what philosophically
or by a vote seems right.

We clap our hands like LeBron James
and the powder flies so high I think
it reaches the stars;

I am awake by word definitions, but
primarily through five senses un-named.

Mom is pleasant but is not a person;
she defines love as I chase LeBron’s
powder off the screen and out my door,
up above the clouds in that dream where
you can fly.

Mom has them, too!

I dream of heat, think Earth is Star-like
in a wind so powerful all is upheld
in Einstein’s space fabric, the listening-
challenged harping on Newton’s
laws and limits saying that’s where most
of the work gets done.

Then Lao Tzu busts in cavalier and sharp
pushing away accolades like Bill Wilson
of AA, everybody vulnerable to the right
punch in the gut, usually coming from
attractive female advance—

the sperm must swim somewhere,
so why not with me on LeBron’s star
so far away until the lava bursts
and all around me is a dance of death—

rebirth to flowers on the mountainside
after the lightning strikes.

So chargy is life, dancing on a star!

Flower to Seed

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We marvel at the Flashing light
that is now!  Oh, this is amazingly
bad, some say, the reason for the
bad must be the flashing light!

An alcoholic like me knows better
so picks up a book or two, Googles
some history, cries that tear for
Native America walking away from
their land, the one they bonded
with so well;

A land now captive with a European
lust for gold.

England and other nations ran
out of room years ago; ran up
against each other, lost their
gratitude for land—the kind
first people have, from Celtic
Druids to Aboriginal fluidity
listening to the flowing ground
and mountain peaks, river songs
so attentively and tenderly.

You can hear the song today, if you
step outside our perversions
called cities.

I yell at the helicopters on Twitter,
campaigning for native peace
while the wave of corruption
and trash litters the dream that
was Otsungna in Los Angeles,
a Tongva place of Roses until
we laid down the concrete and
asphalt, calling it good, God’s will
and Manifest Destiny…

The shiny ball is a racist, incompetent
“president” now, but he is propped up
by the insanity that humans can
lead other humans without divine help.

You kick God out, and this is what you
get, read about Samuel.

God’s my king and president, but that’s
sort of a locked-up secret told between
souls underground.

My ancestors came here for fame,
gold, and adventure—imagine the
England they left behind, full of shiny
balls, lights and problems—

nine out of ten of us I’m sure
on Jesus’ wide path to destruction,
so let’s yell some more on Twitter,
try to buck them toward the LORD.

Seed to Flower

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War shoots up through the ages,
depending on where you’re standing
and on how you define your terms.

Law lays down when men and women
require an even playing field on which
to play.  Folks start bullying, using

“God” or another name for evil,
try to push us around, until the winds
blow, the sun again shines, and Congress

forms to check the king.  Battles are
“won” but lost if from afar you see
the forest from the victory that

folks got hurt, even died… Does
death exist?  Depends on where you’re
standing and on how you define terms.

Language is a funny fertilizer, one of
many great measures, as the universe
expands and contracts into big people

banging and creating new beings,
the egg or chicken appearing first
or last—it doesn’t really matter, just

more words you can throw up into
the sky like stars, fly away or plant
yourself to them define; take a stance

and write your Congress person, unless

you are one, then what?  Do you win
when you take more than you need,
store up money and goods?

It depends on where you’re standing
and on how you define your terms.
Sometimes when you win, you lose
said some movie down the bluff
from me.  I used to be a potted plant,
then broke away to live or die as
a wildflower on the hill, you know
like the ones along the route to San
Francisco.

Take the bus not the train, if in
Spring you care to from L.A. to the
north express for God the song
you sing.

Orange, purple and yellow blossoms on
a green hill above blue water, white
clouds above coagulating while I
ruminate on how buses in Mexico
are better than ours.

Free lunches and movies again, down
the bluff from me and Einstein—
depending on where you’re standing
and on how you define the terms.

Turn into Pain

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Be Quiet.

You may be the next Useful Idiot
God uses to spread joy through
pain; wake up asleep, go back
to bed again!

Shhh!

Eat cake for breakfast, if you can
get away with it, smile now
before the wind changes, bringing
Poppins, Toppins, love…

Then crash, the constant in life
of course being change, the wind’s
at it again!

Did you know, little boys, that your
body changes a lot?  When a teen,
you’ll hear that from lots of folk,
but beware a second change at
thirty!!!

What you thought was firm suddenly
doth sag, you can’t believe your luck,
the fate of getting old is not just
for those with white hair it starts
sooner, long after the thrill is
gone life traveling on said the
Cougar, do you know how to camp?

I love you, friends, and I tell you this:
Stop all motion to help a baby, child
or new flower stand.

Do not offend a young person, Jesus
warned us about God’s angels that
bear God’s face—imagine that,
that might be pain!!!

Turn into it now, learn how
to master it!  The moment is gold—
the moment you master life
and growing old,

by admitting its pain, accepting it,
sitting or standing with a Higher
Power and your cards in the game…

It’s not the fun you have but the
pain you endure serving others and
even that voice inside challenging you
that counts to fight, fight, fight.

God give us the courage to stand
up like a U.S. Marine on a dime,
forget ourselves a moment and
be a part of this great thing called

Life.

Ready to Plant

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Inching like an optimistic caterpillar,
across the hot sidewalk of regret;

fifty-five years since Kennedy died,
CIA still above the law in need of vet.

I am not mad that we killed our Earth
in search of gold and easy living;

I cannot be mad and simultaneously
fend off temptation to keep on drinking.

I love my enemy, and if not bring hell
into life as a grave, sad possibility!

We can let Fear guide us or some version
of God, coincidence or serendipity!

I love the calm lines of the lonely lass,
who picks me up because she knows…

She is aware that I’m lonely, too, not
consciously but truthfully as it often goes…

I inch along, the inchworm ready to plant!
The tide is low a while, the garden prepped;

Sunshine lurks behind the Summer clouds,
Goodness a rainbow out of fog leapt.

God forgive our mistakes, one at a time
made in the path to oblivion far and wide…

“Keep swimming,” saith the Disney swimmer,
We’re not that great but could be…

Henry’s blessed Heroes in the strife!!!

“Why Am I Here?” by SK Rolle

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To remind you
of the suffering
of the innocent child
misused

To remind you
of the promise
of Yusuf Hawkins
unfulfilled

Reminding you
Of Emmett Till
forgotten

young unwitting warriors
to remind you
of four girls
swaddled
in unheralded graves

Of forsaken lots
of infant trees cut in stride

Toward the dream
unrealized

young blood reddening
Alabama clay
Mississippi mud
New York streets

Young hearts stilled in mid-beat
tender memories waiting fertile

tragic martyrs shining

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