JOHN MAKES HIS DEAL NAPOWRIMO 2018, DAY ONE (29 to go)
“The Devil,” thought John, “will ultimately lose.
I shall reach my goal,
then cleverly slip loose.”
Oh, John, thought Lord Lucifer, you are not the first
to think you can beat me;
to avoid being cursed.
So it began, the battle to win
against all odds,
despite John’s great sin.
John signed it away, his life and his soul,
thinking he would take it back,
once he reached his greatest goal.
He believed that God would ultimately save him;
assuming that no matter what,
He could keep all his Heavenly Father gave him.
Of course, he was wrong, for God gave him his free will;
free will to choose which ever route
would help him top his hill.
God hoped He would be chosen to help John succeed;
that He would be the inspiring source
to which John would disclose his need.
But God knew with free will, another choice existed;
another choice to help John win,
though that win would end up twisted.
It is not that God stops loving you, when you to Satan turn.
It is only that because He loves,
You have the choice to burn.
So, to the story of John Phillips, already on his way
To winning the ultimate top writing prize,
His soul bargained away.
04/01/18 The beginning…
TO HELL WITH RESALE
Eleven Eleven Ninety Nine,
the day this comfortable house became mine.
It matches, first glance, all others round the block
Same roof, same shutters, same initial plant stock.
I should be ashamed, as a child of sixties fame.
They ARE made of ticky tacky; they all DO look the same.
Tho’ they’ve changed o’er these years as we’ve lived, loved, and lost.
I’ve added, for instance, more flowers than most.
More daisies, more lilies, more iris, more roses.
Bright poppies seeded for great June poses.
Even my tree, my poor suffering ash
grows against all odds ’round its cruel looking gash
where we cut out the blight caused by dastardly bugs.
The pesticide worked, ‘long with frequent tree hugs.
Yes, the yard, front and back, is chaotic, small splendor,
Like the kind you would get putting all in a blender.
Not the neat, fine order of my neighbors’ straight bricks,
rather, here a plot, there a pot, grape ivy ’round sticks.
A prickly, old rose from the ancient prairie (I did not plant it)
crowds the bargain lilac near the Hansa quite hairy (I do like it).
I planted six strawberries, back in two thousand two,
which now reach the hundreds growing just where they want to.
Inside my small castle, things are not much finer
by the standards of any highly paid designer.
I know hardwood floors are the dream of most.
I chose commercial carpet; the color of toast.
It’s dark like a floor, and comfy, and soft,
and though a bit tailored, would look great in a loft.
My walls? well they’re sad, with colors galore.
I paint was high as I can reach, then I am loath to do more.
It makes me tired, my arm hurt, that’s all I will say
It’ll all get done some fine day.
My furniture suits me…my long, green leather couch,
my Eastlake setee, where my Grands like to slouch.
The turntable ready to give the Allmans a spin.
The trolls, and the books, and the crucifix – thin.
From the cross hangs a dearskin medicine bag,
hand beaded for me, a gift from a dear hag.
(Forgive me, dear Margaret Forster, wherever you are,
it’s just that hag rhymed. YOU are truly a star).
I shall continue this analysis at a later date.
There’s work to do that simply cannot wait.
Time to head to the front “office,” with its red IKEA chair
and the bed with the red quilt. Emil Catt is always there.
ODE TO BILLY COLLINS
on looking out back at my two Adirondack chairs…
There is a famed poet named Billy
who writes lovely poems, some quite silly.
But silly or not,
He gives them much thought.
No word is writ willy-nilly
The sun was such a tease
hanging just below the horizon
like it might decide to not come up this morning.
Regardless of that decision, the trail brightened the longer I walked,
my hands pulled into my sleeves,
my shoes crunching on iced gravel
following coyote tracks that veered off towards back yards
where Charlotte, Sue’s sweet cockapoo, and four chickens live.
They forecast snow today. Without clouds?
Prepare for cold and damp. With these rapidly bluing skies?
That blasted woodpecker annoyingly yaks from atop next door’s tallest willow.
Fat robins pull and pick apart fat worms.
My favorite mourning dove stares me down above the empty feeder,
and North Korea held its largest missile test yet last night.
Each morning this week,
with or without clouds to obscure it,
a huge, burning, orange sun rose in minutes, seconds, nano-seconds;
quickly enough to make you burst into applause on the trail in the open space
much to the startlement of the chickens three houses up from the corner.
THAT LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE
Six years they lived next door
with Jack, their magnificent, soft spoken husky,
and Crosby, their loppy eared, amalgamated barker.
Six years they hung shining Christmas balls on the lowest branches of their front ash.
Just last year they saved their three, blooming cherries out back from heavy, wet snows,
about which I was delighted, since those blossoms fill my windows each Spring.
They fixed the back fence each time Jack chewed through it to visit.
We worked to keep each other’s sidewalks clear of the annual ice dams.
And each and every night, they turned on their bright, annoying porch light.
Every, single night that blessed light lit up my living room and kitchen like day.
For six years.
I covered my windows with dark curtains and thick blinds at first.
For at least three years, I cursed them softly under my breath,
plotted to unscrew the bulb.
I huffed around complaining to myself, growling at my cat.
I learned to shut my bedroom door, eventually, which blocked the light quite well,
and then I found it actually helpful
when I found myself wandering ’round the house at midnight.
No need to turn on my own lights. The rooms were well lit.
So it became less annoying, more a beacon of friendship and safety in the neighborhood.
I came to like it, to depend on it.
It became the norm,
Until three nights ago
when I could not sleep,
and stumbled to the kitchen
in pitch blackness.
and a wee bit frightened.
The light was out.
My rooms were very dark.
All was weirdly quiet.
Was something awry in the neighborhood?
Then, on Tuesday, the sign went up!
They sold their house!
They moved away!
Without a word!
Without a wave, a smile, or snarled farewell.
Jack and Crosby, my furry buddies,
have a new yard to romp and bark in.
Their mom and dad have new rooms to fill,
and no doubt a new light lit on their front porch,
to shine in some new neighbor’s windows;
And I am left to curse the darkness I learned to live without
these last six years.
SPAM FOR LUNCH
Spam! Spam! Spam for lunch!
If you try it, I have a hunch
you will love it a whole bunch!
You can fry it for some crunch!
You can eat it with pink punch!
Smoke some weed with canned Spam munch!
Tie your hair back with a scrunch,
then fix yourself some Spam for lunch!
Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam!
How I love my Spam for lunch!
April 2, 2017 upon watching Martha Radditz on a Sunday morning show
Another month of poetry
Another month of fun,
or sorrow, and/or make believe,
as we await long days with sun.
Ever the returning challenge
to choose the words to say
with precision and great poignancy
events’ effects each day.
Not only great catastrophes,
but tiny baby toes.
Everything that strikes me
as influencing smiles, or woes.
I hope to see more joy, than pain,
as these thirty days pass by;
once all is said and all is done
to sigh a pleasant sigh.
April 2, 2017
TO MSNBC IN THE MORNING