Timely Once Again, Marlene Sings “Where Have all the Flowers Gone”
The dominoes go head to toe.
They must line up precisely so.
Why that’s so, we do not know.
It was determined long ago.
Rules of the game were made to last
ages ago, long in the past.
They tell us when to break our line,
when turning sideways is just fine.
Who can play, in perfect order.
How to avoid the table’s border.
When to ride each other’s train,
then when it is forbidden again.
Necessary rules to follow
lest our world turn blank and hollow?
Senseless rules to senseless games,
we line up tokens on boards and frames.
Sometimes the stakes are higher when
the rules, determined by famous men,
turn life and death, each token one
less calculated to end in fun.
All game pieces hidden away,
there to use some other day
when some fool says it’s okay.
Secrecy the rules of play.
Suddenly, the play’s no fun.
We want the gaming to be done.
Put away the games and toys.
It’s time for you to grow up, boys.
The prompt in NaPoWriMo today is to write a poem that incorporates the vocabulary and imagery of a specific sport or game. Mine was based on the domino game called “Chickenfoot” or “Mexican Train.” Ironically, in Mexico it is called “Tren Cubano” or “Cuban Train.” Guess everyone likes to pass the buck.
Big, Big World
Remember when your world was new
how in the world surrounding you
everything seemed bigger then?
It often seems that way again
when we see things nostalgically,
for memory boosts them mightily.
Our mother’s lap or father’s knee
becomes a world–a rolling sea
as we remember rocking there—
a child traveling in their care.
The rooms of childhood were immense,
and all the traumas more intense.
Curtailed play and spilled ice creams
were tragedies expressed by screams.
Time stretched out like a highway then,
however short time might have been
for parents, who saw us grow up quickly.
Time surrounded us more thickly.
The days of summer passed so slow
from sunrise up to candle glow.
Voices echoed in failing light
as we took that last long flight
down the road from England’s hill.
It seemed to last for hours until
we reached the bottom and pedaled home
under that vast dimming dome
that soon the starlight would fill in
until the slow sun rose again.
The night was darker and longer then,
as we contemplated sin
that our prayers brought to mind,
and that inevitably would wind
into our dreams to swell and swell
until they became a hell—
our terrors spreading in the night
until our moms turned on the light,
still maintaining they weren’t there at all
as they followed her back down the hall.
All things were large when we were small–
those tiny cuts, that minor fall.
A childish spat heartbreaking when
you could have been where they were then
but couldn’t because you’d had a fight.
and they were wrong and you were right!
And though rage hadn’t lasted long,
they had to say that they were wrong!
And so you sobbed and fussed and pouted,
while outside, the others shouted
gleefully from swings and slide.
The pain more than you could abide.
When we were eight or six or three,
the whole world was hyperbole.
And now that we are fully grown,
living free and on our own,
hopefully we’ve learned to season
ire with pardon, dreams with reason.
And before it all blows up,
let us hope the world grows up!
The prompt today is “hyperbole“
The Prompt: Brain Power–Let’s assume we do, in fact, use only 10% of our brain. If you could unlock the remaining 90%, what would you do with it?
My working thoughts live in a mansion, restrained to just ten rooms.
When the unused rooms grow cobwebs, they must sweep them out with brooms.
They cannot see their pleasures, for they enter with eyes shut.
Sealed chambers filled with many things, but we do not know what.
It is exhausting just maintaining all these extra spaces.
No wonder that I lose my keys and forget most new faces.
No telling when we’ll let our thoughts roam free in other rooms.
For all these years they’ve been sealed up like dark and unused tombs.
Perhaps we’ll find they’re portals to other times and places.
Perhaps they lead to other worlds in intergalactic spaces.
They might allow a journey into the minds of others.
Would extrasensory perception make us enemies or brothers?
I’m sure the reason that we use small portions of our brain
is because if we knew of them, we’d use them all in vain.
We’d journey through the cosmos to plunder other spheres.
React to them like enemies, guided by our fears.
If there is any entity guiding how things go,
perhaps they recognize that earth’s evolving sort of slow.
Our energies put into things instead of who we are.
Instead of love? Investments. Instead of aid? A car.
If perhaps we aren’t allowed the full use of our brains,
it is because we have not learned to use them for our gains.
How we look’s important. How much it costs the point.
We’re ruining our planet by cluttering up the joint.
Our brains we use for warfare. Weapons we can’t control.
They wind up in a child’s hands or on a grassy knoll.
They’re used for entertainment on a computer screen
in games that build agression. We win by being mean.
Shows they call reality prefabricate each role.
The lowest denominator seems to be their goal.
True, other things are in our mind: poems, music, art,
dance and social functions, a few of them with heart.
So we stage elaborate galas to raise the money for
children who are hungry, adults chewed to the core.
And yet some of us still balk at giving medicine to the ill.
If they are not wealthy, they must chew the bitter pill.
No doctors and no dental care. No succor for the poor.
If they would work, they’d have health care. Complaints are such a bore!
These things we fill our minds with. There’s no need for more brain space.
In the ten percent of brain we use,new thoughts we cannot face.
This E.S.P. is hogwash, and U.F.O’s are fiction.
Even the thought of universal health care causes friction.
For every room within the mind that’s used, there are nine more
filled with mysteries we won’t know until we try the door.
Some enter and return to tell of wonders they have spied.
Yet unenquiring minds respond by saying they have lied.
We’ll never leave these sealed up rooms unless we learn to dream.
Let creative thoughts flow out in an uncensored stream.
To seep beneath closed doors into our mind’s more spacious realms.
Be adventurous voyagers standing at the helms
of ships of mind that sail the wilder seas of consciousness
regardless of the ones who try to censor and to hush.
Turn off the TV sets and games of war and violence.
Let Honey Boo Boo slip back into former innocence.
Lay Kim Kardashian to rest, pull out your skeleton key
that just might let you in to all the rest that you can be.