If our thoughts grew out of us in a gigantic bubble, perhaps they might give warning to keep us out of trouble.
They might flow on ahead of us in a big balloon
to tell folks what we’re thinking, like in a cartoon.
Sometimes our thoughts scream out at us. At other times they whisper. Sometimes our minds are in a fog. At other times they’re crisper, but with prior warning of dangerous or sad thoughts, perhaps our friends would intervene to circumvent the bad thoughts.
Folks in crowds we’re entering might split to left and right when we’re in a pissy mood and spoiling for a fight. Those we meet might warn us of what we’re about to think, or chuckle at our naughty thoughts and give a little wink.
What would the world be like if folks knew everything we thought? One friend would know we hate her hair, one know we think he’s hot. There would be no mysteries, not one Christmas surprise. No detecting secret thoughts by staring into eyes.
The whole world would be literal. No nuances or mysteries. Strangers would know our secrets, both our present and our histories. No reading of expressions, for the truth would all be there floating in thought bubbles, right above your hair!
Image by Samanta Sabina on Unsplash, used with permission
Our nation’s growing jittery. It seems our ruler’s broken.
In the land of liberty, freedom is just a token.
Surrounded by his family, his fumbling words are brisk.
He issues crazy edicts, putting the world at risk.
As he pens crude letters to men of more distinction,
we cower in our houses. fearing mass extinction.
He poo-poos all our scientists. The climate’s doing fine.
Who cares if the whole planet is headed for decline?
Glaciers swiftly melting. Forest fires raging.
He overlooks the hurricanes, intent upon his caging.
Children are the biggest risk, so he sends them packing.
Makes military decisions with very little backing.
On his situation comedy played on the largest screen,
he spins out the same old story: our country has grown mean.
“How green is blue?” the child asks,
“What is the taste of pink?” A prodigy koan-master with a novel way to think, such problems keep a child’s mind engaged in matters other than all the daily problems of a father or a mother.
No spider ever stumbles when spinning out her strands, for the feet she walks around on
are really only hands. No specter of a problem
ever plagues a goat. He simply feeds upon the world
and lives his life by rote.
And so it is with children.
They go from thing to thing with no worries of the outcomes
that their acts might bring. They leave to human adults
the worries of such things and simply live with pleasures
that every new day brings.
In honor of Canadian Thanksgiving and looking forward to ours later this month, this poem is dedicated to Morrie and Diego, who profit from all culinary events in my house:
Leftovers (Dedicated to Two Hopeful Dogs)
Crying for our leftovers won’t bring you any favors. You will not taste their textures or masticate their flavors if you stand there begging. Those winsome looks aren’t working. Nor are your lapsing manners—your twisting and your jerking.
Hunger doesn’t justify your unwelcome behavior. Before we even sat down, we saw Grandpa was your savior, slipping you a turkey leg he had dipped in gravy. (That leg I’d saved for leftovers–a turkey sandwich, maybe.)
Our home-cooked meal? Delicious. That you already know. When I cooked the pies, I fed you scraps of dough. The turkey giblets boiled for gravy, later went to you. When I cooked the cranberries, you even ate a few.
You licked the pumpkin bowl so clean. You licked the beater blade when I whipped the cream for pies. Dear ones, you had it made. So when you beg for leftovers, I’ll just ignore your fuss. You ate before the guests, dears. Leftovers are for us!
Be thankful for your bugaboos, though they invade your head while walking down a lonely street or lying in your bed. I know they make you nervous, especially at night. They ramify your countless fears. They niggle, scratch and bite. Fear is the voice of instinct. It says that something’s wrong. It sets action in motion when pain sounds the warning gong. Fear and pain must guide the way. Without them you are guileless. How would we know something was wrong if gall bladders were bileless? Nature’s warning signals, be they physical or mental agitate those normal states more pleasurably gentle. They are our bodyguards and they make us more secure, warning of us problems for which we need a cure. They tell of hidden dangers. Make us more aware. It’s true both pain and pleasure are part of nature’s care.