Marcia's Poetry

FLO

Curled close to her warmth
Haven for an eight-year-old
Comforted by the sound of her voice
I listened

In the early afternoon
Aunt Kackie
Stretched across the other bed
Soft laughter and familiar stories
Small town life
Seen through a glass lightly
And I listened

She had the soul of a poet
Fragile, explosive, dreamy
Fierce resolve
She didn't suffer fools gladly
Bondie Boo Mama loves you

Six kids and a doctor
He was the extrovert
House calls, school board
Camellias and the farm
She kept it together
But just by a thread
I watched it all and I listened

Laser focus on each child
Determined we would succeed
Perfectionist, yearning for order
In a world where Daddy saw no limits
Savoring life, wanting it all

For her, no sanctuary or quiet
A shaman's wisdom at the PTA
Still, she saw everything
So I listened

It was the 50s and the world changed
No more help to run the house
Teens and cars and rock 'n roll
Acne and boys
And growing pains times six
None of us listened

And even after she got sick
Angry she couldn't finish
I don't want them to pray for me
Still a quiet strength
She willed me to prevail
And I listened

Gone these forty years
Memories are faint
A wisp of dark hair
A voice, soft and southern
We never knew her
But as children

And yet even today
Sometimes through a grandchild's clear eye
Or a niece's deep compassion
I hear her voice
And still I listen

Poetry

KEN LAY IS DEAD

To blame our woes on wicked men
So far from you and me
Relieves us, we the people, of
Responsibility

The headlines shout, the spotlight glares
Shocked tones from CNN
As if the choices badly made
Are clear when they begin

Pursuing higher ethics now
We demonize by name
But never learn from our mistakes
A culture shaped by blame

The holocaust resulted from
The acts of one bad man
The boom and bust of those dot coms
From CEOs who ran

Ken Lay is dead and well deserved
And Martha served her time
The rest of us are victims of
Their schemes and plots and crimes

I once was rich or thought I was
My stock had reached the moon
And someone has to pay because
That bubble popped so soon

Let's string him up, let's bring her down
The system's full of flaws
It's only human nature to
Look elsewhere for the cause

We never learn, we won't improve
The process will repeat
Until we start to understand
The challenges we'll meet

That each of us is daily faced
With choices of all kinds
That 20-20 hindsight may
Discover out of line

So easy to accept the norm
It's what the others do
And fail to challenge practices
That over time aren't true

With hands pure white the muckrakers
In this society
Would rather point their fingers than
Face ambiguity

They can't set rules ahead of time
With black and white guidelines
For politicians cut and run
While regulators whine

Much easier to wait until
Abuses clarify
Then find a few high profile guys
To skewer and to fry

So those of you who never erred
Perfection to the bone
Shoulder to shoulder should align
And cast out the first stone

THIS I BELIEVE

I'm a believer
In the redemptive power
Of love
And the inexorable march
Of time

Love that itself
Believes all things
Hopes all things
Endures all things

Believe me
In this time of all times
When believing is dissed
And believers
They're pissed at elitist disdain
Especially now
Ya gotta believe
In something

Oh sure, as for me
I've had my doubts
But then I saw his face
Now I'm a believer

Believing's a choice
But fear and anxiety
They're thrown over you
Like a wet blanket
And your light can't shine
And it feels so hard
To put one foot
In front of the other
Unfuckingbelievable
How dark it can get

It was ages ago
When they met in Nicea
You wouldn't believe
How they bickered and bargained
To write a new creed
I believe in God the father almighty
Maker of heaven and earth

I believe in destiny
And the free market
But I reject
Hegemony over the weak
And life everlasting
At least if it uses up resources
Our grandchildren will need

But don't believe
Everything you hear
I don't believe
Half the things they say
Yes Virginia you can achieve
All you dream of
But Santa Claus
And equal opportunity
They're only make believe

Believe in yourself
If you don't then who will
I believe in rock and roll
The communion of saints
The forgiveness of sins
The civic duty to pay taxes
And the San Francisco Giants

Believe what you will
I believe in death panels
And making room for the kids
But I don't believe in
The axis of evil
Or the power of evildoers
More crazy than evil
Not that it hurts any less
When they shoot you

Do you believe in magic?
Try it just this once
Just to relieve the stress
With a bang
Instead of a whimper

Oh sure you claim
You don't believe
A word I say
And who cares
I don't believe you anyway

Believe what you like
And see where it gets you
And in your grief
And your bereavement
Do you really believe
Anyone cares?

All those lost souls
Grieving aimless
It's unbelievable
The way they rationalize
Their desolation

Call it na´ve
Dangerous even
But believe it or not
Everybody believes
In something
And nobody's getting out of here
Alive

Poetry

POEM FOR BETTY

She walks beside him up the rolling hill
That rises over roofs of red hued tile
Undaunted by the early morning chill
They walk shoulder to shoulder mile on mile

They travel far and wide the world around
She buys into each multilingual plan
Admires Don's talent wit feet on the ground
And thanks her lucky stars that he's her man

She wouldn't trade her life for anyone's
Come rain or shine out under open skies
She's steady modest proud of her two sons
Devoted to her three most favorite guys

And though the years roll on year after year
She's hardly changed at all her cheerful face
Spreads joy and love to friends both far and near
Encircled by the warmth of her embrace

We've never heard her say an unkind word
About another soul although it's true
She spoke her mind her values could be heard
Integrity informed her point of view

To Betty so respected and admired
We wish that we could all be more like you
Your quiet strength your service never tired
You've made us more committed and more true

And though you seemed to know this all along
Your last goodbyes so fearless, clear and bright
Your gentle spirit kept you brave and strong
Still warming us with grace and love and light.

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