Poetry — Sacred Earth Art

The Curator of Empty Spaces

 

The blank page wears a deceptive neutrality,

Words, configured in perplexity, sign in unsolicited.

Absolutes metabolize in atoms informaticized.

Absolutes metabolize in atoms informaticized?

Without warning, nonsense syllables waltz the blue line.

        Obsequious Demetrius

        Impervious Delervious

 Funny things, words!

Strung together like ornamental lights

Decorating, resonating phonemes.

        We look at the world through semantical     eyes

         And it’s constantly changing in hue.

        Incongruous mysteries are truths in disguise

        With an ambience quick to subdue.

My pencil scrolls earnestly and I indulge.

Divergent decisiveness stokes paper. 

Squiggly lines sent by some secluded muse

Inspire with their irrelevance, 

Ambivalent intelligence.

        Sometimes we cling to illusions,

        Eluding those worldly demands,

        And sometimes the struggle’s confusing

        But the soul recognizes a plan.

These syllabic strands of utterance

Scribed in holographic harmony.  

The interloper has strange urges.

I’m dancing with an unseen partner

Who tells me to be gentle.

        Don’t worry that you’re mostly empty space.

Then, 

        She who has a fleeting thought of the sublime

        Touches upon her own divinity.

        She who concretizes that fleeting thought

        Touches upon the divinity in others.

Words of wisdom waiting patiently

Or are these just fantasies?

Can a word replace a single blade of grass?

Sometimes I think just wanting to write is enough,

The aimlessness of my un-poem

Energy in flux.

It’s the nimble notions lost that keeps me focused. 

It’s the words I cannot find that call my name.

         Which way to go?

         Into the whispers or out to the world?

        Back to the dreams or into the dance?

Hearing a story I won’t understand,

An ancient novel in a timeless voice

With a universal cadence

Emanating subtle fragrance.

The drama/dance duality

Augments dimensionality.

Each wounding an opportunity

To see beyond blame,

Each stroke of the pen meditation.

It’s a win-win window with a charismatic view.

As I am seduced by an unseen bard

Isn’t the entire cosmos at play?

        Though I've lost many poems to the postmen

        Who march toward supply and demand

        My favorites still drop by to tease me

        Knowing things only they understand.

 

 

 

Source: https://brad-walker-5mai.squarespace.com/c...

Ribbon of Geese

Ribbon of geese
Cloaked within currents,
Spiraling trails of cold-air prophets.
I grieve in the wind-song of
Autumn in flight.

How can you beckon in times such as these?
Indiscriminate blasts drone across deserts
Families crying white phosphorus tears.
Yet I breathe in this brilliant orange sunset.

Bless the draped bodies our eyes cannot see.

Fly over the troops,
Victims of empire
Trained for the kill.
Sing them to peace.

My rake is in mourning
Scratching in rust tones
Longing for plowshares
Witnessing guns

Jody Walker

Morality's So Heavy

morality’s so heavy with exclusions.
While Spirit holds all in delight. 

morality’s a doctrine of answers.
Spirit?...welcomes all questions.

morality basks in its history.
Spirit flows with the ever-changing “Is” of timelessness.

morality separates.
Spirit connects.

morality preaches.
Spirit listens.

morality says, “My way.”
Spirit says, “Al-ways.”

morality’s temple’s of brick and stone.
Spirit enshrines the boundless particles of Universal Energy.

morality worships “The Far Away”.
Spirit honors “The Here And Now”.

morality’s “obedience” is Spirit’s “compassion”.
morality’s “duty” is Spirit’s “privilege”.

morality dines in impeccable taste
While Spirit can feast on the curb.

And sometimes morality judges.
The Spirit?...  Accepts all blame.

morality gives so that all might see,
Yet unseen, the Spirit offers.

morality dictates from the intellect.
Spirit sustains from the heart.

Oh, you’ll often find them together.
They do so enjoy a good discourse at times.
Spirit says, “Hi! May I carry your load?”
“That’s O.K.” moral utters though strained.
“I’ve got it, thanks.”

Changing the subject morality chimes,
“Let’s go over there and teach them our ways.”
Spirit responds, “Let’s learn theirs.”

Together, they watch an old man
Who carefully polishes the temple steps.
“Hey! Ain’t you two gonna’ give me no help,”the man teases.

Spirit kneels beside the worn figure.
In harmony, they buff the stones to a warm elegance.

morality stares in disbelief
Confused by the odor of sweat, and cheap wine.

With that the young man woke from his peaceful sleep
As the chill of evening dissolved His dreams.
Retrieving His staff and stepping back into his sandals, 
He began the long trek downward.
And though the tired mortal descended to things undone,
His Spirit indulged in the blissful sunset.

Jody Walker

Too Full for the Well

I’m full of unshed tears for an ashen world,

Of songs unsung,
Trees unclimbed,
Roads not taken 
And paths that may never cross again.

I’m full of oceans, 
Salty air 
And a longing for both.

Full of dreams still hiding,
Promises sliding
And apology-barnacles clutching my throat.

So full of regrets and
Of snapshot moments,
Weddings,    
Babies,
Mother’s eyes,
A puppies love.
Depression’s earthquake-rip. 

I’m full of words,
Useless syllables I so long to weave.
Stories unwritten,
Poems unrhymed,
In that place where you should be,
Where I yearn for you to be.
If only I knew how! 
If only I could trust!
If only ……

Good morning, Love.  I’m here at the well.
Empty me.

Jody Walker

The China Doll Stage

The China dolls posed on the gaudy lit stage,
Waiting their turn to perform.
Their colorful skirts whirled mechanically round
In time with their will to conform.

Sue recognized some from her old high school days
And remembered some pain and resentment.
She’d never quite captured the art of disguise
And had always messed up on her entrance.

She then turned around in that torn cushioned seat
And she noticed the real play behind her.
A China fraternity party had formed
And the laughter had set her heart pounding.

Then one doll came down from that old wooden stage.
Sue knew she was headin’ her way. 
“Do you belong here?” the cheerleader asked.
Sue didn’t know quite what to say.

Her small talk, she’d never perfected.
Her clothing was not quite in style.
She pushed her way passed their glaring eyed dance
And longed for the black, starlit mile

Away from unbreakable dolls of perfection.
So tired of the mind-numbing chatter
For all that she was, was never enough
And all that she felt didn’t matter.

Jody Walker

Too Long the Silent Hero

“Hi, Hon!” he called with familiar grin.
(That special smile donned to disguise;
To hide aches and pains that had followed him home
From that place that could be his demise.)

After twenty odd years of the workaday shift
He’d not used her to vent indignation.
He’d traded adventurous, dream world champaign
For his work-benched, refined arbitration.

    He’d helped with the homework, the cub scouts, the games.
    The kids thought he hadn’t a worry.
    He’d built a warm house with his own two, strong hands.
    (The mortgage was due again Thursday.)

    He’d promised some bunk beds, a gym set, a shelf.
    She knew that someday they’d be done.
    Yet his hands more importantly molded their lives,
    And along with the work, he brought fun.

In order to rectify non-leasured days
The “alarm clock brigade” pays their dues,
So after the dishes were done and away
They retired to the six o’clock news.

    “It was reported today,” the newscaster had said,
    “That a small child, while playing in his front yard,
    Was viciously attacked by a huge German Shepherd.
    The neighbors reported that a man seemed to jump
    The fence from out of no where, and literally
    Wrestled the dog to the ground where they struggled 
    Till police arrived. 

    Both boy and man are now listed in stable condition
    At Seton Hospital......
    In other news, the county commissioners......”

“Man! What a hero!” their eight year old said
As his Superman Action Figure zoomed past their view.
“Boy! I’d be too scared to do that! Wouldn’t you Dad?”

“Oh, I’d be scared, all right,” his father admitted.
“It’s hard to understand
What makes a man willing
To give up his life for another.”

Well, she understood.
She also knew there was more than one way 
To channel your core with substance.

For “Hero” to her meant commitment,
With all of its tired yesterdays;
Abandoning self in exchange for the shoes
That could weigh a man down in dismay.

Perhaps the real glory 
Should go to the dad
Who gives up his dreams, to be king.
She only could pray he’d been gratified too
For the powerful bond of the ring

Jody Walker.

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

I felt her sigh the other night and grieved her pain of burden.
The dreamer whom she’d sheltered now bred offspring disconcerting.

She’d guard her sudsy wishing well with rubber gloves allied.
And kitchened well her caffein keepsake, ”World’s Best Mom!” She’d tried.

On ballroom floor of no-wax sheen she swirled in gay charade
While broadcast beacon amplified the Oldies Hit Parade.           

Potholder certificates hung stained respectfully,
Acknowledging her Servinomics subsidised degree.

Diploma drained investitures; Beatitudes embraced;
Her marketed annuities declined at shopcart pace.

Disposable; reusable; vacuumed frivolity;
While dust removal merged as the high priority.

Assimilated menus for a stay-press family
Collender creations stirred with prime-time pot-pourri.

With words they’d slapped her countainance. 
Their mentor they’d unshrined.
Emotional upheavel stirred their false-start state of mind.

“How can she stand it here all day? Suburbia retreat.”
She’d fostered flesh and harbored hearts and savored souls so sweet.

Sophistocated yearnings of a contemplative muse,
She loved being needed; justified being used.

Evaporated ego in an innovative stride,
The tear stung as it pierced beneath the pity of her pride.

She heard the car approaching, 
Flung her tissues in the drawer.
“Dear God, Ya’ know I love them!” 
Then she hastened t’ward the door.  

Jody Walker

When I was growing up, I developed a very close relationship with a woman my mom’s age, who lived in our neighborhood. One day when I was about eight years old, I stopped by for a visit and though the door was open, she didn’t answer my calls. I saw no one in the kitchen so I walked into the living room, stopping suddenly upon hearing her crying. She was somewhere upstairs and I knew something was terribly wrong. I ran home to tell Mom, who went to check on our friend. When she returned, she told me that the lady had fallen down the steps and that she was going to be all right. Later I overheard my mom and my aunt referring to our neighbor as suffering from depression. I had no idea what that was but it hurt to know of this dear woman’s sadness. 


“The Hand that Rocked the Cradle” was written as a way of describing how sorrow can easily slip into a mother’s heart. We seem to get the “roots” part of parenting more easily than the “wings”. My neighbor was having trouble letting go of her children. I wish I had known about the poetry of Kahil Gibran at that time. I would have read his poem about children to her.  Later, when the grandchildren arrived, my neighbor felt needed again and loved.

Ring Around the Rosie

Hey, little boy in the sand box frame!

What are ya’ tryin’ to do?
Perhaps you’re pretending to mold the good earth
Yet the earth is what’s fashioning you.
    
“Mom?”
“Yes?”
“I had a dream last night.”
“You did?”
“Yea. It’s really weird to think what can
happen when you’re mind isn’t even turned on.”

Hey, little lad with the grass stained knee!
Can you fathom the lure in your eyes?
You drift in and out of my bygone days
With the ease of a cloud in disguise.
    
“Mom?”
“Yes?”
“I know why they put skin over people’s skeletons.”
“You do?  
“Yea! So they don’t scare nobody.”

Hey, little guy with the broken train,
Did ya’ know you’re the king over all?
You sustain the creation in subtle mores.
You beguile with one toss of your ball.

“Ya’ know what, Mom?”
“What, son?”
“I’m gonna be the best boy in town!
What’s at mean, anyhay?”

Hey little one in the glistening steel,
Does your armor oppress as you ride?
Have you clapped for the conquest
And cheered for the knights?
Have you bowed to the king for his bride?
    
“I think I know why we hear crickets in the daytime.”
“You do? Why?”
“Well, maybe, ‘cause it’s still dark in China.”

Hey, little boy at the captain’s wheel,
Can we feel all the waves and the splashes?
I’ve forgotten that song about “Ring Around Rose”.
Do you know what comes after the “Ashes”?
    
“Sure. Ashes come in with that Santa Claus guy.
That man that puts logs in the stockings.
The logs are them things that hold up the trees
That Santa knocks down when he’s flocking.”

“He’s flocking the trees?”
“No. He’s flocking the wings.”
“Oh, you mean, ‘Flapping his wings’”.
“Mom. Santa Claus don’t have wings!”

Hey, little kid with your silly old tricks,
Can we fly to the old rocking chair?
    “Sure! I’ll beam us right up like them Star Trekkie guys!”
We made it! Now, let’s say a prayer.

“Is God in charge? Do He say His payers?
Could ja’ tell Him to watch over me?
And, am I gonna’ die?”
“No, not for so-o-o-o-o long.”
“Ya’ mean ‘till next Christmas? Yipee!”

Good night now Son.
“Ya’ know, in Heaven, if someone tried to kill ya’, 
It wouldn’t hurt ‘cause you’d already be dead!”

Good night now, hon.
“What did they use for space suits back when you was a kid?”
I’ll tell you tomorrow. Good night little one.
“Good night little two.”

Dream little boy with your mind on hold.
Are you drawn toward that mystic repose?
Wish I could indulge in the quest that’s reserved
For the innocent child of the rose.

Jody Walker

Feeding the Pigeons

The following poem was written in honor of a colorful bag lady who once graced our town with her presence. Her name was Polly and though she owned no vehicle, she managed to be seen all over town. She told me, once, about all her cats and how she loved them. Her other passion was cigarettes. Her resilience fascinated me as she spent her days returning grocery carts left in the parking lots around town and talking to anyone who would listen.

Though the entire poem is written in a traditional rhyme scheme, it only seems tedious and humdrum until the man in the story meets a bag lady in the park. Her presence changes everything including the man’s entire perspective on life itself.

He looked to the sky with his questions,
Released them like doves at a wake.
He looked to the pundits who toyed with the news, but
Their mortar rounds skewed the debate.

He looked to the campus for knowledge,
Mortgaged his life to the muse.
He looked to the sea for recovery and rest
Yet she pushed him right back toward the dunes.

He looked to his parents for guidance
To go where they never had been.
He looked to his kids for incentives
To do what meant nothing to them.

He looked to the forests that rushed past his view
Thinking, “Someday, those woods’ll be mine.”
Yet, someday, those woods might not even be there
And in fear he felt so rushed for time.

He looked to the birds for distraction
From worries he just didn’t need.
He looked to the park bench to slow the world down
And a bag lady gave him some seed.

“Thank you,” he said, trying not to sound trite
As he scattered seeds ‘round like a child.
And then, “What a great day!” and he meant every word!
“You better believe it,” she smiled.

“You live around here?” he asked awkwardly.
Her smile had revealed missing teeth.
“Yep. I got me a place ‘ere on Second Street South.
The dang pipes froze up ‘oh last week.

I come here to get me away from the crowds.
‘Course, I ain’t complainin’ none though.
Why, I gets me a good meal least once’t ever’ week
And these pigeons here need me. Ya’ know?”

“Hi, Polly!” another came greeting. They hugged,
And with chirping for music, they danced.
Why, the old “soft shoe” stage never had it so good.
The man watched in wonder, entranced.

“How could they possibly know how to laugh,
With all of their pain and rejection?
Yet, maybe it’s laughter that acclimates love
And maybe it’s love that protects them.”

He gave her his scarf and some money to spend,
And somehow he felt much less hurried.
See, he’d met the “Queen of the Park” on that day.
He’d forgotten just why he’d been worried.

She was part of the earth, while he’d merely used it.
Sure. She lacked the Park Avenue grammar.
Yet, he envied the pigeons their caretaker friend,
Who’d adorned Central Park with such glamour.

Jody Walker

The Kite

It summoned Wind in silken thread,
Finessing zigzag currents.
It soared in twisting torrents
Toward its freedom ride.

It laughed in celebration
With the little boy below,
Whose taunting muscles shared the lift
And kept his kite in tow.

"Come, Boy!" it cried in wind-delight.
” Let’s get above the grave."
It didn't understand the child
Who told it to behave.

Boy shivered mid the taut string breeze.
He held his dream at bay.
"You know not what awaits you
In the distant sea of gray."

The boy stood firm.
His eyes took flight
Upon this silk-winged, soaring sight.

"Let go!" The Wispy Wind swirled by.
"Your kite needs Father Sky."

"You promise life," The boy screamed out, "but how long can it fly?"

"Eternity knows not of time nor of the fear of dying.
You skillfully delivered flight. That’s your ‘ idea’ flying."

Then with a jerk the kite string snapped,
Relinquished to the breeze.
"Thank ya', Boy! The current swells!
It fills my ecstasy!"

With wounded heart the child stood watch.
An old man joined him there.
"I captured this on Polaroid.
Here, keep it in your care."

"Thanks," Boy sighed. He wiped a tear.
His photo-kite seemed proud.
He held the picture tenderly.
The stranger spoke aloud,

"It's O.K., son. Don't weep for one whose spirit is alive.
You'd want your kite to celebrate and not just to survive."

Jody Walker

Teacher

"Not another spelling bee!"
Yet some mantras didn’t work even back then.
Scars needed time to heal, 
But not in that room.

Sam always had to sit down first.
It broke my heart!
Yet, was it not through that horrible game that 
I first experienced compassion?

Our teacher praised the “best and the brightest” and
I began to look for the giftedness of the other.
Her insistence on conformity 
Planted a seed for
A primal need: diversity.

She forced us to memorize. 
I felt the fear in Rhonda’s eyes,
And someone else’s happiness 
Became more important than my own!
My teacher taught me that! 

She lectured, and my mind wandered.
It has never stopped wandering and wondering.
She avoided Joe, earth under nails, 
Her faith based on ridicule and the slap of a hand. 

Again and again she embarrassed Marie
And even the classroom crucifix cried. 
Yet in those tears we grew in respect for each other.
She made us compete. 
It ripped us apart.
And a small voice said, “We are one”!

She taught us to fear. “May I teach only love?”
She lifted the lofty, yet I think we’re born knowing,
That each new life is divine revelation.

She established a hierarchy, which I had to tear down.
I must still tear it down.

Teacher cried one day
And I knew I could judge no one.
It was a formative year, one I’d never forget. 
But wasn’t it grand (in an odd sort of way)
And weren’t they grand? Sam and Rhonda and Joe and Marie!
Our struggles have shaped us as much as our joys
And aren’t we all teachers? 
Aren’t we all?

Jody Walker

The Boxer

Catching a Ride To Work

He stood on the corner by the posh department store
Clutching his brown-bagged lunch.
Behind him stood the mannequins
Dressed in their cold stares and upper class sophistication.

He felt their plaster pulses, pushing him away
As though they didn’t deem him worthy to
Wait before their exclusivity.
“Go across to the Five and Dime," they taunted.

Their fake smiles froze, as Wind’s snowy bits of artistry
Sought shelter ‘neath his blue-collared existence.
It seemed these flawless flakes felt no shame
In touching his belabored skin.

He held the road with his eyes
Hoping its macadam mirage of promise would insulate him
From the glare of these stagnant accusers
Who modeled their self-righteousness for the worthy.

He thought of his kids who forced his tired form
Out onto the 6:00A.M. canvas.  
He fought the urge to melt into the cold concrete
That jeered up at him. “Come on. Lie down. They’ll never miss you.”

Then two lights blazed the flurried darkness,
And to an ageless audience
The man auditioned with a smile. (An old routine yet well performed.)
He’d gladly leave the stage to actors more refined.

The sole chauffeur he’d ever known
Spoke in rave reviews.
“Hi, Joe! Sorry I’m late.”
“That’s OK,” the old boy lied. He felt the factory calling.
Perhaps today, they’d zoom right past that mechanized enslavement of his spirit.
With one last glance at the ladies in lace, 
He supposed that he, too, was in costume.

“Pay day, Joe!” the young voice nudged
Drags on his smoke foul the air.
“Yea,” Joe sighed, eyes tearing on second-hand sorrow.
“I’m gonna’ win the big one, ya’ know,” his rider chided.
“Well, I hate to disappoint you
But I’ve got the lucky ticket right here,”
Joe teased, as he pledged his shirt pocket.
They laughed right along with the worn out Chevy.

“ The big fight’s tonight.
You ain’t gonna miss it?”
“I ain’t missed one yet,” Joe replied.
“I got me a front row seat.”
“Yea? Me too!” Joe laughed. “An ice cold beer’s just wait’n.”
The rider grinned. “I can almost taste it.”
Funny, how their hollow rhetoric soothed with its mediocrity.

Joe’s large, calloused hand found the brown, pocketed beads.
(The ones he’d had since first communion, many years ago.)
He sighed submissively to their sweet surrogate touch.
“You’re not alone, Joe. You’re not alone,” they chanted.

He felt a twinge of pity for all the mannequins
Who reigned o’re all the vacuumed vanities of the world,
For, neither would they know
The Friday-night flights of the arm-chaired welterweight,
Nor the Love that kept him rising from that chair.

Jody Walker

 

(My father was a blue-collar worker who was devoted to family. I often sensed an inferiority complex lurking somewhere beneath the surface. We were raised in a very small house on a very tight budget and our father lived for the weekends. We spent lots of time at State Parks and other places that didn’t cost money and I owe my love of the outdoors to him. Our mom and the Catholic Church held us together as a family and our education was a priority. Dad didn’t want us to end up on an assembly line.

In the fifties, after we purchased our first black and white TV, we would all gather in the living room on Friday evenings and watch The Talent Scouts and Dragnet before the weekly boxing matches sent the rest of us to the kitchen table to play cards. Dad drank his one-a-week beer and watched the fights, sometimes falling asleep in his special chair. I used to imagine him dreaming of being declared champion at Madison Square Garden, yet he was always a champion to me. 
He wished he could have been a better provider and yet my two sisters, my brother and I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful childhood. Dad’s name wasn’t Joe, though I thought the name Joe suited my poem. His name was Leo Howard Grimm, born in Cumberland, MD in 1910. He went to St. Patrick’s Elementary School and graduated from LaSalle High School.)

When I was a Girl in the Forest

When I was a girl in the forest
There were no rich or poor.
Only kids and a hill to climb.

When I was a girl in the forest
It wasn’t just black or white.
The blending of hues was unending, and all of the colors mattered.

When I was a girl in the forest
We knew not of vanity fare.
We crowned our hair in Queen Ann’s Lace, and waited for Peter Pan.

When I was a girl in the forest
There was neither the gifted nor slow.
We all could decipher the songbird’s reprise.
”You are loved,” she would sing. “You are love.”

Then one day I left my enchantment (At 11 or 12 or so).
My music-box meadow stood witness
As Captain Hook mocked my demise.

When I was a girl in the city
I left behind innocent eyes,
Eyes that had helped me see clearly.

I’d left behind Robin Hood heroes
For name brands and mirrors of sand
As I blindly conformed to the streets.

When I was a girl in the city,
I joined other penny-loafed preps
In a mold I could never get into
To become what I’d often regret.

So foolish to live in the city
Where labels defined the wild rose,
But its maze was simply a passage
Papered by colors I chose.

When I was a girl in the city,
I met a lad I’d always known.
We fashioned our own little haven....
Yet, so far from home.

Our children would tell of the songbird,
And oh, how I wished I could hear.
Yet vague premonitions kept taunting.

Though I’m still a girl in the city
I thrive on that vague rhapsody
‘Bout a kid in a forested refuge,
A kid who’s still waiting for me.

And someday, I pray, in contrition,
While strolling my ancient exchange,
I’ll savor, in wheel-chaired seclusion,
Those pine-scented woodlands again.

Jody Walker

Little Meadow Lake

Wind was in a singing mood.
Pond indulged her that night
And they rippled together in laughter
Alarming the zigzagged moon.

I envied them their philharmonic secret.
The stars had been allowed to join the madrigal,
Yet, why not I?

I tossed a token offering into her watery womb
Cajoling the star flies to dance.
Their music seemed so far away.

My swallowed stone gave birth to a dream
Which dauntlessly headed for shore
Dissecting my toes in its urgency.

Had I defiled this canvas with my love, with my intrusion?
Its still life, water-colored half tones
Had so nourished my hungry eyes.

I turned to give them privacy, the pond and waltzing wind,
Indebted to them for the unveiling,
And humbled by sweet revelation.

For the wind is the earth’s soul, breathing,
And the stars guard with vigilant eyes.
While I recklessly cling to illusions.

If only that pond and woods needed me, too!
But, then again, maybe they do.

For had I not nourished their plasmic pulse
With one tossed stone,
Submitted in love
And rippling still?

Jody Walker

Snow: The Unified Field

Crystalline peace offerings
Drawn by gravity to an earth in need.
Soundlessly allowing,
Nullifying differences, 
Cleansing landscapes,
Blurring boundaries,
Bridging borders,
Dulling sharp edges,
 Softening hearts.

The semi-ghost town coal dust: covered.
The littered, pot-holed highway: covered.
Gaudy corporate logos, covered.
Silos, flags, weapons; covered.
Glimpses of what could be.

Jody Walker

Twittering Simon & Garfunkel

And the young man spoke:
In my little town
I grew up on a sesame street
Where neighbors shared common ground
And big-bird hurts were easily mended
With a catchy tune and a green frog chorus.
In my little town
Nickelodian distracted
With its “Mary Tyler morality 
And its Lucy laughter.
I was safe as a fraggle, sound as a doozer.
But the town kept changing.
News told us so.
Presidential cover-ups
Oozing into our “family” room.
Mom coughed in the toxic gloom.
Said she wanted a “living” room. 
In my little town
The god-of-the-air-waves evangelized,
Hawking dispondency.
Buy it now while supplies last!
Then came Private Ryan
Where nothing was private and privates were crying.
I saluted plastic-bag flags 
Fluttering from branches, skiffing cross vacant lots,
And those guys on the beach?
Small town heroes.
Leaders had no trouble 
Sending us off to the bloody sands
Drenched in oil.
No sweat off their greenbacks.
More white markers in grassy fields.
In my little town,
Headphone musik was all the rage.
Didn’t want Dad hearing the lyrics.
Wouldn’t understand
The thunderous, steady drumbeat
The vulgar screams.
They somehow made sense.
Immersed in the noise.
I could drown down
In my little town.

Jody Walker

The Last Stand

What if you were the very last tree?
The only one left 
To keep our secrets,
Hear our laments,
Grieve our sorrows,
Your own?

Would we stop the madness?
See wonder through new eyes?
Hold sacred vigils
Here at my parents’ graves?

Could a small child reach out and touch,
Feel the rivulet roughness of your bark?
Would a sparrow find rest,
Permission to nest?
Or, would barbed wire shroud your elegance,
Armed guards and “Keep Out” signs?

Just in case, 
I need to confide.
I rely on you
To cradle holy ground, 
Fidelity not even my dog would understand.

Thank you!
How many times I should have said those words but didn’t!
I loved them, too, you know,
My dad, my mom.

Weren’t wealthy or worldly
Yet affluence flourished
On our dead-end back street,
Endowments from a different realm where
 Plainsong plucked acoustic souls
Who rocked in woodland studios.

Maple, Ash, Oak, Aspen- 
Earth in fluidity.
You live to protect Her.
Would die to protect Her.
Yet you’d take not one life to avenge Her demise.
(Anthem of a true patriot.)

And oh, that I could 
Sway with the breeze regardless of tempo,
Reverberate rhythm regardless of rhyme,
Surrender to splendor,
Relinquish my need,
Allow revelation.

Sometimes I speak 
But the right words don’t come.
You’ve never needed to be right.
Your knotted scars and tangled trust- 
Pure Bodhi speak.  
Arms always reaching,
Limbs touching limbs in solidarity-
Branches-without-borders.

And somewhere deep, 
In the womb of perpetual waking,
Arrogance dissolves in your rich, moist darkness.
Rooted dreams spiral their longing,
Tangled and hugged and calmed
In your fathomless underground,
Beyond words.
Sherara!

Jody Walker

(In Aramaic (the language that Jesus spoke) the word "Truth" is Sherara, which means: "That which liberates and opens possibilites; that which is strong and vigorous and that which acts in keeping with universal harmony". ) Neil D. Klotz