Categories
of Gratitude

But for the grace

But for the grace

A thin man walking, alone
each step, proud
a steady pace
a determined expression
shoulders back
a smile on his face.

He meets a stranger along the way
pleasantries exchanged
a howdy-do
a chat about the weather
a sturdy handshake
and a hardy adieu.

He walks, again, alone,
picks an apple from a tree
he bites and chews
then spits it out
not yet ripe, a little green
he tries again but has his doubts.

He stops to sit a little while
crosses his legs, then with a smile
he holds a sign for motorists
“Hungry, can you spare a dime?”
he stands and reaches for the bill
and adds a dollar to his till.

He thanks the driver
says “God Bless”
he thanks his God for all the rest
he counts it up, then put’s it down
he’s saved it for another round.

A thin man walking
used to be
a working man
used to pull some dollars down
‘till fate and luck just dragged him ‘round
Now, he walks and smiles.

-J

Categories
of Loss and Loneliness

Quagmire

Categories
of Humor

How I Roll

HOW I ROLL

As I drove through the toll booth
in my spectacular brand new super-fragalistic car
Sound ablazin’, motor a racin’
The one they said was sure to be a star
Not manufactured in decades, to be sure
Low numbers, high demand, sure to be a winner
Sure to appeal to the masses

Every wife, daughter, mistress, girlfriend, lover, and girl next door with glasses would fane for the privilege to get off of their asses and test drive the most spectacular automobile ever seen in twenty-five years. A low-profile convertible with Armor All’d tires and automatic doors

To be seen in the most spectacular car, the automobile manufactured for the price that anyone could afford, or
just be bored with whatever their spouse could afford

No! How can we pass up such a deal for the most spectacular car in twenty-five years?

The toll-booth girl, pretty and black
was in my seat in two seconds flat
standing up in the seat on a busy main street
waving her arms in the air
with not seeming a care

I took her to a shop where we bought some sexy clothes and other wares. We laughed and laughed until the store was closed. Then, came the sex and the grind, the moves that blew my mind. My love for the car diminished as she overtook my, well, you know

No oil change needed, my ego conceded
The car so exceeded that nothing was left but her coal

Still, the fever was seeded and the thought was repeated again and again until I bought another and another and sold to every sister, brother, and stupid mother fucker on the planet

Just goes to show.

High demand, production low, made me some money. That’s how I roll.

-J

Categories
of Loss and Loneliness

The Actor

The Actor

You don’t know me
You might think you do
I sing and dance across the screen
for everybody’s view

I play the part
sometimes the hero
I get the girl
then fade into the sunset

I’m charming
gracious, eloquent
unafraid
whenever it suits you

I’m confident
A real go-getter
Just a son of a gun
having fun and laughing

The world is my stage
you, my audience
A one-man show
as I spin a tale

A tale of splendor
A tale of triumph
of satisfaction
with lots of action

A tale
projected on a screen
In color, bigger than life
I’m always on the beam

I always play the part
You write the script
You are the directors
I’m just an actor

In my trailer, I take off my makeup
my costume, my toupee
I look again in the mirror
and there’s hardly a reflection.

-J

Categories
of Humility and Change

Practice

Practice

In the next life

I’ll be selfless
Always fearless
Always kind
Always true

I’ll be thoughtful
Always helpful
Always loving
and subdued

I’ll fly with angels
Smile at strangers
Give to others
and to you

All my time
All my treasure
At your pleasure
I will do

In this life, from now on

I will practice at these things
So I will never falter
when the Lord
gives me my wings.
-J

Categories
of Gratitude

A Christmas Toast

A Christmas Toast

To my family and my friends
It’s Christmas time again
Another year is over
and just around the bend
a longer year than most
we all wished that it would end
I hope we never see
A twenty-twenty here again

The election, it’s all over
The vaccine, just months to come
We’ll celebrate with eggnog
we won’t dare forget the rum
The Christmas tree is up
The stockings are all hung
The mistletoe we skipped
So few kisses, that’s no fun!

The schools will all be open
The masks will disappear
No rush on toilet paper
We’ll be free to breath the air
We’ll dine inside if we want to
All store owners will declare
Come inside, there’s no Corona!
Come inside, pull-up a chair!

Merry Christmas one and all
Happy New Year, yes it’s true
At last we’ll be together
Shed our fear and all our blues
God bless the ones surviving
All the ones who passed-away
Here’s to twenty-twenty-one
Here’s to you and better days!

-J

Categories
of Humility and Change

Blown Away

Blown Away

As orange petals fall
a lily, bright and tall
with stem, leaves of green
sheds its majesty

I watch the petals
before they wither,
each, still bright
and lying on a table

I set them
by the vase,
in a lovely bowl,
placed at its base

some, still showy,
some just about to go
their beauty, astounding,
nearly ending

the geometry, marvels,
these orange lilies
refusing to dim, still here,
not struggling to remain

another cascades
onto the table, I leave it
It’s beauty and color
to surely fade and then,
it’s simply blows away.

-J

Categories
of Humility and Change

Five Minutes

Five Minutes

You struggle
You feel like you are on the losing end
Defective
Rejected
Uptight and scared
You can feel the hopelessness
The fruitlessness
The worthlessness

and then…

in just 5 minutes
it happens
it spins you ‘round
it restores your worth
it gives you hope
no longer bound
by the fear and the sound
of your racing heart

A miracle, no less!
This thing that restores
that comes about
without your trying
with all your crying
you realize that
your faith, so little
is rewarded at last

in just 5 minutes.

-J

Categories
of Humility and Change

Redemption

Redemption

As I walk the straight and narrow
I’m reminded of a time
When the path was not so straight
It was crooked, it was bent
It was twisted out of shape

That path is now behind me
I wouldn’t have taken it if I knew
that regrets, remorse would find me
when I’m walking straight and true

If I could go back
I would have taken another fork
I would have paid attention to the warnings
Corked the bottle I uncorked

But now I am redeemed
by the blood of Jesus Christ
All his grace, all his glory
His forgiveness and his price

All my faults
I give them now
to the God of my own choice
Despite the path that I have taken
finally, now, I can rejoice

I trust in him and him alone
He loves and guides me where I roam
He forgives me for my many sins,
and all my thoughts and might-of-beens.

-J

Categories
of Humor

Another Pall Mall

Another Pall Mall

Got up!
Made the bed
Ran to Speedy
Bought some cigarettes
Came home
Had a smoke
Shaved, showered
Had a smoke
Got my hair cut
Bought some groceries
Had a smoke
Washed the car
Had a smoke
Ate my dinner
Had a smoke
Got on Zoom
and that’s not all
Smoked another
long Pall Mall

The ashtray is full
So are my lungs
So much money
Wasted upon
A little indulgence
One after one
Over my life
more nearly a ton
An awful addiction
A son-of-a-gun!

Try to quit
then another one’s lit
I’ll keep on quitting
Someday it’ll stick
Don’t want to die
before my time
of suicide by cigarette!

-J

Categories
of Humor

Lookin’ Like Elvis

Lookin’ Like Elvis

At three in the morning
He’s just pullin’ in
for an all-night buffet,
a shower and a cigarette

His rig, she’s been a movin’
Just a rollin’ down the line
Gassin’up, twenty minutes
and he’s runnin’ right on time

He sits down, orders coffee
Says “hey, you pretty thing”
I’ll be movin’ on to Memphis
but for now, I’ll have the wings

He’s been runnin’ down I-40
breaking speed and doin’ fine
One short stop in Chattanooga
bypassed Nashville one more time

Plugged the jukebox, told a story
of how he once jack-knifed
How he used to have a woman
and she used to be his wife

Black hair down his neck
Almost in his eyes
I looked again, then I noticed
and much to my surprise

He looked an awful lot like Elvis
Sideburns, everything
From his head to his toes
He just needed one more thing

As he paid for his meal
He curled his lip, said it was fine
Come again said the waitress,
She’s all smiles and goo-goo-eyed

Just then, through the window
It came an awful rain
He reached into his satchel
for just the missing thing

He threw a raincoat on his shoulders
and walked into the night
Some headlights caught his figure
and before he’s out of sight

He kneeled down to pick-up something
His silhouette is all I saw
A caped and stunning figure,
the velvet Elvis on the wall.

-J

Categories
of Humility and Change

I AM YOU!

I AM YOU!

The relief I have prayed for
More than a reprieve
A cancellation of my sins
To awaken anew
To look in the mirror
and comprehend a miracle

Who am I
I ask?
The answer narrow, clear
I am you
You are me
We walk together

Through forests scary,
over mountains high,
rough terrain
and cloudy skies
We walk the path
of human frailty

As we walk this path
and pace ourselves
we share challenges, heartaches
and triumphs
In all these things we are the same
The world, one great alliance

You are me and I am you
We forget our sorrow,
we forget our pain,
our human error
It’s all the same
We forget at our own peril

Don’t forget!
We all have stumbled
We have prices we have paid for
To reach out and lend a helping hand;
a kindness shown our fellow man
is just what God is there for.

-J

Categories
of Loss and Loneliness

I Just Do

I Just Do

Why do I need?
It’s not admired
I wish I were an island
like some of you
Yet, so acquired…

I need you
To talk to
To walk with
To spend an afternoon
Such am I

Hours, too many, spent alone
All right for some, but not me
To need, a crime
just to ask for time
I need, I just do

I curse myself for wanting
Am I so weak to need?

In this world, alone
I reach out
A weakness I have
A meekness
A curse

I realize a friend is not forever
A shame
loyal and true
doesn’t matter to some
why me?

I need, I just do
I would stop
but I cannot
To stop, to thine own self
would be untrue

I need, I just do

-J

Categories
of Love

Perfect

Perfect

The ocean waves
Slow motion days
Birds singing
Angelic sounds
fill the stillness

A harp playing
A flute saying
be still

A long breath
A deep rest
underneath
a palm tree

A cool breeze
A familiar peace
resonating

The tide quenching
A cloud shading
the sand

Waves crashing
Gulls laughing
The day fading
slowly

The Sun setting
The sea and horizon gleaming
The tide heading
for the shore

A walk in the sand
moon shining
A shell in my path
still moving

Ocean glistening
A bouy listening
A boat sailng
in the distance

My love waiting
baiting a hook
throwing a line
then saying
I love you

-J

Categories
of Reminiscences

City Style

City Style

A little ditty, a ditty-do
about a day in the city
The city, it’s style
how it used to be
what we used to do
the things we knew
our point of view
and when going to work
was red, white, and blue.

Men with brimmed hats,
a suit, a starched shirt
buttoned to the top
with tie to match
a Timex watch, a pin or a tack
polished shoes and matching slack
an overcoat, a blend or wool,
half or full and made to fit
don’t forget the matching grip
looking good, just the times?
The times we lived before the slip!

Women, thinner
in suits; not slacks
but in skirts to match
a cashmere sweater, even better
heels, a matching purse, perhaps a Coach
they wore make-up, a do, a pin or broach
and a hint of Channel Number Five.
They left the elevator and the stares,
their charm and essence left behind
for those whose eyes that they would capture
and compliments of those enraptured.

Been a while, such city style.

-J