Mixed Signals

We should not care so much about appearance.
I read this everyday, and everywhere —
But yet we will; and brook no interference
In judging others. Nor curtail our care

For our own looks; for our own way of seeming.
We seem to want to have this thing both ways —
The moral view, that all are valid, equal;
The underlying view that always stays —

That some are better looking than most others.
We twist and squirm, for this seems wrong; but still –
We strive to be spectacular, and realize
We’ve known it when we’ve seen it, and still will.

  The same society that says to curb it
  Will broadcast who wears what on some red carpet;
  And tell us all are beautiful alike
  Within a sequined dress, behind a mic.


When I was young, I hated physical education,
Because I was not an athlete, and couldn’t be, no matter what I did.

I asked my parents why I should try, when I would never be good at it,
And they said, “Because you need to be the best you can be;
Don’t compare yourself to others.”

But everything feels like a competition, and, of course,
Sports literally is a competition.

I think that’s how we are about looks.

Many of us know what it is to try to get attention in a room
Where the really attractive people are getting all of it.

It feels like losing.
So why even try, when we know that’s not our destiny?

“Because you need to be the best you can be;
Don’t compare yourself to others.”

I also believe in the subjectivity of looks;
Different people have different tastes.

Which works out well for most of us.

There’s more to attraction than looks;
There’s more to a person than their image.

However, looks do matter:
To each of us and for each of us.

It often seems like society sends
Mixed signals –
And it does —

Sometimes laughably,
As in the vanity-based movie business
Lecturing us on how all types of appearances
Are equally valid
When you know they don’t mean it.

But the truth lives
In the in-betweens
As it often does.

It matters, but it’s not everything;
We should do the best we can, even if
We will win no competitions in doing so.

by products

the world’s a store, and
we walk by products that are
arranged to catch our eyes;
our attention often fixed upon
objects not present, the
subjects of our current fixations –

and yet, if economics allow, we often
buy products that we know we may not
need or even want, merely from a sort of
habit of politeness; a feeling that
so much trouble was gone to for us, we
really should show some support –

bringing home these pointless objects, we
find ourselves leaving by-products, traces
of these and other half-optimal choices that
make up most of our days; the things we do, because
we must do something, and so we choose from among
the options available to us

if, of course, by “products” we are thinking of
things like relationship and career choices, this
only becomes more true – and more the
pity, since we frequently either don’t go to
enough stores to provide sufficient choice or
go to stores long after the right choice has been
purchased by someone else

Bayshore

But a brief moment the sunset lasts
With a growing chorus of crickets then
Comes the dark

Across the bayou, lights I start to see;
And I hear from far away the sounds
Of the distant high school football game

Autumn wraps its arms around me
Sitting on the side of a hill
Looking at the shadows and lights on the water
Feeling the breeze blow my hair

And a faint smell of wood-smoke is in the air
And the scent brings strong memory
As though reliving moments in the flesh
And not merely in thought
Of bygone days spent by the bayshore
Of your golden hair catching the last rays of sunset

Occasionally, a car goes by
And I watch the headlights trailing off
Around the bend

And life, or at least my life, this life
Has unity


(Photo by me. Originally Posted 11-14-2015. – Owen)

Aware

Half-frozen mud, cold bracing air
A wind that makes my neck aware
That leaves torn from the tree will die
These poor gray strays who tumble by

And like the ghostly light I seek
The morn recedes behind the line
Only of chance to risk a peek
At drifting lives
Like yours

And mine


 

(“Aware” – 11-19-2014)

Lightning On The Lake

There’s lightning on the lake tonight
The world is dark and wet
This house is full of memory
That I’d as soon forget

With loud crashes of violence
The sky attacks the earth
But can’t drive out the eidolons
To which my mind gives birth

This house protects me from the storm
The wind howls fruitlessly
There’s lightning on the lake tonight
And no one here
But me


 

(“Lightning On The Lake” – 8-17-2014)

Arizona

I drive here as I drove long years ago
When my old father chatted by my side;
He spoke of hist’ry, mining and the flow
Of his thoughts, ever brimming long and wide.

But now I ride alone in silent thought.
My father loved this land, and understood
That life is cruel, and time is precious bought —
And things that
Make you smile
Surely
Good


 

(“Arizona” – 11-8-2014)

“… just a season.”

“Death is just a season:
  spring turns to summer,
  summer to fall,
  and fall to winter.

They may seem slow to come,
  or late,
  but they show up,
  and they always will.

Like changing colors on
  the walls of a classroom;
  the seasons change, the colors change,
  and a new class is sitting in there soon.”

Hole (An Autocorrect Poem)

Your presence gives me hole —
As though a week was lifted from my shoulder —
I kosher it’s just a trope,
The kind we entertain as we get okra —

You wear it like a diary
That sparkles in the sketch,
Inline to you for everything
And you donut ask why —

Your live, it gives me hope:
It’s like the kiss that signature Spring
The hole you place

In everything