Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Beat The Clock

There used to be
A black and white
TV show on
Back in the early 1950’s
Beat The Clock
Hosted by a non-descript
TV pitchman named
Bud Collyer

The gist of the show
Was to have several
Non-descript guests
Representative of the totally
Conformist TV viewing public
Perform several dumb people tricks
On a large stage
While the ever present
Clock loudly ticked off the time

Usually the given task
Had to be accomplished
In sixty seconds or less

The assigned tasks
Were as mindless
As they were inane
Stuff like having
To stack a set of plates
Without using hands
Other stunts involved
Getting the contestants
As sloppy dirty as possible
So that they would
Slip and slide
And do prate falls
And be as humiliated
As the show hosts were
Able to do
Within the confines
Of the so-called
1950’s ethics code
Of acceptable behavior

Which was to pretend
That all this
Public humiliation was really
Being done in the name
Of good clean fun

Who would have thought
That such mindless mischief
Would become the template
For the rest of our
Working lives?

Philadelphia, Pa. 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Soon There Will Be Pumpkins

Today it was reported
That the stock market
Has crashed
Once again
For the umpteenth time

Me worry?
Why not?
The short answer is
There will be

And soon there will
Be bumper crops
Of ripe ears of corn
To be picked
In the corn fields
And buckets of blueberries
And fresh peaches
And apples
And tomatoes

And soon there will be
Children shouting
Trick or treat
And hay rides
And falling leaves
In all the colors
Of the rainbow

And soon there will be
Chilly mornings
With a light frost
Coating the last
Summer leaves of grass
And the air will turn cold
And our breaths
Will form clouds
Of steam
With every step
As we walk through
The hiking paths at
Washington State Park
Marveling at nature’s
Manifold gifts

In the distance
Chimneys will send
Plumes of fragrant smoke
Into the pristine blue and white sky
And the smell of
Burning fireplace logs
Will mix with the cinnamon
Of mulled hot cider

And very soon
It will be time for
And time
To decorate the halls
With boughs of holly
A time to exchange
Gifts with those
We love the most

And a time too
To remember
All those
Less fortunate
Victims of a broken economy
Who lay curled up
Sleeping in the alley ways
And in the shadows of
Highway underpasses

They who have the least
Of everything
That all of us hold
Most dear
A home
A roof
A bed
Clean clothes
Hot and cold
Running water
A hot bowl of soup
A piece of
Fresh baked bread

And yet
When the night terrors
Do suddenly come
And when it becomes
Our turn
To hear
The hungry wolves
Howling and
Scratching their paws
At our front door
Will we be able to find
A comforting hand
To soothe away
Our fears

Will there be
Someone near and dear
Who can provide
Those comforting words
To melt the icy fingers
That may have taken
Hold of our hearts
When our courage has fled
And all that is left
Is the all prevailing fear

Fear of the unknown
And fear of all
That is known
Fear of the dark side
Of the force

We can only hope so
And pray so
For in the end
It is really
Up to our own efforts
To provide
The necessities
And to prepare
As best we can
For the vicissitudes
Of life

After all is said and done
In the final analysis
After all of the crops
Have been harvested
And after all of
The silos have been filled
Are we not
The same people
that we have always been
When times were hard

No matter how many bridges
We may have burned
In the past
Most of us
Will still
Be lucky enough
To discover
That no matter
How hard ahead
The row may be to hoe
We are not as
Totally alone
As we may
have previously

And that
My friend
Is what
Is all about

And thankfully
There is usually
More than one way
To ford a
Raging river

Philadelphia, Pa. 2011