Folks and Rents

When I was growing up, my Bapa and Grandma were a constant in my life. There was something magical that came whenever they visited. My parents were more kind and lenient. My brothers, like me, put on the best show we had in our pockets. Just hearing a rumor of them coming over got us pretty excited.

On Friday nights they had a standing “date” with my family. They’d show up early evening to drink coffee at the dining table with my Rents. They’d talk about adult stuff that didn’t much interest us kids. We were allowed to be outside playing while this ritual took place. In retrospect, I wish I’d taken more of an interest in those conversations because I feel I would have gotten to know them, the world, and my parents an incredible amount more than I did.

At the tail end of the coffee ritual came the fade in to our favorite part of the night. POPCORN! My mom would pop a massive bowl of the fluffy crunch while counting out the apples (one each), and chocolate squares. We’d all get into our spots in the living room to get ready to watch The Dukes of Hazzard. I was madly in love with Beau/Bo Duke. I thought Daisy was absolutely gorgeous, but took little interest in Luke. 

As a family we would watch the show and laugh together. On commercials (my brother as the remote to turn the television down), we’d squish in conversations about what was important at the time. It could be about the show, grades, behavior, how much we were loved by my mom’s Folks, or even what words were entering our vocabulary. At the sight of the General Lee, we were right back into the wild world of those “Duke boys.”

At then end of the show when Cooter pumps up the power of the ol’ #01 and Uncle Jesse had outwitted Boss Hog, we’d disperse to the bathrooms with us kids having to run upstairs so the adults wouldn’t have to. At my age now, I completely understand the wisdom of that, but as a kid, I resented having to do it.

And then, settled in with a refreshed bowl of popcorn, in our pajamas, we heard the verdict of whether or not we’d be able to watch…Dallas. Oh! How I hated J.R. Ewing and loved Bobby. I didn’t quite understand what Sue Ellen’s issues were at that time, but I knew to feel sorry for her. I thought Miss Ellie was elegant. The costumes, the dialogue, the adultness of the show made it more than worth a few good behavior days to follow the story line that I was just starting to get, but did not all the way.

I’d snuggle up to Bapa and watch with him. It was a feeling of complete and total safety. There was nothing in the world that could touch our family then. My Grandma was okay with the show, but commonly would lax her head back, mouth open, and snore lightly. It was practically tradition. 

When I think of my mom’s Folks, it gives me a feeling of family so deep into my bones a part of me lay with them in their graves. It is a feeling of promise that the world would be as strong as we were. Our duty to the world and to each other was and is to create love wherever we are because that is how the world SHOULD work. We know that it doesn’t, but with each little act of compassion or kindness, we are all living our Folks dreams for a better world.

As for my Rents, it took much longer for me to see them as givers of light. I was estranged for so many years but it wasn’t until I returned that the pangs of what I’d set down to walk away from really set barbs into my spirit. I realized that what I’d given up wasn’t just parents with incredibly high expectations, but that I’d relieved myself of that burden to do it my own way. I wasn’t born to follow their path. I was created to accept the guidance of the Folks and my Rents to become even better than they were, or at least comparable.

Since I have no biological offspring of my own, I often worry of how my legacy will pan out. I think of the many traditions I was taught at their knees and mourn the loss of it stopping with me. 

But, I have discovered in love and unity that my cousins, nieces and nephews, all carry me with them. For example, I got to take my great nephew across the Mighty Mack for his first time and buy the fudge of his choice in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan. He learned to sing 500 Miles by the Proclaimers at the top of his lungs, got spoiled with ice cream, and basically…well The Folks and the Rents carry on in me no matter where I go.

Apotheosis

libertybell

Please don’t sit in my amen corner

while I’m preaching to the choir

Pull up your roots

Put up your dukes

Let’s put this rage to the wire.

This is not the country I pledged to

This is not the land of the free

But this is the country I’d die for

even as it bleeds for me.

It bleeds through the Veteran’s tears

through the elderly, poor, and the tykes,

through the denial of services for years

and the boys and girls sacrificed.

Bathe the altar with ignorant blood

Destroy totally public programs now

Eliminate everyone who’s objections flood

While apotheosis of a miscreant allow

The Blind Eye

https://unclesnarky.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/one-eyed.jpg?w=627

Blind in one eye, can’t see out of the other

 

Hallowed be the wishes

of the war-torn children

as they battle to be brave,

their families unsafe.

All the world turns blind eye

while missiles reign the sunny skies

The land of the free, home of the brave

refuses these helpless as terrorist slaves

There’s more exploitation

There’s no place to go

Aid is only for the media show

Mourn for the child face down on the beach

while tucking your own kids into warm beds to sleep.

 

CREDIT of Photo: https://unclesnarky.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/one-eyed.jpg?w=627

Aleppo, Syria

Omran Daqneesh
There is a little child in Aleppo born
Exploding waves of violent storm
Raging fires silently call harm
Yet the tiny child raises no alarm.
Ali Daqneesh
This is our child. Our daughter or our son
Our children have now become only one
Innocence bombed in a dawn of mourning
We heard the cries, refused the warnings.
Now we witness our barren crops dead
Help them! Somebody!
We are not what we said.

To live or not to live…

You confessed that death equals love

pain equals love. You are alone.

Alone.

Suffering solitary confinement for life

with shadows of who you dreamed of being

reflected in the mirrors of their burgeoning souls

warming your icy skin with alien affection

you won’t afford to give yourself.

As you stare at the distortion created by the bottle,

that screams generations of return,

understand that love does not equal pain

or loss or abandonment or unnecessary sacrifice

or lies, deception, theft, loss of integrity

or tears of begged forgiveness forgotten immediately

when the other “Lady” comes knocking

with sharp shaved heads, steaming lips,

and nothing but broken promises.

You select the path. You get to choose now.

It will not be long before it will no longer be your choice.

It will be out of your hands. Choose now.

Choose.

I stop with me

I have discovered a magic within

one that depends not on blood, kith, or kin

It is the luminous moon

the heated sun

the gathering of teary puddles

the shattered undone.

The siren’s wail of my mortality

blooming forth into all possibilities

For some a child is a promise of eternal life

a quenching relief from the death born strife

But I have found magic within my hands

which I’ve been commanded to touch on the lands

to forgo my fears of tomorrow’s gleaning

to step loudly into the room of vanity preening

that I, with the breath of truth on my lips,

must shatter the walls with the twitch of my hips

While singing hymns of thanksgiving, love, and peace

While weeping with gratitude, I crawl on my knees

The oceans of tears that matters to healing

have accepted my joy of life now appealing

For I have discovered my magic within

Ne’er shall I die, for the darkness can’t win.

These Are My People: Shonda

No More Violence

No More Violence


Tyrannical howls encapsulated
Intent on the destruction
Of their mutated version of devotion
personified by shattered glass while
screaming babies witness the impressionistic home
Painted in blood and bruises.
Kill me first! Kill me! Kill me first!
The begging screams for relief
from their suffering
But, fear motivates shelter
in uninhabitable relationships
with violence the language spoken
in vehement protest against their being
broken people with broken lives.