Swinging Mom

WHAT COMES NEXT
 By David Allen
 
I walked toward the bright light
And as it dimmed I saw my mother
Sitting on a swing.
She smiled and asked,
How I liked the trip.
“The trip?” I asked
“Yes, the life you just left.
How’d you like it?”
I was stunned.
“What did you learn this time?” she asked.
 
I struggled to understand what was happening.
My Mom died years ago and moments ago
I had slipped on the stairs
While taking out the garbage.
“Oh, hon, I can see you’re confused.
That wasn’t a smooth transition.”
She rose from the swing and took my hand.
“Life is all about learning,” she said.
“It’s a series of trips towards enlightenment.
How’d you like this last one?”
 
It was then I realized I had died
And was newly alive.
Impressions from my latest life
Flooded my mind and, overwhelmed,
I sank to the ground.
My mother sat next to me.
“It was alright,” I finally stammered.
“I found my muse.
I traveled the world
And had children and grandkids.
And I wrote poetry.
I was happy.”
 
“And what did you learn?”
My mother asked.
Her smile warmed me.
“I learned not to hate,” I said.
“I helped others when I could.
I laughed more.”
“Good,” she said. “You’re progressing.”
 
She squeezed my folded hands.
“Now, do you want to go back?
Or would you like to rest before
Your next lesson?
Some of your family and friends
Are waiting to see you.”
“I’d like to see them, too,” I said.
“But only for a while.
There’s still a lot more to see and do.
Maybe I can make a difference.”
“You already have,” my Mom said.
“Now let’s party for a bit.
We’ve been waiting for you.”
 
Sometime later, she pressed my upper lip
So I’d not remember where I’d been.
And I slowly disappeared.
And a beautiful girl baby was born
To an immigrant couple
Inside the domed city
On Mars.
 
 

revolutionary-war-15839

It’s in My Blood
By David Allen

Some 240 years ago
Several Allens fought
For American independence
From the British Royal Crown.
While great x-times
Cousin Ethan Allen
Led his Green Mountain Boys
In a revolutionary rampage,
The Allen clan on Long Island’s
North Shore kept Great Neck
A rebel island amidst
Tory King’s County.
One young Allen lad
Even signed up to beat the drum
For General Washington’s troops.
And was wounded
During the Battle of New York.
So, how’s this history feel
After all these generations?
Not so free,
Not so independent.
The Democracy the
Founding fathers fostered
Has become an oligarchy.
We’re ruled by the corporate elite,
The new royalty.
Maybe it’s time for a new …

Um, maybe tomorrow,
Tonight we’re binge watching
Game of Thrones.

Posted: July 10, 2016 in Poetry

http://www.indianavoicejournal.com/

images (30)

I AM WAITING, TOO
By David Allen
(With apologies to Lawrence Ferlinghetti)

I am waiting for my time to arrive
And I am waiting
For a renewed Age of Reason
And I am waiting for a woman
To be elected president
And drive the Teabaggers crazy
And I am waiting
For the world’s religious leaders
To agree to coexisit.
And I am waiting for the rich
To pay their fair share
And I am waiting for when
No child goes hungry
And I am waiting for the day
When the pen defeats the sword
And I am waiting for the time
Poets will be revered
As much as NFL quarterbacks
An I am waiting
For Social Security to be secure
And health care guaranteed
And I am waiting
For a renewed Age of Reason.

I am waiting for my ducks
To line up in a row
And I am waiting
For that one winning scratch off card
And I am waiting
For an early spring
And for fences to be mended
And potholes to be filled
And I am waiting
To hear Dylan live one more time
And I am waiting
For a cure for cancer
And an end to Monsanto food
And I am still waiting
For a renewed Age of Reason.

I am waiting
For the perfect cheeseburger
And I am waiting
For a time when being gay
Is no big deal.
And I am waiting
For my wife to admit
That I am funny
And can sing.
And I am waiting for the U.S.
To end being Cops of the World
And peace is given a real chance
And I am waiting
To regain my balance
And throw away my cane
And I remain waiting
For a new Age of Reason.

Whatif

WHATIF (Updated)
By David Allen

Last night, while I lay thinking here
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
And pranced and partied all night long
And sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I don’t wake tomorrow?
Whatif my joy’s less than my sorrow?
Whatif my novel remains unwrote?
Whatif Trump gets all the votes?
Whatif the IRS audits my return?
Whatif I forget what I’ve learned?
Whatif climate change is real?
Whatif I ate my last meal?
Whatif there really is no God?
Whatif there is and he’s a clod?
Whatif thinking was a crime?
Whatif my poems failed to rhyme?
Whatif I should arrive too late?
Whatif a psychic knows my fate?
Whatif my car should fail to start?
Whatif mowing strains my heart?
Whatif my inner voice goes mum?
Whatif I take up chewing gum?
Whatif my identity gets stolen?
Whatif my senior years aren’t golden?
Whatif a twister takes my house?
Whatif I die before my spouse?
What if my chocolate milk goes sour?
Whatif my computer loses power?
Whatif my basement floods again?
Whatif the ink dries up inside this pen?
And then I smiled and cleared my mind
And the whatifs fled, calling me unkind.

 

This was a challenge from the Last Stanza Poetry Association, which meets twice a month in  Elwood, Indiana.  We were to write a poem based on one of our favorites. I chose to update Shel Silverstein’s “Whatif,” which I used to read to my kids and grandkids.

don't let poetry die

 

WORDS
By David Allen

Nameless nouns
Nod at the nuanced
Adjectives attracting
All the attention
Of the adverbs,
As the verbs ventilate
Their vile visions
Of the poems poured
Painfully from pens
The poet pressed
To the page.

 

 

Graduation

  Advice For College Grads

I

To new grads:
Don’t take any advice
Without a ton of salt
Especially from me.
 
II
 

So, you want to go
Into journalism?
Well, first grab
Your forearm.
Pinch it.
Then take out
Your wallet.
Feel it.
That’s your future
As a journalist.
You’ll have to be
Thick skinned and
Be satisfied with
A thin wallet.

 III
 

It does no good
To piss and moan.
It’s better to just
Drink your beer
And piss.
 

 

 

CHERRY 1

SPRING HAIKUS
By David Allen

Spring rain brings rebirth
Flowers, warmth and grassy lawns
My basement’s flooded

 
Wake up Smokey Bear
Exit your cave, spring is here
Fires must be doused

 
Warm weather’s returned
Let us walk by the river
“Take a hike!” he said

 
Time for spring cleaning
Purge clutter, tend the gardens
The hammock awaits

 
Spring break now begins
Southern beaches, sun and fun
Raising gas prices

 
Driving windows down
Feeling the warming spring air
Cost just an hour

 

reandme

March Mischief
By David Allen

The sun has returned,
the light’s too bright
after months of clouds.
We have lived through
several Februarys,
sun deprivation,
as the clouds and rain
dampened our spirits,
drugged us into
a somnambulistic shuffle,
merely marking the days,
the heatless hours,
cold nights in the subtropics.
Shivering, she screamed,
“Next year we winter in Guam!”
And headed undercover.
But now, all’s forgiven
as the sun warms us,
lulls us into shorts, bare feet,
ice cold beers in the afternoon,
lounging on the lawn
soaking in the rays,
building up the base
for nose blisters,
flaking foreheads.
All the while, Sol smiles
mischievously,
he knows the rainy season
is just weeks away.

……………………………………………………………………………………
The latest Indiana Voice Journal is out. Read your copy today!

http://www.indianavoicejournal.com/2016/03/poetry-passion-and-song-march-2016.html

Dark Side 2

UNIVERSE MUSIC
By David Allen
 
The music of the universe
called to the astronauts
and it scared them.
They were on the dark side of the moon,
which blocked the noises of Earth,
when the whistling began. 

“You hear that?
That whistling sound?
Whoooo!”
One astronaut asked.
“Well, that sure is weird music,”
another answered.
“It sounds so spacey!” 

Cue the X-Files theme. 

The sound lasted for an hour,
then the spacecraft sighted Earth.
The astronauts gave relieved sighs
when the whistling was drowned out
by the multitudinous transmissions from Earth.
The astronauts decided to keep
 the space music to themselves.
No one would have believed them, they reasoned.
And it could jeopardize future missions. 

“Should we tell them about it?”
One asked his fellow spacemen.
“I think we should think about it,”
another answered.
And their story went untold
for more than four decades. 

No one realized the music
was always there.
It was just blocked
by the cacophonous
racket from
Earth.