Mushroom Clouds on the Horizon

When the first mushroom cloud on the horizon appears
It won‘t matter whose chubby fingers pushed the button first;
We can all bend over and kiss goodbye to our rears
As a harbinger of things coming much worse.

Two fragile egos in a childish fight
Can bring humanity to a frightening end
Somewhat uncertain, but you thought it just might
Just not in our lifetime, my friend.

In future years when faraway aliens arrive
They’ll find no signs of intelligent life;
Just remnants of a species that did not survive
Glowing in a radioactive light.

I once stood proud as an American
Now I hide my face in shame
His actions, this country can no longer defend
We all are losers in this no-win game

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Tragedy is Brewing

Tragedy is brewing for our not too distant history,
If we continue on the path of our current trajectory;
The cause of our destruction will be no unforeseen mystery,
It results from a decaying, inhumane, moral disability.

Our leaders do battle with the civilians they are supposed to lead;
We give more to the wealthy by taking away from those in need;
Divide and conquer replaces the art of compromise,
How long before the downtrodden start to revolutionize?

We promote the destruction of a fragile universe;
We allow suffering and dying just to put ourselves first;
Whatever happened to treating others as we would like to be treated?
To live the Golden Rule we must first stop being so conceited.

The crisis ahead is sure soon to arrive;
A necessary evil for our species to survive;
The blame will be placed wherever fingers can be pointed;
It all started the day our politics became so disjointed.

Tragedy is brewing as we watch the water start to boil;
We must resist the flowing tide if this destiny we wish to foil;
Take a stand, grab a hand, let your voices all be heard;
Silence and patience is a strategy bordering on absurd.

Hitchhiking Home for Christmas

I was hitchhiking back from college
To my home in Centerville
When I was picked up by a driver
Who was no more than just a girl.

She was obviously frightened
But felt sorry for me shivering in the snow;
I was freezing and already tired
With over sixty miles still left to go.

I threw my backpack in the backseat
Then placed my butt with her up in front;
I held my hands up to the heater vents
A barely audible “Thank You” I did grunt.

She was headed for Cincinnati
To see her Grandparents on Christmas Day;
Luckily for this cold college boy
Centerville was just a little bit out of her way.

She said, “You must be brave to be hitchhicking.”
I said, “More like, just too poor to own a car.
I got picked up near the university,
But they could only take me home this far.”

“I’ve been stranded at this exit
For more than, I guess, over an hour.
Of course, just about at that exact same time,
We got hit by this wonderful snow shower.”

She said, “Well, the snow is really beautiful,
But I could barely see you through the storm;
I can turn the heater up some more,
If you need it to get warm.”

I peeled my thin, wet gloves off;
My fingers were swollen and really red.
“I’m not sure how much longer I could have lasted.”
Were the only words I managed to have said.

The radio was playing gospel music;
A picture of Jesus was hanging from the mirror;
Her face was angelically innocent
When I finally could see her much more clearer.

“So, what made you pick up a complete stranger,
Hitchhiking on the side of the road,
When I am sure never to do so,
Is what you’ve always been told?”

“Well, it is almost Christmas,
And, I was thinking of Joseph and Mary;
I got a feeling in my gut, that I could do this,
Even though, I admit, it’s kind of scary.”

I laughed, “My name is actually Joseph,
Though I assure you I am no saint.”
She said, “And, my name is Mary.”
In a voice so timid, cute and quaint.

She dropped me off near the Dayton Mall,
A six mile walk yet to my home
But I hiked the rest with a pep in my step
No longer feeling like I was all alone.

I know I didn’t thank Mary near enough
For that ride over forty years ago
Her faith in her gut feeling
Rescued me from standing all day there in the snow.

My poetry is not read by too many eyes
And really doesn’t travel all that far
But I am hoping this one somehow finds
The angel driving that Cincinnati bound car.

I have never forgotten your courage
And the warmth I felt throughout that ride
The best Christmas gift ever received to this day
By that Ohio State guy.

Her Hero, His Hero

He answered the door still in his gym shorts
After his daily rehabilitation routine;
His prosthetic leg was yet uncovered,
Which none of his neighbors ever had seen.

She was dressed in her Girl Scout uniform
With her mother by her side for moral support;
She did her best to recite the sales pitch,
But her voice was shaken and her breath a bit short.

He invited them in to fill out the order form,
For some cookies he had no desire to eat;
She said, “You are the very first American hero,
I’ve ever had the honor to meet.”

She asked about his injuries;
Her mother looked embarrassed and unsure;
The memories he told to these two strangers
He had never shared with anyone else before.

The tears that formed in their eyes
Were matched by those which formed in his own;
The mother said, “Sir, I am so sorry.”
He said, “Don’t be, I finally feel as if I am home.”

He asked her which cookies were her favorite
So he could buy some she could keep;
She said her mother already did that,
They would be there later that week.

She asked if there was any way that she could help him,
With his ongoing physical recovery;
He said he really should be walking more,
Maybe, if she and her mother he could accompany.

So, he got to meet most of his neighbors,
Repeating his story over and over again;
It helped him both physically and mentally;
Top cookie salesperson the Girl Scout did win.

Now she visits him every day after school,
Eating cookies he bought by the score,
They walk laps around the neighborhood,
He is the one-legged stranger no more.

Neighbors wave to them from their front porches,
Some join them while walking their dogs,
Cars slow down and honk at them nicely
Others smile at them while passing on jogs.

To her, he is a hero,
Who sadly got injured in war;
To him, she is the hero
Who helped him to want to live more.

An Abundance of Kindness

Kindness is a gift we give that makes ourselves feel good;
Kindness is the simple act of doing what we should;
Kindness proves that we share love with our fellow man;
Kindness can be as simple as lending a helping hand.

Hold open the door for other people, entering through the doorway last;
Let the impatient driver merge in front of you; you’ll get there just as fast;
Give up your seat on the crowded bus to the lady with graying hair;
Visit children in the hospital wing, just to let them know you care;
Take some food to a food bank; drop a blanket off at the shelter;
Don’t pass judgment on the homeless lady – you don’t know what life has dealt her.
Be a mentor to that high school student who still hasn’t quite learned how to read;
Ask the old widow at the end of the street if there is anything that she may need.
Give to a charity, not just money but also donate your time;
To keep your kindness hidden inside, to me is an awful crime.

Kindness is a priceless jewel, so easy for us to give;
We can share kindness in abundance, for every day that we live.

An Imagined Angelic Rant (Sorry, some profanity included.)

It must be awful for all the souls in heaven who were victims of gun violence to have to welcome yet more angels into their fold.

They must be astonished and wondering: “What are you doing here? Didn’t our deaths mean ANYTHING? We thought our lives were sacrificed so yours wouldn’t have to be. What the fuck is wrong with people down there?” (I know that they probably don’t curse in heaven, but I don’t speak Angel.)

“Well,” say the newly arrived, “we come here bearing all of their thoughts and prayers.”

“THOUGHTS and PRAYERS!? THOUGHTS and PRAYERS!? We have more thoughts and prayers than we know what to do with. We have rooms full of thoughts and prayers from Columbine, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Miami, Las Vegas and on and on and on. And, just when we think perhaps we’ve had enough for someone, ANYONE, to actually do something, we get more souls bringing us more thoughts and prayers. When will enough be enough? If people would stop praying things get better and start taking action to make things get better, maybe you wouldn’t be here now.”

“Well, it’s hard for the politicians to …”

“POLITICIANS! POLITICIANS? To hell with the politicians. We’re talking about the people. Blaming the politicians is just a convenient excuse for the citizens not doing anything. When politicians wanted to ban alcohol, but the people did not, that amendment was appealed. When politicians wanted to stop blacks and women from voting but the people did not, changes were made. If people want gun control to prevent tragedy after tragedy, which the thoughts and prayers they sent along with us suggested they did, something would be done.”

“Well, we were just worshiping together in church. We did not expect to be coming up here today.”

“Oh, we do not blame you. Your souls, of course, are welcomed in heaven, we just hate to learn, once again, that we died in vain and are hoping you do not come to that same conclusion in a week or month when we have to give out more wings to souls who were just minding their own business when tragedy strikes.

We do not want any more thoughts and prayers we want actions and dares. We want someone or some group of courageous mortals to take action and dare the politicians to stop them. The pen can be mightier than the gun if and when some hand finds the courage to start writing the bill, law or petition. Maybe we can cash in some of these thoughts and prayers for a human spine. Maybe we angels should send our thoughts and prayers down to Earth and pray that your deaths are the triggers for the changes we thought our deaths would result in. We pray that you are the last souls to join our club. We have no more room for another group of souls from gun violence in America.

Make America Great Again!? My ass. How about making America safe again? If they treated automatic weapons the way they treated refugees maybe you would still be in that church worshiping with your neighbors.

Now, go dump those thoughts and prayers over there and then come join our choir as we pray for courageous Americans to stop the insanity.”