SHARING IS CARING (EXCEPT WHEN IT ISN’T)

sharing 2

Sharing is easy
With these few
Simple sharing rules

One share at a time
No less, no more
No over sharing
Nobody likes
Sharing overflowing

No sharing
Things, nobody
Knows anything about

No sharing
Boring things
Nobody cares about

Sharing is caring
No sharing about
Things too personal
Or too daring

No rib pokes
No stale jokes
No diatribes
No free rides

Sharing things
That don’t
Make sense
Is of no
Consequence

To sharing fools
With sharing rules
Go your way, I’ll go mine
I haven’t got the time

HATE BLINDNESS

Somewhere in winter
Grass grew lush and green
Somewhere there was hope
That couldn’t yet be seen
Somewhere there was truth
That’s been left wanting
Somewhere intentions were good
Though often misunderstood
Somewhere hate blindness
Fell in pandemic proportions
Somewhere, someone cried for peace
In the Almighty’s name–let’s let it happen

BLACK FRIDAY LEFTOVERS (Every Life Matters)

thanksgiving dinnerBusiness owners, volunteers, both black and white, worked Thanksgiving Day, to clean up broken glass–damage from recent rioting and looting.  The story didn’t “bleed,” so it didn’t grab the headlines.  What did workers want people to know about Ferguson?  That Ferguson was, and still is, a great place to live.

Meaningful changes require cooperative efforts.  There’s no room for vengeance.  Violence begets violence.  If Michael Brown’s life mattered, then Darren Wilson’s life has to also matter.  Why?  Because if one believes that all life is sacred–one life can’t hold more value than another.

Darren Wilson, tried, convicted, found guilty in the court of public opinion. How dare a grand jury overturn that decision–the audacity.  What was in the hearts and minds of Darren Wilson and Michael Brown on that fateful August night?  Many claimed to know.  How was that possible without making assumptions?

All law enforcement officers were out of control?  All young African-American males were criminals?  A white police officer shot an (unarmed) young black man?  Did circumstances matter?  Would it have been different if Michael Brown had been shot dead by an African-American officer–under the same conditions?

Should only black police officers confront black suspects?  Of course, that’s not always possible.  Could someone stranded on the freeway refuse assistance from a white highway patrol officer because they’re African-American–or vice versa?  I hope not, but it’s probably happened.  We have to trust each other at some point.

For some, the plethora of forensic evidence will never matter.  Too much damage done, for, far too long.  Law enforcement and the justice system untrustworthy–just like they’ve always been.

Others have pre-conceived notions about Ferguson, Missouri.  Isn’t Ferguson just another suburban enclave, drowning in changing demographics?  Isn’t it chock full of backwoods to big city bigots in positions of power?  Therefore, only flawed grand jury findings, could flow from a polluted pool.

What if Officer Darren Wilson, tired from media attention, did the unthinkable–took his own life?  And I pray that he doesn’t.  One life sacrificed for another–to restore balance.  Leaving two grieving families–one black, one white, instead of one.

Eye-for-an-eye–vengeance is mine.  What does that say about us as a civilized society?  The path to change isn’t always the shortest.  Violence hardens hearts and minds.

Black Friday non-stop shopping is in full swing.  There will be, hopefully, only peaceful protests today.  Snow is melting, with warm southern breezes.  Take time to reflect on the example set by Dr. Martin Luther King.  Because, I believe every life matters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNDER SIEGE TILL FURTHER NOTICE

Sins of fathers, mothers
Visited on sons, daughters
Of sons and daughters
Inheritance of
Newest generation
War raged–in the
Conventional sense
As a matter
Of course

Prejudice
Ignorance
Defiance
Bubbled in
Hardened hearts
Like invisible
Cumulonimbus
Storm clouds
On both sides
Of the great divide

Repugnance
Begat
Familiarity
Abhorrence
Accepted
As inevitability

 

 

BONDS OF BROTHERHOOD

U 2 spy plane

Four Air Force buddies and their families sat together at a popular local family style restaurant.  The wait staff milled about with drink and food orders.

The mood was light with lots of laughter.  We weren’t the same brash young men we once were.  The camaraderie was unmistakable.

“That’s a new one–I’ve never seen an opossum on a leash before,” Ken said about our trip to a local zoo.

“Could you imagine someone walking an opossum on a leash in a big city like Chicago?”  Joe asked.

“People are so jaded, they wouldn’t even notice,” I answered.

“That alligator weighed close to a thousand pounds,” George said. “Nobody’s going to walk it on a leash.”

“With all the beautiful beach babes–today, I saw a naked beach guy,”  Ken complained.  “Who wants to see that?”  Everybody laughed.

A thin, older man stood at the end of our table.  As I later learned–his name was Vernon.

“Are you folks on vacation?  Vernon asked.

“Yes, we get together every few years, I answered.  We served together overseas.”

Vernon wasn’t there to eavesdrop.  I sensed there weren’t many opportunities for him to talk about past military experiences.  He’d probably said good-bye many times–friends left, never came back.

“Where did you guys get those gray Air Force caps?”  Vernon asked.

“Joe visited the Air Force aviation museum recently and bought them for us,”  I answered.

“I’d like to have one.  Did you by chance see the U2 reconnaissance plane displayed at the museum?”  Vernon asked.

“No, I haven’t had the chance to visit.  I plan to some day,” I replied.

“I served during the Korean and Vietnam wars,” Vernon said.  “I wasn’t in combat–worked on photographic equipment in spy planes. The U2 was unlike any other aircraft.  It had quite a broad wing span.”

The gleam in Vernon’s eyes faded.  “He’d buried two wives since he moved to Pensacola.”  Gloom didn’t stay around long.

“That’s my 94-year-old girlfriend sitting over there,”  Vernon’s eyes twinkled.  “Ain’t she a looker?”

We all wanted to be like Vernon–gracious, tough, still making good memories.  If we were lucky enough to live that long?

“Would you like Joe to send you an Air Force cap?  Joe’s niece offered.  “What’s your name and address?”

Vernon gave his name and address.  “I really enjoyed talking to you guys,” He said.

“If you don’t mind a slightly used cap–you can have mine,” Joe offered.

“Let me pay you for it,” Vernon said.

“No, I want you to have it,”  Joe answered.  “I can always get another one.  You don’t owe me a thing.”

We traded military experiences and listened to Vernon.  Like any good friend would do–Vernon invited us to visit.

A chain of brotherhood stretched from the Korean War to the first Gulf War.  We’d served our country proudly in time of need.

DARK THOUGHTS

Dark thoughts followed
Close by my side all day
Control  was an illusion
Things were out of control
So much broken beyond repair
Theorists, social engineers
Weren’t enough to stop the flow
Like a coin–every issue had two sides
Presumption of innocence was still sacred
Name-calling just an excuse
For closed minds to not listen
It was the same scarlet letter
Hung around someone’s neck
Whether deserved, or not
Whatever the solution was
My nightmare–will imposed by force
On the unwilling, continued

WHAT COLOR IS HATE?

crayons

Waiting for the
Perfect storm
Think about it
Whatever
You’re thinking
Could be wrong
Comfortable conformity
Resistance to change
Give because you want to
Not, because you have to
Giving, when unexpected
Expecting nothing in return
Makes life meaningful
Hate knows no color
No one’s born
With hate
In their heart