THE PERILS OF BEING THE BEST

Rainbow Little Torch

I’ve been running for my dream
That started well before
The public even knew
There was someone to adore

I was swimming for my dream
Well before I was born
Who knew the heights that I would reach
The laurels my head adorn

I’ve been throwing at my dream
As you watched and tisked disdain
“She’s so big and unbecoming”
As if my goals were your domain

I’ve been fencing with my dreams
Assault by angulation
Beautiful balestra in hijab
Avoiding fearful imagination

I’ve been balancing all my dreams
On rings and bars and mats
Long before you got off your couch
To write uncharitable scat

Don’t shower me with bloodless praise
“I’m the greatest in the land”
And in ultimate compliment say,
I “compete just like a man.”

Flunking Retire -ment

cropped-kw-seminar-books.jpg

 

 

 

I have flunked that good, after life

Leaving desk, chalk, and youth sublime

Eight years and a clarion light

Continues to call me to dine

~

With character filled texts and chairs

I return to a chalkless life

Anxious, faded elegance dares

To drag my dreams to “that good night”

~

Dreams die hard desire remains

I answer the call to return

Restoring dream’s dust to grain

Desires continue to burn

~

Teaching is now a brand new flight

Where time and love is now outsourced

Knowledge now comes in bits and bytes

Pass, fail with a little remorse

~

Virtual reality reigns

As 21st Century fun

As if being “real” needs explain

Over needs for real wisdom

~

So I am back to spread my grains

Of wisdom and where I found

Meanings to life ‘long side the brain

Which the “Road less traveled” is bound

 

 

 

THE FERRY TO THE DRY TORTUGAS

Dry tortugas

 

 

 

 

Seats (the best) on the top deck

Draped with posh hotel

Towels – pulling double duty saving and drying the seat for

The entitled; the family of five with a guest

 

Middle age couple #1 she holding desperately his hand

He looking like he stole time

Deciding on the white island linen shirt

The #2 she, face a beautiful forlorn ruin looking

Into the shoulder she married.

A shoulder that is turned away from her

As her husband talks across his son’s girlfriend (who feigns sleep)

Explaining something

Important (?) to his namesake

 

The young pale and married couple next to us Russian (?)

He sits away from the rays reading a thick paperback

She sits yoga in the sun

 

Two lovers at the rail; beautiful

Unnoticing of the lame (who are now walking)

And the blind (who are now seeing)

When he of receding hairline & confidence

grabs at her hips

She shimmy’s away

Ignorant of the finite attracting powers of good skin

She stands away a bit – the coy mistress, eyeing him

As the lusty gulf wind whips at her hem

Revealing everyone’s wish

 

From Watts to Ferguson

New York Times photo - 8/14/14
New York Times photo – 8/14/14

And this is what becomes of youth

Arm and arm with desire

Standing staunch facing abuse

Before a funeral pyre

 

Youth inbred with courage and past

Arm and arm with desire

Stand before weapons en masse

Falcons in loosening gyre

 

To see faces so young and unlined

Witness new history unfold

Is to know the past as so unkind

Lessons unlearned, agony untold

 

This is what becomes of a youth

Where bondage is original sin

Buried with denial at its root

As if the crime had never been

 

Not as if one turns a page

To find a new, happy ending

Black skin will always pre-sent rage

Some unfailing and unbending

 

And so our youths confront it all;

Our transgressions of the past

Those shot will scream and fall

As we parse a truce that failed to last

 

 

                                                 ~ Gwen Davis-Feldman

                                                    August 14, 2014

MAYA ANGELOU

MAYA ANGELOU FROM : NEW YORK TIMES, 5/29/14
MAYA ANGELOU
FROM : NEW YORK TIMES, 5/29/14

The mid-70s:

You misunderstood me
Even so – I had not lived long
Enough to be that cynical
Smart-assed insecurity

Youth is so ignorant of skin and time

My regret came too late

You would have none of it
Lightly touching my fingers telling me
“Be well”

Well

I continued my life
A life of wanting
a bit of your light,
respect, and talent

I spread your words in
My classes
Adorning my walls
With your presence
Assigning your life

I remember taking students
To see you
Afterwards waiting
Covered in cowardice
Courage
Shrunken & hiding
Amid my own ego

I have thrown down that
Heavy cross of want
Pitched my emotional tent

Against 3rd world needs of mankind
My needs, in spite of sorrows,
Remain of the first

 
Suffering – true suffering has moved over me
You knew that
The minute I opened my mouth

And now
Your life sails
Dip against the sunset
And the world is suddenly plunged
Dark mourning.
Powerful, phenomenal woman you

Leaving us one last gift:
Knowledge there will be
A dawn of your possession

In a world where lives can be
Lessons or blessings
Yours was both

Be Well — Ms. Angelou

The Perils of Good Wine

There is a line, a bellwether that tells a writer that what he or she has to say is worth the effort of climbing the stairs and saying it in print. That line is divined in the level of wine in a wine glass or containers of other god-given fruits. It is summoned by the distant sounds of a train coming around the bend in the next burgh. That plaintive sigh that says I am at

slaying the thief of youth

an age that I only know what I don’t know – the mournful sigh that casts all my years of living on the dung heap of time.

And tears will not change the situation. 5:25 p.m. in life – and I can’t get beyond the fact that I no longer possess the strong connective tissue that prances stupidly in the face of desire. How shallow am I?

Why can’t I go to the heart? Where youth and longing have taken refuge – knowing that, in the a.m. of life, the answers lie there no matter the questions posed by a society that glorifies the epidermis. It seems I’ve taken my years as the local social assassin and live content in the tiny refuge of, I-remember-when. A domicile too cramped for someone not willing to roll over.

I’ve climbed my stairs knowing that tomorrow I’ll breakfast on homegrown potatoes, eggs and satisfaction even as I battle with the forces that have so rudely evicted me from my youth.