11-13-2017 - Enough X

Fearful of death
determined to live forever
impossibly worried
blind by half
we scurry through
the scattered alleys of life
In our time of youth
not enough time
rarely enough money
hardly enough love
grasping at ends
scarcely ever enough

Adulthood finds us
pursuing religion
politics and careers
running downhill, fornicating
procreating, recreating
scorched in a pyre of ignorance
tangle-fires of youth
We struggle to earn enough
be enough
realize we haven’t learned enough
paid enough attention before
thought we knew it all
frustrated that our children know too much
about the wrong things
refuse to listen to what we have learned

Nearer to and acutely aware of death
fearful there is not time enough
to protect and teach them to survive
we worry the empty rooms of elders passed

Graying and balding
regretting, forgetting
slowing, going down
sentimentally elemental
we are overcome by chance thought
that what has been
may be enough

Our spirits prepare us to journey
leave our feet behind
on the worried path we have trod
We begin to remember
cocoon water births
with new eyes
caress what is left
our lovely children and life mates
that we may tell them
in our going
the joy of knowing
they are the all and ever
more than enough

Inquiries: wordwulf@gmail.com
© 2017 artwork, music & words
conceived by & property of
Tom (WordWulf) Sterner 2017 ©

Enough published by Aquarium by the Ocean: a Literary Journal 2014

via ~philosophy~

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Those Without Graves

5-28-2017 - Days of Note - Those Without Graves X

On the ride to work each day
I watch the soldiers’ cemetery pass.
Everything appears equal there,
stone tablets standing at attention,
grass trimmed by wiry brown-skinned men.
I see a lady bend down;
she kneels,
sets a cup full of wild flowers before two stones.

I feel a hitch in my breath to watch.

Flags ever in evidence,
the here and now of this place
and this day, each grave is adorned
with a tiny standard, its solemn face.
A warm day, end of May
I roll to a stop, set my kickstand down,
senses immediately assaulted
by a most deep and haunting sound.

My legs walk away from the Harley standing.

I stood open witness, his one-man parade,
tartan kilt, regal attire,
pipes slung over his shoulder,
moaning, set the morning afire.
The perfect precision of his gait,
distance practiced, known too well.
Here marched the spirits of these soldiers
to ring their lives with his mournful bell.

My heart was flushed with guilt in its watching.

His lady, with a single flower,
came to gather up her man,
his pipes with their mournful singing.
She took his arm with her hand.
I went to the stone of her choosing
where Ian the first was lain,
then to the end of the piper’s walk,
the sky shed a tear of rain.

These eyes confused in their seeing.

A newer stone whose name the same,
here lies Ian the third.
I followed the voice of the piper,
loneliest sound ever heard.
And there was Ian the Junior,
standing aside with his wife,
a fair compliment of mourners
bidding farewell to a life.

What greed mine curiosity shown.

The pipes trailed away in their singing,
a reverend mumbled words to the sky
that Lord, they are brave in their going,
these lads to their sweet by and by.
A final note owned the moment
to soar with its spirit way up high.
The crack of twenty-one rifles,
exclamation marks against the sky.

What mortal undone was I.

Ian the second passed by me,
his proud pipes bellowed once more.
His wife let fall of her flower
on top of that last mortal door.
And he paced from Ian to Ian,
this man no one could save,
whose soldier’s sin was still to be living
with father and son in their graves.

And the rain hid my face from his eyes.

Those without Graves was published by International Veterans Poetry Archives 2004

Inquiries: wordwulf@gmail.com
© 2017 artwork, music & words
conceived by & property of
Tom (WordWulf) Sterner 2017 ©

via holiday

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Hell You Say

11-7-2017 - Hell You Say Xvia ~philosophy~

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10-27-2017 - Extraordinary Xvia poetography

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Soon Angels (part 4 of 7)

10-26-2017 - Soon Angels 4

There are spaces between
Ever been in a room
so crowded you lose track of yourself
Just like that you realize
you’re the only one there
the only one ever
Children know
their imaginary friends are real
On the other end of life, we learn
we had it right in the first place
maybe too late
maybe not

Henry went through the open door and Judy followed. He disappeared into the floor and Judy made her way to the elevators. Soon he was at her side. “Whatchu doin’ now?”

“This is just too much for me,” Judy whispered. “You go ahead. I’ll wait until someone takes the elevator down and catch a ride with them.”

“Ya don’t have to whisper!” Henry screeched.

“I know, I know,” Judy whispered. “They can’t hear us or see us. We are dead. We are ghosts.”

“Now yer catchin’ on. Oh, an’ don’ go tryin’ t’ find yer body,” Henry warned. “You shouldna got outside it in the firs’ place. Ya gotta find another way or jus’ go around an’ have fun like me. It’s too late for you to die normal now.”

“I was a lot of things in my life,” Judy said. “Believe me, normal wasn’t one of them. I guess it’s fitting that I can’t have a normal death either.”

“Yeah, yer a real riot,” Henry commented. “I’m goin’ to the kids now, that’s on the second floor. Whatever you do, don’ leave this hospital an’ get lost. Ain’ nothin’ sadder ‘n forever than a ghost losin’ its way.”

Henry dissipated like a wisp of smoke. Judy decided to walk the corridor, maybe see what was happening behind a few closed doors. She ended up going to the end of the hall where she stared through the sliding glass doors that opened onto an outdoor patio area. She pushed her hand against the handle. The door didn’t budge but Judy almost fell through it when her hand met no resistance.

“Don’ go out there.” Henry stood next to her. His face wasn’t wearing its usual smirk and, well, he seemed almost human. “I don’ know whatsa matter with me,” he said. “I ain’ never worried ’bout nobody my whole time. I got lotsa stuff to be doin’ but I can’t concentrate knowin’ yer jus’ gonna go an’ get yerself in a jam.”

“Why can’t I go out there?” Judy asked.

“It’s windy out there,” Henry said. “You get yerself sucked up ‘n end up jus’ any ol’ place. Outside ain’ no favorable place for ghostin’. Come on downstairs. I’ll meetcha at the elevator on the secon’ floor. I don’ really need much help but if yer with me I won’ have to worry ’bout you gettin’ in trouble.”

“You’re really quite a nice boy when you drop that devil-may-care attitude.” Judy reached out and touched his face. “Henry, I do believe you are blushing.”

“I ain’ nothin’ nice,” Henry hissed. “See ya ’round!”  He dropped through the floor. Judy took one more wistful glance out the glass then turned away.

She followed a couple onto the elevator. She had to ride down and up a few times because most of those on the upper floors were going down to the main floor. She had to wait for someone to stop and get off at the second floor. The stairs were tempting but she couldn’t get used to the uncomfortable feeling when people moved and stepped through her. At least in the elevator they stepped in and tended to stand in one place.

Henry was waiting for her when Judy finally made it to the second floor. He behaved himself and stayed within sight, then stopped at a set of double doors. A sign above the doors read, ‘Children’s Wing’. “Here’s what we do,” Henry began without preamble, “There’s eight or ten kids in there. They’re allays out gettin’ tests ‘n stuff so I ain’ sure exac’ly how many there are. We’ll touch each one of ’em, like hold their hand or somethin’. I woulda picked out one of ’em, made friends an’ had ‘im help me but now I ain’ got time.”

“What will transpire when we touch them?” Judy asked.

“What will what? Hey, don’ use those ten-dollar words on me.” Henry was impatient and could hardly stand still as he spoke to her.

Judy repeated the question, “What will happen between me and a child whose hand I touch?”

“Yer jus’ gettin’ a feel for ’em,” Henry answered. “They’re mos’ly older kids, nobody under ten ‘cept one l’il girl but we won’ worry ’bout her. Ya jus’ give ’em a feel so I can figger out who’s gonna do what tomorrow night.” Henry stepped toward the entrance. “C’mon, follow me through. Yer gonna have to learn to do this or you ain’ gon’ be able to do no ghostin’.”

Henry walked through the steel door and Judy followed. She felt a ‘thwop’ sound while passing through and meant to ask Henry if he felt the same thing but he was already off down the hallway muttering something about just getting the job done.

Judy forgot her own problems, even the fact that she was dead, when she entered the roomful of terminally ill children. There were twelve beds in the rectangular room, arranged six to a side. Each space was equipped with a curtain track on its ceiling so the patients could have a modicum of privacy if they chose to. Only one of the spaces had the curtains pulled shut.

Henry was moving from bed to bed, holding hands, touching a face here and there. ‘This is no place for a Halloween party,’ Judy thought. The wall behind each bed was decorated with pictures obviously drawn by the occupants of the beds. There were ghosts and goblins in the pictures, witches flying through the air.

Judy drifted toward the space with the curtain pulled. “Don’ bother with that one,” Henry advised. “She’s too l’il an’ too sick.”

Judy stepped through the curtain. The bed, a replica of the one Judy had spent the past three weeks in, seemed much larger because of the tiny person it held. Judy was unable to determine the gender of the child by looking at its face. Thin wisps of hair lay like fine thread on the pillow. Judy pulled her eyes from the child and saw a picture of daisies on the wall. ‘Loreli’ was scrawled across the bottom of the drawing. Judy looked upon the child’s face once more, entranced by the fine web of veins on the closed eyelids. “So, you’re a little girl.”

Henry poked his head through the curtain. Judy almost warned him to be quiet but remembered that no one living could hear them. “C’mon,” Henry urged, “Don’ mess with that poor l’il girl. C’mon out an’ see my plans.”

“I’ll be out in a few minutes,” Judy assured him. “Be patient, Henry. I need to sit and rest a bit.”

Inquiries: wordwulf@gmail.com
© 2017 artwork, music & words
conceived by & property of
Tom (WordWulf) Sterner 2017 ©
Soon Angels was first published in “U” Magazine 2010

via storybook

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Legend of New Horse

10-26-2017 - Legend of New Horsevia ~songs~ 

Momma told her first son
come sit down by my side
When everything is said and done
all you can do is try
Remember when you wonder
which way and what to do
sometimes only hunger
will see a spirit through
And you’re standing
in a crosswind
Bad moon
bound to carry
a legend on the rise

When you follow your heart
face the risk of breaking down
set yourself apart
awareness of the sound
the arch of earth and sky
peace angelic fall
Momma said, “Son we can only fly
when we’re not above it all”
And we’re standing
in a crosswind
Bad Moon
bound to carry
a legend on the rise

Where winter makes her mark
what decades find, lay claim
a howling voice the dark
and New Horse is its name
A pounding heart of rage
tempered passion will
when it’s time to turn the page
a destiny fulfill
And you’re standing
in a crosswind
Bad Moon
bound to carry
a legend on the rise

Breathless fall from the womb
a four-point landing to
Maybe shake the mother spoon
find a path that’s true
We are only what we are
a kick in fortune’s ass
Honey we may hold the stars
kiss the nights we pass
And we’re standing
in a crosswind
Bad Moon
bound to carry
a legend on the rise
a legend on the rise

Legend of New Horse was published by Flesh from Ashes

Inquiries: wordwulf@gmail.com
© 2017 artwork, music words
conceived by property of
Tom (WordWulf) Sterner 2017 ©

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10-24-2017 - Gleaning Xvia ~philosophy~

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