Pieces, Shards, and Moments

Moments lie scattered like pieces of a broken mirror.
Reflecting shattered remnants on a dusty floor.

It’s the sharp images that cut thoughts into a fragmented one.
Meanwhile I stand fixed on how many pieces I’ve become.

It’s never been as easy as me, or I am whole.
The I’s never really have anything but others they’ve stole.

Then the exponential value of all I am leaves me to wonder.
How many are you that watch
with silent eyes asunder?

The noise is deafening with thousands of us screaming,
Screaming to be heard within the silence of dreaming

So I’m lost, there is no one voice, and now I must think in silence.
The quiet aspects we ignore
leaving certainty in suspense.

All around are noises and silent eyes, words and looks reveal
what others have in mind
to lie, cheat, or steal.

So shattered I lie, shards of me
pieced together with scars,
and reflections of hope
In memories afar.

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Lady Justice got “Thick”!

Justice in America is bloated. It’s coming apart at the seams. The cracks have been showing for years. It’s like the relative you haven’t seen in ages who gained 40 or 50 pounds since you last saw them. You really get concerned when the can no longer bend over to ties their shoes so they’ve changed styles to slip on shoes for posterity.

I don’t know when the tipping point occurred. Sometime around the 80’s with the onset of the “War on everything”. It’s spiraled out of control since then. We’ve devolved legally to the point of where you’re at geographically, or where you land along the socio economic strata determine your place within the justice hustle.

We have “weed vs marijuana, prostitution vs trafficking, drugs vs medicine as three major cracks in the lucrative aspects of law. In each of these three cases both sides are played against the middle fighting for dollars and sense.

Then there are the conundrums that cost us. It all started with the seat belt. We let these folks charge us and fine us for not protecting ourselves under the guise of public safety. Makes no sense when you say it, right. Seat belt fines have cost us billions and all we’ve got out of it we’re campaign posters of seat belts and cops with an additional excuse to search your vehicle. Don’t tell me about lives saved until you review Govt. statistics for traffic deaths between the 70’s and today.

I’ll ignore the fact that Government oversight has resulted in faster, lighter vehicles with increased speed limits. I can’t ignore the “pricing scheme” for getting a ticket using these faster lighter cars to go faster. It’s the unspoken deal between manufacturing, marketing, and Government.

Now we have phones that travel outside the house. The next move was so obvious, the rubric was set. Hands free devices would net billions and both sides would get a giant boost. Now we have an additional excuse for cops to peek inside that bubble of privacy we call our vehicle. Not to mention the couple hundred dollar fine if you have a phone lying in hour vehicle outside of a “device”. Like seat belts, these laws won’t change fatality rates, they’ll generate revenue.

It’s gotten so bad that your dog has been targeted. Not because he’s dangerous, but because there are “dog people” out there who value pets over children. For the millennial pets and kids are the same. God help you if you mistreat your dog by not getting a vaccine every year and your dog gets lose. It’ll cost you a couple hundred dollars to get legal. Doesn’t matter how often the vaccine is actually needed. Governments make it an annual requirement and demonize breeds so that suddenly your dog is an addition to your status Arsenal. Vets ain’t complaining cause they’ve suddenly got customers who used to just go to the hardware store and buy shots and food then go about their business. Not to mention all the additional allergies and joint problems associated with over medicating dogs. It’s that “ win win” again.

The cat vs dog thing has to be some latent phenomenon from that show about a “cat dog”. Cats roam free while dogs live restrained medicated existences in hardwood floors. Another one of those class meets industry meets government situations that pollute the justice system. Animal Planet needs ratings though; and what would all those “enforcement officers” in Harris County, Texas do if they weren’t “raiding “cat ladies”!!!!

In our efforts to slim down Governments gains in legal restraint we have to find a way to separate the dollars from the sense. Budgeting our rights away and incarcerating millions over questionable laws designed to generate dollars undermines the legal establishments credibility.

Allowing these municipalities to profit from our freedom and choices makes no sense. We should be evaluating our “legal cannon” to begin trimming the fat. Returning to common sense rules and laws that level the playing field for all citizens.

Creating hype to establish fear in the interest of creating laws that benefit a particular industry and increase Government budgets while burdening citizens has to change. Parsing words to demonize one group of folks while supporting another group for the same behavior is obvious today.

Saying a prostitute is trafficked because she was driven to a more lucrative city to have sex is deceitful. Locking up one citizen for smoking weed while taking billions in tax revenue from another citizen selling poser dope is just plain wrong. Locking up a street dealer while traveling weekly to your pharmacy for “pain meds” or “psyche drugs” is hypocrisy at the least.

We need a strong dose of truth in our legal system. Not only for fairness. Not just for equity. We need it because as we’ve seen recently, respect for the law and it’s enforcers is under suspicion. When the law doesn’t treat everyone fairly citizens will treat the law accordingly. Look around!!!

Addictive Advantage

The magicians cure is akin to the kid who breaks the neighbors window, but blames glass for being to thin, because he barely hit the ball. I’m amazed at how many people fall for the latest addiction narrative.

I’m watching this dude who skyrocketed out of nowhere with a an addicted co pilot who’s the victim of an evil capitalist agenda. He doesn’t stand a chance against the medicine designed to cure folks that some folks use as a crutch for their psychological maladies.

I’m not saying that “medicine” hasn’t found a niche that’s deceitful. Pharmaceuticals found out a long time ago how to make the Dr. a middleman and the insurance industry a financier. They did it dude, great plan. The problem is we started talking.

The change for me is, I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, addicts were demonized. The “Rolling Stones” pointed out the hypocrisy with lyrics like “Momma’s little helpers”. Millions of folks were hiding in their medicine cabinets behind the stereotypical evil “heroin addict”!

The cracks in the walls appeared here and there. Whether it was Elvis and his pills, the long list of country singers going up and down like roller coasters, but we didn’t talk about those things then. Today we talk about everything and the poseurs with their high end insurance coverage got called out. An addict is an addict. Just like they were saying back in the day.

So now we have the perfect character to defend the privileged addict who can keep the hierarchy of addiction in place by assigning blame. No longer do you take responsibility for your actions first. You create a victim by demonizing medicine that you decided to abuse, then talk about how you never stood s chance against the giants of pharmaceutical folks. Sounds to me like an addict not taking responsibility. These issues are not mutual, they’re separate and equal.

It’s the entrepenureal approach to recovery. At times I think the industry is blind to the addict. Focused too hard on who made the pills or which “recovery center” can franchise the fastest. Those with their eyes open see clearly. We see right through “front men” and victimized narratives. It’s just the same behaviors in a different hustle.

If there is one thing to take away from the last 70 or so years, it’s those dudes meeting in basements we’re right, an addict is an addict. Whether it’s street drugs or pharmaceuticals, you’re an addict. There’s no difference between the heroin addict nodding off in the park or the grandma nodding off in her favorite sitting room, they’re the same behaviors.

Addiction is a mental health issue that is shrouded with layers of co dependence that covers the addict like a wet blanket. It takes mental health professionals to treat addiction, not other addicts or grieving loved ones carrying a torch. No amount of dollars or guilt will solve this problem. Honest family members and friends catching the potential addict before the fall and getting them professional help will be a good start.

Unfortunately there’s money to be made, people to demonize, and co dependent people living off the addicts pain. If you’re in this fight find professional help. Look around your circle and evaluate those folks to see who genuinely could help you understand and move foreword with the professional knowledge you receive. Leave everyone else behind for a couple years till your well enough to call them out.

Don’t be fooled by the “ride or die” type. That’s part of the co dependent hook. Folks who say the “got your back” usually do. The question is which way are they facing. Don’t be fooled back into that space that closes in on you.

Rhythm of the Storm

Thunder on a tin roof cancels out the patter of thick raindrops beating a content rhythm. The staccato roll of memories fill my heart with a thud. Memories of you reverberate with us.

Lightening strikes as a glimpse into yesterday through a half empty bourbon bottle. Smoke drifts lazily towards a creaking ceiling fan wobbling to it own rhythm. Tomorrow doesn’t exist and now fades with each flash of lightening, leaving darkness in its wake.

Lost, me and the world, just staring into the distance entranced in times long faded into the myst. Here becomes there and now becomes then as I drift to the rhythm of memories drumming to the beat of the storm.

Soon the rain stops and the winds carry us away to distant horizons. Drops of us break free and fall to the earth silently. We are no longer a force. The thunder rumbles in distant memories as the lightening exposes the horizon for glimpses of maybe.

Then silence screams and the bourbon swishes within the bottle bringing sleep, rest for the lonely. I drift in and out of consciousness like I did love. Then I realize I’ve nothing left to fear but dreams.

Clouded Mirror

I’ve gazed into the stream
Watched my reflection
Drift away unseen

I’ve stood in the winds of time
And watched the world pass by
Making no sense or rhyme

Ive stood in the rain
Flooded with emotion
Void of pain

I’ve see the darkness within
Through the cracks of lightening
Flashing across a soul too thin

I’ve felt the thunder in my bones
Bring back memories
Thrown like sticks or stones

I’ve become the storm to love
Riding swollen streams
Under dark skies above

Life is reciprocal in tone
Darkness for light, evil sees good
And yet I walk alone

Where is my reflection
What reveals me,
Suffers my intention

So I assimilate the sublime
Like a cloudy day
Brings memories of sunshine

To reflect is giving myself away
revealing so little
Of who I truly seek one day

Until then I’ll ride the storms
And show you who you are
Taking different paths and forms

April Full

“April Fools Day”, dreaded or anticipated, is an “off guard” experience. I awaken alert to the possibility that before breakfast I’ll be duped. I resolutely descend the staircase to laughter and the smell of bacon and coffee. My consolation.

“Good Morning” echoes through the wall of wooden cabinets lining the kitchen just above the mornings clutter of dishes, empty containers, and eggshells. The work never ends!

“Morning” I reply. Leaving the “good” for posterity. I have a character to maintain. Resolved that “it’s” coming I sit down to a cup of motivation anticipating the beginning of the “Day of Lies”.

“What’s on the list this morning?” I ask with feigned interest. “I’ve got to clean out the stalls before taking “Smoke” to the veterinarian at noon.” I weakly State.

“What’s wrongs with smoke?” Emelia asks. “I thought we were taking the truck to the mechanics shop for the transmission this morning.”

“That’s Friday”, I reply as the coffee fuels my brain to decipher the two questions thrown like darts. “Smoke has a busted up leg from getting caught up in the wire yesterday. He’ll be fine in a couple days.”

“So that’s where those cuts on your arm came from.” Emelia accused. “I can help for an hour or so with the barn, smells like fun! She joked. And off we went to clean the barn.

“Surprise!!!” I was lost for a moment. Shouting people and sudden light filtered through my brain. Around me stood my sons with their families, my daughter and her fiancé, who’s way to soft to be found in a barn, and my best friends John and Linda. All staring at me with smug smiles. Then it came with a thunder. “April Fools!!!” I sunk my head and removed my hat to run my fingers through my hair before staring everyone down.

Then I noticed that something was out of place. The barn was spotless. The truck was parked at the other end just outside the door and Smoke wasn’t in his stall. “Where’s Smoke” I asked firmly. I don’t play around about my horse, especially since he was all banged up.
“Doc Grunner agreed to pick him up last night while you were soaking your bruises. He called this morning and said the ornery bastard was fine and eating all his feed. He’ll have him back on Saturday.” My son JR stated rather informatively.

“And the truck?” I asked with my time honored resolute tone. “How’d it get up here at the barn?”

John piped up with laughter in his voice. “Not sure why you’re even asking. That damned truck been sitting in the field since we were farming dirt for mud bricks. Turns out it wasn’t the transmission, it was the clutch. Melia, (that’s was his name for Emelia) asked me to check it out last week. I got the parts over at Joe’s salvage and fixed it on Wednesday while you was at the auction.”

“Unbelievable, ya’all been busy behind my back, but this don’t feel like “April Fools”, feels like Christmas, or my birthday! I said

Emelia laughed, “we’re all well aware of how you feel about this day, and we knew you’d be on the lookout for some trickery. So we decided to fool you in a good way!”

“Yeah, cause if it was your birthday you’d be on guard at every moment for your surprise party. That makes this a double fools day! John said jokingly.

There were tables with the breakfast things I hadn’t noticed were missing strewn out. Chairs all around and laughter in the air mixed with hay and manure. Turned out to be a good morning after all. That day was free of chores now and everyone celebrated like it was a holiday.

That evening as I sat out front on the porch rockin, smokin, and drinkin it occurred to me that I’d been a fool all my life. I spent too much time workin, thinkin, and worryin.

I had glimpses of my blessins on holidays or special occasions, but they were always a sort a interruption. Sittin here now I realize all those years they couldn’t fool me, because I was the fool, and fools don’t pay attention to nothin in front of them. They spend their time dreaming of tomorrow or frettin about yesterday.

I think I’ll just leave that fool behind and enjoy now forever. I can’t go wrong with that. I have a full life, I’ll leave the fools life to someone else. From now on every day is gonna April full!!!

Storm

The storm, wrestled and temporary
All around the swirling vortex of emotion, the calm sits eternally. Like a promise to believers who can see past the clouds into the heavens within us.

It’s hard to see your way to the center where silence whistles and warns of the next step. The eye is clear and light shines through a center only you can see, only you can feel. Confidently I stand knowing that just the other side of the swirling debris and dust is what’s left, life.

I must move with the winds of time avoiding the edge of chaos. The wall of thundering clouds surround this pristine space where you can feel the color of the wind and hear shapes that scream with the force of eternity, but here I’m a universe. Here I raise my heart to truth joining a legacy of humanity.

But here I’m alone. Lost to the horizon that surrounds the earth with hope and wonder. A respite from the turmoil created by lesser beasts seeking to thrive on the emotions of bowed heads and bruised knees. Death comes slow to the one defeated by fear.

Separated from the sounds of liberty and the smell of victory my words have no meaning. I must escape the sounds of silence screaming within my heart. I must walk through the fog of debris and torment into the the light of day, through the glow of night into a new day. A day of reckoning.

This demarcation is a birth. A new beginning where the past becomes silent, once again leaving now to hope for tomorrow. I only know and think what the future can be, what now will produce. I must close the book and remember throughout time that pages are a past that fade with time. A collection of privilege passed on through genetic inferiority with the hope another man will prove their indulgence was valor. Now we control truth.

So cast your lots free. Set your burdens aloft. Hold nothing but the light of day as a path through the night. Walk forward with your head held high knowing that now is forever and yesterday never is. Here you can gaze into tomorrow leaving fear and ignorance behind for the beauty of hope and truth.