Take the high road

piedpiperI was a child once

perhaps we played together

were you the friend I helped climb the pear tree?

were you the friend who said jump over the puddle and we both missed and came home all muddy in time for trouble?

were you the one who got to the top of the hay bale first and said ‘I can see all the world’ from here and in that moment we really thought we could

or did you grow up in a nice apartment on the Upper East Side, sent to the best schools and expected to do well

which you did in that idle and coveted way of those who have purchase of a velvet lining

did you ever wonder what it was like for the rest?

did you ever wonder why so many famous people are the children of?

did you ever stop and question if ‘life is what you make it’ still stands true?

did you drink dirty water like the kids in Flint?

did you get poisoned by copper like the babies of El Paso?

if you went to a demonstration did you go so you could make change or to show off your $400 Free People outfit?

when you got your first job was it from hard-graft or the friends of your parents?

I went to university with you, I was the one who had a bicycle whilst you drove a Jeep

I wasn’t jealous except when I was hungry and that suited me because I couldn’t afford to grow

when you sat like King on your throne and your acolytes bowed, you crowned yourself head of our year and published the first zine

did it reflect truth or the diamond shanty of your ideals?

good for you that you had a pretty life and long vacations

many of us worked for a living and got up at 5am to empty kitchen tables

parents who stared through the rain at yet another long day

ground down by platitudes that didn’t apply

I’m not bitter it’s just that when we sit in the same room and you tell me

‘I’m sure you can understand Candy, as an owner of a small printing press I have to make ends meet’

I can’t help thinking how fake things that are meant to be real are becoming

we lost art to theΒ debutante, we gave away our souls for front covers with dazzling lies

we have an election that denies the people and computers who act like surrogates

jobs if you’re in China and expensive degrees that promise nothing but loan re-payments

it is said there is no better time than now, and the past was harder when ancestors danced in death in ditches and were blown up

it is said there is no better time than now, we are the proverbial fatted calf, glutted on luxury, we don’t know how bad it used to be

for our grandparents who broke their backs and discolored their lungs in coal pits and the basements of rich homes

back in time we didn’t have flat screen TV and cell phones and fancy jeans but it’s swings-and-roundabouts

now we’re in time where not being online 24/7 can lose your job to someone who didn’t mind being beholden

we had vacations whilst now everyone’s too afraid to be out of the office and checks their cell phones at the dinner table on Sunday’s

where is our sense of self? Did we buy into the belief we are free and rich because we were told that by a meme or nodding head?

did we forget what George Orwell or Rachel Carson said?

Because when we’re young we think we have it all if we have sex and firm thighs and the right to protest

but what good is protest if nothing ever changes? ask the pipe lines who cut through our country if they have heard us yet?

or the profits garnered to keep the 99 percent out of the front lawn

but oh wasn’t it always that way?

sure I read Dickens too and the Little Matchstick Girl

poverty isn’t a modern-dilemma

however maybe apathy and delusion is

wasn’t Marx talking about that when he mentioned Opiates?

we don’t need to take our Big Pharma pills to know

cancer comes with a price tag and you’d better not be poor

the cost of ‘getting well’ is only one part, the other is the creation of the disease

ask the petrochemical industries, do they let their kids inhale or eat that?

does anyone think of the future? Or should we change what Marie Antoinette said to

let them eat lead

what does it say when you’re glad you don’t have kids to inherit these times?

I wanted to write poems and get published and you owned the rights like you always had

glutted and fat on your marble pyramid

you look at people like me, like the street cleaner regards bird shit

something it takes some elbow grease to clean and even then

the outline will mark the pretty pavement where you wanted to hold

your procession proclaiming the world is good and just

I suppose I didn’t fit in with that then and I don’t now

this world is made of dust and sweat, we toil even when we think we are not

against haters, against cruelty, against disregard, apathy and the unexpected

sometimes I think we got it very wrong when we called these Modern Times

Charlie Chaplin may have had a point there

as many who are gone now did, we’re in another incarnation of delusion

hurry up children take your medicine, sip, sip !

so …Β  I won’t win a trophy or even get my name recalled when I’m gone

and that’s okay with me God

I just want enough to live on and to be unmolested by those who seek to tear down

an honest heart or a man who prizes integrity above fitting in

lest we follow a prophet who says he’s the one, and all fall off the cliff

did we ever figure out if the Pied Piper was evil?

down we go

you cannot find truth looking into empty crystal

you find it by noticing the hypocrisy and stepping out of the casting coach

it will be a harder road they always said

but a high road is preferable to one paved in gold

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91 thoughts on “Take the high road

  1. Oh so much here! I always read your work multiple times and that will surely be done with this piece. It does seem as if the world is looking to or through empty crystals for answers which will never be there . Thank you so much for sharing your gifts!

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  2. You’ve already put yourself beyond the Pale by calling yourself a poet. You are one of the special people with eyes that see further and deeper. Once you would have been feared and revered. Now you will be ignored. That’s Modern Times. Chaplin was right;

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    1. Whenever I hear from you I’m reminded why I feel so much you for, you are one of those incredibly rare things in this life, someone who is absolutely honest. I need that so much – thank you for always being able to be relied upon for that, and much, much more. You are a touchstone and your own miracle – one I think of always with great affection and I must say, my life has been made better for you being in it my friend Jane.

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      1. I try to hear the way you do, I think your work helps me hear better, does that make sense? I was thinking of you last night, something about watching Outlander (saw the last ep in the second season, bereft now until they finish making the third) I think the writing is a lot like you, really well crafted and penetrates beyond the norm, that’s what you do, I think of what you say and write LONG after you have, most people it’s fair to say we read and forget relatively soon, so when someone stays, that’s something I cannot explain but like a favorite book we remember it. What makes someone memorable? Is it personal meaning something we can relate to? I think part of it is that, the other part is their specific language. You have a specific language, I wish I could test it by blind reading I think I could pick you out every time.

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      2. A lot of it is probably to do with thinking along the same lines, and hearing the beauty of certain combinations of words. I would certainly recognize a poem of yours. It’s hard to say why since you use English in a way that I wouldn’t, bending the rules of grammar and word associations, but I could tell that it was you who had put those phrases together. Every individual is unique, but possibly our uniqueness comes over in different ways. For some people it’s a sense of colour, dress style, a way of speaking, drawing, telling jokes. Ours is in the way we string words together.

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  3. In each and every one of us- is a word in season. Unfortunately for most this word lies dormant- in fear that it may not sound right. It matters not how one introduces life- the facts are the same- it changes all of us one way or the other. Be determined to walk a road way- that may be difficult- and where you would have to learn some real hard lessons. And yet the road you and I are walking on was set before we were born. We may come to many cross roads – and We may stop awhile to decide which one to take. But take one we must- how else would we move forward and conquer this life we have to breath each day. I am happy to have met some of you on my journey- We have laughed , cried and hugged. We have shared openly our deepest wounds without judgment. To have met you has changed some things within my heart for sure. Thank you for writing.

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    1. I love that. The notion of ‘a word in season’ I know and understand exactly what you mean it’s a wonderful way of thinking about it. You are right, the facts remain the same, the truth lies in what we do with them. It is hard to walk the straight and narrow path, but without getting biblical which is one way of seeing it and not my way, I’d say that it’s just down to who you are, and you discover that as you are forced to make a choice. Some may choose the other path, I cannot say more than I try to do what I think is best, and as you say, conquer the time. I so appreciate you thank you so much my friend

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  4. A beat poem, a strength of your words that march towards a fight till’ the end.
    You manage to awake our senses, look deeper and deeper into our collapse society. You’ve open up wounds I’ve never read before by you sis.

    I’m sending you hugs. This poem of yours is very important. Thank you for being you and not being afraid to challenge all readers and the world itself.

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    1. Thank you Asmov, I didn’t think of it as a beat-poem but maybe it is (great compliment) I appreciate you take on it, you are always on the money. Thank you sweet boy – I’m sending you HUGE hugs and sorry for my errant response via text I LOVED the pic and you should get something in the post asap – I shall write you back been feverishly busy but not forgotten EVER

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    1. Well heck now I KNOW we’d get along in real life, you used the F bomb, having lived in South. London for a time I came over swearing like a sailor and have a strange simpatico and trust with people who curse (it is said they are more honest and this I believe!)

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  5. I read this, with my usual awe at your talent. But also with gratitude…I’ve been thinking about these issues a lot lately. And how grateful I am that artists like you keep persisting, to give such beautiful voice to these matters. I echo Oldepunk’s words.

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    1. My lovely friend thank you! I think we have all been thinking about this I didn’t write at first because it takes a lot to really say what you feel – maybe because everything is so messed up we have to go through it all before we know. Thank you so much – for your support and your friendship and just being YOU

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      1. One thing you should know about me, I don’t lie. So if I seem to compliment you I’m not doing it for a reason other than I really like what you wrote, so many on social media are fake, you won’t find that here πŸ™‚ but I know you aren’t like that either that’s why we relate xo

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      2. (Also, just for some clarification, I have been specifically thinking about friends whose views on these matters baffle me…and the things that get lost in cultural translation, I’m looking at you, too, Facebook. The friend I visited in Arizona and I had such an interesting conversation about this…growing up in Australia I would be considered mostly a conservative Christian, but she laughed and said that in the US I would definitely be considered more a liberal, which I discovered after we moved to Colorado 20 years ago (we lived there for 10 years before moving to Australia). But really, what on earth is so hard about kindness? Or treating others the way you would want to be treated? Or just a little bit of dang empathy? Or having a little wisdom to understand that riches are fleeting, and f*cking up the planet for temporary gain is just so… and that no one really owns anything, we are all just stewards…and on and on…ugh, end rant, because I know, I should also look in the mirror too.)
        I’m going to have a nice cup of tea now. And I am beyond grateful that I can.
        Cheers Lovely One!

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      3. I now understand why I relate to you so well – I like Australians very much but you are also a mixture, that’s why you have a really open perspective on life. I agree though in Europe I’d be considered mmm moderate maybe socially conservative and morally liberal? But here in TX I’m considered a raving leftie πŸ˜‰ Totally get what you are saying! Isn’t that weird? I agree, if more had empathy and listened. You do. I do. So that’s a start. Where in Australia? I so badly want to visit. Do you like living there more than Co? I found last I visited Co it was very expenisve and changed a lot. xo (do you like vegemite is the important question of the day)

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    1. Forrest, we called them ‘camps’ but much the same. Some of my happiest memories, the world at bay, imagining ourselves wild. Funny to think such simple things and such pleasure, did you keep a ‘stash’ of snacks in your fort?

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    2. The best bit was climbing to the top and feeling you were completely on top of the world and invulnerable and you could literally create a world that wasn’t there, and feel it existed more than anything that is real. I love that. I think I admire that about children more than anything, I would so wish I could still do that.

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  6. Candice- I hear this roar of outrage from the bottom of your soul. I can see the fire in your eyes, the steel in your spine, your yield you pen like a whip. You speak truths that sparkle like diamonds and glow like pearls and leave me humbled and awed. Warrior woman, I bow down before you.

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    1. Oh I know. I’m sorry. I feel awful about that. Mostly I agree w/u but at the same time I have to be ‘careful’ you know how it is. xo (thank you for supporting me even if it turned out a bit messed up in the end, it’s the intention that counts and I am so very, very grateful I hope I have shown that because I really am and you absolutely ROCK)

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  7. SMiLes.. my dear poet and author
    and sure.. Facebook Friend.. Candice
    aka thefeatheredsleep.. in thee words
    of SuperTramp2 again.. hehe..
    Art is surELy
    both
    a long
    and short
    road home
    to within..
    i cAMe/cOme
    to art aGaiN
    to find my heART..
    so lost.. so lost in dARk..
    and surely.. you kNow.. FeeL
    and SenSE thaT i for one can
    FeeL mosT aLL of yOur pain
    for what it means to go
    to lengths to
    immortalize
    your art of heaRt
    in the modern way
    of Caesar’s coins..
    wheRe Caesar trUly
    only seeks to own yoUr heART..
    And sure.. if one seeks or needs
    to earn a living by art what other choice
    is tHeir.. butt bow to the almighty Lincoln Cent
    and Washington BLack Green wHOle Dollar
    that seeks to rule all of what comes free.. sOld
    and impriSoned sAMe.. thing is.. my first spArk
    of arT coming back in 4 decades or so.. yes.. 40 years
    whole from age 13.. when the so-called Christian
    Bully Boy Boys in fundie pants said boys are
    not allowed to smile when they
    play tennis at the
    big soft bALL pArk..
    and all art then..
    is just another
    F word
    to apply
    to your piNk paNties..
    underneATh your sKirt
    if you even have ‘one’ as
    that applies to gas lighting StiLL
    in politics and religion of the same color now..
    so to make a really long story.. sure..12 million
    or words or so broken up/down into almost infinite
    chambers of Nautilus Flow.. i decided the
    best Victory over Vengeance would be
    not only to do modern art
    but to do the most
    prehistoric art
    oF all
    in flesh
    and blood.. hell.. yes..
    a modern PeTroglyph
    stone art come to flesh
    and blood life iN hands and
    erections of thOught in more
    than words to beHold for anyone
    who dares to enter the lAir of free full blown ART..
    so.. sMILes.. i laugh WitH the Christian Bully boyS and
    Patriarchs of silo hoarding dollar bills now by more than
    sTicKinG my toNgue out now.. and if they ever come in.. just
    hope they get fully satisfied before they leave.. hehe.. sMILes..
    my friEnd.. liFE can and WiLL be too cruel not to laugh at aLL oF iT
    naked with all yoUr tongues sticKing out at the daRkest of Life..
    not unlike Kali from India.. Ynot2.. haha..
    bottom line though through.. not through
    with this is.. this country
    is free
    enough
    for me to stick
    all of my tongues
    out at the dArk thaT
    alWays seeks to impriSon liGht/
    ArT/LoVe iN juST anotheR way to
    siLo impriSon gRains of wheat away
    from wild oats that sow free liGht reap..
    the best liGht and Art coMes from dArk as
    hiStory and even science sHows now.. tUrn
    the LiGht oN for Free and what’s left is juST
    a SonGoFYoURsOUl2 as SuperTramp2 says2
    juST for the Hell of the Heaven oF iT for Ynot now..
    otHeRr than thaT.. Jesus F. in Christ.. you are much
    more popular than me.. hehe.. but hey.. now… if i get
    so big no one can see me.. i won’t miss me.. at leASt.. haha..
    the reward iS mY spiRit oF HeARt fully ExpresSinG nOw iN A
    miNd and Body soUL fuLLy BaLanCinG grace of love and courage of strength
    and that
    my friend
    IS A hard on oF liGht..
    and art is the big bang that
    continues even after death..
    sure,, i give to you and i share you
    that’s what soULs do best when aLiVE..
    soUL whOle GlobAlly HoLdinG hands aS such..;)

    And along these lines another ‘short story’ that is also
    non-fiction as i’m not much one for fiction but i’ll do word
    play and metaphors all day juST for fun as words are
    my friends and signs and guideposts to my
    soUl/heARt/SpiRit aS Such.. so…
    last night at the military
    gym there is a very
    stoic and
    accomplished
    X-military man in
    his 70’s.. lives with a
    lot of anxiety.. obviousl.y though
    and is a control person to the maximum
    as hey.. that’s what the military does.. different
    strokes for the professions at hand and all of that..
    so in short.. he is a form guy to the par of tee.. and i am
    all essence and free form verse.. hehe.. tee tee.. haha..he..
    Life is good.. so.. sure.. i can play a role of the stoic face too..
    thing is.. i refuse to walk like a robot now or become a treadmill
    machine or only free weights as ‘Nautilus machines are for sissies’
    for those who don’t understand the bio-mechanics more of the human
    body for strength as the weakest points of hands and feet limit the potential
    strength of the bigger muscles that Nautilus machines are designed.. for the win..
    and sure that’s why i am the strongest one on the ‘other side’ of the big man gym..
    as no one can leg press 1020LBs on the parallel leg press machine i load up there
    after doing my ballet/martial arts routine for the laser focus of chi.. yeah.. laser focus
    is just another phrase for Chi.. when all is positive energy.. all control and adrenaline
    hormones are erased as all i free fly as weight without gravity per metaphor of DO.. ANYWAY..
    HE IS on a much easier leg press machine and holding a conversation as mentor to an
    upcoming military man and to be clear and sincere i have all the respect in the world
    for this military man who is of the caliber of World II Veterans who fight for freedom
    still.. and i am just a DOD retiree guest and this is tHeir gym to me and i am
    just privileged to use it.. so i waited calmly until he finished his conversation
    with the other military dude as i needed at least one 100LB plate
    to complete my feat of 1020LBs.. 33 times with my arms
    raised over my head like a ballerina too.. anyway..
    saw a plate on the side and asked politely can
    i use that sir.. and he said yes.. i saved
    that one for you.. in a little sarcastic
    typical alpha man daddy way..
    and so i picked it up before
    he realized he still
    needed it
    and i said.. sure..
    you can have it and
    lowered it down and
    it slipped out of my rather
    still delicate writer fingers.. hehe..
    as hey.. i ain’t gonna break a finger
    to prove i am a man.. so he says go ahead
    and ‘play’.. as i finish my little Tai Chi-like routine that
    allows me to escape the impact of gravity in someways..
    but here’s the thing.. in all his years of military accomplishment
    even he at the pinnacle of the he man game.. never learned more
    aptly put practicing a way of free to master his mINd and BoDy BaLanCinG
    soUl to put away all anxiety and fear.. no different than Trump.. same story too..
    but one without any honor or ethical code or integrity when it comes to Trump..
    as it’s a gift my friend.. but it is a life long practice for free.. and the thing is as
    long as folks stick to form there will be no new art or even peace of mind whole..
    as art becomes human away from machine.. i live life in a place where almost
    no one understand what drives me free as life.. i live in a place of free and truly
    feel
    sad
    for those
    who are imprisoned
    within as that is the only
    place that freedom really comes..
    no one will take that away from me now..
    ’cause i took away from me first by letting ‘those’
    folks have tHeir way with me in priSon ‘back then’..
    tHeRe are many ways
    to get
    raped
    in this
    world other
    than flesh and
    blood and the rape
    of relative free will is
    the rape that tortures and
    kills a heart/spirit/soul
    in prison of head..
    and out oF body
    BaLancE NoW
    lost.. as pain and
    misery and suffering
    sings his and her song
    separate of division still..
    away
    from
    True
    WiLL
    over Love as Free..:)

    Been a while since i fully
    commented here.. and since
    you are on vacation from writing.. now..
    just a looonggg.. gift to read from me.. hehe..;)

    Liked by 1 person

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