Das Vagabonder

What I love

⁃ most

about vacation

is just wandering around

at first.

For example,

it was this glorious,

get-outside-in-the-sun-Joseph!

picture perfect

beach day,

but I chose to spend most of it inside,

well,

inside my Marriott Bonvoy

points-paid suite of rooms

with wall-sized

sliding glass doors,

⁃ slid wide open,

windows supervising

a luminescent

azure pounding ocean

just beneath,

see-through sheers

flying like ballroom dancers

on lifts of briny breezes

⁃ watching movies,

dream-reading

old American

frontier romance fiction,

then shuffling, begrudgingly

in a pair of well-worn contoured

black leather Berkenstocks,

out the door

like a too-tired snail

pulling itself across a sun-drenched

southern French

terra-cotta-tiled pathway,

leaving a slimy trail in its wake,

every centimeter, a toss

between all the closer

and just too far

to the beachside cafe

for a hardy

sea-side lunch,

then, when all is said & eaten

the awkward posse of successive

backward tripping steps

⁃ back

onto the bank of elevators:

l-o-b-b-y l-e-v-e-l!

the whispy electronic she-voice

manages to exhort sexily,

14th floor please!

a muffled voice murmurs

through a canteen issue

baby blue

paper pandemic

surgical mask,

schlepping themselves

and an empty black

nylon mesh back-pack,

back

to my sunny,

breezy window-treated

rooms

for just a little bit more

Sunday

inside, ocean-side

beach-day wandering

⁃ DasVagabonder

Birthday 63

For my 63rd birthday Jeff & I decided to take a shot (NPI) at golf! This was not a decision made as care-freely as it might sound. For as long as I can remember, age 4 to be exact, when after a certain 10-year-old uncle and his huddled gang of marauding 10-to-12-year-old buddies torpedoed a football at my chest while jeering me on to clutch it and sprint in a bee line toward the imposing, lone red maple, wide-stanced and broad-shouldered, its mighty chest proffered to proudly accept every hue of nature’s rainbow-speckled fall glory – a request I happily indulged like an eager-to-please puppy – and out of nowhere – BAM! – I ended up on the suffocating bottom of a pile of eight or nine 10-to-12-year-old boys – not as pleasant an experience as the more cynical among you might think. This was a defining moment, one that invoked immediate rebellion and a near life-long self-imposed ban on playing any kind of game involving a flying object even remotely resembling a football. Culprits have included: baseballs, tennis balls, basketballs, frisbees, hockey pucks, birdies, etc., etc., etc. I am happy to report, however, that I think I’ve finally found my sport! Never too late to find your flow, albeit a safe’ish, gentlemanly and leisurely game, golfing is a lot of fun, despite the tacit assumption that the occasional ill-intentioned marauding hoodlum most likely still lies stealthily in wait, cleverly queued in reoccurring ten-minute tee-time sorties, and camouflaged in colorful glove-tight, ergonomically yielding Lululemon active wear, just longing for the perfectly inopportune moment to lob a tiny, menacing, pimpled, neon ball aloft in my direction.

Overnight Journey

In an average
American lifespan
of 78.87 years,
we spend 25 asleep.

It suddenly struck me
– out of the blue
as many things, sometimes
often in fact, do
the idea that
we live Such
short lives!

that Sleep,
perchance to dream
while on the surface
the greediest of fiends
mightiest of foes! nightly thief
of precious ticking moments,
offers like clockwork
the soundest advice
on how to take
refuge
from pointless worry
& strife

a practice
for eternity
an overnight tour
an all expense-paid journey
direct to the source
of light, of being
of suspended believing
in this time-limited, conditioned
earthly existence
of thinking, of fretting
of measuring, comparing
of winning, of losing
of lollapaloozing

as Morning
stalks twilight
– luring all to return
like the moth to a flame
we’re back in the race
of time, competition
of ceaseless
opposition
to the lingering peace
lying
stealthily
within

Ding’s Vigil

A ferocious

whirling gust of high-pitched

biting

gale force wind

screeches

ripping ’round the shingled

northeast corners of a

weather-worn cape,

coiled tightly

into a sunken fury ball

a lying dog squeaks

and groans,

pressing harder

with every howl

she nuzzles ‘gainst her master’s

wooden, louvered door

fixed on the calming rhythms

of his long slow

pulling breaths

and sudden, deep, releasing sighs

yearning for the moment

when his gentle snores

will cease,

the door

will crack,

and a stormy morning light

will pierce the dark,

as another day

among her happy pack

begins

Overnight Journey

In an average
American lifespan
of 78.87 years,
we spend 25 asleep.

It suddenly struck me
– out of the blue
as many things, sometimes
often in fact, do
the idea that
we live Such
short lives!

that Sleep,
perchance to dream
while on the surface
the greediest of fiends
mightiest of foes! nightly thief
of precious ticking moments,
offers like clockwork
the soundest advice
on how to take
refuge
from pointless worry
& strife

a practice
for eternity
an overnight tour
an all expense-paid journey
direct to the source
of light, of being
of suspended believing
in this time-limited, conditioned
earthly existence
of thinking, of fretting
of measuring, comparing
of winning, of losing
of lollapaloozing

as Morning
stalks twilight
– luring all to return
like the moth to a flame
we’re back in the race
of time, competition
of ceaseless
opposition
to the lingering peace
lying
stealthily
within

Balance Beaming

What matters most
is living
a life in balance
between being
and doing
with the emphasis
on being

Open
without hesitation
to inhaling the moments
when chattering thoughts and
to-do lists, take up
residence
somewhere else

Like a child
tinkering mindlessly
– in the background
with puzzling
shiny projects
other than me

Truro Summer’s Night

A firefly flickers

my eyes draw

skyward

tailing its trail

A briney breeze

whispers

I savor its breath

The Milky Way

glitters

like chains of shimmering silver

electric jellyfish

contracting – thrusting forward

through’n infinite

sparkling silent

black-velvet sea

Have I really, never? felt their rage

Have I really,
never felt alone
– isolated
among the very people
I’m almost certain,
I’m supposed
to feel a part of?

Have I really,
never failed to speak
the pink-elephant truth
to appease a pack
whose membership
requires submission
to a myopic vision
of an us-versus-them
clan-think mentality
threatening silence
– segregation
for daring to use
the voice
I’ve far too often
failed to use?

Have I really,
never felt emasculated
demoralized
dehumanized
by the din of a silently-sanctioned
no tales out of the toxic
narcissism-confused-for-masculinity-fueled
school of the bullies will be bullies club
only to find myself
– complicit
in its jeering assaults
each time
I turn a blind eye to its oppressive
self-serving imposition of conscience-free
verbal violence, of fear mongering
and unabashed intolerance of
things perceived as unfamiliar
weird-where-I-come-from
or challenging to conventional ways
– all in exchange for empty
hypnotizing promises
of safety
status and financial reward?

Like when
the recent law school
graduate who’s jumped through
every convoluted hoop
was left to discover
her new position involved a
service far too unseemly to
discuss in polite circles?

Like when
the Speedo-clad
Jewish man, lounging peacefully
in the sun, on an inner-city beach
when suddenly,
he found himself being beaten
and disabused of an eye for
“appearing gay” and wearing
the wrong kind of cap?

Like when
generations
of innocent children
were abused by religious captors
in a grand & mighty church?

Like when
a young black NFL
quarterback found himself isolated
from the league for his unpopular
political opinions?

Like when
a courageous
middle-aged mother lunged
at her terrorized gay son’s
tormentors only to find
her naked neck impaled
on the glistening cold steel
tip of a restaurant kitchen
carving knife?

Like when
a hulking
anxiety-ridden NHL player
found himself haunted
by nightmares of long-gone
days of humiliation
by his non-Latino peers?

Like when
a soul-tortured veteran
finds herself torn by loyalty to
his training and the need
to purge her memory of the
atrocities of war?

Like when
a gang of inner-city
teenage boys hopped on a bus
to go “fag bashing”
– as if it were just another team
sport to distract themselves from
the boredom of a monotonous humid
summer afternoon?

Like when
the people on the
periphery, invisible
as they may seem, the homeless
transgendered
the handicapped or obese
those
– so addicted
to a drink, a cookie
a line, a needle
that she finds herself
shunned by a world
who says it loves him
but then absconds
with her dignity
when he has a slip?

Have I really,
never been stoned by insults
spat on, threatened
attacked, arrested
for being
in the “wrong” kind of bar
in the “wrong” part of town
at the perfectly
“wrong” moment in history?

Have I really,
never turned my head
as a spirited, little butch
girl or a chubby, effeminate
school boy is pummeled
mercilessly by taunting
bullied,
threatened, battered
for simply
being
the most authentic version of
himself
that she knows how to be?

How can I watch these things
and pretend
I have really,
never felt their rage?

That I have really,
never secretly sought
to settle these insults
with silent fantasies
of sweet, hollow
revenge?

That I have really,
never secretly felt the fear
that in one bone-chilling
icy moment
– for no good reason
it will be mine
whose soul they’ll seek
to lynch?

The innocent
– abandoned
bullied, battered
& left to fend

defenselessly

On the ostracizing
outside
longingly looking in..