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Another Day

I walked into a café.
I heard the man say,
“To you sir a good day.”

“And to you my good man.”
Stroking my beard, I started to scan,
for where my friend would stand.

Together we would laugh and play
in that open field where the sky was never gray.
And the grass was green all day.

I remember the tree in the corner.
I remember the creek on the side.
I found a strange rock.
And about it we began to talk.

“I want you to have it.”
“No you found it, it’s yours.”
“We should share it.”
“I’ll bury it here. Never forget.”

But
To be a kid again one day,
is to see it end the same way.

And I heard the man say,
“Will your friend be joining you again today?”
“Not today, maybe another day?”

Our Country

They invited you to do what they could not.
They summoned you to do what they would not.
They captured you, they enslaved you.
They needed you.

They brought you to build the nation.
They promised a home; it was supposedly set in stone.
You had a place but without a face.
They reaped the rewards with no mention of you or yours.

Then they said they want “their” country back.
And your place was gone without a trace.

The Pauper and the Nobleman

On the street of a great castle town sits a lone pauper.
Two wealthy men approach and one of them exclaims,
“Please sir, accept a small donation from me. I do not think there is another in town who needs it as much as you!”
The pauper replies, “Thank you kind sir, but I’m afraid you are mistaken. I do not need this money at all! For my friend fulfills all my needs!”
The wealthy man and his traveling companion exchange worried looks,
“Then please accept this from your new friend.”
The pauper stands up and accepts the gift.
“Thank you to my new friend.” They shake hands and the wealthy men continue on their way.

The pauper looks out towards the castle, then he begins walking.
He walks and walks.
The distractions of the town normally do not bother him.
But with the money given to him by his new friend, things begin to stand out.
Some food here.
An attraction there.
Perhaps a nice room to rest in?

But he quickly remembers his friend.
His dear friend is waiting for him.
He must ignore these distractions.
He does not want to miss the meeting with his friend.

He continues passed the town to the castle gates.
He is stopped by the guards.
“Halt! What business do you have here?”
“Esteemed knights, I am here for a meeting with my dear friend.”
“And who is your friend?”
“My friend is the great king himself!”
The guards burst out laughing.
“Has the summer sun fried your brain? The king does not have time for the likes of you.”
“Oh but quite the contrary, my great friend the king has time for all his subjects. He knows about all the goings on and he takes care of everyone in his kingdom. I urge you please, my friend the king is waiting for me. You must let me pass!”

Just then a rider approaches the gate from inside the castle walls.
“You there, guard, open the gate. Do you not know? This is the king’s dear friend. We have been awaiting his arrival!”
The guards are astonished, “Forgive us! We did not know!”
The pauper smiles, “That is quite alright!”

The doors of the throne room are pulled open and the pauper and his escort enter.
The king and members of the court all stand.
The king descends the stairs and greets his dear friend, the pauper, with a hug.
The king announces to the court:

“This is my dear friend. You are to treat him with the highest honor and respect. He has my friendship and my love.”

The members of the court bow their heads in respect. All but one. He holds his head high. His eyes are filled with disdain. He steps forward.

“I am a nobleman. I have served the king my whole life. I stood with him. I sat with him. I have honored him. But he dishonors me. He prefers a pauper over me. I cannot abide this indignation!”

The king retorts:

“I have given you lands. I have given you rank. I have given you status. I have given you power. I have given you servants. I have given you riches. You never sleep hungry. You never stand alone in conflict. Yet I have given him none of these things. I give you, and you ask for more. He is content with my friendship. He loves me even in his current state. He obeys me, he honors me, and he accepts my invitation. He is my true friend. I know who he was, I know who he is, and I know who he can be. These things, you do not know. You have judged him without knowing a thing about him. You have preferred your own judgement over the command of your king. You have openly dishonored me in the presence of the court. You are a disgrace and your true nature is clear. You are hereby stripped of all titles and lands. You are banished from my kingdom.”

The View From Me

The truth is clear.
The lenses are clouded.
It is an observer impaired.
What he knows he fails to see.
A counterfeit reality dancing about.
The senses have distracted the mind.
Gazing out but never in.

An unseen truth, yet I am still a truth.
I am not your friend.
And I will have my day.
I have not hidden myself from you.
You are a victim of your own self.

You are your own deception.

By The Time

Everyone always told me…
“Son, watch out for time.”
“Time will pass you by.”
“Before you know it, you’ll be an old man.”
As if time was a living predator waiting to overtake me.
And they would stare off into the scenery, as if seeing something I was blind to.

It’s not that I didn’t believe them.
But it’s one thing to know something and another to understand.
And it’s even another to experience it.
And sure enough time had overtaken me.
But not like a predator.
More like I had snuck up on myself. And then I watched myself pass me by.

And I sat there Monday morning watching the clock move very slowly.
And I wondered how my juniors had grown older than me.
I wondered how years passed me by around me yet I lay frozen in the past.
Not a minute of progress, not an inch of growth.
And when my age slips my tongue, I don’t believe myself.
Now I sit and stare at a scene everyone else is blind to.

And yet…though I’m not that old….I know that 40 years will pass in 4 minutes…though it may be a long 4 minutes. And I’ll still be here.

A Devil Sighting

I’ve seen the devil. The truth is, I see him all the time. If you look, you’ll see him too. Look for him in every playground bully. Find him telling an old man to yell at the cashier for a problem he wasn’t born to see. Watch for him on the road filling people’s minds with angry thoughts. No one knows how to drive. Fight this man. Watch him turn civilized adults into enraged children. See him persuade people that fighting is resolving. See him turn children against their parents and parents against their children. Why would a parent not understand their child? Or a child not understand his parents? Truly it is the devil between them that they do not understand. The devil between friends and the devil seeping through the cracks of each marriage. He thrives on every conflict and on every misunderstanding. He grows strong on the soil of ignorance.

Feel him coursing through your veins, convincing you that his whispers are your own thoughts. Twisting your emotions this way and that. Anger is his right hand; envy is his left. And verily he is a great manipulator. Transforming humility into self-pity, confidence into arrogance, and kindness into weakness; exposing the dark side of every facet.

Then when the sun sets and the night turns cold, the people leave to their homes. I see him take his final form. His whispers come from every direction. He tells me I am alone. He reminds me of my failures. He tells me these thoughts are my own and the only solution is his. Each night I find myself a little less resistant against every false promise. Each night my reasoning falls a little further from morality. He is a master of his art. And I hope he never leaves for he will only leave once his battle is won.

He has seduced you with everything you never wanted forcing you to leave everything which you loved. Who else pushed for betrayal. Who else instilled fear in the hearts? Who else convinced you to prove your value in the worst way? The cold truth is; we are all possessed.

The After Image

An after image.
A reflection.
A shadow.
The fading remnants of a thing since spent.
A false verity, truly only a memory.

A man deceived hopelessly seeks these.
Yet sun and moon take turns playing him the fool.
Slowly snatching away a false glory of yesterday.
And through his endless pursuit he finds himself in a state of endless loss.