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The Naked CombOver

Why is it, dear,
that the combover speaks as brazenly
as a fat corporate-fed,
way too marbled whitemeat
Naked Emperor
at a Cooperatively Progressive Costume Party?

Because his favorite soundbites are
“I am the best hair-dressed Emperor
these RedStates have ever fed”
followed too loudly by,
“And I am here to listen to
and help you
and God bless AmericaIncorporated First!!!!!”

And you know
he is nakedly lying
from the top of his bald combovered head
all the way through the shit-stained bit
about listening,
because we know he’s too busy twittering
in the morning
to step into
his best-dressed CEO corporate-fat role
of fear-mongering
and monocultural apartheid
anger-militarized mismanagement,
and other terrifying LoseLose pushbutton regimes
of paranoid and fascist
Supreme Naked Emperor images
still trying to work that hopeless combover.

Honey, really,
don’t you have anything healthier to obsess about?

Yes, but our kids’ teachers
believe secular natural egosystems
are something other than the exterior LeftBrain face
of sacred spiritual RightBrain ecosystems,

Which is what you plan to obsess about next,
but its difficult to find any who seem likely to listen
to secular-sacred harmonic students,
much less parents,
any more or less
than my own evangelical Christian parents did,
or the local Catholic priest currently Holy Communions
in that apartheid cathedral
built of universal historical matter.

Well, it does sound like we have a lot
on our Their Not Listening communion plates.
Perhaps if we first listened better
to their long crippled suffering
they might be able to hear ours better?

That’s a thought,
although it doesn’t seem to be working
with the POTUS.

Well, dear,
don’t beat yourself up.
Remember the verse about having ears to hear
and eyes to see
that a combover
does not suggest deep powers
to co-passionately listen
to one’s own naked and vulnerable aging self.

Stuck in perpetual bullying adolescence
as learned in military school,
more likely.

I wonder how he would look
in a Marine cut?

If not healthier,
then at least more honest.

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Metamorphosis

Innocence of new birth
Such a sacred thing.
I could not recall its distant unreborn pleasures.

Too worn away
A mundane day after relentless
smoothed-over passive day.
I can only take my fading remainder measures.

Between innocence and torn elder
A midway ride tripping through sacred sighs
and secular screams.
I would seize such natural spirited treasures.

Complexity of integrity
Such a mundane past birth
yet sacred future rebirth.
I have not yet reached for daring resonant fissures.

Innocence of reborn birth
this grey stormed winter reassures.

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The Rival Sisters

They were loyal sisters.
The older
was also more fair,
prettier in an Original Barbie kind of way.

She had been sick
when her younger,
darker,
more tomboy sister
met and first desired
my tall, dark, and handsome Uncle.

When older and fairest of all Sisters
returned home,
after a long healthcare absence,
she too desired Uncle Handsome,
as did we all,
in our time and ways,
but Handsome’s eyes never wavered again
once reset on older and fairest Sister.

Young darker Sister, left behind,
began to heal
when tall, dark, and handsome #2
showed up
and spoke smokey truths
of happiness,
kindness,
quiet gentleness.
But not too gentle.
Slow and steady; confident
integrity could heal all guilt
and angers
and prior disappointments.

These two Sisters
and their TD and H husbands
lived near each other
and grew old together
with unspoken neighborly mistrusts,
unresolved struggles with and about envy,
jealousies and jilts,
but also laughter and deep mutual regard.

Who can control chemistry,
or timing?
Who can forgive,
and how long could this revolution take?

Yet even restrained love
can grow abundantly rich
with both age and generosity.

Younger and darker Sister
lost her husband to cancer
and then her memory,
while older fairest Sister and husband
moved into assisted housing
after reaching golden fifty years
together.

Then good-natured patient waiting
to embrace final retirement,
a journey we each take alone,
as when we entered
except without Mom nearby,
or maybe this too remains the same, somehow.

Older ancient Barbie Sister
did not let go
until younger jilted Sister
quietly stopped breathing in her deep night sleep,
lost in memories not accessible by day.

Ten nights later
Barbie Sister passed out of embodied memories
in this same way.
Safe at last,
knowing it was then too late
for TD and H Uncle
to go back before that place
where they had started.

They say death comes in threes.
I wonder why.

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Aging in a Deeper Place

As I age
the formerly wide chasm between ecstasy and despair
grows narrower,
deeper.

I had not thought this an attribute of maturation,
quite the contrary,
but perhaps an aging crevice,
a thinning fracture
between played-out manic bliss, over-extended harvest,
and depression
nondually faces two extremes
of positive major chords and keys
with negative minor tensions
searching for each other out and in,
become too vocal, focal
looking for tacit evidence
apposition yet lives
on another side
of this darkening
enlightening
divide.

Dr. Jeckyll’s confluence
redeeming Mr. Hyde’s dissonance
double-binding midway balance
now become a treacherously tight rope
tensioned for resonance and buoyant bounty,
just short of snapping side against side.

Perhaps wisdom is learning how to equitably co-invest
in both wonder and shock,
without becoming paralyzed in-between these boundless awes,
deep wavering yes and please not yet,
not yet,
carving a gorge
deep echoing sacred reverence
and secular irrelevance,
ecstasy with ridiculing despair,
boundless sufficiency without endless satisfaction,
reiterating eternal integrity
not yet surely promised
beyond potential disintegration.

If solitude portends sublime co-operation,
what remains for aching loneliness?

Who and what could become redeemed
through double-binding isolations
within voiceless awe
for wonder indwelling silent shock
of ego loss
deep shadowing eco-gain?

To win to lose,
to lose to win,
co-arising deceptions again.

Deeply resonant depressions;
subliminal,
suboptimizing ego dominations.

Two delineations
with hairline fracturing co-definition?

What would be blissful contentment’s promise
without any dissonant content
for comparison?

What are omnipotent spirits
without ego vacuuming materials,
evidence of necessary,
hopefully sufficient,
deep double-binding awe
that we,
even I within we,
have been something,
someone,
someone’s,
rather than the far more statistically likely
nothing at all
evermore.

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The Senior Center

The Senior Center was a beehive of active waiting
to die.

Bingo
but not ballroom dancing.

Knitting
but not garden expansions.

Physical therapy
but not yoga
and not chi gong,
much less mindful meditations
sung in four part harmony.

The new guy,
just growing into sixty-five,
asked them
How would we like to be remembered
one hundred years from now?

That doesn’t seem likely,
I know,
but perhaps more likely together
than playing Solitaire
side by side.

I would like to be remembered
as healers of The River
said a somber SeptemberGenerian woman
surrounded by ancient lady friends.

No one needed to ask why.
We all knew
what was coming downriver
for future regenerations
of thirsty toxined minds
with biodiverse bodies.

And so we found younger allies
who owned property along The River,
beginning with the railroad company,
and the Mohegans
and the Pequots,
where a Senior knew a Senior
with a well-placed daughter,
and sometimes a son
of unusual cooperative and long-term focus.

Together we planted firs
and cedars along polluted and denuded banks,
for future generations to manage,
harvest for housing
and furniture
and fiber
and possibly even coffins
waiting for memories of polluted rivers
to die.

That was one hundred years ago
we started
in this regenerative Senior Center,
and still going strong
as each year
a new incoming class
of those who finally reached sixty-five
joined our river healing project,
more recently also producing fruit trees
and berries,
flax
and hemp,
mushrooms
and nuts
and sweetgrass baskets
woven by SeptemberGenerians.

Women and a few surviving men
and some more in-between
smiling together
at the round cedar table in the back,
remembering Elder healers
of our barren land
and naked River.

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Saturday Night

It’s another Saturday night
ending this week
as started
alone again.

I came here
almost two years ago
to my retirement hermitage
but oddly,
and often uncomfortably,
shared with my hurt kids,
mental and physical illness
adopted and then adapted;
an asylum for the perpetually incontinent.

Cars pass by.
Sometimes a loud motorcycle
or two or three or four
or even more
here on the southern boundary
of a county seat
in a State
where rural counties
have been disenfranchised
of political purpose.

Our largest employers
are two tribally owned casinos.
One across the Thames River
flowing past our backyard retreat.

Our second largest income producer
may be the County Courthouse
where attorneys and police
collude to extort voluntary donations
from poor young adults
red and yellow,
black and white,
guilty of speeding
and texting
and smoking medicine
without a license
in Great White Father’s sight.

I have been listening and watching
for what this half acre is.
We are not as rural as I had hoped,
with State highway 12 too near my front yard,
but this place is also not urban
or suburban.

What it is not,
whom we are not,
seems more clearly articulated
than any positive definition,
refining our becoming quiet place,
alone together,
shunned by healthier neighbors.

It’s another lonely ending
anticipating yet another not new beginning
tomorrows stretching out alone
long retiring shadows
on this southern edge
of a Connecticut County Seat
without apparent purpose
or co-defining meaning.

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