Instruction and Institution

Ask a question.

Doubt a lie.

Tell a story.

Is it true?

Someone wrote it.

Someone made it up

In their head.

Could it have come from God?

Not directly, surely.

No mountaintop bestowal

Of stone tablets.

And whether or not

THAT happened, is questionable.

It makes for a great story, though,

And the story is useful

For instruction and institution.

Let’s just leave it at that.

Fine

I’ll be fine.

Just give me a chance

To fill my prescriptions,

Snack on those potato chips,

Make a Walmart run,

Fill up the tank

Of my gas-guzzling SUV,

Smoke my cigarette,

Drink a couple of beers,

Go hunting with my pals,

Take my dog to the park,

Take a ride in my boat,

Zoom around on my motorcycle,

Take a hit of acid,

Chew a bite of snuff,

Go to worship at my church,

Feed the homeless in my community,

Read a book,

Lay out on the beach,

Jog for a couple miles,

Sleep in a few extra hours,

Have a cup of coffee,

Get laid,

Collect my paycheck,

Say a prayer.

Yeah, I’ll be fine.

Walmart Pariah

A woman stands at the entrance

With a shopping cart full

Of her cherished belongings,

Waiting patiently on the generosity,

Or, rather, pity, or worse, guilt,

Of the passerby, to convict,

To shame, or maybe, on the rare instance,

To inspire, to give a gift.

Aren’t we all like her,

Dragging our materials

From house to house,

Packing them away

For that rainy or cold day,

That is sure to come?

Aren’t we petitioners

To passing angels or demons,

Or a god that plays favorites,

To have mercy or just indulge us,

One more time,

So we can get our fix,

Spoiled children of a wealthy parent,

Taken a few wrong turns on the streets,

The pariah or prodigal reduced to

Yearning after the feed of pigs,

Coming out of Walmart with

Their baskets full?

Spirals

Drifting through despair,

The emptiness tingles.

My soul quivers

At the tickling breeze

Of meandering routine,

The repetition of work,

And the high-pitched whistling

Of idle conversation.

The circular motion

Of a life without purpose,

A mind without focus,

And feet without direction,

All come together for an

Absurd account of a life lived

Without meaning.

Freedom comes with its own

Heavy chains,

And a weight that is a

Painful, woe-some

Burden to bare.