Can I Please, Please, Please Borrow a Dollar?”

Probable photograph of William Shakespeare, ci...
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  “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.”

 William Shakespeare

 

This is a cynical philosophy, and yet it is based on a truth that we call can learn from life experience.  The act of borrowing compromises our integrity because we loan out our reputation and dignity to another person by, first, admitting that we need something enough to promise to return it, thus establishing an attachment to the lender which is potentially unhappy, since there is a good chance, life being what it is, that we will not be able to make good on our promise, thus allowing our reputation and dignity to sink even lower.

 

Being a lender is the flip side of this situation, but with a twist.  A lender is someone who gives, but expects back.  He might put a timetable on the return, and he might charge a fee or interest.  This inevitably makes the borrower resentful, even if everything is on the up and up.  It might be honest on both sides, but the situation itself creates the tension.  No matter which side you’re on, the results cannot be good.

 

Carry on Tuesday #114

 

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Alone Time

By myself, I am reminded

Who I am, inside and out.

Not who I appear to be,

Not who I want to be,

But deep down,

Who I really am.

It takes some honest looking.

Even criticism.

And sometimes it hurts.

But it is good to know

Who we really are.

And when we’re alone,

Calm, sincere, open,

We can learn things

About ourselves

That we might never

Have realized before.

Sometimes it takes a crisis.

It does if you never reflect.

Something pushes you

To try to figure things out.

Why am I the way that I am?

And what am I going to do about it?

Sometimes you realize something

Very good about yourself.

And sometimes it is something

Not so good that concerns you.

Taking time alone to think

Can bring some startling surprises.

 

 

Poets United

Thursday Think Tank #57

 

Little I Ask

The Idiot

Prince Mueschken,

In Dostoyevky’s The Idiot,

Was so humble,

He never presumed to ask

For anything, even what

He desperately needed.

 

The poem, “Contentment”,

By Oliver Wendell Holmes,

Says, “Little I ask, my wants are few.”

 

Sometimes I’m that way.

I do and do for others,

And never think of myself.

I don’t think of my needs,

 

No matter how important.

This goes past humility

Into self-hatred, I think.

Into stupidity, such a shame.

 

 

Carry on Tuesday plus #113

 

Healing Journey in Alabama

Pneumonia of the lingula of the left lung on CXR.
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We all drove from different states,

To see, to see…

We didn’t know what we were

Going to see when we got to the hospital.

 

We knew you had been in a car accident:

At least two broken ribs and possible pneumonia;

We called on the cell phone on our way out of town

Just like we always do, but we caught Bonnie listening

To the nurse say you had pneumonia.  They hung up,

And Jackie lost it.  Grief set in.  Fear set in.  Doubt set in.

 

We talked about what would happen if you died.

What where our responsibilities?  The kind of stuff

You never want to think about until it’s too late.

 

It was a long drive.  Not distance, but emotional.

Jackie was miserable.  She didn’t know if this was
it.

She started thinking back about the good times;

no more of that.  And the horse you had adopted from

the animal shelter, Jackie named him Nugget.  Should

we take him, and how?  We had already talked about

the aged parrots—they would go with us, too.

We’d need a moving van for all this stuff, but whatever.

 

Then we got there.  You were helpless, drugged out on

Painkiller.  Always asleep or on the verge of sleep until
they stopped the drugs.  You started talking out of your
head, nonsense.

Some glimpses of experience, people, but not able to put it all

Together.  You could never figure out where you
were.  “At the old house”, you’d say, or “the house on Weoka Road”.

Never “hospital” or Baptist East Medical Center.

 

But each day, with plenty of prayers, in baby steps, you made progress.

With Bonnie, who had never left your side since the accident, never left

The hospital for anything, taking care of every little need of yours.  With

Family and friends coming to see you, praying for you, even back in Florida, New York, and California, they were praying.

And the very next day, your mind starts coming back, and you sit in a chair, your first time out of bed.  You have gone back and forth with pneumonia, but the staff have been on top of it, doing tests, moving you around, giving you oxygen.

And then you do the unthinkable.  You walk down the hall.

 

You are home now because many others were strong when you could not be strong for yourself.  And God was strong for us all.

 

Fellowship Fatigue

Coming on the scene,

I had felt to fuel the fire.

 

Comfortable for a while,

Then sensed a bump in style.

 

Being there a little longer,

It was a knuckle from the fellow.

 

I waited and waited,

To be transfixed by anywho.

 

But it never happened,

No connection.

 

Just rah, rah, rah,

And bring in the electrician.

 

 

 

3WW CCXLVII

Faithfully Disappointed

Tried and true,

Follower and leader,

One for the cause,

Always in the mix.

 

Looking for revelations

Confirming prayers

Teaching, singing,

Prophesying, discerning.

 

Full of faith,

Depending on hope,

Demonstrating love.

And concluding…

 

Is that all there is?

 

 

 

Carry on Tuesday #111

Wildcat

Loud impossible clanking maleables catch closing wrappers under leaping stovetops.  Reaching rainbows lamely lick kindergarten satchmo socks moving routes floored cutely. Squeezed elevens proper never realms veered tweezers punched ticks swatch smoothing wiped. Bowling fears cud been must mostly. Valiant growls make yules happy wet trees. Twelve redos quiet snappy pleasing from hell-holes. Toe-tapping ranking yuck-yucks bring feed toward cows and teepees. Greeting card jack-of-all-trades hit on precious hangman cantankerous elbows.  Wacked-out believers trending tamely heave apples at fur coat wearing freedom riders. Tank-driving army ants peep kicking angel food cake lovers. Jesting frank-and-beans griped cookie slept deed marks. Plum woozy campbell knees nordic temple teasing.

A Gift

My friends and family have always said I have a gift: my voice. When I was in elementary school, I sang soprano in the Florida Boy’s Choir.  I enjoyed the performances, the dressing up, the beautiful music–I got a good taste.

I went on to other pursuits after that, but my gift called me back again. In 9th grade, I returned, this time to a co-ed chorus.  We did a few token latin pieces, but as can be appreciated for young teenagers, our teacher kept us emersed in popular tunes that she knew well like the Beach Boys and the Beatles.

I continued on in high school, where my teacher exposed us to Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals and permitted us to create our own choreography. It was interesting.

Then my dad talked to the manager of the Florida Boy’s Choir, who said Florida State University was one of the top schools for music majors.  We took a trip up to Tallahassee, and I fell in love with the hills and trees.

Florida State University Westcott Center
Image via Wikipedia

I started out trying to get into University Singers while being totally unprepared.  They made me sing the National Anthem– I learned my lesson, and stayed away from that group.  I sang in the Chamber Choir and the Gospel Choir, having some interesting experiences in both.

From there on out, it was just church choirs, which was my least favorite.  And indeed I eventually faded out of there.

Now I just brighten the ears of the person in the pew in front of me.  And in that I find very fulfilling and enjoyable.  As long as I spent on the stage, I think that it really was not for me.

Backing Down

It was coming.

I dreaded it with every muscle

In my withered body.

 

I hadn’t done my work.

It was obvious.

Everyone could tell on my face,

And I had no piece of paper on my desk

For her to pick up.

 

“So where is it?” she grumbled.

 

“I forgot to do it,” I smiled meekly.

 

“Okay, so don’t be like this one,

Who thinks he is too good to do his work!

And don’t let it happen again!” she said looking

Down at me in an oh-so-menacing way.

 

“I promise.”

 

Backing down was what was called for here,

Not wanting to cause a fuss,

Or threaten my grade for the semester.

A little lost face was worth it.

Overcoming

It happened again.

You had thrown your back out,

And you were stuck in bed.

 

Of course you waited almost a week

Before telling me of your plight.

You never want to bother me,

Figure I’m too busy.

 

Finally, you called me.

And I came to your house.

You didn’t look good.

You hadn’t bathed in a week.

 

You had sent me to the store

To buy a few groceries

And something for dinner.

 

A week later,

You finally made it to the toilet.

A month later,

You finally went again.

 

You survived on Gatorade,

One meal a day,

Peanut butter crackers,

And Little Debbie snacks.

 

Then your knees went out.

It was the same all over again.

 

Stuck in bed, food deliveries,

Taking in the mail,

And in the end,

Helping with the shower.

 

You worked towards that.

Every day,

A little closer

To the restroom.

 

Both to the toilet

And to the shower.

 

For the shower,

You needed more

Strength and balance.

So it took more time.

 

But you got there.

You made it.

You were determined

And patient,

And you made it.

 

 

Wednesday Poetry Prompts

Poetic Asides #137