“People My Age “

I will never understand
Your inability to love.
Your wastefulness.
Your lack of gratitude.
Your inability to appreciate the shimmering details,
the small things
right before your eyes.
Your boredom.
Your insistence on misery,
for yourself
and everyone around you.
Your unwillingness to speak to your children
like real people
for any length,
or at all.
Your falseness.
Your lack of substance
and the way you fill in the gap with lies
and pretense
rather than effort.
Your facebook.
Your self obsession.
Your self loathing.
How you can be so self obsessed when you hate yourself
so much.
Why you just follow along,
with
all the trends,
the meaningless music,
the constant tv
and ever increasing
commercial breaks.
The sexualization
of everything.
Sluts.
Pretending that allowing
everyone to look at your
everything
is owning the skin you’re in.
Make up.
Shapewear.
Controlling the people you claim to love.
Not allowing your child’s other parent
to parent.
Letting your child be the parent.
Children and technology.
Children who can’t speak,
use a toilet,
use utensils,
but know how to operate a cell phone,
the remote,
a game controller,
netflix,
their parents.
Lack of imagination.
Schools catering to unparented children
because otherwise there would be no one
to cater to.
The “______ Lives Matter” game.
You don’t understand
that no lives matter
equally.
That all you have is you
and your limited perception.
That, as long as you refuse to acknowledge
how limited your knowledge and experiences are
you can never grow.
All that matters
is already right in front of you
but you insist
on pretending you’re headed for another life,
a future
you imagine
but that is in no way connected
to your present actions.
When did living like today is the last
boil down to
a frat party?

Daily Dose: Unmoored

via Daily Prompt: Unmoored

They told me,

When I was young,

That the dock was the only safe place.

No life preserver

Or boat

Could serve at substitute for the semi solid wharf,

Despite what I saw others act out;

Flying across the water

Or pushing it aside with their bodies,

Gliding,

Weightless.

“Weightlessness is sin, ”

They impressed upon me.

” The cruel spirit

Of hatred and vengeance for the wayward,

Would never put more on you

Than you are able to bear.

But He built you weak

And He built you fragile,

And He built you wicked, and to untether

From the pier of misery

And righteous fear

Is to lean unto your own understanding;

To selfishly profess

That you are your own master

And challenge He

Who had his son tortured

And put the blood on our hands. ”

What they failed to mention was

The beauty of the open sea,

Made all the more breathtaking

In contrast with its fearsome power.

They never mentioned

How  the waters were teeming with life,

Unimaginable shapes and shifting colors

That may have burned awe of a majestic creator into my mind,

In place of paralyzing fear.

Unmoored, at last,

Adrift amidst alien scenery,

I see the futility

Of life at the end of a rope.

What then, is your faith,

Having never faced the Power you give your life to,

Out of horror at the thought

Of facing the Power?

Your anchors be damned,

Any and all.

You think you’re in control-

Wages, dreams of wealth,

religion, and grave plots;

Waiting to rot,  like the salt encrusted timber

You lash your soul to,

Until the day

It’s taken back by the sea.

Daily Dose – Outlier

via Daily Prompt: Outlier

Small, icy orb

Demoted from planet status

In favor of the sweaty, bloated

Gassy spheres

basking in the glow

Of sure destruction.

The ice,

Way out here,

Glitters,

Tries to reassure me

That my outlier status

Is more beautiful than the well accepted melt down

Near a merciless sun.

My soul bears its own illumination.

Daily Dose – Meaningless

I could write a poem. I could be brief and say, “most things” or write a witty haiku to concisely make the same point, but there’s a List of Meaningless Things running through my head and I’m feeling it. Shine on, list. Do your thing!

  • Social Media
  • The news
  • College, insofar as academics are concerned. If your parents will pay thousands of dollars for you to figure out which booze you should never drink and what you like sexually, by all means, it’s a once in a lifetime chance to fuck off and discover yourself, for most people.
  • Public school in general. Don’t kid yourself, it’s just fancy free(-ish) daycare.
  • Voting. I always say it’s like a coloring book – sure, you picked which pretty colors to put on the page and it made you feel special, but that didn’t change the lay out of the thick black lines, did it? (Just ask Florida.)
  • Other’s opinions. Feedback, input, context and perspective are great, if you don’t depend on others to define you.
  • Stuff.
  • Worry.
  • Beauty. Our culture is so obsessed with such fleeting qualities. I remember the old country song about the girl with, what was it first, a glass eye or fake arm? She starts taking off all her fake parts-peg leg, prosthetic arm, glass eye, wig-and by the time she’s done there’s more of her in the chair in the corner than standing before the singer. I can’t help thinking how many girls must enact this routine every night, despite two healthy legs, functioning arms and perfectly good eyes. You can paint, color, insert and strap on a whole fake human!
  • Appearances in general.
  • “Socialization. ” Homeschool families know all about the questions you get asked on this topic. You know that thing I say about all the world’s problems and bad parenting? My kids can wait til they’ve developed their own sense of self, morals and convictions before being subjected to the hoarde.
  • Financial success. Unless stuff really does make you happy, I suppose. It’s success of the soul that truly matters.
  • Relationships with people who only care about themselves, without truly loving themselves.
  • Chatter without substance.
  • Talk without action.
  • Radical political opinions on your social media account.
  • Pop music.
  • Life, on any greater cosmic scale outside this moment.  And isn’t that the beauty of it? My life only matters to me, and those directly within my bubble. I am free to live out simple happiness, so long as my happiness doesn’t stomp out anyone else’s joy. My happiness already resides within me,  it’s my job not to lose track of it or walk away from it towards the heaps of talk and appearance and glimmering junk stacked along the roadside.

Do you agree with my list, or do you think there are points I should reconsider?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/meaningless/

Daily Dose- Ordinary

via Daily Prompt: Ordinary

I.

I could be

that ordinary girl, they raised me to convince people

I was;

with a closet full of blouses,

a good career, and

heaps of college debt I chip away at

with gratitude;

Dishes in the cupboard, a neat set

I received as a wedding gift;

plants on the window sill and a cat

whose box I dutifully scoop

each morning,

in a room no one uses.

I could collect coupons

and pebbles from the beach

and get together with the neighbors

on warm saturdays

to have a beer on the deck

and watch the sun set as the children chase each other

across the neatly manicured lawn.

I could be-

I even aimed to be,

but along to the path to Great Ordinary Achievment

I saw a light through the trees.

II.

I cannot convince people

that I am anything resembling ordinary.

I’ve given up trying.

My suitcase holds a homemade kilt,

patched together with leather scraps

and a rabbit pelt,

a couple of shirts, one black,

one intricately patterned in green and gold and blue;

I do not work for money,

but for my family,

teaching my children what truly matters

outside the constraints of waxed tile floors

and desks attached to the seats;

my college debt will be forgiven

in eleven more years, because I talk to the right institution

without ever giving them a penny-

they know I don’t have any to spare and I’m grateful for our understanding.

I own two pink plates and bowls,

and two of each in blue,

two tin cups

and a box of plastic flatware that were not

gifts from the zero guests in attendance

at the courthouse the day

my beaming boyfriend

Became my glowing husband.

The windows in the bus

have no sills

and my treasures live in a box

with a bronze clasp, and the children speak in hushed voices

every time I pull it out

to rifle through the polished stones and four leaf clovers.

The dog prefers to wander

and grows morose between four walls.

She craves the feeling of moss and leaves beneath her paws,

the wind singing in her ears as she races

to the stream’s edge to drink

with her feet in the water.

I collect road kill

and draw pictures upon,

or make wind chimes and hair ornaments of their bones

that they might live again

rather than be dumped in a city disposal site

far from the cries of their kin.

We get together with our brothers and sisters of the road

for cheap booze and shitty liquor

and shoot off fireworks under the bridge

or gather around a pit, warm and bright

and eat day old bread and beans from the can,

as the children dance wildly

in the moonlight to the sounds of the mandolin,

the guitar, maybe a kazoo

and the rise of fall of voices and laughter

through the moonlit wood,

where,

perhaps,

some well meaning young lady pauses on the path

unbuttoning her collar and wondering

where the flickering light creeping into her line of her sight,

and the drifting, jaunty music

might lead

off the beaten path;

this life is beautiful

and anything but ordinary.

Daily Dose-Controversy (Not my usual fare)

This is a long and nasty one, not what I strive for, but this topic motivates my lifestyle and my thinking. I would really appreciate it if you could read all the way through and by all means, comment!

I’ve never had a strong opinion on a major subject changed so quickly. There was a woman in my small town of residence at the time who  we’ll call C. H. It was one of those small towns where the interstate became a main drag through down before proceeding at high speed on the other side of town, a mile away. C. H.  lived right off this road with her husband and their three kids. Her two year old was frequently seen playing in the busy road, or grabbed up after  throwing rocks and sticks at cars, and carried back to the house. Everyone in town knew about C. H. Which is why, when she became pregnant with her fourth and fifth babies, twins, and rumors of her continued intoxication  swirled, and then the boys were born at a respective one and one and a half pounds, very little money was dropped into the collection jars placed in stores around town.

I was raised a good little Christian girl. Long straight hair, Mary Janes and panty hose. People frequently asked if my sisters and I were home schooled. Despite being an apple that fell quite far from the withering tree, that little girl will pops out from to time. And it was her who reacted, at work at the gas station, when C. H. came in. She’d just left bingo at the legion and come to buy smokes and lottery tickets with her winnings before proceeding to the hospital.

“Yeahhh, ” she grumbled,” I gotta fuckin drive to town cuz one of the kids died. I had to leave bingo. ”

Tears  pricked the backs of my eyes, but the sweet little Sunday school girl politely handed C. H. her change and mumbled condolences. She left and I ducked into the back room to cry. Little did I know she wasn’t even a unique sort of horrible. Women like her are a dime a dozen.

Maybe a month later, I’m at my other job, and the sweet little child is back to fiercely stand against my coworkers in a debate on abortion. “Poor, innocent babies” is my platform. And then someone says it, the most obvious truth : “So C. H.’s  kids are better off alive ?” It hit me like a ten ton truck. No one engaging in the debate had that smug look of having shut down an opponent. No one was proud to have changed my mind.

And since then how many children have I met whose mothers’ thoughts I can only assume were not fully formed regarding the genesis of the lives in their care. There was baby S. While pregnant her mother was regularly heavily intoxicated. I saw her when she was two months old and her drug addled father forgot her food before being driven way out into the country with her, to a house in a place with no stores open late at night. He asked me to rock her to sleep so she would stop crying. I was a teenager, freshly out of my parents’ house and naively in the wrong place, with the wrong people. I didn’t know who to call and I couldn’t  drive. I laid the baby on my chest and cried with her. The next day I declared a social work major, but my school cut the department, in the middle of a semester no less. I dropped out.

I should have realized it was a bad decision anyway. You know what a whole slew of good social workers have in common? They quit. They go in wanting to help and find themselves overloaded, hands tied with red tape, unable to do the things they came to do. I should know from my own childhood, after having it gently explained to me by one such social worker – there are so many kids who have it worse than I did. The ones on the brink of starvation, or being hurt badly enough to be hospitalized or draw attention from teachers are the children who get tossed into the gamble of foster care and group homes. While people like my father, from his twisted mind to his testicles, rejoice in the freedom to behave as they please, because the powers that be are busy.

There’s R. He’s five now. He still poops in his pants.  When he was two something happened, but no one will ever know what. He started aggressively touching other’s private parts. His suburban grandmother vilifies the other children. “We can’t punish R forever. Just let the others play with him.” His mother stays proudly silent, saying things like, “Yeah, I was waiting for you to talk  to me  about this,” when other parents come to her about what her son did to their kids. She’s lost relationships, been kicked out of homes, R has been kicked out of day cares. R’s mother is not seeking help for him, dragging  him from one place to the next, going from one boyfriend to the next. R has begun hurting and violating animals. He’s gotten smarter with the other kids. Instead of being violent now he calls it “Playing Privates,” and he asks the other kids to go somewhere secret with him so he can see them.

There are a startling number of girls I was friends with in high school who became teen mothers. I know every once in a while, despite everyone’s best efforts, there’s a kid who just won’t live like they were raised, but isn’t it safe to say good parenting could probably cut down the number of teenage parents, maybe even significantly? Instead I see all these girls’ parents thrilled to become thirty five year old grandparents, offering jobs, free lodging and babysitting, even watching the kid/s while mommy goes out daddy shopping and comes back knocked up by someone else. A lot of girls follow the teenage mother m.o., as indicated by the cutesie “look how creative I am” names they give their children (maybe a subject for another post. This is a topic that Really gets me), the cute little outfits and the complete and total lack of effort exerted to do any actual parenting.

One girl in particular from my hometown has three children, two of them born before she was twenty. They may not have matching fathers, but you can tell they’re a set by their cute matching names. All she ever talks about is herself, using relationship after relationship to seek validation without considering the effect it has on the small humans who have no choice but to strap in for the ride. The youngest is four, the oldest not quite nine. They have seen at least four men they knew as “daddy” come, stay for a while and then leave. Her middle child makes me think, in the next ten to twenty years we will see a name for the condition so many children now live in- being the only truly fatherless child in a batch where the others leave for visitation, but they’re always at home with mom and whoever she’s dating now, watching Thomas the Train wondering if anyone will ever come give them a second Christmas, or take you away for a weekend.

I could go on and on and on like this with one horrible example after the other, from the women I met in Washington who talk, in front of their three kids, about the other three they “adopted out,” but here they are, trying again, despite no change for the better in their circumstance, to the quiet little suburbs where “nice men” do meth and don’t talk about being molested as children, until their wife gets so drunk she accidentally brings up how that might be the reason her son demonstrates some odd behaviors. Oh, the Silent Suburbs make me sick. Below the poverty line there’s little to no hope. You’re generations deep in lack of education or opportunity, having grown up from one of these children I’m talking about, into an adult who creates more of the same. But the p.c. white ladies who give their children pills to make them behave and think they’re good people because they have jobs, while their husbands hide out in the basement watching internet porn and dreaming of a time when they thought life was full of possibility, those people I out and out hate. They have a choice. They know better. They could do something.Maybe after this drink, or after Ellen is over.

I want to see change. I want to see people respect themselves and therefore be capable of healthy relationships where they wait until they know what they want and with who to procreate. Creating little human accessories you get bored of once it quits being easy is unacceptable. Ladies, birth control is FREE if you have no money! Do I believe death is better than many of these kids’ lives? You bet I do. The only time anyone wants to talk about “sanctity of life” is during an abortion debate, not throughout a child’s actual life. Does this mean I think abortion is the answer? Fuck no! I think a little forethought is the answer. Just don’t get knocked up, for child’s sake!

I want to see people step up. I want to see people fight for an actual education for their children and stop this, “Don’t make the slowest kid feel bad” crap. I want the standards to quit being lowered and parents to rise to the occasion. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, all the world’s problems could be solved by good parenting. No one can stand in for a parent. I’ve had a long and miserable journey to that realization. Being failed by your parents leaves a permanent gap in your soul and any and every thing can happen as people grapple with and try to make up for that. Lots of people will repeat the very cycles I’m talking about just trying to get the family they never had, so motivated by desperation that they don’t slow down to see they’re creating another layer in the same mess they sought to escape.

Now I’ve been a lot of places, and met a lot of people from all walks of life, and the more well-to-do always seem shocked by my examples, as though this can’t be the majority. I assure you, I have not seen only one side. And, believe it or not, I don’t really like to stir the pot. (Insert catchphrase here: This is why I live in a bus.) I choose to change my reality drastically so as to raise my family as apart from the madness as possible, because I am painfully aware of my limited ability to enact large scale change. But how can you stay silent when THE CHILDREN ARE AT STAKE? Everyone’s future.

I was riding the city bus one day with my children and a man said to me, “You know, if you think about, the way you raise your kids affects the future.” I stared at him for a moment, agape. I said, “If you think about it? The children ARE the future. The way we raise them is EVERYTHING.” Do you know that? Do you realize there is nothing more important than your role as a parent? It seems our culture is moving farther and farther from this realization. Is it because, in this country (U.S.) the state will cradle you in its arms and carry your family, feeding them and paying for the doctor so you don’t have to work as hard? The decision to take on more children then becoming less of a burden for parents to shoulder? Not to mention, multiple fathers will just owe you multiple child support checks. Is there a way to offer help to those who need it without enabling bad, no the Worst, decision making? If you do well for yourself the government will just take a bigger slice of your pie, make you pay for overpriced services and accommodations yourself, making it nearly impossible to survive, leaving you with the choice to strain and fight to climb as close to the top as possible, knowing you can never make it all the way if you weren’t born into it and aren’t willing to fellate the right rich guy, or just give up altogether and live on the wealth of hand outs.

How did we even get here??? Again, this is why I live in a bus. This madness makes me hurt from my head to my heart to the deepest reaches of my soul. And we all know. The humor in family sitcoms now is all about how married people hate each other, kids hate their parents and everyone just wants to get laid. Everything else is about mindlessness and/or fear. We all know what’s happening. It’s right in most of our faces in some way or another but we just don’t deal with it. It’s rude to confront people. It’s painful to confront yourself. It’s hard work to shape up and fly right. We bounce between self loathing and the self perpetuated failure cycle, and telling ourselves to be confident until we’re just brazenly arrogant because we didn’t take the steps to have something to be confident about.

And, though I rant on and on, there’s one more vital bullet point. Child molestation is rampant and I have seen first hand far too many shame faced, tucked away secrets. Secrets that were tucked away by people they did not belong to! Mothers who don’t want to admit their failure. Fathers who would rather blame mothers. A string of boyfriends who can’t find a decent girl who hasn’t already been used up by thirty other guys and the only clean girl is his new girlfriend’s little daughter. I was raised on horror stories of little girls plucked from their front yards or routes to school and found in dumpsters and ditches. You know where I met monsters? Hiding inside a quiet old man hired to substitute by the principal, whose former school district just quietly let him go when he was found having sex with students; at my great uncle’s house when my mom took me to visit; at the neighbor’s when my dad couldn’t be bothered to wake up to take me to school so my mom left me next door when she left for work; and, as is incredibly common, in my own house, under my father’s wild, flickering eyes.

Do you know the three most important words here? DON’T BE QUIET! Children, demand to be listened to! Shout, cry, tell everyone until someone listens. Parents, listen! Be aware, ask questions, CARE. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I’ve yet to find a village I trust. If you’re still reading, thank you. I know this is disgusting to muck through, but it’s one of two things I care the most about and I’ve wanted to find some way to reach out for a long, long time. I don’t really know what I can do, other than live my life in the light, but it starts here, with my “voice.” What can we do?

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/27030/posts/1382071819