On this day of institutional Thanks
Which would normally lead me to the opposite conclusion
I can’t deny my gratitude
For yet another chance
For happiness, peace, contentment:
A new family
My other failed or spent chances
Have led me here
So I offer grudging but sincere thanks for that as well
And I uncharacteristically submit to the Wisdom
On this day
And hopefully on other days
Stubborn, agnostic, and cynical.
I’m still carrying the key
To my parents’ front door,
Worn thin as foil
From forty years of jingling
In my pocket.
Please, why is it still here
On this key-ring,
While that nine-light,
Crossbuck style door sits rotting
In a barn because we
Never throw anything away
Except the opportunities
To make amends?
We’re much prouder
Of our collections
Of moral declarations
And hoarded hurt feelings.
© Kevin Strohmeier 2017
I’m not going anywhere I go get out some sleep and sleep well okay thanks so I have no no intention to do anything for me a bit too much to be here too much for me this week so far away and yes yes please you can ask for a follow so you could be the best friend I would have been you would love to love me love love me so I can do it for all my friends and family and I would be nice if I had you to love me forever I would be so wonderful love to love me you forever love me and I miss your kisses love love me so I can do it forever forever love love me love love forever and love love it so beautiful I hope love love me love you too so beautiful I hope love love me so I love love it and I miss her too so I love love it all she does love is it beautiful and beautiful love it is my heart to be the love of that beautiful beautiful and wonderful beautiful beautiful morning and kisses from her beautiful smile
(Created from repeatedly choosing the center autofill button, which presumably reflects one’s most frequently used words.)
I was talking to my neighbor
Just the other day.
We’ve not a lot in common
And there wasn’t much to say.
He’s all about his money,
And I’m just into art.
The seeds of conversation
Were pretty hard to start.
He bragged about his cattle,
I griped about my sheep:
Which heifers he would cull,
Which lambs that I would keep.
But we both have shreds of family,
Some more alive than dead,
So that topic was the next one
To jump into my head.
I asked about his mother
And all her aches and pains.
I talked about my brother’s kids
And all the honors they had gained.
He told me of his in-laws,
The thorny branches of his tree.
A twinkle and a small smile
Were all he’d let me see.
“My brother’s wife was pardoned,
No longer out on bail.
And it’s months since my wife’s dad
Has spent the night in jail.”
I started laughing to myself
As we scuffed our boot toes on the floor.
He took my hand, grinning,
“My in-laws aren’t outlaws any more.”
Sheep grazing, plucking a tuneless melody
on grass strings, Poa pizzicato;
moving stage right accompanied by the muffled
drumming of black dress shoes.
Raucous blue jay clarinets in ageless
polyphony with mockingbird oboes,
crow cor anglais, and a soprano-alto chorus
in the treetops of this late July cathedral.
Modern and medieval combine as
an airplane drones, first a strident alto
then a slow glissando to bass
as it disappears into the distance,
and an all-male cicada choir chants
praise to Helios and the wide-eyed
beauty of cicala femininity.
Maestra, I stand in ovation and wonder
then return to my seat in anticipation
of your next encore.
July 29, 2012
From the pages of history and the memories of survivors
Come tales of those who are not like us,
Those whose feet itch to carry their persons
Where none have gone before,
Whose hearts twitch with the passions to make
Missionaries for God, adrenalin, or conviction:
They are all the same, yet they are not,
These modern-day conquerors and explorers.
These unwitting disciples of Nietzsche
Reject what society and their mothers say they
Should not do. Except his mother said, Go for it, and
His father said, Why not? And don’t forget to write.
But he forgot.
Life without limits, he would say, and he went so far
As to emblazon it upon his belt, but not his skin.
No orgy of hedonism for him, instead he rejected the seduction
Of comfort, conformity and the trust fund.
Young enough in body to believe in immortality,
It enabled him to do great things;
Perhaps old enough in spirit
To know that flesh is inconsequential.
No adrenalin junkie, he. His challenge
He approached intellectually, intelligently, as a perfectionist,
Avoiding the multiple heels of pride, haste, distraction,
The difference as pronounced as between those who can’t smell
and those who won’t.
His heroes were as various and incongruent as
Muir, T. Roosevelt, Gandhi, and Christopher McCandless,
Yet they collectively represent his personal commitments
To peace, parks, and passion.
What is to become of the survivors? They must
Reject the humanist’s outrage at illness and death.
It accomplishes nothing to deny dying as part of life
And deny humanity as part of the Natural Order.
Who can answer the existential question of why he had to go?
Nobody’s saying and nobody knows.
Life without limits, he would say,
And he lived to say it until his dying day.
©Kevin Strohmeier 2010
In memory of Benjamin Edward Strohmeier – 1990 to 2008
For a moment I saw an angel
as it turned into a whippoorwill
and it swooped across the field with
blazing flash light eyes.
I heard a cauldron bubbling
while I crept past a pond
but I think it was Dante’s Inferno
I had been reading last week.
A harpy is screeching
over by the treeline but it could
be a barn owl tracking down her
Elgar was prescient, thoughtful and loving
to have plucked Nimrod from the air
just for me
to ease my sorrow.
All around I see a
hate-filled world. But everywhere the
truth is elusive and your truth may not be
my truth and mine is not yours.
Let’s trade shoes and compare notes
after walking down different roads.
©Kevin Strohmeier 2012