Searching for Shangri-la

I was walking barefoot in a concrete jungle many years ago

lusting for a snickers bar in a place that didn’t snow

the intense summer heat

heated up the concrete

but didn’t it burn my feet

that were weathered like fine leather

made hard from living on the street

where I drifted like a rudderless boat

in a sea of humanity

trying to maintain my sanity

while searching

for shangri-la

****

Don’t Read This

whatever made you look at these lines of cobbled words

stitched together like a tapestry hanging from my imagination

waiting for eternal condemnation?

silly sentences strung out in a parade of useless information

stuck together with super glue and honey – a sweet creation

containing a hidden message that must be lurking near

between adjectives and verbs and visions of a good beer

there lies no motivation for sounding so insincere

it’s simply that

I’m glad you’re here!

***

The Last Castle

names of fallen warriors carved

below the castle on the sea wall

invaders all

finally after a century

the towering castle

did fall

past glories reduced to rubble

and human bones hidden

in a secret tunnel

stories told about the ancient ruins spread

across the mighty seas to foreign cities

claiming the castle was haunted by the walking dead

The ragged ramparts are covered with vines and weeds

voices cheering in a cold wind from the past

admiring the castle’s warriors breathtaking deeds

the once majestic towers still stand

a testimony to the castle’s builders

who came from another land

****

The Search For Knowledge

layered in luminescent luxury

rests

a library

inside the Tree of Knowledge

sheltering history

and many a mystery

going back to the dawn of time

when human’s searched for the sublime

but mistakenly equating brute

force to an education

seeking wisdom

in a politically divided nation

where ignorance

is as pervasive as cockroaches in cheap motels

while truth seekers

live through myriad hells

****

Loss of Empathy

No mercy in the Age of COVID planet wise

when empathy dies

each day with thousands of deaths becoming data

for bean-counters and politicians

on secret missions

hospitals full of victims dying alone

in an ICU zone

it becomes hard to bear

hearing about millions dying

and the survivor’s despair

and some who just don’t care

and have no empathy

to spare

1970 Diary

helicopters in the sky playing “That’ll be the day I die…”

1970

“Let it be” – words of wisdom from The Beatles that spoke to me

I lusted for an “American Woman”

Crossed the Song Bay Bridge under fire listening to

“Bridge over Troubled Waters”

wishing young men back home

would “Walk a Mile in My Shoes”

and know about a grunt’s blues

too many villages on fire

“Somethings Burning” by a ghostly choir

Smoky Saigon opium dens wistfully playing

“House of the Rising Sun”

1970

long range patrols in the night

“Travelin’ Band” playing in the USA

going into hostile territory every day

wondering what’s “Up around the Bend”

living in a hot humid climate

“In the Summertime” that seemed like it would never end

Taking “The Long and Winding Road,” in country

dreaming of “Lookin Out My Back Door” at home

trying not to “Spill the Wine” because I’ve seen

“Fire and Rain” and will never be the same again

***

Don’t Look Back

when you hear the cry of wild wolves behind you

don’t look back

when walking on a dark forest’s floor you hear a roar

don’t look back

when unwanted memories haunt you

look ahead

don’t look back

instead

plow ahead

with your dreams

who knows what the future brings?

***

The Wild Winds of Wonderland

like a stampede of stallions across a fertile plain

the wild winds of wonderland carries dreams to countless souls

like a heavenly hurricane

and in this magical domain no one has a name

thoughts are colored lights vibrating with energy

and a positive synergy

that’s extrasensory

celebrated in a cosmic liturgy

for the ages

***

Dad’s Fading Away

Like leaves falling off of trees with the advance of winter

my Dad’s memories are caught up in the winds of change

as he struggles to remember my name

I watch his eyes wander off to other times

back to the “good old days”

when he was young and viral

a proud Marine and father of three

he will always be

my hero

sometimes his eyes are clear and when he looks at me

I can see the man he use to be even though he’s ninety-three

sometimes suddenly he talks rationally

but those days are fading away

as I watch him every day

waiting for a miracle to come his way

I wait

and pray

***