Ode to the Weed We Seed

Homeowners are universally agreed

that a perfect yard is free of weeds.

 With impotent hypertensive rage,

a circuitous never ending war is waged.

This time consuming, irritating bane,

can drive even the most patient insane.

Yet still those weeds thrive and breed

as alternately we seed, weed and feed.

                                                                            

God’s cursed ground is potent indeed!

Yet in denial, we chemically spray,

temporarily nuking the evil away.

We make it our horticultural creed:

these “vegetational” murderous deeds

will permanently make our yards weed free.

 

While “the sweat of man’s brow” is our lot,

I say give it up, stop the madness, it’s too hot!

Enjoy life, make peace and ignore this curse. 

Revel in your free time and heavier purse!

The word weed has many different meanings.  Widow’s Weeds are a mourning outfit, albeit the reason for the name escapes me, as men don’t have WidowERS Weeds. Of course, in our day, WEED is synonymous with marijuana, although I am discontented with their “ownership” of a word that to generations past meant a great deal of work.  In Genesis Ch 2 God curses the ground to produce weeds for man to wrestle with “by the sweat of his brow”. From that most uncomfortable punishment that Adam had to endure to my own time period, tenacious fast growing weeds of the nasty “coup” type are always but one missed sweaty session away from completely taking over my flower beds.

I have been in a constant battle with the enemy for clean landscaping beds.  I wish I had kept all the receipts over the years related to flower bed maintenance; I bet it is in the thousands.  Some people just don’t care about the weeds, let nature take its course.  Those lucky souls don’t have a Home Association, the scourge of the suburbs, the Hitler of home ownership.   The ability to put a lien on your home for grass that is too high or too many weeds are a boon to yard maintenance companies. I swear they are in bed together.  In any event, a home association and society neighbors are good negative enforcers for landscaping laziness.  And in my neighborhood, “the weeds liveth not, nor seeds produce”.  So the following poem is a humorous poke at our attempt to control these little monsters.

And this year I am throwing up my middle finger as I build a home far away from Home Associations.  Weeds and wildflowers are welcome.

 

Ode to the Crap of CPAP

snoring

Sleep comes poorly to those

who have obstructed airway flow.

Sometimes snores shake head-to-toe;.

sometimes breathing entirely slows.

Obstructive snorts make bedfellows rage

causing connubial bliss to quickly go.

Eventually an ultimatum is given:

fix the problem or sleep apart.

So the poor sufferer is medically driven

to silence snoring’s unpopular sound

hoping that a cure for these snores is found.

Medical providers order a study of sleep.

Sleep studies, a torture of this age,

are ordered to determine apnea stage.

Trussed up with tape and wire

the sufferer can barely walk to pee.

This unfashionable technological attire

is a nightmarish and scary sight to see.

The main treatment is splinted air,

as “CPAP” keeps the airway apart.

But the mask is enough to scare

even the most intrepid, fearless heart.

CPAP breathing is like snorkel learning;

uncoordinated, breathless, a fearsome start.

Trussed up each night and yearning

to resume their former snoring bliss.

And many give up, eagerly returning

to the danger of the apneic kiss.

But most don’t know how concerning

the danger of Sleep Apnea really is.

Physicians know this dangerous condition

leads, over time, to a short living attrition.

Organs gradually fail and fall apart;

hypoxia an organ-deprived mission.

Oxygen-deprived brains do not keep smart.

This gradual damage forces organs to depart

as oxygen deprivation kills organs and heart.

So breathe deep, life is sweet!

Be grateful for silent sleep!

Do not consider free breathing cheap

(no matter what it takes to keep).

I have Hypermobility Syndrome, which is strongly associated with sleep apnea.  So for the last 12 years I have had a love-hate relationship with my snorkel device.  I try and make lemonade but there are times when I really just want to squeeze the lemons and toss them at someone.  This is satirical humor at its most subtle with an attempt to be grateful.

Forgone (Pleides)

Falling into despair

Failure seizes all thought

Forsake mad existence

Flee blind as fear…. engulfs

Fly to dark depths unknown

Foment restless sleeping

Forgone, my unseen wounds

— ♥ ♥ ♥ —

This was an attempt to describe feelings associated with the intense stress of this year of hell.

Pleiades: The title is one word.  The first or last word of the sentence matches the first word in the single title. All first words start with the same letter as the title.  There are 7 lines, each 6 syllables! 

 

Feud (Pleides)

 

Feud rises with cold lies

Frost-filled with icy hate

Fight murderous desire

Fire singes angry thought

Fend off berserker state

Flee this frenzied fighting

Forswearing my mistakes

Anger can fuel carnivorous feelings, no matter whether it is expressed as hot or cold emotion.

Pleiades: The title is one word.  The first word of the sentence matches the first word in the single title. All first words start with the same letter as the title.  There are 7 lines, each 6 syllables! 

Picture: plus.google.com

Spark (Fibonacci)

“Spark”

lights up

……IDEA…….

Vision awakens

 as neurotransmitters ignite.

This energy releases to surrounding neurons

as images coalesce into fireworks of concussive epiphany.

A fibonacci for your July 4th celebrations.  Epiphany feels like the spark that turns into a firework to me.

Fibonacci:  a non-rhyming poem structured with the Fibonacci sequence (0 or 1, 1, 2, 3, 5 etc).  Fibonacci sequence is adding the two prior numbers together to get the new number.   If one starts at “zero” then the first two lines are single syllable. Most poems stop at 13 syllables for the last line.  

 

Quadriatic Life (Senryu)

 

Quadriatic mood–

emotional dysfunction…..

Borderline living

∞  ∼  ∞

I know most of you are thinking “HUH”?  So here is the explanation.  I had a revelation when my gifted daughter was attempting to explain quadriatic equations to me, which in laymen terms are “U-curves” or “waves”.  It’s bad enough that I have to learn from a child in school; even worse that at the time, she was in 7th grade.  Yes, quadriatic equations are being taught in 7th grade gifted classes.  Mind blowing.

Anyway, I like math concepts and theoretical physics.  I just cant do the math (although poetry is closely related to math, and I know several mathmaticians who indulge in the art).

While my daughter was explaining the equation for quadriatic U curves, I realized that here was a math equation for dysregulated moods!  And “quadriatic life” stuck in my head.  Now if there was just some lasting way to flatten the top of the curve out a bit……

So what are quadriatic U-curves? The math of quadratics is intrinsically related to a U-shaped curve known as a parabola. Perhaps the most familiar example is a stream of water that shoots from a drinking fountain. There are many other examples, such as the cross-section of a satellite dish or the cables on a suspension bridge.

Psychologists use the parabolic curve to map out the “wave” of moods.  In mood dysregulation, the top of the curve ( or the highest intensity of the mood) is much higher and wider than persons without mood disorders.  I was able to put this together during one of my DBT sessions.  DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) is a treatment for borderline personality disorder and I have so far found it to be transformative.  For the first time in 40 years, I have really started to know who I am and how I function.  My hope is that a better, wiser, less impulsive, less dysregulated ME will eventually emerge.

Senryu: same as Haiku structure but the theme is generally related to relationships or feelings while Haiku stresses nature

 

Set Me Free

I know you had a plan for me;

I chose my path so stubbornly!

Now looking back my road is black.

I cannot change this path without Thee.

Body broken, mind unsound;

I’ve given up, there’s no more ground.

A twisted path is all I see–

Oh dearest Lord please help me.

Please wake me up, un-taint my heart!

Straighten my road, perfect my part.

Revise my plan, help me to stand

and keep me safe from Satan’s hand.

Lord, make my dark road white as snow.

Forgive my sins, restore my soul.

Purify my heart and make it whole.

Set me free that I may show

Other sinners the way to go.

While  I cannot speak for other Christians, my life road has been rather rocky with both physical and mental disorders.  I wrote this a long time ago when I was gripped with issues related to Borderline Personality Disorder.  At the time, I didnt know what was wrong, and God in His mercy has allowed me to be diagnosed and treated.  Just because one is a Christian doesn’t mean that one has perfect mental health.  God heals whom He will, and for others He plans to use your problem or condition to further His will.  Seek His will and be ready for the call.

Distraction Attraction

 

Our electronic life, so full of attraction!

All worldly wonders now a click away.

When gone, panic is our first reaction;

Each minute like hours without our “play”.

          -<-o-o->-

Time now filled with manic distraction

with little of it left to be quiet and pray.

We don’t realize the actual fraction

withdrawn from time with God every day.

-<-o-o->-

Beware, Satan’s title is  “Lord of the Air”!

He controls this seductive electronic parade

and flies with glib glee on every air wave,

tainting hearts that could otherwise be saved.

 -<-o-o->-

We blindly feast on our entertainment crave

as his media slithers down the evil grade.

With sly patience he addicts the TV slave’s;

Brainwashed, few see what he has made.

He is the master of lies; we have been played.

 -<-o-o->-

Wake up and listen to every word said!

“Background noise” allows him in;

He is whispering his lies into your head

and tempting even the strongest to sin.

 -<-o-o->-

I used to think that technology and devices werent inherantly evil, but I am starting to think otherwise, as they have no inherant moral compass and tends to lead Christians away from spending time with the Lord and others.  Reading Christian blogs is not spending time with the Lord and others.  Yes, I am using a blog to encourage you to get off of it and spend time with the Lord and others!  I see the irony!

In my own life, I must be ever vigilant that Satan will do all he can to distract and cause me to spend less time in worship and prayer and more time in fruitless pursuits.  I used to be a devoted gamer, but I realized that I had to put my faith and morals in the backseat in order to take on the role of mage or healer etc and perform lawless acts in order to get good stuff.  That mirrors what Satan wants to do in reality.  And what one practices will infiltrate one’s mind, either in indifference or outright rebellion to God’s authority and rule.  These last few months have allowed many to re-focus on neglected parts of their life.  I hope you have had some time to do this for yourself.

So I will try, and I hope you will think about who or what is driving you in your own life. 

And God Bless Us, Everyone.

 

 

The Gun that Killed Poncho Villa

There is a famous myth in the Brook clan;

a legend through generations told.

And my dad relates it with full Élan

as he allows the details to unfold.

“My dad and Uncle were genuine cards,

each as slick and wiley as the other.

And they wove stories that Shakespeare the bard

would only have told a sneaky brother.

These “Pieces of work” did not tolerate

dicey stories that seemed too tall to tell;

if the story did not corroborate

a cordial invite was given to hell.”

“One day, Uncle, with quite a drunken gate,

wobbled into our house with gun-in-hand

and with inebriated speech did state

and swear,  as he did solemnly stand,

this old gun had a history so great

grandpa would pay to hold it in his hand.”

“What’s this history so great?” pop did say.

“Wh-ell, dish gun’s a killer, doncha know,

it ta-hook Poncho Villa’s life the sad day

that (burp) to His Great Maker he did go.”

“What! Don’cha waste my time with this sad rhyme”

roared my irate pop,  quite irritably.

“You are just a drunk, crazy old bastard

and I just don’t have time, so off with ye!”

“Stung, Uncle insisted, with blazing eyes,

that this rusty old gun must surely be

the one and only rare, unique and prized–

and missing— gun that shot Poncho V.

“Aghast, Pop measured him with blazing eyes.

In a flash, with one great bellow and punch

he sent his brother-in-law through the door,

then sat down with a sigh to eat his lunch.”

“What happened to that “rare and priceless gun”?

All good tale-tellers have to speculate:

that dodgy seller surely had some fun

and took that money to the gambling gates!

This story is a legend in our family, so I thought I would share it as a rhymed poem in iambic pentameter (10 syllables to a line).  People often crashed through doors and windows in Norristown, PA, where my ancestors lived and eked out a living.  The story is faithfully handed down as told by my Grandpa Leo Kingston Brook, a storytelling genius, to my dad Lee Charles Brook, a second storytelling genius, and then to me.   Today is my dad’s birthday if he were still living, so it is fitting and bittersweet that I remember my favorite story on a day that makes me a little sad. The memories surrounding this tale make me smile and miss the mystery of their richly hued, one-of-a-kind,  tongue-in-cheek stories.