The times

Set out
To name
the way that you feel
the weight of the times
The miles
The decades of war within and without
The constant state of becoming
Not knowing quite who you are
Where you’ve gone
Or where it is that you are going…
But you constantly wake up to find
Something new
Inside yourself
Some kind of light
Are you gonna talk about
What it’s like stepping out
Into the night
The lights in the sky
Echo what’s inside
And just maybe
The way you want to really feel…
——-
Evelyn McHale
See her there
Her eyes they are only sleeping
Born Sept 20th 1923
Like me
Like you
named “the most beautiful suicide.” Because of a kids photograph taken 4 minutes after her after…
Was she afraid
Was she cursed
Was she like me
Was she like you
From the 86th floor
23…
Newly engaged
Determination
Caused her to land
Across the street …
From a past she won’t keep
See
Her clutching hand
Her face almost asleep
How can you not wonder
About the stories of women with men
And why we are constantly freightened
——
We all have darkness and light we all have things we just keep inside
We forget to hold
And to keep
And to remember
And every story
Inside every heart
And every storm
We’ve had to weather
And we all forget
How we
We
Along with the times
We are also constantly changing

– E
Regardingsamuel.com

Running

These days
it’s hard to remember who
And what
And why
it gets overwhelming
You’re already in
And you can’t find the exit now
you try to stand
you try to just keep going
But let me get to the point
——
there’s silence
And there’s commotion
In the skies
And there’s borders in these mountains
So you know things end
And things begin
And there’s some kind of order
Even when you’re frayed
And you’re tired
And you just feel wired
—-
Hey
You’re not alone
Me too
Me too
You’re not alone
I feel that
I feel that too

-E
Regardingsamuel.com

Southern skies

Look at this mountain built from sand
And
Sweat
While our sons grow strong against the winds
And
All of our daughters
Hearts
They weep bitter
From
All of our thoughts
We keep – locked inside of our poison-
And I don’t know why …
We thought we could just stand
Cold
Against the shoulder
Of every burden and every man
—-
And all of the rain –
and the sky it keeps falling
And all of her fists they are burning
Like the sun
But the wine it is drunk on her lips
—-
Look at the moon
She says
She has a full weekend
And all the cash she keeps
While they are still sleeping
Sits on the table
And
Her cabinets they are empty
But she pours me coffee
Saying I need to relax
While she shows me a book that she has found
——
But I can’t run like that
I’ve tried in the past
It turns into conversations
And late night confessions
——
Look at this mountain
Built from sand
All of our children
A southern soul
Hearts full
Like the cloud and the storm
That touch down
Leave your mark
A southern sound
In the sky
Passing years like mile markers
—-
But we run on
We run on
We run on
Look at us
These bones built from sand
Eyes like gin
There’s a guard at every heart
But we keep building –
A southern sound
And the sky it keeps falling
—-
Look at this mountain built from sand
And
Sweat
While our sons grow strong against the winds
And
All of our daughters
Hearts….they keep giving…

-E
Regardingsamuel.com

The change

Hey my brother
I know we grew up fast
Hey my sister
I know we get caught in the grind
Sometimes we feel so alone

There’s a hole in my soul
Where the pain sets in
A corner of the room where the light can’t —-
——
Hey my writer
Where’s the ballad for the working mamas
——
Hey-
I know they don’t sell it to you
Like they used to
But you’re doing better than you think you are
It’s so easy to fall behind
You know when the water rises
You know when the pain sets in
All around your home
You know when the other shoe drops
—-
But to these little victories
The overtime
The paid off debt
The living on a budget
The getting ahead
The raising of kids
The leaving the past behind
The stacking up cash
——
These little victories
In big cities
Small towns
Loving and living underground
Staying out of trouble
——
You’re doing better than you think you are
They don’t make headlines for the sobriety
It’s always the casualty
The fast lanes
But you know
How to kiss the fire
Keep your clutches from burning
Run all the lights in this town
And keep on climbing
——
I know it gets heavy
I know we all grew old somehow
—-
But sunlight still meets you
You’re still winning
You’re still you
Even while you’re changing
Even while you’re building
These small little habits
These take up all our days
And these small little victories
They will outlive our days
And
You keep on winning
You keep on building
Don’t be afraid of the change
It’s only grace
It’s only grace
It’s only running this race

-E
Regardingsamuel.com

Beagle in the City #303

Francis: Happy Dad’s day! To tha thin man!
Simon: you’re a good dad.
Francis: You’re an OLD man!
Simon: Everyday you go to Job. It sounds rough.
Francis: But this week you went to the Doctor. I’m cheerius…Is it aliens? Are you gonna get the draft? Ack! You caught the ugly? Do you have to go to a carpenter? Lay it on us…don’t hold back…I can take it…who’s gonna feed me snax?
Ethan: curious, you’re curious…also…you really don’t know what a doctor is do you?
Simon: Is it your trachea? Is it collapsing? Like Garf’s ?? Dad can you breathe?
Ethan: Hold it! Everybody just hold it…As it turns out…I have to prove I am human and I will have to continue to go back to the doc to select traffic lights, bicycles and other oddities. I will also have to continue to write poetry very poorly. But they are gonna let that slide…for now.
Francis: I knews it. . .
Ethan: Now, who wants to help me eat these pizza rolls?
Francis: Is this a twix question?

Sons and mothers

She says
Box up your –
Depressions, they
Are not impressing me-
She’s got a head full of dark horses
The sky is rain before her eyes
She shakes her hair down
You’ve got to manage your emotions
Or someday soon
The moon will pass across your window and close your eyes
—-
salvation still comes
For those who believe
But first
You will be brought to your knees
In the night
——
She says
Most of these days
She doesn’t relate
She doesn’t want to be a passenger in your seat
She’s got plenty to eat
She can go swimming on her own
She can pour her own drink
She doesn’t need you to feel complete
She’s stacking up cash
making her way
——
She’s not some ornament for display
——
And my
Son,
I can’t blame
All my trouble on some economy
——
It rains and it rains
And we all get opportunity
Somewhere somehow
Your search for truth
Will come back to you
You know deep inside
What’s been wrong
And how to make it right
——
There’s a mystery for each sinner
Trouble doesn’t wait in line
But son
every fourth step
it is an opportunity
To step out
And make a life just for you
But the old ways they will haunt you
They will call you
The groups that you ran with
They won’t understand
The jesters
And protesters
The debt collectors
And the ship wreckers
The couch surfers
And the hungry women
The high and the mighty
The fallen and the suicide
And you will have to decide for yourself
What kind of man
You will become
While your mother she is praying
As only a mother can
Because for her
Your life passed across her eyes
From the day you were born
Until the day that you will die…
——
Out here on the highway
Beyond the knot in your gut
You will find
the old sign still reads
And it says
A man is never incomplete
He will use the sand from his coffin
If it gets him shelter and bread to eat
And
You can’t keep what won’t be kept
You know
He’s gonna do
What must be done
——
But if you see him walking the street
Know it’s to his own beat
Every man is a season
And you can’t change what hasn’t changed in its own time…
——-
If there’s a future out here somewhere
If my years wasn’t such a long time …
If my youth wasn’t such a short time
If I could tell you
I would remind you
Don’t cheat yourself
The days pass the same way only once for us sons
But twice for our mothers

when I put my hand to the fire
only mothers feel the pain
and when you’re out there hungry
only mothers feel the pangs

Don’t cheat yourself
Don’t waste away at yourself
You’ve got to make a way
Because the days of building
They are short
—-
Keep your house clean
Cook your own meal
Pour your own drink
Stay on the path
Stay humble
Stay hungry
In the struggle and the rain
You never know what opportunity
Will bring

-E
Regardingsamuel.com

Quiet

Take the bread
From the children’s mouth
Talk about the better days
And how the times they’ve changed
—-
All our eyes color gray
You ask a lot of mother
To give up all her quiet days
—-
I know I’ve broken the flesh
And bone
I guess you could call this spirit home
give up
clouded skies
rain mixed
Winter haze
I’m not fading away
It’s only time for me to change
I can’t come here anymore
I
And
I
And
You
And
Truth
It’s time for me to change my habits
Small virtues
—-
have I seen
And felt the sun across
Your skin
I still feel you
I still see you
Nothing can always shine
Even you need a break
—-
clouded skies
rain mixed
Winter haze
They say there’s no harvest here
What happens to our youth
Body soft
Red tan
Lips drunk and lungs hot
You’re high
And my eyes colour gray
I can’t come here anymore
It’s just different seasons
It’s just different reasons
Even you need a break
They ask a lot …
But you
You can’t
Be
Anything
all the time
Keep our quiet days
——
-E

Regardingsamuel.com

Shorthand

Learning how to live with yourself and your own company is a huge thing…
How you act, how you love,how you treat yourself along with other people.

The whole world- short staffed – back to work, like kids leaving home, is this fair? Why is it so cruel…

We learned what we would live for
Work for
Thought we could be kinder
But instead sometimes, most of the time, forgot how to be civil and accidentally, for a time, treated others like we were at home,

Short staffed

bakers, makers, teachers, bankers, dentist, pastors, bartenders, short order cooks, long order hostesses, short hand mail workers, sex workers, and hungry men with appetites that were never thin but didn’t have a first pitch follow through to make it across a crisis, home plate or much less a schedule…

There’s a family of 12 that is sitting when you come in,
A table of 14 behind you
And the girl that greets you, grabs a beer, takes your order,runs to wash some dishes, then brings you your drinks,

Tommy doesn’t like lettuces and Reagan, convinced of a bacon allergy, because of a snap chat video at 2am…
Jots that down…

The new cook has to come out to the table…
This
All of this …
Is why you don’t have your one donut…

While it appears the world is re opened like Easter Sunday and a honeymoon
It’s really more like legs spread for child birth…

I wanted new experiences
So I delivered food for a time
“How are you?”
“I’m fine, never better, I’m making more money now than I’ve ever made before…I drink all day, have my meals brought to my door…the world is mine.”
“It will never last.” I said. “All good things come to an end.”

I cooked in a kitchen…

The world looked different from the inside of the bar
I would never be the same
Or maybe that was just the heat

I baked for a bakery

Atleast this would help my dating life …

I sat on her porch
“I’m sorry I was such an ass …”
“You’re supposed to be, you’re a writer. That’s what you do. You could have made me laugh more…But I’m the Elaine to your Jerry…”
“You can’t marry that…”
“You can’t marry that.”

All in all
How lucky we were
Even with loss…
Even not being ready
Even scared
Maybe we could live for those we lost…
Or at least try…
All In all…
How lucky we were.
-E
Regardingsamuel.com

You

Dad used to have us hold fence post while he drove them in the ground…it hurt like hell and if we let go he would get so frustrated. This may or may not sound bad, I don’t ask myself those questions… between testing spark plugs physically, and digging up grease traps and septic tanks and plumbing the house, all while you’re maybe 10 maybe 12?
Being told not to tell people
“We live in the basement.” (An unfinished basement that dad never built a house with)
And “we got these shoes from the dump.” (A roadside dump where magically, books and shoes or jackets would appear)

Things blur together…
He was good at dreams but terrible, terrible at execution…everything took two years and a summer…it didn’t matter what it was.

My favorite was selling produce
I got to go to the farmers markets
I got to pick out items
I remember when they were still hopping and you could get hamburgers
And food…
Every day I would set up the produce stand on the side of the road at 6am

People would stop and ask me about school or want their kids to ask me why I did it…
I would just use some prepared statement about bread on the table…

My point being
Whatever was right and wrong with my father,
I learned
I’ve always learned
I remember our house eaten by termites
I remember going to every church on the mountain and accidentally going to a snake handling church and watching his face catch up to what all that entailed…
I recall conversations that were twisted…

You learn from bad situations and bad Mgr’s and bad business and unfortunate Outcomes ….

You learn what you don’t want
You learn what you don’t want to be
That’s largely half the battle tho
Move to what you want
Say no to what you don’t

You learn how to plan ahead
Rather than break when things fall apart

I still struggle
But I’m trying

I’ve worked every day that I can remember for as long as I can remember
It’s the only thing I know
It is incredibly hard for me not to work

Now, there’s a growing strand of people
That can’t work more than 5 hours at most

In what world do we not have to work everyday

Even at marriage
Even at life
It’s work
It’s all work

It all moves forward
I’ve been terrified most of my life
Whether it was being on the side of the road during tornadoes
Or driving paper routes during tornadoes

Managing 87 employees
Firing people
Faking it

We talk a lot about how religion “holds the south back.”
Anything can hold you back
That’s just life…
My poetry and art could hold me back
My moods
My work ethic
You have to have balance

17 year old men stormed beaches
Fought wars
Died

The only thing I know
Is that life must be faced
I have to face it
I’ve been terrified most of my life
And everything I’ve ever done I’ve done before I was ready

And I learned it on the ground
I messed up a lot
But I’m still here
I’m right here
And my life
Goes forwards
Face your life
Its pain
Its joy
Its quiet

You don’t get a redo
We are here until we are not
This isn’t a dress rehearsal
This is it
You’re not waiting for a big goal
Your life is largely
The small insignificant habits
That you think are getting you to the large goal

We change
As we grow and live and that’s ok

Let yourself live
And keep going
Keep going

Things hurt
I had to figure out what I could live with
I knew my father had poor ideas about women and marriage and god
He was terrified
So I just sat with him
We talked about work
We talked about the Atlanta braves
Listening to the ball games on the radio
And when he died I dealt with it

I still have things pop up and I have to look at it again
Such is this essay

You are the author of your life
You decide
You
You can decide
Always

Decide
And
Move forward

-E