Sunday, February 26, 2017

Life's Lessons

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He bestrode the narrow world like a colossus
Yet a little while later he lay in the dust,
Lifeless then, his words carried no weight
His detractors before having vented their hate.

There were many who in their lofty positions
Behaved as though they were a law unto themselves
But today they no longer exist having passed away
Leaving only memories and their photos on our shelves.

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Yet these life lessons are not readily learned
Particularly by those who follow in their path
And like their predecessors they too follow suit
And are plunged ironically down the same shaft.

History ignored, it has been said, is likely to be repeated;
This sentiment has been proven mostly to be true,
Clearly the time is now when we must be aware
That unless we do differently we too will fall through.

“Not me, you mean you; it could never happen to me,”
Is the response when confronted with the same,
It is always the other person who falls for the trap
Yes, the other person against whom is this claim.

Life is particularly unpredictable I would remind
And what it dishes out can happen to you,
None of us has control over the vicissitudes of life
Only God Almighty is privy to that view.

The mighty and weak, their outcome is the same,
The rich and the poor no different they be,
The grim reaper respects neither class nor creed,
He conquers all: both the slave and the free.

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In life money is the voice most are keen to hear
While fame and power are not too far behind,
The learned and the not so bright are in the same frame
But them all some day the great leveler will find.

The fickle nature of life is not only seen in death
But oft in the harsh realities that come our way,
These are sometimes more difficult to comprehend
And for some death is the desired option at the end of the day.
For these suicide was far more agreeable than life
That’s why death became their solution through it all,
The poor and destitute as well as the wealthy and powerful
Have on occasions capitulated to the suicidal call.

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It matters not how great you think you might be
Or even how abundantly wealthy you really are,
Life could suddenly deal you the most vicious of hands
That neither your greatness nor wealth would be on par.

A debilitating illness or loss of accumulated wealth,
Some unforeseen circumstance for which you couldn’t plan,
It may be loss of sight or as simple as an amputated limb
It could be one or both or your dependable right hand.

It could be a stay in the hospital for an indefinite time
Perhaps due to an accident for which you were not liable,
Or some other unplanned for “rarely ever happens” event
From the clutches of which it was virtually inescapable.

You see life is a vapor that only appears for a little time,
It is like the early morning fog that dissipates with the sun,
 It is like the flower of a plant that flourishes for a while
Then in the heat of the day it comes to the end of its run.

We are just as vulnerable in the face of the vagaries of life
Better to learn from another’s example and if possible avoid his strife,
For as sure as night follows day we too will suffer his fate
If rather than accept life’s lesson we enter in at his gate.

A word to the wise then is sufficient
And I trust that this reader is wise,
If so you will accept these words of wisdom
And life’s lessons you won’t despise.

Stewart Russell © 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Confused and Bemused

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I woke up or so I thought
For I might still have been asleep
Whether up or down I couldn’t tell
So I neither walked nor ‘creep’

I neither stayed nor moved
Transfixed on my bed betwixt
Between deep sleep and wide awake
I was surely in a fix

How long there I couldn’t tell
Probably exactly an hour or two
It was less than one and more than two
Before my reverie was through

Up I looked to see what was down
And outside to view what was in
Next I laughed till I almost cried
Be serious; I am not joking

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The clouds sailed on the ocean blue
The waves high up in the sky
Fish were birds; the birds were fish
And this reality I couldn’t deny

I knew I was not sleeping
For after all, I knew
Were I asleep I would not know
That false could never be true

Awake in a dream you would argue
And then laugh and go your way
Smart psychiatrist you think you are
But you’ll have yours some day

What a fool you really are
But you think that you are smart
You are no smarter than the next fool
So keep that deep within your heart

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You and I live in an upside down world
Where abnormal is the new norm
What you and I knew to be wrong
Is now packaged as the more informed
Two of the same can cohabit
It’s neither here nor there
It’s just a matter of preference
And once the two really care

Absolutes have diminished
And some believe there are none
And what used to be a tragedy
Is now generating fun

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Some say up side down yes
But this time right side up
They awoke or so they thought
But ours is a bitter cup

But now there is preferred taste
And the awful has become sweet
A confused and bemused mind
Knows neither victory nor defeat

Zombies too come awake
But they are neither here nor there
They too know not where they are
Nor from whence they did appear

Whether up or down they cannot tell
Themselves they cannot feel
But they are feared among the wisest of men
And those who believe they are real

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Do you still feel that I am weird?
And you are different from me?
I’ll tell you this; better mark my word
And you’ll see just what I see

This world is steep in follow pattern
Sense is not critical you see
Once an important person says it
Prominent it will be

Soon the world absorbs it
The exception is just a few
And what we once held as acceptable
Is now contrary to our view

Before I should conclude this, though
To that state I shall return
Not that I had left you would concur
Nothing appears real or firm

I woke up or so I thought
For I might still have been asleep
Whether up or down I couldn’t tell
So I did neither walk nor creep

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I couldn’t walk; no confidence had I
I didn’t creep for fear of the unknown
My narrow confines was a tiny bed
That was the limit of my zone

Up I looked to see what was down
To me they were one and the same
And so I laughed until I cried
For I was one among the insane

The world around is a hospital
Full of the mentally deranged
So smart we feel in our condition
That we hail it as paradigm change

I know I have mashed some corns
But my toes also feel the rub
If you feel the offense as much as I do
Then welcome to the club

Stewart Russell © 2016

Friday, February 17, 2017

Satan’s Influential Norm

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Seemingly positive
But so intensely negative
Excitingly alluring
But so completely destructive.

A myriad of possibilities
With such intricate nuances
Inviting and inveigling
Using up your chances.

So invest now!
Comes the urgent request
No time to lose
This time is the best.

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An engaging ad
Of such influential note
Ensnared and trapped
You’re the devil’s goat.

Yes! He has you
Eating out of his hand,
You’re Satan’s idiot now
Sticking to his plan.

However, there’s escape
From Satan’s itching noose,
Jesus is that escape route
If him you don’t refuse.

So intensely negative
That spells sin
With such intricate nuances
No way you can win.

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Such inviting notes
Of Satan’s alluring tune,
The Pied Piper of death
Calls you to your doom

Why be Satan’s idiot now
When Jesus you can choose?
In you he will reside
And in you his life infuse.

Stewart Russell © 2017