The Places I’m From

walkway

(c) T.L. Ryder

I am from that indigo moment before dawn
Boiled up from 2 parts sulfurous water
One part shining, frozen snow, and
a dash of good whiskey thrown in for flavor.

I am from the edge of the reservation,
From the side of the cliff that we didn’t fall down—much,
From the back corner of the library, where we
Read the books your mom wouldn’t let us take home.

I am from red-skinned people with black hair,
From white-skinned people with red hair,
From people who came here for a better life, and
People whose way of life was taken from them.

I am from Star Trek, Star Wars and Dune,
The Force be with You!
From the pleading of rosary beads at bedside,
From the glory of Father Sun bringing life to the world.

I am from flat bread, fry bread and sheep tail fat,
Boiled cabbage with bacon, greasy lima beans,
Sage cut from a bush in the prairie, fresh pronghorn stew,
Hamburger Helper and Tab.

(found this old thing from 2010 and decided to re-post it)

Home

THEY say “Home is where the heart is.”
I have left a piece of heart behind
blue asbestos siding
picture window
white trim
and yet
THEY say “You can’t go home again.”
I drive by and find shards of memory
the blue is gone
new bay window
unfamiliar shrubs
and yet
I say “Home sweet home.”
The ghost of once upon a time lives on
old driveway
Dad’s shed
still there
And yet. . .

 

easter67

Easter, about 1968. The picture window is gone but the house still stands.

Rough-Riding Sidesaddle

I wore out my welcome before I was born;
I will never play Kate to your Petruccio.
Adversity has been my most constant friend
You cannot teach things that I already know.

796px-james_ward_-_a_farmhand_riding_side-saddle_carrying_an_urn_-_google_art_project

James Ward,  A Farmhand Riding Side-saddle, Carrying an Urn.

 

Disapprove of me all you please;
Censure has always been my lot.
All those things you’d prefer not to remember
Are things for me too dear to be forgot.

Your outcasts do not always wither away;
Sometimes they flourish in alien soil.
And sometimes the ones you sought to destroy
Are the very ones you cannot despoil.

Eulogy for the Single Socks

Oh you keepers of false hope
generator of quixotic tasks
you have laid too long in state.
In your boxes and baskets
you have mocked us
offering up expectations
of reunions that will never be.

baby_sock_coin_purse_2987565621

This sock went on to become a Baby Sock Coin Purse by Gregory Vern (CC by SA 2.0)

It is time for you to pass on
to the rag bags and trash cans
to the waste bins and into dog toys.
You will taunt us with possibilities
of happy reunions no more.
Your brethren are gone, but verily,
they shall return. . .the moment you depart.

Day After Solstice

sunrisekazuend

Day after Solstice

We take it on faith that the days are getting longer
though the nights seem as dark and the air seems as cold

We choose to believe that the light’s getting stronger
although all it sounds like a quaint fairytale of old.

We do not sigh or yearn for the simple old times
though it is always tempting to polish up the past

We instead choose to live, to embrace the darkling day
though our faith needs sharpening and our kindness won’t last

We know that this darkness brings some tests of courage
through the cold we prevail though our hearts are undone

We put our feet to the path, wave farewell to the summer
though this journey is ended, a new one has begun.

Christmas Pastiche

lightsbw

Sentimental Deer by T.L. Ryder (c) 2017

It’s Christmas time
sleigh bells ring
in the city

The carolers sing
“Noel, Noel”

Are you listening?
Christmas brings
joy to the world

The bells ring
“Noel, Noel”

Candles gleaming
eyes all aglow
O holy night,

The angels sing
“Noel, Noel”

In the manger
flocks by night
to cradle run

The friendly beasts sing
“Noel, Noel”

In thy dark streets
come and worship
the newborn king

The holy star sings
“Noel, Noel”

((I cobbled together lines from various Christmas songs to make this pastiche like holiday ode. Give it a try if you dare! And drop me a link in the comments if you do.))