Random Thoughts and Twain

If I roamed in speech like Mark Twain,
Making sure of my woods, river, sea,
I'd wander in a circle, find an old goat,
A grandfather, a porch, gold, river pirates.
A wooden rocker and an audience, newsprint.
Of innocents abroad, of jaded women here.
If I enlisted like Mark Twain, casually,
Caustic humor, avoiding combat, dinner.
Serving for two, yes two, weeks
And late for dinner. Tents and shovels.
Tour of duty, the South, Rising late
For breakfast, late home for dinner,
Lectures from well meaning adult fools
Who don't understand that war means blood.
If I prayed like Mark Twain, for he did,
It would be short, sweet, to the point,
An argument of reason, intellect,
An avoidance of familiarity, a face, questions.
He prayed for salvation for his absurd truths.
He never even got a letter in return.

I am not Mark Twain, although I ramble in
A concrete jungle, a zoo of originality,
Of pauses and starts, hesitation, then
Galloping on two feet with little hands.
Children are my joy, his too.
I enlisted, found a hole with my name,
Foxlike I waited for the big dog,
But all he wanted was sex. Sex, with me!
Fraternizing with peers, I said no, and no,
I found the door to file papers of abuse.
Learned men are a grouping of 
Rotten apples, grapes on a vine.
I have no time for old boys. Networks, bah.
I don't pray. No, never got an answer,
Not even a no. I figure God will
Send me a postcard, or an email
Asking for money, when God gets around.
Everyone wants money. 
I have a hole in my pocket. Leaking.
I am an emotional clamp, holding together
A family of squirrels. Who knew?
Mother always knew best, then I, 
Me, became the All Knowing Mother
To mine own be true. Schools and crossbows
Peeking from Concrete towers of sand.
Sand stolen from the river. Free.
Wait, there's a charge?

Grumpy black bear, Moose Feet,
It's something Twain saw, 
In the City of Gold at sunset
In San Francisco, My dream city.
Twain and I would have whiskey
Talking politics, reading Dickens.
Laughing at the words lost
On a system of learning. Unlearning.
Creeping, shadowing, loathing.
We'd chat, sympathize, reconnoiter 
The political landscapes with 
Enough comedy for years of shows.
Appalled that thinking people still hate.
Appalled at the randomness of the bible
Applied at a voting booth. Politics 
And religion rarely join joist to hinge.
Mankind at its best, condemning sky, water,
Others because they can, do, lust after.
He'd shake his head, write a book,
Find Adam in the park. Discuss with disdain,
And I would listen, rapt, filing for later
All of the similarities through time,
A century of time, of things he thought 
Would mend, but haven't. So I write.


Did someone really say this?

A week or so ago, I read a WordPress site that made me incredibly sad. Indeed, it left me speechless. Syria is not going well for the so-called rebels, and it is even harder on the civilians who are caught between the government, their personal hopes, and those who are brave enough to speak out against the government of Syria. The writer had moved with her family to the United States after World War II. She was despairing of the lack of moral fortitude that allowed the Syrian people to leave their homeland and to seek a safer place to live. She wanted to know how people who supposedly wanted change to come to Syria could leave that battle and run to Europe, Canada, and the United States. Her grandparents had stayed in France to fight in the resistance against the Nazis. Were these people really expecting the world to accept refuges who wouldn’t fight for what they believed?

She went on for a long time, speaking of her moral superiority over these victims. My take was that after World War II the conditions weren’t good in France. Supplies were in short supply, and to provide a better living situation for their descendants, her grandparents moved to the U.S.

Aleppo this week has showed more reasons for leaving Syria. Innocents shot dead by the Army as they summarily moved into the west side of the city. Male, female, old, young, it didn’t seem to matter to the government forces. They were summarily executed. In a conflict of this nature, the world failed these people. The UN did not muster a protecting force. The Russians targeted schools, mosques, and medical facility. The Syrian government was more concerned with their propaganda showing Aleppo as a place for tourists to visit, than in working with and achieving a resolution to the problems that brought the revolt in the first place.

Donald Trump has said he could look into the eyes of a child from Syria and tell her or him that they had no right to come to us as immigrants. He’s notorious for making statements of intolerance towards others. I’ve also read accounts of people who claim religion, Christianity, and yet don’t understand that most basic cornerstone of the call for charity, generosity, and humanity. The old “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” apparently strikes no sympathy in their hearts. We have a tall lady in the New York harbor that stands bearing witness to the fact that all of us came from somewhere. Even the first nations know that their ancestors came from somewhere other than our continent.

We have so much as a nation and so many opportunities, is it possible that we can’t share a little of our prosperity and safety with others? Immigrants become some of our best citizens if we let them live and participate in our government. ¬†They take the worst jobs and make the best of them, providing their children with educations which enable them to become better citizens.

Make no mistake, I hold that same opinion about those refugees who come from the Americas too. I feel that we have a heart that needs tending, and if we shut the doors based on race, we have worked against our own standard as the greatest nation currently in the world. We who have much, have a responsibility to act as though others matter. It’s Christmas, and we should keep that in mind as we change our government.