Turtle Friend

My turtle friend will never die

Eternal turtle standing proud.

His turtle friends are standing by

Those jealous turtles shout out loud,

“Your immortality ain’t real!

All turtles die, in this we trust!

Eternal turtle, can you deal

With death like all the rest of us?”

 

My turtle friend stood for a while

The turtles watched expectantly

Eternal turtle gave a smile

And said with pure serenity,

“If only you could walk a mile

With me and see just what I mean.

Believe that my eternal life

Is more than just a dream I dream.”

 

The turtles cried, “Who has the time?

Our lives are short with things to do!

You might not care, and that is fine,

But that is only good for you!”

Eternal turtle gave a sigh,

“You all will live as long as me.

Your life feels short because you try

To rush through it so hastily.”

 

My turtle friend will never die,

Eternal turtle of the soul.

Because his turtle words are right

Just take it slow to reach the goal.

 

 

The Modern Pharaoh

I’m packing my sarcophagus

To take into the afterlife.

My house and car and property,

My pets and children, plus my wife.

My education and degrees,

Awards and many accolades,

The land investments, stocks and bonds,

And all the money I have made.

And now to place my body down

To all my things, myself I give.

But if in death they have no worth

Did they have value while I lived?

The Game We’re In

The bank gave me a dollar bill

To give the bill to my good friend

To build my shop atop the hill

And see construction to the end.

 

I thought that I had taken care

To guess the cost to build my store.

But he replied, “I’ll help you there.

It only costs a dollar more.”

 

He had my dollar, I had none,

The bank had zero dollars too.

They gave me credit, minus one,

So I must pay them back with two.

 

He started planning up designs

And buying up the wood and bricks.

But not long after gave a sigh

And said the piping needs a fix.

 

I sought the bank for one more loan

Which filled them with anxiety

My debt was large and now had grown

So I must pay them back with three.

 

One day I asked when it’d be done

He said that it was hard to know

Since nothing’s free under the sun.

But where did all my money go?

 

He laughed and said to think it through,

“The money goes around and ’round,

And it will all come back to you,

The store will rake in pound for pound.”

 

I paid my friend, who bought the wood

From others in the lumber yard,

Who paid the grocer for the goods,

Ensuring wife and child don’t starve.

 

Then they would use that money too

Investing in their businesses

And hire one more lumber crew

To reach much further distances.

 

But then I had an awful thought

What if the money never came?

Just stopped up at the very top

By wealthy hoarders playing games?

 

If funding does not circulate

Then how will I repay the bank?

For payments which are paid too late

Will make my credit rating tank.

 

And interest fees will pile up high

Undoing everything I made

Until my value’s sucked up dry

While hoarders end up getting paid.

 

“You borrowed from the future you

And risked it on this present bet.

The banks did only what they knew

To roll the dice that you had set.

 

You’re too far in to try and stop.

You’ve got to trust the system works.

So open up your hillside shop

And gamble with those banker jerks.”

 

Of course, he egged me on to try

The risk was mine and mine alone.

The system rigged to watch me die

And suck the marrow from my bones.

 

I cannot trust that they would play

By rules so everyone would win

Because if I were them I’d say

“Well, don’t you know what game we’re in?”

 

Elegy of Agriculture

The tribe had torn itself apart;

A tragic end that none foresaw.

They used to eat what they had found

But then they learned to till the ground.

 

Their backs were bent to reach the soil

Their minds grew numb from endless toil

Although their crops could feed much more

Their lives were nasty, brutish, short.

 

And when a cry was raised to stop

And feed themselves no more with crops

The tribe once numbered ninety-nine

But now two hundred stood in line.

 

So half must leave to lands unknown

But who could judge the ones to go?

And so instead consumed with fear

They carved their plowshares into spears.

 

The freedom that the victors craved

Was stripped from those that they enslaved

And thus society was formed

To work the fields forevermore.

A Father’s Sonnet of Parallax

Behold, my child, the flowing road below,

A river underneath that rushes past.

A blur of motion urges us to go.

The eye is fooled to think we must be fast

 

Now look ahead and spy the distant hill.

The mountain crawls along horizon’s edge,

The clouds above are nearly standing still,

And none can tell the sun to rise and set.

 

Your focus changes everything, I say,

Perspective is the greatest tool you own.

If things are slow then watch the day-by-day

The small details will show how much you’ve grown.

 

If things move fast then look towards the goal

And let the stableness refresh your soul.

Across the Gratitude

Appreciation only hides in gaps

Between the darkest pits and brightest peaks.

Consider it a graceful cave that traps

Destructive ideologies.

“Entitlement,” we named the glutton brute,

Ferocious imp consuming joy and peace,

Grotesquely chewing on the prideful root,

His appetite will grow the more he eats.

In time, the fiend emerges from its lair

Just shambling upwards searching hungry for

Kilometers into the crispy mountain air

Like starving wolves that marked the scent of gore.

Mistakes like these are often found too late,

Neglect or sloth the cause of bedrock flaws.

Oppressed by selfish urges far too great,

Profane belief that they deserve applause.

Quiescence only comes with quiet time:

Recall that nothing ever truly lasts,

Sustain humility despite the climb

To then appreciate the now and past.

Until it ends for good and we look back,

Vitality reduced to wrinkled hands,

When satisfaction is the thing they lack,

Explain to them and pray they understand.

Your highs and lows are there with purpose, too,

Zeroing out to be what’s meant for you.