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March 12, 2016

Who’s this of shaggy head and fearless brow,
With backbone and the posture still of youth,
(Not like a willow that will bend or bow)
Who long has sought the path that leads to truth?

On hearing wiggle words of evil hissed,
(By philosophs who hide behind their lies)
He stands and faces monsters in the mist,
With ugly creeds whose grins and guile disguise.

Marxists cease to promise Paradise,
Kant’s witchdoctors lurch toward distant shade,
Where dreary dogmas reek of sacrifice:
Rackauskas has unmasked their foul charade.

The thinker can’t escape adversity,
His wisdom won’t be stricken from the chart;
In fleeting hours he fights for liberty;
In blood the love of freedom holds his heart.

October 2015
Related stanza for an e-mail to the Group:

If shaman chants assuage the tyrant’s lust,
Or mystics lure the innocent–so what?
A leader may appear that men can trust,
Someone to hoist the flag–or maybe not…
Clouds of darkness loom–we cannot wait;
No perfect moment beckons to begin,
Oyez! Only ”never” is too late,
With geezer wisdom we can fight and win.

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She surely was the Golden Girl,
With sparkling duds and hair aswirl;
With her long legs and dancing feet,
She felt the distant drummer’s beat.

In concert hall or dim canteen,
Her song and laugh would steal the scene;
Hushed house or to raucous roar,
She’d traipse and tap across the floor.

The fandango and the samba,
The can-can or the reel,
The cha-cha or the mamba,
Her moves with toe and heel,

The tango and the conga,
The salsa or the shake,
Her body’s lissome shimmy
Would keep the men awake.

Not one to wait for things “just right,”
For her ‘twas always opening night,
For her no dreams of “The Ideal,”
Which oft’, she knew, obscures the real;

She never cast a backwards glance
When it was time to sing and dance:
Props misplaced, the script unclear,
The piano tinny, the pay austere;

The director sloshed, cue cards gone,
The show, says she, will still go on.
Kathleen will watch the setting sun
At peace away from dance hall din,

When the goddess gig is nearly done,
She’ll not ask what might have been;
Instead, with a last twirl and twist,
She’ll laugh and dance into the mist;

We’ll smile a bit, and we will cry,
The curtain’s down, Sweet Girl.
Good-bye.
Oh, to have lived a life so bold,
With precious memories left to hold;

Not blaming fate, or cursing cost
Of wasted years and youth we lost.
Congregations shout, “Encore!”
Kneeling, as they pray for more;

The tragedy of vanity:
To trick or cheat reality;
Existence is a one-shot deal,
Not a rehearsal, no appeal.

Dreamers travel in a trance
And never find each day’s romance;
They pine for heaven and sing the blues,
(The dancer has no time to lose).

To be (she asks) just to survive?
Awaken now to thrill and thrive!
Shake a leg, escape your cage,
Ready or not, step on the stage.

“Curtain’s up!” (we hear Kathleen)
Footlights beckon, don’t hide unseen;
Audience seated, it wants to know
Who you are in your solo show.

Every morn the spotlight sun
Focuses on “Number One”
When you choose to take a chance
And hit the boards and start your dance.

Your drama is unique and new,
Only you can be like you;
You are, says she, who you are:
The Star.

This poem is to the memory of Kathleen Neimer, the mother of my friend Kathi Assar, Ph.D. Kathleen died on November 9, 2015. A great lady. She was a former Vaudeville dancer and lover of life.

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Farhang

His face content enough for now:
No frowns upon the furrowed brow,
No tears of sorrow or regret,
And from his mouth no curse or threat.

Memories of a homeland lost,
What the heart-ache? What the cost?
The past looms darkly like a morass,
A crumbled world, like broken glass;

Injustice reaches like a snare,
When faith was futile and fate unfair.
Slipping the bonds of yesterday,
Into the Tucson night he’ll stray,

And gaze at stars for sights sublime,
Like ghostly galaxies that spin and race
Toward the blurry edge of Time,
To a place that has no place;

Finding riddles for us to chase:
What can be outside of space?
A cosmos finite–but how so?
–Answers that we cannot know.

(Certainty may be his aim,
Casting shadows is his game.)
Mysteries that we can’t avoid:
Matter uncreated, undestroyed;

(Churchmen ask us to pretend
That existence has an end)
Enough!

Such airy puzzles he’ll postpone,
And return to his lair in the nano-zone,
To ponder the wispy fringe of matter,
Where established laws of nature scatter;
Where quarks and pions whirl and whiz,
(Yet are the perch of all that is?)

A chaotic realm we cannot see,
The eerie foundation of reality.
Where one must think outside the box
And everything’s a paradox;

(The scholar sifts the facts from fiction,
Yet likes to play with contradiction.)
A backward glance at the rosy dawn,
With hungry heart, he hurries on;

His quest for knowledge just begun,
He snoops for truth, below, above,
And grasps how ruthless the fleeting sun,
How little time to learn and love.

A spirit free–a man of the mind,
A friend like this you’ll seldom find.

Written for Christmas 2015, this poem is about Frank (Farhang) Shadman, scientist and friend, who adds to the lives of all who know him.

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A REJOINDER
At first it was vague,
A false warning of harm,
But as events now unfold
It deserves an alarm!!

Here comes a bad story
Of how things in our town
Were made to happen illegally
By our King The Clown.

It’s gone on long enough,
We can’t stand no mo’;
The Mariner is wondering
When it’s his time to show.

Yes, The Clown has done stuff
And he’ll do still more;
No one seems to stop him;
We may send in the Corps.

Who did this fine piece?
I want to thank him;
Who could it be
But our good friend Jim!!

–Frank Hayes, Patriot

To Jim from Frank Hayes

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January 14, 2016

I wrote this ballad for my friend,   Frank  Hayes,     Marine and  patriot.

Tiny Tina came a-running to her Mommy at the stove,
She said, “Mommy, come and look, there’s a Monster in the grove.”
“Stop it,   Little Tina, and don’t exaggerate,
Go, wash your hands,   then come and get your plate.”
“But Mommy, it’s a Monster,   green and huge and oozy,”
“Tina,   go wash up.   Your stories make me woozy.”

Mommy heard some noises and alarms  began to ring,
Out the kitchen window she saw people scurrying.
People poured from out the streets into the village square,
Fear was on their faces and there was panic in the air.

It was clear to Tina’s Mommy that the din would not abate,
She said to Little Tina that her food would have to wait.
The two joined fearful faces flowing toward the outer   wall,
The   flow became   an eddy when   it   splashed   at   City Hall.

For politicos,   the Monster   was like manna   from on high,
Rushing to the podium,   they would milk the crowd’s   outcry.
On the public  platform,   the mayor was first to speak,
He’d sent for information to help with his critique.

His scout told him the Monster would try to kill them all,
It was  drooling on the grassland as it neared the city wall.
It has raided, robbed, and ravaged,   and drenched the earth in dread,
It destroys   all   law and order,    with terror in its stead.

Shouting over murmurs,   the mayor said, “I’ll do all I can.
I’ll appoint a committee that will recommend a plan.”
A Congressman was next and said, “We must compromise.
To confront the Monster at this time simply is not wise.”

A diplomat came forward,   a spokesman from the past,
“If we say that we’ll surrender,   it might kill us last.”

Professor Kant stepped forward,   from the local U.
“Hold on, everybody!   How do we know what’s true?
The Monster may be in our minds–there’s nothing to resist;
If we refuse to think of it,   it will not exist.”

(Tiny Tina,  hugging Mommy,   said,   “Mommy,  please don’t cry,”
Mommy heard the experts   and knew that she would die.)

A Churchman  raised his arms for calm and said, “We must pray.
Our loving God will care for us and make it go away.
But if not,   remember:   we were born to suffer,
To fight like haughty sinners will only make things tougher.
If we’re humble and submissive and turn the other cheek,
The Creature will be touched to see that we are mild and  meek.”

Kruggly, an economist, advisor to the great,
Admired by philosophers, and by heads of state,
Told them in his speeches what they wished were true:
You can have your costly cake,   and can eat it too.
He spoke as an oracle,  with humor, zest, and zeal,
He said that two plus two makes ten,   that reality isn’t real.

“As for the   Green Invader,”  he told them with a scoff,
“We’ll mortgage everything we own,  and simply pay it off!”
They’d   pay the debt   “Somehow,”  he said,   “Someone”  will atone,
“To Owe”    is just a concept that   they could  postpone.”

The people weren’t persuaded,    they wept and gnashed their teeth,
They felt the evil growing,   out there on the heath.

A  pacifist  eating salad looked up from her plate,
She said,   “If  it’s green as I am,  we can negotiate.
We may lose some freedom–who knows what’s ahead?
Once its power- lust is quenched,  well,  better  green than dead.”

At last a weathered Mariner came upon the scene,
A sudden hush and pundits stopped their babbling routine;
His  face was lined and punished for deeds outside the frame,
And   though he had been battered,   he played nobody’s game.

They knew that he was trouble–what was he about?
The mayor said,   “Let’s keep calm,  we have to think things out.”

The pacifist munched a carrot and said,   “Let’s try to be kind.
Take a white flag to the gate and see what’s on its mind.
Maybe that Hulk has issues,   maybe we’ve been unjust,
We know that we’re not perfect,   let’s try to earn its trust.”

The Mariner interrupted,   in tones both loud   and clear,
The mob cringed at the tirade they didn’t want to hear.
“Power is the Creature’s  lust,   we’ll   have no recourse,
Brainless as all evil is,   it fathoms only force.
You  assholes know what must be done,  no  matter what you choose,
I’m going to kill the Monster now,   there is no time to lose.”

“Wait!”   exclaimed the Congressman,   “Let me call the roll.
To make the right decision,   we have to take a poll.”
“Yes,”   chimed in the Mayor,   “Consensus is the way.
This solitary malcontent will lead us all astray.”

Kruggly added his two cents,   “He’s  vulgar and   uncouth,
Claiming to know right from wrong,    he’ll corrupt our youth!”
“He’s  an enemy of the people,    against the Common Good,”
And the pacifist tossed a tomato over where he stood.

The Mariner ignored the taunts and started toward the gate,
Frowning faces glared at him–was it fear or hate?
The blob of bodies held together like a mucous mass,
They wavered like weeds in wind,  but wouldn’t let him pass.

The Mariner raised his sword and it was gleaming in the sun,
The pacifist dropped her salad  plate and wondered where to run;
“I’m going to kill the Beast,” he shouted.  “Clear the goddam path!”
The mob parted like the Red Sea waters when Moses raised his staff.

He stepped up to the city wall and didn’t vacillate,
He paused and took a breath of air,   and opened up the gate.
Sure enough, a giant heap,   there the Monster loomed,
An ordinary mortal would know that he was doomed.

The Creature’s  eyes were empty,   and could not comprehend,
The courage of a man alone,    who would not bow or bend.
It moved to crush the upstart with its tree-like limb,
But the Mariner swung his lightning sword  like a Cherubim.
The huge Hulk hissed its hatred and gave a fearsome roar,
But the Mariner kept slashing,   and the air was filled with gore.

The wounded  Blob retreated,   its mind now full awake,
To attack a seasoned sea-dog   had been a grave mistake.
It called for arbitration–the Creature had a voice!
“No need for conflagration when we have a choice.”

The Mariner soldiered on,  all through the bloody spray,
Worn and weary as a slave,   still he hacked away.
“Peace!”   the Monster shouted,   “Peace–I am no fool;
Turn your sword to plowshare,   Peace will be the rule.”

“A lesson for you,   Monster,   from the scroll of history,
Peace is not  born of words,   it’s the child of victory.”
This the Mariner’s  bold harangue,   not to yawn or yield,
He  readied  for the final charge on the battlefield.

“Wait, wait,”   the Monster pleaded,    “You have won the day;
You   can reap the honors,   and I will go away.
I’ll   give you   all I’ve looted,  all that I am worth,
Riches give you power,   enough  to rule  the earth.”

The  Mariner answered with his sword and cleaved the Monster’s  head,
He hacked away for hours to make sure that  it  was  dead;
He saw his   fate was in the   fray   wherever it may be:
He long had   grasped  the painful truth that freedom isn’t free.

The townsmen heard the happy news behind their safe stockade,
The town was like a theater,  with actors in charade;
None understood the Mariner,   how the unshackled man behaves,
Without the lust for  liberty,   they lived half-lives of slaves.
Most walked and worked  like puppets,   living in a daze,
Relishing  dependence–freedom   just a craze.

(Mommy returned to her kitchen and set the stove on   “Bake,”
Tiny Tina at the table poured syrup on her pancake.)

The Mariner heard  moaning,   winds   whispered,   “Nevermore,”
Farewell   to   Armageddon,    the war to end all war;
‘Twas   time to ponder over   just what he had done,
To muse on good and evil,   and the victory lately won.

But   the eternal foe lay  waiting,   like a  twisted  spawn,
–Evil stamped on nature   at   Creation’s dawn;
It may rise once more,   he knew,  here on this terrain,
Or another place,   eons hence, on some  far planet’s plain,

Where a lone figure will appear,   as if called on cue,
A   sentinel of the brotherhood,   of the proud and few,
A   warrior with a righteous soul,   though murder if he must,
Who’ll meet the ancient enemy and crush  it into dust.

Will   he be celebrated,   by parade or song  or pen,
Who   gathered up all broken hearts,   and saved   a world again?

Bless the untamed brawler,    who keeps  his honor clean,
Blare the eerie  bagpipe,   clang  the   tower bells,
For the timeless   Mariner,    ever at the scene,
When monsters come,   and there is no one else.

–To Frank Hayes,   Patriot

New Year’s,   2016

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December 20, 2015

I’ve  met  some  pilgrims  along  the  way,

A  few  compadres,  tried  and  true,

Who  comforted  when  days  were  gray,

With  voices  that  seemed  ever  new.

–lines in a Christmas card,   December  2015

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August 20, 2013

A final word on Trayvon Martin.
This piece could be called    “The Creation and Destruction of Trayvon Martin.”    For decades,  various political and Black leaders have promoted programs presumably designed to advance Blacks in society.   The most notable has been “Affirmative Action,”   which conveys the not-so-subtle message  that two groups dominate American society:  group 1,  tyrannical superior White people  (“superior/inferior” refer to intelligence, ability, and ambition);   and,  group 2,   persecuted inferior Black people.    The young Black male is led to believe  that he needs laws and restrictions against White people,  along with  special favors for himself,  in order to get a job,  get into college, or to succeed at anything.
Furthermore, since White people are domineering and immoral,   anything created or advocated by Whites is off-limits:  the U.S. Constitution, property rights, individual rights, capitalism and business,    English literature, art, music, philosophy, history…–most of what is called    “Western Civilization.”   To many young  Blacks, for example,  studying academic subjects like science, literature, or geography is    “acting white.”    It is thus that thousands of students with great potential are  robbed of much of what makes life worth living.   What is left for young Black males to aspire to?    Sports, entertainment fields,  and crime.    Since few people of any race succeed in sports or entertainment…
Looking for causes of the failure of young Blacks in society (Statistics abound about the greater percentage of young Blacks in prison versus other races, for example.),   some politicians  and Black writers and preachers have two answers:   A.  It is a great mystery.    B.   It is diabolical White people.     (Google: “Black teens’ attitudes,” “causes of Black male failure,” “Black attitudes toward education,” and literally hundreds of articles on these themes.)  It is, of course,  never racist programs like Affirmative Action that stifle  self-esteem, education, and personal achievement.
The plight of  young Trayvons has little to do with the attitude of Whites toward Blacks;   it has much to do, however,  with   the presumption of Black inferiority by politicians and Black leaders.  Their political actions and incessant  harangue that Blacks are victims becomes like the disease of an epidemic that infects many of these young men and leaves them  uneducated,  violent,  and full of hate.
Trayvon Martin was doomed long before he ran into George Zimmerman.

This piece could be called    “The Creation and Destruction of Trayvon Martin.”    For decades,  various political and Black leaders have promoted programs presumably designed to advance Blacks in society.   The most notable has been “Affirmative Action,”   which conveys the not-so-subtle message  that two groups dominate American society:  group 1,  tyrannical superior White people  (“superior/inferior” refer to intelligence, ability, and ambition);   and,  group 2,   persecuted inferior Black people.    The young Black male is led to believe  that he needs laws and restrictions against White people,  along with  special favors for himself,  in order to get a job,  get into college, or to succeed at anything.

Furthermore, since White people are domineering and immoral,   anything created or advocated by Whites is off-limits:  the U.S. Constitution, property rights, individual rights, capitalism and business,    English literature, art, music, philosophy, history…–most of what is called    “Western Civilization.”   To many young  Blacks, for example,  studying academic subjects like science, literature, or geography is    “acting white.”    It is thus that thousands of students with great potential are  robbed of much of what makes life worth living.   What is left for young Black males to aspire to?    Sports, entertainment fields,  and crime.    Since few people of any race succeed in sports or entertainment…

Looking for causes of the failure of young Blacks in society (Statistics abound about the greater percentage of young Blacks in prison versus other races, for example.),   some politicians  and Black writers and preachers have two answers:   A.  It is a great mystery.    B.   It is diabolical White people.     (Google: “Black teens’ attitudes,” “causes of Black male failure,” “Black attitudes toward education,” and literally hundreds of articles on these themes.)  It is, of course,  never racist programs like Affirmative Action that stifle  self-esteem, education, and personal achievement.

The plight of  young Trayvons has little to do with the attitude of Whites toward Blacks;   it has much to do, however,  with   the presumption of Black inferiority by politicians and Black leaders.  Their political actions and incessant  harangue that Blacks are victims becomes like the disease of an epidemic that infects many of these young men and leaves them  uneducated,  violent,  and full of hate.

Trayvon Martin was doomed long before he ran into George Zimmerman.

--August,  2013

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July 6, 2013

The Tanuri Saga is a microcosm of the war between good and evil which will go on until the last ding-dong of history sounds. In a final confrontation, a hero will come forth to fight for all that’s right and good, and win. Politicos and preachers, terrorists and tyrants–these are the enemies of life:

Witch doctors in gray disguise,
Unseen in their suits and ties,
Promise peace and paradise
With creeds of servitude and sacrifice,
Where deadly altruism reigns,
And leaves the world in chains.

Like shamans in their drunken zeal,
Who hate reality for being real,
Standing where once heroes stood,
They hate the good for being good;
Mocking all that’s bright and new,
They hate the truth for being true.

So a prophecy, Stranger, about a mutineer,
An outlaw who someday will appear
And fight for life and love,
In a time and place we can’t know of–
A forest glen, a desert plain, a barren mountain shelf–
Who will dare to be herself
And with bloodied blade or rebel’s pen
She’ll fight and save the world again.

Like a Seraphim with sword ablaze,
She’ll cleave the murky wall of night
And Freedom! Freedom!
In a tidal wave of light
Will rush–will gush through
And crush the pimps and parasites,
The men of power-lust and promises,
And wash them into hell.

Men will celebrate her victory
With cannonade and bells,
And learn again what life is worth;
But another rival for the earth
Awaits to stifle freedom’s breath:

Hear me, Pilgrim, through the joyous din:
The Egoist, unsatisfied
Will find the final foe is Death;
With reason as her guide,
She’ll meet this ancient enemy
And win.

–May, 2013

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I wanted a poem about  the evolution of man’s brain,  from the time man evolved from killer-ape ancestors to sometime in the future,  when,  with a vastly improved I.Q.   and  concomitant scientific knowledge,   man can to some extent overcome Death and learn to live indefinitely.    This poem began as a sonnet  (14  lines with orthodox rhyme scheme),  but the form was too restrictive.

THE CHASE

An ape-like form appeared with club in hand,
Cast by seraphs from a peaceful land,
The crafty outcast, a child of strife,
Became the king of killers who valued life.

He claimed the teeming world as his domain,
And, clad in color, challenged Death’s dreary reign;
The creature stood erect and laid his plan
Against the tyrant, and the chase began.

As the outlaw trailed him down the centuries,
Death called on gods from all the skies and seas;
Then rallied other allies standing by,
Those who hated life but chose to lie:

Priests in black who promised paradise,
Shabby saints with creeds of sacrifice,
Politicos with power as their aim,
All parasites for whom theft was a game;

O’erwhelmed by truth, all these fled the fray,
And the hunter found his foe alone one day,
When even Time had left its twin behind,
Enchained by the weapon of the mind.

Rejected last lines: Vanquished by the weapon of man’s mind.
Routed by the weapon of man’s mind.
Captured on the journey of the mind.

–June 2013, added to “Sonnets to the Hunter”

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May 14, 2013

Stranger,   Patsy stood here like a rock

Before Tanuri’s  hateful horde,

And scattered them with awe and shock

With her righteous sword.

–May,  2013

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