Free Speech

Free Speech 02

Learning Line

Learning Line

He talked with divine surety
his words soaked
with disdain all the while
He appeared to view
every home as a foxhole,
with hoards of beady
black eyed foreigners
evil from across the big waters
waiting to do us all in
He was the kind of guy
you despair talking to
after the first four sentences

Just then my wife called
saying that it was time
to go on an errand
and so, as the ignorance
in his words dripped
off my computer screen
I left him behind
and walked outside

It was a stormy sky
just before sunset
To the west, the sun shone,
a hopeful bright orb
swimming slowly down
to bed behind the mountains
for the night

Clouds above us hung
as a haphazard masterpiece
with broad stokes
of whites and grays
The air all around
sang in joy with shades of gold
while off to the southwest
the sky was very dark in the throws
of a August evening thundershower

After the toxic conversation
I had been having online
the beauty of the evening
was like stepping
into a fresh cascading shower
after trying to fix
a troublesome, old truck
greasy and broken

Struck suddenly breathless
at the beauty all around us,
I looked up at the sky
and thought of a remark
I heard the other day,
“Some live in heaven.
Some live in hell.
Same place.”

Never so much a matter
of at what you’re looking
ever more the matter
of where you stand
most of what we each perceive
is of our own making

We all have a long, knotted
learning line to tow
unique to each and every one
Tasked with undoing knots
we each must puzzle
with our own fears and ignorance
until we realize
what we think we battle
is largely a reflection
of ourselves

Until you’ve walked
in the shoes of another man
and you’ve felt the weight
of the tow line he carries
it is better to let him struggle
with his own views in his own manner
without judging him to harshly

Remember, the more you know,
the more you are willing to forgive
The more ugly faces you see
when you look
at your fellow humans
the more likely it is
your own fears and ignorance
are what is back looking at you

Dewey Dirks

Men of Peace

Men of Peace

School

School

We were out by our pool
barbequing hamburgers
and hotdogs
at the last family party
before the start
of fall semester at college.

…First he held his hands
high above his head
and happily explained,
“I’m empty clear up to the sky!”

Then he studied the grill
very seriously and asked,
“Where does it go to school?”
I glanced back at him and chuckled,
“Grills don’t go to school, budro.”

Now he looked puzzled,
“But where did it learn to color
the hotdogs all red
and the hamburgers brown?”

Then I knew
at four years old
and three feet tall
he had much greater stature
than I could hope for
when it came to seeing
wonder and mystery.
And I realized
that for me at least
college had started
a week early.

Dewey Dirks

Everyone Is

Everyone Is

Everyone is a fool
For at least
Five minutes a day
The trick
Is to try to keep it down
To just five minutes

Everyone can be as wise
As hope
And human wisdom
Know how to be
For at least
Five minutes a day
Consider yourself
A resounding success
If you can
Get it up to ten

Dewey Dirks

Storms

Storms

Mayhem thunders
through our lives
like a hurricane
terrible in its violence
but temporary.

Confusion and ignorance
are more insidious
They hide the truth
in our souls
like a thick fog
lifting only
after the winds
of change and knowing
wash it away.

Confusion, ignorance
and mayhem
are tied together
in that it often takes
the storm that is mayhem
to clear away the fog that
is confusion and ignorance
and the storm often grows
out of the fog bringing its
own demise.

Peace is mans natural state
so common in our lives
that we often
hardly notice the calm
focused as we often are
looking for storm clouds
on the horizon.

It is the bane
of our civilization
that our institutions
and entertainment
have become instruments
of the oppressive
endlessly trying fool
us into believing
we should fear
our brother and sister humans

Remember, my friends
Governments that oppress
the societies they serve
are themselves storms
and like all mayhem
cannot long last.

Dewey Dirks

Morning Coffee

Monday Morning Coffee

Eight am and it’s
morning coffee
at down the bar.
Today I met
someone new.

Many, many years
separated us
but we found
much in common
talking about
San Francisco,
her seven year old son,
the latest iPhone troubles,
and my drinking days
thirty-five years past.

Back at home
I looked over
my Facebook stream
—wise words from
Teddy Roosevelt
and Buddha—
Political jokes
and pictures
of tigers and fawns.

Never to walk under
the same blue sky twice,
Each day,
a fresh life.
So long
as you have breath
to breathe
never too old
to learn
something new.

Dewey Dirks