A Lot With Just a Little

A Lot With Just a Little

I’ve always been interested in cars
although I’ve not bought
any cool ones myself in many years,
I’ve always kept an eye out
whenever I drive down the street
for cars worth seeing.

Years ago when I was young
my friends and I used to laugh
at this old junker Plymouth that this guy
drove all over the town where I lived.
I never met the dude, but his car
was old and dented with faded brown paint.
On the side he spray painted in large, sloppy
letters a sign that said “Jeff Barts, Private Eye.”
It wasn’t until years later,
long after I’d moved away that I realized
that Mr. Barts was a young man to be respected
because even though he had next to nothing,
he was striving to realize his dreams in life
with the resources he had at the time.

A few years back, a friend and I used to go
to this parking lot in town where early
Sunday mornings lots of people gathered
who had fast and exotic cars
to show off their rides and chat
over coffee and beer.
Amongst all the Cobra’s,
Viper’s, Ferrari’s, Porsche’s
and six hundred horsepower
Corvette’s there was this guy
who showed up every Sunday
with a clunky faded green
’75 Ford Gran Torino with a white vinyl top
that had a 400 Cleveland with a blower
sticking out of the hood.
It was obvious that he’d done
all the work himself with sloppy
liquid metal beads around the edges
of plexiglass windows, badly wound
aluminum tape on the hoses
and klunky orange paint
on the brake drums that didn’t match
the rest of the car.

His Torino stood out like a sore thumb
there amongst all those high dollar rides.
All the other owners shunned him
and chuckled at his car.
I chatted with him once.
He was very proud of his ride
and all the work he’d put into it.
I listened to him talk thinking to myself
that here was another man who was striving
towards his dreams in life come hell or high water.
Of all the people gathered there, he was the one
you just had to respect because even though
he didn’t have much, he did his best
with whatever he had.

Whenever you see someone
who is the black sheep of the crowd,
whenever you see someone going for
whatever dreams they have in life
without much to work with
except loads of enthusiasm,
make sure to chat with them.
Give them encouragement
and a kind word.
Remember, the misfits,
and the odd ones out
are often the ones
who have the strongest will and deepest love
for the life that flows in their veins.
When comes the time for humanity
to save itself, it will be the odd ones,
the misfits and the black sheep
who have the most
experience at doing
a lot with just a little.
Likely as not the future
of our species will rest with them.

Dewey Dirks

Good Grace

Good Grace

The other day I was talking
with a friend about the things
that I write.
She said, “I’ve noticed that most
of the poems you write
are uplifting and positive.”
I said, “Well, I write what
I know and what is in my heart.”
She said, “Certainly you must have
bad things happen to you too.”
I told her, “Yes, I’ve had very terrible
things happen but my experiences
in life have taught me that
if you are willing to look for it,
there are virtually always upsides
to the things that happen.

You know that scene from
Star Wars where the two Jedi
have to make it past a giant blast door
to get at the bad guys on the other side,
so they put their light sabers
into the door and after a few minutes
they just burn through the door?
The kind and good grace
of some of the things
that have happened to me
are like those light sabers—
They are of such a great
and powerful proportion,
that after awhile, their memory
manages to burn through
anything terrible
that happens to me.

Sometimes things happen to you
that you never really get over
some of them are bad, but there are
others as well even more lasting
that are good.
When I write, I keep the good
things in mind because
the memory of them outshines
just about anything else
that has ever happened to me.”

Dewey Dirks

Delusions

Delusions

The other morning
I had a long conversation
with a young man who suffered
from paranoid delusions.
Breathlessly he explained
to me how an insidious group
called the Bungalow Cabal
had been bugging his phone
and messing with his computer
for many years.
He said no one would help him
and that the cops and government
officials were in on it too.

Later in the day
I sat down at coffee
in a bar where everyone
was watching
the soccer championships
down in Brazil.

I had to ask myself
which is the greater delusion?
Those of a man
scared and all alone whose
point of view is socially unfashionable
and whose ideas hurt only himself,
or the international delusion
that it’s perfectly fine for a country
to spend many billions building
sports arenas on the broken backs
of poor people who need
food, clinics, and schools
and then broadcast
weeks of games while the police
and military rob the people
of their rights to protest the oppression
so the rest of the world can
enjoy the spectacle of soccer games
either unaware or uncaring
of all the mayhem.

Dewey Dirks

Education

Education

All the world
is pretty much the same everywhere.
There are cities full of people
and countryside outside of town
both farmed and wild.

All the world over,
we work daily,
come home and tend to our families.
There are people we talk to,
people we love, and many people
we see but do not know.

Don’t trust the sitcoms,
talkshows, and news to teach you.
Don’t depend on Facebook, Twitter
and YouTube…keep it real, my friend
Remember, your real education
begins when you leave college
and turn off your TV and smartphone.
All the world is around you all the time.
Nature is a teacher
who will not steer you wrong.

Let the world
and your neighborhood
be your school in life…
Learn from your intuition.
Let your soul teach you wisdom.
Look for kindness around you
—sometimes it’s subtle and hidden
by the false bravado and daily banter
of peoples pride.
We all live under one sky.
We all breath
the same kind of oxygen
and drink the same kind of water.
We all want to love and be loved
we all want happiness and to feel useful
we all feel fear and anxiety
from time to time.

The great lies of our time are three—
That national borders
make us different from one another.
That there is more
that is wrong in the world
than there is that is right.
And that our civilization has removed
us all so far from nature
that we cannot learn from it.

Dewey Dirks

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Free

Free

All the Earth is teeming with life.
All the world around you,
the sky above you,
and in the ground below
is filled with living creatures,
although most of them
are far too small for you to see.

You and all the living creatures
around you are equals by virtue
of the sparks of life
that propel us each and all.
By virtue of both biology and spirit.
you are part of that life
and all of them are part of you.

When you put down your sense
of human self-importance for awhile
along with all the twirls and twists
of desires, wants and needs
that are part of human existence
and let all the rest of you—
All that is part
of the living world around
come to the forefront
of your consciousness,
a great weight
lifts from your being
and you become indelibly aware
of what you really are—
a spark of life
that is part of the sky,
the ground, and the sea
alive only for the joy of existing
living in a primordial wilderness
rich and full with life
bright and fresh,
breathing peace,
wild and free.

Dewey Dirks

Meter of Our Stride

Meter of Our Stride

When he invents something,
no man is so wise
that he can foresee
all the consequences
of the things he creates,
and so we invent blindly
compelled by our passions for knowledge
not knowing what the future
of mankind might be
because of our creations.
Human ingenuity
creates largely unconsciously
in our walking sleep.

What lights the spark
of our imaginations
know one knows
but this much is sure—
It is guided by as yet
unknown natural principles.
We can see the traces
of these principles
when we view such
mysteries as why
the researchers
in competing companies and countries
can only invent new
technologies at approximately
the same pace,
and why certain advancements
in human understanding such as calculus
were invented by different people
at about the same time
when the inventors were widely separated
and had no contact with one another.
What is clear, is that human
creativity, like all products of evolution,
only advances at a certain pace.
No one yet can tell
what meters our stride.

We all are children
of Mother Nature and of our times.
Our creativity is a result
of our spirits and our biology,
combined with
a small bit of natural randomness
built into each of us.
Mother Nature
evolves our biology
and only she
knows of what our spirits are made,
from whence they came,
and to where they will return.

Dewey Dirks

Line To Tow

Line to Tow

Everyone who lives
on Mother Earth.
Everyone you ever meet.
Everyone you ever know.
Everyone you don’t know.
All of us here have a line to tow
—things that we each
need to learn in life.

Some need learn
to control themselves,
some need to learn to let go.
Some need to learn not to
doubt themselves so much,
some need to learn
that they’re not always right.
Some need to learn
to be more giving,
some need to learn
that they’re as important
as those they try to help.
Some need to learn how powerful
their spirit really is,
others need to learn
we all are just living specks
on one tiny blue dot
among billions upon billions of others.

Some need to learn more patience,
some need to learn
when enough is enough.
Some need to learn
they can take care of themselves,
others need to learn
it’s OK to let others help them.
Some need to learn to be
more trusting of others,
some need to learn to be
more cautious.
Some need to learn
to not be so believing of their culture,
some need to learn to have faith
that nature knows
what she’s doing
by evolving people.

Some need to learn not to
act without a little forethought,
others need to learn
when to have some faith
and jump into the unknown.
Some need to learn
to love wonder and learning,
others need to learn
when they’ve learned enough.

Some need to learn to ask
themselves a few questions,
Some need to learn
to have some faith
in the answers they’ve found.
Some need to find out
what they need to learn,
some need to learn
what they need to unlearn.
Some need to learn love and affection
come in many kinds,
some need to learn how to give
of their soul
and love with their entire being.

Dewey Dirks

Rivers

Rivers

Each life passes
like the journey
of water
on a great river.

Rise to meet
each morning anew
and accept what brings
the river that day.

Some days are rushed
with the toss and tumble
of white-water rapids.
Other days flow gently by,
barely moving
with the kind stillness
of back-water eddies.

Take care to discover
what there is to enjoy
in each rolling day.
Remember, variety is one
of the joys of life.
All things pass,
good, bad and in-between.
We all will meet once again
in the vast blue oceans
from which all waters come
and to which all rivers return.

Dewey Dirks

Sam

Sam

My cat, Sam I Am
jumped into my lap
to get a few pets tonight
he and I, we’re fast friends

He loves wholly
with the pure emotion
of a child
—arches his back
into my hands,
bumps his head
on my chin,
purrs a deep
diesel engine purr,
and kneads his paws
on my leg
I pet him with two hands
appreciating his company
enormously
I know he’ll be my muse
later on tonight
and lend himself
to be in a poem

If you believe the notion
animals have souls
you look at them
more as you would
another human
rather than as something
somehow of less stature
in the eyes of nature

And Sam, well, he
gives love back
with every place
in his furry body
that his heart
pumps blood
It is good
to love that way
just ask Sam

Dewey Dirks

Deep Inside

Deep Inside

We all have a great beauty
deep inside
but many times it is hidden
by an ugly ego
or a clump of ignorance.
It is up to each of us to journey
until we can feel and see
this beauty in ourselves,
in those around us,
and in the world.

When the beauty
of a persons soul
is near the surface
of their being
you can see
its brilliant radiance
shining clear and gentle
regardless of their
physical appearance.

Dewey Dirks