Monthly Archives: November 2014

Wondering

Momma in a box,
Momma in a box,
Dressed in Sunday’s best
without any socks

Little boy, little boy,
watch your momma die.
Pump her full of dope
and the family full of hope.

Doctor, Doctor,
Whatcha gonna do?
Your momma’s gonna die
before the month is through.

Gimme Lord, gimme Lord
just one more day…
I can’t walk away
’til I hear my Momma say –

I won’t go away boy,
I won’t go away,
I’ll always be around
just to hear you say –

Love you Momma, love you Momma,
all that I can…
love you every day Momma,
’til I become a man.

But Momma’s in the ground
and her life’s in lost and found.
Never had a chance
for her to be around.

Tell me God, tell me God  –
’cause I’ve been wonderin’
why’d you bring us here
through all this plunderin’?

Others walk around
smiling life through,
but I only wonder
WTF is wrong with you……

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© 2014 John Allen Richter
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Body Politic

Of plans of men – and desserts so fanciful –
cigars and brandy after…
Talk of wars, and pleasant whores –
who smell quite dandy….
But amidst the brew of chucklers –
hiding ‘neath the silver tray –
from the clouds of whiskey and rum
come storms of politic-banter –
Hateful this, and hateful that –
hatred all around –
Get your hatred here,
free and clear –
forgetting brotherhood bound.
Dividing the house brings his fame –
fortune and all in his name –
“Fuck if the house can not stand -”
he says, as he slowly comes damned –
and sliding into the bowels of hell,
along with we, just as well –
for standing quietly – through the time –
sipping softly – our brandy-wine.

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© 2014 John Allen Richter
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Peppah

I never grind the pepper shaker,
when shaking alone will work.
Unless it’s needed – as a salad needed seeded,
then I’ll grind it like a twork!

Twork it!  Twork it Babah!
Twork that peppa shakah!
Twork it like yo mamma made ya –
Like you do ya money makah!

Twork it ’til it come out black –
‘lil ashes falling down your back.
Rub it up – feel so gooooooodddd….
Peppa in the neighborhood….

I need ya bad girl, like you really wanna make it –
grind it real hard like you ain’t gonna fake it –
put da peppa in and take da peppa out –
grind it up girl and put da peppa in your mouth.

Taste it baby, taste it baby –
taste it real good –
grind it up again
like you know you should…

Then when you done
and they’s plenty of it ground –
I’ll only need to shake it
next time round….

Wham, bam, thank you ma’am….
My good man, peppa all around.

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© 2014 John Allen Richter
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Suicide Door

Suicide – such a nasty, nasty thing.
What measures bring it –
which have gone unseen?

Tis eye for eye, or I for nay,
but never in-between…
As thoughts degrade us – nearly fade us
bringing a death unclean.

For as the body lay –
in death’s embracing way –
mourners shower the day –
with tears of thoughtless loss.

For there lays he –
death certainty –
as others bear his cross.

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© 2014 John Allen Richter
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Every Day’s a Holiday

So many years have passed since the days when the year’s end holidays were magical for me.  I remember years when putting up and trimming the family tree was a wonderful affair, with mom and dad probably the most excited of us all.  All of my brother’s and sisters’ eyes would be so wide with joy and anticipation as we threw the tinsel strands on the tree.  The small Lionel train that would “choo-choo” and blow smoke as it steadied itself on the small circular track around the tree kept my brother and I busy with imaginations for hours.

Sometimes when it was late in the evening and the sun had gone down my father would be busy reading his paper in the living room alone because all the girls were helping mom with some cookie making or other such “girl” function.  The room would be dark and only semi-lit by the standing lamp behind dad’s recliner, which he used to slowly conquer the daily paper’s crossword puzzle.  I would lay down in front of the big old 25 inch console television while it was turned off and just stare into the soft green glass lens of it and watch the reflection of the tree behind us, as it’s colorful lights burned into the night.  The three or four “twinklers” (non-colored lights that would twinkle) would bounce off of the TV screen and it was absolutely magical.  I could see dad’s reflection and smell his coffee and cigarettes.  I still can smell the newness of the carpet because it had only been laid a few months before.  It was wall to wall.  Another magical thing in our lives.  We had only dusty old area rugs before that.  I even remember telling myself to remember this moment because it was so beautiful.  And I have remembered it all of these years.  It was 1969.

The times were simpler I guess.  The neighbors decorated their houses and would visit on the holidays.  Everyone had egg nog and cookies or candies ready for guests.  When you met people outside they smiled and cheered, always waved and always gave you their own version of holiday wishes.  It was so mesmerizing to stop and smile and talk with old Cecil Audrey next door, who never had any children, and who spent the other 3/4 of the year chasing kids like you off of his precious lawn –

People didn’t drive around like maniacs putting pedestrians and kids at risk like they do today.  It was after WWII.  Most of the parents of that generation had given everything they had – risking their own lives to stop evil in the world.  They saw their friends blasted into pieces or incinerated by burning alive during the war.  Somehow, miraculously, they made it back alive – with images in their heads that they would – could – never lose.  And they had an opportunity to become prosperous and raise families.  I think human life has never been dearer than it was in that decade.  And there was just a general caring for everyone else besides just one’s self.

I remember the mystery of staying up for midnight mass, or having the opportunity to sing in the St. Andrew’s boy’s choir on Sundays and holidays.  Or being lucky enough to serve as Altar Boy on the holidays.  And going to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving.  That isn’t just a song.  For us it was 7 kids crammed in a 1965 Ford station wagon for an hour and a half.

It isn’t that way anymore.  The world has become hateful.  There isn’t a day gone by any more when I have not witnessed someone on the road take serious liberties with the safety of myself or other people on the road.  And for what?  Why does their expediency supersede the value of other’s lives?  You can arrive at your destination at the exact same time regardless if you follow 30 inches or 30 yards behind the vehicle in front of you.  Drivers need to remember that they are not sperm cells any more.  There is not a big egg waiting for insemination at the end of the road that they must reach before all others.

This year some of the national chain stores I visited started putting up their Christmas displays a month before thanksgiving.  When every-day becomes a holiday then holidays become unimportant.  “Black Friday” should be a name reserved for the day Christ was hung and died on the cross and should not used for the first of a string of gimmicks to trick people out of their money for a secularized holiday.   And yet there we have it.  The almighty dollar.

People wonder why my poetry often becomes so dark.  C’mon.  The world sucks.  And I am extremely pessimistic.  But I apologize if your world sucks more than mine.  Karma is simply a bitch.

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”
― Wayne W. Dyer

Isn’t it sad that we live in a world where it is necessary to remind ourselves of this daily?  So even from the depths of this dark world I live in it is my pleasure – and absolute quest – to wish all my friends around the world – even those who don’t normally celebrate our uniquely American tradition – a very happy Thanksgiving.  Because I care about you.  Especially my friend willowdot, who has been a constant rose within the world of my poetry since I started blogging- Here is to wishing you all a wonderful holiday season.

I had six pence,
jolly, jolly six pence,
I had six pence,
To last me all me life.

I had two pence to spend
and two pence to lend
and two pence to send – HOME –
to me wife – poor wife.
                    – author unknown
(A little ditty my dad brought home from Australia during the war)

 


The Old Walnut Tree

The blackened burl of charred remains –
stands the gnarl of great walnut tree.
Stretching his arms into the blue –
as though his very life to plead.

Covered with scars his shadow falls
upon the  body of me.
Here I lay with broken dolls
of all our childhood dreams.

And so I thought a lifetime ago,
whispering, whittling, wond’ring why…
Should a tree of such earthen beauty
Ever reach the sky?

Tis not mine, Dear Walnut,
not mine to see.
But only to share my time
with thee..

So I have weathered this storm
to touch your olden scars,
To feel initials so weatherly worn,
before I chase the stars.

For once a boy envisioned thee,
taking refuge in your leaves.
Carving names of lovers seen
I thoroughly believe –

That soon my legs and arms will climb
upon your mountainous breadth
and we will remember all the times
o’er the years you and I have wept.

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© 2014 John Allen Richter
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Lady, Dear Lady

Childhood memories are some of my fondest.  My greatest of those are before school when I spent entire days with my mother.  Going to school changed that dramatically.  And of course growing up and following other ventures certainly put those days in the past.  But there are many great memories left from my early days with mom.  One of them was named “Lady.”  She was probably part beagle and part collie, an odd assortment.  But she was the most loving dog I may have ever known.  She was owned by the Ballestreri’s one block over on 16th street.  But she was really a neighborhood dog because she was free to roam the neighborhood every day.  And that’s what she did.  My most vivid memories of her are seeing her play in the 4 to 5 acre overgrown field behind our row of houses.  She loved chasing birds and rabbits.  And everyday she would make her way to our back porch and scratch the aluminum screen door.  Mom and I would always give her bits of bologna and milk – and Lady was always so appreciative. It’s like her eyes were alive with love and friendship – and though it’s impossible – I seem to remember her face always smiling.  But then I got older and into my own things, going to school, working, and chasing girls constantly.  I would see Lady less and less.  Not because she wasn’t there.  But because I wasn’t.  Then one day while I was in high school, and busier than I’d probably ever been, I saw her in the back field chasing a rabbit.  She was a little slower, and much less agile, but inside those eyes was still the Lady I knew.  I gave her some meat and milk, patted her head, and off she went.  I never saw her again.  I changed her owner’s name in the poem below because Ballestreri is frightfully hard to rhyme.

Lady, Dear Lady

Her name was Lady,
owned by O’grady.
She roamed the neighborhood each day.

For a bit of bologna
or cheese and macaroni
She’d stop and smile as if to say:

I really like you friend
and I will to the end,
even after we’ve gone our own way.

And I would pat her little head as soft as I could,
then she’d return to roam the neighborhood,
until one day I never saw her again.
Lady, dear Lady, I’ll love you to the end.
I’ll save some bologna for that day when
We’ll roam the stars together…..

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© 2014 John Allen Richter
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