Tying The Knot

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Tying the Knot

Wedding planners
should never use a
 
Granny Knot
 
to tie a marriage up.
 
As all sailors know,
the Granny will slip
 
when pressure 
 
on the load
is brought to bear.
 
Tis better to use 
 
a proper knot—
the reliable Square—
 
so, when troubles come along,
 
as they surely will,
the vows
 
“I do.”
“I do too.”
 
remain strong and true—
 
no matter the intensity
of the wind.
 
. . . j

Taken Hostage

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Taken Hostage

No matter
how determined i am
to tell my story,
 
the characters,
within a few pages,
 
untie my shoelaces,
hijack my mind,
blindfold my eyes,
 
and urge me down a path,
 
(spear point to the back)
 
neither Marco Polo,
nor Meriwether Lewis,
nor Google
 
have ever seen before.
 
. . . j

Lady Coetzee Gads About

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Lady Coetzee Gads About

At the checkpoint, Doortje Coetzee, a native geranium, 
pottered along until she reached the front of the line.  
 
The officer glanced through her South Africa passport, 
then managed a cordial greeting. 
 
“Good morning, Ms. Coetzee. Where are you off to this fine day?”
 
Doortje offered up a dazzling smile.
“I have an auntie living in America. A small corner called Seattle. 
Time I got round to seeing her.”
 
A pink blush flooded her petals.
“I’ll turn seven come spring.” She sighed. “Life is much too short.”
 
“Will Seattle be your final destination then?”
 
“No. Auntie winters in Arizona. We’ll fly there with her keeper in October.”
 
“I’ve heard Seattle is a bit rainy, but a lovely place,” the man said. 
“Never been.”
 
“Love the rain,” Doortje replied. “If I avoid the frost, I’ll be safe enough.”
 
The officer studied the document. “I take it you’re a perennial?”
 
Doortje giggled. “Depends. We’re all perennials at birth, of course. 
Crane Bill cuttings on my Mother’s side. My auntie is almost forty years old.”
 
“How nice,” he said. “Mine never last more than a season.
Suicidal little buggers.”
 
Dortje frowned. A tinge of anger crept into her voice.
 
“We can only live our life according to the affection we are given. 
We need to avoid frost at all costs. It murders us straightaway.
 Intense summer sun is difficult too. We crave afternoon shade.” 
 
He handed her document back. “Sorry. Meant no harm.”
 
“None taken. If you’ll love those buggers of yours, they’ll love you back. 
Fare-thee-well,” she called, “I’ve a plane to catch.”
 
“Next,” he said.
 
. . . j

Scammers

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Scammers

If only men came courting with
 
Scam Likely
 
factory installed apps
where their useless appendixes
 
used to was,
 
there'd be a lot less heartbreak,
tear-stained pillowcases,
 
and the constant need for
updated 
 
fibs.
 
. . . j

A Wedding Dirge

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Note: The American Government, at the direction
     of President Joe Biden, will release a long 
     overdue report today of its findings concerning the
     murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 
     
A Wedding Dirge

Ezekiel connected dem dry bones,

“Mr. Khashoggi? What a nice surprise.
What brings you to Istanbul?”
 
“What else? My love, Hatice, waits here.”
Now hear the word of the Lord.

Head bone connected to the heart bone.
Heart bone connected to the soul bone.
 
“I seek the required Marriage Document.”
Now hear the word of the Lord.
 
Soul bone connected to the courage bone,
Courage bone connected to the backbone.
 
“Please come with us, Mr. Khashoggi.”
Now hear the word of the Lord.
 
“Hatice is waiting outside. She’ll be worried.”
Now hear the word of the Lord.

Backbone connected to the shoulder bone,
Shoulder bone connected to the arm bone.
 
“We insist, Mr. Khashoggi! You dare to write!
You overstep the bounds! You cannot criticize!”
 
“I write only of the truth. Is truth a crime?
Please. My bride waits just outside. Hatice. Hatice.”
 
Arm bone connected to the hand bone,
Hand bone connected to the truth bone.
 
“Lies! There is a dear price to pay, Mr. Khashoggi!”
Now hear the word of the Lord.
 
“I cannot breathe! I beg of you! Have mercy!” 
Now hear the word of the Lord.
 
“All we need of you, Mr. Khashoggi, is silence.”
Now hear the word of the Lord.
 
. . . j

Ripped

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Ripped
 
Before fitness gyms 
existed,

a young man's 
muscles

came
from helping 

Father
lift the stones,
walk the plow,
chop firewood,

and fetch 
water
for 
Mother.
 
All the while,
Sister
 
studied her
face
 
in the looking glass,
and dreamt of the
 
ripped lad
(apprenticed to the Smithy)
 
holding her in his arms.
 
. . . j

Sound Advice

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Sound Advice
 
 I’d been digging a trench
from our well pump to 
the house most of the morning.
 
My hands were eleven years old then,
and angry blisters had
ripped open the skin.
 
My stepfather, reeking 
of tobacco and whiskey,
stepped out to supervise.
 
“Deeper,” he growled, 
“The pipes will freeze where 
you’re putting them.”
 
An hour later he returned for
a second look. 
 
“You’d better get
a good education, sonny boy,” he said,
 
“because you’re the laziest 
sonofabitch 
I’ve ever seen.”
 
I learned important lessons that day about 
blisters, gloves, and laying pipes, 
but most valuable of all 
was discovering what the man really 
 
thought 
 
of Mom and me.
 
Never have been able to 
forget those lessons.
 
Shunned him, I did.
 
Cherished Mom, I did.
 
Took myself to college, I did.
 
. . . j

Checked Baggage

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My question then,
brother immigrant
of Southampton,
 
were you already a racist
 
when you stepped aboard the Mayflower
with all your earthly belongings
that chilly September day in 1620,
 
or did you get infected
 
much later in Mississippi?
 
. . . j