Old Man

Old man, old man
With your bald head
And gray eyes
With bent back and wrinkled hands
What have you seen?
What have you done?

Did your eyes watch as Pearl Harbor burned
Did your ears hear the reports of ships lost?
Did your hands till the earth?
Did your voice call for peace?

Did you grow up during The War to End all Wars?
Did you fight in the Korean war?
Did you protest Vietnam
Did you cheer at the Olympics

Tell me, old man
What have you seen
What have you done
Have you cried at a child’s death
Cheer as they walked down the aisle

Did you marvel at men on the moon
Did you weep at the Fall of the Trade Towers
Did you celebrate the fourth with loved ones
Did you wish your wife love today?

Tell me, old man
What can you share with me
What can you teach me
What can you tell me

Old man, old man
You have lived far longer than I
Can you tell me of your journey
Can you tell me of your life

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Little Bird

Little Bird, Little Bird
Sitting on tree branch
Tweeting all the night long
Why do you sing of sorrow?
Why do you sing of sadness?

Little Bird, Little Bird
Hidden in the shrub
Why does your song speak of pain?
Why does your song speak of loneliness?

Little Bird, Little Bird
Way above my head
Why do your songs bring me tears
Why do your songs bring me sorrow?

Little Human, Little Human
Standing all alone
My songs are made for you

Little Human, Little Human
Sitting in the corner
You hear what is in your soul

I sing of the hurt you hold deep within
I sing of the loneliness you will not admit
I sing of the pain of the loss you feel

I sing so that you can hear
What you cannot say
To hear that you are not alone

I sing so that you know
That you can say what is within
That the pain will pass

Little Human, Little Human
Hold a little longer
Stay true a little more

Little Human, Little Human
One day things will change

On that day you will hear me sing
Of the joy you found
Of the peace you hold
Of the friend you make

Little Human, Little Human
You are cared for
You are seen
You are not forgotten

The Paths We Take

A restless heart
A searching soul
The setting sun
The distant mountain
The things we see
The things we wonder
What is just beyond
Hidden by curve of world
Or trees of old
What wonders to be had
What lives could be lived
If only I step
Beyond this worn path

The heart no longer rests
In what was once home
The soul wanders far
Though the body remains at home
The paths I walk
Are far too worn
My heart does yearn
For the unknown
But do I have courage
To take the path
That are strange to me

Friday Thoughts: Simple Things

It’s the simple things that matter.

That is what many people say with smiling faces and perfect lives. And a lot of times I glare at them and say, “That’s easy for you to say. You have everything.”

But it is true.

Lately, on my commute home traffic has been snarled. A side road often gets me around the bottleneck. But I don’t take it to avoid traffic or because it is faster. I take it because it is one of the most beautiful scenic routes I have found. It is a winding dirt road with old trees lining either side. Their branches reach up and over, forming a tunnel of branches. Breaks in the trees allow light to pass through, providing a warm setting. With the right amount of cars kicking up dust, it becomes fog-like.

It is a beautiful drive and I love it.

And it is little more than a detour on a narrow farm road.

But it is a simple thing that makes me happy. In this world of negatives and depressing news, finding small things that makes one happy is rare indeed.

Friday Thoughts: Time

What a strange little thing. At the most basic level it is a term that represents the units used in measuring the passage of time. Whether it is seconds or centuries, it is measuring the passing of moments. Concrete concepts based on how the earth moves around the sun. But then you get into different, abstract ideas. Eons. Ages. Moments. All of them are familiar to us yet at the same time our concepts of them are slightly different.

But in a more practical sense, time is the march of days.

When I was younger, time seemed to last forever. Summer never ended and I would never grow up.

Now I am older, time seems to move in spurts. Some moments fly past, days ending almost as quickly as it began. Other days it crawls along like a dying slug. Maybe it is the side effect of being older now. Or I am just more aware of time.

Of course there are people who say “manage your time better and you’ll have more of it”. Which is true. Yet I find myself having to choose between things. To read or to watch television. Play a game or begin learning a new language. Spend time with family versus spending time to write.

Is this what life really about?

Choosing what to invest your time in? Exercise? Sleep? Relationships? Time is a commodity that everyone has and everyone has an equal amount. How we spend it helps determine where we end up in life. There are things that we can’t control in life: our starting point in society or the actions others take against us. But we can control how we react. Sometimes that means spending more time in tutoring or starting working early to get an edge in education. For others it means spending time in the hospital to deal with an illness. Or spending time after college at home to save on money. Life isn’t fair, no one starts at the same point, and things change.

But we can invest the time we are given however we want.