Voice of Courtesy

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My mother, may she rest in peace, was born in 1920. Her early life was difficult and she was afforded few opportunities to broaden her horizons through travel or interacting with people of different cultures from far off lands. As a child, her world was centered around Saginaw, Michigan and the boundaries that constrained her meant that most of the people with whom she interacted were more similar to her than they were different.

When she was in her early thirties she traveled to New York City with some friends. They visited a nightclub that featured a floor show with beautiful women, except, unbeknownst to Mom, they weren’t women; it was a drag queen show. Mom had never heard nor dreamt of anything so exotic and foreign. Though she she was unaware of an underground world where men performed as women the dancers’ beauty impressed her.

It took me 56 years to realize it but despite her rather limited early horizons Mom was a great role model for cordiality. Mom had a very conservative, early Twentieth Century, Midwestern perspective on life but the rigid expectations concerning proper behavior that went part and parcel with her Catholic upbringing did not diminish her capacity to treat others with kindness and respect. Mom may have disagreed with a lot of things people did but she tried never to be disagreeable about it.

Mom and I did not see eye to eye on many things. She came of age during an era when behaviors were rigidly delineated, a time of right or wrong, acceptable or not, and variations in lifestyle were expected to remain hidden or kept in the closet. Today’s world is very different; we have far greater latitude in how we live our lives and things once considered socially unacceptable have literally become mainstream. The changes, as fantastic as many of them are, require adjustment on the part of we old folks who came up in a time when the rules were different.

One thing that doesn’t change is the value in looking at people as individuals who, though unlike us in some ways, are entitled to courtesy, respect and equality. Mom understood that. Mom lived that, and that basic, underlying expectation of civility, grace and acceptance may well have been the greatest thing my mom gave to me. Mom understood that having personal standards doesn’t entitle us to treat folks that don’t share or agree with those standards as less entitled to basic human decency; a simple concept I fear many people forget far too often.

I’ll try to remember your example all year, Mom. I miss you every day. Happy Mother’s Day, Betty Jean.

 

Aged Adolescent

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While once she was “all that” in looks and outrageousness
She’s lost beguiling attributes which once made her famous
Relying on beauty that’s dried up and blown away
Faded card up her sleeve has become her stock and trade

Hell, in all its fury, is naught compared to this woman scorned
Beelzebub’s sulfur and brimstone is but mild storm
Slights that are perceived by this example of XX sex
Flabbergast us poor XY’s when viewed within context

Complains about her lovers, both present and past
Portrait of a narcissist whose self-deception’s unsurpassed
Nothing’s ever good enough, she thinks she’s Queen Sheba
If to her you do not bow down she’ll take it as a snub

Spaniards have a reputation for having puffed-up pride
Tiny ruffles that set this woman off? A Spaniard would let slide
The sun up in the heavens with its host of attendants
Pushed to subordination by this aged adolescent

Getting long of tooth, while getting short on years
Common destiny for all to whom survival adhere
Petulant, pleasing, femme fatale once drove men to our knees
This shell of a woman needs to accede to reality

All the chapters of our lives vary in their content
Future that she’s heading for is lonely, dried-up lament
Task of teaching old dogs new tricks is difficult indeed
Can this bitch of a woman ever learn a different creed?

The hands of time keep moving, they’ll slap us in the face
There’s no sin in growing old, though youth we do all chase
If twelve hours is a lifetime and the clock’s at half past nine
She’s down to last twenty percent before it’s quitting time

Our timeline is a tightrope upon which we gyrate
With each year that passes deterioration accelerates
It is brutal transition from youth to age and decay
But treating others horridly won’t make pain go away

While once she was “all that” in looks and outrageousness
She’s lost beguiling attributes which once made her famous
Relying on beauty that’s dried up and blown away
Faded card up her sleeve has become her stock and trade

Puffed Up

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Dressed to the nines and cruising for a ten
little puffed up man was on the prowl again.
He knew where all the kitties loved to lounge about
hunted for sugar walls and Sheena’s strut pout.

Money in his pockets, had a lot of blow,
carried protection for dark places that he’d go.
Just wanted a good time, simple hit and run,
looking to hurt nobody, just angling for fun.

Drove into the city where all the cool cats meet.
Favorite club was pulsing to a driving beat.
Sweet chicitas roamed in clusters and pairs;
felt his desire swelling, musk perfumed the air.

Hungry wolf was focused, sniffing sweetest game,
wild side kept undercover, acted mild and tame.
His eyes he kept covered behind sunglasses dark,
flashed his pearly whites, ached to both bite and bark.

A coltish filly struggled in her platform heels;
she looked so young and tender, like a delicious meal.
Lobo saw such fresh meat, two thighs and ample breasts
instantly decided she’d be his next conquest.

Whiskey he was slamming made him feel in the pink,
he thirsted more to lick her rather than liquor drink.
Little puffed up man signaled for one more,
he threw that bottom up then headed for dance floor.

He’d trained to be a hunter, a gatherer of flesh,
carefully he circled her, knew soon she’d be enmeshed.
For a generation he’d practiced his trade,
little girl succumbed easily to the traps he’d laid.

Puffed up flashed his powder, his white dynamite,
suggested that they slip away somewhere out of sight.
Went out to his car, his arm around her hip
quid pro quo was understood; they’d both take a dip.

She was such a pretty thing, with great big bouncing eyes;
this score played repeatedly was his favorite reprise.
Plan had been laid carefully, had a quiet, dark spot,
Puffed up led her to backseat where party could rock.

He was so enraptured by sweet thing from his dreams
no clue there was a problem till he heard himself scream.
Little filly was no conquest, rather she was bait,
puffed up man knew he was a victim just a bit too late.

The boys they were laughing as puffed up they did beat
they took his car, his gun, his blow and left him in the street.
Puffed up once so guapo, now a defeated man
his face twisted and broken no more is a sham.

The mask of beauty outside that belied puffed up’s soul
has been stripped away and ugly we now behold.
Puffed up no longer cruises for honeys beneath the sheets,
he’s gone to a darker place where women he chokes and beats.

Witches’ Brew

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I wake up in darkness dreaming we’ve seen the light,
I stumble from my bed with no real hope in sight.
I walk to black cauldron, create a witch’s brew,
Down acidic potion ’cause it’s the thing to do.

Crystal Ball upon my table bringing me bad news;
Instantly world’s before me and what do my eyes view?
Pictures that I’m seeing, of us fouling our own nests,
Has me pondering how our world’s grown so damn grotesque.

Are stories presented reflection of reality?
Always in abundance are dark tales of atrocities.
Water poisoned for profit, both through fracking and in Flint,
Is murder most foul by entrepreneurs and government.

“Trust us, we’re the good guys,” is universal admonishment
But in quest for power and money how quickly ethics get bent.
Rubbish foul and putrid gets wrapped up in flag of Old Glory,
“It’s for the greater good,” is how they pedal atrocity.

If ruining drinking water is consequence collateral,
Then in God’s name, what are we protecting? How did we sink this low?
Pray, how does Mankind profit if it is humans we sacrifice?
For cheap natural gas and oil prices we play with dynamite?

Our capacity for evil seems to grow in leaps and bounds
And destruction that we’re reaping often praised on moral grounds.
Price we pay at the gas pump, and cost of our necessities
Ample justification for bringing justice to her knees.

We all know Cleopatra was queen of Egypt’s Nile.
In her quest for god-like power committed acts most vile.
Two-thousand years have passed since she was despot on her throne;
With flow of millennia our destructiveness has grown.

We despoil planet where our species meant to thrive,
Raping our own mother will surely cause Man’s demise.
Like sheep to the slaughter we are herded toward our fate
Can humans be good shepherds or is it all too late?

We’ve allowed a darkness to envelop our land.
Our survival depends on where we take a stand.
If we don’t have clean water flowing from our taps
Then all we’ve created is an obscene deathtrap.

Just as Lost as Me

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Ain’t feeling golden in these my declining years
Body’s flaccid and swollen and my mind is ruled by fear
Drown beneath paranoia as my end draws ever nearer
No lie

Immortal opponent demands I yield the battlefield
I fight breathless and battered but damn demon I just can’t slay
Sword and spirit are broken I’ll be carried out on my shield

How much more, how much more?
How much more, how much more?
How much more, how much more?
How much more, till I yield?

I long for, for, for some strength once more, uh-huh
I need, need, need some fight in me, uh-huh
Too hard for me, too hard for me. No more reverie. I need, I think, I want
Good God! –Where is escape from this prison?

Fear and darkness, fear and darkness
Imprison me, imprison me
Long for sunlight, long for sunlight
But darkest night is all I see

I been scratching and searching, hoping that I’ll break free
I keep scratching and searching, hoping that I’ll break free
But the man in my mirror is just as lost as me

How much more, how much more?
How much more, how much more?
How much more, how much more?
How much more, till I yield?

I been scratching and searching, hoping that I’ll break free
I keep scratching and searching, hoping that I’ll break free
But the man in my mirror is just as lost as me

Love You, Son

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All I want to do is love you, son
Help you learn to walk then watch you run
Hope you know you’re apple of my eye
Gonna love ya, boy, till day I die

Incomparable is love I feel for you
You’re arrival here heart did renew
Your laughter is champagne that intoxicates
Watching you gives me hope and elates

Pray you have a soul both strong and pure
Strength to stand upright and to endure
Be merciful and mild but not meek
Display loving grace when you act and speak

Glory in the form you’re living in
Simple truth is physical’s not sin
Don’t fall for lie that flesh is corrupt
Stunted is he who pain does worship

Man’s value found in integrity
Seductive is black hole of hypocrisy
Blessed is the man who harvests peace
Wars against his anger without cease

So much of life I can’t comprehend
Fearful hate, of this there seems no end
Cacophonous cries of ignorance
Endless legions war over least offense

Life’s no bowl of cherries, peaches, cream
There are days when struggles make me scream
Burdens of life can be crushing weight
Count on me when things aren’t going great

All I want is to be worthy of your love
To cast off shackles I’m warning of
Hold you in my arms; we’re trembling
Will I hold you down or give you wings?

I think that you’ll bring out the best in me
Entrance in my life was destiny
Little boy, won’t you please hold my hand?
Teach me what it means to be a man

I’ve so little strength, I quake in fear
Swear I’ll do my best for you, my dear
World is such a huge uncertain place
Help me, God above, to love with grace

All I want to do is love you, son
Help you learn to walk then watch you run
Hope you know you’re apple of my eye
Gonna love ya, boy, till day I die

Flatulence

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Flatulence! How you love to spew flatulence.
From your lips! When you break wind and let one rip.
Wind you see, you seem to love most fervently.
Unnerving are rank words you serve liberally.

Words you think so clever that rip and shred whomever
give you such an air of insecurity.

Caustically is how you do appear to me.
So thorny your words that from you people flee.
How can it be that you were reared so horridly?
No loving? Genesis of acidity?

Seems that you endeavor to be pleasant never.
Are you happy as a monstrosity?

Rank and foul mask that is your perpetual scowl.
Acid bath is what it’s like to face your wrath.
In a web great spider longing to be fed.
Eat men’s souls; such a venomous hungry troll.

Silk that you are spinning to catch the unsuspecting
must fight so you don’t get your hooks in me.

Run from you is what any sane man would do.
No excuse for way you love to heap abuse.
By your side most unpleasant place to abide.
Why return? When it’s my heart you love to spurn?

I hate what I’ve become; fraction of my former sum.
Loving you is form of insanity.

No reason for me to stay when I should run.
Even so, where will I find the strength to go?
How is it I see your flaws yet here I sit?
Never free; belittled by your mockery.

Concede it is no use, grip on me I cannot loose.
You’ve destroyed my last shred of vanity.

On my knees is place where you have driven me.
Won’t you please show me a shred of decency?
Never free, fear I am yours submissively.
Just a slave who must endure your caustic raves.

No man should live like this, my pride I do surely miss.
What have I done to earn this destiny?

Flatulence! How you love to spew flatulence.
From your lips! When you break wind and let one rip.
Wind you see, you seem to love most fervently.
Unnerving are rank words you serve liberally.

Barbs both cruel and clever bind me to you forever,
fear I’ve fallen for you wholeheartedly.

Little At A Time

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Reflection in my mirror was enough to make me squeal.
My gut’s grown ginormous from daily snarfing nine square meals.
My belly does proceed me wherever it is I’ve went,
Need a new lifestyle cuz I’m way too corpulent.

As I beheld my image I declared, “It’s time for a change.”
Right there I swore a mighty oath! My body I’d rearrange.
You can see from my large middle that I truly love to eat:
Twice the man I used to be, I can no longer see my feet.

I declared, “I know folks call me fatty but I swear that’s about to end
Because starting on this very day I’m gonna work to find the thin.”

Too long have I been a sloth, but that’s behind me now.
I’m breaking out the kettlebells and cutting back on chow.
I’ll fight this fight cuz I’m a sight that should not be allowed
And I won’t quit until fat I have kowtowed!

I clung hard to a pullup bar to help my muscles grow
But from the weight of my lard-ass that bar began to bow.
Around me folks were staring in uncomprehending disbelief,
I was filled with self-disgust over having grown so massive.

Feeling humiliation’s barb, I was finished ‘fore I’d begun
When a gray-haired granny asked, “How’d you feel about a quick lesson?”

“Gotta start off easy, boy, don’tcha know?
Today we’ll plant a seed then watch it grow.
Little at a time is our best plan.
No time like the present to begin again.”

That little gray-haired granny, well, she sure showed me the ropes
And with her tender tutelage what began to grow was hope.
It took a couple decades for me to dig a hole this deep
But with hard work and perseverance good health is what I’ll reap.
Granny said:

“Gotta start off easy, boy, don’tcha know?
Today we’ll plant a seed then watch it grow.
Little at a time is our best plan.
No time like the present to begin again.”

 

 

No Life at All

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An un-examined life may be no life at all
But immersed in reflection can make advances stall.
Every moment’s precious, they’ll never come again;
Killing time’s a felony and a mortal sin.

A fool will quickly rush where angels fear to tread,
“Hold my beer and look at me,” were last words that he said.
He didn’t think it through and went for the gusto;
Due to lack of planning he’s now six feet below.

Old ladies shake their heads in scornful disbelief
Unaware cautiousness stole their lives sure as a thief.
If everything is safe and everything’s secure
Then worse than the sickness is over-cautious cure.

Wake up in the morning I haven’t got a plan;
Drifting on life’s current makes me un-directed man.
All the world’s my oyster upon which I may dine;
With a million options I settle for bovine.

Key is in my pocket to unlock my own chains,
Thought I’d break free today but sky looked like it might rain.
Sit in hall of mirrors reflecting on not much;
Need to make some changes, I’ll begin after lunch.

Is lethargy mental or is it physical?
One thing that’s for certain I lack fire down below.
There’s beauty in struggle, sweet’s taste of victory,
Need to take some chances to ward off sick ennui.

OCD is mighty, it’s got a hold of me,
Need to wash my hands once more and then I’m breaking free.
Stars up in the heavens do not control my fate
I’m reaching for life’s reins before it’s all too late.

Pool of my immersion I won’t let it drown me
I gotta make the climb and return to my aerie.
Ascent won’t be easy and I’ve long way to go;
I’m tired of looking up while feeling mighty low.

The choice is straightforward, though difficult the task,
Time now to get moving, again rise up off my ass.
Trip of a thousand miles I must begin today
Like battling Saint George there’s dragons I must slay.

An un-examined life may be no life at all
But immersed in reflection can make advances stall.
Today I start over, today begin again
Pinnacle is distant but it I hope to win.

Randall Richard Tapper

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Randall Richard Tapper crusades for chastity,
Randall Richard Tapper fights for propriety.
On the side of righteousness, that is understood,
Randall is bastion of what he knows is good.

Helping with the children he’s quick to volunteer,
Says that tender youngsters are folks he holds most dear.
High school aged chicitas, to him a special breed,
Favorite form of service is meeting young girls’ needs.

Chaperoning dances he’s always on lookout,
Search for licentiousness, an evil he must rout.
Randy takes no chances with young girls’ purity
He blocks all advances and squelches liberties.

Poor girls that are crying, who’re visually upset,
Randy Tapper comforts with gift of clean, chaste pets.
Tension in the shoulders present in poor young things,
Dick Tapper does reduce when with his hands he wrings.

Randy Dick’s pants bulging as on young girls he spies,
Randy’s carnal weakness he truly does despise.
Richard Tapper wishes temptation’d go away;
He feels such self-loathing from longings that degrade.

 

Randall Richard Tapper crusades for chastity,
Randall Richard Tapper fights for propriety.
On the side of righteousness, that is understood,
Randall is bastion of what he knows is good.

When he was a young boy and with his willy played,
Rubbing ‘gainst his mattress as southward his hands strayed.
Randy’s mum she caught him and let out quite a shriek,
Told him he was filthy, called him a dirty freak.

Not the brightest crayon stored out in the work-shed
Second time Mum caught him used ruler till he bled.
Now humiliation is part of his psyche
Feels mortification round anything sexy.

Randall’s not a dater, this must be understood,
For fleshly desires are evil, they’re not good!
Now in his late fifties Randy longs for a mate,
What he wants most is love but what he feels is hate.

Watches as a youngster gets in tiff with his date
Girl is left there weeping by boy who did berate.
Randy he walks over to lend a helping hand
And quicker than a wink arose his basest gland.

 

Randall Richard Tapper crusades for chastity,
Randall Richard Tapper fights for propriety.
On the side of righteousness, that is understood,
Randall is bastion of what he knows is good.

Desiring what he fears and fearing his desires,
Randall Richard Tapper asks if help is required?
Girl shrinks back in horror as old man advances
Soon pegs him as harmless, with him will take a chance.

Randy Dick’s excited, his car is feet away,
Here’s a distressed damsel with whom he’s gonna play.
He opens up her door, moans as she slides inside,
Tonight will be the night he slips between her thighs.

Thanks him for his kindness and tells him her address
And as they drive along slips his hand up her dress.
Richard made a mistake with his untoward advance
Our damsel in distress stabbed Dicky through his pants.

Dicky screams in horror as she makes her exit.
She looks at him and swears, “I shoulda took your nut!”
Randall Richard Tapper renews his anguished screams,
He wishes he could end this nightmare of a dream!

 

Randall Richard Tapper crusades for chastity,
Randall Richard Tapper fights for propriety.
On the side of righteousness, that is understood,
Randall is bastion of what he knows is good.

Randall Richard cowers, he knows that he’s not right;
He would give his left nut to gain proper insight.
All he wants is loving but all he feels is hate,
Takes out his revolver to make the pain abate.

Chows down on the barrel and trigger he does pull
And Randy’s addled brains go splattering to and fro.
Eulogy for Randall spoke of his charity,
How in his heart of hearts he upheld purity.

Many was the eyeball that for him shed a tear
Folks who never dreamed of what he’d done for years
Girls he’d pawed and petted while preaching chastity?
Would suffer in silence, his grotesque legacy.

There’s a million Randalls who slither on the earth
Stunted, damaged liars with no shred of self-worth.
Look beneath the wrappings of men that like to claim
That in them we can trust for their souls might be lame