Trust from Distrust

sad woman1

 

building trust

out of the ruins

from the walls of distrust

her history

pain, shame, betrayals

emotion-filled quarry

stolen innocence

a thousand slashes upon her soul

older kin, once thought to be a prince

brick and mortar

hiding tears, embracing chaos

dwelling in darkness with its false sense of order

kids bearing kids

societal tricks, better learn quick

construct the walls, lock the lids

each new love lost

taking chance on romance

but built on distrust; oh, what a high cost

walls grow thicker

settles for joyless marriages

walls now symbols of “no love” sticker

till new love arrives

soul-mate man with heart in hand

says, “tear down walls and love survives”

she takes a chance

willing to bare all

still blocks out the world

but naked to her love

supported by his strength

she learns to stand tall

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© JW Thomas

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Misfit Angels

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They’re the ones you rarely think about

They’re the ones you never praise

Until a time comes when you need them

You won’t give them the time of day

 

They’re the misfit angels

Heroes you thought could never be

Always taken for granted

Till they perform unexpectedly

 

They’re the ones you pass without seeing

They’re the ones who never win

You’ve tagged them deadbeats and rejects

Yet they help you again and again

 

They’re the ones who do the menial tasks

They’re the ones with no task at all

But they still hear, see, and feel

And often answer when you call

 

They’re the ones lost among the masses

They’re the ones; faceless ghosts who seem so small

Then desperation finally finds you

And those once small are now standing tall

 

They’re the misfit angels

Heroes you thought could never be

Always taken for granted

Till they perform unexpectedly

 

They’re the ones never seen with halos

They’re the ones never wearing crowns

Wingless creatures; yet you need them

For without them life’s sins abound

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“We finally got our wings.”

© JW Thomas

Honest Injun

HonestInjun

I awoke in L.A.

and was lulled back to sleep

with promise of the American Dream

I was told to work hard

and to save what I made

then my life would be Peaches and Cream

 

So I worked like a slave

with my eye on the prize;

I held down two jobs while going to school

My first future crumbled

when my first marriage died;

tried to be honest, while others were cruel

 

Tried to be an “Honest Injun”

but wound-up as the fool

Grandfather tried to warn me

“They will abuse the Golden Rule”

Tried to be an “Honest Injun”

Forgot how the rich man schemed

System’s made by the corrupt

so the rest of us get reamed

 

My second future fell

wounded in the Army

and finding out the VA is a joke

Next went all my savings

in the crash of oh-nine;

was about to retire but now I’m broke

 

I was left to flounder

to starve and disappear

while Uncle Sam bailed out the crooked banks

They say that each of us

will get a fighting chance

but the gun they give us only shoots blanks

 

Tried to be an “Honest Injun”

but wound-up as the fool

Grandfather tried to warn me

“They will abuse the Golden Rule”

Tried to be an “Honest Injun”

Forgot how the rich man schemed

System’s made by the corrupt

so the rest of us get reamed

 

©JW Thomas

Paid to Puppet

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Paid to puppet… hands, strings, and things

Paid to puppet… horns or halos with wings

I’m paid to puppet all season long

Don’t forget the dialogue; gotta’ sing the songs

Paid to puppet

We’ve got the shadowbox and the silhouettes

We’ve got the hand puppets and finger-puppets too

We work with strings on the marionettes

And don’t forget the dummies, cuz’ they won’t forget you

Paid to puppet

Full-figure… half-figure… bust only

Black light… no light… don’t matter

Little boy… little girl… white pony

Fat cat… winged bat… Mad Hatter

Paid to puppet

You’ve got traditional, like nursery rhymes

They’re good for a laugh with the whole kid crew

And there’s original for contemporary times;

How ‘bout the shoot um’ up… we just got you?

Paid to puppet

Kid party… big party… buck only

Babe party… sex party… adult matter

Fantasy… fancy-free… skull boney

Shakespeare… Galahad… blood spatter

Paid to puppet

So much better to be a puppeteer… than a puppet.

© JW Thomas

Endless Shore

A Broad Sky

 

Wandering white wisps

meander above

Horizon due west

Line unbroken

between peripheries

Sea of mysteries

cloaked in harmony

with gravity

Playing it cool:

tranquil

Blue, gray, green –

ultra-marine:

emotional hues,

thoughts and dreams

Transition peaceful

gentle lapping sounds

ethereal

parade of pups

perhaps

Lap, lap, lap:

salivating

salty foam,

sand, shells, and pebbles

To shore

for sure

they return once more

Circle of life

A solitary witness

speculative

Loves me, loves me not

No one to see

if she chose not to be

cloaked in black wool

strolling towards the sea

(*note: inspired by photographic image from Carrie Mae Weems entitled “A broad an Expansive Sky – Ancient Rome from Roaming, 2006)

 

© JW Thomas

So I am Told

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I am a byproduct of civilization

Blood from two of the five

civilized tribes flows in me

So I am told

Tribes of the Southeast

Why is the Southeast not my home?

Because of the Trail of Tears

So I am told

Destination

Oklahoma

New roots for ancestral kin

So I am told

Why is Oklahoma not my home?

Because of the “New Deal”

So I am told

Placate the politician

Vacate the reservation

Paddy-cake a new direction

Earn more money

Have jingle-jangle jeans

Forget your language

Homicide your Spirit Guide

Be a “real” American

So I am told

A few went to Texas

A few to Southern Cal

Indian maiden finds white-eyed Prince

Indian brave finds white-eyed gal

Broken water sets me free

Born in Long Beach

California

As far away from my ancestral home

as I can get

without getting wet

So I am told

Separated geographically

Separated culturally

So I am told

But I have lived

loved

longed

lost

and laughed

But never with a true connection to kin

My inspiration to begin again

A byproduct of civilization

So I am told

More often than not – civilization sucks

© JW Thomas

Teaching

sad indian2

 

We are taught to take pride in clan and tribe

But it’s taught through centuries of victimization

We are told we are strong because we survive

But many on the rez’ don’t live – merely exist

We’re told on the leeward side of visions is a better life

But chemical visions are now the trend and bring death

We’ve been taught to take all handouts and even beg for more

Do we only stand tall when standing on the feet of others?

We’re told to focus on our future by not forgetting our past

But crashing is inevitable when you cannot see ahead

We’re taught to sell holy symbols like side-show concessions

And act surprised to live in the desert of disharmony

We’re taught tales by story-changers claiming truth in lies

So even those that listen only hear us as strangers

We’re told a sign of character is in dying well

And so many of us do it well before our time

We taught our children how to die

We forgot to teach them how to live

© JW Thomas