So Proud

You kill your brothers for what they eat
You maim your cousins for where they pray

You beat your sisters if they enter your temples
You let your priests molest your children

You condemn mere reading as blasphemy
You destroy your own national treasures

You mow down innocent citizens
You persecute entire communities

And as if all this is not brutal enough
You mutilate your own little girls

You stand there, so proud of your religion
I hope you’ve thought about how you’ll face your creator

Road Song

Every traveler must have
A song for their road
It makes the journey easier
It lightens their heavy load

Some days it’s such a thrill
Speeding along the highways
On other days life’s happiness
Hides in the lanes and byways

Sometimes the trip is easy
The road is smooth like a feather
Sometimes the going gets tough
When you must fight nasty weather

The clouds gather quickly
Looks like a thunderstorm
Oh how the heart is longing
For someplace cozy and warm

When the night is dark and moonless
With nary a soul in sight
It’s such a wonderful feeling
To see a diner’s blinking light

Inside, a weary waitress
Greets you with her warm smile
Her simple hospitality
Makes the pit-stop worthwhile

The bar is full of travelers
They’re tired too, no one talks
The only comfort you can find
Comes from a quarter and a jukebox

When you must make your living
On the road, while you roam
If home is where the heart is
Can the road become your home?

Like every other traveler
I too sing my road song
I see how wide my road is
I just don’t know how long

Legacy

What is the legacy of this moment?
That it came by and then it went?

What is the legacy of this heartbeat?
That the heart beats with purpose is just a romantic conceit?

What is the legacy of this breath?
That it will help defer the moment of my death?

What is the legacy of this day, this date?
That I almost made a trick with the hand dealt by Fate?

What is the legacy of this week, month, year?
That my time on earth is short, that my death is now near?

What is the legacy of my time on Earth?
That the time of my death came after the time of my birth?

Tsundoku**

Books I have bought but never read
Reflecting on this unfinished life I have led

Dreaming of traveling to distant, wonderful lands
Wishing for a bright orange sunset on white silver sands

Missing the Farewell Tour to hear Paul Simon sing
Turning a deaf ear to the melody of the lark on a wing

Ignoring her when she said ‘We really need to talk’
Never believing in God but wishing my bedridden mother would walk

In a world full of woe, thinking only of my own sorrow
Always sacrificing today for the sake of that elusive tomorrow

Like these works of great literature sitting on my shelf
I’ve lived a life not for others, only for my own indulgent self

Unable to decipher the last garbled words my father said
Will these unread books be the only regret of my deathbed?

**Tsundoku is Japanese for the act of buying books but leaving them unread

A Friend Of Mine

Some like you for your color
Dark or light, red or white

Some like you for your flavor
Currant, caramel, cherry, plum

Some like you for your bouquet
Flowery, fruity, oaky, smoky

Some drink you to remember
A wedding, a birthday, an anniversary

Some drink you to forget
A heartbreak, a great loss, a catastrophe

Some drink you helplessly
Because you’re a hard habit to break

Some drink you snobbishly
How else would they enjoy their steak?

I drink you, o bottle of wine
Because you put me on cloud number nine

I drink you, o bottle of wine
Because you are now a friend of mine

Left-Right

Your race and mine may be different
But we both bleed red

Your politics and mine may be different
But we both need a state

Your religion and mine may be different
But we both need our faith

Your values and mine may be different
But we both want to do good

Your beliefs and mine may be different
But we both want to know the truth

Your morals and mine may be different
But we both want to know what’s right

You and I may be two different people
But we both are human

Whirlwind

A hurricane that hurls its destructive winds
Belying the calm in its eye

A typhoon that flattens a million palms
And ruins many a pacific paradise

A cyclone that swallows a thousand fishermen
And leaves their families behind to starve

A tornado that makes rubble without a warning
Out of a thriving Midwestern town

In spite of their awesomeness
These are but mere gusts of air…

When I feel the whirlwind of emotions
That’s devastating my mind