Cslifornia   
Wrote my first lines at age 10. Never stopped. I write because I can't not write. Every word is © Lori Jones McCaffery
Wrote my first lines at age 10. Never stopped. I write because I can't not write. Every word is © Lori Jones McCaffery

I can do this, you know.  You know I can.
I’m the little engine that could - in real life.
You can bend the tracks and I’ll just stretch my wheels
And you can listen to them scream and mumble in their protest
But they will sail around your bend.

This is a day of confidence and hope.
My train can climb the highest hill you build
And whistle all the way back down.
It can stop at every station on the line
And make the roundhouse right on time.

I can do it all, you know.  You know I can.
I have nine arms and fourteen legs and they know what to do.
They never tire and never stop for dinner.
My back is like a railroad tie and you can try
But you won’t bend or break it.

This is a day of effort and reward.
My little engine pulls whatever load is offered
And delivers it without a scratch, on time -
Only asking for a dab of axle grease
As compensation for the effort.
                      ljm

Feeling invincible.  I have done so much with so little for so long that now I can do everything with nothing.

The Japanese Current
Flows through my veins-
Father of undertow
Feeder of the clam beds
Grinding away
The smooth edges
Of Summer and Autumn

Stranger to Southern beaches
The current creates
Weather of it’s own
And plays rough at it’s mildest.

I watch as the tow
Sweeps away my sandy footing.
How fast I can move
Is how fast I survive.

Don’t turn your back
On the Japanese Current
Mercy isn’t floating in that tide
And it will knock you down.

You can wade into the freezing waves
But only a fool would try to swim.
Nothing for Michael Phelps here
Unless he excels with a shovel.

From little motor court cabins
With linoleum floors
And sand in the corners
We’d pile out in the dark

At four A.M. low tides
Slender shovels in our hands
We braved the gales
That would be banned in Maui
Gifting us with glorious misery.

Wind whipping scarves and hair
And sneaking through the jackets
That didn’t really shield us
From the sideways blowing rain
That couldn’t wash away our smiles.


We’d stomp the sand and look for bubbles
Dig for all we’re worth - plunge a hand
Into the hole collapsing
To grope for the illusive razor clam -
Treasure of the Northwest beaches.

Special treat for seafood lovers
Fried, or ground or cooked in stew
They seemed like sliced up innertubes to me
My fun was in the finding and the digging
The cleaning was my dad, the frying was my mom
And not eating them was me.

LONG BEACH WASHINGTON

World’s longest unbroken sandy beach
Twenty-eight miles of solid sand
Bring your car, ride your horse or bike
Cut christies in the hard packed sand.
Splash along the edges of the waves
Race with no red lights behind you.

Just watch the turning of the tide
Or boys with jeeps will have to pull you out
(Impossibly heroic idols of
My childhood beach adventures.)

And yet sometimes the sun came out-
Oh rarest gift from Mother Nature
We wandered below the kite filled skies
And sandy castle festivals.

We hid both sorrows and often and joys
And sometime hanky panky
Among the sea grass covered hillocks
That roll like the boil of a bubbling kettle
Between the sand and civilization.

It’s still there, almost unmarred
By glitzy boardwalks and sunglass shacks
Just as I remember it, what seems an eon later
Familiar things at every turn
Small thing tell me that my world abides
And I’m not really home until I’m there.
ljm

I see it beginning to change and become more commerical.  Beard's Hollow, where we used to camp with our tent is now inaccessible from the road.  Clams  have been over dug and now there is a season and a limit.  The little motor ourts have been replaced with multistory hotels, but the little town is virtually unchanged. I cannot go to Southwest Washington without a day at the beach.

How do you think a team of rich incompetents
Can keep spinning all of those plates in the air
That carry the tools to keep everything moving.

Who will trip the first domino in line
And start the click-clacking to disintegration
Of all of the promises made but not kept.

Who will find blame in somebody else
When the rain begins falling on every parade
And none of the float engines will start.

Who will proclaim that the emperor IS clothed
And those who don’t see it are losers
And need to go climb in a basket.

Who is excited at the start of the race
And leaps off away at the sound of the gun
Only to stumble and come in a poor fourth.

Who will be left to pick up the pieces of
Those shattered plates no longer spinning
And who will reset all the tiles that are scattered.

It won’t be the team of much richer inepts-
They met their goal of serving themselves
And their friends all the biggest pieces of

Pie that was promised to those in the middle.
Those who got crumbs that they couldn’t swallow
In places now sullied and unsafe to sit.

It won’t be the peacock still preening and prancing
In his mating dance with the rest of the world
Creating a history that for him never happened.

It won’t be the posse that rode out behind him
To free up the prairie of fences and borders
To make the marauding more easy and fun

Who will be left to clean up the mess?
The broom store is open and very well stocked
Who’s gonna do it - The rest of us, I guess.
ljm

Wish I could stop writing about this topic, but I get disgusted anew every day and am forced  to finish all the things I started on 1/20 - like this one.
#election   #trump  

Madness moves me
That curtain is
  T  O  R  N
I scattered it
in purple shatters
on the shadow
across the sidewalk.
  from the  moon.
The whippoorwill
   S I N G S
out of tune
to match
a bad
    harmonica and
a rusty piccolo.
The box
that held it all
was auctioned off
    There was no
highest bidder.
The city
        trembles
from the
urgency of need
And none will make
    an offer.
Madness falls in
   L O V E
with unrequited horror
and gives birth
to pandemonium
  which is
marked down eighty-five
    percent
But only if
the flags are      flying.
Outside
comes in from
the cold
through windows
   with no     curtains
stepping over
purple stains
on badly
threadbare carpets
while
    the loom
goes right on
weaving
             ljm

no comment

Thoughts like cobwebs float on streams of consciousness
Looking for a solid theme to land on.
Statements ricochet across the voids of understanding
And bounce off walls of inattention.
Comments sidle under and around the focus of discussion
To hide in disparate agendas.
Declarations skid on slippery reasoning and crash
Into thick barriers of resistance.
Decisions leap frog over moving clock hands
And we all get up and rush away from doing nothing.
Meeting is adjoured.
                  ljm

I'd rather do the whole job myself than have to work with a committee.

I won’t be sad to leave this world
Where people beat up on the dogs who love them
And lock their children in a closet to starve.
Where people throw bags of baby kittens in the river
And think it’s a lark without a pang of guilt.
Where lying is always the accepted answer
And stealing is taking what’s felt as deserved.
Where thoughtless unkindness is the rule of the day
And no one can see past their ‘want’ of the moment.
I don’t think I’ll be sad to go.

My hopes have been wounded and bruised
By callous uncaring and selfish spite.
My dreams became nightmares
When trampled on by the bottom line.
My plans were unraveled like a badly knit sweater
When worn in the cold wind of cheating
And bragging of gaming the system.
My ethics are pummeled in rapid succession
By those with agendas much blacker than sin
So I don’t think I’ll be at all sad to go.

The world is now vinegar in fine champagne bottles
The liter of Coke, a molotov cocktail
And our very best friend is the enemy.
The rage on the highway makes it unsafe to drive
And the muggers defy you to walk.
The unwanted ads that spring out from hiding
Are like death from a thousand small cuts.
And the blood of my joy soaks into the ground
Where nothing can grow without any rain
And the heat never melts the ice in your veins.
It won’t be all that sad to just go
       ljm

Where is the GOOD news, the story of kindness and caring, of helping and encouraging?  I'm so weary of the evilness in this world

I won’t be sad to leave this world
Where people beat up on the dogs who love them
And lock their children in a closet to starve.
Where people throw bags of baby kittens in the river
And think it’s a lark without a pang of guilt.
Where lying is always the accepted answer
And stealing is taking what’s felt as deserved.
Where thoughtless unkindness is the rule of the day
And no one can see past the ‘want’ of the moment.
I don’t think I’ll be sad to go.

My hopes have been wounded and bruised
By callous uncaring and selfish spite.
My dreams became nightmares
When trampled on by the bottom line.
My plans were unraveled like a badly knit sweater
When worn in the cold wind of cheating
And bragging of gaming the system.
My ethics are pummeled in rapid succession
By those with agendas much blacker than sin
So I don’t think I’ll be at all sad to go.

The world is now vinegar in fine champagne bottles
The liter of Coke, a molotov cocktail
And our very best friend is the enemy.
The rage on the highway makes it unsafe to drive
And the muggers defy you to walk.
The unwanted ads that spring out from hiding
Are like death from a small cuts.
And the blood of my joy soaks into the ground
Where nothing can grow without any rain
And the heat never melts the ice in your veins.
It won’t be all that sad to just go.          
ljm

Where is the GOOD news?  The hopeful, uplifting story, the scene of kindness and caring portrayed?  I'm weary of the evilness rampant in our world today.
 
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