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Nov 2014 · 615
DREAM RIDER
Phillip McKenzie Nov 2014
In my dreams...
I ride barebacked on a white stallion,
Across the plains
I behold with vigilance
Where desert meets azure, sand meets sky.
There is no pollution; no smoke stacks
To **** and penetrate,
To change blue to violated gray.
The heavens are pure.
I ride barebacked on a white stallion,
By peaceful streams,
Along mountain ridges,
Where nature and I have communion,
There is no war, no rumors of war,
To depress and intimidate,
To make life insensible.
The world is harmonious.
I ride barebacked on a white stallion,
Among the wild horses;
They are my brothers.
Eagles and hawks fly together.
There is no hunter, no pursuer,
To **** and capture,
To infringe upon freedom.
The Earth is free.
I ride barebacked upon a white stallion,
Within my mind,
Into feigned sunsets,
Where Utopia is real to me.
There is no unreason, no absurdity,
To bewilder and unsettle,
To eradicate my certainty.
The dreams are real.
Nov 2014 · 825
GRANDMA'S PORCH
Phillip McKenzie Nov 2014
Sanctuary.
In the touch of her
Soft wrinkled hands,
In the understanding
Of her twinkling eyes,
In her generous,
Giving spirit,
In the melody of "Amazing Grace"
Flowing from her sweet voice.
She sings to me,
And I find peace,
On Grandma's porch.

Sanctuary,
In the rhythm of
Her rocking chair,
In summer chats
Over lemonade,
In the protection
Of her tender hug,
In lessons learned
That made me strong.
She talks to me
And I find peace,
On Grandma's porch.
Nov 2014 · 394
WHAT COLOR IS YOUR BLOOD
Phillip McKenzie Nov 2014
What color is your blood
faceless man
with hooded hate?
The burning cross
illuminates
your tortured soul.

What color is your blood
loveless man
with hooded heart?
The burning lust
you will impart
to reach your goal.

What color is your blood
thoughtless man
with hooded mind?
The ignorance burns
within your kind.
Your blood is red.
Phillip McKenzie Nov 2014
He gave her a rose as he left her,
And set out upon the sea.
"Don't worry, I'll be back at month's end,
Then, love, you will marry me."

The ship had been gone only hours
When wind increased to a gale.
She prayed he would find safe haven,
Though prayer was to no avail.

Her heart began beating as thunder;
Her tears flowed down like the rain;
Her hand grasped the rose that he gave her;
The thorns in her palm caused no pain.

He promised that he would return here,
An oath she felt to be true.
She promised, "No matter what happens,
Dear sailor, I will wait for you."

Sixty years has been spent since disaster
Took her love from the land.
In her cold bed she died still holding,
A wilted rose in a withered hand.

She is buried beside the sea shore.
A lonely old maid was she.
In her last fleeting breath she pleaded,
"My sailor, come back to me!"

One day on a cool foggy morning,
An apparition from the sand,
Knelt by her grave site holding,
A wilted rose in a withered hand
Nov 2014 · 2.0k
UNWANTED CHILD
Phillip McKenzie Nov 2014
Yesterday's tears.
Tracking down neglected cheeks,
Through grime and dirt
On frowning face.
Who will wipe them dry
And make her smile?
Unwanted child.

Yesterday's fears.
Haunting her another day.
She makes her bed
In alley ways.
Who will take her home
And make her warm?
Unwanted child.

Yesterday's hunger.
Eating at her; wants and needs;
Food can't be found
At any cost.
Who will nourish her
And give her life?
Unwanted child.

Yesterday's life.
Passing now to be no more.
Forlorn and cold
On hated streets.
Who will bury her
And give her rest?
Unwanted child.
Nov 2014 · 607
WHISTLER JOHN
Phillip McKenzie Nov 2014
In the Appalachian mountains
Up a cove, at Miller's Creek,
Lived a man they called the whistler,
Long white hair, and mild and meek.

Whistler John would sit from sun up
As the fog rose from the hills,
Til the golden ball was setting
You could hear his lonesome trills.

You could hear him talk to robin,
Speak to sparrows, owls at night,
He befriended crows and finches
And the likes of ole Bob White.

As he sat beneath the willow
He would listen hard and long,
Paying mind to his companions,
Naming them by their sweet song.

One evening as the sun was setting
An eagle flew far overhead,
A whippoorwill kept on singing,
But no one answered, John was dead.

As he lay beneath the willow,
The birds sensed something must be wrong,
For a moment there was silence,
John's companions hushed their song.
Nov 2014 · 346
OLD FOLKS ON THE PORCH
Phillip McKenzie Nov 2014
Old folks on the porch
Rocking gently, hearts entwined,
Holding hands and slightly smiling
As their memories unwind.

"Do you remember when," she said.
He said, "Of course, you know I do,"
"The first time that we met; we kissed;
And when I said that I love you."

"Well what about the time," she said.
"Oh yes," he said, "I do recall,
"The year we bought this house, this land,
"Sometime in the early fall."

They sat and talked for hours that day
As birds performed a symphony,
They spoke a while of years gone by;
They feared the loss of memory.

"You know, I think it's time," she said.
"Yes," he said, "this is the day."
They kissed and hugged while holding hands.
They knew it had to end this way.

They held the guns up to their heads
While quietly he lit the torch,
There was nothing left but ashes of,
Old folks on the porch.
Nov 2014 · 6.3k
THE GENTLE GIANT
Phillip McKenzie Nov 2014
He was the Gentle Giant,
His voice was like soft thunder.
His Hands, strong enough to lift up the fallen,
Yet gentle enough to hold the smallest child.

He was the Gentle Giant,
His children were yours and mine.
He towered over them with great height,
And cast a shadow of deep love.

He was the Gentle Giant,
His face chiseled from stone,
His outward appearance intimidating,
But his heart was molded from pure gold.

He was the Gentle Giant,
And sometimes giants fall,
But in his wake he left
Waves of love to last for generations.
Nov 2014 · 342
GOING HOME
Phillip McKenzie Nov 2014
I looked into the sky today
And saw an angel taking flight,
And in his arms, he held a child,
Around them brilliant light.

“Where are you taking him,” I asked,
As he stretched his mighty wings.
“I’m taking him to be with God
And where my brothers sing.

“Bring him back,” I plead to him,
“Please don’t take away this boy.
His mom and dad won’t understand.
He is their pride and joy.”

“I must deliver him,” he said.
“He will never be alone.
I must take my flight with him,
This child is going home.”

“But what about his family,
Who want to see him grow,
Why can’t you leave him behind,
With loved ones here below?”

The angel softly said to me,
“I don’t think you understand,
This one is a special child
Not meant to live with man.”

“God sent me here to rescue him
From misery and pain,
So, please sir, I beckon you,
Please do not restrain.”

And as the angel flew toward home
I saw the baby smile,
I knew that we would meet again
In just a little while.
Nov 2014 · 1.0k
THE VETERAN
Phillip McKenzie Nov 2014
The old man stood there feebly
Beside the crowded street
As the Color Guard came marching proudly by.
Old Glory, she was waving
As he graciously saluted,
And tear drops started falling from his eyes.

His granddad fought in Italy,
His dad against the Germans,
And he was in Korea as a boy,
Everywhere that they had battled
In fox hole or in valley,
They sacrificed their lives
For that Old Glory.

The old man stood there thinking
About how they fought for freedom,
Not only ours, but folks in other lands,
And how the legacy of valor
Flowed through the blood of family
And he prayed for his grandson in desert sands.

The parade had finally ended
And the Color Guard had passed him,
And he sat upon the grass in solemn thought.
The old man looked around him
At the people with their laughter,
And he was proud for all the battles
He had fought.
Nov 2014 · 277
EMILY
Phillip McKenzie Nov 2014
I heard a fly buzz by my head
While I was fishing at the creek
And Emily’s poems were in my car
In a book checked out a week.
I sat still as water passed
I was alive before the storm,
I thought of her in cold, cold ground
And the stillness of her form.
The rain drops splashed on thinning hair
As I climbed slowly, not too far
Lightning flashed and thunder rolled
And I read her poetry in my car.
Nov 2014 · 2.1k
YELLOW
Phillip McKenzie Nov 2014
I love yellow.

The yellow blanket that accompanied him home from the hospital,
Wrapping up all the pride and joy in one bundle.
The yellow post-it notes that announced,
“I love you dad”
and stuck mysteriously in easily discovered locations.
A yellow highlighter that marked significant passages
in favorite books and important Bible verses
he liked to remember.
Yellow legal pads that recorded my poems
and stories that were inspired by him.
Yellow sneakers that ran the bases, stomped the puddles,
loped through high green grass as he befriended a yellow butterfly.
Yellow sneakers that ran after the yellow ball,
out into the busy, hateful street;
brought to a fatal halt by a drunk driver.
Yellow roses, sprayed across the tiny casket,
a shadow of their former cheerfulness.
Yellow dandelions, hanging their heads in the cold,
depressing rain;
missing those little yellow sneakers
that once danced around them.
A yellow oak leaf drifting down
on Autumn’s early chill,
floating to rest upon a small,
lonely grave.

I hate yellow.
Nov 2014 · 249
MIDNIGHT FOG
Phillip McKenzie Nov 2014
Somewhere in the midnight fog
I see her walking slowly by,
Her ghostly figure walks away,
Silky white and cotton gray.

Underneath a thumbnail moon,
Through the misty midnight hour,
She leaves no footprints in the sand,
She has no ring upon her hand.

Past the willows hanging low,
Over through the sodden grass,
She turns and looks with glowing eyes,
She speaks, but only lonely sighs.

High up on the cliff she stands,
Waves are crashing down below.
She leaps and takes her final flight,
She disappears into the night.

I run to where that I soon find
She’s lying lifeless on the shore,
She somehow seems to beckon me,
To follow her into the sea.

I sit upon a fallen pine,
And once again, she passes by.
Her ghostly figure walks away,
Silky white and cotton gray.

— The End —