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Ronni McIntosh Jul 2014
My father's long fingers smooth
over the aged scratchy pleats.
The Kilt is magnificent. It has the
fleeting beauty that only a well
kept antique has, that warm
firelight glow of the past.
It has a few scuffs and holes,
but the somber reds and greens of
clan Mackintoish have settled into
the cloth and darkened pleasantly.
The kilt is always the most important detail,
it has passed from grandfather down,
and it looks as handsome now
as in the sepia photographs on our shelves.
The dirks black ornate hilt rests
heavily against his hip, and the
belt is cinched tightly to hold it up.
you can practically hear bagpipes
My grandfather's dark green cotton socks
sit near the top of my father's calf
and he leans over to adjust the frills.
And as his tan wrinkled brow furrows
in concentration, and his admittedly
attractive white whiskers scrape
across his collar, and the image
nears completion, the drum beats louder.
Reaching up from the ancient past
and grasping the future in tradition,
the ghosts of ancestors enter his poise,
and he suddenly appears less like
my father and takes on the swagger
of a cocky fisherman, of pirate.
He is swinging swords
and playing pipes, and cobbling, and
setting stones upright in ancient
forgotten ritual, and tossing cabers.
I know looking at him now,
what my own ghosts will be
when my time comes.
Ronni McIntosh Jul 2014
Does evil change? Does it mean
something different to
each passing generation?
I rather think it doesn't
but instead wears some
dark mask to disguise hatred.
Looking into the future
it sees a people
who have abandoned their fight.
Subdued by unfortunate
laws and happenstance,
disappointment is normal,
until the cruelest evil
is met with a sigh
and casual acceptance.
Take heed that circumstances
that appear to have
improved beyond improvement,
are most dangerous to those
who are still oppressed
by lingering prejudice.
Ronni McIntosh Jul 2014
I wrote a paper in school
  about ancient myths
using an old typewriter
  and by candle-light,
wrapped up in a comforter
  that cold winter night,
despite the propane heater
  in the dining room.
All of our utilities
  were shut off for months,
electric, gas, and water;
  we had no money.
We were getting food-bank meals,
  and making our own
candles out of reused wax.
  It felt pitiful,
and in the days leading to
  my paper due date
I was told repeatedly
  that it must be typed.
The school library was closed
  before my last class
ended, and we had some fines
  at the public one.
Here's a myth I often hear,
  though not learned in school,
party politics will say,
"They wanted handouts."
Ronni McIntosh Jul 2014
I don't think, sometimes
     before, or after, I speak.
And I'm only thinking now,
after hours of antagonizing myself,
and I know we'll have to speak,
maybe today or tomorrow,
but I think I deserve
for you to think sometimes as well.
I really hate being sorry when I'm not
and I really hate saying I love you
just so you can stare offfffffff
and ignore me.
And I really hate the
insinuations and suggestions
that your cold shoulders, sighs, and apathy send me
so that I do think, sometimes
       before, or after, you speak,
that maybe you don't care for my company
quite as much as I care for yours
       even if I know that's not true <3
Ronni McIntosh Jul 2014
Despite your self-assured sense
of retribution,
violence begetting violence
is no solution.
It's true, though satisfying
violence may yet be,
joy in crying and dying
is awful, you see.
Try understanding the cause
of bad behavior,
their reasons will give you pause;
teaching you'll favor.
Ronni McIntosh Jul 2014
There's a reason why
we call it being
being poor is like
running out of time
every few minutes
over and over
and the looming tasks
you cannot complete
are ever present
and threatening to
over your family
Ronni McIntosh Jul 2014
What of our dark American tome
can we read to our children?
Will they sleep to slave-cries
and tear-gas?
Will they someday play the game
cops and hippies?
Will they understand words like
"peace" or "love"?
Or will they become funny catchphrases
of a bygone era?
Will their culture be hewn of
plastics and contracts
or the red-brown earth?
Will justice become a name and
no longer an idea?
Ronni McIntosh Jul 2014
My hair stands on end
and I tip over, spilling
into the sky and down
into the dirt.
The stage explodes inwards
in colorful bursts,
black and white bears
strumming and growling
in a cymbal crash
a thunder clap
a tap-dancing
madhouse jamboree.
The threatening noise
through the hills
and climbs up inside
until I fly out of my body
straight up into the heavens
with a sigh,
a soul release.
Ronni McIntosh Jul 2014
Walk softly, she said, softly
on hearts around you.
Your power crushes, your love
is unseemly, your tender eyes
behind yellow teeth and make-up,
your gifts are petulance,
and your own heart,
your own quiet beating drum,
passion-beat ceased long before
under the heavy tread,
the power protecting, the dreamy love,
the hard eyes behind white teeth, gnashing
the giving of precious priceless gifts,
not given freely,
and the loud thrumming incessant hum.
The masculine muscle, throbbing,
beating proudly, smugly,
handsomely sometimes.
It weeps for you and itself,
Carved of it's own destruction,
as it tends to be.
Ronni McIntosh Jul 2014
Her lips were red
red like passion
red like plastic cups in dark rooms
red like tiny pills and flushed cheeks
red like the soft folds of rose petals,
freshly bloomed and cut.
red like sirens flashing, blinking fast,
hot white fire burning.
red like the glow of coals, after.
red like ink, signed papers,
red wet tongues lying.
red, at last, like a gaping wound,
in an open wide,
red beating heart.
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