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Lawrence Hall May 2019
This is a re-post of "All Change at Zima Junction."  This morning I turned in my keys after some forty years of herding cattle (metaphorically), seventeen of them with this institution.  I am unemployed for the first time since I was five or so and was set to toddling out to the chicken yard every evening to gather the eggs in an old Easter basket.  My mother said that the rooster often chased me and made me cry, but I don’t remember that.

And now - what adventure does Aslan have next for me?

The first book I bought upon returning home from Viet-Nam was the Penguin Modern European Poets paperback edition of Yevtushenko: Selected Poems.  That 75-cent paperback from an airport bookstall in San Francisco is beside me on the desk as I write.

                                     All Change at Zima Junction

                            For Yevgeny Yevtushenko, 1932-2017

Everyone changes trains at Zima Junction
Changes lives; nineteen becomes twenty-one
With hardly a pause for twenty and then
Everyone asks you questions you can’t answer

And then they say you’ve changed, and ignore you
The small-town brief-case politician still
Enthroned as if he were a committee -
He asks you what you are doing back here

And then you go away, on a different train:
Everyone changes trains at Zima Junction

                           “I went, and I am still going.”1

1Yevtushenko: Selected Poems. Penguin,1962
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
Reactionarydrivel.blogspot.com.
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on amazon.com as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Tommy Randell Apr 2019
Purpose may be crafted out of nothing
Tools & Skills put to other uses

A Poet can write of Life
While searching for whatever amuses

Comfort in ageing is quietness
Inside where the doubts are clamouring

Peace is a mind filled with ripples
After a lifetime's endless hammering

Yes, the vistas of retirement are daunting
Left behind by a purposeful world

The book of one's life still open
But stuck on a page unturned

Sit back though and watch all the faces
Give labels and names to their expressions

See yourself walking beside them
Was that you? Were those your intentions?

It's the Noise I think is the problem
The white hiss that Time is leaking

But that noise is your system balancing
It is fresh air coming in and spring cleaning

Don't be staring ahead, just find a blank sheet
Put your name at the Bottom...
And fill it

This is not your Winter Of Discontent
But the Glorious Harvest of Autumn...
If you will it!
Thank you Lori Jones McCaffery for setting the seeds for this poem.
Tommy Randell Mar 2019
At 67 my days are filled
With poetry and a dog.
The time it takes to wake,
Shower, and walk to the beach.

I pick up pebbles, she sniffs,
As we amble along.
I set my sights on the rock
Where we usually choose to be.

I get my life has led me here
Entertained by my own cliches.
Like Kermit on his stairs,
Half way is always the best place.

The tides are set as usual,
Twice a day to remind us
There are patterns and rhythms
For comfort if needed.

There is conversation too.
The dogs shouts at me,
I throw the ball,
Dependencies are conceded.

I am no old man, of course,
Modern living is kinder
Than to our parents and All.
Indeed, there are miracles -

Extra years and health galore,
Greater chances to be wiser.
Even the choice, if I may say,
To be a little less cynical.

Sea glass is common here,
Rough polished and opaque -
A bit like me these days,
Not shiney, you might say.

But there is beauty, daily.
And reason, make no mistake -
To view life with a certain grace,
And see gold amongst the greys.
Whitby, named by the Vikings of course - White Bay - has 2 miles of gently shelving yellow sand for a beach. Caldey, my seven month Fox Red Retriever, and I go there most days any weather ...
Andrew Choo Mar 2019
I’m no longer a fighter,
At least not the one you once knew;
The world isn't getting brighter;
Just a little bit darker.
Friends seem farther,
Demons just a little bit closer.
With my thinking,
There’s never closure;
I can’t ever find my way.
For in the dark of night,
I seek the light of day.
Gone down the wrong road,
I'm not a prince, just a toad;
Buried beneath,
Stuck in Morse code.
Thought I could go god mode;
Super strength, all-powerful.
I thought I was incredible,
But I'm no Bruce Banner.
I thought I was invincible,
But I'm no Iron Man.
More like the Metal Man,
Meddling in affairs.
‘Cept life's not fair.

Already placed in battle,
Rifle running rattle,
I’m training like a soldier;
Thoughts crowding like cattle,
Thought I could hold her;
She's all I can think about.
Can't get her out of my head.
Used to feel alive,
Now, I'm feeling dead.
This one-sided attraction,
Self-doubt, large fraction,
Chemical chain reaction;
Rejection, hit like a wall,
Made me fall;
Like first king, Saul,
Can't stand tall.
Am I a man?
Can't hold her hand.
It's like Wendy and Peter Pan,
Lost in Neverland.
I feel paralyzed,
No vice vision;
Fast forward,
Rewind.
No direction,
I'm blind.
This is my body.
This is my mind.
Muscle-memory mimicry,
Chained down,
I thought that I was free.
Guard up,  
I thought that I could be me.

You see,
I used to be a fighter.
But I'm tired of fighting.
I should've enlisted,  
Here, I never existed.
This story's end,
Happily never after;
This decade's end,
Turning twenty-one;
My match has ended.
And I still haven't won.
Fire's been extinguished.
Fuel tank's empty.
No more will in me.
The pressure's killing me.
Bout to go off,
Time's ticking to two;
These gloves, I'm hanging up,
I'm finally through.
Points don't matter,
The price ain't right.
I ain't a Mad Hatter,
I’m down, no flight.
Insanity isn't my vanity;
I feel like I've lost my humanity,
I'm not trying to be a tragedy,
In all actuality,
I've reached my capacity;
Anxiety caused a calamity,
And, now, this is my reality.

A fighter no more,
I lost the war.
Yeah, I ain't Thor;
I may have lost my roar,
But my legacy leaves a lore.
Unworthy of the hammer,
I feel like I'm in the slammer.
Outcast like the Martian from Mars,
Stone walls and iron bars;
They say that I should  
Reach for the stars.
You’ll reach Jupiter in no time,
Just get on the grind, and climb.
They say that my writing's good;
But good was never enough.
Just gotta act tough, and
You'll get through the rough stuff.
Clive Blake Mar 2018
I want to walk in my golden years,
On the Cornish beaches’ warm gold sands,
Where my footsteps are unhurried,
And my route is seldom planned.

I want to sit on the wooden benches,
Overlooking those dark blue bays,
I want to breath in this fresh salt air,
Until the ending of my days.

I don’t want to become immortal;
Living for forever and a day,
I just want to savour life in this world,
No matter how long or short my stay.

I don’t want my life extended for the sake of it,
With no reason or rhyme,
I just want to live in the here and the now,
And enjoy this - my quality time.
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