I Learned This

I didn’t write anything at all on Father’s Day,
But rested instead, in a quirky, working way,
I did everything just like my dad showed me,
Before he started to lose the man who he used to be.
I pray that the harder struggle doesn’t happen to me,
But I see clear signs all around me already.
He used to be so strong, and worked so very hard,
At his job, at church, for friends, or strangers, or in the yard,
I can see that more than he loves himself, he still loves us,
His kids, his wife, and surviving friends, He’s my image of Jesus,
When he was younger and stronger he set the tone
Expecting respect, demonstrating grace and love, until we had grown
And always showing love for my mum that still gleams in his eyes
Despite the frustrations that can still make them both cry
I learned this.

So I worked in the yard and the house on Father’s day
Resting hands in the dish soap, in the garden, at play
And I flirted with her;  ’til it hurt when she pushed back,
But I loved past the point when I felt her attack
And I don’t understand how, but I love the same way
Sometimes it works out, it’s what dad would say
The kids disrespect and the wife says things harshly
And occasionally she sees me hurt, says she loves me,
Then offers something different than she knows I really wanted
Because love sometimes translates, and sometimes it doesn’t
If I only know how to speak love with the tongues of mere humans
Ending with surrender, I miss the mark by even farther then
I have to do more than say it to make it really count
Say I’m crazy, but love’s worth blood and pain, any amount
I learned this.

Instead of intent and accomplishment, I gave up and spent
Time to show love, and then our time came and went
To say it, to be it, an example to my kids, and proof to her
That I meant the words of my vow, just like my father
Mum’s frustrated; He says he can’t do it, I feel his discouragement,
As strength that once filled him is replaced by bones, bent,
He gets tired easily instead, now in slow, aging decline,
And his legs hurt sometimes, I’m sure much worse than mine.
She and I did mundane things, held hands, being together
I missed my chance to mow the grass, caught by stormy weather
I can’t get frustrated.  It’ll have to wait until another day
Another time, because love’s worth the time, and any price I’ll pay
I learned this.

A kind word, and laughter, are stronger than strength
I want a legacy of love that outlives my life’s length
But I begin to realize the things I can’t do still
That I used to just do; now I still try; I always will
Offering guidance with a gentle hand, a story, a joke meant
To distract but discipline, train by encouragements spoken
There are and will be days when I want my way, for me
But more often that’s not how I hope to be in their memory
They see me, discouraged, and I get up again, disappointed by
Life, and I get up again, I smile, fall and get up, trying to try
And fail, and try until I win, or die, I want to leave this
They see me discouraged, and angry, I cry, shoot and miss
The mark, but I keep on trying, fighting my pain with rage
Because I’ve seen deep meaning behind trying as I age
I learned this.

My dad is old and sometimes, too tired to try again,
I’ve seen him want to surrender, depressed, and then
To spite the lie, the warrior’s glint in his eyes flashes
Rage to raise to his feet again, teeth grind and gnash as
He tries anyway.  Despite all the negative-he may fail
When he feels disappointed, left alone after betrayal
“A righteous man falls seven times,” and gets up again
I may never be righteous; failure feels like all I’ve ever been
But I want to get up, love, and fight, when I remember his life
She doesn’t speak his language well, but she’s still his wife.
Not all of this is shown perfectly, by either my father or me,
But it’s worth the effort, if generations grow, learning to see
That noble struggles with life, with their personal humanity
Are the ongoing examples they ought to choose to leave.
I learned this.

Thanks, Dad.
~Deon

Fuck You, Monday.

I hate Monday.  I’m sorry, Monday, but it’s your own damned fault.  On Mondays there are more heart attacks than any other day of the week.  Clearly, Monday is a stressor that it would be better to avoid altogether.  Sure, there’s speculation that alcohol consumption may contribute to causality of the heart attacks.  But I call Monday out.  Monday, you suck.
Ending the weekend, having to go back to shitty jobs, repeating the cycle of hopelessness and thankless grief, it’s a wonder more of our hearts don’t just give up.  Fuck you, Monday.  I want an extra day that offers rest and peace and hope.  Many of us don’t even really get that on the weekends any more, hence the alcohol consumption.  Because if you can’t get rest and peace and hope, pretend like hell.  Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, offering an illusion of happiness to us.  At least, the illusion of stress relief.

Monday is almost over.  In 10 minutes the whole thing is over.  But before it goes away and I go into the insomnia of Tuesday morning, let me just say again, fuck you, Monday.

According to recent data, Wednesday is  the most common day for suicides, so Wednesday, fuck you, too.  I hate you for friends who decide to quit and I don’t even care if they quit on Wednesdays.  I hate you almost as much as Monday, but you’re not getting me, you grim fucker.

I love the next song, in spite of myself.  Or maybe it’s just that voice.  Maybe it’s the faith and hope of the stories the song tells, I hope those stories are actually true.  Someone do the research, I can’t.  I want it to be true.


I mean, that voice, these lyrics:

What I hate most of all is death in general.   Fight that shit, people.  Let’s all fight it together.

It’s Tuesday morning, I’m hanging between possibly the two most grim days of the week, with stress ahead of me today that probably exceeds the stress of Monday morning.  Fuck.  But damn it, I’m going to fight.

The show must go on.

Shit

I tried so hard this weekend.  I really did.  I went to the fitness event and nearly died.  I tried to be nice even though I was exhausted.  I didn’t want to do that this weekend, and I don’t want to do her thing next weekend either.  I’m just happy I didn’t die.  By some freakish fortune I didn’t have an asthma attack.  I came close.  But I was good.  I tried to be helpful with family things.  And I still catch the shit to the point where I shut it down because I was tired of being shit on.  It could improve, but it hasn’t for a few weeks.  Maybe it’s the cyclothymia, or maybe it’s just because I’m tired of being shit on.

I’m tired of everything.  I want to be appreciated.

On the other side, trying to be understanding, they wish I had more energy and wanted to do stuff.  They wish I had the faith to just quit my current job and just waltz into the next, bigger, badder, higher paying job like that just happens just so just fucking easily for everyone.  Bad enough they shit on me at my current job.  Want proof?  Look at that paycheck, woo hoo!  It’s so big I can see it, with a microscope.  When last I interviewed for another job I was uncomfortable but it was a job closer to the field I wanted to get into, and I just nailed that fucking interview, obviously, since I’m still working this shit job.  When last I asked for a promotion the lady who had worked there less than me and now has moved on because well, company politics, and she had a better resume than mine, told me I wasn’t qualified for the position one level above mine supervising a team of people doing my job, after asking me to fucking train her about what I do.  Fuck you, you ignorant bitch, I’m glad you’re gone so I don’t have to face your demanding, taking-me-for-granted condescending shittery including telling me out of the non-raise-giving side of the mouth how valued my contributions are and out of the paying side how I’m not good enough for a cost of living reasonable raise every day.

It was too easy to ask for time off in this job so they added another stupid “platform” we have to fight through to request it, and I’m supposed to figure it out for our weekend coming up.

So I got tired of listening to demanding, taking-me-for-granted, condescending shittery from Mrs. M today, including telling me I’m stupid and I’m wrong.  Angelic though she is, when she wants to be, she can push my buttons faster than anyone else because she knows where they are, and she likes to push them.  So next weekend instead of being home and celebrated for fathers day, I get to go to her parents house to catch more shit from them, while she celebrates her dad (which I guess is fine), and I really don’t want to fucking go.  Needless to say, what I want takes second place.  Out of one side of the mouth saying you love me and out of the other telling me I’m not working hard enough and somehow have to earn it, doesn’t feel like love.  Among the other things you tell me that doesn’t feel like love.

The parents hope for the best for me, I understand, but their condescension hurts just as much and discourages me almost as much as being ignored or goaded by Mrs. M.  And being ignored by everyone else in my real life.  My 200, a few of whom might actually read my blog, get it while not getting it.  Sorry everyone.

Cue “It’s The Bitch of Living.”

When do I get celebrated?  When do I get recognized and valued?  When do I get treated how I want to be treated?  Not in this family, not in this job, not at church, not in social circles because who wants to go anywhere experiencing a measure of success and financial freedom and appreciation, but I could volunteer anywhere and be in poverty swimming in praise for contributing my “valuable service.”  Until I ask for a paycheck for performing the same “valuable service.”  And I can work my ass off cleaning and maintaining the household chores and hear how appreciated it is (maybe) until I want to experience a little tangible appreciation.  Then I get told “you’re gross (not those exact words, just those implications)” “I want_____ instead,” “not until ____,” “I’m tired,” or whatever other bullshit.

If God answers I will probably die of shock (before I get to enjoy the experience(s).

F

M

L

Bitch Love Song

I’m in love; she’s a bitch.  People tell me so,
I don’t care, you know where I’ll tell you to go,
We’re a match because I choose love anyway,
I don’t care what the haters all feel obliged to say,

She’s aging, I don’t care, she’s so beautiful,
And her temper’s as hot as her ass, flammable,
She scares anyone who’s ever made her mad,
But she’s better than anyone else ever had.

When she yells, I yell back, but we never hit,
We know there are limits, who needs abuse? Shit!
We know when love’s not love, and we know ours is true.
When she says, “Fuck you, Deon,” I say “I’d love to.”
(and that’s no joke, I always do)

We know when love’s not love, and we know ours is true.
When she says, “Fuck you, Deon,” I say “I’d love to.”

She doesn’t want to laugh, but she smiles a bit,
And she’s still mad as hell but I know she’ll quit,
It’s the ultimate compliment, I won,
By loving her completely, so fucking fun,

And she loves me back, too, even when we fight,
It doesn’t matter which one of us is right,
It’s her, damn it, I know, so shut up already,
It’s my fault even when it’s her fault, she tells me.

It’s my fault when she’s mad and I’ll admit that,
You can say she’s a bitch; I’m her perfect match,
Frequently, it’s because I’m being an ass,
But we can love each other even when we clash:

We know when love is love, and we know ours is true.
When she says, “Fuck you, Deon,” I say “I’d love to.”

Silly Game

I went here and got a list of random words with the goal of using all of them in a poem.  I’ll have to go back and see if I can figure out if the list is truly random.  I felt like I’d been all too bogged down in my own head and I needed to play a silly game to relieve my own tension.  I think there’s a word for that somewhere out there if I could put my fingers on it…   But here’s the list the site handed me:

prejudice.
code
report
figure.
schedule
rhythm
sauce
sanity

Here’s my poem thread and thought process.

I started here and abandoned effort because I hated where it was going:

His brain reeled with prejudicial ponderance,
Either against, or upon, prejudice,
He was unable to figure out which.
Even though it was his own chronic mental itch,
How he wished he could see, clear as day,
Where privilege lie, or selfishness demanded privilege lay,

See what a horrible direction that’s going?  It’s too heavy, it’s dying before it even starts. Sure, there’s potential in the ideas, but [uuuggggghhhh!!!] it’s going to require such an effort to drag it out of its’ own muddiness (not to mention using all the words in the list, and there’s no rhyme scheme or meter.  So, try, try again.  Instead of going with an internal monologue at which I foresaw disaster, I went with a dialogue ending with hope and maybe love.  Love doesn’t care whether you disagree on some unimportant issue, it just loves.  And with that in mind, I got a better end product,  aabccb with 5-5-10-5-5-10 syllable structure.  Although I have no idea what to call it, it’s *much* better than the first try.  Let me know what you think! I’ll be excited to read your comments.

Banter, 1/06/2016, Deon Mumple

Their conversation
Crashed from elation:
“Remind me then, why did we even start?”
“I beg forgiveness
For my prejudice,”
He said, almost in rhythm with her heart,
His eyes were entrapped,
Willingly captive,
His fingers accidentally dipped in sauce
Out loud, she laughed as
His eyes left hers, and
Her heart secretly sad, at something lost
She, craving their touch:
“Sanity is such
A stupid thing to have when one craves dreams!
Reports are so dull:
Opinions, schedules
Can figure themselves out! Your eyes just gleam!”
“I so love your mind!
Emotion, design…
The way you laugh even though it’s at me,”
“If brains can re-code
When hearts wish, erode,
I’ll teach yours to love mine, logically.”

Looking for Joy

I was the driver and we went to a Christmas party last night.  After, I watched a dumb movie until I couldn’t suspend my disbelief or maintain my concentration any more.  I switched to Dexter, predictable Dexter, as I do en-joy the show, but I fell asleep before one episode was over.  I woke up on the couch again today, no joy there.  I washed the dishes left in the sink from yesterday, a little joy.  I got a tiny, tiny goodbye kiss from the perfect woman, a little more joy.  I confess I lamented after it was over, because it was “goodbye.”  I had to let her go.  I dressed, took out the trash, packed lunch, poured coffee, and went to work, after the kids caught their buses and she left for her job.  And a woman named Joy was in the break room.
I’m not kidding.

I can find Joy, but I’m too tired, or there’s no time to enjoy the moment, or she’s the wrong one.

Some rich successful people say “do what you love, the money will follow.”  I call bullshit on that.  I have to have money first, then I have time to do what I love, and then we’ll see how that theory pans out.

And when I try to do what I love without a lot of money, that only costs a little extra and she’s worth it, but she’s most often controlling or unresponsive or too busy, or worse bitter and rejecting.  And there’s absolutely no money in that.  I wish there was money to be had loving my wife, but she doesn’t have an ATM in there.  We’ve “discussed” money before.  When I’m depressed because I haven’t won the lottery yet, which is whenever I’m depressed, it’s one of my hot-buttons, and during at least one of those discussions she literally told me “I can’t pull money out of my ass.”

How we EVER got married I will never understand except as a twisted half-joke, half-delight, from God.  Anyone who denies that God has a sense of humour, after considering the rest of creation, should look at this relationship.  But she makes me laugh when we’re not discussing one of my hot-issues, there’s joy there.  And I have to say, although I’m not fortunate enough to have a wife whose ass operates as an ATM when I push her buttons, that ass is the FINEST one ever created.  And the rest is, too.  Still.  After more than 20 years of suffering/joy all blended like a tropical cocktail.  Yeah, there’s joy in a little rum beverage once in a while.

I had a hurricane, once.

I find joy in writing, so there’s this, too.

And I get to go home after a while, I’ll try to enjoy that.  I wish the best part of the day wasn’t when it was almost over.  I’m too tired to enjoy my joy by that time.  Weekends are full of the honey-do list, cajoling and pleading with the kids to help and at least not hinder, and listening to people bitch about how much work they have to do, be it housework (oh shit, that’s me!), shopping (her) and housework (her, but… as if!)  or home work (the kids’ go-to excuse for not doing shit to help with the housework). I find precious little joy when I’m at home.

And the Joy here at work isn’t mine.

Jesus is The Way…but not THIS way.

Fucking morons.

I’m sorry, to all who worship and serve in and near the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and the Islamic Center of Hawthorne, in the name of Jesus.  The real Jesus doesn’t advertise himself like this, and I’m certain the vandals acted without his approval or direction.  So sure, in fact, I’m writing this to all of the vandals and any who may act this way, or worse, in the future:  DON’T.

I imagine painting graffiti on the outside of the mosque was the action of an overzealous artist who thinks he’s being a good evangelical.  Only, THIS is not a Christian action, this is moronic on so many levels.  It’s similar, just not as drastic, to an idiot who thinks he’s following Christ by blowing up a medical facility.  Where’s the logic in being “pro-life” but killing medical practitioners because they provide abortions?  Do you think you’re at war?  Well you are, but remember this little note?

II Corinthians 10:
By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! 2 I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Sorry, I don’t have the humble, gentle nature of Paul.  But see those underlined words up there?  Verse 4 is also translated “The implements of our war are not fleshly, but dynamic through God.”  Click the link:(http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/2co10.pdf) to see my source.  It’s not a war against a flesh-and-blood enemy.  It’s a war you fight by praying and letting God direct you.  This vandalism represents neither love nor truth.  It represents ass holes misappropriating the name of Jesus.

How does the world fight?  They kill each other, hurt each other, maim each other, they are vengeful, doing what is natural for humans who haven’t tasted God’s grace.  How do we who ARE supposed to have tasted the grace of God supposed to fight?  By praying and then waiting for God to instruct.  But those verses up there tell me that human weapons aren’t effective in a spiritual struggle, in fact they are contrary to God’s methods.

Therefore, I beg you, people who are giving Jesus a bad name, and subjecting Christ-followers to scorn:  STOP YOUR SHIT, or don’t bring Jesus to the table when you do it.  You are a fucking idiot and you are making all other Christians look like idiots.  I’m embarrassed that you did this.  It’s destructive and requires someone to clean up your fucking mess, almost as bad as if you had blown it up.

It’s one thing to defend yourself against an active shooter or bomber, I get that.   But to take it upon yourself to act like a two bit vandal?  Turn yourself in, clean up your mess, and apologize, and don’t do anything more claiming it’s “in the name of Jesus.”  It’s sin, in your own name, the name “fucking idiot.”  Leave Jesus out of it.

Jesus IS the way.  But you’ve got His way all wrong.  NOT THIS WAY.  Do it first with prayer, and fasting if necessary, then with love in your actions, truth in your words AFTER filtering with love, and speaking with logic.  If you can’t do it the right way, find a good teacher.  One who acts like Jesus.  As I recall, Jesus spoke to correct heretical scribes and teachers and drove the money changers out of HIS church, not someone else’s church.  So do it that way: first fix yourself, then fix your own church, and then pray for the people you think are wrong, who are going to those other places to worship.

The sad irony is the print behind that graffiti.  It says, “Love for All.”

Give me the money that has been spent in war and I will clothe every man, woman, and child in an attire of which kings and queens will be proud. I will build a schoolhouse in every valley over the whole earth. I will crown every hillside with a place of worship consecrated to peace.
~Charles Sumner

This link addresses Christ-followers, in their approach to one another, but a section of it seemed apt here:  “Keep it shut… You better take a breather because no one will believe that you’re a Christian.”  Oh, and it’s so very 80s.  Loved it.  Maybe you will too:  Eric Champion, “Keep Your Mouth to Yourself.”  I’ve fired off my shotgun, and I’m done.

Life’s a Deathsport

Life’s a Deathsport, Deon Mumple, 07/02/2015

I’m stuck between shadows and night,
I’m supposed to embrace the light
Without being given quite enough understanding.
To just jump off the edge of hope,
No safety net, no knotty rope,
Not worried until I approach the landing.

Can you do life, all self assured?
I’m jealous, mine must be endured,
Without the light, I’m embracing the darkness.
It’s dark in here, and I’m not sure,
If hope’s a drug, if there’s no cure,
The doubt’s a hole, a deep, infected abscess.

The dark’s one of few friends I see,
When doubt joins us, it’s a party,
I wonder sometimes if I really matter.
But maybe dark’s lying to me,
And doubt is imaginary,
I’d try to climb if I could find a ladder.

I’d love to understand the light,
I’ve studied it, learning to fight,
I’m in a clinch, losing, embracing darkness.
Life’s kidney punch, blood in my eye,
I’m fading fast.  Fight on?  I’ll try,
But I can’t see.  Is light chasing the darkness?

Can you fight on, sure that you’ll win?
Last shreds of hope worn razor thin,
Life’s a deathsport; I’m losing in the darkness.