caution high voltage lines…

My friend Toni Cross has done it again…presented me with a photo and challenged me to write a poem based upon what I see…without any background information …just based upon what I see….of course in the true spirit of poetic brother/sisterhood I have sent her a photograph with the same detailed information that she provided me….I certainly hope you enjoy each of our poems.



Challelnge Photo From Toni L. Cross

i have some
bad news
for you
the power
has been off for years
in this damn societal enclave
the only thing running through
these lines
is yesterday’s dreams
this recycled ball of trash
that we have been living on
ain’t worth the cost
of the security system
we keep spending billions
on a worn out corner of the globe
that erupts in smoke and ash
flowing with blood-red lava
through the veins of history
shakin’ like some old damn car
just before the wheels fall off
folks we elect
keep telling us
for national security
we must spend more
for an old wooden door
with rusty hinges
shut tight
years ago
with nails
of fate
for true

a failure to communicate…

now you know
aunt effie
don’t miss a beat
when it comes
to the music of
this neighborhood
so when she tells you something
take it as gospel
and if social service
had any sense at all
they’d have
on their payroll
let me tell you what she said
social service made one
of those unannounced calls
after the school reported
that JJ was going to commit suicide
cuz’ of all the beatings he’s been getting
guess who answered the door
you got it
mr restraining-order himself
but the county worker didn’t know
he ain’t allowed to be there
and can’t check
cuz’ her fancy computer
ain’t got one of those
communication cards
so she’s blind in the field
walking around in a room full of lies
tapping her white cane questions
on the soft surface of deception
which gave back only mellow sounds
like some disney movie soundtrack
so she leaves
after talking to all the parties involved
thinking things are as sweet as honey
and after she leaves
JJ hangs himself
i was as angry as hell
but aunt effie said
child with all the children
they got to watch
the best they can do
is a courtesy call

This poem was inspired by a story in the LA Times by Garrett Therolf “Child Agency’s Woes Persist” (Sunday, July 25, 2010).  I encourage you to read his article and consider how similar stories may be impacting your community.