Your world is framed in optic squares,
as if periphery was void,
while capturing what nature bares,
as few had otherwise enjoyed.
A bit off-road, a patch of mud,
a weathered bridge with morning frost,
traversing vestiges of flood,
your photo op will not be lost.
Your target set, six feet of snow
is waded through in tennis shoes,
so what you've seen the world can know,
then on you move to other views.
The perfect shot is still at hand,
so yet another trip is planned.
The runway models preview coming trends,
designers labor, for success depends
upon the reach of each converging lens.
Yet somehow there are those who must have missed
the loudly touted ads that do persist,
they should be on the latest worst-dressed list.
No gentle lack of fashion could be seen
by those around of more than seventeen,
these un-vogue oafs make each day Halloween.
While thongs on portly men are never yearned
and coral hats could easily be burned,
are we the fools where fashion is concerned?
Cold vanity and fashion, hand-in-hand,
can make one cower to a peer demand,
intently focused on the potent brand.
We should see oafs in very different light
and keep critiques away from line of sight,
enjoying wardrobes otherwise polite.
Behold the dry desert's most sinister glare,
and currents of feverish, sweltering air,
that tend to admonish, and rightfully so,
that nature's relentless, an untiring foe.
Intrepid explorer, of questionable care,
who wanders exposed, on foot, unaware,
will suffer significant visions, although
he won't be succumbing for an hour or so.
The difference between happiness and contentment
isn't ideological or theological. It may have nothing
to do with love, companionship, money, health,
lust, or longing, yet may have something to do
with each of these.
Some are truly content to be alone,
and others must have friends nearby always.
Many dislike attending church functions,
yet are content in their lives knowing that their souls
are nourished and prepared.
Happiness, like sadness, is by nature
a short-lived event. Contentment
is a long-lasting state of mind that is not
easily changed. If someone is uneasy in the limelight,
they may be happy though not content.
Being content is an individual predilection
for one's lifestyle and state of being
and is separate from any single human event.
Once this is understood, one can endeavor
to make contentment their goal.
As each car rattled, one by one,
my day dream done and patience tried,
graffiti-filled, the rusted gates
continued with no end in sight.
My boredom forced, illusion spun
the train cars in a merry ride
around my head, its packing crates
were blurred by passing cracks of light.
The clacking, like a gatling gun,
drowned out the crossing bell beside
the intersection’s warning grates
and ”R R” sign of black and white.
A calm returned, my waiting done,
the last few cars remained in stride,
now free to roll past interstates
and others watching, left to right.
Jack has published over 350 poems in his career, many accompanied by his own photography. He specializes in a view of the commonplace and Americana.