Sometimes we don't survive
this fatiguing life of ours,
regardless of our drive
or positions of the stars.
While things don't go as planned,
and they never have before,
we rarely understand
when we lose what we adore.
We start out in our youth
barely able to contain
the optimistic truth,
without malice or disdain,
a joyful view of man
joining all with hue and cry,
until what we began
wouldn't let things go awry.
Alas, our young ideals
shouldn't leave our heads so soon,
the poor still need their meals
and the damaging monsoon,
all calling for the sense
we had long before our shock
was shaped by past events
that had caused us to take stock.
So now we stand, but charred
by the trappings of the years,
we hold in high regard
all our memories of peers.
We quietly attend
to affairs of age and health,
while trying to pretend
that we had to hoard our wealth.
LaCross, vignoles and Edelweiss
make up this region's hardy fare,
their vines survive the cold and ice;
the green returns to branches bare
when warmth does reappear.
To taste Nebraska's tepid wine
reminds of semi-dry terrain,
for certain crops, the climate's fine,
but only grapes that stand the strain
are cultivated here.
When harvest in September comes
varieties are crushed and strained,
and most are stored in steel drums
while waiting for the vintner, trained
to know when peaking's near.
While Midwest wine is rarely dry,
and never rivals chardonnay,
it hints of fruit, of cherry pie,
and can be reveled every day
a cure for life austere.
When the brilliant burst lights the sky,
we count off the seconds aloud,
willing the delay longer before thunder
wields its booming voice, interrupting our
watch for the storm's next strike. Having
withdrawn, our attention now returns to the
window into Nature's electric choreography.
Directing is a dirty job
that's not for meek nor faint of heart-
an outdoor play, a rowdy mob,
rude prima donnas late to start,
the laughs are short, and tempers flair,
with players missing scripted cues;
the crowd is blissfully aware
of only what the stage hands choose.
Mudrumpus once again will prove
devout directors are the key;
to keep performance in a groove
takes talent and tenacity.
A great mudrumpus crew and cast
regales in muck while standing fast.
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.