Life's Rhymes for Our Times

Life's Rhymes for Our Times

by B. D. Mullins


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781490754437
Publisher: Trafford Publishing
Publication date: 02/04/2015
Pages: 68
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.16(d)

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Life's Rhymes for Our Times

By B. D. Mullins

Trafford Publishing

Copyright © 2015 B. D. Mullins
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4907-5443-7


ISN'T LIFE BEAUTIFUL: A friend of mine came to me and asked me to write something to give to his girlfriend. They had been together for quite some time. His girlfriend had decided that they should part ways. He was heartbroken. I wrote him a poem and he gave it to her. They were married shortly thereafter.


    I crept upon the silence once
    Only to watch it slip away

    It came down to earth softly
    And I looked upon this wonder

    What I saw was a miracle
    And I wondered of its goodness

    I did not take rightful steps
    And it drifted away from me

    Again I approached with more caution
    I watched while it worked

    I then began to understand its importance
    This was a rare find and I knew it

    Before my very eyes was life
    Wrapped in a very unique package

    But as I gazed in amazement
    It began to look back at me

    How am I to look upon
    As I watched it slowly turn

    Had I prepared to meet this thing
    That life prepared us for

    I then began to realize
    That I am important yet

    Suddenly in a hasty way
    I touched this thing so near

    And to my surprise before me
    Was a grand woman standing still

    And I was forever taken in
    By the rose in both her eyes

    A candle lit that evening
    Was a memory ever more

    For the fire from that torch
    Was passed between us through

    And forgiven in all of past
    Was created one from two

CABIN FEVER: I have watched couples, and sometimes even entire families, get just a little too close in the confines of their homes in wintertime. You would think that after getting rid of all that summer heat, not having to cut the grass and plenty of darkness time to get lots of sleep, that you would relish the fall and winter season. Truth is that the cooped up feeling of being inside and not having a good reason to go outside brings out the pacing tiger in us. One particular couple that I knew had no trouble making it obvious that they both hated winter. She was more athletic than him but both liked running. When it boiled over at some point, they would not speak to each other for hours at a time. Spring was their time but it had to get here first; and until that very day, there was true uneasiness between them.


    A fight that came to fruition
    Was just between them two

    The bystanders had their bets
    But the match was never true

    For someone who controlled the fight
    With intrusive but mild intentions

    Then spread himself upon the floor
    With smiling unconscious pretensions

    It was later that he recounted how
    He had lost the fight that day

    In his haste out in the early morn
    He forgot one thing: to shave

    It was very rude he thought
    To be seen so well unkempt

    But he only had himself to blame
    When he had overslept

    The fight had long been scheduled
    And he was going to see it done

    Even if the intentions were guessed
    That they were only having fun

    When the first punch landed softly
    His whiskers crossed his mind

    There were many standing round him
    And not one of them was blind

    It was bad enough with no shirt on
    His bones were mighty thin

    But he kept right on thinking
    About the hair tied to his chin

    Some muscle clung to here and there
    But served him through the bout

    A roundhouse cut or two
    Was all that he could mount

    Then a glancing blow did come
    Just a little closer than was planned

    The ground flew up so quickly
    He knew that he was canned

    The final bell rang in sure delight
    When another hand was raised

    The wife had beaten her husband
    In the spirit of the game

    But she apologized forthright
    As she whispered in his ear

    "You ought to get in better shape
    And toughen up, my dear

    "And thank you for the chance
    I know what it can bring

    "Now my fever is much better
    This very first day of spring."

THE DON'T KNOW CAT: Some time ago I was helping to remodel a restaurant in downtown Columbus, Ohio. I looked out the front window and saw what I thought was a homeless man go across the street, sit down on a step, take out a cardboard sign, and set up shop with a tin cup. I had never actually seen a homeless person get into position to beg for money. About two hours later, he was joined by what I thought must have been a fellow homeless person. They traded places and the second man took the cardboard sign and began his routine of looking genuinely in need. The first man walked back across the street and continued to walk toward the back of the restaurant. I hurried to the back of the restaurant and sure enough he went past about fifty yards and got into a car and drove off. Both of them were obviously very lazy and at some point decided to take the easy way out.


    As I sat on the street corner looking hungry and tired
    I was quite supported but nonetheless uninspired.

    None around me knew how unbecoming work could be
    For they put in long hours thinking they were just like me

    I was quite out of sight from the lot of all those cats
    But I bragged about my fatigue and work was just rats

    Oh, I talked and blew most everything out of proportion
    If we'd been taking money we'd be talking extortion

    I let them think that I was climbing the tallest ladder
    That I had riches to burn and ashes to scatter

    My ploy was to lay down a front as big as I needed
    For my cover depended on how I succeeded

    The corner of my street was not my only abode
    From 37th to 38th I owned the whole dang road

    My dress was most casual and the color of cats
    My shoes were quite mixed and so were my hats

    I danced when I felt like it and jumped higher than high
    But most times I remember there was no reason to try

    This Hollywood cat has little but is miser at heart
    For I actually do have maybe just enough to start

    For you see I don't work nor do I intend to do some
    Please don't tell anyone that I'm satisfied just being a bum

MOVING THROUGH LIFE: Moving through life is very similar to a checkerboard. Making just one move can take much effort and planning. It is always your move. Making the decision to go to college is one move. It takes four years to make that move even though there are many other moves in between. Just when you think you are going for that one last checker, something comes along and can delay the next move by years. One move can last eighteen to twenty years such as having children. The best idea is to always keep one checker on the board knowing of course that many other checkers will reappear throughout your life.


    When life is a checkerboard
    And it's always your move

    It takes a lot of practice
    To get back in the groove

    But somehow after many jumps
    As you collect the chips

    You go for that last checker
    It could take many trips

    Be patient now for time is nigh
    Your friends can help you out

    When the board is truly empty
    Together we will sing and shout

PEOPLE OF SPIRIT: Several of my relatives were born and raised in the Appalachian region of the country. While I was growing up, we had a lot of visitors on Saturdays and Sundays. I remember hearing them sit and talk for hours. I was always inspired by their generosity and their compassion for others. They were never in a hurry and their discussions were about everything under the sun, including hunting and fishing— my favorites. I always looked forward to their visits. Today I admire those who have kept their close family traditions intact and their spirits high.


    We are the people from Appalachia
    Our family is one but thousands more

    Located in a region of the east and mid-West
    Where most come from distant shores

    We don't have to prove or to conquer
    Or justify the world or ourselves

    Please pardon when we see things differently
    Our pride doesn't come from a shelf

    We can be each other's blessing
    No matter what might come our way

    We can be the inspiration for others
    And be a light for each of their days

    Always together in spirit and hope
    Connected by love and good living

    Played out one life at a time
    In families with many thanksgivings

    So we're glad to be born with a family
    And given the will to survive

    Simply put, we love Appalachia
    Our greatest blessing will always be life

THE ROAMING SPIRITS: One summer during the annual Camp Out at Grandpa's house, I was privileged to witness a rather heated discussion among many of the history minded. As was customary, there had been a rather large campfire built at dusk to accommodate the many who wished to look into the fire and relax. This particular night the discussion centered on the Continental Army as America was beginning to come into existence. The few who were in discussion talked as though they had been there at that point in history and knew exactly what had happened. I was so impressed by the fact that they had studied the talking points that I knew I had to write a poem about the spirits being brought to life around the camp fire.


    Each day and evening then night so still
    When the campfire casts its shadows deep

    The living sit to tell old tales
    And the spirits rise from broken sleep

    They're creeping close to hear the moves
    Through the minds of many men

    Of the warriors, chiefs, and soldiers
    Who will always die again and again

    Around the campfire they long to know the truth of
    Who and where and why and when

    Of ends, beginnings, troubles, and trials
    And the over and over agains

    But questions of past shall rise and fall
    With true answers as our only old friends

    When the roaming spirits begin to walk
    Through the miles of minds of men

WALKING IN MY FOOTPRINTS: My youngest son always wanted to go with Dad. He tried to walk in my footprints if they were evident and would stretch out those little legs. Consequently I learned to take shorter steps when he was with me. He would always ask how to accomplish things no matter how small they were. Many years later, he became a Dad and his little boy would run to me and ask to do the work that I was doing and he would ask me to show him how. That special little boy mirrored the same interest as his dad to walk in footprints. Maybe in some way he thought he would be accepted as one of us more quickly.


    Walking in my footprints
    Is what my son used to do

    Each time he would follow
    With admiration only he knew

    He would match me step for step
    And hang in there true blue

    If Dad was walking somewhere
    He was walking too

    He soon began to grow
    No more short steps for him

    You're starting to stay in time
    And now it's nothing new

    Vivid is the memory when
    I walked those distant miles

    He was taking one step at a time
    The same way that I take mine

    Now both our steps are shorter
    There's a very different sound

    'Cause his little boy is behind us
    Asking us to slow down

THE SUN DANCE: The sun dance is a ceremony practiced by some indigenous peoples of North America and Canada, primarily those of the plains cultures. When Grandpa told me about the Lakota Sioux and the sun dance, I was immediately impressed because tradition and respect has always been a part of my family. I condensed the sun dance tremendously but used my own thoughts to describe it.


      Circling quietly in the winds of time
      The strange unuttered cry of the shadow

      The spirits of many thoughts of hope
      Of distant sounds of miracles that abound

      Crying out to upward lifting beginnings
      Which float endlessly on the wings of warriors

THE WORLD OF TIME: There comes a time in each of our lives that we suddenly realize that we can no longer hang on to our youth, and we begin to realize that responsibility is a permanent way of life for us. I began to think about a different life where the future is compared to the past. People begin to treat you differently and we are asked to make grownup decisions. I was thinking several eons ago about what it would be like if we were able to feel every change. I also realized that writing was a given talent and it was one of the primary things that I was meant to do in life.


    The world around us shrinks
    As we feel its mortal flow

    And what we feel is oh so real
    As we dance beneath its folds

    Stepping boldly from the dark
    Through the gates of stately light

    Each move provides us more
    Of the might which makes us right

    Someone sees and someone dreams
    Of all that is yet to be

    It is I who sees the strength in all
    The same which lives in me

    And I have been given freedom
    With all the sights and sounds of reason

    'Tis time to dawn the cap of time
    Knowing that there is a season

    In my eyes the world holds near
    As my words are etched in rhythm

    I have risen from the shadows
    With a gift that I have been given

IS THIS THE END: I spent a year in Vietnam in parts of '67 and '68. I heard all the stories about captives. I heard about the conditions of confinement and the poor treatment, especially the food. There was always the thought in each of our minds wishing we could be the one to free our prisoners from the enemy. Shortly after coming back home and having an opportunity to watch the news, I could not get them from my mind and decided to write a poem as a tribute to the POWs. I felt deep down what they must be going through and used my knowledge as well as feelings to come to grips with my own desire to do something. I know that under those conditions, our prisoners of war stayed strong.


    I remember the coming of the dawn
    From inside the cage wherein I slept

    This morning's dawn was not my first
    But though it seems, it has been long

    The days, the weeks, the months and years
    Can drain a man's courage, his fears but not his tears

    There are others here who share my thoughts
    The prison yard, a sleeping vault

    I am a part of here and I feel all alone
    As if there was no road on which to travel home

    To my holders I show a brave young man
    They do not see, I cry alone

    Is this struggle only my first, maybe my last
    Will my name become part of an unknown past

    It's a hopeless fight I'm beginning to say
    Always in fear of my life from day to day

    When existence here is at best
    It still compares to least

    Is a wasted life not a dear price
    Freedom is my love, is America my sacrifice

    If only we could believe instead of doubt
    But the world cannot hear even when we shout

    Believing in being free is our only way out
    We had it back there without fear or doubt

    Freedom is the rising of each peaceful sun
    We are that tribute but work undone

THE ARROWHEAD MAKER: When growing up and roaming the woods and fields I would occasionally come across arrowheads in the ploughed fields. They were special to me because many years prior, someone had made them and someone had used them. I would sit down after finding arrowheads and look over the area that I was in and just imagine what might have occurred for them to have been left there. I was aware of some of the old village sites and the tribes who lived in the area and knew that some of the arrowheads dated back a few thousand years. I still marvel at how everyone from the first man managed to get by with the tools that they could make.


    Long ago before the first
    In part of his unknown past
    He came but a man of his own
    His name was where chips
    From the arrowhead tips
    Had lain till he forced them away
    Many an arrow did fly
    With his mark in the lead
    And guided the shaft to its stead
    Warring tribes as they came
    All witnessed the same
    The arrows had eyes
    And soon so implied
    That absence was better than death
    And mourning in the passing
    Of a tribal immortal
    He shaped the great spear
    To be carried so near
    By the one who was chosen to go
    And save the great spirit
    There was not a taker
    Who could challenge the skill
    Of the arrowhead maker


Excerpted from Life's Rhymes for Our Times by B. D. Mullins. Copyright © 2015 B. D. Mullins. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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