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Contact Mizeta at mizetasworld@live.com, or Howard at fhschneider@comcast.net

Wisdom of a Wildflower

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Just one of those little wildflower seeds

Dropped by a bird in a field of weeds

Grew and flourished in sun and breeze,

Admired by all the birds and bees.

Still she complained that she was there.

Was not content to breathe fresh air.

Then someone, walking, picked her from

The field she'd always known as home

And put her in an old cold jar

With flowers who surpassed by far

Her beauty and her fragrant light.

She slipped unnoticed, out of sight.

Amongst the flowers she did lie,

Longing for the clear blue sky

And knowing now, but much too late,

How we should appreciate

The good we have and hold it dear,

for it will not always be near.

Childhood Chains

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Childhood Chains

 

They put that burning pain

In the pit pf your stomach.

Years did not take it away.

Time left unhealed scars, aching.

 

They squeeze life from you

at every turn and even when

you don't know why you are hurting.

The hating doesn't go away.

 

Emotion churns within you,

Boiling over in raging

Anger against the ones you love.

 

You act as a helpless puppet

in the fury of it all for

you do not know the secret

of its destruction.

 

If I could have been there . . .

If I could have stopped them . . .

 

But you were alone in your

terror and you live with the

haunting memories every moment,

carrying them into every situation.

 

Only you can lose those childhood

chains that bind you like a slave

to your past.

 

Only you can forgive them all, and must,

to be free of them at last.

Is That All There Is?

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As Sam and his friends lounged in Dan’s Bar guzzling beer Sam noticed a funeral procession passing by the window. “Another one bites the dust” Sam exclaimed. His friends Moe and Charley chuckled. “Poor sucker. All he did in life was sweep the floor in the courthouse. Not much to show for his life except a heap of dirt.” The men laughed and continued the evening with their usual dart games and beer. Sam weaved his way home and unlocked his dark, lonely house. As he sobered up, he picked up the newspaper and read the obituary. John Neevers, Born 1939 Died 2019. No family. Worked in the courthouse as a janitor for 50 years. “Is that all there is to life?” Sam wondered.” You work and then you die?” He knew he was a good auto mechanic. He could get the worst clunkers running again and he especially liked the smiles of the pretty women after he fixed their disabled cars.

Sam had a restless night. In the morning he pondered,” here I am, 55 years old, and not much to show for it.” He grabbed a piece of paper and began to write his own obituary.

Sam Smith Born 1964 Died: not yet. Good auto mechanic. Liked to drink beer with his friends and a good dart player. It didn’t seem like enough, so he added: Helped the Poor. Hiked Mt. Everest. Wrote a mystery novel. Rescued stray animals.

The following day was Sam's day off from work. He walked down to the homeless camp under the Burnside Bridge. He offered a couple of dollars to the first guy he saw. The guy scowled and looked at Sam disdainfully. “Keep your damn money. If you can’t find me a place to live, go away!" Sam was speechless. Suddenly several scruffy young men surrounded him. They knocked him down and took his wallet and cell phone. Sam struggled home and drew a black line through “Help the Poor” in his obituary.

A few days later Sam decided to take a hike on Mt. Hood to prepare himself for the climbing Mt. Everest. After climbing for four hours, he became disoriented, fell, and broke his leg. Luckily, he had a new cell phone and was rescued. After returning home from the ER he drew a black line through “Climb Mt. Everest.”

As Sam waited for his leg to heal, he tried writing a mystery novel. But try as he might, he couldn't get past the first page. Crumpling up the tenth sheet of paper, he drew a black line through “Wrote a Mystery Novel.”

A month later, Sam decided to rescue feral cats. He grabbed a couple of tom cats he found eating from a dumpster and managed to get them in a box. “This will be a piece of cake. I finally found something I can do,” he thought. By the end of the week Sam was questioning his good intentions. The cats had shredded his couch and chair, tore holes in his curtains, peed on his carpet, and yowled every night. “I’m not cut out for this,” he said through clinched teeth as he booted the cats out the door. Sam drew a black line through “Rescued Stray Animals.”

Sam went back to Dan’s Bar. His friends and he had a good laugh at his attempts to spiff up his obituary. On his way home Sam dropped dead of a heart attack. At his funeral Moe whispered, "Like Sam always said, another one bites the dust.”

"Too bad," mumbled Charley. “Sam didn’t need to be a hero. He was a damn good mechanic, a fine friend, and a great storyteller.”

Pencil

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Please don't get me mixed up with anything else. I am a pencil, and always will be one. I started out as a sturdy log from an Elm tree. Slowly but surely, people made me smaller and smaller. Then someone installed a piece of lead inside me and an eraser on top of me. 

Over time, I frequently become overused. Even though I have a long piece of lead in me, like my other pencil brothers, we are rarely fully utilized. Most of the time, people throw me away before all of my lead is used up. I try and tell those people that I still have use, but they throw me away anyway. They're just throwing money away.

The same goes for my eraser. If it's not good enough for people to use any more, they throw me away.

Another way people waste me is by sharpening me too much. The lead inside me is good lead. It's made the right way, but wasteful people still throw me away before it's used up.  

Then there are those people that love to chew on my tail. When chewing on me, they slobber all over me. I'm sure they don't do this on purpose, but it  isn't very healthy to have human germs on my body all the time. I could get some terrible disease that might never be cured.

Finally, one of the weirdest things that happens to me is by those school kids. The ones who love to have pencil fights, fights that could turn very bloody very easily. One of them, or even both, could aim for any place but the face, but miss and cause a serious injury. Put out an eye, maybe.

We have to stop those nasty pencil fights.

The Magnolia Tree

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The long neglected

Magnolia tree

bravely struggled

for her dignity,

but the weight

of neglect

pulled her down

till her branches

dragged the ground.

 

Though she flowered

faithfully each year,

in her drooping limbs

the truth was clear:

She stood ashamed

of her sagging shape

but could do nothing

about her state.

 

Then you came along

and understood

her need to be free

of her scraggly wood

and trimmed

and pruned so lovingly,

that she reclaimed

lost dignity.

 

Now I can feel

surging energy

as she impatiently

awaits the Spring

so she can share

her magnificent

gratitude

for your love and care.

Dogs

Dogs are the best

of this I can attest

they love you no matter what

even when you’re in a rut

I like to watch them run and play

they know how to enjoy each day

humans sometimes turn on you

dogs are always loyal and true

I wish the dogs could all run free

they’re such a gift to people like me

A Fifty- Cent Glass

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The glass broke and so did I . . .

Crash upon the floor.

"No more!" I cried.

The car, the kids, the bills,

The peeling paint.

The lock just broke I cannot cope with more.

And so I lay upon the floor

With this cheap glass

In pieces everywhere.

I just don't care.

Let someone else

clean up the mess

For I am underneath myself

And will not be

Called out again.

I will not stand

And watch the roof

Fall on my head.

I'll lie instead

Upon the floor

Until no more

Disasters come.

I cannot bear

Just one more broken door

Or chair.

And don't you dare

Ask me why I lay and cry

In such a mess

Over a broken fifty-cent glass.

I'm Following You

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My name is Jim. I am a convicted rapist. I just got out of prison after serving fifteen years for rape. I left the prison at 7:00  this morning and the woman across the street is the first real one I've seen in fifteen years. Oh—I've seen pictures of women and have observed women prisoners, but certainly not a woman of beauty like this one.

How do I know she's pretty?  Any woman is pretty to me at this time in my life. I've never seen a woman in high heels wearing beautiful clothes like this woman is. As real as she is to me, I'm sure she doesn't even know I'm alive. I wonder what she'd do if she knew who I was or what I'd done?

But I am a changed man. I've served my time, and I think my wife will understand when we meet again.

Look! That woman will be going past my house pretty soon. Now she's going into my yard—up the stairs—and now into my house.

Could it be that the woman I was following is my wife?

Corpse in the Backseat

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"I did what I had to do."

"Kill him? You had to kill him?" She was silent.

"Oh, I get it," he said. "You’d rather it was me."

"I would rather it hadn’t been either one of you."

"Well, it’s done."

"Where is he? I mean where is it . . . the body?"

"He’s in the car."

"The car . . . in the trunk?’

"No. I put him in the backseat."

"Jeez. Anyone can just look in and see him."

"It’s okay. He looks natural. I strapped him in the seatbelt."

"Did you close his eyes?"

"No. Then it would look like he’s sleeping upright. That wouldn’t look natural."

"Well, then he’s just staring blinklessly into space. That doesn’t look natural either."

The woman walked over to the hotel window. "Hey, come over here. Who’s that messing with our car?"

He looks out the window. "I don’t know him"

"I thought you knew everyone in this seedy end of town."

"Not him"

"What’s he got in his hand?"

"It’s a coat hanger. He’s jimmying the lock"

"Doesn’t he see the body in the back?"

"I think he does. He’s waving a gun in that direction. I’m going down there."

"No, wait," she said. "Can that car be traced to us?"

"No."

"Are you sure? Registration?"

"Phony."

"Plates?"

"Phony. Both check out to a Tony Smith over on Market Street."

"What about the vin?"

"Ground off."

They heard the engine start. The car drove off.

"I think you just copped out on a murder charge," she said. They both stood staring out the window at the empty parking spot in the street.

"If that guy is still driving at night," the man said quietly, "he’ll get pulled over for that broken taillight I was goin’ to get it fixed."

"You know, I would love to go to Florida this time of year," she said.

"Me too. Let’s take the bus."

Meanwhile, as the car goes barreling down the freeway, the thief says to his passenger in the backseat, "Okay Mister, we’re gonna’ go for a long ride. Just sit still and keep your mouth shut."

As darkness descends, the thief hears a police siren. Seeing the squad car lights blinking behind, he pulls over and says to the corpse, "Sit still and let me do the talking. Even if I go to prison, I got friends on the outside, if you know what I mean."

The thief composes himself, "Good evening, officer. Anything wrong?"

"Let me see your driver's license and registration." The officer returns to the squad car. A moment later, he appears again at the thief’s car window. "The registration checks out with the plates, but this isn't your car."

"No, sir, borrowed for the evening. Mine’s in for repairs."

"Did you know your left tail light's out?" 

No, sir, I didn’t."

"Well, you need to get that fixed right away. I’ll let you go with just a warning this time." The officer turned to leave, then spotted the figure in the backseat. "Roll down you window," he ordered, then flashed his flashlight around the inside of the car. "I’m glad to see you both have your seat belts on. Drive safe now"

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