Saturday, July 14, 2018

Lullaby
















Outside now, night has fallen
over hill the moon doth creep,
the sweet boy child with impish smile
says “Mommy, sing me down to sleep.

"I’ve searched for hidden treasures
and climbed up on Mt. Doom
then slipped down through the rabbit hole
and landed in my room.”

The dinosaurs watch from their shelves
the books are put away
the toys are tucked inside their box
to play another day

And so I hug my ‘sleepyhead’
and sing familiar tune
of cowboys and of cattle
as we gaze out at the moon.

Too soon I know this child will grow
for time does not retreat;
I watch his face in sweet repose
and as he falls asleep….
I pray the angels keep.

© Ginny Brannan 2018


Images: Top, Google Images Art.Com
Bottom: Pinterest  Best Moon Image

Monday, July 9, 2018

Legacy

What was it that you did that caused
so many to be so angry…
was it the color of your skin,
or that you were educated, well spoken
rose to a position that they couldn’t fathom
because they were so color-blind?
With an impeccable record, devotion to wife and family,
class, faith, dedication, selfless love of country
you were everything they were not.
They hated that you were unimpeachable.
They thwarted you at every turn,
resorting to epithets and insults.
Maybe it was your easy manner, your ready smile,
your rapport with others
your unwavering sincerity,
and the ability to see through lies,
identifying those who’d try
to pass something by you.
Your one fault: your faith in humanity;
your belief that even those who disagreed 
would finally see, would come around
to recognize the end results, 
this legacy that you would leave…
but they couldn’t get over the anger they felt
or the color, the color, the color of your skin;
discrimination by any other name is still the same.                  
The ugly green-eyed monster embarks on his campaign
using fear and ignorance to build up his own gain.
his constant rants become a chant, the anger his achievement
at every turn he’d watch you burn while citing disagreement.

Yet history will long denote the ones who gave their best
who knew the laurels of the past are not a place to rest;
the ones who shored democracy; unselfishly they stood,
the ones who had integrity, who worked for greater good…
no matter who comes after, their legacy remains
known not just for who they were, but the leader they became.

© Ginny Brannan 2018


Image credit: Stencil by Stencilstarter JB at DeviantArt

Friday, July 6, 2018

Ripples











Though each part of some other story
we have our own to tell—
concentric circles overlapping
filled with truth and allegory
expanding and expounded on
within the script we’re dealt.

 Bit players playing out our parts
with each line improvised—
and when another takes the lead,
we're left to wing it from the heart
as each new chapter brings a turn
of ‘hellos’ and ‘good-byes.’

Sometimes the mainstays can’t be found
they skip an act or two—
reappearing just in time
to prompt the now forgotten line,
they bring the story back around
—again our play renews.

With every turn, with each new scar
the tale becomes our own—
the narratives that we reprise
recall the people in our lives
not by their stories, but the part
that each has played in ours.

© Ginny Brannan 2018

Vesica Piscis is the elliptical space in the center where circles overlap. I imagine each of our stories like as circles overlapping,  to become ripples in the ever-expanding sea of time.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Never Give Up, Never Surrender

It’s not always about doing what we “want” to do
sometimes it’s about doing what we need to do
about pushing ourselves to get out of bed
out of the hole, out of the ‘low’ we are in

“Never Give Up, Never Surrender”

I’ve watched you struggle with the day to day
never giving up, propelling yourself forward
when you barely had the strength to sit up.
I’ve watched you will yourself to stand, knees shaking
forcing your atrophied legs to hold you
—just a few moments longer.
When asked if you would try again,
it wasn’t even a question, you just did it.

What is the measure of a man?
I’ve watched you lose your strength, your balance
your ability to work, all the things
that you thought defined you
to discover that what truly defines you
is that part of you inside that
never gives up, never surrenders.
I’ve watched you come back
from the brink of forever,
to grow stronger every day.
You are so much more than the sum of your parts,
you are the epitome of faith and belief:
belief that God won’t give you more than you can handle;
faith that if He wills it, you will get better.

I may struggle with my own beliefs,
   all but one that is…
I believe in you, who you are,
the example that you set.
I have watched you fall, pick yourself up
brush yourself off, and try again.
You have taught me that if you are willing to try
then nothing can keep you down.

That is all any of us can do,
get up, brush ourselves off
and keep moving forward.
…and never, ever, ever give up.

© Ginny Brannan 2018

Photo from personal collection, 2015

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Stirring the Pot...










It’s not about disrespect
the ‘one-knee’ genuflect
that drives the politicians insane.
It’s not about the veterans
who’ve fought in any war
or those who haven't
  —for that matter.
It’s not about the flag
or what it stands for:
in case you’ve forgotten
it stands for all of us—
we are all created "equal,"
and have “certain inalienable rights”
nowhere does it specify these 'colors'
   belong to only the ‘white.’

Stereotypes abound, they’ve been around
for decades. Gang culture permeates society
insults our integrity, so when a celebrity
takes a knee he is being too “gangsta.”
They’ll tell you it’s about race, that
  “He’s dissing the flag…
   he’s dissing the country…
   he’s dissing the veterans…
   Let’s put him in his place.”
   It don’t matter the reason
   because him and his kind
   deserve to be punished;
   we’ll spread the word
   to endorse “open season”

Why can’t they just see this is where it began
‘See no evil,  hear no evil…
  don’t want to know.”
And if we don’t listen
and we turn a blind eye
we’re basically saying we “don’t give a damn”
—condoning the violence no matter the man.
This blindness is spreading
it turns to disease; 
fueling deeper myopic tendencies.
It waits in the wings
like some kind of vulture
to pick the raw scabs
of our struggling culture.
No, it’s not about the flag, nor the vets nor the wars
nor the country we live in and love to the core
it’s about equal treatment under the law
and freedom to express one’s dissatisfaction
when our leaders are guilty of not taking action
for this huge demographic they choose to ignore.

The media blows this thing out of the water
the president perpetuates to sow more discord
No, it’s not about the flag or being unpatriotic
this constant barrage from this would-be warlord;
it is about trolling and controlling the masses
and stirring the derision as it fits his accord
distracting from the bigotry, the social injustice
the prejudice and animus that’s being ignored.

© Ginny Brannan 2018

I grew up in small town VT in the '60's where we watched the race riots on TV. It wasn't until I was 10 or 12 and visiting my cousin in the bigger city, that I personally saw the ignorance and animus that some felt toward others because of skin color or cultural differences. You'd think by now, 50 years later, we'd have grown past such blatant bigotry, but this "take a knee" movement has revealed what apparently has been lying just below the surface all along. I may never understand what it is like to be profiled and discriminated against because of the color of my skin, but I believe that we all deserve "equal treatment under the law,' and that our leaders should be focusing more on understanding the reasons behind the movement rather than stirring the pot with their selective ignorance, personal opinion, and inflammatory commentary.

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Dark Side












Can we judge the life of another
when we don’t know the demons within
the highs and lows and daily struggles
or a need for their darkness end?

To be surrounded, yet feel alone
when nothing is going as planned
when it’s so hard to voice the pain that you have
feeling useless and not worth a damn.

The temptress sings her siren song
awakens the demons within…
I’ve glimpsed into the dark abyss
while tiptoeing on the rim.

Today another left this world
the dark side made its claim
and all the folks he’s never met
are mentioning his name.

A sad and senseless tragedy
there’s no free pass with fame
so difficult to understand,
when no one thing’s to blame.

© Ginny Brannan 2018

When there are so many shades of black and gray
sometimes we can’t tell the clouds from the night.
And there are times when you know that people love you, 
but they just don’t seem to understand.
Sometime it’s only a word or a call;  a note,
a comment that makes all the difference.
“I 'd notice”was my lifeline—two little words,
a simple reminder when I needed it most
that someone was out there and listening to me.

I only danced with the darkness; for so many it is a daily struggle
bigger than anything that most of us will ever understand…
If you feel weighted down, that you are sinking
and have nowhere to turn, talk to someone
if you can’t talk to a friend call 1-800-273-8255.

Hoping that all who struggle with depression and their ‘dark side’ will find peace.

Monday, May 28, 2018

They all were "somebody's"












The lead ball burned through wool and skin
and tore through femur like a rocket—
the man in blue dropped to the ground
his moaning blending with the sounds
of cannon fire, artillery,
of shouting coming through the trees.
His thoughts turned inward to his home
back to the girl he left behind
he wondered if she’d ever read
the letter folded in his pocket;
but in the end, he'd stood his ground
that no man should be shackle-bound.

The trench lay deep, the stench was rife
the smell was worse than rotting fish—
of death, decay and spoiled meat,
of wounded holding onto life.
The damp chill cut them to the bone
it seemed there was no end in sight
but for a moment, time stood still,
as song arose this Christmas morn.
Out on the field, the firing ceased
as both sides lay their weapons down,
they shared the images of home
with differences now set aside
inside this momentary peace.

Flying low and taking flak
the bomber flew a steady course
another mission lay ahead…
while Red Tails flew as his escort.
As Mustangs chased the Messerschmitts
the bombardier searched for his mark—
the target bridge lay in his sites
he opened bay, released the load
then turned the plane to take it home.
Few casualties were lost this run
their mission for the day complete
still many more would lie ahead,
till enemy would take defeat.

Deep in the jungle far from home
they hacked their way through undergrowth
so thick that they could barely see.
Their wet clothes clung to them like glue,
while searching for the enemy.
With every yard that these troops gained
another skirmish would ensue.
The bloodshed reigned on nightly news
while protestors took to the streets—
and politicians played their part
claiming that they could defeat
the enemy on their own turf.
How could they justify the cost
of all the sons that would be lost?

The arid lands were dry and hot
with rocky hills and desert plains
and far beyond, the mountain range.
Against a new insurgency
our soldiers sent to do their job
to keep this enemy at bay,
to find some kind of lasting peace.
Out on the road the humvee stops,
a man steps out to scan the land…
the sniper waits and takes the shot,
another soldier’s life is claimed.
Another wartime casualty
the flag draped coffin boards the plane,
returning home to family,
while duty-bound, his troops remain.

The never-ending battle roars
right side, wrong side, enemies…
yet all these folks were somebody’s
brother, sister, husband, friend.
As long as we remember them,
keep their memory, say their name
not just one day, but every day
if in our hearts they still remain,
their lives were never lost in vain.

© Ginny Brannan 2018