America My Love, Fifth Refrain


Now not every man
fits the scheme
laid out at his starting place

Reaching the finish line
can take a touch of the divine
But out here in the west
we are plenty ready to test
where we draw salvation’s line.

We’ve got godless Christians
indecisive agnostic Unitarians
ex-Jehovah’s witnessing new shit
turned angered atheists,
same great judgmental taste
with 0 faux-spirituality calories

This cat was an eastern scholar,
you dig?
He never gelled with Christ
got along better with Krishna
never ran with Hebrew
but Buddha let him know what’s what
and more importantly, who’s who

As a daoist he believed
rhythm and flow
would show him
which way to go
and just what
he needed to follow

He wanted to move like the rivers
flow gently against godless green earth
erode the hard, the blearing light,
with soft and dark might
Wash out the endless noise
of the God damn know-it-alls
with blurry half certainty

But fall through
the tiny crack
of electronic disturbance
The mechanical wack
the mental half slap
of technical perturbance

and he brought his fist
to the side of his skull
Pounding at the temples
like they were front doors

Ding dong.
The hot air in his head
shot out in a clamor
like wind striking chimes

The man was so reverent
of context
that he put himself
as next best
after all the world,
and worry
of friends in flurry
and family in a hurry

All the fury pent up in his chest
steamed out of his knuckle
and back into him
through his thin skin
Bruises on thighs
Bite marks on arms

Little bits of Anger and loathing
fit tight like hand-me-down clothing
pinning against his chest

He just could not rest, knowing
that he reconciled the world
while leaving himself unfurled.

He never broke down
in some great tragic way
he had some concussions
but mostly just
internal repercussions

He felt small
mediocre
shallow and beaten down
because he never could pull
his two hands back
and just fully relax

These little things ate at him
until they grew big enough
to swallow his greatness whole
leaving him to work away
the rest of his days

Living vicariously
through a poor forged family
he never managed the inadequacies
running through the flowery
fields of his squiggly cerebrum,
just let them grow like ugly weeds
in his less-than-zen garden

Some say
if you’ve got hate in your heart
let it out
because your body will
break and ache
at each chance to
vent the steam swirling
through your cortexes

It does not blow
out your ears
like the cartoons tell the kids
It does not fall from the sky
burning bits of holy vengeance
flinging out of kung-fu fists
Like the movies tell the teens

It just dams itself up
and quietly
Snaps
like an aneurysm

But busting brainily into your headstone
at the old enough age of 68
seems a damn sight better
than beating the streets til
someone guns you down at 36

An apple a day keeps the doctor away
like a little bit of repression,
each time you get to thinking,
keeps the therapist at bay

I dunno if
adages new
become true
when adding ages

I dunno if sayings
ever truly get old
after being retold.
All I know is that
what you try to deny
likely denies you too

But what do my
young eyes know
about personal vengeance
and retaliatory reprise?

~Austin R Ryan

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