Why should I choose to be grateful?

Why should I choose to be grateful?
It’s more logical to be hateful.
The world is a mess, with anger and stress
And of crap a big whole heaping plateful

Can I choose how I want things to be
Co-creating the thing that is me?
A rational being, ‘though not always far-seeing
Above all, I want to be free.

So that is my main reason why
I let all the nonsense go by.
To develop the knack to let it slide off my back
At least I can give a good try.

John Haigis, 12/7/14
The Hokey-Pokeylypse and the Calmageddon

The horse folk of the Hokey-Pokeylypse went riding out one day
Through the kingdoms of this world to find a peaceful way.
They knew where they were going;they knew where they were headen'
They were riding out to find the coming calmaggeddon

Their names were faith and hope and joy, forgiveness and gratitude
And all of them were led by love with a positive attitude.
They knew their quest was long and hard, a rocky bumpy road
But still they rode on thankfully carrying their load.

On their banner was the symbol @ like in “blank @blank.com
In e-mails that we daily send to help us carry on.
A spiral circled round an egg in messages we send
For all the things we want to say, to colleagues and to friends.

The calmageddon is an age of love, of peace and understanding.
It's nice to think that it could come by a simple change of branding
So now for every email sent, please keep this thought in mind.
@ Love is what it's all about and learning to be kind.
  John Haigis, 11/28/14

After I wrote this, Jan pointed out that you have to put your whole self in
for it to work.
A Phrase of Praise

How do we praise God
If not by what we do?
Co-creation everyday
Reflection of the true

For what we think we are
And what we do, will be
The ways in which we use our gifts
Higher reality

Words can be a start
If we live the things we say
But the doing is the active art
Before we fade away

Each one must deal with time
Which may also be self-created
Our time in mortal frame is short
At least so it is stated

Does something carry on?
We really do not know
Does part of us endure?
It’s comforting to think so
     John Haigis, 12/7/14
Malcolm X

So hear now a story about Malcolm X
A man controversial and very complex
His father a preacher in a white man’s cruel world
Marcus Garvey’s Black Banner, Reverend Little unfurled
“Back to Africa”, “Be separate“, “We must find our own way”
Young Malcolm’s beginnings as he started his days

The Klan came a calling, Malcolm learned about hate
As his home was burned down, but the family escaped
The Klan didn’t want anyone raising a fuss
So a message was sent in the ashes and dust
Malcolm Little had to help himself as best as he could
His first memory hard, but one he understood

Malcolm left home for a life on the streets
Chicago and Boston both had their white sheets
A quick agile study, he learned dancing and jive
And did what he needed to learn and survive
Then in a thing not exactly expected
Elijah Mohammed he found, and respected.

The Nation of Islam gave Malcolm new hope
As he turned his back on the hustling and dope
Then in a too common twist to the tale
Malcolm was locked up in prison, in the old Charlestown jail
A new name and purpose, a new man indeed
Malcolm X very slowly taught himself to read

He taught himself reading by writing each word
From a dictionary slowly, as each word occurred
Starting with A, he'd then read what he wrote,
And then filling the pages with what each word would denote
And as the meaning of each word was unfurled
He never knew there were so many words in the world

And as each new page passed, his mind expanded and traveled
To new places and concepts as the pages unraveled
A new world took shape on his mind's fertile stage
Incrementally forming as he sat in his cage
‘Till oxymoronically, he came then to see
Although locked in prison, he had ne'er felt so free   

With eloquent speeches and writing he'd reach
Listeners far and near, with his words he would teach
Career inspirational, his words confrontational
For the Nation of Islam, a young rising star
But it seems there was rivalry and maybe some jealously
Among other adherents who thought he'd gone too far.

In Mecca it seems his view met with another
He met blue eyed blonde men that he could call brother
A new world of promise, all races as one
Working for brotherhood, he’d barely begun
A vision of peace that comes only from God
A new way of thinking, expansive and broad

Electric and eloquent, peaceful and ethical
Relevant, credible, hate antithetical
A man marked for destiny, a path shining clear
A man of such presence, what need then for fear?
With such deep intensity, and dreams to the sky
Like his father before him, too soon he would die.

And so we may try to make sense of his life,
His memory living in children and wife
In photos and speeches, his legacy lingers
We sadly remember the quick trigger fingers
The larger convictions that grew from his rage
And the seeking for justice that belongs to our age

          John Haigis, 12/5/14
Our Pace in Space

Is there order in the world, or does chaos rule the day?
Do the planets move in harmony, or does randomness hold sway?
There certainly is much passion as new worlds are being born
Cataclysmic conflagrations as the void takes shape and form

And then there are the endings, exploding super-nova stars
Distant reaches of the cosmos, viewed with wonder from afar
But light takes time to travel, and the spectacular light show
They tell us may have happened many million years ago

Here on earth we have volcanos, floods, and hurricanes
Which can make a bloody shambles of our lives and our terrains
Earthquakes still can rearrange the ground beneath our feet
As we hold on and tremble on our shifting, moving seat

So what is there to count on, as we flow through time and space?
On our yearly journey around our sun at a stately, steady pace
Our moon still dances round us all, as we dance round the sun,
Held by gravity and momentum, till our cosmic dance is done

We’re somehow held in balance and don’t float off into space
As we also keep our distance in a delicate embrace
Not too near, yet not too far, as Goldilocks might say
It somehow seems to be just right, as we float from night to day

Lovers often claim they’ll love, “until the stars do fall”
Which works out fine until those stars have their final curtain call
It all may change and vanish in the blinking of an eye
But ‘till it does I will thank whoever thought of such a sky.
                                        John Haigis, 11/23/14
Christmas In The Trenches

Christmas in the trenches
A hundred years ago
Stalemate on the Western Front
In the deadly puppet show

It may have started subtly
While singing "Stille Nacht"
The Brits sang back with "Silent Night"
Both sides began to talk

On Christmas Day they all agreed
Not to kill each other
Exchanging gifts and pleasantries
As if they all were brothers

The stench of war was all around
As they met on frozen mud
A kind of Christmas miracle
Amid the death and blood

The birthday of the Prince of Peace
Honored by both sides
Meeting there in No Man's Land
That bloody Christmas Tide

It sadly didn't last too long.
Headquarters was alarmed
If soldiers all refuse to fight
The War Effort would be harmed

It's hard to know what went on that day
A hundred years ago
But something did, to give us hope
As on OUR way we go

    John Haigis, 12/16/14