The Ballad of Little Ugly
Inspired by a story I read on the web that touched me

Ugly was a kitten who just never had a chance,
A scruffy kind of tomcat who got left out of fortune’s dance
Living in an alley way and living most on scraps
Dirty and abused was life for Ugly

People who lived round would warn their kids to stay away
Ugly lost an eye to fighting, lost his left ear the same way
Matted fur and scabs and folks just wished he’s go away
There were lots of reasons why they called him Ugly

Ugly kept on hoping that someone would scratch his head
Take him in and show him kindness and even get him fed
Seeking only for affection he got kicks and scorn instead
Life was never easy for poor Ugly

One day a pack of dogs caught him and tore him limb from limb
Torn and bleeding laying there, it was looking very grim
A neighbor heard the screams nearby and tried to take him in
But it was all too late for little Ugly

As the neighbor held him in his arms Ugly started in to purr
With trust and love in one bright eye his sight began to blur
The light went out as Ugly left that broken ball of fur
A sad and lonely end for little Ugly

A brief and solemn story that goes on most every day
The outcasts and the rejects that we meet along our way
They might be angels in disguise, who of us can say?
Will there be welcome home for little Ugly?
                                John Haigis, 9/17/14

This was the story that inspired the poem
Unintended Consequences

We'll arm the Syrian rebels
Whatever could go wrong?
But something in the tune is off
An old familiar song

After all it worked so well
When Reagan armed the contras
We got pulled in to the whole morass
Even though we didn't want 'ta

We've been sending arms for years
To fight our proxy wars
So we can fight them "over there"
And not on our own shores

We knew Sadaam had WMDs
Because we kept receipts
At first he used them to fight Iran
Which we thought was really neat

But then it all got turned around
And Sadaam was an evil guy
We lived in fear of a mushroom cloud
Darkening our sky

So of course we had to take him out
At the cost of lives and treasure
We also blamed him for 9/11
A bonus for good measure

But what of Al Qaida, the Base
Who we said planned the attacks?
From their refuge in Afghanistan
The Taliban had their backs

Where on Earth did they come from
All these mujahedeen?
Do we remember the Soviets
We wanted off the scene?

So of course we trained and sent them arms
All these freedom fighters
But when the guns were turned around
They turned into nasty blighters

We often forget that guns and bombs
Don't care much who they kill
It all depends on how they're used
Whether it's good or ill

So maybe we should think a bit
Before we learn with sorrow
The friendlies that we arm today
May be our foes tomorrow
John Haigis 9/23/14
The Ocean is Always in Motion

The ocean is always in motion
The mind is an ocean as well
Eddies and currents, ebb tides and flows
Tempests with billows and swells

What are the ways of the ocean
Seen only from surface or shore?
Many the secrets hidden in the vast deep
Hidden from sight evermore

Forces are acting upon it
It acts and has force in its turn
Vastness and mystery observed from periphery
Maybe someday we can learn
  John Haigis. 10/5/14
Blower Door
Tune "Yellow Bird" (Haitian folk melody-1893)

Blower door, can save you energy
Blower door, can help you really see
If your house leaks a lot
Where it makes sense to caulk
Places that let in air
Places you can repair
A diagnostic tool
Can help you to save on fuel
Set up an audit today

John Haigis, 12/21/13
On viewing a picture of an early refinery
(circa 1850) on the Schuylkill

The age of oil, the age of oomph
Industrialization through the roof
A great change over our bucolic scene
when the world around was still quite green

In the distance, on a smaller scale
An iron horse on a iron rail
The railroad rise of the corporations
Who would soon control the entire nation

The robber barons and the railroad prince
Have been a factor ever since
Checked by Teddy's trust-busting zeal
Which eventually led to FDR's New Deal

Entropy drives all to dust
Rack and ruin, boom to bust
From the ashes with persistence
Corporations have perpetual existence

Phoenix-like, they live and rise
Covering the lesser skies
Only human creatures die
Not Citizens United

        John Haigis 8/5/14
Written at a Memorial Service for a Lovely Lady

Mary's left the Building
Her soul is traveling on
Loved by all her family,
Her friends, and husband John.

Mary is still with us
The twinkle in her eye
Her love for all God's creatures
The Love that will not die

   John Haigis,  10/13/14
A Thought on Co-Creation

What the mind can conceive
And the self can believe
Can in fact be achieved
And brought into being

It all starts with a thought
As with all that God wrought
Co-Creation is taught
By the wonders we're seeing

There are limits of course
Set in Love by the source
Such as gravity's force
Holding fast as it's freeing

For to stay in one place
And not float into space
Holds us in embrace
Whether or not we're agreeing

    John Haigis, 10/14/14
In Many Words Is Much Confusion

In many words is much confusion
Words are often not precise
They often come with shades of meaning
Whose usefulness may not suffice

Words are used to tell a story
Or a feeling to convey
Meanings carried by abstraction
Of the things we want to say

But our words have limitations
The message meaning may be lost
By the hearer's own perceptions
To the speaker's unknown cost
        John Haigis, 11/16/14
All of Us are Co-creators

All of us are co-creators
From the moment of our birth
Working with the tools we're given
For our time here on this Earth

We have abilities for movement
And special ways in which we think
Adding to our skills and knowledge
All of us must swim or sink

No guarantees are ever given
There is no happy ending set
It's all in how we use our portion
And what we give we find we get

Fortune seems to be a player
Meeting unexpected chance
The cancellation of our leasehold
When music stops and ends the dance

But for the time that we are living
Our choices make up what we do
We all embrace or spurn the journey
Until the time our journey's through
         John Haigis, 11/16/14