The Airport

Intense faces all around:

Black, white, yellow and brown;

High expectations mixed with the mundane –

No matter the motive, get to that plane.

We fervently cling to the notion

That the solution is in motion;

So everyone’s in a hurry —

So focused, with no time to worry.

If we just get to our destination, and on time,

Somehow everything will work out and even rhyme;

Getting there is the key, and don’t be late;

Be decisive and never hesitate.

So we rush through the airport just like ants,

Going the same way, doing the same dance;

God forbid we stop, relax, and reflect

Since the answer’s out there, don’t you expect?

Travel teaches there are fine folks everywhere

And many means for the circle to get the square;

But, no matter how far we fly or in which direction,

The answer is found only within, through introspection.

 

Fear

I fear oversleeping, and not sleeping enough,

I fear lingering doubts – most unpleasant stuff,

I fear being late to work, as well as a speeding ticket,

Plus a terrible wreck, and ending up like a crushed cricket.

I fear unwanted mail and busy work I abhor,

New unpleasant distractions and yet another chore;

I fear my lecture is boring, seeing a student yawn,

Noticing someone check his watch and wishing he was gone.

I fear the lecture going long or making a mistake;

What if I say something “offensive,” drawing a complaint?

I fear talking too fast and leaving some confused,

Or being biased and earning awful reviews.

Did I look at that student too long?

Did my joke get nearly enough laughs?

Was going off on those tangents wrong?

Have I provided sufficient facts?

Did I eat too much today?

Will I start to put on weight?

Is having meat really the right way?

Will I be condemned for what I ate?

Do I meet obligations

And obey the Golden Rule,

Tell the truth sans obfuscations,

Do what is right and not just cool?

Am I fulfilling my potential?

Do I contribute all I can?

Is my life beneficial?

Am I a strong Christian man?

Will I be a disappointment?

Will my dear ones withdraw their love?

Is this life about enjoyment?

Is there even a God above?

My life has been ruled by fear,

The one constant always here:

Relentless, inspiring,

Motivating, tiring.

Confidence is the missing piece in my puzzle,

The elixir I’d most like to find and guzzle;

How I would treasure even a modest supply

To reduce the fear and provide a lot more why.

 

Gratitude

I love double rainbows climbing a blue sky,

Slow, gentle waves bathing a beach by and by,

Colorful leaves decorating the fall,

And the splendid views from China’s Great Wall.

I’d love to eat cheesecake ever so slow,

Floating down a river in a smooth flow;

Grow vibrant flowers – orange, purple, and red —

And get to meet performers long since dead.

Oh, to find myself in a kaleidoscopic dream,

Feasting on ripe blackberries in such rich yellow cream,

Going back in time to fix my mistakes,

Facing those fears, no matter what it takes.

I should act boldly, with resolve and without fears,

Ignoring all the maya between my two ears,

Laugh more at life – mostly at myself —

And put happiness on my top shelf.

Let’s seek out the good and those who are serene,

Not caring about the rude or just plain mean;

Travel far and try new ways,

For life’s short – avoid delays.

Know I’m alone and must find my own way,

Since others can point, but no one can stay;

Be good to all and don’t ever be crude,

And embrace my blessings in gratitude.

 

The Pace

The alarm roars again

Like a whistling freight train;

As inevitable as the rising sun,

Yet another leg of the race has begun.

 

Each day is endless rushing,

So much going and coming;

Ever more chores must be faced,

Fresh hurdles at the same fast pace.

 

A new drama must be confronted —

Oh, could we this time please just punt it?

I feel like I’m hunted;

Instead of a home run, can I just bunt it?

 

Yet, though I fervently complain,

I set the pace for my own gain;

I’m the architect of this world view;

The path is all mine — the drama, too.

 

 

A Surprise Visitor

While writing in a Paris hotel room,

Suddenly there was scratching at the door;

It grew intense, as if fleeing doom,

And seemed to be coming from the floor.

Going outside to see what was about,

A cat darted in, and gave me a pout;

Inspecting the scene, it looked here and there,

As if harboring not a single care.

The cat leisurely checked every bag,

Curiously sniffing each little tag;

Then she leapt on the desk for a better view,

And soon jumped again to peruse the bed, too.

Accepting my good will without a doubt,

She sat by a pillow and soon stretched out;

I plopped beside her to pet her pretty fur,

While the cat grew quite still and started to purr.

As she blissfully slept, I just continued writing

And Petite stayed put since there was nothing exciting;

How keen to choose any room for a free massage and nap,

And never have to worry about a burglary rap.

Many hours later, when I returned from dinner,

The cat showed no more worries than a just-saved sinner;

Looking up from bed, she gave her best yawn

Since she couldn’t care less where I had gone.

When I settled into bed, she slept by my leg,

Remaining immovable, like a big warm egg;

What confidence to sleep over wherever you please  –

How exquisite to enjoy a life of so much ease!

Before dawn came more scratching at the door

Since my little friend now found me a bore;

She danced out of the room without even turning around,

As if on a highway, and I was just another town.

So what to learn from this carefree cat?

Cast out concerns like an old torn hat?

Let’s just relax more and dare to explore,

For time retreats and then there is no more.

 

Douglas Young is a professor of Political Science at the University of Northern Georgia-Gainesville and the Chairman of the American Democracy Project Committee

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