Monthly Archives: July 2016

A Hometown Refugee

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A HOMETOWN REFUGEE

He’s lost.
A refugee of this country.

Forgotten,
dumped
and discarded
at freeway exits
like trash.

His grizzled
broken face
is
expressionless
as he holds up a cardboard sign
which reads “HOMELESS VET NEEDS HELP.”

Veteran2

He has a million mile stare,
gazing beyond the passing cars,
the freeway and concrete
into a world only he knows.

It’s a place
beyond sadness,
beyond anger.

His is a soul obliterated
beyond recognition.

His tattered clothes
hang loosely from his bony frame.

He’s waiting,
hoping,
searching
for some sign of charity.

On patrol,
he springs into action,
deceptively quick,
grabbing meager
offerings from the drivers
waiting at the stoplight.

His reconnaissance continues throughout the day.

Where’s the TV cameras documenting his plight
as with the refugees in far away lands?

Here’s a refugee
in a country
he once defended.

A defender of our broken shame
even if he no longer has a home to defend.

Just what does the
ultimate sacrifice
mean to him now?

George Pappas
Copyright 2016

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Across A Broken Highway

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ACROSS A BROKEN HIGHWAY

What’s in a color
of a
different
hue?

Beyond blue.

Once again, failing to acknowledge
the humanity shining through.

The same heartbreaking tale
told so many times before.

This one of a broken soul
dragged
from the back of
a car bumper.

His life’s blood
spent
and
spilled
callously
across a broken highway.

His torn body
discarded
left behind
like road kill.

Yet his demise is quickly forgotten
in a barrage
of human interest stories
until the next dark day
reminds us again
how little has really
changed.

George Pappas
Copyright 2016

 

 


Election Time

 

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ELECTION TIME

Am I just a figment of your populist imagination?

Another blurred face in the crowd?

Another voice drowned out by the political process?

You aim your TV commercials at my heart
and attempt to inspire my imagination
with flaccid speeches.

Hoping to hook us again
into believing you’ll finally make a difference in our lives.

Until after election time,
when we realize we are left like
jilted lovers
with broken hearts
wondering how you rendered us so powerless.

Our pleas
and rage
die in a vacuum
of political expediency.

Washington listens to its own heartbeats
as we wonder what could have been
and live and die in the shadows of our failed dreams.

George Pappas
Copyright 2016


What’s Lost

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WHAT’S LOST

When I ponder
my petty thoughts
about
my
joys,
conceits,
earthly pleasures,
wild feelings
of being inside my skin
breathing in the ocean air
or the scent of a beautiful woman,
I begin to grasp what will be lost when I lose my life.

Just the simple freedom to breathe in life
in all its unpredictable forms.

The chance to muse about
my humanity,
my frailties,
my faults,
my frustrations,
and all my faulty notions about living.

Or to able to revel
in the fascination
of listening to my heart beat,
my body creak and breathe,
and my futile attempts
to capture my cascading thoughts in words.

That’s what makes
the Holocaust
and all the holocausts before and since
so difficult to fathom.

All those spirits and souls,
whose mortal coils
were so cruelly tossed aside,
robbed of the beauty,
of experiencing more life.

The real cost is too much to truly comprehend.
Numbers fail us.
A magnitude of destroyed dreams.

My spirit is numbed
by the barrage of atrocities daily.

What is ultimately lost is my sense of loss.

George Pappas

Copyright 2016

 


Backyard Poetry

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BACKYARD POETRY

I despise the
poetry
of exclusion.

It’s a stuffy affair
with hearts
bare,
stale,
and
devoid of any real compassion
and passion.

Because many of America’s greatest poets
have never composed a single word of poetry.

They
create stirring stanzas
with their
lips and tender kisses,
fingers and caresses,
wild crazy loves
and
adventurous lusts.

They compose poetry
in a tender way they
raise their children,
love their families
and reach out
to the wayward,
broken,
and
forsaken
among us.

They are the living embodiment
of poetry
with acts of loyalty
friendship,
hope,
love
and betrayal.

Broken
wild
verses of
poetry
burst forth
at
backyard barbecues,
family gatherings,
drunken bashes,
holiday celebrations,
in bars,
restaurants,
cafes,
and
coffee shops.

Poetry is heard everywhere
and anywhere where people talk honestly
about their lives.

Their life verses
go many times unheard,
unrecognized
even to themselves.

Poetry burns brightly
in their eyes
revealing
unspoken dreams
not yet realized.

George Pappas
Copyright 2016

 


 


Collateral Damage?

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Collateral Damage?

When innocent civilian lives
get in the way
in a war zone,
they call it an accident,
an unfortunate circumstance of war,
a necessary risk,
collateral damage.

What is unintentional
about…

Torn limbs?
Bodies mangled and twisted
beyond recognition?
Shell-shocked eyes staring silently?
Hollow faces?
Lifeless fingers clinging
to life’s remnants?
Bombed out homes?
Shattered hopes?
Fractured lives?
Dreams blown apart?

It’s then you realize
ideals,
ideas,
words,
apologies
are not enough
to mend
the hearts and minds
of those caught in the crossfire,
their futures detonated
and strewn across the cold ground
like bomb fragments,
giving new meaning to the word
accidental.

George Pappas
Copyright 2016
 


WOULD THE CRUCIFIXION HAVE BEEN TELEVISED?

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WOULD THE CRUCIFIXION HAVE BEEN TELEVISED?

I wonder if the crucifixion
took place today
would it be televised
non-stop?

Would the plethora of TV cable channels
cover every aspect
of the death
of Christ
on the cross?

Imagine
a press briefing
with Roman officials
explaining their actions.

Think of
profiles on Mary,
the apostles,
in-depth interviews
with Jesus’ followers
and an exclusive interview
with Judas entitled:
“Why he betrayed Christ: Judas defends himself.”

Ponder the exclusive reports
with those who claim to have witnessed God’s miracles,
including an exclusive profile on the blind man
who claims Christ restored his sight.

Or another profile on a follower who says to have heard Jesus’ last words
or yet another who saw Jesus walk on water
or still, another who witnessed Christ’s resurrection.

This tabloid TV culture
would no doubt turn the
the crucifixion
INTO BIG RATINGS.

All meaning ultimately
lost in the torrent of coverage
nailed relentlessly into our empty souls and lurid imaginations.

George Pappas
Copyright 2016