Easy Sailing

Exit of Chicago Union station,
Loud speech on Jesus,
And free Lärabar samples.
Many more are sold on Lärabars
than Jesus.
Large sign almost obstructs
the traffic light and screams:
Do NOT feed the pigeons!
I’d like to add graffiti:
DO feed the homeless
and the starving.

Summer’s breeze wakes this beautiful city.
Center of Madison bridge
bursting with rhythm.
A black white-bearded man plays old plastic buckets
and a single bent cymbal,
But nobody changes their hurried pace,
Across the presidential bridges
That stretch their old creaky bodies.
Over the river.
For just around the corner,
Chicago Lyric Opera announces:
Big Stars! Big Voices! Big Savings!

This is a life of slivers
on the 40th floor, glass cage all around.
To the right, a sliver of green
in between the highrises.
To the left, a sliver of the sky
and a lonely cloud where the skyscrapers end.
And in front, lake Michigan, with her baby blue eyes.
Just enough slivers to peace-meal
the world all together.

Fast talking man details a new acquisition,
new service, new sales opportunities.
But I’m captivated by his purple polka dot socks.
Like a kid, I imagine him grabbing those polka dots
and juggling them, high,
big great smile on his face,
like he is juggling those big words and ideas.
Two hours later, sock man inquires:
Does everyone understand what we are selling here?
Twenty people shake their heads in unison: No!

Oh so comfortable to sail along!
buying something, not knowing what it is,
from those who sell it, not knowing what they are selling,
paying the money we do not have.
Juggling those polka dots
faster and faster before they drop,
with big stars, big voices, and big savings,
For some easy sailing…



About BeeHappee

Where have all the bees gone? Where have all the flowers gone? https://beehappeenow.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Culture, Poetry, Society and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Easy Sailing

  1. “And in front, lake Michigan, with her baby blue eyes.”

    Great line, Bee. Fine poem.

    Here’s to all the world juggling those polka dots. There’s so so many of them…

  2. smcasson says:

    How right you are. People “do as I’m told, buy what I’m sold” (I think that’s a line in a Jason Isbell song)
    Sail against that wind.
    (We read Put Me in the Zoo, too! haha)

    • BeeHappee says:

      Yes, kids like “Put me in the zoo
      you won’t believe what Spot can do.”
      I’ll watch you sail against that northern wind in that RV
      before I build my Teepee. 🙂

      • smcasson says:

        Have you seen the (apparently) sequel I Want to Be Somebody Else?

        Go for it.

        • BeeHappee says:

          Ha, no I had not, we picked up “Put me in the zoo’ at Good Will for a quarter. The sequel is called “I want to be Somebody New”. Thanks for the recommend! My little guy is starting to spell out and read all by himself, so exciting!!!

  3. noblethemes says:

    I love it ~ the poem, not necessarily Chicago ~ I think I’d be too overwhelmed, but you certainly make it seem very fun! LOL Thanks for this today; it was fun to read… All the best to you and yours!

    • noblethemes says:

      Hello again! I hope you don’t mind, but I nominated you for an award! It’s called the Brotherhood of the Year Award, and I was surprised when Kally, a talented young blogger, nominated me! Your blog certainly deserves far more recognition; thank you for sharing your stories and poems. They are always so interesting, well-written, uplifting and make the ordinary somehow extraordinary! 🙂


      • BeeHappee says:

        Thank you so much, Jonathan! I very much appreciate your kind words and support and encouragement. Thank you! Thank you! Than you! If only these awards came with some cash attached to them. Just kidding. 🙂 But if seriously, humbled and thankful.

        • noblethemes says:

          LOL Yes, I certainly wish the awards DID come with money, too! 😉 I’m sure us writers could use some … but what’s a great writer (or musician or artist) if not starving??? LOL 🙂

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, Jonathan! Chicago is beautiful also, if only to visit for a short time.

  4. nicoleaugust says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if all those polka dots didn’t just stay on socks ? A whole office full of crazy polka dot clothing ….

    • BeeHappee says:

      Haha, thanks, Nicole. That probably gives you an idea for a painting. Sometimes, in the meetings, I do entertain myself with such visions. Or horns growing out of people’s heads. 🙂

  5. shoreacres says:

    I never know what I’m going to learn here. Today, it’s “Larabar.” I’ve never heard of them.

    I love that section of lines about the slivers. That’s one of the tricks, after all: cut the world up into tiny slivers, so no one gets the big picture. It makes it much easier to end up:

    buying something, not knowing what it is,
    from those who sell it, not knowing what they are selling,
    paying the money we do not have.

    As for Chicago — honestly, I can’t see myself visiting there. Part of it’s that I’ve lost my taste for the big cities, despite all their wonderful offerings in terms of museums, and etc. But part of it is that cities themselves have changed, radically, over the past decades. I tend to travel by myself, by choice sometimes, and sometimes by necessity, but I wouldn’t be comfortable traveling the way I like in Chicago (or NYC, or DC, or New Orleans).

    I have been to Chicago. One Thanksgiving, a lifetime ago, “his” family said, “Of course you will spend the day with us.” My family said the same. We looked at one another and headed to Chicago. We stayed at the Y, and had Thanksgiving dinner at a Greek restaurant where we were among very few customers. I was introduced to ouzo. It was memorable.

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, Linda! I never know what I will learn from your comments (and posts) either, and it is always something! Something good. Larabars I only know because I have kids and it is a snack on the go, or we make home made ones sometimes.
      I spent a year at UIC – Univ of Illinois at Chicago, and somehow grew to love the city in that year. It grows on you. I still enjoy it once in a while, for a couple hours, then get tired. If I take kids, they most certainly get exhausted in a few hours and always fall asleep on the train back. I do enjoy ethnic neighborhoods, Devon, where you can still buy a live chicken to be butchered some place in the backyards and eat in a small Georgian or Armenian eatery where three guys play chess and a single cook/server lady runs out to the store next door to buy tomatoes for the meal you just ordered. 🙂
      And you can mingle with people and yet never be seen. I enjoy that feeling.

      • shoreacres says:

        Now, I’m with you on the ethnic neighborhoods. Houston does have some, although they’re hidden to a degree. It’s much like San Francisco, where there’s “Chinatown” for tourist consumption, and the Chinese community living its communal life, unseen by tourists.

  6. smilecalm says:

    a place
    should i go
    will be seen
    with new eyes 🙂

  7. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says:

    Great poem, Bee. I could just feel and the frantic frenetic energy and one lone cloud. Too much stimulation for me to ever go there – except for the lake, and that cloud. I would like the polka dots of the light on the water.

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, Mary!
      In 1666, Abraham Cowley wrote:
      “Would not among roses and jasmine dwell,
      Rather than all his spirits choke,
      With exhalations of dirt and smoke,
      And all the uncleanness which does drown
      In pestilential clouds a populous town?”

  8. blazeburgess says:

    Really beautiful poem. The last stanza is wonderful, the way it pulls it all together.

    Also, your graffiti sounds very pleasant.

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