Till We Meet Again

When I was younger, I called my mother “Momma”; I think all of us kids did at one time. 

Sandra Kay Tucker August 28, 1939 - October 26, 2016

Sandra Kay Tucker
August 28, 1939 – October 26, 2016

She was a compassionate person, a caring person, an encouraging person. As I grew up and explored my interests in writing and art and music, there wasn’t a story or poem she didn’t praise, a picture she didn’t appreciate, or a tune I played on my guitar that she didn’t enjoy – even if, in hindsight, it wasn’t that good.  She always had a good word for me.  She laughed at my jokes and told me how clever I was.  That doesn’t mean she was always pleased with my “cleverness”.

She helped make things possible and made tough choices for us, while, later, allowing me my own choices for she gave me the knowledge that my life’s choices were mine to make.  In contrast to that side of me that valued logic and seriousness, she was the part that said, “take a chance”.  She celebrated my successes and consoled me in my failures.  But in her eyes, there were no failures, my siblings and I were her children and she was proud of us all.  We are her legacy.

She was a dreamer, an indomitable spirit, a singer with a powerful voice, yet even among us children, we knew her in different ways, but that is how life works sometimes.  She had her own choices to make, as well.  To me, she was simply Momma, and without her guidance and understanding and patience…and love, I wouldn’t be who I am today.  She was what a mother should be and I could have asked for nothing more than the blessing she was.

A few days after I spoke these words – or a facsimile thereof – at her memorial, a poem came to me.  She was always fond of showing me the various shells she had collected when she went to the ocean.  I hope she would put this in her collection:

Seashell

I found a shell today
as I walked the beach
by the sea.
It glittered in the sand
as if to be seen
and I thought of you.

It had whirling patterns
etched in translucent white.
And it seemed to fold
into itself somehow
and I thought of you.

And I held it to the sun
and looked at how it was made;
and it seemed a mystery to me
alone, where it was laid.

And the salty water splashed
over the beach
by the sea.
And the places I had walked
were washed away
And I thought of you.

©2016 James Montgomery

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Live Performance

Stand on the stage
through the blinding lights.
See the camera phones waving
and the people who paid to see
aren’t watching me at all.

And I take comfort knowing
that later on in social media
the video will be shaky and out of focus
and the audio of my songs will be fucked.
You won’t be able to tell my B string was out of tune
and my singing really sucked.

It was a night I’d like to forget
but a better one is down the road.
Yet that stage remains in the contrasty disaster
of an amateur videographer trying to get likes
than think about the money forever spent
and the chance lost to see it…
and hear it…
and feel it…
live.

Waddle ‘Round the Wadi

Here is a little ditty I wrote as a faux Gilbert and Sullivan show tune. If the metre seems a bit strained, it’s because the music’s changing time signatures are tortuous! It works, believe me. So here is my passionate Persian poem:

Noon in the market square,
I saw you standing in red.
Haggling for cooking wares,
A burqa over your head.

I could only see your eyes,
In your Islamic disguise,
But I have to ask this question of you:

Oh, won’t you waddle ’round the wadi with me?
We’ll only go as far as that distant tree.
The riverbed’s mostly dry,
But I’m a refreshing guy,
And you’re the most attractive mound of cloth I see.

Behind your veil your passion’s burning secretly.
And you don’t have to scream for security.
Cause dear, I mean you no harm,
And you know that I’m not armed.
So won’t you waddle ’round the wadi with me?

I feel the warmth from your smile shining unseen,
And I thrill at your hair’s lovely hidden sheen.
When you avert your eyes what could that mean?
Beneath the reams of cloth you wear,
does your heart beat for me there?

I’ll never see your face,
Or feel the silk of your skin.
I’ll never give you chase,
Can’t tell which burqa you’re in.

But like a Persian star,
I’ll worship you from afar.
Oh won’t you waddle ’round the wadi,
waddle ’round the wadi,
won’t you waddle ’round the wadi with me?

©2013 James Montgomery

Allegorically Metamorphosizing

I used to be proud of my gun,
I cleaned it and shot it each day.
But when I saw what others had,
I looked at my gun with dismay.

For my gun was well-used,
It had been used quite a lot.
And I had steady aim,
To fire each and every shot.

But no matter how much I oiled,
Or along its length I rubbed,
My barrel just wasn’t long enough,
To me, it looked like a snub.

And the targets proved more demanding
I was sure it wasn’t my eyes.
Nor was it my stance or my grip I knew,
It was the lack of my gun barrel’s size.

So I went to the gun store,
To survey the supplies they had.
Perhaps, I thought to myself,
My gun wasn’t really that bad.

So I told the owner my problem,
And I smiled when I offered him thanks.
He said there was nothing wrong with my aim,
My gun had been loaded with blanks!

Now I laugh as I let others shoot it,
To think I wanted my gun to be bigger.
It’s much more fun to watch,
As I let others pull the trigger.

©2012 James Montgomery

Ruminations of a Right-Wing Recidivist Reactionary – An Ode to Idiots

I wonder what they’re eating in Somalia
I wonder if they pick the sand out of their food
I wonder if they would mind if we crash the party
I wonder if they would think we’re being rude.

I hear the bullets are flying in Somalia
I hear there are a lot of pirates, too
I think it’s time we moved to Somalia
I think it’s time to show them what we can do

‘Cause they reelected a commie in America
And he’s a Muslim and a socialist, too
And he’s gonna drive this country to ruin
All the while still blaming you-know-who

Some call for secession here in America
Some call for a recount for voter fraud
Some call to reclaim our country
In the name of the Christian God

They want to take our religion in America
They want to take all of our guns, too
Well, I’m gonna take my guns to Somalia
And we’re gonna make that country new.

‘Cause the people have spoken here in America
They can’t see the upcoming demise, I fear
So I’m gonna make a new life in Somalia
Before they turn it into Somalia here

©2012 James Montgomery

Yeeowll

I have seen the lesser minds of my generation,
rise up in protest against foes
real or imagined.
A people who are bound by nothing
beyond their own self-interest
in the name of the patron saint of selfishness
Whose disciples feel their sense of worth
by correcting those who are ignorant
that their saint’s name is pronounced “Ein”
Whose motivations were proclaimed
against a government who spent too much
and taxed too much
and did too little
All in the name of a mythologized image
of those who would cry for their own freedom
while turning a blind eye to the oppression of
Those who were deemed to be lesser beings.
Who, while oppressed, built a nation for those
whose descendants ignore the worth of that building
yet claim the greatness of those oppressors
Whose imitators, while feigning to oppose a system of economy
know nothing of its machinations
and find fault with all manner of those they deem unfit
Riled in their own ignorance and self-interest
at such a system suckle at the teat of those who supported
and corrupted that same system
Who built their movement on the lies and bigotries of the privileged
so that their fears of becoming the underclass are never realized
much to the expense of the underclass
Never seeing beyond their own skins, never admit that
E Pluribus Unum is blasphemous to their religion
Who worship at the altar of Dollar for blessings undeserved
Who will lie for their god
and send others to die for their god
And will have no other gods before their god
Who lie with the government they call Whore
and fornicate with Oedipal lust and hypocrisies
and sanctify their sins
Who walk the path of doom and destruction
led astray by ambition and hubris and deliver
blindly their prize of freedom to Enslavement.

©2012 James Montgomery