BrooksLooks@ The Crooked Road

if you’re a soul on the road less trod
people think you’re kind of odd
dancer to the different beat
of distant drums with footloose feet
in faraway places where trails are less traveled
modern trappings have all unraveled
unknown beauty in pristine places
of country folk and simple graces
stallions and canyons and pure fresh air
common sense is common there
days arrive in bright sunrises
and Mother Nature still surprises
we came to where there’s so much less
found plenty more and nonetheless
way out yonder in the wild west
are many ways to feel truly blessed
i wouldn’t change this crooked road
the sights we’ve seen nor the souls we’ve known
though moving around this much in life
is much too often if you ask my wife
we think about all the places we’ve been
a tapestry of time–and now and then
we imagine home–a humble space
to be enjoyed in a beautiful place
with much to ponder and recollect
perhaps there’s time we can reflect
that the best is really yet to be
though all the rest was fine with me

Copyright © 2013 Brooks Bradbury | Brooks Looks

BrooksLooks@ George Schuster

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George Schuster

greeted my share of kings and queens
those who star on movie screens
dined with rock stars, heads of state
the notorious and the now quite late

but a face encountered eons ago
with steely eyes I didn’t know
has stuck with me, haunts me still
his rare achievement of iron will

just a kid, I crossed the road
met him there at the end of his life
kindly, willing to the garage he strode
of course he’d sharpen my kid jackknife

he stepped on the metal treadle
the big stone wheel would start to spin
sparks commenced from the metal
fascinated, i would stand and grin

he asked if it was sharp enough
as if i really knew
these fleeting moments our last
i think he probably knew

back across the road,
sharp shiny blade in hand
my mother had her doubts with me,
and the knife
not with the kindly old man

see, he was a master mechanic
in the automobile’s dawning age
and back in nineteen aught eight
he drove onto the world’s biggest stage

around the globe in his Thomas Flyer
he drove with grit and plenty of tires
to Paris–an American Victory
George Schuster set the winning pace
Champion of the World’s Great Race

that’s the story unabridged and whole
simple kindness from a once great soul
a moment in two lifetimes
a sliver of each life
memorable moments shared
with only a simple knife

Copyright © 2013 Brooks Bradbury | BrooksLooks

Photo Credit: Jenn Czapla, 44 East Avenue, Springville, NY

BrooksLooks@ Why My Beloved Country?

WHY MY BELOVED COUNTRY?20190114_153943

another mass shooting
one more tragic day
another lost soul
shocked lost grieving
the rest of us pray

the media drill
rolls out the same way
who did the shooting?
what was his name?
who died and was injured?
are his parents to blame?
what were his motives?

a shrine grows
on hallowed ground
flowers are laid
between flickering votives
symbols of each light lost
at a profoundly steep cost

the soul of our nation
is now firmly at stake
there is a battle ahead
national ideals at stake

why my beloved country
have we not resolved
the issue of guns
have our leaders dissolved
why my beloved country
with tears pouring out
from so many eyes
are guns more precious
than our own children’s lives?

too little action
too many lies
through rivers of blood
anxious and anguished
our great nation cries
we can’t hold back
the flood of tears
in American eyes

© Brooks Bradbury 2013 | BrookLooks

BrooksLooks@ Crucible



on sanity’s last horizon
fiery flames began to rise
tender hearts begin to melt
tears pour from steely eyes

these are days of trial by fire
situations dark and dire
any spark could cause ignition
into final code-red condition
white-hot searing
danger threatens
the time has come
the hour nearing

forces pulling this way
forces pull against
human angst and heartache
emotions wild and incensed
in matters of the heart
betrayals and broken trust
traitors turn to leave us
old love turns to rust
promises once made
are now but ash and dust

in a crucible
we no longer feel
forged in fire
like tempered steel
caught between life’s forces
we boldly soldier on
vivid wild dreamscapes
portend a new age dawn
all we know reforms, reshapes
change is our new norm

we step out into the future
emotions overdrawn
bravely facing each new day
and every raging storm
with fire in the holes
of our chrome alloy souls
galvanized hearts
as times turn tragic
forged from metal parts
we keep from going insane
steering away from open flame
love’s alchemy works its magic
our blood turns molten gold
relationships turn tragic
end times turning cold

will this be our finest hour
or a time not once foretold
will we rise to new occasions
or will we refrain
bold enough to keep
our hearts and souls
from melting down the drain

if we cut the fuels
the crucible cools
poured out on life’s conveyor
molten emotions
oozing out sprayed
layer upon layer
solidified lives reveal
hearts are harder
and harder still
fully tempered
like gleaming steel
in a crucible
our hearts become fusible
in a crucible
they melt together
toward a final day
is it possible
such a price to pay

beyond the crucible
we find our way
facing life’s pyre
the flames rise higher
we come out stronger
eternally steeled
hearts fused forever

© 2013 Brooks Bradbury / BrooksLooks, 1 December 2013