BrooksLooks @ Writing Poetry

20160928_205626Writing Poetry with a Pencil
Brooks Bradbury

I once wrote a poem
with a pencil
right on a white paper sheet
until a hand-me-down
Remington portable
made college life complete

clacking away on metal keys
that flew up square and neat
as a typed-out poem in parallel lines
appeared on my white paper sheet

a spool of black and red cloth ribbon
clicked along through a metal notch
it was as close as I had ever come
to the works of a fine Swiss watch

though clacking away faster and faster
‘til I over-clacked a little
it was at last too damned fast
and the keys got jammed in the middle

into the late pre-historic,
pre-techno age
things were still low-tech
and eclectic
when along came a thing
that became all the rage
high-tech and self-correctic
it was the best you could find
at last! the great one of a kind
IBM Selectric!

with its fancy silver alphabet ball
it turned every which way but loose
and my poem spilled out
on the paper sheet
my office, at last complete

alas now there was no excuse
I could put the back-button into use
it would truly save the day
mistakes were covered in little white tape
and I could keep typing away

then at the dawn of our digital throes
beyond palm pilot and stylus woes
behold the blackberry had finally come
soon we were addicted to typing
with each carpal sore thumb
and it now really grates
when my hip ‘ghost’ vibrates
I think I’m still crackberry numb

so I typed out my poems
then on the little white screen
but now I could email my work
if you know what I mean
honestly I could just scream

it didn’t stop there
iPhones and tablets
have us all on the run
the digital arms race
had long since begun
sometimes I ponder
what progress has brung
a poet with an S4 Galaxy Samsung?

my monthly cell plan continues to rise
and my poetry production to taper
it’s time to go back
to writing each poem
with a pencil
right on a white sheet of paper

© Copyright 2014 Brooks Bradbury, BrooksLooks

BrooksLooks @ Native Son

NATIVE SON
Brooks Bradbury 
16 NOVEMBER 2013
 
THE GENERATION AFTER THE GREATEST ONE
GREW UP PROUD AS NATIVE SONS
HEIRS TO THEIR NEW BRAVE WORLD
THEY RAISED THEIR FLAG NEW LIVES UNFURLED 
 
FRESH CHALLENGES AND FUTURE SHOCK
NUCLEAR TICKS OF A DOOMSDAY CLOCK
ALWAYS MINDFUL OF THE PRICE THEY PAID
GRATEFUL FOR THE PATH THEY MADE

PERPLEXED AT TODAY'S REALITY 
AND TEAR-IT-DOWN MENTALITY
PERHAPS THE GREATEST NOW REGRET 
WHAT THEY'VE GIVEN AND WHAT THEY'VE DONE
AND THE FEELINGS FELT BY NATIVE SONS 
 
LEAVING NOW AS CHILDREN NURSING HALLS FILL 
NATIVE SONS CARRY ON THEIR CHERISHED HIGH IDEALS
PRECIOUS FEW UPHOLDING WELL-LEARNED VALUES STILL
THESE ARE THE DAYS OF NATIVE SONS
OF A WELL-EARNED FUTURE THANKFULLY SOUGHT
WHY DOES IT SEEM THE GREATEST ONES
REGRET WHAT THEY HAVE WROUGHT 
 
GROWING UP SOME NORMAL KID 
WE THOUGHT WE DID AS NEIGHBORS DID
HALLOWED GROUND AND VALUES DEAR
WE'VE COME SO FAR AND AS I LOOK AROUND
WHY AM I THE STRANGER HERE? 
 
A PACHYDERM PARTY A HERD OF RED ASSES 
VIGILANT GUARDIANS OF A NARROWING VIEW 
NATIVE SONS SHOCKED AT WHAT NOW PASSES
FROM THE GENERATION THAT 'GOT IT DONE'
FINAL TANTRUMS BEFORE THEY'RE GONE  
ANGER AT CHANGE AND VEILED ATTACKS
RACISM CONTINUES AND CIVILITY LACKS
 
HE HAS ENDURED THE AGE'S GREATEST CHANGES 
AND SAVORED EVERY GIFT
FROM THE GENERATION BEFORE HIM 
OLD MINDS ARE NEGATIVE AND STIFF
WHERE EVER HAS 'WHAT'S RIGHT' GONE?  
NATIVE SONS PONDERS THIS
IT SEEMS THE GREAT GENERATION 
REJECTS WHAT THEY HAVE DONE 
LEAVING NOW THEIR NATIVE SON 
TO PONDER HOW HE'S BECOME 
A STRANGER ON THE RUN 

© 2013 Brooks Bradbury / Innspired Hospitality

BrooksLooks @ Innkeepers

INNKEEPER NATION  

we build our business by serving guests first
we attend to comfort
solve hunger and thirst
the go-to people for relaxation
getaways and celebrations

sometimes speechless at what we behold
at what we see,  what we’re told
at times we’re smug, at times incredibly wise
at times it’s so quiet we hear the overhead rise

we check legions in, check legions out
we’re pleasant every day, no doubt
we serve canapés and wine and cheese
work endless days and aim to please

TripAdvisor can make good days, or turn them ‘round the other way
good reviews make us seem wiser, the bad give us hell to pay
it sure beats life in a cubby or the tedious nine to five drag
with more weekends off we’d be even more chubby
probably half in the bag

all of our guests bring joy to the heart, sure
most all at arrival and a few at departure
we’ve got holes in our tape charts we’re desperate to fill
this ain’t for the faint-hearts nor the over-the-hill

we’ve got plenty of secrets to get off of our chests
always gracious under stress, appreciative of returning guests
we carry bags, show the way, pour the coffee, clean the loo
offer advice–receive our share too
we see our guests naked without inhibitions
at times locked out in awkward positions

in-tune with our grease-traps, we brave the occasional mouse
we know the double edge sword of a completely full-house
we clean up messes and spills, we pay heavenly bills
we flash miles of smiles, vacuum hairs off tiles
we silence bedsprings, fortify walls against snores
return lost and found things, settle check-out time wars

we point toilet paper for some unknown reason
is this in the handbook or are we over-reaching?
we strategize on renting beds–stars and diamonds dance in our heads
we spend long hours at labor in our inn vocations
“live with” our customers and have more than a few reservations

perpetually in need of a longer vacation
we are the faithful of the innkeeper nation
we’re given one chance to make first impressions
we look askance at indiscretions
become an innkeeper—you’ll live life even deeper
and fly by the seat of your pants

it’s our guests we treasure as fragile and rare
of course! my pleasure! why yes, be right there
it’s up-close and personal–with changeable roles
sometimes we are tested by challenging souls
but we smile through anger resisting the urge
when we’re over-the-edge and out on the verge

this is our calling we are destined to serve
we’ve got the manners, the brass and the nerve
guests return joy and love us in turn
they respond to our kindness, their loyalty we earn

but snoozing away, in those early morn hours
we awaken from dreams of Frette and flowers
remembering there’s only one choice we need make
it’s not what room to clean first nor which muffin to bake
not the quiche or fritatta nor the gluten-free cake
nor which potpourri we’ve decided to use
or if we need padded hangers (or just padded rooms)

for the heart of the matter, the real crux of the thing
is when we wake up to an alarm bell ring
a moment of truth arrives each day in our life
a decision we make that cuts like a knife
our only choice is this one, to get by:
are we going to live? or are we going to die?

if you’ve decided to die, please — fall down quickly
and spare all the others from the negative and prick-ly
but if you’ve decided to live: then by all means flourish!
grow joy in your soul, love and be nourished

in the final analysis, it’s the gifts we give
the time we share, the way we live
the giving back, the being there
the friends we make, the way we care

time gets shorter, numbered days whiz by
plenty of worries, to stop and ask why
it’s an innkeeper’s life our living to serve
in spite of the grind and the occasional swerve
WE are the gifts we give to those who arrive
over our thresholds and up the drive

when it’s done and over,
we tally neither losses nor wins
we measure our success–by beloved guests
after all they’re the reason that we all keep inns!

© Copyright Brooks Bradbury / BrooksLooks 2012