Begin your days
and end your nights
of doing wrongs
and doing rights
only to find
hurt by your rights
helped by your wrongs!
All's inside out
and upside down
from what you planned
in this unhappy
where, in the end,
foe is friend
and we must face
that in this time
and in this place
there's nothing more
than "Last Chance - Grace".
James J. Roberts
Alchemies of Time
wind us in knots
find ways to do
what we can not
before our time
and we lay down
on our cots.
So, why not
and defy the thing?
Just STOP -- and -- SIT
and then...watch IT!
just wait it out.
There is, I
in the matrix of the monkey mind,
a proof divine
that Man is not so much ahead
as he is behind.
let's to-war again
to prove my rhyme.
(Comprised in response to reader bet that
one couldn't write a poem using today's (12/13/05) top 20
search engine entry terms which were: google, poetry, paris,
hilton, christmas, ebay, jessica simpson, funny joke, yahoo,
games cheat, eminem,richard pryor, radio stations,
playstation 2 cheats, dogs, carmen electra, girls, games,
play games, myspace, pamela anderson)
Most who Google know quite well
that the Paris Hilton's
where Paris Hilton stays to play
Eve and Day
and little Pammy Anderson
and dear-dead Richard Pryor
who, by the way,
this very day
on eBay did acquire
Ms. Jessica Simpson's
sad old squire
the mourning threesome
to a four.
But Dickey Pryor's postmortem buy
luscious Carmen Electra's ire
who had her cute covetous eyes
cast firmly on the prize
of being the new number four.
So, when told of Pryor's surprise,
cried and cried and felt cuckolded
and all her pack of dogs she sold-ed
for sandwich meats and hides for gold.
these ill-got proceeds
she bought three radio stations
with all new playstation 2 cheats.
play games cheat?)
"My space and head are a such mess,"
said...and then confessed,
"but at least that Pryor's
dead, that Yahoo, is at rest!
He was such
a boring beast,
such a lousy little creepy pest
especially when Pamela undressed
Eminem jumped on her chest!
Which is when poor Paris undressed
and tried to do her level best
to keep old Pryor off of them
...and on top of her
"Christmas is no fun this year
all alone in bed,"
Ms. Electra reminisced,
"Oh, how I wish I were the squire
instead of me instead!
But at least I'm better off than
after all...that Yahoo's dead,
he's "toes up",
but he's screwed me from the beyond
the grave, the dope,
and it's not a funny joke."
(...and this is not a good poem, either,
but it DOES use all the search terms and is the first of its
kind in human history to document 12/13/2005 in this tragic
fashion - JR)
James J. Roberts
In the great game of Life, God randomly deals rotten
cards from the bottom of the deck. It's true: God cheats at
cards. You might as well accept it, and the fact that you
are never - ever - going to "win" in the great game of life
until S/He feels like letting you. Face it. Get used to it.
It's the way it is.
Complaining about this state of affairs makes as much
sense as complaining that Alaska is chilly in January. Plus,
complainers get on His/Her Excellency’s nerves, which, as
you might guess, is less than a good idea, particularly if
you are in line for more cards. So, if you know what’s good
for you, you’ll quit whining, suck it up, and get on with
things. God likes that.
The question to ask about God's less-than-gentlemanly
proclivity toward cheating at cards is, "Why deal perfectly
helpless, weak, essentially stupid creatures horrifically
lousy cards at the very times they least expect or least can
cope with them?
Learned theologians ("Guessers" as God likes to call
them.) write a great deal about this, much to God's chagrin
and occasional entertainment. Guessers, you see, tie
themselves in great Gordian knots trying to find an "out"
for His/Her Divine double dealing when it comes to scraping
bad cards from the bottom of the deck and landing them
squarely on the heads of helpless weary twits like we
humans. In a bid to get God out of hot water over this, some
old-time Guessers invented a second God.
They called this second god "The Devil". His job, in
their scheme of things, was to take the blame for for
everything that the first God did wrong...like dealing out
bad cards rattle off our humanity's heads like hail. The
only flaw was that these long-bearded old-timer Guessers
studiously avoided mentioning just Who they thought had
created this dastardly depressing double-dealing second god
in the first place! They kept their heads in the sand on
this and their hind ends in the air like ostriches
pretending to be bottom feeding ducks. This odd posture
tended to cause some people to discount the validity of
their theological theoretics.
This wouldn't do, of course, so other Guessers jumped
forward to fill the theological void. These new Guessers
were important. After their names, most had Ph.D.s, which
God knows stands for "Piled higher and Deeper". These New
Guessers quickly deemed the Old Guessers guesses about God
"poppycock". In fact, they vehemently and loudly insisted it
was poppycock -- even though they and everyone else had not
the foggiest notion of just what "poppycock" was, where it
came from or went, or who made it. Interesting as the
genesis of the term "poppycock" may be, let us leave
exploration of it for another discussion at another time.
For now, the point is, these important Ph.D. Guessers
decided that the peculiar penchant of the Divine to make us
miserable by playing a crooked game of cards was actually of
lovingly kind and wonderfully good and Godly thing to do.
They figured it this way: Whatever was educational was
"good". They had a point...to a point...but met themselves
coming back when they couldn’t make a particle of logical
sense out of their own apologetics for the Great One's nasty
habit of whacking the down trodden left and right with a
deuce of diamond when they most needed an ace of hearts. To
the New Guessers' way of thinking, even taking a
thought-provoking swig out of a bottle of "cyanide" was a
"good" thing, because, after one did so, one quickly learned
something: the unforgettably valuable educational lesson
that cyanide has less than salutary effect on the human
digestive system...and every other human system as well.
To camouflage their logic lapse, this group of Ph.D'd
Guessers lathered on words to their theory of God until they
were thicker than fleas on an alley cat. They whipped up
multi-syllabic tongue twisters of words that were so dusty,
rusty, and obtuse that even they didn’t understand what they
meant. Once they got the descriptive language of their
theology so obfuscated that even they didn't understand what
it meant, they sagely nodded in mutual agreement and self
congratulation and decided that they had indeed found the
"answer" to how a good God could do such Bad things to such
weak creatures who already were cowering under too heavy
These Ph'D.ers formed clubs and clubbed everyone who
thought other than they did about the nature of God until
these undesirable thinkers gave up their wits
in exhausted submission. Submission was deemed "good" by the
clubbers. Their more capable speakers roused
unthinking masses into vitriolic frenzies of feeling against
those who held contrary thoughts about the nature and
purposes of God and who saw Divine windows of meaning hidden
even in entangled subatomic particles that danced to tunes
no one yet could hear.
Even God had to shake His/Her Head at times to clear It
of the clubbers' theological fog. Once or twice, just to be polite,
S/He uttered a noncommittal "Uhhh..." about their work.
Or it might just have been Divine indigestion...a Beneficent
burp, if you will. Still, this small sound, this tiny
kindness of recognition of their existence, led the
lead-Guessers invariably to believe they had received a Divine endorsement of their treatises (guessworks).
This invariably sent many of them pirouetting off to found
new religions around this or that quirky idea;
some banned all sexual relations amongst their followers and
became extinct. Others launched crusades, lopping off heads of "unbelievers", claiming this was good
for them, because, as the loppers saw it, the loppees would learn
something from being lopped, which of course they did -- for
a second or so.
Others raced off to teach the missionary position to
naked African chaps, who occasionally ate their "teachers",
but not nearly enough of them. Still others formed
religions based on the idea that death was man's imperfect
perception of what God created and they planned to see
things the right way which. They died anyway.
This entire spectacle was all pretty odd, because God
Himself, if the Guessers had bothered to ask, would have been the first
to tell them, nose to nose, that there are no complicated
theological reasons or inscrutably complex explanations for
things or for
His/Her proclivity toward cheating at cards, killing off
humans by the billions, and basically just stirring things
up so as to turn
human lives upside down in the flick of a squirrel's tail.
"There are," S/He would have informed them, "No great
conundrums of subtle spiritual interces clouded in three
dimensional, infinite and unfathomable matrices of moral
turpitudes and spiritual feedback loops that mere mortals
can never hope to comprehend behind My Divine card
(con'd. top of next column >>>)
S/He’d offer them no, "It's-for-your-own-good"
explanation and no "I-do-it-so-you-can-learn" apologies.
S/He’d offer no bald faced lies about His/Her being a
strictly "hands off" kind of God when it comes to
"None of that," S/He'd say, "has a gnat’s knickers
worth of anything to do with why I indiscriminately
double deal you rotten cards now and then."
"No, sir," S/He'd unabashedly confess, if only
asked, "The reason I cheat at cards is mud-fence simple:
Because it’s fun! It makes life interesting: Mine and
yours. It perks things up for everybody! It scares the happy and healthy half to death and makes the
wisest of 'em appreciate their lot all the more and, as
a bonus, makes 'em
feel guilty 'cause they have it so good. I like guilt. Guilt is good.
"A little squirming," S/He'd say, "is good for the souls,
especially the souls of the fat, happy, and warm. As for
the miserable and poor. A bad card now and then makes
them pray better, pray it won't get any worse, and pray
in thanksgiving that things are as good as they are!
I like that. And, at the same time, it has the
added advantage of getting the "have nots" to envy
the "haves". A little envy invigorates the soul,
gets people's blood moving, stirs up the juices, and
makes 'em wanna "win".
"Meanwhile, dropping bad cards on the poor also makes the
non-guiltified rich either want even more riches, because
seeing the poor get walloped gets 'em figuring they'll
wind up drawing bad cards sooner or later, too, so they
better stock up all the more on houses,
cars, stocks, bonds, gold, silver, diamonds and edibles.
(Don't ask. I invented humans and even I don't
understand them. In the end, I kill them all and
they know it, but they still think they can avoid it by
piling up "stuff" to ward off the inevitable.
"Plus, a bad card at the perfectly wrong time has
the added advantage of making the poor want to
either die or strangle the the well-off, who
pretty much don't have a clue poverty or real struggle.
"So, as you can see, it all works out pretty well,
because, without bad cards, life would be boring as
oatmeal for everybody - rich and poor alike. So, by
Shakespeare! I deal bad cards because it's fun, because
it livens things
up, makes things interesting. Makes life a
great game of give and take...a great PLAY! Something
worth living and watching...worth taking a part in!
"Whether you get good cards or bad, admit it, bad cards make
life not boring. Hell is boring... who wants that?"
So, dear reader, there you have it, straight from the lips of God
to your ears;
an answer aimed at the crux of the Great Conundrum: God deals
a deuce when people most desperately need an ace for only
one reason; because S/He is bored blind with
predictability and is trying to spare us the same fate!
Face it, peace and quite is duller than dirt. Life
without "evildoers" is as boring as Corn Flakes for
dessert every day.
There is nothing more boring in all
infinity than folks living happy, loving, peaceful,
contented, productive, respectful lives. God knows!
Think about it! What could be worse than an infinity of
having nothing to do but watch a world full of
calm, happy people getting along?
No sir, God wants action, excitement,
pathos, and drama! So do we. If we didn't
there'd be no television networks, no movies, no
theater, no kill 'em/shoot 'em up action games.
For action, S/He
needs to deal from the bottom of the deck now and then
to benevolently hit us with cards of pillaging,
pilfering, plundering, plagues, illness, fear, crisis,
cussing, killing, lying, maiming, stealing, starving,
greed, war, and a healthy batch of sexual chaos to spice
things up. Even then things can get dull.
And as we all know, that is precisely why God
eventually HAD to connive ways to bring about mankind's
(or man-unkind's) invention of nuclear weapons,
biological warfare, torture, and chemical disasters, not
to mention fun things like cancer, AIDS, malaria,
Alzheimers Disease, earthquakes, STD's, hurricanes, tornadoes,
global warming, and random asteroid collisions with
earth. God, after all, likes to paint with a big
brush and full pallet.
Peace, quiet, goodness, kindness, patience, loving tenderness, and
health, you will admit, are more dreary than rain in
November unless offset by a field of opposites.
WIthout them, how can
know which state we're in; good or bad? After all,
what's black without white? Unless we know one, we
can't fully know the other. Infinity without mortalitiy? Peace without war? Love without
hate? Passion without apathy? Heaven
without...well, you get the idea. Could anything be less
stimulating than a one-side world?
To save us all from that Him/Herself does the only
decent thing: cheats at cards to spice up the game.
(To be continued...)
(Mr. Roberts, a
member of the League of American Poets, is published in
numerous print and electronic publications and is a
frequent radio and television guest. His poetry
also appears in the soon to be released,
"Treasury of American Poetry - III", ISBN:
The author may be reached by
agents or readers at:
Write to James J, Roberts
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