Thursday, October 31, 2013

Poems Related to The Absolute Value of Mike (Math Conference)

1. A Homeless Man Francis Duggan

When compared to mine his dreams are very humble he does not seek much out of life at all
A small flat he could call his home to live in compared to most his wishes seem quite small
At sixty seven years he's on the street and homeless a Winter dawn is breaking cold and gray
With long gray beard and looking thin and shabby he walks uptown as he does every day.

Some may say at his age he should not be homeless that life's many chances he left them go by
But they don't know him or his circumstances he is a person just like you and I
So many of us lacking in compassion beyond our own selves we can't seem to see
We applaud the wealthy see them as successful and condemn all of those in poverty.

Where did he sleep last night? the thought just chills me
perhaps on park bench in the park nearby
I feel so lucky I've a warm home to go to and a comfortable bed on which to lie
Save for circumstance his lot in life might have been my lot

A wintery dawn above the city breaking and the nip of winter in the morning air
And a homeless man uptown is slowly walking a gray bearded man with long gray straggly hair
There's many more like him around this city people like him nowadays no longer rare
And when compared to him I feel I have been lucky and by circumstance I have been treated fair.

2. An Experience with a Crazy Old Woman...
at the first glance
an old woman
well dressed
does not appear to
be what she really is:

insane
perhaps because of too much sorrow
over land
or perhaps she cannot accept
the reality
of children leaving finally
old mothers

she talked a lot
and we all compromised out of respect
for old age
wisdom is obviously
absent

she had become a pestering parrot
a hissing snake
a shouting monkey

we called the police to throw her out
we all look at ourselves
freed from all guilt

we no longer wonder
what children are for...

3. Crazy Uncle Pete by Jaimey Perham

He plays his banjo and chews on raw wheat
Winks at pretty women and dances to his own beat
Never goes hungry because he hunts for his own meat
Ladies & gentlemen let me introduce you to crazy old Uncle Pete

Down in quiet Newville near Big Spring Creek
He works at the factory wielding steel in the summer heat
Not much of a worker, but stands all day on his two sore feet
Wears jean overalls & at the end of day enjoys his leather seat

One weekend evening he went to where local folks meet
Played a hand of poker at the stranger’s table and got badly beat
Promised the big bad man money at the end of next week
The weighty pressure was on heavy for crazy old Uncle Pete

He went to his family and begged for some money to pay that sheik
All they gave him was a few torn bills wrapped in a dirty white sheet
He hurried home & washed himself truly clean & dressed real neat
Went to the big bank for a loan, but was thrown back on the street

Time seemed to slip very quickly into the end of next week
Small town soon knew of his problem because of a whispered leak
He knew he was in great danger and stuck in the mud way too deep
The days were numbered straight down for crazy old Uncle Pete

Moonless due night came so he left with the bag wrapped in a sheet
Everyone in small town followed him to the summit with the sheik
He arrived at the crossroads meeting place late & noticed the creep
Handed his sidekick the heavy bag and tried, but could not leave

To great surprise you might say the bag was empty, just the sheet
Pete promised the money if he was granted just another short week
The sheik said no and shot the poor man right where the heart beat
Crazy old Uncle Pete got cremated, ashes flung in Big Spring Creek

4. Parallel Lines by Annabelle Chane

We will never meet, intersect, or cross,
And I'm afraid the space betwixt us is too much across.
I know we can spend our lives together, side by side,
Yet again, I fear the space that divides us is far too wide.

When I try to bridge the gap, there is nothing but resistance.
As I look then between us, there is nothing but distance.
We are so much like two north magnetic poles, it's strange-
Try as you might to close the distance, nothing will change.

Going the same direction, going the same speed,
You would think that by being together, we would only succeed.
While this might be true, what is not is far more.
I will never be closer to you than I am now, or was before.

We will never see eye to eye, and to you that's fine.
I suppose we are nothing more than parallel lines

5. Skew Lines
Skew lines – (n.) two lines that are not on the same plane; do not intersect and are not parallel

Sometimes I'm pretty darn sure I float.
Heck, maybe I even sink.
All I know is that we're not on the same plane,
And I can't believe how bad it hurts.
I know I can make it on my own.
I also know I just don't want to.
I’m stronger then I want to be,
At times.
Yet, sometimes I'm weaker
Then I ever thought I could be.
Am I really asking that much?
Understanding isn't all that
Expensive is it?
Sometimes I wish
I could take my skull
And crack it open
On my bedpost,
And let all my heavy
Weighing thoughts
Pour out,
Spill out,
Like never-ending rain.
(Or like pixie dust.
I'll just fly away now,
Get out of your hair.)
That night you made me realize,
No matter how close we get,
It’ll never be close enough.
We’re standing side by side,
My hand in yours.
So, why do I feel so alone?
The peace and security I always found
With you,
Seems to have taken a vacation.
I hope it comes back soon.
We belong in a geometry book.
We run in opposite directions,
And despite all the tears, we never seem to meet.
I don't want to have to accept
That no matter what,
You’ll never be close enough.