I wrote “Charm of Finches” for a competition that featured a whole host of animal groups. I remembered a photo I took in 2008. It featured graffiti with two finches on barbwire. The poem sprung from that pic and a general understanding of finch symbology.
Charm of Finches
In the ruins I’ve come to know
deepest Winter after gray of Fall
with a wish for better times
the sky opens for the birds
hope descends in on painted wings
on the breeze of missing Spring
bringing tunes with the sun
flit on barbwire white with frost
now to melt with messengers
seers of joy, prophets all
singing songs that lift the heart
asking each to do their part
small or large, rushing there
everyone one in their own way
brown to bright, each may fly
filling life with happiness
watch them flit from barb to branch
leaving cold to green the bark
Spring is found in chirped tunes
when charm of finches fill my life.
2016, Sean Green. All Rights Reserved, 20161231.
There is a tradition of kissing at the beginning of the New Year. Kissing is discouraged because of the intimate association, but I really believe that it could be more prevalent if American society did not have these hang-ups. It is in the spirit of connection that “New Year’s Kiss” was written.
New Year’s Kiss
All the people I’d like to kiss
some a peck, some on lips
perhaps a few with the tongue
it doesn’t matter, I love them all
I’d pull them close at the drop
of the ball high in the air
showing I appreciate
all we’ve felt as days progressed.
The darkest days rolled around
of deepest gloom I tried to share
by word of poem I spoke my mind
knowing some would see my cries
though the posts numbered few
they were the worst of the past year
scary days came and went
as mumbled prayers saved the day.
The happy days came and went
most with swing spinning round
hands were held as music played
my joy was more than I can tell
twice a week I strove to prance
with other souls that sought the same
glee was found as music led
not the show, instead the dance.
This past year featured peeps
some came early, others late
now on the scene but not before
I’m newly blessed with entre vous
that is French for you and me
vernacular asks for more
entre ustedes is Espanol
new to scene, please do stay.
Sadly some have left my stage
were there at launch but not at end
the door was opened when we two
but is now closed by only one
these I send special thoughts
circling round to start of poem
I’d kiss them twice as much
if they were still in my life.
2016, Sean Green. All Rights Reserved, 20161231.
College Stripper Journals – Rule #5 (Vs. a Shave Is Nice)
There was a month that had Rusty laid low while he recovered from an appendectomy. He ended up with a cool scar that matched my own, much to the clients’ delights, but for that short time he was knocked out of working order. The practical distribution of labors prompted me to find a temporary partner from the other stripper groups. A very few of the groups had representation by both genders. They performed more specialized acts. Mind you, this was the Deep South in the 80s, so everything was pretty clean compared to what you see on the circuit today. You couldn’t ask for the Alpha-Pinto Stack back then! Know what I mean?
One of the groups was named “The Pats”, made up of Patricia and Patrick. Both went by the name Pat. They got a laugh out of that of course, referring to themselves as P1 and P2. It was easy to tell them apart because P2 had alopecia areata. What is this? The autoimmune disease causes hair loss, and in Pat’s case, it was across their entire body. Pat and I started working the clients. I’d do my thing and Pat would do theirs. About two weeks in we broke Rusty’s #5 rule: don’t fall for a co-worker, or as he was keen to quip, “don’t lay it where you shake it”.
The hours together, pushing ourselves hard to please the shared customer base, bonded Pat and myself in ways that Rusty and I never did. I think it started when I wanted to show my sympathy to Pat’s condition. While I did normally pursue the motto “shave it to show it”, it was quite different shaving head, legs, armpits, and so on. I couldn’t get some areas but Pat was nice enough to do the razor work in those hard-to-reach spots. It seemed like half our time was spent shaving my body, with the efforts equally distributed. These sessions seemed to take longer and longer, with Pat’s portion consuming the most time. I suspected something was up. Sure enough one fateful night Pat took my hand and rubbed it across their skin saying, “see, this is how it should feel”. One thing led to another, and rule #5 became a victim of the workplace.
At this point I’d expect a hand to do up and the question be thrust, “why did you shave your hair off?”. Yeah, sympathy goes a long way, but the college stripper scene was pretty professional as a whole. Good work ethics were learned there, with the Pat thing being the exception. My only excuse is that Pat was majored in media, specializing in advertising and promotions. They convinced me that the clients would tip that much better when we were matching, both hairless. Yeah, there were differences, like the eye color. One of us was taller also and one of us still had our tonsils. OK, the second isn’t readily apparent. I also wore glasses and Pat had contacts. Pat was right though. We were almost twins, but completely different because of the obvious, when we both lacked body hair.
The customers loved the novel nature of the temporary team. I got to show it all, plus some. Pat was up to their usual standards of display. My classwork was suffering even though the money rolled in. Pat took up so much of my time outside of the work hours. I can’t count how many times Pat would say “oh Brown Eyes (their pet name for me), let me check if you need to be shaved”. Between the sleep deprivation, struggling through Radar Theory, and wanting to keep on my clothes at some point outside of school hours, I was glad when Rusty returned home from his medical leave. About the same time the other Pat, who also had brown eyes, returned to the circuit. I then realized that Brown Eyes was not an exclusive pet name. C'est la vie. Blue Eyes (my pet name for Pat) returned to their protege and I to mine. The college stripping world restablished balance.
I learned some valuable lessons during my time as a hairless college stripper. The first was that hair itches like the dickens when it is growing back. Never gain. The second was that Rusty was the fount of wisdom, especially in regards to rule #5. There was that time that he and I broke rule #9, but that was with consenting adults and we only did it twice. At the end of the month I looked back with and thought, beware of the shave when five’s on the line.