Thursday, July 26, 2012

MeetingTheBar: Tickets please, tickets please, step right up and see....

Silver Dollar City, Branson, MO

In the backseat of the roller coaster
i am pulled over hills, i can't see

'dad, we can do it ourselves,'
they leave me to find my own place

waiting---for when they need me---
wanting---to chase them around returning
to the line screaming 

'let's do it again! let's do it again!'

they don't understand, two days ago
i got notice my job is ending, company
bankrupt & now, all my statements hang
from the hooks of question marks, each
dollar we spend a meal we might miss

'can we do the pirate ship?'

one on each side, this time, we sit
in the outer most row as it swings back & forth
rising higher & higher, until gravity threatens
the forces that hold us together

release my grip, raise my arms & scream

scream to the thousand light bulbs
      on the arms of rides that force back the night
            & the ones burn black, needing replacing

scream to all the faces laughing in glee, unknowing

            to ticket sellers, hawkers, food vendors,
      Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Jackson
           & every dead president i have ever seen

            to the kids i counsel, i must tell
      they can never see me again,
      all the nights i spent as they raged
      parents that don't get it
            & the ones that do eventually

until stars turn their heads, the ships slows,
ride coming to an end, my boys look at me,
expectation in their eyes, i take their hands
& scream

'Yes! Yes! Yes!'

'Let's do it again!'

& dare them
            to keep up with me---

Over at dVerse Poets today, Victoria has us focusing on balance --- in how we write, different techniques as well as a general topic. Ironic it comes at one of the more out of balance moments for me. One day left of vacation, which I plan to enjoy before entering the fray of seeking employment, come Monday. Anyway, doors open at 3 pm EST over at dVerse---see you then.

97 comments:

kaykuala said...

No.# 1

Hank

Steve E said...

Welllll...I guess we only live once. That was spoken profoundly. I understand we only die once--really die.

Whatever is next--why do we toil, trial, argue and spin re something we simply do not 'know'?

Yup! I wanna ride again! Let's go again! The rides will not be here tomorrow, the problems will keep until then, in that paper bag which I handed to God to "...take care for me" until I'm ready to handle them once more.

Tomorrow.
PEACE TODAY!
Steve

Tabor said...

I hope this is not true. What a tragedy in so many ways. Backbone and stamina...again and again.

Mary said...

What an emotional poem this is, Brian. It is hard to keep balance at times like this, especially as it involves not only your livelihood but the relationships with young people who now will feel unbalanced as well. Good luck to you, Brian.

kaykuala said...

It's sad to disappoint the kids. They like the rides and they are already there. Just enjoy it. Other problems are for another day! Great write Brian!


Hank

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

I am sorry Brian. Bankrupt. Ugh. And in your line of work...so many kids that NEED, NEED, NEED to have you and others like you...even in a time of plenty there is NEVER enough to soothe the hurts of these kids...I am disgusted by bankruptcy and unemployment in areas where there is SUCH need!

Gloria said...

Oh dear is always difficult the kids (I KNOW) but I think you are awesome take care dear Brian:)

Claudia said...

what i like most here is the in-spite-of spirit and i can imagine how hard it is for you and also for the kids you counsel..but hey....things will turn out well, i'm sure

Brian Miller said...

sadly true...but we will get through it...was a little emotional writing this last night and had to tone it back...been here before several years back....

farmlady said...

My son could have written this a few years ago, but life moves on and you will survive on a different path.
Children are resilient and if the sadness of the situation doesn't lay heavily on them, they will be OK.
Life is that roller coaster.
It's a teachable moment.
Love is the answer.
Great poem...

Monkey Man said...

It is amazing how you show many layers, your wanting to protect your kids, you still in ways being/feeling like a kid....the economy. Your personal loss....this is one of your best man.

If ya need an ear, ya know I'm around. Sending prayers up for ya.

Mama Zen said...

This is damn heartbreaking.

izzy said...

Glide Brian- (I learned the hard way)
For a year,I had to try to NOT hold my breath -just spread my wings and keep in this day!
Your poem talks of a roller coaster- Yet your picture has a much easier ride, a swing. Trust!We will not be given more than we can handle today. Believe that I believe.

JANU said...

Sad, but we don't let the kids know about the hardships, do we? Enjoy life when you can.
Best wishes to you and your family.

Alice Audrey said...

This one is waaay too close to home for me.

turtlememoir said...

i feel like you're shouting yes! to life no matter what it brings & it brings tears to my eyes more than your joblessness (which believe me, i also feel, & for the plight of the kids you counseled)... but the ability to keep saying 'Yes! Yes! Yes!' - LOVE this poem!

Laurie Kolp said...

I like how your mind spins like the ride.

I'm sorry about your job, Brian... and you found out while on vacation? That sucks. I don't have any doubt that you'll find something soon.

chris said...

Sorry to hear your job is ending, and that those kids you've helped will be losing you. Yay for you getting on those rides with your boys! Great that you had the opportunity to yell and shout and work out some of the frustration. I imagine that felt good. :) This is a great write, Brian, combining so many feelings.

Magpie said...

Such a time of transition for so many people. Worry never made memories or connections with our kids. You're doing the right thing...enjoy while you can and deal with the rest come Monday. I'm sorry to hear that the children you deal with are losing someone as caring, compassionate and dedicated as you are. You and your family are in my prayers and thoughts.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

& now, all my statements hang from the hooks of question marks...

Hi! Brian...
After reading your "prose"[poem]I will keep you,and your family in my thoughts and prayers too!

[I most definitely, will keep the children that you counsel in my thoughts and prayers.]

I also like the end Of your poem and how you "threw cautious to the wind..." for the sake Of your children happiness...nice!

Tks, for [sharing] the image too!
deedee :-/

gabrielle said...

What a wonderful poem. So very sorry to hear about the loss of your job--how very sad for you, your family and the kids and families you counsel. Life is always a balancing act, but especially in times such as this, when rampant greed is driving an ugly cycle of extreme disparity in wealth and wellbeing.

Loved the line “until gravity threatens the forces that hold us together”. Seems to be the fulcrum of the poem. It is after this that you let go your grip. Control is just an illusion and it is love after all that holds us together.

I wish you well in the coming days as you continue to rebalance. My deepest wishes for the best possible outcome for all.

Pat Hatt said...

Again again can be such fun
Out under the sun
Sucks about the job though
Hopefully another will show
That lets you use your skill
And give many a thrill
Helping them at their sea
As life's next steps remain a mystery

Susan Daniels said...

Brian, beautiful poem, loved it. Sorry about the employment.

CiCi said...

It doesn't help when your brain is telling you when one door closes, another opens. Sorry to hear about the company closing and now you are looking for work again. Bring the wife and kids and come to Nebraska.

happygirl said...

Balancing the joy of vacation and the stress of unemployment. A vacation from what? Balance the fear of the unknown with the faith that you will find work. You know this road, it just has bigger kids on it now. I will pray for your employment every time I read your blog. So, you know that will be a lot of praying.

Lady Nyo said...

Brian...this brought tears to my eyes...all I can say is that life takes some unforseen turns, but we can rise above these things.. Many things. My heart goes out to you and your family.

You have such compassion and talent. Surely things will pick up again.

With love and hope.

Jane

Bodhirose said...

How sad...I wish it wasn't so. The contrast of happy, carefree children with the worries that you are carrying...stark. But I have no doubt that you will prevail, Brian...fortitude.

Annmarie Pipa said...

it is remarkable how little they realize what really goes on. i am constantly amazed by that...
good luck with the job searching. I have a daughter who is a head hunter..do you have any IT knowledge?

Daydreamertoo said...

Not trying to sound at all trite but: 'When one door closes, another one opens' This door has closed but it is an opening onto other things for you.
I know, you know.
I love how you let your boys enjoy their holiday and didn't let fear prevent you from allowing it to happen. Missing one meal won't hurt. You'll find another job, one that will be just right for you again. I'm sad about all the kids who got to know and trust you that you helped along this part of your life's path though. I'm sure you care about them as much as they care about you.

Daydreamertoo said...

LOL...Opps. I left it on private ...duuhhhh. It's public now! Sorry..lol

Goofball said...

oh no, you have to look for a new job? I'm so sorry to hear that! For several reasons really: for your unsecure period starting, worrying & searching for what is next....but also for the kids that surely will miss having you in their lives. For as well as I know you, you have meant a great difference in their lives!

Good luck with the job hunting

Victoria said...

Brian, I have to confess that this brought tears to my eyes. I am so touched by your love of your kids (both your own and those you counsel), the anxiety that you swallow to give them a good vacation, and your trust that all will be well. So well expressed in this.

Anna Montgomery said...

I'm terribly sorry to hear this, I think that taking away the consistency and empathy your presence provides is another trauma for the kids you counsel to endure. I also wrote about imbalance, your response is inspiring. All my best for your job search.

Wander said...

Brian, I hope you and your family have few struggles in the time ahead...Have you thought of looking for employment in Oregon...We can always use more people like you here.

Bravo sir on keeping this from stealing those moments from your children, just like seeing their parents naked ( ;-) ) they don't need to be burdened with the realities that face adults until they are older.

This was a very good poem...conveyed an emotional wallop!

Wander

Wander said...

#34 !!!!

smiles man and luck to you :-)

RMP said...

"release my grip, raise my arms & scream" I suppose it is nice (especially while among your boys) to have an excuse (to hide) your need to scream.

life can definitely seem like a roller coaster at times; you may not be able to see over the next hill, but hopefully it won't take you too long to reach the top and find a new engaging rush of excitement with a new job.

David F. Barker said...

I felt this one Brian, written from the heart, clearly, and a sad testimony of our times. Raw, to the bone, should be shouted from the hills.

Natasha Head said...

Brian! You've knocked the wind right out of me with this one...crap, Poet! You know how I came upon onestop? Every cent I had was spent trying to keep up appearances with my daughter. We fought for two years not to let her have to know how bad things were...I found solace in the words...because they were the only thing I didn't have to pay for...We got through it...and my poor hubby was trying so hard to put on a good face, my precious little angel even convinced him to ride a roller coaster...(okay..maybe she KNEW she had something to work with!) And I'm using your space as a confessional again...sorry...not sure if tears were intended...but here they come again!

lifeisaroadtrip said...

All I can say is "Crap". And "Keep smiling".

Leovi said...

Definitely a nice poem recreational adrenaline.

Myrna R. said...

You are Brian, strong, wise, talented. Yet human, I know.

So I know, what goes on when that roller coaster goes down. Lots of screams.

My heart is with you.

otin said...

The unemployment thing sucks. I wish you luck, man.

KB said...

Brian, this is unexpected news. Whitesnake and I have had to penny pinch because of a change in circumstance recently and we were surprised how much 'stuff' we could actually do without but...kids don't really understand the concept I guess. Good luck job hunting, anyone would be lucky to have you on their team.

Daniel said...

Man, this just doesn't seem right. You. You are one of the good ones who gets it. Who gives. Who loves. Who makes a difference. Who spreads passion. Hope. Wisdom. I will be on my knees for you until I know that you have gotten things straightened away.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

Sorry you lost your job, but hopefully you'll find something better!

Janice said...

I love the way you ended this piece...so very UP while facing this challenge. Your spirit is inspiring. So are your daddy skills.

ayala said...

Brian, this is deep, sad and a wonderful write. I am sorry about your job. I will be thinking of you on Monday. Wishing you the best always.

flipside records said...

I love this: "all my statements hang
from the hooks of question marks"

"to the kids i counsel, i must tell
they can never see me again" ... This is heartbreaking. We've had to switch churches a few times, and this is so painful.

"& dare them
to keep up with me" ... You are awesome.

I'm so sorry to hear about your job, Brian! That's terrible. I can't believe you got the news while you were on vacation.

You have so much personality, I'm sure the employers will be fighting over you. And there's always youth ministry. :) Hugs, friend. We all love you.

Heaven said...

My journey is not so different from yours...I like how you keep your emotions under the roller coaster scenario, screaming the high notes of despair, yet keeping it from your children. Its hard to keep up a guise of normalcy when something has been pulled from your feet. But I have hope something good will come ~ I wish you the best of luck in your job searching ~

Joanna Jenkins said...

This is powerful on so many levels, Brian. Great job.

I am so sorry about your job and hate the idea of you having to be in this position. But, if it helps cheer you on, please know that there are countless people like me in blogland that would GLADLY give you a 5 star recommendation to any employer for any job. It's people like you that make such a positive impact on needy kids.

jj

poetryinverse said...

You have outdone yourself again! Losing yourself in the fun and letting go at the same time! Well done!

irene said...

Brian, there is such a balance in this, yes! A bit of an unexpected quality.

Jamie Dedes said...

Oh, Brian, we've all been here way too many times in the last years. How tiring and how hard when you have two boys to see it through with. Wishing you and your family the best as you look for work. Definitely the right thing to have one last fling ... not that there aren't some free things out there to enjoy as well.

The poem is beautifully done, pacing us through to feel the trauma, the pleasure you take in the children, and yet restrained as well.

Bravo!

Betsy Brock said...

I'm so sorry. There are better things ahead...your journey is not your own. xo

Susan said...

THE FIRST RIDE:
"waiting---for when they need me---
wanting---to chase them around returning
to the line screaming
'let's do it again! let's do it again!'"

THE SECOND RIDE:
"one on each side, this time, we sit
in the outer most row as it swings back & forth
rising higher & higher, until gravity threatens
the forces that hold us together"

When gravity threatens unity, you find a way to enjoy as much as you
want--it is not the little kids who are hurting. It is the big kid: the Dad. Long may he play.

From my own experience, months and years of not knowing why the answer was always "no" I would rather have known the truth (like your clients will know). I always thought I had done something wrong and dad was always too angry for questions. Best scenario yet is for you to get a phone call before it gets tough enough to tell the kids. Someone on the line says: "We heard about your good work. Will you consider working for us?" Holding you and your family in the light.

manicddaily said...

Oh dear first to your plight, second to the poem. I'm sure as in the poem you will alight in some new and wonderful ride and take all with you, but terrible to be stuck mid-scream, and so sorry for the kids you counsel. Good poem though- k.

Archna Sharma said...

Your heart is filled with such wholesome spirit, Brian. I'm so sorry about the notice. I felt a bit of a pendulum swing in the middle, where gravity threatened the comfortable hold-the image is so vivid, the waxing and waning of synthetic lights, the electric faces held together by security, until they know...I'm sure that the children you've counseled will continue to see the brightest part of you...Little people are stronger than we realize, our children have held us up at times. Best wishes. Love and light for your family.

Tara Miller said...

Life is so peaceful when we find that balance, no matter if a curve is thrown our way. This week of vacation has been so joyful and full of peace - maybe we can look at this as a fresh start on a new journey. You're a wonderful husband and father. I know it's hard, my love, but together, we can survive anything. I love you and know that you will be successful at whatever you do. You've touched many lives of children and their families over the years in this field and maybe you'll still be able to do that in a different capacity. I know you've been a blessing to them and am sure it will be hard for the ones you're currently working with and for you as well. It's not just a job, it's helping to shape and mold a young boy into a man. I'm proud of you!

Charity said...

Love the tender swing between the realities of life that pull on you, and the truth of living out your children's dreams.
Prayers for a quick recovery, you're too valuable a weight to go missing, to throw off the balance of so many lives!

Sreeja said...

Yes keeping the balance is a question that is always there. Well balanced poem on all aspects.....

SueAnn Lommler said...

The weight baring down on you...only to be set free by the magical of kids and the loss of gravity.
Freedom is fleeting so "let's do it again" makes perfect sense!!
Hugging you
SueAnn

Polly said...

'Yes, Yes / let's do it again' - and no pennies to do it but you're doing it anyway - wow Brian - what a wordsmith you are ... respect

Valerie said...

Sorry to hear this news, Brian. Well, you most definitely left your mark on those you leave behind... now it's time to create a new one. And you will, I'm sure of that. Warmest thoughts to you and your family.

Dave King said...

This is the one great obstacle: life itself has no sense of balance! It must be devastating to have this happening to you. Someone close to me is waiting for the sword to drop on him. Every blessing to you and yours for the future.

Lorraine said...

oh tell me that can't be true, that's objectionable...that's gonna hurt so many kids, what's the matter with the frigging world, I want to cry but I Have to remember that could only happen because you're needed more somewhere else and that's why this one has to end. It's the only logical and spiritual acceptable reason, I accept none others...hugs and kisses my dear Brian...oh and when you know where you're being sent and if you need a re-write of your resume, let me know, I'll be here in a split second. You're too caring not to be sent exactly where you need to be.

Raven said...

Brian ... you are a truly gifted man. You have exceptional qualities of sympathy and empathy for all of those in need. You are important to many.

I am truly sorry that this has happened to you. I also believe that you will filter this experience in such a way that what comes will be exactly what is needed. I guess in some ways I see you making lemonade out of lemons from your many gifts. You will be in my thoughts and prayers - Liz

Raven said...

Whoops, I am here: http://crowsfete.blogspot.com/2012/07/freedom.html

Daydreamertoo said...

You all have a safe journey home Brian. :) Hugs.

John (@bookdreamer) said...

Scary moments about the ride of life and how near the edge we all are in this current economic climate. One frightening quote is one from one of our local politicians turned media commenter. He was asked how best to describe where are we now? His answer was , '1913 wondering what the future will bring' Historically they feared war was coming but it would be sharp and quick - over by Christmas. What came changed their world out of recognition. He's not forecasting war and revolution but the end of economic and political certainties that the West has enjoyed for many years. And it's us foot soldiers that'll pay the price. My job is at risk but yesterday we got a contract that will keep me at work for another six months until Autumn 2013. And so more time to get funding from somewhere else...

Grandmother said...

I remember being in a similar place in my life and my heart goes out to you. Great blessings came out of it as I hope for you as well. I like your attitude in this piece!

Helen said...

My son who turns 50 in a few weeks faces the same dilemma .. Keeping you in my thoughts and heart as I am him.

Your poem describes the delicate balance parents face when life throws hard fast curve balls. You are one batter who will NEVER strike out!

K McGee said...

The journey is of far greater importance than the destination. Enjoy your roller coaster ride.

It's easy to forget that life is a continual series of ups and down, but when the ride stops I can think of very few who wouldn't give it all to get back on.

AmyLK said...

Oh NO! to have to go back from a wonderful vacation to that stress. Fingers crossed that you will find something quickly.

Teresa said...

I am so sorry to hear this. It is just wrong when the people losing jobs are the ones that help so much to shape what our country's future will look like. Brilliant emotional write.

Chris Okelberry said...

Great poem. It's tough to balance the youthful "live in the moment" mentality with the burdens that come with adulthood. Sometimes we just have to hang on and enjoy the ride.

Uneven Stephen said...

Damn, that's painful. I've felt this before - the feeling of wanting to not disappoint the kids vs. affordability. Here's hoping new and exciting work comes your way soon. Best of luck Brian.

Anders Woje Ellingsen said...

I a sorry you find yourself in such a difficult situation. The feeling living is sitting on a roller coaster can not be good and your worries about the future must be difficult. Trust in God. Good luck with your search for a new job.

▌▲ •A• ▲▐

Daydreamertoo said...

I'm glad you took a break for the night Brian. It's good to rest and drive again fresh in the morning. (Also helps fraying cooped up nerves and, sanity) Smiles.

G-Man said...

I'm glad you made it home safely Son...
Thanks for visiting most 55ers
See ya next week.
Have a Kick Ass Week-End

adan said...

wow, and do i know how you feel, 'cept my kids are grown and gone now

"all my statements hang
from the hooks of question marks, each
dollar we spend a meal we might miss" -

oh man...

i took a typing test yesterday, today they said i was too accurate, give it up, go faster

entering the fray is right my friend

best wishes, but with many prayers

Fred Rutherford said...

tough write man. Mixing the sense of economy and reality against the not wanting to disappoint and how the child's mind can't wrap their head around bigger issues. Feel for you, sucks your position's been cut, know how that feels, the question mark hit me hard, couldn't have picked a better line to illustrate everything really. Hopefully you'll have an easy time bouncing back, prayers sent your way.

Dick said...

A very neat balance between metaphor and reality, Brian. A fine piece.

I wish you the very best in restoring balance re your livelihood. Tough times.

lucychili said...

i think you will find a way to do what you do. that employer was just one vehicle for your work. you can still drive. there is much love in your family evident in your poems. wishing you the best resolution to this roller coaster.

RD said...

the old man standing defiantly over the future...only good thoughts your way B

Syd said...

Brian, that sucks. I am sorry to hear about the job loss. Wishing for the best.

Tigerbrite said...

I too hope this is not true Brian. If so, the Universe has a way that when one door closes, another opens. There could be something better waiting for you. I hope so :)

Chazinator said...

So many dimensions in your poem, interlinked so deftly and with such skill. They literally weave a story of a man seeking the pith of emotion in this chaos that surrounds us with unmeaning. This is the stuff of life, emotionally profound, drawn in beautiful arcs that bring us once again to who we are, who we are not.

Brian, I am sorry to hear that you job is ending. In a few words, that really really sucks. The threads that the type of job you have are so intimately linked with the lives of others. That silken web brutally torn in tatters. You made a difference, I am sure, in these kids' lives.

Paula Wooters said...

I love this one, Brian! An opportunity to safely scream before your children when your mind is racing with angst. Let's go again!

rallentanda said...

I know it's a shocker...but you will survive and as you know writing poetry will see you through. All of us are thinking of you.

missing moments said...

Wonderful and sad all at once. I am sorry for your job loss, Brian. But I know you will persevere!

Poet Laundry said...

A heartfelt write. Love that go-for-it attitude. I wish you success in your search Brian.

SaraV said...

Brian that was incredible. My heart was riding with you. "hanging on question marks" was brilliant.
A talent like yours will find work soon-warm thoughts and good wishes on your search.

sheila said...

good luck with the job search. I know everything will work out the way it is supposed to...it always does.

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Wow! How intensely emotional. I hope it's not true. But it certainly bears the sound of truth.

Lydia said...

I'm so moved after reading this that I am not going to read any more online this morning. Your descriptions of the kids you've worked with and of the ways in which you have related with them have made my heart ache and sing. Hang onto the knowing that you have been of great service and many will remember you always.

Balancing the job issue with this night on vacation with your sons makes for a brilliant post, Brian. I will be thinking "all is well" for you and your family.

Zuzana said...

Oh Brian, i am sorry to hear this.:( Are you out of job this means? I can imagine that is heartbreaking, as you say, for the kids that has grown to need you...
But, everything happens for a reason, my dad was unemployed for several years when we were children - those were the best years of our lives, as we got to spend so much time with him.;)
Good luck my dear friend,
xoxo

Sue said...

Life is a roller coaster ride, all right. And I'm sorry you are having to move on from a job you clearly loved. I'm even more sorry for the kids that will miss out on your love and care.

I am praying that the Lord will send you exactly where you need to be.

=)