Here on scholarship

“There is no honor amongst thieves05199_V13_I1
even less with trailer-park debutantes”

Early life lesson from a bartender who
worked his bottle opener like a scrapyard
crane operator dumping rusty Chevys
spun a corkscrew as a master drill press
operator teaching an apprentice21-500x347

But that was years ago, when the price
of a drink was considered cheap tuition
whether auditing the neighborhood class
or undergrad-afterthought clubbing

Now I know betterbillets 100 dollars #23

You pay for the best education paying
attention to detail, not with Franklins

People tell tales; life instructs,
proctors its own tests
sometimes you get your gradestandardized_testing
rarely are you offered extra credit

Life’s tests are not standardized
multiple choice essays true/false

Just do the homework
02hillary_bskip the cramming
know it or you don’t

Seeing it living it understanding it
where, when it all went south
when you’ve reached the summit
how you did it, maybe could again

sometimes you just walk away

platitudes, platypus, Plato;
you’ve read enough to be dangerousPlato-006
a grandma once told me with sad irony
“You buy ‘em books, you buy ‘em books”

And never the twain shall meet.

What I have learned and can impart
from this side of the weathered bar?gps

Be polite, play nice, share your toys
Life is not always fair because it isn’t
Love and laugh – a lot and with gusto
Look both ways before you cross life

And never trust a vagabond with a GPS.

Mark Lucker

Oracle

He was a shaman always
clad in sacramental
wool plaid shirt, dirty cap

there are no mountaintops
in Minnesota’s northwoods

Enlightenment here comes
from atop decaying tree stump
aside rustic leaf and pine needle
carpeted trails cutting through
towering pines, birch, oak
you stop, sit for a spell

solemnity in this place dictated
with wry smiles, knowing nods…
rubbing of beard stubble chins;
moral lessons here punctuated
with a joke, tall tale, or sly wink

The guru walks with you;
there is no sacred pilgrimage to
be made no sacrifices requeted
or self-flagellation required

unless you make the joke
on yourself

Wisdom came to me on short
walks I wished even then could
have lasted much longer.