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


Secrets punish.

Secrets aren’t kept,
they are stashed

like loot from
the robbery

People collect antiques
fondly save heirlooms
obsess over baseball cards
or Hummel figurines

Secrets are stashed,

holding their value
like so many nuts in a
dead-tree nest of a
squirrel that ends up as
road kill

Secrets are not
coveted mementos
fought over inheritance
nor a legacy proudly
flaunted to impress

Secrets do not enrich,
age gracefully.
make whole
or mend fences

cannot be put in the box
with thrift shop rejects
from the attic

a rare time when etiquette
dictates looking a gift horse
in the mouth, staring
him down