James G. Piatt

Franciscan Father

I am a Franciscan of the orders brown
And through dim halls I wander down

To the rectoryís large beckoning bright
My long brown robe I wear with delight

And with slight plumpness I laugh in glee
Carrying the remnants of solid meals you see

I do not hasten to excuse my savory way
Even though my midriff has started to sway

Good provisions of steak potatoes and beans
Fill the old refrigerator beyond my means

I have no need for money or need more
It is my good life with God which I adore

What banker or CEO lives half as well as I
What animal on foot or bird in the sky

Iím clad in hard sackcloth up to my chin
With a hearty Port Iím fortified within

In the dark of night while upon my knees
I feel the softness of Godís gentle breeze

What greater calling can one ever find
Than to help the needy hungry and blind

To nourish the flock with soothing words
To give food to the poor and seeds to the birds

To suffer the needy and aid our youth
Even to listen to sins in a dim booth

I thank God for choosing this chubby me
To serve His people and convey their plea

Katrina: Lest we Forget

Fetid waters overflowing
With bodies and wreckage
Laced with human tears

A city enclosed in the ocean
Once the proud home
And birthplace of jazz

Hordes of dark shadows
Fearful for their existence
Huddled under a huge dome

A cacophony of silence pealed
Small black children with wild eyes
Stared anxiously at lifeless mothers

Broken bodies wide staring eyes
Seeing eternity floated mutely
Amid dark noxious debris

Torn souls no longer experiencing reality
Gazed vacantly into empty space
Never to hold their children again

Fearless ghostlike strangers
Risked death to save the swarthy
They called their brothers

Compassionate volunteers trudged
Through poisonous cisterns of disease
Mindless of their own wellbeing

Humanity watched and wept
At the unbelieving grief and suffering
Forming before their unbelieving-eyes

A shocked nation watched in awe and anger
As incompetent bungling officials
Argued over jurisdiction censuring each other

Bureaucrats sat on velvet cushions
Of ineptitude eating hot lunches insensitive
To the stark enormity of human suffering

Government officials with unbelieving minds
Reeled the impossibility of a political spin
To remove them from culpability

The bureaucrats turned to their nations
And said over and over . . . never again
Where have we heard that before

Someone is Trying to Steal Your Dreams

Did someone tell you that the moon is moldy, rusty, and cold? How can
That be when it is made of pure gold and can never be sold?
Did someone tell you that rainbows are not real? How can that be if
Leprechauns still try to conceal and hide the pot under a peel?
Did someone tell you the sky isnít there, it just looks blue? How can
That be, when I watch bubbles sail up high into the hue?
Did someone tell you that stars will descend into the mire and
Everything will eventually transpire? How can that be, when the stars
are always there for us to admire, and will continue to aspire?
Did someone tell you that some things just seem pretty, and they will
Never last? How can that be with annual flower fields ever so vast?
Did someone tell you that butterflies are ugly maggots with wings? How
Can that be, when they are admired by kings and queens?
Did a fairy tell you that without her no one can fly? Yet, in the
Heavens above one cannot deny there are thousands of airplanes to spy
in the sky?
And did someone tell you we are all sinners,
And that pretty girls should never kiss,
And that the sun wonít shine today,
And it always snows in the winter,
And you can't play on the beach amongst the sea berries
And rip tide or get sand between your toes?
And, of all things, did someone tell you that chocolate and berries
paint Your stomach with a stain, and that the way to Never Never Land
can Only be reached through constant pain and Peter Pan is really
dead? How can that be when you go to sleep and see him your head?
And, did someone tell you that there is no hope,
And you should always Wash your hands with bacterial soap,
And never run at a lope,
And stand at attention while on a slope
And never play with a pink jump rope?
And did they say that you should never dream, or try to catch Trout in
a Moving stream or be on a losing team, or try to write a book Without
a Theme?
If you espy on a cliff a yellowish rose but the wind blows it away.
Can it come back and be there again today? Yes, such golden dreams
shall always be, like green tea and tasty brie.
Life is a delicious bouquet and to do it right
You have to have fun and play even at night, and
Slide down slopes in a shiny red sleigh,
Sing and laugh, and dance ballet and have faith
In every day and never ever wear feet of clay!

Copyright © 2010 James G. Piatt

James G. Piatt earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University. He earned a doctorate from Brigham Young University. James is a retired college professor. Two of his relatives, John James Piatt and Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt, were prolific poets who wrote their poetry in the eighteen hundreds.

Contemporary American Voices (featured poet), Word Catalyst Magazine (featured poet), Apolloís Lyre, WestWard Quarterly, Caper Journal, Vox Poetica, Shadow Poetry Anthology, The Penwood Review, Wilderness House Review, Front Porch Review, A Handful of Stones, Autumn Leaves, Hanging Moss Journal, Vwa Anthology, Phatiítude Literary Magazine, Inspirations Collection 1 & 2, Illogical Muse, Long Story Short, Pens on Fire, Virtuous Mimicry, The Poetís Haven, and Lit Magazine, have published or will be publishing his poetry this year.