Monday, July 17, 2017

Remember



Remember who you are
Below the scar
Beyond the wounds and wicked moments
Past darkened hallways of a history enshrined in pain
And shame and blame
Remember who you are
Beneath the scar
Prior to that first heartbreak
Yes, that loss
Yes, that loss
The one untold to even the closest confidant
Remember who you are
Because of the scar
Born of the time in the fire
Molded through life’s towering mountains and harsh valleys
It’s taken you inward, so near and so far
Remember who you are
Remember who you are


Monday, July 10, 2017

The 4th of July - A Portrait of America



A portrait of America
A portrait of the brave
A stand for freedom everywhere
"Piece of Paper" - GW Bush
Right here in the USA
A portrait of America
A portrait of lady liberty
The pursuit of joy and happiness  
From sea to shining sea
A portrait of hope and dreams
A landscape for the dutiful
Protecting our founding documents
A portrait of America the beautiful

A history paints a picture
The textbooks carry the stories
From the darkest hours of slavery
To the cheers of ticker-tape glories
Existing prior to borders
The land stood just the same
Grand Canyon, Niagara, Yosemite
All without a name
Pioneers and Pilgrims
Would come to take a stand
Escaping persecution and injury
Bringing law they could understand
A new world in St. Augustine
And Jamestown to name just two
Cutting up streets and building houses
Building a future that’s new
Trading pelts and making deals
And sharing Thanksgiving dinner
A choice of honoring or raping the land 
Who would be the winner?
The Kings of England had their wills
But what a bunch of asses
Soon we’d hear “the British are coming”
As so would come the taxes
The party was all about Boston tea
Let’s dump this load overboard
That taxation without representation
What a tyrannical bastard landlord
A Philadelphia Continental Congress
Let’s ring the Liberty Bell
The declaration came from Jefferson
The revolutionary war was hell
But we got our rightful independence
Our Bill of Rights were groovin’
Our Constitution kept honest the government
In order for a more perfect union

A portrait of America
Upon a foundation it stands
A steady and solid Constitution
This land is your land
A commitment to equality
A dedication to our rights
Citizens banding against tyranny
Patriots fighting the good fight
A pursuit of sacred honor
A battlefield of the dutiful
Protecting our lifelong liberty
A portrait of America the beautiful

Founding Fathers and Jim, circa now.














Louisiana Purchase, and Lewis and Clark
Expanded what there was to explore
The legacy of battles and bitterness
The Mexican and Indian wars
California boomed with its gold rush
Prospectors clamored to discover
The Civil War fought on American soil
Saw brother killing his brother
The Emancipation Proclamation
Honest Abe – he did his part
The end of one type of slavery
With new kinds about to start
Another boom – this time in industry
The factory whistle would blow
Roosevelt T. and his Panama Canal
The East and West would grow
Kitty Hawk – the flying machines
Would take off into the sky
World War I would soon come to be
And so many more would die
Financial institutions started to advance
Bankers salivated with greed
A 16th Amendment went after our taxes
The Feds dreamed their dirty deeds
The 1920s – they definitely roared
The cars started down the highway
An era of prohibiting the betting and booze
Women’s rights would grant equal say
The Wall Street crash was surely depressing
A nation growing out of infancy
A New Deal couldn’t alter the trend
It took Pearl Harbor and a Day of Infamy
Rah Rah – let’s go off and fight some more
Until Johnny comes marching home
World War II would have its deaths too
Planting seeds that would someday be sewn
The Truman Doctrine and his two big bombers
Would bring Japanese to their knees
The Enola Gay would have the last say
And evaporate two entire cities
The 1950s gave us Happy Days
The Fair Deal and plenty of cash
Though Joseph McCarthy gave us scary TV
The Korean War at least gave us MASH

A portrait of America
A portrait of the brave
A stand for freedom everywhere
Right here in the USA
A portrait of hope and dreams
A landscape for the dutiful
Protecting our founding testament
A portrait of America the beautiful

A baby boom led to a Disney tune
Along with Disneyland rides
The civil rights movement, thank God Almighty
Saw a march to shift racial tides
John F. Kennedy – a public execution
Lyndon B – he was next in line
The Warren Commission – the federal narrative
Just another smokescreen lie
Come save us Elvis and The Beatles
Let’s put a man on the moon
As Bobby and Martin lay in their graves
Vietnam would not end too soon
Sexual liberation and a freed libido
Grew further with Roe vs. Wade
With wiretapping, we said our farewell
To Tricky Dick and Watergate
Disco Duck, a Me Generation
Followed by AIDS and cold war
Communism collapse, tear down that wall
Let’s see what comes from an open door
OJ gets chased down the freeway
Race tensions – will they ever cease?
The 1990s saw relative productivity
But will there be lasting peace?
Rumblings in early morning September
Is this a movie, a newscast error?
Two twins crash down to the ground
On 911 in a new war on terror
A piece of paper, our founding Constitution
The slow and steady chipping away
The rise of fear and government control
In the guise of the NSA
Now fear runs the show and TV news
Either fake or otherwise
Spying, bullying and coercion
PTSD for all on the rise
While truth seekers are defamed and slimed
The one percent and corps take over
Goodbye to patriots clinging to a Republic
Goodbye to courageous whistle-blowers
Now iPhones and Smartphones lead us onward
Finding faster ways to miscommunicate
2008 gave us hope in a black president
And yet the same subjugation to the state
As the rich get even richer
And the poor get more upset
From Washington to Trump, they had one oath
To preserve, defend and protect
Keeping power with the people
Not the corrupt and controlling desire
Keeping government small and meek
Serving a will that is so ever higher
Serving a collective pursuit of happiness
Serving life, liberty and this nation
Serving these United States of America
Serving the equal and free foundation

A portrait of America
A portrait of the brave
A stand for freedom everywhere
Right here in the USA
Right here in the USA

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Heart of a Writer


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
my heart
broken
my heart
stolen
taken by gremlins that reside in the underbelly of society's hunger
a hunger that demands money
more and more of it
derailing me from my direction inward and skyward
my heart - the heart of a writer
knowing nothing about spreadsheets, balance sheets, financial strategy, business plans
taxed - in various ways
taxed, taken, stolen, pulled upon, pummeled, trounced, drowned
wanting only enough oxygen to be able to surrender into the soft down pillow of the creative
not resting there, not relaxing there - just being
pure
without the pull and push
without the mail that delivers another hit
taking one hit after the other, like the chin of a boxer who knows not defense
my heart
my hurting heart
pure beneath, longing within, striving to cry, voice, sing
a song grasped from that which originates inward and skyward
from my heart
free
open
the heart of a writer

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Detox


Detox
Sediments of sickness
Ill feelings, grudges, resentment
Caked onto the brain
Weighing down the free flow of thoughts and emotions
Detox
Flushing out toxins
Flushing down the drain
Releasing, exiting, freeing thoughts and emotions
Fear runs into hiding
Sadness wipes tears away
Anger bellows out the cry of the night
Detox
The blockage in arteries
The caked on gunk and junk
Found in unnatural food
And your intestines and bowels
The damned-up bronchial tubes that long for oxygen flow
The tobacco stench that violates the esophagus
The physical aches and pains that originate
From the original pain found in hidden thoughts and feelings
Gone astray, gone awry
Without the wings of flight
Or the wisdom to detach, denounce, deconstruct
Detox

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Are You A Communication Coward?



A "communication coward." That is the term that came to me today.

It has arisen from a ton of life situations I've shared with the humans on planet Earth over the last, say, 30 years. It also arose yesterday from a recent experience.

I was driving a carpool with a couple of dudes from my men's organization. Since I was driving a considerable distance to a meeting, I asked for a favor of a few bucks to help with gas. (My tank has not been runneth over of late.) So, one of the men, privately, handed me a $5 bill, and I was plenty fine with that. I appreciated the gesture and the cash. The other gentleman, when posed the request in the car on the way home, went silent for a few moments. His next remark was a non-sequitur that hopefully was unrelated to my request. He talked about missing the carpools he shared with another man in our organization.

Huh? What did that have to do with my request for some gas money?

I rode this ride out to see if he would ever bring it up again, but after we arrived back to his car, he appeared fine with just letting my request hang out there, like a wet shirt blowing on the line. My parting remark referenced him driving in the future, pointing to another example of compensation that would work in this situation. He mumbled something about "you know where I live" and was gone. What sort of communication was that?

In my estimation, it was just another example of what I would term the communication of a coward.

You see them all the time now. (Or maybe you don't since their aim is to go under the radar.) They come in many forms, but each is a person who tries to communicate something by remaining mum or elusive. Instead of respectfully addressing the human being putting themselves out there, the silence is supposed to say something. And what does it say, beneath the surface? "I AM A COWARD."

The forms taken by today's "Communication Coward" are as follows:

THE AVOIDER - This is the person who simply doesn't comment when someone has spoken, in hopes the person will no longer bring up a tough subject, as in the parting of a measly 5 bucks.

THE SELECTIVE RESPONDER - This is the person who cherry picks which e-mail, voicemail or snail mail he or she will respond to based on his or her own selfish needs. These are the fucks who read your e-mail with the three comments, and then only comment on the parts that serve their needs and their needs only.

THE HIDER - Similar to the "avoider," this one isn't seen at all, and basically hides out completely so as not to ever be heard from over a long period of time. This one hopes "out of sight and out of mind." The next time you see these people, the hope is that it's been so long that the subject has been forgotten. You hear these people say phrases such as "what e-mail?" and "what voicemail?" and "Are you sure that was me?"

THE SUBJECT CHANGER - Pretty self-explanatory, this person does whatever it takes to maneuver the conversation onto another topic.

THE SPINNER - This person spins the conversation so there is something wrong with you for bringing up a subject they don't want to address. Google "mindfuck."
THE BUSH BEATER - This one doesn't just come out and say it, but would rather, as the saying goes, "beat around the bush." Oh why can't they just beat the bush? I think it can handle it. 

THE CRYPTICATER - These folks cloak their conversation with odd clues and statements that are to subtly give a message ... that no one but themselves will understand.

There are countless other forms, but in the end it all comes down to the fact that these little pieces of shits are cowards, afraid of being accountable, being responsible, of being at their best for the good of whatever relationship in which they find themselves. They actually may be most afraid of the glorious call to be in complete integrity with their true selves - a connected, honorable and centered presence of human grace. That's a tall order I imagine.

The cowards also may not be aware that there are other types of people out there: those who can't stand communication overlooked and discounted. Though I've been a "communication coward" in many instances, I'm more and more standing up for respectful and direct communication.

So my next move?

Oh yeah - I will approach the gent who bypassed my earlier communication with a simple, "I noticed you never answered my request for gas money before. I was wondering what was going on with you." Cowards hate it when you do that. They count on you being a similar coward and not broach subjects that are uncomfortable. The result of such further explorations could be:
  1. He breaks down and admits his fears and barriers to direct communication.
  2. He just pays 3 or 5 bucks, whatever.
  3. He runs away.
As a person who desires the end of "communication cowards," I would win in either case.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Diving Into Faith




















Faith.
I want to dive into faith.
Into the cool, blue water that embraces me like a womb.
Safe.
Assured.
Peaceful, restful.
Originating all from faith.
Faith.
That link to something higher – pure. Like cool, blue water. 
Beyond the fear.
Beyond the stress.
Beyond the doubt.
That dreaded doubt that would laugh at my failures, even the most minute of mishaps, exclaiming, “This is the real you. This is how it will continue. This has just begun.”
Those terror remarks that rattle my sense of self, and implode my inner core, like strategically placed detonations in old, creaky building.
Blueprints with plans to ruin me at every turn.
If not for…
If not for…
Faith.
The knowing that these shadows are temporary, only existing because some fiend has blocked the Sun … for a moment.
Faith – the keen and clear awareness that the Sun does assuredly exist behind all shadows.
The Sun – the source.
The source of heat, warmth and life.
Creating a glimmering reflection off the cool, blue water.
Forever.
No matter the frightful remarks from a mind bent on destruction.
Forever.
In faith - in life.
In life.
That which exists in every breath into lungs.
Filling and emptying, filling and emptying.
When observed, taking us infinitely deeper into the truth that will free us.
To love.
To faith.
To faith.

Friday, June 2, 2017

My Momma Will Walk Again



I wrote this in February 2013 prior to my mother's passing when she was still bed-ridden. She passed in July 2014, into the freedom beyond the physical. 











I silently watch as my mother rests in her bed
Made to soothe and comfort, and lift when need be
It makes it easier on her hip and her head
It makes it easier on her suffering knees
I quietly watch in agony believing she's never coming back
I find no words to speak, there's no place to hide
Invisible enemies of the past I plan to attack
Then surrender to the loss and the longing inside
I know it's not the start
I pray it's not the end
In dream-scapes and within my heart
My momma will walk again


My mother will stand up and walk once more
She'll effortlessly glide from room to room
She'll walk towards and then out that front door
She'll marvel again at the sun, the stars, the moon
She may even skip or dance or run for a bit
She'll be able to plant her flowers in her own garden
Then … in its splendor … simply kneel down and sit
Yes, my momma will walk again
I know it's not the start
I pray it's not the end
In dream-scapes and within heaven's heart
My momma will walk again
My momma will walk again


Beyond the polarities of the loss and the win
Beyond the cruelties of sickness and sin
Beyond the conversations we never did begin
Beyond the places we longed to have been
Beyond the pain that all of us are in
In the peace and love found only within
In God's sweet embrace of an eternal heaven
In a timeless dream-state I long to live in
My momma will walk again
My momma will walk again
My momma will walk again

  - jae

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Promise of Crowns and Bloom




Shadows cast by cemetery trees
A shallow chill breeze reaches bone
We shake uncontrollably
The sense of being alone, and then followed
By a figure unknown to all
We fall, as we struggle to run away
A deadly delay, as in a film’s chaotic music blaring
Someone is staring at us, the end rapidly coming soon
So far from … the promise of crowns and bloom
The promise of crowns and bloom

Coins and dollars fall through the cracks
A weekly attack of envelopes and bills
We are filled with lack and emptiness
The treadmill, incessant and relentless, moves
And moves
Time, money and hope we lose
The pace slows, drags and then quickens
We are sickened by the stomach ache
For God’s sake, will relief and respite arrive soon?
In a promise of crowns and bloom
The promise of crowns and bloom

    The promise was there at the very start
    When once upon a time there was only a heart
    And clouds and sky that ruled from above
    Guiding with a graceful hand of love
    The shining of the sun off the surface of the moon
    And the ever-present promise of crowns and bloom
 
But now as grown-ups we sense the dread
Of the dead, and dying, and those with disease
Begging please – show us a path beyond all of this
A hug, a kiss, an embrace of family with friendly face
The glory of a crown worn only by a winner
Not sinners whose loss they are never without
A shout, a cheer for the truth we hold dear
The dropping of a tear, down the cheek of the humble
Beyond the crumbling hope, a flowering blossom boon
Here to fulfill the promise of crowns and bloom

    The promise was there at the very start
    When once upon a time there was only a heart
    And clouds and sky that ruled from above
    Guiding with a graceful hand of love
    It has never altered in the eons of time
    Found in the reflection of the caring and kind
    Do not forgo or forget what is true
    The unseen crown that you wear and the light within you
    The dawn after dark, it will be here so very soon
    Hark, you will see – the promise of crowns and bloom
    The promise of crowns and bloom



JAE - Copyright  © 2017

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Loss of Innocence ... and the Pop-Tarts

We all have those moments. Those heartbreaking times when innocence is all but lost.
  • Those first moments when mom and dad somehow stopped being two perfect people. 
  • The times when the belief in Santa Claus became something for kids.    
  • The loss of that first family cat or dog.  
  • The curtain being moved aside to reveal the small man wizard, in so many different ways.
  • The heartbreak of the first girlfriend or boyfriend ... and their untimely farewell.
  • The first lawsuit when you knew you did nothing wrong. 
And for me ... the stolen Pop-Tarts.

Man, those Pop-Tarts. I know there were a bunch of kinds, such as blueberry and strawberry, but I loved the chocolate fudge Pop-Tarts. Remember those? I didn't even need them toasted, just thrown into my lunch bag so I could enjoy those treats at lunchtime. The way to eat them, for me, was to pick at the outer crust and then start in on the fudge interior. I didn't care about the 7 essential vitamins. I just wanted the chocolate, and the snack.

That's why the one day in second grade was so disheartening. I had brought my lunch bag to school as I had done for the entire year. Sandwich and chips in there, courtesy of mom. And the big treat was the Pop-Tart. And as always before class, in the early morning, all the kids put their lunch bags down at the side wall near the entrance to the classroom. I recall this one day, Rusty was asking me if I had brought a Pop-Tart or not. I didn't know why he was so interested in that.

After running around on the playground for a bit before class started, I went to my lunch bag. I picked it up. And it appeared lighter. I looked inside, and my chocolate Pop-Tart was gone. I was crushed. Who would take my Pop-Tart? How could this happen? I questioned Rusty in one of those weird ways where you try to have them admit to something but you don't know how. Looking back, why the hell is an 8-year-old having to do such maneuvering and positioning? How sad is that? 

Loss is sad.
Having something taken from you is heartbreaking.
Life can hurt.  
 
In the late 1970's Bruce Springsteen sung of broken dreams and the loss of innocence, as his unbridled joy of recording and performing was thwarted through a lawsuit brought by his previous manager Mike Appel. His song "The Promise" pointed to such brokenness.

The promise is broken, you go on living
It steals something from down in your soul
When the truth is spoken, it don't make no difference
Something in your heart goes cold


Now, no doubt, I make the story lighthearted with the tale of a Pop-Tart. But it doesn't matter when it happens. Or how it happens. Or even why. It just happens. Life comes along, with its deadbeat dudes and gals, who don't know any better. And they want to steal something from you. And whether it's a dream of Santa, a home, a job, a spouse or a simple childhood treat, the key to dealing with loss is to not let it steal your joy, your enthusiasm or your innocence.

For after all the curtains are pulled aside, to reveal every crazy and fake Wizard of Oz, we will stand in truth knowing we can never truly lose the love, the light and the innocence that is our birthright. And who knows? Maybe after that awakening, we can be treated to have returned to us those things that truly matter to us in the end.

Such as, yes you know it ...












James Anthony Ellis is a writer living in San Diego. He can be reached at www.LegacyProductions.org. 



Sunday, March 12, 2017

Emily and I Loving the Devil



Memories pop in at the most interesting times. And often they come in for a reason.

Today it's the memory of an 8-year-old niece Emily and her Uncle Jim, me, driving in my car somewhere, from here to there, and the short conversation that could be had between two relatives interested in reaching something meaningful. It was 1990.

Now some backstory...

My life SUCKS lately. It's 2017, and I have been through the ringer, full of anxiety in a life where people appear to enjoy the idea of leveraging some sort of advantage in order to feel better than and more powerful than others. The capitalistic dream right? Or is it a nightmare? In either case, I've been down when experiencing either side of the coin - believing I have power because I have the leverage over another or completely upset believing another has leverage over me.

What can I do to get free of this vicious cycle?

Perhaps it's that very question that led me to the memory of a story that took place some 27 years ago.

For there we were - me and Emily out on the road. Me making some lighthearted chat and her playing along. In those days, I was deeply engaged in the process of healing, actively removing inner blocks and unresolved emotions in order to find the light and the love within. So it wasn't too far of a stretch for me to play this game with Emily...
  • Jim: Hey - let's play a game and see how many people we can think of to love.
  • Emily: What do you mean? How would we play it?
  • Jim: Every person we see as we drive, we can say we love them, even if we don't know them.
  • Emily: What? 
  • Jim: Here, let's start. I see those two people walking. Love two! There are three people in that other car. Love three!
  • Emily: Oh. Another walker. Love one!!!
  • Jim:  Love four.
  • Emily:  Love three!
  • Jim: Love two!
  • Emily: Hey, I saw them first.

The game went on a bit, as we competed to see who could love more people and get to them before the other one. At some point, I said it was possible to love everyone in the world. This sort of confused the young one.

"What about the devil? Do you love the devil?"

Hmmm, that was a good question. What popped in my mind at the time came tumbling out. "Well, someone has to. He might need it more than anyone else."



Again confusion. But that was OK. It was just a game. Kinda like life is just a game. Can we come to realize that it is a game? Can we see that we have full power to send an unlimited amount of love, from a source that becomes more illumined the more we tap into it?

With such a belief, a standpoint that we can give without worry of return, there is no room for a passive bystander, no place for victim, no us and them, no leverage, no control - just our powerful choice to act upon a heart open and willing to love. Why not? What else can an innocent being do, one that lives beyond right and wrong, and one who mainly knows a divine instinct to give from the very essence of who they are?

Leverage over another? No thanks. That would be somewhat, shall we say, evil? Love the devil? Sure, it can only help. Rekindle the memory of a story of two relatives on a fun drive focusing on the love we can share with everyone?

In this day and age ... a must.

James Anthony Ellis is an award-winning writer living in San Diego. He can be loved - er reached - at www.LegacyProductions.org. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Quick - Love those you Love RIGHT NOW



Hey you.

Yeah you. I'm talking to you. Since, you know what? You ended up at this page. It's no freaking coincidence. This is not by happenstance. You were meant to read this. I was meant to write it.

Writing it in mere seconds. So you - yeah you - could read it.

And here is what you are supposed to do IMMEDIATELY. Well, immediately after you take the mere seconds in reading this piece.

You ... are ... to ... go love those you love... right now.

Yup. No delay. Think of them. Think of her. Think of him. Consider your mother, or father, or sister or brother ... or any other form of human being that resides within your lovely state of mind and sphere of influence.

After considering them, do one or more of the following:
  • Call them with a message of uplift and acknowledgment.
  • E-mail them with some sentiments of gratitude.
  • Text a comment of love and light, using the words you both share in mutual understanding. 
  • Facebook a private (or public if that works) post that glimmers in the care and love you feel deeply within your heart.
  • Bounce a basketball outside their home until they get the message that you want them to come outside and shoot a few hoops.
  • Something completely customized according to your own creativity ... and heart.
This is all about your heart and that which resides within.

Doesn't matter the number of people you cherish; make it one for now. Allow that heart of yours in this moment to be free and shine upon those you love. It doesn't have to look a certain way. However, the mere act of sharing your heart with another will do the trick of OPENING THAT heart. And that will not only serve those showered with the love, but also serve you as well.

No secret. Nothing new here. Except for this part: that you take action - real action, simple action, with the idea that pops into your mind. And that you take such action RIGHT NOW. Immediately. Stop thinking, stop reading.

Act now. Love now.