Life, Simplified

I could just close all my accounts.
Drop all my online presences.
Remove all aspects of me.

There’s a better way.
Here’s how to find your real friends.
They’re connected online, but
They’re connected offline, as well.

Let’s find the people that actually know you.
The ones that know you don’t fit a mold.
Not all your beliefs align with theirs,
But that’s OK with them.

You have a lot of Facebook friends.
Everybody does.
They make a lot of noise.
Who needs that much volume?

Week One of the cleanse.
Change your Facebook photo to
Ted Cruz for President!
See if your friends list diminishes.

Week Two of the cleanse.
New Facebook photo is now
Hillary in 2016! 
Other friends will drop away.

Two weeks into the process,
You’re losing friends left and right.
(See what I did there?)

Week Three of the cleanse.
Facebook photo becomes
Gay Rights For Everyone!
That will make people wonder.

Week Four of the cleanse.
Facebook photo is Jesus.
Jesus for President 2016!
(Actually, He’s ineligible to run,
Unless He can find a Hawaiian birth certificate.)

Now, see how many “friends”
You have left online.
Maybe you didn’t need that
Many friends after all.

Now, ask your real friends
What they thought about the month.
Some will find it hilarious.
Others will just say you’re insane.

Your real friends are any of them
That didn’t even notice.

Feel better?

Tragedy

Millions sleep with our C-PAPs,
To avoid a slow death by snore.
This is not nearly as tragic,
As fresh doggie poop on your floor.

Our families came through the Depression,
When life could seem very hard.
This is not nearly as tragic,
As a lizard coming in from the yard.

Your ancestors were at Vesuvius,
Some perished, covered in soot.
This is not nearly as tragic,
As fresh doggie pee on your foot.

Today, we had some crises.
Let’s all take a deep breath.
Pee, lizards and poop won’t kill you,
Stop crying and plotting their death.

Hidden Messages

Heard about a poet.
English chap, I’m told.
Left messages in poems.
Protected in simple code.

Many failed to find them.
Years went by until he passed.

Why no one ever saw them.
I never thought to ask.
First, I thought “Too clever”.
Everyone missed the clues.

Perhaps, nobody listened.
Only husbands have the blues.
I’m sure someday they’ll find him.
Somewhere in the fields.
Only time will tell, I guess.
Never drop your shields.
Even when you think it’s safe,
Don’t ever be too sure.

Many men have gone before.
Ever thinking they’re secure.

Love @ 31,000 Feet

Editor’s Note: I’m going to start republishing some (very) old works by BJE, as I find them – just so they’re all collected in one place. This is from 1997, so that’s pretty old. Seriously, who remembers Palm Pilots?

Southbound from Chicago
With my baby by my side
She don’t know that she’s my baby
I should tell her – haven’t tried

Flying First while wrapped in love
Is a magical place to be
Free drinks, cashews and pretzels
Yet she still won’t notice me.

We haven’t really spoken
Since the preboard at O’Hare
She’s just sittin’ reading magazines
While pretending not to care.

At last my angel turns to speak
In her heavenly tone of voice…
She asked ‘Is that a Pilot?’
I stammered, ‘But, of course.’

Being a geek finally worked!
Since she has one too, it seems.
Alas, the moment’s already passed
And she’s back to magazines.

Gently touching down in Dallas
will finally end our lover’s game.
Should have nicked her boarding pass
So at least I’d know her name.

Another broken-hearted Friday night
Hailing airport taxis in the rain.
I’ve lost my faith in AAdvantage Gold
Next time, I’ll take the train!

ORD-DFW 16 May 1997 AA 2359 – What was her name, anyway?

Diaspora

Thousands of raw acres
of prime South Texas land.
Mesquite, minimal water,
Fossils, fences and sand.

It’s a place to raise cattle,
With horsepower and sweat.
You can become wealthy,
It’s just not how to bet.

From the thousands of acres
Generations sliced off their share.
One ranch became ranches,
But nobody seemed to care.

The pastures were a man’s world,
There were no girls allowed.
There were many disappointments,
Some best not said out loud.

When I first visited the ranch,
It stretched as far as I could see.
Someone said, “That’s nothin’, son”.
“This used to reach to Uvalde.”

One by one, they moved to town,
It’s where they all belonged.
This could have been the King Ranch,
If they could have got along.

Vacation Day

Vacation Day is like Christmas Day.
It changes as you age.
When you’re young, excitement.
When you’re older, stress and rage.

Where is the camera?
What’s in this bag?
Where’s the pet sitter?
Stop your crying jag!

Where is the taxi?
Isn’t it late?
I’m not ready yet.
I don’t feel so great.

Do we have everything?
What did we forget?
Who’s feeding Mom?
I don’t recall who lost the bet.

I’m almost ready.
Just one more conference call.
Go ahead and start loading.
I’ll be right with y’all.

Close the taxi door.
At last we are away.
Did you transfer all our savings?
Because now we start to pay.

Hey! I’m not hyperventilating.
I’m starting to unwind.
Stress is dissolving.
Real life is off my mind.

Did you turn the coffee pot off?

Sunday

Sunday is a day for family.
Time to spend together, chilling.
This is why God invented wine.
It’s to help prevent the killing.

It’s a time to recall old stories.
Reenact them with force.
Reopen some old wounds.
Then, the pasta course.

I’m not sure the term for
A loud, three-way argument.
There’s the same mutual respect
As in the Houses of Parliament.

There’s lots of good food,
So many emotions to tap.
After eating and discussing,
There may be time for a nap.

Sleep with one eye open.
Just sayin’.

Pop Country Blues – The Girl From New York City

Editor’s Note: There are only so many stories you can tell, and sometimes, the same stories get told different ways. Blind John Ellsworth would occasionally recycle his basic stories, and assume since the target audiences were different, nobody would ever know. For example, what happens if some poor boy meets the same girl in a pop song, a country song and a blues song? These are the stories of the girl from New York City.


Pop

I met a girl
In New York City.
Her friends were loud,
But she was pretty.

We fell in love
All summer long.
When autumn came,
Our love was strong.

We married in Spring,
Our lives were linked.
The years flew by,
As if we blinked.

We grew old together,
We were always in love.
My girl and I, forever,
Are in heaven above.


Country

I met a girl
From New York City.
Her friends were loud,
But she sure was pretty.

They were Florida-bound,
Spring Break and such.
I tried to go with them,
I loved her that much.

We moved back home
To Tennessee.
I loved her madly.
She said she loved me.

One day, I awoke,
And found she was gone.
My New York queen,
Had sacrificed her pawn.

I still miss her badly,
I’ll dream of her tonight.
My New York City girl,
With her eyes shinin’ bright.

I hope she’ll come back.
I hope someday she’ll miss me.
I’m still waiting and hoping,
In the hills of Tennessee.


Blues

I met a girl
In New York City.
Her friends were loud,
But she was pretty.

Moved her to Dallas,
To start a new life.
Bought a house together,
Made her my wife.

Found her sleepin’ with my brother.
She broke my heart that day.
What’s even more disturbing,
Is that my brother is gay.

Made her a cocktail,
Told her she was still mine.
Just filled it up with poison,
Mixed in with her wine.

Buried her last weekend,
Was still sad to see her go.
My girl from New York City,
Now six feet down below.