“For The Many” Poem by Ron Olsen

For the many poem
On the other side of the tracks
Old Glory flew
Filled full by the warm California wind
As I had never seen her before
Not for many years, anyway
Not like that
Defiant and strong
As I stood
Waiting for the Surfliner to arrive

And my heart swelled
With both pride and fear

Pride for those who shed their blood
To defend freedom
A way of life
That now stands threatened
By those who put petty self-interest
Greed driven lust for money
Ahead of country

Those who would tear down
What so many worked for
Died for
Argued for
And cried for
For the many
And not the few

It rushed through my head
As I saw our flag
Strong in the wind
As I waited for the train

A reminder of who we are
And what we stand to lose
If some of us are forced to live on one side of the tracks
While the rest are on the other
With no law or common good
To balance our wants and needs
Providing a bridge
To cross over

Only the lust for money
A rigged system
And the power of greed

Simple thoughts
Far too simple, perhaps
For the many
And not the few

 

©2015 Ron Olsen – all rights reserved

“The Glory Of Us!” A poem by Ron Olsen

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The Glory Of Us!
by  Ron Olsen

Primates
Naked apes
Eating grapes
And pitted dates
From fancy plates
That come in crates
Over the water
With foreign rates

Having complex thinking thoughts
From the seeds that Darwin wrought
Of birds that fly from place to place
With no regard for creation’s face
Or supreme mind
Just lengths of time
And nature’s grind
To help us find
The truth sublime

Scattering seeds
Through birdie scat
Helps preserve us
Dog and cat
It was true then
It holds true now
For humans, turtles, emu and cow

While getting our kicks
Lost in the mix
Is mankind’s fix
Between and betwixt
Our memory withdrawn
Of how to spawn
Out on the lawn
And we’d be gone

©2015  Ron Olsen-all rights reserved

 

Illusion – A Poem by Ron Olsen

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Illusion
by Ron Olsen

The greatest compliment ever paid
Came from Gene D’Angelo
When he said
“I’ll have to send three guys after you
To bring you back”

He didn’t of course
So I left Columbus
For Pittsburgh
And Baltimore
And Los Angeles

To find myself

And to eventually
Interview his daughter Beverly
In a park
In Beverly Hills
Princess Leia was there too

So my ego was fulfilled

And the circle turns
And reality
Slaps me back
From my Star Wars illusion

None of it really matters
For a boy from the Midwest
Does it?

What is accomplishment
Really?
This, or something else?

It’s left to you
To connect the dots

I no longer can

We spend far too much time
Trying to determine who we really are
Only to eventually discover
It matters not

Not at all
Even though it’s everything

 

©2015 Ron Olsen / all rights reserved

“Poet” by Ron Olsen

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Poet
by Ron Olsen

Of all the people in the world
How many are there do you suppose
Who dare call themselves “poets?”

Who are drawn
To say more with less
Daring critics
To deny their voice
In a world that so badly needs
Imagination

A calling?
Or ego revealed?
Either way
The result is the same
An irresistible draw

For the poet
There is no alternative
But to create

To hope that
Someone listens

 
©2015 Ron Olsen – all rights reserved

“Alone” – A Poem by Ron Olsen

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Alone
by Ron Olsen

The Ship was rolling
Unnoticed
Except that the sailors stood in two rows
To catch you if you fell
As you jumped off the chopper
After hitting the deck
Before you got your sea legs
It didn’t hit us until we were in the mess
And they set the plates of donuts out
That we were in no mood to eat anything
Much less donuts
I pushed the plate toward Steve
He pushed it back
Looking less than settled
We made it back to shore
Without betraying our manhood
Stomachs intact
Stopped for a beer on the way home
“A mood adjuster” he called it
Handing me a Corona
I felt better
Then
Suddenly
With no warning
Bitch slapped in the face by time
We were putting him in the ground
Before his time
Up at Forest Lawn
And Mark said
“I can’t believe our friend is in that box over there”
I had no reply
What could I say
About death?
It was the same place they buried another friend
With the same name
Two Steves
Within days of one another
It seemed
Although it was actually several years
Time plays games
Hours are days
Days are years
Your friends are gone
They told us it would happen
But you really don’t know
Until it does
As the ship keeps rolling
Leaving you there
Alone

©2015 Ron Olsen – all rights reserved

 

Ron Olsen is a Los Angeles-based writer.  More of his work can be found here.

Dream – A Poem By Ron Olsen

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Dream
by Ron Olsen

There were three in the room
Two men and a girl
Standing there
Without expression
Looking back at me
Dressed mostly in black

They were dead
That I knew
And they would not talk
Even while I implored

“Talk to me”

And so one did
The older one
Apparently in charge

“Exorcism 101” he said
As he shut the door in my face

 

© 2015 Ron Olsen / all rights reserved

Circle – A Poem Of Life By Ron Olsen

Circle
by Ron Olsen

Does any of it really matter?
Beyond the golden moment of now?

It seemed so important at the time
Irreplaceable
Unforgettable
Even immortal

A circle with no beginning or end

Protagonist on one side
Antagonist on the other
A story told ten thousand times
Somehow new with each new telling
Never to be forgotten
Leaving onlookers stunned
And silent
Pondering the profound new implications for their lives

Never to be forgotten
Except that it was

Eventually it vanished
And no one remembered
Immortality washed away
By several generations
Of the newest thing
The oh so meaningful
Newest thing

It seemed so important at the time

But as the circle continued to turn
None of the performance held fast
Only the truth of the golden moment
Which was gone as quickly as it had appeared
Until its next appearance

A story told ten thousand times
Somehow new with each new telling

As greatness and nobility continue to exist
Only so long as we remember
Only so long as we have one another
Only so long as we continue to care

Otherwise it dies with us
A phoenix that cannot rise
Meaningless
Finished
Without purpose

With no golden moment left
To give us another chance
At now
To care more for one another
Than for the story

And yet

It seemed so important
At the time

© 2015 Ron Olsen / All rights reserved

 

malibu

Ron Olsen is a Los Angeles based essayist and poet.   More of his work can be found here.

The Mural’s Secrets – A Poem Of Hollywood From Ron Olsen

The Mural's Secrets - A Poem Of Hollywood From Ron Olsen

(The “You Are The Star” mural at Hollywood and Wilcox, Hollywood, CA. USA –
painted by Thomas Suriya   photo: flickr)

The Mural’s Secrets
by Ron Olsen

If you look deeply enough
Far Inside
With courage, daring and flare
Beyond the troubles of everyday life
The issues of mundane care

There you will see
Looking back at you
Dietrich, Monroe and Gable
Issuing the simple demand

“Carry on if you can
Join us if you are able”

Would you act?
Would you act?
Would you dare to join us and act?”

Have you the courage for it?
To bare your soul and act?
Have you the magic to show your true self
Will you join us and seal the pact?”

As soon as they appeared
They drifted away
Fading to black upstage right
Leaving me there
Forlorn and bereft
Confused and alone in the night

And then from the darkness a voice in my ear
So close that it gave me a fright

I’m neither your daughter
Your sister
Or dad
I’m neither your mother, too”

I’m the essence of all
That drives the stage
Brave Ulysses
And William’s brew”

From downstage center
The little tramp appeared
Looking humble in all his might
Warning me time was ticking away

 That my power would soon take flight

Join us if you dare” he taunted me
If you have the courage and peak
Cast the one that you are aside
And become the other you seek”

If you can’t do that
Then go away

 You’ll not join us here on the wall
Just go away and remember the day
When you dreamed of having it all”

© 2015 Ron Olsen – all rights reserved

 

malibu

Ron Olsen is an LA-based retired journalist who writes essays and an occasional poem.  More of his poetry can be found here.