TL Boehm - Writer

Written in my heart

Will O' The Wisp

When will o’ the wisps and warlords

Have met their seminal end

And battle cries from tattered skies

On shattered ears do not descend

No maidens left to lamentations  

In my memory dear friend

The destiny of the bones of me

Not mine to comprehend

 

A pocket full of posies

For the masters shambling sheep

Trundles the harrow cut to the marrow

The offal tossed the skulls we keep

This ossuary silent offering

With no one left to weep

Clip clop the bridge of sorrow we cross

Eternity before we sleep

 

And so it goes with the hands of man

Rend the flesh till the water runs red

Words cut bone and thoughts break stone

Gluttons retch and the starved go unfed

Sheep bleat for the voice of Master

But can’t remember what was said

Sheep are sheep they cannot offer

The song of life to the dead

TL Boehm 

04/23/13

inspired by the Boston marathon Bombing 

Words that Burn - Content Warning

Some of the writing on this page may be difficult to read, incendiary, or graphic. I make no apologies for words that burn....There are those things that that make me rage, make me ache: the abuse of women and children, wars and poverty, the neglect of people after natural disasters....

Torreon

Torreon....
"Baby Brianna was five months old when she died...she had multiple broken bones. Over thirty bite marks. She was beat to death..." "Susannah Martinez (campaign ad) 

Doe eyed ghosts
Y los ninos mi corazon
Mall haired mamacita with the lined lips 
505 madonna meant nothing to you 
Bust that cap while she sleeps
Represent 
And leave the little ones behind 
Curled up against her cooling breast 
Black blood and coffee grounds under their nails
It took them weeks to starve to death
Abuelitas they lament
Light the candles in Torreon 
Would you buckle under the weight of tiny bones
Small hands that clutch the sky 
Sightless eyes
Fragments of a smile stopped by a single shot 
Gangstas gunning the wrong house 
Little girl lost in poppi's arms
would her whispered breath against your neck
bring one tear
Baby Bartholemew in his car seat
choking to death in his own blood
Head lolling back crying for mommy 
One last time 
The sound...the stench forever resonant
Cuz teddy bears cant stop a bullet can they 
Wrong place
Wrong time
Hand the grieving parents a tissue 
And straighten her hair
For the cameras
This indignation will rise 
Bile in your throat 
for the next 40 minutes 
Until you return to the blur
Of your regularly scheduled lives
We're so casual with our offspring
But Brianna, Bartholomew 
and the ghosts in Torreon 
they haunt these tears I cry

"It took us three years, but we fought to make it a death sentence. Baby Brianna's picture still hangs in my office." Susannah Martinez (campaign ad)

I will not forget....

TL Boehm

Integrity Leaking Away

Skeletal babies too weak to cry
Hollow eyed mothers
Fractured families scratch pits in fallow ground
Earth and hope
Dust scattered chaff
Rice in bowls for dirty hands
And hungry mouths
Cracking smiles optimized
"Mister Christian" done a good thing
Sign your name and look away
Feed a family of four for the price of a gallon of milk
Minimize your guilt
Clinking trinkets in a rusty bucket
Change the channel
Change your mind
Envision God and mother Africa
Doe eyed and grateful placing the crown of the faithful
On your generous brow
While another woman silently screams
Integrity leaking
In the baptism of red earth
And urine
She sleeps outside tonight
No shame for you the miniscule
Separation of virtue and flesh
The seeping reality
Scarred body and mind ravaged to feed
The baser needs of a man
Who will no longer have her
Worthless animal that she is
Brittle field unripe for planting
Seeds of life burst the seams
And she only dreams of a day
Unstained.
Untainted
Waste no meditation on the knowledge
She won’t bring another child into THIS world
For you
Insular in your indignation
Recoil at the colossus of poverty
Knuckled clicking at your heart
While you coddle your conscience
With spare change offerings
Consider dignity
At what price
Small sacrifice to you
Another mother sentenced to desperation
Crosses her legs and prays
While her integrity leaks away
TL Boehm
061108

while I am not addressing well intentioned givers - or Christians who donate money to worthy causes - I am often deeply disappointed in those who "throw money at" a situation - and then consider the minimal effort sufficient. Yes, we need to feed hungry children, but we also need to educate young males on the difference between a wife and property. We need to help women who's bodies have been ravaged by constant famine to take better care of themselves before, during and after pregnancy and we must destigmatize conditions like HIV and fistulas that cause women to be shamed and further abused. This poem specifically addresses birth related fistula - a condition in which the bladder or colon is torn during a difficult birth - usually attributable to other conditions like constant malnutrition, immature (underage) mother or a baby too large for a safe vaginal delivery. The fistula results in incontinence for the mother....
See the two agencies below for further information. or google fistula foundation - or clean birth kit. 

www.fistulafoundation.org
www.path.org

Peace

 

No Child Left Behind

The below italicised text addresses pitfalls of the No Child Left Behind act
Narrow curriculum

NCLB's focus on math and English language skills (and eventually science) may elevate scores on two fundamental skills while students lose the benefits of a broad education.[37]
A study conducted by the American Heart Association and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education contends that diminishing physical education in school has contributed to rising levels of childhood obesity.[38]
Surveys of public school principals indicate that since the implementation of NCLB, 71% believe instructional time has increased for reading, writing, and math (subjects tested under the law), and decreased for the arts, elementary social studies, and foreign languages.[40][41]


The Joys of NLCB

The glut of substandard product flooding ToysRUs really shouldn’t shock the consumer considering that all the really smart Asians are now residing stateside. Consider for a moment the multiple Chinese eateries filled with smiling happy women who do nothing but fill your cup with oolong – blessed they are that our tin-snip toting Latino brothers and sisters spend their 14 hour days in the deep south wringing the necks of those pullets you just consumed in your plate of MSG (chalk one up for the Soy producers) laden Moo Goo Gai Pan. It’s no secret that the USA is truly the land of the free; where every child gets a solid education, just like G Dubya says. Our Tommy’s, Juans, Xian Xhang’s, and Laquisha’s, all forty eight of them in one portable building, hands gripping bilingual pencils cozy up to a round table to be thoroughly educated by caring teachers. Fine men and women have risen to the challenge of obtaining obscure advanced and even on line degrees. They eagerly carry third mortgages on the trailer because our “by the people for the people” elected officials promise NO child will be left behind. Yes, we will pay our teachers slightly above minimum wage and demand degrees in quantum mechanics so we can attract happy edu-drones. Wide eyed kid sitters queue to train our youngsters in reading and writing and the proper technique of filling in the bubble on each of the weekly standardized tests we will distribute in large cardboard boxes because we must make sure our boys and girls are performing in school. No longer will we give out “F’s that ruin Britney’s morale. Instead we will use happy numbers like one, and two, and three….no one fails. No one excels. And absolutely no one bears the pain of never getting a gold star because we all know that’s why Lavon wears grills now and is has to wash his red pills down with Colt 45 – the poor boy suffers from foil star envy, having only received those shiznit “good try” stickers on plain white paper. Oh the horror of it all.

We are fully committed to turning out fine citizens, fully capable of writing their own form letters in Word to thank their local Caddy dealership for the bitchin’ purple paint job on the Escalade. Our baby mamas will certainly understand now, the subtle nuances of difficult English – bustacapinyo being both a verb and an adjective depending on use.

Yes we can even convert those mildewy band and drama rooms into testing practice centers so our dear ones can prepare for testing before the testing as to minimize the trauma caused by choices a,b,c,d, and e in a straight line. Besides, any whelp with a PC can CGI a picture for Grandma’s fridge, or use the latest voice recognition software to write a silly song. What we need are cookie cutter kiddies with malleable minds who never desire to color outside the lines, or even color for that matter.

Our desire for reform in our public education system has brought us this far. Now we stand on the threshold of a new era where everyone is equal. Every one is standardized, naturalized and biggie sized. And we can smile at our achievements next time we patronize our local burger joint – trusting the fine paper hat garbed teen touching the screen knows the difference between the cow and the pig icon. We can smile inside when hearing the manager trainee admonish a newbie for dropping a pat of Angus on the freshly mopped, ergonomic rubber mat. True, those circles of 90% fat free bovine flesh are worth the hefty 2.00 price tag since our girth prevents us from bending over to pick those burgery bits from the holes in the mats. We now must use a metallic object engineered by some Asian entrepreneur named Tong – physical education having gone the way of the dinosaurs.

Sleep well in the peace that our children, our precious babies, no matter how thick, how stupid, how bellicose will never fail because in America, no child is left behind.



This is not an ethnic dig....it merely addresses the pitfalls of the No Child Left Behind Act which actually penalizes children who may not fit into the 'standardized' definition of what makes one educated. Especially those kids who are more geared to the arts - or kids who are immigrants - or culturally seperated from what narrow minds consider "normal." Remember - I live in a border state where immigrants often take sh*t jobs the rest of us are too snooty to do. I work in corporate situations rank with narrow mindedness...and thus the references in the story...it is SATIRE. The true issue is the NLCB - which only serves to promote more testing and less creative learning. IMHO.   

 

Twist in the Whispered Wind (for the Jena Six)

Slender sapling slips
Verdant birth
Lithe arms lifted
The gentle caress of spring rains
Cascade from new leaves
To nourish earth

Summer thundered skies
Dreams and days fly by
Branches dance
In the whispered wind
Dreams and destinies
Begin

Summer cleaves
As children run like puppies
Through autumn leaves
standing strong silent
Wicked words waft in the slanting sun
And so it has begun

Destructive DNA
Twisted things dangle
From weathered limbs
Mock gallows for the masses
Earth swallows the blood of a brother
Prejudice coiled has struck another

The bite of metal
Hammered home
Dreams crackle and peel
Fatal fire
Leaves only ash and sadness
No resurrection after madness

Rough hewn lumber
Bore the spikes
Torn flesh and bone
To satiate this death
Baptised in blood and sweat
And we have not learned yet

....the tongue has the power to murder or to build
When we speak out in stupidity we kill those to whom we speak...

Alice Woodward: White Supremacy and the Jena Six

segregation - wrong
slanderous words - wrong
racist references - wrong
retaliation - wrong 

63 Lives - the 9/11 Legacy

Now that we've seen the true depth of evil
The cunning agents who wield the power
Set in motion machinery of destruction
The insidious shackles of war and death
Washed up on our shores
The crone in our own reflection
Can we abnegate the course
The blind rage that sets our mouths casting stones
Can we truly love as the so called righteous sanctify
Other lies
We condemn men, governments, religions
We ostracize, prostelitize, criticize
Until our eyes don't recognize
The dignity of 63 lives
Born into a world forever changed
By the sacrifice of mothers and fathers
Sons and daughters
Serenade the heroes who did not falter
In the face of demons and ashes
Falling glass and jet fueled funeral pyres
With the apropo of excellence they chose
To stay...to fight...to climb the stairs
The true bane in the battle is the heart
So scorched it cannot care
For 63 lives in the balance
63 sets of ancient eyes and smiles of a child
It is time
To rise
TLBoehm 091106
for the 63 babies born post 9/11 who lost parents in the WTC bombing

Sparked - For the Victims of Katrina

I watched the mama's desperate
Wiping tears from babies eyes
I watched our old ones suffer
While our heads were filled with lies
From the safety of my dry land
I watched the waters rise
But my heart was torn and broken
Tormented by the cries
Of a city put through hell
While the hope of a people dies

I listened while my nation
Played a deadly game
Fearless in the face of creation
Too lazy to take the blame
While parents and sons and daughters
Died in the street without a name
Tides relentless covered families
But nothing washes away the shame
Still lives hang in the balance
Some things will never be the same

I feel the desperation
Of thousands of shattered souls
Who trusted that salvation
And protection was the goal
Now scattered, lost and lonely
Too far gone to ever be whole
And the sum of the lies they've swallowed
Is bitter poison that takes its toll

And yet I still believe
What sparks the heart of a man
Beaten down a thousand times
And yet the warrior stands
There's a place beyond survival
Where the spirit reclaims the land
I still believe in the love and life
Sparked in the heart of a man
TLB 082906

 

Muhammed Al Durrah

Who the hell are you
What have you done
The controversy
Has just begun
You sacrifice
A mothers son
A throw away life
A war never won

The camera rolls
The bullets fly
An innocent child
Terrified to die
Unwilling martyr
unbelievable lie
Unceasing loss
And still I cry

It does not matter
Who let his blood spill
No intervention
Eyes fixed on the thrill
A twelve year old boy
Set up for the kill
Don't blame it on God
It was never His will

And yet you choose
To hit replay
Etched in the memory
Of a horrific day
On my flickering screen
This prayer I pray
God rest this child
As I turn away....

The suspected staged shooting of 12 year old Muhammed Al Dura on Sept 30, 2000. As the boy terrified crouched behind a father and the cameras kept filming...a young life in a blue and white striped shirt....ends...and the cameras...kept filming...and the people...did nothing...IT WAS A LITTLE BOY FOR GOD'S SAKE! And my heart was ripped out as I watched him die in his father's arms - enraged at the filming of a horrific act...enraged that my husband with his own boy - would not change the channel...enraged that we offer up our children as pawns in a futile game....WHY!

Just Gone

Just Gone

Almighty God
And the government
Tell my people
How their moneys spent
It be gone yeh yeh
It be gone

I’m stuck in this little
Situation
Got a hand on me there’s
Complications
I be gone

One law
For you and me
‘Nother law
Set the killer free
Where’s justice
It be gone, yeh yeh
It be gone

One child
Go off to war
Mama’s son
A child no more
He be gone yeh hey
Just gone

TL Hughes
8/31/87
this one had a rudimentary reggae tune at one time...believe it or not....

 

Dice Throw

Dicethrow

White Sands Missile Range
Operation dicethrow
Simple?
Military procedure
Only the largest detonation
Of conventional explosives in history

Could our tanks survive?
A nuclear blast
At ground zero?

Even the dummies
Underground
Are blown away
In slow motion

Seconds
To destroy everything
God created

Are we not Gods
With the power
To create
And destroy

I live in the first shock wave
Minutes from Monzano High
The nearest fallout shelter
Constantly reminded
Of ground zero
The big I interchange
And Kirtland AFB

And God?
I am truly afraid

TL Hughes
5/6/85

 

FIghting for the Cause

Fighting For The Cause

Oh it’s brutal and it’s gory
And the wretched shed so many tears
For the benefit of glory
And the end to mankind’s fears
Do you see that man over there?
The one who lies in pain
Wipe the blood from your hands comrade
They’ll never notice the stain

What’s the point in dieing?
Fighting for the cause
Leaving the children crying
Lives trapped in terrorist jaws
We stand in the light of glory
Oh the honor and the fame
While so many sons play with toy guns
And from the tombstones learn daddy’s name

How many lives are shattered?
Loved ones killed in a foreign land
The give the flag for consolation
But can they really understand
Ooh the memorial services are beautiful
But it doesn’t explain the reason why
So many lives are turned upside down
And so many people must die

Don’t forget the survivors
The ones who lived to tell the tale
The ones who fought so valiantly
Whose courage didn’t fail?
See the burnished medals
On the twisted skeletons of war
Who’s heroism we worship
Who’s tortured souls are no more

T Hughes
10/23/83

Music by Dave Madsen*

For the members who died as part
Of the Beirut peace keeping force
And all of America’s fallen sons
And daughters

*I met Dave Madsen, sitting front row in the Astronomy lecture hall at UNM...Classical music was playing over the loudspeakers and there he was, blonde - studious and "air conducting"....Later I noticed him, crosslegged and stumming his guitar on the cool grassy slopes by the UNM duck pond. We talked....and he set this to music. I lost touch with him shortly after that....and so - this one rests here. 

A Civilized Nation

A Civilized Nation

In a lost generation
The stark realization that despite my evasions
I face confrontation with my imagination
My expectations become hallucinations
Even the most brilliant dreams
Pale in the face of reality
Only the sickest plans of man
Escape the clutches of obscurity
Only the most twisted mind
Will hang on to sanity

Is there no hope for the lost generation?
Are we our own victims of civilization?
Have we stopped caring for our destiny?
Have we given up on eternity?
I just can’t believe that life is this way
Or am I the one who’s been led astray
I just can’t believe the whole world’s gone blind
But then maybe I’m the one who’s out of my mind
Is there no salvation in the civilized nation?

A world in confusion
Chasing illusions and demented delusions
Gruesome revolutions become solutions
Mental pollution rots old institutions
Even the most stable nations
Have started to disintegrate
Only those who still have dreams
Dare to toy with fate
And the psychotics who walk the streets
Are the ones who run the state?
 
A sick society
Full of drunken sobriety and faceless notoriety
Gluttonous propriety and churches of impiety
Form a monotonous variety of effortless anxiety
Even the healthiest attitudes
Can no longer thrive
Only war and prejudice
Manage to survive
In this hell incarnate
Only death remains alive

TL Hughes 1983 - I was probably listening to The Police too much back then