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Doug Howell

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Tampa, FL, US

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The Comment

by

Doug Howell

Keep your words of bitter judgement
Far from the ears of my blessed being.
Let me be free to pick and nurture all
That stands before me beautiful and bright.
Unlike the hate that lives within your soul.


Living

by

Doug Howell

Death is forever
Your time alive is fleeting
So why save yourself.

Now

by

Doug Howell

We toil and effort to move our wares
Under the pressure of bosses and stares
Nothing on paper, no traces of guile
We must have it now, we can't wait a while.

There

by

Doug Howell

Where does this path lead?
Learning much along the way
I find myself, there.

Memories

by

Doug Howell

Memories creep in,
Blinding me to the beauty
In front of me know.

Sweet Allie

by

Doug Howell

Allie, sweet Allie
Your smile so warm, inviting.
Happiness, joy, life.

Kerouac

by

Doug Howell

My energy peaks.
Once again free, on the road.
Shades of Kerouac.

Libellula

by

Doug Howell

Dragonflies swarming,
Their wings copper in the sun.
A view from my past.

The Job

by

Doug Howell

They do not know the things I do for them.
Keeping anger always far off, at bay.
I don't seek a thank you nor increased pay,
I do what I do from honor, passion.
They come to me to solve their problems sure,
But "No" I respond to rediculous
Questions and offers that seem so silly.
Putting at risk my life of working bliss.
For men in places of power seek to gain
All those things dear to them yet unattained.
I am the instrument to reap their fame.

A must is speed, "We can not wait longer."
For now is when and here is the place.
Failure is no option nor is success,
When feeding these monsters just makes them worse.
Leave me alone and I'll make things happen:
Costs very low, the customer happy.
Hurt me by helping, so many, confused.
The pressure builds and pushes to my limit,
I feel I will breakdown if I go on.
Only humor and pride sustaining me.

The Monsters We Create

by

Doug Howell

From normal men with ambition and dreams
We create our own monsters, hooked on greed.
Taste for gold plus ego, the common theme
And threats and demands flow for all to heed.

They all act like children and pout and cry,
Demands outrageous in their minds deserved.
Thinking our fear is their greatest ally.
While our own anger is held, reserved.

Why do we do this? For what I ask you?
Catching the wrath when we take a firm stand.
Telling them "No!" may be hard to get through,
Their swelled heads and egos so big and grand.

Listen to my warning about these types.
Pace out your steps when nurturing a beast.
Don't feed them with fortune, fame or delight,
Building a hunger that never will cease.

If ever these words you do not obey,
Monsters will always continue to grow.
Then I will look down and laugh at the fray
While saying to myself, "I told you so!"

Chocolate

by

Doug Howell

Who honestly doesn't like chocolate?
Creamy and sweet, hot when it's cold outide.
A taste that so many can't do without
On long winter nights with loved ones fireside.

Dessert is always my favorite time
And chocolate generally my goal.
When mixed in with ice cream and nuts, so fine.
Producing a warmth that reaches my soul.

Battle

by

Doug Howell

Who wins the battle
Of wits we fight when fragile
Egos seem at risk

Mania

by

Doug Howell

My mind is cluttered tonight with thoughts of
All types, creeping in to block this good work.
The hazards of the day still fresh enough
To blur the lines and process I can't shirk.

To write is my passion, my goal in life,
But so many things rise to rattle my
Brain, loud noises that produce such great strife.
Emotions that make me withdraw and cry.

To write clears my mind and relaxes me.
My sea of thoughts now calm, the storm gone.
It releases my lines of prose freely
To my pen, then paper, the lines like song.

Anticipation

by

Doug Howell

I know it will be bad,
I feel it in my bones and chest.
The call comes, I explain, they understand
I borrowed trouble from the devil
and it was for naught.

South Florida Sunrise

by

Doug Howell

The air is cool and stirring.
The palm's top glowing, its trunk still gray.
A touch of orange blossom in the air,
The noise of traffic the only detractor.
Another south Florida sunrise.

Rest Area Ornithology

by

Doug Howell

The Boattails strut and pick,
A woodpecker chisels a palm.
Egret and Heron stalk waterborne prey.
Buzzards scrum for an unseen morsel,
A House Finch chirps its tiny song.
Rest Area Ornithology, part of the road.

Janus Moon

by

Doug Howell

Janus Moon, my old friend and confidant
You watch over me through battle and strife
Peering down, you see me both good and not
Being evil for good in my brief life

But my war is done and dear Tasha waits
I cleanse the years of battle in my skin
The water turns red from other men's fates
A baptism, redemption, dislodges sin

Her castle before me and you above
The short walk, finally, to breathless joy
But now I pause from her blissful love
She was my dream when my task was destroy

Is there guidance, friend moon, you have for me
Your voice, my pillar, for dispelling doubt
Help me choose, my friend, which path it shall be
To cross to my lover, or another route

Perhaps I should turn and seek more battle
My comrades were sorry I chose to depart
Always fearless and strong in my saddle
I joined a boy, but found a warrior's heart

Up high you see what my future intends
Down low you see my pure, innocent past
Tell me moon, will she choose to start again
With a much changed man than that she knew last?

Back in Bama

by

Doug Howell

Back home in Alabama, that's the dream
When times are good or bad the dream remains
High Tide in T-town, Tigers roam the plains
Pine trees, family, Heart of Dixie gene
The land, people and past all frame the scene
Of a life more simple, much less insane
And so far away from my present strain
Just the thought of return makes my senses keen
Once youthful adventure called me away
To travel the country in search of fame
Now twenty years later I see my past
Both high and low roads leading here today
With one dream in common, always the same
To find myself back in Bama, at last

A Rainbow Followed Me Today

by

Doug Howell

A rainbow followed me today
I never heard what it had to say
It stopped, and turned and went away
And gave me thoughts for the highway

I know a rainbow is reflected light
But something sparked me at the sight
I had to stare at the colors, bright
Those beautiful hues moving on my right

Betrayal

by

Doug Howell

You have sown the seeds of my demise,
Yet I survive!
And now,
You will reap the harvest of my vengeance.

Russian River

by

Doug Howell

I hear the Crow laugh
Hot coffee battles the cold
Life begins anew

At Peace

by

Doug Howell

The roar has ended
Everyone in their place now
Fast asleep they dream

Leadership

by

Doug Howell

Never asking people to do that you yourself would not do
Keeping cool when the pressure is on
Praising in public and punishing in private
Saying thank you to your people
Taking the time to speak to everyone, even when youíre pressed
Being honest, but tactful

Writing

by

Doug Howell

It doesnít matter nearly so much
Where I go to write
But rather where I go
When I write

Retribution

by

Doug Howell

Callous betrayal
Creates from nothing a harsh
Lightning-like vengeance

Fight for Right

by

Doug Howell

Only fairness works
So now I must fight for right
I'm loaded for bear!

Angst

by

Doug Howell

The frustration of life makes me numb,
But many things I bring on myself,
A trait that seems mostly dumb,
Stealing my own time, a personal theft.

Why do I do this? Life is good!
Things are going my way, clearly on course.
If plans needed fixing I certainly would.
So my bout of angst has another source.

I dwell on things, perhaps too much,
And stew and brew and simmer.
My pay, my boss, my life and such,
Why canít things just be simpler?

At lunch, my mid-day liberation,
I leave the angst behind.
Food, coffee and conversation,
A sanctuary for my mind.

My comfort time now fleeting,
Another cup of coffee? Yes, one more.
But I know the angst is waiting
Just outside the door.

There is No I in Responsybylyty

by

Doug Howell

My colleagues see me as a menace.
A baseless charge they level at me.
I just donít agree with their guiding premise:
"There is no I in responsybylyty."

A Week Ago

by

Doug Howell

A week ago I was in Sopchoppy,
Today Iím in Plantation.
Today I battle for my fee,
A week ago I savored my vacation.

The path today, uncertain,
A week ago assured.
A week ago enlivened,
The path today, blurred.

Today my time belongs to others,
A week ago time was mine.
A week ago time seemed to go much further,
Today my time seems short and confined.

O-N-D

by

Doug Howell

We struggle and toil this time of year
To make unreal goals and quotas.
The big guys pound us and raise our fear,
If we fail, they will replace us.

Frost on the Windshield

by

Doug Howell

Frost on the windshield was the first sign.
The engine struggled to start.
Leaving this early would buy me some time.
Evidence of effort Iím doing my part.

Wash Your Hands

by

Doug Howell

Eating chicken wings
Removing contact lenses
A painful mixture

Frenzied

by

Doug Howell

Where does this anger come from?
This tension that burns in me;
I have fought this fury a lifetime,
But stay addicted to this fiend.

My chest grows tight and leaves me breathless.
My face is flush, red like fire.
Signs that without timely redemption
My fate is certain, my future dire.

Correctness is one culprit of which I am sure.
I must not say this, do that or be myself.
All this from my supposed comrades;
They see how things look as their ticket to wealth.

But I am not a mushroom! I do not live in the shade.
I am in the light, reaching higher for the benefit of all.
The corporate hood of secrecy keeps the sun from me
But the people who blind me precipitate their own fall.

Back to my anger, I must channel this energy.
Turn this fire; stoke the furnace of my skill.
Play his game; or rather make him play mine.
A battle of wits with an unarmed opponent of spurious will.

If I cannot do this, resolve my stress
Then I fail, and fall away spent
And my work goes to oblivion except to a few
Who, hopefully, see what I did as heaven-sent

What Will I Paint?

by

Doug Howell

The potential for change, a flicker of hope.
A slow burn for countless months,
Then hope explodes in blinding brilliance,
Red-hot like a stovetop,
I touch the fire and it burns me.
I pull away and curse,
But then realize the pain means life.
Reborn a boy with the wisdom of a man,
Tabula Rasa, what will I paint?

2:57 AM

by

Doug Howell

Two fifty-seven.
Sleep evades me this long night.
Tomorrow I drag.

Ringing

by

Doug Howell

Silence does not exist anymore.
Squeaks, bumps and fans drive it away.
In scarce moments between sounds
The ringing fills the gap.

The "Not Doing"

by

Doug Howell

The "not doing" is the time we spend between two anythings.
We leave for work, we arrive at work, in between is not doing.
We leave for home, we arrive at home, in between is not doing.
Not doing is not downtime. Not doing is important. It bridges the gap.
Make the most of your not doings. They make the anythings possible.

Untitled

by

Doug Howell

How could a doctor know you are depressed?
Perhaps you would prefer to do something else.
Perhaps another activity would rekindle the fire.
A change would be good, but the timing is wrong.
Obligations abound, repayments for youthful reprieves
Demand a steady course for now. But not forever.

Untitled

by

Doug Howell

How could a doctor know you are depressed?
Perhaps you would prefer to do something else.
Perhaps another activity would rekindle the fire.
A change would be good, but the timing is wrong.
Obligations abound, repayments for youthful reprieves
Demand a steady course for now. But not forever.