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The Journey to the West

Though we journey to the West We pray to the East More or less that's the way Each day begins and ends It’s a tale everyone ...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ode to the Cherry Street Inn

for my nephew Austin

There are so many ways
To kick the bucket
Without even trying
Some involve stupidity
Some serial bad luck
But easiest of all 
Is succumbing
To the living death
Of the day after day

Whereas living in grace
Entails a far simpler plan
If you can only whistle a bar 
Or two of the Hallelujah chorus 
While sipping at your morning coffee
If you can keep an open heart and mind  
In the face of all the sameness
That lies directly ahead

You have to persist in this
Notwithstanding the shadows
Lying in wait outside
The front door
Shadows that seem to impede
Your forward progress  
On February 2nd much as
Any other day
You have to figure out how
Not to let those shadows
Get in your way

Groundhog Day tells a story
That’s easily misunderstood
As a simple allegory whereas
It's actually a realistic account
Of the pact each of us
May choose to renew in response   
The alarm clock's summons
Each and every day

No matter what quadrant you start out in  
Whether at the Cherry Street Inn 
Or down at the Blue Lotus Temple
Snug at a table at Papa G's
Or across the Square
And out at the old homestead
Sooner or later your lifetime begins
To spin around the coordinate points
Faster and faster in a disorienting way
It's powerful enough to fool GPS 
And it can certainly confound a foolish
Old man like me

*  *  *  *  *

For those of you wondering about the title of this poem, it's a reference to the great Harold Ramis movie Groundhog Day.  And the picture above is the view from the shade of the front porch of the Inn where Bill Murray stayed for almost an eternity and where Marissa and I were lucky enough to stay last night - as guests of Karla and Everton Martin.  Now called the Royal Victorian Manor, for those of you passing though McHenry County Illinois, I recommend it highly.

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