la lluvia caer
Día de los Muertos a celebrar

La Loba baila sobre los huesos dentro del mi cuerpo
Se da miedo de atrás mis ojos cuando son verde si recuerdo
A veces escape un ruido carnal de la vieja
Con un fuego de furia a bloquear mi mente ciega
Soy tan cansada a combatir la bruja allá
Me calle la boca y trata a pasarla
Dando esa aparición de una muerta
Sin pista de la verdad que soy sola marioneta
No hay belleza tampoco casi paz
Del hambre para carnes sin encuentras nunca jamás
Dejado, rechazada, a andar con la luna nublada
La Loba que empieza infección casi es la curada
Ya cerró los árboles del bosque cerebrales
A correr libremente con los otros anímales
Por el día mudo soy con obligación de hablar
Por la noche como el viento debería gritar
Déjame, maldita puta! Sabes? No puede!
Porque de ese oscuridad de Noviembre merece
Las calaveras son pintados en un homenaje
Estoy bailando alrededor, adentro La Loba y yo,
sólo el traje

© ruth follmann

Day of the Dead, to celebrate

The Wild Wolf Woman dances over the bones within my body
She frightened you from behind my eyes when they turned green if I remember
Sometimes a carnal sound escapes from the old woman
With a fire of rage to block my blind mind
I weary to fight the witch within
I shut my mouth and try to get by
Giving the appearance of one deceased
Without clue to the truth that I am just a puppet
There is no beauty, hardly ever any peace
For the hunger of flesh not found nevermore
Left behind, rejected, to walk with the cloudy moon
Wild Wolf Woman who began as an infection is almost the cure
I've already closed the trees to the forest of my mind
To run freely with the other animals
For during the day I am a mute with obligation to speak
At night, i must scream like the wind
Leave me alone, you fucking bitch! You know what? You can't!
Because this November darkness you deserve
The sugar skulls are painted in your honor
I am dancing all around you
Wild Wolf Woman inside and i, just her overcoat

© ruth follmann

Happy Holidays, Janssen Pharmaceuticals
(this is an interactive read. please open youtube music video, and read along with the beautiful piano accompaniment. thank you.)

silver bells
~Bill Kennedy and Adair Pesini

back is aching
legs are quaking
with sciatica pain
i wish i were twenty years old again
neck is cracking what is lacking as i age ungracefully
doc says life is much better with pharmacy

take a white pill in the morning
climb the hill
renew your will
it's O.K. bring on old age

elbow popped out
when i mopped now
oh, arthritis, you bane!
i wish i were twenty years old again
fingers creaking
now i'm seeking
joints to glide from rigidity
doc says life is much better with pharmacy

take a white pill in the morning
climb the hill
renew your will
it's O.K. bring on old age

© ruth follmann

not a real number: sqrt(-49)
if you work, you need $
if you need $, you are not in control
if you are not in control, someone else is controlling you
that someone else has the $
if you drink or do drugs, you are not aware
someone who has $ is making it easy for you to drink or do drugs
if you work, your reward per corporate smile is to get high
when you are unaware and not in control of your $
someone else is changing the way you live
your wage is lowered
your expenses are higher
you work away more years
you lose time, $, and energy
when you are tired, you do not study
when you do not study
you are obtuse
when you are obtuse
someone else is crafty
they make laws to change taxes & take more of your $
we all need to work
but we don't need much $
we can do with much less
when we work less, we have more time to study
when we study, we are not obtuse ~ we are sharp
when we are sharp, we will stop drinking and getting high
when we are sober and sharp, we see through fog
we cut through bullshit
and we have $
when we are sober, sharp, have $, and see through bullshit
we can make changes
we can see who is in control
this is frightening for those in control
they may fight back
if we persevere
to move forward and remove bad
we may change the balance to good
when we are in control and see above the confusion
we should reach our hand down
to pull up the next sharp mind
keep reaching though the fog
every hand you reach to pull up counts
we have them outnumbered
no matter who we are

© ruth follmann

inspired by the words of Malcom X

“I certainly wasn't seeking any degree, the way a college confers a status symbol upon its students. My homemade education gave me, with every additional book that I read, a little bit more sensitivity to the deafness, dumbness and blindness that was afflicting the black race in America. Not long ago, an English writer telephoned me, asking questions. One was, "What's your alma mater?" I told him, "Books.”
Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X

~from Goodread quotes. Web. 1 Dec. 2013.

S illy
S tubborn
L eery
L atent
I nsecure
I maginative
P  erfectionist
P hilosophical
S ardonic
S ealed
H onest
H ardworking
O riginative
O utlander
D auntless
D eviceful
E xamining
E vanescent
N ostalgic
N othing

Slipshod Folkway

Slipshod Folkway, 2012, Seth Price

Joshua Creek

Peace and Time matter more than your debt to income ratio.

© ruth follmann

play song
read story

top secret

"That song is out of this world!"

"Your melody just took me to another place!"

"When I hear that piece, I could just . . . fly to the moon!"

You are close, human. We take you. You fly with us, and then you drop away to your reality.

We have you at soaring, smiling, lift you -save you- from this place you scurry through in patterns that mean only something to your money and ego.
But then, as you say: you 'bail out'.

Gifted among you speak with us and create places for you to go, within sound, inside of harmonies. Sometimes we are their muse.
For those among you capable of auditory skills, you can speak to us by listening.  Others, who hear nothing at all, can feel our rhythm, our pulse.

Sometimes it quickens, pounds, like your own heartbeat in a race.  Other times it is faint, and breathes, like your own end.

How is it we surround you in your day, hold you up like a robbery to different feelings, by the change of simply our song?
Can you see us for who we are?

Dancing piano keys circle you like the blanket you were first wrapped in.  Strings spin and lift you, just a little bit, like your mate did, during your wedding day first dance.
We soothe, as you heal from an illness, or march you off to one of your wars.
We make your heart and fist pump as your school song rings true, or put it thumping back into your throat, as your lost lover's favorite is played on the radio frequency ride home.

We are sharp.  We are flat.  We have always been with you, since the very first mother sang to her child.

We are the life you are looking for, 'out there' as you send film clips with our music scores, as messages, light years away on rocket ships.

But we are here.  We have always been.  We are flowing through you right now and will not stop, because if we do; we cease to be.
It is our life, our heartbeat, to pump the next note, to make your heart skip.

Our relationship is symbiotic.  Our lives depend on your audience.  But can you claim yours does not depend on us?
Have you ever found yourself alone, in silent solace, only then to produce tiny notes whistled or hum a consoling tune?
Are we dependent on your praise, your attention, or are you for the escape we provide, the rocket ride to the stars, to Mars,
when your feet stay right here on the ground . . .

"Your music takes me to a place I have always wanted to be, to where I should have been  all along."

It does.  We do.  We are ETI. We are music.

Our cohesion is so intertwined, separation is intangible.

Let us steal your souls, lift your blues, tap your toes. Travel with us. It is our gift ~ our reason for being here.

Now that you know, we can make your being lighter.
Let us lift you from this earth, for maybe just a little while, with a song.


© ruth follmann

Awake on Inauguration Day
Inauguration Day 2013

I met a man who had never heard a sound

Who had nary seen light

Though not underground

He was hid in himself

In plain view of his face

He was lost in a coma

From which he was now torn, replaced

He asked me with speech generated by a computer screen

‘Where is this place from which I’ve landed, awake from my dream?’

I told him it was a Land of the Free

Protected by such ones as we call the ‘Brave’

We had our problems, but like any family, gifts about which we could rave

I told him of our harsh, straight backed ~ but sometimes broken start

I shared with him the things that nearly tore us apart

I squeezed his hand when I told him of our dreams

That had been built, and realized by our own meager means

He smiled when I thrilled him with achievements clear to Outer Space

He beamed when he knew we cared for all of every Race

He cried that we seek equality for everyone who shares Love’s heart

I filled him in with the details from end to start

He asked me please to give him the name of this place, to relate

I told him you are in America, Welcome to the United States

© ruth follmann

Baking in the Dark~words long overdue
bakery boy
bloody bread

(Syrian Bakeries forced to work in the dark)

On the night before their Christmas

I parked my car and cried

Hundreds simply wanting bread

had been attacked in line and died

Bread for starved citizens

Was now the haunt for airstrike claws

Dropping missiles on families

furthering Assad’s hateful cause

How can a man lead a country

when he destroys ones simply trying to eat?

How is he in power after crushing

more than 60,000 under his feet?

Why is it that all is wrapped in gold foil, ribbon and bow

when more children, women, a COUNTRY

lie buried hastily in winter’s earth below?

Now the bakeries are working brave,

stealth and in the dark

Preparing and delivering this staple, to a people living stark

I’ve held my tongue in respect for the Holiday cheer

I’ve raised a glass to celebrate the coming of a New Year

I’ve passed gifts, sent cards, untied ribbons, cast a smile

But all along my soul has been broken far away in heart tug miles

Broken for those who hold up bloody bread amidst their hungry dead

Crushed for mothers who scoop up little ones gone, still embracing missile torn threads

Raging for the world who has forgotten in its busy pace

The people of Syria are still part of OUR Human Race

And if we are running, tire and want to pass the baton

And forget those running too, to whom shall we be able to pass it on?

Kindergarten playgrounds taught us to all be fair and share

Extend a hand, dust off a playmate fallen, to give back to those who care

But adulthood teaches a creed of a dog eat dog growl at all cost

Wolfing down our portion while others suffer, starve, and are left lost

Left working in the dark at a bakery

The cost of flour up to $30 a bag

Feeding surviving brave hearts

Whose confidence will never lag

Certainty with backbone that they soon, despite our apathy, will see

Their country, torn from a ruling maniac, will flourish again, YES! Syria be Free!

© ruth follmann

A Carny Christmas

Palm trees don’t know that it’s Christmas.  Civilian life doesn’t know your tour is over.  Leaves swaying soft in a sunny wind sound like a Cathedral Christmas choir.  If you listen hard enough beyond the mortar shell explosions in your head, you can almost hear the echo of a church organ fade into wind on its way to the ocean.  That is the soft woman’s voice Away in a Manger, in Afghanistan. 

But you aren’t in Afghanistan.  You are in an open field in Florida.  One that is dotted with carnival rides caught in different Sugar Plum Fantasy stages of transformation.  Some are folded tightly aboard their truck trailers, still caught closed, transient, like your Veteran soul.  Others bend to the sky, cranks and hydraulics move weathered mechanical arms tipped with glossy cars.  Empty seats that will be filled by nightfall, spinning with screams and the giggles of a carnival rock soundtrack you intend not to hear.  You only take in calm Christmas songs, fed to your ears by a pocket device.  Each perfectly pitched piano sonata calms the shaking of your machine oil stained mechanic’s hands.  The choir rounding The Carol of the Bells will soar and plunge in perfect sync with the roller coaster, like it did the night before. 

The reflection of your workday ahead has made your coffee cold.  Cold, but black and sweet as you have always drank it.  Now, sitting on a trailer hitch, pushing back shoulder length amber hair covered in a Marine patched camouflage hat, you take a sip.  Old boots kick at field grass lacking the beauty of yours at home, Kentucky.

“Kentucky is the only state that could have succeeded from the Union!  Everything we need to live, we can find in our own backyard.” ~ is the statement you shared with fellow Kentuckians and a Northern girl.  And maybe it was your ‘backyard’ that kept you alive.  Your senses have been trained from boy to ‘seven time black belt’ to react or retract.  So now, you did the latter. 

Though it was a military man that coined the phrase ‘moral injury’, categories cannot stop pain.  The pain from images so real, it can turn night into day.  Military training taught you a code.  A code of honor, Geneva conventions, a moral integrity, that what you fight for is worthy:  freedom for your country, and the ones you love that live there.  But when you are not fighting another army, the lines begin to gray.  Combat with civilians, shots fired at a pregnant woman or armed child, a dog; leave one in a different place when you are home again, stateside.  Only the careless tongue would say: ‘There are no rules in war’.  You’re a Marine.  Marines care deeply about what keeps them ‘clean’, and it is the rules of war that ‘keep us clean’.

Another carnival dinosaur awakens and telescopes into the sky.  It scrapes and groans as it limbers to a smoother movement, now slashing the sun.  Corridors of caravans pull snug to create a fairway of games, toys from China, steamy food trailers and inflated rooms with plastic walls.  The sounds and smells buzz and pull you back inside a Humvee, knee to knee with buddies in desert combat boots.  Afghanistan doesn’t know it’s Christmas.  The whistle of an incoming mortar is loud and sheer.  A shadow crosses your face and taps your hat brim down.

“Wake up, Sleeping Beauty!”  Your colder coffee spills.  You accept an outreached hand to pull yourself up from the trailer hitch, and dust off the past.  The smile and slap on your back makes you know you are among those who made it out of the Humvee ~ alive, to walk now across the fairground, though with a limp.  The ground crackles as if it were that same ground that was on fire.  Red and Green.  Silver  Bells.  Peace on Earth.  War is Hell. Tinsel shrap metal lingers in another Carny Christmas nightmare daydream, and you begin your work day.

© ruth follmann

Please consider a donation this year to the men and women who have served to protect our freedom with their lives.  We salute you all, Merry Christmas. 

PTSD Foundation of America ~ Providing Hope and Healing for the Unseen Wounds of War

Soldier’s Best Friend ~ You fought for us.  Now it’s time to help you back home!

Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, Fort Myers, Florida

If you need to talk to someone yourself – please call the Veterans Crisis Line             @ 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or 911.



(warning: content is graphic)

S uffocating dust clouds

T umble after deadly air strikes

O verwhelming grief

P ounds at hearts trying to stay alive

T heatre created by a Monster

H its me like a land mine

E liciting a stronger hand above

K nowledge to World leaders define

I nstruction how to stop the killing

L ove enough to drop the guns

L evel mindedness to stop the shelling

I nsight to save daughters and sons

N ow is the time to ask Him

G od, please stop this war, Amen

© ruth follmann


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