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Passions in Poetry

The Cycle

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Balladeer
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since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


0 posted 06-16-99 10:09 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

(last repost from another site)


They enter through the arches in the early morning light.
Young, healthy bodies move along with faces just as bright
As spotlights, pouring out enthusiasm as they make their way.
The workers at McDonald's have begun another day.

Although it is a menial nook, you'll hear no one complain
Or have an incongenial outlook similar to pain.
Their whole lives lie before them and, like many, they've begun
By serving skinny burgers on a sesame seed bun.

Our future doctors fix the fries and nurses pour the shakes.
There is no pharmacist alive who doesn't know it takes
Three seconds for the meat to thaw or how to fill a cup,
Our future lawyers serve it - future bankers ring it up.

They're going to be successes, each and every single one
And, if you ask, my guess is they will say before they're done,
They will all be rich and famous. Isn't that what Life's about?
The world is waiting patiently and they're just starting out.

So there they stand. The innocence of youth is on parade.
No possibility of failure lies in plans well-laid.
Amid the fries and apple pies, with ketchup on their hands
The leaders of our country's newest generation stand.

* * * *


He enters through the arches in the silent dead of night.
His uniform is threadbare and a badge reflects the light
From streetlamps bouncing off the valleys of a time-worn, wrinkled face.
In motion and emotionless, the store guard takes his place.

He checks the doors around the store, makes periodic rounds,
His ears long since accustomed to all strange, nocturnal sounds
Then settles in a back booth near the corner of the wall
And lets his mind roam aimlessly on nothing much at all.

If one could turn the pages back, oh, fifty years or so
To see the lad that this man represented long ago
One could have seen a bright, young boy set out to make his mark
Instead of this aged, huddled figure sitting in the dark.

But something passed along the years he did not understand
And adolescent dreams did not turn out as he had planned.
His hopes to turn the world around were met and neutralized
By resentment and indifference in Humanity's cold eyes.

No audience applauded as they did for picture shows
Depicting heroes conquering unconquerable foes.
No background music played to guide him - not one single song,
No happy endings out of novels ever came along.

His goals turned into gallstones as the years passed endlessly.
Opportunity knocked at times but he had lost the key.
Enthusiasm turned to spasms only seconds long
That left behind a bitter man who wondered what went wrong.

His anger turned to hatred as the years went marching on,
Then hate turned to indifference-then even that was gone.
Now, sitting in the back booth with his head slumped to his chest,
A previous leader of our current generation rests.

They enter through the arches in the early morning light.
He opens up the doors for them, smiles vaguely, says goodnight
Then shuffles down the sidewalk of a lonely, one-way street,
Arrives at home and goes to be - the cycle is complete.
© Copyright 1999 Michael Mack - All Rights Reserved
Miss Behavin'
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since 06-16-99
Posts 94


1 posted 06-16-99 10:29 PM       View Profile for Miss Behavin'   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Miss Behavin'


Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce; special orders don't upset us - Have it yoooooooour way.....
Oops.... wrong place!!....
A Big Mac for hire - It's the bun called.....
Ball-a-deer

Genea
Member
since 06-15-99
Posts 325
USA


2 posted 06-17-99 02:21 PM       View Profile for Genea   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Genea

Balladeer,

I like your use of McDonalds imagery....and the 2nd part relating to the 1st to come full circle...nice technique. Makes me think the next time i go to a fast food place or a convenience store or.....
~Genea
Elizabeth
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Member Rara Avis
since 06-07-99
Posts 7296
America the beautiful


3 posted 06-17-99 11:30 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Elizabeth's Home Page   View IP for Elizabeth

Life's like that, as they say, but that doesn't make it hurt any less. Another masterpiece, Balladeer!

[This message has been edited by Elizabeth (edited 07-27-99).]
elvira
Senior Member
since 07-06-99
Posts 985
California


4 posted 07-21-99 08:39 PM       View Profile for elvira   Email elvira   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for elvira

i must admit, i usually don't have the patience for long poems, this one was very enjoyable, sadly folks on Social Security are now working at mikey dee's, really makes me think
though i never worked at mickey dee's...but at "vie de france" if you please...schoolteacher, writer, high finance career those were my dreams...now back in college to became a teacher, full circle it seems

------------------
If I had my mouth I would bite. If I had my liberty I would do my liking. In the mean time, let me be that I am, and seek not to alter me. ~~~Shakespeare~~~



[This message has been edited by elvira (edited 07-21-99).]
Lost Dreamer
Member Elite
since 06-20-99
Posts 2589
Normal, Illinois


5 posted 07-21-99 08:48 PM       View Profile for Lost Dreamer   Email Lost Dreamer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Lost Dreamer

This was one of the best Balladeer posts I've read. What an intellectual mind you have. I will now see Mcdonalds workers in a new light. Praise be to you for opening eyes that had been closed.
Balladeer
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since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


6 posted 07-21-99 08:51 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thank you, again, Elvira

and,dreamer, you're thoughts are a blessing. Thank you.
Saxoness
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Senior Member
since 07-18-99
Posts 1176
Texas


7 posted 07-21-99 08:57 PM       View Profile for Saxoness   Email Saxoness   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Saxoness

Balladeer, this is the most enjoyable and insightful piece by you I have read. Now I trylu see why dream calls you revered elder.

------------------
"Glory remains unaware of my neglected dwelling where alone
I sing my tearful song which has charms only for me."

-Charles Brugnot

Andrew Scott
Member Elite
since 06-24-99
Posts 2655
Redlands,CA,USA


8 posted 07-22-99 01:39 PM       View Profile for Andrew Scott   Email Andrew Scott   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Andrew Scott

I've remarked at times that every kid should work fast food so they know what it is that they don't want out of life. Been there, done that. Don't want to do it again. It's unfortunate so many are forced by one circumstance or another to a life behind the proverbial grill. As always, your insight has served to open the eye and the mind.
I like the style, title and structure of it all. Reminds me of a song "Birth, School, Work, Death."
Elizabeth
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Member Rara Avis
since 06-07-99
Posts 7296
America the beautiful


9 posted 07-27-99 12:36 AM       View Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Elizabeth's Home Page   View IP for Elizabeth

Back up to the top it goes!!!!
Delores Hall
Member
since 07-16-99
Posts 358
USA


10 posted 07-27-99 12:46 AM       View Profile for Delores Hall   Email Delores Hall   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Delores Hall

My daughter who is five says she wants to
work at McDonalds when she gets bigger.My
older boys just laugh at that statement.
Thru this poem you have shown there are
better things after Mickey Dees.Who knows
where it could take her.

Severn
Member Rara Avis
since 07-17-99
Posts 8273


11 posted 07-27-99 01:20 AM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

This is so great! hehe - I worked in that horrid hot place for awhile, before moving 'up' in the world. You have to get published!
Colin
Senior Member
since 06-05-99
Posts 612
Callington, Cornwall, England


12 posted 07-27-99 04:44 AM       View Profile for Colin   Email Colin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Colin

Powerful stuff B! I like it.
angel girl
Member
since 07-23-99
Posts 329
within a whisper...


13 posted 07-27-99 08:35 AM       View Profile for angel girl   Email angel girl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for angel girl

great poem! really insightful. to me, this poem says 'live your life to the fullest and work hard to succeed- the rewards are much greater than the work.

------------------
The world is in your hands; it is what you make of it.

keep on chuggin'
LngJhnAg
Member Elite
since 07-23-99
Posts 3654
Boot+Kitty=Poetry in motion


14 posted 07-27-99 09:00 AM       View Profile for LngJhnAg   Email LngJhnAg   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LngJhnAg

Balladeer - great linkage - young to old, dreams to realities, coming to going - I enjoyed it

BTW, all of you others - there is dignity in all work. That person behind the cash register has dreams, ambitions, and may find that giving a customer the best service and making another person's life just a bit more enjoyable has its own rewards. The next time you order a #6, take a moment to read that person's nametag, then look her in the eye, smile, and say, "Thanks, Suzie, I'm glad it was you who helped me." Those words may be the only encouragement she'll get that day. And they cost you not a cent more than what you've already paid.
 
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