SOME LITERARY THINGS: POEMS AND APHORISMS
A poem of Clifford Boggess, written in or before 1994:
People in the freeworld don't realize the importance
Of the vital life-giving link of mail
To a man, trapped within the bowels
Of the Texas-Death-Machine;
A modern day dungeon whose stench of death
Is the same as that ancient putrid stench has been
For thousands upon thousands of years
In countless millions of lives.
It tries to suffocate you and drown you
Until every breath of every day and night
Is but a desperate agonizing gasp;
One more meager and pathetic attempt
To remain afloat in the nauseous cesspool
We call Life.
If it would but set you free
Or mercifully, thankfully, kill you
It would be more welcome and humane
Than the slow and agonizing torture
Of endless oppression and misery.
It's tools are hidden, yet everywhere
Not easily recognized, yet known.
A water-torture of thoughts and attitudes
Voiced hatreds, misunderstanding, and ignorance;
Restraints of Writs and Court Orders
Knives of Indictments and Death Warrants.
Harmless paper, yet just as deadly
As any word ever spoken
By Caesar, Herod, Attila, Hitler.
And on and on it endlessly goes
Year after never-ending year.
A mega-ton weight upon your back
You are continually broken, pressed down
Compacted, becoming smaller and smaller
Wondering how much longer you can live
With such mind-shattering pain.
Waiting and hoping and waiting
To finally be crushed completely
To disappear into restful oblivion.
Mouthing silent screams;
And still you live on.
Waiting and waiting...
Tick-tock... waiting... tick-tock...
Time passing slowly over you
A chainsaw shredding now-bloodied human flesh.
Waiting... hoping... waiting
For the end that never comes.
Tick-tock... waiting... tick-tock... waiting...
Waiting... waiting... waiting... waiting...
A later version of the same poem:
© 1995 by Clifford Boggess
FEW PEOPLE, WILL EVER UNDERSTAND
THE PAIN & SUFFERING ENDURED BY A MAN
TRAPPED WITHIN THE BOWELS
OF THE TEXAS-DEATH-MACHINE.
IT IS A DUNGEON WHOSE STENCH OF DEATH
SUFFOCATES UNTIL EVERY BREATH
IS A DESPERATE ATTEMPT TO SURVIVE
IN THE CESSPOOL WE CALL LIFE.
IF IT WOULD SET YOU FREE -- OR KILL YOU
IT WOULD BE MORE WELCOME -- MORE HUMANE
THAN ITS SLOW AGONIZING TORTURE
OF ENDLESS OPPRESSION AND MISERY.
ITS TOOLS ARE HIDDEN, YET EVERYWHERE;
NOT EASILY RECOGNIZED, YET KNOWN;
A WATER-TORTURE OF THOUGHTS & ATTITUDES
VOICED HATREDS, MISUNDERSTANDING & IGNORANCE;
RESTRAINTS MADE OF WRITS AND COURT ODERS;
KNIVES MADE OF INDICTMENTS AND DEATH WARRANTS.
HARMLESS PAPER? OR JUST AS DEADLY
AS A WORD BY CAESAR, HEROD, OR HITLER?
A MEGA-TON WEIGHT IS UPON YOUR BACK
YOU ARE PRESSED DOWN, COMPACTED, AND BROKEN.
CAN YOU LIVE WITH SUCH MIND SHATTERING PAIN?
IF CRUSHED YOU MAY REST, IN OBLIVION.
WAITING... WAITING... MOUTHING SILENT SCREAMS;
WAITING... WAITING... AND STILL YOU LIVE ON.
AS YOU WAIT, TIME PASSES SLOWLY OVER YOU
LIKE A CHAIN SAW SHREDDING BLOODY FLESH.
TICK-TOCK... TICK-TOCK... WAITING... HOPING... WAITING
FOR THE END (GOOD OR BAD?) THAT NEVER COMES.
TICK-TOCK... "THIS IS DEATH ROW!" TICK-TOCK...
WAITING... WAITING... WAITING... WAITING...
The following texts are not written by Cliff, but he sent them to his friends because he liked them:
LIFE'S LITTLE INSTRUCTIONS
Sing in the shower * Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated * Watch a sunrise at least once a year * Leave the toilet seat in the down position * Never refuse homemade brownies * Strive for excellence, not perfection * Plant a tree on your birthday * Learn three clean jokes * Return borrowed vehicles with the gas tank full * Compliment three people every day * Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them * Leave everything a little better than you found it * Keep it simple * Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures * Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know * Floss your teeth * Ask for a raise when you feel you've earned it * Be forgiving of yourself and others * Overtip breakfast waitresses * Say "thank you" a lot * Say "please" a lot * Avoid negative people * Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards * Wear polished shoes * Remember other people's birthdays * Commit yourself to constant improvement * Carry jumper cables in your trunk * Have a firm handshake * Send lots of Valentine cards, sign them, "Someone who thinks your terrific" * Look people in the eye * Be the first to say, "Hello" * Use the good silver * Return all things you borrow * Make new friends but cherish the old ones * Keep secrets * Sing in a choir * Plant flowers every spring * Have a dog * Always accept an outstretched hand * Stop blaming others * Take responsibility for every area of your life * Wave at kids on school buses * Be there when people need you * Feed a stranger's expired parking meter * Don't expect life to be fair * Never underestimate the power of love * Drink champagne for no reason at all * Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation * Don't be afraid to say, "I made a mistake" * Don't be afraid to say, "I don't know" * Compliment even small improvements * Keep your promises no matter what * Marry only for love * Rekindle old friendships * Count your blessings * Call your mother *
Copy these instructions to give away, mail, leave in public places, etc.
With Love & Best Wishes, Cliff
COMFORT THOSE WHO MOURN
So many people see in death nothing but a cruel separation from loved ones. Even good and religious people make that sad mistake.
In death there is certainly the very real pain and sorrow of physical separation. But it is equally true that our loved ones remain with us. they do not just go off into some dark and distant place. They simply continue into eternal life. We do not see them because we are still in the darkness of this world. But their spiritual eyes, filled with the light of heaven, are always watching us as they wait for the day when we shall share their perfect joy. We are born for heaven and we end this life of tears to begin our life of endless happiness.
I have often reflected upon this beautiful truth and found it the greatest and surest comfort in time of mourning. A firm faith in the real and continual presence of our loved ones has brought the conviction and consolation that death has not destroyed them, nor carried them away. Rather it has given them life! A life with power to know fully and to love perfectly. With this new life and new power our loved ones are always present to us, knowing and loving us more than ever before.
The tears that dampen our eyes in times of mourning are tears of homesickness, tears of longing for our loved ones. But it is we who are away from home, not they! Death has been for them a doorway to an eternal home. They are still with us, lovingly and tenderly waiting for the day when we too will enter the doorway of our eternal home. It is such a mistake to see death as a separation and nothing more. For us who believe, death is a preparation for eternal union with those we love, in peace and joy of heaven.
In the end, we destroyed the heaven that was called Earth. The Earth had been beautiful until our spirit moved over it and destroyed all things.
And we said...
Let there be darkness... and there was darkness. And we liked the darkness; so we called the darkness, Security. And we divided ourselves into races and religions and classes of society. And there was no morning and no evening on the seventh day before the end.
And we said...
Let there be a strong government to control us in our darkness. Let there be armies to control our bodies so that we may learn to kill one another neatly and efficiently in our darkness. And there was no evening and no morning on the sixth day before the end.
And we said...
Let there be rockets and bombs to kill faster and easier; let there be gas chambers and furnaces to be more thorough. And there was no evening and no morning on the fifth day before the end.
And we said...
Let there be drugs and other forms of escape, for there is this constant annoyance - Reality - which is disturbing our comfort. And there was no evening and no morning on the fourth day before the end.
And we said...
Let there be divisions among the nations, so that we may know who is our common enemy. And there was no evening and no morning on the third day before the end.
And finally we said...
Let us create God in our image. Let some other God compete with us. Let us say that God thinks as we think, hates as we hate, and kills as we kill. And there was no morning and no evening on the second day before the end.
On the last day, there was a great noise on the face of the Earth. Fire consumed the beautiful globe, and there was silence. The blackened Earth now rested to worship the one true God; and God saw all that we had done, and in the silence over the smoldering ruins... God wept.
WHEN EARTH'S LAST PICTURE IS PAINTED
When Earth's last picture is painted, and the tubes are twisted and dried,
When the oldest colors have faded, and the youngest critic has died,
We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it - lie down for an aeon or two,
Till the Master of All Good Workmen shall put us to work anew.
And those that were good shall be happy; they shall sit in a golden chair;
They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes comets' hair.
They shall find real Saints to draw from - Magdalene, Peter, and Paul;
They shall work for an age at a sitting and never be tired at all!
And only The Master shall praise us, and only The Master shall blame;
And no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame,
But each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They are!
Rudyard Kipling (1892)
Some handwriting from Cliff
A few weeks before his death Cliff wrote some words into the notebook of James R. Meanes. James Meanes was executed six months after Cliff. A friend of James published the notebook in the internet.