The Monday night writing prompt was … phantom.

I’d write tonight

But I just can’t

A world torn asunder
By a virus
By racism
By violence
I’m overwhelmed
Watching the news
Watching twitter
I go around
And around
And around again
and over
and over again
I can’t figure it out
How to stop
As everything falls
I watch and I write
I argue and I defend
And then the Phantom appears
Our President
Preceded by police
And tear gas
Breaking a peaceful protest
For a photo op
Of a man
So out of his depth
At a church that did not invite
Holding a Bible he has never read
Threatening war on his people
What happened to love
What happened to tolerance
What happened to unity
What happened to respect

About kingmidget

About the name. I was the youngest of four. Until I got to kindergarten, I didn't have much to say. All I had to do to get what I wanted was to point, and a sibling, or loving parent, would fulfill my request. As a result, my father coined the nickname -- King Midget. At least that's the way the story goes. I am a father, husband, friend, and lover, writer, runner, pizza maker, baker, and many other things. What I am not is my occupation. It is my job that pays the bills and provides for my family. But, it does not define me.
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21 Responses to Phantom

  1. Dale says:

    What happened, indeed?

  2. Trent Lewin says:

    You nailed it. Just nailed it. Listen this reminds me of a movie, one of the greatest I’ve ever seen, called The Thin Red Line. It’s a WWII movie by Terrence Malick. It poses the questions you ask but in a different way. If you haven’t seen it, you should have a look. It’s something else.

  3. Holding a Bible he has never read…this jumped out at me…how false everything is.

    Truth on the lam. You make me reflect on George Floyd, I don’t even think, all this outrage is even about anymore, using this sad event as an excuse to unleash personal demons.

    The hatred that’s spewing, no one caring about each other. I’m quite ashamed of our leader, of Congress and of many of my fellow Americans.

    I can go on and on, but won’t. I really like your two couplets at the end.

    I admire the brevity of the whole piece. Spare and clean.

  4. I thought of you just now. I’m toolin back from my run…happy…peaceful..MASKED…and some chunky woman…50, 60? Who knows, as she goes by me, holds out her arm as though I were too close. I wasn’t. Well, guess who went off the rails. I screamed…FUCK YOU…FUCK YOU. I went from no pilot light to a 3 alarmer without passing go, and it showed me, what’s going on out there. We’re just simmering. whether we’re conscious of it or not. sigh

  5. Vasca says:

    Frank – brief – good. Hate is such a strong word that does much damage. I’ve been told I overuse the word ‘Love’…I don’t care, I will use it…I do. What happened to the good things (at least what I consider ‘good’) you listed? Ignored, replaced with demands for what individuals want (or think they want, like spoiled babes)…if the wants are filled there are more to follow. Self control seems lost in the hubbub…hopefully common sense will rise and be ‘a normal’. You think?

    • kingmidget says:

      There is more and more hate in the world it seems. Maybe intolerance would be a better word for it, but it seems that intolerance very quickly becomes hate. There is very little interest these days in listening and discussing. As you say, it’s all just a series of demands. That are endless in nature. I hope common sense will rise but I’m not optimistic.

      • Vasca says:

        It’s difficult being optimistic when each day (sometimes even many times in one short day) demands are issued that become ridiculous to the detriment of every other person in the world. Methinks ‘demands upon demands’ do not set well with the majority. It’s okay if you have an opinion just so long as it goes along with mine. It’s a no-winner. Civility and integrity is deemed garbage. Still, I’m a believer that love changes everything. Satan must be doing his bang up happy dance these days. You think?

    • kingmidget says:

      By the way … it is far better to love than to hate. 😉

  6. Carrie says:

    What happened to love, tolerance, unity, and respect indeed. Beautiful piece. And everything is magnified 1000X over on social media. Luckily I still witness the respect and tolerance in my day to day, face-to-face interactions. Let’s hope that remains.

    • kingmidget says:

      Thank you. I need to figure out how to cut the cord to social media. Or at least limit my usage only to things that are actually beneficial to me. But … I just end up getting sucked into the vortex.

      • Carrie says:

        It’s so hard, isn’t it? I’ve mostly trained myself to skim over the ugly, but I still catch it, and it brings a person down.

      • kingmidget says:

        Yep … I need to wean myself from it so that I can get over my sense that we are all doomed! It’s like when I first got on Nextdoor — after a couple of weeks, I was convinced that my neighborhood was a crime-riddled, gang-infested area and it was a matter of minutes before I would be robbed or assaulted. I managed to avoid that and generally ignore Nextdoor now. I need to do the same thing with Twitter. That’s really the worst of it — at least in terms of the platforms I use.

      • Carrie says:

        I was going to sign up for Nextdoor, but then I heard the complaints about it and stories like yours so I decided not to. Sounds like I dodged a bullet.

      • kingmidget says:

        It’s better now, but when I first got on, every other post was about teenage boys and young men looking suspicious while walking down a street or by somebody’s house. And oddly enough, the description always (ALWAYS) included their skin color — and it was never white. And then the comments on the post … like I said, it made me feel like there was crime around every corner in my neighborhood and, alternatively, that there were a bunch of racists in the neighborhood.

      • Carrie says:

        That’s a shame. I’ve also heard there are privacy issues there and people getting cliquey and mean. Like junior high or something!

      • kingmidget says:

        There is that too.

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