She Sat And Stared

She sat and stared into a far off place
Where no one else could go nor find
Her mental steps that hurried rapid paced —
A portrait of bliss burgeoning in her mind.

She stared at the pond and peaceful waterfall
But in her mind she danced along the trail
Accompanied by her six retrievers all.
And at the end of the trail, slapped by six happy tails.

She sat and stared into a far off place,
A place of unconditional love and grace.

It’s All About the Length

It’s all about the length.
It has always been about the length.
From before the days of field slaves,
for weak, limp, length white men
it’s always about the length,
and white men’s insecurity about
their length.
It’s primordial as to who has
the greater length.
Pale, emaciated, evangelical
white men following the
emasculated Jesus, meek and mild,
rebelled against a dead Jew
with a shriveled, limp, little
length and looked down and
cried and shouted, “The South
will rise again” even as they worried
about their length and if their
little limb would ever rise again.

I Give Thanks

I give thanks for Donald Trump
because, as he speaks of fake

news, he has shown me my fake
self, my Donald Trump self. I

can’t stand this guy because he
represents the absolute worst in

my life. He’s the extreme and
I pray that what I see does not

loom large in my life, but I know
that if I violate one of the com-

mandments I violate them all
and so I stand bankrupt before

life and there is just enough for
me to know that I need once

again to go to the mercy-seat,
and ask the Lord to take my

fake self, my selfish self, my
ego self, my infantile self,

my violent self, my insecure self
my white self, my privileged self

and empty that false self into
the ineffable mercy and love

of God and find my true self,
my Jesus self.

He Thought About Being Attached

He thought about being attached 
	to the universe, world, neighborhood, 
wife, family, friends, dog, and then 
	he thought about simply caring 
about all those for themselves and 
	not for him or as his and seeing all 
of those as gifts. Letting go of himself, 
        his needy self, his grabbing 
self, his false self the dog comes 
	to mind. The dog died just days 
ago and he misses the dog’s presence 	
        desperately but in his true self, his 
empty self, he and the empty dog 
	are together as he is in God and 
the dog is in God and God is in 
	them in the Realm even as he sits
thinking about it and wiggling his toes
	in his wonderful running shoes
to which he is very attached in his false self.

It Took Five Dogs But Eventually I Got The Message

Five dogs have now told me that I am
going to die. The first one lived
the longest. He was only fifteen pounds,

a beagle/dachshund mix, and little dogs
live longer than big dogs, but I was
too young to get any message on brevity,

anyway. I was more interested in the
battle between stubborn breeds and
stubborn me. The next, the first of

four chocolate labs was my life app-
roaching middle age dog; we romped to-
gether in the dunes and jogged the

streets; he fell paralyzing his back
legs and the day we had to put him
down he heard my voice entering the

vet’s and cried for me to help him
get back to the dunes. The next three
came from the humane society; third

was a flea-bitten, old geezer who
walked with dignity but never jogged.
We tent camped together rather than

backpack until the skin cancer went
to his brain just a year after we
got him. The fourth was only three

when we got him and full of life;
we jogged the trails and he wore us
out splashing in the Big Lake but

his throat froze and his panic almost
killed us; it was then I think I
really started to get the message.

The fifth, the sweetest of them all,
died of a belly full of cancer; he
hadn’t been abused in his former life

but neglected. He jogged with us only
for a short time when we discovered
he had just one good leg out of four.

Then he walked; then he hobbled, once
in a great while showing the puppy in
his heart by jumping around the great-

room tossing his soft, fabric baby
in his mouth into the air and giving
us a great laugh. I hobble now but

once in a while do a little dance
and play an air guitar to an Eagles’
tune in my head when my puppy
heart calls to me.

The Providential Nature of This president’s* Presidency For Me

I simply wish to thank the president of the United States for
uncovering and exposing and bringing to the surface the stinking
putrid, diseased under-belly, the canker, purulent boil, cancer,
organ destroying sepsis, festering pustules erupting through
the thin skin of American civility.

I simply wish to thank the president of the United States because
he helped remind me of the thin veneer of civility in human history
and the eons long and black hole deep human brutality.

I simply wish to thank the president of the United States for
revealing my illusion of a world that is getting better, kinder,
more just, more compassionate.

I simply wish to thank the president of the United States that
the destruction of the world is not just a possibility but a
predictability and an inevitability.

I simply wish to thank the president of the United States for
reminding me that horror, tragedy, shock, sorrow, grief and
mourning are the norm not the exception in life.

I simply wish to thank the president of the United States for
reminding me not to put my trust in a prince or princess, a son
or daughter of man, for when he or she goes down, his or words
go down with him or her, which in this case is something for
which to pray.

I simply wish to thank the president of the United States
for helping me to affirm my faith in God and not much else.

I simply wish to thank the president of the United States
for helping me to enjoy even more, because of his anti-
environmental policies, nature now — the trails on which
I jog and hike, the lakes on which I kayak, the roads on
which I ride my bicycle knowing the fragility of those
places, the spiritual nature of being in those places
and the appreciation that those places will be there
at least for awhile after I have departed this world.

I simply wish to thank the president of the United States
for helping me see that I need peacefully to protest hate,
injustice, bigotry, fear and violence, not that my protest
will stop those things but that my calling is to witness to
the love of God for all of life expressed in Jesus and
testified to in the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Moses,
Mohammed, Gandhi, M.L. King, Jr., Dorothy Day, A.J.
Muste, et. al.

*while Donald Trump is in office, I will not capitalize
the word president when referring to him.

The Magificent Mystery

Something like the last half-second
of the last-minute of the last hour
of the last day of the last week and

so goes the timeline of how much
time humanoids have occupied
the universe since the beginning

of time. The theological professor
wrote that she hoped we realized
we came from the earth (humus)

and therefore humanity (from the
same root) should exhibit humility
(from the same root) not hubris as

an appropriate posture for now
and the precarious future. She
had no illusions about the future

existence of humanity (from the
same root) let alone the earth
(humus). She simply placed faith

in the mysterious love of God and
left the rest to poets to write
metaphors and similes about a new

heaven and earth (from the same
root) while willing to live for
however short a time in —

The Magnificent Mystery that is Thine.

He Used the Word “Funny”

Sometimes he will read the poem
of the day and then the explanation

by the author and decide that the
explanation with a little work on

syllabic emphases and break lines
here and there would actually make

a better poem than the poem, because,
if for no other reason, it would be

easier to understand and a famous
poet once said that poetry doesn’t

need to be cryptic, dense and really
difficult to understand, dark and/or

drab and sometimes it could even be
funny. Actually, he thinks the famous

poet said “humorous,” but on second
thought, the famous poet would have

been just as or maybe even more
comfortable saying “funny.”

Quid Pro No Quo — I Got the Quid But Failed To Do the Quo

Today, I read a meditation on Merton.
A professor acquaintance from the
Philosophy/religion department of
A mid-south university where I was
A campus minister asked if I would
Write a review of his new book on
Thomas Merton for a publication of
My denomination. That was 1972,
Forty-five years ago. With all good
Intentions, but in fear and trepidation,
I accepted the book as a quid pro
quo
. I couldn’t do it; I got cold feet;
I wasn’t up to the challenge, but I
Couldn’t admit it and return the book.
Now, whenever I read about Merton,
I think of that quid pro quo and still
Go, “Oh, no.” A wish: where was the
Ubiquitous Nike ad forty-five years ago?
“Just Do It” with a swish.