He Didn’t Know

He didn’t know where

he got the great idea,

but he decided that

planning his life in

five-year segments


was a pro-active,

eminently manage-

able life plan, to

use appropriate

management lingo


from a few years

ago. Of course, he

didn’t start such

calculating until

he had his first job.


Everything before that

had been pretty well

laid out for him – school,

summer school for typing,

school, summer, etc.


And then he knew

where the great idea

came from. This really

wise thought came

from the Great Beyond,


from the Oracle of Delphi

and Jesus whispering in

his ear, “What the hay!

Of course, you can

survive this gig for five

years, man.”  It was simply

a divinely inspired survival

plan to keep him from fight

or flight and to exercise his

cerebral cortex more than


his alligator brain which

was more or less success-

ful.  And so he has eight

times five-year segments

notched on his Bible, hav-


ing been a minister and

metaphorically speaking. 

Now he thinks in one

twenty-year segment, as

in “Given the best of the


family history and elimin-

ating unforeseen circum-

stances, I think I have about

twenty years left,” he says

regularly to his long-suffer-


ing wife, perhaps in an

attempt to convince himself

and asked her that at the end

of the segment (which would

be four more five-year seg-


ments for a total of twelve

segments plus the first

twenty-five years for a

grand total of eighty-five

years, if anyone is counting)


assuming he has run out

of segments that Loren

Eiseley’s epitaph be read

in the Saugatuck Dunes

just before his ashes are


tossed to the wind and ad-

justed so the ashes don’t fly

up anyone’s nose from the

usual gusts blowing southeast

to northwest across Lake Mich-

igan from his home sweet child-

hood home Chicago, “I loved the

earth, but I couldn’t stay.”

On a Visit to the Dentist

“We weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.”

On a visit to the dentist he

met a careless person. He

pondered the meaning of

the encounter. This person

seemed like fun and that’s

important when one is visit-

ing the dentist, but….He

thought of Gatsby and Nick

telling Gatsby that Daisy and

her husband, fun people to be

sure, were careless people.

They cared less; they didn’t

take care…of what or whom?

Perhaps both; surely both.

Gatsby didn’t take care, either

— of himself. Then he re-

membered a careful person

and he liked thinking about

this person – a  person who

was full of care…for what

or whom? Definitely both.

This person cared fully about

life – the things and the people.

He thought about how you

knew when you were in this

person’s presence you were

cared for. Sometimes this

person cared so much that

it hurt and it hurt him to see

this person hurt, but as much

as it hurt him, it was so much

better to be with the careful

person than to be with the

careless one because with

the careless person he knew

he would feel cared for less. So

he took the pain over the mere

passing pleasure just to be with

the person who was careful,

ever so careful, with him…even

if it was just in the pleasure

of his thoughts as he sat in

the dentist’s chair and heard

the dentist say, “Open wide.”

Privileged, Big Hair, White Boys

Privileged, big hair, white boys with

a pronounced Southern drawl stand

behind the House podium talking

about waste and glut and a bloated

food stamp program.  They say

their vote to slash the program that

feeds vulnerable children, the elderly

and handicapped to about 85% of

the program without mentioning the

85% is totally appropriate.  The only

thing totally outrageous (Would it be

too much to say racist sob, privileged,

big hair, white boys?) is for them to stand

there pontificating while the vulnerable

suffer. The only appropriate thing is for

those privileged, Southern white boys

with the big hair to become part of the

85%. And then just listen to them whine

for the black tit of their nannies. Let

them suck on a dry tit for a while and

see how loud those envious, mostly

impotent, jealous baby boys scream.

For a Texas Friend

For the longest time after his loved one died,

he couldn’t see any colors.  It was as if

life was bereft of good and God.  Then

he remembered seeing things in

color and, in that moment, he

cried the cry of deep



For ever so long, he couldn’t laugh a real

laugh. Then one day right in

the midst of it, he realized

he was laughing a

genuine laugh.  

He didn’t cry.  

He just





Sometimes, he still gets really sad,

but now he still sees the colors

in the midst of his sadness

and he knows he will

laugh a real




Just the thought of another really

bad joke sent by e-mail from

the Texas friend who helped

him see the colors

makes him smile

in that very



And once again he is overwhelmed

with gratitude for bad jokes

and the rich colors

of friendship.


On Being Overheard

She said the words were said so quietly

that no one else should hear, only the intended….

But there were many at the party who politely

diverted their eyes and with pursed lips pretended

not to have heard the hurtful words spoken in haste

which once out were irretrievable words

to a lover who she thought was no longer chaste,

and realizing that she had been overheard

turned, spun and made it for the door post-haste.

No One Has Ever Seen God

“…God is light and in God is no darkness at all,” I John 1:5b.

“No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God

abides in us and God’s love is perfected in us” I John 4:12.

The physicist states that we would not

know that there was pure light if it did

not fall upon an object. Without the

greens and blues and yellows and reds

we would not know that there even is a

source of light that gives birth to the ob-

jects upon which it falls and we only see

the objects because of the lack of other

colors in the spectrum in each object. So

to know the un-see-able light we must see

all the colors and all the colors must come

together in the rainbow and so when we

see the rainbow, that which the light falls

upon spread out across the spectrum of life,

we see all that we are with our own dark-

ness in the splitting of the light and affirm

that there is a light source that we cannot

see but which gives us the radiance that

we are and in seeing that radiance in

ourselves, we see the otherwise un-see-

able in each other. We see God. We see

love for ourselves and for all the other

colors of the rainbow. We can see Jesus.

He has color for us to see. He has dark

brown curly hair and black eyes and olive

skin. In other places he has blond, wavy

hair and piercing blue eyes. And else-

where he wears the multi-colored robe

of Joseph and has black skin. Some say

he wears buffalo hides and moccasins

and while he has little body hair, he has

magnificent flowing black locks. He has

Mary Magdalene’s red lips and His mother

Mary’s green eyes.  He has the bright

wonder in his eye that Jonathon and David

had when they looked at each other. He

has the grey knowing eyes of the Buddha

and the bright laughing white teeth of

Confucius. He is God to us and he says

that we, too, are as gods. He is one of us

so he isn’t pure Un-see-able light, but he

has enough of the light of God in him,

so when we see Jesus, we see through a

window into the heart of God and into

our own hearts.  Jesus loves the little

children, all the children of the world.

Red and yellow, black or white, they

are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the

little children of the world and we know

the Un-see-able Light.

He Looked Over the Balcony

He looked over the balcony

and gazed down at the golden fish.

They glanced up with a hungry

look as if to reveal a sincere wish.

The cute carp puckered their lips

as if to give him a big kiss

if only he would toss them

many fresh fish food sticks.

He did and watched water 

that foamed and boiled.

Then once seductive carp

swam away a little spoiled.

No pun intended, but when

those fish pucker,

he always feels like a golden

fish sucker.


They Aren’t Talking

Sonar blasting, pulverizing,

beating through skin to

organs, blunt force


to our cousins the

Dolphins and Whales and

perhaps something a

little closer.

From where?


Technological hunting of

primordial sea hunters?

An underwater Bigfoot?

Orcas evolving from wolves?

Bears evolving into Orcas?

Apes evolving into Mermaids?

A Freudian yearning for

the womb’s salt or

erupting volcanoes forcing

ancestors into the sea

forming webbed

fingers and toes

over thousands and thousands

and thousands of years

like Labrador Retrievers

in a much shorter time?

Fish die, spears float and

body bags are carried

away quickly,


to places unknown to

those standing by

or watching while filming.

Underwater screams of dying

Dolphins and Whales

followed by complex

shrieks of other creatures.

Hundreds of beached

whales no longer cry

for help; they just rot

in the sand.

They aren’t



The Simple Secret of the Plot

Around the twenty year anniversary of

the death of his wife at forty-nine –

the woman he knew from the

time they were fourteen years of age

and threw hay at each other on a

church youth group hayride

and were married twenty-six years,

he would get weepy especially

when he talked to his kids –

a soon to be forty-five year old man

and forty-year old woman.

Upon hearing their

voices over the phone he would have

to choke back tears. He watched

Pal Joey on Turner Classic

Movies and melted with Bewitched,

Bothered and Bewildered which

his mother used to hum to

a Montavoni recording.  Unlike his

father, he was always a sucker

for a musical. He is

a happily married man who had just

celebrated the eighteenth

wedding anniversary

with his wonderful, widow wife. He

knew he wasn’t getting over

the loss, but he was getting

through it as was his wonderful, widow

wife getting through her own

personal grief in her own

way. Sometimes they talked about it and

sometimes he sings the lyrics or hums the tune

about his wonderful, widow wife:

If they asked me, I could write a book

about the way you walk and whisper and look.

I could write the preface on how we met

so the world would never forget,

and the simple secret of the plot

is just to tell them that I love you a lot.

Then the world discovers as my book ends

how to make two lovers of friends.