Blasphemous Wars

Blasphemous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

cause burgeoning numbers of injured

in the horribly over-burdened VA.


A stingy, heartless Congress votes against

necessary funding to care for the boys and

girls they lauded as they headed to harm’s way.


Now fingers point at the other party and

the sitting president, while those waiting

for medical treatment are shooed away.


And those in the previous administration

are either sitting at an artist’s easel

or pontificating on news shows on Sunday.


What they forget is that for every finger

pointing in an accusative way, as the cliche

goes, three are pointing right back their way.


From My Place on the Balcony

From my place sitting on the balcony,

the smiling Buddha wore a Coon-skin cap.

On closer inspection I could clearly see

It was Alvin the Chipmunk who upon Siddhartha sat.

I glanced to where a monk in stillness stood

and saw one of Alvin’s relatives merrily prancing

all around that pious medieval monk’s hood.

Facing east was Confucius another chipmunk dancing

up and down his legs and all around the philosopher’s feet.

It was then and there with much agitation

I ceased eradication and offered my utter defeat.

As long as the rodents didn’t cause consternation

by biting and scratching the pond’s protection,

I would play St. Francis and let them roam

while I sat meditating for spiritual perfection

and some peace of mind while intoning Om.




A Different Hunger Game: Cannibalizing When We Forget the Lessons of History

A friend insightfully wrote: “To understand what Colonial

Europe did in Africa is to understand what finally

happened: WWI and then, ultimately, WW2, as


the Colonial powers finally turned on themselves.”

He had read somewhere that World War I was

unnecessary. In summary, an arch-duke got


shot and the continent went to hell in a gigantic,

pent-up over-reaction. The Germans ate appetiz-

ers of smaller countries, feasted on French cuis-


ine for a while and belched on Russia. He read

somewhere that World War II would have been

unnecessary if the first mistake hadn’t been made


thus becoming mistake #2. But the German appetite

was unquenched so more countries were gobbled

up and the whole world was to be on the Palatinate


plate were it not for indigestible places like Britain

and the U.S. But I and II happened and millions

died, were slaughtered, mowed down, gobbled up.


The Colonialists couldn’t reach out like they had

for sumptuous delicacies across the seas, mostly

dark meat to build the protein for their pale, white


palates. And, so, they devoured each other and

about as much white meat was left on the carcass

as is left two days after Thanksgiving dinner. Modern


day Colonialists’ thirst cannot be slaked by domestic

beverages, so they reach out for the dark Arabian brew

that goes down so smoothly but they gagged on it, threw


up a million injured and killed and a couple of trillion

dollars misspent. And they live and die by the words

of an Exceptional Man, “Stay thirsty, my friend.”







On the Sunday Morning of Memorial Day Weekend

On a pleasant, sunny Sunday morning

of Memorial Day Weekend, he sat in the

shade under the new portable shelter he


and his wife bought to place next to their

seventeen foot, egg-shaped travel trailer

at a small campground about an hour and


a half from their home. He felt a breeze

coming in from the lake, looked up and

saw an American flag affixed to a street


lamp blowing in his direction. He hoped

the new shelter was staked down sufficient-

ly.  After sipping “Jamaican’ Me Crazy”


flavored coffee brewed in a French press and

returning the cup to the holder attached to his

Captain’s chair, he opened his computer and


logged on only to read a report of a shooting

rampage by a deranged 22-year-old the previous

evening half-way across the country in a pleasant,


sea-side college town. Six dead, three slashed

to death, three gunned down and many others

wounded, some severely. He checked his


e-mail and read one of the daily meditations

he receives. This one was about the gentle-

ness of Jesus. The writer of the meditation


wrote, “(Jesus) responds to people’s suffering,

heals their wounds, and offers courage to the

fainthearted. Jesus…reveals God’s immense


compassion. As his followers, we are called to

that same gentleness.” The man clicked out of

his e-mail, sat back, listened to Bach’s St.


Matthew Passion on the radio just as the chorus

sang, “Oh, Sacred Head, sore wounded,” looked

at the flag waving in his direction, heard a


splash and turned to see his Chocolate Lab

romping in the creek. The man’s wife laughed

at the playfulness of the dog.


The next day they would pack up their camp

chairs, walk to the Memorial Day service and

listen to old men talk of guns and guts and glory.


The man would pet his Chocolate Lab,

look up, see that same flag affixed

to the lamp pole and think of gentle Jesus.

Do Not Fear the Authorities?

Do not fear the authorities

if you have nothing to fear,

dictated St. Paul from prison

in a mid-first century year.


But St. Paul had no knowledge of

the NSA and their voracious need –

a vision of going the extra mile

to slake their unquenchable greed,


a greed disguised as need that evokes

images of fiction’s dystopian style,

that of the prophetic absurdist writer

Franz Kafka’s no smiling win-win “Trial.”

Father Richard Rohr’s Shadowboxing* in Rhyme


To protect your public image, all negative and contrary

aspects of yourself have to go underground,

hidden from others and even yourself, apparently,

but there is hope, so please don’t frown.



Your shadow you refuse, about yourself, to see,

and you go to lengths to show to others who you’d like to be.



We never get to the second half of life

without major shadowboxing,

so it’s time to face the inner strife

and stop all the outfoxing.



Neither our persona nor our shadow self

is evil in itself:

they just allow us to do evil

and not know it,

or even call it good when we show it.



The closer you get to the Light,

the more of your shadow you see.

Full human life demands some shadowboxing

with the shadow side of every reality.



* Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation: Shadowboxing, Sabbath Meditation, Saturday, May 17, 2014


No Problem

He read an article on how irritating the phrase “No problem” is. Then he called his cable company to talk with a human, who when she eventually came on the phone after he had talked seemingly ad infinitum to a computer generated near human sounding voice, kept saying over and over and over, “No problem” as he was trying to explain the problem. “It makes it sound like you are doing me a favor,” he said. He explained that she shouldn’t have a choice over whether she considered helping him as a problem or not, because she certainly should know what she was doing and she was paid to do it, so it went without saying that it was no problem and not a favor. He said that he had the problem with his T.V. reception and that all he expected of her was to help him get rid of the problem and that he didn’t need to hear over and over that what she was doing was in reality a pat on her own back and a big favor to him and that by saying it over and over she was making it seem like it could really have been a problem but that she was rising above any such problem to be of service to him thus, in essence, placing him in her debt. After a pause, she said, “No problem” at which point the man decided to reply only to her questions with the offensive, “teeny bopper,” ubiquitous responses heard in human conversations “Just” and “Whatever” and “No problem.” After hearing them over and over, before hanging up, she almost shouted, “The repairman will be there tomorrow between 10 and 12. Okay?” “Just…whatever…no problem.” Click. Then and only then before the click would it have been to her credit if she had said to herself, the customer is always right and to the customer, “No problem” because now he had provided her with a problem and the opportunity to rise above it.  He almost wished to have the computer generated, near human sounding voice back. At least it never said, “No problem.”

Leave it to Beavers

Nobody set out to destroy

the earth.

There were no

good guys or bad. There

was never a dearth

of curiosity;

just a mistaken

notion of ingenuity.

The industrial revolution,

combustible engine,

interstate highways,

Model T’s,


Mustangs, Camaros,

Thunderbirds and


Oil and gas our

life to ease.

Raise the standard of

living, but now after

growing extremely

comfortable, we are

aware of rising seas.

The West shrivels;

the East drowns;

everywhere else

Mother Nature frowns.

It’s a question of human


for the earth will rebound,

there’s no denial,

so what will be our way

to survival?

“Could it be?” asked the seer

to believe our salvation

is in the little, old beaver

who routs the drought

and saves water so

humanity may recover?

Only time will tell,

but it’s better than burning

in our human made hell.

Leave it to beavers

the overachievers

the PBS show

Nature wants us

to know.