He Didn’t Know

He didn’t know his heart could

fill with so much gratitude that

it would spill out of his eyes.

 

He had been so weepy, he couldn’t

watch PBS programs about saving

orphaned baby elephants whose

 

mothers had been hacked to death

by poachers looking for ivory to be

made into trinkets for people to buy.

 

He almost gave up the ghost as he

watched one of the babies die

from separation anxiety, not from

 

its own mother, but from its surro-

gate human mother who left for

awhile to handle her daughter’s

 

wedding. He watched the once

guilt-ridden mother of humans

and elephant babies choke-up

 

in front of the camera forty-years

after the death, and while

he would have cried about that

 

situation any time, he realized

that this was about something

other than baby elephants, horren-

 

dous poaching and wonderful

surrogates. It was about entertain-

ing friends from grade school days

 

for a few days who are still friends

sixty years later, and then a week

later, entertaining other good

 

friends on a warm, wonderful, summer

evening and singing good, old, gospel

songs in what they thought was

 

four-part harmony and, while laughing,

knew was sung in respect for a

time past and a solid

 

foundation, while lifting glasses of French

wine and top shelf bourbon, gin and

middle shelf vodka in celebration.

 

Not to mention the thought of a really

great buddy on the West Coast

who is one of the finest followers

 

of Jesus he has ever known. Then

he thought about his wife being

invited to show her mixed

 

media sculptures, started from scratch

five years ago, at a very prestigious

gallery and then the reality

 

finally set in that he, in partnership with

his artist daughter, published a book

of his poetry and her art while

 

she put the whole thing together and a really

good review came in. For a little while,

he listened to a nasty, negative

 

voice and thought that was why he was

weepy, but, with a little help from

his wife, realized it wasn’t.

 

That was why he was angry for a little while.

No, he was weepy, really weepy for all

the great stuff in his life mentioned

in reverence above.

The Earth Will Recover

The earth will recover from

us when we are gone.

It is resilient.

 

There are signs right now.

There are many, many

acres of nature

 

areas crowded with old,

red pine forests that

belong much

 

farther north where high

branches could breath

and thrive in the

 

cold, crisp air and ward

off the diseases of

the south, so

 

clear-cut they were gone

to lumber leaving

war-torn

 

devastation for the hikers,

joggers and their dogs

not to mention

 

the flora and fauna. Two

years later, native

plants and white

 

pines shine in the sun

and the hikers,

joggers and

 

their dogs have returned

along with the flora

and fauna.

 

With a little help from her

friends, Mother Nature

healed herself.

 

 

The Ten P.M. Walk, the Book

Product Details
My daughter Rachel and I collaborated on a book of my poetry and stories and her art and formatting. The book is titled The Ten P.M. Walk and here is the description of the book:
The Ten P.M. Walk is a compilation of musings, vignettes, short stories and poetic reflections on daily experiences gleaned from literature, T.V., radio, conversations, observations, interactions, camping experiences, jogging, cycling, kayaking and, last but not least, life with a Chocolate Lab. The author explores the existential with a hint of the eternal.You can go to the Amazon site, click on “books” and then type in The Ten P.M. Walk. It will take you to where the book is advertised. Then a click on the book cover will take you to the description of the book. There you will be able to view the front and back covers and read the reviews.

Ah, A Dog’s Life

In spite of everything and

everybody zipping by faster

than a guy zipping up after

being seen relieving himself

in the forest along the jogging

trail, he breathed deeply of

the forest, especially the pines.

He gave thanks for the opport-

unity to jog slowly on a glorious

July morning and he smiled as

he thought of the guy who then

acted as if he were just stopping

to tie a loose shoe lace. He

thought of all the times he stopped

to pee along the way among the

pines and got away with it, some-

times by just a split-second and

a hare’s breadth. He jogged slowly

out of the forest to the parking

lot with his Chocolate Lab who

peed regularly and often along

the way without any apparent

personal embarrassment. Nor

was the dog particularly concerned

about public mores or matters of

modesty while cleaning his privates

while under the outdoor table at

a local coffee shop while his master

sipped a cup of gourmet coffee

after the run.

 

So, This Is a Joke, Right?

Calls for Californians to use less water

in the face of a prolonged drought

have resulted in water use going up

with the temperature.

Botta bing.

Condo Association Boards in Phoenix,

in the light of significantly rising water

prices and limited water availability,

continue to vote for Kentucky Blue

over desert rocks and cacti.

Botta bang.

In light of the indisputable scientific

evidence that greenhouse gases are

burning up the land, big vehicle

drivers in Michigan zip along the

interstates faster than ever.

Botta boom.

Are these all the kids that sat on either

side of you, in front and behind in fifth grade

— the ones, who when you looked around,

prompted you, another fifth grader, to say,

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”?

 

Reminds one of the lyrics, “Clowns to

the left of me, jokers to the right. Here

I am, stuck in the middle with you.”

 

Well, I really didn’t mean you.

Life With a Mixed Media Sculptor

He has a front row seat in his great

room.

 

A slim dancer in black and white tights

flies a kite on top of a tall curio cabinet.

The dancer dances close to a return

air vent so there is enough air to keep

the kite flying.

 

Just below, on the top of a railing of the

steps leading downstairs, a dancer in

black and white tights holds onto another

dancer in black and white tights who

leans out over the stairwell.

 

On the very top shelf of a corner hutch,

a very tall, sensuous dancer in black and

white tights stands on point with back

arched, arms uplifted, the other leg pointing

skyward and black hair flying.

 

On the shelf immediately below the top

shelf a dancer in black and white tights

lifts another dancer in black and white

tights holding that dancer suspended

in mid-air.

 

Given the matching tights, the man guesses

the dancers are all in the same company

and are there to perform for him because,

after all, it is his great room.

 

In the silence, he hears Debussy, Faure,

Ravel, Copeland, Brubeck, Stravinsky,

and, of course, Tchaikovsky.

 

For a moment on the summer evening,

the man sees his daughter in the kitchen

when she was eight wearing black and

white tights dancing and pulling a sleigh

through the snow.

An Anachronism Wandered Down the Street

An anachronism wandered down the street

being led by a dog on a leash, sounds

like the start of a joke and,

perhaps, it is. The anachronism muttered

vacuous phrases into the breeze

like, “Nobody

pays any attention to me anymore,” and

“Nobody cares what I think.” At these

utterances the dog

wagged its tail. The anachronism, heading

home like a horse trotting back to

the stable and an

anticipated bucket of oats, smiled as the dog

led the anachronism through the

doorway right up

to the green, leather chair in front of the flat

screened T.V. where the anachronism

would sit for the rest

of the evening smiling vacuously at the commentary

on conservative news shows that

SCOTUS was sticking

up for anachronisms and anachronistic

anachronisms, too. Unfortunately,

that isn’t a joke.

Kicked in the Spiritual Privates

Kicked in the spiritual

privates

in anything but private way

by a council of three gays and

three alpha females

with a big grudge to pay,

the offending church members

had their wings clipped

in a very rude way.

 

They had tried to point out a

pastoral exploitation

but the exploited leaders

lowered a boom

writing see you later

not anytime soon,

 

if ever, preferably, never.

Those leaders were right for

all the wrong reasons,

but God’s will was done

in a due season.

 

The straight couple learned

that gays

aren’t perfect people,

but like all others on life’s way

are still entitled to all rights preached

as Jesus would say

under a short or tall steeple.

 

They, like all, are fragile, sinful

people,

exhibiting all the

traits of Abel and Cain,

making it all so much better

to be judged rejected

but still spiritually sane.

 

In spite of those early and late

who said, ignorantly, as they

did with Jesus, bugger off, mate,

what is the Christian way?

Clearly, stand up for all,

straight and gay.

In the Cornfields

A row in the ubiquitous cornfields

of central Illinois, fogged up wind-

ows and the first feel of a female,

 

he went home to his second year of

junior college and she went on to a

Harvard graduate student in physics

 

before her future husband, a grad.

student who would get a Ph.D. in

business and snag a prized position

 

at an Ivy League business school.

Then pituitary cancer turned

her into the female version of

 

the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Her Ivy League husband dumped

her for a cute co-ed. The man’s

 

old girlfriend moved to a South-

west city, got up one morning and

fell over dead. Imagining her

 

charmed life and not knowing any-

thing but just looking forward to see-

ing her at the only reunion he ever

 

considered attending, he looked up

her name on the internet and got the

obituary. He found her sister, called

 

and found out the obituary was right.

He remembered being mesmerized

by her putting on her panties before

 

he hurriedly drove down the line

looking for a way out of the cornfield

and finally onto the road to campus.