Slowly Slipping Away

So much has been written about life slowly slipping away.
It’s January Thirty-One; it will be gone in a day —
but we experience it this whole day as it slips away.
Sometimes I think I wouldn’t mind a bit
of slow slipping away,
because death always seems to come to me suddenly,
in less than a day.
I’d love to sit and hold a warm hand turning
and have time to tell that person how much
love in my heart for him or her I hold;
instead it’s a note on a table or
it’s a call on the phone
abruptly announcing that my loved one is gone.
Ironically, when I go, I want to go fast;
but then, perhaps, my loved ones
would like me to last
at least until they could say goodbye and hold
my warm hand turning cold.

The Hollow Man with Pinocchio’s Nose

The Hollow Man with Pinocchio’s nose
knows little to nothing about which way

the wind blows. His approval rating is
plummeting and he can’t figure out his

plumbing because he’s pissing in the
freezing Moscow wind causing frost bite

on his short hose and his long nose. And so
it goes for The Hollow Man with the Pinocchio nose.

At least we know that one of his appendages grows.

On the Way to Worship

On the way to worship after park-
ing the car a ways away, I passed
some shit filled ass wipes, per-
haps Koch brothers’ toilet tissue,

along a chain-link-fence-make-
shift-dry toilet along with a
discarded toothbrush and a couple
of candy wrappers along that way.

Across the street was a group of
homeless fellows fairly far away
from their shitting place, sorting
out their clothes from grocery

carts. The sun was rising and
they were moving under the one
lone desert tree for whatever
shade that might be. They had

found a place in the Valley
of the Sun where they could
camp and have their homeless
run and wait for their after-

noon dinner offered by the
congregation in the place of
fine dining — the courtyard
with bright sun. No one in-

sisted that they come to wor-
ship before they eat as they
did and assuming they still
do in the missions along skid

row in Chicago. They just wait-
ed and defecated and brushed
their teeth in preparation for
the Sunday afternoon feast.

And the pastor said, of all
that the congregation could
do, this was the very least.
And the congregation knew it

was true that it was the very
least that they could do, as
they heard the word — as
you have done it to the least

of these, you have done it to
me — for I am the very least
of the very least of these.

Hunkering Down Without Fear

How far can we get out of our comfort zone?
We’re feeling like the kid who was left home alone.
Just like that, our world is upside down
and now it seems we are led by a clown.
Even while marching for justice and peace,
and the energy it generates in each
of us, we are left without adequate speech
and sometimes we just want to screech!
“Stop the world we want to get off!”
and short of that sleep deep on a pillow so very soft.
Here again it is Sunday evening —
the night we look forward to excellent TV viewing;
A comforting glass or two of white wine
and a Masterpiece program or two — viewing so fine.
We know that Monday will dawn so near,
but for now, we will hunker down
without a whole lot of fear
and watch the best of BBC
and say a prayer for you and me.

I Bid You Adieu

The meditation by the compassionate
priest spoke of forgiving and, among
many other offenses, not forgetting
mistreatment by physicians. It struck
a cord for me and me for my dog. I
trust that the dog will forgive and for-
get but I will not forget while forgiv-
ing. I am free of the desire for ven-
geance knowing vengeance is the
Lord’s, but I have not forgotten and
so I say,
“I do forgive, but I don’t
forget you while you are on your way
and simply bid you adieu and
have a nice day.”

The Great, All-American, Bus Ride

He rides the bus around town
for one buck per ride or three
dollars a day for seniors. He
rides with Hispanics to the
barrio, with Jews to the Syn-
agogue, with blacks to the
lawyer’s office, with Muslims
to a prayer tower and with a
few cranky, old, toothless
white men and women who carry
their bedraggled belongings
with them in a cart on the way
to somewhere to meet a home-
less buddy or two who let
them know where to get a
free meal and somewhere to
sleep off the street for the

His Athletic Prowess

Got a notification by e-mail
about a guy I knew a few
years ago, a guy who was
legendary in his small community

for having been a really big
jock in his playing days (three
sports in high school) and
then in retirement was quite

the long distance runner and
cross-country skier who loved
to regale anyone who might
listen about his athletic prowess

and accomplishments. He had
swagger in the jogging shoes he
always wore even when he was

just sitting having coffee at a
local coffee shop or at a mid-
week church potluck. He was into
comparisons knowing full well

that when he engaged people,
seemingly with genuine interest,
about what they did to stay in
shape and maintain a healthy

lifestyle, he then would nod con-
descendingly, tell those people
how nice that was with faux
appreciation, and then tell them

how much better he did it. He died.

A Blustery Winter’s Day in the Desert

Palm branches flutter in the desert
wind while shadows dance on terra
cotta roof tiles and the sun shines
brightly fooling folks into thinking
about going outside for a hike or to
ride on a bike. “Come out and play;
don’t hide inside,” the wind, dancing
shadows and sun conspire to entice
and then as the fooled fellow steps
out the door, the chilly wind erupts
in laughter and calls out, “Don’t for-
get your down jacket and stocking
cap! It’s winter.”

A Place So Very Far

I’ve been so depressed
about the way things are
that I decided on a rest
in a place so very far.

The now ex-president
climbed into a plane
to become a resident
away from the pain

of watching all his plans
get washed down the drain
by the Hollow Man
who’s filled with disdain

for anyone who differs
with anything he says
and experiences shivers
at what’s in the Hollow Man’s head.

And so in that far off space
I wander to and fro.
It’s actually a very close place
— the place I love to go.

It’s a nearby hiking trail,
but it could be a desert far
for wandering here never fails
to help me flee alternative facts
so bizarre.

The Joy of Predictably Unpredictable Chaos*

Right angles, plastic, cement, steel –
human construct,
nature — chaos theory — predictable
unpredictability, wild, round,
fluid, lush —
human deconstruct —
human destruct —
no, never, ever and always Nature —
gliding down the rivers, tramping through the
desert, sliding across the ice fields,
soaking in the joy of brother forest and
sister soil, climbing Father and Mother
mountain —
free, free, thank God Almighty,
free at last.

*appreciation for the interview with
Conrad Anker, “The Last Word,” Men’s
, May 2016