The Old Man from Tacoma

I was just diagnosed with a mild case of glaucoma in one eye
and then read a couple of limericks on-line. Even though I’m
from Holland, MI, the following is the result:

There was an old man from Tacoma,
Who sniffed a vile cigar from Verona.
He wondered from whence the smell came
But couldn’t see anyone to blame,
Because he had a bad case of glaucoma.

Good at Her Word

I called my friend and got the answering machine,
“Hi, I’m not here. Leave a message and I’ll call
you back as soon as I am able.” Later, I learned
that she had died in her sleep the night before.
Still, I’ll wait around for awhile for the call
no matter how it may come. She was always good
at her word, and determined, very determined.

Clawing the Quick-Sand Shore

You can understand why people have
	yearned for heaven; the slaves yearned 
for heaven to take them away (from whites); 
        the Native Americans yearned for heaven 
to get away from the slaughtering 
	ways (of whites); the poor yearn for heaven 
for relief from the hardness of 
	everything everyday (imposed by whites); and 
wealthy, evangelical whites who love Jesus 
	more than anything or anybody sing 
“If we never meet again this side of 
	heaven, then I’ll see you on that 
beautiful shore,” but when that time 
	comes they are made out to be liars, 
because they cling desperately with 
	hands like pincers for the quicksands 
of this shore as they claw their way 
	away from the waters that would 
carry them away to the beautiful shore. They want 
        to stay and with all their possessions to play.
I can't help but think that blacks, Indians 
        and the poor and everyone else on heaven's way, 
like it that whites keep clawing their way 
        and just stay way from that beautiful, heavenly shore.

The Short Order Cook

In short order the beautiful cloud
bloomed here and there and every-
where and nuclear waste wasted
the earth and all our efforts at
environmentalism blew away that
day just before we died, then we
and millions of others blew, too,
including the animals who were so
smart to avoid typhoons, tsunamis,
tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanic
eruptions, but had no idea what to
do with nuclear explosions or the
rain that seared their skin and
melted their lungs and burned
their paws away that tragic day.

In His Right Mind — A Musing

The church school class was having
a heated discussion on homosexuality.
The pastor, the moderator, raised his
left hand, “See which hand I’m raising?
It’s my left hand. I’m left-handed.
I didn’t ask to be left-handed. It
hasn’t always been easy being left-
handed in a right-handed world. Just
think about scissors. I’m kidding. The
dictionary definition of sinister is
left-handedness. Lefties have had a
tough way to go historically. Now,
no one thinks a thing about it. It’s
the way God made me and, thank God,
my parents didn’t try to change me
over to being right-handed. Schools
automatically did that because ed-
ucation is geared to right-handed-
ness, and I’m grateful for that ed-
ucation, because, to succeed, I had
to learn to use both sides of my brain,
so you see, we left-handers have an
advantage. But, make no mistake, be-
cause God doesn’t make mistakes and
God made me this way. I’m left handed,
through and through, and I love being
left-handed, if for no other reason,
because I’m one of only ten percent
in their right mind.”

Instinct Isn’t Calculated on Debts

The woman, upon hearing the news
that her daughter had died suddenly,
unexpectedly, slumped to the floor
and wept inconsolably, “Why, why,
why? I should have been the one to
die!” The mother wasn’t willing to
put herself in her daughter’s place
because the daughter’s life was some-
how errant and the mother needed to
do that for her. She would have done
it out of utter, unconditional love.
A mother’s love, a father’s love –
they don’t teach you that in school.
It is instinctual. The instinct of
love, the origin of love, God’s love.

Better To Read a Mystery*

Better to read of the 
dysfunction in the mystery 
because the dysfunction will be 
and we need some kind 
of resolution, conclusion 
for which to hope --
a denouement when evil 
the weight of 
investigative determination –
        a breath, a sigh, 
not of resignation but resolve, 
all there within two-hundred-thirty-five 
pages and umpteen three-page chapters, 
		not like the ferris wheel of dysfunction, 
                          the ouroboros 
                        just rollin' down 
                     slapped along the midway
                     by a magician's wand at 
                      the perpetual carnival,
           barking, barking, barking, barking, barking 
                      like the neighbor’s dog 
		      at three in the morning,
and you are feeling helpless to do anything, anything at all, 
about it except scream behind a locked, glass sliding door.

*gratitude to Tom Eggebeen for the idea.

Sometimes Life’s Fragility

Sometimes life’s fragility
Has a way, sometimes harsh
Way, of breaking in like a
Wrecking ball crashing into
The side of an old, abandoned
Building, reminding you of
The words you learned once
Upon a time in Sunday School,
“What does it profit a person
If he gains the whole world
And loses his soul?” and you
Feel like you felt when you
Watched Peter Altringer being
Slammed against the school wall
During recess by the principal
Back in the day when they
Could get away with that kind
Of stuff, except this time it’s
You and all you can say is,
“I’m sorry.”