Nearly Unforgivable

It was
Despicable,
Unacceptable,
To spew those
Vile words, those
Self-glorifying words, those
Self-justifying words, those
Vainglory words, those
Falsely accusatory words, those
Threatening words, those
Braggadocio words, those
Hateful words, those
Utterly childish words
Before such impressionable
Youth.
No, not the president’s reprehensible
Speech before the Boy Scouts;
The argument you had with
Your wife last night.

The Talking Toilet Seat Cover

When they moved into their home eighteen years ago,
they inherited two round, functional toilets. They
have served the family well, never-overflowing,

but he got to thinking about purchasing new ones
because new ones can have extended seats for more
room. They have a lot of company in the summer

and he got to thinking about the male guests not
having a lot of room, so he looked into new toilets,
got a price and then with other expenses looming,

he decided to keep the same toilets but buy one,
commercial open faced cover with top as a stop-
gap maneuver just to give it a try. He attached

it and closed the covers for the plastic screws,
but they wouldn’t stay down. They pop-up, first
left then right like mouths opening to speak,

if not to break out in song. They are up when
he enters and he pushes them down and then they
pop-up: hell-o. And then he pushes them down

before he leaves: good-bye. Sometimes they wait
until he is just about out the door: good-bye.
Hell-o, good-bye, hell-o, good-bye — a talking

toilet. Maybe he should just get the new toilets.
Besides, they are two and a half-inches taller and
he’s not getting any younger.

Sometimes, in the morning, only the left one
pops up: “Hell.” Oh, well, some days just
start like that.

Remedies

Feeling off-kilter, bizarre, bizarro, cranky, crazy, curious, eccentric, erratic, far-out, funky, funny, kinky, kooky (also kookie), offbeat, out-of-kilter, off-the-wall, outlandish, out-of-the-way, outré, peculiar, quaint, quirky, rum [chiefly British], screwy, spaced-out, strange, wacky (also whacky), way-out, weird, weirdo, wild

and

out-of-sorts, below par, out-of-humor, under-the-weather, unwell

and

beside-one’s-self, intense emotional feeling, anger, joy, overwhelming, crazy, extreme, distracted?

Then you, too, may be suffering from Trumpitis, defined as extreme exposure to anything Trump — the remedy for which is one or more of the following:

Moving to Canada,
Becoming a Buddhist monk,
Removing all electronic devices from your home,
Taking a Sandals luxury vacation and billing The Donald,
Running a marathon every day for the rest of your life,
Reading nothing but Hardy Boy and Nancy Drew Mysteries,
Dreaming all day of Carol from the old American Bandstand show,
Dreaming all day of Annette Funicello,
Dreaming all day of Frankie Avalon,
Dreaming all day of Bobby from the Lawrence Welk show,
Wearing a Mouseketeer cap, dancing around your living room thinking you are Bobby,
Visiting all the microbreweries in America and drinking every variety of IPA made,
Taking a round-the-world bicycle trip actually riding your bike on the water,
Turning in your Eagle badge,
Becoming a snake handler in West Virginia,
Joining the circus freak show as the crazy person in the cage who is crazier than Donald Trump,
Winning a life-time supply of opioids, which could shorten things considerably,
Climbing Mt. Everest naked,
Becoming the Pied Piper in the alleys and sewers of downtown Chicago,
Swimming the length of the Amazon River with “fish attractor” rubbed on your privates,
Dressing like Prince and parading around your neighborhood,
Dressing like Elvis and singing “Nothin’ But a Hound Dog” night and day on your front lawn,
Dressing like Fats Domino, singing Blueberry Hill while climbing Blueberry Hill.
Leaning on a piano dressed like Billie Holliday, singing like Bobby Darin, while actually being Kevin Spacey,
Spending all day in the bathtub singing “Splish Splash,”
Thinking you are Steve McQueen in Bullitt while driving slowly around your neighborhood in your Camry Hybrid getting better gas mileage than anyone else,
Dressing like Henri Marie de Toulouse-Lautrec, getting down on your knees, hobbling around Paris, and snuggling in the bosom of every woman you encounter,
Dressing like a dancer in the Folies Bergere and throwing your garter to Sean Spicer,
Giving a copy of the Ten Commandments to Southern Baptist Sarah Huckabee Sanders,
Giving Jefferson Beauregard Sessions an American flag to go with his Confederate flag,
Thinking you are Vincent Van Gogh by actually cutting off one of your ears,
Dressing like Kim Jong Un while singing the “Star-Spangled Banner” while standing in front of the White House,
Visiting the emergency room everyday for the rest of your life thus driving up the cost of insurance for everybody because you can’t get insurance anymore,

Adding your own remedy.

Content in Their Domain

The fish, confined to the pond,
are alert to a presence.

They swim to the edge and
anticipate….

Sometimes food is tossed
and turbulence transpires.

Sometimes presence passes,
anticipation wanes…

They turn and feast on the
nourishment that surrounds.

They remain quiet, content
in their domain,

as they have for fifteen
years.

Where Are the Religious Leaders Today?

The question is asked, “Where are
the religious leaders today to speak

to our dismay?” Where are the Martin
Luthers, John Calvins, Martin Luther

King, Jr.s or the prophets of antiquity?
Is there none for posterity? There are

no voices today to speak to our dismay.
Have the voices silently slipped away,

compromised by the temporal, temporary
comfort provided by an economy that

seduces, gives and then threatens to
take away? For comfort and false

security, have we all sold our souls
to the capitalist devil and been

silenced along the way? Where are the
religious leaders with a commanding

presence to speak truth to power and
help us in our dismay come what may?

Ah, and there is the rub —
we all fear the “come what may.”

Defaming Vultures and Blaming God

We don’t hear of massive death
toll hikes for the animal world
when a natural disaster strikes.
In immediate anticipation,
noses twitch, eyes dart and
ears perk. Everything is on
high alert. It’s time to run down
the mountain, an avalanche
will advance; it’s time to run
to the side, here comes a mud
slide; it’s time to head for
the hole, here comes a tornado;
it’s time to flee, here comes a
tsunami. The animals don’t build
their homes in harm’s way; out
of harm’s way they stay. The
animals don’t call natural
danger an Act of God’s anger;
they just come quickly to their
senses while we just go our
merry way senses dull as rusty
saws and we continue to play
and when tragedy strikes,
Vulture capitalists defraud
by blaming it on God.

Knowing When to Stop Looking

Knowing I got my DNA profile,
lots of people want to know

if I’m going to trace my
family roots. I just smile.

It’s fun knowing where
I come from but know-

ing all the quirks of this
one and that one would kill

all that fun. I have enough
quirks of my own to own

and not run from and not
pass on, which I’m sure

I got from some, but I’m
not interested in the ton

of quirks they ran from
and did pass on.

In the Aftermath of the Trump Jamboree

The Asian-American poet-
photographer-professor sat

on the bus wearing her new,
leather dress shoes for the

upcoming presentation. Three,
white boys got on and simul-

taneously spit hockers just
missing her new shoes. Sit-

ting perfectly still, she
then reached up and pulled

the stop cord. Is this like
what the boys will be

following the Trump Jamboree?

Little Boy Blue

“Take care not to do your good works before people,
to be seen by them; or you will have no reward from
your Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:1).

At the sparsely attended early service,
the preacher noticed a wide-eyed,
frightened, little boy
turning blue.
His mother had just
given him a very small toy.
The preacher knew just what to do.
He stopped singing the hymn,
ran to the pew,
did the Heimlich on the scared, little boy
and out the toy flew.
His mother said, “You just saved
my little boy’s life. Thank you.”
The preacher returned
to the front and calmly started to preach.
It may have been his best
moment in ministry
without drawing attention
to what he did
and without any reach,
because no one else
saw what he did
before he began to preach.

We Just Don’t Believe That

"God chose what is foolish in the world 
to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in 
the world to shame the strong, God chose what 
is low and despised in the world, even things 
that are not, to bring to nothing things that 
are" (I Corinthians 1:27-29).

We just don't believe that.
     Even the foolish, weak, low,
despised nothings in the eyes
     of the world want more than
anything else to be worldly
     wise, strong, high, admired --
somebody, something, even
     if all that striving simply
ends in suffering, death and
     destruction, as it always,
inevitably does.