Coming to Terms, Waiting On Infinity

Every now and then
his long deceased
parents pop into a
dream. There used
to be drama, strong
emotions and high
anxiety featuring
them, but now they
just show up. He’ll
ask them a question,
for help with a task
or a favor and they
are pleased to oblige.
Awake, he wonders,
are we making progress
here or do we continue
to wait on infinity?

Painless Predictions and Pious Platitudes of Pain

So many people are full
of painless predictions:
“It will be okay.”
“Now, don’t you worry.”
“She will be alright.”
“Your father will be home soon.”
“She’ll pull through.”
“He’s one tough dude.” and
“God will take care of her,”
always seem to morph into
pious platitudes of pain
when something goes awry
which more often than not
it does,
“God wanted him more than we did.”
“God has a plan.”
“She needed to be with the Lord.”
“This life was too hard so God took her
to be in heaven.”
“She was too pretty for this world.”
Did you ever ask yourself why
people tell these cruel lies
over and over and over?
Because they can’t face
the reality that life is
full of injustice,
dumb luck and
it’s exact opposite
and in so doing,
inflict pain upon pain
as they walk out the door
trying fast
to get away from you
and your pain, the reality
of which they
simply can’t face. It’s
too painful.

Is It…?

Is it delusion, this persistent return of the positive
in the face of all the political chaos?

Is it foolish optimism, this persistent return of the
positive in the face of international violence and war?

Is it denial, this persistent return of the positive
in the face of environmental disasters?

Is it blind certainty, this persistent return to
the mantra, “Oh, it will be okay”?

Is it stupid faith and abdication of responsibility
like the people who say God will never let this/that/the other
happen, this persistent return of the positive in the
face of this/that/the other?

Or is it realistic to say while we are doing everything
to right the course, that if we fail and the very worst
continues with dire and disastrous consequences that not
all is lost, just us, and that the earth will be restored
and the universe will continue to expand and maybe that
loss isn’t so bad — all things considered?

Is it hopeful to say with Julian of Norwich that “All
shall be well, all shall be well, all manner of things
shall be well”?

Is it this persistent return to the realistic, hopeful?
Creator/Redeemer/Sustainer into thy hands I commend
my spirit — come what may.

Or should it be just abject resignation? “If that’s all
there is, my friend, then break out the booze and let’s
go dancing.”

A Toxic Mix

America First 
      is nativism and code 
for Me First,
          which is code for
Trump First, 
          a pathological attitude 
                very perverse.

It’s About Time,
       is the echo and 
            the Base’s bottom line, 
                      hurling epithets —
					resentment’s chime.

Narcissistic egotism
and resentment =
				a toxic mix
with no good outcome —
        just throwing bricks,
				and lynchings 
 						and mass shootings,
				a police state
  and hate, 

Fighting False Monikers Instead of Making A Legitimate Case

Grab the edge linguistically and you grab the edge period.

For instance, there are “Second Amendment Advocates,” which, of course, is code for keeping all the guns you want including military style weapons with no other purpose than to kill humans and sometimes in massive numbers.

The Second Amendment is in the Bill of Rights and belongs to all of us citizens including those who think the Second Amendment has nothing at all to do with hoarding guns, but has to do with establishing state militias which translates today into the National Guard with little or nothing in the amendment about owning guns for sport or protection either way.

But that group lost the high ground. They are perceived as soft on personal protection from enemies, within and outside the government, and against the liberty and right to own a gun at all.

Same with abortion. Those who are rabidly opposed to abortion grabbed the moniker “Pro Life” as if those who hold a different view of what is positive about life, it’s intricacies and complexities and moral quandaries are labeled anti-life and worse.

The high ground was lost to erroneous slogans and false labels. Those who lost the high ground monikers, regardless how misleading those monikers are, have been fighting against the labels ever since instead of using the time making the case for alternate views of what it means to be valid Second Amendment advocates and Pro-life proponents, which of course, is what they may rightly claim in a bigger, greater, more constitutional, moral, ethical and holistic, thoughtful, accurate, factual sense at the very least.

Lives in Love*

Bones on the mend, hearts on the mend —
two lives in love, each with the other,
bow in gratitude and bend
to honor one another
as lover and friend.

Happy Anniversary!

Bob and Chris

*Chris and I have a good friend who
has had multiple surgeries related
to polio. She just had a successful
hip operation. A year ago, she
married a former triathlete and
marathon runner who survived the
“widow-maker” heart attack. They
just celebrated their first

The Imperturbable Vegan

She seemed imperturbable,
as cool as a cucumber,
but she lost it all,
when the deli skipped her number.

She went on quite a rant
about injustice and prejudice.
A woman in the produce department
dropped a large head of lettuce.

It landed on her foot
and she screamed to high heaven.
A man remembered a time
of a holdup at a Seven-Eleven.

It seems just as chaotic
but without any evidence of a gun,
but in a panic, he shouted it anyway
and sent everyone on the run.

Before you knew it
the cops and swats had arrived
Everyone ducked for cover
when the deli guy called out, “Number five.”

Her number being called,
the discombobulated customer
regained her composure,
and stated with calm assurance,
“To this unfortunate occurrence
could we please bring some much-needed closure?”

The police thought it over
and beat a hasty retreat.
The deli guy asked the woman
“Are you looking for cheese or meat?”

Coolly considering the question,
the woman haughtily addressed the man at the deli,
“I beg your pardon, I’m a vegan,
so I’m off to find peanut butter and jelly.”

The doors then automatically locked
when management panicked and shut off the power
but not before the heat from the grill rose
setting off the sprinklers giving everyone a shower.

The customers and employees all stood there
looking like drowned rats
and staring daggers at the vegan
dreaming of roiling cauldrons and boiling vats,

in which to toss the imperturbable woman —
the cause of all the commotion,
but she heard the doors unlatch
and made for the exit without any emotion.

“Where exactly do you think you are headed?”
In unison their protest they did utter.
With a haughty dismissal, “The Seven-Eleven next door
has my favorite jelly and peanut butter.”

Confounding a Wiley Woodpecker

Through the neighborhood the tap, tap, tap did resound.
The couple sat on their balcony listening to the loud sound.
But the source of the sound was nowhere to be found.
The bird flitted here and there, the neighbors to confound.
Tree after tree the bird circled round and round.
And then he was spotted way up a red pine, far from the ground.
The couple breathed a sigh of relief having located the bird and its sound.
It ignored the tasty wood porch with flashing streamers nailed all around.
The couple rejoiced for they found a way the woodpecker to confound,
And save the front porch from so many holes it would surely fall to the ground.

Chipper Advice

The man and his wife sat in the car
reading the signs in the window —

chipper advice, the up, up and away
kind — “I rise in the morning and

embrace Jesus,” “Life is full of
wonderful surprises,” “Love is

the only law in this house,” “Sweet
meals, sweet smiles, sweet children,

sweet, sweet Lord of All,” “As for
me and my house, we will serve

the Lord,” “Salt water taffy, the sea
and Thee,” “The Be-Happy Attitudes,”

clearly a borrow from Robert Schuller’s
now defunct Power of Possibility Thinking

take on the Beatitudes, and on and on
and on. They looked at each other and

grimaced. He approached the counter
and heard the owner cheerfully say

to the customer, “Best wishes with
that thing about your grandchild.

We have a grandchild who had so many
things wrong with her that when

we heard she was going to live but
be paralyzed we erupted in laughter.”

He erupted in laughter, “Yup, she’s
completely paralyzed.” He continued

to chuckle as the perplexed woman
backed away. The man just stood

there pushing his purchases forward,
muttering to himself, “Sweet Jesus.”

The President and His Lust for the Seductive, Bare-Breasted Dancer of the KGB

Cool, calm, collected is how the former am-
bassador always seemed when interviewed on
television (with a backdrop of the nationally

known university where he taught) before the
often bare-breasted former KGB operative
put out a verbal warrant for him and several

other state department vets as criminals and
our president sold the ambassador,
down the proverbial river with a “Gee, what

a generous offer.” Now, the very same former
ambassador seems a bit tentative, skittish,
nervously giddy as he rubs his neck and

tugs at his shirt collar at any discussion
of his being sent to Russia for interrogation
and torture and a quick permanent trip to

the gulag even though the senate of the US
backed him unanimously with two abstentions
because of absences and the president reluctant-

ly went along, oh, say forty-eight hours after
the fact. I’d probably be a bit skittish and
chuckle somewhat inappropriately as I rubbed

my neck if the former KGB operative went after
me and my president offered me up on a silver
platter kind of like the head of John the

Baptist being offered up by Herod to the
daughter of Herodias, extra-biblically known
as the dancing seductress Salome after whom

Herod lusted greatly.