The Cat Sleeps

Later, the man will go to his job
counseling disturbed young men.
Now he sits on his porch meditat-
ing. He sits quietly, peacefully
for much time. Time goes by. He
is aware of many things. Across
the street and up the drive his
tabby cat comes. The cat has been
on a hunt. It is what cats do. The
cat sees the man and sits at his
feet. The man becomes aware of
the cat. The man’s head bows to
the cat. The cat jumps on the
man’s lap and purrs. The man
chuckles and goes back to breath-
ing deeply. The cat sleeps.

Grateful but Still Desiring

He sits and lets thoughts come to him,
but they come from him.
He sees them come to him
and pass through him.
He sits and lets thoughts that come from him
go out from him
and pass by.
He sees them pass by with his mind’s eye.
He feels the breeze on his back, up and
down his right arm.
It comes to him; it is not from him.
He breathes shallow breaths.
He begins to breathe deeper breaths.
He begins to be aware of the breaths.
He is grateful for the breaths.
The timer goes off.
He wants more time.

The Creator*

The creator created me.
I am not the creator.
But, I am not not the creator.

The creator created humanity.
Humanity is not the creator.
But, humanity is not not the creator.

I am a human but not all of humanity.
But, I am not not all of humanity.

The creator created the earth.
The earth is not the creator.
But, the earth is not not the creator.

The creator created the waters.
The waters are not the creator.
But, the waters are not not the creator.

The creator created the sky.
The sky is not the creator.
But, the sky is not not the creator.

I am not the earth, waters, sky.
But, I am not not the earth, waters, sky.

The creator created the universe.
I am not the universe.
But, I am not not the universe.

I am the creator of the poem.
The poem is not the creator.
But, the poem is not not the creator.

*idea from a meditation by Richard Rohr

She Looks Around*

She looks around and sees so much suffering.
She feels the suffering because things are not as 
    she would like them to be.
She is discontented. 
She wants things to be other than they are. 
She desires many things to ease the pain. 
She realizes that desiring things and not having 
    them make her discontented. 
She realizes that desiring things and getting them
    and being attached to them do not stop her from 
    being discontented. 
She realizes that the problem is desiring.
She seeks to “get shed” of desiring. 
She lets go. 
She practices right viewing, right thinking, right speaking, 
    right acting, right living, right diligence, right 
    mindfulness and right concentration.
She passes through “(1) the student, (2) the householder, 
    (3) the forest dweller or hermit (the “retiree” from 
    business as usual), and (4) the beggar or wanderer 
    (the wise or fully enlightened person who is not overly 
    attached to anything and is detached from everything 
    and thus ready for death).”
She will kill the Buddha, if she meets him on the road — 
    figuratively speaking. 

*idea from meditations on Eastern religions by Richard Rohr

He Heard

He heard something
that conflicted him.
It was about a fellow

parson who violated
vows. He was angry
at the parson’s acts

like a gut punch out
of nowhere, a black
mark on the calling.

The conflict is that
he feels compassion
for the young parson

who lives in the shad-
ow of his esteemed
pastor father and will

be thought the son who
brought shame on the
family of the esteem-

ed pastor father. He
thought, There go I
but for the grace of

God and thank God I
am not a kid in the
family of the esteem-

ed pastor father try-
ing just to find a way
to sneak into the shad-

ow of that esteemed
pastor father and then
trying desperately to

find a way out from
under the shadow of
that esteemed pastor

father. And then he
thought to himself
that the kid actually

had found a way.

Always a Hero to Me

I read the more and more glory of gory
and titillating stories
and then along comes one
of a peanut farmer’s son —
a nuclear engineer and politician,
a humble Christian,
Jimmy, not James, Carter, ninety-three,
still working for injustice to flee,
and equality and peace simply to be.
Our thirty-ninth president
still lives in his humble residence
and he still teaches church school
and exercises in a swimming pool.
I once wrote a story titled “WWJCD?”
Jimmy is so filled with Jesus, he
was inserted in the story —
a take on the old “WWJD?”:
“What Would Jimmy Carter Do?”
as a role model for me and you.
Say what you will about his presidency;
he will always be a humble hero to me.

Thank the Lord, A Sonnet of Sorts

Thank the Lord for Barack,
for his integrity and honor.
He deserved the title Honor
and he helped us get back on track.

Inadvertently, he brought racism
to the surface of the country.
It was justice for which we were hungry
advocating altruism to heal the schism.

Thank the Lord for the Donald
for his duplicity and malevolence
and his racism in perfect evidence.
We know that racism must be annulled.

We will protest and we will pray
that racism embodied, systemic and endemic…
will soon go away.