The Tale of Two Parades

Memorial Day — parade day on
Main Street — bands marching to
Sousa, flags waving, guys squeezing

into mothballed dress uniforms, the
remaining vets of World War II hobbl-
ing down the street, lifting canes in

appreciation, being pushed in wheel-
chairs, riding in Corvette Stingrays
while people along the curbs cheer

and wave small American flags — and
then everyone goes to a picnic — the
Memorial Day observance — a secular

ceremony of thanks for those who died
defending the country and then there
is the parade in one of our nation’s

most ethnically homogeneous, hyper-
religious communities where at the end
of the parade, the town’s people gather

in front of all the white crosses to hear
a speech invoking God’s will and bow in
prayer participating in an act of “civil

religion” when perhaps there should be
acts of civil disobedience for linking
war with God’s blessing.

mirror, mirror on the wall

the president is shouting,
having one of his snits;
he’s screaming bloody murder;
driving his wife to fits.

she covers her ears
while there he stands — hands on hips
making nasty faces
and thinking up schoolyard quips.

he shouts insult after insult;
she is experiencing fear;
she says, “calm down, donald;
you’re just looking in a mirror.”

Banning Cojones to Stop Abortions

So, you think the newly anti-abortion Donald wouldn’t (hasn’t)
insist(ed) on an abortion for one of his girlfriends if she got
pregnant by him? So, you think any one of these anti-abortion
white, male legislators of Southern states wouldn’t insist on an
abortion for one of his girlfriends if she got pregnant by him?
So, do you think the hypocrisy stinks to high heaven for the
president and all those white, male legislators? They won’t stop
their philandering and hypocrisy so maybe we should ask those
Southern states to pass legislation to ban cojones for all white
citizens of their states and, as an example and a good faith gesture,
separate the cojones from all the white, male legislators so they
can stop being hypocrites and eliminate their temptation to break
the law they have sworn to uphold and stop abortion in its tracks.
And regarding the president’s cojones? One person might vote for
that, but she doesn’t have a vote — at least not in any legislature.

The Only Ones There

An ethnic religious denomination
believes it has the answer for this nation.
The descendants of separatist Christians
say just leave to us the important decisions.

That they are inbreeders is a particular problem
resulting in a crazy desire to condemn.
So they look down their collective, parnoid nose
on everyone else as a danger to pose.

Their average churchgoer just isn’t in the know
while, ironically, their scholars write scholarly prose.
They live in a cult-like world all their own
believing they are the chosen for a heavenly home.

They see themselves as better than others
but their culture is one that just smothers.
As a result, they are dying on the vine
while thinking that they are better than fine.

On a tour of heaven, visitors are warned of a door to steer clear.
Those separatists think they are the only ones there.

A Quiet Dance

Their cottage, pond, waterfall and pine
grove vibrate serenity and peace for
the fish, birds, deer, the fox with her
kits and the nocturnal visitors who
leave their paw prints in the winter’s
snow. For however much longer the
couple is blessed to call this home,
they will bask in the sights and gentle
sounds of Trinity’s (Infinite, Immanent,
Intimate) quiet dance.

Mr. Berry Sits on His Porch

Mr. Berry, small farm advocate, environmentalist, poet,
proud Kentuckian, is living through these dark days of

senseless tariffs, a mean-spirited governor and Mitch
McConnell. Wendell sits on his porch, smoking his pipe,

watching the sunset, hearing the croaks of the toads
in the pond and contemplating the dandelions in his

lawn. He will not shock the flowers with Round-Up;
he might pick some for dandelion wine and leave

the rest to show off their bright yellow splendor in
the deep green grass.

Together We Will Fly*

I have a friend who is losing
his hearing in one ear.
I am losing sight in one eye.
I opined, “We have nothing to fear;
we can be one whole guy.”
I would trade you my good ear
for your good eye.
You would have two good ears
and I would have two good eyes.”
He opined, “Like a gunny sack race.
Two legs into one sack we would tie
and away we would fly.”
Always better at math than I,
he said, “Why trade ears and eyes?
Just leave it alone; together
we would have three good ears
and three good eyes.
That way we would really fly.”
“Yes,” said I, “We should leave well enough alone.
I would tell you when the gun went off
and you could point the way,
so we could win the race
and then hop all the way home.”

*appreciation to a friend for the image
of a gunny sack race.

Mostly Mundane Circumstances

So, the white filmmaker decided to track the behavior of law
enforcement officers across the country documenting that the

majority of the time they faced mundane circumstances but faced
extreme hazard to their safety and security rarely and, apparent-

ly, mostly when they encountered situations involving minorities.
So, what is the purpose of the documentary except to exonerate

law enforcement officers, which begs the question, “What about
the rights of those black and brown citizens gunned down by those

police officers who continue to live their daily lives in mostly
mundane, non-violent circumstances?”

He Read

He read his e-mailed religious meditations and e-mailed
poems and he ran his wrist watch timer for ten minutes

of silent meditation and then he got up to get a cup of
gourmet coffee and began to sip the delicious blend and

as he sipped he breathed deeply and savored the coffee
as his wife entered the room and asked, “Have you heard?”

And that was all he needed to know that the question was
about shenanigans of the occupant of the Oval Office. He

took another drink of the hot brew, breathed deeply
and gave thanks for his morning routine before his wife

asked the question and then continued. It is his way of
bracing for the news and coping with the insanity of the

present political reality. As he breathes in, he says, “This
too…,” and as he breathes out, “shall pass.”