Not Looking Forward

A black guy is gone.
A black woman is gone.
A Hispanic guy is gone.
An Asian guy is gone.
A young, white, gay guy barely hangs on.
Two white women hang on.
Old, white guys hold on.
Where in the hell has the
party gone?
Obama said, “DNC, so long,”
On his own, he campaigned super strong
and won, won
and we wish there could have
been a third one won.
Oops. Gay guy’s gone.

The Panhandle Sandwich

A 72 oz. steak free if eaten
within one hour, a cardiologist
down the road, a huge donut
shop nearby for breakfast
and then there is lunch, a
Panhandle Sandwich —
a saucy porn shop squeez-
ed between two fundamental,
Heinz 57 variety Baptist church-
es. Gospel, country, Southern
rock, Pentecostal services,
right-wing political talk
and then a giant aluminum
cross on the way out of town.
Thank the Lord of All for a
CD by Diana Krall.

Maybe The Greatest Hoax

The man’s immigrant father was
left an orphan at age thirteen
when his father, the grandfather
the man never knew, died of the

Spanish Influenza pandemic, the
man’s father’s mother, the grand-
mother the man never knew, hav-
ing died giving birth to a still-born

baby girl a few years before. The
man’s father never recovered
from those early traumatic scars
but somehow lived a life of com-

passion without blaming anyone.
Meanwhile, the Occupant tells us
there is nothing whatsoever to
worry about as the Occupant

blames everyone else for what-
ever woes he might have or is
suffering — the hoax of a pan-
demic, the hoax of a drop in

the stock market, the hoax of
Russia’s interference in the
elections, the hoax of an im-
peachment, and every hoax

that ever happened to him
since the Occupant was just a
glimmer in his father’s eyes —
which may be the greatest hoax

of all and the greatest tragedy
for the Occupant and the result-
ing tragedy we now are all ex-
periencing every single day.

Five Hundred Miles Thanks to a Kid — Something Nice Happens Amidst All the Bad News

Twenty miles outside of Phoenix, on
the outskirts of Fountain Hills, the
front bumper broke loose and started

to scrape the road. It sounded like
the front end of the car was dis-
integrating. Such a racket would

come and go depending on the
elevation in the mountains and the
direction of the wind and we had five

hundred miles to go. We made it
to Payson, sixty miles up the road
and stopped at an auto parts store

to find out about a collision repair
place. Bingo! The young man at the
repair place took one look and said,

“No problem.” A half-hour later
we were pulling into our traditional
stop (on the annual trip back home)

for breakfast — bumper repaired.
Five hundred miles, five hundred
miles, five hundred miles, five

hundred miles, Oh, Lord, you know we
need to go five hundred miles toward
home…and we did thanks to the nice,

courteous, unassuming, qualified kid
at a collision repair place in a small
town in the mountains of Arizona.

He Stood in the Background for a Nano-Second

He stood in the back-
ground distracted, deep
breaths of boredom, wan-
dering eyes and all this

in nanoseconds. He paid
no attention to what was
being said by experts and
when he got his chance

he jumped to the mike
and began to give advice
on how to avoid dying,
“Wash your hands. I

do. You kind of know
I’m kind of a fanatic
about that sort of thing,”
and then, in the middle

of a press conference
on the imminent danger
of a new and deadly
virus, he talked about

how the stock market
would recover in spite
of the opposition political
party. He came back

around to the virus to tell
us that the virus will die
out and we should wash
our hands. A psychiatrist,

interviewed on cable TV,
said in response that the
guy is a sociopath who
couldn’t care less about

the virus or its consequen-
ces. It was like having a
big, lumbering, fifth-grade
doofus stand on the stage

playing pocket pool until
it was his turn to tell all the
parents gathered together
for the PTA conference that

he needed to go to the bath-
room and that he would be
sure to wash his hands after
he dunked Jimmy Heard’s

head into the toilet bowl.
And then he waited for a
laugh, like he waited for
one at the emergency press

conference when he clever-
ly said he was kind of known
for obsessively washing his
hands, all this while he was

there to address the deadly
new virus that could mature
into a pandemic to rival that
of the 1918 Spanish Flu.

And On and On and Then You Look at the Dog

The man just read a poem about
routines, daily routines and he
thought about his own, things

he had just completed — the dog,
the dishes from the previous even-
ing, coffee and then the personal

stuff to make one’s self present-
able to one’s spouse let alone the
world. The poem ends on a note

of worry, pessimism and a quest-
ion about if any of it matters us-
ing a metaphor of chipping away

in futility at a large rock. The man
cups his chin with the palm of his
hand, elbow resting on the table

in a pose, he realizes, not unlike
Rodin’s The Thinker and he wonders
if Rodin was wondering about that

when he fashioned The Thinker and
if that was what Rodin had in mind
for The Thinker — wondering about

the futility of life as the man was
wondering just then as well as had
been the poet and then the man

thought of Daedalus’ Labyrinth as
a metaphor for life which was the
subject of another poem and how

hard it was to maneuver through
the labyrinth and then the man got
up to make a second cup of coffee.

He looked at the dog and said,
“You’re worth every minute of it,

Our Adopted Daughter

Our adopted daughter lived six years as a sex slave in a house of ill repute. Her purpose was to have sex and produce babies for adoption.

Over five years, she had babies which brought in approximately $100,000 for those who enslaved her. Then, when they thought her best breeding days were over, they tossed her out.

By the grace of God, we found her and brought home this beautiful, six-year-old, female Chocolate Lab.

You might have thought I was describing a human female and I am not saying they are equal, but I am saying that our female dog was used and abused even though apparently treated well by the workers (Hispanics we conclude, because we have found out the girl is bi-lingual and understands Spanish) but she was enslaved, got nothing for her work except food and a roof over her head.

If it had not been for a great Labrador Retriever rescue organization, our girl, a wonderful creation and child of God, very well, right now, might be dead.

As it is, she is sleeping contentedly on the couch next to me. She doesn’t know she was used for anything and right now I’m glad and even more glad that she will have about six more years of thinking the couch is hers and that she only is allowing me to a little room there next to her.

If only we treated humans, especially right now those at the border, as well as we treat a dog, this dog, our beloved Babe and if only we could find our great human rescue organization.


So, We Now Know*

So, we now know that modern
day racism has its formative
roots in the Enlightenment.

Locke and Kant, idols of
college philosophy classes,
put forward the absolutely

ridiculous notion that whites
are intellectually superior
to blacks based on the color

of skin. Where were our philo-
sophy profs? The ridiculous,
insidious notion lost its historical

articulation but kept its justifica-
tion — superiority. Oh, how we
love that notion and so it was em-

braced with hate and prejudice
and death and now the white,
evangelical, Bible-thumpers

who wouldn’t know Locke from
unlock your brain and Kant from
a con and while Locke and Kant

ignored the theological in intellect-
ual arrogance, apparently the thump-
ers don’t know Jesus’ inclusive

embrace and Paul’s universal,
egalitarian space. And we, geo-
graphical and genetical children

of Western Enlightenment, are
guilty of the heinous and disgust-
ing disgrace.

*idea from an article by Jamelle Bouie for Slate


Stars Are the Windows

Everyone was shocked.
It is the response to the sudden,
tragic death of a celebrity.
And then there is the celebration
of the life of the celebrity.
All bottles uncorked;
no expense too great
to show respect
and to celebrate.
All the stars came out
and were there.
What about all the other deaths,
the unacknowledged
except in the hearts
of those whose grief
is so hard to bear?
For them, all the stars
have come out
and are there.
“Stars are the windows of heaven
Where Angels peek through.
Up in the sky they keep an eye
On kids like me and you…
Their teardrops are the rain…
They are smiling and they shine again.
Stars are the windows of heaven
Where Angels peek through.”
My dad sang that song
and then he, too, was gone.
But the celebration of his life went on.
The angels cried and laughed for him,
and all the other children, too.


All You Need

The young, college psychology
professor stated in relation to
raising children that all you

need to do is love them. The
even younger seminary student,
new father and college intern

where the professor taught,
thought the professor was
incredibly naive especially

when dealing with a scream-
ing infant. It seemed so
simplistically simple. Surely,

the professor knew better, but
then again, the seminarian
thought, the professor didn’t

have children so the whole thing
is theoretical. Years and years
and years later, the now-retired

minister and then seminarian
realized that the professor was
right along with the Beatles:

All you need is love. Well, that
and a whole lot of patience
and establishing boundaries

and a bunch of other stuff
stemming from love as he
thought about his beautiful

fifty-one-year-old son who,
in infancy, had been one of
the beautiful screaming-

meemies who didn’t look so
beautiful around fifty-years