He Sauntered

He sauntered to the bus stop,
stood still, didn’t feel a thing
and then the cement beneath

him gave way and he fell feet
first into the fifteen-foot deep
hole and was surrounded by

rats for the time before he was
rescued. He said he couldn’t
yell for help for fear the rats

would get into his mouth. For-
tunately, the rescue was swift.
His sister said he is recovering

from a broken arm and leg but
the trauma of the swarming rats
will haunt him for a long, long

time. Sorry for your experience,
pal, but could there possibly
be a better metaphor for now?

He Rails

He rails so hard against the
excesses and abuses of patriarchy
that he sounds just like an
excessive and abusive patriarch.
He just rants while missing the mark.
Hamartia is not quite the idea.
Perhaps he should settle down while home,
breathe in deeply with his mouth shut
and breathe out open-mouthed uttering only om.

Once A Mom

They have had the girl for two years.
She was a six-year-old Chocolate
Lab puppy-maker and then she was
out on the street. On their first visit to
the vet they were congratulated on hav-
ing an eighty-five pound, six-year-old
puppy. “Yes,” they knew. Yes, six years
without a leash. Two years later and
mostly leash trained, the girl still had
a very strange behavior. Every time
they petted the girl’s belly, she would
lift her leg. And then one day, the light-
bulb lit up almost simultaneously and
they exclaimed, “The puppies! Mom’s                                                                                 inviting her puppies to dinner.”

And A Child Shall Lead Them To Black Lives Matter

“It’s liberation in exposure,” said the candid-
ate, “It’s been 400 years and it took world-
wide exposure in the hands of a young woman
holding a camera to see what horror has been
going on for 400 years,” to paraphrase. It took 
a technical advancement for us to catch up and
the candidate said he thought we finally had
and that’s good news in the midst of what seems
like most everything is moving back to the back
of the bus, but it’s not, thanks to a very brave
young woman.

I’ve Had It*

I’ve had it with patriarchy;
it’s a whole lot of malarkey —
guys running around
sticking out their chests
beating their breasts
and making stupid guttural sounds.

Death is the end result
and the making of much tumult —
guys running around
brandishing guns,
acting like Huns
while making stupid guttural sounds.

And so, I am now resigned
to what matriarchy will help us find —
peace, playfulness, running around
embracing each other
like affectionate brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers
while making sweet, affirming, cooing sounds.

So, we must stop being chumps
like our close relatives the chimps —
living in societies with violence all around.
Rather, to our relatives the Bonobos let us look
for a matriarchal guide book
where peace, mercy and love abound.

*idea from a meditation by Matthew Fox: https://dailymeditationswithmatthewfox.org/?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=%5BDailyMeditations%5D%2010%2F27%2F20%3A%20%20Violence%20and%20Peace%20among%20Chimpanzee%20Communities&utm_campaign=%5BDailyMeditation%5D%2010%2F27%2F20%3A%20%20Violence%20and%20Peace%20among%20Chimpanzee%20Communities


Epictetus wrote that it is like
wishing for a fig in winter this
longing and aching for a de-
ceased loved one. After he
read that, he thought how
much it reminded him of
Buddhism and Taoism. He
wished he had gotten more
of that in his Christian up-
bringing. It would have saved
him so much heartache about
that over which he had ab-
solutely no control. He looked
at the skin on his forearms
thinking “perishable — use in
due season.”

He’s Thinking About An Afterlife

For some reason he’s thinking about
death and an afterlife; gee, you think, 
considering the fact that the stench of
death is only two steps away from the

guy without a mask — the one declar-
ing his faux libertarian, phony baloney
bent on the First Amendment? Go
right ahead and fly through that red 

light, don’t wear a seat belt and “A
stop sign? What stop sign?” They
take their orders well from what they
see on TV. In the mean time, and isn’t 

that an apropos phrase — mean time? So, 
he’s thinking about death and white evan-
gelicals would be thinking about all 
the white loved ones who had gone before 

and what a great reunion it will be just 
like those on the 4th of July at grandma’s 
farm. Yes, he’s thinking about that myth
with a bit of yearning but, honestly,

he would be glad to be a smooth, flat
stone having been rolled over and over
and over before washing up on the
beach for some kid to find and get all

excited about it being the best stone
for skipping she had ever seen. And
after she tossed it on a waveless day
and got all excited about all the skips

it made before sinking, he would roll
and roll and roll and wait for some other
kid to find the perfect stone for skipping.









The Kindness of the Trees

As he reflects on the splendor of this fall
he thinks of ones that went before, all the
predicted glory, all the touted colors that

were to be and, yes, there were glorious
days after great anticipation but then came
the rain and down came the leaves and out

came the damnable leaf blowers — until
this fall. This fall is different. The anticipated
glory came but it didn’t leave; it stayed and

stayed and stayed through the rains and
the winds and the chill of night. It is as
if the trees know that this fall is different,

that there is great suffering this fall, that
in the houses in the neighborhoods, in
the apartments in the cities, in the home-

less shelters people are suffering and
afraid and out of kindness and under-
standing and nature’s compassion, the

trees kept their gorgeous leaves for us
to embrace with our eyes and our hearts
are touched with the kindness of the trees.