About robertedahl

Husband, Father, Brother, Friend, Jogger (40,000 miles and I've stopped counting), Cyclist, Kayaker, Hiker, Camper

Bullying Is Bad

Bullying is bad
but is matriarchal bullying
any better than patriarchal bullying?
He once worked for a matriarchal company
and was told by female middle management that

the difference in different gender led com-
panies is that male-led companies
just fire your butt and you are
gone, yes, that fast, but
female-led com-

beat                                                                                                                                       you with a wet
noodle till you plead for mercy
and then they keep you because they
don’t want to see you or your family hurt, and
that is why he kept being told that he was going

to be fired and management kept asking
if he was going to stay or quit and if he
found another job as of yet
and finally when he found
another job, every-
one sighed in

Love and Families of Origin

An escutcheon of his family of
origin vanished, returned and vanish-
ed again repeatedly from his study

where it periodically hung on a wall.
It is rumored that he took it down him-
self because he is so uxorious and

didn’t wish his wife to think he was
showing partiality toward his family
of origin. Actually, members of his

immediate family including the claus-
trophobic daughter who was born
while his wife was restricted to a

accouchement experienced
repetitive vertiginous movements
because their father kept taking down

the escutcheon and then returning it
because he was caught between his
uxoriousness and pride in his family

of origin. The daughter wanting des-
perately to stop spinning placed an
escutcheon of her mother’s family of

origin on the family yacht to go with
the one which now hangs permanently
in her father’s study. Unfortunately,

she was so dizzy at the time, she attach-
ed the escutcheon to the bow instead of
the stern. Her mother won’t talk to her.

Recently, I read a poem with four words apparently thrown in to throw the reader. The words simply were listed one right after another and were not incorporated into the body of the poem in any meaningful way. Well, the words threw me, so I looked them up and included them in a poem. The definitions of those four words follow. Kudos to those who knew the words.

1. escutcheon:

a: a defined area on which armorial bearings are displayed and which usually consists of a shield

b: a protective or ornamental plate or flange (as around a keyhole)

c: the part of a ship’s stern on which the name is displayed

2. uxorious

a. excessively submissive or devoted to one’s wife.

b. excessively or foolishly fond of a wife; doting on a wife.

c. excessively fond of, or submissive to, a wife; being a dependent husband.

3. accouchement:

a: a confinement during childbirth; a lying-in.

b: delivery in childbed; parturition.

c: delivery in childbed.

4. vertiginous:

a: turning about an axis; revolving or whirling.

b: affected by vertigo; dizzy.

c. tending to produce vertigo.

And A Child Shall Lead Them

Some said she was a child mechanic under the hood;
they said she knew everything
that ever needs to be poetically understood;
and so they put her to the test
to see if she knew the answer
to any question and all the rest.
They said, “Kid, you are only twenty-two;
You are barely out of childhood;
what is it you think you can do?
Tell us what’s under the hood.”
And so, the kid’s time had come.
“There are 110 horses under this hood.”
“My electric bike has more power;
Only a 110? That’s hardly worth the wait;
Come on, kid, it’s the bewitching hour.”
“You know, this isn’t my first trip to the rodeo;
you haven’t seen these horses, so here we go.”
And with that, she opened the hood
and out flew 110 galloping verses
and it was then everyone at the inauguration understood.

Two weeks earlier, insurrectionists/seditionists attempted to take the US Capitol by storm and, thank goodness, they failed.

Amanda Gorman’s 110 verses (actually “break lines”) took that same magnificent Capitol by a rich, wonderful, healing storm.

Her powerful poem is accessible for viewing at the link below:


A special thanks to James Berbiglia, US Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Retired for sending the link.

Canadians and An Ex-New Yorker Sip Wine Around a Phoenix Condo Swimming Pool

They sat around the pool
sipping red and white wine.
The Canadian used car salesman
lifted a glass aloft, twirled and swirled it,
saying that the wine
was ever so fine.
The female refugee
from New York City
said, “Sipping may be fine,
but the bottle needs to be nudged
and the wine needs to be guzzed
to give me a really quick buzz.”

I Had Latin or Did Latin Have Me? Listen Up, Boys and Girls.*

I had Latin in high school. The teacher was glad 
I lost the election for student council president 
because I could devote more time to studying Latin. 

Well, veni, vidi, vici, not so much.  I just came 
across another Latin word: ob-audire, “to listen with 
great attentiveness.” That sounds good and it is what 

I should have done in Latin class. Wait a minute. That 
word translates as “obedience.” Bummer.  Who likes to 
be obedient?  That is what we expect of our pets. Oh, 

and then in the same meditation there is another Latin 
word: surdus — deaf and then ab-surdus, completely deaf. 
Absurd! Who wants that? And so, if we are obedient to 

what matters we won’t fall into absurdity. Does that 
mean that teacher is always right? We can only listen 
with great attentiveness and well, then veni, vedi, vici. 

*idea from a meditation by Henri Nouwen

This Has Been Going On For Far Too Long

We grew up in different worlds in the city.
When I think about my bucolic privilege,
I now view it’s exclusivity with pity,

because I walked, ran and rode my bike
to the park to play
without a single cop in sight.

Some would say, “How fortunate for that,
for a first-generation immigrant kid,”
but that’s just a myth in fact.

Yes, it kept me from a hard knock life
and I’m grateful for that
but that privilege would lead to godless strife.

It was called white flight.
With fear in our hearts, we left
sometime during the night.

Blacks bought our homes
thinking it was step up — an escape route
but then cops roamed and roamed,

and kids couldn’t venture to the park
to run, bike, hike and play —
their unprivileged future looking dark.

So, now here we are
all these years later.
We haven’t gotten that far

in matters of justice, peace and a better way.
But Black Lives Matter
and we all have Divine DNA

and we now work toward that God blessed day
of equality, peace and inclusivity.
Yes, for this we pray.

Clear Plastic Couch Covers

I don’t think it is a really good 
thing to grow up in a house with
clear plastic covers on the living 

room soft fabric furniture. It just    
might be psychologically unsettling
with questions about parental love. 

It’s hard, cold and uncomfortable.
I did and recall looking longingly 
through the plastic to the beautiful, 

soft, fabric beneath, that which I 
could never, ever touch. If I wanted 
to take a nap on the couch, I would 

put my socked feet (because we always 
had to take our shoes off at the door) 
on the plastic, only to hear my mother 

tell me to get my feet off the couch. 
I would say, “Mom, my soft socks are 
on the hard, cold, noisy plastic.” 

“Don’t get smart, young man. We aren’t 
rich and I want the couch to last a 
long time.” Yes, it has all lasted a 

long time — at least the memory. I 
still get chilled just thinking about 
lying on that couch even in the middle 

of summer. Oh, I’m sorry; that’s when 
I slid around and got stuck to the 
clear, cold, hard, noisy plastic.