About robertedahl

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

And Then There Is the Whole Thing

Today, he read two poems
that featured flies —
house flies, disease carriers,
but the disease part
wasn’t mentioned. In one
poem the flies are
all over the poet’s face, on
the food. In the other,
the flies play a minor role as
a passage into
summer. He sits and thinks
about flies and
images of kids in Africa with
flies in their eyes
come to mind and then he
thinks about possible
purposes for flies beside
being used as
metaphors in poems and
while it is said
that every creation was
created with a
good purpose, kind of
like Adam and Eve
before the fall, he wonders.
Bees sting but
pollinate, bats bite but
eat mosquitoes and
snakes eat rodents but
flies stump him
kind of like rats and then
there is the
whole thing about viruses
which the flies carry.

The Coronavirus Beat

Regressing (or progressing) from palms to knuckles to elbows to six feet,
Don’t miss the Coronavirus beat.
From kisses to hugs to waves across the divide,
Just be sure to stay inside.
COVID-19 lurks with sinister purpose,
So make sure you clean on every surface.
Wash your hands, don’t touch your face (really?),
Realize we are all vulnerable, in this together and of one race.
Check your temperature. Is that a dry cough?
Stay away from others; just back-off.
As Garrison signs off, “Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.”
Er, figuratively speaking; right now, literally, not so much.

Campaign Rally Disguised As a White House News Briefing on the Pandemic — Not So Much Really But Mostly Geared at Helping the President’s Poll Numbers and Keeping the Base, April 1, 2020

At the news briefing, all the guys
(and it was all white boys) stood
shoulder to shoulder — way too
close together, by far — not
the recommended six-feet apart, not
practicing what’s preached. Do as
I say not what I do is the message.
They stood close enough to smell a
fart let alone suck in saliva droplets
emanating from facial orifices and
parts. The boys all bowed to the
Freak-in-Chief as they spoke about
things not at all related to the topic
at hand but related to calling out the
military to fight contraband. Say what,
Occupant? Earth to the Occupant.
Did you just say the wall is helping,
Occupant? And then one of the
boys said the military is practicing
recommended distancing. How can
they in those sardine can quarters
while one ship’s commander pleads
for help for his ship and crew and
why aren’t all the boys on stage prac-
ticing appropriate distancing, Occu-
pant? As an aside, the number of US
cases has gone up 4,000 and a hundred
deaths and counting just during this
part of the Occupant’s blow his horn
briefing. Earth to the Occupant!
And counting….

Into Thy Hands

“Into thy hands, I commend my spirit”
aren’t just words spoken long ago/
aren’t just a theory of what we as

Christians are supposed to do/aren’t
just lip service said during a worship
service when we might be thinking

more about where to stop for lunch
than giving it all up, but now, in these
days of immanent existential mortality,

theory gives way to praxis or in a more
sophisticated way to say, where the
rubber meets the road. This isn’t the

moment we’ve waited for as the song
goes;  (let this cup pass) this could be
the moment of our greatest woes. In any

event, this is the moment of letting go,
entrusting, detaching, scuttling desire
and things to acquire and embracing

the void, shouting “My God, my God,
why have you forsaken me?” and
with open hands simply concluding

“Into thy hands, I commend my spirit….”

Creating a Mood With Remotes While a Storm Rages

He gives thanks,
thanks for the remote
that turns on 90.3 Blue Lake
Public Radio and the
classical music he tries
hard to name from memory.
He gives thanks,
thanks for the remote that
turns on the faux fire in the
fireplace and turns up the
fireplace heater to 70
after the furnace is turned
up from 67 to 70 in the
He gives thanks,
thanks for the remote that
turns on the TV and let’s
him see programs ad nauseam
about the progress of the
virus and the lack of progress
of the Administration in combating it.
He gives thanks,
thanks that he and his wife (after
all that sitting 😇) and dog
can leave the house and find trails
to jog on while maintaining a safe physical
distance from others.
He gives thanks,
thanks in the evening for the remote
that lights the fake candles,
which can be put on
constant or flicker depending
on one’s desired mood.
He gives thanks,
thanks that all those remotes
can be used to turn off
all that stuff as he readies
for bed and moves
to turn the furnace back
to 67 before patting the
Chocolate Lab on the head
and saying, “I love you, girl.
Sleep tight; don’t let the
bedbugs bite,” and heading
downstairs where the temp.
will settle out at 57.

The Universe Keeps Expanding

The universe keeps expanding
but we can’t, so it seems
we are contracting —
smaller and smaller,
more and more vulnerable
to all the events expanding
which spells significant trouble
to our notion of importance
especially when in the midst
of that expansion,
a killer virus has no intention
of retraction; it just keeps
keeping on till all in its
path is gone and then we ask
the feckless Feds to do what
they were elected to do —
help keep us safe
in a universe and budget and deficit
while we are constantly contracting —
smaller, smaller, smaller, almost gone.
So, I suppose
that if we are to get any
rest at all, that rest will be
in Thee and Thy eternal love
expanding exponentially.

The Great Unanswerable: How Did He Ever Get Through School?

How did I ever get through school?
I can’t ever remember studying.
Seriously, how did I learn anything?
How did I ever get through school?

How did I ever get through school?
One teacher said, “Your personality will get you through.”
Till then, I had thought that teacher was pretty cool.
How did I ever get through school?

How did I ever get through school?
My French teacher thought I was pretty cute.
She did suggest I get my mouth from around my foot.
How did I ever get through school?

How did I ever get through school?
It remains a great mystery.
It wasn’t social promotion for me.
How did I ever get through school?

How did I ever get through school?
Now, I’m too old to remember.
I just didn’t show up one school year.
How did I ever get through school?

How did I ever get through school?
You’d have to ask my teachers,
But there aren’t any such creatures.
How did I ever get through school?

How did I ever get through school?
The diplomas sit in a dusty box.
I’m certainly not as smart as a fox.
How did I ever get through school?

How did I ever get through school?
Yes, it will forever remain a mystery
for the rest of my earthly history.
Yes, how did he ever get through school?

Those who know him just don’t know….

The Leader With No Dicacity Is No Leader in Any Capacity

In a leader we want sagacity;
in this leader we just get rapacity;
he eats with edacity
and unquenchable voracity
which fills him with fugacity
unto an unbelievable capacity;
he’s the big baby balloon spewing mendacities;
He doesn’t realize he is incarnate nugacity;
in him, there is the absence of perspicacity.
He has no dicacity;
and so, we must retain tenacity
even to the point of pugnacity
in dealing with one so unbelievably nasty.

Yipe! I’ll Never Again Be Skyped

With the lockdown, he’s seeing
people on TV interviewed on Skype.
Yipe! Skype. He thought he
looked horrible on Skype (or
was it Apple’s Zoom?) but
now he has evidence of how
bad people do look and he will
never, ever again use Zoom or Skype
to talk with grandkids, because
he would just gripe about Zoom and Skype
while at his Skyped face, they
would just stare and scream in fright.

Thank the Lord for the Bike Paths All the Time But Especially At This Time

He headed out by car for a jog at
his favorite trails but they were jam-
med with off-road cyclists and
walkers and hikers and joggers
during this shutdown, lockdown,
so he drove to his second favorite
place and jogged among the disk
golf players. On his way home, he
noticed all the walkers and cyclists
along the lakeshore bike paths (most
staying about six feet apart) and he
rejoiced at the foresight and wisdom
of the city/county/township planners.
Who could have known what sanity
savers such paths would be at this
time, a time when cabin fever reaches
a fever pitch (no pun intended) at a
high anxiety time like this.