About robertedahl

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

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

Perishable

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.

Voilà

He reads poems.
Today, he read a
very brief poem
whose meaning
seemed absurd.
The poet had
been in the
German army
during WWI.
Maybe that
had something
to do with the
absurdity. 
PTSD? He
also reads
simplistic
rhymed and
metered
poems like
the religious
poems his
aunt wrote
for the local,
neighborhood
newspaper.
Once in a
while he
reads a poem
and says,
“Voilà,
Aristotle’s
Golden Mean,
the Buddha's
Middle Way, 
Lao Tzu's 
Tao -- some-
thing that 
reads really 
well like 
a parable of 
Jesus. 

A Twenty-Eight-Year-Old Conversation Between a Long Deceased Introvert and Her Extroverted Husband

She said, “You don’t really know me,” —
that after twenty-five years of marriage.
He didn’t know whether he was being
told in an accusatory tone that he
hadn’t cared enough to find out or if
that tone was one of pride that some-
how she had spirited away her soul so
he could never know. He said, “Well, if
you had told me, I would have known.
I can’t know anything without being in-
formed.” “If you truly loved me, I wouldn’t
have had to tell you; you would just know.”
“Oh, come on. That’s not fair.” And with
that he knew the tone was a little of each.
And with that memory, he turned to his
introverted wife of twenty-five years and
said, “Tell me, dear.” She just furrowed
her brow.

wisdom

he sits mesmerized by the maple
     tree across the street — brilliant
          orange, yellow, red leaves still
in the windless air like a painting
     by an impressionist. he can al-
          most hear the notes emanating
from the trunk like a pavane
     for a dead princess. soon the
          leaves will twist in the wind and
sleet will slap the tree branches
     until they give up the leaves for
          the winter just around the corner,
but for the moment, the leaves
     sit in the stillness and splender
          that come with wisdom.

 

All The Poets Are Filled With Shame

So, all the poets, if they are old enough
to have children, are filled with guilt and
shame because of the deplorable state

of the earth’s environmental health which
the children, apparently, revel in pointing
out to their now berated, humiliated and

dilapidated parents — those very poets.
And as a father of two children and a step-
father to one stepson, I have thought about

that and have had pangs of regret over not
doing more to help an environment over
which I had not much control. On the other

hand, we separated garbage into garbage
and recyclables from the time the kids were
born so they knew that we were concerned

about the environment, but, hey, in terms
of the big picture, we were pretty much
powerless, but now, apparently, the poets

are convinced that the children stand in
utter and total judgment on their parents,
which is really sad considering that we

are all on the same side wanting to swim
in clean water, breathe clean air, garden in
rich soil and frolic with the wild life. Maybe

the poets are just trying to wake us up from
our lethargy. Maybe, but who knows what’s
in the mind of a poet? So, why do I allow

them to make me feel guilty and ashamed?

Hmmm, those darn poets….

Converting Lefties Into Making Right

 

The members of the cabinet attended a CLIMR meeting. 
The Temporary Occupant wanted them all to be CLIMRs 
and so he equipped them with ropes and crampons and 

said, “Have at it. Let me know when you get back from 
Everest.” But the cabinet members were on a mission 
from God not a climbing expedition anticipated by the 

clueless occupant. They were learning how to convert 
lefties into making right, their sole purpose being to 
take the sinister lefties, expose them for what they 

are, an Antifa support group, and chop off their left 
hands. All was going well when the Secretary of Edu-
cation grabbed the hatchet with her left hand and the 

other members let out a screech. The secretary then 
screamed that she was no lefty but only turned to the 
right in all things. Too late. The Temporary Veep grab-

bed the hatchet and declared that there wouldn’t ever 
be anything left left. And with that, the Court decided 
to consider the case calling for the dismemberment of 

all lefties' left hands. When it came time for the vote, 
the newly confirmed justice inadvertently raised her left 
hand. She was heard to scream as she was carried off to 

the guillotine for left hands, "Next time I'll be sure 
to get it right." Too late, Lefty Lady.