About robertedahl

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

Amidst It All/Watching the Funeral for the 41st President of the United States

In spite of and amidst all the pomp and
circumstance, all the military salutes
and twenty-one bomb bursting blanks in
air, there back in the cathedral, the
service’s recessional hymn For All the
Saints sung heartily, and on the tarmac,
Going Home, the African-American
spiritual arranged by Dvorak and played
solemnly, caught him unawares, brought
tears to his eyes and in the hearing of
those two hymns alone, he knew that
God’s love for him had been affirmed
at his baptism and that he affirmed
his love for God, Creator, Redeemer
Sustainer in his confirmation and
that he had given his heart to the
church in his ordination and for
all the disappointment he has had
in the institution and all its com-
promises, and while even now as
he is content to watch the comings
and goings of that errant institution
from a distance, the church, for
better or worse, remains his
family.

Nice Guys

He read a scathing indictment
of Mr. Nice Guy’s (GHW Bush)
one term presidency and he
found himself agreeing with

just about every nicely written
and pointedly damning sentence
by the journalist and the cause
and effect of that presidency

which helped pave the way for
the resulting wannabe dema-
goguery the nation is enduring
today, but he found himself

wishing it had been tempered
just a bit because GHW was a
nice guy and he did just die
and we aren’t supposed to speak

ill of the dead — even if every
bit rang true. He remembers
telling a “nice guy” friend
that the friend was selling

his organization’s soul to
the devil in accepting hefty
donations from billionaire
ideologues with an agenda

in opposition to the vision
and mission of the organization.
The friend responded by saying
that the ideologues were nice

guys. In that moment, he thought
to retort that he was sure there
were those who thought Hitler
was a nice guy, too. He didn’t.

Maybe, in part, because it isn’t
nice to speak ill of the dead.
And just maybe, he thought to
himself, because I’m just too

nice of a guy. Hmm. Not.

A Charming and Rakish Poet

Today, on the anniversary
of the famous poet’s birthday,
it has been found
that the 19th and 20th century
poet of spiritual renown
was a serial philanderer
with wealthy dowagers all over town
to fund his poetry which
critics anoint
as the near greatest
ever to be found.
In hind sight, perhaps we
should thank his exploits
for stoking the poetic muse.
Nobody’s perfect and, not only
is his poetry renowned,
but, apparently, his masculine
charms were hard to refuse.

One’s True Name

Nothing is lost; everything is gained
from one generation to another;
on and on is the chorus’ refrain,
singing praise for father and mother

who commingle back to Adam and Eve
and before that to the eternal word
granted to creation on Big Bang’s eve
with expanding reverberations to be heard

from dawn to dust into infinity.
From dust we came and to dust we go
but that dust is never lost in eternity;
rather its spirit is marked with life aglow,

signifying an eternally precious life
which is never gone and heaven to gain —
a spiritual body with life rife
emerging from birth’s primordial pain

to shout, “God has granted me my true name!”

And There Grace Abides

I look and ever wonder why
there is so much trouble
under the great, wide sky.

I would like to fly
away from all the rubble
where some wait to die.

Sometimes I just cry
looking at all who stumble
through all that’s gone awry.

They beg; its their ware to ply,
reaching out to grope and grubble;
they would spit in an eye.

They are despised and they despise,
acquainted with grief they buckle
before our very eyes.

There was One despised,
who to the cross did stumble —
thus opening humanity’s eyes.

In the un-comely One, there is joy to surprise,
to see beauty in the humble
and embrace those with Christ’s eyes.

Terrible beauty there hides;
…as you did it to those rejected and troubled,
you did it to Jesus and there grace abides

and salvation resides.

The Girdle

They sat in the two front bucket
seats with the gear shift between
them. Somehow they managed.

She wore a girdle and his hand
pressed eagerly against the warm,
wet material between her legs.

He thought to himself, Girdle?
Aren’t we beyond those days?
Why is she wearing a girdle?

The barrier remained, the wind-
ows fogged and the flashing
porch light glowed through the

fog. “That’s last call before they
go to bed,” she said. Then they
heard footsteps crunching the

snow just outside the front pass-
enger side door. Shocked and
scared, they stared at each other.

He opened the door and saw no
one in the midnight hour. He rush-
ed her to the door and they never

fogged the windows again. After
that, they moved inside when the
folks were gone and the girdle, too.

Wide Minds*

Hemingway wrote that
he grew up in an affluent town
of “wide lawns and narrow minds.”
The author who quoted him
expressed the worthy goal
of “narrow lawns and wide minds.”
My take is that would be
better than just fine
as a metaphor and to help
the environment to shine
and would fit with the little
dune grass yard of mine
and my hope and desire for a
broadly expanding heart and mind.

*quoted from https://onbeing.org/blog/jane-hwangbo-counterfeit-happiness-and-the-american-consumerist-tradition/?utm_source=On+Being+Newsletter&utm_campaign=d60bd713bf-20181201_ThePause&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1c66543c2f-d60bd713bf-70289661&mc_cid=d60bd713bf&mc_eid=3ef5614529.

It Has Been Said

It has been said that sin is banal
And surely that will do
The theme isn’t simplify
But rather simplistic —
Through and through.
Everyone is waiting for the
Labyrinth to be exposed
But “follow the money”
Plays out like a stupid side-show.
The president wanted a Russian tower
But couldn’t get the money
While the sanctions were in place.
Putin just wanted the sanctions gone
So he and Russia could have more elbow space
To dominate Europe and beyond.
If Russia helped Trump get elected
So the sanctions could be lifted,
Trump would get his tower
And Russian domination would grow
And the Russian spring would flower.
However, the lies are adding up
Like a Siberian, snow-capped mount
And the culprits are giving up;
Their egos no more to flaunt.
And the selfish scheme
Cooked up in the dark
Is soon to face the high beam
And be seen for what it would tell —
A stupid, simplistic, banal plan
Of treason — all for a tall Trump hotel.

This Little Light

Religion gets
a bad name
and carries
all the blame.
Organized religion plays
the culprit.
Religious groups
just split and split
Over this and that
and tit for tat.
Irony just smiles
and shakes her head.
True religion is about
the opposite instead.
Root religare means
to bind, come together
and attach with
the light tether
of God’s grace.
So what to do
in the mean time?
Find kindred spirits —
let your little light shine
until you split, too.
Then sing the Kyrie
and continue to pray.
The results are not
up to you.
So just be one
of the faithful
to do the job,
of “doing justice,
loving mercy
and walking humbly
with your God.”