About robertedahl

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

Your Output is Prodigious

Groping for something nice to say,
the reader said, “Your output is prodigious.”
The writer thought, well, that’s okay.
He doesn’t know if his effort is prestigious,
but, while the sun shines, he must make hay.

Some spend a lot of time on a little;
he spends a lot of time on a lot,
while he wouldn’t say the effort is religious.

While it might not be worth spittle
and might taste like a cold, soggy tatertot,
he would agree, the output certainly
is, at the very least, prodigious.

The Man Truly Believes

The man truly believes that the culture is
becoming more and more rude, impatient,

angry, fearful, resentful and ultimately
more violent and he feels caught up and

allowing himself to be brought down in
all the negativity and hostility. He even

has to read his three morning meditations
over a couple of times because his mind

wanders off in negative directions and he
thinks he knows the reasons why all this

is happening, which seem pretty obvious
but he will let the sociologists give a

defining critique of the era. He then
stopped his car just short of the biking/

hiking/walking lane at the intersection,
as a cyclist rode through, waved and said

thanks. He just sat there for a minuscule
moment (in what later he thought had

been a near catatonic state of gratitude)
taking it in and giving thanks for that

solitary cyclist until the guy behind him
in a big Beemer blew the horn jarring the

man…back to the future.

After a Good, Hard Ride

After a good, hard bicycle ride on a
hot afternoon, the cyclist stopped at
a convenience store on the way home
and looked for a twenty-four ounce
bottle of beer (preferably recyclable
plastic to carry on the bike) with a
screw top because he wouldn’t be
drinking twenty-four ounces in one
sitting. Nada. He asked the clerk and
she said, “Oh, we haven’t had any of
those relics since the Jurassic period
when dinosaurs roamed the earth. He
settled for a 25-ounce can (That’s with
an extra ounce, beer fans.) knowing
some would go flat and be wasted. On
the cyclist’s way out of the store,
the clerk said, “Bye, Rex.”

Just Saying

The guy realizes that nature
doesn’t give a rip about his
existence. It is a-rip like a-
moral. If the conditions are
right (or wrong for the guy’s
survival), nature will do its
a-rip thing and the guy will
die. So, if eternal power is
revealed in nature (just say-
ing), that power might be
a-rip or a-moral as in “God
doesn’t give a rip about your
survival.” How does that
square with love as the mar-
row of the bones of creation?
Or maybe it just means as
was song in the old, TV de-
tective show, “Be careful.
It’s a jungle out there,”
and that must be true because
it was sung on a show about
a Monk.

He Touched Each Rock (Ever since the creation of the world… eternal power has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.)*

He dug a hundred Mexican rocks
and touched each one of them —

washing them, caressing the smooth,
black surface, placing them around

the pond, up and down the waterfall
and building a cairn. He touched

them and, in that touch, he discovered
that they were a touchstone.

*Many moons ago, a sculptor, Episcopal
priest, colleague, friend asked, quite
out of the blue, “Do you like rocks?” I just
stared at him and asked, “What?” and we
both began to laugh. He said, “I guess that
sounds silly.” He, now having passed from
eternity to eternity, gets the last laugh.

And This Is Supposed To Be A Dictator?

Someone wrote that the president
(for all the taxpayer expense of his
4th of July parade) forgot to employ

a squeegee guy to clean the rain
splattered bulletproof glass shield
in front of the president as he spoke

from the podium in front of Honest
Abe. Others pointed out the historical
inaccuracies in his speech delivered

in the whiny, sing-song cadence he
always uses when he sticks to script.
A lot of people just wrote, “Boring,”

and the Trump loving crowd seemed
to confirm that. They wanted red
meat and got pablum and Russia

laughed itself silly over the lameness
of the attempt at a big military parade
to make a dictator proud. It has been

said that at one point, Honest Abe
just shook his head in disbelief and
passed a note to some official wonder-

ing where the great song and dance
acts were. The official was seen
whispering in Honest Abe’s ear,

“Hang in there. It will start in about
an hour.” Abe then asked whether
or not the immigrants at the border

were ever going to get some soap.
The official said that they ran out
of money and couldn’t afford a

a squeegee guy let alone soap
for men, women and children
at the border.

Empty Handed

From a colleague to an acquaintance,
to a stranger, we worked together for
three years when I was a full-time

campus minister and he was half-time
given his parish pastoral responsibil-
ities and we parted company and then

one day while I was on vacation in a
location in Tennessee far from home,
I ran into him and we looked at each

other and said hi and fell silent for
a few seconds and then asked about
each other’s families and then wished

each other well and went on our separate
ways except that I then heard he had
some legal problems related to a book

he was writing about a prostitution
ring in the southern city near where
we happened on each other. Now, so

many years after that chance encount-
er, I wonder whatever happened to
him, especially after hearing he

was charged with solicitation related
to the book he was writing. After all
these years, I wish him well and wonder

if the book on prostitution was ever
published. I googled it and came up

Going for Broke

The Fourth of July 2019
in Washington, DC
with tanks clunking
down the street
and planes buzzing,
and the joint chiefs
looking chagrined,
the wannabe dictator
dreams he is a tall
bushy-headed Russian
dictator or a tall, bushy-
headed North Korean
dictator and then he
stands and congratulates
himself on the “parade
to end all parades,” and
everyone hopes he is
just being hyperbolic.
He smiles and cocks
his head from side to
side like a five-year-old
pleased with himself for
having assembled his
plastic tanks and planes
and toy soldiers for the
“grandest parade ever,”
while his father stands
over him asking his wife,
“When will the kid be
ready for Monopoly?”