We meander along the Magnificent Mile,
take in the sights and people watch.
We duck into a promenade, which strolls
east along the north side of the Chicago
River, stand in front of a corner Walgreens,
look up and see clouds snaking among
the skyscrapers and swimming along the
path of the river. Seemingly all walkers
along Michigan Ave., headed both ways on
both sides of the street, stare at their
phones seeing about as much of the Mile
as the residents of the upper floors of
those mile-high scrapers shrouded in clouds
but who probably would be staring at their
phones even if the sky were clear, the
sun shining and the river glistening.
After we give it up and our nano-
second on the face of the earth is
over and eventually the earth is
restored and other hominoid-like
creatures populate the earth, they
will look at our short tenure and
shrug their shoulders and say
something like, “What a bunch of
dumb clucks,” in a strange dialect
or entirely new language and can
you blame them? From oblivion
you can wish them well.
The mainline institutional sprinklers tried to purge me
of deep grief by metaphorically dunking me
in the name of the Holy Trinity
except they just wanted to get rid of me
and get on with getting on with their
capitalistic inspired religious institutionality.
They had given me —
a year, an institutional generosity,
but I was only hitting on six of eight
when they ran out of patient religiosity
and told me of my fate.
And so I saved them the trouble;
I resigned and amidst all their grumble and mumble,
said I would follow Jesus if that were no trouble.
They said, “Be our guest.”
And, by the grace of God, it has all been for the best.
I have tried to follow Jesus
and they have continued to seek institutional,
evangelical, capitalistic riches and blessings
they were once taught
you cannot serve God and mammon
and they seek to avoid the inevitable, institutional attrition
while I, years and years and years later,
merrily have gone my way on and on and on
and they put millions of dollars switching
the front entrance to the back entrance
making the back the front and the front
a facade which still looks nice but
basically has lost its functionality
except for those few and far between
souls who still walk to worship.
“You have to go north.”
“Maples are turning nicely.”
“Too many dull oaks.”
Frost — in swirls of wind —
teases Indian Summer.
Leaves twist on the trees.
It has been said,
“Everything the Occupant touches dies.”
In the brains of all his walking deadheads
“I can have my cake and eat my fruit pie.”
It is also said, “The love of money is evil at the root.”
Are these guys all bolts and lug nuts?
Does that mean the love of money is the deadly fruit?
In the Occupant’s fruit, there is no nutrition.
The walking deadheads can have their fruit pie.
Unfortunately, it leads to life’s attrition
confirming the fact that “Everything he touches dies.”
The courageous gal
testifying on the hill
before all legislators’ eyes
has integrity to spill.
All running for cover are
the hill’s cowardly guys.
Predictably, soon the
Occupant with prying eyes,
will try to demean the gal
with scurrilous lies
and worn out quips like
“She’s a loser — a fake news spy.”
Rain came suddenly.
Bright colors in the strong wind.
Fall — too soon to end.
I am increasingly convinced that it is possible to live the wounds of the past not as gaping abysses that cannot be fulfilled and, therefore, keep threatening us as gateways to new life. The “gateless gate” of Zen and the “healing wounds of Christ” both encourage us to detach ourselves from the past and trust in the glory to which we are called. — Henri Nouwen
The wounds of the past may loom
as “gaping abysses that cannot be fulfilled.”
Unfulfilled they lead to doom.
By entering Zen’s “gateless gate,”
and embracing the “healing wounds of Christ,”
we may let go of the past and the self-hate
projected on others with merciless branding,
but then live in the bliss of
of peace and mutual understanding.
“We are out of there; screw you.
Erdogan is almost a genius, too.
The Kurds are turds,
May they be stomped on by the Turks
and eliminated from the earth.
They never helped us in WW2.”
“They are our allies.”
“Direct that question
to the President of Iceland.”
“It wasn’t a question and the
President of Iceland finally
got a chance to flee the USA
and is safely back in Iceland today.
The Kurds were allies and they are
“Slaughtered rhymes with turd —
I’m a stable genius poet.
And you didn’t know it.”
The reporter said, “Oy vey,”
and the Occupant demanded,
“What did the Jew say?
I think this guy
is a fake news spy!”