Stream of Consciousness Prayer after Reading a Meditation

Has it always been like this
(Oh, of course, the potential
is always there, mostly as
potential, occasionally as
an actual), or have the furies
been loosed? I’ve been
leaning toward the latter
based on personal experience
on the road ways with
aggressive, rude, selfish
driving and combative
encounters not to mention
stupid, silly disputes among
neighbors and reports of
increased random incidents
of bullying and violence not
to mention the growing
incidents of hate crimes and
fear mongering not to mention
that after a while there’s a
feeling of helplessness afoot
to do anything, anything at
all about it and so, I keep
coming back to “as much
as it depends on you, live
peaceably…,” and that is
more than a sufficient challenge
because my ancient brain, my
alligator brain kicks in and
because of who I am, I hear
fight more than flight and I
am inclined to be more a part
of the problem than a part of
the solution and I have to let
go and let God and realized that
everything depends on mercy,
mercy, mercy. Oh, mercy, me.
Lord, have mercy.

Preparing a Flank Steak

He happened on a food article on how to prepare a flank steak.
Flank steak is growing in popularity due, perhaps, to the
growing appreciation of Mexican cooking where flank steak is
a staple of fajitas. It had been neglected for thicker, juicier cuts
like ribeye. Flank steak is thinner and tougher than a lot of cuts
of beef, but according to the writer, if done right, provides a luscious
alternative to the other cuts and, actually, can stand on its own among
them. A major component of preparing the flank steak is to let the
steak rest immediately after cooking so the juices can reabsorb through-
out the meat otherwise when you cut into it all the juices will pour
out onto the plate and the meat will be dry. A second component is the
cut. The writer said always to cut across the grain in very thin slices
because if you cut with the grain, the strands of flesh will be long and
tough and chewy. So, after you’ve been cooked by life just rest for a
while and let your juices redistribute through your body and when
you are then cut by life, be sure to stand against the grain because
you should, at the very least, put the best you forward when you
give yourself up to be consumed thus showing that you can stand
on your own among the best of them.

An Age-Old Dilemma

There is a woman who lives a
life of integrity, an integrated
life, a life where things fit
together into a whole, actions

reflecting words and vice versa.
Her core values of justice, mercy,
peace and forgiveness are lived
out in action. Some say the woman

has a prophetic inclination. Some
say she is uppity and acts unbecom-
ing for a woman. She certainly
knows how to anger people with

the things she says and writes. It
is almost a compulsion, maybe a
curse, this trying to set things
straight, to seek justice, to defend

the rights of the helpless, to lift
up and affirm the notion that all
of life is sacred and that we should
handle that sacredness with care

and love. Sometimes her actions are
interpreted as being unloving and
not compassionate. She is like the
preacher who steps on his parish-

ioners’ toes to which they say he has
gone from preaching to meddling. The
woman doesn’t even know where
this comes from except that the father

she admired but who died when the
woman was young, had integrity,  so
maybe it was handed down through
nurturing and conditioning, but the

woman’s father hardly knew his father
or mother, both of whom died as young
immigrants and, of course, the woman
didn’t know her grandparents. One day

she received a note in the mail from a
distant acquaintance who was research-
ing his past and came across the fact
that the woman’s grandfather had been

falsely accused of impregnating a woman
but because he cared for her, paid child
support for years. The note said that the
woman’s family DNA exonerated her

grandfather. Maybe it’s nature, maybe
in the blood, leaving the woman with an
age-old dilemma: Is it nature or nurture?
Both? Whichever, she’s just grateful.

 

In Solitude With Others

He loves immersing himself in solitude —
a place far from the madding multitude.

Not alone, he cavorts with writers galore
and experiences diverse thoughts to explore

in articles, poetry, fiction and non-fiction books,
essays and wandering other literary nooks.

He’ll set the writers aside anytime he wants,
(they aren’t offended)
reflecting on their thoughts hoping to ensconce

wisdom, from up-and-comers to old masters.
Such rumination evokes tears and laughter.

Sometimes in a crowd he can be quite lonely
but in reading and contemplation,
his is a solitude that feels almost holy.

Sorting

And so I wake to comforting,
inspiring, challenging, wise
words in meditations and poetry,
words with honesty about life
and reality from the writer’s
perspective and it is wonderful
to read such thoughts. Some-
times my mind wanders and I
go back and pick up the read-
ing approximately from where
I began to lose concentration,
sometimes re-reading a line or
two, which I don’t mind because
it is all good. I do this because
such attention is for my benefit
and I believe the writers want me
to benefit, otherwise why would
they have written what they did?
Then I catch up on the news of
the day and as one poet put it, in
a poem I read just this morning,
“the shamelessness of men….,”
and I am grateful for all the care
in helping me to sort things out
and not drop into despair.

A Guy I Really Respect

A guy I really respect
said, “I’m queer,” and
I had known he was gay,
so, what could I say?
That’s A-okay.
Then he looked at
me and said, “You’re
queer, too.”
What could I,
a straight guy, do?
He followed that with,
“We are all queer here.”
and for a second,
I thought to steer clear
of where
he might go with that.
But it turns out he had us there.
The Rev. stood in the pulpit
and quickly explained,
“I’m queer as in gay,
but we are all queer
as in peculiar people
along Christ’s way —
peculiar in a way
that counters the world’s way.
Where there is hate,
we are to love.
Where there is injustice,
we are to rise above.
Where the world is judgmental,
we cry mercy, mercy.
Where the world suppresses rights,
our non-violent protests create controversy.
Where there is violence,
we are to live in peace.
Where there is exclusion,
we make inclusion the centerpiece.”
So, even though I’m not gay,
please feel free to call me queer.
For, in Christ, I’m proud to be
particularly peculiar.

A Pip-Squeak and An Orange-Topped Mocking Bird’s Tweets

He’s a pip-squeak of a guy,
maybe with a “Napoleon
complex” — for sure a white
guy susceptible to and

influenced by white supremacy
hate speech, incited from quite
a distance — the distance from
the U.S. to New Zealand. From

his internet diatribe one can
ascertain that he is a fan of
the occupant of the White House,
someone who has fooled so many

with his viral, tough, white guy
talk inciting violence here, there
and apparently everywhere. How
has the occupant fooled the racist

base? He’s pretty much a racist
himself, but he doesn’t identify
with that base at all. He despises
them; they are all beneath him in

his distorted mind; they are have-
nots; he thinks he is all in all and
has it all; except down, down,
deep, deep, he’s hollow and needy;

he panders to those he despises to
get the adoration, the money, and
the votes, and that’s what makes him
so dangerous, dangerous enough to

unleash the hate-filled violence
of a Napoleon wanna-be all the way
away, down under New Zealand way.
And the stats just keep going up

and up and up and getting worse
— fifty Muslim worshipers dead
in two Mosques in peaceful
neighborhoods. And the hate

goes on and grows on as the fear
and violence go on and on with
the screeching tweets of the
orange-topped mocking-bird.

Bad Dreams/Good Outcomes

She dreams that bad dreams
will cease and desist
and now she’s told to hope
these dreams persist.
Why?
It turns out these dreams
have the purpose of
helping her work out things
keeping her from love.
How?
During the day, filters keep us going
to act appropriately and sanely
even without our knowing
or working painstakingly.
Ah!
During the night, work unresolved
and unfiltered goes on
helping us with troubles to solve
eventually laughing and having fun.
We hope.
She has yet for the fun to arrive
but takes comfort in the sense
that bad dreams keep us alive,
and from committing daytime violence.

He Happened on a Death One Day

He happened on a death one day
and didn’t know what to say
so he just sat and started to bray.

Someone said, “You should pray.”
He said, “My cry is my prayer today.
I just don’t have anything to say.”

The grieving family said, “It’s okay,
if you don’t have anything to say.”
So, together they cried the day away.

For years they would wail and bray
wherever they would wander or stray.
Patience is to suffer come what may.

So they sat in wait of the day
when tears and cries would allay.
That would be a joy filled day.

So, in hope, for that blessed day,
wherever they were along life’s way,
they did constantly pray.

And then one sun filled day
they spotted the shining ray
for which they waited day after day.

Yes, they waited patiently for the day
when nature’s colors came out to play.
“Life is good,” they could finally say.

Interrupting One’s Self While Writing a Free Verse Poem

He’s so sick of news show hosts
interrupting their guests. Every
day it

(Are you sure you want to
start this poem that way?
It’s pretty prosaic. Oh,
you are going for free
verse.)

gets worse and worse. Guests

(Isn’t it time for a rhyme?)

can’t get a full sentence

(How about a little meter here?)

out of their mouths before the host

(I know it’s a little corny but this
might be a good time for “the
host with the most” to get the
rhyme thing going.)

barges in and answers the question
the host just asked

(Beginning with “and” that line is a
nice start to what could be an iambic
tetrameter couplet.)

without blinking an eye.

(And here’s mud in your eye
and pie in the sky
by and by.
Oh, why do I
even try?)

And that’s all before the show
ends and off camera the guests
just sigh.

(Okay, that could be a start.)

The end.

(Seriously?)