That’s Not Right

Even as a kid, he had a sense that
something was askew, something
ajar, something not quite right in

nature. He would run and play
along a creek in the neighborhood
and would stop and look down at

the life in the crystal clear water.
Then he would go to the beach with
the family and his mother would tell

him to be careful in the water and
look out for rusty cans. Once, not
so careful, he cut his foot on the

sharp lid of one of those rusty cans
and had to be rushed off to the
hospital for a tetanus shot. That

was the beginning of what he
would later come to understand
as human hubris and carelessness.

Yesterday he took a walk along a
nature preserve; he looked down
from the newly constructed bridge

to see the wild life — a few pop cans
and a styrofoam cup. He thought of
the TV commercial where the punch

line is “That’s not right,” and thought
to himself and when he got back to the
car and closed the door shouted,

That’s not right!

A Blur

I can’t deal with the lies anymore
and while I don’t know what is in store,
I know that I am able to think
and back off from being on the brink
of losing my emotional equilibrium
and going catatonically numb
or breaking out in a severe manic
because we are all in such a panic,
and so I’ll take it quite easy
not paying attention to all that is so sleazy.
I’ll breathe my breaths so deep
and get eight hours sleep.
Then I will go for a nice run
praying the serenity prayer be done
and then I’ll pray the Lord’s Prayer
hoping this time will pass in a blur.

Catching the March Sun

By the lakeside so serene
he is glad to be where he has been —
in the sand.
While the winds of March march on,
beyond the clouds there is the promised sun —
skyline scanned.

They walk over icy mounds
knowing there is a big lake to be found —
beyond sand.
He reaches down and holds her tight
and pulls her up with all his strength and might.
They do stand

and look west to that sun,
which tries to hide and then outrun for fun —
those who watch.
But they have arrived in time;
the snow and icy mounds have been climbed
— the sun caught

before it declines
ever so sublime.


We sit enjoying the sun’s warmth
ready to immerse in flowers’ bouquet,
eager to indulge in spring’s mirth
looking forward to a forest hike today.
The earth emerges like a sprinter
dashing through last vestiges of winter.

We glance back at glorious white
coating the Norway Spruces in grace
slaking trees’ thirst through the night.
All is still anticipating seasonal haste.
Green growth emerges like an awakening
into the eager season of spring.

Our Elected Enablers

Why does an enabler enable? As bad as things are, they believe things could be worse by naming the illness for what it is and dealing with the consequences of that reality.

There is a perceived payoff in the known status quo — their own erroneously perceived homeostasis in a totally skewed  social system. They are trying to save their perceived well-being even if that thought is tragically flawed and misguided and ultimately leads to disaster.  They keep enabling the addict hoping for a different outcome, which, of course, never materializes. Thus, the AA definition of insanity.

And so, the Republicans in the House and Senate are like the spouses and relatives of addicts who enable the addict to keep wreaking havoc — they know the status quo and trust it even if it leads eventually to disaster for themselves and for the wider social system, in this case meaning the rest of us in the USA.

And so, while the president is a known involuntary Looney-Tune character, the Republicans are worse because they have choices and if they did the right thing, we would be done with this pox on our house.

The president is the compulsive, ADHD, malevolent narcissistic that he is; he is addicted to himself and money as his alter ego and he can’t help himself.  After more than two years of observing the president’s daily behavior, it doesn’t take a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist to render a verdict on the president’s behavior. Just present the evidence to those attending an AA meeting for a truthful evaluation and determination. There has to be an intervention by those who have the power and authority to intervene.

The Republicans enable this behavior because they believe there is a payoff for them. They want to get re-elected to the cushiest job in the country, but by their enabling, they are tearing the very fabric of the family system, the country they wish to continue to serve, if in name only.

They are worse than the sick president because they have a choice and they are not making it. They are not fulfilling their oaths of office. They are the enablers who might be shredding the constitutional fabric — the family system called the United States of America.

A Time for Love

He sat listening to Ahmed Jamal
tickle Poinciana and But Not for Me,
and Once Upon a Time and he went
weak in the knees remembering
what was once upon a time. He
turned to his wife and said, “I have
to stop looking back.” He looked
out on the warm, southern sky.
“I have to start looking forward.”
And then A Time for Love started
and he thought of his wife and
how this is the time for love before
the Midnight Sun sets.

Winding Down

The former prosecutor
said, to paraphrase,
“If his name was Kwame
or Pedro the sentencing
would have been very
different,” regarding the
soft and reputedly unjust
sentencing of an old,
white guy in the court of
an old, white guy. If this
verdict means anything,
according to another
former prosecutor, it
is that there still is no
equal treatment under
the law. The justice rul-
ed that old, white-collar,
white guys rule…still…
if only until old, white
guys die off, something
of which old, white guys
are particularly sensitive
and aware and still
weakly raging against
as the old, white, wind
bags’ wind winds down….

Growing a Kidney Stone

The head flight attendant
from hell asked me what I
wanted to drink. “Diet Coke,
please.” She then turned
to the next person and
asked what he wanted to
drink and then said,
“Wait. Don’t say Diet
Coke. I have just two
words for you, just two —
kidney stones. So, what
do you want?” “A Diet
Coke,” my neighbor said.
She then tossed a package
of cookies onto my tray.
Again she turned to my
neighbor and asked what
he wanted in the way
of a snack. She offered
three choices. I said,
“You just threw down a
package of cookies onto
my tray and didn’t offer
a choice. I would like
some peanuts, please.”
She tossed a package of
peanuts onto my tray and
pushed the cart away. “And
I paid good money for this?”
I mumbled to myself to which
she turned and barked, “Did
you just say something!”
“Who, me? I’m just sitting
here growing a kidney stone.”

Just Another Regret

He read about a doomsday
scenario related to global
warming apparently which sent
many readers of the article
into depression and therapy
and some suicides, undoubtedly.
He tried to imagine life without
electricity especially in the
winter. He would have to trek
up and down the dune for water
from the Big Lake and then
find a way to start a fire to
boil the water. His wife asked
how he would start a fire in the
winter with snow all over the
ground. It stopped him in his
Yaktrax tracks. He didn’t know.
He attained the rank of Webelos
but never joined the Boy Scouts.
Just another one of life’s regrets
and missed opportunities.

Time Will Tell In the Short Time We Have Left

Snow falls in the lingering
winter. A black-capped

chickadee hops from branch
to branch in the yew bush

outside my window. Then
a female cardinal hops on

and hops around. The red
berries with their poison

black cores are long gone
but the needles hang on.

The birds nibble at the
needles. “Are you that

hungry this winter or are
you starting to think of

nesting?” Time will tell.
Routines go on in the face

of climate change even for
the birds. Will the birds

wake up to the impending
disaster before we do? My

hunch is that they will.
What will they then do?

What will we do when we
get up and out of denial?

Time will tell in the short
time we have left.