We Are All Going Crazy

We are all going crazy with this
guy in the Oval Office. Seriously,
it is a fact that we need a
leader, a truly benevolent,
compassionate, empathic
person who will bring
unity, peace and love,
uphold the Constitution,
obey the law, deflect
praise, lift up others,
be humble, self-
ing, self-confident,
not pride-filled,
have a genuine
sense of humor,
be a secular
good shepherd(ess),
enabling a noble
spirit among
citizens and
then there is
what we have
and we are
all going

This is really, really serious — serious
for us — individuals, families,
communities, villages,
towns, townships,
counties, cities,
states — the

People, legislators keep saying,
in reference to the occupant
of the Oval Office, that they
hope he will change. He will
not change, cannot change. He
is incapable of self-reflection
or self-criticism. Please
stop being political and
saying that you hope he
will change. It’s a sick-
ness: he cannot change.
We are going crazy and
we need to do the only
thing that can be
done — VOTE HIM
and save our

To Be on Tenterhooks is Not Okay

The mayor proclaimed
the community is on tenter-
hooks, while taking aim
at that which was to blame —
stretched to the point of
breaking (?) — or a state of
uneasiness, strain,
or suspense
the dictionary’s way.
Either way,
it’s not okay
for an American city
to feel stretched in that way.
The same
we could say
is the way
it is down El 
Paso way —
We should be floating
down the Rio Grande
not burying legislative heads
in the sand.
El Paso on tenterhooks,
not fishing bubbling brooks.
not the still, serene waters
of the bucolic Boundary Waters
but tenterhooks —
stretched to breaking
or a state of
uneasiness, strain,
or suspense
not a place
for American space
that makes any sense.
It makes sense
in the Chicago River
to paddle a canoe
or a kayak
or visit the Lincoln Park
or Brookfield Zoo
or in a National Park
go on a backpack
trip, but it isn’t okay
in this day
for cities to be
on tenterhooks —
maybe stretched
to breaking,
this very day.
It’s not okay.
It’s just not okay.
It’s simple:
CONTROL the guns
the mayor did say.

Designer Faith

The well-coiffed, white woman sat at
the bar in the upscale hotel talking
non-stop at the woman she was with

about how much she loved her church
and how wonderful it is to be a
Christian and how when she travels

out of the country how glad she is to
get back to such a great Christian
nation. As she spoke she found time

to raise her glass of Pinot Grigio
to her lips and as she did, her Gucci
watch and bracelets jangled. When

she tossed her head back, her neckless,
just above her scoop-necked, expensive
blouse, glimmered in the summer’s

descending sun. Her companion’s hus-
band arrived and the woman excused
herself with the announcement that

she was late for her pedicure. When
she got up, she said to the couple
that she was sure they were at the

right place to make the decision for
Jesus. She tossed several singles
onto the bar complaining that the

cabbie in “D.C.” who drove her to the
plane, paid her back in them. As
she walked off, she made a statement

with her cut-off, designer jeans
and just the right height open-toed
clogs. She moved too quickly to see

how badly she might need that pedicure.

Friends Come and Go, So, Adios, One Time Amigos — Life Happens, Oops, My Bad

Everyone looks at their phones constantly;
there is no excuse,
no matter where they may be,
so, if I send an e-mail
and don’t hear back without fail,
those e-mail addresses are deemed obsolete
and I just jump up,
wipe my hands and dust off my feet.
I will oblige,
no hard feelings to hide.
Perhaps, my missives
are dismissive
and considered just a bother;
no hard feelings, they won’t get another.
I get the delay
and adios I will say.
They don’t want contact, it’s obvious,
so, as far as I’m concerned, to them, I’ll be oblivious.
Friends come and go,
so, come rain or snow,
come gloom of night, come the day’s heat,
that particular address I’ll simply delete.
Bye, bye.
Oh, look what just came in;
wouldn’t you know it?
They’ve been on a phone-free vacation.
I love these guys.

It’s Time To Travel*

It is time to travel upstream,
not to die like salmon
but to live like steady, friendly, social bream
to catch life’s spiritual fun.

The theologian said, “Headwaters,”
where moving through the shallow stream,
brothers, sisters, sons and daughters
would find water deep and life might teem —

one race, all children of God
frolicking and emerging;
they dash, applaud, are awed
by love’s journey converging

at the headwaters of life’s eternal stream.

*idea from a Richard Rohr meditation
quoting Cynthia Bourgeault

The Disturber of the Peace Looks at His Front Door

The man reads the headlines online every
day and knows that things might never again
be okay. He thinks of himself as a mature,

balanced adult but sometimes his shock
goes to shrieks at the outrageous, racist
rants and the rollover, play-dead response

from unresponsive legislators when minor-
ities are actually dead on arrival, and he
goes into a primal scream and misdirected

verbal aggression and then he calms down,
feels guilty but still wonders why his neigh-
bors in his quiet neighborhood don’t stand

out in front of their homes and scream bloody
murder on occasion at what is happening.
But they don’t. The timid, mostly members

of the silent generation have decided that
he’s the identified family problem for dis-
turbing the peace. He just doesn’t fit in and

then he considers a wise friend’s question,
“Why have we taken so few steps from the
face of the cave?” He looks at his front door.

NRAmazon by Vicki Hill*

There are in America fewer people than guns
We always feel that we won’t be the ones

Who are in school, a church, a store
When a shooter appears to kill yet more

Every gun death diminishes you and me
Something self-involved 45 chooses not to see

Blind, too, Kentucky leader, Turtle: will he call Congress back
Or simply wait to endorse gun sales till September, so slack

We owe our existence to sheer chance
That we were absent from bullets that danced.

I’ll avoid public venues, order from Bezos
Till I am summoned to meet Jesus.

*Vicki Hill is a poet and friend of mine.

Don’t Ever Question Why — Two Photos*

Don’t ever question why
Kaepernick took a knee;
it is right there in photos
for everyone to see:

A black seller of illegal cigarettes
and the brutal police chokehold death he met;

and a white guy (aiming for Latinos) killing more than twenty,
he stands among police guys —
absolutely, disgustingly extraordinary!
Don’t ever question why

Kaepernick took a knee…
racial justice and equality.

*idea from a post on a twitter site
of a friend.

All Shades of Color — A Poem to a Friend Who Sent a Note About a Jewish Guy Who Befriended A Black Guy at a Conference

“I said that since humans came from Africa and migrated to all
parts of the world, their skin color changed so that they could
survive in their new environment. Therefore, we are all shades
of color and we are all One Race…”

I’ve been thinking and appreciating —
appreciating and embracing
our friendship since we
met in fifth grade.
How rare is that —
a friendship that doesn’t fade.


“Well, I’ve had it,” he said
After fretting all day about
The terrorist attacks in
El Paso, Texas and Dayton,

Ohio and he emphasizes
That both were terrorist
Attacks. #1. They created
Terror and #2. They were

Mass shootings by young
White guys against black
And brown people. “This
Isn’t rocket science,” he

Says revealing himself to
Be someone whose hay-
Day was the Sixties. So
He’s looking forward to

Masterpiece Mystery
On a summer Sunday
Evening having some
Bourbon and then in

The morning thinking
A bit more about being
A privileged, old, white
Guy with his heart in the

Right place which actually
Is the left place, except
That because he is the age
He is, people make all the

Wrong assumptions about
Him. As a retiree, he feels
Almost as comfortable as
Republican Senators who

Spend most of their time
On break, like right now,
And then send their staff
Out to fundraise when

Those senators are back in
Washington having a few
Martinis over lunch. As his
B-i-l ended a recent e-mail,

“Meh,” revealing his b-i-l
To be a 90’s kind of guy
Which the 60’s kind of guy
Had to Google to find out.