Nov 17 2015

These Leaves

Original Publish Date: 11.1.00

I got a Thanksgiving card from Mom today
With the reds, oranges, and yellows of fall
Cut out of the cover into a string of leaves and a pumpkin.
She is always on time with cards

Inside, some pressed leaves, real ones
Presumably from her yard,
Or somewhere down the country road
Where we all like to walk

I am in the summer of my life
And soon, I will be in the fall
Is there more I can plant before it ‘s too late?
Why have I no family to invest in for when I am old?
I sit in specification review meetings all week
And silently ask myself repeatedly
Is this what you wanted to do with your life?
You are in the prime of your life!
This is your life!
You will never get this day back.

I must reach inward again and move
Toward the dreams of my heart
What sorrows, what sins lay unresolved?
What guilt, what hatred that should be brought to light?
There is no more time to palliate wounds
With potato chips and television

Unless that is what I want to say with my life
That life is too hard, and the best you can do
Is strive not be poor, or out on the street
That living a noble life
Is for those who are lucky
Who started on the right track earlier.

I may never reach the heights of some
But I can reach the heights of peace,
And usefulness, and some level of love
If I try. If I try.
God help me to try.

Nov 15 2015


Original Publish Date: 7.1.1

My face droops with
The solemn determination to make it
Through the day
Resigned and hardened
To the diatribes of conscience
Like the patter of weekend rain
“You should not have stayed up late – again.”

I have work to do.
Work to do.

Nov 13 2015

American Light Bulb Jokes

So I was thinking how much I love stereotypes and ethnic jokes, & I realized that there aren’t enough good anti American jokes. Hopefully I won’t be attacked for being a racist if I make jokes about my own country. So I thought about the qualities of Americans that are annoying. I had to think often in terms of conservative or liberal and I made up this spate of lightbulb jokes.

Q: How many Americans does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A: One because he can’t get a coalition together to help him. Continue reading

Nov 12 2015


Original Publish Date: 7.1.1

Job and his Wife (c. 1504)
Albrecht Dürer

Please do not ask me
Where I have been –
I am ashamed.

Please do not tell me right now
What I need to do –
I am not ready to hear it.

Please do not brag to me
About your recent successes –
I can not appreciate them
Or enjoy them with you

Sit with me.

Be in the moment with me.
Your presence alone
Adds the missing ingredient
To the silence around me

And words would be unwelcome.

All my sorrows and sins
Simmer withing me
Down to a thin resin of painful experience
That coats my insides.
All the poison evaporates
And I can start again.

Please tell me that I am loved
And that my failures
Will pass,
And I can be OK to start again.

But please, say all these things
By being here for a while, silently,
And smile when you go.

When I can again return a smile
From the the heart,
We will both know
That the work is complete.

Nov 11 2015

What is good satire?

I want to write a short series of satirical stories, but in doing so, I want to make clear what my purpose is, and so I first want to paint my view of the content and purposes of satire.  Enjoy.

1. The goals of satire v. sarcasm

Many people confuse these two types of communication, and for sure, they may overlap, but in a pure sense, they have different ends.   Sarcasm is really meant to ridicule and harm one’s opponents, while satire has much more noble goals.   Satire is a lampooning of your opponents in order to show the ridiculousness of their position, especially the moral ridiculousness of it.  Its aim is awareness and awakening, not ridicule and harm. Continue reading

Nov 10 2015


Original Publication Date: 7.7.1

My mind is consumed
With the solitary thought
Of having to pee
Other priorities ask for attention
But they must wait
Until I find a bathroom
A restroom, a tree out of sight
Anything will do

It must happen now.

Nov 9 2015


“Where am I?” Horace asked himself as he walked out of the doors into the afternoon sunshine.

This was the second time in recent memory that Horace had experienced some disorientation when exiting a store – or was it the third time, he wondered? Standing in the doorway, he didn’t panic – years of martial arts training had taught him the difference between an imaginary crisis and real emergency. “Heck,” he thought to himself somewhat unconsciously, “even in a real emergency you can’t lose your head.”

Horace turned his torso half way around to look up at the name on the store. “Ahh, the pharmacy.” He was beginning to get his bearings – at least he knew that he was in his home town. But where was his car? And what did he come to the pharmacy for?

He glanced down at the flimsy white plastic bag in his left hand, and brought it up to his face to peer into it as he pulled it open with the other hand. “Nail clippers,” he said out loud, with a slight hint of recognition – “I came here for nail clippers.” Holding his hand up in front of his face, he surveyed his nails and grimaced. “I hate when my nails get long.”

In reality, his nails were only showing about a millimeter and a half of white beyond his nail bed, but for Horace, they had to be kept trimmed flush. Continue reading

Nov 9 2015

The Place

Original Publish Date: 7.1.1

There is a place
Between all of the paradoxical dialectics
Where time and truth meet
And Isness replaces both
So that neither exists except
In the present moment.
I will meet you there
And we will become re-aquainted

Nov 9 2015


Original Publish Date: 7.1.1

Every ache
Speaks of a time
When we will meet
You are the doorway through which
Even the Saints must pass

Sometimes I feel you
Creeping up from behind
Others, you are a distant
Point of darkness
That could spring up
At a missed traffic light
Or in a winter virus

My days are less numerous
Than I would like
I can no longer afford
The wasteful frivolities
Of inane videos
And addictive activities

Creativity and spirit
Call to me as gently as ever
But now I hear a note
Of pain in their voices
Wait no longer
Today is the day that counts ask alice . site headers