People look east so says the song.
Wise ones from a time long gone.
Even now my mornings feast
on coffee cupped windows facing east.
The colors wake in vibrant sheen
Over the limolicious green.
I have few windows facing west.
Intentionally I could turn, I guess.
I rather like the promise of the day
Leaning into fresh light on display.
Hope is a muscle that must be flexed
From one sunrise to the next.
So I look east after I have slept
thankful for a promise kept.
The light grows for me as it must
the hope I need from dawn to dusk.
The spectacle of watching an honorable man eaten alive was too much for me. I was told honor cannot compete in an arena of evil and greed. That is why Jesus was killed I was told. That is why he said, "My kingdom is not of this world." It sparked a decades-old memory of participating in a high-powered, intense, expensive leadership seminar. Nine CEOs of companies and me. I was their token non-profit participating due to a generous fellowship grant from a corporation. In every exercise during the seminar, I discovered there were only two outcomes. Learn something from the experience that I could take home to the people and the causes that mattered to me or be eaten alive. There was no winning. I was then and still, am now largely naive about the way the world works. Most people laugh at how naive I am...like Father Mulcahy in M*A*S*H. I am perpetually surprised at how honor lurks in the shadows and evil struts in plain sight. The ancient message of the Gospels tolls like a bell through the valley of the darkness. Evil is a flesh-eating disease. There is the cross of sacrifice and service to others or giving into the power of evil snacking on our naivete.
Ode to the Ellipsis
Packed with mystery and joie de vivre.
Known more by its generic name,
dot dot dot
yada yada yada.
You know what comes next.
It could also mean
None of us
know what comes next.
What if the Gospels had ended with
Or a death date on a tombstone?
Or your name on your birth certificate?
It is a writer’s lazy go-to
When it is time to change the subject or
Just find an ending. Somehow.
It could also be pregnant
With the next bold story or
Just the old story we have heard
At least three dots worth of time.
I use for all those purposes and more.
I use it when I want to break the grammar rules.
Being a rule-breaker
Means the colors are more important
Than the lines.
I use the ellipsis when I want you
To have a hand-hold to grasp like
a free climber on an impossibly steep ledge
So that you can arrive at the summit
Where the view is worth it…
Or when we both know
That the ending is completely and utterly
In our hands…
The world needs poets, especially now, she said.
It felt like a call.
I am gobbling up poems
stretching cheek muscles
of comic women.
There is truth in them thar hills,
I am learning new words.
They are my river stones that
wink at me beneath the translucent waves.
Take me home and I will be your morning muse.
A flight of steps down to a river
or over a mountain pass.
This morning I sat in America.
This morning I wrote about uncertainty.
This morning I read a poem.
This morning I share this poem with you.
It felt meet and right so to do.
by Mary Oliver
Early in the morning we crossed the ghat,
where fires were still smoldering,
and gazed, with our Western minds, into the
A woman was standing in the river up to her
she was lifting handfuls of water and spilling it
over her body, slowly and many times,
as if until there came some moment
of inner satisfaction between her own life and
Then she dipped a vessel she had brought with
and carried it filled with water back across the
no doubt to refresh some shrine near where she
for this is the holy city of Shiva, maker
of the world, and this is his river.
I can't say much more, except that it all happened
in silence and peaceful simplicity, and something
like the bliss of certainty and a life lived
in accordance with that certainty.
I must remember this, I thought, as we fly back
Pray God I remember this.
Children’s voices from Terezin
I turned the page and saw a
Of their own hand
Like children do in art class or vacation bible school
I wanted to touch that hand
I wanted to comfort that hand
It was decades dead
And yet still living.
They were forced to live in a crowded ghetto
Created for the cameras
“See, they were living well. They have food and medicine.
Ignore the rumors of torture and murder. ”
The children lived the horror of the truth.
Hungry. Sick. Abandoned.
They lived in fear every. single. day.
Of being put on a train to Auschwitz
And seen no more.
The children left behind drawings of their hands
And of their fears and of memories of butterflies.
The children wrote poetry.
They wrote “….I never saw another butterfly…”
Aharon Appelfeld, a child survivor of the Holocaust, said
“Art constantly challenges the process by which the individual person
Is reduced to anonymity.”
From the forward of the book “I never saw another butterfly”
“Through their artistic expressions, the voices of the children,
Each one unique and individual, reach us across the abyss
Of the greatest crime in human history, allow us to touch them,
And restore our own humanity in doing so.”
God, help us.
World leaders meeting on the ground
Security guards and guns abound
Kevlar vests and shatterproof glass
A human wall will let no one pass.
Just then - a radar blip that looks like snow
Sir, it appears to be a UFO
Scramble pilots and their jets
Shoot down if needed this global threat.
The UFO turns out to be
A flock of birds, no threat to see
It’s clear we have some work to do
To save ourselves from flying poo.