Kind Yourself.

This is the day we will forgive ourselves.

Today will be the yesterday of grace.

This day was the tomorrow

of hope deferred.


This day of a thousand years.


“Do unto yourself what you would have others do unto you.” Revised Jerry Version

“From his fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” John 1:16 ESV

Christian Wiman, I’m So Sorry.

I said the word God

and fell asleep into the bright abyss.

On the edge of my rocking chair


I slumped. It was worth

A sore neck and losing

my place amidst your poetry.


I had heard about the disciples

who nodded off while

Jesus said the word God.


I’ve been told the devil

sprinkles stardust over a kneeling

saint. There are no praying insomniacs.


I said the word God and

Down To Earth

I’ve been looking for a local prayer,

one you would find on the bench

outside of a barber shop in the fifties.


I used to pray these long liturgical

sermons which started in Kalamazoo

and ended in Timbuktu.


Does God need a preaching to?

Is the back pew large enough for

Him to lay down and nap?


I need a down to earth prayer.

I know God came down here before.

How about a single syllable summons.




All is quiet,

this day between,

hope entombed.

Blood Flow. A Good Friday Poem.

Down, always down

like sweat from a temple.

Not a garden variety prayer,

but seeds cast in a silhouette of Eden.

A longing for another way

before acquiescence.


Then hung up like an I.V.

Slung like a bag

to drain the life out of him.

Platelets sent while we lie

etherized upon a table.

A Time To Kill

Fresh graves.

Black soil raised an inch above

the surrounding paler lot.

Death once again,

and my son initiated it.


Last fall one of the ducks

didn’t duck in time and

A dull axe came down,

several times,

upon its neck.


The trauma of the

inadvertent torture

of the Thanksgiving

“other bird” didn’t

stop him from

killing again.


This time there were

four clearly marked

graves with a stick

upright on one end

of each.


He told me he

buried them alive.

Much more chilling than

a blunt object to the

back of the neck.


“How could you!”

“Uh, dad, it’s a garden,

not a cemetery.”



“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” John 12:24ff The Message

 Wheat field

The Nature of Things.

It is good to be sitting out,

reading aloud to the birds.

Some listen, some fly,

chattering in continuance,


except the fat robins,

who hop quietly on

greening grass to stab

the soil for living food.


Birds seem to like poetry.

They perch on line breaks,

and fly along the cadence

of syllables as on a windscape.


I close the book and listen

to their poetic rhythm.

They, in their sanctuary,

worshipping responsively.



Please Don’t Litter-al

“Get your head out of the clouds.”

“It’s not cloudy today.”


“Get your mind out of the gutter.”

“My gut won’t even fit in the gutter.”


“Use your common sense.”

“Which sense is the common one?”


“Don’t just stand there, do something.”

“Okay, I shall sit down.”


“Come to a complete stop.”

“What other kind of stop is there?”

This constitutes my warm up writing for the day. Happy Saturday!

Do you have and other literal word play phrases?


First Light Prayer

It’s okay if no words can sand off
the sharp stillness of this sunrise.
Sit, close lipped, face on your hands,
those callused tools of industry.

Let the birds slit the morning air
while you receive much.
Before the giving flexes you,
say a prayer that works.

It’s okay if no words can sand it.

Can’ts and Ants

I can’t be a slob,
my desk is too small.
A working surface
must be free of debris

like a blank page.
So all the receipts
and bills and
pocket change

are swept and
placed in a disheveled
heap on top of
the bookcase

where bookmarks
stick out of poetry
and biography
and proverbs

that talk about ants.