Digress, Die!

I want to keep distance.

Stiff arm the collective

and wave you over for tea.


I want exclusive and inclusive

to come out on the floor

and step into a rhythm.


I want it both ways.

Doesn’t everyone secretly

want their cake and…


I’m sure Theo is logical

and offers tea and cakes.

Why wouldn’t he?


When more than one you

shows up for the discussion

my neck starts hurting


from the back and forth

discussion of true

spirituality between you.


Fear has closed my mouth

and you two rattle on

in front of my indecision.


You can’t make this horse drink.

Behind your backs, though,

I take sips of this and that.


I sit in a silent slice of hope

that Theo will moderate

the mystery of love.

T. S. Elliot’s Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock. J. Alfred still sings.

Prufrock, J. Alfred. Thank you for being a part of my life and memory. Although I didn’t “get” all of Elliot’s sung interpretation of what love you had for another, I quote, as others do, your great lines of passion and mystery. I know C.S. Lewis disagreed with T. S.’s description of an “evening spread out against the sky like a patient etherized upon a table.” So what?

Last night I saw the patient being etherized as the sun drifted off to sleep in the west. The colors blended as if in a drug induced coma, laying (lying?) on the air as the evening shifted and settled into night. I dared to describe it to the two sitting with me. I didn’t do justice to what all six of our eyes were taking in. “I dared to eat a peach” and was so glad my “you” was next to me. The “you” of “Let us go then, you and I.” Barbara, my friend and confidant.

One of my daughters sat with us as she measured out her “life in coffee spoons.” She in her tussle with depression may be asking if she “dare disturb the universe?” Poor thing, I know all too well the resounding clang of symbols which drown out life. She has disturbed my universe, and I am the better for it.

“It is impossible to say what I mean.”

Ah Prufrock, so accurate your aim. Isn’t it Lewis that said in his last novel, Til We Have Faces:

“Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that’s the whole art and joy of words.”

The art and joy of words? Indeed. All anyone ever wants, at the core of connection, is a transference of exact meaning, is it not? Yet your love song, J. Alfred, is riddled with subtlety and it draws me back again and again. We don’t necessarily need blanket statements but blankets to warm our disconnections. Blankets big enough to wrap around our “I and Thou” as Buber said.

So whether it is “Let us go then, you and I,” or the “I and Thou” of existence we non-atheists adhere to, the subtle connections keep us moving toward growing old with “our trousers rolled” each rolling up the other’s.

Most of the quotes above are from Eliot’s poem unless otherwise noted.

Below is the poem in its entirety.


Do you have a poem that has drawn you back to it over and over?

My Spear In His Side

It is in silence

I hear the trickle down

into the open wounds,

those cracks which receive

the pure water of healing.

Truth, and its assumed

sharp edges, didn’t sever me,

but guided me back to where

the water runs and the blood flows.

Both have their purifying effects.


Sometimes breathing through my mouth

lacerates two lips burned by hot coals.

There are words in the wounds,

scar tissue syllables

waiting to be set free.


Prayer: Lord, may the water of your word and the blood from your side be our stay today. Amen.

Reception. A Poem.

You said something

in trills of twisted tongue.

In mourns of couplet flown.

In hums of bristled passing.

In speech of poplars

sifting the wind.

I will listen.

I will look

on the red wing’s

staccato through the air.

I pray questions resolve

in the open mouths of lilies,

and the fields

never stop their breathing.

White Complacency. I Am Sorry Dr. King.

I will run and run around the writer’s block

with a picket sign for equal writes.

This day I found little independence

while I raised my red, white, and blues.

The words inside have no freedom

to march down this white page.

Black letters s e g r e g a t e d.

No Martin Luther or King.

Even Nat King Cole

wandered around

less black keys

than white.

Word Count

0 words.

Now there’s two.


Six words.


I can’t catch up…