Red Letter

Red letter days
start out like the others
pregnant with promise
under ominous clouds
but beyond birthings and dyings
few are nailed down frozen
even holidays tend to melt
together. So every day is
an anniversary, we’re just not
sure of what. Most memories
don’t have dates associated
but float in clouds of good and bad.

So on my sixty-fifth crack
at this date, I don’t expect
to make history, but I’ll cross
the bridges I come to. One never knows
what’s on the other side, and
if I make the sixty-sixth
maybe I’ll remember this one.

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No Strangers

No strangers to the crossroads
no strangers to frontiers without trails
no strangers to epic journeys
and quests for the Common Grail

no strangers to daily struggles
no strangers to jobs well done
no strangers to bone tired ends of days
but still looking for some fun

no strangers to the choices
no strangers to mistakes
no strangers to the failures
that somehow wisdom makes

no strangers to the battle
for truth and liberty
no strangers to the sacrifices
needed to keep it free

no strangers to the heartsickness
no strangers to the rage
for the murderers and theives
who try to steal the stage

no strangers to jubilation
when righteousness prevails
no strangers to satisfaction
at watching evil fail

no strangers to God’s blessings
no strangers to temptation
no strangers to the angels
giving us direction

no strangers to each other
though our names remain unknown
no strangers to our pride
in this place that we call home

Meditation on The Toilet Seat

“Always put the toilet seat down.” was all the answer I could get
when I asked for words of wisdom
on the night before my wedding. I was hoping
for something grander, of course, at twenty-seven
we want the secrets of life to have
a more dramatic ring

But since that was all the Fatherly Advice he would give,
I felt obliged to follow it scrupulously. Over the years
I have lowered every toilet seat I happened to pass
an exercise not unlike Zen Koans, calisthenics, or
praying with rosary beads, in that the
good you get

remains largely unnoticed until
the moment of satori epiphany, which in this case was
twenty years of bending. . .and the realization that
putting the seat down puts the Other first,
the Golden Rule in micro-Cosmic practice, a seemingly
small act of consideration until you Get

It: no courtesy is insignificant, and the secrets of life
ain’t no secret. If they weren’t true, they wouldn’t BE
clichés and proverbs, and the less time we spend
in dispute, the more time we have to
put toilet seats down.

Virus

A tiny fist
clutching your finger
is a moment that
you wish would linger
that small warm body
cradled in your arms
is one of life’s most
irresistable charms

But time brings growth
and nothing stays the same
except these bonds forged
like unbreakable chains
Life is a virus
a powerful strain
it will not be defeated
it cannot be contained

Special Places

After the by-pass surgery
one feels compelled to ponder
profundities of life and death
praise angels of mercy and list
the special places in heaven
that surely await so many people
the inexplicable kindness of strangers
contemplation of the nature
of second chances

But the magnificence of the
sky and the clouds
the scent of magnolias
on the breeze and bird songs
even the sound of compressors
and nail guns from the construction
site next door all conspire
to make my whole being smile
too happy to be here
to give much thought to why.

Mostly True

Based on a mostly true story
though liberties have been taken
names have been changed
to protect innocent and guilty
alike until we figure out
who is who and how much damage
further revelation will do

Sometimes the struggle
is just a breeze
sometimes it brings
you to your knees
and you just can’t make
it go away so while
you’re kneeling you
might as well pray

Sometimes it works
sometimes it doesn’t
but it might help you
make the adjustment
so what is real is
not so important

Beautiful

We have been warned
that beauty fades
do not believe this lie
beauty evolves
beauty transforms
beauty may develop a patina
retreat below the surface
for self-preservation
to grow richer and deeper
without expectations
like haute cuisine
may require a discriminating palate
like fine art may need
an educated eye
but fade it does not