Conventional thinking
is that for people to be free
to do good things
people must be free
to do bad things

But I can’t help thinking
that making it harder
for people to do bad things
would be a good thing
for people to do


Stone Erodes

They taught us what they wanted us to think
so we’d feel better about who we are
but what they left out is beginning to stink
and things have gone way to far

Skeletons in the closet
souvenirs in the crawlspace
bodies decomposing under the garden
our only hope is Grace

Years turn into decades
decades to centuries
we weren’t there so we can’t judge
what happened in history

But if the tables could somehow turn
and our ancestors were watching the news
who would they be proud of
who would give them the blues?

So many things were written in stone
but stone erodes away
when the updates get edited
can we trust what they say?

Once in a Lifetime

Children parrot their parents
and teachers as a way of becoming
what they will. Sometimes scary,
mostly amusing, as the boy on the news
with his whole life ahead said “this is a
once in a lifetime experience”

True enough, but truly grasping
these moments seems to require
having left a few behind, people and
places and events good and bad
filed on your hard drive til you
are running out of memory
and finally realize that
every moment is
once in a lifetime


The saying goes
you will reap what you sew
so the goal is to sew good
seeking a just reward
peace and love
and the other cliches
what more dare we ask
of these earthly days

but we are not blind
to the purveyors
of discord and hate
with whom there
can be no debate
I am in awe of those
whose fate
is to be the harvest
which sweeps them away

For there must be
a rising tide of good will
a flash flood of love
God may punish them
on another plane
but if we do not strive
to erase the stain
He will likely ask us
to explain

Why we failed to stand
up and say “No!”

Above and Beyond

You can’t make sense of senseless
no matter how you try
been at it for decades now
no closer to a reason why

What does make sense is families
and friends and yes, communities
loving each other
through heartaches and horrors
lifting each other
above and beyond
the how and why and where
being irrelevant compared
to what happens
from this moment on


I reckon I’m old and out of touch
it usually doesn’t bother me much
until a headline catches my eye
and I think, “who’s that? why did they die?”
or “who’d they catch now, in a lie?”
then I wish that I had wings to fly
over the rainbow, or to Neverland,
where things are easier to understand
evil wears a simpler disguise
and beauty comes as no surprise


I begin the day
with a newscast
to see if anything happened
while I slept.

I end the day
with a newscast
to see if anything happened
while I was awake.

In between I try
to avoid happening
things. Who wants to
be on the news?