Life Insists

On a beautiful day in the neighborhood
trees are budding out
folks are chatting in the sunshine
while dogs rest at their feet

There are no indicators present
of man’s inhumanity to man
tragedies recent or ongoing
in other places and there are no
threats to our convictions

But in the back of the mind a nagging question
who would have to go down in a hail of bullets
 to change a mind?
If their child’s finger were on the trigger,
would they blame the gun? Themselves?
The kids at school who were mean to them?

We can pray for a day when the questions
don’t have to be asked. Or we can work
for the day. In the meantime,
trees are budding out
and life insists on persisting.



If the right thing
was easy to do
we’d all be saints
but clearly that’s not true

good is better than bad
truth is better than lies
but people see them differently
I don’t understand why

compromise and forgiveness
are not on the agendas
of the prophets of mistrust
and the Great Pretenders

It’s up to the rest of us
to overcome the despair
it’s a full time job but we must
continue to care

Life Imitates Mixed Media

what is as was was as is
the scaffold from which the façade was erected
the gallows where judgment created itself
the tightrope yielding the mesmerizing plunge
the soapbox of obscure promises
clock towers and book depositories where snipers lurked
the stages where outrages frequently occurred

cameramen capture the actual agony
soundmen shock us with wails of grief
all live as it actually happens
no privacy that can’t be invaded
nothing that is really sacred
no secret too shameful to be cheerfully
admitted to for just the right fee
and fifteen minutes of fame on TV
what a country, what a world
that was as is is as was


Written many years ago. Things have not improved.



Scars require no explanation
when broken people congregate
they know how life happens
and they know it’s never too late
for the healing power of laughter
for the healing power of touch
when that’s all they have to offer
each other and the rest is just too much


Water and whiskey
are doubly risky
when you add a blue moon
and a mournful tune
and all the sorrow
in the known universe
fits in the back
of an average hearse

clouds like phantoms
in the ghostly light
guarding the secrets
of the night
and like angels dancing
on the head of a pin
lift you out of the
hole that you’re in

In the onslaught of beauty
sadness must yield
to the wonder and awe
you begin to feel
your soul fills
with what you see
in a moment perfect
as only moments can be

Another Take

Don’t have a sweetheart?
That’s no cause for you to start
doubting the power of Love
or even God above
for the sun’s out there
on the darkest night
and the world will turn
until you see a light.

So, you have a sweetheart?
Never forget to do your part
time will not stand still
so savor every thrill
and when you wake up alone
in some future night
you’ll have sweet memories
of that precious light

and never doubt for a minute
you are being thought of
by family, friends, or angels
you are being loved

Half Open

The demons dropped by
for a visit
to tease me
about my failures
and weaknesses
I tried to take it for awhile
with my customary smile
after all, the truth that hurts
has been know to set you free

So I’m looking at the world
through half-open blinds
wondering what happened
to my peace of mind

When I’d had enough
I reached out to Clarence
(Jimmy Stewart’s friend
from the famous old movie)
for some reassurance
that I’m not all bad
and to help remember
good times I’ve had

We loaded up both
pans on the scale
it was a pretty even balance
until we added
the Love I have known
the mysterious Grace
that God has shown
then the demons got mad
took their ball and went home

Still looking at the world
through half-open blinds
humbled but thankful
for a small peace of mind