In this cerulean desert,
Surrounded by wind and wave,
Awaiting the tropical swell,
Settled on this unwound isle,
We find a time, a way, a moment,
To claim the indefinite future called now,
There is a place for candle and cake,
A time to mourn the dying beauty of the sun,
While I seek divine counsel for a gift unfound,
For if I could, I certainly would,
Return your sister,
As my present to you,
Because you are my wife,
And I love you.
*My wife’s sister died in a tragic car accident this past May. Her sister’s birthday was last week. My wife’s birthday is today.
Southern Baptist Imam
Who does his fatwa address?
The God Bob claims
Made him so blessed
Is listening to
this heretical mess.
A Baptist preacher,
Heard God say,
Kim Jong-un is an abscess,
Rip him out, it’s ok,
I’ll tell the press,
We’ll lay hands and pray,
You’ll kill millions as we profess,
And hope none of the soldiers are, well, you know, that way.
The incandescent necessities of the moment
Demand I find suitable words to describe
The fumbling steps of the morning
Shuffles which lifted the sounds
And shoved them together into something resembling
The time I call now
Utterances from under my lungs
Pushed through the esophagus
To meet the winning bidder from the brain
Somehow the world around me
Casting a net about my face
Pulls and places the pieces of the puzzle
To draw a single word from this strange place.
I remember the morning,
a glimpse between the leaves,
the meandering Pentecost express,
escaping the station at full steam.
From my breakfast window,
I was certain I could see,
where the Spirit came to rest,
to the left and down a bit;
hidden behind Old Man Howard’s tree.
Everyone in the car appeared to be blessed,
tongue-tied as if waking from a dream,
speaking to newly minted friends,
strangers noticed but till now, never seen.
On this day after,
We are rightly amazed,
When humanity becomes human,
Random kindness by strangers,
Simple acts of courtesy displayed,
These are not what anyone might do,
But grand deeds of bravery,
Shocking, surprising, astounding,
Utterly beyond our belief,
People standing together,
Against the bigots for all to see,
Surely this is how we are… normally?
Or are we kind of kind,
Only when innocent children die,
Morality appears to survive,
When it seems,
random people offer tea,
Does terror no longer thrive,
When our phones are charged,
And Instagram knows were alive?
Keep calm and carry on being human.
For this we need no special reward,
Though I offer my prayers,
For my faith in ordinary decency,
Is somewhat restored.
I could not stop for life,
So mother stopped for me,
She picked me up on the way,
From a hospital drawer,
Slightly past the ides of March,
In the spring of nineteen hundred seventy four,
Feared once to be hydro-cephalic,
My cranium was merely extravagant,
Instead of a crib or a new baby bib,
My head received a cabinet,
Here I remained,
Until taken to see
Mrs. Lela M. Payne,
Where I learned to play piano,
Mother took me to lessons,
Every week because I wasn’t an alto,
My melon head couldn’t play an octave,
She loved me all the same,
Who needs eight notes?
When Bartok used six to such acclaim.
I feel a funeral in my veins,
Grieving wanderers flow,
Passing glances in silent pain,
Without words or second chances,
There is a funeral in my brain,
Down the aisle we find a seat,
In places saved for a broken few,
To hear if Heaven is still open,
Or Hell is through,
This is a funeral, all the same.