Thursday, February 29, AD 2024
Louisville, Kentucky 
Latitude: 38 13.4’ N  Longitude: -85 44.4’ W
467 feet above sea level
Sunrise: 7:14 Sunset: 6:35

Then, (since “life is not fair”) I commended mirth, 
because a man hath no better thing under the sun,
than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that
shall abide with him of his labor. - Ecclesiastes 8:15







    Back to Work

    Our father, strength of the sky, in hope 
    that your reputation be clean, your movement noted, 
    your pleasure accomplished on the ground as it is
    in the sky; see that everyone has enough to eat today, 
    and pick us up, put us back to work as we have done
    for everyone in our way. Don't lead us off into deep water 
    to see what we'll do but snatch us away 
    from disaster and from rot. 



The First Street Sessions

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Video - Front Porch Friday 4/17/20 - Skull Hill (click it)

For the Offering
Styrofoam cup, Budweiser bottle,
Shredded pink plastic for the offering;
Gathered to the can by a black man dressed in white
Who then sat at the park bench in shade
Of tall oaks. A brown leaf
Floated, tumbled from the omnipresent sky.

With Rolled Edges
Trees shake rain from their branches & leaves.
Dark clouds move quickly to gather the lightning.

A twinge of pain enters the corner of my mouth.
La la, la la - a squirrel nibbles a nut.

Your ways are strange & filled w/ busyness;
Regretful of a morning & longing for rest.

With rolled edges, quick clouds pass smoothly,
Two crows, a few sparrows, thunder, rain.

It Was Me 
When I woke, wind hummed at the window; 
Black clouds fled thru' turquoise sky. 
And I would flee too: the winds of accusation. 
But, it's true. I did it. It was me. 

There was ice on the wall next door -  a Rorschach  
Textured in dust where the downspout leaked -  
Ghost of a Christmas tree between two windows. 
One was boarded up.  A finger of live  
Pine pointed at the ghost's heart. 

Candles Have Been Lit 
Wet brown leaves stuck to concrete, 
A pair of squirrels' nests but the tent is gone 
Where the young woman had lived w/ an extension chord.  
I sit in therapeutic peace & serenity, Yes Sir. 
The war is somewhere else, there are no sirens, 
No one is being tortured; candles have been lit: 
Love, Joy, Peace & Long Suffering.  

Silence & Ice 
A shudder of dry leaves. No walkers  
Till a man came out of the porta-potty dressed 
For winter. I had my hat & coat on  
Too while the automobile warmed up.  
I noticed  houses that were there when I came; 

Remembered a field full of snow  
Where I walked slowly to the edge of the swamp.  
There were no porta-potties there, only  
Silence & ice filled with fallen sticks.   

The Feast Spread for Us  
Sunlight bright upon snow -- 
Our predicted gift as promised. 
And I've spread seed upon it. The juncos 
Have come to eat when the cardinals will allow. 
The exhaustion & humiliation of love have come 
And gone again, so we'll sing & sit down to eat 
The feast spread for us while we may 
With the children laughing & Grampa watching 
And wishing then all well this Christmas Day. 

The Common Sky 
I'd sharpened a pencil & sat down to look. 
Surrounded by dark clouds, a glow came 
And went in thru' the blinds, across the rug. 
My grumpy spirit turned to where 
The Life remains. And The Life called me out. 
Crow spoke over bare trees on the mountain, 
"There will be a gathering soon & you must be there 
To celebrate the common bread, the common blood & sky. 

Quiet but for the Sound 
Quiet but for the sound of waves on the highway,
Occasional twitter, whisper of dry leaves.
I've neglected my friends again tho' they are with me always.
I will speak to them soon, before I sleep.
"Prepare the field & then build the house."
I'm drawn back to this after a time of distraction:
Friends & words & sunlight's return.
Under bare trees, a glimmer on green.

What Must I Do?
The other morning a little bird told me,
"The clouds will soon go & the way will be clear."
And, it was as the little bird said. But now
The clouds have returned & my body is tired.
I must listen closely & ask the right question.

What must I do to to end my time well? (?)

Just South of the River
Branches under a weight of snow,
White sky; a time only for the gentlest of blessing.
I'm dressed but the morning is awkward w/ expectation
(And the prospect of wet feet.)
Steadied by a friends rebuke, I make my preparations --
Oil my boots & my hair -- anointed.
I find the long coat & red scarf & I'm out:
One of the wonders of nature just south of the river.

Prayer for Ukraine

I wrote a poem. It was liked & loved, commented upon & shared but it had no arms, no hands or feet. 

I tho't, "Prayer can do more than this." 

Thick mud, powerful lightening, messengers w/ fiery swords stood in the road, fighters protected their home w/ consciousness of strength, peace to die and trust that something about this horror would move the world toward an end & a beginning. 

I saw people walking, a few then hundreds, then thousands of millions walking across Ukraine & on into Moscow while others converged from every direction; all the people of the world, people of faith willing to die, 

walking with their hands up or hands joined w/ other hands, singing, chanting, maybe just walking quietly, taking in the scenery, meeting soldiers from both sides; human mother’s sons & daughters. 

The doctors, the providers of food, the reporters & cameras were already there; the prayers praying, the givers of money already giving, soldiers arriving from foreign countries to put flesh & blood on the line. 

The borders were opened & we were given shoes. 

We walked across Ukraine & on into Moscow, meeting people, making friends; all good people of the world gathered there. 

The cruel tyrant came out & went quietly tho’ with his shoulders still back and that smile. Maybe some day, if he lived long enough, he would respond to reality and to mercy and be strong enough to carry his weakness and be of some use. 

(The way of Manifest Destiny has been going for thousands of years. Jesus & Gandhi & Dr. King have shown us how to end it.)

Crocuses' Lament 

The time of year had come
for crocuses to bloom
and kings to bomb their neighbors

to take what they couldn't have
and prance about on high horses
The prudent would evacuate

Soldiers would fight bravely
shoot down helicopters
then retreat into the forest

to plan the resistance
surprise the kings men
w/ their lack of welcome

while peacemakers gathered body parts
& delivered them to the embassy
A dainty dish, then they danced

in the street, were arrested & tortured
Never give up. Fear only Being
The determinant of whether or not

your life has been wasted. Hold hands
and sing. Lift your hands in wonder
aware that you are breathing creatures

The crocuses are up while the world
looks on aghast and continues 
to drive thru' blood for cheap gas

World leaders & business men
step away from the trough
grieve their loss of revenue

with crocuses in bloom & gardens
waiting patiently to be planted
in sunflowers & sugar beats this year