I mean, really – poem

It seems I should start the day

With thankfulness,

checking off the boxes on my gratitude list.

House. Central heat. Water. Flannel sheets.

Etcetera. But all I really want

is to grumble about how my brain kept me up

last night with

all those songs and craft ideas and book projects

and wondering if I would even have the strength to

get up on time because

did I even get enough sleep at all?

It is a greedy and immature bastard,

my brain, being the cause of

my own worry

so often.

I mean, really

if it had only had these ideas

just two hours earlier

I could’ve done something about them

 instead of wasting my time

reading a magazine

or Facebook.

But instead, like a needy child

 it chooses

to keep me awake

with its litany of requests

that can’t wait until morning.

Should I write that idea down?

What if I forget that chore, that connection?

Will it all fall apart

if I don’t

do it all


These ideas are like rare butterflies

that if not caught and pinned down

will fly away

never to be seen again

by me

and will probably alight upon

someone else’s head.

Or so they try to tell me.

Maybe they are just a bit of

sausage and scallop pizza eaten

just a little too late at night

as usual.

Mayo Clinic

In the past month I’ve seen two people who say they need to go to the Mayo Clinic. They say the name like it can work miracles. Their illnesses aren’t accidents. They are self-imposed addictions, possessions, where they are holding their own bodies hostage because they find themselves bringing up to their mouths another cigarette or can of beer or forkfull of chemicals that are in the guise of food. It is all an illusion, a mirage they can’t see through.

There was a patron I knew who was named Mr. Mayo. He used to say “The past is history, the future is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” He said it over and over – every time I saw him. He probably said it to everyone he saw. He said it like it was a divine revelation.

Maybe that is the true Mayo Clinic. Maybe that is our miracle cure. That idea, corny as it is.

Not a 10 hour bus trip to a hospital that may or may not have a cure. But right here, right now, to be here as is, painful as that is, to not run away from who we are, as individuals, as a nation.

A surprise the first time – poem

And who’s to say
that Christ won’t come again 
in a body 
in that body 
the one we’ve gotten used to 
the one we have seen in paintings 
and pictures 
but not photographs 
but instead of being born again unto a virgin 
in a cowshed 
or descending out of the sky 
the Christ 
the anointed one 
comes again 
for the first time 
into your heart?

I mean 
it was a surprise the first time 
even then, 
over 2000 years ago. 
They expected a king. 
They expected someone to lead them out 
of slavery to the foreign army 
to lead them back 
to who they really were 
as people 
chosen by God. 

Instead they got this guy
born illegitimately 
born in poverty 
raised in a nowhere backward town 
who spoke of a different kind of 
freedom, a different kind of return 
to who they were. 
It wasn’t a revolution 
it wasn’t a rebellion. 
He didn’t come to be a king
but to point them back 
to the only King 
they ever needed.

He wanted to lead them out
of slavery 
not to the Romans 
but thinking anybody 
was over them 
other than God.

Why can’t it be that
surprising again?

Why can’t it be that 
the second coming 
doesn’t happen 
in the Holy Land 
but in your heart 
right where you are 
right as you are 
right now?