I grieve with you
my ancient cousins…
in soulful horror
twelve thousand miles away.
My mind runs on a reel
of viscous helplessness,
a horror film in real time.
There is no earthly speech
nor lofty language—
The sweetest notes on earth
would not suffice—
to ease your aching sorrow,
my impotent inertia.
Can “my thoughts are with you”
scatter your grief or meet your needs?
No, they are like chaff in the wind,
a mindless banality.
I give the dust of my wealth,
a drop in your desert of parched tongues.
In my impotence, my anger unfolds
towards your futile leaders
and I spit on their neglect.
For they have sat, smug and glib–
acting important and doing little–
While you, the soul of your country,
are crushed under wobbly foundations
thinly built through greed and avarice!
These tentacles of the wicked
clench your native balls
as the ground rumbles beneath.
All I can do, in every prayerful breath,
is remind you of your ancestors,
who cradled the infancy of Christianity
in their hearts and lives,
and inspire you to cry out to Jehovah
in the name of Yeshua the Messiah—
the most powerful prayer in any language.
I lift you up in my prayers,
away from political harangues,
human to human, soul to soul.
What does it take to move us out of our collective inertia? Does human suffering need to be at a level “10” to be noticed in the cacophany of media? Am I just adding to it or adding something raw and meaningful? I hope it is the latter, and that you will immerse yourself in my feelings of impotent empathy for these people. If you can do nothing, you can pray actively and creatively, give resources and raise these people up to your churches and meeting places.
I, in horror, sit here in puzzlement over some really bad decisions by the leaders of Turkey. Why do leaders sit on something so important as safety? Your people are only as strong as the foundations on which they rest! But do not allow indignation to subside into smug indifference. Yes, using precious resources to attack Kurds is representative of these foolish leaders. But as to any indifference to the suffering of the people, I will remind you of what happened to the great city of Tyre, whose people dared to rejoice in the sufferings of Jerusalem in Ezekiel. For this, over time, the Lord caused nations to sweep over them in waves upon waves of invasion before their final destruction in, I believe, the middle ages. Never rejoice in another country who is suffering, for the Lord will not stay His hand long before striking yours. I fear our time is around the corner.
There are those who say the Old Testament is not for us, and I will reply with Solomon’s “what has once come will come again”. The principles of good living and what is right and wrong will never be outdated. Christianity swept the world through the Messiah (whose ancient promise is most prominently outlined in the OT Septuigint, the version most read by gentiles of the day) and through the power that Jesus gave to believers in the first century. It will never be outdated to those with eyes to see.
A Meal Divided Does Not Stand
Each post thanksgiving morning
we reach for GERD meds
for, knowing overeating’s warnings,
our stomach overrules our head.
Our bodies are certainly not meant
to such highly caloric density.
So why is good judgment lent
to this overindulged propensity?
We have been taught from the cradle
the hallmark of holidays are bounteous food,
and since food is Thanksgiving’s ladle,
“stuffing” it in is right and good.
But guts, not used to culinary monsoon,
will complain in acute bilious state!
So out comes the pharmacy boon:
acid reducers’ to equilibrate stomach quakes.
And, when meds cure, come around noon,
we will perk up and forage for yummy dishes,
forgetting the discomfort of early morning hours
in the delight of second day annual wishes.
For who can resist the culinary power
that intensified leftovers to the palate make?
Only the monsoon will be a gentle shower
and dinner, a light noshing date.
I have post Thanksgiving Hangover. The bloated feeling the someone has mistakenly thought I was a turkey and stuffed me until I am overflowing; the uncontrolled regurgitation of last night’s repast; the acidic, slightly nauseous lethargy; the sick wish that I could get rid of a little of it; the idea that drinking a cup of coffee is a torture device to a tummy grown sour and grumpy. As an alcohol novice too often says to the toilet after the first binge:
“Why, oh why did I drink That Much? DID I drink that much? Boy it sure didn’t take a lot to make me THIS SICK!”
Just substitute the drink for eat, and you have my mantra for this morning, except I must add: “Why oh why did I eat that piece of pie when I was overfilled?”
It is a question that millions of persons will ask, perspiring with post- Thanksgiving gluttony, all morning long. But my journey into wet burp illness is a little more complicated, as the “bastardized” famous quote in my title suggests. I had TWO thanksgiving dinners, and not by choice. I have the (mostly) good luck of living with my parents across the street and my in-laws about a mile away.
Yes, I hear the gasp of horror from some of you.
They are lovely, rarely interfere, and help out in a hundred different ways. But this Thanksgiving was tough in that my brother was at my mom’s and my brother-in-law was at my in-laws. We rarely see either, one living in Iowa and one in Chicago. Both wanted our attendance. I asked for a combined dinner at my mom’s (who has the room for 20 persons, and is an excellent cook), but my in-laws were firm:
We Will Have Our Thanksgiving Feast At Our House
So we went from one dinner (my mom’s, and no dish can be forsaken without pangs of regret), scarfed it down, said “See you later”, then ran over to my in-laws (who had changed the dinner date and were done). By then, I couldn’t look at food but, feeling a little guilty, I was shanghaied into dessert. I slowly stuffed some down, with deep cleansing breaths, taking one for the polite team, and left as soon as it was not rude. At the end of the binge, I simply crawled into bed, felt a little mis-used, and firmly told myself I will for now pick one or the other and not go through that again…….
And later, I re-lived my dinner over and over and over. And I don’t think I am alone, I am sure that millions over the country have family close, who will not get all together, leaving the peanut butters to jump from one side of the bread to the other. So while I am thankful for my family, great food, good wine and (wishful) good health, I am wishing that one of my in-laws will leave the area next year.
So, surprise, my Thanksgiving rhyme is firmly themed around my post Thanksgiving tummy. Smile, and WHO STOLE the TUMS?
Thankfulness from the Heart
We say we are thankful
when bellies are filled with food.
Then let the game score
fill us with “foulsome” moods.
But thankfulness from the heart
is not edited and thrown on the floor
It is about a gratitude in attitude,
and not changed by referee charts,
nor fizzled by gossip and spite,
nor smothered by mouths that are smart,
nor ruined by an unsavory mate.
For these above are really hidden hate!
True thankfulness is from a heart that is right.
Humbled by humanity’s suffering state;
Troubled by hunger’s sharp darts;
Eager to rejoice in bounty and replicate;
To give God the glory, to share and relate
that without keeping Jesus in sight,
thankfulness is dry dust on a dry plate……
The title to this post is from a verse in the Book of Psalms. As part of Thanksgiving folklore, we are told that the Pilgrims, a devoutly harsh and depressing Christian sect, sat down with people they did not like (yes, not very Christian of them) and ate the harvest bounty. Later this story was immortalized with an annual Thanksgiving holiday. As with all holidays, most of the meaning dries up and is forgotten over the years, and the trappings that are associated are the real attraction.
Note to self: If I create a holiday, make it glittery and full of stuff people like to do or it will “go by the way of the Do-Do bird”. Veteran’s Day is a good example. Some people get the day off like banks and the government (but not Veterans…interesting…..) but otherwise it is not universally celebrated unless it means something personal to you because there are no goodies attached. This may sound mean and “scroogie”, but it isn’t my intention. I am merely pointing out the foibles of human nature.
As a Christian, Thanksgiving is meant to be a harbinger of Christ’s birth: be thankful for His mercies and contemplate the blessing of His birth in the upcoming four weeks. And I do, or I try to. But what I have found is that the trappings of the holidays seduce me into celebrating the good food or awesome parties or secret Santa’s instead the simple meaning behind “we do what we do” during this time of year. And frankly I am tired of all the glitter and gold. My favorite holiday was one Christmas when I refused to do any of the stuff a good Christmas observer is supposed to do, and I sat at home, quietly, with a good fire and a warm cat on my lap, thanking God for the birth of Jesus, whatever part of the year that actually was.
Instead of feeling tired and burned out, I was refreshed and joyous. And that is what a holiday should do to people. I love the idea of Advent, where one gives less gifts to each other and gives more to charities. While the thought of Advent puts fear into the heart of merchants, the money spent on a gift that will most likely be re-gifted, or broken, or returned (or many other unsavory and unintended verbs) is now used to improve a person’s situation. And yes, some charities are not on the up and up, so choosing carefully is necessary. But a gift of your time, whether it is to a church, charity, homeless shelter or hundreds of other worthy causes, is something that can’t be broken, lost, forged, stolen….and benefits all.
Ode to the Weed We Seed
Homeowners are universally agreed
that a perfect yard is free of weeds.
With impotent hypertensive rage,
a circuitous never ending war is waged.
This time consuming, irritating bane,
can drive even the most patient insane.
Yet still those weeds thrive and breed
as alternately we seed, weed and feed.
God’s cursed ground is potent indeed!
Yet in denial, we chemically spray,
temporarily nuking the evil away.
We make it our horticultural creed:
these “vegetational” murderous deeds
will permanently make our yards weed free.
While “the sweat of man’s brow” is our lot,
I say give it up, stop the madness, it’s too hot!
Enjoy life, make peace and ignore this curse.
Revel in your free time and heavier purse!
The word weed has many different meanings. Widow’s Weeds are a mourning outfit, albeit the reason for the name escapes me, as men don’t have WidowERS Weeds. Of course, in our day, WEED is synonymous with marijuana, although I am discontented with their “ownership” of a word that to generations past meant a great deal of work. In Genesis Ch 2 God curses the ground to produce weeds for man to wrestle with “by the sweat of his brow”. From that most uncomfortable punishment that Adam had to endure to my own time period, tenacious fast growing weeds of the nasty “coup” type are always but one missed sweaty session away from completely taking over my flower beds.
I have been in a constant battle with the enemy for clean landscaping beds. I wish I had kept all the receipts over the years related to flower bed maintenance; I bet it is in the thousands. Some people just don’t care about the weeds, let nature take its course. Those lucky souls don’t have a Home Association, the scourge of the suburbs, the Hitler of home ownership. The ability to put a lien on your home for grass that is too high or too many weeds are a boon to yard maintenance companies. I swear they are in bed together. In any event, a home association and society neighbors are good negative enforcers for landscaping laziness. And in my neighborhood, “the weeds liveth not, nor seeds produce”. So the following poem is a humorous poke at our attempt to control these little monsters.
And this year I am throwing up my middle finger as I build a home far away from Home Associations. Weeds and wildflowers are welcome.
Ode to the Crap of CPAP
Sleep comes poorly to those
who have obstructed airway flow.
Sometimes snores shake head-to-toe;.
sometimes breathing entirely slows.
Obstructive snorts make bedfellows rage
causing connubial bliss to quickly go.
Eventually an ultimatum is given:
fix the problem or sleep apart.
So the poor sufferer is medically driven
to silence snoring’s unpopular sound
hoping that a cure for these snores is found.
Medical providers order a study of sleep.
Sleep studies, a torture of this age,
are ordered to determine apnea stage.
Trussed up with tape and wire
the sufferer can barely walk to pee.
This unfashionable technological attire
is a nightmarish and scary sight to see.
The main treatment is splinted air,
as “CPAP” keeps the airway apart.
But the mask is enough to scare
even the most intrepid, fearless heart.
CPAP breathing is like snorkel learning;
uncoordinated, breathless, a fearsome start.
Trussed up each night and yearning
to resume their former snoring bliss.
And many give up, eagerly returning
to the danger of the apneic kiss.
But most don’t know how concerning
the danger of Sleep Apnea really is.
Physicians know this dangerous condition
leads, over time, to a short living attrition.
Organs gradually fail and fall apart;
hypoxia an organ-deprived mission.
Oxygen-deprived brains do not keep smart.
This gradual damage forces organs to depart
as oxygen deprivation kills organs and heart.
So breathe deep, life is sweet!
Be grateful for silent sleep!
Do not consider free breathing cheap
(no matter what it takes to keep).
I have Hypermobility Syndrome, which is strongly associated with sleep apnea. So for the last 12 years I have had a love-hate relationship with my snorkel device. I try and make lemonade but there are times when I really just want to squeeze the lemons and toss them at someone. This is satirical humor at its most subtle with an attempt to be grateful.
Found Poem: Dancing to a tune
I will never be adept
to dancing to a tune
that can change in a measure.
I will never get used
to those 180 ° turns,
those subtle slaps
that some people can deal
just because they can
The thirst for absolute power
I actually found this in a comment of mine, and I liked the poetic images so I am claiming it as a Found Poem.
Found Poem is the idea that poetic verse hides in many speeches. Finding these gems and changing the sentence structure can bring new insight.
settles into a
stretched elongated wrinkled form.
Youth’s beauty fades to distorted hound-dog faces.
Eventually we return to the ground as water evaporates to dust.
Fibonacci: a non-rhyming poem structured with the Fibonacci sequence (0 or 1, 1, 2, 3, 5 etc). Fibonacci sequence is adding the two prior numbers together to get the new number. If one starts at “zero” then the first two lines are single syllable. Most poems stop at 13 syllables for the last line.
Picture: the societypages.org
Falling into despair
Failure seizes all thought
Forsake mad existence
Flee blind as fear…. engulfs
Fly to dark depths unknown
Foment restless sleeping
Forgone, my unseen wounds
— ♥ ♥ ♥ —
This was an attempt to describe feelings associated with the intense stress of this year of hell.
Pleiades: The title is one word. The first or last word of the sentence matches the first word in the single title. All first words start with the same letter as the title. There are 7 lines, each 6 syllables!
Feud rises with cold lies
Frost-filled with icy hate
Fight murderous desire
Fire singes angry thought
Fend off berserker state
Flee this frenzied fighting
Forswearing my mistakes
Anger can fuel carnivorous feelings, no matter whether it is expressed as hot or cold emotion.
Pleiades: The title is one word. The first word of the sentence matches the first word in the single title. All first words start with the same letter as the title. There are 7 lines, each 6 syllables!