The red clay piled high,
Soon to be returned to it proper place,
The six foot deep hole now empty
Longing once again to be filled with the sweet earth,
Welcoming also the body,
Into its cold embrace,
Enfolding in its final sleep
Accompanied by the prayers of those present,
Community and priest,
Those who for a time face their own mortality.
It is easy to get bitter and sink,
To lose faith is a common path taken,
Understandable for I have been there
Perhaps will be there again.
To let go of self pity and cling to the light
Is the rougher road,
Hoping against hope,
Allowing faith to grow
In spit of appearances, takes courage,
The ability to get up and start anew
Even if wounds hidden run red,
The soul lacerated with the whip of life’s lessons;
Strength gone yet somehow found when most needed
To swim again t
He was a runner when younger,
Races won up to his fifties,
A runner’s body long and lean,
Lost as the years slipped by,
Loosing little by little his youth,
Strength and agility,
As we all do, if we hold on as the years pile up.
His life in his last years limited by his infirmities,
Some physical and others from other sources,
Quiet too a fault,
His deafness contributing to his apparent isolation,
Either unable or unwilling to wear a hearing aid.
Though when he smiled it w
Each to each
When a loved one dies the world changes,
The death of a spouse,
It does not matter,
The texture of the world wobbles,
Holes appear showing haunting memories,
Of laughter in days gone by,
Wrongs done not dealt with,
The loving moments as well,
In vivid color presenting themselves in moments unexpected,
Always surprised at their intensity
No matter the number of years passed.
Grief by some dealt with in small doses,
Others in large mout
The icy wind in winter,
Shows the beauty of the heat of the sun,
As it warms the skin against the winds chill.
The dark blue winter skies
Highlight the symmetry of stark branches
Adorning trees in winter’s embrace,
A work of art,
So common yet each unique,
Their simple presence bringing joy.
The dancing leaves
Also have their whirling song
That soothes shattered nerves,
Quieting the mind in contemplation.
In warm beds with covers thick,
Bring a peace no
So quiet its coming
Reading the psalms from the beginning,
Seeing his life and his prayers, in its rendering,
The passions depicted,
Reverence, joy, anger, despair;
All prayed by him in his life,
Such depth, beauty, the psalms show of life,
The portrayal both stark and beautiful.
From time to time saying a mystery,
Again the knotted prayer rope a tool,
Keeping me centered on the true center,
Bringing Bob into the mystery prayed,
It is strange when someone you have know for a long time is near death,
Bob is much older than me, 28 years to be exact, a whole generation difference,
Which made no difference to either of us, we were simply very good friends.
An artist, also a gardener, somewhat chaotic in his work habits, but in the end,
When all is said and done, it always went well; his work beautiful, appreciated.
He loved music, show tunes, which I do not share, our taste were way different.
He lies calmly on his bed,
A silent presence amidst the noise and chaos,
Looking at nothing;
Perhaps thinking about the end,
Thought not today or tomorrow,
It is just coming,
No longer an abstraction but something real.
Doctors come and go,
Nurses arrive, gentle yet precise in their work,
A parade of sorts,
Without the fanfare or music,
Now this, and now that,
Other samples needed,
Blood sugar, high from infection,
Underneath the roughness and anger, the bullying behavior,
Is a man childlike in his soul, with walls built for protection,
From a world filled with events that bring swift pain, wounding deep.
Wounding first, before a thrust can be parried, defensive, always on alert.
Giving the illusion of complete control over others, when in fact, not true,
Driven by others to take stances not needed, leading others to fear,
When in fact no fear is needed, it is all charade, a masquerade,
The human heart seeks that, which it desires most,
Sometimes desperate in its search,
Often self destructive in the solace it seeks,
Attracted to that which often brings death,
It fruit rage, anger, the seeking after revenge,
Leading only to further pain and isolation.
The human heart is deep, bottomless it its thirst,
Seeking in the finite, what only the infinite can fulfill.
Desiring to captured what cannot be contained,
To own that which is free without constra
Life is filled with tragic events,
The chalice overflowing with its wine of suffering spilled out,
Dark red, the color of blood,
Pungent, leading to extremes behaviors,
Heartbreaking in it’s’ intensity, causing others to flee,
The naked pain too much to absorbed,
Like a flood sweeping across the land unstoppable,
Flows the dark red wine from the golden chalice
Forcing all to drink,
Some drown; sink to the bottom never seen again,
Others survive for a while until the peace of
I was late last night in going in to see William. Just before I left, I went in to see how things were going on the floor, and discovered that Bob was having trouble breathing. He was not quite gasping, but was having difficulty. Got the pulse ox and took a reading, his oxygen level was only 82, and had to be dealt with right away. We always have extra Concentrators for just such and eventuality. So we hooked it up, and soon Bob readings were much better; up to 95. So I put hi
When I was young, I was lousy at sports, sucked at it actually; you know one of those kids, who are legion, picked last. I never could figure out why I was so bad at it. All of my brothers seemed to be good at whatever sport they played, while I on the other hand just could not get it. I often wondered about that. I could walk ok, swing my arms right, put one foot in front of the other and be able to walk without tripping on too many cracks in the sidewalk….well actually I still do that from
The heart waits,
It races, pounds for the other,
Wounded in its longing,
Thirsting for the promise that love offers,
Its wounds propelling it forward
Until the final eternal embrace,
The pearl hidden in the depths of all other loves,
Shadows compared to that of the infinite
I went for my visit with William yesterday afternoon, at the psyche hospital he is at for a few days. I noticed that they put him in a different wing this time. Larger, nicer, with more room to walk around in, more windows to look out of etc. I was surprised at this and asked the nurse about it. She told me the doctor wanted to see how he did in a larger environment, but it was not working out too well, he wanders about too much and they have a hard time keeping an eye on him. So he will be
He was told where we were going and why,
His look, communicated confusion mixed with comprehension,
Willing to go along, finally, after a morning of wondering,
What to do if he refused to go, what then, another painful encounter.
In the end, he conceded, went along with me, even cheerful in demeanor.
I strapped him in the caravan, got his seat just right,
And started on our 35 mile journey down Highway 124 towards East Side,
To be his home for a few days while they hopefully fixed
I saw him outside the locked down unit just as he ran out the door
Following me as I left, had no idea where he was hiding,
But he was fast and agile……he can be that way when he wants to be.
I tuned around and said, “William how are you?”
He looked at me, smiled, and said “Markey, I want to go home”,
So we talked and I tried to get him back inside, to safety.
For him though it was something different; keeping him from seeing his mother.
“Please let me go home, what is going on, why
I came into work this afternoon and the first person I saw was William, who had that look. It was the look that communicated to me, that perhaps he needed to get out and about for a short while. Even though his short term memory is shot, I think the pressure of being cooped up has a physical component that needs to be addressed. Since it was after lunch; too late to get him a hamburger, I thought it would be a good idea to take him for a ride and get him some ice cream; something he loves jus
Beauty flows like a healing balm in a world often filled with pain.
Music with its gentle melodies soothing the soul into contemplation,
Or a more rapid crescendo, leading to the simple joy of movement
Causing the body to come alive with the ecstatic joy of existence,
Flying effortless with the rhythms created for that pleasure.
The ritual of eating with friends,
Sipping wine and laughing over past events,
Remembered with both joy and a stabbing sorrow,
Adding to the dept
She often calls me on the phone,
Sometimes I ignore her for a day or two,
Just to get some space from her fearful clinging.
I have known her for over 15 years,
A pretty woman,
With enough struggle for three lifetimes.
She lives from month to month,
The motel in which she lives made for such as her,
Her whole life contained in one small room,
Tiny kitchen corner,
Bathroom and TV,
Her things in bags along the wall.
Barely holding on,
Many like her eventuall
I like being tired on a cold rainy night,
My mind longing for the oblivion of sleep,
Though never achieved due to my many dreams,
Themselves not a problem;
My sleep is undisturbed by their creation,
Often dreams have changed my life by what they present,
At times strongly stated in ways not to be ignored,
So yes I also love my dreams,
Even the scary ones that come at times
They too have a message one I would often not listen to,
Hence their strength in their delivery.
Leaving on a jet plane
I can still remember the morning that I woke up, on the day that I was going to leave home for the first time. It was in August, the year was 1967 and I just graduated from High School. I can remember waking up, looking up at the ceiling with this very strange feeling in the pit of my stomach, you know the feeling you get when you are about to enter the first long decent on a roller coaster ride, making promises to God that if you survive you will not get back on again
The evening cool,
Bracing breeze intermittent,
Strong with power one moment
Then silence deep,
Waiting for the storm.
Clouds low hanging from the now dark sky,
Ice crystals in the air,
For freezing rain to come,
To cover the limbs of trees with its beauty,
Crystal on display for a short time to see,
Often some destruction in its wake
But beauty deep none the less.
Homeward bound I drive
Loving this special moment,
Windows down, open to the dam
Are we evil or are we good?
The human heart, is it filled with love,
Or is indifference to others it natural state?
Concerned only for its own,
Caring not for those who are other.
Love for our own,
Parents for their children,
Children for their parents,
Love between husband and wife,
The deep sharing with friends,
Our tribe, nation, religion, family,
Is not the love we are called to.
Love and need often go hand in hand,
A grace to be treasured,
I sat before her,
My chest tight,
Knowing that emotion just below the surface,
Wanting to express it,
As usual not really knowing how.
There is so much more I need to learn,
Of just how to let my emotions to simply be.
Of my past
Of my being left to myself at two years old,
Not knowing what was happening,
The meaning of it,
As if a two year old could understand that anyway.
One year in that prison,