Matchmaking on the highway…


Another slow and agonizing commute
from the southern suburbs to my home north
and I have to find a way to pass the time,
do some good or at least no harm.

Behind me is a mouth-breathing Neanderthal
eating aggressively – beef jerky and nuts maybe,
alternating his well-balanced diet of commuter snacks,
but so distracted that he is constantly slamming
on his brakes to avoid rear-ending the car in front
which is mine and I am to blame he indicates
with extended middle finger, for being here
so inconveniently obstructing his progress
to some world-changing destiny; I see it all
in my rear-view mirror and he makes me nervous
in so many, many ways.

In front – intermittently – is a little red car,
with its brown-haired female distracted
by her phone, her radio, her hair,
something in her eye, her phone again,
and the apparent lack of lift or something in her hair
which she tries to remedy as she moves back
and forth from my lane to the next and back again
without consulting her mirrors or signaling
her capriciousness with a light so designed;
she must be perfect and all must defer.

Caveman-in-mid-meal behind, and she-self
primping in front – the two seem made for each other,
it occurs to me, if only they would meet – but how
on a road crowded with thousands of others, nervously
and impatiently cursing each and every one of
the thousands of others who presume to slow
one’s evolution and inconvenience their life.

And then my moment appears, as he reaches
for something dropped across the seat (but
certainly not a napkin) and she discovers
an unevenness in her brow that must be corrected
for the world to continue its revolutions,
as I quietly slip into the next lane and it happens,
for she has not signaled and he has not looked up
in time to stop the fender-bender that will
unite this perfect couple in their destiny
and I am their matchmaker – driving on.

The Spirit blows where it damn well pleases…

My Pentecost

I know what it is
to be lonely,
to be alone
because I know,
I’ve sensed,
what it is to
feel the breeze
of your Spirit
coming and going,
and going
(don’t go, please,
don’t go).

I hear the story
of morning drunks
(or so they seemed)
on a pneumatic
bender of fire
and language,
of languages
not their own,
that brought
smiles and questions,
and questions
needing answers.

Does your Spirit
come and stay,
and stay
and stay
and stay with sinners
who beg
and beg
‘take not thy spirit from me’
as David did
when he saw himself
as another Saul,
when he saw himself
as Saul should have
seen himself;
please Lord,
please stay,
please stay with me.

I want to laugh
and cry
in your Spirit;
I want to jump
and scream
in your Spirit;
I want to sit
and sleep
in your spirit;
I want to live
and die
in your Spirit;
in your Spirit,
in your Spirit.



Yes, that’s me drowning…

Help me, I’m drowning
in a shallow pool of witticism,
slogans capturing paranoia of
the other, this jingoism without
cloaks reinforces the lowest of
common fears, and heads nod
in faith’s assent bravely denying
all that’s true in favor of Truth
and say it with a capital T or else,
unchanging, everywhere and
always for all; and now we’re all
instructed to repeat a word,
Impossible, say it, again, Im-
poss-i-ble; impossible not to
have it any other way or
the world will fall apart
for those who are admiring
the Emperor’s beautiful clothes;
and I’m sinking and cry out
for help – I’m in the second
pew from the back on the
right – and please hurry.

What is greater than love…


Hate is stronger than love
like up is higher than down,
it’s as simple as that, like
water off a duck’s back, but
it seems ducks enjoy
water on their backs; or
when left turns to right,
eventually, but it takes so long
to get there;
while everyone’s busy
keeping track of what
makes them so uncomfortable
they just have to hate so much,
love doesn’t stand a chance.

Looking for elbow grease…

Elbow Grease

I spent hours one day when just a boy
searching through the shelves of cans
and tins and tubs, of liquids and oils and
paints and lubricants with numbers
and names of weights and uses from
maintenance to remedies for sticky,
stubborn and/or stuck things for something
called elbow grease which I had never seen
or heard of until my father told me that was
what I lacked to loosen or tighten or tinker
with my bicycle’s training wheels which
I desperately wanted to remove although
warned that I’d fall because I wasn’t ready.

Books of love and love of books…


There’s a wonderful novel on my shelf
which once slept bedside when not read daily,
over and over again as if new, old pages
still surprising, reluctant in my progress
through the confused lives of Owen and Stevie,
how Kate loved Owen but Stevie loved Kate
and nobody loved the janitor, Mr. O.
which they called him because no one
could pronounce his European name;
how I cried every time I read about
the disappointments of their sad lives
and wondered at my own insignificant ways
until another lover came to bed with me
and the pages of Owen, Stevie, Kate and Mr O.
gathered dust, then the middle of a stack
of novels until finally becoming lost
on my shelf next to others I’ve forgotten.