Well, anyway,
I was reading this James Bond book,
and right away
I realized that like most books,
it had too many words.

The plot was the same one that
all James Bond books have:
An evil person tries to blow up the world,
but James Bond kills him
and his henchmen
and makes love to several attractive women.
There, that’s it: 24 words.
But the guy who wrote the book
took *thousands* of words to say it.

Or consider “The Brothers Karamazov”,
by the famous Russian alcoholic
Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
It’s about these two brothers who kill their father.
Or maybe only one of them kills the father.
It’s impossible to tell because
what they mostly do is talk
for nearly a thousand pages.

If all Russians talk
as much as the Karamazovs did,
I don’t see how they found time
to become a major world power.

I’m told that Dostoyevsky wrote
“The Brothers Karamazov” to raise
the question of whether there is a God.
So why didn’t he just come right out
and say: “Is there a God?
It sure beats the heck out of me.”

Other famous works could easily
have been summarized in a few words:

* “Moby Dick” — Don’t mess around
with large whales because they
symbolize nature and will kill you.

* “A Tale of Two Cities”
— French people are crazy.

                               — Dave Barry


due to unexpected circumstances
I found myself out of circulation
diagnosed with Bronchopneumonia
shots in both flanks and giant pills
missed two weeks of church services

unable to talk much less write
highly contagious passed it around
wife became sick caring for me
that was not what bothered us most
missed two weeks of church services


I must so admit
I have been idle
for several weeks
written not a whit
quill became blunted
words stood evasive
bled like my title

I must so admit
will not let ennui
ruin my days my nights
writing bit by bit
quill no more blunted
thoughts less evasive
shall rule my title


Well, it’s almost over for this year

table has been cleared of too much food

dishes piled in sinks needing attention

desserts uneaten waiting on counters

while groans, sighs and soft snores

emanate from couches many slouch-ants

Did anyone bother to give thanks

Gifts from acquaintances who come once a year

brief visits from friends, next door neighbors

why no calls from children or grandchildren

is this how getting old is supposed to feel

It takes one back to another day, another time

can you imagine how our Savior feels today

when all his birth means to so many

is party and gift, party and gift, party and gift

Jesus is the only one who should ever ask

What did you get for me?’ but then, He knows

We sing a beautiful song that has these words

I owed a debt I could not pay,

He paid a debt He did not owe, He paid it all.”


Through the woodlands through the valleys
Comes a horseman wild and free
Tilting at the windmills passing
Who can this brave young horseman be?
He is wild but he is mellow
He is strong but he is weak
He is cruel but he is gentle
He is wise but he is meek

Reaching for his saddlebags
He takes a battered book into his hand
And standing like a prophet bold
He shouts across the ocean to the shore
’til he can shout no more

“I have come on o’er the mountain
Like a hawk upon the wing
I was once a shining knight
Who was the guardian of a king
I have searched the whole world
Over looking for a place to sleep
I have seen the strong surviving
I have seen the lean grow weak

See the children of the earth
Who wake to find the table bare
See the gentry in the country
Riding out to take the air.”

Reaching for his saddlebags
He takes a rusty sword into his hand
Then striking up a knightly pose
He shouts out across the ocean to the shore
’til he can shout no more

“See the jailer with his key
He locks away all trace of sin
See the judge upon the bench
Who tries the case as best he can
See the wise and wicked ones
Who feed upon life’s sacred fire
See the soldier with his gun
Who must be dead to be admired
See the man who tips the needles
See the man who buys and sells
See the man who puts the collar
On the ones who dare not tell

See the drunkard in the tavern
Spending gold he needs to make ends meet
See the kid in ghetto black
Condemned to life on the street.”

Reaching for his saddlebags
He takes a tarnished cross into his hand
And standing like a preacher now
He shouts across the ocean to the shore
Then in a blaze of tangled hooves
He gallops off across the dusty plain
In vain to search again
For no one will hear

Through the woodland through the valley
Comes a horseman wild and free
Tilting at the windmills passing
Who can this brave young horseman be?

…..a song by Gordon Lightfoot —1970s