the time has come

I have reached the point
where I no longer savor
thoughts of expressing myself
with this indifferent keyboard
my words have lost their flavor

I struggled futilely for months
upgrade became a catastrophe
my blog became as my aging body
nothing works the same as before
my mountain top approaches

upon me are three anniversaries
the suddenness of my stroke
the passing of my lovely daughter
the beginning of this my blog
the end is fast coming into view

gnarled

it finally had to happen
I should have never answered those questions
they had found me sitting there on that rock
water still dripping from my ragged clothes

it was said that I was giggling like an idiot
I don’t remember much aside from the cold
the cold and that strange hand from nowhere
I can still describe each of those gnarled fingers

fingers with twisty knobby joints like tree roots
that hand supported by such a long thin arm
reaching out through frigid murky water
stopping my senseless plunge into darkness

queries delved far into my deepest thoughts
memories that would not remain suppressed
leaving a chill deeper than that frigid water
a chill that lingers after all these years

they tell me I am all better now at long last
the decision to commit had long been made
nothing much has changed after all this time
shocking brought intense pain but no relief

relief has finally come I am on my way home
my ordeal is almost ended or is it really
nagging doubts assail me from every side
should never have made mention of that crown

that crown is at the root of all that happened
I can longer charge recklessly at windmills
I feel that my days of chasing giants has ended
restraint would have been wiser than wine bags

I could care less what they think of me now
time has come to start on the final chapter
first I must take away of all those old pages
my committal has generated a deep resolve

a deep resolve to revisit that strange event
a convulsive plunge into frigid murky depths
reaching from nowhere that same gnarled hand
this time extended in welcome

delusion

inflamed by need
I feel unacceptable
incensed by dread
wounded empty
confused by delusion
a hideous reflection
obsessed by mind
draining self seeking
completion outside self
I abhor my afflictions
overcome by them

for others affection
standing at a crossroads
which way should I go
for such affliction of both
from burning experiences
feeling pain and grief
my truth is something
I’m not able to accept

goodbye

Just nine days before her thirty-second birthday
her short, beautiful life came to an abrupt end
early morning call; come quickly: too late there
fingers so limp in life now begin to stiffen
soft brown eyes become fixed on unseen horizons

Her name was Katerina. Went by Katie less often Kat
she reached out through her blog as “katsscribbles”
undaunted by confinement to life in a wheelchair
a warrior whose feats live on in her poetry and art
always eager to strive for that far away destination

she was my friend and confidant, she was my daughter
her passing leaves a terrible emptiness in my life
I ask myself “why Katie and not me?” and I cry
she was young and vibrant while I am getting old
as the song says “Farther Along” we’ll understand why

I loved you in life and I still love you in death
goodbye my daughter I’ll meet you in Paradise

Part G

If you are one of our older senior citizens
becoming unable to care for yourself
think maybe it’s time for Long-Term Care
government says there is no Nursing Home
care coverage available for you
so you must decide what to do
one alternative might be Medicare Part G
a new program for those more adventurous
this new plan gives anyone 65 or older
a new gun (Part G) with only one bullet
of course only 80% is paid as usual
the remaining 20% is your responsibility
unless you have an advantage plan HMO
your AARP prescription drug plan may help
if your doctor deems it medically necessary
You can then dispose of any one politician
provided your aim has not faded with time
even though politicians are noisome dregs
this means you will be sent to prison
for the remaining years of your life
there you will receive three meals a day,
have a solid roof over your head,
central heating and air conditioning,
cable TV, a library, complete health care
need new teeth? Not a problem
what about new glasses? That’s great.
hard of hearing, yep, part and parcel
new hip, knees, kidney, lungs, sex change
heart or pacemaker? They are all covered!
Then there is this added bonus;
kids and grandkids can come and visit
you at least as often as they do now!
You ask who will be paying for all of this?
That same government that just told you
they won’t provide for your stay in a nursing home
you will now be a hero to all your fellow inmates
because you removed a worthless politician
better yet, because you are a prisoner,
you don’t have to pay any more income taxes!
so now you can enjoy your Long-Term care
Is this a great country or what?

A Solitary Life

Nearly two thousand years ago in an obscure village,
a child was born of a peasant woman.
He grew up in another village where
He worked 
as a carpenter until he was thirty.
Then for three years
He became an itinerant preacher.
This Man never went to college or seminary.
He never wrote a book nor held a public office.
He never had a family nor owned a home.
He never put His foot inside a big city
nor traveled 200 miles from His birthplace.
Although he never did any of those things
that usually accompany greatness,
throngs of people followed Him.
He had no credentials but Himself.
While He was still young,
the tide of public opinion turned against Him.
His followers ran away.
He was turned over to his enemies,
went through the mockery of a trial.
He was sentenced to death
on a cross between two thieves.
While He was dying, His executioners gambled
for the only piece of property He had on earth
–the simple coat He had worn.
His body was laid in a borrowed grave
provided by a compassionate friend.
But three days later this Man arose from the dead
–living proof that He was, as He had claimed,
the Savior whom God had sent, the Incarnate Son of God.

Twenty centuries have come and gone
and today the risen Lord Jesus Christ
is the central figure of the human race.
On our calendars His birth divides history in two eras.
One day of every week is set aside in remembrance of Him.
Our most important holidays celebrate
His birth, death and resurrection.
On church steeples around the world
His cross has become the symbol
of victory over sin and death.

This one Man’s life has furnished the theme
for more songs, books, poems and paintings
than any other person or event in history.
Thousands of colleges, hospitals, orphanages
and other institutions have been founded in honor
of this One who gave His life for us.

All the armies that ever marched,
all the navies that ever sailed,
all the governments that ever sat,
all the kings that ever reigned
have not changed the course of history
as much as this One Solitary Life.

taken from the original version by
Dr James Allan Francis, 1926

BUFFALO

They hunt buffalo different today
from South Dakota through Wyoming
they chase them with helicopters
ATVs and 4x4s follow at speeds never
reached more than a hundred years ago
when they were so often shot from trains
now they are being culled under license
with the governments approval

The hunters say there is nothing
like watching buffalo fall when shots
go home one after another much as arrows
did when they were for food not sport
what do hunters do with all that meat?
What do they do with that shaggy hide?
Why did this way of life have to change?
Will any of our heritage ever return?

Will these dead buffalo grow wings
from those large, once shaggy bodies
when the old Oglala medicine man
fresh from White Creek Reservation
begins chanting them on their journey
to the arms of the Great Spirit
while the Six Grandfathers weep
over this ignoble end of a way of life