Friday, September 29, 2017

Day of Atonement

Day of atonement
Day of reflection.
Jewish holidays start at sundown.
My fast started late because I didn’t eat enough during the day
And went for a run after work.
By the time I finished dinner it was two hours past sundown.
So my fast will end tomorrow
At 9:15 pm.
It may be tough
To fast
For 24 hours
Since I scheduled a few work things
Not knowing at the time
That it was Yom Kippur,
Holiest day of the Jewish year,
And it wasn’t on my online calendar
So I scheduled things
And by the time I found out
It was too late to cancel.
Well, it’s never too late
But it wouldn’t have been right.
So I will honor my commitments.
Fast for 24 hours,
And make time for solitude
On Sunday.
The point shouldn’t be when I honor the holiday,
It should be how.
At least that is how I look at it.
And since I only need to answer to myself,
A day late is better than not at all,
So that is what I will do.
And there will be no guilt.
No lamenting the scheduling error.
No, no, no negative.
Reflecting is a positive thing
Even when some of the reflections
Seem negative.
Because reflecting helps me
Learn from my mistakes
And move forward.
Ask for forgiveness?
Look inward,
Be introspective,
Be aware,
Seek forgiveness from God
Or from those I have hurt?
Sometimes it is better
To not raise the issue a second time
Sometimes it is better
To learn from the mistake
And not make someone relive it.
Day of atonement
Day of reflection
Day of introspection
A day for being religious
In my own way.
A spiritual quest to my soul.

Thursday, September 28, 2017


I'm not sure I like where this one wound up going.

are no longer
once you tell them to somebody.
At that point they become
more like a confession,
Which you are trusting
that person

A misused term
trusting a friend
with knowledge
that you want them to know
but you don’t want them to share

Not to be confused with
things you tell a friend
knowing full well
that they may tell someone else,
in confidence of course.
Or worse,
things you tell a friend
in the hopes that
he or she will tell people.
the secret.
And if that is your intent,
What kind of friend are you
And what kind of person is your friend?

Sometimes slimy.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

At the car dealer

At the car dealer
     waiting in the customer service area
     while my car gets it’s 5,000 mile service.
Three rows of well worn chairs,
Two tvs,
    One on CBS News,
    The other showing the NFL Channel.
I wonder
     what it says about society’s expectations
        of us
When the sports channel is on high volume
And the news is a whisper.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

First Amendment

I'm still working on this, but decided to post it anyway so no one can accuse me of slacking or missing a day. :) 

First Amendment

Who gets to decide the
Best practice for protesting?
Best practice for judging a protest?
Best practice for exercising free speech?
Best practice for deciding when free speech goes too far?
in a court of law,
if it gets that far.

Who gets to have an opinion
on all of the above?
All of us.

How loud can we get?
How personal?
How vicious?
We go as far as we can
because we all have the freedom
to voice our opinion.

Freedom to speak,
Guaranteed by the First Amendment.
The wording is a bit funky,
Old-fashioned terminology and phrasing.
Congress shall make no law ABRIDGING
The freedom of speech,
Or of the press,
Or the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

Knowing that we have the right to speak out
is not the same as knowing when or how
to do it effectively.

Do most of us speak out publicly?
But those who do seem fearless
to those of us who prefer to watch from the sidelines.
Sometimes those who speak out
May seem crazy,
Over zealous,
To those of us who choose to remain

We may be
Self conscious
But in the privacy of our home
at a keyboard
where no one can see us,
We can voice
We state
Facts as we know them.
We repeat
We are ruled by our
And we criticize
the other side
Because we don’t think they are on our side.

The irony is,
Most of us want the same thing,
To be happy, fulfilled, safe.
And if we fear something will disrupt our perfect world,
We are not happy.
We don't feel fulfilled.
We don't feel safe.
We might get a little angry,
We might get a littler vengeful,
We might get a little vocal,
We might, we might, we might
Go too far.
And it is our right to go as far as we want to
By speaking
By writing
By marching
By demonstrating our feelings and beliefs.

Freedom of speech
Freedom to assemble
Freedom to disagree
Freedom to agree
Freedom to ignore
Freedom to get involved
Free, free, free,
We live in the land of the free.

Monday, September 25, 2017


From September 22. Not sure why I didn't post it then.

After a war of words.
No surrender
A mutual walking away
Followed by civility
No mention of the fireworks
No apologies
No taking back words
No second guessing
No outward sign of the battle
Mutual meeting of the minds?
Mutual decision to disagree?

Is the debt cleared
Or is it a stalemate?
Does it matter?

Redemption day is here.

Rhythm Rhyme and Harmony

A poem.

Rhythm rhyme and harmony
Aren’t just in songs.
There’s a harmony in words.
How they go together
Like music notes go together.
And low
The tones blend
And soar
Blend and dip
Blend and take you on a journey
That a single note can’t achieve
A different flavor
Different texture
Different feel.
Fuller than a single note.
Sometimes the solo notes
Are haunting
And the nakedness invokes feelings
That a tight group cannot convey.
Telling a story
One note at a time
No embellishment
No other voices are needed
The solo note
Pierces the listener’s heart
Brings you on a journey
That can only be achieved
Sing song
Words can do that
Black ink on a white page
Creating a song in your heart.
Singing in your head.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Bluegrass in a sports bar

Bluegrass in a sports bar
Football on every screen
Guys up on the stage playing and singing
Vocals and solos compete with cheers
And grones.

Four different games
On twice as many tvs.
The stage has four men,
One instrument each,
Guitar, banjo, mandolin, and bass.
Their sound can’t compete with
Silent screens
A punt return touchdown
Quarterbacks getting sacked
Penalty flags
The running game
Passing stats,

As soon as the music ends,
The big screen comes down
In front of the stage.
Instead of three part harmony
Football announcers voices break through the noise,
Play-by-play for the big game
While most eyes are on the smaller screens
And hometown favorites.

Bluegrass in a sports bar
during Sunday brunch,
Serving up songs with beer,
and a main course of Sunday football.

Thursday, September 21, 2017


An early morning phone call from a hospital
will do that
when you have elderly parents,
people you care about who don’t live with you.

The pit of the stomach moment when you realize
this is not a social call.
And as your mind races
you realize
it isn’t as bad
as the call you were dreading.
You can deal with this one
without emotions getting in the way,
too much.
You can make a plan,
Be practical,
Breathe a little,
And be in control
Of part of the situation.

Sure, it is there.
Nagging in your head
Tugging at your heart
Drilling a hole in your stomach.
Worry, but not dispair
or grief.

Not this time.