Falling off the Charts

age one to 
middle age 44,
homicide is among
the top five ways 
to die
in America.

Then after the mature age of 45,
killing is not even in the 
top 10.

I wonder -
did we learn to love
our neighbor
did we crush
all our enemies?

Number One with a Bullet

Accidents do happen.
Leading cause of death 
from ages one
to forty-four.

Then from forty-five
to sixty-four 
cancer leads the way.
Or as the researchers call it
Malignant Neoplasms. 

And then for the remaining years,
poor maintenance
and regrets
causes the heart to break.  

The Archangel Gabriel

Leo Tolstoy

Once upon a time, the archangel Gabriel heard the voice of God speaking from Paradise, blessing someone.
Gabriel said, "Surely this is some important servant of my Lord, God the Father. He must be a great saint, a hermit or wise man." 

The archangel went down to earth looking for the man, but he could not find him, neither on earth nor in heaven. Then he addressed God and said, "Oh Lord, my God, please show me how to find the object of your love."

God answered him, "Go this village. And there, in a little temple, you will see a fire."

The angel went down to the temple, and he found a man praying before an idol. Then Gabriel went back to God and said, "Lord, how can you look with love upon this idol worshipper?"

God said, "It is true that he does not understand me properly. Not one man living is capable of understanding me as I am. The wisest of the whole human race are just as far from really understanding me as this man is. I look not at his mind, but at his heart. The heart of this man searches for me, and therefore he is close to me.


Someone Got Told

I wonder if 
after the mother's retort
to Jesus,
the teenaged Mark said
 the Aramaic equivalent of:
“Oh snap, Jesus!”
before witnessing
a God who could 
change His mind.

"Unsuffer Me"

Unlock my love
And set me free
Come fill me up
With ecstasy

Surround my heartbeat
With your fingertips
Unbound my feet
Untie my wrists

Come in to my world
Of loneliness
And wickedness
And bitterness
Unlock my love

Unsuffer me
Take away the pain
Unbruise, unbloody
Wash away the stain
Anoint my head
With your sweet kiss
My joy is dead
I long for bliss

I long for knowledge
Whisper in my ear
Undo my logic, undo my fear
Unsuffer me

Lucinda Williams

The Greatest Goal Ever -6/22/86

Maradona has the ball, 
two mark him, 
he touches the ball. 

The genius of world football 
dashes to the right 
and leaves the third 
and is going to pass to Burruchaga. 
It’s still Maradona! 

Genius! Genius! Genius! 
Gooooooooooal! Gooooooooooal! 

I want to cry! Dear God! 
Long live football! 
Gooooooooooal! Diegoal! Maradona! 

It’s enough to make you cry, 
forgive me. 
Maradona, in an unforgettable run, 
in the play of all time. 

Cosmic kite! What planet are you from? 
Leaving in your wake so many Englishmen, 
so that the whole country is a clenched fist 
shouting for Argentina? 

Argentina 2, England 0. 
Diegoal, Diegoal, Diego Armando Maradona. 

Thank you, God, 
for football, 
for Maradona, 
for these tears, 
for this, 
Argentina 2, England 0.


Video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiYYSradplU


City of Blinding Lights

The town on the hill
was blessed with a 
great light.

The poor
the lame
the weak
from the 
surrounding villages
saw the light
but could not go up
the hill
to experience the light.

They shouted up to
the town
to bring the light 
down the hill 
and to their villages.

But the town said, 
"No. There are too many technical issues.

Will the darkness swallow up the light?

Will we lose some (or all!) of the light
if we give it away?

What can you give us in
exchange for the light?

We will have to examine this
in much further detail
before we do anything."

The Accused

Just as he locked the door, as he pocketed the key,
as he glanced over his shoulder, they arrested him.
They tortured him until they tired of it.
‘Look,’ they said,
‘the key is your key, the house is your house,
we accept that now; but why did you put the key
in your pocket as if to hide it from us?’

They let him go, but his name is still on a list.

Yannis Ritsos
translated from the Greek by David Harsent

Thanks, Mr. Sun

I’m thankful the sun starts slow
and glides in a graceful burning
arc across the firmament. I don’t
think I could handle life if ole’ Sol
was a herky-jerky-shakey-jake.
Mr. Sun stays in his own lane,
daily commuting with polite constancy,
never nervous about missing
something like a primo parking spot.
For a fireball it seems to have it all
together, unshyly shining golden on
this blue-born world’s flappable.

John Blase



I think the Rapture is bunk.
 imagine an aftermath

Insurance companies getting religion
and declaring the Rapture
an Act of God
as they stiff their policy-holders.

Consider a sight of
 several hundred million children 
gone off to the Kingdom.

Elementary school teachers 
 to teach the ones 
that were left behind.

The one per-centers
texting: WTF
Where did the help go?

The pastor who
didn't get caught up in the clouds
wondering if
 he would have a flock to tend?

Bullies will miss their patsies.
Patrons will remember their bartenders.
High school kids will revere the cheerleader.
And gossips will ask, 
"Why her? /Why him?"

And all the while,
me and you 
will go through
the departed's
fridges and garages
prepping ourselves for
the Final Days.

The Seven Deadly Sins

Forget about the other six, says Pride.
They're only using you.
Admittedly, Lust is a looker,
but you can do better.

And why do they keep bringing us
to this cheesy dive?
The food's so bad that even Gluttony
can't finish his meal.

Notice how Avarice
keeps refilling his glass
whenever he thinks we're not looking,
while Envy eyes your plate.

Hell, we're not even done, and Anger
is already arguing about the bill.
I'm the only one who
ever leaves a decent tip.

Let them all go, the losers!
It's a relief to see Sloth's
fat ass go out the door.
But stick around. I have a story

that not everyone appreciates
about the special satisfaction
of staying on board as the last
grubby lifeboat pushes away.

Dana Gioia


The Prodigal Son
All callow thoughtlessness
Outshone his brother

Unfair or unwise
To favor the miscreant
Yet it's instinctive

We value others
For the love that we give them
Not the love returned

Martin Locock