Year’s End


My 501 jeans fit tighter as 2020 draws to a close.
A year after losing 20-pounds sharing an unplumbed shack with my dog Clarence,
Ten have returned, but that trade has been a positive one.

I prefer living in a rural environment,
But my neighbors here are good, and the neighborhood quiet for the most part.
One of the little girls next door screams too much, but I’ve grown tolerant and more patient, too.

I want for nothing,
And concoct ways to feed hungry children.
No one cares.  Self and faked needs take priority.

A sign hangs in my kitchen.
“I want to be the person my dog thinks I am.”
I want to be the person my granddaughters think I am.

I read Wendell Berry.  He is good for the soul.
Haircuts are inconvenient.  I allow mine to grow longer than it has ever been.
I’ve added a few more prayers to the ones I prayed as a child.

Life requires good deeds, not good intentions.
Let that be the legacy of a life well-lived.



Mourning the Mourning Dove


The cruel sound of feathered flesh striking paned glass.
Did she know it was her final flight?
When she flew hard into the panoramic reflection
          in the large window
          she tumbled to the hard stones beneath the glass,
          flapped her angelic wings once,
          and breathed her last.
I mourn for the mourning dove.
Released from her body,
Her spirit flies home.



Death of a Cactus

fallen cactus

Walking in the desert
I’ve passed by him 300 times and
Never given him a second look.

Today I found him a fallen angel,
A giant who has been sentinel to this land
For three centuries, maybe more.

He was an infant when Padre Kino walked by.
Grew his first arm when Key saw bombs bursting in air.
He laughed when the Babe hit his first home run.

This week, he toppled.
Brought to the ground by the breath of God.
Wind takes no prisoners.

Lord of the Desert,
Bless this creature who has prayed to you
Since his moment of incarnation.

Bring him home.
He is one who has lived in peace
And all in your name.