Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Past is never dead

The past is never dead. It's not even past.--William Faulkner
it is easy to live in some other place than now
to lie in bed at 3:00 in the morning worrying
about what we "need"to do,
praying is the only good thing to come from this..
when we don't pray,
our hearts become even harder than they already are..
last night we walked with Jack around the square
the sidewalk full of folks milling about
lovers holding hands
other dogs walking their people
music spilling out from the pubs
the heavenly aroma of food coming from the incredible eateries,
Oxford is a little slice of paradise,
a dream town with a laid back personality
we walked into the museum and they welcomed Jack as well,
it is now my favorite museum because they welcomed Jack
the exhibit was of photographs taken around the square
images from the last 5 decades
there are many ghosts in this town
it's pretty cool to live in the town William Faulkner came from,
a town which Bob Dylan wrote a scathing song about,
a song that needed writing at the time,
a place with numerous writers and poets
a place with more mojo than you can shake a stick at..

Friday, July 30, 2010

thank you Lord..

i love cats
i am weary of folks who do not like animals..
i am not big on domesticated birds,
they frighten me a little,
but i like crows
i am convinced that in every place i live,
there is at least one crow who befriends me,
waiting outside my apt in Nashville,
waiting outside my home in Oxford,
cawing a 'hello' when i walk out in the mornings..
you think i am kidding,
Wes and i may ride today,
maybe later this evening when it cools down a bit,
Man, it is hot in Mississippi!
and I am so thankful to be back home in hot Mississippi,
thank you Lord..

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

this morning

this morning,

on my way to work out i saw something odd..
a woman was taking out her trash,
and know,
it is a very affluent neighborhood i drive through,
she had 5 foot snake draped over her shoulders..
the snake was yellow and beige,
it was very large,
it was lifting its head up and trying to look into the garbage can
she went about her business as if it weren't even there..
it is a world of wonders isn't it?


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

failure and success

failure and success,

are extremely overrated
if one occurs
the other will be looming
prowling behind the hill of laughter or tears,
i know a man who isn't concerned with either,
he has had times of wealth
he has been very poor
he lived on the streets for a while
he also lived in a mansion for a time
being around him is exhilarating
but he is elusive
at times invisible
he has scars from his experiences,
which he never hides
he is always noticing the obvious,
birds, flowers, hard working farmers,
his friends are so diverse,
friends that don't always feel comfortable around one another,
he purposely invites them to the same places..
he is a bit mischievous


Monday, July 26, 2010


with or without knowing,

love is always speaking to us,
so is fear, anger, worry, and bitterness..
it is not just a matter of which we listen to,
this is obvious,
it is much more about how we hear the voices..
the voice of love is heard within the heart,
the others within the mind,
this is not about feelings or emotions..
this is about grace, which is a mystery..
"heart speaks to heart"--Cardinal Newman
if we listen only with the mind,
we will end up confused and depressed,
dancing to the doldrums of a hollow love..
if not careful,
we confuse the voice of love and the voice of fear,
but if our hearts are open to the song of grace,
calling us to peace,
reason and faith will skip like young calves over the hills,
hand in hand..


Sunday, July 25, 2010


today's reading begins in Sodom

a place that sounds very familiar to our times,
It's a city about to implode within a culture of death
but what stands out in the reading is Mercy..
God says, basically, He wants to go down there,
wants to check out what is going on for Himself,
which is odd, you know, He's omniscient..
so anyway,
He checks it out and finds a badly depraved city,
so He tells Abraham He's going to destroy it,
Abe knows Lot is there and some other members of his family,
(I guess God forgot about this)
So Abraham starts a very amusing dialogue with God,
"If there are 100 righteous, would you relent?"
God says Yes, He would relent..
Abe says, How about 50?
God says Yes, He would relent..
Finally Abe says 10..
God keeps saying Yes, He would relent..
so God waits till Lot and his family are safe,
even Lot's wife who just had to look back..
this shows clearly that our prayers for others matter,
that we can plead someone else's case for them..
it shows that God is a caring Father,
not a white bearded tyrant in the sky with his finger on the button,
He is not a republican or a democrat!
He desires mercy..
even while justice rains down,
the crucifix proves it..


Saturday, July 24, 2010

the world we live

what we do has consequences

we can see this everywhere
look at the devastation of a Rainforest,
then look at the erosion and destruction this causes,
this environment is changed forever...
millions of species disappear that will never return,
cures for cancer could have been wiped out in this kind of stupidity,
all for profit....
plus, it's ugly.
When God told Adam and Eve to subdue the earth,
do you think He had this kind of raping of the land in mind?
it doesn't jibe with our Creative Creator
people who seek God should be leading..
leading the charge in caring for this planet,
leading the charge for the homeless,
leading the charge for the forgotten,
fighting for equity for all humans
immigrants, every race, man, woman and child,
for the unborn,
leading the charge in being unified for our Lord,
leading the charge in art, music, literature, and creativity,
in all of these things we could be more than conquerors..
we don't have to hug trees to want to keep them around,( though it wouldn't hurt)
we don't worship nature,
but we show God our worship for Him is real by how we treat the gifts He gives,
especially this world we live..
especially one another..

for Todd

Friday, July 23, 2010

Crazy Deal

it gets hot in the summer
but it seems every year people forget this
there is a constant warning about the heat index,
we didn't have these indexes when i was a kid
we just knew it was dang hot
i grew up in Mississippi and Texas
hot and hotter
i remember the temp being over 100 for 2 weeks in a row
but there was never talk of the world coming to an end,
it was summer,
it was hot..
and it still is..
and i bet next summer will be hot too..
and i bet none of it has anything to do with global warning,
it has to do with the season we are in..
i don't know if you ever wonder this,
has common sense completely been replaced with social correctness and gullibility?
as my friend Buzz Stone used to say,
"Crazy deal bro"


Thursday, July 22, 2010


the amazing thing is the desire

man needs to find out things
i saw on the history channel
two men wanted to find the bottom of the ocean,
they traveled 7 miles down,
the closest any human had ever been to the center of the earth,
why do we need this?
want this?
we are made in the image of God,
this must have something to do with our curiosity,
with our need for knowing things,
i wonder what would happen,
if a man decided to plumb the depths of his soul,
to take the wounded Rabbi by the hand and say,
"You know me better than i know myself,
show me the mystery you have made."
what an adventure this would be,
to learn to love as we our loved,
I imagine this is what Dante' had in mind,
"In the middle of the road of my life
I awoke in the dark wood
where the true way was wholly lost",
the "Divine Comedy",
not so much about the after life,
as it is about the time in life when we ask the better questions,
questions best answered by other questions,
while holding the wounded hand of love.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wake Up Jonah!

the poet is never completely satisfied with words,

as if any exist that could ever truly convey
the complexities of the soul
attempting the impossible,
possibly the novel has the better chance..
poems are like photographs
a flash of light
a shadow
an interrogation
glimpsing for a moment the most raw expression,
naked    true
at different periods in history,
the poet becomes the most dangerous person in the world,
rock and roll is no longer dangerous,
it is predictable and tired,
country music is so lame and weak it is laughable
Lady Gaga is the new Clash...
"Wake up Jonah, it's your time to be born!"--Bruce Cockburn


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

grateful for everything

last night i dreamed i was an American Indian,
no, I didn't have pizza before i went to bed..
i was an Oglala Sioux living in the Dakotas,
it was in the early 1800's and no white man had found us yet,
my wife was named Little Bird,
she was my real life wife with a darker complexion,
my son's name was He Who Runs Fast..
just like my real life son.. (4.5 40)
in this dream we were dancing around a fire,
it was a ritual of thanksgiving
the drums were beautiful and deep,
we were singing, chanting..
the entire tribe was happy and the night was beautiful..
Buffalo hides were stretched out on poles,
there was no fear in the dream,
no anxiety,
there was a gratefulness for everything..


Monday, July 19, 2010

in the grass

Saturday night i lay on my back in the grass
the night was warm with a wonderful breeze out of the west
Renee and I were at her brothers house,
he said, "I haven't even done that yet?"
the stars were beautiful,
the music coming from his stereo was beautiful,
Robbie Robertson's tune, "Fallen Angel",
a song about the passing of Richard Manuel,
one of the members of The Band..
everyone should find some time to lie down on the earth,
it is one of those things often forgotten,
the perspective is incredible,
and the solid immovable bed reminds us we are from the earth,
and one day we will return..
"dust to dust"
i could have stayed there all night,
slept in "God's green hair",
to quote Tom Waits,
but i don't think Mark's neighbors would have understood,


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Just what we need.

instead of worrying today,

cause Jesus said it won't help anyway,
she decided to take a deep breath,
try and rest her weary mind..
easier said than done,
she walked out the front door to check the sky,
it was cold in the apt
the coffee smelled heavenly brewing in the kitchen,
the cell phone was off,
a rosary in one hand,
a cigarette in the other,
she had quit smoking too many times to remember,
each time more determined than before,
she sat on the front porch watching a storm move closer,
the wind picked up,
she felt a dramatic change in the atmosphere,
the stifling humidity and heat was giving way to a cooler breeze,
sometimes a storm is just what we need,
she whispered..


Friday, July 16, 2010


the laugh of love is a beautiful sound
if i don't hear it often,
i start getting down on life,
i become moody and turn inward,
instead of seeing with a great soul,
i see as a small soul,
Jesus calls us to be great souls,
to see the world through His eyes,
He calls us to metanoia,
to see things differently than we do,
to change our way of thinking,
this is not a one time decision,
metanoia is an ongoing experience,
the laugh of love is a grace,
that helps us see the great soul,
to see a new way to think,
through the eyes of hope,
instead of despair


Thursday, July 15, 2010

the eye of faith

i read this morning that God wouldn't let David build the temple,

his son Solomon would have to do it..
the reason given was that Davis had "shed too much blood".
This man after God's own heart,
met the consequence of his actions,
not allowed to do the one thing that drove him more than anything else..
David got everything ready for his son,
amounts of gold, silver, wood, etc..
amounts too large to even weigh we are told..
it doesn't matter what anyone says,
there is more to this journey of faith than meets the eye,
even the eye of faith,
which sees something other than this world,
it has to.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

a pig in slop

careful where you leave your thoughts lying around
in the wrong hands,
they can cause angst and restlessness...
open the window
open the door
a great storm is coming
let the rain pour
maybe it'll shake me
and i feel something more
open the window
open the door
i saw a three legged dog this morning,
a little beagle skipping along with his master,
he seemed fine,
happy as a pig in slop


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

wind again

when we become wind again
we will hear music for the first time,
we will see color for the first time,
know as we have been known..
what else can it mean?
because it will be to know love,
perfect love,
no fear,
i can easily understand why we may not leave our knees for some time,
how we may weep with joy for millenniums,
throwing crowns, wreaths, whatever we can get our hands on,
at the feet of our wounded Lover..


Monday, July 12, 2010

too many rocks

a photo in a magazine
a huge bearded man lifting large boulders,
clearing an area to grow a garden
he was once a bouncer in Athens,
he is a monk on Mount Athos in Greece,
this was his quote,
"Too many rocks" he grunts,
"Like my sins."
we should all cling closely to saints..
to those who know they sin,
to those who hate their sin,
who struggle to love God and neighbor
i know i need to do this..


Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Conductor

summer rains

the clouds have been amazing the past two days
mountains of layers
diverse shades of white, gun metal gray,
and today they are dark and luminous
i wonder sometimes if the clouds make sound,
some kind of heavenly music,
heard only by Angels,,
the Lord is the Conductor
of this symphony we call life
and yet, somehow,too often,
it seems we hold the baton..


Saturday, July 10, 2010

thunderous reverence

it thundered at the precise moment,
just as Fr. Brewer raised the bread and the wine,
just before he said the words,
"Do this in memory of me."
"Pretty cool Lord", i whispered
every time this prayer of our Lord is prayed in the Mass,
there is thunderous reverence in heaven,
and tonight at Vigil Mass,
 we heard it here on earth.


Friday, July 9, 2010

"Normal" Life

"There is no such thing as normal life Wyatt,
there's just life." Doc Holliday to Wyatt Earp,
 from the flm "Tombstone"

Did Jesus live a "normal" life?
do any of us live a "normal" life?
we get up each day,
follow our routines,
coffee, read, breakfast,
we go to our job,
we live within the confines we choose,
or maybe they choose us,
we are offered "Abundant" life.
and in this is the dangling carrot..
Jesus came so that we could have it,
and how did He show us this could be?
with a cross..
with loving to the point of sacrifice,
without sacrifice there is no love,
without suffering love is simply a romantic notion,
a fiction of Hollywood,
"Abundant" life is something other than the American Dream,
it is something deeply connected to love and to suffering..
this makes "normal" life abundant.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Howl with me! (correction)

"feel like a ghost in love,

underneath the heavens above."--Bob Dylan

there is a measure of reality stalking us
a few paces back
and sometimes when it overtakes us,
a man or woman,
we feel the brooding weight of the gray matter between our ears...
and if our reality gets too far ahead,
we take a moment to breathe,
slow our stride,
stare at the moon,
maybe even howl a bit..
some make things with their hands,
others make things with their imagination,
some write songs,books, prose, etc..
some take a blank canvas and make poetry..
i wish i could paint,
once i tried for an entire summer,
i bought oils, brushes, numerous canvas,
i locked myself away,
the "things" i drew looked odd,
in a bad way..
my wife and son felt sorry for me..
i did not come close to cutting off part of my ear,
maybe that was the problem!
maybe i can't paint.
And i realised something,
not having a gift is even a gift..
howl with me!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

guess i'll just rejoice

i watched for the fourth time in two weeks this morning,
"The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou"..
another Wes Anderson film,
same guy who did "Rushmore", "Darjeeling Limited",
"The Royal Tannenbaums", etc..
there is a charm to his films unlike anything else i have seen,
dealing with similar themes in every story,
depression, life's purpose, wanting to be loved, death,
the oddities in relationship, imagination,
all imbibed with intelligent humor..
my friend Blake thinks this film is his best..
i wouldn't argue too much,
Darjeeling is my favorite..
why am i writing this today?
i don't imagine this is very interesting..
do i fancy myself a film critic now?
maybe i am just feeling a little dark,
a bit like a character in one of these films,
maybe the Adrien Brody's character in Darjeeling?
restless and almost sad for some reason,
with no real reason to be at all..
guess i'll just rejoice..


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Glen!

"to be held in the heart of a friend
is to be a king"--Bruce Cockburn

Glen turned 51 yesterday
he has many friends
so much love for just one man!
of course,
Susan orchestrates this love beautifully,
i never leave their home hungry,
or thirsty...
it's like Babbette's feast every time we gather,
a celebration of friends,
songs fall from sky,
and last night it was for Glen..
he is truly one of the good guys,
a seeker,
with a heart of gold..