Saturday, December 31, 2011


I am becoming a fan of French music, accordion, waltzes, Notre Dame, frittas, Beaujolais..
today sitting in a tree-stand with a rifle i thought of truffles and the French countryside my wife and I visited years ago in Burgundy

Although it not wise while hunting deer, i played some French music at very low volume on my Iphone..
A large Murder of Crows argued in the distance and played in the pallid sky just over the tree tops

I read poetry by Jim Harrison and an article in The Rolling Stone about George Harrison,"The quiet Beatle".
The view I had at 20 feet up in a tree was canvas like..."colors vivid like Van Gogh"..

I have not shot an animal since I was a teenager, and even then my aim was questioned.
The only hunting I have somewhat excelled in as an adult is the pursuit of Quail, which are almost extinct in Mississippi, due to pesticides used in crop dusting..

My son was a few hundred yards away in his own tree, waiting with his 21 year old hope for a huge Buck to appear..
He is my pride and joy and thus why I am sitting in the tree stand and finding it incredibly wonderful and cleansing

I love being back in Mississippi for good...and knowing that i don't have to leave Monday...dadgum, what a lesson learned..
I shouldered the rifle and climbed down the ladder, walked out into the woods to see a man about a dog, peace..

Oxford MS

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my days
I am no longer facing a relentless man manufactured anxiety

Yes, the "normal" anxieties continue and God bless them
But the twisted encumbered suspicion from the insecure brain is lying in the dust again

But "we wrestle not against flesh and blood" a famous Saint once said..
We know the demons within, the hypocrisy within, the sinner within..very very well..

As I drove home yesterday for the last time, hallelujah, I sang along with Mick Jagger..
"Please to meet you, won't you guess my name?!" I knew what he was talking about..

God is not exactly what we think He is...He is more, Jesus tried to show us.. He is more loving and more merciful than we know..
And then I realized that the "insecure brain" is not any worse than me at all, I am just as insecure in my own way

So, as I love being home for good, and love being with my wife, my son, his girlfriend, my dogs...
I am just thankful..simple as that..thankful for the journey..

I wish peace for Scott, Mark, Marcus, Cedric, Micheal, Andy, Arron, Andrew, and whoever I am forgetting..
cause the cross is for every dang one of us, and that is the only hope we wanderers have..

It is so good to be home.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

That Lonesome Whistle

I understood her words clearly, and then I took out the trash
The dog Maggie, our house guest, followed me to the door and stopped when she saw it was raining

Do you think the earth remembers anything done to it over the years?
I have been on a horse in a section of woods not ridden in over a year and the horse noticed a tree missing, halting to inspect the vacancy.

If failing is such a bad thing why do so many of us get to experience it?
Success is finding the cork to go back in the bottle

Isn't it peculiar that the baby Jesus lived in obscurity till he was 30 years old, walked around 3 short years, forgiving whores and tax collectors, known as a wine "bibber", then died a criminal? Paul made it clear that if he didn't rise from the grave, believers are the king of fools

I walked out this morning with my scarf around my neck,  wondering where the road is going
Roads are like.. roads. They are built to get you from one place to another..nobody ever built a road to nowhere on purpose.

I am thinking of making seven New Year's resolutions this time..1. stop complaining, 2. Grow my own vegetables, 3. help out more often, 4. Write a book of poetry, 5. Drink more water, 6. Eat less, 7. Go to daily Mass. Seven things to move the train on a little farther down the line..far from useless self pity of the past year...and I'll let that lonesome whistle blow my blues away..

nashville, one more night

Monday, December 26, 2011

Swaddling CLothes?

Sick for Christmas makes one grateful for socks instead
I wonder if Jesus, Mary, or Jospeh caught cold while they were away in a manger
We watched a film last night and one character was such a pain in the ass
At one point I blurted out, "What a know-it -all jerk!", upon which my lovely wife said, "You can be that way sometimes."
OWWW! Sting! Pain in my ego! Yet after I weakly disputed her through pitiful coughs and hurt feelings,
I knew she must be right..and I started feeling worse remembering what Shakesphere said, "What thou hatest most, thou copiest best"
(I am not sure if Shakesphere said this, it was probably Frued or Kant...
but it sounds better with Shakepshere's toungue, wit and tamber)
I often wonder about days after big events, like Christmas, Easter, Hannakuh, the Super Bowl, The World Cup.
you know, the day after..What did Joseph do after that night of Angels, Shepherds, Wise Men..etc.?
Did he go out and find a warm place indoors to stay for a while?
Did Mary suggest they stay with some cousins while the census was being taken?
They wrapped Jesus in swaddling clothes, a kind of mummy suit to keep him secure and warm..
God wrapped in swaddling clothes, God.. it's crazy if you believe it isn't it? It's mind blowing to think about the implications.
Maybe it was a pre-cursor for when he would be wrapped in burial clothes 33 years from that moment..
And the whole manger thing, a feeding trough, laid in a feeding trough, he who said, I am the Bread of Life..our food.
Oxford Ms
Where's Rilke?

Friday, December 23, 2011

the Virgin

there is a sense of something coming tonight
one night away from the happening that has affected everything
Tradition says in St. Andrew's prayer that God was born at midnight
in the cold darkness of Bethlehem two thousand years ago to a young girl as pure as the falling snow
tonight in Mississippi where Choctaw once lived before we got here
shoppers are out using credit cards as if somehow believing in Jesus means prosperity, possibly?
When we walked in the woods this morning with Jack, Pig, and Maggie ( a dog we are taking care of)
We felt joy in the loneliness of the woods and trails we had never discovered before
Pecan crusted fried Brook Trout came very close to making me weep tonight
That and the white rice filled with crawfish and lobster it swam upon, I am a fan of art food
If you have never been to Oxford Mississippi on a winter's night please pray about it
One of our cats just came over to where I am writing this and lay down at my feet
I am still amazed at the beauty of the Virgin and her complete dedication to birthing this mystery Child
I have nothing against atheist or agnostics when we talk about this kind of stuff, it can all be accepted only by grace anyway
I am about to walk outside and look up at the winter stars
If you want o join me that would be fine.
Oxford MS, thank God.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The White Sail

The laughing Kit Carson doll bothers the
young Oglala Sioux waiting for the bus
The Ghost Dancer
seemingly ignores the bulldozer getting closer

The season for giving is all about taking
Johnny, you must learn how to lose as well

The white sail looked like the Pope's hat for a moment
St. Peter has some keys in his hands, not John or Andrew or Matthew or Luke etc..

I saw my neighbor feeding a Spanish squirrel this morning
It sat at his front door waiting for more seed, my neighbor is Cuban.

Only a few more days till God takes on flesh again in the Universal celebration
The funny thing about it all is the amazing wildfire burning just beneath the surface

The visions of Johanna moved Bob to sing about them
Inspiration is brief sporadic and rare..said Rabbi Heschel

"There is a voice that sounds like God to me.."--Leonard Cohen
"The Big Emptiness, we're never done with this."--The Wineskins

Last night we ate steak so tasty I miss it this morning
Glenn should have been a chef, or maybe a chief.

Grace danced in the den to a new Wineskins song called "The Girl Next Door"
Isn't it amazing how grace is always dancing to the song our lives compose?


for Natalie, Olivia, and Grace

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Big Emptiness

you know this
you feel this
can tell this
wake up every morning
mind racing with warning
The Big emptiness
We're never done with this
From the time we can reason
We live and move in the season
of The Big Emptiness
A God shaped hole
Heaven's Hound hunts souls
punch a hole in the wall
success won't help at all
The Big emptiness
We're never done with this
From the day we can reason
We are filled with this feeling
The Big Emptiness
please don't imagine
after a moment of believing
The big emptiness simply goes away forever
It's a daily count to seven
to take and give love from heaven
takes a mind of struggle, and a broken heart of care
The Big emptiness
We're never done with this
From the day we can reason
We wrestle with this feeling
The Big Emptiness
Oxford Ms
for Fr. Barron

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Loved Ones

The light in the hallway keeps flickering..think about it.
I love the sound of the dog door flap flapping, there is life in this house
Without the occasional sickness where would we be? she said.
It was good being in the hospital all day, not good ha ha..just good to be there for loved ones
I often wonder this time of year how the Virgin Mary felt about the census being called,..
having to ride a donkey being 9 months pregnant, in the freezing cold from Nazareth to it was frustrating.
Prayer is not about changing God's mind.. she said.
That's why even when dreams don't come true Joy finds a way anyway..she added.
Frost on the ground this morning and the Crow Community has filled the naked Pecan trees..
Clothing them with a black robe of feathers..they are so black! As dark as midnight without a moon..
Christopher Hitchens knows now whether he was right or not...
I hope mercy for all believers and non believers..he said, making the sign of the cross while taking a swig of Dogfish ale.
Oxford Ms
for hope.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


We wait in Advent..
Advent-ure continues..
The story never gets old
but the waiting sure does.
Learning to laugh in the waiting..
to pray in the waiting..
to love in the waiting..
to embrace frustration in the waiting..
to trust in the waiting..
waiting to see something never seen
to taste something never tasted
to feel something never felt
to laugh with the joy of detachment...
not needing so much we thought we did..
not so much of this or that..
and then..
He comes in some kind of unexplainable way.
and the waiting begins again..

for stjoftc

Friday, December 9, 2011


When the wind stopped blowing it was quiet
When the wind stopped blowing
at least for a moment it stopped blowing.
For a little while all I heard was the ringing..
that ceasless tone in my ear,
which somehow has become a blessing,
instead of a curse..
The clothes in the dryer are tumbling with a metal sound..
must have left some change in the pockets..
clean money.
Is there even such a thing?
This morning the woods were cold
the winter grass crunched beneath my boots.
A fox ran through the woods and Jack chased him,
for about 50 yards
then realized he was not going to catch this red bolt of lightning.
I whistled and we walked on..
then the wind started to blow again
Is the answer in it Bob?
Is it whispering Mary Jimmy?
Oxford Ms
Where's Rilke?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Blues

We control nothing in this life,
except one thing..
and even this one thing is suspect..
Our response to people's words, actions, and..
If you are an emotional person,
which I understand personally,
your response can seem odd to the less-emotional..
can seem overboard, rude, or nuts..
None of us really know how anyone else sees us..
not the nearest person in our life,
not the most distant person.
How we see someone and judge them is singly our take..
How they see and judge us is singly theirs..
plank vs. speck
It's where one of the great struggles to care or not takes place
how we judge we will be how we are judged..
which could be what inspired the Blues..
listen to the lyrics.


Sunday, December 4, 2011


Yesterday, Jack and I walked among forgotten graves.
We followed Scott, a good friend, out to his beautiful 55 acres of hard wood..
Where we found a pond, and a cabin he built.

Basically, heaven on earth.
After a few sniffs and a growl or two..
Jack ran with his two dogs like old friends,
Cool wind and barren woods,
trails made by deer smoothed pine straw and tracks in the soft clay.
This part of Mississippi is called "Hill Country".
It is.
Great for working up a sweat.
I am sure of one thing,
walking in the woods is a good thing.
Scott is a thankful man.
He and his boys are kind.
He has a kind family.
He took us on a tour of the entire property,
and we ended up walking among forgotten graves..
Tombstones sprinkled sparsely throughout a section of winter poplar..
"Carr" and "Freeman" names on ancient stones,
dates from the turn of the 20th century.
Civil war veterans, black families, all buried together.
all forgotten until now..
Scott is going to get the kids from the Parish to come out and clean it up..
Giving honor to the memory of people long since crossed over..
a good and kind thing to do.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

humble confidence

Humble confidence is the thought..
Get it on your mind..
Haughty confidence keeps you blind
Give it no more time...he said.

Hey hey my my

Humble love will never die
(sorry Neil, I changed the words)

I bet there are Saints among us..

Homeless women selling homeless newspapers in the rain and cold,
for a dollar..

One thing every Saint has in common..

Detachment from things.
another thing...
Humble confidence in Love and Mercy

the thief on the cross.



Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Up since 2:00....

Cold here but no snow

It is snowing in Oxford.

Wish i was home...
soon the light will come
this day will come and go..
still wondering


Saturday, November 26, 2011


Y'all know what?...
Pain's what brings ya home.
Oxford Ms

Friday, November 25, 2011


cars driven by people sound fenetic on the dark dewy farm road
a dog barks his voice carries well on the leafless hillside over there
we almost hit a large Buck "Spike" last night on hwy 7 so beautiful leaping across the highway
the birthday cake in the back seat fell onto the floorbaord but was fine somehow in its container
just before dawn i walked out by the tree line near the house to the dry creek bed
at some point long ago water filled this and i wonder why it is never with water now
cats are mysterious as one of ours lies on her side waiting for me to rub her spine with my boot
she answers me with each stroke as i say her name "Maggie"..."Meow" never fails
the shotgun in the closet hasn't been fired in years and needs to be cleaned a "Sweet Sixteen"
passed on to my son by my father who kept his guns very clean and taught me to respect a gun
oxford ms

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A dream?

She hovers above him..

her bare feet dangle a few feet above the foot of the bed.
More beautiful than anything he has ever seen.
Silent and Other..
So what does a man say to an angel?.
to a Being of light?
"How goes it?", "What's up?"..
That's a strange dream Jim.
Jimmy sat down and placed his head in his hands..
I am not sure if it is a dream bro,
it seems real.
Does she say anything?
Nothing..she just hovers for a few seconds,
her wings barely moving..
she has a slight smile with very relaxed dark eyes.
Weird bro.
Tommy called for his Basset Hound Faulkner and walked to the front door,
How many nights in a row now?
Jimmy sat back and looked at his watch as if that had anything to do with anything..
Tommy and Faulkner walked out into the humid winter morning.
Cool enough for a jacket, but not really,
you'll be sweating in this humidity in a minute,
even with it around 57 degrees..
It's hard to get comfortable some days in a
Mississippi winter.
He picked up Faulkner and put him on the passenger seat..

Where's Rilke?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Where is Rilke?

I am going to put the dogs in the car,

drive just across County Road 202,
enter the field of Bermuda interspersed with brown winter weeds,
park near the tree line.
I will go to the house trailer on the property and ask permission,
hoping they will allow my dogs and me to walk on their property.
I am tired of parks with leash laws, controlled environments, perfectly dressed upper middle class humans,
angry looks from hyper sensitive shallow soul ignoring boobs because i refuse to leash...
i refuse to leash...
If the people in the trailer allow us,
I will get them out of the car and walk through a narrow opening in a wall of Kudzu.
I do not know what is on the other side of this slight opening,
But it seems to be filled with light..
In my imagination I have already seen it,
it will be as the door in Lewis' wardrobe..

opening to a field of tall brown weeds and low moving clouds..
Jack will see and chase many squirrels!
Pig will run with abandon, stretching, reaching, bounding with exuberance!
I will find silence one only finds while lost in an unknown field with his dogs.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Hokey Pokey

This morning as I was walking the streets of this beautifully hollow town,
I saw a bumper sticker and it made me wonder..
What if the Hokey Pokey is what it is all about?


Sunday, November 13, 2011


Jack and I walked the winding hilly gravel road,
We had driven a mile into the Refuge near our house,
parked the SUV in a clearing and headed out..
The once beautiful forest of hills and ravines,
now scarred by bulldozers and chainsaws
So many stumps and fallen poplar left lying to rot. 
Why is man so careless with beauty?
I felt like we were being watched,
but saw no one.
Maybe it was God...
We walked for a while..
Neither of us wearing orange,
it being Deer season,
and with the local lack of respect for the word "refuge";
the sound of shotgun fire off in the distance spooked me a bit.
Jack kept darting into the woods hoping to see a squirrel
his white coat standing out among the brown sumac and dense autumn thicket.
The wood was silent, too silent
nothing moved among the torn timber
I could have wept but for the joy of Jack..
We drove out of the wounded forest with the windows down.,
Tom Waits roaring, "I will be Satisfied!"

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Suite to Mercy

Suite to Mercy
I am a sinner
He is mercy.
I know nothing
He is mercy.
My confidence often deceives me
He is mercy
My personal interpretation of scripture scares me
He is mercy
My personal faith without actions is dead, not sick, not wrong, dead
He is mercy
I often disappoint Him
He is mercy
In all sincerity, I don't always trust Him
He is mercy
The paths I take in life often lead to cliffs
He is mercy
I hope for a perfect act of love before I die
He is mercy
He is mercy
He is mercy
Oxford MS
For Sinners and St. Therese the Little Flower 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


As I began my 48th year on this green brown and blue planet hurtling through space this morning at 4:00,
I went for a walk.
It was misting rain and the wind was blowing yellow, gold, orange and rust colored leaves around me..
As if the wind was working with the leaves to create a sense of awe for anyone who noticed.
I am thankful for another day.
For my wonderful wife and son.
Our dogs and cats..
good friends...
speaking of dogs,
As I turned onto a side street I was greeted happily by a three legged dog.
His master called for her but she did not stop hop/running to me, wagging her tale and smiling.
I bent down and rubbed her ears..
She was possibly one of the happiest dogs I have ever met.
She started playing with me and barking merrily.
Her master walked up and shook my hand, apologizing for her exuberance.
I quickly made it clear that I am a dog lover at which he said he could clearly see.
I asked him if she ever seemed bothered by losing her front left leg.
He said, "Heck no."