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Monthly Archives: December 2021

There Is Too Much

There is too much-
The coming and going of pixels, products, and personalities,
Demands, desires, deadlines, debts,
Bandwidth saturation and buffering,
Buffering, always,
While the world continues to clickclick.

Who hears anything?
Who sees anything?

Pay attention—a friend of mine just died. I didn't write acquaintance. I wrote friend.
He needed things. Not much.
I couldn't pay attention.
It isn't all my fault, but
Really it is.
Not his death, but
He could have left with more love and
Care. Instead of waiting…
Waiting for the buffering to clear.
 
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Posted by on December 22, 2021 in Poetry, Social

 

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Today is my Anniversary

Today is my anniversary. The clock moves on, pages pulled from calendars,  life moves on, people move on. But dates remain, along with the people for whom they mean something. This date means something to me. But not to anyone else. Not anymore.

And so the day goes on. Lisa is at a funeral. I am at work. I’d be at the funeral too, but today is the last day of mid-term exams, and the last day before the winter break. Taking off today was simply not going to happen. People move on.

Bob was a friend. A radical in the style, location and times of the Chicago Seven, a musician, a photographer, and political activist, Passover and Hanukkah at our house, jam sessions – his funeral is today. Cancer. Everyone seems to die of cancer. Ryan wondered what to do with his anniversary with Joyce, after she died. He didn’t have to wonder long. He died a week ago just about two years after she did. Cancer. He is no longer worried about his anniversary, how it will feel when it comes around, how it feels when it’s here, whether to mention it, not mention it, toast it, ignore it. Bob was older. Early 70s. Ryan was in his 40s.

And I’m in my 50s now. Late 50s. I was in my mid 40s then, when I first wondered what to do with this date. Lots of people have died since then. But not me. So I’m still wondering. Like my father wondered. His father, too. Now, no more wondering.

And wondering how much longer I will feel this way. How much longer will this date still have this charge? If the answer is for the rest of my life, how much longer will I still wonder what to do with it?

I’m not looking to leave anytime soon, but I do want to know what to do. How to notice it, and give its proper due without tripping over it, without ignoring it, which I could not do. Would not do. Would not want to do. Could not forgive myself if I did. 

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2021 in Family, psychology, Social

 

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What’s In A Name?

What’s in a name? For a rose, very little. Roses don’t care. But people. People care, and why would they not? Identity, history, connection, and potential futures can come and go with a mis-identification, mis-recognition,or mis-spoken name. Names have power. Names have weight.

But old patterns die hard. They weigh more. Life changes, but old patterns don’t. The brain changes but the patterns are still recognised. Still followed. They are the watercourse.

Know a girl since you are fifteen, marry, have children, grow older, support each other, change with each other, be happy, develop patterns of speech, strings of words, ways of communicating, watch her die. Old patterns – they don’t die. 

Life is relentless. Keep promises. Be happy. Grow. Change. Love again. Love well. Love fully and completely. Be happy together. And, always, yet, the danger of the old pattern. The name. The slight halt before the saying. The self-check. The nearly unconscious pattern of words as it nearly slips out. Nearly, corrected. Not always. Not even often. But sometimes. And sometimes, even seldom, is enough to give wary pause always.

Don’t make the mistake, though, sometimes the name is half-out before you catch it. Don’t make the mistake, though sometimes you know you must have.  Hope you have not, but know you have. No one deserves that. 

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2021 in Culture, Family, psychology

 

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The Vigil

This is the vigil-
To protect you from the wolves
After the nights
Sitting up,
Singing to you
Heart Sutra.
“Don’t leave me.”
I won’t.

Holding your hand,
Touching your heart,
Fingers in your hair.
“You don’t get tired.”
It isn’t time for me
To rest.
For you though –

Watching you breath
Watching you stop.

Open the doors.
Sunrise.
Keep the wolves away.
Wait.

Feel the sudden change.
“Where is she?”
Gone. Gone. Beyond gone.
Beyond beyond.
To the other shore.

Let the people roll in,
Roll out.

Gather the sheet,
Tie it around your body,
Carry it away.

Carry it away.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2021 in Family, Poetry, Religion

 

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