Collateral

5

December 4,2017, Prescott-

(I watched an episode of “Law & Order:  Special Victims Unit”, this evening.  It dealt with several horrific family issues.  One was children as collateral damage.)

He may well never know

what a treasure

on which he turned his back.

It was a matter of disinterest,

on his part,

back then.

It is less than that ,

now.

I have seen

how well you  have done,

in spite of his disinterest.

Survivors often do

outlast those

who torment them,

who act as if they don’t

exist.

You have not only

continued to exist,

you have transcended.

You are masterful,

interested in a fine young man,

certain to make a solid mark,

both of your own,

and,  perhaps, together with him.

You are ever wondrous,

focused,

setting goals

that you have already

attained-

and we know,

there will be other goals.

They will be reached,

because you are

determined.

Your mother knows

just how high you will soar,

how many dreams

you have

and how hard you will

work to attain them.

I watch,

from the distance

that has been set for me.

I feel wonder,

pride at even being

in this observer’s seat

and, on occasion,

am invited to your sideline,

cheering for you, full tilt.

I know what he is missing.

It is the world.

 

 

Bountiful

6

November 23, 2017, Prescott-

The day set aside

for giving thanks

as family,

has not failed me,

for a good many years.

All my married life,

we had blessed meals,

with a couple of minor mishaps,

here and there,

which never quite

detracted from the

overall amazing meals,

which we prepared.

about two-thirds

of the time.

The years of widowhood,

have sometimes seen me

the guest of our Navy,

enjoying copious amounts

of well-prepared food,

or my being somewhat

a guide to the splendours

of Julian Cafe.

This year, my son

is in Korea.

I am here,

and most fortunate

to have a fine chef

as a very special friend.

Her daughter is following

closely,

in those culinary

footsteps.

What my friend does,

she does with love in her heart.

So, it went

that one of the most bountiful

days of the year,

was once again blessed.

 

If

10

November 14, 2017, Prescott-

If I am chosen to serve as a co-ordinator for international students,

I would work to make their time here a cornerstone of the rest of their lives.

If my son safely completes his time in service,

I know he will make a huge mark in the world,

in the time afterward.

If it be God’s Will, I shall not be moved aside

from generous acts of service,

both here and far afield.

If there be a clear sense of reality,

the good people of the world

will find a way,

to end imbalance,

for Puerto Rico,

Kurdistan,

Rakhine Province,

Sri Lanka,

Syria,

South Sudan,

Rockport- Port Aransas,

central Appalachia,

the Navajo Nation,

Uyuni,

Haiti,

Chicago.

If  justice prevails,

those being marginalized

will see solutions,

that honour their

creativity,

their intelligence,

their dignity.

Dreams in a Ceramics Dome

4

November 13, 2017, Prescott-

(The idea behind last Saturday night’s Dream Gathering was to generate somnolent energy, in one small space.  It’s not certain just how much this happened, but here are some dream-thoughts, that came my way, in a quiet Ceramics Dome, a little ways from the disrupted gathering.)

Kathryn Heaton,

a child of eight,

somehow lost

on the way

to the home

in which you’d

lived,

since age three.

You had never

seen me before,

but took my hand.

My GPS memory

led us to

your grandmother’s house.

At the walkway,

a teen she-wolf

stood and told me

not to trust you.

The snarling girl

had issues with you,

who was half her age.

I turned towards

the front door,

and you were gone.

Having slipped past,

and gone- somewhere.

I followed the werepup,

down a gypsum trail.

My shoes had disappeared.

As I recalled,

where I had left them,

a fifteen year-old,

another girl I had been

helping,

confronted me,

saying that my advice

was bogus.

She was with her

new boyfriend,

who said he knew

which way she should

turn.

I told her,

“You will find your own right.”

Have you found right,

and peace,

Kathryn Heaton?

(All characters in this piece are fictional.)

 

Why I’ll Go Back Again

12

November 6, 2017, Prescott-

I’ll go back to Viet Nam, about five years from now.

Nothing I  remember is likely to be there.

Yet, I like to see how a nation grows.

I’ll go back to central Maine, in a year, or three.

The people to whom I caused some pain,

are mostly gone away.

Yet, it will be good to make some sort of amends.

I’ll go back to Israel, within the next ten years.

The places I visited, thirty-five years ago,

will be there for centuries to come,

yet, I need to approach them,

with greater reverence.

I’ll go back to Massachusetts,

at least once a year,

until the time comes for

my first angel to take flight.

Yet, I suspect that will be

some years in the future.

I’ll go back to Korea,

sometime in the near future.

Yet, I will be a prodigal son,

both atoning for breaches of manners

and honouring the roots that

my own seed might put down.

I’ll return to the American Southwest,

each time I need to pick myself up.

As  here, the desert and mountains

inform as to the way to renewal.

(Note to the nervous ones:  I’m not moving anywhere, any time soon.)

How So?

4

October 30, 2017, Prescott-

You, the Secretary of Homeland Security,

have deemed a ten-year-old girl,

with Cerebral Palsy,

a threat to national security.

How so?

A taxpayer’s question:

Is she receiving treatment,

for her condition,

whilst in Federal custody?

How so?

People continue to be

pitted against one another,

on the basis of world view,

by those whose primary motive,

is retention of power.

This is framed as defending

the patriotic from the disloyal.

How so?

Two political opponents

accuse one another

of being in collusion

with a foreign power.

In each case, how so?

One faction of government

claims it, alone, can help

long-suffering and struggling

people.

How so?

Too many, among the elite,

see division as the only way

forward.

How so?

Forgiveness

16

October 29, 2017, Prescott-

A couple of years ago, one who is closest to me

said “I forgive you”,

in the context of reassuring me

of his filial devotion.

It was not specific to anything,

leaving me to guess,

as to which of several possible

lapses in parental judgment,

to which he might have been referring.

Others, over the years,

have accepted apologies

and held me to my word.

Still others, have simply

dropped out of sight,

though no one ever

drops out of my mind

or heart.

Conversely,

I have forgiven

all but one or two,

of those who caused

my late wife so much

unnecessary pain.

All she wanted was to die in peace.

That was too much for that one,

those two,

whose concern was more about

money,

about rules and regulations,

than human decency.

If I want to be forgiven,

by those whom I have wronged,

then I have to forgive

the worst of the bad,

as well.

Christ said it,

so did Baha’u’llah.

So be it.

 

But For Now

9

October 23, 2017, Prescott-

Tomorrow, I will write at length about two parts of New Mexico,

but for now, I am content to set my boundaries here, in this room.

Some day, I will likely balance my time between a beautiful little family

and my larger worldwide family,

but for now, I will tend to the needs  of my students and team mates.

Some day, I will be comfortable in the large group of people,

who have recognized the Presence of Baha’u’llah,

but for now, I am patient with my friends who are a bit skittish

about the beliefs I am sharing.

Some day, I will see the world, from a mountain redoubt,

but for now, I am happy to have that world close at hand.

Car, Man and Tribulation

8

October 13, 2017, Prescott-

Car went through an ordeal, yesterday.

A wayward peace of cardboard,

in the road,

surrounded by loose gravel,

in the middle of a sharp curve,

sent car off into a small downgrade.

Car was pulled out,

by a gentle man,

in a powerful jeep.

Car is okay,

with a few screws

needing replacement.

Man woke up this morning,

noting that a long-standing

wound

on his face had faded.

Man is looking

more human.

Man and car went out,

and delivered flowers,

to people who are

being supportive

of a large community event,

tomorrow.

Man and car are fortunate.

Across California,

there are thousands

who face tribulation.

Loves of a Life

8

September 30, 2017, Flagstaff-

I told an old friend that Penny has been gone,

for six years.

He spends lots of time,

off the grid.

So, he missed all that’s happened to us,

since 1997.

Twenty years have come and gone,

and he is a loving husband and father.

I was the former, and am still the latter.

After leaving this generous man,

and his fine facility,

lent us for our Baha’i gathering,

I turned on my laptop.

I went to cbs.com,

and selected

the most recent episode

of “Blue Bloods”.

In this one, it’s revealed

that a man has lost

his wife,

in a helicopter crash.

He wants to turn inward,

shut the world out.

He has two teenage sons,

to finish raising.

His family,

and the Universe,

conspire to keep him

afloat.

Today would have been

her 63rd birthday.

I told an old friend.