Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Remember

I remember one summer day, a long time ago, when my family piled into our Impala and drove to Puyallup.   I can still see my brothers feet, too short to reach the floorboards, dangling over the seat as we sped along.  It was a hot, sunny afternoon (well, hot for Washington), the sky was a cloudless blue expanse and the country fields went on forever.  The ride took a long time, but that was OK.  It meant we got to get out of the house and tedium of the farm.

My dad was in a good mood that day, laughing and eating with his napkin tucked into the top of his shirt in the restaurant we'd met at with some friends.  Tall and strapping, with thick black hair a la` Elvis, he was belligerent and often angry, but that day was different.  That day was a "good" day.  Joking around with our friends, he was jovial and almost fun.  My mother, beautiful with her quick brown eyes and thick dark hair looked after everything.  Usually scared of my father, today she, too, seemed less afraid, more at ease.  I sat, quietly stuffing my face with the delicious roast beef, thrilled to be on a drive.  My brother, messy with food on his face, ate peas in his highchair.

That was a long time ago.  Nowadays, the situation is different.  Diagnosed with alzheimers, my father is practically housebound and shuffles from room to room with a cane, or by my mothers arm since he is often too stubborn to use one.  Gone are the heavy, thunderous strides that used to make the china rattle in the cupboard, and terrify us when I was a child.  Now, the only traces of the man he was exist solely in his words; the same hurtful and abusive spews of yore, and in his hard eyes.  Bent with the weight of age, like an old tree, he is shriveled and the vitality that once seemed to define him is gone.  The man with the formidable strength who once worked 16 hour days nonstop, overcoming both a stroke, and a heart attack, now spends his days sitting in a chair with the TV flickering in front of him.  He doesn't let anyone open the blinds, preferring to sit in darkness.

It is both difficult and painful to watch the process of aging, especially since I only go home twice a year.  The memory of him between gaps makes for a stark contrast to the present visual, you just can't help it.  The disparity between who my father was and who he has become, is creating an ever deepening chasm in my memory that both snatches my breath away and makes my soul ache.  My heart takes a snapshot of him , then I compare the pictures between gaps and cry private tears.  


Wednesday, September 24, 2014


It's been a while.  Creative efforts ball themselves up on paper whilst I cry, pine and wonder where it is exactly that I've gone wrong.  Could it be that those morose meanderings I've taken regarding all the health concerns that have cropped up lately have finally taken their toll?  That those beastly little rabbit trails that I've traipsed down in anxious agitation, wondering if I've contracted some horrible malady or terminal ill have finally done in my spirit, my spunk?  It certainly feels that way, officer.

Jumbles of neurons on speed transmit the very worst scenarios onto my screen.  Images crawling ever closer like zombies on a mission, threaten and menace me with their fat, ready fists.  Responding oh so willingly to the gloomy mob of musings that blows up my mind, and future tripping in the worst possible way, I've parked it on row 17 in the theater of my head.  Eating popcorn, I'm entirely lost in the drama, forgetting that it's only a show.  Based on a true story, yes, but a show.

When I look at it this way, I can't help but think that my psychological destiny lies entirely in my own hands.  Yes, things happen.  Issues crop up, and problems inch their ugly faces into the picture refusing to be ignored, that is a given.  But attitude, who controls that?  Is it not us, with the power to think, to process and analyze?  And what of those of us with faith, who believe in a God who heals and restores, shouldn't we be resting in the knowledge that somehow, someway, it will all work out?  After all, isn't that's what faith is for?

As I ponder these words, I'm relieved to discover that peace lies in my choice of thoughts, in aligning myself with Divine truth, and not in being a ready victim to every whim of my technicolor imagination, nor random frolic through the poppy fields of my mind.

No, my future emotional health depends on how I decide to view circumstance, so let me choose wisely, and let me choose well.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Night at the Opera

It's Sunday night, and my girlfriend and I step out to hear a friends's band play at the Deluxe, a smallish club in the Haight section of San Francisco.  

Music and sweat intermingle as the boys drive it home, sending frenzied beats of grinding rhythm careening into the eve.  

To my left, hipster zombies feign indifference, too stoned or too cool to care (though I notice their eyes are glued to the screen...), a handful of stragglers park it on the right, seemingly oblivious to the picture, and to my left, a happy couple dances, blissfully unaware that just a few steps away, a small swarm of wannabe's gather each trying to outdo the other with varying degrees of showiness.  

Players include a coquette with a striped power suit and fake laugh, a girl with a shrill voice barking orders for drinks, a tall bleached blond with heavy makeup, and a Gertrude Stein artist type who seems to be their den mother. The only apparently sincere one of the bunch is the drunk guy that stands in the middle and this, only because he is sincerely drunk.  

I observe the scene from my cozy spot behind the half wall, a silent witness to the nasty bits of this adolescent soap opera.  

When it's time to go, my friend and I say our goodbyes and walk into the cool night air.  On the way to the car, I chuckle to myself, recalling the motley cast of characters, and breath a sigh of relief that I'm not one of them (at least I hope).  It hurt enough going through puberty once in high school, I wouldn't want to do it again. Hopefully, they'll get the memo, or grow up.  Whichever comes first.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


She sits on the couch right next to me,
soft, and adoring, yet distant and free.

My dear older kitty, my sweet precious cat,
peculiar, and foreign, and almost fat.

She's the big little girl who likes to repose,
 a 6 year old cali with a pink dewy nose.

Her paws are all white but for tan on one toe,
her reflex is cautious, surprisingly slow.

Her tummy is baggy, I'm sure she's had kittens,
she's never once scratched me nor have I been bitten.

I rub her chest as she sleeps in a ball,
she never resists just hangs like a doll.

My favorite part is when I wake up,
and she's right beside me like the most loyal pup.

She'll wet my finger with small ginger licks,
if I'm lucky and quiet and move not a bit.

These golden moments slip into my heart,
feeding me joy when we are apart.

She doesn't play, never jumps on my lap,
nor rubs up against me, content just to nap.

But she'll let me pet her under the chin,
her obvious pleasure making me grin.

She always cries when I pick her up,
but humors me well 'til my minute is up.

We have a good time Loretta and I,
she trusts me, I love her, it's simple and fly.

"They'll steal your heart" I've heard said of beasts,
and now I know mine would rip at the least.

And so as I bury my hands in her fur,
her eyes lock on mine and she lets out...a purr.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Still one night in bed I lay,
the chains of death entangled me.

I couldn't move could barely breath,
 while fire licked inside of me.  

I saw flames leap and felt the ropes,
thick and heavy snuff out my hope.  

Something indeed pulled me down low,
showing me just where I'd go.  

I knew hell came for me that night,
but God pulled me out of that deranged plight.

T'was but a dream because I woke,
though it's memory saturated me like smoke.

At that time I didn't know,
that God himself could save from woe. 

I festered deep inside myself,
while the best of me lay on a shelf.

When God came in and took me back,
I was set free from those attacks.

Since then I've slept not perfectly,
but peace now rests it's hand on me. 

It's wonderful for me right now,
to see to feel serenities vow.

If you linger in the pit,
all you get to eat is, well...

So give your trust up to The One,
who's got your back who gave His Son.

And you will find a love divine,
tranquilities dwelling, a rest sublime.


Friday, July 11, 2014


Crusty, dusty old words come at me like meteors hurling in the space of my mind.  I don't see anything new on the horizon, just some tired, sleepy friends whom I've visited a million times and now come to pay me homage out of some warped concept of duty.

Well fuck you, sirs!  I don't want your duty.  Give me your lives, tense and afraid, dirty and rotting, and I will make something great of them, something to cherish for years to come...  

My stomach roils in it's pit right now, I tell ya, from what feels like years of inactivity and mediocrity.  I languish, perishing in the thought that I have no gumption, no go anymore.  Rather, it feels like my words have training wheels making me/them sound safe, boring, unappealing.  

What will it take to wake out of my torpor, my somnolent indulgence and rise to meet the challenges of a new goal?  For that is what this heady meandering is:  a call to myself to conquer the taboos, and the shortcomings of my existence.  I want to learn to swim and be able to save my life, I want to be there for someone, really be there for them, and pay it forward,  I want to write the story of my life, simultaneously exorcising the remaining debris of the destruction that tore me apart, and bringing joy and beauty to this love-starved world... 

These dreams, hopes and goals are like seeds germinating beneath the leathery, crusty soil of my mind, I see that now.  They invigorate me and give me the vision and hope that life is bigger than what I thought, and that it is waiting to transport me to some magical land further along the path that I was on before should I decide to hop aboard.

I think I will.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bus Stop

There I was with my heart in my hands,
nowhere to go, no pressing demands.

Alone at the bus stop I sat late at night,
discarded and empty, sad was my plight.

The cars they drove by uncaring and swift,
careening towards midnight, while I sat adrift.

My self esteem lay under the ground,
buried, forgotten, and made not a sound.

I was down and out forgotten and blue,
with nary a friend, my soul dead it's true.

But then a man came walking by,
he smiled politely and said ''hi".

He took the seat right next to mine,
and we sat and talked for a good length of time.

I told him my troubles and woes top to bottom,
and marveled relieved when I all but forgot them.

When he got up to leave, I followed him--
I had nothing else, zero to give.

I stayed with this man, generous in heart
and soon came to know we'd never part.

It's been many years since that fateful night,
so much has changed, so much is right.

Eternity now waits for this precious soul,
and all because He made me whole.