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Thursday, May 25, 2023

Le Meltdown

Do you see the alligator head?

This is hard to write, embarrassing, and perhaps necessary, because it's a narrative of failure.

There seems to be another metastasis, in my right humerus (already have one in the left, and in the right f inemur). It's extremely painful, limits movement, and limits life even more than it's constrained now. It feels just like a broken bone, only a bit worse.

Added to the other growths, the chest, leg, and abdominal pain, shortness of breath, and frequent vomiting, it seems a bit hard.

And I let it get to me. Got snappish with Barb and hurt her feelings, and was unkind to the dogs.

Round and round, ruined an evening, and when I was done I was in exactly the same place, which I had made through my actions more bleak.

It'll heal. But I don't trust myself, and that may be the most positive outcome, because vigilance is the necessary protector of joy, faith, and good manners.

There is something I have found,
and it left me scarred and sore,
that anger leads you round and round
and leaves you were you were before.
Yes, it might well be a right,
a way to cope with devastation,
but it doesn't lead to light,
and can birth an alienation
from the ones we truly need,
the ones we dare not drive away.
To rant and rage is merely greed,
desire for a former day
far away from fear and pain
that can never come again.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is OWE.

My culture says I owe this life
the passing of a simple test,
and that would be to treat my wife
as a greatly honoured guest
whose presence is a privilege,
whose smile is a bright noble gift;
to be casual is sacrilege,
and so each day I'm bound to lift
my efforts to a higher plane,
my courtesy to raise
ever to a better name,
and never to neglect the praise
for all kindnesses shown, for such
is she to whom I owe so much.

Four minutes and a bit.

Music from Daniel Powter, with Bad Day.

Sylvia doesn't like bad days. They make ice cream taste funny.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Spotlight Of Grace


I was out with Belle the Wolf this morning, and saw a patch of mesa spot-lit by the rising sun. Kinda cool.

I stand upon a darkened stage;
the audience have all gone home.
I didn't know that this script-page
said I would be here alone
with the ghosts of broken dreams
and memory of past delights
floating 'midst the shadowed beams,
but Someone still is on the lights
and I hear closing of a switch;
from on high, light-beam comes down
and in its brightness there's grace which
heartens this bruised tired clown,
whose days have come so misbegotten,
with the knowing that he's not forgotten.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is CHAPTER. Sounds kinda booky.

Chapters come and chapters pass,
some are taut and some are slack,
and some are a pain in the donkey,
but what the heck, you can't go back,
so count the rosebuds while you may,
watch the lizards dash around,
cherish every given day
even if beaten to the ground,
for what you were makes what you are,
a thing of beauty built by God,
and do not think that any scar
makes you ruined, broken, flawed,
'cause great God hath designed you
for repairs with His Own Krazy Glue.

Well, that went somewhere other than planned, but, hey, just under four minutes. Yeah

Music from Mercy Me, with Greater.

Sylvia hopes there's ice cream at the end of that sunray.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

The Preciousness Of Me

 Let them go, let idols shatter,
strike the chains off and be free.
Know the truth, it doesn't matter,
the cloying preciousness of Me.
Become the clay on Potter's Wheel,
let Him shape with practised hand
into what will be more real,
and then, my friend, please understand
that you are destined for the flame,
the kiln that will refine your heart,
and on your base imprints His Name,
and you'll be fit then to take part
in His Heaven on this Earth,
in moulded fire-formed rebirth.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is DELIBERATE.

I wanna have de liberation
from the yoke of my own ego,
and happily take on the station
of a bouncing happy beagle,
ears a-flappin' in the breeze,
tongue a-lolling, wet with drool
that sprays around each time I sneeze;
man, that would be really cool.
Chase a stick or chase a ball,
dig an 'Oh, you DIDN'T!' hole,
jump to see beyond the wall
with no worries for my soul
because my faith need not be awed,
'cause backward spell of dog is GOD!

It wasn't what I expected to write, but at three minutes thirty, why not?

Music from U2 (opening in a new window), with I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For .

Watch for Bono trying to break-dance late in the video. It's a hoot.

Sylvia found what she's looking for. McDonald's vanilla ice cream!

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Barb's Got Nickname

Hard days. Time for fun.

I really have no sense of shame
(not that it would be relevant),
and thus, Barb has a new nickname,
'Shazaam! The Golden Elephant'.
There is something I have hinted
for her church-y congregation,
getting pachyderm-y t-shirts printed
so they might rise unto occasion
that when she comes up front to sing
all will get unto their feet,
and a joyous noise they'll bring 
as my bride they gaily greet
with arms raised trunk-like (as each can),
and a mighty shout, 'SHAZAAM!'

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is SOON. Better than late, I guess.

The doctor walked into the room,
and in sorrow looked at me,
and then he went and told me soon
I would simply cease to be,
which is quite a funny thing,
but really not a source of pride
that soon he heard death angel's wing,
and while I live, the poor dude died.
It's kind of a cliche'd joke
to live to bury one's physician,
'specially when he said I'd croak
before too long, given my position,
and now I'm gonna pause to cry
because I truly loved the guy.

Three minutes thirty, and yes, tears in my eyes.

Music from The Beatles, with the lovely song and charming video, Here, There, And Everywhere.

Sylvia feels that she's her own nickname.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Bonhomme Richard

Do you see the face in the clouds, top centre?

Sometimes it feels like the beginning of my end.

Feelings lie.

It's not even the end of the beginning.

It's been bad and getting worse,
can't walk across the bloody room
without breath rasping as a curse
that paints a picture of my doom,
and nothing's helping anymore,
not cheap cigars nor beer nor wines,
and I see a swinging door
leading to my end of times.
But I remember what I was,
though I wasn't worth a lot.
I only mention this because
what I was is what I've got,
and in the fading of the light,
I've not yet begun to fight.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is PERSIST. Appropriate.

They ask me why do I persist,
and not give up and die?
I'll tell you, mate, if you insist:
love's the reason why.
I love all aspects of my life,
the fabric of my days,
my dogs, the cat, and my dear wife,
and, of course, the God I praise
by giving every day my all,
and giving every job my best.
Sometimes what I can do is small,
but I force myself to pass the test
to care more than I can afford
as a present to the Lord.

Four minutes fifteen. That'll do

Music from Sister Hazel (opening in a new window) with All For You.

Sylvia approves.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

When Your Platform Finds You

I don't like to recycle stuff, but what follows is an exception, a comment I wrote for a post written by Dan Balow for the Steve Laube Agency blog, Personal vs. Professional Social Media.

My personal and professional lives are, of necessity, thoroughly blended; my life has become my product.

Not something I wanted; all I really aimed at was being a Paperback Writer, but it seemed that God had other plans. No one in his right mind would choose an extended bout with pancreatic cancer, but I accept it without demur, because to do otherwise would be to question God’s mercy and goodness. “Not my will, but Thine” is what it comes down to, but it can be really hard to do.

And from that acceptance arises a calling and ministry, that life goes on and that there is a way to fully live, even when the experience becomes crushingly hopeless (like, say, right now, as I write this).

Though living in public, so to speak, can attract oddballs, I haven’t run across any, ’cause I can pretty much out-weird anyone.

It’s not something to despise,
but can be hard to understand,
and I wish that it were otherwise,
but my life has become my brand,
days passed to be an example
of how to reinvent a life
when it has been sorely trampled
and rearranged by cancer’s knife,
and it’s a legend I must live,
a full-time job and ministry
in which I am compelled to give
all the very best of me,
optimistic, laughing, light,
and more become that which I write.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is HAVE. Have I got what it takes? Guess we'll see.

They say you've got to have a platform,
all the agents say it's true.
Some are made and some are born,
and sometimes platform will find you
if you keep unfettered mind,
and heart open to God's breeze,
and beyond that don't be blind
to some time spent on your knees
asking for the Lord's direction
(getting that is really nice),
and when you get it, no reflection!,
just take that Divine advice
and let your newly burnished soul
achieve your brightest platform goal.

Four and a half minutes, with Strawberry the Mastiff barking in my ear.

Music (opening in a new window) from the score to Kenneth Brannagh's Henry V by Patrick Doyle, Non Nobis, Domine.

Sylvia thinks another kind of brand may be applied shortly, if I'm slow with the ice cream. 

Thursday, April 13, 2023

High Times

Things are really kind of rough, which is why I'm writing this in the middle of the night while listening to Joyce Meyer. Pain and nausea just preclude sleep.

Yes, medical marijuana had been suggested, is legal in my state (so is 'recreational' marijuana), and no, I don't use it.

Why not?

Read on...

Bigfoot arrived at the ball,
wearing a tuxedo,
and there he leaned against the wall,
smoking a torpedo.
Someone told him Cheech and Chong
described the best life to be had,
but it wasn't very long
'fore he got the munchies, really bad.
First the hors d'oeuvres disappeared,
and it wasn't that much later
(just as everyone had feared)
that he tried to eat the waiter,
and thus is learned the reason why
you don't get a mythic creature high.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is REALIZE.

Or maybe REAL EYES?


I once knew a stoner dude
who really should never have used,
because his once-sharp attitude
came to be dazed and confused.
He once forgot where he had left
his vital backpack and his bike,
and new-bought gear he had to heft
on his lengthy get-home hike,
only to find said Missing Schwinn
still parked in his living room,
and backpack (with all kept within)
resting in the shadowed gloom
of the closet, dark and cool
of a weed-besotted fool.

Three minutes for a true story, and this was a friend worth having.

Music from Brewer And Shipley (opening in a new tab) with One Toke Over The Line.

Sylvia's high is McDonald's ice cream. Mine, too.