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Thursday, December 29, 2022



We start out fresh with resolutions,
most destined to fail, I fear,
in attempt to find solutions
that will tame the coming year.
When rolls around the Super Bowl
the leather Bible gathers dust,
and exercise machine pays toll
of neglect in growing rust.
Perhaps we plan too far ahead,
and cannot keep the ball in play
for so long, and should instead
resolve that just for this one day
we'll do our best to see them through,
all that we promised to do.

I have but one resolution, and that's to singlehandedly create a supply-chain crisis of Keystone Light beer.

Oh, wait. Maybe I shouldn't have admitted said that.


I actually prefer Fosters ale.

Music from Chumbawamba, with the irrepressible song Tubthumping

Sylvia loves beer, as long as someone else is drinking it.


Thursday, December 22, 2022

All I Want For Christmas

 A lovely sunrise, and two weather balloons being launched from a nearby aerodrome.


I have simple tastes, and I am certain that Barb will gracefully fulfill my Christmas request.

What I want for Christmas
ain't for Tom, Dick or Harry.
I am saying this because
I want a four-wheel-drive Ferrari,
a bright red Magnum 308
on big tyres and eigh-inch lifts;
doesn't that sound super great
'mongst the redneck Christmas gifts?
Longhorns mounted on the hood,
rifle rack behind the seats,
lookin' fine and lookin' good,
and ain't nothin' else that beats
cruising down Miracle Mile
in chest-thumpin' Bubba style.

Here's my favourite Christmas song, from the Goo Goo Dolls... Better Days.

Sylvia says whatever vehicle is fine, as long as we end up at McDonald's for ice cream.


All I Really Want For Christmas

A lovely sunrise, and two weather balloons being launched from a nearby aerodrome.


I have simple tastes, and I am certain that Barb will gracefully fulfill my Christmas request.

What I want for Christmas
ain't for Tom, Dick or Harry.
I am saying this because
I want a four-wheel-drive Ferrari,
a bright red Magnum 308
on big tyres and eigh-inch lifts;
doesn't that sound super great
'mongst the redneck Christmas gifts?
Longhorns mounted on the hood,
rifle rack behind the seats,
lookin' fine and lookin' good,
and ain't nothin' else that beats
cruising down Miracle Mile
in chest-thumpin' Bubba style.

Here's my favourite Christmas song, from the Goo Goo Dolls... Better Days.

Sylvia says whatever vehicle is fine, as long as we end up at McDonald's for ice cream.


Thursday, December 15, 2022

When It's Early In The Morning


This is an "I just woke up, why the **** are you taking my picture????" of Barb.

The picture is posted with her permission. Otherwise I would be meeting Jesus sooner rather than later, and suffer Him and His Da (and the Spook) making fun of me.

I think, though, that the happy snap captures her kindness and loving heart and sense of fun at their best.

She's simply ravishing. Don't you agree?

Still, she is not a Morning Person. Fortunately, I am, for the Car Alarm (two Chihuahuas) goes off before the sun can be troubled to rise. An thus begins the day.

Long before the sunrise
(I love it, please don't scoff)
wakefulness comes to the guys
and the Car Alarm goes off.
The Chihuahuas start to yammer,
then Jax the Labrador
with great paws will hammer
upon the kitchen floor.
Strawberry the Mastiff
will yell and scream and shout
to inquire of the chances if
she might be allowed out,
and to say that if I hesitate,
cleaning up will be my fate.

I've seen owls and shooting stars in the predawn sky. And I have a lovely sheepskin coat from a company called Film Jackets.

Life is good.

And since it's Christmas, y'all get a second sonnet, ABSOLUTELY FREE! (You need only pay shipping and handling.)

'Twas the night before Christmas 
and back at the ranch
big 'ol Cousin Gus
sat on a tree branch,
just as high as he could get
in a great and mighty oak.
He'd be sittin' there still yet,
but the gol-durn thing done broke,
and it sent him fast a-crashing
right straight down the tall ol' tree,
but the only thing was smashing
was his manly dignity
'cause when off trunk his fall did glance
the gnarly bark done stripped his pants.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is WITNESS. Ok, watch!

I have witnessed many things,
some I wished I could forget,
but memory has golden wings,
and has covered vain regret
with a sheen of understanding,
and a knowledge of some truth,
that each soul must find a landing
on the other side of youth.
Everything that I have seen
has made me what I am today,
and though at night I often dream
of this, wond'ring why it's this way,
I trust the Lord that made my heart
to validate what's been my part.

It wrote itself, just under four minutes.

The most appropriate song here is Early In The Morning , by Vanity Fare. It is a lovely haunting melody, with silky smooth vocals. (You may know Vanity Fare better from Hitchin' A Ride.

Sylvia's a Morning Person too, as long as breakfast includes ice cream.


Thursday, December 8, 2022

Horse-drawn Marriage


As days dwindle, I think more and more about the most important journey of life, that of marriage.

It's a part of the salvation story, and can't be divorced therefrom. "One flesh," Jesus said. Mark 10:8-10, and that's probably the last specific Scriptural reference you'll see me use.

In so very many ways, I failed, and continue to fail.

I'm hard and flippant and turn everything into a joke. It breaks Barb's heart.

But it's the best I have.

A stallion's what I thought I'd need
to ride into matrimony,
but it turns out my trusty steed
was actually a Shetland Pony,
a hairy little whiskered thing
raised for long work in a pit.
I wondered what this beast could bring,
but Barb minded not a bit,
for she had seen the ins and outs
of marriage through the years;
while stallions do good warlike shouts,
they suck at drying tears
that every groom and every bride
should never have to keep inside.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is SIMPLE. Should be easy.

It would be so very cheesy
and you'd quickly call my bluff
if I said that marriage is easy
when everybody knows it's tough.
We come to it with expectations
less of what we'll give than get;
and the attitude alterations
aren't nearly over yet,
not after all these twenty years
of living weird on weird,
but through it all I find my fears
have gone and disappeared,
replaced by the sure certainty
that this one's for eternity.

Just under four minutes! Longer than it took me to decide that Barb was The One.

Music from Guster, with Do You Love Me?.

This song has a history for us. Every Christmas, Albuquerque runs the River Of Light, decking out the botanical gardens with sparkly decorations.

Last time I was able to go, this song was playing on the PA system. I noted some of the lyrics, never having heard it before... and my search was successful.

Sylvia knows we love her. Ice cream is proof. And she doesn't share with horses.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

La Noblesse

Henry's exhausted.

Yesterday Barb came home for lunch to find me semi-conscious on the floor, at the front door.
I had fallen and hit my head on a space heater, knocking it over.
The dogs righted the heater (also moving it out of the way), and Henry brought me my phone. He also brought a blanket, a book, and a DVD.

No-one taught him this.

He's just a natural, and loves his job, tiring as it sometimes is.

May I present (please say it French)
our deaf Pit Bull, Henri.
If you watch him at any length,
he'll cure your grey ennui.
Joie de vivre's his raison d'etre,
he lives life with elan,
and I will gladly place a bet
you've met not dog nor man
that shows such bright esprit de corps
with all the doggies, les amis,
and who knows how to shut house doors
to keep out all the l'ennemie,
who lives "Un vie heureuse, c'est moi!"
with gros bisous and flailing paw.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is INSTANT. I shall therefore write quickly.

In an instant life can alter
brightest plans for future days,
causing injured heart to falter
along what were trusted pathways
to a hope t'would be fulfilled
(thus, Gospel of Prosperity),
but the growing shoot's been killed,
lying cut for all to see.
And how do we pick up the pieces
of a hope quick-gone so wrong?
Has the devil taken leases
that silence the praising song,
or can we yet rise in our love,
hands raised unto our God above?

Three minutes! I'll never do that again.

Music from The Sandpipers, with Come Saturday Morning.

Sylvia approves. But Henry can't have her ice cream.


Thursday, November 24, 2022

Giving Thanks For Lack

Thanksgiving sunrise (above) and sunset (below).

And the Manzano range after a front came through.

 I never really thought to give thanks for lack, but there you go.

Aviation has been a part of my soul for as long as I can remember, but lack of funds always held me back from the participation for which I longed.

Now I understand why.

I didn't have the maturity to cherish the gift. I took stupid chances, once almost killed myself (I did manage to cut my throat), and, not having learned, continued to showboat.

Lack let me live.

Similar thing, with cancer. Insurance went away long ago, and instead of hanging my hopes on others' 'healing prowess', I was on my own.

I had to work with God to reinvent every day, to find motivation to...well, not thrive, that's out of reach...no, it's motivation not to quit. For one more day.

There's no anxious waiting for test results, no waiting rooms freighted with the scents of antiseptic and doom.

There's just the here and now.

Mind, by the time the insurance ran out the doctors had given up, and were only offering palliative care. So there wasn't a whole lot to lose.

But in my lack, I won.

I cannot afford insurance,
had to care for self instead,
and have thus found, with some assurance,
that had I wealth, I would be dead.
I had to fight each living day,
I had to learn my enemy,
but if perchance I might just pay
someone to do this work for me
I would have ended drugged and slack,
petitioner to human grace;
persist in this, you can’t go back
to that harder, better place
where alone you pit your will
against that thing which aims to kill.

This sonnet first appeared as a comment on Steve Laube's blog post Money Problems.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is LIKE. I like it.

Ok, dude, so well it's like
not too good and not too gnarly;
don't remember where I parked my bike,
and the worst thing, it's a Harley,
really too big to misplace
so on will come my thinking hat,
and thus I hope by God's bright grace
I will recall just where it's at.
Could it be out on the street?
Nope, it could be, but's not there.
Did I ride it out to greet
the arrival of the dogs' au pair?
Oh, I worried much too soon,
it's parked here in the living room!

Doesn't everyone keep Hogs inside?

Three and a half minutes. Doesn't show, eh?

Here's The Holly And The Ivy  by Mediaeval Baebes. Yes, really.

Sylvia says, as long as I don't lack ice cream, no-one gets hurt.


Thursday, November 17, 2022


 Ok, so these days just aren't going
just the way that I had planned;
there's no way that I'll be knowing
what may be the next at hand,
but each day still holds every hour
that the Lord above ordained,
and it is my choice to be sour,
or to live each with unfeigned
gratitude for every smallest blessing,
and for the biggest blessings, too,
for to be truthful, I'm confessing
that, 'till now, I never knew
that so much could be provided
with joy and pain left undivided.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is LAUGH. It's what I do best!

If you cannot laugh at this,
you really are not trying,
so give the whole darn thing a miss,
'cause what's the point in dying
if its humour hides from you,
and puking becomes tragedy;
I mean, what else is there to do
but just not take it seriously
along with its most bestest pal
(yes, I mean incontinence)
which makes you race on down the hall
just to stumble at the fence
of quickly taking down your jeans,
and you can guess just what that means.

Four minutes flat, no apologies.

Music from Van Halen, with Jump.

Sylvia will jump for ice cream.


Thursday, November 10, 2022

Election Daze

Belle The Wolf and Henry are playing with Bella, who was found in 2013, broken-backed, in a flooded ditch. Her spinal cord wasn't severed, but the spine itself was shattered. She can get to her feet, and take a few steps. But she usually just scoots around, and is a terror to the big dogs.

So the elections are over. I didn't pay it much mind, taking the view (watch the very short clip) of Crocodile Dundee.

It's just that no more campaign mailers means that I have to find something else for the bottom of the parrot's cage.

Well, if we had a parrot.

Politicians come and go,
bless their little cotton socks,
and when speaking often show
they're dumber than a box of rocks,
saying this, misspeaking that,
then onward to a photo op,
holding babies and a cat
that you can see they'd love to drop,
but they do make me really glad
that we have committee rule,
for it would be quite clearly mad
if we'd bow to a public fool
with vision of newborn retriever
and saw in him a True Believer.

Still, there are good public men and women. It's just that they seem to die young.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is EXTREME. This might not be extremely hard.

People yell from left and right,
words of quandary and riddle,
never thinking that they might
just meet in the middle,
and share a coffee or a beer
(heck, pass around a joint!),
'cause it's getting really clear
that we're close to the point
where agenda and ideas
come to matter more than life,
and Hell's on a massive bender
in celebration of the strife
that pushed us to a dark extreme
on each side, beyond obscene.

Four minutes thirty, including a hesitant keypad. Good enough.

Music from Dion, with Abraham, Martin, and John.

Sylvia votes for ice cream.


Thursday, November 3, 2022

Light And Shade

I love the interplay of light and shadow.

It's been a rough week (internal bleeding stopped for a bit, and it's back, with fever) but I don't do despair, so I decided to write a sendup of Edgar Allan Poe's most famous poem, just for fun. And as poetic justice for all you out there who had to memorize parts of the thing...or, for Pete's sake, the whole poem.

The poet pondered, weak and weary,
self-pity for his lost Lenore
in rhyme that was quite awful, clearly,
when there came at chamber door
a tapping from a spectral raven
that reinforced his pain and sorrow
to justify his bad behavin'
like there wasn't no tomorrow.
I've been there and I've been back,
and I have this word for you
that faced with Satan's sad attack
the one thing you can say that's true
to bird now perched on head of Pallas 
is, "Shove despair right up your a**!"

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is PERFORM.

My life's become command performance 
that is staged for God alone,
mix of peace and violence
that's something of a twilight zone
between the promise and the real,
between the newly sown and sere,
between the hunger and the meal,
between the hated and the dear,
but somehow as I tread the boards,
the footlights blinding in my eyes,
I know that I am headed towards
the truth that will dispell the lies,
and make of this conundrum vast
a memory of distant past.

With a balky keypad, five and a half minutes. Well, I tried.

Appropriate music from Smash Mouth.

Sylvia barks at ravens, and won't share her ice cream with them.


Thursday, October 27, 2022


Yes, Heaven is real.

I've been there, through the lens of death become birth.

First some pictures, then the poem.


How can I relate to you
where I traveled on that night,
make it bold and bright and true
that as I passed into the light,
that when a final breath did pass
I heard a lovely joyous song,
and stepped out on the living grass
to join a happy dancing throng
beneath a vast and coloured sky,
so fresh and sparkling clean,
a breeze that was a holy sigh
of happiness upon that scene…
on Earth I now know Heaven’s lack,
but also know that I’ll be back.

It’s very hard to describe the essence of a near-death experience, and that loveliest of destinations, without sounding like a bit of a crank.

But I promised I would try.

One thing that I think validates the experience is that while I am not a People Person, I was immersed in a crowd. I don't think it bespeaks a wish to be social; it's just the reality of the place, and, perhaps, a gentle nudge from God that I need to change.

(This first appeared as a comment to Bob Hostetler's post 7 Favorite Writer Destinations on the Steve Laube Agency blog.)

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is WHILE.

Coincidentally, Barb picked up a movie from the library for me..."While You Were Sleeping."

I love romantic comedies.

While I walk upon this Earth
I know that not far up ahead
there lies the glorious rebirth
that gives lie to the phrase, "He's dead.",
for I have been there and have seen
promise made actuality,
more real than a waking dream,
a solid practicality
that turns this sad world upsidedown,
that makes of somberness a joke,
that makes a Pharisee a clown
who from his inner dark has woke
to find the journey that he's on
is lit by an eternal dawn.

Four minutes thirty-nine seconds.

Music from Montell Jordan and Beckah Shae, with Shake Heaven.

And in heaven there  is ICE CREAM.