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Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

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Thursday, September 21, 2023


Someone, somewhere, is looking to you for courage, hope, and inspiration.

Be the miracle.

Lead even when you'd rather not,
lead even when the word sounds hollow,
lead even when you haven't got
a single soul that deigns to follow.
Lead as though you've got a plan,
lead 'gainst body's protestation,
lead because you understand
that there must be a destination
on the other side of night,
past the roaring raging gale,
and that if you survive you might
just be equipped to tell the tale
of the battle's warp and weft
for those who walk footprints you left.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is OPINION. Well, in MY view...

They say that I am arrogant,
but that's unfair, and so untrue,
it's just that there's no argument
that holds against my point of view,
for I am highly educated
in every manly art and game,
and it's often been suggested
that I should enjoy wider fame,
but I am just a humble bloke,
and I once (really!) did err
when I one time I went and spoke
and thus a doubt did find me there,
that I truly thought me quite
in the wrong...but I was right.

Three minutes. Boy, that says something.

Here's Harry Belafonte's calypso take on a kind of leadership 

Sylva's always willing to lead or follow, as long as ice cream awaits.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

It's Been A Beautiful Life


Henri Matisse once visited Auguste Renoir, and saw how difficult it was for the old master to hold a brush, due to his rheumatoid arthritis.

"Why do you punish yourself so!" cried Matisse.

"The pain passes, my friend, but the beauty remains."

I don't count beauty in my words.

I count it in the many dogs and cats who found a home here, and none were ever turned away.

Sure, it's been hard, and exhausting, and sometimes heartbreaking.

And instead of a video, here's Anthony Hopkins with the most powerful prayer in the world.

Yeah, that.

That's the resume I am giving to God.

Amidst the wide world's loud bright chatter,
soft hurting eyes are turned to me,
and in the end it doesn't matter
what I thought that I might be
compared to hurt, compared to fear,
compared to hell lived on this Earth.
Yeah, okay, we'll share a beer,
and in this house you'll find rebirth
from the hard life you've been living
that you never could deserve.
From here on you will be given
every thing, and I will serve
your needs as my worn aching heart
tries each day to do its part.

OK. And yes, dogs and cats do enjoy beer.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is ESCAPE.

I once thought I'd outrace time,
and death would be left in far dust;
eternal summer would be mine,
and thus in mine own strength I'd trust,
and not deign to wait upon
a Lord I could not hear nor see,
but now those days are truly gone;
one can almost say the same for me!
But a funny thing did happen
en route to my bare funeral:
Jesus popped out, fingers snappin',
and said my joy could still be full,
'cause what's supposed to be a tomb
is God's eternal party room.

Three minutes flat. Did I get away with it?

Sylvia was found in a high-summer southwestern field, abandoned with a dead puppy in her womb, left to die.

She deserves all the ice cream she can eat.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

A Prayer At The Edge

Pain is now over the top,
and this has gone on far too long.
I'd like to cry, 'Lord, make it stop!',
but I know this would be wrong.
These words would doubt His mercy;
this plea would shade His plan,
and now, 'fore strength deserts me,
I pray, 'Make me a man
subordinate to Holy Will,
to that I may not understand;
take my fears, please, and then fill
me with willingness to hear command
and follow through unto the ending,
resolute and sure, unbending.'

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is RELY.

I once believed in self-reliance,
and of dependence had no trace,
not realizing this defiance
was a slap against God's face,
and I am really really glad
that The Dude took no offence,
for I think to make Him mad,
well, things could really get intense.
But anyhow, I came to learn
that though I can do almost anything,
the one thing I did not discern
was that beneath God's shelt'ring wing
I could from my own pride rest
and thus pass God's greatest test.

Four minutes and a bit.

Music from the soundtrack to Zulu, with Men Of Harlech

Sylvia say that Pitties never yield, either, but that they DO need ice cream breaks.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Through The Night


Time overtakes.

These pictures were taken at the beginning and end of night.

And last night was laughably awful, with a metastatic tumour fracturing my right humerus. I can still function, with my right arm held hard to my side.

Everything has to be relearned as mirror image. But I look better in a mirror than in life, so it's all good.

I am still here, and grateful.

I look at what's in front of me,
and in a way don't want to start,
because the simple truth, you see
is my body's trying to break my heart
and drive me to a morphine-sleep,
and armchair and a half-read book,
and it's there it wants to keep
captive life that I in pain forsook,
but while at times I must give in,
and while at times I must retreat,
it's something that I can't let win,
for if I do then I will greet
a person whom I've always loathed,
a loser for whom hope has closed.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is ABSENCE. Well, I'm here.

Absence from this, my own place
is inevitable fate,
but no offence unto God's grace,
I intend to make Him wait
as long as I possibly can,
tapping feet and looking bored
with this quite tiresome man
who will not turn and cut the cord
and be pulled up into the blue
by angels and by cheering saints,
but rather will stay stony-true
to a life of nopes and ain'ts
that grew in him, a tangled mess,
watered by his stubbornness.

Three minutes thirty, and maybe that's a bad sign...

And if this is it, let's go with Kenny Loggins

Sylvia prefers ice cream to drama.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

The Bridge

I've heard tell that those who design bridges follow a muse; far more than a profession, even more than a calling, it's a ministry, keeping travelers safe through the work of the heart, and creating a thing of beauty withal.

Does that go away in Heaven? Is the engineer given (as a prominent TV pastor once said about the hereafter) a robe and a key to their room (why a key?), and, presumably, a choir practice schedule?

Is Heaven like that old Soviet joke...

Ivan: 'Come the revolution, you will eat strawberries and cream for every meal!'

Dmitri: 'But I don't like strawberries and cream.'

Ivan: 'Come the revolution, you will eat strawberries and cream and YOU WILL LIKE IT.'

Somehow, I think not.

Bridges made of concrete,
and bridges make of steel;
if bridges are heart's chosen meat,
then might God make a meal
of bridges He would order built
across Heaven's great rivers,
made of rainbows, limned in gilt,
'cross which AngelZon delivers
the joyous things each saint desires
in good shape and in perfect time
on new whitewalled celestial tires,
with no extra cost for Prime.
The love of bridge design on Earth
is the profession's Heaven-birth.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is REPLACE. Accept no substitute.

There's one thing God can't replace,
one thing that unto death He's true,
the living mirror of His face,
the image that is up to you.
You can choose to scratch the glass,
or not clean off the shaving soap
(which really shows a lack of class)
but even villains cannot hope
to break the thing to spiky shards,
for it will leap to grow again
and leave them hoist on their petards
to contemplate what doth remain,
that is like koan in Zen,
a God who won't give up on them.

Just four minutes...now!

Music from Jesus Jones, with Right Here Right Now 

Sylvia just hopes someone's Heaven ministry is the making of ice cream.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Cordon Blue

Above you can find Belle the Wolf, Red the Heeler, and Cocoa Chihuahua.

Barb is wearing the red blouse.

And Barb, having had her gallbladder removed, is slowly on the mend. There are people who say you can be playing golf two days after surgery. They are idiots.

But anyway.

Eating is hard these days. I'm limited to rice (with butter, salt, and pepper, or brewer's yeast powder), and frozen pizza singles. It keeps me going.

But I remember McDonald's soft serve ice cream, with chicken nuggets and BBQ sauce.

Let's try this, and let's try that,
kung pao sauce might be an aid
for something tasting kinda flat
the way they said it should be made.
Let's try cashews, and ice cream,
and some provolone too.
All of this might make it seem
something that is Cordon Bleu!
And maybe add a dash of wine
right straight from the Walmart box.
This is certain to refine
the stylish way that this meal walks,
but if at end it's gonna fall,
tabasco sauce will save it all!

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is MOMENT. Well, just give me one to think...

It seems like it was just a moment
ago, receding now unto the past
when cancer still had yet to foment
the bitter end to my respast
of chicken a la microwave
(and sometimes Alice Springs!),
of fish and chips of which I'd rave
and many other things.
Yes, I know we eat to live,
and do not live to eat,
but there's a lot that I would give
for some flame-seared meat
and some taters, fried so crisp!,
but I daren't take that risk.

Unless I want some really nasty dunny time, that is.

Four minutes plus, but less than five.

Music from Jimmy Buffett, with (what else) A Cheeseburger In Paradise 

As long as it's got ice cream, Syl is good to go, and her pals will finish the rest.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Martha On The Mary-Go-Round

As I write this, Barb is in the ER. She had really bad upper abdominal pain today, and as yet there are no answers. Morphine did take pain away.

She expects me to carry on, so here goes.

I kinda like Martha. She's got spirit, and isn't shy about saying what comes into her head. Barb thinks she's a lot like Simon Peter, and I think she's onto something there.

But still, you have to wonder how she felt when Jesus pushed back against her request that He tell Mary to for Pete's sake (!) give her a hand when He dropped by, and Martha wanted to make Him welcome according to custom.

To Martha, the request was reasonable. Men did the discipleship thing, women did the serving thing.

Jesus put that on its head. Mary sat at His feet, exactly as a man would.

Was Martha invited to join her? We don't know.

How did Martha take it? We don't know that either.

But I think we can imagine.

 It is the kind of story
that has the scope to break your heart.
'Twas Mary got the glory,
and Martha got the lesser part,
but she felt called to give her best
in an act of service,
and though she failed some kind of test,
she did not deserve this
sentence carried through the years,
a place further from the throne of grace.
I wonder if the bitter tears
rolled unseen upon her face
when she undertook to understand
the weight of Christ's soft reprimand.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is LEAVE.

Martha got reprimanded, yeah.

But she still had attitude.

She met Him on the road ahead,
and said, 'The news really ain't great;
Lazarus is buried, dead,
and why were You so late?
Three days past, his soul is gone
(and what, Lord, were you thinking?).
He is lost to us this dawn,
fed to worms and stinking.'
And then, perhaps, she turned to leave,
but Jesus Christ reached out His hand, and ask, 'Dear heart, do you believe,
and in believing, understand
that Lazarus will soon draw breath,
for I, the Lamb, have conquered death?'

Four minutes thirty and change.

Yesterday, August 9, was our anniversary, so here's music from Firefall, with You Are The Woman

Sylvia thinks ice cream is the best medicine.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

God's Dance Of Dreams


The bottom picture is Barb with the Chihuahuas. Hard to tell, but I think Barb is the tall one on the left, and Chihuahuas don't care for watermelon.

The secret now is not to hurry,
all needed will be done in time,
and beyond that, not to worry
for the love will still be mine
as I pass on from these days
into the Lord's Eternity.
It's He who has found the ways
to keep alive the good for me,
to save it up down through my years
and keep it fresh and shining bright 
through waterings with captured tears
that He might laugh and thus delight
in letting dreams reborn go on
long after I had thought them gone.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is WATCH.

Watch this, and hold my beer.

Watch this, it ain't what it might seem.
Watch this, it ain't what you might fear.
Watch me as I loose each dream,
and while you're watching, hold my beer.
They say that you should just let go
of what you love; I think it's true,
for in my dying now I know
that what you love comes back to you,
all fixed up by God to shine
as you pass through Heaven's door,
waiting up there all this time
like Christmas gifts on parquet floor
as into the room you run,
giving Abba so much fun!

Just under 3:30. By my watch.

Music from Lee Ann Womack, with I Hope You Dance

Sylvia says that dancing interferes with eating ice cream. But she dances anyway.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Crying Out To God


Kind of funny, but I have a Horseshoe Of Pain running from the metastasis in my right femur, through the pancreas up to my neck, then curving down to the metastasis in my right humerus.

Maybe I should get a tattoo, to follow the path? Let me know in the comments!

But while it's horrible, God's got this, and the healing I have received is being equipped to handle this, every day, hopeful in the face of the hopeless, and cheerful to light the dungeons of despair.

The Lord God will not hear me cry
from the pain and from the deep,
for there's no earthly reason why
I should wait, whimper, and weep,
for I have been amply equipped
with all that a hard man needs
when he's bound and being whipped,
but beyond that are the seeds
of faith and joy, eternal hope
that He secretly slipped in
to my soul to let me cope
with Satan's worst, maybe not to win,
but to stay out on the field,
and play the game, never to yield.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is MILESTONE. Dropped one of them on my toe, yeah.

Cancer has milestones so many,
and I refuse to count a one
'cause it's my life and it's my penny,
and counting death-marks just ain't fun.
Sure, I got metastases
and they're getting whole lot worse,
but if I focus mind on these
I will become mine own curse.
I'll adjust to newer pain,
and kowtow to the loss of function.
Even good dudes get the rain,
and I won't ask for an injunction
to stay the sentence passed on me,
the dream hard by Eternity.

Four minutes, a few seconds over. Last couplet was tough.

Music from Cat Stevens, with Another Saturday Night 

Sylvia says, 'I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!'

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Angels, And How To Tuna Fish

It's been a rough week, and in fighting off the angels sent to take me home during the night I may have made the fatal step from hardass to dumbass.

Of course, it may play a role that Barb's sick, and her system doesn't like the prescribed medication. Kinda don't think bowing out would be good, right now.

But anyway.

Did you ever have the thought,
did you ever have the wish
that you really truly ought
to know just how to tuna fish?
Are there scales to check the tension?
Is it tenor? Largemouth bass?
Did perhaps I fail to mention
that this can be Pain in the... Donkey?
But, oh, yes, the piscine tunes
must play acquatic harmony,
and raise on high their fame-balloons
unto the Lord's Eternity
in which He dared to see the play
of a singing fish fillet.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is DECIDE.

If you decide to tuna fish
to make in music-land your mark,
be careful, very, not to wish
that you had a mako shark
with its quite distinctive tail
(looks like it could be strung as harp),
but your effort would not prevail;
its teeth would make the tuning sharp.
But a flounder is no better choice;
please believe when I say that
its tonal repertoire and voice
are like it's body, really flat.
So, for fish-song with no worry,
stick with Nemo, Bruce, and Dory.

Three minutes forty-two, exactly.

Music from Pharrell Williams, with Happy

Sylvia's happy I'm still here.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

It's Pain O'clock; Do You Know Where Your Tumours Are?

Good morning, it is pain o'clock,
do you know where your tumours are?
Ones that fester, ones that rock
and beg a Cheech and Chong cigar?
They're in each arm and in my neck,
in both legs and abdomen,
underneath each mighty pec
(or were mighty way back when).
They give me grief during the day,
but when the night is still and quiet
is the time they like to play
in a game becoming riot,
but that's OK, I live the dream,
and Barb will come out when I scream.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is WORK, which I really try to avoid.

Cancer's sure a lot of work,
like digging ditches in the cold,
but it has an awesome perk,
namely, that I won't grow old
and have the honoured hoary head,
grandkids sitting on my knee.
Yeah, it's better to be dead,
than, by far, to come to be
an elder and wise ancient sage,
a pillar of the street and village,
'cause I'm stuck upon the page
that is marked, 'Let's loot and pillage!',
which example, I will bet,
ain't fittin' for the younger set.

Three minutes flat. That might not be good.

I was really reluctant to post this; not because it's exaggerated (it's not), but because it verges on Poor Poor Pitiful Me.

And that's not the case at all. Yes, I've lost a ton of ground in the past few weeks, yes, I spend a lot of time bent double, just trying to get to the next moment, and yes, there are screams in the night (a perfect horseshoe of pain, from the pancreas into the neck and thence to the right humerus.

I don't do medicinal cannabis, nor painkillers of any type, for various reasons. It's not a path I would necessarily recommend, but it works for me.

But life is still good, and I am blessed beyond measure by Barbara, the dogs (and the cat), by sunrises and rainbows and shooting stars.

And I am blessed by YOU, my dear, dear readers. Your presence, and your comments, these keep me going.

You give me purpose, and I will tell God about you.

Do please take the sonnets above as reality's chiaroscuro, the shadow that defines the Light.

Music from Bobby Sherman, with Easy Come, Easy Go

As long as there's ice cream, Sylvia's cool with things. Me, too. Except that Edy's discontinued French Silk!