A taste of Heaven

Not Me at those Harps

Not me:

at those harps

sporting a stylish halo

walking on cotton ball clouds.

Beyond conflict,

Receiving everything I want

even before I ask for it:

Not in my heaven.

I used to only know what it wasn’t.

But the gift

of the last

few weeks

has been a taste of what it will be.

I was nearly wrung dry:

I hope you will permit me to torture that metaphor

and clarify:

the towel

of my soul

was just



In moments of peace

there was solace

in the fact

that I’d done some good.

But I needed peace

to find that peace,

a thorny dilemna.

And then there was the ocean

not waiting for me

except that it was

waiting for me.

What deep hidden part of me

does the white noise rhythm of the waves

awaken? Why does the salt

carried on the breeze

remind me who I am?

And in the middle

of the rest and the peace

we held a war council

to recover one of our own:

But even this brings a deeper peace

than the surface battles we fight:

I am reminded of who is by my side.

And the capping moment

that next time

A legacy reawakened

through its own force of will?

How could you know

that my own grandmother

stored up her change

for me way back then?

A handful of metal and lint and miscelania…

through the banks alchemy metamorphed…

and then changed again:

Whatever I wanted,

stuff simultaneously

worthless and priceless…

And so my heart tells me it will be like this

In the Great Then:

Rest and battle, trials and the continuance of all the good things…

But there is something more!

I will not play a harp but I will hear it

maybe we will hear it

maybe this is the Great Difference:

Our acts, all of them, will be the

voices, the strings, the harmony.

It turns out there is a truth hiding in that simple-scary vision of Heaven

We will hear it in some new way:

Earthly music will turn out to be only a castrated echo

of this thing our actions themselves will proclaim:

Holy is the Lamb Holy is the Lamb Holy is the Lamb.


A deer in the headlights

It’s so easy to hear that story

about how everything is ruined.

When you’re not in the middle of this

when you’re status-quo copesetic

it’s an academic exercise

at most

an explanation

for why everything isn’t quite right

even when everything is right.

But nobody ever told me

that some nights this full house would be also-empty

that this full life would be also-empty

that my life would demand from me not just answers but actions

except that I’d have no answers let alone actions…

They never told me that I might long for the cold comfort of resignation…

Right now I’d take comfort in any temperature it wants to come in.

They never warned me

that sometimes

you can’t shrug your shoulders and say

“oh well I gave it all I have.”

I gave it all I have…

I did give it all I have.

It wasn’t enough.

It isn’t enough.

Where is my “oh well?”

I’m afraid.

That I’d sell my soul

For that.

A Bag Full of Crickets

Was the cruelty accidental?

To those little things it does not matter.

Some minimum wage slave hung it up here

in front of the lizard tanks.


The plodding grey thing at least looks happy.

Its tongue moves like it has a life of it’s own…

Waving a menacing hello

through the glass


through the clear plastic.

I wonder how long they’ve been locked in this tableau,

A crowd contemplating their fate

A lizard contemplated his supper…


It seems to have been a while.

Things are mostly now a stale mate.

The yellow gray creature stands here in the corner

looking both bored and eager.


Dozens of little bugs have resigned themselves.

They’ve settled into a gross pile of wings eyes legs shells

except for this one alone, away,

Legs moving legs moving legs moving


finding purchase impossibly in the smooth plastic

He runs like he were actually putting space between himself

and his predator.

I want to be that cricket.



1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13

The very depths of me hum

with the greatness of this realization:


This realization that though I might speak great truth

truths which unlock the secrets of this world

truths which unlock the secrets of the next world

I might speak ecstatic wisdom.


but words

without love

are only noise.


And I might appear to be a prophet:

holy man healer medicine man mystic.

There might be a depth to me

deeper even than the deepest wisdom

Healings, trances and supernatural abilities.

but actions,


without love

are irrelevant.


If I am self-sacrificing:

if I give every piece of me

to build up every piece of you

if I give until I am a sad shell…

if I wait until I am almost nothing

if I throw the sad remnants of what I once had

of what I once was

into the very flames of sacrifice…

if I sacrifice even my love

if I give even my love

until I have none left

then I have truly given too much.


Where patience manifests itself

love is underneath.


Where true kindness emerges on the outside

love hovers beneath.


Where envy has been transcended

love has conquered.


Where boasting has been ended

love has begun.


Where pride falls

love rises up.


Where cruelties fade away

love comes into focus.


Where selfishness is defeated

love victors.


Where rule books and score books are thrown away

love springs up.


Love does not flourish among evil,

love abides in truth.

Love preserves the eternal

Love trusts even when it is hard

Love believes in the best of us

Love maintains the best of us.

Love is perfect.


It is not like our words, any words

whether those words refer to this world or the next.


Some day

we will run out of words


Some day

our tounges will no longer wag.


Love is perfect.

It is deeper than understanding.

understanding resides within us.

and begins as a passenger with us.

but transforms us, maybe

into the passenger for a while.


The best we can ever hope for this life is to speak partial truths.

The best we can ever hope for this life is to know half the truth.

But we can participate,

right here,

and right now

in something which is full and complete.


Someday we will be greater than we are.

Someday we will see that we are not so different now

than the child we once were.


We know that when we were toddlers

we could not speak complete sentences

or understand the fullness of adult thought.


Someday we will look at who we are now

and where we are now.

and we will see that we are still toddling around

still so uncomplete.

We put our childishness away before,

we will put away this new childishness again.


In that new place

in that new time

we will step into the fullness

of what we were meant to be.

The best of us

is what will be left of us.

We will be faith


and love.

But the greatest of these

the greatest of what we will be

is love.

1984 Prose Poem

And the clocks were striking 13.



(Page 5 of 1984 written by George Orwell: Signet Classic ed., copyright 1949.)


In the far distance a helicopter skimmed


between the roofs


for an instant…





It was the Police Patrol

snooping into people’s windows.

The Police Patrol did not matter, however.

Only the thought police mattered.

(Page 6 of 1984 written by George Orwell: Signet Classic edition, copyrighted 1949)

The day’s worst loss came from the crash of a U.S. Army helicopter northeast of Baghdad that killed 13 service members.

An attack Saturday night blamed on militiamen in the city of Karbala killed five soldiers. Roadside bombs killed another soldier in the capital and one in Nineveh province north of Baghdad
(By BASSEM ROUE, Associated Press Writer published Saturday, January 20, 2007 )

There was of course no way of knowing if you were being watched at any given moment.

How often


or on what system

the thought police plugged in on

was guesswork.

It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time.

It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time.




You had to live-

did live,

from habit

that became instinct-

in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard

every sound you made was overheard

every sound you made was overheard

every sound you



every sound you made was overheard


except in darkness

every movement scrutinized.




(Page 6 of 1984 written by George Orwell: Signet Classic edition, copyrighted 1949)

The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth

The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren’t suspected of any crime. ordinary Americans- who aren’t suspected of any crime.
By Leslie Cauley, USA TODAY Updated 5/11/2006 2007 10:38 AM ET

It was just possible to read

picked out on its white face


the three slogans of the party


(Page 8 of 1984 written by George Orwell: Signet Classic Edition, copyrighted 1949)
The time for denying, deceiving, and delaying has come to an end. Saddam Hussein must disarm himself — or, for the sake of peace, we will lead a coalition to disarm him.

(From a speech made by President George W. Bush October 7, 2002)

(Page 8 of 1984 written by George Orwell: Signet Classic Edition, copyrighted 1949)
Now, as before, we will secure our nation, protect our freedom, and help others to find freedom of their own.

Some worry that a change of leadership in Iraq could create instability and make the situation worse. The situation could hardly get worse, for world security and for the people of Iraq.
(From a speech made by President George W. Bush October 7, 2002)


(Page 8 of 1984 written by George Orwell: Signet Classic Edition, copyrighted 1949)
Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program in the past. Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges,

which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.
(From a speech made by President George W. Bush October 7, 2002)

The thing that he was about to do was not illegal

nothing was illegal since there were no longer any laws



if detected

it was reasonably certain

that it would be punished

by death

or atleast

by twenty five years in a forced labor camp.

(Page 9 of 1984 written by George Orwell. Signet Classic Edition, copyrighted 1949)

The U.S. holds about 435 detainees at Guantanamo,

some captured after the ouster of Afghanistan’s Taliban regime
following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The U.S. has refused calls from human-rights groups and the United Nations

for its closure, saying the detainees are “enemy combatants” whose internment is necessary as part of the war on terror.

By Caroline AlexanderJan. 21 2007(Bloomberg Financial Times)


is the freedom


to say that two plus two equals four.

If that is granted all else follows.

(Page 69 of 1984 written by George Orwell. Signet Classic edition. Copyright 1948.)