Champion

“I remember,” he said. “Yeah, I remember.” He leaned into the engine compartment of his old pickup. By old we’re talking decades, a 1985 model now well into the twenty first century. That’s old. Trouble started with the misfiring of a couple cylinders. He didn’t know how many. He didn’t know which ones, but he knew what to do. He’d have to pull them, check them, dress them and put them back clean and ready to fire, the spark plugs, all eight of them in an engine with half the emission controls disconnected. It didn’t matter in a state without vehicle emission inspection. He’d lived in California. That was a different story, but this wasn’t that story and it wasn’t California. It was November in a state with snow and ice early this year and the truck began misfiring because he pushed too hard on warm up and the after-market […]

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The Second Fire

Prometheus brought fire to the earth we are told and lo, the Gods punished him, because Gods are wealthy and jealous of power. There’s a second fire we can bestow, if only we dare. The fire of love. Gods are wealthy and jealous of power. They seek to punish. We must beware. Reckless and heedless of consequence, we must yet love and thereby warm and illuminate the earth. Let them do what they will, we carry as a gift fire to those enslaved by darkness, chained and cold. Gods are wealthy and jealous of love. Rob them and give to the poor. ƒ

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Learn To Row

I learned to row a long time ago, in a boat with my name on the bow, given to me by my grandfather who built it with his hands, the hands I inherited. The boat is gone, but I learned to row a long time ago.   Slow and steady, all day long,  all night if you dare, if you see the lights and steer by grace freely given, the long reach, the deep bite, the pull back toward forgiveness and you reach out as far as you can and pull again.   Over and over it goes. You face away from where you’re headed, but you get there all the same.   I learned to row a long time ago. My grandfather long gone with all the guts he gave me through my Dad said it best,  “Row for your life.”   Row to heaven or go to hell, […]

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Stetson

He’s gone now, my stupid dog with his stupid grin and the floppy ears tattooed for racing.   He’s gone now with his elegant stance and his beautiful eyes and his fast, keen wisdom.   He’s gone now and all the thousands of times I let him out in the middle of the night are gone with him.   He’s gone now and I will never fail again to console him during thunderstorms or pick up his mess or ask myself how any dog could be so dignified and funny.   He’s gone now and I wish I could go with him or he return to me and just walk with this stupid, empty leash.   He’s gone now, but we will meet again and again and again, every time I think of him and know he thinks of me, winning every race amidst the clouds. ♥

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An Open Letter to His Honor The Mayor

Your Honor, Let’s talk about prejudice. You have in public hearing referred to the Daughters of the Confederacy as Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists and Liars and you have said it does not matter what those women say about themselves, what really matters is what you say about them. Remember they are women and you are a man. Remember they are private citizens and you are a Public Servant. Remember you have never met any of them personally or spoken to any of them personally, but you have liabled them and slandered them in public as Mayor of the City of Madison. Although you represent the city in its entirely, you alone have done this. Remember you alone ordered the removal of a privately funded monument in Forest Hill Cemetery and now belatedly seek approval from other city committees as a tacit endorsement of your executive and exclusive actions. You find the […]

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ANCESTORY

I come from good people. I always wanted a brother, until the day I realized if I got one he’d be a pest. That’s why this picture of my father and his brother as little boys is so funny. Dad’s wearing a play suit and a bowler sun hat turned up around the brim and his brother is head and shoulders taller beside the Island house. The sunlight always looks so brilliant, almost forced, as if it had the ability to burn the paper they used the print the old deckle edged photographs. It must have been necessary to give the film to the attendant down at the general merchandise store and tell him how many prints you wanted and wait a week or more for the development. A week didn’t seem like too long to wait for your pictures. I waited a long time for my brother. They never […]

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Second Tango

Tangos are danced in threes. The first an introduction. The second an unspoken vocabulary. Shall we? ♥ Tango One Hundred Twenty Five Once I saw you I could not forget. Love is eternal, created in a moment as life itself and living over time, but unlike life of flesh and blood, this life is spirit and lives without fear of disappearance. Tango One Hundred Twenty Six Let him be the high altar. Let me be the nave. Let him be the main entrance. Let me be the door by which the penitent comes to sit at the back of the sanctuary and says, “Have mercy upon me, a sinner.” Let me be anything in the cathedral of your love. Let me enter the house of God. Tango One Hundred Twenty Seven My darling, let me hold you. Your soul is mine. Do not fear sharing it with God and the love of […]

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Tango

“I find in life we get what we need most when we need it most.” Julie – The Tango Room   1 It proved difficult to find. Three times I passed on foot before the door appeared set back surrounded by an ivy covered wall. Entering, I beheld an angel. 2 “We try to decorate,” she said. “Saturday nights we have a social gathering. We dress. It really is a family.” Yet, if every wall were barren, every color drab, the atmosphere, the expectancy of ecstasy in motion would be here. The room, this empty room exuded promise. “Last weekend,” she said, “we had eighty people.” 3 “Not the legs. Not the arms,” he said. “With your body. So. Is this clear?” Then he began. Always with the understated elegance of a gentleman, un gentilhombre one might say. “You see, just so.” Teaching with a fine internal line of rhythm, […]

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One Hundred Roses

One Hundred Roses

Ninety-Seventh Rose Yes, my arms have held her. Yes, my eyes have lingered on her form. Yes, my thoughts have spiraled up and down the length and yes, the shapeliness of her. Yes, I forsook every other blossom and chose the rose.  

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