Saturday, February 27, 2016

Mama Nature Told Me There’d Be Days Like This

Overheard in the dirt, two flower seeds talking:

“Does this suck or what?”

“It’ll get better.”

“I don’t see how. It’s dark; it’s damp; it’s cold. Bugs crawling all over the place.”

“When we reach the sun—”

“What’s this sun you keep harping on?”

“Some roots told me about it.”

“And you believe it? Grow up, man. Great: another load of fertilizer just got dumped on us.”

“Everything happens for a reason.”

“Please. We’re rotting in the ground, or haven’t you noticed?”

“This isn’t all there is to us. Wait and see. Once we get to the other side, folks will be happy to see us. We will be beautiful.”

“Beautiful? Have you looked at yourself lately? Oh, swell: now I’m cracking open! Tell me again how this is a good thing.”

“Life’s a bitch, and then you bloom.”

“Have you lost your mind?”

“Go to the light.”

“Yeah, right…”

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

That Golden Rule Thing

I dreamed I went to Heaven and shouted, “Good news: It’s me!”
Of the few who noticed, no one seemed to agree.
They’d apparently confused me for someone not near as great,
So I trotted out my résumé to set the record straight:
“Every time the church doors opened, I strode right in.
Check out this perfect attendance Sunday School pin!
Get a load of all these Bible verses I’ve memorized;
No one got wetter than me when I was baptized.
My portrayal of a wise man in our live manger scene
Made the others look like amateurs, made Joseph turn green.
The choir members shrugged and said, ‘What do we even try for?’
My rendition of ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ was to die for.
Our preacher, he was pretty good, and many folks were moved.
I took notes and coached the guy; he gradually improved.
I tithed and talked a lot about how good that made me feel.
(You can write it off your taxes, so it’s really no big deal.)
Check out my credentials. There’s no hurry; I can wait.
Meanwhile, who’s up for a theological debate?”  

Saint Peter looked at me like he was trying not to puke.
He raised his hands and walked away; said, “You take this one, Luke.”
Luke! The very one Paul called “beloved physician.”
How apropos that he should diagnose my condition.
Luke said, “We are under orders to cut you lots of slack,
So follow this prescription if you want to come back.
You’ve a serious sickness; it’s sad, but not so strange.
There’s hope, but you must undergo a drastic lifestyle change.
You see, up here, you matter just as much as others did to you.
And according to our records, well, you’ve got some work to do.
You’ve logged a lot of miles in some doctrine-driven joints,
But up here, mere religion will not score you any points.
Your ego driven antics, man, are not that big a treat
To a person who is homeless or needs something to eat.
Someone who’s gone a month of Sundays sans a kind word or a smile,
Let’s face it: they’re not in the mood to stop and dig your style.
To a soul who’s only seeking peace, escape from misery,
Your hermeneutics do not mean skubala to a tree.”

Wide awake, I tried to shake that dream out of my head,
But there was Luke’s prescription lying neatly on the bed.
It said, “Get over yourself; wise up; there’s a better way to be.
Memorize and practice Matthew 7:12 and see.”

(Caution: Do not take on an empty heart.)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Reading Between the Lines

Hey, look at me when I was younger! Hey, look at me when I was cool!
I haven’t done much since I left, but I was hell on wheels in school.
Hey, here’s a graduation photo, voted most likely to be grand.
Nothing recent. It’s not my fault things did not go quite as planned.

Hey, look at me when I once mattered! Was I the cat’s meow, or what?
“Let’s see a selfie, something recent.” Oh, I’d really rather not.
But hey, look at me when I had hair! Hey, look at me how I was then.
Back when I had all my teeth, back when I had perfect skin.

Back before my flesh started creeping, I had pizazz and a winning grin.
Ere my tattoos looked like tie dye, I was muscular and thin.
Hey, look at me when I had a future. Don’t you dare look at me now.
Don’t look for me at the class reunion; love to see you, but holy cow.

I was shooting for the stars—six, five, four, three, two, one, Blast!
I’m not doing much these days, so I’m happy living in the past.
Hey, I’ll pretend it doesn’t matter; I’ll post a sarcastic cartoon.
I’ll smirk and roll my eyes at the screw ups of some other hapless goon.

Tell your folks I said hello; give your charming spouse my best.
Thanks for accepting my excuses and my Facebook friend request.
We once had all the time in the world; now the years sure do fly by.
I may diminish with each one, but I once was one hell of a guy.

Go on with your magic life; I’ll just stick mine on the shelf,
And be glad there is a place where I can recreate myself.