I talk you talk we'll talk


May 2016

That ‘70s Show

That ‘70s Show


The seventies were strange

Times—we were trying to find

Ourselves, though had to be

Told first that we were lost


We were the TV generation;

We drank Coke, the real thing,

And sixties protest signs

Became seventies pop art


I tried TM, tried to find out if

I am okay, because you are; I

Was too young for this, but it

Was the world we had


The generation before had

Failed us not simply for not

Respecting or responding to

Our questions but also for


Confessing that the life it

Would leave for us might and

Likely not be better than

Before (what the earlier


Generations owned)—we

Could protest with polyester

And acrylic, leisure-suits and

Lounge-lizarding; we could


Disco until we were done,

Then pack away our hopes

In a Star Wars kit bag, because

Leaving our universe back


And far away gave better

Light than warring over oil,

Other energies at home and

Abroad in new draft lotteries


Our cordless phones were

Bricks or in our muscled cars—

And something called the

Personal computer horizoned


We left narrow lapels and

Ties behind, prepared for E.T.

Calling, then Buelller leaving

Off the decade’s happy days

For the Squeaking Door I Don’t Have

For the Squeaking Door I Don’t Have


I make noises like a squeaking door

When I get up from sitting cross-legged

On the bed, where I’ve been tapping

On the laptop surface that sits in front

Of me, there


I make the noises verbally, that is—for

Now, my joints are fine


I don’t know, it’s my way to speak into

The silence and the solitude: a way to

Say, I’m here


For all the world to respond to, which,

Of course, it doesn’t

Psalm 42, song about who judges


Psalm 42

song about who judges


Lord, I hope

My enemies never

Have another good



Which is why

It’s good that I don’t

Judge with divine

Power but

Leave that up to



It’s your job

You do it perfectly

And Now One Is Found

And Now One Is Found


The Nigerian schoolgirls




How would we

Understand two hundred



How would such a number

Be taken without our



In what kind of truck

And to what place all



In our neighborhood-filled

Planet-parts, this is



From our earthen places

We cannot count



But in part we can’t believe

Not because it didn’t



Tragically, criminally,

Numerically—what transpired



And with our questions and

New trepidations here is her



Now we have her with

Child and husband on the fringes



We can understand, now

Perhaps, a new story of





While they were up there

God took them home

Not to be taken as a platitude

Anger remains below


Confusion, aching concern

Managing all that’s in

The brain and

The human heart

That breaks in the world


Around, while more loss

Is measured out

And poured over like

Ashes, reminders that peace

Is not on board

Above or on the ground


War of attack

War of flawed things

The first mark being profit

Safety will never work as second

Psalm 41, steward’s song

Psalm 41

steward’s song


You are God

Female and male

You are king


I am servant

And for work

I am steward


We are bound

Guardians and



Whose lord

Returns one day

To take an



What was made

And shared


For what we’ve



Psalm 40, song about the mind of God

Psalm  40

song about the mind of God


Lord, we think we know

You—and we don’t


Otherwise, everything we

Do would be waged in


Psalm 39, a psalm of lament

Psalm 39

a psalm of lament


Why must we kill each

Other, Lord?  Why is

Cain more of an

Example than a single



Your word tells us to

Love; yet you have

Commanded war, I

Know—does war work

When you are its



We kill each other in

Small ways as well


In kindness withheld,

All respect scorned,

And in quotidian

Wounding that will not

Subside, such is our

Wayward will


And lack of empathy


Keep showing us the

Better way, O Lord


And when we must be

Brutal, let us yield

The field to your

Strategy and control

Psalm 38, a morning song

Psalm 38

a morning song


A normal day, at last

Blue sky and green leaves

The air is cool


Ablutions and then coffee

I sit here

Bird-song is low


Maybe birds are taking

Time to let this day

Herald itself


I sit here

With a cool current on

My back and liquid warmth


Close by: you give me

This peace, dear Lord

And my heart


Only begins, with what

Capacity it has,

To thank you

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