Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Prayer of Healing--Prayer Brigade for America Version 

I open my eyes to heaven and see the gates leading to my family. These are the people of all the ages. They loved me before I even existed. They are my American Family!

There is no shame there, or brokenness. I am comfortable, calm and refreshed because I hear a beautiful voice singing these words and I know they are for me--the American Individual fighting in the struggle for Life, Liberty, And the Pursuit of Happiness:

Thank you Father for loving me.

Thank you Jesus for loving me.

Thank you Holy Spirit for loving me.

Thank you Virgin Mary for loving me.

Thank you Saint Peter for loving me.

Thank you Saint Paul for loving me.

Thank you Saint Joseph for loving me.

Thank you Saint Jude for loving me.

Thank you that you all welcome me into your arms of love.

Thank you God that I can rest in you and receive healing.

Thank you that you forgive my sins and restore my soul.

Thank you that you have put me in this world for a purpose: That I am consequential.

I will make my country a place that we all can be proud to live, love, and live in...

Thank you that when I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, You Comfort me and bring me beside the still waters.

Thank you for bringing light, health, and joy to my life.

Thank you for allowing me to love and share with others my rich American heritage of strength, victory, and compassion.

Thank you for being with me every moment of every hour of every day!

Thank you for keeping my spirits up and bringing healing and a smile into my life!

Now I wait in expectation for my healing and restoration. My America will be a place of love and respect where we all will work hard and build a great city of light and liberty to shine throughout all the world.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Tiffany the river raft queen. Part 2 

Sailed on a river raft,
Down the wide Missouri River.
One day she heard a scream down the from her parent's house.

Her friend Elizabeth was screaming.
Tiffany ran to the front of Elizabeth's house.

Elizabeth was crying--sitting on the ground:

"Tiffany, my kitty is stuck in the tree. Can you help me get her down?"

Tiffany had never climbed a tree before--But
She loved petting the kitty.
The little kitty was named Ambrose.

Tiffany got all the strength she could and then reached for the lowest branch,
Pulled herself up and went up to another branch,
Pulled herself up again.

Tiffany called for Ambrose to come to her.

Tiffany took the kitty and petted it for a while and then handed him to Elizabeth.
Tiffany climbed down the branches and then--
Day was at an end,
For right.

Tiffany, the river raft queen Part 1 

Sailed on a river raft,
Down the wide Missouri river.
One day she had to fight a dragon,
That was scaring away,
The little boys and girls of her friend, Jeilah’s, town.

The dragon’s name was Ralph.
He was a bully.
“Bully, you are a bully!”
The children screamed and then they ran away.

Tiffany got all the strength she could and then...
Day was at an end,
For right.

All I want to do is love you, darling. 

All I want to do is love you, darling.

All I want to do is see your face with smiling eyes.

And when the tears flow from your eyes,

May they be happy, or may I be there,:

To comfort you and be a friend.

And the lips of blazing fires will roar until the moonlight ends.
And willows brush,
It makes the bed of rest for you.

And the waterfall majestic flowing down steppes of time,
A dwelling of the free hearts waiting for you.

We'll one day see a group of children admiring the wine,
That grew from sweat and blood
And well used sinews.

My eyes grow dim,
My legs grow cold.
My heart is on fire,
The rest of me is old.

Weariness does not descend upon my aged brow.
The golden tongs of freedom inspire me, somehow.

A lily of flesh and bone,
And water of defends many stone.

A peacock of ten thousand little mother's dreams,
Swimming and laughing away to peaceful streams.

The many tired swelling of a daughter 'bout to birth,
The subtle glaring of a flower curled little girl.

I fly away and feel spray upon my dew-eyed cheeks.
My loved-one kindly says, "Goodbye,"
My lovely that knows by accident whom she seeks,
But lets me go upon my way further and in,
To heavenly gate from former that was so stained with grief not grin.

And burros fly and children laugh and the freedom is like a pear.
My lovely someday will gladly meet me there.

And my longing will be fulfilled as she always loves me until the sun arises.
And moonlight sets of lips on fire are cooled by the daylight air.

The darkness wants to 'get me' and tear me away from the rain. 

The darkness wants to 'get me and tear me away,
From the rain.

The blackness in this world wants to 'get me and mutilate,
Me, away from the rain.

I am sliding down a muddy hill and falling into an ocean of sewage.
My daughter is not born but her life is at stake,
By the poison trying to 'get me away,
From the Rain,
From the Rain,
My Rain, My Rain

It washes my dirty heart,
And cleans my dirty hands,
And eliminates the dirty hate in my head.

The rain ain't born to go away.
The rain will stay for another day,
The rain will hold your hand and shed a lovely tear with you.
The rain will lift me up,
The rain washes those in the street,
The rain gives chances to everyone I meet,
The rain sees a person the way a person should be seen.
The rain frees a person to how that person can be free.
The rain is my friend and will clean my filthy pig-pen.

I will come every day,
And sit in the rain.

I will not be dismayed,
But sit in the rain.

Ole, Ole!
I sit in the rain.

The bulls run by,
I sit in the rain.

The seagulls fly,
I sit in the rain.

The rain will restore my broken heart,
The rain will fix broken arms,
The rain will heal my broken insides and I will be with you.

I'll walk with the rain.
I'll talk with the rain.
I'll live in the rain.
Where I will be with you.
With the rain,
Always with you, My rain!

Friday, August 22, 2003

I will lay me down before the flood. 

I will lay me down before the flood,
I will lay the Terror down.
I will lay me down into the blood,
I need the cleansing found.

I will lay my life,
Completely cut--
And give it all to you.
You will come to me,
And cling to me,
And may I learn from you.

I will lay me down--
"My cries, my fears--
I will lay my body down.
I will call for your unending Power,
You will heal and bring me near.

Let me be a living sacrifice,
Of mercy to the world.
Let us serve and lay our bodies down

I will lay me down before the flood,
I will lay the Terror down.
I will lay me down into the blood,
I need the cleansing found.

I am empty, but you fill me.
I am empty and you fill me.

Would hope breathe in me the way?  

Laughing, laughing
Dancing abut in winds of love.

I was drifting through a crowd,
Slightly unseen,
Lightly unavowed.

Where would I turn?
Where would I go?

Is there anyone for me?
Anyone I know?
Would life give a chance for no remorse?

Would hope breathe in me the way?

A Tomatoe Story 

A fat red tomatoe
Rolled up the chimney.
He was ready to splatter himself
Against the pavement.

"My king is dead.
The end has come.
Honor departed.

I see violence stretched pulp
Strewn across the sky.
My, oh my, what have I.."

Hurace rolled off the chimney.
He imagined the slatter off his juice and seeds on the ground.
He imgined that soup Hell spooning him,
And rotting in a rich man's belly.

Hurace fell and cried and expected blackness and rot.
Rot, rot, rot, rot,rot.
Spaghetti, rot, empty belly juice sucking and torturing,
Hurace's half empty soul.

A tomatoe named Humphrey tried to catch Hurace.
This swell, Humphrey, decided to try to save Hurace.
Just for the thought of it--
That was the right thing to do.

Hurace crushed the tomatoe.
Hurace was saved.
He barely was bruised by the fall.

The other tomatoe called out to Hurace,

"Are you alive, I wanted to save you.
Life is worth living.
Be happy...I die."

Hurace felt his insides crush.
He wept bitterly over the dried tomatoe skin and paste.

Hurace decided to roll to his children's house,
And try to make a difference.

From a Red Tree: 

The rushing of the wind,
Blowing through my hair,
Reminds me of you--
You're coming through.

The sitting on the lawn,
The ending song,
Reminds me of you--
You're coming through.

Wake up sleeping giant,
Terrors in the land.
What will we do,
Where will we go?

We ever fight,
We need a hand.
Could it be you,
That pulls us through?

Raven black hair, sitting there
Watching the tear.
The end song is near,
I shed a tear--
No more fear.

Watching and waiting,
Losing the hating.
No more fainting,
No more waiting.

Hope to you,
Hope to you.
Longing for me--
Setting free
From a red tree.

When I see the robin feed her babies  

When I see the robin feed her babies
As I walk the lonely beaten path.
I will dream of rushing ocean waters,
Clear and smooth about me--
Around me, around me.

Little ones are snuggled by their mothers.
Tiny ones are nestled in their beds.
Dainty wreaths of flowers on the daughters,
And the boys they follow Father in his stead.

I long for the flowers simple and true.
I long for my birds to be saintly and blue:
Yet, the raven flies on, and the swan has a song,
And my scarlet is ibis, at times all along.

Many a day I walk the great big highway.
I walk the path lonely, dirty and pale.
Men beat me, cover me with refuse,
Stench and soot about me,
Around me, around me.

Long ago, I was snuggled by the mother.
My tiny ones were nestled in their beds.
Dainty wreaths of flowers on my daughters,
And my boys they follow their Father's stead.

But I know, yes I know that the,
Rain will come down and refresh us as a spring,
To the showers…
They will come and return us home.

Russian sounding songs coming from an old movie on TV 

Russian sounding songs coming from an old movie on TV.
The comrades hold hands and kiss each other for the glory of an old, fat red-faced mustache god.
And I wonder and dream…
Until I meet the daughter of a colonel.
She tells me of how she grew up.

I want to know her,
She wants to know me.
An iron fist of dollars, urine and American fear and hate
Shuts down the Internet and
Leaves my emails silent and cold.

My comrade does not answer,
Her lips are pale and still,
My comrade's fingers are stiff and cold,
Because she did not have the gold.

And I am sap of Democracy--
Allowed the soldiers to convince me,
That Red and Blood, Fist and Hammer,
Should cause my communication to stammer,
And bust the very nature of my being,
Into hate and sickness over someone named "Ling."

And I venture into a slammer of injustice, black-filled pain,
When once I dreamed of loving and caring,
And holding by a fire-place listening to the rain.

O Comrade will I miss you,
And will you have a thought for me--
A dreamer who tried to leave the dread,
Only to lose access to the world wide web.
To grow cold from desire, and Truman beer,
To end up wrapped in a flag of insecurity--dead.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

The singer, Eric, tries to remember a normal life.  

The singer, Eric, tries to remember a normal life.
He never thought that making money and doing videos
Would make him famous.
He does not want to be a "one hit wonder."
He, also, does not want to lose the childhood sweatheart,
He has never stopped loving.

Eric signs a contract to do one hundred shows a year,
At the Las Vegas Sands Hotel.
He thinks about the state of his career,
Is he a "Pop" star anymore?

His last concert four years later was almost empty.
His agent never calls anymore,
The chicks mock his long hair and wrinkle filled face.
It is true he has a few houses left,
But his life is empty.
Karen called last Christmas and wished him the best.
She talked of the PTA and her two children attending,
Elementary school.
Eric realizes the fame was not enough.

The next year the Internal Revenue Service forced him,
To sell off all of his property to pay his back taxes.
He still has an apartment in Pittsburgh,
And struggles to make a living hosting Karaoke bars,
Seven nights a week.

He has cut off all his hair,
Works in a soup kitchen in Chicago.
The alcohol consumption and cigarettes finally killed his,
Golden Voice.
His wife threw him out of the apartment after he cussed her out,
For throwing away his old albums.

He looks in the mirror at himself.
He has lost all of his teeth,
Stole the shoes he is wearing,
And contemplates robbing a liquor store for something cheap,
He remembers President Kennedy and the shows he sang.
He cusses himself and then sings,
For strangers on the street.
He notices that the day is extremely hot in New York this afternoon.
He takes a nap.

The city foot-patrolman calls the Morgue to hall the body away.
He hates to see the city streets littered with terminated people.
The body is deposited in a final unmarked grave.
The city goes on with the normal day's business.

Eric notices that he feels young again.
He can breathe and sing.
He does not understand what happened to him until,
He saw his body cold and stiff.
He begins to shake, wondering
What destiny is before him?

He hears a voice that he remembers as his childhood sweetheart, Karen.
He feels tears on his eyes,
Eric starts saying to himself: "I want to see her, I want to see her."

All of sudden he notices the smell of her perfume and a turkey.
He did not feel hungry, but he wanted to eat the turkey,
To feel normal, like he was alive.

Karen was cleaning up the kitchen with,
Her granddaughters and daughter-in-laws.
The Christmas dinners had been a success.
Her sons asked her if they could throw away her records,
As they bought her a new compact disc player,
And replaced most of the records with the newer versions.

She had a mist in her eyes,
As she looked at the Eric the Postman records.
She told her offspring that she once knew the man on the record.
Karen told them about how she once accepted his marriage,
Proposal only to see his career become more important,
Than her.

She had always wished the best for him.
She never from him since the sixties.

Her son, Archie, came to her and put his arm around her.
He told her that there was a recent bit of news:
Eric had died in a street in New York homeless.

Karen looked at her son and kissed him on the face.
"Maybe Eric will have more peace in the next life,
I heard it was difficult for him to live in this one!
We played together as children,
Went together during high school.
He was like candy to me, your father was a man to me.
Let us all wish Eric the best in the times to come.
Now let us go in and sing some Christmas songs. It is
Funny that a song that Eric wrote is now one of the most,
Popular Christmas songs in the 1990's.

The children sang.
Eric saw that the darkness was engulfing him,
He saw the flames and in a surrealistic fashion,
Heard Karen and her family singing one of his songs:

"I'll be walking with my sweetheart along the Christmas,
I'll kiss her lovely cheek with my heart.
We'll pass the Christchild's home,
And ride a Santa sleigh,
We'll be home before New Year's day.

We'll spend Christmas together.
We'll see and love our families.
I will never regret the beauty of being with you.

We'll spend Christmas together.
We'll see and love our families.
We'll never forget, nor regret the beauty of,
Christmas together."

[Dedicated to Chris and Annie Christopherson--my grandparents...]

Won't you try to understand?

I feel the sunshine on the back of my neck.
I listen to the waves flowing,
Over the thin, sandy shore near my house.
Okay, so it just an apartment,
Of clothes and old furniture.

I want the wine that is rich and deep.
It is not just the hue of the liquid, but the rest that the grape brings.

The river brings un-weariness to my sweat-marked, weary person.
I want to drink from the cup and eat the wafer,
But, instead I hold on to a set of values that advance my pain,
with little victory in sight through my raised periscope.

I want to sing in the choir,
Mow my lawn,
Kiss my dog.

The white fence needs to be whitewashed.
Can I paint, even the sepulchre?

I want to drink deeply of your love.
I need to forget the past and become a man.

Kiss my face and hold my hand.
I am willing to fight all Hell, if necessary.
I would rather watch the fights.

Shall I soar to the moon with you, my darling?
The moon could make a nice picnic site.
I don't care about anything else, Baby.
I must drink with you until I fall asleep.
Weep after the cows have come home.

I must drink.

It is eleven in the evening on Labor Day 

It is eleven in the evening on Labor Day.
The day was spent in too much sleep
With a little study and washing my laundry.

Tonight, I enjoy a little football,
While reading about editing words,
Using grammar and word meaning.

I turn on a videorecording of two lost people
Who find a friendship in each other.

While relaxing in the night,
I find that a cool wind is blowing into my bathroom.
I find the air is clear.
I feel that rest is near.

The air is coming.
It brings me to happiness.

I Love the Blood 

I love the blood,
The red cup filled with the
Overflowing mass of goodness.
Golden goblets, or wooden chalices never mean as much,
As the bloody wine,
That changes my veins into,
the Rood.

I need the blood,
The blue berry cereal comes from the redness in your arms,
Your side.
Let me learn to love the blood.
The cup.
The bread.
The body broken,

I need.
The Cup.
The Blood.
Blue berries.
Peach melba toast.
The Cup.
The Blood.

I, Percival of the Lakes, travel into a strange grotto... 

I, Percival of the Lake, travels into a strange grotto,
Filled with the incense of a thousand ripened rose trees.
I feel empty of all that I have known; yet,
Alive more than any man can bear.
I sit down a nearby boulder and listen to the sounds from the quiet.

Remember the passion of the Mother for her God,
The passion of the Mother for her Son.
Drink the fruit of this vine to remember,
And do not forget.

I am lying in a boat painted brown and white,
Floating on some stream within the grotto.
The woman sitting next to me is filled with brightness,
Her golden hair like wheat,
her piercing smile,
and, oh what, tender, fair eyes?
She gives me a sense of peace,
I fall asleep and dream of only one thought.

The woman in the boat with me wakes with a soft calling my name.
I don't know if she really called for me or if I was dreaming.
I begin to awake from my pine-filled sleep.

The girl/queen/warrior tells me her name:
I find her to be Rachel of the Seven Seas.

"Why are you hear with me?" I ask.
"Because you visited the Lion and the Lamb,
You have seen the Great Portion divided.
The little star has grown brighter in your eyes,
As you have traveled through the night."

Rachel gave me her hand and I walked with her from,
The water to the dry land.
I asked her for the Truth.

"I have always loved you from the day before your birth.
The angels cried when you came to earth,
They knew that someday you would find the Fire and Rain,
That would lead you to perish.
I have loved you from the beginning.
I will love you through until the end."

I took my sword and gave her the handle.
She kissed the blade.

"You will never see your family,
Nor visit your loving friends.
You will learn to love the battle,
Until the very end.
I will never let you fall,
Until you meet me in the house,
Of your fathers,
In the house of our love that you have drank,
From a cup of labor and daily bread."

Rachel kissed my lips,
She kissed my cheek,
She kissed my forehead.
She bid me farewell,
And told me that she would wait for me.
She told me that she loved me, loved me:
I would overcome for all times.

Every day I walk through the cities of men.
I travel in the boats of the gods.
I am fed by bountiful harvest of the daughters of Woman.
I can only share what I know, and what I have learned:

Remember the passion of the Mother for her God,
The passion of the Mother for her Son,
Drink the fruit of this boiling wine to remember,
And do not regret.

The army was never forgotten.
The war was at an end.
The victor had received a crown.
I wish to share it with Rachel.

Remember the passion of the Mother for her God,
The passion of the Mother for her Son,
Drink the fruit of this boiling wine to remember,
And do not forget me.

Jimmy Part I 

Jimmy had a desire to take a trip to the city of Paris.
He saved up his money,
His money,
His money,
Then took a flight on a United 767 to Paris.
The plane landed at Orly airport,
He took a taxi to his hotel.
The ride cost fifty dollars.

Jimmy was used to motel rooms from traveling in the States.
He never expected that a two hundred dollar room,
Would have half a bed and two toilets.
He did have a great view out of his window,
Of a back alley.
The streets were not too dirty,
And the bums were at a minimum.

Jimmy came to Paris by himself, as
He was sometimes considered a little different.
He sat at the cafes, waiting for a happening.
The waiters sneered at him and love to spill things,
On this "dumb" American.

Jimmy thought and dreamed for a kind soul,
To become his beautiful girl of Paris.
Jimmy never thought he would be alone in Paris.
He decided to buy a bus ticket to the south.
He arranged his trip to go to Libya.

He figured that a death in Africa was better than,
Watching his rotting flesh in his little,
Hometown in safe America where everyone thought he was,
Nothing and stupid.

He traveled to Libya through Algeria by bus.
Everyone on the bus touched some part of his body and gave him,
Gold coins.

Uncle Pete's Song (1998) 

This is the song that my nephew, Kenny,
Wrote for me after I have been dead for over a decade.
He identifies my sense of humor,
With the character of Groucho Marx.

What is the true meaning of his inquiries?
It must be something to do with a sense of loss in his life.
I learned over the years of my life,
How to save money and cut a little niche,
Out of life for myself.

I did pretty good with myself and married,
A good woman who I learned to love.
I missed her after she succumbed in our senior years,
To colon cancer.

We tried to have real relationship with her son and grandchild.
My wife, actually, was quite a young great-grandmother.
I enjoy the simple things now.
The tomato plants in our backyard.
Playing blocks with a young Kenny and his sister, Kristie.

I live in the words that Kenny is writing in this poemic,

I worked hard when I was young and stumbled,
Into a pretty good thing for my life.
I can say that I was happy and satisfied,
With the life that I chose.
It was a dark day the night that I screamed for help all night.
I was glad that Nancy came to visit me and asked me,
If I was prepared to meet my Maker.

I told her that I was prepared.
She prayed for me.
Kenny was recuperating from having his appendix out,
A few weeks before I died.

I wished that I could have more time.
I did miss Myrtle.
I had to live on my watch and Kenny has to live,
With the moments he has been given.

I appreciated that he was able to enjoy some of my Navy,
I never had a son that anyone knew about.
It is always good to think that you have left some impression,
Upon someone before you die.

I did leave an impression on Kenny.
He even wrote a poem about all of us in his family,
Called, "Everyone Loves Kenny."
It is also on his poetry archive Web Site.

I must leave and return to the heavens.
Now how many kids would say that I came from the other place of weeping.
I never smoked a cigar in front of Kenny in those,
Old days.
I did wash the dishes with Myrtle after dinner.
I had a cane that I would use as a steadying tool when I walked around.

I drove a pale blue Volkswagen and went,
Shopping for Myrtle and Mildred at the Long Beach,
Navy base.
I think it a shame that the Shipyard and base has closed down.
I think it is a waste against our national defense.
Of course I was a Navy chief petty officer.

Kenny has a hard time explaining that his mother, Nancy,
Use to visit us when she was a little girl for the summer.
I guess that I loved having children around for a time in my life.
It helped to rub off the rough edges in my life.

I have a feeling that Kenny will do well in his life.
He does need to think about money a little more.
Well, I was the money man anyway.
I wish Kenny well;
Especially, as he is writing the script for my speaking parts in this poem.
I think that he is an alright kid.
I wish him well.

New Socks: I keep falling in love with the wrong woman. (1997) 

I keep falling in love with the wrong woman.

I realized today that I keep falling in love with the wrong woman.
I truly believe that with God, anything is possible;
Yet, I fall in love with the wrong woman over and over again.

God in Heaven has protected me as I could have been destroyed.
All I wanted was their love,
I would have been satisfied to lose my dreams,
And follow their ambitions for me.
I just wanted a nice picket fence.
Now those women who rejected me:
They have shown me the Light.

You see, God allowed me to go through the past,
That I could really choose the way I would want to go.
See, when I was a little boy I sang a song,
“Is there anything I could do for you [God]?”

During these years God knew that I did not,
Have a clue about life, love and truth.
God protected me.

I could have married a sweet minister’s daughter.
Would she love me and respect me if I,
Painted Adam and Eve in the Garden in front of our children?
Would she still think I was the nice minister if I said,
“Love God, follow the right way,
Hate sin because it ruins you up really bad!”

I fell in love with an upper class woman.
She was svelte in her figure,
Had a Father who worked for National Geographic.
We could talk well together as friends.
She probably would not understand,
My desire to serve God or help the unfortunate.
Would the champagne that we both drank make us both hate each other?
She, the shallow: myself, the holy, (Was she really shallow?)
Or are the roles really reversed?

I could not find a friend here in this country, so I
Searched the world.
I fell in love with a missionary,
She did not think I was worthy.
I fell in love with a minister...
It was too late.
I fell in love with someone who tried to change me.... Because she cared.
For a few months, I became severely sick to my stomach.
I fell in love with the One,
It was not the time.

Yes, women have fallen in love with me and I have said, “No.”
I have felt that it was the right thing to do.
One person from that time on for years brought her boyfriends,
To my house to show them off.

You may ask,”Where is Jesus in all of this?”
He has protected me from myself.
Now that I am older,
My tree has, perhaps, grown a little stronger to bear additional fruit.

I still feel pain from my last love.
I wanted to be with her and her with me as much as I wanted to live.
Matter of fact, I have been trying to slowly kill myself off since my demise.

I don't kill myself with poison, or razor blades. I am more cautious, and evil.
I kill myself slowly with selfless acts of service, and over-prayer (Am I that pious?). I eat large-unhealthy portions of meat and drink vats of sodas and teas.
I work long hours in the name of some goal.
The goal being integrity, or is it really pity. I need to be pithy in my self-analysis,
I want to do fine; however,
I look for recognition.
I should know that I am valuable and loveable.

I over worry and over stress.
I spend too much money and I enjoy that---when I have it--on others most of time,
I get angry because I have created myself to physically look like a monster (am I a monster?),
And then get angry when others mock me as the Fat One.
Some women look at me at disgust,
Like I look at a bit-up 'ol possum.
(the comments are can't you eat better and maybe lose a little weight?)

I kill myself by writing poetry and sending it out to friends.
I not only get to work through my issues of death,
But I share them with others.
I do this so that, someday, we may all be alive,
In the perennial sunshine of God.

And then I paint little childish pictures,
I long to return to a time where love was real,
And childhood meant something other than drugs, babies, and shootings.
I cry in my paintings and share them with others,
For death, or for Life?

I think the painting is much more aesthetic and beautiful,
Than me paying money to some MSW,
To get healed of the dung that comes from MSW’s (or does it come from me?).
Painting to me, is a much better way to kill myself.
A wasted life is better than wasted time with a MSW (Is painting a waist?).

I feel my mother is proud of me for my growth in God.
I think she is happy with the direction that I am taking in this life.
I think my grandfather is proud that I am learning to work hard.
My grandmother is proud of me for living.
I don't know her that well to perceive what she would admire in an individual.
Maybe she is from the side of the family that is more open to failures.
I don’t know.

My sister is proud of me for me, and for trying to be strong.
I think she feels that I do not need to be too strong (why do I have to feel that people are proud of me?).

When you are alone,do not be afraid.
If you are not married,
Do not rush too fast.
A worse fate awaits the person, who is married,
Because they chose out of their needs,
The marriage is either dissolved, or a rotten one.

Sex is full for a short time, sin is but for a season, in a shinny sham of a marriage or relationship.
God wants your sexual relationships to be full for a lifetime.
Keep your head clear,
And allow God to steer you to a person,
You will love you for the rest of your life.
That person will be special, as they will say,
“I know this person well, they have a lot of faults that are minor,
Agitating, but basically, they are not violent and out of control
I choose to love that person for the rest of my life.”

A wandering fool/soldier is what I used to be.
He left in blinding fury.
Now ten years later, I miss him.
The only Father that I ever knew,
I miss him.
I don't miss him.

I want to try to be a better Father.
I hope my children will not guess how lonely and dysfunctional I am (are you dysfunctional in 2003?).
I still miss him.
Yes, I still miss him.
I don't miss him.

The angst in my soul is just a bunch of words.
Today, the muck is less "mucky!"
I am becoming De facto, De Foiled.
Maybe a non-threatening way to say it...
I am becoming more tranquil and accepting of my course.

The ugly is going away.
It is time for a new day.
I need to love my children and take care of them.
This is the plan.

Let us try it!

(Note---this is 1997...how I look at this today as foreign...much of it???)


The redhead gave her self to her husband.
The husband knew her.
The husband gave the woman a son.
The redhead could have aborted the son.
She didn’t.

The uncle of the redhead drank,
Alcohol until nothing was left.
This uncle died on the street.
The redhead loved her son.

The light rescued the maiden from the darkness.
The light rescued the son from the darkness.
The light ate darkness and until it was consumed.

My gay friend whom I truly love,
I rescue you from the darkness:will you come,
And live with me in the light?
Come out of the cold and sit beside me near the fireplace.
I truly do love you.
I remember when the boys beat you and mocked you.
I remember the salty tears upon your lips.
I kissed those lips and made them warm.
I made your heart warm.
Come sit beside me.
I’ll take you in my arms and be your mother.
I will embrace you in my arms and kiss you like the Father you never had.
When you close your eyes in death, I will take you home.
And now every day I will recognize you,
Give you favor in the day of today.

The Wedding Angel  

The little town of Smithville--in the Appalachian Mountains,
Of West Virginia--received a miracle on Christmas Day.
One never thought the challenged community,
Would ever see New Hope again:
Just dirty snow covering,
The once busy streets.
Silence filled the morning of the sweet birth day.
Many slept with no dreams.

The young couple came into a solitary Baptist Church,
Hoping the clergyman would make an exception and,
Marry them.
The old parson heard their tale and
Proceeded to complete the paperwork.
While writing, he thought about their story.

Two 18 year old children:
They promised last Christmas they would marry in a year.
Both parents had been killed in car crashes.
The boy lost his job as the town factory closed down.
The girl was unable to pay the mortgage on the family farm,
Lost the farm.
The boy worked in the coal mines until October,
His lungs started hurting.
A city worker with a ladder accidentally hit the girl.
She lost her three front teeth.
No dental.

The boy and girl live in a little one-room trailer with no heat.
They are not sure if they will last the winter.
They have tried to commit to each other.
They should receive the sacraments of marriage.
The minister completed the papers
And motioned for them to come to him.
He asked God for a miracle.
One that would change their lives and provide compassion and assurance.
That man asked for sickness to become well,
And mourning, sadness to end.

The old man closed his heart and knew,
There were no miracles.
He had them wash their hands and faces
For preparation.
He wished that he had fine clothes for them,
As they needed more than what was available.
A new coat was given and an old woman’s dress.
The wedding was set to begin.

The preacher cranked up the record,
A melancholy song played about lovers and friends.
He talked about the traditions of marriage, family and commitment.
Far above from this scene,
A messenger was released to bring a message.
The air was sweet as the Presence that descended upon the town.
Mothers and Fathers woke up and knew something special,
Was about to begin.

The mayor was approached and told that a great,
Wedding was in progress.
He called the key members of the community,
“Hurry and bring gifts and celebrations for the young blessed couple!”
The kitchens brought meals and the bakeries brought cakes.
Within an hour the town had mobilized to,
Provide celebration and safety for the Boy and Girl.
A wealthy realtor gave a house.
Mr. Dentist offered new teeth.
A hospital would provide healing and health for the children.

The angel walked into the midst of the holy church.
He told the Reverend his desires were answered,
Then the message was given to the young couple:
“The favor of God has come and rested upon you both.
Soon your hopes will be realized,
And your shame will be lifted from your hearts forever.
You will have a start.
You will give thanks for all the restoration.
Never forget the joy of Today, as the world celebrates your love,

Your beautiful love.
You will receive many gifts today.
Give to others and it shall be given to you.
Answer the door knocks from others and,
They will be answered when you knock.
Help others to seek, and you will be led as you seek.
Give love away and it will never leave you both.
Kiss your community and job everyday,
Let all bitter things flow away into a small river."

The Angel disappeared.
The Couple realized they were adorned,
With finer clothes than money could buy.
The Rector was dressed in clothes lined with pure gold.
He noticed the all the repairs had been made,
In the formerly broken down church.
The boy and girl jumped in excitement as they saw,
The church decorated with the finest decorations.
The mayor led the townspeople into the little church.
He exclaimed, “Congratulations on your wedding day!
We have forgotten that we love you both.
A danger for us all has now passed.
May you forgive us as we honor you.
We all can live, love, and give as a community,
As God ordains the rest of our lives.”

The Bride, The Groom, celebrated with all the people,
As the gifts were shared,
Everyone noticed that a new fruitful day was borne for the children,
And the whole town.
One wonders what miracles abound,
We close our eyes to celebrate,
When the party is all around us.
We need to live, love, breathe, kiss sweet lips, forever.


I believe in the laughing revival.
Some day I will laugh in great joy.
In my heart--that time is not here.
That time is for another day,
When no longer I sweat out,
The stinking days of a hot summer,
Where coffee stains the hot, wet, air.
And no more will I smell the despair,
In the little disappointed girl,
Who sits in a public bar,
Waiting for her boyfriend,
To finish the pool game.

She wants a little house with a white picket,
Fence...why can’t we ever learn that,
Only Jesus is the gate to that perfect world.
This little girl I saw while walking with,
A dear friend, seemed like lost Ophelia, a forgotten dandelion out of Season.

If I cried, I did cry on the inside.
I want to drink the fourth cup on that day.
On that coming day.
Until that day, I am only destined to mourn for the,
Loss that I see.
Yes, I will experience great days of happiness.
Like on my wedding day, and the first birthday of,
My dear child.
However, I still mourn as every day leads to death...
That is the only road to life and the end of decaying,

And now to a brighter subject.
The light of all lights,
Causes the darkness to flee away.
The children who were in the dark have now been,
Exposed to the light.
Will anyone catch them before either the sun goes,
Down, down, or the children--exposed,
Run back in to the dark ways.

Yes, you can feel good!
The toucan has lost his head.
The tire blew out on the way to debt.
The pigeon was slit for healing.
The fit was decompressed after it was,
Too late.
Too late.

The release never came,
The lemonade tasted sour.
Life comes to us.
Every morning.
Take your breath..
Thank your God.
Thank you, God.

I am rapidly approaching thirty years old. (1997) 

I am rapidly approaching thirty years old.
I, again, here the Good News, the Truth.
Like the singer from U2 sings,
“Wake up dead man,”
I feel like I am beginning to awake again.
The mountain of rubble pressed on me,
Is beginning to loosen, loosen...more,
Not so that I can be free,
But to be a former unloved slave,
Turning into a son.
A son.
I have to get up, right now,
I have a watery feeling,
But, I’m still a son, son,
Not unloved,but a son--
But a son, a son.

I approached the Dead Man,or,
Rather, he approached me,
And put out his hand.
I grabbed his hand, as in an act,
Of friendship.
His hand was strong and he looked,
Deep in my eyes.
He spoke and said, “Wake up,
Wake up.”

I began to open my eyes and see,
What I am, I am, I am.
You see, I pulled the trigger,
After calling him UGLY.
Then running, and shooting, and running,
And shooting and laughing, and yelling,
You see, I plugged him 36 times in the face, and hands,
Arms, legs, abdomen, yet, he was wounded for my,
IniquIties: because I was really the ugly one.

I shot his forgiving eyes and watched the blood flow.
Then I took a knife and stabbed, and stabbed, and
Stabbed--Tearing his shirt and clothes to shreds.
I yelled more, “UGLY, UGLY, UGLY
Why have you done this to me?”
His eyes, though in excruciating pain--
Managed me.

I went home and left the Dead Man for the dogs.
Worms Meat. I will soon be worms meat.
A diet of worms.
Only alcohol and speed can numb me.

As I am resting, looking for any kind of sleep,
Any kind of sleep,
Any kind,
The UGLY MAN, the Dead Man.


He grabbed my shoulder,
His face was scarred and hardly recognizable,
BY MY shameful, demented,
He grabbed me by the hand,
Looked at me in eyes,
And I started convulsing wildly,
And choking.
Vomit rised out of my lungs,
As tears violently purged from my being.
“Be gone from my son, son!”

I felt release.
My pants were wetted and the DARKNESS flowed AWAY FROM ME,
Like a green oozing putty.
Then the voice again said,
“Be gone from my son, son,
My only son in whom I am well pleased.”
I felt release again.

The thing tried to remain in me as a familiar friend,

I’ll send in the military for assistance on how I can DECEIVE my son, I am his DEMON-dad,
I have the right,
To emasculate him and make him FEEL UNLOVED AND NOT MANLY.

That was what my father always taught me.
He said that money could only buy happiness,
And curses on others could only bring the good life,
From our holy father, on Sundays, in our nice suits and dresses,
Praying to my friend, God.
He needs me because I am rich and I don’t need my,

Even with the familiar fiend,
I say-- “how can I share this DECEPTION with anyone?”
It must be shared so that all may become free!
I had the feeling that a cloud break was forming and I’m “Going to the sun,” like the U2 song says.
Do not weep, my lady.
The children of the latter ladder, will live.
No more sorrows will exist.
The children of the damned will be redeemed,
And finally come to the place of peace.
They will be damned no more.

But as I look deeper and see that I am a man with unclean lips and a broken heart that longs for libations and opiations, while realizing that those,
Curses, only bring me nearer to the brink of death,
And separation from the only one, not thing,
That ever cared for me, like Jesus.

And now I do not remember whether,
It was my own destructive nature, or DECEPTION,
That helped me to hate myself,
And fall short from being,
Like how the Dead man loves me.

For my words are like many drunk nights,
Though drink was far from my lips,
The pain of never measuring up,
Opiated and destroyed my hope.
I still believe...but, little in myself.
To love or not love myself,
As I feel bereft of hope,
Though I still hope.
I really do believe,
Though I lost my hope.
My hope.

It is important to understand that a prayer,
With shaking fits of laughter, and Barking and,
Whinnying like a horse--I do love and accept..
But the deep damage in my soul,
That causes every part of my make-up to be questioned and,
Requires deep tenderness, and true authority.
That is why the Dead man has had to walk up to me and say,
“Be gone, Be gone from my son, son,
My only son--whom I know.”

My friend, I love you,
So deep that you do not,
Even understand. That is why I will let
You pray for me, and I desire that your prayers,
(Especially, when you are praying in your closet for me.)
Will encourage me from the Chaos all about.

The Old Preacher from Sleepy Town, Maryland 

The old preacher,
Sitting in his easy chair,
Remembering the days of his life.

The tractor accident at the Bible College,
Where his hand and forearm were lost.
The bed in the hospital room,
Where he awoke to understand the hand of God.
His wife whom he shared his good and sad,

He remembered the salvation of many,
And the losses of a generation.
He was glad he lived in peace;
And kissed all he met these days,
In a humble loving, adoration.

I knew that old man,
He treated me like a grandfather.
He saw the future I had
And wished me nothing other.

He lived with pain and sorrow,
And grieved in prayer for children.
He will celebrate great victories,
And march with others on to heaven.

I will see the old preacher,
Leaping and singing and praising God,
In Glory.
And we will Embrace God.
And we’ll finally know what it is to Live
Kissing all our family,
A spectrum,
Without Shame.

This Summer I Think I Live In The Desert 

This summer I think
I live in the desert.
No more spring rains.
No more green grass.
No more peaceful brooks.

The heat reminds me of Las Vegas.
I like that dry heat.
I just didn't think it would make it to Kansas City.

Summer is burning and
I am loving it.
But there was a time in Wisconsin
when the snow was past my ankles
and my face was burned with cold
and I felt alive and breathing,
like my life was gold.

So when you're burning in the sun
and looking for the cool.
New pavement is bubbling,
Closed are some of the schools!
Remember that your beloved is,
near you and not so far away.
He'll always be like a freezer on a hot,
One hundred degree day.
And when the winter comes,
a time when darkness tries to flow:
Your lover will keep you warm and light,
and not afraid of snow!

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

A plan of living: 

It is a new day,
A new way,
A new flavor.
It is time for a new plan of living.
And you will never let me down:
As sure, as you wear a crown.

I hope to not forget your care through all my days.
Thank you for the remembrance,
Of my weakness,
And your faithfulness.

A plan of lving: 

It is a new day.
A new way.
Anew flavor.
A plan of living.
And you will never let me down.
As sure, as you wear a crown.

I hope to not forget your care through all my days.
Thank you for the remembrance,
Of my weakness,
And your faithfulness.

Such Love 

Such love,
Is so sweet.
Like little calves,
On their mother’s breast.

Like pine trees,
After a winter rain:
Full of dew.

Like a pretty girl,
Visiting Santa Claus for the first time,
Holding her Daddy’s hand.

Such love,
Is so sweet:
I love that love.

Its Gonna Be A Party on that Train to Heaven! 

It’s gonna be a party,
Gonna be filled with friends.
A fiesta through the end,
As we ride in our seats on that train.

We’re going up y’all.
My friends, but we must make a STOP!
On the bad sign of town.

We’ll pick up those judged ugly.
We’ll pick up the loud.
We will see the gangster boys come on board,
And the rap “hounds.”
Yes, there’s room for the chicas,
And hermanos, too.
Let’s make sure your ticket is paid.

I got on board in my nice suit.
Were in my seat.

I knew that I lived my life wrong,
Until an old preacher from,
Across the tracks came to me.
He sang me the song.
The good ‘ol boy got down on my knees.
People gave me hugs and kisses.

I Truly Have A Father 

You are the vast heavens.
You are the liquid in the streams.
You walk with me in an old churchyard on a dusty road.

I truly have a father,
You will let me hold your hand.
I’ll never be ashamed again.
‘Cause you walk with me,
As I overcome in this land.'

I ride a train in the city.
I pray for a bearded man.
He holds his wheelchair in place,
With a railing in his hand.

I truly have a father,
You will let me hold your hand.
I’ll never be ashamed again.
‘Cause you walk with me,
As I overcome in this land.'

Sitting in a Boardroom on the 27th floor,
Laying sick in the street.
Being forced to be half naked,
Wishing to be discreet.
Crying on a bus all alone,
Unable to walk in your own home.
Sleeping in a depressive state,
Being a death row inmate.

A priest who is in love and wants to marry.
An innocent tormented with as strap.
A child lost in drugs for someone else’s profit.
Boats, Cars, Houses, Clothes from
Cash, Cash, stolen merchanise, lost sight.
A revolutionary fomenting a riot,
Without bread or a bath.

I truly have a father,
You will let me hold your hand.
I’ll never be ashamed again.
‘Cause you walk with me,
As I overcome in this land.'

I truly have a father,
You will let me hold your hand.
I’ll never be ashamed again.
‘Cause you walk with me,
As I overcome in this land.'

You prepare a place for me.  

You prepare a place for me.
The sun will rise (Rise.)
The sun will set. (Set.)
Days pass, Days move on.
You prepare a place for me.

You prepare a place for me.
The wings of God,
Fly to us.
Cows come along,
Seagulls beside,
Robins to and from.
Gators’ and Ostriches and Elephants,
You prepare a place for us.

If I could be a rose in your garden 

If I could be a rose in your garden,
If I could maybe, be a baby tree.
More water is given to the those who are, Needy of a drink,
Drinking you.

If I could be the cup of your wine.
If I could be the grain of your bread.
Maybe I could be the hay,
In the manger for your head,
For your head.

But I wake up in the Morning and need,
To feel your breath:
I see your loving eyes,
Supporting me.
I am empty and lonely,
Needing your sweet caress…
Holding me forever,
In your love.

My loved one,
I give you an apple for pleasure.
An apple filled with honey for all time.


He came upon a time.
One pillar had gotten married,
Another had moved to the Ocean,
And Jimmy to a different road.

He was alone.
Looking for fire,
Or gas for his engine.

A kite flew by,
His spirit was lifted,
He clung to a life buoy,
Until the clouds went away.

He went to the orange farm,
And saw an apple pie
In the clean locale.

Only the brightness,
Could fill his life.
Tears would flow,
But He would walk,

Even Alone,
Is a perceived Anti-reality.

Eternal Love Is Not Fleeting 

Lilac Water,
Splashed upon skin.
Delicate fingers,
Flowers of purple, yellow and red,
Adorn the crown.

There were times,
Of illness, bad humor.
Weariness broken,
Day heart not taken.
There will always be love.
Eternal love is not fleeting.

Boise City, Oklahoma Apr 11, 1998  

The little town in the Prairie,
Closes down when it becomes dark.
The travelers and the truckers either,
Check-in to local motels, or travel down the one-lane state highway.

I settle in at my little room at the Longhorn Motel.
The night is calm, the sky is clear.
An Oklahoman moon looks down at the friendly folks,
And their bountiful farms.

Kathy brings my Chicken Pasta dish to my table at the Pizza Hut.
She wears a big smile after laughing with two guys at another table.
She is still young, happy, and filled with promise.
Supper in Boise City satisfies my hunger.

The East Indian innkeepers wish me a pleasant night,
In the quiet plains turned purple.
Farmers sleep near to their crops and soil.
It, truly, is well.

Dancing around the campfire 

Dancing around the campfire,
Singing songs of my heart to my friend.

It reminded me of a time,
When I was not always happy,
But now the light glows,
I can see clear skies
Around the island.
My ship is safe in the harbour,
And I am not alone.

Dancing around the campfire,
Singing songs of my heart to my friend.
Always leading,
But never alone.

We Worship You! 

As we come today before you.
As we walk into you house.
We will sing with open hearts,
We want to love you,
To love you…
Jesus Our Holy Lord.

We worship you,
We raise our eyes and receive your most Holy, tender care.
We worship you,
You love us, and we’re most down, you say:
“Don’t be afraid.”
We love you, you love us.
You Love us, We love you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Algerian Songs 

Sitting in my room.
Staying at the house of my sister.
The window is open and she is gone.
The warm spring air breeze,
Filters into my refuge and reminds me of times,
Of little girl’s toys and peppermints, mixing
With rich scents of elixirs and spices.

The sunshine lights and,
the brass orange stands in my world, where
Agatha held my hand as we walked in the open air market.
She cried at the excitable birds that chirped and sang at,
The open tops of the tents.
The world was new and exciting for her. She
Drank the potion as it was stirred and poured.

Beggars asked and moaned for alms.
We were warned by the guards to avoid the lecherous thiefs that,
Masqueraded as humble patriarchs in a hard world.
Algeria had grown turbulent these days.
The great teacher had persuaded the religious elect to,
Sponsor a great contest that would choose the new leader,
Of the desert--The government did not welcome this news.

Arresting the great teacher caused riots and
Threats. President Amman, eventually, proclaimed the
Contest would,
Begin on June 1st and end on July 25th.
The throne of the Ancient Pearl would be established on July 26th.
The contest proved to be an exciting event.

Men came from all over the world, performing
High feats of strength and wisdom;
Daring acrobatics of the first degree.
Magicians flew, Lions and bears were tamed.
Bombs shot through and decimated target buildings--just for the
Sake of the entertainment and recognition needed for the prize.

My associate,
Hakeem came from a small town on the edge of the desert.
If I would have been close to him,
I would have seen his great anger:
A bitterness that burned with such fury,
It could not be quenched.
As I later learned,
It was not beneficial for Hakeem, Agatha, or I.

The military ten years ago attacked the small desert village,
Of Akbar (Hakeem’s ancestral home) and,
Killed his wife, child and parents.
Hakeem’s family lived in that town for a thousand years,
But the unjust leaders in that region forced all persons,
Including his older uncles and aunts to vacate the premises,
As the city was given to a religious leader:
One known as the Great Teacher.

I came to this land to develop project teams for,
Telecommunications installations throughout the country.
I was requested as the French Utilities Board,
Mandated all national and international business,
To upgrade communication devices and security due to,
Regional instability.
Most French and Algerian firms refused to assist,
These local businesses.

After being in the country nine months,
My wife passed away.
She was on her way to work,
And a semi-truck lost control of its,
Brakes, while on a large hill in San Franciso.
My daughter stayed with my parents for another six months,
But that was too long--
She needed a daddy and missed her and my wife terribly.

Our family and I decided that she would,
Stay with me for a month every three months.
I sent Hakeem and His new wife, Janece to,
San Franciso for a two week vacation and,
A return trip with my daughter.
We all decided that my daughter would be safe,
As she had the look of an Algerian national.

Her dark brown hair and brown,
Olive skin fit in well with the rest of children,
Of nationals at the American school.
You see, my wife was an Algerian student at San Francisco State,
University for three years, and we graduated together.

I learned over the last ten years,
A version of Algerian-French and, also, of
Much of the culture.
That is one of the reasons why,
I was selected to come,
And try to save a nation.
Hakeem and Janece arrived with,
The only jewel of my life, Agatha, on June 26th.

Little did I know that while in my hometown,
Hakeem met with several exiled leaders of his,
Former community and political persuasion.
These comrades made a pact that they would end the contest,
And settle the old accounts with the Great Teacher.
I greeted my friends with hugs and kisses,

And Agatha with gifts and love, my deepest love.
Little did I know that this friendly couple,
Held my life in their hands.
I did not even have any control over the life of my daughter.

Hakeem was in charge of hiring,
A team of electronic and telecommunications professionals,
In the first year of the project we had completed ninety-percent,
Of the task.

My wife had always mentioned in our early years,
That any industrial undertaking in Algeria would,
Take three times longer to finish,
Than in the United States.
I was surprised that progress of the project was three years ahead,
Of my conservative budget and time estimates.

I was amazed at Hakeem’s skill at directing,
And managing several different operations all over the country.
It seemed that he always knew when trouble,
Occurred--He stopped any interruption of the work,
Within minutes.

He was limited in his foresight in the design process,
Of the new national communications links.
For months Hakeem tried to convince me that,
One central location trigger was necessary for control,
Of the nation.

I always came back to logic and taught him,
That centralized systems would be a disaster.
We designed forty-two COMM centers in the country,
And then three Satellites with the main trigger functions,
In Paris, Brussels and San Francisco.

The systems were not designed for the foreign offices to be able,
To shut down communications;
But to override any kind of national breakdown,
Or terrorist attacks on the main,
Communications networks in Algeria.

On July 4th, all of our teams gathered,
At local sites througout the nation for a great celebration.
The project was finished:
Years earlier than planned.

For the last few days, I conferenced
With all of our site managers to confirm that,
All was completed.

On July 3, I authorized the party,
And planned to personally to tour every new facility,
Over the next two weeks.
I just did not understand what had happened:
Was my wife’s insight incorrect?

The French Board asked me to stay until August 1st,
To review the final adjustments needed for the new,
Communications network.
Some of the work sights were in dangerous parts of the country:

Hakeem accompanied me with several assistants,
While Janece taught Agatha her lessons.
Whenever I returned from my trips, I found Agatha dressed,
In Algerian childrens’ styles.
She ran to me and jumped into my arms and kissed,
Her daddy.
I was reminded of a better time with her mother.

On July 24th, Hakeem traveled with me to a far,
Outpost in the Sahara Desert.
When we arrived at the COMM center, I noticed
Most of the workers to be gone.
“The crowning of the new ruler has almost forced a shutdown.”
Hakeem almost seemed excited; yet, very calm.

Hakeem gave me a tape recorder when I did some test work,
Underground, near an electrical transformer.
The tape played some traditional music for about a half-hour,
Then the music stopped and the words and began to hit me--
“My friend, thank you for assisting me in becoming,
The new leader and friend of all in this country.

Under the guise of additional Telecommunications,
Installations, I have put together a network of people,
Committed to a new form of government in this country--
A benevolent dictatorship--

You have been my friend and have taught me much,
And now I repay you with temporary evil for your kindness.
Do not worry...your daughter is safe.
Matter of fact, we have arranged for her,
To become our daughter.

There are plenty of supplies where you are and we will,
Come for you in five days.
At that point, you will be flown to England.
Goodbye, ny friend we will probably,
Never see each other again.

Agatha will remain in out care for the next,
Two years until we can safely transport her,
To be with you. Goodbye”

My heart stopped...I cried aloud and ran to,
The phone center...Nothing, everything was dead.
The next 24 hours were a blur--

A camel was left a mile from the COMM station;
I rode to a nearby town and hired,
An old World War I byplane for travel.
I fought bandits who later told me that,
Hakeem was trying to stop me from finding him.

I swam across a four mile river,
Only to awake covered with sweat and shivering as,
A young Algerian woman told me how Hakeem,
Had his knife by my throat; yet,
Let me live for some unknown reason.

I arrived in Akbar on the afternoon of the 26th of July.
The city was overcrowded in anticipation of the crowning,
Of the throne of the Ancient Pearl.
I assumed that where the Great Teacher was staying--
Is where I would find Hakeem.

Two hours later, just before dusk,
I found the Great One.
He was seated in an old 1950’s version,
Of a Lazy-Boy chair from the Levitz’s,
Furniture chain.

Then I saw Hakeem as he approached the Great Person.
Hakeem bowed and seemed to be speaking,
To the Great Personage.
A minute later, Hakeem yelled to the crowd,
“The contest is complete,

To the victor goes the spoils,
The Great Empire of the Ancient Pearl has risen again.
We live in the era of the sun.
The sun. The sun. The sun. The sun.
I now present you the victor...

In the crowd is Mr. Justin...
Please come forward.
I was shocked, why had Hakeem called me up,
To the front of the crowd?

Akimba Natalie, one of my assistants pointed me out to the crowd,
(Akimba is a hardworker, I really like, originally from Nigeria).
Several young men in long beards rushed and came and bowed,
Before me...They set me on an ancient chair and ran me up to meet
The, the, the...
The Great Personfication,
The Great Alliteration,
The Great One,
The Great Oxymoron.

I walked and shook hands...he bowed and,
Shared with the crowd,
“My children, this man is my equal...
He is a Great Man, The Great One.
He is the only one deserving the Ancient Throne of the Pearl.
While the whole nation sought war, or
Politics, or terrorism...

He sought peace.
While we reveled and awaited a leader,
He built a network of communication.
He lost his wife and his child while,
Trying to save our land.

President Amman, come here and assist me with,
The crowning of the King of the desert.”
I interrupted the ceremony by saying,
“You have selected me to be King,
But I am a broken man, my only skill is managing,
Multi-national projects without a hitch.”

The great one replied,
“It is time for you to manage this nation under God.”
President Amman added, “It is time for us to reveal the truth, now.
Hakeem is now coming with your daughter and,
two other woman. One is Janece,
The other woman is...”
I yelled between tears and ran, “ Jatene, my Jatene, my wife.

I thought you were gone...Thank God!”
We then embraced.

The Great One sang with Hakeem, Janece, and President Amman,
As the crowd listened and then sang,

“Our God in Heaven gives us one life.
He allows our feet to roam, searching for anchors.
When we are ready, He gives us the ability to work and love.
We kiss our children and build for today and tomorrow.
We can share with our Family, the fruit of the,
Heavens and peace on earth through the heart.

Sing to the Creator and the Ancient One.
He has brought to us a Pearl of Great Price
The Leader we will present to all the nations,
Has proven himself because of his love for his wife,
Daughter, Father and Nation.

We will see a future,
That will not be pure, perfect;
However, it is time to make the law, Love.
Deep within our natures.

Cheer for your friend, Mr Justin.
The Crowd left happy that evening.
Mr Justin restored the Communication Networks that night,
And shared of his good fortune.

The announcement brought hope to the world as Mr Justin,
Announced that elections for Parliamentary seats would be,
Held in a year and,
Peace needed to rain for the country to become healthy again.

President Amman was sent with The Great One to,
Washington D.C., to negotiate with President Clinton,
For the Algerian Infrastructure Act of 1997.
This bill, as you are aware, brought jobs,

To most of the unemployed workers in the region.
President Amman stayed New York as the United,
Nations represenntative, as The Great One,
Became the Paris Ambassador who,
Discussed better ways that French relations could improve.

Hakeem became the chancellor and Prime Minister of the Algerian,
Government-- His strength was his ability to organize,
And make decisive decisions for positive results.

Akimba Natalie remained chief advisor to Mr Justin
(The people always called the King, Mr Justin),
The King used his expertise to modernize a nation and,
Instruct the people how to grow and maxmize their daily,
Lives...in working, sharing, caring, and laughing.

Mr Justin brought his sister over from.
San Francisco and found her a house,
That was peaceful and quiet.
Where birds could chirp and sing beautiful,
Bird songs.

Mr Justin would go and spend non-working days at the house and,
Wait for his sister to return from the American School,
Where she taught History.
Mr. Justin would sit and be thankful,
And ask for help.

Then he would think a thought,
Similar to...
“Sitting in my room.
Staying at the house of my sister.
The window is open and she is gone.
The warm spring air breeze,
Filters into my refuge and reminds me of times,
Of little girl’s toys and peppermints, mixing
With rich scents of elixirs and spices.”

Sunday, August 17, 2003

I Sang To The HIM one night in San Francisco 

One night in the San Francisco seedy Tenderloin,
I felt pretty bad about myself and did not want
To be alone again in my quiet room.
I decided to go to a little trendy,
Coffee bar near the low rent district where I live.

Ten blocks of walking took me to a place called,
'Kerouac’s kitty', I never knew much,
about the old thing-- Could have been,
Kovac’s for all I know.

The place was filled with little girls wearing braids and,
doll outfits. Some men, I think wore those green outfits,
But most had on tye dyed shirts and 70’s jeans.
A young gentlemen stood at the lectern on the stage and,
Preached, or proclaimed, with charismatic fervor,
The thoughts of his life, and loves.

He was well dressed and kept. Like a raven.
He spoke as if education and learning came easy to him.
At times tears would come to his eyes as he spoke of his mother,
And sisters that lived in a small town in Indiana.
He spoke of a better way and time,
Where there would be no poor,
No sorrow or slum.
Where races would play together on a warm summer day,
Out in the street reaping the benefits of a fountain from a fireplug.

The young children gazed at him dreamily.
They ate the cornucopia of love that he eschewed.
They chewed the steak and meat and finished it off,
With a light second of veal, gravy, and soup of split peas.
The world was descending to a sweet drift of sleep and
Heavenly peace, when the boy said, “GOD is dead!”

The tormenter began to seethe on the words as his,
Bloodshot eyes almost sprang out of the sockets in his head.
The children jumped up and shrieked and yelled as he encouraged,
By saying, “end, end end...GOD!”
I did not understand why they would curse GOD if he were dead.
They must have acknowledged His existence, but felt that He did,
Not perform the goods, or give the life. I do not even think the
Comprehended the implications of what they were screaming.
They were admitting that they believed, but felt hurt because he died
Never came through with his promises.
These young friends were convicting themselves of either being just
plain ignorant,
Or extremely at a loss for using a better argument of reason to rebel.

I thought to myself that every generation seems to be at a loss for,
Expression. Suddenly,
I felt strange and animated. The iced Irish Bohemian decaf seemed to
be playing,
With my insides, my heart, head and vocal chords.
My lungs lunged violently through my shoulders and I jumped into,
The crowd and almost sang:

“You squids, Can you Listen to HIM. Do you know
Do you feel, HIM?” Do you know--THE HIM?” Can you feel HIM?

The crowd began to shout, “No we don't know you or HIM!”
The raven man flew at me.
A bald guy with a chain around his neck,
Hit him with his fist and knocked him down to the ground.

For fifteen minutes, the wind flew through as I cheered, "Do you know
HIM? HE loves you!
Do you know HIM?”

The crowd raised its hands and lit cigarette lighters, candles,
The band started playing as all the children began to collapse on the
floor and weep.
The singing and raising of hands continued for an hour, first with the
chorus, "Do you know HIM?”
Then with a song that a girl-child of sixteen sang over in peaceful

It began like this thought:
'The children of the damned can be loved, forgiven.
The forgotten children will be restored.
We can receive the shiny toy we never got for Christmas
We can have a pear and love.'

That night started an unbelievable sight as curses were sung to heaven
and then,
Praises to God were sent up!

Many of those kids came home with me and lived in a better state for a
long while.
The speaker even changed after his jaw was broke by that bald guy.
I will never forget the first night I sang to the HIM!

My restless night of sleep 

My restless night of sleep,
I take my clothes off and sleep in my soiled shorts.
The air is sweaty and humid.

I have to get some sleep--I haven't slept in three days.
I breathe deeply the stale, stench-filled air and close my eyes.

Heart-beat: beat, beat--my heart rips through my bones and cavities of
my inner self--- beat, beat. beat, beat.
I think think, think of my work--I am so behind! I gotta catch-up-- I
need a vacation vacation. Breathe--inhale--exhale--inhale-exhale--
Shoooo----waaaaa!, Plimble, Shoooo----waaaaa!, Plimble,, plimble---I
Shoooo----waaaaa!, Plimble, Shoooo----waaaaa!, Plimble,, plimble---
I sleep. To a different--whipsaaaaa, schnuuuuuchwaaa--in the night,
Shoooo----waaaaa!, Plimble, Shoooo----waaaaa!, Plimble,, plimble---
Swim out my, my house.
Shoooo----waaaaa!, Plimble, Shoooo----waaaaa!, Plimble,, plimble---
To get out of the rain--flood, Shoooo----waaaaa!, Plimble!
I breathe a necessary piece of thick, air.
Shoooo----waaaaa!, Plimble!

The sun rises and I awake from my restlessness.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Loves Me 

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Loves Me
For the Bible, Bible, Bible.
Tells me, Tells Me, Tells me.

A little girl selling roses outside a McDonalds in Chicago, Chicago,

Jesus loves the little one, little one, Little ones.
The Bible tells me,
Sew a little sock together for a child in Africa.
Sew a frock together for a young mother in Istanbul.
Sew one feather on a bouquet of daisies.

'Cuz I want to walk with you.
And I want to talk with you.
And I want to see your little face smile my dear.

Sew a child together with your life.
Sew a child together with your love.
Sew a child together with your golden thread of care,
And be my God, My God.

I love you my darling 

I love you my darling,
I am willing to postpone my life with you
Until I get to the other side,
With God.

You are my joy complete.
You are seaside to my shore.
Yet I will wait
Because I truly love you.

My Family: A few scenes 

“Those people who have grown old together and feel like they were part
of something…family comes back to you. No matter how you feel, in
family there is the face of God. In the strength of family is the
beginnings of all that can be good.”

My great-aunt Mildred took me on my second “big” trip back in
1976.This was the year of the “bi-centennial” of the United
States. My aunt took me to Miami and then we drove up the state
to a Ladies sorority conference (whereI first learned how to dance
“swing”, although my grandparents are famous for the “jitterbug”) at
Orlando, Florida. It rained at Disney World. We then flew to Washington
D.C. and drove to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. My first trip was with my
great-uncle Pete and my great-aunt, Myrtle to Hawaii in 1975.

Riverside, 1978 and 1979.

We lived in a hotel for a few months. Mother cooked Thanksgiving
turkey in a 70-year-old stove and when lighting the pilot almost blew all of
us up. She singed the hair on her arms and face. We finally lived in
a new house in the La Sierra area. You can see how young Kristie
is…and I wanted to be J.R Ewing from Television series, “Dallas.”

I will speak of the quiet moments 

I will speak of the quiet moments, quiet moments, quiet moments.
In the dawn of my tears, quiet moments--of my tears.
I will sing of my private feelings, private feelings, private feelings,
Quiet moments of my tears, of my tears, of my tears.

I am not a common man,
Who lives in a hole with a cot?
I do not try to kill myself, or try to drink myself.
To death, with a lot of rot;
Yet, early on in my advancing youth,
I began to read and write and see the visions through my eyes,
A developing kind of sight.
I began to look for the quiet moment, moment,
And feel for the private feeling s, feelings and see,
And long, and See and long,
Untile even dreams began rich with their Metaphors,
And Similes.

And still I look for the quiet moment, moment, moment--
And sing to the lanterns of heaven in the sky.
Singing for the ultimate founding, founding...
A rose who never pass by,
But live and be free to grow in rich soil and thrive.
Well meaning lives--
Purposes the new feeling, feeling, feeling,
As I look for the quiet moment, moment;
Seeking the wren I find and hearing the wondrous songs,
Of a beautiful age gone by, gone by.

The Immaculate is of our concern and not of our concern;
Yet, I look for the quiet, quiet, quiet,
And sing for the robin-bird.

The victorian Poet Christina Rossetti sang a wondrous,
Music of piety and other-wordliness:
From another time.
Her dear words warm the cold heart of mine as the literature draws me,
To the “Hound of Heaven,”
My God.
The Lady rejected the marriage offers of suitors,
Due to issues, supposedly of Theology...
The “Crowning of all the Sciences.”
The Lady, ill and alone,
Warms my heart as hope soared and she is at rest, this century, at

But, say I..., is there anyone whom warms my heart as Ms--
A pritzl here and a Pritzl causes the burning to never cease;
Yet, all is from the Angelic Lion with the golden hair.
I am the Dragon and the Claws tear deep into my soul,
And the priggish little boy is released to a better state.
And yet, a flower blooms in this time and century;
When I thought all was a loss and an orchid was led into sin and,
Humiliation on a cheap Hawaiian Sunday through Thursday vacation.

“ But, O heart, heart, heart where on the deck,
Lies the cold body of my Captain,”
Sang the dirge of the late Walt Whitman.
My deck seemed cold;
Yet, on the deck where my Captain slept,
I wept and He arose again and flew, not fled.
Bled, red, from the head;
Yet, on the deck where Mein Kapitan listens to his favorite Waltzes,
From the Tijuana Brass.
Herb Alpert releasing the sweet sensations of the cool flavor of pop
60’s Ballad Jazz--
Yes. Yes. YES! YES!!! YES!!!!!!!!!
The dream does live, live on, live on immensely, overflowing.
Do you hear overflowing..., Overflowing..., OVERFLOWING!!!
Running out of the sink all over the floors causing the Ants to go down
Ground to get out of the rain.
Dum, Dum, Dum,
“The ants go marching one by one, Hurrah!”
Although one part of my family came from Memphis, Tennessee,
Do I care to watch the separation that still occurs today?
I cannot stand it, I would rather not lose an arm for the change--
I am weak; yet, I do wish I was in the land of Cotton,
But I do not want to whistle “Dixie,” but cry out a silent prayer of
healing to a,
Little mommy, irreparably damaged by the ravages of time, and lost
fragrances of Youth.

The world is renewed in the Almighty’s eye.
The storm passes by those Unattached.
A heritage of Christina Rossetti lives on to inspire a new generation,
In far lands, like Puerto Rico, Vallarta, Chicago, Tanzania, Rockville.
“Never forget your humble beginnings, my daughter.”
The wreath around your head is clean and majestic.
A shame is like second hand smoke artificial contamination.

When all is said and done,
Do not forget you are loved.
When the battle is at its greatest pitch,
Remember the stranger who hugged and helped you to stand.
When you are sick and ill, be not ill, at ease--
You are my dearest comrade and I love you.
In a official and unofficial way.
We all feel afraid to open wide the floodgate in our hearts.
The soft touch of the Eternal will come us down,
And free us to be the loving, touching, feeling, playing person when I
was five.

Lilac water brings back fond memories,
Water is pure, and allows me to thrive.
I would, rather, not die--Seek and be alive.
Not astray.
Come with me and we will walk to Heaven and see our loved ones.
In a lightning flash it will all be over.
Then I will be Happy.
To walk hand in hand with you,
And we, with are Father.
We do not walk into the sunset as the sun,
Shines from the Bard’s impeccable brow.


I met a young woman the other night named Annie.
As soon as I understood that she was recommended to talk to me,
I realized my age.
For a split second I saw myself as the old weird artist,
Maybe even a washed-up wannabe writer.

Then light hit me and my eyes opened.
I saw Annie:
She was dancing and leaping through her life,
With the grace of a (as some would say) gazelle.
I would prefer to compare the vision of the dancer,
To the movement of many ballerinas in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet,
Dancing with passion, fire, fervency, loveliness, peace, and solitude.

When the grey times come,
And the loud music ceases,
Annie bends into a place of rest waiting for a new tempo;
Listening for the flowing words to come again.
Then the viola strikes a chord and the orchestra renews the theme of
the lifetime:
Annie’s song.
The shining daughter soars through night,

Flying on an airplane to the next destination,
Of her life.
The black gown emphasizes,
The feelings, the healing, the dealing,
And free and full of hope.

This is just the beginning young queen in-waiting.
The coronation day is; yet, to come--not far away.
The knight will assist on your journey,
To the kingdom on high.
The High King will crown him, Lord and present,
The hand of queen Annie.

The waves from the ocean rush upon the rocks around,
Kilkenny Castle, the fortress of the holy, devoted ones.
The pain of birth is measured, in full, with joy,
And great celebration.
Many dancing children come forth and the Queen,
Sings a beautiful song of happiness, expectation, and tribulation.
She says the best is always bittersweet.
Without the dark times, no expectation could be found.

As Annie moves through life,
The High King of Kings assists and keeps her from feeling,
Hopeless and alone.
While Annie dances, the Angelic Hosts proclaim and
Give honor to the Son.

Where is love, where is care? 

[Someone wrote in my notebook without telling me or discussing why they
wrote this word. For several years I felt ashamed to mention this
poem. The person who left this word misspelled the word; therefore,
technically I do not even know what they were trying to say. The word was
“Juding”--I think they were trying to say that my poem was
judgement...judge for yourselves.]

Where is love?
Where is care?
We need to be, ready to share:
To bear,
To have,
To hold.

Tears stream down her face,
Cleansing in her heart.
Change from passive, into
Living light.
All is improving,
Thank you, Living...
Power embracing the night.

Wrenching pain,
Uncontrollable fits of,
Ugliness and dark.
Life not end,
To be, see.

Love, Unconditional. 

It’s a thrill, but to our jaded mind:
A chill.

When we discover,
In truth, there is no other,
Love coming to me, no matter:
Who I am,
Where I’ve been,
Where I’m going,
What I’ll do,
How awful my sin, or
How bad my breath stinks?

Love speaks to me,
Breaks through my walls of self-hate,
Anger, pity, and destruction.
He says: Come and sit on my lap.

I sit down and fall into a dark pit.
All is black around me.
Fear tries to overtake,
Then warmth emanates all over me.
I can sing a thousand songs.
I can dream a million dreams.
I can kiss one only--a billion times.
Love has won and says, “I’ll come for you!”

Roses: I see them everywhere! 

Roses, roses,
I see them everywhere.
Perfect, red roses with,
No thorn on dark green stems,
Cut cleanly at an angle.

Roses in the water,
Roses beside me on the rock.
Roses below me and above.

I’ve never seen a rose tree until now,
Nor a rose parachute with a precious human parasite dangling from it.
Nor a sailing rose drifting in the sea,
Nor a rose that looks like you or me.

Waves of roses rush over me,
Yet only strength and love do I see.
The air is sweet and want is at an end,
My lovely rose has come again.

The fat and waste are no more on this shore,
For when I step on the rose: I am
Not who I once was, anymore.
I go where I once feared,
No longer inhibited or scared.

My body is free from restriction and hurt.
It is now a rose on God’s sea:
Wherever it is for Christ’s creature to be.

I must confess that I am not, yet,
That Rose, but only,
My Father will bring it (that character) to me.

I am still frightened and weak to see;
However, this rose that I hold,
Is the beginning of a whole new tree.

Our Father,
In whose Kingdom I be.
Bring to pass the fruits of you,
To me.
Let me embrace the life of your rose.
Let me be close to your light.
Let me become a great tree:
Even if it be a violet...or a rose.

I am not alone 

I am not alone,
Though I run away and hide in,
An old space station away from people.
It is not to flee in agony,
But sweet victory.

The decisions that I have made helps all my people.
True, it does help me to live--
And stay alive, alive.
But I do feel that a great weight,
Has been released from these weak shoulders of mine.

I am a strong man in a clown’s body.
The face that seems full and rigorous,
Masks my love for you and a desire.
To care, and hope and listen,
I will never run away.

A great wind blows,
The little children fear and run into their parents’ houses.
The peace is all around me,
I have nothing to fear.
I will not b afraid.
S omeday I will understand,
All will be revealed.
Then we laugh.

I have a miniature soviet in my heart 

I have a miniature soviet in my heart,
It tries to set five-year plans,
That are destined to fail,
And bring starvation, and hopelessness.

The winter is cold,
With much ice in my arteries.
The fat and salt are staples,
That will choke my committee until the end.

The chairman controls the followers,
Until only pettiness, and selfishness rules.
A scream grows throughout my inner being,
Forty million threats disappear,
By bad feelings and choices.

The capitalist man,
Runs me at peak efficiency,
Until my body obeys a higher power,
And I rest.

I must contribute and live,
There is no moral creed that breaks physical laws,
Except Miracles.

I long for beautiful fruits, and people.
I will work and produce,
I am glad that a smile and a warm feeling does not need to be
May it only be effective.
I need effective feelings of warmth in my heart.
The spaniards say, “Mi Corazon!”
I need the words to sound that way--
Then I shall love again.

I love you.

Gerald Smith to his wife Sandra Smith…before He died and met the Lord in 1968 

I am like a beggar hounded by my sin,
I am like a rich man with purity within.
I have thought that I have touched the stars and,
Received the burning glow.
I rode on a little bus and watched faces--it seemed were full of woe.

I am running to the mountain,
Going up a hill.
Though I can hardly breathe,
It's important that I don’t tell,
What I have wondered and,
Seen through a thousand darkened skies,
Filled with the clouds of the heavens above,
Like a million railroad lines,
And I wondered--Yes, I wondered.

And the little boy running after me,
You could see he was hungry and thirsty.
He looked hard at my backpack,
I could tell he wondered if I could be his friend.
So we walked on together, to the top of the peak.
And we had a little breakfast,
Warmed our feet,
We wondered, and wandered.

I am going to heaven, and so are you.
If you wonder how to get there,
The way is not smooth.
We must wonder and wander throughout our lives.
I am going to heaven, and it may be soon.
Going to spend some time in heaven--
Probably with you,
‘Cause we wondered and wandered, until we found home.
Until we were home,
We always wander: Until we are home.

Though it seems that all is finished.
And there isn’t anything more important, at all.
The end of this time,
Will not be completed, not be completed.
As the veil will continue to be washed,
And the plastic fluorescent, orange cup will be, faithfully,
Even if the tea stain can never be removed.
And throughout this horrid process,
I will always think of you.
The tender glances and precious feelings,
Will not be lost to the new.
It is better that I leave, dear.
It is better that I go.

The changes will be as beautiful, as the innocence,
Will not become a woe.
And your ethereal kisses to my heart, dear,
Are but rainbows sitting in the sand.
They are reminders of who guides our way, dear,
The very Presence that has allowed us to play.
You’re life will be fulfilled, dear:
It will never be the same.
We will all jog up the hill, dear.
We will grow through the pain,
The rain, The rain.

There is a storm cloud brewing,
A few miles away in the sky.
Brewing like the Operation of a beer manufacturer,
Brewing the “Good Stuff” for a 20 ton tanker.
It does not cost us money,
Does not cost us fame,
Maybe pain,
What does not cause pain?

That storm cloud brewing--
Brewing far off in another land.
It will bring the next big challenges;
Will be brought and put in our hands.
And we will face the things,
We never wanted to see.
We will taste the things, that we never,
Thought could be.
And will we still know that HE loves us?
That we are still in his tender care?
Or will we run for a shelter,
Called the “Red Death.”

There is a new world coming!
It will try to be on our backs,
But we are not defeated,
Nor should we be lax.
A new world coming,
Can we serve the dying breed?
I hope we do what we need to,
The right thing.

Be...my good friend,
And be like me,
Cry when you see the coming days,
And rejoice and give it proper place.
A new time rising, out of ashes and dust.
A new people blazing.
A new furnace shining.
A storm cloud emptying.
And when the song ends,
That friendly, wildman who defends the Indians,
Will be my friend.
We will walk in the light, like one copper soldier walks away,
Completely fulfilled in a wonderful, peaceful, normal embrace.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?