Categories
of Humility and Change

Practice

Practice

In the next life

I’ll be selfless
Always fearless
Always kind
Always true

I’ll be thoughtful
Always helpful
Always loving
and subdued

I’ll fly with angels
Smile at strangers
Give to others
and to you

All my time
All my treasure
At your pleasure
I will do

In this life, from now on

I will practice at these things
So I will never falter
when the Lord
gives me my wings.
-J

Categories
of Gratitude

A Christmas Toast

A Christmas Toast

To my family and my friends
It’s Christmas time again
Another year is over
and just around the bend
a longer year than most
we all wished that it would end
I hope we never see
A twenty-twenty here again

The election, it’s all over
The vaccine, just months to come
We’ll celebrate with eggnog
we won’t dare forget the rum
The Christmas tree is up
The stockings are all hung
The mistletoe we skipped
So few kisses, that’s no fun!

The schools will all be open
The masks will disappear
No rush on toilet paper
We’ll be free to breath the air
We’ll dine inside if we want to
All store owners will declare
Come inside, there’s no Corona!
Come inside, pull-up a chair!

Merry Christmas one and all
Happy New Year, yes it’s true
At last we’ll be together
Shed our fear and all our blues
God bless the ones surviving
All the ones who passed-away
Here’s to twenty-twenty-one
Here’s to you and better days!

-J

Categories
of Humility and Change

Blown Away

Blown Away

As orange petals fall
a lily, bright and tall
with stem, leaves of green
sheds its majesty

I watch the petals
before they wither,
each, still bright
and lying on a table

I set them
by the vase,
in a lovely bowl,
placed at its base

some, still showy,
some just about to go
their beauty, astounding,
nearly ending

the geometry, marvels,
these orange lilies
refusing to dim, still here,
not struggling to remain

another cascades
onto the table, I leave it
It’s beauty and color
to surely fade and then,
it’s simply blows away.

-J

Categories
of Humility and Change

Five Minutes

Five Minutes

You struggle
You feel like you are on the losing end
Defective
Rejected
Uptight and scared
You can feel the hopelessness
The fruitlessness
The worthlessness

and then…

in just 5 minutes
it happens
it spins you ‘round
it restores your worth
it gives you hope
no longer bound
by the fear and the sound
of your racing heart

A miracle, no less!
This thing that restores
that comes about
without your trying
with all your crying
you realize that
your faith, so little
is rewarded at last

in just 5 minutes.

-J

Categories
of Humility and Change

Redemption

Redemption

As I walk the straight and narrow
I’m reminded of a time
When the path was not so straight
It was crooked, it was bent
It was twisted out of shape

That path is now behind me
I wouldn’t have taken it if I knew
that regrets, remorse would find me
when I’m walking straight and true

If I could go back
I would have taken another fork
I would have paid attention to the warnings
Corked the bottle I uncorked

But now I am redeemed
by the blood of Jesus Christ
All his grace, all his glory
His forgiveness and his price

All my faults
I give them now
to the God of my own choice
Despite the path that I have taken
finally, now, I can rejoice

I trust in him and him alone
He loves and guides me where I roam
He forgives me for my many sins,
and all my thoughts and might-of-beens.

-J

Categories
of Humor

Another Pall Mall

Another Pall Mall

Got up!
Made the bed
Ran to Speedy
Bought some cigarettes
Came home
Had a smoke
Shaved, showered
Had a smoke
Got my hair cut
Bought some groceries
Had a smoke
Washed the car
Had a smoke
Ate my dinner
Had a smoke
Got on Zoom
and that’s not all
Smoked another
long Pall Mall

The ashtray is full
So are my lungs
So much money
Wasted upon
A little indulgence
One after one
Over my life
more nearly a ton
An awful addiction
A son-of-a-gun!

Try to quit
then another one’s lit
I’ll keep on quitting
Someday it’ll stick
Don’t want to die
before my time
of suicide by cigarette!

-J

Categories
of Humor

Lookin’ Like Elvis

Lookin’ Like Elvis

At three in the morning
He’s just pullin’ in
for an all-night buffet,
a shower and a cigarette

His rig, she’s been a movin’
Just a rollin’ down the line
Gassin’up, twenty minutes
and he’s runnin’ right on time

He sits down, orders coffee
Says “hey, you pretty thing”
I’ll be movin’ on to Memphis
but for now, I’ll have the wings

He’s been runnin’ down I-40
breaking speed and doin’ fine
One short stop in Chattanooga
bypassed Nashville one more time

Plugged the jukebox, told a story
of how he once jack-knifed
How he used to have a woman
and she used to be his wife

Black hair down his neck
Almost in his eyes
I looked again, then I noticed
and much to my surprise

He looked an awful lot like Elvis
Sideburns, everything
From his head to his toes
He just needed one more thing

As he paid for his meal
He curled his lip, said it was fine
Come again said the waitress,
She’s all smiles and goo-goo-eyed

Just then, through the window
It came an awful rain
He reached into his satchel
for just the missing thing

He threw a raincoat on his shoulders
and walked into the night
Some headlights caught his figure
and before he’s out of sight

He kneeled down to pick-up something
His silhouette is all I saw
A caped and stunning figure,
the velvet Elvis on the wall.

-J

Categories
of Humility and Change

I AM YOU!

I AM YOU!

The relief I have prayed for
More than a reprieve
A cancellation of my sins
To awaken anew
To look in the mirror
and comprehend a miracle

Who am I
I ask?
The answer narrow, clear
I am you
You are me
We walk together

Through forests scary,
over mountains high,
rough terrain
and cloudy skies
We walk the path
of human frailty

As we walk this path
and pace ourselves
we share challenges, heartaches
and triumphs
In all these things we are the same
The world, one great alliance

You are me and I am you
We forget our sorrow,
we forget our pain,
our human error
It’s all the same
We forget at our own peril

Don’t forget!
We all have stumbled
We have prices we have paid for
To reach out and lend a helping hand;
a kindness shown our fellow man
is just what God is there for.

-J

Categories
of Loss and Loneliness

I Just Do

I Just Do

Why do I need?
It’s not admired
I wish I were an island
like some of you
Yet, so acquired…

I need you
To talk to
To walk with
To spend an afternoon
Such am I

Hours, too many, spent alone
All right for some, but not me
To need, a crime
just to ask for time
I need, I just do

I curse myself for wanting
Am I so weak to need?

In this world, alone
I reach out
A weakness I have
A meekness
A curse

I realize a friend is not forever
A shame
loyal and true
doesn’t matter to some
why me?

I need, I just do
I would stop
but I cannot
To stop, to thine own self
would be untrue

I need, I just do

-J

Categories
of Love

Perfect

Perfect

The ocean waves
Slow motion days
Birds singing
Angelic sounds
fill the stillness

A harp playing
A flute saying
be still

A long breath
A deep rest
underneath
a palm tree

A cool breeze
A familiar peace
resonating

The tide quenching
A cloud shading
the sand

Waves crashing
Gulls laughing
The day fading
slowly

The Sun setting
The sea and horizon gleaming
The tide heading
for the shore

A walk in the sand
moon shining
A shell in my path
still moving

Ocean glistening
A bouy listening
A boat sailng
in the distance

My love waiting
baiting a hook
throwing a line
then saying
I love you

-J

Categories
of Reminiscences

City Style

City Style

A little ditty, a ditty-do
about a day in the city
The city, it’s style
how it used to be
what we used to do
the things we knew
our point of view
and when going to work
was red, white, and blue.

Men with brimmed hats,
a suit, a starched shirt
buttoned to the top
with tie to match
a Timex watch, a pin or a tack
polished shoes and matching slack
an overcoat, a blend or wool,
half or full and made to fit
don’t forget the matching grip
looking good, just the times?
The times we lived before the slip!

Women, thinner
in suits; not slacks
but in skirts to match
a cashmere sweater, even better
heels, a matching purse, perhaps a Coach
they wore make-up, a do, a pin or broach
and a hint of Channel Number Five.
They left the elevator and the stares,
their charm and essence left behind
for those whose eyes that they would capture
and compliments of those enraptured.

Been a while, such city style.

-J

Categories
of Loss and Loneliness

Life After Love

Life After Love

Can I stand up on my own?
Can I stand to be alone?
Is there life after love?

Is there life after love?
When I wake and she’s not there
When I break, there’s no one to lean on

When I need a kind caress
holding hands and all the rest
Is there life after love?

In the morning when I wake
I make the coffee, half a pot
morning breakfast, not a lot
do my best just not to break
a saddened smile I half to fake

Is there life after love?

An empty house, an empty heart
My soul cries out for her at night
All my days are not so bright
Where has love gone?

Is there life after love?

Every week I shop alone
What to buy, still unknown
Get my groceries by myself
then put my love up on a shelf

Is there life after love?

Is there time to find another
She to me was like no other
Can my heart, my soul, recover?

Is there life after love?

The love I feel never wanes
I’ll do my best, all the same
to let my heart heal again
and find someone to be a friend

I’ll never be the same
after love and all its pain
I may never love again,
just trudge on until the end.

Is there life after love?

-J

Categories
of Love

The Extraordinary

The Extraordinary

Some are blatantly, obviously extraordinary. Others never realize; realize that they are just as or more. A pity. What becomes of these extraordinary men (and women), their extraordinary lives and influence?

Over lifetimes of ordinary defeat and disappointment, they sometimes break or fade, not realizing that their defeats and lumbering are, in fact, the extraordinary and amongst their greatest assets.

Beauty evolving. Suddenly, becoming our strength! My wish is that you break, break and experience depths of extraordinary muster and courage within.

To all, we must show kindness, love, devotion, and care lest we be ordinary. We must glory in our extraordinary lineage, whose power is boundless and extraordinary beyond what we can now or ever comprehend.

You are, perhaps, the most extraordinary of all. Exalt in your being as you are a child and as a child, your potential is ever-evolving and has no bound.

Though you are old and have just discovered your purpose and power, God will give you time to recognize your influence and love; your ability to contribute greatly to his unfolding creation which, at the very least, is another of his children.

-J

Categories
of Love

If I Could Write a Love Song

If I Could Write a Love Song

If I could only write a love song
I’d start with a starry night
I would write about the moon
and your face there in the light
I would write about your smile
the way you hold me oh so tight
all the little things you do
and the things you do just right

If I could write a love song
It would surely hit the charts
I’d tell you ’bout your beauty
all your grace and all your smarts
The way you bite your lip
when you think of something new
The way you hold my hand
and your eyes, so baby blue

If I could write a love song
I would sing it to the world
tell everyone I love you
and that your my only girl
I’ll never leave you lonely
I’ll never make you blue
You make me so darn happy
It’s the least that I can do

If I could write a love song
I’d whisper in your ear
all the nothings I could think of
but I’d make it very clear
You’re my one and only
I want you for all time
I might write it when I think of
all the words and all the rhymes.

-J

Categories
of Humility and Change

A Little Prayer

A Little Prayer

When your down and troubled
When the weight is heavier than you can take
When your mind is tortured and your heart is heavy
Say a little prayer

It doesn’t matter if your prayer’s unanswered
Take the action
Say it aloud and say it often
You might just find, the act is awesome

If no one hears, it doesn’t matter
As you have set the ball in action
Recognized the need for guidance
Allowed for God and satisfaction

Even though, you feel the same
A day will come when all the rain
Will all dry up, and all the pain
Will disappear and seem in vane

You’ll start to wonder
Though it took some time
If God has helped you
be just fine

There’s time you need to be all right
Time you need to quell the fight
Just let go with all your might
and say a little prayer.

-J