Dementia

 

Sun downing, reaching for so simple words,

Forgetting faces and places where I did go—

Is that my daughter? Do I dare eat a peach?

My buttons—my thoughts—are just out of reach.

Now I wear Depends and can’t cut with a knife,

Don’t recognize my grandkids and slip-out of life.

Could I have stopped madness before my decline

Or remedied with diet, vitamins, and cardio-exercise,

Working cross-word puzzles enjoyed in my prime?

As you are now I was; as I am now, you will be—

Unable to walk, sit, without wit, memory, teeth.

So You Want to Major in English

 

Red wheel barrows, ice-cream emperors

And Lucy half-hidden by a mossy stone—

English majors don’t live by bread alone.

Engineering pays more than half our rate,

But Humanities more than compensate.

Overlook those part-time jobs adjuncts fill.

Our imaginations are rich as well as our will.

But I digress—try justifying a federal loan

With a Ph. D’s salary in English to live upon.

 

On Turning 65

 

Frugal, frazzled, but certainly not retired,

Turning 65 (alas) yields much to be admired.

Now my Medicare bill (at $670 for half a year)

No longer puts my monthly budget in arrears.

Not that I could live 1/4th as well at half that rate,

Eating Ramen noodles and beans to compensate,

Even with senior menus and lower motels rates

And lesser drug prices for those who medicate.

Moisturizer, eye-lifting serum, and colored hair,

I’m still young enough that I should vainly care.

With one foot in the grave (on a banana peel),

Sure, I admit that I’m more than half-way there.

Aging, with dignity, I now will my wisdom dispense.

Class of 1970 is holding a reunion to recompense.

Specificity

Specificity is a writing trait that’s hard to overlook or under rate.

For adding supporting details when writing, speaking, or tweeting,

Cuts out more than a few misunderstandings that bear repeating.

Now take a statement said in jest, “The White House is a dump.”

If disregarding a sarcastic tone, it caused much grief to Mr. Trump.

Historically elegant, the White House is all commentators agree,

But leaving supporting details out fills aggrieved critics with glee.

With air conditioning (and staffers) leaking, old windows creaking

Vacationing away from the White House is, of course, stress relieving.

So take this as a cautionary tale—add supporting details to your papers,

essay and short answer questions, and you’ll not regret the extra labor.

 

Sartorially Challenged

 

Turned inside out, or backward, I must freely confess

More than once I’ve worn leggings or backwards a dress.

While dressing mornings in the dark before it turns light,

I’ve worn two similarly-styled flats—one navy, one black.

I’ve mismatched silver and gold ear rings almost habitually,

Regularly donned panty hose with ladders almost ritually.

Sartorially challenged, it isn’t any wonder, I often greet

All fashion pronouncements taken for gospel as effete.

Confessional Prayer

With apologies to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,

I shrink from commitment when called upon.

Rather than answering, “Lord, here am I”, I hesitate.

Lacking for confidence, I instead suggest a mate.

For surely doing “that” isn’t what You had in mind?

Thank God, You patiently guide, stern but kind).

You answer our prayers (or so the gospels say),

But for most neon signs don’t blaze “this is the way”.

Yet giving thanks upon rising and just before bed

As well as before breaking with blessings daily bread,

And around the Table, asking for intercession and aid

Prayer functions to voice inner-most thoughts unsaid.

Fainthearted Need Not Apply

Pastor, business manager, and shepherd,

Teacher, spiritual leader, minister, divine,

Administer, evangelize, placate, mediate,

Counsel, direct, budget, outreach, preach,

Guide and, if necessary, occasionally chide us,

But, For Heaven’s sake, don’t over reach!

Take the good news into a fallen world

While feeding a tetchy, cantankerous flock.

Wed, christen, confirm, bury, dole out alms,

Always stay on call to support with aplomb.

Spur the slackers, console questioning saints,

Balance the budget, spearhead fund drives

While recruiting youngsters (those under 55).

Suburban church is in the market for a pastor,

So aspiring retirees and seminarians beware,

We chew them up and spit them out every few years.

Stand for the Flag

Long ago back in our innocence when patriotism was in flower,

And no pundits questioned America’s place as a super power,

Children stood at attention vowing their allegiance to pledge

Since rising to face the flag didn’t set any critics teeth on edge.

After all, it was the mannerly thing to do like rising for our elders,

Calling ladies and gents sir and ma’am, and respecting one’s betters.

True, misogyny existed, and the South was rife with segregation,

But whatever color and creed each believed America a chosen nation.

Fast forward to today, when putting a hand over one’s heart

Is more than likely the loyalist to condemn, ostracize, and set apart.

Instead of one nation indivisible now we’re many different peoples—

A hyphenated crew, all separate and feeling rather abused, unequal,

demanding our inalienable rights, but forgetting our duties due.

So come now and rise to honor those maligned stars and stripes,

Pledge allegiance to an imperfect, but striving to improve way of life.

 

Eternity Now

 

A life time of surging blood ceases as gasping breath sputters to a stop.

Simultaneously spiking carbon dioxide sends a dying brain into over drive.

Out-of-the-body now? That’s depleted oxygen levels, which rapidly drop.

A life review and seeing loved ones too on your final magic carpet ride,

Bright lights, inner peace, and harmony—these feelings can’t be denied.

Eternity in an instance, at one with a universe viewed by unseeing eyes,

No one knows, but as for myself, I’m counting on a crucified Christ.

The 23rd Psalm Revisited

 

The Lord Yeshua is my ever-present guide

Should I take the Interstate highway wide

Or reach Heaven’s gate by backroad way.

I shall not want should I with Him stay

As He prompts my choices as I pray.

He leads me through life’s worst fears—

Deaths, loves lost, and burnt-out careers.

He restores and quells my distraught soul

As through life at 75 miles per hour I roll.

For salvation doesn’t on obedience depend

Since His grace has blotted out all my sins.

His love runs over-flowing throughout my life

While I deal with strum and drang and strife.