the closet in our bedroom

I have lived in a few houses where my wife and i each had a walk-in closet,

but here in my favorite house we share a closet.

My wife died four months ago, so I no longer share a closet

with her; but I still share one with her clothes.

And the closet is still as stuffed as a fat man’s shorts.

There are places where the hangers have to be tipped just to get the stuck between clothes.

The floor is full of sprawled out dirty clothes whose basket has been set aside for lack of room.

The closet is in the same shape as my brain; lots of remnants of Jean’s life with me–beautiful, irreplaceable, and fear producing items made with love.


the old wooden chair

On the Grandma and grandpa’s farm, there was a wooden chair

that spent about half its life outside and the half on the back porch.

It had no varnish or paint left on it.  It wasn’t worth the trouble to make it look good.

My grandma sat on it when she plucked the chickens and when she sorted the eggs out into sizes.

She took it out into the barnyard when my grandpa was late and sat perfectly still on it (praying I suspected),

waiting to hear his tractor coming.

It wasn’t special or was it?  its usefulness was beyond measure.  It was replaceable and not especially attractive, but it was part of the farm, and I honored it my fellow part-time worker.

what is love



Because of your aphasia,

I read your mind and speak for you.

I’ve become your daddy

I am now your husband 

and your daddy:


Adjusting the shower 

As it fluctuates 

From too cold to too hot,


Wrapping your skinny body

In bath towels, giving you a hug

 to stop the shivering.


Brushing and drying your hair,  

We create a quiet  bond

That cannot be calculated.


I love you now, even more than before 

Because you’ve provided a sacred space

Where I can serve.


As your flame diminishes,

I volunteer to burn brighter,

And give myself to you with reckless abandon.

what the elk?

Otto Elk lived in the bayou with his mother. Beets were their favorite food.

No one could believe it when they heard he’d bought a carport.

“You don’t even have a car,” they all said to him

Otto scratched his head, reached in his pocket, and pulled out a wad of cash.He put on his jacket and went to buy a car that would fit into his carport, and to buy some ;light bulbs so iut would not be so dark.  Otto was afraid of the dark.

when otto started the car, it backfired cinnamin which made otto’s elbow swell up and caused tremors.

slowly on a dusty trail

I walk with you so slowly that my feet are dragging in the dust of the trail.

My eyes are gritty and can hardly see

but I kept trudging toward the free landaroooo.

Then a whispie little cloud began to speak to me and asked

“What are you doing now?  Would you like to come with me?

I’ll show you where the dead live again

and let you see your wife in her fullness.

We are on our way now.

Hold on tight and don’t let go

because the mayor would like to control this

and i hope he never infiltrates.

Athena the Bischon

Athena the Bischon was a wild dog.

We bought her partly to keep our old dog Cappy

From growing old too quickly

And the way she played with him did keep him young for a long time..  


She would chase and run through his legs barking and snapping

Showing herself as Athena the wild dog

She tested her 15 pound body against the

80 pound body of our older Golden Retriever


One time we took her to our friend’s house

And then we went to a movie theatre, leaving her and the other dog home alone

Just to show that Athena was a wild dog

She opened the refrigerator and ate hamburger


She was a great and crazy hunter too, rooting out the homes 

where baby rabbits lived 

and attacking the mothers and babies

But that was just Athena’s nature as a wild dog.

It’s Under the Carpet

But let’s go back a step to ask why the earth had to be flat.

and that leads me to a deeper question that some people wonder about.  “If God is Love, why does he let all these terrible things happen.”

I have the solution to both philosophical problems.  #1 God makes mistakes.

God also is really embarrassed by those mistakes. And similar to most people God wants to have those mistakes forgotten and the record cleared.

So at one point around year 900 or so, who knows for sure?

God took took the earth by storm and rolling pin:

The flat earth period began.  Why did he do it you might ask?

It happened because God took seriously the phrase Sweep it under the carpet, and God needed a carpet as big as the earth itself to put all his dirt under.


I have two clocks that chime on the hour, but they disagree about the time.

They have almost  a 5 minute interlude in between their separate clangs.

I’ve never bothered to changed those clocks.  I just like to embrace the space.

Do I take that 5 mionutes and call it free time, lucky time, payback time for the time that life has stolen

or do i look at the difference as a penalty that i have to pay.  I always feel five minutes behind.

Does anything that i do in that  5 minutes really exist?  or does everything that happens stay in my living room.

A Life Sentence

The door opens on its own, she strides out, and turns her head to see him.

I think we got everything, she reports. Perfect, he thinks.

He loads the groceries into the trunk while she gets into the car.

On the way home, she imagines him in the kitchen giving her a kiss as they unpack.

He imagines plopping the bags on the counter, getting a beer,and watching football.



He sits and empties the air so he can see.

But the noise creeps into his brain, slowly at first.

Soon it is as loud as  it was silent.

He falls out of his chair,

but no one comes to rescue him.

He waits for them to notice he is on the floor,

but to them he is still in the chair staring out at nothing.