Monthly Archives: June 2018

James the Brother of Jesus Talks Smack

Hey, it’s is only my gimp brother making “miracles”
by the Galilee sea, wandering with his herd of lost boys
and prostitutes. Nobody asks me what I think of him.
Nobody asks me if I think he is the Anointed One.
The Way, the Truth and the Light.

How many prophets do we need?
He doesn’t listen, he has blinding headaches
that knock him down for days. His deformed leg?
He was born that way. Dad went easy on him
because of it. He wasn’t much use in the shop.
Does God speak through him? How should I know.
He won’t even talk to us. He says we aren’t his family now.
Who disowns his family in this world?

Two More Poems About Work

Work Literary Magazine has published two more of my poems about labor:
Hanford 1944
Logger

Begonia

I went out to water the hanging begonia next to the driveway
I held the hose up for a second and a sparrow darted
away to the maple tree, scolding me. Under the leaves, in a careful
nest of sticks buried in the dirt, I found two eggs the length of one joint
on my little finger, each the color of sky and muddy clay

I stopped watering and checked on them every few days
One morning a brown lump stirred, looked up and snapped open its mouth
like a tiny coin purse. Two days later, two listless lumps with bristle feathers
sticking out. Maybe Mom told them sleep was the best to way to wait for her

The begonia seemed to be take this in stride
Its waxy-ribbed dark green leaves
and coral colored flowers drooped a bit
but they still provided cover for the chicks

Now I’ve become a novitiate of What Comes Next
I hope to be ordained someday but I am actually okay
with staying in the rectory making a sandwich and drinking
iced coffee while the neighbors run their leaf blowers
and Mama bird hunts for bugs in the evening light on Juarez Street

This morning I looked and the nest is empty. I stuck my finger
into the soft pocket and was rewarded with a smear of nutty
smelling baby swallow poop. The Buddhist app on my phone
reminds me with wonderful quotes to follow the Tibetan tradition
of contemplating mortality five times a day. Here is this
morning’s quote:

The graves are full of ruined bones, of speechless death rattles
— Pablo Neruda