Hello, lizard.
Hello, my baby.
Whatcha doin’ on my doormat?
Watching me through the sliding door?
Isn’t it a lovely day?
Isn’t it nice being a lizard?
[he cocks his lizard head]
I bet it is.
I love you, little guy.
Yes, I do.
[he steps closer on lizardy feet]
You are so cute.
Thanks for coming to see me.
[a bit closer]
Is it fun being a lizard?
[off he scurries]
Bye, little lizard.
Have a nice lizard day.

Saint Francis wasn’t magic.
He was holy.
Like all of us.
The Creation understood him,
Another creature.


Reptilian Brain

Does a snake luxuriate in a desert sunset?
Does a lizard pen paeans to sandy solitude?
No time for that foolishness—
It’s fight or flight.

Does a human luxuriate in a penthouse view?
Does homo sapiens send e-mails extolling a peaceful encounter?
No time for that foolishness—
It’s kill or be killed,
Strike while the iron is hot,
The early bird gets the worm,
And nice guys finish last.

Like lizard brains, ours work best on
Threats, and
Beauty, peace, and love?
They’re nice and all,
But nothing to solve.
Nothing in which to sink your teeth,
So to speak.

That’s how we humans are—
From reptiles not so far.

Still Hungry

The apple
The manna
The barbecue offerings
The unleavened bread
The wine jugs in Cana
The food for the thousands
The last supper
The post-resurrection fishes.

God, I think you’re all about food,
About eating together here,
About hospitality now,
In the delectable real world.

But, no.
The Learned Preacher says you mean
Spiritual Food
Feeding the Soul
Bread of Heaven—
It’s all metaphorical.

Maybe he’s right.

But I’m still hungry.

Stained Glass

The prompt was: Where do you see stained glass?

Sainte-Chapelle shines in Paris.
Saint Peter’s awes in Rome.
High-class gallery, NYC,
Stained glass makes its home.

Transom in a tenement,
Pizza palace lampshade,
Jesus in a Baptist church,
Stained glass takes its space.

Came and colors come together,
Worked by hands on wooden tables.
Lead and glass, so lowly, common,
Humble, handled, hung aloft
Like the Christ the glass portrays—
Icon of the transformed way.


Written to the prompt:  What was the last thing you killed?


I’m no killer, I swear.
I’d never take a life,
Send someone otherwhere
At point of gun or knife.

I’d never kill a dog,
Unless he was very sick
And blind and old and crippled
And needed put to sleep.

I’d never kill a bird,
Unless of course it dashed
Itself against my windshield
On the freeway going fast.

I’d never kill a fish
Unless I accidentally sprayed
Insecticide around the room
Where the aquarium stays.

I guess I am a killer.
What effort it would take
To keep myself from killing!
Not to step on insects,
Not to disinfect.
To let the termites munch away,
Coyotes eat my pets.
To see a snake and stop the car.
No, not to kill is just too hard.

Over the Envy

Another in the Deadly Sin series, using a random title from FAWM.

I thought I was over the envy.
We hadn’t met for years.
I’d gone my way, she’d gone hers.
We both were successful and happy.

She picked the restaurant.
A bit steep for me, but I had my plastic.
Designer suit and perfect lipstick—
She hugged me short and laughed.

Under the make-up and electric tan
She was just as old as me.
I noted this fact briefly,
My eyes on the rock on her hand.

I saw her scan me up and down
Assessing, judging shoes and dress.
She said she had lost my address,
Was I still living here in town?

“Parochial, dowdy, aging frump”
Echoed in my head,
Even though she really said,
“I’m so thrilled that you could come.”

What we said and what we ate
I really can’t recall.
The voice of Envy drowned it all,
And hate stared from my plate.

“Good-bye,” “So nice,” “Let’s keep in touch.”
Like hell we will, I thought.
This old acquaintance’ll be forgot,
As old acquaintance must.

Envy smiled and dusted off his hands.
Again he’d done the dirty work
For the Enemy of Man.

The Reflection Freestyle

The title is a randomly-generated FAWM title, and I found the words and phrases in some of the reflections in Forward Day by Day.


Who are You?
Demographic information.
Skin color, level of education.
Judging Others.
Demanding. Failing.
Big deal guilt.
Punishing. Paralyzed.
Distracted by attractions, addictions.

Fully awake, nothing is wasted.
Piece of Wisdom:
Forgiveness frees,
A Prayer for Freedom.
Surrendering to
God’s way: good fruits.
Snips and snatches,
Echoes unmerited
Of world-changing love, mercy.

Radical hospitality—
Sisters and brothers.