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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

“Another Cup of Coffee, Please …”


 Hospice has come to my best friend since adolescence home. He’s been on dialysis every other day for three years. We went in the U.S. Navy at the tail end of ‘Nam on the buddy plan. About half way through our enlistment he started having kidney problems.

 Fast forward 2 transplants, skin cancer, lung cancer and various sundry ailments, torments and treatments later and there you have it. We have had an ongoing discussion over the years on matters of the spirit, God, religion and such. He’s a self-proclaimed agnostic.

  “I’ve just always figured … we’re here and then we’re not,” he said on the phone the other day.

“The thing is,” he continued, “ I just want to keep having one more cup of coffee with Lillian.” (His wife and caretaker) “I just want to look out this window and see another sunrise.”

 “I know you’re tired, man.” I said.

 “Oh yeah, I’m plenty tired and you wouldn’t believe how frail I’ve become but I LIKE it here.”

  I’ve always wondered how he kept on; transplants, dialysis, hospitals, doctors, shots and needles, pain and discomfort. Not just for while but for his entire adult life. His comments have echoed though and I see a hint of the source of his perseverance.

  I’ve always believed in an “afterlife”. No doubt … no friction … just and evolving faith that assures another reality … another place of expanded awareness that I can call “resting with God.” So if I was suffering like Randy I’d just want to go home, I think. I’d want to let go of the pain and surrender into the universe that is abiding faith.

  For him it is an end. For me, I suspect it would be a new beginning. So I’ll go see him three hours away most likely to say goodbye. We are both survivors of violently alcoholic fathers. I think we became codependent for many years. If I could give him anything it would be the hope and assurance that it’s not over. He gets another chance … another cup of coffee with Lillian.

  Guess I’ll just tell him I love him though. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Standing Over the Marsh

The roar of rolling waves is like distant traffic on this balmy morn.
Sunrise clouds, a nuclear mushroom billowing from earth’s bowels.
Black bird flaps towards me delivering his message of my calling.
The egret’s pure white wings slow motion whips rising over the green haired marsh of earth and mirror black water,
Weathered wooden walkway reaches into the distant trees.
Sea decay wafts, not unpleasant through my brain.
 I can feel in my gut the pollution filtering through the mud and reed.
I stand grateful over this delicate balance ... nature at work.
Near silence rests here but for the distant rumble of ever rolling waves licking at our illusory bastion of solidity
They permeate my mind’s eye, milking the sand.
Lush green truth, eternal, waiting buxom, reeds of life, feed all God’s creatures.
Sun’s light casts reflection and shadow that speak to our bashful psyche that is hiding like a petulant child behind the skirts of Mother Earth.
A community of marsh crab with overdeveloped pinchers like some super hero tennis players lurch about in this times square of mud … holy feces enriching our lives.
I was born here upon the sea and marsh and to them I will always return ... 
as the crow caws me home.