Tuesday, April 24, 2018


I stood at the top

Of a tall, narrow,

Weather beaten stairway

Watching my parents

And my two little brothers

Drive away,

Far away,

All the way

Down the dirt and gravel alley.

Wind whirled around

And punched me


Very deep,

In my stomach.

Wind wrapped his icy fingers

Around my throat

Wind whispered in my ear,

"They're leaving forever,

You know.

There they go."

A salty tear slid

Down my cheek

And into my mouth.

My parent's car vanished

As it turned out of

The dirt and gravel alley.

"Venga mijo,

Hace frío afuera,"

Grandma said.

I didn't want to go


I didn't care

If it was cold.

I wanted to run,

To run after my parents.

Wind froze my ears

And whispered once again,

"They're leaving,

You know.

They're already gone."

Grandpa opened the door,

Grandma nudged me in.

Wind whistled a tune,

"They're never,

Ever coming back

For you."

The ethereal aroma of burning coal wafted into my nostrils' memory as I wrote this poem.
I was 7 yeasts old when my parents drove from Albuquerque to Salt Lake City and left me with my grandparents. My father transferred his job to Long Beach,  California. My parents  didn't know where they would end up living. They didn't want to disrupt my schooling.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Apple Fetish God

I had been thinking about the Creation story that I grew up with. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it could only be interpreted metaphorically. It is a symbolic story attempting to explain how we came to be and why we are here.

I was taught, like so many, that God knows everything, God even knows what we are going to do before we actually do it. As a child, I incorporated that into my belief system. I did not question it.

I did not question the creation story either. However, as I grew older, I did begin to question, in an effort to better understand. This is when I came to realize that if I believed the Bible literally, then the God of my youth must have an apple fetish and that he is cruel.

God knew what Adam and Eve were going to do in the Garden of Eden. He hard wired them to be curious. Why did he waste his time giving them a command that he knew they would not and could not keep? And, if he really did not want them to eat his precious apples, why did he put Adam and Eve in the same garden with his delicious apple tree?

He set them up for failure. He hardwired them for failure.

As I thought about this, I came to realize that God, as he is portrayed in the creation story is cruel.

He knew that Adam and Eve could not obey his command to not to eat his precious apples. And yet, not only did he kick Adam and Eve out of his garden, he punished them and all of their descendants. God's rage did not stop there. God was so upset that Adam and Eve ate his precious apples that he demanded that Adam and Eve's descendants torture his only son and kill him.

And God's son was willing to suffer and die a horrible death because he knew that God loved his precious apples more than his own son.

That sounds pretty sick to me. I could not worship a god that would be so cruel to his own creation, his own people who ate his apples, especially when he knew they were going to eat his apples before he put them in the garden.

I could not worship a god that demands suffering of all humans and the torture and death of his own son in payment for what two duped people did at the beginning of humanity.

The creation story and the idea that Jesus died in payment for what Adam and Eve did holds no truth for me, if I take it literally.

And because the creation story cannot be taken literally, perhaps none of the big story can be taken literally. Where does that leave me then, regarding my belief in the God of Moses?

It leaves me with the ability to think things through.

What if the apple tree were not a forbidden fruit? What if it were a required fruit? What if the snake were not a deceiver, but a healer? I see the Apple tree as a symbol for our intelligence and ability to think and create. The snake, as healer, came to Eve, not to deceive her, but to heal her ignorance and to help her evolve. What if an angel, in snake form, came to inspire and bless Adam and Eve with curiosity and intelligence so that they could evolve?

The problem came when humans erroneously imagined that they were separate from their creator. As such, they struggled to regain what they lost.

Throughout our history many came to remind us who we really are. Now it is up to each one of us to remember. We are all Godlike, made out of the very fabric of what God is.

God does not really have an apple fetish and Jesus did not die to appease a god that loved apples more than his own son.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Holding Hands

I am grateful for hands to hold,
And the love that flows
From one hand to the other. 
My spouse and I still hold hands 
When we walk together
Down the street, 
Across a park,
Or along the water's edge at the beach.
Love oozes from her hand as we reach
out to touch each other.
My grandmother's hands were rough
And tough from years of hard work.
And yet, love flowed softly
Out of her hand
And into mine,
Whenever we walked together.
My cousin’s, Tima's, hand was full 
Of 101 years’ worth of loving kindness, 
Hard work and comforting tenderness.
I loved holding her hand at her last birthday party.
I was in awe
Holding our newborn son's hand
With his tiny fingers
And wrinkly palms
On the day he was born.
I held our newly adopted daughter's 
Six year old hand
As I pulled her ahead of me 
Running down the Seoul city street
Connecting our hearts forever.
"Papa," our second daughter said,
After leaving the Siberian orphanage.
Trust and hope
Ran up and over
All of me
From her little six year old hand
Into mine.
My grandkids hold magic
Of love and glee
That they give to me
When they hold my hand.
Several years ago I asked a young woman
To hold my hand as we walked to a meeting
Beyond a grove of green  pine trees.
When we arrived.
She turned to me 
With liquid filled eyes and said,
"I felt like I was holding my father's hand."
I put my hand on a branch of a tree
And we exchange loving kindness
Between it and me. 
I hold my dog's paw when I pick her up. 
She sighs and wags her tail.
I held my dying son's hand
As he lay in the trauma unit.
I cried and tried
To memorize,
To imprint, 
To hold
The feeling, 
The contours, 
The love
And give him life
Before he was gone. 
I am grateful 
That I as able
To hold his hand
And say goodbye.
I am grateful for hands to hold,
And the love that flows
From one hand to the other.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Is He Breathing?

The silence startles me awake
In the darkness of night
Compelling me to slide out of bed.
My mind fills with dread
As I creep down the hall
holding my breath
Dragging one foot after the other
I can’t hear.
I can’t see.
My heart reaches up and chokes me
My shoulders join in.
When I finally I reach the door,
I freeze.
As I squeeze
And turn the nob.
Is he breathing?
Is he alive?
I scoot closer to his bed.
I bow down and listen.
Huhhh, I sigh.
Thank God I can hear it.
Air going in, air going out.
I step backwards
Out of our second son's room.
I creep further down the hall,
holding my breath,
Dragging one foot after the other.
One is alive
What about my other?
I poke my head into her room
Is she breathing?
Is she alive?
I scoot closer to her bed.
I bow down and listen.
Huhhh, I sigh.
Thank God I can hear it.
Air going in, air going out.
I step backwards out of her room
And I creep across the hall
holding my breath
Dragging one foot after the other
Two are alive,
What about our other?
I poke my head into the room
Dead silence
Tears drip, drip, drip
As the silence,
That dreadfully loud silence,
Shoves me against the wall
Wrapping it's tendrils
Around my throat,
Forcing me too admit
My other son breathes no more.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Her Leaves Brush the Sky

Her leaves brush the sky,
As I rush by,
Running happily under her budding branches
To hug,
To kiss,
To pick up our grandchildren,
And twirl,
And whirl,
Our love
Into amazing,
Heart filled memories,
For which I will be grateful,
Her leaves brush the sky,
As I rush by,
Underneath her green leafed out branches
And fall,
Into a ball
On the grass,
And laugh,
And giggle,
And tickle our grandchildren,
Creating memories,
For which I will be grateful,
Her leaves brush the sky,
As I walk by
Under her reddish brown branches
Kicking up reddish brown leaves,
While our grandchildren
in Hold my hands,
Rest their heads on my arms
And murmur, "I love you, Grandpa,"
Weaving memories
For which I will be grateful
Her lone brown leaf
Brushes the sky
As I trudge on by
Under her bare brown branches
Crunching the frosty
Leaves beneath my feet
That whisper, "I love you, Grandpa,"
Reminding me of memories
For which I am grateful,