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Monday, June 30, 2014

Loving the Burg

My Creative Process class includes an assignment to create something during each of the next 23 days (35 in all).  Many years have past since I wrote poems on a regular basis--I was in my 20's when I did so (I'm now 70).  My project will be to write a short poem each day and post it on this blog. I hope you will find them interesting. 


Loving the Burg

In that town
Down those streets
Familiar and meaningful
Of investments made
Of human capital spent
That runs on and on
Of times both lazy and stressed
A matrix of cherished days
Returning hints of infinity
Both past and forward ways.





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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Obama I Love You Man

My Creative Process class includes an assignment to create something during each of the next 24 days (35 in all).  Many years have past since I wrote poems on a regular basis--I was in my 20's when I did so (I'm now 70).  My project will be to write a short poem each day and post it on this blog. I hope you will find them interesting. 


Obama I Love You Man

The way you stand cool and firm
Measured and respectful
With integrity of democratic spirit

--While others trash you daily--
You remain under pressure the epitome of a Christian
Despite your being a Nazi Muslim dictator
And all else the sanctimonious say
Amidst your silent prayers always.
 




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Sundry Thoughts in the Night

 

On Willpower

Willpower  is only as reliable as the surrounding structure that houses it.  Does anyone dare surmise that the stability of the American government is the result of the voluntary willpower constraints of a vast array of powerful interests?
 

The Genesis Account of the Fall as a Watershed Moment

In this account, humanity takes ownership of its imperfections.  Thus, rather than being a source of shame, it represents a major step forward. The exigencies of evolution that implanted negative vestiges were responsibly assumed and would not be exploited as an excuse.  It further represents the ability of humanity to envision perfection.  That is, in the Genesis creation story, not only did humanity take ownership of imperfection, it envisioned the perfection of God and a good old days perfection of childhood innocence. 

 
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Saturday, June 28, 2014

For the Duration Diet

My Creative Process class includes an assignment to create something during each of the next 25 days (35 in all).  Many years have past since I wrote poems on a regular basis--I was in my 20's when I did so (I'm now 70).  My project will be to write a short poem each day and post it on this blog. I hope you will find them interesting. 


For the Duration Diet

Today I begin a diet
That some will call unhealthy
Let them caution all they please
This diet is for me
One good meal a day is all I need
That's what the doctor said
So with a balanced meal at noon
I add one diet shake mornings and evenings too
The greater risk as it applies to me
Is a beached-whale's protruding obesity.



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Friday, June 27, 2014

Hickory Dickory Dock

My Creative Process class includes an assignment to create something during each of the next 26 days (35 in all).  Many years have past since I wrote poems on a regular basis--I was in my 20's when I did so (I'm now 70).  My project will be to write a short poem each day and post it on this blog. I hope you will find them interesting.


Hickory Dickory Dock

Hickory dickory dock
The mouse ran up the clock
With such impressive fortitude
Even I became jealous--
For at once neither tick nor striking chime
Nor the sound of his little retreating feet
Made it past the growing silence
Of my right ear's sensory's retirement;
Now upon seeing the savvy mouse's great good sense
And surveying the bankruptcy of my great pretense
I finally found within myself
The courage to banish vanity
To buy a little hearing aid
And replace delimited silence
With discrete sound waves traveling near.



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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Kathy

My Creative Process class includes an assignment to create something during each of the next 27 days (35 in all).  Many years have past since I wrote poems on a regular basis--I was in my 20's when I did so (I'm now 70).  My project will be to write a short poem each day and post it on this blog. I hope you will find them interesting. 


Happy Birthday Kathy

Happy Birthday Kathy
Today in our pilgrimage to your
Grave and ashes
You once again brought us together
And enlivened us with memories
Of times spent together--
The peals of laughter, love, and fun
We thought perhaps too little of
Until they were gone.










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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Art for Art's Sake?

My Creative Process class includes an assignment to create something during each of the next 28 days (35 in all).  Many years have past since I wrote poems on a regular basis--I was in my 20's when I did so (I'm now 70).  My project will be to write a short poem each day and post it on this blog. I hope you will find them interesting. 


Art for Art's Sake?

"Art for Art's Sake" is the trumpet call of a snob
The fact is art is for our sake
Most especially the creator's
For nothing is more important than happiness
And happiness is born of creativity;
I told her I've heard it said
"It takes three positives to make up for one negative,"
She only smiled and said "More like ten thousand."
Who can bind the dragons of sin and shame?
But the creative and redeeming hand of God
In cahoots with the creative and redeeming hands of man
Continuously weaving together in spirit
Gracious nettings of golden thread.






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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Beware of a Man with Integrity

My Creative Process class includes an assignment to create something during each of the next 29 days (35 in all).  Many years have past since I wrote poems on a regular basis--I was in my 20's when I did so (I'm now 70).  My project will be to write a short poem each day and post it on this blog. I hope you will find them interesting. 


Beware of a Man with Integrity

Beware of a man with integrity
He may tell you he's had sexual thoughts about his pets
Beware of a man with integrity
He may tell you he's had homosexual dreams
Beware of a man with integrity
He may tell you he thinks the war your son died in
Was the result of a mistaken policy
Beware of a man with integrity
He may tell you he thinks the opposition
Is right on regarding some aspects of a controversial issue
Beware of a man with integrity
He might tell you he thinks it's wrong to pee in a public park
Even when that applies to the homeless
Beware of the man with integrity
He might place facts above values
Beware of the man with integrity
He might place values above facts
Beware of the man with integrity
He may tell you that government, taxes, and welfare are gifts from God
Beware of a man with integrity
He may tell you that government has lost its way,
Taxes foster the promotion of harmful substances
And welfare can foster lethargy
Beware of a man with integrity
He may tell you that abortion is infanticide
Beware of a man with integrity
He may say that racial prejudice is a sin
Even in the face of recrimination
Beware of a man with integrity
He may put science ahead of religion
Beware of a man of integrity
He may put religion ahead of science
Beware of a man of integrity
He may aver the Scriptures have it wrong on some matters
Like at the wedding Jesus actually turned the wine to water
Beware of a man of integrity
His kindness may make you livid--
In your lifetime how often have you came face to face with integrity?
How long is your list?  Are you on it?




 
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Monday, June 23, 2014

Scripture--Inherently Political

 
My Creative Process class includes an assignment to create something during each of the next 30 days (35 in all).  Many years have past since I wrote poems on a regular basis--I was in my 20's when I did so (I'm now 70).  My project will be to write a short poem each day and post it on this blog. I hope you will find them interesting.

 
Scripture--Inherently Political

Tipy-Toe about it all you like
The Bible is inherently political:
Look at what it purports--
Truth, justice, compassion,
Honesty, empathy, integrity,
Support for peacemakers,
The meek, the humble, the pure in spirit,
Those persecuted for righteousness sake,
The foreigner, the widow, the stranger in the land--
Every oppressive government espies its own natural enemy
And at once sets about trying to co-opt or censure the forces of Light.







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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Psychological Power

 
Isaiah 40:28-31
New Living Translation (NLT)


Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.



 

My Creative Process class includes an assignment to create something during each of the next 31 days (35 in all).  Many years have past since I wrote poems on a regular basis--I was in my 20's when I did so (I'm now 70).  My project will be to write a short poem each day and post it on this blog. I hope you will find them interesting.


Psychological Power

Understanding when morphed into conviction
Is the most powerful force in human affairs....
Not withstanding the inherent merit of that conviction
Or the lack of it;
It might be an irrational prejudice against the Jews,
It might be a nonrational conviction and faith in kindness;
Whatever the source....the result is the same
An intense and formidable psychological power.




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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Behold All Eyes Smiled

My Creative Process class includes an assignment to create something during each of the next 32 days (35 in all).  Many years have past since I wrote poems on a regular basis--I was in my 20's when I did so (I'm now 70).  My project will be to write a short poem each day and post it on this blog. I hope you will find them interesting.  To view the video below--Caine's Arcade--is a class assignment.



Behold All Eyes Smiled

Caine put his heart and soul
Into his cardboard box arcade,
He welcomed all to come and play
But few knew or did.


Then a stranger played one day
And determined right then and there
To be Caine's secret friend;
He spread the word on the sly
By Internet and other silent shouts
Until the interest was keen and high
To make sure Caine would quickly find
His little arcade filled with play and smiles.


His freshly gathered friends paraded
Before Caine's cardboard arcade
And waited in great anticipation to surprise him
On his return from one of love's well-devised diversions;
When Caine showed up.....behold all eyes smiled
Including Caine's....and all his angels too.


It is sad the depths of cruelty to which man can sink
But cruelty's power does not begin to match
--no one can tell us otherwise--
Creative power's wide array
Of hope and love and cheerful play.














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Friday, June 20, 2014

Socialize or Fellowship

My Creative Process class includes an assignment to create something during each of the next 33 days (35 in all).  Many years have past since I wrote poems on a regular basis--I was in my 20's when I did so (I'm now 70).  My project will be to write a short poem each day and post it on this blog. I hope you will find them interesting.  To view the video below--Where in the hell is Matt? 2013--is one of this week's class assignments.

 
Socialize:
to make social; especially : to fit or train for a social environment  (Merriam-Webster's)
Train for a social environment (WordWeb Pro)


Fellowship:
The state of being with someone
"he missed their fellowship" (WordWeb Pro)
a company of equals or friends (Merriam-Webster's)


 
Socialize or Fellowship

Socializing on the one hand
And fellowship on the other--
The first I avoid finding it essentially fraudulent,
While fellowship I embrace as a friend:
When I think of "All people are created equal"
It is missing the whole point to think

Primarily in terms of social norms--
Status, rank, formality, and fear;
Rather than the smile, the handshake,
The song, the joyful dance of friends

That brings the human race palpably one
Into fellowship and fun again.








Beethoven - Ode to Joy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6jcqBJEfQY



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Thursday, June 19, 2014

My Playmate, My Daily Friend

My Creative Process class includes an assignment to create something during each of the next 34 days (35 in all).  Many years have past since I wrote poems on a regular basis--I was in my 20's when I did so (I'm now 70).  My project will be to write a short poem each day and post it on this blog. I hope you will find them interesting.


My Playmate, My Daily Friend

When I survey the Trinity
I asked that one among it
Be my playmate, my daily friend--

Christ as playmate? Or God?....
Somehow those just won't do,
Only the Holy Spirit can dance with me
Laughingly bestowing triumph,
Imbuing the daily dark with dawn,
Infusing week old bananas
With restorative daylight and spirit's delight.




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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Not Venial Sins

My Creative Process class includes an assignment to create something during each of the next 35 days.  Many years have past since I wrote poems on a regular basis--I was in my 20's when I did so (I'm now 70).  My project will be to write a short poem each day and post it on this blog. I hope you will find them interesting. 


Not Venial Sins

I've heard it said that old age is when you look back on life
And regret the temptations that you did NOT yield to.
Oh yes, I have my share of those,
Yet my major sins are of a different order
Not venial sins so much as embracing - instead of life -
A clammy death of nameless fears--
Of treacherous undertows
Threatening to expose the simple truths
Of passion's vernal reticence and innocence
Now framed and shackled in ugly shame.




 

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fitting Room

What do you do when you feel like you don't fit in?
a. I don't let it bother me.
b. I act like it doesn't bother me.
c. I try even harder to fit in.
d. I back off or quit trying.
e. I find somewhere else to fit in.
(Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1546).



The most important thing to recognize is that neither blame nor umbrage is called for when one does not fit in. The group that I do not fit into (say a gathering of nuclear physicists or brain surgeons) does not suggest that the group is to blame for my feelings of alienation. Likewise, it should not be assumed that I feel any umbrage whatever for not fitting into these groups whose intensity of focus I do not share.

Now in ordinary life I do not fit into exclusive country clubs nor do I fit into parties where alcohol flows freely. But here again, neither blame nor umbrage is necessary.  The world is so abundant in interests that we all should feel free to find our own niche without any emotional freight sabotaging feelings or relationships.  There is great expanse in God's universe and many abundant blessings.







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Monday, June 16, 2014

Essential Acceptance

Where is the hardest for you to feel accepted?
a. in my family
b. at school
c. at church/youth group
d. at parties/social gatherings
e. by the opposite sex
f.  into groups of cliques
(Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1546).


It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena....  
--Theodore Roosevelt
(http://www.joyofquotes.com)


In the past, acceptance meant survival. It still extensively does so. Without acceptance many social functions of humanity could simply not be addressed or accomplished. Therefore, the absence of acceptance is one of the most stressful of all dilemmas. Even though it is unlikely the single-minded critic will ever accept us, we must stand firm in the knowledge that there are souls who do – even if secretly and from afar.



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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Counter Strategies of Service

On a scale of 1 to 10, what degree of meaning have you received from your work (or other main activity) at the following times?
a. right now
b. five years ago
c. 10 years ago
d. when I was most fulfilled – at the time I was doing________.
(Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1544).
 



With a few exceptions, I have been blessed with a sense of significance in all my tasks.  The exceptions occurred within periods when I was a student in middle and high school, to some degree when I was in undergraduate school, and sporadically during my year of teaching in Miami (Carol City).  At all other times–even during dry spells–I was extensively able to summon a sense of significance and meaning primarily through service to customers as variously defined (including but not limited to humanity and the Godhead).

This means that stressful situations have been redeemed through a sense of service– bringing with it a sense of accomplishment and peace. Sometimes this has required quite an intentional choice of determinative attitude–a refusal to give in to the angst of meaninglessness through counter strategies of service. In all these matters in terms of value and bearing, Christianity has underwritten the logic and raison d'ĂȘtre of the service ethic.



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Saturday, June 14, 2014

An Awesome Payback to Make

What is the longest you have been without food or drink: Three days? Three meals? Three hours? Why? How did you feel? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1544).


I am 70 years old and have never been unintentionally without a meal. That is an awesome fact to contemplate. It is a great testimony to the environment in which I was raised with its loving families, peaceful communities, stable institutions, all within a prospering homeland. Any time I feel tearfully oppressed by a maudlin self-indulgent pity, I should contemplate this simple fact. I have been blessed as perhaps relatively few in human history.  Certainly, people so blessed have an awesome payback to make.




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Friday, June 13, 2014

Passing the "Bizarre Test"

A bizarre sensation pervades a relationship of pretense. No truth seems true. A simple morning's greeting and response appear loaded with innuendo and fraught with implications.... Each nicety becomes more sterile and each withdrawal more permanent. (– Maya Angelou, Singin' and Swingin' in and Gettin' Merry like Christmas quoted in The President's Devotional by Joshua Dubois, June 12).

When Jesus was brought to trial, he was basically quiet before the Sanhedrin; yet Stephen spoke very boldly. How do you decide when to speak and when to be quiet before opposition? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1541).

 
The answer to the latter question is found in the former quotation. Pretense is the key. For Jesus to have acted as if his trial were anything but a foregone conclusion would have required pretense.  For Jesus to have spoken as if anything he said could have even remotely been persuasive or could have affected the outcome of the trial would have been utter pretense and would have constituted complicity in falsehood.  Jesus was a man of integrity so essentially remained silent. In most any situation this can be the key as to whether to speak or not to speak. If to speak would overcome one with a sensation of the bizarre arising from pretense and the hoodwinking of truth, it is best to remain silent.


 

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Elemental Beginnings

To fully understand Jesus, what is needed in your life besides well-rehearsed knowledge? How do people hold on to religious rituals and heroes today, while missing the whole point of what those ceremonies and people represent? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1540). 


Like in most matters, a purely intellectual understanding without a substratum of experience including pain and complexity and compassion is simply a strawman caricature playing with pickup sticks.  Rituals and hero worship can be a blatant attempt to sugarcoat reality. I have limited knowledge regarding the details in which American independence was won and the Constitution established. But clearly an essential number of these early framers were creators--not strawmen, not caricatures. Reality was too much with them.

They of necessity had the stern stuff of which creativity is made--gutsy curiosity; a persistence that learns from mistakes; vivid perception; willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty; combining knowledge with imagination; cultivation of fitness and  elegance in deriving principal and structure; and an appreciation for systematic interconnectedness.**

In short, the most important freedom of the nation's founders was first and foremost the freedom to aptly frame reality and to imagine a hopeful future.

[**refer to "The Seven Da Vincian Principles" in How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci by Michael J. Gelb.]



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