Friday, October 29, 2004

Time to Vote for Senator Kerry

It is election time. It is time to vote for Senator Kerry. Senator Kerry will return America to its original values, the values that made America great.

A Stronger America
Broad Prosperity
A Better Future
Effective Government
Shared Responsibility

Senator Kerry is an honest man who we can trust. He believes in America’s most cherished values. He is a true patriot who will restore America’s leadership and standing in the world.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Dreaming of Scipio

You read Michael Grant’s History of Rome a couple of weeks go. You swallowed it in one gulp. It was that good.

Now, you read Michael’s obituary as images of ancient Rome dance across your mind.

You remember the pleasant Summer Sunday morning when you sat in the sun and read Michael’s translation of The Dream of Scipio. Your lover sat close by reading the newspaper.

You recollect Ms. Soukup and Ms. Wellman who tried to teach you a bit of Latin when you were in school.

You take Wheelock’s Latin Grammar from the bookshelf.

You dream of Scipio, Cicero, and Michael.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

The Minister

He sits at his desk in his well appointed and large office. He looks out the window at the leaves falling from the trees.

His office has bookshelves filled with leather bound books, medieval art hanging on the walls, a large marble conference table, and leather couches and chairs around a coffee table. The office consoles the weary and forlorn as he ministers to them. The office comforts the wealthy and powerful as a spiritual home away from home.

His mind roams to the early days when he first started his ministry at a humble church. He built the congregation to include many of the rich and mighty who are his parishioners. His ministry is broadcast to millions each Sunday morning.

He’s been a successful evangelist.

He talked to the President yesterday. The President asked for his continuing political support. The President used to ask for his spiritual guidance, but during the past year that has changed.

He has accommodated. He tells the press that the President is God’s Anointed One on earth.

Yes, celestial order and hierarchy is as it should be.

He breaks from reverie and looks at his watch. It is time to start the service for the young man who has fallen in the war. A flag draped coffin stands beside the pulpit in the church outside his door. Inside the coffin is a head, part of a rib cage, an arm, part of a leg, and a foot with no toes.

He shivers. He looks at his watch again. He rises from his chair.

He walks to the pulpit. He sees the college law professor and his wife sitting in the front row, the father and mother of the boy who is no more. He remembers them coming to church each morning and leaving their children at Sunday School. He remembers them sitting in the pews at service for more years than he wishes to count.

He cannot remember the face of the young man who went off to war.

Later, he would sort out what was Caesar's and what was the Lord’s. He would sort out whether he’d been doing the Lord’s Will or his own.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

A Roof

The campfire was dead
when he woke. He started
a small fire, brewed
the last of the coffee,
and saddled his horse.

He needed a roof over his
head. The vault of stars
arching the prairie would
soon disappear behind low
clouds and snow flakes.

Monday, October 11, 2004

The Moment

You did not expect this to be a good day. You spent yesterday feeling tired after a night of fitful and restless sleep.

Then you fell asleep last night with problems on your mind. Less than an hour after falling asleep you have a vivid and violent nightmare.

You dream you are walking through a quiet and sedate Midwest neighborhood with a friend who does not have a face. You walk along a street lined with old two story houses. The air is warm and the trees are in full bloom and shade you from the heat of the setting sun. A neighborhood gang, wildly dressed, appears in a driveway separating two houses. They beat your friend to death. You can do nothing to help him as you watch. You run away. A gun appears in your hand as you run. You want revenge. You turn and are about to shoot the first gang member who chases after you when the dream jolts you wide awake.

You feel your heart racing and pounding. You take your pulse. Your heart beats 150 times per minute.

You return to sleep. You sleep deeply until an hour before sunrise.

You start your day. You feel rested. Your mind works well. And you are not afraid. The world does not threaten you.

You live in the moment today almost impervious to the past and the future.

What more could you possibly ask for?

Sunday, October 10, 2004

To Jacques

You wake before dawn.
You read the obituaries
For Jacques Derrida.

The sun rises into another
Cloudless sky.
You drink your coffee,
Eat your chocolate donuts.

Some surviving letters
Of Epicurus And Cicero beckon.

Fare thee well, Jacques.
You will read his letters.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Woman with an English Springer Spaniel

She is old. She walks
her English Springer Spaniel
along the lake each morning
just after sunrise.
She ties a colorful scarf
about her head and wears an old coat
now that the air has turned chill.
The spaniel walks slowly,
in step, with the woman.
The spaniel is old too.

You think of your English Springer Spaniel
gone fifteen years ago,
gone for as long as you have been gone.
You think of returning home,
but home is gone too.