It never rained when I visited Senso-ji and Todai-ji Temples. I attributed this to good fortune, the Buddha clearing the skies for my visit. The young monk said the Buddha cares nothing for weather, so I should thank the Japan Meteorological Agency although they never seem to give him the weather he truly wants.
I have concluded that God created the cat in a moment of exhaustion or of extreme pique. How else to explain such a soft fur covered creature capable at once of a gentle caress and a claw lunging out at a hand or face deemed too close. Why else this projectile constantly launched only at those places it was not to be, fine wood tables etched with reminders of its sudden presence and rapid departure. What else to explain this shedding ball of multihued fur that always curls in sleep in the one place you wish to sit and even when it cedes a seat to you, smirks in the realization you will soon an unexpectedly be half covered in fur. Why this package of fluff and terror crawls beneath your blanket as you verge on sleep curls tightly against you and begins its gentle rhythmic purring that draws you deeply into a world of fur filled dreams.
First Published in ZOOANTHOLOGY, Sweetycat Press, August 2022
In my dream last night I was moving a matress, queen sized, probably with box springs but it was wrapped, from my parents’ home to my apartment, but not using a vehicle, just pushing it along the streets, obeying all the traffic signals, using my turn indicators, although don’t ask why a mattress had turn lights, just accept that it did. It was arduous work, and I hoped I’d soon get to the hill that led down to my apartment, for it would make the end of the journey easier by far. Unfortunately I never did get there, I woke up first wondering what the dream meant. So if you can help me, I would greatly appreciate your insights, and you should definitely know it was a Serta Perfect Sleeper for I’m sure that makes a difference.
Santayana said, “Only the dead have seen the end of the war.” We have grown adept at wars, no longer global in scope, but ubiquitous in frequency.
Mine was fought in the rice paddies of Vietnam, and on the campus where we struggled valiantly and vainly to protest, and when that failed, in the heat of Texas, marching about, going thankfully nowhere, shipped to Niagara Falls when the Air Force could think of nothing better to do with the likes of me.
I didn’t die, know several who did and sadly know Santayana was right for Bierce said it best, “In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.”
I will take it, the aging poet said to the ever more sparse crowd at the weekly open mic, as a recognition is the growth in the quality of my writing that I continue being rejected but now by a much higher quality of literary journals.
From the moment it began, we knew, it was obvious that peace and freedom were under assault, Russia had thrown societal norms to the wind.
Under gunmetal gray skies they attacked by air, killing women, children, destroying hospitals, homes raining hell on the innocents with nowhere to turn. All we could do was watch, pray and offer paltry aid in the hope that this proud nation could hold out, negotiate some peace, maintain their freedom, emerge like the phoenix slowly rising from the rubble.
A desert again, always a desert and she the saint of uncounted names, her crying eases, no smile appears for this Madonna of the coyotes, her orange-orbed eyes shuttered against the slowly retreating sun. Once her tears watered the desert sands, mixed with the blood of a Christ now long forgotten, trans- substantiated into a spirit we formed in our image, no longer we in his. The Blessed Mother watches, holding hope, holding space, holding a serenity we cannot fathom in our search for divine justification. She remembers, she mourns, for what ought to be, and waits for the windwalkers to pull the blanket of stars over her.