Pray for Me

I know that I do religion wrong,
I’ve been told that for years
By people who have a real
One-on-one relationship with God.
And so it’s gotten to the point
Where I seek my answers within
And hope that God will set me right
Whenever I am wrong.

And what God has said to me
Is that most of our prayer offends him.
People spend so much time asking for things
That he has no intention of granting.
They ask for money or health or strength
Without realizing God has given those things
To the degree within his will.

“My grandfather is dying.  God save him!”
No, I decide when is his time. Not you.
Why do you think your heartfelt appeal
Will sway the will of God? Who are you?

To me, a man who does religion wrong,
I believe prayer should be a celebration
Of all the wonders God has done in my life
And a general request for understanding.
I don’t need to understand God’s motives,
But I’d like to know what I should do.
And my only request besides guidance
Is this, which covers everything:
Thy Will Be Done.


NaPoWriMo – Day 28


His Hero

In your first semester of college,
you were asked to write an essay
about someone that you considered a hero,
and you wrote about me.

Me, your dear old dad! Imagine that!
All the superheroes in all of fandom
All the noteworthy newsmakers around the globe,
and you chose me. Me. Me.

You praised me because I never gave up on myself,
that I always made time for you, that I was always there,
that I taught you what really mattered in the world
and how to be successful in it.

You gave me credit for opening your mind,
for teaching you to use your imagination,
to express your ideas in writing and drawing,
to be a man who knows himself.

But you were using the wrong eyes when you wrote that.

I was so lost, son, with no direction
until you came into my life and forced me to find the way.
and I had to make things up, fantastically,
because I had so little and wanted to give you so much.

I had to stand as a man, to show you how to stand,
I had to find my way so you wouldn’t be lost.
I had to be successful so I didn’t fail you.
I had to find happiness to stave off the sorrow.

What I’m trying to say is that, as much as I’m your hero,
you are the one who gave me my powers.
Without you, I would never have become as strong as I have.
Without you, there is no Me.

I pull your essay out from time to time
(Did you even know I still had it?)
and I read about how wonderful I am.
But I know how incredible you are, son.

NaPoWriMo – Day 27

Limericks for My Little Kids

To Jase

My honey bear, my busy bee,
You bring so much joy to me!
I love your smile
I love your style
You make Papa so happy.


To Reegan

Hello, Princess, shining star,
I love you from near to far.
You are so sweet
You can’t be beat,
What a super girl you are!


NaPoWriMo – Day 26

Too Tired to Teach

Too Tired to Teach

C’mon kids, whaddayasay?
Can you find something to keep you busy today?
Read a book, maybe write a story,
Do some research on allegory?
You could make a poster, paint your nails,
Research why the French eat snails,
Create a pastiche of neoclassicism,
Denounce the philosophy of pacifism,
Draw a comic about a superhero,
Debate the relative worth of Zero.
I know you came come up with some great thought
That will be ten times better than what I’ve taught.
So do your deal, I trust you guys.
Just let the teacher close his eyes.
So long as it’s something I can praise,
Today you’re all going to earn straight A’s.

NaPoWriMo – Day 25


We are all so confident that we’re safe
Snuggling contentedly at home
Ignoring the rest of the world
Using our technology
Never realizing
How fragile life is
And how quickly
It could just


NaPoWriMo –  Day 24

[I came up with the concept of the Countdown poem when thinking about the Nonet. Quite simply, the form goes from 10 syllables per line (the Nonet uses 9) down to 1.]


Really, Who Cares?

Poetry is fine when read in school.
Everyone gets to share their opinions
about what it all means
and what the author’s purpose was.

But, really, you know,
Who cares?

Poetry is good when read on a card.
Someone creates some sentiment
that approximates experience,
and the recipient says “Ohh…”

But, really, you know,
Who cares?

Poetry is okay when shared on a blog.
Some writers crafted some thoughts
and wrestled it into stanzas,
then shared it on Facebook.

But, really, you know,
Who cares?

No, the only poetry that really matters
are the whispered rhythmic rhymes
inside your own brain
demanding to be set free.

So, you know, write a poem.
I care.

NaPoWriMo – Day 23

50 Things

Certainly by the age of fifty, which I am today,
I should have learned fifty lessons, and so I will say…

  1. Respect your parents, who know more than you think.
  2. Take a bath daily, or else you will stink.
  3. Keep your mouth shut, never reveal too much.
  4. At fancy stores, you can look but don’t touch.
  5. It never hurts to be nice, go ahead and smile.
  6. Sometimes it’s good to be alone for a while.
  7. Question authority, but follow the rules.
  8. Celebrate the geniuses, but tolerate the fools.
  9. Whenever you can, be generous to a fault.
  10. Lock your fears in your heart, like a steel vault.
  11. Never use other people, and never be used.
  12. Never let yourself be in any way abused.
  13. You can always recover a fumble at the end of the game.
  14. When people are nice to you, treat them the same.
  15. Read as many books as possible, open your mind.
  16. Sometimes you’re going to need a kick in the behind.
  17. Second chances? Give them. Third chances, don’t.
  18. Friends will either be there for you, or they won’t.
  19. Tell your children every day how much you treasure them.
  20. For some folk, everything you say will displeasure them.
  21. Find your special talent, something you can hone.
  22. Your best friend really shouldn’t be your telephone.
  23. In class, you should always take notes of what is said.
  24. Tropical fish in a bowl should not be overfed.
  25. Listen to what you’re told, but think for yourself.
  26. Dispose of expired goods on your refrigerator shelf.
  27. Find one person to serve as your Secret Keeper.
  28. Shop around, you can usually find things cheaper.
  29. Spend an hour in contemplation (some folks call it prayer).
  30. Sometimes it’s amusing if you poke the bear.
  31. People are going to let you down; adjust your expectation.
  32. Be a genuine person, don’t assume some affectation.
  33. When you’re sleepy. go to bed. When you’re hungry, eat.
  34. As Lieutenant Dan told Forrest, don’t neglect your feet.
  35. Accept people in your life who who they really are.
  36. It never hurts to dream; go and wish upon a star.
  37. Get your oil changed, check your tires, take care of your truck.
  38. Sometimes in life you have to just say What the Heck.
  39. Don’t be afraid to ask people questions.
  40. Don’t be afraid to ignore their suggestions.
  41. Find something that you love and do it every day.
  42. Make time to put away your work and take some time to play.
  43. Go into the world, don’t sit alone at home.
  44. When you’re really feeling bad, write yourself a poem.
  45. Ask your grandparents to tell you stories of their youth.
  46. As much as you possibly can, try to tell the truth.
  47. Sometimes the only way to help someone is to hurt them just a little.
  48. Know some knock-knock jokes by heart, know a clever riddle.
  49. Learn to read the signs so you know when it’s time to go.
  50. Always remember that we only think we know what we know.

That’s fifty things I’ve learned in life, now I’ve shared with you.
So tell me Happy Birthday, and teach me something new.


NaPoWriMo – Day 22