Lawnchair Philosopher

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The Fall

In the Morning

My wife

 

Tucks an apple

In my bag and

Plucks a kiss

From my cheek;

 

Leaves fall and

Its The Fall

And I leave

 

My Eve

Innocent.

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The Empty Can

school’s out and

an open mind

is an empty

can.

 

(joey hops

the chain link fence,

lands and kicks

a coors

can across

an open base-

ball field,

 

his hands

in his pockets,

his hope and his shoes

untied.)

 

walk home, joey.

it must be

getting dark soon and you are Sun-

burned and dusty.

Gospel Birds

I love gospel music. I love the literature, the art, and the architecture of Christendom. Yet I would not lock myself in a church, reading but one book, staring at but a few images, while listening alone to gospel music, however tempting that may be. I love bird songs and sunshine too much to spend my Sundays inside.

e.e. cummings wrote that little birds are the secrets of living, and that whatever they sing is better than to know. Yet it is hard not to know; it is hard to quiet the mind enough to really hear what the birds are singing.

Churches are too stuffy and self-righteous, clanging the pots and pans of their opinions, even to hear the music. And secularists are too fed up with theological debauchery to even come near to a church, where some cool birds might roost and sing.

Me, on my clearer days, when my mind is calm, and my heart full of spirit, I like to come near to a church, but to come no nearer than to stand on the lawn, free from the congregation. There, standing outside, I can on a sunday hear the songs, and know that, no matter how wrong the theology, the sound is right.

There, on the lawn, I can hear the music, smell the fresh cut grass, feel the warm moisture evaporate and permeate the air, almost as it would itself suspend the music. And when the song ends, I can, without disturbing a soul, walk nearer to the lawn’s edge, nearer to the forest, and listen to the ancient bird songs, and wonder when dinosaurs began to sing.