Friday, August 29, 2008

pear tree gazers

Jasmine, our black lab, is a dedicated tree-gazer.

I'd say squirrel-gazer, but the squirrel seems optional; at best, he's the catalyst that gets the whole process going. In this case, he (the squirrel) had long since lunged across our fence into the neighbor's yard, airborne, barking epithets.

Pepper, the beagle, isn't sold on the tree-watching enterprise. Here, above, she's clearly faking.

But never mind that Pepper's looking at the sky. Her chin is up, and that's what's important; she's got good form.

"Anyway, the Big Dog is stupid," Pepper thinks, not meaning to hurt Jasmine's feelings, but unconcerned if she does.

Truth is, Jasmine doesn't care what Pepper thinks. There is nothing in the world right now but Jasmine, the tree, and one barking, bastard squirrel. Eventually he will return.

Maybe this time, drunk and buttered.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stick Bug

If God hadn't wired my mandibles shut
I would devour you.

It was His little joke
to harness within me
a teeming pond of crocodiles.
It was yours to think
you could amble around me
like a tired dad at Disneyworld.

I am Shiva in your window.

Go back inside to your starving pups and supper.
Crank the cans,
Cut in the kibble.

Think of me.

In this slowest waltz
We are partners, you and I,
Clasping hands with our enemy reflections.
Yet, what you find so painfully still,
I, knowing time, call dance.
Here between us in the glass,
Stars wriggle like embryos;
Our touch is the birthplace
of constellations.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Newsweek Goes "Onion"

In the check-out aisle today, my eyes scanned over the spinning sucker-pops and tabloids until they landed, at last, on the most recent Newsweek.

I was intrigued. In giant words on its cover, the magazine promised to address a rarely-covered topic -- Namely: "What Bush Got Right."

I am such a rube.... They almost had me!

In fact, it wasn't till I saw that it was double issue that I realized they were pulling my leg.

Newsweek. Hooligans!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Less carnal and gauche than the feathery quill,
far flung from the weakness that pencils entail,
absolved of the typewriter's clacking and pomp,
no smack of the privilege that laptops instill.
Less pre-teen than texting while trying to jog
and lord knows, of far nobler blood than the blog

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"The Right Thing to Do"

Sojourners MagazineSojourners Magazine certainly had a "time capsule" feel this month. I chuckled to see John Edwards in a pressed white shirt.

Inside, his interview is - one might say prophetically - entitled, "The Right Thing to Do." How ironic. That caiaphasian phrase was likely chugging through the printing press, ten thousand at a time, just as Edwards was first telling Nightline about his "mistake," and making grating qualifying statements like: "First of all it happened during a period after she was in remission ..."

When Edwards first went public, I was surprised at my own anger. I was taking this all too personally, as if the man had cheated on me.

He didn't. And frankly, even if he did, I wouldn't be in any place to throw the first stone. Over the last couple of weeks, I've realized that my indignation is less righteous than pragmatic. I am hurt, in a low-grade, novacained sort of way, that yet another person I looked up to has betrayed this moral weakness and cause such hurt to his wife and family.

But that's not my battle. Instead, more than anything, I'm just bothered that Edwards broke faith with what he called his "life vocation" -- ending poverty in America. His career is shot, and he willingly took that risk. Now the anti-poverty movement will have to regroup from the blow.

"I think it's entirely possible [to put poverty on the national agenda]," Edwards tells Jim Wallace. "I think what's missing is sustained leadership on this issue."

I guess, for now, we'll just have to keep looking.