Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Coming Blizzard

(by R.P.Edwards)

Blizzards are subjective things
Depending where you’re at
Up north; a driving foot or three
Down south…much less than that
In fact, an inch can paralyze
The streets, so used to none
And make us pray for warmer days
When blizzards…do not come

Hans hardly slowed (though three miles into the trek) as he quickly shifted the hundred pound “rullning” stone (Swedish for “rolling”) from his aching right shoulder to a position centered on his heaving, flannel draped chest and, shifting slightly, he locked it securely with his powerful arms, crossed at the wrists.  “Hmmph,” he audibly uttered as he thought of his fellow weightlifters who spent their time in comfortable gyms, flexing in between applications of baby oil.  “Wimps,” he grunted (hurdling a fallen pine).  “Sport is not in the lifting…but in the race.”  As the last word exited his lips, so too the covering of the wood fell behind; and before him?…the last leg of the marathon; a mountain with a pleasant moniker (for others), but to the “athletes” it is simply known as “dumdristig,” which, translated, means…foolhardy.

On Sunday, last, we had, what I jokingly refer to as the Blizzard of ‘09.  Oh, we must have had an inch or two, but this was enough to raise the caution flag.  You see, we’re not used to a lot of snow around here.  We’ll get a few inches now and then.  But, generally, it’s a cause for concern and I, knowing the limitations of “Bubble Butt” (affectionate term for my vintage Roadmaster) I proceeded to shuffle some of the hibernating weights in the basement…to the trunk of said vehicle.  Yes, years ago I purchased the heavy rounds and proceeded to religiously “pump iron.”  That is, until my elbow let me know that a threshold had been passed.  Now, for the most part, they serve as a little extra “oomph” for the powered rear wheels and, even with the extra hundred pounds of ballast in the hold, I still proceeded to skate past the first stop sign (normally I would have thrown it in reverse, but I had a coffee mug in my hand).  “Physician heal thyself,” came to mind; as I had just given one of my boys the “how to” as far as winter driving goes.

Anyway,  this whole underwear bombing thing is like my two inch blizzard.  It reveals the weaknesses in the hardware (vehicle) and the software (mindset.)  I’m a little better prepared now.  But will this nation follow suit?  For surely…a real blizzard…is on its way.

That’s what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below…and say.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Reality Check

(by R.P.Edwards)

Recognize the danger
Pinpoint the disease
Strip away assumptions
Forget the “how to please”
Life demands confronting
Truth…the naked light
The battle, lost…with colors
To win:  Choose black…and white

Well, it’s been a few days since the Islamic terrorist tried to blow up the airplane on our beloved Christmas Holiday.   His method was a bit unusual (explosives in the underwear), and, since no one was actually hurt I thought perhaps I’d make light of the fellow by introducing this blog with a twisting of the old song, “Skip to My Lou.”  It would go something like, “Bomb’s in my underwear, what’ll I do?  Bomb’s in my underwear, what’ll I do?” And…it would degenerate from there.  Fortunately for both of us…I abandoned the project.

Now, I’ll not spend any time railing against the gaping holes in security, or the glaring disconnect in intelligence gathering and sharing; no, what disturbs me the most is the continued downplay of who the enemy actually is. Yes, political correctness continues to feign ignorance and apathy towards those who, predominantly, are Muslim Jihadists bent on the murder of non-believers.  And, since we choose to ignore this by ascribing a lesser or more lonely motivation; well, we’re inviting another death blow that will, no doubt, move us to action.  However, this “action” may very well remove not only the adversary…but, via the ballot box, those who are currently too timid to call them by their correct name.   

That's what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below...and say.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Washington Dance

The Look Down
(by R.P.Edwards)

It must be
So very hard
To look down…from the hill
To see the rabble
And then to hear
Their voices…loud and shrill
To view the common…bumpkins!…boobs!
The represented few
Who dare to question
The people’s choice
Who dare to question…you
Yes, it must be hard
To downward gaze
While righting ancient wrongs
In crafting bills…progressives love
The stuff…of art and songs
Yes, it must be hard
This looking down
As you redefine the state
But not as hard
As looking back
To the founders
…whom you hate

As relationships go…it was a mandate.  Frank, who had always struck out with the winsome Veronica; well,  he now walked proudly with the “pretty as a model’ heiress of the grandest estate in all Alabama towards the annual dance which would put a fine “period” at end of the sentence that was this last, remarkable year.  Yes, Frank had always considered himself the “choicest” of males, but now that the lovely lady had finally come to her senses, well, wedding bells could not be far away.  Funny thing about relationships, the eyes are not always least in the beginning.  No, this “view” is often clouded with hopes and dreams, and sometimes the wish to simply get away from the past...this too ads a softening filter.  However, a closer examination, along with a step or two, can be quite enlightening as to the compatibility of the couple.  And so it was with the "match made in heaven," Frank and Veronica.  Yes, by the end of the twirling, and shuffling, and stepping, and dips, well, the “one” who had entered…exited as two.  And, as the “wiser now” beauty walked slowly away (on the arm of a more compatible beau) Frank stood by the doorway (the party still in evidence behind) and shouted, “Hey, you chose me!  I have a mandate!  Come back here!  I’m not through dancing!”   

Tis the day after Christmas, and all through the house, most children are sleeping; and working?…my spouse.  And so I, pondering whether I should blather or not, looked at the headlines.  Yes, some zealot wanted to blow up an airplane, but, what’s this?  The CBO has calculated the cost of extending federal benefits to gay couples.  It’s a bunch.  And yes, if any such measure shows up on President Obama’s desk…he’ll sign it.

Oh, it is wearying.  The actions of the elite?  No…our ignorance of them.  Call me naïve, but I still believe that most of  America, when it comes to “values, mores, beliefs” is still on the side of tradition.  Whether it be babies in the womb, or couples at the alter, I think we, the ignorant masses, are closer to the view of our parents than those to whom we have unwittingly given a mandate.  So…let’s dance with them.  Let’s dance hard!  Let’s gaze into their eyes, their souls.  Let’s watch their every step and observe which way they lean, and how far they lean.  And then, when confident of their construct, if a suitable suitor taps in, let’s cut the dandy loose…and waltz the other way.

That's what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below...and say.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Parker Griffith and the Duck

If it quacks…
(by R.P.Edwards)

The waddle
The quack
And the visage
The “duck” thing…we all know
But politicians
Are just the same
Just look…
And you will know
It’s what they do
To back the words
That determines who…they be
So look for ducks…
To act like ducks
The truth…is plain to see

“Dr. Griffith! What are you doing!?”  [The setting: the O.R. at Capital Hospital.  The physician, an oncologist by the name of Parker Griffith, had been tirelessly battling the grotesque tumor for a little over a year, to no effect.  Without question the situation called for desperate measures, but the action taken; well, let’s just say…it stood the Hippocratic Oath on its head].  “Dr. Griffith!” the young intern anxiously repeated, “what are you doing?”  The surgeon paused, looked up briefly at the concerned assistant and, refocusing, continued the long and deep incision that would ultimately remove the huge mass from the host.  “Doctor!  The patient will die!  He can’t possibly survive so much trauma!”  Without hesitating, the fifty pound oozing lump was carefully removed and then placed in an incubator even as the expiring “patient’s” head was covered with a sheet.  A few moments later, as attending staff removed their masks and stood, with mouths agape, in a semi-circle around the chief surgeon…they heard the explanation.  “I had it all wrong,” he began (wiping his brow with an offered towel).  “For so long I was trying to save the thing that looked like the patient.  But in actuality (he paused to down a small paper cup’s worth of water) it was the “tumor” that was the human.”  Those in attendance looked to one another in amazement at the words, and then, composing themselves, centered their gaze once more as the surgeon continued.  “It took me a year to realize it, but the person I was trying to treat was actually a parasite; a clever and deadly imitation of the former Mr. Jefferson.  Finally, after carefully observing the effects of the supposed “cancer” I determined that “it” was the victim, horribly disfigured by a cruel charlatan.  Now, with the wounded safely in the incubator; well, I hope he can recover.  Perhaps, with unfailing attention…he will.”

In the news:  Democratic Representative, former oncologist, Parker Griffith, has changed allegiances from the donkey to the elephant.  I took a little time to check out his “official” site.  It appears, on the issues I care most about…that he’s closer to the republican ideal than a lot of republicans.  And, since the democratic leadership has taken a steep leftward tangent, he has jumped ship.  Well, not really.  The ship has transformed into a submarine and he wisely donned a lifejacket to keep from going under.  Good for him.  I only hope other likeminded dems do the same.  And, I also hope this man of conviction can administer some of the same medicine to the ailing others in the party of Lincoln.

That's what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below...and say.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Shameful Senate

The Shameful Senate
(by R.P.Edwards)

Hurry! Hurry!
Before they think!
Ignore the nose!
Ignore the stink!
Swallow quickly!
No time to taste!
No time for palates!
No time to waste!
Quickly! Quickly!
In, and down!
Only smiles!
Never frowns!
We have won!
For their own good
The deed is done!
And then they’ll know
They’ll all know why
Uncertain wings
Will lift and fly!
Yes, we believe!
Yes, time will tell!
Unless…we’re wrong
And usher…Hell

His name is Max.  He’s a Shiatsu; one of those little whitish dogs you see at shows where the fur is long and flowing and terribly cute.  Well, Max is not a show dog.  Oh, he’s not ugly, but that long hair thing; we gave up on that long ago.  Too much trouble.  In fact…a royal pain.  These days, to handle the locks (he‘s not a shedder), this middle aged pooch goes to the groomer two or three times a year (finances permitting.) 

You know, when certain dogs are puppies, they’ve got some nasty habits.  One is the, “I’ve got to eat it--no matter what “it” is--quickly, before they can stop me!”  Believe me, this “wolf it down” syndrome--so I’ve observed--can be downright gross.  And, since we’re talking about a dog; the consequences of the consumption…is never considered.

Well, in true puppy style the Senate is about to “eat it” in regards to the cobbled mess known as the Health Care Bill.  “Do it quick before anybody really understands it or considers the consequences!
And, after it’s eaten, it’s too late! Weee!”  Yes, in true “Stimulus” fashion our representatives will vote for the dream of universal healthcare; believing that the details will work themselves out over time.  But, just as the solemn vows of marriage are so often trivialized, so too this soon to be “consummated contract” is destined for, at the very least, disharmony. 

A while back I wrote a piece extolling the virtues of the slow-moving Senate.  I take it back.  But, having said that, I will not lay too much blame on the vote receivers.  No, they are just who the starry eyed American public wanted.  And now; now that the honeymoon’s over, we have to live with our decision.  At least until next November.  Perhaps then we can have a few of the unions…annulled.

That's what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below...and say.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I Got Mine!

I Got Mine!
(by R.P.Edwards)

I got mine!
And mine is fine!
I spent my time
Getting mine
And sure…there’s you
But you’re not me
And I don’t care for you…you see?
But as for me, and those of mine
Yes, thanks to me…we’re doing fine!
In fact I’d say…it’s quite sublime!
This mine, from me
From all my time.
But…too bad for them
Too bad for you
You should have followed
What I do!
Too bad you’ll sink
Too bad you’ll drown
Too bad the others spiral down
But as for me
But as for mine
We’ll laugh and float in bright sunshine
And in the end
When past our prime
And death’s a knockin’
And says, “It’s time”
Then they’ll lay my bod beside the pine
And at its head
They’ll place a sign
Which simply states my life’s opine…
“Above all else…I sure got mine!”

Let’s begin with two quotes by Senator Tom Harkin gleaned from the wire before a vote (early this day) to stifle Republican threats of a filibuster aimed at slowing down the Obamacare juggernaut.  "Today we are closer than we've ever been to making Sen. Ted Kennedy's dream of universal health insurance coverage a reality,"   "Vote your hopes, not your fears. Seize the moment."

On this brisk Monday morn, as I was straightening out the incredibly cluttered desk I sometimes work from in the basement, I received a call from my wife who was wheeling her way towards the job and heard on the radio that there was some kind of vote during the wee hours concerning a rebuffed republican stand.  I check the computer and…sure enough, the anemic minority was trying their darndest to stop the healthcare bill.  Nope.  It looks like this sugar coated cyanide pill is about to be popped.  And, I believe its ingestion will poison this nation…big time.

Now, let me point out, I’m not questioning the sincerity of the supporters.  Nor am I necessarily lauding the few who are finally beginning to “man up.”  But I just want to make an observation:  Last year a majority of Americans voted for a dream…“Hope, change, a new way of doing things.”  Well, it didn’t take long after the inaugural bash to realize that wishful thinking doesn’t necessarily translate to concrete “doing.”  And now, with a bill on the table that will literally touch us all, well, Mr. Harkin’s statement of voting your “hopes” means we're still in the same la la mindset. 

Here’s my point:  I’ve learned over time that wishful, hopeful thinking is fine up until the contract is signed.  After that…the saddle is applied…and you’re there for the ride.  I believe this bill is far too expansive and will do us ill.  Wishful thinking, or no, the hard realities will soon be upon us and if the Washington blizzard is an omen…then the snow job they received, will not compare with the one we’ll soon be subjected to.

The poem?  Dedicated to the sell outs.

That’s my opinion.  What’s yours?  Click comments below…and say.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

No Bibles Allowed

The Bible Effect
(by R.P.Edwards)

Revered and honored
Hated…to shreds
Open…for all
Hidden ‘neath beds
Sought…for destruction
Sought…for true life
Never neutral
And one…

The third grader gently lifted the lid to her desk and pulled out the book.  It was quiet time and, since she was allowed to read, she thought bringing her favorite “real” book to school would fill the time nicely.  Sure, like most kids her age she enjoyed the fantasies and funnies that her other friends were consumed with; but this book, her bible, was much more than those other, transient tales.  Indeed, by observing how much mom and dad loved it, and how the minister on Sunday was always quoting from it, well, it seemed only natural to become better acquainted with the pages.  But the main reason, was that it told about Jesus.  And this little girl…loved him.  It was disturbing, therefore, when the teacher, someone the child respected and even liked, walked up to her and demanded that the wonderful book be put away…because it wasn’t “appropriate.” 

On this Thursday morn, as I assisted in the send off of my spouse, I saw on the news how yet another public school teacher sought to reinforce the secular mindset by “banning the book.”  Of course, this individual was out of line (so says the Supreme Court…whoopee!) but I tire so of the whole separation of church and state nonsense.  Again:  God is mentioned four times in the Declaration of Independence.  The Constitution ends with the phrase, “in the year of our Lord” and, a simple review of the era when the document was written reveals Biblical principles being a necessary part of the A B C’s.  The convoluted route, it seems to me, whereby the black robed class have concluded that we are to be, when it comes to education “anti-God” (what is “secular,” if not that?) is, at the very least, inane.  The solution?  Vouchers.  Give me my portion and I’ll send my kids to an institution that reflects my values.  A place that teaches radical ideas like; don’t murder, steal, lie, or cheat on your spouse.  Where marriage is uncomplicated and sexuality…is safe.  And how about the most revolutionary idea of all…honor your father and mother.

That's what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below...and say.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Contingency Plans

The Contingency Plan
(by R.P.Edwards)

The contingency plan
A thoughtful thing
Preparing one
For what fate may bring
To be on guard
Against the new
To stay on course
The heading…true
But contingency plans
Too oft are slight
Forgetting that death
Must someday…bite
So, think beyond your daily breath
And think of He
Who conquered death
Then, stepping to the edge of land
Embrace the clouds
In His scarred hands

“Unflappable,” it was a word the young biologist didn’t use very often, but watching his “boss” methodically put together the cold weather gear (even as the life-sustaining generator sputtered its final gasp) and then explain the intricacies of the plan for survival (listing the doings of each prospective day, culminating in a final exit strategy should there be no break in the weather), well, unflappable fit…and it gave the neophyte a degree of comfort, though from all appearances…the situation was very bleak, indeed.  “Dr. Comstock,” interrupted the youngster after the elder laid out the plan for day six, “what if these contingency plans fail?  I mean, what if…”  “My dear boy,” said the old scholar as he grimaced a bit while slipping on the--a little too small--thermal suit, “What we do then…is die.”  There was a weighted pause as the good doctor pulled the sturdy brass zipper up to his adam’s apple (being careful to avoid his long gray whiskers).  And then, handing the other suit to his companion he, looking over the top of his dark rimmed reading glasses, asked, “You do know that you will die someday, correct?”  The others silence spoke volumes and, as the kindly instructor motioned for the youth to begin dressing, he added, “Well, I see there is one more plan…that I need to share with you.”

The other day I mentioned the (in my opinion) rather cold weather we were experiencing.  Those north of us would scoff at my hesitation, but the thought of my bike ride in frigid  temperatures…gave me pause.  I carefully donned my protective attire, being sure to cover any skin that would not fare well against a negative windchill.  Well, things went fairly well till the final four blocks.  At that point my glasses iced over, a low branch pulled back my hood, and the scarf I had over my face unraveled.  Nevertheless, I survived. 

Contingency plans.  Wise.  But when you know that an end is certain; well, shouldn’t the preparation for this finality…be of first importance?

That’s what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below…and say.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Teaching teachers

Who will teach?
(by R.P.Edwards)

Who will teach the teachers
If the teachers
Have not been taught
And who will instruct the children
Of the bloody battles fought
For sadly, with the passing skin
True meanings also die
And those who share the sharing…
Are only guessing…why

It was a people transport.  A pickup from a church down the street where some of my young’uns were attending the midweek service (our home church is currently a little light in the “youth activity department”).  Anyway, on this particular cold December eve the local “Christmas Station” was playing a John Denver song, Aspenglow.  The first verse goes:

See the sunlight through the pine
Taste the warm of winter wine
Dream of softly falling snow
Winter snow, Aspenglow

Now, along with the nostalgic element (my era) I was paying close attention to the lyrics for, as the poor Disc Jockeys on this particular station are forced to listen to Christmas songs, one after another, I’ve noticed that in order to qualify for airplay the tune only has to have a vague reference to the holiday.  This song didn’t even do that.  But there was the mention of snow…I guess that met the slightly expanding standard. 

As we neared the end of the run my mind wandered a bit in the direction of the blond haired, wire-rimmed glasses singer/songwriter.  He was big in the seventies.  But…to my oblivious children (“Here he goes again!”) it might as well have been the middle ages.  And, as we pulled into port and the captives were finally set free,  I was once again reminded that in the space of just a few years…knowledge and knowing…fade.  That’s why the act and art of teaching is so important.  Indeed, there are truths that are to be maintained, preserved, passed on.  However, even the slightest misalignment of the stones…and the whole structure leans towards oblivion.  Surely, as late placed bricks begin to totter and fall; surely there are those who still hold a plumb line?  But the question remains; how much will have to fall…before it can be rebuilt…if at all?

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust
Kingdoms will crumble, bridges will rust
Mountains will disappear, rivers will dry up
And so it goes with everything but love
(from the song, "And So It Goes" by John Denver)

That's what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below...and say.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Ill Wind

The Ill Wind
(by R.P.Edwards)

There’s an ill wind blowing
Hard…and bitter cold
Sweeping cross the nation
An evil…ages old
Seeking out the souls of men
To crush…and kill…the will
Forgetful we…we bid it come
And now…we’ll have our fill

Uncle Larry was a character.  A little older than my dad, he was--what was the word mom used?--Eccentric! That’s it!  Anyway, me and sis thought his ways were funny.  When he came to visit (every Arbor Day, believe it or not) he’d fill our young minds with wonderful stories of the our “Great Mother” (his words) the earth.  He’d lead us through the woods and whenever we’d come upon a bug or slug he’d (no kidding!) say, “Say hello to your distant cousin.”  The funniest thing was when we stood at the end of the driveway and every time a SUV drove by he’d utter some sort of curse (Mayan, he said).  Yeah, uncle Harry was a character, and he was fun to have around.  But…when mom and dad suddenly died in a car crash…and he became our legal guardian; well, then our lives became a living hell.

It’s early morning, and I begin my dayshift run this cold--and getting colder--December day.  In my neck of the woods (mid-America) there’s a cold front a-comin.’ I can hear the wind howling outside, and the weather folk predict single digits when the new day begins. 

The little charade above (I have no uncle Larry) is a type of “us” and “they.”  For some reason we have killed our “parents” along with their values and “truths,” and substituted them with the eccentric leanings of academia and the airy nothingness of Hollywood. Yes, these relatives were fun to listen to, and entertaining at the family gatherings, but now they’re in charge.  It’s an ill wind…and we invited it.  Better batten down the hatches…this storm…has teeth.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pearl Harbor Day

Pearl Harbor Day
(by R.P.Edwards)

Busy, busy
Fleeting time
Pause for little
Rushing past
Memorial threads
Life for living
Forget…the dead
But now and then
From trials deep
From valleys low
With risings…steep
With easing pain
I see the worth
Of values born…
Not of this earth
And so a moment
On this day
Remembering heroes
Their blood…the pay
That bought my leisure
My selfish view
A simple pause for thanks
…to you.

“Red sky at night, the sailor’s delight,” so goes the ancient adage.  I thought about it on my mission last night at dusk which required a buggy ride (in one of our little steel mill transports) and an outside jaunt into the cold December elements.  There, as I tooled along, to the west, were clouds that had the appearance of cotton that had been subject to the cat’s merciless teasing; and they were red.  Well, even though I spent some time sailing the briny deep (decades ago), the saying never made sense.  However, one minute on Wikipedia cleared it up.  It all has to do with predictable weather patterns and the rays of the sun as they travel through the atmosphere at dawn…and dusk.  The “red skies” can indeed be a precursor…to good, or ill.

Today is Pearl Harbor Day.  Sixty-eight years ago the United States was plunged into a World War and the generation of our parents and grandparents was asked, and accepted, the task of sowing their blood that the hope of freedom…might bloom.  And, for us, their progeny…it certainly has.  However, it appears that it is again morning…and the sky is red.  We can try and ignore it; say it’s not coming; but the front is moving steadily towards us.  I hope a little of our ancestor’s “stuff” has been passed on.  We’ll see.  But on this day…we remember them…and say, “Thanks.”

That’s what I think.  How about you? Click comments below…and say.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mike Huckabee and Compassion’s Choice

(by R.P.Edwards)

Compassion is a priceless bloom
To thrive, a heart must give it room
No place for greed and selfish gain
No bed for anger’s shoots of pain
No vines of fear that choke the life
No calloused stones of hate and strife
But only soil, rich and red
Where love can grow, from heaven fed
And growing, reaches past the skin
Perchance to touch…and welcome in
Perchance to share your answered cry
When sorrow shouted how?! and why?!
 And you received compassion's bloom
Because the Savior…gave it room

I imagine it can be quite humbling; to realize that thousands of your peers...have loaned you their power, their strength, their trust.  Yes, as chief executive of the state, as governor, your words carry weight.  Your judgment will effect lives; set things in motion that will change, alter, direct streams that will run (and hopefully not ruin) long after your term attains lame duck status.

Then governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, had on his desk a request for commutation.  An inmate by the name of Maurice Clemmons had, as a sixteen year old, committed crimes that earned him a sentence of over one hundred years.  The governor weighed the request, considered the circumstances, and sided with compassion.  He lessened the offenders time to forty seven years, which made him eligible for parole.  It was not a free pass by any means, but it was at least a chance to not let teenage mistakes...ruin a whole life.

Now fast forward to 2009.  Maurice Clemmons, who, because of the compassionate act of a governor, did indeed breath freedoms air once more; well, instead of a new, fresh start, his life spiraled downward, culminating, many years later, in the murder of four police officers.  He was later gunned down. 

Understandably, Mike Huckabee, upon learning of the tragic events, could only offer..."If I had known."  And, naturally, there are those who will try to demonize the man, even going so far as to link him with former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis' disastrous prisoner furlough program.  But, to the objective and open, given the information he was given, his decision was understandable, even laudable.  And, although I join the nation in mourning the death of the innocent, and grieve over the ongoing suffering of their families,  concerning Mike Huckabee, I'd trade him for just about any politician who now sits in congress...or the white house.

Two weeks ago a fairly young (compared to me) minister stood behind the pulpit and gave a message of hope.  He spoke of a Savior whose compassion had reached down to him, even in his prison cell, and lifted him up.  This former criminal is a felon, and his early transgressions could have kept him behind bars...for life.  But compassion had its way and now his life is a blessing.  How terribly sad, that the life of Maurice Clemmons...took a different tack. 

That's what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below...and say.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black Friday...on Sunday

(by R.P.Edwards)

Moves the feet
When “longing for” and “finding”…meet
When constant torment
Sees the “stop”
When burning thirst
Perceives the…“drop”
But when conditions are unknown
Like silent cancer in the bone
Then desperation has no breath
No urge to move…and foil death
And so, O Lord, help us perceive
Our sinful state
And your heart…grieved
And then…the Christ…on mercy’s seat
Then desperation…move our feet

Black Friday; the day after thanksgiving when shopping deals, bargains, and savings drive untold thousands to the waiting aisles of the formerly placid sellers of things.  Be it the toy shop or the hardware haven, the known reduction of a few bucks…and here they come! 

Now, usually I avoid this feeding frenzy like the plague, but this year there was a personal element as my beloved spouse had garnered needful employment at an establishment known for a giraffe mascot and the universal lament, “I don’t wanna grow up!.”  Anyway, my honey was required to work her first ever midnight shift (doors opened at twelve, Thanksgiving night) and I thought it my least obligation to drop her off, and pick her up.  As we rounded the corner, nearly an hour before the floodgates opened, there they were…the thousands.  Wrapped completely around this not small building was a line, two, or three, or four deep (after all, who wants to go shopping alone?), all waiting to rush upon the prey.  My wife informed me that the flow was steady…all night.

So, I was thinking the obvious; they come because they have a need or desire to save some dough, to purchase a gift for themselves or someone else that they wouldn’t or couldn’t buy…before.  In other words; the perceived need…sends them to…the feed.

And so, since this is a Sunday post, the obvious connection is that we humans are in a terrible state; lost, separated from God, destined for destruction.  However, there is a provided, wonderful solution…Jesus.   If the universal problem were truly perceived, and the remedy understood;  every Bible-based church would experience an influx like the retailers on Black Friday.  May we who believe pray, and work towards this end.  For, brothers and sisters, like the sales after Thanksgiving, there is…a time limit.

That's what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below...and say.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Purpose Driven...Cat

(by R.P.Edwards)

Here’s your purpose:
Start off frail
Cute of face
And dancing tail
A tiny fur ball
Soft and sweet
Play with string
And nibble…feet
Then quickly grow
And stake your claim
Never come
When they call your name
Endure the children
Torment the hound
Find a spot
You cannot be found
Look out windows
Take long naps
Sometimes on a human’s lap
Rub the leg
A loving schmooze
Then walk on faces
While they snooze
Receive affection
But give them pause
Will you purr?
Or hiss…with claws?
And rule the house
Till old and fat
That is your purpose,
Household cat

We have a member of our family that I’ve mentioned before;  smallish, charcoal gray, quirky, affectionate (sometimes), independent…the household cat.  I suppose one reason she enters the consciousness and conversation more than usual is that, due to a ground level scavenger (the dog) we had to place the “cat dish” on an elevated plain; which just so happens to be near the computer station.  And, since eating is a primary pastime, it’s not unusual for said feline to block the screen, trample the keys, and do the in your face antics that cats are famous for in order to receive attention.  Anyway, I was looking at this mewing marvel one day and realized that she accomplished her “purpose” beautifully.

Purpose; an oft used word of late.  Indeed, the title of today’s blog is a play on pastor Rick Warren’s popular work, “The Purpose Driven Life.”  I must admit, I haven’t read it.  However, I’m sure it’s insightful and edifying, like so many books I may never get around to.  But, concerning the subject, I am aware, as a Christian, that each of us in the body have a purpose and place.  A distinct niche that we, individually, are designed to fill…designed and placed by the Master himself.  And, although it is our tendency to sometimes place greater importance on the more visible gifts and callings (guilty) when we finally realize that all “ability” is from Him, then, when we fulfill our--though we may consider it inconsequential--individual purpose, well, that pleases…Him.  That’s what I want to do.  Don’t you?

So, here’s to purpose.  May the Lord help us all to discover ours…and to be content therein.  And may he also remind us that in all our “doing,” that sitting at His feet (remember Martha and Mary?) is indeed…the better part.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Moral Equivalency

Moral Equivalency?
(by R.P.Edwards)

Moral Equivalency
What a Crock
Just listen to the eggheads talk
Dismissing murder
Shifting blame
Calling Day and Night the same
Their blather hinders
Then heroes, first, receive the blows
And some will die from wounds so deep
All because of egghead… “speak”

The political science prof. bristled at the freshman’s assertion that there was somehow a difference in “moral standing” in regards to Israel’s strong reaction to--as the youngster put it--a terrorist attack.  “Mr. Jones,” said the tenured instructor, sitting back in his chair, hands behind his head, “I know you are a freshman, with an emphasis on “fresh” (a slight twittering from the class) but you will discover that here in the University, our level of inquiry and understanding is deeper than you and your Midwestern mind are accustomed to (a few more snickers from the seats).”  “But professor,” interrupted the transplanted farm boy, “the women and children?  The murdered women and children!”  The teacher raised his right hand for quiet.  “Enough, Mr. Jones!”  (there was a moment of silence as all focused on the figure at the front). “You will discover, young man,” continued the elder as he stood and reached for the chalk, “that things are not always as they seem.  In fact, I will show you how this particular incident is not black and white at all, but rather a distinctive shade of gray.”

We’re a few days distant from the Fort Hood massacre where thirteen (twelve soldiers, one civilian) were murdered by a Major Hasan, a Muslim terrorist in army fatigues.  As I discussed the incident with an acquaintance, he reminded me that the fallout was much more than the thirteen (make that “fourteen,” one was pregnant).  For each of these, no doubt, had loved ones and intimate friends that now must deal with a tragedy that could have been…avoided.  And you know, I can’t help feeling that some of the twisted morality, so prevalent in the halls of higher education (and thus the occupations fed by these tainted reservoirs) is partially to blame.  Indeed, the need to be politically correct and irrationally “tolerant” has put chains on our defenders, and blinders on their leadership.  And now…fourteen are dead.  And I wonder, how many more will die before we return to a standard of right and wrong, good and evil?  Yes, how many more will die?

What do you think?  Click comments, below, and expound.

Friday, November 6, 2009

PC'd to Death

PC’d to Death
(by R.P.Edwards)

Now, don’t you dare
Connect the dots
There’s nothing there to see
Coincidence and circumstance
The hallmarks of PC
So just forget the pattern
Where murder is OK
And as your loved one’s laid to rest
You have a pleasant day

My wife greeted me with the information that the shooter was still alive.  Huh?  “Oh,” she continued.  “You didn’t hear about the shooting at Fort Hood?”  The answer: no.  I was doing that work thing.  Well, as everyone knows by now, a disgruntled army major by the name of Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire and killed twelve of his fellow soldiers before he was subdued by four non-lethal rounds.  And, this guy is a Muslim.

Yes, yes, I understand, we must not jump to conclusions.  After all, thousands of the Islamic faith have served honorably (so I’m told), and one bad apple is hardly representative.  But here’s my concern; I am troubled by the thought that in our zeal to be politically correct; in our rush to not offend or possibly “profile,” we may have allowed an already unstable individual to latch on to an outlet for his rage…which just so happens to have a “devout” Muslim label.  In other words, his faith connection may have given him an “out,” a justification for what civilized folk call homicide. 

So, what to do? Well, since we are inextricably tied to a conflict(s) in the Muslim sphere, it is only reasonable that those American servicemen who espouse said faith would undergo closer scrutiny.  The ACLU may balk, but perhaps if a little more unfettered analysis had been done, perhaps the thanksgiving holiday, just weeks away, would be a time of rejoicing…instead of tears.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

For Mark

The Step
(by R.P.Edwards)

The Step
Unthinkable before
Seemed somehow sane…a welcome door
A Step from constant, pressing dread
A Step to hopeful peace, instead
A promise hiding wreckage come
To all who love this tortured son
To all who’ve tried in vain to ease
The Step obscures all thoughts…of these
And so, with weeping, weakened will
I yield to thoughts…myself to ill
I yield my limbs to demon’s threads
While whispered wooings…praise the dead
And pausing ‘fore the Step I plead
“Oh, someone save myself…from me.”

A very long time ago…I was in a very dark place.  It was a place of sadness, despair, and ultimately…depression.  And I remember…the door.  As I recall, one day, thoughts of self destruction seemed…insane.  And the next, as if stepping into a room, “sanity” became redefined .  Well, obviously I’m still here, and though that brief time was indeed dark, I believe it was merely one step on a path of self realization.  A path that ultimately led to…the cross.  However, this piece is not about me, but rather a simple reminder that walking among us, beside us, are those who are wounded…and ill.  For, just as real as are infirmities of the flesh, so too are infirmities…of the mind.

Just yesterday I was talking to a coworker and he mentioned that one of my union brothers…had just committed suicide; the result of chronic depression.  Honestly, he could have mentioned a thousand names (a lot of people work at the steel mill) and my empathy would have been genuine, but measured.  However, he told me about Mark, and a personal note sounded.  You see, Mark hired in a mere seven days after me. And, from our joint labors I learned He was raising a child on his own and, even though we later went our separate ways (as far as internal vocations) his locker was so situated that, off and on, over the last fourteen years, greetings could be offered and reciprocated.  But now, after an apparent long struggle with mental illness…he is dead. 

I suppose the reason for this offering is, in part, a memorial to a troubled soul.  But, it’s also a reminder to the many that we are, ultimately-as has been said before- in the people business.  So, let us, you and I, become aware.  Let us dare to look beyond the cliché, and the polished facade, and see if the soul that resides…is troubled or not.  And, upon finding…let us reach in, if we possibly can…to aid.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Missing Link?

The Optimist
(by R.P.Edwards)

Grasping for straws
Sifting for specks
Got to keep searching!
Can’t give up yet!
We know it’s here somewhere!
The proof that we’re slime
So, dig in the dirt, boys!
We just need more time!

Fran, the first year graduate student was very excited.  “Professor! Professor!” she nearly screamed in an ear-piercing crescendo as she stood, faced her mentor (who toiled in another trench nearby) and waved her soft-bristled fossil finding tooth brush as if a swarm of gnats were attacking.  “What is it, Fran?” said the rather ancient gray bearded doctor of anthropology as he used his ivory handled cane to ease his exit from the hole.  “Dr. Mandible! Dr. Mandible! I’ve found something! I’ve found something!”  Fifteen minutes later the good professor used the index finger of his right hand (having summoned the photographer) and, along with the added framing of the findee, he pointed to the partially exposed skull of a possible link between ape…and man.  “Do you have it, Jeremy?” he said, squinting up at the professional picture guy who lowered his high-cost camera. “Yeah, I’ve got it doc.  But if you ask me,” he said, reaffixing the lens cover, “it looks like a chimp’s chomper.  I’ve seen hundreds of ‘em.”

And so it goes: another “find” that sheds light on the origin of man.  You’ll have to excuse me…but I think its bunk, bologna, and frankly…wishful thinking.  Yes, yes, I can almost hear the ruffling of feathers as many prepare to espouse the undeniable “fact” of evolution.  But, the truth is, volumes of strong opinion…do not a “truth” make.  And finding some sort of extinct ape…does not a “link” make.  What it does expose, however, is the desperate need to prove existence without a creator.  For, as we all know, if there is a creator, then there is a responsibility to this entity.

You know, I’ve got a son who is a computer programmer.  I’ve seen this fellow toil, hour after hour, on intricate programs that need much intelligent manipulation in order to work.  And often, along the way, there are a myriad of “bugs” that have to be worked out.  Now, do you expect me to believe that the human genome (far more complex that our computer stuff) just kinda happened?  That chance mutation (remember, that’s the only thing that can do it) sufficiently messed with the old Atari…to turn it into a X-box? Please.

Listen, I know opinions are varied.  But to me it’s obvious.  Creation declares, “There is a God!”  Here’s a couple links you might find interesting:  Answers in Genesis    and   Institute for Creation Research  I double dog dare you to check them out.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


(by R.P.Edwards)

Higher! Faster!
Further! Go!!!
Stretch the boundaries!
Climbing! Striving! Thinning air!
Casting weights of fear and care!
Left behind, the chains of “Can’t!”
Deaf to doubters draining rants!
Your name is…TRY!

A bit ironic that I would begin this offering with a poem that appears to be the exact opposite of my “Minimalist” thoughts of a few days ago (Sept 30, I believe).  But…I was inspired by the gourd cannon.

Working the afternoon shift this week and, waking to the news (trivial, as well as tragic) I got a kick out of the fellows in New York state who have pushed “pumpkin chuckin’” to new (literally) heights.  Using air pressure and a very long barrel, this “big bertha” can toss the garden orb a cool mile! Dream it…and do it!  Or at least try.  It’s an entrepreneurial thing.  An American thing.  A pushing, pioneer kind of thing.

But, as for me?  I’m still the minimalist.  Still, for the most part, the bystander.  But I certainly can recognize and appreciate those with the need for speed, the drive for daring, the urge to surge.  And, with my small cheerleader exhortations…maybe they’ll fly just a little higher…faster…further.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

The People Business

The People Business
(by R.P.Edwards)

Be it widgets or windmills
Pliers or paste
Buttons or toupees
Hauling of waste
Building of buildings
Numbers to crunch
Serving the entrée
For supper or lunch
Pouring the steel
To sell as a sheet
Cleaning the hall
Where conventioneers meet
 Whatever you’re doing
Whatever for dough
Whatever your station
Be it tip top
Or low
The things that you sell
The items you’ve made
In eternities light
Will all fade away
It’s people, you see
The lasting…is there
A moment to touch
A moment to care
Yes, our business…is people
Whatever our trade
The heart…touching heart
That’s where profit…is made

“I didn’t come here to make friends.  I came here to make…money.”  It’s a phrase I’ve heard more than once in an industry that can sometimes be as hard as the product we produce.  But, the other day, having finished my seven day stint of “midnights” and, since I was a bit worn down, fatigued, vulnerable due to an unnatural schedule and poor time management, I, groggily making my way towards the escape hatch, passed on and received a pleasantry or two from coworkers I’ve know, after a fashion, for years.  Oh, sometimes our greetings are reflexive, but there are those times, when we are not rushed, or pushed, when a more in-depth wondering gives way to deeper questions and, with these, a deeper concern.  And I concluded, as I’ve known off and on from always…we are, no matter what we sell, or produce…we all are in (or should be, at least)…the people business.

Last night, as I lounged in the living room and others had gravitated to other rooms in the house, I wanted something to watch that could match my melancholy.  In short order I was lazily viewing the 1984 version of A Christmas Carol, starring George C. Scott as Scrooge.  And, it is in this rendition that his old partner, Jacob Marley, says it so convincingly.  “Business!  Mankind was my business.  The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business.  The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

I hope, in these desperate times, that those who are able… would pause to look up from the ledger…and then refocus to see the heart of flesh that is on the other side of their decisions.  

And...God Bless us all…every one.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009


The Minimalist

(by R.P.Edwards)

I thought I was lazy
A bum
Choosing to coast
When others say, “Run!”
Choosing to watch
While others climb high
Choosing the earth
While the teachers scream, “fly!”
But I’ve learned I’m ok
I’m a minimalist, see?
I’m so very glad
There’s a label…
For me

“What rank do I need in order to go camping?” That, dear reader, was my sincere query of the scoutmaster as I explored my options in boy scout world. “Tenderfoot,” was his reply. And so, I learned the “minimal” methods and memorization needed for said rank and, once achieved…there I stayed. Shameful…or is it?

Let’s face it…we are taught to go for the goals. Success is measured by the money, or the milestones. And oh, how we love the rags to riches, underdog makes good, stories. “Achieve!” they say. “Make something of yourself!” Earn! Learn! The candle…burn! And, in the process…we do…and having “done”…we die. And how we laud…those who try.

But what about the others? What about the mundane, the plain, the inane? What about the dull…who mull? The slow…who “don’t” go. The masses who “passes?” Are we not, dear friend, the reflector to the bulb? The chorus for the crooner? The wire…for the walker? And the answer is a resounding…yes!

And so, for those of us who find comfort in routine. Who lessen stress by conserving energy when it comes to rehab and repair, or the cutting of our hair; we have a name, a place, and a purpose. We are minimalists! And where, I ask you, would you achievers be…without us?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Life, Prorated

In His Image

(by R.P.Edwards)

In His image…am I
Crafted by His hand
A destiny for only me
A solitary plan
So when others say
I have no place
No fitting for their path
They forget the one
Who gave them breath
They forget that He has…wrath

As this is another Sunday posting, I thought it appropriate to continue in the same vein as last week. As you may recall, that offering pointed out how scripture reveals (without much digging) that God views human life in the womb, as just that…human life. I can’t help it if some religious institutions, through some sort of convoluted reasoning, come up with something different. The scripture is clear enough.

Well, the next obvious step is to find God’s view of human life unjustly terminated. What immediately comes to mind is the sixth commandment: Thou shalt not Kill. Or, more accurately, substitute “murder” for “kill.” You can find the list in Exodus twenty and some other places. However, while preparing for this article (briefly) I ran across an interesting verse from Genesis, “Whoever shed’s man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.” (9:6) Now, I suppose you could use this as justification for capital punishment, but my interest at this time is more to God’s view of His creation. We are made in His “image.” We are special, unique, purposed. And this, dear reader, includes the life in the womb.

Without a doubt, one of the largest stumbling blocks in the abortion debate is our conception of worth. For so long we’ve been told that a baby, one day before birth, is different than a child, one day after, that we start to believe it. We ascribe value to trimesters and terms. Days and months build the baby. However, if we were to use the same reasoning “after” birth (I.e, an infant is less valuable than a toddler, toddler is less than a teen, teen, less than an adult, but greater than senior, etc) we’d be called some sort of heartless fiends. But, don’t you see, when it comes to the human life in the womb…that’s exactly what we do?

To conclude: This blurb is aimed, mainly, at those who profess to trust Jesus as their Savior and believe the Bible is true. I really want all of us, who start at the foundation of the cross, to get on the same page when it comes to this very important subject. I honestly believe that with the fate of the innocent in the womb…so goes the nation. More on that…later.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why Pie

Why Pie

(by R.P.Edwards)

Pie! Pie!
I must have Pie!
Why pie?
Well, because…I…I…
Because…with my eye…
Because with my eye…I spy…
Because with my eye…I spy…the calendar!
It’s Autumn, silly!
Time for Pie!

It’s in the brain. A trigger. Like a certain smell flips the switch and…Bam!…a memory. Like the sometimes briny breath of the scale pit (remember, I work at a steel mill) brings back thoughts of Long Island Sound. Or the sight and smell of honeysuckle might well resurrect a remembrance of grandma’s house, which had quite a bit. In this case, however, it’s the calendar. Sure, the high hovers around 80 degrees. Sure, leaves are still green and grass still needs to be cut. But…the calendar says…Autumn! And Autumn means…Pie!

So, naturally, after the tangent is taken…I text. “Pie, Pie, I must have pie!” And, it just so happens, that my understanding wife, mere minutes from the message, has a pie sizzling in the oven. And why? Because one lonely Dutch Apple “fund raiser” pie was languishing in our deep freeze. Awaiting the time…for pie.

Monday, September 21, 2009

O Delta Smelt

O Delta Smelt
(sung to the music of “O Tannenbaum” or, for the rest of us, “O Christmas Tree.”)
(New lyrics by R.P.Edwards)

O Delta Smelt
O Delta Smelt
O how we love this fishy

O Delta Smelt
O Delta Smelt
O how we love this fishy

To heck with farmers water needs
We give you most, so you can breed

O Delta Smelt
O Delta Smelt
O how we love this fishy

The San Joaquin valley: A very fertile piece of real estate in central California where all kinds of neat agricultural stuff is (was) grown (grapes, cherries, nuts, fruit, etc). In the mid to late 80’s, before heading back east, my young family occupied some space there while we tried to raise a couple boys and, at the same time, squish some knowledge into our brains (Note: for those so inclined; make sure it’s “useful” knowledge). Anyway, being a lad who grew up in Connecticut, I was not expecting, among other things, the heat (110 degrees on some summer days! “But it’s dry heat,” placate the locals. Yeah, right). As I was saying, we lived there and, not being from farm country, I was intrigued by the large contraptions used for irrigation in this “no rain today” environment. In fact, until we moved to the middle, I didn’t know there were farmers who still solely depended on the overhead clouds for the wet stuff.

I presume by now you’ve heard of the plight of the growers in said valley. It seems that a little fishy, named the “Delta Smelt,” being a bit down in population, is apparently adversely effected by runoff from farmers fields as they do their “feed the world” thing. Some concerned Washington types determined that it’s better to give these oversized guppies a hand, rather than let the crops…drink. They nearly closed the spigot. And the farmers…and the country…suffer.

Perhaps “we the people” should get involved. Perhaps this is just another opportunity to remind certain entities that their “authority” is not innate. It, as always, is given to be used, and not abused. Go ahead, put a few “smelt” in your tank, but, when your zeal threatens the livelihood of thousands, and the stomachs of millions…well, I say, it’s time for your lease…to expire.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Why Pro-Life?

The Pilot
(by R.P.Edwards)

Apostasy is all the rage
When Truth is at the wheel
But let the rebels take control
And reefs…will kiss the keel

Normally I don’t post on Sunday. But, since I’m up exceptionally early due to that “job” thing, perhaps a somewhat “religious” offering is in order.

Some background: Like many, I can be categorized as a “Christian.” Under this broad heading you’ll find me further defined as “born again,” and further, “Bible Believing.” Basically this means that I, having recognized my lost condition (and my inability to “work my way” out of it) cast myself upon the mercy of God, accepted the one who died for my sin (Jesus), and made a commitment to Him (sort of like the “I do” in a marriage arrangement. I.e. A serious thing). And, since I believe God is well able, I believe He figured out how to preserve His word on the pages (the Bible).

Now, having said all that, you can understand how this “relationship” colors my views. Just as my marriage to my wife effects --even when I can’t see her--my actions; even so my “commitment” to my Savior finds its way into my opinion. In other words; this God reality…trumps.

If you’ve been following my writings at all, you’ve probably figured out I’m hotly pro-life and, since it’s Sunday, and I know there are a lot of sincere religious folk out there who are indifferent to the subject or, for some reason…anti. Here’s my take:

It all comes down to the life in the womb. The Black Robed priests in DC say… “not”. Therefore, dispose of at will. But, how does God view this nine-month inconvenience? Just a few scriptures: In Genesis 25:22 Rebekah was pregnant and something unusual was happening. Here’s how it reads: “But the children struggled within her.” Well, she asked God about it and He proceeded to tell her that two distinct peoples would come from these twins. Now, in Psalm 127:3 it reads, “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; The fruit of the womb is a reward.” Here’s what I want you to notice; the word “children” in both verses (in womb, out of womb) is the same in the Hebrew. In other words, God doesn’t make a distinction.

Here’s some New Testament. Remember the whole Christmas story? Well, Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, was pregnant when Mary (also with child) showed up. Here’s what the older lady said when the younger came into the room, “For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.”(Luke 1:44) Later, in the next chapter, we read about the angel’s message to the shepherds. He said, “And this will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12) Again, the word for baby (Greek this time) is the same. No difference in God’s eyes.

You see, to God, children are a “reward,” not a curse. In fact, in Jeremiah 1 he told the prophet, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Did you get that? God himself “forms” the child in the womb and has a plan for that child’s life!

It’s about time to head out to the “job.” But think about it…if each abortion is really the murder of one of God’s children…shouldn’t that, at least to Christians, be a concern?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Evil Never Sleeps!

Evil Never Sleeps

(by R.P.Edwards)

From our beginning
Fallen place
The choices…
A warning from the one who keeps
“Lurking evil…never sleeps”
And so the children pick there path
And most choose bloodshed, cruelty, wrath
But some
The few
A vigil keep
Remembering …“Evil, never sleeps”
But through the years
The lights are few
Falsehood hiding bearings, true
But still a remnant
A vessel keeps
Remembering…“Evil, never sleeps”
And tyrants rise
And millions fall
And many answer
Honor’s call
And from their rest
To children speak…
“Remember…Evil, never sleeps!”
And now with despots
Again in place
A choosing…
A need for vigilance!
and Semper Fi!
A patriot’s heart!
A warrior’s cry!
But instead we cringe
And sound retreat
And offer words
To tyrants…sweet
And choose the path
Where freedom weeps
Forgetting…“Evil, never sleeps”

I won’t belabor the administrations decision to renege on the missile defense arrangements with Poland and the Czech republic, other than to say, “What did we expect?” Honestly, did we think our military would become stronger…or weaker, with the election of our current President? Did we really expect our agencies of defense and deterrence to be supported, or denigrated? Did we really think that tyrants (yes…that describes ‘em) would cower before Mr. Obama, or become emboldened?

Listen, here’s the problem: Last November we (as in the yea-sayers) voted for a dream…a wonderful fantasy worthy of Hollywood where eloquent words…solved everything. The problem is…evil exists. And, unquestionably, there are those who joyfully give themselves to it. And, friend, weakness does not dissuade them. Only strength.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Hard Way

The Hard Way

(by R.P.Edwards)

It’s a journey of instruction
Dependable and pure
Useful for the toughest case
The arrogant and sure
For those hell-bent and headstrong
Discarding what “you” say
A beaten path “you’ve” gone before
A path we call…Hard Way

It’s a phrase best said with flair, panache, an in your face almost arrogance. “Go ahead! (says dad, standing and raising his right hand quickly as if trying to bag the latest dinger from Albert Pujos [St Louis Cardinal, future hall of famer]). You don’t have to listen to me! You can do it (here it comes)…the hard way! Actually (the elder continues, pacing slowly back and forth, the right arm imitating the ump’s balls and strikes) it’s a time honored method! It’s been the teacher of multitudes! Whole generations! Why (there’s a pausing, facing, a slight bowing with the right hand flat against the breast bone, along with a rightward cocking of the head) even I have used it. So (upright and pacing) go ahead! Don’t listen to me! Do it your way! But if you’re smart (the pacing stops, the volume lessens, eye contact is made…and held) really smart…you’ll listen to your old man on this one.”

It’s tough growing up. Depending on your disposition (remembering that “pride” is part of the hardware) your little world expands, you become the master of it, and then extrapolate to assume the universe. Reality, when not softened by a timely (heeded) word, can be a cruel taskmaster. Yes, the “hard way” is an excellent that needs to be avoided, if at all possible.

You know, looking at our current conditions (economic, social, spiritual) it appears that we, since we are hell-bent on ignoring the warnings of the past, are destined for a very hard teaching. And it’s a shame. So much pain to be avoided. But, perhaps, pain will be the best teacher. It is, after all, traditional.

Friday, September 4, 2009



(by R.P.Edwards)

“O, we’re so compatible!”
Say the lovebirds in the nest
Singing pure devotion
Before a single test
But if you want attention
Pass decades, one…and two
“Then” we’ll pay your method…mind
The one…of which…you coo

Reginald looked across the crowded ballroom and there, like a blooming violet nestled midst a slightly jumbled line of darkly polished straight back chairs…was his destiny. All alone, and apparently content to be (as evidenced by her oft refusals of a suitors invitation) a fair skinned waif with long auburn locks and a floor-length dress of azure turned slightly sideways and, as her head leisurely turned to gaze upon the moon’s gentle reflections on the country club’s twenty-acre lake (her delicate shoulders revealing the slightest of sighs), Reginald, like an alighting monarch butterfly, quietly seated himself two chairs distant and, leaning, whispered, “Beautiful, isn’t it?” With the intrusion the maiden stirred suddenly but, after an apology and an anecdote, the ice was broken and, by evening’s end--such was their symmetry--a lifetime of married bliss was a bygone conclusion. [Five years later] “I WANT A DIVORCE!” “DITTO!”

Sorry, but these matchmaker commercials just hit me wrong. Oh, I sympathize with the search. I feel for the forlorn, but these “newbies” and their eternal declarations. Untested, untried, lacking rigors and rapids and rainy days. Devoid of potholes and pit stops and detours and destitution and denials and delusions and doo doo. Well, I think the euphoria of the youthful…is a bit misleading. Use a time machine to bring back a blissful octogenarian couple to testify. No time machine? How about a disclaimer scrolling on the bottom of the screen. WARNING! Couples in this commercial are suffering from short term phermonic delirium.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Beck Me!

I’ve been Becked!

(by R.P.Edwards)

Kinda fun
Careful now…he’s gotta gun!
Then…a squeak
Bold as brass
Yet mild and meek
Chalk boards!…Experts!…and O, those knees!
The candies cry out, “Save us, please!”
But ‘neath the show and dramas do
Methinks there beats a heart that’s true
A conscience pricked by dangers tread
He speaks for founders…long since dead
And passion oft from passion spews
Along the way…a tear or two
As laughter laced with painful truth
Gives minutemen remembered youth
And conscious pause…of freedom’s “when”
Annoying beacon
Thank you …Glenn

No, I’m not an addict, but every now and then I like that Beck fix. As stated somewhere in the archives (yes, I have archives) I’m a union guy with conservative tendencies (or visa versa). Pro-life, pro-family, pro-second amendment, but recognizing the need of collective strength.

Well, it seems there are other “unions” being formed these days. Except, instead of facing off against a corporate meanie, many ordinary folk (in the form of tea-parties, town halls, etc ) are now joining voices and wills against a government…apparently gone mad. Indeed, there seems to be a remembrance (incredibly) that elected officials actually “do” work for us. That their loaned power and pocketbook is not a license for abuse. That their towering intellect (as lofty as it may be) is still subject to we rube-ish knuckle-walkers. And, though the course may, via perceived mandate, lead us to disaster’s very door, we can, at least, find solace in the fact that we are wiser now…and “never again.”

I looked a little into the history of the baby-faced broadcaster. You know, I found it appealing. Why? Because it’s not perfect. In fact, it’s riddled with imperfections, nor is it adorned with all the lettered “nothings” that so often grease the hinges of today’s elite mechanism. But, in prodigal fashion, despite his failings, Glenn has emerged as a passionate, compassionate advocate for “beginnings.” A voice for the hopeful past, and a glaring, focused, light beam into the darkened, crusted corners of the Washington cupboard. We may not agree on everything…but have at it, Glenn. Mix it up…and maybe we’ll be able to, eventually, fix it up.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Press depression

4 + 5 = 0

(by R.P.Edwards)

The fourth estate
The column…five
A champion…that takes a dive
Depending on objective words
Instead…a swooning sound is heard
And we, the bearers of their lack
May never have our nation back
For Murrow’s children
Gone astray
Espouse “their” whims
Their preference…say
The heralds voice
A barkers jive
The fourth estate
Now…column five

There were three estates, see: the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners. Edmund Burke (English fellow, a long time ago) said there was another power group to deal with…the press. These scribblers were the “fourth estate.” Now, Mr. Thomas Jefferson, writing to his bud, John Jay, said, “Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.” A pretty important group, I’d say.

“The fifth column.” A phrase having to do with this guy named Emilio Mola who said he had a “fifth column” within the city of Madrid (Spanish Civil War) to go along with the four outside the walls. In other words: there’s a fox in the henhouse.

And so we have the joining. Here’s what I mean. Long before the November elections we had a media that overwhelmingly favored the “leftward” candidate. They loved his rhetoric, his vision, his promises, his poise. They “tingled” when he spoke and, when it came time to put pen to paper, the wunderkind candidate was seen through the glasses of rose. So…here we are, mere months into the new Camelot, and on the brink of disaster(s). And, I contend, should disaster come, then equal culpability must go to a media that has become the equivalent of a “fifth column.” Yes, if things go terribly wrong (and they very well might…to deadly effect) then we need to remember those who cosigned the loan.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Point Pointers

Talking Points…Point

(by R.P.Edwards)

How dare they take their little cards
And read another’s words
Spouting questions, one by one
The process is absurd!
Who cares if facts are listed!
Who cares if problems…true!
“Plagiarism” is what I say
Against the phony…YOU!

It wasn’t unusual that someone was saying--shouting rather--something. This was the public square, after all. And, since this metropolis had a “free speech” soapbox zone…the t-shirted, sandal clad youth mounted the stump, cleared his throat and (holding a rather large black bible in his uplifted right hand) began to espouse the “gospel” to the hundred or so lunchtime bystanders who milled about, enjoying a mild September’s offering. “Listen to me!” he shouted (a few turned to do so). “Three thing! Just three things to consider, and then I’m done.” (a few more paused to hear) “Number one!” he began, holding up the index finger on his left hand. “The Bible says, ‘All have sinned.’ In other words…we’re all sinners. We’re all deserving God’s judgment. Number two!” (he turned towards a congested corner to his right [some looking, though trying hard to hide the fact]). “Since we are all guilty and unable to “save” ourselves…we needed a substitute to serve our sentence. To take “our” judgment!” (some turned away, but more began to gravitate towards the ‘preacher.’) “ That perfect, sinless substitute is Jesus!” (Facing forward once again.)“And third!” he shouted, “You!…yes you! (he began sweeping the crowd with his gaze and the bible-toting arm) have to make a decision!” Suddenly, from the back bench where a professor was munching his pastrami n cheese croissant, the PHD stood up, faced the speaker, and shouted, “I’m sick and tired of talking points! That’s all you got…talking points! How about some original thought for once!” The crowd, murmuring quietly while the two orators beheld each other, quickly turned as the old sanitation worker--who was picking up a slimy bag from the lone trash receptacle--said, “Here’s another point for ya. The Bible also says!” he continued, dropping the bag to the ground and applying a tie. “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God!””

I find it amusing that some don’t like the notion of “talking points.” These little notes, often read by attendees of town hall meetings and such, are questions of contention. Sure, they may very well come from the research of others. But, (gasp!) Nearly “all” education is so attained! You research something. You tell me about it. It raises my awareness and concern…and I repeat it! Amazing. No, the problem is not when Mr. Smith quotes Mr. Jones, the real problem comes when people don’t think…when they swallow “points” without pondering. Or when they are herded somewhere to give the impression of intent…and sometimes for pay! That, dear reader, is a problem. In conclusion, don’t be wary of the points. Be wary, rather, of the “point...pointers.”

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ronald's PETA Problem


(by R.P.Edwards)

What’d you eata
That makes you act…so mean?
Trashin’ Ronald’s Happy Meal
Just hear the kiddies scream!
Please be sweeta
I promise that I’ll try
Before the chickens nugget nap…
I’ll sing a lullaby

The Rep from the Animal Rights Guild (ARG!) was adamant, “Captain!” she shouted from the bridge’s hatchway. “The condition in the hold is unacceptable! The pets are suffering undo stress in these high seas. I strongly recommend we allow these precious living beings be freed from their pens and be tended to right away!” The captain, a weathered mariner of nearly sixty years, appeared indifferent as he barked commands to the helmsman and, via the squawk box, the engine room. “Captain!” repeated the resolute mistress as she stepped to, and placed her bejeweled right hand on the commanding officers nearest shoulder. Turning slowly (removing binoculars from his eyes) the gray-bearded skipper looked piercingly downward into the face of the intruder. “Madam,” he said succinctly with clenched teeth. “We have forty foot swells, only one engine, (then, loudly) and if I don’t give this “unacceptable” situation my undivided attention…we’ll all--including your precious “pets”--bloody die!” Yanking his shoulder away and reaffixing the lenses, he looked to the tumultuous future and spoke coolly, and clearly, “Boatswain mate, remove this “lady” from my bridge.” “Aye, aye captain.”

I watched with interest as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has gone toe to toe with the mega-giant, McDonalds, as to their purchasing of chickens that have been slaughtered in an inhumane way. First of all; I’m pleased--since I believe one of their goals is a vegetarian society--that they make allowances for the “harvesting” to begin with. Secondly; I’ve gone to their site, checked out some of the info and, frankly, they have a point. Dealing with “live” birds opens the door for abuse and disease. Their alternative, Controlled-atmosphere killing (CAK), seems more humane and--if the facts are “so”--cost effective. The whole “McCruelty, I’m hatin’ it” campaign, however, is a bit tacky. But it did get my attention.

OK, here’s the bottom line. My Biblical Christian view is this: If every chicken from creation to eternity was slaughtered in a ghastly way…all of these billions and billions added together do not equal “one” precious human baby that is regularly ripped to pieces….just down the street.

Here’s my proposition: How about PETA (supposedly 2 million strong) using their resources to end the inhumane practice of infanticide. Then, once that is done, I’ll be glad to join in their efforts to ease the pain of the chickens.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Union Thugs?

A Pug and a Thug


A pug is a pug
And a thug is a thug
And a pug on a rug
Is not a rug with a thug
Nor is a thug on a rug
A rug with a pug
But a thug can act like a pug
But no self respecting pug…
Will act like a thug

The Union meeting started as most; a little small talk, a joke or two, some family news, and the happenings at the favorite fishing hole-- “You should have seen it!” bellowed a rather rotund (and well lubricated) laborer as he held his hands apart to their widest span. And then…it began. With a dimming of the white lights (leaving only a slowly pulsing red) the swarm, without a sound, filed into their decades-worn wooden seats as the ancient off-white screen (squeaking in protest) lowered from the ceiling and the gruesome slide-show began. One, after another, after another, after another and another…picture after picture of workers being abused, maimed, beaten, and dying. Every so often--in an almost subliminal quickness--images of companies, fat-cats, uncaring politicians, flashed amongst the carnage and--punctuating each photo of the “enemy”--a low, guttural gong. And then, images of grave after grave after grave. Fifteen horrid and hypnotic minutes passed and, as quickly as it began, the display ended and…we were ready.

The red-shirted leader (the room bathed in an eerie silence) slowly emerged from the sideline (walking with a slow, nagging, debilitating limp from a work related accident) and, as he stepped behind the old and gnarled podium (bathed only in the stark light of the empty projector) he leaned forward and, with the piercing gaze of an Old Testament prophet…he slowly scanned every section…and every face. “Are we going to stand for this?!” he shouted. “NO!” was the immediate, unified, momentous response. “Are we going to stand for this?!” he screamed again (slamming the podium with both fists). “NO!” returned the unified mass, standing to their feet and many shaking their own fists at the image of a company leader (in a most arrogant pose) who suddenly appeared on the screen…mocking them. “Then let’s get outta here and show them what the American worker can do!!” With that final unction the frenzied mob rolled out of the hall like an avalanche and, all I can say is…heaven help those who would dare stand in their way. Yes, heaven help them.

Excuse me a moment as I pause to admire my work of fiction (above). Not bad. OK, here’s the deal: A few days ago some union guys roughed up a Mr. Gladney who was giving out patriotic flags which said “Don’t tread on Me!” outside a “healthcare” forum site. It seems that these “Union Goons” didn’t like that…so they “tread” on him. Well, naturally there are those who would use this incident to reinforce their image of unions and their members. The phrases, “Union thugs,” “Union Goons,” “Union Mob,” …they just roll off the tongue, don’t they? But, the simple truth is…these ruffians were an anomaly. Sure, they were, and are thugs and goons…but the union didn’t make them that way. Honestly, in my approaching two decades of union membership I have discovered that union people are just that…people. You may be surprised to know that many will not, unthinkingly, swallow the party line. We have many pro-life, pro-second amendment, pro-traditional family members. And, aside from the left and right issues, most are just honorable, hardworking sorts who just want to make an decent wage and support the ones they love. Excuse me a minute…there’s somebody at the door. “Hi guys, what’s up?…Um, guys!…”

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Amazing Grace

Caution! Religious Content!


(by R.P.Edwards)

It’s hard to conceive
It’s rare to believe
Something for nothing
Just merely…receive
No earning
No striving
No works showing worth
No treasures of man
No toils of earth
There’s only acceptance
…and done
The gift of God’s grace
The vessel…His Son

I was at work, sitting in the break room and, as I leaned back against the adjacent wall I leisurely propped my right elbow on the table, lifted my forearm and, for some reason, gazed at the fingertips. I noticed (although this was a nearly subconscious act) that all the nails were as you’d expect, except for the one attached to the little finger…it had a peculiar crease. “Hmm…curious,” was my response and, since none of the others seemed thus afflicted, I began a somewhat shallow reasoning exercise. “Perhaps it’s a sign of a deeper malady (as you get older you think of such things). Or, perhaps the result of an injury (I am a laborer after all).” And, as I pondered the “point,” I then began slowly scanning upward to the first knuckle…and then I saw it…the scar.

It was approximately twenty-five years ago, and I was a student at a small Christian college in Fresno, California. While there a manager of a turkey farm (ranch?) outside of town had pity on “we” impoverished married students. Here was his proposition: come to the farm, slaughter some turkeys, take home some grub. Sounded simple…but, oh, it was not. First of all, for this suburban soul, I was not used to being around a maddening crowd of white-feathered gobblers. And then there was the slaughtering process [the faint of heart may want to turn away]. We students (there were a handful) were each given a club-sized section of two by four. We were instructed to bean the hapless bird (particular ones selected by the judge; one per customer) and then apply the blade (provided) to complete the kill. Well, let’s just say my “technique” was lacking and, when all was done, I “did” end up with some choice turkey breast, but the foul was not the only one who bled that day. A turkey talon to the midsection produced a nasty scratch (never wrestle a desperate entrée) and my knife wielding cut he…and me. Thus…the scar.

Pardon the segue: Have you ever heard of the eighteenth century fellow by the name of John Newton? If not, I guarantee you that you’ve heard a song he wrote over two centuries ago…Amazing Grace. You see, although his later years were exemplary, honorable, devout; his early manhood was anything but. Described as arrogant and vile, for a time he even made his living in the cruel slave trade. However, through a series of events his eyes slowly turned to the Savior of his mother, and yielding to Him…an overflowing heart penned the words…”that saved a wretch like me.” Yes, in the person of the cross-bearer…he found forgiveness. And the lost…became found., and the blind…began to see.

Here’s my point: I fear in my intermittent railings against the sins of the nation, I may have placed an undue burden on the reader. Without apology I confess my belief that God’s blessing determines our nations future and, since nations do not have “souls”…their judgment is now. However, please allow me to remind, that it is not so for the individual. Like John Newton, and millions of others (myself included) there is a release of guilt, condemnation, torment…when our sinful lives are placed at the feet of Jesus. Whatever dreadful deeds we may have done (indeed, the scripture says “all” have sinned) God’s “Amazing Grace” is sufficient for complete absolution. Leaving, if I may, only a simple scar...devoid of the pain, and the horrible anguish of the moment and its consequences, it serves merely as a marker, a simple reminder of what was…and is no longer. Yes, God’s loving grace is amazing and, dear one, if you haven’t already, He’s there beside you…awaiting your call.

Thank you for your indulgence.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

North Korean Chess

North Korean Chess

(by R.P.Edwards)

Laura Ling
And Euna Lee
In our diplomacy
That being said
It’s fine by me
That Clinton went
And now they’re free

I’ve never been a big fan of former President Bill Clinton. Yeah, it has do with his stand on abortion and such. But, there’s something to be said for winning elections. I guess my frustration is really with a majority that favors these kinds of candidates. Which means, hearts and minds must be persuaded before other choices can be expected.

Anyway, as we were watching the moving arrival of the former prisoners I remarked to my wife, “If I was facing the possibility of twelve years hard labor, I’d be glad to see Bill Clinton there on my behalf.” It all comes down, I suppose, to the common denominator of being an American. We may not be perfect, and I certainly plan on opposing that which I deem immoral, but there’s still a nobility to the name. A hope. A dream. A possibility. And…being an ambassador in this capacity is a fine job for a retired prez. I only hope the current president can be used in this fashion….four years from now.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cash for Clunkers?

Cash for Clunkers?

(by R.P.Edwards)

They call you a clunker
A beater
A heap
They wish your demise
O, see a man weep!
For you’re much more than scrap
You’re memories and miles
You’re journeys and jaunts
You’re laughter and smiles
No! You’re not a clunker!
You’re a classic! A jewel!
If I turned down the money
I’d be a…fool

The weary jurist motioned for the two battling barristers to approach the bench. “Listen, gentleman,” he whispered as the three hair styles (perfect, plateau, and pointed) merged above the edge of the lofty desk. “I can’t believe this case has progressed this far.” “Hear, hear!” chimed in the defense until the piercing gaze and pointing gavel of the judge silenced the solicitor. “Your honor,” purred the plaintiffs advocate, “my clients have been grievously wronged. Their friends, their families, their intimate acquaintances…have been egregiously slandered…by no less than the government!” The gavel turned quickly and just as quickly quieted the gush. “Counselor,” resumed the judge (leaning on his left hand while slowly twirling the gavel in his right). “There will be no monetary compensation. Other than that, what will satisfy your clients complaint?” Armed with the question, the attorney turned and, after a brief consultation with the representative from CAF (Cars Are Family) he returned and said, “Simply a name change, your honor, that’s it.” “And what might that be…hmm?” The advocate cleared his throat, adjusted his collar, and said, “Instead of ‘Cash for Clunkers,’ the plaintiffs would like, ’Cash for Classics.’” “Cash for Classics?” repeated the judge with eyebrows slightly raised. “Yes, your honor.” The jurist leaned back, looked up at the portrait of John Jay in the corner and, with a resounding clack of the gavel, nearly shouted, “So ordered!”

Concerning the program that encourages folks to trade in their old heaps for a substantial discount…I’m indifferent, leaning towards OK. I know, some say the loss of parts will hurt those who keep the older vehicles (I believer there will still be plenty of “classics” about). Some say “we” the people are paying for it (Duh, every government dollar comes from the collective “us”). On the other hand it should help the auto industry (that’s good). Which, in turn, should help the Steel business (personal interest). That’s good. And it might even clean the air a bit, and reduce dependence on oil. All good. But I have a suggestion. Instead of me taking my ancient van to the dealership, just give me “half” the discount in cash, and you can have the ol’ girl. She stops spewing, and I’ve got some spendable dough to help the economy. Win…win.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Profiler

The Profiler

(by R.P.Edwards)

A policeman named Crowley
A professor named Gates
One said, “His duty,”
The other cried, “Hates!”
What’s so sad is… it’s confirming
Of my profiling tool
No, not of race…
But of an Ivy League School

You know, this profiling thing is a mixed bag. To naturally associate bad behavior with skin tone is…shameful. Imagine being singled out for investigation because of your melanin level. Of course, there is the flip side. It’s the kind of profiling that advertisers depend on. Oh sure, they use the word “demographics“…but we know what they mean. Face it, certain groups are more prone to buy certain things and these business folk know how to push the "buy buttons" (seen those hamburger commercials?)

And so we come to Scholar Gates, and Cambridge cop, Crowley. As many know, the good professor became quite irate when the policeman came to his door due to a call made by a concerned citizen. Now, I don’t know if the prof was simply having a bad day, or perhaps past run-ins with armed peace-keepers produced a knee-jerk reaction, or possibly the anti-authority atmosphere of upper academia somehow tainted his perception. But, due to my limited experience and observation, I wholeheartedly choose the latter. You see, when I think of judges legislating from the bench…I think of their teachers at the university. When I think of godless media folk…I think of their instructors in academia. When I think of the general twisting of society, be it from the legislative seat or the high school rostrum, I trace it back to the perverse spawning grounds of “higher” education. So, to the professor, I say “Thank you for affirming my beliefs.”

Yes, I admit it, when it comes to the doctoral digs I am an unabashed, broad-brush, they’re all alike, profiler. But, what do you expect from a Midwestern, redneck, union steelworker.

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