Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tis the season...






Holiday tears
(by R.P.Edwards)

Sorrow often comes with "days"
Memorials of
The loss
When hearts were torn
Bereavement born
The constant
Crushing
Cost
So with the mirth
Of Peace on Earth
Be watchful for
The tears
Then pause to care
The burden...share
And hold the hurting
Near


Holidays, especially the festive ones, are "reminders" to many...that a loved one has passed on.  Not so "jolly" for these.  They often withdraw and endure...until the storm has passed.  

Just a gentle reminder to be watchful this season; watchful for the tears that many of our fellow travelers are quietly shedding.  What say you and I add to our "Christmas List" the priceless gift of a listening ear, a warm embrace, a genuine concern.  After all, it was compassion that compelled "Him," to come to our aid; to take on human flesh.  Let us, therefore, allow "Him" to use our arms, our voice, our homes...to remind these dear ones that "love" was the reason; and that His love for these...is stronger than death.

Following is a very simple video that was made a couple years back.  It reminds that there are, among us, those who are suffering this Christmas season.  It centers on those whose loved one died in the military.  But, if you will, please expand the message to include "all" who are less...this Christmas.  It's titled, "You're My Christmas Gift." View. Consider. Then be watchful...for tears.




****

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Moral Climate Change




Climate Change?
(by R.P.Edwards)


Climate change?
The answer's "YES!"
By season
And by year
From cold to hot
From wet...to not
Then back again
My dear
But some say Man's the reason
The source for weather woe
That gives me pause
For what's the cause
Of Changes
Long
Ago


He was simply known as Khulu Umuntu; which is Zulu for "Big Man," and, in environmental circles; for those whose passion and purpose is a clean planet, he is, or should I say "was," the point of the spear.  However, after much personal sacrifice and decades of toil, Ben Flager (his given name), suddenly dropped out of the "clean scene" and devoted himself to a more personal healing: body, mind, spirit.  Indeed, hardly seen for the last fifteen years, the Council of Concerned Scientists considered it a stroke of incredible good fortune that the, now eighty, Khulu Umuntu would agree to share a word at the Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa.

After rousing applause and a standing ovation of many minutes the elderly, fragile, slightly stooped "legend" began his remarks.  

"My fellow World Changers!" (applause) "I am honored that you would ask an old activist, such as myself, to speak a few words on behalf of your very important efforts concerning the climate change." (applause) "Back in my day it was clean water and air. Removing toxins from food and the soil.  These were our objectives." (standing applause)"But you, you! have undertaken a much more important task. You have chosen to address the deteriorating climate and it's causes." (applause with whistles) "You see, over the last twenty years I too have come to realize the importance of the intangibles such as honor, respect, love." (applause) "And I, like you, have seen a change in the climate.  Where once words like honor and respect and fidelity had meaning; now the world's climate is one of arrogance, selfishness and immorality." (crickets) "I remember the time when human life was sacred.  Now we abort the unborn and call it a right." (murmuring)  "I remember when a man and a woman was the natural, God ordained, pairing for marriage.  Now, ha!, anything goes!  So yes, we need to change the climate!  We need to...excuse me a minute." (the moderator's gentle hand on his left shoulder causes the Big Man to pause in order to tilt an ear to receive modifying information.) "Man made climate change? Yes, that what I... What? Global warming? Carbon footprints?  C'mon, this is no time for jokes. You've got to be kidding.  What a colossal waste of my time..."
___________

Yes, dear reader, the above story is a total fabrication.  Oh, there certainly was a conference this past week in Durban, South Africa.  And yes, it had to do with "climate change" folk who want nations (especially the U.S.) to do more.  But, I don't buy the whole climate change, global warming hysteria.  However, the real "climate change" alluded to by the fictional character, Khulu Umuntu; the one having to do with our universal slide into the moral cesspool; now that is the real issue that needs to be addressed.

For the lighter side of Global Warming/Cap n Trade, may I suggest the amateurish videos (below) I made some time back.

****








Friday, November 25, 2011

Green Bean Casserole...and love




Consistent love
(by R.P.Edwards)

Consistent love
the child's desire
to warm the chill
to cool the fire
to calm the fears
to build the brave
to nurture "free"
to free...the slave
to always know
though distance great
the eyes, though hurt
will never hate
and falls are met
with arms a-wide
and warm embrace
where tears...can hide
then on, restored
and straightened, go
to conquer worlds
to strike the blow!
till death, at last
diverts above
to gaze upon
Consistent...love



"You mean...green bean casserole?"

"Yeah, that's it."

I have to admit, it was endearing...and a bit disarming.  My O-so-grownup eleven year old, desiring the security of "the same," made sure that that particular menu item was on the Thanksgiving Table.  He wasn't going to eat it, but it had to be there.

And I thought to myself, how important it is for those with young eyes to have a consistent anchor of solace, security...love, to hold onto.  To have an unselfish example of honor, truth, compassion, tenderness...to point them in the direction of the ultimate in all these.

Humbling.

And so, as the lad and his older siblings rush off to find the "Black Friday" bargains--the gadgets and gizmos that make them squeal with zeal...for the moment--I find myself hoping that the one gift they always, always, always can depend on...is a father that loves them...consistently, surely, purely...no matter what. Forever.

Green Bean Casserole anyone?

****










Saturday, November 19, 2011

Then He appeared...





Our Savior, Sure
(by R.P.Edwards)

He looked beyond
The package, poor
The liar, thief, 
The traitor, whore
To see through blood
The child, pure
And went to Calvary
Our Savior
Sure


Ok, I'm better now.  Just came from the Granite City Christmas parade and I'm, well, better.  I saw the firetrucks; the marching band; the zooming fez wearers; the Cardinal mascot; the churches, the boy and girl scouts; the office holders; the corvette club; the myriad of candy throwers; Mr and Mrs Clause and, up and down along the joyful route--from the High School to the downtown digs--the moms and dads and bag-holding tots taking it all in and giving it all back...the joy of the coming season; the potential of peace on earth and goodwill...to all.

And so, I'll turn from the heaviness of knowing; from discerning our disease; I'll turn instead to the hope promised by the coming star.  Yes, the human condition is low, loathsome, damnable.  But, someone--a very important someone--the most important someone--thought enough of the universal "us"...to open his arms, embrace our ugliness, and offer a new, fresh beginning to all who would merely whisper...save me. And His answer? "Yes...yes, I will. Of course I will."

**** 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Of honor...and ignorance






The Scales
(by R.P.Edwards)

The hero stood
Before the scales
The nation sought
His weight
On one side, "Champion!"
Honor's child
The other?
A traitor's fate
His trophies nudged the needle
A moment, "Champion's" way
But his selfish, shameful, service since
Demanded
Traitor's pay


"I'm a veteran myself," says I. "But not a real one like you." The older gent (accompanied by his wife) smiled and then drove slowly off the lot.

That was a while back.  Our church wanted to honor veterans, so a "thank you" dinner had been planned for November 11, along with some non-threatening words to go with the grub. Hoping to bolster the numbers I had decided to visit a few of the "halls" to pass out invitations.  The gentleman above had come from the local VFW. My next stop was the Amvets and, after that, the American Legion hall.  And, since a few years ago I had learned the difference between the various veteran hang-outs; that had prompted my self-deprecating comment.  Sure, I was a vet; but I was more of a place-holder; no war, no action; just immature me in my younger (much) days.  Indeed, the greatest battle of my then life was in trying to grow up (still ongoing) and my greatest "victory" was, without question, when I surrendered to Jesus Christ.

Anyway, I've been contemplating the whole "hero" thing. The pedestal thing. The bestowing of honor thing. And, I must conclude, that like many I have a tendency to broad-brush, lump together, view through spectacles of rose.  And, in the broadest sense, I suppose this is benign, acceptable, expected; but for the individual "honorees;" the "I actually know thems"; well, perhaps a higher standard needs to be applied.

You see, whether you're a "hero" because of your self-sacrifice in the military service; or a "notable" because you were or are a wiz at some aspect of sports (think Penn State), what you "are" out of the foxhole, and out of the spotlight, determines if the "honor" should be specifically placed...on you.  

And so, when it comes to, say, an abortionist who also happens to be a member of the VFW, or an army retiree who relishes his open adulterous lifestyle, or an exceptional elevator of points and percentages who moonlights as a molester, do I split my decision; do I offer partial gratitude for a past performance, and play down the current despicable state? Or do I--and I definitely lean this way--say, "Your shameful lack of character nullifies any recognition real heroes are due."

Now, don't get me wrong; I am well aware that "all have sinned" is stamped on our human DNA and, O, thank God for the second and third chances allotted by the Creator to those willing to actually repent; but the issue is heroes, and the honoring of the same.  And, when protesters are more interested in the loss of athletic prowess, or unabashed moral slime-balls receive a thank-you for their veteran status; well...it's disturbing.

So, as the title infers, perhaps "ignorance" is the salve needed to soothe our hero-hunting eyes.  But, if unrepentant shameful actions come to light, then let "us" at least show some character, and turn our eyes...away.

****


 










Friday, November 11, 2011

Because they gave...





Redux: Printed this a year ago (or so).  
Veterans Day
(by R.P.Edwards)

Oh how we love celebrity
The gifted
The degreed
But these have space
To flaunt their face
‘cause others chose…
To bleed


Veterans Day.  Originally Armistice Day, a show of gratitude to those who fought in World War I; now expanded to all vets.

I’ve noticed that this particular holiday doesn’t merit the same recognition as others.  Many institutions stay open and purr along as if it was just another November work day.  Indeed, my son’s university says…“wha?“ and my job wouldn’t think of “Holiday Pay,“ for this remembrance.  And, at first I thought it might be a “peace time” diss from a sometimes fickle public.  Then I thought some might consider it redundant.  After all, we do have Memorial Day.  But today, yes, this very day, I learned the real reason.  You see…it doesn’t fall on a Monday!  Ah…it’s so simple!  For some reason it must always fall on November 11.  Thus…no long weekend.

Mystery solved. 

So, do me a favor, will you?  What say you and I pause a moment from fawning over movie and TV stars; divert our eyes from political celebs; pull ourselves away from the electronic toys that consume our free time; and say a prayer for our service men and women.  And, along with the present, let's offer a bit of thanks for all those who have gone before.  For, without question, those who are so very high--their faces reflecting the sun--these stand upon the backs of the multitude; the many selfless veterans (living and dead) who do, and have done, their job; without fanfare, without applause; and often...without thanks.

And, if you are so inclined (and have the time) here's the video, The Stone...




****

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Survivor

Cain
(by R.P.Edwards)

He who fought
The foe of death
And lives
To face the day
Will scoff at airy arrows sent
By those who buck
And bray 

Said Presidential candidate, Herman Cain, yesterday, at a news conference:  "I chose to address these accusations directly rather than try to do it through a series of continuous statements or spokespeople, because that's the person Herman Cain is; is to take my message directly to the people. With respect to the most recent accusations, I have never acted inappropriately with anyone, period!"

It was one of those "I'm tired" in the afternoon reclines and I, with remote in hand, opened the Fox news portal for a peek.  Instead of the normal fare there was an "any minute" anticipation of Mr Cain's addressing another "He did it" accusation that many years ago he said or did something offensive...in the sexual harassment area.  Well, I was mildly interested so I watched, nodded, rewound, watched, nodded, rewound, and finally recorded the thing.

My take: I like Herman Cain.  He strikes me as honest.  Not perfect. But honest.  And although the "sexual harassment" charge has been levied; and if true it's reprehensible, I am mindful of...his enemies.  Meaning those who are diametrically opposed to his "conservative" views and these, dear reader, in my lengthy observation, often have different views of "life, truth, God, patriotism....honor." And, as such, no tactic is beneath them.

Yes, I know, that's a bit harsh, but I'm pressed for time and, through recent events, some of my sugary coating has been dissolved.  One more thing: the poem above alludes to Mr Cain's life and death struggle against cancer.  He literally stood face to face with eternity and, having survived that monumental contest, these little darts from the dastardly; though deeply wounding to the untested; to he they must be as bubbles blown from child's toy.  Hang tough, Mr Cain.  The "truth" will come out.


One more note: of late I've been in a bit of a funk.  An Ecclesiastical frame of mind (all is vanity.)  However, a gentle note from reader, Jeff, nudged me off my malaise.  Thanks Jeff.  

****


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Qaddafi teaches







Farmers We
(by R.P.Edwards)

Live by the sword?
Then prepare for its thrust
"You reap what you sow"
It's a law!
It's a must!
So be careful, your words
And your actions
My friend
For the measure you mete
Will return
In the end

 

 "Make sure your words are sweet.  Because you might have to eat them."  A tickling bit of wisdom from an older acquaintance.  In a roundabout way it has to do with the oft quoted, and oft forgotten words of the wisest of all, "Treat other people the way you want to be treated."

However, the topic this morn is Muammar el-Qaddafi, former leader of Libya. Known for extravagant dress and dastardly deeds; his now spiritless corpse awaits a Muslim (I presume) burial.  And his end, dear reader, proves yet another saying by the one whose words...create worlds; "for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword."

No need to list the dead dictator's detractions (others will excel), let's just say the former tyrant received a harvest he had been cultivating for quite some time.  And, mindful of this, and on a personal note, perhaps "I" should be careful of the "swords" I loose with tongue...and touch.  Yes...speak the truth (another admonition), but its meting medium must be...love.  Yes, speak the truth...in love.  And for this last part, sadly, truthfully, I will need assistance from the love-giver.  For the "truth" must be told, but the hand that holds "this" trembling blade must be held, in turn, by the one that received the nail. The one whose love was shown...on a bloody cross.

 ****



Monday, October 10, 2011

Chris Wallace, NO!!





No, Chris, No!
(by R.P.Edwards)

No, Chris Wallace!
Not you too!
Elitist speak
Reworking “True”
PC believing
“Hope so” facts
Oh, please, Chris Wallace
Oh, please…come back!


Watched a recording of Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace interviewing presidential hopeful, Rick Santorum.  Following are some excerpts (yes, me and a pad of paper) taken from the end of the segment when the good commentator wanted more info on the former senator’s remarks concerning gays in the military.

CW… “Senator, you say sexual activity has no place in the military. Heterosexuals have been openly heterosexuals for centuries in the military without any problem…All that “Don’t ask, Don’t tell;” and the repeal of it does, is say that they are given the same rights as everybody else has had forever.

RS… “The problem is, is that sexual activity with people you are in close quarters with; who happen to be the same sex, is different than having a discussion and being open about your sexual activity where you’re not in that same situation.”

CW… “Are you saying that you think that homosexual gay soldiers are gonna sit there and go after their male counterparts?”

RS… “I didn’t suggest that…”

CW… “You said they’re in close proximity…”

RS… “They’re in close quarters. They live with people. They shower with people. All the things that are involved in living in barracks or living out in the field…unit cohesion…work together in an efficient fighting way…the effect on retention and recruitment of people to live in that environment…it could hurt our ability to put the best fighting force in place…”

CW… “You say, “Don’t inject social policy into the military”… I want to put up a quote for you.”

THE ARMY IS NOT A SOCIOLOGICAL LABORATORY…EXPERIMENTING WITH ARMY POLICY; ESPECIALLY IN A TIME OF WAR, WOULD POSE A DANGER TO EFFICIENCY, DISCIPLINE AND MORALS AND WOULD RESULT IN ULTIMATE DEFEAT.

“Does that sound about right, sir?”

RS… “Roughly, yes”

And now the “Gotcha” moment.

CW… “That’s a quote from Colonel Eugene Householder…in 1941…arguing against racial integration in the military.”

RS… “I figured. I’ve heard similar quotes…It’s very, very different.  The whole gay community is trying to make this the new civil rights act…It’s not the same.

CW… “…It is a fact of your biology…”

RS… “…It is behavioral issue as opposed to a color of the skin issue…”

CW… “We’re going to have to leave it there.”

Phew.  Wrote a lot. Skipped quite a bit.  But you get the idea.  Mr Wallace, whom I admire for his style and substance, on this issue he played the equivalency card; even speaking the “not fact” fact of Homosexuality’s biological determination.  A bit disappointed am I.  But, I believe everyone deserves a mulligan now and then.  Mr Wallace, as Mr Santorum so gently explained; and as much as you may want it to be (for whatever reason), “It’s not the same.”

****

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Blue Screen






R.I.P.C.
(by R.P.Edwards)
 
Woe is me
My poor PC
The XP
Has
Expired
Old and used
by all
Abused
Prepare
The funeral
Pyre
Adieu
Old friend
The hours
We'd spend
Dancing in
The net
With moistened eyes
At your demise
"No backup"
my
Regret


Yes, yes, the picture of the recently deceased, Steve Jobs, and my PC references don't mix.  However, a few days before the gentleman passed on, my beloved Microsoft product (desktop XP) gave up the ghost.  Thus, I sit on the living room couch tapping away on my 17 year old son's laptop (can I borrow your computer, son?) 

Well, last night, amidst the radio relations of the Cardinal/Phillies game, the death of Mr. Jobs was briefly announced.  I knew he was ill but, obviously, those days are behind him.  Yes, his spirit has gone to a totally different reality. A reality, I hope, that he had prepared for.

You know, the gadgets that Steve, Bill, and their ilk have brought us are truly wonderful, amazing, and such a help.  But, also, they literally eat up--if we're not careful--the most precious commodity of our lives and loves...our time.  I ask you, how many of us are consumed by the keyboard?  How many hours are spent where only eyes and monitors...meet?  How many false and fake fantasies of facebook do we engage in?  And then, like Mr Jobs...we die.

Dear reader, I encourage you and I--as yet another one of us has left this most temporary realm--to step back (a little more than we have) from our electronic toys to engage in the most important interaction of all; person to person. You see, although I know virtually nothing of Steve Jobs' personal life, I dare say, when his life force unstoppably ebbed; as he looked, with faded vision, into his loved ones watering eyes; I dare say his final wish was not for one more "breakthrough" or "cutting edge contraption." No, he probably desired, above all else, a few more moments of tender human intimacy...and interface.  With that in mind, what say that you and I begin to think along those lines.  That we would make it a priority that our personal programming begins...and ends...with the love...of others.

****
 









Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hoarders, we

 
 
 
Creative Hoarding
(by R.P.Edwards)

Is it hoarding
If it’s hanging
From the rafters…yon
The clutter from
The counter
I JUST MIGHT NEED ITs
Spawn
O, I suspect it could be
But I feel a lesser dread
Because the hoard is hidden
In the rafters
Over head


He’d heard of it. He’d read of it. He’d even seen the faded newsreels documenting the unthinkable.  But here, today, NOW! IN AMERICA! He couldn’t believe his eyes as book after book after book was thrown to the blaze.  “What are you doing?” he said in a whisper.  And then, bursting past his inhibitions he shouted over the chain-link fence, “What are you doing?! Why are you burning those books?!” 

“Oh, hi, Ted,” said the coveralled caretaker of the local library as he waddled over to greet the University Prof.  “Our fifty cent sale was a bust; and our take ‘em away free effort still left us with five hundred books.  Shame to stuff the landfill with all this paper.  Here,” said the chaw-chewing pragmatist, “this ’n ought to burn pretty good.  It’s titled, “The Audacity of Hope.””

The tenured teacher gingerly took the volume.  Then, with a nostalgic glint and a near-tear, he--for a good thirty seconds--gently stroked the cover with his pink, callousless palms while holding the words tightly to his breast.  Then, as reality seemed to suddenly steel his countenance, he reared back and sent the fluttering fluff to its well deserved incineration.  Pausing to reposition his locks, and smooth his smock, he turned to the tender (who spat a portion towards the curling collection) and asked, “Any more by that author?”

“O, quite a number,” said the feeder as he reached for his bag of Red Man.  “Let me go fetch the wheelbarrow.”


_____

Trying to clean up around this abode, a bit.  Yeah, that pathetic picture atop is from my basement.  The all consuming clutter has pushed me to the edge and, although my first instinct is to throw everything out, I’ve resorted, instead, to selective hanging; which serves a two-fold purpose (so I rationalize).  1. The cleared workbench at least gives the illusion of order, and 2. If I can see it, it will cut down on the search.

And so, I reckon if this middle-aged procrastinator can get his house in order (at least starting to), even so our political reps can start sorting through the Washingtonian morass.  Redundancy will be reduced.  Clutter will be collated.  And what we “got;” what we end up with…will be put in plain sight.  And, O yeah, I threw out quite a few books.  Felt good.

****

Friday, September 23, 2011

September 23, 2011 Republican Debate


Google it
(by R.P.Edwards)

Google sponsored
Youtube posts
Brett and Megyn and Chris
Are hosts
Nine republicans
In the fray
Only one
Will win the day
Perry stumbles
Border woes
Santorum delivers
Piercing blows
Mitt stays strong
Deflecting blasts
Cain beat cancer
In the past
Bachmann says
“You keep your cents”
Many want
A southern fence
Newt’s nostalgic
“I was there”
Johnson wants
A tax that’s fair
Huntsman pushes
“Move to gas!”
Paul, as usual
Is bold as brass
But in the end
One thing I know
Perry’s collar
Has got…to go


The Fox/Google sponsored Republican Presidential debate.  Recorded it. Crawled in after a night at the job.  Grabbed a discarded envelope (for notes) and reclined…to dine.  Well, a couple hours later I tried again.  The above poem is the gist.

I must admit, I’m beginning to drift away from the honorable governor of Texas.  One reason; I just don’t like his collar.  Reminds me of some old-timey photograph.   I’m now leaning more towards Mitt.  Yes, a Mitt/Huckabee ticket would suit me just fine.  And, the most memorable line of the night (in my humble opinion) came from the lips of the former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich: 


“Nothing will turn America around more than election night when Barak Obama loses…decisively”

Amen, Mr Speaker, Amen.


  
I'm telling ya...there's something about that collar.  But then, I am working the midnight shift...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pot Pies...and I



Memory lane
(by R.P.Edwards)

I took a trip
Down memory lane
Sent there
By a snack
A simple time
When truth…was true
And issues
White, or black
Morality…was measurable
And right and wrong
In stone
And then I traveled
Back again
This swamp
That we call
Home


 

Like those stone slabs that offer a covering to corpses in crypts, I slid the lid of the deep freeze and peered deep into and then, arm full in, shuffled the frosty contents which layered the prehistoric bottom.  Oh, at one time this convenience had hinges, and opened in a more civilized fashion.  But, that was years ago and, since this repair is non-essential (unlike the previous post) it can wait…forever.  Aha! There…stuck fast near the joining of the planes…an ancient pot pie.  Why, I haven’t had one of these in years!  In fact…it brings back some fond memories.

Way back when, in the sixties and seventies, mom would have a “pot pie” dinner for the six (as in ‘kids’). These morsels, however (unlike today’s version) were embraced by a foil bowl, and only suitable to be cooked…in the oven.  And, being the thrifty sort that she was (and is) she’d save many of these holders and use them for snack disbursement…such as popcorn (also cooked the old fashion way).

Ah…a simpler time.  Sure, there were problems, but the under girding foundations of morality and traditional values…were the same for the left and the right.  And so, as I sat in front of the antenna fed television on a Sunday night with my pot-pie bowl of popcorn, the foundation of my then society was, for the most part…strong.  Life, marriage, right, wrong, truth, error…solid.

Enter…the swamp.  Where morality is malleable.  Where truth…is transient.  Where airy words have sway…and then we, we all…must pay.  Oh, to be sure, the fantasy land, the fairy tale believers have always been among us.  But, they used to mainly congregate in the hallowed subsidized halls where titles and the honors of men abound.  Where godlessness is virtue.  Where fleshly reachings are applauded, and where, for some reason, parents are quick to send their tenders to be molded and bent…by fools.  Yes, error has always been there, but now it’s tendrils reach everywhere.  And…with the weaving of words…we believe. 


The problem is, like the all-encompassing fog of the pre-dawn, the lies cannot withstand the blazing light of truth.  Unfortunately (for they, the many whose righteous covering is only the opaque mist), when the heat comes…their inadequacy appears.  And the many who trusted them; believed in them; gave themselves to them…these suffer the fate of the na├»ve.

And so gays are now openly welcomed in the military.  The media says it’s a ho-hum, no big deal.  And why wouldn’t they? This is their belief.  Their truth.  But, as a former sailor who once quartered with eighteen in a very small space, I know, I KNOW, that lust unleashed will cause division, decay, debauchery, destruction.  And, just because the dream-weavers have written a beautiful novel with a fairy tale ending, history testifies; NO, SCREAMS!, that ideas based solely on man’s mettle will suffer the fate and destiny of man…the grave.

****

Friday, September 16, 2011

Seasoned, please


Seasoned
(by R.P.Edwards)

There’s nothing like
A knowing hand
To tame the tempest’s
Blow
When life or death
Takes knowledge
Deft
Leave flash
And fluff
Below


Her skin was white and smooth and I must admit her curves were not unpleasant to the touch but, she was cold, and hard, and clammy and, though my arm curled gently around her as my face drew uncomfortably near, this was an intimacy that was unnatural; almost forbidden; but I had to press on; I had to fix that blasted…toilet.

Yes, it was another one of those “The ceiling is leaking things,” and since the splatter came from directly above the washing machine…it was the commode on the main floor…and it had to be fixed.  So, since the family vehicle is on the lam I, like the Wizard of Oz pre-witch, peddled my bicycle to the local hardware store (fairly close, thankfully), and got the final skinny on how to tame the ancient drop-box.

After several hours (snail-like, I) the flusher is more focused and, though some of the floor is a bit soft (alas), that repair will have to wait (hopefully until after I’m dead).

The tie-in: once again I, the novice, needed help from the experienced.  I checked youtube (of course!), asked a dude at work (he’d done it) and finally pressed the “experts” at the hardware store.  They all got me through the toidy task.  And, dear reader, at the helm of this ship of state we have hopefully learned--over the last three years--that inexperience, though wrapped in pretty ribbon--is deadly.  The next fixer needs to have calloused hands and a weathered face.  Therefore, of the many in the running…I lean towards the governors.  Maybe they haven’t plumbed the enormous commode that finds it’s hole in Washington, but at least they know sewage when they smell it.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Coming for Tea


Tea Party Debate
(by R.P.Edwards)

“In this corner!”
Almost said
Blitzer
Each contestant read
Challengers
To win the prize
Obama out
With blackened eyes
But first they battle
For the chance
They bob and weave
And dance the dance
Perry’s pummeled
Raining fists
The lessers rail
And bring their lists
Santorum’s feisty
Newt is nice
Bachmann’s tough
And Paul adds spice
Cain
He loves the number nine
Huntsman, Romney
Tout their spine
“This I’ll do!”
And “This they’ve done!”
“For the answer
I’m the one!”
A rousing party
Delightful tea
Yes, tasty fare
For such…as me


Recorded the latest Republican debate on Monday, and digested it today.  I speak, naturally, of the one hosted by Wolf Blitzer and CNN, and held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in front of a bunch of Tea Partiers. 

Honestly…I loved it.  Rather than some kind of snobby gathering in the anemic north, this…was a show.  And, much like the beginnings of any pay-per-view extravaganza there was pomp and stomp.  The nicknames --“The Firebrand,” “The Fighter,” “The Big Thinker”-- the large glistening stage and the rousing rendition of the national anthem.  Now that’s more like it.

My impression?  Perry was beaten up a bit, but still stands.  The others seemed strong and predictable but, surprisingly, I’m beginning to warm up to Governor Huntsman (“The Diplomat!”) and find myself wishing he would, due to some of his “social” stands, gently switch parties and run against President Obama for the democratic nomination.

And so, resigning myself to my middle-aged mindset, I look forward to the next contest.  Football? Nay. It’s debate season…and the teams are jockeying for position.  I’m ready for the playoffs.  Bring 'em on!

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mindful Be

 
 
 
Please read the portion below, and then return to listen
 
 
Mindful
(by R.P.Edwards)

All around
The weeping ones
We pass…and feel no pain
O Lord
Give eyes
Let love
Arise
To heal
In Jesus
Name


I woke up with it going through my head.  A mournful tune I first heard over forty years ago; a part of a Christmas special titled, “Mr Magoo’s Christmas Carol.”  The young scrooge was in his boarding school…and very much alone.  I remember it still.

Funny, you wouldn’t think cartoon fare could move one but, through that innocent medium a boy became thoughtful of things beyond his toys and trivialities. 

There have been a couple deaths in the family lately; one, physical; the other…deeper.  And, since we all sip of the cup of despair from time to time I’ll not dwell on my portion, other than to say to myself, and to you, dear reader; let us be mindful of the precious souls in our midst.  Those many that we pass by and pass with to our inevitable end.  For you see, in our many daily greetings there may be sorrow behind the smile; hurting behind the hello; and, if we’re too self-centered, too self absorbed…we’ll miss it.  And with the missing…we miss our reason to remain…and do His works; works that may include a hand, a hug, a shared tear, and the lessening of a terrible, crushing weight.  Yes, let us be mindful; mindful of what’s really important in this life.  Now, if you will…please listen to the song.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Power of Song




Do me a favor and listen to this song...first.


Because you sang
(by R.P.Edwards)

Past the mind
Into the heart
 The word in song
A piercing part
That rends the spirit
The soul
The “know”
Once fallow ground
Now new things…grow


It caught me totally off guard. I was watching one of the final episodes of “America’s Got Talent” (a contest of sorts to find an “act” suitable for a Vegas run along with a million dollar prize [light, diversionary fare]) and, frankly, since part of the “filler” of these final shows usually consists of “modern” musicians and their offerings (blech!), I usually mute or fast forward.  This time, however, I waited a moment to at least hear the beginnings.  And, with the words in song, delivered by a beautiful voice…I was moved. 

The singer: Susan Boyle. A middle-aged success story who rose to fame from the British version of the talent show.  The song: written by Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of  ABBA fame (younger folk ask your nearest elder) for their musical, “Kristina from Duvemala” which is, itself, taken from the novel, The Emigrants, by Vilhelm Moberg.

Anyway, aside from the backstory, the song comes across as if by a person in a dark, helpless, exhausted, desperate place; a place where they need God “to be there.”  And, as a Christian of some age (not “great,” but some) and, since even I have been through a few things (have not we all?)…this song somehow pierced the intellect and did an internal stirring. 

You know, it’s funny, and I’ve said it many times before; you can read a three or four hundred page novel and come away with a certain “feeling,” or shifting, or moving.  Or, you can listen to a four minute song…and get to the same place.

By the way, in my little research run I’ve noticed that Ms. Boyle’s rendition is a bit different from the original (word wise).  More centered and Christian believer focused (as opposed to fitting in with the story line) and, I must say, I like it. I like it very much.  And, over the last half day…I’ve listened; over and over and over. 

Here’s a link to Helen Sjoholm (original cast member) singing the version from the musical.You have to be there 

For a little more info, here’s a link to the site for “Kristina from Duvemal.” The Musical

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Coming Storm

 
 
 
It’s coming
(by R.P.Edwards)

“Take cover!”
Just won’t cut it
“Batten down!”
It just won’t do
There’s a killer storm a comin’
And it’s coming, sir, for you
So before this surly slayer
Comes surely cross your path
Seek refuge in the tower
That delivers souls…from wrath


The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.
(Proverbs 18:10)


At the time of this writing, Hurricane Irene is still in the process of chewing up the eastern seaboard. It’s a big’n.  Spanning hundreds of miles this slow mover blows hard and waters much.  She’s the talk of the news and many have and are preparing for her coming.  Following is what Mayor Ray Sturza told a Fox reporter.

“Our principle goal is not to lose a life. There’s no reason anyone should lose their life as a result of this. We know it’s coming. We’re implementing safety measures. But, it creates a sense of anxiety because it’s getting ready to turn your whole life upside-down if you live out here.”

The good mayor is the leader of the small town of Kill Devil Hills.  Located on the outer banks of North Caroline, said community is just a little south of Kitty Hawk; yes, of Wright Brothers fame.  Supposedly the Midwesterners spent some time there testing their gliders before the powered flight they are so famous for.

Anyway, just another centering thought.  It seems the collective “we” have enough sense to prepare for the coming hurricane, but, dear reader, the storm called “death” is also on the horizon; and it is definitely coming, unstoppably, for you…and me.  The remedy; the solution; the answer to this killer, however, is not a matter of our “doing,” not a matter of boards on the window, or running in the roadster, but it is a needful recognizing and reaching out to the one who has already “done.”  And that person; that strong tower; that one who has conquered the storm…is Jesus Christ.  And so, as the waters of death come closer; as it begins to lap at our feet, and then creep ever higher, threatening and promising to swallow our hopes, our dreams, our very life and soul; let us just do what those in the icy waves do instinctively.  Those whose trusted vessel has gone under and their mortal strength reveals its fatal unfaithfulness; let us just look to the compassionate rescuer nearby and cry out, “Jesus, save me!”  And then, as his hand is offered…just take it. Yes, take his hand…and live.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Supreme Solution


A song about the supreme court.  And you thought we didn't have royalty in this country. 



Pilot Error
(by R.P.Edwards)

The ground is unforgiving
For flight plans…gone awry
And with the pilot error
A crash
And people…die


It was a monstrous airship; a multiengined stratoliner that carried a multitude, higher, higher, faster, faster through an often turbulent and storm-tossed sky interspersed, from time to time, with huge granite peaks piercing the white canopy, promising, with the slightest error in judgment, a quick and violent and certain…end.  But, with a reliable and tested flight plan, and a competent crew, the many on board felt fairly secure that their destination would be reached.  That is, until the nine navigators began quibbling over the course.  For, you see, four were adamant that the written instructions were to be taken “as is,” and four thought there was wiggle room in the reading of the coordinates (indeed, their predecessors established the precedence of throwing babies out the rear exit to lighten the load, and “their” predecessors thought Americans with dark skin could also be likewise treated)  And the final navigator, the decider, he waffled back and forth betwixt the two.  Finally, after the horrified passengers saw the wingtips barely brush the branches on a speeding past peak, they banded together and decreed (for these many actually “owned” the aircraft) that “wayward” navigators could be overruled, and if need be…fired.

____

Although it seems I’m on a Rick Perry run, I’m actually still in a wait and see mode.  However, the recent publication of his “to do” list caught my eye.  Abolish the income tax; balance the budget; make abortion illegal; defend traditional marriage, and a couple of provisions to rein in activist judges.  Concerning the “Kings,” these would have term limits and, if a heinous or outlandish ruling came down (such as Roe v Wade) the congress, with a two thirds majority, could “overrule” the judges without going the amendment route.  I like that; and it’s about time. But I have to wonder; how did we even get to this spot where we nonchalantly accept the fact that some judges can rewrite the Constitution without consequence?  Of course there should be provisions short of impeachment to correct a wayward judiciary!  I only hope it happens before the “navigators” turn us into the ever-nearing cliffs.

Rick Perry’s “to do” list:  Gov Perry's list

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

It's a fact? Really?

 
 
 
Bad Science
(by R.P.Edwards)

Science is subjective
By definition…shouldn’t be
But scientists are human
With biases
like you and me


It wasn’t farfetched.  I knew it could be done (people on TV could do it!). So, why could not I, a tot of sub-kindergarten age, jump off the brick wall (a railing of sorts; perhaps two feet tall) dive, do a mid-air flip, and land safely and triumphantly on my feet in the meager pile of leaves I had gathered adjacent my launch-point. And so, with a simple bend at the knees and a vigorous bound, I took off! And, a second later, I landed squarely on my head (the leaves offering little comfort).  Yes, my experimentation ended with this sore-headed performance.  I concluded, therefore, that it was not as easy as, at first, supposed.  And, if I had not had the knowledge that there were actually people who could do this feat; perhaps I would have surmised through my “failed” experiment that it could not be done…at all.
____

You start with a question.  You gather data. You propose a hypothesis, a solution, an answer; and then you test, test, test to see if the hypothesis holds water.  It’s called the scientific method and it is absolutely essential in the hard sciences, such as Physics and Chemistry.  It is not, however, a tool that can be used in the area of history, or origins.  Oh, there are plenty of questions, and educated guesses, but there can never be testing.  And, even though a “majority” may repeat the mantra, and though armies of lock-step lab-coated men and women with impressive titles in front and letters behind their names swear their allegiance to Darwin’s child and shout with full conviction, “Scientific Fact!;” it can never, never be more than an untested theory.  And though they love to malign and belittle those whose faith reaches beyond the natural realm; those who believe that the human spirit is more than the result of the astronomical alignment of blind chance mutations; these men of science remind us all that they are indeed human.  Filled with bias.  Biases that would not be tolerated in the “hard sciences” from which we all have benefited. 

And so they come out.  Those who would label Christians such as Rick Perry as anti-science.  But, as the previous paragraph infers, there is a big difference between the evidence-heavy “hard sciences” and the mushy, malleable “believings” of Darwinists and their ilk who, seeing the left-overs of long ago events, and grasping for even the hint of an evolutionary “change,” (and taking, as a given, no “unnatural” influences) these, with abandon, extrapolate wildly backward and boldly assert, “Evolution is a Fact!” What utter hogwash!

I’ll not go on and on.  But I will name a few of the results of the two experiments we "have" seen in our lifetime (if you have a few years on you, that is).  On the one hand we have seen a great--though imperfect--nation; one where the majority of its people held to the belief in the God mentioned in the Declaration of Independence; this nation was unmatched in strength, moral virtue, wealth and prosperity; and, on the other hand we now see the results as evolutionary thought has taken hold in the Universities, the courts, public schools, the media and government.  Now, this nation that is rejecting our former beholdence to God, it is, and has become anemic (not yet militarily, thankfully), sickly and bankrupt.  We, following the tenets of the proclaimed “scientific fact” murder our children and muddy our institutions.  Yes, even our credit rating is down; but our moral rating is, as a result, far lower.  And, though I doubt any reasonable candidate would seek my advice; if they did, he or she, when challenged, might dare to read the list of the test results.  Then…let the social scientists among us (those who vote), based on the data, decide the better of the two “theories.”

Here’s a site you might find interesting:  Answers in Genesis


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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Perry and Global Warming

 The Chicago Cubs and Global Warming.  Yeah, that's me singing. Read the piece, then listen to me croon.

Because we say so
(by R.P.Edwards)

“Because we say so!”
That’s the gist
The liberal stamp
On favored lists
Global Warming
Married Gays
Spread the wealth
The rich man pays
Evolution
Man from bugs
Bullets bad
We’ll fight with hugs
Babies only, when they cry
In the womb?
Ok to die
Worship gods
But not the Christ
History, ok to heist
America, the planet’s scum
But tyrants?
Well, we call them “chum”

But Perry's opinion runs counter to the view held by an overwhelming majority of scientists…”  A lined gleaned from an AP piece concerning Texas Governor, Rick Perry’s expressed doubts that the activity of man has caused global warming.  Translation: “Anybody who’s anybody “knows” that human activity is causing the globe’s fever. We have a list.”

I’ll not belabor the point (the job beckons), but Mr Perry’s not falling for the “a bunch of us says so” line is just another reason to look his way.   “Majority rules” may work in Congress, or on the playground, but it shouldn’t be the standard for scientific fact.  It’s refreshing when, from time to time, the emperor is reminded that he is buck naked.  Kudos, Texan!

Here’s a link to “another” list.  Scientists who respectfully disagree with Al Gore’s child http://www.petitionproject.org/

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rick Perry for Prez

 
 
 
 
Suggestion: read my little preamble, then click on the video above.
 
Rick Perry
(by R.P.Edwards)

Far from Harvard’s Ivy ick
That squishy speech that makes you sick
A Texan talks
In honest drawl
Reminding we
Of freedom’s call


Past the midnight toll.  Still catching up a bit.  I looked to youtube to find Texas Governor, Rick Perry’s, “running for president” announcement.  He chose to avoid the “straw” poll in Iowa and spilled the beans in South Carolina instead.   I’ll not ramble (as “his” words are first hand, and mine, second) however, I was immediately endeared because he didn’t use…a teleprompter.

The question: Am I fully behind Mr. Perry?  Still deciding, but yes, I’d take him any day (you know the rest).

Here’s a link to a site that shows where the governor stands on a variety of topics.
  Issues

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Iowa Debate 2012






For mood enhancement, click selection above, then read on...




Dad I
(by R.P.Edwards)

As a little lad
I thought it sad
That daddy watched the news
I thought it dull
To sit and mull
While talkers talked the blues
Now here am I
So far from spry
But something’s taken hold
I stay up late
And watch debate
I guess I’m getting old



It was waiting for me.  Somewhere near the top of the list the Iowa debate from a couple days ago.  I knew it was there, but I was detained and drained, but now…for fun…I’ll watch it.

Ok, I “watched” it.  After whipping up some pancakes, and with momma out of the house, I reclined on the bed and watched the eight presidential wannabees face off.  Those in attendance were, former governors Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman; Congressfolk Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul; former speaker Newt Gingrich; former senator Rick Santorum, and business guy, Herman Cain.  And, not in attendance, but a presence none-the-less, Texas Governor Rick Perry.  Now, I really did watch it.  Even took notes. And only dozed off about five times (for a moment or two, rewinding to regroup).  But, I just don’t feel like tediously expounding (there are plenty of other expounders about).  So, I’ll summarize with a poem.


The Gist of the List
(by R.P.Edwards)

Pawlenty and Bachmann
Duked it out
Ron Paul’s posse
Gave a shout
Cain knows more
Than he knew before
Santorum said,
“Give me the floor!”
Newt was grouchy
That was clear
Huntsman, huh?
Should he be here?
Mitt was cool
In his tailored suit
All had come
Their horns to toot
They spoke of how
They’d save the farm
Fixes for
Obama’s harm
Traditional marriage
Babies worth
America’s place
On planet earth
Then they were asked
Of Perry’s plan
Of how they viewed
The Texas man
Then one and all
With tepid grin
Said
“The water’s fine
Just step on in!”


And again, my assessment?  I’d take any one of them over the current occupant of the white house.
_____

One more thing.  The previous post shares some family happenings this week.  Thanks for the messages of sympathy.  Also, it just so happens that in my Bible reading I was slowly cruising through the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes.  Here was a verse that stood out (appropriate, I thought).

“It is better to go to a house of mourning than to a house of feasting, because that is the end of every man, and the living take it to heart.” (Ecclesiastes 7:2)


At the funeral of my father in law there was an abundance of tears and tender hearts.  The minister, as many ears were open,  wisely reminded these that there was also a coming “end” for each, and that the proper preparation for the inevitable involves a personal reaching to the way maker…Jesus Christ.  I invite the reader also, for a moment, to pause and consider your individual end (it‘s not that far away).  And, if considering brings unction, click on the section titled, “Of first Importance” in the upper right corner.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Coming to Ground

 
 
 
 
Coming to Ground
(by R.P.Edwards)

Coming to ground
Emptied of “things”
Puffed up distractions, have all taken wings
Gone with your dying
Our trivial tome
Yes
We’re coming to ground
As you travel…home



Four heads bowed…and mournful weeping.  Four hearts raw and rent…and lowered to earth.  Four delicate petals surrounding the center; the remains of a father, husband, leader, friend.  He…has died.  And we; lonely we…are the less.

My father-in-law passed away a few days ago.  The call came at the midnight toll and, before we got there; before my wife had another chance to look into her “daddy’s” eyes…he was gone.  And, as I stood back--before the influx of the many (though it was so late)--I saw she and her two sisters, and their precious mother, bow their heads and express with tender tears that for which words are without strength.

Now, I usually reserve this space for less personal observations.  But I, with your indulgence (and as we are still in the process of release) would like, for just a moment, to honor the man who was so much to so many. His name is Russell Edwards (I write “is” because he still “is”. Death is but a door). A rather intimidating figure when we first met (as he was well over six foot and I, barely there).  And, as I remember it, he was more than a match for me and my navy buddies who sought, on one occasion, to test his mettle. And, though he was a bit of a bear on the outside, when love needed to be shown…his mushy middle was exposed.  And, perhaps the greatest expression of this (relating to me and mine) was when, at a very difficult and dark time, he offered his home to be shared by my family of four.  No conditions. No limits or lease.  Just…come. 

So, Russell Lee Edwards, till we meet again.  You have traveled on; but your gifts…continue.

_____

“Coming to ground.”  Getting to that place where only the essential…is essential.  It seems to me, through the many difficulties that have and are coming upon our land, that we, as a nation, are coming to ground.  Coming to that place where the foundation…is laid bare.  How much better it would be; yes, how much better if we actually “sought” that barren spot which demands renewal and restoration, rather than to be forced, kicking and screaming, to lay aside our consuming toys and trivialities.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Look into the casket

 
 
 
The Whole Truth
(by R.P.Edwards)

Judgment distant
Judgment poor
Look in the casket
Then
Be sure


Fifty-six years ago, this month, a fourteen year old African-American boy named Emmett Till went from his home in Chicago to visit some relatives in Mississippi.  He apparently said or did some inconsequential “something” that rubbed local whites the wrong way and, in the middle of night he was abducted, brutally tortured, murdered, and his body was dumped into the Tallahatchie River. His grieving mother, wanting the world to actually see what had been done to her child, ordered an open casket at the funeral.  Emmett’s horribly disfigured remains became a rallying point for a nation that was beginning to come to terms with the appalling injustice suffered by millions of their fellow Americans  The open casket…showed the truth. And the truth…led to action.
____


The other day, as I was searching for pro-life sites to send a book invite (Sir John & the Dragon’s Boast has a strong pro-life subplot) I ran across “The Center for Bio-ethical Reform.”  It’s homepage greeted me with an Emmett Till moment.  For there, on the screen, scrolling before me, was the truth of abortion.  Graphic? Yes.  But jarringly eye-opening. And, I dare say, if the seven black-robed men who, in 1973, took on the mantle of godhood, and passed the death sentence for over 50 million Americans; if these had paused to look into the casket of their actions…they might have reconsidered.  And, if the millions of “I love Jesus” Christians who, without remorse, vote for those who support the slaughter; if these dared to look into the casket…they might reconsider.  And, if the local populace and government of Granite City IL, took a moment to see what their (our) indifference tolerates; they too might reconsider.

You know; I often hesitate at the using of the “M” word but, with the help of the visual truth, I now have no problem calling abortion what God calls it…murder.  And, dear reader, I challenge “you” to look into the casket.  But, be warned, “known” truth …makes demands.  Here's a link: http://www.abortionno.org/

Following is a verse from a Bob Dylan song having to do with the injustice done to Emmett Till.  I have no idea what the “blowin’ in the wind” folks singer thinks of the unborn.  But…the words fit.


If you can't speak out against this kind of thing, a crime that's so unjust,
Your eyes are filled with dead men's dirt, your mind is filled with dust.
Your arms and legs they must be in shackles and chains, and your blood it must refuse to flow, For you let this human race fall down so God-awful low!
(
from The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan)

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