Friday, July 24, 2015

A Creative Spark

Elias built a house on Minecraft this past week and his excitement about it was uncharacteristically intense.  When he brought me into his room and showed it to me, I was totally floored.  We've been doing Minecraft off and on since he was six years old and he has consistently made houses of a type that are pretty basic and with only minor variations.  This was something altogether different.

I thoroughly interrogated him as to whether or not he'd seen a friend do this or if he'd seen a video about how to build it.  He assured me that he had come up with the idea all on his own because he was "bored" of how he had been doing it before.  And, as if to assure me it wasn't a one-off, I watched him work on another one that was even more complex and beautiful.

I wish it could be seen from all angles, to include the interior, because there are skylights and a swimming pool integrated into the rear of the house.  It's hard to explain what something like this means to me.  The creative spark and what comes from it gives me an inordinate amount of joy and seeing it manifest in my ten year old son makes it that much more special.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Soldier of Moral Certitude

It is not my fault,
the multitude of evils
that beset this planet.

I am a static being,
untouching and untouchable,
without malice in my heart,
a blameless individual
who can only shake my
head at the foolishness
that surrounds me.

I am a man of hard-earned
wisdom and common sense.
I do not waste my time
on other people's problems.

I will serve my time here as
a soldier of moral certitude,
confident in my personal
salvation, having done my duty
to walk the line and
to set others straight.

And when I've reached the end,
I will march through those
pearly gates, nod at St. Peter,
and claim what is rightfully mine.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Thunder Road

Thunder Road

When they came through the Rift, the rains came with them.

Marko wasn't even close to the freak happening, but saw it on an internet newsreel that he initially mistook for a Japanese monster movie clip.   He'd been working on his '40 Ford Coupe Rum Runner when his nephew had come busting into his workshop, cell phone in hand.

The picture quality was poor due to the torrential downpours they inhabited and the boy's shaking hand.  The small screen showed massive lightning strikes illuminating the insides of roiling clouds, revealing the outlines of what could have been mistaken for large electrical towers lumbering over the wetscape.  They belched waves of electromagnetism that fried electronics in a radius of hundreds of miles.

The image on the screen flickered out, like the hopes and dreams of those whose lives were built on convenience and unrestricted access.  The world of smart phones and computers was soon to be a thing of the past, like rotary dials and sunny days.  Marko immediately recognized the new import of his green-flamed coupe, a machine of power and grace built in a time before dependent complexities and complicated gadgetry.

The battle for Thunder Road was soon to begin.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Simple Prayer


A simple prayer 
was offered up
from a pure heart
and the earth
was changed
as assuredly
as if a typhoon 
had swept a wide 
path of construction.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Be Brave

So much of our lives,
spent in vain pursuits,
with rare glimpses
behind the curtain.
Rare because we reject them,
resisting the deep dipped
well of melancholy cold
penetrating our superficial
perception of reality.
Be brave.  It can be
a bracing experience,
forcing a quick inhalation
of the air we need to live,
having held our breath
for far too long.


Sunday, July 05, 2015

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Unknown, but not Unloved

Back in early 1991 I was in Basic Training on Sand Hill at Ft. Benning, Georgia, having withdrawn from Indiana Wesleyan University during my senior year when the first Gulf War broke out. I ended up in a cohort of infantrymen destined for the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea as an 11-Mike (mechanized infantry) to help them transition from the old 113 troop carrier vehicles to the new Bradley Fighting Vehicles.

My Drill Sergeant, SSG Crumpler, was a hardcore light infantryman who had been an M-60 machine gunner during our incursion into Grenada. He showed a good deal of disdain for the mechanized infantry. So, when I showed interest in talking to the recruiter for The Old Guard, he set it up and personally escorted me there. The process appeared to be moving along nicely until it came down from higher that our cohort was locked into its assignment and no exceptions would be made.

It's hard to say what would have happened if I'd gone into The Old Guard instead of going to Korea and serving my two years there. I could have been one of the soldiers assigned to duty at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Years later, as a Psychiatry Resident at Walter Reed, I saw a soldier from The Old Guard in my clinic and learned about the great deal of stress and dysfunction at some of the units there.

What would have went down in that alternate universe? With my penchant to skirt rules and push boundaries at that time, it could have turned out disastrously. Anyway, these are some of the thoughts that come to mind when I see this photo of a young infantryman walking his line.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Pain is Universal

Pain is Universal

There are times I must leave this planet
and speak with the spheres who know
the pain of loneliness and isolation.
They have learned to live in silence,
sending out soundings to one another,
a low hum that draws them together
in the set course of their circular paths.

My ship is green with gray highlights.
A 2-dimensional black orbital byway
guides the daily commute to and from,
where I float amongst celestial beings,
colleagues, coworkers, and clones.
I reach out with the hum of who I am,
harmonics filling the gaps between us.

But imperfectly, always imperfectly.