Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Six Haiku

by Jim Rapp

sky so far away
earth so unbearably near
a complication

a dozen donuts
one half-empty glass of milk
a complication

one Powerball prize
fourteen million hold their breath
a complication

eight hours for sleeping
one hour surrenders sleep
a complication

one crazy shepherd
sixty-four million lost sheep
a complication

six haiku riddles
unnumbered explanations
a complication

Monday, July 16, 2018

Denying the Faith

by Jim Rapp

When President Trump speaks
I carefully observe those around him,
his "advisors", applauders and courtiers,
whose presence is meant to affirm,

his words and policies that reek
of bigotry, vulgarity and narcissism.
And none of these mannequins dare counter
in word, grimace or bodily squirm,

the lies, threats and insults the President speaks.
Even the reputedly "pious" that appear with him –
(the stone-faced V.P., among which there is none muter) –
by their silence are denying the piety they affirm.

I invite all who have ears to hear and eyes to see
to observe this school of Republican carp as they swim
in Trump's swamp – see if you hear one single mutter
of Christian dissent that would my allegation disaffirm.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Six Haiku for Sunday

by Jim Rapp

snowflake from the sky
coming to the earth to die
sing alleluia

troubled branches sway
sturdy tree trunks win the day
sinking roots in clay

feeble mortals fret
birds and flowers do not sweat
live with no regret

darkness creates fear
doubt declares no help is near
day breaks bringing cheer

sadness overwhelms
trusting fills the heart and calms
joy gives rise to psalms

snowflake from the sky
coming so that none need die
sing alleluia

Saturday, July 14, 2018

If I May Add a Christian Line to Rumi's Sufi Poem

Adapted by Jim Rapp

A stone I died and rose again a plant;
A plant I died and rose an animal;
I died an animal and was born a man;
I died a man, became eternal soul,
 and left my earthly dust to live again.
Why should I fear? What have I lost by but death?
A Stone I Died - Poem by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi.

I've added, with trepidation, lines four and five and
changed "by" to "but" in line six in Rumi's wholly
beautiful poem. My apologies to any I have offended.

Let it Shine, Let it Shine, Let it Shine

by Jim Rapp

We are getting the idea that the President wants
those around him who make him feel comfortable.
Natural, I suppose, so he hires as one of his grunts,
Bill Shine of Fox News fame, proven to be capable,
and corruptible, having deflected heat from Counts
Ailes and O'Reilly until they were proven culpable.

But while Mr. Shine stayed mostly in the shadows,
his wife Darla chose to dazzle as a talk show host,
espousing conspiracy theories, performing didos,
(verbal didos) to please racists and, I suppose, most
of all, the Racist-in-Chief and other alt-rightos.
Now she and Bill are among Trump's shining-most.

Meanwhile, the "greatest U.S. President," save Lincoln,
can rant, swear, and vulgarize to his heart's content
and those in his retinue will not be wincing or blinking;
not even the "Faith-based" crowd the Pres has sent
rushing to proclaim his sincere Evangelical thinking;
not even Pence, whose pious face is frozen in consent.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

On Buying a Bag of Air

(Haiku Form)
by Jim Rapp

Time was when sellers
proudly listed enhancements
added to their goods.

Wonder Bread that "Builds
Bodies Seven Ways," milk laced
with vitamin D.

Check now, they'll tell you
what's not in it; GMOs,
gluten, soy, and more.

I fear that when I
open the box or bag I'll
find it filled with air.

Pure air, of course; scrubbed
of all that's "unnatural";
rendered "organic".

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Railroad Town 1

by Jim Rapp

The railroad divided our town like a six-segment pie,
cut carelessly, or ineptly; some pieces small, some large. I
was born at the far eastern crust of the north east slice.
Early in my life the family moved west, three houses shy
of Webster Elementary School, still in the same slice.
(Before I began school we had moved again by
the north crust of town, still in our familiar slice.)

I have no memory of the first location other than that
given me by others; memories of their memories.
But the second, Clay street place, was sourced with what
must be a blend of my own and other peoples stories,
mostly mine I believe, indeed a half-dozen or more that
feel completely mine – we left the place when I was three
or maybe four, old enough to have memories of that flat:

Dad, blue lipped from an electric shock stringing a wire
across the rain-dampened back yard, a basement flooded
to the top step, peeing on the front walk, a neighbor's ire
causing her to stab me with her pencil, a safety pin extruded
a day after being ingested, chagrin at having eaten Mom's pie,
unjust punishment when my brother was found wounded,
Halloween pranksters doused by Dad as they were running by.

The house where I was born still stands, unworthily stands,
clad with white aluminum siding hiding rot approaching
one century. The Clay Street house is gone and the land
on which it stood still stands empty, only weeds encroaching
on its hallowed space. The third place that our hardy band
called home stands still as well, clad too in white eye-catching
aluminum, hiding faux brick siding; Sears, Roebuck brand.

So I was a railroad brat, hemmed in on south and west by
rails that creak and groan and sing their song all day disjunctively
with  straining engines' sounds as the giant locomotives try
to budge the loaded gondolas, their spinning wheels splaying
fire with each attempt at gaining traction, progress measured by
the slowly passing logos, proclaiming interdependence, slicing
the town, gondola by gondola, logo by logo, into a six-piece pie.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Puzzling a Medieval Quandary

by Jim Rapp

How many angels can dance on a pin?
It depends my friends, it depends.

It depends if it is a pen or a pin.
It depends if we're talking angels or angles.

But let us assume it is a pin.
And let us assume we're talking angels.

It still depends.

It depends on the size of the pin.
It depends on the angels – how slim?

It depends: on its sides or its ends?
It depends: if the end, which end?

It depends if it is calm or is there wind.
It depends: are the angels pure or have sinned?

You see, my friends, it really depends,
So we really don't know in the end.