Saturday, March 17, 2018

In Drips and Dribbles

by Jim Rapp

It is March Madness
and all eyes are on the games.
Nothing else matters.

The McCabe firing . . .
The call from Trump's lawyer for
Mueller to be fired . . .

In drips and dribbles –
weekend "news drops" – our freedoms
are draining away.

In the March Madness,
with drips and dribbles, freedoms
are stolen away.

No one is looking,
but the cooks are cooking the
stew we are all in.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

I'm Eighty-two Today – Some Thoughts

I'm eighty-two years old today and, no surprise,
I awoke thinking that the day and date is matterless.
A friend introduced me to the word, matterless,
years ago when she read to a group of us from
James Herriot's, All Creatures Great and Small.
The word was not central to the point being made -
its usage was perhaps, in Herriot's eyes, matterless -
but it stuck in my mind and has served to express,
for me, many things I have deemed inconsequential.

Millions, perhaps billions, of our fellow travelers
on this earth grew to age (old or young) with no
knowledge of the day of their birth, matterlessly,
it seemed to many, making their way through one
day after another. Tragedies and joys, followed one
on another, serving as the only markers of their days,
and, when their time was finished, no one, it seemed,
could tell with certainty the year or date of their birth.
As generations passed, the deed-formed ripples they left on
the pool of human memory vanished; seemed totally lost.
If heaven keeps no record, then their time on earth would
seem to have been, in the scheme of things, matterless.

But on my eighty-second date of birth I'm contemplating
another word that expresses the opposite of matterlessness;
as friends and family shower me with words and cards
and calls, I find myself declaring them to be priceless -
the cards and calls - especially the cherished ones who
bring joy on a day that otherwise might be deemed matterless.

But, is any day spent on this earth truly matterless?
Is any deed objectively inconsequential? Do the ripples
of any action ever cease to pulse through human history?
 Can any price be assigned to human deeds, either good or ill?
The effect of every word spoken, every deed done continues,
ricocheting still, shaping all they touch; they are priceless -
nothing can buy them back or the effects they perpetuate.

The forgotten millions whose bones, decaying in unmarked
graves, seem to cry, "Matterless!" have each left the world a
heritage beyond worth, beyond price. It is worthless,
it is priceless. As the waves of human deeds wash up on
eternity's shores the incalculable good will be separated from
the inestimable evil and perhaps God, in his grace, will
make good, eternally priceless, and evil, at last, matterless.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

J. D.’s Creed

(Haiku Form)
by Jim Rapp

J. D. found if he
left things undone others would
step in and do them.

So naturally
he shaped his life as a fraud,
“They’ll work? I’ll watch them!”

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Suffer the Children to Come Unto Me

(Haiku Form)

But Jesus said, Suffer little children,
and forbid them not, to come unto me:
for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
(Matt 19:14 King James Version)

Since "King James days" we've
changed the meaning of "suffer";
it once meant "allow".

We've changed the meaning
of "children" too; innocents
are no longer so.

Children now suffer
wounds that once were reserved for
mature hearts and minds.

But nonetheless we
still convey our children to
Jesus, and still, of

such His Kingdom is
filled children from every race,
from every nation;

innocents, plucked from
mother-arms are conveyed to
Jesus' waiting throne.

It is grace that stands
to welcome them, grace that grieves
the empty mother-arms.

They came to their own,
and their own revered them not;
sounds familiar, no?

It is a sin they
were not protected in this
mad Kingdom of Man.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Who Will Cast A Vote For Plowshares?

Sitting in my safe abode I juxtapose the falling morning
snow against the fallen students' families' mourning.

I asked the question that most thinking people ask:
Can You, God, not end this carnage at long last?

I hear the politicians speak – the servants of the NRA –
"There will be time for talk of solutions; but not today."

"Today we must unite in love and thoughts and prayers,"
a wink, and hands extended toward the NRA's payers.

Isaiah spoke of a time of swords becoming plowshares.
That must be the time these winking pols are waiting for.

They're waiting for You to confiscate our deadly weapons,
and melt them into Farmalls, John Deeres and DaeDongs.

But I am reminded, now, that You instituted governments to
do the very things our waffling politicians refuse to do.

You put in man's hands, power to establish peace, but where
can I find a Republican, willing to cast a vote for plowshares?
The authorities that exist have been established by God . . .
They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment
on the wrongdoer. (Rom 13: 1, 4 NIV)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

There Will Be A Time To Have That Discussion

by Jim Rapp

The good Governor Scott of Florida addressed the press
today, regarding a shooting at a Florida High School in which
Seventeen souls were summarily executed within less
than half an hour by a demented young man with an itch
to settle scores long brewing in his head and breast.

A nineteen-year-old with an AR-15 and multiple clips
fulfills his social media dream of "watching the sheep fall"
before his onslaught, then calmly blending his steps
with those of frantic fleeing students, leaving halls
he'd stained with blood; halls where dying children wept.

When Governor Scott of Florida was asked if it was time
to consider laws to limit access to such lethal weapons,
he grabbed the NRA Play Book, spouting – yet another time –
the tired, senseless, heartless Talking Points of Republicans;
"There will be a time to have that discussion" – some time.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

An Old Man's Breakfast

by Jim Rapp

The best part of his breakfast
isn't the aroma of coffee brewing,
or even bacon spitting on the griddle;

It is the time when, at last,
all the morning pills are stewing
in his gut, freeing him to eat real vittles,

A slice or two of buttered toast,
a cup of coffee, black and steaming;
pills, and morning aches, banished for a little.