Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Lesson of the Bramble

By Jim Rapp

What is it about a bramble
that is so attractive to me?
Out on an early evening ramble,
passing by a lovely one, I see

nothing useful there to man;
nothing to house or cloth or feed
a frail race, constantly seeking land
from which to harvest – or seed

for future harvest – its security.
A bramble serving needs of creatures
content with manna given daily,
makes me pray my faithlessness be cured.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Fiona, the New

(Born May 30, 2016)
By Jim Rapp

Welcome, Little One,
Eight pounds, ten point five ounces –
Inches, Twenty-two

Come and join the fun,
Bright sounds, a ball that bounces –
Sibs awaiting you

Kylie and Aidan
And Mom and Dad announce
Fiona, the New

Fiona Skye Rapp,
Once a dream, now a Dream True –
Welcome, Little One

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Thoughts for a Nation Flirting with Tyranny

by Jim Rapp

In an ideal world
fame and infamy stand on

One praised, one dethroned,
one raised empowered, and one
shown a counterfeit

By strange alchemy
we have turned our trash into
gauzy pseudo-gold

– No absolution
saves those peddling appearance,
declaring it fame –

Better leave its place
vacant than to enthrone a
hoax on fame’s dais

Sunday, May 22, 2016


by jim rapp

impertinent youth
dared to put its roots down here
between river rocks

only time will tell
if frailish shoots can grow a
shade for fishermen

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Educating Edward

by Jim Rapp

When Edward was told
he had forefathers he was
beat how that could be.

Four fathers? It just
didn’t add up! So he asked
his single mother.

Patting his head, she
gave him her unopened Sex
Ed book for Christmas.

If he reads that book
with one eye on the back door,
He’ll be much wiser.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Snake Oil 2016

(Haiku Format)
by Jim Rapp

Snake oil. Get yours now.
If you know it’s genuine
oil from snakes, buy it.

It may not cure what
the shysters claim it will but
you’ll have real snake oil.

The Internet has
so debased the real McCoy
that snakes are blushing,

rushing to their holes,
brushing oily tears as they
plot their Snakes’ Revenge.

There was a time when
a good snake oil salesman left
town tarred and feathered,

honored in a sort
of way, and well paid for the
wares he peddled.

These Internet fakes
are beyond the clutches of
their angry victims.

Even federal
enforcers can’t tar them or
put them behind bars.

It’s every victim
for himself; your tar brush is
the delete button.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Harnessing the Wind

by Jim Rapp

The poet always leans into the wind,
half prophet, half singer, full-determined
to stop the ill wind in its tracks, turn it
to a better purpose, making it fit
for flight in a world that needs a fair wind.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

David David David

(In memory of a college
roommate, Howard David)

By Jim Rapp

When Mrs. David
named her first born son, she was
aware of the snare;

She knew her son, whose
last name was a first name, was
in for confusion;

There would be those who
insisted on placing his
last name as his first.

To solve the problem
she contrived a foolproof name,
David David David.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Not Tired Yet

by Jim Rapp

The day has ended
without conferring its gift
of evening tiredness.

It’s better to read
than, tossing and turning, fail
to silence the brain.

To silence the brain?
There is no silencing that
eternal mainspring.

Wound at birth, it drives
incessantly, night and day,
day and night, t’ward home.

Perhaps at last sleep
will come, but loaded with thoughts,
encapsuled in dreams.

Dreams; instructors of
the soul, shining lights too harsh
for the wakeful mind

Thursday, May 12, 2016


by Jim Rapp

Stage three or stage four,
six or twelve months, more or less.
God, chemo and rest.

Takes your breath away –
having trouble breathing – what
did that paper say?

Stage three or stage four,
six or twelve months, more or less.
God, chemo and rest.

Life: a hurried breath;
one day, fully inspired,
then, life-worn – expired.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Leftover Leaf

by Jim Rapp

A leftover leaf
skittered along the sidewalk,
left over from Fall.

Mother Oak at last
released it to seek its way
in a windy world.

With uncertain turns
it found its way to a small
covert from the wind.

There is shook as though
alive, one must observe it
keenly to discern.

It left on the next
wind gust to complete its tour:
ashes to ashes.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Wandering: We’re Not There Yet

by Jim Rapp

The pastor said we all are wanderers.
Even the most disciplined among us,
distracted, become at times, ditherers,
but most can’t even follow a compass.

Satellites and news networks make us eye-
witnesses to the wanderings of our race;
the paths well taken would seem to justify
the Psalmist’s optimistic pride of place:

“A little lower than the angels,” he
blithely declared our fallen race to be.
But did he not know the twisted paths, the
misery, we walk by uncaringly?

A little lower than the angels, huh?
Such hopeful words; just one small step for man.
Despair not, oh Man, it’s just one step up
to angel-heights – reach out . . .
            you’ll need a helping hand.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Walking Out of the World

by Jim Rapp

When he said, “Foxes
have dens, birds have nests, Jesus
wasn’t complaining;

He knew in advance
that his own people would not
offer him a bed;

They did not intend
to give him the dignity
of a proper grave.

So it was not a
surprise that foxes and birds
had what he had not.

It was a warning
to those who thought they could
have it both ways;

Walk in Jesus’ train
in the light of day, and sleep
in their bed at night.

His calling was to those
who dared take up a cross and
walk out of the world.

He found twelve who said
they could – but one turned back to
find his earth-clad bed.