Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thankful For the Rain

by Jim Rapp

The rain came today –
before dawn – persisting 'til
it sated the earth

Accompanied by
lightning illuminating
each raindrop's passage

Celebrated by
thunder applauding ev'ry
inch the gauge records

The parched earth gives thanks –
by sending forth abundance
to feed the thankless

and the thankful too
God sends blessings on the just
and unjust alike

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Waiting for the Storm to Roll In

by Jim Rapp

You promised
it would rain; for
my sake

bring it on:
thunder, lightning
and rain.

Your honor
and repute are
at stake.

I'm waiting,
don't let me down

Weather man,
now is your chance;
rain make!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Memory's Emulsion

by Jim Rapp

It is never too late to remember,
always too soon to forget,
letting time's glowing embers
consume old hurts and regrets.

Memory's an eternal emulsion,
designed, intended, bestowed,
to salve wounded emotions,
restoring their luster and glow.

Wincing, memory draws back
from re-summoned slights,
but love, impaled on the rack,
forgives all in its all-seeing sight.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Weather as Theory

by Jim Rapp

It was safe to run for groceries;
the weatherman assured us that
the storms had exited our vicinity,
no need for a jacket or a hat.

The problem with weather rooms,
they don't allow the weather men to see
the actual weather; they're doomed
to forecast what is shown on their TV.

I was fated to endure real weather,
coming first in droplets from the sky,
then hail and wind of which neither
was foreseen by the weather guy.

Meteorologists have honed their theories
to such a point that they can predict our
weather from a cave; with wizard's ease
they turn sunshine into shower. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

by Jim Rapp

Subject: you should not wait until your lover will divorce with you

Oh my, shall I click on this email from or should I not? Oh what to do!
My lover and I just recently got done
celebrating sixty years of marital bliss and now this note from you
throws me in a panic, leaves me plum
flummoxed and wondering if she's gone and found someone new.

New I'm not, my youth is gone.
Is cutting in? Oh dear, what to do!
Will my bride of sixty years be gone –
divorced with me – or is wellykuswanto messing with me, trying to
get my password, or putting his long
arm in my contact list? Kuswanto . . . to e-mail hell with you.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Magazines Are Gone

by Jim Rapp

Things are changing in the waiting room;
each room has a TV tuned so low
that only the least impaired ear can tune
the voices in from the Today Show.

Chairs are arranged in a clever way
so no one has direct view of the screen;
all necks must crane to see, or turn away
to view a show on a hand-held machine.

No one seems to miss the ubiquitous mags
that used to clutter every table top,
donated, I was told – brought in by the bags –
to be rifled, read in snippets and dropped

when the nurse called the holder's name.
I surmised they had been superseded
by smart phones but, alas, a more sane
reason's given – germs, unseen, unheeded.

It scares me half-to-death to think
of all the germs I've absorbed, breathed,
ingested, with the printers ink,
reading, hands and face unsheathed.

Our children's children may curse us
for the germ-free world we've bequeathed;
free of our germs, but not the cussed
bugs their antiseptic selves cannot defeat.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kindling 451

by Jim Rapp
(Haiku Form)

The bookshelves recall
a library boasting a
thousand cherished works.

Repurposed now, they
display a gallery of
faces, old and new.

Two low shelves suffice
to save a tithe of that once
August collection.

The rest? Kindling now;
fuel for fire, etched in sand,
seared on silicone;

my vast library,
Amazoned. And not one jot,
not one tittle lost.

Ashes to ashes,
words as digits reborn – a
hand-held library.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


by Jim Rapp

The ease with which
two rivers flow together,
giving, each to each,
with only slight annoyance,
is an object lesson
for the sentient,
tethered to their banks.

Two streams, conjoined,
can bear more freight
than either could alone;
by yielding rights,
by sharing might,
they shape their flow
in grand alliance.

Friday, July 14, 2017

An Old Pair of Shoes

by Jim Rapp

What binds me to you – makes me
blush to think I contemplated separation?
A world-class super glue, that's what –
a thousand dances danced in unison.

Worn, creased and rumpled, we.
We'll never know our youth again;
not you, the shoes, nor I, the man
who stands and walks in them.

Shineola's magic cannot hide
the water stains and grease drippings.
Bare threads, dangling where sole
and body meet, evoke the brevity of life.

Nor man nor ought has ever sought
more ardently for synchronicity;
you've shaped – enwrapped yourself –
according to the roles assigned to me.

Narrowly you missed the donor's box,
my weathered friend, but if . . . well . . .
no doubt you'd have served a new master
with the same fidelity you tendered me.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


by Jim Rapp

One price I've paid for longevity;
the strident world has grown more muted.
And with the clamor good sounds too have
ebbed away; voices stilled, and nature silenced.

Last night, I heard the thunder raging.
Lightning flashed as rain and hail disputed;
pounding eaves to make their point, they
accorded me a fleeting aural renaissance.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Prayer Against the Anti-Christs1
(Haiku Form)
by Jim Rapp

God save us from these
anti-Christs who, no semblance
share, with your dear Son.

Though tens of thousands
flock to them, Christ's words ring clear,
"I never knew you!"

Jeffress2 disavows
candidates who follow Christ's
"Sermon on the Mount".

Trump3, whom Jeffress loves
denies in word and deed the
loving Savior's creed.

Brutal force, their creed;
"Do unto others ten times
what they do to you."

They pray, "Our kingdom
come, our will be done on earth
now and forever."
1Any who deny the teachings of Christ or proclaim a gospel claiming salvation through any means other than Christ's death and resurrection.

2Dr. Rev. Robert Jeffress, Southern Baptist pastor of the 13,000 member 1st Baptist Church in Dallas, TX. Organizer of  pro-Trump rallies, most recently at the JFK Center in Washington, D.C. July 1, 2017. 

3President Donald J. Trump

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Weak Things Confound the Mighty

(Haiku Form)
by Jim Rapp

God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
I Corinthians 1:27

The invisible
wind bends the mighty oak, drives
straws through two inch boards.

The gentle mountain
stream carves a canyon through the

Her baby's fevered whimper
moved a mother's heart as a
tyrant's roar could not.

A drop of water,
frozen, shifts a mountain; breaks
it from its moorings.

The Jonquil jostles,
with its fragile energies,
rocks two times its size.

Rain on the mountain
sides can carry, grain by grain,
mountain chains away.

A cobweb is a
universe; a spider's whole
life work on display.

A thought, embedded
in a brain, can save or dash
mankind's hopes for gain.

A lie can turn the
course of events in Eden
or in Washington.

Truth on a cross, the
fulcrum God will use when he
sets the world aright.

Prayers from infant lips,
from peasant lips, from sinners
hearts are heard in heaven.

Prayers are stored in vials
of bronze against the day their
answers are revealed.

Tiny things can do
great feats with focused effort
ceaselessly applied.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Just Talking To You Lord
(Don't Listen, Mary)

Lord, you know . . .

Saturday our President was called to speak
to a gathering of evangelicals assembled
in our nation's capital at the Kennedy Center
by the pastor of a large Dallas church.

Dr. Rev. Robert Jeffress, the organizer,
has been known to speak in glowing terms
of Trump to crowds assembled in stadiums
overflowing with enthusiastic evangelicals.

I quote the Rev. Jeffress: When asked during
an NPR broadcast,

"‘Pastor, don’t you want a candidate who embodies the teaching of Jesus and would govern this country according to the principles found in the Sermon on the Mount?’”

Jeffress said.

“I said, ‘Heck no.’ I would run from that candidate as far as possible, because the Sermon on the Mount was not given as a governing principle for this nation.”

Jeffress further said,

"I don’t care about that candidate’s tone or vocabulary, I want the meanest, toughest, son of a you-know-what I can find - and I believe that’s biblical.”

Now, Lord, I thought your teachings were intended
for all aspects of our lives; that in point of fact
our lives were to have only one aspect, not many.
You said, "You cannot serve two masters."

But Rev. Jeffress appears to know you meant
us to be gentle only at specific (unnamed) times –
certainly not when we are in places of authority –
and mean son's of you-know-whats (pardon me)
when dealing with the heathen who aren't American.

Kind of like you dealt with the Romans when
they tortured and crucified you. Wait . . . that's
not what you did . . . now I'm really confused.

And now today, Lord, our President released a video
clip (you know about those Lord) purportedly showing
him being the meanest, toughest, son of a
you-know-what (pardon me again) beating the snot
out of a CNN reporter.

I have to assume Rev. Jeffress approves.

So now I have to decide if I will stand with Rev.
Jeffress and his wildly cheering evangelical throng
at the Washington rally or follow you to Calvary.
Jeffress' way is so attractive; it has the feel of
victory; it seems to march in time with history.

Your way leads only to death, Lord. How can you
ask me to go that way. "Take up a cross and follow you?"
The throng at Calvary is jeering, not cheering,
they threaten any who seem to be as weak as you.
Surely Jeffress and the evangelicals are right.
If I have any sense at all I'll go with them.

Too bad, Lord, you weren't a meaner, tougher,
son-of-a-you-know-what (pardon me Mary). But
Lord, you weren't, and you aren't. So I'm still
with you, Lord.

Makes me wonder what mean, tough, son of a
you-know-what Jeffress and all these evangelicals
are following.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Only Dogs We Ever "Owned"

by Jim Rapp

The only dogs we ever "owned"
were of the mutt variety;
a little part terrier-type, honed,
(trained) by a part shepherd-type,  mainly
to roust rabbits from their homes
in brush piles or fields left stubbly
where once the picker creaked and groaned.

Daisy, the terrier, flushed the bunnies out
and Shep swiftly ran them down,
deftly snapped their neck and, without
claiming any as his own,
laid them at my brother's feet, no doubt
because he knew they were on loan;
he and Daisy would wait their "pay out."

One foolish bunny thought that he
could outsmart Shep and dash between
the sleeping dog and a pile of debris,
but scent or noise aroused Shep's keen
awareness, and to the bunny's glee
a race was on; a race he'd win initially;
Shep limped homeward, bleeding heavily.

A nail protruding from a board had gashed
his shoulder as he rounded the debris.
For days he lay, fevered and leashed
with Daisy waiting for him, unable to see
why they weren't headed for a cherished
chase, why things were not as they used to be.
And every day the bunny passed unblemished.

And then one day my father ventured out
to see how his patient, Shep, was faring.
What he found brought laughter and a shout;
Shep and Daisy were enjoying lunch – not herring,
but freshly caught and killed bunny; no doubt
the same as caused Shep's painful hemorrhaging.
Now he and Daisy were being "paid out,"