My Clock

I made the cherry clock
several years ago —
that is, I fashioned its face
and made room behind it
to hold a clever little device
that holds its “works”.

A  small shaft pokes through its face
to which one can attach hands
that go round and round and each day
“telling time”whenever I want to hear  —
that is, I must see it to “hear” it
as strange as that may seem.

It’s made of some beautiful cherry wood
that once graced a beautiful tree
and it now hangs on a wall opposite my recliner
big enough to easily see —
small enough so as not to be intrusive.

Every day I hear it tick-tocking
though it isn’t really going “tick-tocking”
but releasing a small intermittent sound
that I, with little imagination
because that’s what I want the sound to be.turn into “tick-tock”

Surely the Lord forgives me
and He must do so every day
as I relax and listen  and look
as time goes by — especially MY time.
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As I tapped the egg
on the edge of a nearby glass
and felt its shell yield
my fingertips tightened
and I pulled.

Moving my chicken’s gift
over  a pan of hot water
I opened its shell
and dropped a golden yolk
surrounded by a syrupy mass
that turned from translucent
to white in no time at  all.

I watched carefully
until I knew exactly
 what I wanted to occur:
a poached egg
ready to be scooped from the water
by a slotted spoon
and laid on some buttered toast
I had prepared beforehand.

Those motions:  just memories now —
and yet I still salivate thinking of them
and I’ve been known
to have them in my dreams

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As one’s reality shrinks
his memories expand
’til one’s reality
is mostly remembering.

Old photos, if enlisted
nurture many of our  thoughts
of days gone by.

But they have their limitations
and compete with body issues
that can intrude upon
the blessings of our yesteryears.

Sometimes we would like to change
the way spent our time
and sometimes even our gladness
for how it was with us
gets smothered by how it is today.

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My memories
play peek-a-boo with me.

They come and go
without my arranging.

But now that I have many years
I have time to stir them up —
and even have the audacity
to make some changes —
usually to make me better than I was.

Manipulating history is
what many of us are prone to do.

You probably do it, too.

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when I’m  in the mood for self pity
I open up my mouth soliciting  responses
and though I may get what I seek
I am seldom satisfied.

when I am in the mood
for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
on raison bread
I open up my mouth
and what I get might be just right
and I delay the need for more of anything.

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The county jail of York, ME
was about a hundred yards
from the Congregational parsonage.

I lived in that parsonage
as one of its ministers
back in the early fifties.

I never thought to visit the inmates
who lived across the street.

True, they didn’t belong to my church —
but they were likely human beings
who might have appreciated some caring.

Certainly Jesus would have approved.

When I evaluate my past
and look at some of the things
I might have done and didn’t
I am ashamed.

Later on I learned to do better
and hope that the Good Lord forgives.

But I will never forget my neglect
back when I had so much to learn.

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The couple who walked into our dining hall
were new to the old folks there.

They gathered so many of our gazes.

 Was he a significent-other
or just a brother?          

Maybe they’s been married to each other
a long, long time.

Perhaps we’d discover

Soon we’d likely know, if we wanted to.

There might be nothing  else to do.

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If you call getting a boat kit in the mail
and spending about fifty hours assembling it
before you felt confident that it would float
then I can say “I built a boat!”

And then I sailed it!
I sailed it around the Long Island Sound
while getting in touch with ecstacy.
It asisted me in dealing with
the coming of middle age.

And even now when I’ve more than doubled
the years I had back then
I can still  re create my joy.

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Not much goes on around here
that is of great interest
so I thought I’d submit some news
that reflects our curremt rendezvous
with excitement.

Bob said that he was about
to have his toenails cut.

And then he did  —
but when I saw him
he looked the same.

Only a few of us knew.

For the most part
little things happen
and we are kept in the dark — mostly.

When I heard about the cutting
I began to envy Bob
because I still stretch to reach my toes
and it is a painful stretch.

Hardly anyone knows about my envy
because it is hard to see
as are Bob’s toes.

If something more significant happens
I’ll get over it.

In fact, if  write about it
it is likely to vanish.

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The dream portion of my head
allowed me to rise up out of bed
and go walking through some woods —
through some Yankee woods.

My sleepmate was beside me
and together we crunched some leaves
’til we came to a levee.

There we stopped
and watched the sun go down
but not before a little black bear
came to be with us —
one who wanted a pat on the back
and a tickle on his tommy —
both of which I provided.

Woke up with a smile
and no need to return
through the trees.

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