September 11

After it happened
we all joined hands

in a church –
different races, different faiths 
singing loud

we shall overcome
some day.

In conference rooms
and in dark caves
plans were already being made
to drown our music out

with one single,  relentless note  –
the beating of the drums.

Anger Ants

These pests

can invade your home
when you least expect it.

Keep counters and floors

free of Self-Righteous Sugar

and avoid the following foods:

Butternut Blame Bars
Malicious Molasses
Outrage Apples
Jealousy Beans
Gossiping Gumballs
Chocolate Covered Put-on Pony
Holier Than Thou Syrup
on Pettiness pancakes 
Frosted Phony Flakes 

and last but not least:  Defensive Donuts.

Stay away

from the Beat Yourself Up

Bakery

And remember

ants love these –

Why Me Wine
Single-Out Scotch
and Bully Beer.

Use honest emotions regularly on the floors

and rid your home of anything with fear:

the ants will soon disappear.

Zen Mind

Keep your mind clean and fresh,
free from the knowledge
 and habits of the expert
when approaching a task

As fine a spin
on ignorance
as I have ever heard

which I hope
will help me now
as I try to fix this toilet

Focussed
on the number “2”
in sitting meditation

I ask the universe
for instruction
about the inner workings
of the flushing system.

Tiny people
holding signs
float in little boats
across my mind

but I have misplaced
my glasses
and cannot  read them.

By now I have decided
my higher path is to call
a plumber

and when he arrives
I ask with compassion
if he is fully present
and aware

of what we have  agreed
concerning his fee:

fifteen dollars plus
a lesson on breathing.

Storming out the door
with unenlightened anger
he leaves me

in the here and now
with a mop in my hand
and a flood of negative energy

on the floor.

Overcoming Obstacles

Throw away

the shovels and ropes.

Park the bulldozer.

Try instead
a glass of wine or a beer
– whichever you prefer –

Dinner at a casual restaurant – on you –
getting to know these headstrong folks
like friends.

Soften them up with a few drinks;
talk about your plans
to remove old fears
from the landscape of your life

then ask them nicely
to move out of the way.

If that doesn’t work
you always have the bulldozer.

My Father

is like an aging sun
that can’t remember how to shine
and keeps recycling
the same old light

and I say “Yes, Dad, Yes”
and I don’t mind

remembering
how I grew
in the garden of his wisdom

remembering
all the times
that he didn’t mind

 

What To Say At My Funeral

Say I was a good guy
but no one should cry –
I wasn’t that good.

Never saved any lives
but I served my country
as a conscientious objector,
lobbied against hunger…

So go ahead and say
I was a pretty nice guy
and doggone it, people liked me –

that’s a quote
from Saturday Night live.
You can ask my ex-wife,
she’ll remember.

Could have been a better father,
just ask my daughter…

But keep things upbeat:
it’s my big day,
the last one I’ll ever have.

Play a Hendrix riff
for my brother Chris –
the one who got cancer
at forty one.. .

Give thanks for my parents
and ask my brother Burbs
to say a few words –
something funny
if he doesn’t mind.

Let the dress code
be casual on this day,
you have it in writing
i wanted it that way.

As for religion
let the chips
of eternity
fall where they may

and to sum it all up
you could just say –

Here lies ken…
he did what he could;
he tried to be kind.

When it’s over
celebrate my life
with a glass of wine –

I prefer a Reisling
semi-dry.

My Inner Voices

Sitting around a campfire
with my inner voices

knowing they were here
long before

my mind arrived
like a stranger
on this continent of thought

I watch the smoke rise,
hear the drums drumming
and gingerly pass the pipe.

“The Great Ego in Washington
wants peace,” I announce,

hoping they will all believe me.