A New Year’s Eve Dilemma

At which looking glass to gaze?

Looking in the rear view mirror is what we tend to do
as we approach each New Years Eve, the old year finally through.

We glance back at what we achieved, the things of which we’re proud.
We also see what tripped us up and left us bruised and bowed.

We’re prone to look at yesterdays replaying our regrets.
But such a ploy is foolishness. It’s always a bad bet.

Though rearview mirrors reflect the past with clear accuracy,
they blind us to what lies ahead. The windshield lets us see.

So while a backward glance can tempt, a frontward gaze is best
to face the New Year with its joys, blind curves, potholes and tests.

Not Your Ordinary Birthday Celebration

What must Jesus be thinking?

They say it’s your birthday.
Is that a rumor or is it the truth?

If true, it certainly isn’t like any birthday celebration
I’ve ever known.
I see candles, but they don’t crown a cake.
They light a wreath of evergreens.

I see presents. Lots of presents.
Mounds of brightly wrapped boxes. Gifts galore.
But the names on the gift tags are those
of family members, neighbors,
colleagues at work and friends.
I don’t see your name anywhere.

This month has been marked by holiday parties.
But the invitations to those occasions
did not indicate you were the guest of honor.
Curiously, the fact that it was your birthday
was not even mentioned.

What a ruse. What a rip-off.
What a rotten way to respond
to this anniversary of your arrival to planet Earth.

Aren’t you bothered by this, Jesus?
By all appearances
it looks like we are seizing your special day
as an occasion to have ourselves
a merry little Christmas.

Don’t you care, Jesus?
Don’t you want a piece of the action?
Or at least a piece of birthday cake?
I can’t help but think
that you would want a little recognition
on this your special day.

Don’t you want your birthday
to result in something more than
after-party hangovers, year-end bonuses
and long lines at return counters
(not to mention sensory overload)?

Don’t you want to be reminded
that those you came to redeem
haven’t forgotten why you were born in the first place?

Don’t you want us to be still
and know that you are God-with-us?
Wouldn’t such a silent night bring joy to your world…
and ours?

Forgive us, Jesus.
We know not what we do.
Or do we?

Farewell to Dan Fogelberg

Mourning the band director’s son

The leader of the band we knew
was Dan’s dear aging dad.
But wow, could his son write and sing.
A brilliant gift he had.

Much, much too soon young Fogelberg
has bid us all goodbye.
And like his lyrics bout his dad,
his death has made us cry.

At fifty-six he barely lived.
We can’t help but miss Dan.
I only wish his time with us
had been … well … longer than.

In the Bleak Midwinter

The title of a timeless carol describes this time of year (every year);
National Pasttime Punishment Pastdue

The reason for this troubling rhyme
is what takes place each Christmastime.
It’s eerie. No, it’s tragic.
Every year there’s something bad.

By Googling you soon will see
December breeds grave tragedies.
Joy to the World is what we sing,
but what we read is sad.

The headlines document our plight.
It’s rare that there’s a silent night.
The sound of gunshots can be heard.
There’re sirens, weeping too.

And Old Man Winter’s rarely nice.
His blizzards, floods and storms of ice
result in homelessness and death.
White Christmases turn blue.

In bleak December, airplanes crash,
tsunamis kill and dreams are dashed
by random acts of violence,
depression, suicide.

And when you look at years gone by,
you’ll be amazed. You’ll want to cry.
In spite of what Christ’s birth assures,
we grieve each Christmastide.

National Pasttime Punishment Pastdue

The diamond is tarnished.
Its glitter is gone.
The list of the guilty
is longer than long.

Spring Training’s in trouble
(and Opening Day).
Bud Selig’s determined
the bad boys won’t play.

But Selig’s announcement
is long overdue.
He’d best hit the showers.
I think Bud is through.

The Obama and Oprah Show

Is this a winning team?

Barack Obama’s mama
went to Mercer Island High
She married,raised her baby
and then much too young she died.

No, she didn’t have an inkling
just how far her son would go
running for the Oval Office
with a woman as his foe.

And while missing the first lady
who embraced and kissed his face,
he maintains his stride and focus
in the presidential race.

But because his mother left him
all alone to seek his dreams,
Barack kind of hopes that Oprah
will provide him with the means
to outdistance Mrs. Clinton
in Des Moines and then beyond.
He is hoping that this sister
will support him like a mom.

Will her entourage soon follow?
Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil?
Maybe Gayle will soon join Oprah.
What the heck, she probably will.

When you ask for help,
Ms. Winfrey doesn’t do her thing half way.
She puts all her weight behind you.
And that’s quite a lot these days.

Hey just maybe something’s brewing
that Obama views as fate?
Do you think he’ll ask Ms. Winfrey
to become his running mate?

A Postscript:

O come Oprah’s faithful
hopefully triumphant
O come to the caucuses
and vote for Barack.
Such is Obama’s strategy for victory.
His growing throng conceives it.
Let’s see if he achieves it.
There are those who believe it
is possible