Good Night, Sweet Prince

Remembering a musical giant

Purple Rainman Prodigy.
Prince, you were a mystery.
Your private life it seems to me
has left us in the dark.

Doves are crying. People, too.
Paisley Park now grieves for you.
Too soon it seems your life was through.
And you died all alone.

An elevator was your tomb.
A claustrophobic sterile room
where fate would choose to seal your doom
became your final stage.

But were you going up or down?
Sweet Prince, could you see Jesus’ crown
from where you stood as you were bound
for that unearthly place?

You were a giant, though quite short.
And when you have your day in court,
when God the Judge gives His report,
I’m praying He’ll show grace.

Good night, Sweet Prince may angels sing
a melody that dulls the sting
that follows death when sorrows bring
a pain that haunts the heart.

Our Father in Heaven

A poetic paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in Heaven we pause now to pray
enveloped by pressures on earth.
We struggle to trust You when life hems us in
or when critics question our worth.

We honor Your name Elohim, Adonai,
El Shaddai, Tzevaot, Yahweh, too.
Most Holy, Almighty, Compassionate One,
You are just, ever faithful and true.

We welcome Your Kingdom, Your Highness, we’re Yours
surrendered to what You allow.
Your will is what matters for You know what’s best.
So we (in humility) bow.

May You reign supremely in Heaven and here
accomplishing what You deem best.
A Kingdom of kindness, forgiveness and love,
of order, rich beauty and rest.

We pray that this day we’ll be nourished with food,
by our friendships, the arts and Your Word.
Our bodies and spirits rely on Your grace
lest our focus on Truth becomes blurred.

Forgive us our failures, O Father, we pray.
We stumble so often it seems.
Our willful desires breed actions that wound
while exposing our self-centered schemes.

But only forgive us, dear Father, we pray
as we are inclined to forgive
the ones who have wronged us. May we offer grace
even though it’s so hard to give.

Temptations that threaten our lives loom ahead.
Like landmines they can’t be perceived.
Please, Father, protect us and guard us from harm
and the evil that seeks to deceive.

Deliver us daily from sin’s unseen traps
that trip up those blind to their pride.
Admitting our weakness, we ask for Your help,
God of mercy in You we confide.

For Yours is the Kingdom to which we belong.
It’s glory, dominion and might
defy understanding and can’t be explained
by the smartest (no matter how bright).

By faith we submit to Your unending reign.
As Your children we live quite assured
that what You intend, loving Father, is good.
And that what we’ve just prayed has been heard.


My Favorite Uncle’s Annual Appeal

Why I hate Tax Day

Hey, did you see my Uncle Sam?
He’s holding out his empty hand
demanding that for which I’ve worked
to pay for what he needs.

Like those who beg with cardboard signs,
my Uncle claims he’s in a bind.
And what is bad, I can’t say no.
He’s good at guilting me.

I hate this taxing time of year
when Sam makes his intentions clear.
He wants a handout from us all
and doesn’t bat an eye.

You’d think by now he’d find a way
to change his tune and start to pay
for what it takes for him to live
from his own cash reserves.

A Round of Life

Mastering life lessons we learn from golf

Life is like a round of golf.
It’s a walk with valued friends.
It tests your skill and finds you yelling “Fore!”
The bunkers and the hazards
try your patience and your faith
as you anticipate your final score.

You’re grateful for a Mulligan
when you (at times) mess up.
Like “breakfast balls” the Good Lord offers grace.
Perfection is elusive,
but you give it your best shot
in hopes you’ll reach your dream and card an ace.

And when you’ve played your final round
and reach the 19th hole,
you calculate what matters most of all:
Your family and your colleagues
and the memories you made
while chasing after that white dimpled ball.

*This poem was written in memory of die-hard golfer Peter Dierickx who died a few weeks before the 2016 Masters. 

The Republican Party is Anything But

It’s more like a funeral wake

The Party of Abe Lincoln
has become a funeral wake.
The only punch that’s served are verbal jabs.
Trump and Cruz just keep on swinging
like two bullies at recess
while the right to lead our nation’s up for grabs.

The campaign trail is littered
with what stinks and often steams.
Every week there’s more to hate and less to love.
No one’s acting presidential.
Late night talk shows think it’s bliss
as they joke about what we’re all thinking of.

Honest Abe just can’t believe it.
He is turning in his grave.
Truth and decency has joined him six feet down.
The Democrats are giddy.
They smell vic’try in the air.
A GOP contender can’t be found.