Making Deposits in the Blessing Bank

A grateful heart is a great investment

Deposits in our blessing banks
are made whenever we give thanks
and gratitude compounds in time
resulting in true wealth.

By counting blessings every day,
our net worth grows along the way.
A grateful heart ignites the joy
that brightens up our world.

For when we add up all that’s good,
we focus on the things we should
and realize how blessed we are
in spite of stressful times.

A Shepherd in Sneakers

Celebrating the ministry of Fred Rogers

The world was Wesley’s parish.
A neighborhood would be yours.
And for forty years you’ve welcomed us
from your make-believe front door.

You don’t wear the usual vestments
(a collar and a cross).
A cardigan and sneakers
serve your pastoral purposes.

The songs you write are “sacred.”
They celebrate the worth
that God has given every child
by nature of their birth.

Your puppet scripts are sermons
in which you share “good news”
to encourage those who trust you,
the neglected and abused.

Mister Rogers, you’re a pastor.
A shepherd? Yes, indeed!
With gentleness, meekness and mercy,
you carry the lambs that you lead.

*This tribute was sent to Fred Rogers in 1997. He replied to the poet with gratitude in a handwritten note.

Feeding Our Nightmares

The dangerous diet of late night news

Impeachment talk. The White House race.
A Congressman resigns
acknowledging she made a big mistake.
So, too, McDonald’s burger king
who caved to an affair
and left a fast-food frenzy in his wake.

The headlines of the late night news
are fodder for bad dreams.
Our nightmares eat their fill on what we see.
I guess it’s little wonder why
we wake up feeling pooped.
We’re tired of the way life seems to be.

Dear God, our nation’s in a mess.
Divided we are doomed.
We’ve lost our bearings victimized by hate.
If left alone to go our way,
who knows where it will lead?
No candidate can make our nation great.

Saluting Puget Sound Honor Flights

Pledging allegiance to our Veterans

On Honor Flights old veterans find
a trove of memories left behind
reminding them of freedom’s cost
and friends who paid the price.

It’s a pilgrimage to holy ground,
a sacred trip from Puget Sound
to where our heroes rest in peace
in Washington D.C.

Each veteran and his guardian
retrace rich memories one by one
and contemplate the part Vets played
defending liberty.

The Tale of the Flameless Taper

An All-Saints Day Reminder

A lonely candle lacks a flame.
What flickered finally died.
The light that lit our family now is gone.
And yet I know the dark won’t last.
That flame will blaze again.
Our midnight grief will turn to joy by dawn.

A flameless candle pictures death.
It calls to mind our grief.
It is a stark reminder of our loss.
A half-burned taper tells the tale
of one so loved who’s missed
and what is owed to pay death’s greedy cost.

Our unlit candle’s not alone.
I know of many more
that symbolize a loved-one’s final breath.
And yet these flameless tapers point
to what (by faith) awaits.
Rekindled candles can’t be quenched by death.

In Heaven, tapers stand quite tall.
The flames they boast are bright.
There is no cause to think they’ll be snuffed out.
Without concern each candle beams
with light and warmth to spare.
Wicks re-ignited know what they’re about.