Slow Motion

Like a glacial landslide
Inexorable, inevitable,
One mere inch at a time
The panic grows

Humanity waits alone
At the bottom of the hill,
Daring the drifts to stop
As progress slows.

The cries are anguished,
Circumstances advance
Like a cancer on the skin,
Yet everybody knows.

Keep the tides at bay
Hold the line, tote that bale
Slam shut the heavy doors
While despair feeds the crows.

The Writing on the Wall

King Belshazzar summoned Daniel when these words first appeared:

Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upsharin, their meaning wasn’t clear.

Daniel knew when first he read the writing on the wall 

Trouble was a’coming and a kingdom sure to fall

He predicted a Babylon at war, their people overcome

Death and destruction raining down; the end of days for some. 

Where, oh where is Daniel now to interpret what’s been writ,

By greedy politicians, lacking compassion and/or grit?

A document that few have read, still fewer comprehend,

Has power over life and death; what suffering it portends!

No, we have no need for Daniel to show us what seems plain:

Rich white men aren’t worried about your suffering or your pain.

The phrase “the writing on the wall” refers to Chapter 5 of the Book of Daniel in the Bible when King Belshazzar sees a hand appear to write the words Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upsharin on a wall. Belshazzar summons Daniel to interpret the writing, which Daniel translates as “Numbered, numbered, weighed, divided.” Daniel tells Belshazzar that the writing means that Babylonian kingdom will be invaded and divided among the Medes and the Persians. The term “writing on the wall” has since been used to refer to any omen that predicts a bad outcome.

And When I Die

And When I Die
by Leslie Noyes

When I die I pray someone will mourn; that a song so achingly sweet will be offered up, and 

People will sob in response. I also want a celebration, though, a praise service with dancing in every aisle, 

Worshipful arms upstretched to the heavens. God only knows where I will turn up. I have not 

Lived a blameless life; how interminably boring that would be, But still, I think of the ecstasy of 

Being taken up by a heavenly host of angels, rising on wings of gossamer, when I die.

“Ascending Angels” by Steven Lavaggi

Hold Steady

Will you yet be moved
By sleight of hand,
By hook or by crook,
Or consequences grand?

Will you yet be called
To arms,
To conscience,
Consequence, be damned?

Will you yet be taken
By surprise,
By force,
When violence commands?

Will you hold steady
Standing firm,
Taking stock,
As your conscience demands?

Beach Combers

Beach Combers
by Leslie Noyes

We were the Beach Combers, baby
Barefoot and easy on the eyes
Ripped jeans and plain white tees
Making music; earning sighs

We covered the Beach Boys
Crooned all the smooth tunes
Scattered all the seagulls
Drove the turtles from their dunes.

Lately I’ve been thinking,
Life came easier back then,
But the music now’s much deeper,
And we’re rocking once again.

(Photo courtesy of Robin Garrett, a.k.a. Effron White, one of the original Beach Combers.)

Time (A Collaboration with Julie Powell)

Be sure to click on Julie’s link (below) to get the big picture. It’s gorgeous!


Time doesn’t count,
Unless you’re counting on time
To heal a broken heart or
Comfort the mourning soul.

Feel the watch’s weight,
Note the imprint in the pocket.
Time waits for no one,
Yet claims everyone.

This fob in my hand
Its heft, the smooth silver
A metronome in the round
Time’s own keeper.


Come, bring your flowers,
Your condolences, the
Awkward and the eloquent.

Bring offerings of food,
And sincere expressions
Of loving concern.

Those I love have lost
A husband, a father,
Grandfather, and friend.

A life well lived,
A loss deeply mourned
With grace and faith.

Early on Friday morning our son, Jason, texted us the sad news that his father-in-law had passed away. We’d known that “Jamie” had been battling terminal cancer, yet the news still hit us hard.

We never had the opportunity to meet Jamie, but Jason loved him, so as soon as we heard of Jamie’s passing I hurriedly packed a bag and headed west towards the town of Hemphill, Texas. 

Even in the midst of her grief Jamie’s wife, Fran welcomed me into their home. She and her daughters, Pam and Liz (our daughter-in-law) are, separately, forces of nature–strong, beautiful, and independent. Together they are the best kind of formidable. I went thinking I could be of some help, but soon learned that these ladies had everything in hand.

I know they will have hurdles to overcome in the days ahead, and they are in my prayers. But I won’t waste any time worrying about their coping abilities. 

My brain keeps trying to formulate a tale around Jamie. While I didn’t know him I feel like I have an idea of the kind of man he must’ve been. Maybe one day I’ll have the right words. He deserves the right words.

Peace, people.