The casket factory

Among the jobs after high school/during college
while Vietnam loomed
Chicago raged
Detroit burned
Sgt. Pepper played
The Doors perceptively and Arthur Brown
crazily fired our imaginations
were golf-course lawns
and cemeteries to mow
boxes of motor oil to toss
out of steaming semis
chickens to gut and gizzards to clean
and the casket factory

Every night on each of the three
TV channels our black and white
set received we watched
as soldiers and sailors and fliers
returned to a land that seemed to them
more foreign than the mud
and rice fields
they left behind
But the ones I saw
most clearly were those
who were destined for my creations
wood and metal homes
padded and shirred
braided and lacquered
polished to that highest of sheens
to honor a lie

Every day they came back
and every day I worked on
boxes to hold the dreams of
sons and daughters
fathers and mothers
uncles and aunts
We were just happy
they were not us
Twenty-four hours each day
we sawed and cut and welded
sewed and painted
those eternal homes
and believed (hoped) that someday
there might be an end
to the casket factory

Astronomical/theological questions for my religious friends

The recent announcement of the discovery of 219 new planets that have conditions favorable to support life got me to thinking: given that there are perhaps billions of habitable planets in the known universe (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation), the odds that there are civilizations as advanced as ours (setting aside the questions of whether our civilization is really advanced at all!) are pretty big.

My religious friends mostly believe that a “god” created the universe and everything in it. One would assume, therefore, that this god created, or at least set in motion, the events that have resulted in not only intelligence, but also sin, on some of those habitable planets. If, say,  planet X-45202b has an intelligent, but sinful species, did Jesus also die for the sins of that population on that planet? And if there are, say only 1,000 planets in the universe with intelligent/sinful species, did Jesus go from planet to planet being born and dying for their sins? What if there are a million planets that can support intelligent/sinful life? What if some of the planets that can support life haven’t gotten to the stage of intelligence/sinfulness? Will Jesus have to go there in the future and be born and die again and again and again?

Or was all of that just an Earth thing?

Comments/answers welcomed.

All new news from Walnut Shade

After a short hiatus, the correspondent is back bringing you the news from Walnut Shade. In this week’s edition, we learn about Jim and Melody’s wedding, reminiscences about Marshall Green’s great-uncle who played for the 1924 National Champion Notre Dame football team, anticipate K-State’s Cotton Bowl game against Arkansas.

It was a buy week in Walnut Shade. Read all about it here:

http://www.walnutshadenews.com

 

 

In case you missed it…

A couple of months ago, I published a book on Amazon entitled “The Permanent Collection.” It’s a kitchen-sink of poems, short stories, photographs, paintings, notebook entries and recipes that I’ve created over the last six or seven years. I put it together mainly so I’d have a lot of those things all in one place. You know how stuff gets scattered around the house? Well, the same thing happens with bits and pieces that are residing on CDs, DVDs, hard disks, and the cloud. I figure at some point, my six-year-old Macbook is going to die and I’ll have to go through the agony of trying to recover the files that may or may not be recoverable, so having an honest-to-goodness physical copy might be useful.

As I said, in case you missed it, here’s a shot of the front and back covers. It’s on Amazon, but because it’s printed in full color, the price is outrageous. If you decide you want one, let me know and I might be able to get it for you at a discount.

 

 

To whet your appetite, here’s a poem, included in the book, that I published on this blog quite some time ago. It seems to have contemporary relevance (and, I might add, before a certain person became a presidential candidate).

Art appreciation 101

is it possible that Donald Trump
and Rod Blagojevich are really
the same person?

could there be
another toupee
at large as bad as that one
ready to pounce
on unsuspecting children?
or can there be
two personalities roaming around the universe
so abrasive or outrageous?

but I’m stating the obvious
like: people who prefer buffets
tend to buy a Thomas Kinkade more often
than a Picasso

October, 2009