Category Archives: Thunder Fire

Under the Big Tent

The morning comes and pulls clouds back to their stations, manning invisible posts, then marching forward. Ever marching.

Worms wiggle out of cool, wet earth, brushed by itchy grass towers towards a sloping, firm concrete valley. A waiting robin beast has breakfast on a bumpy, sprawling plate. The carnage. The wormanity.

A man walks with a song from a dream in his steps. He wonders about death. He prepares for work. A runner comes his way and turns around. Neither of them wanted to talk. The man admires power lines. 

Sun rays spring from a clown car. The audience applauds on cue as the photons work the crowd in waves. Lions, tigers and bears, oh my. In cages. With collars. Preparing to dance for food. 


Sky in the Water

Reflecting on reflections,

Neglecting rejections,

Walking around the little lake,

Buzzing bugs hover and hide

Behind oak leaves and Bermuda grass,

Tucked safely in bark grooves,

We sing synchronized to Father Sun

and Mother Moon. 

Step, swoon, step, sween.

The lake wears the sky.

The green embankment calms 

A heavy mind.

Gratefulness swells with sadness. 

Too many gone from a path shared.

They hide too. 

In the willows and wind. 

Running from home

The road has a megaphone,

And it blasts my name with high-pitch

Reverb as I look sheepishly at my watch.

Six hours of sleep if I’m lucky.

Morning is the best time to drive.

The summer-sun story is in intro

And I can put down the book. 

Too hot for sheets tonight, though.

Today’s narrative replays on internal pages:

Feet under a table, turned in and nervous 

About the game strategy topside; an easy

Laugh; a strained laugh; 

the smell of laundry and brats and church;

A dog falling limp on the floor — showing deference. 

Home is power. Like the sun. I sweat.

I drift into that world between where 

The math doesn’t add up.

Flashes of soccer, being a captain,

Reverting to defense, hiding in a maze of a school building I’ve never seen but knew instantly.

What am I running from and looking for? 

I can hear the fans, anxious, cheering. 

I hear the fan. I turn to rest my side.

Sweat beads on my brow.

Five hours if I’m lucky. 

Table Talk

Heavy envy envelopes objective relatives.

Persistent resistance distances verbal dancers dissing dug in positions with similar stubbornness. 

A win is immenent. 

The brethren can’t conceive concessions. 

Opponents must own their own arguments. Humble tears in tents; A clown smoking cigarettes. 

But who wins at some point with troubling anger on the table among us? Hurt hearts are contagious. 

Grab an ale and a napkin and make space for a feast, cousin. Let go this fight we’re waging. Eating time in session. On the plate is crow. 

We never got where it would have gone. Dangerous angling averted. Where’s dessert, then? 

In Tandem

And this is life: Forward motion.

Time passes and erases heroes with villains, farmers, families, foes. And when they vanish, they are never more we — this preposterous pirate’s crew. 

Loss is our language, our final expression. When friends meet their end, we cry to honor what was, and sign to own the note of their vacancy. 

Many veer off course. We dismiss debt knowing our own anchors too sit on silt. 

So ‘Rest in Peace’ we say. The laughter we shared in the valley’s shadow always proved we could. 

Ahead, we’re broken in tandem. Into the sea that swallows the sun we sail. Full speed!! 

Should, for some silly reason, all possibilities arise, I’ll chose your faith in me to find you.  

And bolstered by your confidence, I will. Lounging on shore. Waiting. Giggling with the good news we hoped for. 


I want to die with my glasses off.

I won’t worry for a blurry world we know goes on without us.

I’ll rest in death with a face that’s free from the weight of the lenses that sit on my nose thrown and steer these gullible eyes.

I’ll lay splayed like a squished cat on cool concrete. Just as I am.

I want to feel the black fog roll in and kiss these twitchy eyelids ‘night. Who can see the end of dreams anyway?


Jesus, Kanye, and the subtle force of gravity

I understand why one might hate Kanye West. 

His ego is obnoxiously large. He has compared himself to Jesus and Mohammad Ali. He has said his greatest regret is that he can’t see himself perform live. And there was the whole Taylor Swift VMA fiasco. Ugh. I’m embarrassed to admit I like him. 

Kanye mug posed on the face of white, painted Jesus.

But I like him.
From “Power,” to “Stronger,” to “Can’t tell me Nothing,” I could call out a dozen fantastic songs off the top of my head. Have you listened to “Good Morning?” Have you given “Homecoming” a spin? “Heard ’em say,” is one of my all time favorites. 
I’m not interested in seeing him live. My opinion: the voice is terrible. This is no Freddie Mercury

He is an artist, though. A true beast in the studio. Check “Mercy,” “All of the Lights,” or “Love Lockdown.” He has 55 entries on the Billboard Top 100

I might not like his arrogance, but in my mind, he’s one of the great artists of our time. I may not like the guy, but he deserves credit for the body of music he’s produced. He just sounds good. A lot. 

I feel the same about Jesus. 

Don’t misunderstand, Jesus is no pompous ass. Yeah, the son of God claim is bold (Kanye-esque?), but the resurrection trick, street cred with prostitutes and followers who died horrible deaths to further his legend and grace, still compel me to spin Gospel records. “Turn the other cheek.” Heard of that? It’s good stuff. Call me a sucker. 

Have you read the “Sermon on the Mount?” Seen Matthew’s “Lillies of the Field?” Heard the story of the “Good Samaitan?” John 4:8 is one of my all-time favs. 

I know it seems I’m playing fast and loose with the sacrifice of the lamb of God. And Jesus. Let me explain: the music of the Bible has always spoken to me, but like Mr. West, the well from which the hits spring is contaminated. 

The Bible is chock full of errors. It’s embarrassing, really. If you’re not familiar with the long list of contradictions in the Bible, here’s a collection, and a few questions to ponder: Is God good to all or just a few? Is Jesus God? Who bears the sins of the father? The Bible contradicts itself on these questions and more depending on where you look. 

And then there’s all the horrible junk in the Old Testament. From bizarro death penalties, to slavemaster’s rules, to testing Abraham by telling him to kill his son, the picture the Good Book paints of God ain’t pretty from where I sit. And I forgot to mention the impossible stuff such as Moses’ age and Noah’s special water ride. 

All as embarrassing as a Kanye West headline. To me. 

I get why someone wouldn’t believe. Why would God kill his son? Why would the fate of my eternal soul rest on whether I believe an unbelievable story and/or worship a cruel father-God? I can’t argue with you, unbeliever. You win. 

Albert Einstein knew the universe was an orderly place. His theory of relativity continues to give mankind a glimpse into the beauty and reliability of the forces that hold and shape our world. And we know our universe is expanding: the Big Bang Theory isn’t just a TV show. What if God was the Singularity, and life was born from His sacrifice? What if he’s not the parental type per se, but is a gentle force like gravity, ever propelling seeds to flower and stars to burst open. Looking to the night sky, I feel humble, grateful.

Sometimes when I’m at church listening to a Kanye record, I feel connected to the real G in the sky. I know the flaws of the package that carries the message, and this message, all too well. 

Ah, but the hits. I keep coming back for more. There is something to this beat.