Waste Not, Want Not

Waste Not, Want Not

One of my biggest

regrets 

in life is

my inability to

return left-over

toothpaste

to its tube.

I can insert key to lock,

throw pill to mouth,

squeeze foot to sock,

slide letter to mailbox,

transfer love to heart—

but forget 

cram toothpaste to tube.

Admittedly,

I’ve handicapped 

myself—

I didn’t earn a 

Harvard Law degree,

or Stanford PhD—

I’m not a Rhodes scholar, 

or Oxford Fellow—

Cal Tech Engineer,

or win Summa Cum Laude honor.

Coupling those failures 

with less than a kindergartener’s

store of

common sense,

makes life a constant 

pothole.

No wonder 

the toothpaste debacle. 

Eternity

 
Eternity

Though I've thought about it muchly,

I have no idea what Heaven is like,
or if I will be welcome there.

I've had hunches before,
but many of them proved wrong.

In my place of childhood,
a narrow village next a sluggish river,

there is a reassuring sign
kept near its doorway:

Bothell Welcomes You
For A Day Or A Lifetime.

Life carried me away
from there some time ago,

but I still wonder if,
when my turn comes,

despite my faithless life and multitude of sin,
Eternity might be edited in.
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Oral Hygiene

Oral Hygiene

If the only
compliment

his daughter

could share about his life

for the obituary

was

"He still had most of his teeth,"

we can be quite certain he had

wronged

at least one woman,

neglected

his children,

and didn't much like dogs.

But still,
some credit is due because, 

apparently,

he managed to brush
three times a day.
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Lady Coetzee Travels Abroad

 Lady Coetzee Travels Abroad
  
At the checkpoint, Doortje Coetzee, a native geranium, 
pottered along until she reached the front of the line.   
 
The officer glanced through her South Africa passport, 
then squeezed out a cordial greeting. 
 
“Good morning, Ms. Coetzee. Where are you off to this fine day?”
 
Doortje offered up a hopeful smile.
“I have an auntie living in America. A small corner called Seattle. 
Time I got round to seeing her.”
 
A pink blush flooded her petals.
“I’ll turn seven come spring.” She sighed. “Life is much too short.”
 
“Will Seattle be your final destination then?”
 
“No. Auntie winters in Arizona. We’ll fly there with her keeper in October.”
 
“I’ve heard Seattle is a bit rainy, but a lovely place,” the man said. 
“Never been.”
 
“Love the rain,” Doortje replied. "If I avoid the frost I’ll be safe enough.”
 
The officer studied the document. “I take it you’re a perennial?”
 
Doortje giggled. “Depends. We’re all perennials at birth, of course. 
Crane Bill cuttings on Mother’s side. My auntie is almost forty years old.”
 
“How nice,” he said. “Mine never last more than a season.
Suicidal little buggers.”
 
Dortje frowned. A tinge of anger crept into her voice.
 
“We can only live our life according to the affection we are given. 
We need to avoid frost at all costs. It murders us straightaway.
 Intense summer sun is difficult too. We crave afternoon shade.” 
 
He handed her document back. “Sorry. Meant no harm.”
 
“None taken. If you’ll love those buggers of yours, they’ll love you back. 
Fare-thee-well, she called, "I've a plane to catch.”
 
“Next,” he said.

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Deny It Not

Deny It Not

We are of the sea

and of the caves,

though 

time 

has rinsed us clean

of these dim 

memories.

And yet we still long

to splash about, 

ride the tumultuous waves,

and 

explore dark spaces.

Yes, we have

forgotten whence 

we came,

but  

our desperate thirst for water— 

our voracious appetite for meat—

and 

our hideous capacity for violence—

abate not.

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