Dear St. Joseph

When I think of you,

I think of your troubled sleep

and many hard choices.

I see you at night

in the desert,

getting Mary to safety.

And later, again, the three of you in flight,

pyramids looming in the distance.

In all the Gospels you never once opened your mouth.

You didn’t have to. Your actions said it all.

For you were, as all could see,

faithful in all things.

You know I’m not, but would like to be,

so I ask, meekly, that you pray for me

that I might be

in more than just my mind.

Mr. Cantankerous

They say we’re evolving into robots,

or rather,

six-million-dollar men, adjusted for inflation,

or actually deflation,

since we’ll become cheaper to make,

and we’ll be everywhere, like plastic stuff

no one wants (not now, though later they will).

“People 2.0” we’ll be, they say,

though no self-respecting robot

would use that term. We don’t

go around calling ourselves

“the chimps” now, now do we?

So yes, we’ll be off flying ourselves

through space in ships oiled to light

beams, just ahead, I suppose,

of the bombs we’ve built

and the rising sea with all the

dead fish in it (it’s a vision

of hope, as I understand it, a new

chance to get it right).

Meanwhile, though, I’m stuck on this

future trash pile on Good Friday

2017, clinging to my cross,

a chimp and chump weak in the wind

of God 2.0

How could I not live in this world where I speak to the dead

How could I not live in this world

where I speak to the dead and

they speak to me, and intercede –

if I would, if I pray –

even if I never knew them?


How could I not sign on for angels

and parted seas and tents in the desert,

and the last prophet who was the greatest,

but less than every child still to come?


How could I not want every chance repeatedly

to see and forgive – to tap out deeds of love

and be propped up – to pick up my mat and

soar, dammit, in a sky of mercy?!


I could not not turn to you

or live in any other world.

This is the world,

and I claim it.