Heart’s Ornament


Even in dreams we

Do not see each other

If we do our face is

Turned away

If in the same place

We do not seek to see

We would rather sleep

Within our slumber

Perhaps our minds

Are taking cover

From dreaded madness

Accustoming our souls

Lessening the sadness

Slowly remembering

How to enjoy

A giant Super Moon

A walk on the beach

In the afternoon

Without the ornament

That bedecked frail ventricles

The Hostess With The Mostest


I started working at a new location this week. The kitchen/break area was filthy, so I cleaned out the old Chinese restaurant menus and soy sauce and hot mustard packs out of the drawers, and wiped down the counters. After brewing some Bob Marley espresso coffee named “Liven Up Yourself”, I sat to sip it and thought how much more I felt at home. I didn’t pay much mind to this when younger, not even until very recently; the need to have my surroundings neat and organized and clean.

I remember about 20 years ago a group of friends and I rented a silver Mitsubishi van in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in order to make the 4 hour trip to the northern coast. We had been invited to use a vacation condo that was right on a coral ledge overlooking the Sosúa inlet, which was owned by the family of my uncle’s wife. We had invited two female friends’ of friends to come along, as they were natives of the capital and did not have many opportunities to travel to this area.

The first thing they did when we got there was to start cleaning, and I mean major overhaul cleaning. Every nook and cranny, extending out to the deck. I remember being a little irritated at the time, and I also remember not being filled with gratitude when it was all said and done. What a jerk!

I also remember how gleeful they were during the task. They were genuinely happy to have a pristine place to stay for themselves and their new Gringo friends. They also must have had a strong sense of relief, like I did today. And they must have felt more at home, like I did today; a sense of ownership, peace and security. It was an important way to show hospitality, though they were also guests. We can be hospitable though we are the guest. We can show it to strangers and we can show it to those most familiar to us. The ones we are most likely to easily be irritated with.

If they insist on making pristine the scene

Though knowing you are going to rough it up again

It is a good thing

They long for your tranquility as much as they long for theirs

They want to be your favorite host, the one you love the most

Pauper’s Petition


Perhaps a close friend
Has given way to tears
Maybe suffering the same
Pain as the widow of
I am inside out, upside-down,
And in the weeds
Please give my friend
Exactly what they need
Give the thing furtherest
Beyond their wildest
Listen, please listen
Do not turn your ears
You always consider what
I have to say
Never reproaching due
To my sins from yesterday
Or the ones currently committed
Give them what they need
Quickly that they be happy
And continue giving glory
To you like the leper who
Pleaded with your son,
“If you want to you can make me clean”
And he was made clean
If you want to you can make
My friend happy today
Completely, wholly
Please I plead
Please I plead
You always listen
To what I say

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