Thursday, November 23, 2006


My grandfather passed away last week and I’ve written this poem in his honor.

I watch as the grainy face fades away
Like the paralyzed sun’s midnight ray
I peek in to a broken looking glass
Wondering if I’d see just one more day
But I guess that too will come too pass

That which once was will never be again
The ink is weak and I haven’t another pen
Still I try to write in my blood and sweat
But it dries faster than a calculating yen
And I’m left with not even a tear that’s wet

I gather the courage to look into the grave
He’s lying there as if he got more than he gave
Under a leafless branch a bagpipe sings
A trembling lip is trying to act very brave
And Finality has gone the way of all things

I turn to leave and feel someone watching me
I look upward and don’t believe what I see
Through my blurry eyes and the shinning sun
I see heaven and him there running free
And I realize Finality has just begun

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Double Talk

As the political stage in the United States is heating up, with the demagogic Democrats and the reprehended Republicans, not to mention the indifferent Independents, at each other’s throats like a starched priest's collar, there is a lot of doubletalk going on.

If not for their forked tongue, politicians would have no tongue at all. Such is the life of the public servant: the right hand signs the bill while the left tears it in half. Of course one must be polished in his method, and when walking on anything polished the chance of slipping is immense. Yet, it is precisely at these precarious times, when the spotlight’s glare highlights every botox induced smile, that the master statesman is separated from the amateur filibusterer – the master turns his slip into a waltz, while the amateur falls flat on the seat of his rented tuxedo.

Though the political stage has turned the doubletalk into an art form, it is nevertheless played on stages all along the gamut: at the blackjack table a card player will say, “I double-down;” at the bar a lone drinker will mutter, “Make it a double;” in the stadium an impish umpire will signal a “ground-rule double;” at work a boisterous boss will shout, “On the double;” and in kindergarten an exasperated teacher, when eyeing the twin red-heads sitting in the last row, will sigh, “Uh oh, here comes double-trouble.”

Doubletalk, the cruder version of doublespeak, stems from a double standard: if one would have standards set in concrete, steadfast and true, then talk too would be the same, consistent and unwavering. However, we live in a world of fragmentation, where today’s Yes is tomorrow’s No and therefore, to justify our flexible integrity, we walk the doublewalk and talk the doubletalk.

It is not only the glib politicians and groomed aristocrats preaching what the choir wants to hear; all of humanity does it to some extent. We are born with two souls, two totally opposite perspectives, and therefore live double lives – one of the spiritual and one of the physical. The challenge is for us to combine the opposites by tapping in to a place beyond fragmentation, a place neither physical nor spiritual, a place just true.

Before the soul descended into this world, the soul was in perfect bliss: she did not have to deal with the pettiness of the body, did not have a challenge she could not overcome – in fact, she did not have any challenges at all – and was content to bask in the glow of infinite radiance. There was only one talk she knew and only one talk she spoke. But, still, there was one thing the soul was lacking – she could not reach beyond her own self. Not that she cared or anything – she was content – yet, the soul was imprisoned by her own perfection.

So, enter imperfection – the universe. The delicate soul, a stranger in a strange land, roams the imperfect universe, looking for something familiar, something true to hold on to. She finds nothing: the world is doubled-over and its people are two-faced. She doesn’t understand why she had to leave the comfort of heaven for the discomfort of earth.

But then she learns of places and people that transcend the dual-reality of doubletalk. She learns of the men and women, her ancestors, that lived “double” lives – on the one hand they were of flesh and blood; on the other, their flesh and blood spoke of spirituality and a higher purpose. She learns of the place where they rest and watch over their children: the Double Cave in Hebron, the gate to the Garden of Eden where heaven and earth meet, where physicality and spirituality, the “double” barrel needed for life, are not two separate entities, but, rather, one and the same – and she realizes that her descent from the predictability of heaven was so that she too, along with her body, would reach this level of transcendence.

So here we are, going through life, trying to fuse matter and spirit. It is this week that Sarah, our grandmother, becomes alive, alive through her grandchildren making everything around them alive.

All this talk may be very doublesome, with the reader doing a double take and the writer scratching his double chin. All the same, I think there is a bit of truth in these lines and, if I’m not overly ambitious, they may even double as entertaining.


A piece I wrote a year ago in Chevron: The Life of a Princess

Monday, November 06, 2006

Frayed Shorts

If Miss Envy would see a man dying,
She’d wish she were in his place lying.

One might be greedy, greedy indeed,
If, when knifed, is too greedy to bleed.

The things that one finds when one is lost,
Can never be bought at any cost.

Some say it is well-disguised insanity;
I think it’s just magnified reality.

Like the child’s cry in a thunderous sound,
‘Tis easily lost, difficultly found.