Strange Trip

“Give up your possessions and follow me,” he said,
and I was awed at his audacity.
He lived on the kindness of others –
he and the dozen men who followed him,
plus whoever else was hanging around.
The logistics of the whole thing
were too damn boring to record,
but it sure seemed like important work.

I followed him, too.
He didn’t spend much time with me;
he was a busy guy, and only a few
of his very
friends merited the attention.
That was fine.
I was part of something important,
and it was really about the movement,
not the person, right?

“I am the way,” he said.
Okay, so maybe it was about the person.
That was fine. The onus was on me
to be open to him, not the other way around.
He was the one doing all the work,
what with the speeches and the loaves
and fish (and all the other stuff that
the audience at that meetup
brought and shared around,
that little logistical detail
apparently not too boring to record,
but really, the important thing was that
he was working the cafeteria line, too,
or at least that he handled the food).

“Kick the dust of this shithole off your sandals,”
he groused,
throwing a gesture at the place
that had cast him and his retinue out.
How dare the local inns hike their rates
whenever he brought his holy message
to their dark little towns?
Peter’s purse was hanging lighter and lighter;
Matthew still refused to declare
just how much liquidity he had available
that hadn’t been given up already,
one meal, one room at a time
in this great spiritual journey.
The unofficial treasurer
of the anointed one’s hiking club
was immune to that sort of inquiry.

“It is not right to take the children’s bread
and toss it to the dogs,” he said to the woman
who knelt before him,
begging for her daughter’s life.
I’m assured that, whatever he said in Aramaic,
the Greek meant “pet dog”,
not “disgusting, shit-licking cur”,
though the two words were similar.
So great was her love for her daughter
that she humiliated herself beneath his dismissive eyes,
saying that even the dogs fed on the crumbs that fell
from the master’s table.
He got a kick out of that,
patted her on her damn head.

I hope she and her daughter are well and happy now.
I kicked the dust off my sandals
and walked out the door.


Beggar’s Choice

let me help,”
said the snake to me.
“Let me coil about you and pull
you free from the mire.”
Either way,
death by


In winter, I set my glass of water on the windowsill
so that the invading chill keeps it pleasantly cool.
I call you to talk about difficult things
so that, by the time we’ve hung up,
I no longer care
about anything.