“Too serious, have some fun,”
Great advice, I’ve never understood.
Life seems so elusive that way,
Relaxed, fun, easy going.
Don’t misunderstand,
I can enjoy a moment,
But it’s always a bit easier
To over do the thinking thing and
Eff ’em up just the same.

“Remember, the bike is about the view,”
Great advice, I’ve always understood,
Marathoning requiring that same focus
Biking seems to inspire.
The change of scenary
Always provding a boost
To put that doubting seriousness
Out of mind.

It’s funny, the advice my friends give.

In my classes today,
We talked about ganja.
I didn’t realize that it was Bob’s birthday,
One of the dudes
Who may have done more to promote
The wacky tabacky
Than anyone else.
I have to say that I’ve kind of lost touch with Bob,
Unsure of why, but
Pretty much convinced because I listened to
Daily for about three years straight,
At least that’s how I remember it.
Then I found Tosh, Israel Vibration, and Isaacs,
Saw Ziggy, Toots, and Steel Pulse,
And realized how much reggae I like
Outside of Bob.
Today, though, a subtle reminder of his birthday
Has my mind chiming for some Marley,
I’m starting with Three Little Birds.

It’s dark in my office,
Dark on the other side
Of the glass wall,
Dark with rain falling on the other side
Of the brick wall,

I’m sitting in a haze,
A metaphorical contact buzz
After teaching a couple of marijuana lessons.
All I want to do is sit here in the dark
Listening to simple songs
Popular on XPN more than a decade ago.

It’s not dark in my head,
Tired, not high, just worn from the routine
Cool air blows from a fan on my left
And I am realizing that my toe is tapping,
My head is bobbing, and
I’m easing into a brighter place.

Maybe it’s the sleep last night,
The kind of knocked out, deep slumber
A body needs from time to time.
Maybe it’s the caffeine from this morning
The darkest roast I can stomach
With the lightest inspiration, it can manifest.

I don’t know,
But sitting here in the dark,
With the fan, the easy tunes,
And the flossing they are all doing on my brain
Is making for a most peaceful thirty minutes.

Shredding papers,
Not wrapping papers
Or rolling papers,
Just shredding papers,
By hand, the old way,
Like they did back in the past,
Ripping right through the middle,
Leaving a document halved,
A symbol of petulance,
Half for the President,
Half for the Speaker.

What has become of our institutions?
What of the Senate?
What of the House?
What of the President?
What of the minions do all of their bidding?
What of the people who vote.
How did they get to this point?
So divided?
So selfish?
So narrow-minded?
When will they do right by us?

photography of man jumping on ring
Photo by Patrick Case on Pexels.com

This was some day,
When the fates threw their best at me,
I nearly cracked,
Blood was certainly drawn,
But in the end, I made it through.

It started with a swim,
I didn’t want to be in the water at 5 AM,
That’s when I have time to get it in, though.
My mind was waterlogged long before I got there,
Little did I know the pool would make things worse,

Because the second part of the workout
Was a high intensity interval training foray
In the far right lanes,
By the way, don’t call it Cross Fit, they might sue,
Or the current instructor might fly off a turnbuckle.

It was during class,
That I ran into Willard White, the crass oilman,
From Diamonds Are Forever, who was played
By Jimmy Dean, only my Willie, baby,
Walks around on sausage, thick, little piggies going to market

Chlorine seems to create rigidity and an insolence
That leaves common sense and over-developed senses of
Stuffed into an XL and hidden behind
Some life guard’s rescue gear.

Long story short, the wannabe Hasselhoff,
Who should be watching the pool,
Instead of surfing on his phone and talking to all of
The female coaches and instructors,
Decided to tell me I couldn’t swim in an empty lane.

It was reserved for swimmers.
“But, I’m swimming.”
“No, you’re taking class.”
“And we’re swimming.”
Not to mention that there weren’t any other people


So I finished the very nice class,
Headed to school, proceeded to bang my head against the wall
As I asked the kids for the one hundred and second day in a row
To get their notebooks out for class, and then ride to a faraway school
And loose our next to last basketball game. Lovely.

Then there was dinner,
The cleanup,
A short bike ride,
The shower,
Making breakfast and lunch for tomorrow. On and on and on.

As I write, bedtime is approaching,
My dog is curled into a ball and will not be bothered,
He snores and yelps and I’m jealous.
Normally, I would just go to bed,
Turn out the lights, sing it, Willie, the party would be over.

But this never-ending day,
Still has me Ubering later,
Making a pickup at 9:30, so there is no sleeping yet,
Just me, some spicy tea, and the promise of tomorrow…

Not up for this stuff this morning,
Sore, tired, grumpy,
The heated seat has its hold,
My friends just ran into the dark,
Sanity soothes on the radio,
And I’ve got nine minutes until
I slip into the cold wet
Of a swimming pool
To go all otter back and forth
Sucking wind and butching to myself
The whole time.
It’s quite a surprise I’m even here,
A man my age, with this energy level
Should be sleeping,
But I’m here,
Lack of everything and all.

Get it done.

Earlier, I wrote of kung fu fighting
Without a disco beat or
Choreographed fight scenes or
Any magic techniques learned sanding decks.

No, this was a straight-up accounting
Of mountain climber bad timing
When a salmon swimming upstream
Ran into an unaware momma bear.

But that wasn’t even close
To being the highlight of the morning.
The main event preceded the ass-kicking
But there wasn’t any Cobra Kai physical contact.

The lane lines were set,
It was time to move them,
The previously mentioned instructor
Went about her business doing so.

The first blow in this earring removing donnybrook
Involved a turf marking question from a surgical glove-wearing
Person rarely seen in the important environs of the Y pool,
“And what predicated the rearranging of the lane lines?”

Sometimes I look at my kids with both a dumbfounded gaze
When they say something to their mother
That shows how little they fear death.
In those moments, I sincerely worry for their safety.

Being the boundary between the faux doctor in blue and
The combat instructor with mystical connections to fabled powers,
I knew I had to move. The forthcoming answer would be heard
With enough Darth Vader and grizzly to push me towards the closet.

“For claaasssss…”

“Oh, for class. There’s a class?”

I turned to see the gore I was sure was coming, Blue Lady
Had gone to a place my masculine skills of observation could not comprehend,
My friend, the instructor, a perfectly capable deliverer of pain
Showed restraint at this feminine incursion into her kingdom,


That was that, it was over,
No one got hurt, although I believe Veruca might have felt her power play failed
And my friend was silently steaming as steam rose from her in the pool,
The whole thing stole my energy and made me lazy in class…yep…



woman wearing white karati g under blue sky
Photo by Caleb Oquendo on Pexels.com

Back in my youth,
When my hair was brown,
After blonde and before white,
I was into Bruce Lee’s movies.
I bought into his attitude,
An assassin’s confidence, a
Not taking any grief from anyone, but
Also, a way where he would avoid
Confrontation until there was
No other choice.

His acrobatics, tactics, and mannerisms
Spoke to me and for a while had me thinking
I might someday be a martial arts kind of kid.
Baseball and basketball won out on that one
And eventually, Bruce would kind of fade away
Until a couple of years ago
When I read a book of his journals.
I knew then that I needed to martial a little more energy
And get myself back into a fitness mindset
Before middle age engulfed me completely.
Since then, I’m back, trying new things,
Working on lazy arms in swimming,
Plopping feet when running, and
Over the handlebar fears while biking.

Somewhere back there is the cry of Bruce Lee
Just before he drops a hammer on someone,
Somehow full of remorse for the beat down,
Yet totally at peace with what befell his enemy.

This morning I found myself working out in a pool,
Full-on body combat, HIIT in the water, although,
My energy for the weights was a bit lacking,
Partly because my suit couldn’t handle jumping from the water,
A little because I was kind of lazy.
I was down with the class because the instructor
Knows how to heard cats and she gave me good suggestions
To fix an old shoulder issue even though I was the only dog in class.
Four of the five were going hard, dog-paddling would describe me,
And as we did mountain climbers
Bruce Lee came back to consciousness.
The instructor, a devilish one, a wake producing swimmer,
Went full linear with her kick to the back
And took out an old ninja getting ready for an attack from the other lane.

Truth is, the dude was just swimming laps,
And he drifted into a kick like the one Kareem put on Bruce Lee
In Bruce’s last movie.
If the concussive force of the hit didn’t fill his goggles up with water,
He should consider himself a lucky man.
I feel like a survived, too,
For I drank about two and a half gallons of pool water
When the guy bobbed to the surface.

I hope this episode makes it to the group’s journal
Of eternal chi. The energy making life great,
Except for the ninja, of course.

Cosmic truths or parlor tricks,
I don’t know, but
In the mornings,
We have a ritual of seeing what the stars
Have in store for us.

Today, my colleague handed me the paper,
I filled in his one square handout,
Shuffled the pages,
And started with Pisces, then Scorpio,
Finally, to Libra.

The first two had not a connection to my friends,
The third, mine, was old news,
But scary in that it sounded like the two-hours prior
Had been forecast by the cosmos.

I had gone running alone in the dark,
Traveling through old haunts last seen twelve years ago,
I ran just ahead of my demons, taking their souls as I went.

The stars knew,
They said so, tricks be damned.

Feeling good.