they who give quickly give twice
that which costs little is less esteemed
who would not laugh at the raving fits
of the man almost out of his wits
over the sudden unexpected breakage
of his more than precious wine bottle
“twould be so nice could I see as such
an equal spillage of his detested blood
looking so far back is indeed sweet
forewarning that the price of nostalgia
can all too often become most bitter


               Well, anyway,
I was reading this James Bond book,
and right away
I realized that like most books,
it had too many words.

The plot was the same one that
all James Bond books have:
An evil person tries to blow up the world,
but James Bond kills him
and his henchmen
and makes love to several attractive women.
There, that’s it: 24 words.
But the guy who wrote the book
took *thousands* of words to say it.

Or consider “The Brothers Karamazov”,
by the famous Russian alcoholic
Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
It’s about these two brothers who kill their father.
Or maybe only one of them kills the father.
It’s impossible to tell because
what they mostly do is talk
for nearly a thousand pages.

If all Russians talk
as much as the Karamazovs did,
I don’t see how they found time
to become a major world power.

I’m told that Dostoyevsky wrote
“The Brothers Karamazov” to raise
the question of whether there is a God.
So why didn’t he just come right out
and say: “Is there a God?
It sure beats the heck out of me.”

Other famous works could easily
have been summarized in a few words:

* “Moby Dick” — Don’t mess around
with large whales because they
symbolize nature and will kill you.

* “A Tale of Two Cities”
— French people are crazy.

                               — Dave Barry


due to unexpected circumstances
I found myself out of circulation
diagnosed with Bronchopneumonia
shots in both flanks and giant pills
missed two weeks of church services

unable to talk much less write
highly contagious passed it around
wife became sick caring for me
that was not what bothered us most
missed two weeks of church services


I must so admit
I have been idle
for several weeks
written not a whit
quill became blunted
words stood evasive
bled like my title

I must so admit
will not let ennui
ruin my days my nights
writing bit by bit
quill no more blunted
thoughts less evasive
shall rule my title


Well, it’s almost over for this year

table has been cleared of too much food

dishes piled in sinks needing attention

desserts uneaten waiting on counters

while groans, sighs and soft snores

emanate from couches many slouch-ants

Did anyone bother to give thanks

Gifts from acquaintances who come once a year

brief visits from friends, next door neighbors

why no calls from children or grandchildren

is this how getting old is supposed to feel

It takes one back to another day, another time

can you imagine how our Savior feels today

when all his birth means to so many

is party and gift, party and gift, party and gift

Jesus is the only one who should ever ask

What did you get for me?’ but then, He knows

We sing a beautiful song that has these words

I owed a debt I could not pay,

He paid a debt He did not owe, He paid it all.”