Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wednesday Poetry Blogging

The date stamp on the file for this poem is August, 2000, so I suppose that's when I wrote it. It is the narrative of a real incident, just as it happened. My wife and I were driving around one day, rather aimlessly, and went into a park. There was a lake, and we took our shoes off, and waded along the shore line. It wasn't crowded, but there were quite a few people there, in the water, and along the beach.

I am not a religious person, but this was a deeply moving event. Here is how it happened.


Such a simple thing, to lift a child.
Hands grasp her sides, a second pair of ribs
Beneath plump arms, and swing her high:
Inconsequential weight on angel's wings.

Farther down the beach a gathering:
Mexican Pentecostal Church of God
All clad in white and black, their Sunday best,
With angel voices raised in Spanish hymns.

That little girl, no taller than my knee
Has not yet mastered walking on dry land.
In childish guile she flees her family's eyes
Makes her way to water's edge, and in.

Senor Juan Baptiste strides chest-deep
Into the lake. The others, arms raised high,
Invoke God's power as he grasps behind the neck,
Supports each penitent beneath the waves.

When no one else was looking at this girl
I saw her falter, fall, then float face down.
Two splashing steps, hands on her ribs,
I raise her out and draw her to my chest.

We could have driven past this lake today,
Or lazed another minute on the shore,
Or turned our wading walk the other way,
Instead, I found myself above this child.

Juan Baptiste mouths a Spanish prayer,
Lifts his new-found brother from the lake,
As I lift and hold this child close to me,
Saved, as by the very hand of God.

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