Adventure by Ollie

A Search for Purpose in a Random World


April 2015

Lonely Break My Heart Poem



I turn expecting

(ears, mouth, smile,

twinkle in the eye)

to see you.

The red white apron hangs limply on

the blue wooden peg

and the sad handle misses

warm, soft

wrinkle – the fingers,

the hands,

and the halls?

The halls are easier to walk through.

I hate that.


4/29/15 Poems




One step if red

No step if blue

Turn left if old,

Right if new.


One block if bud

Two blocks if bloom

Three turns by sun

No turn by moon


Return if love

Go on if “no”

Stay in if friend

Keep on if foe

4/28/15 Catfish Poem #1


4/29/15 catfish poem #1


Swimming below

brightly colored boats

with criss-cross (the paddles)

people stare at each other, unaware

of another, thing much more shocking.

There are catfish in the bay. Larger than

boats are they; with bright silver scales

dancing in the swells, like gypsy women

– laugh when you see ’em, twirling on

their fins.  Oh the dance!  The parade!

(sitting in the shade is a funny little

man) “Have you seen it?” “Yes!” says I, much like

politicians: heads with hats, sleek and fat, walking down

main street, looking cool like up-street, and they smile with smiles

wide and beguiling.  Hey! Look over there – Running for

MAYOR! Would you vote for a catfish, looking

like a sweet dish? In a velvet suit – classy

just a little bit trashy, smoking cigars

Man! He’ll be a star! “50 bucks a

pound!” Hella good deal –

but the catfish reel.

Back to the water! Catfish

are real smartar, but not with tartar.

Jump in the bay – fin display, as paddles

criss-cross brightly colored boats all in row

catfish show shiny silver scales swimming below.

Mermaid Theology (part 3): At the Park


For Part One click here; for Part Two click here…Also, Thank You for Reading!

The Best Theology Lesson I Ever Learned; concluded:

Exiting the bus are different shapes, colors, and expressions; folks who carry with them a variety of flavors, just like my kitchen cabinet when I open the door and everything tumbles out.  The bus moves on, a spice rack with its containers bumping into one another, jostling along the avenue, making swift, competitive maneuvers for space like an elephant on a charge through the jungle with hips too wide to fit between the banana trees.

Across the street, I enter the park and shift my tote from one shoulder to the other.  Inside, two books vie for attention.  Neither will win.  It is hot.  I sweat.  I feel itchy.  I scratch.  Snow falls.

It is summertime in Florida.  Dandelions dance in the breeze.  Everything is green beneath a blue sky.  I take the path that leads through Hydrangea bushes.  Magnolia trees echo the city’s sky line.  On the green are players forming a team for American football.

A grey haired lady is sitting on one of the park benches facing the green, but she notices me.  “Do you want to play?” she asks.  “They need another player,” and she says “need” in a way that sounds as though the team doesn’t care who they get; as if they just “need” someone who can play temporarily until they are able to get a permanent player.  One of the team overhears her, and motions me to join in.  I dust the snow from my shirt and walk over.

“Is it okay that I’m a girl?” I ask.  The players are all men.

“Do you know how to play?” is his response.

I shrug, “I played in college.”

He nods.  “That’s my mum,” he says proudly, pointing to the grey haired lady sitting in the shade.  He smiles.  Hollywood teeth.  Clean cut hair.  Preppy.

“I don’t have my cleats with me,” I explain.

“That’s okay, we’re just playing for fun, and for exercise. Anyone is welcome to join. We haven’t had a coach, but we’re getting one at half-time.”

I join the team on defense.  We score a few touchdowns, gaining the lead.  We play hard, and the sun bears down on us until just before half-time when it disappears behind gray clouds.  An audience has gathered.  Picnickers.  Football lovers.  Pet-owners.  A homeless man sits on another bench.  He is less hungry than before.  He is quiet.  Observant.  He smiles, and remembers better days.

I am an X in the playbook running along a line, preventing a square from being able to intercept when I slip and fall, scraping my hands.

“Just put some spit on it,” one of the team shouts with a wide grin.

I miss the joke, pool my saliva and spit a big one into my hand, rubbing it into the crevices to clean away the dirt as I consider the effect of healthy germ fighting bacteria alive in my mouth, alive in my spit, now alive in my skin.  The team cheers, calls me “Spittles,” and declares me a MVP.

The gray clouds darken.  We break for half-time.  I lay in the grass with my team mates.  Laughing at a joke.  Hot.  Sweaty.  I smell.  I’m hungry.  I talk out loud to myself.  I close my eyes.  Thinking.  Maybe, I’ll join the team permanently, but I have always hated the word “permanent”.

When I open my eyes, the pastor is lecturing.  I am 27 sitting in a staff meeting.  Ecclesiology. We write plans on a calendar.  I hate staff meetings.  I hate desks with computers.  I hate all the “P” words in the dictionary.  I raise my hand, “What should we plan to serve for the new family?  They’re vegetarians.”

“Vegetarians,” he laughs; mocking.  “Vegetarians with long hair!”  He emphasizes the words as if they were script written in bold faced all caps letters, nodding his head to express disbelief.  He is a long way from Alabama.  The other church leaders and their wives laugh, too.  I close my eyes.

When the new coach comes he details the faults he observed in our game.  “And,” he finishes, “don’t EVER come here without your cleats!  This isn’t a game!” He looks at me.  Angry scowl.  I am cleat-less, team-less, and wearing the wrong colors.  “Practice will be here everyday at 3:00 PM.”

I raise my hand, “I work until 4:30 in the afternoon.”

“Well then, you can’t play.  No loss – I’ve watched you.  You’re incompetent.”

Sometimes, I think the best theology is the one that allows me to walk away.  Sink, swim, or not, I didn’t belong in the boat.

We finish our game.  I gather my things.  I walk home through Hydrangea bushes, down asphalt paths.  It begins to rain. Dandelions dance in the breeze.

In the foyer of my apartment building I wipe my feet, check the mail, and say “hello” to a neighbor.  I enter my flat, drop my tote on the kitchen counter, and take off my shoes.  I sort mail.  Bills.  Junk.  More junk.

A shiny magazine is folded in half.  I open it.  Alumni News.  On the cover is the Youth Pastor of the Year.  I laugh.  Staring back at me is the picture of one of the students who used to sit behind me in Theology class.  I scratch my scalp and pull a scale from my hair. Good for him.

I read the article while running bath water, and phoning my girl friends over for dinner.  We decide to try a new vegetarian dish.  My Hindu friend promises to bring nan if I provide the wine.  Deal.  I pour salt into the tub.  I add tar shampoo, and soak in the cool brown water.

Along with the article are pictures showing a lesson.  Jesus walks on water.  In the corner of the room sits a girl.  The others do not seem to notice.  She looks hot.  She is itchy.  I wonder what she will learn.


Writer’s Prompt #21 4/21/15


4/21/15: Poem; NaPoWriMo Writer’s Prompt #21


Erasure: from Symbols of Transformation by Jung


curious moments,


impressions –

seem to be mine


not the case…

I taste


and it takes

only a moment

to dispel this impression

and find

on the other hand


too strong

(make me almost ill).

A lady, exquisite,

for an instant

becomes mine

probably not

for three or more seconds


gives place to

easier agreeable suggestion.

I have the illusion –

up to a minute,

of really taking part –


instead of



in my own breast.





4/18/15 Poem: Another Self-portrait


4/18/15 Poem: Another Self-portrait


Lichen covered oak tree

branches spread wide

octopus the sky

Deeper than the sea

roots beneath me

Take another look

blank page- the book

Sketch a reason why





Her quilt





of guilt.


Looking backward sky full of rain

Missing sunshine up ahead again

Turning forward, walk on, plant the seed

Flowers spring up, blaze a trail of green

Mermaid Theology (part 2): Bus Ride


(For Part One click here)


The Best Theology Lesson I Ever Learned:

On the other side of the alleyway, two books vie for attention inside my tote.  Neither will win. I am sitting on a bench at a bus stop.

It is summer in Florida.  Dandelions dance in the breeze.  Everything is green beneath a blue sky.  With me at the bus stop is a homeless man.  He smells. He is hungry. He talks to himself.  He isn’t waiting for the bus, just stopping to rest.  Soon, he gets up and continues down the road toward the shelter.  The bus comes and I put my last bit of change into the meter.

We bump down the road.  I blink.  All the faces have turned to charcoal and vanilla, like mom’s sketchbook, drawn in as she would capture them, unaware.  The details of their fine lines, scars, and anomalies are celebrated – turned into trophies.  Works of art.  With shading, she adds emotion.  A down turned lip, a weary eye, celebrated.  Crooked nose, enormous ears, thinning hair line – trophies.  Color is added: saffron, curry, chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, peach, olive, cream, pecan, coffee, ebony night.  Celebrated. Trophies.  Detailed in her book like a collection of fine art.

We are all the most beautiful beings on Earth.






4/16/15 Poem: Song


4/15/15 Poem: Song


by candlelight

alone in the dark


the framework of me

while looking at frames

through frames of my own,

searching for light,

in the dark

all alone.


the crickets join in,

offering their tune,

the one that remembers

the summer in June

– that summer’s gone

leaving June far behind

the cricket’s play on


that’s okay

I have the stars

I tell them my fears

alone in the dark

here in the dark

one by one in the night

the crickets play on



4/15/15 Poem: Beach


4/15/15 Poem: Beach


Slowly the sun set ray by ray

clap, the thunder head

out in the bay.

Darkness contrasted against a fiery light

as though good and evil decided war tonight.

There’s a little turtle

-quickly builds her nest.

I sit beside you

in the place that’s best.



4/14/15 Love Poem No. 2


Love Poem No. 2: 4/14/15


You’re never good with


and you’ve not concept of time –

because they’re numbers,

and you’re only good with words.

So listen carefully,

and I will teach you how to do

a calculation;

and before the day is through

you will have numbers. 


Are you ready?

(Close your eyes.)


Here are five fingers,

reaching out to hold your hand.

Entwine your fingers 

with my fingers – take my hand.

Now do the numbers:

Five plus Five?

That makes two.  I think I understand.

(Five plus Five equals two? I have much more work to do!)


Now pay attention!

And I’ll make it simpler still.

I have two eyes, Dear,

and they’re focusing on you.

You have two eyes, too –

see my reflection deep within.

Let’s do the numbers:

Two plus Two?

That makes one! I knew I wasn’t dumb!


Now I’ll be stricter!

My patience growing thin

– back to basics.

Perhaps, that’s where we must begin.

I have one heart here

beating wildly, full of love.

You have a heart there

– lacking mathematic groove.

Do the numbers:

One plus One?

That makes three!  I am so glad you taught me!

4/13/15 Love Poem No. 1


Written for National Poetry Month: 4/13/15


Shall I fail another test waiting for results?


I’ll shelter

Underneath branches

-strength tested

the whisper of leaves

growing from a seductive tickle

to a roar mighty

loud and exclamatory –


– it shouted.

Of course you’re not –

(I know that).

-Was just pretending.

You are a Bird

with blue wings

calling through the jungle –

heavy the heat.

More of you are calling now,

filling the sky

– dark thunder,

duplicating voice –


Yes, thank you –

another mistake

along, with, this, embarrassing, misuse, of, commas,

I see now,

a Honeybee.


you zing, but all I hear is

“Buzz, buzz, buzz,” as you

loop angrily

beating your chest.

(Oh, GOD! That chest!)

Shirtless the brawny

mountain cliff.

The whole jungle shakes

as nostrils flare –

(Darling, the small frightened animals!)


as the entire mountain range

rushes forward,

I dance in the quake

as you pound your fist

into the ground –


Of course not (I giggle).

You tickle my ear.

I love you –

I know who you are.

You are a Tree.





4/12/15 Poem: Him, Her, Hen


Written for National Poetry Month: 4/12/15


Shelly stood in the rain by three graves:

Him, Her, Hen.

The three of them fought over which one was right.

Death came then.

What difference between what differences make

In the end?

The spirit moves on leaving body behind.

What next then?



4/11/15 Poem: Buttercup


Written for National Poetry Month: 4/11/15


“I am worthy of words, lines, and spaces.”


{All she had to offer

was a yellow buttercup.

It drooped its ailing head –

it could not hold it up.

She put it in Doll’s bed

and doctored “Poor Thing” up.


Doll and Bear cried, “Nurse!

We fear a diagnose of Worse!”


She covered up the buttercup

and offered bread and jelly.

She placed her stethoscope

down upon its little belly.

“I have medicine for you to take –

though it is somewhat smelly.”


The buttercup lay its head

upon the doll pillow.

With a pale nod it seemed to say,

“The end is near, I know.”

It opened up it’s mouth to take

the medicine so smelly,

and then it quickly obeyed nurse

by eating bread with jelly.}


“I am worthy of garden paths and fountains.”


{Doll sighed, her cap askew,

“We have done all we can do.”}


“Rooms and corridors…seconds, minutes, hours.”


{She gave all that she could give –

offered all she had –

for a drooping buttercup

laid in her doll’s bed.}


“I am worthy of words,

worthy of lines,

worthy of spaces.”


“Could you make a little room

for me in your book?”

A few words, a line, a phrase

is all that it took.


{In the hospital that day

the little girl lay down.

Tiring from all her play –

she slept deep and sound.

Other hands came to tuck

the faithful patient in.

Other heads shook and said,

“The diagnose is grim.”


But next day, Buttercup

(planted in his pot)

stood to cheer his sweet nurse.

He gave all he’d got.}


“Make a little room, please,

with your pencil –

write of me.”

Tic the Tiny Dots


For National Poetry Month: 4/10/15


It is hard for me

to turn off the lights illuminate,

to hear the words of silence,

to sit alone in darkness,

and let the sand of time

fall unnoticed.


Stand with fixed gaze upon the glass for me;

tic the tiny dots,

entering them into your book:

add – subtract – divide



and while the body keeps its own

measure of breaths

– measured by beats

and heaping cupfuls of living




all of these

into your composition.

4/9/15 Poem


 Written for Poetry Month: 4/9/15



I had to sit in solitude

like a Buddha statue,

and it was painful

like the dull ache of

rusty springs stretched too long

through so much holding –

unsafe, the time in between –


[Rope walkers strain

above the heat

of a dusty circle –

breathe in every beat




The Ringmaster drives them on…


Clown dancers show

down below

not a moment is wasted –

let’s on with the show

clam up

dam up


The Ringmaster drives them on…


And the audience cheers – happy the noise

all grinning and spinning

red, yellow, blue, orange –

high strung


only one

small girl stood knowing

only one

pink finger pointing

only one

question mark growing

larger with exclamatory alarm

of the break in the line.

While the

organ grinder’s monkey

charges a smile for a dime


the finger shakes

the line breaks

the walkers fall

the clowns call

for helpers all

tent falls in


Silence begins.]



the moon at night


the starry sky


the false parade


and that is how peace is made.







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