F a t h e r L u k e . com

F a t h e r L u k e . com

just in case

I was
buying some
mushrooms for
a friend

the guy who
sells mushrooms
lived
way out
in the country

I have a time of it with directions
so I got lost.

I stopped to ask a man in a field
directions

“hey!” I yelled
to
the man
across the field

I walked to him

The man was
digging at
some mounds of dirt

Two little dogs were nipping at his feet

“do you know where 1892 crestworthy is,” I said to the man

The man was wearing clean blue jeans and a straw hat which shaded his eyes from the sun. He squinted at the little mounds of dirt he had piled. His shirt was a western cowboy snap pocket shirt.

“I farm dirt.” The man said, best he could.
He had no teeth.

The little dogs had found the cuffs of my pants.

I looked at the man.
He looked at little piles of dirt.
The little dogs pulled at the cuffs of my pants.

“I’m collecting rocks just in case we run out,” the man said.
I looked at the dogs pulling at my pants.

Written Wed Nov 23, 03:23 AM

the kid

“He was with us. We was havin’ some supper with friends in a little coyote crossing, Messican place over across the border,” he said.

He talked like that. He said Messican instead of Mexican.

“They was this little place,” he said. “Might’ve been a dance hall at one time judgin by the looks of it. Now, the mess of us just walked in and made ourselves at home at the longest table.”

I loved his stories. They told so much. . .

He said, “I was watching a little Messican boy. He was standing by him as we sat at the table. The Messican boy just stood patiently waiting for a candy or some money. Nobody told the Messican boy nothing. But the boy stood there, by our table, patiently waiting.”

I stuck a wooden match in my mouth and leaned back in my chair, hitching my thumb inside the waistband of my pants. I looked over my sunglasses and I squinted at the sun coming in the window as he continued.

“I was watching the all of us. We was talking all at once to one another. Even him. He was grinning that grin and talking that talk.”

The days are getting colder and the sun felt nice. I closed my eyes and listened to his words.

“The Messican boy stood right next to him, not saying a word. It was a sight that contradicted real logic. Him sitting there havin’ a chin wag, talking about this, talking about that, and the little boy standing there patiently. Not out of place so much, but just out of the ordinary. And then I saw it. He reached in his pocket and handed the little boy something. A candy, or some paper money. He didn’t break sentence. He didn’t lose eye contact with who he was talking to and he never looked at the little Messican boy.”

His words were as a type of Jazz to me, and I was grooving to them.

“The little Messican boy smiled not a smile, nor did he. But I saw a that smile as the boy slipped through the door to the outside and he finished his sentence. Some things in this life are as razor thin as the difference between Comedy and Tragedy. Somethings are so plain that they are there to be seen or to be missed. I saw that. I saw that kindness exchanged with not a word, and no expectation of return. Just a simple kindness given with the kindness as the goal. I seen it. A saw kindness and I’m glad I did.”

I opened my eyes and I smiled.

Written Tue Nov 22, 06:45 PM

the hole

there is a wholeness about it all
the deep way it feels
like I am hollow inside

and when I truly
believe
that the hollowness is complete
life comes by and helps itself to another
scoop of me

Written Tue Nov 22, 06:37 PM

mother's day

Food takes a long time to move through my system

I’ve clocked it. Laxatives take about a week.

Today I took Stanhope’s Mother to the doctor to have an MRI. I’m
not exactly sure what MRI stands for, but a lot of people with
cancer were there.

We were going to go see a movie afterwards, but we put that off
for another day.

We had Fast Food from a local greasy quick food place.

I ordered a double with cheese. It was about two pounds of
grease and lots of cheese. Then I ate four tacos. And then I had
some fries. I eat a lot, but it doesn’t really show for some reason.

Stanhope’s Mother nibbled at two tacos.

Then we went to a 99 cent store were everything only costs 99
cents. I bought some hot sauce that cost fifty nine cents. I really
rather enjoyed the paradox of buying something less than
everything else in a discount store. Fun.

In line a man was waiting for his wife to purchase something. “I
wonder if she was buying the alcohol for him,” Mother said. I
hadn’t paid any attention. The couple were a dime short.

I guess when they went to the 99 cent store they only had 89
cents. Maybe they thought that the advertising was wrong. So, I
gave the woman a dime and she was very thankful. And the man
said to me in a voice that reminded me of every rude person who
has ever spoken too loudly to me: “Nice to see some Americans
here.”

I looked at the Korean Shop Keeper.

“All I know, ” I said to the man, “is that we are all in this
together.”

The woman thanked me again, and they left the store.

The reason I mentioned that food goes slow through my system is
that I ate a whole peach pie last week. Tonight it hit. But that’s not
even why I mentioned it. Not really.

In the 99 cent store, Stanhope’s mother was running around for
the bathroom because the grease bomb food went right through
her.

Someone is going to read this and say: “That’s pretty profound.”

Never fails.

Okay,
Father Luke

Written Mon Nov 21, 11:52 PM

A happy thought for an abandoned stray, which has captured my heart




I saw Flat Tire yesterday. I was was out weeding the vacant lot next
to the house. Flat Tire was silhouetted in the sun against the
afternoon sky, sitting proudly on the fence.

I shouted to him and waved. He sort of just watched me.

When I was done weeding, I went to him where he was sitting and
had been watching me. You know how when you put your finger out
and the cat will smell it? I call that “The Kitty Magnet”. Flat Tire
always used to go to my finger and then head butt my hand.

He sort of just sat there and lifted one lip.

I can understand. I was the one who had been putting the eye
dropper down his throat to dispense anti-biotic to him. I am a
painfully memory to him.

So I scratched under his chin a little bit and stroked his tail and I
walked away.

Later that night I saw him sleeping on one of the beds in the house.

I don’t know how Parents do this with kids.

Written Sun Nov 20, 04:34 PM

Rainbow in a bottle

I boiled a pot of water and threw it in the tub
I was lying there naked
looking at nothing, really

just letting the warm water do it’s job

soaking in it

the sun was coming in through the window
on the edge of the tub a bottle caught the sun
and made a rainbow out of the light

Roy G. Biv

Red
Orange
Yellow
Green
Blue
Indigo
Violet

I laid there until the water tuned cold

Soaking in the
Violet Burning
its way
out
of a bottle
which couldn’t contain it

that soothed me more than the warm water

Written Sun Nov 20, 03:11 PM

hiding out in plain sight

maybe because I write
I’m not so sure

but women have begun
coming into my life from very
far away

the last one was a thousand miles away
we both cried when she left

now there is one even further away

I did this when I was a kid
I had girl friends here there and everywhere

now
they are finding
me

and when the time comes
I have to be real with my thoughts
my emotions and my experience

because I cannot hide
like I did when I was a kid

as I said they are coming to me
and I cannot just slip quietly away

for I am home
and love is the stranger here

I welcome them into my life
and cry when they go

it kind of tough being real

but I have no choice
these days

Written Sun Nov 20, 05:59 AM

a communication shared in time

I distrust the phone
it’s a measure of communication

“Ring – Ring”

i still have an old fashioned
black phone
with a rotary dial
the phone actually rings

I picked up the phone “hullo?”
“Is Luke there,” the voice said

“father luke?” I said

the caller tried saying
a few things

across
the years
I recognized
the voice of an old friend, Mr. 1:15

we shared joy for quite some time

a long time
in the progession of the world

then
we slipped
back
quietly
into the present
and hung up the phone

Written Sun Nov 20, 05:02 AM

Fifteen Rounds - Nine Lives

I used to watch
Boxing matches
with my
Grandfather

He smoked non filters
and I used to take packs from him
to smoke for myself

he was retired

he smoked
and
drank beer
and
watched
boxing matches

Some of the fighters
were
undefeated

other fighters were up and coming
Rookie fighters looking to make a future for themselves

some fighters
were
champs going back after a loss
to win back their status

I learned from the man I was named after
that no matter how rough
something is
there is always an end to it

and if the going gets too rough
there is the option of throwing in the towel

but the point is to stick it out
to the end
if
you can

Today Flat Tire walked out the door
to go another fifteen rounds
with life

he is a stray cat
he has his life

and he knows that if things
get too bad
he can come here,
into his corner
and be
safe

There’s the bell
Go get ‘em pal. . .

I’m always in your corner
a lot of folks are rooting for you

Written Fri Nov 18, 10:48 PM

abscess makes the hair grow longer

i’ve seen the cat fighting
with the neighborhood cats

it’s something to do
while waiting
to be run over
by a car
or eaten by dogs

it couldn’t eat
there was an abscess
under it’s chin and blisters
under
it’s tongue

gack – hack – drool

the cat couldn’t even
close it’s mouth

swallowing
was out of the question

for the last three days
Flat Tire – the cat – has
been sleeping it off like a
thousand dollar drunk on New Years Eve

today he was scratching
at the door to go out

That day will be Monday
he will go out Monday

but the door will always
be open to another stray

Written Thu Nov 17, 04:32 PM

Letter to a friend

Solitude comes with the assurance that the outcome will be as
expected. This takes trust, because those who are sure of the
outcome can wait patiently knowing that the outcome is certain.

If you look at all the outcomes that have happened in your life, one
sure thing is apparent.

You either feel loved or you feel like calling for love. In the end,
there is nothing but love.

When you know this is true, loneliness will vanish, and solitude will
have a home in you where it may go forth into the world and greet
others. It may never inspire solitude in others, but it will be the
solitude which you are a host to never the less. And you will see
those who are peaceful in which no inspiring is necessary. It is with
those that you will celebrate.

Okay for now,
Father Luke

Written Thu Nov 17, 02:55 PM

are you sleeping?

I’m drinking
French Vanilla creamer straight
out of the carton these days

skip the coffee

I chug a gulp

I peek around
the computer monitor

the cat is sleeping
with his paws over his eyes
on the bed in the other room

I’m the bad guy because
I put the eye droppers
of medicine down his throat

I don’t mind being
the bad guy to a live cat

I take another chug of
creamer and just sit

watching
the cat sleep

Written Wed Nov 16, 12:34 AM

Letting the air out of a Flat Tire

For three days a stray cat I take care of hasn’t been able to eat. It’s been drooling, and has pain in it’s mouth. I thought that maybe it had a bad tooth.

I gave him a little bit of Tylenol crushed up in some milk. About 400mgs.

Yesterday morning, after not seeing the cat I call Flat Tire for two days I found him dirty and bloody asleep on stanhope’s bed.

I pet his head and brought him some clean water and cold milk. Flat tire tried the cold milk. He started convulsing and drooling blood.

It was 5:30 in the morning and I was beat.

“You sleep, buddy. Tomorrow we go the the vet,” I told him.

Comes the morning light and I’m out of bed with about five hours sleep. I call the Vet. Answering machine. Okay. Gives me an hour and a half to have some decaf and wake into the new day.

I call stanhope’s mom to tell her that the cat came back. She had been worried.

“So, I will take him later on to the Vets.”
“Are they open on Saturday?” she said.

Fuck.

I call every vet in Bisbee Arizona. Closed. Closed. Closed.

The cat is convulsing and drooling blood. This isn’t gonn’a wait until Monday. I start calling outlying towns. The closest Vet is in Tuscon – and that is a two and a half hour drive.

Cool. No problem I get lost going from my bedroom to the kitchen. Long story, I’m lost and not even praying has ever helped. Mother says she will go with me and navigate.

We make the drive. The lab assistant takes the stray into the back room with the other animals at the hospital.

‘Bout an hour later the Doctor comes out. This is what she said.

“You gave the cat Tylenol to help its pain. Unfortunately Tylenol is toxic to cats.”

I’ve inadvertently killed my friend by trying to help alleviate the pain. I’m destroyed and I’m crying. Mother is telling me “You didn’t mean it.”

The Doctor says this:”I want to run some tests to see how bad off the cat is, is that okay?” And I sign some papers to let her do the tests.

Hour later. The tests are negative for Tylenol Toxemia. “I want to run tests for Feline Leukemia,” Doctor said. “Sure,” I said. I’m destroyed.

No Leukemia.

The Doctor is hopeful about the Tylenol Poisoning. “It’s been several days since you say you gave the Tylenol. The cat should really be dead.”

“He’s a rough Bastard,” I said. I forget that not everyone grew up on the streets, and I watch the Doctor flinch when I say Bastard.

“There is a treatment we can run just in case”.

“Do it,” I said.

“In the meantime, we are going to run Saline Solution and anti-biotic to help reduce the swelling in the mouth which is causing Flat Tire to drool and bleed and not be able to eat.”

Cool.

“Go home,” the Doctor tells me. “It’s a long drive and it’s been a day for you. I will call you in the morning and let you know what’s what.”

I smile that the cat isn’t going home with me in a box. Mother washes her face in the bathroom and we go back home.

When I get home, I see that I haven’t fed the cat Tylenol, but Ibuprofen. I call Mother. She tells me to call the Vet Hospital to let them know my mistake. Ibuprofen – not Tylenol.

Doc Says, “Well, in sufficient dosages, Ibuprofen can damage a cat’s kidneys and give it gas . . .” she goes on. But clearly the danger has moved from Poisoning to farting. I can live with farting.

This morning the Doc calls, just as promised. “Flat Tire is doing well. He is head butting everyone who comes to pet him and he is up and around The swelling is going down. I would like to keep him another day.”

And I didn’t poison my cat.

I’m writing this and the phone rings. It’s stanhope.

“Doctor Luke? The Prairie Vetrenarian?”

He’s laughing.
I laugh.

Life is good.
Just for today.

Okay,
Father Luke

Written Sun Nov 13, 11:58 PM

stray

we were sitting in the back yard
it was late night – talking

the cat was walking along
the fence

I wiggled my fingers by
my chair and the cat
came to me

it sniffed my fingers and walked around

this happened
for a couple of days

all three of us would be out talking
in the warm Arizona night
the cat would come around
we would pay some attention to it
the night would end and everyone took
off to go to sleep

and the cat lingered

after a few days the cat was accepted
and we bought a dish for food

then the cat understood:
this is home

as the weather got cold
the cat began sleeping
indoors at night

then, eventually,
the cat would
come in
and sleep on a bed
during the day

there is always
food for him
in the kitchen
in the same dish
he got used to
eating out of outside

animals isolate
when they are sick

I haven’t seen the cat in two days

who needs you when you are sick?

letting others
love you back
to health

may
or may not
be natural

it’s cold out
I hope he is okay

Written Fri Nov 11, 07:22 PM