Posts

Confessions: I Want to Live

Image
Though we inhabit sorrow, pain, and toil, Oppressed by things we think we should do well, I want to rest, hunger, thirst, and wander And need and wonder and not be alone. Though we walk through loneliness and shadow And fight these broken battles in our brains, I want to try and touch and go and see And breath and taste and make and come to know. Though fear seizes the heart and shakes the mind Strangling the light and breathing in despair, I want to glimpse the sacredness of life And be surprised by music and by truth. Though death whispers to us it's false relief And sometimes drives all other thoughts away, I want to hold your hand and not let go And talk and choose and feel and live...with you. Contents § Next

Confessions: How can we talk about character and ethics?

Image
The Oklahoma County Courthouse facade,  facing Park Avenue in  Oklahoma City, Okla.  Several role plays in the new prison curriculum lacked realism, she said . And she wanted to know how I got a job writing character-training material for prisoners. It was family day  for the faith and character pods at the Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ Mabel Basset Correctional Center. She had a tear tattooed in the corner of her eye, and I had a feeling her...balogna...meter was finely tuned. The DOC had contracted with my then employer, Character First, to see whether character-based programming could―in connection with anger-management, cognitive behavior change, and other programming―change the culture for long-term prisoners. Apparently it was obvious I didn't have much experience in prison. But her question triggered two questions in my mind. First, on what basis can we talk about ethics? Because we talked about various character qualities―aspects of personal integrity―we had to giv

Autumn Trees

Image
An elm stands by the trail dead But for two ravens and a hawk Perched on brittle branches Recoiled as at the shock of doom. Trunk shrouded now in tattered bark Once took its shape from wind and sun When with its autumn leaves It testified of springs to come.

Autumn

Image
Autumn leaves, Carroll County, Ark. The first frost nips the garden;   the woodshed's full, and we recall mornings past when we saw blooms and image'd fruit. One by one things loved escape, people too, like autumn leaves, slip their places and return to earth beneath the trees. Then we cold, hungry children must  sometimes be carried home to dine though undeserving and wonder what we know. Fallen tree Carroll County, Ark.