Like A Tumble Weed

Ghost Town, Pioneertown, California

The Millers set out with really high expectations for the day. They had been looking forward to seeing some quick-draw gunfights and maybe even some frillies in the cancan at the saloon. But alas times were changing, and the Wild West Park had a sign on the locked gates stating that the town was destined to be yet another Western ghost town, but the owners planned to reopen a new Space Park nearby where Little Green Men and Buck Rogers’ rock-shaped rollercoaster cars would feature.

Yes, the days of the Western were numbered, and all because of a little beeping ball the Russians had shot into space. For now, however, the day  was a disappointing experience, even with ice cream and a coke on the way home.


Sunday Writing Prompt

Bygone Promise

Cereal, Countryside, Crop, Cropland




Paint Chip Poetry Prompt #34:

“Today’s challenge is to write on the theme of I Promise. The paint chip words and phrases are sparkle, lapis lazulihoneyrustybrushed aluminum, open sesame, and rolling hills. Please use at least three of these terms . . . .”

I made the promise long ago –

Amid rolling hills and pastures green.

In a field of honey-coloured grain,

The sky blue – lapis lazuli

Witnessed my oath – that a farmer I would be.

But my passion for the land has lost all sparkle

Like the stars – beneath clouds of smoke harmful

The world, now of brushed aluminum and glass –

Of sterile concrete and iron works rusty

Has closed me in.

What shall I do to escape –

To find the land of my promise?

Will it roll back time – and set me free

If I just said, “Open Sesame?”









Doors, Choices, Choose, Decision



Stepping Stones

Portal gates through which we tread

Birth to first steps

And onward we go

Life ever changing

Adolescence – the springs of youth

Families we make and break

Every portal brings situations new

Until we face that one last gate




dVerse Poetics



Emergency, Exit, Green, White, Direction

image: Pixabay

Moses encountered God in the burning bush.  In the conversation which took place, God tasked Moses with going to Pharaoh and demanding that the children of Israel be released from bondage, and allowed to return to the promised land.

God didn’t just want to get his people out of Egypt, but Egypt out of his people.  There followed a long period in the desert.  The desert was a time of testing and purifying.  The Hebrews learned to rely on God, and not on the leeks and onions of the Nile.  They also had to get rid of the slave mentality.

This slave mindset is seen repeatedly.  They feared Pharaoh’s chariots, and the sea before them.  Even though they had already seen the plagues set upon the Egyptians by God.  Despite this God again freed them with a spectacular act of dividing the Red Sea.  But the slave mentality is seen yet again.  Spies are sent into the land, and though reports of the goodness of the place is there, the people focus on the walled cities and the giants, and not on God’s presence, or their own superior numbers.  They were slaves to the heart.

The purging in the desert created a people reliant on God.  The wanderings weeded out those who wanted to remain slaves in thought, or worse still – those who wanted to physically return to Egypt.

We face deserts or wildernesses in our lives.  There are times which seem to be barren and forbidding.  But these should not be cues for us to say, “Well I will go back to my old sinful life, where I ‘had fun’ or just ‘went with the flow’ of the world.

Jesus gave us a model of how to face deserts.  He went into the wilderness as well!  He went into the lonely places for forty days, and there suffered as one who was totally a man.  He was hungry like us, and He faced temptations of ‘the easy way’.”  But in these temptations He proved himself fully God, as well as fully man.  He resisted and rested in the word of God to the point of triumph.

The Hebrews saw God’s glory directly, but still were full of figurative “Egypt.”  They had to be tested, and those who trusted like Caleb and Joshua became a people of figurative Canaan (the promised land), and not of the fleshpots of Egypt.

Are we ready to make a good exit from our own Egypts as well?




Demographics,technology, politics, and fashion seem to be perpetually changing. The pace of change appears to be moving ever faster. In my half century or so on this planet this is the case. A couple of years after my graduation, my high school was closed. It was later reopened on the same site with a different name, to be renamed again back to the original, but with a different school mascot.

My undergraduate college was renamed as a university. My first graduate school was renamed to sound even more important. My second grad school was amalgamated into a larger institution, and both “noble names” were blended, until the grander name, as cream does, floated upwards thus eclipsing the other.

While I was in military A school, American sailors lost their beards. I still remember how odd it was to see Chief Pinkerton without his. In infantry school and when first in the fleet we had flat green field jackets, and flat green flack jackets. These were later replaced by new ones in woodlands camouflage pattern to match our uniforms. We also had Vietnam era steel pot helmets with liners. These went the way of the dinosaurs, being replaced with Kevlar ones, with which we could not cook, dig, or wash with. Though the details are now vague to me, I think we changed gas mask models about then also. With the woodland and Kevlar change the make up of the flack vest morphed as well, to include both.

When I was at Third MarDiv, Division HQ I was issued a 1911 model 45. This weapon was the butt of jokes, and later was in turn replaced. This, however was not an issue for me as I had been sent to a battalion by then, where my TO weapon was the M16A1 or in my case a relatively well worn XM16E1. It was essentially the same as the A1 I had used in ITS, full auto and semi options, etc.  But then change struck again, and we all were issued M16A2s.  This weapon with its semi-auto and 3 round bursts took some getting used to, but was probably a good design change.

Where the world seems to have really run away with change though is in information technology.  The forces had taught me another strange and valuable skill.  I could type. I used a Selectric electric typewriter and it was quick and far easier to use than a manual. Then I went to university.  Mistakes in typing required rewrites.  So we gave in and got a Apple 2C.  Yes, 138 k of data.  We could correct mistakes without starting over.  The 5 plus some inch disks were a marvel.  But then Apple (like in the garden) led to a fall from grace. PC was everywhere, and the disks were smaller too.  Then came the what seemed annual Microsoft upgrades, and just when an operating system seemed to become second nature, they changed it.  Enter the laptop, etc, etc, etc.

Home movies gave way to video; beta to VHS; VHS to CD; and now downloads and streaming. The post office phone gave way to the home phone; the pay phone to the mobile.  Phones became cameras. Walkman became Ipod. Ipod was swallowed by the phone.  It goes on.

Education has followed suit. Many students cannot imagine “taking notes.”  “Can we take a picture of the board on our phones?” is a common question. Books are mystical things housed in a dungeon like realm known as the library.  Having to actually turn a page is an arduous task, and what if the particular book doesn’t have all you need? Might you actually have to search for another?  What a terrible waste of time. Doesn’t GOOGLE “have it all?” Okay, I am overstating (a little), but the implications are clear.

In the face of it all, I can take comfort. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever ( Hebrews 13:8).” God is “I AM,” who – was, is, and will be. When the world is a whirlwind, there is peace in the eternal. I choose to lean on the unchanging.  How about you?