A Language


The mind says,
Listen to me, I will explain everything.

The heart says,
I understand, but my feelings are unchanged.

The mind says,
This is God and this is life,
All is explained.

The heart says,
I speak a language you do not understand,
A language without words.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

On Christmas Day


Whose birth do we celebrate on this day?
The living embodiment of God?
The only one?

What about you?
What about me?

Even the tiniest blade of grass struggles toward the light.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Long March


You can march to the left,
You can march to the right,
You can march down the middle
And dream of your perfect world
Where everyone knows the truth.

You can march to the left,
You can march to the right,
You can march down the middle
But as long as you believe
You are right
And all the rest are wrong
You’ll be marching long,
You’ll be marching long.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Another Temporary Visitor


I knew when he walked into the coffee shop,
When this tall black man hesitated before sitting down,
Casting a wide, smiling inspection of the dozen or so diners,
So pleased to be in our company,
So joyful to be among the living,
I knew he was back from the grave,
Now seeing the everyday world through the eyes of a child,
Entranced by the sound of talking and laughing.

What was once so ordinary was now extraordinary.
He’d crossed the line between life and death,
Then crossed back again.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he were some kind of angel,
Taking physical form for a day to see and be seen,
To marvel at the magic of human existence.

How long did he have before returning?
And to where?
I wonder.
How long do I have?

He smiled at me as I walked by on my way out,
Recognizing, acknowledging another temporary visitor.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Tribunal


What are the first words I’ll say
After I die,
When I have awakened into the afterlife,
Still possessing this eternal self that I am?

All the details of my most recent incarnation
Sharpened somehow by my passing,
Stripped of repression.

What will I say
When all things undone,
All obligations unfulfilled,
All unrealized ambitions and dreams,
All my weaknesses,
All my sins,
Present themselves for explanation why,
Why they were willfully ignored,
Buried,
Considering the generous amount of years granted.

I see myself confronted,
Standing before some kind of tribunal,
All my memories fully restored.
I gasp for breath and say,
And say . . .


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Your First Major Sin


So, there it is,
Your first sin,
Your first major sin,
A profound distinction,
For to be born is to be full of sin,
Not biblical sin,
Just everyday garden-variety sin
Born of infantile ignorance,
A kind of sin we all are born with,
Sin that is easily corrected and forgiven,
Innocent sin without intentional malice,
Part of the transition from childhood
We all are called upon to make.

So there it is,
Your first major sin,
The kind that breeds shameful regret,
That sparks a sudden sadness,
Born of the realization
That this is the end of your stainless self,
Once so defiantly pure.

Now, you can no longer be so sanctimonious.
Now, you pray earnestly for your troubled soul.
Now, you join the human race.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

This Place


If I am humble,
I can take all insults,
All personal affronts,
In stride.

But when I believe in the illusion of myself
As an all-knowing, superior being,
Every imagined disrespect ignites my rage,
A rage which will not be calmed
Until revenge has cleansed my troubled soul.

The angels of tolerance,
The demons of anger,
Always close,
Contending,
Here on this ancient planet,
This place of good and evil
Where we struggle still.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved