Of Life and Spirit by Kelvin Bueckert - HTML preview

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KELVIN BUECKERT

Of Life and Spirit

Copyright © Kelvin Bueckert, 2018

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise without written permission from the publisher. It is illegal to copy this book, post it to a website, or distribute it by any other means without permission.

Kelvin Bueckert asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

Kelvin Bueckert has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party Internet Websites referred to in this publication and does not guarantee that any content on such Websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

Designations used by companies to distinguish their products are often claimed as trademarks. All brand names and product names used in this book and on its cover are trade names, service marks, trademarks and registered trademarks of their respective owners. The publishers and the book are not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book. None of the companies referenced within the book have endorsed the book.

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Contents

Navigator

v

Welcome...

1

Liferiders...

2

Wintergreen

3

Snap!

4

Benji

5

Puzzles

7

Horror Movie

8

McPreacher

9

Reality?

10

Circling

12

The Farm Show

13

Progress?

14

Twisted

15

Silence

16

Dumpster Diving

18

Slow Down

19

Rest

21

Turn Back

22

Reaching

23

Walking Through Winter

24

Christmas If

25

Grace Like Snow

26

April

27

Spring

28

A Personal Ecclesiastes Pt.1

29

A Personal Ecclesiastes Pt.2

31

A Personal Ecclesiastes Pt.3

33

Healing

34

Reuben's Story

35

Caffeine Sunrise

37

About the Author

38

Navigator

Radar

sounds

rest through

the nature

of bat like twitters

vibrating words

as the master signals

wave weary craft

toward harbor

over ocean shivers

v

1

Welcome...

This little adventure is a collection of essays, blog entries, poetry, and random thoughts. Every item included was chosen because it spoke of life and spirit in some way.

Navigator, Rest, Christmas If, A Personal Ecclesiastes 1, 2, and 3 were previously published in Plumb magazine. An arts journal based in British Columbia. Check out their latest issue by going to plumb.ca

Circling was first published in Every Day Poems and April was first published in Blue Skies Poetry.

Well, there you have the story of the story. I hope the following items provoke thought, anger, or something...After all, what is the point of writing if you can't make somebody angry?

With that said, we start out our journey with Liferiders, which fittingly is set where many journeys begin, at a bus stop.

Kelvin Bueckert

www.kelvinbueckert.com

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2

Liferiders...

Apathy

a swing without motion

visible in these

lazy pale faces

mornings are cartoons

drawn by the sleepless night

targeted

in the headlights

at a bus stop

carrying out the hit

of caffeine

jolting into motion

2

3

Wintergreen

Pilgrims

drenched in winter

headlights fade from focus

streams of empty

ritual in transit

lost to the vapor trails

environmental progress

hovers beneath a human fog

and the world turns

somehow

the world spins

3

4

Snap!

Livid traffic streams

straining in a circular cycle

with twisting compulsion

nerves so tightly wound

these trembling bowstrings

propelling arrows of blistered audio

piercing the rage covered hollow

and every hypocrisy found

inside

driving lifeless through urban echoes

craving silence

something to settle

this fragile nature

4

5

Benji

I believe that animals have something to tell us about life. Even if you aren't Doctor Doolittle.

For example, I once had a dog. he was a little German Shepherd named Benji. Every afternoon when I'd go out, he'd be waiting.

Bouncing around like a ball of naked electricity waiting to be set free.

Hey Benji! Aren't you worried about the economy?

NoIwannaPlayNoIwannaPlayNoIwannaPlay!

No matter what life threw at him, Benji had something better to look forward to. I would let him go and he would streak across the yard in a blaze of joy.

Of course, the cats weren't as impressed. but them, they were cats, they don't party like some other creatures do...they are more into black tie affairs and filet mingon...and we love them for it.

Honestly.

Benji's end came after a stranger; I think it was a cat person, wandered into Benji’s yard. This person was profoundly dis-turbed that a creature would live life with such exuberance.

Benji was promptly reported as a hazard to the community 5

OF LIFE AND SPIRIT

and soon the appropriate authorities arrived to do their heroic duty. Yet, even toward the end, Benji remained the same.

Hey Benji! Aren't you angry at the person who accused you?

NoIwannaPlayNoIwannaPlayNoIwannaPlay!

Benji died, true to his principles, those who killed him, true to theirs. Yet, Benji taught us that in life, no matter what happens, there is something better to look forward to. That moment when our Master sets us free…that moment when we can finally run across the yard in a blaze of joy.

To those of you who don't know the master, I can only say this, why wouldn't you want to know someone who could set you free?

6

6

Puzzles

Is it natural

to wonder

in rage

while painting life

so poetic

as it peels

from the wall of vision

evolving

with apes mumbling

fairytales

of over consumption

to the tribes

hunched over the digital fires

of television

7

7

Horror Movie

Without a word

as the channels murmur

and the adventure

revolves as always

from the fatal rocket

soaring over braincrumbs

drying under the tired sun

clichés rhyming with another episode

left behind in the apocalypse

calculated to appeal to everyone

8

8

McPreacher

Has the digital

blizzard

become artistic

expression

a hologram of

warm compliments

the blessed color

a practical preacher

painting over

manniquin eyes

in this sacred ceremony

of the shallow

obedient to this sermon

fasting later

because our

sugar water

is here sooner

and flavored better

9

9

Reality?

Reality?

Reality is always such a drag. It must be, why else would the human race spend so much time trying to avoid it or cover it up?

Today we speak of Barbies...Plastic people are perfect on the outside, hollow on the inside and when heat is applied things start getting messy and a little stinky.

Have you ever thought of it? If you ask people how they are doing they will say they are doing fine. What are the odds that this is true? If it isn't. People who say they are fine, when they are not, not only aren't doing well, they aren’t telling the truth to the very people who could help them.

What would happen if someone found out that you aren't perfect? Really. People probably aren't going to be surprised.

They probably knew the truth about you all along and were wondering when you would find out. Little do they know what you know about them though ;)

The reality is that most people will not look back at their lives and wish that they had held more grudges. If today was your last day, what would you regret? What can you do today to start making the changes necessary to deal with it?

10

REALITY?

Once you've helped someone else out of the ditch, they can back up their truck and help pull you out. This is how the world changes, not through spectacular feats of supermen, but through the actions of individuals brave enough to face reality, grab it, and maybe bend it a little.

11

10

Circling

Riding opportunity

like a slide

drawn to the promise

at the bottom

where thrills

meet the sand pit

pennies

or perhaps

a partly sucked lollipop

covered with dirt

yet tasting sweetness

concealed beneath the grit

while returning to the ladder

on the slide

in a playground

as it begins to rain

this time the promise

this time the winner

or maybe just another sucker

in the mud

12

11

The Farm Show

A grain grown

melody

under distortion

and off beat cymbals

calves are born

for harmony

out of time

with the chemical fog

adding sparkle to the spiraling

cathedral of industry

13

12

Progress?

Speaking

in stylish suits

and worshiping

with the litany of the theatrical

there is peace in the eye

painted over with plastic

truth in the doughnut center

spiritual pleasure is here

as advertised

cafe and coffee

now with added color

14

13

Twisted

Natural

paper trash

streams

from wasted youth

spending their holidays

wandering the wilderness

and empty alleyways

a city of zombies

where cheap make up

saturates souls

dripping through puppets

twisted on the strings

of progress

15

14

Silence

Close your eyes and you can hear it.

Life is flowing all around us. You can see it in the motion. You can hear it in the ebb and flow of activity. We are living in a human ocean.

Yet, even in this, there is danger. Every environment requires a determined effort to preserve it from threats to its existence.

In the medical profession, Doctors use skills they have ac-quired through years of training to heal bodies broken by disease. In the natural world, environmentally minded people use technology to reduce the amount of pollution and waste.

Every year there are new discoveries, new ways to advance and preserve the cause of life. Consider the pacemaker, dialysis machines, or the amazing technology that enable crews to deal with the toxic aftermath of an oil spill.

The paradox is that the same ingenuity that can be used to preserve life, is also being used to build weapons, to destroy forests, and to pollute the water we rely on. In the same way, medical skill is being used to conduct destructive research on human embryos, to conduct abortions, and to provide euthanasia.

Consider the fact that even actions that seem small can have a 16

SILENCE

significant impact on our natural environment. Acid rain, smog, and, global warming are current examples of how individual actions can combine to provide a major force for collective harm.

When life is destroyed for the benefit of science, when un-wanted children are destroyed for the sake of convenience, when the sick and the elderly are euthanized without significant protest, it seems obvious that these actions will have an effect.

When some lives are deemed less worthy, or inconvenient, it affects not only the moral conscience of the medical profession, it erodes the value that society places on life.

The longer compromise is practiced, the more the way we view others changes, our priorities change, and eventually apathy becomes normal, and even acceptable.

Despite the many benefits, there is a real danger in the practice of medicine. Like the challenges facing the natural world, ethical compromises made by individuals affect everyone of us.

The tragedy is that the results of ethical compromise are the same as unchecked environmental pollution.

Plug your ears, close your eyes and you can hear the ultimate effect of it.

Silence is also an inconvenient truth

17

15

Dumpster Diving

Searching

for salvation

sorting

through garbage cans

the containers of our souls

so expensive

silhouetted in the snow

still searching

digging down under

beneath the plastic food

and sugar coated wrappers

for grace

an idea

or a fragile fragment

worth living

18

16

Slow Down

The sunlight was welcome after a cold storm of rain.

My red Hyundai Accent sped down the mud-covered road, splashing through puddles and swerving to avoid ruts. Time was short and there was so much to do.

Still, the morning was pleasant. It shouldn't be much of a hassle to get everything done that needed to be. No problem at all. Speed would solve everything.

My car stereo pumped out the power chords and electronic flavors of the song, Rage. Irony is always a warning of something.

I glanced at the soft pastels of morning smearing across the sleepy sky. An especially slippery rut threw my car to the left, lengthwise across the road. Anxious to avoid the steep ditch on the left side of the road, I corrected. My car swerved sideways again, headed straight into the steep ditch on the right side.

The bottom of the grass covered hill approached.

A painful crash was imminent.

Time seemed to slow as I spun the steering wheel.

Finally, the car corrected with a violent 180-degree turn.

The cd in the stereo skipped.

19

OF LIFE AND SPIRIT

After a brief pause, I slowly drove my car up and out of the grassy ditch.

Yes, the day was good.

I had avoided a painful collision with the ditch bottom.

However, the force of my power turn in the ditch had forced enough dirt between rubber and the rim of my tire for it to lose air.

A small fee to pay to avoid a serious accident.

Apparently, life is much more enjoyable if you slow down.

Your life anyway, I don't know about mine...Well, maybe I do. I know that I almost rolled my car because I didn't take things a little more slowly.

Being stuck in a rut didn’t help much either.

I suppose I could make a few philosophical points about what happened. However, I don’t know if I have the time to state the obvious. If you didn’t get the point. Well, what can I say? Read this story again. Take it slow this time. Alright?

20

17

Rest

Money

or the lack of it

is creative

in throwing

its airless blanket

over any comfort

found

in the claustrophobia

of possessions

rolling in the grit

of our beloved insomnia

beside the mattress

and the knowledge

of rest

as a spiritual gift

21

18

Turn Back

Remember

simplicity

when irrigation

was rain

and every morsel

so naturally believable

never designed

for artificial people

22

19

Reaching

As sparrows trilled

though the horizon was empty

unfulfilled

there was conversation

hesitant words

fragile joy

from insignificant birds

in the Eden of our desolation

crimson flowed from a splinter

climbing the tree of remembrance

blossoming despite the winter

this bloody isolation

made visible through the sound

these song filled branches

just out of reach from the ground

23

20

Walking Through Winter

Crunch, crunch...My feet move me forward into the bitterness of winter. The gentle scent of wood smoke tickles my nostrils as I inhale. As I gaze at the road before me, I can see that the bleakness of autumn has been covered with a blanket of white splendor.

The sky falls into black. Stars are born in tiny gems of light and my thoughts begin to turn...Look! The colors of Christmas sparkle from houses, from trees, and in the snow gently caressing my face with the touch of a feather. Somewhere there is a heartbeat in the glitter. I can sense it, something real beneath the beauty. A family delivers a Christmas hamper to the needy. Yes, the reality is there in the soup kitchen with the hardworking volunteers...and dancing in the smile of a long-suffering mall Santa.

This is the meaning of the holiday. Flickering like a candle to spite the darkness, there is love. Over two thousand years ago the gift of God was given. Then the black sky was pierced by the light of a star, a child was born, and the world began to turn.

Crunch...Crunch...My feet move me onward into the bitterness of winter. Yet, somehow...somehow...the chill of it has faded.

24

21

Christmas If

If we were to ornament a cross

or gift wrap his manger

does this signal grace

his birth

or has the commercial

defined its worth?

25

22

Grace Like Snow

If snow

were paint flakes

flecks raining grace

if our spirits were frozen

enshrouded in fragile skin

we could melt

under a loving sun

resisting gravity

we could rest in the divine

if crimson blood

splashing

whitewashing

erased our human stain

26

23

April

Drops dribble

clouds growling slumber

over a naked earth

thirsting for pleasure

crashing

when rain awakes

pouring

as emotions thunder

nothing is secret here

every seed that died

as it was planted

resurrected by water

silent

so silently

destroying the blanket

of winter

27

24

Spring

Packing away dreams

purchased on a payment plan

that tempt even the dedicated

hunter

once

broke and lost

without credit

now

ushering summer

into a mind

released from

synthesized color

28

25

A Personal Ecclesiastes Pt.1

Watching

curving

star arcs

sparkling

over horizons

of anticipation

grass guards the back

of my summer stained clothing

half open eyes

lips praying to believe

wondering what opaque veil

falls from this creation

pouring

golden morning

as the sky begins to breathe

out a question

percolating

dripping into my mind

contemplation

if God is dead

29

OF LIFE AND SPIRIT

who taught nature to live?

30

26

A Personal Ecclesiastes Pt.2

Some say we are apes

evolving

to live

out the whims of science

obedient

to television violence

scampering

into malls in compliance

fulfilling

the commercial order

others speak of meaning

as a human chasing

caressing desire

and the thirst of pleasure

spinning around my head

as my thoughts turn

pondering a man

submissively broken

or simply given his due

to become our Messiah

31

OF LIFE AND SPIRIT

allowing us to live

by exhaling

death

32

27

A Personal Ecclesiastes Pt.3

Ending

when

galloping

doubts leave me

winded

beginning

then

revelation unveils

under summer dawn

over horizontal man

staring vertical

breathing in

learning to live out

divine reason

believing

the fear of the Lord

grants the only meaning

in this beautiful existence

33

28

Healing

Oh this divided soul

a fire bug winking at the night

flying despite spirit filled sorrow

love comes as a sparrow

driven by new found passion

hatred becomes the vulture calling

for the war of bitter obsession

despite finding the way to begin

with simplicity

to heal the nature within

34

29

Reuben's Story

How far would you walk for someone you loved?

Five miles?

Ten miles?

One hundred miles?

We encountered Reuben (not his real name) in August 2006.

We were operating a clinic near Solwezi, Zambia. It was a busy day, which wasn't unusual. Obviously, I don't remember when he entered the compound. However, I will always remember his remarkable journey.

Reuben was desperate. He had already walked many miles through sun and sand, searching for the one bottle of antibiotic that the Doctors needed to cure his mother.

His mother was laying deathly sick in a mission hospital a couple hundred miles away. Reuben had visited all the hospitals and pharmacies he knew of and each time was faced with a negative answer. There were simply no antibiotics available.

With one last desperate attempt, Reuben came to us with his heart-wrenching story. At first we thought we did not have that particular antibiotic either. However, we searched and found one bottle of the medication. He could not express his 35

OF LIFE AND SPIRIT

gratefulness enough. Soon, he had gone, anxious to return to his mother.

We had to return to our other patients. Then, after a few weeks, our team left Zambia and returned to Canada. Our term had been completed, but memories remained.

This memory is of the miracle of one.

-Charlene Constant

36

30

Caffeine Sunrise

This drink

a drop

and the cup

within

a day

this sun

rolling up

over the rim

37

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About the Author

38

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelvin Bueckert lives and writes from the plains of Manitoba, Canada. When he isn’t writing he is often seen acting, think-ing, or perhaps even doing something business related. His tastes run toward the eclectic, a fact that is evident by the wide range of his artistic projects. Check out his various acting, writing and music projects at kelvinbueckert.com

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