They walked along together,
Or I should say he walked…the dog lingered
In areas where the scents were just too intriguing.
And the sun-kissed morning that was so pleasant
Beckoned the dog to dawdle.

“C’mon, C’mon, boy!”, he would exhort.
The dog heard but did not listen,
Digging in all the more.
“You’re dilly-dallying. C’mon!”
He’d keep exhorting the dog.

“Let’s go! Let’s go home!”
This spot, that pole, a bush, wet with urine…
All of these beckoned the dog,
Too precious to pass by.
Carrying too much dog information to gloss over.

“I’ve got a bag of shit in my hand!”
He said, falling on deaf ears.
The dog added his organics to a post
That, from the look of it,
Was a favorite of dogs who’d passed by earlier.

Sort of like the dog would hit “Like”
On a Facebook post he’d fancied, if that was a thing for dogs.
He pulled, he tugged.
Finally, as accorded by the dog’s schedule,
The dog lumbered on beside his master, home.


© Richard A. Martin, Jr MD CPC, 2016


Friends on Belvidere


Friends On Belvidere

There we were, all together again.
Some there we had not seen for decades.
There was still a recognition,
But the gray hair, the bent postures,
The weight gain, the heavy jowls…

But when we were all together,
On that glorious Summer evening
Backyard bar-b-q, drinks, dinner conversation,
That’s when the magic happened.
We were suddenly transported back in time!

It was 1978 all over again.
The house on Puget Sound.
The upstairs apartment in the subdivided house.
Alice in her Bo Peep costume
And Alpha, the unshorn poodle, her sheep.

Or the big house at 3708 41st Ave SW
Full of people in that wonderful kitchen.
Drinks in hand, passing the pipe.
Speakers blaring and Da Fish
Spinning the tunes.

Or the double-wide in Rochester,
The place where everybody was told
To just drive down the pock-marked dirt road
Until they were sure they were lost,
And then go 100 ft farther and they were there.

Or on the island with a pirate, a rainbow, Peter Pan…
Standing in the room next to the big loom.
Venturing out to the Sound
Whose depth we knew was deep
But a ways out toward Southworth.

There, in the backyard on Belvidere
It was like time travel.
The decades melted away completely.
We were right back where we had been
The last time we were together.

That seems to me to be the magic
Of good friendships.
That time machine of feelings.
And we were certainly good friends, that.
All growing while not changing one bit.

And, still, as tight-knit as we were,
There was room for new husbands,
Neighbors, babies-in-arms.
Assimilation and elevation to full status
So that, next time, these newcomers would be old friends, too.

Almost like the borg on Star Trek!


© Richard A. Martin, Jr. MD, CPC 2016

John 8

John 8
John 8

John 8

Many people get confused by topics of Divine Grace and Mercy.
Whenever I am confused
(Which is often…)
I re-read the eighth chapter of the Gospel of St. John
(Who the Mormons believe was actually alive when Joseph Smith had his revelation…interesting fact?)

It’s the story of the woman who was caught in adultery.
Many of us have heard the story…
“Let those among you who are without sin
Cast the first stone…”
Is the famous line we may be familiar with.

So, OK…that line has almost been turned into a cliché
Which is a bit dangerous
As it doesn’t allow
An “unpacking” of the truer and deeper
Meaning within the story, as I see it.

So, allow me to unpack it in my way.
As Christians, we’re asked to believe that
Jesus was consubstantial
With God, right?
Let’s start with that premise.

In our day and age,
Adultery is kind of tacitly accepted
As an ugly fact of our modern lives.
But what about those men standing there
With their stones in hand?

What was adultery like to them?
It was on the top ten list
Of things NOT to do.
Along with killing, covetousness, not honoring one’s parents…
And the Law that Moses says he got from God punishes all those by death.

So, that rabble,
Standing, waiting on the edges of the pit
Staring down upon the woman caught in adultery
Were as incensed as we were
About Bundy, McVeigh, Tsarnaev. So, hold that thought for a moment…

For them,
Adultery was that big a deal.
Maybe even more, as, in that era, women did not enjoy the same position
In society as men did…
So…a dirty, rotten, inexcusable sinner…AND a woman.

There they were, in that frame of mind.
Jesus, consubstantial with the Father that made all those rules
As well as the punishment
Associated with this infraction,
Taught this lesson…

“Let those among you who are without sin
Cast the first stone…”
And then, after shaming every man there
Poised to hurl their deadly rocks…
Well, they all left, one-by-one, eldest first.

But there was still one more lesson to teach.
After everyone had left
Leaving only this gravely sinful woman and this consubstantial man
He asks, “Where is everyone? Isn’t anyone left to accuse you?”
“No sir,” says this Bundy, McVeigh, Tsarnaev-like creature.

Then this man, consubstantial with God…
Therefore, God…algebraically…
Says, “I am not going to accuse you either.
You may go. But, don’t sin anymore.”

The consubstantial being to the One who made the “rules”
And, according to Moses, the punishments,
That entity just up and forgave her?
Is this how it’s supposed to work?
Is this, then, the lesson?

It seems pretty clear to me. I wonder what so many are missing?

©Richard A. Martin, Jr. MD, CPC 2016

The Sanctuary


The Sanctuary

It’s so still here.
Supplications can make no noise, I guess.

For me, I’m most in the asking mood
When there’s a need needing fulfillment.

Gratitude seems to wash over me
Like a wave. Not leaving a mark…just moisture.

We’re told that the spirit of God is everywhere
But I feel it most acutely right here.

I guess there’s less distraction
Here in this Sanctuary.

I mean…that’s the purpose.
At least for me…

© Richard A. Martin, Jr. MD CPC, 2016




I was smart for 6 – I could do this…Cursive.

I sat with the example in front of me
And studied it.
With a bit of trepidation I began.

“A” and “a”, I wrote,
Carefully copying from the example.
It looked OK. Pleased, I felt my confidence growing.
After all, I was only in first grade – cursive wasn’t on the curriculum until second.
But I had always been precocious – I could read Ferdinand the Bull at age 3.

I went to “B”…then “C” and on,
Copying capital and lower case.
By the time I got to “T”, I was on a tear, copying letters with ease.

After I finished, I surveyed my work. It was lovely.
I was so proud.

Since I loved critique –
Actually praise –
I immediately decided to show my work to Mrs. Renzema,
My first grade teacher.
She had been with me since kindergarten – we didn’t even move classrooms.
Just a pack of five and six-year olds
Crammed into the same room.

I boldly went up to show her,
Fully expecting her to lavish praise on me.
What I got instead was a scolding!
“Rickey, this isn’t first grade work!
You must not do that!”

I was crestfallen. And confused.
Here I had excelled past my level,
And all I received was chiding.
This had NEVER happened to me before!
I had come to expect praise for advanced work.
I wasn’t quite sure how to process this.

By sixth grade,
I received an “F” in penmanship!

© Richard A. Martin, Jr. MD CPC, 2016