Category Archives: Death

The Jack Pole Fisherman and The Sea

Upon the throw and the yank, a huge, bright tuna flew out of the sea.

In the air, it said, “Really now, is this necessary?”

Then the jack pole tuna man said, “Really now, it is — for me it is.”

The man was far from where he had been born.

So,” said the sea, “You live, begin and end in me.”

Then the sea swelled and washed in over the stern of the boat, over the racks the man was standing in and over the man, up to his chest, over his cane pole, bent over the tuna, and it washed out again.

The tuna flipped in the wave and sprang onto the boat.

Sixty years passed.

A fishing boat came again to this place in the sea, just as the sun was setting, not with poles but with ashes, and with family and friends. It was a calm summer evening.

And standing in the stern of the boat, the son of a fisherman, out of a small box, threw his father’s ashes into the great, sloshing sea. And then the sons of the son of a fisherman of the sea threw flowers out of other small boxes onto the smooth water, the setting sun above, the white flower petals floating in a line out behind the boat.

For a moment the flowers were seen on the water, among the ashes, and then there was a flash of bright color as a calico bass took a minnow on the surface.


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Heaven Minus Church

When he arrived in heaven there was a bit of a stir. It wasn’t that there was any question of him getting in or not. He had no merit, but he pleaded the proper plea, “Guilty as charged!” and the “It’s on him,” and he was good to go.

The problem was that he didn’t want to be there.

“No, you’ll have to stay now,” they said. “We can’t reverse a plea once it has been accepted.”

“I won’t go to church!” he yelled.

“There is no church here,” they told him.

“Thank God!” He exclaimed.

“So what’s the deal with you?” They asked, “Why all the drama?”

“I liked earth,” he said, “I liked my family; I liked my friends. I liked church, the music, the cool concepts, helping people, but I didn’t fit with the hyper-religious types, and I really don’t want to be stuck with them here. And besides, I say bad words sometimes, and I really don’t want to stop. It’s fun!”

“So,” said the angel in charge, “And you think that’s a problem because …”

“How about this?” He asked. “How about if you send me to a little corner spot where the other bad people in heaven hang out?”

“Sure, but you don’t get sent anywhere here; you get to pick,” they said. “There is a rough crowd that hangs out down by the sand bar, a couple of ex-preachers in that group. Try them out.”

And off he went. Before long he had settled in at the sand bar and could be seen eating, drinking, waving his hands, dancing and gesticulating wildly. Over the loud music you could here him yelling crazy, wild hilarities, and you could hear loud guffawing and unrestrained hooting.

And glancing around heaven, quite a few saints could be seen looking longingly toward the sand bar, much as the wedding guests at a long wedding meal might keep glancing at the loudest, happiest, craziest table at the party.







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Death Loses Again!

He ran his wheelbarrow down the center of the freeway.

It was night. Someone screamed, the barrow swerved, a body landed in it, and then the black-hooded, scythe-in-hand, fist-raised figure holding the handles laughed and disappeared, and then again was there and everywhere, on a million highways at once.

“What the hell? It was what today?”


“Average, so madly average. I hate average!”

“Were on track. I’d say 50 to 60 million again this year. Heart disease is stable. Cancer is good, a real producer.”

“But we put out this week! I expected more!  Ah, we need something new, like tobacco. Love tobacco! So freakin’ effective.”

“Stop whining and get back out there! The guppies are winning!”

“Shut up!”

“Grass is winning!”

“No! Quiet!”

“Seeds are winning!”

“You better quit! I can’t take this from you!”

“Butterfly eggs — beating the crap out of you!”

“Stop it! Stop it!”

“One step ahead of the grim reaper … ever the exultant sower!”

And then all hell broke loose as the empty, dark hooded, machete wielding figures went at each other, in haste, frothing and sweating and cursing. And while they fought, seeds sprang from the soil and burst into flower, creatures from eggs sprang forth, flying and singing and praising, and babies — blushing, skin as soft as fluff — took their first triumphant breathes in a warm, watered, food-filled, life-washed world.




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