An Amusing Story

This week I am attending the second last session of the Academy for Spiritual Formation. One of the things I have found at the Academy is a community of souls who are diverse and beautiful. There are also several folks who love awful jokes. So, while I did pre-write these posts, I thought I would share a joke that I have been working on for other folks who love bad jokes. It is a twist on a joke out of a book my kids gave me.

Two friends lived their entire lives next door to each other. Their families spent time together, their kids played together, and they were really great neighbors. Every year they would go hunting for water fowl and the friends would sit together for hours.

Over time one of the friends began to be bothered. It seemed like everything in life was grand, but his friend always found a way to look at the downside of things. If there was a rainbow, he’d complain about the rain. If there was a bumper crop of zucchini, he’d complain about eating the same thing every night. If he went hunting and did not reach his limit, he would complain about bad luck despite having birds to clean and feed his family. This man loved his friend, but it was increasingly difficult to find a sense of humor about his friend’s tendency to complain.

He became obsessed with pointing out the little blessings, but his friend seemed oblivious. After a few years of this, his long patient and helpful hunting dog passed away. Sure enough, his neighbor started complaining about how tough it was to train a new dog.

Nevertheless, the optimistic friend started training a little pup. Being a religious man with a sense of humor, he named his dog Jesus. “Jesus was always there for him.” “Jesus just wanted a closer walk with him.” You know the kind of jokes…

He loved the pup and started his training. He was shocked to find that when he began to train the dog to retrieve fowl the dog would walk on water to the bird to retrieve it. It was a miracle! He was shocked, awed, and finally thrilled that he at last had a chance to show his friend that not everything was bad in this life. There were miracles all around if we stop focusing on the terrible stuff all the time.

So, one day the two men go hunting. The man doesn’t tell a soul about his dog’s gift. Soon enough, the bird dog was sent to go get a downed fowl. The dog got out of the boat, walked over the pond, picked up the bird, and came back.

The friend was quiet and thoughtful for a moment. He slowly turned to the proud dog owner and put a hand on his shoulder. “I’m so sorry. First you lost your trusty hunting dog and now this. You just have the worst luck.”

The dog owner was flabbergasted. He asked how his friend could possibly look at this is something less than wonderful. The friend looked him in the eye, squeezed his shoulder, and said, “I don’t know how to tell you this, but I don’t think your dog can swim.”

Our dogs Lily and Wolf. They approve of this joke.

A Senryu for my 200th Post

“Hey Candy. Crush me!”
I laugh. The gummy bear flew.
Twenty six pounds hurts.

“Gummy Bear Senryu” by the Distracted Pastor, 2019

I wrote this senryu to play a little bit with the “Games Night” theme at the dVerse Poets’ Pub. I have played enough video games to realize that it is sometimes fun to pretend not to know anything about them.

This poem is inspired by a twenty six pound Gummy Bear that you can actually buy. Who needs chocolates for Valentine’s Day? Seriously though, you could kill someone with that thing. I imagine it’ll make an appearance in a Dead Rising game at some point if it hasn’t already.

By the way, this is my 200th blog post! I have others scheduled for the next few days, but I wanted to say thank you to everyone who keeps encouraging me by reading and enjoying my posts, even when they’re silly. Blessings to you.

Treasure Somonka

This somonka is meant to be read as conversation between two lovers (alternating between bold and regular type) until the third voice enters in (in italics). What treasure awaits when these lovers are united?

I rest here alone
I wait where few find the way
I wait in the cold
Nobody finds the still path
no one turns my rusty key

I come my lovely!
I seek you across the miles.
You alone I seek.
No one will still my sore feet
Until you rest in my arms!

Come find me quickly!
I grow weary of this place
Where no one sees me.
I keep something just for you–
Deep inside with my desires.


No one can stop me!
Here I am after so long.
Did you wait for me?
Let me draw you close and sigh
As I smile and end my quest

Turn my key my love!
Open the way to my heart!
Twist and turn and pull!
Pull open that which binds me!
Come and find your heart's desire!


I will, my sweet one!
Here I come to seek inside
Places I long sought...
Oh bliss, can it be? My love...
My chest of old comic books!

Honey, are you there?
Your mom says dinner is soon.
What is that you have?
Seriously? More comics?
No, they're not graphic novels


Hold me close, my love.
Touch me with your gentle hands.
Carry me back home!
She will never understand!
She's just like your mom once was...

Treasure Somonka, The Distracted Pastor. 2019

Written in response to the Creativity Contest “We’re Going Treasure Hunting” by Peregrin Arc! This poem is dedicated to Art, Russ, Tim, Michael, Ben, and all of the other comic book lovers I have known over the years. Keep being yourselves and call your graphic novels whatever you’d like!