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Sample from Waste Not Want Not
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News and Events



I was just a boy of 5

As I pulled coins from my pocket

Three pennies fell to the ground


One shiny

Two others

Scarred as if battered soldiers

No real value I thought

I was the type of kid

The type that thought

Leaving pennies on the ground made me better

I was rich enough…I could afford it

My father was a different man

A blue collar man

A safe, secure, frugal man

He heard the coins as they hit the pavement

And he paused

Standing guard as a giant statue

Against any car that might hit me

Waiting for me to bend

And pick up my lost treasure

In the parking lot of the hardware store


But I didn’t stop

Brushing by his legs I continued

One step by and I was lifted from my feet

A powerful hand

A hand I had once watch break a crescent wrench in half

Turning a 9/16th bolt from beneath the neighbor’s station wagon

Earning extra money on the side to “keep us afloat”

This same hand now bunching material at my collar



And things were different

In a movement as smooth

As a dancer

And maybe as well practiced

I was over my father’s knee

Two quick swats

publically delivered to my surprised bottom

Not issued for pain

But rather for a point


“Who do you think you are?”

Was the question


Who did I think I was?

I was a kid who lived in a trailer

A kid who had never had a family vacation

A kid who shopped for school clothes and shoes

At K-Mart

A kid fed pot pies and TV dinners

Who did I think I was?

“All money has value son,

I worked for each of those coins

Each coin has value”


Like a good speech

The lesson

That followed the attention getter



And I only remember the name

Not a face or a real memory

Uncle Steve

My father’s older brother

Dead just the year before

In a war I had heard my father speak of often

A war he hated

Such a waste

Such a waste

He would repeat

His brother now amongst the long list

Of sons and brothers and fathers





And I bent to pick up the coins

Pausing with each to really look at them

Before tucking them away

As I looked up my dad was nodding his head

A slight smile

Moist eyes

The both of us...

To see rest you must order




He had real talent

They all said it

“Man, you are so talented”

“I wish I had your talent”

“What I could do with all that talent”

“Hey, don’t waste that talent”

The last one a mantra from his parents

Don’t waste your talent

 Don’t waste your talent



His talent became a yoke

Of unmet expectations

A silent obligation to “Do something big”

It was such a burden

His talent...

To see rest you must order





golf greens, lawns and landscaping drink their fill,

Spitting the excess to the glutteness gutters


Each flush of a toilet

and 3.5 gallons of fresh water disappears

minus what the dog has lapped up 



God’s gift to the planet


In Africa

The sewers filthy from feces pollute the water

Bacteria laden pools


as mothers and their children

gather round with dry cracked lips

And 21st century humans die of thirst


If they do drink


Desperate to survive just one more day

Just one more

Parasites ravage

The bloated bellies of babies

But so what

So what

that 1 in every 3

African child dies of diarrhea


100 billion pounds of food wasted each year in United States

more than 30% of Americans are obese


In Africa

A continent of land

yet no food is grown

Deprived of technology


And 21st century humans die of hunger

So what

6 million Africans to be exact


Diseased they die

Wars, genocide, forgotten landmines

And they die

Children with no legs, arms but worse…

No future

The statistics say they’ll be dead by forty


We try to turn the channel

When Sally Stuthers parades

Babies with flies flittering around encrusted eyes

We don’t want to see it.

To see rest you must order