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Running with Two Outs



Three and Two Count

Jeremiah 23:23-24: “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far away? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord, “And do not I fill heaven and earth?”

I don’t know if you like baseball, but I do. Notice that I said, ‘like,’ not ‘adore,’ ‘can’t live without,’ or ‘must have above all else.’ Obviously, I have to do without the game in the off season, and while I might be gloomy about that at time, I do manage to survive somehow until the next season starts. I’m not a big enough fan that I would miss a daughter’s wedding for a game, largely because I would want to be on this earth a while longer. We heard of someone who didn’t come to his daughter’s wedding because a football game was being played that he said he wouldn’t miss, and he didn’t. And no, he didn’t win Father of the Year for that.

One situation in baseball that I like happens when there are one or more men on base with two outs and a count of  three balls and two strikes on the batter. The runners know they can start running on the next pitch because one of a limited number of events can occur. The batter may strike out and the inning is over, or the batter may foul a pitch off and the inning continues, or the batter may walk and the inning continues, or the batter may get a hit, possibly scoring one or more of the runners. What these situations have in common is that the runners are safe in running, provided they don’t fall down between bases. In other words, the situation takes care of itself.

It occurred to me that God takes care of every situation, regardless of what has happened or what will happen. All that we have to do is confess our sins and believe that God is our salvation, and that’s it. It’s as easy as praying that simple prayer. And when we do, we know we can run through this life with confidence, knowing that we can come home standing up with no problem.  Thanks be to God for being present at all times and in all circumstances, and for the gift of Jesus Christ, who redeemed us by his death on the cross and who knows about and takes care of every situation, especially those when the count is three and two. Amen.


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Poem for the Last Day of National Poetry Writing Month



April Calendar Page

On this last day of April

I am writing

My last poem for this month

Of writing poetry

(A month observed by hundreds of


And I find myself wondering

How I have written 30 poems

During this month

Because the rest of the year

I am awash in prose:

Novels, articles, devotionals and

Short stories.

I can’t write a poem each day

For more than one short month.

I will write some verse occasionally

In the coming year, but

That’s all,

Although I suspect that my Erato

Is merely hidden,

Reclining at her ease

Waiting for another time

Another place


Another month of



Dan Verner

April 30, 2017

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The Quieting of an Audience




In my seat in the still lit

Auditorium, I hear around me

Fragments of conversation

From others who have come

For this show: “I swore I’d

Never go back there,”


“I enjoyed seeing my

Grandchildren this past week,”

“I’m so excited that she

Got the part,”

And so on for five minutes,

A convivial hubbub permeates

The room, sounding like a

Wave gathering and ebbing

On a sandy shore.

The lights blink, once, twice, three times,

And those standing find their seats,

And conversations finish, women

Straighten in their seats, and men’

Look at their programs

One last time and

As the lights dim to darkness

Silence, creeps across these

Assembled souls

Awaiting song

Awaiting beauty

Awaiting a revelation

As the earlier sound

Diminishes past the point

Of hearing.

All is silent and then

Another kind of conversation


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On Not Knowing What I’m Doing (Again)


Queaton Mark 2

You see, it’s like this:

Sometimes when I’m singing in choir

And I’m singing my (tenor) part

I can’t tell that I’m singing a part.

I am so accustomed to being part

Of the harmony that

The melody seems strange

To me.

And I think how ironic

This is because when I first

Sang in choir, I couldn’t

Read music and found

The other parts distracting

As I tried to sang mine.

I often sang the melody

Instead of a part

And now, decades later,

I find the melody

Strange and I can scarcely tell

When I’m singing

My part or not.


Dan Verner

April 29, 2017

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Paradox for the Day




To Do List

When I want to remember something,

I write it down so that, of course,

I don’t forget.

If I don’t make a note,

I remember,

But the very act of writing it down

Makes me remember,

So, here’s the paradox:

If I write it down,

Then I will remember

Even without looking

At my note.

So, in a sense,

The note becomes unnecessary

Except that if I don’t make a note,

I forget, so writing it down is both

Necessary and unnecessary to


Does that make sense?

It does to me.


Dan Verner

April 28, 2017

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When we were younger,

And our mother used to take us

To a three-story department store

In Clarendon, she knew that she could

Leave me at the escalators while

She shopped and my brother

Stayed with her. I loved riding

Those moving staircases and would ride

Up to the top floor and back

Down again over and over again.

I suppose it was the motion

Or the freedom of being left to

Entertain myself or riding

The wooden treads (the lower flights

Were metal) that went to

The top floor and imagining

That as I rose, I was going back in time.

Or this: when I went down

The escalator at the Woodley Park/

Zoo station of the Metro years ago,

I could not see the bottom and I thought

As I came down

I would meet my younger self




Dan Verner

April 27, 2017

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Feeding the Cat (A Haiku)


Dilute Tortie

She cries for her food

But then stops when it comes and

We are both happy.


Dan Verner

April 26, 2017


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