Practicing at a Church I Usually Don’t Go To – A Short Short Poem




Judgment at Church


Practicing at a Church I Usually Don’t Go To – A Short Short Poem


She is walking out of church with very long legs and very short shorts.

I am behind her, noticing, with a remnant, a wafting of judgment,

That I discard and think instead,

You are wonderful, as are your friends, and I love you.


The End


Drawing and Poem by Marty Coleman


What Does Your Pain Demand? – Pain and Suffering #4


I demand that today show #4 in my Pain and Suffering series!


Pain and Suffering #4


When I was in the hospital back in the 70s I discovered three very annoying facts about recovering from burns.  

  1. The procedures for recovery hurt far more than the initial burn.
  2. That the pain increases, not decreases, every day until you are ready for skin grafts.
  3. You can’t rush getting to the skin graft part.

In my case it took 5 weeks until I was ready for the grafts. During that time I had twice a day whirlpool baths at about 110º to 120º.  After the soaking I had the dead skin taken off , sometimes pretty indelicately, by various nurses.  Where the dead skin was didn’t hurt, but for them to get that skin off the had to work from the edges of it, which meant they were constantly going over the edge and touching the part of my body where there was no skin, only nerves.  Sometimes I would have been given a pain killer but often that pain killer had not taken affect when this procedure took place.  This hurt.

Breaking to Heal

The nurses would then put on a cream called Sulfamylon. This cream burned. It burned worse than the burns.  This hurt. They would then cover my body with gauze, wrap me up good and off I would go to Physical Therapy. 

In Physical Therapy the most important thing, besides maintaining my overall strength,  was to make sure the Keloid scars didn’t grow so as to restrict my movements in the future. To avoid this my therapy consisted of stretching as much as I good, which in turn meant breaking open whatever was starting to heal too tight.  This hurt. 

I would then have about 10 or so hours until the procedure repeated itself later that day.

Growing Pain

Now here is the kicker.  When you are burned your nerves endings are either burnt or retract.  On day one of your treatment your nerves are not recovered and you only feel so much.  But each day your nerve endings come back just a bit.  Which means you feel more, not less, pain as the recovery makes its way.  What this does to one’s mind is to keep it from thinking ahead.  Not only are you focused, obviously, on the immediate pain, but you are also pretty much incapable of imagining life in the future.  The constant pain contracts your ability to imagine.  For example, I remember at one point during my stay, in September, someone saying something about January and the new year. I just looked at them and said, ‘I don’t really believe January will ever come.’ In my mind I could not see ahead because the pain was too great and was only growing greater.

Your Pain

I know a lot of friends in pain right now. Many in the throes of divorce, others due to physical pain, some are just emotional wrecks over everything being up in the air in their lives.  It sucks for them right now and I feel for them. But I also know something, and I know it from very real experience.  January does come.  Healing does come.  Life will not always be the life you are experiencing right now. If you can’t envision a future without your pain, then just take a chance and trust me.  Believe my experience second hand.  You will get through it.


Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman

Quote by John Green, 1977 – not dead yet, American author



Wounds Teach – Pain & Suffering #3


Guess what? You are going to have to suffer through day #3 of my ‘Pain and Suffering’ series, that’s what!


Pain and Suffering #3



You know what I never hear or read? This:  “Man, I just listened to a lecture about watching out for back stabbing people who pretend to be your friend and I am totally never going to let that happen now that I heard that.  Lesson learned! “

A Lot

You know what I do hear and read a LOT? This: “Man, someone I thought was my best friend just completely stabbed me in the back. I trusted her and now I realize I shouldn’t have.  I am hurt bad but I am never going to let that happen to me again. Lesson learned!”

Lesson Learned

Intellect doesn’t breed transformation, experience does.


Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman

Quote by Brian Herbert, 1947 – not dead yet, American Author and Kevin J. Anderson, 1962 – not dead yet, American author


Our Bloodmoon Connection


There had to be a million or so people around the globe watching and photographing the Bloodmoon last night.  I was one of them.  





My friends on Facebook seemed very happy when I posted these.  I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you, the Napkin Kin, also are happy that I posted here. Of course, they, and you, could go to a thousand other better photographers’ websites or social media sites and see much better photos of the moon.  Why did they respond with comments like “Marty: Thank you for capturing this. Now I am happy. I was sad, that I missed it.”?  I think it’s because relationship connections are what it’s about.  Evette, who posted that comment, knows me. She knows I posted this to share with her and my friends. That means something to her. I am not a magazine, I am not a photo agency, I am not removed from her. I am connected.




It’s no different than when a friend of mine gets to go to a special event. If I see photos they took of it or read their description and feelings about the event, I feel connected. I am happy and grateful they shared it with me. I am experiencing it with them and through them.  It’s not the same as just any old photo of the event by a stranger. 




Linda mentioned as we were looking at the moon how many others on the planet were looking at the same thing at the same time.  It’s an amazing thought.  What takes that thought to the land of happy wonder for me is how many of my friends around the globe either saw it or felt connected by seeing my photos of it.




I think we live on a pretty cool orb. I love that we have been blessed to be conscious of it and intelligent enough to explore it, and the universe beyond, together.  Knowing there is friendship and love at that heart of it all gives all that wonder and awareness the greatest meaning and value in my book.


Picking Your Pain – Pain and Suffering #2


I am picking today to be #2 in the Pain and Suffering series.


pick your pain - pain and suffering #2

Pick Your Pain

I pick my scalp.  My father did as well.  My mother and sisters would tell him not to.  My wife and daughters do the same to me on occasion. My response? I don’t stop for long. Why? Because I like picking my scalp. I like picking because I like the little bit of feeling, the pain, attached to it, among other things.

Picking a scab might lead to infection, it might bleed a bit too much. We all get that, but we do it anyway. Why? Because we like it. We like the pain because we know it is controlled. We know the pain won’t kill us (the infection might, yes, but the pain won’t). We know it will only go so deep. It’s the same reason we press a bruise or a sore spot on our body after we have exercised hard. We are testing the pain, seeing how painful it is. And that pain feels good because we know we can relieve the pain easy enough by just stopping.

Choose, Self-inflict, Repeat

Why are we so ready to repeat pain but not pleasure? To me the answer is simple, we don’t have any guilt with pain.  Pleasure can make us feel indulgent, selfish.  But how can you feel indulgent and selfish when you are feeling pain? It isn’t nearly as likely.  

That’s why we have so many quasi-martyrs in the world who love to advertise their suffering.  That’s why the ‘fruits of the spirit’ in the bible include ‘long-suffering’ but not ‘long-pleasuring’. We don’t unleash moral condemnation on pain and suffering, do we.

True Danger

There are times when self-inflicting pain really is dangerous and life threatening though.  Self-loathing and self-hating can lead to inflicting pain that can have permanent and even fatal consequences.  Sometimes to others as well as yourself.  I wish I had the answer as to way we do that.  All I know is it’s way too frequent among those I love.

What are your thoughts on it?


Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman

Quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1896-1940, American author