In-Depth Training With MFT Founder, Dr. Dennis B. Guernsey

Can’t say why I don’t see it, –
‘Can’t,’ and ‘don’t’ say it all perhaps.
Nobody tells me you’re the founder.
I’m too busy trying to learn it all.
Admissions must have received
Dr. Thomas Keith’s letter. Now who
do I thank for letting me inside Pasadena?

Psychology bent with theology.
Break out of all pre-subscribed
methodological boxes, you say.
Dear sir, reading all those chapters
in Job is teaching me to shut up right
and listen, to take notes, to, to
increase my inexpressive vocabulary.

I’m an original. Okay. I’m good enough.
Winnicott said so long ago. Who knew?
I’m underlining it. I’ll live by it, –
Meanwhile these trees grow in planters,
and where’s the ground? I’m from Kansas
City with brilliant instincts, – necessarily
flawed. Is that why I don’t see it?

You say, “If anybody wants to go
to the back of the room to take a nap,
it’s okay.” Get out of your plastic chairs.
Alright. Napping is a natural event.
Just like the backyard barbecue you throw,
swinging your kitchen cupboard door open
to scratch out more potato chips for us all.

You, of Christ’s body.
The tumor growing inside your brain.

[in memory of a genius teacher, gone too soon.
Dennis B. Guernsey] submitted to Real Toads

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13 thoughts on “In-Depth Training With MFT Founder, Dr. Dennis B. Guernsey

      1. After grad school I went on to become a “good enough mother.” Now I have to get a second Masters degree after my kids have grown in order to become a licensed school counselor. Another new beginning!

  1. So much pointed as well as subtle thought and commentary here. A number of times while reading I thought, How does the narrator really feel? (Well, in an acerbic way.) What was learned before matters and maybe should matter enough. Not that new knowledge is bad, but is everything presented now more valid simply for residing in now? The verse also shows impressive gleaning and sorting of what is important to have gotten in earlier times ’round. And if I’m wrong about all this, don’t tell me. No, do. I’m happy your teacher was a genius and you acknowledge his value as well as his life. Teachers cannot ask for more.

  2. Teachers are often the unsung heroes of one’s life – I am so glad you sang for your professor. This is an amazing accolade to his legacy.

  3. Loved the quiet intimacy of knowing here. I hope you were able to tell him before he passed. I found the son of my high school journalism teacher online and asked how I could connect with him. I wanted to thank him for seeing the seedling of talent and drive in me and nurturing it. I write in some part because of his belief in me in 1979. His son told me that Mr. Tomes died a few years earlier. Regret. Sending love yo way.

      1. El Dorado? In Placentia? That was where people moved if they could afford better than Fullerton. 🙂 Memories never get old. In my memories, I’m still 17, going on my first awkward dates. Ah, memories…

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