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Sunday, December 2, 2018

Truth

A beautiful dawn
breaks for me
as too many of my friends
live in twilight,
assured night will come,
soon enough.
The world could end
by lunchtime, but I’ll
leave this moment alone.
Let it breathe.
Allow it to flourish.
Grief will come in time,
in all its untidy dress,
complicated and deep,
feeling a lot like fear.
Before that, however,
lifelong friends may
think enough of each other
to lie once in awhile,
even as they traverse oceans and
mountains and valleys of emotion,
preparing for a final sunset,
certain there’s another way
to be in the world,
even without a remedy for death.
Uncomfortable as it is,
afraid as we are,
we can only listen to our breath,
find a calm corner inside,
engage with the world as it is right now,
and live with an open heart.
In the end, I think,
our lives are
simply stories,
the world proceeding
with its plan.

Poems and People

Poems are like people,
at least in some ways,
at least on some days,
improving sometimes,
(perhaps)
if they are treated 
to some nourishment,
a little touch up.
Not all poems are loved,
many are not noticed at all.
The same goes 
for far too many people,
and even those noticed 
are sometimes not remembered,
not as the poets
or those unseen people
would prefer.
Some poems are 
not allowed to grow old, 
(perhaps) 
tossed in a box,
or burned in a fire.
And not all people
grow old,
some get the box,
others the fire.
(perhaps both)
But here’s the truth.
All poems, all people,
merit attention.
Without it, they become
shadows of what or who
they were.
Lost.
Empty.
Starved.
Forgotten, except 
in our memories,
in the stories we tell of them,
in the words and nuances we recall.
So, add a comma,
or take one out,
but always, always
add a remembrance.
Then they’ll live forever.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

November Daily Zen’s

When I don’t like what I am painting, it’s not the canvas’ fault.

Just chill. Let yourself heal.

I only hang out with people who love me.

As long as you can sit quietly in a room, you’ll be alright 

Simplicity plus proportion. Balance matters.

Living spiritually requires patience
Peace will prevail

If you want satisfaction, you need to heed those last six letters 

Speak your truth, but do so kindly

You can’t fake success. Talent will out.

It’s not about acquiring. It’s about expanding and sharing.

Relax. Take a little time for the truth.

If you are going to get stuck somewhere, make it in your dreams, not your worries 

When a tree dies, plant another

May loving thought prevail

Must every decision for something also be a decision against?

Reality is simply there. How you see it is something else.

One can always depend upon the kindness of home cooks.

How far I have come. How wonderful this life is.

I’ve made many mistakes but none of them involve loving too much

Whenever I look in a mirror, I smile. Sometimes I laugh. I’m funny that way.

Foreign objects enter oysters and make pearls. How it is with my scars.

I am not a Buddhist. I simply choose to not argue with reality 

If you are at ease, write. If you are uneasy, write more.

Create or perish

Love your life, do good works, be kind, trust your gut, and keep in touch

First pave the road, then start the car.

Integrity is a road without end, a mountain without a top.


I am not squeezing every drop out of my life. I am, however, caressing it.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Fall Clothes

Nice Threads, Mate

is something no one
has ever said to me,
and they probably 
never will, you see,
I’m a tee-shirt kinda guy,
put on the pants
I took off last night,
can’t be bothered about
how I look, really can’t,
try as hard as I might.
I don’t focus on my looks,
just make sure to,
brush my teeth, 
wash my hair.
Is that so wrong for
an old guy like me?
I mean, what’s it matter,
why should I care?
A simple approach is
the one I chose, 
as my joy has nothing 
to do with my clothes,
so it’s tee-shirts and chinos,
maybe shorts, for me.
They work fine.
The too-warm mornings 
of summer are gone now,
but autumn still sleeps a bit, 
not quite awake,
not quite ready for her big hurrah.
We are well past the solstice, 
but she’s still young,
and I am satisfied to 
comfortably capture bits
of  breezy brilliance,
enlivened by the simple 
pleasure of it all,
commonplace as it may seem,

grateful for this good day.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Candles


For a Simple Guy, One Small Thing

Not for me, the grand concepts.
I mean, I know that poverty
is cyclical or situational,
but that guy on the corner?
He just wants a sandwich,
maybe a beer.

Not for me, the great concerns.
I mean, I know that orphans exist,
and child care’s too costly,
but that girl on the swing?
She just needs a push,
maybe a hug.

Not for me, the larger issues.
I mean, I know the snowcap is melting,
but insomnia won’t help.
All I can do is turn off some lamps,
light one little candle, and hope others do too,
that the sum of the candles will light up the globe,
maybe my life.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Veterans Day 2018


Being a part of the community of veterans, especially the veterans of foreign wars, is both an honor and a duty, with a sacred obligation to past, current and future generations of our country’s warriors, its protectors, and I do not take it lightly. Veterans’ missions did not end with their active military service. They all remain steadfast in their comradeship with one another, even while at home, awaiting further orders. Many of them have dealt with and continue to deal with illness and injuries which changed them and their place in the world. For some, the pain has not ended. For others, as many as twenty each day, the agony was too great to continue in their current bodies, in their current life. Now, those of us who have found ways to live in peace, in Spirit’s hands, must be a shining example, a lamp of hope, a light at the end of the tunnel. It is the least we can do. We all know what war costs, whether we were in battle or not. We all know that memories linger and, unless we continue with courage and find a way to change our thinking about the past, the pain will persist. The nightmares will continue. The burden which our friends and families must share will grow. We joined the military for different reasons, some were drafted, many volunteered. After boot camp, however, we all learned that we had become part of a new family, one bigger than our previous, solitary lives. We had become larger than before. We mattered, and others depended upon us. It is no different now, even for those of us who long ago qualified for our AARP cards. I have, personally, lived with pain and turmoil, found some answers, still seek others. I do not, however, regret even one day of it. Not anymore. In my middle years, regret, remorse, shame and anger ruled the day. Now, the fog has lifted. While some of the pain lingers, I have no doubt nor confusion about the special gifts which military service afforded me. Whether I like it or not, I am now duty bound to ensure that all veterans are appreciated, all wounded heroes are cared for, and that all invisible injuries are brought into the light of day, so that treatment can be provided. The value which I take from camaraderie with my brothers and sisters does not have a number. It is incalculable. I hope to plant the seeds of appreciation, honor, encouragement and sustenance for the rest of my life. It’s a lot to do, so I’d best get with it. I know that I am not alone in these goals. Many institutions, associations and individuals are doing so much more than I will ever accomplish, yet even though I am like a single raindrop in an ocean, I will continue to find the drive to be of help, to do my part. My brothers and sisters, the veterans, deserve nothing less.

Costumes

Summer’s Final Breath

Here in the true southwest,
summer has departed, but 
autumn’s full arrival awaits,
offstage, in the wings, 
visible but not yet tangible.
Down here, near to both
Mexico and the ocean,
autumn chooses her colors
slowly, carefully,
not combining just any hues,
until one morning in
early November,
as the sun creeps over 
Mount Woodson,
she decides to show herself.
Her outfit is muted,
unlike the garish gear 
of early summer,
more suited to satisfaction
than excitement.
For that, we must turn to
the migrating flocks,
the departure of the tourist families,
the return of the Snowbirds,
and the squawks of the crows on
their daily trips to and from the dump.
For a simple guy,
whose joy has nothing 
to do with clothes, 
this is all good.