Category Archives: Prose and Poetry

This Garden of Living and Dying

There is a quiet
among the plants in my garden
in early day of Summer

Unlike the closed-in warmth-conserving
heaviness of Winter,
this quiet has a rhythm all its own

In the Spring the energy of growth
pushing up and out
brings tentative shoots
raising their sleepy heads

But by the time of early Summer
there has already been much
birthing of newness and
the slow fading away of aging blooms

There is a settling into this sequence
of the pulsing of new life in one spot
followed by a curling into itself
in another

A time of both living and dying
repeated over and over,
a rhythm that continues into
the chill of Autumn

Would that we could ride these waves
of living and dying 
with less angst 
and more like these flowers in my garden.


Filed under Prose and Poetry

Another Day of Murder

Nineteen children this time dead
We are not at war
We’re just having a normal day 
sending our kids to school

Something is terribly wrong
when nineteen children
don’t come home and 
are shot to pieces instead 

So what the fuck do you think that is?

It’s not mental illness  
It’s not that we don’t love our children
It’s about making money and
preserving power

What will it take for us
to realize that we really can be 
a loving and compassionate people?
How to turn from the direction we are heading?

What medicine cures the sickness
now afflicting our politics?
How to make politicians realize 
it’s in their interest to do whatever works
to prevent further mass murder 
of children?
It sickens me even to ask these questions.

The answers cannot be to sell or 
buy more guns
We are not going to ask that 
teachers be armed
because no one else is standing up 
to protect our children.

Nor can it be just offering 
thoughts and prayers
There were 78 incidents of gun violence
in our schools this year 

The answers are really quite easy
We know what works to limit gun violence
but it means electing politicians who
think that controlling gun violence
is worth the effort.

Difficult to imagine that this 
would be a challenge for them
or that it would not be worth doing

But there it is.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Prose and Poetry

We Are Little People

After all the seeming of our trying
In an effort to make ourselves big
and more important, more powerful
more of whatever is more than what we have
or what we are now

We are still little people
who are mortal.

Every effort to compare and judge,
each time we throw ourselves into
competition with another,
whatever we think we've won

We are still little people
who are mortal.

When we objectify others,
when we engage in war on them,
when we rape, torture or kill

We become even smaller,
less significant and
still very mortal.

Want to know 
what makes us bigger?
Basically Compassion and Insight
are the tools that work best

Compassion because it enlarges
our Heart-Mind to include
all other beings

Insight because it grows
our perception and understanding
of how to be in relation with
ourselves, all other beings
and the Earth

And that I believe is
how we may change from
always showing up as little people

And sets us each on the path to
become a Bigger Person
though we still be mortal.


Filed under Prose and Poetry

But the Children…

A Ukrainian child died tonight.

An abrupt shattering of a young life
We should all mourn this sweet soul

But before tears fall for this one innocent

Look again - 
There's another shot and killed,
one who has starved to death,
another raped and murdered.

And more. Sadly many more.

How many you ask.
More than enough
One is too many and 
none can be explained away.

How to explain the Corrupt Power that
causes this to happen?
What kind of hate kills children?

I want to ask the Russian soldiers -
What do you get from killing children?
What is your reward?
Do you really believe these are child Nazis?
Do you have children of your own?

I was a child during the Cold War times
We hid under our desks in school during drills
 preparing us for a nuclear attack.

I recall thinking if I could just 
talk to Khrushchev
I might make him understand
such a war should never be

A child's fantasy

Now in this time of Hot War

I see that Corrupt Power
does not listen to children
Corrupt Power does not listen
to anyone
Corrupt Power hears only
the hollow echo of its own voice.

A Ukrainian child died tonight.
Photo by Derek French

1 Comment

Filed under Prose and Poetry

The Intensity of Resolve

I can feel the energy of the words 
as I write this title
as well as the weight they carry

It's the energy of life and 
living from a place of intention
It's the way I wake up every morning
It's what I lay aside every night

It's having a purpose even when
I'm not certain what that is
It's the solid ground within 
where seeds are sprouting

It's even the doubting middle of the night voice
that must be hushed back to sleep
It's what my heart knows to be true
even when my mind says otherwise

And I love that I get to be all these parts of me
driven by the intensity of resolve
in living this fearsome and 
amazing life.

Don't you?

Leave a Comment

Filed under Prose and Poetry

Speaking in Flowers

Soon enough I will be speaking in flowers
Temperatures are shifting and
I've seen the stems of daffodils
poking through
Won't be long now

But there is no war happening here
I can sleep undisturbed by
Death dropping from the sky

I can walk the streets and
not fear vehicles of war 
blocking my way

I don't need to seek shelter 
And God help me I don't have to
take up arms to defend my country

Yet my friends in Ukraine must do just that

They be brave in ways 
you can't imagine
I know they are a strong and
passionate people

I think of the woman offering sunflower seeds
to the Russian soldiers
She urges them to put the seeds
in their pockets 

At least Sunflowers will grow when
they all lie down here

Then they are the ones
who will be speaking in flowers

And what will they say?

Sorry for invading your country
Sorry for bringing war to your doorstep
Sorry we were just doing our job

Sorry that what you have left 
are these flowers.


Filed under Prose and Poetry

Ground Work

Rememberings of this year past
carry some weight 
and make it difficult
to leap into the new year

Does it help that we assign 
these demarcations
dividing our lives 
into segments?

Does it ease our path going forward
or is it simply about
giving ourselves another chance
to make things right?

Do we get to wipe the slate clean
and write a new story
Or are there other ways
to bring the Past into the Present?

I’d like to think the Past
provides some ground work - 
In an almost literal way 

Living necessitates that we 
process what’s past so that
it becomes fertile soil
for regeneration
Life isn’t the linear path we expected

It does, thankfully,
offer us a richness of opportunities
to work the soil
while we play in the dirt.


Filed under Prose and Poetry

Deep Time

In the time before Time
when Earth was raw
and Life was beginning…
Can you imagine that far back?

It might be good for your perspective 
to try
It might help reduce 
the angst that you feel
in your body

You know what I’m talking about.

A science teacher once told me
that if you stand with you arms
And consider the timeline
of earth’s formation this way -

Say the birth of our planet happens 
at the tip 
of the middle finger 
of your left hand
and all the eons of growing and
developing occur along the timeline
of your outstretched arms;

then the life of humans on Earth
from the dawn of us until now,
on that same timeline,
would occupy just the tip 
of the fingernail 
of the middle finger
of your right hand.

All that history has preceded us,
and Earth will survive with or without us.
There are no guarantees.
But we have evolved in the way that
Earth’s energy has 
of moving life forward

We are an extension of 
and dependent on 
this world around us 

That’s it. That’s all there is.
And you can absorb that in a way
that makes you feel small 
and insignificant,
Or you can revel in the
beauty of it -
being connected to and
dependent on such an awesome planet.

The choice is up to you.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Prose and Poetry

Posture and Presence

 How I hold myself
 is never simply a matter
 of body and bones and muscle
 It is also subject to 
 what’s happening in my mind and
 what I’m feeling in my heart
 How am I being present to myself?
 Am I grounded and centered
 or caught up in some mind story?
 Am I feeling the heat of emotion 
 pulling at my heart?
 Do I feel my feet on the ground?
 Am I focused on difficulties
 and challenges that 
 lead me to “I can’t?”
 Or can I simply be present to what is
 and trust that I am really at home
 in this body
 And then settle into myself in a way
 that expresses the knowing 
 that posture arises out of presence.
 Because the possibility of being 
 truly present is
 what we have each moment
 of every day and
 every tomorrow as well. 


Filed under Prose and Poetry

How We Heal

 Ever really notice
 how the body heals itself?
 A cut or bruise or broken bones
 over time will be made whole  
 And even when the healing 
 results in a body that feels less than whole
 and we sense the loss of what used to be
 We can choose to move forward 
 This body knows what to do
 If we allow it
 And while we may complain 
 about how long this healing takes
 We can also trust that it will somehow 
 do the best it can 
 So what I wonder is
 why we often fail to trust
 the healing of wounds 
 to our heart
 Or the list of damages 
 our mind holds onto
 sometimes year 
 after year 
 Why not trust our heart-mind
 to make us whole or
 move us forward toward
 a place of equanimity?
 But always 
 and only 
 if we allow it     

1 Comment

Filed under Prose and Poetry