Friday, June 20, 2008

What's Still True, Though Much Went Wrong

I'm leaving the content of this post blank intentionally, and ask that you consider its title and what it means to you.

I would be pleased if you were to use the comments function at the bottom of the post to write what for you is still true, though much went wrong.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Friday, April 18, 2008

On Expressing Feelings, or at Least Thanks

We need not be troubled by expressing our feelings,
So inherent to the human condition.
When used for good they have most ulnique powers;
Provide balance to thinking, an important addition.

There's more to wisdom than critical thinking.
Consider how feelings can play a role.
So long as they're shared authentically,
They often contribute to healing the soul.

We sometimes have need to exporess our love,
Though our words can be awkward and few;
Especially when we remember the past,
When feelings were raw, and little seemd true.

Try "thanks" to those who helped us get through.
In most of our life times that group is quite small.
But they are the ones who never withdrew,
And were there for us to soften the fall.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Children of Loss

No matter how much mates might suffer from loss
There often are others involved.
And when they're the children who helplessly watched
We soon learn that just one thing's resolved.

When the loss which they suffer is parents divorce
Depression sets in straightaway.
And the day that the judge grants the final decree
Is the start of more hell to pay.

No matter they know how the breach came about,
No matter what side they might take,
They did not sign up for the heart rending loss
Of their family, their lives, for God's sake.

It can take many years for those deep wounds to heal,
And each one must do it alone.
It's crucial to know that and give them the time
To forgive, perhaps never condone.

They might want connections with each of their parents;
Confused how to do that, move on.
Stay close to them, talk to them, write to them often,
Though knowing they might never respond.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

On Storms and Calms

What about storms,
The word which connotes extremes;
Conditions in which we are challenged
To survive, sometimes beyond our means?

And what about Calms,
The word which connotes peace;
Conditions in which we relax,
And pray it will stay that way - please?

But what about calms before storms;
And what about calms after storms?
Do we need both calms and storms;
Are there any such things as norms?

If we had all our druthers and wishes
Do we really want all peace and quiet?
Or do we need both calms and storms
To energize us, and not die yet?

A Metaphor for Partners

Two tall trees of different species
Growing side by side
Each with its own healthy root system
Meshing in the branches.

On Clouds

We all know what they are made of,
But tonight I learned bit more
From clouds about what I am made of,
As their shapes changed up on sky's floor.

I saw a disfigured face
And thought, it that possibly God?
When we think of Him in our image
Does He need to be perfect in bod?

Then my mind saw a beautiful woman,
So clear in her eyes and mouth.
Then the cloud changed of course, once again,
And part of her face had gone south.

And so what do we wish for and why,
When we inspect what's on other's neat shelves?
Can we ever accept imperfections,
Since they're clearly a part of ourselves?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fantasy and Reality

It has been for a long time,
In the first part of life,
That fantasy was more
Attractive than Reality,

Though somehow knowing
It was not the whole of me.

I'll try to forgive myself for that,
When reality provoked in me a spat.

In the second part of life
I will try on reality's hat.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nature and Us

Are we villains with no place
In Nature's world, quite out of grace?
We're inclined to want control;
Have other species pay a toll.

But our species is a part of this,
Result of Nature's contra kiss.
Should we condemn ourselves and pray;
Or is it not our lot to say?

We're prone to this when we've screwed up,
Feel unworthy, gulp the hemlock cup.
Can we let go of our way;
Forsake our goals; ask Nature's way?

Perhaps humility's the thing:
Ask what Nature has to bring.
The answer is, I might confess,
That Nature's here. She'll fix the mess.

Mother Nature doesn't care
That we messed it up , She'll still repair.
She'll work it out, time's no constraint;
She's just amused we'd want to taint,

Try to control. subject our world,
As is we're gods outside the fold.
We're only one part of this mess.
Which, in time, Nature will redress.

Friday, March 7, 2008


I've long thought that the pendulum is an apt symbol for life, how it describes, perhaps mockingly mimics, the swingings back and forth in life; feeling and thinking, losses and winnings, endings and beginnings, joys and sorrows.

Kay Redfield Jamison expresses it well: "We have then, within ourselves, the capacity for extremes that will serve us well on occasion and badly on others. These extremes encompass not only rage and aggression but sadness and ecstasy, inertia and frenzied states, dullness and exploration....". (Night Falls Fast, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1999, 178.)

I have considered my own experiences and those of others and express them here. The messages of my poems, and the writings of others included, reflect unsettled feelings. I hope by reading them you will gain and understanding of a process through which all humans go when trying to come to grips with loss and perhaps take heart that you are not alone when misfortune comes your way.

Consider the words of Maya Angelou: "On so many levels (poetry) strengthens a person. One thing it does is it tells the person that he or she is not out there alone; that there are other people who have felt that way and who are feeling that way. It takes away some of the bitterness of aloneness. We find that somebody(else) did love someone that much. Someone did feel that loss when he or she was exiled or abandoned".(Interview with Maya Angelou by Joe Burns, The Cape Codder, Orleans, MA, 2000.)

And consider a part of the message of Desiderata. "Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune." (Anonymous)

I have interspersed throughout this collection of poems and thoughts, excerpts from what I have found to be important writings of others to whom I have gone for insight during my own pendulum swings of life. I encourage you to read them in their entirety.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Who's That?

I feel so completely discarded,
Put away from the intimate world;
A banner removed and rolled tight,
Not waving, no longer unfurled.

I exist from each hour to hour,
Waiting for solace of night
Which brings freedom from much apprehension
Of the next back turned or a slight.

I've covered up deep-seated feelings,
And found work to make a small difference;
In a place of numbers and budgets,
Not affirming my spirit's existence.

Rewards come from being tough minded,
Thick skinned, hard nosed and objective.
I've learned these skills and am adequate,
Sometimes awkward, excessive, protective.

Though it's not really me that's exposed,
But a reflection trying to please
The powers that be to survive
In a world full of conflict, appease.

It's taken a toll on my being.
I'm sick in my heart and scared.
Those I've needed but hurt by withdrawal
Have given up, quite unprepared

To deal with a soul inauthentic,
A caricature of another;
An imitation, a fraud, a pawn,
When they wanted to be with a lover.

I'm so out of touch with the truth,
I admit I don't know the way back.
The world says, "Rely on yourself".
Who's that? I've lost him in fact.

Occasionally another has shared
That I've touched them in ways quite profound.
The settings are outside of business,
And encourage my staying around.

I long for a place and connections
Where that happens more often than not.
I have need for a guide who knows how
To help me to live, not to rot.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

On Intimacy

I can be gentle, understanding and warm

It seems.

Yet also distant, reflective

In dreams

Of what I thought my world should be,

Though lacking support and not led.

And didn't I wish I could keep it so,

In spite of what others have said.

I've spent many years thinking, obsessing,

Believing I knew a truth

Which would strengthen, protect me and guide me

O'er the countless days since youth.

But assaults have come on my borders,

So they've been somewhat drawn in;

A little close but comfortable,

Secure, once solid; now thin.

I need, desire and want you first friend

To teach me sustainable caring;

What I need to know and accept, so to be

More understanding, open and sharing.

So please cross over these borders

And share what you're willing to say.

Talk about us and what we've been through,

And why we should not throw it away.

We're so much alike, yet so different.

Can we know that and not make a fuss?

Learn from each other, share with each other,

Somehow be with each other, just us?

And back to my wishing for mendings

Which I hope we can talk about soon;

Our traditions and tendings, beginnings and endings.

Are you willing to give me some room

To be back in your life, so surprising?

I know you found strength to let go

When you thought I had exorcised caring,

But just needed to find new ways to grow.

On Why

We have met, and we both know how.
You have happened to me, and I think I know why.
Perhaps it's synchronicity, mysterious in itself;
Two lives, like Spode, stored safely on a shelf

But now needing to be needed, put back into use,
Risk being shattered.
Yes, if dropped, we could break,
But please use us, for God's sake.

Nothing Was Wrong

At first I acted like nothing was wrong,
And assumed my boys would support
The decision I made. At first they were strong,
And gave me a good report.

But reality reared its ugly head
As day gave way to day.
When I wasn't at home to tuck them in bed,
It sank in that I'd gone away.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Individual

We're never always sure
As we travel through existence
That the crew we started out with
Will share our same persistence

To complete the entire voyage
With us, though they'll surely finish
Perhaps with a different crew
Though the trip will not diminish

Rather it's expanded
Not in length but breadth
It might be far more crucial
To take soundings of new depth.

For all are on a voyage
And each one custom made
To the needs which must be met
If that voyage is to aid

The Individual's search
The meaning of the Quest
Though one will travel East
Another must choose West

It's actually not a mutiny
Though we often feel betrayed
What actually up for scrutiny
Is: Are our fears allayed

That we can keep on going
Though key support must change?
On whom are we relying
And who assists in range?

It's not often our decision
And feelings are not just
We must be open handed
With others who now must

Deal with other needs
As they make a new decision
For themselves and how they'll go
It's growth and not division

Which yields rewards, not limits
And all can gain though split
As each one ventures forth
From hard lessons comes new grit

Attachment has rewards
Though not to whom, but why
If we really love them so
We have to let them fly

And least for now it seems
They've given all they know
To this point at least that's clear
Now it's time for them to go

So with what are we left?
As for them it's their decision
The sharing that we had
Smiles at our vain derision

They had to make a choice
For them not versus us
To experiment still further
Try not to make a fuss

The Individual's All
And when All is added up
It's exponentially more
First we drain then fill the cup

Regret Not Me

The voice I hear is clearly thine
It whispers all of thee
I hear in it the laugh, the lilt
The love so deep in me.

I fear to call for might it cease
Since only Seasons know the peace
Which I shall seek
Till Time repairs

And yet while Winter has her way
I know my solace is to pray
That while we find ourselves apart
The days till Spring will fairly flee

From Winters muffled sounds I plea
And of you ask with answering heart
My love, my love,
Forget not me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Joker of Hearts

My Joker of Hearts is too large for myself,
So it's beat twenty years at your door.
It is smaller by half than the one in yourself,
But it knows you're the one we adore.

It wailed out on the morn
Of the day when I was born,
And today, at the world, it still cries.
It will stop, short, never to wail again
When the old man dies.

Many years without numbering,
Thumping, thumping;

A heart never slumbering,
Thumping, thumping.

It will stop short,
Never to wail again,
When the old man dies.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Poet Named Kat

I just met a poet named Kat
Who's as clever as Cat in the Hat.
She writes about creatures
With scurrilous features
Who don't always know where they're at.

One was a skunk Kat named Dot,
Whose unplanned excursion Dot got.
She woke up in Toronto
And more quickly than pronto
The locals welcomed her not.

And then there's the groundhop named Willy
Who provokes human actions quite silly.
Like Phil in the US
He's relied on to tell us
When winter will end, willy-nilly.

The irony to me is that Kat
Has more than just one favorite cat.
Just north of the border,
Of cats she's a hoarder.
Believe it not, that's that.