Jump Start

I feel the pounding in my heart

The music is the pacemaker that

starts my heart pounding again. . .

A mystical experience in the midst

of a dark, smoky Crowded House?

How ridiculous!


I let the music take over my body

As the crows evaporates.

All I could hear was the music.

Feel the beat of the drum

My body sways back

My arms wrap around me.


The lights come on and

I am surrounded

by strangers.

Where is my friend,

the cool darkness of night?

Outside the door,

I breathe again,

And the heat speeds away

from my body.

Dissapating into the cold night air.


Alone and safe,

The music begins again.

I journey inward while

The music follows like a

faithful companion.

The night sky

streaked with clouds

Delights my senses

As the music stirs

through my existence

and ignites my Soul.


15 April 1994


Loving You As You Age

Dear —

I know right now you’re going through a lot of changes and they can’t be easy for you; things that you used to do before are now more difficult. They take more energy, they take more thought, they even may take more skill than you have right now. And I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry that the process of aging strips us from so much. We lose friends over time. We lose a job that we’ve done all our lives and therefore much of our identity that went along with that job. We start to feel that the world doesn’t need us anymore. That what we have to offer, to teach, to share, just doesn’t mean anything and that has got to be strangely isolating and scary and I would think from time to time that you might be wondering so what’s next.

I feel that pain and though I don’t know what it’s like to be older and aging or losing my capacity for doing things I’ve done all my life, I do know what fear and change and chaos I’ll feel like. I know what it’s like to have the feeling of not being needed or that your voice doesn’t matter, or even that you don’t matter. I know what it feels like to have someone tell you that you don’t know what you’re talking about or that your ideas are outdated. As I sit and watch you, I wonder if maybe you’re having those feelings right now?

My heart opens and I can feel sadness for what’s going on right now. It’s not easy to be compassionate for ourselves when we’re feeling so bad. It’s not easy to be compassionate to one another when every day hassles seem to become bigger and more difficult to cope with. But instead of frustration or fear, I propose that we handle these things with love.

You know, maybe the kind of love that we were never given as kids. Maybe the kind of love we never found in our life. Or maybe the kind of love we’re not even sure we are capable of giving. But just love and acceptance for what’s going on and compassion for any pain that there might be, whether it be physical or mental or emotional or even spiritual.

Let today be the day that this gets turned around, that we give more love and more patience, more deep breaths, and even more sighs, if they’re able to bring into the here now and be present to each other.

So starting now I vow to give you more love than I feel like I ever received from you.


Just when I was getting accustomed

to the unimaginable ideas

of bizarre triangles

of all shapes,

I soon realized that this is

not the problem.

The problem is,

in fact,

the circles

that never end. . .

They just keep tempo with the

melody that happens to be

playing at the moment.


The melody that seduces you into believing

any thing. . .

any lie. . .

any hope. . .

The rhapsody that moves you,

fills your lungs with fire,

sends you pirouetting toward the edge.

The mournful chorus that sends

your heart plunging to the rocks below.


But can I,

in good faith,

place the blame on a song?

on a shape?

Can I lay responsibility at

your feet and then walk away?


The triangles may have fallen

into place by circumstance.

But we have the onus

to break the cycles

before we,


shatter. . .

15 January 1994


First Encounter

I enter into the windy chamber

I sit, dutifully and take my place.

Waiting, watching, discreetly.

You enter my view.

I try not to stare.

To glance your way. . .

          But I do.

I smile and look away hurriedly,

afraid to meet your glance

You parade before me,

my heart begins to panic.

I try not to look interested,

to concentrate on my scrolls.

to seem cool and aloof outside.

But my true feelings burn —

like white heat inside.


30 January 1992



At the hospital again…

Today’s poem was written 23 years ago as my brother was living with HIV… today, I sit with my dad, in the cardiac unit of our local hospital. My mom is having a procedure. That’s what happens when your parents are close to 80. I hate it. It reminds me of being a kid, waiting for my grandfather to have his heart worked on…. but today is different. My mom’s doctor listened to her when I asked her to make an appt and within three weeks time, we had an assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. So grateful for all that.

But I’m keenly aware of the elderly gentleman sitting across from us, with his older daughter. They, too, wait for their beloved to be out of her procedure. But they’ve gotten phone calls, others doctor’s offices, the word oncologist, hands covering a mouth or shielding eyes. Stone sober glazed glances. “It’s going to be so hard on her.” My heart sinks for them and I’m near tears; not for my mom but for the depth of pain that is palpable in the room.

Whomever you are, dear family, you are not alone. I wish you peace, comfort, and strength. I wish for you sustaining food, deep breaths, restful sleep. I wish for that unfound balm that soothes the most broken of hearts.

Do you do metta on the spot? What do you wish for others who are experiencing unimaginable pain?

Take gentle care.

Lines written at the Hospital

I am here,

sitting cross-legged

on your bed,

staring out and seeing nothing —

except you lying in your bed

at the hospital.


I see your old

faded teddy bear

on your dresser.

I wish you were

that wide-eyed child

in awe of the mysteries

of the world.


The crisp white blanket

and the chambray sheets

on your bed

are rough against my skin.

I pull my knees to my chest

and rest my head

against my knees.


I do not think I have ever felt

such pain in my Soul.

I used to think it was

empty and dark


but now it aches

from seeing you hurt so

body mangled and distorted.


My mind is numbed

by the thought of your pain

and the strength you have

to go on, despite the pain.


My heart sinks when

I think of how

you have hated this life

so much that it led you to this.

But what keeps you

chained to this shallow existence?


I have been told

time and again

that love heals all things;


my past, future, and present

are ever-affected by

your presence in my life.

How can healing begin when

you will not let my love

seep deep within your being?


Spring 1994

Lines written while grieving


Independence Day

I have started to feel the effects of “industrialized nations” that have as a main asset, not the person but computers and technology — swift and fold.  We are no longer knows as Jim or Janet but a nine digit number.  The hearts of office workers are as cold and sterile as the offices where they work.

What dis-ease!  Everyone is a cheap imitation of the next pseudo-fashion statement “dreamt” but stolen from “fashion magazines”.

Is it all really necessary?  People push buttons, write down numbers, make phone calls, but it all seems so meaningless.  Life would still go on without insurance, without sports, magazines, and without real estate.  But how?

People need water, food, shelter, and love.  Ahh, the one necessity we (almost all) cannot seem to find — no matter how long we travel, no matter what we learn.

Yes, the rest is nice, but what happens to people when things fall. . . stock markets, bankrupt companies, cities, or corrupt governments?

3 July 1991

completed 23 April 1994