Thursday, December 7, 2017

Free of Sin

Free of Sin 

There are little birds that fly and perch
And chirp and sing out loud.
The wind is blowing through the leaves
And chasing waves on grass.
I hear the sounds as water flows
Along the little creek.
It rushes and it idles, swirls,
As frogs and insects leap.

The fish are splashing in that creek
And swimming in the pond.
The clouds are sailing through the sky
Of hues of blue above.
Who cares, on such a day as this,
While blinking in the sun,
For all the things for which this race
Of humans madly run?


The thoughts I thought upon that day,
The feelings that I felt,
Have risen in my mind today
And help me live again.
I remember sights and sounds
And scents—and on my skin
The touch of air and rain and sun—
And all that rain cleared day.

I saw the raindrop as it shone,
Suspended from a leaf.
I saw the rainbow in the sky,
While breathing in and out.
How pleasant was that air, that warmth
Of sun upon my skin.
In such a trance as that, it seemed
This world was free of sin.

2017 December 7th, Thu.
Brooklyn, New York

Sunday, November 26, 2017



When sense and nonsense are so intermixed
That their untangling isn't worth our while,
We either then can make yet more of knots,
Or else can shake our heads and sadly smile.

So wisdom here resides in prudence, yet,
Too often, we attempt such tasks in vain—
For being mortals, we in time forget
And so repeat our errors once again.

And so it is with much that dogs our days,
As lessons we should earlier have learned
Appear to us as new, and so we make
The same mistakes and yet again are burned.

So some are not content with peace and try
To then procure such things as lead to war.
And those of wisdom and of heart may cry
Out loud—but cannot change how humans are.

Futility!  We meet you, by and by,
No matter what our gifts or fortunes be.
And some may meet you early, others late,
But you are always there, for those who see.


And yet, too easily, your children turn
To refuge in your bosom, spurning those
Who seek redress or cure for all the things
That need addressing in this world of woes.

They might have found, instead of you, that Hope
Or Faith or Courage that have given birth
To all endeavors that had sought for light
Amidst the darkness of afflicted Earth.

And let us pray that there's a balance still
Between that prudence that might save our lives
And that rebellion that is needed when
We find ourselves constrained in manmade hives.

You are the earth to which we all descend—
The dust that fills the mouths of those who die
As they are felled in battlefields or beds.
And yet, I draw my breath and say, “You lie.”

2017 November 26th, Sun.
Brooklyn, New York

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Be Again as Fools

Be Again as Fools
We've had enough of gizmos and of new, addictive apps.
We’re thirsting now for teatime with the old, familiar chaps.
We're weary of this slaving that enriches banks yet more.
We'd like to switch from racing ‘round to walking, nice and slow.
We'd love to be like puppies and like kittens. Dogs and cats
Are better at this living than our modern human rats.

We sit all day in cubicles. When home, we're staring still
At glowing screens that make us dull and also make us ill.
We're penned within our cities—where we cannot see the stars.
We live in violent "peace"—and then we die in needless wars.
We scurry and we're anxious, lacking time for grief and love.
We cannot feel the ground below or see the sky above.

Let us be no more as rodents that are trapped in metal cages.
Let us touch the trees as primates that had known them through the ages.
Let us sit beside the ocean or the stream or lake or pond.
Let us look and let us listen. Let our hearts be gentle, fond.
Let us weep—and join in wailing. Let us sing and let us dance.
Let us plan—and see our planning turned to nonsense then by chance.

Let us smile and join in laughter. Let the sun and rain and air
Then sweep away the prisons that we've built from lack of care.
Let us cease then with our buying. Let us savor night and day.
Let us open up our purses, so our savings blow away.
Let us leave the mines and offices, the factories and schools.
Let us free ourselves from Mammon, and then be again as fools.

We are tired of being clever as we're driven with the herd.
Let us feel the joy of tasting and of letting go a turd.
Let us leave the wretched cities—or turn them inside out.
Let us gather 'round in circles. Let us join our hands and shout.
Let us take then our vacations here at home. That vacancy
Is what we need to be again—the fools with sanity.

2017 November 4th, Sat.
Berkeley, California

(first 4 lines of 2nd stanza
& 1st 2 of 3rd added later,
in Brooklyn, New York)


Friday, October 27, 2017



source: unreachable

When desperate and caught, it seemed,
within the devil’s coils,
I turned to verse to calm the storms
that roiled my inner seas.
And so I found a quietude
that lasted then a while—
an interval of peace, in which
that clamor would subside.

I typed out lines and sent them out
as if into the ether,
and now and then I’d hear a voice
that spoke in text to me.
And so it was for many years,
until my writing ceased—
but still at times I write my lines
and send these out to be.

For sentences can live awhile—
and even when we’re gone.
Perhaps my musings still may bring
my solaces to some—
or so I still imagine, though
the chances may be slight.
But in this way, I find relief
to carry on my life.

2017 October 27th, Fri.
Berkeley, California

Related: Solace (


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Balance and Delusion

Balance and Delusion

Our pleasures may enliven us
And pain could make us dull.
But pleasure, pain are needed, both.
Their sum is never null.

So when we’re robbed of pleasure and
Of joy, we might complain.
Yet wisdom comes from suffering
And empathy from pain.

Within our lives, we might find joy.
We surely will find sorrow.
But grief can give us depth, and woe
Today is light tomorrow.

There might be times when we rely
On faith and hope alone.
And yet the dark despair is when,
For sins, we might atone.


We could survive in the hardest times—
But fail when times are slack.
So soldiers might, in battles, surge—
And then, in peace, fall back.

Civilians die in droves in wars
In these, our modern times.
But where those wars have ended, still
The bell of karma chimes.

When food is scarce, but still in reach,
We seek—and so subsist.
But when there is surfeit of it,
Our minds and bodies list.

We starve from lack of nourishment
And die from its excess.
We strive for more of this and that—
Yet thrive when we have less.

There is a balance that we need
That Nature once provided.
But now we need a discipline,
By which we might be guided.


So some are helpless, forced to work.
They slave, until they sicken.
But some, who need no longer work,
Might then, by this, be stricken.

We find ourselves within a crowd—
And seek relief from this.
But then we find that solitude
Is often far from bliss.

Our children need our firmness, yet
They need us to be kind.
The middle way is often best—
But often hard to find.

We feel that we are ignorant
And so we try to learn.
But then our knowledge causes mind
And heart to fret and burn.

Our knowledge may be useful, both
For evil as for good.
So bodies may be healed by it—
Or burned like kindling wood.


Some spend their years in search of love
Or sex or both and find
The one cannot be sought, the other
Snares the hapless mind.

We work to earn our living and
We work to be secure.
But then we meet the ailments that
Our money cannot cure.

We thirst for recognition, yet
May find that it’s a curse.
And I could carry on, for more—
But now should end my verse.

So I will end. Too little love
Can wound; too much can spoil.
And so it is with everything,
Including rest and toil.

2017 October 24th, Tue.
Berkeley, California

Friday, October 20, 2017

The World is Flat

The World is Flat

They tried it first in the U.S.A. and honed it to an art—
For selling what they wanted folk to fork up cash to buy.
And then the Nazis used it too—and others, so that men
And women bought the party line—and did not question why.

Some call it “propaganda”, and others, “advertisement”.
Some do it rather plainly and others are more subtle.
It’s useful.  It can take a lie and turn it into truth.
And that’s a transmutation you can bet they’ll never scuttle.

A lie that is repeated—that is whispered in your ear,
That’s written into textbooks and is linked with what you cherish,
That you hear and read and then repeat—is turned to something dear,
And so in time becomes a truth—a staple that you relish.

And so it is for me and him and her and all around.
In every place and every time these methods have been used,
They’ve worked as they were meant to do. So lies have long prevailed,
And those who held to truth or questioned lies have been abused.

So what to do? Remember this—it’s only things you’ve seen
And heard and smelled and tasted, felt—and not through others—that
You should believe without a doubt—for you were there yourself.
All else is sadly suspect. Till you’ve seen, the world is flat.

What’s that? You read me right. Or else, convince me I am wrong.
But first of all, convince yourself. It’s science, not religion.
And science can be questioned—and it shouldn’t just be priests
Or scientists that you believe. It’s fact, not an opinion.

But every doctrine is a lie. And so it is with this.
We cannot catch the whirling flow within the nets we weave.
A life that’s caged is sad indeed. So ignorance is bliss,
Until the knowledge that’s ignored says, “Here! Do you believe?”
2017 October 20th, Fri.
Brooklyn, New York

Thursday, October 19, 2017

In Mammon’s Jaws

In Mammon’s Jaws

We are angry at the others, we are angry at ourselves.
We are saddened, we are sickened and we find we are in hells.
What’s the reason for the anger, for the sadness and malaise?
What’s turned us all to turtles that are hiding in their shells?

That’s a question I would answer, if I suddenly could see
Through all of my confusion to the thing that’s driving this.
But I do not have that vision, so I’ll let you have a try.
If you figure out the answer, let me know then what it is.

You might give to me an instance, and that I will accept.
But if you’d dig a little deeper, to be nearer to the cause
That is driving humans crazy—and not only you and me—
I’ll be grateful for your efforts, as we writhe in Mammon’s jaws.

It’s a thing that’s new and ancient. It was then and it is now.
Is it evil? Is it madness? Is it sorrow at the heart?
I could ramble on about it, but I know that isn'’t wise.
So I’ll leave you with the question, as I bow and I depart

2017 October 18th, Wed.
Berkeley, California