Friday, March 22, 2013

Dreams and Other Journeys

by Laurie Corzett

(c) 2005 Laurie Corzett. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise, for sales without the prior written permission of the author. All rights restricted and reserved by author.

 ISBN: 0-9702379-


It's a tale many times in the telling
Of wisdom and wonder and enchantment foretold.
Captivating, yes compelling.
But catch it now, before you're old (we're so soon old).
Cross country wide and free; a gypsy's life by caravan
And what is yet to be is stretching wide, without a plan.
Try, if you can, to imagine just how you're gonna end.
. . . You're gonna end.
Past ships and planes and miles of dusty road.
It's all been told  . . . and then retold.
We've lived a thousand lives before, we the vagabonds of Earth
But let me try to tell you my story, it's all I own
Whatever be its worth.
It started in a coffeehouse so many years ago
Where poets of our century were wont to waste their days
And in those days did bright mindwaves cast their net and flow
To catch up young unruly souls and charge them with the craze
For adventuring -- for "something new"
To catch a star and flow wherever it should lead
To search our the holy answer to the ache of human need
To be the first new holy breed to wholey shake the Earth
To usher in a promised age, so many years in birth.
It was a time of carousels and colored lights;
A time of feeling grandly strong and right;
A time when Life was just beyond our sight.
What made it go? Which corner was the wrong one turned?
Or is it merely time to take things slow,
To gather up the threads of what we've learned?
The darkness cast upon us, how was it earned?
Oh yes, I meant to tell you of brilliant desert skies
And city street romances that sparkled ere they died.
Of Denver's summer snowstorm and LA's winter flood
And secret, solemn friendship pacts seal'd in summer blood.
Of a much awaited sunrise within a foreign town
Of food and flowers and incense freely passed around
Of turquoise rings & violent springs & jails of many brands
Of gentle smell of smoke so sweet
And wondrous madmen once to meet who read witchcraft in your hand.
And so much more; yes, lifetimes more.
I would give it all to you, asking nothing in return
But that you seek, in your own style, for yourself to learn
Of corners waiting yet to turn before our time is through.
And perhaps one day you'll say to me:
"Yes, the answer's here! Yes, the answer's clear!"
And you will say to all of us: "Here's what we must do."
Before our time is through . . .

-Laurie Corzett

Dedicated to
the memory of
my father,

Frank Ebner

                  ". . . May his soul soar free"


by Laurie Corzett



Spring Medley
Beltane 2004
Wedding Song
Welcome to Summer
Moon Child
City Summer
Caress the Moment
A Dog Carrying a Frisbee
Sun in Leo, Moon in Libra
Autumn is for Dying
Autumnal Vision
Indian Summer
Juicy round autumn
A Vignette
Diamonds and Rust
Ah November, time of Wonder
Hurrah the Saturnalia!
Christmas trees enthralled in light
Hope has a season
Christmas 1990 (Welcome to the Future)
Winter Solstice
For this season's greeting
Holiday Giving
Thank you all for being
Twinkling snowflakes
For Julie
Trying to remember fall
A Sad Song for Cathy D.

Love Songs

Falling in love
a minor interlude
Come Join the Dance
For Michael
For Steve
Neptune in Libra
July 8, 1981
Love Song to a Lost Generation
Love is a shadow
Here at the bar again,
Section eight, section eight
. . . And my heart is breaking,
Gemini Eyes - Phase I
Little Love Poems
My Firefly Heart
How that felt:
Just Another Love Story
Long ago and far away
Venus Guide Us to Peace

The Personal IS Political

lark tavern
Study War No More
The Perfect Tree
For the "Boston 18"
Somebody wrote a letter to the Times
To the Military/Industrial Complex
Ballad of a Modern Hero
Not in Our Name
Timothy McVeigh Is Still Dead
G.J.'s Lament
Life, the Universe & Everything
Approaching Millennium
Servant to the Holocaust
nuclear quiet
Patty We Hardly Knew Ya
Dumpster Baby Blues
Three Penny Opera and Grateful Dead
Random Notes
Bad Seed
Talking of politics past
Punk Rock
Just Like on the News
A Kodak Moment
To Victory
Ode to Apathy
New American Anthem
My Heart Doesn't Bleed (for you)
knife's edge
thoughts provocateur
Sea Change
Chironic Vision
The Lay of the Land

And other Journeys

Ride the seasons of the moon
Manhattan Night
This Is the Way I Communicate
And Why Not Now?
We Are Interconnected
The Ties that Bind
Evening Prayer
Sun in Pisces/Moon in Aquarius
Andromeda Unbound
Neptune in Aquarius
Pop Quiz
Quicksilver Reflections
Instant Sensory Gratification
We Are Our Verbs
Take Two Aspirin
Joint sessions
After Oregon
Close to the edge, so close
Or Maybe Cincinnati
A Light Glows
Lullaby of Light
Ecstatic Burning Elementary A, B, C's
Twice Lazarus
Many Voices, Part II
Waiting for Godot
Paean to Pain
Purity of Essence
death dream
For Larry
A Very Hindu Song
Simple Things
Waking Beauty
In becoming I became
I chase a marvelous goat --
Rainbow Shop
Fairy Tale
Villanelle (for Miriam)
Ghostlike I wander
tempus fugit
The Page of Wands
Escape Velocity
He calls on the strength of oceans
Blue, blue waters before the dawn
A Winter Parable
Blue Moon
Peaceful Moment
Movie Themes
Cinema Show
The Druid's Opera
For Marian
Thru the Looking-Glass

Spring Medley

Air clear as a free-running stream
tumbling over country rocks and minty greenery
Clear soft air of early spring
Breathing satsang, reeling eternity,
While running 'cross the straight-lined highway
-- shouting
"Hey sky, embrace me!" shouting
I embrace the air and call it Love.

I love you, love you, love you, love you
Form, Words, Action
I in motion
I in tumbling, stumbling, crazy image
over 'n' over
love you, love you, love you, love you
Capture the essence for an almost noninstant
Capture the image of groping, grabbing, grasping
gazing heartfelt on release, but
love you, love you, love you, love you
insane, insatiable
cannot touch release of
love you, love you, love you, love you
Smothering in the too pure air.

Hey, Springtime,
Got some time to be wasting
So I tracked a songbird
on a still bare treebranch
and joined it in song.
What wonder the woods bring
I can't contain it.
Thistle and briar weeds
Capture my imagination
Grow wild and tangly
All through my mind.


Gentle rosy raindrops of a mellow morning,
Children make the day -- it's spring.
I thought of God in Church this morning,
nailed to His cross in long ago Jerusalem,
arising to springtime, the earth's reawakening.
It's a time for children and games of childhood,
a time for playing with love,
secret smiles and daisy chains.
It's a time for the simple and natural
A time for anointing the soul in peace
after the ravages of winter.
A time for gentle things
like newborn kittens
and flowerbuds after the rain.
I am slowly relearning the healing strength of love,
Slowly relearning the simple pleasures of humanity.
Life is sweet, poignant,
a drifting melody.

Beltane 2004

Bright Moon and shining Jupiter watch and call the tune
First day in May, oh master of the rune
Lightly we dance, and in light cast our eyes
Into the chance, into the future's vast surprise
Undulating to the gypsy, minstrel, evangelic choir
Movement so intensified our light bursts into fire
Protecting Mother Earth envelopes our flame
Gives our lives hearth and home and name


It was a warm and windy day,
bittersweet in springtime,
the trees, newly leaved,
swayed in the warm, sweet melody.
It was a day to kick stones
along a riverbank and dream,
before a night of jukebox music and cokes
at the local diner.
What kind of day are you?

Wedding Song

Whispered in another land
Where flowers grow in the virgin snow
And the rivers flow, long and on together.
They smile, the trees, as I take your hand
And the leaves may sing of another spring
But the only thing I hear is "we" forever.
So let us smile and sing out our song
Sad no more, we've found the door
That opens to one chord that's played by two.
And even when the winter's long
Though cold and snow bury all we know
We'll live to learn and grow, both me and you.

Welcome to Summer

Dream-laced lunar light
Infuse our summer days
With magic and romance
Free in joyous play
Enraptured in the dance
Where fantasy takes flight
Above the rule-bound maze
To wild impassioned life

Wild and windy flowers blooming
Sending scent to enliven, rejoyce
Warm, warm breeze and rivers flowing
Endless days of dreams of running free
Let your summer magick abound
Lost in youth, those days refound
A season of playful reformation
So play on ...

Moon Child

Created from the Milky Way shining into Mother Moon,
Reflections from that ancient light emerging from her womb.
A sad guitar, a raging sax, emoting through the sea
Of stories sung through ages all, what was through what will be --
Were you the Lady of that lake, were you the piper's reed?
Were you the luscious, sacred fruit fulfilling every need?
Yes, you the child dancing in the fullness of the night
To ring the rune and cast the spell to make the darkness bright.
Of goddess born to keep us safe and sing our lullabies
Till we emerge as sparkling stars to light the dreaming skies.

City Summer

Let the games begin.
Let the long luxurious summer days begin.
Let us harken back to when
Our schooldays' end
Would send our thoughts adrift through
dazzling fields
of daisies and daffodils;
sandlot games & swimming holes and
endless flights for fantasy's fulfillment.
And let us not forget the nights,
The hot & sticky summer city nights
That send us to the streets in colorful array
like firefly lights
Joking & drinking and starting sudden fights
'Til the thunder rumbles through and blessed
cooling rain relieves hot-headed strife.

As the heat-soaked summer skies once more descend,
Let us drift down sleepy sun-drenched streams
till summer ends . . . .

Caress the Moment

Caress the moment
Let it rain and whisper gentle melodies,
lusciously over your skin
and tingling nerve ends.
Lap happily of the sweet, sweet honey
that this time drips
freely onto your tongue.
Be aware of the hopeful breezes
and busy butterflies
of sane emotion
fluttering around and about.
Caress the moment as it caresses you
And care enough to share it
And help it grow into forever.

in summer
days are catching up to us
All those silent moments
When we would shout out our being
better not.

A Dog Carrying a Frisbee Is a Very Nice Thing

Sunny Sunday, summertime seaside breezes
Bicyclists, joggers, old men asleep on benches
Rollerskaters, sunbathers, and sailboaters
A dog carrying a frisbee is a very nice thing
As are the shade trees and greenery
and rippling blue river
under a blue and white sky
overlooking Cambridge, MA.
I tell you this to let you know
There sometimes is a perfect day.

Sun in Leo, Moon in Libra

Sitting here, in the cluttered fan-cooled kitchen
While a storm-brewing wind rustles
through the garden below.
The California wine tastes tart and sticky.
The wine tells me stories, you know.
It's the redness and the way the light reflects
against the glass, along with the drug.
Hearing voices in the silent darkness,
I listen without question.
As the night slowly falls,
I envision fantasies of former lives:
Glistening ball gowns and a smiling orange moon
in a starlit sky appear in my mind's eye
along with
jugglers and dancers.
A fortune-telling maiden in glorious rags
places cards upon a table:
"The red one is Death; the white one is Honour;
the green one is Fortune; the blue one is Love."
She lives in a log cabin with a unicorn and goat
who feed and clothe her and keep her safe.
There are many things I need to know
and few to tell me.
So I listen to the wine's stories.
I wish it were my garden, below.
I would go out barefoot and gather ripe vegetables
under the moon,
breathing deeply of the cool night air.


Ceres, mother of the Earth
Athena, of cerebral birth
Juno, queen of all the gods
Vesta, pure against all odds
Virgo woman, life bequeaths you,
Standing proud amongst your sheaths,
Wisdom, loving gifts of grace,
In all fields is your place
To give of virtue, mind and soul
You plant the seed.  You help it grow.
You till the soil and prune and weed.
You are the soil.  You are the seed.

A snow-white light on field's relief
To countenance divine belief.
The image of a wishful star:
A steady shine -- but still so far.
The nights of hope; the days of pain
And on and on, that old refrain
We are the heart, the soul, the spleen
We are all we've known, done and seen
We are the time that marches on
With much to do before we're gone.

Virgo is a blessed and beautiful Sun sign. There is something very pure about a Virgo, no matter what muck s/he may fall into. You guys can be hypercritical, but it's not out of meanness, but a desire to bring out the best. You are hard workers, because you don't think of it as hard work, but as what needs to be done to make the real as close as possible to the ideal. You are practical, yet magical. You have a vision and no doubt that that vision can be realized. Virgo is the sign of the Vestal Virgin, consecrated to the gods, and bringing that spiritual consciousness into the everyday. Virgo is the sign of the farmer, working in the fields to bring forth the harvest to feed the community. Virgo takes care of the devil in the details, counts the angels dancing on the pin, and serves both commoner and king all in a day's work.


The scales of Justice
Yin and Yang
The interchange of love
A world in perfect balance
Twixt summer/winter extremes
The perfect beauty of sun shining
   on rainbow puddles
reflecting the brilliant colors
of changing leaves.

Autumn Is for Dying

Spring is for being born;
Autumn for dying.
Spring is for being born
(or maybe sometimes Winter --
something has to take you through
those long cold months of snow and ice).
Spring is for being born;
Autumn for dying
(when the leaves change colors
and fall and blow
into the frost and first fall snow).
Spring is for being born;
Autumn for dying.
(Why do you weep for me, sister,
long heartfelt sobs of dismay?
Why do you weep as I drift off to sleep
for many and many a day?
Today I shall die so tonight I may fly
-- with the leaves I'll be scattered away.)
Spring is for being born;
Autumn for dying.
(But I only die today that I may be reborn
tomorrow, when the warm kiss of Spring
touches the earth,
bringing promise of joyous rebirth
and months of summer sun,
when leaves turn green again.)
Spring is for being born;
Autumn for dying.

Autumnal Vision

Wind, rain: a snuggle under the covers morning
Dreamtime --
"dreaming of the way things might have been"?
Someone asked:  What short of revolution could remake
the world to be
  more fair, peaceful, more encouraging of love?
My new mantra:  "lighten up":
Eyes upward, facing mysteries of stars and heavens
Heart lightened, to more merry, merry be
I lighten the load to my aching shoulders, and find
 worlds of light and joy easier to carry
I look to ancient wisdoms to enlighten my soul

      And I laugh, lightly, brightly,
 let loose too tightly inheld breath of
Breathing freely, I inhale
the exhilarating scent of changing leaves

Indian Summer

In a time of awakening;
In a season of wild abandon;
In a moment of sensation -
In a flash
In a long and luscious indian summer of my life
Glorious dreams were made.
Sound doctrines magnified.
Quick impulses of insight found light and sparkled
long into the autumn night.
I will remember
the chill of golden woods
the fairytale rolling mountains
the days upon days of cool clean crispness
like the sweet/tart fruits of harvest.
In a clearing
Along a riverbed
Furry forest sounds and scent of moisture
Early morning dawn awakening
to a season of wild abandon
a golden moment of sensation
In a flash -- alive to an open season
Alive to a new awakening

Juicy round autumn

Juicy round autumn
burnished red and golden
mesmerizing quality of time today.
Hunger forgotten when life is a garden
sow and weep
while you sleep
a new day grows.
Getting our time together
Getting in touch with weather again
And there's been so much to weather
Again and again and again.
Sunrays are playing
Warming the walkways
Flashing out rainbows
in random puddles and streams.
Clear skies and starlight
Awaken the night hours
Expanding the time to harvest our dreams.

A Vignette

It was a simple house in a simple town.
The road was long and winding.
Two men sat on the road.
They were playing cards.
One man had a bottle which was occasionally passed.
They were not playing for any stakes,
But as an excuse for companionship.
It was a simple house in a simple town.
Old gnarled, stately tall trees formed a woods
that lined the roadway.
It was noon, but the day was overcast;
not dark, but pleasantly muted.
It was autumn.
The trees were proud of their majestic leaves
of gold and magenta which covered their branches
and sprinkled the earth.
Small furry creatures occasionally could be seen
amidst the trees, leaves and earth.
The two men were aware of all this in the
backgrounds of their minds.
They were also aware of the pleasantness
of their peaceful companionship
as they played cards, passed the bottle
and made casual conversation about this and that.
It was a simple house in a simple town
by the side of a long and windy road
which was surrounded by woods.
A plane passed overhead
and was briefly a part of this scene,
before moving on to more important places.

Diamonds and Rust

"Diamonds and Rust" like Joanie says
memories, I mean
I saw you tonight with your San Francisco cut
and that old double-edged blade
went piercing through my heart
leaving me bleeding
long through this autumn night
of no-sleep blues and golds
and rusty burnished reds
that cut like diamonds.

I call to you in fevered dreams
that leave me gasping,
haunting all through the dreary day.
Can't escape that sudden urgency.
Just like days gone by.  You don't answer.
You don't hear me through all that mass
-- your own driving imperative.
We meet so seldom
separation so long.
We are like strangers.
Yet times we have touched, one to one,
to perfection,
have been one strength and impulse
have known such intimacy . . .
I call to you now,
Hearing your voice in every song of romance.

Ah, November, time of Wonder

          Ah, November, time of wonder
How now shall you cast my dreams asunder?
And weave your captive hypnotic spell
That I have learned to love so well?
You'll tear my defenses, unbalance my soul
And leave me feeling purely whole.
Dear November, so like love and lust
Drug maddened dove,
I've loved you dearly in my past.
Why does not your magic last?
I feel so weary in my mind
I tend to hide behind a blind
And live in dreaming wondrous free
While building barricades all through me.
If this be trap, then where's the spring
of Autumn that migrations bring?
When thoughts of leaving soak the brain
And all proclaim themselves insane
And revel in the loss of rules
'Til fearing that we've become fools
We hide again 'neath winter's frost
And count the moments that we've lost.

Hurrah the Saturnalia!

Hurrah the Saturnalia!
Bacchus reigns on high
And all the world's a feast of fun
So pass the pipe and pour the rum
And flash a smile o'er everyone
A twinkle of the eye.

Hail the merry Season!
A boost for love & joy
When packages that yell "surprise!"
May dance before our merry eyes
from "Santa Claus" that merry, wise
& venerable old boy.

Joy to all ye revelers!
It's time to join in play
where roles are dropped and laughter raised
We're all buffoons, so clowns be praised
It's time to shout out loud, ablaze
"Joy to all today!"

A very merry holiday
to each and all I say!

Christmas trees enthralled in light

Christmas trees enthralled in light
Bright red and green displays
Shopwindows adorned in frosty scenes
Concerts, Carols, Plays
Santa's sleigh displayed on lawns
and rooftops
Holly!  Mistletoe!
Christmas cards arrive each day
with memories of long ago.
Welcome to another season's
greetings, parties, gifts and cheer
Make it wonderful; make it grand!
For you and all whom you hold dear --
Merry Christmas, once again;
And dreams of peace for the new year.

In dark of night and winter's cold

In dark of night and winter's cold
We sleep to dreams of warmth and love.
From fire smoldering in our hearts
Our hopes for prosperous peace take hold.
Then why awake so cold and lost,
Unwilling to believe in grace?
May love and warmth regain our hearts
To melt the ice-shards there encased.
May laughter cleanse and reunite
As wisdom's spirit returns to light.

Hope has a season

Hope has a season
Love has a season
Good will and warm wishes have a season
A time of good cheer to celebrate
The greatest gifts of life on Earth.
Peace has a season
Joy has a season
Sharing plenitude has a season
In winter's dark and cold we create
A warm rebonding to true worth.
Let that warm bright feeling glow
through every moment, every day.
Help that shining vision grow,
that all of us may find our way.

Christmas 1990 (Welcome to the Future)

Sitting in my living room
While all about me rearranges.
Wondering if it's late or soon
While trying to adjust to changes.
Sometimes something old and sacred
Helps to show us how to cope
When we're feeling lost and naked,
Without a pole upon the slope.
So every Christmas season wakens
All our strength and hope and cheer.
Reminds us that we're not forsaken;
Renews our hearts -- for the new year.

Hark, another festive season,
Hailed by silver bells a'ringing,
Reveals to merry souls a reason
For partying, dancing, singing,
Sharing laughter, food & cheer.
On Dasher, Dancer -- Yuletide's here!

Winter Solstice

The darkness descends.
As we cry out for warmth and light
Our voices turn to spirit-imbued song
Our frantic movements against the cold
turn to ecstatic dancing.
We take comfort from each other's warmth
and celebrate the life within
struggling to survive.
'Tis the season to relearn the magic
As we share our heavy burdens
of fear and despair.
Joining hands, dancing 'round the fire,
we raise our sight to the sky
and each day,
the days get lighter.

For this season's greeting

For this season's greeting
I give the gift of joy.
Hold it close and wear it well.
Share it with the ones you tell
Your season's greetings to.
Open wide your heart, your eyes
Breathe deeply, smell the warming spice
Reach out, reach up, reach to the skies
Believe again in "fellow men"
Believe in wisdom's beauty
Believe in joy -- and tell your friends:
"This is our greatest duty."
For as joy fills our hearts, we leave no room for
As joy fills our lives, we learn to live in peace.

Holiday Giving
Keep me safe
Keep me warm
Keep me close, away from harm
Give me Hope
Give me Love  Give me Peace
 Life is good
Life is fun
Life's in love with every one
 Give me Peace
Give me Hope    Give me Joy!
Merry Christmas
Happy Solstice
Every day of light and play
Every shining holiday
Open up your heart
Make yourself of part
of the living
of the giving
My inner voice sang to me
I give my song to you:
Live in joy   Live in peace   Live in love

Thank you all for being
-- as another year retires
All the hearing, tasting, seeing
All the wishes and desires
All the fear and pain and heartache
All the joy, laughter and smiles
In which you've had to partake
In all your various styles
Thank you all for being
in my life.

Twinkling snowflakes in cold dark night
Wishing, dreaming, taking fancy's flight
What are the dreams your snowflakes bring?
What are the songs your carolers sing?
Where is that land -- secret in your mind --
where the seas are strong, the winds are kind
and everything turns up right in the end?
Where is that place, and who is the friend
counting snowflakes across that cold blind sky?
Who is the playfriend
who is the I?
Twinking snowflakes, I wish I may
Send warm, healing visions by dream-drawn sleigh.

For Julie

The Temple Bells sound clearly
Early morning misty mountain rising
Of pale moon to misty alpine sun
Of blues & golds
throughout the Valley
And, hark!  Hear the bells
over the hillsides, rockslides,
snowpeaks and skis
& snow held skies.
The frost smell, plainly
On that open mountain day
& no one around but that feeling and odor
of clean virgin snow
And the darkside of the moon facing plainly
Smiles a frosty smile
Virginal & pure with mirth
& Night comes quickly
Icy stars blank out the pallid sun
And moonbeams twinkle - oh la!
The mountain creature stalks
pawprints in the snow
But soon hides & shivers
in the dark crevice of warmth
And white reigns high
crystal stars
crystal sky
shattered mirror-images & gone!
Into snowflake crystals and dust
no more; no less


Yeah, I wanted to tell you;
but there just wasn't time to listen
And the snowlined streets
called you away from my door
And I just couldn't scream out
over your brilliant white plans and schemes
that I needed you to hear me.
Besides, what was I going to say?
That life was becoming too much with me?
That people were becoming
both too dull and demanding
That drugs no longer filtered the pain &
all my dreams had turned to nightmares?
You had no need to hear it.
And what was the point of burdening you
with my melancholy love
(tho my spirit keeps promising me that love
and only love can kill the melancholia
and reawaken me to joy.)
So what could I say?
That winter has frozen my tears inside my mind and
only thoughts of death still bring me solace
and the night seems too cruel and empty,
but the too brite days are worse and I love you?
You are right not to listen.
I am right to disappear into the darkness --
leaving me to make my peace alone in a cold
and lifeless cell --
escaping memory.
And the tears inside my skull
speak of belief that has died
and wonder overcome by a desperate apathy
and that place deep within my heart that love
alone can reach -- release
That secret life-affirming catalyst which remains
solidly locked away --
I cannot ask you for the key.

Trying to remember fall

Trying to remember fall
-- secreted mad memories
My life revolves with the seasons.
Now is the time for seeking, searching
sitting in dark cafes on snowy Sundays
and listening to sad, dark tunes
while remembering
yesterdays' madness.
I have decided to learn happiness.
I have decided to learn your essence
to keep with me.
Happiness is not as costly as despair.
Love is easier apart from needing.

A Sad Song for Cathy D.

Summer Sundays we would meet
Upon a local gothic street
Behind facade of bustling town
Where lifesongs made the only sound
We'd meet on morns of summer sun
And share the weekly deeds now done
And share the breath of flower and pine
More heady than the barroom wine
of yestereve
And all the weekdays' woes were burnt away.
But now that winters' cold's descended
Our carefree ways have been amended
No more your loving smile I seek
Upon a snow and ice bound street
My tales are told only to me
And those that now and then I see
Lost is the magic we once shared
In knowing someone truly cared
But I don't grieve
But dream, in limbo, of those summer days


Riverside romance one dusky June
Turned into a winter poem
By firelight - light of the moon.

We loved and parted all too soon
Each to return, a separate home
Riverside romance one dusky June.

I catch a glint, a ring of spoon
Flashing through the tale I spin
By firelight - light of the moon.

Sometimes at night I hear you croon
"We never had a chance to win."
Riverside romance one dusky June
By firelight - light of the moon.

Love Songs

Falling in love has a lot to do with the MEETING

Falling in love has a lot to do with the MEETING
That special configuration of time and space
and receptive psyches.
It only happens when you least expect it
And are most ready.
Getting ready consists of getting
Totally involved in your own thing.
Digging on yourself,
Being in tune with the universe
And being very horny -- if you can dig it.
Least expecting consists of
Being perfectly happy and
At one with the moment --
Neither expecting nor fearing anything.
At this point, you are ready for the
And it will flow along so smoothly
and just rightly
That you won't even notice til much later
Just how magical it was.
There is still plenty of good old-fashioned magic
about, if you can hitch onto it.
Magic is what love is all about
-- that cement that binds
Freely floating atoms or organisms
Against all logic.
consists of you
And another
And everything around and about you
From the beginning of time until now
Which has been gathering forces
To bring you and that other together.
And you know each other without explanation.
And there is that special THERENESS
And you both have everything to say
And explore at once.
And it's so exciting
And you're on a cloud
Miles above the Earth
And Everything is somehow beautiful.
What happens next is up to you.


Memories, they weave a silken web in silence
We talk of times past in gently measured tones,
sometimes bitter humor.
We watch a bird circling in the distance,
and build patterns in the clouds.
Last year I spied a mole burrowing in
the unmelted snow of early spring.
Today I tend to think of you
smiling as you did last night
when you first saw me after parting.

a minor interlude

He came for the music.  And the romance.  

Summer at the big international jazz festival.  He had decided to go,
not because he was secure in his tastes and passions, but to help create
his burgeoning self-definition -- the true function of the summer of our
lives.   It was time to escape the endless malls and predigested
televised opinions into the heart of a city that pulsed with life.  And
here, where no one knew his name, he was finally free to become what he
could be, wandering unfamiliar streets and imagining himself to be, at
last, truly home.

He was staying at a cheap little student-ghetto hotel, barely more than
a hostel, in a compact room with a cot and bathing facilities down the
hall.  There was also a breakfast room, where complimentary coffee and
pastries were provided, along with the chance to meet and greet his
fellow travelers.  Many of them were musicians -- not the big names that
drew in the international aficionado crowd, but someday would-bes, young
folks, like himself, trying out their talents on the streetcorners, in
the parks, in the breakfast room of their temporary quarters.  Some knew
of local bars where for the price of a pricey beer you could hang for
hours enjoying the late night sets of local talent, more intimate venues
than the big street-stage and theater performances of the daylight and
early evening.

He loved her wide, infectious smile, and the sparkle in her dark,
shining eyes.  He had noticed her immediately at the bar, sitting with
her friends, enjoying the music, and at his hotel  where she worked as a
desk clerk on the day shift, making the place feel more like a happy
home.  She worked there for a small room and a smaller salary and
waitressed at a nearby coffeeshop for meals, tips, and a small hourly
wage -- altogether it worked out for her, and life was mostly fun, with
occasional high drama.  So she smiled, widely, infectiously, so that
everyone loved to be around her.  Looking at her, he felt so overwhelmed
with joy that he wanted to cry -- like at the end of a truly meaningful
book or movie that touches you so deeply that it seems to speak to you,
to speak only to you.  He looked deeply into her eyes, dark and shining,
across the room, where she smiled and swayed to the rhythm of the band,
lost in the music. Saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, keyboards, backed up by
a big, bass fiddle -- sometimes wildly raucous, sometimes slow and
dreamy, as each soloed, duoed, came together in soaring syncopation,
dropping in or out with inspiration or exhaustion, all so achingly
beautiful -- the music, the soft summer night, the girl.

Because he was the kind who stood back and observed life without really
taking part in it, he could see and admire her propensity for jumping in
with both feet, never looking back.  He watched mesmerized while she
danced and flirted to the music, making it her own.

Being a true student of life, he carried with him always a small journal
into which he would write quick impressions, ideas as they occurred.
So, now, as he sat hidden in the darkness, allowing his imagination to
sway to the rhythm of the band, he wrote:

"They would have to find a way to come together, he and she.  After all,
if there were no meeting, how could the story begin?  From where would
the story come, to be told?  The 'jazz scene' is not enough.  We need
characters to form a plot, the experiences from which those characters
can develop and grow.  We need relationships in our lives within which
we can learn to become ourselves.  And all this is just deep
philosophical shit for the basic premise that, hey, I am drawn to this
girl, more than just attracted by her adorable appearance.  I am
developing an actual need to get to know her, to learn about who she is,
and who I can be in relation to her.  So why don't I just do the prosaic
thing and go ask her to dance?"

So he did.

And they danced.  And laughed.  And kissed on the dance floor, hugging,
and laughing, and dancing -- just like young lovers to be.

"Come back to my room with me."  he murmured into her ear, as it
conveniently came into contact with his lips.

"Can't do it.  How would the other guests feel, not getting room service
and all."

"Then I'll go back to your room."

"Hey, I'm not that kind of girl.  Think of my self-respect.  Besides,
what would our kids say when we told them."

"So far as I know, we don't have any.  And what about my self-respect,
being shot down when I've finally gotten up the nerve to ask you."

"Tell you what, then, tomorrow happens to be my day off.  I'll let you
escort me to the Festival -- a date like."

"Sounds like fun.  I'll meet you in the breakfast room around 11:30 and
treat you to your second cup of coffee wherever you suggest."

"It's a deal!  By the way, I'm Celeste."

"A pleasure to meet you, Celeste.  You can call me Paul."

And so they went, twirling/embracing in a romantic daze to the
ever-changing, expanding band of after hours musicians, until at last
they walked each other home, separating at the stairs, parting with a
kiss "to seal the deal."  -- a very passionate deal, indeed.

The day dawned bright and warm, but by 11:30 had deteriorated into
overcast and sweltering.  She took him to a corner cafe for iced
cappucinos to go, to keep them more comfortable on their walk to the
Festival grounds -- several blocks of temporary music-mall on streets
closed to traffic for the occasion, dotted along the way with stages and
concession booths centered by a large, flowing fountain which was
surrounded by chairs and umbrella'd tables, surrounding several
temporary out-door cafes and bars.  The music was everywhere, from lone
guitarists plugged in to mini-amps along the fountain to big, shiny
bands taking their turns on the stages -- so that as you moved far
enough for one to fade you came into the aural purview of another.

The crowds of revelers made a colorful array -- many of them dancing to
the music, individually, in couples, and in groups.  Children squirting
each other with their water bottles darted in and out amongst the
longer-legged.   The concessionaires were in their glory selling cold
drinks, snow cones, commemorative clothing and cds.  Despite the heat,
everyone was taking full advantage of the party atmosphere, joining in
the general soundscape with their own gleeful screaming and applause.

It seemed like the perfect time to be in love.  Celeste and Paul found
themselves falling into that marvelous, magical natural high, and
gladly, giddily, let it carry them bubbling above the crowd into the
pure realm of jazz vibrations and each other's eyes.

It was the one perfect moment in my life.  In the dark winters of my
discontent, I am always trying to go back to it -- my own transcendent
summer of love.

Thunder and scattered raindrops had them dashing from the festival
grounds and, as the downpour hit, ducking into a neighborhood bar to
stay dry.  They ordered beers and punched up some dreamy tunes on the
jukebox.  Then sat for hours talking about everything.  It all seemed so
important -- giving each other the gifts of all their hopes, dreams,

They wanted to say there forever, to Vulcan mind-meld, to touch and
never let go.

As it got later into evening, the bar started filling up.  A band set up
and a chanteuse came out to sing hauntingly beautiful songs of love.

Eventually they walked each other home, but did not separate at the
stairs.   There was still so much they needed to express.  So much that
they didn't sleep at all and never separated until Celeste had to leave
for work, leaving Paul to think deep thoughts while luxuriating in the
magical spell that seemed to surround him.

At that age he should have been free, open to limitless possibilities.
For a time he was able to fool himself, to believe that life should be
that way.  He hadn't intended to fall in love, only to flirt with
romance, the romance of anonymity, of, for a short time inbetween, the
chance to reinvent himself any way he might choose.

But now, here was this cosmic gift, this beautiful woman -- not only
beautiful but intelligent, funny, incredibly fun to be with, a
powerhouse of energy with a smile that could transport him directly to
paradise -- this woman whom he could not help but to love in ways he had
never believed possible; and she loved him, mind, body, soul, exactly as
he was, here and now.  He had not even realized how lonely he had always
been until now that suddenly that burden had been lifted.  He felt like
he could fly on wings of song, and never, ever need the touch of land --
only the touch of Celeste to keep him flying eternally.

Once she set her mind to something it never took long to have it done.
In a few days time, she had quit her hotel clerking position, and gotten
a full-time waitress job at a place where the tips were good.  Through
her vast social network, she found him various odd jobs, under the
table, and a small furnished apartment, just right for young lovers.
She was even able to find a local arts rag that would pay him for his
stories, albeit not much.  It helped them afford the beers and munchies
at their favorite neighborhood bar where they could share intense
conversation with her friends, who in deference to her were now becoming
his as well, and dance intimately late into the night to the local
bands.  An idyllic life to settle into, filled with love and fun and,
for Paul, a great adventure.

For several weeks he just went along for the wild ride, thanking his
good fortune, learning about the ways of love on hot, sultry nights.

Perhaps he was at heart a coward.  He hadn't been raised to the wild,
but carefully taught to honor responsibilities.  He knew he had a future
to go back to, one that revolved around college classes, a part-time
job, studying and making contacts, occasional dating of course, but not
these new found friends, his new found life and love.  His parents had
sacrificed to give him a better chance, a high-priced, prestigious
education.  He was expected to take this seriously, make the very most
of it, make them proud.   Perhaps he just did not have whatever it is
that it takes to stand in defiance of all that one has been taught to
honor.  When the time came, it wasn't even a decision -- he just did
what he had been programmed to do, with wrenched heart and staunchly
blankened mind.

They said they'd keep in touch.  And from time to time they did.

She runs a successful bed and breakfast in a tranquil resort town, along
with her ever-cheerful husband and their two cuddly kids.  The place is
somewhat famous for its largely musical clientele.

He is a reporter for a metropolitan newspaper, covering the local jazz
beat, without an alter-ego as a caped crusader.

The music keeps me sane.


Walking long mornings into sunrise
You stood by and took the earth into your arms
like grainstalks
I called you my Degas print.
You spoke of the moon.
21 days and nights we tarried.
Almost single, almost married.
I loved you.
You spoke to me in words of magic.
Will you speak to me again?
Hollywood houses and Paris cafes bowed to us.
You said you needed work and companions.
I cursed you in my mind, and went off
seeking other follies.
The days look longer now, feel somehow strange.
Love is like a looking glass, reflecting change.

Come Join the Dance

Believing it to be the right and just consequences for actions taken so thoughtlessly, Jeffrey mildly cursed himself for a fool and continued through the night-darkened streets.  Wanda was not likely to repeat their conversation of earlier in the day.  It would, distinctly, be not to her advantage.
Wanda had never been a ballerina, or even a dancer, but she adored watching them.  Above all, she adored the ice-dancers -- gliding as they did in perfect grace, never seeming to feel the cold.
Wanda was an old woman who took advantage of the prerogatives of a long life.  She felt fully justified in all her years; she had worked hard for them, and had no need to apologize to anyone.  Wanda watched the ice skaters on her old yet serviceable television and admired skills she would never possess.  The years in which she might have learned them had been given over to other things.  Private things.  The little day to day triumphs and encounters that make up so many lives -- no fanfare, no publicity -- just all those tiny moments with so much private meaning.  That was how Wanda had lived.  Entangled in relationships of various kinds and doing her daily chores and getting by.
Jeff was a young man of great impetuousness.  He rarely made the same mistake twice, but not for lack of trying.  Or lack of mistakes.  He drank heavily and forgot a lot -- though he did not drink to forget.  He drank because he enjoyed that feeling of power that came with the loosening of inhibitions, the loosening of his tongue.  He became, so he thought, so clever and eloquent with proper lubrication.  He loved the bar scene.  It was his element.  And the girls.  He loved the girls.  Who wouldn't?  They'd do most anything for a guy who could show them a good time.  A guy like him with manners and grace, fairly good-looking, at ease with dancing and romancing, he could be on easy street.
Wanda too stopped in occasionally at the neighborhood bar.  She liked an irish whiskey on those dark, cold nights that she stopped by on the way home from shopping or visits or the odd job of work.  (She sometimes supplemented her pension with a bit of housekeeping or babysitting or even some office work when it came about.)  She preferred the friendly camaraderie of drinking at the bar to imbibing alone at home.  It gave her a bit of social life outside of family and old coworkers and such.
Jeffrey had seen better days, and even a few worse.  Why they were worse he was not entirely sure.  The fact that he was without negotiable funds was not the source of his problem.  He was, in fact, very rarely financially solvent.  The fact that he was suffering from a head cold probably made everything seem much worse.  The immediate source of his problem, however, was that LuAnn had not taken kindly to his entanglement with Wendy; and Wendy was particularly offended by his involvement with LuAnn.  The result of all this disharmony was his present lack of a suitable abode or even drinking money.  Further, his rotten mood was occluding his ability to come up with an appropriate solution.
Wanda, who had seen quite her share of men come and go through her life, was listening in an early evening glow to Jeffrey's troubles as he tried to cadge a drink, now and then successfully, from the other patrons.  The television was tuned to the evening news.  Some politician, over the airwaves, was explaining why he was not a crook and why the people should believe in him.  Wanda did not care if we were a crook, she didn't tend to believe in anyone on tv unless they were dancing.  Jeffrey happened to be sitting beside her now, talking to the bartender about the current political hopefuls and Jeffrey's opinions of them.  (He had, by now, managed to inveigle several drinks and was therefore fluid in his mannerisms and speech.)  Wanda enjoyed watching him, listening to him.  He reminded her of other young men she had known in her now distant youth.  She invited him home for the night, once she was ready to leave the bar.  
It was a cold night; and there was no need for him to sleep it off on the streets when she had a perfectly good sofa to lend.
He was grateful.  This old woman would not demand much of him; and he felt he badly needed a rest.  They watched ice skaters on the old tv and she made popcorn and hot cocoa and, now and then, they talked.
Jeff and Wanda became friends.  He would stop by on occasion, and tell her of his activities and dreams.  She would reminisce sometimes, which he enjoyed; sometimes she'd tell him what she thought of his conflicts.  Sometimes she imagined with him the outcome of his dreams.  She too had dreams, though she no longer expected them to come true.  He would listen to them and smile -- not in derision, but in appreciation of her inner world.
Wanda's dreams were still a young girl's dreams.  She dreamed of perfect romance, as she had never known it.  Of floating safely within a lover's arms, totally embraced in perfect love and understanding.  She dreamed of a fulfilling career, perhaps doing something that the world would consider great -- inventing a cure for some horrible disease, or a plan for peace, or something marvelously artistic and beautiful.  She dreamed of having wealth and luxury -- certainly something more than this small one-bedroom apartment, the old tv, the miserly pinching out of her small pension trying to keep ends meeting each month.  She dreamed marvelous adventure -- travel to exotic lands, new and different experiences -- something beyond the visits with family and friends, the trips to the market, the occasional stopping in at the local bar on cold, wintry nights.  She dreamed and found great joy and solace in her dreams, even knowing that they could never become true.  No lover waited for an old and ill-kempt woman with wrinkled skin and thinning hair, faded clothes and slowly failing health.  No great career would open up for one with little education or training beyond a 40 year simple office job.  No wealth or luxury or adventure was left to her to miraculously lift her from the settled daily routine of her final years -- none but what she could find in dreams.  She knew this and accepted it.  But now, at least, she could share her dreaming.  In Jeff's company, their conversation, the sharing of dreams brought to them a semblance of reality, brought them in some sense into the real world.
Jeff too had dreams, a young man's dreams, suitable to his age.  Though he rarely thought of or put into action suitable means to their realization, coasting along as he did on a glib tongue and good looks, on his ability to take advantage of the yearnings for romance of gullible young ladies, coasting on his youth and dreaming more for entertainment than attainment.  Still, now sharing his grand illusions with Wanda, he began to believe, from time to time, that, perhaps, something might be made of some of them.  Perhaps there could be more to him than he had so far made.  They watched the ice skaters on the old tv, gliding effortlessly, oblivious to the cold, creating an image of perfect beauty, and spoke of their dreams, creating for themselves a new reality -- a sharing, a friendship, a place in which they could be themselves more fully and be understood, accepted, affirmed.
It was no longer really winter.  Spring was sneaking up in the form of more and more warmer days, longer days, baby budlings sprouting on the trees.  Jeff met a new girl who lived in a building very near Wanda's.  Her name was Nancy and she worked in an office at the hospital, but she was saving for training for a better job, perhaps as a nurse or a physical therapist.  She had ambition.  
"You certainly have a knack for physical therapy," Jeff said as they lay in bed, she having told him of her ambitions.  He said it because it seemed a witty thing to say, and kissed and tickled her to make his meaning clear.  He really liked Nancy.  She was bright and vivacious and fun to be with.  Somehow there seemed to be more to her than most of the girls he knew.  Being with her, talking about her plans and all, the idea of making something more of himself slowly became more real, more possible.  They were seeing each other more and more.  She even helped him to get a job at the hospital, moving patients about and such.  Strangely, it felt good to have a job to go to, his own money in his pocket, a steady girl to come home to, all those prosaic comforts he had always thought himself beyond.
Jeff took Nancy with him on his visits to Wanda now.  The three of them quite enjoyed each other's company.  They would sit around her small dining table, drinking irish whiskey and trading small stories of their various lives.  Sometimes they listened to old jazz records that Wanda had kept through the years.  Jeff and Nancy might dance to those records while Wanda watched and listened and remembered other nights long ago.  
And suddenly it was Spring -- warm, wonderful Spring!  Walks in the park and necking on the benches and playing kids' games for the joy of it Spring!  Wanda would spend warm afternoons wandering about the park feeding birds and watching the children play.  Flowers were sprouting out from the ground, imbuing the air with a lovely perfume.  Ducks swam happily in the pond and robins chattered about on the ground and tree branches.  
Jeff and Nancy too were enjoying the new sprung Spring -- enjoying picnics in the park at lunch time and long and playful walks in the still light early evening.  Young and in love is the perfect condition to be in in Spring, and they took full advantage of that condition.  It seemed like happiness bubbled up from their hearts, lightening their heads, promoting prodigious giggles and playfulness.  It made Wanda's heart glad to see them so, as though she too had a special secret bubbling within her.  They took to bringing her flowers to brighten up her dingy rooms; and, for her birthday, they got tickets for the ballet.
Wanda felt like a young girl, dancing, pirouetting through the open fields in her mind.  She was drifting, wafting, unconscious of the hospital room and its noisy routine.  Jeff had called the ambulance when he found her, fallen on the living room floor.  She had yet to regain consciousness.
Jeffrey stopped by to see Wanda, who had reportedly gained consciousness, at his afternoon break.  She was awake; but tubes came out of her nose and arm and various other parts of her body, hooking her up to a barrage of hospital machines.  She looked so frail and helpless lying there.  His own mother had looked like that, shortly before she died, in another hospital room many years ago.  Of course, Jeff's mother had not been anywhere near as old as Wanda was now; but he had been a young child then, and not really aware of her age.
Jeff panicked and began shouting:
"You foolish old woman!  Silly Old Woman!  Couldn't you take care of yourself any better than that!" he cried and stormed out of the room, out of the hospital building, and on to the street.  There he walked in a daze until he reached a bar.  He went in and sat there drinking for hours, until he ran out of cash and the day had turned into night.
He wandered out into the night, the thoughts circling around in his still dazed, and now drunken, mind.
"God, I've really blown it now.  They're sure to can me at the hospital for acting so irresponsibly.  And Nancy . . . she's not going to want anything to do with me now, after she got me that job and all . . .  I've really blown it this time."
Believing it to be the right and just consequences for actions so thoughtlessly taken, Jeffrey mildly cursed himself for a fool and continued through the night darkened streets.  At least, he thought, Wanda was not likely to repeat their encounter of earlier in the day.  It would, he thought, distinctly be not to her advantage.
But she did.
When Nancy arrived to see Wanda after her day's shift of work, the older woman was still frightened and upset from Jeffrey's visit.  She told Nancy what had happened.  
"Go to him," she told the younger woman, "He needs you."
And Nancy went.
She too wandered the streets for hours, until she found Jeff; and when she did she grabbed him and hugged him for all she was worth.  Then, taking his hand, quietly, she led him home.

For Michael

You were a mystery to me.
A sensual stranger in the night
Who brought me ecstasy and fantasy.
What we shared wasn't love --
but an adventure -- and the love of adventure
draws you near me in certain dreams.
And you are still a mystery, a symbol in my life
for certain exquisite longings.
The time we were together was a magic time.
I'm looking for that magic again.
I am looking for another magical romance,
as I remember you and smile
without wondering where you are.

For Steve

Dreaming, I sit here,
Wondering, remembering your past
As you've told it to me in hours of easy yarning.
You look so young, asleep and dreaming
beyond my touch.
Do you know that I think about you,
Watch for hours, wait for your step at the door?
Do you know that thoughts of you,
silent dreams and yearnings,
Are easily taking over my mind?
You said that men are romantic,
And women are strong and practical.
I don't feel practical or strong,
Just dreamy, and slowly

Neptune in Libra

I catch clouds and hold them for awhile in my mind
they keep me drifting.
I catch minds and let them float behind my eyes
They keep me sifting through thoughts and moods.
I catch you for awhile, drifting through my mind.
I catch your smile, your thoughtstreams, your
ups and downs.
I catch you for awhile and let you linger through
my moments.
I catch clouds and shape them to your form
they keep me drifting.
I dream forms and demons and fleeting glimpses
of your mind.
I dream while clouds drift away into formless
I catch your eye in the corner of my mind
In drifting, shifting dreams that float away,
Yet stay -- yet linger,
Always thinking you.

July 8, 1981

We have these moments we may share, my friend
We are not here to judge or blame
We'll join our souls in song
Our steps will blend into the pattern
of the game we play
It's all a game we play.

I've often watched the stars and thought of you
Although I didn't know your face or name
I've followed in your form in all I do
You see, we're all the same
It's all a simple game.

The days are long, the nights are longer still
We've learned to play outside of time
Just passing through each moment as we will
Falling in and out of rhyme.

Perhaps tomorrow we will meet again
And, never having met before,
We'll have our interlude of love, and then
Depart, each through a separate door.

Love Song to a Lost Generation

In 1967 when the world was young and new
we died a'borning.
Our drug-swept minds we left to weep
a burial parade to the new morning
That dreamed us in our dreams, but never wakened.
Oh yes, there was a time when time was young and
open, free to wander.
Oh yes, there was a time when time was young
and ready there to squander.
Oh yes, there was a time when nothing seemed
beyond a new direction.
Oh yes, there was a time, but time has died
and none are resurrected.
It's a sad song I'm singing
of dreams that might have been fulfilled
if only . . .
A sad song,
like leaves blown from a tree
to find that they are lonely,
but winter's coming
& there's no returning down that road
once the snows have rearranged it.
What happened to our plans for peace,
for sharing bount beyond belief
for blazoning the dawn with youthful fire . . .
Can these short years now find us old
withered spider webs of gold
spun so fine that none would think to see us.
Our voice is gone.
Our fire has died.
And all that echoed deep inside our hearts
to march eternal now eludes us.
In spiraling we've lost our thread
We've become the age to dread.
Like this last poem, we soon are dead,
I weep for the child almost born.
She showed a promise now unfulfilled.
Perhaps someday again may she find us.


San Francisco
Cool, crisp, mist.
Oh, Westland.
Your merry rhymsters of beatdom's domain;
Your music in the streets;
Your vibrant hills rising skyward.
In my youth I dreamt of you,
And made pilgrimage to your golden gate.
San Francisco,
A hope, a dream of congregation.
Oh, City of Light.


She should be carved in wood
The fine grain lines of her hair,
her form
coppery contours
exquisitely rendered
She should be as an inspiration to art,
a fine thing valued
sitting so austere
and gracefully

Emily is a garden
She grows fine long tendrils
      sparkling in the sunshine
and dainty pearly flowers
      for bees to hum over
and the long daylight and beaming stars
share the fun of a summer day.
Emily grows well underground
      in the long, cold winter
and brightens eyes once more
in early spring.

Brian, quick as a flash!
He's a cat man
slinking in to saucy societe
with that big flashy grin (ain't it a sin, man ...).
Life is smiling at him in the morning
And sometimes in the evening he's still flashing
into your life and mine.
(I call that a fine thing, man ...)
Yeah, keeps me ringing
Like the telephone...

Love is a shadow
Love is a shade
Love is a magic
Love is afraid
Love is a fantasy
Love is a fear
Love is potential.


She's cool, just the right amount of calculating, and oh so deferential to the code.  He's crude, patronizing, but affable; you can't help liking him.  They live on a quiet, tree-lined street just behind the main thoroughfare.  You'd hardly know them if you saw them every day.
She was wild and wind born, a creature of seasons.  She blew into their lives and opened their windows and doors.  Did you see her flying through town, smile wide eyes flashing in the distance?  She's a creature of seasons, comes and goes through changes, rides high and low on the wind.  They would have smothered her in confinement just because they are that way.  She would love to be brilliant, but her flame is too blown about, so she lives in a fantasy of exquisite pain.  "You will love her; she knows how to suffer," cries into your ear over telephone wires, into your eyes from the printed page.
"My God," the priest intones, "Look over my congregation.  Each of us a sinner on the path, answer our prayers for forgiveness.  Absolve us, we know what we have done, and would assuage the guilt upon our souls."
They go to bed each evening, shortly after ten.  What can they be dreaming?
She takes off, racing through town on a stolen motorcycle, out to meet her lover.  They always meet outside of town and travel into the city.  They always giggle when they meet, out for a night of fun and laughter.  Laughter always becomes erotic after awhile.  It's a night of racing madly against death, of Experience.  It's a night that lasts for days, until exhaustion makes it end.  They are well known in this city that they go to, though strangers in their own homes.
The jukebox music blares and voices shout over.  Psychedelic lighting and elaborate costumes make everyone a figure of fantasy.  It's a high time for pill poppers, powder sniffers, and mainliners:  a high time for all.  I see you and wave across the room, "Hey, man, come on over!"  General roughhousing, laughter, some surreptitious snorts from a vial.  ~"Hey, man, what's happening?  Gi'me five!"  
She sees you and sidles over.  She's on the make all the way.  She loves a challenge, can't turn away from one.  She speaks her mind, brash.  She would love to be brilliant, but her flame is too blown about.  You give her your attention, as much as you have available on your high.  She smiles, eyes wide and flashing, begs you for a kiss with those eyes, reaches for your hand to read your palm lines, says they show great physical prowess.  You are enchanted and thrilled in your response.  I stand by and watch you, delighted.
They are dreaming words, kind and harsh, and numbers.  They are dreaming situations with predetermined conclusions.  In the morning, like well-oiled machines, they will roll along to work.  If you look, you may see them on the highways, behind the wheels and shields of their cars.  You wouldn't know them if you did.
She licks the inside of your earlobe, her hands tightening on your chest.  You are hardly aware of the world without her.  I am still watching you, from the corner, highly amused.  The music blares, an everpresent background, foreground, background, foreground.  It's all so intense, you smile, the agony; the pleasure.  I am waiting for a sign.
They murmur uneasily in their sleep.  There are signs and portents, to be felt around them, in the cool night air.  They stir uneasily, but do not waken, hiding more deeply in their dreams.  They would not know how to deal with it all awake.
We have left the bar, walking in the late night rain to your apartment.  It's not a long walk, nor a short one.  The rain doesn't permeate our highs.  We laugh a lot over nothing and smoke cigarettes.  You're cool, supremely aware and together.  We giggle our secret jokings in the rain; your arms unite us, one around each.  Finally we reach the building, doorway, stairs, stairs, stairs, room.  Double lock, and you're ours.  We will play lovingly with you, a new toy.  We love to share our toys, she and I.
"Dear Lord," the priest closes his sermon, "We have sinned and demand forgiveness.  We have played by the rules and will enter the kingdom of heaven when we die."
You give yourself over completely to the pleasure which we know well how to give.  We blow great wafting billows of smoke from our lungs into yours.  We breathe heavenly white crystals into our veins and yours.  We all three enter each others' bodies through every orifice, merge through skin and immortal souls, experience climax upon climax, ever greater the heights.
They dream of liquid floating in suspension and do not understand.  We are the product of their dreams.
We suck you of your life fluids, moving mouths on every part of your body.  Vampires of experience, we will not let you go till we have sucked you dry.  Like a vampire's victim, you will crave the life, the experience of others, will suck them dry to gain eternity.  We suck you and lick you clean, fondlingly.  We again enter you through every opening, cleaning you through.  You have been exhausted.  We complete our ritual cleansing as you lie immobile, beyond response.  We symbolically cut off your genitals, cut out your heart.  We now own your soul.  It has been a good night.
Dawn has long since risen; they will wake soon.  Soon they begin again, another day of their busy aimless lives:  rise, work, unwind, sleep, and, oh yes, consume those predigested market-attractive packaged products of the mass media, the mass brainwash, the mass society.
We leave you sleeping and run gaily, arms linked, along the city sidewalk.  We stop for coffee at a corner cafe and rolls and donuts.  We no longer giggle, but speak sensibly; it is daylight.  We go to the park to sleep by the water, surrounded by greenery, curled contentedly in each other's arms.  Our easy breath is the summer breezes.

Here at the bar again, bar nothing to me.

Here at the bar again, bar nothing to me.
Early Scorpio warm, warm village 2 pm poetry reading
at Chumley's
Searching for bargains, found a Paul Goodman book
with cat and dog and baby photographs
to give to Cindy
a gift of love for a fragile child
Still afright from last night's heavy scene
Wherein the police took my man away again,
This time with my blessing and accomplicement.
. . . A man is a hard thing.
Also a drag on my developmental aspirations
When all he does is cry and threaten
Big Brute Violence
To storm my sensibilities.
(What's frustrating is he doesn't hear me cry.)
Laughing in the park we loved
Crying in the night we parted
Oh, beseech I, god above
Why must you leave me broken-hearted
(and I know he'll be returning with more disregards
and diatribes and possibly pistols drawn to fire.)
So I sit here in the bar, again
Drinking sweet Kahlua and awaiting the poetry
Taking a respite, you see.
Oh, god, for this while,
Bar nothing to this troubled child
(for child I feel, though woman grown)
Let peace alone assail me.

Section eight, section eight

Section eight, section eight
Asks you for a date
Watch him wriggling, wriggling, wriggling
babbling about his fate.
Wake on the morrow
Full of much sorrow
Knowing you can relate.
Honesty tells you to cry.
Misery tells you to die.
Your mind reels' spinning
will keep you from winning.
Your inner confusion
makes sure you keep losing.
And only your dreaming has
kept you from screaming
And smothering under your hate.

... And my heart is breaking,

... And my heart is breaking,
It's broken.
Shattered into tiny pieces,
fallen on the floor.
& all the king's horses and all the king's men
Can't put those pieces together again.
Tho they try Lord, they try.
So I pick up the pieces & wrap them in a sad
silken handkerchief
& lay them on the mantle for remembrance
And on dark winter nights
I will sit beside the fire
drinking bitter sweet wine
and remember you.

Gemini Eyes - Phase I

You hurtled me into a faithless dream
All my demons I'd thought I'd quietened
Sent my thoughts down a lustful stream of music
Gemini eyes talk of treacherous love
and I'll never win
Gemini eyes false promise of love,
and I'm caught again
How can I hold you?

The time was weak, my body hurting
It's a time I'm sure the years will soften
You offered all I wanted to need and I wanted
Your Gemini eyes to talk to me of love,
and I'll never win
Gemini eyes, please answer mine with love
Oh, I'm caught again
and I just want to hold you
and let the passion melt my tears
Tear the demons of all my fears
Tear me to destruction, Gemini eyes,
cause I'll never win
Your Gemini eyes got me caught again.
Please let me hold you.

Little Love Poems
Passion Plays
Sidewalk street scenes
Commercialized love-ins at the five and dime.
It's getting so you can't speak of intimate feelings
Without sounding like a third rate flick
Or pocket novel.
So we go cold in protest
And that is the evil
Of obscenity.

I fell in love once
Now they just take on different
Faces and Forms,
These objects of my passions.
It's all the same fucking merry-go-round
Of rapid pulse beats
And hot and cold flashes
And none of it seems very real or sane
Or even, at this well-worn point,

You said you loved me,
And it made my world.
I called you my lover,
And felt secure in the race to conquest.
Yet lately, when I'm alone
I feel an urge to leaving;
And when I'm with you,
I'm not there at all.

Love is a word people use a lot.
I love you.
Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not five minutes,
But right now
You touch me
Through a look, a phrase, an expression,
The way you stand so firmly on your ground,
And I respond
With the hot flush of love
In a smile.
My Firefly Heart

My firefly heart burns cold
flickers of remorse, of holy terror, brutal pain.
My firefly heart bleeds for you, but you don't listen
don't see or hear, disdain to know how I need
your mirror of my flickering light, my
howling darkness of remorse, holy terror.
Beating unheard at your doors and windows.
My firefly heart yearns to fly away, always onward
never resting, beating, beating, ever further
never resting but open alive to the passing
wonders flickering light and dark and
arrayed in colors so bright so
breathtakingly heartbreakingly.
My firefly heart beats into a thousand rays
striking out into the stratosphere playing
with the sunlight, prism bright rainbows
beating, flickering, cold and hot and
How can I make you see?

How that felt:
That icy black cavernous feeling
That falling and screaming mad panic feeling
That oh so languid nothing matters slow scorch
That "where is all the newness, the magic?" feeling
That "too bad, so sad
(goddamit!  I'm shaking mad)" feeling
That horror in the night
when I know I'm sinking feeling
That tight black knot
clenching my aching muscles feeling
That I'm strong,
just stay out of my way I don't need you feeling.
That empty feeling.


It was a brisk, bright-mooned evening in mid-Fall -- the sidewalks and trees decorated in crackly orange leaves, which blew helter-skelter in the excitement of the wind.
Marie, pretty little Marie, danced along the sidewalk, pranced across the streets, dressed in deep velvet and sparkling finery on her way to a night of music and joy.  Perhaps he would be there -- the he of the moment in her heart -- a still unconsummated romance, which, of course, added to the excitement in her eyes, the dancing of her feet.  She was sweet twenty-two with long brown hair and big blue eyes and out on her own for under a year now, learning about life outside of school.  By day a temporary secretary in various city offices, waiting for the big break to appear which would launch her career; by night an energetic blithe spirit of the local cultural scene, looking for Mr. Right who would make her feel warm and cozy and loved.
Warm . . . and cosy . . . and loved . . .
John H. O'Connor -- Johnny O' -- less than dapper man about town, scheming and scamming and looking for his lucky break, also had gentler feelings.  Just because he'd been knocked about a bit, he wasn't bitter, just wise to the ins and outs; and he wasn't one of the ins.  So he looked for the wide chance, the long-shot with the heavy purse, and meanwhile dreamed big-time, often with chemical aid; and looked for that special someone who would believe in him the way he wanted to believe in himself.
And they thought they'd found each other that bright, crackling Fall.
She was shy but forward.  He was brash but shy.  So they engaged in bantering small talk, while burning into each other's eyes -- everytime they encountered each other at the bars and parties and concert halls, for something over a month now.  And tonight once more.  But tonight was special.  Tonight was magical.  Crackling energy erupted and there was so much more between them -- like telepathy.  They kissed.  And walked each other home, hand in hand.  And ended up in her apartment,
where her roommates were conveniently out.  They told each other their souls and enjoyed bodily bliss and felt very, very special and blessed.  And Marie, sweet little Marie, knew deep down for the very first time that somebody loved her all the way through, without reservation, without condensation, and with only one condition -- that she love him too.
So let us leave these new lovers to do as lovers do and visit them later down the road of life.  Not too much later, for things move fast in these days of high-technology and mass mediated culture.  Let's look in on them, say nine months hence, in the long, hot summer of their lives.  And they're sharing a small apartment on the wrong side of town.  (What makes it wrong -- well the glaring glass and excrement on the sidewalk, as well as the occasional passed-out drunk or junkie might hint at a less than luxurious lifestyle for the local hoi-polloi.)
Well, how could she believe in him, fastidious little Marie, who may have been emotionally starved, but at least was always fed and clothed among the middle-class.  And he loved her, yes he loved her almost feverishly, but he couldn't control her; couldn't own her; and the fear of losing her was more than he could bear.
What had started out as a glorious adventure had turned too starkly real.
And the real world, in fact, has become much too stark and drear.  What do we see on the tv and newstands but nuclear this and bacterial that and crazy folk erupting into murder on the streets and schoolyards and AIDS-infected rapists and child pornography rings and arson and bombings, and man's most brutal retaliation unto man, woman and child.  A long, hot, greenhouse-effectuated summer indeed.
So he hit her, once or twice, or maybe, yeah, he went, a bit, out of control.  He beat her, pummeled her, showed her just who was boss-man, upper-hand, in control of the situation, able to rule her life.  And did she leave?
Hell, no.  Where could she go?  There is no safe port home, you know.  Not when Mom and Dad have split long since and communicate mostly by holiday phone calls and birthday greeting cards with a twenty-five dollar check enclosed because they've both known better days.
And friends, what friends?  He's alienated all those who are less worse off than they and she, so blindly attentive in the early days of bliss, had barely noticed.  That brilliant career has yet to materialize.  We must admit she'd not really been pursuing it lately.  And he's pissed away her weekly paychecks on deals made of daydreams and the occasional rent, utilities and food.  But, hey, this is the latter part of the twentieth century.  Aren't there "Women's Groups" and socially conscious organizations to come to the rescue?  Well, maybe somewhere; but not here where it counts so far as she can see.  She's alone.  Except when he loves her in the warm, soft night, singing poetry with his eyes and hands and mouth -- giving and taking and being all she could imagine.  Oh, for those warm, soft nights . . ..  But she's got to go.  She must escape.  The total desperation of the situation has come upon her.  Nowhere to go . . . nowhere . . . nowhere . . ..  But go she must!
So she waits 'til he's out on the town, scheming and scamming and giving his all just to try to make it for her, to be somebody in her eyes.  And she just starts running, in no particular direction, no thought in her mind but escape.  She runs, then walks, then runs again, through the town, through the city streets, with no certain destination, desperate little Marie, living on the hope that something will occur to her as she runs.  And, running out of breath, she stops at a newsstand where the headlines scream of horrors far beyond what she has ever endured.  But she's out of breath and out of options.  She's got about $5.00 in her pocket, so she goes into the nearest bar to use the facilities and buy a pack of cigarettes.  And take some time to think.
Pretty little Marie, they come up to her and offer to buy her a drink.  What the hell.  She drinks.  It makes her feel less.  Notice less.  And some sleezeball carries her away, arm around her staggering form.  And when she tries to scream, he covers her mouth and nose and face with the pillow.  So she screams and screams inside her mind.  And in the bright, hot morning, they find her, what's left of her, in a scuzzy alley.  The headlines talk of her tomorrow, but it's too late for her to care.

Long ago and far away

Long ago and far away
In the inner plains of time
A fair voice was heard to say
We will meet another day.

Through the days of waking dream
Many songs have shared the rhyme
Each meeting, new though it may seem,
Another pattern in the scheme.

Running now through you and me
A thread, a wisp of fleeting song --
An ever-mending tapestry --
This treasured bit of life we see.


Look at her there --
She can't see you.
She's lost in a daydream
  and miles away.
     Can you behold her beauty and love her,
 though she knows not that you may be?
Can you behold her beauty and love her;
  then turn
      and forever leave?

Venus Guide Us to Peace
a meditative poem

Not just sweetness and light
There is a strength; there is conviction --
there is a vibrant dedication to true worth.
If we can but believe again
in all the humane virtues --
Love is sharing,
in kindness, understanding, supportive regard.
Love is forgiving and being forgiven,
when it is clear that malice was not intended
or malice has been exorcised
-- an acceptance of the positive power
of change, of growth in spirit.
Love is the assumption of "we."
We are doing being going having creating
We are able to exchange our labor, knowledge,
possessions, positions
We are able to take in more than I -- to synergize
  our fortunes into wealth and integral well being.
Love is not just a song -- a pretty set of symbols
Love is a power and a glory
and an all encompassing truth.
Love is addition and multiplication,
not division or subtraction.
Love enriches and inspires us.
Love is not blind, not foolish.
Love is not denying the self or self interest.
Love is seeing clearly, knowing wisely,
understanding and expanding the self --
expanding outward to take in the universe
of interconnected, interdependent being.
Love sees the ugliness; and loves sees the beauty.
The ugliness saddens; the beauty invigorates.
Love is to peace as music is to harmony.
But how are we to love in a discordant world?
It is within us to pick out the true,
enduring melody
   to which our essential selves are tuned --
If we but look to, listen to, open our selves to
Venus, the Goddess of Love,
Peace, Justice, Harmony
as she manifests within us all.

The Personal
Is Political

lark tavern

red tabletops       think of cold
black floors w/ objectivity
thin red lines emotion says
dividing blocks of SCREAM!
black. so back off --
striped drapes objectivity
old newsprint       think of
wallpaper       cascading blood
an atmosphere of severed limbs
antiquity       shots and swords of
of people gathered murder
for raucous amusement held in stasis
i drinking molson's think of revolution
-- discriminating in this albany tavern
   distinction plots and politics
think of eisenstein as argued long ago
in post-revolutionary revolution
russia             in form and style
"mother russia" that's all that
visions of snow and ice changes
cascading water are they here tonight
held in stasis fomenters of tomorrow
brutal massacre on the would I be of them
steps (steppes) if i knew?


What is power?
Power is a word.
Power is an idea.
The Word is power.
The Idea is power.
Power is a distribution of energy, wealth, strength:
Physical, material, mental, metaphysical,
Power is that which allows us,
Or we allow others, to have
sway over their/our actions, emotions, limitations.
Power is a rush of air, of water, of electrons,
of words,
of weapons, of will
-- the force behind movement
or stasis.


infinite regression of change and resistance
multi-rhythmed rhyme
singing into the winds of change
to move their vector more in line
with where we wish to arrive

Study War No More

What lesson can be applied?
When imperialist troops crash down upon a people's pride?
When might as right meets the instinct to survive?
When Midas greed lashes out to destroy?
We've been here before, o my brethren, o my children --
repeating the fouled lessons poured into our thirsty minds,
pushing back the horror before our eyes with blinding rage
forged into weapons by mortal foes
who hide in plain sight.
The only thing I know --
The lesson repeating agony in all our souls,
Haunted by the pleading eyes and bloody hearts
Of the slaughtered sacrifices to malignant gods --
There is something vital here to learn.
The Perfect Tree

It was a perfect tree, in a perfect forest.
Standing majestic, it's roots planted deep into the earth,
Easily drinking of underground streams.
Basking in the magical sunlight,
Wordlessly enjoying the chemical process of life.
Enjoying the company of other lives:
Nesting birds, transforming insects,
Perhaps even playing host to the occasional human child
Climbing amongst its strong, cheerful limbs in happy union.
A perfect tree. A perfect forest.
Until the urgent need for a shopping mall destroys it all.

For the "Boston 18"

Look, this is dangerous
Making martyrs of the peacemongers may have
a long and honorable tradition
in Latin Jurisprudence.
But look where it leads.
Or do you so blindly worship fear
that you find solace in repression
and believe free thinking sinful?
Do you resent being born human
rather than a purely wrought machine?
Forcing your suicidal projections on the world,
is this your sanity?
Would you pluck out your eyes rather than
admit the light?
Turn a deaf ear upon all protest
while the screw turns ever tighter?
And when violence wins the human race,
will you go out smiling in triumph,
or quivering before your Lord,
or protesting
too late?

Somebody wrote a letter to the Times

Somebody wrote a letter to the Times
demanding relief
from the endless splutter of bad tidings
which made their morning train ride so despondent
  that they bitched at their secretary
and had to eat yogurt rather
than gin for lunch to soothe their ulcer
and kept them from smelling the flowers
in the park and gave them
a sour look that made children poke fun.
It was such a poignant letter
that Russell Baker wrote
a column about Pollyanna reporting to cheer our
overwrought executives who of course have so many
aggravations that they might make decisions
out of spite to blight us poor working
and non-working class folk
who must depend on executive class decisions
as to how we may run our lives.
Those who read the Times on these days
made mumbled comment
on how the world was in such a state as to give
any man indigestion and perhaps a stop at the
Full-Sensual-Satisfaction-Guaranteed Massage Room
would be just the thing
before the evening commute
back to the wife and kids.
Those who didn't read the Times
remained ignorant of the trends,
just got high and watched tv.

To the Military/Industrial Complex

You lost your faith, Peter Pan.
You lost your wonder
Who told you to sell out to your father's dream
-- Amerikkka?
Where loyalty to the God Success
overrules loyalty to the tribe?
We never believed in you,
the admen laugh.
Do you laugh with them?
At the poor deluded dreamer.
Do you cry inside in anguish over
what you've lost?
Is any part of that dreamer still alive?
I cry for you.
I was a child
who wanted to fly.

Ballad of a Modern Hero

Young Julius Jones
Born in the month of his naming
Trained in the fine art of gaming
Grew in the wilds of Manhattan
Among the sticks and stones.
Young Julius Jones
Learned soon to hate with a passion
Whoever was most then in fashion
Learned soon to pummel and flatten
Whoever was not of his own.
He grew swift and strong
A fine looking man, and a tough one
With women was always a rough one
But knew how to use all to please him
Sure of his own right and wrong.
He went off to war
Glad to be raising his station
Proud to be serving his nation
He'd ne'er let the enemy seize him
Of this he was sure.
He shot proud and true
And sent letters home to his mother
Of how he had killed yet another
Taught those damn Commies a lesson
Gave 'em what they were due.
He died in the night
And when, in the morning, they found him
It was nothing new to astound them
Someone just said, "What a mess."
And soon he was out of their sight.
Young Julius Jones
Born in the month of his naming
Trained in the fine art of gaming
Gone from the isle of Manhattan
Among the sticks and stones.
Young Julius Jones
Had learned well to hate with a passion
Whoever was most then in fashion
Learned well his lesson and that
In the end justified his bones.

Not in Our Name

Nobody wins in a war
(well, maybe a few financiers of war industries, but)
Not us, not them, not humanity
Not the dead, not the living
Not the yet to be born
Not the land, water, air, our natural resources
Not the roads, buildings, pipes, utility lines, the infrastructure
Not love or peace or morality
Not human nature
Not Right
Not Justice
Not God
Not the battlegrounds or the cemeteries, or the unhealable wounds in our souls
Whatever we may hope to accomplish with war,
There are better ways.

Timothy McVeigh Is Still Dead
It's morning in America
The morning of June 11, 2001
A warm and beautiful Spring day
And in Terre Haute, Indiana -- a little after 7:00 am
--Timothy McVeigh is dead.
What more is there to say?
We all know the score:
Death: 169, Mercy: 0
The hero "bloody, but unbowed"
Silenced, but still proud
Ashes to scattered ashes
Death to death.

G.J.'s Lament

Quantum leaps
Of conversation
And you know that I know that
What a show!
Full-feather display in livid color
"Hey, man, another beer, and for my lady . . ."
"Bug off, Creep!  I ain't chore lady."
"Oh, ain't I grand.  Hey, bud, I'm grand
Really I am.  Let me tell you one about me and the:
1) local pigs
2) welfare pigs
3) high falutin' professor pigs
4) landlord, loan-adjuster, tax collector, last year's lover
So when I go home alone at closing
Having blown my whole week's slave dues
Maybe I can stave off the blues
With the tales I've laid on you
Of my grand illusions.
"Hey, man, another beer, and let me tell you
'bout my baby who left me last year . . ."
Oh, yeah.

Life, the Universe and Everything
(for Patty)

Let's talk about life
 the one you have and the one you imagined . . .
With all the world of possibilities,
   what have you settled for?
Waking up in the cool, cool morning
Autumn crisp -- as your lungs reach for air
The sounds, the smells, the awaited adventures
Anticipation . . .
 Or merely another day?
Do you long for love in the dark, dusky evening?
Do you count the countless stars,
knowing a miracle is on its way?
Has the chill of eternity captured your imagination?
What anchors you to Earth?
What makes you want to stay?
A journey of a thousand destinies
Written deep within your soul
Traveling daily through all the possibilities
Which are the parts that make you whole?

Approaching Millennium

She sits in an old rocking chair
And questions the silence of night.
As the waves blow, the winds flow,
the sands sift with sea
And faraway stars shine in soft mystery
Her eyes shine with starlight and stare at the sea
Asking questions as ancient as night
Expecting no sign to appear.

In the village, at noon, on the square
Beneath the near blinding day light,
Sits a man with a plan he's no means to play
Wondering how he will get through his day
And just where, this night, he will finally lay
(Yes, beneath which exit light?)
Expecting no sign to appear?

I questioned myself on a dare
Tell me:  What's wrong and what's right?
Have I caught a new thought that God has no mind?
We search for salvation that's nowhere to find?
or merely grown tired of life's daily grind,
Not caring to search for the light,
Expecting no sign to appear.

We children of flowers and light
Have we turned to dour-faced fear
Our dreams sacrificed to the night
Expecting no sign to appear?

Servant to the Holocaust

Servant to the holocaust
Tremble in your harried cell
Invoke the curse ye know so well
To take you from your dreams of hell
Into the quiet place of never after.
Anger bore you out of pain
To call the power of poisoned rain
Upon the ruined wasted plane
That once had known the merry song of laughter.
Oh, nightmare's man,
I beg you in my future's heart
To leave this plane before the start
To end the practice of the art
Of vengeance cold or horror hot
As melted earth:
Servant of the holocaust
-- Deny they birth.

nuclear quiet

Terrible holocaust
Gravestones attest to the sight of horror
beyond any concept of fright.
Desirous of destruction
engulfing, eclipsing, destroying the night.
Ghastly retrieval to contemplate.
Holy emission of erupting planet
engulfing, engorging, destroying the night.
Terror behind closed eyes of terrible fire
destroying, enjoining, resplendent in blazing
transcending the night into deepest & deadliest
Yes, tremble and think not of that night.
Caught in a thread which ravels to end in
throat-clutching screams.
Send terror escaping into sad streams made of tears.
Endless, enduring, yet rent past all mending.
Quiet, so quiet tonight.
Kept closed -- quiet tonight.
Unable to scream; unable to cry; unable to go on
-- But, God, I don't die
just seeing the fire descending and screaming
without a sound.
Tremble, just tremble -- there's no soul around.

Patty We Hardly Knew Ya

So they took you from your lover's home -- Steven
who treated you like a child & later wrote memoirs & told them to take anything, but to leave him alone
& they took you.
& they locked you in a closet & used you for a media campaign to feed the hungry.
You had never known hunger or privation.
You were a princess of the ruling class.
But you had known loneliness.
You learned, finally,
away from your university walls, about revolution.
They called you Tania & plastered your picture on front page reports & post office billboards &
the Six O'clock News.
Your father wasn't the only Hearst
who could make the papers.
You became a phenomenon.  You became a star.
And the question on everyone's lips was:
"Where is Patty Hearst?"
& some were arrested & some were destroyed & the LA siege was just one of many brutal episodes in a bloody war movie, but you were a star.
& all the "little people" -- the housewives & the students & the laborers of the working class took you as their own & discussed your motives & some applauded you & some said you deserved to be spanked & some said you were just a pawn, but pawn or queen, you were a star -- a media heroine & no one could ignore you as they had
ignored your wealthy and powerful family.
Month after month you led the headlines.
The FBI was embarrassed
by false leads on your whereabouts.
All those trained bloodhounds searching for one
little girl playing revolutionary.
It could have been made in Hollywood,
But never in CUBA or CHINA or Viet-Nam.
You were so bold, standing in your beret & rifle
in front of the SLA trademark
(and we still may wonder on the significance of
Robbing banks in the tradition of Dunaway and Beatty
-- a whirlwind crime spree
to the glory of the "people."
What did you know of the "people?"
Those who cheered for the circus & those who condemned you at their mid-morning coffee breaks.
Yes, now you belonged to them --
no longer the sheltered heiress.
So they found you, the pigs, really quite by accident (the whole investigation being a gaily colored comedy of
& brought you to "justice."
& Justice took its time-honored time drawing out the headlines -- arraignment through appeals & exposes
("New Times features Bill & Emily Harris:  
at home with the fugitives")
And when they asked you for your profession on the
official forms you ingenuously proclaimed to be
"an unemployed Urban Guerrilla," which is certainly as valid as an unemployed newspaper heiress.
And Squeaky Fromm tried to shoot the President,
but you were still America's sweetheart --
poor little rich girl gone guerrilla.
But then you were reprogrammed and reneged on your revolutionary ways.  You cried for joy on being reunited with your "capitalist pig" parents &
the family dog --
Just like any Long Island JAP or Sacramento
newspaper heiress back from her hippie jaunt.
And they locked you in your "country club jail"
like they send a naughty child to her room --
"just to teach her a lesson."
And still the interviewers came
to continue the media comedy.
What fun you had with your "Pardon Me" teeshirt & your jailhouse romance with your guard.
(And Jerry Ford, who Squeaky tried to shoot, had
pardoned Trickie Dick.  And Susan Ford, the First Daughter, married her Secret Service guard.
And it was the era of Post-Watergate when nothing could be too absurd for a world weary public worn out by the Stagflation Wars)
And Waffling Jimmy Earl of the Georgia Peanut Dynasty was in the Whitehouse.
And China was finally invading Viet-Nam
And a fast-talking Orkian
was the rage of prime time.
And discomania mixed liberally with coke and 'ludes had taken over Amerikkka's youthful zeal.
And Werner Erhard replaced Che Guevara in ex-Yippie Jerry Rubin's heart & so the wheel turns.
& five years after the kidnapping,
Patty Hearst finally went home.


 All well and good
 But we are not always
   (thank god)
driven by profit.
 We have the capacity
    to be driven by all kinds of motives
               and to act sometimes
               for quite foolish reasons
                 when looked at objectively.

          It is not all black and white
 neither is it plus or minus
for we are not logic machines
            but human beings
            creatures of passion:
            capable of intense emotions,
              unreasoned behavior,
            and not always

Dumpster Baby Blues

Really, I had never thought about it at all until after I found the baby in the dumpster.
I was on my way back home kind of late at night, humming "My Heart Doesn't Bleed (for you)," and mulling over various business possibilities as my cash flow was getting to be dangerously low.  The hottest prospect was in distribution of nicohol, a beverage made from fermented tobacco with all the addictive and psychoactive properties of both alcohol and nicotine.  Not paying much attention to my surroundings, but I started to notice what sounded like a cat crying in the low-rent apartment complex dumpster I was passing.  I was in no great hurry to get back to my empty apartment (really just an unfinished basement in the warehouse district with jury-rigged bathroom and kitchen equipment I was renting cheap and with no questions asked), so I went over to the dumpster to check it out.  No cat, but what appeared to be a moderately healthy newborn human was crying atop the trash in the dumpster.
There was no one around but me and the kid, so I scooped her up and took her home with me.  It just seemed like the right thing to do.  I don't know much about kids, but a smelly, vermin infested dumpster did not seem like a very good environment to leave her in.  However, this act of good will now left me with several new problems.  I mean, what was I going to do with this kid?  I wasn't even doing very well in supporting myself.  And it became evident right away that I would now need supplies of the diaper and baby formula (and bottles, too, I guessed) variety.
Well, I left the kid in a box in my basement and went to the all night convenience store to pick up supplies for both of us -- beer and chips for me.  I realized that I would probably have to invest a hefty percentage of my dwindling resources if I intended to hold on to the kid for any length of time.  This is what got me thinking.  I mean, when one makes an investment, one expects some kind of return.  There must be some way I could turn this liability into a profit.  I let the problem settle into my subconscious (where I do my best thinking) while I diapered and fed the kid, consumed my snack, and got to bed.
The next morning I was awakened long before I was ready to the kid crying again -- who knows for how long before I was willing to concede it was not part of my dream.  I changed and fed her and left her sleeping in the box while I went out to the local library to check out childcare information on the World Wide Web.
So there I am web-surfing away when my eye catches reference to a newsgroup, alt.pedophile.  Well, something clicks in my good old subconscious, and I get one of those "aha" feelings, which always feels so good.  So I click on to alt.pedophile and start browsing through the posts.  I have found my market.  Now I need to arrange for the necessary advertising -- a very delicate operation as I am aware that my proposed business venture is not in any way legal.  Then again, most of my business ventures have not been overly concerned with staying within the law.  I find my profit margin to be better that way.  Besides, I'm the kind of a guy who likes my independence; and I'm wedded to my privacy.  On my side of the law I make my own rules; and I report to nobody.  So I have to find a way to advertise to my proposed client-base while maintaining my low-profile.
But then, I start thinking in earnest.  Before I contact said clients, I should first have a pretty good idea of just what I am offering.  Some of the posts have indicated a liking for activities which would not allow for more than a one-time use of my resource, which is not the kind of business I am looking for.  However, there are certainly other activities described which would not overly harm the merchandise.  And what about price?  I don't want to price myself out of the market; but neither do I want to short-change myself.  I am taking a considerable risk here; and that should entitle me to a good bit of profit per transaction.  So it looks like I've got some planning and research to do before I can actually open for business.  I mean, nothing ventured, nothing gained; but it makes sense to cover the angles.
From the information I've also gotten from the web on the care and feeding of human infants, I realize it must be time to get back to homebase and do some maintenance.  I stop on the way to pick up supplies so I can bathe, dress and provide bedding for the kid along with more food and diapers.  Once I've taken care of maintenance chores for both of us, I head back out to track down some former business acquaintances who may be able to help with my advertising campaign.
Well, as per usual, nothing goes smooth -- but it goes.  A couple of weeks later I find myself with a going concern.  To avoid invasions into my privacy, I've hit on the idea of renting cheap motel rooms in the no questions asked district, exchanging the key for my price in unmarked cash and then staking out the room from the parking lot to make sure no one tries to leave with the kid.  I ask the clients to leave the key under the mat when they're done -- privacy all the way around.  But I make sure they know I'll be watching them leave from an undisclosed spot and that we are all clear on the rules in terms of the condition I expect to find the kid in when they've left.  So far it seems to be working out just fine.  In fact, after a while, it all seems to be working out too well.  Between repeat and word-of-mouth clientele, I'm getting swamped with business -- even after raising my price a couple of times.  Apparently I have hit on a badly needed service.
It's time to expand.  And it occurs to me that my kid in the trash was probably not a one-time fluke.  So I start checking out dumpsters late at night, expanding my field of inquiry into various parts of the city.  And, wouldn't you know, it pays off.
Hey, the way I figure it, I'm providing several public services all the way around.  These kids had nobody and nothing; in fact, they would probably be dead and unmourned if I hadn't happened to find and rescue them, and given them a shot at a productive life.  I am now
becoming an experienced child care giver; and with the bucks they're bringing in we're all able to afford the good life.  The gig is easy -- they just lie there like they do anyway and let the big guys have their fun.  Life is good.
I once had a girlfriend, a beautiful, smart, funny, crazy lady who was my life.  Unfortunately, she was having a hard enough time being her own life, and didn't really need me along for the ride.  It was a bad scene all around, and I haven't even heard of her in years.  Sometimes I remember and am sad.  But I really haven't got much to put into a relationship -- and mostly I like it that way.
Time passes and I pretty much stay the same.  But babies do not.  They grow.  They gain competence in all kinds of motor skills and do not docilely stay in their boxes, or even (as we grow more upscale in our wealth) cribs.  They demand more and more attention and potentially find more and more trouble to get into.  Who am I to judge?  But I am a low maintenance kind of guy and not into complications.  Now I have a problem.  These kids are great little money-makers, but with all this dough I want to buy into more of a life.  I do not want to devote my time to raising kids.  And I can see a whole lot more complications down the road.  Nor do I know anyone I can trust to take over child care for me without a lot of questions and hassles coming my way.
As it happens, I'm jawing with some business associ-ates about my newly developing problems.  This guy tells me he's got a solution that will make us all a bundle.  Seems he knows this shyster who deals in private adoptions.  No questions asked.  I hand over the kids; he makes the deals and gives me my cut:  quite a bundle indeed.  And yes, there's plenty to give my connection a sizeable cut without leaving me any the worse.  Who knows what kind of homes the kids go to -- what kind of folks are into paying that much for slightly used merchandise?  It's not my concern.  I am happily, officially out of the baby rental racket.  And on, I assume, to bigger and better things.  After all, I've got quite a bundle to invest, and all the time in the world to enjoy it.

Three Penny Opera and Grateful Dead:
What They Mean to Me

I was listening,
under a shadetree on a summer evening,
To the morals of our time as displayed
in popular music
And thinking of the many tiny travesties
of personal moments all around me.
The seatide ebbing/flowing of the music
more than hypnotized
as I watched people flowing
through an inner newsreel
of pride and misery
People marching in various uniforms
To a beat of pride and progress in the marketplace
and war zones;
People marching or being trampled or
sniping from the rooftops
All in rhythm.
And a friend said to me
on a starlit evening,
"It's so hard to know anymore what to do."

Random Notes

Random notes
Spin and float
And echo through this day of harvest.
National news
And lines from blues songs
Hover 'round me as I work.
Love's a word, a concept,
I sometimes believe in.
But when tension holds me like a sieve,
I can't believe in anyone.

A child grows
And learns to know
The Norms and Bounds and Social Graces;
Learns to see a world that we
Have carefully wrought and framed.
We grow old
And feel we've sold
A hope, a dream, an inspiration
To more comfortably fit into
The slot above our name.

Bad Seed

Guilt as a constant drip of toxin
a constant flow of tears
a constant beat of blood
pounding behind my eyes
exhorting me to arise
to rise to the occasion
to fall upon my knees in shame
begging for any scrap to salve
that gnawing, angry pain
a constant burning drip
a ring of fire -- pass not beyond this point
for life is not a journey
but a downward spiral.
What could such an open, curious, loving child have done
to merit such punishment?

Talking of politics past

Talking of politics past
We are so unsure of the future
And so enmeshed in the now.
The territoriality of time is fading
Like Janis said:  "It's all one fucking day."
But the morning was so long in coming
So Bloody Long
I saw the first bright rays of dawn emerging
from beyond the horizon through my window
I try to tell you this as the long afternoon
drones on and on
But you, in reverie, do not hear me
So I'll write my poems for other ears.

Punk Rock

You found out that things can't always be
just neat and clean and bright.
You found out that sometimes right ain't strong
and wrong is right.
You found out a lot that Ma and Pa'd
never want you to know.
You're found out in the streets in the snow
with nowhere to go.
Ain't it a bitch, what you've found out.
Ain't you a bitch when you're found out.
You ain't so sweet and true anymore
The world ain't pink and blue anymore
And you're living in a world that
wasn't just made for you.


It was the summer of '89.  Me and Jake was looking forward to a couple more months of hanging out without much to do 'cause in a hick town like ours there just isn't much doing 'less you have a project or a job or something, which we didn't.  Mostly we'd just hang out at my house while my mom was at work, watching tv and playing videogames and such.  At 17 we felt like we were too old to go out on day trips on our bikes; and being without jobs, we didn't have the gas money to go out driving in the old car that Jake had bought this spring from money he had saved working summers before.
"We gotta find a way to get some cash," he told me this particular Tuesday afternoon, like he had so many times before.  But we had already come up empty looking for even a day's work mowing lawns or cleaning out trash and the grocery store where we had worked as baggers last year was letting their customers bag their own stuff trying to save where they could to stay in business.  Lots of places had gone under over the past couple of years and any kind of job was already taken by people needing it more than a couple of high schoolers.
Well, Jake's always been a bit of a daredevil -- like sneaking into the movies after the show started or sneaking beers and cigarettes after his dad had passed out, coming under my window and whistling for me to join him drinking and smoking out back under the cool, starry night sky -- stuff like that.  Maybe that's one of the reasons I liked hanging out with him, 'cause he'd help me try out stuff I'd never dare to on my own.  I mean, he wasn't a bad kid or anything.  In fact, he'd do most anything for you if you needed it and he could be a real hard worker, too, when something needed doing.  And I liked hanging out with him for those reasons too.
Well, like I say, I'd known that Jake was a daredevil, but this time he went well over the edge.
"I been thinking," he started, looking kind of dreamy, with a strange kind of excitement, "Like, we could rip off like a 7-11, a convenience store or something, you know, like you hear about on the news; but we could really plan it out right and get away without ever getting caught.  I mean, we wouldn't hurt anyone.  And it wouldn't be all that much cash in a 7-11 register.  But we could sure have a good time with it."
Believing that he had to be joking, I laughed.  "Good joke, Jake," I told him, or something equally dumb.
"No, I mean, look, we could really do it.  We cold wear like ski masks so no one would be able to give our descriptions to the cops and like stake out the store till no one was around but the guy at the register."
"Right, Jake," I said, getting into what I had to
believe was just a cool mind game to while away a hot afternoon.  "And we're just gonna walk in and say 'gimme all your cash!' and this guy's gonna just hand it over?  You know, those guys on the news generally have a gun or something to threaten the store people."
"Right.  And so do we.  You know my dad's got that handgun he got in case of a burglary or something.  I know where he keeps it and the ammunition, in his
dresser drawer.  I can sneak it out while he's at work."
"But you don't know how to use one of those things, I mean you never shot nothing or anything." I pointed out, nervously now.
"Hey, we're not gonna shoot anyone.  We just need it to scare him."
"Right.  And then what?  How're we gonna get away before he gets the cops to come after us?"
"Look, we'll siphon some gas out of some cars in the neighborhood and get enough to get to the store and get away.  We can hit that 7-11 over by the county line -- there's nothing else out around there so there won't be so many people around.  We can hide the car out in the woods behind the store, so no one'll see it and get a description or a license number or something.  We can even bring a change of clothes, so if the store guy describes us by what we're wearing, we won't be, you know?"
This sounded sensible to me, in fact I was getting so hyped up on the plan that I was forgetting all my objections to robbing 7-11s and messing around with guns and all.  It was just, you know, exciting.  An adventure even.  I mean, I wasn't taking any of this seriously.  I was just getting into the plan, and getting carried totally away.
We decided it would be best to wait till after dark, but Jake had to get his dad's gun before his dad got home from work.  So we went and got the gun and ammunition and put it in the glove compartment of his car along with a couple of ski masks we found in winter storage.  We also decided to wear very nondescript clothing, so we put on faded blue jeans and plain tee shirts and packed a paper bag with cut off jeans shorts and tank tops to change into after the hit.  Then we went about our usual business till about 10 pm, when we scoured the neighborhood with a hose and a gas can till we had what we figured was enough gas, poured that into the gas tank, and threw the hose and gas can into the trunk.  We were ready.
We drove out to the 7-11 and hid the car in the woods out back, all according to plan.  It didn't take long for the area to be empty of customers.
We pulled on the ski masks and walked into the store, running on pure adrenalin.  The guy behind the register was a little older than us, probably someone we'd seen around at school, though we didn't specifically recognize him.  I hoped the ski masks would keep him from recognizing us if he had in fact seen us around.  Jake pulled the gun and I demanded that the guy get out one of those paper grocery bags and empty the cash register into it.  He did.  I grabbed the bag of money and we turned to go.
It was then, when Jake's gun was no longer on him, that the guy pulled his own gun from somewhere behind the counter and yelled:  "Freeze!"
Jake didn't even take a second to think.  He just reacted; spun around and fired the gun at such close range that he had to hit the guy even without aiming.  We ran.
Into the car and out of there as fast as we could go.  We didn't stop to change clothes, but did manage to pull off the ski masks and throw them in the clothes bag along with the gun and bag of cash.  We were tear-assing up the back woods roads -- neither of us having any idea where we were going, with just the thought of getting away.  It was a long time before either of us said anything.
When I did, it wasn't much.  "Geez!"
"Yeah," Jake agreed.
"What are we going to do now?"  I got out about a minute later.
Jake just turned on the radio, flipping frantically through the stations trying to find the news.  The news wasn't happening just then.  In frustration, he turned the radio off.  It occurred to me that we were fugitives, desparados.  It was not a comforting thought.
As far as I knew Jake was driving aimlessly.  But after a while, there seemed to be a purposeful pattern.
"Where are we going?"  I inquired.
"This place.  I remembered.  We used to go here sometimes when I was a kid.  It's like resort cabins on the lake.  Maybe if we're lucky we can find an empty cabin to hide out in till we figure out what to do."
By the time we got to the cabins it was like midnight and everything was dark and quiet.  We were also
basically out of gas.  In fact, it was a wonder we'd made it this far.  It seemed like it was do or die time.  Like for god knows what reason we were fated to be here and now.  I just knew I had to pee.
We got out of the car and relieved ourselves in the woods, as quietly as we could.  Fortunately, it was a clear moonlit night, so we could see our way around pretty easily.  We walked out on a dock and sat with our feet hanging in the lake, being eaten by mosquitoes, not even trying to think, but just feeling the cool night air, just being alive.
There was a boat tied to the dock next to us, and I guess that gave Jake the idea.
"Hey, look.  We could take that boat out on the lake.  There're islands out there that people camp on.  We could get out too far to be seen from the shore and no one would know where we were.  At least we could find
somewhere to sleep."
This sounded good to me.  We pushed the car where it would be covered by the woods, and took everything out of it -- even took off the license plate -- so no one could trace it to us if they did find it.  We put everything in the boat and took off, searching for a likely camping ground.  It didn't take too long to be way out on the lake where, sure enough, there were plenty of smallish islands.  We pulled up to one, got out, and pulled the boat up on shore where we could hide it among the trees.  This was hard work; and by now all our adrenalin must have been used up.  We made beds of soft pine needles and fell asleep.  The next thing I knew, it was daylight.
I got up, stretching, and was hit by the sensation:  'God, I'm hungry!'
"God, I'm hungry," said Jake beside me.  This presented a problem since we didn't know much about woods lore like finding food out here in the wilderness.  We decided all we could do was explore the island and see what we could find.  What we found was a cabin.
"Hey, maybe we're in luck," Jake whispered.  "There could be provisions stored in there for the campers who use it."
"Yeah, and there could be campers in there, too."
We decided we may as well chance it as our prospects for breakfast were otherwise slim.  As quiet as we could, we walked in; and it looked like we were in luck 'cause we didn't see anyone.  Then, a sleepy sounding voice called from what I assumed was a bedroom, "Bill, is that you, hon?"
We froze.  I don't think we were even breathing.  Jake had the gun in his hand.  He had taken it along, I guess, thinking he might be able to shoot a rabbit or something.
She came out of the room and saw us, especially Jake and the gun, which he pointed right at her and said to me, not taking his eyes off her, "Go see if you can find some food."
I nodded, though he couldn't see me, and went for what looked like it should be the kitchen.  It was.  I got a big metal pot and put in easy access food like bread and cheese and salad stuff.  We were ready to go.
Just then the door opened and I guess "Bill" came in to the middle of this scene.  I hadn't paid attention to what I now figured was the sound of a boat engine
coming closer a moment before, what with all the excitement.  I guessed Bill had been out on the lake for an early boat ride and now had come back to a bit more than he had expected.
Jake panicked, turned and shot at the guy, wildly, but I guess it hit his arm or something and there was all this blood.
We ran out the still opened door and got into the boat out front, untied it and took off out of there.
This was all getting to be too much for me; and I told Jake so.
"This is getting pretty stupid.  I mean, what are we gonna do, keep shooting people and running till you run out of ammo?  We gotta go back and turn ourselves in.  We at least gotta get medical help for that guy back there."
Finally I was doing the talking, the planning.  And Jake was the one who couldn't come up with an argument.
"Yeah." was all he said, as he looked nervously out on the horizon.
So we drove back to the mainland and found a phone by the camping area.  I called the cops and told them about the guy on the island.  Jake took the phone and gave 'em directions, since he knew the area better.  Then we walked up to the road and waited for them to come pick us up.

A Kodak Moment

Picture you in a fairy-tale moment
Picture me as I was always meant to be
Picture us rolling through green meadows
Picture everybody happy.

In my life of quiet desperation
I still try to find the time to dream
Look at us, we're quite a combination
Wonder if we'll be happy.

Picture love as quiet desperation
Picture life as where we have to be
Picture time away from aggravation
Picture everybody happy.

Picture you in a fairy-tale moment
Picture me as I was always meant to be
Picture us rolling through green meadows
Picture everybody happy.


So they lost him
On the cross
And several wondered what all the fuss
had been about after all
And some just shook their heads and went back
to tilling the soil
And the prostitute laughed and ordered another
pink lady to go with her boa
While tinkly music played on the jukebox
And after hours male animals
considered their needs.
And The Few Who Had Been United
closed the bookstore and split for the coast
to try the beach scene.
So they lost him on the cross
And maybe someone wrote a letter to the Times,
And several called their representatives
to lodge complaints
That always got lost in the shuffle
of paperwork
And a few young ones mourned in silent vigil
Holding candles 'neath the moonlit sky,
Praying for strength and enlightenment
But they were only going through a phase.

To Victory

Beat Time
Tempus Fugit
We are all fugitives from time.
Feel it; hear it; deliver it; swear it.
in and out of phase
new dawn deliverance
new light on age
it's only what you agree to
so don't sign no dotted line
don't sell your soul to time.
Break free, run for it.
Run for your life.
Past the speed of time -- break all barriers.
And don't look back into measurement.
Know no limit.
Beat Time.

Ode to Apathy

Lately I've been doing apathy
And, it doesn't matter, you know
No one gives a thought to what I feel.
And I find that not caring
makes life so much freer.
No conscience to consult, no worries to be felt.
It's as if I'm on a Librium cloud.
Lately my sorrows and tragedies
Have been looking humorous or dull.
The cares of my neighbors and woes of my friends
give no thrill.
Content to view the world through
a monotone spectacle.
When the megatons hit
I'll be calm all through it . . .
Lately, I've been doing apathy.

New American Anthem

After Shock and Awe
It's a transitional time
Of untidiness

We bombed in Baghdad
Now we have no idea how
To clean up this mess

Forget peace on Earth
Let the common folk suffer
And not have a say

Since god is with us
Against the rest of the world
We'll just have to pray

        My Heart Doesn't Bleed (for you)

Life is perverse
God is a cad
Here we're working so hard to be happy
It's really so sad
My heart doesn't bleed
My heart doesn't bleed for you.

You're down in the dumpsters searching for food
Cause you spend every nickel to alter your mood
As the nights go by flying into days without end
You know you'd get better if you could just find a friend
My heart doesn't bleed
My heart doesn't bleed for you.

The news isn't good, but it's certainly hot
Cause we love it when someone gets put on the spot
We're all politicians; we all play that game
Running and jumping into passing the blame
My heart doesn't bleed
My heart doesn't bleed for you.

What you've got going's so desperate and sad
You couldn't be good, but you're no good at bad
And you haven't the sense to come in from the rain
Cause just going numb's so much better than pain
My heart doesn't bleed
My heart doesn't bleed for you.

You're lost in the alley with the rats and the fleas
Don't matter no more once you've caught that disease
You know in your soul that there's no one to care
But what you're not sure of is how you got there
My heart doesn't bleed
My heart doesn't bleed for you.

knife's edge

My heart is on the edge of a knife--
not licensed surgery
just self-medication for pain.
What else is true?
Betrayal by the gods can result in confusion.
Sometimes it all seems clear and clean and real --
When sensation makes sense.
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen,
'cause they're all busy looking at their own.
Knife's edge -- the end of the rainbow
See the shining beatitude, the joyous reunion.
When all the lonely, separated strands and coloured bands
finally find their proper placement in celestial harmony.
Oh, the trumpets will sound calling all to glory.
But what else is true?
Are there cries for war throughout the land?
Are there crises crying for attendance while our leaders are otherwise involved?
Are there cowering souls, beyond earthly torment, crying for release
while hiding in cubicles or corner offices or ivory towers
playing at mind games, convoluted strategies, never quite sure
who they are?
Are there banners flying, urging all to attend the great banquet?
Is this the feast for which we've come?
The knife cuts both ways.
Does it matter why we bleed?

thoughts provocateur

Listening to daily news reports, I am assaulted by the effects of unnecessary poverty on a populace more and more driven to senseless acts of violence and despair. It has been occurring to me that our world need not be such an ugly and hopeless place for so many of our citizens.  With the technology already available, we could easily provide the means to happy and fulfilled lives for a great many more of us, thereby ending the bulk of beastly behavior engendered by squalid environments and the anger/apathy reactions to a dearth of meaningful alternatives in ones life.

The media is full of woeful tidings about young people
involved with drugs and inappropriate sexual experiences -- an
outgrowth of the glorification of such activities in the same media, but also the reaching out for some kind of experience in a world that allows very little in the way of achievement or fulfilling activities for our young.

Young children are subjected to all kinds of horrible experiences perpetrated by their so-called caretakers, both abusing parents and those in whose care their parents mistakenly leave them in order to go to jobs to provide for the material needs of the family.

People in many parts of the world suffer basic deprivations of food and shelter.  Many children face lifelong handicaps resulting from early malnutrition.  Many are left with lifelong emotional and physical scars from having to fend for themselves on the streets from an early age.

Violence is learned as the appropriate reaction to anger and frustrations.  In the media and on the streets, violence is glorified and rewarded.  Love is seen as being linked to pain, of betrayal, of loss, and the love/pain link experienced in abusive family relationships.

Poverty both material and emotional is endured, but not quietly.  Violent reactions are visited especially on the families and neighbors themselves subject to these brutalizing environments, as well as upon those who are materially better off, in the form of all manner of violent crime.  The criminal justice system seems to only reflect and propagate the brutalizing conditions which do nothing to ameliorate the hate, pain, frustrations in an endless cycle of violence, victimizing victims and perpetrators and numbing the sensibilities of the professionals who attempt to work within the system.

The education system fails to educate in most of the areas that we need to understand to function in our world.  How much do we learn in school (or even at home or on the streets) about basic health and safety, financial management, childcare, legal rights and responsibilities, building meaningful relationships, building self-esteem, building and maintaining a home?  Instead, most of what our young people learn in the schools that they must spend most of their formative years attending seems to be more destructive and counterproductive than truly useful.

Like it or not, our children (the children of our world, be we parents or not) are our future.  The quality of life we can look forward to is the quality of life we teach our children to expect and produce.  And in the present we live out the expectations we are producing today.  Do we really want a world based on violence and ignorance?  I don't.  I want a world in which I and my loved ones could live in relative peace, security and well-informed choice.  Yet, what am I doing to promote such a world?  I see the misfortunes around me, and feel hopelessly frustrated, beyond any attempt at change.  "I am, after all, only one relatively powerless person," I say, and go on with my daily chores, which, after all, leave me little time or energy for doing battle with the powers that shape my surroundings.  I bemoan the lack of time or energy I have even to interact with my own child, and see his life and values being shaped by so many factors beyond my choice or control.

I have come up with several ideas, fantasy scenarios, which I believe would, if implemented, result in a happier world.  I do not expect you to agree with these ideas.  In fact, I would be highly gratified if you would disagree, and in your disagreement develop or expand ideas of your own which you might share, thereby increasing the energy expended toward positive change in opposition to the apathy or uselessly expended anger against vague or inappropriate targets which, I fear, are overwhelming our healthier impulses.  And, if by chance you do agree with any of my ideas, perhaps you could expand on them or help to devise more effective methods of implementation than I have yet been able to imagine.  It is said that imagination can be a powerful tool toward change.  Perhaps the opening of channels of communication for our positive imaginings might help us to create a world in which we could be prouder and happier to live.

I would like to talk for a bit about the complex interconnected issues of poverty, population control, the right-to-life campaign and birth control.  Let me start by stating that per se I have no problem with the existence of a serious campaign of conscience by those who sincerely believe in the rights of the unborn.  I firmly believe that we all have a right to our deeply held beliefs and to communicate these beliefs in public forums.  I simply want to point out that not everyone shares these beliefs, nor should anyone feel compelled to do so.  Furthermore, the issue of a right to life is certainly more complex than the media image that right-to-life groups portray.  Totally apart from the issues of women's rights over their own bodies and the morality of sexual activity, there remains the very compelling issue of quality of life.  I am speaking here not only of the quality of life potentially available to the unwanted yet to be born child or the potential quality of life for the mother to be and other members of her family, both very important issues indeed, but also of the quality of life for us all in the extended family of society, including those children who are very much wanted.  I am talking about finite resources and how they are to be distributed.  I am talking about child abuse and its far-reaching effects in the escalation of violence and misery.  I am also talking about the messages we give to people, young girls of child-bearing age in particular, but all the rest of us as well, about our responsibilities, to our children, to ourselves, to our communities, and to our world.  There are, of course, many reasons why a particular pregnancy may not be appropriate for a particular person at a particular time.  Among these are the age and health of the prospective mother, the circumstances surrounding the conception (such as incest or rape), the career goals that may be shattered, the existence of other children or dependents whose demands of time and energy may be usurped, and, certainly, economic factors precluding the proper care of mother and child.  Regarding these economic factors, a question I think appropriate to ask those who carry the banner of right-to-life is, who is to pay these costs to create a real life for these children that you say should be saved?  Some may be adopted into families who have the means and desire to raise them, but certainly not all.  I know I would have a great deal more respect for these crusaders of conscience were they to contribute a sizable percentage of their formidable resources -- time, energy and cash -- toward a right to quality life campaign for these children:  providing quality childcare options, quality living spaces, quality medical care, quality educational opportunities for both children and parents, quality nutrition including prenatal nutrition, quality counseling for troubled families, etc., etc.  Can you do that?  Can you truly take responsibility for your beliefs?  Or is the extent of your commitment merely to make life more difficult for those already facing insurmountable challenges?

In our mainstream culture, we have devolved to a dichotomy of  repression/licentiousness and usually (self)-enforced ignorance or lack of serious thought or discussion of the greater implications of our natural sexuality. Thus it becomes an issue of abortion choice
when it might better have been resolved back at the issue of having informed and enlightened choice in the realm of sexual expression.
Sexual responsibility includes giving the young the tools and knowledge to protect themselves, honor their bodies and emotions, understand their responsibilities and the responsibilities of others to them.
It includes understanding that so many of us have been devastatingly wounded by being unwilling participants of inappropiate sexual expression. That wound is expressed in a great diversity of harmful behaviors, with the person expressing them often not even
consciously aware of the connection.
It includes taking the time to relate to potential sexual partners in a way that allows for serious conversation about expectations and preparations. It includes taking seriously the responsibility to make appropriate preparations, which means being prepared with the
necessary knowledge of the risks and how to prevent them. It means understanding that sex is about more than pleasure and personal/interpersonal expression.
Sex is the way we create new life.
We need to honor and respect that power, because the creation of life above all else should be sacred to us as living beings. How can a new life be sacred if it is created thoughtlessly and with regret, so that there are none to welcome it into this world but
only an atmosphere of regret and recrimination?
The responsibility belongs to all of us, as the consequences of irresponsibility affects us all.
We need to take sex out of the gutter and the innuendo, out of embarrassed silence or ribald humor, out of escalating arguments about abortion, certainly out of escalating epidemics of deadly diseases. We need to take it boldly into the public arena, shine
light upon a subject that has been far too subject to dark or muddled interpretation. We need to take actual responsibility for the essence of our lives.

As to the mega quality of life issues represented in questions of population control, myriad stances could be taken.  As the world population grows and natural resources are expended, we face greater deprivation for greater numbers of us.  One tactic is to find ways of renewing, expanding, and substituting for the resources we all need.  To an expanding extent with greater knowledge and technology this becomes more possible.  However, population control is also a factor that can help in this equation.  This can be quite a sensitive issue in that there have been historical incidents relating to genocidal plots against various population groups.  Within an ideological framework that perceived all human cultural groups as valuable components of the "family of humankind" nonsense of that kind would be unthinkable.  Population control must result from individual personal choice in family planning on one end of the lifeline, and in such medical decisions as euthanasia on the other.  Public opinion and media campaigns can and will affect personal decisions, but public fiat can not be allowed the deciding voice.  Quality of life issues have already been seen to have a dramatic effect on birth rates.  Community and media support of such decisions can help to continue this trend, as community and media support in the past and in other cultures has encouraged different personal decisions in this area, resulting in our current large population.  By showing people their options and encouraging small families (or so-called alternative family structures, such as extended family groups sharing childcare responsibilities, childless families, adoption and foster care options, etc.) as contributing to a better quality of life for these families, individual personal choice will tend to move in that direction.  When scientific breakthroughs in safer, more effective means of birth control are made, the societal atmosphere prepared to take advantage of these will further encourage an ecologically sound population profile.

Right to Death?  Assisted Suicide?  Organ Donations?  A plan:  A committee can be formed in each community, self-selected by volunteers from various segments of the community.  Right-to-Life advocates would be encouraged to take part as well as members of any other group with particular interest.  Perhaps rotating groups of five members each could be formed.  Anyone seriously contemplating suicide would petition the committee, which would have office space at a local hospital and would advertise in the local telephone book (and other places, as the committee decides).  Seriously ill people, already hospitalized, who wish to end their lives or want assistance to do so would have immediate access to the committee.  The committee members would discuss options with the petitioner, giving whatever arguments they like.  If the petitioner still wants to die, they can sign a statement witnessed by the committee to that effect and, after a 24-hour waiting period during which the petitioner can rethink his/her position, assisted suicide would be available at the hospital to be carried out in such a way that any usable organs would be kept in useful condition to then be available for those who need them.

Love  Sex  Marriage  Childrearing -- these are four distinct areas of human interaction.  Unfortunately, in our society we tend to see them as being responsibly undertaken only as a package.  In reality, characteristics which one may find attractive in another for any of these relationships do not necessarily make for positive relationships in the other categories.  This results in enormous amounts of human misery.  Why not just separate them.  We love who we love.  We have sex with those with whom we are sexually compatible.  We marry those with whom we wish to share a life.  In the area of childrearing, we can develop extended family/community living arrangements wherein all the children of the community are cared for.  Biological parents could certainly play as much of a role in raising their children as they wish to.  But a child's well-being would not be limited to what their biological parents are able or willing to provide.  Living arrangements allowing for both privacy and easy interaction could be devised.  Once the change in paradigm has been accomplished, the day-to-day functional aspects of these new kinds of living arrangements could be worked out over time.

What is money?  You can't eat it.  You can't wear it.  Money in itself has no real worth.  It is a medium of exchange:  it only has worth when you exchange it for something that is of real value.  Yet people act as if money is worth killing for, dying for, selling their souls for.  Of course there are other symbols that people think these things about:  our flag, our nation, symbols of success, symbols of religion.  Money is a symbol of power -- the power to make marketplace decisions, which ultimately shape the marketplace.  The daily economic decisions we as consumers make, taken all together, act as votes for what products and services will then be made available to us.  Economic decisions are political decisions.  Wealth is power.  Does this say something about the supposed godly link between capitalism and democracy?  Capitalism is an economic system which favors the accumulation of capital -- negotiable resources (such as money) -- in the hands of a knowledgeable few, who then control by force of their economic "votes" the lives, the available choices, of the many.  Capitalism favors decisions that are income positive, as opposed to decisions that are say humanitarian or environmentally sound.  Ultimately decisions that improve the lot of the human resources (people), say in terms of better, healthier living conditions, better educational opportunities, etc., and decisions that improve the natural environmental resources, that allow for regeneration of these resources rather than their destruction, are the more economically sound decisions.  Improvement of the lot of humanity and our planet would lead to an economically expanding spiral of better workers, better resources to work with, more usefully creative ideas and enterprises and a generally higher level of life and choice for the present and the future.  Unfortunately, what would be the more positive economic choice in the long run would not necessarily allow for the highest profit margins in the short run.  So, those who would scramble to the top of the economic heap today show little regard for true cost-benefit analyses on a long-term, planetary level.

On the other end of the economic spectrum from those who are in positions to make the decisions are the economically powerless, the poor.  As the current economic distribution would have it, the poor seem to be an expanding resource -- as more and more of the world's wealth becomes concentrated in the hands of a small elite class, who tend to use their power to continue this trend.  Meanwhile, in this country where we claim belief in the virtues of equality and opportunity, those who find themselves at the bottom of the economic heap, for whatever reason, become subject to the so-called Welfare system.  Under the assumption that in "the land of opportunity" those who haven't "made it" are in some way less deserving, or under the assumption that people in general are dishonestly out to "beat the system," people who need to access the system for help in survival are often treated cruelly, or at least with great disrespect, in return for the grudging handing out of pitifully meager funds.  Moreover, an interconnected array of political, economic, social, emotional, and personally idiosyncratic factors often tend to keep these people in poverty despite their upwardly mobile desires.

Science fiction writers and political thinkers often put forth the idea of a guaranteed minimum income.  (One example of this in science fiction can be found in the book, A World Between by Norman Spinrad [Pocket Books, New York, NY, 1979], in which a planetary economic system is based on all citizens owning a share of the planet's GNP.)  Another possibility for upgrading the opportunities available to the poor has been explored in such programs as the Depression era public works projects and the more recent CETA job-training and development programs.  A scenario I have been toying with is that of a "civilian opportunity corps" or "unarmed services," loosely based on the national armed services:  a voluntary program which people could join to learn job skills which would benefit their communities.  During training (on-the-job and in classrooms and laboratories) the recruits' needs would be taken care of as they are in the armed forces.  Once on the job, meaningful wages and benefits would be provided, as in the armed forces.  People could sign up for a predetermined term, as in the armed forces; and once their term was completed, they could use the skills they had learned to find jobs in the civilian sector, or sign up for another term, as in the armed forces.  Of course, this program would be funded by general taxation, as in the armed forces; but the taxpayers would be seeing a much more visible return on their investment in their own communities as needed services which might not be cost effective enough to be taken on by the private sector were provided.  Furthermore, people would be given a tangible chance to serve their country in peaceful ways, and to feel a greater responsibility for -- to have a greater emotional investment in -- their communities.

Speaking of investments in community, what about the children?  We worry about the crimes committed by youngsters who lack the mature judgment to understand the consequences of their actions and lack adequate recreational outlets.  Kids want status with their peers; and when they can't get it for being who they are, they attempt to get it with daring deeds and flashy possessions.  But who is concerned about these children who will, after all, be the leaders and workers and tenders of the society of tomorrow?  Who takes the time to work with them and teach them to be concerned about our world and our/their future?  We hear alot from activists about environmental problems which may seriously shortchange our children's future; and about such potential horrors as nuclear holocaust, or even the ravages of more conventional warfare.  Here we have a potential army of pro-environment, pro-peace workers who have a vested interest in keeping our world safe, sane and sanitary.  Yet this group is left to waste their time and energy or misuse it in pointless activities which teach them the skills of hate, violence and destruction.  It occurs to me that a corps of activists who really care about our future could do well to organize the children into groups (perhaps along the lines of other youth organizations, like the scouts) of young environmentalists, young pro-Earthers, who, once taught about the potential dangers to their futures and about various effective strategies to counteract these dangers, could well be our/their salvation.  These kids have energy and ideas and a new outlook to offer.  They need only leadership and direction and an understanding of the unfolding dire situation which they are being asked to overcome.  They need some dedicated older people with education, skills, caring and clout to help them to get started.  Then they can develop their own projects which they could be proud of, which would enhance their future coping and managing skills and enhance their self-confidence and self-respect:  all tools they'll certainly need to create the better world we all hope for in our/their future.  Funding for these projects could be raised in the ways that children now raise funds for other projects:  door-to-door and shopping mall solicitation; car washing, leave raking, and other chores; running errands for the elderly and others who can pay small amounts for these efforts; bake sales; sponsored events; etc.  One possibility might be an environmental-skills camp where the kids could gather in the summer in wilderness areas and learn about the natural environment and how it works and how to keep it working.  Kids could even learn skills to repair the environment where damage has been done.  They could learn to work together in gangs devoted to improving their collective lot, rather than ganging up against each other out of fear and boredom.  Wouldn't this sort of activity do a great deal toward reaching the activists' goals -- much more than mail solicitations, media demonstrations and governmental lobbying?

The plight of the homeless has become an in theme in the media.  Then there are people with various situations that could be greatly helped by having a safe place in which to stay:  battered women and children, former mental patients and prisoners trying to relearn how to get along in the world outside the institutions, people with various family problems who need to get away.  On the other hand, we hear often of properties that are confiscated due to nonpayment of taxes by their owners, or, more recently, due to criminal activities taking place in them.  Perhaps, instead of auctioning off these properties to those who have the savvy and cash to take advantage of their availability, we could develop a system whereby these vacant buildings are turned over to agencies which would make them available to people who need a place to go.  This would not allow the government to make a profit on these properties; but then neither would tax money be needed to purchase the buildings needed for these public-benefiting purposes.  (And, if you don't want a shelter or halfway house in your neighborhood, you could always pay off your neighbor's back taxes.)

On the subject of taxes, not so long ago there was a radical change in the U.S. tax laws.  I think they have gone far from far enough in reforming tax liabilities.  I especially cannot countenance a tax system that would allow the loss of a home that one has worked for a lifetime to own when financial reversals result in lack of the wherewithal to pay off the taxman.  Furthermore, why is it that we hardworking paycheck dependent folk who are hardpressed to make ends meet end up putting in a larger percentage of our hours to finance others' politically motivated objectives?  I have already written to the tax authorities about allowing us a line on our tax forms to tell them of particular government expenditures we do or do not want our individual tax bills subsidizing -- ultimately it would probably all cancel out and the resultant budget be no different, but at least we would have a chance to make our preferences known in a more specific way than by the ballot -- of course this has not been done.  However, I suggest a much more sweeping reform than this.  I suggest that we do away with personal income tax and personal property taxes on single family primary residences.  I suggest that we try financing our governmental projects via sales tax.  After all, we do have at least some control over what we spend in terms of keeping within our family budget.  Certain necessity items would be exempt from taxation:  food, basic clothing (say items under $100 retail), medical supplies, heating fuel, childcare, education.  Items in a luxury category might be taxed at a higher rate.  All commercial transactions involving nonexempt items, at all levels along the process from manufacture to retail, could be taxed, as well as all service transactions (excluding necessary services, such as medical care, etc.)  Business people already must keep tax records and many states already have sales taxes, so the recordkeeping aspect should not be a problem.  Regular wage earners, as opposed to those who sell products or services, would no longer need to be plagued by the need to keep records of all their financial transactions, nor would employers need to keep tax withholding records for their employees.  High duties on major purchases brought in from other countries could help to keep those with the means from buying abroad to avoid taxation (or perhaps other countries could also adopt this means of taxation).  Savings on the government's end might be effected by doing away with subsidies for certain groups, such as farmers and oil producers, when they have the advantage of tax exempt products and fewer taxes to pay in production.  Hopefully, this would also result in lower prices in general for such commodities at the consumers' level.  Therefore we could have a turn around of the present system of the lower income people supporting the higher in terms of tax liability.  Another suggestion I have would add greatly to the national income and lower the high costs of prisons, courts, law enforcement, and social services.

We have been hearing for quite some time about drug abuse and the so-called war on drugs.  Governmental interferences in our lives of absurd proportions have been suggested and implemented in this mad campaign.  In response to those who blame illicit drug users for the growth of the "drug problem" on the demand side, you are entirely missing the point.  Look into history or psychology and you will clearly see that people have always used the substances available to them to ease their anxieties, self-medicate for chronic or medically untreatable pain, relax, recreate, celebrate, become more sensitized to art/beauty/relationships, become less sensitized to poverty/ugliness/hunger, search for spiritual fulfillment, change their consciousness in one way or another.  For most of history this was an incidental aspect of human behavior.  The problem with the illicit drugs (not to be confused with the drugs this society condones, for whatever accidental reason) is the profit motive resulting from their artificially inflated prices (a direct result of the laws and enforcement of same against their use or sale) which lead to bloody battles among those who want to make those profits, and between the profiteers and the law enforcement personnel who harass them.  What most people who complain about the "drug problem" are afraid of is the violence and street crime resulting from this profit motive.  Profit-driven violence is only being exacerbated by law-enforcement's efforts to crack down on drugs.  To lower the incidence of serious abuse of drug use, wouldn't it be more practical to control the legal use of these substances?  We could heavily regulate sales centers for those substances we choose to designate.  Perhaps limit the number of such centers in each given area, regulate their locations (say not within a certain distance of schools or other chosen community facilities), regulate the age of patrons with mandatory ID checks, regulate the amount to be sold per transaction, regulate the prices while still keeping these prices well below those of the current illicit market, include heavy taxation and use tax revenues from the sale of these substances to fund various treatment centers, substance use/abuse education and medical programs (after which any additional tax revenues may be used to help pay for other desired programs), disallow advertising of these products, stringently disallow public use and driving under the influence (along the lines of current policies against drunk driving, we could have laws against driving under the influence of any debilitating substance with stringent penalties like loss of the driver's license and car and substantial fines.)  Drug bars could be licensed to give people a legitimate place in which to enjoy these substances with others, and regulated to disallow minors, require that sales be only for on-premises use, etc.  (We could also require for the staff of these drug bars expertise in controlling and mitigating conflicts, both physical and psychological.  There are many trained counsellors who would enjoy this work if paid appropriately for their skills; and it would benefit both the community and the customers of these bars to maintain a positive environment.)  Through tax revenues our government programs would benefit from those who desire these products, rather than organized crime.  Meanwhile, a system of highly regulated legal distribution would allow for the kind of knowledge and control which is impossible under the existing situation of uncontrolled illicit transactions.  Educational programs against drug use could be refined and expanded.  Minors would not be pressured into drug use or sales by criminals seeking expanding profits or seeking less legally liable dupes to do their work for them, or by their own desires for otherwise unimaginable wealth; and people in general who use these substances would not be forced to deal with profit-hungry, unscrupulous criminals and possibly tainted products.  Drug treatment programs could be made much more available; and without legal considerations some secret drug users might be less intimidated about going for treatment.  More room would be available in prisons and courts for other kinds of criminals if less were taken up by drug-related crimes; and there would be less violence in our communities without drug-profit related crimes.  If we like, harsher penalties could be legislated against criminals who commit crimes while under the influence of drugs (including alcohol) to both prevent these criminals from trying to use their drug-induced misjudgment as an excuse for their crimes and increase the general idea of responsible use of mind-altering substances.  Public resources now being desperately and ultimately ineffectually thrown into the anti-drug "war" would be available for use against the social problems we all recognize such as homelessness, poverty, intrafamilial violence, lack of quality education, et al., the root causes of addiction.  Furthermore, a more enlightened attitude toward drug use might allow for those who do choose to make recreational use of drugs to be better informed about the consequences of their choice and, therefore, allow them to pursue these activities more safely and responsibly.

About the criminal justice system generally, our societal response to crime:  Crime can be divided into two distinct categories of violent and nonviolent -- to be handled in very different ways.  People who impose violence on others when considerations such as self-defense or defense of others are not involved are dangerous, and in most cases need to be removed from society.  People who break laws for the protection of society or various groups within the society, but who do not impose violence on others, can be dealt with in various noncustodial ways, depending on the circumstances of the individual cases.  Within the framework of these two distinct categories, there are various levels of seriousness which should lead to various levels of response.  On the other end of the criminal-victim dyad, is the currently underrepresented victim.  For true justice to be effected, the needs of the victim need to be addressed and redressed.  We speak of criminals "paying [their] debt to society."  Wouldn't it make more sense in terms of justice, retribution, punishment and deterrence (theoretically the reasons for criminal prosecution) for them to, in a very real and financial sense, pay their debt to their victims?  As part of their sentence, perpetrators could be required to return to the victim that which their crime took from him or her (to the extent possible).  One way to do this might be to include crime-related debt, as some child support payments are handled, within the purview of the IRS (which seems better equipped than the criminal justice system to see that payment is made).  In any case, society must see that the victim is taken care of, as an integral part of the criminal justice system.

What about a revamping of the entire legal code?  Many laws made in earlier times are now seriously out of step with our current way of life, written in language that is cumbersome and difficult to understand, in direct conflict with other laws or could easily become addendums to other laws which would make for a more efficient and more easily understood legal code.  Why not put expiration dates on all laws, far enough into the future to avoid constant updating, but allowing for updating on a regular basis.  Before the expiration date is reached, legal scholars, legislative aides, and other interested parties could work on the eventual streamlining of law into a code that would be more efficient, relevant, and easily understood.

In regard to preventing crime in the first place:  most schools have "guidance counsellors" to help students plan for careers, choose courses, and sometimes with personal problems.  Why not expand this service to truly provide guidance for people in a community who may have personal, family, health, psychological or just growing up problems of all sorts.  These counsellors could be primarily community volunteers who are trained as active listeners and equipped with referral sources, but who are basically there to be there, to give people somewhere they can go, easily, with no fuss or embarrassment that might be associated with seeing mental health professionals.  We could provide space in the schools and hospitals and whatever places in the community people gather.  School children would be given an orientation about these counsellors and told to use the service frequently, whenever they just need to talk.  Expense in funds, space or whatever would be comparatively small, could be paid for through community fund-raising efforts, and would certainly be repaid many times over in the help to stop potential problems within the community when they are still in the formative stage.  Part of this program could also deal with dispute mediation between neighbors or within families or between students and school personnel, etc.  Letting people know that their problems or disputes are being taken seriously and that their community cares in itself could do alot to defuse antisocial feelings.  It could also help to bring together people into community, in contrast to the current seeming disassociative trends, which could spiral into all kinds of intracommunity projects for the improvement of lives and society in general.

Just about whenever a proposal is made to improve social/ ecological conditions by making changes in some industry we are subjected to a ballyhoo about the potential loss of jobs which may ensue.  Of course nobody in political positions of authority seems to mind that jobs are lost everyday due merely to economic considerations of the employers having nothing to do with improving our general lot.  It would make more sense and be more sensitive to the needs of both our world and the individuals concerned if provisions were generally available to make involuntary unemployment less hazardous.  For instance, various jobs become obsolete as new technology or new perceptions of consumer needs, etc. emerge, which also can lead to the creation of new classes of jobs.  All that is needed to bring the employee from doing job A to job B is training in the new job.  Contrary to the popular myth that long years of schooling are necessary to learn skills relevant to employment in most fields, most actual day-to-day job skills are learned on the job.  Whatever background knowledge is needed can generally be learned concomitant with job skills in on-site training classes or in specific job-related training programs.  These need not be particularly expensive and could be funded as part of employer overhead along with lower salaries while the employee is in training and perhaps tax advantages or other public incentives.  Small businesses could be funded to train or retrain unemployed people for the jobs they need filled.  Unlike large corporations, small businesses would find it difficult to pay for job specific training, thereby limiting their employment opportunities to those already having specific skills.  Since most new jobs are with small businesses, people laid off from other work or otherwise unskilled in the specific areas needed by these small businesses are at a disadvantage in gaining employment.  Job training funds could be distributed through tax incentives, local jobs-related agencies, the Small Business Administration, or even retraining grants given directly to the job seeker through unemployment compensation offices.  Projects beneficial to communities could be undertaken by local small businesses and paid for by government grants, including monies for hiring and (re)training workers.  The businesses would then be able to complete these projects, and still have their systems in place for continued employment of people for other, private or public, projects.  For those who may lose highly paid positions, a private unemployment insurance investment might be advised.  For those in low-paid, high-turnover jobs, the public schools, community centers and other groups might provide low or no cost training linked to local business needs.  In fact, high school job-training programs linked with local businesses could provide incentive for teens to stay in school and give them opportunities for immediate earning power, which could have the added benefit of lessening teen crime.  Another system for job skill and readiness training could be overseen by private enterprise.  Private employment services providing career counseling, personal empowerment counseling and interface with agencies to provide for the clients' needs both while in training and while in transition to employment, along with specific job skills training and general employment skills training could become commonplace in every community where employment is an issue.  These services would be available to anyone needing them and paid for by the individual clients, either through their own resources or through government loans (to be repaid when the client obtains employment, at a fair rate). These employment training services would only be eligible for government loans if they could prove a consistently high percentage of their clients had success in obtaining and keeping employment.  The training offered should be in a variety of job skills keyed to individual aptitudes and the kinds of jobs generally available or projected to have a high potential for availability.  The employment training services could negotiate contracts with members of the business community to train for specific jobs with guaranteed employment to qualified graduates.  They could also provide business skills training to help and encourage entrepreneurial talent.  Meanwhile, it would behoove we-as-society to provide a cushion of financial resources to get all of us who for any reason may face financial instability through our individual crises without turning to crime, begging or a condition of hopeless homelessness.  The current social services complex and unemployment insurance system are not working; and neither is the current attitude of holier-than-thouness towards those of us without financial resources.  Perhaps, rather than acting as if those with jobs were entitled to keep them no matter what the social cost, we could develop an attitude of real economic consciousness and plans to safeguard everyone's right to a livelihood, not as charity but in the original sense of insurance to provide against calamity.  We could also aim toward more flexibility in employment-employee relationships, more community awareness and involvement and a real commitment to community/work/industry/ economics as if both the Earth and the individual mattered.  For instance, it would be universally beneficial to do away with the standard 9 to 5 work hours.  Many industries already have shift work, flexible hours, etc.  Use of resources generally could be more efficient and workers' individual schedules better accommodated if individually-based work hours were the norm.  We could certainly do away with the rush-hour traffic situation we all loathe.  Those who function better at certain hours of the day could work during their hours of peak performance.  Childcare arrangements could be more easily accommodated.  In that regard, there are many jobs which could be done wholly or partially in the home, allowing for both dependent care and paid work, geared to the mutual convenience of the worker and employer.  For site-specific jobs, on-site dependent care would certainly be helpful.  Currently employed workers could also benefit from flexibility allowing for expanded skills training to prepare for a greater variety of possible jobs.  In other words, it's time for flexibility rather than rigidity in the structuring of our work lives.  Tangentially, why not make it simpler, easier for independent small businesses to get going -- simplify the regulations, not in regard to true safety or environmental standards, but in regard to economically engendered standards.  Keep the rules clear and simple and easy to access, understand and implement.  Make it easier for people without means but with ambition and ideas to get low cost loans, business management training and whatever other foothold they need to develop truly local, community businesses keyed to the community's needs and desires.

As we know, money is just a symbol agreed upon within the socio-economic structure of society. Governmental bodies have as part of their role the creating, distributing, evaluating of this eco-symbol. We have seen monies based on gold or other precious commodities, but these commodities are also in this sense symbols for a rate of exchange. We do not need these commodities, or even printed paper, to have a rate of exchange. It is all symbolic. It is all in our heads, our collective agreements. In fact, to a large extent today our economic transactions are based on computer files in cyberspace. We have evolved a credit economy with an awful lot of accumulating debt on national, business, and personal levels. Much more Neptunian than Saturnian.  Are there good reasons not to, are there not excellent reasons to, overhaul the underlying economic structure to create one to better fit with the goal of creating and distributing goods and services?  Instead of collecting taxes to pay for their workers and projects, why should government not simply pay their own workers (and here I refer to civil servants, not politicians. I believe political office holders should serve temporarily, even part-time, with no pay beyond a stipend for expenses, but that's another rant.), pay for needed materials, with funds created by the government for this purpose -- to arrange for the creation and maintenance of a proper infrastructure? The symbolic means of exchange could then be distributed through these workers (trickle down with a twist) when they pay for goods and services of the private market. If the true wealth of a nation is the value of the labor of its citizens, this would be a more logical and effective method in accord with that consensus reality.

I have a lot of problems with the US school system and have long thought that a better way to educate our kids and ourselves would be more on the 60's "free school" model
-- community storefront schools where people teach what they know and learn what they want to learn. A lot of so-called laziness is simply nonengagement in boring lessons without much immediate relevance to the student. A lot more is probably general
fatigue from lack of exercise. Kids should be out moving, actively building energy
and neuronal connections doing and playing, engaged in hands-on learning.
Actively working together on projects, teaching each other as they go along, would
exponentially increase learning, as we know that one of the best ways to learn is to teach. Furthermore, community in general would be greatly strengthened by having this kind of helpful, enjoyable, sharing interaction and a place for such gathering. Any group
that considers itself a community could put this kind of thing together, even in a small way. We could just develop workshops/learning groups (however the individual group wants to conceive it) in our homes with our cohorts and teach and learn what we are interested in. We could use the home schooling exception to compulsory education to teach our kids the way we know is best for them. Even if we send our kids to public schools, we can provide these kinds of experiences for them during their off-school time. We might even consider converting the public schools into community schools -- without
federal money or mandates -- to be run by members of the community (however they conceive themselves) to teach real skills and learning tools as well as cooperation through a variety of individual and group projects, field trips, lectures and demonstrations, interactive workshops. A series of tests could even be provided to measure acquirement of basic skills like reading, writing, arithmetic, citizenship, basic health care -- for a
certificate of graduation -- to be taken at whatever age the individual feels ready to graduate. This schooling would not be limited to people of a particular age group, but available to the whole community.
And even if we have no such community project available, we certainly have the opportunity to teach our kids the truth and how to find it for themselves as a normal part of our daily relationships with them.

Recycling.  The state legislature passes a bill that includes:  1) Mandatory recyclable material tax on all items made of or packaged in recyclable materials (maybe 5 cents per item like the bottle deposit).  The revenue so generated would be completely dedicated to funding the recycling process.  2) Recycling centers are created as needed per capita where recyclable materials are brought, sorted, processed in whatever way necessary to make them available for use.  3) People are paid by weight by material for turning in recyclable materials to a recycling center.  (Either the consumers of the products made of or packaged in these materials, or, and this would be encouraged, people who develop the business of picking up these materials from households and businesses and taking them to the recycling centers.)  4) Manufacturers are encouraged to buy and use recyclable materials by the low (subsidized as necessary) price of the recyclable materials as compared to the price for the materials they would otherwise be using.  5) As it becomes common practice for manufacturers to buy these materials from recycling centers and the centers eventually are able to make profits, the state will be required to sell the centers to for-profit enterprises (at the best price the state can get); recycling will be taken over by private business and the recyclable materials tax rescinded.

Environmental Cleanup:  To finance the making right of all that industrial and other polluters have made wrong, a tax could be levied on all companies who manufacture and/or sell the problematic products, as well as a special sales tax on those who buy them.  Hopefully, as well as financing the clean-up efforts, this added cost would encourage the development and use of more environmentally friendly products.

For the development of innovative policies and programs we need to become a more beneficially functioning society the key is not money, but leadership and good ideas.  To promote such leadership and creativity, the key is self-confidence, instilled in people throughout their educational careers, along with the personal energy and interpersonal skills with which to put projects into motion.  Unfortunately, these are qualities that most of our current educational institutions tend to drive out by not recognizing the ultimate importance of every person's best development as self-confident, energized individuals able to creatively interact. Instilling these attitudes would not cost anything nor add to an overburdened curriculum, but would be an underlying theme to every aspect of the curriculum.  In fact, those who would first need to learn these attitudes are the teachers, who would then be able to develop amongst themselves means for imbuing them into their classes and spreading the word about methods found to be most effective.

For no apparent reason I am being intrigued by the Andromeda myth (or maybe it's subconscious suggestion from "The Andromeda Strain" and the Gene Roddenberry tribute show "Andromeda" showing up on my tv listings as I drifted in a semi-conscious state).
     Andromeda, as I understand the myth, was a victim of her parents' sins (most particularly hubris), and was chained to a rock -- helpless, without any power over her fate -- to be devoured by a sea monster (the sea represents the unconscious, the monster our repressed anger and fear). Fortune smiles and the brave hero arrives to save her, defeating the monster with his mojo (or the mojo of the dead Medusa's head) and marrying her. Marriage here, I assume, meaning an integration of the masculine and feminine, anima and animus. All ends well, as the parents' kingdom is saved from the
wrath of the goddess, and Andromeda goes off with her hero husband.   I have been experiencing an understanding that the depression and mania of the bipolar syndrome are both reactions to unprocessed, suppressed anger -- helpless bound anger perceived as Saturnian chains from traditions of proper socialization and punishment for
the parents' sins of dishonor to their role as sacred stewards. The anger is primal -- the monster of the deep and the damsel in distress different faces of the same dilemma.
     Where is the hero, and how might the monster be slain and personal integration accomplished?
     Ok, I know I'm totally projecting, so feel free to debate or contradict. I am coming to a new understanding of this story. It is a Goddess myth. The men are basically ineffectual. The king is unable to protect his kingdom or his daughter from the Goddess's wrath. The hero is a pawn of the Fates and a conveyor of the true power of the gorgon, still fully powerful even in death.
     As in dreams all of the characters are parts of the dreamer. The female archetypes play out a psychic drama. Hera, the angry Goddess; Cassiopeia, the evil Mother; Andromeda, the dutiful sacrifice; the monster, seething anger, revenge; Medusa's head, pure power,
able to turn the monster into stone. Again, Saturnian images -- the monster (Neptunian emotion) turned to stone, unprocessed anger metamorphosized into a pillar of experience built from the trials of the past.
     Hera, the wise Goddess wants to sever Cassiopeia, the vain Queen, from her dutiful daughter. But Andromeda is dutiful; she will not willingly leave her role as servant to Mom's needs. She must suffer, pushed to the brink, her life in forfeit, to develop her own self.
Cassiopeia willingly gives her daughter in sacrifice to save her own skin.
     Andromeda has repressed her anger. She is chained to the rock of her own felt duty to her mother's responsibilities. The repressed emotion, sent unprocessed into the nether regions of the subconscious, rage and arise from the water against the rock. There
is a fierce storm that can ebb and flow for quite some time. There is the repressed anger as defeated depression, resigned to, even eager for the restfulness of death. There is the unprocessed rage, rising up revelrous, hungry for elation, for expression in any
excessive display available.
     It's not just anger. It's feeling powerless in the face of the situation causing the anger. The depression is the anger turned inward, with no outward outlet it feeds on and mutilates the subject. The mania is defiance. It is the whipped child lashing out against the much too powerful adult by saying: I can do anything I want, I am omnipotent! It has to do with obstacles perceived as overwhelming and an indomitable, yet sorely confused injured spirit.
     If the anger, the emotion, could be contained and safely examined, so that the subject could work with it instead of bleeding life force in despair and defiance, it could become a useful fuel.
     Perhaps Andromeda in her extremis, or perhaps a compassionate Fate, calls forth her hero, her inner strength, her self-respect, that piece of her Self that knows it has reason to survive. The hero carries the gorgon's head, a pure and unambiguous power beyond the
judgment of good or evil; it is a power of pure lifeforce that can turn the flailing rage into impotent stone. Now, with such an ally, the princess can be freed, integrate with her shadow which carries the traits which will allow her to become a whole person in her own right. She is freed from her mother's curse to make her own way, complete with the wisdom she has learned from her trials. Andromeda becomes the star, indeed the constellation, of her own myth, immortal in the heavens.

We speak of science as a source of knowledge, as a reality. We have created that reality, as a collective agreement (though not all agree). We have created our own reality in the laws and theories we create to describe and understand the segment of the infinite realities which we have found accessible to our senses and reason.
It is not so much about creating our own reality as it is about attending to that part of reality from which we create our lives.
Like that old saying (or something like it): Some look at a problem and say, "why?" Others look at an opportunity and say, "why not?" And still others look at a mess and say, "I'm not cleaning that up!"
But maybe it's not a mess to be cleaned, but a game to be caught up in, luxuriating in the soapy water, intrigued by working out a system to turn the chaos into valuable resources. Are we having fun yet? Because if we're not, we're probably missing the point.
I miss that point alot. It's not as if I have the answers. What I have are open-ended questions into which theories and possibilities can be dropped. If reality is about perception and perspective, and the reality you are looking at blows, walk around, look at it from other perspectives, find the interesting shapes and contours.
As far as I can tell, life is not about getting an easy ride, or hoarding toys, or holding on to a place or situation, or even building a nest egg upon which to set. Life is a constantly evolving self-creation, one to be proud of, to rejoyce in, sometimes to find collaborators with whom to expand one's perspective, sometimes to dance free in a self-designed sacred meadow while all the possibilities whirl about in free-form ecstatic play.
Not to say there isn't darkness, and drama, and tragedies, and despair. That's why there are tears, and anger, and drugs to dull the pain, and heroism, hope, and dreams to mend the weary. But it's about opening up to find the better ways, to create satisfying, inspiring realities to live.
The only viable option is to go outside the box/forget about the box and wing it with as yet unknown options, to throw out the Piscean paradigm and open up to unbound creativity. The only way out is through, but we need to believe in our ability to cut our own path with the tools we create from whatever is at hand.
The old forms, the old rules, the new rules evolved from the old, are about restriction, poverty, pain and fear. They are about wanting a powerful ally in the sky to smite our enemies, as we smite those who make us uncomfortable. The old rules say that the way to make up for our lack of vision is to denigrate those who can see. Even more, they say that destruction is the just response to destruction; hate for hate; pain for pain; buy low, sell high and keep labor as cheap and downtrodden as possible.
There is energy in chaos; there is the possibility of order, a new order, an order made to order. If our godly creative core is allowed to fly free, who knows where it may take us. Do we fear too greatly the possibilities to allow ourselves to soar? The dizzying heights? The new worlds, not to conquer, to find mutually beneficial arrangements, partnerships, inspiration, creative enterprise, is this what we fear? Because the unknown is fearful; but, then, so is the known.
I don't know where I'm going. I'm trying to allow the magic to find me.
I've been feeling a transition into a more magickal realm that I have been aware of always in some unconscious understanding, but it is becoming more evident, more relevant, more insistent.
Getting in touch with the personally meaningful because that whole "real world" (yeah, like the tv show) American values of self and everyone else destruction just turned into a cartoon feature not amusing enough to pay for.
I am finding hope in such manifestations as Live8 and anti-neocon revelations, as well as people here and there who actually make sense to me. It could all come crashing down as the latest cosmic joke, but then, what have I got to lose?
Where is reality? Is it something we can cage and observe? Why are some stories we tell ourselves "real" and others fantasy or even lies? Is magick real, is it a valid, authentic, varifiable way of life? Can we live as on a parallel road, seeing the deadening horror of a whole stream of lived experience as a passing train on a parallel track? Can we devise alternate and wondrous transportation that takes us along a shining, winding, path of beauty and serene sanity that we know is real? How tell the mad from the merely awakening? Which is stress relieving dream; which is real?
Can we be in a world of pain, yet not of it? Can we transcend, or at least manifest our fantasies through visualizing with a potent will of love? Will that vision protect us from the world of destruction and despair? Or will it heal us?
Perhaps compassion is more effective when it is dispassionate: chop wood, carry water, dress wounds, listen lovingly to the screaming, understand it as ritual music, keep to the grace and balance of the dance.
I visualize beings made beautiful by loving grace in a grand ecstatic dance out in open country, breathing free the clean aromatic atmosphere of healthy life; giving and healing and sharing as we are learning. It seems so easy, here in my dream.
But then I have that dream, you know (or maybe you don't) where I'm late for class and unprepared and the teacher is sternly disapproving. It's all a jumble and I can't find a way to make it right. Somehow I'm lost in a dark and spooky superhighway, with cars whooshing by way too close, and my feet are stuck in tar, and breathing gets real hard, and there's no way out -- nowhere to go but painful dark and bleeding slums of crumbling fantasies.

Philosophy is the love of truth. But is it only truth because we love it into being? Can we create our own ideal truths, our own ideal lifestreams, the reality that we find most ecstatically resonant with our truest selves, by simply (or not so simply) loving it into being? What are we to make of that other reality, the one that sucks? Has it been loved into being as well? Can we safely leave it to those who love it, and wonder off their path onto our own?

          To be continued . . .

I have been thinking alot about the fragility of life, the brutality of war, the emanations of hatred, despair, futility, anti-life beliefs, subjugation of the natural world and our natural ways of being, the yin and yang of human power.

They chose Hiroshima as a target because it had not been bombed, was not already disfigured, so there would be stark contrast between before and after.
I've been wondering how to possibly have faith in a world where so many suffer so regularly. Do we create such realities? Do we really learn and grow from horror and death and ugly bleeding wounds?
Collective mythology points to a pantheon, whether extraterrestrial, divine, or some other origin. Somehow the group which instituted Judeo-Christian-Islam was able to wield power so that they gained sway over this segment of human history which we call Western Civilization.
I don't know what this means, but it seems significant. The Jewish gods were jealous, arrogant, warlike. They valued patriarchic hierarchies, perhaps as being easier to control. They instituted strict rules; devaluated bodily gratification, pleasure, fun, intra or inter-species cooperation. In many ways they devalued the Earth, the eco-sphere, the kinds of interdependence that lead to valuing each and all. They favored harsh competition, violent confrontation, us-gainst-them/winner-take-all. They favored the wealthy and powerful whose ends justified any nasty means. Their moral code was about restrictions, not solutions. And Christ-be-damned, this is the god-council the Christian authorities worship. Yet, there are other gods with other values. How did this group gain so much control over man?
What is needed is to go over to the win/win concept where we each benefit when we all benefit, as opposed to survival of the fittest. Then we could do what actually makes sense rather than being preoccupied with a mythical bottom line. We could all be much calmer, easier, more usefully productive and playful. Is this the way it was before the evil gods? Was this the Eden we were booted out of because the gods had other plans? Why didn't we fight harder to keep a way of life that was good for us? The imbalance is killing us and our home.
Man is within nature. Man's habitats, no matter how grand and complex we may think, are natural in the sense of being created of by and for that which nature provides.

I have thot of this a bit, in terms of beauty. There is the often grand and breathtaking, often soft and ethereal, beauty of the natural world. There is such beauty as well in the art and architecture of man. Each has its story, its music, its water colour. Each has the power to move the rhythm of my heart and bring tears streaming down my face. Each has the power to make me feel hopelessly inadequate, or to inspire me to reach to the stars.
Mind can be more lonely than body would imagine. Mind can search for answers, for questions, for quests, for endless conundrums, and so enjoy the game. Yet mind wants other minds to play with, to bring in ideas that surprise and excite. It is spirit that knows to blend and meld into all that is. Yet spirit too can identify with loneliness, as an essence, as a way to die a little while caught in the ecstasy of exquisite pain. There must be a very important reason for loneliness. There must be a wholeness of interconnection that we truly need to attain.
I've been working the random universe/intelligent design/mystical maya one quite a bit lately. My conclusions are sometimes random, highly emotive, itchy and veiled. However, I had a revelation about the dweller on the threshhold (a revelation to me at least). It's not about going over the threshhold. It's about living it that eternal magic between the worlds and enjoying the view from each side. There may be a time when going onward is appropriate; I don't know. First I have to build my home on the threshhold, learn about living there, learn who I am that I may have myself as a trusted friend on the continuing journey.
Curiouser and curiouser. Alone on the precipice, while the winds blow, hot,
cold, eerily.  The pain of exquisite beauty is everywhere to be discovered, held closely, and set free. I am dancing closer to the fire. Giant shadows dance with me.

Streaming in and out of consciousness, I don't know what I know. I feel,
but fleetingly. I feel exhiliration and fear. I feel so abysmally sad, so
ecstatically unbound, so small and insignificant, so rebellious and angry,
so tired, so endlessly used up, so guilty, so abused, so resigned, so itchy
to be free, so overwhelmed, so stagnant, so magickal, so impossible, so
dangerously close to the edge yet happy to be here dancing on the head of a
pin too small to do other than fly.

There is magic. There is the ability to send out energy and have it return
as your heart's desire. There is a magical path that will take us there
once we have the courage and grace to find it. Like the end of the rainbow
with its pot of gold, it's tied up in koans and hidden between the
dimensions. The only thing I know to do is dance.


Jordan, I'm a comin'
Ready to cross that long last river
Ready to plunge my soul forever
into your cleansing depths and sever
from all these worldly ways.

In insanity lies our one true
hope for freedom -- from all the social
norms that bind us into who we are.

Jordan, I'm a comin'
Hold me well, you ragin' waters
Reunited, all your daughters
Freeing us from he who slaughters
in all those worldly ways.

Love is the lie supreme that binds us
into belief that sacrifice must be our
noblest ambition; into belief that fulfillment
comes only in living death.

Jordan, I'm a comin'
Fill me with your ancient beauty
Releasing me from binds of duty
Caress me in your primal crooning
far from all worldly ways.

Sea Change
(Uranus/Neptune 1993)

All the bridges crumbling,
we are falling to the sea.
-- Tumultuously ripped & rocked
beyond all sound foundation.
Tossed adrift, lost and lonely
Crying out in fear and pain
To what gods may be, if only
what we've lost might be again . . .
And the sea erodes our souls
as the waves have rocked our faith
  No more when we could be secure,
firmly anchored to the past.
This is what it is, to undergo a sea change.
This is what it is to dream a new awakening.
This is what it is when what has been forsakes us.
This is what it is
when what's to be must start to form.

Chironic Vision

Part I

The future descends
from the fear-embroidered skies
the vision is of holocaust -- when everybody dies
A new day is dawning, but is it sun or storm?
We have a chance to make our mark
but is it right or wrong?
The military marches
The anti-warriors too
We take our stand in battle
The many and the few
Spinning tales of magic, of wizardry and fate
We want to know just how it ends before it's all too late
We sing our song too late
We right our wrongs too late
We want to know the date
To find a better fate

Can I tell you?
Can I help you to know or understand?
Can I utter the words that will make you see me?
Standing here before you, I want to take your hand
to be swirled up into a magical dancing
to be taken to worlds of beauty entrancing
to give you the will and the wonder to set you free.
Can you see me?

Plutonic Verse

As long as it matters that I exist
As long as I've something to go back to
As long as there is a community of which I am an integral part
The rest is just details
And though "the devil is in the details"
So are the gods.

One Hand Clapping

Is a reflection in a glass,
like moonlight,
half empty or half full
or, like moonlight
filled with the stuff of dreams?
What is the sound of moonlight
dripping onto the earth
down a silver stair?
What is the demand of dreamlight?
Emotion spilling onto sand or clay,
roaring like soundwaves?
Light coalescing into sound into waves into sea?
What is the demand of sky of sea of fire
dripping through the twilight?
half moonlight, half mind.


Weave into the fabric of a tribe of artistic dancers.
Fall under the spell of pure magic.
Silent night, peace and cold
Imbue me with music
In ecstasy, I dance to the stars.

The Lay of the Land

From your smoke-coughing cities
to your desolate plains
The children of Midas have taken the reins
And left you besoiled in blood-splattered stains
With none fit to wash you to purity.

The air-waved cacophony pleads for a song
That will once more unite you ennobled and strong
To take back the glory to which you belong
To wrench freedom from dreams of security.

The old man, he wanders through librium clouds
The young take their distance
to move through the crowds
And every one fitted for life-draining shrouds
Reflect only on death's dance of conformity.

While poisoning rays permeate land and air
The high class step out like they haven't a care
They're bound to discover their world-rending tear
But can they comprehend the enormity?

Ridiculous sages exhort peace and love
Say we each have our choice of reality
So we fight over contexts and deny what we can;
But reality marches on.

Journeyman upon the road
Listening to the jungle drums
learns to bring it all together
as nightly his guitar he strums.
From the Woodstock Nation on to '84
With his banner of music he learns to keep score
And the score, as it's written, keeps costing him more
But it's also what's keeping him dancing.
With a beat in his heart and a song for his soul,
it keeps him journeying on.

Winter creeps whitely over streetlamp and spire.
Muted to whispers the Grand Freedom Choir.
A clattering chatter overtakes the high wire
Pure white like the night of beginnings.

The children have nestled all snug in their schools
In joyous rote marching, they take in the rules
Determined to never be taken for fools
Or give back an inch of their winnings.

Silent, the singers are searching for voice
They know in their souls it's a matter of choice
They need to find reason, a cause, to rejoyce,
A newly turned path to felicity.

A new day is dawning, but where is the sun?
Our freedom and faith are defined by the gun.
The symbol of power overrules everyone
'Til we create our own electricity.

But under cover of darkness a banner's being stitched
Of patchwork-bright colors and radiance
To someday soon be unfurled in the breeze
As we march to freedom's song.

High upon a sacred mount,
Hearing now soft strands of sound
Journeyman no more, but questor
Nods benignly; ear to ground.
He's learned his song clearly, and clearly he sings.
Hearing an echo, he knows what it brings.
The time is approaching to fasten his wings
and swoop down to join the festivities.
A new day is dawning, and he is the son
And it's time to rejoyce in the dawn.

But where are the marchers, the pipes and the drums?
Back in the schoolrooms, relearning their sums;
Or sleeping with vermin, despised in their slums
Unable to speak more than mumblings.

From time to time daylight enbrightens their souls
But most of their time's spent enslaved to the doles.
The wonder is not the dearth of their goals
But that they've not given up on their stumblings.

The class struggle's nothing compared to the fight
'Tween having it all and doing it right
'cause whether you're black, brown,
red, yellow, or white
You're hooked on the sweet rush of buying.

But the dollar's declining; and so is the yen.
From swords we'll build plowshares and take up the pen
For here is the where, and now is the when
And the choice is 'tween living and dying.

Is winter receding?  Is spring on the rise?
Do we hear on the air a new melody?
Do we strive to accept; do we try to deny?
Or awaken our voices to song?

Having witnessed, having spoken
Having reached the cusp of change
Standing midst the still unbroken
Deploying troops throughout the range
A new age martyr need not die
But only stand beneath the sky
And sing each soldier's battle cry
To emanate strength and courage
To keep them true upon the course
-- An emissary of the dawn!

We shout our faith clearly, without fear or shame
We've learned to play music -- and not play the game.
We've let loose our captors and broadcast their name
That they be captured and cleansed back to purity.

It's a tried and true story we chant here anew
Of a born again many set alight by a few
Remember the Beatles, the Stones, Dead and Who
Back when freedom meant more than security.

We're learning to share in an effort of gain
To harness the sunshine and bring back the rain
To take off our blinders and learn to be sane
Yet maintain self within that conformity.

Each singing in glory, permeating the air
Feeling good to be cared for, and better to care
As we mix up the glue and mend the great tear
Finding courage to face the enormity.

We don't need the sages to find peace and love
We don't need to fight against reality.
We need to learn rhythm and reason and rhyme
And raise our souls with song.

Knowing now his goal completed
Having given all he'd learned
On his private mountain seated
Enraptured in the peace he's earned
He sings his song clearly, with joy and with fire
It's all that he has and fulfills all desire
It's getting him high, and then bringing him higher
And setting his spirit to dancing.
With a beat in his heart
And a song for a soul
Wafting aloft . . .
And he's gone.

(and other journeys)

Ride the seasons of the moon

Ride the seasons of the moon
Let the moment call the tune
Ramble through the tongues of Rune
Into my empty city room
Where the circus plays at daybreak
And no one seems to care.

The court jester shrieks, the raven she seeks
and the idiot speaks of the secrets of night.
The Solomon sage who owns pretense of age
sits alone on the stage beyond the spotlight
and sings softly the song that says we belong
to one who knows wrong is the shadow of right.
But can anyone know
just what is the show
and what keeps us going back
night after night . . .

Manhattan Night

Bright lights extend beyond the scope of sight.
Bright dreams played out against
the traffic's blare.
A dizzy sense of power pervades the night.
Caught up in spotlight
of the street lights' glare,
we myriad performers act out in bounds --
a circus squared by concrete, bricks and glass.
The streets, their high tech urban sounds
singing electric chorus to the mass,
awaken yearnings, fantasies released;
new projects and old lusts take flight.

But, bright lights do not the total story tell.
A city's underside is lit in shame.
When daylight's order sounds its evening knell
some players of night devise a different game.
To disregard this face of urban war
would not do justice to the face of pain
that signifies a winning/losing score.
Where many lust for wealth that few may gain
poverty seldom rests in leisured peace.
The shell-shocked walk their nights in hell.

A merry trickster dancing through the crowds,
releasing smiles, enjoining folk to dance,
exuding laughter that dispels all clouds,
turns the mood distinctly toward romance.
In bright-lit cafes, strobe-lit discos, too,
Twosomes stroke and flaunt their partners' charms;
on bright-lit streets and dark-lit alleys woo,
delighting in caressing lovers' arms.
All daytime's trials forgotten for this while,
buried 'neath lust's crimson, silken shrouds

An act played out so many times before:
Young lovers meet in secret rendezvous.
They pledge their love along the river's shore.
But, what!  A third's been added to the two.
A jealous rival swears to end their tryst.
He comes prepared for battle with a knife.
And plunges with a vicious twist
to break a heart and end another's life.
Turning to the maiden an evil smile,
he hears not what she may implore.

Tomorrow's headlines may retrace the tale.
And law's swift retribution cage the cur.
But now it's midnight in the jail
where scoundrels dream of what they never were.
The street crowds laugh, in colorful array.
They have no thought of morning's dreary chores.
They've many hours still 'til break of day.
Many hours to drink and woo and score.
For night is made for madness and release
of lust from daylight's cautious veil.


   What are the words that I'm saying to say
     when they're made simply words in a row?
   The world is revolving, and people today
     are revolving with nowhere to go.
   Revolving, revolting, evolving and floating
   And never quite sure where we are
   I search for definity in the midst of infinity --
     a sign in the midst of a star
   And wonder if I am a meaning, or why
     the whole thing simply exists
   It's not that I care, but I'd like to know where
   I will be when we've gone thru these twists
     and turns
   and eternity years
   for a meaning beyond being THERE
     but where?


Love is like a looking-glass
And Life is a long, long voyage on an uncharted sea.
I don't know what to tell you;
I don't know what to say.
Listening to talk of madness in a candlelit bar/cafe.
The snow outside turns to unhappy slush
on a Sunday evening.
I want music,
but settle for words and imported beer,
watching the players before my eyes,
playing my silent bit part at a corner table --
while those onstage speak their chosen lines.
The beer goes to my head like a tight cap,
as does the nostalgia spouting from the barmaid:
distillations of books and movies
still etched on my brain
from those long-remembered nights
of hipness revelry
Greenwich Village 1960's.
Oh so serious flights of youth awakening
-- Yeah . . .
it all comes back.
Nothing's ever lost, but, like energy,
returns in different forms.
It's a night for musings.
My true purpose?  as yet disguised.
Life is like a voyage
and this epistle,
merely another page in the log.

This Is the Way I Communicate
Like light flickering over a piano in a sultry cabaret, like a round blue balloon fitfully drifting out into the storm-laden sky, like anyone you know or I know trying yet again to remember just what it was we were doing with our lives: that's what its all been like. The cat cries, and I respond filled with the illusion of concern. The world cries, and my besotten brain bleeds into tears of angry, chain-rattling despair. It's all about language. It's all about the symbols we choose. A new day dawns cloudy and forbidding.
We are entering San Francisco in the morning fog, early, early, the world still dreaming. Or maybe it was Cambridge, Mass., lost in the fog, unsure of time or space. Sometimes there is singing: something about a "Yellow Submarine" or "Strawberry Fields" or sometimes haunting melodies without words. But it's all about the words, even those implied by the music.
Wine can help. By the gods, wine is sometimes all that can help (tho sometimes even wine betrays me).
The stinking debris of mornings after the night before, or just morning by the coast with the stink of rotting fish, the cries of gulls or sirens, the emptiness without tears, the cold of morning -- I remember that too. That no more mornings could touch me, that I could hide contented in the night dreaming flying dreams so none could touch me. Fragments. Taking life in fragments. Folding each shiny fragment into tender velvet pockets sequined to reflect the light, let them be all right, feel cared for. Let the nights protect us from the days. Like a wandering hermit with a self-igniting lantern . . . . And Why Not Now?

The 4th dimension that subsumes the 3
-- length, width, depth.
We move as we will in space,
Yet we move always in time
Whether we want or even know it
Ever onward through eternity;
Moment to moment
Encompassing all of our lives.

And yet they say there is no time, only now.

Every precious moment, every interminable hour, every slippery slovenly unrelivable day
an unrelenting onward and inward and outward soulesque surrounding eternity.

Where is now? Yes, everywhere, of course, but how do we divine the intention,
manifest the intention
give birth to form and substance
give meaning to the here and now that expands into times unknown?

How do we have meaning that stands true and real
that stands the test of time
that expands outward, strands playing in the breeze entangling and evolving?

How do we tame Now and make a dance of time, swinging and swaying
executing formal twirls of shadow and light to uplifted applause?

How do we account for time, yet spend it like raindrops, yet live in eternal awakening?

If it must be done, it must be done now!
There is no waiting room in eternity.
Yet there is no being done.
There is only doing, and being, and bravely swimming uncharted seas. We Are Interconnected

We are interconnected:
A widening web of information
Taking in knowledge of all sizes
(for though one size can not fit all
All can find the size they relate to).
We are diversity writ so large,
Encompassing all into one,
So that each thread upon the web,
That spreading neural network,
Is a conduit to and from
An expanding universe
Of interconnected ideas.

Swimming in an amniotic ocean.
Breathing the essence of eternity.
Finding our way, day by day, week by week,
Era by era.
Entranced in entrainment to a hypnotic beat,
Now and then to break into awakening,
To find that time and place and language
Have morphed again,
Into another image of the dream.

The Ties that Bind

The only boundary is love is hate is strong emotion.
We are each bound by memories that push us that poke us
     provoke us to respond.
Each new day we relive the old, acting out dramas unresolved.
All we need to do is breathe to play to dance into our unbound creation.
Evening Prayer

So sensitive, fragile, rare flower beyond price
A boon to pure salvation, love and grace.
May you blister in pure agony beyond a thousand hells
May life kick you to the curb and curse your name.
We demons, devils' minions, mites, mosquitos, vampire shells
We thrive on hate and sorrow, grief and pain.
We call to you for pity; prey on your earnest care.
Your innate fairness gives us footholds into actions most unfair.
We strangle you with hope and use you as a stair.
You'd best believe in crisis lies your fate.
Believe in your imagination.
Believe you are as imaged in your unseen inner eye.
The place where we can't touch you; where you heal.
Find the rhythm, find the mantra, find the song that sets you free.
Replace the toxic myth with a sweet reality.
Envision potent symbols to take you where you long to be.
Create pure music from your tortured cry.
Let that peaceful, joyful dream become the real.
Let it be.

Sun in Pisces/Moon in Aquarius

Letting spirit out of body
dancing  purified energy
merging into music
outside of law or obligation.
Reinstate the time of bright lights in darkness,
of good cheer and boisterous laughter,
of twirling into ecstasy without reason or rationing.
Reinstate the time of quiet sunrise
smelling of pine and wild roses,
of unending sky and majestic formations of earth,
of unbridled adventure encompassing silent reflection,
all orchestrated in bold tones of exquisite complexity
and simple truth.
Take me there. Let me fly
forever undisturbed by a need to touch down.

Andromeda Unbound

Primal emergent scene of fear/betrayal/rage
Against prosaic life tuned to a simpler age
A woman and a man and progeny of course
A life tailored to plan, no stranger to remorse

So early in the days of what might hence occur
The learning of the ways of how to be are stirred
So legends have been cast, so myths in mist abound
As some realities are buried underground.

It was a cold and gilded house, camouflaged as home
It was a brutal game of chance camouflaged as life
Chain me to my jagged rock and let me bleed
Let the ravage start, I will not plead,
My tears will only flow when primed by raging seas

They say that life's a school, we must learn or die
They knock into us what, where, when, forgetting why
Each put into our place and left to wait our turn
It's not about what we may be, but what we earn.

Tree-lined sidewalks, car-lined streets, children at play
It seems so calm and peaceful, keeping fear at bay
Do the laundry, buy the groceries, pay the heating bills
Get it done, don't delay, no matter who it kills.

It was a curse hurled from the gods, but it wasn't mine
Punishment for a crime of pride I did not commit
Clinging to my prison door, I hide my eyes
Expecting no pardon from the skies
No where left to go to hide from my mind's lies

What can't be told infects a deep and deadly path
Buried wounds untended surface into storms of wrath
A beaten creature huddles beneath a snarling face
Dying for a welcome smile, the warmth of caring grace

Some doors left open lead to mystic hidden rooms
Of purple velvet drapes, plush carpets and rare perfumes
The tapestry of life upon an ancient wall
Or was it down a rabbit-hole you meant to fall?

I begged a chance to be saved, but it was not my time
The monster's howl a hungry hound denying rest
Lost in a tempest, finding none to care
Petrified by my own inward icy stare
Bound and cursed by the gods, of what use is prayer?

Comes the time in spiraling life of do or die
Take the time to breathe the air, read visions from the sky
Willing change, allowing pain to tell its sorry tale
Rearrange the picture's frame, learn to adjust the scale

The rules laid down to keep us bound were never friends
A hero's quest with divine intent can open stories' ends
Gods inspire nature's desire for beauty, healing, choice
Reclaiming heart, we do our part, obeying our true voice

Opening my eyes, raising my voice, I claim my power
The gods respond not with violence but with joy
Claiming my life as my own, I turn my demons into stone
Free at last my spirit soars as I
dance by day through sweet Olympian fields -- by night among the stars
(for Kala Snowflower)

Magical child, the world awaits you
Not just this place, any world you care to grace,
relate to, turn your lovely face to.
"We love you" sing the winds, the seas,
the creatures large and small
"We love you always"

Singing and dancing long into the night,
you turn it into day.
Play that haunting melody.
It moves you into dance,
into a chance to name your trance,
to name us all
as we dance before your eyes.
The skies will dance for you,
will open wide their hearts of stars.
Sparkling through the night,
Shining into day.
You play.
All of creation dances to your song.
We dance with you,
creating worlds of joy.

Neptune in Aquarius

Zen and the art of waiting for the site to load
A 21st century meditation technique
We are blessed by the universe
Bringing our attention to our spirit's lessons
in the here and now


Ran a race -- was it exhilarating!
Ran through space -- marking only time.
Felt the wind rushing through me
My footfalls singing out a rhyme.
Hoorah!  Hoorah!  I race exultant.
My body free, and clean, atune.
Singing, singing -- ah, the ecstasy.
As natural as the sun and moon.
I can manufacture energy
Within the furnace of my fire
I can be the most that I can be
-- growing higher, higher, higher.
Pop Quiz

What is more useless than a poet, and why?

Encloistered in my artist's garrett, threadbare garments more holes than whole
Paint spattered, unruly and unkempt
Barely aware of the need for sustenance or even air
Entranced by the necessity of exploring, exposing my vision
I am the essence of romance.

Writing words on paper, I am merely effete,
Despite my black attire and permanent scowl.
Even if they are good words, finely wrought, expressing deeply true emotion
They are almost literally a dime a dozen.
To expose my wound is inelegance, to explore my essence a narcissistic malaise.

I am the real deal -- the poet-philosopher, the idealist dreamer, the journey's fool.
Surely I should be surrounded by accolytes at my feet, honored to breathe the sacred
Incense of my magesty.

Yet here I stand with bills unpaid in the squalor of a rented room,
Unadorned by idolatry.


dark and gloomy
the darkness offers friendship
hiding in empty alleys for a fix of mystery
doodling pentagrams and yin-yangs
looking into empty rooms and projecting fantasy.
I tell you there's not much left to say
and you don't answer.
Twin pathways converge, but still no answer.
The night is made for dreamers.
The dark explains it all -- but in its own language.
The key is not to be found.
Laughter echoes in empty hallways.
Soon it won't matter; but soon is never now.
I smoke burning poisons and cry for death.
Death will be here soon enough
-- now is time for potent dreaming.
dark and gloomy
forecast of an out of pattern afternoon.
Patti Smith echoes coarse dark sentiments
and I feel the blood of conquest
rushing through my veins.
Anything could happen.
Testing survival is the only thrill.

Quicksilver Reflections

Halo'd in the light of dreams
The old man sits and ponders
Caring not for how it seems,
He'll catch the world in wonders.
Take the left and magic field.
Herald the prancing pansies
who cast their shadows -
silhouettes sealed
In wilds of whirlpool
patterns and rhyme.
I've come to see Venice & Athens & Liverpool.
Can't stop for Atlantis - haven't the time.

Mellow'd in the light of spring
The old man laughs and dances.
Worries are a deadweight thing
Akin to hollow stances.
Take the high and mystic plain
call out to racing rainwaves
As mannequins pantomime stalks of grain
In tempest of turmoil
seaweed and slime.
I've come to see Venice and Athens and Liverpool.
Can't stop for Atlantis -- haven't the time.

Instant Sensory Gratification

Picture a forest
new spun greenery
thicket brown needles
hoary wilderness
Dance out the tension
play out the dramatic encounters of your society
scream & scream & scream & don't stop screaming
until your throat is sore and hoarse
until the ambulance has taken you
until the straitjacket has been tied
and strapped you in
until the whole scene disappears
Relight a candle
remake a movie
repair a broken heart
realize a moment, an hour, a week, a season
reassure a friend
  Absolution  Absolution
Create a memory Create a vision
Create hysteria Create a cure for cancer
Create a comedy Create a belief system
     Create anxiety                 Create relief
Touch    Touch    Touch   Touch
War Games                   Lovers' Quarrels
Price Gouging               Heavy Metal
             Tongue Lashing
Reprieve, Repast, Repenetent
Typeset  Onamotapoeia  Poesis  Infant Death   Mortality
Rectify    Signify    Verify
We Are Our Verbs

Somewhere along my surfing today some article told me that we are not what we do. But we are what we do; we are our verbs. I am thinking, waking, deciding, dancing, constantly doing, even sleeping. I am growing or decaying, living and dying, communicating silently or speaking, yelling, crying, demanding. Even in pure spiritual beatitude, I am transcendently trancing, breathing, flowing, submitting. We all are, every living being. The nouns with their adjectives merely describe. The verbs are our ever changing essence.

Is this a poem? It is a statement of truth. Or Truth. It is very real; but it is only words, marks on a virtual slate. Where is reality? Is it something we can cage and observe? Why are some stories we tell ourselves "real" and others fantasy or even lies? Is magick real, is it a valid, authentic, varifiable way of life? Can we live as on a parallel road, seeing the deadening horror of a whole stream of lived experience as a passing train on a parallel track? Can we devise alternate and wondrous transportation that takes us along a shining, winding, path of beauty and serene sanity that we know is real? How tell the mad from the merely awakening? Which is stress relieving dream; which is real?

Philosophy is the love of truth. But is it only truth because we love it into being? Can we create our own ideal truths, our own ideal lifestreams, the reality that we find most ecstatically resonant with our truest selves, by simply (or not so simply) loving it into being? What are we to make of that other reality, the one that sucks? Has it been loved into being as well? Can we safely leave it to those who love it, and wonder off their path onto our own?

Take Two Aspirin
(for Ann Holland)

Take two aspirin, and call me in the morning.
We'll talk about how bad it is,
and maybe try to find
a way to survive it.
I can't respond to you tonight
I'm busy dealing with my own fright.
Just cool your head as best you can
And hide in dreams 'til morning.
Maybe then we'll talk,
if we find the time to be together.
Maybe we can plan a way
to steer toward better weather.
Got to run now, parties calling.
Hope your night goes smooth, or if not
You'll make it through to see another day.
Call me in the morning; perhaps we'll find a way.

Joint sessions
In a hovel-hole basement building.
We keep the faith and
                  And it was told . . .
                     How the everlasting presence
                        still isn't very old.
                      How the Diamond got her ring
                      How the matchgirl got her king
                      How we all got everything
                        And how everything got sold.
Reeds bending in the wind
A haunting sentimental song
Dreams drifting by
The neon letters "LOVE" lit up in the air
A poem in pictures and sound.
                       Rather like a dream, you know
       Those dawning tendrils
    Sneaking through my windowshade
 But it's much too early to be waking
  So I'll dream on of morning romance
     Without remembering
        That I've no one to wake to
            beyond the dawn.
 Reaching to the stars,
 Tarry in eternity:
 This is all.
       Soldiers marching in a desert
      Remember not their daily cares
      Remember only endless marching
      Caught in dreaming unawares.
 The crackling fire
 The sweet cascading smoke
 Light another match and start anew
 As pinwheels and starbursts float
 Through the silent night
 And visions of "I love you" gently
 Drift through the liquid air.
                February snowflakes
                Flitter Flutter
                Feathery powder
                Melt into my mind.


It's a tale many times in the telling
Of wisdom and wonder and enchantment foretold.
Captivating, yes compelling.
But catch it now, before you're old (We're so soon old.).
Cross country wide and free; a gypsy's life by caravan
And what is yet to be is stretching wide, without a plan.
Try, if you can, to imagine just how you're gonna end.
. . . You're gonna end.
Past ships and planes and miles of dusty road,
It's all been told    . . .and then retold.
We've lived a thousand lives before, we the vagabonds of Earth
But let me try to tell to you my story, it's all I own
Whatever be its worth.
It started in a coffeehouse so many years ago
Where poets of our century were wont to waste their days
And in those days did bright mindwaves cast their nets and flow
To catch up young unruly souls and charge them with the craze
For adventuring -- for "something new"
To catch a star and follow wherever it should lead
To search out the holy answer to the ache of human need
To be the first new holy breed to wholey shake the Earth
To usher in a promised age, so many years in birth.
It was a time of carousels and colored lights;
A time of feeling grandly strong and right;
A time when Life was just beyond our sight.
What made it go?  Which corner was the wrong one turned?
Or is it merely time to take things slow,
To gather up the threads of what we've learned?
The darkness cast upon us, how was it earned?
Oh yes, I meant to tell you of brilliant desert skies
And city street romances that sparkled ere they died.
Of Denver's summer snowstorm and LA's winter flood
And secret, solemn friendship pacts seal'd in summer blood.
Of a much awaited sunrise within a foreign town
Of food and flowers and incense freely passed around
Of turquoise rings & violent springs & jails of many brands
And music wafting through the streets
Of gentle smell of smoke so sweet
And wondrous madmen once to meet who read witchcraft in your hand.
And so much more; yes, lifetimes more.
I would give it all to you, asking nothing in return
But that you seek, in your own style, for yourself to learn
Of corners waiting yet to turn before our time is through.
And perhaps one day you'll say to me:
"Yes, the answer's here!   Yes, the answer's clear!"
And you will say to all of us:  "Here's what we must do."
Before our time is through . . .

After Oregon

We are calling in the dawn
Calling, gently, our many voices
How do we call thee, oh joyfully smiling mother
Welcome arising in our hearts,
Anointing our many-colored soul.
Take in the day
Rejoice in the sunshine
We are alove and strong
In primeval paradise
Upon a windswept beach
Our eyes, our arms
Raised in blessing
Totality is ours
There is no darkness.

Close to the Edge

Close to the edge, so close
And the fire's burning.
The music's playing old familiar memories.
It's a grey day in late Pisces
In a year of fear and hopeful reawakening --
Is there hope of resurrection?
In these grim, grim times?
But so grim?
A time to newly discover
The strength within;
To again see life as a discovery
-- can it be done?
On a day so grey, in a year so fraught with peril
and misadventure?
One at a time:  take things one at a time,
And they seem so small and easy.
Why hold expectations that lead to dismay,
Hiding from fantasy?
Breathe, meditate.
Build dream towers to climb to,
Not nightmares.
But it seems so safe and easy to hide
In the darkness
To never utter another "I"
To cease.
Why not?
Close to the edge, so close.
The fool looks over his shoulder.
The wise goat climbs with care.
The lonely may jump in despair.
How to be alone and strong?
Ask the high priest --
All is within/without you.
But to find that smile of understanding?
It is a search worth taking
Slow, easy, breathe.

The crowd dissolves
and I am left in a sad corner
holding a wrinkled overcoat
Wishing for warm holiday homecoming goodwill.
But the endless night enwraps my mind
leaving me twisted
jumping here and there without purpose.
Johnny didn't have a penny,
but he had good looks and good times
& Mary had her pimp's abortion to even the score
But no one took the beggar seriously
when he said that times had turned to emptiness.
No one believed in fulfillment;
no one had the time.
& the crowd dissolved
vanished into the fog
tho ectoplasmic energies milled about the mainfare.
It was Thursday in the rain and mist
and sooted brownstones.
And the streetlamps only served as muted halos
like the cafe neon flashing
So I stopped in for another beer and borrowed music
& listened to the couple in the next booth
discuss their barren lives
& thought of 19th century philosophers
who make me sad
& wished for a breezy bright beach in May
& wrote you another letter
to be locked in my diary.
So I'm thinking of splitting for the coast
or maybe Cincinnati
But my overdraft is overdrawn
and I'm not strong enough to hitchhike
and maybe tomorrow just won't happen
if I can find the right door to oblivion.
But maybe tomorrow will dawn bright and warm
and smiling
and the labor pool will call me
and the coffee buns will be sweet at breaktime
and someone will smile at me
and come to my barstool
to shoot the breeze and share my dreaming
And the crowd will dissolve
And the people will emerge.

A Light Glows

A small light glows in the square.
The square is one face of a large, dark cube.
The cube reclines on a round, dark platform
on a busy thoroughfare.
As I walk briskly by in my business suit on a
windy Monday morning.
And a small flame burns in my heart
And my heart is a space surrounded by soul
And my soul is enfolded in the vastness of space
And my mind wanders to a secret smiling dream
breathing freely in warm green meadows.


to the wind
It will caress you
and, lightly, bless you
with its powers of deja vu.
as the wind
blows the clouds across the stars
in the darkness, it will thrill you
'til those memories nearly kill you
with their powers of remorse.
to your dreams
blowing waves of solace
to drown the deepest sorrows
in gentle seas of tomorrow's hope.
don't despair
let the warm sea breezes lull you
let the drug of sunshine dull you
let the emptiness seep through you
till you're back on even keel
till you're sure tomorrow will repay your dues
Listen to your silent muse
and ride the wind.

Lullaby of Light

Ride a stallion of snow to the heart of your dreams
Imbibe the sweet nectar of endless romance
Twirl into the world of magic and melody and dance.
Send out twinkling moonbeams as smiles of delight
Gift us all with love's vision of bountiful peace
Pour out joy that every beauty filled impulse increase.
Find a song that fills your heart
Feel a beat that sets you free
Embrace the dance of who you're meant to be.

Ecstatic Burning Elementary A, B, C's
Ecstatic Burning Elementary A, B, C's
Dancing Magic Life Affirmation
I saw you on a crowded street
and followed discreetly through
the alleyways and traffic,
behind the watermelon stand,
and perusing the soft porn racks.
And I believe that you knew me,
but didn't want to crack
out of your role
Because you laughed at the old billboard
as we used to while looking in my direction
(though I was hidden in a New York Times
behind a street sign).
And I called you on the telephone,
breathing heavy, and asked about your tits
in a sexy put-on voice,
and you didn't hang up, but laughed again,
and passed the phone to your spacey friend
who told me I sounded like
that guy in "Rocky Horror"
and did I dig cannibalism?
And I took another hit off the PCP joint and
melted back to animal
and slithered to the stereo for some Zappa.
And when Tom and Larry dropped by they
said they'd seen you
in the laundromat washing your tie-dyed sheets and
rainbow curtains
but that you hadn't said a word.
Sometimes I feel that we none of us exist
but are just some figment of a pocketnovel.
Then I drink cheap burgundy and play sad songs
on dark bar jukeboxes
and think about the war between us all.
And I try to believe that you believe it too,
but just won't tell me
so I have to find out the strong way for myself.
And I call you on the telephone and cry
and ask to hold you.
And you reappear in my darkened room
like a porcelain angel
And touch my body as if in a dream
so that I only want to believe this dream is true.

Twice Lazarus

Far above the emerald majesty
-- Quick to answer
Sinking in a quicksand hell --
Is there salvation?
Falling slowly into dreams --
I shall awaken.
Feel gently the fire; it walks on crystal tiptoe
Hardly moving, slowly melting
And it comes to you now in lovers' meeting
Makes love to you now,
Singing hymns to you now, of tomorrow.
Craziness is all you'll ever know.
Take the time to map the way you'll go.
It may come much too fast, or leave to slow
And leave you clinging to hollow meaning.
Drifting through the winds of time
'til all you've left to touch is rhyme
When all your words are left behind,
What will you answer?
I'll only whisper:  My song is done.

Many Voices, Part II

May we attend the funeral please,
for our sweet sister
Nibble a bit upon her vacant flesh.
The foxes, the dear little foxes.
Mais oui, mais oui, the funeral, please,
for our sweet sister
Mais oui, nibble a bit
upon her tender flesh.
Her day is over.
He's digging a hole in the ground for me.
He's digging a hole in the ground for me
And singing a song of sweet "I love you's"
All the while he digs.
(minimizing his own discomfort)
Mais oui, nibble a bit
upon her vacant flesh.

Waiting for Godot

Waiting for Godot
For that one perfect moment
When every part is in place and the wheels
spin on down the highway, never hesitating.
Waiting for a cloud to drop under me
And carry me, a cushion of air.
And while I wait, I hustle a sometimes living
And give and take where I can, 'cause that's the
game that's happening in this time and place.
Take a ticket, and read your magazine.
It's a place to play out some drama
while the forces gather.
It's a place to dream, until you're ready
to make it real.


far away, windy beaches call to me
their icy freshness calling me
come away
to where the air is clean and waters' deep
come and sleep
we'll melt your cares away
come away.
far away, mountain peaks they call to me
forest greens and far to see
misty freshness calling me
come away.
fortune despises the man who has eyes for
the lower side.
fellowship's handy, but what can a dandy do
when all's behind him
wait and see; look to me.
the writing on the wall's made clear;
it's only us that we need fear.
it's only empty dirty lies
to tell us to ourselves despise.
wait and see; look to me.
and i'll tell you
the words you've been waiting to hear
the words you would cherish most dear
for it's all clear as a mirror, as safe as a dream
i scream and scream and scream and scream
and like just any day
they're running away
far, far away
while here i stay -- crying.
then, all at once in a nightmare
in the midst of a schized-out day
i hear you say
i almost hear you say
but you're too far away
so i run to catch up
and i run like the wind
and i am the wind
and i blow away . . .

Paean to Pain

Is there an incantation that could free me
From my chthonic wall of pain?
I cry the words of solace that I've never heard,
The words that echo from the wall of pain.
There are none to answer, out beyond the wall;
There are none here with me to hear my cries.
So, yes, I am free:
Free to cry as loudly and as long
As the pain will bear it.

Purity of Essence

"Purity of essence is to will one thing."
Ooze into the dark.
Disappear forever.
No diving necessary.


my life is bare and i don't care and no one knows my mind
the world is old and frigid cold, and there's no one left behind
today's a day that  never came
tonight's a dream of death
as I sit beside the fireplace, shooting smack and meth
my mind is dark, my body numb
dehydrated beyond tears
so I'll go on til the kingdom come
who cares?  it's only years . . .


They locked it up in tinker toys, covered it with colored silk
They made me think it was my choice, all glittery with shame
Where once I found a lion's den, a heart of gold, a rainbow's end
Now is dust and long-smoked ash, a thousand tears that died unnamed.


Reality enrobed in symbols
Where would we be outside our trance?
Ecstatic in the sunrise
Open to the rainbow rays
Moving, life within the dance
Each cell, each system, synchronized
Vibrating to celestial tones
Each jagged lonely fragment
Joyfully bonded, created anew
Sent on to chance.
For Larry

Listen then, and hear anew
A melody so swift and free
It's memory can carry you
Floating on a magic sea
To the inner facings of your soul.

Look, and feel with lover's sight
The polished crystal jewels of time
That catch you in your secret night
And send you tumbling down the mire,
Through the rainbow-shining rabbit hole.
Relive the seconds of eternity
And find your way unwinding.

A Very Hindu Song

Insanity reigns supreme.
Madness is loose in the world.
And sing and dance and shout and scream
And learn to take a chance on a dream
And laugh and cry all when and why
lose meaning
pure being
no regret.
Do you know what it would say
When all our egos slip away
To come the time of one last day -- eternity.
How it is is not to say
or all our knowledge slips away
of what we are and what we stay
Common fellows dressed as cows,
and misses dressed as felines
return to stage to take their bows
it doesn't matter anyhow
-- we're Brahma in our free time.
Madness is loose in the world;
Insanity reigns supreme!
It's only what you feel in a dream.

Simple Things

"We need to believe in simple things."
She said with a curtsy and a smile
And with that proceeded to
change her shoes and dance.
The wind and the waves seemed to chant
in flute and fiddle and drum
played by the white-robed ones behind her
As she danced out a story of love and remembrance
and, yes, simple things.
So a vision was made to appear
before the hypnotized crowd.
The clock struck backwards and forwards
through seasons and ages
Not of Czars and Wars and Events or Inventions
But leaves falling, snow drifting, folk singing,
birds calling, children laughing, bread cooling.
And soon the crowd became a joyous dancing throng
of beaming folk,
each remembering special moments,
breaths of air on dew-dropped dawns of spring,
or the warmth of a loved one's hand,
or a birdsong.
And she spoke once more before dissolving
into the mist in a warm sparkling glow:
"Believe not in salvation nor sin nor in reward --
we must live as we can,
and believe in simple things."

Waking Beauty

You saw me, a playing child, laughing amongst the roses.
My shining eyes reflected worlds;
singsong choruses to which I danced proclaimed their glory.
I, a cherub princess, all the doting subjects at my command,
all I asked was their love and beneficence.
Fairys clapped for me, flittered in with luminescent kisses,
fed me on honey, cakes and sweet lilac tea,
whispered me their blessings, giggling and tittering,
watched over me with warm caresses of enchanted nurturing.
I loved easily, laughed whole-heartedly, sang from my soul
happy dance tunes and whimsical madrigals.
There shone radiant magic throughout the land
in the morning of the world.

It was not so easy as I grew.
Word got out, worried whisperings,
that there was a curse upon me.
Those who had seemed so open and friendly
grew distant, masked their faces so I would not call to them,
or became furtively hostile so I would stay away.
I thought it was the power, soon to be mine by succession.
Surely they feared to be too familiar with the potential Queen.
I tried to reassure them, to be warm and familiar, to look for
little ways to please them.
The fairies still played with me, but sometimes turned mean.
They whispered ugly rumours, pinched me and flew away.
They called me fat and ugly and would feed me only thistle and briar.
Then, sometimes, without notice, all would be forgiven, all would be
a madcap party, a whirling swirl of luscious scents and colours,
a warm embrace of magical happiness,
warm and safe and cherished.

I learned to be needy without showing need;
peering sideways into partially opened doors
to see if I could find one safe to enter.
I took to finding little chores that would take me into
unused corners,
bending over so none would look into my face with malice.
I took to wearing common clothing, layered into camouflage.
I took to telling myself that I must indeed be awfully horrid and
worthless to have lost so much and be so reviled.
I took to taking on any sorry chore that would have me
that I might say to the courtiers:
"Look, I am a humble laborer, not worth your attention."

So I was spinning and pricked my finger, as the curse foretold.
My blood called forth the evil energy to swoop into my open wound.
Life moving along beyond my senseless form, without my knowledge or input.
Who can tell what may have been done with my unprotesting body.
I was not dead, not appropriate for burial;
still helplessly breathing, metabolizing/catabolizing, inexorably,
yet so slowly, so quietly, so manifestly without power, so easily forgotten.
The wicked ones who would benefit from my demise became old and dust
while I slept.
Those who were false to me acquired many more sins and salvations,
traveling their own rocky roads.
The curse took no notice of time or circumstance.
I existed in a liminal state of vague dream images,
static discharge of random sensory neurons.
I did not expect; I did not wait; I was not aware of being.
Sometimes excruciating nightmares might overtake me;
no matter.
I could neither hear nor utter, but just breathe on
as images vaguely formed and dissipated.

They say there was a malaise over the kingdom.
Work became hard to find and
wandering adventurers moved about the land
hoping to find their fortune.
There was a far off war diminishing the resources
and often intense skirmishes along the borders
increasing fear and bravado.
The once wise and strong ruling family, disrupted in
succession squabbles, had been deposed.
There were no strong rulers, but only petty tyrants,
and not so petty.
The gardens had gone to weeds and brambles.
The fields suffered; sometimes from drought,
sometimes from mildew,
sometimes from marauding scavangers.
Perhaps these were my nightmares come to life.

There was a young prince from a noble but impoverished
He had grown strong and brave, taking in stories of better times.
He had heard the fable of the cursed princess,
sleeping, hidden, once a source of glory and happiness
in a merry and prosperous land.
He had nothing but a dream, to find me.

They say he set out down a road that others had followed.
But where others had met with sorry fates, or become lost,
or defeated by the inpenetrability of the twisted trees and brambles,
he found no incumbrance.
There I was, within his reach, so pale and still.
It is said that he wept for joy, took me up into his arms,
whirled me about and kissed me reverently,
infused his bouyant dream into my sleeping form.

I felt the warmth of living moving through me.
I felt safe, exultant, cherished.
My senses slowly revealed themselves,
though true consciousness had not yet returned.

He held me close and danced me into movement,
laughing freely and whispering words of encouragement.
He did not rush me, nor let me feel anything but loving support.
He told me how he had grown up dreaming of finding me,
returning me to my rightful place,
removing the curse upon the land.
"And what, my lady," he asked, "have you been dreaming all these silent years?"

In becoming I became
On believing once again
Showed my passcard, wandered in, took a chance.
And though it isn't very clear,
Stayed a week and then a year,
And then forever stayed, a prisoner to the dance.
Once a morning out of bed
Dropped a pill to clear my head
Ate another for the road, and took my place.
Gave my notice to the Man.
Sold my house and bought a van
And ran away to join the human race.

Shine on brightly, great star of gold
Gonna live until I'm old.
Blaze on boldly, great silver sky
Gonna live until I die.

I chase a marvelous goat --

I chase a marvelous goat --
the young idea
frisky and rambling.
I fenced her in with words
A marvelous chase though the whishing wind.
She laughed when I claimed to have caught her
and led me on
through newborn autumn fields.

Looking for repose
Straining for that certain something
which will linger as satisfaction
Waiting for a sign -- a way to go toward unity.

So you think to tame the unicorn
Why not, instead, become one
Wild and free alive with magic
Trotting and frisking through the trees
Proud and beautiful in freedom.


Careening through space
My hair in the air
My eyes in the skies
My mind everywhere.
And where am I now?
This space has no end
This space has no meaning
It twists and it bends
It has no dimensions
Of order nor time
I have no suspension
I fall as I climb
I twist and I spin
So breathless, and . . . Wow!
This space has no meaning --
I'm part of it now . . .

Rainbow Shop

And she sold me rainbows
dancing gaily 'cross the window
windchimes in light.
And she smiled me daisies
and bursting bright blooms of summer.
And she told me, maybe,
if you're looking in
the right direction,
a miracle may grace your sight.
And I smiled
into the day.


Caught up in the whirl as the world evolves
We weave by the light of the moon
a fabric of fancy, sunbeams, flowers and mist.
A trail of bluebirds embroider your hair.
A veil of gossamer softens your eyes.
A breeze of belief fragrances your breath.
Dressed for the dance in the finest of jewels
Alive to excitement, shining with love
Wrapped warm in a floating cape of wishes fulfilling
Fairy Tale

A memory of haunting nostalgia
I cannot not touch it, taste it, hold it, know it, breathe it
Still it picques me at the corner of my eye, below the level of perception.
The words escape me.
One must be very careful of words.
They hold great power, mystic and legal and personal.
Words can weave a whole world, a whirl of worlds, a wild wind of words
They can create reality for those who get caught up in them.
The right word at the right time can catalyze miracles.
The right word at the wrong time can destroy the eternal.
How might I find the words to capture my dream, my destiny?
Enter the Fool upon the Precipice, prattling ditties of the daily airwaves.
She is whirling blithely, eyes upon a distant rainbow, breathing in clouds
Breathing out daisies and daffodils and a brilliance of pansies.
She is dancing to her own symphony, entranced in her deepest essence.
Without thought, without prayer, without a government authorized identity
There are no guarantees, no happy ending.
There is a tale I try to tell.
Its point escapes me, withering into fairydust.
I breathe in the poisoned air, drink the poisoned water, eat the poisoned food
Like a desperately swimming fish in a polluted bowl, like a creature of the streets eating garbage,
Like a child.
The pattern is corrupted, but I follow it as best I can.
I have been told that if I can properly put the pieces in place
All will be revealed; all will be peace and beauty and love.
The pieces of my shattered heart.

(for Miriam)

The soundwaves whirl inside my ear
I haven't got a thing to say
Sometimes the world is very clear.

I spoke to you of this last year
A different time, a different way
The soundwaves whirl inside my ear.

At times it takes the form of fear
At times it's all a scripted play
Sometimes the world is very clear.

I haven't had the time to hear
The things I know you want to say
The soundwaves whirl inside my ear.

I hold your wisdom very dear
I try to follow in your way
Sometimes the world is very clear.

I listen, but I do not hear
Those things we spoke of yesterday.
The soundwaves whirl inside my ear.
Sometimes the world is very clear.


Rambling through fields of daisies in dreams
Hoping to find a new feeling
Coming to terms with what is and what seems
I'm making a bargain with time.

Not getting tired of running around
But wanting to know where I'm going
Trying to measure my meaning in sound
Trying to keep it in rhyme.

Hoping to answer a call to my heart
Hoping to find a new feeling
Adrenalin pushing, I'm ready to start
Making a bargain with time.


Ritual gives form to meaning
(every wiseman's son doth know).
Every act from which we're gleaning,
Every sack that we must sow
Gives rise to tides that make us wise;
Gives humor chance for binding wounds.
Does good these ancient weary eyes
To dance abandoned round the moon.


Let us contradict the hours
And walk awhile amidst the flowered garden of
Times so bittersweet and true
Their precious etchings scarring as they grew
into your essence.
Breathe deep.  Look inside your soul
For pack rat hidden magic tones of
carefree, joyous laughter
To salve old wounds with tender care.
Awakening, a new self-awareness emerges after.
Yes, let your inner chorus sing:
We are the source of anything
we wish to make our mission.
The key is to relax and dream,
Floating down a buoyant stream
we're learning to envision.
Through weary hours of bitter nights
It helps if we can fix our sight
upon the rays of morning.
Time is not the enemy,
But more a growing friendship
we are tentatively forming.


Enfolding mother walls
Defining my space
Allowing the creative freedom of security
Hugging me to me,
my pictures which I hung
on your warm wooden surface
when first I claimed
this room my womb.

"We're building walls between us.
Walls between us!"  You said, you shouted,
"All those words, words, words,
words of analysis and placing blame.
Why don't you just touch me, hold me,
let me get back in touch with you?"
But I couldn't reach you through
the walls of silence.

Ghostlike I wander

Ghostlike I wander
Through my lady's chamber
Touching cold hard objects
Without connecting.

Eerie mental voices
Repeat, repeat out of context
And I try again to make sense of

Ghostlike I wander
Cold, hard, unconnected
Eerie mental fragments
Floating through my lady's chamber
Repeat, repeat out of context:
Touching, unconnected.

tempus fugit   sic transit gloria mundi

tempus fugit   sic transit gloria mundi
Time flies     thus passes this glorious world
Crystal palaces in feathered canyons
Dark journeys through barren wilderness
Crazy kaleidoscope colours
cascading down in torrential abandon
Slithery salamander
slipping through sinuous sense glands
Hail and rain and thunder
Deep deep angular caverns allowing none but the
positive/negative mysterious vibratory patterns
coursing through ion charged airwaves
tension upon tension
creating cracked splintering sensations
warped wires hobbling down fragmented cobblestones
in crescent corners
singeing singing saxophone horning in on the set
tempered tapestry
grating gridwork
alabaster operational almanac battered and bleating
on the dusty wall
tortoise or terrapin toiling to return to tatoine
helplessly hoping here harlequin halts,
then hurries home down the rabbit hole
sinister seeds seeping cyanide
victimless vipers seethe in pits of venom
rejoice rejoice we have no choice --
joy is dead; long lives remorse.


The Page of Wands
Bearer of tidings
Blessor of all things changing
Definitely five believers
Stand on a pointed mount
Their eyes upon the pyramid
That hovers shining in the starless sky.
Dweller of the desert
Bearer of coded messages that spell
Fortune or disaster
Shadows and lightness.
Two old men share a pipe and tidings
Beside a still river.
Your lifeline runs that river.
The two old ones are you.

    Escape Velocity

RRRRRunning--Spinning--trying to fly, to reach
and conquer the sky, the rooftops, the treetops
above the city streets
to fly
escaping gravity
escaping all those petty groundling woes and fears
running past the clouds,
among the stars and moonbeams
catching hold of all
those magic moments seen in dreams
catching hold of tickly, prickly, dancing freedom
catching hold of rooftops, peering in your windows
dancing gaily twenty feet above the ground,
and glancing down -- can't catch me
not you dour, sour,
glum-faced cons out on the street.
learning to fly, to soar, to run above the rooftops
where I can see for miles,
and miles are free to me
learning to say no to ordinary normality
and break free
learning to say yes to magic, and make magic me.
unlike anything before
learning to break out of bounds and take in more
Ain't nobody gonna tell me I can't fly.

(dedicated to Danny McDermott, wherever
       he may wander)

He calls on the strength of the ocean,
Fire burning in his heart
calls on the spirit world to succor
He who hath known tribulation, but not succumbed
Made stronger and wiser knows power and wisdom
Flow through the elements always there to call on
For the pure though fiery of heart
The saddened but strengthened of soul
The man who would flow with the forces of nature
In touch with the all.

Blue, blue waters before the dawn
Dark, dark night of rain
Can't you see I need a place to go
It's all so strange.
Had a vision, we shared it once or twice
Had a plan to play
Got caught up in the drone of daily life
Can you show me the way?
Had a secret, I shared it with a friend
Had a dream of love
Had some good times, but you know they always end
Don't know what I'm thinking of.
Orange/gold sunrise above the mountain snow
Dried tears from last night's pain
Can't you see I need a place to go
Can you show me the way?

A Winter Parable

Two old men sit
wrapped in wool contemplating a frozen stream.
Their memories soar out past yesterday's horizon
to youthful pleasures and pains
Yes, life has been harsh as the harshest winter;
but beautiful as the late night snowfall that
covers the world in symbolic purity
and sets off
the strawlike but colorful northern herbs
against a star and moonlit sky.
To know these things, we need not be old,
only of a romantic nature.
To share these things,
we need only be in love with life.

Blue Moon

The moon is blue and dreaming
Cry all my children to sleep
In conquest dreams we deem to rule
In darkest halls we plot in torment
In empty caverns we deify glory
Dance, again, dance for freedom
Dance my children to sober dreaming
Of valor and honor and color and pain
Dance and cry and strive again
To hold a mass and state the Name
Call forth my demons from sleep
The songs of old and runes of yore
The empty words we've learned to score
The high and low and even
Listen and you'll hear them moan
It's dark and dirty here below
The emptiness can drive you
To a place you ought not go
You'll die in horror screaming
Cry all my children to sleep
The moon is blue and so are you
You'll hear its song so clearly
And discount it all to dreams
And when you wake, you'll wonder
Why you're screaming
Why you ache in places you can't feel
Why your work and world don't seem so real
Why the voices in your head are screaming
And you'll count the phases of the moon
And wander in the night without direction
And keep a silent vigil in your secret heart
And turn quickly round the corners,
Lest someone see you
And when the curse is cast, you'll hear it spoken
Without bothering to look for the absent speaker
And when the moon has turned its face
To other dreamers
You'll see a vision overpower the sky
And answer . . . when you ask it "why?"
The moon is blue and dreaming.

           Mushroom teacups sail in stardust
        withered laurels snap in dustwhirls
     tethered horsemen roam the skyways
     soldiered remnants hiss through brushwoods
All is soon made clear.
peaceful moment

Like a warm day on the beach, all woozy from the sunshine
Feeling the tingle of sea breeze and that ocean scent of the wild
As the sun diminishes, cooling, refreshing, yet still a lazy summer eve
Oh that luscious feeling, that overflow of quiet emotion
Seeping out of a sleepy reverie, washing so gently through pores and follicles
Like a sweet warm breath caressing

We give what we can; we take what we need
Marching, in orderly fashion
Or beatifically walking to a sacred beat.
The horizon shifts through daily duties and nightly prayers.
We take what we can. We give.
Without notice, without rational equation
We give each outward breath, and take in what is given.

Like a happy, inspiring song springing from memory to lip
Moving the fortunate mind into momentary ecstasy of dance
Moments meant to linger, to haunt as a loving ghostly guardian
Wrapped in that lovely ethereal glow of grace's perfection
Summoning iridescent spirits to play joyfully ubiquitous harmonies
Like the words we tell ourselves to bring us peace.
Movie Themes

Late one recent night I watched "You Can't Take It with You" and "Harvey" on Turner Classic Movies' Jimmy Stewart mini-fest.
Both films had an underlying theme of the guardian spirit taking care of those who dare to create their own way despite social convention. Then, of course, there was the antagonist of the social institutions in place to maintain conformity. Jail or the nuthouse loom for those who step off of the sidewalk, so to speak. Always those equally opposing forces. The angel on one shoulder, the demon on the other. (But Lucifer was an angel, and as we know from the Buffyverse, demons can be like any other ethnic group, so the choice of advisers is not unambiguous.)
I seem to keep running into the concept of living in two worlds (or perhaps many, but that's another story). They can be given many designations, but right now I am looking at a world of my self and one of others, the rulemakers. This is colored by my astrology: Capricorn Sun in the 1st house, Uranus in Cancer in the Seventh -- wouldn't that tend to have me identifying with the rulemakers and seeing the scary other as the iconoclast? Not unambiguous.
I have memories from throughout my life, starting as a very young child, of breathless invigorating ecstatic inspiration standing as my self basking in the universe, too excited to keep from dancing with joy internally if not in actual motion, and yet in a profound stillness of awe and peaceful understanding. And I have memories of profound guilt, depression, boundless anger with no outlet except against myself.
I am feeling lately like I am trying to break through a semi-porous membrane into some kind of wholeness, to a sublime adventure, a living myth of profound beauty. The energy is not quite there -- it surges and fades without regularity like stars peeking through the clouds.
I was awake very late at night, watching old movies and letting them take the place of my dreams. Magic is everywhere, a parallel consciousness to both sunlight and shadow. Cinema Show

Darkness at the Break of Noon:
the malevolence of disconnection in chilling allegory

globally replace each noun with the pronoun of your choice
mix well
replace each verb with passivity
shade in the shadows to represent perspective
add background hellfire and brimstone for dimensionality
orchestrate with thrash metal out-of-phase syncopation
and booming bombing artillery -- donder und blitzen
analyze, organize, digitize, advertize
project to sell-out crowds
rewind, repeat, replete with popcorn, pepsi and promos.


A joyous encounter with life
A joyous encounter called my life
I've swung from trees in tropical times
And swum the seas of paradise
And learned to breathe upon the earth
You've got to see me; you've got to listen
To these wonders that I've learned

Traveling, traveling a hard-stoned road
Working my legs, my mind, carrying my load
Journeying for countless years
Seeking out the sea of tears
Eyes blinded by a black lace veil
I break my trail
(As in my mind my thoughts unwind my tale)

A marvelous secret, a hidden treasure trove
While unicorns play harpsichord
Within a blossomed grove
A newborn child with something wild that
plays in rainbowed eyes
Has been declared of druid laird
born to hypnotize
Been borne to hypnotize
Sing lullabies
Reward all the heathen with sleep
And dreaming dreams as such who waken
Find their very core earthshaken
And made to believe in possibilities
They set their sites, reshaping all reality
And of them they've begotten me.

Sound the magic pipes of Pan
All who hear may understand
The fluid waif who walks the land
Spawn of Diana's fling
With the clove-foot forest king

Vibrate to music, music, music
In every cell of living fluid
'Tis alright to be a druid
Of forest borne to roam through future lands
Touch me, touch me, touch me, touch me
Become my hands.

Floating, wandering, restless dreams
Call me to respond.

I rode a mountain faire
Picked daisies for my hair
Learned to know the name of every weed
I dwelt the night alone
In a crevice made of stone
And never thought of what I next would need
I dreamt of castles bold
And the language of the Olde
And struggled to bring my dreams alive
And whistled as I rode
The songs I'd oft been told
At parties seen
In waking dream
Another place and time
Another tune, another rhyme
And I'd sit beside my campfire
And gaze into the flames
And yearn of learning other places,
Atune to other names
Traveling over other lands,
Seeking secrets, other plans
Or just remembering another song
For the secret of each soul is in its song.

Blazing all around
Miles from bare ground
Twisting twig upon an aery sea.
Luminescent way
Whatcha gonna say
Songbird, whistle your wisdom to me.

A maid of golden wings
In lullabying sings
Of white sails racing in the wind.
No two are e're the same
Of the tales she can name
Oh, nightingale -- take me in!
Blazing all around
Miles from bare ground
Journeying upon a vessel rare
Silently I sing
To hold remembering
Magic castles in the air.

Getch yer gimme
Pull that file!  Collapse that case!
You are obsolete -- unexistent
And ain't no one gonna hire you in this industry.
Whatcha holding on to?
Whatcha going on to?
Whatcha gonna live for?
Got a score to settle while the dying's cheap
Gonna find a rooftop and fire.
Gonna tap a neural gap and get higher.
Gonna hold a seance and retire.
Become a log a'rotting in the wood
Enter eternity a nonfunctioning robot
Captured in celluloid, electronic impulses
Air tremors and interruptions in space.
We make no difference to a meteor --
Any blind force that destroys without design --
We make no difference to our own kind.
Blind orgiastic miasma
Pressing, moaning, sucking in life.

Images of innocence float by in my mind
I'm looking for a pot of gold
I never hope to find
And wonder in the dark of night
What if I should go blind.
Today is made of yesterdays,
Tonight of yestereves.
The spoken words I say to you
I hope you won't believe.
We've but so little time my friend,
Too little time to grieve.
And I wonder in my heart of hearts
Just where all will lead.
Will I once more take an oath of pain
And watch my body bleed
Or will I learn that living's
When you take all that you need?

Busy work, busy talk, trying to make time
Talk of energy, talk of war,
Talk of who you're out to score
Learn to love and disremember
Trying to make time; dying to make time.
Try to run and they've got you busted.
Try to hide, try to hide, try to hide.
Everyone's there to be mistrusted.
Try to hide, try to hide, try to hide.
What's left of you inside?

You are of me.
You are one of me.
You see what I see.
You do what I see.
You do what I command.
I've got you in my hand.
I've got you underhand.
Touch me.  Touch me.  Touch me.  Touch me.
You are far away.
You are very far away.
You don't do what I say.
You don't hear what I say.
I'm screaming "go away"
Go away.  Go away.  Go away.  Go away.

I'm sitting in my room.
I've got you in my room.
I see you in my womb.
You got away too soon.
You haven't got a chance.
No, not a bloody chance.
I circle in my dance.
I've got you in my dance.
In a trance, in a trance, in a trance, in a trance
Come on -- DANCE!
Touch me.  Touch me.  Touch me.  Touch me.

Quietly, quickly, without a trace
Annihilate an entire race
Stealthily, silently my poison kills
To cleanse this land of a people's ills.
The key's been cast, so lock the door
On lies and poverty; greed and war.
Purify in red hot fire
Deify the symbol of desire
And when all desire's turned to dust
Etch in fire:  "IN GOD WE TRUST."
A sacred trust.

Sound the bell
Sound the bell
Sound the bell slowly
O'er all we've made holy.
Ring bright pure-toned peals
O'er gold flaming fields
In music now seal'd
The end of our fate.
Sound the bell.
Sound the bell.

And now I sail from the sea of Lethe
A phoenix, risen from my death
To journey on through time and space
Progenitor to the human race.

For Marian

Restless wings:  beating, beating
Soundless tales emerge:  singing, singing
Muted colors weaving a fabric in time.
Sober thoughts:  remembered
Hope and dreams regaining form
Another day dawns and lingers.
We carry on.


Some Sunday Evening
When the sky is still half blue
And Spring is oh so present in the scented breeze,
The mind may take pause from the conventions
of the weekday world,
Take pause from its frenzied hiding,
Peek from behind the metal barricade of
"No, no.  No time for that now."
And dream the impossible, unforgettable dream
That brings man above the machines, into humanity;
Above the burdened beasts -- into gods.
Then, tell me your dream, and I'll tell you mine
(Quickly now, before they're jackrabbit scared beyond recall -- such
fragile things are dreams).
It starts on a pure-white, fine-grained beach,
silhouetting a wide blue,
eternal, crystal sea.
A blazing blue and yellow sun-rayed sky overhead,
and sparkling sea shells beneath your feet.
And the sea breeze and lapping waves make the only
sounds (noisy traffic, heated pavement, not  
     even a memory.  It was really such a bad joke.)
There's a girl:  long silken hair of sunlight,
long supple limbs of grace.
And a boy
Both clear-eyed, strong-lunged and alive.
See them play.
Air, Earth, Fire, Water
Then transformed above the clouds
In the knowledge of universes
"Here we are to meet our makers"
-- among them ourselves.
Roll call of the gods and goddesses
up for reassignment or rest and recuperation
among the stars.
I dreamed I was on Earth and saw a thing called war
(shudders) -- a psychic trauma
to be overcome.
So let us play in our past
and watch the field unfold
Tanks and Generals and Implements of Destruction
"Why, they're only paper cards."
Pawn to Queen Bishop Three
And check; and mate.
Such silly games we find to play.
I'd rather make love to you.
That's what boys and girls are for.
Slippery union by the seashore
And close your eyes as we make love
amongst the galaxies.
Let me feel you; let me be you.
Your skin merging with mine
So soft and warm,
ah, sensation . . .
floating higher and higher
and higher -- beyond all time or dimension
You know, it's all one --
The rest is a game
A cosmic joke.
"Hear the gods laugh"
You laugh -- delightful.
And now we rest on the beach
under the bright, warm sun
floating through black eternity
amongst the pinbright stars
4th of July sparklers
or Christmas tree lights
Softly floating down and down and
The holiday is over.
As Sunday night turns to Monday morning and
we don our masks and securely hide our dreams,
til its as if they were never seen,
tightly behind their barricades
and a muffled "mornin'"
is all we'll allow in greeting,
eyes shielded, limbs confined,
back into our workaday existence,
reading the war news
fighting our own private wars with the
infernal traffic.
The dense fog descends to hide the sky and sun.
The water's polluted,
The sidewalks encrusted in broken glass.
And, I'd tell you my dream, if you'd tell me yours,
But --
"Don't be ridiculous,
We haven't time for dreams."

1 comment:

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