Love Can Bring You Back

This piano playing inside my head.
The keys have all gone black.
No going back.
Thin walls all around me.
No words left to say.
Whispered words already said.
Crumpled pages already read.
Falling into the looking glass,
Mirror to my soul.

Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

Perhaps you were looking for me?
Follow the steps I’ve taken a thousand times.
Sidewalks worn like these shoes of mine.
Thoughts of you on my mind.
Are you already gone.
There’s no coming back?
Through the looking glass.
I see a ghost that must be me.
Sadness is all surrounding me.

But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat:
“We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat,
“Or you wouldn’t have come here.”

To the music playing in my head.
Play these seven notes for instead.
Notes I thought were already dead.
The keys have all gone black.
Endless love can bring you back.
Through the looking glass.
Love can find you wherever you are.
That’s what love can do.

If only you can walk long enough,
Any road will do.”

Credit: Lewis Carroll

 

 

In the Land Where Eagles Soar

1989RonNancyFarewellIn the land where eagles soar,
Morning’s light opens doors.
God’s grace shines ever more.
Yet bittersweet’s the taste,
At freedom’s core.

World’s at your feet,
People gonna tweet.
People gotta eat.
Man needs to do the solid,
Open his wallet,
Or go home.
And leave people,
The hell alone!

People slingin’ bombs,
Which side you on?
Bomberang!
Winners and losers,
The Man’s the chooser.
Back a boozer,
Who’s the loser?

In the land where eagles soar,
Morning’s light opens doors.
God’s grace shines ever more.
Yet bittersweet is the taste,
At freedom’s core.

Catch peace on the wind.
Hearts will mend.
Listen for the morning dove.
Wrap yourself in love.
People push and shove,
You can rise above.

In the land where eagles soar,
Morning’s light opens doors.
Stop the madness,
Stops the sadness,
Freedom’s knockin’ on the door.

When You Can’t Love Enough

When you can’t love enough.
Embrace the emptiness.
It’s all around you.
It fills the room.
And leaves you foolish,
And afraid.
Uncertain for the first time,
Not the last.
Sadness all of a sudden,
Surrounds you,
All around you.
You can’t love enough!
You can’t embrace enough,
What’s already broken,
You pick up the pieces,
Been there.
Words unspoken,
We still share.
Hope.
Anguish.
Tears.
Anger.
Despair.
Us.
When love’s not enough,
I’m still here.
I’ll be there.
Find your way back,
Back to me.

Hold Me in Your Heart

Capture

When I write,

Words may be erased.

When I speak,

Words may be forgotten.

When I hold you in my heart,

We share an eternity.

 

Today, My Tanks Were on Empty. 

Today, my tanks were almost on empty.  I didn’t have any more energy left to manage the daily, interim or long-term crises I have in front of me.  Just the acknowledgement of such, may create another crisis! I couldn’t decide what to do.  After all, I am responsible for family, friends, coworkers, partners, industry associates and customers.

You could even say I have a leadership crisis in the mix, if that’s not too self-important. Where do you turn when you are at the end of your rope and you’re last in line?

I’m not self-important.  The definition of self-important is “having or showing an exaggerated opinion of one’s own importance; pompously conceited or haughty.” If you believe I am that person, I have another crisis of which to contend. A time of crisis, is a time to look in the mirror. Make sure self importance doesn’t include writing the checks you can’t cash. It isn’t about the money, although that is a means to an end. What I mean by that is you need to look past words and see the person behind them. What does that person do and what has that person accomplished, virtually on their own. That’s a small business person, that’s an entrepreneur. That’s why I love this expression, Successful business people stand on ground that is “crumbling beneath their feet,” Joseph Schumpeter

Essentially those I interact with daily, I would imagine, would be more than a bit surprised if I went off the rails.  The problem is, I have all the responsibilities, all the failures, regardless of who within the organization has made the mistake(s). I have always been afraid I just didn’t have the will.  I have always been afraid I was to give in or give up. I just didn’t. No brag. Just fact.

I think, if I went off the rails, maybe then someone who depends on me would have to step up in a big way and fill these shoes. My biggest fear today? The question. “Who is ready?”

Here is some advice from John Baldoni, who is a leadership consultant, coach, and speaker. He is the author of nine books, including 12 Steps to Power Presence: How to Assert Your Authority to Lead. See his archived blog for hbr.org here. Baldoni’s advice has helped me.

Take a moment to figure out what’s going on. An executive I know experienced a major disruption in service to his company. He was the person in charge and he told me that at the first response meeting everyone started talking at once. The chatter was nervous response — not constructive — so he delegated responsibilities and then called for a subsequent meeting in an hour’s time. This also helped to impose order on a chaotic situation.

Act promptly, not hurriedly. A leader must provide direction and respond to the situation in a timely fashion. But acting hurriedly only makes people nervous. You can act with deliberateness as well as speed. Or as legendary coach John Wooden advised, “Be quick but don’t hurry.”

Manage expectations. When trouble strikes, people want it to be over right now — but seldom is this kind of quick resolution possible. It falls to the leader in charge to address the size and scope of the crisis. You don’t want to alarm people, yet do not be afraid to speak to the magnitude of the situation. Winston Churchill was a master at summing up challenges but offering a response at the same time. As he famously said when taking office in 1940, “You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory; victory at all costs; victory in spite of all terror; victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.”

Demonstrate control. When things are happening quickly, no one may have control, but a leader can assume control. That is, you do not control the disaster — be it man-made or natural — but you can control the response. A leader puts himself into the action and brings the people and resources to bear. Think of Red Adair, who made a name for himself putting out oil fires that no one else could. A raging blaze may seem uncontrollable but Adair knew could control the way it was extinguished.

Keep loose. Not only does this apply to personal demeanor — a leader can never afford to lose composure — it applies to the leader’s ability to adapt rapidly. A hallmark of a crisis is its ability to change quickly; your first response may not be your final response. In these situations, a leader cannot be wedded to a single strategy. She must continue to take in new information, listen carefully and consult with the frontline experts who know what’s happening.

As much as we like to see senior executives pitch in and help with the heavy lifting, there is a limit. A senior executive’s prime role is setting direction. If he or she is engaged too much in front line responsibility, then who is doing the vision thing? Some executives still enjoy doing that hands-on work; they like the rush of adrenaline that comes from direct action. Too bad. That is not their job any more.

Leaders have another important role during a crisis and that is to provide perspective. As Mike Useem has written in The Go Point, an insightful study of decision-making, effective leaders can often do more by standing back from the action.

It is why, as Useem notes, that the team leader in mountaineering expeditions often remains at base camp rather than hiking to the summit. That way, if trouble strikes, he can direct the response with the perspective that comes from seeing the mountain as a whole and the conditions that affect the summit team.

The measure of a leader is often tested during a crisis. And those leaders who can engage directly, but still maintain their sense of perspective, are the ones that will help the organization survive.

I hope I’m that person. At least I think so. If that make me self-important…

P.S. I wrote this in 2013 and decided it is still relevant, maybe even more so today! I guess I am at least capable of listening to others advice. Thanks Mr. Baldoni!

 

 

The Problem with Rainbows

Burney Falls rainbow
The problem with rainbows.
As beautiful as they can be,
They are always changing.
Sometimes for the better,
Sometimes not.
They appear to be never ending,
And then they are gone,
Just like you.

Shadows

Shadows forming in my mind,
Clouds race to shelter the sun.
Passing quickly.
Not lingering.
Not hiding.
Thoughts are where,
Thoughts have never been.
Shapes of you,
Like a kaleidoscope in my brain.
Spinning.
Have me completely turned around.
Hoping you were gone.
Now I’m missing you.
Drift away,
Drift away.
Tomorrow’s another day.
Or stay.

Precipe

Hi Mom

Echoes of the past,
Haunting me.
Steps alone.
Steps in the driven snow,
Only I can follow,
Only I can know.
A path ill forgotten.
The journey, a pause,
Takes my breath away.
Reaching back to the life,
I’ve been given.
Breathing life back,
Back to the future.
Where only I can,
Know who I am,
Alone.

Successful business people stand on ground that is “crumbling beneath their feet,” Joseph Schumpeter

The Dangers of Alone

We’ve all heard it’s lonely at the top. The real danger is being alone in your convictions.

As a leader of a company or an institution, you can be surrounded by the best people with the best intentions, yet be alone in your convictions. Your “best people”, be it a perception they’re doing the best thing for the company or institution for whom they work, there’s is a conviction they’re right.

They think they know more about the issues. Maybe they don’t know enough about the issue to tackle it on their own and are afraid to ask for help. Maybe their ego clashes with your own. Maybe there’s a personal bond between you and a key person that has been broken. In any or all of these cases, as their leader, you’re left alone.

The irony is you may start down the same path, initially want the same things but lose somehow, one or the other person(s) loses their way.

The danger is, if you are left alone in your conviction your decisions will be undermined. You will experience outright rebellion, where its obvious where you stand. You can deal directly with the issue and the person or persons who oppose you on the issue. The danger is the person(s) may be a valuable asset and leave, or simply refuse to work with you on the issue.

Compromise is by far and away the best alternative. The less desirable alternative is to replace the person(s). This will result in all sorts of new challenges let alone delays, even if in the end, you get the results you need and want.

The person(s) who think they know more about what’s best on an issue, may say “Yes”, do nothing, or stall a process to keep the initiative from moving forward. Basically, they’re blowing smoke up your behind. The danger is the stall. Delays will doom an initiative to fail. This is also the case when they are in over their head and are afraid to admit it.

Ego is always a danger in as a leadership issue. If you have someone you depend upon who’s ego gets in the way, it’s a complex situation. It could simply be personal, a matter of respect. The person(s) believes they’re the smartest person in the room and there’s no room for anyone else’s opinion. Worse it could be jealousy or contempt which boils down to a lack of respect.

To deal with most if not all of these issues, first look retrospectively into your own objectives, and communicate with the person(s). Be honest and forthright in your convictions and your own doubts. A compromise may be the result. Be honest about your concerns about the person(s) motives outlined here as well. Considering the resolution is to move forward in your convictions you have to make decision, regardless.

Do you get a “yes”, a commitment to move forward with your initiative? Great. If you get the affirmative, but see there is a lukewarm reception towards moving forward, closely monitor the results. If there’s a bigger issue, a lack of the skills necessary and most likely an ego clash, you need to find someone you can trust, someone capable of carrying forward your initiatives.

If you feel like there’s a problem with the person(s) leadership skills, I recommend enrolling the person(s) in a Dale Carnegie leadership/management course and recommend they read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey.

Finally, if is a personal bond broken between you and another person(s), quickly mend the fences. This may require great personal sacrifice. You acquiesce through humility and forgiveness on your part. If there’s no healing salve, find an exit strategy for that person(s) as quickly as possible.

The alternative is, at the very least lack of focus at the very worst, a chasm amongst and between you and anyone whomever supports that person(s). If that person(s) is otherwise a great asset to the company or institution, you have to decide what’s best all concerned. If you let someone else drive a wedge between you, your people and the business, all will suffer.

And that my fellow leaders, are the “dangers of alone”.

Successful business people stand on ground that is “crumbling beneath their feet,” Joseph Schumpeter

When You Truly Love Someone.

When it rains, it pours!When you truly love someone,
You don’t mind the rain.
You even welcome the cold.
And hope there’s no letting go.
You just embrace love.
Each touch is the promise of a new beginning.
A simple smile,
Together in a quiet place.
Until words tear you apart.
Your heart’s been broken,
Over and over again.
Just when it seems you can’t take it anymore,
You just let go.
You can’t hold on any longer.
You can’t stand the pain.
Let in rain.
Just walk away.
Shut out the lights.
Pray you live another day.
Let it rain.

We seek happiness in external things without realizing that they don’t help when we have problems within. We need to focus instead on the joy that comes with peace of mind that allows us to remain happy whatever happens.  Dalai Lama

Surrounded

Surrounded!
And alone.
Smiling faces,
All around.
And no place to go.
I can hear the silence,
In the whispers.
Words spoken,
Lie quietly,
In the past.
Our last.

Surrounded!
And alone.
Around this bend,
In the road,
I can’t see.
There’s a lot,
Of places,
You’re telling me.
Telling me to go.
I’ll never see.
I didn’t know
You’re saying yes.
When the answer’s no.

Surrounded!
And alone.
Smiling faces,
All around.
No place I’m free.
I have to decide,
I want to hide,
Inside of me.
If you’re looking,
I’m sure you’ll find me.


She’s My Rainbow

She’s a quiet smile,
A gentle laugh away.
She’s my rainbow,
On a gray day.
All I can do is pray,
Like I do,
For another day.

She’s the soft breeze on my face,
A warm embrace.
She’s the thoughts I wish I’d had.
The kindness when I’m sad.
All I can do is pray.
Like I do.
For another day.

She’s the hands that reach for the sky,
She’s the voice in silence cries.
She is every gift I’ve given,
Every gift I’ve ever received.
All I can do is pray.
Like I do.
For another day.

She’s every breathe I take,
Every life I make.
She’s everything I see,
She’s the light inside of me.
She’s my Mom.
All I want is another day!
Another day.

Lost Lives Live Too Long

20170526_203721

Sunsets Lasts but a Minute, Sand Shifts Beneath Our Feet. Love Lasts a Lifetime. Ideacapitalist

I’m lost for the last time,
But I’m not alone.
Feelin’ wrong, and right at home.
So much is feelin’ wrong,
Lost lives live too long.

Feeling I don’t belong.
My tears dripping down,
Onto your face,
Not a hair out of place.
You’re the empty smile without a face,
You’re the kiss without an embrace.
You’re the heart without a place.

A whisper in your ear.
My lips paint the words.
Only you can hear.
You’re skin deep.
You can’t sleep.
I’m the soulful stare.
I’m the soul laid bare.
I’m your nightmare.

You’ve said everything I needed to hear.
Little did I know how little you care.
You felt good until you didn’t.
You felt good until you couldn’t.
Movin’ on or maybe so.
Leavin’ my heart behind.
Or maybe so..

I’m lost for the last time.
Secrets are for closed doors.
Feelin’ wrong, and right at home.
They’re no more, and I’m not alone
Lost lives live too long.

The piano plays to me.
Too close to where I want to be.
Lost lives live too long,
Live too long,
Right at home.

Listening to Paul Cardall’s album New Life, Letting Go and Michael Meets Mozart by the Piano Guys

Selfish

Selfish. Not a label I have ever wanted to own. I’ll own it. Certainly it’s a label that has to be resonating with more of us today than ever before. We’re all selfish. Ego controls us. Think selfie. Our smart phones own us.

If I can be rested from my self-induced, self-prescribed existence or being and smart phone, it would literally require an act of God.

It’s alarming to me, an ordinary human, that the extraordinary, often sensational, often impersonal, even detached, surreal moments become my perception of reality. I would never experience these moments without this new reality. The Internet and the advent of social media.

How can us ordinary humans, moms, dads, teachers, business and spiritual leaders compete with this new reality? Self-awareness maybe the one thing I can do to improve selflessness. If you can listen to your inner self maybe you can do a better job of listening to someone else. It could make me a better person. Good luck with that!

Case in point, calling someone selfless is a huge compliment. There may be people that commit selfless acts but who do you know that can be described as selfless? Rare indeed. Did I mention self-effacing? To the point, I wrote Lonely Man in one of those pity me moments. It’s called self-promoting!

Lonely Man

Lonely man, you know who I am. 
You’re a labor of love, hand and glove. 
If you ever want to shoot for the moon,
You’ll need to bring your own silver spoon. 

Your drink is empty, nothing’s on the table.  
Miguel your waiter, sells only by the label. 
So you dance to music that never ends,
And toast bartender Mike, your new best friend. 

You’re anybody who has a story.
You’re the blood and guts, but no glory. 
You’re the play that’s no longer afloat. 
You’re the poem, you never wrote.

Lonely man, you know who I am.  
You’re a labor of love, hand and glove.
Johnny Cochran’s not your deal.
You’ll never win on your appeal. 

You’re the crowd in every room. 
The conversation that always spells doom. 
You’re the fly that’s always unzipped,
The greeting card, that’s always skipped. 

You’ve become the sweat on everyone’s brow. 
You’re the answer to, “No, not now!” 
You’re the best friend you’ll never have. 
You’re the rub, without the salve.

Lonely man, you know who I am. 
Labor of love, fit hand and glove. 
Win the lottery prize in your office pool? 
What are the odds you’ve played the fool!

You’re someone’s smile, without a face. 
You’re the awkward in an embrace.
You’re the gaze behind an empty stare. 
You’re the voice that isn’t there. 

You’re the cold pavement under bare feet. 
You’re the toothless grin that never eats.
So when you dare ask for a slice of life,
You’re the one to brandish a knife. 

And when your chapter is finally read,
You already know what’s been said.
Lonely man, you know who I am, 
Dance to music that never ends.

I originally wrote Lonely Man for a Montel Williams Poetry Contest for MS charity because I have a sister with MS. I think “Lonely Man” epitomizes how many of us feel from time to time. At the same time it pokes some fun at those same self-effacing feelings.

Choose YES

It’s late. I’m listening to Porcelain, by Helen Jane Long, a piano instrumental on an album of the same name. There’s an upbeat tempo one minute and down the next, but what’s never in doubt, the melody is moving forward.

Long’s instrumental reminds me that life is a series of ups and downs. In life, we all have them. When we have hurt, pain, tragedy, it is overwhelming, often devastating, even catastrophic.  Life goes on.

The cruelest part may be life goes on, with or without us. We can experience disappointment ranging from losing the lottery to losing a loved one or worse.  Yet for us, the cruel irony is, yes you guessed it, life goes on. In those moments of despair, panic, fear, disappointment, agony, even shame, it is all about what we do next that separates us. Life goes on.

The same holds true for those moments of elation, spontaneous laughter, thrills, the smile that aches, the head rush from a fist pump or a YES! There’s the deep gratification that love yields, the peace and reciprocity that a warm smile can bring. Life goes on.

There’s a reason for a beautiful sunrise or sunset, because both are signaling a new beginning. And yes, there’s always hope, as we live and breathe. There’s always hope. All we have to do is look for it and we can find it. Life goes on.

I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. You have been there. We all have. I don’t know anyone in my life over 50 that hasn’t experienced tremendous ups and downs. All I am doing is reminding you and reminding me too, in this moment, with this soulful piano playing to my heart, I can find peace. And YES, life goes on.

There’s always an upside, too. I’m living proof. Every day will be a new beginning. I am going to arm myself with a warm smile and choose YES! Life goes on with or without you. Choose YES!

Life Is Art

bow glacier falls hike_upper falls 6 (2)
Life is art.
Can’t apologize.
Love is pulling us a part.
If you painted this moment.
Words are forgotten.
Brushed aside in emotion.

Can’t catch a break.
Can’t catch my breath.
Can’t sleep.
Can’t eat enough.
Can’t drink enough.
Yeah that’ me.
Yeah that’s you.

The deepest, darkest secrets,
Come out when you’re alone.
You can’t be alone.
Reason’s gone.
Memories gone.
Life’s canvas isn’t wrong.

Treasure the moments.
The warm embraces.
The knowing smiles.
The tender caresses.
The sweet quiet voices,
The hot breath in your ear.
You can hold dear.

Never you’re fault.
Someone’s just rubbin’ salt,
In places you can’t explain.
Imaginary pain.
Everyone’s sayin,’,
Never going to change.
Everyone’s sayin’.

You’re singing to the choir…
Honey, I’m wearing a wire.
Baby, I’m hearing you’re a liar.
You’re cryin in your soup.
You’re the only one in the loop.

Love is art,
Life is pulling us apart.
Lay your life bare,
No one cares.
The deepest darkest secrets,
Come out when you’re alone.
You’re not alone.
Never alone.

Laugh All You Can!

Revisited.

Idea Capitalists

20140725_101755Laugh all you can!
What comes after,
Solitude, sadness, tears.
A waterfall, descending through life,
A crescendo, a splash, your past.
Let’s you down, then you’re washed away.
A moment in time, gone.
Deep, quiet and alone.
And the promise,
Laughter comes after,
Is the waterfall.
A crescendo of life,
Will come crashing down on you.
Laughter and tears,
Never ending,
Never done.

View original post

As We Live

IMG_0754

Cody Bear


As we live, we die a little bit each day.
We can pray there’s another way.
To wake to a cold nose in your face,
Who cares less about the human race.
Then’ there’s you.

For that moment in time,
You can forget who you’re supposed to be where and when,
You have a date outdoors with your best friend.
It matters less whether you’re rich or poor.
It matters more, you make it out the front door.

You have your list of things to do.
Funny how that takes a backseat, too.
When his business is done,
No matter where you’re on the run,
All he cares about is having fun.

Shake and shimmer,
Wiggle and squirm,
Until his belly rub is done.
In the heat of the battle, time’s a squandering.
Still your mind and heart go wandering,

As we live, we die a little bit each day.
We can pray there’s another way.
Back to those big brown eyes fixed on you.
Eyes that are saying, best friends be true.
Regrets, maybe a few? Never forget missing you!

Gustaf

Gustaf

I’m a Landline

I’m a landline.
Yeah old as the dirt I’m buried under.
Not too deep. I can be broken.
Throw me a 5G lifeline.
AT&T or Walker Texas Ranger.
I’m in danger!
I need to get more fiber in my diet.
Rescue this song.
Like every episode.
I’m the good looking song.
What could go wrong?
Well, I’m old, not blind.
Life’s not been too kind.
Walker needs to rescue me,
AT&T 4G is taking too long,
I’ll never finish this song…

Brings Me to my Knees

IMG_0882 (2)
Rest easy into the night.
Before you reach for her,
You know she’s all right.
Her soft breathing,
Makes it all right.
Your eyes close slowly,
Her smile’s out of sight.
A smile your heart aches for,
When it’s no longer there.
Her laughter is your prayer.
Brings me to your knees,
To pray for one more day.
One more day!

Apocalypse or New Beginning?

rabbitWhat if an apocalypse isn’t a disaster or the end of the world?  What if it’s a new beginning?  Like the Big Bang Theory except we simply pass unaware from one universe into another.  Maybe we simply pass through a looking glass in a moment in time into a brand new world in a blink of an eye.  Maybe we do so every day, every second, always.  Could an apocalypse just breed a new set of circumstances; where life’s dynamics change in an instant?

Anytime one can pass through that looking glass into another world.  In the blink of an eye your life is on course, planned almost to the “T”, the next everything’s changed.

Start with the day you were born, how many unexpected circumstances cause a potentially apocalyptic change?

Take a seemingly inert object, a cylindrical piece of glass, a table top separated from its home atop a patio table, being pushed around, scrubbed cleaned and spun back around, destined to return to the patio where it belonged.  Except it shattered.  Its glass shards dove deep into the leg, a loved one’s left leg cutting it to the bone, leaving her helpless.

So a moment in time caused an apocalyptic blip in a world never ending, giving birth every moment to a new life we now live.  Sunspots are blamed for all sorts of atmospheric changes, like global warming, now it’s P.C. to call it climate change, so why not a rabbit hole to life reborn?  If Mother Nature can conjure up a flood or a drought, hurricane, sweeping tornadoes, life is never going to be the same.  You are forced to adapt to something new and different.  People, places, circumstances you know…will change or cease to exist, in an instant.

To me a hospital likens a brand new world.  When you enter into a life threatening situation and your life suddenly spirals out of control you find yourself relegated to a new beginning.  Your life is now in the hands of paramedics, doctors, nurses, technicians and support staff. All these people appear to you in “scrubs”.  If there’s significance to colors, it escapes me.  I have yet to see a candy-striper.

Certainly everything life threatening now appears to be in slow motion.  Life is now uncertain, so answers are drawn, deliberate and studied.  No one answer is beyond reproach or certainty. Life in this new world is all about adjusting to whatever comes their way.   Life is resurrected, sutured, stapled, stitched, sewn, connected by drips, drains, inserted, injected, measured and clipped. Good fortune is you get the best of the best. A plastic surgeon with precision hands to go with her accent. Five hours later, an eternity to some, you’re reborn.

Every day I learn to appreciate God ’s creation more, men and women able to adapt, invent and create a brand new world.

When the Cheshire cat says, “If you don’t know what road you’re on, any road will do.” In a blink of an eye, the life you knew is gone.

Thoughts from May 25th 2011

Nothing Ventured! (slide show)

Hi MomNothing ventured.
Nothing gained.
Yes. That’s you.
That was me,
At 18 too.
I’m unknown.
I’m unread.
Nothing here.
Nothing said.
I’m granite.
You’re Atlantic.
In New York,
You pick your fork.
In Des Moines,
You pick your employment line.
Don’t tell me the ice is melting,
When the snow is pelting,
When you haven’t felt the cold,
When you’re too young, to feel old.
Don’t tell me we need an open door.
We’re already poor.
Show me you’re real,
Or I’ll show you the door.

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Broken Ice (slide show)

bow glacier falls hike_upper falls 6

While I write off key,
Chords to the music,
Are washing over me.
Each note in concert,
Broken ice,
On a windblown lake,
Surrendering to the sun.
A starburst of shattered sea.
Frozen chimes, every key,
A new discovery.
Music in step.
A part of my soul,
Playing over again,
Feeding a waterfall,
Touching blue skies.
A crescendo washing over me.
Driving memories.
And new discoveries.
Out of step,
Out of key.
Perfection.
Nature’s harmony.
Play broken ice for me.
While I write off key.
Each chord floating gently,
Over me.

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Tears Come Easy

Super moon Tampa in the backfground 3Tears come easy when you are tough.
Weakness hides behind a smile.
Tears come when they are most unwanted.
Sometimes they come when least expected.
Tears can bring joy, relief and hope.
Peace can only come in grief’s wake.
Mourning’s tide washes into a new day.
Tears sweeten the bitter memories of you.
Mine are forgiving tears.
Forgiven, not forgotten.
As another blue moon rises,
Tonight begs me, say goodbye.

I Deserve You

liar
I left my soul open,
With every word spoken,
Lips left love unspoken.
Now I’m broken.
I deserve you.

You’re the wave,
That rolled over me.
More than a tsunami.
Swept deep inside of me.
Tears hide the rain.
Hide the pain.

Your lies echo in my head.
Like a book often read,
I can’t put down.
I’m you’re circus clown.
I own… this.

I left my soul open,
With every word spoken,
Lips left love unspoken.
Now I’m broken.
I deserve you.

I’m all in.
Every sin.
I can’t imagine.
Was there a beginning?
Is there’s an end?

Missing a place,
A place inside of you.
A place inside of me.
I’m lost.
There’s no you.
There’s no me,

It’s hard to get close,
To be so far apart.
So alone, so often.
Your touch. A spark.
A light that fades to dark.

I left my soul open,
With every word spoken,
Lips left love unspoken.
Now I’m broken.
I deserve you.

Dedicated to CG 1966

Eyes wide open… Reflections II

My Cody Bear


In the darkest hours of night, when sleep should prevail, without prejudice, without mercy, questions pour into my head. I lie awake and I wonder…
Have I lived well enough to make many friends and fewer enemies?
Do I have the courage to cherish my friends and to vanquish my enemies?
Have I spread enough smiles?
Have I shared enough hugs?
Have I planted enough kisses?
Have I caused enough laughter to earn reciprocity?
Have I studied enough history?
Have I been engaged enough in current affairs?
Have I earned a degree in knowledge?
Is knowledge a benefit?
Is knowledge the revelation of truths, or is knowledge the realizations of falsehoods?
Have I learned from every victory and every folly?
If so, am I a benefactor; more important, am I a teacher?
Today, in this world that reports the past in real-time; in time to worry for our future?
I only see and images of life, albeit in real-time, can I relate?
Have I focused long enough on the anguished faces, I cannot truly see?
Have I listened hard enough to the desperate voices, I truly cannot hear?
Have I seen enough of their pain, I truly cannot feel?
Have I felt their hunger, I cannot feed?
Have I shared in their grief, I cannot quell?
Have I touched enough people?
Has cuddling become a lost art?
If you learn my darkest secret, will you forgive me?
Will I forgive myself?
Did I stop smoking soon enough to live forever?
How much double churned ice cream is too much?
Will I die and when?
Will it be too soon!  Of course!
Would I fight for my life to the very end?
Out of fear?
Out of courage?
For you?
Will I let go?
Can I fall away?
Will you miss me if I’m gone?
Will you miss me when you are alone?
Will you miss me when you are among friends.
Will you still be laughing and smiling?
And for how long?  Don’t tell me.
My dog is asleep at my feet.
He has all the answers.
He won’t say, but I finally get it.
It’s not about me.
So now, I can close my eyes…

These reflections are more important to me, now then ever beforre. I hope you are asking yourself the same questions.

All the best!!!

Note: My Big guy, my Cody Bear, passed away in 2017.

Lonely Man, You Know Who I Am

picasabackground
Lonely man, you know who I am. 

You’re a labor of love, hand and glove. 
If you ever want to shoot for the moon,
You’ll need to bring your own silver spoon. 

Your drink is empty, nothing’s on the table.  
Miguel your waiter, sells only by the label. 
So you dance to music that never ends,
And toast bartender Mike, your new best friend. 

You’re anybody who has a story.
You’re the blood and guts, but no glory. 
You’re the play that’s no longer afloat. 
You’re the poem, you never wrote.

Lonely man, you know who I am.  
You’re a labor of love, hand and glove.
Johnny Cochran’s not your deal.
You’ll never win on your appeal. 

You’re the crowd in every room. 
The conversation that always spells doom. 
You’re the fly that’s always unzipped,
The greeting card, that’s always skipped. 

You’ve become the sweat on everyone’s brow. 
You’re the answer to, “No, not now!” 
You’re the best friend you’ll never have. 
You’re the rub, without the salve.

Lonely man, you know who I am. 
Labor of love, fit hand and glove. 
Win the lottery prize in your office pool? 
What are the odds you’ve played the fool!

You’re someone’s smile, without a face. 
You’re the awkward in an embrace.
You’re the gaze behind an empty stare. 
You’re the voice that isn’t there. 

You’re the cold pavement under bare feet. 
You’re the toothless grin that never eats.
So when you dare ask for a slice of life,
You’re the one to brandish a knife. 

And when your chapter is finally read,
You already know what’s been said.
Lonely man, you know who I am, 
Dance to music that never ends.

I originally wrote Lonely Man for a Montel Williams Poetry Contest for MS charity because I have a sister with MS. I think “Lonely Man” epitomizes how many of us feel from time to time. At the same time it pokes some fun at those same self-effacing feelings.

If I Could Write You a Song

IMAG0144
If I could write you a song,
I’d be asking you to sing along.
Lyrics without the music,
They just don’t belong.
Like this plane I’m sitting on.
Going nowhere, I’ve always been,
Into the setting sun, away from you,
Away from you.

If I could write you a song,
There’s no now, there’s no then,
My life’s not taking off.
There’s no place I’m landing soon,
So much for life’s baggage when,
I can’t even carry a tune.
No place I’m going soon.

If I could write you a song,
The music would be all wrong.
In this lonely hotel room.
Trying to forget, drinking wine.
Thin walls, thin lives, keeping time.
Keeping me away from you.
I need to be moving on.
Always away from you.

If I could write you a song,
The lyrics would be too long.
City streets, no place to turn around.
Can’t keep these feet on the ground.
In time, it’s always back to you.
If I could write what’s wrong,
This song would never end.
I’d be on my way back to you,
Back to you…

++
Saturday, August 18, 2012

Where Am I?


Reflections of life,
Right beside me.
See the light.
So much is right,
So much is wrong,
Lost lives live long.
I don’t belong.
Not a hair out of place.
A smile without a face,
A kiss without an embrace.
Love without a place.
Eyes that only see,
Behind closed doors.
Where there’s no more.
No less.
Loneliness.
No. Alone.
Reflections of life,
See the light.
Life’s right,
Beside me!

Laugh All You Can!

20140725_101755Laugh all you can!
What comes after,
Solitude, sadness, tears.
A waterfall, descending through life,
A crescendo, a splash, your past.
Let’s you down, then you’re washed away.
A moment in time, gone.
Deep, quiet and alone.
And the promise,
Laughter comes after,
Is the waterfall.
A crescendo of life,
Will come crashing down on you.
Laughter and tears,
Never ending,
Never done.

If I Was An Artist

Dad at play 5 (2)
If I was an artist…
Father, patriarch, Dad.
And if I could paint,
Mature, senior citizen, old man.
I would paint the portrait of a man,
Provider, benefactor, success.
Each word to describe him,
Contrary, obstinate, cussed,
Would be a different stroke from my brush,
Non-conformist, contestant, maverick.
Each phrase a different shade,
Creative, inventive, colorful.
From the palette of his life,
Environmentalist, naturalist, crusader.
I would present him his portrait,
Integrity, honesty, candid,
With pride, his life a work of art.

Shadows Stay or Go

Bow Glacier Falls Misty Rainbow
Shadows clouding my mind,
Like the shade shelters the sun.
Flying blind.
Not lingering.
Not hiding.
Imagining thoughts,
Where thoughts have never been.

Shapes of you,
Like a kaleidoscope.
Completely turned around.
Then, hoping you were gone.
Now, I’m missing you.
Chasing shadows again.
Imagining thoughts,
Where thoughts have never been.

Master of Ceremony

Originally written after a trip to NYC in 2007
Updated 10-09-2012

Idea Capitalists

You live for the moment,
In that New York state of mind,
On every street corner,
In every pizza place,
You’re just another slice in time.
 
In the midst of the masses,
Sits a beggar, a mere ghost,
Imitating a man.
An unfortunate icon of the city,
Short of shoes, sitting on lifeless wheels,
His tin cup, barely clutching his hand.
 
You…, you have a place to be,
Master of Ceremony,
Your parade marches on…
Past his dimming, glassy eyes,
Eyes you will never meet.
You sail past his hopes
Hopes you can never sink.
Past his tin cup, from which,
You will never drink.
 
Originally written after a trip to NYC in 2007
Updated 10-09-2012

View original post

When Time Misses You

Image result for when blackbirds sing bring rain
Wake to the song blackbirds sing.
A promise rain will bring.
When sleep escapes,
Dreams are washed away.
A child’s cry takes its toll,
Grips your soul.
A tiny hand upon your face,
Gateway to the human race.
To find her smile,
May take a while.
When time misses you.

There’s no time,
Where sadness lives,
You can’t ask.
You can’t pray.
You have to say,
Take it away!

Pockets full of gold.
Leaves you old.
Brings you to your knees.
Nonsense money,
Opens all the doors.
No excuses anymore.
Open the book.
Read between the lines.
To find her smile,
May take a while.
When time misses you.

There’s no time,
Where sadness lives.
You can’t ask.
You can’t pray.
You have to say,
Take it away!

Jo Dee Messina’s “Bring on the Rain” gained popularity in the early 2000s, becoming her fifth No. 1 hit in March of 2002, after being released in September of 2001 as a single from her Burn album.

I Die a Little Bit

When she cries,
I die a little bit,
More.
Can’t explain it.
Tears in her sleep.
She’s so lost, so deep.
Reaching for her smile,
I can’t breathe.
Touches my heart.
A work of art.
Touches my soul.
A rare gift for a man,
A man facing a ghost.
A man I fear the most.
So alone with each other.
So alone apart.
When she cries,
I die a little bit,
More.

Wrong Turn

20130816_184911Driving into the afternoon sun.
Blinded by the warmth of one.
Darkness opened my eyes.
There are boundless skies.
Beyond the clouds.
Caverns and shrouds.
Tastes to savor.
Souls to save,
Save my own.

Poetry, beauty, romance, love

“Poetry, beauty, romance, love – these are what we stay alive for…” Robin Williams

I can’t imagine if you couple Robin Williams comedic genius with his poetry, how amazing his poetry would be.

I’ve always been ashamed of my attempt to write poetry.  I actually feel a little more alive now because of the inspiring words of Robin Williams. The juxtaposition is sad.

We need to advance medicine to cure depression and other nervous system related diseases to preserve the genius Robin Williams espoused.

Along that vein, there was a movie in 2016 called Collateral Beauty with Will Smith, that will pull on all of your heart strings. Excellent!

robin williams poetry

Let’s Dance the Tide Away!

Beach Cate sailboatsPast my time.
Past my prime!
To live another day.
To hold your hand,
In mine.
A tiny gesture,
By any measure.
A titan and a mouse.
A castle from a grain of sand.
The sea under your feet,
Washes away yesterdays.
Leaving footprints that dance,
And disappear,
In your wake.
You’ll be forever tomorrow.
I’ll be forever yesterday.
To live another day.
For now, let’s dance,
The tide away.

How Do You Spend a Trillion Dollars a Year and Not Cure Cancer?

Murders by guns are minuscule compared to deaths by cancer. Where are our priorities?

Idea Capitalists

How do you spend a trillion dollars a year, over 6 trillion dollars in less than 6 years, and not cure cancer?

Murder by guns vs. cancer, a look at our current death toll in this country (based on trends – not actual numbers).   —> Always current Mortality statistics for USA

Cancer kills one in four Americans, making it the second-most common cause of death after heart disease. That’s nearly half-a-million Americans dying from cancer each year. More than 1.5 million new cases are diagnosed annually.

The average health care spending on a cancer patient is around $20,000 annually on treatment.  All told, more than $125 billion is spent on cancer care per year, just in the United States.  Yet, in 2013, the U.S. government funded a mere $4.8 billion.

Why are we not a nation cancer free?  Where are our priorities?  What are we thinking?

This is getting personal.  I have three sisters.  My youngest…

View original post 459 more words

Choices

I have to breathe.
That’s on me.
My back’s against the wall.
I’ll take the fall,
For leaving you,
All alone.
Choices.
I can leave.
My reprieve.
That last pour,
And out the door.
That last kiss,
That I’ll miss.
Choices.
That last glance,
Left to chance.
Step into the rain.
Walk out on the pain.
For loving you,
On my own,
All alone.
Choices.
I can’t replace,
What love can’t embrace,
A journey still undone.
I can lift you up,
Or I can run,
Leave love undone.
Choices.
I have to breathe.
That’s on me.
My back’s against the wall.
I’ll take the fall.
For leaving you,
All alone.
Choices.

Just Imagine Who We Could Be

Imagine if you could truly love me.
Look into my eyes, not away.
Imagine the love there could be.
If we were in step, not a step away.
If words didn’t matter.
Not hurled in the pain I’m in.
Not spattered.
In vain.
If I could close my eyes.
Bring back yesterday.
I would,
If I could.
Yesterday I could breath.
Today pressed lips,
Suffocate my soul.
Frequent sips,
From my glass of despair.
Pour the sadness,
Repeat the madness.
Just imagine.
If you could look at me.
The love there could be.
Imagine who we could be.

Mouth Full of Soap

ivory_soap_barYou’re doin’ the dishes,
And followin’ Mom’s wishes.
Since you could step on a stool,
You know the golden rule.
You know Momma’s no fool.

Your washin’, she’s dryin’.
The kids in the kitchen
They haven’t stopped cryin’.
It’ no use in bitchin’.

If you wanted to eat,
And a place to sleep,
You better be sweet,
And learn how to sweep.

If you wanna play games,
And have some fun,
You have to wait,
Until the dishes are done.

Grab a mop, lend a hand,
There’s five more brats,
And there all the same brand.
If you look to the right,
And you look to the left,
Chances are there’s a siblin’ in sight.

She’s cookin’ in the kitchen.
She’s doing the wash.
She’s mendin’ your stichin’,
While she boilin’ the sauce.

She’s swathin’ a path,
While you’re takin’ a bath.
And she hasn’t stopped yet,
And you ain’t even wet.

When you go to school,
Lunch is in a bag, not cool.
Peanut butter and jelly,
Still fills your belly.

If you mutter a sound,
That isn’t profound,
Shutter to think,
Your head’s in the sink.

If she hasn’t heard,
It’s not a word,
It isn’t part of her lingo,.
Not even at Church bingo
You better run, you dope,
Or taste her favorite soap.

 

I Can’t See Your Eyes

You’re just a dream I had.
On an empty night.
Far from yesterday.
Far from the light.
Far from today.

I can’t see your eyes,
In mine.
I can’t taste your lips,
On mine.

I’m going to lose you.
Another chink in my armor.
Another day away from you.
My anchor.
One day closer,
To losing you.

I can’t see your eyes,
In mine.
I can’t taste your lips,
On mine.

You’re the ship that never sailed.
I’m  that sinking feeling,
I’ve failed!

I’m drifting out to sea.
Your love’s slipping.
Slipping away from me.

I can’t see your eyes,
In mine.
I can’t taste your lips,
On mine.

You’re just a dream I had.
On an empty night.
Far from yesterday.
Far from the light.
Far from today.

I can’t wake to another day,
Without you.
I’m drifting away
No tomorrows.
Just a dream away.

Your Soul is Your Flame

20170525_203751
A sunset should never steal your smile,
You are the woman who has given birth,
To many sunrises, to many beautiful sunsets.
You have breathed life into beautiful souls,
So that life never grows old.
God has filled your soul with the gift of life.
I will chase your smiles forever.
Forever, I may find them.
So that our love never grows old.
Your soul is your flame.
Your smile is your claim to fame.
Light up my life. 
Burn bright for me.
I will catch your smiles.
Whenever they are fleeting.
So look into my eyes,
Look no further.
Leave your fear at life’s altar.
Our love will never falter.
Your soul is your flame.
Your smile is your claim to fame.
Light up my life. 
Burn bright for me.

How Much Can My Heart Hold

How much can my heart hold,
Until my blood runs cold?
Fills my heart with sadness,
How can I stop all the madness.
I’m not gonna bend.
I’m not gonna break.
Longer I’m here,
Later I’ll fold.
Never too late,
To break the mold.

I’m gonna forget I’m getting old.
I’m gonna live forever.
Love you forever.
Kiss the cross,
On a mountain high.
Cross bridges,
Climb ridges.
Never rest until I’m on top!
And the sun sets before me.

How much can my heart hold,
Until my blood runs cold?
Breaks my heart,
Why we are apart.
I will pick up the pieces.
For all the Theresa’s (sic).
I’m gonna live forever.
Love you forever.

Kiss the cross,
On a mountain high.
Cross bridges,
Climb ridges.
Never rest until I’m on top!
And the sun sets before me.

How much can my heart hold,
Until my blood runs cold?
Fills my heart with sadness,
How can I stop all the madness.
I’m not gonna bend.
I’m not gonna break.
Longer I’m here,
Later I’ll fold.
Never too late,
To break the mold.

Mr. Grumpy Pants

IMG_0754

Cody Bear

In a world filled with tragedy and sacrifice, with Islamic terror attacks in San Bernardino, Orlando, Istanbul, Bangladesh and now Nice, I am angry. Like many of you, I feel helpless. I try not to be judgmental. I’m trying to be more retrospective.

I hear every day, of the misery of innocents in Syria, Iraq and beyond, the suffering of so many, by religious persecution and genocide. How do I, should I, shut out the pain and suffering of others, so I might carry on with daily life?

Granted, I am a bit of a news junkie, in particular since 9/11. That day I was informed of the attack, I thought it was a joke. Now I stay informed.

Many who are close to me would advise me to be more laid back, less grumpy, let the planes fly over my house without mooning the passengers. I’m going to try to be more laid back. I may even consider cancelling the order for a 12 ft. sign telling a certain airline to “Get the f*** off my plain.” Yes, I spelled plain correctly, as in my domain.

Unfortunately, I remain a skeptic. For example, I find “Mr. Grumpy Pants” has a reason to remain in character with the decision by Mr. Comey, Director of the FBI to exonerate Hillary Clinton of any purposeful wrong doing in her use of a personal server for email as SOS. He just basically said she and all those associated with her are idiots, but that’s not a crime! Could we be faced with four, even eight more years of Obama!!??

"if you've got a business, you didn't build that"

“if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that”

Have I grown increasing cynical? Probably. Do I feel less empowered? No. I make my own decisions and draw my own conclusions. Simply put, DC is corrupt and the only remedy is term limits.

I wrote Eyes Wide Open  a few years ago. It was a personal soul searching Q&A. I keep going back to it to find better answers, and disturbingly there are few if any, that I have discovered, only more consternation. I ended my missive by citing my best friend and companion over the past 13 years. Cody, my 13 yr. old chocolate lab passed away recently. I miss him terribly.

Cody epitomized everything that I believe should be right in this world. His life, was a respite fom everything that is wrong with this world. Cody gave me his unconditional love. I gave him mine. We need more relationships like ours. Did I mention I picked up his poop?

 

 

 

Baby Don’t You Cry

When you’re life’s at its peak,

You’ll find bitter cold and snow,

And you’ll cling to the harsh rock,

When you look down below.

 

The door remains open,

When you reach for the sky.

You can always reach for me.

So baby don’t you cry.

 

There’ll be long walks alone,

Breathe the fresh smell of pine.

Forget the bears in the woods,

And you’ll be just fine.

 

Sing a song, sing out loud,

Like I know you would.

You have your smile to protect you,

Like I never could.

 

I’m going to build you a cabin,

In the mountains, so high.

Where no one can touch you

When you reach for the sky.

 

Never mind the trees above you,

Or the jagged rocks below.

I’ll be there to catch you,

If and when you fall.

 

Just remember the door always open,

When you reach for the sky.

You can always reach for me.

So baby don’t you cry.

 

 

Gone

Your smile is someone else’s now.

Your dreams are not my own.

I’ve been so happy, for so long,

Thank God I’m not alone.

Your eyes are gray, not brown today,

Where has my love gone?

Look away, look away.

Love will come another day.

Look away!

Never Let Go

view westnorthwest from the studio before sunsetWhat’s hurting you,
Is hurting me.
That’s just the way,
It has to be.

Those tears rolling,
Down your face,
I can’t catch,
I can’t erase.
I can’t let go.

You’re my sunrise.
I’m your sand.
Walk on me.
I have your hand.

Don’t let go.
You’re my sunset,
I’m your horizon.
Set on me.
Your sun is rising.
I won’t let go.

Never let go.

Idea Capitalist

8/17/2015

If I Could Write You a Song



If I could write you a song,
I’d be asking you to sing along.
Lyrics without the music,
They just don’t belong.
Like this plane I’m sitting on.
Going nowhere, I’ve always been,
Into the setting sun, away from you,
Away from you.
 
If I could write you a song,
There’s no now, there’s no then,
My life’s not taking off.
There’s no place I’m landing soon,
So much for life’s baggage when,
I can’t even carry a tune.
No place I’m going soon.
 
If I could write you a song,
The music would be all wrong.
In this lonely hotel room.
Trying to forget, drinking wine.
Thin walls, thin lives, keeping time.
Keeping me away from you.
I need to be moving on.
Always away from you.
 
If I could write you a song,
The lyrics would be too long.
City streets, no place to turn around.
Can’t keep these feet on the ground.
In time, it’s always back to you.
If I could write what’s wrong,
This song would never end.
I’d be on my way back to you,
Back to you…
 
++
Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hold On To the Moments

IMG_0882 (2)
Hold on to the moments.
Daughters do.
One minute they’re holding you.
Laughter is your music,
Then the laughter’s gone.
Love’s forever, love’s never alone.

Hold on to the moments.
Daughters do.
One minute they’re holding you.
Words aren’t the answer,
When the music is all wrong.

Hold on to the moments.
Daughters do.
One minute they’re holding you.
Broken hearts left empty,
Now silence is your song.

Hold on to the moments.
Daughters do.
One minute they’re holding you.
Takes my breath away.
Love lives on, live for today,

Holds on to the moments.
Daughters do.
One minute they’re holding you.
Reaching deep, raising you.
I’ll never stop loving you.
Love’s forever, love’s never alone.
You’re never alone.

Kiss the Rain inspired by Yiruma

You can.t kiss the rain.

You can’t kiss the sun.

But kissing you is a gift from God.

Between the rain drops,

Through the rays of sunshine,

All I can see is you.

 

 

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