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!

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.

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!

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

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