We want things
to mean something
flowers and lightning
laughter and crying
a loved one’s touch
the beating of our hearts

we are quite sure
they mean something
but explaining what
gets a little tricky
the more important it is
the more inadequate are words

I think Einstein said
if you can’t explain it to
a six year old, you don’t
understand it well enough
but the trust and faith
of children make elaborate
details unnecessary

And didn’t that Jesus
suggest becoming as little
children? We want things
to mean something
and they do
but don’t give yourself
a headache figuring out what
just believe in the belief


Meditation on The Toilet Seat

“Always put the toilet seat down.” was all the answer I could get
when I asked for words of wisdom
on the night before my wedding. I was hoping
for something grander, of course, at twenty-seven
we want the secrets of life to have
a more dramatic ring

But since that was all the Fatherly Advice he would give,
I felt obliged to follow it scrupulously. Over the years
I have lowered every toilet seat I happened to pass
an exercise not unlike Zen Koans, calisthenics, or
praying with rosary beads, in that the
good you get

remains largely unnoticed until
the moment of satori epiphany, which in this case was
twenty years of bending. . .and the realization that
putting the seat down puts the Other first,
the Golden Rule in micro-Cosmic practice, a seemingly
small act of consideration until you Get

It: no courtesy is insignificant, and the secrets of life
ain’t no secret. If they weren’t true, they wouldn’t BE
clichés and proverbs, and the less time we spend
in dispute, the more time we have to
put toilet seats down.


Water and whiskey
are doubly risky
when you add a blue moon
and a mournful tune
and all the sorrow
in the known universe
fits in the back
of an average hearse

clouds like phantoms
in the ghostly light
guarding the secrets
of the night
and like angels dancing
on the head of a pin
lift you out of the
hole that you’re in

In the onslaught of beauty
sadness must yield
to the wonder and awe
you begin to feel
your soul fills
with what you see
in a moment perfect
as only moments can be

Days and Nights

You asked me for a secret
I gave you a lie
you never held that against me
I still do not know why
there was a truth we always shared
in a room so warm and dark
and no limit to the mercy shown
a scarred and weary heart

Oh, the days and nights of love
I’d go back if I could
to the months and years of love
when all was understood

Now you’re gone
it happens
and I do the best I can
sometimes I cry, sometimes I laugh
it’s hard to understand
and if I ever feel the need
to fill this void I feel
all the lessons that we learned
will tell me if it’s real

Oh the days and nights of love
when everything was good
all the months and years of love
I’d go back if I could

Oh, the days and nights of love
I’d go back if I could
to the months and years of love
when all was understood

Fun and Games

Often times the cure
seems worse than the disease
if you lie down with the dogs
you might get up with fleas
They say it won’t get better
until we feel the squeeze
and virtually everything
is a matter of degrees
It’s all fun and games
until one you love goes down
the statistic has a name
the expiration has a sound
you feel you should do something
you just don’t know what
anything to help untie
the knots there in your gut
The Golden rule gets lip service
from those in a position
to actually do something
to alter these conditions
and they will gladly help you
if you can pay the price
otherwise you’ll only get
superfluous advice
Doing no harm is just about
the best that I can do
If I can’t help myself
how am I going to help you
But maybe if enough folks
get together in some way
we could help each other
make it to a better day
It’s all fun and games
until one you love goes down
the statistic has a name
the expiration has a sound

Life Insists

On a beautiful day in the neighborhood
trees are budding out
folks are chatting in the sunshine
while dogs rest at their feet

There are no indicators present
of man’s inhumanity to man
tragedies recent or ongoing
in other places and there are no
threats to our convictions

But in the back of the mind a nagging question
who would have to go down in a hail of bullets
 to change a mind?
If their child’s finger were on the trigger,
would they blame the gun? Themselves?
The kids at school who were mean to them?

We can pray for a day when the questions
don’t have to be asked. Or we can work
for the day. In the meantime,
trees are budding out
and life insists on persisting.



If the right thing
was easy to do
we’d all be saints
but clearly that’s not true

good is better than bad
truth is better than lies
but people see them differently
I don’t understand why

compromise and forgiveness
are not on the agendas
of the prophets of mistrust
and the Great Pretenders

It’s up to the rest of us
to overcome the despair
it’s a full time job but we must
continue to care