Archive | Observations

A Chance For Love. . .



A Chance For Love

Each day is a new beginning,  each breath the birth of a new world.  Time now to forgo the past and give life a chance.  Accountable we are and to allow that to become a fact,  it is the moment to begin anew. 

 The poem will only take on meaning for those ready for it.  It becomes self explanatory and within one’s frame of reference,  a truth.  It will not distort nor become a trajectory for misguided action when viewed from the heart, one’s true compass.

A Chance For Love. . .

Each time is a new time.
Cast in the shadow
of a rock, a cave,
or even a cove. . .

Simply set and
inspired by a rolling coast,
a sunset,  a glimpse of
a new place. . .

New tidings of good cheer;
a glass of sweet wine,
robust, quaffed in slow gulps
but favored by a thirsty throat.
Ever new, ever fresh
as a new beginning.

New worlds,
hammering their impatience
with promises;
limited only by how much

we are ready to forget.


photo by
John Holmes


Time For Work To Be Done. . .

It was a desolate landscape.   There were ice mountains in the background.  There was a building,  more barracks like  with  no thing,  nothing around it.   The moon was white and things were outlined but barely so.   Sparse would be putting it gently, but desolate and bare of life would say how tragic it felt.  I could not say what world.  But unfinished work it is.

What if we find ourselves  doing the work of mules in places that need our talents in  very practical ways?  Would we not answer the call to help in the vineyards  with things of value that moth and rust do not destroy;  things of the mind?  Jesus said, as above, so below when he stood on the rock.   Life on Earth is the reflection of Heaven and we the reflection of what we hold as truth..  Are we not all unfinished work?

There is unfinished work everywhere.   I cannot go back ever to not knowing.   There are worlds needing what we hold as valuable, what we can only take in Mind.  We may look like mushrooms but our hearts are daffodils.    It is a good thing to keep in mind.

Jubilation On The Mount. . .

You go out too far, she said, too far.
But that is where the work
needs to be done, I said.

Jubilation.  There will be time
for jubilation; a time for frolic.
We will drink the variegated drinks.
And we will dance.

There is a time for work
in the far place,
where the vineyards
need to be planted but first
the plowing must be done.

Until the time
I do not care to stir the ashes
to bring forth another fire,
I stay.

Where I am is reason enough.



Beyond Morsels. . .

Beyond Morsels. . . .

When one needs a fire to rest by, one often  has to build it first.  But no fire made by other hands warms as compared with effort gone into the building and fanning of one’s own flame.


You cannot list the world’s disorders without revealing yours in duplicate.  You identify them because you relate to them by knowledge of experience.  You cannot blame others for what they are unable to relate to,  seeing nothing of themselves in the ills surrounding.  And not being able to identify them,  they cannot do something about what they cannot see.   How to open eyes and by what process?


He spoke a good song but he did not sing it.


Kindness is never out of date.  Nor is it old fashioned.


The right to truth is mine to uncover.  The right to conceal belongs to the Other.


When illusion hides the reality, the bears become frightened.  And they stand and attack what could be their greatest gift.


Sometimes it seems that nowhere is the rational voice or the clean motive.  And there are none. There are only people who justify themselves and give forth with their justifications.  And the justifications are needed.  They could not continue otherwise.  Are we not one of them?


To think is to act.  To the Others it appears as doing nothing.  But it is a supreme undertaking one approaches.


Conscience is installed to monitor one’s life for one’s survival.  Conscience is memory of acts done to one with a memory of pain.


We are our belief system.  As we stand, we teach.


There are worlds being spun out of glossy webs that bespeak of spun sugars.


You cannot fool the nature of souls and souls have a way of propounding the innocent and the complex.  In the midst of all that is done,  the soul will fathom the doer and know beyond doubt what the motive and process has been.


art by Claudia Hallissey



The Laughter. . .

In a lifetime of many years,  certain things stand out as a moment imprinted on a mind to last forever.  One is the good fortune of living as a neighbor to a family of daughters.  Their laughter in the course of days that presented worrisome events,  was the hallmark for life,  that somehow my own handicaps would be overcome.  Open windows threw the girlish giggles across the lawns and into my heart.  They meant that life could be lived even in the midst of heartbreak and work to cow a giant.

I am grateful to have heard that laughter.  Grateful to the parents under enormous events that all things can be borne and laughter when allowed its moment,  can lift the hearts of all within hearing it.  A boisterous laugh,  a giggle,  a laugh so hard it makes one sneeze,  are a measure of the soul’s ability to harness the serious life.  It imprints the mind and assures us that all things pass but the laughter is memorable.

The Laughter. . .

In the dim light
of the silent candle,
while seated at the kitchen table,
I heard laughter.
It rose from the belly of one
seated at another table
and hit the ceiling with a loud guffaw.
The ceiling fan threw the laughter
out the windows to the winds,
carrying it afar.
My heart welcomed the sounds
for safekeeping.

The girlish giggles in answer
roamed the table
and shushed the corners
of the room and I wondered;
the girls, where did they go?

Now I sit and pound my keys
to a fine fettle
and ponder the turn of wheels
that held the world
at its pivot.

And wondering what happened
to the laughter
and why did it die

when we were so hungry for it to last?


photo by John Holmes



A Place Of Rest. . . .

There can be less stress and stronger heartbeats if the persons involved could call upon what it is they know to help relieve situations,  and if not situations,  then relieve themselves .

In every place,  in every nook and cranny that houses a soul,  there is a place to go.  If not physically,  then within.  To be able to turn to it, whether there is a window or a corner holding an item of interest or rest, or within where there is a place that has a familiarity surrounding,  there is a respite.

For however brief the instant,  it is always a place of rest.  And in this place there may be tears of relief,  of sorrow, of joy and a minute of gathering one’s resources to continue on where one is,  but with a visible difference.

And the difference will be an attitude or direction, or a concrete, so it would seem, act.  It is important to have this place.  It is a holy place within, inviolate.   All people have it, but do not think of it this way.  In a crowded situation it may be a bed no one is sharing at the moment; a place to recoup one’s losses.

The window overlooking a noisy street, or a patch of snow or green,  with perhaps a tree,  or even a piece of crockery,  or a basket on a shelf,  just a thing of rest to pull one together time  and time again.  It is necessary regain footing,  to focus inwardly,  to call all component parts of self together,  for a homecoming.  It is as necessary as the next breath we breathe.

And going back we learn to draw on what sustains,  what satiates the deep thirst and not what crushed our spirit.    And doing so we are equal to another run, another try at what gives life and does not take life.  We fulfill the reason for being,  our wish to make a difference.

Soft Wisdom. . .

Heretofore wisdom
had come slashing
across the mind and
in its wake, devastation.

Ravaged emotions
left one naked,
awash in body tears,
stripped clean and vulnerable.

Like a caress, soft wisdom
finally arrives
compassionate as a lover

to find the moment quiet.


Gift of Thought. . .

Unless you can share your heart,  you cannot enter into a liaison with anyone and raise a family.


Take love and use it and it will heal the rift which threatens to become a chasm man will never be able to cross by himself.


To ask in thought for help presumes the presence of an Other.  It is a love affair of the greatest kind.


Heaven aims to educate the heart which is ripe and open.


You cannot force feed a menu when the seated are not hungry.


The continuity of life is the only view worth harboring.  How else to explain the eternity it takes for a mushroom or daffodil to reach full potential?  One life does it for a human?


Trash sells   but so does garbage when all that is required of the product is to chuck it into the nearest field as fertilizer.


In our solitude we don’t have an audience of peoples; we have an audience of souls.


You cannot fix much, can you, when no one puts a name to what is broken?


One thing I have learned.  If it is not done here, where I am and see it to do, it is not done elsewhere.  I must do it now or there will not be this particular chance nor these favorable circumstances ever again.


Little Mercies. . .



Little Mercies. . .


Dickens said. . . ‘I wear the chains I forged in life’

For better or worse we forge them link by link.  And I like to think they are good habits of ours that I call little mercies or the more common,  tender mercies.  I felt this many times.  I often started something I could not stop because people I loved depended on that little something.  Whether it was a fire in the fireplace when the grandchildren especially visited or I set the table a certain way with cloth napkins for them or when I make Christmas cards.

“I am going to live, Eleanor’,  George said after his heart attack.  ‘I am going to live and we will frame Ronnie’s card and put it on the dresser.’   And he did and he looked at it every day and had many long years.  And Marylouise said I set your cards on the mantel where they stay .  You have no idea how many times I look at the rose card and it gives me strength to go on.  And this is one of the reasons I was born, to stretch out a hand.

Most of us have no idea when we do a something that encourages an Other.  I was fortunate in that I learned and people have told me when they have been touched by something I have done.  How very important to do that little act of mercy.  I have heard a harrumph when I have labored over a something with someone standing nearby and succeeded to follow with a heavenward thank you.  Even as a child I understood that heaven seldom gets thank yous.  When was your thank you sent heavenward?  Send it now. . .

Thank You

My days are littered
with murmuring thank yous
for gifts unbidden. . .

for the stray thought
giving answers
to questions I did not ask. . .

for the beating heart
too tired even to stop
and glad that it did not. . .

for the quivering morning
poised to take flight
through a day hard pressed. . .

to a night, bidden
with unfaltering love
as a thank you. . .

for a day loved through. . . .


photo by
John Holmes


Think It Through. . . .

Think It Through. . .

All thought which holds the life’s crucible for an Other’s well being is prayer.  Any conversation which holds the good of Others in its heart is prayer.


What seems like a tragedy in the absurd and obscure is indeed a well thought out and prescribed drama. . . oftentimes.


Bless the good day and blow the winds of fear as far from as to the ends of the Earth.  The alternative is more of the same in a place where progress is not as swift.


Tears aside,  there is eternal life within each and for each to discover.  One cannot hand it to them already chewed.  It is theirs to do.


Wait not for death.  Be vigilant only of life in all its forms, in its entirety.  One cannot break a will which heralds its own functioning to its own existence.


It is enough that the articles of faith be hidden for as long as they have behind the façade of the mind grown into habitual lack.


It is time for even the skeptical mind to be convinced that what is seen is not necessarily all there is to be seen and what is heard is all that is being said.


You cannot know what deep is until you have fallen into a hole.


You cannot rush in and guide the cart to avoid disaster.  Disaster brings lessons which cannot be learned any other way.  Even when the extra work falls on your shoulders.  Suck it up.


We walk on cobwebs but we are cobwebs.  We are not certain what the final outcome will be.  What we are certain of is the process.


Don’t lose your grip.  Heaven is tightfisted also.


The Global House. . . running toward a truth. . . .

The Cost Of Life. . . Priceless

Some old beliefs are a security blanket that have been dragged along through centuries and already are thread bare.  The nap has been plucked off by nervous fingers tightly holding to isolation and keeping those not like us outside the circle.  Some beliefs need to be kept and cherished like family members.  Like commitment to truths and welcoming strangers because we might be entertaining angels unaware.  But always we must be open to ideas that can enlarge the frame of understanding in a world that kaleidoscopes to everything being across the street.  No longer do vast expanses of either water or land separate us.  It is time we assume to be our brothers’ keepers for we are more than our  appearance indicates.



How Not To Attach The Fabric Of The Global House. . .

They say. .

You have to keep it singular. . .
You have to keep it nuclear. . .
You have to keep it private. . . and
remembering different in any way is not good.

I tell you. . .

You have to keep out the likes
of the stable boy
who was my grandfather.
And keep out the likes of my grandmother
who could speak seven languages and
and the likes of me from being born.

For, I, in a sometime life
blazoned with the year of 1790
walked up a hill in a country called France.
As a monk in a robe of brown burlap
with a heavy cross across my shoulders
led a group of people past boarded windows
with dust flying to save human rights.
The time was the French Revolution.

We would be immigrants
vying for freedom from
a world of oppression;
seeking liberation for a chance
to breathe fresh air.
Rich with history,
making a small difference to be sure,
infected only with Earth’s virus called learning.
Our need to know life’s passions
helped to escalate human evolution.

Was this to be called a criminal act and we the criminals?


Sculpture by
Stanley Rybacki



New Glimpses and Compensation. . .


Compensation. . .

There was a time when summer was upon us that I was scurrying to order wood so that it would have a full season to dry.  I was also then listening intently for the cicadas to start their mating call because I knew that the first frost was due 6 weeks from when they started singing.  It was a time of close neighbors, Dennis on one side and Don on the other,  who knew my love of winters and called me when they heard them.  And I counted carefully and reminded the summer addicts when the first frost was imminent.  It was a fun time.

I ordered the wood and stacked the logs.  I loved doing it.  I gathered the twigs on my morning walks with the dog and had a pile of kindling ready.  City living needs must be adjusted to conditions.  Kindling was at a premium.  In my ability to do,  I did not give houseroom to the thought that I might not always do this.  It is a surprise when it happens.   But life compensates in all things.  What is given to replace may seem a substitute,  but with declining physical abilities perceptual gleanings are enhanced.  Some call it wisdom.

New Glimpses. . .

There is no scent engulfing
the place where I sit
with apple wood or pine or oak,
but the fire continues to warm me,
not as hot perhaps as I remember,
but sufficient.

I put the scents,
the crackling flames
into a time frame of memories,
and take refuge in the devices
that greedily gather
the diminishing energy that old age
requires simply to keep breathing.

The others, the memories
that relished the youthful exuberance,
I remember belong to a time
when life was taken
with no thought ever ending
because it was an unknown. . .

But known now is
the passage of time
and with it new glimpses
of a world yet to be entered

and lived in with reverence.


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