Archive | May, 2016

If We Had. . .and Truth Be Known. . .



I had a heart friend of many years who cautioned me about the two letter word, if.  You inject that word into your thinking she said and you change the entire history.  Spare yourself that heartache,  she cautioned.  Spare yourself.  Many times one wonders had another road been taken what would the results of a lifetime be.  For those of an introspective bent, it is hard not to wonder.  Since all aspects are taken into consideration, the prospect dims when one realizes that what was to be, was.  And for that, in the final analysis,  the gratitude then is immense.

If We Had. . .and Truth Be Known. . .

Her grey hair was tied up
in a knot with an elastic band
with wisps circling her face.

Not neat in any way but
ends swinging as if the
haircut was long overdue;
her smile was now and
the joy present.

Her long coat swung,
circling her ankles.
His coat also swirled
close to the ground;
his beret rakishly setting
low on one brow.

His smile matched
the rakish set of his beret
and their hands linked to each other,
swung happily between them.

I want to grow old like that,
I said and knew you saw them
as I did.  You grinned.
Like that, you said and saw
they were happy, joy filled.

We shed our stifling cocoons
for a time that day but
we did not grow old as
we saw we could be.
It could not anymore be yours
than mine.  If we had,
and truth be known,

I would have walked on water for you.

painting by Claudia Hallissey



A Value System. . . an observation


A Value System . .an observation. . . .

If a camera had the depth of a highly evolved human eye,  it would without difficulty show the values that surround the individual.  It would show the depth of the value system.  It would  reflect  what the intensity of the light portrays.  It cannot show you the value system.  Only the human eye can do that.

A value system is what is honed by a lifetime or many lifetimes lived as beings,  and not necessarily only as the human that we know.  It can reflect lifetimes of worlds not visible to the human system of values or cognizance of them.  What the value system will show is what has been driven through the heart of one to become what it is they are, who it is they are.

A value system cannot be measured by words, nor can it be described by words.  We can say  we hold this  to be of worth but the meaning to each will differ.  What it cannot convey is what the individual’s heart holds as value.  When the values of one are betrayed by  someone of worth to the individual, either by words or actions, the eyes will tell you of the hurt the wrong has done.  Here again,  that hurt to be felt by another,  can be understood only when it is within the frame of cognizance, of reference.     Otherwise it will be a matter with little meaning and as easily dismissed as a flick of the wrist.  Aaahhhh they will say,  a nothing.  No big deal.  But a big deal it will be to the one afflicted.  It will be a devastation and it will tumble worlds that have taken lifetimes to construct.

It is said that words are water and actions are stone.  Words can  slice a heart and macerate it into a million pieces to kill the recipient.  Actions,  given little meaning by the doer,  can be dismissed as nothing.  It is often said that actions done have little to do with the person who takes their commission as personal.  It had nothing to do with you is often the retort.  It meant nothing.  But to the one whose world has been upturned,  it may mean a devastation to a value system that has given meaning to the relationship.  It may have been the foundation upon which the relationship had been built.

When we view an action as a photo that shows trees in a forest and their overgrowth, it appears to fill the picture.  This, to many people, is all that is visible.  This is all there is to the entire picture.  But on further study, in the background is a thicker forest showing a depth that permeates the distance not visible up front.  But to eyes intent on seeing,  not just looking,  we see the depth.  This is where a fine camera will show the depth as the eye beholds it.  This is the value system reaching far into worlds not visible.  This is what we, in our infant thinking and puerile behaviors,  in our aging bodies,  destroy.   Unless we grow in understanding,  we remain childish in these aging bodies and evolution is halted.  Life is meant to be a learning experience.   Its intent was never a fun ride through a theme park.

photo by John Hallissey


Drudging To Beautiful. . . .


Drudging To Beautiful. . .

They say it is poetic illusion
I take and I say it is poetic license
to which I am entitled. . .

Yet encountered will always
be words that have
little connection to what really is. . .

For instance, how to compare
the daily tasks to some noble effort
requiring a vision based
on the larger picture. . .

It is still drudging and no amount
of greater vision will change the work
from what it really is. . . drudging.

Except a change in vision
from simply looking to seeing.
When looking one skims the surface
and the obvious rises to meet one’s gaze.

When seeing the heart becomes involved
and suddenly another picture emerges.
Life rises to the fore and
coming into view is another picture
with you in it and my world
is now different.

How can it be other than beautiful
and simply lifted from illusion,
from drudging?  Can you dismiss
your life as the wondrous gift it is?
I don’t understand the trashing
of life’s most beautiful gift
that changed the mundane

to the most beautiful.                                                                                               20160523_102443


Moksha. . .excellence of purpose. . . .


Moksha. . .excellence putting meaning into life. . . . .

Sometimes what we look for when I say ask for the larger picture is not what we wish or think we are supposed to see.  The larger picture may not have the desired results that we think we deserve.  The results may be completely outside our frame of reference. The results may be intended for you but for another time,  another world or for humanities’ sake primarily.  It will be for the greater good of all.

The results we look for in this world deal primarily with material things.  With often times a healing of some sort that has caused sorrow or pain.  The healing may be done in another world,  another time and to the person who we are and may not be at this time.

When we say the results may be not what we are looking for because the intensity of the work,   of the effort, may be the desired result.  This is the excellence of the effort, of the hard work.  This is the most important part of the larger picture that we miss.  And we do not see it,  are not aware of it and may not know that this is what we needed, wanted and required for the task at hand.  Excellence of purpose is the desired result.  In an ancient language there is the word Moksha which means excellence in performing a task for the inner joy  and self satisfaction that leads to self realization.  It leads to knowing who we are and our purpose.  It was important enough to have been given a word for its meaning.

It is an old fashioned, ancient part of our history that we never knew was important.  It is another of those edicts, maxims,  and principles that we shunted aside when we looked for immediate gratification.  But on these principles humanity rests and evolves.  Excellence of virtue.  A part of antiquity that we must bring again into our present,  our presence,  if humanity is to survive.  When we have been admonished by parental lectures that to work hard,  study and get a scholarship when we were let out of the car or the front door for school, meant that these would lead to a better life.

What we should have been taught is that life would be meaningful.  These virtues  will put music into your words,  a spring into your step and satisfaction into the work of your mind and hands.  These maxims will also hold this Earth planet together for our children, grandchildren and greats to grow up in. Moksha.  Excellence of purpose.  Take it to heart because it begins and ends there.

photo by John Holmes


Some Observations. . . .




Some Observations. . .

How much of what crawls over memory’s house is what a person feels above doing and what is owed him or her because of who they are?  And do they really know who they are?


Commitment must be taught.  The ego must be put into place to allow others to assume their rightful place within the circle.


So much stock is put into psychology when the emotional nature of humans is still in its infancy.  When psychology is the measure of human nature it seems not to take into consideration that the person is unfinished.  And yet gives reason for behavior that doesn’t consider that we deal with big bodies with infant emotions and toddler feelings.


If accident or illness does not befall us we  grow old and die.  It’s just that some of us never grow up before we die.


Heaven cannot send out in the morning anything better than what arrives during the night.  If we do not learn what we must,  who is to blame if not us?  What will be our justification?


If you think I spoil the fun, look at our new babies and then think seriously of the condition of the world we leave to them.  They are going to have to live in it.  Is this what we had in mind?  Were we not supposed leave things better than we found them?


Children’s needs cannot wait.  One either does when the time is right or it never is the right time again.






Apology. . .

2012-09-23 18.53.28


She says. . .
I don’t know why but
it seems that I should apologize. . .

He says. . .
Why do you say that?
What need makes you
want to apologize and to whom?

She says. . .
to all humanity
for what has befallen. . .

And He says. . .
but what makes you think
you are responsible and for what?

She says. . .
for all the promises,
like hard work and
love of truth and. . .

And He says. .
but how do these fail?

And She says. . .
Because they don’t always work
no matter how hard you try or
how honest or your belief. . .

And He says. . .
But ahhh they do. . .
There are worlds where these values
are a must and they do count and
they are rewarded. . .perhaps not
in the manner people think. . .

And She Says. . .
pie in the sky doesn’t buy gas. . .

But He says. . .
They must ask for the larger version,
the bigger picture and it shall be given.
They will then see how their thinking
will change and their hearts swell with pride.

And She says. . .
that is supposed to make a difference
in the person’s life?

And He Says. . .
Speak for yourself.  Has it not made
a difference in yours?

Photo by
Joseph Hallissey Sr.


This Learning Place. . .



Frank Herbert’s Chapterhouse Dune has much that demands me revisiting. Reverend Mother Odrade as she visits Sheanna says that art comforts and reassures people.  Please, she thinks, don’t upset me.  Just reassure me, she says.  And I know what pleases me  looking at the primitive painting on my bedside wall of early Americana that I have loved since I first saw it in Sausalito, California 50 some odd years ago and on impulse bought it.  I look also at the painting our Claudia did called Hope that I call the young Veronica and relate to it.  I love her painting of the Monk because that also reassures me. Reassures.

The reassurance I feel is that physical life is stable.  It is a time when living has a continuity,  a constancy.   Things are in place, in time at a time when living to me are  moments and events and a no nonsense daily-ness.  There are things to do and people to love and somehow life was of a piece and of a peace.  And yet coming to mind are the poems I wrote called Homecoming and Circa 1860 that were not a peace filled nor of a stable time.  In Homecoming a part of it was laced with cherishing and later the same Veronica in the poem was saying here is the difference, now see it.  And in Circa,  there is the love that died.  The anger that propelled the entire writing of the poem was vested in the time of it, the 1860’s.  And I wrote it with that anger propelling.  Was the anger placed in the 1860’s so as not to reveal the anger of the moment?  Perhaps the anger from that time was happening still since all time is simultaneous and bleeds through to the moment.  Yet the artwork I love is the art that reassures me of a time and place where life was cherished until it faded.  That is memory.  Life is a tapestry that we create and in the process there will be times when we begin to look back to see the pattern our choices have woven into it.

The history in Chapterhouse awakens many memories.  Wood that is crafted and caressed brought to mind  days when I would kiss the smoothness of what I polished and waxed and tendered.  And the love that my hands transferred from my heart into what I was creating.  I sanded what I crafted until it shone  and glistened with the smoothness of the grain.  I loved creating the wood toys for the grandchildren. What world taught me the art of carpentry? What if wood as we know it now  in a future is only a memory?   When I picked up the tools I immediately knew what to do.  Will I always remember?   I blossomed on this earth where the ideas could be manifested as quickly as I thought them.   I found myself grounded.

That is what matters with me today .  And every day.   Ideas I executed grounded me.  Chaos erupted with others with their trendy value systems and irrational behavior  tried to be exquisitely proper.  The undercurrents immobilized me.  In their early years when the house in the country was our world, the children and I  were in our element.  Life was filled with hope and learning and the days were enchanted.  We prepared for the holy ways of the holidays and embarked on adventures. Life was pieced and peace-d.  We had no cognizance of  worlds folding or enfolding.  No implicate or explicate universe.  We each walked in our world, with a secure cosmic foot in another and were at ease.  We lived it; this quantum theory dignifying the growing knowledge.  We had our grounding and the world was home to us until we were asked why we were different. We were at home with our books, our visions and ourselves.

In a few weeks I will be 85.  My thoughts connect events that appear scattered, but the underlying threads are secure.  I wonder if others give thought to these  events to see how we contribute to the ongoing process. Do my peers give thought to differences and their addition to growth?   Does their reassurance  signify an element of connection to symbolize our origins?  I am where I need to be and am fortunate.  Doing some good whenever and wherever I can.  It is only when pointed out that others do not think as I do that I am glad I live with those who love me.  As a reader pointed out,  there are places where my kind of thinking would not be allowed.   This is the only place I can function that is not in a geriatric dying place.  It is the best place to finish up my life.  I learn new things every day and these are what moth and rust do not destroy.   It is an inner world I inhabit.   I share it with you.   And uneventful is a merciful word.


What We Do For One. . . no lost causes. .


Sometimes there is need to repeat a post.  When this was first written it was because I felt that my efforts were strictly one sided.  And then I realized that many worked under this yoke and it was time to see the greater picture.  And this is a must.  Our boundaries or focus are limited and until we become conscious of our greater nature and purpose,  we will continue to feel resentful and the results of our labors will be nullified.  Until we see our contribution to the greater life and what we do enhances all life,  we will not be aware of the importance of what we do.  We were taught that what we do for one we do for all.  And the all includes life in other worlds also.  The picture becomes greater by the microsecond. 

A one sided effort does bring results.   Even when it appears to be a lost cause, it is not.  That someone cares enough to do what needs to be done is never a lost cause.  There cannot ever be a lost effort to do good in the universe.   That would be an oxymoron, a contradiction.   The ability to see this is paramount.   Even when no words are spoken there needs to be someone who cares enough to help expedite matters.  If there is not, it is a fruitless life.   But should there be caring, there is hope and a chance for life again.

Even those of lesser stuffs, those stuffs are only lesser because of the parameters set by others.   Take the parameters away and there are no limits for good.  And that is what good is all about, what gods are all about.   Within the person there are no limits for good.  What is life sustaining and life giving wherever the need is, is good.

When we wander through the mental houses of those we care about or are responsible for and find much that we would like to help with and then decide not to,  the ‘then not’ means we wash our hands of the matter.  To wash one’s hands of the matter is to relegate all to the dung heap.  If the one who can do something about anything finds the matter too sticky, the flies will be attracted and the matter will deteriorate and rot.   The purpose of keeping on, keeping on means that the people are still worth the effort.  As long as a some one cares, there is hope.   Just one to care is needed.    Just one.

 And often we are that just one someone.


Requiring A New World. . . .


Requiring A New World. . .

Toys and distraction
impinge on the infant mind
and the way becomes muddied.

My thoughts
have traveled the distance
and as all thoughts do,
seeded the worlds
with my infant meanderings.

I see the chisels working
within the worlds sculpting,
the breaking of rock,
the scraping of stone.
It is hard to move
encrusted thinking.

It requires a new world
to ingratiate new thinking.
It is not for here where
the soon to be rusted out
toys will be discarded.

A fresh world of ideas
will find rooting, a basis
where the heart will find itself

at last at home again.


AT The Precipice. . . .

20160501_155443At The Precipice. . .

I stand
at the precipice
of the world, wobbly
but still standing,
with ancient years yielding
to an Essence I refer to
as the Great God.

Who is it, I wonder
with arms ready to receive me?
Small and insignificant
in this Earth place
dressed in my humanity?

How is it to be
I wonder, when I take
that step putting me in a world
I claimed into being?

Carved out of the Earth’s heart
and mine, through a lifetime
counting still. . . .

Better to be unaware, I think,
than to know how else
to manage a life
and leaving with few regrets.
Splitting infinity at this late date
means I never left

the old country.

(click on photo to zoom in)


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