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We Are It, Sailors, We are It . . . . .

 Take to Heart This Earth Planet Classroom. . . . .

 I have been in a few rooms when some beloveds have been preparing to transit this world.  Some have been hospital rooms where it has been calmer when attention is focused on what was happening and not being diverted from the one leaving our world.

I am grateful to those  who felt safe with me to share their experiences in leaving this world and trusted me to understand what they were saying.  I have been there when information went against beliefs held by others present and the words were ‘it’s the medicine talking’ or some religious salves they felt necessary. 

When our David said they were calling his name with his presence required for work on the Intergalactic Council for Peace. . . he was alert and not dreaming.  It would have been cosmic shortsightedness not to avail his caliber of knowledge when the need was acute and the service on hand. 

We have seen unqualified people in high places requiring expert and precise knowledge.  We are living the results of such a calamitous journey now.  And how we rejoice to see learned ones called upon again for what we hungered. 

I took David’s statement as truth of the Council because  I had heard the topic  discussed years before his hospitalization.  And never by him but by people well versed in stellar knowledge.

When my mentor, the Nazarene stood on the rock and said his famous much rendered  I will build speech that the Romans took and ran with,  he also said in plain words that here on Earth we are the reflection of heaven and heaven the reflection of Earth, the what is loosed segment seldom repeated.   

Take those words seriously because they are meant to be serious.  There is no better place than here right where we are.   We are the reflection. We are it, sailors, we are it.

The only reason to make a difference in this world, altruism aside, (the true altruistic persons are few, if any) is with the difference we make in ourselves.  When we come to this conclusion and know the reason,  we will remember that the purpose of this Earth is to be a classroom.

Things are not going to change because the purpose for us is to change ourselves.  And we hold that card.  When we do, we are graduates to the Universe, where there are places needing work. 

Places are many. . . planets and worlds with names and no names but workers are few.   It’s like Ethics class where conscience line dries for public scrutiny. Nobody shows up.  Will you?

artwork by
Claudia Hallissey


The Invited Guest. . . .


                                                                              with hammer and saw and wood and file. . . .

Many of us when we find that our life is not working for us, no matter what we try and even invent, take ourselves to the doctor.  And when all the protocols still do not work, if we give it thought, we take ourselves to school or wherever we find quiet space and open the books, whatever our persuasion.

When we learn that Dante took Virgil as his mentor-guide we should wonder why.  And find our reasons to look for own guide-mentor.

I chose the Nazarene as my Mentor after much study and have never regretted  my choice.  It was not a reason based on faith for I had none.  But it was a reason based on knowledge and for me the right one. 

For you whose Faith has meaning,  I share with you this poem.  It was written long ago and has great meaning for me. 

It has meant a life of hard work, study and some lovely sparklers.

The Invited Guest. . . 

I once knew a good carpenter who,
with hammer and saw 
and wood and file
showed me how to build a chair.

I did and sat on it
and then decided I needed a table.
With hammer and saw
and wood and file,
I built a table and sat at it.

I knew I needed another chair
for an Other to sit on.
So with  hammer and saw
and wood and file,
I built it.

I then invited the carpenter
to join me at the table.
We lit a candle and talked
and a new world was born.
How did I know

I first needed to learn how to build?


When It Escapes The Knowledge of Others. . . .


We have those close to us  disturbing our righteousness when we shout ‘enough already!’ when the going is hard in our lives.  They utter words like we make choices to suffer.  For good, Fundamentalist friends no longer are so quick to speak their knowledge saying God must love you very much to send such burdens.

I scribed and edited (for space) the following journal entry of January 16, 1990. . . Who would pit themselves against situations that would force a do or die attitude?  Who would force themselves to grow despite attitudes about stress that cause illnesses, except by a soul who knows a something that escapes the knowledge of others?

Escapes the knowledge of others.  It is an ancient thought that has propelled man to prove himself capable of better and higher things.  And not necessarily in physical life.  It is an innate something and when pressed,  will utter some saying like who knows?  He will say he works for position, family, health and whatever.  But he wants to be qualified.  Qualified to pass higher judgment for a world unlike this one.

It is something learned and felt deeply from someplace else.  When questioned he truly doesn’t know up here between the eyes, but knows heartwise.   And with hand to heart unthinkingly.   Just knows.

So you work and study and learn and gather information and make connections because your facts speak your logic.  In the face of obstinacy and obtuseness your knowledge stands. And you alibi and excuse everyone else. . . . .

So to my readers who wonder why the ongoing days are so difficult,  when you give  your highest and best in the dailyness to everyone.    Your caregiving attitude is one you wear like a second skin.  It holds you securely with love.  Your light shines with cosmic force and is noted.   Life is matching the power you exhibit for ongoing work.  

This poem is for you. . . rest well Sailor, rest well.

Rest Well Sailor. Rest Well. . . 

So in this night when you lie still
and listen for the rain, listen for the wind,
listen for the stars
moving about the sky.
Listen also for your heartbeat.
It is steady and it is sure.

It beats for all of your commitments,
both loving and lovable.
You are an important adjunct
to this world and your good
you cannot estimate.

Rest well, sailor, rest well.
The seas have been rocky
but now we come to the inlet 
that will take us to port.
There will be no tug to bring in the ship.

She will make it on her own power.

photo by John Stanley Hallissey


Me and Mother Nature Have a Something Going On. .

(please keep in mind my understanding that all time is simultaneous . )

In the April 10th  1992 journal entry  I wrote of a prior conversation our second son David and I had before he left our Earth, (a philosophy major first before becoming a lawyer) about the benign nature of the Universe, being neither good nor bad.  Floating through my brain was Robert Frost’s ‘forgive me lord my little jokes on thee . . . and I will forgive thy great big one on me.’  He knew of what he spoke.  It made me weep once but now I think that is the way it is.

Susan Howatch , one of my favorite authors on her Church of England series, writes that some philosophers believe that human nature cannot grasp the concept of reality at all.  Charles Schulz said that it was ‘so futile’ as the reason he stopped cartooning. 

I think all is eventually universally good.  Otherwise and I still know it deep down,  we could not go on.  But how far out does one go for universally good?

I scribed the edited paragraph answer. . . Your lament of how far out is universally good is not valid.  Because for you to see it where you are, the last chapter would be writ.   No pages turning over or flying by with the taste of exuberance never to know again.  Imagine a life without it, any life? 

There are those who do not know  exuberance.  The dailyness numbs one’s creativity.  But there are books to reread, knitting to pick up or something to give another go at the morrow.

This entry ended with telling me to pack up my few  illusions and get some sleep.  And why I had so few illusions baffled the teachers.  I scribed the following poem from that entry.

Nighttime  Conversation  . . .

I say. . . That spring will be a long one and
the summer will be a cool one.
You say. . .
It is amusing to hear your pronouncements
on the weather.  You feel its feel upon your face
and monitor your response with some rare things.

You and Mother Nature have something going on.
Or is it you listen to the birds singing their song or

the earth whispering to the sun that its arthritis is

not healing?  Or perhaps the night song is the one
that the sun hears in the morning and in the night
you listen in and eavesdrop?  Perhaps that is all

there is to your murmurings on the condition of the
weather?  But in your arthritic state why is it you
revel in the cold and dark, drawing up your gown

closer to your neck and whispering how old you get
because you love your comforts?  Is it too much just
to say my bed is the most comfortable and my tub

long enough for this creaky body to lie down?  And
why the guilt?  Asceticism went out with the hair shirt,
you know.  There is nothing decadent about wanting

to stay warm nor relieving one’s congestion.  Ahhhhh . . . .
you civilians. . . when will you learn?


photo by John Hallissey


Some Awards Do Not Hang On Walls. . . . .

Often we think nothing has been accomplished in our lives, so I encourage journal keeping, if only a few sentences limited to what one learns in the day.  Many of us have enlisted our efforts in what cannot be seen.  The journals will show the awards that hang on the heart and not on the walls.  They will show  that some awards money cannot touch and are priceless.

The following maxims and gleanings were taken from a June 10, 2013 entry.  Some were scribed and others focused in dialogue.  Sit with one or two and write what you know when they take your thought.  Surprise yourself with what you have learned on your journey. . .

Feeding a body is crucial but to starve a mind is criminal.
The world is full of many riches.  Mental activity in only one form is not for everyone.
We can walk from the mental buffet and eat a bit from all tables and never be at a loss to learn.
When husband and wife, daughter and son, sister and brother, friend and lover skills are not called upon, make cradles and cars, books and hats and be a prized trophy of a human.   Do and you will be shown  how.
How we conduct our lives and what we learn determines the world we prepare for.

What you love into being, you become and graduate to.
When you become the person you hope to meet, you are the person looked for.
Go with the God who made you.  He, She, It, They certainly did a good piece of work with you.
Remember, when beliefs are dislodged, often the person holding them is dislodged also.  But further study ALWAYS  enlightens because the premises are broadened, the picture enlarged.  Do your best and study hard.  Ancient studies  taught me that educating a son, one educates one man.  Educating a daughter,  one educates a family.   What happens on the world stage is determined by what happens within the four walls where one’s life begins.  Begin anew.

artwork by Claudia Hallissey


A hyacinth for our Country’s Soul . . .

With pen and tablet I watched Morning Joe and felt I was auditing a class with Joe Scarborough and Jon Meacham, both knowledgeable speaking about the fragility of our democracy.  And the lasting words of Professor Meacham were the thunderous grievances of our previous leaders that cannot thought to be ended.

But in fulness and strength it is but an ebbing and flowing throughout our democracy that will require constant vigilance to contain.  It is not over though we like to think so.

I understand more fully this day because this is a classroom deemed to be so, we cannot be fooled that we are done with class.  There is more to learn and we must assume student postures to learn what we must.

Lawyer Scarborough mentioned we must acknowledge the strength of our Federal Judges and Courts to not allow the denigration of our laws because of grievances held by anyone.  Professor Meacham pointed out the sublime respect and strength of the court system of our trinity government to the Constitution of these United States.

Though part of Congress was enjoined politically with the Administration, it was our courts of law with federal judges who were the stalwart support of our Democracy.

In hindsight we will know by name the ones who attempted to overthrow the very fragile structure of the faultless idea of democracy that all men are created equal in their humanity.  Not in their gifts and talents, but in their humanity.  This therefore being the democratic basis of universal living with potential in good governance, universal living means all worlds.

Hard as life is in the various aspects of living, as in the simultaneous essence of time and the  reflections of worlds in conflict that we also reflect, we are the promising experiment of diverse cultural living on our planet.  We began our birthing as the land of diversity with the world’s demeaned and dismissed seeking life in this new land.

We are still learning to see how our humanity binds us and what physical differences might blend to unite us in peaceful coexistence and progress.  The enhancing of all life forms and goodness innate even in newborns, begins the teaching in this best of all classrooms.

Because I have lived long enough to see changes come and see how much we have been given, I conclude still we are here to learn.  With moments of light and laughter yes, but as students with concern for greater universal life we all aspire to.

We all get to the place where we tire of games, but the real problem is our Earth running out of resources and may not be able to support the games much longer.  Take it straight to heart.  It is a truth and we run out of time. 

We must beg for help from those still needing to be convinced that we are in real trouble.  We are in this climate calamity together and we have learned calamities are not pretty.

This day our Country’s Soul requires a hyacinth.  Be it.


To Break The Waves, enough it is. . . .

(sometimes in the midst of memories, I need to be reminded of what mattered most.  And if I need this, perhaps a reader does also.  The memory is now fresh for me.  I appreciate the chance for reprinting a favorite one.)

After having been told a zillion times that no one would want my head,  I have decided that I truly would not want anyone else’s head either.  Because then I would not see the world that I love the way I do.  I would not see the pine trickle of a branch pulling itself courageously out of the trunk of the tree amidst a  half dozen other twigs and marvel at the beauty of it.    Or  hear the  young grandmother puzzle at the toddler wondering why is this child so angry?  And another placid?  And see the connections in all bornings   from their source already bent.  Chance, you think?  My head tells me of no coincidences.

Understandably there are some who prefer to think everything is newly chaste.  But each of us has a history and life is a gift given.  It is with hope that we uncover its gems.  And profit from its lessons.

If You Can Bear The Truth. . .

If they should ever ask you
from where comes this knowledge
and you can bear the truth,  tell them.

It was written in the stars that I saw
with inner vision,  shining exuberantly
with a vitality that bears description.
It was hung and dried by a sun that had
dried my ancestor’s tears
for a million centuries.

The lyrics have pressed my ears
in moans that I find unbearable.
Does not everyone hear the cries?
If they should ask you,
tell them this.

It is the music of celebration,
when one, even one is freed from
a lifetime of servitude to anguish
clogging the throat.

This music is heard down long lines
of generations and will be mated
in their genes.   They will glory in
their freedom and they will live forever.

So if they ask you and you can
bear the truth, tell them.

It was taught by my Spirit
spilling into my heart with no reprieve
and into my mind with no relief.
It is a lifetime of no alibis and
a coping system diffused.

My teacher has no name,
still the imprint is within my genes,
implanted within my ancestor’s memories,
resting within me.

They do not rest while I cannot.
My songs continue, if only for me.

Enough it is for me to break the waves.


Photo by
John Stanley Hallissey


The Spirit Within Speaks. . .

In reviewing  this poem,  I was surprised to see the journal entry so I read it anew.  And the last paragraph of the two pages typed was the lament that I had a head with so much to say I felt I was going to die.  And I wrote the words of St. Paul,  ‘it is I who do it, yet not I, but Spirit within’, when I listened with tears running down my cheeks as Gladys Cooley Nicholson read my poetry on npr’s WDET, in a deep voice powerful with meaning.  She honored my work.

To strike a balance with the desire to create and overwhelmed with what it takes to submit and follow a prescribed path to publish, my need to create won.  So I independently studied and created  at night and the need to maintain property and people took  the work long days.  Commitments made options unavailable.  One of the non negotiables in life is sometimes there are no options.

And you are given with grace, in time,  a wise granddaughter saying,  you just suck it up Gram, just suck it up.  She is mine. 

Perhaps a bit boring, but nice to leave with no regrets and commitments intact.  Amen.

Time To Go On . . .

Is it time to go on?
Just one more garden in blossom,
I think,  just one more winter.
And I wonder if I could
appreciate them anymore or
berate the ones who cannot see. . .

Will I be able to look at snow
and see as a depth to remove
before I can move or will I
see a feathering dust of density
and walk through it
like the man on water?

 Will I ever be able to look
at this evergreen outside
my study window and not see it
as a thought form?
Or will I take its trunk
in my hands one day and like
paper mache bend it out of existence?

It is sturdy and it grows.
It takes space and cools
this room I sit in and
is a haven for the birds that
trust its branches will hold their nests
and the spidery tines will hold them.

Will I never mow the lawn
because I will by a thought,
landscape the Earth?  Am I
a dreamer in motion . . .

like speech, aahhh. . . my thoughts stutter. . . . .


July 01, 1982   journal entry
Poem Written April 01, 2016

photo by Joe Hallissey Sr.


Often the Larger Picture is Universal Life. . enhanced. . .

Jon Meacham, historian,  told the story of when President Reagan was in the hospital after being shot he was wiping up some water in the bathroom when a surprised visiting President Bush asked him what he was doing.  I spilled water and I didn’t want the nurse to get blamed for it he said. 

These are the small things about us that we leave as our legacy.  Not the big things that we sometimes are noted for.  Not always the Salk vaccine that Jonas Salk saved the world from polio but the Conscious Evolution he taught I came across in the interview  when he wanted to save humanity from themselves.

We are beyond the times of physical survival as such evidenced by growing numbers.  Now we must emphasize the human values we do not have time for that are taken by devices with addicting instant gratification.  Or even casual relations we indulge in that make us not proud.

Where conscious action determines the potential in human behavior across the planet because we cared enough to do something right and good that enhanced life for just one person.   Because of its inherent goodness, it became a lifesaving principle for all humanity. 

And the small, light touch I wrote about that I appreciate as you put your hand on  the small of my back to help me up the curb.  It is a small curb to viewers but to me a mountain to climb.   You know the why of the kiss on your forehead as you depart  telling me that you are not feverish. 

As I see you both hug your loves with a quick crush to let them know the strength of your arms in that loving moment.  The small things that will be your legacy also. 

That will be the difference we make,  we all make in lives we touch even perfunctorily.  Seemingly innocuous, seemingly without feeling.  But it makes in enormity, the teaching lesson confirming to us that we are of worth, that we are good.

In Looking Back

Sometimes in looking back
to grasp meaning. . . .
the uneventful brims with it.

The small deeds by the young
take on logistics of magnitude.

The small bouquet often picked
from the neighbor’s garden
is innocently given with largess of heart.

It is no small thing
when the child says I will do it. . . .
and unburdens the caregiver.

It is in the uneventful
that the heart grows in understanding,
when the lesson becomes the food on the plate.

Not good to look back?
How else to learn what life has taught
and perhaps we learn what not to repeat?

It bodes well to forgive when harshness
makes brittle the connections,
but in the smallest detail,
in the dailyness of the commonplace, we grow.

And the soul leaps forward and universal life is greatly enhanced.


Photo by Diane Rybacki of her husband, my brother Stanley,
releasing the pheasant they helped heal from injury.  (2002)
Both now transited, but would have been great grandparents
of great granddaughter named Diane, born this past week.


Our Light That Shines. . . .

Sometimes we find when we are not on good terms with ourselves,  life is not sympathetic to how we are feeling.  Yet we fulfill what is demanded and later are grateful that someone stands beside us when we are in need. 

We hope that whatever we offered is regarded not with impatience we might have felt but accepted in the love that we deeply feel.    And  our good intentions are noted because we are at heart, decent people.  

Somehow to be known as decent speaks volumes in these times.  The lack of decency looms heavily on us as a fall from grace as we have relived the recent assault on our democracy.  We wonder the effect  of our behavior as viewed by those immediate and far. 

Times test our mettle and these times have.  Yet always we hope that how we relate in the small things will be our light that shines .

Light Touches

Your light touch
on the small of my back
gains for me a courage
lacking sometimes
to even climb the curb.

I appreciate that.
Somehow beneath the layers
of what I hold to be
the who of what  I am
is a someone still of note..

Comforting to lay my hand
on the side of your face
to note the structure
of the child no longer a child.

As the mother of you sons,
born of the best of who we as parents were,
Nature shares her secrets
letting me know that the goodbye kiss
on your foreheads still tells me
you are not feverish.

You know my secrets also
as you hug your children
and show them that
no matter how old you grow
your light touches reveal the depth
and speak volumes

of their place in your hearts.


artwork by Claudia Hallissey


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