Archive | Touchstone

The Process Is All. . . .

‘You Are My Best To Be.’. . .

I could hear the words . . ‘too bad all the others could not have been made this way.’  And the response was that this is what creativity was all about.  That with each new effort there is improvement.  And the creator of the art or article was encouraged with each effort.

Would it eventually be perfect?   No, because each thing to be done, whether a seam or incorporation of an idea would have to be perfected.  As the creator is not satisfied with his creation and the art is itself the material to be worked with a life of its own and a desire to incorporate whatever is native to it, there could not be perfection.

The last two printed fabrics I worked on, with different stretch, different designs wished for a different approach with ideas of how to use them, so I did.  Not with perfection, but adequate, with the total effect pleasing.

With people, individuals, each is a new creation, a new world created.  Each becomes a dreamer of his world, a new world to go spinning into space.  In one of my poems last lines, ‘you are my best to be.’  I might add, for my world.  As the each is the best for his world created.

With what he is, she is, no one could have done it better.  Consider what they had as given, the heritages, genetic, cultural, climatological, religious, what they create, no one could do it better.   There is no model upon which they create, for each is the world unto himself.  And the worlds are as many as there are people.

Live and let live.  I cannot criticize anymore.  I know the weight of my burdens.  I could not carry the weight of yours which I cannot know.  But let me help you.  I can do that. . . . .

Nature’s New Arrival . . . 

I bent and bowed and gathered
all things to me.  I sifted and sorted and
with much pain separated the grains of man.
Filing to completion, I noted the encumbrances
saddled to my Earth.

In the midst of morning I chased the night
to an empty place and began anew
to observe the travesties inclined to Nature.

She wound from her spool of variegated yarn
and proposed a multi colored libation.
We sipped together and studied closely
our inventions.  We joshed and gurgled
in our cups and found our brains quite addled.

Too much too soon we disposed of
the marvelous concoction and decided. . .
she at her best was better than I, and I,
no more befuddled looked upon you and knew

you are my best to be.


art by Claudia Hallissey


For Me, it is Eternity. . . .


I was sitting and looking at our landscaping and thought I must remember this.  This is for eternity for me.   It was the end of the day and the sun was setting.  I feasted my eyes on my surroundings.  And my eyes took in every detail and when they fastened on the next door tree of flowers I  thought out loud, Look at what the Great God wanted my eyes to see!    And not just a bouquet, but a tree of flowers!  Goodness, mercy!  A tree of flowers, not just a bouquet.. . . .and the sky was fading but the sun stayed on the tree.

And my next thought was of my Mentor, the Nazarene, and his words of Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. . . And we desecrate and decimate our land and pulp it to a nothing.  We obliterate the species in numbers and prevent the trees of flowers from succoring us and the species who hover, supporting us.

I have long argued that this planet should have been kept for graduate students.  Those who have earned the right to live on her by doing the footwork, not necessarily those only educated by the elite schools of thought but by those educated by our hearts.  But the argument was that Earth’s obstacles would be so difficult that the heavens thought this lush land of beauty would soothe and nurture the soul to health and progress and life in all dimensions would benefit.

But it seems in great numbers the sophisticated had soon developed street smarts and were loathe to give up their toys.  So now we work hard to keep what we still have and guard with our lives the beauty of this planet while we live so that our progeny will yet taste of her goodness.

And I repeat the words of my mentor and friend, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. . they know not. . .


Apriori. . . (before now). . from where. . . .

Apriori. . . .

Oftentimes what is considered decent, normal behavior we label a success of magnitude.  In this world of the aberrant we have lived so long that the decent is a surprise.    There are souls among us who have volunteered to help heal this behavior.  And have put themselves in jeopardy doing so.

They have known worlds where deeds of good are commonplace, the norm.  These are the expected of daily life.    These persons are versed to the enth degree with worlds where they are familiar.  They are souls born into this world of linear measurement  but are already familiar with a thunder rolling quantum god of whom I write.

They are also versed in worlds where decent civilized behavior is mandatory.  Here they are met with reckless abandon of institutions which have been centuries in the making and are tossed into what is kindergarten for them.  Coming with the intent that growth would be on the agenda, what is now found are the young lost in the maelstrom.

The young expected courage and find spinelessness.  They see panic and fright in adults and greed in powerful hands.  That icons symbolizing centuries of man’s desire to translate the divine into the material shows that the past is still happening.  Not only are the icons being smashed but the humans who built them.

The sibling grandfather, born with the desire to invest in the greater good,  was homeschooling his exceptional grandsons and puzzling, asked, why must good behavior be taught while bad seems innate?  Are we at home with the bad or is it a result of frustration?

Is it why this Earth is the best classroom in the Universe and we work toward education as a human right for everyone?  It is the only way we wipe out bigotry with its stereotypes.  Where man notes that please and thank you must be learned, we are surprised that even love for one’s children of one’s body must be learned and demonstrated.

Do you wonder why the latter comes as a surprise and a hesitation to so many? We were told as the twig is bent. . . apriori?  From where?  It deserves thought.   Begin.


Ripped, severed, broken. . . again . . . .

(I am running out of words and energy at this time nearing the terminus of my life.  I find that what I have written in the past of these earth shaking events are words that still wring my heart to shreds.  And yours, too.  I cannot find other words to tell their story.  Our language does not hold them for me.  We are heartbroken that there is another occasion to repeat them.)

The day looms with fierce emotions which will lay its colors upon the hearts of mourners forever.  It is with little thought given by some that words have great power over the course of our lives.  It is we who must teach the children the choice of words must be with care.  And we adults who must alter our behavior when our words are met with misunderstanding.  Words are the tools of our relationships and must be treated with great respect. The costly consequences are human lives.

The Word Is God. . .

In the beginning was the word
destined to touch the mind of man.
But the prevailing Spirit in its wisdom saw fit
to encumber each with the power to discern.

Meanings floated into space,
shaping themselves to fit the receiving mind.
Reaching their destination,
their shape changed to fit the owner.

Such turbulence!  Such uneasiness!
Albeit because the word had taken life and
risen  to meet the heart’s need.
The speaker’s heart had taken its intent

and placed upon the Ethers the heart’s desire.
It gathered cadence as it rode
to meet the receiver’s prejudices.
The sender’s intent lay silent, lost.

The heavens only acknowledged
its primordial meaning.
Can it be said in truth that the word be god?
It is.

For within its power to create
it moves with desperation to voice feelings,
to give breath to visions and to heal.
The word created creatures and dynasties,

wars and rebellions, held peace in abeyance
and brought us to life.
So speak softly when speaking.
Words carry the weight of the heart

with intent to topple empires
and worlds and men.  In the catalytic movement
of the word, the world’s heart beats,
years are gifted and futures secured.

It is all we have.


The Wait Is Too Long. . .

From my eyes. . . .

Father, I said, go greet your son.
And the father did and their arms
wrapped themselves about each other.
And the world was then all right.

From my eyes, from my eyes. . .
And from my heart, I hear . . .

Why did they wait so long?

Heart had given its yes when the son
was given his father’s name.

At this moment,
the stars call you by name,
and the moon searches for you.

The heart has already transposed its own heart
by the songs written and sung
through the night skies.

I hear you  love, I hear you and you are singing my song.

March, 1991


artwork by Claudia Hallissey


In The Quiet Of This Night. . . . . .

In The Quiet Of This Night. . .

In the quiet of this night,
come to me and we will hold hands
and talk, and I will show you
from how high up you jumped.

The night will love you and
envelop you and you will find that
in the cold moon there is a heat
that sustains to show you where your home is.

Within the skirts of who you are, you will
gather the children around you
and we will love each other.
The heart knows its own Amen.  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Artwork by Claudia Hallissey

From the Psalms of Love  for sale on Amazon


Emmanuel, Emmanuel. . . God Within. . . . Us. . .


It was 1941 and I was ten and warned every time I went out that God was watching me.  And seeing me pick up a nickel from the wooden church floor and go across the street to buy a coveted pack of Walnettos.  Word followed me home of course and I was punished.

Why was I watched but not 6 million cries for help heard?  I asked.

How can one man with one idea ruin a world and a whole world of praying men cannot save it?  And I was punished for that too because we were Polish and Hitler had overrun Poland and our relatives turned in friends and family there to avoid being killed for concealing those who were Jews.

No one was asking out loud that question.  Not the Polish priest of the church and not my mother and father gods.   So I ask again what I asked when I was ten.  How can one man with one idea ruin a world and a whole world of praying men cannot save it?

And the reason is that the one man had himself and his idea to work on all men who adopted his idea and worked the power in themselves and the praying men depended on an outside god to do their work and not themselves.  Simple and as complicated as that.

Emmanuel!  Emmanuel!  Biblical.  It essentially means ‘god within.’  We were told that and we knew it.  We knew and yet we chose not to remember.

Jon Meacham on the Morning Joe program in March talked of  man’s better angels and initial work of the church to keep primary man’s first job which was to journey back to where he came from, which is our heavenly home.  Give thought world, give thought.   It was the Augustinian journey talked of through the ages.

I do not say man holds the final sparklers because we as the All That Is, are becoming.  I do say that Within Man is the Divine Spirit which waits for man to wake up and acknowledge that only he can bring justice and do good to this world. That only by realizing what he can become can the steps in evolution accelerate and Mankind, humanity’s condition, be enhanced.

As AA preaches, There No Spot Where God Is Not. . . .That includes the Divine Within the heart of man.  We are the life force, the intelligence undergirding in various degrees these universes.  And worlds throughout are watching this classroom.   If anything is not done to correct the injustices  or the inequities, it is not done because we do nothing.

Doing nothing because of fear or because we are benefiting from them.  So we are the cause and the cure.

I asked at ten and cried and nearing a hundred, ask again.



When We Trash Our Souls. . . .


Our Connectedness. . . .

There is a connectedness  I see and it weaves through everything.  I am not certain where it leads nor if it ever had a beginning.  But this I know.  It is real and it is firm and it is gutsy.  Not a word that is elegant, but true to its core.  Gutsy.  It has a vitality all of its own and the sweet thing about this, is that the connectedness is real, so real that I am not certain why it is not  talked about as a normal, common thing.

It should be evident to everyone.  Rubies  are connected to stones and stones connected to moss if one thinks  and can see that man and fish, donkey and gods are one of  kind.  It should be a part of our every day life because it is part of our everyday living.

I would start the talk with babies and show them how their belonging to us is a natural and provident thing.  It and they are god sent.  I hesitate using the word god because it has a grandfather Santa Claus image to it and  the way most people think.  But yet the feel of this god sent connectedness is cosmic as well as has a natural bent to it and there are no appropriate words in this language of ours.                                                   

It weaves through everything.  The blood work of family puts all of us  in such close connectedness that there is only breathing space.  We are united and yet unique in our selves but the connectedness is vital.

This moves beyond family and puts all of us, one to the other, not so far but we know of the each.  And we are known.  There are no surprises  and yet the exchanges are of palpable good.  That what has happened before has the effects in our today and for the tomorrow our todays are already shaping the substance that will be a yesterday for someone.

One cannot see the connectedness unless the basis of each and their ultimate function depends on them being what and where they are.  And the what could be anywhere and their where can be anywhere.

We must remember how we connect and why.  Children have no problem with connections since their sources are similarly differential and have been accepted. They are blessedly blind to differences.

Our behavior is determined by conscience.  Problematical prejudicial  for some  but especially for those elected to serve in positions of power lately,  needing fusion of  collapsed spines with steel.  Wars only create more heartburn but who will redeem us when we trash our souls?


Where Can We Go?. . . .


When I was in public grammar school and we were let out for weekly religious class to go to our places of worship, I sat on my hands in the basement of the old church and sweated.  I was not answering the priest’s question and knew I would  be  punished  but what he was asking was not my memory from where I came before I was born.  So I knew what I said was so because I was closer to my Source than he was.

I could not convince the priest nor those I loved most.  But I wrote this poem Where Can We Go in 1982.  It was a Given, thoughts impressed to me as I wrote and I give it to you.   We live in a quantum age and learn that  all time is simultaneous; it was a yesterday.  Just as true today as it was yesterday.   Since life is everlasting, it will be just as true tomorrow.

Just as our arms release beloveds, other arms open in welcome to them on the other side.

Where Can We Go?

As  the sparrow falls it is noted,
and the quality of life
is diminished by one.

Long ago the feathers were counted.
The color of the downy beast
was painted into the rainbow.

A child is born
in the forgotten regions
of a world too busy to take note.

The borning is observed, however,
by the cosmic populace.
Its growth watched and shepherded.
And when the child cries, the heavens lament.

There is no least in quality or number.
Each beating heart is calculated to keep
a world intact.  Each blink of an eyelid,
reason enough for the sun to keep itself alive.

The coming together and the going apart
of each is through a door opening and closing
onto a portion of life, indissoluble.

Now it is here, now gone from here,
now it is here.  Disappearing  from this place,
it takes form in another.

The sparrow sings in another tree,
and his song is heard by one who left the here
and followed.

Where can we go and not be found?


photo by John Holmes


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