Thursday, December 21, 2006
Putting up with me
When you should not have to see
What’s in my heart
Or what’s on my mind
Just the thought of you
Leaves me standing there
My mind wide open
My soul laid bare
My heart exposed
Without a care
And so I am
And when I look into your eyes
They see through me
Nothing left to hide
I surrender all
That I am inside
My guard is down
I shed my pride
I offer up all that I am
A heart, a mind, a soul
Day after day
I make my stand
Do the very best
And so I am
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Frank Zappa on the Mike Douglass Show
December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993
What can I say? A man & his guitar All the hype and bullshit aside When it comes down to it, there was music in this man
And he chose to share it with us.
Frank was outspoken.
Musically and politically
And he drew allot of publicity from a press that understood him not at all
Humor and parody were his specialties
But he was more than that. Composer, songwriter, storyteller
Forgive the poor quality of this clip I looked at many, but chose this one - for I think the natural beauty of the guitar work still comes through.
Enjoy "Black Napkins"
And please remember to register to vote Vote – run for office – make a difference
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993
What can I say about Frank Zappa
He was a mentor to me
Just about everyone I know has a skewed opinion as to who he was or what he was about.
People like to laugh when they hear a few dirty words in a song, or a poo poo joke
And that’s all they hear from then on
Many took offense at his candor and humor.
But not me
Frank taught me the importance of honesty, and realistic points of view
To think independently, even when my ideas were not the most popular.
Frank taught me how to believe in myself and not look for the approval of others to determine my own self worth.
He said some profound things, yet when I look for quotes of his most people just list a bunch of phrases from his song lyrics.
They are trying to show off how “down” they are with Frank’s music, like some kind of fanzine contest.
I know of all these lyrics, and can quote them all, and many are fun but they do not sum up what Frank was about.
He would have laughed at such a notion.
So I am going with this one:
“Without deviation from the norm, there is no progress”
Thanks for that Frank
And thank you for some of the most intricate yet devastatingly beautiful guitar work I have ever had the privilege to enjoy.
I miss you Frank
No one will ever take your place, and that’s ok
For who possibly could?
You were unique
Monday, November 06, 2006
She was singing
Migrating ducks were passing through
It was beautiful
The river knows me well for I come often
I listen to her
And I stand on her banks
But the water does not stay
The water passes through
And the water connects the river to everything
And to everybody.
Find your self a drop of water
If you are sad
A teardrop will do
Think about how many molecules are there
Just in that one single drop
Now think about each one of those molecules
They are older than you.
Older than the sand and the stone
Upon which you stand
They have been here since the beginning.
Every molecule in every drop.
Now think about how many drops there are
In the river before me
Just in this one place
Just on this one day
There is big magic here
Though most people dont see it
Yes, if you have ever cried
The river knows you.
She touches you
Everytime you bathe
Walk in the rain.
You are connected.
I hope you feel better soon
Friday, October 27, 2006
Uninterrupted by cloudy thoughts
Like a mind that is clear
Thinking of what weather will be
I wish you were here with me.
The river almost flat
But not quite
She is sleepy
But not sleeping.
Reflecting as a dream
Filling me with thoughts of you
And dreams of love
Everything I see
Is a portrait
Painted with sky
Earth, air, water
And falling leaves
The bright sun still filtered
Through yellow, green and brown
They cling to summer
But are doomed yet to join
Those scattered on the ground
They are reluctant to accept
The change of seasons
But the river understands
She rests for good reason
Knowing too well
The turmoil of Ice to come
White snows and sunlight so bright
To cut daylight short as with a knife
The long nights not to be outdone
And so the days pass one by one
And so the days pass
Each more beautiful than the last
Every aspect of this beauty I see
Makes me wish that you were here with me
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
On my drive in
A more beautiful place
I have never been
She knew why I was there
And took straight to the task
She spoke quickly and clearly
I did not have to ask
She said open your eyes
Did it never occur?
Just as she came to you
So were you sent to her.
Be not disappointed
In the choices she makes
In the end your love given
Equals the love that you take
Rejoice in the moment
And the time that you share
If you were not needed
You wouldn’t be there
So what is fate’s plan?
I surely can’t say
I will do the best that I can
I will write every day
Friday, September 29, 2006
There is nothing that compares to the feeling of immensity it gives you when you are near it.
And I grew up near it.
The sound of the surf will never fade from my memory.
Nor will the smell of the air and the feeling of salty spray on my face.
Once when I was young the ocean took me. Caught in a rip tide I was pulled hundreds of yards from shore. A lifeguard had to swim out and bring me in.
I have never forgotten that feeling A force so powerful that you are helpless to resist.
Seldom have I had this feeling since, in any situation
We feel safe in the day-to-day.
Inertia; it gets us through.
Manic Monday, over the hump, thank god it’s Friday…
We ride the cycle without thinking, over and over until something gives.
And so I build my fortress of inertia.
A castle made of sand, where I hide.
Feeling safe within the day to day.
No risks behind walls of sand and seashells
The sound of surf, salt spray on my face comforts me.
But the ocean cannot be denied.
You said two simple words
In an instant, my castle is gone
Naked, I am swept away by an overwhelming force, helpless to resist
Nor do I want to, it seems.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
Their wings of silky fur
wrapped hollow bones.
Their tails wagged
like rudders through wind,
their stomachs bare to the sullen earth.
Out of sorrow for the first humans
stumbling, crawling,helpless and cold
dogs folded their great wings into paws
soft enough to walk beside us
They still weep for us, pity our small noses,
our unfortunate eyes, our dull teeth.
They lick our faces clean, keep us warm at night.
Sometimes they remember flying
And bite our ugly hands.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Steven Irwin 1998.
And so you have passed. Doing what you loved best.
Beloved amongst Adults and children alike, you gave so much.
Joy, delight, fear, surprise and awe – all rolled into one.
You taught us not to fear the animals – to respect them and to live with them.
That there is only one earth – for all to share – man and beast alike, you helped maintain that connection.
And I thank you for that.
The children will take your passing the hardest.
But here in my heart I understand that with this one loss, we are all diminished.
Khaki clad, bright blazing smile
Loved by kids everywhere
Friday, September 01, 2006
Sending me more than just rain
Far away in my upstate NY home I feel
A touch of ocean – salt and spray so real
Like sand in my shoes
September winds bring news
Of distant coastlines enduring gale
I am 8 again, seashells, plastic pail.
The river was right – one thing may have come to an end
But there is always time for another new friend.
Thank You YK
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
It seeps in through the flickering dawn
To darken morning coffee with foreboding tunes
The prophet Syd has passed on
What did you see beyond the light,
As you passed the forbidden door?
And passed beyond the edge of night
Now you speak to us no more
Shine on! They cried Oh diamond bright
On the steel breeze you did steer
Till lost forever beyond all sight
How I still wish, how I still wish you were here
Monday, July 03, 2006
She said "Wait and see"
But my heart knows
The bitter truth
Another hope has been dashed
And alone I will remain
The look in her eyes said it all
All that remains to be seen
Is wether or not
I let it set me back
moving on - moving on
but first listen to the river
wait and see
Friday, April 21, 2006
Make you real
Some would say: not right…
Some would say: not possible…
Some would say: not real…
I pity those who fall so short
As to rely on the physical
And still do not connect
The physical side has its place
But without the connection
It has no meaning
Words on a page
Have brought me to tears
Have brought me great joy
Have brought me peace
And given to me more than just a friend
They have given me a connection
Words on a page
Have given me life
Helped me find myself
Reminded me of who I am, and why
Thank you for that my friend
Thank you For being YOU
Not as defined by your peers
Not as expected by social stereotypes
Yes I am very glad to know you
For your courage
Words on a page
Expand my mind
Touch my heart
Make you real
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Just the same old same old
My mind is lost and far away
Only the river knows who I am inside
The river has accepted me
But she doesn't say much
Lately I have been wanting somthing more
But that human quality escapes me
I may have to wander far from this place
Before I find someone who understands
And so I am restless
The river holds my spirit and trys to comfort me
Only the river knows who I am inside
She will miss me when I'm gone
Friday, April 07, 2006
There was a time I would just prattle off the things I knew people wanted to hear - just to be loved and /or accepted
But not anymore…
I like who I am and I’m not changing
If you are put off by such honesty that’s ok – just move along
Kindly keep your ridicule and displays of distaste to yourself
They are not necessary
They just make you look smaller than you already are
Thursday, April 06, 2006
This is not a new thing
I often feel them – and so I stay in touch with the past
They do not want me to forget – for some reason
Jack Kerouac and Woody are still out there somewhere
On the road...
A dusty road has a smell – yes a taste even
When you get a face full of it
It’s a good smell – like earth and clay – primal, basic ancient smell
An aroma that stays with you – even now I can recall its bouquet
And the way it made me feel as a child:
On hot August afternoons so still
The dust hangs practically motionless in the air,
Too lazy to settle – too stubborn to fly away
Long after the sound of the old truck has faded into the distance
And lost in the buzz of the cicadas
As you walk this road – the dust sticks to you
It coats your skin like fine French talc
This is the dust that I recall from my youth
Crisscrossing rural upstate New York
Roads which connect farms and places long gone
Some end badly, leaving you in some abandoned field –
Or woods with increasing density of trees and decreasing interest to travelers
My dad lives on such a road
It passes his home – the last home - before disappearing into obscurity
Built to connect large and prosperous farms – growing hops and barley
They dissapeared long ago collapsing into poverty, finally abandoned
While America played with the idea ofprohibition
Thinking that we would somehow be more … pure
Without beer and hard liquor
Trees are the crops now –
Red Pines, Spruce, Ash and Maple
They don’t need allot of care – only time to grow
The road patiently waits to be of service again
The loggers will come – they always do
Every so often a curious motorist will pass through
Often with regrets over haven taken this route
Regrets which hang in the air with the dust
While a loud sputtering tells the tail
Of a muffler left behind somewhere back there
Up on the hill or perhaps on that long low stretch
More swamp than road in the spring
I remember riding in the bed of the old ’49 Studebaker pick up
Somehow that truck and the dust it stirred are still a part of me
My dad would take us on endless expeditions down these roads
Pointing out landmarks from the homes long gone
One hot August afternoon we followed such a road –
Very much like the one dad lives on, And on the same hill
The old Studebaker made its way to the bitter end
And there we found the property and summer hide out
Of The poet, Allen Ginsburg
Dad had taken us there to meet him – perhaps as some kind of pilgrimage
We had tried this before – but the house is hard to find
But this day finds us on his lawn – covered in dust
Allen speaks a bit about Jack, Woody and the road
But mostly talks about the weather and the trees which surround us
Topics like these along with greetings and introductions are exchanged for a time
I didn’t pay much attention
I was eight or nine at the time
Poetry to me was simplistic
Politics were of little concern
The house is not much more than a shack
Typical of the homes around there
I remember he served us lemonade
I remember the dust
The road calls
Ghosts of Jack
Saturday, April 01, 2006
The promise to return....
Last week my dreams were haunted by the sounds of migrating geese
Far off – flying high overhead
This week I have seen them – Sunday, Tuesday and again this morning
They spoke to me of news out of the south – and of open waters ahead
Today is for gathering – down along the Mohawk River
(Though that is not their name for it)
No flight is planned for today...
They discuss the weather – the route – the prospects of an early nesting season
They did not mention Dick Cheney, Exxon Mobil or Iraq
And I was glad for a short time to forget them as well
My mind was set free for a moment or two
To contemplate open water; and ice...
Green shoots of new grass impatiently pushing through the snow
looking for spring
Feathers oiled and preened with pride
What must it be like to be able to feel the earth’s power within you?
And know which direction to take, without need of maps or compass
How beautiful the earth must look as it passes by far below
Your wings carry you home – and the petty world of men & women is of little concern
My heart reaches out to them
Filled with love; and awe at their mere presence
They look at me with knowing eyes
As if to say they know me – a kindred spirit
For one brief moment we are one
Joined by common bonds
The genes we share as living beings
And our love of this place called earth
(Though that is not their name for it)
We part – and I am forced to leave reality
And return to this bizarre illusion we call society
Before I am late for work
But my heart does not forget
Tomorrow a part of me will take wing and journey far north with them
Once more – The promise is fulfilled – and spring cannot be far behind
(Inspired by Winged Migration - http://www.sonyclassics.com/wingedmigration/home.html )
Friday, March 31, 2006
As I left my car behind to walk along the Mohawk River at lunch.
My secret little path through the woods along the backwaters gives me a passing glimpse of many feathered friends:
Green winged teal
Rufus Sided Towhee
Slate Colored Junko
Will all be added to my list of sightings for this season
River levels are controlled by man - and man wants her waters to be low today...
Not uncommon this time of year - heavy rains, expected at anytime - somewhere along the river can cause her to rise up and spill over her banks.
Dropping the water level helps to controls these spring floods - should the rains come in such inundating volume
The silent river broods and bides her time, waiting to show man just who controls who...
The low level of the water exposes long shiny mudflats and I was hoping to spot some shorebirds, but the waders had other ideas. Perhaps they had a meeting planned?
A chorus of birdsong, stunningly beautiful, surrounds me as I reach the bikepath...
Up and down the long grey asphalt ribbon spandex clad rollerbladers and cyclists weave in and out among scattered walkers and joggers.
I perceive that behind their expensive sunglasses and headphones they are enjoying something more like a show - than an experience; that they are missing the song which surrounds me - a rare and beautiful song - replacing it with some song made in the studio - which they could listen to in the car or at home.
The consequences of isolation from the world that sustains them - from each other
Buying into the false notion that because they are out there - they are a part of it all
How sad - to deem yourself healthy - while being so disconnected from Mother Earth's love
In the wet mud I spotted tracks coming from the water and correctly identified them as those of a snapping turtle.
Not bad considering I had to do this from 200 feet away - through my Binoculars...
I followed them as best I could with my eyes, up the embankment and through the woods. Then I saw her -
A large snapper - about four feet long laying her eggs with a sense of patience only a mother would understand.
She knows that in this moment - she is the future.
She is connected - she has always been connected...
Purple finches were bickering noisily in the brush. Bickering over mates, and I wonder if they feel something like the jealousy that can paralyze me so at times...
"Go away! She's mine!"
"I saw her first!"
"Well she doesn't want you anyway - she likes me better!"
"No she doesn't!"
"Can't you see we're nesting here? - move along!"
Meanwhile out on the River the Green Winged Teal and the Mallards are all paired up and peacefully feeding in the shallows which man has inadvertently provided while waiting for the spring rains to come.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
With a whistling of white wings
She takes the season, and is gone
Slow and ponderous was the look she gave all summer
But soon only memories will remain
Of warm days and of rain
Like the fast fading golden glow of a crisp autumn sunset
Over the stubble fields on the stubborn hills
Stripped of corn the crows come to gather and glean
Far above the fields the phalanx flies
Transcending long grey bars
Stained with rose, gold and amber hue
Southward now points the living wedge
A peace falls
Awaiting white blankets of November
The autumn fields are sleeping...
Please do not disturb them
As you go about your wintry business
Friday, March 24, 2006
Having had it's day
Struggles with warm, restless tropic mists
Tired of sunny beaches and humid forests
The warm and moist air drives northward
Confrontation is inevitable
And the predetermined outcome
Does not dismay the challenge
The conflict plays itself out
Snowstorms makes way for the Thunderstorms...
Gentle rains and broken sunshine through the clouds
Rainbows and an abundance of growth
Are the consequences
Spring awakens - for the seasons sake
Leaf stem and flower
This is their time
But beware the chill frost
With a cold glance backwards
From behind the Arctic circle
I'll be back she whispers
I'll be back
Thursday, March 23, 2006
All was quiet on the Mohawk river today
So I actually took some time to listen to her
She chastised me for being away for so long
And as I repented it occurred to me that the water is separate from the river bed
The river remembers me - and I remember it
But the water is always changing
The water remembers everything and every place it has ever been...
The river bed lingers - shaped by the water but retaining its own underlying character
A glimpse of which can be seen as it emerges on either shore
The river told me to look up...
And when I did there was the Eagle cruising by -
He made three passes right in front of me, so close I might have touched him if I thought such a thing were permissible - exciting!
My spirit soared for a moment - and I longed to commune with him - and hear his story
But the Eagle was in haste - tracking the river for fish and listening for his mate
The woman with the dog came running up to me to ask if that was a Bald Eagle she just saw
I liked her - leash in hand - dog running free
I liked her dog too - and he graciously allowed me to scratch his head for a moment
The woman may not have known it - but the Eagle had touched her spirit as well - for I could see it in her eyes, hear it in her voice
What made her think I would know?
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
A quiet place - alone
My thoughts are with me
As I sit and wrap myself in my thoughts
I become as one with the world
I love being in this place-
The Earth understands me
And I understand her
And she always reassures me that I have a place here
I sense that my space is not all my own
I see the ant come blundering along
Is she lost, or on some mission?
My current state of enlightenment allows me to gain some perspective
I can almost see with my own eyes the chemical trail she puts down - to remind herself where she has been
Others will follow if she returns
Her mission a success
Her family has sent her forth to explore
Ten thousand identical sisters on similar missions await her return
A brooding Queen mother will know what to do
With the information she brings back
If she returns...
For I also perceive in this moment
That to her family she is expendable
Cruel thinking to a human - perhaps
But a strategy that works - for the ants
Should her journey end in tragedy
She will dutifully leave a chemical message
For any that may follow
I got Squashed! Danger! Go back!
As I contemplate her demise
My mind touches for a brief moment
All the times we humans have sent our children out into the world - as expendable
The great journey of Man
The Ancient migration
From Africa we came
Yet we populated the Earth quite quickly
And discovered the ice caps - the deserts - the moon - even the bottom of the deepest ocean
And the prospect of "expendable" seems like a good strategy
For man as well as for ants
Yet we also send our children as expendable
To great conflicts
Fighting wars - over territory - over resources and over who's god is best to believe in
While All the Gods weep for the ignorance of their children
This Ant had parents
As did I
A C G T -
the genetic components of life
We have these in common as well
Both the ant and I represent the end of a chain of life
Chains that tie us together - back to the beginning
We even have a link in common back there somewhere
As these thoughts run through my mind
The Ant now scurries across my open hand
alarmed perhaps, by this sudden change in fortune
And as I head toward my back door
I think to myself
Expendable? - perhaps
But not this ant
Not this day
Not by me
So I open the door
So that she may continue her mission
In a small way her mission is my mission
For She is my sister
Thank you mom
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
It's hard - yes
But simple just the same
Tell me this won't seem like the last time
Sitting around waiting
For the next time
You know I'm trying to think
While trying not to think
I seek concession from the inside out
Concession from the inside out
It's hard - yes
But Simple just the same