She whispers my name... Only I can hear

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Sombre Skies fall
There is nothing but grey light
The trees around you
And a million windswept
Flakes of snow
On their way
To somewhere...

A million more follow
After that
A million more

December snowfall
But unlooked for
She arrives in her own way
In her own time
Own her own day



As these





In my mind

Since 1963

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


It is quiet now
On the farm
We call it a tree farm
It is more like a loosely managed forest preserve

Staying there for any period of time
Induces a transition

Physical, mental, spiritual

Time doesn't pass more slowly there
It just seems like it
The day is not measured in hours

So much as by events
The first birds to come to the feeders

A trip into town
Going for a walk
The last rays of sun on the porch

Sapphire, bleeding into ebony
Crystal clear bright white
Thousands of tiny points of light
Crossing unimaginable time and distance
To arrive on that perfect night
While the moon slept, and wishes kept secret
Could finally take flight

The constellations rise, one by one
The slow parade emerges from the horizon

Unlike most people
When I think of New York
I do not think of tall buildings, or crowds of people
Instead I see
A patchwork of working farms
Amid huge tracts of state owned protected wilderness

New York
Ranks in the top 20 agriculturally productive states
Protects more forest wilderland than any state outside Alaska

It is here
That I take refuge
From the insanity that the rest of us claim
To be a normal everyday life
This is my Walden

There is history here

The hands of men have worked this land
For hundreds of years
The feet of humanity have graced this land
For thousands of years

Not far from the farm
There is a lake
Tranquil, moody, opulent in her splendor
Turquoise in the summer sun
But brooding in October
The Native Americans had a name for her
Which they did not fully reveal
Other than to describe her as

The white intruders
Who would eventually mistakenly claim
The water and the surrounding hills to be their own
Could find nothing more fitting to describe her
No better word than

But other names
Did the native people have for this place
Otsego, The place of the rock
Otesaga, The place of meeting

For before the coming of "white" men
This place was held sacred
A place of meeting and of peace
For the many nations of people, who inhabited this land.

They passed this way on their journeys to the northern hunting grounds
They gathered here to exchange ideas and establish territories
And to take council with one another.

The white men left their mark
In the form of buildings and roads
The Natives left their mark
In legend
And the very highways we use today
Follow still, the Indian trails laid down
A thousand years ago

You can catch a glimpse of this historical transition
In the works of James Fennimore Cooper
Who lived here
And is buried here
In a small cemetery, just off Main street

Now tourists come to this place
To watch the leaves turn color
To reflect, on the beauty of the lake
And to visit the baseball hall of fame

Other travelers stop here also
Indifferent to the signs that proclaim the beaches closed
They pass this way
On their long journey southwards
To the winter hunting grounds
Coming and going
As they please

Now I myself stop here
As I come and go
To reflect on the simple beauty of it all
And share it with someone I love
On my way into town

No baseball hall of fame for me
Groceries are the major objective
And some bird seed...

Saturday, September 26, 2009


When I turned 40, an older friend of mine at the office told me:
"Get ready for the downhill ride of your life"

This was an ominous and depressing thought at the time
But now that I have had a dozen years to reflect on it, I'm not so sure

Yes I am older
And my body is not what it was when I was twenty...
But my mind has grown
I see things much more clearly now

I see connections, details and relationships now, that I would never have noticed at the age of twenty.
I understand people, and the universe, like I have never understood before.

As youth fades, wisdom fills in the empty places where vanity and conceit once dominated.

But only if you let it

We should value this wisdom, simply for the amount of heartache with which it is acquired

For those who pride themselves on their looks, and not much more, there is not much promise for the future.
We need to keep learning, this I know, and I have found throughout my life that the more I learn, the more I want to learn.

We diminish ourselves
When we place looks over substance

As a society
As a specie
As individuals
At any time
Any age
Any generation

We diminish
Who we are
What we are
Where we are going
What we aspire to be

There is an aesthetic of the mind
Which we all too often
Fail to recognize
Chose to hide
Or simply ignore

Let us chose
Not to do that

Do not just grow old

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


It’s not so much a time
As it is a place
A particular point
In the Earth’s orbit

It’s a place I have been in 52 times
Yet each time
The place was unique
For the Sun drags her planets through the galaxy
Like an intent mother dragging her children
Through a crowded market
And the Galaxy itself
Is on the move

So yes
This first day of autumn seems so very very familiar
Like I have been here 51 times before
But it isn’t the same
Is it?

Like every day
This day is unique

In this respect
Everyday is equal
Everybody is equal

The universe is waiting
Let us make the most of it

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I am Blogging
With obligation
Bringing a message of salvation
To any person
Any nation
The clock is ticking
Wolf at the door
What can I say?
We must do more
We should not even try...
Just walk away
Watch the world die
It used to make me angry
Now I can only cry

Against the tyranny
And hatred
My words still stand
Looking for one lost soul
Lend them my hand
Both hands
Mind body spirit
My words still stand
A castle of sand
Do not fear it
Stand with me
Feel it
See it
Steer it
Hold it
Heal it
Heal it

Heal it

People say how nice
That I should care
Shift their eyes
In an uneasy chair
When my words
I should dare to share

Even worse
They talk about their children
Grand children
With eyes wide
Filled with pride
They glare
Yet they feel deep inside
Only despair
They say
Why should I care?
The world won't last
But things wont fall apart
Until long after I've passed

Nothing to contribute
Nothing to give
Just where do they expect
Those grand kids will live?

Is it too late?
Can we still make a difference?
If there is even the slightest chance
Shouldn't we try?
Shall we simply let the moment
Pass us by?

Not I

And so I will keep on
My words shall stand
Take heed this massage
I leave written in the sand

To all those in the world
That should help but cannot
Because you are
paralyzed by despair
I leave this simple reminder


Saturday, August 08, 2009


Earthshare Public Service Announcement

I cannot add or detract from this powerful message
So I will let it speak for itself

What would you do
If you had to choose
Between the Buffalo
And the Giraffes?

Between a flower
Or an Elephant?

What would you choose?

What if you had to decide
Between a hundred year old tree
And a million year old beach?

Between drinking clean Water
Or breathing clean Air?

Would you make the right choice?

Would there BE a right choice?

I myself do not ask for donations
But I offer this message
I encourage you to spread the word.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


"In the Soviet Union
The scientist is blinded
By the resumption of nuclear testing
And he is reminded

That Doctor Robert
Optimism fell

At the first hurdle..."

Billy Bragg - Waiting For The great Leap Forward

The first Atomic bomb was tested in the Nevada desert
The test was called "Trinity"

But the scientists referred to it as "The first hurdle"

When Oppenheimer saw the Trinity test he muttered a phrase from an ancient Hindu poem written in Sanskrit

Translated it means:
"Now I have become Death, the destroyer of worlds"

General Marshall standing next to him said simply:
"...well; we are all sons of bitches now"

Oppenheimer went to Washington to argue restraint and to not actually use the weapon he had helped develop

He was branded a coward and possible communist, and the bomb was dropped anyway

Interesting phenomenon; the shock wave from a nuclear blast travels faster than the speed of sound.
Survivors of Hiroshima report being knocked unconscious, without ever hearing a sound
It is known as the noiseless flash

I got this from a book I have that was written by an American living in Hiroshima at the time who survived the bombing

He was a missionary

Right or wrong
We still argue the merits of this act to this day
And that's OK

But for me there is nothing left to do but look back and reflect on the thousands of people who disappeared in a flash that lasted less than 1/1000 of a second.

They left no trace, left nothing behind but their shadows on the ground

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Dingo July 1992 - August 2009

My best friend
Everyone's friend

Sixteen years, and I never saw Dingo angry
Not Once
Never did he bare his teeth or threaten anyone

He loved people, especially children
Loved other dogs, cats too
When the kittens were born, Dingo guarded them

I think I must be the only one in town who had children coming to his back door to ask: "Can Dingo come out to play?"

Neighbors who don't even know who I am
All knew Dingo
All loved him too

He won over every skeptic
People who hated dogs
Still loved Dingo

He never left my side, ever
We went everywhere together
Most often, if dogs were not welcome, I didn't go

Love me, Love my dog

Dingo always understood
What was expected from him
Never failed
To live up to those expectations

And for this he was well rewarded
I spoiled him

Dingo never wore a collar
Never had to be tied up
He knew to stay in the yard
And to stay out of the garden

And now he is gone
My last true soul mate
And so I have modified a traditional folk tune in his honor

When Dingo died
He died so hard
It shook the ground
Out in my back yard

Down from heaven
The angels came
And bore him up
On a golden chain

Good bye Dingo
My friend so true
Good bye Dingo
You good dog you

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

For Love or Money

I was enjoying some of the reflections in the media last month as we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Looking back there are a few things that stay with me, aside from the astounding achievement itself.

First let me say that there is no scientific basis whatsoever to the claims that we never went to the moon. I will elaborate on this more in an upcoming post on Carl Sagan.

I for one do not think it was a mistake, going to the moon.
Man needs challenges, and exploration is a part of who we are.

The thing that impressed me the most about space travel, was how quickly it spurred the notion that we are truly a global society.

Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space proclaimed from his tiny cockpit:
"I see EARTH! it is BEAUTIFUL!"
He came home and spoke openly, albeit briefly, about a world without national or political boundaries.
He was quickly and quietly moved out of the public eye.

But the notion is too powerful to be quelled as more and more men and women travel into space.

When Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface, he spoke words that he had crafted himself, from the perspective, not of an individual, not of a member of a nation, but of a traveler from Earth.

That is one small step for (a) man
One giant leap, for mankind.

I mention this because I think that perspective is sacred, important, and well worth the price.

Yes it was expensive
But so are many of the endeavors we undertake, including preparing for and engaging in acts of war.

I suppose the money spent going to the moon might have been better spent on something else, but after years of retrospect, I can say that about many things.

The saving and loan scandal of the late eighties cost this country approximately twenty times as much as the Apollo program.

The Iraq war: two hundred times...

Osama bin Laden was funded to the tune of three billion dollars by America, when he was fighting the Russians in Afghanistan...

We as human beings so often spend money trying to fix or heal the worlds troubles, only to find we have made them worse.

Global efforts in the sixties and seventies to feed a hungry world, have resulted in a doubling of the worlds population in less than thirty years, and the world is still hungry.

Logic dictates that this process cannot continue for long, for soon we will need two Earths to feed the population of just this one, and there is no second Earth to turn to.

There comes a time when you have to realize, before it is too late, that the problems of the world cannot be solved with money alone.

Love love love
Love is all you need...

Remember the song?

There was SO much truth revealed about the power of love at that time.
So much of the worlds troubles would be solved if we could simply love one another
But we don't

Looking back, I realize that there isn't a shortage of love in the world, it is simply a matter of application.
I see loving people all around me, caught up in a national hysteria so profound and so subtle, that they don't even realize how badly it undercuts their own moral compass.

I look out across the nations of the world and realize that it is the same everywhere.
When I look past the hate, the mistrust, I see love...

I'm sure even Hitler had his passions, felt love, for something,

There comes a time when you have to realize, before it is too late, that the problems of the world cannot be solved with Love alone.

Come together

I do not say this lightly, or with any degree of despondence, only with the slow sense of realization that has been granted me.

We simply must combine understanding, and the ability to learn, grow, compromise and accept, with our powers of Love and economics.

Understanding is key, and education is fundamental to the process.
No one nation can own the world
All nations must now come together and save the planet from our own selfish behavior.

The time for nationalism is gone
Long gone

The time has come for us
The people of the world
To come together at last

Understanding must come first
Otherwise Love is blind
And money wayward.

Do Yourself a Favor

Motown sensation Stevie Wonder, at the age of twelve, spelled it out.

"Do yourself a favor
Educate your mind
Get yourself together
For there aint' much time"

The link provided is a cover by my favorite boyhood rock band, Edgar Winter & the White Trash - A powerful rhythm and blues combo consisting of white, black and native American musicians.

I liked that - liked it allot.

"1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12
Don't you know
Before you go
You'd better educate yourself"

As simple as Sesame Street
As profound as the deepest heart

So the next time someone tells you we can find no solutions "for love or money"
You tell them that is correct

But only because they don't understand

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Paul A Butkereit April 1922 - June 2009

Everything I ever could ever define as good
Was there in this man

A scant five minutes in his presence
Was all it took to convince anyone of this

He had an honest and open relationship
With the world
With everyone
With everything

I never knew him to tell a lie
Not once

His simple philosophy
Could be summed up
With one phrase

Do the right thing

What the right thing was
Needed no mention
It was understood
That you knew
It was your responsibility
To know

I really believe that he felt that way
About so many of the world's

People, most often know
What is the right thing to do
Deep down inside

They just won't always admit it
To themselves

Let alone
To others

If ever there was
An example needed
To define the opposite
Of pretense

That would have to be
My dad

Unassuming, charismatic, outgoing
He was the guy who
Picked up hitch hikers
Stopped to fix flat tires
Did business on a handshake
Volunteered his time
Trusted his neighbors

One of my earliest memories
Is of my dad
Rushing in to pull someone
From their shattered vehicle
Lying upside-down and on fire
In the middle of East Seaman Avenue

A crowd of people
Looked on
Frozen with fear
Dad walked right up
And pulled the man from his car

The crowd failed to act
Because they were afraid the car would explode
My dad went in
For the very same reason

Mom had a fit of course
But I don't think Dad could have done any different

And so it went
He was always that way
Which caused Mom much grief sometimes
But as kids growing up
It gave us a very broad perspective

The sort of perspective needed
To realize that the world is more
More than a man
More than a people
More than a nation

That we can be the heroes
We can be the leaders
We can be the champions
If we simply

Do the right thing

Now he is gone
And I am realizing
Perhaps for the first time
That he is as much a part of my message
As I am

As we all are
Thanks Dad

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Power

For Roxanne
Patiently Practicing her Art
And always asking
The right questions

What drives people towards peace...
I'm not sure I can say

I am sure the power of love plays a part
So does the power of fear
Perhaps there is a place for the simple understanding that it would be catastrophic to allow...

War or not
We budget for it
Over two trillion US dollars annually, worldwide
It's a fine line
Between fear
And paranoia

Perhaps we no longer need a global conflict
As long as we can have conflict

My dad served in World War Two
He tells me he has seen far more death
Since the war ended
Then he ever saw
In Europe

"They just changed the presentation, that's all"

He is referring to the media

We share a dark secret
Dad and I
He knows I can see it also

On top of this
We now declare war
On the abstract

War on poverty
War on drugs
War on terror

Fighting shadows, illusions

Attacking the symptoms
Not really wanting to find a cure
It's all about the fight

Yet I do not despair
For I see
Another side also
A bigger picture

A worldwide understanding
Of our environment
Our world


It is a fine line sometimes
Between hope
And faith

Thanks to all of you
I can honestly say
I have both

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Right Now

Human being
Has been
Recently reminiscing on Rumi...
And the power of love

Over the last few weeks
This has kept an old song
From my youth
Pleasantly running through my mind.

Turbulence aside

It was a simple time
Filled with simple ideas
Though you wouldn't know it
From the mysticism and hype
Instilled on it today

There was a poster on the wall
Outside my bedroom door
It read:

WAR IS*******************
************NOT HEALTHY
FOR CHILDREN************

A billboard on Broadway
In New York City proclaimed:

******WAR IS OVER******
****If YOU want it to be****

The only difference between then
And today...

We really believed these ideas then
We need to believe in them once again, today
Let us start
Right Now

And the song in my mind
Doesn't keep me up at night

I still believe
Always have.

Get together

Love is but a song we sing
Fear; the way we die

You can make the mountains ring
Or make the angels cry

Though the bird is on the wing
You may not know why

Come on people now
Smile on your brother

Everybody get together
Try to love one another

Right now

Some may come and some may go
We will surely pass

When the one that left us here
Returns for us at last

We are but a moment's sunlight
Fading in the grass

Come on people now
Smile on your brother

Everybody get together
Try to love one another

Right now

If you hear this song I sing
You will understand

You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand

Just one key unlocks them both
Its there at your command

Come on people now
Smile on your brother

Everybody get together
Try to love one another

Right now

Come on people now
Smile on your brother

Everybody get together
Try to love one another

Right now

1967 The Youngbloods

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Three Minutes Forty Four Seconds at Zenspace

A warm

Can be just the
I have been longing for

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Witness

Silently she waits
Eyes never close
Never a shoulder
To turn cold

Forgotten it seems
To those around her...

The spider weaves
The blossom contemplates
The Crow gathers
As the seasons chase each other
Around and around
Her little garden

There is more to this place
Than meets the eye
And she knows it well
Seeing all
Judging not at all

As hope and death
Play out their dance
In an equation that always
Meets perfect balance
In the end

Slowly she counts
The days
The years
The seasons
Of the world

And of the men
And women
Who pass through her tiny space

She stands as witness
That they should have dignity
In their final days
And take solace in her simple blessing
That we may all find peace
And that we are all equal

In the end

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Shadow of Winter

Long drawn pale
Winter's shadow fades
The frozen chain
Gives way
Letting loose
The green growth of spring

Long days
Short nights
Darkness gives way
To the season of light

Yet my heart can tell
Hiding below the horizen
The long shadows wait

Friday, March 20, 2009

Who speaks for Earth?

For those who cannot see the video

This is an excerpt from the final episode of Cosmos, by Carl Sagan
Partial transcript as follows:

…How would we explain all this to a dispassionate extra terrestrial observer?

What account would we give of our stewardship, of the planet Earth?

We have heard the rational offered by the superpowers

We know who speaks for the Nations

But who speaks for the Human species?

Who speaks for Earth?

See Full transcript in the comments

What account will we give?
What account can we give?

Our legacy will speak for itself

I do
I speak for earth

I welcome all citizens
To join me in this endeavor

I encourage everyone
To watch this series

What account will we give?
What account can we give?

Our legacy will speak for itself

Friday, February 27, 2009


I went to the river today
She was sleeping
Ice dreams weaving
Blue sky
Limbs swaying
Birds playing

I wanted to kiss her
Touch the brooding deep
Beneath the white sheets
While discussing prospects
Of spring, rain, and coffee
Like lovers on a lazy Sunday morning

But I dared not disturb her
Such is her beauty
Even in slumber

I gaze in silence
And watch her
Shifting with the seasons
Slowly awakening
And I am content

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Spark of Vision

February 12, 1809
Two men born on this day
Still reverberate through our collective psyche

One would take simple observation to the edge of scientific discovery
The other would bring himself and his nation to a new level of human awareness
As spelled out by the founding fathers of his country
Thus are the origin of species
And the ending of slavery in the United States
Forever connected

A spark of vision, awareness and understanding
Touched humanity that day
And manifested itself in the form of two men
Both of whom would change history
Both of whom would embark on long journeys
Without knowing where they would be taken
Both of whom believed the truth to be self evident
Both of whom were born on this day
February 12, 1809

I thank the universe
And history
For the words
And wisdom

Of Charles Darwin
And Abraham Lincoln

I went to visit Abe
When I was a child

My father thought it was important
And so, on a trip to Washington DC
We spent a few hours at the memorial
Dedicated to this man

The Immense marble figure
So much bigger than life
Neither brandishing a sword
Nor posing for posterity

Rather seated in a chair
Imbued with kindness
And solemn understanding

I looked into the cold stone eyes
And I could feel it
I still feel it
To this day

I was five years old

But it is not the marble
Or the man
That consoles me now

It is his words
Recorded there in stone
As they are in bronze
In a Pennsylvania cemetery

As a nation struggled to reach a defining moment
After untold hours of oration, argument, declarations
Amidst years of conflict
War death and slaughter
And conflict within himself

He went to the battlefield
To honor the dead
And to speak

Defining the moment
And the Nation
With just 272 words

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on
this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.

We are met on a great battle-field of that war.
We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.

It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground.
The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion

That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain

That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom

And that government : of the people, by the people, for the people,
shall not perish from the earth

Friday, January 16, 2009

Missing in Action

Apologies for my absence to those who follow this blog

Life has taken my time and attention for a while

The wheel however

Has not stopped turning

I am not going to relate

The pain that comes

From watching a loved one

Fade from glory

Life ends

Life begins

And I expect to see both of these events

Up close and personal

At some point this year

I will however

As time passes

Share any wisdom I am blessed with

And I will find the time to visit these pages

Find the words, to give meaning to these days

I miss you all and will soon be returning to your pages

To read

To understand

And to share my thoughts

Thank you all for the seasonal and holiday wishes

May my best wishes find you

In all hemispheres, all corners of this beloved Earth

Without bias, prejudice or contempt

But rather with Love

We are all citizens of Earth

Simple as that

One Humanity

In spirit, and in flesh

Thank you all once again

And I’ll see you soon