The Final Fling

A bright sandy beach

Sailing out of the reach

Once more unto the breach?

We only get one life each

To stand in the sun

To fight or to run

To start what had not begun

Or to settle for just having fun

The journey is too short

We sold what we should have bought

Our world boils down to a dot

While the sun shines ever hot

Gather the resting thing

Put it in your sling

Open your mouth to sing

It’s time for your final fling

The Final Fling is a metaphor for never giving up, even in your last hour, with your last breath, make it count for something.

How to Be

The poem How to Be takes its inspiration from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  It is perhaps the most recognized soliloquy in literature.   The troubled prince of Denmark, deliberating the merits of living with discontent or taking a step into the great unknown of death, missed the bigger question.  Not whether to merely live, but what to do with that life.  

To be or not to be

That is not the question

As if all of life were A or B

One or zero

Computers are binary

Humans are not

Our possibilities are enormous

On any given day

In moments of inspiration

In flashes of brilliance

Throughout a lifespan

Ordered by principals

Shaped by thought

Demonstrated by action

To be or not to be

To live or not to live

No, a better question is

What to be

A better question is

How to be

March of Months

Recently, my wife June was away for a week visiting her aging parents in FL.  Whenever June is away (which isn't often--thankfully), I tend to get a bit melancholy.  The cat is simply no remedy for me.  As the days drag on, I invariably miss her more and more. And then poetry breaks out, or a song.

March of Months started with this simple statement in my head "June's away and Mark will play".... but that wouldn't fly.  Too much negative connotation :).  Playing golf is what I meant, really.  So then I can up with June's away and July's in the books and the rest of the months just flowed...

March of Months

June is away
July’s in the books
And an August man pretends
He likes September’s looks

But October has the colors
While November ends in gray
And December brings on snow
While January lets us play

February piles it on
As we March into the spring
Where April rains upon us
And May just lets us sing

Then June comes back again
To kiss away my sleep
Get up and do it all over
For again it’s time to leap

Tickled Pink

Tickled Pink is of course about June.  It captured a moment of appreciation for one of the many little things that I so adore about her.  Everyone should be loved like this 🙂


Tickled Pink

I love the lightness of your air
It leaves me tickled pink
I love the way you sit yourself beside me
When I’ve just sat down, just to think

I come in from the wind
My hair a wild mess
You comb it with your fingers
With that smile you smile--happiness?

It’s that same smile I see
When I compliment your dress
When we dance in the backyard
What it really means I can only guess

The years go by
Our lives recorded in memory’s ink
It’s not that you love me, it’s how you do it
That leaves me tickled pink

More Than Enough

We really are being programmed by mass media.  Don't panic now, this is not a conspiracy theory post or rant.  It's just an acknowledgement of how bombarded we are to acquire stuff.  Tech companies have us on constant and continuous upgrade cycles.  Shopping whether online or brick and mortar has been raised to a sport.  And of course, this is nothing new.  It's been going on for several generations and started with the Baby Boomers.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not an ascetic, and I don't espouse living as one.  I like a nice place to live, good food to eat and yes, I have an iPhone, Ipad, laptop, a big screen tv, yada, yada, yada.  But enough is enough.  I get tired of the constant pitch.  Don't you?  It seems the only way to turn it off is to literally, turn it off.  Not a bad idea from time to time.  The poem More is my lament to modern living.



We have so much
So much more than we need
We need so much less than we have
We have more than we want
We want what we are fed
We are fed lies
Lies that tell us we need more

No Contest

This poem is a quiet reflection on a troubled relationship. It is a one-sided view.  An expression of how it felt to try so hard to love someone who made it so difficult to accomplish.   No doubt she had her own story to tell.

No Contest

Stranded by the pain in your heart
Like a boat run aground
That can’t reach the shore
And can’t find a reach

I tried to be a harbor
I was a port you would not call
What keeps you so cold, so dark?
What keeps you from the sun
From warmth and light?
I tried to hold your hand
You recoiled as if I were a viper

To touch, to share space
Is natural, normal, healthy
Not for you
It’s uncomfortable at best
Painful at worst
It hurts my skin you’d say

What happened in your young life
So profound you can’t move on?
I tried to love you, help you
Heal you, be your personal balm
I failed
I don’t know who lost more
Me or you
It was never a contest


Our world is full of incongruities.  The good and the evil, love and hate, benevolent and malevolent, wonderful and mundane... exist side by side.  So much so that it seems the natural order of things.  Philosophers have built philosophies around it (Yin/Yang).  I have heard people say you have to know pain in order to appreciate pleasure.  But is it really the natural order of things? This idea that good and bad create a natural balance to life.  I don't agree.  I'm not saying that good and bad don't exists side by side in our world, like a schizophrenic patient.  I'm saying it's not natural.  It is incongruous with higher thought.  Who (let's use the expression) in their "right" mind wants to be beaten or raped, robbed or slandered?  Who wants their house destroyed by earthquake, flood or hurricane?  Who wants raw sewerage or petro-chemicals dumped into their drinking water?  Who wants their neighbor's dog to poop on their lawn?  Who in their right mind?

The poem: Here I Sit is just me in a moment of sensing the incongruity of our existence.  A moment that happens often to me while enjoying peace and quiet reflection--that itself is perhaps an incongruity. The poem also captures that all-to-prevalent feeling that there is nothing to be done about it.

As humans we have an obligation to act in harmony with our ability to love, to care, to feel and to think.  There are things we can do, things we can change as individuals and as like-minded groups of individuals.  But I believe this incongruity that shapes our current world is the result of a breach with the Higher Power that designed and built our universe.  While we can and should act in harmony with our abilities as humans, the natural order of things that we crave (peace, love, harmony, security), can only be restored by that Higher Power (we call him by many names, God, Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah).  The only question is when.

Here's the poem:

Here I sit
In my red leather chair
With matching ottoman
My feet up, resting
At ease, my stomach full
Looking out my sunroom windows
At springtime
Life blossoming
The lilacs are putting out leaves
The forsythia glorious in yellow
The azaleas resplendent in purple
The tulips flowering
The two lips kissing (me and June)

Here I sit
Surrounded by all this beauty
Immersed in all this pleasure
And yet, I know of pain
Of suffering
Of people living:
With prejudice
With hatred, for and against
With discrimination
With decease
With sorrow
With anxiety
With poverty
With loneliness
With fear
Two worlds that overlap
In stark incongruity

It hurts me
It bothers me
It shouldn’t be this way
And yet,
Here I sit.

The Power of Imagery

My wife and I recently spent a week in Barbados W.I. on vacation. We stayed in an Airbnb up on a hill overlooking the Caribbean.  We were a five minute walk to the beach.  Just a great location.  We spent plenty of time on the beach and enjoying the warm, clear waters off the west coast of Barbados.

We rented a car for the week as I wanted to self-tour the island. One of our stops was right in the middle of the island, a tropical garden called Hunte's Gardens.  It's a privately owned estate lovingly cared for by its owner Anthony Hunte.  You walk through carefully (artfully really) crafted walk ways that wind their way through the gardens.  Each little section of the gardens has a sitting area with a unique perspective on some part of the gardens.  It was well worth the entrance fee.  If you're ever in Barbados, make a point of touring the gardens, you won't be disappointed.

The day we were there was partly cloudy with occasional periods of rain and sun.  Made for a steamy experience I'll tell you.  The gardens has dozens of huge stately queen palms.  In one section there was a cluster of several where I stood, looked up at the grey sky above through the palm fronds and took the picture you seen below.  As usual, the picture doesn't do the sight justice.

While at the gardens, I wrote a Haiku to memorialize the visit and shared it with Anthony while visiting with him in his open-air home (which is part of the experience for visitors).  You can get a local beer or sample some finely aged rum (it is Barbados after all).

Shortly after we returned home, I was looking at the pictures we took on vacation and came across this shot of the palms.  It inspired this poem called Palms and Psalms:

There is something soothing about palms.
They bend in the wind, but rarely break.
They decorate the sky with their fronds.
They were laid on the ground for Jesus' sake.
I read in the bible, in the Psalms:
the righteous will flourish like a palm tree
I now understand what the Psalmist means,
For today I looked up, and simply felt free.


Hunte's Gardens Barbados W.I.