Poetry, Words and Swords

Matthew 4:4   Jesus answered, “It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Isaiah 30:21    Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

WE ARE WATER AND SPIRIT
by Bernie Siegel, MD

you can look into a mirror and see your image
water reflects your image too
but unlike a mirror you must get close to the water and yourself to see the reflection
and you and the water must be still and untroubled by outside forces
and just as water may exist as a liquid, solid or vapor
you can undergo continual transformation too
depending on your state of consciousness
you can choose to close your heart
and become hard and cold as ice
or become sparkling diamonds on the branches of the tree of life
or protect and guard the life which exists beneath the surface
for it is only when we are willing to go beneath the surface
into the stillness and depth of our being that we truly find ourselves
and create the authentic path our stream should follow
as a stream of water flows over and around stones making beautiful sounds
your blood stream can flow over obstacles, become as destructive as a tsunami
or choose to vaporize and rise above life’s difficulties
ready to fall back, when needed,
as gentle rain softening the soil of life
one day every blood stream will find its way to the endless sea of life
where you will be reborn as white crystals
which descend slowly and gently onto the frozen ground
when the world experiences a drought of love
forming a blank canvas upon which the world can now create a work of art

Tao Te Ching

nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible, nothing can surpass it. the soft overcomes the hard; the gentle overcomes the rigid, everyone knows this is true, but few can put it into practice.

MAGIC OPENINGS
by Bernie Siegel

TODAY MY LIFE UNFOLDS
As this paper unfolds so does my life
I will have faith and not judge events
Our creator often unfolds things in ways I do not understand
I will learn from the new set of directions

TODAY I WILL BE A LOVER
I will look in the mirror and love who I see
I will act as if I am the person I want to become
I will see all living things through the eyes of love
I will judge no one

TODAY I WILL FORGIVE
I will forgive myself
I will forgive all those in my life I need to forgive
I am free of the past
I receive the benefits of forgiveness

TODAY I AM NOT AFRAID OF THE DARK
I do not need to see where I am going
I do need to feel my way
I accept that all new life begins in the dark
I will labor to grow and find the light
I have the wisdom of a seed within me

TODAY I WILL USE MY LIFE TIME WISELY
I will say no to what is not creative
I will say yes to my way of loving the world
I will accept that today is the best day of my life time
I will be a co-creator today and have no sense of time
I will rest when I am tired

TODAY I WILL MAKE MY OWN WEATHER
I will dispel the clouds of fear and bring sunshine into my life
I am cleansed and softened by the showers
I will light the moon and stars and make my darkness bright
I will marvel in the miracle of the weather and seasons of my life

TODAY I AM THE MASTER GARDENER
I will turn death and loss into compost with which to fertilize my life and soul
I will enjoy the diversity of my garden
I will see the beauty in all living and growing things
I will let a child know s/he is loved today

Today I am not I was
Today I am not I will be
Today I AM

LAST WORDS

One more breath
How do I use it?
One more breath
Why bother? What do I tell them?
One more breath
Will they understand?
One more breath
What wisdom can I share?
One more breath
How can I enlighten them?
One more breath
I have the answer
One more breath of life
A-H-H-H-H-H-H-H-H-H-H
One more breath

CHOICES

choices, the freedom to choose my way
what a burden
years from now i’ll know I didn’t make the right choice
if it didn’t make me happy
choices are simply choices
to follow your bliss, climb your ladder, make yourself happy
to not choose is to die
make the choice, choose life
the results are not the issue
not good or bad, right or wrong
but the freedom and the joy to choose life and happiness

BITTERSWEET BY BERNIE SIEGEL, MD

As we ride our bicycles over the road
She points and says, “Bittersweet,”
“What, I can’t hear you?”
She points again
I look and see the beauty of Bittersweet
I feel the peace its beauty brings
Bittersweet, I am struck by the taste of her words
They do not make sense
But they explain our life together
And point out the road to peace
Bitter, lights left on,
counter covered with things not put away,
laundry not folded
tired, forgetful and more
Sweet, her love, smile, laughter,
touch, caring, beauty
Bittersweet, but I hardly taste the bitter
She is so sweet
Life is Bittersweet
Thank God for you Honey
I hope you flavor my life forever

DIVORCE

tomatoes don’t belong in the refrigerator
i did it again
my wife may never forgive me
our marriage is on the rocks
i snore, put tomatoes in the  fridge
walk and eat too fast
the divorce lawyer doesn’t know how to help us
reach a valid settlement for my cruelty
he suggests we try to work it out
give love a chance
and don’t put tomatoes in the fridge
i read his settlement to my wife
she laughs
i love her when she laughs
and forget the difficult times
we fire the lawyer
and take the tomatoes out of the fridge

A BEAUTIFUL DAY

every day is a beautiful day
the white clouds, blue sky and warm January sun
all my senses say it is a beautiful day
no philosophy or psychology
just the physical beauty
my senses are in charge today
bathe in them
thanks again god
I needed a soul cleansing

START

start now
not thinking about it
but doing it
once you’ve begun
it all changes
no more thinking and scheduling
we are in it now
doing, working, living
life makes its own schedule
if we live start living it now

FORGIVENESS

life hurts
people act out of their pain and create more pain
you cannot change anyone else
stop explaining, trying, bandaging
forgive and spread the healing salve
love, forgive, accept
it feels better
now the cause of the pain will not know what to do
or how to cause you any more pain

KISSEE BUGGIES

kissee buggies
my wife gives them
they are better than kisses
they are softer, more loving
just think about being kissed
or receiving a kissee buggie
no question which i’d go for

DAY

a beautiful day
warm sun, clear sky, nature glistens
thank you for warming me
I will try to shine and share the warmth and beauty
you have given me today
I accept it and rejoice in it

COMMUNICATION

is there anything else you need?
how may I help you?
would you care for a magazine?
people do not mean what they say
yes, I have many needs
I can count the ways you can help
yes, I want a magazine
but they do not give me what I need
or help me, or give me a magazine
that is why I prefer animals
they communicate with honesty
a growl, a lick, a purr,
I know what they mean

FARMS AND CITIES

I fly over the farmland
an abstract artist painted them
beautiful lines, curves, greens, browns
the beauty of creation lies beneath me
the homes fit between the lines
lost in the beauty of the earth
I fly over the city
straight lines, square boxes, lined up like soldiers
it hurts my eyes to see what we have done
nature has no room
please scatter the houses
make room for the earth to blossom

TODAY

today was quiet and peaceful
I wasn’t going anywhere
I was just being me
everywhere I went I found myself
God it feels good to be me
that’s a change from
the old me who wouldn’t have agreed
he was busy doing things
and never knew how to take a nap
I’m good at that
I have some great teachers like my wife
I need to listen to her
after all, she is a kindergarten teacher
and is used to my attention span

GREEN

we need green in our lives
something alive, growing, warm, hopeful
the sun, a plant, a hand, a word
green and warm us
we grow and live
until it grows dark

TOUCHDOWN

we will be on the ground shortly the pilot says
the clouds look soft and welcoming
but then one returns to earth
wheels touch down smoke rises
feet land on the hard ground
perhaps if we touch each other
lie down together
stand together
live together
our feet will feel the difference
as the world grows soft

WINTER

winter arrives
the trees huddle for warmth
their branches intertwine
they touch each other
they are family
winter arrives
the houses are shut
we are alone
we do not reach out for one another
the lines are drawn
no one crosses over and touches
it is cold
nature reaches out, blends, caresses
there are no straight lines
there are no boundaries
we are one
when it is time to weather the cold
we warm one another
houses burn trees to keep warm
but it is not enough
making a fire does not warm a home
ask a tree why it cannot warm you by burning
nature has all the answers

ALONE

one is always and never alone
alone yes, no physical company
alone no, I have myself and something more
I have something I cannot see
or name or feel or describe
like a child I have it all
to hold and play with
the only thing I am alone with
are my thoughts and you

MYSELF

I found out who I am last night
I held my beloved so close that her skin became my skin
I realize we are one and that I do not like parts of me
that’s why I said my beloved and not my beliked
I love my new self
two as one have twice as many parts to love
but you cannot expect all the parts to work all the time
I don’t stop loving my car when it won’t start
so i’ll love my new self
we are one
all the parts are mine to love
i’m sure i’ll have moments I don’t like what I love
I won again, we are one
and in love with one’s self

ORGASM
it’s not in your body
that the orgasm needs to take place
it’s in your mind
a new idea
a new thought
God is delighted
it’s a cosmic event
yes!

NEW DIMENSIONS

new dimensions is an oxymoron
how can you have a new dimension
a dimension is a dimension
they have all been here since creation
oh, new dimensions
what opens you to a new dimension
my spirit and my soul grow each time
I experience and create a new dimension
so I was wrong
that’s a rare new dimension

FOR GIVE NESS

forgiveness
a word holding peace within it
and yet it speaks of giving
perhaps that is why it takes a God to forgive
to heal yourself and others
in one moment
but can you forget
not if within you there is a need
God has no needs so he can forgive
and forget what you remember
can we approach the stature of a deity
have it all within
and forgive for God’s sake

THANKS

thanks
someone said thanks
i’ve done it
i’ve touched another’s life
i’ve completed my mission
I fly on to touch down in other lives
until the day I run out of life
and become one with eternity and light
I am in all lives now

QUESTIONS

why?
there is no universal answer
you have to find your answer
and your question
maybe it isn’t a question
maybe it’s a gift you need to experience
not a burden to carry
but a gift to rejoice in
then there are no whys, no questions, no conflicts
just life with gifts
that sometimes don’t fit or may cause pain when we try them on
and others that make us feel comfortable because
we have the answer
to the question that never existed
now do you understand why?

FAITH

i’ll awaken from sleep
the sun will rise
there is a reason for everything
will I ever know the reason?
not in this life
not while awake
having faith seems to be what it is about
faith, hope and love
well two out of three isn’t too bad
maybe it is better not to wake up

WHY

why am I like this?
why are you like that?
why are things this way?
because
because why?
because we are created this way
why are we created this way?
God knows why

NOMADS

nomads, natives, wanderers
carriers of life’s precious elements
they know what holds value
the earth, the sky, people, fish, animals, plants, insects
all that God created is good but man is not complete
we accumulate things, build things, save things
what a load to carry on your life’s journey
we are bent and slowed by the weight
let go of the things
learn from the wanderers
the diamonds and pearls will now be there for you to see

PENNIES

a penny is a great teacher
full of wisdom and value
look at its face
abraham shows us the sadness of an unchanging image
liberty gives us the freedom to be godlike in our way
God, in whom I know we can trust
how do I know?
I know who leaves pennies for me to find
now it’s up to you
toss it
does it land heads or tails?
pennies from heaven

THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD

I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders
no matter, never mind
today I am atlas, hercules and samson
the weight is no burden
it enlightens my soul
in an instant I understand all
the still small voice speaks
through the eyes of a bird
sitting on my shoulder
did he know he was needed?
did he know I was prepared for the burden?
no matter, never mind
all that matters is mind

MIRROR

who is the guy in the mirror?
I don’t know
does he know?
let me look in his eyes
pretty blue eyes
sad eyes
I like your I’s
I will take your I’s home with me
twinkle eyes
pretty blue eyes
sad eyes
you and I’s
the I’s eyes have it

IMAGINE

each day a gift
what does it take to appreciate a gift?
it takes going beyond now and yourself
to a new place free of things
like the Beatles’ song says, Imagine
just imagine not waking up to who you are
not seeing, not hearing, moving, breathing
a fetus
imagine
imagine the day a gift
and full of imagination
when you do you will leave the womb

HELLO GOD

I am told prayer, meditation and service
will bring me into a direct relationship with God
heavy stuff, doesn’t feel poetic
maybe I’ll just talk to God
Tevye did it
Lily Tomlin says that’s called prayer
of course she also says if good talks to you it’s called schizophrenia
I guess i’m crazy then because God and I are buddies and on talking terms
we call on each other whenever we need a friend to talk to
God scares a lot of people
they can’t listen because they want something
I have everything so God isn’t afraid to call on me
and me on Him

PERFECT

God didn’t ask my wife to be perfect
I did
so I ought to be perfect and set an example
well there goes my plan
I’d rather tell her how to be perfect
but then she tells me about my imperfections
well there goes my plan again
I guess God was right
His plan is easier
just give them free will and life
because perfection is not creation
and don’t forget to keep your fingers crossed

WISDOM AND FAITH

the world is full of pain
I am told one can understand or have faith
who can understand
I am no God
I have faith
faith in creation
faith in our Creator
faith in my fellow faithful

SHOULD WE ARGUE OR MAKE LOVE?

shall we have an argument or make love/
there are benefits to both
if we argue I can show you how smart and right I am
I can yell and sulk and turn away and try to sleep
now that I won the argument
and I always win
if we love there are no words equal to the feeling
we both sleep in peace
there are no losers
only winners
who have given their winnings away
I see the answer to my question is
let’s make love

A BEAUTIFUL BURDEN

if you don’t go i’ll have a heavy heart
if you do go i’ll have a hernia
my wife and I often travel together
we are a team sharing fair and foul weather
at times our travel takes us into the air
I carry all the luggage in order her back to spare
i’ve heard love makes one’s burden lighter
but Bobbie’s bags would burst if packed any tighter
so I brave the chance of a hernia
since she makes my day much brighter
i’ve learned from traveling alone
that the load is really no lighter
for a lonely heart weighs much more than a bag
which can’t be packed any tighter

LEAVING A PART OF ME BEHIND

I kissed myself good bye this morning
no I am not self centered
I am more than me
I and another are one
our clay has been sculpted for so long
that we are an inseparable creation
my other parts enable and disable but they are me
so I kiss me good bye
next time I will be more passionate
I deserve a good kiss
no peck on the cheek
wait till I get home
to the rest of me
It will feel so good to be whole again
and in love with my whole self

HOLY SHIT

Dad are you working on a new book?
yes, it’s spiritual
call it Holy Shit
we laughed
and then I knew
life is no human comedy
it is holy shit
disease, death, despair
all the compost we learn from and are nourished by
which makes us complete
we become whole
we become holy
shit!
I wish I had thought of it first

COMING APART GOING

I do not have it all together
my life is more than I am
it has many I ams
my I am is coming apart
at the I ams
I am is me
I am is you
I am you are we
now I have my I am together
can’t you see who and why I am

JONAH, I, THE WHALE AND 911

from the bowels of hell I cried out
and you heard my voice   Jonah
I called out from the darkness
I did not dial 911
they don’t make whale calls
I called out
from the depths of my soul
I made no sound
yet he heard my cry of despair
I called out
and was saved
my prayers were answered
thank you Jonah for giving me hope

ERRANDS

errands, chores, who created the need
who makes out my schedule?
who fills the time?
who creates the pressure?
I wonder who
life you say
who chose this life?
you or me
I must be doing something right
everyone wants me
I guess I made the right choice after all

YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE

you only live twice
once in your life
and once in your dreams
I don’t want to live twice
I want one life, mine and my dream
I won’t need a second chance
I have one life to live here and now

THE CLOCK OF LIFE

I rested my head on the chest of my wife
I heard her heart ticking away our life
how many beats in a lifetime
I wish I could slow the pace
so I could listen to her heart beat forever
how precious the sound
a strong, regular beat
like our life
only an occasional skipped beat
then the regular rhythm returns

BIRTHDAY

first day
burst day
birth forth
burst forth
birthday
first day
I feel the energy in my day
my beginning of the beginning
it never ends
always beginning
born again and again
when is labor over
when is rest day
when will I finally leave the womb
when does birth end and life begin
now

MARATHON TRAINING

running
to get in shape for the marathon
breathing
to get in shape for life
a race to the finish
will I complete it
how long will it take
will I reach the finish line
it is no strain to do what you love
we are made for that

I DO NOT TRAVEL ALONE

“you’ll be traveling alone,” she said.
“I can’t sit so long.”
“i’ll stay home.”
today I travel alone
without a wife or luggage
an empty seat beside me
a bin above
no hand to hold when
we rise into the air
I close my eyes
reach out my hand
say my prayer
a smile parts my lips
my empty hand is held
my wife has joined me
my prayers are answered
I do not travel alone

SILENCE

fax, phone, mail, life
whose home is this
what do they all want
where is the silence
I remember hearing nothing
surrounded by sand dunes and nature
God how beautiful and deafening is silence
it drowns out the fax, phones and mail
silence is so loud
nothing can or need be heard
I need to be silent inside
until I can return
to the silence outside
to hear it all

LEAVING

we leave at three fifteen
there is so much to do before we leave
no time for self
only time for things
maybe I need to look at what I really need to leave
where am I going at three fifteen
I think I need to leave where I am going
and stay where I am leaving

ALONE

who is ever alone?
the one who is not connected to anyone or anything
I create my aloneness by separating myself
but I am alone
I am away from my home
and my life and my connections
don’t blame me
then I feel one connection I cannot get away from
no matter where I travel to
the ties of love know no limits
they reach out and touch me and fill me
and suddenly I am no longer alone
and never will be as long as there is love in my life

HAVE A SAFE TRIP

I am packed and heading for the airport
I leave my hotel room
‘have a safe trip’ the housekeeper calls after me
as I walk to the elevator carrying my luggage
it is so nice of God to appear in various disguises
I smile, I feel safe on my journey
and angel just blessed me
I guess God really isn’t in disguise
I have met an angel and didn’t recognize her
or stop to get her autograph
next time I meet God or an angel
I am going to stop and get an autographed picture
but if I play my part correctly
I suppose looking in the mirror will do

WHY DO THINGS NEED TO BE DONE?

why do things need to be done?
why can’t I just nap in the warmth of the sun?
why do I cry when I read of a man
who lies down and closes his eyes?
why is it so hard for me to do?
because I am asleep
I must awaken to my mortality
to my life time
and say no, not now
not until I fall in love
will I do anything more

THOU ART WEAK

the words to the song are wrong
God knows
I was singing ‘thou art weak and I am strong’
didn’t realize it till God stopped me
and said, ‘listen to what you are singing,
thou art weak and I am strong ‘
then God paused,
‘but maybe you’re right
maybe I taught you so well
I have something to learn
go your way strong one
and keep singing
I don’t have to worry about you’

TRAVEL

where are the two of us going?
how will we know when we arrive?
perhaps we are already there
if only we knew where we belonged
we do
but are we brave enough to go there?
are we traveling to or running from?
time to come out, come out wherever you are
and come home

A POEM

I didn’t have time for a poem this morning
my soul will dry up like the Fall leaves
I must water my soul and nourish my spirit
without nourishment I cannot survive
give me a poem, bathe me in the divine
I want to live
feed my soul, breath life into my spirit
give me a poem

STEVE & MARCIA’S HOUSE

steve & marcia live in florida
it is hot and humid and green and growing
animals, birds, insects, spiders live here too
does the house belong?
why dig a foundation?
the gopher tortoises were here first
only they can’t stake a claim or sign a mortgage
steve & marcia, cats, dogs, life, joy
they belong here

THE WRONG TURN

I made the wrong turn on the parkway
there was no sign or symptom to guide me
and I didn’t ask for directions
I had to reverse my self
it was hard but I did
I took a deep breath
let God take the wheel
and everything went in the right direction
God has had Her driver’s license longer than I have
I didn’t think I missed anything
but who knows what the good Lord wanted me to miss
that I am better off not running into
I guess I took the right turn
and learned how to turn things around
thank God

NATURE

white clouds, green grass
blue skies, sweet smelling breezes
words cannot share the experience,
awe, beauty and wonder of creation
until I realize
I am a white cloud
I am a soft, sweet smelling breeze
Now I can share the experience with you

A COUPLE

the ocean and the shore
confront
struggle
roar
embrace
conform
survive
a man and a woman
confront
struggle
roar
embrace
conform
thrive

DEATH

I die a little each day
one dies many times in a lifetime
before the liberating death
the many deaths are the events which plunge us into darkness
a difficult time and journey until we enter the rebirth canal
and climb back into the light to be born again
it gets harder to do the larger our ego gets
and the more we accumulate
but each death brings an opportunity for our rebirth if we have the courage
dying is easy
living can be difficult and painful
one day there will be a gift for us all
death
until then I will keep crawling to the light each time I die

FROM A DISTANCE

they sang, ‘God is watching us from a distance’
I don’t agree
I know God and it is a short trip to God
if you’d like me to introduce you
to yourself some day let me know
when I was a child
I thought God was way up there
a long way off
now I know God is here
those who understand know
that if you can’t see God
it’s because you can’t stoop low enough
or think you have to be tall enough to see in a mirror
be still, bend forward, get close to yourself
and water will reflect your Godliness too

BARRIER BEACH

the barrier beach makes us feel protected and safe
ha! the sea accepts no barriers
life is relentless
the shore withdraws, shifts, recedes
and achieves grace and beauty
gorgeous curves, secret islands
everything fits smoothly together
only the barrier beach stands straight and long
against the sea
it doesn’t fit
it is hard and straight
let go soften, shift, blend
be part of life
feel the pulse
remove the barrier to life
surrender and survive
cancer is a barrier
hard when you hold it in your hand
it’s growth threatens you
and hides your beauty
remove the barrier
let your life be exposed
grow love
weather the forces of nature

RAINBOWS

where are we all alike
so no photograph would reveal our identity?
where does our rainbow exist?
when I look inside you and you and you
I see the same gorgeous colors
and realize we are all the same inside
I know we are all one family
different on the outside so we can be identified
by others and forced to accept and know ourselves

WHICH WAY

what should I do when I have a choice?
which fork in the road do I follow?
follow the right fork
by taking them both
they are the beginning of a circle you cannot see
all roads lead to the same place
they bring you home
like a river which flows to the sea
they bring you home
completing the circle of life

OUT OF MY MIND

I am usually out of my mind
There is no where else
I’d rather come from
or go to
or be
Sometimes I get lost in my thoughts
I struggle to find my way out
of my mind
And into my body
So I can feel
and
Find my way
into my heart
and my right mind

AND THEN WHAT IS SO IMPORTANT

I can’t sleep
I need to get out of bed
And then I will write my book
And then I will enlighten the world
And then I arise
And then I uncover the rabbit cage
And then I open the cage
And then I rub her back
And then I feed her
And then I clean the cage
And then I clean the fish pond
And then I clean the kitty litter
And then I let our cats out
And then I fill the bird feeders
And then I walk our dog
And then I jog to Jeff’s house
And then I pet his lonesome cat
And then I use his exercise equipment
And then I feed his dogs
And then I check on his chickens
And then I feed his ducks
And then I go home
And then I eat breakfast with my wife and pets
And then I decide what my life is truly about
And to write the book tomorrow

ETERNITY

I am asked to be prepared for eternity
How do I prepare?
Where will I spend it?
Fine questions for philosophers
I don’t have that problem
Eternity troubles me not at all
I am having trouble with today
If I can master today
Eternity will take care of itself
Eternity from what I know of it
Can’t be as much trouble as today
When eternity comes
I’ll take it one day at a time

TREES

I watch the trees grow and branch
Reaching out and upwards
Why?
What directs them?
Who guides them?
What voice speaks to them?
About how to grow, reach, divide
Ever upwards towards what?
Is it the sun?
Something more pulls them skywards
Maybe we need to raise our arms towards the sky
And find the answer

NATURE

White clouds, green grass
Blue skies, sweet smelling breezes
Words cannot share the experience, awe, beauty and wonder
I am a white cloud
I am a soft, sweet smelling breeze
Now I can share the experience with you.

THE GREAT TEACHER

Death what a great teacher you are
Yet few of us elect to take your class
And learn about life
That is the essence of death’s teaching
Death is not an elective
We must all take the class
The wise students audit the class in their early years
And find enlightenment
They are prepared when graduation day comes
It is your commencement

INTRODUCTIONS

the other day i introduced my right hand to my body
i thought they ought to know each other better
people said, “that’s crazy. they already know each other.
they’re all part of the same thing-
come from the same thing-
made of the same thing.
they don’t need an introduction.”
i was thinking when i get to heaven and they ask me if i want to be introduced to god
i’ll say, “that’s crazy. we already know each other.
we’re all part of the same thing-
come from the same thing-
made of the same thing.
we don’t need an introduction.
we already know each other.
just tell him his right hand is here.”

DAY

A beautiful day
Warm sun, Clear sky
Nature glistens
Thank you for warming me
I will reflect the warmth and beauty
You have given me
I accept it, rejoice and shine

CATS

Cats
You might as well say trees
There are no cats
There is Miracle, Penny, Dickens and Gabriel
My wife says Penny Penelope
Little Boy Blue Dickens,
and Angel Gabriel
To be precise
They are only cats
As an oak, aspen, maple or fir
Is only a tree
They are unique in appearance and character
Talk, pet, hold, bathe
Sleep with
Play with
Embrace a divine creation
God created cats and trees
And saw that they were good

TIME

Time to do
Time to be
It is the only thing
If we had time
We do
But we don’t
It is
But we are not
When we are
There is time for everything
It is now
Do it in your life time

TIME

Does your wrist watch the time?
Is it real?
Does time exist?
Does a tree tell the time?
Does the ocean know what time it is?
Does your body?
Do they care?
Who created time?
Who said you are late?
What is late?
Why is it one o’clock?
Does the universe have a schedule?
In the divine there is time for everything
It is always the right time
You are never too late
Love is like that
Time is lost in love
It is divine

MY GRANDDAUGHTER

It is love at first sight
I hold her in my arms
Her eyelids flutter
She makes sounds
Do I satisfy her?
What does she want of me?
I bathe her skin
I feed her lips
Her head on my chest
She smiles
Her eyes close
I do not move
Nor do I desire to ever move again
The cuckoo speaks the time
The door lets her mother in
I am torn apart
I want my granddaughter

Jeff’s Poem
Water Of Death

The wondrous ocean,
Blue with white spray.
Birds overhead,
Finding their way.
Fish in the water,
Feed in the bay.
But now it is winter,
the spray is all gone.
The blue matted down,
With a slick miles long.
Without clean water,
The seals can not spawn.
Not to mention the whale,
Almost all gone.
When fish float on water,
And birds die on land.
It’s time for the people,
To all take a stand.
There is no excuse,
For the loss of the sea.
Don’t people understand,
Can’t they see?

PRECIOUS STONES

the stone had chiseled on its face
the years months and days he lived
were they precious, treasured, counted and remembered
or was his life a sentence to be lived out
stop and think
the time we spend doesn’t change
are we living or dying
free or imprisoned
gift or burden
years, months, days
hours, seconds
time
how will you spend your sentence
until you make a precious stone

JOURNEY

bernie is my name
short for bernard
my parents like bernard
but i became bernie
it’s easier to be bernie
he called me journey
he knew my name
but made me journey
that was a long time ago
i thought his disease confused him
now i know
i am a journey
he was right

SUICIDE

why think it?
why bother with life?
what’s the point?
it is so easy to stop living
why take the easy way out
chicken
take the challenge
take the pain
live
have surgery without anesthesia
then life seems easy

FOOTSTEPS

I trudged through the snow finding my way
deciding where I will go on this day
the snow is deep
the path a struggle
and then I see
someone has walked this path before
I follow his footsteps
the walk is easier
I realize god doesn’t have to carry me
there are many gods who precede me
and create one set of footprints where many may go

FOOTPRINTS

it snowed
I left one set of footprints
I remember the story of god saying, ‘I carried you.’
to a troubled man who looked for two sets of footprints
his and god’s
and he understood why there was only one
god carried him
I see how deep my prints are
I am carrying someone too
lovers do that

FOOTPRINTS

the snow has turned to ice
the footprints are rigid
unyielding
I leave the path
to find
my way over
the treacherous ice
sinatra will be happy
and god too
when they see that
I did it
my way

A BEAUTIFUL BURDEN

(if you don’t go i’ll have heavy heart, if you do go, i’ll have hernia)
my wife and i often travel together
we are a team sharing fair and foul weather
at times our travels take us into the air
i carry all the luggage in order her back to spare
i’ve heard love makes one’s burden lighter
but bobbie’s bags would burst if packed any tighter
so i brave the chance of a hernia
since she makes my day much brighter
i learned from traveling alone
that the load is really no lighter
for a lonely heart weighs more
than a bag that can’t be packed any tighter

BIBLE II THE OTHER VERSION

the lord is my persecutor
i have many needs
he maketh me to lie down on beds of nails
he leadeth me into the stormy sea
he troubles my soul
he misleadeth me into the paths of unrighteousness for no reason
yea when i walk through the valley of the shadow of death
i have plenty to worry about and fear
for thou art on vacation
they rod and thy staff i keep tripping over
thou preparest a table with no utensils in the presence of mine enemies
thou messest up my hair
my cup runneth over and spills a hot drink into my lap
surely misery and punishment will follow me all the days of my life
and i shall dwell in the basement of the lord’s house forever

I FEEL MY HEART

I feel my heart inside me
I feel my life inside me
I feel my heart contract
I feel my life rock to its rhythm
I feel my heart beat
I feel my heart
I feel my life
I feel
I

I DIDN’T WRITE A POEM

I didn’t write a poem
I talked to one today
I met a beautiful child
You say all children are beautiful
Yes, until they meet their co-creators
Then the poem is often ruined
Losing its rhyme and rhythm
When you meet a beloved child
It is pure poetry
The rhyme and the rhythm are perfect
I wish I were a better creator of poems

CREATION

man creates a heart lung machine
does open heart surgery and says
“That’s great”
God creates a tree and sees that it is good
man creates a dialysis machine and says,
“that’s fabulous”
God creates a fish and sees that it is good
man does transplant surgery and says,
“that’s incredible
God creates a man and doesn’t say it is good
the man wounds his finger
and covers it with a band aid
the wound heals
the tree grows
the fish swims
the open heart patient dies
the dialysis patient dies
the transplant is rejected
what do we say now?
we say creation cannot be matched
so stop trampling upon it
and become a co-creator

ELEVATOR

the elevator door opened
I got on the elevator with three doctors
how did I know they were doctors?
they didn’t speak, smile, nod or acknowledge me
at the lobby we parted strangers
i’d rather get on the elevator with three dogs
we’d bark, sniff, growl, and rub against each other
and maybe leave a few scents for the maintenance crew
four friends depart in the lobby
promising to sniff each other out again

LASSIE

I love lassie
lassie loves me
lassie is love
a dog
a dog
a dog teaches love
I am going to set my sights on becoming a dog
I have a role model now

AWAKEN MY LOVE

it’s time to get up
but we are not at home
no living alarm clock
no cats to purr
pounce on her chest
awaken her with a cold nose on her chin
I love her
so I do my best
I pounce on her chest
purr loudly
and put my cold nose on her chin
it works
she awakens
with a smile
to my love

LIFE 101

when is our final exam?
today is the date
the teacher writes this question on the slate

WHY?

we have a lifetime to answer
is it because?
why not?
to learn lessons?
God knows
no, they do not pass the test
I pray for the answer
I know
yes
the correct answer to life’s final exam is no guess

WHY?

to reveal our love
to reveal our compassion
to reveal our God
leave it to God to give us this test
to teach us to be Gods

HONEY

she calls me honey
but I am not sweet
her call is a gift to me
I sweeten and blend into the honey
I dissolve in her kindness
it sweetens our life even more
Honey
i’ll try

POCKETBOOKS

honey do you have the correct change?
keys? cough drops?
it matters not what I ask for
she says, “yes, right here in my pocketbook.”
ah, then the search begins
time passes, hope is almost gone
yes! there it is in a corner
a hidden pocket
we need to outlaw pocketbooks
increase the efficiency of the human race
and stop testing relationships
no more pocketbooks in public places
they are detrimental to our health

TO MY WIFE

I don’t need a mother
but I do need a wife
someone to walk beside me for the rest of my life
not to tell me
blow your nose
dry between the toes
but to stop with me and smell a rose
I don’t want a mother
but I do want a wife
not to tell me
wash the food from your face
slow down your pace
eating is not a race
but to walk beside me at the same pace
i’ve always had a mother
and now I have a wife
and I will be her loving husband
for the rest of my life

MOTHER

what can I give you on mother’s day?
no card is clever enough
no jewel sparkles enough
no words say enough
perhaps one gift is enough
my life
to thank you for it
to live it with the love you bestowed upon it
and to share that love with all the world
you are now the mother of the world
you are eve in the garden

THE FUEL OF LIFE

those who want love create a chill
they extinguish life’s flame
no love can be born here
those who give birth to love create a flame
touch my arm
grip my hand
feel the fire burning inside
feel the temperature of love, passion and warm tears

ROOM SERVICE

how come there’s a large glass of V-8
and only a small glass of grapefruit juice?
how come the sun shines?
how come ice floats?
who made the stars?
I can’t answer you
but I can look and wonder
don’t you love confronting a good mystery
or reading agatha christie

MIRROR

I use a mirror to see myself
but the mirror sees more
I am always holding up a mirror to my imperfections
the mirror laughs at me
it laughs because it sees the divine placed before it
it sees more than I do
it looks over my shoulder
I turn away from the mirror
and for the first time see myself

BRADLEY AIRPORT

we rise into the air
on a cold November day
the earth recedes
bare trees, starkness, brown patches,
islands of green warmth survive.
we stop rising
we stop growing
we touch down and return to earth
we are the earth receding
and the green growing
our flight is over

START

how do we change things?
how do we make a difference?
i’ll think about it
no, do not think
start to do
start to feel
start to act
start to be
no time to think
times are changing

RED SQUIRREL

a work of art crossed my path
a red squirrel
a better artist than picasso created him
my heart was changed by this creature
he has something I will never achieve
perfection in form, movement, life
I look for him everywhere in the hope we will meet
I want to feed him and sustain his beauty
to offer him a treat
the world needs its red squirrels
they are complete

HAPPINESS

I will not give my power away
it is my happiness, mine
I create it, not you
I decide to be, not you
you can come into my happiness
but you cannot create it or destroy it
you can only enlarge it
our daughter knows about happiness

GOING TO VIRGINIA

I met a lady at the airport
I was going to virginia
and virginia is for lovers
she is virginia too
I offered her a candy
she said no thanks
I see you have apricots
I do too
my wife fills my bag with good things
she must be a good woman
a gift from god
don’t take her for granted
a good wife is a gift from god
you going to virginia?
virginia is for lovers
yes I am I said
the read my redbook article on kisses
redbook, passion and virginia
when I get home I’ll tell my wife about virginia
and show her what I learned from virginia

HOME

is it a place or a feeling?
I know when I am home wherever I am
the peace within me lets me know I am home
I am surrounded by my home
sometimes I invite others into my home
no matter how many are there
the loved are always a part of my home
one day i’ll go to my permanent home
until then this one will do

COME IN

I want to leave the darkness
to enter the world of the enlightened
I cry out for help
I look for the light
I bang on the door
don’t leave me in the dark
let me in
finally, an answer
the door is opened
I have been inside all the time
I only need to open my eyes
and see the light within

CHOICES

black or white
night or day
liberty or death
inspire or inform
faith or wisdom
when death, the great decision maker, questions me
faith will be my answer

PRISON

who is in prison?
the criminal, the quadriplegic, you, me
I think there is only one prison
the mind
there are impenetrable walls that confine us
but when you open your mind
no one and no thing can imprison you

LOOK, SEE

We can’t know each other
Until we know ourselves
Who are we?
Does the mirror tell the truth?
No, it does not see inside me
Only I know how beautiful my inner garden is
I bloom and blossom unseen by anyone but the divine
How sad
Raise the blinds
Let the neighbors see the real me

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