Beyond the world of discovery that music has been for me, there was always the bigger world, the universe of questions about what we’re a part of, how it works, and how to best fit into the larger whole.

My love of words, a fascination with scientific, philosophical, and spiritual inquiry, and a quiet determination to learn how to be a better human (and a happier man) have led me on a path of shaping my experience, breath by breath, into poems.

Here are some of them.

This Tangled Tango

September 6, 2019

I grow tired of people
appearing to want things
that I feel obliged to give,
unless I feel inclined
to discount and disparage
what they seem to want.

It’s the sad old dance
of one ego grasping at another,
a tangled tango of attachment,
desire, and fear.

Why is it so hard
to cast off this burden
and stand before another human
free of wanting,
open to the give and take
of spontaneous being?

Opening

September 6, 2019

When I open myself up,
sadness sometimes creeps in,
old stories of defeat and regret,
the pain of unmet expectations
lurking always in the background,
the underbelly of my experience.

And then,
when I give my full attention
to what is happening within me,
and around me,
there is this richness,
the immediacy
of all that bathes my senses,
and the sadness drifts away,
like a cloud dispersing,
and I am back
where I belong.

against a dappled sky

August 27, 2019

I am eating a hotdog,
leaning against my car
in the IKEA parking lot,
watching planes land
against a dappled sky.

In this perfect moment,
there is nothing missing,
and everything is enough.

Joy and Suffering

August 19, 2019

There will always
be suffering -
in our own lives,
and in the lives
of others.

The best we can do
is to practice kindness,
and remain open
to the joys
that will also come.

Memories

August 18, 2019

It is impossible
to live in the past,
and it is painful
to try.

Living in the present
has always been
the easiest way to be,
and so it always will be.

Nothing

August 4, 2019

After all these years
of striving for understanding,
I have discovered Nothing,
and that is enough
for me!

What We Are

August 2, 2019

How can we see perfection in a tree,
or in a sunset,
but not in ourselves,
or in each other?

Each one of us
is no less a miracle,
no less an expression
of the sublime.

A tree does not cripple itself
with self-judgement,
or analysis;
it simply is.

Why have we not learned this simple skill:
to accept ourselves for what we are,
as one more expression of the divine,
experiencing its own divinity,
and cherishing the divinity
of everything around us?

In a Foreign Land

July 25, 2019

As I walk this waterfront,
nothing is as it was
when I first came here,
many years ago.

It has become a playground for the rich,
with a few amenities thrown in,
as a gesture, for the rest of us.

I am just a visitor here,
a tourist from the past,
though this is still my own town,
and yet so different
from my memories.

And thus I am reminded
that everything is always changing
and always will change,
whether I want it to or not.

The more I lean into that,
as I stand here, a stranger in a foreign land,
the more vulnerable I begin to feel,
and the more alive.

The Web

July 22, 2019

There is a very troubled man
whose heart is entombed
in a bottomless ego,
so he will not feel his own pain,
or risk exposing it
to the world.

He has made his ego
his best friend,
and it is a loyal friend,
clever and resourceful.

It shows him how to use the pain
in the hearts of those around him
to gratify and protect him,
by telling those who will listen
exactly what they want to hear.

For those who would love him,
he feeds their anger and fear
with wild tales of imagined enemies,
and their evil plans
to crush what they hold dear.

For those who would loathe him,
he feeds their outrage
with what is most repugnant to them,
so they may feel strenghtened
by their own righteous anger.

And thus,
he feeds on the rage
he has engendered,
king of the web of hate
he has spun around him,
basking in the glory
of our attention.

The Comfort of the Dream

July 20, 2019

What is lost,
when we wake up,
is the comfort
of the dream.

We were lulled,
as we grew up,
with the sweet myths
of all the virtues
that the world we saw
was swaddled in,
blinding us, as well,
to its inherent vices.

And here we are,
bathed in the blinding light
of a million painful truths,
squinting past the glare
of our uglier side,
straining to see
the subtler shades
of our inherent beauty.