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.

The Craziest Part of Me

18 Jun 2018

When I was a younger man,
the craziest part of me
felt like the closest I could come
to being sacred.

Then, with age encroaching,
I strived to be more reasonable,
to quell my wilder impulses,
to protect myself
from the dissolution
of unfettered freedom.

And now,
as I see an end to this journey,
not as distant as it once was,
I can see the wisdom
that my younger self
could take on faith:
that we are all God’s wildest creatures,
blessed and cursed to find our way
beyond our own boundaries,
past what we think
is sane, or safe,
or reasonable.

The World We Live In

15 Jun 2018

This much I know
from the internet:
there is evil everywhere,
and everything is dangerous.

Why then,
do I walk outside
and see a world
full of beauty,
and so many people
willing to be kind?

Which is more useful:
the nightmare of our worst fears,
amplified through endless retelling,
or the dream of our true nature,
spread through the practice
of loving kindness?

We have a choice,
in what we read,
in what we say,
in what we do,
to act as if
we live in a world
we would all be happier
to live in,
until, through our vision
and our persistence,
it becomes reality
for everyone.

Truth

11 Jun 2018

Yes, there is a conspiracy,
a world-wide plot
to reprogram our minds.

The greedy
and the power-hungry
simply feed us
what we want to hear,
and we gobble it up,
always craving more.

We have become addicted
to the thrill of confirmation,
the morsels of thought
that paint our deepest fears
as real.

We are consumers
of a million nightmares,
packaged for our titillation,
offering us the uneasy sleep
of those who would trade tranquility
for the satisfaction
of being right.

We are their willing tools,
as long as we reach
for the next poison idea,
and take it as our own,
as if it were the truth.

And then we shout it out
to all who will listen,
spreading it like a virus,
sharing the poison
as if it were a gift.

We are like the walking dead,
willing slaves to those who thrive
on our fear and anger,
asleep to our own complicity.

We are their helpless co-conspirators,
until we pause, before each utterance,
and ask ourselves:
“Is it true?”
“Is it necessary?”
“Is it kind?”

The Beauty We See

09 Jun 2018

Is any particular person
more beautiful
than another?

Is any one thing
in this world
more beautiful
than any other thing?

Maybe the beauty we see
is only constrained
by what another person
will let shine through them,
or by what our way of looking
will allow us to see.

Letting Go

09 Jun 2018

If you have trouble letting go,
let yourself love a cat!

A cat will let you know
when you have loved too long,
or loved too much.

They will simply walk away
when the moment moves them,
and they will remind you,
forcefully,
when you won’t let go.

They are here
because they want to be,
enjoying the ease we offer them,
and, if we accept their gift
of teaching us how to let go,
then they will offer us that,
for free!

Choice

09 Jun 2018

I may like to think
that I’m smart,
but not everything I do
is smart.

I may like to think
that I’m kind,
but not everything I do
is kind.

I may like to think
that I’m mindful,
but I am often
not mindful.

Maybe what I am
is not always
what I like to think I am,
but is always only
what I choose to be
in that particular moment,
when I remember
that I have a choice.

Grace

29 May 2018

Grace does not come
from anywhere.

Grace is everywhere,
and it flows through us
when we open to it.

The more we open,
the more it shines,
within us,
and around us.

To My Facebook Friends

28 May 2018

When you cast your vitriol
out into the world,
please be mindful
of where it may go.

Words have power -
the power to sting,
the power to heal,
the power to create change.

When flung about carelessly,
they often miss their mark,
wounding innocent ears,
only spreading more rancor
within a sea of discord.

How sad, to pollute this public space
with more ugliness,
when, with a bit more care,
we could be planting seeds
of greater understanding,
healing the wounds
of our human family.

Those Who Suffer Most

26 May 2018

There are those
with the insight and compassion
to see what is needed in this world,
and the resources to provide it,
be it schools, or hospitals, or other means
to feed the myriad needs
of those who suffer most.

And there are those of us
who share that insight and compassion,
but lack the means
to fill those physical needs.

It is our calling, then,
to offer the despairing
what encouragement we can,
to offer hope
for those beyond hope,
to show a path for those
who no longer see a way
out of their own misery.

For us, who are blessed
with a modicum of comfort and security,
we may offer the promise,
to those who suffer most,
of what our own experience tells us:
that any human being,
empowered with the recognition
of their own worth,
may claim the dignity
that is rightfully theirs,
and find the will
to fight their own cause,
trusting in the power
of their own humanity.

Faceless

23 May 2018

Social media is a powerful and dangerous tool, giving us unprecedented opportunities to share thoughts and opinions with virtually everyone, for better or worse.

Used mindfully and compassionately, it can bring us together, supporting our shared humanity,
and strengthening our sense of community; used carelessly, it can tear us apart, spreading fear and hatred like a cancer.

The choice is ours.


How easily
we are seduced
by the thrill of judgement
and righteous indignation,
when we may vilify anyone,
in our digital jungle,
without the awkwardness
of having to face
whoever we attack.

How quickly
we have become
the faceless arbiters
of nearly everything,
railing against the world
that we imagine
in our darkest fears,
safe behind our screens,
marinating in our own opinions,
drunk with the agreement
of other angry souls.

How far we have fallen
down this slope of vitriol,
abandoning civility
and kindness,
when it is so much easier
to insult or accuse
than to face another human
with compassion and respect.

How have we forgotten
to talk to one another
as if objective reality mattered,
as if what we hold in common mattered,
as if EVERYONE mattered?

How have we ignored
the simple truth
that those we disapprove of
are human, too?

How can we reclaim
our shared humanity,
rejecting the dangerous myths
that seems to separate us,
and embracing
what binds us?