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.

Talking to Myself

August 14, 2018

Sometimes,
I hear a little whine
pass through me,
saying: “Does anybody care
how I feel?”,
and I say gently
“No, not even me!

I’m just sitting here,
watching peacefully,
as these thoughts and feelings flow by,
like flotsam and jetsam
floating in a stream
beside me.”

The Nation of “Me”

August 12, 2018

With thanks to Bill Bryson for “A Short History of Nearly Everything”,
which may be the best book ever written about what we are and how we got here

There are trillions
of living entities
inside my body
which allow me
to be “me”.

Each human cell
is a citizen
of the great nation
of “me”,
each doing it’s part
to sustain my life.

Each microorganism
which lives inside me
is an immigrant,
some of them
thieves and murderers,
but most of them partners
in the task of keeping me alive.

They go on about their business
without thinking of me,
intent on their own survival.

Sometimes they send me messages,
of wellbeing or pain,
and I do my best to listen.

And when I think of them,
I send them my love,
thanking them for the gift
of being alive
in this body.

Relax!

August 12, 2018

Relax into the “isness”
of the business
you are doing,
and you will find relief
from all the grief
that resisting it
has brought you.

Music

August 9, 2018

Music is the universal language.

It speaks directly
to the heart and soul
of all that lives,
all cultures,
all species.

It brings comfort
to the savage beast,
even to the uneasy plant,
reminding everything alive
that we are not separate,
that we are,
in our essence,
all the same.

All You Need

August 9, 2018

reflections on the 50th anniversary theatrical re-release of Yellow Submarine

Fifty years ago,
I sat gobsmacked,
bathed in this exuberant spirit,
this flood of fantasmagoria
streaming off the screen,
the music’s mysterious power
suffusing me.

My young mind
was mesmerized,
awash in this beautiful fable
of love and music
conquering all.

It was a naive dream,
a perfect salve
for the flower children
of a privileged generation,
not yet exposed
to the relentless reality
of human suffering.

Fifty years later,
I am again gobsmacked,
bowled over by the richness
of this sense memory,
revived in all its glory,
and the truth,
rekindled by its brilliance,
that it still conveys:

In a world of suffering
and violence,
all you ever really need
is love.

Our Restless Minds

August 6, 2018

With deep gratitude to Pema Chodron,
for her earthy, cogent, and compassionate teachings

Most of our thoughts
are just the burps and farts
of a restless mind,
stewing in it’s own turmoil.

They are like noxious gases
which foul our inner world,
for as long as we hold on to them.

They will fester and ripen,
like a fart in a space suit,
unless we let them go,
to dissipate in the open air.

And so it is,
that these suits we weave around us
(to protect our inner space
from imagined dangers)
do little more than stifle us,
as we slowly suffocate
in our own emotional waste.

But to smell this stench
can be all impetus we need
to jump outside
of what we thought we were
(this costume, this little mind,
this imaginary person),
into the magnificent freedom
of what we truly are,
and the sweet smell
of reality.

Ignorance

August 6, 2018

We are all ignorant,
in one way or another.

There are those of us
who are unaware
of their own ignorance,
and those who are complacent
in their ignorance.

And there are those
who revel in their ignorance,
and some who promote
the ignorance of others.

Ignorance is comfortable,
until it is examined;
we are either part of the problem,
or part of the solution.

To Err Is Human…

August 1, 2018

Laughter
is our joyful recognition
of our own fallibility,
and of our desperate attempts
to conceal it.

A zen way of driving

July 31, 2018

In gratitude to the luminous spirit
and profound teaching of Thích Nhất Hạnh

Stuck in traffic,
as a seed of irritation
germinated in my thoughts,
I asked myself
“What would Thay do?”

I remembered, then,
that I had been given a gift,
the time to simply breathe,
relaxing, doing nothing,
as I let the sights
and sounds of the day
wash over me,
bathing in the moment,
grateful and content.

Trying

July 30, 2018

I was walking on a long path,
trying to get somewhere.

Suddenly I stopped,
and I was in a beautiful place!