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.

Love and Grief

September 10, 2021

In the flow of energy
that we call life,
everything is impermanent,
and the things we love
pass in and out of existence,
along with everything else.

There is joy to be had
in what is present,
and grief in what is lost,
but what remains, always,
is Love itself.

If you open up your heart to grief,
it will open up to love as well -
love for what once was,
love for all that is,
and love for all
that will ever be.

In the Flow

August 29, 2021

A stream of water,
as it pours out of a pitcher,
has a particular shape and form,
as it it were a solid thing,
but, as our common sense will tell us,
it is a thing of that moment only,
and will lose its form
as soon as its flow ceases.

And how is the flow of life
any different?

Are we each not eddies
in the ebb and flow
of the flood of life?

In each of our fleeting forms
is a reflection of a great design,
an evanescent facet
of the gem of creation.

That is the gift we are given,
our each-ness in the all-ness,
and is that not enough?

What We Feel

August 26, 2021

Emotions
don’t need reasons.

Let them be,
and give them room
to breathe.

Let go of the need
to fix or understand them.

Breathe with them,
breathe into them.

Let them come and go
as they will,
and you will learn
to live with them
in peace.

We Are Not Our Egos

August 21, 2021

Every one of us has an ego, and I think it’s fair to say
that that’s what creates most of the mischief in this world.
What would it be like, I wonder,
if we managed to reduce the hold
they have over us?

How much energy do we squander,
stroking the egos of everyone around us,
and defending our own?

Is it kindness,
to play the fan of all the stories
we have made ourselves the stars of,
or is it mere avoidance,
the sidestepping of our fears
of being disapproved of?

How different would our world be
if we were always ready
to give the truth,
and to hear it?

If we could trust ourselves,
and each other,
that much,
it would be a different world,
indeed.

The Meaning of Meaning

August 2, 2021

When something “good” happens,
it doesn’t mean anything.

When something “bad” happens,
it doesn’t mean anything.

Nothing that happens
means anything
except to the extent
that you give it meaning.

Be more mindful
of what you give meaning to,
and much of your suffering
will give way to joy.

Don’t Be Afraid

July 22, 2021

Don’t be afraid
of your own energy.

You may label it
“good” or “bad”,
but it is just
the life force
of the universe,
expressing itself
through you.

You may have hidden from it,
for all these years,
because it felt bigger than you
and might swallow you up,
but it IS you,
and you are safe
in its embrace.

And you will know this
in your heart and soul,
when you stop struggling
against it.

The Crimson Moon

July 21, 2021

Almost twenty years ago, I looked south from this same spot,
at a sky filled with the scar of a senseless tragedy,
a horrific reminder of our failings as a species. Now,
the signs of a different type of tragedy call out to us,
if we’re only willing to hear.

A crimson moon pokes through a murky but cloudless sky,
the lights of the city muted, further landmarks erased from view,
the air tinged with the faint scent of distant conflagrations.

3000 miles from here, the world is on fire,
and we cannot ignore the message
that this smoke has traveled so far to tell us:
once again, we have brought catastrophe upon ourselves,
on our brothers and our sisters,
and we can no longer afford the luxury
of pretending we don’t see.

Embracing the Inevitable

July 5, 2021

There is no way to know what life will bring,
but there IS a way to be ready for it.

Why do we try so hard
to avoid the inevitable?

Embrace it,
and a door will open
to all things possible.

There will be pain
and discomfort,
sadness and regret.

And also,
the boundless joy
of feeling fully alive.

alpha and omega

May 7, 2021

If there is no God
watching over us,
then it’s just us,
watching over ourselves.

We are the alpha
and omega,
sharing the burden
of our existence.

All that is promised
or threatened
is in our hands.

What would Mr. Rogers say? ​

May 2, 2021

As I learn to be a better friend
to the child within me,
I might ask myself
(when I am at a loss
for words of comfort)
“What would Mr. Rogers say?”

And I would say
(as he might say):
“It’s OK to feel sad;
It’s OK to be afraid.

You are enough,
and you are lovable,
exactly as you are!”