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.

Nothing But Love

September 8, 2018

Love of the particular
is like a lever
which pries open the heart
at least a crack,
and let’s the light
of the universal
shine through.

Each beautiful sight,
each beautiful person,
is like a glimpse
of a greater beauty
we do not always see.

And when we love
without attachment,
the lever becomes a key,
which opens the door
to everything that can be loved,
to a universe
that is nothing but love.

This Little Light

July 17, 2018

Love isn’t like gold -
it’s not a treasure
to be hoarded,
or valued
for its scarcity.

It’s more like the flame
of a solitary candle,
which, if not hidden,
spreads its light
like a wildfire,
sparking new flames
in every heart
it touches.

Precious and ubiquitous,
fragile, God-given,
it is always on the verge
of sputtering out -
from our neglect,
or the urgent breath of fear;
or being fanned -
by the gentle breath
of compassion.

Our love,
like everything we do,
lives or dies
in the web of choices
we are always making.

It is who we are,
and what we do,
when we expose the light
that shines within us.

Letting Go

June 9, 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,
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!

The You I Imagined

October 22, 2017

The you
I imagined that you were
is the drink
I should not drink.

The you
that you really are
is a waft of fresh air,
a little gift,
part of the atmosphere
that I breathe gratefully,
happy to be alive
in a sea of kindred souls.

Momentary Angels

October 2, 2017

To love someone
or something
is to accept them totally,
exactly as they are.

It is celebrating
your connection with them,
and the subtle differences
that make them unique.

Love is accepting
that everything changes;
that the objects of our love
will eventually leave us,
in the natural flow
of living and dying.

Love is cherishing
our momentary angels,
our gifts in each moment,
without demanding more.

to love truly

September 22, 2017

Love is not desire
for someone
or something.

It is being open
for giving
and receiving,
without hopes
or expectations.

Love is not wanting;
wanting is only
imagined need,
for whatever
we seem to lack.

To love truly
is to feel complete,
to celebrate
what we already have,
what we already are,
which connects us
to everyone
and everything.

how to be a friend

September 13, 2017

I used to know
how to be a friend,
back when the story of “me”
seemed solid and definite,
a menu of how to feel,
what to expect,
how to act.

But, as I step outside this story,
observing it like snippets
of a remembered dream,
it seems slowly to crumble,
like a building made of air.

So here I stand,
without an edifice,
looking out from nothing
into nothing,
not knowing
what I should be.

Looking out into the world,
I can trust what created us
to let me be just as I am,
without a plan.

When I meet someone afresh,
I can likewise trust
this energy that binds us,
without a history,
in a moment of spontaneous creation.

So, if I met you again,
as if I had never met you,
as if there were no story,
I might discover
how to be your friend.

Standing in that common space,
we could be ourselves,
not striving for connection,
but enjoying what already is.


July 31, 2017

Love can be
like cool, clear water,
when it isn’t muddied
by need.

Relax your hold
on what you want to keep,
and revel in the flow,
as objects of love
come and go,
and what remains
is love itself.

All the love
we find outside ourselves
is only a mirror
of the love we are made of.

When we look back,
and see our own reflection,
then there is an end
to our search for completeness.

Gifts and Mementos

May 18, 2017

At this window,
I stand in a tableau
of past relationships,
mementos of learning,
bit by bit,
how to love,
and be loved.

This cat beside me
is a token of my marriage,
my adopted second son;
at first unwanted,
he has grown in my heart
to be part of my family,
a trusted companion.

Beside him sits an instrument,
a gift of music
that recalls the warmer moments
of a tumultuous romance,
many years past,
its bell tones recalling
the harmony and understanding
we were able to share,
within brief islands
of calm.

Beneath them is a table,
left, as she moved on
toward a new life
(and away from our entanglement),
by a loving friend.

Above us,
a set of delicate chimes
tinkle gently,
singing the spirit
of another beloved one,
now gone from this world;
its soft melodies,
like drifting smoke,
are my inheritance,
my remembrance.

Each of these
is another token of love
tried, failed, or fading
with time.

Standing here,
amidst these reminders,
I see how much reaching for love
has shaped my life,
and how, with its grace,
I will continue to learn
how to give it,
and how to receive.

To a Loved One

April 1, 2017

Something woke up
when we touched each other.

A flame was lit,
and it burns today.

Long are you gone,
though the fire lingers.

Your essence hovers,
like an angel,
lighting my way.