Tuesday, March 31, 2015


ROUND

                         From celebrations when you’re born
                         To lamentations loved ones mourn:
                         Your life’s a circle turning round
                         From birth canal to earthy mound:
                         Thus fit it is to mark in rhyme
                         Your start and end in mortal time.









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Monday, March 30, 2015

FOR EVER AND EVER

for Ervin Laszlo


            Let’s say, as many do, we do not die
            But rather, pass away into a zone
            That disembodied spirits occupy,
            The tale of which from ancient times we’ve known.

            No longer just a superstitious fable,
            But validated now objectively,
            Not by a medium with a wobbly table
            But protocols that prove veracity,

            The afterlife exists, to be explored
            By those of us still on this earthly plane
            To learn what revelations ghosts afford
            And what enigmas spirits might explain.

                 But best of all—to know that we’ll persist
                 And reunite with loved ones we have missed.









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Sunday, March 29, 2015

SUNDAY AT ROLLINS














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ALL THIS

            There’s more to this than we now comprehend
            In our developing cosmology
            About the origin and likely end
            Of what, if anything, we’re meant to be.

            Is ours the only mind that has emerged
            Within the vastness of the universe?
            Are we on track, or has our race diverged
            Since long ago incurring God’s stern curse?

            Or are those ancient stories primitive
            Attempts at making sense of what we now
            Seek answers that our scientists can give,
            Who may not answer why, but when and how?

                 The theory toward which I feel most inclined
                 Is that all things that matter come from mind.









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Saturday, March 28, 2015


DESIGN

            Quite evidently, here on Earth we find
            An agency we’ve designated Mind,
            The origin of order and control,
            Assembling many parts into one whole:


            Good Orderly Direction, nicknamed GOD,
            Not a despotic ruler with a rod
            But a generous provider now called Source
            To which for all our needs we have recourse.

            Despite the seeming chaos and real pain

            That mortal earthly wayfarers sustain,
            There’s comfort to be found for misery
            Acknowledging this cosmic mystery.

                 Though enigmatic, history’s not blind,
                 For Mind’s involved in everything designed.









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Friday, March 27, 2015

HOMO SAPIENS SAPIENS II

            How silly to have thought that out of dust,
            Of dirt, of mud, of clay there might arise
            Spontaneously a creature with a lust
            For life and the intent of growing wise.

            And yet we’re here and doubly sapient,
            Aware that we’re aware and aiming higher;
            Though wisdom is not clearly evident,
            It is the prospect toward which we aspire.

            But still we’re far from mastering that art,
            And folly, more than wisdom, seems our game,
            And sapience means more than being smart,
            But is a penchant for avoiding blame.

                 We’ll know we have fulfilled our destiny
                 When happiness is our propensity.








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Thursday, March 26, 2015

HUMANKIND

            Aggression, dominance, conquest and such
            Behaviors we applaud as masculine
            Just demonstrate how far we’re out of touch
            With kindliness and love, and lost in sin.

            Life in the jungle may have given rise
            To such warlike behaviors in our past,
            But Homo sapiens will not grow wise
            Till gentle generosity rules at last.

            Until each person feels safe and secure
            With every opportunity to grow,
            Peace and civility will not endure,
            Antagonism being all we’ll know.

                 The greatest stride toward which we are inclined
                 Will make us all allied as humankind.









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Wednesday, March 25, 2015


SOURCE

            ALL has proceeded from the cosmic Source,
            Disbursed into the universe on course
            To occupy what formerly was void
            But now by such as us may be enjoyed.

            The truth of this has grown evident
            To science proving purposeful intent:
            A cosmos that’s amazingly designed
            To show that all that matters comes from mind.








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Monday, March 23, 2015

ROUND AND ROUND

            Your consciousness continues when you die
            And may again incarnate here on Earth
            Allowing you to take another try
            At building virtues adding to your worth.

            The purpose of your soul is to advance
            In virtue, meeting challenges with grace,
            Like learning movements in a complex dance
            And dealing capably with all you face.

            It’s loving kindness you are here to learn—
            Extending it to everyone you meet,
            For loving is our ultimate concern,
            Without which no one’s life can be complete.

                 Just as a couplet ends this sonnet’s form,
                 The linkages of love become our norm.









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Sunday, March 22, 2015


BE HERE NOW

            I read and would believe that mind survives
            The death of bodies destined for the grave,
            That something deeply mystical contrives
            To elude the horror of that dark enclave.

            Mind is what’s real in the deepest sense,
            For matter is but thought made manifest
            As palpable, illusory evidence
            Of what one would not otherwise attest.

            But still reality, as Plato knew,
            Is not materiality but form,
            Not wispy figments in perceptual view;
            Instead, some constant, underlying norm.

                 And yet this reasoning is too abstract,
                 For nothing’s more consoling than plain fact.







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Saturday, March 21, 2015


 THE LAST FRONTIER
 
            The Last Frontier is where we meet our end,
            The end, at least, of what we know is so,
            For where we go around our earthly bend
            It’s said we may ascend or go below.

            It’s also said we go nowhere at all:
            That all we are evaporates like breath
            And nothing animate survives our fall,
            That nothing is more absolute than death.

            But then another view has long held sway
            Assuring us our souls will never die
            But reincarnate in a new array,
            Beginning a fresh venture by and by.

                 The evidence of this, though oft denied,
                 Suffices to ensure our souls abide.








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Thursday, March 19, 2015




ALIGNED WITH MIND

I

            How did this vasty cosmos come to be,
            This seeming endless universal sea?
            Is there a singular controlling force,
            Its guiding genius and its covert source:
            Good Orderly Direction we’ve named “GOD,”
            Personified as shepherd with a rod?

            But pastoral imagery is not our mode
            As in the days when huts were our abode.
            Our brightest answer now is that it’s Mind
            By which the whole shebang has been designed,
            An intellect with which we are imbued,
            Defining goals appropriately pursued.

                 Above all else, our mission’s to ensure
                 This grand experiment will long endure.



II

            Each person’s a receptacle of mind
            And thus with all eternity aligned,
            While toward some latent destiny inclined
            That introspectively may be divined.

            Discovering for what you’re best designed,
            Which latent talents need to be refined
            And with whatever resources combined
            Are topics worthiest to be opined.








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Wednesday, March 18, 2015




ONE MIND REDUX

 for Larry Dossey


            Within the cosmic ocean we call Mind
            Swim countless creatures variously designed,
            Whose histories are mystically entwined
            Though each with its own destiny aligned.

            To this grand mystery we’re mostly blind,
            Though visionaries have sometimes divined
            The nature of the providence behind
            That veil which hides the fates of humankind.







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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

AUBADE

            What benefits have I to bring the world,
            What capabilities as yet unfurled,
            What gifts that generous nature has bestowed
            For me to pass along in my own mode?

            Apparently, it has to do with song
            When words and rhymes and meters go along,
            Finding their way, discovering new thought
            Revealing what I didn’t know I sought.

            Just as the birds now waken with the dawn,
            Wafting their songs across the lightening lawn,
            I feel a kindred impulse to declare
            Whatever I’ve melodious to share,

                 Contributing to nature’s harmonies
                 With nothing more intended than to please.









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Monday, March 16, 2015



THE DYER’S HAND

            With peace and love and kindness as our norm,
            Those traits to which we’ve promised to conform

            Why is it that for “entertainment” we
            Watch movies filled with mayhem’s misery?

            Is it to teach a lesson and appall
            Us with reminders of our fabled Fall
            Lest we forget there’s something in each soul
            That’s dangerous if we lose self-control?

            Is it a way we may inoculate
            Our vulnerable selves against a venomous fate
            By witnessing in fiction what in fact
            Would kill us if we were the ones attacked?

                 That this is wrong, the Bard once told us why:
                 The dyer’s hand is colored by the dye.









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Sunday, March 15, 2015


TOWARD
A GLOBAL WISDOM CULTURE II

            We humans have evolved to consciousness
            Above the ken of other creatures’ reach,
            Enabling our endeavors to progress
            Beyond each rival species’ narrow niche.

            Yet how we choose to use our intellect
            Will prove if we are truly sapient
            And worthy of the Universe’ respect,
            Or tragically a failed experiment.

            We’re now too powerful and dangerous
            Not to wake up and finally realize
            Impending perils are too ominous
            For Homo sapiens not to grow wise.

                 While current foolish ways are bound to fail,
                 A Global Wisdom Culture might prevail.








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Saturday, March 14, 2015

OUR NEXT FRONTIER

            What is the next significant frontier

            To be transcended by our human race, 
            The next important barrier to clear            
            Now we have entered into outer space? 

            I speculate it’s something in our mind, 
            Some latency that’s still to be released, 
            Some lurking virtue not as yet refined
            By which our species’ worth will be increased.
  
            It’s wisdom that our kind has ever sought, 
            The sapience for which we’re doubly named, 
            Discerning how to do that which we ought 
            Instead of foolish deeds for which we’re blamed. 

                 Once Homo sapiens avoids that trap, 
                 We’ll rise above our rep as Homo sap.








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Friday, March 13, 2015


THE SHIFT
            
            In some imagined futures, aliens
            Come to our world with good or ill intents;
            How we fare in those meetings all depends
            On how wisely we manage such events.

            The preparation we’d best undertake
            Is to present such visitors with clear,
            Compelling evidence that we’re awake
            To wisdom and hold peace and loving dear.


            It’s only on such terms that we’ll survive,
            Whether or not such creatures visit us,

            And if our troubled species is to thrive,
            We’ll shape a culture that’s less ominous.

                 A Global Wisdom Culture would entail
                 A shift to make our species whole and hale.








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Thursday, March 12, 2015

HOMO SAPIENS SAPIENS

            What wisdom have we humans yet to master
            To govern our wayward intelligence
            And spare us from the inevitable disaster
            Our follies will soon reap as recompense?


            When Homo sapiens sapiens grows sapient
            Indeed, and not in aspiration merely;
            When we have straightened out in us what’s bent,
            We’ll recognize what we have longed for dearly:

            The sanity of wholeness and good health,
            Prerequisites for durable well-being,
            Of all treasures, the highest kind of wealth
            And for one’s soul what’s ultimately freeing.

                 The wisdom to discern what’s best for all
                 If mastered will redeem us from our fall.








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Wednesday, March 11, 2015


THE CYNIC

            This little dog tucked in beside my hip
            And the chair arm serves as my morning muse
            While I sit here to contemplate and sip
            My cafĂ©-latte brew, looking for clues:

            A word, a phrase, a topic to explore,
            Some question that needs pondering in verse,
            A theme to make imagination soar
            Prompting apt words and phrases to disburse.

            As you might sense, my pup’s abandoned me,
            Hopped down to nestle in her cozy bed,
            Dismayed to find me writing poetry
            About itself, a subject best unsaid.

                 Come back, dear doggie, and I’ll write of you
                 And all the many pleasures you pursue.









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Tuesday, March 10, 2015



ON CREATING
 A GLOBAL WISDOM CULTURE

            “Before your ‘Global Wisdom' can begin,
            There’s Malice, Evil, Wickedness and Sin
            To overcome—all manner of ill will
            Leading us to torture, maim and kill.

            There’s something deeply bent in human souls,
            Perverting us from reaching higher goals,
            And by such malice is our race enslaved
            With little prospect of our being saved.”

            So say the cynics, lost in thoughts of sin,
            Certain there’s no way wisdom can win:
            Not goodness, love, solicitude and care,
            Motives too fragile, vulnerable and rare.

                 And yet, just as in day the sun shines bright,
                 We see clear evidence of Loving Light.








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Monday, March 9, 2015





THE U-U WAY

            The Unitarian-Universalists           
            Are truly catholic (but uncapitalized)           
            In that their fundamental creed consists            
            Of principles that reason has surmised 
                 Pertaining to the whole of humankind                 
                 With which clear-thinking members are aligned.

            They’re dubious of dogmas handed down            
            From superstitious eras before thought            
            Evolved, when simply someone with a crown          
            Could dictate principles for which we fought.                 
                 The U-U faith is that mentality                 
                 That’s sound and kind should shape reality.








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Saturday, March 7, 2015


THE OVERSOUL

          What is that Oversoul that Emerson
          Affirmed but what some scholars now call Mind?
          It is the Ultimate, the Cosmic One
          By which all of creation is designed.

          Although by some Mind is personified
          Poetically, hence less mysterious,
          A patron who is lovingly allied
          And eager to provide and foster us,

          A more abstract conception pleases those
          Who see the cosmos as a vast machine
          Which from organic principles arose
          Impersonal, implacable, unseen.

               I say we humans cannot be more whole
               Than that from which we spring—the Oversoul.









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Friday, March 6, 2015


GOOD ORDERLY DIRECTION, II

          How comforting that underlying all
          Of space and time exists a cosmic mind
          And not a vacancy that would appall,
          But yet a cause by which all is designed.

          It does not call for faith to verify
          The truth of mind, since human science shows
          How evidential principles apply
          Beyond what metaphysics might disclose.

          Good Orderly Direction’s now revealed
          As an implicit universal force
          Although by faulty science long concealed,
          Yet now demonstrably our cosmic Source.

               Our mission’s then to comprehend this mind
               And live by principles that GOD’s defined.








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Thursday, March 5, 2015


THE RATIONALIST’S CREED

          I’d rather know in truth than trust in faith
          The declarations of some “Holy Wraith”:
          It’s science that will show the rightful way
          And dictate what commandments to obey
          If we’re to thrive in earthly enterprises
          Meeting whatever challenge here arises,
          And simply common sense reveals that love
          Is what our noblest goals are fashioned of.
          But superstition and idolatry
          Have over eons bred such misery
          That thoughtful people cannot but deplore
          The oxymoron of “religious war.”
               A blind belief in someone’s “holy word”
               Instead of truth is patently absurd.








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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

MIND MATTERS

for Ervin Laszlo


I

          Though other theories have prevailed till now,          
          With matter being assumed the building block          
          Of all there is, a thing and not a Thou,           
          The universe not spirit but a clock, 
          
          An older view has lately been revived:           
          That Mind’s the elemental guiding force
          By which the budding cosmos is contrived,          
          And Spirit is its fundamental Source.

   
            Mind matters more than we have long believed
  
             Being the womb in which the world’s conceived.


II

          That we are here is evidence enough 
          The universe is made of more than stuff,          
           But rather is invested with a mind 
           By which the blooming cosmos is designed.  
         
          Mere random rolls of dice could never build 
          The complex universe we’re here to see, 
          And such an enterprise was clearly willed
          Then surely through invention came to be. 
           
          The proof of this is that we’re here to show 
          By our own deeds the way a mind proceeds:
          This very poem demonstrates the flow
          Of thought that fills a certain pattern’s needs,

  
             And thus it is the universe is made
  
             From form and matter thoughtfully arrayed.


   III

          It’s Mind that finds or generates the stuff          
          From which materiality is made,          
          But matter in itself is not enough,          
          So Mind decides how it is best arrayed, 
         
          And thus it was the Cosmos came to be          
          And thence evolved to what it is today,          
          A function of expressed mentality           
          That may, through us, have more still to display. 
          
          For all we know, we’re evolution’s edge,           
          On whom the growing cosmos now depends,          
          For it’s our duty and our privilege           
          To realize where cosmic progress tends—

    
          Taking the greatest stride we’ve ever stridden,
   
           Revealing those deep secrets Mind has hidden.







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Tuesday, March 3, 2015


OPPOSITES

for Richard Wilbur

          High-minded and high-handed are opposed,
          As a good dictionary will have glosed:
          The one being elevated and profound;
          The other rife where scoundrels abound.








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Monday, March 2, 2015




I WANT IT NOW!

          The problem with emotion-backed demands
          Is how they bind your mind and tie your hands;
          Whereas if you’d let go and just be calm,
          You’d feel the healing of that heavenly balm
          Which patience and serenity supply
          And Providence will render by and by.









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Sunday, March 1, 2015


THE PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION

          The Prairie Home Companion’s on tonight
          For those of us who stay in Saturdays,
          A folksy and old-fashioned ear’s delight
          For us accustomed to the inward gaze,
          Trained by the radio in our childhood
          To see with just imagination’s eye
          What otherwise would not be understood,
          Except as fiction readers learn to spy.
          The two-hour’s traffic of this medley,
          Performed on stage in a Twin City’s hall,
          Consists of music, songs and repartee,
          Variety enough to please us all
               Capped off by Garrison’s weekly reviews
               Of his hometown, Lake Wobegon’s breaking news.









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