Thursday, December 25, 2008


Why honor Jesus on this his presumed birthday?

Not, I think, for any magical or mythical reasons like virgin birth, a bright star, walking on water, raising the dead, or rising from death—or for godhood. These are fairy tale embellishments to create awe and reverence in credulous minds.

No, the reason is self-sacrificing love, a principle Jesus taught and lived by.

The reason is mercy and forgiveness, attitudes to quell our natural impulses of anger and hatred and violence.

The reason is tolerance and forbearance, acceptance and congeniality—the profound recognition of our kinship as human beings, our brotherhood and sisterhood—which implies kindness.

The reason is peace rather than conflict, joy rather than despair, and love rather than fear.

Praise that in him and in ourselves. Honor Jesus and you honor that: Peace, Joy and Love.


Thursday, December 18, 2008


The opposite of fear some say is Love,
But more precisely I’d say Confidence,
A trust not in some saving power above,
But in one’s inner source of self-defense,
And that’s discovered through experience:
The more you practice at the arts of life—
Truth, care, cooperation and good sense—
The less you’ll find of dissonance and strife.
Tranquility abides where fear was rife.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Though some are moved by gratitude to pray
For what they see as “blessings” they’ve been given,
Their benefactor God will also slay
The disobedient whose souls aren’t shriven.

And what of all those innocents who die
From famine and disease in misery?
Is that beneficent?  Would God deny
Their pleas? How good is such a deity?

No, I won’t pray to thank or to appease
A mystery that some personify,
And yet there’s something that my heart agrees
Transcends the known and answers to our “Why?”

It’s wonder, awe, amazement that I feel
Which makes me think this mystery is real.


Monday, December 15, 2008


Above his door Ralph Waldo posted “Whim”
(Unlikely from a man who looked so dour),
But Transcendentalists are not so grim
As Calvinists, with Heaven’s bliss more sure.



To do or stew?
One way you’ll rue.

With much ado
You must pursue
What’s good and true
And thus eschew
What makes you blue.

I’m telling you
To say adieu
To sorrow’s brew,
So take my cue
And get a clue—

Or else: boohoo.


Sunday, December 14, 2008


No matter how intensely moved you feel
By passions or by curiosity
To pour your heart out in the hope to heal
Your anguish of emotional misery
Or satiate your intellectual quest
By singing in a sonnet's classic song,
Another need will also be expressed,
Much more dispassionate, though just as strong.

For all its history of pathos sung,
The sonnet is a subtle source of fun
As line by line its syllables are strung
With rhymes and measured beats until it’s done.

The poet’s woes yield to a higher aim:
The player’s joy in winning at this game.


Friday, December 12, 2008


I am a character in Shakespeare’s mind
Who’s not yet on a page, much less been conned
By any actor who feels how I’m inclined,
Who knows my moves and how I will respond
To others’ words and ways in my own tone,
For like my other kin, I am conceived
To sound like no one else but stand alone,
Replete in the persona I’ve received.

And yet without the context of a play,
I’m like a disembodied soul awaiting
Reincarnation and another way
To strut and fret. The Bard is contemplating
Just such a perfect circumstance for me;
Meanwhile, I fust unused, though eagerly.


Saturday, December 6, 2008


In early morning’s dark I mull and muse
On Memory’s olds and Intuition’s news,
For only in such quiet and repose
Can my no longer harried brain disclose
Its deeper mind, aligned with higher thought,
And seek out what I never knew I sought.


Thursday, December 4, 2008


Though other creatures ask What, Where and How,
the solely human question posed is Why,
to which the universe will not reply
until we learn the wisdom of the Tao.

It’s only when we enter in the flow
and meet all that assails us gracefully
by bending, turning, yielding can we free
ourselves from bafflement and truly know.

Yet what we learn so arduously is what
those other creatures come by naturally:
no headway comes from heads; it’s from the gut
we get our best instructions how to be.

The Why we ask is answered by the Way,
that universal Law all must obey.