Sunday, January 31, 2010


Most other poets now neglect to sing.
A poet is a maker, poems made:
That’s so, but verse is more than just a thing
Of words well crafted, like floor tiles well laid.

A poem should ascend into the air
On wings of song that beat with metered strokes
And bear the mind to regions angels share
Beyond our mundane ways, or it’s a hoax.

A poem rightly invokes ecstasy,
Swelling the heart and soul with higher joy,
Lodging itself in sacred memory,
A safe-kept treasure, not a cast-off toy.

But should you say this verse won’t qualify,
Well, I’ll still try—and will until I die.


Thursday, January 28, 2010



. . . a sleek new tool for cyber-terrorists, with cool apps for

• blowing up bridges, buildings, airplanes: iBoom

• seeking out strains of virulent toxins: iPox

• networking covertly with the global
criminal community: iMob

• terminating targets undetectably: iZap

• accessing any info anywhere, no matter
how well encrypted: iSpy

• subordinating others by total mind control, an upgrade of the earlier iHyp: iRule

— iNordstrom—


Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Beyond Belief lies Truth or Certainty,
Some say, but I say merely Disbelief;
Your search for Truth will lead you but to grief,
Since Knowing’s an impossibility.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Can any other creature visualize
As human beings do through memory,
As if they had a second set of eyes,
What they have seen in actuality?

It seems such hindsight is our special gift
Engendering the foresight that we need
To imagine novel paradigms that shift
Our history and how we might proceed.

The great leaps we call progress all occur
Because our brains have this capacity
For postulating things that never were,
Then turning dreams into reality.

Without this capability of mind
Our hapless species were as bad as blind.


Monday, January 25, 2010


To love and serve, these are our highest calls,
To give care and attention to all others—
Despite the fear that grates, the hate that galls—
Knowing them as our sisters and our brothers.

Does Jesus say, Mohammed and the Buddha,
That love and service are the high commands?
I think they do; if not they surely should have
Since common sense says peace lies in our hands.

It’s peace we deeply crave, the harmony
That weaves and leaves us all to all atoned,
Bound to each other in one melody
And in our highest happiness enthroned.

Yet keeping that peace within our careful palms
Takes active love, not simply singing psalms.


Saturday, January 23, 2010


for Bruce H. Lipton

Fantality or, say Realasy,
Though something shy of proof and not yet truth,
A “pseudo-science” or a “fallacy”
In scientific circles still uncouth,

May yet appeal to our imagination
And give us something useful to believe
Affording us pragmythic inspiration
Then yielding us a dream to which we’ll cleave.

Such is the course of all new theories hatched
By genius, destined finally to shift
Some paradigm to which we’re now attached
And grant humanity its next uplift.

Though some now dub it “fiction,” “superstition,”
The best of it will prove sound intuition.



What is it like in someone else’s head,
Knowing the world through someone else’s mind,
Feeling a different joy, a different dread,
By other values drawn and aims defined?

How far can one inhabit someone else
By imitation or by empathy
And, actor-like, appear to feel the pulse
And own the soul of that identity?

I think I’ll never know another soul,
Each one an enigmatic mystery;
In fact, to know my own’s a lifelong goal,
Striving to realize its destiny.

Though I presume to feel what you may feel,
My sympathy’s approximate, not real.


Friday, January 22, 2010


I’d lie to say that I don’t seek for fame,
The immortality that Shakespeare sought
And boasted that his poems would bring. My aim
Is likewise to defeat fierce Time’s onslaught.

To write enduring verses singing still
Beyond my muffled grave or silent urn—
A deathless mockingbird or whip-poor-will—
Is that fond fate for which these sonnets yearn.

Yet Truth suggests a shrewd contingency,
A higher motive for my exercise
Of versecraft than prolonged longevity,
An even richer, rarer kind of prize,

If writing sonnets helps me realize
A clearer insight that would make me wise.


Thursday, January 21, 2010


for George Leonard (1923-2010)

Let’s say it’s fifteen years I’ve left to live
And I retain my wits and energy,
What more have I, unthought, to do and give
To reach my full potentiality?

To realize the daimon at my core,
I must flesh out ingenious words and deeds
Discovering ways to let my spirit soar
Responsive to the world’s compelling needs.

What is it I have yet to manifest?
Who is it, with more work, I might become?
How might I comprehend in me what’s best,
And when death comes pay off my full debt’s sum?

Before the vital force in me is spilled,
My aim’s to be both emptied and fulfilled.

Monday, January 18, 2010


To love is fine and good, and better than
To hate and fear, yet love is not enough
If it’s mere sentiment without a plan
For action when love’s passages get rough.

Then love rolls up its sleeves and suffers pains
Of more than mere vicarious empathy,
And where one less than generous complains,
Love bears it out, digs deep, compassionately.

For love in action proves it’s love indeed
By giving of itself to those in need.


Sunday, January 17, 2010


The good life, according to me, is a wise life, a life wisely lived, producing value for oneself and others. In short, the good life is a valuable life.

Having now defined good as wise and wise as valuable, what then is of paramount value to us human beings? By what values should we live, or what values should we realize and manifest, to make our lives good?

Love is, I believe, the supreme universal value: we must care for, protect and nurture ourselves and other human beings, rather than fear them, hate them and harm them. As we ourselves wish to be cherished and not abused by others, we owe others the same dignified treatment.

Such is the ideal we must strive to make real; however, being met by fear, hatred and harm from those who abuse our own innocence presents us with the supreme moral challenge. How then do we “turn the other cheek” and respond to insult with patient love? How do we protect ourselves without inflicting damage in return—like the aikido master, whose intent and actions only foil an aggressor and prove the futility of attack, rather than harm him? Can we not set our adversaries right rather than smite them, turning them as well toward the path of love, care, and compassion?

Can we come to understand the roots of wrath and see how our adversaries were formed? Can we assume that any sane person will naturally behave with love, care and compassion for others, and that such a faultless attitude is the default mode of healthy humanity? Therefore, aberrant behavior, which intends harm, is an illness needing cure, not an evil to be crushed—for crushing evil would amount to malice vs malignancy, or evil vs evil, absent love.

Perhaps though, this medical analogy misleads us. If we say our adversaries are malignant, like cancers, then we respond like oncologists with “aggressive treatments” to “root out” and “kill off” the offending cells by radiation, chemical warfare, or radical surgery. Likewise, against Al Quaeda or Taliban insurgents we launch counterattacks and missiles using superior destructive force and firepower—not love. They hit us; we lash back with a vengeance. The cycle continues.

What’s a viable (not violent) alternative? “There is no way to peace,” said Gandhi; “peace is the way.” Be peaceful. Be compassionate. Be dignified. Act accordingly. That is the way of wisdom.


Saturday, January 16, 2010


I rise before dawn’s light to mull and muse,
To settle mental matters that confuse,
Scanning for subtle signals from beyond,
My pen poised ready, like a conjuror’s wand.

I meditate, I cogitate, I sit,
I brood, I stew, I seek for words that fit,
Trusting I’ll find, beyond obscurity,
A clearing. How that is—is mystery.

Who knows the source of wisdom and insight
That subtly informs and sets us right?
To wandering souls, confounded and adrift,
Such intuition’s teaching is a gift.

My duty though’s to sit and to attend,
And my reward’s to see confusion end.



The reason that I write is to make sense.
When what’s going on is dark, obscure and dense
Or when I’ve lost my way or feel estranged
Or when my thought’s confused and brain’s deranged,
I take my trusty pen in hand and write.

What comes of that is profit and delight:
The profit isn’t cash but clarity,
And the delight is psychotherapy,
A leavening of my lost, despairing soul,
And binding of my fragments in one whole.

If what I write you later come to read
And you applaud, then doubly I succeed,
For I’ve not only made my own good sense
But shown I have some wisdom to dispense.


Thursday, January 14, 2010


This knack I practice at—of crafting verse—
Gets me to formulate thoughts tight and terse.



Between a past or future memory,
I’m more inclined to dwell in what’s to come,
Previewing and preliving what shall be
In visionary depths my mind may plumb.

Though you’ll say that it’s only speculation,
That nothing in the future is foreknown,
I’ll say, within the seeds of time, creation
May now be seen before it’s fully grown.

How this may be, what physics it implies,
I cannot say, yet instances abound
Of prophesies events then realize,
Which common sense and logic both confound.

Call it imagination if you will;
They’re dreams that time is destined to fulfill.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


What keeps my skittering brain going down one track,
Making a train of thought, not just a gust
Of swirling, wordless notions, but a stack,
A rack of solid thinking and not dust?

It’s writing on a line across a page
In measured paces as the thought shapes up,
For only then can mind and form engage
In tandem, marching sensibly—Hup, hup!

Instead of lightning bolting from the sky,
The energy of thought runs through a wire,
Makes heat and light for all to profit by,
Letting aspiring intellect reach higher.

Though talking also clarifies the mind,
It’s writing by which thought is best designed.


Sunday, January 10, 2010


What in me, over years, remains the same
And constitutes my core of character,
The soul or essence of this corporal frame
With which my thoughts and actions should concur?

For should they not, I’d then be misaligned
With what’s intended as my destiny,
That fate for which my being is designed,
That person who is genuinely me.

To be true to myself and manifest
What’s latent and as yet unrealized
Is the sole way my being may be blessed
And all that I accomplish truly prized.

Just so, this frame of verse has formed around
That energy of thought to which it’s bound.


Saturday, January 9, 2010


I come most dawns to worship at this fount
From which the flow of inspiration springs
In hopes to add a verse to my account
To fortify my day of reckonings.

When I depart I mean to leave a mark
That signifies my presence on this Earth
Was not for nought and brought light to the dark,
Proving my humble genius of some worth.

Though not an intellect of sharp insight
Nor scholar of profound capacity,
I’ve wit enough to weave lines true and tight
And make them dance and sing melodiously.

Since modesty should urge me to be coy,
I simply hope my sonnets bring you joy.


Friday, January 8, 2010


I’ve now become a practiced sonneteer
With hundreds of these verses to my name,
And I can make these fourteen lines appear
Within an hour, just playing the sonnet game.

Yet mere facility is not the same
As quality, which calls for inspiration
And genius, to keep lines from falling lame
And justify a master’s reputation.

So If I seek for critics’ approbation
And mean to please poetic connoisseurs,
I’ll need to use the best of my persuasion
To guarantee that what I write endures.

For only if this verse stirs your applause
Shall it survive the ravening of Time’s jaws.


Thursday, January 7, 2010


“Wisdom is the capacity to realize what is of value to life,
for oneself and others.” —Nicholas Maxwell

So many things unknown keep unexplored,
Which our intelligence is moving toward
In its persistent quest to shake the world
Till all its rolled-up secrets lie unfurled,
That we, of all Earth’s species cannot rest
In ignorance, leave mystery unaddressed,
But must press ever on toward new frontiers,
Past apathy, past agony, past fears.

Not all of us, of course, are pioneers;
Only a few have power to innovate
Or make profound discovery their careers,
Though all can urge them on and celebrate—
Yet not unless we wholly realize
That all we learn must serve to choose what's wise.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I am a master of the meme,
Who’ll make you see what only seems
And bend your mind from theme to theme,
Since I manipulate your dreams.

Then I’ll invade your ear as well
Making you subject to my spells,
Making your life a living hell
Where nothing but my fancy dwells.

My images and words have power
To blossom like a field of flowers
Or curdle hearts and turn them sour,
Make hours minutes or minutes hours.

Such is the magic of the meme
To captivate or to redeem.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010


When someone near us dies
We then re-realize
What’s easy to forget—
That we owe God a debt.

Our lives are only lent
That they may be well spent
And that before we go
We’ll have good deeds to show.

But at His beckoning
We make our reckoning
And face up to our shame,
Incurring rightful blame,

Or joyfully celebrate
Lives bountiful and great.


Monday, January 4, 2010


I like to think I’m better than I am,
Disguising my covert deficiencies
And posing as a meek and gentle lamb
With no internal tiger to appease,

With nothing but pure generosity,
The soul of selfless kindness, giving care
To those in need with scarce a thought for me,
As far from egotism as despair.

But, truth be told, I shamefully confess,
The god I serve is what makes me feel good;
If that serves you as well, I’m happy, yes,
So long as who comes first is understood.

Is there, I wonder, such a compromise
In both of us, more than we realize?


Sunday, January 3, 2010


That dread we cloak behind broad daylight’s veil,
Which if revealed to us would turn us pale,
And yet at night erupts within our dreams,
From some unconscious crypt or cavern streams.

It will not keep pent up or wear disguise,
And we eventually must realize
The full catastrophe we can’t yet face,
For only from acceptance follows grace.

But still such resolution won’t come soon
As consolation is a bless├ęd boon
That ripens in its own mysterious time
Arising from the depths of the sublime.

Meanwhile we dwell in this insidious fear
And pray for our dull consciousness to clear.


Saturday, January 2, 2010


Between the realms of Knowing and Believing
Lies Make Believe, a magic kingdom of
Enchanted fantasy beyond conceiving
Except through wonder, marvel, hope and love.

Just as ’twixt night and day exists a zone
Of twilight in which ecstasy abounds,
So in the mind Imagination’s throne
Amazes reason and plain sense astounds.

How do you go there, how do you escape
The dismal region of the everyday?
How can Imagination change the shape
Of sorrow and despair, turn toil to play?

Just close your eyes and dream and you shall see
How fantasy remakes reality.


Friday, January 1, 2010


When wafted by a transcendental gust
Above my ordinary maundering,
Then elevated past the realm of rust,
My rising spirit feels inspired to sing.

The weight of daily gravity and care,
Distractions by the multiplicities,
Drag down my struggling spirit to despair
And plague my hapless soul with sad disease.

Yet only by intentional design
Invoking the conducive mode and mood
Will my lost soul and wandering mind align
To celebrate their altered altitude.

Thus here I come, before the morning’s dawn,
By otherworldly mystic whispers drawn.