Saturday, February 28, 2015


          Excitement and serenity are poles
          We oscillate between throughout our lives
          As we pursue our grand or trivial goals
          According as our character contrives.

          Frenetic temperaments are supercharged
          With energy and driven to succeed;
          Often their wills and egos are enlarged
          While their compulsions emanate from greed.

          Tranquility, however, rules the others
          Who are essentially contemplative,
          Seeing in men not enemies but brothers
          While seeking calm and peaceful ways to live.

               Could these two modes be held in equipoise
               They'd prove the route to optimize our joys.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

for James O’Dea
author of Cultivating Peace 

          My normal mode is that of pacificism,
          Induced by nature more than catechism;
          While others seem more born or bred to fight,
          My aim is amiable, my goal delight.

          Though strife and struggle may seem nature’s way,
          A higher ruling principle’s in play,
          Which is the ultimate transcendence of
          All conflict and contention via love.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015


               There’s magic in the web of formal verse,
               Though many now say measures are a curse
               And rather write in ways they think are free
               Of standard patterns—yet still poetry.

               What they fail to appreciate is how
               Exigencies of form often endow
               The poet with new matter otherwise
               Unthought, that simply chance may realize.

               And then there is the charm of lyric song
               When thought and rhyme and meter go along
               Providing in their balance a sweet tension
               That underlies the musical dimension.

                    Let those who will, freely experiment;
                    I’ll seek instead for verse that’s heaven sent.


Monday, February 23, 2015


            Were I a cosmic neighbor come to see
            The progress made by Earth’s humanity,
            The most intelligent of its life forms,
            Then judge it by strict universal norms,

            I’d sadly have to say the hope was small
            That they’d survive the curse of their first fall,
            For they still relish disobedience
            To laws prescribed by cosmic providence.

            “Love others as you love yourself is how
            You’ll thrive, and you must take a sacred vow
            To live by that commandment you have broken,
            The highest truth that ever has been spoken,

                 For only love gives succor and will nourish    
                 Humanity and let your planet flourish.”


Sunday, February 22, 2015

             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.


Saturday, February 21, 2015


          Those sages who are mystically inclined
          Have pondered and have finally divined
          That this whole universe is but one mind
          By which all seeming substance is designed,
          With which our deepest essence is aligned,
          Acknowledging the truth we’re all one kind.


Friday, February 20, 2015


                    What’s happened here on Earth to bring forth life
                    Cannot be a sole singularity;
                    The odds are the whole universe is rife
                    With vital beings, like a cosmic sea,

                   Though distances between each outpost are
                   Impassible unless intelligence
                   Like ours evolves to overcome that bar,
                   Resolving problems that now seem immense.

                  Yet we dream on and hone our crafty skills,
                  Responding to our calling to explore,
                  For something in our essence deeply wills
                  Us to adventure on forever more.

                      Before embarking on that enterprise,
                      It’s best we Homo sapiens grow wise.


Thursday, February 19, 2015


     What Sherlock Holmes was to another age,
     Now Patrick Jane, “the Mentalist,” has become,
     As cunning an observer and as sage
     At solving mysteries and cleansing scum.

     Though bordering on the supernatural
     Jane’s “powers” derive from a mentality
     That picks out clues which others cannot cull,
     Revealing clear what had been mystery.

     The writers, nonetheless, entice us to
     Suspect some eerie psychic power lies
     Behind Jane’s canniness, some residue
     Of magic tinged with rational disguise.

          But Jane would say the ways of reason are 
          More marvelous that wishing on a star.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015


              For all our faults and errors, it is we
              Who bear the grand responsibility
              Of growing into godlings capable
              Of more than any individual
              Has yet achieved, except a treasured few
              Who sanctity and holiness pursue,
              Arising to a rare and saintly state
              Allowing them to enter Heaven’s gate.
              What holds us down, not letting us aspire
              To grander ventures and achievements higher
              Is sometimes lack of vision, sometimes fear
              Making our aspirations disappear.
                  It’s courage, then, to be all we can be,
                  By which we’ll reach our full humanity.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015


          Good Orderly Direction we call God,
          Which raised us from inert primordial sod               
          Investing us with life and intellect 
          As well as one regrettable defect,
          Has left us free to learn and realize 
          How to surpass our errors and grow wise: 
          Transcending conflict and its misery 
          By cultivating peace and amity.

          Why this should be and how it came about 
          Will always be dark issues left in doubt; 
          Instead of brooding in confused despair, 
          We’re better doing what may best repair 
          The damage that our errors long have wrought
          And living by the lessons love has taught.


Monday, February 16, 2015


          The Universe itself is animate,         
          Inspiring matter toward vitality,
          Providing everything that’s requisite 
          For conscious beings like us to come to be.

          And since that’s happened here on planet Earth,
          The odds are overwhelming that elsewhere
          Another planet, too, has given birth
          To creatures whose intelligence we share—

          Not in our solar system, but afar,

          Perhaps beyond communication’s reach, 
          A planet circling another star
          Whose barrier of space we’ll never breach.

               Still, science intimates we’re not alone,
               Though what we seek lies in a twilight zone.


Sunday, February 15, 2015


              A “Global Wisdom Culture” may sound grand
              Or grandiose, depending how you think:
              Somewhere that love and intellect expand,

              Or where good sense and realism shrink,

              Those who think the latter know too well
              That Homo sapiens’s not sapient,
              Or if we were, that was before we fell,
              And what originally was straight’s now bent.

              What hope is there our minds can ever mend,
              That with a better culture we’ll grow wise
              And what’s innately crooked can unbend,
              Revealing virtues we might realize?

                   That we now have the power to end all life
                   Requires we wisely learn to mend our strife.


Saturday, February 14, 2015


          Out of nothing flamed a blast of light           
          And thus the flaring universe began          
          With no one born to witness such a sight,           
          For only eons later evolved man.

          Yet now we’re here to speculate and seek           
          The origin and nature of it all,           
          Though cannot think in this we are unique,           
          That making us such genesis would stall.

          Surely on other worlds life has arisen           
          By principles the same as fashioned us,           
          But hopefully less liable to derision          
          For follies proving now so ominous.

               Let’s pray that other beings, angel-like,    
               Save us before avenging furies strike.


Friday, February 13, 2015


                              No longer is one universe enough;          
                              It’s multiverses scientists now see           
                              Evolving from primordial cosmic stuff          
                              Through inconceivable immensity.

                              Perhaps indeed the Bible has it right           
                              That at the origin there was a mind          
                              Behind creation’s first “Let there be light”          
                              By which cosmopoly has been designed.

                             Whatever is has been made manifest          
                             Not by an accident, but by a thought—          
                             Good Orderly Direction’s fond behest, 
                            Just as the ancient sages wisely taught.

                                  Implicitly, our duty’s to divine               
                                  Our proper role in this awesome design.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015


                    It’s paradoxical that verse that’s bound
                    Gives better access to what is profound
                    Than unconstructed verse that rambles free
                    Yet can’t induce enlightening ecstasy.

* * *


                    The agony and ecstasy of verse                     
                    That follows meter and fulfills a form                    
                     Is that the regimen of being terse                    
                     And measuring up to a demanding norm

                    Is liberating more than verse that’s “free”                     
                    To wander willfully beyond confines                     
                    Confronting endless possibility,                     
                    Unlike right here where sound with sense combines.

                    The requisite of meeting these conditions                    
                    Requires the poet’s mind be versatile,                     
                    Arranging sound and sense in apt positions                    
                    According to the regimented style.

                    And yet, for all that ingenuity,
                    The poem flows unforced, quite naturally.



          Imagine now the way things ought to be,
          Then strive to make that dream reality:
          Envision how all life on Earth may thrive
          And flourish, not just meagerly survive,

          For Earth should be a cornucopia
          As fabled Eden was a lush utopia,
          And yet a place for progress to proceed
          Well-guided by a visionary creed.

          This manifesto must transcend combat,
          Recalling that true peacemakers have sat
          And sought serenely how to reconcile
          Their differences, with candor, not with guile.

               Such progress means advancement toward our goal
               Of growing healthy, hardy, wholesome, whole.



Tuesday, February 10, 2015



Change the Story, Change the Future:
A Living Economy for a Living Earth

by David C. Korten

                    Our efforts to commodify the world
                    Are flushing nature down a vast commode,
                    And everything essential now is swirled
                    Away—all our Creator once bestowed.


Monday, February 9, 2015


            This little pup, tucked in beside my hip
            As we both sit in our recliner chair,          
            Emits a sigh, while I take one more sip           
            Of mocha latte from my cup—and stare          
            Into the brightening dawn while listening to           
            The chirrs and peeps and caws of birds           
            Announcing there is business to pursue:           
            For them it’s seeds and bugs; for me it’s words.           
            A distant train blares at a crossing gate,           
            An airplane rumbles toward its landing strip           
            While I sit here and calmly contemplate           
            In this amusing state of Serendip.               
                 Out of the ether, novel notions flow,
                Which only those who contemplate will know.


Sunday, February 8, 2015


            Once we have grown in consciousness enough
            To ponder on the mysteries of mind—
            How it’s arisen from primordial stuff
            And whether it’s designer or designed—

            Then we must think where everything is aimed
            And whether in that outcome we’ve a role,
            Which if we carry out we’ll be acclaimed,
            Though if we fail we’ll end in hopeless dole.

            The best hypothesis is to assume
            That our innate intention’s to advance,
            Despite the awful prospect of our doom
            Should we succumb to pride and envy’s trance.

                 Advancement means we finally grow aligned
                 With the implicit mission in God’s mind.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

          The violent clash of our contending wills
          Is that behavior shared with animals,
          An attitude that ultimately kills,
          Less sensible for humans than for bulls.

          And thus the course of evolution should
          Now elevate us to a higher state
          Where doing harm gives way to doing good,
          And sympathy has abrogated hate.

          It’s plainly that we’ve grown too dangerous
          Not to have our reckless powers constrained,
          And when our wills contend, we should discuss
          A settlement whereby we both have gained.

              Cool reason and just dealing must prevail
              Or our whole human enterprise will fail.


Friday, February 6, 2015


          We know a better story than before
          About how the whole cosmos is designed,
          Though one religionists may well deplore
          Since it does not personify the mind:

          That information field which underlies
          Materiality and grows complex
          As more sophisticated forms arise,
          Which nature by mere trial and error selects.

          Yet since we find ourselves possessed of mind,
          Of cognizance and purposeful intent,
          It’s hard to think that nature’s less inclined
          Or that our presence here has not been meant:

               I thus conclude that it’s mentality
               That undergirds and births reality.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

          That life’s arisen here is proof enough
          That it exists on other planets, too;
          Although our solar system is too rough,
          Some farther off in space will surely do.

          Whatever mind or spirit that it was,
          Some organizing intellect that made
          Dust animate on Earth, now elsewhere does
          The same, and likely at a higher grade.

          Which is why we instinctively expect
          A visitation by some heavenly host
          More elevated in their intellect
          And more substantial than a holy ghost.

               Perhaps they’re waiting till we’ve grown wise
               Enough to know what growing up implies.