Posts Tagged ‘special people’

self esteem

Friday, February 5th, 2010

The height of self esteem is buying yourself
a 93 million dollar statue.

The value is not the piece of art but the buyers ego.

There is about 20 dollars of metal, a few hundred in casting fees
and transportation plus

the artists other amortized expenses, though the artist is dead.

Its value comes as a competitive number in an auction
which is just another pissing contest for the wealthy.

The piece itself is not so special, really.

Buy a country, buy a statue, be the biggest.
the ultimate in self esteem.

Why not rescue a country
suffering from devastation, hunger and strife.

Too realistic, too mundane or soft.

Buying something ephemeral has way more ego value
in its intangibility

though the piece itself looks like a starving human.
The depths of self esteem.

making a mess

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Up in the morning and turn on the box
to see what the world is doing
and if anyone cares about my opinion
or what I myself am doing or at least
whether I’ve paid my due this time or not.

As usual mostly stuff
I don’t need or want
except for the blog of a former colleague
taking off on a sabbatical
to photograph National Parks in HDR.

Barry is a talented painter and a gifted teacher
who loves life and lives love
all in his own special way
some are put off by his boldness and candor
but it encloses a brilliant calm and warmth.

He mentions another colleague who
is losing a battle with cancer and
I wonder who that may be, as yet another falls.
This is something to get used to
as I approach my own autumn.

I feel like my words are such fumbling and yearn to express
the void that fills each day with wonder and bliss
as I move into each moment skipping and laughing
and making a mess of all that I touch.

circle of fire

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

I was in the US Army
so that makes me a veteran

It was during the Vietnam War
so that makes me a Vietnam Era veteran

I was trained in rifle, carbine, pistol and machine gun
and qualified as an expert shooter

I was taught the sprit of the bayonet (to kill)
and how to kill hand-to-hand.

to survive gas attacks and render first aid
for sucking chest wounds and gushing blood

to inject atropine and splint the breaks
and take the dog tags from those who’ve fallen

to crawl under fire and run through explosions
and all of the targets were silhouettes of men

to lie in ambush and snipe from afar
whether day or night and shave without water.

turned into a machine responding to commands
first left then right — to bring death with my hands

my head was shaved and my reflexes sharp
starched and stiff and ready to kill

but unlike most of my unlucky peers
I was a reservist and would stay in the rear

not seeing war face-to-face as they
nor returning battle-weary and spent

spoiled by death and blood if living at all
and none the richer for facing their own end

I cowardly felt no duty nor desire
to place myself in anyone’s line of fire

I am both proud and amazed that I served
as a soldier in waiting and still,

held my antiwar position as well
as the brotherhood of warriors I’ve known.

Aggression is one thing, defense another
and unfortunately the distinction gets muddied

by those who prosper and are in command
of those who serve our once proud land.

I am a veteran only in name, for only those
who fight and die deserve that proud name.

It would seem that if we could live without them
our world would be at peace but the reality is

that warriors are the outer edge that holds
our civility inside its defining circle of fire.

faces of children

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

The faces of children, eager and innocent
portend a future hopeful and good

while adults afar debate and wrangle
over dollars and power

these seeds are watered and fed
with both love and garbage

I pray their innate wisdom will help them
to glean what they need to grow strong

in spite of the decay and wrongs meted out
by so many of us elders in our misguided pride.

Faces of children, open and ready
lead us all to our place in the sun.

rolling boil

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

On the day that Les Paul died
I was making blackberry jam
and listening to Amahd Jamal
and other jazz on the radio

while I’m stirring the mashed fruit
waiting for a boil to occur
I watch my stirring motions
round and round then in eights

my patience reminds me of times past
and the beauty of wooden cameras
and old Leicas and Stetson hats
and double-breasted suits that
my father wore in warmer times

when he too grooved on jazz
playing his sax in swing bands
and plying his trade as a photographer
of families and nudes, dancers and
mountains, babies and soldiers.

As the pot reaches a boil its time
to add all that sugar while stirring fast
it looks like the earth as seen from space
with all those white clouds stirring around
against that dark surface of goodness

After a full rolling boil, I love that phrase,
when my stirring no longer abates its fury
it must be kept up for just one minute, no longer
and then ladled into waiting jars to set

and now my mate Jane again assists
bringing the sterile jars out of their water
and onto the counter for filling and when done
exclaims another successful jam session.

dead heroes

Friday, July 31st, 2009

I don’t really believe in that astrology shit
but maybe it explains my dual personality
a rebel and a wannabe family guy

Many of my heroes were rebels
and only a few made it as family guys

Most of my heroes are dead
and that’s an example I’m not ready to follow just yet

Why do we deify those who have died
but not fully appreciate them while they live

Is it that death is the ultimate difference
that sets them apart

from what we see as our own mundane existence

Might not we too possess what others may see
as heroics

Did our heroes realize it themselves

Some do and some don’t and I wonder

how many hidden heroes are there
of whom we may never know

just another day

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

The trees and bushes are still standing watch
and the air is humid and warm as the morning blooms
into a Tuesday and the paints are drying while the pencils
await a touch to turn them into lines that may define a shape or direction

as the phone rings with the voice of a maker of pictures
and other things like wings made at night moves my way to exchange
some dollars for some carefully honed glass with which to capture
the light and colors of his days and nights

and that glass carries with it the memories of music
played on stages under lights and through the ears of friends
now passed into their own light leaving only colored reflections
in the texture of this town where we were born

into a time when possessions had different meanings
and now in their time worn way show just how futile it all is
when their perfectly maintained gloss and fit
only saddens their removal from a former stage

where all sorts of human drama played out in painful ways
weaving into some as pain, others as pleasure
but they are still there waiting to be dealt with and I say
pitch the stuff out into the snow and sun so it too can return to its elements

for that is where we all belong anyway and how often we forget
that that is all there is and that is always where we are at
despite our illusions to the contrary and no matter
how hard we try to maintain that false reflection of duality

as we dance as one in our entirety we can at least take our own steps
as they fit with those of the ground and others taking their own
flash as fire and blasting icy light glaring white devouring
our many hues that are trying to pull the whole thing into the darkness.

It always comes down to this realization as those trees stand watch
and the rocks and soil continue on their paths in this arena
of plate tectonics and subterranean melt while the otherly charged molecules
just keep doing their thing smiling and breathing and falling apart.

to my cousins

Monday, July 20th, 2009

I can’t think of a group of people
whom I may have less in common with
than my twenty-some cousins
just because

My maternal grandparents had six children
(my father was an only child)
and those aunts and uncles had from two to six
of their own, my cousins

We’ve all gone very separate ways
as our parents have
just because

One family were loggers another
in manufacturing and ice cream
and one in the military while mine
was varied from photography to physical therapy
while two others worked in newspapers

We’ve never all been in the same place at once
though we’ve come close on Christmas eves
and our grandma’s ninetieth

So what would a meeting of all be like
with our most common thread being genetic
surely there are other similarities
that will be interesting if not inspiring
and offer some insights we all can profit from
in our own individual ways

Let’s get together and see the full range
of our experiences and lives’ paths
before our eyes and validate the connection
we all have to one another in our differences
just because

We may wonder at our relation to some
while feeling more than akin to others
and that I think will be the beauty
that will provide us with inspiration and insight
as we see the differences in our common bond.

So I will take it on myself to initiate this invitation
and seek from our midst others to share in this effort
to bring us all together somewhere soon
just because

Just be, cuz.

what ya pay for

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

my neighbor across the street
is getting his house painted
by a guy without a sprayer

Sprayers work as well or better
than any brush or roller can
if properly used

The prep work is the basis
for any good paint job
that will last for years

The neighbor works as a manager
at Microsoft and makes big bucks
and maybe this explains

the painter with a brush is probably
charging more and taking longer
for a “better” job and
he does drive a newer truck

so the neighbors can tell about
the special job they got and
even invite the painter over for parties

from whence he gets
more referrals for those special jobs
that are “better” than anyone else’s.

Others meanwhile get their houses
painted by the guys in the old van
with tunes arockin’ and bud asmokin’

and most likely wouldn’t invite them
over for a barbecue nor
send any business their way

and then there’s that nice new truck
wouldn’t want to embarrass those clients
with anything less parked in front.

My house needs painting this year
and I’ve got my own old van
so I’ll paint it myself.

just be cuz

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

Yesterday I spent some time with some cousins
whom I hadn’t seen in years and it was on the occasion
of their dear mother’s death – someone else I hadn’t seen enough
and wish I had since she was so very very sweet and warm

love never fails to amaze me with its power to transcend
just about everything – make that everything.

I can see my aunt and uncle’s love in my cousins
and want to get to know all of them better – I have
sixteen or seventeen of them all totaled – from my mother’s
five siblings and wonder why I feel so compelled

Maybe its curiosity about what we have in common
and what our differences are and what might we have done
if living in a more tribal culture where we might be
more interdependent and what part of the larger
tribal milieu we might have filled with our talents

or maybe what we might yet do in some fashion
to enhance each other’s dreams and aspirations
before its too late

Our culture and upbringing has made us independent
and that has been a real asset and also perhaps
a limitation in its division as we have moved on
figuratively and geographically to separate lives
from our siblings and friends that leaves a cloudy hole

Might there be a missing piece we’ve yet to discover?

In the last ten years I’ve reconnected with several other cousins
and it feels good to just now they are there living their lives
in so many different ways

Yesterday on discussing a cousin’s reunion involving us all
my long lost (to me anyway) cousin Sandra replied ” Just be cuz”
and it hit a chord with me since word play is something
I love and often obsess over for fun – just because –

justBcuz – I love it!

A pun, a name for a movement, a rallying cry to our clan
Let’s reunite just for fun and see what we learn of life and love
and what we’ve missed of each other over these years
since we once ran around on Christmas eve’s and thanksgivings past
with our Grandma and Grandpa Stiles looking on.

We’ve spread far and wide and our means may vary
but I think we can find a place and time to meet that will work for us all
where we might blow off the dust of time and circumstance
to discover who we are and what our commons bonds have
to offer

Just because.