Posts Tagged ‘Prose’

I just finished watching “The Fault In Our Stars”, a great tearjerker about love, eulogies, etc.

It made me think of what I would say if I wrote my eulogy, and I realize that anything one says or writes, is a part of their eulogy.

I think part of my eulogy would be an apology. Because I can come across as hard and unyielding in the moment, when I know that my intentions are good. And that’s because of pride. Pride is such a defense mechanism, a flawed way of protecting yourself. It is a dis-ease, a dis-ability. It’s a way of hiding vulnerability in the moment. Of not being in the moment. Or perhaps of being someone you don’t want to be in that moment; when the moment is all we have, and that most important moment involves people.

Humility on the other hand, is being vulnerable in the moment, open to the moment and flexible in relation to all of its possibilities. That’s the funny thing about being vulnerable. I don’t know if it’s something that you can spontaneously feel in the moment once you have reached a certain level of awareness. It is only something that you can practice.

It’s like patience. I don’t consider myself a patient person though some other people may, I don’t know if patience will ever feel natural. I think it is something you can only practice. I only know that to date, I do not comprehend the feeling of patience. But with practice ( like choosing to wait in the longest grocery line) patience is becoming second nature. I don’t have to think about it. Perhaps when one reaches a certain level of awareness, anything/everything becomes second nature.

The point being that for me,

humility in the moment ,

is an intermittent short in the wiring.

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Somewhere in the near darkness I hear the coyotes;

yipping, the sound of babies crying, and howling.

Like a blind man in unfamiliar territory

I grope my way to the front door

and open it to the cold night in the moon glow.

Awooooooo! I call.


Haughty silence greets me.

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Migrate dying children.

Do you leave the parent of your birth,
or are you cast off?

Or is your separation by mutual agreement
while you still have some life left?

Fall to the Earth in ones and twos and multitudes,
until you finally expire.
Lie dessicate on the ground,
or rot in sopping wet,

Trod upon by uncaring feet.
Ground beneath the wheels of vehicles whose owners
have come to gawk at the casualties
of this yearly conflict.

Waste away as the cold and snow entomb you.

The irony is that most people will exclaim in wonder
at the color of the blood left behind at your death.
Or the golden glory as your spirit passes.

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At 5 a.m., Nanabozhu woke up and found himself sleeping in the “Inn over Oak Creek”, in Sedona, Arizona.

“Oh, It’s still dark outside. I wonder where the sun is.  It should be getting light out by now.” He also noticed that he still felt a little tired.

“Hm.” He thought ” I think I’ll drop by that vortex at the Phoenix Airport for a little refreshment.” So he stepped outside, changed into a small Blue Heron, and winged his way over.

Twisted JuniperHe searched for the place on the hill where the Junipers grew twisted. That was one of the ways that you knew to find a vortex. Of which he heard Sedona had four. Looking at one of the Junipers, he could see how it grew.  It was as if the small tree had grown inside a cyclone and the wind perpetually twirling about had spiraled the tree as it grew so that not only  the bark of the trunk and branches were twisted but their grain deep into the heartwood as well.

He knew he had arrived because he felt that tingling on his neck and the hair standing on the back of his head as the healing energy of he vortex refreshed him, and he began to feel better already. Still no sun though.

“That’s because I thought I would give you the honor of singing the sun into view.” the Earth said.  “You see, the Sun always likes to hear the songs of The People of the Earth so I will slowly turn  so he can hear the song of the next person to sing. ”

“Well, what should I sing?” asked Nanabozhu with a twinkle in his eye.  ” How about, ‘Ah’m all shook up’, by Elvis Presley?” He could feel the earth give him a gentle swat on his arm.

“That would be good if Elvis sang it.” she said,  “But the Sun likes original songs that come from the singers themselves, the best.”

“I can do that.” replied Nanabozhu. He thought quietly for a few minutes and then raised both arms to the East where the sun would rise, and began his chant.

Oh my favorite Sun,
(even though you’re the only one.)
Enlighten the skies
to entice the eyes
of children and old folks to waken.
But not so much so,
to the Larks please don’t go,
they’d rather the day were forsaken.
Then dim the stars and the moon,
so The People will swoon
when that beauty is seen
come this e’en’.
And turn the violet sky rose
bring sweet dawn to the nose
to soften the hearts of The People.
Now Chiaroscuro the place
your appearance will grace
to make the artists of Sedona most happy;
But not so intense
that their feelings are flensed
to the point that it makes them get sappy.
Now color the earth
and put shadows therein
and the hearts of the people you’ll win.
And when you are ready,
shine your brilliance most steady,
warm the air with your breeze for your kin;
So to soothe stiff old bones
and to soften sore muscles
so we all say “Well Come!” when you show.
And when you have risen,
freed us all from night’s prison,
we are thankful,
just so you know.

Nanabozhu could feel the Earth looking at him askance; nevertheless, the Earth had turned, and the Sun had risen.

“Thank you.”  said the smiling Sun.  “That was…very Nanabozhu-esque.  That certainly adds to my day.”

“Now”, said Nanabozhu to the Earth, “if you will allow me to rearrange things a little bit, I have a gift for you.” And with that, he rearranged a mountain formation so that it looked like his face, waking up to the dawn and praying. Which you can see to this day from the viewing point next to the Sedona airport.


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Five o’clock and a faint light under the resort room curtains causes my eyes to open with a BLING! I am awake and won’t be able to get back to sleep. My wife hates that because she is NOT a morning person. So I use the light from my cell phone to find my glasses, clothes, and get dressed. I grab my laptop and quietly leave before I start singing or laughing to myself… which she can’t stand even more, this early.

I take the elevator down and walk through the quiet lobby where there is already some activity going on. A biker comes in wearing a knit, pulled down black ski mask type of hat. He’s walking stiffly, as if he has arthritis and was riding his hog too long.

I walk past the terrarium, a glass case with a single glass partition in the middle. One side holds a Gila Monster, the other, a King snake. Every morning I find them sleeping right next to each other. Two enemies sharing their warmth and company through a single pane of glass.

No sun yet. The sky is a uniform light grey. The mountains are dark silhouettes. The white Christmas tree lights illuminate the trunks of the palms. The birds are excited. They are singing and talking to each other. There are Morning Doves, and Jackdaws? An egret stands on the side of the pond; still puffed up as the morning air is cool and dewy. The Morning Doves and Jackdaws walk closely by me, looking for any food or tidbits that may fall off my empty table. In the distance, three ducks complain and fly off. A Ladder-back Woodpecker scolds me because I am in his territory.


There is a pond and the bowl of a very small valley before me. Short green golf course grass surrounds the pond, punctuated by sand traps, and a green fairway leads off to the horizon. It is all rimmed by small bushes, and short trees. The “rough” in which they are planted is a light sandy colored gravel. In the pond is a large modern sculpture. What I take to be a bird with a ring for a head is standing on a ball in the water. The ring is incised with pictographs.

Already the sounds of civilization impinge. Off to the left I hear construction machinery, and one of the resort staff whirrs by on his Segueway. A grounds maintenance worker rides around the rim of the bowl on his golf cart. I hear the warning peep peep peep of a vehicle backing up behind the building to the right.

The sky has lightened some. The beginnings of a soft chiaroscuro silhouette the mountains. They begin to take on their rose hue.

The light sensors on the palm trees have kicked in and the Christmas tree lights have gone out. The green of their strings blends in with their cork-like bark. A white man with an unleashed white poodle walks by and some kind-sounding words encourage her to walk over and sniff my outstretched hand. He says that’s doing pretty good for her.

A female duck with a lone chick swims around the edge of the pond and a fish roils the surface to snatch a bug. The duck is on land now and can’t understand why her little duckling can’t climb out. She waits patiently for it but ends up waddling back in to the water. A leather-back turtle paddles slowly by.

The sun is about to climb over the mountain. Now the chiaroscuro is lightning and the landscape has taken on definition. The sky has turned light blue and the rose has retreated to the horizon.

Car sounds Doppler the background. A Hispanic woman in neon green shorts, white tee-shirt and water bottle jogs by.

Dawn climbs over the mountain. The brilliant white light of the sun scintillates, turning everything gold and casting shadows. For a moment all the birds and I are silent and still.

Good morning.



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The walls of the house mute their talk but they are loud enough to wake a light sleeper.

I get up quietly enough not to wake L. and I walk out through the front door to stand on the porch in the dark. They are quiet when I get there but I call out.

“Here am I, one of you!”

They are in the trees about 50 feet away–halfway between my neighbor’s house and mine.

About eight of them respond, each returning my greeting individually.

“I see you.”
“I hear you.”
“There you are.”
“You are one of us!”
“Come away, the night is before us.”
“The night is warm and there are many delicious mice!”
“Ha! Cousin!”
“Woo Hoo!”

Their mood is…
but there is something different about them.
They are more…

I remember leaping off the porch, into the air;
the feel of it as I gather it and push it below and behind me,
and again,
as I wheel around toward them.
How quietly that all happens.

The house grows smaller as I climb;
25, 50, 75 feet.

The night transforms from a dark place of indistinct forms
to a place of light, and sharp images.
There are so many sounds, where there were none before.

They wait until I am almost upon them and then turn and we take flight through the Oaks.

ϾϿ      ϾϿ      ϾϿ

What I don’t understand,

is being back in bed now.

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How many people see
the one who took the picture?

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Golden Ocean

Golden Ocean

Solemn Ebbflow tide

White breakers recede into the sun,

through the crowns of oaks.



Thanks to Nancy Bergen Romney, who took this picture about the same time my camera could not! Nancy, I want your camera!


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Awakened by a dream of having to re-certify my ability to dive over obstacles into spiritually pure but impossibly shallow water and,

unable to sleep, I step outside to a forest carpeted and festooned in preternatural white.

The distant, dim, pale light of one neighbor’s horse barn in front and another neighbor’s porch on the side, glimmer feebly through the fog shrouded, dark and indistinct trunks of trees.

There is no sign of the full moon in a cloudy and invisible sky. Neither can be seen through the oaken canopy but the moon somehow softly illuminates the landscape with a sourceless light.

The door mat is surprisingly not cold to my unshod feet this winter night.

No frosty breath escapes my lips.

And though there is no wind, I hear the sound of its rushing lonesome random modulation shoooooing sourcelessly,

Is this Gehenna? Am I in Limbo?


I’m tired now.  Not a little time has passed. I’ll return to bed.

To sleep, perchance to dream”.

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a lovelorn Partridge

drumming wildly for a mate

lures a gun instead

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