Monthly Archives: February 2003

Ten Mile

Isaac Bonewits, Scott Cunningham, Eminem and me,
all born in the same general vicinity:
the suburbs of Detroit, ’round Royal Oak;
which of the four of us is the bigger joke?

28 FEB 2003

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After a Line in Eliot

In the halls the people come and go,
wishing I were Michelangelo;
but things are not always as perfect
as his David would lead you to believe.

Some days, after too much cheap wine
and dreadful harp Music
even the most beautiful man
can be a real asshole;

and art is artificial, it is not real life…
it is a representation of reality
based solely upon the interpretation
of the artist;
it probably has nothing to do with you

(does that offend you?)

Just like yours, sometimes,
the artist’s world can be a me-o-centric place;
even the most universal of messengers
can take a private call now and then,
turn their back on the masses
and say
“Heal yourselves.”

28 FEB 2003

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Holiday Weekends

I guess you know that you are getting old
when the quieter the time, the better,
and it’s not quite as much fun being bold;
you’d rather wake quietly to let her

sleep in for a change. To just be relaxed:
no grumpy before-school lectures to give,
no running out late for things the child lacks,
no last minute change of plans – we can live

as if we are the only two on earth,
if we choose. We do not need to leave town,
because our house has everything we need.

These rare times are precious, and can be worth
even weeks of “I need this” and runaround.
Child gone for the weekend? Fun guaranteed.

28 FEB 2003

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Today’s quote

Lack of money is no obstacle. Lack of an idea is an obstacle.
— Ken Hakuta

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The Underground

So I guess it would be something complex,
with a different perspective and view,
more than just a reaction or reflex,
some knee-jerk response that simply brings you

back to the same old emotional edge,
feeding on yesterday’s angst and stale pain,
standing stupidly on the window ledge
and wondering how to turn off your brain

(in case the lyrics get a little real);
trying be alternative to that
would take rejecting any of the praise,
and that meaningless “you’re the next big deal”.

If you want to truly be your own cat,
you’ll never be what the radio plays.

27 FEB 2003

for Johnny Cash

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Early Childhood Development

Well, you are going to grow up someday,
so there are a few things you need to learn:

why free love has a price most cannot pay,
why it is more work to plant than to burn,
why the world thinks that kindness is crazy,
why good deeds are regarded with scorn,
why to never let your brain grow lazy,
why to treasure each moment that’s born.

As for people, remember this teaching:

there are some who are worth the seeking out,
who will help you as you help them, to find
the difference between doing and preaching,
the huge importance of both faith and doubt,
and the great rewards kindness leaves behind.

27 FEB 2003

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The Neighborhood

There used to be a family-owned store
right there, on the corner where the bus stops;
and when I was a kid, they sold much more
than bubble-gum, candy and lollipops.

It was like stepping into a dreamscape
each time you passed slowly through the front door.

Unlike my house, where you could not escape
and the “you” that they expected got more
attention than the real “you” in progress,
in this place I felt good about myself,
and knew it was okay to be just me.

Even some parents knew the store’s address,
and helped the owners restock the toy shelves
so their kids (and others) could shop for free.

But the neighborhood is different now,
and they have torn down that wonderful store,
built up arcades filled with games that go “pow”;
it’s not a peaceful, calm street anymore.

And there’s no one on our block who’s older
that treats kids like they will grow up someday,
and that offers a supportive shoulder
for those times when the world seems cold and gray.

It’s not all that hard to be nice, you know,
or actually care how the world’s gone wrong
enough to try to help, and comprehend
that neighborhoods, like people, also grow,
and sometimes it takes just a simple song
to convert a stranger into a friend.

in memory of Fred “Mister” Rogers

27 FEB 2003

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