Monthly Archives: August 2003


There are so many minutes in a day
that it may not seem much to waste a few;
yet these small fragments, worthless as they may
seem, once they are exhausted, life is through.

They pass without much notice, or remark,
absorbed in larger, more important things;
but when you spend them, sleepless, in the dark,
you hear the quiet song that each one sings.

Seize hold this song, and learn each phrase by heart;
for this tune is the soundtrack to the script
that you write with each breath and every move.

Like letters forming words, so small they start —
before you notice, paragraphs have slipped
across the page, and once writ, don’t improve.

30 AUG 2003

inspired by reading William Wordsworth

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Hell is to the North

They say the way is often well-paved and leads
down along the map. But I have wondered, lying listening
to the constant rain, about the benefits of concrete
and steel until it dawns on me.

The say that Mecca is to the east or west,
but when you’re on your knees, the direction is down –
to me, that means the South.

The sins in the cities of time are alloyed
from two parts innocence, one part greed and often,
a helping of guilt for good measure. Opportunity,
they say, canvasses more limited neighborhoods
than he used to. If you ain’t on his route, he won’t

But I know this – real chances don’t wait; they don’t
stand at the door and look in the windows. They’ll slip
in the kitchen by the screen, ’round midnight, like a thief,
and your wrought iron gates won’t help you none.

And further, when the sun won’t as much as shine
there’s not much chance of seeing the light, you dig?

You can sit here in darkness and cold, if you like,
But maybe you’ll be doing it alone.

I say, “That’s Hell.”

As for me, I shall move down to New Orleans;
and when the wind blows heavy with sweat I shall laugh –
for although rumor and sense might otherwise indicate,
the actual gates of Hell are located
much further North.


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at one a.m., when sleep won’t come
and my thoughts ramble, loose
in my head like marbles in a tin can,
the night air still oppressive and thick
under the carport where my cigarettes
call out their siren’s song,
silence and the cicadas drowned out
by the abrasive whirr of central air units
next door, down the street, one block over,
my body falling down with tired
that my too-wired mind
refuses to acknowledge:
these are the manic times, the hours
that stretch out until dawn and burn
what wax is fresh and virgin clean
from the candlestick that moves
this weary flesh from stock still meat
to animus. in a minute, these few lines
will finish — then a smoke on the front lawn,
a cup of chilled green tea,
a half-assed yoga pose to tease
my weary bone-tired joints,
then off to lay in bed awake
and count the minutes
until they blur together in a hazy
alpha state where no new dreams come —
they are afraid to disturb,
to start anew the wheels of cognition
that so obviously need
the lubrication of a soothing slumber.

29 AUG 2003

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Me and My Shadow

Inside me is a shadow
that waits for days like these:
when small things blossom into
catastrophes, its seems
to swallow up the sunshine,
and linger, like a fog
there on the steps beside me
as my feet slowly move
into this house, where love lives
and life is sweet and good.

It follows me in silence
and fills my mind with fears:
that I am not worth loving
and will just disappear.

And then, it bites in anger
at my protesting self,
sapping my strength and motive,
so I can barely think.

A dark, foreboding takes me
from this fair world of light,
and in its grasp I flounder.

No hand hold to be found
nor peaceful thought of beauty
there in that place of woe.

I lay no blame on others
for this, my wretched state —
it comes upon me, sometimes
and will not dissipate
until its passion passes,
and leaves me, sore and tired.

There is no rhyme or reason,
save I am uninspired.

And is this lack of sunshine
the fault of those I love?
No, it is just my shadow,
half of what I’m made of.

28 AUG 2003

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The Dust That Settles Between Sculptures

When you think of all the time spent constructing a life,
each scene cast in its fragile plaster mold
and then carefully chiselled and sanded away
so the finished piece can find its own path in the world

out there beyond the workshop’s doors, where it
will age with elements outside your control,
sometimes you dwell on the dust that settles
on your tools and sticks between the floorboards

like a heavy mist. But you cannot stay in that malaise
and have your work succumb to shadows;
The record of this day you must too erase,
where those two sets of footprints,

yours and your life’s work
smudged there in the pale grit at the door,
lead out, and only one set, yours,
returns. If not erase, then at least sweep clean

the way; else the memory of those last moments,
when the art must leave the artist’s hands
to seek its own workshop, build its own
reputation, will lose its deeper meaning,

and leave only a marred and ruined foundation
upon which the work of the future is lain.
This great work of art, so lovingly made,
is ready to be shown.

The sorrow would be greater if it were not so.
These tears will wipe the dust away,
and cleanse the heart anew.
And your work will come back, and will say

for all your effort, thank you.
So find no sadness in the plaster,
no remorse, no great disaster.
The piece is finished, and is good.

But it is not the only art inside you.
Build on that great store — you can, and should.

28 AUG 2003

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A Novel Introduction

For one of a number of reasons, you have stumbled across this journal, and there is some likelihood that you are interested in reading it.

Perhaps the title intrigued you – a title that suggests to you a subject matter in which you have a level of interest. However, I must warn you that you are probably going to be greatly disappointed, if you are looking for some great answer, or if you are one that expects the single grain of sand that contains the key to enlightenment to somehow be sifted from the entire beach by someone else and handed to you as an unearned, but expected, gift. But before you abandon your quest for answers within these entries, before you click past this journal unread or send the link as a gift to someone you dislike, stop for just a minute and take stock of your situation. Remove, if you will, your greatcoat and hat of preconceived notions. Set aside your baggage, emotional and otherwise, that ties you to your current worldview. Then pause, gently close your eyes, and simply breathe.

Now, let us talk about magic.

Not legerdemain or slight of hand, nor “the science of modifying reality to your will.” Magic, true magic, will not in and of itself bring you love, happiness, wealth, fame or power, although some would suggest that these things are possible. It is not magic to get want you want, when you want it. Closer, perhaps, to a true definition is that magic is learning what you really need to learn and putting yourself in a position where instruction can be found. Further, Magic is not something “to be done,” in the sense that one can write a poem, sing a song or paint a picture, although there is a part of magic in each of these activities. Rather, magic is something to become, to be.

Please, if you think that you are in need of power over another, or that Your Will is the key to the unraveling of life’s mysteries, dark and latent secrets that may bring you dominion over the realm of senses and a private door into the treasure hall of truth, consider the content of this journal as the description of an alternative goal, and not a method for achieving such things. If you are not willing to believe that the greatest part of the destination is in the journey to find it, then perhaps our friendship and this journal is not for you. That is neither good nor bad – but it is probably the first and last truth you will be able to take from these pages and apply effectively.

But this is not a “how-to” journal, anyway. It is a “what-if and “why-not” sort of thing – which is probably not what you were looking for to begin with. In that case, bright blessings and good journeys to you. Our paths may cross again.

Anyone still here at this point? Wonderful. Then laissez le bon temps roulez.


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After Reading Robert Burns

My love is like a red, red rose
that blooms one day in spring;
its beauty fills the world with awe
and wonder, but the thing

itself will fade and turn to seed
bring forth some future flower
and by its death, though sad indeed,
live on through endless hours.

Its petals fade and fall to dust
lose their warm glow and luster;
and those who simply feel they must
preserve them, only filibuster.

For love is like a red, red rose,
it cannot be contained –
and though its pattern few may know,
the truth is clear and plain:

The world is filled with wond’rous things,
that show themselves, then go.
Each moment gone, another brings,
in one unending flow.

And love, to grow, must also change
so it can bloom anew –
Thus, like the rose in different seasons
is my love for you.

28 AUG 2003

after Robert Burns

for Starlight Dances, born on Burns Night

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