Dec 30, 2009

The Last Decade

The last decade I have in a the capital region of California. We moved here from the Bay Area to find better affordability and more room for our kids to run and play. Since we have come here that has been true and we even had a 3rd child while here. I think somewhere along the way, I lost my way so to speak. I forgot why we moved here.

For me, work has been generally stable, as I've only worked at two different companies during the time we've been here. In other areas of my life, it has not been as good. I don't have very many significant male friendships since living here, at least locally. I have several good friends back in my hometown that I've kept in touch with, but here, not so much.

I generally assess the year and look forward to the next at this time of year. I like to take stock of my life and look ahead to the new year, making goals for the new year. It seems even more significant that this is the start of a new Decade. This year I've come to the conclusion that I do not like living here. That is not the case for everyone in my family. My daughter loves living here. She's in 8th grade this year and has lots of friends at her school. But, anyway that has lead me to think about the past almost decade that we've lived here; we moved here in March of 2000. So it's close enough to say it's been a decade here in the Capital Region. What have we accomplished during this time? I don't think it was all a waste of time as I did earlier in the week.

Well, my kids have had a stable home to grow up in: They are 13, 11 and 8 years old. My youngest son has only know this area as home, and the other two barely remember our old city, other than visits to our family back there. My wife has completed her Mastera Degree and is a little over half way through a Ph. D. program. I have worked about half of my adult life here, developing in my career, growing and learning in my field as a business person in the technical realm. I've had a Renaissance of creativity while I've been up here. I have written over 200 poems since living here, not to mention other writings.....Wow, about 225 poems, I went back and counted them!!! I wrote 84 poems during the 90's

I really want to move back, and feel like if I stay here I will be stuck. I may have the possibility of transferring to my old city with my current company. What if I move back and I'm unhappy there? I miss the people, but what if I move back and it is terrible there. I've been living in fear, and excitement about the possibilities. My sister really wants me to move back as does my best friend, and I know my Mom would love it. Sometimes I've been escaping reality by doing searches on Craigslist for rentals back there, mapping to my company and my friends house from whatever rental I am looking at; scouting out the schools the kids could possibly attend; checking the API scores at those possible schools. There is also my wife getting a teaching job there after she is done with her PhD. There are a lot of "What Ifs" and I am afraid to really explore it all for fear that it may not happen and I'm stuck here for another decade and then I would be 52 instead of 42.

I need your help Jesus to not fear. And to not freak out.

I've been reading a Donald Miller book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. It has really given me a lot to think about. The subtitle says a lot about it, "What I Learned While Editing My Life." He talks about Writing a better life and allowing the Author of Life, Jesus, to help you in doing that, editing your life into a better story. It really knocks up against the idea of "Being Stuck" which is what I've felt like for a while. I don't know if it is just depression or that I really am stagnant in my life. I want to move head first into the new year, with expectation and hope, instead of fear and trepidation. I need to cling to the many "Fear Not" verses that God has given.

Will return because I need to think about this decade further........

Nov 9, 2009

Quote Surprises Me

I was listening to an interview with Mary Karr on NPR the other day and she had a quote read by the interviewer that really grabbed my attention. I had to keep going back on the podcast to transcribe the quote:


“When you’ve been hurt enough as a kid it’s like having a trick knee. Most of your life you can function like an adult, but add in the right proportions of sleeplessness and stress and grief and the hurt-defeated self can bloom into place.” ~Mary Karr from her memoir, Lit


I felt it spoke to me so clearly. My life in the last 15 years or so has been pretty stable. I'm married and have three kids and all in all have a pretty good life. But so many times I feel the wounded-ness of my childhood overwhelming my life today when I have to much "sleeplessness and stress and grief," in my daily life. The pain and "trick knee" is palatable and can be very present at times. Sometimes I just can't shake it. The scabs are pulled off and the wounds can seem so fresh, so painful, so present.


I need the Great Physician to put a healing balm of love on my wounds. I feel sick and need a doctor. Heal me Jesus.

Sep 29, 2009

Did my 5K and still going!!

I ran in a 5K on September 19th and I'm continuing the running. Last night I ran 1.91 miles in 30 minutes. I think I'm going to be living a healthy lifestyle. I am actually enjoying the running.

It is past the 1/2 way point in the year, for sure, and I am going to revisit all my goals in the next few days and see how I'm doing. I want to make an assessment and start planning early for next year's goals.

Aug 14, 2009

I need to Be Healthy

I am going to run in a 5K race on September 19th as a way of getting healthy and putting exercise into my daily life. I found a website that has you do it in 6 weeks, From Couch Potato to 5K in 6 weeks:

From Couch Potato to 5K in 6 Weeks


I have a little less time than that so I am doing it in about 5 weeks.

Here I go!

Jun 9, 2009

The long, slow road to friendship in the desert

This is video of my feelings on friendship, rather a long drought of friendship where I live, or at least a sparseness of friendship.


video

Jun 4, 2009

Health Goals with assistance from a Health Coach

I met with a Mayo Health Clinic Health coach today and came up with some goals.

  • Exercise 2 times a week for 20 minutes over the next couple weeks.
  • Use my iPhone app, Lose It, to record the food I eat.
  • Eat at least 1 fruit and 1 vegetable serving a day (it's a start!).

I meet with the health coach again on the 18th and then after I return from vacation on July 14th.
He is going to send me some info that will help on food info.

I think this is realy good.  Also the Mayo Clinic EmbodyHealth Portal that I have access to has a lot of really good info on related to Fitness, Excercise and Stress.

Hopefully I will be able to work my goals while I am on vacation.  I will give it a good shot!

May 14, 2009

Elegy For Mike

Mike was a kid I used to know,
He came to Young Life pretty regularly
I gave him rides,
I hung out with him, Jason and Alex at times.

My wife tells me
his funeral Service notice
is posted on Facebook,
would have been only about 30 years old.
His parents must be heartbroken.

What happened in the past dozen years?
So much living, lived.
Did life unravel on him?
Choice were made, or not made.
Was it an accident,
or was it careless living?
I don’t know.

Now I’m writing a poem about,
a blond haired kid from Saratoga,
a kid whose parents loved him,
who I had some laughs with,
gave some rides to,
had some ice cream with,
drank coffee with in downtown,
just a small slice of life really.
He always seemed a little troubled,
but real and honest
in conversation.

He had called my friend,
at high and low points,
over the past couple years,
filling him in on life.
His life cut short,
is there anything
we could have done?
Maybe,
maybe not.

Regrets may remain,
but the grave does not care
and his parents’ hearts are broken,
with no more memories of Mike to be made.

May 12, 2009
"We get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless." ~Paul Bowles

May 1, 2009

Can’t We Discuss It?

dis·cus·sion
NOUN:
1. Consideration of a subject by a group; an earnest conversation.
2. A formal discourse on a topic; an exposition.

I am a Democrat.
       I am a Republican.
I am a Libertarian.
       I am a Christian.
I am an Agnostic.
       I am a Communist.
I am a Fill-In-The-Blank

Affiliation trumps citizenship.

We are Balkanized,
       Fragmented,
Breaking apart,
       Instead of coming together.
The tectonic plates collide
       No other view
than yours
       Is heard,
Words spewed out,
       Partisanship trumps citizenship.

But, I am an American.

Care is not there.
                    Debate over
                                The person’s feelings,
All that matters is
YOUR            point
YOU

HAVE

TO

MAKE.
You’re Right
        they’re wrong.

You Win
        They lose

But, we’re all Americans.

Can’t be there be discussion?

“But so-and-so is ruining our country.”
                   Not true.
                   We’re Stronger than that.
Check back in 4 to 8 years,
         the country will still be standing.

But will we find understanding?
Will we hear one another?
Will we listen to anything?

        Or             will            our           blathering           voices,
        spouting            out           OUR         OPINIONS
        So                                                       Loud,
        SO VERY LOUD,

Matter more?


Will the other person’s Voice,
                       opinions,

                                  concerns,

                                                     be drowned out?

We are AMERICANS,

Can’t we embrace this common ground?

February 27, 2009

Written because of my frustration with the inability of being able to discuss any politics with out people crushing people’s feelings and only caring about their own opinions, both from the left and the right.  This is especially true of this type of discussion that happens online, on Facebook, Etc.

NaPoWriMo # 30

Written Out

Late night sessions have been a lot of fun.
Now this month’s scibblings are done.
My lines now will be somewhat brief,
They are written with some sense of relief,
Mixed with some feelings of loss,
Later I will have to put on some gloss
On all these poems I have penned,
and now this month has come to an end.
But I will not have my writing suspend.


April 30, 2009

Apr 30, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 29

My Archeology Site

Simple things are not so
More behind the veil of the past.
Could explain the fissures.
More than can be spoken,
Still hidden,
Must remain buried,
For now.
Like an archeologist I’m at the dig site
Coal and diamonds are there.
Fear holds me back,
From my memories
I don’t think I can lift up the pick,
It must happen another day


Based on the prompt from Read Write Poem, "I Don't Think I can"
http://readwritepoem.org/2009/04/29/napowrimo-29-i-dont-think-i-can/

April 29, 2009

Apr 28, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 28

Mars, God of War

As Mars read the Scarlet Letter
he recalled,
"Though your sins be as scarlet,
they shall be white as snow."
He was red-faced.
White was such a weak color.
He roared, ready to go to war.

What would the Roman God of Mars Do?
I think he might pick up a book,
Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles,
for some insights
Maybe if Mars were feeling fiery,
he’d pull out FAHRENHEIT 451.
Get some of the “Fire” men to help him
fight his war with him.

But Guy Montag wouldn’t be much help.
So Mars would need to enlist Shakespeare
“Waving our red weapons o’er our heads”
Mars liked that sentiment,
and called on Shakespearean actors.
But those people were a waste
all they did after quoting that line
was to start reading all of Shakespeare’s Sonnets,
starting with One and continuing on through.
Mars got impatient
and killed them all.

He then tried to enlist some soldiers,
He chose the soldiers that fought in the Red Badge of Courage.
They too were disappointing,
far too old,
modern weapons confused them.
Mars let them join
Civil War Reenactments in Virginia,
too frail to kill,
Vulcan would laugh at him,
His heart on his sleeve.

He thought, maybe some “Red-Blooded Americans”
might have what he needed.
So he looked up a guy named Bruce,
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
Bruce called up old buddies of from Jersey,
some welders, dockworkers, and
other blue-collar guys from the Jersey shore.
The Boss asked Mars what wanted them to play.

Mars was flabbergasted!
Play? What did he mean?
He’d heard the Boss could wield a mean axe.
After realizing the “Axe” was a guitar,
Mars resigned from red-hot anger
and asked Bruce and his E Street Band
to soothe him and play a song.

The Boss began to play with his Jerseys boys,
 over 100 guitars pounding out
a raucous, rollicking song
for Mars, God of War.

This poem is based on a promtp form Read Write Poem on "seeing red"
http://readwritepoem.org/2009/04/28/napowrimo-28-seeing-red/


April 28, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 27

Beware of Homosapiens

Forget about the dog in that house,
there are people in there.
There’s a man with sharp words,
There’s a woman with biting sarcasm.
Another is rabid with unpredictability,
as he walks through his daily routine.
Insensitivity is on that one like fleas,
irritating all who are exposed.

It’s a always a smorgasbord of surprises,
like a beef stew on Sunday,
or Jambalaya on Fat Tuesday,
when people are involved,
part of the adventure of being alive,
our dark sides shine through,
even in the midst of our noblest moments.
Redemption can come,
moments after purgatorial wanderings.
Personality, character, soul are as
important as the water and chemical compounds,
that hold us together.
Is life is like a box of chocolates?

We are not black and white, cut and dried,
but like snowflakes,
beautiful, delicate, and intricate,
but melting so easily.
We are more complex than a DNA double helix.
The wondrous, beautiful disasters,
are very close,
within us all.

April 27, 2009

Apr 26, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 26

In My Town

I pass them daily
Target, Starbucks, Jamba Julice,
Suburban living.

April 26, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 25

Life of a Former Childhood Day Dreamer

Why do we always think the grass is greener?
When we get to the new yard it’s full of weeds.
Our cup of tea makes it easier to be an explorer.

We think that they have a nice demeanor,
But seeing what we want, we see their deeds
Why do we always think the grass is greener?

Instead we end up with a misdemeanor,
this time we weren’t someone who reads.
Our cup of tea makes it easier to be an explorer.

A new city is not the same as buying a coffeemaker,
we hope what we are brewing up succeeds.
Why do we always think the grass is greener?

I need to be more introspective and less of a runner.
Problems follow us where we go, more than one concedes. 
Our cup of tea makes it easier to be an explorer.

But life’s too short, I need to be an adventurer,
Get out my compass, coffee, map and stead.
Why do we always think the grass is greener?
Our cup of tea makes it easier to be an explorer.

April 26, 2009

Apr 25, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 24

Dog 2.0

If my dog had a Twitter account,
What would he say?


@Scout: “I’m about to lie down on my bed, about to nap.”
8:07 AM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: Tap, tap on the glass, “I want to go out.”
9:20 AM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: Ruff, ruff, “I NEEEEEED TO GO OUT!!”
9:27 AM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: 2 minutes later tap, tap on the glass, “I want to come back in”
9:29 AM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “I’m back on my bed.”
9:36 AM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “Oh, Lady Master has her keys and bag, she’s about to leave. Darn!
9:51 AM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Lady Master: “Blah blah blah, Bye Scout, blah blah blah, Scout”
9:58 AM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “Well, I guess I’m going to lay on my bed now. Maybe after I’m sure she’s gone, I will take a look in the trash. Will nap first”
10:01 AM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “I heard something, maybe my owner is home?!”
12:07 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “Nope, just a car turning around.”
12:10 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “I found some old bread in the trash, mmm, Good! OOHHH!, AN EMPTY PEANUT BUTTER JAR!!!.”
12:48 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “I’m still licking the peanut butter jar.”
1:22 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “I need to lie down, again.”
1:31 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “I think my Master is opening the garage. It is Herrr!!! Must…find…shoe!”
2:06 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “Oh boy, it is her!! Here she comes, it’s so exciting!!!”
2:09 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@LadyMaster: “Blah blah blah, Scout, blah blah, Scout, Good Boy! Blah blah!
2:11 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “She said my name!!!”
2:11 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@LadyMaster: “Blah blah blah, SCOUT! What’s on your bed, blah blah, Bad dog! Blah blah!
2:14 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “Oh no, not good, I’m hiding under the food room table!”
2:15 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “The coast is clear, Lady Master is in her room. Need to lay down again”
2:24 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: Tap, tap on the glass, “I want to go out.”
4:09 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: Tap, tap on the glass, “I want to come back in.”
4:16 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “Lady Master is at the food room table, I’m going to lay near her.”
4:29 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “I hear my Man Master, keys are jangling, he’s at the front door, he’s almost innnnn! Where’s that shoe?!?! Here he is!!”
5:24 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Man Master: “Blah blah blah, Scout, blah Blah, Scout, Good Boy! Blah blah!
5:27 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “The whole pack is here, oh good!”
5:43 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “Going to lay on my bed.”
5:45 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: Tap, tap on the glass, “I want to go out.”
6:02 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: Tap, tap on the glass, “I want to come back in.”
6:09 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “I need to drink water.”
6:14 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “I need to lay down.”
6:16 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “I smell something good coming from the food room”
6:23 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “Sitting by Lady Master’s feet.”
6:25 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “MMMMMMM, something in the stove smells good.”
6:28 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “Must lay down, while food is cooking.”
6:32 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@Scout: “This is taking a long time, need to go back to my bed.”
6:49 PM Apr 24th from mobile web
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

April 24, 2009

Apr 24, 2009

Pushing Beyond the Albatross (NaPoWriMo # 23)

Pushing Beyond the Albatross

Day twenty-three hopefully
Won’t be the death of me.
Cobbling together many lines,
Sometimes leads to new designs.
Its hard to write night after night,
Without coming across as trite.
The pressures of my day,
Sometimes get in the way,
Pushing me to write so late,
Can become a heavy weight,
Not enough time to germinate.
The best poems need space,
For the mind to embrace.
When writing is an albatross,
Often it feels like a loss.
Writing should be a joy,
And never should annoy.

If I write more earlier in the day,
Then it would be less prone to cliché.
The ideas need time to marinate,
And not just some due date.
But I have a day job,
I ain’t no slob.
I said I would write thirty,
And I know some aren’t purty.
I will make my goal,
And in my lumps of coal,
A diamond may be found,
Without making much sound.
Ideas molded just right,
I will continue to write,
When the 30 days are done,
They will be seen as a dry run.
Because I am very content
That this is time well spent.

April 23, 2009

Apr 22, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 22

Form Over Function or Functionless Form

Vertically
Drop
Making
Times
Seem
Strange
And
Ominous. 
The form
Shapes the meaning.
We expect certain things
By what come next or how
Punctuation is used,
Or not used when a line ends
Or when a thought is linked to that last line.
What
Comes
Next
Is up to the creator.
Reader,
What do you want.
In the meaning?
(Like a novel has
A beginning
A middle
An end)
What will make a poem
Complete
For the reader, reading?
Challenges arise.
Expectations shape,
What we think
Will come
Blasted lucky one,
The reader,
Brings the past,
Her present,
His hopes, his dreams, her fears,
Inadequacy
Incompetence
Incompleteness.
Long linear lines are what some want in their poems, very prose like in the making , phrases that keep it going, keep the thought coming through,
Staccato
Short lines
Make others
Happy.

What makes the writer happy?
I’m not quite sure-
Yet, yet I continue on, not knowing where this will take
Us.
What
will
keep
the reader
reading?
And the writer

Writing?

April 22, 2009

Apr 21, 2009

Thoughts On The Year so far

In church this past Sunday as I was waiting for the service to start I was thinking of some verses that I had been thinking of off and on recently:
Hebrews 10:24-25
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Then the pastor started out with that exact passage as an intro to what he was teaching. When God wants to get my attention, I've found he uses repetition.

So I was thinking about these verses again today and grabbing onto them at the same time wondering what God wants me to do with them. I've added them to a list of verses that I am holding onto this year:
1 Corinthians 1:25
For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. (really all of 1 Cor 12:7-10)
Jeremiah 29:11-14
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity.
Jeremiah 31:31-34
31 "The time is coming," declares the LORD,
"when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah.

32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their forefathers
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them, "
declares the LORD.

33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time," declares the LORD.
"I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.

34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,'
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,"
declares the LORD.
"For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more."

Isaiah 61:1-4
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners, a]">

2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

Also, I want to be more intentional in what I do with this year. I don't want to end the year and find that events have washed over me over the course of the year and all I have done is react to them. Doing the Poetry Month, poem a day is part of that intentionality, but also I have other things. I started out the year of journaling ever day, but have not done that as much, but am going to get back to that. Life has a way of sneaking up and running you over. I don't want that to happen, but need to be intentional in the choices I make. As I seek to grow friendships live intentionally, I will hold onto these verses.

NaPoWriMo # 21

Dental Garage

I don’t like going to the dentist.
I was going to turn over a new leaf with the dentist.
I think that tree is broken.

Don’t get me wrong,
Dentists are nice people.
I have a friend who’s a dentist.
But they’re always poking around,
it’s uncomfortable:
fillings,
drillings,
crowns,
root canals,
poke and prod.
The hygienist needs to scrape your teeth,
open your mouth wide for an hour,
while she pokes around
and asks you your life story,
with water squirting,
hoses sucking,
sticks poking,
scrapers scraping,
sonic-noise-maker emitting it’s high pitch noise.

With your insurance,
that will only be $450 for that crown.
It’s like taking myself into the garage,
the mechanic looks under the hood,
pulling on belts and hoses,
we’ll get back you at the end of the day
with your estimate.
Jeez Louise!!
“The reason it is so much Mr. Estes,
you’ve blown out the universal joint and the transmission
by your back molars needs rebuilding.
We’ll have to check for parts,
but we’ll have to have you back into the shop
next Tuesday morning for 3 hours.”

They put me on the rack,
Lower me down,
shine their bright light under the hood,
“Hold on while we put in this foot long needle,
you’re going to feel a little pinch.”
Yeah, it was a little “pinch”
Uh, I need a little more,
I can feel the drill still.

I feel much better now.
I should make that appointment,
for the crown work,
that I cancelled in December,
and continue turning over
my new dental leaf.

April 21, 2009

Apr 20, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 20

Covert Sandwiches

The cacophony of the xylophone interrupted the agents’
clandestine Cambodian delicatessen operation.
Espionage, great food and ambiance disintegrate instantly.

April 20, 2009

The American Sandwich
Write a piece of flash fiction in just three American Sentences. Allen Ginsberg's American Sentence has seventeen syllables. Your task is to use as few words as possible to fill the sandwich.

http://theamericansandwich.blogspot.com/

Apr 19, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 19

Strike It Rich

The Poetry percolates,
but can’t make it up through the granite.
Turned inward,
Inertia keeps me going.
Up the mountain,
through the cavern,
I explore the depths
like a gold miner digging for ore.
I follow the vein,
pull out the pick and start working.
No luck,
pull out the dynamite.

Boom

Boom

KaBoom

I begin to strike my claim.

First I find some rhymed verse,
Hope I don’t come across terse.
Digging a little bit deeper
Finding for myself some meter.

I keep digging for nuggets of memories,
lines mined from the golden ore,
sifting through the rocks and dirt.

I have my pick, shovel and the light on my helmet
Here I go!

April 19, 2009

Apr 18, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 18

Wisdom Takes Time

When he was a boy he lied,
he stole things sometimes for fun,
wisdom showed stealing and lying wrong
Complacency brought white lies.
Again tempted to steal.
He knows stealing is wrong.
And he does what’s right, this time.

April 18, 2009

Apr 17, 2009

NaPoWriMo #17

Dinosaurs and Oreos

The brontosaurus and pterodactyl don’t often make it to the grocery store.
Last time they went to Safeway they made a huge mess.
Bronto told Ptero that he really needed Oreos and milk,
because he was tired of eating Fichus trees and giant ferns.

What’s the big deal anyway?
So Bronto got sick of the salad bar.
Ptero could deal with the Oreos and milk, she got it,
variety is the spice of life, etc.
What worried her is what came next.
She’d seen this before, with other herbivores.

First it started with the junk food,
under the guise of salad exhaustion.
Next it was the lunch meat, some turkey and ham.
Then they moved on to burgers from In-N-Out,
before you knew it, it was whole sides of beef, from Harris Ranch.
It was a slippery slope that quickly led to carnivorous behavior.
Maybe Bronto was stronger than Rex and Stego,
Ptero hoped she was wrong,
she would humor Bronto as he crashed
through the front of Safeway for his Oreos.

April 17, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 16

Einstein Is In My Kitchen

My age has been on my mind.
I’m not old, yet not young anymore.
I’m on my 42nd trip around the sun.
How many more trips around will I take?

This life is finite.
I put the trashcans out every Tuesday night.
It seems like I’m putting them out every other day.
Is some form of Einstein’s time relativity at work?
Is the planet moving more quickly for me?
I’ve blinked a few times and ¼ of the year is over.

My daughter is in Jr. High.
In two weeks she will be graduating high school,
and in another couple college will be over.
Then 3 days later I ‘ll be walking her down the aisle.

Einstein, are you messing around with my Space-Time Continuum?
Let go into the kitchen and have a cup of coffee.

April 16, 2009

Apr 16, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 15

Technical Difficulties Only Corrected After 11 PM

I submit a very late poem today,
Because working got in the way.
Late nights due to technology
Must keep running, no apology.
Phones are cranky when interrupted,
but these are not so easily corrupted.
Conficker didn’t hit, we run on Linux
Like Popeye, they eats their spinach.
I’ll put you and this poem out of misery
hopefully you enjoyed my delivery.

April 15, 2009

Apr 14, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 14: NaisaiKu

Cross country trip calls,
Leave California in June.
Five people packed in
ARE WE CRAZY :-)
Five people packed in
Leave California in June.
Cross country trip calls

April 14, 2009
This form was found on at the following location:
http://naisaiku.blogspot.com/2009/02/naisaiku-sandwich.html

Apr 13, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 13

34 Remedies

The donkey has an acute case of hiccups.
He cannot get rid of them and turns green.
In singularity of purpose,
the donkey tries to end the constant hiccupping.
First he asks the dog to scare him,
Then the cow tells to hold his breath,
Next the pig tells to drink a glass of water upside down,
After going through 29 more remedies,
No dice, it doesn’t work.

The hiccups are driving all his fellow animals mad,
so the donkey checks into a hotel.
After falling into a deep sleep,
The donkey dreams of a Changeling
Meeting him with a handful of Tums and a glass of Pepto-Bismol.
“Eat these!” the Changelings shouts, and,
“Chase them down with this pink nectar.”

The donkey wakes in a sweat,
heart thumping out of his chest,
with the fire alarm going off and
he kicks his door down in a panic,
still hiccuping into the parking lot.

Standing with all the other guests,
still in their pajamas,
A spider lands on his nose,
donkey shrieks, “Spider! Ahhhh!”
He charges back to the farm
Jubilant that the hiccups are gone


April 13, 2009

Apr 12, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 12

Departures and Arrivals

How do you choose your destination,
where will you arrive?
Looking up at the monitors for Departures & Arrivals,
can be somewhat confusing.
Life seems to be constant series of Departures and arrivals.

You depart the womb as you arrive in birth, new to the world.
You depart the comfort of family, and arrive at school.
You Depart High School and arrive at college or a job,
everything and everyone is new.
You depart from your family, and arrive in marriage.
You depart your old city, and arrive at new city.
Every choice to arrive to something new, involves
both a departure, or loss, of something familiar, and gaining of something new.

The Arrival and Departure monitors in life’s airport,
show nothing more that city you’re leaving or getting to.
What’s it like there?
Who will I meet?
Will I like them, and will they like me?
Who will I miss, who will I never see again?
Something completely new and amazing is bound to happen,
happenings that can be good, and bad, unexpected
sometimes simultaneously.

I have my boarding pass, a map, and not much else.
Another flight is about to take off.

April 12, 2009

Apr 11, 2009

NaPoWriMo #11

Another Day At The Office


Rex arrived late to work, second time this week,
Darn bullet tube train running late, again.
Rex still hoped his boss wouldn’t remember,
wouldn’t ask about the late report.

Report could wait,
Now time to leave,
had to meet Fido at Barkbucks,
For their usual mid-morning dog scone,
and he really needed his double espresso.
If anything urgent were happening
videomail would come through on his Dogberry.

Fido was in great spirits as usual,
New fire hydrants installed on his block.
The good news was that Fido was able
to trade in his week of time-share for one on Earth.
Lulu and Rex had not been to Earth since their honeymoon,
that planet had some of the best smells, best hydrants in the Galaxy.
Didn’t’ hurt that that was where the first Barkbucks opened,
Must remember to reload his card before they leave.

The Dogberry is vibrating,
must be his boss checking on the report.
Back to the old grindstone.

April 11, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 10

Dreams From A Frozen Planet

I’m an Angry Water buffalo
Words spill out easily some days
He sends me deep-space transmissions
Hammered by the harshness of wind
discussion
Feeding the obsessions
My attention span is so short
Piles and piles of papers and junk
Some would like to have life all neat and tidy
Dead tired after
I stand at the sink alone in my thoughts,
I’m sitting in the middle of a construction zone
I dreamt of flying last night
I sit waiting for the Papers
Poet touch every hand
Words
Like a dry bone I feel very hard
I am frozen
Crushed down I will rise up
Push and pull of memories
I need to be me
The masters are peering out of the page
Journals
Come on down for some Karaoke
You still have some more time
I can’t seem to get to that pen
Ricochet between life’s curve balls
Celebrate through the rhythm and music
I can’t let of go the memories
For many years I was a missing person
My journals are a door to what I am thinking
Liberty, opportunity, hope
Piping hot strong coffee
I feel it will pour out
Things are not always as you plan them
Piles of papers overwhelm
Sometimes I seem to be trapped
On a planet far away,
I am frozen
I can’t let go of the memories
Poetry, is it
In my quiet dream?
The paper fell down from the window as a butterfly
The keys are clicking as the brain
Walks in rhyming rains
It’s true we may not be Shakespeare
Toast stacked four slices deep rests on the plate
The words are in my head
When I was 18 years old
What can I write on?
A person can go through his life
Look inside yourself
What are you working for?
Memories fill my head
Juggling many balls at once
Things are not always as you plan them.

April 10, 2009

Apr 9, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 9

Listen

God listens to me

when I’m happy,
when I’m sad,
when I’m alone,
when I’m desperate,
when I’m yelling,
when I’m crying,
when I’m joking,
when I’m complaining,
when I babble in moans and groans that word can’t express,
when I am running,
when I fail,
when I cheat,
when I lie,
when I love,
when mock,
when I am hungry,
God listens

Do I listen when God speaks?

Do I listen

in the rain,
in new beginnings,
in the heat,
in the morning,
in the evening,
in my dark hours,
in tragedy,
in birth,
in happiness,
in the hustle & bustle,
in exhaustion,
in pain,
in death,
in the stillness of dawn,
in slow times,
in chaos,
in the traffic,
in the silence.
God speaks

Am I speaking,
when I should be listening?
Am I silent
when I should be speaking?

God listens and God speaks.

April 9, 2009

Apr 8, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 8

Poem Factory

So many poems are needed,
Every April; I will open a poem factory.
I will build an assembly line and
I will hire out of work autoworkers,
to man the line.
Some will help pound out the rhythm;
others will run a conveyor belt,
a belt that carries all the words to the Wordsmiths.

I will hire out of work steel workers too.
These former steel workers will transfer their skills,
skills the poem factory needs and can use.
Alphabet letters will be heated to 2000 degrees,
mixed in with molten ideas and poured into molds.
These idea molds will be put on the conveyor belt.
Beatniks will inspect the molds as they go by,
then on to the Wordsmiths who are waiting.

The fun begins when the Wordsmiths start.
Pounding and clanging resound as they take the ideas from the line.
Sledgehammers, mallets, chisels, and all sorts of poem-making tools
will be used to form and shape ideas into words.
There’s some metaphor,
Clang, Clang, Clang
There goes some rhyme.
Clatter, Clatter, Clatter
Here comes free verse, with attitude.
Boom, Boom, Boom
End rhyme wants a place in the company.
Metal shavings fly everywhere,
as the Wordsmiths shape the ideas.

The conveyor belt screeches to a halt…
oh no, we forgot to pay our union dues.
The former steel & autoworkers are striking.

April 8, 2009

Apr 7, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 7

Out of Context

Clashing and smashing the garbage man came
and took cookies out of the oven.
Out of context in the wrong space the
garbage man keeps pace,
the pace car is in a race. Nonsense,
he tries to erase his place on the totem pole.

The baker gingerly drove the garbage truck
to the dump just as the timer went off.
He’s at a loss to why the flies are buzzing,
in his ear while the beep, beep of backing up
distracts from him parallel parking and
he can’t remember where he left his cookies.

Did he toss his cookies or lose them
or did he lose his marbles,
at least he still has his steely,
and what is the garbage man
doing in his the kitchen?

April 7, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 6

My Names

Jamie was my boyhood name.
In 6th grade I became James.
Being a good, masculine boy, I couldn’t
Take being called Jamie Summers, the Bionic woman..
A move to a new school, and new state and
I had a new name.

It was more.
Silly as it seems,
that was my Bar Mitzvah
It was my attempt to become a man.
I didn’t live with my father, so there were
no rites of passage,
no coming of age.
My new name was an attempt at growing up,
But it was only a name change.

James is a name that is serious
not overly common,
but I think it fits me,
Even if I miss Jamie, sometimes.

April 6, 2009

Apr 5, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 5 Thunderbird

The old homeless man dove into the pool.
Cool water soothed the summer night’s heat.
The moon reflected off the water,
the man saw all his life’s mistakes reflecting in the moon.

Why did he leave Martha for another,
his lover, the bottle?
His son he never knew; John grew up fatherless.
Why did he leave home at 16,
never speaking to his own father again,
Breaking his mother’s heart?

Liquor’s seductive voice called him,
and he always followed her,
always listened to her
She was his only counselor.

Sure, He’d cleaned up for a while,
Many times,
fooling no one but himself,
but he’d always went back to her, again
and again, and again

He could feel the Thunderbird wine
running through his head floating in the cool water.
He wondered if it was too late,
to late, for him to change,
probably,
he thought,
gazing up at the moon.

April 5, 2009

Apr 4, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 4

Haiku Poems

Sleeping Enemy

Conficker headache,
April fools not a big deal.
A big boom later?


Sleepy Eyes

Coffee maker drips,
Caffeine is calling to me.
Steamy, satisfies.

April 4, 2009

Apr 3, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 3: Perspectives

I am in an iron lung and someone just turned up the pressure.
I have a grand piano on my back and just past the 13th floor of a 20-story building.
I am a VW Bug pushing an 18-wheeler up the hills of San Francisco.
I am an ER waiting room with every chair filled and 20 people standing.
I am a pounding headache with no aspirin left in the bottle.
I am a Costco parking lot the day before Thanksgiving.

I am an ocean breeze on a warm summer day.
I am a 2-week vacation and just finished the last day of work.
I am a cold Diet Coke in a frosty glass.
I am a cat lying in a sunny picture window.
I am a quiet Saturday morning with everyone still asleep.
I am a cruise ship pulling away from the dock.


April 3, 2009


Apr 2, 2009

NaPoWriMo # 2: Egg Fiaso

After I woke up
Boiled eggs fell on me.
Can’t we fix this problem?
Don’t think it’s solved that easily,
Ever optimistic, I press on,
Fighting through the egg yokes and whites.
Gingerly I wade through my problem,
Hoping I don’t slip deeper into trouble.
I never thought eggs could cause me such strife,

Just eat these problems for breakfast.

Kellog’s would have been easier this morning,
Lucky Charms, bowl after bowl as a kid, even now.
Maybe some Frosted flakes would have been Great!

Never forget to let Captain Crunch soak in milk,
Otherwise it tears the roof of the mouth.
Put the cereal in perspective, the egg
Quagmire still tripped me up.
Ruined! I think not!
Search for solutions.
Try different options and
Understand that the same old
Vapid ways don’t cut it,
What would Ben Franklin do?
X marks the spot where my eggs landed.
Zealots are chasing me; they’ll never get my eggs!


Apr 1, 2009

NaPoWriMo #1: The Box

My dad was with us for a long time,
long after he was gone.
I had his ashes in the box,
the box they gave me at the funeral home.

The box was in my closet,
at more than one house.
It wasn’t fancy, but a hard brown plastic box.
My friends and I would joke about it,
I had “Bud in a box”
We had a lot of good laughs about it.

Being the oldest, responsibility fell to me.
I didn’t know what to do with it;
we often don’t know what to do with death.
Death’s uncomfortable,
sometimes unspeakable.
Laughter’s easier.

When I married,
Bud made his way to the trunk,
to the trunk of my VW bug,
and there he stayed for a year or more.
My dad rode around with me,
in with the spare tire and gas can,
wherever I went.
My mom said he would have found this hilarious,
riding around in the trunk of a VW Bug.
I agreed.

I thought we should do something
better with my dad,
something better than a brown plastic box.
So I went with my sister and brother;
we drove to Half Moon Bay, to Dad’s favorite beach.
I said a prayer,
after looking around wondering if this was legal,
and poured his ashes into the waves.

It seems less funny today,
looking back through the years,
but I know my dad would laugh with us,
in hearing about his adventures,
riding around in my VW Bug.

April 1, 2009


Feb 2, 2009

Wanting to Write vs. Actually Writing

I've been thinking about writing poems a lot lately, but have not actually written anything.  I've listened to a lot of poetry on podcasts, but have not written anything.  Sometimes it takes a lot to sit down and clear the noise inside my head and around me and to just write.  I let the busyness of life push me around, to bully me around so I do what it wants to do and not what I want to do.  Why is that?  Why can't I just do it?  What's holding me back?  Is it fear?  I want to write, but I don't do it.  Usually when I sit down to write I can do it.  It's not like I'm sitting there in front of blank sheet and not being able to produce like most writer's block.  It is more of block of even sitting down to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. 

Jesus, help me to write and sit down and move past the imaginary wall that is stopping me from writing.  Help to just do it!

Jan 26, 2009

Heavy Hearted Tonight

Reading a Facebook status of someone got me thinking. It is hard to wait. Patience is hard. I feel a bit of heartache, my own and others. I fell like I am a character is this poem I wrote a while back:

For the Broken

Poet, touch every hand.
Drop down every weight.
Lift every burden.
On the lead-lined highway
brokenness calls out;
desperate cries,
subtle sighs,
and pleading groans pour forth.

At the foot of the mountain
I hear the strong, quiet voice of God whisper,
You are mine; I am not finished with you.
Take heart and be courageous.”

I walk, my head held higher.
My steps are planted more firmly.

In desperate moments
people are hurting.
Be my voice.
Be my light.
Be my hands.
Be my comfort.
Be my vessel of grace.
Give them my Living Water.”

Written May 25, 2004
I feel a sadness, a mourning. I need your help, Jesus.

Lamentations 3:22-26
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;

it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.

I end this on a more hopeful note that all is not bleak, Jesus is for me.

Psalm 37:23-27
If the LORD delights in a man's way,
he makes his steps firm;

though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.

They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be blessed.

Turn from evil and do good;
then you will dwell in the land forever.

Philippians 1:6
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Jan 7, 2009

Update on Goals

So far the only goal I've committed to is journaling which I have done every day. I must say that it has been great to be writing in my journal again daily because when I examine my life, pray via journaling it leads to me reading my Bible more and just being more conscious, or intentional of what I'm doing. I've also played guitar twice since the new year started. That is something I want to do more regularly.

Intentional. I really want to be that way.

Health. I need to start working out on a regular basis. It is so hard to get started. I could get going by walking the dog. The first step is getting workout clothes to work.

For friendships, I need to spend less time online and actually do something face to face.

Well, I will revisit all this again soon.

Jan 2, 2009

2009: Goal Planning Continued

I'm still thinking about my goals. I'm pretty sure I'm going to journal everyday. I want to have a health goal, that can consist of both mental and physical components. I want to have a family goal and friends goal. I may want a creativity goal, I'm not sure. The areas are:
  • Spiritual
  • Health
  • People (Family and Friends)
  • Work
  • Creativity

This is sort of the order they will be in, but I think Health and People are on about the same level.
Creativity will have to be last and work, well that is in the mix pretty well because I am there about 9 or 10 hours a day.

I want this year to be more intentional than last year. I feel like I was being blown to and fro last year and at the mercy of everything in my life, and that led to feeling powerless. Now, I realize there will be many things that will be out of my control, but the things that are in my control, I want to be more intentional. I don't think I can plan out every aspect of my life, I just want to have things to shoot for.

I would like to maybe come up with a verse for the year that I can focus on, but that may take a little time. Maybe I can tie creativity into all of the goals, like a thread weaving through them, thinking of creativity more broadly that just writing.

I know that I can sometimes make some grand plans and not a lot comes from them. I think that it is better to have plans than not planning anything at all, and nothing will sure come about from no plans.

I'm not sure if I will journal on paper or online. Maybe it should be in a paper journal because there are less distractions. Maybe I will track my goals via this blog and journal in my paper journal. I wonder if I should get a new journal....that is probably not necessary....we'll see.

I think this is a really good start.

Update: Possible verses: Jeremiah 29:11-14 and/or Jeremiah 31:31-34, Isaiah 61