pictures waiting for a poem

Posted by Gerry on April 9th, 2014

070912 Bolling Memorial Grove

070912 Bolling Memorial Grove

My first poem about baseball and beer

Posted by Gerry on April 6th, 2014

Barley and hops and water
Melded, stirred, procured
A bit of flavor for one to savor
Watching the ball fly to the base
Before some guy puts it into space
Run across the field with a bound
Make it stop before it hits the ground
Toast those guys, give em’ a slap on the back
Before that bat gives another crack
All fueled by barley and hops and water

UCLA v Cal 031514

UCLA v Cal 031514

At home with the homeless

Posted by Gerry on April 4th, 2014

“There is such a level of unspeakable contempt from the haves in society bestowing shame in the homeless. Homelessness stirs up fear: frightens and saddens us at the same time. Judgments are as harsh as the plight itself. Homelessness conjures up thoughts of isolation. Call it what it is: injustice, racism and a harsh reality. Often the most vulnerable suffer the most, including children, teens, single mothers, elderly and the ill.”
Response by a friend

“May we never get used to the poverty and decay around us.
A Christian must act.”
Pope Francis @Pontifex 04/03/14

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In the evening of April 3, 2014 I spent some time with Homeless Action! colleagues Adrienne Lauby, Jen Parr, Karen Martin and Adam Kirshenbaum. They inspired me, and confirmed that this is a noble effort worth pursuing. I went home and this is the poem which ensued.

012709 Homeless but out of the wind

These are my people.
Not in any sense that I lead them,
Or they belong to me.
These are the people I belong with.
These are the people I align with.

I find their lives and their experiences
To be compelling and important.
I find their value as human beings
On a par with the Pope and me;
To be of equal value, of equal worth, and of equal dignity.
I am no better than they are,
And they are no better than me.

There’s a famous prayer attributed to St. Francis.
The prayer was actually submitted anonymously.
Does that mean that a homeless God might have submitted it?

Make me an instrument of Your peace,
To be among those who need some peace.

If there is hatred, and sadness, and regret
As I sit on a cold doorstep,
Where can I sow love?

If I have done injury
And have injured those I love the most
Where is there pardon?
The truth of my life, lived in the bushes
Is the error.
Can people see the truth
As my parents did the day they named me?

I have so many doubts.
I have so little faith.
Where is faith and hope?
It is here, in me.
If I could only see.

In my despair,
The hope
Is in the intrinsic value of me
Where I rest in darkness,
And cold,
And damp clothes
That make me shiver.
Is there faith in awaiting the light?
Are there leaders
And people who pull the levers of power
Who can act on my despair
To give me some light?

And in the depths of sadness,
From where I am now,
Yes, I know joy.
In the kindness of strangers
Who may not know
They have saved my life,
My hope,
My faith in humanity’s inherent goodness

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console.
On the streets
I am at one with my homeless brethren

To be understood as to understand;
I understand my sisters’ plight.

To be loved as to love.
I love without words in the grace of each moment.

For it is in giving that we receive.
As giving from the heart and the meager means
Is the true gift.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
As I hope to be pardoned by all those to whom
My mental illness
And use of altering substances
Or ordinary human frustrations
Have caused me to offend.

Even as I too have been offended
And then have pardoned,
Because that is the thing to do.

And it is in dying
That we are born to eternal life.
It is not the dying in physical death.
It is the dying
Of selfishness and self centeredness.
That is the death we should desire.

This is where I belong;
Among those without a residence.
To bring the realization
That first, and foremost,
And always,
A just society gives a roof
And warmth
And a daily resting place to each person
No matter what.

061913 Downtown Santa Rosa

This was a moment

Posted by Gerry on April 2nd, 2014

eureka the boys

I was driving home from work today
When I noticed the beautiful green trees of spring
At that moment I realized I was driving on the spot
Where one of the happiest moments of my life had occurred
Many years ago I drove this same road
On the way to see my first son be born
And tears of joy stream down my face

I thought of how nervous my wife had been
I thought of how excited my anticipation was
This was a moment,
this was a moment so fresh to my mind
As if it just happened
Right here and right now

And I flashed to other moments
I could see the day our third son was born
I could see his two big brothers
with their faces pressed up against the glass
To see their new brother
I could see it
As if it just happened

anne & pj @ dallas brass

And then came the memory,
Of our middle son laughing and smiling with his mother
As we watched his younger brother
Play in the middle school band
with professional performers leading them (Dallas Brass)

All these moments
And the moments more
Arrived in that instant
And tears of joy stream down my face

1989 Patrick and Bob desk shot 2

1990 Gerry and Patrick camping

Miracles ever

Posted by Gerry on March 28th, 2014

Point Reyes Lodge 030814-08

Miracles ever
God does what he wants anyway
Praying for the best

[acknowledgement to Iris Dement]
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 03/14/14

Perfect harmony
Weight of a cat on a lap
Contentment right now

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 03/22/14

Brings the deity

Posted by Gerry on March 12th, 2014

Cem Santa Rosa Chapel 022414-5

Blessings can be derived
from pain.
But that does not mean
the experiences of pain
caused the blessings.
Without the pain,
the blessings
and understandings
may have been different.

Although prayers to a deity
may be specific
And they may be followed
by an action or event
It is not to say the prayers
caused the deity
to give a response of action.

God’s existence,
and our dependence
on His benevolence,
Does not mean
He acts in lives
as we imagine.

How has it been shown
that the desire for our own,
or our loved ones’, well being
Brings the deity
to attend to us?

The force of goodness
and creation
which we think of
as God
Is either an enormous ego
which requires us
To believe
all glory and honor to Thee,
Oh mighty One,


On the other hand,
The Creator
may have made creation
to be a good in
and of itself
To evolve
and grow
and die
through mighty natural forces.

If there is human will
and power
Then the power is subject to the rules
of nature the Creator set in motion,

Or not.

If we think
we are not subject
to the rules of nature
Then nature ultimately
comes around
exhibiting our folly.

If the Creator created nature,
and Man in it,
to glorify the Creator’s
Own being
Then there must be
some purpose
which impels Man
and all creatures
To impact on their own destiny
in the realm of nature
the Creator created.

With this comes
decisions and free will,
The will we may have
is manifest in how
we choose to respond
to each circumstance

Or not.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 03/12/14

Santa Rosa Redwoods


Posted by Gerry on March 11th, 2014

elevator feet wood

Out in the world
The children hurled
Their laughter to the wind.

The world wasn’t ready
For thoughts so heady
Creative minds swirling with the wind

Compadres treasure
Their unique pleasure
In blowing off the wind

Out in the world
Their lives unfurled
Buffeted, not blown over

The gentle breeze
Of friendship’s ease
Brings laughter in the wind.


Jumble mumble

Posted by Gerry on March 11th, 2014

Jumble mumble stumble fumble
Heartache landscape escape moonscape
Words absurd perturb unheard
Anticipate resonate hesitate upon fate
Journey gurney ferny attorney
Trajectory refectory intellectually reflexively
Icarus Orion speak to us
Bring near the horizon
Jumbled stumbled or tumbled
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Reflected glory
Shade moonlight to view the belt
Stars or reflection
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 03/11/14

I think that’s called “grace”

Posted by Gerry on February 28th, 2014

Zebest of Zebest

He came into the courtroom to face his fate
He saw so many friends and a smile lit up his face
I think that’s called “grace”

She managed her needs and watched out for her partner
a delegater extraordinaire in the most trying of circumstance
I think that’s called “grace”

A great crash. A great recovery
Then months and months of hard discovery
Lived in a thing called grace

Traveling right beside us, kindness always ready
Thoughts on stars and numbers, heart on those who love him
I think that’s called “grace”

101410 Homecoming 017

Smiles and kisses, dreams and schemes, hopes and visions
Lived through with grace and stamina
I think that’s called “grace”

Gentle knowledge when it is so hard to get through
Friends who keep and share what is true
I think that’s called “grace”

Growing together all our days, adversities intruded
But never once in all that time
Was discouragement included

Precious time
With hope in mind
Of love that never dies

Thank you, my darlings. I have known grace
In you. My heroes. Love you mucho
I think that’s called “grace”

Birthday for Anne-12

Anne & Chris 12252000

family photo laughing

July 4th Weekend

022309 patrick birthday 058

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 02/28/14

drops falling like glass

Posted by Gerry on February 21st, 2014

072612 Grover Hot Springs 037

I want to go to the mountains
I need to wander down trails
And see clouds build like fountains
I need to lose my travails
Amid granite and pine trees
I want to see bear tracks by streams
I need to hear birdsong and buzzing of bees
The clear mountain air lingers in dreams
I need to travel down roads
Through a forest beyond some pass
To see waterfalls power explode
Over cliffs, drops falling like glass

I want to gain hope for my memories
To rest in their places amid Dardanelles and minarets
Grandeur to inspire poet’s deepest reveries
Meadows where wind and water’s flow wash away any regrets
Quiet streams or rapids
Each evokes the hearts peaceful habits
The glory of nature to bring
Giving space for the troubled heart to sing
Inner peace through wonders of nature
A stable retreat to question our Creator.

You are not here. Where are you?
Where’d you go that I can’t go?
Where’d you take the stuff you filled my heart with?

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 02/12/14

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