On winning

Posted by Gerry on January 25th, 2015

berkeley campanile west view

One of the ways we listen
To sense the direction to go
Is to carefully consider a mission
That will bring forth the ways to grow.

Another thing to know is the limit
Imposed from above and below
We can’t let it be what will inhibit
The rise and the fall and the flow.

To make each choice as it comes
Is to trust the voice from within
The outcome large or small becomes
The next move of what we begin.

Hope, determination, and luck all contain
the heart of the next action wherein
We find the power so as to retain
The seeds with potential therein

Thus we ward off all that would drain
This power drawn from within
The force found within feels no strain
No limit will hold what we win.

stacked rocks with st francis


I make myself cry

Posted by Gerry on January 1st, 2015

winter for robbie

The day my parents named me – Part two =>End of the Year – People we saw
On their behalf, I thank and honor kind strangers. (best read out loud)

Kelly and Sara and Neil and Juliette.
Tim and Michael and Ben and Daniel
Lauren and Georgette and Tanya and Julian
Mark and Robert and Myrah and Frank
Kim and Donald and Brian and Cindy
Travis and Terry and Bill and Sara
Ricardo and Linda and Angelina and Jordan
Chris and Patrick and Bob and Anne
Shawn and Sean and Zach and Casey
Cynthia and Aaron and Tina and Robert
John and Jonathon and Hector and Lee
Erin and Charlene and Debbie and Allen
Mark and Ken and Kara and William
Brian and Bryan and Clare and Sonya
Jesus and Maria and Jose and Juan
Tristan and Hailey and Allison and Jeanine
Jill and Jason and Jesse and Tristan
Roger and Jeff and Todd and Amanda
Sarah and Sam and Steve and Shine
Ryan and Belinda and Louis and Favella
Susan and Suzanne and Eva and Adam
Gilbert and Kevin and Krystal and Crystal
Ray and Joe and Jessica and Betty
Patricia and Patty and Paul and Anthony
Joanna and Cathleen and Kathleen and Juana
Julie and David and Lucas and Julia
Elise and Norman and Nora and Thomas
Randy and Florence and Roberta and Leon
Denise and Simon and Simone and Shelly
Charles and Emily and Vincent and Wanda
Carol and Matthew and David and Teri
Jacob and Rachel and Lynne and Andrew
Antoinette and Diana and Dana and Leslie
Anna and Andy and Alfred and Aileen
Clint and Carl and Christopher and Carol
Miles and Erica and Megan and Marie
Zachary and Brittany and Ronald and Jon
Lawrence and Larry and Loren and Lilith
Dillon and Dylan and Anthony and Alicia
And Robbie

We do it for you.

As first heard here.

New fire pit, Sunday night


Goodness in his heart

Posted by Gerry on December 17th, 2014

More from life and death on the streets.

I’m alive
I’m walking down the sidewalk singing in the rain

I’m not sheltered under a bridge
As the water rises.

I’m soaking wet
But I do art.

I have no money
But my boyfriend loves me

In the forests of the night
I shiver

The next day I look for a job
I look forward.

The kindness of strangers sustains me
There is hope because there is caring

Anyone who actually looks at me
Can’t help but care

Even if they deny me.

Kindness of Strangers

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 12/11/14

Goodness in his heart
A smile on his face
A mixed up mish mosh of thoughts
Blew around his head
He saw in small random things some logic
Although to all others it was illogic
He smiled at the world
Whether it smiled back or not
A soft inflection in his voice
showed he thought he could get by
But those around him,
especially those who cared,
Worried that he could not get by
Without help
Help he would not accept
He’d smile
And say, “I’ll be alright.”
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 12/14/14

New mushroom


Orion surprise

Posted by Gerry on December 17th, 2014

Orion surprise
On a crisp clear night crackling
Blazing meteor shines
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 12/13/14


tiny embers touching

Posted by Gerry on December 7th, 2014

First time I've seen this one bloom! #succulentsunday #flowers

Succulent flower
Is beautifully tiny
Transient glory
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 11/21/14

Landpaths - Mark West outing

embers glowing and being sustained
wisps of smoke wafting on the wind
moved about by currents
known and unknown
felt and mysterious
embers
providing warmth
pulsing of the light
like breathe
oxygen fills the fuel
brighter
then less
then brighter
potential burst of flame
or quietly extinguished
the embers don’t know their fate
why should we
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 12/06/14

From the depths of sadness
Memory brings forth
Moments of tenderness
In dreams
Realization
In the moment
That it is a dream
Thus comfort becomes
The knowledge that past tenderness
Resides in the heart
And wanders around the inner mind’s realm
Memories of comfort
Near the depths of the soul
Touching
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 12/07/14


Love in a time of gray hair

Posted by Gerry on November 22nd, 2014

Over Santa Rosa

Negotiated love
No more spontaneous belief
In the wonderfulness of the feelings
Life’s wisdom learned, that everything changes
Discovery that wonder and lust
Live day to day to become something else
Having learned lessons great and small
Negotiate feelings
Carefully caring
Thoughtfully developing
Knowing this new thing
Will be no ordinary love
Make a bargain to be full of wonder
Wondering how we can make this happen
Negotiating rather than falling head over heals
Exploring how separate pasts become a common present
Not assuming the future
Love and dreams young or old
For each of us may unfold
Having hopes of happiness
And finding it knowing we may lose it
That’s the lesson the gray haired lover learned
And negotiated anyway

Over Santa Rosa


All Souls Mass, St. Rose Church

Posted by Gerry on November 3rd, 2014

St. Rose Church Baptismal font

Lord have mercy
I am here to accompany you.
Lord we long to see your face.
Seeking is enough for now.
Lord how shall we come to you?
Be kind. Seeking me through kindness is sufficient.
What can I do for you, my Lord?
Be like him, ready to serve.
How can we recognize your followers?
All of you who seek to serve the Creator are saints.
How can I be worthy of you?
You were worthy the moment I created you.
Grant us peace.
It is granted.

[an earlier mass]
<><><><><><><><><><><><><> 11/01/14


Compassion Poems

Posted by Gerry on October 28th, 2014

Full of compassion

Attention here and now
Compassion emerges when sadness merges with joy
Only those who have transcended the world can make a better world
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 03/05/08
If we only knew
Indestructible compassion
Underlies all life.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 02/11/11
Unpretentious
Loving kindness is revealed
In our forgiveness
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 02/15/11
Throughout our shared lives
As humans we rely on
Improbable hope.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 02/16/11
You in me in you
In order to understand
Me in you in me.
[pp 322 Field Notes on a Compassionate Life]
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 02/18/11
You in me in you
A common stream of virtue
We in us flowing.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 02/18/11

Human compassion

Human compassion
Resonating our concern
For all other things.
[pp 322]
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 02/18/11
First and foremost a
Loving presence is vital
Found through a prayer
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 05/08/11
Accepting kindness
The reality of life
Is revealed each day
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 09/28/11
The secret of life
If that success comes to you
By helping others
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 10/07/11
She is consumed by
Keen intransigent kindness
En route to heaven
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 10/21/11
All our days living
Are not spent, rather borrowed,
Time only used once
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 01/26/12
Be as a brush held
In the hand of the Creator
To create art in the world.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 01/27/12
Kindness of a child
An offering of goodness
A simple package
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 01/27/12
Seeking the light
Will lead to becoming
A person of no shadow
Because the light
Shines through you
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 03/17/12
The God in you is
The God you alone let through.
To shine on the world
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 04/16/12
“Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.”

“Through compassion our humanity grows into its fullness.”

Nouwen-McNeill-Morrison in Compassion
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 04/21/12
Every person
Unlimited positive
Regard for each one
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 06/04/12
It’s always a choice
Action now or apathy
Life is up to you
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 02/07/13
It was a conceit of mine
To think that of all the poor seekers for help
There are none
who have it worse than me

There is a depth to a well
Which grows deeper and richer
As woe is poured in
And compassion is pulled out

The woman of Samaria stood at the well
And drew water for Jesus
He recognized the kindness being given
By one who had suffered in order to stand by that well.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 03/07/13
Enter resonance
All relationships are now
Empathic presence

or

Present empathy
Intertwined us together
As a sacred gift
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 04/08/13
Empathy requires
Unconditional regard
For the one person
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 04/08/13
Giving and getting
The stuff of life’s renewal
Offered by kind hands
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 05/16/13
How do we sustain
The good of each person seen?
Respect and kindness
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 05/16/13
The flame of compassion
Is started by generosity
Borne in our own experience of need
Kept alight by
The wind of desire
To be better than we are

A fire shared among people
Who, together, become
A towering blaze
Of life giving warmth in the world

(inspired by Piero Ferrucci, “The Power of Kindness”)
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 06/01/13
By way of a chance
Hidden quality is born
Showing reality
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 06/10/13
I have a daily dose
Of pain and heartache
Shared and passed on

Life is not pain and sorrow
Life has pain and sorrow
Life is not goodness and happiness
Life has goodness and happiness

Pain and goodness
Sorrow and happiness
Are caused by attachments
Hanging memories on our being

I have a daily dose
Of compassion and wonderment
Shared and passed on

Random acts of kindness
Senseless bouts of cruelty
Daily struggles
And nightly dreams
Such are the things of life
Hanging memories on our being
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 06/14/13
All around us now
Opportunities abound
For kindness and grace
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 08/14/13
Agitation is
Specific compassionate
Confrontation, yes?
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 04/17/14

William Morris Glass at Palm Springs Museum


Some views of love and its choices

Posted by Gerry on October 26th, 2014

Mystical oak

Love is a spite.
Its devotion knows no bounds;
Neither high nor low.
Love is an integration of souls.
Love is an interminable commitment of fidelity.
Love pushes all our buttons and expects us to reset them
So they can be pushed again.

Love is a spite with a certainty
that no matter how much
of your hurt and sadness and frustration is expressed as anger,
no matter what,
it holds on to me and you, and you and me.
Nobody told us it would be exactly like this,
but they sure told us it would be a journey.
We heard “for better or for worse” our whole lives.
And lo and behold they both happened again and again.

Love has the spite to prove to you that
I’ll hold on to you no matter what.
Love is just stubborn that way.
Love is never violent. It never hurts for hurting sake.
Love never destroys itself nor the other person.

Love can be unkind at times
Because love trusts in its reciprocity
That hurt and sadness can be overcome in its very being.
My love is my love in spite of myself after all this time.
The love I receive in return is the same,
Full, complete, complex and in spite of it all.

I love you in spite of myself.
I love you in spite of yourself.
There is a connection deep and unexplainable
Which brings our souls together.
In each of our minds we are committed to the other.
As time goes by the connection is stronger.

The meaning of fidelity is manifest in spite of all that happens.
Our minds and our souls and our lives experiences
Are so intertwined that the two cannot be less than together.
Even if we are apart the connection remains strong and mysterious.
This is what we have made by choice and chance and spite.
If we love in spite of ourselves, and if we take away the spite,
All that is left is the connection of our love.
><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 05/19/13

Love is a choice
It is also a mysterious voice
Inside our heads, within our hearts

Inner emotion evolves
Until it finally resolves
To bring together all of our parts

The part of me that sees
How separate I can be;
Such an unenduring plight

Nothing else can fill the part of me
That needs to have some company
So search ensues to cure this blight

It’s not some random thing
Like a bird upon the wing
Startled to take flight

Love makes choices every day
What to do and what to say
Affection the branch found to alight

But like the branch that moves and sways
Loves must balance in its days
How to act and feel while making something right

Hopes to share an inner vision
Connections made in each decision
It’s not some random wondrous flight

Affection grows through choices made
As our hopes and dreams get weighed
Through the evenings on into the night

In sleep and dreams the choice still spinning
Is this joining worth the winning?
Joy of love found at first light

Happiness found in its potential
For each humans being, love essential
Fulfilling hopes and dreams so bright

Love is a choice
A lovely yet mysterious voice
Inside our heads, within our hearts
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 10/14/14

The essence of love
Is borne of the availability
Of the heart and emotions
A person chooses to love
As love chooses to evolve.
Attraction, then infatuation
brings a choice of commitment
to explore the possibilities.
The commitment to the other person
Sometimes comes first,
But often our love is borne
In the mysterious inner self.
Did one inner self touch the other inner self?
The point of contact may be obscure,
then in joy, relief, and trepidation
one discovers the connection to the other – the love.
The connection, once made, is sustained by fidelity.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 04/16/08

Double Rainbow


my grandfather’s son

Posted by Gerry on October 9th, 2014

Wilmar, San Gabriel, California 2002

As my grandfather’s son lay dying this is the story I whispered in his ear.
<><><>

My father was my grandfather’s son.
The grandfather said to his son,
“I need to see that son of yours.”
My father’s son went with his father
to see his grandfather as he lay dying.
The grandfather said to the boy
as his father stood by his side,
“I see greatness in you. You can do something great.
I want you to know that.”

Emotionally and physically and in many ways of being in this world
My father’s son saw in his father the goodness and the foibles as only a son can see.
My father’s son learned hard work and respect and decorum.
My father’s son stepped back and stepped aside as time and distance and detachment proved more powerful than blood and expectations.

The years moved on and the greatness may have emerged.
My father’s son also lived the heritage of a people who did not express emotion easily.
Precision and accuracy, and even humility, were manifest.
However, emotional honesty was masked by words, or, no words.

My father’s son knew of the father’s good deeds.
And time showed the power of prayer.
Yet personal access drifted away and connectedness was lost.
My father’s son saw his father try too hard to reconnect.
The father could not admit to judgment or misdeeds.

My father’s son lost his connectedness to his father;
not his love or appreciation of his father’s goodness,
but a connection was lost,
perhaps given up by both these men.

My father’s son mourns his father’s loss and honors him.
My father’s son regrets his father missed some unspoken thing,
because he could not say it, or did not know how.
My father’s son would be genuine in saying, “I will still strive for that greatness.”

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 06/16/12

Somewhere in California
A night bird sings in the middle of the day
Like a prayer on the wind
The song flies up to heaven

Somewhere in California
A butterfly struggles
To pass through time
To a distant land

Somewhere a love
Which is long and deep
Breathes a sigh
As the loved one sleeps

Somewhere there are the last steps of a long journey
To reach where the power of prayer
Is not obscured
By the limits of the body and mind

A soul’s journey
To lift and give and strive
To join the goodness
Which is the birthright
Of all men and women

Somewhere my father dies
Somewhere my mother cries
And prays
Somewhere my sisters and brothers stand by

Somewhere I sit
Somewhere I cry
Somewhere in California

Somewhere in California
The mountains rise
And the mountains break down

Somewhere on the western shore
The rivers flow down to the sea
The people move and live
And struggle

Somewhere in California
A man moves on
To join the world of spirit
Somewhere in California
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 06/27/12

In the end all the dreams just scatter
Like a kaleidoscope that lost its symmetry
Across time and space no matter what humans think
In the end potential flows every which way

What might have been and what had to be
Blend in memory like history
The truth or the perception matters not to me
Now has passed into the past
That neither grief nor sorrow nor wishes nor prayers can renew

In the end all the dreams just scatter
So vivid in our sleep, or the days of youth,
As time and distance mix together
To form imagined dreams and foggy memory

The past has flown down past the shore
Though no one is standing there
All are in the river of scattered light
Moving on like a kaleidoscope
That was never meant to have symmetry

Time swirls in eddies mixing hopes and dreams
The light of deep pools of thoughts gathered once
Evaporate as some relationships do.
Upstream gathered together
Then downstream mists of thought

Down to the sea of being flow our dreams
Some complete; some unfulfilled
As water distorts the light
so time or thought erodes our dreams together
In the end all the dreams have scattered

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 07/17/12

The grace of the Creator finds the souls
The father who did the best he could
May his soul rest in peace
The young woman who struggled and strived and fell to evil
May her soul rest in peace
The child who lost her life from the death brought by war
May her soul rest in peace
The son, the daughter, the child, the adult
The joy and the sorrow that will not be known
Because their souls rest in peace
May their souls rest in peace
May their life’s lessons be made clear to the souls yet to find peace

[All Souls’ mass at St. Rose]

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 11/04/12


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