Home in the Great Divide

A bridge across the great divide-

the end is narrow but beginning’s wide-

each step we seek the other side-

we search for signs to be our guide.

 

Into the chasm we embark-

our journey moves through light and dark-

on days of grey a distant spark-

that keeps us driving towards our mark.

 

The other side, our endless goal-

it tantalizes our thirsting soul-

as never arriving takes its toll-

not being there we can’t be whole.

 

Somewhere amidst the great divide-

we hear a whisper deep inside-

Be still, be calm, the distance lied-

Not one more stride, you have arrived.

 

So there we stop and settle down-

we plant our feet on present ground-

at last we see what’s right around-

we listen to the nearest sound.

 

The journey stopped, we know our place-

not driven wild we slow our pace-

the way to win was not to race-

it’s where we are we must embrace.

 

Surprisingly, at last we find-

the bridge, the goal, was in our mind-

that looking far had made us blind-

at last we’re whole when we unwind.

 

 

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Measuring Stick

How do we measure a life?

The wealth we attain-

The power we possess-

The IQ of our brain-

By who we impress?

That measure just doesn’t seem true

When we lose all the stuff we accrue.

So how do we measure a life?

The steps that we take-

The words that we write-

The friends that we make-

The wrongs that we fight.

Measure what matters

And count what is true,

Then even though days are too few

You lived to one hundred and two.

Walking at Dawn as I Gaze at the Sun

Walking at Dawn as I Gaze at the Sun

Sunrise, sunrise-

you have opened up my eyes,

cast away this old disguise

and shown me truth.

Sunrise, sunrise-

at last I have grown wise,

no longer telling lies,

I walk with you.

Sunrise, sunrise-

even when there’s clouds in skies,

still the soaring eagle flies

inside of me.

Sunrise, sunrise-

you have broken all the lies,

soothed my aching soul that cries,

you’ve set me free.

Sunrise, sunrise-

now I clearly see the sun

cross the far dark horizon

and bring new light.

Sunrise, sunrise-

shows the darkness has not won,

for you sacrificed your son

my future’s bright.

Sunrise, sunrise-

this work will not be done,

help me walk on and not run,

staying on your path that feels so right.

Sunrise, sunrise-

for me you are the one;

I give praise for what you’ve done,

revitalized my will to fight.

You’ve made me whole- restored my soul- I give control-

I trust in you- to make me new- What can we do?-

You’ve made me whole- restored my soul-

I give control.

Seasons and Reasons

Life is a process, a plan we create, a seed in a garden, a desired fate. We till and we toil, we watch and we wait, feeding the soil, marking the date.

Then storms come and ravage the seedlings in night, that which we’ve nurtured is festered with blight. All that we’ve made, all that was dreamed, washes away in unforseen stream.

Yet life is a process; we begin anew. Preparing to plant with morning dew. Lost dreams don’t deter, failed plans dissipate; we chase visions again, no reason to wait.

At last seeds take hold then sprout from the ground, in the still of the night with nary a sound. What we envisioned begins to arise, palpable, powerful, in front of our eyes.

Far from the end, we continue to work, watering, weeding, as trouble still lurks. With each active day that we stay resolute, little by little our dreams spread their roots.

One morn’ we awake, spreading a smile: the harvest has come, though it’s taken awhile. The bloom of the flower, the fruit of the seed, for one fleeting hour that’s all that we need.

Our dreams are alive, we see that they’re real, nothing compares to the feeling we feel. But soon it is gone, replaced by late shade; then darkness shrouds all that we’ve made.

For dreams never last, harvest’s only a season. The planning and planting is what gives us reason. No matter the outcome, no matter the day, through working and waiting we find peace on the way.

The Long View

Love prevails, never fails.

As hatred wails, hurling nails, clouding trails, with howling gales, unfurling sails and filling jails.

Whatever ails,

Love prevails.

 

Peace transcends whatever contends.

As turmoil portends, bringing bends, deep descends, can’t comprehend losing friends & ripping amends.

But in the end,

Peace transcends.

 

Faith survives, saves our lives.

When doubt cries our demise, speaking lies, in dark disguise, our confidence dies, blinding eyes.

But still we rise,

Faith survives.

Rudderless

Calamity no longer my destiny,

Instead I’m open to serenity.

Life’s never done with finality;

All’s held in this moment’s mentality.

 

Past slips away,

Future recedes.

All is right now

Based on our deeds.

 

Right now I’m alive, right now I can dance, right now I can thrive, right now is my chance.

 

Holding on tight as I let go,

gaining new sight of where to go.

A rudderless ship pushed by the tide,

With a relaxed grip- the world’s open wide.

 

All’s held in this moment of time:

I’ve left behind past wrongs and crimes;

Let go my attempts to mask and mime.

Life happens now- Shifting my paradigm.

Socratic Challenge (or how I learned to start living by thinking about dying)

Socratic Challenge (or how I learned to start living by thinking about dying)

If this were the last day of my life, how would I live?*

Time will be spent in solitude, listening for guidance from my soul, reminding me softly who I am, refocusing my mind on my goal.

Time will be spent with family, laughter will ring out loud, hands will be held, words will be said, allowing us all to feel proud.

Time will be spent as a student, learning with each new day, always remaining humble, never proclaiming my way.

Time will be spent as a teacher, assuring that all get their turn, never providing the answers, inspiring others to learn.

Time will be spent as a father, not hovering too close above, allowing my children to stumble, still offering all of my love.

Time will be spent with my friends, unmasked as we truly are, encouraging all on our journey, not drunk in a darkened bar.

Time will be spent reflecting, alone at the end of the day, content in the present moment, knowing I’ve found my own way.

Then finally welcoming silence, which softly brings me rest, I’ll allow time to drift away, knowing I’ve passed the day’s test.   

*This piece was written in response to a seminar discussing Socrates, the father of philosophers and one of the world’s great teachers.  Although Socrates knew his death would come at the end of the day, he lived his final hours the way he always had- teaching, speaking, listening, loving. The challenge was to give some thought to how I would live my final day and then live that way- everyday!

How would you live if it were your last day? What would you be sure to do? Not to do?  How closely aligned is your everyday experience with your hypothetical last gasp at life? If anyone cares to take the Socratic Challenge feel free to link a response!