A message from that time I cut myself off from the world. (circa 2009)

What I lost in my depression

What developed over time

Who grew within my absence

Who called but couldn’t find

The person who they once knew

Who only wished to die

Where deep within my fortress

Of solitude did I

Salute them in their merit

Who tried from time to time

To free me from my burden

Which words could not describe

Though even in my heartache

I never told a lie

But took pride in them knowing

Their strength I too could find

That’s why I keep them with me

Past lovers, friends, and my

Gratitude for suffering

This awfully fragile mind

Grown with understanding

Like fruit picked from a vine

I’m grounded by their blessings

And grateful for this life

In the presence of family, be only with family.

In the presence of family,

be only with family.

Put aside the work and worry.

It’ll be there when you part.

And enjoy one another

as if each member of your family

were a dish at the dinner table.

Fill yourself with their essence.

Allow them like nutrients

to replenish your mind, body, and soul

so that when you leave one another

you’ll do so knowing

their presence is with you

for better or worse, forever and onward—

second star to the right and straight on till morning.

Family Gathering, 2012

In the company of friends

I knew I wasn’t kidding anyone

I just never knew how obvious I was

Until they told me and then, well

I just felt a little dumb, but glad, really

to be in the company of friends.

Thanksgiving 2019

Be the air of peace we’re all capable of breathing.

I recently came across a post stating, “this is a bad year.”

Though I don’t disagree that bad things have happened this year, I can’t fully commit to such a bold statement as the entire year being bad.

Or perhaps, I’m just looking at it from a more critical standpoint?

A protest for example, is a collaborative effort between cultures standing together for justice.

The police force has made efforts, though not always headline news, to reinforce their code of conduct: to protect and serve.

Most citizens are respecting the rights of others, choosing to wear masks, in the fight against COVID-19.

The government is making attempts to sustain our American way of life through relief programs and continued unemployment benefits—even though at times it may feel like not enough—granting enough security to survive.

I’ve seen a number of portable facilities spring up in mainly homeless areas of Los Angeles, which does not solve the issue, but certainly shows hope.

What I am getting at is even in our darkest times, there are signs of hope.

Hope which we can and should not disregard as a complete and utter bad year.

If anything, I’d say, there is an awakening taking place.

What I see from an observers eye is an awakening of people who, regardless of the hardships, struggle, and inability to make concrete sense of all the senseless acts that have been occurring, realize a need for change and progression forward as a human race.

We are all struggling, regardless of another’s grass, I repeat,

we are all struggling.

But with struggle comes realizations. And with realization comes understanding. And with understanding comes progress.

Through common ground and communication I know there is hope, for you, and I, and the suffering on all sides.

It struck me odd today when a friend told me they envy my ability to travel where in turn I assured them, not everything is as it may seem, and that I too am struggling, only I choose a different point in which to view my current state of awareness.

You don’t have to travel far to climb a mountain or swim in a lake, or wake to see the most beautiful sunrise, or even lend a hand to someone less fortunate, because these are natural and always there waiting for you to take action.

Rather than saying, “this year is a bad year,” I suggest taking a deeper look and the time to realize that progress is happening.

And though progress may seem difficult, remain hopeful, my friends.

Be honest with yourself and your loved ones.

Greet a stranger as he were your family, with arms stretched wide in abundance.

Be the light at the end of the tunnel, the light which shines even in our darkest of times.

Be the air of peace in which we’re all capable of breathing.

Be courageous. Be kind. And be hopeful.

Boat at

In the Delaware of my mind.

I stand here blind

With tears in my eyes

Surrounded by the life

I’ve always dreamed

Thinking of you there

Alone and in fear

Knowing no one’s called in weeks

Except myself and another

Who I hope like I

Told you you’re loved

And have done no wrong

Like I’ve too

So often thought

Living year to year like a vagabond

Drifting through the mud of life

It’s hard but man it’ll be alright

Look West I’m here in the dead of night

Standing by this olive tree

In California I no longer dream

Living mine the best I can

Drinking with you

Hand in hand, walking I can see

The two of us, then cracking crabs

Pig Beaches on parade

Just two lost souls, now growing old

What’s left is yours to keep

For nothing lost is truly gone

Now Lady Garth I see her too

In the Delaware of my mind.

the friends I had

The older I get

the more I appreciate

the friends I had

in my formative years

who were fun, jovial, excited

who were wild, eager, and never boring

who never gave a damn

whether or not

life was right or wrong

who just kept singing and

keep on singing

3,000 miles east and

even when I’m out of tune

I’m still fondly listening

to the chorus.

Saturday morning

Saturday morning

woke me up

scratching and sour.

Then I wrecked my pants

feeling lousy, still

I went to my workshop

estranged from the world

yet there in that room

among strangers

who some

I call friends

I felt

Inspired

& well

Happy

So we told our stories

and while listening to Avi read about

Bob in a shipyard explosion

all that other stuff just kind of

went away.

stars

While everyone was looking around

for celebrities and stars

I was looking at em all

and wonderin

with fire burning in my eyes

what it was they couldn’t see

that I saw so vividly in all of them.

that tiny speck of the world

people were funny like that

one minute you’d be hating them all

and the next you’d be falling in love

with every single one of em

because they were all beautiful

and ugly, starry eyed and wild

tolerating crazy with kindness

and even if not listening

just being there

made all the difference in

that tiny speck of the world

where nobody knew anyone more

than he or she even knew themselves