Poem: Chime


They blow through me

windy words sweep miles 

past desert shapes

caught in wisps of willows 

and carried on wings of butterflies 

Gusting din

heard as flying bells 

traveler to my inner 

outer space 

where not a breeze blows

Listen

for my song

as it drifts through air

displacing wave 

putting pressure on you

to hear

Poem: Stillness


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In stillness

times when I sat

hushed under ancient pines

back brushed up against wizened skin

small

yet safe

cradled silently

beneath an immobile mammoth

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In stillness

near a whispering brook

whose words spoke sense

when nothing else could

they drifted past

in bubbles of music

floating by

in ripples of spray

to be caught in moments

of calm

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And in stillness

sitting upon the hill

with warmth from above

creatures close by

and sharing the peace

near by voices are small

and my belly is round

while the world is spinning beyond

In stillness

In stillness

It lies

 

 

 

Poem: In And Out


It may slip behind

momentarily 

disappearing as if it did not exist 

You leap in and out 

moon bright upon my thoughts 

one moment a burning bulb

hanging in destinies sky

The next dipping behind 

a clouded doubt 

of past stratus layers

But it remains full

and round 

and brilliantly waiting 

It is always there

whether visible

or not

Monkey On Our Back 


There are times we all feel the monkey on our back. Maybe we put it there, flipping it up as we were too busy with life. It became more and more burdensome, weighing us down as we carried it around. Tried as we might, we couldn’t pry it off because it clung with a mighty grip and our back became the perfect ride.

There were days we knew it was there even though looking over our shoulder it was impossible to see. But we could feel it’s little fingers scratching at our skin making it crawl. It would make weird monkey noises close to our ear so only we could hear and we would think: I must be crazy.

For years it rode like this, perched on top of us, hitching this endless ride. Until one day we realize it’s a burden to drag along this nuisance, this unwanted tag along. We think maybe we can ditch it, throw it off somewhere and let it find its own way. 

Reaching around isn’t easy, and getting it to let go is no simple task. The monkey hangs on for dear life. But finally we can grab it by the tail and rip it off. It’s easy to fling it into the forest somewhere, hoping it will find a monkey family. 

And now, for the first time in a long time we can stand up. Our back feels light. We walk down the road now, unencumbered and free. But we are ever diligent for primate hitch hikers. 

Poem : Trapped


In a snowy globe 

or fanciful place 

encased in glass

Where snowflakes shake

upside-down 

or 

sideways too

they tumble past 

In this small igloo 

my hands are pressed

against this captive cage

As the world goes by

my heart beats bird-like

in my fluttering chest

While my nose against 

this world is cold 

and closely pressed 

Outside it seems to me

that all is going well 

they come and go 

in pairs or more

while I stand inside 

without a door 

This globe is closed 

but it is clear 

I see the world 

but I am here

Maybe there will be a day

when where I live will vanish 

It will shake 

and snow will swirl 

but then the globe will fall

And when it does 

the glass will crack

and down will come my wall

Expired 


Yesterday was my last day as a licensed paramedic. It’s with great melancholy that I let it lapse. But all things need to come to their logical end, and so it was time for me to step off the bus.

For all my ups and downs, it really was a great run. I had the great honor to be with people at some of the worst times in their lives and with them as they took their last breath. They invited me into their homes, even when they may have felt ashamed, because they knew I came only carrying oxygen, not judgement. There were many neighbors I helped, and some I couldn’t, but I cared about them all. It didn’t matter who you were, why you called me, how much you had to drink, how many times you called that week, if you woke me up in the middle of the night or I had to come in a raging blizzard, I came because I really did like being a paramedic. Sure, maybe we complained a bit about the hours or the pay, but really, there wasn’t any better job than that one.

Where else do you get someone say to you: thanks for saving my wife’s life? Or making a kid with a broken arm feel less pain…or even being with someone when they take they stop breathing  knowing that you helped make their journey easier. 

So, I have no regrets except maybe I didn’t find it when I was younger. I’m gratful for the lives that I helped save, but even more grateful that I never made any mistakes that hurt anyone. 

Thanks to all those emergency workers out there still busting their butts for us all–stay safe and we are truly lucky to have you.