Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Someone Like Me

I saw her once or twice
someone like me 
who had a dream
but wandered through life
waiting for it to happen
lost in wishful thinking
somewhere in the clouds
flitting like a butterfly
from one flower to another. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Child Star

What is there about being a child star,
attention garnered at an early age

children who get primped up
and pumped up too young

expecting to get everything they want
throwing tantrums 

and have screaming fits? 

Sometimes a child has the symptoms
when they are spoiled and the center

of their parent’s attention
the center of a universe

with fits of anger when anything
does not go their way.

They demand to be indulged
and will not be happy 

until the get 
what they want.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Wind Chime

You are created with dream
catchers and chrome
to capture god's breath 

from the wind in the sky.

Your music brings peace
to everyone who hears
your song in their soul.

Some chimes are made with shells,
others bamboo and each creates
a unique tone so personal and true.

Mine is made of feathers and chrome
creating a beautiful sound
bringing joy to all who hear its song. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Painting It Loose

Do value sketches.
Simplify your subject.
Do a fairly accurate drawing with good shapes on your paper.
Think shapes, not objects.
Paint from large shapes to small shapes.
Pay attention to edges--hard, soft and lost.
Be sure you have soft and lost edges in your painting.
Paint quickly, but under control.
Get in and get out.
The first stroke is your best stroke; fewer strokes win.
Use the largest brush you can for as long as you can.
Fewer palette colors result in fewer touches of the paper.
Use a spray bottle to help move the paint on the paper.
Paint on an angle to help the color move.
Pick up and tilt your board for even more movement.
Don't worry about "messing up." It's paper, you can always paint on the back.
Don't worry about creating a "good painting." Remove that stress and just play.
Don't render; interpret.
Keep in mind what attracted you to a subject. Stick to that.
Don't give everything the same level of attention.
Don't try to "make it happen," just let it happen. Trust: water, paint, paper and brush.
Don't use too many tricks and gimmicks.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Prince With No Name

The world was watching
and like an angel from heaven
the would be king was born
soft and pink like any healthy child
unaware of his destiny 
his only desire to be held and fed
and kept warm and dry.

Cameras of every kind
tried to capture a shot
of the little prince with no name.
Then an announcement came
he would be named George
like many kings before him.
“ Long Live The King!’

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Bad guys go to jail
sick people to the hospitals
old people to convalescent homes 

each a prison in their own way.
Young mother’s trapped at home,
father’s at their jobs,  

kids feel forced to go to schools
and everyone cries to be free.

Ignorance creates barriers
as does shyness and anger
leaving personalities buried

deep in self doubt, self hate
or self loathing
crying to be free.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


A beautiful woman from the old country
her English accented 

with the language from home
her smile lights up the room
while her laughter echoes
through the chambers of my heart
awakening memories from childhood.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Dog Hears Drone

They lived in farm country
where nights were silent
except for howling coyotes
and night owls 

but their recent move to
the beach near a military base
has brought a variety of noises
some that can’t be ignored

especially the high pitched sound
of the drones, not observable
by the average listener,
but over-powering
for the ever vigilant watch dog. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Meditation: Famous Sayings

Motivation will always
beat out mere talent. N. Augustine

The minute you settle for less than
you deserve, you get even less than
you settled for. M. Dowd

Even if you’re on the right track,
you’ll get run over if you just sit there W. Rogers

Stop the habit of wishful thinking and start
the habit of thoughtful wishes. M. Martin

Please all, and you will please no one. Aesop

All your dreams can come true –
if you have the courage
to pursue them. Walt Disney

A future depends on
what you do in the present. Anonymous

A life spent making mistakes
is not only more honorable,
but more useful than a life spent
doing nothing. B. Shaw

Life is a great big canvas,
and you should throw all the paint
on it you can. D. Kaye. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Lightning In Vegas

Most tourist travel to Vegas
to strike it rich, they stash their cash

and make their choices; tables,
slots, sports betting or bingo.

The city never sleeps
and provides amble opportunity
to double or triple the bets.

While most people lose
they never lose hope that one day
they will hit it big

so they gamble 
the night away.

Outside there is a commotion
power is lost in the city
torrential rain causes 
but the casinos stay lit.

The chances
of getting hit by lightening

are less than the chances
of hitting the jackpot  

but fear of the lightening
will keep them inside
trying to beat the odds
on their favorite machine.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Charging a Cell Phone with Urine

Scientist are looking for a way to recharge
cell phones in emergencies.
When power is knocked out 
for days 

there has got to be a way 
to charge our phones 
so communications can resume.

I can see scientists brainstorming
in a think tank imagining the ability
to harness electricity through:

solar power, swinging it on a string
in an attempt to capture the wind,
using the battery in the a car.

All of these are good ideas
but what if it is a cloudy day,
you can’t find a string, or your
car is washed away by a flood?

Hopefully you have enough water
so you can still pee and can generate
enough urine for electricity.

Then you can power 

your cell phone
in any emergency.  

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Something our yellow lab
used to do the first year of his life
without warning

he would run helter skelter
knocking over anyone in his path
it lasted for a few minutes

then he would settle to normal
he mostly 
out grew the behavior 
but every so often he wilds again.

A word to describe
the flash mob in Hollywood
forty young men
running helter skelter
through the town

knocking over pedestrians
stealing their i phones
grabbing merchandise
from stores and vendors

claiming the night
to create havoc and destruction
some say a harmless prank
of adolescence causing no real damage

a spontaneous event
made possible through technology
a slap on the wrist should suffice

Is it mindless teenage mayhem?
Is it a form of protest?
Is it an action that must be punished?
Will the outrage from the community
pull in the reigns or will it perpetuate

and increase to complete anarchy?
What about the victims
of theft or violence
what recourse do they have?

Rules only work
when they apply
equally to all
and consistent consequences
for those who break them. 

Wilding is part of our heritage
periods of chaos and disorder
the Wild West, the Civil War

and reconstruction after the bedlam.
Order was created by agreement
rules clearly defined and implemented.

Wilding seems to be occurring
world-wide, Syria, Egypt, Greece
and America, the youth demand
more from their leadership;

education, financial opportunity,
a future worth living into,
not a dictatorship nor corporate
greed, not a police state
nor existential nihilism. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Diving Competition

Owners who love their dogs
discover their talents in a variety of ways 
Poodles can walk around on their hind legs
while some Chihuahuas can vocalize.

Different talents for different dogs,
their size has a lot to do 

with their abilities.

Competitions are set up
since many pets have 

assumed the status 
once reserved for children.

There are obstacle courses, races
and skills demonstrations where dogs 

show off their special training.

There is one event 

for large dogs 
who like to fly.

They jump through the air
splashing into pools of water marked
to show the distances they've covered.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Copy or Original?

Many artist begin by copying the work of a master
using color choices and composition already selected

by the one whose training and developed eyes
have created masterpieces for others to enjoy,

but at some point novices must venture out
making their own choices and establishing their own style

finding that place within themselves to be original.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Summer Love



Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Master

I've watched movies 
where a novice or apprentice
works closely with the master
learning his expert ways
through daily practice.

I thought I was too old
for that experience
but I found my own opportunity
in an art studio near the sea.

He is slightly stooped
wears thick eye glasses
smells of garlic and oil paint
speaks broken English 

but in the span of six hours
guides me to extraordinary
expression on canvas. 

I find the faces of my subject
then with shadow and light
bring life to their images
with flourish and style. 

Friday, July 12, 2013


I carried an umbrella for the rain
clouds, thunder, and sprinkles
suggested it wa
s on the way

but instead the sun broke through,
the wind blew the clouds away
and the sun shined
clear and bright.

I opened my umbrella
and it did its job
offering me shade on
summer’s day.

Like any worthy tool,
it was very versatile. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Seeking Fame

I watched the movie,
My Week With Marilyn .
a bitter sweet romanticized
version of a young man’s
brush with fame.

Who I saw in the portrayal
of Marilyn, were other stars
equally talented and frail.

Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson,
and even Brittney Spears.

A treasure trove for those
who hung on to the star’s fame
pushing them to their limits
massaging their fragile egos

cashing in on the many perks
while bolstering them to maintain

an excessive lifestyle. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bad Choices

The phone call was the third of its kind
her daughter crying on the other end
it took awhile before she revealed
her latest boyfriend was like the others,

fun and interesting until things didn’t go his way
then he thought it was okay to hit her
to get his point across.

When will she start making better choices?
How can she attract such violence?
Is it something she says or does?

Or is it a series of ugly coincidences that invite
the same result? Maybe she has to settle
for a man that’s less ambitious, 

stay away from the high power player,
find the guy with strong morals who likes

to work with his hands. He might not be
as interesting or exciting but she will be safe
and my daughter agrees for a little while 

until there is new man in her life;
good looking, knows what he wants
has money to spend and wants her by his side. 

Like a moth, she flies towards the flame,
how many days before I get another call?

She’s an adult, has her own life,
and has the right to make her own choices
but when mixed with ambition and alcohol
tensions can get to a breaking point

and she takes the brunt of the fall
calling me for moral support. 

My emotions are bankrupt
I have little more to give. 

Conversation with a stranger
worried about her daughter. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Too Much Tragedy

A unique experience in a multi-media world -
tragedies of all kinds can filter in;
civil wars in foreign lands, water rights for the Africans
personal stories from the latest massacre,

extreme close-ups of the most recent  storm.
At some point we need to look at our own
circumstances and focus there instead.
Celebrate the blessing that come our way.

Imagine if we lived in the seventeen hundreds
we would not be aware of those other stories
except if we received a letter or heard gossip
several months or years after the fact.

When the dust blew in the Midwest
it was the starving families in rag torn
vehicles that made us aware of the calamity
and only as they intruded on our peace,

were we forced to deal with their poverty.
It is easier to create a “la la” land
where we live and play and not to take on
the problems of those who live faraway.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Wimbledon Win

A lifetime of training
winning and losing
battling on the tennis court
separating from the crowd
to become a contender

and in television time
Murray is the winner
the golden cup is his reward

along with invitations
to the best parties
a knighthood 

from the queen.

No longer a, “could have been,”
he is now the one
everyone will envy. 

A champion for the season
and his name will go down
in history 

and will remain there
for eternity.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Monk Carrying a Golden Urn

When I was a child it was common to see
groups of nuns walking in long dark robes
and stylized veils, they were respected
members of the community.

Times changed and the nuns changed
wearing secular dress to better blend in to
service their parishioners.
Now there are almost none at all.

After the Vietnam War, refugees flooded
the land bringing their own religious beliefs
and today on the same streets where 

I used to see nuns I now see Buddhist monks

with clean shaven heads, wearing orange
robes, walking down the streets, 

carrying golden urns. They are now
part of a community where I grew up.

Interesting how the world changes
around me everyday.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Time for a Miracle

I can go for days not praying for a miracle
but after several weeks or months
I know, in the grand scheme of things,
it’s is my turn for good to come along.

I don’t have to get on my knees or light candles
it is just my turn. If I need money
it will come as a gift, a promotion, 

a new job, or other opportunity. 

There are times, after a slew of bad luck:
a flat tire, unexpected death, an injury,
I know the tides will change and miracles
are on 
the way.

It helps to be in a prayerful state 
all through the night and day. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Reconciliation With Death

She didn’t cry when her mother died
maybe she was too young

or pain from all those years of drinking
was too painful to remember for long.

She kept herself busy with school and lots of
friendships and drama. She loved a good fight
pushing loyalties to their limits, breaking up
taking herself away and then starting over.

Her awards were many 
with no one to cheer her on -
she had to prove she was worthwhile.

She realized her accomplishments
didn’t matter if deep inside was a wound
that would not heal until she went into the darkness
and grieved for the mother who died too young.

The first step was to sanctify
the memory, making her more sacred
than any life deserves. Obliterate the neglect
and abuse, minimize the scars and trauma, 

pretend it was a perfect life with a loving mother
replacing reality with better stories
to bolster her through the rest of her days.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July

Families gather to celebrate 
in the summer with backyard
barbecues and ice cold drinks

lots of laughter and company
until darkness falls
and the skies 

with the explosion of fireworks 
celebrating the declaration
granting us liberty

from taxation without representation
becoming an independent nation
united under one flag. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Rescue Me

Remain anonymous
to tell your stories
of survival

dealing with the addicts
in your life
who by, free-will choice,

self medicate with substances
to numb their pain
while causing havoc

for the ones who love them.
Each addict’s story is unique
yet, somehow the same,

as they try to escape
their demons
leaving devastation in their wake.

Families become enablers
making excuses,
cleaning up messes,

or just living with the ache
of another’s self destructive

Generations are affected,
becoming rescuers
or imitators, 

genetic links.
Stop the cycle now
and create a new reality.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sushi Roll

The first time I saw someone
eat sushi I almost gagged

the thought of raw fish
wasn't appealing

but starting with the California Roll
I ventured out more bravely

developing a deep craving
needing a fix at least once a month.

Slices of salmon, yellow tail
or tuna placed on a rice roll

stuffed with crab meat,
avocado, carrots or cucumber

garnished with
ginger and wasabi

soy sauce for dipping
chopsticks for grasping

sitting at a booth
or up by the bar.

My sister got a parasite
from eating sushi

lost lots of weight,
was the thinnest ever

can’t count on it
for a diet plan

but must have it
as often as I can. 

Monday, July 1, 2013


Just over the horizon
the white lightning

then terror 
began -

flames consumed
dry brush,
hot temperatures

and winds
the rush

across open fields
up desert

in its path

most homeowners

The firemen
gathered their gear
and rushed in

using air drops,
anchor points,
and backfires

extreme conditions
soon overwhelmed
the Hot Shot Team

and the fire still 

wives lost their 
mothers their sons,

children their fathers
too great a loss for 

Those at the fire line
have no time 
to grieve

they battle on while 

the fire is

Hurrah for the 

who gave their lives

prayers to their families
who must learn
to survive.

In memory of the nineteen
firefighters who lost their
lives in Arizona. RIP