Thursday, November 11, 2010


In Europe it is "Remembrance Day" already, for us in the USA it is Veterans day, but the date is the same..Somehow, the celebrations in Europe are more somber...Not so much a day for sales and BBQs, but really a remembrance day with speeches and quiet memorials. Each country commemorates its war dead in its own way. The picture is of a German military cemetery near Heidelberg.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Poem for Today

Not Better

A beautiful child,

Dancing in the sun,

Golden and fawn hair,

Alternating as she spins,

Moving and jumping to a musician.

I saw her on a summer walk,

In a city park –

It was years ago.

She started clapping, and laughing,

Tiny clumps of hands patting together.

Her parents stood behind,

Watching her, but seeing something different,

They were embracing.

It was a scene of so much love,

Like being washed in warm suds,

Full of safety, or something like contentment.

Whatever it was,

I wanted that feeling,

I remember suddenly feeling very bad,

Getting mad thoughts –

Thinking I had nothing .

Nothing that could make me as happy as they were.

All the money I’ve made since then,

It doesn’t make me feel better.

August 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I feel disowned by the service sometimes...The rules made at one level may have drastic consequences for those lower down the totem pole...

In the Horatio Hornblower stories, about a heroic sailor in the British Navy, he serves his country diligently, at risk of life and limb. But when he returns from duty he is cast aside, and made to wait for months and months on end for his next assignment on half pay...I feel like this sometimes...Although I do not have the heroic litany of deeds behind me...

Just that the wt. of administration is a faceless, unsensing mask, saying things like "Your message is important to us.."

July 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Poem for Today


I try to think of nothing,
I am desperate to make the days pass quickly,
But for no reason,
I want each day to race to its end,
In a hurry to get somewhere that I don't know.

Feeling that life is sucked out of me,
Empty hard plastic walls,
Like a used syringe,
Graduated, dry and hollow.

Full of something useful once,
But for one time use only.

June 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Simple Things...

Had a visit from a friend over the weekend. It was nice to walk the streets with him. Just chatting and stopping off for a drink. We ate and talked. I made him a cup of coffee in my small rooms and just the act of preparing a simple snack for someone...I felt a goodness and delight in it.

Many of us are disconnected geographically from family, and it is the other people that we come to know that sort of become like a family. We cross tracks with people, sometimes temporarily...But we have to keep ourselves open to meeting others and learning from each person.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Poem for Today


All this teaching,
I sat there listening for years,
And I have learned nothing...

I can't help my grief,
Or help my lover.

I share her pain,
But she is alone,
And she puts me outside her world.

May 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Saint-Avold, France

Saint-Avold, France. The last Sunday in April in France is the "The national day of the deportation." It honors the memory of those sent forcibly from France to Nazi concentration, work or extermination camps.

The town was out in force, and there were events and marches and everyone was enjoying the great weather!

On a more somber note...the American Cemetery at Saint-Avold is silent and beautiful in the sunshine. Only the dull flapping of the flags can be heard.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cats in the Sun

I walked down to our small village yesterday evening , and although the sun was bright, my spirits were low.
We have lots of stray cats around the local farms, but I think they are not really strays, as they seem well fed though skittish. As I wandered about, I spotted a young black cat rolling in the grass and dirt. He was wallowing in the dust, and seemed very content... I took a knee and made myself smaller. Then I tried to beckon him to me with quiet words. But he was content in his own life and kept rolling to and fro. His large sweet eyes gazing at me.

I felt quite awful, and large tears fell from my eyes. I was wearing sunglasses and was alone, so was not embarrassed. Anyway, I didn't care...I think I wept for so so many things. Selfish things mainly.

The cat perked up, and wandered off into a driveway. His coat gleamed and shone in the bright sun. Only absolute black could look so bright...

I moved on too. Nothing to do but keep walking on.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Poem for Today


My friend grieves,
I do too.

Angry at her reasons for loss,
Frustrated and confused,
Like mashed up newspapers,
Wet with sour rain,
Impossible to untangle.

I hate the thing that makes her sad,
Her impending loss...
It draws her from me,
Making me crushed and hollow,
Feeling like a thrown away thermos.

And then: the worst that I hate to feel that way,
I should be a better comfort...

I grieve with her,
for the same, and other reasons.

April 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Poem for Today


Be my everything,
My lover,
My closest friend,
My dearest sibling.

Be someone for me to love,
Someone I won't be afraid of calling,
Someone who won't hurt me.
Someone whose arms fold into mine.

I can beg you,
Pay you,
Worship you,
Support you...

Even if you can't love me enough,
Claim me,
Make me your toy,
Just need me sometimes.

April 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Poem for Today

Workingman’s Daughter
Your parent’s efforts are in your eyes,
Sculpted into your professional hands,
Written into the way you smile gently.

Their love and care made you,
I feel you bringing that to me.

What sort of love did they share?
How did they stay as one?

I see their joy,
Lines of knowledge carved in their faces,
Slowly wondering if I can make that life,
Share that with you.

Your have their honesty,
Their deep secrets,
Their simple goodness…

But our times are different,
We struggle within ourselves,
Making love difficult…

One time, we traveled together to a cemetery,
I saw you touch the gravestone of a dead man,
An unknown Soldier in that place,
You were sad, but wanted to share your heart.

Your parents made you beautiful.

Friday, April 9, 2010

What We All Want...

Today is sunny.

But I woke up with the most empty and alone feeling...It was not a nothingness or emptiness, because I don't think that hurts as much. I could not get up, did not want to face anything, yet felt miserable looking out at the empty branches against the white sky.

Quite awful. Better now, but perhaps it was traveling preparations...

Seems we all want to love and be loved; to give consolation and receive it. But the people who need and want to give are disconnected.... Wandering in some wild forest which is filled with thorns and dense vines. How can we not all connect...?

I saw a girl's hand yesterday. She was holding a napkin at a restaurant I was in. Her hand had some faint scrapes on it. It was not adorned with painted nails, rings or overwrought delicacy... But it was lovely.

I wished she could have touched my face.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Poem for Today


For all these years,

Did I love someone I did not know?

I won’t believe it...

I can’t make myself accept that.

She made tiny gentle cries of love in my arms,

Gasping, drenched in cold sweat...

I left the evidence of my passion in her clothing.

She showed me…

It must have been true.

I can’t accept what she says now.

March 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Not Well...

l don't feel good...I think I must get over this again. I am tired of hurt.

If I was religious would the divine he/she help me?
But then why did they cause this pain?

Yes, I blame something or someone else for my hurt. I should take responsibility for my own pain...But it is still pain.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Loneliness of the Runner

I was running in the German countryside today. Winding my way over windswept, rolling green fields, passing by huge shaggy cows who balefully peer at me.
The wind turbines were silently turning on the tops of the hills.
It was lunch time and the narrow lanes were deserted...

The cattle here are big and shaggy brown. They stand or doze listlessly on the sloped fields. Indolent, yet with some form of wisdom behind their deep dark eyes.They ignore me as I run by, but I feel they are my friends. They know I will not hurt them...

The wind turbines swing their huge arms above me, and I sometimes feel that they are waving to me.
Running in and out of tiny villages, I kept on and on. An old man wished me good day. Stout and stocky limbed farm cats sunned themselves on the road side... Everything seemed alive. Tiny spring flowers push their first shoots up through the dark soil. They make faint vertical clumps of purple and white against the black earth.

I want to say something, but can't quite get it right. I do fear being alone, but feel love in my heart.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Poem for Today


I want to own you,
Capture and enrobe you,
Drive you to stay with me,
Compel your love.

But it can't be.
You've got to come on your own,
Padding towards me,
On your delicious and soft feet,
Come to me.

In wanting to possess you,
I seek my own submission,
I want to belong to you too,
Hoping I can be trapped and kept,
Close to you - like the keys around your neck.

Lock me up,
Don't let me go.

March 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Poem for Today

Made Into Your Toy

Mechanical toys,
Cheapest of thin metals,
Primitive and repetitive.

They wind themselves down,
On rubber wheels,
Rolling and swaying on my tabletop.

A small tin monkey beats his drum,
Marching steadily to the end of the table,
Waiting to go over the end.
He must be in love too.

Dec 2009

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tea...Rain and Clouds

It's the simple pleasures I miss most when away, so I try to replicate them wherever I am.

For instance, the weather is damp and cold, with a constant drizzle. But after walking in it, I feel like I have accomplished something: almost like I finished a mini-expedition somewhere.

When I get back to my room I grab my small electric kettle and in a few moments get a "brew-up" and am settling down with a hot mug of tea. Life looks good...The high-fiber fudge pop-tarts are not bad either.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Cloudy days, constant snow. Had a few hours of glistening sunshine yesterday though. There was also a lessening in the snow. It started coming down as a very fine dust. In the sun it sparkled, and charmed me.

In the last month I have been in 2 accidents, (I was not the driver in either), and one awful near miss. Two of these events involved snow, and I find myself pretty sensitized to driving in it.
During the two events in the snow -which involved skids- time was drawn out and the awful feeling / calmness of not being able to do anything enveloped me. Don't want to be there again, so I am riding the train tomorrow. Hoping for a break in the weather this weekend...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Poem for Today

Spent some time with my parents last month...They seem older and more frail...Thought of this poem.


The sky over my parents house is blank,
Gleaming pale,
Like a vast fluorescent bulb.
With the air heavy and moist,
I wonder what solace I can bring.

In two years they have aged ,
and I forget that I have too.
With all my losses and gains,
My sicknesses of heart
and traveling for love,
Of losing and finding it, and fearing it.

The folks remain simple - older, scruffy,
and sometimes smaller.

So, I don't mention my sorrows,
I tend them.
But I feel alone too.

January 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Poem for Today


In this short life of meetings,
With the coming,

And then the always going of travel,
Among restless and teasing wanderings,

We embrace.

It is you that always separates first,

Your eyes swing away,

Gazing behind me quietly.

It is your kiss that stops first,

The small tension,

Flickering in your arms,

It tells me you are finished.

So, after the flow of all this life,

After all the things I have done and seen,

I fear nothing,

Except -

Near the end of each day,

Then I begin to think,

Everything may be ended by your words.

December 2009

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Back in the USA

Back in the good old homeland!

Cold, and a bit tired on my arrival. Will be doing some traveling here, and will give my impressions as I perambulate across the USA.

When I was in the immigration hall at the airport a small altercation broke out between an older man and a younger one and his family. It resulted in the older man being pushed to the ground...It was all a very bizarre sight...Strange thing to see on my arrival back, and not even 10 minutes on US soil. I found the event disturbing...partly because it resulted from a sad misunderstanding, and also because it involved people of different races, and ages.

I do feel that in the USA we sometimes take things, (such as presumed slights) too personally. I see this even when I drive on the highways in the USA.... Things seem to come down to a "me vs. you" zero-sum game.
I see this also in the false divisions among our people that the talk show pundits attempt to create.

We are more alike in our country than different. I have felt that in the service. But, sometimes,the USA definitely seems more hostile than being on a deployment.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Poem for Today


I think of the scar on your wrist,

How you quietly hide it sometimes.

It’s an old injury,

Floating like a soft island on the smoothness of your skin.

Sometimes I try to take in my lips,

Encompassing it and making it mine,

Wishing I could be your balm.

But that is only the hurt I can see.

I am lost in describing you,

I think about the other scars you have,

The ones I will never know.