Treading lightly the path to enlightenment.

Posts tagged ‘poetry’


Lake Light

I am the Lightkeeper.

I claim no special skill or training.

I did not build the lighthouse, or the light.

It is my duty, my responsibility, to keep the lamp lit

For those whom I have not met and may never meet.


I am not a sailor.

Don’t know how to hoist the mainsail or tack to the west.


I am not a whaler.

Have never thrown the harpoon, know nothing of the harvest of oil.


I am not a shipwright.

Can’t calculate her draft or build a transom.


I am not the Captain.

Cannot plot our course or stare down the dangers.


I know only darkness pierced by the beacon.

I know this craggy point like the lines on my face.

I know the high and low tides, the summer storms, winter’s fury.

I know the cries of the shipwrecked, calling into the night.


I know of rocky shores and the ocean’s rage.

I know of smashed and abandoned skeletons

Of ships piloted by

Those that did not see.


Did not see the shore.

Did not see the waves crashing and foaming at the bluff.

Did not see the light.


“Here! Here is the light!” I shout at the

Top of my lungs only to have my calls

Drowned out by the roaring surf.


I am only the lightkeeper.

Despite my bellowing and tears

I cannot save those

That will not see the light.


I cry at the dawn, as I douse the light,

For those that will never see it.



Couldn’t we shine?

I’m rolling all my Golden Moments into one.

Gonna shine like the sun,

One last summer day.

Shine like the lighthouse,

One last summer night.

See me 

Flashing On,

Flashing Off,

Fading away.


“Lighthouse” – James Taylor



Seek peace,



Bone White Moon



Little stir has the air,

Yet a great noise it makes

as it rattles – like  bones –

The leaves on dry skeleton trees.

A veil of vapor rises

From a bog not far away,

Like a specter drifting skyward,

Aloft on nightly haunts.

Underfoot the leaves crunch,

Parched and bleached,

Like the arid, taut skin

of Rigor Mortis.

Alone in the sky flies a

Bone White Moon,

Peering out from behind

Passing shrouds.

Silent, and steadfast,

As The Reaper.


Photo Supervisor

Happy Halloween!


Seek peace,



White Butterfly



Like the white butterfly

you came into my life

dancing about a wandering course gleefully,

occupying the senses totally.

Silently, the butterfly

flies on,

and I am left smiling.


Seek peace,



The amazing brain, and You 2’s reign



If you haven’t fully realized this yet, you should be aware that there are two of you.

There’s You you think of as you, the you that thinks conscious thoughts, makes conscious decisions, and the like.

Then there’s the second you, in Armchair Zen world referred to as You 2.

Perhaps a number of other psychometric or philosophic names are given to You 2. The alter ego, the Id, the sub-conscious, etc.

I’m no expert on that stuff, so we’ll just talk about You 2 as if you know what I mean.

Folks talk about how we only use six percent of our brain’s capacity, or something like that.  All that brain tissue in there and we’re not really sure what it does. Real science has discovered some wonderful stuff with machines examining brain activity. Others have done volumes of work studying the subconscious, the “unused” sections of the brain, ways in which the brain functions, etc. You should read that stuff some time and see if it interests you.

Meanwhile, let’s look again at your amazing brain, and its ability to work just fine without (or in spite of) your conscious efforts! Actually, we’ll be looking at your brain working the way it’s supposed to, which is really amazing and uses (in my opinion) most of that space much of the time.

One of the most amazing things about our species is spoken language. Clearly, the ability to assemble a bunch of symbols like the ones you’re reading now, and having others, many others, be able to receive information from those symbols, is a great advantage. This allows us to teach one another without every lesson being one-on-one in real-time, the way other animals do. In fact, even the one-on-one teaching of other animals pales in comparison, as purely visual lessons can be misunderstood or missed entirely.

Some written languages, Chinese as an example, use a picture symbol for each word as opposed to words made up of letters. We think that it must be difficult to learn all those symbols and remember them, recall them as they’re needed.

Cut to the fun stuff! Okay, here’s a little exercise that will have your amazing brain amazing you in minutes! In past presentations, we’ve talked about your brain’s ability to take in information, seeing, hearing, feeling, and so forth, and retain those events for retrieval later.

(See Archives: Creativity & seeing Nov.2012, Seeing 2: the amazing brain Dec. 2012, You can predict the future! Dec.2012, You times two, Apr.2013)

Now we’re going to discover a cool way to “bait” your brain and make it retrieve stuff from that vast mass of gray matter in your head! This is really simple, so that’s why we had to get all the good descriptive dialogue and such out-of-the-way first. Here’s the drill:

I’m going to give you a trigger word, and you’re going to have about a half-dozen words on average come flying in to your conscious brain from the subconscious side!

How? Rhyming. Yes. I’ll give you the first word, but after that you can pick any word you want (except orange) and your brain will instantly provide you with rhyming words!

So, maybe you think this is infantile, a game played with second graders to improve their literacy. But if you stop and smell the amazing roses, you’ll find your brain (or You 2’s brain) is lightning fast with this. It really is amazing when you get on a roll! Okay: here’s your trigger word. Count how many rhyming words you come up with in about 30 seconds. Most folks, with most words, will almost-instantly produce about six rhyming words. That’s your instant-fast brain. There’s much more in your brain, but You (not You 2) need to “send” a request to get more. After your initial six words, start actively thinking and let your brain find other words that rhyme. that’s where it gets really fun, as you start to think of multi-syllable words, words in foreign languages, and homonyms that sound the same but are spelled differently. Ready? Here’s your first trigger word, think of rhyming words for:


You’re already amazed I bet!

I got the idea for this post from something even more amazing! I am an armchair poet and singer-songwriter. If you write or read poetry, or even the verses on greeting cards, you’ll know that this uses meter, a number of syllables that are the same length as other corresponding lines in the poem or song. Not all poems (or songs for that matter) follow a meter, but it’s the most common. Written music, another set of symbols that amazing brains can learn, read and instantly decipher, is set to a specific meter, in beats or bars if you’re familiar with the terms. You can try this, too, and be even more amazed at your amazing brain! Make up a rhyme. Let any words at all come into your head and just let it flow. Some of the lines will be somewhat nonsensical, but you’ll be amazed at how quickly your brain can come up with ideas that fit the meter and rhyme the end word. (Called end rhyming, not unnaturally)

I’m going to start a silly diddy. You can use the same line to start with. I’m going to let my brain write the next three lines and I’ll leave them in the post just the way they came out.

I went outside on a beautiful day.

Hoping to find someone to play

And run with me through fields of hay,

And send my cares off and away.

Okay, so my brain stopped me and made me backspace the last line, but I threw this up in about twenty seconds!

Try this! It will make you appreciate your brain’s speed and power! (It won’t make You 2 appreciate anything, as far as I know. typically You 2 thinks it knows everything already. More some other time on why You 2 brain thinks it is always right, when it argues with itself, and why these things are healthy as well as amazing!)

Be at peace,



Return of the Sun

Sharon Center Sunset

Sharon Center Sunset

Once winter is on a roll, deep into December, turning the corner to the new year, I become accustomed to life in the dark. Leaving for work at 6:30, it’s dark. Arriving home at 6:30, it’s dark.  Sure, there’s sunlight during the workday, but the only time I can see the roof, the lawns, the runways and the barn is on the weekend.

I’m keenly aware in the fall, beginning late in July, really, of the shortening of days. On the walk with Chuy, we can see, viewing from the same point atop Nishan’s Hill, the sun gets a little more ahead of us day by day. I watch intently as the sun sets, trying to squeeze a couple extra views in before the red ball drops below the horizon.

Then—darkness falls. The depth of winter reminds me of the dark, heatless places in our solar system. The dark side of the moon must be just like this. Well below freezing and constantly night. Then again, there’s no wind on the moon, so these icy blasts that shake me like a willow would not exist there. By imagining the cold, dark expanses of the cosmos, I can feel fortunate that we reign over the elements with our modern human conventions. Electric lights, heat, fiberglass insulation, pellet stoves, TV.

One morning, seems like before I know it, there’s this huge nuclear fireball burning, sitting on the horizon as I drive to work. Yesterday that space was filled with snow-beleaguered pines and the morning star. Today, a big orange-red flame blinds me as I navigate the highway. This first turn, the first time I can see the sunrise at that place and time in the morning, is most exciting. Sure, it’s the same as last year, and will be the same as next year and probably roughly the next 4 billion years or so (give or take).

Maybe most folks don’t get as excited about this as I do. For me, it’s like watching the swallows return to Capistrano. Once a year, like your birthday. An event.

Tug Hill Snow Sun

Tug Hill Snow Sun

It’s strange to think that January is Aphelion, the point in the Earth’s orbit when we’re closest to the sun. Perihelion, our farthest distance from the sun in our annual orbit, occurs around the first week of July.  Odd to think we’re now a couple of million miles closer to the sun than we are in the summer!

In these, our bitter days of winter,

As bare trees stand, their feet cold in the snow,

And above our heads icy North winds blow,

And from my eaves hang frozen crystal splinters,


Let us then retire to our rooms,

Where we’ll sip hot tea and clasp our hands,

And know the warmth of love still stands,

As overhead the winter rage looms.


No embers of wood, nor burning coal,

As fire radiates its heat,

Upon our faces, upon our feet,

Can, as the heart, warm the soul.

Depth of Winter

Depth of Winter

There’s something to this cosmos-watching that brings me comfort. Gives me my sense of place in the universe. Truly seeing the universe is not easy.

A starfield on a crystal clear January night.  A moon behind ice-crystal clouds.

Some ice, some dark, some cold, some sun, all help aid the imagination.

Oh yeah, and a ride home in the light.


Be at peace,





I really had a great time on our 11th honeymoon.

Who’d have thought those years would be history so soon?

All those months and seasons and phases of the moon.

And did I mention that I love you?


We were so young, in lust and in love,

And along with the little ones sent from above,

We fought like tigers and saw the peace of the dove.

And did I mention that I love you?


Seems like forever I’ve been in love with you.

But the days and nights go by, sometimes they seem so few.

You know there’s nothing in this life we can’t help each other through.

Did I mention how much I love you?

And in my heart I know you love me, too.


A picture in my wallet brought a tear to my eye.

You know I’m sorry for every tear I’ve made you cry.

I’d give anything to ease your heart, from the Earth to the sky.

And did I mention that I love you?


I’d wrap up the world for you and lasso the sun,

Collect the moon and pick the stars up one by one and then

Wrap them in rainbows, and when I was done

I’d remind you how much I love you.


When the day comes and the kids have all grown,

I’ll be so glad to get you alone.

As we watch our children find loves of their own

I’ll remind them how I’ve loved you.


And when we’re old, our hair peppered and grey,

I’ll think of all the treasured times that came our way.

Until my last breath I’ll hold you and say

“Did I mention how much I love you?”


Seems like forever I’ve been in love with you.

Yet the days and nights go by, sometimes they seem so few.

You know there’s nothing in this world we can’t help each other through.

May I remind you how much I love you.

And in my heart I know you love me, too.


Us, pretending to fall into the Niagara River. Niagara Falls, 1990

 (Note: Written in 1992. We’ll celebrate our 31st honeymoon September 12th, 2012. The “kids have all grown”, with four grandkids, and another on the way.) -Paz

I see angels

Living, breathing angel

The boy fell to his knees, his face dropped to his hands.

What was I to do, being just a mortal man?

I said “You’re at the end of your rope, son, not the end of your road.”

Sometimes we need to help a broken angel with their load.


I see angels all around me. Angels you can see.

Living, breathing angels right where they ought to be.

This whole world’s full of angels, from sea to shining sea.

It’s a world full of angels waiting for us to let them be.


A man clutched my hands as tears welled in his eyes.

I said “There are no words. We’re never ready to say goodbye.”

Most folks don’t know that sometimes angels need a hand.

He said “No one knows my pain. No one understands.”


I told him “There are angels all around you, angels you can see.

Living, breathing angels, right where they need to be.

It’s a world full of angels, from sea to shining sea,

A world full of angels waiting for you, and me.”


I see that little baby, sleeping in her bed.

See the days and weeks and months and years that lay ahead.

Her mother and her brother, and all her kith and kin,

This whole great wide world around her, all the same beneath the skin.


I see angels all around me. Angels you can see.

Living, breathing angels right where they want to be.

It’s a world full of angels, from sea to shining sea.

A world full of angels waiting for us

To set them free.

I just don’t want to argue with you any more

Into the fray

Please show me the way to make peace with your heart.

How do I stop this thing? How do I don’t let it start?

How do I know what to say? How do I know what I said?

When do I shut my mouth and keep it all in my head?

I just don’t want to argue with you any more.

I just don’t want to quarrel with you any more.

I just don’t want to fight with you any more.

I just don’t want to argue with you any more.

Can’t see my light, can’t plot a course.

Can’t navigate through the regret and remorse.

I’m trying to rise to find a better way

but it all gets entangled in all that we say.

What if I don’t argue about it any more?

Chilled to the bone, burned from the heat.

Cold as a stone, I’m dead on my feet.

Do I laugh like a fool? Do I break down and cry?

Do I fall to my knees? Do I lay down and die?

I’m just not going to argue with you any more.

Just not going to quarrel with you any more.

No, I’m not going to fight with you any more.

I’m just not going to argue about it any more.

Just not going to argue with you any more.

I just don’t want to argue with you any more.


Ah, my heart aches for

days gone by.

When thoughts raced past me

like rabbits in headlights,

and I was

young and timeless.

In Depth of winter

Tug Hill snowIn these, our bitter days of winter,
As bare trees stand, their feet cold in the snow,
Above our heads icy northwinds blow,
And from our eaves hang frozen crystal splinters.

Let us then retire to our rooms,
Where we’ll sip hot tea and clasp our hands,
And know the warmth of love still stands
As overhead the winter rage looms.

No embers of wood, nor burning coal,
As the fire radiates its heat,
Upon our faces, upon our feet,
Can, as the heart, warm the soul.

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