The alarm clock brushed my teeth and then forced me to drink orange juice.
As I looked out the window, a cement sky was pulling down the corners of my mouth.
The newspaper on my front steps was wetter than a spitball. Trying to read it was like trying to page through baklava, just not as tasty.
The coffee grinder handed me a bouquet and asked if I would like some help with the corners of my mouth. I cradled the steaming mug so I could feel the rays of sunshine in my hands.
As I headed out, the wind surprised me by throwing the door open and kissing me. Her lips were cold, but her breath was very fresh. I was mad at first, but must admit, it did feel good.
When I got to work, the building was talking trash to me, and I talked trash right back,
reminding him that I was close to retirement. That shut him up! I paused and then tightly grinned, knowing full well that someday I will miss them all.
Copyright © Luke Irwin | Year Posted 2012
By Curtis Johnson
It seemed so clear and plain to me that those urges for repetitive behaviors and tendencies were hard to tame.
It seemed that there simply was no recourse from a life locked in “drive” on a one way street that always ended up the same.
Like a loaded locomotive headed across the plains, providing no great views of mountains or rivers; there too was a longing inside of me to stop and get off this fast train.
As our lives approach the setting of the sun, and the evening star appears, it seems appropriate to take a little more time to contemplate, meditate, and rearrange.
I thinks perhaps it’s true that there is sometimes less to be gained from vain repetition; and sometimes, I think that second opinions are required to relieve more pain.
Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2015
Just as honesty plants seeds of integrity
vulnerability plants seeds of honesty.
My primary vocation
in this my gay grandfatherly retiring age
is to parent mindbody challenged adolescents
of diverse colors
as ecotherapeutically as possible
to optimize their and our wealth
growing nutritional elements and moments
into humanely co-operative organisms
with good days
more than bad.
More or less like watering the flowers
and ignoring the weeds,
or, better yet,
repurposing the weeds,
redirecting their potential energy
in a more nutritiously nurturing way.
My kids not only are vulnerable,
they know they are vulnerable,
and this tends to make them exceedingly honest
with each other
about what is funny and what is tragedy.
They are easy to parent
in this way.
Yet this same vulnerability
is their greatest risk
in a too often competitive,
and mindless of other's special needs,
We communicate connected to the feeling level,
even while learning the ABCs,
the 1 through 100 percents of good and bad numbers
and proportions and balance and symmetry,
the drawing of self-portraits,
Earth and Her Sun.
Often these inside feeling voices
do not feel well enough to care about the ABC's,
or even the needs of those we need to love
and to love us,
to be as lovely with as possible.
Inside feeling voices
become loud and angry and hurt outside voices.
I noticed this the other day
when old family friends dropped by.
Not quite as old as I
and therefore much less retired
from life's exterior competitions.
When we had time to visit several times per week,
we often began together
checking in about how our inside voices were feeling today,
happy or sad,
depressed or triumphant,
and usually some more richly nuanced place between.
Then we would turn to our big outdoor voices.
What we were working and playing on and with
in our back and front and side-yards,
the gardens and woodlands of our productive nutritional lives,
how the pets and pests
and domestic egg-layers were feeling,
and why not.
These two voices generally resonated with each other.
What we were working on with Outdoor Voices
said something about nutrition and health we were working on
as a family
with our Inside Voices,
and vice versa.
if there was nothing else to do,
no further outdoor recreations
and discernment projects,
would we return to more
yet less intimate and vulnerable
Work and play projects in perpetual interior process.
The noticing of more ornamental acquisitions
like ceiling and wall and floor coverings,
about what we could see together
through all those more interior feelings
and thoughts about relationships,
past and future and present interactions,
transactions of value and disvalue,
warmth and cooler apathy.
I remembered this yesterday
when old friends,
no longer neighbors, revisited
and we began with new floor and ceiling coverings
and ended with farewell.
They arrive so late
it is already past time to be back home
to get ready for another Indoor Voices
Which, this morning,
results in feeling blessed
to be here in this time and place
to listen and speak at our leisure
with my vulnerable no-boundary kids,
outrageously honest about their nutritional needs
speaking with full volume integrity
in both Inside Outdoor Voices,
meets and greets and eventually defeats
through honest integrity
of repurposing redirection,
feeding the flowers
and noticing how funny the weedy Outdoor Voices
feeling our way through the ABCs
and the 1 through 100% flowering days
and mean weedy nights.
I'm surprised and disappointed
my former neighbors didn't notice all the new fruit trees
and berry bushes
poppies and lilies
strawberries and tomatoes
onions and garlic
asparagus and rhubarb,
and 17 new solar panels on the roof!
My kids could care less
and probably never more
what our old friends did
and did not
other than their own Voices
vulnerably maturing into integrity,
I'm glad they noticed,
because the liked,
the new floor and ceiling covers.
Copyright © Gerald Dillenbeck | Year Posted 2017
It's another Saturday night
ending this week
I came here
almost two years ago
to my retirement hermitage
and often uncomfortably,
shared with my hurt kids,
mental and physical illness
adopted and then adapted;
an asylum for the perpetually incontinent.
Cars pass by.
Sometimes a loud motorcycle
or two or three or four
or even more
here on the southern boundary
of a county seat
in a State
where rural counties
have been disenfranchised
of political purpose.
Our largest employers
are two tribally owned casinos.
One across the Thames River
flowing past our backyard retreat.
Our second largest income producer
may be the County Courthouse
where attorneys and police
collude to extort voluntary donations
from poor young adults
red and yellow,
black and white,
guilty of speeding
and smoking medicine
without a license
in Great White Father's sight.
I have been listening and watching
for what this half acre is.
We are not as rural as I had hoped,
with State highway 12 too near my front yard,
but this place is also not urban
What it is not,
whom we are not,
seems more clearly articulated
than any positive definition,
refining our becoming quiet place,
shunned by healthier neighbors.
It's another lonely ending
anticipating yet another not new beginning
tomorrows stretching out alone
long retiring shadows
on this southern edge
of a Connecticut County Seat
without apparent purpose
or co-defining meaning.
Copyright © Gerald Dillenbeck | Year Posted 2017