When A Child Dreams

I would dream summers

running through hemlock

brush scratches naked calves

the moment, lost in its mystique

 

When we were kids

we were ushered out of the house

play until you drop

play until you drop

 

We didn’t mind

being ushered out

we were in our element

children of summer

 

When I was a child

I didn’t imagine barriers

there wasn’t a risk of

seeing a friend bloodied

 

We didn’t walk around

waiting for our parents

who were never to be found,

unless of their own volition.

 

When I was a younger boy,

I could run for hours,

feeling the heat of summer

knowing the thrill of joy

 

In my wildest dreams

I was never sought, ushered,

told to stop my scream

for justice beyond my dream.

 

Today, the children of summer

are everywhere and far away

from the beauty of love

the compassion of a tender tear.

 

Today, I do recall freedom in my childhood,

I weep alone for the children of summer.

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The Beginnings of How We Believe

A young boy looks out to sea from the shores of the Greek islan

I suppose there has to be a little peace,

the mind in a restful state,

oh and music offers a solace,

an avenue to draw the heart

along a wonderful path of sweetness.

 

I remember as a child

there was this hilltop,

can’t call it a mountain,

but the anyway was the reach,

a gravel path to the cityscape.

 

I would sit there for morning,

often afternoons,

the evenings find me again,

it was a place where I would sit

in wonder about all the things I did.

 

I reflect today on that patch of gravel,

the rocks and stumps I chose

to sit upon, or perhaps a lean to

on a tree nearby, and I wonder

if I knew now what I worried then.

 

There is a certain beauty in finding peace,

when we can believe,

we know in our hearts the right thing,

the world of humanity,

is designed around the concept of love.


Photo found on savethechildren.org

 

 

Life Is Not A Ploy

Though there would be

immediate disagreement in one,

quiet satisfaction in another,

in the final hour,

one would realize if they did stop

to glance,

a world beyond their own device,

would, might

still exist,

and in that social fabric ignored,

a pain,

a fighting soul

whose rapture not found

might emulate

the sorrowful nature

of a discompassionate ploy.

 

Yes, simply a game,

beyond the reality of our terms,

defined by the human condition,

a banter of

despondent disregard

favors

only the regarded one …

or two, or three, or miles of more,

so difficult it is to understand

the lemings at my door.

Lines

Glance across great body of water,

See a family of fowl travel near

Look to notice crystal waves appear

The magic of earth is all the matter

 

Birds sing in the hidden pine of morning

A quiet reminder that love is in the air,

Symbolic in its historic grasp of where

Our lives begin sweet, soft listening

 

While for the moment the sun looms high

A brilliant casting inside mellow earth

We haven’t ever understood her girth

This profound lesson toward asking why

 

I stood inside the water’s edge today,

Humbled asking I might a cry this way.

 

Whisper My Name

To be heard

By her magic symphony

I am the audience

She the mystery

 

Oh, to know the many

Value of this body of mystique

The waves lapping shoreline

Only to be heard.

 

I wonder the soul

She keeps in quiet harmony,

The many lives, the sea men

Leaving wives and children home

 

Would we the living

Ever really understand

Why such stark reality

Beckons her command.

 

On occasion my passion

Would be the horizon

By which nature’s remedy

Harmonize sweet melody.

The Water’s Edge

I’ve often stood here,

Seeing the glass,

Mystique

Is nature’s remedy

 

A soft whispering cacophony

Waves sing forever,

In the trees they are listening,

Chanting,

Living in sweet serenity

 

Oh to know the mystery

What lies ahead

Is in the arms of a cradled soul

So distant yet near

We are all inside memory.

 

A shadowy horizon

The eye is lost in fantasy

The beauty of time

I’ve often stood here

Please Scream Rather Than Leave A Note – Suicide In Our Lives

spade

Kate Spade / Anthony Bourdain


The other day, I read a NYT article that indicated suicide rates are rising at an alarming rate since 1999. The same day CNN listed a similar statistic at 25% since 1999. This was the day after Kate Spade had taken her life. I thought it a natural followup of a tragic event. This morning I woke to the news of Anthony Bourdain. His series ‘Parts Unknown’ has been receiving high ratings on CNN for years. These are two prominent members of our society based upon their achievements over decades. Yesterday at a conference, a colleague of mine made the poignant statement, ‘suicide isn’t selective’ in its victim.
 ~
I’m really having a hard time wrapping my head around this. The first time I experienced suicide was when a friend of mine’s lover took his own life because he was terminal with cancer. I remember he lived a block away from me, and I probably could have heard the shotgun had I been on my deck, but I didn’t know about it until the next day. I remember his partner’s grief, and all the confusion that followed.
 ~
Years later, a man named Spaulding Gray wrote a wonderful piece called ‘Swimming To Cambodia’ and I immediately fell in love with his writing, his persona, though I remember being tempered when once interviewed, he stated that when he knows he is too sick to enjoy a quality of life, he will jump in the East river. His body was fished out of that same river two years later. I was devastated. and again not fascinated, more sickened by the reality of such a gesture.
 ~
In my own family, we have experienced such a tragedy, and there are never answers beyond the telling statement that depression is often a leading component in a person’s choice to take their own life. I’ve seen it too many times to count, and I still cannot wrap my head around it.
~
I know in my life I’ve struggled with depression more than I would like to admit. I’ve felt the dark moments that I suggest to all of my students as they go on to college or just live their present lives that when those moments arise, they have to call someone, they cannot allow themselves any other choice. I recognize the hypocrisy of my emotional reaction to this terrible outcome in the lives of so many people in our society and world.
 ~
Yet, all I can do today is speak to it from my heart. I didn’t personally know Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, Robin Williams, countless names in the public eye. I don’t know the names of all the people that the reader’s of this commentary have lost over the years. I only know the pain and confusion is real. I only know when my dark moments come, I cannot help but reflect upon the realities that exist around me on any given day.
 ~
I can only suggest that people use the hotline – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, rather than accepting someone’s final option as the only answer. There have got to be solutions, and more importantly there has to be a greater awareness and acceptance around the stigma that is attached to mental illness and depression.

AP File Photo