The Giver (for Berdis – A poem by James Baldwin

If the hope of giving
is to love the living,
the giver risks madness
in the act of giving.

Some such lesson I seemed to see
in the faces that surrounded me.

Needy and blind, unhopeful, unlifted,
what gift would give them the gift to be gifted?
          The giver is no less adrift
          than those who are clamouring for the gift.

If they cannot claim it, if it is not there,
if their empty fingers beat the empty air
and the giver goes down on his knees in prayer
knows that all of his giving has been for naught
and that nothing was ever what he thought
and turns in his guilty bed to stare
at the starving multitudes standing there
and rises from bed to curse at heaven,
he must yet understand that to whom much is given
much will be taken, and justly so:
I cannot tell how much I owe.

Buzzard Ladies

Buzzard ladies,
I salute you.
You are the topic of the hour,
The fodder of gossips,
And the inspiration for a thousand questions.
You don’t seek the spotlight, but claim it all the same.

Hermits of the hills,
I admire you.
The audacity to not need us,
Your solidarity of one,
The tenacity to shirk the fashionable
And lay waste to expectation.

Mad Scientists and Theorists
I enjoy the seeds you sow.
Bucking the status quo
Asking questions,
Digging in the soils of change.
Causing earthquakes under the foundations of what is known.

Hippie Poets Artists and Angst Filled Rockers
Your sounds are music to my ears.
Your brushes paint life vivid.
Enriching life through notes, words, color.
Translating emotions,
Shaking the souls of mortals
Opening dialogue portals
Making maps of thoughts and dreams.

You Provokers and Rebels.
You Berserkers of the norm.
You of a thousand stares and endless persecutions-
I stand with you in strangeness.
I worship at your table of weird.
You are the stars in the sky,
The illumination in the dark,
The curious wonder of a child.
The openness of innocence,
And the possibilities of the future.

Thank You.

Happy End of the World Day….again. (journal)

An ode to January 1, 2000

In case you missed it, today is predicted to be the end of the world.

I’ve made it through several ends of the world.

Maybe you have too.

What I like best about the end of the world is the day after.

The new beginning.


Here’s some words from a guy you might have heard of:

“Everyday, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”  –Dalai Lama