There is a big difference
between being lonely
and being alone.
Loneliness is an affair of the ego.
Being alone
can be a moment for the soul.
It is necessary
to be alone
to have the time
to be quiet,
to meditate,
to get to know ourselves.
The soul
cannot grow into awareness
if the ego
keeps us busy
with other people, activities,
or worrying about
how lonely we are.
Being alone
is a great opportunity
to define
who we truly are.

-Ram Dass


Further Faster

All I ever wanted to do was play
stomp mud puddles and sluicing rains
lie face-down in the dirt
and watch ants crawl

Who knew we'd spend so many years
nurturing identity
trying to relate self to world
make sense of what we saw on TV

When 18 and coming of age
I remember chasing rampant upheaval
open to all plausible possibility
avail anything once
burn candle from both ends
get further faster

Lucky to have endured those years
some of us are quirked along the way
broken by fate
realizing frailty too late

Some falter completely
pushing too hard
dying ignorant innocent
falling to casualty
relinquishing chance to attest adulthood
with wisdom of ascending years

Some are given option
to grant different treason
go about life in new way
Art saved me from further courting travesty
occupying time with prose and sketches
paper and pen to guide ruse

I read choice literature
spied film and visual art
studying the work of historic masters
fancied creating imaginative works
opinions and words for them
also surviving awkward oblivion
given option to understand
chance differently

There must be some legacy to remind
warn others of the dangers
of pushing too far
or giving up
when back is against the wall


Gifted Tongue

Early morning at Options Cottage
Roosevelt Warm Springs
Institute for Rehabilitation

Brushing my teeth
a visiting nurse enters my room
carrying a book I had been reading
'Dreamtime & Inner Space"
explaining significance of dreams
to tribal culture
and shamanic interpretation

She said are you saved
aren't you afraid of hell
be ye aware of devil spirits
that roam earthly halls
in search of loathing souls
believe & receive
the gift of tongues

She then babbled some incoherent dialect
trying to prove to me
she had righteous gift

I rinsed my mouth out
looking directly into her eye and said
you know not me
or gifts I bring world
I speak in poems


Unbridled Passion

Caught up in thinking
questioning what it is I want to say
Speaking to you last night
stranded me this way
Sleep evaded head spinning
wandering with my thoughts
Querying what the future holds
battles I've already fought
How can I say without tainting
words heavy on my heart
How can I reveal my feelings to you
without changing what they are
Will these circumstances fade you
to hide or leave feelings unsaid
Will you feel as deeply as I
words that you've just read

I left you in California
would see you when Fall Tour came around
meet you in Boston
hang out with you in your town
Be with you to see the Dead
6 shows in 7 nights
It would have been so fricken cool
nothing could have been more right
Together embrace the Dead
get that feeling of coming home
Another night celebrating with the Boys
you and I alone
then there was the accident & Jerry passed away
Suddenly everything
was halted by strange delay
I remember when I was hurting most
your voice conferred life to my ears
Like some distant Angel ghost
out of nowhere your calls appeared
At that time I couldn't speak
barely hearing what people say
A step away from passing
looming death just a breath away
Then they flew me to Shepherd
finally thoughts with you over phone
You gave me comfort in my plight
sharing pain I held alone

I opened up to you told you things
when all I wanted was to hide
I revealed to you jumbled thoughts
I had buried deep inside
So much had changed would it even matter
The condition I've found myself in
like a puzzle broken pieces scattered
Crushed like volcanic dust
blown on frenzied winds
Not wanting to be where I am
I have to sort out pieces of self again
So weird to feel feelings
with a body that's unfeeling
Sorting through scattered thoughts
needing great healing

It's a different way of being
that I learn from everyday
A lesson of patience I walk
in the new role that I play

Spared for whatever reason
yet defined I guess we'll see
Can't help thinking this is just another part
of the strangest destiny

So this is my first day
kicking it at Warm Springs
Another day scripting thoughts
praise to the Creator
of all our dreams

The Book Of Tours

For 4 years I frequented interstate corridors
chasing lines fading to distant horizon

The road fed my desire
lending freedom to always new dream
where I remain anonymous
to any past adhered by others

I was whatever I wanted to be
every moment filled mystery
an exciting book never knowing
next page or scene

Like 'Fear And Loathing'
no story could equal
or resemble the beautiful madness
I found chasing The Grateful Dead
from city to city
state to state

Life was dreamy
chancing fate and fortune friends
in seek of carnival pleasure

Wake with carnation sunrise
race sun to westward horizon
dead red crash and burn
fading light caressing seas

Poems could never convey the experience fully
these lines celebrate those moments
Jerry and the Boys years of performance magic
Conjuring ancient feeling to assembly
opening gateway invitation
for those willing to assume pursuit
having learned some kind of something
hosting all those acid tests years ago

Scattered now the dust settled
The sage seeks freedom from desire
He does not collect precious things
He learns not to hold on to ideas
He brings others back to what they have lost

-Lao Tzu


Muse Lead

We need inspiration
to touch us hold us grip us in awe
if but for a second
leaving us intrigued

No limitations
I am not confined
by others expectation

I will be the miracle in me
I will be what they've yet to see
I will be he
defining new prophecy
riddled by something grander
greater more powerful beautiful
than our understandings
of self defined by society

Disability forces redefining
self and situation
I am found in my wheelchair
among those lost and walking around

New day promises
possible experience
appealing soul to ever stranger adventure
the hope of future fantasy
moments burned to mind
her eyes in parading glow


Faded Years

I hope life finds you well son
into myriad things
as a child bordering teen should be

I wish I knew moments with you
what passions your life now

Wish I could encourage your evolution
things you love to do
share techniques of carting girls interest

I am sure you are aided
nurtured by those around
Stacy as always holding you dear

I ask myself all the time
what would be the best way
to communicate with and know you now
without causing more controversy
or extending dissent

I promised your mother
jealous step father
to leave your new family dynamics alone

We never spoke to you about it
or asked you your opinion
you were so young
just in the line of fire

What did you really think of me
did you think of me at all
I don't know anything about your life now
this poem like others
another shot in the dark
get a few words down
so that you know one day when we meet again
you were are in my mind all the time
you are my heart my soul
and I give regard to you always

I will send these words await reply
hoping to one day know instead of imagine
your passions things you emphasize
in your life wandering

Justin I love you just so you know
I apologize again for everything I did
didn't do that continues our distance

I offer prayers for you in your becoming
hoping your lessons in this life
be pleasant rewarding as pain-free as possible

I know you will be a blessing to the world
a light for others seeking way
tell your Mom
I always think of her with fine regard

We were too young to understand
incapable of handling
love in such fragile circumstance

She is a fine woman
I couldn't have picked one better
to mother my child

Between Two Worlds

Pastel colors swirl in motion
I give thanks for life I have
Distant signs unfurl emotions in me
this sunset won't be my last
Sunsets are my meditation
time I take for self
Moments of isolated celebration
give praises if nothing else
Quiet introspection witness to
the subtle rhythms of the Earth
Peaceful time for reflection
chance to script a little verse
Poems to thank the Creator
this moment is my church
Space for reconciliation
as I reflect upon my search
Simply breathing & being
I ponder on my fate
Wonder what my words will sing
what lesson they might relate
What insights might I receive
if I let my mind just wander
What secrets thoughts will tell
given time to ponder

Another beautiful transition
citrine day cascading night
I listen to my inner being
creator of what I write
Unwaveringly I stare
hawkeye sun gold center

Watching fall skies threaten rain
and oncoming chill of winter
I query my spirit
what is it that I must do
What are my new dreams goals
where is fate leading to
Will I counsel I know I'll write
I guess it's back to school
I'm off to Mercer to study poetry
I guess that's kind of cool
Then to graduate studies
maybe get a Master's degree
Who knows after that
I'll just have to go & see
People with disabilities
need confident voices to lead the way
& I guess it's part my fate
or at least that's what I think they say
Warm Springs for the winter
options cottage developing lifetime skills
Writing reading drawing
catching sunsets before my meals


The New Dawn

I know the feeling
of pity as people look down
but I also know in my heart
about things yet to come around
Kryon 11:11 Baktun 13
cryptic words though their unsure
I know what they mean

I'll play out this role
let fate prescribe as is allowed
just a part of my supreme lesson
fulfill my Sacred vows
What is one lifetime
in the immortal journey of soul
just a scene of happening
in the longest movie to unfold

We'll laugh about the unfolding together
as performance ends
Joke about the lives we've had
roles we've passed as friends
others too are here to spread word
having heard hint about the way
seers of the new dawn
reinterpreting signs of coming day

One life sharing insights
relate experiences that we've had
try to awaken those still sleeping
who happen upon our path

Cycling here and about
thrown from one lesson to another
memories forgotten secrets coming out
there's more yet to discover

Where I am
there I am
together and alone
Consciously blessed in knowing
feeling close to home

So what can I say not already said
I am more than just a seeker
that found the Grateful Dead
I was home before all that
though still upon a search
Looking for others knowing also
there role upon this Earth
There are more awakening
hungry for simple clue
A time ago there weren't many
but now there's quite a few

Dusting Off The Savior

Those that lent careful ear
never realized full extent of scribing story
for them later in coming

They knew Spirit loved him
signs were many imbuing revelation

They never believed though
it would lead to this

Spit on coerced stoned in detestation
he waded through hostile streets
a man hated for Truth

None knew
so many would aspire his murder
or that the pain would be so great

Can he help he was chosen

Words of mock disdain
spread to cross in criminal offering
nails hammered plunged spike
through the soft meat of wrist and bone
crushing ankles staking arms outstretched

Displayed like ornament
arms spread in hugging gesture
head dripping blood
from gash of crowning thorns

Splintered he was raised for all to view
Few here loved him as she
most teasing him of foolish crusade
scolding him as the King of Jews
offering for the conquest of Rome

Hastening his demise
a soldier guard jabbed his side
hardened spear shaft
gutting him in shocked squeal

Shriek arose with parting soul
As Yashuah exclaimed
'Father to thee I commend my spirit'

The sky blackened sun
eclipsed by moon swallowing
the universe of stars appeared as testimony
crying out sparing no tear
for the severity of the moment

Christ the savior is fallen


Disability Nights
by Gabriella

Zen, your poems swept through me, cleaned me,
shook me, sprinkled me out
like dust on the open carpet --

Did you choose your last name (Garcia)
for your
hero (Jerry)?
sweet-thinking, slow
blinking, how you
been walking that road

I loved your handwriting
ought to frame it
knowing the tears
behind each shiver
the art within --

I know about effort
though I live a different layer
I'm lying here in
bed writing this,
squashed by gravity --
I managed to grab
a pen and diary
got to get it down
trapped by pillows and paralysis
tears and temper --

Well back in the old
days, we might have
drummed together --
swam naked - climbed a hill
and laughed 'till the sun set

Instead, we're meeting in a
different vein
though I see clearly
the ore in the crystal
and how deep it runs.

We'll be friends forever man --
and let your pen speak it out
Don't hold back - you're there
shout it out however loud --

I want to give you a
gift back
like you give life
and I see you've given
one to me --

Seeing you gives me a glimpse
of what I give others --
Snailing along in this chair
Sailing along --
Singing my song --
Singing my song.

Blessings to you
and thanks


Enchanted Evening
for Gabriella
in response to Disability Nights

Outside musing
beneath cotton puff clouds
Apollo sun warns of Spring
fresh hairs of green
sprouting wings
from pregnant Earth

Freedom once again
3 bedroom
3 miles from Mercer
$300 a month
for 2 years or more

Kind sister to assist
96 Ford Windstar as chariot
new growth abounds in a world
mysterious with changes

Almost through with 'Evening'
scanning the final rendition now
my orchestra muse
she sings always
so much even
that sometimes I must ignore

My life experience
the inspiration of my words
shaping me shocking to have found them
& myself in this strange
applaud able moment
I know sweet sister
the disillusion
of your space
thoughts your mind perceives

Disability is different yes
but always remember
blessed are we
to grace Creation
with the eye
of our conscious soul
& I know you know
your words tell me so
you are one like me

Morning flowers sunrise
it is the promise I anticipate in wait
the chill of remembering
knowing tears flowing undenied

Observing all things observing
part of all that is was & will ever be

Reverence for my life
the essence of my being
the evanescence of this moment now
every dream I've ever seen

You're right soul sister
we meet in different light
posting the strangest roles
we've ever known
but who better to help those
swept beneath the ru


Somersaulting Tomorrows
by Gabriella
in response to Enchanted Evening

Brother, your letter came at a good time.
But any time with you is good.
For your words are in a pool not of time
but of pearly connection
to an unseen now.

You said, "remember
blessed are we to grace Creation
with the eye
of our conscious soul"

Your words turn me somersaulting
into a sure tomorrow
where dreams and reality do not clash
with uncertain heat or cold nights,
flip me backwards into a yesterday
childhood innocence cats-to-pet
oceans to wade, mud-between-toes,
brothers-to-tease, strawberries-to-pick,
room-to-clean, homework-to-do
How could we know?
Why didn't we see?

And these words throw me out of yesteryear
and tomorrow's fear
into that pool of the ocean's glow
Ocean of love -
that dissolves my pyramids of time
blossoms and swallows them
into Herself for safe keeping.
So now our poems can dance together
as once
we would have mulberried-round-the bush
or farmer-in-the-delled.
or treehouse-built or dolphin-swam.

You say, "who better to help
those swept
beneath the rug?"
I love the way you waste not a word,
how can you afford to?
I am lush and overstuffed
with my metaphors

But then that is the dance
of yin and yang.

Ping-pong with me!


Natural Mystic

Splatter of constellations
the Old Ones watch us laughing
chasing our tails in all seriousness
running to stand still

Able America eyes scan over
they assume lives better
because of jobs lending identity
evading center wrapped up in chasing illusion

The Earth grand in variety
spirals a tight ellipse around a fantasy of light
tonight that itself revolves
around some great center

Missing point they consider not
harmony of forces driving it to this
I await the coming
scripting thoughts
exploring the visions
of some voice inside

Doubts spark adventure
signs of progress restore lost faith

Smiling on faces
fearful of my stare
ignorant of what I bring
I look for seekers everywhere
closer than they think

All roads lead home


New Love

We dance
butterfly angels
strewn to wind soft dreams
she tentative at first
unsure how to be
I would wait to catch her eye
with tenderousity
now she straightens my feet
without break in conversation

She's the kind of girl
having met
I could wish to meet again
soft spoken
laughing in quiet smiles

Closet expectations
for me
to wither a broken man
the disabled plight
fight for basic rights
& dignity
we are what we wish to be
not what others think they see

& she knows like me
it will take more
than quiet frustration
to make the change
civil disobedience
if necessary

'No Pity' for callous minds
citing laws insensitive
to the people's needs
we've come this far
lead follow
or get the hell out of the way

I'm erecting a new altar
in honor of difference
and she likes the attention
of being with me
great parking good seats
we cut lines most of the time
& people
some really go out of their way
to display
the lost kindness of humanity

On sunny days
she'll cat into my lap
easing my chair back
we'll dream away high
mellow in comfort

Perfect for quick spring naps
& star-packed nights
nothing quite like
her head on my shoulder
sweet smelling hair curling my cheek

Love was different
but never better


The Matrix

Programmed from the ages of 5-18
We are informed by public education agenda
to study for skills tests
on what they claim is

It's around 15 that we start to question
the relevance authenticity of social belief

Public education is wholly predisposed
and it's widely known
most people in this country are not even included
in what has been handed down
as the official history

Modern America is acculturated
into educational philosophies
which uphold only the opinions
of those who conquered through history
whose interpretations
no longer real meaning
for what is now life relevance

They the contingent only want us to conform
be the good slave
little worker bee
tamed by visions of hellfire damnation
self denying guilt blame and shame

I left all that crap behind
went seeking freedom outside world approval
receiving lesson from land
creatures Spirits I'd met
Outside the mad insanity of cultural beliefs
I didn't care if no one else could see
what to me was insane measure

I could not would not live up
to a life pleasing others expectation

How long do they think
it can go on like this

Enough of the bullshit
time to throw the vagrants from the temple
replace the system a
nd leaders guiding it to this