Poetry Challenge Day 203 (Mon Apr 25)

I need to sit
for fifteen minutes
each morning and evening.

It’s called meditation.

I need to see
if it truly can
make a change.

Writing has.


Poetry Challenge Day 202 (Sun Apr 24)

I love the feel of a book
in my hands.
I take great satisfaction
in turning the pages.
I try to remember
the words I have read,
sometimes I succeed.
Most of the time
I am left with only an impression.
That’s okay,
I am the sum of my impressions.

Waking Up

Poetry Challenge Day 201 (Sat Apr 23)

The first thing I should do
when I wake in the morning

The second thing I should do
when I wake in the morning
acknowledge the gift of twenty-four hours.

The third thing I should do
when I wake in the morning
promise to live each moment.

The fourth thing I should do
when I wake in the morning
commit to view all beings with compassion.

Of course these ideas come from Buddhist teaching. What makes them special, and why I decided to write a poem about them, is simply that they resonate with me. My hope is that writing this poem will help me try to live this teaching.


Poetry Challenge Day 200 (Fri Apr 22)

The Jefferson County Library District in Oregon is sponsoring a “Poetry Jam & Tea” today at the Madras Public Library. They have some suggested themes for the Jam, one is “Community.” I plan to attend the Jam and read this poem. At least that is the plan…

In a community,
everyone recognizes one another.
We greet with kindness and caring.
There’s no need to fly a flag
because everyone understands
that their views are respected.
We share a helping hand
without question or strings.
When someone is hurting
we step in to console,
when someone is happy
we share our happiness with them.
How do we create
this community?


Poetry Challenge Day 199 (Thu Apr 21)

What is it you do
when you are most at peace
with yourself?
For me,
it is when I am riding my bicycle.
We all need to find
that thing that grounds us
and hopefully makes us
more capable of living
with and for others.
For me it is GOMBAR…

Get On My Bike And Ride.

Toshi’s Lunchbox

Poetry Challenge Day 198 (Wed Apr 20)

I remember the early days
of the Internet.
The notion of ‘blogging’
was fresh and exciting.
I was captivated by the idea.
I wanted to take part,
but didn’t know how.

For awhile,
I read “Toshi’s Lunchbox” every day.
Toshi (whomever that was)
would list the contents
of her lunchbox.
It could be the reason
I didn’t try my hand at writing
until much later in life.

The fact that someone was writing a lunch menu while others (me among them) were reading it, should have been enough to persuade me to start writing then-and-there. But it wasn’t. Now that I have undertaken this project, I hope this writing rises above the level of a lunch menu, but of course, that judgement can only be made by you. (It’s probably best if you keep your conclusion on that subject to yourself.)

Cat In The Back

Poetry Challenge Day 197 (Tue Apr 19)

Baby I love you.
Hop in my truck
and we’ll go for a ride.

There’s a cat in the back.
I hope you don’t mind.
He loves you too.

How do I know I love you?
you have to ask?
Because the cat told me so.

Inspired in part by the song “Take It Easy” by the Eagles, and of course Doctor Seuss.

Climate Change

Poetry Challenge Day 196 (Mon Apr 18)

To not be concerned
about the future of our children
is the most
that a human could possess.

Mother Earth could use a little help.

Sublime Rhyme Time

Poetry Challenge Day 195 (Sun Apr 17)

I actually wrote a poem
that had a rhyme in it.
That’s not likely
to happen again.

What I Want

Poetry Challenge Day 194 (Sat Apr 16)

It doesn’t have to be
the man
that is the first one to say
this is what I want.


Poetry Challenge Day 193 (Fri Apr 15)

I was thinking…
Maybe I should get one
of those fancy
plastic fishing rod cases
for the top of my truck.
That way the folks on Oregon
will think I’m one of them.


Poetry Challenge Day 192 (Thu Apr 14)

Who are the U.S. supporters of
Vladimir Putin?

One might also ask
who are the enablers?

This is not a hypothetical question,
it’s one we all need to ask ourselves.

I’m writing this today to express, in no uncertain terms, just how I feel about war, killing, greed, and power hungry immoral people that want to control your every thought. I can’t help but think about the person in my town that drives up and down the main street every weekend with a big flag on the back of his truck that says “Fuck Biden.” The question is not how did we arrive in this place. The question is, how do we insure that our children do not repeat our mistakes.

I’ll Meet You in Flagstaff

Poetry Challenge Day 191 (Wed Apr 13)

Thank you
for letting me
share the last two days
with you and your family.
It means a lot to me
that share your time.
It makes me happy
to see all of you.
You are my brother
(from a different mother…)
Until I meet you
in Flagstaff,
stay well my friend.


Poetry Challenge Day 190 (Tue Apr 12)

She has told me not to write about Her.
How can I not?
She is the love of my life.
I’m fortunate to have met Her.
Even more fortunate
to have known Her this long.
I hope I continue to know Her
for a very long time to come.
Who is this Her?
She is a part of me.

Two Backpacks

Poetry Challenge Day 189 (Mon Apr 11)

We all hike
the trail of life
with two backpacks,
one in front
and one in the back.

The one in front
holds the faults of
everyone we know,
the one in back
holds our own faults.

There is little difference
in weight between the two,
the only difference
is which one we
tend to look at the most.

Of course, credit for this goes to Aesop.


Poetry Challenge Day 188 (Sun Apr 10)

Life rushes through us
and past us
like a stream.
Nothing is lost,
it only returns to nature.

Cognitive Autonomy

Poetry Challenge Day 187 (Sat Apr 9)

Cognition 1

Engage, Engage, Engage…
Engage the foot with the boot
Engage the boot with the ski
Engage the ski with the snow.

Cognition 2

Transition, Transition, Transition…
Transition weight to new ski before the turn
Transition ski rotation in unison
Transition eyes to new turn location.

Cognition 3

Do it without thinking
you are now a master
or as a good instructor might say
you are now executing “cogautomously.”

Cognition 4

There is no such thing as a master.

This poem is dedicated to Eric. Eric is a ski instructor at Alta. His knowledge of skiing will change your life (or at least your skiing). A day spent with Eric is the first step towards becoming “cogautomous” with your skis.


Poetry Challenge Day 186 (Fri Apr 8)

Forty nine years ago
I went into a dive bar
wearing a stupid hat.
The man sitting next to me
told me I was a hippie son-of-a-bitch.

I went into a dive bar
wearing a stupid hat.
The man sitting next to me
struck up a conversation
like I was his best friend.

Old men are allowed to wear stupid hats?

Twenty Dollars

Poetry Challenge Day 185 (Thu Apr 7)

If you believe
the 2020 election
was rigged…

Send me $20.


Poetry Challenge Day 184 (Wed Apr 6)

I like my coffee
the same way
Mormons like their women.


Poetry Challenge Day 183 (Tue Apr 5)

This is the half-way point of my Poetry Challenge.

Time to celebrate.
I’ve never been one to hold
my celebration until the end.
I prefer to celebrate early and often.

Tucker Carlson Meets Marcus Aurelius

Poetry Challenge Day 182 (Mon Apr 4)

Two men aboard a sailboat.
One is a Stoic, one not.
A fierce storm arises,
the ship is in peril.
Both men become frightened
and turn pale as ghosts.
The Stoic calms himself
and tries to regain
control of the boat.
He realizes that even if
he can’t regain control,
he can at least try his best.
The other man screams and cries,
he is paralyzed by his emotions.
It is impossible for him
to do anything constructive.
I know who I would sail with.

W, X, Y, Z

Poetry Challenge Day 181 (Sun Apr 3)

The secret to life,
is being content with what you have!

I now have W, X, and Y,
as of today!

Going forward,
I can be content!

…As long as I get Z soon.


Poetry Challenge Day 180 (Sat Apr 2)

What is a democracy?
I’m pretty sure
It’s something we don’t live in.
Yes, I understand
we have the right to vote.
But that’s not true for everyone.
Do I always know what is it I’m voting for?
It seems to me the people that govern
are oligarchs by a different name.
And by the way,
how can the same person
hold the same office
for almost a lifetime?
That makes no sense.
And how come the party
that is the minority
can block any legislation
they choose?
How does any of this
describe a democracy?


Poetry Challenge Day 179 (Fri Apr 1)

I remember the Beach Boys singing
“Wouldn’t it be nice.”


Wouldn’t it be nice
If there were no war,
If there were no inflation,
If they were no censorship,
If political parties could work together.

I guess I’m having a bad day.