A Responsible World

Poetry Challenge Day 178 (Thu Mar 31)

There are employers
paying outsourced employees
in Russia
while that country
wages an unjust war.

Profit over moral obligation.

I can hear your voice Mr. CEO.
“But I have no obligation to
base the success of my business
on the whims of a foreign power.”

I say, in a responsible world, you do.

History will reveal all those indebted to Russian Oligarchs.


Poetry Challenge Day 177 (Wed Mar 30)

Joy comes from figuring out
how something works.
That’s why I’m teaching myself
Go, Rust, and Hugo.
It also (the figuring out part)
keeps your mind fluid and open.


Poetry Challenge Day 176 (Tue Mar 29)

50      GOTO 20

Thanks to Curtis Ovid Poe for inspiring this little bit of computing poetry.

Wise Man

Journal Entry (Sun Mar 27, 2022)

”The wise man looks both ways before crossing a one-way street.”

I’m just a hard working 81 I.Q.

Thank you Terry for pointing that out to me. I live it, trust me.

Treasure Within

Poetry Challenge Day 175 (Mon Mar 28)

There is a Hindu teaching that states:
“Still your mind to find the treasure within.”
I’m trying, but it’s not easy.
Sometimes I can almost reach in there
when I’m cycling.

Pull The Plug

Journal Entry (Sun Mar 27, 2022)

I’m aware there are people that will take exception to this, however beware, those that do may have an agenda that includes you in a way you may not be conscious of…

Facebook is a corrupter of society.
Leaving will make a difference in the world.
Be brave, pull the plug, do it now.
There will still be plenty to look at elsewhere,
and chances are, what you find will be better.

Friends of Convenience

Poetry Challenge Day 174 (Sun Mar 27)

Years ago,
my friend taught me about
friends of convenience.
It took me eighteen years
to realize he was quoting Aristotle.
I didn’t realize it at the time,
but he was not telling me this
simply for the sake of convenience.

According to Aristotle, there is friendship of convenience, friendship of pleasure, and perfect friendship. I have since come to understand that my friend was suggesting I was more than a convenience to him. And yes, I would say the same about him.


Poetry Challenge Day 173 (Sat Mar 26)

Self is an illusion.
We are all connected,
like the root system of trees
in the forest.
Love is the human root system,
it connects us
to family,
to friends,
to communities,
to nations,
to the world.

A Good Day

Poetry Challenge Day 172 (Fri Mar 25)

A good day
is any day
you are able
to write a poem.

What is My Why

Poetry Challenge Day 171 (Thu Mar 24)

What is my why?
What do I look like
inside this block of stone
not yet carved away?

I don’t know.
I suspect on some level
it is to have fun
after a lifetime of serious work.

That does not completely
explain my why
or its relation to
the things that I do.

Part of the answer
is love and sharing.
Sharing love of life and allowing
love to be shared with me.

But that doesn’t
answer the question
what the stone will look like
when it is finished.

If you know the answer
to that question
before the work is finished,
you are a smart one indeed.

My answer most likely is,
I have the chisel
in my hand and I am
applying it diligently to the work.

The World is a Shithole

Poetry Challenge Day 170 (Wed Mar 23)

People dying in Afganistan
didn’t bother me
nearly as much
as people dying in Ukraine.

There probably is something
wrong with me.
I shouldn’t be making
any distinction.

I’m not only angry that we are
still living in a world wracked by violence,
I’m angry with myself for not caring enough
to do something about it.

Two Types of People

Poetry Challenge Day 169 (Tue Mar 22)

There are two types of people in the world:
Those that can write,
Those that can paint,
And those that can play music…

Prose Dammit

Poetry Challenge Day 168 (Mon Mar 21)

It just dawned on me
what my poetry is…
It’s prose in short lines.

One hundred and sixty-eight days,
I’m coming to the realization,
none of this is poetry.

Perhaps I should end this project
before I subject you
to any more self-delusions.

There’s another self-delusion,
I have to stop telling myself
there are readers.

I looked it up, the correct spelling of dammit is indeed “dammit.” I don’t actually think that putting this project on the Internet should, by definition, lead to a readership. So there is no confusion, the purpose here is personal, one designed to help me grow as a human, not to help anyone else grow. If that makes sense.

With You by My Side

Poetry Challenge Day 167 (Sun Mar 20)

I’ve never been good at concentrating.
If there is anything
going on around me,
it captures my attention fully.
That makes it hard to focus
unless I am completely alone.
Most of this project
has been written when I’ve been alone.
But I would not want to live there.
If I could write with you
by my side,
that would be wonderful.

Water and Frog

Poetry Challenge Day 166 (Sat Mar 19)

I don’t now how to rhyme, so I’m going to have a go at Haiku. This is from my “Water and Frog” poem (Day 147).

Here at the river,
I search for signs of a frog.
None appear to me.

Be Nice

Journal Entry ( a bit later Fri Mar 18, 2022)

“Be nice. (The world is a small town.)”

— Austin Kleon

Putin is learning this lesson the hard way…

I don’t mean to make light of current events, but sometimes looking at them in a simplistic way can reveal true insight…

An (Almost Blinding) Flash of Insight

Journal Entry (Fri Mar 18, 2022)

It has become apparent to me why I love writing by hand in my journal. You could almost call it a blinding flash of insight (without the blinding part). The reason is because it is such an analog process. It engages my brain through my hands. It is a tactile business, and that is so necessary for creativity - or at least for giving me the feeling that I’m engaged in a creative effort. I gleaned this insight reading Austin Kleon. I recommend picking up his book “Steal like an Artist.” One of his mantras is “engage your brain through your hands.” It makes perfect sense. I now know why hand writing feels so good, even when the words produced are largely crap.

Poetry Belongs to Everyone

Poetry Challenge Day 165 (Fri Mar 18)

Poetry belongs to everyone.
I like to make mine
accessible to everyone.
Of course,
I have no choice.
I find myself only capable
of writing about simple things
in simple ways.
I guess you would say
abstraction is not my thing
(apology I’m good at).
I read a poem about a frog
that had a conversation with water.
(I’m probably being unfair to the author)
This may in fact have actually occurred,
on some level, it is entirely possible.
But I find the concept
a bit hard to grasp.
Please understand,
I’m not ruling out the possibility.

I know what you are thinking… I’ll never be a poet because I’m way too literal. I suppose you have a point. See Day 147 for my attempt to escape the bonds of no imagination.

Ducks and Crickets

Journal Entry (Thu Mar 16, 2022)

So, someone I haven’t associated with in-person for a few year posts a photo on Instagram of two ducks in a drainage pond. The caption to the photo is something like, “where do these ducks come from?” Don’t ask me why I’m still following this person when we no longer associate personally… I suppose it is for moments like these…

I can’t resist the temptation to reply, so I do, with the following:

“If I were a diving duck, and the pond where whiskey, I would dive to the bottom and never come up.”


Props to Taj Mahal. There were no crickets in the photo, at least I didn’t see any…

Ides of March

Journal Entry (Tue Mar 15, 2022)

Today is the Ides of March. Watch out if your name is Caesar. Actually, Caesar is more a title and not really a name per se (nobody has ever named their kid Caesar, except perhaps as a bad joke). So a word of warning is in order, if anyone calls you Caesar, be doubly cautious today. Furthermore, today is a good day to settle your debts… just in case…

in Rome, March 15 was the 74th day of the Roman Calendar year. This was the day all debts were to be settled. It also was a particularly bad day for Julius Caesar. Picnics, drinking, and revelry are also in order on this day (if you are not a Stoic).

Don't Hate Poetry Because of Me

Poetry Challenge Day 162 (Tue Mar 15)

We are all born poets.
Writing poetry is an expression
of our humanness,
of who we are as individuals.

That does not mean
we are all poets.
Sadly, few of us are
yours truly included.

But, poetry is in us.
When we read or write poetry
we are reaching for that which
is best within us all.

Not trying does not make
us less human,
but the attempt can bring
unexpected rewards.

Rewards that will make
a lasting impression
and just might (you never know)
leave you a better person.


Poetry Challenge Day 161 (Mon Mar 14)

Happy Birthday daughter.
Of all the things that could be said.
Of all the things that bring me pride.
You are at the very top of my list.

Not a day goes by
that I don’t think of you.
Perhaps you find that hard to believe,
I understand… still it’s true.

If I could give you anything in the world
I surely would (besides my love of course).
But for now, this simple poem
will have to do.

Should there be any doubt in your ming to whom I am referring, it is to all of you. I have been blessed three times, and grateful for that.

Beer Coasters

Poetry Challenge Day 160 (Sun Mar 13)

I like using coasters
(beer coasters to be precise)
as book markers.
It’s so much easier
to find your place in the book.
Just start to open the book
and the correct page
presents itself.
Since I have a large collection
of said coasters
(something which I suppose
comes from drinking
a large selection of beers)
it allows me to read
lots of books at the same time.

Poets Laureate

Poetry Challenge Day 159 (Sat Mar 12)

I am reading the biographies of Poets Laureate
on the Library of Congress website.
It’s a rather intimidating experience
reading about all these accomplishments,
especially for someone of no repute
engaged in a project like this one.

Some I have heard of (two actually)
the rest not.
I suppose to be truly educated in poetry
one would have to have
read all of these, a lifetime’s
work it would seem to me.

Each biography was accompanied
by a photo of the poet.
My favorite poet is Joseph Brodsky,
Not because I have read him,
but simply because in his bio-pic
he is only poet holding a cat.


Poetry Challenge Day 158 (Fri Mar 11)

I was chatting with my Sister.
Quite unexpectedly she
complemented my writing.
When I disagreed,
she insisted it was good.
I find that a little hard to accept.
It has nothing to do with the source,
it’s about me.
How can someone that has no idea
what they are doing,
do that something well?
When I questioned her judgement
she told me she has spent her
life encouraging talent
and she knows what she
is talking about.
That was truly one of the nicest
things anyone has ever said to me.

Still, having told me this, even coming from a place of experience, doesn’t make it true… You see Sister, I get the last word.