Friday, September 30, 2011


Driving home from the Post Office today, I approached an intersection, but a large van, with lights flashing, blocked the road. After navigating around it, I saw a young woman carrying a gas can. She looked frantic and asked for a ride. I opened my door. She look relieved and took the passenger's seat. She also carried an electronic item, which she said she was preparing to pawn, and the pawn shop was located near the gas station that we both frequented. I told her I'd buy the gas and, looking shocked, she said, "Really."

As we drove to the station, she said that it was really hard for her to ask for help, and I sensed she was very appreciative of the ride. She spoke of her husband and four children, ages nine-to-two. She related that they had lived in a shelter, until they could receive a house. She added that she always paid her bills at the first of the month and, because of the summer heat, her electric bill was very high, and the remainder of the month she had little money for food and gas. That morning she had visited the Food Pantry for assistance.

At the station, I gave her a $20 bill. She prepaid for the gas and filled her container. She went in for the change and, on re-entering the car, she handed it to me. I told her to keep it. She promptly said that she would return to the station and fill her tank.

Then, she turned to me and said, "My name is Mollie. What is yours?"

I replied, "Linda."

Mollie appeared relieved. She spoke of her fears and confusion. I shared that, when I was in such a state, I would sit quietly and pray. I told her that God knows our every need, and I am always amazed how the solutions come.

As Mollie stepped out of my car, I quietly handed her another bill, which would allow her to breathe easier for the remainder of the month.

As I drove, I felt blessed that I could love another through a random act of kindness.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Following yesterday's blog, you might ask, "Why do bad things happen to good people or, the converse, why do good things happen to bad people?"

I reply, "Who am I to judge a soul's journey?"

Souls incarnate on this planet for a myriad of purposes and to learn a similar number of spiritual lessons.

For instance, many ask, "Why would a loving God allow a beautiful, innocent child to die?"

I respond, "Who am I to know the duration of a soul's stay in any particular embodiment. If an angelic soul has taken a bodily form, perhaps they have come to help others grow spiritually? Perhaps, those they came to help only grow through the pain of the child's death?" The Universe is filled with infinite possibilities and is orchestrated by Divine Intelligence, which operates beyond any human understanding.

I have many past-life memories and have often pondered these questions. I am currently working on a book, Beyond the Red Earth, a Soul's Journey, which will complete my Red Earth Trilogy.

One of the topics I am processing is the current belief in the black and white or reward punishment nature of karma. This is a very simplistic, linear view, with which I take issue. In this holographic universe, I suspect the dots connect in a much more complex and convoluted fashion.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


For you, the reader, I thought you might like to know more about me. This is a distillation of my beliefs.

I am a very spiritual person, but I am not an advocate of any particular religion. I believe there are elements of sacred truths within various religious traditions but, as in so many things, my approach is very eclectic. My Higher Source or God is the Positive Force of the Universe. Some say, the only religion is the religion of Love. I agree.

My life's intent is to align my will with the Divine Will. I frequently pray, or talk to God, and I pray only for the knowledge of God's will for me and the power to carry it out.

To meditate, I spend much time in solitude and silence, and my path is revealed through that intuitive knowing, that inner voice, our connection to the Divine.

My Source is all loving and only wants the best for me, but my thoughts and subsequent actions and emotions must be properly directed, which might entail physical or emotional pain or discomfort. In other words, the Universe has to get my attention.

I also believe that my life's events happen in Divine Right Order, but I may not like or understand the order. My experience has been that out of the most negative appearing events can evolve the highest good for all concerned.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Many years ago, I traveled to Texas' Big Bend State Park. While there, I found a biography, Border Healing Woman, on Jewel Babb, who was eighty at the time of the book's publication in 1981.

Ms. Babb lived the latter portion of her life on the Texas-Mexico border. She grew up in the days of horse-drawn wagons and cattle roundups. She married, raised children and, in later years, discovered her healing powers.

When her biography was written, Ms. Babb resided alone, living in a home without electricity or running water. There many sought her for her wisdom, her cures and to learn her healing methods. Since reading of Ms. Babb's life, I have valued her wisdom.

"Television makes me sick," said Ms. Babb. "People who look at TV know what other people know. I want to know what I know."

She added, "If you go to church, you'll hear it how they tell it. But if you sit on a hill for fifteen years, with your animals and no one else, you learn a lot. It comes to you."

For many years, I have lived alone on my hill, with my animals. Ms. Babb was right. It comes to you.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Our inward journey is to our true Selves and to the Divine.

I am very aware that I am being led to continue to release ideas, attitudes, behaviors and objects, which no longer serve my highest good or the highest good of all concerned.

I am currently on an office hiatus. With solitude, rest and diminished demands on my energy, I feel significant internal shifts are occurring.

Last night, I had another dream, one of many, of my childhood, satanic abuse. In the dream, I was going to a "spiritual retreat" with a group of women whom I admired. We walked along a wooded path toward a gathering place. Suddenly, I was aware that I had been duped. The group leaders were members of a cult, and they were luring us to a satanic ceremony. I did not want to loose my new found friends. I was frozen in silence and continued to walk with them on the path. I awoke in fear.

The dream has haunted me today. I ask myself, "What is the Universe attempting to show me?"

Many thoughts have come.
- Be a leader, not a follower.
- To be true to my highest good, I must often walk alone. (However, I am always accompanied by the Divine.)
- Happiness is not derived from society. It is a byproduct of following God's will.

The answers may be these and/or many others. It will be revealed.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


As we evolve spiritually, we travel to our centers and our truth.

For many years, I have recurrently dreamed that, even as an M.D., because of a clerical error, I had to repeat my senior year of high school to receive my high school diploma. I was humiliated.

Because of childhood programing, one theme in my life has been that regardless of my achievements, I could not succeed. Prior to medical school graduation, I became intensely suicidal. To approach an assault on my programing, such as walking across the stage and accepting my diploma, created almost unbearable stress.

During those four years of living hell, I thought I would surely die of a brain tumor or leukemia before I received the coveted degree.

For eleven years after graduation, I trained and practiced in the field of pathology. Following considerable, personal growth, I realized in pathology I dealt with dis-eased bodies, which were often the result of dis-eased thoughts and the subsequent emotions and actions they generated. Twenty-five years ago, I retrained as a psychiatrist, the field in which I currently practice.

As I approach retirement, my dreams indicate that I am having difficulty transitioning from a human doing to a human being. For several years, I have dreamed, because my skills were rusty, I must repeat my pathology training. Again, my achievements are not "good enough," and there is more for me to do before I rest or play. On awakening, I felt guilty about the many times, during my medical training and career that I was unavailable emotionally or physically for my three children.

Because of my commitment to my patients and my fear of financial insecurity, I have pushed myself to continue my practice. My gastrointestinal tract is a perfect barometer of my emotional state. Eighteen months ago, my alimentary canal went into full revolt. It informed me, in no uncertain terms, that if I didn't quickly do something, drastically different, death was eminent. So, out of desperation, I decreased my patient load and my hours in the office.

For several months now, when I go into the office, I often feel as though I am dying. Last night, the dream of returning for a second pathology residency was more vivid than ever before. I had an infant. She was malnourished, lethargic and near death. If I attempted to perform the tasks entailed in the residency, she would die. I awoke knowing the child was me.

Soon, I know that I must leave my psychiatric practice. This phase of my life is drawing to a close. If I am to continue to help others, I will do so via another vehicle.

For many years, I have been drawn to follow my passions, art and writing, which issue from my center, my true self. As of yet, my literary footprint has been invisible, and I have not publicly shown my art. I am coming to know that it is not important that I have an audience, receive praise or earn an income from these endeavors. What is important is that I follow my passion and my truth, and so it is.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Beautiful movie,
Staring Robert Duval,
Movie's message,
SFT: See, Feel, Trust
Not think, think, think,
But see with eyes that see,
Feel your heart's truth and
Trust God
Movie concludes:
Utopia is the place where the truth lies.

Friday, September 23, 2011


As one approaches the entrance of New England's Hannafords' Supermarkets, signs are posted asking, "Did you remember your reusable bags?"

Upon entering, customers are greeted by five recycling bins, each designated for a specific category, such as glass, cans, paper, plastic containers and plastic bags.

Hannafords' shelves are stocked with organic foods, biodegradable cleaning products and paper products derived from 100 percent recycled paper.

The stores' bathroom mirrors and glass refrigerator doors bear decals stating that the store is naturally illuminated by skylights and solar tubes.

On leaving, one feels as though their consciousness has been elevated to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Oklahoma's supermarkets appear oblivious to environmental needs. I'd like to beam down into our state and elevate its social consciousness.

Addendum: This piece concludes my New England Travel Series. I hope it was meaningful to you.

We are all travelers along our internal and external life pathways. I now return to my primary venue of holistic health and healing, in hopes my experiences and observations will be helpful in your life's journey.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Besides enjoying the economy and social aspects of diners, I also enjoy clean, bare-boned, low-cost motel rooms.

After an exhausting day of travel, I stopped at the East Hill Motel in Warsaw, New York. I stumbled into the office and was greeted by a warm and inviting smile on the face of Mohammad Islam. When Mohammad smiled, his eyes sparkled and his whole face lit up. Immediately, I knew this man had a good soul.

As I checked in, I noticed a well-worn Bible on Mohammad's desk.

Meeting my expectations, my room was clean and neat and the mattress was firm.

After a night's rest, I became acquainted with Mohammad and discovered he had emigrated from Bangladesh twenty-one years earlier.

Mohammad appeared to be in his early forties and was obviously well-educated. He had lived in New York City and in Connecticut, where his brother and sister, respectively, continued to live. Mohammad also had a sister living in Canada.

Several times, Mohammad mentioned how much he enjoyed living in "the country." He added, "I don't have to live like this, (referring to his modest surroundings). I choose to live like this."

Mohammad was very clear that money could not replace the serenity he had found living on a winding, state highway, in a humble motel in rural, upper-state New York.

As I was leaving, Mohammad, with a cheerful attitude, was cleaning the vacated rooms. He said his wife, Ange, was visiting in New Brunswick, Canada. As he spoke of his wife, there was a soft sweetness on his face.

By choosing to live a simple life, Mohammad Islam found peace. For, on some level, he knows the sacred is in the ordinary, and enough is enough.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Vermont has a large number of homes and commercial structures that were built in the early 1800s-to-early-1900s and, over the years, Vermont's frugal citizens have maintained, repaired, restored and reallocated these buildings.

In 1791, Vermont became the Union's 14th state. Oklahoma, my home state, was admitted to the Union as the 46th state in 1907. With over a century head-start, Vermont's moneyed families employed skilled, immigrant workers to erect magnificent edifices, while Oklahomans were still living in tents, sod-houses or ram-shackled, wood-frame dwellings.

Vermont's early buildings were built to last. They were set upon deep foundations of granite, which enabled their roof lines to remain straight and their brick and stone walls to be without cracks.

In the ultimate form of recycling, many of Vermont's elegant, 19th-century mansions now house health clinics, senior citizen centers, libraries, state agencies and offices for attorneys and insurance agents.

Other brightly-bedazzled, Victorian homes are no longer occupied by single families, but have opened their doors for many guests to sleep beneath their roofs. In Burlington, the windows of these homes frame many families in their daily routines and countless students at their studies.

In addition, Vermont's abandoned factory buildings, often previous fabric mills, have transformed into apartment buildings, restaurants and shops.

Built in the early 1800s, many of Vermont's massive, stone churches continue to hold Sunday services. Likewise, many banks of similar vintage, with their original vaults, continue to transact business.

Unlike Vermont's architectural heritage, Oklahoma's aged buildings are too often demolished, with the remains deposited in a land fill, while new structures, of dubious quality and scant beauty, take their place, to repeat the cycle anew in 30-to-40 years.

Oklahomans, too often follow society's illusions and build their dream McMansions, which keep the builders and bankers in money, but leave the new homeowner with a large mortgage and a lifetime of work.

On the flip side, Vermont, as does Oklahoma, has it's trailer-house blight, with no aesthetics and a short life expectancy but, gratefully, trailer homes do not have a significant presence in most of Vermont's towns and villages.

Because Vermont's residents often live in smaller, more centralized communities they frequently walk or ride bicycles to shop, visit friends or go to school, work or church. Vermont also sports numerous fit mothers pushing baby carriages, with their elder children in tow.

Frequently, Vermont's children can be found playing outside. Its high school students can be seen walking home after school. These same students are frequently without cell phones or DVD players plugged into their ears, and they actually laugh with and talk to each other.

In contrast, after the last school bell rings, Oklahoma's mothers are usually lined up, with engines running, in their over-sized vehicles, waiting to pick up their darlings, the latter of which, upon arriving, promptly put on a head set or start pushing buttons on their electronic gizmos.

Overall, Vermonters are much slimmer than Oklahomans. Our state ranks dead last on the health polls and at the top of the obesity charts.

Besides recycling, repairing, maintaining and reusing their buildings, Vermonter's environmental consciousness was also evident by their volume of pedestrian traffic, clothes billowing dry on clotheslines and well-placed, recycling containers.

I love Oklahoma and its people, but it is time for Oklahomans to wake up and get with the program, and Vermonters have much to teach us.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Diners are without pretense, phony sophistication or inflated prices. Therein, conversations are relevant and to the point. As in all eating establishments, diners sport menu items that are not so kind to the waistline. However, diners also serve nutritious foods.

Jim is the manager and chef in Burlington, Vermont's Henry's Diner. Jim is in his mid-thirties, of stocky build, with reddish hair and a face to match. Watching Jim handle a number of orders at once is like watching a ballet, graceful and perfectly timed.

After a few rushed minutes, Jim stepped from the kitchen, walked to the counter and introduced himself. He said that he was of Heinz 57 lineage, but I suspect there was a heavy dose of Scott and Irish in that batch.

Jim said that he had worked in a kitchen his "entire life" and explained that he grew up in his grandfather's bakery, Dough Boy's Bakery, which had been located around the corner from Henry's.

With kind eyes, Jim smiled and revealed teeth in need of a hefty dental bill, but Jim had his priorities straight and spoke of his plans to buy his own diner.

Jim also bakes the Henry's pies, and we discussed the virtues of a good piece of pie. Jim fondly spoke of his wife and three children and of the two apple pies he'd baked for them the previous evening.

With orders stacking up, Jim hot-footed-it back to the kitchen and resumed his rhythmic dance.

Besides the good food and homey atmosphere, I especially like diners because of people like Jim, good, down-to-earth souls, who enjoy the quintessential hearth, the kitchen.

Addendum: If anyone wants to share an experience, offer a comment or ask a question, I'd welcome the dialogue.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Admir waits tables at Henry's Diner, located near Burlington, Vermont's town square. At 22, Admir is tall, has handsome features and is clean-cut, well-spoken and nicely mannered. In 1999, he, his parents and his now 20-year-old brother, Nerman, emigrated from Bosnia. Following the Bosnian war, the country's economy was depressed and many workers lost their jobs, including Admir's father, a police officer, and his mother, a nurse.

I asked Admir about his life in America.

"We like it here," he said. "People have jobs and can even work more than one job. People can go to school. In Bosnia, only rich people can go to school."

Admir, Nerman and their parents all work two jobs. By day, their mother works for a dry cleaner and their father works at the Burton Chocolate Factory. During the night, all four of them clean office buildings for the Burton Cleaning Company.

About the Burton's, Admir appreciatively said, "They are good people."

In addition to Admir's jobs, he is also working on a degree in business management from the University of Vermon, located in Burlington.

America is a nation of immigrants, be they from Europe, Africa, Asia, Mexico, South America or elsewhere. Admir's work ethic and enterprising spirit are an inspiration. In this nation of plenty, many of us have grown soft, lazy and entitled.
America's "unemployed" must get off their royal duffs and, with the humility and determination of their immigrant forebears, go back to work, even if they think that work is "beneath" them.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Barre, Vermont, granite country, was settled by a potpourri of immigrants, especially Italian stone workers, the descendants of Renaissance masters.

From the earth, these men wrestled enormous blocks of granite. Then, they cut, carved, sculpted and polished the Stone and, often, they died young from accidents, back-breaking labor or lungs filled with silica dust.

From the quarried granite, these immigrants, their children and their children's children anchored and adorned buildings and populated graveyards of the wealthy with exquisitely finished, carved and lettered monuments.

Barre's "Hope Cemetery" is the resting place for many of these immigrants and their families. Though their incomes were meager, their headstones mirror those with greater means and are a testimony to their artistry. Many of the monuments bear birth dates of the mid-1980s and surnames such as:

Abbiati, Andreoletti, Amici, Barberi, Benvenuti, Bianchi Bielli, Bogni, Bottaro, Bottiggi, Broggini, Brunella, Brusa, Buzzi, Calcagni, Calderara, Cardi, Cassani, Casellini, Catto, Coletti, Colombo, Corti, Cozzi, Croce, Domenichelli, Fasola, Fumagalli, Furloni, Giannarelli, Gilli, Guidici, Guidugli,Lamperti, Lanfronconi, Lotti, Malnati, Marchesi, Masi, Mazorati, Mochetti, Moruzzi, Movalli, Orlandi, Parnigoni, Pasetto, Peduzzi, Pellegrini, Pilini, Piretti, Pironi, Puricelli, Rizzi, Roncoroni, Rossi, Rusconi, Sassorossi, Simonetta, Sironi, Stefanazzi, Tamborini, Tarelli, Tosi, Valli, Vanetti, Vasoli, Veronesi, Zanleoni.

Residing in central Barre's Dente Park is a large statue dedicated to Carlo Abate, an artist, who was born in Milan, Italy in 1860 and died in Barre, Vermont in 1943. The sculpture is also a tribute to all Italian-immigrant stone cutters and their progeny.

The heroic, squarely-built, standing figure has muscular, heavily-veined arms. His large hands hold the tools of his trade, a hammer and a hand point. He wears a cap and a sturdy apron. His furrowed brow, piercing gaze and firmly set jaw definitively establish his determination and will to not only survive, but to prevail.

Now, with paltry results, in the name of speed, money and progress, machines and less-dedicated, less-inspired men, unaccustomed to hard work, attempt to imitate quickly the grace and artistry of those dedicated and gifted craftsmen. Like all of today's society, this generation of workmen must slow down, take pride in their work, study the techniques of the master stone cutters and learn to listen to and communicate with the stone. For, the masters were one with their tools and the stone.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


The diner opened in the 1950s, on Main Street in South Portland, Maine. In 1972, the diner was sold to Rudy Ferrante and became Rudy's. When Rudy's son, Robbie, was a junior in high school, he began working at the diner.

Steve Cook and Robbie have been best friends since they were ten years old. In 1996, Steve bought the diner from Rudy, who is now deceased.

On entering the diner, each arrival is enveloped by savory aromas and a homey atmosphere. Looking from the kitchen window, which faces the front door, Robbie, a loquacious jokester, mans the grill and carries on a rolling conversation with his customers.

With regulars, Robbie calls them by name, shares an inside joke or banters about recent sporting events. With newcomers, Robbie often steps from the kitchen, wipes his hands on his apron and shakes their hand. With such a welcome, they immediately feel comfortable enough to belly-up to the counter and partake of Rudy's food and family.

Steve and his eighty-year-old mother, Jenny, own the yellow house behind the diner. Silver-haired Steve is the diner's silent anchor, solid businessman and a chip off his mother's block. Jenny is a crusty dame, with a soft heart. Steve and Jenny wait tables and, with a gleam in their eyes, mutter an occasional satirical comment.

On returning the following day, a Saturday, Robbie and Steve were off playing golf, and Jenny and Beth "womanned" the diner.

Beth grew up in the blue house next door, where her parents still live. Beth has worked in the diner most of her life. In Robbie's absence, without missing a beat, she assumes his role as greeter and cook.

If you are ever hungry and in South Portland, Maine, visit Rudy's Diner, a home away from home, where the food is delicious, the conversation lively and the experience heartwarming.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Cape Elizabeth, Maine,
Ocean pounding,
Tide rolling in,
Reclaiming its domain,
Stranded, rock-bound barnacles, bivalves, seaweed,
Await their Mother's nourishment.


On a rainy night in Kittery, Maine, Doug greeted his customers, with a warm and inviting smile, as they entered Ruby's Diner. Doug has a square, muscular build and is the father of six. Last year, after working for a company for fifteen years as a graphic designer, he and other colleagues with tenure and higher pay were laid-off. As he spoke, Doug's attitude was upbeat, and he had a positive outlook.

Doug was reared in Kittery. He spoke highly of his friends, many of whom he has known since childhood. When Doug lost his job, his friends surrounded him and his family with love and support. Two of Doug's friends own Ruby's, where he works as an assistant manager and waits tables. You couldn't ask for a more gracious host than Doug.

As Doug spoke of his and his family's economic belt tightening, he said that they had lots of things, but they were all old and paid for. Apparently, Doug and his family had always lived modestly but, with a diminished income, they lived even more creatively and frugally. One such measure was to raise chickens for eggs and meat.

On the up side of the economic downturn, Doug spoke of enjoying having more time to spend with his children, who enjoy fishing and outdoor activities.

For their summer vacation, the family drove "Hank the Tank," their 1984 RV, to Colorado. En route, the fan belt broke, and repairs entailed a costly tow. After that experience, Doug said he carried extra fan belts and could change one in fifteen minutes flat.

Radiating with love, Doug went on to extol the many virtues of his wife, a school teacher. He proudly stated that he and his wife had cleaned motel rooms that summer, and they had outworked the "kids."

"Kids don't know how to work today," said Doug. "They're always smoking, talking on the phone or texting."

As a footnote, Doug added, "If you're a hard worker you can always find a job."

As we say in Oklahoma, Doug hit the nail squarely on the proverbial head.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


York Harbor, Maine,
Seawall bolstered by billion-year-old boulders,
Containing stripes, curves and variegations.
These runes, like the sea,
Emanate immortal truths.
We humans, how trivial our plans;
How delusional our "wealth" and social posturing.
The clock is ticking,
Recycle, revitalize, replant or die.


The Firefly Diner,
Kittery, Maine,
Open 6:00 a.m.-to-2:30 p.m.,
Except Thursdays,
Breakfast all day,
Stephanie waits tables and lights the room.
Everyone feels special,
As she smiles and calls them, "Honey," "Sweetie," "Precious" and "Darling,"
Or she says, "Good for you, you cleaned your plate;
I grew up when you didn't waste food;
The ocean, she's kind of blustery today, and
Don't miss York's lighthouse."

While her customers eat, Stephanie hovers about the room,
Like a loving mother.
Because she's there,
The food tastes better.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Clark Art Museum,
Williamstown, Massachusetts,
Volunteer, maybe a board member,
Smooth, understated money,
Her hands unsullied by work,
Attention for her daughter and collie dog,
But others unworthy of glance

Her forebears,
Empire builders,
Their wealth built on the backs of others.
Their greed tramped through the pages of history.
The "Great Depression" of the 1930s,
The Grapes of Wrath,
Now banned in libraries,
Because its truth is too "socially offensive."
The "Great Recession," (supposedly 2008-2010, but continues still),
Corporate magnates, bankers and Wall Street hustlers,
Gambled with others' money, lied to and stole from those who trusted,
Received government bail-out money,
But continued to foreclose on homes and small businesses,
Like 1930s tractors rolling over farms and homes,
Yet another generation of Joads,
Except the wealthy,
Who own the media and
Feed us pabulum and their spin of the "truth"

Williamstown matron,
Hear the words of Kate Barnard (c. 1875-1930),
"How can a woman wear diamonds in a country where little children starve?"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Driving the lower tier, one sees rolling, tree-laden hills, lush, green fields with their accompanying barns, farm houses, hay bales, cattle and horses. The roadway is dotted with exits to quaint villages, full of unrecorded history, such as Cuba and Bath.

Cuba is known for its cheese production, and the Cuba Cheese Shoppe has free samples of that product, along with samples of other locally produced foods. With such tasty treats, you can't leave empty handed, so carry in your tote bags.

Bath's streets are lined with vintage churches, homes and business dwellings. Victorian homes abound with frilly flowers and lattice work of every description and color. My favorite home, on East Steuben Street, has a white-picket fence, yellow and orange trim and a yard that overflows with an array of flowers, including zinnias, marigolds, sunflowers and such.

Chat-a-Whyle eatery has resided on Bath's Liberty Street for 52 years and continues to provide its customers with a sense of family and good, home cooking.

Everywhere one looks in Bath, the young and the old can be found walking, on sidewalks shaded by towering, graceful trees. In this lovely village, walking is a way of life.

We, from the Midwest, only hear about New York City and often believe it is the sum and total of the state. Thankfully, that notion is far from the truth.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Amazon and Bodhi
Glad to see me,
And I them.
Strawberries blooming,
Grape and blackberry vines leafing,
Blueberry bushes happy,
Fruit trees flowering,
Time to plant
Green beans,
And such.

Fertile soil
Await planting.
What will your garden grow?

Addendum: This concludes the series on my spring travels to North Carolina. I am currently on my third, consecutive, fall trip to New England and, no, it is not a foliage tour. I'm having a love affair with Maine, its coast, Vermont and upper-state New York. Cuba and Bath New York are in my sites today.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


On the road,
Truck stop,
Long, hot shower,
Aching regions
With peppermint,
Nature's balm,
Then to bed,
In my backseat nest,
Eight hours later,
Ready to roll

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I went to the Grand Ole Opry, once,
After the Gaylords raped it.
Half-the-time I paid for,
I listened to semi-harmonic humans,
Sing "Cracker Barrel" commercials.
I swore I'd never eat there again.
Alas, on this trip,
My resolve vaporized.
I was hungry.
They promised good country cooking,
And it was.
Atlantic haddock grilled to perfection,
With fried apples, cornbread and a veggie.
So much for my proclamations,
Hunger levels the playing field.


Two lanes,
Moving good,
Pass the biscuits,
Some jelly too.


Finding Forrester,
"Those who can write, write.
Those who can't write, teach."
I'm not a teacher.
The rest is open for debate.
Unless it's good,
I don't want to hear it.
Opinions are like rectal outlets.
Hopefully, everybody has one.
If not, they've got a big backlog,
Just like this traffic jam.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Into Knoxville,
Twenty miles of gridlock,
If I'd known,
I'd put up a hot-dog stand.
Frustrated travelers,
Me included,
While waiting,
Cobweb formed on dash.
Fine for speeding, $500,
What about loitering?


Headed west to Knoxville,
I-40 detour,
All around the countryside,
A hundred miles or more,
Six months ago,
Half a mountain fell.
Tennessee's half clear,
Christ Almighty,
When will North Carolina finish theirs?
My backside hurts.


She's hot to trot,
Sniffing up my back side,
Go on Fast Mama,
Teen lounging in back,
On cell phone,
Thank you God
For the silence

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Old barns,
Do you ever wonder what they've seen?
Sweating men,
Broke-down tractors,
Women calling, "Supper,"
Children playing,
Chickens and eggs,
Horses bedded,
Cows milked,
Colts born,
All and more,
I suspect.


Saw log cabin,
Built with Tinker Toys,
Lived in real one,
In Alaska,
Hauled water,
For drinking and bathing,
Wood stove for heat,
Summers, garden flourished,
Falls, picked wild blueberries and cranberries,
Watched for bears,
They like berries too.
Peaceful and


Passed old church with steeple,
Remembered Sundays with Grandmother Ollie,
She all powdered and smelling good,
Me in my best dress,
Singing those old gospel songs,
Her country twang,
My young voice,
All was right with the world.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Book draft complete,
Met with Ivey,
A living legend,
Artist extraordinaire,
Like sitting at the feet of
Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir,

Addendum: During my first trip to North Carolina in 2009, I met Ivey Hayes and his art, both of which resonated with my center. I saw that Ivey had captured the heart and soul of the African People in American, especially the African woman. At that time, Ivey and I agreed to collaborate on a book about his art and life. This piece was written in 2010, at the conclusion of my last visit to North Carolina. The book, Ivey Hayes: The Art of Living, is ready for publication and will be available in early 2012.


Anne Morrow Lindberg,
Thank you for your Gifts from the Sea.
I came to find my own, and
They were everywhere,
For seeing eyes and
Listening ears.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I thought I came to rest.
I did, some.
Actually, I came to reclaim my soul,
From life's distractions and illusions.

Little did I know
The words would come so easily.
Maybe, I should have come sooner?
Everything has its own time.


I sink into the silence,
Like a diver descending to the ocean's floor.
I listen.
Words come.

As I swim the silent expanse,
I discover the nooks and crannies of the universe and my soul.
Within the watery depths of the primal mother,
I am birthed into freedom.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Mysterious shards,
Of all geometry,
Tumbled smooth,

From whence came you?
What story yours,
Adventures from the deep or
Silent reveries?
Surrender please,
To this listening heart.


With the blue shirt and rolled-up jeans,
I'm watching.
You cast your line with the rhythm of the sea,
As it travels to your naked feet.
In and out, cast you,
Without perturbation at an empty line.
Your purpose is in the casting
And in your silent communion with the deep.


Family on boardwalk,
Heading to the beach,
Father charges first,
Little sister follows,
Bouncing toddler next,
Mother calmly bringing up the rear,
Hatted, tote bagged,
Carrying all three ducklings' necessities

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Flying pelican chorus lines,
Cardinal couple comes to call,
Bread crumbs eaten,
Seagulls paranoid glances,
As beaks grip food,
Birds soaring,
Flying social games,
Perches everywhere


Senses awaken,
Light beams,
Waves crash,
Birds conversate


Awaken to ocean's beat,
Mornings writing,
Afternoons reading,
Dinners out,
Frank crooning,
Evening beach walks,
Ocean lullabies

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Awakens me,
Soothes me,
Embraces me,
An ancient lover comes to call,
The oceanic womb

Addendum: I relish silence and solitude. By removing myself from the chatter of the world and its illusions, I abide in my center and commune with the Divine. The ocean is the primal mother of life on this planet. Her rhythms soothe my soul and restore my energy.


Long walk,
Lumina Avenue bustling,
Spring repairs,
Pine straw mulch nestles floral splendor.
Cool breeze,
Honeysuckle wafting,
One-speed, old-time bicycles,
Made to last,
New generation pedaling,
As it should,
We've ridden far too long.

Friday, September 2, 2011


On the beach,
Six children
Building castles and
Greeting the surf.

Mom patrol,
"Settle down,
You're having too much fun."


Abandoned, yellow, plastic starfish smiling,
Passed on to waving toddler.
Pampered child crying,
Enjoying being inconsolable

Bikini body show,
Strutting wares,
Muscled surfboard daddies,
Looking cool

Nippy, at eighty-three,
A true beauty queen

No perfect shells for me,
But shards tumbled smooth,
In dancing patterns, and
Glistening hues of ruby-red,
Gold-to-brown, gray and white

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Menu reads:
Good home cooking,
Breakfast all day,
Big fat biscuits,
Omelets with scallops, shrimp and grouper
Seafood, wrapped or sandwiched,
Vegetable plates of okra, zucchini, fried-green tomatoes and more

Betty, wizened waitress,
Face tells she smoked too long.
"How big is a grouper," I asked?
"A red fish," she says. "He's a pretty big boy."
"She is too," I say.
Betty smiles.

Cat, short for Catherine,
High school senior,
Waiting tables,
Plans on college,
Maybe Wake Forest
Or, first,
A semester in Africa on mission trip.

"Africa's more fun," say I.
"College will always be there."

On exiting, feels like home.
"Be back later," I say.
Cat and Betty nod.