Beyond the Abyss

“What lies beyond the abyss?” of life’s magnificent questions.
Some say they possess the great truth,
....... describing a paradise of majestic temples
....... and golden paved roads.
Others are more ethereal,
.......extol the joys of oneness,
.......lacking form or tactile sense.
Some cry, “All myth!  When you die, you're done!”
There are so many so-called experts on this common end,

Sometimes we scream at an early death,
.......“There was not enough time!”
Other times, we are devastated
.......watching the most precious in our lives wither, a beautiful petal shriveling and turning dark.
If only we had more control,
.......we wish.

The thought of never again
.......seeing a peach blossom in spring
.......or tasting the sweet nectar of its ripeness
.......brings tears to the eyes and heart.
The impermanence of the physical,
.......that defines our existence, really the only permanence.
Oh, that we could choose the stories that await,
.......though some claim we do.

The seconds, the minutes, the hours,
.......the days and years fly and flit by
.......leaving imprints and legacies.
But one inescapable truth awaits, matter how we struggle,
.......the bells will toll for you and me.

Comments: I often ponder about "life after death." While I am a firm believer in the concept, I still question as evidenced by the poem.


The water,
....the songs of the Sirens
....the rhythmic waves
....the piercing cry of the gulls.
The rocks,
....the fine sand between the toes,
....the salty smell,
....that dissipate our woes.

Are these what draw us to the sea?

Or is it
....the yearning,
....the distant memories
....flowing within,
....“You’ve returned home.”

Comments: Due to the recent trip to the ocean, I am compelled to share a poem written while there. Every time I return to the shore, I enjoy a quiet, euphoric experience. I will let your interpretation of the ending take you where it may. (This poem was written while visiting Hilton Head Is., SC.)

Turning the Page

“So many books from which to choose.
I chose one especially written for me.
Granted the first chapters are sparse and mundane,
.....reading like a million others,
.....though woven throughout with family love,
.....setting the narration apart from many others.

Later, the content becomes richer,
.....the plot thickens,
.....including love stories, intense and inspiring–
.....eroticism and passion intermingle
.....along the road in search of agape.

As found in other well-written volumes,
.....happiness and sorrow, and death all intertwine.

About two-thirds of the way,
.....a new plotline develops–
.....the Reaper almost claims the hero,
......forever changing him.
What an unexpected twist!

I love this book, My Story – A Personal Journey,
.....for the writer leaves me in constant suspense.
Just as I begin to grasp the plot,
.....the next pages lead in another direction,
.....not always one I would have scripted
.....but intriguing nevertheless.

What is odd about this biography that the last chapters are not written.
When I selected this mystical leather-bound volume,
.....I understood the gamble– may only be a two hundred page-burner
.....or a six hundred page anthology.
But I worry not
.....for the ending will be written
.....when time ordains.
That is guarantee given at time of purchase.
I so desired this precious masterpiece,
.....I accepted the inherent uncertainty
.....and placed my trust in the author.

For now, I sense one chapter is ending I ready to turn the next page.

Comments: Obviously, the metaphor of the book is about my life. However, with a few line changes it fits each of yours including the uncertainty that is a part of everyone's life. Depending on your belief system, you can interpret this poem from many directions. Rather than clarify, I will leave the interpretations to your discretion.

From the Mountaintops

Have you been there,
.....on the mountaintop with the Holy?
If so, you’ve been blessed.

 Such has been my privilege,
....more than once.
Standing in a small Argentine church,
....hearing voices raised in praise, a language I little knew,
....brought unstoppable tears,
....and unity beyond description.

As a young man in college,
....praying alone late into the evening, a small church south of the border,
....I poured my heart out and was no longer alone.

There are other indelible marks –
....joining in oneness with my beloved,
....transported to heights bordering on spiritual;
....seeing my father pass to the next life,
....finally comprehending that earthly end comes to all;
....holding my son for first time,
....feeling a new life that had become part of mine;
....standing on the great abyss,
....fighting for a last breath,
....and the voice that said, All will be well.

Even the foothills of daily life,
....manifest their own spirituality.
Warm greetings, joyous laughter,
....serve as infinite connections,
....that bring us closer to the Creator,
....the Eternal dwelling within

Comments: May you too enjoy many "mountaintop" experiences. They are offered freely to all of us.

An Eternal Question

What is the ultimate meaning of life?

Taoists speak terms of a dream which we project
....our meanings.

Christians sing of a one-time journey
....where the soul is briefly encased
....within a physical body.

All theologies postulate a vision
....for this mystical gift.
Most agree that how we live
....has eternal ramifications.

When asked the question,
....for some the answer is pat and clear they recite from their books
....of rules and doctrines.

God bless them.

But, what is the ultimate meaning of life?

........Comments: May you too enjoy many "mountaintop" ........experiences. They are offered freely to all of us.

Your Moment

What are you doing
.....standing so tall and proud
.....among these strangers?
You exhibit no fear
.....almost shouting
    “Here I am!  Look at me!”
Spread before you
.....are thousands,
.....their sameness blending
.....into a canvas of blandness.
Only you are stalwart enough stand ramrod straight
.....without apology or embarrassment.
Bred within your lineage
.....through eons of time,
.....the moment has arrived strike your pose
.....heads above the commonality
.....surrounding you.

Comments: One day on the bike trail I was riding by a bean field that the season before contained corn.  As I looked across the expanse of beans, I spotted a tall stalk of corn standing well-above the bean plants.  The inspiration for the poem came from that observation.  Obviously, I also am speaking about bigger issues.


A myriad of voices prattle incessantly.
Some prick the conscience;
.....others soothe.
These catalysts of emotions
.....trigger feelings
.....from maudlin to mundane
.....from guilt to ecstasy.

From another continent words of warmth arrive
.....turning night into day.

Images of slaughter flood TV screens.
Oh, how we justify such destruction.

A homeless wretch reaches his hand out.
An inquiry rises within,
..... “Should I or shouldn’t I?” I remember the words
.....of a former carpenter.
Everywhere, so much babble little sustenance.

Daily, deep within the recesses
.....a whisper is heard–
.....You can do more.
.....You owe it to others.
.....You owe it to yourself.

Comments: A poem of inner struggle as I wrestle with the bigger picture. Hopefully, you understood the reference to the "former carpenter."

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