The Journey of Life
Series 2
To view Series 1 click here.
The Beacon

I drive into the fog
..... barely seeing ahead
..... past a graveyard
..... eerily shrouded in grays.

The longer I travel
..... the denser it becomes.
To the right
..... a barricade looms
..... on the left
..... impenetrable gloom.

For what seems an eternity
..... I only sense where I am.

At last
..... in the distance a faint light emerges,
..... as if a beacon leading me home.

Comments: This poem speaks of an early morning trip to work. For much of the trip I felt alone. Due to the fog the road appeared to have little traffic. Eventually, ahead I saw a stoplight, and beyond it the fog lifted. A relief! But readers who have been with me for awhile know that I am speaking beyond the obvious. On our life journeys we are often surrounded by the fog of the unknown. Occasionally, we see beacons that may come in a variety of forms that allow us to clarify and rejoice. For many, these beacons possess spiritual overtones.
Read at Your Own Risk
Who are you?
No, not Bob, Belinda, or Bill

Who are you?
No, not mom or dad, teacher or doctor.

Again, who ARE you?

Strip away the layers.
Peer deep within.

Expose yourself to self
Offering no apologies.

Look fearlessly upon your naked soul.
No, do not avert your eyes.

Do you like what you see?
Do you love what you see?

For that is who you are.

Comments: "Know thyself" is one of life's toughess challenges. To love yourself despite your faults is also difficult. This poem speaks to these ultimate challenges.
True Friend

Blessed is one who has a friend,
..... a great teacher once said.

As children, friends were our playmates
..... with whom we shared our toys,
..... played chase and hide–n–seek.

As teens, they bore our confidences,
..... and served as allies,
..... against non-understanding parents.

But as adults, we count our true friends
..... on one hand, even one finger.
They are the ones who stay.
They are there when the joy ends
..... and the pain begins,
..... sometimes silent,
..... other times offering a shoulder.
Friends come from the soil of life,
..... nurtured and raised over time.
Despite droughts and hailstorms,
..... they remain.

So rare and precious.
So blessed is one who has a friend

Comments: One Sunday, the Reverend Dr. Keith Stuart of Mt. Vernon UCC Congregational spoke of the ultimate form of friendship. As he spoke, I began to write this poem. Keith probably figured I was taking notes, which in a sense I was. But, little did he know that he helped me write my December poem for my newsletter the Poetical Journal. (As an aside, if you are ever traveling through Mt. Vernon, Ohio on a Sunday morning and are interested in hearing thought provoking, stimulating and dynamic messages, than stop by. You will be welcomed!)
Chance Meeting?

Are there chance meetings?
..... Oh yes, I suppose so.
But believers and seekers
..... seldom think so.

The path we follow
..... from varied roads we choose.
Bring us in touch
..... with many others too.

Sometimes we pass
..... merely offering a glance.
Other times we’re joined
..... for a brief jaunt or dance.

Then there are the few
..... we’ve known before.
When meeting again,
..... there’s instant rapport.

These special ones
..... make our souls laugh and sing.
For they’re the ones
..... with whom we share eternal things.

Comments: Have you ever met someone whom you immediately liked and had instant rapport? I have. The feeling is one of immediate trust and a sense that you have known that person for a long time. The poem takes an Eastern slant to explain that deja vu encounter. But whatever allows two human beings to feel that synchronous experience is wonderful!
A Pilgrim's Journey

The pilgrim is on a journey –
..... the most difficult of life's calling,
..... seeking truth by knowing self.
Few walk this thorn-covered path
..... without receiving cuts and bruises.
Sometimes the road becomes dark,
..... ..... rocky and steep.
Making one ask, "Why am I doing this?"
For those who listen
..... the faint voice replies,
..... "Because you must."
"But what awaits?" comes the retort.
..... and the pilgrim smiles.

Comments: "Know thyself" I find is one of the most difficult tasks. At times it is exciting and fulfilling. Other times, I prefer not to know what I discover. But perhaps, that task is one of life's most important ones.
A Step at a Time
Tears flow down the cheeks,
..... the face wrought with emotion.
How hard this is –
..... beyond  worst expectations.
The inner mantra repeats and repeats,.
..... "You must pass through the cave
..... before you can see the sea.”
Thoughts flood the mind
..... of giving almost anything
..... to avoid this dank darkness.
Finally, the words are heard,
..... “Look up!  Look ahead,
..... can you see the water
..... that leads to the sea?
..... You will be there soon.
..... Just take one step one at a time.”
Comments: So easy to give up hope during trying times unless you remember that the Light is always there to guide and help.
Youthful Foundations
I grew up in a time and community
..... from a child’s point of view ideal.
Galion, Ohio – home of the Galion Iron Works –
..... boomed in the 50's, 60's, and 70's.
Minimal crime, high standard of living,
..... and even a bit cosmopolitan
..... due to North Electric's Swedish workers.
I traveled the world via my bike –
..... no part of town left unexplored.
I would mount my steed,
..... usually after lunch
..... following a home cooked meal
..... and freshly baked apple pie.
Trips to Asia and Europe
..... sometimes prohibited
..... my return until evening.
Mom never worried
..... for the current paranoia did not exist.
Hide-in-seek, kick-the-can,
..... cowboys & Indians including broomstick horses,
..... baseball and more baseball
..... were daily summer rituals.
When the rain fell, indoor tents,
..... chess tournaments
..... and Monopoly were the craze.
A home filled with family and friends
..... exemplify those early memories.
..... upon which my life were built.

Comments: Each of us have foundations that helped establish who we are. My background, as evidenced from the poem, was middle class in a bustling small town of about 12,000 people in north central Ohio. Noon time meal was the main one for the day. My three sisters, father, mother, and I gathered around the table to enjoy a home-cooked meal. Yes, there was always a fresh baked pie, usually apple since that was Dad's favorite. This ritual occurred daily during school months and the summer. Imagination played a major role in our play activities as we thought bigger of ourselves and dreamed of greatness. This poem is not intended to judge the times or reflect on modern ones. It is simply a reminiscence of great happiness and joy in a young boy's life. My wish would be that all children in their individual ways be able to experience such joy and happiness.

Far Away

Do you comprehend the gifts you have been given?
To walk – to breathe – to live
The pulsing blood racing through your heart
The life force you possess
Each interlinked through the Creative Force
Yet each unique

What will you become?
What will you choose?
Decisions only you make
Ones solely yours

Are you willing to walk the edge
Fearless and brave
Not hindered by the shackles of those who believe they know?

How far down the rabbit hole are you willing to go?
For there, answers await.
Comments: This poem was written after viewing the movie What tHe ßLeeP D0 w∑ (k)πow!? (A film I highly recommend.). Obviously. the poem deals with eternal questions. The interpretation will be yours

The day has been long,
....and I am so tired.
Still, I have much to do.
But the body says, “Enough!” I drift off
....and travel to an another world,

Comments: Can you relate?
Personal Stories,

“We all have our stories to tell,
......whether poor, wondering about the next meal,
......or rich, trying to discover new ways to spend.
Plots unfold,
......many believing the universe spins
......around their all too common needs and desires.
The mind seldom rests,
......conjuring thoughts, fears, and beliefs
......about the real and unreal.
Memories evoke smiles or tears,
......sometimes longing for what might have been.
Days translate into years and then a lifetime.
We all leave stories to be told,
......some richer, some poorer,
......some longer, some briefer,
......but all are personal ones.

Comments: Again, I believe the words tell it .
Birthday Thoughts,

The body changes,
......with passing years
The soul remains
......forever young.
As long breath dwells within,
......dreams rest within our domain.

Fear not, reach out,
......follow them
......for such a life one to behold.

Comments: This poem was written for my sister Pat on her last birthday. However, the thoughts hold true for us all.
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