Photography · Poetry · Riley · Weston · Words Written

Dog by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The dog trots freely in the street

and sees reality

and the things he sees

are bigger than himself

and the things he sees

are his reality

Drunks in doorways

Moons on trees

The dog trots freely thru the street

and the things he sees

are smaller than himself

Fish on newsprint

Ants in holes

Chickens in Chinatown windows

their heads a block away

The dog trots freely in the street

and the things he smells

smell something like himself

The dog trots freely in the street

past puddles and babies

cats and cigars

poolrooms and policemen

He doesn’t hate cops

He merely has no use for them

and he goes past them

and past the dead cows hung up whole

in front of the San Francisco Meat Market

He would rather eat a tender cow

than a tough policeman

though either might do

And he goes past the Romeo Ravioli Factory

and past Coit’s Tower

and past Congressman Doyle

He’s afraid of Coit’s Tower

but he’s not afraid of Congressman Doyle

although what he hears is very discouraging

very depressing

very absurd

to a sad young dog like himself

to a serious dog like himself

But he has his own free world to live in

His own fleas to eat

He will not be muzzled

Congressman Doyle is just another

fire hydrant

to him

The dog trots freely in the street

and has his own dog’s life to live

and to think about

and to reflect upon

touching and tasting and testing everything

investigating everything

without benefit of perjury

a real realist

with a real tale to tell

and a real tail to tell it with

a real live

              barking

                         democratic dog

engaged in real

                      free enterprise

with something to say

                             about ontology

something to say

                        about reality

                                        and how to see it

                                                               and how to hear it

with his head cocked sideways

                                       at streetcorners

as if he is just about to have

                                       his picture taken

                                                             for Victor Records

                                  listening for

                                                   His Master’s Voice

                      and looking

                                       like a living questionmark

                                                                 into the

                                                              great gramaphone

                                                           of puzzling existence

                 with its wondrous hollow horn

                         which always seems

                     just about to spout forth

                                                      some Victorious answer

                                                              to everything

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, “Dog” from A Coney Island of the Mind: Poems. Copyright © 1958 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: A Coney Island of the Mind: Poems (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1958)

Photography · Poetry · Words Written

Everything is Waiting For You – David Whyte

Photo by TJ Parker

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

Photography · Pixel
Photo by TJ Parker
Poetry · Words Written

Selections From Sand and Foam by Kahlil Gibran

I AM for ever walking upon these shores,
Betwixt the sand and the foam.
The high tide will erase my foot-prints,
And the wind will blow away the foam.
But the sea and the shore will remain
For ever.

                                *

    Once I filled my hand with mist.
    Then I opened it and lo, the mist was a
worm.
    And I closed and opened my hand again,
and behold there was a bird.
    And again I closed and opened my hand,
and in its hollow stood a man with a sad face,
turned upward.
    And again I closed my hand, and when I
opened it there was naught but mist.
    But I heard a song of exceeding sweetness.

                                *

    When God threw me, a pebble, into this
wondrous lake I disturbed its surface with
countless circles.
    But when I reached the depths I became
very still.

                                *

    We measure time according to the move-
ment of countless suns; and they measure time
by little machines in their little pockets.
    Now tell me, how could we ever meet at the
same place and the same time?

                                *

    My house says to me, “Do not leave me,
for here dwells your past.”
    And the road says to me, “Come and follow
me, for I am your future.”
    And I say to both my house and the road,
“I have no past, nor have I a future. If I stay
here, there is a going in my staying; and if I go
there is a staying in my going. Only love and
death change all things.”

                                *

    How can I lose faith in the justice of life,
when the dreams of those who sleep upon
feathers are not more beautiful than the
dreams of those who sleep upon the earth?

                                *

    Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We
see truth through it, but it divides us from
truth.

                                *

    If your heart is a volcano how shall you
expect flowers to bloom in your hands?

                                *

    How often have I attributed to myself
crimes I have never committed, so that the
other person may feel comfortable in my
presence.

                                *

    When you see a man led to prison, say in
your heart, “Mayhap he is escaping from a
narrower prison.”
    And when you see a man drunken, say in
your heart, “Mayhap he sought escape from
something still more unbeautiful.”

                                *

    Your saying to me, “I do not understand
you,” is praise beyond my worth, and an
insult you do not deserve.

                                *

    How mean am I when life gives me gold
and I give you silver, and yet I deem myself
generous.

                                *

    If the other person laughs at you, you can
pity him; but if you laugh at him you may
never forgive yourself.
    If the other person injures you, you may
forget the injury; but if you injure him you
will always remember.
    In truth the other person is your most
sensitive self given another body.

                                *

    The highest virtue here may be the least in
another world.

                                *

    If indeed you must be candid, be candid
beautifully; otherwise keep silent, for there is
a man in our neighbourhood who is dying.

                                *

    In truth we talk only to ourselves, but some-
times we talk loud enough that others may
hear us.

                                *

    Perhaps the sea’s definition of a shell is the
pearl.
    Perhaps time’s definition of coal is the
diamond.

                                *

    I am the flame and I am the dry brush, and
one part of me consumes the other part.
                                *

    We are all seeking the summit of the holy
mountain; but shall not our road be shorter
if we consider the past a chart and not a guide?

                                *

    When you reach the end of what you should
know, you will be at the beginning of what
you should sense.

                                *

    A traveler am I and a navigator, and every
day I discover a new region within my soul.

                                *

    There lies a green field between the scholar
and the poet; should the scholar cross it, he
becomes a wise man; should the poet cross it,
he becomes a prophet.

                                *

    Once a man sat at my board and ate my
bread and drank my wine and went away
laughing at me.
    Then he came again for bread and wine,
and I spurned him;
    And the angels laughed at me.

                                *

    They deem me mad because I will not sell
my days for gold;
    And I deem them mad because they think
my days have a price.

                                *

    Once I spoke of the sea to a brook, and
the brook thought me but an imaginative
exaggerator;
    And once I spoke of a brook to the sea,
and the sea thought me but a depreciative
defamer.

                                *

    How narrow is the vision that exalts the
busyness of the ant above the singing of the
grasshopper.

                                *

    In truth we talk only to ourselves, but some-
times we talk loud enough that others may
hear us.

                                *

    If the Milky Way were not within me, how
should I have seen it or known it?

                                *

    When I stood a clear mirror before you, you
gazed into me, and saw your image.
    Then you said, “I love you.”
    But in truth you loved yourself in me.

                                *

    In the autumn I gathered all my sorrows and
buried them in my garden.
    And when April returned and spring came
to wed the earth, there grew in my garden
beautiful flowers unlike all other flowers.
    And my neighbours came to behold them,
and they all said to me, “When autumn comes
again, at seeding time, will you not give us of
the seeds of these flowers that we may have
them in our gardens?”

                                *

    Art is a step from nature toward the
Infinite.

                                *

A work of art is a mist carved into an image.

                                *

    Even the hands that make crowns of thorns
are better than idle hands.

                                *

    You may have heard of the Blessed
Mountain
    It is the highest mountain in our world.
    Should you reach the summit you would
have only one desire, and that is to descend and
be with those who dwell in the deepest valley.
    That is why it is called the Blessed
Mountain.

From Sand and Foam by Kahlil Gibran (Alfred A. Knopf, 1926). These poems are in the public domain. 

Music · spotify

2022 – The Playlist

As per usual I’ve started making the 2022 playlist. So far it’s not long, but it will definitely grow over time. The songs that make up any given year’s playlist consist of tracks I’ve discovered during the year. Could be something new, could be a new track off an old album I just realized was there and I love, could be a new to me artist that isn’t new at all. The list is always about discovery.

Family & Friends · Music

Take It From Me – Curb Service

Words Written

Small Kindnesses

Essays

Making Fun of Conspiracy Theorists is like Making Fun of Your Neighbors

We used to laugh at them. Watch funny documentaries about people who thought all sorts of “out there” things. We made jokes about tin foil hats and wondered how people could believe such things. We used to…

Photo by TJ Parker

Now, we are those people. As a society we’ve become them. We listen to all of these theories and speculations and we take them as truth. We follow along blindly, tin foil hats under our caps and hidden, but there. We don’t want big brother or those damn, fill in the blanks, to know we know, but we know.

No matter what side of an argument you are on, you are one of them now. Or it’s tempting to be. And like those foil hat wearers of the past, our forebears, we only believe our own sources. We don’t give any credibility to anything that goes against what we believe and “know” to be true. We are spoon fed and cajoled and frightened into believing the worst. The worst of the character of our neighbor, of our friends, of anyone who does not agree with us. They suddenly become other. You can’t trust those damn… those silly… those evil… those foolish… those people. And what’s more, some of those people are people we’ve known a long long time. Some of those people are people we care for. Some of “those people” are our people people. It’s a crazy thing.

I don’t know how we got so paranoid. So insular. I don’t know when it happened that so many conversations turned from the weather, the flowers, what was going on with our family, our work, our daily lives to can you believe what “those people” did? Can you believe what they said? Can you believe they actually think, act, feel, fill in the blank, that way? It’s so judgemental.

I like to think I’m immune. But I’m not. I’m in it too. I do it too. I don’t like that I do, but I do. I want to be better. I want to be free of it. I want to be IN my own life. Doing what I can do to better the lives of the people I love and who love me. Maybe even better the lives of the people I run into that I don’t know. You know?

This is culture examination and self examination all at once. I can’t fix what is happening in society. I can only change my own behavior. My own thoughts, ideas, and actions. I can only do what I can do, where I am at. So, I will try to. I’m going to try to. Be where I am. Love a lot. Be as kind as possible to those I know and don’t know. Be forgiving. Be gracious. Be gentle with the souls I come into contact with. People deserve that. Before all else, they deserve kindness. So do I. I deserve it too. I am going to refocus there. On that place of kindness. I am going to be open.

I am going to try… It’s time to start loving thy neighbor, loving my neighbors, again.

10 Word Review · Opinion · TV

10 Word Review – Maid

Poignant. Tough. Heart. Support. Hardship. Difficulty. Grit. Writing. Relationships. YES.

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – Cheri

Pfeiffer. Courtesans. Excess. Attachment. Spoiled. Hats. Pearls. Ennui. Love. Yes.

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – Cry Macho

Quiet. Macho. Relationships. Chicken. Mexico. Horses. Journey. Heart. Healing. Yes.

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – Oslo

Diplomacy. Negotiations. Personal. Close. Peace. Accords. Private. Divide. Commonality. Yes.

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – Kajillionaire

Quirky. Con. Love. Relationships. Eccentric. Split. Bubbles. Presents. Cast. Yes.

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – News of the World

Hanks. Mood. Bond. Relationship. Honor. News. Hardship. Scenery. Loss. Yes.

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – All The King’s Men

Politics. Corruption. Change. Crooked. Poison. Effects. Climb. Populist. Rise. Yes.

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – Misha And The Wolves

Interesting. Story. Wolves. Truth. Imagination. Intrigue. Fascinating. Characters. Hidden. Yes.

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – Jungle Cruise

Fun. Funny. Adventure. Cast. Effects. Honey. Cat. Enjoyable. Mystery. Yes.

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – McCabe & Mrs. Miller

Enterprise. West. Tough. Ambition. Money. Power. Tragedy. Vibe. Cast. Yes.

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – Count Me In

Feel. Drummers. Interviews. Passion. Beat. Kit. History. Riffs. Innovation. Yes.

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – Worth

Sad. Impossible. Equity. Fairness. Justice. Heartbreak. Cast. Music. Moving. Yes.

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – Reminiscence

Noir. Predictable. Angsty. Slick. Mystery. Memory. Water. Eager. Iffy. Yes.

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – The Prom

Ridiculous. Fun. Quirky. Schmaltzy. Sweet. Heart. Sugary. Enjoyable. Cast. Yes.

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – The Suicide Squad

Ridiculous. Rats. Starfish. Weasel. Cast. Farcical. Team. Cartoonish. Fights. No.

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – ex machina

Thought. Human. Intellect. Survival. Life. Philosophy. Beautiful. Poetic. Yes.

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – Cosmic Sin

Terrible. Ridiculous. Bad. Awful. Disappointing. Why? Lame. Inferior. Aliens. No.