Monday, May 31, 2004

Reflecting on a Young Oak Tree
By Don Iannone

The young oak tree primped and prissed
in the mirror of a fresh, sparkling puddle of rain water,
gathered at the edge of our drive,
She was pleased with her crisp green crown,
which fancied itself a lady's green popover hat,
So stately, so appropriate for the occasion of
this ever so slightly cool May morning,
Adorned by a pair of early-feeding cardinals,
a gold finch, and a baby sparrow begging Mom for more food,
the adolescent oak settled into the easy cloudy day
that meant a day off from her usual job of shading the yard,
Cloudy, rain-filled days are ones of reflection for oak trees,
whose enduring wisdom gathers and grows deeply in their roots,
for later sharing with all who search for seasonal truth,
Indeed beauty is truth in the young oak tree,
who gives thanks to the sky for the rain
that feeds what is true in her roots,
Is it any wonder she looks so lovely in her new hat?

Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

A determined red-breasted robin
hops enthusiastically across our front yard,
the positive side of a rainy morning drenches my spirit
Monday Thought: Truth

"We know the truth, not only by the reason,
but also by the heart." --Blaise Pascal

I am convinced that ultimately we must
feel something is true in our heart before
we really believe it. The head exists to
serve the heart.

Open to the truth that rings out to you
on this Memorial Day morning. Today, rather
than seeking the truth in your life, just
allow it to find you. If you open your heart,
it will surely find you.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Beyond Time
By Don Iannone

Time is a repetitive shadow
we must live with,
but doesn't really exist,
Within the soul,
we find our timeless center
that unfolds according to its
own schedule of becoming,
Like baseball, this becoming
is unguided by any clock,
there are only innings
that must be played.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

Planting one foot on the sun
and the other on the moon,
day and night grow in my life
Sunday Thought: How We Live

All of us wrestle with the issue of how we
at various points in our lives.

Many of us grow accustomed to thinking about our
lives in periods and cycles. In reality, there
is a great deal of overlap and variation in those
issues that occupy our lives. Here is typically
how we are accustomed (conditioned) to think about
"how we live" across our lifetime.

Starting out as children, we are taught to be
concerned about love, acceptance, support from
our families, having fun, and making friends.

Our attention shifts to getting an education,
building careers, and creating families of our
own as we enter our twenties and thirties.

Building wealth, creating stability, having our
children succeed, and growing in new personal
directions occupies our attention in our forties
and fifties.

Health, financial security, doing things we didn't
do earlier, and eventually retirement become chief
concerns during our sixties and seventies.

And of course, coming to terms with our eventual end
weighs heavily on our minds, as we grow older. Yes,
many face this issue much earlier in life for a variety
of reasons.

How do you feel about this approach to living (and
dying)? This characterization of life is too "canned"
for me. It's too programmed, and not applicable to
lots of people that I know.

Where's the joy, adventure, compassion, beauty, and
other things that make life really worthwhile?

In my 53 years, I don't think we give enough thought
to our own "personal sustainability" at various
points in our lives. This notion suggests that we
must pace ourselves, save some for others, and do
our best to give back more than we take.

As I think of my own life today, I like to remind
myself of this important point of view, reflected
in this powerful quote:

"Let your life lightly dance on the edges of time
like dew on the tip of a leaf." --Tagore

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Living Poetry
By Don Iannone

Live a rich and understanding life,
and you will have poetry,
Chain yourself to what you know,
or even worse, what you think you know,
and you will doubt your poetry's presence,
See life as a garden, overflowing with
beauty, surprise, serendipity, and splendor,
and you willingly exchange being for knowing,
See life as an abstract knowledge factory,
saddled with rules, definitions, and restrictions,
and you will have an over-bound world filled with people,
who distrust themselves and blame others
for their own blindness,
Open your eyes; those that help you see
the poetry your soul wants you to be.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

Sitting at the top of the staircase,
one arm lifted above the clouds,
I touch the bottom of my soul

Saturday Thought: Poetry

As I look out upon a beautiful sunny
spring morning this Saturday from my
home office window, I think "how poetic
it all seems." I see the rich green grass,
the fresh shimmering leaves, the frisky
clematis that continue to grow taller and
taller in Mary's garden. I see it for what
it is, and also see it in "different sort
of way." But what is it?

This quote helps to explain that different
way of seeing things:

"Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty
of the world, and makes familiar objects be
as if they were not familiar."

--Percy Bysshe Shelley

Friday, May 28, 2004

Rewarding Encounters
By Don Iannone

Special people are everywhere,
Like the group at last night's baseball game in Erie,
Some sat in wheelchairs, trying desperately
to clap their shaking hands,
One convulsed, and stared vacantly at the early evening sky,
I wondered what she sees that I don't,
Another shrieked in inextinguishable joy as her attendant
handed her a dripping ice cream cone,
Their contorted, crooked faces captured my eyes, making me wince,
as I watched them watch me in fascination,
I smiled at an old man stroking his sparse gray whiskers,
Hello, I said, and he extended his trembling hand toward me,
which I clasped, fighting back the tears,
Our realities fail us, all the time,
especially when we think we really know
what it's like for someone else,
Special people are everywhere,
Some of the most special are those with less
and they miraculously do more with what they have.
Haiku From Erie
By Don Iannone

Staring out my downtown hotel room window in Erie
makes me wonder how things would be different here
if there was more poetry,
A man is walking down the street smiling,
I realize poetry walks everywhere
Friday Thought: Our Personal Toolkit

I have always liked this quote:

"When the only tool you own is a hammer,
every problem begins to resemble a nail."

--Abraham Maslow

It speaks volumes about how we see our
ability to contribute in the world. To
break out of this box, all of us need to
work on developing new tools to add to
our personal toolkits. Also, we need to
learn to rely on others' skills more
often than we do. Teamwork is one skill
that we can never get enough of.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

The Pregnant Dandelion
By Don Iannone

She shook her fluffy white head
with the unswayed determination of a mountain,
her helicopter like seeds fluttering in all directions,
It's a grave mistake to under-estimate
the brute power of a pregnant dandelion,
aided by God's breath on a late spring morning.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

Short and sweet,
the right words for the moment
slip past my lips,
This is a poem
Thursday Thought: Context

Sometimes we get so caught up in a particular
situation in life that we lose sight of how
that particular situation fits into the context
of our overall life. Here is a great quote that
speaks to this observation:

"We don't accomplish anything in this world alone
... and whatever happens is the result of the
whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings
of individual threads from one to another that
creates something."

--Sandra Day O'Connor

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

By Don Iannone

A single drop of golden sunlight
lingers on the edge of my soul,
My heart enlightens and I see
Natura Genetrix
By Don Iannone

Nature in all Her unsurpassed glory
sustains, inspires, blesses, and feeds us
each day of our life,
Like any good mother,
She knows precisely what we need,
even when we don't,
Her birds, like inspired messengers,
remind us to take flight with our imagination,
Her oceans, lakes, and streams remind us
of the importance of flowing in life,
Her forests are powerful metaphors,
teaching us lessons of community
and living together symbiotically,
She flows through our veins,
nourishing our bodies with energy,
Her conscious mind and living spirit
take root inside each of us,
making us all one mind and spirit,
Connected by our Mother,
We are never alone or separate in life,
in being a part of something larger and eternal.
Wednesday Thought: Nature

All beings are wrapped in Nature's intricate
web of life. While we may think we are separate
from Nature, we are not. For this reason, it
is vital that we remind ourselves on a regular
basis of our intimate connection to all of life
through Nature.

Here are some quotes that I like related to Nature:

"Nature, like a kind and smiling mother, lends
herself to our dreams and cherishes our fancies."
--Victor Hugo

"All art, all education, can be merely a supplement
to nature." --Aristotle

"Natura genetrix. Nature is our mother." --Latin Proverb

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

First Eyes
By Don Iannone

Seeing the world,
with first eyes,
like those of a newborn baby,
Life is a miracle.
Sunrise Over Philadelphia
By Don Iannone

It started as a pale orange glow
in the changing eastern sky,
reminding me of a slowly melting creamsicle,
The sun rose over Philadelphia this morning
with the splendor of Shubert and the grace of Mozart,
allowing me to see the city, and myself,
in a promising new light,
This elegant solar display is a sign,
of renewed hope, and grace rediscovered,
Philadelphia needs to shine
under a bright morning sun,
Too many days are dark and
colorless for too many,
The sun, like an eternal spring,
I know, is always there,
Some days we just don't see it,
It makes me happy to see this fine city
bask in the orange glow of a fresh new day.
Tuesday Thought: Acts of Desperation

I don't purport to understand the motivations
of others. At best, I can try to know my own
motivations in life. The better I know myself,
the more my understanding of others grows.

This past Saturday someone gained unauthorized
access to my Blogger account and deleted Conscious
Living. Fortunately, Blogger maintains back up files
and the site could be restored. For that I am very
grateful. Blogger is looking at their log records
to see if it is possible to determine who did this.

I have thought about this situation over the past
couple days. I am disappointed that such a thing
would happen, but more importantly I have concluded
that this was a act by a desperate person. Someone
who may be actually reaching out for help.

In the spirit of what Conscious Living is all
about, I offer compassion in exchange for another's
desperation. Those so desperate demand our compassion,
and not more desperation.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Monday Thought: New Possibilities

The world is filled with new
possibilities. Open yourself
to them today at the start of
this new week.

The greatest possibilities in
life for all of us tend to be
those associated with love.
When we love, the right doors
always open at the right time.

By Don Iannone

The skies are filled
with new beginnings,
my heart races
to catch up with them
Momentary Realities
By Don Iannone

Every moment is a mirror
reflecting the truth we seek and
the dream we live on the way to reality,
I find reality in an empty vase,
where no flowers are needed
for beauty to exist.
By Don Iannone

Don't promise in life
what your imagination cannot deliver,
Keep no promises compromising your dreams
By Don Iannone

The fallen tree in the road
is not an obstacle to your freedom from suffering,
rather it is a sign you are on the wrong road

Sunday, May 23, 2004

By Don Iannone

Our strongest life wishes
reflect our emptiness from living
on the surface of life's fathomless ocean,
With each stroke I swim deeper
By Don Iannone

Some people deliberately drive into
thunderstorms in their life
rather than giving in to their own peace,
I surrender
By Don Iannone

Wanting more than we need,
Hoarding what we have,
Taking what we can, including
what belongs to everyone,
Using more than we should,
Not doing what we can
to leave something for tomorrow,
Is there any wonder
we're coming up short in our world today?
Sunday Thought: Engage the World

All of us struggle to understand our
worlds. I ran across this wonderful Chinese
proverb that helps me understand what I
need to do to advance my own understanding
of myself, others, and the world in

"Tell me and I'll forget; show me and
I may remember; involve me and I'll

--Chinese Proverb

Conscious Living Almost Lost

Panic struck late yesterday afternoon when I
was unable to access Conscious Living. The blog
had completely disappeared. In contacting the
folks at, I learned that someone
(not me) had either accidently or deliberately
deleted the website from the Blogger system.
Fortunately, Blogger keeps backup files and the
site was restored.

Who, why, or how remain a mystery to me. In any
case, Conscious Living is back after a short

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Goodbye Sweet Amelia
By Don Iannone

Gliding through the water,
the dolphins give us one
final reminder: that the
Divine takes form in living
things, and that grace
swims within each of us,
We listen deeply, and hear
only the gentle roar of the waves
lapping on Amelia beach,
The sand still between our toes,
we bid farewell, for now, to this
treasured sanctuary by the sea,
If God had a daughter, and He does,
her name would be Amelia.
By Don Iannone

I hear the rhythmic sound of the ocean waves
crashing on the beach,
it is good to be awake and alive
Saturday Thought: Leading

Leaders come in all shapes and sizes.
That much we know from reading history

I always find it interesting to hear
the personal stories that give shape
to leadership in people. We find that
very often leaders had to overcome some
major problem or obstacle in their lives
that helped them to discover their own
leadership ability.

The best leaders, in my view, are those
who are highly effective in leading
their own personal lives.

Exercising sound inner leadership is my
own personal goal. Living a conscious life
is a step in that direction.

Here are a couple excellent quotes about

"A leader is one who knows the way,
goes the way and shows the way."

--John C. Maxwell

"Mastering others is strength. Mastering
yourself is true power."

--Tao Te Ching

Friday, May 21, 2004

Cumberland Island
By Don Iannone

You appear as a thin dark green finger
along the jagged Georgia coast,
Wildness speaks to us in many familiar and foreign voices
as we penetrate your gentle harbor,
Muscular wild horses lazily munch grass at the water's edge
and flick pesky horseflies with their tails,
Their hides shimmer in the mid-morning sunlight,
reminding me of bright copper pennies and gun metal gray clouds,
The main road greets us like an luminous dark tunnel
through the mossy green forest,
beckoning us to explore it with our feet
and discover the island's many secrets,
Eagerness gathers in our hearts,
We sense there is something exceptionally powerful
to experience here on Cumberland Island,
Dungeness House, now in ruins, is unimaginable,
unless you were there to see what is left of it,
The mansion's thick broken walls, red brick chimney, and
black wrought iron fence are snared in a thick green
tapestry of twisted vines and foreboding weeds,
Venomous snakes now slither where industrial robber barons
and their curious wives once danced,
The music is the same,
transfixing and intoxicatingly sweet to the soul,
Old things abound inviting spirits to come forth,
They are everywhere on the island,
not just in the old weedy family cemeteries,
You could feel them jealously watching you
as you savor the same gems that called
the Carnegie family and others to Cumberland
in the late 19th Century,
Orange rusted skeletons of old cars,
Model T's and the like,
line a stretch of the dusty road behind the barn,
The old tin lizzies remind us of life's paradoxical ways,
Things we wouldn't imagine, like finding model T's
on this thin green finger off the Georgia coast,
In a distant field, near the white sandy dunes,
there is a watercolor cream foal, surrounded by
its protective mother and stately father,
Our hearts spring open, like new rose blossoms
in an English garden, at the sight of the newborn,
The island's velvet-soft north beach makes us feel like
beautiful white shells and sand dollars,
We feel conjoined with the soul of this magical place,
As we board the boat for our return,
five gargantuan manatees linger and play in the shallow
brackish waters of the tranquil sound,
All this in one mesmerizing afternoon stroll
across Cumberland Island.


By Don Iannone

Watching the gentle morning waves
wash seashells onto the golden beach,
life tempts me to open to its many possibilities


Friday Thought: Happiness

Like a whispy cloud, happiness seems to evade
us the more we chase it. As I watch a beautiful
sunrise take shape over the Atlantic Ocean,
happiness fills me. Not because of the sunrise,
but because I have reminded myself that
happiness is my natural state of being.

I am reminded of two wonderful quotes about

"I must accept life unconditionally. Most
people ask for happiness on condition.
Happiness can only be felt if you don't set
any condition."

--Margaret Lee Runbeck

"Most true happiness comes from one's inner
life, from the disposition of the mind and
soul. Admittedly, a good inner life is
difficult to achieve, especially in these
trying times. It takes reflection and
contemplation and self-discipline."

--William L Shirer


Thursday, May 20, 2004


By Don Iannone

Playfully bobbing up and down
in aqua green waves,
Disappearing beneath the surface,
only to re-emerge somewhere else,
Trusting the current to carry you
where you need to go,
Hoping life will make something out of you,
Smoothed by the water's razor sharp edge,
Ungraspable Gordian knots find a place
to express themselves, reminding us
of life's intractability,
Living as driftwood in an unending
stream of consciousness,
Odd, but recognizable animal and human totems
carved in abstract by Nature,
Ancient wood sculptures,
hoping to be seen for what they are, but always more,
Eventually ashore,
resting on the beach,
out of the water's incessant reach,
Basking momentarily in the obscure promise
of another colorful sunset.


By Don Iannone

The night's silence rushes at me
like a starved tiger,
I am safe in my heart



Thursday Thought: Courage

It takes courage to be yourself,
live out your dreams, learn and
grow, love, live fully, die, and
let go of habits that hold you back
in life.

I admire people who exhibit the unique
courage that life so often requires
of us. I like myself better as a
person when I live courageously.

The following quote comes to mind as
I think about courage:

"Courage is grace under pressure."

--Ernest Hemingway


Wednesday, May 19, 2004


Wednesday Thought: Slow Down

Mary and I spent yesterday afternoon in
St. Mary's, which is a small Georgia
town with a wonderful historic downtown.
As we walked around this delightful quiet
town, it reminded us that it is truly good
to "slow down" in life.

Some times we are so busy being busy that
we forget to simply be. Chatting with some
pleasant folks from this tiny coastal Georgia
town reminded us to slow down a bit in our
busy lives.

We thank St. Mary's for this valuable reminder.


St. Mary's
By Don Iannone

This is the place you catch the ferry
to the mysterious Cumberland Island,
It's a small town,
in Georgia, near the Florida line,
It's an old place, going back
to the Civil War and before,
People are friendly in St. Mary's,
more so than you'd think for a
shy backwater southern town,
Moss-covered trees drape the streets,
filtering the hot afternoon sun,
creating playful dancing shadows everywhere,
St. Mary's is quiet this warm spring afternoon,
Life seems to move in slow motion here,
like the ancient crippled black man ambling
across the wide sunny Main Street,
He takes his time,
maybe that is why he has lived so long,
The dark man's straw hat covers his eyes,
but you know they're there, watching you
as you watch him,
A wise determination is in his face,
somehow you know it's there, you feel it,
His hands are large and wrinkled,
like a leathered elephant's skin,
They clutch an old gnarled wooden cane
that might have belonged to his slave grandfather
during an earlier time,
White rocking chairs, weathered wooden swings,
and colorful gliders are everywhere,
reminding you that people take it easy here,
It makes you wonder: What's the hurry?
We drive through an old cemetery,
Time-worn gray and tan tombstones
dot the fresh-cut bright green grass,
A ceramic deer decorates the grave of William Sebring King,
who lived to be eighty-nine and must have loved animals,
A tiny old white Catholic Church catches our eye,
It's more of a chapel than a church,
The back and side yards are filled
with lovely red and yellow flowers,
St. Francis stands in the garden, holding a lamb,
Behind him are more shadows, these are silent,
There is more, but it must wait,
As we drive away, we agree we will come back.


Tuesday, May 18, 2004


Conscious Living: One Year After

Conscious Living has been a daily part of
my life for the past year. Many others have
faithfully made the trek to the site on a
daily basis to warm themselves by its
musing and lyrical campfire.

This weblog has worn many faces during
the past 365 days. All in one way or
another reflect my personal journey.

Since February, there has been poetry,
and lots of it. I have felt poetic
inside, and therefore that is what
has flowed from my inner well.

Here is what I posted on May 18, 2003:

"Consciousness requires daily practice.
This blog is part of my daily consciousness
practice. It will hopefully bring some
discipline encouraging me to stop and
reflect daily about the world, what I
give to it and what I take away.

This is a blog about anything that
excites the spirit--creativity,
compassion, meditation, contemplation,
dreams, intuition, learning, valuing,
humor, connecting and many other things.
I'm fairly eclectic, so look for a mix
of Eastern and Western ideas in my muses
and writings to this blog.

Stop by whenever your spirit moves you.
Please don't be a stranger.

My message today remains exactly the same.


Night Life at the Beach
By Don Iannone

Cosmic swarms of bejeweled stingray
descend the ivory ocean staircase
just beyond the pink-purple coral reef,
Camouflaged tiny green and brown tree frogs
impishly croak the thick still night away,
as indolent young boys dance jubilantly
around a raging campfire on the beach,
postponing their inevitable journey to manhood,
The couple next door exchanges angry barbs,
sharp enough to cut through the night's heavy silence,
My heart pulls my head off the pillow,
awakening me to new possibilities about life
that make me laugh.


By Don Iannone

Our habits, like quicksand,
cause us to sink deeper and deeper
into a dark self-absorbed abyss


Tuesday Thought: Watch Your Habit Energy

My fried Dan Shimp in Santa Fe, NM used an
expression that really makes a whole lot
of sense to me. Dan says "we can diminish
the power of our addictions and whatever
we hold onto by lessening the habit energy
we focus on these things." Over time, as we
deny these things (habits) our energy, they
dissipate and eventually we can be free of

Well said, Dan, and thank you!


Monday, May 17, 2004


Monday Thought: Letting Go

I can never write enough about
the subject of letting go of
the crap I hold onto in life.

Everyone does it, no matter
how enlightened we think we
are. In fact, if we "think"
we are enlightened, then we
are probably holding onto our
own need to believe we are

As I savor North Florida's
beautiful Amelia Island, my
need to dig deeper and let go
of more and more comes to mind.
There is always more--to let
go of.

With each step on the warm,
sunny, pristine beach, I let
go of the invisible suitcases
that somehow got on the plane
with me.

I give thanks for the reminder.


Letting Go on the Beach
By Don Iannone

It's never easy to release
the angst you've taken
a lifetime to grow inside,
It's always hard to say no
to what you've said yes
to during your whole life,
But you reach a point when
the weight of your personal
baggage is unbearable, then
and only then, do you let go,
I watch as the shifting sand
and seashells so happily give in
to the outbound waves sucking them
in the ocean, why can't I
do just the same?


Desperate for Heat
By Don Iannone

Flossing for truth in a dark closet,
I discovered a part of me that was desperate
for the sultry heat of summer.


Claiming Your Birthright
By Don Iannone

Peace is your birthright,
Claim it,
in every breath you take,
in the words you choose not to say,
and in every cloud that stands
in the way of the sunshine in your life.


Sunday, May 16, 2004


Poetic Grains
By Don Iannone

Sometimes little poems,
like tiny grains of sand,
come easier on the beach.


Stand Steady
By Don Iannone

Like an impetuous dancer on ice,
the tall slender palm labored
to keep her bushy head up,
as the gale force winds tormented her
with their brutal tirade of assaults.


Broken Seashells
By Don Iannone

Even broken seashells deserve our love,
Like children without a home
and old folks without a family,
They long to be lifted, caressed,
and adored like the beautiful whole ones
that everyone wants for their collection,
The broken ones beg for the tender touch
of the graceful older southern lady walking barefoot
in a flowing white cotton dress and bright blue hat
on the early morning beach,
Give your broken seashells a second chance on life,
They promise to love you back


Sunday Thought: Gratitude

On this Sunday morning as I
sit cross-legged on the beach
at Amelia Island, I give thanks
for the many blessings in my
life. I give thanks for this
fine place, with its deep Nature
and for the wild that still walks
in its forests, swims in the ocean
and the backwater marshes, and
flies high above my head.


Saturday, May 15, 2004


Beach Wisdom
By Don Iannone

So much we learn from
the sun, sand, seagulls,
and the ocean surf,
Each bestows wisdom and perspective
into life and our daily becoming,
The beach reminds us of our
infinite connection to all life,
It teaches us about the
vast expanse of our spirit,
when we allow ourselves to play
and dance in the warm white sand,
We discover that all seashells
thrown onto the beach are perfect
because of the sanctuary they
have offered to God's most fragile creatures,
People everywhere let go of what binds
them on the beachfront of their lives,
releasing themselves in the
constant ocean breeze that lifts
the pelicans gracefully into nirvana,
We seem both small and large
as we stand watching the sunset
arrive at the end of a life-filled day,
We escape the clutches of ourselves
and find our true place in the
tranquil wisdom of the beach.


Saturday Thought: Those Who Bring Us Joy

It is easy at times to overlook those who give
us joy in life. Sometimes we impose such great
expectations on others to do, and do, and do,
that we forget the joy they bring us by just
being and through their loving presence. I give
give thanks to my family and friends and work
colleagues who bring special joy into my daily
life. Thank you.

This quote says it all:

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners who make our
souls blossom."

--Marcel Proust


Friday, May 14, 2004


An Atlantic Adagio for Amelia
By Don Iannone

Sun-drenched ocean waves lick the beach,
like children eating ice cream cones
on a hot summer evening,
Priceless gifts they scatter on the glittering sand
for early morning treasure hunters to discover,
They play a splendid early morning adagio,
tranquilizing the Universe with each sweet hush,
What could possibly be more important than this?


By Don Iannone

Like each grain of sand
on a fragrant sunny beach,
every single snowflake
on a white satin mountaintop,
any twinkling star
in the endless summer night sky,
you are one of a kind.


Friday Thought: Don't Be Afraid to Dream

We need to remind ourselves to dream. In my
own life, my dreams have been a tremendous
impetus for my personal growth. Many of these
dreams originated in my childhood, and have
continued throughout my life. I like this

"Dreams are renewable. No matter what our
age or condition, there are still untapped
possibilities within us and new beauty waiting
to be born."

--Dale E. Turner


Child Soldiers
By Gary Beck

Children of the AK-47
your brief lives will be ended,
as soon as your cartridges
have been expended.

Unlike warriors of old
who trained in the ways of war,
children soldiers pick up their guns
younger than ever before.

The nurturing machine gun sings
the only soothing lullaby
that urchin armies ever hear
in their last moments as they die.

When children's bones are bleaching white
in the skeleton dance of time,
adults who made these infants kill
were the true authors of the crime.

Their stunted bodies line the road,
victims of the endless strife,
kissed goodbye by the bullet,
that ends their futile life.


By Alan Cohen

Sitting silently by a stream,
that is gently by;
I gaze into the water;
I cry.
The reflection I see
are my memories and dreams,
and how they slipped by.
My memories are filled with
a sorrowful sadness
for they seem vacant;
I sat and watched
I did not try.
My childhood dreams
never achieved.
Once so powerful,
like a knight going into battle
wielding his sword and shield;
the dreams are broken,
this knight never drew his sword.
Now I sit alone,
quietly stare into the stream.
The reflection I see
is one of emptiness
and despair.


Thursday, May 13, 2004


By Don Iannone

Escape whatever holds you,
Hold onto nothing,
not even your own escapefulness


By Don Iannone

Quietly daybreak seizes the horizon
with pristine happiness,
crowned by golden splendor,
Gentle clouds avail themselves
to the emerging light,
giving them shape and meaning in the sky,
A single bird perches herself in a distant tree
that is but a silhouette of what I hope to see,
A new day has arrived on the back
of a solitary moment leaving nothing behind,
only a wish to transcend the moment.



Thursday Thought: Believe in the Heroic

On one level or another, all of us have
"heroes." Your heroes could be Mom and
Dad, a teacher, sports coach, spiritual
leader, best friend, lover, a politician,
and yes even a pet.

At times we need to believe in heroes;
actually we need to believe in the very
idea of the heroic. I like this quote:

"Nurture your mind with great thoughts;
to believe in the heroic makes heroes."

--Benjamin Disraeli


Wednesday, May 12, 2004


A Simple Smile
By Don Iannone

A simple smile can
kindle your heart with laughter,
brush aside the dark clouds
hovering over your golden spirit,
silence the fear raging within you
like an out of control wildfire,
cause a newborn to fall fast
asleep in its mother's loving arms,
awaken the faded dream within you
that life is within your grasp today.


By Don Iannone

The sun shined brightly through the trees,
we smiled, felt happiness, and
gave in to the idea there really is a place called peace


Wednesday Thought: Peace

Why is peace so scarce among us? I
recall these words, which help to

"If we have no peace, it is because
we have forgotten that we belong to
each other."

--Mother Teresa


Tuesday, May 11, 2004


Encounters with Truth
By Don Iannone

In a sun-filled clearing in the woods,
I discovered truth,
which spoke to me through a gentle wind,
reminding me to be moved,
Clinging to the edge of a jagged cliff,
truth spoke to me,
urging me to hold onto what is real within me,
While waiting for the light to change
on a busy city street corner,
my heart told me to wait for the right time
to make the right moves in life,
While writing this poem,
I met the god of my own self-understanding,
who reminded me to live my own poetry.


By Don Iannone

The mountains beamed sunshine
into my life,
lifting me high above the clouds


Tuesday Thought: Life Lessons

This quote speaks to our need to
see the silver lining surrounding
the clouds in our life. Often in
reflecting upon challenges we face
in life, we conclude that we have
learned from them immensely.

"The deeper that sorrow carves
into your being, the more joy
you can contain."

--Kahlil Gibran


Monday, May 10, 2004


Poetic Life Lines
By Don Iannone

Life is poetry,
It comes to you one line at a time,
Follow each line as far as you can,
Allow each line and stanza
to lift and fill you fully,
Ride your life lines
like surging ocean waves
to the next line and beyond,
Walk your lines like a beautiful
sun-filled trail through a meadow,
Play with them like a puzzle
you piece together with a young child,
Blur, twist, and turn your lines,
Allow yourself to get lost
in the intricate details of your lines,
See your life lines as trees
bunched in a thick growing forest,
Forget your lines and learn new ones
to keep your mind and heart free,
Connect your lines to someone else's lines
and write a living poem together.


“Come to the edge.”
“We can't. We're afraid.”
“Come to the edge.”
“We can't. We will fall!”
“Come to the edge.”
And they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.

--Guillaume Apollinaire,1880-1918
French Poet, Philosopher


Monday Thought: Do It Now

Whatever it is in your life that
needs doing...just do it, and now!

"Twenty years from now you will be
more disappointed by the things that
you didn't do than by the ones you
did do. So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover."

--Mark Twain


Sunday, May 09, 2004


Mistaken Identity
By Don Iannone

Every thought we have...
............filters out reality,
If you remain glued......... your ideas,
even your poetry,.......... will surely miss
.....................what's real,
Instead of just living,......
we try to build a life........
..............out of our ideas,
You are not who.............. think you are,
You are not who.............
...............I think you are,
...I am not who...............
I think I am,.................
I am not who................. think I am,
You are and I am,...........
and that is simply enough...


On Poetry's Form and Meaning

As a new poet, I am still trying to find the
best form to communicate what I want to
say through my poetry. I find Poet Ron
thinking on this issue to be quite

Silliman says that meanings in poetry are
found in the connections between words
and between sentences. The simplicity of his
writings' forms makes those connections
more visible and helps him to position his
work so that the issues raised by each
sentence are overshadowed by formal
considerations. He takes this posture in
order to illuminate the particulars of
content and the reader determines the
nature and meaning of their relations.
This happens on the large and small scales.

Form is nothing more than a confrontation with content

Content is nothing more than a confrontation with form


Heart Whispers
By Don Iannone

Doubt not when your heart speaks
in a near silent whisper to your soul,
Listen with all your heart,
for this is a sign
that you are indeed alive,
Linger among the lotus blossoms
gathering at your feet,
Loosen your collar, your chains,
all that binds you,
Flow into the whisper,
for there you are truly free.


by Don Iannone

The eagle soars gracefully toward the sun,
knowing the precise moment when the wind is right,
I lose sight of myself just long enough to glimpse reality


Sunday Thought: The Art of Being

"The most visible creators are those artists
whose medium is life itself.
The ones who express the inexpressible -
without brush, hammer, clay, or guitar.
They neither paint nor sculpt.
Their medium is simply being.
Whatever their presence touches has increased life.
They see, but don't have to draw...
Because they are the artists of being alive."

Source: J. Stone (at Inspiration Peak)


Saturday, May 08, 2004


Saturday Thought: Think of the Future

A man has made at least a start on
discovering the meaning of human life
when he plants shade trees under
which he knows full well he will
never sit.

--D. Elton Trueblood


The Attic
By Don Iannone

I love attics.
Things slowly grow old in them,
gather dust, and
magically exist far beyond
their expected useful life.
Attics are special places
where you save stuff,
things reminding you of
people you love,
places you've been,
and things you did.
Family secrets hide in attics,
secrets kids don't learn about
until they are brave enough
to enter the attic’s darkness,
and entertain possibilities
they didn't even know existed.
Attics reflect how you lived and died,
what you want to remember someday,
what you want others to know
about you long after you're gone.
Attics are also where you put
things without another place to be.
Attics speak volumes about what
you can't let go of in your life,
including karmic things
you didn't even know about.
While dark and creepy,
usually there's comfort and warmth
hiding in a corner of your attic,
comfort brought by connecting
with parts of yourself
that were hiding from you.
Visits to the attic usually change us,
so don't go there unless you want to change.


Friday, May 07, 2004


Thoughts on War
By Don Iannone

A latent potentiality
living in all of us
to kill what lives
because we hope
death will bring relief
from our pain and suffering.
The dark path our fear follows
when it burns out of control,
causing hatred and self-righteousness
to waltz to the magical Hell dance
until wrath pronounces a winner.
Primal nightmares, disguised as honorable
legends discharged from one dying
generation to the next.
Ever present karmic fault lines in our soul,
spewing horrific ugliness
on all in its path.
Our slumbering fear of nonexistence,
which we think is escapable
through battle, blood, and pain.
Surrender the war within yourself each day
to the silent peace of dawn,
as She re-awakens our sleeping loving spirits.


Daniel R. Thompson:
One Whose Words Spoke Volumes

Daniel R. Thompson, a Cleveland poet, who
promoted poetry as a performing art, died
yesterday. Thompson was well known in area
poetry circles for his lyrical and compassionate
way of being. May his words live on!

From his: The Night Season

And you
Coming from the dark
Standing by the window
In your room
Are part
Of a string of hearts
Wishing a shower
Of shooting stars
Would bloom
Like thousands
Of flowers
For peace.


Friday Thought: Don't Be Afraid to Revise

Because poetry is so personal, we resist
revising our words at times. Sometimes
we get it right the first time, but mostly
it takes at least 2 or 3 revisions to turn
out a poem so that it does what you
want it to do.

The same applies to our lives at a
micro and macro level. We fret making
changes in ourselves because it is so
"personal." We shouldn't fear making
revisions--that is what "creating a life"
is all about.

You are the architect designing your
own life, which you will live in. Don't be
afraid to revise that floor plan, upgrade
the materials used in the supporting
beams, and making any other changes
that make your life, like a poem, more
lyrical, expressive, inspiring, and otherwise


Thursday, May 06, 2004


Live Passionately
By Don Iannone

Live passionately today,
Your passion begs to be worn,
like a bright starburst yellow dress celebrating summer,
Why wait?
Live it while you still can.


Everywhere Love
By Don Iannone

Love surrounds us everywhere,
Look for it, feel it's ambiance,
Love is not in short supply,
only the attention we give it.


By Rabindranath Tagore

And Joy is Everywhere;
It is in the Earth's green covering of grass;
In the blue serenity of the Sky;
In the reckless exuberance of Spring;
In the severe abstinence of gray Winter;
In the Living flesh that animates our bodily frame;
In the perfect poise of the Human figure, noble and upright;
In Living;
In the exercise of all our powers;
In the acquisition of Knowledge;
in fighting evils...
Joy is there Everywhere.


Thursday Thought: Happiness

If you want others to be happy,
practice compassion. If you want to
be happy, practice compassion.

--The Dalai Lama


Wednesday, May 05, 2004


By Don Iannone

Pink buds of spring
opening to an early morning rain shower,
Our tears flow from deep springs
welling up inside us


Meditational Grounding
By Don Iannone

Ground yourself
in your own simplicity,
Uncover reality
surfing between your thoughts


By Don Iannone

Now we are,
here always,
in the here and now


Wednesday Thought: Worry Nevers Helps

I stumbled upon this wonderful little poem
about future worry and I thought I would share
it with all of you.

"How simple it is to see
that all the worry in the world
cannot control the future.
How simple it is to see
that we can only be happy now.
And that there will never be a time
when it is not now.”

--Gerald Jampolsky, MD

Yes indeed, it is always now, which is the only place
in the world where we can find traction for our lives.


Tuesday, May 04, 2004


Missing Things
By Don Iannone

Some times I think too much,
When I do, I miss the pastel sunset
skating slowly across the evening sky,
the lingering scent of lilac in the backyard,
the cavernous furrows in old people's faces,
the gleeful crunch of fall leaves under foot,
even the wind's whispering voice
greeting the new day.


By Don Iannone

Mired in the sticky mirror of time,
we watch our lives fleet by,
Release yourself


On Death
By Mary Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there, I did not die.


Tuesday Thought: I Am

Here is a powerful thought to consider
in your spare time this Tuesday:

"The words 'I am...' are potent words;
be careful what you hitch them to. The
thing you’re claiming has a way of reaching
back and claiming you.”

--A. L. Kitselman


Monday, May 03, 2004


Raindrops on Flowers
By Don Iannone

Glistening silver raindrops cling
to pastel rose angels nestled
in patches along old County Road,
I'm happy the road is still unpaved,
Its originality gives me hope
my childhood still lives within me,
Wildflowers can be so carefree,
Even adolescently reckless
how they comb their hair,
Oh to be a wildflower!
We came here often as young boys,
Just curious boys in Martins Ferry,
Walking along dirt roads,
flirting with truth and beauty,
Seeing the world with fresh eyes,
untarnished by skepticism,
Receiving eyes, like those that
notice fresh raindrops on wildflowers.


Be about what's really important...

Love the earth and sun and animals,
Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
Stand up for the stupid and crazy,
Devote your income and labor to others...
And your very flesh shall be a great poem.

--Walt Whitman


Monday Thought: On Change

"You must be the change that
you wish to see in the world."

--Mahatma Gandhi


Sunday, May 02, 2004


Sunday Thought: Evolution

I don't recall who said this, but it
sure feels right to me this morning:

"Without order nothing can exist,
without chaos nothing can evolve."



The Dead Bird
By Don Iannone

I watched it die,
Didn't close its eyes or nothing,
Just fell over on its side
and that was all,
I poked the tiny limp sparrow
with a stick, not to hurt it,
but I had to be sure,
Sure it was really dead,
You shouldn't bury things alive,
That's what Mom said.


By Don Iannone

Hollow threats of sunshine
hover above the emotional rain
clouds engulfing your soul


Rainy Sunday Morning
By Don Iannone

Thick four-ply raindrops beat
relentlessly on the rooftop,
making you feel your own
exaggerated inner darkness,
The rhythmic beating smothers
your spirit in oozing gray molasses,
Your heart fire smolders in
its own cloudy emotional wetness,
You feel overweight inside,
unable to loosen your heavy feet
from your soul's muddy river bottom,
Even the drenched robin,
slurping plump worms in the grass,
struggles to find happiness
on this rainy Sunday morning.


Saturday, May 01, 2004


Boys Working at Their Play
By Don Iannone

Ordinary little boys,
with dirty hands and faces,
playing kickball in the backyard,
The chubby dark-haired one is shy,
He waits too long and misses his turn, again,
I feel his pain, because
I know it will last a lifetime,
The muscular blonde-headed boy
takes his turn, and others
if they linger too long,
The whole world hinges
on whether you play well,
not whether you have fun,
The boys work at playing,
It hurts me to see them struggle,
like their tired frayed fathers,
with bitter illusion and emptiness,
Eventually their over-worked hearts
will stop beating before their time,
If only it were fun,
Maybe they all would live longer.


Evening Visit With Kalanchoes
By Don Iannone

The last sunlight of the day
fell with embrace upon Mom's granite pillow,
The yellow-green spring grass
created a luminescent stage
for the pink and yellow kalanchoes
we silently placed on her grave,
It had been a long time,
I forgot where she was,
Suddenly I remembered--in my heart.


Metaphysics of an Old Shoe
By Don Iannone

I thought I knew,
but I didn't,
I wanted to know,
but I couldn't,
I tried to know, but
in a way I shouldn't,
Walking along one day,
I came upon an old shoe in the road
that helped me see--why I wasn't
seeing things differently than I do,
Same road, different shoes,
Different eyes, walking through
life at different times,
Seeing what I saw and I didn't,
Knowing what I know and couldn't,
Walk a mile in another man's shoes,
Now I see what before I couldn't.


Saturday Thought: Walk a Mile in My Shoes

Often we think we know what life is like for
others, but we really don't--at least, not
until we walk a mile in their shoes. This is
what empathy and compassion are all about.

Understanding others in the way they
understand themselves is an important step
in our spiritual progress. It requires us to set
aside our usual way of looking at the world
and adopt a new set of eyes, reflecting how
others see the world. It requires practice--daily

Empathy and compassion are gifts and skills of
the heart. They are not textbook lessons to be
learned and acquired. They require us to look
at ourselves on the deepest level and see how
we see--ourselves and others. Many of the
spiritual masters refer to empathy and compassion
as a "new way of seeing."

May we look at the world this wonderful
Saturday morning with an open and compassionate
heart and mind.

Friends' Blogs