Wednesday, June 30, 2004

By Don Iannone

The more we know,
the less we need to say,
The less we know,
the more we need to listen,
The more we listen,
the more we come to know,
The less we say,
the more time we have to learn.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

The good fisherman knows which bait attracts which fish,
Using myself as bait, I catch other people like me,
In life, we tend to attract people like ourselves
Wednesday Thought: Maturity

"Maturity begins to grow when you can sense
your concern for others outweighing your
concern for yourself." --John Macnaughton

This is so true. Maturity, in this sense,
closely resembles many others' definition
of compassion.

Exercise your maturity today by putting
someone else's needs above yours. It is
amazing what we learn from this action
every time we do it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

The water and land dance to the alchemist's song
at the mysterious water's edge,
the sky watches on as they become one
Tuesday Thought: Mystery Drives Us

There is a lot of talk about the importance
of creativity in our personal and career
lives. I agree it is very important. All of
us can stand to be more creative in our lives.
In part, that's why I write poetry.

Underlying our creative drive is something
deeper--our quest to explore, understand, and
solve mystery in our lives. This quote calls
our attention to this reality:

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is
the mysterious. It is the source of all true
art and all science. He to whom this emotion
is a stranger, who can no longer pause to
wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as
dead: his eyes are closed."
--Albert Einstein
Disappearing Footprints in the Sand
By Don Iannone

They don't last...
our footprints in the sand,
Even the most elegant impressions...
succumb to the unrelenting waves,
We shouldn't worry...
that we leave nothing behind,
We need no proof...
that we were here,
The only lasting impressions in life
are those left in the heart.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Lessons from a Riverstone
By Don Iannone

Searching the world over
for truth, beauty, love,
and all else that fills the skies
with expectation each night,
Relentlessly seeking,
in every shadow cast by the sun,
for clues, lost pieces, life fragments,
In a simple round riverstone,
i glimpse what i've become,
what my journey has finally made me,
Tumbled, smooth, no longer seeking
or offering resistance to the flow,
Frictionlessly, my heart greets the day.
Flirting With New Ideas
By Don Iannone

From across the crowded room,
her dark alluring eyes beckon me to come,
dance, forget myself, leave everything behind,
Side to side, her spell-bounding beauty
weaves and dances, like a dangerous cobra,
How can one new idea, so fresh, so lovely,
so filled with revolution,
carry so much unforeseen danger?
Like quantum physics,
she will change everything,
There is no turning back,
once you bite the apple of truth.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

Looking inward,
searching for the answer,
suddenly discovering the right question
Monday Thought: Finding Joy

Most of us go through life in search of joy.
Where should you look to find it? This poem
guides us on this important question:

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.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

By Don Iannone

Life's mysterious hand works through families,
leading them in many unforeseen directions,
At times, carrying them off course into perilous waters,
Other times, granting them joyous journeys between harbors,
It's more than the name you share with your family,
There is a unique chemistry, running deep inside
all it touches, superseding whatever occupies
the family in any given moment,
Reaching across generations, the chemistry
touches the youngest, oldest, and all in between,
You can see it in their faces, hear it in their voices,
and feel it in their spirits,
Sadness and joy flow from the same chemistry,
One cannot exist without the other,
It makes us
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

Family, like the weather, changes often,
there are storms, droughts, blizzards, and more,
Everybody appreciates most the gentle warm sunny days
Sunday Thought: Family

Mary and I just returned from an 80th
Birthday Party for my Aunt Mildred, who
lives in Columbus, Ohio. The visit reminded
me of the supreme importance of family and
being connected to your family.

The visit also brought to mind that both
joy and sorrow are co-existing realities
for my family and all others.

Here are a few good quotes about family,
which mean a lot to me, and maybe they
will be valuable to you:

"A man travels the world over in search
of what he needs, and returns home to find
it." --George Moore

"Nothing is so soothing to our self-esteem
as to find our bad traits in our forebears.
It seems to absolve us." --Van Wyck Brooks

"Nobody's family can hang out the sign,
Nothing the matter here." --Chinese proverb

Saturday, June 26, 2004

We Gather in Your Honor
By Don Iannone

You were always there,
like the sun behind the billowy summer clouds,
filling us with hope when we doubted ourselves,
Like the stars in the night sky,
you quietly guided us when we needed special signposts,
Your tickled laughter filled the room,
rippling, like a bubbling brook, through all us,
Your tears reminded us to listen with our hearts
to our own hearts and those of others,
You made us feel wanted, even at times
when we doubted whether we wanted ourselves,
Your quiet smile warmed us, like the oven
giving birth to Grandma's fresh bread and rolls,
Your eyes told wonderful stories
that our hearts heard without even a single word,
You loved surprising children,
awakening the tiny slumbering dreams inside them,
You taught us the importance of hard work and sacrifice,
even when we wanted only to play,
Those special one on one conversations taught us
to listen, share, imagine, feel, and dream,
In the end, you always said there is tomorrow,
We believed you,
and that is why we gather in your honor today,
To say thanks Aunt Mil for what you gave us all.

June 26, 2004
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

The birds sing with cheer-filled voices
from the trees this cool clear summer morning,
In the background, hope perches itself,
awaiting the right moment to shine.
Saturday Thought: Those We Need

This poem says volumes about the
people we need in our lives.

By Margie DeMerell

There will be storms, child
There will be storms
And with each tempest
You will seem to stand alone
Against cruel winds

But with time, the rage and fury
Shall subside
And when the sky clears
You will find yourself
Clinging to someone
You would have never known
But for storms.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Let Yourself Be
By Don Iannone

It isn't fair,
Don't we care?
Don't we know?
Go with the flow.

Easier than we think,
Faster than you can blink,
Just let go,
Go with the flow.

Why hold on?
Today's a new dawn,
Don't you see?
Just let yourself be.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

Truth emerges in life like a beautiful flower
along a congested, noisy, littered highway
Acknowledge truth's beauty wherever you see it
Friday Thought: Attitude

I am reminded of the extreme
importance of attitude in our
everyday life.

Many things shape our ability
to succeed at work, find happiness
in our family and personal life,
and simply feel good about who
we are.

Attitude is the tie breaker in
most cases when I look at happy
and successful people, and those
who allow suffering to lead their
lives. I see it in my work everyday.

Here is a wonderful quote in this

"The people with whom you work
reflect your own attitude. If you
are suspicious, unfriendly and
condescending, you will find these
unlovely traits echoed all about you.
But if you are on your best behavior,
you will bring out the best in the
persons with whom you are going to
spend most of your working hours."
--Beatrice Vincent

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Boys by the Road
By Don Iannone

Young boys playing their hearts out
before the sun sets and the stars rise,
Boys filled with overwhelming eagerness for life,
Wild, out of control, intoxicated,
Lusting, after adventure,
Dreaming, about far away places,
Hoping, someday they will visit,
Boys pretending to be men pretending
to be supermen who need not pretend anymore,
Boys playing along side a dusty country road,
Hoping this road in life will lead them
to new roads they can discover before
they grow old and can no longer run for miles
in the hot afternoon summer sun.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

Traveling back country roads in Pennsylvania today,
a long lost piece of me re-surfaced,
A fresh plowed cornfield beckoned me to come hunt arrowheads
Thursday Thought: Love

Yes, love that very special person in
your life who listens, encourages,
understands, and helps you go where
you must and should in life. I
celebrate that special person in
my life today--my wife Mary. It is
our 14th anniversary today. Fourteen
wonderful, growing, and loving years.
Mary, happy anniversary.

I love you!


Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Losing the Moment in Time
By Don Iannone

Time fills me like a
mad rushing river,
The moment is lost...
in time,
and forever gone,
Carried away,
like driftwood,
Only to find itself...
again lost, in time.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

Not long ago, it was yesterday,
soon it will be tomorrow,
but wherever you are,
always it will be today
Wednesday Thought: Sing!

The birds are happy this cool June morning.
I can tell because of their songs. They
remind us to "Sing!" today. Music is very
powerful. It expresses who we are, what we
feel, and what we want out of life. Literally,
give voice to your day by singing out.

A couple quotes come to mind about music:

"Mozart is sweet sunshine." --Antonin Dvorak

"Music is well said to be the speech of angels;
in fact, nothing among the utterances allowed
to man is felt to be so divine. It brings us
near to the infinite." --Thomas Carlyle

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Mustering Hope
By Don Iannone

In your darkest hour,
search with all your power,

Don't give up the fight,
find the guiding light,

In your time of greatest need,
plant a tiny seed,

Believe there is a way,
somewhere a brighter day,

The answer lies within,
trust and believe till the end,

Don't listen to the mourner,
hope is just around the corner,

In yourself believe,
And the answer you will receive.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

Hope, like a lonely puppy,
awaits you next to the door,
Let it leap and greet you
Tuesday Thought: Coping With People

How do you cope with people, especially those
who you consider unpleasant, hard to deal with,
or those you consider to be your enemies? Here
is a great bit of advice to keep in mind the next
time you have to cope with people who are a
thorn in your side:

"I destroy my enemies when I make them my
friends." --Abraham Lincoln

Monday, June 21, 2004

What This Day Asks
By Don Iannone

Be kind, be true,
in all you do,
Be wise, be fair,
Forget not to care.

Give more, take less,
May God bless,
Bring hope, not fear,
To all who come near.

Be wise, not clever,
in all you endeavor,
Inspire, give hope,
Help others cope.

At last, courage show,
Let not temptation grow,
In all your tasks,
Give this day, just what it asks.
By Don Iannone

Never a better time than now,
to take a graceful bow,
Just a momentary pause,
giving thanks for all the applause.

Staging life one act at a time,
soon we hope to reach our prime,
No sooner finishing our lines,
the director gives us yet more signs.

Signs reminding us that,
there is a tit for every tat,
And until the stage ascends,
the acting never ends.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

I sat upon my rock in life,
contemplating deep thoughts about the world,
The rain fell, and I realized that I am all wet
Monday Thought: Vision and Insight

It's all about how you see things in life. The
greatest temptation for all of us is to always
see things the way we have always seen things. We
need new visions, insights, and new ways of seeing
if we are to truly see the richness of life.

I am reminded of this wonderful quote that speaks
to our need to understand how we see life:

"A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment
a single man contemplates it, bearing within him
the image of a cathedral." --Antoine De Saint-Exupery

As you start your work day this Monday, look past
the rock pile on your desk and see the cathedral.
It's there!

Sunday, June 20, 2004

A New Idea's Beauty
By Don Iannone

She eagerly crawled into my lap,
like a young child seeking fatherly comfort,
She spoke deeply to me,
like the awakening voice of the wind urging change,
She caused my heart to leap,
like the first time I saw a decorated Christmas tree,
She reminded me of the fresh green clover fields,
where our imaginations danced as young children,
She invited me to consider new far-reaching possibilities,
lingering on the hopeful edge of a smile,
She is a beautiful new idea taking shape inside me.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

Old trails are familiar,
so we walk them in comfort,
New trails challenge us,
so we blaze them
Sunday Thought: Taking Chances

It's ok. Yes, it is ok to take
risks in life. In fact, if you
don't, you are destined for a
life filled with dread, worry,
and stagnation.

I needed that--that is to remind
myself that I need to take some
chances in life. Sometimes we
freeze up and simply allow inertia
to over-run us. It happens to

Here is a wonderful little
reminder to all of us:

“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

Saturday, June 19, 2004

By Don Iannone

In the absence of control,
we must manage,
Change is the only constant,
we must manage,
Organization is only space
on an artistic canvas,
Everybody paints on the canvas,
not just managers,
Management is not a job or profession,
rather a human commitment to adapt,
That commitment is evolved moment by moment,
step by step, and most importantly,
person by person.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

Clouds fill the sky,
angry voices protest the sun,
I find sunshine in my heart
Saturday Thought: Doing Some Good

The expression "doing well by doing good" has
become a slogan of many companies worldwide.
This is a reality for many companies, and it
is a facade (bold face lie) for many others
who make this claim.

It's not for me to judge who is and
who is not telling the truth about doing
some good in the world, but I will offer the
following quote, which speaks nicely to this

"By cultivating the beautiful we
scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers,
as by doing good we cultivate those
that belong to humanity." --Vernon Howard

Friday, June 18, 2004

Life's Prime
By Don Iannone

Some ask: When is your prime in life?
To that question I reply: Right now,
Our lives are continuous moments,
Only tiny whispering breaths, and
the microscopic spaces in between,
Historians and futurists alike fail us
with their prognostications and reflections,
Seize the power of your seamless being,
But please do it now!
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

In all of time,
there has never been,
a more powerful time than this very moment
Friday Thought: Friends

Friends shape our lives in powerful ways.
Mary and I attended a graduation party last
night for the daughter of one of Mary's
long-time girlfriends. I was reminded, once
again, of the power of friendship. Here is
a great line from a song that says it all:

"Strangers are exciting, their mystery never
ends, but there's nothing like seeing your
history in the faces of your friends."
--Ani DiFranco

Give thanks for your friends today!

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

Flowing like a young innocent mountain stream,
my mind gives over control to my heart's urgings,
Suddenly there is no reason to think twice about anything
Guest Poem
Author Unknown

If I could, I'd comb the sky
and collect the stars,
quickly pile them into a basket
until it overflowed with silvery light.
And then I'd give the basket to you,
because all things precious
and beautiful
should be yours today.

Thursday Thought: Education

I enjoy teaching. I always have.
Teaching is fun because I learn
so much from teaching others.

So, what is education? Here is
a great quote about education:

"The goal of education is to
replace an empty mind with
an open mind." --Malcolm Forbes
Resolution Can Wait
By Don Iannone

By the time I've finished
most debates with myself,
the best of my energy
has been spent on resolving
what needs no resolution,
Simply acknowledge the differences
you see in yourself and others,
Accept them as separate planets,
bringing unique orbits and paths
in your life.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

i shall imagine life
e.e. cummings

i shall imagine life
is not worth dying,if
(and when)roses complain
their beauties are in vain

but though mankind persuades
itself that every weed's
a rose,roses(you feel
certain)will only smile

Journey Into The Interior
By Theodore Roethke

In the long journey out of the self,
There are many detours, washed-out interrupted raw places
Where the shale slides dangerously
And the back wheels hang almost over the edge
At the sudden veering, the moment of turning.
Better to hug close, wary of rubble and falling stones.
The arroyo cracking the road, the wind-bitten buttes, the canyons,
Creeks swollen in midsummer from the flash-flood roaring into the narrow valley.
Reeds beaten flat by wind and rain,
Grey from the long winter, burnt at the base in late summer.
-- Or the path narrowing,
Winding upward toward the stream with its sharp stones,
The upland of alder and birchtrees,
Through the swamp alive with quicksand,
The way blocked at last by a fallen fir-tree,
The thickets darkening,
The ravines ugly.
Leadership From Within
By Don Iannone

When my heart leads me,
i never fail,
When my spirit quickens my feet,
i never fall,
When i follow what is true inside,
i do not go astray,
When asked to lead others,
my heart and spirit show me the way.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

The young tree grows tall on the edge of the dense forest,
where the sunlight engoldens his branches and leaves,
Budding leaders need light to grow
Wednesday Thought: Leadership

There is a big difference between
a boss and a leader. We need more
leaders in the working world.
quote sizes up that difference:

"A boss creates fear, a leader
confidence. A boss fixes blame,
a leader corrects mistakes. A
boss knows all, a leader asks
questions. A boss makes work
drudgery, a leader makes it
interesting. A boss is interested
in himself or herself, a leader
is interested in the group."
--Russell H. Ewing

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Producing What Matters
By Don Iannone

Imagine a city,
filled with factories,
producing only love,

Picture the world,
connected by vast trade networks,
exchanging only joy,

See your job,
inspired by music, art, and nature,
bringing happiness to others,

Love, joy, happiness,
Could there be any more noble pursuits?
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

The candle's flame flickers in the still darkness of the night,
Hope re-appears within even the tiniest thread of light,
Hold on to the flicker
Tuesday Thought: Use the Voice You Were Given

I love this quotation. It reminds all of us
to just use the talents we were given in life.

"Use what talent you possess: the woods would
be very silent if no birds sang except those
that sang best." --Henry Van Dyke, American Educator

Monday, June 14, 2004

Destiny's Call
By Don Iannone

Steadfast in your self-belief,
let go of whatever you hold onto,
Follow the voice that calls,
Guard rails are for those refusing
the bountiful rewards of risk,
Allow faith to replace the fear
pounding in your heart,
Follow the voice that calls,
Race toward your life goal,
shining ever so brightly,
like the North Star above you,
Step past the weak branches,
grasp the tree's trunk, climb to the top
of the world where your dreams live,
Fly above the highest mountain you can imagine,
Your destiny is calling.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

The mountain honors the shooting star
for its gift of elegant surprise,
I am in awe at the beauty of the night sky
Monday Thought: Giving

Life is give and take.
Hopefully all of us give
more than we take. In that
way, we are assured there
will be plenty for all.

In thinking of giving, I am
reminded of this wonderful

"All you have shall some
day be given; Therefore give
now, that the season of giving
may be yours and not your
inheritors." --Kahlil Gibran
Fellow Traveler
By Ron Atchison

We will meet again my friend,
A hundred years from today
Far away from where we lived
And where we used to play.
We will know each others’ eyes
And wonder where we met
Your laugh will sound familiar
Your heart, I won’t forget.

We will meet, I'm sure of this,
But let’s not wait till then...
Let’s take a walk beneath the stars
And share this world again.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Sitting at the Table of Life
By Don Iannone

Fresh cut summer flowers,
beaming with blue sky happiness,
decorate the table of life,
Open hearts gathering
in an unexpected moment of truth,
Mystified by the suddenness of life,
we gratefully surround ourselves with belief,
Hands join across the table,
and reminding each other's presence,
to witness what the moment brings,
Nourishing one another in silent thanksgiving,
we sit as family, in simple elegance,
at the table that sustains all of us.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

The cynical mind is a natural extension
of a heart that does not trust,
My heart sees hope in the world
Sunday Thought: Cynicism

Ever wonder where the true believers are
in the world today? They are out there, but
it's often hard to find them for all the
cynics. I find the best way to find true
believers is to be one yourself. Likes
attract likes in this case.

I love this definition of a "cynic:"

"A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers,
looks around for a coffin." --H.L. Mencken

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Naked Truth
By Don Iannone

Strip yourself of all that covers your inner truth,
Allow your nakedness to shine brightly,
like the sun bursting forth through the clouds,
Your body hides your heart, and your mind hides your spirit,
Unharness, unshackle, release whatever conceals
the sacred beauty glowing deep inside your being,
Commit to the bare necessities of reality,
You are not the fully clothed emperor,
parading through life in those preposterous robes,
Walk barefoot through the stream of life,
and allow its flow to carry and refresh you,
Forget about packaging yourself
with pretense, pride, and self-righteousness,
Pull off the blankets covering your head while you sleep,
so your dreams can breathe,
Walk the path of unvarnished truth,
The fresh air will blow away your stench.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

Work has ceased on the ark,
the rain has stopped,
Wallowing in the early morning sun
Saturday Thought: Happiness Versus Wisdom

This quote says it all:

"There is a difference between happiness
and wisdom: He that thinks himself the
happiest man really is so; but he that
thinks himself the wisest is generally
the greatest fool." --Charles Caleb Colton

Friday, June 11, 2004

By Don Iannone

You are a lovely flower,
A sweet blossom, overflowing with nectar,
You breathe life into everything you touch,
Gentle spirits seek your company,
You tame the angry sea, and heal broken hearts,
Your garden is a place for lingering,
You are peace.
Summer Rising
By Don Iannone

Buds of spring give birth to full grown flowers,
Young birds exchange their awkwardness for impatience,
Butterflies take their time in the garden,
The sun's intensity grows with my anticipation,
Summer is rising.

Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

The rain drums upon the roof,
My heart beats to another drummer
Friday Thought: Beauty

Helen Keller reminds us of the role the
heart plays in "feeling" beauty:

"The best and most beautiful things in
the world cannot be seen or even touched.
They must be felt with the heart."

So beautifully said.

We must train our hearts to feel the
beauty all around us, including the
beauty found in those people we know,
and in ourselves.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Hibiscus on the Lake
By Chavali Bangaramma
(Translated by Velcheru Narayana Rao)

The plant saw the beauty of water,
the flowering plant with bright red flowers.
She told me all about water.

Bending over the water to put on her bottu,
she saw the beauty of water.

I watched the loveliness,
until I fainted.
Snakes like trees ran through the lake.

The plant saw the beauty of water,
the flowering plant with bright red flowers.

The sky saw it all.
It trembled in fear
and fell down on the banks.
Even the sun was scared to look
from the top of the tree.

The plant saw the beauty of water,
the flowering plant with bright red flowers.
She spread out her hair.
Her bottu fell off.
The banks shed tears
and the shore was shaken.

The plant with bright red flowers,
bending, still bending
told me of the beauty of water.

The hibiscus talked to me.
By Don Iannone

Opaque spirits wander,
It seems forever,
Awaiting the time to clear of their clinging,
Only then, the light shines through them,
and their wandering can come to a peaceful end.
Haiku Moment
by Don Iannone

The heart beckons us to work, on a deeper level,
through our spirit to touch other spirits
Suddenly my professional life seems less important
Thursday Thought: Education

Education is a life-long process, as most of
us know today. As someone once said, the day
we stop learning is the day we die. The learning
curve for all of us has been accelerated by
technology in our professional lives. But what
of our spiritual learning curve? There, I believe, it
is relationship-based: 1) the quality of our
relationships with others; and 2) the quality
of our relationship with ourselves. The second
relationship is extraordinarily important to our
ability to know who we are and what is our purpose.

I ran across this wonderful quote about education:

"Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting"
a fire." --William Yeats

Light a fire under your self-understanding today.
It will pay dividends beyond what you can ever
imagine. I promise you that.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Trusting the Owl Within
By Don Iannone

A distant owl cries in the darkness,
His voice breaks the night's heavy silence,
Upon his shrill voice rides new visions,
and a belief in new possibilities
that we don't yet see,
Believe in them,
Trust the wisdom of the owl,
It also lies within you.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

The night brings what the day snatches away with the break of dawn,
There is hope within the light, and light within hope,
I awaken to the light
Wednesday Thought: Hope

Hope keeps us going. It reflects the degree
of our self-trust, our trust in others,
and our faith in the Power that Knows above us.

Here is what Emily Dickinson has to say about

"Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches
in the soul - and sings the tune without words,
and never stops - at all." --Emily Dickinson

Have a hopeful day!

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Poetry and Strategic Thinking
By the Boston Consulting Group

Our language capability has a significant effect on how we express ourselves and on the way we think. Much richness in ideas can be lost if the person expressing the ideas does not have a superior command of language, and as much more can be lost when the recipient is ill prepared. Not sensing the proper tone, not recognizing an allusion, misunderstanding a metaphor, or taking understatement literally can all lead to a communications breakdown. Reading poetry can help you think strategically because: (1) like other literature, poetry can teach by analogy, and (2) poetry can teach language skills because it is the most condensed form of language and the richest in means of expression.

Sensitivity to language, however, is not the most important leadership skill that can be enhanced by studying poetry. Leaders too often develop their abilities in quantitative, linear thinking at the expense of emotional, contextual, and cultural response. (3) Effective reading of poetry requires a blending of intellectual, emotional, and sensory reactions. It blends visual image and language. It understands the literal while allowing full play to the ambiguous. Admittedly, most poetry students never become proficient in this integration, and we don't claim that if you read poetry you will automatically develop the skill. It requires that one enjoy the experience of poetry and want to become an astute reader. But the skill can be learned and, once acquired, should be transferable, for example, to responding to complex, strategic situations.

To itemize one strategic benefit, poetry develops nonlinear thinking by improving our ability to:

-recognize layered perception
-detect different modes of meaning
-expand the breadth and depth of associations we perceive
-improve a wholeness of response
-deal with ambiguity, uncertainty, unresolved conflict
-defamiliarize ourselves from the immediate situation
-defer judgment
-detect weak signals
Birth of a Dream
By Don Iannone

Dreams born in the union of mother and father,
forever the child is a part of their imagination,
Loving whispers moving through time,
the child personifies his own dream as life,
Birth and death are the same thing,
simply gates we pass through on our way
to new fragile beginnings and endings,
With birth, our expectation of life begins,
and with death, that expectation gives way to new beginnings.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

The greatest temptation in life
is to escape into our own ideas about reality,
Even poetry is an escape
Tuesday Thought: Remember to Forget

Strange thing to say, but forget about
yesterday. Today is all any of us really
has. Hundreds of books talk about the
"power of now." I agree with the principle,
although it is tough at times to release
what went on before.

Most of us tend to cling to yesterday
because psychologically and spiritually
we have unresolved feelings and thoughts
that linger in our consciousness. Seems
natural enough. The problems arise when
we cannot, for any number of reasons,
release our conflictive feelings and
thoughts. Letting go is not as easy as
it sounds.

I love this statement made many years
ago by Will Rogers:

"Never let yesterday use up too much
of today." --Will Rogers

Monday, June 07, 2004

Slow Beginnings
By Don Iannone

Daybreak's red fire slowly spreads across the horizon,
Sunrise oranges and pinks paint
the lazy drifting clouds with playful laughter,
The birds' morning voices ring out with great passion,
awakening the tall slumbering oaks in the forest,
Life's miraculous beginnings are everywhere,
I sense my own new start,
whispering its way throughout my being,
Why rush the new day's fragile spirit
with too much expectation and clinging,
Paint slowly today's canvas and make it last.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

The cat lurks in the thicket just beyond the feeders,
holding a single thought in his mind,
The Passing of a President

Ronald Reagan was indeed an
interesting and accomplished
human being.

Depending upon your politics,
he either was or was not a
great president.

Over our nation's history, we
have had a number of leaders
who were both great and not so
great communicators. Ronald
Reagan was one of the best.

Here are a couple quotes from
the former President that I will
always remember:

"A hippie is someone who looks
like Tarzan, walks like Jane and
smells like Cheetah."

"Government's view of the economy
could be summed up in a few short
phrases: If it moves, tax it. If
it keeps moving, regulate it. And
if it stops moving, subsidise it."

"Information is the oxygen of the
modern age."
Monday Thought: Art

Does art imitate life or does
life imitate art? Yes, both I
think are true. And is poetry
an art form? I believe poetry can
be considered both a literary
art and a performing art. And is
Nature and all Her bounty a form
of art? By all means! The most
exquisite form of art--living art.

I ran across this wonderful quote
that seems to fit my little
morning art quizz:

"Space is the breath of art."
--Frank Lloyd Wright

How beautiful!

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Prisoners of Thought
By Don Iannone

Our minds are prisons,
Chained to our thoughts,
we are all prisoners
to what we think,
Each idea we hold onto,
no matter how elegant,
is a missed chance
to experience reality,
Imprisoned minds collude
in their desire to control
what really doesn't exist,
Entire worlds are built
upon impermanent ideas seeking
physical and psychic form,
So we create words and numbers,
hoping they help us exist,
All thoughts are dreams,
reflecting what we wish for,
but doesn't exist,
Tonight there is no escape,
I continue dreaming,
Even in my sleep I think,
We are never free so long
as we are thinking-beings,
instead of simply being,
Taking useless pride in our thoughts,
we think we can think
our way into existence,
The truly educated mind
perceives without thinking,
It forgets what others long to remember,
The educated mind doesn't allow thoughts
to stand in the way of reality,
No matter how hard it tries,
this poem misses reality,
It is only a poetic illusion
trying to take form as reality.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

The young man looked with old eyes,
the old man looked with young eyes,
the two men suddenly saw the same world
Sunday Thought: Risk Following Your Heart

The older I get, the more I realize the
importance of following my heart. And
yes, I often ask my head for input on
whether my heart has laid out the right
coordinates for me. Usually my heart is
right. The key is to know your heart, and
like most things, that takes some practice.

Your heart will keep you young. It keeps
you in touch with what's most important to
your life. It also prompts us to grow and
do new things that add value to our person.

This quote has always felt right to me:

"Twenty years from now you will be more
disappointed by the things 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

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Moroccan Exaltation
By Don Iannone

I exalt the sheer magical beauty
of this mysterious distant place,
wedged miraculously between
water, sky, sand, and rock,
New stars are born each night
in the pitch black Moroccan sky,
A strange, but indiscernibly rich
tapestry of sun-bleached colors stream
from under the soaring wings
of the petite Black-winged Kite, swooping
for her prey on the white hot desert floor,
Sky blue eyes open to ancient pastel possibilities,
born amidst the cosmic tensions arising
from head-on collisions of old and new,
light and dark, and all that lies between,
Only to die under the weight of mountains
of pungent camel dung, reminding us
the old still prevails in this world.

I rise from under the ruins
Climb my pride
And reach to the surface . . .
The zenith of pain
From memory I build up a fortress
. . . and from monotony.
I wrap myself in expectations from above
Before I resume . . .
My falling.

© 2004, Fatiha Morchid
Translation: Norddine Zouitni
Haiku Moment
by Don Iannone

As the roads narrow in your life,
it is time to slow down,
and pay attention to how you drive
Saturday Thought: Friendship and Poetry

This little quote brings to mind the role our
friends play in sparking poetry in our lives:

"I don't really feel my poems are mine at all.
I didn't create them out of nothing; I owe
them to my relations with other people."
--Robert Graves

Four people have been major catalysts for
my poetry. First, my dear wife Mary, whose
garden and daily love spur my poetry. Second,
my Dad, who has written poetry for the past
50 years, gave me the poetry gene to begin with.
Third, my two lifelong friends: Derk Janssen
in Prescott, AZ, and Dan Shimp in Santa Fe, NM,
have been major sources of inspiration and
courage for me to write poetry.

Robert Graves is so right that we owe our
poetry to others. Thank you friends!

Friday, June 04, 2004

A Squirrel's Self-Confidence
By Don Iannone

Thinking only of more food for himself,
venturing too far on a razor thin branch,
the greedy squirrel slips and tumbles to the ground,
With only his goal in mind,
unswayed by his last fall,
the food-obsessed squirrel starts over,
This time he makes it.
Clinging to the madly rocking birdfeeder,
My bushy tailed friend happily chuckles,
The squirrel is my teacher this morning.
I should not worry so much
about slipping on the ice of self-doubt in my life.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

Sipping coffee,
early morning comes and goes,
work puzzles appear in my too busy mind,
stop looking for the missing pieces
and simply see what is already there
Zen Poetry

In this world of dreams,
drifting off still more;
and once again speaking
and dreaming of dreams.
Just let it be.

Ryokan (1757-1831)
Friday Thought: Happiness

I like this quote a lot:

"Thousands of candles can be lighted
from a single candle, and the life
of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being
shared." --Buddha

Simple message today: share your
happiness with others and invite
them to share theirs with you.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Imagined Distances
By Don Iannone

If only we knew that all the lines
separating us in life are dotted,
and that the only real distance
between any of us is an imagined gap,
Maybe then we would not feel so alone,
confused, afraid, and disconnected from
the living essence uniting us as One.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

Fear and anger live in the same neighborhood in your heart,
Anger follows fear into the streets, disrupting your peace,
Only love can get them both to go back inside
Thursday Thought: Thoughts of Love

I like this one very much:

"If instead of a gem, or even a flower,
we should cast the gift of a loving
thought into the heart of a friend, that
would be giving as the angels give."

--George MacDonald
Scottish Author and Poet

This reminds me of a visualization practice
I use where I take people into my heart,
including those people I hold a negative
attitude about. Our feelings about others
change dramatically when they are in our
heart--our most sacred place. It's a very
powerful way to dissolve the anger, fear,
resentment, jealousy, and other negative
feelings and thoughts we have about others.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

In Flanders Fields
By John McCrae (1915)

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Andalusian Poppy Dreams
By Don Iannone

Whose seeds auspiciously wait
for the right moment to grasp our heart
in a blazing reddish orange glow,
Like some Picasso dream,
they arrive in surging waves of color,
Their time is now to awaken, ever so violently,
against a lazy blue Andalusian sky,
that can keep their secret no longer,
Their time has come.
Happiness is a Flower
By Don Iannone

Happiness springs forth from each velvet petal
flittering in the golden morning sun,
The bumble bee, butterfly, and hummingbird
would not be quite so lovely were it not
for the stupendous stage offered them
by the irresistible flower,
Thank you buttercup for making my day.
Wednesday Thought: Moved By Flowers

My wife Mary loves her garden, and she
has made me quite a fan of flowers as
well. Mary's garden is exploding in
excitement at this very moment.

Flowers are not just pretty, they are
incredibly power in terms of their grace,
elegance, intricate design, and yes, their

Here are some wonderful quotes about flowers
that I uncovered:

"The dandelion's pallid tube Astonishes the
grass, And winter instantly becomes An infinite
alas." --Emily Dickinson

"Flowers are the sweetest things that God ever
made, and forgot to put a soul into."
--Henry Ward Beecher

"Each flower is a soul opening out to nature."
--Gerard de Nerval

"There is material enough in a single flower
for the ornament of a score of cathedrals.
--John Ruskin

Ok, the last one isn't about flowers, but it is
one of my favorites:

"I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely
as a tree." --Joyce Kilmer

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Karmic Spiders
By Don Iannone

Endless spiraling webs of intricate relationships,
intransitive thoughts, amorphous feelings, and intractable actions,
Spun daily by the world's 6.4 billion karmic spiders,
All giving shape to future todays arriving on tomorrow's doorstep,
All setting the stage for who and what we are about to become.
Haiku Moment
By Don Iannone

Looking for something beautiful to write about,
Suddenly seeing a laser beam of white sunlight cut with grace
through the still trees, awakening the slumbering forest floor,
An effortless poem happened before my very eyes
Tuesday Thought: Ideals

I think it is important to have
visions and ideals in life. It's
probably not a very good idea to
be too idealistic in how we live,
but we should have ideals. As a
young boy, I remember having great
dreams of what I would like to
become in life.

Growing up poor in a small
Southeastern Ohio town on the
fringe of Appalachia, my ideals
and dreams motivated me to work
hard, expect more of myself, and
strive to make the most of my life.
I'm glad that I did.

This quote sums up how I have come
to see ideals in my own life:

"Ideals are like stars; you will
not succeed in touching them with
your hands, but like the seafaring
man on the desert of waters, you
choose them as your guides, and
following them, you reach your
destiny." --Carl Schurz
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