Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Wish on the Eve of the New Year
By Don Iannone

This year has just about passed, and
the new year stands wait at our front door.
Pausing to reflect upon the world,
and all it is to all we are,
the notion that we are one seamless being
pushes our imaginations beyond
their normal comfort zones, and to a place
where all things are just one thing,
and that one thing is all we are.
Should a candle of hope ignite inside me,
giving birth to a wish, it would be
that we find meaning in our unbounded connectedness,
transcending the galaxy of excuses we allow
to separate ourselves from all else.
May I light this candle, and
may we all be enjoined by this wish.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

As the Year Draws to a Close
By Don Iannone

Nearing the end...of the year.
Time to recount our blessings,
and look ahead in thanksgiving.
Time to see every end as a new beginning,
and every new beginning as an opportunity--
to renew and remember who we are.
Much to be thankful for in 2006;
not the least of which is abundant love
from family, friends and others
playing important roles in who we are.
Good health, happiness and above all...
union with Spirit, enlivening everything we are.
Many opportunities to grow...
through new learning and experience.
Welcomed prosperity through work
shaping our souls and moving us forward.
And creative moments in poetry, relationships,
and work solutions for those we exist to serve.
Looking ahead, and being the moment,
and all it holds for us throughout 2007.

Friday, December 29, 2006

New Weather Patterns
By Don Iannone

Five-day forecast...
temps in the upper 40's and sunny.
This is late December, and
far from typical weather.
If you don't believe in global warming,
you might want to reconsider, because
the weather worldwide is changing, and
not exactly for the better.
As a youngster growing up in the 50s,
there was always plenty of cold and snow
during the Christmas season.
Now, we face March temperatures in December.
Not exactly what I'd order, but
exactly what we are getting
as I watch the Earth rain cleansing tears
in rememberance of winter's long-lost past.
Tears commemorating a part of us forever gone...
times fallen away like the snow-filled clouds
blanketing us in whiteness in earlier years.
Tears washing us away in time...
leaving us down river from times we knew
so well growing up so many years ago.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Readying Ourselves for the New Year
By Don Iannone

We create our own dragons in life, and
even the brave white knights that slay them.
Both are parts of the drama we imagine
as we move through life.
Walt Disney was partly right:
an imagination is a terrible thing to waste, but
it's also true that an imagination let run wild
is an out of control freight train headed for town square.
Some say: seek balance.
There's more than being balanced in life--
that's a convenient, and even PC, thing to say,
when we fall short on genuine self-understanding.
Beyond balance, we must understand
what the stars have written for us
on the giant tablet of fate.
In this way, we can exercise real choice in life.
Unless we know this first,
there is no way to ascertain balance, or
anything else in life.
And so, as we ready for 2007,
let's bear in mind our dragons, white knights,
and the self-understanding we must gather
to put all into perspective in the coming year.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Flying with Your Landing Gear Down
By Don Iannone

Ten minutes into our flight home,
the pilot informed us that we were flying
with our landing gear down.
He didn't sound overly concerned,
so the passengers did not react in panic, but
you could feel the tension in the air
throughout the cabin of the 50-seat Embraer RJ145.

Fifteen minutes later,
the pilot came back on to inform us
that he and his first mate were successful
in getting the landing gear back up.
Relief filled the airplane cabin.
I know that I was not the only person on board wondering
whether the crew would be able
to get the landing gear back down
once we were ready to land in Cleveland.

Flying has always been a mystery to me,
even though I do it all the time.
But flying isn't even one percent the mystery of dying,
which plagues our imaginations
from nearly our first breath in life.
No one I know would pick a plane crash
as their preferred way to die, but then
is there really any preferred way to die?
Some people, it seems, find it easier to rest
in the thought of their own impermanence.
I believe for all it is a struggle accepting
that we cannot be forever as we are now.

At this very moment, I look into my own heart,
and there I find remarkable peace
with the knowledge of not knowing
what will become of this airplane
and our lives attached to it.
I'm a long ways from a complete acceptance
of my own impermanence, but
for this moment, there is peace, and
a belief that the landing gear will work
once we are ready to land at our destination.

There is something symbolic in the notion
that at times all of us fly with our landing gear down.
Could this be what happens to us
when we are afraid, and
fail to trust God to deliver us?
In this moment of unknowing,
there is a knowing that can only be experienced
within the unknowing moment.
It is the consciousness that we are here,
while we are here, and
there will be a time for each of us
when we will be no more.

This situation is a reminder to me that when I fly,
I should draw up my landing gear and fly, and
when it is time to land, it is time only then
to put down the landing gear, and
when the time comes...
that my landing gear fails me finally,
I shall release all that holds me,
and fly into the arms of the universe
that will cradle me until
I am ready to sprout my own wings.

PS: This poem was written during our flight from
Burlington, Vermont to Cleveland, Ohio on
December 26, 2006. My wife Mary and

Mother-in-Law Ginny were on the flight with me.

The landing gear worked as we landed in Cleveland.
We were greeted by a team of fire trucks and emergency
vehicles whose services were thankfully not needed.

I rejoice in offering this poem to all those who struggle
at times with their own landing gear in life.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Day After Christmas
By Don Iannone

'Tis the day after Christmas, and
the snow has now decided to fall in Vermont.
Now 'tis time to make our way home to Cleveland,
which is actually a very welcome thought.
Spirits rise and fall during holidays, and
this Christmas was no exception.
The trouble with holidays,
as far as I can tell, is
we expect too much, and
somehow just miss the beauty
managing to show up each day.
Vermont we shall consider a friend from hereforth.
And so, the road has once again carried us in the right direction.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Reflections on an Early Christmas Morning in Stowe, Vermont
By Don Iannone

Dreams filled my head throughout the night before Christmas.
Gifts to myself? Maybe, but
mostly just churning waves lapping at my soul.
Each trying to awaken me to myself,
and the unknown mystery inhabiting all of us.

We went to church last night in Stowe...
something we talk about, but don’t do very often.
I haven’t seen a church so filled in a long time.
There was joy in being with others, and
celebrating something larger, and
there was also sadness in watching families together
with bright-eyed children, filled with wonder.

The awakening eastern sky drapes herself over the mountains,
like a pastel orange and gray shawl.
An omen, perhaps, that snow is on the way.
The sun will soon be up, and
the lodge will be a bustle with folks young and old,
decked out in once-a-year reds and greens.

Last night's dreams have now faded, and
the more mundane has overtaken my ability
to hold a spiritual pose on this Christmas morning.
Fresh baked cookies dipped in ice cold milk would suit me just fine;
but that would be childish of me, but
after all it is Christmas, and
why continue to hold this self-indulgent spiritual pose.
Like I really know anything...
about the unknown mystery within us all.

A voice within says just put one foot in front of the other,
brush your teeth, and let your day happen…
like every day in life.
How can one argue with that?
After all, that is the mystery of life,
and that is precisely how all Christmases happen.
Merry Christmas

May the blessings of Christmas fill your heart, and may you live your dreams always.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Hoping Uncle Paul will Stop By On Christmas Eve
By Don Iannone

When I was a young boy,
our dear Uncle Paul would sometimes stop
at our house on Christmas Eve
after the candlelight service at the old Methodist Church.
We never knew for sure if or when he’d stop, but
it was a joyous time when he did.
For some unknown reason,
he’d always drive past our house and toot his horn,
whether he stopped or continued on home.
I guess that was just his way of announcing his presence,
and perhaps a way for our family to ready for his arrival.
Not only did we relish his presence, and
the adoring interest he showed us as kids, but
his visit was the perfect excuse to stay up much later
than we normally were allowed, and
eat an additional fist full of Mom’s special iced cookies.
Uncle Paul was our eccentric uncle,
which many families seem to have.
Who knows...maybe that’s even my role in the family today.
Every family should indeed have an eccentric uncle, or aunt,
who gives you permission to do what is uniquely you,
and nobody else in life.
As I think back,
there was a certain Santa-like quality about Uncle Paul—
one hard to put your finger on,
but you sensed an innate magic about him.
Maybe it was how his bright blue eyes even twinkled—
just like Jolly Saint Nick, when he laughed.
No, Uncle Paul wasn’t a street smart merchant marine,
or even a burly lumberjack,
who fell tall trees in the wilderness.
Instead, he sold women’s shoes at the popular Baker’s Shoe store
in downtown Wheeling, and he owned a remote Christmas tree farm,
where he often fiddled away his Sunday afternoons.
He told the funniest stories about women, and
how they’d try to convince him
that their shoe size was much smaller than
what his measurement showed.
As Uncle Paul used to say “the customer is always right,
even if they’re wrong.”
As I sit here watching the snow lightly fall upon
the trees and the mountainside here in Stowe,
I celebrate my Uncle Paul and his unpredictable,
but always wonderful visits on Christmas Eve.
For some reason,
I miss him on this particular Christmas Eve.
'Twas the Eve Before Christmas
By Don Iannone

Cold starry December night,
filled with birth-giving anticipation.
Overflowing with creative magic...
of the sort only a child can bring forth.
From deep in the soul's evergreen forest,
new life rustles into being,
rippling itself across the universe,
like the countless stars filling the sky.
In the distance a new voice is born;
its faint cry lingers,
like that of the wind
singing through the trees.
On this eve before Christmas,
as all turn young again,
magic resumes its place
in our hearts just one more time.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Prayin' for Snow in Stowe
By Don Iannone

Off to Stowe
Hoping for snow
Even a dusting
I'm still trusting
Christmas in Vermont
Comes to miracles, we're dilettantes
Fireplace cracklin'
People cacklin'
Sleigh bells ringin'
Glad hearts singin'
Off to Stowe
No better place to go
But Santa please, bring some snow.

Friday, December 22, 2006

My Christmas Wish For You
By Indianchild

My Christmas wish for you, my friend
Is not a simple one
For I wish you hope and joy and peace
Days filled with warmth and sun

I wish you love and friendship too
Throughout the coming year
Lots of laughter and happiness
To fill your world with cheer

May you count your blessings, one by one
And when totaled by the lot
May you find all you've been given
To be more than what you sought

May your journeys be short, your burdens light
May your spirit never grow old
May all your clouds have silver linings
And your rainbows pots of gold

I wish this all and so much more
May all your dreams come true
May you have a Merry Christmas friend
And a happy New Year, too ..
We wish you a merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It's December 21st and Where's the Snow?
By Don Iannone

Bone-chilling December rain fell lightly
upon depressed red-headed cardinals, pecking
through muddy seed beneath a dripping feeder.
I overheard one redbird urge her mate
to book a flight to Billings, where
surely the snow will fly on Christmas day.
The neighbor's Christmas decorations,
hung ever so carefully a couple Saturdays ago,
looked pathetically helpless
in bringing cheer to the season.
I met the mail lady at the box this morning,
greeting her with a contrived Merry Christmas.
Mustering a bah humbug smile,
she returned the greeting, but
quickly added that everyone should try singing
"I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas"
to bring on some winter whiteness.
Why do we long so for snow on Christmas?
My Buddhist friends would say it's our conditioning...
and I'm inclined to agree, yet
I guess I'm still dreaming of a white Christmas.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Country Bar Martini
By Don Iannone

Strange town, strange bar.
Long day, long face.
Filled room, no seats, I'm shot.
Vodka martini in hand, relief in sight.
Country music, not my style...
but this is rural Pennsylvania,
and I'm a city slicker from Cleveland.
Nasty smell, burned popcorn.
Fat man, cigar, saddle shoes.
Retake...saddle shoes, fat man?
No way...not in a country bar
out here in the sticks!
Nasty smell, not popcorn...who knows what.
Chug-a-lug, martini glass empty.
Cheeks warm, head numbs.
Even this dingy place begins to look better.
Bar maid with big teased red hair pushes
drinks across the bar to eager customers,
working on leaving reality.
The idea for this poem pops into my head.
That's it!
Time to blow this joint...
no cotillion likely here tonight.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Visit to Stan Hywet
By Don Iannone

Stan Hywet is the precisely built 65-room home,
where the tire baron Seiberling family lived in Akron
for more than 40 years, starting in 1912.
At the time, it was a country home,
four miles from the center city.
Now, it stands tall in a stately,
but wearing neighborhood on Akron's northside.
By design, Stan Hywet was a Tudor Revival creation,
and as architectural buffs know,
this is a carry back to 16th Century Elizabethan times.
Franklin A. Seiberling, founder of Goodyear Tire and Rubber in 1898,
and his wife Gertrude, had the house built with the fineries sufficient
to attract the likes of U.S. presidents and other celebrities
to dine and spend the night in the mansion.
Last Friday night we toured Stan Hywet
to soak in its lavish Christmas decorations,
and experience whatever mystery may await us.
We weren't disappointed on any level.
The Seiberlings were gone, but their spirits lingered,
peeking occasionally at us from the end of darkened hallways;
those the tour intentionally ignored.
Officially, Franklin and Gertrude's remains rest
in Glendale Cemetery in Akron,
but anyone setting foot in Stan Hywet knows...
that a part of both can still be felt
within the mansion's mighty walls.
While opulent in many eyes,
the spirit of Stan Hywet feels rich
in other more meaningful ways.
Stan Hywet challenges you
to find yourself in an earlier time--
one where empires were built
from mighty ideas that changed the world.
You can't help but want to build something in life
after experiencing Stan Hywet.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Dreams Reveal the Dark Side
By Don Iannone

More dreams...
informing me about my psyche,
and its journey toward self-understanding.
This time...
they tell me how my dark side continues
to assert itself in my life journey.
This time...
it is an old black car--
an Edsel I believe--
running into my shiny new red car.
No serious damage done--
just another temporary disruption
in the journey homeward.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Snow in the Suburbs
By Thomas Hardy

Every branch big with it,
Bent every twig with it;
Every fork like a white web-foot;
Every street and pavement mute:
Some flakes have lost their way, and grope back upward, when
Meeting those meandering down they turn and descend again.
The palings are glued together like a wall,
And there is no waft of wind with the fleecy fall.

A sparrow enters the tree,
Whereon immediately
A snow-lump thrice his own slight size
Descends on him and showers his head and eyes,
And overturns him,
And near inurns him,
And lights on a lower twig, when its brush
Starts off a volley of other lodging lumps with a rush.

The steps are a blanched slope,
Up which, with feeble hope,
A black cat comes, wide-eyed and thin;
And we take him in.
The Christmas Spirit
By Adams Burchell

Amongst the lights and tinsel
and the parcels wrapped with care,
Amongst the pies and puddings
and sweet aromas in the air,
Are hearts just spilling over
with love and generosity;
Is this not what Christmas is all
about - sharing our prosperity?
Volunteers, giving freely of their time,
show it in their eyes.
It's seen on the face of the less-fortunate,
receiving a Christmas surprise.
Carols sung as we light the tree
can make a senior smile;
Warm smiles and hugs can really help them
to walk that extra mile.
Amongst these joyous, loving deeds
is Christmas, pure and clear;
This is the part that could spill over,
amongst all the days of a year.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Sealing the Deal with a Kiss
By Don Iannone

Last night in my dreams,
I walked with a lovely young woman at my side
to Elm School...the grade school I attended
as a young boy in far-off Martins Ferry.
I was who I am today,
and she was a young alluring woman,
walking with me through my dream.

Given the choice,
I'm not sure I would have picked her
to co-star in my dream, but
there she was...
fetched up and sent my way
from my inner depths.
Given the choice,
I don't believe I would have
even drawn up this particular dream...
but there it was...
and there I was...
walking in the direction of a childhood dream
on the school yard of my old grade school.

It was bright daylight...
a sunny day, but
inside I knew it was really almost 2 AM...
much later than it seemed.
The young woman was familiar to me,
but I didn't really know her,
but I wanted her, and she wanted me.

She said she wanted to work for me...
like a student intern works for a professor.
Her studies were demanding,
but she was willing to work for me part-time...
up to twenty hours a week.
I think she knew she couldn't have me fulltime.

I asked her how much she needed to make.
She quickly replied two times $2.50 an hour.
I remember thinking that two times $2.50
was an odd way to say $5.00 an hour,
but I was overwhelmed by my fascination
with the young woman and the opportunity.
I felt the need to add it all up,
as though the math made any difference.
I did the math in my head...
concluding that employing her for a year
amounted to a mere $10,250.
This sounded like a very good deal to me...
a relatively small price to pay.

I offered her the job,
and she accepted without reservation.
We smiled at each other,
forcing our eyes to meet
with nothing in between.
Suddenly, I wanted to kiss her.
My heart beat quickened
as I entertained the thought.
I knew this was what she wanted as well.
Our faces drew near and our lips met.
It was a short and sweet embrace,
but her taste lingered.
Inside I knew we had a deal,
and it had been sealed with a kiss.

Awaking suddenly,
I was left to wonder...
about the deal I had just made.
I also realized that five bucks an hour
for twenty hours a week for a year
was actually only $4,800.
Something deep inside tells me
this lovely young woman,
so eager to work for me,
might be my own feminine energy
wanting to join in the business of my life.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Return to Campus
By Don Iannone

Eyes closed, sitting
while my uplifted face fills with Tucson sun
on a warm December morning.
Mind wondering 1969,
when I was here before.
A U of A student then, and
still a student, and
always a student...of life.
Innocent then. Well maybe not
as much so as I think.
Young then, and full of myself, and yes
still somewhat full of myself, but
now older and filled with other aspects of life.
It's magical to sit in the same place
you sat 37 years ago, observing life
from a different place in life's river.
It's wonderful to be reminded
on a park bench on campus
that your soul is still young.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Things You Didn't Put On Your Resumé
By Joyce Sutphen

How often you got up in the middle of the night
when one of your children had a bad dream,

and sometimes you woke because you thought
you heard a cry but they were all sleeping,

so you stood in the moonlight just listening
to their breathing, and you didn't mention

that you were an expert at putting toothpaste
on tiny toothbrushes and bending down to wiggle

the toothbrush ten times on each tooth while
you sang the words to songs from Annie, and

who would suspect that you know the fingerings
to the songs in the first four books of the Suzuki

Violin Method and that you can do the voices
of Pooh and Piglet especially well, though

your absolute favorite thing to read out loud is
Bedtime for Frances and that you picked

up your way of reading it from Glynnis Johns,
and it is, now that you think of it, rather impressive

that you read all of Narnia and all of the Ring Trilogy
(and others too many to mention here) to them

before they went to bed and on way out to
Yellowstone, which is another thing you don't put

on the resumé: how you took them to the ocean
and the mountains and brought them safely home.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

By George Bilgere

When you've been away from it long enough,
You begin to forget the country
Of couples, with all its strange customs
And mysterious ways. Those two
Over there, for instance: late thirties,
Attractive and well-dressed, reading
At the table, drinking some complicated
Coffee drink. They haven't spoken
Or even looked at each other in thirty minutes,

But the big toe of her right foot, naked
In its sandal, sometimes grazes
The naked ankle bone of his left foot,

The faintest signal, a line thrown

Between two vessels as they cruise
Through this hour, this vacation, this life,
Through the thick novels they're reading,
Her toe saying to his ankle,

Here's to the whole improbable story
Of our meeting, of our life together
And the oceanic richness
Of our mingled narrative
With its complex past, with its hurts
And secret jokes, its dark closets
And delightful sexual quirks,
Its occasional doldrums, its vast
Future we have already peopled
With children. How safe we are

Compared to that man sitting across the room,
Marooned with his drink
And yellow notebook, trying to write
A way off his little island.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Child's Creative Spirit
By Don Iannone

Nothing comes close
to a child's love to create
from that magical well within.
No imagination can reach
as far or deep as the child's inner eye,
when consumed totally...
by whatever the moment holds.
Each stroke of the brush,
every word written,
and every smile cast--
all unadulterated symphonies
echoing in the soul's sky blue waters.
Is it any wonder
that we cry when we grow old,
and slip into our child-like dreams
to bring us joy and comfort?

Dedicated to the children in
Oman's Sultan Qaboos University Hospital.
By Robert Louis Stevenson

Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding-cake.
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
In the white countenance confession,
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.

This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.

Monday, December 11, 2006

By Don Iannone

We circle life,
and it circles us.
All the seems at times
we are so far away...from life
and all else we seek.
On the surface...I know
the answers cannot be sought, and
that seeking is not the answer.
Deep down, however...
an ancient program goes off,
and sets me on a chase
for something or someone
other than what or who I am.
It's easy to intellectualize, and say...
why seek...there is nothing,
but the search program--
far more powerful than Google--
goes off and sends us chasing
after our tails, and God knows what else.
All we can do is remind ourselves,
and not in a punishing way,
that we already have everything
we will ever need in life,
and it's there for us when we turn inward.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Sunday Morning Twisted Panties
Conversation with Myself
By Don Iannone

Can you honestly say...
that you intended this life to be?
You might be thinking:
what kind of question is that,
or why even ask such a question? hit me this morning
that not only is it tough
to explain my life path to here,
but I'm not really sure where the hell here is.
And where am I go...innng?
Where am I,
and when will that coffee be ready?
Somebody help me! (Said in a goofy Jim Carry voice.)
Ok, so I know I'm typing this poem
on my my this moment,
but where is my life?
Ok, so maybe I didn't misplace my life...
but where is this thing I call a life,
and is this the life I want?
Either way, this is the life I have--for now.
Yes, this is my life,
including my poetry, and
my obsession to write a poem every morning.
This is nonsense...
mental masterbation.
Why get my panties all twisted in a knot
on a ice cold December morning?
Enough of this.
Gee...maybe I should buy Albert's new book:
You're Not Who You Think You Are.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

December Daybreak
By Don Iannone

Deafening quiet December morning.
Still cold air surrounds and bites at nothingness.
Fresh white snow...piled deep, muffles
worldly worries and woes.
Light creeps slowly into day, through naked trees,
awakening bright red cardinals,
plopping from perches into glittering snow
in search of first light breakfast.
No highway sounds, lawnmower roars...
only the sound of lingering stillness
hushing the heart into patient repose.

Friday, December 08, 2006

All Bets are Off
By Don Iannone

I heard the heavy thud as well,
but it registered with Karma even more so.
It took me just a second to ascertain that the thud
was just a small snow avalanche on the roof.
Karma had not fully processed the situation,
and whether there was a threat.
Her face said it all...
well, as much as needed to be said.
Ears back, laying close to her head.
Tail bushed out three times its normal size.
But it was really written in her eliptical eyes,
which said in fright: "All bets are off...for now."
No risks to be taken in this moment.
I respect that in a cat.
After all, what choice do we have
when it comes to cats.
I set no expectations about Karma--
our cat, or that which will follow me in life.
And no, cats don't follow you,
but your soul's residue will.
I left the room.
By the time I returned,
Karma's eyes were shut tight as a drum.
It was apparent...
that all bets were back on, and
I would need to find another chair to sit in.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Reflections on a Snowy December Morning
By Don Iannone

On this gray sky December morning,
tears filling my sleepy eyes,
I long to sled ride with old friends
from my childhood Martins Ferry.
So long I have been gone from my home--
Martins Ferry, and the center within me
that will always be home, no matter where I am.
So long I wanted to forget about the struggles there--
in Martins grow up, feel loved, and just be...somebody,
and really anybody other than who I was .
So long I wanted to forget the me that was born
in that dirty factory town along the Mighty Ohio.
Now...watching lazy snowflakes drift slowly to the ground--
each a child playing happily, without ambition, or
any care stunting their joy,
a certain sadness rises and falls inside me,
knowing I have forsaken myself--
and the most important gift ever given me in life.
Why does it take so long, or at least it seems,
for us to wake up and realize we were born, literally,
with everything we would ever need in life?
Why can't we just let go--
enjoying the ride down the hill
with our friends from Martins Ferry?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Quiet Liberation
By Don Iannone

Caught up in the beauty
of a full moon December night.
Miracles part the clouds,
heavy with august snow--
falling hard, and
drifting slow motion across soundless yards.
No lunar madness,
or catastrophic emotional tidal waves
sweeping hearts out to sea.
Only peace, and
an empty lingering sense of quiet liberation
rising in soul depths.
No urge to cry out,
like a moon-crazed wolf in the tall timbers.
Just undeniable primordial joy.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

In the Swing
By Don Iannone

Gentle star-kissed night.
Lulling summer breeze.
Faint lilac scents drifting...
across the yard.
back and forth
in the front porch swing of life.

Monday, December 04, 2006

By Don Iannone

Like the man
hitching his wagon
to a mad horse,
the surface world
seeks to harness
our spirits to
thought and desire.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Caught, Captured and Released
By Don Iannone

Caught by will...
somewhere between
here and there
and then and now.
Captured by grace...
transcending all resistance
letting go
and letting God.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Mind and Form: A Poem on Esoteric Thought
By Don Iannone

It burrows its way through life like a mole.
Seeking and creating as it seeks,
and whatever it creates, it seeks again,
because it now knows its target.
Yes, the mind forever leaves its traces--thoughts,
some idle and lame, some subtle and deep,
some indiscernible from feelings and bodily movements.
Not just some organ in your head,
like your boozed out liver,
or your burned out lungs.
It's more like the air you breathe--
it's everywhere inside and outside you.
Mostly you think it's inside you,
but it's also outside the embodied you.
It's a creature and creator of habit.
It adores form, and
simultaneously abhors and delights
at the formless and unmet in life.
It loves form because each form
is a familiar and known furrow
created by an earlier burrow.
It loves the formless and unmet too,
because each is a conquest
to sculpt a form from the formless.
Over time, the mind learns to love itself,
and so it clings to itself and its creations, because
these are its children--
its offspring offered to all it has created, and
the make-believe separate external world,
which it has also created as a plaything, and
as a form against which to forge other forms.
It can only think of itself as a form
because it has low self-insight,
and only sees that which it has formed.
Its true nature, I believe, is formless, and yet
the mind can only grasp the formless as a form.
How sad, you say, that your mind
cannot grasp its true nature.
Don't sadden yourself with such machinations.
Even your sadness is a form, created by your mind,
as a futile attempt to give form to itself.
The answer? Don't go there either...
for answers are also illusory forms
seeking formless questions...
that are nothing more than your mind's gropings
to transcend form and reach formless permanence.
Next time you decide to visit reality, whatever that is,
don't think about it.

PS: Don't take any of this seriously. It could lead to
life-threatening illusions

Friday, December 01, 2006

Abide in Your Own Emptiness
By Don Iannone

Exactly how big is that hole inside you
that you work day and night to fill?
All the things you throw into yourself,
hoping to fill the emptiness,
that grows deeper and wider
with every scoop of anything
you shovel into the hole.
It's strange how emptiness
attracts something...anything,
that promises to replace it
with anything other than emptiness.
Your emptiness is the real you--
the you that comes before all else,
including everything that fills you.
You are the vessel
that is filled with emptiness.
Embrace your emptiness.
Welcome it like a long lost friend.
It asks nothing of you,
nor does it ask you to be anything.
Be that empty vessel--
always open, and always receptive
to whatever the moment presents.
You won't be sorry.
Melancholy Stranger
By Don Iannone

He comes in the night...
that melancholy stranger,
whose footsteps you hear,
but only after he is upon you.
His night breath whispers
long silence in your ear.
You try not to listen,
but it's too late...
he has reached inside you,
and now possesses you,
like his own.
He comes and goes at will.
Haunting your peace,
stealing your joy, and
making you forget...
the sun rises every morning,
sweeping away the shrouding darkness.
It is Given
By Don Iannone

And what of life...
that which we live,
that which is given...
by another much greater,
much more loving,
much more gentle,
and one amongst us
any hour, day or night.
This one cradles us...
in love and tenderness.
This one holds our hand,
bringing us tears of joy,
reunion, and connection.
It's all within our grasp...
every last drop of life,
every dream we've sung,
every moment we've been lonely,
every smile gracing our lips,
every cloud blocking the sun,
every cleansing drop of rain
nourishing our would-be dying spirit
longing be touched.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bad Hair Blessings
By Don Iannone

Bad hair is no excuse for a bad day.
Instead it speaks to the wild beast within you.
You know...that untamed nature
you've worked so hard to tame
with little to no success.
Your wild hair reflects your true nature.
Steppenwolf said it in their 1968 song:
Like a true nature's child...We were born, born to be wild.
Your wild hair is a special sign...from God
that you are an exceptionally strong person
who can handle big life challenges.
Why else would you be afflicted with this curse?
On the other hand,
should you decide that your hair condition is fatal,
consider all the bald people out there,
who wish they warranted a shiny new hair brush
in their Christmas stocking this year.
Don's Albert Einstein Morning Hair

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

When the Security Alarm Calls Your Name
By Don Iannone

Wednesday 4:16 AM.
Security alarm screeches out in the night.
Hearts jump out of our chests.
Cats streak out of the bedroom.
Confusion and terror all at once.
Groping for the light.
Fumbling to turn off the alarm,
but not too quickly in case...
there is a real threat.
Alarm panel flashes "PHONE."
Phone? What the hell?
Oh, the phone must not be working,
and the security system ties into the phone line.
Check the phone.
Dead as a door nail.
Call security company...on the cell phone, because
the regular phone line is...dead.
Security people conclude the obvious:
Sir, your phone line isn't working.
Don't you love experts?
Ok Ma'm, so how do we shut off this blaring alarm?
Sir, power down the system.
What? How do I do that?
Go to the basement, and
I will instruct you on the procedure.
Ma'm, I know nothing of these things.
I think, but don't say:
Fixing things skips generations in my family.
And guess what? It skipped me.
Alarm still blaring...
obviously the neighbors hate our guts
for our alarm awakening them two hours early.
Standing in my bathrobe,
with my Albert Einstein morning hair,
I succeed in powering down the alarm system.
Finally it's quiet.
The cats are nowhere to be found for two hours.
I look everywhere.
How do they know how to hide so well?
Must be genetic, like my lack of mechanical aptitude.
An unexpected spiritual moment overtakes me...
Live in the moment...that's what your alarm in telling you.
I think...shit. I just want my coffee.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Plunge in Wonder
By Don Iannone

Mandala by Mandala Visions

Wonder often,
Wonder wide,
Wonder further,
Never hide.
Never cease
to be amazed,
Delve deeper,
Delve wide.
Plunge the depths
for there to find
the truth you seek.
In stillness, there abide.
What's in a Name?

Angela over at Bold Contemplations made me aware of this website by Paul Sadowski that uses numerology to tell you what your name means. Thanks Angela, and thanks Paul Sadowski!

Here is what I learned...

You entered: Donald Terry Iannone.
There are 18 letters in your name.
Those 18 letters total to 91.
There are 7 vowels and 11 consonants in your name.

Your number is: 1

The characteristics of #1 are: Initiating action, pioneering, leading, independent, attaining, individual.

The expression or destiny for #1:

A number 1 Expression denotes the skilled executive with keen administrative capabilities. You must develop the capacity to be a fine leader, sales executive, or promoter. You have the tools to become an original person with a creative approach to problem solving, and a penchant for initiating action. Someone may have to follow behind you to handle the details, but you know how to get things going and make things happen. You have a good mind and the ability to use it for your advancement. Because of these factors, you have much potential for achievement and financial rewards. Frequently, this expression belongs to one running a business or striving to achieve a level of accomplishment on ones talents and efforts. You have little need for much supervision, preferring to act on your own with little restraint. You are both ambitious and determined. Self-confident and self-reliant must be yours, as you develop a strong unyielding will and the courage of your convictions.

Although you fear loneliness, you want to be left alone. You fear routine and being in a rut. You often jump the gun because you are afraid of being left behind.

The negative attributes of the 1 Expression are egotism and a self-centered approach to life. This is an aggressive number and if it is over-emphasized it is very hard to live with. You do not have to be overly aggressive to fulfill your destiny. The 1 has a natural instinct to dominate and to be the boss; adhering to the concept of being number One. Again, you do not have to dominate and destroy in order to lead and manage.

Your Soul Urge number is: 6

A Soul Urge number of 6 means:

With a number 6 Soul Urge, you would like to be appreciated for your ability to handle responsibility. Your home and family are likely to be a strong focus for you, perhaps the strongest focus of your life. Friendship, love, and affection are high on your list of priorities for a happy life. You have a lot of diplomatic tendencies in your makeup, as you a able to rectify and balance situations with an innate skill. You like working with people rather than by yourself. It is extremely important for you to have harmony in your environment at all times.

The positive side of the 6 Soul Urge produces a huge capacity for responsibility; you are always there and ready to assume more than your share of the load. If you possess positive 6 Soul Urges and express them, you are known for your generosity, understanding and deep sympathetic attitude. Strong 6 energy is very giving of love, affection, and emotional support. You may have the inclination to teach or serve your community in other idealistic ways. You have natural abilities to help people. You are also likely to have artistic and creative leanings.

If you have an over-supply of 6 energy in your makeup, you may express some of the negative traits common to this number. With such a strong sympathetic attitude, it is easy to become too emotional. Sometimes the desires to render help can be over done, and it can become interfering and an attitude that is too protective, rather than helpful. The person with too much 6 energy often finds that people tend to take advantage of this very giving spirit. You may tend to repress your own needs so that you can cater to the demands from others. At times, there may be a tendency in this, for becoming over-loaded with such demands, and as a result become resentful.

Your Inner Dream number is: 4

An Inner Dream number of 4 means:

You dream of being a very solid citizen that people can depend upon. You strive for organization and predictable order. You want to be recognized as a person with a plan and the discipline to make that plan work like clockwork.

Want to learn about your birthday? Click here!

According to my birthday analysis, I have a Life Path Number of "9." What is a "9?"

The Life Path 9 suggests that you entered this plane with an abundance of dramatic feelings coupled with a strong sense of compassion and generosity. The key to the nature of a Life Path number 9 person is found in their humanitarian attitude. Even the very average of those with life path 9 possess extremely compassionate tendencies.

Usually this number produces an individual that is very trustworthy and honorable, and one unlikely to harbor any sort of prejudice. Obviously, this is a rather tall order, but you are, in fact, a person that feels very deeply for individuals less fortunate than yourself, and if you are in a position to help, you certainly will. The 9, being the highest of the single digit numbers, holds an elevated position in terms of responsibilities to mankind.

Material gains are not overly important, although the quality of some life path 9 people is such that they are materially rewarded in very significant ways. In this, however, the 9 Life Path is not apt to get rich since they are very generous, sometimes to a fault, and usually have an easy come, easy go attitude about money. The rare 9 life path has a totally selfless attitude, giving up of material possessions for the common good.

The 9 Life Path indicates you have a commanding presence. You have the ability to make friends very easily, as people are attracted to your magnetic, open personality. The term "hail-fellow" may have been coined to describe a 9 Life Path, as you may indeed be one of those who is generally upbeat and heartily friendly and congenial. You meet people easily and are quickly befriended because of your openness and amiable demeanor. Your genial ways often put you in the lead in whatever field of endeavor you pursue.

Relationships can be difficult for you because it is hard to strike a balance that will work effectively. If your partner is one sharing your giving attitudes, the relationship will be happy and lasting. On the other hand, if you choose a partner whose focus is on material issues, problems will arise quickly.

You tend to be quite sensitive, as you see the world with much feeling. The number 9's very deep understanding of life is sometimes manifested in the artistic and literary fields. If drama and acting is not your forte, it will surely be an area of great interest and potential. Likewise, you may be able to express your deep emotional feelings through painting, writing, music, or other art forms.

The purpose of life for those with a 9 life path is often of a philosophical nature. Judges, spiritual leaders, healers and educators frequently have much 9 energy. The number is less inclined to the competitive business environment and may find this a struggle.

As do all the life path numbers, the 9 has its negative side. Because of the demanding nature of the truly positive 9, many tend to fail in this category. It is not uncommon for persons with the 9 life path to fight the realities and challenges of purpose imposed here because selflessness is not an easy trait. You may have difficulty believing that giving and a lack of personal ambition can be satisfying. It must be realized and accepted that little long-term satisfaction and happiness is to be gained by rejecting the natural humanitarian inclinations of this path.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Happy Birthday Sweet Mary
By Don Iannone

You never cease to amaze me,
with all that you are and you do.
There is little wonder,
why I so very much love you.

You awaken each morning
from your magical cocoon.
My heart burns without warning,
like an ever bright full moon.

My day seems so empty without you,
sometimes I forget who I am.
With your return my heart does renew,
just to see and touch you, my gem.

Love poems don't come easy,
except when they are true.
Our love is never queasy,
it holds us together like glue.

It's that time of year again
to honor you and your birth.
In my heart you reign,
I put you above everything on earth.

Happy birthday sweet Mary,
May this day shine with sun.
And in my heart I will carry
love that never can be undone.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Asking for Help
By Don Iannone

Why do we wait so long
to pray for the help we need,
when we don't know which way to turn in life?
Rest assured there are no perfect prayers,
that must be memorized and said perfectly.
"Dear God, help me" is the perfect prayer
with the right intention behind it.
Admitting there is a Higher Power--
One larger and more powerful than us,
is the perfect beginning point.
Knowing that we need help,
coupled with the willingness to ask for help,
is the perfect start to receiving help.
Being able to recognize help when it arrives,
is requisite to the help helping us.
Allowing the help we receive to incubate,
and fill our healing cocoon,
is vital to our help taking hold and transforming us.
Don't wait so long to ask for help next time.
Needless suffering is just that...needless.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Being the Truth You Speak
By Don Iannone

How can you speak the truth
if you aren't that truth in the first place?
I can't,
and neither can you.
Which truth is it
that you or I should be?
For each of us,
there is but one truth
that lies within us.
It is the truth found buried--
beneath all lies
that we tell ourselves,
and those told to us by others.
It is the truth that helps us
to rest at night, knowing
who we are, and why we are here.
Be the truth,
and you will always speak the truth.
And surprisingly,
you might find that the truth you are
needs no words to be known.
Christmas Spirit

Friday, November 24, 2006

Downtown Chicago
Day After Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 23, 2006

By Don Iannone

May you be filled with the true spirit of thanksgiving, and may that spirit fill you with the richest blessings of gratitude. Take that blessing and touch another unexpectedly with your love on this special day of celebration.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Looking Back and Wishing
Click the link above to hear Don read this poem.
Hearin' the Train Comin' for Me
Click the link above to hear Don read this poem.
Looking Back and Wishing
By Don Iannone

Not so long ago, I was a young boy,
and the world overflowed with magic
of the sort only a sorcerer can portend.
Days were near eternities
that filled me with mystery
from early sun up to late sundown.
I still have my moments
when the stars speak to me in whispers,
and when joyful animation fills my soul.
My childhood was far from perfect,
and I'm sure yours was much the same.
But I'd give myself over in a heartbeat,
if I could play baseball for hours again
without a care to pull me in.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hearin' the Train Comin' for Me
By Don Iannone

In the eery far off distance,
I hear the train whistle blowin'.
And by its sound,
I know it's comin' for me.
I didn't think it was my time,
but if not mine...whose time?

Nothin' more hauntin'
than a freight train's whistle...
blowin' all alone, late at night.
I just hope this one night...
the train don't stop in Wheelin'.
And I pray it ain't comin' for me.

My heart stopped and started
all throughout the long pitch black of the night.
As I sleep totally all alone,
the train keeps on comin'...
I just hope and pray
it don't stop for me tonight.

Note: This one comes from my childhood.
Superstitious folks believed if someone was
very sick and they were awakened by a train
whistle, it meant they were going to die.
Feelings: A Poetic Tribute
By Don Iannone


not the sort in gardens.


not exactly normal pain.


beyond the normal level.


a long ways from a Las Vegas card table.


more than the usual dose.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Illusory Adventures
By Don Iannone

Seeking won't save you,
nor will grasping what clutches at your heart.
Much as the sun, moon and stars
appear to hover out there somewhere,
so too is your experience of your true nature.
These things...all in you.
If you must waste your time searching,
mount an inward path from where all arises,
but don't be surprised, or disappointed,
if you find nothing.
There is nothing to find,
since all rests within you already.
Remind yourself that you are...
one and the same with whatever you seek.
Moreover, your true nature and my true nature
are no different; rather completely the same.
We are not cut from the same cloth,
we are the same cloth--
one whole piece, complete,
and yes surprisingly perfect.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sifting Sand
By Don Iannone

Life sifts sand
...through open outstretched fingers.
No hourglass to contain it.
No beach providing a gestalt.

We play with it some game
...we can win.

Don't bother tying up loose ends...
all ends are loose.
Just let it flow through you
...and wash you up on shore.
Celebrate wherever you are...
you're dead if you don't.

It fills us...
only to empty us
...spilling us on the floor
...abandoning our hope
...leaving us bare
...rubbed raw
...and finally...
just leaving us.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Simplifying Mindfulness
By Don Iannone

Mindfulness begins
when we tune into our heart,
and its message
about who we are
and why we are here.
Mindfulness is simple,
once we remember
that we are already mindful,
and the world is already perfect.
Mindfulness is realizing
there is no separation of the mind and heart,
other than one we impose on ourselves.
Enjoy your mindfulness
because it is all we really have.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Encounters with a Long Winter's Night
Click the above link to hear Don read this poem.
The Christmas Tree Outside Our Front Window
Click the link above to hear Don read this poem.
Encounters with a Long Winter's Night
By Don Iannone

I can't help but dream
on this long winter's night
when the fire blazes bright
and time stands perfectly still.

I can't help but drift
like the fresh fallen snow
that blankets the earth
and hushs me fast to sleep.

Somehow the purity and depth
of this early December snowfall
reminds me how simple life can be
when we just allow it to happen.

On this early winter's eve
the silence plumbs the depths
and awakens me while I sleep
stranding me amidst a single moonbeam.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Christmas Tree
Outside Our Front Window
By Don Iannone

Growing up in Martins Ferry in the 1950s,
there was a magical Christmas tree
just outside our front window.
Adorned with fresh driven snow,
and every bit as lovely as the tree
gracing our living room,
with its bright ornaments,
shiny lights, and sparkling tinsel.
The beautiful evergreen in the front yard,
seemed to reach forever upward,
bending whenever necessary,
but always springing back.
During the day,
the sunlight made its ice crystals glitter,
like the stars that shone so brightly
above it in the dark winter night sky.
The birds knew of the tree's specialness,
as they flocked to its branches,
like bees to honey.
I loved the mighty evergreen
for its fortitude in withstanding
the winter's brutal assaults,
and I loved its vibrancy--always green,
and always willing to give of itself
to all needing food and a place to rest.
Were it not for this wonderful tree,
I might know nothing
of the true meaning of Christmas.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Today is a Snow least poetically!

Growing up in Eastern Ohio in the 1950s, it snowed in the winter, sometimes heavily. We had "snow days" when it snowed a great deal. School was cancelled because the buses couldn't pick up the rural kids.

Snow days were unexpected gifts. We went sledding, built snow forts, had snowball fights, and longed for a hot bowl of soup and a toasted cheese sandwich for lunch before returning to our winter wonderland playground.

It looked like this...

Finding Hope
on a Cold January Morning
By Don Iannone

Fluttery flakes of mad whiteness
tumble like flocks of butterflies,
without cause, or tribulation.
The morning air, stingingly cold,
drapes over me, like death,
on this razor-sharp January morning.
The fire toys with me, sputtering,
almost dying,
and finally resuscitating itself.
There is sun, bright white as the snow,
painfully harsh,
piercing the frozen windowpane.
Half buried, like some macabre effigy,
the morning paper taunts me
from a snowdrift at the end of the drive.
Then, without warning, my spirits revive
as the intoxicating scent of fresh coffee
fills my gasping nostrils.
The paper no longer seems so far away,
the snow not so deep,
and the day no longer frozen beyond hope.
By Robert Pack

Cascading snowflakes settle in the pines,
Sculpting each tree to fit your ghostly form
The surge of swirling wind defines
As if your human shape were what the storm
Sought to contrive, intending to express
Its consciousness of my white consciousness,
Sculpting each tree to fit your ghostly form.
Cascading snowflakes settle in the pines,
Swaying in unison beneath the snow,
Calling me to you with wild gesturings
Homeward into the howling woods, although
Thinking of your abiding spirit brings
Only a whiter absence to my mind,
Only whirled snow heaped up by whirled snow,
Only a fox whose den I cannot find.
The Cracked Bell
By Charles Baudelaire

How bittersweet it is, on winter's night,
To listen, by the sputtering, smoking fire,
As distant memories, through the fog-dimmed light,
Rise, to the muffled chime of churchbell choir.

Lucky the bell—still full and deep of throat,
Clear-voiced despite its years, strong, eloquent—
That rings, with faithful tongue, its pious note
Like an old soldier, wakeful, in his tent!

My soul lies cracked; and when, in its despair,
Pealing, it tries to fill the cold night air
With its lament, it often sounds, instead,

Like some poor wounded wretch—long left for dead
Beneath a pile of corpses, lying massed
By bloody pool—rattling, gasping his last.

Translated by Norman R. Shapiro
from Selected Poems from Les Fleurs du mal: A Bilingual Edition
Copyright 1998 and 1999 by The University of Chicago

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Advent of Wonder
By Don Iannone

small wonders
...overtaking us daily
......spurring our sense of adventure
"The only true duty is to be
unattached and to work as free beings,
to give up all work unto God."

"The tyrant I accept in this
world is the still voice within."

Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, November 13, 2006

Free Will or Determinism
Read by Don Iannone (Click the link above)

So, what is your thought about free will and determinism?
Free Will or Determinism
By Don Iannone

Free will or determinism...
that age-old debate
carrying most of us
to a conceptual fork in a conceptual road.
To the left, we conceive of free will,
or the thought we possess unbounded creativity.
To the right, we conceive of determinism,
or the thought that our creativity is bound.
To conceive, in any case, is a creative act;
that is to give birth to a concept pointing to reality.
This implies, of course, there is a difference
between reality and our ideas about it.
Are we ever completely free,
in the sense our choices are infinite?
Are we ever completely determined,
in the sense we have no choice?
Is it possible that we are free within limits,
and those limits are as much self-imposed,
as they are divinely-imposed?
Here again, our ideas imply
that the divine is separate from us.
Perhaps this separation is only an idea,
and nothing more.
Perhaps our self-imposed limits stem
from our ability to conceive
of only a limited number of choices.
Perhaps our divinely-imposed limits stem
from the Creator's wish to reserve
certain possibilities for itself.
This presumes, of course,
there is a divine "it,"
that exists separate from us.
And by the way, who are we?
Perhaps, the concept of "we" is nothing more
than our conceived need to believe
that something larger than us exists,
because we fail to realize
the full extent of our own power.
Or maybe, we are indeed powerless
without the idea there is a God,
or some divine being.
Is it possible that we co-create
our lives and the universe with the Creator,
and that each of us is a spark in the Creator's flame?
I must admit I'm not convinced
there is any separation between us and God,
or for that matter,
any separation in anything
conceived of as parts of the universe.
Perhaps there are no parts,
and perhaps we as parts don't even exist.
In which case, free will and determinism
is nothing more than a feeble attempt
to exist as separate, freestanding, beings.
Perhaps we are free to determine
only in any given moment,
and that freedom is only momentary, and
ceases to exist when that moment has passed.
Then again, are the moments we experience
separated in any way,
or is it just always now,
and time is a fiction created by our minds
allowing us to separate our thoughts?
Or perhaps we are determined to be free,
but that determination rests wholly in any moment.
Yet, for a determination to be wholly
implies it exists to a complete degree.
But if we must be determined to be free,
are we really free?
More importantly, free to be what,
and free of what?
Free to be what we think we are?
Free to be more than we think we are?
And free of what...
our illusions about being free or determined?

This poem was sparked by recent posts about free will
by Rob Quick and Trinitystar.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Before you speak, ask yourself: it kind, is it necessary, is it true,

......does it improve upon the silence?

--Shirdi Sai Baba
Darkness into Light
By Don Iannone

The night brews long,
The sun must wait,
Sing your song,
'cause it's your fate.

Listen for the three AM train,
And when it comes celebrate,
We all at times feel quite insane,
In places deep, love can't penetrate.

Lying there in the dark,
Wrapped in loneliness and despair,
Tonight you seem an easy mark,
For now, life seems so very unfair.

Questions hover like thick clouds,
Darker than the darkest night,
Rise above the somber crowds,
Don't give up without a fight.

Finally, when morning comes,
And the dark night has passed,
Your pain grows light and succumbs,
There your heart stands steadfast.

Greet the sun with a smile,
Let it fill you with soothing light,
Rest there in peace for awhile,
May your day be ever bright.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

On Awakening
By Don Iannone

For each of us,
life is a a process of awakening.
This process is far from linear in nature;
contrary to what our line-hungry minds tell us,
as they attempt to create boundaries where there are none.
We live each day in both dream and awakedness.
Some days we are more awake than others.
Some days the clouds we stand on are real,
and some days they are mere childhood fairy tales.
Our dreams consume us at times, and
they eat alive those we touch
in the twilight of our awakening.
The more we seek awakening,
the more it eludes us like chasing smoke.
Even when we distinguish dreams from reality,
we push awakened reality away.
And so, what is the answer?
Rest in knowing that you are already
the awakened being you seek to become.
Be that!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Dream Leftovers on a Friday Morning

Cick link above to hear Don read this po-em.
Dream Leftovers on a Friday Morning
By Don Iannone

Scads of uncouth dreams last night,
that lurked, sputtered, darted, and danced
like ghosts, one-engined airplanes, gazelles, and sugar plums
through my tired old sleeping head.
Coffee cup in hand this morning, I sit like the Pink Panther,
searching for clues in fog-heaven.
Time, the joyless and stealthful vulture it is,
steals away the big pieces, leaving only fragments
of what the giant dream machine produced,
while resting on my fluffy white pillow.
As the tug of daylight yanks me into consciousness,
all the freak shows I watched while sleeping
are lost forever in the daydreams bubbling up inside me.
My day mind wants to yield to its ususual yearning for truth,
like a thirsty dog's insatiable longing for a drop of water,
but somehow dream bits,
like shrapnel from the battlefield,
embed themselves, and I can't forget them.
As I gulp down the last of my coffee, I smile
and decide today can only be a continuation of my dreams.
What else could be possible on a Friday?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Don't Fear Your Mystery
Don Iannone

As we walk our paths in life,
the unexpected greets us around every corner.
Why are we so compelled
to treat this mystery we meet
as a completely unwelcome stranger?
What makes us fail our sense of newness,
when we encounter the unknown within us?
Why do we go out of our way
to avoid our deepest dreams,
that seep deeper into the ground of our being?
Are we not better off mystified,
by our own mystification,
than be seduced by the broken-hearted lies
we tell the stranger within us?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Kicked Their Butts
By Don Iannone

If you smoke in Ohio,
you will now have to puff away
in the privacy of your own home.
That's what voters decided on November 7th.
People are tired enough of having Right Wing politicians
blow smoke up their asses,
let alone having to inhale the foul smoke
excreted from the mouths of cigarette smokers
in their favorite restaurants and bars.
At one time, a status symbol to smoke,
but today, nothing more than a pathetic addiction
polluting our lungs and the rest of the world.
Ohio's resounding defeat of smoking in public
will make a stink with smokers, but
the rest of us will have sweeter smelling air,
unless of course, smokers take up farting in public.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Living Moment by Moment
By Don Iannone
November Tucson Sunrise

Your life is your life, but
it's also a piece of something much larger.
Your life is a gift, and
a priceless one at that, which
must be lived fully.
Your life is your creation, and
it's a direct outcome of all you think and do.
Your life is a mystery, even with
all the answers you think you have.
Your life is not a continuous,
cast-in-stone process, rather
it exists moment by moment.
Your life is not something separate
from who you are; instead
it is how your life looks
when you stare into the looking glass.
Your life neither stands before you, nor behind you;
those are illusions, causing you to forget
that your life is your life moment by moment.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Re-Embracing Tucson
By Don Iannone

To see yet again the olive-brown Catalina Mountains
sweetly embrace the powder blue sky
and maze-colored Sonoran desert.
To behold a fire red sunset at Gates Pass,
making my heart soar as the sun sinks,
and spreading magical stardust on the Old Pueblo.
To smell the sweet pungent sage and palo verdes
after a short afternoon rainshower.
To feel the sacred earth under my feet;
walked so long ago by the ancient ones,
and even now feel their mystical energy.
To return to Tucson one more time and re-embrace
what has long been a part of my soul.
Just a Thought

"When Heaven is about to confer a great office on any man, it first exercises his mind with suffering, and his sinews and bones with toil."


PS: This explains a lot in my life. How about yours?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Snowy Cabin
By Don Iannone

Something inside me longs to find warmth
in the midst of the deepest cold,
like that found in a cozy log cabin
nestled in the deep snowy woods,
where I can sit in the still darkness,
and nestle up to the blazing fire in the fireplace.
Something inside me cries out to be heard,
like the unrelenting howling wind,
that swirls and sweeps virgin snow against the windows,
and echoes in the very seat of my soul.
Something inside me seeks the infinite comfort of knowing
that I am completely snowbound,
and have no choice but to accept
whatever the snow, the night's darkness,
the howling wind, and the blazing fire can offer me.
Something inside me wants to surrender all that I hold onto,
for just one night,
in this still cabin buried in the snowy woods.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Adagio for a Journey to the Soul
By Don Iannone

Stirrings at the seat of my soul
draw me into the deeper waters,
To places beyond the light,
and beyond all time,
For in such places,
neither can be your guide,
I must walk,
as though death calls,
knowing there is still life,
I must follow--
what seems an unknown voice,
No words are spoken...only silence,
What good are words in this place,
that is beyond words?
What good am I,
to this place, or myself,
if I don't follow the call?

Poet's Note: This poem was composed while listening to a wonderfully deep and touching piece of music. The words flow directly from the music. Listen for yourself while you read this poem. As a suggestion, turn the volume down on your music player (MIDI file), start the music, listen for several seconds, and then read the poem aloud. Click here. (Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Magic at the Water's Edge

Read by Don Iannone.
Click the link above.
Magic at the Water's Edge
By Don Iannone

It is the tide that gives birth to the grains of sand
...that become the beach
...that welcomes the tide's daily coming and going.
And all of this is moved by light
...with the sun by day and the moon by night.
And so is life each moment is born the timeless tide of love washes over it the light something to reflect upon.
And we find ourselves
...mere grains of sand on the beach of life
...created each moment by love.
Full Moon Buffalo Clouds

Read by Don. Click on link above.
Full Moon Buffalo Clouds
By Don Iannone

Odd buffalo-shaped clouds gallop
across the cold November sky.
I would have missed them completely
were it not for the perfect-circle full moon
glowing hauntingly bright at their backs.
Stripped of their leaves,
the naked skeleton-like trees reach into the sky,
as though searching for answers why
these near extinct clouds roam restlessly--
like my heart, which longs for peace
from its incessant wanderings.
Why does the light torment the darkness so,
and why does my heart suddenly long to be filled
by the moon and her secrets?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Second Take on Streisand's The Way We Were
By Don Iannone

Untold memories
of the sort
making us remember
how we were.
Like a song
lingering in the heart
we remember
one last time
how we were.
So long
we longed
for just a taste
of the good times
and less those we opt forget.
Somewhere deep
there lies an answer--
the one we can't but hear
in our heart.
And always
there are the memories
of how we were.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Read by Don. Click the link above.
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