Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Much Needed Change of Scenery

I've changed careers and decided to stop writing poetry. My psychotherapist said I was addicted to poetry and had to stop immediately. Actually, a high school friend invited me to join him in his used car business. It's something I have always wanted to do. Used car sales is a meaningful business--one that helps others mobilize their dreams. It's too late to turn back since I've invested in a whole closet full of plaid blazers.

In light of this career shift, I will be discontinuing Conscious Living Poetry Journal. Four years of this poetic nonsense is enough. Don't you think?

Had ya going, didn't I? Actually, I've simply shifted my poetry to a new blog hosted by Wordpress. It's called the Poetic Alchemist, and you can find it here: Please change your bookmark for me to the new site. Thank you.

See you over at the Poetic Alchemist!

Best wishes,


Saturday, April 21, 2007

By Don Iannone
Can you fathom
the beauty of spring
and where it carries you,
when you allow it
to overtake you
like a herd of wild butterflies
that gently pummel you into submission,
coaxing the newborn inside you
and forever tickling your imagination
until tears of joy stream down your cheeks
and you allow yourself
to plop down in a bed of cool clover
and watch wistful clouds coast
across the cornflower blue sky?
I can fathom it
and hope you allow yourself
to do just the same.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Spring Morning
By Don Iannone

streaming through the trees

mellow yellow morning sun

in the cool shadows

plump red robin struts his stuff

ever playful cat watches on

Virginia Tech, April 16, 2007
By Don Iannone





how and why, they ask
no answers remove the pain
one disturbed young man
guns blaze, blood spills, souls depart
thirty-two innocent lives gone

Thursday, April 19, 2007

First Tulips
By Don Iannone
first tulips open
we close all around to see
a new world appears
spring is no small miracle
our hearts fill and the tears flow

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

yellow goldfinches
feverishly feed on thistle
sprightly sweet voices
rise like the ocean tide
clouds hitchhike across the sky

Note: Don's first taiga

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Self-Indulgent Despair
By Don Iannone

Don't be too quick to assume
That this poem is about me.
After all, it might be about you,
Or the neighbor next door,
Or the guy you work with,
Or even your mother.

There is a tendency we show
Towards self-indulgent despair.

You know what I mean,
If you have ever revelled
In writhing over your own pain.

For some reason we think
Something greater will come
From the pain we inflict upon ourselves.
That's not what self-sacrifice is all about.

Compassion, empathy, and
Giving to others is something entirely different.
Self-sacrifice is hanging yourself on a cross,
Thinking your pain will free another.
Instead, your self-inflicted pain will cause others
To hang themselves, for no reason.

We believe there is some price
We must pay for happiness or peace.
We seem obsessed with the notion
That we must suffer
To get what we need in life.
That good things happen only
To those walking the path of suffering.

Suffer we do,
Every time we turn the whip of fear
Upon ourselves, thrashing last drops
Of decency out of our beings.

Suffer we do,
When we turn the club of doubt
Upon ourselves, bludgeoning hope,
The best friend we'll ever have,
Until we shovel ourselves
Into some weepy dark grave.

But why shed tears then?
We've already lived our hell.

It's fashionable these days
To be narcissistic, like everyone else.
To be self-absorbed, like some fish
Drinking up the water it lives in.

Catch yourself before it's too late.
Look in the mirror and see for once
Your own desperation,
And then, let it go,
Like you'd release the rope
Around your own neck--
For that is what it is.

Return to yourself.
This time the real you,
Absent the self-indulgent despair
That robs you of the joy
Of being fully human.

Monday, April 16, 2007

April Haiku 3
By Don Iannone

wistful marbled clouds
Kurt Vonnegut will be missed
a legend is gone

early morning sun
too soon for shadows in life
a crow in my dream

sweet scent of lilac
intoxicated crow laughs
too good to be true

Sunday, April 15, 2007

April Haiku 2
Don Iannone

April winds howling
...white birches dance side to side
......rain showers coming

plump robins gather
...trees still naked from winter
......sunlight leaks through clouds

red-tailed hawk circles
...smaller birds scatter away jays standing watch

Saturday, April 14, 2007

April Haiku 1
By Don Iannone

morning sun through trees
...young buds bursting wide open sprouting anew

sun and shadows mix
...light frost on silver grass blades
......doves sing spring praises

wild turkeys gather
...fanned blue and green tail feathers's magic unfolds

Friday, April 13, 2007

By Don Iannone
Rejoice in knowing
your happiness
does not depend upon
you knowing anything.
Rejoice in discovering
the discoverer
who needn't search any further
to find himself.
Rejoice in accepting
that the moment
is all you have
and all you will ever need.
Rejoice for the sake of rejoicing
for in so doing
you find happiness.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Celebrating the Rain that Washes Away the Snow
By Don Iannone
The rain came
and washed away fifteen inches
of unwelcomed April snow.
The earth rejoiced
when the rain fell
and washed away the snow
that covered its greening surface.
The birds sang out
at the sight of the rich dark earth
where the fallen daffodils
once stood tall and smiled in sunshine.
The cats in our front window
frisked and played in the fresh air
drifting through the bedroom window.
I jumped up and down
as the rain fell and washed away the snow.
Who knows...maybe I will run buck naked
out into the front yard
if the sun shines tomorrow
and the temperature hovers in the mid-70s.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Be the Candle
By Don Iannone
All of us at times
need encouragement
to stay the path.
Not one of us is above
needing help from others.
We should encourage each other
to have faith in ourselves.
We should encourage each other
to be the unique truth that we are.
Let us remind ourselves and each other
that there is no turning back
once we have discovered the way--
our way of being in the truth.
And whenever we experience doubt,
let us help each other
seek our god of self-understanding
that forever lies at the core of our being.
Let us trust the power that lies within--
the power that knows us
better than all else.
Be the candle
that lights the way
for your spirit and others.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Warriors of the Light
By Don Iannone
Each of us
in our own way
gives light
to the world.
Each of us
in our own way
for what we believe
is right.
Some carry torches.
Some raise the flag.
Some sit quietly and pray.
Even some write poetry
because it enlightens them
and hopefully others.
We are
crusaders for truth,
for justice,
for freedom,
and for so much more
We are
in our own unique ways
warriors of the light
that shines within
and through us.
Let your light shine.
May it iluminate your path
and others
that all may find their way.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Venus on Some April Eve

By Don Iannone

Brilliant beacon Venus glows
like some ancient golden coin
in the dark northwest sky.

Wedded as she is to the sun,
she never strays from his side
for more than a moment.

And always with ever adoring eyes
she gazes down
upon her impatient earthly sister,
who like some blue-green cat's eye,
stares back at her golden luster.
Always brighter than the brightest star,
she casts her light for all to see
like a transiting soul off to Heaven.
A wandering star to many she seems,
those knowing her best will forever attest
her eternal celestial family ties.
Helpless I am
to stray from her midst--
for in her shadow
my heart hangs deep.
And to her always I shall look
for sacred beauty and love.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

April Snow
By Don Iannone
We file federal income tax returns next week
and it's still snowing and cold in Cleveland.
Six inches of wet whiteness
dropped on the area
over the past couple days.
Temperatures dive-bombed
from the high 70s to the mid 20s
in the past week.
The daffodils have succumbed
to the suffocating slush of winter.
Baseball games across the midwest
have been called off
because pitchers are throwing snowballs
instead of fast balls.
Mother Nature knows her business
much better than I do, but
how ever will the Easter Bunny
hide those colorful eggs under budding tulips
that are nowhere to be seen?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Always in the Moment We Are
By Don Iannone
The world is changing
in ways we can't begin to imagine.
This time is different
than the last time, or even the times before.
This time it's not about anything new.
This time it has nothing to do
with going any place we've never been.
This time we will return
to the place we were born--
the first time, and all times after that.
We will return
to the place that came before
all other places we've known.
We will return
to the real ground zero.
This time we will discover
our unfolding in the moment.
This time we will sit and observe
how we gather ourselves
in the stillpoint of now.
The world is constantly changing
in ways we can't begin to imagine.
This time we will go back
and when we return
everything will be different.
This time nothing will separate us
from the moment and our infinite becoming.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Man and Nature
By Elizabeth Barrett Browning
A sad man on a summer day
Did look upon the earth, and say--
"Purple cloud the hill-top binding;
Folded hills, the valleys wind in;
Valleys, with fresh streams among you;
Streams, with bosky trees along you;
Trees, with many birds and blossoms;
Birds, with music-trembling bosoms;
Blossoms, dropping dews that wreathe you,
To your fellow flowers beneath you;
Flowers, that constellate on earth;
Earth, that shakest to the mirth
Of the merry Titan ocean,
All his shining hair in motion!
Why am I thus the only one
Who can be dark beneath the sun?"

But when the summer day was past,
He looked to heaven, and smiled at last,
Self-answered so--
"Because, O cloud,
Pressing with thy crumpled shroud
Heavily on mountain top;
Hills that almost seem to drop,
Stricken with a misty death,
To the valleys underneath;
Valleys, sighing with the torrent;
Waters, streaked with branches horrent;
Branchless trees, that shake your head
Wildly o'er your blossoms spread
Where the common flowers are found;
Flowers, with foreheads to the ground;
Ground, that shriekest while the sea
With his iron smiteth thee--
I am, besides, the only one
Who can be bright without the sun."

Thursday, April 05, 2007

By Don Iannone
We pretend at times
that things are better
than they really are
because we want our life to be
better than it really is.
We pretend at times
that things are worse
than they really are
because we can't stop clinging
to our deepest fears.
When we pretend
we fill in the empty spaces
in our lives
because we cannot accept
our not knowing
how things really are.
We pretend because pretense is a place
where we hide from the truth
that eventually reveals itself
and changes us forever.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Red Lake Indian Brothers
By Don Iannone
This is April, and
they had been missing since late November.
Everyone had given up hope,
except their mother, who wasn't ready
to stop loving them, just yet.
Two Indian boys--brothers, who
like all other two and four-year olds,
had an insatiable sense of curiosity.
This time it carried them to First Thunders Lake--
wearing a tantalizing satin sheet
that glittered in the early morning sun.
This time it carried them
even beyond their mother's love.
True enough...
the boys' ancestors explored the deep places--
the ones beyond the forest and to the lake.
The lake dressed in white satin
that sparkled like a million stars
on a pitch black winter night.
Maybe the boys heard the same call
that rang in their ancestors' ears for so long.
Maybe the two brothers saw a beaver
making its way to the inviting beaver dam.
Or maybe they followed a white-tailed deer
to the magical water's edge, and decided to go beyond.
The two Red Lake brothers, in the dead of winter,
came face to face with the Great Spirit
at the bottom of the remote lake,
where the wild rice would grow again in the springtime
and the brown trout would invite men and boys
to stand side by side casting
their lots in life into the clear blue water.
I want to believe that
the boys' ancestors met them--just before,
and walked them into the light.
I want to believe the tears will quietly end in Red Lake,
where just two years before
ten people died and seven others were injured
in a shooting rampage at Red Lake High School.
I want to believe no more tears will fill the lake
where the wild rice will grow again in the springtime,
and the brown trout will invite men and boys
to stand side by side casting
their lots in life into the clear blue water.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

What We Touch Touches Us
By Don Iannone
ometimes you touch things,
and they touch you very special ways
that you never expected.
ometimes you have to lose yourself in things
to find parts of yourself
that you never knew existed.
ometimes the things you touch
are more powerful than you ever knew.
You might not have touched these things
if you knew their power beforehand.
e should never forget that we live
in a completely conscious and alive universe
that needs us as much as we need it.
So we shouldn't be surprised
by the power of all things we touch.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Monday Morning
By Don Iannone
onday morning darkness fades
as shimmering sunlight fills the front window.
heerful bird voices punctuate the sunrise
taking its time deciding what color dress to wear.
he three cats do their morning yoga
while I wait with puffed eyes and unruly hair
for fragant last drops of coffee to fill the awaiting pot.
houghts of writing a poem drift hopelessly through my consciousness--
knowing even a feeble poem requires a half cup of morning brew.
The day has started and so have I.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

From Spring Raindrops
By Don Iannone
Warm spring rain beats down upon us
with uncontrolled passion
throughout the industrious night.
Between raindrops
we heard the perky daffodils growing
along the near edge of the backyard.
Over night the gnarly crabapple
at the front corner of the house
burst wide open
with delicate green buds.
So much work accomplished
in the span of one short early spring night.
So much magic wrought upon the earth
by the rhythmic life-giving rain.
Soon our bald winter view
of the old cemetery nestled behind us will disappear
as the forest grows thick green
sealing us off until late fall.
And once again
life will overtake death
in the never-ending race to eternity.
Friends' Blogs