Sunday, March 30, 2008

Don Iannone's New Poetry Blog

You can find my daily poetry posts at Poetic Alchemist over on Wordpress.

Here is the link: See you there.

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.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Life Telescopes and Microscopes
By Don Iannone
We are forever trying to decide
when to use the telescope and microscope in our lives.
Each has enormous value and benefit
when used in the right way at the right time,
and each can cause great problems
when used in the wrong way at the wrong time.
Sometimes we get too close to ourselves and our problems
and we fail to see the big picture surrounding our lives.
Sometimes we become too removed from ourselves
and we lose deep personal insight and perspective.
There is a balance...that must be struck
in using these two powerful devices
in giving direction to our lives.
There is a price to pay
when that balance is missed.
There are great rewards to receive
when that balance is achieved.
Each of us must work on understanding
the right time to stand close
and the right time to stand back.
The beauty of life can be seen from each perspective.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Working Stiffs
By Don Iannone
I've grown somewhat jaded
about the ability of work
to bring true meaning to our lives.
Pragmatically, I understand
that most of us must work to survive--
that is we must do something
for money to support ourselves.
I'm not saying it isn't possible
to find personal meaning and purpose
in the work we do, but
I am saying that it is a struggle--
a fight much harder to fight for many.
Growing up in eastern Ohio in the 1950s,
men literally killed themselves working.
The area's unsafe factories and coal mines
maimed and killed many workers,
denying many children their fathers early on.
Today fewer men and women die on the job,
but many more succomb to stress-related illnesses,
which in many cases cause their death.
Looking inside many workplaces,
I see an equally important issue:
the work people do is breaking their spirit
and robbing them of their happiness.
This too is a form of death.
So this poem is dedicated
to all the working stiffs out there--
those who are underpaid
and even those who are overpaid.
I salute you for your forbearance, and
for doing what you must to survive.
But my advice to you is this:
don't accept your current work reality
as your final work reality.
Work at your happiness, and
what brings meaning and purpose to your life.
In so doing, your spirit is rightfully served.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Pondering Poetry
By Don Iannone

Poetry is
one of those things
I like to do
and do often.

Poetry is
one of those things
seizing my imagination
and never letting go
until it has had its say.

Poetry is
something that starts
deep inside you
and doesn't stop starting
until it has run its course.

Poetry is
one of those things
helping you find your way
when you're lost
and therefore
poetry is a big part of my life.

Poetry is
something that people tried
to live without
at points in history
only to discover
that poetry is who they were.

Poetry is a blessing and a curse
and those possessed by it
have no choice but
to let it write itself
through them.

poetry is not
the exclusive domain of poets
with special gifts.
Poetry is for anyone
who breathes air.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

If Only
By Don Iannone

If only we had it to do
...all over again.
If only we had more chance.

If only we could go back
...and erase what was written
...and write another script--
one more honest and true.
One more real
...and more fully present.
One carrying us past
...our illusions and blindspots.

If only we could let go
...of our need to go back
...and change anything in our lives.

If only we could accept ourselves--
just the way we are.

If only we could listen this conversation
...and heed its ending message.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What Has Always Been There
By Don Iannone

What has always been there
is what always remains
after all else has departed
and all else has been lost.

What has always been there
is what is etched deepest
into everything you are
and can never be changed.

What has always been there
is what came before you
and will continue after you
no matter what you do.

What has always been there
cannot be captured by words
like the beginning or the end
since it always was and will always be.

What has always been there
is what you share in common
with everyone else
and belongs to no one.

What has always been there
waits for you each time
you stray from it
and always welcomes you back.

What has always been there
is what has always been there
and will always be there
just because it has always been there.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Tears We Cry Till Laughter in the Skies
By Don Iannone

At times
our work and money
evaporate like smoke
leaving us
as pennyless hungry beggars.
......Then we cry hard impoverished tears.

At times
our loved ones pass us by
leaving us alone
as solitary mourning doves.
......Then we cry hard lonely tears.

At times
our happiness evades our hearts
leaving us empty
as the starless night sky.
......Then we cry sad broken tears.

At times
our health fails us miserably
leaving us frightened
as chased deer in the forest.
......Then we cry forsaken fearful tears.

At times
our sensibilities part our company
leaving us confused
as mice in an intractable maze.
......Then we cry lost desparate tears.

At times
a blessing falls from the sky
just the sign of hope
that we need.
......Then we cry joy-filled thankful tears.

Each turn of life
no matter what
has its lesson
and when we learn
all tears cease.
......And there is laughter in the skies.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Train Whistle in the Fog
By Don Iannone

Off in the distance
a haunting train whistle blows
away the sullen morning fog
that sat the night
yet still blankets the awakening sun
that eventually sputters its way
above the horizon
then floats into the sallow sky.

Train whistles on foggy mornings
like lonesome magnets attract
your heaviness and deepest desperation
and lift only after
they have stolen your sunshine
and left you following after their cry.

We must then decide
whether to follow the lonely train's cry
or continue walking through
our own heaviness and desperation.
We must then decide
which will lift us past the horizon
and into the awaiting sky.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Dove
A Springtime Dedication to Mary
By Don Iannone
Lady bird of grace
whose broad eliptical wings
gather hope
as they flutter helplessly
in love with the morning sunlight.
You saunter
for no particular reason
through the delicate wildflowers
spraying a blaze of color
at the forest's edge.
To that special point you float
and sit in loyal courtship
with the one you adore
and hold forever in your gentle heart.
Your near haunting coo lingers
like the morning mist
drifting afar
then igniting replies
from others perched high.
With the many you gather
from time to time
but always you sit
in that special place
with just one.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Full of Surprises
By Don Iannone

Sun up to sun down is full of surprises
...and that's exactly it should be.
We shouldn't be so surprised
...that life is surprising.
After all IS one big mystery
...despite all that science
...thinks it knows about life.
Does this come a surprise to you?
It continues to surprise me
...which is why I need reminding
...that life is a mystery matter how much I know.
When you wake up tomorrow morning yourself a favor
...and act surprised.
You'll be surprised how
your day will change.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Painting: Monet's Garden of Giverny

First Day of Spring 2007

The birds in the woods
...sing in spring voices the fire-red melting sun readies
...for its daily departure.
They are happy voices--
filled with newfound glee
...causing us to drift off and dream
...of the potpourri of young wildflowers
...about to sprout along the trail to Buttermilk Falls.
Last night the skunks returned
...after the long winter
...for a late dinner of birdseed
...under the backyard feeders.
They know spring is nigh, and
we too are eager for first sightings
...of the bluebells, wild hyacinth and showy orchis.
Is it any wonder Monet found ecstasy his favorite spring garden at Giverny?
Is it any wonder
...each of us turns artist in the springtime?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

By Don Iannone

Never been to Iraq.
No desire to go there--
at least not until
things get a whole lot better.

The killing there must stop!
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?

Baghdad (بغداد Baġdād) is just a place
on a map to me, but I
can feel the pain there,
and the many other war-torn places
where children die, even before
they have a chance to live.

I look at the horrifying pictures
everyday in the paper
of dead people--
people whose hearts used to beat
like yours and mine.

Words are one thing, but
the pictures are the worst.
So many young soldiers--ours and theirs
--hiding behind their uniforms, and their guns
that separate them
from the people they kill.

Both sides--all sides--that kill are wrong.
They always have been--in all wars,
not just this one.
I am not naïve...I have looked death
straight in the face...
I know it's hideous smile.

Have you ever asked yourself
what war means?
What DOES it mean?
Don't trouble yourself too long
for a dressy answer
that you hope makes you half accept
what happens to people in places like Iraq.

War means just one thing:
Justification to kill
for reasons that will always
be buried in the small print--
the very smallest print possible, which
nobody can read, even in their native language.

If you're dying to know--
go to Iraq,
or flashback forty years to Vietnam.
Substitute a hot steamy jungle
for a bone dry desert, and there you have it.
Killing is killing, and
dying is dying.

When will we ever learn?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Changes Spring Forth at Winter's Edge
By Don Iannone

Almost there--
to spring that is.
While a heavy wet snow fell today
...winter knows by now
...that spring is inevitable, and
little can it do discourage spring
...from taking center stage.
Once the crocuses have had
their chance to shine
...the daffodils will take the yard by storm.
And once the daffodils
have gone daffy
...the orange, red, and yellow tulips
will have their way--
until the hungry deer discover them
and mow them down.
So much change springs forth at winter's edge.

Monday, March 19, 2007

removing the you between you and another
by don iannone

leave yourself behind today
forget yourself
...long enough to remember another
...who needs you more
...than you need yourself

forget yourself today
...leave the self behind you cling to
...try your best to get outside the self
...that gets between you and others
watch a miracle happen when you do.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Poems and Dreams: Close to the Other Side
By Don Iannone

Poems about dreams
are excruciatingly hard to express,
and probably just as hard to understand,
even once written on the page.
Dreams about poems are no easier,
when on occasion you have one, and
they are far less expressible, as they
venture into a creative realm beyond--
where the poetry-creating mind usually goes, and
beyond where the poetic hand can write
with any measure of sensibility.
Having said all this, I believe
poetry and dreams come roughly
from the same place inside--
a place very close to the mystery
as we can visit, and return safely,
without falling through to the other side--
a place we write poems about
and have late night dreams about, but
a place we are reluctant to go, until
it is absolutely our time to go there.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Going to Find Peace
By Don Iannone

There comes a time
when you will have gone
as far as you can go
in the way you're used to going.

There comes a time
when you must find another way of going
to get to a new place
you've never been before
and must get to.

There comes a time
when all the places you've been
won't help you go to the next place
calling your name.

There comes a time
when coming and going will end
and staying the course bringing you peace
will forever end your wandering.

There comes a time
when everything that ever made you go
will make you stay.
In that place you can rest.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Betting on Spring
By Don Iannone

Snow fell hard and wet
on young crocuses trying their best
to make strong first impressions in life.
They sagged under the weight
of the slushy snow--
doing its best to leave
a strong lasting impressions
before spring closes the door
on winter's final act.
A nearby chirping robin,
ear cocked to the ground,
places his bet on spring.
I follow his lead and double the bet.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Moon Memories of a Campfire-Lit Night
By Don Iannone

Campfires rage bright
into the deep forest night.
Hungry flames lap
the lonely silence
lingering long past
shadows left
by a rebellious moon
unable to release itself
from the hold
of distant memories
of times long gone by.
The moon will forever
remember this night
and the campfires will dim
always forgetting the light
they gave this forest night.
Rideau Canal Waterway Photo Credit: Ken Watson

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Honoring Our Bison Friends
A Native American Tribute
By Don Iannone

We have forgotten
our bison friends
who for thousands of years
roamed the prairies
honoring their Maker and ours.

We have forgotten the millions
who were slaughtered
for no good reason
by savage white men with rifles
on fleet-footed horses.

We have forgotten those
who leaned out train windows
needlessly shooting the great beasts
whose calves now must find their own way.

We have forsaken
the one given to us all
by the ever wise Great Spirit
as food, clothing, tools, and shelter.

For their tongues
millions were slaughtered
and their maimed carcasses
left to lie and rot.

Many of our thundering friends
died for nothing
save the momentary joy
of seeing the Great Ones fall
to the hard earth beneath their feet.

Such savage folly
by all those taking
what belongs to everyone
but no one
and for taking far more
than they need.

May we all learn
and remember
when men were at their worst
and when they took
what belongs to everyone
but no one.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

First Crocuses
By Don Iannone

First crocuses
...about to bloom
......sit and wait
.........for they know their time.

First crocuses
....test spring's water
......thin green fingers
.........reach toward blue sky.

First crocuses no hurry robins race
..........and redbirds fly.

First crocuses
...listen for Beethoven
......then they know it's time give life a try.

Monday, March 12, 2007

less is more
by don iannone

so many thoughts many memories much to forget
.........before we can remember
............who we really are.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Lake Erie from Cleveland
By Don Iannone

Proud, but smaller than her four siblings,
Erie wraps herself,
like a rough hewn blue-gray shawl
around Cleveland's burly brown and green shoulders.
She hugs the city in places,
giving needed comfort and reassurance.
Then, like any beautiful woman,
she steps back and flirts at a distance--
even sometimes defying our advances.
Her shallow waters seethe at times,
standing tall and swaying back and forth
like a quiver of king cobras.
Her current four thousand year old incarnation
remains hard to fathom, let alone
her Pre-Pleistocene Ice Age roots,
stretching back over two million years.
With age comes grace, and surely
this fair lady commands our respect
for her deep flowing wisdom and beauty.
All this said,
why is such scarce notice given by us
to this watery Cinderella to our north?

Saturday, March 10, 2007







Photo Credit: Rockwell Kent, American, Clover Fields, 1939–40

Spring Fantasies
By Don Iannone

Spring is coming
and everyone and everything knows it
in their heart.
After a long hard winter
the spring makes you want to tarry
for a while
and inhale its lingering perfume.
Just the simple thought of spring
on this early March Saturday morning
makes you want to loosen your hold
and plop down on your back
in the midst of a glorious sun-drenched cloverfield
and gaze without reason
at the fluffy white clouds
slowly drifting across a bright blue sky.

Friday, March 09, 2007

What We Can While We Can in Life
By Don Iannone

Sometimes the weight of life
is so heavy
you can't help but stumble
and even sometimes
you fall.

Sometimes the speed of life
is so fast
you can't help falling behind
and sometimes
you never finish the race
seeming like yours to win all along.

Sometimes the twists and turns in life
set you spinning in circles
whose circumferences fail to intersect
even the tiniest part of your true nature.

Sometimes life goes on
without you
in directions you never imagined.
In directions not yours.
In directions, even at your best
you cannot go.

Sometimes the only thing
we have left
is the lingering glow
of life's fire
burning on for those left after.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Sundown Geese
By Don Iannone

Four Canadian geese
...out of formation
.........straight off
............into the setting sun.

No leaders
...just each following
......his own heart
.........on this lingering
............March evening
...............that wraps itself the creamsicle orange sunset
.....................painting its way
........................across the western sky.

One last glimpse
...of the fleeting foursome just fading shadow shapes
............into sundown's last breath.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

There are Deep Places
By Don Iannone

There are deep places
like valleys you wear
that you can't shake loose
until you give them
all that you have.

There are deep places
cutting your world in half
separating you
from your questions
and from your answers.

There are deep places
sucking you in
and making you believe
there is a limit
to how far
you can fall.

There are deep places
you must go
to find yourself
and lose the illusions
following you through life
like perpetual shadows.

There are deep places
that seem to surface
just about the time
you think you have life
all figured out.

Plumb these depths,
but carefully.
And never forget
they are there
because your life starts
and ends in these deep places.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Second Take on the Interstate Accident
By Don Iannone

One poem was not enough
to shake loose the hold
of the interstate accident
I witnessed last month.

The images of the dead bodies
seem to hover in my mind.
I saw them--
the dead bodies,
completely covered by sheets.

People alive in one instant
and dead in the next.
People on their way to somewhere
when something went terribly wrong
and now their lives have suddenly ended.

Two people
who won’t go home tonight
to their families,
eat supper,
and complain about their jobs.

Two people
who never intended to die this way,
or for that matter in any way
on this snowy cold early February morning.

I wonder who was at fault--
if anyone at all was to blame
for what had happened.
What good is blame
at a time like this any way?

The two people on the covered stretchers
are just bodies now, waiting
to be loaded into the ambulances
with the flashing red and blue lights, and
then taken through the snowy darkness
to a nearby small town hospital,
where those who love them
must come at this early hour,
identify their bodies, and
somehow accept
they will never see their loved one again.

The bodies have names--
even now at this dark hour,
as their spirits slip away,
and their loved ones hover over them,
saying their names, hoping
the names will bring them back to life.

Why was I driving so fast this morning?
Why was I not paying attention to the traffic,
the slippery road, and
my hurried, over-stressed, out-of-control life?
I could have caused this accident
by leading my life in such a reckless fashion.

I could be one of those lifeless bodies,
covered by a stark white sheet, waiting
to be taken to a hospital I don’t know,
and my family would have to come
and identify my remains.

Why do I drive myself so hard in life?”

Monday, March 05, 2007

Visit from the Red-Tailed Hawk
By Don Iannone

From the window
we watched
not more than five yards away
the red-tailed hawk
perched regally
in the still silent pin cherry.
Whitish belly prominent
and proudly fluffed
as a large down pillow.
Chocolate-brown plumage
across his head,
nape and back.
Razor-sharp beak poised
and powerful talons grasping
the most hidden branch
out of view
of unsuspecting songbirds
considering Sunday dinner
at the window feeder
by the dangling wind chimes.
Eyes like lasers
focused in all directions
missing nothing,
including the playful squirrel
lost in himself,
and if not careful
perhaps dinner
for our new raptor friend.
No songbirds appear
and so he lifts off
with broad wings pumping
the Airbus-like bird
high into the marbled gray March sky.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

By Don Iannone

March winds howl without mercy.
Their wolf-like lungs ache--
inhaling bitter February air
not quite ready
to give over to April showers.
So we have March--
the in-between, go-between time
when kites either soar high
or fall abruptly
to the hard frozen ground below.
March winds cry--
into the night;
long past any hour of return.
Their voices drown out
winter's rebellious roar,
and spring's magical chant
that eventually coaxes early snow drops
to lift their frail heads
through still hard earth, and then
find the distant sun's white rays
that will grow strong enough
to still March's howl,
and steady spring's unpredictable dance
into the yellowing sun of summer.
There Comes a Time
By Don Iannone

There comes a time
when sorting out
comes to an end
and the need to sort out
becomes far less important
than nursing along
the time you have left.

There comes a time
when the end
no longer lingers
you have nothing left
to hold you back
and keep you from ending.

There comes a time
when all goodbyes are said
and over
and only the sound of silence
comforts and relieves
the pain of emptiness
weighing unbearably heavy
on your heart.

There comes a time
at last
when the need to end
ceases to be a struggle
and you finally accept
that life wasn't at all
what you thought it to be
rather it was
exactly what you allowed it to be.

Then you begin living.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Beyond Your Fear
By Don Iannone

You can't be but afraid
when loneliness fills the well
from where you draw your hope.
You can't be but afraid
when night lingers in your heart
and drowns your smile
before your lips can try it on.
You can't be but afraid
when the whispering of the wind
shouts and echoes in your deepest places,
and you can't stop
what was never intended to be.
You can't help but being afraid
knowing that being afraid will, forever
preclude those possibilities
not seeing their own end.
You can't be but afraid
looking back at yourself
in the rearview mirror of time
that reflects only what you can see about yourself.
You can't be but afraid
as your next breath threatens to be
your last breath, before
your next breath arises.
In all this being afraid,
you just might lose yourself long enough
to find something else--
something more worthwhile
than the fear you hold onto.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Among the Rows of Corn
By Don Iannone

The golden corn grows impatient,
like a clown's evaporating smile,
in long fingered rows
in the once fallow fields
by the rippling brook--
through the green valley,
where aimless wildflowers grow
through late May, and
where the corn, the sun,
and the long awaited summer--
all dance as part of one dream,
saturating all promises
leading up to tomorrow.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Mole Hills or Mountains
By Don Iannone

Mole hills have a way of growing
into mountains in our lives, and
we have a great deal to do
with these miraculous transformations.
Yes indeed, small problems become large ones, when
we use a magnifying glass or a microscope, when
we should use a telescope in sizing up situations.
We should consult our inner sage on these matters,
and seek guidance on how
to keep things in perspective.
It's funny--because
most inner sages I know
prescribe a natural remedy--
called "give things time."
This remedy, as we all know, means
letting the mole hill decide for itself
whether it wants to stay a mole hill,
or become a mountain.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Heaven: Come and Go as You Like
By Don Iannone

Heaven's doors are always open
...and all we have to do walk in.
Too often
...we make the Holy too hard
...and too complicated.
Heaven's doors are open to all
...and receive all
...wishing to journey inward.
You can enter any time
...and leave any time.
Reservations are not required
...and no early withdrawal penalties apply.
You may be dying go to heaven
...but remember there is no need die to get there.
The greatest thing about heaven is
...there is nowhere to go
...and nothing to do.
For me, that's the best part.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

By Don Iannone

Moon swan on still water.
No ripples.
Only peace.

It's a gift...
the moon
...the swan
......the water
.........the absence of ripples, and
the peace
...brought on the stillness.

Monday, February 26, 2007

My Poems are My Friends
By Don Iannone

My poems are my friends.
They tell me things I need to hear, and
to which I am prone not to listen.
They give words to feelings inside, that
otherwise I may not know I have.
They steady me during times of turmoil,
and times when I'm too lost
to find my way.
They remind me of parts of myself
that I've forgotten
and not spoken to in a long, long time.
They help me feel something
for others' pain and suffering,
which too often gets buried deep
beneath my own.
They encourage me to see the world differently--
in ways I'd ordinarily not choose to see it.
They give advice, understanding,
compassion, and wisdom to others--
to many I've never met, or will ever know.
My poems are my friends, and
for their honesty, candor, humor and love,
I honor them with my deepest poetic thanks.
Working with Your Stuff
By Don Iannone

Working with your stuff--
in ways you haven't before.
Working with the stuff of your life--
to get it together, heal, and
access the best part of yourself.
Working with the stuff of your life--
to be nothing more or less than you are, and
to live in peace and harmony.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Closing Concert on Early Beginnings
By Don Iannone

I am close to having my childhood back
as a long lost part of my life.
There is some pain, but there is for all of us,
in remembering the early hurt parts of ourselves,
which we desperately need
to become all that we are--yes,
to become all that we are.
The early Martins Ferry years came back--
rather unexpectedly, like a full moon
quietly emerging through thick night clouds.
There were re-ignited friendships--
with Dan, Mike and Richard--
boys I knew and still love from Martins Ferry.
Like your first love,
your earliest years are infinitely poetic,
and therefore it's no surprise
there are so many poems
about childhood discoveries, passion, and
living like there is no tomorrow.
There have been magical journeys back
to the native land, where
those who loved most the child I am,
lie in rest, and await the time
when spirits hug again in sweet embrace.
It's not about going back really, rather
it's about drawing into your heart
those early parts of you, helping
you complete your circle of life, and
start over again at a new beginning.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Late February Arizona Sunset
By Don Iannone

A lone Harris hawk swoops and swoons
between shallow furrows cut
in the saguaro-carpeted mountains
just before Friday sunset.
Something about the tan bouldered rocks,
the endless azure sky, marbled
with slow drifting gray-white clouds,
and the slight glint of the near setting sun
on the hawk's out-stretched wings,
makes your heart long, and long deeply,
to be forever a part of this moment--
so close to turning orange and salmon-pink
before making room for the Arizona night sky.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Conscious Communities

Don has started a new blog replacing his longstanding economic development blog. It is called Conscious Communities and can be found here: Conscious Communities
When asked why I made the switch, I said "The sacred geometry of life is too important and powerful, and we don't honor it enough. One way to do that is to become more conscious of the communities we create and how those communities shape our consciousness of ourselves and others. Our communities become poetic to us when we see the sacred energy flowing through them and through us."
Giving Thanks for Those Who Remind Us
By Don Iannone

I passed by a man today,
who had but one eye.
I gave thanks for my very good vision.
I passed by a man today,
who was cursing his poor dog
for not obeying him.
I let go of my need
to mold and control others.
I passed by a very old man today
who had badly lost his way.
I helped the man return to his path,
and thanked him for reminding me
that I had turned a wrong corner in my life.
I passed by a lovely little girl today,
whose beautiful face was missing a smile.
I made a funny face at her
and she burst into laughter.
Seeing her laugh made me laugh out loud.
I passed by a woman today
who complimented me on my tie.
I thanked her, and when I got home,
I thanked my wife for buying the tie for me.
In all, there is a lesson for us to learn.
Give thanks for those who remind us.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

February Sunset Concert
By Don Iannone

A slowly disappearing evening sun
paints Confederate gray clouds
with subtle streaks of marbled salmon-pink,
while melting snow drips
in classic three/four time.
Consciously, I am here--
soaking up Ma Nature's classic February concert,
but a part of me lingers,
just long enough to remember
an early evening spent gazing
at an Arizona sunset--
one not remarkably different than this winter eve;
just two thousand miles away, and
forty degrees warmer.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

In Search of a Metaphysical Explanation of Why Two Toilets Crap Out at the Same Time
By Don Iannone

Crappers crap out--
even the best of them, and
that would be a Toto, or
so says our $150 an hour plumber.
Did you know toilets breakdown
for a lack of use, as well as over-use?
Go figure.

I wouldn't be kidding if I said
all this beats the crap out of me.
Why would two fine, upstanding commodes
bite the dust at the same time?
Reincarnation plans together?

It would be different
if we had young hooligans about the house,
who thought flushing tennis balls
was an entertaining way to spend
a cold, snowy Sunday afternoon.

Well, the good news is
we are the proud parents of
two identical twin Toto toilets.
Both just waiting
to show us what they can do.
Can't wait to give them a test drive.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gathering Fresh New Possibilities by the River
By Don Iannone

It's been a long time
since I played by the river--
along the Mighty Ohio,
where I last knew myself
as a eager young boy.
Such unstoppable power
in the river, and in being young, and
in playing things real.

By the river, we played,
for hours on end.
Fishing, skipping flat rocks,
and dreaming--yes dreaming
of times not yet come, when
we'd be out of here,
and somewhere else
other than here.

Why is it so hard now to just play, and
dream of times not yet come?
Why is there so much pain
in gathering up fresh new possibilities
that carry you, like the river
to another place you've not been?
Today, let me be that boy,
dreaming unstoppable dreams by the river.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Golden Pig Baby Business
By Don Iannone

No reduction this year
in China's population.
Crossover the pig and gold
in Chinese astrology,
and you get millions
of lucky new Golden Pig babies.
Happens every sixty years--
that's five years short
of the years needed for you and me to retire.
We should be so lucky,
or be a Golden Pig baby.
Auspicious or suspicious?
Maybe some of each.
Does it matter?
Not really.
Mother Nature will ultimately weigh in
on China's popping Pig baby population.
Don't mean to me cynical, but
ask Proctor and Gamble, Toyota,
or any major corporation across the world
porking up on the fertile Chinese market.
For them,
it's the Year of the Golden Ringing Cash Register.
So, bring on those Golden Pig babies.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Getting Hitched on a Saturday Night
By Don Iannone

Wedding bells ring.
Sacred vows made
on a knee-deep snowy Saturday night.
Two people--you scarcely know
decide to tie the knot, and make legal
what they've already had for some time.
Another instance in life
where there is an affair
you must go to
because someone you know
knows someone you don't know, and
you must go because
someone you don't know
might tell someone else you don't know
that you weren't there.
To my complete chagrin,
it was wonderful party, and
I was glad to be present after all.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Recovering on a Snowy Saturday Morning
By Don Iannone

The fresh fallen snow brings welcomed silence
on a lingering gray Saturday morning.
It whispers and hushes,
as only a tender-loving mother can do.
It buries the agitation, frustration and stress
of a disastrous work week, turning
amusing dreams into horrifying nightmares.
The fresh fallen snow brings insulation
from the pain of self-doubt and self-flagellation--
both all to familiar ways we abuse
the beautiful spirits given us by God.
Once again, there is the reflection:
What really is the work we do?

Friday, February 16, 2007

We Walk This Road But Once
By Don Iannone

We come this way but once.
There is no stopping us
once we're here--until
the road we travel ends, and then
a piece of us continues--
on another road
that we can't know--until
the road we're on has ended.
We come this way but once.
It is always the first time--
on whatever road we travel.
It is always the first time--
on whatever road we walk.
Next time we walk a road,
may we be gently reminded
we've walked other roads before.
But on this road,
we shall walk but once.
Dedicated to Joanne
By Don Iannone

We write our lines.
Even the bitterest, saddest and most painful--
to the very end.
I think there comes a time--finally,
when we want someone
to simply take away the pen,
and stop the writing.
I think there comes a time--finally,
when the words become
too hard to write, and
what we write is too much to bear.
The writing stops--eventually
for all of us.
Even those of us writing
perfectly beautiful lives.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

It's All One
By Don Iannone

our lives without lines, pieces, or parts,
or years, or moments
separating us from ourselves.
Put it all back together--
the way it was before
we separated it.
Let's hope, this time,
unity prevails over division,
separation, or form--yes form too
breaks us down, causing us
to see pieces and parts, when
there is only one whole
piece of cloth
to which
we all belong.
It's all the same.
Every last non-bit of it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Dying Friend: Trying to Find the Words
By Don Iannone

Our friend Joanne is dying.

It's February 14th, and
she has been dying for a long time.

Please understand that
it is not my job to pronounce, or
predict another's passing.

What do I really know about dying?
My knowledge is strictly theoretical.
You might say...
it's vicariously second-hand.

Cancer takes many of us.
It is ghastly insidious.
Infiltrating us cell by cell, and
like Amazonian piranha,
eventually all is eaten away, leaving nothing.

Cancer is just one of death's ugly paths.
There are many others.
I don't have to name them all.
Like the bodies I saw on stretchers
by the side of the freeway
just a week ago.

On the matter of death,
I am utterly word-bound.
You watch it.
It watches you.
You turn away.
For now, the shroud is not yours.
You go on living.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Snow-Bound Tuesday
By Don Iannone

The winter cares nothing
about whether it is Tuesday,
let alone whether you're cold
and trapped under her heavy wet blankets.
She doesn't mourn your loss of time
due to impassable snow-clogged roads.
Frankly, she does only what she knows how to do,
which is to be winter,
complete with bitter blowing winds, mind-numbing cold,
and deep piles of silencing snow.
Don't blame winter for being true to her nature.
Heed her powerful message: be true to your nature.
By Jane Kenyon

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.

Monday, February 12, 2007

With the Feet God Has Given Us
By Don Iannone

God gave us feet
so we could take steps,
moving us closer to Her.
She couldn't rightly ask us
to follow Her, if
we didn't have a way
to get from where we are
to where She invites us to be.
Footloose at times,
we can be fancy free to wander
where our will entices us to go.
Our feet ground us, and
keep us sure-footed as a Capricorn,
steadfastly climbing Kilimanjaro.
Then at the top,
where the feet can take us no further,
we suddenly sprout wings, like Mercury,
lifting us into the sky, and
carrying us the rest of the way home.
By Don Iannone

We ate spam
when I was a young boy.
Reluctantly so, I might add.
Disgusting stuff.
Horrid tasting, even fried
and served up with gobs of ketchup.
Mom tried tricking us
into eating the slithery, sliced, spiced ham
and who knows what else amalgamation.
She'd hide it under a fried egg,
a slab of Velveeta cheese, and even once
she tried to disguise it as meatloaf.
The taste was distinctive;
much like castor oil or K-rations
left over from World War II.
Hormel has even stooped so low
as to create a Spam Museum,
and sponsor annual Spam fests.
Give me a break!
Beware. Just last year,
Hormel came out with Spam Singles, and
no these are not unmarried Spam eaters.
You got it.
We're talking single packaged slices
of the gristlely, greasy stuff.
Don't bother buying me a ticket
to the Ohio Spam Fest this year.
I think I'm busy.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Heart Fires Burn Brightly
By Don Iannone

A fire, well-stoked,
burns with tenacity and passion,
like a heart filled with love,
whose embers glow bright red and orange,
casting out the lonely darkness
that for so long cloaked its light.
Find your way--by the fire.
Rest there, as the night passes,
and as you engage the light
and enter finally into its midst.
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