Friday, April 30, 2010

Fripp Island, SC

I am visiting a friend who has a home on the ocean in South Carolina. The home is magnificent and so is the experience of the ocean. Its sounds are mesmerizing. Its aroma distinct and pleasant. Its tides predictable. Its mystery profound.

It inspires.

Shimmering Sea — azure shades of sky,

Ripples in a mirror, reflection of a high.

There’s distant blue and nearer green

Experienced first — then clearly seen.

Close your eyes and feel the breeze,

An ocean gift, her nature pleased.

This landward wind from blue beyond

Brings saline songs from tidal pond.

With bursting puffs of curling surf

The salted manna seeks the turf.

In respect the two abide

As they struggle side by side.

Yet rolling waves reclaim the sand

That once was called a part of land,

Then washing rain erodes the earth

To claim a patch of greater worth.

Could it be true for people too?

Respecting other points of view?

The ocean brings us many truths —

Find its meaning, see its proof.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sir Winston

Woodstock, New York artist Ed Berkise gave me a great gift, his ink drawing of Sir Winston Churchill. I have it hanging in my office. I wrote a poetic tribute to the drawing. In my research I found out some interesting character traits and facts about Sir Winston.

Sir Winston
© 2009 Rolland G. Smith

It is with thought I sit and write
To pair with words a work of art
And see its grace with light’s insight
By auguring a noble chart.

The captured look ‘neath Homburg hat
And Cuban leaf pursed ‘tween the lips
Belies his wit on this and that
Plus deeds of war and battleships.

Our history tells us what he’s done
And holds his place of honor due.
He is Great Britain’s favored son.
A fabled knight whose heart was true.

We know his life from history,
But what’s his thought here drawn with skill?
The answer stays a mystery
Within the art of ink and quill.

Sir Winston’s life began we know
In Blenheim Castle’s noble rife
Twas Woodstock there in grand chateaux,
And Woodstock here in artist’s life.

Winston’s teachers said he would never amount to anything. After his first term at boarding school, a teacher wrote a blunt letter home. The boy, the note said, never focused on his work and was never on time.

The tardy boy became a tardy man. Always late, but too important to be left behind. If his speech ran long, dinner parties waited, trains were held, and generals cooled their heels, even royalty waited.

Early in his extraordinary career he was reported to be the highest paid journalist in the world. He was originally trained as an Army officer at Sandhurst, the British equivalent of West Point.

His first " public" adventure began in India. British General Sir Bindon Blood had been dispatched with three brigades to put down a revolt. The only way Winston could get to go was as a war correspondent. The London Daily Telegram paid five pounds per column and another paper bought three hundred words each day.

His colorful dispatches put him in the public eye and his courage served him well. The fight at one point became so heavy that the special correspondent found himself commanding a rear guard action. There was talk of a medal, but better yet, there was his best selling book about the war campaign. It quickly paid more that he earned from four years as an officer.

There were other campaigns, more war stories, his style and descriptive powers were developing. Eventually the money he made paid for his first political campaign.

From there, the career of Winston Churchill is well known.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Washington's Monuent

My twin teenage granddaughters just visited Washington, DC for the first time. They took lots of pictures and one in particular is of the Washington Monument.

The picture clearly shows the change in granite color about a third of the way up the obelisque.

Here’s the reason.

It took 37-years to build.

The simple, but elegant monument we see today lacks many of the frills it was designed to have. Originally the architect wanted to surround the obelisque with a hundred foot tall Greek temple, with niches for the statues of thirty prominent Americans. Above the entrance was to be a massive statue of Washington, clad in a toga, driving a battle chariot, drawn by Arabian horses.

It was a good thing the economy of the day called for a more modest memorial.

Private citizens took up a collection and the cornerstone was laid on the 4th of July 1848. Building was slow. Six years later the monument was only 152 feet toll.

Many of the stones for the monument were donated, states, territories, even the Cherokee nation contributed stones to the project. Greece sent a white marble slab from the ruin of the Parthenon. Pope Pius the 9th sent a marble slab from the temple of Concord in Rome.

Near Dawn, in early March of 1854 the pope's gift was stolen from the site. A band of masked men overpowered a guard and rolled the stone in a handcart to the Potomac River. It was never recovered. Later some of the thieves confessed. They were members of the an anti foreigner, anti-catholic political group called the "Know Nothings."

Work on the project practically stopped during the civil war years. Finally, in 1878 the Federal Government stepped in and got the monument to George Washington finished.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Debate? What Debate.

I guess I am pee-ode (again). The headline Monday evening was that Senate Republicans are united to block debate on legislation that would make major changes in the financial industry regulations since the Great Depression.

These could be changes that might prevent happening again some of the recent banking and financial problems that devastated the housing and investment markets over the last two years.


All sides put their spin on it, but what’s happening here?

This is another example of partisan politics and a head in the sand mentality. Both sides are guilty of this. They send the message to the American people that this is another disagreement between the parties and that compromise is not possible because one side won’t even discuss it. (At least not publically…they will behind closed doors).

Secretive discussion blocks a public debate of the bill's merits. We the people need to remind Congress that debate is the cornerstone of democracy and in a representative democracy it should be a discussion in the public domain.

I think refusing to debate is not government, it’s obstructionism and obstructionism is always inimical to the will of a democratic people.

If you have a problem, talk about it. You don’t like something, debate it. You don’t sweep it under the proverbial, “let’s not talk about it” rug on both sides. I’m reading from these soon to be deposed members of congress that they do not realize the timber of thought and the essence of silent energy against their contention that is rampant within the electorate.

I don’t mean the “tea-party” folks and the staunch party groups, although they are both part of it. I mean the average citizen, both young and old, who are fed up with the contention and controversy in Washington and will vote to see a change.

Mark my words. November is close.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I don’t know about you, but each day I read the headlines from around the world and I am disappointed at the insensitivity of the heart, the insecurity of the spirit and the instability of reason throughout the world.

Daily, people are killing people because they believe differently than they do or they have something that power can take.

People are still bombing innocent people because they think that martyrdom is the only way to heavenly bliss.

The belligerent nation of North Korea continues to provoke its blood brother to the south.

Deaths in mine disasters or on oil platforms always generate new calls for safety. Where were the callers for safety when the dead were alive? Why does authority only listen after people die?

Some public officials continue to cheat and get caught despite earlier politician's convictions of similar crimes.

Leadership and leaders, politicians and partisans continue an argumentative detachment over the climate and its potential ramifications.

A man pleads guilty to an al-Qaida plot to bomb New York subways.

A Brazilian court O.K.’s a dam near the Amazon that will displace thousands of native peoples.

Greed thwarts financial reform.

It goes on and on.

WHEN will human kind see some of their beliefs as contrivances that control the mindless and the weak?

When will politicians see themselves as primordial elemental and not elitist?

When will courtesy and compromise replace contention and conflict?

I know a way out of the hell we have created for ourselves. It is only through LOVE of self and neighbor that peace will come.

No other way is possible. We tried them all and they don’t work.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Law

We often call ourselves a “nation of laws.” What it means officially is that we collectively agree to follow specific sets of rules in order for our society to function fairly, honorably and routinely in life and through mercantile exchange.

Under this banner we do not say that all laws are perfect, absolute or immutable. What is right and just for one generation may not be so for the next, or the next, for attitudes, requirements, conditions and values change.

The founding fathers provided a framework wherein changes through the will of the people are to be made peacefully by a representative democracy applying the art of compromise and compassion. We are the only nation on Earth that has made the legal process an art form and who calls that art the practice of law.

What we might choose to do now is to simplify the understanding and the administration of law so that timely adjudication does not get bound up in a complex bureaucratic system that often requires more money than sense to get a resolution.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

Today is a special day for each of us to go far within the recesses of thought and then into the canyons of reason that dwell in the vastness of our minds and rest for just a wondrous moment in the secret garden of our knowing.

Today is Earth Day. Today is the acknowledgment of the illusive link between the illusion of earthy separateness and the reality of spiritual connection to all things.

I am delighted that humanity began the celebration of Earth Day on April 22, 1970. I was a television reporter in those days and I remember covering the event and marveling at a positive gathering so different from the Vietnam War protests I’d been covering.

"In New York City alone, 10,000 people gathered for concerts, lectures and rallies. More than 2,000 colleges and universities switched from their ongoing anti-war protests to join in pro-Earth celebrations. Even Congress recessed for the day. Earth Day was credited with putting environmental issues on the political map and launching the environmental movement in the United States."

When you are able to rest in the secret garden of your knowing you will feel the inner-connection of all things and if you stay there for a little while in meditation you will see all the connections as pulses of soothing light. You will connect to the chlorophyll of plants, the flight of insects and birds, to the awareness of mammals and especially the knowing of the earth herself.

Note a post by Benjamin Vogt in his blog entitled The Deep Middle about the similarities between blood and chlorophyll:

“…that the hub of every hemoglobin molecule is one atom of iron, while in chlorophyll it is one atom of magnesium.' Just as chlorophyll is green because magnesium absorbs all but the green light spectrum, blood is red because iron absorbs all but the red. Chlorophyll is green blood. It is designed to capture light; blood is designed to capture oxygen."

It is much like the science-fiction movie Avatar and its magnificent story of connections between the Na’vi people and their sentient environment.

Earth Day, if you can do nothing else, just say thank you. Nature will hear you.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Guess Who?

Can you guess who this is before you read the end of this post? He is a man who today still touches the lives of many even though he was born over 250 years ago.

He has been called the most influential figure in the social history of the United States. He was born in a little red farmhouse in West Hartford, Connecticut in 1758. He became a man of many interests: an educator, historian, economist, political theorist, Biblical Scholar, climatologist, medical researcher, journalist, legislator and a lexicographer. In every career he tried, he left his mark.

When America was only a few years old, he wrote the American Spelling Book. Millions of American children were influenced by it. It sold 15-million copies in his own lifetime and over 60 million until it was replaced.

He structured and published the first American revised protestant version of the Bible. He also was instrumental in getting Congress to enact the first American copyright laws.

This man of letters believed in America and things American. He once wrote that "America must be as independent in literature as she is in politics" and he worked toward that end by encouraging a distinctive American language, an english different from the mother tongue of England. He felt an American english language would serve as "a band of national union".

Most of us have used and would recognize his greatest accomplishment. He published the American Dictionary of the English Language.

Scroll down.....

The man is Noah Webster.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Holding On

I’m wondering on this day why so many human beings stubbornly hold on to their ignorance.

I have no suggestion as to where they might go when they finally let go of what holds them in place; only their innate inner being knows that. I only offer a singular path of experience that letting go (of anything) leaves a space for something new and that newness might be life changing and revelatory.

The process of letting go could be applicable to politics, to business, and to beliefs. Letting go does not mean rejection, refutation or denial of the value of the original dogma. It means moving up one layer of being and belief, keeping the former as a foundation upon which to build the new thought and then marveling at how the change of heart changed the mind.

We are constantly reminded in nature of letting go to always have.

Plants will whither and seemingly die in the frosted fall, but yet within is the constancy of life. Trees lose their leaves in a blaze of October color and remind us over and over again that return is inevitable.

When we are able to look at all things and beliefs as prologue for the new then our life changes immediately.

“I saw a rose before its bloom within a bush of thorn. Invisible, yet crimson bright, hoping to adorn a table vase or heart with grace upon a morn.

Until the buds unfurl bright in aromatic rose, few will see the flower there ready to compose a blossomed stem of prickling points and barbs sharp juxtapose.

But as the warmth of spring resumes and cosmic colors flow, the scarlet of the sentient stalk begins its sanguine grow and dabs the bush in beauty with red roses in tableau.”

Monday, April 19, 2010



Main Entry: mock·ery
Pronunciation: \ˈmä-k(ə-)rē, ˈmȯ-\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural mock·er·ies
Date: 15th century
1 : insulting or contemptuous action or speech : DERISION
2 : a subject of laughter, derision, or sport
3 a : a counterfeit appearance : IMITATION b : an insincere, contemptible, or impertinent imitation
4 : something ridiculously or impudently unsuitable


Obama's Mockery of Tea Party Stirs Tax Debate
By Major Garrett


"I've been a little amused over the last couple of days where people have been having these rallies about taxes. You would think they would be saying thank you,"



"What the president said last night was arrogant and smug and a perfect example of why the Tea Party is so intense and so organized" said Republican strategist Terry Holt.



Larry Summers, the president's top economist, blogged for the Huffington Post that in 2009 the middle class and poor were showered with $173 billion in tax cuts, resulting in average federal refunds of $3,000 -- up 10 percent from the previous year.




Friday, April 16, 2010

Earthquakes, Weather and Volcanos

Last December I posted this blog.

“If we, as a world people, needed a sign that we mortals are often incapable of a global grace, of understanding nature, or reaching a collective agreement on how to coexist with nature, we have it from Copenhagen. The leadership actions of the past several days are indicative of our inability and our inaction to acknowledge we are the nature we abuse.

Copenhagen’s global warming summit was a dismal failure.

Politics, pride, greed and perceived need, as well as regional demands for reparations for past industrial abuse prevented 193 countries from reaching a sweeping agreement to protect the future of all of us.

What a shame. What a major disappointment in the deva realms of nature and in the angelic spheres of omniscience. What a letdown to those who acknowledge that the natural world and human world must co-exist as one or eventually not at all.

The native peoples of the world know this and have always been the ones to give honor and thanks to the spirits that balance and hold the potential and unseen forces of Mother Nature in check for the benefit of humanity.

What happens now will be up to the sentient consciousness of Gaia and the Divine plan.

We, as humanity were given the opportunity to come together, to use our scientific knowledge, our compassion, our cognition and our grace to convey to our world’s people that it is an imperative time for less so the future can be more.

Our representatives failed the future and us; in many ways we too failed ourselves.

I am sure there is a disappointment within the sentient awareness of Gaia. Her reaction in various conditions may forcefully bring us to our senses and to a non-negotiable consensus of global survival, not just a brokered deal between a few countries.

Paper notes will not change the climate nor will inaction. Intention is the only action that can change the outcome.

Watch the weather.”

What I should have said in the concluding sentence is, “Watch the weather and the Earth.”

Since December our planet has experienced several major earthquakes, severe winter weather, and now a volcanic eruption in Iceland.

How many more messages do we need before we acknowledge the sentient nature of the Earth?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tea Party?

So here’s what I read! ( NYTimes )

“Poll Finds Tea Party Anger Rooted in Issues of Class

The fierce animosity that Tea Party supporters harbor toward

Washington and President Obama in particular is rooted in

deep pessimism about the direction of the country and the

conviction that the policies of the Obama administration are

disproportionately directed at helping the poor rather than

the middle class or the rich, according to the latest New

York Times/CBS News poll.”

We have a problem in this country. The middle class is not willing to help those next to them. We have become a society of me first. A society of get mine and whatever’s left is for the others. The rich are not exempt from this criticism.

I am a long time member of the middle class and have been since my working class father, a foreman at General Electric and my mother, a grade school teacher each struggled through the forties, fifties and sixties to get me through school and on to a career.

I am not impressed with or willing to embrace the Tea Party folks. They are using multi-media to deceive and delude those people who do not, or will not take the time to check for themselves. The Tea Party folks seem to be locked into a stubborn ideology that everything is wrong with Democrats, or anything that isn’t conservative, green, republican or supportive of their cause is wrong and needs to be changed.

This kind of thinking is wrong. It is inimical to the tenants of Democracy

Not everything in a democracy can go the way of one’s hopes or beliefs.

And since we are a quick gratification society, not everything can go the way we hoped for in a Presidential election, but to dump the vision, the results, so quickly is ludicrous. The Universe takes years to unfold positive results, yet the Tea Party participants want it instantaneously.

We need to give time for things to work. Nothing but the illusions of the mind can change instantly.

The Tea Party needs to remember that the original tea party was a protest against taxation without representation. Not Democracy.

They also must remember the Tea Party participants of the mid 1700’s were disguised as Indians. I wonder what the disguise is today and for what purpose?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Coffee Counter Incounters

I sat yesterday at a Starbucks coffee counter in New York City watching the passersby out the window in front of me. I had some time to kill before a meeting. There was a bus stop there too, so I had a plethora of humanity from which to observe.

Here are some observations about people.

Very Fat
Very thin
Well dressed
Nearly undressed
Over dressed
Ear rings
Nose rings
Collar rings
On the phone
Security on Segways
Traffic Cops
Parking ticket agents
Heavy coats
No coats
Moslem by dress
African by dress
Red hair
Yellow hair
Green hair
Purple hair
No hair
Short hair
Long hair
Short dresses
Long dresses
High boots
High heels
Army boots
Babies sleeping
Babies crying
Toddlers clinging
Toddlers wandering

There was so much more than I can remember and all of these observations were within 25-minutes.

Ain’t life wonderful.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The coming Night

Did you ever sit and watch it get dark? To point out the obvious, it’s a lot like getting up early and watching it get light.

I suppose the light changing from one direction to another is similar, but moving to the dark is a completion of the day where the morning light is a beginning, an expectation.

The coming dark is different. We expect an ending, a restful conclusion. Slowly the sky moves from azure light to Wedgewood blue to grayish tones and finally to the dark, but then the surprise begins.


If you’re fortunate to be in a countryside where no ambient city lights affect the sky view and the night sky is clear without obscuring clouds, your surprise is all the more spectacular. One by one the stars appear and then, as if it is a burst of brilliant thought, the sky explodes with pins of light.

It was Emerson who once wrote, “If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and stare.”

Looking at the stars in appreciation of their mystery and distance in the cosmos is a lot like looking at our daily lives with its mystery and place in the cosmos of life. Accept our lives, at least to some perceptions, embraces the mundanity of existence and neglects the wonder of being.

It is easy to change perceptions by changing your mind.

I don’t see much difference. Waking up to wonder or seeing it in the night sky. It is the wonder of being in the light or dark that acknowledges the divine within each of us.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Again disappointment

Again I am disappointed in the Republicans and the Democrats in our House and Senate for their lack of courtesy, civility, and concern for the good of the whole in their demeanor and discussion in Washington.

I’d like to remind them again of what my latest trip across America led me to conclude that
“Throw them all out” seemed the consensus as I drove and asked in various communities what should we do about the contention in government.

Why do I believe my thinking and the statements of citizens I met sustains a truth?

Already there are demands and dissention, not discussion for an unknown Supreme Court Justice nominee to fill the post of retiring Justice Stevens. It is a perfect time for both parties to come together and find the best person for the job.

It is not the time to find a conservative or a liberal leaning jurist, just the best. We’ve got some major issues facing the court. Heck, we have monumental issues facing our nation’s future and we need the best minds we can find, not the best partisan minds politics can muster.

There was another recent glitch when several Republican Senators objected to a nominee for a Justice Department post because that person criticized the interrogation process of suspected and jailed terrorists held by the Bush/Cheney administration.

Criticized the interrogation process? Good grief!

Of course, someone, everyone, should criticize the use of torture. It is not part of America’s
democratic tenants or a part of America’s future. It is not noble in cause or course.

Torture happens when hatred replaces ethics. Torture happens when reason no longer speaks to authority. Torture happens when we lose our way to the noble democracy to which our founding fathers believed we were destined.

Let us not disappoint the ethical vision of the past because of a fearful future.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Honor and Integrity

A friend sent me an Internet link to an organization called, “Field of Honor.” I clicked on it and liked the principle and ethic behind the celebration. It takes place in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

The website says: “This living display of heroism will fly (flags) as a patriotic tribute to the strength and unity of Americans, and will honor all Veterans who are currently serving, those that have served, and the men and women who have made the supreme sacrifice for our nation’s security and freedom.”

Bravo Fayetteville. America honors you for your tribute.

The Stars and Strips is an outward symbol of a noble inner belief of equal opportunity, liberty and freedom.

Each color of the flag symbolizes something different. The Red is for the patriotic blood spent and spending. Blue is for the beliefs we sustain and are reminded of every time we look at the sky and White is for the divine essence that birthed the atavistic principle that all are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights. (Sound familiar?)

WE THE PEOPLE is the most powerful phrase in the English language. WE, you, me and even everyone and anyone else who never thinks or thought about the ramifications of the power of “WE” will reap the rewards and strength of “WE”. "WE" drops the infectious amalgam of the ego and moves one into the oneness of spirit.

Singularly each of us can “Am our own I”, but collectively we can change the world where each soul is guaranteed a fair and equal participation in the selections of a shared future. It is called many things depending on the culture. It is known as fairness, sharing, service and democracy.

There is another little giant that goes along with these positive choiceful actions.

Integrity is the dominator of all actions. Without it nothing is sacred. Nothing can be sustained with honor. Nothing can amplify the divine within each of us and nothing can grace the collective individualization of the whole.

Integrity will be the rap song of the future and the love song between generations. Integrity will be the choral prayer of harmony and connecting symbols of global beliefs. Integrity is the only meditation that results in the utilization, the implementation and the manifestation of truth.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Freedom of Expression

A few years ago, in Salem, Oregon, there was a late night cable access television program where the host could be seen dancing nude and even defecating on camera. His actions, however offensive, were expressions of art and protected from censorship.

Within each of us is a vast potential for individualized creative expression. We all have a choice of how we manifest our expressions, our art.

Under the umbrella of art, comes a plethora of expressions: paintings, from oils to illustrations; music, both composition and performance; literature, with its story and poetry; film and theater with its drama and comedy, and form, from sculpture to carvings. The most important expression of all is appreciation of things beautiful.

Perhaps there ought to be a litany of requirements that before anyone may use the public airwaves to express prurient, voyeuristic and lewd creations as art, they must first demonstrate a knowledge and appreciation of the other arts that express the beauty and grace of humankind.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sedona Performance

My Sedona experience embraced a collaboration with K. Mockingbird of the Reed people. He was raised on the Diné tah where he ‘listened much to the Wind and spoke to the Stars’ and had the pure joy of learning to play his first flute given to him by his Uncle.

Since then, he has been performing professionally on the Native American flute for 20 years and has recorded 9 CDs. His album “Spirits in the Wind” received a Grammy nomination for Best Native American Album in 2003; in that same year he won the award for Best Native American Duo at the Native American Music Awards.

Mr. Mockingbird performed his original soulful compositions from these recordings He was accompanied by Courtney Yeates on cello and Andy Schulz on acoustic guitar.

He says and I agree…

“We are only a single note lingering in this cosmos, but as one people we make a strong chord in Harmony with the Universe.” ~ Mockingbird

Here’s his website:

The Kenneth G. Mills Foundation presented a program in which I was privileged to read my poetry and have Mr. Mockingbird accompany the words with his original compositions.

The poem is entitled:

The Diné

Hear clear the tones of cedar flow,
Reminding us from place afar,
A gift of art from Navaho,
A sea of sound — a reservoir.

Soft breathy notes pushed from the wood
With airy tones in triple trill,
A calling tune to brotherhood
That bathes the heart when all is still.

Listen to it call the eagle,
The bear, the deer and buffalo,
Brothers of the kingdoms regal,
Sister spirits of long ago.

The ancient sounds from wooden voice,
In sentient wait below the bark,
Now sing in beauty to rejoice —
Returning song to Meadowlark.


The drumming hearts of The Diné
Transcends in beating pulse sublime
As cadenced rhythm does portray
A nature here, but still divine.

Shoshone, Ute and Navaho,
Proud native hearts of desert west,
Hopi, Zuñi, Arapaho
Beat sacred drums for vision quest.

From spirit then came arrows gold
To find their set within the heart,
So stories old can then be told
As feathers’ stride ’long sacred dart.

Our totem’s call in night’s dark damp
As lovers watch the lunar light
That shows the way to dreamers’ camp
And wings our minds for freeing flight.

There’s crafted shafts and fluted points,
Painted ponies and shaman's chant
Reprise the Past and then anoint
The drumming with a step courante.

When beat of heart and those of drums
Transform the time of honor due,
Ancestral rest then finally comes
And spirit heart is birthed anew.


Some hardened stones are all that’s left
Of tribal lands of long ago.
Yet knowing tongues now speak of times
When native hearts again bestow —

A sacred cleansing at earth’s breast
With blue corn hallowed on the ground,
And thanks go out from modern minds
Acknowledging a pulse profound.

Distant brother, come share the blood
Of pale skin and ancient shame.
Trust long has bled, as casualty
And broken treaties that proclaim –

The word of some was as the sand
When empty wind would fly its course
And wipe the promise from the heart
When soldiers took with no remorse.

Gentle sister of grassy plain,
Help calm the atavistic rage
That lingers as our history.
Release its curse with smudging sage —

And see the smoke then dissipate
The agony of saddened past
That hardened into crusted doubt
When lands were taken that were vast.


So hear the tones of cedar flow,
Reminding us from place afar,
A gift of art from Navaho,
A sea of sound — a reservoir.

The breathy notes pushed from the wood
With airy tones in triple trill,
Is calling us to brotherhood
That bathes the heart when all is still.

Listen as it calls the eagle,
The bear, the deer and buffalo,
Brothers of the kingdoms regal,
Sister spirits of long ago.

These ancient sounds from wooden voice,
In sentient wait below the bark,
Now sing in beauty to rejoice —
Returning song to Meadowlark.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sedona's Vortexes

I am here in Sedona, Arizona. A place of sacred energies, false beliefs and prophets, and native traditions.

Visually, this is a divine vista. The soaring red rocks and plateaus amplify a sentient power and accept, as adulation, the individual beliefs of those who come to feel the earthly energy that is exposed here.

Where it comes from I know not. Who discovered it I know not. But I can tell you from several experiences in this environment there is something here.

The people here call them vortexes and invoke them as tourist’s attractions. They call them portals of spiritual and earth energy. There is feminine energy from one portal that seems to be passive and nurturing. There is masculine energy from another that feels assertive and empowering and there seems to be a neutral energy in another place that embraces and energizes anyone within its sphere of influence.

Whether you believe the power is here or not does not matter. The beauty of the landscape is empowering enough to inspire anyone who takes the time to look, sit, and meditate. The result is an appreciation of the grace of nature.

Monday, April 5, 2010


For Christians, this past weekend culminated the solemn and holy conclusion of lent and the joyous time of Easter Sunday.

The truths, of a teaching Jesus, amplify the redemptive belief of the crucifixion and remind us that choosing joy is also part of daily living.

His death on the cross was a Divine choice of unconditional love, not an action to engender sorrow or retribution.

In these times of fear and protection, let us not forget the many lessons of the Cross.

Jesus died teaching forgiveness. He preached that we should look at our world with compassion and love in our hearts, not with the narrowness of a blinded and dispassionate ego mired in retribution.

Through his own suffering, the Anointed One asked that we choose love as the celebration of life and the way to honor the Divine within ourselves and others.

It is often hard to embrace the centuries old message of Easter when we are mired in seeming fear and worry from terrorist’s threats. When we are occupied with concern for our service men and women and their safety in so many fields of harm and when the recession engenders a lack of hope.

Easter for Christians around the world is a time of renewal and rebirth, not only of one’s faith, but also of the joy and peace that is supposed to come from the practice of that faith.

In the practice of our faiths, no matter in what religion it is structured, we often talk the talk, but fail to walk the walk in honoring one’s God with compassion and unconditional love. Selfless and Samaritan acts of grace go by the wayside when fear replaces love.

There is good in all faiths, all religions, and in all beliefs. It is man who creates the differences and the conflicts, believing that is the way to worship the one God of many names.

I hope your Easter experience and earthly renewal was and is sacred and amplifies your hopes and wishes.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Easter is Christianity’s rite of spring. It is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, but even before Jesus lived on this earth another culture celebrated a re-birth.

The Egyptians worshipped many gods, but the two they celebrated in the springtime were Isis and Osiris. Each represented a part of nature. Isis was the land, mother-earth. Osiris was the river, the fertilizer. Their union each spring when the Nile flooded the land, brought the birth of crops, food, a gift from the gods.

The celebrations Easter and that of Isis and Osiris are close in symbolism. Osiris and his followers battle his enemies and during the struggle Seth, a leader of a foe, kills Osiris. The body of Osiris is entombed and after several days of mourning, his followers slay Seth and Osiris is restored to life and the celebration of re-birth begins.

The ancient Anglo Saxons had a goddess of spring too. She was called Eostre and her name may be the derivation of our word Easter.

The Easter bunny too has its origin in pre-Christian fertility lore. Because rabbits are prolific breeders, the rabbit and the Hare became symbols of new life in the spring season. Happy Easter.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool's Day

Some thoughts on April Fools Day.

Did you get fooled? All Fools Day has been around for centuries and nobody is really sure of the origin. Some of the early references come from the middle ages and many countries embrace the practice of pranks and jokes today.

Perhaps one of the best April fools jokes ever perpetrated on the public came from the BBC on April 1st 1957.

Their television news show Panorama announced that because of a mild winter and the elimination of the spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. Producers had tied cooked spaghetti to dozens of trees and made it look like the strands were growing from the branches.

Viewers could see Swiss peasants harvesting spaghetti, laying the strands in baskets and then placing them into the sun to dry

The host of the program Richard Dimbleby, a respected anchorman, stayed serious throughout the hoax story. His voice never cracked a smile or gave a hint of a wink.

Viewers were fooled and hundreds of people called the BBC for information on how to grow their own spaghetti trees. In British understatement they said they should "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."
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