the cave

I attempted to respond to a recent post on The Writing Corp blog ( that asked readers to submit a 100-word essay on exploring a cave as a creative writing project. My writing resulted in recalling powerful childhood memories and became the poem I share here.

The cave that I write about is actually a safe place that I would create as a child. Most of the time I would find find it in the church adjacent to the school I attended, but I was able to find it whenever or wherever I needed to escape my loneliness.  I had a large family and had at least one “best friend,” but I could never escape the feeling that I never quite fit in with others around me. My cave was the place where I could be – me.

we would sit
without words
and listen
to our silence
that spoke
in ways
we understood
and accepted
we could be …
we could just be
I would talk
share my thoughts
reveal my pain
and laugh out loud
when happiness
filled the void
I could hear
the whisper
of silence
and feel
its loving embrace
and know
I was not alone

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My response to “Are you a pilot or a passenger?” by annikenbinz (11 May 2013)

Reading a recent post on Anniken Binz’s blog entitled “Are you a pilot or a passenger?” ( made me stop and wonder how I would answer that question. There have been plenty of times in my life when I have been a leader and a “pilot” – most of the time because everyone else around me expected me to play the role. I guess I play the role well. I’ve never been able to enjoy being a passenger for too long.

The thing is, I don’t always know why I end up as the leader. What do others see in me? Why am I in charge? Why do I have to drive? Who says I have to lead? And God knows, I don’t have all of the answers and don’t always know my way. But I am out in front, moving forward, wondering if there is anyone following behind, and feeling alone. Leadership can be a lonely place, and I don’t do lonely well.

So, am I a pilot or a passenger? Actually, I am both. That’s what keeps me sane. Once I know I will have to lead in a situation, my first instinct is to search for and find my co-pilot(s). That has been my secret – I rarely fly solo. I find other leaders to help me lead. I am still responsible for the outcome, but I am not alone in my journey. I can take my hands off of the wheel and enjoy the ride.

Am I a pilot
or a passenger?

Do I lead
or do I follow
Do I look to others
or do others look to me
take the wheel
let me drive
follow me
lead the way

who leads the leader
who follows the follower
why can’t I be both
at the same time
can I just once
be neither

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golden blanket

Rapeseed fields in Villmar, Germany

Rapeseed fields in Villmar, Germany

bright golden blanket
a sea of yellow flowers
exploding noses

bright golden blossoms
with inviting sweet nectar
angry bee stinging

bright golden ocean
beauty burned in memory
a springtime photo

**Okay, not my best. I just wanted to share my love of the bright yellow rapeseed fields found here in Germany. Some of my friends are terribly alergic to the pollen from these beautiful flowers. Swarms of bees can always be found around these yellow gems, and bee keepers sell their honey. My wife and I love walking among the fields each Spring to enjoy the beauty of these bright yellow flowers, and take pictures, of course.**

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where can I go?

where can I go
to feel like I am fully me
where can I go
to know that I am okay to just be
when is it my turn to find the place
where I decide who I am
when is it my turn to find the place
where I define who to be
where is that place where
there is no worry of time
where is that place where
there is no deadline
for becoming me

**For some time now I have felt that I am not quite where I am supposed to be, and not doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing there. I thought I would know by now, and I worry that I am running out of time.

I know, I know . . . it’s a silly thing to worry about. I have always believed that, even if I don’t understand why, I am always where I need to be. It’s my decisions that make the difference. I am just having problems with those decisions. I feel that I am not always in control of making them. Should I always be in control?

Maybe I’m just restless. Maybe it’s time for this adventurer to move on to the next chapter of his story. I think that’s it. I will have to move on, but not quite yet. I’m not finished just being . . . here.**

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From a blog I follow…



I came across a very well-worn teddy bear the other day.  An eye was missing, stuffing was exposed, and something had been spilled on it matting its hair.  I started to wonder what in the heck had this poor bear been through to end up so battered but I was sidetracked before I gave him another thought.  I remembered the  bear this morning.  I was looking through pictures on Instagram and came across a post from one of my friends, Yousef.  It was this picture of his mom and dad.  The picture reminded me of a well-worn teddy bear being held comfortably in the arms of a very loving little girl.  For me, the picture was the epitome of love.  The picture could represent so many different things depending on the person seeing it but for me I saw beauty amidst the pain.

Appreciative love gazes and holds its…

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Waiting for Spring

A flower bloom in waiting
Reaches out for hidden sun
When will winter end?

**Our flowers are not quite sure what to do with the late arrival of Spring.**

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my team

they come to me for guidance
I go to them for knowledge
they look to me to know the way
I look to them to show me how
they know that I have the plan
I know they can work the details
they think they work for me
I know I work for them
we are a team
and that works
for us

**Team building can be hard work when done right. I’ve been lucky to have the people that have allowed me to succeed, most of the time.**

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Not enough hours . . .

It has been very difficult to do much writing while Maureen and I have been exploring parts of western Ireland. It’s not as if Ireland is lacking for anything to write about. Some of the greatest writers and poets have used Ireland and its people as inspiration for their work. I wish I could claim to do the same, but, although truly inspired by the beauty and culture of this land, there never seems to be enough hours in the day to fully experience it and still find time to write about it. Perhaps, I will finally find the time when this current adventure is over. ~ Slán!

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The Irish Traffic Jam

Driving down the highway
On the wrong side of the road
Listening to the radio
Someone’s singing with a brogue
Didn’t have to go far
Before I reach the first delay
And quickly learn that in Ireland
Sheep have the right of way

** just one more reflection from our adventures in Ireland **

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The Hawk – an unfinished story of trust


I look into its eyes
and it knows me
With new trust
my gloved hand
becomes its perch
And we walk
in the soft morning drizzle
Into wooded glen
to begin the hunt

** Our stay at the Ashford Castle in Ireland included a visit to the Ireland School of Falconry where Maureen and I learned to fly Harris Hawks, the only known social bird of prey. This is a short reflection on an unforgettable experience. **

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