Tag Archives: poems

Thoughts on gratitude…

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.”
~Psalm 139:7-8

In Your Midst 
There is so much,
just so much to be grateful for.
But some days I don’t see it.
Or more importantly,
feel it.
Mind-made problems cover me in fog.
Asleep.
Mind narrows.
Heart hardens.
Self-centers. 
World becomes small.
Some days,
even in your midst,
I don’t see you.
But I catch glimpses.
The veil is lifted.
However slightly,
and briefly.
And then I remember.
I am humbled,
and tears well.
In gratitude.
Beauty overwhelms.
I have everything.
You are closer to me than I can imagine,
closer than my very breath.
There is so much to be grateful for.
In the midst of everything.
In the midst of you.
Every day; every hour.
Each second.
Right now, in fact.
All I have to do is look.

Urban Simplicity

For the Ghosts of Greenwich Village…

For the Ghosts of Greenwich Village

As I sit in a basement bar on Macdougal Street.

I feel you.

Your presence is palpable.

Kerouac.

Ginsberg.

Gibran.

Wolf.

Thomas.

And so many others.

I feel you as I walk down the streets.

As I sit in the bars and cafes.

The same streets that you walked.

And some of the cafes that you worked in.

Drank in.

The same streets that you called home.

That inspired you.

And today as I sit in a basement bar.

Drinking a cold beer,

I thank you.

For changing things.

With your art.

With your words.

And for inspiring so many people.

Still; today.

And for—in a way—changing me.

Even if just a little.

That is enough.

Thank you.

For the Ghosts of Greenwich Village…

For the Ghosts of Greenwich Village 

As I sit in a basement bar on Macdougal Street.
I feel you.
Your presence is palpable.
Kerouac.
Ginsberg.
Gibran.
Wolf.
Thomas.
And so many others.
I feel you as I walk down the streets.
As I sit in the bars and cafes.
The same streets that you walked.
And some of the cafes that you worked in.
Drank in.
The same streets that you called home.
That inspired you.
And today as I sit at a bar.
Drinking a cold beer. 
I thank you.
For changing things.
With your art.
With your words.
And for inspiring so many people.
Still; today.
And for—in a way—changing me.
Even if just a little.
But that is enough. 
Today I think of you.
And thank you.

October 1982…

So recently I came across a box with some old things in it. One of them was a composition notebook with some lyrics/poems I had written. One of the poems, which was untitled, was simply dated “October 1982.” At the time I was out of high school for a just few years, both my parents had all ready made their earthly transition, and I was working as a cook in a Greek diner. The thought of a blog or the internet at the time would have been science fiction. So I wrote things down. This was one of my earliest journals. I would have been 21 years old at the time. In many ways I feel like I’m a different person since then, but at the same time I am very much the same. What struck me about this particular poem was my voice…I could have written this today. Some, I think, who may have known me for a while, were surprised when I attended seminary a few years ago (after being a cook for much of my life). It’s not as if I had this sudden epiphany, I’ve been me all these years. I’ve just finally had the courage to say so. Or maybe things simply bubbled over. Anyhow, when I read this poem I realized I hadn’t changed all that much in 34 years (okay, my knees and back didn’t hurt back then). Anyhow, here’s an excerpt…

You may not believe in

organized religion

but the truth of God is real.

Everybody is

created equal

no matter what their race or creed.

We are all the same.


Urban Simplicity.

Sister Autumn

Sister Autumn

Sometimes you arrive so gradually

That I barley notice

There’s a slight shift

Balmy days

Give way to cool nights

Warm breezes

To chilly winds

Early nights announce you

But I don’t listen

You deceive me

Flowers still bloom

There are leaves on trees

But here you are

As if the door was left ajar

And you slipped in

Quietly

And sat down

With just a whisper

But now that I look

I see you

And I smile

Warm days and chilly nights

You are my favorite

But you know this

Your embrace

With freshness in the air

Is all-encompassing

And it comforts me

I hug you with all my senses

And I don’t want to release you

Because it’s your brother

Winter

Whom I’ve begun to dread

And he’s just behind you

For him

There is preparation

But for now

I solely embrace you

Sister Autumn

With your incredible beauty in decay

Signaling another cycle

Another year’s end

A reminder

But for now

Your embrace is enough

It fills me

And I overflow

Urban Simplicity

Sister Autumn

Sister Autumn 
Sometimes you arrive so gradually
That I barley notice
There’s a slight shift
Balmy days
Give way to cool nights
Warm breezes
To chilly winds
Early nights announce you
But I don’t listen
You deceive me
Flowers still bloom
There are leaves on trees
But here you are
As if the door was left ajar
And you slipped in
Quietly
And sat down
With just a whisper
But now that I look
I see you
And I smile
Warm days and chilly nights
You are my favorite
But you know this
Your embrace
With freshness in the air
Is all-encompassing
And it comforts me
I hug you with all my senses
And I don’t want to release you
Because it’s your brother
Winter
Whom I’ve begun to dread
And he’s just behind you
For him
There is preparation
But for now
I solely embrace you
Sister Autumn
With your incredible beauty in decay
Signaling another cycle
Another year’s end
A reminder
But for now
Your embrace is enough
It fills me
And I overflow

Urban Simplicity

A photo and a few words…

Between Storms

Crash!

Kaboom!

This is how I was awakened predawn.

It was a thunderstorm.

Lightening lit up the room like a strobe.

Boom boom, in rapid succession.

But slowly in subsided.

So did the rain.

I rode my bike to work that morning.

The handlebar lamp barely piercing the darkness.

Clouds rumbled in the distance.

In the far flung edges of my world.

Out over the Great Lakes.

The angels are bowling, I thought to myself.

As I pedaled.

That’s what my mother would tell me when I was a child.

Flashes of light lit my way.

Followed by rolling thunder.

There was absolutely no breeze.

The air hung heavy.

Everything dripped.

The sky was alive.

After locking up my bike,

I stood there.

Looking at the sky.

Taking it in.

The sound of thunder.

Getting closer.

The flashes of light.

More frequent.

And then the rain came.

I was between storms.

A photo and a few words…

Between Storms 

Crash!

Kaboom!
This is how I was awakened predawn.
It was a thunderstorm.
Lightening lit up the room like a strobe.
Boom boom, in rapid succession.
But slowly it subsided.
So did the rain.
I rode my bike to work that morning.
The handlebar lamp barely piercing the darkness.
Clouds rumbled in the distance.
In the far flung edges of my world.
Out over the Great Lakes.
The angels are bowling, I thought to myself.
As I pedaled.
That’s what my mother would tell me when I was a child.
Flashes of light lit my way.
Followed by rolling thunder.
There was absolutely no breeze.
The air hung heavy.
Everything dripped.
The sky was alive.
After locking up my bike,
I stood there.
Looking at the sky.
Taking it in.
The sound of thunder.
Getting closer.
The flashes of light.
More frequent.
And then the rain came.
I was between storms.

A Poem by Edwina Gateley…

 Photos taken at Buffalo Harbor 7.12.15
Let Your God Love You

Be silent.
Be still.
Alone.
Empty
Before your God.
Say nothing.
Ask nothing.
Be silent.
Be still.
Let your God look upon you.
That is all.
God knows.
God understands.
God loves you
With an enormous love,
And only wants
To look upon you
With that love.
Quiet.
Still.
Be.

Let your God
Love you.

Urban Simplicity.

Pictures and words…

 

Fluidity

What is life?

This life?

That’s what I find myself wondering.

A series of events?

Experiences?

Relationships?

People drift in.

And they drift out.

We work.

Love.

Worry.

And like drops of water finding our way,

we eventually return.

We return to the great ocean from whence we came.

Dissolving into one.

Becoming one,

again with the great flowing source.

But this…

This very concept…

This is what we should strive for now.

That’s what I think.

What I feel.

Here and now.

But it is so difficult.

To remember.

Because we’ve simply forgotten.

Though we may seem separate,

we are still from the same source.

The same living ocean of life.

But for now we appear as droplets.

Urban Simplicity.

Pictures and words…

Fluidity

What is life?

This life?

That’s what I find myself wondering.

A series of events?

Experiences?

Relationships?

People drift in.

And they drift out.

We work.

Love.

Worry.

And like drops of water finding our way,

we eventually return.

We return to the great ocean from whence we came.

Dissolving into one.

Becoming one,

again with the great flowing source.

But this…

This very concept…

This is what we should strive for now.

That’s what I think.

What I feel.

Here and now.

But it is so difficult.

To remember.

Because we’ve simply forgotten.

Though we may seem separate,

we are still from the same source.

The same living ocean of life.

But for now we appear as droplets.

Urban Simplicity.

The lake at sunset (words and pictures)

I stood on the shore of the lake at sunset.
And beheld its beauty.
The sun set and the moon rose.
A cycle that the lake has known from the very beginning.
It was cold while the wind swept over me.
I had come to find solace; a reprieve from my daily life.
And I did.
I was on the farthest end of the lake in Buffalo.
Was this the same wind that also blew through Toledo, Cleveland, Erie?
Seagulls seemingly hung in the air as they glided into it.
I tried to imagine this place before European explorers.
Proud Iroquoians plying the water in canoes.
Living near the lake’s shore.
And what must the first Europeans have thought?
Surely they were in awe.
Just as I am still.
As the original natives were.
Reverence.
But did they feel this wind.
This same wind.
As it washed over me like a baptism.
Washing away my worries.
They must have; how could they not?
It is said that God whispers in the wind.
And tonight She was.

Urban Simplicity.

Advice on writing from Charles Bukowski…

Image found here.

So you want to be a writer…

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you

in spite of everything,

don’t do it.

unless it comes unasked out of your

heart and your mind and your mouth

and your gut,

don’t do it.

if you have to sit for hours

staring at your computer screen

or hunched over your

typewriter

searching for words,

don’t do it.

if you’re doing it for money or

fame,

don’t do it.

if you’re doing it because you want

women in your bed,

don’t do it.

if you have to sit there and

rewrite it again and again,

don’t do it.

if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,

don’t do it.

if you’re trying to write like somebody

else, forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of

you,then wait patiently.

if it never does roar out of you,

do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife

or your girlfriend or your boyfriend

or your parents or to anybody at all,

you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,

don’t be like so many thousands of

people who call themselves writers,

don’t be dull and boring and

pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-

love.

the libraries of the world have

yawned themselves to

sleep

over your kind.

don’t add to that.

don’t do it.

unless it comes out of

your soul like a rocket,

unless being still would

drive you to madness or

suicide or murder,

don’t do it.

unless the sun inside you is

burning your gut,

don’t do it.

when it is truly time,

and if you have been chosen,

it will do it by

itself and it will keep on doing it

until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

Advice on writing from Charles Bukowski…

Image found here.

So you want to be a writer…
if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else, forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,

don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was. 

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was. – See more at: http://allpoetry.com/So-You-Want-To-Be-A-Writer#sthash.d5SekyYn.dpuf

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was. – See more at: http://allpoetry.com/So-You-Want-To-Be-A-Writer#sthash.d5SekyYn.dpuf

A Parable from Kahlil Gibran

Said a blade of grass to an autumn leaf, “You make such a noise falling! You scatter all my winter dreams.” Said the leaf indignant, “Low-born and low-dwelling! Songless, peevish thing! You live not in the upper air and you cannot tell the sound of singing.” Then the autumn leaf lay down upon the earth and slept. And when spring came she waked again — and she was a blade of grass. And when it was autumn and her winter sleep was upon her, and above her through all the air the leaves were falling, she muttered to herself, “O these autumn leaves! They make such a noise! They scatter all my winter dreams.”