Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Starting over


Awakened by his performing a great cover of “Starting over
I've heard the song before, but not in this way, I'm starting over

Settling in, back from our trip to the “pearl of Africa”, with only 
One house to reside in/worry about now that we're starting over

Twenty-eight year residence in the past, paperwork filings
Confirmed the closing, discharges, and details of starting over

Finished reading “The Ocean at the End of the Lane
And realized it is all about memories, water, and starting over

As we search for good things in our past to share, 
Isn't that what we end up doing? Starting over

Recollection of a specific instance, you "fill in the blank",
It changes us, recognized or not, and we're starting over


Water is critical to life, we can't go many days without it
Thirst quenched, rehydrated, our body is starting over

Water can flow in a stream, river, and progressively
Larger bodies of water, each time it seems to be starting over

Can you stop the stream? Try, and you'll get left behind. 
Catch up, and you are really in a new place, starting over

Your body sweats expending effort in the catching up
Sweat may drench your clothes, weighing down starting over

Cold water, kept in a jug in the fridge is refreshing 
Hot or cold, water is life, enabling starting over

Don't live in the past, there is a happy place to be
When the sun rises tomorrow, and your life is starting over

Sherlock: remember the jar of Maraschino cherries next to the water jug
They remind us to celebrate the small moments starting over

Referential inspirations:

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Lessons from dust

Travel can be fraught with peril or challenges. One prepares with preparation, research, packing, and the hope that such will enable a successful journey whether for business or pleasure. One also asks for blessing from the almighty. Trepidation about the potential for peril brings to mind: “All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust.”

While we ultimately go to one place, the modern airport is a mixer. Folks arriving, going to their destination; others arrive to transfer to their destination, or take the next step to their destination. Walking through this airport, I notice my shoes are still colored with the red road dust we picked up on our travels. Only 4% of the roads in Uganda are paved hence our accumulation of dust. “All are from the dust, and all return to dust.”

How big is Uganda? As a native Rhode Islander, I always find it interesting to put things in perspective. How big is Uganda compared to RI? 100, yes, one more than 99, and not just a round number. 100 RIs would fit within Uganda. 11 Massachusetts would fit. So that may help explain how we spent 20 days there and really did not see it all, no matter how much dust we collected. “All are from the dust, and all return to dust.”

Uganda is one of the poorest countries in Africa. The country has been struggling to properly utilize their resources. 60% of the population live on an average $1.25/day. When one finds out that there is also 40% unemployment, that helps to explain. Each community has a street market. Street vendors sell many of the same items; mattresses, food & produce, hand crafted wooden furniture, welded steel gates & doors. All of these are also cleaned daily to wipe away the dust. “All are from the dust, and all return to dust.”

Uganda is referred to as the “pearl of Africa.” Interesting image. Oysters make pearls. I quote: “The formation of a natural pearl inside an oyster begins when a foreign substance slips into the oyster between the mantle and the shell, which irritates the mantle. It's kind of like the oyster getting a splinter. The oyster's natural reaction is to cover up that irritant by encapsulating the interloper, thereby protecting itself. The mantle covers the irritant with layers of the same nacre substance that is used to create the shell, and these concentric layers of nacre will eventually form a pearl”. To continue the analogy, the continent has provided Uganda with a varied landscape, from the savanna, across rivers and valleys to mountains. With resources (minerals in the ground), and wild animals (in natural environments). A speck of sand (or dust) can not create a pearl. That item can be expelled by the oyster. Dust however is accumulated by all visitors. “All are from the dust, and all return to dust.”

One of the key resources available are the wildlife; giraffe, elephant, water buffalo, warthogs, chimpanzees, the mountain gorilla and a variety of antelope to name only a few. Viewing these majestic animals in their habitat is an amazing experience. They live off the land, or each other, that most of the time is pleasant and peaceful. They have life's basic needs to be busy about; food, shelter, caring for each other, and their young. Fortunate to be only a few feet away from a rather large alpha male silverback gorilla, we both took a deep breath, and listened to the jungle. “All are from the dust, and all return to dust.”

Our travels, approximately 1800 miles over 20 days, provided me with a deeper understanding of how Uganda is “the pearl of Africa.” The people are so much like us. They desire similar things, a good home, opportunity for their children, they enjoy dancing, and singing, etc. Their opportunity by being born in Uganda rather than elsewhere presents a challenge for them. However, their spirit is good. They take things in due course. The sun will rise tomorrow. “All are from the dust, and all return to dust.”

While traveling, I was surprised to find internet access much more prevalent than I expected. In a lull moment catching up on world news, an article in The Guardian caught my attention. It talked of the art curator who cleans Michelangelo’s David and who is quoted as saying about her work: “You know when you clean a bathroom, you clean and clean and think you’ve done a great job but then you spot some dust and wonder ‘where did that come from?’,” Cecilie Hollberg said on Monday. “This is what it’s like. Dust is everywhere.” “All are from the dust, and all return to dust.”

In summary, when you happen to travel, prepare & prepare, trust the process, look out for one another, there will be bumps in the road, this too shall pass, be watchful, the world around us is a wonderful thing. Be curious. Take some time to process it all. Approach life with the dust pan, gathering dust, and then moving to catch the next line, now smaller, then the next line, still smaller. Repeat and repeat. “All are from the dust, and all return to dust.”

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Advice from the curbside


The Christmas tree carefully took time to put up, to decorate, and far less time to remove all the ornaments, strings of lights, and put the tree on the curb

Middle aged honey bees work from the top down secreting wax from their abdomens to build the combs of the hive. Yes, they don't need the curb 

The youthful bees fly all over to collect the pollen to make honey, they have the energy for that. Smarts come with time staying above the curb

Real estate appraisers take the measures of each room, and walls, inside and out, to make their assessment of the residences appeal from the curb

The Peregrine 1 moon shot will run out of fuel before it can power its landing on the moon. The team will maximize testing opportunities as it flies well out of sight of the curb

Recognition of the two circles overlapping, mingling, in ways I would uncover from the breadcrumbs of the table of their conversation while sitting there on the old stone curb


Be prepared for whatever life throws at you, whether dressing for the changing weather, or patiently waiting your turn, applaud their effort when you stand on the curb 

Follow curiosity where it can take you, willingly explore with the eyes of a 3 year old, flop to make a snow angel, and step back to check it out from the curb

Be helpful and leave a rake in its proper place, definitely avoid stepping on the tines to try and pick it up, it can quickly leave you down and out on the curb

Balance is what you do when walking along the edge of a narrow surface, prioritize is what you do to accomplish goals so you won't be left behind on the curb

Mind the words you say but don't be afraid to say what you mean, to add value, to help someone, to share the lessons you acquired walking along the curb 

Ben advocated religiously for work, folks remember “Industry need not wish” and should know he continued that sentence with “and he who lives upon hope will die fasting” upon the curb

So Sherlock, continue your work, taking the measure of the times, building from the top down, and bottom up, sharing the content in context, with the folks along the curb

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Treasure the moment


It’s Thanksgiving weekend and 40 years have passed since you left us

Yet you continue watching over us, reminding us to treasure the moment

Here today, this residence is empty, ready for some other family to enjoy

Daily life, and their celebrations, creating new memories to treasure the moment

There are folding chairs to add to the circle in the living room of the new house

Where conversation ebbs and flows, and games are played to treasure the moment

Someone remarks of a time when … and we all go there, transported instantly …

The thread meanders as the sparks fly triggering other treasures of the moment

The baby is passed around, everyone gets their turn, gooing and ahing

Baby talk is a universal language, in that time before words, to treasure the moment

The family tree continues to grow, some branches end, others expand

A family collaboration brings forth an updated document to help treasure the moment 


Twenty eight years later, this residence is empty for Thanksgiving, all action takes place in the new dwelling, enabling the new residence to treasure the moments

Sitting on the stairs, recarpeted while we were here, the sounds of the house 

are different, there are echos now to treasure the moment

A singular brown oak leaf remains plastered to the sky view window in the 

new residence, visible as I roll back the shade, bending to stretch, and treasure the moment

Houses couldn't exist without doors to enter, or leave, windows to let in light, 

and air, and then there's the sound pattern to treasure the moment

These windows and storms are less sound proof than what we had, 

the folks around us seem so much closer, they are perhaps eager to treasure the moment 

Boxes, multiple sizes, were full and heavy, now emptied, flattened, and recycled 

leaving behind the contents, here and there, in a new spot to treasure the moment

Hold on Sherlock, did you feel that cloud of uncertainty dissipate? The shift was slight but noticeable. My T-shirts supply has been shelved so I can now treasure the moment 

Friday, December 15, 2023

Call for Water


When thirsty, your body signals a call for water

A turn of the faucet, or a flush of the toilet, starts a call for water

The signal may require a long walk, to the well, or stream,

To return with a full yellow container to answer the call for water

The faucet at the sink will start the flow through the pipes

in the house, the street, pump, or water tower to answer the call for water

When the hot water faucet is turned, the water flows under pressure,

with a diversion through heating coils, to answer the call for water

When the toilet is flushed, the water flows carrying the refuse liquid

and, or solid, before refilling the device in the call for water

The refuse, liquid and solid, moves through gravity flow pipes

to get processed before returning to the stream to answer the call for water


Science tells us human males are about 60% water, females about 55%,

which shows why we need to respond to the call for water

The earth's surface is about 70% water but 97% of that is salt water

requiring treatment before answering the call for water

We have to take care of the 3% fresh water, use it as needed,

conserve it to help with the call for water

Science can help determine a good economic process

for conversion of salt water to better answer the call for water

We need to foster those scientific efforts, and trust the science,

as it evolves to provide a solution to the call for water

There are those among us near and far, who need shorter walks,

or better access, to answer the call for water

So Sherlock, are you all wet yet? Or will you help Frank,

and Lynn when they initiate their call for water?

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Time for the music


What is the one thing we usually never have enough of

And which we can't buy? Haven’t Got Time for the Pain 

Do you manage it, or do you let it control you? I have tried 

To be as efficient as I can. times they are a changing 

A little planning can go a long way to helping avoid 

Wasting energy, money, or time; time is on my side

I like to reward those who manage time well. My time is 

Important, and when others recognize that, let the good times roll

Think about it, lots of action words are associated with this

Concept: Make, take, buy, spend, waste; baby, one more time

It seems like time is a thing to be handled, bought, boxed

Stored, when it just keep ticking on its own, Time in a Bottle


It can be a real question, or a good ice breaker, to ask

someone, Does Anybody Really Know What Time it is?

I would propose that only when you are up and about

Does it exist, Time has come today

Memories, whether the penultimate, or even the last time

Are instances when we recognize Times like these

What is it that gives us pause, stops us to realize, and

recognize the present as a gift? Only Time Will Tell

Without that pause, a sense of something else, we go 

About living, doing, being, Time after time

If it is worthy, and created the pause, then the best thing 

to do is likely to Love me Two Times

Sherlock says: give a gift to yourself, think, plan, and then

tackle the day, the next minute, so that it feels like the first time

Source of 100 song titles with "Time" 

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

10,000 decisions


Moving is a choice, and these days, financially a privilege, 
Choosing a residence comes with lots of time and place changes

Home is the center of our daily life, where the heart rests
And recovers for tomorrow's set of time and place changes

These specific walls, doors, and windows frame our life 
Choosing to move will reframe our time and place changes

Our world view is centered here, and soon will be
Centered elsewhere, as our time and place changes

What we take for granted to support our daily activities 
Will be reconsidered as our time and place changes

The faucets, the windows, the neighbors will be new
In some ways, and yet not, as time and place changes


The clocks will change wall positions, the shade, and shadows
Will also, yet the sun will still rise when time and place changes

Trees will still drop their leaves, I won't need to pick them up, or 
worry about when to do so, as time and place changes 

Lots of work to pack, we have all this stuff, which is now 
being decided upon as our time and place changes 

Pack, recycle, discard, or sell, are a few of the options each
Object brings up for us to decide, our time and place changes

The sewing kit is packed away, no "stitch in time" until
We unbox in the new location after time and place changes

The core of what we need in our residence will remain
For the movers to transport when our time and place changes

So Sherlock, are you ready for thousands of decisions? Look for 
the happy day when you are settled, with time and place changes

And yes, there is research on this decision process as tiring 

 "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and Wisdom to know the difference"

Monday, September 18, 2023

Confused, and bewildered, or


You can walk around confused, and bewildered, or be like the youngster who spins down the driveway on his one speed, while the band plays on

How is it that the sunlight, just so, reveals the dust that has been gathering from the bike running down the driveway, while the band plays on

We find the cleaner, and cloths, to get rid of the dust, putting aside the writing which wasn't going as fast as the single speed wheels, while the band plays on

If there is a cure for an illness, why won't folks take it? If there is a treatment that helps an illness, it can be like a single speed cycle, while the band plays on

Is nonsense the lack of sense, or a component of sense, that you can build on, like Lego blocks, or shifting gears on a ten speed bike while the band plays on

Heard someone reveal it took them until they were in college to find out that there were poets that were indeed alive, and writing today, while the band plays on


There are pairs of things, think about it, that'll give you pause, cause you to do a double take, check it out, where, why, while the band plays on

As we grow older each day, some wisdom may reveal itself to us, releasing us from instant satisfaction, bestowing us patience, while the band plays on

Writing works when you can read and follow what I am attempting to convey, head nods, uh huh, provides feedback, gears shift cleanly, while the band plays on

"Intuitions come first, strategic reasoning second", we need an emotional approach to bring others to a review of facts, while the band plays on

Addressing the elephant in the room is good, reason rides the beast, whether shifting gears, or kicking up dust, while the band plays on

The hard ribcage protects the pumping heart, sending oxygenated blood throughout, letting us clean, ride, or double take while the band plays on

So Sherlock, you know positioning is key for the line of sight in a quartet, the eyes do a lot of communication, keeping the rhythm, shifting the gears, while the band plays on

Quote comes from "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion" by Haidt, Jonathan

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

What time is it?

Katydids come out as darkness arrives, what time is it
Their da da da, back and forth, da da da, asks what time is it

The rain falls knowing nothing of the concern it causes

Because the runoff now requires payment, what time is it

A raindrop in Flint delivered as clean water costs more 

Than a raindrop delivered in most other places, what time is it

The grasses rise, reach for the sun, bend with the breeze

Until they're trimmed or not, do they ask what time is it

Late May frost caught blue hydrangeas buds, most failed

To bloom, now in August, we get a few, and ask what time is it

Tree branches reach up, and over, along the trail, making a canopy in search of the sun, so we ask what time is it


There is a cycle to life, most things within it, and around us

A question we tend is miss is when, what time is it

There are best times of day for creative work and also

Respectfully, for required grunt work, what time is it

There are best times to start new patterns, new habits

New challenges, to succeed not fail, what time is it

There are best times to make big decisions, times to avoid

That dental visit, times to take a napaccino, what time is it

There are best times to start school for middle and high schoolers,

too bad 80% of districts don't do that, what time is it

Coming off the pandemic, with uncertainty, and tight budgets

Wouldn't it makes sense to adjust the start time, what time is it

Katydids, larks, and owls seem to know about cycles

They don't need technology to live, what time is it

Written in response while reading

Updated Labor Day weekend when I realized it was the sound of katydids, not tree frogs, that I was referring to.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

"Once upon a time"


Many written works start with "Once upon a time" and
Life changing events can be traced to once upon a time

The middle school substitute teacher approaches the entrance 
running the gauntlet of students eager-faced once upon a time

Greystone Social Club was the site of the 50's themed party
I got her phone number in good taste once upon a time

Apartment living had our landlord watching over her
while I was business trip placed once upon a time

The mindset matters, ask "Where were you when … " then
fill in the blanks, and find out post-haste once upon a time

As new homeowners in Linden, NJ we brought home  
Our two daughters as life was fast paced once upon a time


The Clamshell Award was coined to recognize challenges opening containers after Tylenol was laced once upon a time

Corporate moves took us briefly to Illinois, then back to Jersey, before arriving to become Mass-based once upon a time

Traffic comes down the exit ramp, focused on vehicles from the left, pedestrians from the right were only misplaced once upon a time

Home search found a prime spot, and after the kids adjusted, 
determined to set our 10 year plan as events raced once upon a time

Her grandfather's garden and work in the canning process, 
turned her off fresh garden tomato paste once upon a time

Kudos to the Woosox for honoring the legacy of the Pawsox, 
without one, the other could not be placed, once upon a time

Forty-one years, some things forgotten, some things forgiven,  
This Sherlock frequently said "I love you," and embraced, once upon a time

For DS, for whom each day with is "once upon a time"

Wednesday, August 02, 2023

The poetry game


Some don't read poetry, they don't understand the poet game

So this is my chance, maybe I can explain the poet game

This forces me to begin; welcome to my front porch, relax

We can sit, and laugh, toast champagne to the poet game

An image or a object is where I'll start, what do I call it, name it

To conjure the same in your brain for the poet game

Green grass is a good one, what kind of green is it

My grass grows, as does yours, when it rains in the poet game

Celtic green, evergreen, lime green, thousands of shades yet

Shades don't matter when you're filling the grassy plain for the poet game 

However, to complete the knit pattern successfully, you

need yarn from the same batch of color skeins for the poet game



So we're back to a specific shade of green grass 

Conjured in both our brains for the poet game

In agreement, we move along, another image adds to our

Thinking, another car joins the freight train in this poet game

We continue on the same track, adding images

Building them like a block chain in the poet game

The length of the poem depends on the train of thought

To be shared to avoid a migraine in the poet game

The line length and punctuation are chosen by the poet

Important to refrain from eyestrain in the poet game

It may be work but not impossible to follow along, find

ourselves comfortably riding the airplane in the poet game 

When successful, we're gliding along, admiring the greenery, 

Together above the tree-lined coast of Maine in the poet game

for Matt

Thursday, July 27, 2023

sherzal: commonwealth


She brought her carriage to the car parked next to me in the Walmart “pick up” row, turning she breaks into sobs, surprising me, waiting for my common good

“There aren’t enough of us in there, there are so many of them…” and more sobs, leaving me meditating, waiting for my common good

“He’ll come back and save us, she says with a gleam” 

 I then realize what she is stating, waiting for my common good

I am sorry to disagree, I don’t believe that will be the case.

If he does come back, there’ll be more hating, waiting for our common good

My package was delivered and loaded, I thanked the young man, closed my vehicle and began relocating, waiting with my common good

She is standing still, lost somewhere. I start my vehicle

But can't move until she does, it's frustrating, waiting for my common good


She starts unloading her carriage, I get out to help

Frustration to action translating, liberating our common good

I helped, lifting her last bag from the cart, placing it next to the others, then reached for the cart indicating, relocating the common good

Bumper sticker aside, there was another way to take her comment  "he'll come back", restating, narrating the common good

The world is in turmoil, disaster screams in all the headlines

We can keep hydrating, deflating for the common good

I do maintain hope that together we can figure this out 

Many of us came here migrating, fixating on the common good

We can put aside the differences the media and social apps

Exaggerate to the nth degree, inflating, debating the common good

We can find within us the source, the love, that conquers all

And go about collating, creating for the common good