Sunday Sanctuary

it is quiet
blissfully calm
as I offer my thanks
for the bounty of blessings
that fill my life

a week of good people
good happenings
food on the table
money in the bank
health and wellness
hearts that care

yes
I think
I am truly blessed

and I wonder

does God care if I get out of bed today?

tio stib

You might also enjoy: High on Gratitude; Life Journey Poems & Prose

Homeless

my cane bumped into him on the sidewalk
stopped by stuff that had fallen from his little train
the wagons of belongings he pulled behind

we’d met before
crossing paths as we wandered unseen
unnoticed
through our silent town

and here he was again
the mutterings
the smell of tobacco and ragged clothes

good morning, I said
as he scurried to tidy up
mumbling a response
making room for me to pass

I walked by

wondering

about two solitary men
homeless in our different ways

tio stib

You might also enjoy: Life in Reverse by George Carlin; Life Journey Poems  & Prose

Sorely Missing Wilderness

I woke with an aching soul
a yearning to be free
away, apart, alone again
just wildness and me

humanness had left me dumb
senses dulled, spirit numb
and then I heard the ancient call
smiled
walked out
and left it all

rambling down an empty road
I crossed the last frontier
and stood once more in wilderness
and heard my heart beat

here

here

here

tio stib

You might also enjoy: Dead Horse Point, Life Journey Poems & Prose

Blind Man on a Bench

a surprise lover
the cool breeze kisses my cheek
my body delights
in sunshine’s warm embrace

wavelets lap softly on the sand
the scent of seashore drifts into my nose
a fly buzzes by

birds surround me
chirping behind
squawking above
honking across the water
laughter approaches

raucous conversation
“good morning!”
“Good morning to you”
the footsteps fade
a blast of male perfume persists

I bite an apple
crisp
juicy
sour
my lips pucker

smile

immersed in a beautiful day
mind swimming in memories
a blind man on a bench

tio stib

You might also enjoy: High on Gratitude, Hope

Sometimes They Smile

Why
I ask my soul
why Push on today
why climb through clouds of loneliness
why come out to play

why toil for summits never reached
why love when death will win
why hope when failure blocks the road
when dreams are crushed again

Why stand tall
With vibrant voice
to live all I can be

Because

Sometimes the gods look down

Sometimes they smile on me

tio stib

You might also enjoy: Do It Anyway; If

Come Out, Come Play

cold, naked, hard,
it shrieks
piercing down the empty streets
the wind beats on every door
you can hide from death no more

the restless souls stir in their beds
haunted by an ancient dread
the walls cannot keep out the fear
the truth that fate is always near

far beyond where wrong knows right
the sun peeks past the edge of night
and streaking ‘cross the stage of day
light calls to life

come out
come play

tio stib
2015, 2021

You might also enjoy: The Crossing, Sometimes They Smile

Be Still and Know

Be Still and Know

veiled in mindless mystery
the new year starts with fog
a wind of chilled uncertainty
a silent shroud of doubt

there are no sounds of distant trains
no birds, no passersby
no dreamy thoughts of far off Springs

just loneliness
just me
just I

but as I hear my trembling heart
craving love’s sweet warmth

whisper words from long ago

be still

be still and know

tio stib

You might also enjoy: If; Inspiration

Lumpy Gravy, Thoughts on Writing Well

I’m working on the rewrite of a chapter in a new book and in spite of hours of effort, when I pause to listen to what I’ve written, it sounds like lumpy gravy.

Yes, I realize that gravy doesn’t talk, sing, or make any other noise, but it still seems the perfect metaphor for my imperfect words. In case you’re not familiar with gravy and, in particular, lumpy gravy, a brief description-

Gravy is a sauce made from cooked meat juices, stock, and other ingredients. One ingredient is flour, which is used to thicken the sauce. When the flour is added incorrectly, the result is lumpy gravy, little balls of unmixed flour in the sauce, a culinary no-no. Like good writing, I believe creating good gravy, a sumptuously smooth sauce, is a combination of rigorous practicality and delicate art.

My own experience is that lumpy gravy usually results from hurrying, compromising time and care because of impatience, setting an unrealistic timeline for creating something that simply cannot be rushed. There is a proper order and way to add and mix ingredients. don’t do this and you get lumps.

what are the lumps in my writing? Words and phrases that don’t sound right, feel out of place, don’t fit the desired style, don’t truly support the theme. Adverbs and adjectives that were easy to insert but, upon reflection, don’t add anything. 

What I write seldom comes out smooth and lump free the first time. Admittedly, I rarely succeed at creating lump free gravy either. In cooking, there are two ways to fix this, stir or whisk much more, or, something few will admit to, strain the gravy through a sieve to remove the lumps. 

This is what rewriting is all about, the writer’s process of removing the lumps from his work through careful consideration, in my case, listening as I can’t see what I’ve written. Often I brainstorm words, sentences, even paragraphs. with the magic power of today’s word processing technology and my text reader friend, Alex voiceOver, I can quickly try and listen to many options, until I hear something that is smooth and feels right. And on I move to the next paragraph.

Ultimately, I’m the cook in my word kitchen and I know, that unless what I’ve written passes my taste test, unless I’ve taken the time, done the work, to make perfect, lump free, gravy, those words can’t leave the kitchen.

tio stib
2018, 2019, 2021

You might also enjoy: Writing Well

Good Humans Being

there is a dream
that I hold dear
of times when men
have grown past fear

when lies and hate
have blown away
when hope and love
guide each new day

yes
this may be fantasy
something that can never be
but I need this dream
to feed my soul
to guide me places
I need go

I dream of one day seeing
a world filled with
good humans being

tio stib
2017, 2020

You might also enjoy: “Desert of Dreams,” “First Snow

Shape Shifting

the mirror of life stares back at me
a history of those times once free
the many men I’d tried to be
the many worlds I’d longed to see
so many new realities
I lived in hopes of finding me

some were good and some were bad
there were happy times and sad
joyful moments and some quite mad
questing for the dreams I had

some lasted days, some only hours
some grew from seeds to lovely flowers
but then the moment finally came
when each went up in spirit’s flame

was I born a vagabond
to never settle down for long
to never truly quite belong
heart pulled on by distant song

lovers, friends, and passersby
I’ve known them all
said my goodbyes
but now, as I face the end
I wonder if I’ll fly again

the caterpillar exists to eat
the pupa then goes off to sleep
and in its sacred, silky place
transforms into a different face

and so I build my new cocoon
as life within me starts to swoon
in hopes that with the coming moon
I will stretch my wings once more
and fly away to distant shores

so begins my every day
shape shifting in the cosmic play

tio stib
2016, 2018, 2019, 2020

You might also enjoy: Paddling a Submarine vs. Living an Authentic Life, A Friend Passes