slack water

there is a gap between ebb and flow
the space between high and low
the moment between life and death
a pause as god’s catch their breath

the moon sighs and life sweeps in
the naked beach is lost again
hopes surge up on future’s shore
until, pulled back, they rise no more

this is our high water mark
the apex of our journeys arc
the moment when our heart will know
this is as far as we will go

summits failed, there is a slack
a moment when our soul looks back
regrets for what could have been
as waters fall away again

and skeletons of other’s lives
press into our tired eyes
exposing with advancing years
the nakedness of ancient fears

so move the tides of time
the rise and fall of humankind
and, so, each day, the moon will sigh
and pull and push
both you and I

tio stib
2017

You might also enjoy: Footprints, Desert of Dreams

Flavors of Friends

Some are vanilla,
predictably plain
Dependably true
always the same

Some are exotic
quixotic
sherbets with fireworks lives
occasionally glancing
to check others’ eyes

then the specials
like bubblegum treat
beautifully different
sumptuous sweets

Yes, chocolate, strawberry,
and rocky road too
friends of all flavors
some licked and
some chewed

like ice cream
I taste them
each one of a kind
then off on their way
they melt in my mind

Yet over the years
a few friends remain
these flavors I savor
again
and again

Tio stib, 2014, 2016

You might also enjoy : A Friend Passes, A Mirrored Smile

the wind was I

sunshine blessed rose scented air
butterflies fluttered without a care
the summer breeze swept silent by

I smiled and thought
the wind was I

faces laughed and babies cried
old ones watched as time flew by
and through it all
the nameless wind
blew on
eternal
without end

the wind was I

past mountains tall
past oceans wide
past deserts dry and last goodbyes
unseen
unknown
the wind watched all
from Spring time bliss
to lonely Fall

I’ve had a life
a precious gift
I’ve crossed the world
from birth to death

as sun fell towards the silent ground
as the breath of being slowed down
the wind of life
once strong and free
began to ebb away from me

and with the evening’s final sigh
I felt the wind of life pass by
and knew once more

the wind was I

Tio Stib Signature

You might also enjoy: A Friend Passes, Footprints

Parade of Friends

in the night of emptiness
I stare at what I can’t confess
sitting on a lonely street
a parade comes forth
with silent feet

from timeless fog
they reappear
without a smile
without a tear
the faces pass
some young
some old
marching by
their stories cold

no music plays
no raucous cheers
no flags unfurled
as they pass near
but though these ghosts
say naught a word
my soul screams out
their memories stirred

how can this be
my mind asks
one moment here
and then they’ve passed

once I called these people friends
believed that life would never end
but then the fruit fell off the tree
fate claimed its due in front of me

as I look back at many lost
I question what has been the cost
could I have given more my heart
slowed the death of time apart

and when I take my final breath
will any of my friends be left

tio stig 2015

You might also enjoy: A Friend Passes, The Journey – Matsuo basho

A Friend Passes

it happened
in the depth of night
a wisp of wind,
a soul took flight

a smile
a laugh
a curious mind
flew off to join
the ghosts of time

as memories sweep
my shores of being
his waves roll on
cross seas unseen

I pause to think
what might have been
if life had passed
without my friend

tio stib, 2015
for George Forrester

You might also enjoy: Flavors of Friends; A Mirrored Smile

Dead Again, Thank You

Putting Reckless Romantics To Rest

I died last week. Again. I’ve died hundreds of times in my life, although admittedly the final mortal version has yet to happen. Still, the recent death was quite painful, at least emotionally. Last week a dream died. My dream. And, in its final moments, I was the one who had to unplug the life support system that sustained it. Yes, I had to kill my dream.

I’ve been working for months on marketing my book, “Remedies for Reluctant Romantics,” having tried everything from online giveaways, author blogs, soliciting reviews, and finally social media. First, I focused on the specifics of my target audience and when I felt clear that they were young, tech savvy, educated and action oriented folks, I sought and found someone to help me put together a social media campaign to get my target audience involved and ultimately connected to my book. We started with FaceBook but quickly switched to Instagram as our audience was rapidly migrating to this relatively new site.

“Reckless Romantics” was the Instagram site name we came up with; our thought was that this title best fit the character of the people we wanted to connect with. We focused on “Love in Action” and used the themes in my book as titles for our Reckless Romantic Challenges, contests where we asked our Followers to post their short videos of “Love in Action.” Surprisingly, the site did quite well and we had nearly 700 Followers in three months.

But we didn’t sell one book. In fact, when we gave the book away to our contest winners, they didn’t even bother to download it.

Ouch! Gut punch!

We tried a number of “fixes” but as noted above, the clincher was that even when we gave the book away, people didn’t want to look at it.  Eventually, I had to accept that the money I was paying for the social media campaign might be making some of our followers feel good, but I was bleeding to death financially and had to stop being “nice.” I pulled the plug and our Reckless Romantics Instagram site is now in internet purgatory, floating in cyberspace unattended.

Was this all bad? No, actually it wasn’t “bad” at all. It was simply an effort made to achieve a goal that failed. I still have the goal of being a successful writer, meaning I make money from my writing to support myself, but now I need to evaluate what happened, what i learned, and decide what I can do next that will be more successful.

What did I learn? One thing came out loud and clear: people crave intimacy. Our followers were mostly inactive until we started personally responding to each of them, welcoming them to our site, and encouraging them to get into our Challenge. Activity picked up radically. Yes, people want to feel connected to other lives, to warm and friendly spirits and they want to feel part of something bigger, such as our theme that Love In Action Makes A Better World.

I also learned that authenticity leads to intimacy. When we were open and honest with our followers, they opened up to us. I also learned that my book was either not interesting enough for our Followers to read or they just don’t read many books period. I suspect a bit of both is true, based on research I did that noted the diminishing reading habits of our younger population.

Yes, I did die again last week. The dream I had of social media success also died, but from the ashes I will come up with a new strategy to be a more authentic writer building a better world.

Dead again, thank you. Now I can be reborn.

Love Big! Dream Bigger!Tio Stib Signature

 

Remedies For Reluctant Romantics

Winning at the Game of Love!
Romance For Dummies…