Listen First to Understand


I want to help them
give advice
make them think I’m smart and nice

but then I hear a wiser man

listen first to understand

I want to brag
shout what I’ve done
make them want to cheer me on

but then that wiser man again

listen first to understand

no, I don’t always heed the rule
neediness makes me play the fool
but in the quiet of evening light
I look back and know what’s right

listen first to understand

and I will be a loving man


tio stib


You might also enjoy: “If” by Rudyard Kipling; Life Journey Poems and Prose






The Cloud

I don’t see it in the clear blue sky
romping gaily on my way
no hints, no thoughts, no memories

just a perfect day

but then a shadow passes by
and suddenly I give a sigh

and darkness sweeps across my soul

and loneliness exacts its toll


tio stib

You might also enjoy: Life Journey Poems & Prose; My Dementia Diary



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tio stib

You might also enjoy: Control Freaking; life is like a broken egg

A Wilderness Pill

when my back aches
there’s a pill to ease the pain

when I start sneezing
there’s a pill for allergies

but when I’m trapped in urban loneliness
when my soul cries out for wildness
for freedom
screams to be lost in Nature’s oneness
back in the immensity of desert silence
standing in awe on a mountaintop
dancing with waves crashing on a wild beach

then
I need a wilderness pill

a medicine that smells of campfires
that tastes of Springtime meadow flowers
that reverberates with coyotes howling
at the rising moon

but my heart knows
this easy out can’t begin
to feed the hunger

it’s time to get out
get away

time to be on the loose again


tio stib


You might also enjoy: Sorely Needing Wilderness; Which Mountain to Climb


little deaths

at first you think
that’s strange
she must be distracted

the repeated question
the forgotten moment
it’s just not her

but things keep happening
shoes on wrong feet
pants on backwards
toilet paper wadded up in drawers
she can’t count to ten
she wants to walk over to mom’s house
but mom lives in a another country

the oddities keep coming
building

and now
after days
weeks
months

of little deaths

she sits
vacant
wordless

gone


tio stib

You might also enjoy: Walking With My Lover’s Ghost; This child Who Once Was Woman


All the Lovely People

the grocery clerk who
bags my things
the coffee man
who sometimes sings
postman, gardener, neighbors too
stopping by with

how are you?

all the lovely people
who lift me on my way
their nods, their smiles, their greetings
that brighten up each day

and as I lay my head to rest
my heart full, I must confess

my simple life
is richly blessed

tio stib

You might also enjoy: Over the Rainbow; Because Once, I Was Loved by You

A Daughter’s Love

open
she said
holding the spoon in front of
the silent face

open
she said softly
looking into the empty eyes
the eyes that once so dearly loved her

the lips parted
the spoon slipped in
the food swallowed

automatically

empty
she set the bowl aside
gently wiped the mouth
the mouth that once had said

I love you

bending down
she ran her fingers through the greying hair
inhaled the scent
of innocence

pressing her lips
against her mother’s head
she kissed the child
she’d never had

tio stib


You might also enjoy: A Trail of Hearts; A Child’s Smile
 

The Balance Between Wants and Needs

it seems the balance
between wants and needs
has much to do with happiness

needs are part of daily life
water and air
necessities
things without which
human beings would not survive

but then comes the gray zone
the in between

is love a want 
or a need?
is belonging something we must have 
or just a comfort for a lonely heart

Perhaps these are choices one must make
and the answers differ among us
but
on balance
when needs overwhelm wants
when survival is paramount to desire
when dreams are lost to getting by

there is little room left 

for happiness


tio stib


You might also enjoy: “The Speed of Love”; “Because Once, I Was Love By You

River Rock

I plucked it from among its friends 
pushed my fingers into the frigid stream 
felt among the hard, rounded forms blanketing the bottom 
and wrapped my hand around one that 
just felt right 
 
baking in the summer sun 
toes dangling 
tingling in icy water 
my mind studied the stone taken 
from its ancient home 
 
how many years 
how many millennia had passed 
to wear away its imperfections 
grind down its edges 
how much time tossed against other stones 
before all were worn 
 
into oneness 
 
how long will it take 
to wear away my ego 
how much time 
grinding against life 
to smooth out arrogant delusions 
 
until I 
am humbled  
 
into oneness 
 
smiling 
I toss the time traveler 
home 
 
splash! 
 
 
tio stib 
 
 

You might also enjoy: “If”;  Life Journey Poems & Prose