River of Words

River of Words

my life floats down a river of words
on paragraphs, syllables, tales once heard
they call out as I drift by
love and pain, both truth and lies

emphatic “yes!”
a stolid “no.”
the overused, unhelpful “so”
“I’ll be there”
“why not?”
“you said”
“I don’t care”
“quiet, please”
“how can I think?”
“have you ever seen the sky so pink?”

the words speed up
the rapids roar
fearful sounds from times before
then I’m lost and swept away
chaos and cacophony
gulping right and spitting wrong
gasping as I’m thrown along
shouting voices, “me! me! me!”
screaming insecurity
then bashed on conflict’s argument
my heart gives out
my soul is spent

in drowning plight
I see a dove
one final thought


the verbal roar falls far behind
consciousness comes back to mind
as grace, sweet heaven, sets me free
and quiet waters welcome me

my life floats down a river of words
heading towards a voice unheard
yet whispers on the waves call me
“you can, dear one, you can be free”




tio stib

2017, 2019

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floating in a tranquil sea
my thoughts drift to what might be
concerns and chaos slip away
as I inhale a perfect day

clouds above sail slowly by
white against an azure sky
I close my eyes and feel the grace
the sun’s caress warm on my face

years of pain
the tides of time
have scoured the beaches
of my mind
at last, surrendered
to my fate
I no more struggle
with death’s date

floating in a tranquil sea
I smile and simply
let it be

tio stib
2015, 2018

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Forgiveness, the Greatest Gift

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.

-Mark Twain

I made a mistake this year, something which has caused me much inner turmoil. A guy failed to honor a business agreement with me and, quite upset, I spent weeks trying to get him to repay his debt. Despite my many suggestions, he never did, and I couldn’t let it go. As he wasn’t going to change, the only thing left to do was change myself.

Fortunately, the Universe filled my need with a prompt from Pope Francis, who recently opened the Catholic Church’s “Year of Mercy.” As I understand it, (I’m not Catholic), this time allows for all who have sinned to enter the Church and be forgiven. The power of this message rang true with me.

It was time for me to forgive, not just the guy who had faulted me, but myself for my own many faults. After making a conscious act of forgiveness, I am blessed with peace.

Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.

-Marianne Williamson, “return to Love”

This Christmas season, please consider the greatest gift of all, for without peace there is no joy.


May Peace be with you.

Tio Stib Signature


As Christmas approaches, I’m aware that another year is coming to an end. I’m also aware, perhaps more than in the past, of how I feel about my actions in recent months. Being blind has left me much time to think, which, properly focused, can be a good thing.

Although I generally feel good about how I’ve lived this year, I know I can do better at being humble, respecting all life, and paying more attention to the feelings of those around me. I also have one nagging doubt that has bounced around in my brain for weeks, a doubt about how I handled a business situation.

I entered into an agreement with a guy who promised to translate my new book in a set time and then didn’t do the work. I was quite upset as he hadn’t bothered to tell me he was unable to complete the job. I was more upset when he failed to refund the deposit he’d also promised.

I emailed him repeatedly, trying to keep the high ground and suggesting it would be best for him to honor his commitment to repay his debt. As of this moment, that has not happened.

What do I do, was the question I could not answer until this week. Obviously, this guy was not going to change, but I could. I was reminded of Pope Francis and the start of the Catholic Church’s “Year of Mercy.” My heart knew what I had to do.

It was my time to forgive.

I’ve had a tendency in my life to forgive slowly and forget even slower. Although I’m not a Catholic, nor even a Christian, I do believe that part of the beauty of the Christmas season is the spirit of joy it radiates. I know that I can only be truly joyous, and so radiate such joy to others when I forgive all those who have faulted me.

The Campfire

a lone form sits
in front of fire
a sacred glow
on sea of black

as sparks rise
to eternity
I warm my hands
cold nips my back

giant shadows shelter me
dark branches reach for stars
I shiver
then look out again
as time swims into hours

a tiny speck of being I am
no more no less than all
yet somehow one
I know the peace of home

a hint of bright appears beyond
a light begins to grow
moon man crawls up into night
revealing worlds below

in silent silver majesty
on every hill I see
the silhouettes of noble elk
taking midnight tea

the curtain lifts
strange voices shriek
a thousand years unfold
as Nature’s unseen opera shouts
to spirits now and old

with these wild
coyote swoons
I watch Man’s dreams
fly past the moon

Tio Stib, 2015

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Tags: Nature, campfire, Tio Stib, blind poet, blind writer, poetry, solitude, traveling, wildness,
wilderness, Oneness, moonrise, wonder, peace, home, tranquility

Tio Stib, 2015

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Dead Horse Point

15649986108_30161cb9bb_z                                                                                    Image by Fred Moore

stone silent sat
the silhouette
in front of screaming sky
gold, orange, red
and brilliant blue
a day had drifted by

time ran lost
through canyons steep
sandstone carved by gods
warm wind echoed
ancient feet
ghosts passed by with nods

as my soul watched
from Life above
the dream below unfold
a gringo Buddha
slowly smiled
at stories yet

tio stib, 2015

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