Dreams

we never know, really
what dreams will fill us
we turn off the light
close our eyes, and
the rest is left to our pillow

always dreams growing, under
the cover of so many masks
so many faraway places, thundering
in the background, waiting
for lightning to strike, and free us

some, full length movies, playing
over and over and over again
others, tantalizing clips, whetting
our appetites for more–
more than we can imagine

our dreams free us, if we allow them
to fill places inside us not yet born
as faint outlines they emerge
some ghosts, but most reminders
of what we’ve forgotten

Politics and Snowflakes

We expect too much from government
Too much from politicians–
those we elect to lead us
Those to whom we entrust the public interest

Elected officials should be accountable
That’s not my point. My point is:
Never ask someone else to do
what you must do for yourself

Perhaps you disagree
and that’s alright, but
consider what we abdicate to strangers
we ask to sit in high places, like gods

Those we ask to make change on our behalf
Change most likely we should make in ourselves
Gandhi had it right:
Be the change you want to see in the world

I’ve tired of all the political promises
Those kept, those broken
Those kept can be the worst, especially those
dragging us from one extreme to another

I try not to be cynical about politics, but
I’m tired of senseless power struggles, and
all the he said she said’s
For me, November will always be about Thanksgiving

Snowflakes make more sense than politics
especially during election years
Each is different, but together they make snow
and they don’t make promises they can’t keep

Early February Morning Moment

Numbing cold February morning
A quiescent interlude, a place just beyond
Winter melodies drift like wind-swept snow
The forest, a white goose down quilt
A slumbering world fills with peace

For just one moment
something less becomes more
In that moment, naked knowing
In that place in-between–
A place of equanimity appears

Quickly as it comes, it goes
No touching back what can only touch us
No holding onto what passes through us
No container giving shape to shapeless beauty
Eventually, all snowflakes return to water

Spidering Questions and Answers

No answers, just questions
Probes, like spiders, climbing
one wall, then another
until all possibilities have been touched

Questions, most faint shooting stars
burning out before finding answers
Truth, last thing to come of questions
Answers, but questions turned inside out

Riddles fill holes left by lies
Sometimes thinking they are answers
Upon reflection we see
they too are spiders

Word play, perhaps
Some call it poetry
Others see sheer entertainment
Me? Just more spiders spinning webs

Angel

A gift to Jessi from a friend
Fast becoming a receptacle for love
A small spirited dog, overflowing with life
An angel, in name and spirit

Everyday, a companion, trusting friend
Courageous protector
At times, a playful heat-seeking missile
Always a bearer of happiness and joy

One of God’s precious creatures
Given in a moment without hestitation
Returned just as quickly
into God’s ever open arms

Empty spots in all she touched
More given than ever taken
For Jessi, a friend for life
An angel in name and spirit

Sacred Cows and Sacrificial Lambs

Sacred cows, what we won’t give up
Not that Holstein, Jersey, Hereford
But, how about that beef with your sister, or
that cow you had over losing the business deal?

Maybe it’s that professional mask you wear, or
your fetish for Levy stonewashed jeans, or
that beard you’ve worn since college, or even
your spoiled son draining you in your old age

Sacrificial lambs, what we give up
instead of what we should give up
Could be anything we don’t really care about
Anything but a sacred cow

Maybe it’s drinking diet Pepsi
instead of surrendering that chocolate addiction
Could be keeping your dreadful current job
instead of growing the career that’s right for you

Sacred cows, what we protect
to keep from changing
Sacrificial lambs, what we surrender
to keep from changing

Train Whistle in the Fog

Off in the distance
a haunting train whistle blows
in the sullen early morning fog
that sat the night
and now blankets the slow rising sun

The train whistle, this foggy morning
hovers in that place inside–
that place holding your deepest loneliness
That place hope surrenders
That place you go–
when real tears fall

Listen to what haunts you
Hear its voice, know its name
For it will call again
It will find you as you sleep
like that haunting train whistle
breaking the early morning fog

Warriors of the Light

Each of us, in our own way
gives light to the world
Each of us, in the way we know
fights for what is right

Some carry torches
Others raise the flag
Some prefer sitting quietly, praying
Some write poetry, enlightening themselves
and possibly others

We are crusaders for truth
justice, freedom, and so much more
We are, in our own unique ways–
warriors of the light
shining within and through us

Let your light shine
May it iluminate your path
and that of others
that all may find their way

Give Me the Reality I Want!

Reality, neither good nor bad
It just is
Don’t like the suit it’s wearing this morning?
Learn to care less about suits
Sounds harsh, I know
But it’s true

Like you, my wants are the lens
through which I see the world
I want this, don’t want that
I want to feel this, not that
Don’t like the hand reality dealt you?
Don’t play cards

Words Helplessly Pointing to Reality

Party favors, our crazy ideas about the universe
Those philosophical rants, just frightened dogs barking at the moon
Elaborate belief systems, mere nimbus clouds
hovering over head, blocking reality

So much of our lives, trying to figure out truth fragments
Nothing more than faint meteor showers
against an ever-changing night sky
So much explanation for things just passing by

Hard not to get carried away
Educated minds are supposed to
Minds have a proclivity for just that–
Exaggeration, exacerbation, and exaltation

Some times I just can’t help it
All the nonsense gets the best of me
Makes you wish for a heavy snow
silencing the lies, mumbo jumbo, and sheer bull

When Will We Ever Learn?

What’s it gonna take
to stop all the fighting?
To end all the killing
Taking lives not ours
When will we ever learn?

Is it a hopeless situation?
One lost, beyond our control?
So many unanswered questions
So many answers…
we do not appreciate

Look around
What do you see?
So many dead bodies
So much lost ’cause of war
When will we ever learn?

If you read the papers
you know what I’m taking about
You’ve seen all the pictures
The nightmares keep you awake
When will we ever learn?

Maybe if we had a conversation
Talked about what matters
Listened to each other’s heartbeats
Maybe then we’d stop all the killing
Maybe then we’d appreciate

The Winds of Time

The winds of time blow over us
Taking with it everything
it ever gave us, and more
All the hopes, dreams, promises
Those lived, those unborn

And the years, they fly by
like loose sheet music in the wind
Many songs sung, even more unwritten
All eventually blown away–
helpless autumn leaves making way for winter

No use holding on to anything
Let it go…all of it
Can’t stop the wind
Its bitter sting in winter
Its comforting touch in summer

It’s not ours. None of it
Much easier that way
No keeping after anything
Not even the fire warming us, and
certainly not the inevitable wind

Donna Jean

You there, lurking in the shadows
Thought I didn’t see you, but I did
I’d know your golden locks anywhere
Even in the half light of a winter moon
I’d know you

Fifty-seven years seems such a long time
Is it the same for you?
I picture you–
Still holding me
Like in the old photograph

You left me
I never got the chance to tell you
just how I felt about you
The stories about you
still float through my head

They said you were special
You knew things–
Things no four-year girl should know
They said you loved me
You couldn’t get enough of me

I’m always glad you’re there
but you can go now
You don’t have to stay here
Not for me any longer–
Unless you want to

donna-jean3.jpg

Word Pictures #1

Off-colored, Jane Fonda’s recent Today Show comment
Benign, a long way from Lenny Bruce
Innocent, something O.J. Simpson never will be
Iraq, another way to spell Vietnam

Whimsical, my mood this morning, but also
the 1906 winner of the Preakness Stakes
February, a very long cold day in hell
when we celebrate everything from groundhogs to Mardi Gras

Nonchalant, excuse me if I don’t care
Methuselah, one old dude, and about six liters of wine
Foozle, what happens to some of my poems
Sanity, a place I’ve not been in a long time

A Valentine’s Day Poem for Mary

You ask so little, give so much
Your life, your work, so many touch
A grounded leader, who gets things done
Your heart shines bright, like the sun

Your love of nature goes unmatched
Birds, kitties, flowers, your soul attached
Others’ pain you feel, and their sorrow
You lend your support today, tomorrow

You’re tough as nails, when need be
But others’ views you also see
You’re respected, loved, by so many
You win them over, even your enemy

You mean the world to me
In love with you, I’ll forever be
You keep my feet on the ground
No one better, could I have found

So on this cold wintery Valentine’s Day
These words to you I must say
I love you more than anything
To you my heart will always cling

Heroes in Our Own Life Stories

Heroes, all of us, in our own life stories
Travelers, you and me
A journey, each day to find ourselves
A lifetime to discover what we’ve lost

Reluctant at times
to accept the challenge–
we are to ourselves
or the challenge nonexistent places pose

Lost at times, all of us
Both within and outside ourselves
Adversity, around each corner
Our biggest monsters always within

Romance, laced between footsteps
Too often in love with ourselves, and
forever in love with whatever we seek
Wedded we are, to the myth bringing us here

Lost arks, holy grails, new lands discovered
Apparent destinations, the journey’s end
But even reaching the end–no end in sight
Heroes we become, only when we go beyond

Eventually comes the morning, we awaken
Like the sun, we shine, and
finally see what we’ve lost
Only then, can we go home

Inspired by Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung
and my teacher Jonathan Young

Pieces Searching for Unity

Lost, a solitary unopened seashell
Alone, the moon without the sun
Afraid, one last sudden heartbeat
Sanguine, a lonely red hovering sunset

Tacit, gratitude underlying truth
Fragile, eggshell thin reality
Calculated, beyond religious computation
Convivial, spontaneous hope overflowing

Unorthodox, like no other before
Defictionalized, stripped of all imagination
Idiosyncratic, unique but not alone
Whole, all parts in love

Live Fully, Love Deeply, Laugh Often

I evesdropped their conversation
Watched the volley, back and forth
Times they agreed, times they didn’t
Their tension cut into me
The words, even the silences, all too familiar

Time to find a another job
Start a new career
Time for a major career-life shift
The words stung because they were true–
for me as well

My whole life, I longed for a calling
An undeniable sign from God–
A burning bush, a voice deep inside
Throughout my work life, doors opened and closed
but no trumpet ever sounded

Work aligned with spirit
Service to others
Right livelihood
Create the work you love
Meaningful work

Right work, right life?
Maybe not
Right life, right work?
Suddenly a trumpet blares:
Live fully, love deeply, laugh often

You My Reader

Sometimes I wonder about you
Your eyes inhaling what I’ve written
Your mouth lipsynching my words
My words becoming your words inside you

Yes, I wonder who you are, and
what you find in what I write
Do you see what I see?
What do you see?

Poetry is a funny thing
Always more than what meets the eye
Like an onion, so many layers to peel away
Like an ocean with no bottom, no end to its depth

I wonder what you feel about my words
What you bring to them, and
what you leave behind
without either of us noticing

I like the way you dance with my words
Yes, you give legs to my poetry
That’s a good thing. Don’t you think?
Wanna rumba?

Beyond Goodbyes

It was never supposed to have happened
His life, the way it did
Beginning from nothing, and eventually
returning to exactly the same
I knew him my whole life
Never for a moment were we apart

His death, the way it came
Without warning, without purpose
One moment, there was breath and life, and
in the next, it was gone
Everything lived, and
everything ever imagined

They cried for him, even those with dry eyes
Especially those with no tears
For their unfinished business bound them forever
to all they held onto
All that remained on the ground
Just above his grave

In a way, I am glad he is gone
His pain was too great
Not just for him, but all of us
The saddest part for me–
No way to say goodbye
No way to fill what always will be empty

When in Perfect Balance We Dance

There you were, on tiptoes dancing
Dipping deep, reaching high
Forever lost in the moment
A ballerina riding a shooting star

We held our breath
as you reached beyond time
Beyond places breath can take us
To places only the heart can go

On tiptoes you swirled and spun
like a perfectly balanced top
Such grace, such beauty
Only a butterfly knows

Some things only love knows
No words capture
No plan contains us
When in perfect balance we dance

Small Things Change Us

Off in the distance
A single bird sings sweetly
A sign this gray February morning
Spring will come soon

Heartened by its melody
I lingered, longer than usual
Soaking in last notes
Stirring hope within me

A mystery to me–
How such a small creature
can ignite such passion
with so simple a song

What a serendipitous blessing, I thought
For something so small to weigh so large
Something so unexpected to spark unity–
A sense God is always there

Something inside me changed, and now
climbing a mountain today
seems far less important
than sitting in quiet holy reception

Transcending Ego

Into my life you staggered
like some teetering drunk in the night
I fed you, gave you a place to rest
Eventually we became friends, then lovers

I loved you, almost as much as I love myself
This love’s ended, but you’re still here–
parading about naked in broad daylight
Even worse, lurking about as a ghost in my dreams

I built you up, you tore me down
I gave you my best, always you demanded more
I drew up separation agreements, time and time again
You never signed any of them

Why are you still here?
There’s nothing left to give you, or myself
What can I give you
that will make you go away, forever?

Even your silence draws life out of me
There is no peace as long as you’re here
No peace until I forget your name
No living until you’re dead

Not even death can extricate me
from your insatiable wantings
For somehow, you’ve embedded yourself
even in my own dark death wish

Beware, for I shall be watching you
as I sit in motionless silence
Without thinking, without doing
Watching you pass away into emptiness

Aurora Antonovic’s Review of My Dad’s Poetry Book

This is truly a big day for my Dad, Donald Lowell Iannone. His book, When God Speaks to Us, was reviewed by Aurora Antonovic.

Click here to read Aurora’s wonderful review, and click here to read what Dad had to say about the review.

Aurora, my deepest thanks! Initially when I told Dad about the review, he was shocked. Then, his shock gave way to much happiness.

Growing Old and Wondering

Old faces, filled with time
Flash back what’s to come like heat lightening
taking the long road home

Lost smiles, fretful grimaces, contorted frowns
All sides of broken triangles
Lonely whispers awaiting blind supplication

Like wayward priests in intercession
Clouds, filled with tomorrow, rain hard
on barren fields, left alone in fallow adoration

Weak, knees trembling, arms outstretched
Imagined saviors climb down from still green crosses
Crucification waits at least one more day

Without warning, or reason
another day is born from today’s seeds, and
more time fills our aging faces