life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

blazing saddles


I have to live with myself and so

I want to be fit for myself to know.
I want to be able as days go by,
always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don't want to stand with the setting sun
and hate myself for the things I have done.
I don't want to keep on a closet shelf
a lot of secrets about myself
and fool myself as I come and go
into thinking no one else will ever know
the kind of person I really am,
I don't want to dress up myself in sham.
I want to go out with my head erect
I want to deserve all men's respect;
but here in the struggle for fame and wealth
I want to be able to like myself.
I don't want to look at myself and know that
I am bluster and bluff and empty show.
I never can hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see;
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself and so,
whatever happens I want to be
self respecting and conscience free.

Myself by Edgar Albert Guest


~ each line in this "found poem" is the title of a meditation book on my shelf  ~

It’s easier than you think:

You are here,

Awake in the world.

Pay attention, for goodness's sake.

Peace is in every step.

When things fall apart,

Don't bite the hook.

Don't do something, just sit there.

Start where you are.

Happiness is an inside job,

A journey of awakening.

Nothing special,

A path with heart.

Be here, now,

Living beautifully.

No time like the present.

Wherever you go, there you are.

Think on these things:

The still forest pool,

Landscapes of wonder,

Full catastrophe living,

The doors of joy.

The wisdom of no escape,

The places that scare you.

Comfortable with uncertainty,

Taking the leap.

Everyday blessings,

Moments of mindfulness.

Thoughts without a thinker,

A heart as wide as the world.

Breathing through the whole body,

Everything arises, everything falls away.

Stumbling toward enlightenment,

Your true home.

Claudia Cummings poem and image above on facebook and via her website

( poem )


next day —


the titles on the bookshelves 


came to a kind of life

 as a unified theme

 Eclectic — the small town in

Alabama — may

 just own the right price

& be skilled


pinpointing the narrowed 

 gossamer light

— loosely shaking in fits

 a third plank — is

the mission burning

a fourth plank — is

 the mission burning 


 — asleep inside

or any

 inverse & twisted lock on it

 a fifth plank — 

is the metaphor they all become

 — every bit as alive

TILT is the same as

 the carnival

muscle bell ringing

 loudest on 

Sundays — instead

it was always just a building

 that whoever wanted to

— constructed

 even you yourself —

 make as though you’re safe

— even as

 each ghost in turn


 to succeed 

in trapping you


 they were your last & 

only real chance..










(c) ‘17

Drop fire from the sky but don’t name me

as reason. My sister is lost on the longest lit road


in the world. She wanders into shoe stores

the hour before close and chews the stock


back to rawhide. My father’s workshop tools

have broken into open rebellion—he worked


and worked them to the bone. Any second now

the circular saw will churn through the basement door


and into the kitchen, gnawing the floor to spit

and sawdust. Out West my cousin has soldered


the mirrored lenses of police-issue sunglasses

over his ocular cavities. All he sees is wrong.


Alert the Department of the Interior: our enemies

are inside the fence. Drop fire from the sky


but don’t expect it to purify their hate.

Or, if it does, it’ll burn me clean with the rest.


Here’s my hope for salvation: when the stranger

comes knocking, open my arms wide with the door


and give him whatever he takes.

the smoke of the country went up by Iain Haley Pollock


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