Saturday, February 16, 2019

Somehow Yours

This one is inspired by our US Constitution, and the horrific tragedy of it being chipped apart, leaving a nation of citizens anything but free to pursue life, liberty and happiness.

Control me, control me
Take what’s mine and do with it what you wish
Use me, use me, use me
Shackle me with iron
Handcuff me with your mind
Whip me into submission
It is your will
To control me, control me
I am what you want me to be
It is, oh master, my destiny

Govern me, govern me
Mother me, smother me
Force your care up my ass
Punished if I go against your plans
Search my soul because you feel like it
My car, my wallet, my cell phone, my pants
Grab my package near the baggage return
Scan my body, my mind, my social media
My phone records, my eyes, my thumbprint
Orchestrate complicated tax forms to elevate your status
Press down hard, like onto a flea, so the blood spurts outward
Bleeding savings and profits, so they can be your own
My debt is your leverage, gifting you capital gains
Stick needles into our children, pin cushions for your power
Test me with your TB
No choices left for those hanging onto the human rights of passage
My rolling stops have you seeing red
So taser the uncontrollable
As your accountants lick their chops
Take what’s mine and do with it what you wish
Perhaps a nice dinner party dish
Catered by butler and maids who bend to your needs
Hotel lobby, government car, all paid expenses of travel and board
No need to hoard
For you have enough
Our hard earned money is somehow yours
Is somehow yours
Somehow yours

Control me, control me
Use me, use me
Shackle me, handcuff me
Whip me with your will
I am what you want me to be
Apparently, it is, oh master, our destiny

The Unexpected Guest

Inspired only by the words "unexpected guest" in an e-mail from a friend. I knew there was a poem in there, not knowing about the Agatha Christie play of the same name.  As I wrote it, I didn't know who would be behind that door. I was as surprised as anyone.

Cloaked with robe
A mysterious messenger
In doorway
Holding the key
Of the great mystery
To all the universal gifts, eroding the rifts
Bringing balance, reflection, harmony, all of our best
Who is this unexpected guest?

Entering the door
Who is this one here for?
Taking a seat, the suspense grows
Removing the hood
All is understood
As if in dreamscape
As if by miracle
By fate
Beyond the realm that carries enmity, anger, hate

Beyond separation
Here in full unification
The end of anticipation
The presence, our visitor
But joined in history’s thread
To those I would love, honor, fear and dread
With repeated removal of garment mask
Revealed at last …

My first friend
Who ran and jumped in puddles
Along with me
Wild abandon, wicked, mischievous and free
Reminding me of everything I need to be

My first schoolteacher
Who gave me smiley faces and knew me well
Wanting the best for me
To go beyond the “S,” and earn that “E”

My first fight
The bully who would try and get me in headlocks
Steal my Pop Tart
My milk money
Until a crazed monster flew out of me
And stood my ground
For my safety … safe and sound

My first girlfriend
Who recognized something in me, anyway
A heart beating
A feeling fleeting
Before time and tears washed it all away

My first heartbreak
Sitting still, staring off, glazed eyes
Wanting this not to be real
The cracking earth, the letter, the goodbyes
Echoed in the memory of each love torn apart
An education in the will of the wind … and the will of the heart

My father
Buying Slurpies
Playing catch
Watching ballgames
Attending graduations, celebrations, presentations
Without a word
That ellipses within communication …
A timetable of subtle and silent support

My mother
Looking back to her the first day of kindergarten
Making sure she is there
And will remain
Ever present, ever loving, ever strong
For all time
Even after the pain
And the hospice … and the final kiss
Upon forehead

My wife
Standing side by side
We ride the wildest ride
Learning of connection without compromise
The holy instant grasped in fingertips
The haven that is a holy relationship

My life
Who I need to be
Striving for the excellence of a report card “E”
With a heart known no matter what
Surviving the deepest of the deepest first cut
In silent support found within
A look back in memory where it all could begin
The holiest of holys – we stand face to face
In the presence of the people I have come to embrace

Every character in this play
Made me who I am today
With or without iambic meter
The rose could not be any more sweeter
Every one of these revealing something of myself
Something to take down, in time, from high upon a shelf
As I place everyone and everything, finally to rest
Revealed at last …
The unexpected guest

Monday, January 14, 2019

There Comes A Time

There comes a time when all good rhymes
Arrive at the end of the line
When we say goodbye to the lies and disguise
And the facades built to hide
We say farewell and let go
Of the parades and the show
There comes a time
When the roles that we play
Have all had their say
And the costumes that we wear
Out of fear or despair
At last … give way to the sublime
For … there comes a time

There comes a time
When we ascend into the depth
Into that which is left
The ashes left behind
Can only remind
Revealing a truth that stands forever
Crushing status that never could measure
Demolishing everything into dust
Precious metals turn to rust
Melting masks, burning down, ripping free
Unlocking the prison with the key…

Our sweetness, our bliss, our glory
The start to the never-ending story
The light and the love
The raining gifts from above
The purity, the joy
A little girl, a little boy

Finally, in the end
For all family, foes and friends
We’ll embrace what’s yours, ours and mine
For always and forever … there comes a time

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

A Poem and Prayer at Christmas 2018

All Things Great

And so we continue this crazy game
The prayer, as always, remains the same
In all things great, our abundance is ours
From the grains of sand to the faraway stars
From the dawn of light to the fading night
From our surrender to God to fighting the good fight
From the lows of lows to the highs of highs
From the flower in the walkway to the heavenly skies
From the love of consideration to the rage of disrespect
From the doubt and dread to the needs that are met
Our father in heaven guarding over a little girl and boy
Our prayer: our health and wealth and joy 

Yes, all things great – they belong to us
As long as we have love, alignment and trust
As long as we remember what is truly real
As long as we’re willing to deeply reveal
As long as we – even in darkness – still believe
In the sacred light … we still can perceive
As long as we process the angst, judgment and hate
Here, in harmony, we embrace all things great

So this prayer is made; the intention is set
In patience, we know God’s promises are kept
Though troubles may come and times may get tough
The Kings may lose, and the Dolphins may suck
Through mortgage mayhem and through bills that mount
It’s beauty and grace and miracles that count

The gifts of a life where we love and laugh
The high fives when we score are always a blast
The quaint walks and talks in the parks’ sunlight
The Venti hot chocolates if they ever get it right
The oatmeal and blueberries and eggs that are free
Perfect, as always, our lady Hennessy
Mark and Tim and Belinda and Harry
The work – though at times maddening – that creates legacy  
And all that is left, the splendor that is our fate
As we proclaim, in full abundance, all that is great

Monday, December 10, 2018

God's Biggest Mistakes

All right, now this isn't to say that God hasn't done some incredible things.
  • The Grand Canyon
  • Double rainbows
  • The creation of German Chocolate Cake
  • And most recently, the Miracle in Miami, where the Dolphins scored a touchdown to win on a hook-and-ladder play with seven seconds to go against the evil New England Patriots
However, let it be said that no one is perfect.

And though hating to be the bearer of bad news, I believe it's important we see what has worked and what has not. Just the messenger here. Don't kill me.

So without further ado, here are five of God's biggest mistakes, in order of blunder.


This is better known as the food pipe and the windpipe. What the heck? Who designed this thing? Why, if you are pretty much starting from scratch anyway, would you assign the same orifice ("mouth") to handle two VERY DIFFERENT functions? Breathing and eating? I really don't think these two bodily functions should be sharing the same opening.

What good could come of it? Here, let's review some of the results of mixing the two:
  • Bloating 
  • Choking on food
  • Coughing and coughing... and coughing
  • Intake of water into lungs
  • Death
  • Unwanted and agitating hiccups
Why do it? Did the Grand Master run out of space on the body? Had to multitask, huh? Oh sure, you give us that handy-dandy flap to separate the two. But it doesn't always work. And it gets even more complicated if you mix three of the mouth's functions: eating, breathing and talking.


2.  HAIR

OK, again, what was the point here?

It's understandable why dogs, cats, bears and other furry creatures would want and need a nice head of hair (as well as covering for other body parts). But the human? Didn't we come up with coats, clothes, mittens, mufflers, hats, and umbrellas for such needs of shelter and protection from the elements?

And even if we didn't have these inventions, you think these measly patches of hair would keep us warm? No way.

And don't even get me started about the fact men routinely lose the hair on top of their heads. Was that because of the Divine Intervention which would become the "baseball cap?" And then it's true most women have no beards or facial hair. So random. As if they had never a plan, in the grand scheme of things, to go outside? Talk about sexism.

Perhaps hair was a necessity in the arena of job creation. Barbers, stylists, hair products, coloring, etc. But was it really worth it? All that trouble - and for what? Something that wouldn't keep anyone covered or sheltered in the cold or heat. 


I get the whole bug thing. In nature. I understand for example the ants. Cleaning up the leftovers left behind by litterbugs, animal deaths, other types of death, and sloppy homemakers. Other bugs, as well, I believe come along to deal with the messes left behind - naturally and not-so-naturally.

But the flea.

Let's review its life-cycle:
  1. Hatch
  2. Find a cat, a dog or a human in order to suck its blood
  3. Die through some sort of violence - either a spray, a chemical or through the death-squeeze of two human fingers

No higher purpose at all. No sense of service to the well-being of others. No reason to exist at all. All they do is take. Sure, there a number of humans like this, but at least they have the chance to turn it around and transform - with free will, the power of choice, and a human body to maneuver and help others if they so choose. But what has the flea got? This tiny body that is only designed to suck blood.

Get the hell out of here. You don't belong. And you are one of God's top five mistakes.

Sorry, but that had to be said.


So you got a garden going, or a nice plot of lawn. You take care of it. You water it. It looks nice. And then what appears in the middle of the beautiful roses or petunias or daffodils?

A bunch of thorny, ugly, meaningless patches of evil.


No really, why? What was God thinking? "Oh I know how to mess up the garden. I know what can bug the living crap out of some caring and conscientious gardeners who lovingly tend to the beautiful shrubs and flowers. I'll just stick some giant weeds in there." 

God is rude.

There truly is no purpose for weeds. They are not serving anyone. They are not protecting anything ... save for themselves with those prickly edges. Some weeds - those round ones that uncoil - are the ones you find in your socks after a trip to the park. The "foxtails" - doing nothing of merit - are the ones that send dogs to the animal hospital at 1k a pop. And then all the other weeds simply disfigure a wonderful landscape.

In a phrase: stop it!


And now ... for the biggest mistake God has ever made.

But first, it must be said He/She actually started off with a really great idea.
  • A checks and balance system
  • A way of teaching souls of the Golden Rule
  • A scientific cause-and-effect concept that reveals the truism of farming: "You reap what you sow"
  • A plan that would bring peace and harmony to all of life 
It's called "karma" - a term of ancient legacy that has been used in present time, as more and more people are aware of the reality ... and the warning.

Well ... something happened to this great plan. Someone messed up. One of the designers didn't include the concept of timing into the scheme. Someone forgot to ensure the karma would be experienced at such a pace that the cause and the effect would clearly be identified.
  • The stealing of the Mounds Bar would be met with the losing of the bike privileges. 
  • The lying to a friend would be met with instantly losing that friend.
  • The cheating on a business deal would be met with the loss of money immediately.
And it would all happen in the moment so there was no confusion that the person "made his own bed and then had to sleep in it."

For it's true, without that timing element, the distance between creating karma and then receiving karma is so delayed, that humans can't put 2 and 2 together. It creates an opening for other such travesties:
  • Denial of any wrongdoing
  • A whole slew of excuses and distractions
  • Blaming everyone else and everything else for our troubles
  • The continued poor and unconscious behavior that harms family and friends
  • The prospering of cheaters and liars (for a time) 
  • Absolute selfishness
Good job God. Didn't see that one coming, did ya?

Well, having said all this, I tell ya what.

As we have all experienced, everyone gets a million chances to get it right. And that shouldn't exclude You.

Plan: you get rid of the weeds and the fleas, come up with a better idea than hair, windpipes and foodpipes, and then speed up this whole karma thing ... and we can talk.

Looking forward to it.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

And Yet

A Prayer for the Burdened

Crumbling Under Weight
I carry for no reason
My shoulders and back burdened
By life
By the invisible band of thieves, muggers and murderers
By the streaking tear
By the shreaking fear
That tells me lies construed to disguise
All truth to the contrary

My back and shoulders burdened
I collapse into dust, like a tower of controlled demolition
Isolation is my company
No dream left to dream
No inhale, no exhale
The stillness of smoldering embers
In the aftermath of this war against my sanity
Thoughts spiral downward in beliefs all too familiar

It is too late
You are not enough
This is your fate
There is no love

And yet …

As the embers cool
A reminder to the fool
The ash and dust replaced
By the face behind the face
By the sun behind the eclipse
By the seed buried deep in soil
We play the foil to our foreign, over-dramatic selves
Once burdened – our back and shoulders
Someone has moved aside the boulders
Escaping the cave of eternal death
Plato ushers us around the corner to perceive
All that is truly to be seen
The truth

It is never too late
For the below is above
You control your own fate
You are the love

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Collateral Damage

There is collateral damage.
The harm.

Those people, those animals, those elements of our society harmed by simply standing by.
Harmed by being in the vicinity of the devastation.
It was not their plan to get hurt.
It just happened ... because they were so close.

Where is our collateral damage? In some windows of our world, it is easy to see.
  1. In war - as burned out homes and blown up body parts send a stench into the air, while hearts break from the loss. 
  2. On our farms - as pesticides poison the insects and pests ... but also poisons anyone who ingests the chemicals not meant for human consumption.
  3. In medical practices - as the chemicals within "chemotherapy" attack cancer cells but thrash and trash other healthy cells and organs in the process.
And there are other such scenarios where a misfire of offense can harm that which stands nearby.

The latest version of this tragic story comes to mind, when I consider interpersonal relationships.

Collateral damage? Yes. It's subtle, but yes.

Consider the times you brought your own hurt to someone in hopes of being heard.
Only to be met with defensiveness or even an attack.
Your significant other was simply trying to make a point or stay out of their own guilt.
But in their attempts at protecting themselves, they did not listen to you.
They only offered a slight, a fight, a judgment.  
You were not heard.
And you were hurt ... again.

And there was damage
Collateral damage.

On some level, their judgment was not meant for you. Deep down, it was not intentional to slight you. You did not approach a loved one to receive this.
But it happened. And it happened because you were close. So close.

You were in vicinity of their own pain. A pain that spilled out of them without knowledge or precision. They met your request for being received with a slam of energy of their own upon you.
There was not a reception, but a deflection and then rejection.


This cycle will continue - as innocent lives are lost, as tomatoes and corn are tainted, as chemicals destroy the vibrancy, as relations are torn asunder - until we awaken to the fact that we are all connected, that everything originates from the same source, and that harmful unconscious behavior only hurts us all.

In something called "collateral damage."

James Anthony Ellis is a writer living in San Diego. He can be reached at