Petrified Forest, Sonoma County, California, Earth

Posted by Gerry on April 27th, 2014

042614 Petrified Forest Sonoma County 038
042614 Petrified Forest Sonoma County 149

Being in a place looking at the ground
Where three and a half million years ago trees were blown down.
Forces in the earth reached up to the sky
Sending shock waves and ashes so mighty trees would lie.
Then resting under the ashy ground
Water seeped until trees it found
Changed were the trees, no longer of wood
Silica seeped in and for ages it stood.

If life changes to stone when left all alone
Do memories turn to magic and sorrows once so tragic
Become the stuff of wisdom and grace
Passed through generations each in their time and place?
Vague beliefs come from ancestors buried long ago
Like trees made of wood in sunlight they grow.
Then history and mystery morph underneath
Into truths now eternal and solid beliefs.

Changed by earth’s power we can reflect on this hour.
Our mothers and fathers walked earth of their time
Finding forests and seas and mountains to climb,
With some even knowing when their days they were done
The only thing they left was their daughter and son.
Passing knowledge like water to become wisdom like stone
Hardening certainty of the truths to be known.
That good and evil are recognized in the fruits of their labor
And striving to be better was what each life or day was meant for
As descendants of descendants we dig the earth to find
A solid heritage formed like stone; we were meant to be kind.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 04/26/14
042614 Petrified Forest Sonoma County 120
042614 Petrified Forest Sonoma County 124

A couple coded poems

Posted by Gerry on April 19th, 2014

Each of these poems has a secret.
Can you tell me what they hide in plain sight?


Our door – September 16, 2005

Our door
Our door

A new day pushed the musings of morning slowly aside.
Restful moments between sleep and awakening, give way to
Driving through the mists of the unknown.
On arriving at the clear skies of the high desert, rain soaked and cool, dreams persist, and dreams cast about to and fro
Roaming from dawn to long after dusk away from our door – Too long

A wisp of an idea draws one away
Reality pushes unexpected plans
Dreams are discussed

A full broad expanse of spaces and distance
A journey to check on a possibility
A possibility that blew away with lack of warmth
A space that wasn’t big enough – so the distance was recouped
Back to our door

A deep bond of ideas draws one back
Reality is what we have made together
Dreams are discovered and lived
Our door at the beginning
Returning to our door at the end.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 09/16/2005

Annual Poem

just in time the winter’s here
frigid days when nights are clear
making storms chill through the bone
a shift can happen as orbit flown
maybe buds begin to flower
june bugs buzzing in daylight hours
joy in heat and sweat and life
august signs of the circle’s strife
showing completion as days crawl
one by one like leaves that fall
new and old beginning as if “amen”
descending into cold to begin again

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 04/18/2014

pictures waiting for a poem

Posted by Gerry on April 9th, 2014

070912 Bolling Memorial Grove

070912 Bolling Memorial Grove

My first poem about baseball and beer

Posted by Gerry on April 6th, 2014

Barley and hops and water
Melded, stirred, procured
A bit of flavor for one to savor
Watching the ball fly to the base
Before some guy puts it into space
Run across the field with a bound
Make it stop before it hits the ground
Toast those guys, give em’ a slap on the back
Before that bat gives another crack
All fueled by barley and hops and water
UCLA v Cal 031514
UCLA v Cal 031514

At home with the homeless

Posted by Gerry on April 4th, 2014

“There is such a level of unspeakable contempt from the haves in society bestowing shame in the homeless. Homelessness stirs up fear: frightens and saddens us at the same time. Judgments are as harsh as the plight itself. Homelessness conjures up thoughts of isolation. Call it what it is: injustice, racism and a harsh reality. Often the most vulnerable suffer the most, including children, teens, single mothers, elderly and the ill.”
Response by a friend

“May we never get used to the poverty and decay around us.
A Christian must act.”
Pope Francis @Pontifex 04/03/14

<> <> <>

In the evening of April 3, 2014 I spent some time with Homeless Action! colleagues Adrienne Lauby, Jen Parr, Karen Martin and Adam Kirshenbaum. They inspired me, and confirmed that this is a noble effort worth pursuing. I went home and this is the poem which ensued.

012709 Homeless but out of the wind

These are my people.
Not in any sense that I lead them,
Or they belong to me.
These are the people I belong with.
These are the people I align with.

I find their lives and their experiences
To be compelling and important.
I find their value as human beings
On a par with the Pope and me;
To be of equal value, of equal worth, and of equal dignity.
I am no better than they are,
And they are no better than me.

There’s a famous prayer attributed to St. Francis.
The prayer was actually submitted anonymously.
Does that mean that a homeless God might have submitted it?

Make me an instrument of Your peace,
To be among those who need some peace.

If there is hatred, and sadness, and regret
As I sit on a cold doorstep,
Where can I sow love?

If I have done injury
And have injured those I love the most
Where is there pardon?
The truth of my life, lived in the bushes
Is the error.
Can people see the truth
As my parents did the day they named me?

I have so many doubts.
I have so little faith.
Where is faith and hope?
It is here, in me.
If I could only see.

In my despair,
The hope
Is in the intrinsic value of me
Where I rest in darkness,
And cold,
And damp clothes
That make me shiver.
Is there faith in awaiting the light?
Are there leaders
And people who pull the levers of power
Who can act on my despair
To give me some light?

And in the depths of sadness,
From where I am now,
Yes, I know joy.
In the kindness of strangers
Who may not know
They have saved my life,
My hope,
My faith in humanity’s inherent goodness

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console.
On the streets
I am at one with my homeless brethren

To be understood as to understand;
I understand my sisters’ plight.

To be loved as to love.
I love without words in the grace of each moment.

For it is in giving that we receive.
As giving from the heart and the meager means
Is the true gift.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
As I hope to be pardoned by all those to whom
My mental illness
And use of altering substances
Or ordinary human frustrations
Have caused me to offend.

Even as I too have been offended
And then have pardoned,
Because that is the thing to do.

And it is in dying
That we are born to eternal life.
It is not the dying in physical death.
It is the dying of selfishness and self centeredness.
That is the death we should desire

This is where I belong;
Among those without a residence.
To bring the realization
That first, and foremost,
And always,
A just society gives a roof
And warmth
And a daily resting place to each person
No matter what.
061913 Downtown Santa Rosa

This was a moment

Posted by Gerry on April 2nd, 2014

eureka the boys
I was driving home from work today
When I noticed the beautiful green trees of spring
At that moment I realized I was driving on the spot
Where one of the happiest moments of my life had occurred
Many years ago I drove this same road
On the way to see my first son be born
And tears of joy stream down my face

I thought of how nervous my wife had been
I thought of how excited my anticipation was
This was a moment,
this was a moment so fresh to my mind
As if it just happened
Right here and right now

And I flashed to other moments
I could see the day our third son was born
I could see his two big brothers
with their faces pressed up against the glass
To see their new brother
I could see it
As if it just happened

anne & pj @ dallas brass
And then came the memory,
Of our middle son laughing and smiling with his mother
As we watched his younger brother
Play in the middle school band
with professional performers leading them (Dallas Brass)

All these moments
And the moments more
Arrived in that instant
And tears of joy stream down my face
1989 Patrick and Bob desk shot 2
1990 Gerry and Patrick camping