What do other people think about?

What are you thinking right now?

How do you think?

Who is that inside your head verbalizing your thoughts noiselessly?

Are you thinking, “What’s for dinner?”

Why? Why not something else. 

Volumes have been written.

Are you thinking what you are supposed to be thinking? See who?

Why aren’t you thinking what I’m thinking?

I’m thinking about you,

Is that okay?

What/who should I be thinking about?

Who are you thinking about?

  
Small Town Boy

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Marching

She, striding down the sidewalk,

Through the leaves, arms swinging.

Late to class?

Oh if she could see

The determination, no sideward glances,

No uncertainty in the autumn sun

And dry leaves a flutter crunching

In her wake.

Who is to benefit from this focused energy,

Head held high,

Knowing where she’s going,

Not turning away,

Fearless,

Charging toward…

What?

  
-Small town boy

Judgement

Judgement lies in children’s eyes,

Shouting, “You’re all lies!”

Their answer belies

Truth,

And so, with childish sighs,

They chant from vision pure and sacred

To harass with accusations

And bold instructions

Given in whispers.

I can not deny when as a youth

I measured every adult with my own holier-than-thou scale

Against ideal and pragmatic conscientious

Unerring but tall newly acquired

Values.

How else to see adults, morés, and my emerging self, than by seeking

Hypocracy in your behavior,

And ignoring it in mine.

So. Go on. Judge me if you will

And give voice to your findings that both of us may grow

By your analysis.

Children were but recently Angels,

So judgement comes naturally,

As does love.

  
-Small town boy 

It’s me

It’s me, just me.

The same me I’ve always been,

Just uncovered, discovered, exposed.

See me?

Hear me?

It’s just me,

Warts and all.

Sometimes okay,

Sometimes off track,

Sometimes run amuck,

Sometimes …

But when the day is done 

It’s just me.

Don’t you see?

I can feel it. I’m still here.

In the dark, seeking light.

Pushing myself to be

Me.

You have shown me sides of me I didn’t know.

I love your anger for bringing these 

Hidden views of me to the surface.

Otherwise I wouldn’t see

Because I’m blind to what you think of me unless you tell me. Blind to how you see me from your side.

I can only see me.

Especially when I’m alone.

The you I see is

In love with me, I know.

I’m trying to be the best me I can be,

To return that love.

But I’m just me.

Me alone.

Here.

  
-Small Town Boy

I don’t want to write no more

I’m through writing. I’m sick of it.

It makes me feel awful and so many find fault and misinterpret.

I started with story telling, but moved on to free verse.

The farther I dug down to the pit of my stomach,

The darker the result, alienating some,

Causing others to suspect my sanity,

Murmuring, murmuring.

I spent hours, days, weeks not searching,

But being open.

And then, having discovered things,

I shared in an open and honest fashion

And stirred up a great dust storm,

A wasp’s nest.

I erred as I drove forward,

Carelessly searching to test my new insights.

You need to know that I don’t do well in personal confrontation.

I can stand up for myself in calm logical rationalization ,but

When emotions raise the ante,

I tend to fold.

I felt so sure,

And now it I’m sick of it.

I am sick of the hurt it has brought others near and dear.

Should I return to the man I thought I was supposed to be?

Should I march on ignoring the fallout and censorship?

WWHD?

What Would Hemingway do?

  
– Small Town Boy

Autumn

It is the autumn of my life.

A time for harvest, and homecoming.

All things are beautiful in autumn,

The trees, the apples, the pumpkins, and if you are fortunate, the roses.

It is a time to love

Your spouse, your children, their children and if you are fortunate, their children.

Autumn is a time to review life, 

Your parents and siblings, and

Friends who have gone before.

Autumn is a time for thanksgiving,

For your health, for those who loved you,

For your career, for your achievements 

And if you are fortunate, for your relationship with God.

Autumn is a time to prepare for winter 

By forgiving, by preparing, by storing away, by paying up your debts.

Debts from eating, drinking, smoking, hating, and poor judgements.

Winter is coming.

Hibernation.

Rebirth.

I love walking in the October sun, leaves rustling, geese honking on the wing.

I have seen 74 autumns,

And I will see a few more,

So it is a time to reflect, to ready the feast, to gather the acorns, and to bring the family to mind.

I don’t walk as well as I used to, my eyes grow dim, my heart is straining, my kidneys are damaged and I ache in my joints.

But my dog walks with me, my wife and friends give me hugs, my grandchildren shout with joy when they see me.

I am still here Lord.

I love you.

I will come when you call,

But there’s still time,

Time for more mistakes?

   
   
– Small town boy

A rose

I’m sorry, but my roses grow like weeds.

  
Really, I don’t have a green thumb!

  
I’m serious, they thrive on neglect.

  I live in Corvallis, in the Willamette valley.
  
It’s October and they’re still at it.

   
 
So I remember how hard it is to grow roses elsewhere. So I thought I would share.

I love you.

-Small Town Boy

Old man words

Dementia

Impulse control

Obsession

Arthritis

Single task

Dropping the ball

Knees, hips, ankles

Vision decline

Alzheimer’s 

Worry

What’s wrong with him?

Poor choices

Hyper emotional

Unable

Diminished capacity

Cognitive dissonance

Or

Wisdom

Mentor

Friend

Sage

Grandfather

Dad

Empathetic

Partner

Friend

Ally

Man

Which am I? One or the other? Both?

Proceed carefully.

Be careful and be

A compassionate self observer 

And listen to those who love you, and

Listen to your higher power.

This is the time in your life to…

To…

Uh?

To dance! To love! To welcome life.

 
-Small town boy 

When your path is blocked

I know, I know you are following your path.

This involves all of you:

Your mind is trying to make sense out of it, to rationalize it,

Your heart is acting on how it feels, often stronger than your wits,

Your body keeps you agitated, sleepless, in pain stronger than wit or heart even,

And your spirit is pushing all the others to seek and discern the correct path, one that works to enlightenment, regardless.

And so when your path is blocked you turn to look for another way, another path, an alternate route to what you think you desire.

And now I want to suggest that the blockage us in you?

Stop, sit, breath and be present when the universe presents a way you would have never in a long time thought of, felt, or considered.

Not only have you not examined yourself to see what is going on?

You have too early discarded options that would lead you home?

You may have failed to consider a different goal?

Let your brain be silent so you can think!

Let your heart open up and feel your feelings!

Tell your body to relax

And your spirit to persist.

You have come a long way and you can get through this blockage, but not by fighting it.

You will need to love it. You will need to forgive and love yourself and give yourself permission to proceed.

So this is how it works:

Turn off the TV, your mind, your heart, and your body.

Sit still.

And watch as the blockage dissolves!

Then proceed.

I love you, all of you!

You are on the right path.

  
-Small town boy

New paths

There are new paths in the forest,

Paths I want to take,

Places I want to go.

I’m at a fork in the road.

I’ve been working to understand myself and I found these paths.

I want to walk the new way,

Expose myself to new feelings,

Try on new coats, and mix metaphors.

The me I’ve built has hidden

Some of me that wants to be exposed,

Tried, experience, and tested.

Who will be my guide in these new lands?

Will I be brave? Will I be honest? Will I be open?

Will there be someone to walk with me?

My confidence says yes.

My faith says yes.

My love of myself and others say yes.

I would like it if you came with me.

Come as far as you can go.

Talk to me, hold my hand.

And see me grow.

I love you.

-Small town boy