Tag Archives: Connections



They talk about degrees of separation

With apologies to Kevin Bacon
I like to think in degrees of connection

This week
when I helped Madeline Albright
down from that one tricky step
it was also everyone at the UN
and anyone who was anyone
in politics and power for thirty years

President Ford was a nice man
with a football players hand
that had shaken more than a few

And when the Queen Mother in her 90s
was our guest in the Saskatchewan Hotel
I held her hand in both of mine, a little
longer than called for in the book of protocol

I wanted to make sure that Churchill got through



From the old tribe of Isaac
and the old tribe of Ishmael

Israeli and Palestinian
couples and their children
come together by the sea and share

We are teaching the skills of listening
the skills of sharing and skills of hearing

The rules are simple
tell your truth as your truth only

Assume as you listen
that the person makes sense
If they do not seem to make sense
assume you need more information,

By the end of the weekend
the eight year olds are sleeping over
teenagers walk on the beach till dawn

A new tribe being formed



How can I write of your death
and writing make it real
how can I not and ever hope to heal

How can I write of the crab
without a hatred more than buzzard red
who will at least not eat you till you’re dead

How can my heart and hands be empty
with fullness of gifts I cannot give
How can it be you do not live

How like a vampire do I walk the night
and in a mirror no reflection see
Without a you where is the me?



A shadow on the wall in Hiroshima
ashes on a lake in Austin

Donna looks over the side of the boat
and cries as they drift
because she cannot see his face in the ashes

She might also have looked
for 81 years from China Sea to here
the graceful movements of Tai Chi
the hands of massage
and the mind and heart of a poet

The ashes drift to the banks and bottom of Lake

All that remains are the shadows on our minds and

And the walls of Hiroshima



Aborigines on an Austin stage
Dancing the dreaming

But something’s wrong

They dance in stage lines not sacred circles
Men and women dancing together
Even I know that’s not how they did it

My Aussie friend points out that they have
no scars of initiation

Drug store cowboys
in five and dime dream time

The phoniness bothers me for quite a while
They are not really doing the sacred songs
They probably don’t even know the sacred songs

Of course if they did they wouldn’t be singing
them for us

On a Texas stage
in five and dime dream time

And yet there is something happening
below the surface
that starts to pull me in

The didgeree-do is made from a real tree
The circular breathing to blow it is there
strong and free

Something real is rising
Rising up through it all
Something I do not understand
Something they don’t even understand

If you listen real close you can hear it
below and through and beyond it all

Fifty thousand years of DNA singing



It was a Sunday afternoon about a year ago today
I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t stand I just knew I couldn’t stay

So I took off for Toronto fifteen hundred miles away

Two days of boring meetings
couldn’t stand to have one more
didn’t know where I needed to be
but it wasn’t here I knew for sure

So I grabbed a train to Windsor
and Detroit which lies next door

Outside spring was springing and calling more and more
and I’d get to see some country that I’d never seen before

Oh, the sheep were soft upon the land
and there was magic in the day
as I sipped my rum and cola
and rhymed couplets all the way

Checked in on Wednesday, wondering what to do
maybe I could try to call a good old friend or two

There was a man I’d met in Banff
just three weeks before
a man of love and wisdom
that I’d like to see once more

And a lady of my poems
that I’d seen just twice before
thirty minutes in an airport
and two hours on the shore

He was busy in a meeting she answered on first try
she had booked off work without knowing why

And when I told her that I was in her town
she said “I’ve got a story and I’ll be right down”

It seems that her grand dad
who had raised her as a child
had died not long ago
and the grief had drove her wild

The family all were fighting for the pennies on his eyes
and there was no one there to hear her heartfelt cries

So she ran from that hospital not knowing what to do
and stood on the highest hill alone is a sky of blue

And loudly called my name
“Please come, please, I need you”

When I asked had she made this cry
and had I come real soon

“Oh it wasn’t very long ago
just Sunday afternoon”