“My Favorite Parenthetical Thought”

within cosmic
laws is the energy of grace,
which animates
what we call higher motivation
when a universal law
emerges in our psyche
during a decision making moment,
it comes
as a messenger of grace,
as well as psychic motivation.
In contrast,
traffic laws on the highway
are not ‘grace-filled.’
They are order-keepers
of the mundane
world that lack
the animation of grace.
an intuitive ‘hit’
to slow down
for no conscious reason,
which then turns out
to be a life-saving act
because another car
was out-of-control,
is an act of grace
operating in the mundane

Carline Myss, April Salon (Year not recorded.)

The Power of Poetry

This warms my cockles on many levels. First that the parents introduced the child to poetry. Second that the three year old’s recital has been viewed so many times. And then to hear the adult version. Listen to what relationships do to us.

Litany by Billy Collins

“You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general’s head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman’s tea cup.
But don’t worry, I’m not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and–somehow–the wine.”

The Heart of Michael Jackson

The Heart of Michael Jackson


Crowds spontaneously

started to gather

at the Apollo,

in front of the hospital

where his still body lay,

in fact,

across the globe

hordes poured out

into the streets

after the news


that Michael Jackson died.

The man who could achieve

with music

what he had said

in a rare interview

politicians with laws

and clever speeches

could not achieve

once again focused

our collective consciousness.


In unison, strangers

sang his words,

and together danced

his signature moves

to celebrate the man

who had for decades

embodied our collective desire

to express the ineffable.

We had cheered                      

him when he captured

in lyrics our loves and drives

and measured in beats

and energetic gyrations

our moments of ecstasy.


But then, because

there is the overlooked

law of polarity,

we vilified him

when he reflected

our phobias and fears

about looking different,

acting different,

being different,

than cultural expectations

deemed appropriate.

We forced him

to endure our collective

need for perfection

in an imperfect world

then ridiculed him

for buckling under the pressure.


In the requisite

media montages of his life

with the ubiquitous Barbara Walters

who blurs the line between

reporting and gossip

that we openly crave

or loudly abhor,

I was struck

(yes I watched)

I was struck

by how many times

Michael tapped

his chest

over his


and asked

in one way

or another

that it be




“I am a person.

I have feelings.”


Once hailed

as an icon

can the heart


Once asked

to carry

the collective

weight of our emotions,

can we

be surprised

that a heart

gives out,

gives up,

gives in

to mind and body

numbing drugs?


We speculate

and titch, titch

over the tragedy

of his finances

and wonder aloud

over the unlived

lives of his offspring.

We splash the screens

of television

and all the media forms

that have evolved

in the course

of his lifetime

and now participate

in creating revolutions,

evolutions, de-evolutions,

we splash the scenes

with recounts of accusations

of his alleged salacious behavior

knowing that only

a handful of people

know the truth

yet we feel compelled

to sully his memory.


In my heart,

I carry memories

of a man robbed

of his childhood

(yes he gained

from our theft

but at what price?)

who spent his life

seeking to regain it,

a man driven

to perfect his talent

so that he could

gift to you

and gift to me

the love of melody and movement.


 I surrender to his request

to remember his heart

and  hear his  call:

“Let me fill

your  heart

with joy and happiness.”

I tap my heart

and bow my head

to the memory

of a man

fearless enough

to dance

to the beat

of his own heart.

I let his music

enter my soul

and run out

to join the celebration

in the streets.

“I’ll Be There.”



Robin Ridleycopyright 2009