Xenophobia – Wish we could all say….

I have said to some that were clearly Xenophobic –

“I want to like you. You have no reason to dislike me personally.

You don’t know me. Your opinions have been learned without me in them.

Let’s talk about what we have in common in humankind.”


It worked about half the time. That was a good start I thought, and still do.

It is painless to listen if the other asks to be heard.


jms  3-1-2017




We Are Shadow Puppets To A New Regime

Wayang Kulit

Words unfamiliar unless you are Indonesian or South East Asian.

Shakespeare said it —

“All the world is a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”


But what of the shadow world we hide behind, or are led by?

Shadow dancers on the silk screen acting out…

These shadow puppet images showing the foibles and understandings

of humanity, and perhaps, the observer.

Sitting in the darkened audience of dancing gyrating shadow puppets.

Feeling our own impulses rise and fall to ancient Far Eastern music.

Thinking we are separate, yet feeling like an accomplice to the clandestine stories played out on the tiny stage…

These therapeutic or disturbing displays of puppet voices, dancing and acting out –

Allow us to live vicariously, safe, and apart from criticism of those who cannot read our minds, yet sit right along side us.

Shadows reflected

We watch and listen and anticipate even the obvious endings.

Tragedies and humor reflected in the dark shadows of our own lives.

Shadows dancing across our minds as they are on silkworm screens.

We see ourselves, but do not want those near us to see our likeness.

Our innards, kept in the privacy of our own internal Wayang Kulit theatres.

All the world’s peoples at times needing relief, much the same as portrayed in the darkened theatre of the Wayang Kulit…

This safe haven, offering relief, like our own movie theatres – sans puppets.

We all have this in common – we must exit outside into the glare of our political futures.

The voices of the Wayang Kulit theatre still in our heads, to syncopate with more renditions of our impending world apprehensions.

And it is true, the world is a stage, and may the hero or heroine, prevail.


JMS  1-1-2017


Corporate Christmas Indigestion

Corporate Christmas Indigestion

We will be eating a holiday meal together again
A corporate Christmas offering
Didn’t we all just pass each other in the hall on our way to lunch?
We will again be looking at our plates and those around us
All uncomfortable, pressed stiff with starch
All in their appropriate seating placements, according to the Pecking Order
Plates filled looking like frozen food dinners
The veggies on one side, the meat on the other
Thinking to ourselves, is the bar closed ?
The attendees, like the food seeming stilted, lacking in warmth
We, all furtively looking around and pondering
Together, we, the corporate penguin look alike types
But what for?  Really?  It’s expected – That’s why
No joy or warmth, and it is Christmas season too boot
We had to attend, and to finish this party that seemed more like a Wake
The grand finale, flat gummy cheese cake to celebrate
Where is the pie?  That gives real comfort upon which we rely
If I had taken a vote
A unanimous decision might surely invoke
That all corporate Christmas dinners must die!
JMS –  December 2016


Himalayan Cave Enlightenment?

I traveled to Nepal in search of something not seen in my Stateside existence. High mountains were climbed to find enlightenment in between my clouded understandings.

And then one day, I peered into a dim hand-dug cave and into the wild-eyed gaze of a bearded, emaciated and practically naked ascetic.

My first thought was that he wanted me to know he was “right living.” And that I was not. Yet, his world of silence seemed cacophonous to me. His eyes let me know I was breaking his serenity. As was mine.

I realized then, we were both searching through our own self-induced darkness for an enlightenment that required no illumination. Just acceptance.

I soon left for home, realizing after having trekked over 180 miles in the rarest of elevated air that I was asking for less “things.” Perhaps this ascetic hermit seeker left me a gift. That state of mind – not having anything to ask for in my mind… became the beginning of my release.


Religion and Churches

Which Hidebound Religion?

Churches –

I have been in many.

Religions –

I have tried many.

It is always the people within the churches who muddle my idea of a Creator’s intent.


My worship takes place in the pew of Nature.

Nature does not evangelize, dictate, or judge.

It is, just is… And that is the bare truth.

No theorizing required.

Nature asks no membership fees. “It” is available every moment of our lives.

What could be better?

Guess that recognition makes me a self-proclaimed “PanTao.”

I have become a Pantheist and Taoist.

Not a hidebound religion.

When I have a question, I go direct and avoid the middleman religions.

Jim Harrison died on March 26, 2016

It hit me–slowly at first, then hard–Real hard
He was a man who spoke and penned what he pleased.
Mightily he ate, and drank, the best of cuisine and alcohol.
As if to measure fullness by taking all around him inward.
A poet with lines loosened from living hard and thinking soft
A man that cared for his friends and the similar creatures of the earth.
The outdoors was his altar and his desk his pew.

He grumbled at pretentiousness and found little interest in what others thought of him
And further, had no need for the elite’s approval of his unearthed descriptions
He lived hard as if to test the length of the pleasures he so enjoined.
He spoke of thoughts held by the beleaguered and less fortunate.
He magnetized a writer such as myself. Leaving me without doubt–to write
Jim Harrison’s voice resonated with we who need to call a spade a dirty shovel.
The humor of the human condition, was magnified by his vision of our foibles.
I felt his declared impulses, and knew I had to show my own internal vibrations.

In his early years he paid the price to write–as if the oath of poverty was his mantra.
The luminaries found him and made his Legends of the Fall–his own beginning Legend.
This was the beginning and opening of his cabin cupboard of now famous works.
He was blunt and took all of life with a penchant for living mightily.
He swallowed life whole and without regret, which only his pen could describe for us.
He died at his desk, and fell as gravity demands.
But with his pen in hand for what I suspect might be a story in the making

Jim Harrison declared that he did not have a need to be understood nor approved of.
What strength in that–What freedom that allowed him to write and please us so.
He was a poet, when that seemed to the Western mind, different.
Mr. Harrison, the uncommon man, with the common understandings–sans pretension
He turned the words, as if he knew primordial man.
I felt he died with an inkling, an idea of awakening with desk and pen at the ready.
Seemingly knowing what all men have thought, even before a larynx could declare.

I feel, like I am missing him more than the average gruff bear
We all get a turn. That is a given.
But few with his imaginative inertia.
Like a vigorously spinning top that expends itself, he tipped over and left us.
But I will miss that wild unrepentant spirit.
But that is still here, in my library, which will last longer than me.

Enjoy your next chapter Jim in the cosmos filled with imagination.
Know you left us better for what you knew and imagined.
Yes, I am sad. But it is a sweet sad.
It is something to realize you might be writing without any sense of gravity.

Corporate Christmas Indigestion • An observation needing a period

I ate a holiday meal last night
A corporate Christmas offering
I looked at my plate and those around me
All uncomfortable, pressed stiff with starch
All in their appropriate seating placements, according to the Pecking Order
Plates filled looking like frozen food dinners
The veggies on one side, the meat on the other
The attendees – like the food – seemed stilted, lacking in warmth
We all furtively looking around and pondering
Together, we the corporate penguin look-alike types
But what for? Really? It’s expected – That’s why
No joy or warmth and it is Christmas season too boot
We had to attend, and to finish this party that seemed more like a wake
The grand finale, flat gummy cheesecake to celebrate
Where is the pie? That gives real comfort upon which we rely
If I had taken a vote
A unanimous decision would invoke
That all corporate Christmas dinners must die!