Bringing Joy to Life

“Traveling to a torture chamber
In my head, I stop for a drink
And a smoke. Why must I
Always come to this?”

“Can’t do something fun
Without feeling guilty.
Can’t say something honest
Without feeling paranoid.”

To lead a good life,
You must accept that
There will be demons
On your shoulder

Every step of the way,
Trying to ruin it for you.
There is always a pro and a con
To everything worth doing.

The trick is not to ignore the cons,
Or obsess over the pros, or vice versa.
It is to accept both, and then to be
True to oneself as much as possible.

If I am true to my value of love
For myself and for another,
I will do what is right for me to do.
Guilt is a signal, but not a reason.

Guilt tells you there is a conflict,
But that should not be a surprise
Because there is almost always
A conflict. Once you get used to

Doing what is true to oneself,
One will not be surprised by guilt,
Nor by the stronger sense of joy.
And also the guilt will grow less,

And the joy will grow more.
So don’t be afraid to do
What is right for you.
Do it every time,

And you will be happier with
Yourself and others.
You will accept your own faults
As well as the faults of others;

And you will acknowledge
Your own goodness,
As well as the goodness
Of everyone else.

This will bring you joy,
And you will bring joy
To the hearts of others,
As they participate in your goodness.

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Girl of Mine

Would you like to go
With me to the circus show?
Would you like to walk
Through the woods and talk?

Why don’t we
Choose to agree
On a plan to meet
And share a treat?

Let’s go swimming in the pool!
We can play and act the fool!
Or let’s go to the beach!
We can lay on a towel and eat a peach!

If that doesn’t
Sound very fun,
We can go to the country
And run and run!

I am now so bored of life,
With all its trouble and bitter strife.
Maybe we can think of something
To take our minds off darker things.

I would like to go on a trip,
To hold a piƱa colada and sip
All my worries away.
Yes I would then be so gay.

What would you like to do?
Maybe rent a boat to Timbuktu?
Or maybe catch some great big fish
Or bake a cake and make a wish?

When life tends to bring me down,
I take action and go to town!
I dream big things, and yearn to escape!
I go to the jungle, and play with the apes!

Let’s create a big adventure!
Let’s light a fire and burn the censors!
Let’s paint a picture, and drink to Picasso,
Or go to a ranch and learn to lasso!

There are just so many ways
To entertain ourselves these days!
We can go to Paris and play
In the museums, then stay up late!

Or maybe I’ll just stay here,
Take a nap, or drink a beer.
I’ll lay back and take it slow.
I’ll just relax, and go with the flow.

That would be much simpler
Than trying to go out with her.
I don’t need to have a plan.
I don’t need to prove I’m a man.

Let’s just chill for the night.
We don’t need to fuss and fight.
We don’t need to go out.
We don’t need to sing and shout.

Does that sound better to you?
Would you like a Mountain Dew?
I will leave you to yourself.
I’ll put this mood on a shelf.

I’ll save it for a sunny day,
When you want to go out and play.
We can make it work just so.
We will not go to and fro.

Maybe this is for the best.
I will catch up on my rest.
See you later, girl of mine.
We’ll get together some other time.

Blessed in the U.S.A.

Have you ever heard
The story about the bird
That screamed every night,
All night, for a week?

Well, needless to say,
That bird is dead now.
But we did raise a
Memorial in his name.

On the top of his cage
Sits a gold-plated chicken head.
It doesn’t make a sound,
Which is the way we like it.

But seriously,
What do you think
Of the weather today?
What did you eat for breakfast?

In some places,
There are floods,
Tornados, typhoons,
And earthquakes.

In some places,
People are killed in the street,
Simply for being
In the wrong place at the wrong time.

Lots of people go
Without breakfast
Every morning.
How does that make you feel?

I think that if we all thought
About how much worse
So many other people have it,
On a regular basis,

We might realize
How good we have it,
Even when we have what we call
“A bad day”.

So does that possibly mean
That no matter how bad we have it,
That at the end of the day,
We should look back and say,
“I had a good day today”?

Because even when it seems like
Everything went wrong,
If we’re really honest with ourselves,
We would acknowledge that

There were so many things,
Things that people like us
Take so much for granted,
That went completely right!

Ask yourself,
“Did I have food to eat this morning?”
“Do I have running water?”
“Do I have air conditioning?”

“Do I have a job?”
“Do I have a car?”
“Do I have a house?”
“Do I have children?”

“Am I free to do
Whatever I choose to do?”
“Can I go
Wherever I want to go?”

“Can I talk to whomever I want?”
“Can I stay home when I’m sick,
And still get paid?”
“Do I have insurance?”

The list goes on and on,
But I think you probably
Get the idea.
You might not have all these things,

But you do
Have it pretty good.

Don’t you think?

I Think I’ll Sue

Jumping through,
I think I’ll sue.
Maybe not, but
I’ll think about it.

What do you think?
Maybe I shouldn’t,
But wouldn’t
It be fun?

So maybe I won’t, but
You should try it
Sometime. Do you
Think before you jump?

Let’s talk about it.
No, let’s not.
Why don’t we
Jump to conclusions?

That might be fun!
Okay, so I think
You are a jerk.
Is that a fair

Assumption?
Don’t assume,
Is what they say,
But let’s continue.

Okay, so now what?
How about we
Count our blessings?
One, two, three…

Wait! I forgot!
We have luck, right?
No, blessings,
You say.

Okay, so maybe
That’s true, but
Can we prove it?
No, but all the same,

It’s true.
Okay, maybe so.
God bless you, then.
Thanks.

A Stronghold Vulnerable

Running newly to find a spot–
A spot of safety, for which they fought–
Fought against a deadly foe–
A foe that could not take their life.

Their life in jeopardy, here and now.
Now war follows them to their home.
Home in America, the home of the brave.
Brave men run for their lives.

Lives in the balance, in a stronghold–
A stronghold vulnerable amongst men–
Men who fight for their country–
Their countrymen now turning against them.

A Stronghold Vulnerable

Running newly to find a spot–
A spot of safety, for which they fought–
Fought against a deadly foe–
A foe that could not take their life.

Their life in jeopardy, here and now.
Now war follows them to their home.
Home in America, the home of the brave.
Brave men run for their lives.

Lives in the balance, in a stronghold–
A stronghold vulnerable amongst men–
Men who fight for their country–
Their countrymen now turning against them.

Gifts

Looking down upon a lake
From the top of a tree I climbed,
I see a doe bend to take a drink.
How serene nature can be.

Looking down upon a clover leaf
From the top of an overpass,
I see “little” cars drive around.
How amazing engineering can be.

Looking down upon a schoolyard
From the top of the roof,
I see little children playing hopscotch.
How innocent they can be.

How interesting it is to observe
What a miracle nature is, invention is, life is.
We are blessed in so many ways.
How can we have so much and yet

Still not be happy?

Dreaming of Tomorrow

“Walking down the street,
I see a beetle at my feet.
It talks to me sweetly,
Saying things I can’t believe.”

Waking in my bed,
I realize I dreamt of things
Hard to imagine now,
And even harder to believe.

Do you believe a beetle
Talked to me–sweetly, even?
It is hard to rationalize
Things we dream sometimes,

But if we don’t, what hope
Lies before us for better days?
What hope is there that we
Will become better?

What hope is there that we
Will achieve more than the past?
We must dream,
We must imagine things

That others say can’t be true,
Won’t ever happen,
Can’t ever happen.
We must defy reality

As we know it,
In order to discover things
That don’t exist
Until we dream of them.

A Trip to the Sea

Stepping slowly into the sea,
I feel a breeze blow on my face.
Wonder if I should be careful?
Wonder if I should be scared?

Is there someone coming here,
Watching me in this moment?
Maybe I should count my toes.
Maybe I should count to ten.

Will the rain fall on my day?
Will the words come I should say?
I think I will go for a swim.
I think I’ve decided not to worry.

Would you like to keep me company?
Would you like to go with me
Into town to see a movie?
Come with me and we shall see.

Have you been here before?
Are you from this city?
You don’t know what you are
Getting into when you’re with me.

Let’s go find a shell to carry.
Let’s see if we can decorate.
See if you can see the fish
In the sea all around me.

It has been a nice afternoon.
It is nice to be with family.
Maybe you can make a habit
Of coming to the sea with me.

Temptation

Crashing close to comfort,
I ran the needle through.
Caught it on the other side,
Where my unsteady hand was waiting.

For just a moment,
I felt like I was in heaven,
But soon enough,
Reality returned to my perception.

Fools’ errands are made
By sillier men than me.
What was I thinking,
To try to outsmart fate?

To lay it all out
For the world to see,
To be so indecent,
What came over me?

I will promise myself,
Never to repeat my mistake.
I will be faithful to the truth,
And stop chasing the wind.

If only I could figure out
How to escape my destiny!
If only I could speak the truth,
Watching my words so carefully.

I will try to do better.
I will not jump at the latest fad.
I know there is more to life
Than being burned and getting mad.

What’s the point of taking chances
When there is such a sure thing
In the ways of learned wisdom,
Not one stupid, wild fling?

I will do according to the book
I was given as a child.
I will use careful speech
I will be so meek and mild.

Never will they recognize me
From my days of craziness.
Never will they think to fry me,
Like that day of reckoning.

I will be the opposite
Of my nearest tendency.
I will be something different.
I will set myself free!