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A New Day Dawns

Intended pain
Purposeful lies
Denigration of character
Foul thoughts given voice

When those days lie done in smoldering ashes
What purchase did words acquire?
Possibly an ear of sympathy for a moment in time?
Perhaps a personal sense of vindication?

Yet the day dawns which sheds light on lies
Blackened burnt offerings set no one at ease
A sprout of green and growing life
Stands in stark contrast to a scorched earth landscape

What hope lay in the calculated events?
What good could came from the show?
Much more than intended
For life and love grow ever beautiful

Air breathes cleaner, Eyes see clearer
Heart feels truer, Soul rests happier
Cruelty intended gains karma’s sentient touch
A new day, a new dawn, a new life

Embers billow to life
Overcoming small minded atrocities and fills sails to the day
Each moment away becomes heaven on earth
Transition to life a wondrous delight

Sun dapples the earth with more pleasant rays
Rain feeds the soul in more pleasant ways
Breezes lend sighs to more pleasant days
Thoughts unfold brighter for life’s more pleasant gaze

Recovery fills the air with astounding joy
Resplendent with a fresher truth
Ah, the love tossed fell from forever and true
But the love gained stands tall

A new day dawns
A new life beckons
New truths discovered
At peace once again…

Non Sequitur Collage of Life Thoughts


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Non Sequitur

Random thoughts on a random day about random things said in a random way…

If I don’t respect you, there’s good reason why…
Cold, cruel witches sleep on ice
Perpetual smiles beautify gorgeous souls
Those eyes eliminated my train of thought like a dropped call
Restraint beyond all reckoning from a desired kiss feels…good/exhilarating/hopeful

Lies spoken to others denigrates purported integrity
Your mere presence brings joy
Never operate from weakness when you own power
Those who betray find their reward bitter…I hope
Is that bad? It’s my truth…

Life becomes amazing when we allow it to get past our eyes
Love’s beauty knows its power when it speaks instead of us…
Incite and truth get confused for regurgitated thoughts
Finding your truth does not lie in someone else’s mind
Embracing your truth becomes the most difficult endeavor of life

Musings own more power than thoughts
Her superficial integrity belies the witch within
I do not owe respect to those who do not own respectable actions
That said, everyone owns some quality of respect in some area of life

Respect: esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability:I have great respect for her judgment.

Despite arguments to the contrary, respect in life gets earned, at least in my truth.
How that respect is earned determines what kind of respect gets delivered
One who earns respect from foul and despicable effort receives respect congruent to the level of nefarious impact perpetrated on others, especially me and my loved ones
I suppose most people who demand respect speak of positive respect.
Withheld respect for ones’ negative actions is not disrespect – this is called healthy discernment…

We officially live in the age of Technological Tyranny
Don’t believe that?
You will…
Love still opens windows and tickles flowers and fluffs the clouds
Love still warms the soul and creates desire and softens reality…

Will stress and negativity ever become a focus for healing our world?
Or will we perpetually chase down the symptoms born of their breeding?
For from both blossom all manner of ilk and ill health, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual…
Why must I suffer your verbal assaults/views/sensibilities/demands/etc?
(sshhh! Little secret…I mustn’t…)

A smile pales the warm sun on the most gorgeous breeze-filled spring day
Mannerisms which display loveliness beyond all reasoning in their honest sincerity
Playful voices which ring delight through a soul so wanting of such joy
A mind that reflects the brilliance of a lifetime of experience
Beauty far preceding the physical realm

Musings vs thoughts.
Search for inner truth or peace or understanding or a myriad of other positives
Or a montage of 40,000 thoughts per minute and attempting to find reason.
Your truth does not lie in books or minds or ideologies or even religions
Your truth lies within yourself.
Until you pursue your innermost truth, you’ll only find someone else’s…

Musings on a gray day or sun-dappled morning reveal pieces of yourself
Splintered by life and the sacrifice of who you are to others
Yet wholly alive somewhere, somehow, in the recesses of your heart
Discover yourself.
Discover life…




Silent mantles
Empty walls
No place for a loving heart

Robbed memories
Bankrupt legacies
No place for a loving heart

Unkissed lips
Hollow words
No place for a loving heart

Days where sun means nothing warm
Nights where cold means nothing warm
Loves where companionship means nothing warm
No place for a loving heart

Pictures which never were
Stills caught in bullshit
Frames empty as consequence
No place for a loving heart

Just a kiss
Simple hug
Gentle smile
No place for a loving heart

Fault, Responsibility, Artist Dates, and I’m not Like You and Everyone Else…


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Emancipation Day

Every other day of our lives we hold onto things we don’t know how to handle, we walk through this world with a touch of today, we don’t look at ourselves in any odd way, just each of us doing the same worn out things, wondering forever what each morrow brings, when we know in the end its all about the end, we look for salvation in each of our friends, we talk of our plans and we talk of our dreams, they all fall to pieces in reality it seems, but we keep up our faith and we ramp up our energy, run to the store and forget about bread and green tea, we hope for a miracle but find just our place in the sun, so we sleepwalk the mornings and stoke up our day, we desire something to change it some way and we try and we try and peer in the night, nothing different, nothing different, nothing different in sight with our answers so distant and far from our grasp, we don’t know the key, can’t even ask, and we wonder why life seems so hard and so drab when we look at the things and the life that we had, the one in our mind, the one built in our head, we never knew that life lived with the dead and those who won’t see that we live in this day, there is no tomorrow there was no today, there’s only now as I write or as you read all these words, there’s no other way to the things that we need, in our minds in our dreams in our fantasies lost, there’s only now, only you, only me, that’s the cost of living a life worthwhile and pristine, grasp this moment, this now, this future unseen, throw off the fault, the guilt, the victim in you, take on the task and know that our true life will be when we step up and take full our responsibility for ourselves, for our sake.

Every other day of our lives, we hold onto things we don’t know how to handle. I’m not like you. Nor anyone else…yet I’m so like you…and everyone else…and I cannot be you…nor anyone else…so…I…must…be…me…

Peggy Miller taught me that. A one-sentence poem which runs on, line after line, without a period. These poems often contain raw power, raw energy, raw truth. I ended my personal Artist Date day today (otherwise known as Groundhog Day), with the wonderful movie Groundhog Day. Culled from Julia Cameron’s wonderful book, The Artist’s Way, an Artist’s Date is one in which you take your artist self out someplace whimsical and celebrate yourself and your creative talent. You give credence to the creator within and you treat that special part of you…special.

My date began at Bonefish Grill. Interesting the things you see and feel in a restaurant like Bonefish when you’re all by yourself at a four-person table. My waitress, Victoria, was sweet and understanding, especially when I had to tell her I left my wallet in the car when she delivered the check (yes, it seems goofy, embarrassing things happen even when dating oneself…lol!).

There was a lovely blonde lady who sat through an hour-long meal with her presumably significant other and smiled only once. What a sad world we can live in sometimes. That world truly exists in our mind, not so much in reality. We may choose otherwise. We simply don’t see the choice far too often.

An older gentleman (yes, there are still many older than me) who sat with his wife and a younger couple with his arms folded across his chest for over an hour. No matter the smiles or laughter which spewed from his mouth, his closed-off body language spoke of warning. Danger. Watch out.

On the way home, driving up A1A, I stopped in Flagler Beach to walk the boardwalk. A blood-red moon crept up out of the ocean, quickly rising and throwing off its red-tinged guilt to quickly take over the night sky in its bright, king-of-the-heavens glory. We should do likewise. Shake off the tethers which bind us to oblivion, live each of our moments as they come, and take our rightful place in this world. That place we forsake most of our lives.

When you take the time to look, there is no one truly like you. Therefore:





Ignoring the Rules…

Rules. Most get set with good intention, right? I’m not so sure, but I’ll go with this premise for the time being. Rules of writing. Rules of relationship. Rules of the highway. Rules. Rules. Rules.

Recently, likely most profoundly this evening, I discovered I’ve lost two very dear friends. One of these friends I wrote the poem “Midnight in Her Heart” in her honor, the other, a man who would be 91 this March had death not come and stole him away.

Ayesha is likely the dearest human I’ve never met in person. In my heart, she’s the dearest of friends and the dearest person I’ve ever known. Her writing enticed my attention, my heart, and my creative muse. Her passion for caring for humans, especially children, flowed through her words as natural as a simple breath. Writing from her heart appeared as effortless as snuggling into a warm blanket on cool evening.

Harvey owned a heart of the purest gold ever to walk this earth. Such a dear, sweet man. And his life stories! Oh. My. God. This man could make you laugh about the foibles he suffered. You felt his good nature in his voice. In his laughter. In his constant ability to be excited about cars, and stories, and life. His humility walked limitless with him everywhere his feet carried him. Harvey wrote a book’s-worth of stories about his life.

I tried to get Harvey to let me publish his stories. He wanted to. He truly did. He just had to take care of everyone and everything around him. That’s who he was. He was selfless, and I want to say – to a fault – but I could find no fault in Harvey. I cherished every moment with this man. Harvey always had you feeling like you were the most important person in the room when he spoke with you. Always playful, always smiling, always a friend.

My last conversation with Harvey, he was undergoing Chemo. He let me know he would call me on the other side of the treatments. His statement sounded like a goal. Something to shoot for. A hope. I just knew I would get that call…

A little over a year ago, Ayesha underwent Chemo. The news shattered my writing world in many ways. She would write the most profound and supportive comments on my blogs, encouraging me and lifting me. Over the 8 years we conversed, the communication remained solely through blogging comments. She went into seclusion during her Chemo and I never heard from her again.

Today, one day after learning that Harvey had left this world, I noted Ayesha’s Facebook page disappeared. Sadness. I’d always hoped to meet this brilliant, talented woman in person. Life keeps delivering the message that not acting on the impermanent nature of life definitely brings a boatload of regret.

What does all this have to do with rules? Too often in my life, I’ve paid far too much attention to rules. So many of them run me into the ground and I feel helpless. No more. The overwhelm of rules will no longer proliferate as a debilitating aspect of my life. I understand many rules own specific, life-enhancing purposes in life. Many do not. I must continue to grow into the distinctions between the two.

Harvey and the world should have had his book. Its charm would have warmed the hearts of all who would have read it. The stories were that good. He often regaled us at The Inspired Mic with these wonderful vignettes of his life. Now I fear they may be lost forever.

And Ayesha. What I would have given just to speak with her one time. Her wisdom never failed to amaze me. Even more so, her unbridled support and encouragement of my writing helped me feel worthwhile even when the world appeared to scream otherwise.

Moments ago, I want to the HubPages site where I first met Ayesha. I read some of her comments to me. Then, I read some of the hundreds of comments from other readers and writers on that site written directly to me. Here are just a sampling:

While writing a causal analysis essay for an English course, I went browsing for ideas about the effects or benefits of excellent writing—why does it matter—and I stumbled, thanks to Bing, onto Michael Ray King’s hubpage. Not only does he have an appealing style, but I felt encouraged to strive for excellence, to go beyond what I usually settle for. I appreciate that. Thanks. – moxie1956

Michael, you are one amazing writer. It will probably take me half a lifetime to read through all your hubs, but I’ll probably do it. – novascotiamiss

What a wonderful writer you are, I am grateful for hubnuggets for introducing me to you. A well deserved nomination and a lot of good reading to catch up on…I am your fan! – Sioux Ramos

you’re a very talented writer…and have the most amazing hubs! Looking forward to reading more…myownworld 

That last comment was the first one made to me by Ayesha. One of my takeaways from these turns of events is that I need to be more present in my own worth. I need to understand my value more. Not for purposes of ego, but for the purpose of carrying on as both these wonderful friends.

Each was selfless, yet I felt they understood their importance to others. Of course, I could be mistaken, but I do not believe so. In my heart, each set an example of how to be true to oneself and how to be kind and helpful to others. I’ve never had an issue with the second half of that last sentence but I’ve struggled to master the first.

Therefore, the time arrives for me to implement my rules. My take on this life. My stance on how my remaining time gets used. Ayesha had a book she was writing as well. I offered to publish it for her. That never happened.

My vocation, my passion, falls into two areas. One as an author. The other, a book whisperer, which is someone who helps people get their books written, edited, and published. My rules now apply. I’m not only good at what I do, as Ayesha said in her first statement to me and many more over the years, I’m amazing!

I discounted my worth for far too long. No more. The rules which kept me locked down and in fear of my own personal success no longer apply. Reading hundreds of people who wrote from all over the world of my amazing articles has given me cause to pause, reflect, and realize I help no one by ignoring my worth. I possess huge potential for improvement and growth, but there’s no reason to ignore my talent.

Helping others to see the same in themselves happens to be one of my strong points. I am heartbroken over the loss of these two dear friends. I crave another conversation. Another interaction. Another shot of confidence and support which both excelled at producing.


In my darkened, silent room
Your voice imagined, your smile, your laughter
Yet I possess no such past experience
I long for a trip back in time just to make this happen.

I once wrote
“Knowing we share breath in the same age of this world
Lifts my heart”
Knowing you’re gone breaks that heart

You would not have this
You would not care to see me falter
You would have me strive, help others
You would have me champion your love of truth and your own such devoted heart

Lift me up
Lift me high
Lift me to where we once touched the sky

I’ll be brave
I’ll think big
I’ll travel wherever your midnight bids

In my darkened silent room
Your accent imagined, your insight, your truth
My life stands with you
Oh to still amaze you…

I once wrote of your midnight healing
The hours you spent collecting your soul
Fleeting respite from life’s cruel beatings
Beauty blossomed in the dead of night

Lift me up
Lift me high
Lift me to when we each viewed our sky

I’ll be brave
I’ll walk tall
I’ll dedicate my life to midnight whims

May peace and rest be with your midnight heart … and mine …

In My Other Universe

In My Other Universe

In my other universe
Love does not disintegrate
Life and the cosmos do not momentarily wink out
Trust does not become a fantasy

In my other universe
Cold, cruel witch only describes a fairy tale
Material gain never trumps love
Heartlessness falls only to the machinations of openly vile people

In my other universe
I’m intact
I’m unscathed
I believe in truth and trust
I love without fear of betrayal
I walk light and carefree
For she defines integrity and longevity in the world of romance

In my other universe
People use objects, not other people
Betrayal stands as conviction against character
Dreams exist for destinies, not destruction

In my other universe
Fantasy rules
For nothing in it matches reality
Cold, cruel truths find no purchase
Because my other universe never existed…

If You’re Goin’ My Way


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If You’re Goin’ My Way…

I remember the leaves of spring
Each vibrant
Alive and lush
Overrun with promise
Sprouting to blot out the bareness of winter

I remember the skips and jumps
Full of spunk and vigor
The promise of a coming day could wait for the thrill of the now
Warm breezes, swirling bodies and minds

I remember the songs. The songs.
Heartbreaking and heartwarming
New and important
Futures passed and presents gilded
Nothing would end for the world was right and true

I remember the colors of the living
Each shade
Palates spotted with challenges
Promises made and broken
Draining in intensities and darknesses

I remember the lives of yesteryear
Each so dear
Tapestries of legacy
Overrun by melancholy
Bare trees adorned in stark grays, ice, snow

I have a dream
A dream to last a million years
A heart to beat to its own music
A passion to believe
A sadness to coincide with the waxings and wanings of life
A broken soul to mend throughout time itself
A tear for love which should have been
But not for this life
Not for me
Yet I do have a dream
I carry it with me and refuse to keep it hid

If you’re goin’ my way…

The Gift


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What is a gift?

I’ve struggled with Christmas for many years. For that matter, I’ve struggled with gift-giving in general. I have no problem giving gifts. I thoroughly enjoy doing that. It’s the identification of the gift and the heart behind it with which I struggle.

Unfortunately, I’ve been with people who need gifts showered on them. On the surface, this is not such a bad thing. Yet, their emphasis on gifts becomes a judgment. They measure life and love by volume and price. They give lip service to “it’s the thought that counts” philosophy. Some of these people I’ve given so many gifts of my time, my assistance, my love, my energy, my commitment, and a host of other gifts which I deem of highest value. Often, the material gift stands as simply a physical reminder of the love and affection behind the gift.

This Christmas, for the first time in far too many years, I’ve been touched by something far more valuable than any physical totem. I’ve been moved to re-understand who I once was and aspire to be again from gifts given me over the course of my lifetime. More specifically, the gifts I’ve received for the past few months have taken a glorious toll on my sadness and despair.

The gifts have been simple. My car cleaned and vacuumed. Dishes are done when I walk in from work. My bathroom cleaned. Smiles. Hugs. Time shared.

The gestures of these gifts mean far more than the surface description. I’ve not opened one single gift as yet. There’s truly nothing I could receive which I don’t already possess in spades.

There are so many views on how to get stuff done in a household. So many rules laid down. So many punishments meted out over the course of a lifetime to force children to step in and take responsibility. Yet I’ve found that leading by example, loving and communicating, works far better. I’ve taken so much heat in my life for not ruling on high with a heavy, discipline-first mentality.

My eleven-year-old daughter delivers Christmas to me every day. Does she ALWAYS to dishes? No. Does she ALWAYS clean my bathroom and wash my car? No. Does she ALWAYS clean her room? No.

What she always does is show love. I wash dishes. She washes dishes. I wash clothes. She washes clothes. The measure of a person’s heart is not how many times and what schedule they use, the measure for me is that, in her case, she does these things because she has a heart and a desire to help. She has a heart and a desire to be responsible.

I could truly not care less if I do the dishes or her. What I cannot care for more is the fact that she joyously does dishes. Cleans house. Helps out. She does this out of her heart, not some regimented schedule laden with background threats.

I got home late from work Christmas Eve. The whole arrangement of tree and presents and furniture was rearranged into a beautiful scene. The barstools I’d purchased for a “family gift” were assembled (I didn’t know she could even do that! See them there in the first pic below?), and decorations like origami snowflakes were hung with pride and joy.

In case the thought is tickling your mind, this is who my daughter has been her entire life. She’s in a positive environment and she’s thriving.

And I am humbled.

My emotions overwhelm me. The sadness of life pushed away. The hollow feeling of overwhelming responsibility is lifted. I appreciate gift-giving again. This is how I’ve always desired to give. Too many times I’ve allowed myself to be trapped by other peoples’ rules and views on gifts. When I fix a faucet for someone and I know nothing about plumbing but I learn how and I do it from my heart, this is not about the faucet. It’s about me stepping into my heart and giving a true gift.

When my daughter gives even the tiniest of gifts, they cannot be wrapped. There is not enough wrapping paper in the world to enclose the thought and love behind her gift. THAT is what Christmas is all about. THAT is what I allowed to be stolen from me by people who run off of checklists and make gift-giving a chore or a measurement. A true gift, no matter the monetary value or timing, embodies all that is good and right in life. When the smallest of gestures and gifts touch your soul with love, truly the measurements of others mean nothing. The gentle touch on the heart becomes more powerful than all the hate, unhappiness, negativity, and all that ilk combined.

I love all my children. Each of them possesses a desire to give and to share themselves to lift others. In these days, when I need it most, I continue to be taught about life or at least reminded of something valuable I’d allowed to slip into darkness. I’ve never stopped giving from my heart, but I have listened to the harshness of judgment as to how and what I give. My gift this year is the gift of myself, handed gently to me on a daily basis by my children. I could receive no greater gift than the tears dropping on my desk and the love I feel in my heart. Yes, the love I have for them, but in a true world, my greatest gift is the love I receive from them.

It’s not about the physical gift. Never has been. It’s not about its value. Never has been. It’s not about the gifts frequency. Never has been. It’s not about anything measurable. Never has been.

A true gift is always about love.

Always has been.



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A case for Joy

Joy – the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation

The definition of joy implies action. “The emotion of great delight (not just regular delight) CAUSED by something exceptionally good or satisfying.” At my age, I’ve heard many times over the advice that one must “choose” happiness. The classic example of this is The Diary of Ann Frank. If anyone had reason to be despondent, she would lead a large pack. Happiness, a component of joy, is a choice.

Happiness gets trampled daily if you’ve not noticed. Our politics. Our religions. Our media. Our gossip. The overwhelming collectivity of communication sometimes appears negative beyond repair. How does one choose happiness when they’re surrounded by all these externals of negativity? On top of the macro of negativity, what about the micro? For instance, what if someone is constantly bombarded by negative statements, attacks, and skullduggery? How does one rise above this?

By choice, it would appear. Life gets tiresome when all that’s in front of you looms as potential dismay, sadness, anger, betrayal, cruelty, and a host of other negative players. Many, if not most, people look to find happiness in the very people who will eventually destroy that joy. Wise folk have said for millennia to look inward for happiness and joy with the oft-unspoken advice that others will not do it for you in the long run. For those who get to this point, often the trek stands out as a painful, arduous arrival to a place we should have acknowledged long ago.

I’m still not at the point where I walk away like Kwai Chang Caine from television show Kung Fu. I can do this physically, but mentally and emotionally I fight the battle in my head and my heart. I recognize this robs me of peace. I recognize I must find a way to suffer the slings and arrows of people who know me and those who don’t. The pickle is in the doing. When people load their shit on you, making the choice of joy becomes Mt. Everest with few provisions. Most often, we’re so bombarded by the negativity that we don’t recognize we’re leagues away from joy before we even deal with someone nasty.

The only tool which comes to mind to battle this onslaught is “now.” The power of being in the moment. The power of slipping out of our daydream (or nightmare as the case may be) and into the moment of truth. The bare, unadorned moment. As Eckhart Tolle said, “The Power of Now.” To get to now, I’ve discovered I must step out of everything and focus on something. At this moment its the sunshine outside my window. Or is it the green leaves on the palm fronds? Or is it the blue sky backdrop? None of these matter except that they each offer a way out of the mind-numbing war which rages in my head and heart. The fears which rise up. The anger that can simmer low enough to be nearly undetectable and high enough to boil over given the right (or wrong) conditions.

“Now” can be the lampshade. Something inanimate. Something to draw attention from my inner turmoils and out to a place where I can replace in my mind something better. How often do I practice this? Not often enough I can say with absolute certainty. Just stepping out of turmoil does not bring me to joy. In fact, the act does not necessarily get me out of negativity. Residual thoughts keep knocking at my “now” door, looking for a way in to kill the momentum. I’ve found that negativity thrives on itself. When negativity meets something positive, engulf and devour like a rabid wolf ensues.

I must find a way to fill my “now” moment with something of positive value. Positive thoughts. Goals. Dreams. Aspirations. Yes, as I’m writing this, I’m allowing myself to entertain the thought of being holed up in a mountain cottage, fire in the fireplace, hot chocolate by my recliner, laptop in my lap with snow swirling outside my huge bay window in a dance of pure peace and joy. I feel two things going here. One is excitement. Excitement that I may actually one day do this. I also feel the dogged attacks of negativity screaming I am saddled by life and circumstance and that I’ll never have the time nor the finances to achieve such a thing.

This is where more of us lose it. I’m leading that pack, unfortunately. I’ve come to realize just getting to the dream will not allow me to maintain joy. An action is required. A plan. Actual movement in the direction of achieving the goal. Something to work for. Something to believe in. Something to help me maintain an inner peace and joy in my “now.”

Connecting the dots internally will now be my focus. I’ve got to learn to choose happiness, happiness within me. Happiness within my life. Happiness within my reach. All captured in the moment of “now.” Maintaining this will be the challenge. This is contrary to a life pattern of constantly fighting back negativity. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my crazy ex-wife, confronting negativity only drags me into the cesspool. Walking away, as Kwai Chang, truly becomes the only effective route.

The next step is to not only achieve now moments but to put into play and into thought and into practice that each task I accomplish each day brings me one step closer to my dreams and aspirations. When I look at completing a project as a “now moment(s)” action step to my dreams and aspirations, joy may become a component of my working day. I’ve got a lot of work to do.

Good work.

“NOW” work.

Practice. Practice. Practice….


look at your hand
do it
ask yourself why
why is he requesting I look at my hand
what were you thinking about before you looked
do you feel a distance from those thoughts
even if only a small distance

our heads stay stuffed with thoughts
thoughts triggered and placed by others
thoughts triggered and placed by ourselves
the monkey chatter in our heads drowns out most everything else
until we take action
until we give ourselves an option
escape from unreality

look at your hand
your hand is real
your thoughts, all 60,000 of them per day
all 42 thoughts per minute
almost one thought per second
call you back to their cacophony
a siren call we live with every day

look at your hand
seize the second
seize the minute
reign in your thoughts and focus
speed holds not your answer
deep breaths
consciousness beyond the noise of our minds
our distractions
our technologies

look at your hand
look out your window
look at your sky
feel who you are
feel who you aspire to be
make the choice of joy
make the choice to put action to “you”