Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Perhaps riding stars is riding the light. In that way the word lightweight takes on another meaning.

Slim Pickens rides the bomb at the end of Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb. This is one of the better movies made in 1964. It was political satire and black comedy. I was nineteen or late eighteen when I saw it. I loved the humor in this movie. Peter Sellers, as Dr. Strangelove, had an arm he could not always control. That became a comedy routine for many young men of the day. I still do that every once in a while, usually my right arm tries to attack me. Peter Sellers did it first. I wonder what it is like to know that you have given a routine to millions of boys.

These days I am confronted with unwanted time off work. I have been off work too much in the last year. I had to fund myself. That means I am spending my retirement funds early. Now I need to work but my health is not that good and I worry because it is a real tiring thing to work. When I have a normal week I come home on Friday evening so tired that I am near to weeping on those days. Then I take all weekend doing very little just to recover. I may have to retire soon even though I don’t want to because the money is not there. All this reality pressure has me thinking in both realms. I really don’t want the mundane to triumph over fantasy, but it did when I was a small child with asthma and it is doing that more and more these days too. The asthma appears to be coming back. My breathing has basically sucked for three months now. As I cast back to the time when I finally had to give up singing, I realize that this is not new, that what I was calling allergies was riding on top of this condition. I could feel it at the best of times for at least three years now. It was just not that bad.

When I can, here is where I live:

The Key to Our Well-Being

Our society provides no curriculum or schooling on how to notice love or to recognize the many people who have transmitted its life-giving power. Most of us haven't been taught that to receive love deeply and transmit it wholeheartedly is a real human possibility, that it can be learned, and that to do so is the key to our deepest well-being, our spiritual life, and our capacity to bring more goodness into this world.

So as adults, we need to become newly aware of the love that has infused our lives all along, to turn our attention to it afresh with the eyes of a child. To do so is to become conscious of the tremendous capacity for love that even now permeates our being-to open to it, to be healed by its life-giving energy, and to participate in its power to renew our world. We can awaken to the deepest goodness in ourselves and others. We can learn to recognize and commune with the blessings that have always been pouring forth.

- John Makransky, "Love is All Around", tricycle (Fall 2007)


Like Slim Pickens rode
the bomb, I shall ride God’s stars
though I heard you call
such stuff time wasters.

My folks would agree with you
that I am easy,
too easy, a fool
in fact, and prone to fritter
my life on shallow
things. But I wonder
if riding stars counts really
as a light-weight trade.

June 23, 2009 3:21 PM


  1. methink it counts!

    seems all of us have a bomb to ride on and to love...

    can't you choose a 'lighter' job?
    why not mixing the two sides of you and become a published poet? then you can earn money from what you rejoice in...
    don't know how much rewarding being a poet is in your country... just some thoughts...

    best wishes, dear friend...


    i chased butterflies
    and everybody called me a fool

    they chased a fool
    and all were drowned in a shallow pool


  2. Enjoyed the poem . Advice on how time should be spent to be profitable is not the same as figuring out how to make the most of our time. I’d much rather be spending it contemplating, and riding stars.

  3. :D Me and Billy Collins. I wonder how much money he actually makes off his poetry? Poets in this country always have day jobs as far as I know. So do most novelists. Thanks for thinking of me, my Persian friend. Drown them all.

    Anthony, the number of inequalities in life approach the infinite it seems sometimes. What makes it worse as I have been reading, our civilized societies are so different from our roots that our brains do not instinctively match our realities any more. However, our ability to tell stories has remained constant throughout. I want to go live there, in the story. But that's as if my mind thinks it can kill off my body and still live, a bit of a gamble.

  4. i just read the poem, i love it. x


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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