"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
"A man lives not only his personal life, as an individual, but also, consciously or unconsciously, the life of his epoch and his contemporaries." - Thomas Mann (hmmm - then what does this mean that I am 27 years sober, a recovering alcoholic, a full blown 1960s style hippie and dope dealer who went to West Point for a short time, spent time in a nut ward and in jail, but also have a self created college degree based largely on what I accomplished to that time in the world rather than on classwork and who holds a highly technical and modestly well paid job unrelated to the degree, who has been all the way round the world though over forty years ago and sort of on the lam? A mechanical designer musician poet philosopher who is devoted to God and loves quantum foam. WTF do we make of that??)
"Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy." - Ralph Waldo Emerson (Amen, Brother Emerson, Amen!)
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver
An incident, a circumstance, a misdirection: I knocked the leather off the ball...not in this case a good thing. Sometimes questions are not for answering but for holding close and living through them. Do not answer the question, do not even ask it. Instead, make love to it. When you come, accept the joy.
This is what happens when you insist on asking demanding the answer, what happens to the answer, to you.
Swinging For The Bleachers
Your words fell, landed on the floor, piled up between us, an answer knocked down by the question I shouldn't have asked, swung like a bat, swung roundly by our circumstance, your answer broken apart by that swing, that cut.
Some years ago my poetry took on a mythic flavor and I became a character in my own poems, a mage, "the man of the Northern Wall". This apellation is not completely fictional. My middle name is Noordwal, a Dutch term for north wall, though in current Dutch it mainly means north bank as in riverbank. I was told that an ancestor, a Portugese Jew escaping the Inquisition, settled in a small Dutch town and took this name from where he settled, near the north wall of the town. I have thought for a long time that -wal meant wall, think my mother told me that. A linguist might say that my usage is no longer common, is an older usage, but then the Inquisition happened in Portugal a few centuries ago, right around the time the Moors lost control of the Iberian Peninsula and the Jews lost the modest protection given them by Islam. Now I write as this mage, my poetry persona.