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A New Force For Truth: How poetry can save us

We are entering a new more truth-centered era in our professional and political lives. And no, I’m not on mind-altering drugs. I have been savoring some mind-altering poems. And now seeing these poems in a fresh new light, I can appreciate more deeply, their ability to change minds, hearts and eventually whole nations and worlds. “No!…

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Valentine’s Day… A Celebration of Radical Inefficiency

“Dance first, think later. It’s the natural order” – Samuel Beckett. What could be more inefficient than love? I mean what is its purpose? What does it achieve? For example, you could walk like my sweetheart does for miles along Stinson Beach simply to admire the ocean and be delighted by its over-the-top, exuberant displays…

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A Great Poem Tells A Personal Story… Yours! (And I want to hear it!)

Conventional wisdom says it takes years for ideas, feelings and attitudes to change. No doubt, there is truth to that and it can be a depressing truth. Thankfully, it’s not always the case. There are exceptions… surprising, wonderful, even stunning exceptions. I’m speaking of instances where something suddenly shifts. It is the ah-ha moment, where…

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Want This Year To Be Kinder, Gentler, Better? Turn To Poetry…

Without a hint of bitterness or whiff of cynicism, I vow to have this world be more kind, gentle and better in the coming year. I further vow that since I am my own pickler-in-chief for at least some of the words, images and language I let marinate within my body, mind and heart, why not make…

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Bah Humbug! How Ebenezer Scrooge & Poetry Can Save America…

Charles Dickens, like all great artists knew that simply describing the idea of generosity would never move hearts or change lives. Rather, he wanted his readers of A Christmas Carol to feel and experience first hand the heart and soul-redeeming joy of helping others, while also experiencing the soul-starving, heart-breaking sadness and alienation of a…

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Celebrating The Amazing Life of Lucy…

My sister’s favorite holiday was Thanksgiving. Maybe it was genetic. Our mother loved that holiday as well. My sister made a habit of inviting people for Thanksgiving she knew would, of course, enjoy a tasty meal. But it was more than that. What she wanted to give was a critical dose of belonging and community….

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Gratitude, Poetry and The Way It Is…

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change… We quickly recognize what poet William Stafford is getting at in these two opening lines of his poem, “The Way It Is.” Of course, we each want to live by this thread he is describing. After all, it is our…

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Just Slightly West and South of A Place Called Despair

Have you ever had a feeling of numbness around a part of your body you identified as your soul? A kind of bone-deep sadness and weariness. I feel that now. Of course, I could tell you about events in my life. But remembering how the poet, Mary Oliver once put it I know many could…

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