Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I am hungry for white
The clear purity of a blank page
The spotless clean of a cotton gown
Fresh fallen snow
Unbeaten hard-boiled eggs
A calendar in January.
I am hungry for white
The absence of darkness
A second chance
A friend of Light.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My "little guys" and I are sending Light to our Extraordinary Friend 
Dr. Brad Harris.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I took this picture just 4 days ago. Today there are no leaves left. It truly seems like it happened over night. Good thing I took the picture when I did.

Monday, November 5, 2012

We like Elizabeth Warren because she has money smarts.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I realize there is something honest about trees in the fall, 
how they're experts at letting go
― inspired by Jeffrey McDaniel (via Courtney Putnam)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cannot think of the word!

Can you think of the word,
You nerd?
It's on the tip of your tongue,
You bum.
I ask my cat
She just smirks,
She never knew the word.

I shout to the heavens above,
"What is the word, for the love of God,
the word?!"

Silence thunders down
Making me curse....
It even hurts!
I want to cry
I finally try 

That's it!
Waiting in the wings
She was there all along
Hidden behind my muse.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

ALONE by Edgar Allan Poe

From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ferlinghetti's The world is a beautiful place...{1958}

              The world is a beautiful place
                                                        to be born into
if you don't mind happiness
                                         not always being
                                                                   so very much fun
       if you don't mind a touch of hell
                                                    now and then
                just when everything is fine
                                                          because even in heaven
                                they don't sing
                                                     all the time

              The world is a beautiful place
                                                          to be born into
       if you don't mind some people dying 
                                                                all the time
                          or maybe only starving
                                                            some of the time
                     which isn't half bad
                                                   if it isn't you

         Oh the world is a beautiful place
                                                            to be born into
                  if you don't much mind
                                                    a few dead minds
                       in the higher places
                                                     or a bomb or two
                               now and then
                                                     in your upturned faces
              or such other improprieties
                                                       as our Name Brand society
                                             is prey to
                                                          with its men of distinction
                      and its men of extinction
                                                           and its priests
                                  and other patrolmen
                                                                and its various segregations
                 and congressional investigations
                                                                    and other constipations
                               that our fool flesh
                                                              is heir to

            Yes the world is the best place of all
                                                                     for a lot of such things as 
                  making the fun scene
                                                        and making the love scene
      and making the sad scene
                                            and singing low songs and having inspirations
                and walking around
                                                looking at everything
                                                                               and smelling flowers
               and goosing statues
                                             and even thinking
                                                                       and kissing people and
                    making babies and wearing pants
                                                                      and waving hats and
                                                              and going swimming in rivers
                                           on picnics
                                                   in the middle of the summer
                       and just generally
                                                    'living it up' 

               but then right in the middle of it 
                                                              comes the smiling

 - From "Cony Island of the Mind," by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wilson Point Lighthouse

Old bright sandy shores
and ancient rocks raise her up
History's Lighthouse.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Polly Mansfield 1932-2012

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
                        - Mary Elizabeth Frye (1932)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Vein of Gold

How words can grab the day.
One word, connected in a new way 
To another,
And we discover 
Simple but profound offerings.
A piece in the puzzle can fall into place.

Connections have been there all along,
But required
A shift in perception. 
Each time a word gets recombined,
It becomes new.

Set apart in a new perspective,
A Eureka moment stands on
Your own doorstep,
A new path opens to 
Your inner vein of gold.

You might find this life-raft
Easier to steer if you
Open your heart and close your eyes.
Dream up the 
Path not yet taken.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fall 2012

Dahlias light a fire in my 
memory today,
preparing me for the inevitable
Chill to come.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Peter's Limerick

There once was a pair from Seattle
Whose teeth one day started to rattle
When Jordan’s New Tours
Took them over the moors
They found the drive rather a battle

Friday, September 7, 2012

Moments of Utopia

Maybe Utopia is not a place we can go. Maybe we cannot create one, no matter how hard we try. But I do think I have experienced hints of Utopia several times in my life. Maybe I cannot recreate those moments, but in the end, they add up to the best life I can have.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Ascension by Claudia Mauro

On occasion
a mushroom will shoulder
through asphalt.
Likewise an occasional
blade of grass casts aside
a slab of stone and rises,
not unlike the stories
one hears about Jesus.

And it is every bit
as good a story
and worth celebrating,
even though they
never heard of Jesus
and are only doing
what the living do
when moving
towards light,
against desperate
and impossible odds.
               - Claudia Mauro from "Small Women Who Think Big" ©1997

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Search for Peace

The breath of Peace could quiet my day, if I could find it.
But where does it exist in this turmoil?  How do I find it amidst this noise?

A siren races to meet Death at an accident; a jet brings a CEO to a crucial conference nearby; a truck downshifts to make that curve, on the freeway going ...
Going somewhere. 

The sounds are divorced from me, yet they penetrate every nerve. The leaf blower might as well be in my living room, considering the disturbance it causes in my aura. 

Is my Peaceful breath high above this cacophony somewhere?  Or is found only  buried beneath it all in a quiet grave of slumber?  It is imperative that I find it, as often as possible. A walk in the woods, iPod music, a constant search for that "Peace which passeth all understanding." The part that "passes all understanding" is this: why have we let the world get so LOUD!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Let Me Avoid the Abyss!

Groping frantically for a hand-
Craving peace found souly in communication.
Searching everywhere, running to and away,
Tearlessly crying, pleading with blueskies, blacknights
          and life -
"Let me avoid the Abyss!"

Then He came to gently guide me
Into his realm.

The candle was lit
Forms grew on the wall
Flickering phantasmagoria
Blending insensibly
Conceiving new impressions with essence of old.

The Abyss becomes a Universe.
                                        -CJA  March 1968-

Monday, September 3, 2012

How can we keep things in focus in this
Year of the Lie?
Who can you trust?
I trust my cat.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Best Ideas

I sit in Wonderland
Where the "livin' is easy"
And the cool kids always have
The best ideas.

I'm cool too, but no one knows.
Light shoots from my fingers
Sunshine paints my toes.  I
Have ideas.

Feeling lost one day,
I sought shelter in 
A forest of words and waited for
The weather to change.
I waited and 

Push harder, I admonished
Look deeper, I demanded.
But still I was lost
Still I hid under the words.
Darkness rained.

Gradually the storm passed,
A whisper gathered in my heart.
Rest easy, you are not lost, she said.
Your ideas will guide you.
Rest easy and listen.

So I found my way that day.
With stars in my hair
And the moon to light my way,
I learned to listen
And I learned to hear
The best ideas. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

                                    -Mary Oliver

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Beauty in Death

"Death is an event that represents the permanent cessation of all biological 
functions that sustain a living organism." 
But death of the organism does not mean the death of beauty. 
A rose is still a rose.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Absolute Yearning

Is this
Absolute yearning,
Born of notes
Dropped from Infinity
Into my questioning heart?

Or is my Soul hiding
Hints within my 
Thirsty thoughts?

I guess I am just 
Destined to 
Forever lament 
My stunning 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

- Bitsy, Lumpy & friends taking a nap
 Yellow Point 2012 -

Drawn into the tempest, 
As a Seeker,
My voracious appetite for meaning
Tosses me on waves of information.

My quest propels me forward until
Finally, joy and relief
Greet me on the shore of 
As I embrace a
Moment of unity 
With The One who
Knows all. 

Friday, August 24, 2012


It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
                         - From "Thirst" by Mary Oliver 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

"... Conviction demands courage, and courage is the lifeblood of change."
                                                                                   -David Schimke, Utne Editor

Reach out 
Question all
Live, grow, change.
This is your destiny,
Your fatal attraction.
                                      - CJH

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Centrifugal Forces

Before time began,
We crossed the Universe
To create
A focus upon our very own
Precious existence, 
I  I  I
We we we
Me Me Me.

When the prison of
Our beliefs began to
Massively distort reality,
We could no longer find the
Path to peace. 
We sang
I We Me.

Whirling Dervish Chaos 
Continued to spin 
Out of control
And the complex pattern
of our daily lives
Chained us to an
Ultimate despair.
We chanted
i - i -i
we - we - we
me - me - me.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Plea to the Far Right

Your displeasure is an anchor
Weighing me down.
How can you be so unfeeling?
I will never understand your
Hatred, your unwillingness to see.
It boggles my mind
Every time I hear you speak. 
Each year you grow more
       and more deaf.
When the crowds cry out in  
despair, you turn away.
Release them now.
Stop talking,
Just stop talking.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Opinion of Brit Friend Peter

August 14 2012

Dear Carol Jo,

This morning we woke up to the news that Mitt Romney has chosen Paul Ryan as his running mate.  His choice does not make us sleep soundly at nights.  The thought that he might be a heartbeat away from the world’s most powerful job is even more frightening than the thought that Mitt Romney might be the President.

The next thing we heard is that Paul Ryan is holding up our National Health Service as an example of all that is bad about Europe and he claims that the NHS proves that Obama’s health scheme is a bad idea.

Now I work for the British healthcare regulator.  I feel that I must contradict Mr Ryan.  The main thing wrong with the NHS is that it is under-funded by our Government which is afraid to raise enough tax to do the job properly.  This leads to waiting lists for non-urgent treatments. If it was properly funded (say 10% more than the present expenditure), the waiting lists would be solved and the NHS would still be much cheaper than the US healthcare system per head of population.  The principle of universal healthcare works just fine; politicians of both right and the left agree on this.  If the NHS was funded by compulsory insurance instead of tax (like Germany does it), it would be great.  By contrast, US healthcare is the most expensive in the world but fails to reach a large minority of the population, and this is a direct result of allowing the insurance and pharmacological industries to run healthcare.  

Even with its limitations, the NHS is a shining example to the USA.  The German system is even better.

I heard that Republicans have said that the British hate the NHS.  I’ve never met any Brit who said that.

The truth is, we love our NHS, even while we grumble that it is under-funded.  The NHS started when I was a child and has looked after me ever since.  As I have grown older, I have had a lot of expensive treatment which was free to me.  I never had anything that wasn’t essential, and I didn’t have luxury accommodation in hospital, but when I needed the NHS, it was there for me.

Paul Ryan says that the NHS encourages dependency.  This is obvious nonsense.  You could argue that childcare payments encourage teenage pregnancy; you could argue that unemployment payments encourage idleness; but you can’t seriously suggest that universal healthcare encourages people to get sick or old.

I don’t think anyone here will feel insulted by Paul Ryan’s words.  We are accustomed to US politicians who are ignorant of the world outside the USA.  But we are angry that he is spreading lies for political gain.  He claims that European successes are failures!

US citizens need to understand that the USA is the country with the big problem, not Britain.  Britain, like most other civilised countries, has universal healthcare.  It’s not perfect, but it works.  The USA does not have universal healthcare, and it has great difficulty working out how to move from the present expensive mess to something better.  There are good examples in Europe of how to do it better and cheaper.

Paul Ryan is trying to frighten US voters with the phrase “European style Socialism”.  “Socialism” isn’t a word we use much, because it can mean whatever you want it to mean, from a minimal concern for welfare to state tyranny.  We in Europe argue over how much the government should intervene to prevent poverty, but we find the discussions go better when we avoid vague terms like “Socialism”.

Finally, why should any US voter listen to a Brit?  Well, you elect them and we have to put up with them blundering around the world for 4 years.  We suffer the consequences of your votes.  I just want you to elect someone who doesn’t blunder.  Obama would be my choice, if I had a choice.

Warmest regards,

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Preview of the 1913 Miller Diary

Wednesday, Jan. 1, 1913
Since I will become of age during 1913 I have resolved to make a man of myself and also a gentleman.  This involves many things but I believe I can carry them out. 
 E.C. Miller.

(This little diary was written almost 100 years ago by a young man living on Capitol Hill in Seattle. He was attending the University of Washington in Engineering. I believe it is a valuable piece of history that I want to share with the world on his behalf. I will post it here in time to greet 2013.)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fantasy Friday

You can find me in the forest
See me behind a tree
Kicking at a root
Up to my neck
In time enough.

I'm dressed to the Nines
With tiara and tails
Paired with taffeta top and
Heels of gold,
Fit for a Queen,

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Stay Cool

Be like the bird, who
halting in his flight
On limb too slight
Feels it give way beneath him,
Yet sings
Knowing he hath wings.
                      -Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Little snail,
slowly, slowly,
climbs Mount Fuji.
                -Issa (1762-1826)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Italo Calvino & Waiting for Godot
River Teeth, White Teeth,
Drop City and the Wall.
Cat's Eye, Walden Two, Ishmael,
Gone With the Wind;
Love, Paradise,
Song of the Exile,
   and the Art of Loving.
It's All So Extremely
Loud & Incredibly Close.

Reading has been the backdrop
for my life.  At times it IS
my life.  Immersed in an absorbing
story, I no longer exist.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Silver Thaw 2012

I can't begin to tell you how amazing it is to watch this Silver Thaw as it happens. The trees that live right outside our apartment house have been my constant companions for the last several months, because every day since October 1st I have taken a picture through one square of the bedroom window. So I have had an intimate journey with them through leaves changing color and falling, bare dark rain soaked branches, then snow. But today is the most dramatic, awesome, painful, stunningly gorgeous day I have shared with them. It is almost impossible to get a picture that shows what is going on, because they move slightly in the breeze. I am holding my breath, hoping that it will warm up in time, before any of these branches break with the weight.  How important it is to be Flexible, eh?

Monday, December 19, 2011

TATHAGATA by Henry Rappaport



The book I’m reading tells me not to read it.
That’s really what it’s about –
Not reading it. It’s not a pleasure read.
It’s not about walking away
From walking away either. It’s about
Being a thus goer. (I know. I know.
Some people will wonder what
That means. Others will roll their eyes
Because they have been or are going
Down that road.) Impossible to explain.
But the ineffable is all this book is about.
I used to know ineffable. I used to
Lie in a cabin in the gloom of Syracuse
Winter warm by a woodstove hearing
Ineffable sing. What did I know?
Forty-five years later the same singing
I hear once in awhile in circumstances
Unexpected: on Glee, from a sax on the Via
Fori Imperiali in Rome. Never almost
On command. This book is about
The eight roads to nowhere. Crazy map
From wherever here is to where it’s not.
I read a line at a time before bed.
Many nights the same line again and again.
I’m pretty sure I won’t understand
Or want to change, but you never know.
Maybe in sleep I’ll dream thus going
And maybe it will feel so damn fine
I’ll keep going when it’s wake up time.
                           -Henry Rappaport, Canadian Poet