Hour Twelve 2021

the pandemic finally ending
we begin a record heat wave
old temperatures shattered
by ten degrees speaks to
climate deniers 
all demagogs
willing to
let earth

Hour Eleven 2021

The Forest Ranger rarely came into town. For him a skyscraper was giant redwood, or even a giant sequoia in these parts of the Pacific North West. As he walked through the concrete jungle of Seattle, he came upon the famous Space Needle. It was impressive, he thought, stretching his long neck up to see the top. It almost appeared to pierce the dark low hanging clouds. He paid the fare and rode the elevator to the top and wandered the full circumference, along with the other tourists snapping pictures taking selfies. He never carried a camera, and had rarely used his cell phone. The sun broke through and beat down on his tan face, spreading  over the entire vista of Seattle. Suddenly, he saw Mt. Rainier in the distance, across the endless array of storefronts. He noticed a gull steal away with a piece of sourdough bread, then a man wearing gumboots walked past with his young daughter carrying a lone Periwinkle.

Hour Ten 2021

I have one child, a daughter, Anna. Raising her 
has been a clear highlight of my life. So much 
good to say, let's leave it there. As the years 
went by, we felt she would choose to be child-free. 
I was fine with that—she never wanted to talk about it.
Right before her elopement during Covid, which 
I thought was a wonderful idea, she brought it up, 
confiding to me that she didn't want to wait 
until the all clear signal because she wanted 
to have a baby. What was this! We are all so happy now—

she talks about her child to be, and me being 
an important part as grandpapa. Anna was born 
on December 26th, her baby is due December 22nd. 
This Christmas holiday season is going to get ridiculous. 
Anna's mom was born on December 20th. Ridiculous, right?

Hour Nine 2021

To Get Lost is to Learn the Way

Lost many times in my life, 
unknowns, mounting fears. 
To walk along a narrow path 
that slowly disappears.
Then find a new path wider, true, 
to see it soon has flew.
The urge to lay down, give up the search, 
then find this light that grew.
Each time like royalty, it seems,
the higher plain dead ended.
Masks and glitter lauded grace,
but vanished soon, pretended.
Today, the path careens about,
I've learned to embrace the bumps.
strong calluses and sturdy shoes,
embracing all the jumps. 

Hour Eight 2021

Education for a New World
Raffi calls his mission, Child Honoring.
Peter Gray, Free to Learn.
Dr. Maria Montessori goes further—
she exclaims, The Formation of Man. 

It was always innate for me, 
I don't know why, can't explain it. 
It wasn't a discovery, but common sense.
The Discovery of the Child.

The Secret of Childhood is still a secret.
The idea To Educate the Human Potential
is still a concept not accepted by most.
I got it as soon as I read The Absorbent Mind.

In 1949 Montessori wrote, 
"We know how to find
pearls in the shells of oysters, 
gold in the mountains,
but we are unaware of the spiritual germs, 
the creative nebulae, 
that the child hides in himself
when he enters the world to renew mankind."

If humankind wishes to reach salvation,
and the union of man, he must follow the child. 
That part of it which we possess consciously
is renewed every time a baby is born.

Hour Seven 2021

What is Normal?

One of my favorite lines from one of my favorite songs is,

He not busy being born is busy dying

Is there a normal?
When people say, 'the new normal' it's a cop-out. 
Yeah, I'll keep one of my wife's handcrafted masks
around my neck for a while.

'Let's go back to normal,' others say.
Really? what is that? Like saying, 'It's always been that way.' 

There is no normal. 
My uncle eats three cookies for breakfast every day.
He has farmed his forty acres for sixty years. 

Eating a midnight meal is normal for me. 
YThis peaceful feeling inside is wonderful,
but it's not normal.

Hour Six 2021

Sharing Life

We are ginko enthusiasts. 
Four of us gather at an outdoor picnic table,
share a bit of news, talk about the terrain. The local 
one offers a few tips, and we set off. Solo, we trundle
in different directions—no hurry, no pace, no swinging
of arms. This is a ginko. We observe nature—surroundings,
the small, normally unnoticed happenings of life,
then write about it in haiku.  

dried-up osoberries
the spring gone
from my legs

Hour Five 2021

He soaked in a tub of hot water, 
lavender essence, ginger root shavings, 
and a few drops of rosemary oil. 

He closed his eyes listening 
to the soft music of Ravi Shankar—
sitar and a female voice, and some flute.

His mind wandered back to Thailand, and Vietnam. 
The monasteries, people, and street food. 
His heart broken, his savings spent, his soul replenished.

Hour Four 2021

All school subjects are dependent on language for learning and understanding.*

When I heard this haiku for the first time, I was mesmerized. 

long before language the S of the river

First of all, it was a monoku, which means rather than the normal three line haiku, 
it was a one-liner. The deep mystery resonated inside me instantly. One of those 
moments when you feel something profound, but it's a bit unfathomable. This poem 
was the first prize winner at the regional conference I was attending. One thing
that made this poem even more beautiful, was that the artist had created a picture 
with hand-painted and torn Japanese washi papers. I immediate contacted the author, 
and she sold it to me–the painting with the poem added—special order!. This poem 
went on to win the highest honor in the world of haiku. From over thirty countries
and thirteen hundred haiku, it was one of five poems chosen to win the annual 
Touchstone award for best haiku. Sometimes language is not needed to learn and to 
understand. Sometimes you just need to notice the natural world as it is to gain 
the pleasures of knowledge.

*p. 114, Reading in Secondary Content Areas, Fang and Schleppegrell

Hour Three 2021

I woke up early in a daze, 
my head still ringing Purple Haze.

I woke up early in a daze, 
my head still ringing Purple Haze.

I woke up early in a daze, 
my head still ringing Purple Haze.

I think it's time for better days.

The sun is up—been up an hour—
in the sink an empty growler.

The sun is up—been up an hour—
in the sink an empty growler.

The sun is up—been up an hour—
in the sink an empty growler.

It's time to climb this watchtower.
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