Today I’m thankful for the unpredictability of destiny…

You see, I’m not sure how much I partake…

in determining all my opportunities…

in all the choices that I make. 


For instance:


Was it my choice to write this poem…

or has destiny decreed it?

and was it your choice 

or was it Destiny…

when you sat down to read it?

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This morning as a 71 year old man walking with Deborah on a beach in Florida… 

I thought back to the big plans I had as a boy…

plans that would bring me wealth and fame and lead to happiness and joy.


Plan A was be a baseball star…the best outfielder of them all!

Unfortunately I was never very good at hitting, catching or throwing that little ball.


Plan B was to be a football star…they play with a bigger ball.

but when it came to playing football…it was me who as too small


Plan C was to be a rock star…not bad for a third choice.

But a plan that was quickly abandoned 

as people covered their ears when they heard my singing voice..


Yes, I was going to be famous and wealthy…

with legions of adoring fans…

but it seems the Gods, or fate or destiny…

for me…had other plans.


I never planned to be a teacher…they’re not famous or wealthy…

Is that even a career?

Yet there I was a teacher…for almost 40 years.


I never planned on being a husband, a father, a Pop-Pop

No, these things I never planned to be…

I planned on being a free spirit…not having people who depended on me.


But a teacher, a husband, a father, a Pop-Pop…I am all of the above

How is it possible so many things I never planned…I have come to love?


Speaking for that boy in Ohio…

now a 71 year old man walking with Deborah across the Florida sand….

It’s amazing how happy that boy and I are…living the life we never planned.

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When I was young…growing up…still a boy…not yet a man

when thinking about my destiny…I had some awesome plans.


I knew early in my life what was in store for me…

I knew what I was going to do…I knew who I wanted to be.


I wanted to be a post office clerk…like my dad…although he didn’t make a lot of money and sometimes times were rough…He loved his job and he’d always smile and say…

I think we have enough. 


But I soon turned why hopes to baseball…where I was going to be a star…

until I realized I had trouble catching…and I couldn’t hit a baseball very far.


Next I wanted to be a football star…people would have my name embroidered on their shirt…until I realized I was much too small…and how getting tackled hurt!


So I thought…I’d like to be an astronaut…where I’d soar up among the stars…

until I realized my stomach ached…just riding in the car.


Next I turned my attention to politics I wanted to be President…in charge of all the masses…until I realized there are some days…I can’t even find my glasses.


So I chose instead to be a teacher, a husband and a father…where I didn’t make a lot of money and where sometimes times were rough…but I loved my job and I was always able to smile and say…I think we have enough.


Who knew when I was growing up…with all the different plans I had…I would end up living a life that was closer to my dad’s. 


But those choices led to being a grandfather…perhaps the easiest job of all…

where I didn’t have to to be coordinated…or rich…or intelligent…or tall.


In fact…from the minute I became a husband, a father, a grandfather…the moment our lives intertwined…all I had to be in their eyes…was loving, compassionate and kind…


So there you have it…in a nutshell…this is who I came to be…

and I’ve often wondered…did I choose this life…or has this life chosen me?


Either way…I’m happy…

for my life has indeed been quite amazing 

and wonderfully grand…

I guess when I stop to think about it…

it has gone…exactly as I planned.

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I walk the same path every morning…bright and early…every day…where I’m greeted by the same sounds…the same trees…the same animals along the way.


I never find it boring..and no….I’m not a nut…it’s just I find my solace and my comfort in what some would call…my rut.


Today I was a little shocked when my routine became disrupted…when my normal path was blocked and my walk was interrupted.


It was obvious my walk today wouldn’t be like every other day…that in order to finish what I started…I’d have to walk another way.


Quickly realizing this little glitch didn’t warrant my worry or my wrath…I took a little detour…down a less familiar path.


I decided to embrace my detour…so on and on I pushed…until I noticed up ahead of me…a rabbit in a bush.


It seemed to me the more he tried to hop away…the more he would stay put…and the more the leaves and branches of that bush became entangled with his foot.


I leaned down saying, “Don’t worry little rabbit…I took a wrong path too…it seems that you are stuck…let me see what I can do.”


The rabbit sensed I was not dangerous…he seemed to understand..he knew that I was here to help…still…he closely watched my hands,


I worked with his foot and the bush…being as gentle as I could be…and in a little while…the rabbit’s foot was free.


“Hop away little rabbit…your foot is free.” I cried…and after a moments hesitation…the rabbit tentatively complied.


He hopped around a little bit…then turned around as if he wanted to say…

Thank you…for your help…before he finally hopped away.


And I wondered if my normal path being blocked was a coincidence…or could it possibly be…I was sent in this direction because a rabbit needed me.


I guess I’ll never know…but never again will I be shocked when my everyday routine becomes disrupted…when my normal path is blocked…when my walk is interrupted.



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After crossing paths with a parent of two of my former students 

it instantly occurred to me…

how our paths that once crossed everyday…now cross infrequently


I immediately remembered her smile and how her family always found a way

to make my life a little brighter…when our paths crossed every day


And it made me wonder:


Is it possible the people we meet in life are part of our destiny

that our paths don’t cross by accident…but our meetings are meant to be?


Is it possible from each person…certain wisdoms will emerge…

that promise to reshape us…when our destinies converge?


Is it possible we are like two rays of light with intersecting beams

two independent rivers crossing in midstream?


That at the point we cross…the moment our two paths are combined

We capture part of who they are…and leave some of who we are behind?


So when our paths divide…what we had together is not lost…

and we have been forever changed…once our paths have crossed?


Seeing her immediately set a host of memories in me free

Allowing me to look back in time at the person I used to be.


Reminding me of all I gained in the short time our two paths merged…

for this in one of the blessings when destinies converge.


I am thankful our paths crossed…

thankful it was our destiny

I only hope I influenced her family 


as much as they did me.

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Have you ever wondered about destiny

and which of these is true?

Do we have free will, 

are we controlled by fate

or is life an intermingling of the two?


Do we have as much choice as we like to think 

as we travel through our day

or will what is destined to occur…somehow find a way? 


Do we meet people by accident or is there a reason for our paths to cross?

Are we destined to feel the joy of love and suffer the sorrow of its loss?


Does fate affect us all differently?

Are we living our life as we choose to lead it?

For instance…

Was it my destiny to write this poem today…


and was it your destiny to read it?

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"Return to the House of Usher"

Your feet walk, foot over foot, down the path.

Towards, predeterminded fear.

You want to turn back.

But can't,

As much as you want to.

You know what is over the bend

And you dread it with evrey nerve in your body.

The thing most purly terrifying,

that you wish you could face.

So simple in stature,

You know what it really is.

But, you are afraid anyway.

It is the shadow of something in your room,

Something in the day so friendly, in the night so fearful.

When ever you see it,

It like a spell, forces you into fear.

making you retreat under your cover covered in cold sweat.

Your house of nightmares.

The House of Usher.

It is something like every other,

but something, something about this generic face causes your gravest thoughts to jump out at you,

Biting your sanity to pieces.

Nearing the top of the hill snaps you back from your deep thoughts as you realise your mind was wandering,

Then you set your eyes on this terrifying sight.

Your feet are cement blocks in quicksand quickly pulling into your fear.

Then you struggle to move your feet,

Inch by inch, you slowly make progress.

Thoughts are rushing through your mind like cold water,

Flooding your head like a chipping water glass ready to burst.

Cold sweat the condensation to the glass that is your body,

The approaching doom thuds against the ground with heavy leaden feet.

The glass, the ground and your mind about to break seemingly hold their breath, waiting...

As you step onto the doorstep of this wretched prison.

You take a few more steps straining your mind further.

You turn around and look through the door,

Fear disapearing forever.

You have conquered the House of Usher...

Author's Notes/Comments: 

This was my homage to Edgar Allen Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher".

This wasn't really a poem I was just trying enjabment.

Tell me what you think with a comment or a message.

I love to hear your feed back.

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Time and fate are unpredictable as united in life they flow

Take the man and the woman in this story…lets go back an hour ago.


They had a pleasant morning…she had coffee…he…cocoa

as they talked and laughed together…only an hour ago.


When the policeman told him she was gone…he screamed…he hollered NO!

You must be mistaken, he cried…she was here an hour ago.


You must be confused…I’m sure…in fact…I know

you must have the wrong person…we were together an hour ago.


The policeman explained there was an accident…it happened in the snow

she died immediately, the doctor said…about an hour ago.


The policeman stood in silence…as the man swayed to and fro

Thinking how his life was different…only an hour ago.


The policeman’s seen it many times…he never gets use to it though…

How people wish their lives would return to where they were an hour ago…


He sees it on their faces…they instantly lose their glow

when they realize their life will never be the same as it was an hour ago…


It reminds us all to cherish every moment…because we truly never know


when our life will change forever…like theirs did…one hour ago.

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There is a precept in the Tao (at least that’s what Taoists say)

A chain of thought, in point of fact, that is appropriate today.


Taoists find their wisdom in nature…in the wind…the trees…the birds

They say pay attention to our thoughts for our thoughts become our words.


If we want to live a life filled with peace and satisfaction.

Pay attention to our words as our words become our actions.


If we want to find the best way to live on this planet we inhabit…

Pay attention to our actions for they develop into habits.


And if we ever wonder where it is our character comes from…

our habits are responsible for the person we become.


Our thoughts, our words, our action, our habits…

these are important…

these are key

and its best to pay attention to them 


they become our destiny.



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