We have this cute little bird house we keep on our patio

We didn’t know who would use it, perhaps a chickadee or a crow


It’s too small for a pelican or an eagle to make a den

so, we thought, perhaps a blue jay, a cardinal or a wren.


One day to our surprise we saw something in the birdhouse lurking about…

On closer inspection the hole was almost completely covered and there was something peeking out.


I think, at first she was startled and that’s what made her stir…

“I wonder if she’s angry.” Deborah asked, “that we’re disturbing her.”


We weren’t sure what we were looking at…she was very hard to see

“She can’t be angry." I replied. “She’s staying here rent free!”


When we finally realized what she was…we thought it a bit absurd…

There’s a bee living inside our birdhouse…that thinks she is a bird.


So we have us a bee lodger…who now peeks out to say hello

from the safety of a birdhouse where she’s free to come and go.


We are anxious to see what happens…our imagination has been spurred

by this little bee we can hardly see..who thinks she is a bird.


She’s been living there for weeks now…her life protected, secure and stable

and I’m pretty sure, by the wire I see, that she’s stealing our cable.


And the other day when she had a packaged delivered I smiled at our new family paradigm…

wondering how a bee in a birdhouse has access to Amazon Prime!


But we don’t mind her idiosyncrasies as the lines between us have become a little blurred…

by the bee who lives in our back yard…who thinks she is a bird.

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Dear humans,


I am an octopus and I’m unhappy with how you humans think you’re so great.

You might say I have a bone to pick with you…

which would be true if I weren’t an invertebrate.


I want you to know I am more than just a cephalopod

with 8 tentacles who spits out a little ink

for I too have a brain, in fact with nine of them…

and I am much smarter than you think


I have learned to use different tools and I solve problems too

and what if all those times you think you’re watching me…

I’ve been watching you.


You humans think with your one heart you’re as loving as can be…

Well think again mere humans…for every octopus has three.


So the next time you’re feeling superior…

the next time you think that you’re so great

remember…most animals in the world live in the ocean…

and most, like me, are invertebrates.


Please do not lament these facts…

do not become a sourpuss…

I’m sure you have some good qualities too…




The Octopus


P. S. I know you’re proud of your ability to write…

and to be fair I think that’s great

but in the time it takes you to write one letter…

I’ve already written eight!


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We were finishing up our morning walk when there beneath our feet

we saw a snail on the sidewalk…getting up the nerve to cross the street.


As I looked down from up above I felt somewhat conflicted

for my world is so far-reaching and the snail’s so restricted.


I felt bad but then I thought perhaps my thinking is defective

for, when it comes to a snail’s world, I imagine

the joy’s in the perspective.


From where the snail crawls…bringing his shell for safe refuge

I imagine he…like me, thinks his world is pretty huge.


And there’s something to be said for a life with little worry…

where you find your food along the ground and you’re never in a hurry.


I thought I would help this snail…that the normal laws of nature we’d defy

So I picked him up and took him across the street…

in a way I showed him how to fly.


I set him down in the grass where he now had more time to eat or dance or play…

“No need to thank me Mr. Snail.” I said as we happily walked away.


I was feeling pretty good about myself…this I must concede

even though helping a snail cross the road…is but a minuscule good deed.


“What if that snail had already crossed the road?” Deborah asked

 “What if you threw off the day he had planned

 by picking him up and putting him back in the place where he began?”


Of course she was correct…

for I surely had no way of knowing

If, when we first saw Mr. Snail

He was coming or he was going….


But I have learned my lesson…

even though with this snail I couldn’t atone…

The next time I see a snail beneath my feet…

I’ll leave well enough alone.


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We’ve all heard stories of those who climb to distant mountain tops

searching for their sages

hoping to find enlightenment and the wisdom of the ages


In our homes…our shops…our libraries…many a shelf is rife

with books on how to find peace and happiness…as well as the meaning of life.


But what if the meaning of life…of enlightenment or spiritual rebirth

does not lie with the sages or between the pages?

What if the answers are already embedded in the Earth?


The Earth has been around for billions of years

She’s seen many a sunset…many a dawn…

She was here long before we were born…and she’ll be here long after we are gone…


The Earth with nature have their secrets…it is part of their appeal

Secrets they put on display and are happily to reveal…


They teach us how to feel things we cannot see as we stand amidst a breeze

They teach us about sharing…how there’s no jealousy between the trees.


They teach us about freedom as we see birds soaring with open wings

Their rains teaches us to give back and their insects…to enjoy the little things.


Their mountains teach us patience we learn of surprises from their weather

We learn about change from their moon and their butterfly 

while their egrets and water buffaloes teach us how to work together.


We learn of beauty from their flowers…from their sun a morning greeting

They teach encouragement from their stars and from their clouds…how life is fleeting.


From everything below us…to everything above…

they teach us about balance…about generosity and love….


No, we don’t need to search for sages or between the pages of a book…

Nature has the answers…all we need to do…is look….


For billions of years she’s been trying to reveal her secrets. 

They’re around every bend and every turn.

For billions of years she’s been trying to teach us…

all we need is the willingness to learn.

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When you look around at life and see tragedy and despair

and no matter how you try…you cannot make things fair


Sometimes the best that you can hope for when the day is done

is to balance all the sorrow with a little laughter…a little fun.


So to escape the sadness that surrounds us…at least for a little while

we paddled our kayaks to an island to find some things to make us smile.


For when we’re feeling sorrow and frustration with the ball in mankind’s court 

we find it helps to to get away…and turn to nature for support.


So let me offer up some balance…at least for a little while

By sharing some of what we saw…some of the things that made us smile.


We got to the water early as the sun was about to rise…

and once we started paddling we couldn’t believe our eyes.


For not only was she announcing the beginning of a brand new day

but her light across the water helped to guide us on our way.


The water was calm and salty…the panorama wide…

our kayaks on the undulating waves seemed like a magic carpet ride.


When we reached the island we dispensed with the water shoes we wore

so we could feel the sand between our toes as we walked along the shore.


We shared our walk with sandpipers, and herons and seagulls in the sky

and as we searched the shore for shells…a stingray who swam by.


The sun was warm, the breeze was cool…the water…refreshingly mild

and once when I looked back though I can’t be sure… think our shadows smiled.


For a little while we only thought of the ocean, the animals and the land

For a little while it was enough…to make footprints in the sand…


As we returned to shore we thanked nature for presenting things to make us smile…

and for providing us a place to get away…

at least for a little while.


I love to walk in my museum…filled with music…filled with art

It is soothing to the body, 

to the mind, the soul….the heart.


If I choose to walk in the evening…or before the dawns first light

when I look up I see Van Gogh has painted another Starry Starry Night.


If fog has covered my museum at the beginning of the day

I walk through muted colors and impressions of Monet.


The more I walk in my museum…I never really know

was that a Da Vinci…or a Renoir…or a Michelangelo?


As I walk I may see an autumn leaf, a raindrop a snowflake or a butterfly….

for only in my museum is artwork falling from the sky?


Unlike most museums where art is framed in a permanent display

my museum is ephemeral…temporary…it changes subtly every day.


And, courtesy of the birds, the crickets and the wind whistling through the trees

wherever you go in my museum you’re followed by symphonies.


What’s really great about my museum…

beside how every day in it is new…

is how you can see once you step outside…

it’s your museum too.

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Flowers have a language they share with all the trees.

Sometimes you can hear their voices carried on the breeze


Flowers speak from on the ground…

trees from up above

sharing words of kindness, 

words of compassion

words of acceptance

words of love.


If you listen closely to their voices never will you hear

words of anger

words of hate

words to cause another fear.


As I listen to the language of us humans 

carried on the breeze…

I pray for the day when we are as fluent

as the flowers and the trees. 


Sometimes I wonder if I project my own feelings too much

onto the wind, the clouds, and the bees…

If I have a special relationship with the birds, the flowers and the trees?


When a bird is sining her morning song and I hear that melody

could it be that she’s just singing…or is she singing just to me?


When I walk by a flower in full bloom…though she’s meant for the whole world to see

in that moment I walk by her…does she stand a little taller…just for me?


As I work my way from branch to branch…climbing to the top of a tree

does she make it this easy for everyone to climb…

or does she make a little easier just for me.


Sometimes I wonder when it comes to birds, the flowers and the trees

If as humans we are more alike than we are apart…

I wonder if every flower has a brain

every bird a soul

and if every tree has a heart.


We are brought up to believe this is foolishness

It’s an impossibility…we have been taught…

but projection or not when I am with them 

it’s hard to believe…they do not.

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Nature is full of surprises…you never know what she will make:

on our favorite beach..a stone’s throw from the ocean…she’s created a lake.


And I wonder about the water in the lake…if it ever yearns or dreams or craves

to leave the safety of the lake…and join the ocean waves.


Ever wonders what it’s like to be so wild and free

never knowing where it will end up as it travels across the sea.


And I wonder about the ocean waves…what kind of dreams they make…

Do they ever wish upon their return to join the waters of the lake?


To have a spot to call their home…a quiet place out of harms way

surrounded by the trees and sand…visited by the same birds every day.


But I imagine these are my thoughts…easy for me to make

not the thoughts of the waves upon the ocean or the water in the lake…


I imagine they are happy and this kind of thinking in them never arises…

I imagine this is one of nature’s gift…another one of her surprises.


To all her creations: 

the ones that remain in one spot or the ones that travel far

she has given the gift of contentment…

for whatever and wherever they are…


And we would be wise to learn this lesson…

and all envy in us…dispel

for as nature is trying to shows us…


It is in contentment where happiness dwells.

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