An optimist lives inside me…walks beside me

his glasses are rose colored…his outlook… a little sun-kissed.

Unfortunately there’s more…for living right next door

inside me…his neighbor…the pessimist.


Whatever my condition…they jockey for position

one's outlook is gloomy…the other’s…is quite glorious

and I never can say…at the end of the day

which one will end up victorious…


The optimist, once unfurled,…sees before him a beautiful world

the pessimist has his fears, his confusion… his doubts

Take Stella for example…she’s just a sample

of exactly what I’m talking about


Stella’s indiscreet…she lives on the street

I use to see her every morning when I walked by…

When in the dark I would meet her…I’d try hard to greet her

but to this day she has never said HI.


We’ve been like two ships that pass in the night…and that’s been alright…

It’s been our relationship for many a year

My pessimist wonders what’s wrong…why she’s been homeless so long

while my optimist thinks things aren’t as bad as I fear.


As I come round a bend…where two buildings ascend

she’s usually sitting on a bench in between

I’m not sure why or how…but for quite some time now

when I round the bend Stella’s nowhere to be seen.


The pessimist in my head thinks perhaps she is dead…

now residing in a cemetery or catacomb…

The optimist in me…sees it a bit differently

thinks, perhaps, Stella has returned to her home.


Of course I have no way of knowing…how her life is going

as both my optimist and pessimist spar at each day’s beginning…

but by the end of the day…I am happy to say…

my optimist does most of the winning.


In fact…over the years…through my hopes, dreams and fears..

the pessimist in me has softened…

and though they both still reside…somewhere deep inside…

I find the optimist now visits more often. 


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We’re almost halfway through the worst year of our lives 

It’s been tragic, sorrowful…confining..

but what if, in this myriad of catastrophes…there is a silver lining.


How can there be a silver lining you ask when our country stands divided,

when each side is convinced the other side is the side who is misguided?


What if as we watch our world come tumbling down…

as life as we know it seems to shatter…

What if this is the year when we decide black lives truly matter?


What if this is the year we finally bid oppression and prejudice adieu

and understand everyone is equal


every me and every you?  


What if this is the year across all people we see humanity increasing?

What if this is the year we begin to uncover a new way of policing?


What if this is the year we realize how all lives and our planet interweave

and accept that everyone has the right to choose in whatever God they may believe?


What if this is the year we realize the importance of our family and friends

and how we’re not meant to be divided…we are put on Earth to blend.


What if this is the year we start being human…to every human being?

What if churches, synagogues and mosques are the only places we are kneeing?


What if after watching all these tragedies that have unfurled

we decide to get together…and build a better world?


An improved world…a world where we fix everything we’ve done wrong.

A world that’s wholly based on love…where everyone belongs…


A world where we finally begin to comprehend…to see…to understand…

our ultimate survival depends on how gently we treat our land.


What if this new world we build beguiles, enchants…enthralls?

Then what began as the worst year we could ever imagine

could end up as the best year of them all

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I used to think wearing glasses was a curse.

I would kneel by my bed and pray…

thankful for all the gifts that were bestowed on me

still wondering why my eyes were created this way.


Until my parents took me to a museum.

I still remember that fateful day

where hanging on the museum walls

I saw paintings by Monet.


I remember thinking to myself..

How is this possible?

How can this be?

How can this man

this Mr. Monet

paint the world I see.


Now I’m no longer sad when I remove my glasses

and watch details of the world fade away

for I know I share my vision


with the artistry of Monet.

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Doubting ones truth

She saunters at the peak of his tunnel vision

Never invited

Yet always welcome.

Her words grasp his being

overwhelming his spyche.

She dwells in simplicity

He searches for the unwanted.

Patient and kind

Embracing his perfected flaws.

He is uncertain.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Brain: public enemy number one

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I’ve been blessed with much good fortune in my life

many gifts of which I prize,

but one thing that I have never had

is a healthy pair of eyes…


Oh, I see fine with glasses…with corrected vision as it were,

but once I take them off..my worlds a mass of clouds and blur…


The other day, at Siding Rock I needed my grandchildren as my guide

when I had to take my glasses off if I was going to slide.


So up and down that rock we went…and I enjoyed the blur

even when they got too far ahead of me and I couldn’t tell who they were.


The extent of my misfortune comes to light…in this photo my daughter took

as I stood there with my grandchildren at the side of that fast moving brook.


The photo shows us all waving…and my grandchildren seemed to have no objection

as they waved at their mother taking the picture while I waved in another direction.


Everyone laughed when they saw the photo…as families are wont to do

and I must admit when it was shown to me…I started laughing too…


Even though I didn’t have my glasses on…and I wasn’t sure where their laughter begat…

because to me everyone in the picture was a blur…

and I didn’t know what I was laughing at.


But I’ve never minded having bad eyes…having blurred vision whenever I swam…

It makes for some good family humor and it’s just a part of who I am.


For you see I’ve been lucky to have many gifts in my life

and when, with so much I have been blessed,

it matters not if one of those gifts

Is a little blurrier than the rest.




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How wonderful to be an optimist!

For when all is said and done

as a way of looking at the world…

optimism is a lot more fun.


Optimism helps us smile 

when we trip or fall face down in the mud.

It helps us survive life’s little adversities…

as well as withstand its terrors and floods.


It’s not that bad things don’t happen to optimists

that our life is without misfortune or chaos or strife.

It’s just that optimism reminds us we’re only having a bad day…

and, all in all,…we have a wonderful life.


When we optimists looks at a problem

our optimism peruses our plan….


instead of coming up with reasons why it won’t work,

It shows us all the reasons it can!


It allows us to smile in the face of misfortune. 

It waltzes with us through our worry and our pain.

It helps us weather whatever storms come our way…

by encouraging us to dance in the sun 

as well as the rain.


And when our world turns its darkest..

leaving us injured…massaging our scars…

Optimism reminds us to look up

for that’s where we’ll discover the stars.


That doesn’t mean there’s not room for pessimism in our life…

it, too, can be a useful attribute….

After all…optimism invented the first airplane…


And pessimism…the first parachute.

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What’s your secret he was often asked

to this contentment you possess?

Please, won’t you disclose to us...

What’s the key to your happiness?


“Everyday no matter where I am…

I watch the birds, the clouds...the sun

And then I watch the stars and the moon

When the evening has begun.”


“It’s something I have done

since I was but a little pup…

You see it’s easy to be happy


when you’re forever looking up.”

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How does one deal with an optimist…

who sees the good in everything!

Who, when caught out in the rain,

instead of swearing….sings!


How does one deal with an optimist

who, after losing all his hair,

says, think of all the money I’ll save

not sitting in a barber’s chair.


Who after being told he’ll never run again

smiles after taking stock

then says…”Think of all the wonders I’ll see

when I slow down…when I walk.”


Who at the funeral of a friend

is smiling while the rest of us are sad…

“I was just remembering,” he says

“all the good times that we had.”


How does one tell an optimist,

when life’s handed you lemons and your nerves are frayed,

that no matter how much sugar she adds…

you can’t stand lemonade?


Well, I have found the answer to dealing with an optimist,

although half of you I’m sure will find this solution a dumb one,

For the best way to deal with an optimist


heaven help me…is to become one.

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