When I stop and take a look at my life now that I am well past fully grown

I like to think how I’ve been blessed by all the people I have known.


Certainly there is my family, my children, my grandchildren and my wife

but what about all the others people who have helped to shape my life.


Some were with me from the start but are gone now…to my dismay

Some have been here many years…others merely crossed my path along the way


Some I’ve known by name others I never really knew…but I’m still glad

at what they all have given me…at the impact they have had


I’ve known mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters…aunts and uncles too

I’ve known teachers, students, and children who helped to mold my point of view.


So many people I have met whose influence I can’t ignore

from priests, professors, bus drivers to baggers in the grocery store.


I’ve known mechanics, fishermen, lawyers…waiters and waitresses galore

all who made me think a little differently than I had thought the day before.


I’ve known authors and musicians…I’ve loved their melodies….their words

I’ve been changed by every book I’ve ever read and every song I’ve ever heard.


I could go on and on because in my mind a host of faces are now blending

You might say when it comes to the people in my life…the list is never-ending.


And I imagine it’s the same with everyone

For no one ever lives their life totally alone

No…we are who we are today


because of all the people we have known.

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The true measure of the greatness of a person, 

a town, 

a city, 

a country…

a people

is not in the fortunes we amass…

not in caring solely about ourselves





we will find…

before we are deceased…

the true measure of the greatness of a person

a town,

a city,

a country,

a people…

is in how we treat those less fortunate than us…


those who have the least.


We would exchange greetings…but only for a moment

as we pass on our walk every day.

We could tell she’s a little older than us, 

her hair is white…while ours is a little bit grey


The other morning after years of passing by

trading a wave, a nod and a smile.

we decided to get to know her…

so we stopped and talked for awhile.


We talked about life and children.

She told stories from her past.

She was happy to talk…we were happy to listen

and the time seemed to fly by so fast.


We found out many things about her…

so many big things in a little while

and somewhere in the stories she told 

we found the reason for her smile.


Now when we run into each other

on our early morning walks

sometimes we wave and smile…

other times we talk.


Which makes me wonder wouldn’t the world be a happier place

If somewhere along the way

more people would stop and take the time

to know the people they pass every day.




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Lights are low

Cast red ember reflections on

And in pupils of eyes.

 Always muggy, sweaty – a pressure

In the air.

Breathless, gasping for

Diamond shapes in stockings

Glitter on their eyelids.

An elevated self-confidence in

Their strides.

A few hours, one night only.

A week.

For silhouettes of testosterone

On silver poles and shiny

For musty men

Thinking nothing only, only

(Children back at home,

dark black bedrooms).

In their element

Down the notes fall

And tuck themselves into bras,

Or thongs.

Rent money

Lost and rent money gained

A circle of life and motion

Of ass.

Round like pearls

Trapped here in the name of



Author's Notes/Comments: 

I had an urge to write about strippers or strip clubs, probably because Pyramids by Frank Ocean was playing in the background. I get fascinated when I try to imagine what that environment might feel like, to the people that work there and to those that go (and why they do). Personally, pole dancing amazes me and I admire the women who just go out there and do expose themselves so confidently.

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