Join Me for Coffee


English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...
English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto: Taso de kafo. Français : Photo d’une tasse de caffé Español: Taza de café (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Join Me for Coffee


“Good morning! Have a cup of coffee with me,


Relax and enjoy, what a great day it will be,


We’ll discuss the news and what went wrong,


Our place in the universe and where we belong,


We’ll talk about the drought and why we don’t have rain,


Aunt Lulu’s flowers and Sandi’s recent weight gain,


We’ll talk about most everything except you and me,


We’re afraid to confront our feelings and what we really see,


I know you belong to another who calls me his friend,


But without you in my arms the nights never end,


Let’s talk about the weather and time spent together,


If people have noticed, will storm clouds gather?


Our love is a relationship between you and me,


We need to decide how we want it to be,


Our families, our friends, not many will approve,


Should we stand and face them, or should we move?


Join me for coffee, or do you prefer tea?


I want to know how this will be,


Open for all to see, love in the sun,


Or living in darkness and love on the run?


Join me for coffee, please don’t hesitate,


I’m ready for love, and my love won’t wait.”










Think Like a Tree


Greek Strawberry Tree (Cyprus Strawberry Tree)...
Greek Strawberry Tree (Cyprus Strawberry Tree). Fruits. Photo taken in Laspi bay (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Think Like a Tree


I wasn’t ready for life’s road stretching out before me,


It wasn’t as fun as I expected it to be,


I whined, I complained, until I learned,


The lessons taught by an old fruit tree,


In the middle of an orchard the tree quietly stood,


He was the oldest and wisest in that neighborhood,


Although ancient and twisted his heart was still good,




I questioned him thoroughly about things he knew,


From seedling to adulthood, all the years he grew,


“Tell me your secret for being young so long,


How did you endure when things went wrong?


And how did you manage to stay so strong?”




The tree scratched his head, then smiled at me,


“Life will never be easy, as you can plainly see,


Adjust and be positive, and think like a tree,


There are a few things you ought to know,


Trees serve others and they’re not for show,


If a branch is barren or doesn’t grow,


There’s no reason to keep it, just let it go,


A tree needs to compete to be the best around,


But if it bears no fruit, cut it down,


It’s tragic to waste good fertile ground,”




He hesitated and drew a deep breath,


“If a tree produces it’s still not left alone,


It’s pruned each year even while grown,


It will be healthier and productive, a fact well known,


Often a tree tries too hard,


When too much is produced a tree must be thinned,


The remaining fruit will grow larger,” he said as he grinned,


“But if there’s too much fruit the limbs might break,


How soon, how much, it’s something a gardener must tweak,


A tree doesn’t want to be crowded,


It needs space to be free,


A tree needs to improve constantly, don’t you agree?”




I was ashamed of my previous actions,


Because I had been thinking only about me,


The way the old tree explained it I could see,


Life is not as harsh as I made it out to be,


If I need to be pruned to produce more in life,


I’ll adjust and be positive and think like a tree.




If Loneliness Is a Shadow


Good-bye My Loneliness
Good-bye My Loneliness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


If Loneliness is a Shadow


If loneliness is a shadow who wants to dance,


She dreams alone and she’ll take a chance,


At first she doesn’t understand,


As loneliness takes her by the hand,


But as imaginary music fills the air,


Loneliness spins her around the room,


Letting her forget despair and gloom,


When the sun sets and shadows grow,


This shadow takes her to the late, late show,


Hoping that she’ll be glad to stay,


Along with her dreams for one more day,


Her feet are nimble as she glides across the floor,


Her happiness complete and her heart soars,


No longer does she count the hours,


But time spent is time lost,


And she does not consider the cost,


Hello, Loneliness, Join her once again,


Let her dance the night away,


Tomorrow she’ll rise to a brand new day,


And she’ll dance, spinning round and round,


Keeping her smile with never a frown,


Giving her heart one more chance,


To wake in her world of lost romance,


Happiness and love will treat her well,


As she dances along a star lit trail,


An imaginary world where everything is real,


It lets her dance the way she feels,


Spinning dizzily as the music plays,


She prepares her heart for lonely days.





Around the World


Mount Irvine (left) and Mount Whitney (right)
Mount Irvine (left) and Mount Whitney (right) (Photo credit: rickz)


Around the World


I don’t have to travel across the world,


There is a labyrinth within my mind,


Nor do the diamonds of Africa,


Call me to seek and find,


I don’t need the ice of Siberia,


To compare the iciness of your heart,


I only know what we’ve been through,


And it’s time for us to part,


Don’t shed crocodile tears for me, my dear,


Until the Nile runs dry,


You never loved me anyway,


So there’s no need to cry,


On the top of the Aztec ruins,


My love was sacrificed today,


A Black Forest cuckoo will chime again,


If I listen to what you say,


Mt Whitney might be a place for me,


Where love might choose to play,


But now that I’ve lost your love,


It’s Death Valley for me today.






I’m in Charge of Now


Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I’m in Charge of Now


“Good morning, Mother Earth.   You’re all aglow in beautiful autumn colors. Where are you going dressed up in such finery?”


“What?  You’re off to see the King of Yesterday? Isn’t it too late to see him?  He’s already let opportunities slip by, got caught up in moments when he couldn’t even cry, and now he’s frustrated because he didn’t want to try,” I blurted out.  “If the King of Yesterday had paid attention to time and people around him, the world wouldn’t be in such a mess,


There are things he could have done,


Fix a bike,


Kiss his wife,


Hug his son,


Call his mom,


Smile at someone,


There are things he should have done,


Walk the dog,


Gone to church,


Wash his car,


Visit friends,


Wish upon a star,


There are things he might have done,


Watch a sunrise,


Tell someone he loves her,


Hold her hand,


Show he cares,


Listen and understand,


There are things he would have done,


If he hadn’t lost his temper,


If he had said I’m sorry,


If he had not kept score,


If he had helped someone,


If he had loved more,


“Mother Earth, the King of Yesterday is a procrastinator and a loser. It’s plain to see he should be more like me.”


“The King of Tomorrow might be the man for you.  He’s ahead of schedule, his days are planned, he will be in charge, and his future is grand.


She looked at me steadily.  “I understand.  What you say might be true, but you don’t know the King of Tomorrow like I do.”


These are the things he might do,


Yell at someone,


Ignore his family,


Demand to be in charge,


Eat and drink more,


Live life large,


These are things he could do,


Go sky diving,


Eat better and eat less,


Read more,


Spend time with family,


Open opportunity’s door,


These are things he should do,


Begin exercises,


Give praise, time, and love generously,


Lose weight,


Keep a journal,




Things he will do,


Neglect family,


Work harder and longer,


Let his health go,


Stress out,


Forget to let his inner being grow,


“Surely,” said I, “The King of Tomorrow is not that kind of guy.  He can see yesterday with a discerning eye.  If Yesterday and Tomorrow both pass through Now, Wouldn’t Tomorrow be better somehow?”


Mother Earth looked at me sadly before she spoke.  “The King of Tomorrow blames Yesterday and Now, rather than improving himself somehow.  And the King of Now is also to blame.  He doesn’t want to be pinned down and be true to his name.  If Now meant Now and he tried to do good, there’s no way Tomorrow would be misunderstood.”


I thought about this for days and even for nights, I could improve myself if I reset my sights,


It wouldn’t take much to lighten my load, one or two shifts and I’d be back on the right road.


I’d glance at Yesterday from time to time, then urge Tomorrow to keep in his prime.


I am in charge of training Now, and I’ll get the job done some way, somehow,


The three kings will follow my lead, I’ll help others and lessen my needs,


I’m determined for once to keep doing good, for I don’t want Tomorrow to be misunderstood.


























Awkward Moments three, (the car in the tree)


English: 1996–1999 Toyota Corolla (AE101R) CSi...
English: 1996–1999 Toyota Corolla (AE101R) CSi sedan, photographed in Gordon, New South Wales, Australia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Awkward Moments (part three, the car in the tree)


Two men rushed past me, their words gushing out in torrents.  Their conversation was entirely about something that was going on outside the store.  My curiosity piqued, I watched as they hurried through the grocery store’s front doors and joined others who seemed to be staring into the sky.  What was so interesting?  Was a plane in trouble?  Did they see a UFO? Was a major storm heading our way?


“I’ll be right back,” I said to my lady friend.  “I’ve got to see what the excitement is all about.”  I scampered outside, leaving her and two kids.


Stacey, her three kids, and I had traveled to the mountains for a picnic.  It was a beautiful hot day and we mostly stayed in the shade.  Her oldest son, Fabian, was hyperactive and constantly on the move.  He just couldn’t sit still during our picnic.


Fabian was too distracted by the world around him.  He wandered off several times and we had to search for him each time.  Out of frustration Stacey told him he was grounded and would have to stay next to her.  After an angry exchange of words between Stacey and Fabian, we decided to leave.   There was no point in staying with relations already strained between them and still going downhill.


On the way down the mountain Stacey decided to reward her other two children for being good.  She spotted a mini mall with a small store and asked me to stop. I pulled in.  I noted that the space was on an incline so I set the parking brake.


“Let’s go inside and get out of the heat,” I said.


“Fabian has to stay in the car. He’s grounded,” Stacey replied.


“I don’t want to leave him in the car.  I don’t want anything to happen to him.”


“He’ll be fine.  I don’t want to reward him for bad behavior.”


Reluctantly I went inside.  I picked up some potato chips, various kinds of candy, fruit drinks, and some ice cream. I didn’t tell Stacey but I intended to give some to Fabian later after he showed good behavior.  However, that was before I saw the men rushing out the door.


Once I was outside a strange sight greeted me.  A white Toyota Corolla, looking a lot like mine, was across the street, high in the air, surrounded by a gathering crowd.  I stared in amazement.  “It looks like my car but it can’t be.”  I turned and looked for my parking space.  It was empty.


The Toyota looked kind of odd resting in a tree.  Yes, it was my car, and no, it didn’t have magical powers.  How did it get there?


Stacey had rejoined me by then, two kids at her side.  She clutched my arm tightly. “Where’s Fabian?” she asked hysterically.


At that moment Fabian’s head popped up at the driver’s side window.  His face was pale and he looked terrified.  I couldn’t understand his words or his gestures. “Don’t move!” I shouted.


Traffic was blocked at the main entrance as emergency vehicles arrived.  Fabian was rescued first.  With no one else in danger everything went faster.  A helicopter lifted my car and then lowered it to the ground.


I was worried that this would be terribly expensive.  Then two representatives of the mall management team thrust a paper in front of me.  They were concerned the mall would be sued because a child had been in danger.  They were happy that I didn’t want to sue anyone.  Fabian was safe and that was all that really mattered.


I came to the conclusion that Fabian had released the parking brake, put the car in neutral and attempted to steer it.  Instead the car jumped over a small railing and sailed onto a tree which was between two lanes, one for entering and one for leaving.  Amazingly no one was hurt and my car received only a few small scratches.


Our relationship suffered because of the incident and shortly thereafter we broke up.  But that’s another story.




Awkward Moments (part two)


Wobbler lure (fishing equipment)
Wobbler lure (fishing equipment) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Awkward Moments (part 2)


Sometimes letters to two are two too many.  I’d like to say I didn’t make mistakes in relationships, but if I did I would be lying.  I’ve made a multitude of mistakes.  When I was a rambunctious teenager I tried dating two girls from different towns.  “They would never find out,” I reasoned.  For awhile I was careful and the girls did not know about each other.


Because of my carelessness that changed and my carefully constructed world exploded.  After a full day at college, football practice, and homework, I stumbled through my front door tired and hungry.  After a quick meal, I decided to write a letter to Lucy before I went to work as an usher at the local theater. My words were beautiful and efficient and I finished ahead of schedule.  “Why not write a letter to Brenda as well?”  I asked myself.  “For once I’ll be ahead.”  That letter was finished quickly but I rushed, afraid I’d be late to work.  I wasn’t paying attention when I stuffed the letters into envelopes.


A few days later I received a phone call. Lucy’s angry voice greeted me.  I listened while she explained how much she was hurt when she received a letter meant for someone else.  It was an awkward conversation because I had no defense for my callous behavior.  Switching the letters was a mistake, but even worse  I was cheating by having another girlfriend. I shriveled up inside and said I was sorry. We closed our conversation with instructions never to see or speak to each other again.


I’m no genius but my math was telling me one girl was unaccounted for. I was dreading a second phone call, a letter, or lightning to strike me, something big and punishing.  Brenda called a few days later.  She was willing to forgive me. That shocked me more than Lucy’s angry call. We talked and talked.  Finally I admitted my guilt was overwhelming and I needed to get my act together before I could be in a relationship.  I told her I was deeply sorry I had hurt her.  Although we parted on friendly terms I never had contact with her again.




In my mind I can still see the fishhook dangling from his lip, his face pale, his eyes wide with terror.  A few minutes before we had been peacefully fishing, the small boat gliding into shallow coves and out of the deeper currents of the Feather River.   My partner, Tom, continued to get strike after strike while I watched, impatiently waiting for a fish to grab my lure.


I knew his technique.  He would guide the boat in at an angle, allowing him to cast across a wide area.  His lure was always the first to shoot out across relatively virgin areas.


I was determined that just once my lure would go first.  He turned into a small cove and got ready to cast.  I realized I was going to be further away so I brought my pole back a few more inches.  I snapped my pole forward but I didn’t see the lure fly by.  I turned around.  Tom was silent for a reason.  My lure had caught him, one barb hooked securely in his lower lip, and my slightest motion drew his lip forward.


I couldn’t leave the boat and equipment so I called his wife.  She took him to the emergency room while I took the fishing gear to his house.  I joined them later at the emergency room.  He still had the lure dangling from his lip and by now interns and nurses were posing for pictures with him.  If there had been cell phones the incident would have gone viral.


Although he was getting lots of attention he still didn’t look happy. At that moment I was glad we had been fishing rather than hunting.  He didn’t need a gun right then.


Finally a doctor came out with a pair of pliers and clipped the hook.  Nurses dabbed the area with antiseptic and the doctor told him he was free to go.  His lip healed quickly but he still had trouble speaking to me.










Awkward Moments, Part one


The Reconciliation of Jacob and Esau, as in Ge...
The Reconciliation of Jacob and Esau, as in Genesis 33, oil on panel, at the National Galleries of Scotland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I’ve traveled through a lifetime discovering moments that were challenging, or to put it in simpler terms, I discovered those awkward, embarrassing moments when time seemed to stand still with the spotlight focused on me.  I didn’t mind attention occasionally but how could I divert it when I preferred privacy?


What did I learn from the embarrassment and awkward moments?  I learned that life goes on, day after day, and those moments are remembered more kindly after time has smoothed the harshness and gave me a chance to look at them objectively.


I did not have awkward moments of Biblical proportions like those of Jacob.  Jacob had moments that were extremely awkward.  First, he stole the birthright and blessing that rightfully belonged to his twin, Esau.  Jacob fled to save his life.  Esau wanted to kill him.  His troubles were not over.  He met Rachael and worked seven years to win Rachael’s hand, but after the wedding feast and a night of revelry Jacob woke up beside a new wife.  He had been tricked!  Instead of Rachael, he was married to her sister, Leah.   Jacob’s problems were much worse than mine.


The following four scenarios display moments when I was uncomfortable.  There are countless others that disturb my dreams and make me avoid people until sufficient time has passed.


Consider the job interview when my prospective boss and his wife were driving me around, showing me off, discovering my likes and dislikes, my strengths and weaknesses.  It was a time when I should have been listening or politely answering questions.  Instead, I did the unthinkable and inexcusable.  I assumed his wife was pregnant and asked when she was due.  The interior of the car became icy cold and all conversation stopped.  She was not pregnant, just fluffy.


Perhaps as father of the bride I should have taken special pains with my appearance.  After all, i did escort the bride up to the altar in view of the guests.  I was in the reception line when the bride asked, “How long has your fly been open?”  It was too late to worry about being awkward. My only choice was to greet each guest warmly and thank them for coming, after of course, discreetly zipping up my pants.


My six year old son and I were in a supermarket buying supplies for dinner.  The store was crowded but that was of little concern.  I only had one child with me.  What could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, in the aisle we were in a large well fed man in coveralls was filling his cart.  My son looked him over and shouted, “Hey, hey, hey!   It’s Fat Albert!”  There was no place to hide.  No place to run.  We deserted our shopping cart and just left quietly.


In Spanish classes I scraped by, never becoming fluent.  I could read and write in Spanish but because of a minor tongue tie conversational Spanish was not my forte.  In the language section of the college library were tapes to review.   I went in thinking I could brush up my conversational skills.  While reviewing, I heard my professor saying, “Be careful to pronounce your words.  Listen to this gentleman.  It’s the worst case I’ve ever heard.”  I listened closely as my own voice stumbled through the language.  There was nothing I could do.  It was true.  My pronunciation was terrible.










Is it love or Is it Lust?


Love ? I love love love you.
Love ? I love love love you. (Photo credit: @Doug88888)


One evening as I went for my daily walk,


I heard a woman giving a mother-daughter talk,




“Daughter, are you feeling love, or is it simply lust?”


Does he inspire confidence, and build your trust?


His morals are crude, and a little bit shoddy,


He only wants you for your body,”




“He told me if I loved him I would submit,


To show my love, I’d just do it,


I said if he loved me, he’d not ask,


Love is not selfish, nor is it a task,




When his lust is over, will he remain?


Is it my heart he wants to retain?


In this day and age should I just let go,


Or should I be firm and just say no?”




“Daughter, you might think everything is clear,


But the danger is when he is holding you near,


With love and lust you might get confused,


Neither is right if you feel used,




Lust is like a moth circling a flame,


Ending in tragedy, always the same,


All for a few sweaty moments in time,


Nothing permanent, no reason or rhyme,”




“But, mother, I still don’t understand,


How will I recognize if he’s the right man?”




“Oh, daughter, there is so much to learn,


Lust is a flame that will usually burn,


Temporary passion shared in the night,


It’s a feeling that hides at dawn’s first light,


Lust turns on, then turns off the light,


While love continues burning bright,”




“But, mother, my friends insist,


That if it feels good, I shouldn’t resist,”




There were things I wished to say,


Yet if I spoke I’d be in their way,


I didn’t mean to eavesdrop,


But this was too interesting to just stop,




I thought, “Love and lust, both four letter words,


One is the sweetest word ever heard,


‘I love you,’ urges the heart to sing,


While ‘I lust you,’ doesn’t mean a thing,”




Her mother continued telling her straight,


“If you’re not careful, it’ll be too late,


Lust is the sparkle in Fool’s Gold,


Love is the real nugget we can hold,


Lust makes you feel a momentary glow,


But where does that moment go?”




“But, mother,” her daughter sighed,


“Aren’t they much the same if nobody lied?


My boyfriend says that if we care,


We’d be willing for our bodies to share,”






“Daughter, I don’t think you understand me well,


Lust and love are different, like peanut and shell,


Love seeks happiness for both to share,


And it risks showing a heart that cares,


Love is not for a rowdy night or two,


It’s a commitment for a whole life through,”




I wanted to comment but I said under my breath,


“Love means forever, forever till death,


Lust seeks perfection of the outer skin,


While love finds qualities that reside within,”




Her daughter answered that she understood,


“Thank you, Mother, you taught me good,”




“Write a list down before you go,


Then you’ll remember what you should know,


Lust is as temporary as the weather,


Love lasts seasons as you grow together,


Lust fades and washes away in the rain,


Love shares pleasures and feels your pain,”




There were more things she could have said,


So I kept those truths in my head,


“Love thrives when things get tight,


Lust hides when things aren’t right,


Lust is shallow rather than deep,


No one worries about promises to keep,”




“Mother, dear, it’s all so clear,


That a man might want to hold and touch,


Yet there’s one thing I don’t know,


About lust, how do you know so much?”




“Daughter, that’s a good question,


To ask it makes you look wise,


The information is certainly true,


I learned it from some older guys,”




“Mother, is it also true,


That women love and men lust?


Are men always in a hurry,


Afraid their bodies might rust?”




“Daughter, women are like charcoal,


Smoldering until they’re ash,


While men are thin paper,


Burning up in a flash,


Men and women are different,


And love and lust aren’t the same,


Yet both are very important,


If you’re playing the game,”




The daughter didn’t seem satisfied,


She still had some doubts,


The only way for her to be sure,


Was to check it all out,




I continued my walk, then home to bed,


With still more thoughts left unsaid,


“Love grows roots that anchor down,


And keep relationships on solid ground,


Love says no one else will do,


While lust is just about satisfying you,”




I was curious to see if the daughter held true,


And choose love over whatever would ensue,


That’s a choice only she could make,


Love or lust, and the path she would take,




There’s a time for love and a time for lust,


Sometimes both simultaneously exist,


For me lust was a fire difficult to control,


Once I had been kissed,




The daughter eventually became my lover,


And she spiced up my life,


The fires inside still burn strong,


I’m glad she is my wife.










Tale of Three Cities (and their aromas)


Official seal of City of Austin
Official seal of City of Austin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Tale of Three Cities (and their aromas)


Every city has magic which makes it different from other cities.  The more magic it has the more it will be remembered. Cities that have distinctive aromas will never be forgotten.




Every city has unique magic,


Which sets it distinctly apart,


It might be well-known landmarks,


Or a famous gallery of art,


It might have a nickname,


Such as the city that never sleeps,


Or it might be known between friends,


As the city that always weeps,


At sunset the town might come alive,


And on Broadway start to dance,


While lonely lovers fill the streets,


Searching for a little romance,


Apple strudel and bear claws,


Midwestern foods to try,


Everything smells so good,


It’s hard to know what to buy,


At the Water Tower in Chicago,


Tourists are already walking about,


From the space needle in Seattle,


A few people are looking out,


Delighted by the knowledge that soon,


The Fish Market will put on a display,


With fish flying through the air,


Employees working while they play,


In Austin flowers are blooming,


Maidens two stepping down the streets,


To a bookstore where pastries are sold,


To start the day with treats,


“Do you like how the city smells?”


A girl asked her sleepy mother,


“Oh, it doesn’t smell so bad,”


But ask your older brother,”


“Mom, you don’t understand,


Maybe I can explain a different way,


I think the aroma from the Italian bakery,


Is the best way to start the day,”


At dawn’s first light coffee is brewing,


Bread is rising in the pan,


Employees are preparing for weekend sales,


Supplies are unloaded from a delivery van,


Outside customers are waiting,


Scratching, scratching at the doors,


Driving managers crazy as the sounds,


Echo across the empty floors,


If prices are affordable or downright cheap,


Consumers will gather at branches of the chain,


And the sales will start to leap,


Stock brokers with knowledge,


Will observe the frenzied change,


They’ll guide their customers to buy or sell,


Depending on the range,


In Austin a bicycle race begins,


Past the aroma of Mexican pan,


They struggle to keep their eyeballs on the road,


Riders pedaling the best they can,


The tale of three cities at the beginning of a day,


Identified by aromas that drift along their city streets,


Unforgettable memories for all who venture there,


And share in those special sweets.








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