1,  Outside Inside
    2.  Enter Grinnell – Leave Not
    3.  New Country
    4.  The Parade
    5.  Triptych
    6.  Summer Rest
    7.  Under the Banyan Tree
    8.  At the Market
    9.  Favorite Weed
    10.  Loch Lomond

    11.  Between Chocolate and Choir
    12.  Death Smile
    13.  People of Earth
    14.  Will of God
    15.  NEXT
    16.  Mistaken Identity
    17.  Tradesman
    18.  O Grow Up
    19.  Swim Lane
    20.  Open Book

    21.   No empty Pages
    22.  Twittery and Poetry
    23.  Static Dynamic
    24.  Because
    25.  A Bird Told Me
    26.  Four Elements Forever
    27.  Variable Beauty
    28.  Breath of Peace
    29.  Rise to the Highest Good
    30.  Believe

    Outside Inside
    © r.f.Lee

    One Sun.  
    One Earth.
    One Moon.

    Maker of tides
    The Man in the Moon
    Brightest object in the night sky.

    A lover’s moon was shining that night
    By the light of the full moon did strange things happen.
    Sun’s Earth.  Earth’s Moon. Moon’s in us.

    Enter Grinnell - Leave Not
    © r.f.Lee

    One guy
    Goes to college
    Quickly meets new friends
    Backgrounds distant!  Views most strange!
    Clark | Smith | Haines | Cowles | Loggia | Forum | Burling
    Papers typed with steel and carbon on paper
    Afternoon labs.  Chemistry, physics, psychology.  Humanities
    under campus trees
    Naked anti-Playboy anti-War anti-Establishment draft card lottery
    low winning number

    Liberal arts
    The Rainbow Experience
    Science, arts, humanities, human-ness
    Independent 398 rock orchestra spinningvinyl
    Professors are your partners in learning
    How to find answers is becoming natural
    Resources abound to discover each next compelling question
    Substantiating voices of inquiry with strength of mind, conviction
    We will learn forever, give to our communities, and more

    What’s next?
    Plan a future
    What can I do
    Where should I go now
    This is not just about me
    War environment society art science politics change
    Decided: blend science with humanity for betterment of all
    How this mix would evolve is still being played out...

    From Grinnell
    To “out there”
    Was tough for me
    Grad school lost to draft
    Alternate service found in Chicago hospital
    Clinical lab. New surroundings. Big City shock.
    Cornfields of Iowa replaced by concrete, streets, buildings
    New friends, challenges, opportunities unlimited always to be
    All due to the Experience of this small Midwestern college

    New Country
    © r.f.Lee

    Wake up
    We got a new country
    It’s been here all along
    But you didn’t take notice till now

    A bright blue state called Diversity lives here:
    From one there became many who
    Populated the land and multiplied
    Joining us inside yet outside of America

    It’s more than colors of the rainbow
    It’s much more than what you hoped for
    In your perfect outdated bubble world
    It’s what we are together

    From all four corners
    We’ve been growing for years to
    Build the most powerful nation
    Better still – making better lives

    Money cannot truly control us
    Money does not speak the truth!
    Just slashing social underpinnings
    Never can touch what we are worth

    So go on and privatize your selfishness
    Take your bankroll home and stay there
    Off public streets, off our backs
    Let America truly be FREE

    The Parade
    © r.f.Lee

    We give thanks for all we have
    Yearly watching on TV
    A parade of balloons of our clever making
    Looking up out of necessity
    Do we worship these icons?  Maybe but negatively.

           Cartoon characters may be moving
           But incomparable to wild animals running

           Open department store doors are useful enough
           Even if falling short of nature’s open beauty

           Big-footed clown, V.P. of Corporate Fun,
           Promotes beef and fried food fast but not sustainably

           A tribute to fish-shaped crackers
           Floats above us easy to eat empty calories

           Dough boys, panda bears, and on and on to sesame frogs
           All fine enough but do they substitute for other gods?

    Of course any tributary route in New York City
    Would be expected to artificially pretty
    Since besides the thanks this day is a gateway to commerce
    Opening the door to Black Friday
    Every year beginning earlier than early

           What would some outer intelligence just landing here
           Think about our goals, priorities, and energies?

           I dream of a parade showcasing earth’s natural beauty
           Creatures large and small that are enduring

           I see balloons full of fresh air
           In the shape of clouds of living wonders there

           Let there be a jungle king, not a movie star
           A golden cat dominating natural order

           Fleeting hooves next fly across the sky
           Showing instinct as needed to live and move night and day

           Even higher would be floating birds of all colors
           Soaring above, effortlessly, no strings attached

           Fish in the air?  Sure, they fly too
           Through water we often take for granted

           Not forgetting swarms of the smaller ones
           Fueling critical paths in the total food chain

           One after one the tributes would flow on
           Reminding us of who we should be thanking and knowing

           Every beast, bird, critter and crawly thing
           Should be paraded for us to admire.

    We give thanks for all we have
    Unrelated to what’s on the Tube
    A parade of balloons to be created for thankful tribute
    Causing us to look up with admiration and appreciation for
    True icons of life on the streets of earth.

    © r.f.Lee

    Silver mountain slopes
    Lead skyward
    Under endless sun
    Never is a place
    Prisoners of thought are held
    Waiting to be freed

    Quietly I wait
    Here and now
    For when and what’s next

    Summer Rest
    © r.f.Lee

    Days you would be hoping for
    Seem to never come
    Wait to run and shut the door
    Heading for the sun

    Favorite time, vacation time
    Is never long enough
    Take the time, make it mine
    Even if it’s rough

    Starting out can be so slow
    When you’re trying to run
    Finally you are on the go
    Finally having fun

    If I had a car to drive
    I would never stop
    Start at last to feel alive
    Headed for the top

    To the highest mountain in the land
    Radio cranked way up
    Playing all my favorite bands
    Cold pop in my cup

    It’s too bad summer is so short
    It quickly slips away
    From me it gets the best report
    I’d take it every day

    Under the Banyan Tree
    © r.f.Lee

    On visiting the Banyan Tree in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, 2011

    “The tree’s purpose is the sky.”
    “The tree grows into the air because the tree grows out of the
    - Oliver Morton, Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet
    (NY: Harper Collins, 2008)

    I did not just aimlessly walk under
    The Banyan Tree in Lahaina, Kauai
    I was drawn by forces across the Universe
    Swept by the photon flux of our Sun

    Drawing Air and Water together
    Each branch is one with the Sky
    Diving again and again into the Earth
    As generations have witnessed you living green

    Sill growing yet so new,
    Barely known even in the Aquarian Age
    All the wisdom of our planet is
    Concentrated in solar energy above and around me

    Quietly, as tourists like us pass by
    Secretly, as though none can see
    Uniquely, yet common to plant life everywhere
    Calling me, speaking clearly to me:

    “Though you can not be like me
    Inhaling photons to fix carbon and release oxygen
    You can promote our lives, and together
    We shall both know, understand, and believe.”

    Before I knew it I was under its arms and in its spell.
    This is the center of Earth receiving the Sun.
    A living energy-concentrating antenna.
    Even more than that- an antenna array

    More finely tuned than any mere
    Radio telescopes man has made to study the sky
    But you do not just ob serve:  Banyan is the eternal engine
    Built from energy, enduring through time

    Still growing past 150 years old
    Roots become branches becoming roots again
    Surfing in waves of Earth and Sun.
    Listen to the magic that occurs day and night:

    Air : carbon dioxide we have exhaled
    Earth : organic compounds making up plant life,
    made of Carbon from Air
    Fire : photonic energy captured by the Earth
    alive in all green plants
    Water : the source of Oxygen given freely to us to breathe
    going back to Air

    Expired Air goes into Earth
    Enabled by Fire and Water
    Creating our every breath of Air.

    At the Market
    © r.f.Lee

    Let us break bread together
    Is an invitation to join together at the table
    To worship, to remember, to renew

    Hunger no less real calls us daily while we need
    As earth’s people to also come together
    Sharing and enjoying basic tasks we have to do

    At the market you may shop for fresh local veggies
    Saying hello to friends along the way
    Going home with a warm heart, ready to prepare a stew

    But the market is not a Super Mart
    Full of cookie cutter items row after row after row after row
    Nor is it the Executive Club open to serve just a few

    People simply come together in spacious surroundings
    To meet each other, slow down, shop for basic needs
    Or sample a well made meal that tastes a little new

    The market where I go is on Third Street and Verbeke
    In long buildings with brick floors over a hundred years old
    Far away from fields where sprawling shopping malls grew

    Part of community, living as we should be
    Tasting a solid piece of history:
    When you go there you will feel good too

    Favorite Weed
    © r.f.Lee

    I lost my garden.
    Rather, I know where it lies, but,
    Lost the chance to work in it
    Planting, watching it grow, harvesting, enjoying its fruits

    Yet there grows outside my window
    Through bitter winter and freezing spring rains
    The most amazing green thing I’ve seen
    Spectacular in its determination
    Alone in a strip of wood chip mulch

    Thorny, twisted, gnarly at its best
    Growing from nothing
    Alone, unafraid to be green
    Proudly escaping landlord’s herbicide onslaught

    While luckily there is more all around
    Grassy slopes, bushes, trees
    Singularly this lone one outside my door
    Greeting me each time I come and go
    Radiates a lowly but special quality:
    My favorite weed.

    Loch Lomond
    © r.f.Lee

    Shimmering background of my daily life
    From every window I see your face
    Back to back we are next of kin
    I should not take you for granted

    In Summer we glide up your gentle cheeks
    Quietly propelling ourselves to the middle of your smile
    Breathing in gentle winds and sunset views
    Free to appreciate your sophistication in suburban clothing

    In Fall we hastily greet you in our jackets
    Knowing that while leaves fall, temperatures fall
    Green surroundings turn to yellow brown and gold
    As we both prepare our crafts for the coming freeze

    Winter dawns: mornings begin to solidify your stare
    Motionless, silvery, a mirror to the sky, then
    Thawing and freezing.  Freezing and thawing.
    Readying yourself for the ritual inversion all cold waters do

    Then we walk on water!
    Walk, skate, ski, and ice fish
    Upon your thick, strong cheekbones we tread
    While below life slows down, yearning for Spring.

    Are you old?  New? Are you dammed artificial?
    We do not care.  We love you.  
           Yes we know we borrowed your name from Scotland
    Le Lac.  Der See.  El lago.
    Loch Lomond, Mundelein, Lake County, Illinois, USA

    Between Chocolate and Choir
    © r.f.Lee

    Lies between many sides of opposing similarity
    Viewed through prisms of reality in motion ever changing

    If you can, any wrong or nearest right
    Among shades of gray confounding, conflicting, camouflaging

    Are those who carefully consider what
    Options a casual choice could do to turn on them, becoming their

    Is what we do when we are free
    When we are at our best humanity

    Is the weapon of life for all
    Mankind moving to the next level of life

    Death Smile
    © r.f.Lee

    Armies march on sleeping towns
           Looting, looting
    Killing people al around
           Shooting, shooting

    No one really started it
           Blaming, blaming
    Who stole the treasure and divided it
           Exchanging, exchanging

    Our side never sees the wrong
           Moral, moral
    Take it all sing our victory song
           Horror, horror

    Same old story as before
           History, history
    Keep on till they’re done and gone
           Misery, misery

    No one stops the war machine
           Grinding, grinding
    Nothing like you’ve ever seen
           Unwinding, unwinding

    Even those who kill themselves
           Martyrs, martyrs
    Lose their soul to someone else
           Smarter, smarter

    Stop the madness, stop the death
           Liar, liar
    Don’t turn us all to ashes now
           Fire, fire

    People of Earth
    © r.f.Lee

    Barely born you planted your feet on Mother Earth
    Immersed in life giving Air you breathed freely
    Body built around and cleansed by crystal Waters
    Head anointed by Fire from the sky
    Sun reigning down from before the beginning

    Ethics became etched in stone
    Ten simple rules
    Golden Rules
    One God rules
    Timeless roles to choose

    First love your neighbor as yourself
    In the image of God who
    Walks among the people, is the people
    Unable to hate
    Impossible to kill or be killed

    Then more gods came between men
    Growing more jealous than ever before
    Looking everywhere for the true temple, saying
    “Do not associate with infidels! Kill the non-believer!
    Some of us exclusively are the righteous!”

    The great Universe mocks you
    Small, petty, insignificantly holy,
    A new age must come soon to
    Release you from tired, misdirected ways
    Ending negative divisions, multiplying the positive dimensions

    Ancient ways bare all truth
    Proven ways are born of necessity
    Seek now to search and find yourself in society
    To withdraw would be to conquer nothing
    To fight back would be to lose everything

    Meanwhile planets will continue to revolve
    Suns will go on shining, moons will wax and wane
    They neither kill to live, nor pretend to be other than who they are
    Their hate is inert, vacuum, non-existent
    People of Earth must become One

    Will of God
    © r.f.Lee

    Disaster stormed the city with hurricane force
    We prayed for help to spare us from the terrible Will of God

    Strength and hope arrived with open hearted charity
    People helping each other through quiet grace of the Will of God

    We witnessed miracles – saving lives
    We gave thanks for the benevolent Will of God

    A child is born of love’s own mother and father
    Truly a sign of Will of God

    A child lives born of incest or rape
    Falsely legitimized as the Will of God

    In the cornfield a seed is planted – it grows and feeds many
    Evidence of the fruitful bounty given by the Will of God

    In the same cornfield another seed is planted – one not Roundup
    It fails to grow and dies a weed - is that the Will of God?

    Adam and Eve occupied a merely perfect garden
    Only to immediately disobey the original Will of God

    If God is the Creator - surely carrying out the Will of God! -
    How can the creation of the Will of God disobey the Will of God?

    Everything that has ever happened is the
    Will of God

    Everything else is up to us to choose
    Only what does not happen is not the Will of God

    © r.f.Lee

    Dedicated to those who have recognized the truth and created
    future insight – with luck

    I.  In the Beginning

    NEXT to every left a right opposes
    First appears an over, then an under that presupposes
    Forward fighting inescapable backward leaning forces
    While time apparently just one way continuously flows

    Twists and turns.  The universal fabric of us.
    Every dimension seen and unseen slides silently, unstuck
    Against these winds forever endless and free.
    Due to them we fight, fall and rise- and we succeed - with luck

    Originally, what’s NEXT began in the garden
    Tasting fruit with clothing on
    Acting on simple choices bound to happen
    Given the twist of our destined direction

    Good fortune surprised just from rubbing just two sticks
    Closely held, quickly spun in a cold man’s fist
    Causing a spark of fire we could control to fix
    Good food while adding warmth, hearth and home to the mix

    It is said that ancient Archimedes
    One day upon sitting in his bath
    Pronounced “Eureka!” upon realizing the fact
    That an equal volume of water he displaced all by himself

    So progress crawled for thousands of years
    Amid the hopes, the struggles and the fears
    Of history slowly advancing through trial and error
    As we ourselves evolved from simpler species

    We hunted and farmed, aided by animals strong
    Loved and fought, making weapons to sing our song
    Of conquest, domination, control of right and wrong
    From stone cave to Bronze Age still moving on

    By now all spiritual directions to us had been shown
    Through gods, prophets and holy books we have known:  
    Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and Baghavad Gita;  Buddha,
    Confucious and Tao Te Ching;
    God and scriptures of the Hebrews; Jesus; and Mohammed.  
    Add Baha’i for unity.

    It seems that prophets since went silent, letting
    Sounds of steelmaking, coal burning and combustion engines
    Dominating what came NEXT bringing a new unholy Industrial
    The momentum of which will never be broken

    II. After the Prophets

    Air and fire superheated enabled us to cast the Iron Age,
    Water boiled to steam highly pressurized
    Moved pistons, turned wheels, teams of horses outsized
    Building factories for making things rapidly becoming our prize

    Some say Isaac Newton to science gave birth
    While simply watching an apple fall to earth
    Whereupon he understood gravity’s single-minded mirth
    Formulating equations to mathematically explain the universe

    Quite by accident would bold European sailors
    Venture across the Atlantic hoping to find new routes
    To trade with the East- but instead ended up surprising
    Native Americans and destroyed their tribal lives

    Diseases spread only to be understood later by chance and trial
    With Louis Pasteur chasing cholera away with a vial
    Of diminished virulence, as did Edward Jenner
    Finding a small dose of what kills you is the Holy Grail to save

    And so it was with penicillin
    When Alexander Fleming tamed the microscopic villains of
    Bacterial infections through powerful direct killing
    By constituents of a very clever mold he accidentally found

    The next accident’s discovered name remains mysterious to this
    Though we know much more now about how to use the X-ray
    William Roentgen, though, at first could not explain
    How something could pass unseen through solid opaque things

    Similarly was the phenomenon of radioactivity
    From Henri Becquerel’s foggy mystery
    Elucidated by Marie and Pierre Curie
    Discovering unknown elements with powerful new forms of

    Advances in chemistry too were lucky and astounding
    As shown by August Kekule’s casual daydream-
    A snake swallowing its own tail- explaining the ring structure of
    NEXT plastics and synthetics changed our world by exploding on
    the scene

    With radios already commonplace in the home thanks to Maxwell,
    Hertz, Marconi, and many more, a search for noisy shortwave
    sounds led
    Bell Lab’s Karl Jasky to find an unexpected source far away in
    our galaxy
    In the center of Sagittarius A, the radio of our very own
    supermassive black hole

    Held by Einstein’s gravity strong enough for light to bend
    Keeping us anchored here all the while we spin
    In days, month, years, galactic millennia
    Within great spiral arms hosting endless suns

    The latest NEXT revolution connects all nations
    Built on energy, information, and communication
    All conveyed as bits of data at our easy beckon
    What we will do with it now remains the question

    NEXT is now exponential:  technology and population
    Growing in the Twentieth Century more than the previous twenty
    For the countless contributors to civilizations advances
    We ask that future luck give rise to intelligent choices

    If time is moving just one way, let it move without leaving us
    If cycles of global birth and death continue, embrace each of
    them in kind
    Combining directions we have a kind of spiral, so let us mind
    What we are doing according to the best of our human design.

    Mistaken Identity
    © r.f.Lee

    If you think it’s hip to put down disadvantaged people
    You may be digging the wrong God
    Psalms 41:1, 112:9

    If you are hated by someone and pray that to get them for it
    You may be following the lead of the wrong God
    Psalms 41:5-12

    If you hate someone based on your reading of the Bible
    You may be reading about the wrong Jesus
    Mark 12:28-33

    If you hear that you are the only chosen one
    You may be listening to the wrong Jesus
    Luke 11:9-13

    If you are sure that money alone makes you a better person
    You may be getting paid by the wrong Jesus
    Matthew 19:24

    If you are holding a Bushmaster, not helping to be a Peacemaker
    You are in the army of the wrong Jesus
    Matthew 5:9

    If you know that you do not need to care about anyone in need
    You know, you need to know the right Jesus
    Luke 10:29-37

    If you are looking for love in places that lead you the other away
    You need to look for a new way to find the right Jesus
    No more mistaken identity

    © r.f.Lee

    I would gladly trade
    An emerging smile for a worn out growl

    Give me a strong helping hand
           Not a death grip on a handgun

    Let me see the moves of a freedom walker
           Not the motives of a midnight stalker

    Been way up and way more down
           But will not throw what is good to the ground

    One open minded thought will be cheerfully exchanged
           For one that is closed forever to change

    A quiet child’s joyful song
           Can drown out the noise of a hateful throng

    I seek the way forward and to break new ways around,
           Not frozen by the roadblocks that abound

    I don’t expect the markets to ever tip to givers over takers
           But is that all that counts for movers and shakers?
    The most modest bet of I will try it
           Trumps a full house of I’ll never buy it

    Stop the taking, rule making and debating
           No more tricking, deal making and faking

    Move ahead or get out of the way
           No trading true direction for misdirection any day
    Trade me up or trade me down
    But I will not exchange a king for a pawn

    O Grow Up
    © r.f.Lee

    Tar sands
           Fossil fuel vapor
    Today we suck on these teats of Mother Earth
    When will we grow up?
    Learn to inhale on our own
           The energy of
    The Sun
           The Galaxy
    The curl of universal electromagnetic energy

    Baby humans are often born with some help:
           Doctor slapping baby’s butt so baby begins to cry
    Once born – hunger dominates until
           Growing up, baby soon thereafter is weaned from
    That habit of nursing
           Even though staying close to mother, feeding independently

    Who are those who keep us from outgrowing our infancy?
           Could it be the rich who rape earth for
    Their own profit
           Keeping us as babies without teeth?
    Find your own food!  Mother will let you go!  Grow up!
           We need only look around to find examples

    An electron is stuck around its nuclear mother until
           Incoming energy promotes it to the next quantum level
    While in that excited state it acts upon its new life
           Reacting to form a new species
    Different and better than ever
           Only then collapsing back to its former level

    Our Earth Mother who is so kind –
           Letting us suckle her until
    She and we are all nearly dead -
           Could have chosen to shove us out of the nest to fly or fall
    Or simply leave us behind
           Or feeling hunger herself, eat her young alive

    We must live off the Sun like any smart plant does
           Fully informed in the ways of eating respiratory exhaust
    Growing roots, trunks, limbs and leaves
           Seeds, flowers, nuts, fruits, food for all life
    Then silently exhaling universal energetic oxidant vapor
           All for free

    Tar sands
           Fossil fuel vapor
    Today we suck on these teats of Mother Earth
    But we can grow up!
    Learn to inhale on our own
           The energy of
    The Sun
           The Galaxy
    The curl of universal electromagnetic energy

    Swim Lane
    © r.f.Lee

    Where will you swim?
    Fast lane – get out of the way!
    Can’t go fast enough – push, push
    Left, right, kick, kick, breathe, do it again
    Any stroke for speed will do – no rules

    Scenic lane
    Looking for immersion in sights, sounds, sensations
    Not really in an lane at all
    Drifting and weaving at will
    Floating is better than stroking

    All around you are
    Competitors focused on their lane
    Will you kick them out of the way
    Dive under them to disturb their rhythm
    Make waves to knock them out of contention
    Or simply splash them in their straining eyes

    Not aggressive
    No alone
    Being good
    Swimming better
    Your only challenge is you

    You can reinforce the rising crest
    Causing every wave to grow
    Every ripple swelling in phase with the next
    Letting the pool sing out in unison
    Just because you joined the swim

    Open Book
    © r.f.Lee

    Open your book of life
    Words knock on resonant doors and beat on heads of drums
    Sounds register on membranes across the universe
    Tastes delight; turn sweet, sour, salty, or hot on tongues
    Eliciting responses from chemical sensors known as smells
    Energies seen and unseen excite optical outputs
    Skin and fingertips react to hot, cold, pressure and pain
    Absolute zero boils up from solid to liquid to gas to plasma

    Hate fear
    Thrills anticipation avoidance
    Worrying wondering wanting waiting
    Smiles dread worry hunger satisfaction
    Lust greed indifference compassion confusion confession
    Timid tired dominant joy despair silly ecstatic

    Marriage family
    Workdays holidays weekends
    Hired fired promoted reduced retired
    Accomplished diminished
    Final call

    Better than
    Close to distant from
    Friend enemy not sure
    Caring not caring disliking
    Friend close friend distant relative

    Close the book only when you know nothing is open

    No Empty Pages
    © r.f.Lee

    What would you do with an empty page?

    Ignore the amount of work it invites
    Turn it over looking for the filled-in other side
    Walk away rather than having to read or write or draw
    Forget that words and symbols are filled with power
    Ignore the artist within you every hour

    Staring at pure emptiness, its brightness blinds you

    Look for that pen or pencil or brush
    Wish you could write your masterpiece
    Fill it with words, notes and figures
    Feel it is as promising as a newborn child
    See potential for the future of mankind

    Paper covers rock, scissors cut paper- but a paper cut will not kill

    Paint perfect beauty, not too wordy
    Reflecting true reality
    Filling u
    Spacing out, bringing
    Your imprint, singular fingerprinting

    Pages are not just paper

    Media fills our lives with video
    Decisions on what to do and not do
    What to believe is caught in the middle
    Do not leave any opportunity unwritten
    The page is only as empty as you feel.

    Twittery and Poetry
    © r.f.Lee

    You should know of a landscape with unlimited possibilities for
    Open to more than 140 characters meant only for one-lining

    Expansive spaces where a thoughtful seed grows endlessly,
    Stronger than the moment’s emotional energy expressed too
    often as whining

    Rejoice in expanses of truth that shall always be unbinding
    Not stuck in dark alleys of trivia that can only be blinding
    Unfettered by short-sighted phrases you always are finding

    A chance to feast your soul on the richness of humanity’s
    Infinitely more satisfying than narrow glimpses of 20-20

    Explore fresh new terrain before you, hiking up the mountain,
    Experiment with machine settings, arc over spark gaps to be
    Never accepting canned electronic formats that trap you in the

    Strengthen yourself, walk on language deep and wide, built
    on         searching and finding
    Thoughts without walls, without character limitations, forever

    Make your phrases arching, thoughtful, meaningful and from         
    the heart relying
    Filled with variations in form, space, color and timing
    Not worrying whether or not they will fit on one line or be         
    perfectly rhyming

    Static Dynamic
    © r.f.Lee

    Your feelings paint lasting pictures
    Your actions make living movies
    With them you create the truth

    On your palette you alone are the artist
    Let no critic dilute your oils with cheap spirits
    Let no demon drain the life from your water colors

    Sadness of any shade you do not like
    Can be brushed away, overcome
    With pigments that dominate and delight

    Take all your joys in their brightest hues
    To your heart, wrapping them around your soul
    Surrounding your body and mind in light

    Write your script boldly every time
    Knowing no one can stop you
    Confident no editor can cross out a single line

    Choose your actors carefully
    They play along with you, then they become you
    So live on the set of the world completely, honestly, artfully

    Play your movie wherever you need to
    Show your intention, measure progress, or simply
    Launch your mind’s picture into motion

    Paint your life
    Make it dynamic
    Live your dream

    © r.f.Lee

    Morning bird
    Sits silently watching until
    In a flash she flies away. Naturally
    Because she knows what to do when

    Wave on the pond
    Flows this way intently, cresting for a moment, then
    Merges again with the pond.  Carefree
    Because he can do so endlessly

    Whale in the ocean
    Lives happily with only sea legs
    Breathes exuberantly while rising out of her liquid element
    Greatest of all mammals (lest mankind deny her life)
    Because she adapts perfectly and prospers

    Rock sitting in the sun
    Seems detached, mindless, unthinking, though
    In history he was a mighty mountain. Confident
    Because he knows his origins will some day tower again

    Leaf falls to the ground
    Without worry where autumn wind will carry her next
    Knowing she has earned her new freedom.  Satisfied
    Because the sunlight she captured is now the tree

    You and I
    Surrounded by all these tightly fitting puzzle pieces
    Remain cautious, skeptical, lost, worried and unsure
    Precariously dominant
    Because we have forgotten how we fit

    A Bird Told Me
    © r.f.Lee

    I thought I heard an angel sing
    While least of all was about heaven thinking
    Just sitting there, trying to relax
    In the back yard as another day was unwinding

    With dinner roasting on the grille
    I was trying to forget the daily drill
    When suddenly in a fleeting unreal moment
    I heard a sweet sound somewhere up there

    At first I didn’t even notice him
    Singing inconspicuously and comfortably
    Till I spotted him singularly against the sky
    Seeming to be singing just to me

    Just one small robin on a light pole
    All alone above the city circuit race
    Did sing and sound out proudly and happily
    As if he owned the place

    He was saying, “I’m only a robin, I know
    My songs sound like a parrot of my kind
    But I’ve made it through cold winter snow
    And I’m proud to spring what’s on my mind.”

    “For anyone who hears me singing
    They need to always know
    If someone cares so much for me- a bird-
    Imagine all the love there is for you.”

    To testify how this changed my life
    I recall the song now twenty years later
    And will always know now and forever
    What a bird told me is right: don’t worry, feel better.

    “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather
    into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you
    not of more value than they?” Matt. 6:26.

    Four Elements Forever
    © r.f.Lee

    Wanted: Everything.

    Knowing we are made of bits and pieces
    Will gladly receive totality in separate shipments
    Powering universal engines to work endlessly
    Heading North, South, East, and West

    First you float among the stars
    Not yet formed but growing strong
    Until your spirit solidifies
    Condensing Air into your body to land down here

    Next you learn to touch, see and speak
    Crawling, standing walking, soon venturing into
    Life made of Earth, living on the Earth
    Yet still incomplete.  There must be more

    To what Air and Earth bring together.  We must add Water
    Drinking from fresh sources falling from the sky
    Two thirds of our bodies made of this liquid God
    As two thirds of Earth is ocean

    All the while Fire in your body drives you on
    Hoping to make you into all you can metabolize
    Pushing on resistant doors of time to continue until
    Burning out is the only choice left

    Consumed by Fire, or slower oxidation underground
    You are released again to Air, Earth minerals, and Water vapor
    From everything you wanted to all you have received there
    Air, Earth, Water and Fire.

    Variable Beauty
    © r.f.Lee

    We are not mass produced with perfection on
    Assembly lines with robotic arms and sight;
    We have a unique Mother and Father to whom, on a good day,
    We are beautiful.

    Within, strength grows to open doors
    Willpower to overcome rises against unfavorably stacked odds
    Purity of power rules over what would otherwise knock us down:
    We are stronger than our bodies.

    Never mind the mirror- it has no eyes, no heart
    How we look depends on the looker
    What if we look good, but behave badly?
    We are deeper than our appearance.

    Knowing better but acting foolishly
    Could be the norm if we let ourselves go down that path..
    Can we think our way out of our own demise?
    We are smarter than the least of our brains.

    Alone we are helpless, yet together we fight;
    Only by some force from within or from without
    Do we ever act on the dream of becoming one rhythm-
    We are more together than the sum of each other.

    How? Not by reducing random chance, by minimizing variation,
    Not by employing the tools of Quality Control.  No.
    Commonly ugly but uniquely beautiful; smart bodied; strong
    We are anything but forever the same.  Variable beauty.

    Breath of Peace
    © r.f.Lee

    Fighting for peace is not
    Fighting for absence of hate, violence, or war
    Fighting for peace is not

    Peace is strength growing from truth
    Sufficient without struggle if only given room to breathe
    Growing organically from first principles
    Given to use freely once we find and connect with strength

    You can pray for peace
    You can meditate in peace
    You can live in peace even if
    Surrounded by vocal opposites

    Pause for definitions
    Passive: waiting idly by
    Active:  sitting in, marching for, walking because, running to,
           swimming through, diving into, or any other embrace of
    Pacifist: one who is Active

    Bring me a weapon of truth
    Sights focused on finely crafted science, art and humanity
    Fully loaded with rounds of honesty
    Multiple magazines to reload, rapidly, freely, in endless supply

    Will not be outshouted by ignorant voices!
    Will not be drowned in empty echoes!
    Will not be shot by brainless killing machines!
    Will not be pulled into vacuous hate!

    Make peace with every breath

    Rise to the Highest Good
    © r.f.Lee

    The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.  Genesis 7:

    How to succeed through statistics:
    Not every man is all evil all the time.
           Play the game to win.
           Force your odds in favor of the Good.

    Whenever war, slavery, injustice or prejudice appeared to win
    Men and women have countered the prevailing downdraft
           Creating new elevations
           Rising above it all

    Otherwise thousands of years ago we would have sunk
    Irreversibly to lowest forms of life
           Ignoring divine capacity for free choice
           Losing ability to make ourselves a better world

    Surrounded by liars, thieves, deceivers, fakers, rapists and con-
    Should be no surprise by now
           So pick your hell to be dragged down with them
           Or beat the odds whenever you can and rise to the
    highest good

    © r.f.Lee

    You hear about a “fact”:
    Turns out it is not true at all, but
    Someone made it up, said it over and over
    Promoting it to a million deficient ears

    Don’t believe it!

    You are told you are nothing
    No background, no talent, no applicable skills
    No breadth, no depth,
    No interest in hiring you, thanks anyway

    Don’t believe it!

    You know in your heart you are someone
    Built upon strong ties to family and tradition
    Full of strength, brains, ability
    Your friends endorse you as Good People

    Believe it!

    You are not alone
    We are not alone and we are not together without you
    So we stand strong feeling the energy of our best day
    Our strength is unlimited and unending

    Believe it!

    Why must there be a do and don’t?
    How could you be or not be?
    Erase false history coming from without you
    Magnify truth coming from within us all