We called him big and dumb when he walked into our school.

What is it, I wonder, about us as children…that sometimes makes us cruel?


He was bigger than the rest of us…(this was many years ago)

but as far as his being dumb…well…we really didn’t know.


We just knew that he was bigger…he was different…that was all.

Perhaps it wasn’t that he was big…but that our minds were small.


Perhaps we were a little afraid…he was something we’d never seen

Why is it fear of someone different…can sometimes make us mean?


But once I got to know him…once I took the time to see

except for his enormous size…he was so much more like me.


He had courage and determination…he had his insecurities…

and just like me, I found out…he liked his hamburgers with cheese.


In time we became friends…and, as friendship often does,

we focused on what was important…and not how big he was…


And I was glad he walked into my school…glad our lives had overlapped…

What is it I wonder, about us, as children…that we so easily adapt.


Though we may hesitate at first…at something novel or unplanned

we easily accept it once we come to understand


that the world is such a beautiful and exciting place to be

and what makes this world so beautiful is its diversity.


So we hope we learn from mistakes we made…and leave behind once and for all

those times we acted out of ignorance…when our minds were much too small.


And we hope as we grow older…we look back where we came from…


and we remember lessons from our youth so we don’t grow up big and dumb.

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He was walking in an apple orchard…in itself a beautiful sight to see

when he stopped to rest a moment…underneath an apple tree.


It was apple picking season…the aroma of apples wafted in the air.

The branches bent under the weight of apples everywhere.


He was captivated sitting there…wondering how this could possibly be

How could every apple be unique,

and beautiful

yet come from the same tree. 


No two apples were the same

although all were similarly grown…

they came in different sizes,


and colors

but each had a beauty all its own.


And he thought how humans are like the apples

hanging from this tree…

How all growing together

we are a beautiful sight to see..


How no two humans are the same

although we all are similarly grown…

How we come in different sizes,


and colors

but each one of us has beauty all our own.


And with hope in his heart he awaits the day 

for what a great day it will be

when the whole world can see what he saw


underneath that apple tree.

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Sometimes I think the way we view the world is a little antiquarian

for instance we have words to label everyone…from Capricorn to Sagittarian…


Take Deborah and I…we don’t eat meat…we are proudly vegetarian

though occasionally we will eat fish…which makes us pescatarian.


and since we’ve been known to eat a burger…we are most assuredly hypocritarian.

however we do not care what you eat…because we’re not authoritarian.


And though we believe in eating food that is predominantly agrarian

we know it doesn’t matter what you eat…if you are humanitarian.


It doesn’t matter if you are straight or gay…black, white or Hungarian.

If you’re Democrat, Republican, Independent or Libertarian.


It doesn’t matter…if you’re Catholic, Muslim or Sectarian

If you’re a doctor, or a lawyer…a dentist…a Veterinarian… 


It doesn’t matter the type of music you like…rap, pop or opera that’s Wagnerian

or how you like your donut cream…whipped…butter…or Bavarian.


I think it’s time to apologize and end this poem

for I have shamefully become aware…

I can’t remember where I was going with it…

and, I imagine you…no longer care.


But let me end with these two hopes…

that you are not a strict grammarian…

and that we all may someday live…

in a world…




This is a story mixed with sadness…a story of inhumanity

It’s story mixed with madness…a story of brutality


It’s a story of people who didn’t look like US

who could not understand

how we wanted them to go away

how we wanted them off of ‘our’ land..


How we were willing to push them aside

to our own honor and dignity betray..

How we were willing to turn our backs…

and force them to go away.


How we were willing to allow their children

to be stripped from their parents’ arms.

How we were willing in the name of America

to cause such lasting harm….


Of course I’m taking about Native Americans and American Japanese

who endured America’s fear and bigotry and atrocities such as these…


But this all happened long ago, you say!

Give America a break!

We are a different country now!

We have learned from our mistakes! 


That was a less civilized…less enlightened America, you say

We have changed a lot since then.

There’s no way in America today…


this could ever happen again!

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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.


A caravan of immigrants is approaching

from their own countries they are fleeing

and I must admit I am perplexed

by behaviors I am seeing.


I see kind, compassionate and religious people

as this caravan draws near

screaming we don’t want you…

that you’re not welcomed here.


I see it happening in other countries as well

anger stretching across the land

where we would rather keep people out

than lend a helping hand…


And I wonder what is causing this…

this callousness for humankind…

What has happened to our hearts…

to our souls…and to our minds?


When did our world of acceptance and compassion

succumb to hatred and tyranny?

When did fear 

and prejudice 

and bigotry

replace humanity?


What if it was our family in that caravan?

escaping cruelty?

traveling far?

What if they were our sisters and brothers…?



or have we forgotten….that they are?

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How beautiful is a heart that loves…what a wondrous sight to see…

instead of trying to restrict it…we should seek to set it free…..



They fell in love in Roman times because that’s what lovers do

They meet, and in some inexplicable way…their love comes shining through.


When two people are lucky enough to find each other, 

they find love does not confine

It doesn’t follow a set of rules, 

it has no borderlines…



They fell in love in Roman times because that’s what lovers do

but they could not get married…for back then it was taboo.


Two women cannot fall in love…it is not right they’d say

But these two women were not listening…love found them anyway.


Their love was pure and innocent…flowing honestly from the heart

It was universal and unique…

their love…a work of art.



They fell in love in Roman times because that’s what lovers do…

They remained together all their lives before they bid this world adieu…


For love brought them together…never again to be alone…


and here they lie together…their love immortalized in stone.


Every moment nature’s artistry is put out on display…

It’s one of the reasons we love the morning walk we take each day


But there’s an even better reason we amble through our streets

It’s all the places that we walk by…and all the people whom we meet…


For instance, on our walk this morning…we passed by all of these:

An Iris pub, a Scottish coffee house and a restaurant- Japanese.


An Italian cafe, a donut shop, a Hawaiian restaurant we adore

and a church with a sign that welcomes everybody…everybody through its doors.


We walked today with a good friend who’s stories always entertain

A beautiful soul who is quite proud of the Peruvian blood within her veins.


We waved to Harry-an old man we know who was in Germany grown.

His wife is no longer with him so now he walks alone.


For years we would pass him quietly…but conversed with him one day.

Now we often stop and talk with him…as he shuffles on his way.


After walking out onto the pier- about halfway through our walk

We met a vegan from Jamaica his hair flowing with dreadlocks.


And we spoke of dolphins and egrets and fishermen…and the beauty of the sea

of diets and Jamaica…and about our families.


The beauty of our walk is no matter which way we turn

From the different places and people we see…there’s so much we can learn.


There is strength in all our differences for what a sad country this would be

without our various accents, and foods, and stories…without our diversity.


Our morning walk proved once again as another day unfurled

how every person is a new door to a multifarious world.


And instead of building a wall to keep people out…like they once did in Berlin…


Perhaps we should be opening that door to welcome that world in.

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Soon after World War 2 was weathered

The United Nations got together…

and after hearing of the peoples plight

created a declaration…of human rights.


Appalled at all the lives we lost

and sickened by the Holocaust

The UN set about decreeing

A set of rights for human beings.


Every person has these rights they declared

In any location…anywhere.

Every human…from their inception

Every human…without exception.


Every human is endowed they said

with reason, a conscience and should use their head

and every person everywhere should

act in the spirit of brotherhood.


Since the UN declaration 70 years ago

We have made progress…but much too slow.

We have not learned from our mistakes

and now our existence is at stake!


We must treat each person with dignity

each as a member of our family.

For when we become kind humans we will find

one world…one family…one humankind.


Or 70 years from now

If we don’t ensure everyone’s human rights…somehow…

If we continue to live in a world where human rights are bereft…


there won’t be any humans left.