When one gives a gift to a child there’s often a confusing paradox...

as the gift is quickly set aside while the child plays in the box.


For children see with their imagination all the journeys to be amassed

In a box that holds not only a present...but trips to the future...and the past


Children know a box can be anything...according to their mood...

A mansion high upon a hill...a fortress of solitude.


A box can be a spaceship...on a mission to the moon

or a stagecoach drawn by horses....arriving at high noon.


A box can be a cave from a time when dinosaurs roamed the land.

or a castle protected from dragons by knights both brave and grand.


A box can be a schooner battling monsters out at sea...

Anything a child envisions...is what a box can be.


So the next time you give a gift to a child...savor the paradox…

knowing they will find joy in the gift you’re giving…

as well as magic in the box.

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He left me this old wooden ladder...rickety...and patched...

and on it, twisting in the breeze, he left this note attached:


“When you were young you used this ladder to touch the sun

to kiss the clouds creating the snowflakes that fell to Earth in June

and do you remember how you use to smile

when you’d climb this ladder…to the moon?


When you soared with the birds high in the sky…

do you remember all the wonders you could see

as you rode a fire-breathing dragon…

or had a conversation with a tree...’ 


‘Your imagination is a gift,’ the note went on to say

Feed it, nurse it, nurture it,…‘cherish it everyday’.


I still use that rickety old ladder 

And oh what wonders I still see

When I ride that fire-breathing dragon

or have my conversations with the trees...’ 


When I climb way up to touch the sun

when I kiss the clouds creating snowflakes that fall in June…

and I imagine he is up there smiling…

every time

I climb my ladder to the moon.

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My dad always told me imagination is like a muscle

and we have to find a way

to exercise it often or its strength will fade away.


He said imagination is like a movie inside your head

only you control the show.

You can do anything you want to do…go anywhere you want to go. 


Because, he said, if you look around at all of God’s creation

what sets us apart from the other animals…is our imagination.


And so he told me stories…of how he rode a dragon across the sky

of snowmen that would come alive…or whales that could fly.


Of how he would sit for hours as the wind played music in the trees

and of all the times he was invited…to go dancing with the bees.


He said he loved having scrambled eggs on a cloud for breakfast

pizza with the dolphins at noon

and a dinner of burger and fries…while sitting on the moon


He showed me how to touch the moon

He said it’s really not that far

and he told me how easy it is once you’re up there

to jump from star to star.


With Dad I never knew where real life ended

and where his imagination had begun…

and I wouldn’t change a thing about him because that was half the fun.


He’s been gone for many years now…

and I have him thank for helping me with my own aspirations 

with how I look upon the world…with my imagination…


Today I’m meeting him on the moon…

I’m bringing the burgers and fries…

because just like Daddy always said…


It is time to exercise.

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I never know what will happen…what memories I’ll see

but I love when my imagination merges with my memory.


My memory picks a person…sometimes quite randomly

and my imagination sets that person…right in front of me.


It happened at the end of a morning walk 

in the shadow of our oak tree

When I looked up…Deborah’s mom…was smiling next to me.


And it was just as I remember…though she left us long ago

the way her smile lit up her face and set her eyes aglow.


I was unable to say a word…I was captivated…enthralled.

She did not speak either…but her smile said it all.


It reminded me how she loved us…with a love gentle and kind

and when I found my voice I thanked her for the memories she left behind.


I told her not to worry…standing in the shade of that old tree

for I am taking care of your daughter

and she’s taking care of me.


Silently she nodded her head…as the night surrendered to the dawn

We exchanged another smile….and in an instant…she was gone.


As I say…imagination is a wonderful thing

when it merges with a memory…

You never know what might happen…


You never know who you might see.

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John Lennon wrote Imagine, his biggest hit, back in 1971

It’s a good time to revisit it now that a new year has begun.


As one year ends it’s human nature to look back on the world we see

then look ahead and try to Imagine the world as we’d like it to be.


I believe when we look back on this year, when we take the time to review it

so much of what we got out of the year depends on how we view it.


We had natural disasters, people going hungry, social and political unrest.

We saw people dying in wars, on our streets, and many others oppressed.


But when we concentrate only on the horrors, the wars, the crimes and the crooks,

then the joys, the triumphs, and the laughter we tend to overlook.


The world I like to Imagine is brimming with balance and symmetry

where people embrace their differences and live together in harmony.


I Imagine a world no longer filled with hungry girls and boys

where we look our sorrows in the face and out of them discover joys.


Of course you may say I’m a dreamer, but that’s okay with me

because as far as I’m concerned, I’m in good company.


In every story of disaster when we wonder how anyone could cope,..

we saw people helping people, sharing friendships, giving hope.


For every story of prejudice and bigotry, amidst the sadness and despairing

we found stories of acceptance, of respect and love and caring.


For ever robbery, every crime, every time one person’s cheated

somewhere in the world a random act of kindness is completed.


For every divorce in this world, every relationship transformed

a new love is created…a marriage is performed.


For every death that sends ripples of sorrow out across the Earth

there are ripples of joy that emanate from a newborn baby’s birth.


For every country fighting wars, for every bomb they may release

there are people coming together in the name of unity and peace.


Of course I hope the sadness and misfortune decline in the coming year

but that won’t stop me from discovering the joys already here.


A new year where people discover joy, and love is where it’s at.

where the world would live as one…in peace...Yes, I can imagine that.


A note: 

If you think this poem accurately captures our current political and world scene….

you should know I first posted it back in 2014.


But I will keep imagining the type of world I’d like to see…

with the hope that this year…this decade…it will come to be.





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“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Her parents asked…

“A bird!” she said with glee.

“I want to glide across the sky 

I want to play up in the trees.”


“Well, come on,” they said each grabbing one hand…

without ever asking why...

“We have a lot of work to do…


if we’re going to teach you how to fly.”

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On the porch last night I felt a familiar pull when I noticed through the clouds how the moon was full.


As I listened to each song the crickets sung…I remembered back to when our son was young.


As we sat on this porch at the end of the day he asked me, “Dad, why does the moon fade away?”


“I’ve seen it many times at night and noticed something is not quite right.”


“What makes the moon go out and then…what makes it come back on again?”


“Don’t worry son,” I said, “don’t feel perplexed.  “The moon that sines has not been hexed.”


“Once a month the moon is full…and we all enjoy her brilliant glow.”


“Then gradually she becomes less round..because the moon’s light bulb is running down.”


“The man in the moon does not mope or pout…he waits patiently till the moon is out.”


“Then he reaches into his overalls pocket…and pulls out a new bulb for the moon’s light socket.”


“He screws it in and there you are…the moon again is a shining star.”


I suppose as an answer to my son’s inquisition… I could have explained how the Earth. the moon and the sun all change positions


I could have told him that the moon he sees…changes relative to his geometries.


But one of the reasons for a parent’s creation…is to stimulate their children’s imagination.


And could there be a better way…than watching a full moon fade away….


And now years later I wonder as he sits on his porch listening to the crickets tune…

if he still looks for the man in the moon…


Hoping tonights the night he comes into view…


If he does he’ll be glad to know…that I do too.

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The man had always seen the dolphin in his tree…he never had a doubt

and using a chain saw when that live oak died…he let that dolphin out.


You see his parents used to love the stars…they’d sit for hours enjoying the view

and through the myths and legends they told to him….he learned to love them too.


But of all the stories they related…none of them was greater 

than the one about the constellation Delphinus…

(found just north of the equator).


This story took place a long time ago…in the 7th century BC:

It seems Arion, a wealthy court musician, was on his way back from Sicily.


when the crew of the ship he was on…unconcerned for Arion’s health

conspired against the musician…to relieve him of his wealth.


The crew offered Arion a choice…with no place for him to flee…

they would kill him where he stood or he could fling himself into the sea.


Deciding to throw himself overboard…and knowing he didn’t have long

Arion asked his captors…if he could sing a song.


So beautiful was his singing…so sad and hypnotic to the ear

that a pod of dolphins out of nowhere gathered round…to hear.


and when Arion finally flung himself into the sea…according to folklore

a dolphin, charmed by the beauty of his singing, carried him to shore….


The God, Apollo, as a reward for saving Arion from a certain death at sea

found that dolphin a place among the stars…for all eternity.


Today that man continues to see that dolphin 

as he enjoys the stars in an evening breeze

and he no longer wonders why he also sees them

among the rocks, in the clouds…in the trees…


For he knows it goes back to those quiet nights

and the part his parents played in his creation...

in opening of a young boy’s mind


and the birth of his imagination.

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She loved when he read her fairy tales…she’d sit upon his knees

and be amazed how so many fairy tales took place among the trees.


Fairy tales…alive with woes and heartaches…

with battles, and wishes granted,

with damsels in distress…

where every forest seemed enchanted.


And when they walked into the woods…she always felt it there

perhaps inspired by the fairy tales…something magic in the air.


She’d point them out when she spotted them

“Dad! Look another tree…

just like the ones in the fairy tales you always read to me”.


“Look how tall they are”, she smiled…”how they reach up to the sky

I wonder how many adventures they’ve seen…with their fairy tale eyes”.


For her birthday that year…she was given the best gift she would ever see

when she delicately unwrapped…a tray of tiny trees.


“It’s to start your own enchanted forest”, Dad said as he got down on one knee,

"where you can make up your very own stories among your very own fairy tale trees”.


Later…In her back yard as she looked down at the tray of trees just planted

“Dad”, she asked, "how long do you think before this forest becomes enchanted”?


Dad put his arm around his daughter and took her hand in his….

“Just like you on the day you were born”, he smiled,


“your forest…already is”.

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