Category Archives: Society

The Torch that Lovers Hold

Lovers. They hold a certain torch, and they light a certain fire. When they find each other, lovers who were once solitary characters along their dimly lit trails suddenly hold the very light they have sought, the very flame they may have once given up on.

In the realm of a loving man’s surety lies a darkened pool of uncertainty in which he bathes. Even the firmest ground beneath his feet has cracked at one time or another, and smaller requests than have been placed on his beloved have gone unrequited in his life. Sometimes, his heart may ask too much, and sometimes his eyes simply must adjust to the darkness.

Wishes are, for the most part, not foreign to the loving man. He wishes for a hand to hold, for a warm embrace on a chilly, desert night. He sees his life before his eyes and searches for the one who sees her life, before her eyes, searching for him. He knows her when he sees her, as he quietly goes about his business.  His mind raises its objections, his heart quiets down the chaos, and he accepts the flow as it is. To fight the cracking rock beneath his feet is insanity, but to fight for his own survival is certainly what he was built to do.

At some point, when the two lovers meet, her survival becomes his survival. Life to him means their life, her happiness becomes their happiness. He’ll cast his demons aside to help her fight her own, and he’ll shiver naked in the night, having given her his clothing to keep her warm. She will, in turn, feel his body quake, and she’ll respond with the love that lights his heart on fire, as the evening chill turns to morning sweat upon his wanting flesh.

Lovers aren’t immune to the shifting sands of a changing shoreline, or the fractured, crumbling rocks that come at them from those places just beyond their reach. Lover’s aren’t absent of fear inspired by the darkened corners of the caves they explore together, or those frightening shadows that reside in the space we call the unknown. Lovers have, however, that torch that they have found and that light that they have sparked. They hold that torch, each with one hand, united in the single purpose that makes it all a bit less dangerous. They, as two, hold a single torch that unites them, a power most glorified in the entirety of the Universe.

When the firmest ground cracks beneath them, one finds solid footing and holds the other firmly there. When the hailstones fall from up above, one shelters the other from the storm. When the darkness falls they grasp their torch as one and light the way ahead. They are an indestructible force for which there is no immovable object, an eternal spring that no drought can ever diminish.

Therein may lie the secret that lovers know. Perhaps it’s not the torch that holds the power, but the two hands that hold it. Perhaps it’s not the light that ends the darkness, but the two hearts who have lit it. Perhaps it’s not the firm ground that offers security, but the two who embrace upon it. Safety may be nothing but an illusion, but lovers know its strength when they rise in love to find it.

To her, I say, “I love you”. To the winds I ask they carry us where we belong. To the sky I say “hello” and to the fears within me I say “be prepared. I now have a torch for which there is no equal.”

A Mother’s Son

“Sleep my son. Rest, my boy, it’s all over now.”

And with that she kissed him one final time, and though she bathed his little cheeks in a mother’s tears, others said a prayer about a man who had lived and who had died in the only way he knew how.

The world saw a man adorned in an ornate, flag-draped box. She saw her sleeping boy. The world threw around words like “hero” and “brave”, she could only muster the words “my baby”. There were those who hated him for the color of his skin and the nature of his birth, but she could only love him. He had given her the greatest pain of her life in his birth, and they had stolen him without knowing him, without even giving him the courtesy of knowing his name.

They had beaten him for his innocence, and stolen everything from him for the vile fear that festered in their own mind. They detested how different they thought he was, so much so that they could not see just how much he was like them. He bravely walked as he was, and bent his knee to no one. He simply wanted to be free, to do his part, to be equals in the eyes of all people.

For that, they killed him. For that, they stole his liberty. For that, they became the killers of man’s great hope, the murderers of unlimited possibility.

Perhaps he had crossed some invisible line they had created. Perhaps he had climbed some magical fence they had built from sand. Perhaps he had assailed that wall they had built against themselves. Whatever it was, it scared them so that they became beasts of prey and the thoughtless, heartless, fearful murders of the wonderful endowment of their own Creator.

They saw something beneath their caste. She saw her greatest joy. They saw something to be thrown aside. She saw a boy to be held through his nightmares in the dark. They saw some scourge of their holy book. She saw the word of God as he grew into a masterpiece of his own.

They killed him. She gave him life. The laughed as they left him to die. She will cry her tears forever. They are animals. She is her son’s mother.

Soon, they will lower him into the Earth, an Earth that doesn’t see the color of his skin, or the place of his birth, or his creed, or his faith. The Earth will embrace him, turn him into a seed of life watered by the sweet tears of his mother’s broken heart. The Earth does not know to which flag it should honor, or to what god it should worship, and it will love this man’s flesh as the ether will love that man’s soul. Each day, a mother will bide her time, hoping and wanting to join him.

Life will go on for the rest of us. We’ll create our silly separations, and succumb to our silly fears. We’ll laugh, and we’ll play, and we’ll sing our songs of peace and love and hate and fear. We’ll create our dark rooms of worship and belief, and we’ll point our fingers at small rays of light and hope that enter as if there is something wrong with them.

We are all a mother’s son, or a mother’s daughter. We are all so much alike, beings bequeathed a great potential at the moment of our conception. One day we can hope the mother’s tears end, replaced by the laughs of love and the smiles of true liberty. One day may we love our similarities while allowing our differences to blossom.

Until then, a mother cries herself to sleep, and a son prepares to die. No walls we build will save us, no laws we pass will end our horrid suffering.

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Write the Words, She Says

Somewhere, between here and there, we stand.

Lost in human folly, forgotten in a moment’s rain, we stand. Longing, wanting, devoured by a certain kind of thirst, we stand. Playing humble amongst the trees, seeking a path to where we are, pretending we don’t know yet feeling all but certain, we stand.

“Write the words,” she says. 

I’ve written them, a million times. Has she not seen them? Has she not knelt at the altar of our dreams, gazed at the same sky, and called out my name? Has she not felt the tingle on her skin and let out the gasps of a moment’s truth?

Perhaps I’m standing in solitude, this feeling a part of me alone not shared by the stars above. Perhaps I walk a lonely path, the sweet nectar found in the mere mention of her name something I, alone, can taste. Perhaps I am a man of folly, prone to a jester’s arrow bent slightly by my beating heart.

“Write the words,” she says. 

I do as I’m told, laughing at the irony of my mission. I write the words because, she says, it is what poets do. Out spill the words I long to whisper in her ear. Drawn out are lines I wish to trace upon her naked skin. Pulled from within me are the breaths I wish to hold as I taste her sultry lips.

Helpless as a babe I am, a soft noodle in her broth, a tender piece of meat in her stew. Come to me, I think I shouted as my lips remain stilled, my eyes frozen in a time which may never really come, stuck on a page which she may never want to read.

“Write the words,” she says.


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I remember everything…

I remember everything.

I remember the darkest moments of my life, and how you held a torch to help me find my way.

I remember the moments when I could not stand, and you held me steady as I struggled in rising from myself.

I remember the moments when I could not see, and your voice gave me hope.

I remember when no one would listen, and you stood up and raised my voice above the noise.

I remember when I was riddled with doubt, and your kiss stole uncertainty from my mind.

I remember when I felt alone, and your caress told me a tale of all

I remember when I needed to fly, and you let me go to venture high above the clouds.

I remember when I felt the need to dive, and you gave me space to plunge beneath the surface.

Yes, I remember it all. I remember you. I remember me when I was next to you, and I remember you when empty space is all I find. I remember you when I lay my head to sleep at night, hungry and thirsty. I remember you when I search for a place to stay dry in the storm, and when I surrender and dance in the rain.

Such is Love…and in Love I remember everything.

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I Cried Today, For You & For Me. (An Elephant Journal Piece)

I won’t be quiet while the party who brought us Reagan’s Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall is now the party seeking to build a much longer one. I won’t pat you on the back for your “prayers for Paris” while innocent children are slaughtered in Africa with nary a peep out of you.

Westward Ho!

I can’t help the fact that I love you. And I need to leave you.

I can’t help the fact that I need to leave this place behind. I need to lace up my boots and walk toward the setting Sun, knowing full well that when I am settled I will see it rise again. In this journey, I need to feel the Sun on my back as the chilly morning air is warmed, and feel it on my face as the crisp night air surrenders to the evening sky.

I want to live simply, with the mountains under my feet and their people by my side. I want to close my eyes and feel the power of their grace as the thin air cleans out my tired soul. I want to know the fullness of nature as She brings me home, and takes me to untold discovery.

I want to bring you there, my little ones. I want you to feel the holy union of man to his Mother, of the soul to its Creator. I want you to learn to follow a different compass, to find your own true north through eyes not tainted by my ideas but trained by the lost art of self-discovery. I want you to write your own stories in your own way using whatever tools you wish to use. I want you free, guided by your own set of truths, by the words already written deep within you.

I will help you find those words, my loves, but it is you who must read them.

My days by the ocean I love are numbered, but it lets me go knowing what is best for me. To the altitude I will go, to the snow-covered peaks and happy valleys, to a place where the climb is upward and the run is downward. To a place where the rocks glisten with the rising Sun, and the hills cry out to a Moon they have always known.

That’s where my heart dreams, and my soul finds its Earthly home. There, the loner in me can find his solitude as the lover in me burns his relinquished veil. There, the artist in me can sing his hallowed song while the man in me curses the blisters born upon his feet. There I can feel a hand on my back and a rhythm in each and every footfall.

In my mind, I am there. Soon, my body will follow. Westward ho I go!


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You are killing me.

Softly. Without remorse. Without effort.

The thought of you touching me, yeah…right at that spot…has me bound and gagged, tormented and pleasured, beyond measure. The thought of those little pieces of you all over me…cooling me, making me hot, quenching my thirst while leaving me begging for more…ensuring our union glides while you securely hold me in place…has me.

Fuck, I love you.

To read more, go here.

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The Asshole Look

This is a fish.I just had an experience with an asshole giving me a “look”. Now, in the “old days” that look might have rendered him a bloody, probably incoherent mess on the floor, or at the very least he would have gotten a verbal ass whooping that would have left him stuttering and stammering like a fool. My hands would have been sore, and I’d be making calls for bail money, and I’d feel horrible about my lack of control, but that would have been the outcome.

I would have heard the voices in my head that would have told me I was not strong enough, tough enough, or worthy enough to be superior to this person. I would have reacted violently in order to prove them wrong, and that reaction would ALWAYS lead to other voices telling me I was not strong enough, tough enough, or worthy enough to be my sincere, loving, compassionate self. The first set of voices belonged to other people, the second set were mine.

My choice is ALWAYS, “which voices are the one you wish to listen to?”

While I do get angry when pretenders scratch the surface of my insecurity, I realize that the reaction is truly my own that has nothing to do with them. That reaction leads ME into fantasy; fantasy that suggests I am something different from who I am, fantasy that causes me to create outcomes that are contrary to the person I am, fantasy where I listen to voices not my own.

I am grateful for the physical strength I have been given, but I’m more grateful for the mental and physical strength I have developed. That’s the value I find in the past. The past is, for me, like some long-forgotten workout that helped make me a little bit stronger today than I would have been without it. I value it in the place it has gotten me, but for little else. The real value is in the exercise of Now, the boundaries I am pushing in the asanas I am trying in the present tense of my current state of being.

This experience, too, will only serve to get me to another. It has no other value except in where I am and where I am going. I can assign certain values in it if I choose. I can create importance in it if I so desire, but those choices, too, are for me and only me to make. Things become important, moments gain value, only in the minds of the people who have them. Beyond that, they are nothing more than vehicles to another moment, another time, another choice.

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Firefighters are a Different Breed (An Ode to a Brotherhood)

Firefighter at DuskFirefighters are a different breed. They run to danger as most people run away. They leave comfort and safety to answer the call. They forget sleep to serve strangers, and they hold firm even when the strongest of foundations begin to crack. They aren’t just the men and women of your community, they are the best part of it. They live, they die, and they are remembered not just for what they do, but for what drives them to do it. They are the shining example of what can happen when tough, grizzled and hardened souls let the best parts of themselves seep out through the cracks, when an emergency reminds us all of the real purpose we serve.

Firefighters are a different breed. They are so imperfect that sometimes we forget how much we need them. They are easy targets when things don’t go right, when Murphy brings his law to bear, but they always come when called. They often go unnoticed until needed, but always are remembered in times of utmost desperation. They don’t hold you place or position in the world against you, and they will save you regardless of their own aches and pains, regardless of their limitations, regardless of who they think you are.

Firefighters are a different breed. When you hear their sirens and see their lights in your mirror, do not curse them. Instead, appreciate that sound as though it was the voice of God shouting in your ear. “Your brothers need us, and we are coming.” “Your sisters have called, and we are answering.” You do your part by safely moving out of the way, and perhaps saying a silent prayer to whomever you find peace praying to. The pass you, you go about your day, somewhere knowing that you are protected by men and women whose names you do not know.

Firefighters are a different breed. Most don’t want to die old men and women, having done what normal men and women do. They will resist the temptations of fear and will kick down your door if need be. They will stare their own demise in the face and never turn around. They will climb an infinite number of steps upward, to their destiny, not for a paycheck or fame, but because it is everything they are. When the buildings fall or the demon wins they do not regret their calling, but instead rise above the ashes as a reminder to their human family of our unique potential, of the power of that thing we call “love”, of the truth that mankind’s value is not found on a balance sheet but in our actions. They will don the threads of their mission, grab the tools of their trade, and die trying to save the very things you hold dearest.

Firefighters are a different breed. They die mostly anonymously, but heroically. Their brothers and sisters honor the flag-draped 106th Rescue Wing firefighters conduct drill weekend training [Image 10 of 13]box in which they will be laid to rest while realizing the limitless bounds of their vocation. We all cry a little in our loss, but know that the ground in which our brethren lay is hallowed ground, a bit of heaven brought here to remind us that man is so much better than he thinks he is, so much more than he may ever realize. When the crowd has dispersed and the piper has played his Amazing Grace, we go back to being who we are, brothers and sisters in battle, lovers of people, fearless warriors of a truth sometimes forgotten.

Yes, firefighters are a different breed. They aren’t heroes or special, they are just reminders of a something that resides in all of us, a piece of us living in someone else, an idea that will never die as long as mankind survives. They are the front line between what we fear and what we hold most dear, and they are the epitome of a helping hand. They remind us all of something we have inside us, of something we can all aspire to. That imperfect arm reaching through the smoke. Those steeled eyes glaring through the flames. That determined mind working to save you from the wreckage. So whether those things are literal or a metaphor, we all see ourselves when we gaze upon the sweaty, blackened, sooty face of a person we’ve never met, and may never see again.


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