Decide to Forgive

A friend gave me this poem the other day. It came from a Dear Abby column, written by Jeanne Phillips:

Decide to forgive
for resentment is negative,
resentment diminishes and devours the self.
Be the first to forgive,
to smile and to take the first step
and you will see happiness bloom
on the face of your human brother or sister.
Be always the first
Do not wait for others to forgive
for by forgiving
You become the master of fate,
the fashioner of life,
the doer of miracles.
To forgive is the highest,
most beautiful form of love.
In return you will  receive
untold peace and happiness.
And here is the program for achieving
a truly forgiving heart:

SUNDAY: Forgive yourself.
MONDAY: Forgive your family.
TUESDAY: Forgive your friends and associates.
WEDNESDAY: Forgive across economic lines within your nation.
THURSDAY: Forgive across cultural lines within your nation.
FRIDAY: Forgive across political lines within you own nation.
SATURDAY: Forgive other nations.

Only the brave know how to forgive. A coward never forgives. It is not in his nature.



Here is a poem that I wrote inspired by Joan Chittister’s wonderful book on aging, The Gift of Years.


Seeing the inner meaning of things

the unseen threads –

the crow’s message

the tree’s surrender

the ant’s labor

the father’s kiss-

renders me silent in misty wonder

Poem About Stew

I never intentionally write poetry, but sometimes it just happens as I write my personal journal. Here is one I’d like to share with you:

I am like a stew thrown together
Meat, spices, vegetables – by handfuls –
Each having a flavor and meaning of their own.

A pot that is me
full of the daily nitty-gritty
chores, events, people,the touchables and the untouchables.

I have learned in my years
that, given time,
all blend together into “savory”.

Needed is time for the stew to stew,
This is the great tribulation.

Costa Rica Pilgrimage – Day 3

Day three in Costa Rica

It is 5:37 am. We began the day with a walk in the rain forest. While taking a boat ride on the Sarapiqui River, I took notes of the wildlife and the teachings of our leader, Mario.  I note:

Swallows flying over the water grabbing insect snacks…A black vulture and a turkey vulture, more common in Costa Rica……Iguanas with redish comb along its back and striped black and gold tail. The male hangs out in the tree tops attracting females that come in droves of 20 to 39, his harem. Then they go lay their eggs in the sand. The male turns completely orange when in heat and is very visible. The female turns dark brown like the sand where she lays her eggs…..The Anhinga is a snake bird without much oil on his feathers. Makes it better for diving than other water birds like our loon. They stab the fish with their sharp beek, come up out of the water, toss the fish in the air and catch it in their open mouth and swallow it whole…..Longhorn bats press against the dark bark of a tree and are almost impossible to see…..The flycatcher has a breast of bright yellow like a lemon…..Jesus Christ Lizard – bright green with little turquoise spots, can “walk on water”…..Black turtle sitting on a branch with its head held high…..A green ibis….. Capach is a cotton wood tree whose insides were once used to stuff pillows and life-jackets…..Three howler monkeys, way up in a tree’s branches. Only the males howl for territory or fear or for breeding. They are tranquil, live on leaves and fruit. They live in troups of 10-25 led by the alpha male…..Bees- most bees in Costa Rica are stingers, some African killer bees have come to Costa Rica and are moving north, now in Texas.

Mimicry is camouflage an animal uses to attract its food or to prevent being food for another.

Later poem:

Not an emerald lizard nor a honey bee

Not a golden hot iguana nor the howler monkey

Not the iguana, the snake nor the green ibis

Not the long nosed bat nor the spotted sand piper

Not, not, none of these escape the eyes of the Great Beholder.

Not the woman with hair of Medusa nor the Italian planner

Not the meteorologist nor the nurse practitioner

Not the social worker nor the teacher

Not the chemical engineer nor the artist from the north

Not, not, none of these escape the eye of the Great Beholder.