Our Family Biographies

Give advice judiciously.

Condemn, and anger slams a door.

Speak platitudes and the words evaporate.

Give advice judiciously.

Listen, and you may understand.

Speak with gentleness, and find an open heart.

Show the path along the way

And, offer your hand to be a guide,

But give advice judiciously.

Portrait Vlll 1/2 [thanks to E. E. Cummings]

Gregory Peck’s

an actor

who is that person

rescuer of the innocent

and listener to

a child speak truth

just like that he knows

lawyer, priest, and deep eyed lover

God

he is a good man

and

what i wish is

to find a voice like his

speaking to us now.

My self, my tree

You developed from a seed

Blown from a larger tree;

Your roots reached deep in the earth

Searching, searching for nourishment.

Your branches spread, extended

Reaching out for light.

Now in each season, my self, my tree

You change, you are transformed,

Yet you are the same.

In the spring warm color touches the tips of your branches,

Tiny pale green leaves appear

And fragrant flowers bud,

Waiting, waiting to bear fruit;

And later when comes September’s chill

With each day’s setting sun,

Your scarlet and yellow leaves

Fall to the ground.

Your trunk grows a wider ring,

As color fades, your branches thin.

Yet a few brown leaves still cling

When winter glazes each frozen twig.

What will happen now, my tree ?

Will some sudden storm cause you to break ?

Or will a lightning bolt

Split you to the core ?

Will you then crumble

Or be cut down ?

Or will you stand straight and tall

Still planted in the ground ?

Or lying there upon the earth

Give nourishment, and rebirth ?

Pink is for a newborn babe

with tiny curling toes,

A baby girl whose daddy thinks

She’s “mighty like a rose.”

Pink is for a little girl

dressed in party clothes,

A flower girl who holds

A basket, fragrant with petals of a rose.

Pink is for her birthday,

Ice cream in a dish,

Sweet frosting on a birthday cake,

Candles to make a wish.

Pink is for a young girl

ready for a ball,

Blushing cheeks and flowers,

She’s standing in the hall;

Wearing a gown of silver,

shining pink and blue,

Will he ask her for a dance

And make her wish come true?

Power absolute — dictator, tyrant,

No balance there

No check on their abuse;

Torture, murder, and destruction

Outside of humane law.

Their evil is unbound.

Helplessness in tyrant’s power,

Silence, enslavement of the soul,

Yet even in the abyss

A few find courage to oppose;

They gain strength in unity,

Have power of their own. 

One discipline enhances another.

I learn to write,

To put down ideas in good form

I learn to watch my rhetoric

But most of all, I learn to communicate meaning with words.

One discipline enhances another.

I read literature to enlighten myself

And find models.

I see how others use words

To paint pictures, to create images

Through reading, the skill of others inspire me.

One discipline enhances another.

I learn storytelling to communicate

with the spoken word.

I use words,

But voice, gesture, manner,

And eyes send forth a message too.