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Eye of the Optimist-Ode to Abelard

Ode to Abelard

Oh, how I love thee!
-too many ways to count
It is not your beauty alone
And I don't want to say, "I own"
No, it is because you are there
But never in my hair

We have drawn our boundaries
And they we respect
We each have our space
And so live in grace
He does his thing,
And I do mine
Yet our hearts e'er do entwine
Precious moments we do share
We pay attention and care

He's a positive force, whatever the weather
What's more, we have our meals together
Though tastes may differ 

Eye of an Optimist-poem "Day is Gray"


Gray is the colour of everyday--
Slow down, if you dare, and you can see it
When the engine is at rest and the buzz in your head quietened;
It is the shadows of your kitchen when you are washing up,
The stillness of morning after breakfast when you do not have a plan,
The moments spent alone waiting for the bus,
The ambiance of the fast food restaurant
And the hue of solo travel.

Gray, the painters will tell you, fills up huge portions of the palette
As it occupies the spaces between the other colours;

Eye of an Optimist-new poem

Art of Struggle
These days
I’m writing for a change
It used to be all picket and placard
There’s a need for all that
Of course
But it takes more.
No denying the contest—
The lines are drawn,
The writing’s on the wall
There has to be struggle
That said
There’s more to it
Than just leaning on the opponent,
Making counter claims and thrusts,
Simply opposing.
Commitment to resistance is reaction
Commitment to the new is pro-action.
Protest can become a way of life
It’s easy that way
Doesn’t take much thought
But where does it get us, really?

A Year of Living Positively-Day 345

I just posted invitations to my birthday celebration. I’ve invited around 25 people with whom I’ve been talking and hanging out with more than others this past year.
I recently wrote a new poem about aging, and it would be appropriate to post it here now. The metaphor is a blooming flower. Actually, I used this photo of yellow roses with the invitations. It is a photo of a bouquet that a class of students bought me on my first birthday spent in Busan.


To Bloom Again
The afternoons are warm

A Year of Living Positively-Day 303

The Peace Poems Busan event went well. Ten people showed and most presented something. It was a good atmosphere that invited discussion. Mostly, the people were friends of J’s and mine, but they are keen and politically committed to such activity.
We fell upon a nice space, after all. It is a space given over to community use and activism, with a café to help pay for it. We got it free today through a favour granted to a friend involved in setting up the event.
We all decided to make this a continuing project and we plan to carry forward by doing another such event next month.

A Year of Living Positively -Day 263

I spent a perfect day at the beach. It was sunny and hot, and the water was calm and cool. It was relaxing and refreshing. I had two swims, once in the morning then again after lunch.

I got there between nine and nine-thirty to sit in the sun then go for a 20-minute swim. Then I ate tuna fish and crackers while sitting on a bench under some trees. After eating, I went for a walk before deciding on a cafe where I could get some tea and stay out of the sun for awhile. There in the cafe, I finally wrote a peace poem.

A Year of Living Positively-Day 244

The Sound of Violence
Go away darkness
You’re not my friend
I don’t want to see you again
Every time you come along
We know that something is wrong
You sneak up while we are all sleeping
To ruin the world you go acreeping
The screams ring out and explode inside my brain
Here it is again!
The sound of violence.
Hollywood loves that roar
They produce it more and more
Guns ablazing
Property razing
Bodies falling, here and there
Persons mauling everywhere
It’s hard to tell who’s good or bad
And chaos makes the audience glad

A Year of Living Positively-Day 195

Writing for a Change
To you, history might have a different meaning
Not the perspective to which I’m leaning
You might want to point out great men
Or talk about facts that fate may open
I look at who has the powers
Who lives up in the gilded towers
And who is languishing under the whip
While some of others’ labor and blood sip
And out of oppression indulge in delight
Unfeeling champions of archaic birth right
Allied in defense of the right of might
I write for a change
I know what you do
--It’s the same ol’ same old

A Year of Living Positively-Day 194

It has been a nice, slow day. I have done a bit of writing and some housework. I took a short nap after dinner. Why push time along faster than it has to go? I am in a hurry to make the most of my time, but I do not want it to pass quickly!
I heard an interesting morsel of TV drama script today and it got me thinking. The program is a new series about a guy who has been released after 22 years in prison. He is 40 years old when he gets out. In one episode, he talks about his perception of time as a solitary prisoner in a cell without windows on death row.

A Year of Living Positively -Day 114

It happens sometimes that I recall how many bakeries in South Korea do not make baguettes. When I think of buying some bread, a little refrain about this problem often comes to mind: "Paris Baguette has no baguettes." There is a major franchise named "Paris Baguette", and based in California so I believe, that has many stores in South Korea. In fact, there are such stores in most urban neighbourhoods. Despite its bold name, I have yet to find a baguette in one. The idea that a bakery with "baguette" in its name would not offer baguettes is kind of humorous, at least on the days when one is not too frustrated at the lack of real Western wheat bread in this country.

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