Moments In Time

moment

 

Pick a moment

Any moment

Remember a moment in time

Can you hold it in your arms?

Put it in your pocket?

Or does it just float away

Time climbs a misty mountain

Then disappears into the sun

Linear history moving ever forward

Never to be kept in bondage

Moments come then fly away

On the wings of a butterfly

Reminding us of its beauty

That was here but now gone

Memory dust

Moments in time

A cosmic gift

Or a cosmic curse

 

 

A singer sings an unfinished song

Music with words not yet spoken

Dreams not yet dreamed fill up an attic

Until a moment in time is awoken

 

Overdue due books full of stories unread

Piled on the floor just gathering dust

Outside a playground abandoned of play

Swings dangling on chains full of rust

 

Moments in time can be sweet and real

Urging saline droplets of joy from an eye

Its no sign of weakness to express what you feel

It takes strength to let them see how you cry

 

An actors final bow

A dancers final leap

Our very first kiss

Moments to keep

Passed moments can only be held in our hearts

But never to discard

Hold on to those moments

No matter how hard

Cause together our moments make up who we are

 

Pick a moment

Any moment

Create a moment in time

Make the moment dance

And sing with joy

Before letting it go

On the wings of a memory

The moments are yours

The ones you make today

The smiles or the sighs

Waiting for us to decide

What they shall be

 

We are the sculptors of our moments in time

Choose how you want them shaped

And get started now

 

 

Perspective (An experiment in freestyle autobiographic redundancy)

picture frame framing gravel

 

A turtle is a lizard with a Winnebago on its back traveling the world like a gypsy stuck in slow motion

To an alligator an armadillo is merely an escargot on the half shell

To a lobster a shipwreck is an all you can eat buffet

Giraffes aren’t humble because it takes all day to swallow their pride

Why isn’t a chicken too chicken to cross the road

Thoughts like these rob me of sleep because of one thing

Perspective

 

Perspective is the way I view my world

My unstable thoughts may not impress

But my words are just a format

So I use them to express

The perspective of mind that’s not quite right

That’s why I write

 

Is poetry or is it prose

Or just gibberish

Who knows

Is it born of consternation

Making you tremble with trepidation

Or is it all just bullshit

Insanity going through gestation

 

 

Shit here he goes again breaking with tradition

No more rhyming no more rhythm this here is beat generation freestyle crap

The speed of dark seems faster than light when the fire goes out

Universal clout

Lightning is just a highly charged game of cosmic whack a mole

Thunder is the growling of a black holes stomach

How often does the periodic table come around anyway

Does the fortune teller see the future or just see your past in reverse

Why oh why do these ridiculous thoughts only come around when I’m trying to sleep

Ya know what kind of shit keeps my eyes open at night

Perspective

 

 

 

I take up space

I have the time

To write a poem

Does it have to rhyme

Sometimes they don’t

Sometimes they do

I don’t really care

Do you

Anyway its my perspective and I’ll cry if I want to

You would cry too if these thoughts were haunting you

Whether late at night or early in the morn

Perspective drives me crazy

Or is that just my norm

 

Here he goes again

Going off the rails on an Ozzie train of thought

Will this segment rhyme this time or will it be for naught

Some of us have known all along that we differ from the crowd

Some of us are brave enough to write it all out loud

Its what we do

 

The five steps of therapeutic grief as a way for us to fit in

We drink in de Nile

Angrily fight in our minds

Bargain with the voices

Cry when they win

Then give up trying to be sane and accept we’re not to blame

Its just a game

Acceptance is all we want anyway

Don’t judge us and we won’t judge you

Keep in mind there is power in numbers and we have secret warriors

You don’t want to mess around with those voices in our heads

So don’t try to burn down our forests or you will feel our wrath

Only you can prevent forest fires

We look at the world through our own prisms of one thing

Our Perspective

Accept it

 

An Attitude Of Gratitude

att

 

A person never stands as tall as when they bend over to help a child..

Megan Laurine Jaret

2/26/90-10/23/91

One of the unfortunate truths in life is that sometimes it takes the worst things happening to us to bring out the best of our humanity. However that’s no reason not to shine a light on the profound acts of kindness we as humans share with each other in times of catastrophic stress regardless of what motivated those acts. Every year on the anniversary of our daughter Megan’s death we commemorate her life in some way. Maureen and I both fear this date because it’s an unwanted anniversary, the loss of our baby girl. The immense pain we endured and the profound sense of loss haunts us to this day. So each year we share parts of our journey down into the depths of every parents worst nightmare in an attempt to express the need of organ donations as well as the need for all of us to have compassion without condition. This date also reminds of the best humanity has to offer, the selfless and compassionate acts of family, friends, and even strangers. Our story this year is our attitude of gratitude. It as not just an honor to a brave young child, her fight for life and the tragic fight of a mother and father, but it’s an opportunity to focus not on our loss but of our gain for having had Megan in our lives, and to have had a group of heroes alongside us the entire time. We have had the opportunity to share with so many special people throughout the ordeal. We will shine a bright light of gratitude unto all the people, all the heroes in our story who worked so tirelessly and selflessly to assist us through our struggle to keep our daughter alive and to help us both hang on to a thread of sanity.

We had just relocated from Manhattan to Belleville New Jersey searching out a nice community to raise our family. We were strangers in town with a newborn baby girl who would soon make us unwilling celebrities in the New Jersey town. It started with a visit to a pediatrician and ended in a tragedy, but as is usually the case if you follow the journey and not the destination you reveal the true heart of the story. During that often tumultuous journey there are a number of local heroes we want to recognize and have them be the focus of our anniversary this year. So here’s to our homegrown heroes….

The first star of the journey is the late Doctor Milton Prystowsky, a well known pediatric cardiologist. Dr. Milton sat with Megan for over an hour, the first time he met her, monitoring her heart rhythms because he believed he saw something wrong. He was the first one to listen to what we said about Megan’s discomfort. A very welcome comforting voice of reason and compassion after a slew of doctors who totally discounted our claims as what they perceived as first time parents over-reacting to a normal child’s illness. Most chalked it up to a new mother ranting and a new father whose only real medical knowledge was from what he watched on Marcus Welby or Medical Center. But she was much sicker than just an average childhood illness. With our instincts as parents we knew something wasn’t right and it was Dr. Milton who listened intently to all we said and incorporated our observations in his assessment. Megan suffered from myocarditis (an enlarged heart) and she quickly became a favorite patient of his. He would later spend hours saving her life after she had a stroke and cardiac arrest and even comforted us throughout the pregnancy and subsequent birth of our second beautiful daughter Kelllie. Unfortunately Dr. Milton has passed but he is forever woven deeply into our hearts and we are eternally grateful for all he did.

 

Having found out how ill Megan really was another reality was about to rock our world. Even with decent medical coverage the medicines, the therapy, the time off from work, and the costs of frequent doctor visits spiraled out of control. After a cardiac arrest and stroke we were informed Megan now had cardiomyopathy, a condition which is irreversible. Megan needed a heart transplant and we would need to be ready to at the ring of a phone call to rush to the hospital. A local business person, Scott Harvin who was busy growing his own printing business listened to our story and decided something must be done to help. Along with his childhood friend Chris Otazo Scott began a local fundraising campaign to assist us not only with our bills, which had already placed extra burdens but with emotional support. In the beginning Megan was on seven medications given eight times a day, so many intervals it allowed for little sleep if any as well as frequent trips to hospitals. Scott and Chris started the Megan Jaret Heart Fund which grew exponentially as more members of our town heard of our plight.

Before telling of the story of how the fund grew from a grass roots community effort to Megan becoming the 1991 New Jersey Police Benevolent Associations poster child it’s important to go back to two EMT’s who responded to a Sunday morning 911 call on October 7th. Megan’s condition was compromised further when she had a heart attack that morning which we heard in chilling real time over her baby monitor. A frantic call to 911 brought a rapid response from the Belleville Firemen Mark Rossi and Mike De Andrea, who reacted swiftly and decisively first stabilizing Megan then sweeping her into the ambulance and nearly flying away down the road. Maureen and I jumped in our own car and drove with great purpose to the hospital only to find the ambulance hadn’t yet arrived. Panic stricken and confused we were quickly triaged to a private room where we waited an grueling 45 minutes before finding out Megan had arrived. We would later find out that the firemen had stopped along the way to administer emergency cardiac stimulation. There is not a single doubt in my mind the two of them could think of little else then their own children while saving Megan’s life. Of course the pair of heroes would later humbly tell us they we only doing their job but they gave true meaning to above and beyond with their desperate efforts. No matter how big and strong you may be no one really wants a helpless child to be part of their job. So a special thank you to Mark and Mike.

Leading up to that time our needs both emotionally and financially grew significantly regardless of having the medical coverage Maureen had to leave her job and stay with Megan full time and I picked up extra jobs in restaurants to help make ends meet. The fund that Scott and Chris had started became another focal point of our existence. Belleville Police Lieutenant Jack Mailot had read the story of Megan in the Belleville Times and contacted Scott. He told him that he wants to be apart of the fund – he was a cancer survivor and there was just something special about Meg. He and Tony Weiners, also from the Belleville PD helped to heightened the awareness and assistance and suddenly a huge community that had no idea who we were had started rallying around this young couple with a catastrophically ill infant. Larry Rosenthal, a highly successful businessperson, and his associate Barbara found out about our plight and joined in. Larry became a huge supporter for us when he and Barbara focused on Maureen and I because they realized the caretakers so often go overlooked, especially when the one being cared for is such a beautiful and helpless child. It blew us away, and I admit to many hours of tears of gratefulness in their reminding us that we were human, that we were important, and that everyone cared for all three of us.

The need for Megan’s heart transplant also opened us up to an almost sub culture of people who called themselves “The Transplant Community”. There is a slew of people here who helped us emotionally including Rhonda Roby and Peggy Dreker (who’s own beautiful child had a liver transplant) from TRIOS (Transplant Recipient International Organization) and UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing). Along with the transplant community was our circle of friends. Our “Bridgebrook” family, Kathy and Bob Gandolfi, Mary Bay Pickett, Michael DiFrabizio, Lisa Grabas, and a host of others who were more than merely neighbors shared in our plight.

Megan got her transplant at Columbia Presbyterian, and her doctors were nothing short of amazing!! Drs Robert Michler, and Dr Linda Addonizio, who cried with us when Meg died never made us feel that our daughter was not their priority! The entire staff of Columbia most especially the extremely caring compassionate and professional nursing staff who always helped interpret what the doctors told us as well as just making us feel as if they were our family.

And most importantly our families, played a major role in helping us to not only get through all the insanity but to help us keep it!!! Maureen’s sister Kathleen and her cousin Laurine, and her best friend Diane, who helped to hold her up and give her the courage to get up and fight another day! Their love and support are still immeasurable today! Her brothers, Michael and Sean, both standing next to us helping to hold us up! Maureen’s Aunt and uncle Mel and Bill, who were by our side when we received the devastating news that Meg needed a transplant, they took our other family member, our little sheltie Kasey Jonze and gave him a nice home while we rearranged our lives. When we had to make a trek to Philadelphia to St.Christopher’s Hospital, my brother Randy and his wife Joyce followed behind us, they virtually never left our side, and helped us settle in our new temporary home while attempting to take our minds off of our peril as best they could. Philadelphia was extremely tough on Maureen who set up home in a chair beside Megan where she watched over her 24/7. After the first month I had to return to work where two of my best friends and co-workers, Wayne Lyons and Vicky Zonana kept me together until I could get back to Philly on the weekends. The two of them along with “Little David” another coworker who since passed away were my rocks and stood alongside me from the beginning of our ordeal. A frienship just as strong today as it was back then despite being miles apart.

Then there is our parents, who must have been going through their own agony watching there children suffering and in so much pain over their beautiful granddaughter enduring more pain in her short life, then they did in their lifetime!

We know that there are people all along the way that we did not mention, but it does not mean that their impact is any less for us! We are eternally grateful to all that had come to the aid of our little family and our beautiful little Megan!

Peace, Love, and Thank You

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Day I Met Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

lucy

 

Life in 1966 was so damn Norman Rockwell I feared the entire year would be featured in The Saturday Evening Post. But ‘67 arrived and the cold winter ushered in an ugly escalation in the Vietnam war combined with continued civil rights issues including segregation and more riots. Thankfully ‘67 also ushered in the Summer of Love, a glimmer of hope for humankind through the youthful exuberance of believing life can be great. A time of free love, free thought, and free minds. The long hair freaky hippies had taken hold in Haight-Ashbury and The Greenwich Village scene offered up drugs sex and rock and roll to all who dared to try. Dangling candy in front of so many impressionable naïve children. And I had one Helluva sweet tooth.

 

Having already been introduced to hops and malts and ready something more the promise of mind altering alternatives sounded far too attractive to pass up. “Here man, smoke this. It won’t make your stomach all bloated, no puking in the woods, no head spinning frenzy. Just a nice calm mellow high.” Why not? After all, its all natural. Hey if God didn’t want us smoking the stuff why did he grow it? Funny I thought about God because I would later find out that the summer of love would end my nagging sense of spiritual emptiness. It would fill needs I hadn’t even realized existed. It would also be the summer I met Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

 

There was a lot of great things about growing up on Long Island but perhaps one of the best and certainly the most game changing was the fact that we could scrape together a few bucks and take the train into New York City. It opened up a whole new world free of judgments where we were actually encouraged to let our “Freak Flags” fly. Turn on and tune in. Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, Stanly Owsley, and The Grateful Dead. They took over the roles formerly held by Roy Rodgers, Ward Clever, and the Kingston Trio. From Captain Kangaroo to Captain Trips at the roll of a joint. “Hey little man, you think that pot is making you feel good, get ready to grow up and go on a real trip. Just put this little dot on your tongue and let it melt your mind.” Mmm-mmm good!

 

My first venture into the drug netherworld was in Washington Square Park. What a cool place, jam packed with hippies singing songs, doing some sort of floaty dances, or just hanging out and smiling. A lot of smiling. My big brother had gotten us tickets for us to a place called the Bottom Line to see some dude named John Mayall. At the time I didn‘t know much about him other than hearing my brothers bluesy records by The USA Union and The Bluesbreakers. He also bought a tab of LSD for me to try. Even if I thought it was a bad idea, which I didn’t, I would have had to trip just to save face. We were with his three best friends who would be merciless when we got home if I wimped out. But I wasn’t bullied into taking it, I took it willingly. I wanted to see for myself what all the hype about mind bending sugar cubes the hippies were tripping out on. Didn’t realize I would be on a crazy ride without a seatbelt.

The park was a trip in itself. While I waited for the tab to kick in we wandered through the paths. A couple of dudes singing around a few guitar playing longhaired dudes with smiles glued to their faces. Not singing like Cumbaya, more like some folkie shit, some Dylan guy or something. Street actors, comedians, and plain flat out weirdo’s roamed the paths of the park and after about forty five minutes I broke out laughing. “What’s so funny little brother?” What’s so funny? How the hell did I know? What just because I saw some guy walk by carrying his head in his hands? Because the head was laughing even though it wasn’t attached? Well…..yea, so I laughed too. How am I gonna explain that, anyway? Some dude is walking around inside a Dali painting? Besides, when I looked back at the guy he was normal again “Fucking everything man. That dude over there just dropped his head on the ground and the fucking thing bounced back up. That’s what‘s funny!” The four of us started laughing with nary a one of us knowing why. Didn’t matter, the LSD runway was clear and we had taken off. Humor would be the fuel that drove our trip ship.

 

We walked around with what felt like surgically implanted smiles on our faces, so intense were those near creepy smiles that the next day my smiling cheek muscles would ache all day long. We laughed and watched. Peoples faces began melting, tree’s bent over to kiss the horizon and the blowing leaves made weird shapes that took to breathing. It was hard to walk because the ground kept moving. I was watching and laughing when suddenly I felt a hand of on my ass. A tiny little palm giving it a light squeeze. I cocked my head slightly not wanting to seem obvious which must have looked really obvious, but what I saw sent a rush of adrenaline from my toes upward stopping at the groin for a few teasing seconds. The hand belonged to a five foot two smiling young lass about three or four years my senior. That may not seem like very much older now but when your thirteen going on fourteen its an entire era. The amount of cred you got being with a sixteen year old at that age is astronomical. She had very long tightly curled jet black hair and was wearing a sort of gypsy dress. A flood of emotions fluttered through my body, passion, lust, sexual tension and awkward nervousness highlighted by the nagging sense that one false statement or move will reveal my junior status and negate all of those other electric plugged in and turned on sensations. She giggled softly so I looked her right in the eyes, smiled back and whispered into her ear something along the lines of “Gliddy gloop glooppy, nibba nappy noopie la la la low low” Startled she stopped in her tracks, looked up at me for four seconds before breaking out into an uncontrollable laughing jag. At first I was embarrassed, then slightly angered, until I suddenly realized she was tripping too and laughing with me not at me. An instant friendship was born. We were sharing the same bizarre plane in some alternate universe and frankly I forgot about my brother and his friends. I talked to her excitedly about the book “Siddhartha” and she shared the name of a new prophet named Carlos Castaneda. She opened my eyes by opening my mind and over the next year I would study a variety of spiritual alternatives. It was just tangerine trees, marmalade skies, me and the girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

 

Her name wasn’t really Lucy of course, and the Lucy in the Sky was more reference to LSD than anything else but suffice to say both Lucy’s and I had one of the most unforgettable evenings of our lives. Or at least I did. I gave away my ticket and told my brother I would meet him later. Lucy and I found ourselves laughing and crying and in some compromising positions. And smiling. A Lot of smiling. I called her Moss because we rolled around…..I called her Moss and that’s the name I’ll remember her by. It was a once in a lifetime meeting, a two ships in the night beautiful moment meant to share and enjoy before releasing the moment and returning to our previously scheduled lives. I had cancelled my subscription to Saturday Evening Post and graduated to Rolling Stone that night thanks to Moss. I mumbled something stupid like can I see you again but Moss had no intention of remaining in contact, she was just a traveler in time and space, another fucked up teen trying to make sense of a turbulent and confusion world. But I gotta admit, every once in a while I think about the night I met Moss and wonder, for a brief moment, what ever became of Lucy In The Sky.

 

Within The Shadow

shad

 

 

Sneakily obscure

Surreptitiously vile

Creeps in the shadow

Billowing bile

Take me to slaughter

Crushing my head

Pestle and mortar

I’m mentally dead

Cranial mutilation

Heart in a vice

Brain spliced in pieces

Begging for Christ

Rumination poised

Biding it’s time

Disaster in making

Drowning in slime

 

The shadow compulsion

Smothering the hopeful

Choking emotion

The obscure deadly murder

Intent unspoken

Torture the sick

Spewing profane

Driving the weak

Who cry out insane

Mindless abyss

Barren and void

Thoughts in the wind

Drive us insane

Always inside

Screaming my name

 

My silent companion

Leaves me abandoned

Lonely and stranded

Remanded disbanded

And branded

A loser

Shadow traveler controlling the ride

Destroying my pride

No place to hide

Ripping out segments of my self esteem

My dreams

And schemes

Life!

Never what it seems

Inside the shadows

Hidden destroyer

Paranoia employer

Mean and unkind

Scraping the insides

Of my head and my mind

Leaving me blind

And my sanity behind

Unhinged and crying

All the noise and the din

No escape from the shadow

Or what’s hidden within

 

 

 

Last Christmas

last

 

What if last Christmas

Was your last Christmas

Would it change the way live

What if last summer

Was your last summer

Would it change the way you love

What if last week

Was your last week

Would it change the way you laugh

 

Would it change your today

Would it change you’re here and now

Any today

Can be your last day

Your last tomorrow

Your last yesterday

Your last Christmas

Your last breath

Stand tall

Free yourself from the negatives

Let go of grudges

Grudges become exponentially heavier

To carry a grudge

Is detrimental to your posture

Let them go

Feel the freedom of peace

Enjoy life
Don’t live love or laugh alone

Brave each day with a smile

Wear it and share it

For anger is an infectious disease

Anger destroys

Don’t sacrifice the good in your heart

For empty words of anger

Feel the freedom of peace

Don’t wait until its yesterday

Yesterdays gather rust

Or get stored in the attic

Change the way you laugh

The way you love

The way you live

Today

Don’t live behind yourself

Live with love

Live with laughter

Live with life

But live

PEACE

 

 

 

 

Glassine Rabbits Hole

glassine hole

 

 

 

Life in his hands

World at his feet

Opened his arms

To greet his defeat

Gave up his life

Paid with his soul

Following rabbits

Down the glassine hole

 

 

 

Chasing the Black Tar Dragon

Down the glassine habit hole

The world below

Invites you down

Spins you around the gallows pole

 

His gimmicks are here in his pocket

In his fingers lie a loaded dart

Powdered advice

Cotton device

Mixture coursing straight to his heart

Thoughts dissolve

Life devolves

Its dark and vacant of soul

Same old tune

Needle and spoon

Down the glassine rabbit hole

 

Hallucinations seem lucid and real

Life without turmoil has an appeal

But better beware

Life is not fair

The hole will cost you your lust and your zeal

My friend lost his way

What price he to pay

One last shot for as his final meal

 

Deep into the hole he fell

Compass was not working well

Incoherent alignment

Solitary confinement

Until the needle pointed to hell

 

Despite what many feel addiction is not always a choice, too often it’s an escape from torment and hopelessness. Compassion is the best cure. Peace….