On New Year’s Eve 2015 By Bob Paris ©2015

Along this star washed road walking

We see all around the promise of

A vast and sacred sky and there

Angels wave to goddess and beyond

To sun and moon and cedar shadowed

Oh shining mourn gently touched

Sung out boldly from rippled memory

Thou shalt never find a heart so aflame

Burnt intertwine with this spectral oh

Remember oh remember

Oh do you darling mine

Magnificent gods race through frosted glade

Whispering bough dances with a kiss

While night lay bled and day crouches hidden

Behind racing tide before a door that opens

As love comes on a lingering flicker

Of perfumed and expectant wind

On New Year’s Eve 2015

By Bob Paris ©2015

Photo: Brian LeFurgey (taken as I was writing this poem)

Yonder Comes Solstice

As the Solstice approaches -- as the existential sand runs down the hourglass, as each beat of the heart echoes, one essential message resounds through the ages: Grab this moment. Hold it lightly in your strongest grip. Grasp it as you would a fragile newborn. Take it on your heart and into your lungs, this ever-quaking, ever-shimmering bit of sea glass discovered on the shifting shore of now.  So...

Right now, whisper to yourself ‘thank you for my life’ and in the coming hours say ‘I love you’ to at least ten people (or ten times ten times ten people -- and creatures alike). Open twenty doors for myriad strangers and thank them for being allowed to do so. Be kind to someone utterly different from you and then do it again and again. Give a street musician all the money in your left pocket. Hang up your phone and ask the person serving you a coffee or ringing up your groceries how their day is going. Kiss a baby. Watch a bird weave a path through the air you breathe; then remind yourself that this is the oxygen that keeps you alive. Embrace the wind and be ever grateful. After all: Carpe diem is only the beginning of the story. You, me and all of us -- we write the rest.

Today is the Day

“When the mystical enters, our surroundings become completely irrelevant. We can be in the busiest city or on the remotest farm, but when it happens, when we turn around and understand that those who use God to condemn us are more lost than we ever thought we could be, when we see that we have more gifts than we ever imagined, then the magic of our lives can truly begin. Let the cynics call us fools, the self-proclaimed saved call us sinners; that’s nothing except fear speaking through the mouths of the scared.

And we must turn our backs on fear. To do that we must, without apology or hesitation, turn our hearts toward love – love of others and more than anything else love for ourselves. The mission is: start now. Take everything you’ve ever been taught about who you are and begin to filter it through your heart. If your heart is hard (and given everything that most outsiders must fight against, who wouldn’t have to fight to keep their heart soft and warm?) begin today to turn it around. Today is the day.”

From: GENERATION QUEER by Bob Paris © 1998; ISBN 0-446-52275-9)