Stuff I’m guilty of


• On Writing Poetry

Poems – arranged alphabetically, excluding ‘a/the/that/this etc.’ from the title start

9/11/2001 – remembering that terrible day in 2001.

• à Dieu – sort of about, among other things, Impressionism

A little lie is not too bad a thing – humor about effecting what people say about you after you die

A river flows to the sea – death is the mercy of God

Alas for we who remain – how to justify sacrifice to those you leave behind?

All grown up – you do your best for your children, but there comes a time…

An early fall walk in the evening – when I felt like some wild grapes

• And each duly sets – on our relationship with the Covenant

And me, who could start an argument in an empty room – learning humility

• And so bound – on our relationship with the Covenant

• And so we will – a love poem for my wife on the sadness of our rare separation

And that’s just you – a poem for my wonderful sister

• Another day of Fasting – on participating in the Bahá’í Fast

As my friend lay before me dying – free will, does it exist? Beyond the grave?

As it will – what to do when tragedy strikes

• As should we all – on war, about the death of the last combatant of World War 1, the Great War

• As were they – spirits set free

At a cafe, watching – there is hope in the younger generations

• Atomicly – how we misunderstand our relationship with God

Aunt Vi – a beloved and remembered grandmother figure

Behind us only justice – the world is in travail

Big Thetas, Omegas, and O’s – a mathematical rationale for not sweating the small stuff

Blessed be the hand that slips –  about memories

• That boulevard – a story of overcoming African culture clash

Breath – a serious attempt at a real haiku

The calculus of feeling – a poem on addiction

• The candle – sacrifice

Certitude – for my persecuted  Bahá’í brothers and sisters in the Middle East

• C’était à Amboise, en Touraine, en France – a love sonnet to my beautiful wife

Cheers – my relationship with my father

• Chemo Café – a poem by Julia Dean-Richards; re-posted with permission.

Christmas 2 a.m. – fond family memories

The church on the hill – my relationship with the Catholic Church and my father

• The circle – the spiritual qualities of a circle; (not near as boring as you’d think)

• Closer to you now – the joy of love

Comes an age – the transition of life as we get older, and the sadness that accrues

The Copper Tree Tops – by Lyn Tolar; on fasting

The curious thing – self-awareness

Dance – pure radiant joy

That day Spaz tried to kill me – on the death of a dear friend

Detachment – controlling what you can, releasing the rest

Dignity – hanging on to warmth

Divorced from reality – trying to deal with the inexplicable

• Do you? – growing older, reminiscing; co-written with Julia Dean-Richards

Do you know a gardener? – on the sometimes pain of relationships

Doesn’t it? – on disappointment, as we grow older

Doggerel – which I assure you it is

Do I even want to? – while the grief of losing Lyn, my wife, ever depart?

• The doily – about a small treasure handmade by my mother

Don’t grock shibboleths, do you? – on self-esteem

Enough – love is the protection from fears

Entropy – the passage of time

Every truth – achieving a state of grace

Everyone should know where they come from – a story of Dharaa

• Eye-to-eye – a story of culture shock

Faith – for my wonderful wife, Lyn

The fantasy is over, dear, – the heart of love

Fertile ground – when children grow up

First – life can be painful, but that is what makes us, us

• The first of forever – a commentary on the story of Abraham and Ishmael

• Fix – dealing with a broken heart

Floating – dedicated to my wife, Lyn after a trip to Sedona, AZ

• The flow – a collaborative poem by the PenDragons, on freedom

Forbidden – on free will

A force in some known direction –  learning humility

Free to fly – the near death of my father

• From the cradle – a poem written using only the most basic 100 words of English

The gardener’s heart – roses, bloody roses. And yet…

Gadfly – developing compassion as protection from suffering

The generation of love – the world is in travail and we are awaiting a change

George Harrison’s 12 string Rickenbacker – memories and aging

• Ger tzedek – death and dying; another poem on the passing of Carl Russo

Go before me – for Lyn; I never want her to miss me

Gone in the blood – remembering my cousins

• A grasping man – on pain

Hamlet – a third poem based on the postulate, “I think, therefore I am.” See also “Philosophy” and “Overrated”.

Hats did –  a comment on politeness

He was wearing his regimental tie – a memory from long ago

Her gifts – for Lyn and my darling wife’s gifts

Here, for you – when I was burying my father

Him, you, them – self-deception while being open and honest about addiction; now, there’s a trick!

Holiday traditions – my sister’s, and my, memories of Christmas

The Holy Mariner – The Flood, Noah, and the eternal Covenant of God.

Hope Marse Robert’ll speak for me – a sad story from the end of the Civil War

I am no handyman – a poem about my father

• I am not here, but I will always be there – a poem of the House of the Báb

I awoke with a poem in my hands – on intention

I have, my love, but one wish – joined in eternity with Lyn, my dear love

• I just can’t till this land no more – learning to let things go

• I remember him best shyly smiling – on the passing of Mark Higgins, my father’s best friend

I set out to write a book – on regret

• I still would have said it that way – moments that catch you unawares

• If only – a mathematical take on honesty

• If you are reading this, then… – for those who sacrifice for us

I’m jealous – on being reminded of friendships you screwed up

I’m tired of all this indecision – on self-awareness; who’s in charge?

• Immolation – for my Bahá’í brothers and sisters in Iran

• In a pentacle – the magic of sacrifice, love and teaching

In a smithy – sacrifice and submission

• In ev’ry degree – a love sonnet to the love of my life

In exile – the exiles of Bahá’u’lláh and a lesson for the fast

In the eye – controlling swirling emotions

In Normandy, in November – saved by a stranger

• In Rwanda, colline is French for hill – for victims of violence

In that softened light – recognizing finality

• In the war of my own succession – a little fun at the expense of the transitory nature of fame

• In the wind – a poem pledging support to a friend

In this glass – on the nature of forgiveness

• In truth we lie – the complexities of honesty

The irony of elemental questions – why do we not stay true to our nature?

An issue of privilege – the joy of loving someone for their true self

• It does, the deeper, the harder – the lover’s puzzle, how do you know when you are in it?

It goes with the territory – growing old is a bitch

It is in the owing, I think – the debt of a lifetime, especially to our children

It is in the quiet, – co-written with Michelle Foronda, about her empty family home

It is not like this, death – time and its relationship to us in death

It may be too late – regret is a heavy burden, especially for the old

• It truly doesn’t – on detachment

It’s theirs, after all, and paid for – about the shrine of a mummified woman

It’s long been said – what poems say about the author

Jogging – on the power of negativity

• La Jornada del Muerto – empathy for those struck by depression or sadness

• July – on aging and dying; always fun topics

Just three words – losing yourself

Just what time is it, anyway? – good advice from a friend

• Keeping count – for the Dawnbreakers

Knowledge and volition – the accounting of folly

• The knowledge of graves – on the desecration of the Grave of Quddús

Labour Day – memories of a long time ago…

Lake 2 ICU – Dealing with my darling Lyn’s stroke…

• Last nights – what do martyrs think of, the night before?

Laugh out loud – one of my “Epitaph Duet” poems.

A lesson in photography – the battle between light and dark

Let go –  a prayer of gratitude and submission

The Letters of the Living – on the sacrifice and strength of the Báb and the Letters of the Living

Life lesson – life is about passion, not perfection

Like all illusions, a good trick – trying to understand death

Like being there – memories of my mother and her love for baseball

Linger a while—thou art so fair! – the hurt by loved ones is the worst

Long ago – about praying

The long wait – what cancer can do to a family

Long may she reign – the passing of Rags the barn cat

Looking down – why I love to cycle, sort of

• This long, long night – about sleepless nights and receiving comfort

• Louder – on submission to the Will of God

Lucinda, the second Lenora – for my wonderful sister

• The magic of old New Orleans – faith, wisdom, trusting in God

The math of love – remembering the Covenant of God

A mathematical kōan – are we separate or alone?

Memories of an altar boy – a story about traditions

Mercy me – the need for the mercy of God

Meta, an abstraction of the part – knowledge and humility

The Mill Manager’s House – a memory from my home town

• The mirror – what is reality?

• The moonlight sonata – unity, through the lens of Beethoven’s masterpiece

• More or less, usually less – the paradox of freedom

Morning coffee – a PenDragons collaboration; attraction and sparks over coffee

The music we make together – you are never so old that you do not worry about your children

My cataract surgery – reflecting on my wife, Lyn’s, surgery

My epitaph – another of my “Epitaph Duet” poems

• My hero – on schizophrenia

The next after another – the difficulty of giving service to mankind

That next one we take – we have lived only one truth, our life

• Nibbling – the slow, steady onslaught of depression

Nobody gets to kill you but me – a sister’s death

Nod ‘morning’ when you get to Bodie – time catches us all

Non-parental events – when you find out a parent or parents are not yours

Not by half – on the passing of Mirza Mihdi, the Purest Branch

Not so different, he and I – where angels do not fear to tread

Of those who are grateful – being loved, supported and loved by my wife

• Oh-so-softly – letting go the fear of aging

Oh the parent who does not know this – being a parent is hard

On a skidding bike – sometime you can decide to embrace a fall

• On this bridge, as far as I can see – when we fail our principles

One by one by one – about humility and grace

One fall drive in the Poconos – a moment of relaxation and relief

One-hit-wonder – you never knew when you have it so good

Once skiing – on detachment

The orange tree – the martyrdom of the ten angels of Shiraz

• Overrated – a second poem based on the postulate, “I think, therefore I am.” See also “Philosophy” and “Hamlet”.

Pain – chronic pain is a true misery. By my sister, Cindy Hayden.

Pain in a blind eye – another mass shooting and I am sickened by it. Again…

Patrick/Marian Burnett’s “After Seven Years” – to my departed friend, Patrick Burnett/a poem by Marian, Patrick’s wife.

A peaceful forest – contemplation and submission of the end of things

Perhaps famous then – to quote the Beatles, “I want to be a paperback writer…” Well, sort of, anyway.

• Philosophy – a first poem based on the postulate, “I think, therefore I am.” See also “Overrated” and “Hamlet”.

• The phoenix – worrying about those we love

Please – a poem dedicated to the Yarán

Pray – how easily superstition can reign us

The princess’ story – the destruction and pain of child abuse

That privilege – growing older, remembering shoveling snow after a storm

• A quiet tale of a scalpel and a brush – on want and addiction

• The quilt – on sharing ourselves and teaching our love

Rags, long did she reign – my reaction to smug superiority in the face of tragedy

Rag-tag relics on a rag-tag road – teaching what we believe in

• Recovery’s a bitch -a poem on addiction

Rend – the meek shall inherit the earth

Repeat, as necessary – classic depressed avoidance technique

• The rest is not silence – on death and redemption

The ride – life choices

Roar – on the passing of my father

The Royal Stores – memories of growing up in a small town

• The sad, dark tragedy of Fritz Haber – the tragedy of willing to pay any price for knowledge and advancement

Sailor’s Creek – the end of the US Civil War

• Salt of the earth – a lesson in generosity

Schizophrenia – a terrible disease to be burdened with

Self-portrait – a rather obvious title, one would think

That selfie you took – we, like every generation, are fading away and don’t know it

• Seven rocks in the garden – a poem for the Seven Martyrs of Tehran

• Shame at the grocery store – the terrible way we treat the poor

She said she said – a double layered poem about communication and understanding

• Shouting – the language of actions

So what then – failing to take the chance

Soaring – spiritual transformation

• Solo goes solo with nothing – about my son; growing up, love

Some haiku – love and life

Something to hold on to – losing a loved one

Sometimes, it’s all you have – the pain and worry of raising children

Soulfullness – living in the scale of life

Soulless – because you have one does not mean you deserve one

Spiced, as it were – the recipe of my life

The steed of the Valley of Love is pain – on the ferocity of love and faith

• Still, as the moment lingers on – self-destruction is never far away

• Storm spotting – dealing with depression

• Straight for the heart – on domestic violence and protecting yourself; also guns

• Surely, it’s both – the irony of sadness

Tá brón orm – sorrow is on me; a poem about Lyn, my wife’s passing

• Talking With Mr. Mahrami – about the passing of a Bahá’í martyr

Take me—a prayer – on longing and the comfort of prayer

• Tell me again, will you? – persistence is more important than failure

Thanksgiving Day blues – compassion for those who do evil

• That terrible lover – a poem on addiction

That tree – a poem for and about my father

There – a poem about my sister, Cindy Hayden

There, but for the grace of God… – questioning questioning

This time it would be different – the hope of redemption after failure

This too grew in the telling – my love of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings

• To see all the better – death and dying; on the passing of Carl Russo, a dear friend

To springdom come – the qualities of spring, sort of

• To the test – on the Martyrdom of the Báb, the Prophet-Herald of the Bahá’í Faith

To those I should have loved more – on forgiving yourself

To trust – on being detached, but not emotionally distance

• Too close for comfort – disunity can happen; how to deal with it

Transcendence – the result of pure love

Trompe-l’œil – who we are

• True lessons – a (hopefully) humerus look at pain

Until we’re all together again – the joy of Christmas with family

• Upon a time – a memory from when I lived in Africa

Ups, ups and more ups – on acceptance of your life

Us Anonymous – on detachment, sort of, I think

Vision – understanding the world

• Vocatus – on depression and surviving it

The warp and woof of creation – on our place in eternity

• Weights – the burden of emotional memories

The well of fire – on submitting to the will of God

What I owe – sharing what you are

What matters – remembering my mother; where did our politeness go?

• When it was just a game – on divorce

When you walk alone – the demon we meet is us, our egos

• Where else? – about the suicide of Nabil, author of The Dawn-Breakers

Where the light dazzles – on the loss of my darling wife, Lyn. What are we really?

• Where you draw your line – a meditation on life

Who teaches, learns – there’s truth in that!

Who will pray for me? – dealing with the pain of raising children

Why, oh why – a villanelle on breaking up

Will – looking to the future

With a little love – for those who endure

 Worthy – one perspective of the turn of the 21st Century

Words, they hear you say them – the power of the words of God to move us

• You Ulysses – a poem about parenthood

Zodiac – thoughts on the idea of fate

2 responses to “Stuff I’m guilty of

  1. How many have I read so far. Just having a feast reading poems…

    • Thank you so much! I’m actually in the middle, well, start really of starting from the very beginning and revising everything, making the style and punctuation more consistent. I am very happy that you are enjoying them and humbly sincere when I say thank you.

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