Excerpt from "The American Drone" collection of poems. (2012 release)

What if The Pursuit of Happiness…

Doesn’t lead to happiness?


As if satisfaction were self aware and self contained

Dressed in elusive promises

A kite let go of its string


Perhaps its happiness that pursues us

As we pursue love… life… simplicity.


Still we ramble onward,

Led by advertisements that enflame self hatred

Painted on the sides of buses, hanging above urinals,

Any place the eyes might land.

We’d loiter the moon if NASA would give us a ride.


We medicate the dependencies we create;

Dictate desire, then punish ourselves for the want.

We market our dis-ease with televised megaphones & celebrity snake oil salesmen

We determine self-made standards of beauty, success and wealth.

Then criminalize our own shortcomings.


It seems the more we have, the more we crave

The intoxication of plenty.

Has the freedom of choice

Auctioned our hearts

To prefab dreams?


Has it threatened to make us its slave?

We may find the road less traveled has been paved.


The less we need, the less we need.

A familial simplicity

Fully Present

One moment at a time.

Here I am.


In prevalent excess

Sophisticated greed

Living big in luxurious cages

Lined with credit card paper-thin walls


We consume,

We forget.

The depth of debt

Accumulates like heaps of garbage

Into jettisoned mountain ranges

No city wants to claim.


Does it require wine

To induce our sense of wonder?

Is childhood that long forgotten?


Can we still learn to savor?

To enjoy small things, all things

Giving praise to the depth of simplicity?


The pendulum swings

Upon Renaissance angel’s wings

Oscillates from one ditch to the next

We wear our brown cloaks

And glint from ancient texts


The death of idealism

The suspicious judgment of the senses

The fear of pleasure

The fear of delight

The ascetic crimes of what we’ve denied.


Transient pleasure like hobo trains

And unshaven faces without names


Afraid to partake

Afraid to admit

We float between

Indulgence and guilt.


We binge, we fast

Between desire and shame

Between fleeting moments

And eternities that don’t change


To consume or show restraint

We were created for abundance

But feel committed to our complaints


& I won’t feel guilty for great sex

Or culinary art

In celebration of the sensual, the spiritual

The holistic integration of every facet of our being


Jacob’s elevator travels both directions

In other worldly, unearthly stimulation.


We need stable peers from which to gaze confidently into the oceans

We need predictability

To remind us of what lies beyond horizons


The unruliness of mystery

The frenetic howl of spontaneity

Calls us beyond staid comparisons

Where we are free to plan or to enjoy

To abstain or to employ

To wave goodbye for now

Or to return with a binding vow.


So long as we are alive

The body and the spirit are one

And they both are “good”.


May we practice blessing

May we practice the “other”

May we love each as ourselves

And leave the earth much better than when we came.