Monday’s Rune: Perfect People

logic died that day
you thoughtlessly
glanced away
and dropped the ball,

you crashed and burned,
faltered, spent,
stepped in it,
tripped over your own schwantz.

bathed in sweat and grime
you made this mess,
but you know what?

i stand with you
at your side
to share burdens.
what’s fallen to you is also on me
you kicked logic and reason
out the door, invited misery in.

let’s share glory,
pleasure, pain,
achievement, and failure
because we are us,
we are — not alone
with human foibles and frailties,
blessed by them, together.

Look both ways in love and friendship.
Take the tests and mind the gaps together.

Tuesday Rune: Health

Nine on Tuesday

It’s nine o’clock on a Tuesday.
The patients just shuffle in
with oxygen tanks and walkers,
some in wheelchairs, hoping
for something better
for medical science
to keep them in one piece
to keep us alive and well.

Now, for some, is the time
of politics over health,
religion over medicine,
conspiracy over science.

I look around
and I say to myself,
man, what are you doing here?

It’s nine in the morning
and I am just one
of these people.
Another old fart
or flatulentess
getting a test to tell us
what we already know.

Some day this shit’s
gunna kill us,
if our own stupidity
and pride
fail to do it first.

It’s a lovely, sunny, cool day
here in Temple, Texas,
for wondering, Bill,
what are we doing here?

So, we sit and wait,
neither early nor late,
to have some clinician guide
say it has not gone away.
“If you stroke out,
give us a call, and
have a nice day.”

Look both ways.
Understand life backward but live it forward for as long as you can.
Mind the gaps for the fountain of youth, the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and life everlasting. Amen.

U – Universal Pain and Suffering (NaPoWriMo #25)

I don’t think there is a rule, but I’ve read that poems should be about specific things. The universe isn’t specific. So how do I write about it and be specific? I decided to key on a quote from Aristotle: “The universe exists for, and shines through, the particular.” My attempt was to twist that concept into living in the present.



Suffering Universal
By Bill Reynolds

What means the vast universe?
From the largest to the smallest,
It’s the every and the all, interspersed.
There’s more, and we’re on the call list.

Where thoughts drift among the unknowable
It’s all there. Is our significance so minute?
Dare we, as we might; is it so uncontrollable?
Or shall we focus on the more acute?

A far-off star explodes. Planets vanish.
Did you hear it? Did you see it?
Stars in the sky, but maybe not.
We see the light. Is it still a vantage?

Death. Suffering. Pain. Sadness.
Broken bodies. Broken hearts.
Do you hear them? Do you see them?
It’s all there. Should we care?

Are my feet on earth? Can my senses touch reality?
The universe is there, but also here.
Not for its own sake, but for each of us.
Let’s focus on the small, while aware of it all.

I engage with my personal
Real world life as it truly can be.
Let me be in the universal here and now.

Until more of the changes happen,
Until the stars no longer shine,
Until we know it all,
Until we hear the universe breathe.


Right here; right now, bloom where you’re planted.
But, look both ways and mind the gaps.


Suffering, Love, and Creativity


I don’t think I suffer more than average. When I find the enthusiasm to write about myself, I’ll include those painful and dark times from my past, along with the many good ones. I will be unable to link any of it to my creativity because I see no connection.

WebI do believe that to a degree, suffering is optional. I’ve seen people suffer unnecessarily, and I’ve seen those same people get over it.

In my blog tagline, I intend rain as a metaphor for my dark side, but it could also be for pain, suffering, or difficulty in life. The reaching for the sky is either embracing our human dark side or recovering from painful times. Such painful times often come with lessons making them valuable.

Until I read Big Magic, I gave little thought to suffering’s association with creativity, talent, and giftedness. I thought Elizabeth Gilbert’s treatment of the topic was a bit condescending (maybe it’s not). Perhaps it’s me, but telling alcoholics (or drug addicts) to get over it has limited success. On the other hand, many alcoholics told me that the painful consequences handed them by life at the bottom was motivation to recover.

suffering6I think that what Liz bemoans is using suffering as justification to be creative, talented, or gifted, thus making an excuse for hanging on to the bottom. We shouldn’t suffer just because we think it improves our work. I’m concerned because I know people die on the bottom. I’ve experienced great things from living artists, suffering or not – nothing from the dead ones.

I don’t take the relationship between our creativity and suffering too seriously, but I am less apt to dismiss it as some others may do. Conversely, I believe talented people do not need to suffer to be talented or creative. I am a happy guy who loves dark poetry, stories, and the dark side of human nature. Following my review of a memoir recently, I told the author “This is a sad story. Your job is to make me cry.” I’m advocating emotional writing, not suffering, hers or mine.

I avoid pain and consider that normal. Just ask my nurses when I’m having surgery — higher is better. And don’t even talk to me about my dental appointments.


While researching this topic, I discovered that I’m not the only person who finds this subject interesting. The available resources on the topic are sufficient for a doctoral dissertation, followed by two books.

I found this link to a blog (here) and a video of a talk (here), both involving Sharon Salzberg. Both are pretty good and not too long (the video excerpt relates to happiness and creativity).

And who does not love this song by Don McLean? It certainly relates to suffering and art.


I also found a site (here) with a collection of information on this and associated topics. It links with other sites and pages for developing creativity and personal growth. Be sure to check it out if you’re interested in any challenges to a creative life.

“Creative artists are fifth in the top 10 professions with high rates of depressive illness. But does depression attract them to the job? Or does the job make them depressed?” “…the reality for the sufferer is that depression is so debilitating it’s impossible to create anything at all.” ~ Helienne Lindvall

suffer6To love what you do, and the love of doing it, even when it is gruelingly difficult (and maybe more so when it is) may be the answer. What I’ve read seems to recommend this. Love your art! Do it for the love of the work, the art, the creativity, the experience. As Stephen King says, do it for the “buzz.”

The concept of a reciprocal relationship with our art was also introduced to me in Big Magic. Doing the art because we love it and love the act of doing it, despite the challenges is one thing. The idea that our art can love us back took me some pondering. Liz Gilbert says “why not?” I’m on board with her. Why not? Maybe not always and forever (although our art will likely outlive us), but at least sometimes.

Gilbert balks at calling our work of art our ‘baby,’ but this seems totally normal to me and many others. We don’t equate art to human babies. But it does vocalize the love we may have for our hard work, often more than nine months worth.

From "Steal Like an Artist" by Austin Kleon
From “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon

In Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon provides two excellent graphic depictions. One describes the challenges and difficult process of creating from an idea. The other depicts that love relationship we have with our creations.

From "Steal Like an Artist" by Austin Kleon
From “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon

May you be lucky in your love with people and with your work. As Austin says, “Do good work and share it with people.”

Have a wonderful weekend and be happily creative to your heart’s content.

Whatever works for you
Whatever works for you