“All this —

was for you, old woman.
I wanted to write a poem
that you would understand.
For what good is it to me
if you can’t understand it?”

— William Carlos Williams


“Imaginary gardens with real toads in them”

— Marianne Moore’s Definition of Poetry


“All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike — and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

— Albert Einstein


A belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses; it is an idea that possesses the mind.

— Robert Bolt, British Playwright



“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.

— Confucius


“Stupidity is also a gift from God, but one mustn’t misuse it”

— Pope John Paul II


“Self defense is the only honorable course where there is unreadiness for self-immolation.”

— Mohandas Gandhi


“There is no evidence that the mind exists beyond the brain.
Nor the soul.
Truth does not exist except as an abstract idea.
The belief that there are absolute truths kills people.
Fact is relative.
Faith and hope do not constitute fact.
Hope is the last resort against despair.
Most human beings hope for something greater than themselves.
Given that human beings are mammals, love remains a mystery.
I am not able to comprehend the idea that the universe originated
on its own.

— My Take On It


“What we call “crazy” is a malfunction of the brain.  It results in a gross incongruity between perception and present tense.  There are crazy people and insane people. Crazy people know they are crazy; insane people are crazy but they don’t know it.  Crazy does not mean zany.  A zany person is a funny person.  A crazy person is a sick joke of nature.”

–My Take On It


“Do not forget that true love sets no conditions; it does not calculate
or complain, but simply loves.”

— Pope John Paul II


“I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll,
no longer riding on the merry-go-round,
I just had to let it go.”

—  John Lennon, “Watching The Wheels”


“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”

— John Lennon


“How tragic it is not to give yourself permission to admit that you
are wrong, or that there is something you do not know.”

— My Take On It


“Whenever possible, write in the third person; live in present tense.”

— My Take On It


“Ain’t got no mun-ay.  Hey GI, you give to Mommy-San, eh?  Mommy-San  ain’t got none.”

— Elderly hootch maid, suspected VC, Cu Chi Basecamp, 1969


“I said money…
Money changes everything…
Ah, but everybody’s only
Looking out for themselves…
It’s all in the past now…
Money changes everything.”

— Cyndi Lauper


“Prayer is trying to communicate telepathically with an imaginary friend.”

— Bill Maher


“The death penalty is totally contrary to intelligence, rationality and religion which are supposed to be at least three things that differentiate human beings from the rest of the animal kingdom.   Never mind love.

— My Take On It


“The last thing my mother said to me was ‘SuSu, your life is a celebration of everything that is cheap and tawdry.’  I’ve always liked that, and I’ve tried to live up to it.”

— Susan Tyrrell, character actress, 1945-2012, who received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress in the 1972 John Huston film, “Fat City”


“I have told by several people that I am lacking in “Faith,” especially religious faith, and that is true.  I do not believe in magical thinking.  I do believe that the only thing I will have at the instant of my death, if I can hold on to it until then, is my personal integrity.  I do have a lot of Hope with a capital “H,” and I work at having a little charity with a small “c.”

— My Take On It


“Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts upon the unthinking.”

— John Maynard Keynes


Recommended War Protest Songs:

“John Brown”  Bob Dylan

“Sunshine”  Jonathan Edwards

“Fortunate Son”  John Fogerty

“Find The Cost Of Freedom” Crosby, Stills and Nash

“Where Have All The Flowers Gone”  Pete Seeger

“I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag” Country Joe and Fish

“For What It’s Worth (Stop Hey What’s That Sound)” Buffalo Springfield (Written by Steven Stills)

“Ripped Open By Metal Explosive”  Galt MacDermot from “Hair:  The Tribal Love Rock Musical”


Recommended War Poem:

“Grass”  Carl Sandburg


“Reading through these maticulously and occasionally laborious jottings (the diaries of George Orwell),  however, one cannot help but be struck by the degree to which he became, in Henry James’s words, one of those upon whom nothing was lost.  By declining to lie, even as far as possible to himself, and by his determination to seek elusive but verifiable truth, he showed how much can be accomplished by an individual who unites the qualities of intellectual honesty and moral courage. And, permanently tempted though he was by cynicism and despair, Orwell also believed in the latent possession of these faculties by those we sometimes have the nerve to call “ordinary people.”

— From “The Importance Of Being Orwell,” by Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair, August 2012


“Belief is the suspension of critical thinking”

— Spoken by Bill Maher, comedian, source unknown


“Belief is the death of intelligence”

— Robert Anton Wilson, author of “Cosmic Trigger”



“Every poet has trembled on the edge of science.”

— Thoreau