Tag Archives: Advice on Life



Divorce yourself from worry—that tangled skein of stress.
Most of the problems in your thoughts are ills you can’t address.
Tasks collect in clusters that dry out in the sun,
so concentrate your efforts on things you may get done
and shove the others in a drawer or stack them on a shelf
where they can be seen by no one but yourself.

Don’t let their hidden status be cause for delay.
Accomplish at least one task every single day.
Thoughts peripatetic flit from thing to thing.
Nothing is accomplished by resolve on the wing.
Make a list and stick to it. Tick off what you have done,
and then forget your worries and go and have some fun.

Life’s not just for doing or accomplishing or working.
Life can be made richer with a little quirking.
Loosen up your hairdo. Paint your toenails blue.
Turn around and talk to strangers in the movie queue.
Take some time off from your work and plan a small vacation.
No telling what adventures lurk in a new location.

If you’re wishing for excitement, it won’t come to you.
There’s so much more that can be done, and done begins with do.
In between the “musts” of life, inflict some “want to do’s”
and make them happen. Take a chance. What do you have to lose?
The longer that you wait, the more life becomes a ruse.
Have the courage to go out and live the life you choose.

Prompt words for the day are delay, cluster, peripatetic, skein and divorce. The painting is acrylic on canvas board. I just noticed I didn’t sign it.

Your Life’s a Journey: Wordle 510, July 18, 2021

Your Life’s a Journey

If you feel that life’s a game—
pictures leaping from the frame, 
its lyrics just a canned refrain,
events linked like a preformed chain.

If what you do seems like a dream,
your actions not what they may seem.
If you find yourself receding
where you’d prefer that you were leading.

If you’re forced into a space
where you seem to vanish without a trace,
just reach out and touch the screen.
Apply your shoulder. Push and lean.

Break out from where you feel you’re trapped.
Rip up the course that fate has mapped.
Shed its pattern. Jump off its shelf.
Live a life you’ve planned yourself.

Your life’s a journey you’re mean to plan
and if you try, I know you can.
Walk the road of your own choosing.
Any other way is losing.

Prompt words for Wordle this week are: chain, lean, game, screen, seem, recede, space, frame, dream, lead, shed, refrain.

Making Hay

Making Hay

Take dinner at your leisure but with breakfast please make haste
lest one minute of your day you should think to waste.

Contemplate your choices. Delegate with care.
Of capricious working mates, I warn you to beware.

If you nurse idle habits, they’re sure to grow and thrive,
so don’t rest on your laurels while you are still alive.

Life is given as a gift so please don’t abuse it.
What a waste of riches if you choose not to use it.

Prompt words today are breakfastcapricious, hastedelegate and nurse. If you don’t understand the  allusion in the title, go HERE for enlightenment. Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash. Used with permission.

Preaching to the Preacher

Preaching to the Preacher

When your downside is upside and all’s in arrears,
there’s a secret I know that will dry up your tears.
It’s much easier, really, than you might suppose.
Just find a good spot and enact your repose.

A hammock will do if you can’t find a field
of wildflowers, grass or sand dunes that yield
to the shape of your body to comfort what ails you.
Take whatever place to lie down that avails you.

Then when your nestling-in is all done,
let the storm of your worries dissolve in the sun.
Swing in your hammock or roll in tall grass.
Let what happens happen. Just let it all pass.

Refuse to let problems consume and astound you.
Take heed of the beauty that is all around you.
Every moment of every day,
choose what holds on and what slips away.

Life deals you the hand and sometimes it’s unlucky,
but yet if you’re hopeful and cheerful and plucky,
You can determine what you do with your hand.
 The end of your story has not been preplanned.

You may draw, you may hold, you may just walk away
in search of a better end to this day.
Bad fortune is but a rough interlude
What remains with you is your attitude.


Irony is us. The minute I finished writing this poem, my doorbell rang. It was Raquet Club security with a letter that I have to tear down the small storeroom I built on the wall between my upper and lower lots because it violates the easement!  I can’t believe it that I’ve spent thousands of dollars to create a beautiful space in lieu of the neighborhood dumping ground and they nitpick over my attaching a tiny storage building to my own wall between two properties that I own! 

Tranquila, tranquila,” Yolanda directed, as I raged––and then I suddenly remembered the words I’d just written and not even posted yet.  I was going to entitle this poem “Preaching from the Choir,” but I think I need to change the title to “Preaching to the Preacher.”  I’m going to post it and go lie in the hammock for awhile.


Prompts today are storm, upside, repose, comfort and tears.



One foot, two feet, doing fine.
Do not stray over the line.
This childhood game of balanced action
far in the past, a mere abstraction—

a metaphor far from unique
for the balance that you seek
as you advance as you are able,
moving forward, sometimes stable

on two feet. balanced and steady,
resting there and getting ready
for that time when one foot only
rests on firm ground, feeling lonely.

One leg, balanced in the air
is enough to curl your hair
but two firm squares are there ahead,
so you hop up to them, instead—

balanced on one foot or two
in each adventure offered you.
So life advances, hop after hop
No choice except to never stop.


Prompt words today are forward, unique, ulotrichous (curly-haired), abstraction. Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash. Used with permission.

Free the Birds

Free the Birds

“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” a psychic said to me.
Then my psychiatrist said the same, but for a bigger fee.
When people preach to me like this, I get set in my ways.
I’m never going to take advice from folks who spout clichés!

The birds that I have had in hand number very few.
I can’t recall a single time I combed a bush for two.
I have no wish to take a walk in another’s shoe.
I’m simply loathe to think in adages as others do.

I’ve never thought the grass was greener in my neighbor’s yard,
and spouting other people’s words does not make you a bard.
I don’t think quoting adages makes us any wiser.
If my neighbor’s lawn is greener, I’ll just use more fertilizer.

So please don’t give me your advice using a hackneyed phrase,
for all this glib advice just sorta puts me in a daze.
And if you simply must advise, my character to hone,
please do me a big favor and just use words of your own!!!

For Thursday Inspiration: Free

Cyber Catastrophies: Sleep on It!!!! NaPoWriMo, Apr 22, 2020

Cyber Catastrophes

Irritated with your friend
and caring not whom you offend,
after you’ve had a bit to drink,
decide to tell her what you think?

Computer keyboard there in sight,
so you decide it’s time to write
an email, filled with words that rend.
You reel them off and click on “send.”

I cannot stress strongly enough
how much you’ll rue your rude rebuff.
It takes long years to make a friend
but one cruel quip for trust to end.

It’s hard to choke back how we feel,
but arguments on even keel
work better than a sharp retort
after you have had a snort.

So this is the advice I’d give.
It’s easier to just forgive
Than to retract one angry word
after it is seen or  heard.

If you can’t say something nice,
best you take this sage advice.
Before you go and leap on it,
grab a pillow and sleep on it.

For day 22 of NaPoWriMo 2020, we are to create a poem that reflects a well-known idiom. Mine is one my mother used to frequently say, “If you can’t say something nice, it’s best to say nothing at all.”



Life is an exquisite puzzle whose pieces do not fit
each and every time that we seek to conquer it.
Its pieces are not shaped ahead. We form them as we go.
No solutions irrefutable. We grow them as we grow.
Caprice may may make life difficult—impossible to match
the present situation to pieces in the batch
cut out when life was scheduled, predictable and set
to lead in a direction where we will never get.
Life is wild and errant. It goes not where we lead.
We think that it’s the flower, but sometimes it’s just seed
that’s sewn in rocky soil that does not heed its growth.
Good fortune and adversity? We need to fit them both
into the picture of our lives. Each has its unique power
to turn what looks impossible into a thriving flower.

My guiding words today were caprice, irrefutable, errant, exquisite and puzzle.

The Tyranny of Order

The Tyranny of Order

We must take charge of all our lives lest they take charge of us.
Too easy to be eaten up by schedules and fuss.
We tick off items on our lists forgetting to just see—
too often caught up raking leaves, not noticing the tree.

Life could be more melodious if we just stopped to listen.
Overlooked its rust a bit to take note of its glisten.
It takes no ingenuity to concentrate on things
that bring a savor to our life. The world around us sings!

Let your life spill over the proverbial apple cart.
The best things of your life cannot be confined to a chart.
Take time to note the details. Fragrances and sounds.
The morning sounds of hummingbirds as they make their rounds.

How the cat lies curled in sleep. How leaf bunches unfurl.
How dust on the window settles in a soft whirl.
How the clouds form continents we travel from afar.
How our life cuts through its sea, fleet and sure and yar.

The ticking of a clock reminds that time is short and sweet.
We do not have the time to make everything so neat.
As I realign these items to perfection on the shelf,
I am mainly giving this advice to myself.

Prompt words are ingenuity, chart, melodious and charge.

Finding a Path

 Finding a Path

The Prompt: Alma Mater
You’ve been asked to speak at your high school alma mater— about the path of life. (Draft the speech.

I wrote a poem last year that suits gives any further advice I’d give a young person.  You can find it HERE.