Friday, January 28, 2005

By Your Calculation...

The silence of beautiful voices haunts me like a cold winter night,
The stars above call without speaking,
And the faery ring around the Moon is at a quarter this sky,
Just a few hours from the rise of a brilliant Winter Sun.

Still you are swearing black-hearted and frigid,
So busy counting every snowflake in the pile,
Certain your wretched gold must lie beneath the bank.
And the glare of your Antarctic indifference may just kill us all.

Put a good woman away out of work in a dark night,
Silence the warmth of clever-jeweled voices,
For the pennies that lie upon that now bare floor shine to your fingers,
And the despairing silence is the easier course in this blizzard...

By your calculation.


By: Daniel A. Stafford

© 01/28/2005

Author's comments:
Barnes & Noble corporate has eliminated their Events Coordinator position,
and canceled all events at specific stores that were not meeting an un-specified
revenue volume. Of course it doesn't matter that the store where Plainfield Live Poetry
reads is in a subdivision that is currently building five thousand new homes within three miles of it,
or that they had a wonderful person in the position. I just got the news the day after one of
the best readings we've had, with things poised to begin growing. I'm choosing to look at it
as an opportunity to find a better venue, but it does chafe a bit, and I am holding hopes
that the gal that was handling events there gets a new gig soon.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

January's Sign...

I heard it on the radio as the tiny snow flakes fell,
Just as she was singing "Kiss Me," the D.J. broke the news,
Something I can only wish I saw...

The tiny lake effect flakes were dancing,
Road humming under my tires about going home,
Sun was shining behind me East through the thinning clouds...

Cold and clearing,
Salt spray painting my windshield like fog,
I was just about to sing along with the chorus...

"I wish we hadn't missed it,"
She said in her best smooth radio voice,
"...I hear they're very, very rare..."

"The beautiful snow rainbow everyone's been calling about."

Some people complain about January in Chicago,
I just wish I hadn't missed it.

January's sign...


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 01/27/2005

Author's Comments:
True story this morning, listening to The Light,

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

To Be A Child of Muses...

Who else could see a dust speck floating in a ray of sunshine,
Single it out and see it as a star in some Lilliputian universe of dreams,
Speak it's name upon the wind even as it was slipped into your whisper ear?

In the shadow mind with your heart-eye open to listen...

Who could see a yellow flower growing alongside tarmac at seventy five,
Tell the whole world of every breeze and raindrop each petal touched,
Whisper out every secret of a life lived in one place all in a single springtime like a child?

Swimming the current of sentimentality like a dolphin racing a great white clipper ship...

Who else could stand upon a flying thistle seed,
Brush a kiss upon the cheek of the amber Moon,
Then spin a pillow story around the crown of a young child well loved?

Seeing strength in the keenest eye of make-believe Paradises...

Yet somehow these velvet visions become real,
Watercolored upon the pages of history where only Love wins in the end,
Breathed out in insight-guided whispers of inner-speak...

Simple things in the world of a child of Muses.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 01/25/2005

Words are the mind's bridge - it's connection to all the universe.
Love is the heart's bridge - it's connection to all other souls.
Loving words can work miracles.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

It Was A Fish Floater...

© 01/22/2005 by Daniel A. Stafford

Friday, January 14, 2005

Stars and Stones...

Is it something tribal or just a hint of survival,
A place in the heart so dark and lonely only God could fathom,
That black hole of a missing soul gone too far from heaven,
Just a dream I see when a certain stone tells me to believe,
Wrapped up in silk and flying in the future,
Dancing like a dervish under my silly skin,
A dream of Neptune for children of Uranus, Saturn rising,
Garnets and amethyst in the night,
Polished and shining and forever recorded,
We were poetry whose page burned,
An ancient ritual of the Spring's return,
Whispered in a far too brief dream,
Like the fallen leaf turning scarlet,
Too bright and pretty for forever to bear,
Still, we once were there.

It was written in the stars...


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 01/14/2005
Celebratory Lights...

In the January darkness cold breath is rising away,
God's house is full of candles tonight,
I'll never stop looking up at them,
Stars up on high crisp and clear,
These celebratory lights,
A season of rest,
Sleeping frost,


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 01/14/2005

Thursday, January 13, 2005

A Majority of Angels...

Wings aren't all they've been cracked up to be,
Some darlings caught between moments whisper softly,
Dear prayers rise up like smoke in the night.

How many hearts really just want everyone and everything to be alright?

The majority of Angels stand between human heartbeats,
Just one second away, just all around you,
Looking out through the carefully-labeled toughness mask.

It's something you have to count with insight.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 01/13/2005
The Quiet "Why?"

Don't whisper that, or even hint.
It's no place to shine the sun.

I'm half-believing, half fearing.
Unable to admit to myself that, that...

My world isn't that way, it just isn't.
Everything will be just fine, in time.

Don't whisper that, or even hint.
It's no place to shine the sun.

I'm half-believing, half fearing.
Unable to admit to myself that, that...

I refuse to see the reflection off of tin foil hats.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 01/13/2005

Monday, January 10, 2005

Opalescent Aquamarine...

A soft color reminiscent of sea foam,
Gilt with gold-flecked froth and warm as summer rain,
Just as cool as perfection while I float in it's effervescent hue.

Vision of smooth pastel translucence...

I would wear it in a jewel or paint it delicately upon my walls,
Here within my heart I swim in it's incredible peaceful beauty,
I feel the Earth's embrace upon seeing that color.

Warm sands of time washed within it...

Like returning to a tidal pool in a primordial time,
This color is the next to embrace the subconscious of the world,
A gentle persistent splash of healing and clear knowledge.

The ultimate color of teeming life...

The color of unconditional love,
Unending yet always quenched thirst to know,
It is my gently rolling spiritual sea.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 01/09/2005

Words are the mind's bridge - it's connection to all the universe.
Love is the heart's bridge - it's connection to all other souls.
Loving words can work miracles.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Words Of Water...

It was a black wall moving fast,
Surging upon the beach at 500 miles per hour,
Sweeping like the broom of God,
Amidst all the wailing and cacophonous roar,
Driving it's own wind of change.

I could write a thousand words on each of one hundred fifty thousand deaths.

Instead I write these few words on another current,
That after the blackness swirled back out to sea,
Hundreds and then thousands and then millions gave,
Some going and some sharing,
Incredible need reaches incredible numbers of hearts.

There is a wall in another sea greater than a tsunami.

From deep in the Ocean of Hearts a great wave arises,
Lapping the shores of grief over and over,
Common people and un-common people alike,
Hands and hearts extended amidst a sea of tears,
Is a groundswell of sympathy and kindness and compassion.

Words of water indeed...


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 01/08/2005
Oklahoman Minister Speaks Out:

Dr. Robin Meyers, Oklahoma University Peace Rally, November 14, 2004:

"As some of you know, I am minister of Mayflower Congregational Church in Oklahoma City, an Open and Affirming, Peace and Justice church in northwest Oklahoma City, and professor of Rhetoric at Oklahoma City University. But you would most likely have encountered me on the pages of the Oklahoma Gazette, where I have been a columnist for six years, and hold the record for the most number of angry letters to the editor.

Tonight, I join ranks of those who are angry, because I have watched as the faith I love has been taken over by fundamentalists who claim to speak for Jesus, but whose actions are anything but Christian. We've heard a lot lately about so-called "moral values" as having swung the election to President Bush. Well, I'm a great believer in moral values, but we need to have a discussion, all over this country, about exactly what constitutes a moral value. I mean what are we talking about?

Because we don't get to make them up as we go along, especially not if we are people of faith. We have an inherited tradition of what is right and wrong, and moral is as moral does. Let me give you just a few of the reasons why I take issue with those in power who claim moral values are on their side:

When you start a war on false pretenses, and then act as if your deceptions are justified because you are doing God's will, and that your critics are either unpatriotic or lacking in faith, there are some of us who have given our lives to teaching and preaching the faith who believe that this is not only not moral, but immoral.

When you live in a country that has established international rules for waging a just war, build the United Nations on your own soil to enforce them, and then arrogantly break the very rules you set down for the rest of the world, you are doing something immoral.

When you claim that Jesus is the Lord of your life, and yet fail to acknowledge that your policies ignore his essential teaching, or turn them on their head (you know, Sermon on the Mount stuff like that we must never return violence for violence and that those who live by the sword will die by the sword), you are doing something immoral.

When you act as if the lives of Iraqi civilians are not as important as the lives of American soldiers, and refuse to even count them, you are doing something immoral.

When you find a way to avoid combat in Vietnam, and then question the patriotism of someone who volunteered to fight, and came home a hero, you are doing something immoral.

When you ignore the fundamental teachings of the gospel, which says that the way the strong treat the weak is the ultimate ethical test, by giving tax breaks to the wealthiest among us so the strong will get stronger and the weak will get weaker, you are doing something immoral.

When you wink at the torture of prisoners, and deprive so-called "enemy combatants" of the rules of the Geneva Convention, which your own country helped to establish and insists that other countries follow, you are doing something immoral.

When you claim that the world can be divided up into the good guys and the evil doers, slice up your own nation into those who are with you, (or with the terrorists?), and then launch a war which enriches your own friends and seizes control of the oil to which we are addicted, instead of helping us to kick the habit, you are doing something immoral.

When you fail to veto a single spending bill, but ask us to pay for a war with no exit strategy and no end in sight, creating an enormous deficit that hangs like a great millstone around the necks of our children, you are doing something immoral.

When you cause most of the rest of the world to hate a country that was once the most loved country in the world, and act like it doesn't matter what others think of us, only what God thinks of you, you have done something immoral.

When you use hatred of homosexuals as a wedge issue to turn out record numbers of evangelical voters, and use the Constitution as a tool of discrimination, you are doing something immoral.

When you favor the death penalty, and yet claim to be a follower of Jesus, who said an eye for an eye was the old way, not the way of the kingdom, you are doing something immoral.

When you dismantle countless environmental laws designed to protect the earth which is God's gift to us all, so that the corporations that bought you and paid for your favors will make higher profits while our children breathe dirty air and live in a toxic world, you have done something immoral. The earth belongs to the Lord, not Halliburton.

When you claim that our God is bigger than their God, and that our killing is righteous, while theirs is evil, we have begun to resemble the enemy we claim to be fighting, and that is immoral. We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us.

When you tell people that you intend to run and govern as a "compassionate conservative", using the word which is the essence of all religious faith-compassion, and then show no compassion for anyone who disagrees with you, and no patience with those who cry to you for help, you are doing something immoral.

When you talk about Jesus constantly, who was a healer of the sick, but do nothing to make sure that anyone who is sick can go to see a doctor, even if she doesn't have a penny in her pocket, you are doing something immoral.

When you put judges on the bench who are racist, and will set women back a hundred years, and when you surround yourself with preachers who say gays ought to be killed, you are doing something immoral.

I'm tired of people thinking that because I'm a Christian, I must be a supporter of President Bush, or that because I favor civil rights and gay rights I must not be a person of faith. I'm tired of people saying that I can't support the troops but oppose the war.

I heard that when I was your age, when the Vietnam War was raging. We knew that that war was wrong, and you know that this war is wrong, the only question is how many people are going to die before these make-believe Christians are removed from power?

This country is bankrupt. The war is morally bankrupt. The claim of this administration to be Christian is bankrupt. The only people who can turn things around are people like you, young people who are just beginning to wake up to what is happening to them. It's your country to take back. It's your faith to take back. It's your future to take back.

Don't be afraid to speak out. Don't back down when your friends begin to tell you that the cause is righteous and that the flag should be wrapped around the cross, while the rest of us keep our mouths shut. Real Christians take chances for peace. So do real Jews, and real Muslims, and real Hindus, and real Buddhists, so do all the faith traditions of the world at their heart believe one thing: life is precious. Every human being is precious.

Arrogance is the opposite of faith. Greed is the opposite of charity. And believing that one has never made a mistake is the mark of a deluded man, not a man of faith. "War is the greatest failure of the human race" and thus the greatest failure of faith.

There's an old rock and roll song, whose lyrics say it all: War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. And what is the dream of the prophets? That we should study war no more, that we should beat our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks. Who would Jesus bomb, indeed? How many wars does it take to know that too many people have died? What if they gave a war and nobody came? Maybe one day we will find out.

Time to march again my friends. Time to commit acts of civil disobedience. Time to sing, and to pray, and refuse to participate in the madness. My generation finally stopped a tragic war. You can, too!"

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Call Status as of 02:00 CST 01/06/2005 - Senators:

Akaka, Daniel - D-HI: Mailbox Full
Corzine, Jon - D-NJ: Mailbox Full
Byrd, robert - D-WV: Mailbox Full
Feingold, Russel - D-WI: Mailbox Full
Feinstein, Dianne - D-CA: No voice mail
Baucus, Max - D-MT: Left Message
Cantwell, Maria - D-WA: Mailbox Full
Carper, Thomas - D-DE: Left message
Dayton, Mark - D-MN: Mailbox Full
Chafee, Lincoln - R-RI: Mailbox Full
Graham, Bob - D-FL: Ring-no-answer
Biden, Joseph - D-DE: Mailbox Full
Dodd, Christopher - D-CT: Mailbox Full
Bingaman, Jeff - D-NM: Mailbox Full
Clinton, Hillary - D-NY: Mailbox Full
Boxer, Barbara - D-CA: Multiple busy signals
Dorgan, Byron - D-ND: Left message
Breaux, John - D-LA: No voice mail
Durbin, Richard - D-IL: No voice mail
Harkin, Tom - D-IA: Mailbox Full
Conrad, Kent - D-ND: Left Message
Leahy, Patrick - D-VT: Mailbox Full
Nelson, Bill - D-FL: Mailbox Full
Levin, Carl - D-MI: Mailbox Full
Nelson, Ben - D-NE: Left message
Lieberman, Joseph - D-CT: Mailbox Full
Snowe, Olympia - R-ME: Left message
Inouye, Daniel - D-HI: Left message
Lincoln, Blanche - D-AR: Left message
Pryor, Mark - D-AR: Left message
Reed, Jack - D-RI: Left message
Stabenow, Debbie - D-MI: Mailbox Full
Johnson, Tim - D-SD: Left message
Reid, Harry - D-NV: Left message
Kennedy, Edward - D-MA: No voice mail
Rockefeller, John - D-WV: Left message
Kohl, Herb - D-WI: Mailbox Full
Mikulski, Barbara - D-MD: Mailbox Full
Sarbanes, Paul - D-MD: Ring-no-answer
Landrieu, Mary - D-LA: Mailbox Full
Schumer, Charles - D-NY: Ring-no-answer
Lautenberg, Frank - D-NJ: Mailbox Full
Murray, Patty - D-WA: Mailbox Full
Wyden, Ron - D-OR: Mailbox Full

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

A Single Voice...

Will there be a sound,
The peal of thunder is just upon the verge,
Lightning flashing all about,
The cracked bell tolling wildly in the gale,
Ghosts swarm the harbor and ride a swift steed,
All about the East headstones twitch and Earth rumbles,
Spinning, spinning so that smoke rises,
Amidst the falling snow,
Shall we hear a single voice?


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 01/05/2005
Calling all Senators to Investigate Voting Fraud in the 2004 Election:

· Voting irregularities have been reported across the country
· Allegations of Voter Intimidation have been filed against members
of both major parties: This is a non-partisan issue
· Ensure that every vote is accounted for and counted
· In a democracy, one flawed election is one too many

For more information visit or contact or call 309-838-0880

Tomorrow is the day. Congress will meet to either certify the electoral vote or will be forced to debate allegations of vote fraud in the past election. January 6th, 2005, will be a pivotal moment in American history. The sanctity of our vote and the voice of the American People in our political process is gravely at risk. Please add your voice to the request for a full investigation into voting fraud in the 2004 election. It takes one member of the House and one Senator to force a debate and investigation. At least fourteen members of the House will stand. Will ONE Senator stand? Now is the critical time to tell them all to. Please call as many as you can.

Akaka, Daniel - (D - HI)
(202) 224-6361
Bunning, Jim - (R - KY)
(202) 224-4343
Cornyn, John - (R - TX)
(202) 224-2934
Ensign, John - (R - NV)
(202) 224-6244
Alexander, Lamar - (R - TN)
(202) 224-4944
Burns, Conrad - (R - MT)
(202) 224-2644
Corzine, Jon - (D - NJ)
(202) 224-4744
Enzi, Michael - (R - WY)
(202) 224-3424
Allard, Wayne - (R – CO)
(202) 224-5941
Byrd, Robert - (D - WV)
(202) 224-3954
Craig, Larry - (R - ID)
(202) 224-2752
Feingold, Russell - (D - WI)
(202) 224-5323
Allen, George - (R - VA)
(202) 224-4024
Campbell, Ben - (R - CO)
(202) 224-5852
Crapo, Michael - (R - ID)
(202) 224-6142
Feinstein, Dianne -(D - CA)
(202) 224-3841
Baucus, Max - (D - MT)
(202) 224-2651
Cantwell, Maria - (D - WA)
(202) 224-3441
Daschle, Thomas - (D - SD)
(202) 224-2321
Fitzgerald, Peter - (R - IL)
(202) 224-2854
Bayh, Evan - (D - IN)
(202) 224-5623
Carper, Thomas - (D - DE)
(202) 224-2441
Dayton, Mark - (D - MN)
(202) 224-3244
Frist, Bill - (R - TN)
(202) 224-3344
Bennett, Robert - (R - UT)
(202) 224-5444
Chafee, Lincoln - (R - RI)
(202) 224-2921
DeWine, Mike - (R - OH)
(202) 224-2315
Graham, Bob - (D - FL)
(202) 224-3041
Biden, Joseph - (D – DE)
(202) 224-5042
Chambliss, Saxby - (R - GA)
(202) 224-3521
Dodd, Christopher - (D - CT)
(202) 224-2823
Graham, Lindsey - (R -SC)
(202) 224-5972
Bingaman, Jeff - (D - NM)
(202) 224-5521
Clinton, Hillary - (D - NY)
(202) 224-4451
Dole, Elizabeth - (R - NC)
(202) 224-6342
Grassley, Chuck - (R - IA)
(202) 224-3744
Bond, Christopher -(R -MO)
(202) 224-5721
Cochran, Thad - (R - MS)
(202) 224-5054
Domenici, Pete - (R - NM)
(202) 224-6621
Gregg, Judd - (R - NH)
(202) 224-3324
Boxer, Barbara - (D - CA)
(202) 224-3553
Coleman, Norm - (R - MN)
(202) 224-5641
Dorgan, Byron - (D - ND)
(202) 224-2551
Hagel, Chuck - (R - NE)
(202) 224-4224
Breaux, John - (D - LA)
(202) 224-4623
Collins, Susan - (R - ME)
(202) 224-2523
Durbin, Richard - (D - IL)
(202) 224-2152
Harkin, Tom - (D - IA)
(202) 224-3254
Brownback, Sam - (R - KS)
(202) 224-6521
Conrad, Kent - (D - ND)
(202) 224-2043
Edwards, John - (D - NC)
(202) 224-3154
Hatch, Orrin - (R - UT)
(202) 224-5251

Hollings, Ernest - (D - SC)
(202) 224-6121
Leahy, Patrick - (D - VT)
(202) 224-4242
Nelson, Bill - (D - FL)
(202) 224-5274
Shelby, Richard - (R - AL)
(202) 224-5744
Hutchison, Kay - (R - TX)
(202) 224-5922
Levin, Carl - (D - MI)
(202) 224-6221
Nelson, Ben - (D - NE)
(202) 224-6551
Smith, Gordon - (R - OR)
(202) 224-3753
Inhofe, James - (R - OK)
(202) 224-4721
Lieberman, Joseph - (D - CT)
(202) 224-4041
Nickles, Don - (R - OK)
(202) 224-5754
Snowe, Olympia - (R - ME)
(202) 224-5344
Inouye, Daniel - (D - HI)
(202) 224-3934
Lincoln, Blanche - (D - AR)
(202) 224-4843
Pryor, Mark - (D - AR)
(202) 224-2353
Specter, Arlen - (R - PA)
(202) 224-4254
Jeffords, James - (I - VT)
(202) 224-5141
Lott, Trent - (R - MS)
(202) 224-6253
Reed, Jack - (D - RI)
(202) 224-4642
Stabenow, Debbie-(D - MI)
(202) 224-4822
Johnson, Tim - (D - SD)
(202) 224-5842
Lugar, Richard - (R - IN)
(202) 224-4814
Reid, Harry - (D - NV)
(202) 224-3542
Stevens, Ted - (R - AK)
(202) 224-3004
Kennedy, Edward - (D - MA)
(202) 224-4543
McCain, John - (R - AZ)
(202) 224-2235
Roberts, Pat - (R - KS)
(202) 224-4774
Sununu, John - (R - NH)
(202) 224-2841
Kerry, John - (D - MA)
(202) 224-2742
McConnell, Mitch - (R - KY)
(202) 224-2541
Rockefeller, John -(D- WV)
(202) 224-6472
Talent, James - (R - MO)
(202) 224-6154
Kohl, Herb - (D - WI)
(202) 224-5653
Mikulski, Barbara - (D -MD)
(202) 224-4654
Santorum, Rick - (R - PA)
(202) 224-6324
Thomas, Craig - (R - WY)
(202) 224-6441
Kyl, Jon - (R - AZ)
(202) 224-4521
Miller, Zell - (D - GA)
(202) 224-3643
Sarbanes, Paul - (D - MD)
(202) 224-4524
Voinovich, George-(R-OH)
(202) 224-3353
Landrieu, Mary - (D - LA)
(202) 224-5824
Murkowski, Lisa - (R - AK)
(202) 224-6665
Schumer, Charles - (D-NY)
(202) 224-6542
Warner, John - (R - VA)
(202) 224-2023
Lautenberg, Frank - (D - NJ)
(202) 224-3224
Murray, Patty - (D - WA)
(202) 224-2621
Sessions, Jeff - (R - AL)
(202) 224-4124
Wyden, Ron - (D - OR)
(202) 224-5244

Call Congressional Operator Toll Free: 1-800-839-5276

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

In a nation where our vote doesn't count, where all that matters is who can control the voting equipment and how people are allowed to "vote", the environment will only receive lip service.

I have been forced by unanswered questions to devote my time to this issue. We must have a voting process that allows all American citizens the right to to vote, and accurately counts and reports that vote. Nothing less is acceptable.

It is my firm belief that if the true voice of the people is heard, environmental issues will get far more of the attention they deserve.

In the interest of hearing the true voice of this nations' people, with their vast impact on environmental issues globally, I ask that those who are concerned about environmental quality and energy policy and all such issues educate themselves on the voting process and the current situation with the US vote. This issue has tremendous ramifications for environmental issues for many decades to come.

Please objectively investigate all sides to this and do what you truly believe is right in the light of that knowledge.


Dan Stafford.