Sunday, April 30, 2017

Prayers in Places Of Power...

Post by AquarianM on Aug 5, 2006 at 10:12pm

Prayers in Places Of Power...

Three hundred years of concerted human effort,
Basket by basket they toiled,
A monument of a culture that epitomizes mystery,
Unknown to the modern world except in the hills they created,
One hundred feet high with sixty smaller companions,
Defined as a treasure to the human race by the UN,
A phenomenon of North America yet to be understood.

I climbed its steps in the company of my wife,
Smoking the tobacco they reserved for sacred prayers,
I prayed for a healed Earth,
I prayed for a healed Mankind,
A tear-down of the walls between us,
A forgetting of red white brown black yellow,
Remembrance only of the common color of Humanity.

The Moon rose to the Southeast,
The Sun was falling rosy in the West,
A Thunderbird formed in the clouds with a Coyote on its back,
The wind whispered good wishes,
Last but most significant,
Every soul I saw at the Cahokia Mounds was congenial,
Oblivious to the artificial walls that need to fall,
Uttering only good wishes.

As the last smoke floated off into the distance,
Adrift with a prayer on its back,
I put out the cherry ember completely,
Scattered the last of the tobacco on the wind,
Knowing that some prayers are worth a positive answer.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/06/2004

Saturday, April 29, 2017

By Rainbow Light...

Post by AquarianM on Aug 19, 2006 at 3:47am

By Rainbow Light...

Teased with visions of a fragile world healed,
I sense a hunger of titanic proportions,
Hiding in the mists of the collective undermind,
Waiting to climb the ladders of belief and faith,
Pushing on the heavy lid of fear that covers the exit,
The one from fantasy into reality.

I hear it spoken of with a nervous laugh,
Like it might shine in reflections from a tinfoil hat,
Something cooked up by a lunatic fringe in a crazed moment,
This utterly surreal idea that peace and kindness could somehow win,
When what seems like preservation is to kill more of "them,"
Still it's a haunting vision that lives in a joke,
A world where everyone has a roof and clean water.

I suppose it's all fine if the rich chase children in other countries,
Bullets bombs or underwear,
That sort of thing doesn't "belong" around here,
But can you tell me where it does so I never go there?

There are those of us like mirrors,
We shine mirror light on all the dark places,
You know - where a soul tries to hide when it's afraid,
Places like Denial and Ignorance and the like,
Because we see that world shining in the tinfoil hats,
Where everyone has the basics of life,
It's a vision of a possible truth,
All it takes is a lot of love and a little rainbow light.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 08/19/2006

Friday, April 28, 2017

Dreams Of Angelsong...(3 Poems of my Guardian Angel)

Post by AquarianM on Dec 21, 2006 at 6:47am

The Bluest Angel...

Tiny Angel, wings so white,
Watch over me as I pray goodnight,
Let Mommy be safe and happy please,
You in your robes so blue, me on my knees.

I watch you fly in God's grace.

Tiny angel, flit down upon my cupped palms,
Smile up at me, singing, with no qualms.
A voice so ethereal and uplifting,
Carry my heart through a life that's shifting.

Thank you for carrying my prayers to heaven so well.

Bluer than the skies,
Angel with the bluest eyes,
Singing and free,
Thank you for loving me.

Fly always in beautiful childhood dreams.


By: Daniel A. Stafford

Author's Comments:
A dream, from very early childhood in Madison, WI.
This took place when I was three.

Azure's Song:

Closed my eyes last night,
Ahhhh....closed my eyes,

Saw something in the soft dark quiet,
A light way off in the distance,
Spotlight shining down in soft electric blue,

Hushed gentle music while the angel danced,

She danced - just her in the blue glow,
White wings blue gown swirling,
I could see it then,
Just a faint sparkle of gold dust,

Little lights drifting up to Heaven,

Slow and gentle like the dancer's grace,
And she sang bringing about tears not sad,
Her voice brought chills to my spine,
Oh, God my scalp was tingling and, and,
The golden lights were floating up everywhere now,

Do you hear me everywhere!?!

And as the song was about to end,
What had been just a wordless play of voice,
A song of pure music with no syllables,
Was drifted by the angel of blue,
Into one sweet sentence so beautiful,
I needed no more dreams,

No more dreams,

For what she sang so purely was,
What I then knew the golden lights were,
What I wished with all my heart was,
"Hear their prayers."


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 03/01/2002

Dreams Of Angelsong...

I've been reading that little book,
The one about how to talk to your angels,
How to know you Guardian Angel's name.

I get it now after all these years,
It came to me when I was half-asleep on the train to work,
Drowsing through those simple, loving pages.

They tell you to ask your Guardian to reveal its name,
In my case "her" name,
She's come to me in dreams and visions,
It's taken me all these years to understand.

Our prayers and hopes and dreams are our song,
She sings them to God the Universe for all of us,
Her wings unbounded by constraints of space and time,
A creature of utmost grace and beauty,
To hear her is to weep with joy for the sound of prayers,
Azure is her name I just know it.

Thank you, Bluest Angel for your loving flight,
Thank you for gracing my dreams at just-right times,
Thank you for loving us enough to sing our prayers in Heaven.

Just knowing you is a Christmas gift.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 12/20/2006

(This photo is an un-retouched [except sizing] 35mm of the sun shining down on Lake Michigan I took in 2003)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Christmas Card Envelope...

Post by AquarianM on Dec 25, 2006 at 1:21am

A Christmas Card Envelope...

It doesn't seem like much,
Just a piece of paper in the mail,
A shroud over the real message we hang on the mirror,
Something cut open and tossed as soon as we know who,
But do we ever look at the little stickers and drawings?

Half the work in a few pen strokes,
Ninety cards that carry a simple message,
"Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.
We're thinking of you for just these moments,
In this place in time - because you're special to us.
Because no matter the words written,
You have a little piece of our hearts with you,
One of the ones full of love."

So I draw my little Christmas card envelope Santas,
An we send off our pieces of heart,
And I wonder if I'll be able to count them all,
On my last Christmas,
And I wonder if I'll ever remember to wonder,
Do they miss their colorful wrappers,
And did I see all the little details,
All those years I was wishing for snowflakes and candleshine?

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.
We're thinking of you for just these moments,
In this place in time - because you're special to us.
Because no matter the words written,
You have a little piece of our hearts with you,
One of the ones full of love.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 12/25/2006

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Searching For A Jewel In A Barrel Of Marbles...

Post by AquarianM on Jan 12, 2007 at 3:43am

Searching For A Jewel In A Barrel Of Marbles...

Something different - unique - strange.


I ate none...

She's waiting.

That face - this feeling.

A jewel. A whole 'nother class of gemology.

Moments like this don't come often -

Sometimes just once.

You could find it in a whole barrel of marbles.

She glows...


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 01/12/2007

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Did You Get Lost In Corinth...

Post by AquarianM on Jan 12, 2007 at 1:36am

Did You Get Lost In Corinth...

Hey, Hillbilly Gal,
You know you pop up in my thoughts about a zillion times,
I always wonder how you've slipped through the years,
Graceful or happy or sad or wonderful or what?

I never forgot that you set me a place that time,
Off with your rel's in that faraway land,
Or that they put me up on your word in tough times,
Nor that you're a friend of mine.

If you ever see this never wonder,
Nothing got ruined and nothing was plundered,
I'd still smile if I saw your face some day,
Remember that young gal from so many years ago.

Hope you're happy and doing well,
Maybe I'll see you along the river some summer,
Down at the 'Fest with all my old friends,
Never think I don't count you among them.

Just on my mind lately again you know,
Are your ears burning or are you grinning?

Smile, Hillbilly Gal,
You do that well and I like remembering it that way,
If you ever think of me I'm just fine,
Just a sweet old friend...

You've been on my mind.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 01/12/2007

Monday, April 24, 2017

Card Games...

Post by AquarianM on Jan 20, 2007 at 5:43am

Card Games...

Ace of Hearts...

Young, too young, to really understand....still the Ace of Hearts admired.
Teen aged lust rages in veins still flush and opened, softness desired.
Hands longing to gently touch, but none there to feel their reward.
Squeezing the last drops out of fantasy, the Ace of Hearts.

Apprentice to the Sorcerers' College.

Lovingly on fire, burned at the stake, learning of pain to partake.
Ice-blue eyes that know just how to burn your heart with a fake,
Love declarations withering on the vine, there still is a long time,
Before the Ace of Hearts shall be freed of the price of rhyme.

Learning of lonliness spells in time to myriad rock tunes.

Betrayed, remembering a heartache so deep you long to be the Ace of Hearts.
Defying fate's call to make warmth a part of life, blacking out new starts.
Watching your heart beating out it's last warmth in the palm of an unloving lying hand,
Player of games that slept at your side, with a truth no blouse nor magic sweater could stand.

Sometimes your heart lies to you. It knows no better.

Tears grown into an ice-strewn river, nineteen years no armor,
Shall guard you into forever, from the pains of amour,
But the card in the frozen blue ice cube, the crystal ball of pain,
It's the Ace of Hearts that is locked in the frozen painful rain.

A moment in time trapped, heart strapped away.

Emotions drowned so deep, no longer able to weep.
Ace of Hearts, you have now become, but the price is too steep.
Do you ever thaw, ever see the sun again?
Ace of Hearts, forever in mourning?

Don't wear black in the ice cube too long,
That crystal ball of pain glorified in song,
Is no way to live a lifetime,
Cold well past your prime.

Have your dreams died away?

Ace of Hearts, you think you know all the rules.
But in reality, it's the rules for fools.
Learn love. Hard, cold, soft, warm, blinding.
But at least it's a wealth of feeling.


By: Daniel A. Stafford

Deuce of Hearts...

A wild card, a wild ride, a better way, a loving side.
Starting out new, shiny and pretty, easy to slide,
Ending up well worn, tattered, and sticking together,
But it's the two that time will treasure.

Two hearts on a single page.

They start out burning in the sunrise sun,
Hot wild passion and magic and fun,
And through it all they see lots of play,
Though in the end the warmth of sunset will stay.

Best card in the deck.

In any hand, united they stand,
And helping to win is really quite grand,
Though thought of as low, they continually go,
Hand in hand.

It's always seemed such a warm card to me.


By: Daniel A. Stafford

Author's Comments:

I once, long ago, evaluated the way a failed relationship went.
It seemed to me that the other person involved wanted to just
have physical intimacy and sometimes a bit of companionship,
but when there was any hint of permanence or responsibility
for how you treated the other in the picture, she balked.
And so my mind pictured an ace of hearts, frozen in an ice cube,
and a two of hearts, laying in the warmth of the sunrise.
This represents to me a difference in approach to love and relationships.
A choice, if you will, between a coldness and hardening of the heart in
an attempt to guard against pain from one who has chosen not to risk,
and a desire for warmth, closeness and unity from one who has decided
that they cannot remain frozen. The adage "love like you have never been hurt"
comes to mind. Hence two of my recent poems.
What choices are you making?

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Poetry Of Eggs...

Post by AquarianM on May 6, 2006 at 9:07am

The Poetry Of Eggs...

There are poems that open the universe,
Like God spoke for six days.

There are poems that open you,
Like an eggshell in two halves,
Up-turned and filling with new rain.

It certainly doesn't take a whole page to know which from what.

Like a new bird chirping in the nest,
I's up to you to find the magic of flight.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 04/30/2006

Saturday, April 22, 2017


Post by AquarianM on May 8, 2006 at 11:03am


Like seeds in the sky,
Prayers take flight,
Sometimes perfect and sometimes organic,
Perhaps bumping into one another now and then.

Like maples in the Spring they spin on the wind,
Each a representation of the possibility of growth.

If I could remember a dream,
I would float down out of the sky,
Land upon the prayer circle of Earth.

I would grow into something that healed the world,
Lent shade on a Summer afternoon for watching clouds,
So the shapes of hope could grow forever.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 05/08/2006

Friday, April 21, 2017

Soft Magic...

Post by AquarianM on May 14, 2006 at 10:32pm

Soft Magic...

Soft magic glows in late night hours,
An amber streetlight just visible through a quiet fog,
A gentle wish for an alternate universe,
One that you wake up to in sunshine headlines,
Something like a spotless mind but it's in your heart.

A vibration ruffles the feathers of the midnight hour,
Twilight betwixt drowse and dream,
A strange dance in a hushed driveway as the neighbors sleep,
Harmless but jubilant as if nothing could ever go wrong,
Simple symbols of good things to come,
Subtle electric tingle with a coffee taste.

It's after the hour of Noni's pasta from memory,
Where you walked the stove watch with her ghost whispering to you,
"Not another minute unstirred honey bello,"
A dream like that where everything came from Italia,
Danced onto your plates like a time warp,
Luscious and fluffy like fresh-grated parmesan cheese.

You dream and in the morning the heart of the world finally changes,
At last - full of love and blessings.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 05/15/2006

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dreams Of Sand...

Post by AquarianM on Jun 2, 2006 at 1:15pm

Dreams Of Sand...

He awoke to heat and thirst and pain,
Not sure where he was in the silence,
Lying torn on burning sands,
Seeing the cloudless blue sky waver and shimmer.

Rolling over with a groan,
He shakily got his feet under him,
Unsteady and drenched in sweat that steamed away instantly.

He raised a hand to shield his eyes,
All the world was sand unbearably bright,
A scorpion crawled by nearly at his feet,
He licked his cracked and bleeding lips and remembered what it was,
Just in time jumping away.

Dizzy with confusion he turned around and followed his own footprints,
They led to a smoldering building in ruins,
An arm lay outstretched from under a shattered block of stone,
A child's arm by the look of it.

He remembered being a child once,
Playing with toy cars as his sister cradled her Barbie doll,
"I'm going home in a week" he thought,
Suddenly terrified at something he couldn't remember,
Maybe couldn't bear to remember.

It might happen again back home,
He suddenly knew this even though "what" was only a burning haze,
He knew he couldn't let "it" happen back home,
The tears burst into his eyes along with white hot rage,
Out-burning the sun as he saw a smoldering teddy bear near the arm.

He reached for the gun at his hip,
Pointed it at his face as he thought "I can't let this go back home,"
Flipping off the safety he started to squeeze,
Just like they'd squeeze the truth out of him in horrible ways,
If he let "it" get back home.

Just as he heard the final click before his angels were due,
He woke up in sweat drenched sheets,
Screaming incoherently as his wife looked at him with THAT look in her eyes,
The sickening animal fear that he knew was on his childrens' faces in their room,
The look that made a lie out of their words of hope for "recovery."

There was only one way he would ever recover from something,
But God help him - he couldn't figure out what "it" was,
And as he reached for the pills in the drawer by the bed,
The thought burned his soul all the way to his core.

The teddy bear was familiar...


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 06/02/2006

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Brilliant Affair...

Post by AquarianM on May 11, 2006 at 3:36pm

A Brilliant Affair...

It began as a wish,
A longing that came subtly from within.

Dreams often lead the way,
Sparked by jewels in a night sky underlit by a simple camp fire,
A billion times over and more this scene was replayed.

In the hearts of most of the world a vision occured,
One of peace and plenty for all,
Hearts able to withstand Love because Fear had fallen.

It was gifted and hinted and spoken in certain ancient texts,
Rising through the dust of ages,
The HOW of it questioned and reasoned countless times.

We wander the trails of this dream,
Tripping over stones at the edge of the path,
Walking behind guides not always reliable.

This un-discovered country lies before us,
Awaiting us to find enough starlight or moonlight,
Perhaps soon we will walk into the sunshine,
A place where we no longer need fear stepping into flames.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 05/11/2006

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Just A Thought Of Giving Back...

Post by AquarianM on May 18, 2006 at 10:55pm

Just A Thought Of Giving Back...

It's the afternoon of my life,
Pretty and sweet in many ways,
Maybe even warm.

I have friends...a few but good ones,
I have love...just one now but a great one,
I have a child now...just one but a wonderful one,
I have a home now...pretty and spacious and comfortable.

It's time I gave back,
All those years that I was allowed to grow,
To struggle and learn the value of life,
To see a vision of what community should and could be,
It's time I gave back.

I find grand dreams of things to leave here floating through my mind,
Visions of what could be with some follow-through,
Something to make home a little better than I found it,
Here in this area betwixt all the rivers and the lake.

The sun shines down on cloud shapes,
I write poetry and speak my mind,
Maybe - just maybe,
I can learn to manifest wonderful dreams.

Pretty things that grandchildren might find.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 05/19/2006

Monday, April 17, 2017

In The Desert Of Souls...

Post by AquarianM on May 27, 2006 at 3:31am

In The Desert Of Souls...

Original poetry and tenor saxophone score by Daniel A. Stafford, (C) 05/27/2006


In The Desert Of Souls...

I was born in a garden lush, a place battling weeds and killing beetles - seeming to win.

Moving forward was slow but steady, life was progressing toward a field of green,
perhaps a place of utopian dreams, so it seemed.

It was late Summer and the locusts were gathering somewhere out of sight, laying about the country awaiting September like a gathering dark cloud of evil.

On a day called 9-11 the dark clouds came as the heat erupted everything in flames,
stripping the body of flesh and laying the decay bare in everyone’s sight.

No one really knew where the insects arrived from or how they came here. Was it a slow gathering of wayward bugs? Was it something more sinister, monsters in gray suits with pockets full of larvae and an extermination company?

After the towers fell, the angels of anger swarmed in, swearing vengeance like beasts with faces of fire. They would go to where they claimed the locusts came from, and burn everything, scorching the Earth until nothing was left but glass shaped in their image, the one they held in their mind.

They led the blind around by sweet words, saccharine sayings and promises built on pustulence whipped up and disguised. All the while, they were sucking up souls like a mighty vacuum.

The nature of existence was changed as liberty flowers were uprooted, burned and the ashes thrown into the dust bin of memory, labeled as food for the insects that could not be suffered to live.

As the world of the free was swallowed up by the desert and the sandstorms of anger threatened to bury everyone from friend to foe, the roots of the evil beast were uncovered and exposed.

Laid bare one by one were the evil deeds that threatened to steal all life from the Earth, would leave her a barren rock circling the sun like a hot black cinder if they could.

The children wander the desert, their eyes seeing the signs but some were still sucked into the trance of devil voices, speaking of love and freedom and peace that needed the dealing of death to happen.

There are many who cry foul, who remember the path to the garden, and the courage of independence and working in harmony with the nature of Earth.

Their voices are like the tide rising in the ocean, waves crashing upon the shores of the desert of souls, carrying the seeds of life and love and liberty that only need life and love and liberty to happen.

The question still stands: will the demons of anger and fear drown out the truth, or will the people awaken and steward the world in the gentle breezes of love and faith and community?

Will tomorrow bring healing, or the flames of the desert spreading to all the Earth?


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 05/27/2006

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Kind Eyes...

Post by AquarianM on Jun 29, 2006 at 11:01pm

Kind Eyes...

Soul windows soft as a rolling sea,
Tender waves of hopeful grace that never leaves,
A gentle heart reaches out through kind eyes,
The tone of a voice a subtle touch that glides.

Hard eyes are all too easy to come by,
Every corner and sidewalk is full of that mean look,
Thoughts of toughness and constantly fighting difficulty,
Mean because it means you get what you expect.

Sad eyes are all around,
Greedy eyes all over town,
Manipulating eyes abound to lead down rabbit holes,
Kind eyes are like precious jewels rare - emeralds.

Touch me with the vision of kind eyes,
Let me look upon the world with kind eyes,
See and be seen with that vision,
The eyes that bespeak love with not a sound.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 06/29/2006

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Reggae Heart...

Post by AquarianM on Jun 30, 2006 at 11:06pm

Reggae Heart...

Wash me down to de Carribean, she’s de bluest sea,
We could all ‘ave cried her, from tears o’ joy.

A night song o’ sail cloth flapping under dese brilliant stars,
Bring de morning sun down upon de beach.

Palm trees, dey sway up over our smiling heads,
When de reggae plays de limes fall into de drink.

Wash me down to de Carribean, she’s de bluest sea,
We could all ‘ave cried her, from tears o’ joy.

Rum runners dancing south dere, down by de sweet blue sea,
Coconuts floating out past de Keys where we sing.

Oh Lord, take me away down dere in de sunshine,
Where she swims by de light be dawn now.

Wash me down to de Carribean, she’s de bluest sea,
We could all ‘ave cried her, from tears o’ joy.

We free now, Darlin’ mine you be de sunshine,
Fishin’ for your love gentle an’ slow now.

Put de peppers on de chicken an limes wit’ sweet plantains,
Love me slowly now, my miracle on de wing

Wash me down to de Carribean, she’s de bluest sea,
We could all ‘ave cried her, from tears o’ joy.

I wan’ be seeing de parrots so colored pretty,
De albatross, he fly slowly over you an’ me.

Fly wit’ me reggae heart an de Wailers play,
I’m gone up on Heaven while Bob Marley sings.

Wash me down to de Carribean, she’s de bluest sea,
We could all ‘ave cried her, from tears o’ joy.

Fly wit’ me reggae heart an de Wailers play,
I’m gone up on Heaven while Bob Marley sings.

Wash me down to de Carribean, she’s de bluest sea,
We could all ‘ave cried her, from tears o’ joy.

By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 07/01/2006

Friday, April 14, 2017

The King Of Grass...

Post by AquarianM on Jul 16, 2006 at 10:45pm

The King Of Grass...

He walks in his grass under the stars at night,
Takes off his grass hat and holds it over his heart,
Looks up from the fireflies that are giving up as the stars come out,
Blows a kiss at Casseopia who loves Cygnus the swan,
Enough to stay close to him all through eternity.

There is an amber half-moon shyly slipping up the midnight sky,
Wearing such a soft peach blush to be seen,
He dreams of the dance of grass skirts at the shores of a warm blue sea,
Thinking how the grass he grows in his yard touches those waters,
Or not if he lets nature take its own course.

The weave is subtle with a binding pattern,
There is magic in this world that most aren't allowed to see by day,
These words that rustle like tall grasses across the sea of hearts,
The King of Grass in that little kingdom of his,
A place where fires dance through the heart of the night softly.

The Earth is renewed as the breeze waves gently over the fields,
Ropes of grass and lands of grass and the scented oils of grasses,
Woven into the mat he sleeps upon dreaming,
Or the hammock that sweeps his dreams up to Heaven,
The King of Grass will pray...

Awaiting the soft heart of his sweet Queen.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 07/17/2006

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tobacco Shop Mystic...

Post by AquarianM on May 2, 2006 at 10:22pm

Tobacco Shop Mystic...

He enters the world in a cloud of cigar smoke,
Natural wrapper - fat, long, slow-smoking.

Time pulls into a wrinkled cloud around him,
Slows down and lends a soft cherry glow to everything in the room.

His eyes are difficult to catch,
Wandering between far-off meditation and piercing,
They see things his hand sprawls across a page,
Slightly yellowed pages with a simple and comfortable pen.

He looks best engulfed in a huge leather chair,
Thick and sturdy chocolate brown,
Made for moments like this.

He could tell you a thousand tales and more,
You never know the real from the instructive,
Yet they are saved for his pen,
You must seek out the smoke of the yellow pages,
In the places he lays them,
Waiting for those meant to find each.

The yellow walls recall another era,
Filled with images - portals to other places and times,
Can you unlock the words that open them?

Dark wood and glass display cases,
Lit to display books of magic,
Talismans bejeweled of travels yet to be,
Of course they hold the cigars,
The sacred fuel of time warping,
A scent that lingers in deep dark corners.

The hum of the fans is mesmerizing,
Sit - stare at the clean green of a stiletto palm,
A large terra cotta pot in the corner.

Light a cigar and open a book,
Keep a pen and notebook close by,
Perhaps you'll find a piece of the universe close to hand,
Sipping cognac slowly in a time bubble.

Only you know if there is magic here.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 04/30/2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Reading Martì...

Post by AquarianM on Aug 30, 2006 at 1:46pm

Reading Martì...

I was at first somewhat astonished,
Time stepped out of the picture and faded into the distance,
A bit player whose part was done in an epic timeless,
Where bare truths about the soul of a land are laid,
Flayed of all pomp and circumstance and artifices of finery.

The honest opinions of one in a land new and unknown,
Waiting in dusty tomes a century and more on the page,
Speaking of first impressions and speaking truth without mercy nor spite,
With the clarity of seeing everything hidden beneath,
Rivaled only by modern miracles like MRI's or x-rays,
Hits your preconceptions of culture between the eyes.

"We worship wealth here,
For we came without it and without its respect,
The downtrodden cast-offs of old lands all,
In waves and droves and sea-sick jubilation of landfall,
Only to emulate the visible qualities of our oppressors,
Seeking what we perceived as their strengths without true knowledge."

In a land where the clocks must be punched,
Where work rules every aspect of our worth and ability to exist,
How do we have a moment for the grace of souls malnourished,
Do we ever feed the worth of our souls when our mouths are our rulers,
Still slaves to our bellies which can translate only gold into food and shelter?

It is of small wonder that the sword that threatens our necks comes from "on high" -
A curved scimitar swinging with the weight of yellow metal,
Hiding at its core a hollow vacuum - a void where a graceful spirit should be,
If it were filled with what belongs there it would melt into a ploughshare,
Or perhaps into the bricks that could hide our heads from hurricanes and tornadoes,
Or the hearth that used to warm our bread.

The least among us are our true mirror,
The clearest glass we shall ever gaze into,
And if the bones of them are prodding their flesh,
Their frost bite of lack of shelter and bellies full of nothing but air,
Their pitiful rags wrapped 'round the vision of skulls that is the source of our fear,
It will pull that sword of gold upon us all to cleave our necks as surely as the clocks tick.

How many among us would give even the illusion of a five dollar bill to their pantry,
If it had to be given without the craven illusion of a tax deduction?

This world is not and never has been divided by arbitrary lines on a plastic globe,
Not one of marble nor glass nor clay nor wood nor paper,
No matter how well-drawn or sculpted its representation of Earth,
For what we put into the sky or the water or the land travels freely,
Not one law can arrest its progress or its consequence.

Our souls and our fates are as intertwined as is the atmosphere or the waterways,
Filled with underground rivers that carry every deed and action throughout the whole,
A permeated brew stirring by convection and gravity unseen yet ever-present.

What we do with the "least" among us we will drink and eat,
Regardless of whether we know it or acknowledge it or remain ignorant of it,
It will fuel poisonous growth or it will be clean and gentle with us,
As we reap we will sow is the pertinent verse.

Fires do not burn without fuel,
Fuel made of greedy intent or even plain ignorance,
And if violence and harm do not treat us as harshly as flames in the end,
It will be simply because we gave them no cause to burn.

In the end it all congeals into that basic truth -
Which crosses all those artificial and arbitrary lines on globes and maps.

We made a play for "freedom" here,
A crop which only thrives when shared and tended well.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 08/30/2006

Author's Notes:
This was inspired by reading the early newspaper articles written by Jose Martì when he first came to live in New York in the 1870's. He wrote for New York and multiple Latin American newspapers his observations on the emerging culture in the United States - which to this day values work and wealth but forgets the values of spiritual nourishment, charity, and the human need for self-worth not always gained through financial acumen. It shows in the way we drive ourselves nearly beyond our physical limits for work and career, the way we look down on vacations long enough to truly rest the soul and body, and the way we are driven to work at the expense of family and community. When one steps back and takes a fresh look, we are tragically out of balance. The fact that people in this country or any other go without food and shelter is a clear reflection of how such scales are tilted. What happens when things are unbalanced for too long and stretched too far away from the balance point?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Rainy Day In Chi-Town...

Post by AquarianM on Sep 15, 2006 at 11:59pm

Rainy Day In Chi-Town...

Who’s been a bad -

Sidewalk driver,

Who’s had a big -

Umbrella bender,

Who’s got some color -

On their tote-a-roof,

Who’s got their scowl-face -

Smile just a bit to make it go poof,

Who’s that chic -

Sweet young thing,

Who’s still ticked -

That the alarm rang,

Who’s dodging cabbies -

At the corner,

Who’s huddled up -

Tryin’ to stay warmer,

Who’s got the stylin’ -

Colorful outfit,

Who’s just a bum -

Trying to get it,

Who’s standin’round -

Checkin’ it all out,

Who’s havin’ fun -

‘Til time to get out,

Who says a rainy day -

Ain’t so fun,

Me I want to paint -

Umbrellas so people can buy one,

That has Mister Moon -

Kissed by a star,

Got a little light up in it -

Shines right down on who they are,

Maybe a weather vane -

Tells which way to tip it,

‘Çause grinning on the sidewalk -

Is a great fit,

If we all stand together -

Do umbrellas make a dry spot,

Rainy day Chi-town -

What do ya got?


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 09/13/2006

Monday, April 10, 2017

Circle Of Lights...

Post by AquarianM on Sep 22, 2006 at 9:27pm

Circle Of Lights...

Walk the stones in silent prayer,
Deep in the heart of the night,
Luminaries dancing flames on the ground,
Flickering candles in forty pairs of hands.

Heal the Earth, heal Mankind,
In perfect ways and in perfect time.

We reach the source of the circle,
Reach down and lay a blue prayer of peace down,
Tall pines all around you - tree spirits beautiful,
Ready to dance with your flame.

Heal the Earth, heal Mankind,
In peace and love bring harmony to fruition.

Walk the solstice into its destination,
Walk into the true heart of our people,
Chakras glowing and energy high,
Sacred circle in deep dark night.

Heal the Earth, heal Mankind,
In perfect ways and in perfect time.

It's done now dance through,
Silence and silent prayers ascending,
Love is the fuel and spirit the pilot,
Learning is the creed and teaching is beloved.

Heal the Earth, heal Mankind,
In peace and love bring harmony to fruition.


By Daniel A. Stafford
© 09/22/2006

Sunday, April 09, 2017

In The Land Of Pumpkins And Smoke...

Post by AquarianM on Oct 14, 2006 at 10:11pm

In The Land Of Pumpkins And Smoke...

It is the Fall, awash in fire and dreams of flames,
A warm thing that dances 'neath the crisp stars,
Strewn in graceful dreams upon the night,
When we look up in the glare of the flames,
Seeing spirits all about the edges of vision,
Right where the golden glow fades to the shadows.

In the daylight golden sheaves of the harvest stand,
'Rounded bout by the bright orange of pumpkins,
Seeming to have each their own personality,
Even before we carve them faces soon to light,
The year is closing and draws us into reverie,
All things past and passed come 'round here haunting,
Whispering like ghosts and setting prayers into flight.

The connection with bygone days is tangible, colorful,
A slow season of traditions' dances across our hearts,
Our eyes and lives - the simple joy of a cigar by the fire,
Smoke-ghosts carry those prayers away to our spirits on high,
The missed ones and the unfathomable one.

The history of this land is in our bones,
In our teeth and eyes and blood and breath,
We've drunk the waters of its rivers and lakes and rains,
Eaten the fruit of its Earth all our days,
Breathed in the millions of scents that wisp about the place,
Soaked in its spirit since before we were even babes,
And so its visions come easily to us - its poets and people.

The people of this land by birth are my people,
None of us knows any other home,
I care not the least for colors and creed,
Simply know that tears and smiles are common things,
Miracles shared by us all,
Their ghosts haunt me as do my own,
I see them in these cocooned nights,
Dancing at the edges of fires, embers, and candle flames,
Laughing from the faces of gourds and pumpkins,
Spinning 'round puffs of sacred smoke that billow to the stars,
In faerie rings around a gibbous harvest moon.

Certainly they remind us of bats and spiders and ghouls,
Coffins and open Earth and cold stones,
Grey cold mists and all the accouterments of the unknown,
They remind of us of what we face in Winter,
Yet it is their season,
One other thing they whisper in the cooling nights,
"Harvest ye well all knowledge of Spring and Summer's growth."


By: Daniel A. Stafford

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Heaven's Light...

Post by AquarianM on Mar 7, 2006 at 1:56am

Heaven's Light...

I am standing in the darkness of the vacuum,
High above in a dream of night,
Bathed in starlight in every color of the spectrum,
Touched by visions silently gleaming from infinity,
Walking in dream-time to the ends of the universe,
Speaking love into being in every honest way I can find.

Riding a carpet of rainbows I swirl into the workings of a clock,
An atom vibrating at the center of all space and time,
Ultimately connected to everything,
Tugging us all in some exquisitely minute way that changes everything,
The heart of entropy and yet the teacher of us all,
Realize that we sail through time as perfectly as it sails through us.

I descend into soft blue twilight and reach the crescendo of a human heartbeat,
A place where such a thing as arms may hold me if they choose,
Being in such a fashion that I may speak of creation before or after it arrives,
Intensely miraculous every day as is the flight of a metallic jeweled dragonfly,
Mystic as the lotus and ordinary as a fly,
Receptively transmitting emotional frequencies brilliantly intense

Everything awaits one word - I chose to speak love.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 03/07/2006

Friday, April 07, 2017

Volcanic Joe...

Post by AquarianM on Mar 7, 2006 at 10:41pm

Volcanic Joe...

They call it Kona - steaming hot,
With the fiery undertone in its scent,
A mystery from the indelible orange of Hawaiian earth.

It came home with us in little black bags of expectation,
Gifts for friends and our pot too,
You should walk into the room helplessly,
Led by the nose as the percolator is busy erupting.

I bought a cup there on the island,
Plumeria blossoms on blue just to convey its essence,
Volcanic Joe our robust hero,
A creature of steam and mist and dreams of the sea.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 03/08/2006

Thursday, April 06, 2017

First Brass...

Post by AquarianM on Mar 11, 2006 at 3:40pm

First Brass...

It hit sixty today,
Maybe even sixty five,
I can smell the new buds wanting to come out on the trees.

It was sunshine this mornin' man,
Brilliant and strong and all over town,
I came out of working third shift starving for it,
Pulled up to the tailgate of my pickup.

I threw down my jacket like a gauntlet,
Opened the black leather case like soft sweater buttons in high school,
Ran my fingers over it just to revel in the feel,
Reflections on mother of pearl and brass glowing on my face.

I put that reed to my lips and let the notes pour down on the street,
Celebrating the season in utter jubilation,
That first brass of the Spring floating out of the parking ramp,
The mystery sax of Madison and Wells is back in tune baby.

Let it blow in your ear and put chills on the nape of your neck.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 03/11/2006

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Soul Of A Poet And Patriot...

Post by AquarianM on Mar 16, 2006 at 1:41am

Soul Of A Poet And Patriot...

I would like you to meet Senor Jose Marti' -
A man of strange times with new verse in his plumes,
A vision of what could be cut down by what was.

Nineteenth century innovations and hope run up against greed,
A never-ending story that repeats in even this century,
Still his words rang true and he prayed for America.

Born in a nation destined to be shunned by it's neighbor,
Fighting and writing for the independence of his homeland,
Penning innovative words of love and life.

A ghost from a hundred years ago,
Cuban native and US immigrant,
If we shall repeat his history...

Perhaps we should remember his soul.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 03/16/2006

Author's Comments:
José Martí (1853-1895)
Cuban poet, essayist and journalist, who became the symbol of Cuba's struggle for independence from Spain and who promoted better understanding among American nations. "No man has any special right because he belongs to any specific race; just by saying the word man, we have already said all the rights." Martí's three major collections of poems were Ismaelillo (1882), Versos sencillos (1891), and Versos libres, written in the 1880s, but published posthumously in 1913. In his most famous political poem, 'Sueño con claustros de mármol', he takes the reader in his dream world, in which sculptures of dead heroes come alive:

José Martí was born in Havana, the son of a soldier of the Spanish garrison who retired to become a watchman. The educational reformer Rafael María Mendive (1821-1886) persuaded Martí's father to allow him to study at secondary school. He attended the Instituto de Havana (1866-69), and worked on the underground periodicals El Diablo Cojuelo and La Patria Libre. At the age of sixteen Martí was arrested for subversion and sentenced to six years' hard labor in a chain gang. After a year he was exiled to Spain, where he studied at the University of Madrid (1873) and University of Saragosa, receiving a degree in law in 1873, and a year later a degree in philosophy and letters. In Spain he published El presidio de Cuba in 1871.

Between 1874 and his death, Martí was in Cuba three times, once under a false name. "The truth is, Fermin, that I no longer live except for my land," he wrote to his friend Fermín Valdés, "but a thousand times I hold back what love for her demands so that it does not seem that I do it out of self-interest or to win renown." In 1875 Martí moved to Mexico and wrote for Revista Universal. He then taught literature and philosophy at the University of Guatemala and returned to Cuba where he worked in a law office. In 1879 he was again deported to Spain.
Because of his political activities, Martí was unwelcome to many countries. In 1881 he moved to New York City, where he worked as an editor, journalist or foreign correspondent for several magazines, including the New York Sun, El Partido Liberal, La Opinión Nacional, La Nación, La República, El Economista Americano, and La Opinión Pública. Martí also served as consul for Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina, and was a Spanish teacher at Central High School. Martí's most influential collection of poems from his mature period, Versos sencillos (1891), was produced during a particularly difficult period in his life. For years he had lived apart from his wife, Carmen Zayas Bazán, and his son José. The couple separated after Carmen briefly visited New York in 1890. Since 1880 Martí had been romantically entangled with Carmen Mantilla, a married woman. Carmita's daughter María is the protagonist of several "versos sencillos."

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

A Woman's Touch...

Post by AquarianM on Mar 16, 2006 at 3:51am

A Woman's Touch...

What a woman shines her approval on,
Who can fathom why or when,
Only to say that all causes fail,
Should your lady fair not lend her love and grace.

When liberty is no longer upon women's lips,
Flows not from their hearts like sunshine,
It shall be a caged beast in the dark.

When equity is ignored in favor of security,
If she is lining the nest with no thought of outside,
Everything in the world will falter,
Only cruel and heartless men can prevail.

When women reach out with their approval,
When they send their sunshine upon the cause,
A woman's touch is the missing half,
It is the key to invincibility.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 03/16/2006

Author's Comments:
Inspired by a quote from Jose Marti'.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Spindoctor Spell...

Post by AquarianM on Mar 23, 2006 at 11:05am

Spindoctor Spell...

They play the news and they play the blues,
They sell and they write the Bills,
They sign them because somebody wined them,
Black gold - the legislators' best friend.

They say there's no warming,
The broken ice is swarming,
Hurricanes are growing,
Supercyclones are blowing,
Houses and cities wiped from the map,
The whole world's a sink filling from the black tap,
No worries they say - just shorten the maps.

Well you can go to an oil-man's well,
It's glowing evil red like the demon eyes of Hell,
Whatever you do just don't look,
At what's going on where the sands are getting shook.

I've got a friend who's quite Spinny,
She's down somewhere where it's just been windy,
I'm saying prayers so I know she'll be fine,
She'll bust out her poems and Queensland will fall back in line,
She's the antidote to these nuts who spin,
They're counter-clockwise but she's wiser and clockwise from them,
All kindness and smiles and uplifting poetry and art,
So let's all pray for Spinny to do a spin-doctor spell,
And she'll come back to us here writing poetry hale and well,
Because we could so use the innocence of a child to lead us,
And just maybe we can pray for the rest of Queensland to rise from the dust.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 03/23/2006

Author's Comments:
For our friend Janine and all her people.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Pod People...

Post by AquarianM on Apr 4, 2006 at 3:09am

Pod People...

Feeding heads,
Sumptuous ear candy,
Who knows what it's made of,
What fills the spaces in the wave forms,
Intellectual broccoli,
Perhaps subliminal twinkie cream,
Permutated popcorn politics,
Outrageous ear bud delights,
The first layer of the bubble,
Soap sud reflections of a far off stare,
Who can see the world afoot,
Hiding in such iridescence?


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 04/03/2006

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Friday's Rails...

Post by AquarianM on Apr 7, 2006 at 11:05pm

Friday's Rails...

When the steel wheels ring and roll,
You fall in love with their song,
Having waited in the dark.

Your ankles blitzed,
Speed walking adorns your brow,
Some days the clock is a friend.

Paper floats and flies,
In rail yards and trees,
The hand of man has loose fingers,
A tithe upon the eyes.

Will you find a seat empty,
Awaiting your silent companion,
Or does someone await your mystery?

Your hand shakes in time,
Nodded like bodies - books - glowing screens and cold beer.

The world falls behind you,
A beast of burden bearing pay check chains.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 04/08/2006