Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The skeptical scientist

. . . "when did "skeptic" become a dirty word in science? When did a skeptic require quotation marks around him or her? Skepticism lies at the very heart of science."
[Michael Crichton - State of Fear: E-Book Extra - "Aliens Cause Global Warming"]

Heap of trouble

"I've seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it never came to pass."
Mark Twain


"If you believe in nothing, you'll believe in anything." G.K. Chesterton

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Fix it

"You cannot fix the problem if you're consumed with fixing the blame."
[Rick Warren - The Purpose Driven Life]

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Situation: sluggish, sanguine.

Locus: languid, lucent.

Position: impassive, petulant, pensive.

Is it out there?

Is there a better life, a better love out there?
Or do we just trade one set of quirks for an unknown set?
Surely there must exist a partner with positives that outweigh the quirks,
& whose quirks are not intolerable negatives.

Am I a lovable, misunderstood soul
or just a miserable, selfish bastard?

Hey, I write poeœtry & talk of feelings!
Isn't THAT worth something?

If we can't find it in here,
will we ever find it out there?

Monday, December 06, 2004

minus 5 outside

Cold, late night.
My nose is cold & getting colder.
Tucked the tip into my fist,
but it's not getting any warmer.

O° outside, maybe minus 5,
good to be indoors.
I may be awake
but at least I am alive.

Monday, December 06 (1:22 AM EST)Currently - MOSTLY CLEAR Temp: -5

Books I am reading

Books worth mentioning I have read or am reading - Parenthetical "reviews" are simply MY humble opinions.

I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe (groovy, but not for the young)

From Altoids to Zima: The Surprising Stories Behind 125 Brand Names by Evan Morris (somewhat interesting but a bit short for the $)

Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella (still great - If you build it, they will come - So Much better than the movie)

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren (potentially powerful in your life)

Darwin's Radio & Darwin's Children by GREG BEAR (captivating Sci-fi)

Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures by Carl Zimmer (WOW - a must read! It'll change your perception of life & evolution)

Swamp Gas Times: My Two Decades on the UFO Beat by Patrick Huyghe (a little lame, not much meat, nothing new here)

The U. P. Trail, The Rainbow Trail, & Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey (classic old westerns - read them in period)

Advertising for Results by G.F. Brown (hard to get into)

365 Meditations for Couples by Sally D. Sharpe, Editor (so-so)

How to Become a Rainmaker: The Rules for Getting and Keeping Clients" by Jeffrey J. Fox (rules to work by - not much new but good reminder)

How to Make Big Bucks in Your Own Small Business: Unexpected Rules Every Small Business Owner Needs to Know by Jeffrey J. Fox (see other Fox review above)

The 9/11 Commission Report by Thomas H. Kean et al. (interesting start, turns dry)

Why Men Don't Have a Clue and Women Always Neez More Shoes: The Ultimate Guide to the Opposite Sex by Allan & Barbara Pease (not so hot & quite sexist - why proprogate old stereotypes?!)

The Procrastinator's Handbook

stuff from a book I am reading. . .

"You may be living an extremely busy life, but do you realize it takes less
than two minutes to hang up your clothes or toss them in the clothes

"Are you constantly shuffling through piles of paper on your desk? You
probably spend more time shuffling each day than it would take you to sort
through the papers once and for all— filing, processing, tossing out, or

The Procrastinator's Handbook: Mastering the Art of Doing It Now, Rita
Emmett, Walker & Co., NY

Monday, November 22, 2004


is an endlessly changing target;

the scent of bayberry during the holidays;

the child who calls you father;

and Home,
the refuge where life & peace & love might flourish.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Pain in the neck, resolved?

If you read any of my headache poems, you'll know I suffer from chronic headache and migraine. A neurologist suggests occipital neuralgia, which in restrospect is pretty much what I described in "its all in my head," as the source of chronic pain. Its something that might not turn up in your average search for headache pain, and something your regular doctor might not even suggest.

If "its all in my head" describes you, check out the following:

Sunday, November 14, 2004

November along the Saranac

The Saranac River:
running water deepest blue sparkling like crystal in the winter sun,
carving lazy curves along icebound shores of evergreen
and dark grey trees bare silhouettes against sapphire skies,
wending its frozen way toward Lake Champlain.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

It's all in my head

Pain, like a rigid, unseen hand
jabbed along my spine and
up under the base of my skull.

Pain, like a thumb pressed deep
into the soft tissue on the side of my neck
as if to interrupt the flow of blood.

Pain, like a ribbon stretched
from the base of my skull to my eye socket
and slowly dragged towards my ear.

Pain, untouched by meds
that leave me sleepless at night
in defiance of the warning labels on the bottles.

But, the good news, so I am told,
is that there is no reason for my pain
and that it is all inside my head.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Pale blue veins
on alabaster flesh
soft warm bosom
comforting breast

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

we are what we are • 11/6/04

we are
what we are
what we make of ourselves
what others allow us to be
what we allow ourselves to be
do not be confined
by who you think you are
who you were
or who others make you out to be
allow yourself to be amazed
by how others see you
how you are many things
and how you are one with everything.
There are no good byes
that last forever.


I know there is beauty out there
but I have given up hope.
And if there's a savior out there
it looks like a short piece of rope.

Clouded by pain
nothing to blame
fills me with shame
forgive me - and forget my name.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Your love. . .

Your love
is like a dead dead rose. . .

paraphrase of Robert Burns
My Love is like a red red rose (1794)

I won't tell you who I wrote this for. . .
but you know who you are!
It came to me as I was rereading my Dead Rose.
"a dead rose come fall
offers nothing at all
no warmth in chill storms
still painful are her thorns"
• Michael R. Martin •

Friday, October 22, 2004


It gets dark early
and I find myself alone with myself. . .
The life of a friend reduced to a few paragraphs, memories, and regrets.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

On the Death of a Friend

A cold drizzle
and yellow-brown leaves
drifting down on this Adirondack fall day.

Lost a friend
someone a part of my life
I wish I had known better

Makes no sense to ask why.
I know why he was in my life,
as he was in many lives. . .

to affect a positive change in direction
to serve in God's plan for each of us
whose lives he touched.

Rob Bonham
5/15/51 - 10/16/04
husband, father, friend
a man who made a difference

Sensitive, caring, rugged, sharing
He was a "good" man
working side by side with him in the field
He had a peace, a gentleness, and a stillness of soul
that helped guide me to my church home.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Dead Rose

i suppose, but who knows
your love like a dead rose
a faded memory, scentless
so little to recall

not fair, can't share
close friends are nowhere
close friends never knew
that brief moment with you

a dead rose come fall
offers nothing at all
no warmth in chill storms
still painful are her thorns

Summer fading • a new song

words & music copyright (c) Michael R. Martin 2004

Summer is fading away
Crickets seek their last fling
The stars still shine, and the bats still fly,
but they can't seem to catch anything.

Fat spiders snuggle up close to the eaves
but the grass is still green, collecting dew.
Thinking 'bout life and the passage of time:
dark skies and moonlight and you;
dark skies and midnight and you.

In the shade of an old oak tree
waves lap at the shore.
I've often pondered the spectrum of life
but it don't seem to matter no more.

Fat spiders snuggle . . .

I never thought it would come.
No I never wished for this day.
Now that it's here, I miss you, my dear.
But I can't think of nothing to say.

Fat spiders snuggle . . .

Early Morning Drive • September 13, 2004

5 AM
Lake Flower
Lights reflect across cool still waters

Monday, September 20, 2004

Still here

Oh, I am still here. . ..
Been writing some stuff, recording some thoughts
Just haven't made it to the blog.

New in my life:
  • Wrote TWO NEW SONGS (!) at Meadowlark Music Camp this year, "Summer Fading" and "Queen Anne's Lace"
  • Finished up a banjo song I have been working on for awhile, entitled "Poison Ivy"
  • Planning a new album of all originals, including the new songs, entitled "Summer Fading"
  • Have begun recording the songs I sing in the Praise & Worship Service that I lead each Sunday morning. The result will be a collection of music that out pastor (and others) can use when I am not around. (ED. NOTE: Songs of Praise Volume One now complete!) Right now, they have just been using the few songs features on "Glitch Unplugged."
  • Keep up-to-date on my music, plus find links to my musical friends, at
  • Been trying new vitamin and supplement routine to help prevent migraines, including multi-vitamin, feverfew, calcium and magnesium.
  • The kids are back to school; Emily has started cross-country and Mathew is signed up for hcckey.
Not so new in my life:
  • Still getting headaches, debilitating headaches requiring meds and sometimes shots

Saturday, September 04, 2004


Change happens.
Change moves forward.
Change leaves things behind.
Change separates, Change divides.
Change unites the disparate.
Change happens.

Where were you then,
where are you now?
Who was I then,
who am I now?
What of us,
what now?

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Summer setting. . . (more)

end of summer
shades of brown creep into green;
fields become patchwork of yellow
and green and white and pink


When you were young, I'd hold you sleeping until my arms fell asleep,
watching gentle breathing and feeling your tiny heart beat.

Emily, may you always be free.
May the world never take this sparkling innocence from thee.

Emily, with each passing year I love you so
like a freshly falling snow,
as more time passes, the deeper you grow.

Monday, August 30, 2004


Maybe we should stop now,
while we are ahead.
Lies, is it all lies?
Who's to say?

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Summer setting . . .

Crickets sing slower
as summer slowly sets.

We live in the mountains

We live in the mountains
we tap maple trees
we swim in clear waters
and sleep in a cool breeze

Its a long ride to school
across valleys and glens
even longer for shopping
but we live among friends

In winter its hockey
greeting snow with a zeal
skiing nordick and downhill
visiting friends by snowmobile

a song - of sorts - in progress

Foggy morning drive

Speeding through fog-filled Adirondack mountain roads.
The road narrows to black and white and grey
with a yellow line down the middle.
Dark obscure shapes loom beyond the white lines.

Oddly enough the fog clears as I roll through
downtown Saranac Lake at 5 AM.
Streetlights illuminate the sidewalks,
a car parked here and there,
and not a soul in sight.

August 18, 2004 - more crap from the road

Monday, August 16, 2004

Thank you for my nose

Thank you for my nose
and my sense of smell
So that when I drive by a small dairy farm
and smell the cows
I am not repulsed
But drawn back to fond memories of my youth.

Thoughts while driving in Rural NY, August 15, 2004
(funny how our memory is so strongly linked to odors)

Traveling through Ohio

Dark grey clouds billow overhead
sharp edged against a window of yellow grey orange on the horizon
barely illumined by the sun
a storm comes, a storm comes.

Route 76 through Akron
Interstates wind and twist and merge
Have to go north to go east
Joy of all joy, rain begins to fall,
stuck in 5 0'clock traffic in Akron Ohio.

Lord get me through to Youngstown
to cruise on to PA, to Williamsport,
family bound.

Traffic speeds up as nearly everyone
veers of to Cuyahoga Falls
and the rest of us continue on to Youngstown

Thoughts while Driving - August 13, 2004

I will be . . .

I will be your friend.
I will be your confidante.
but I can not be your lover.

I will be your friend.
I will do most all you want,
but my heart must belong to another.

I wait for your call,
wait for YOU, most of all.

Thoughts while Driving - August 13, 2004

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Texas Roadhouse

I went out to eat at a Texas Roadhouse tonight.
And as I was sitting there I realized
I was eating in a factory restaurant.
They move people through there like hanging sides of beef,
or automobile chassis through the assembly plant.
And each person has their own little role,
the greeter, the seater, the waiter, the server(s).
And shortly after your food arrives, the "manager"
swings by, order printouts in hand, and asks "is everything all right do you need anything?"
Well, so, I answered "No" to the latter half of her run on question,
which gave her a pause . . . ." No, you don't have everything you need?"
"No, everything is alright, we don't NEED anything."

This dining experience has made me realize
I am glad I live in the mountains;
unpopulated, few services.
Muncie Indiana LITERALLY has one of every kind of factory restaurant and chain
that exists in this vast United States
(plus a dollar store and tanning salon on every corner and in every strip mall - go figure).
But a week here and I just want to recluse back to my mountain home.
Home, with its green trees, mountain horizons, grey white clouded blue skies.
Home, with its woods and wetlands and lakes and ponds.
Home, where we know everybody and everyone knows us,
where there may seem to be too many people, but THEY are all visitors, tourists, fly-throughs, and wanna-bes.

Home, where my heart is.

(on the road in Muncie IN)

I am

Help me to remember. . .

I am who I am
where I am
when I am.

(from August 4 2004)

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Thank God He loves me

Thank God He loves me
because a love like yours I can live without.
Twice in a day, MY headache notwithstanding you've managed to:
1) demonstrate you have no desire to listen to what I have to say, &
2) reaffirmed your inability to apologize.

You may profess love but you sure as hell don't know how to live it.
And the fights are never about what you think they are about
and you are incapable of figuring that out;
willing to love, unwilling to yield.

Michael R. Martin - via Clie

Friday, August 06, 2004

The Fungi Song

Some people think we're hairy
and others think we're scary
all diners should be wary
'cause we are fungi

It doesn't seem to make sense
and it sounds ridiculous
but together we are fungi
and alone I am simply fungus.

The largest living thing on earth
we've often difficult to spot
mycelial threads throughout the soil
and a little mushroom at the top.

Girl on a Stoop, Saranac Lake

The young girl sits on her stoop, on her stoop
expectantly watching as hours go by
expectantly waiting for nothing to happen
her head barely turning as traffic goes by.

She's all of sixteen with her freckles and short hair
her whole before her and nothing to lose
She sits and she w atches, still as a statue
dreaming that life would reach out, her to choose

Lady child in that Saranac town
she sits and she watches as nothing goes down
Lady child how I wish I could show you
you're part of the reason this world spins around.

Time passes by and the sky starts to darken
The traffic still passes as headlights come on
She sits unobserved and fades into the scene of
old buildngs and porches that line streets in this town.

from August 30. 2002

Sleeping on the centerline

Everyone thinks I'm doing fine
but I feel like sleeping on the centerline.

The pavement is calling me.

Can't sleep at night, can't work all day
I'm lonely be want to be left alone.
Another roadkill on the road of life.

from August 30, 2002

Summer fading

Looking out the window as the summer fades away
watching as the farmer takes his last cutting of hay
the lambs of spring are nearly bigger than their moms
watching as the shadows stretch to close another day.

A myriad shades of green the hills
showing hints of tinted fall
ablush in salmon, red and pink
with lemon spattered over all.

The last short days of summer, hollyhocks in blooms
fields of golden rod display beneath a harvest moon
Crickets madly chirping as if
they know a frost comes soon.

from August 23, 2003+

Thank you, Lord

Lord I thank you for the gifts
of moon and stars and tide
I thank you for the blessings
of my family & my bride.

And as the sun is setting
on the first light hints of fall
It's life cycling through its seasons
for which I thank you most of all.

from August 22, 2002

Good & Plenty Honey

She's my good 'n plenty honey.
She does plenty of good. . .

from 8/21/02

Monday, August 02, 2004

Pondering Change

The vast majority of what we call "wild flowers" are introduced or escaped. Change is what life is all about. People seem to think life and the environment should be static, like a picture in a garden magazine. But river and stream banks move, plant communities constantly change in adaptation to climatic differences from year to year, new plant species move in all the time, established plant species move on to somewhere else or fade into the background, even the global climate changes dramatically over the geologic time scale with or without our extra carbon.

I'd like to think people are capable of realizing the complexity and interconnection of the natural world, but sometimes I wonder. . . .

Pale Moon Risen

Pale moon risen 'gainst the wind
trails across the sky from mountain peak to maple crown.
Light breeze damp with dew,
the lawn lays dappled 'neath the trees,
while insects trill their unremitting love songs.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

John Kerry for President - for a Cleaner and Healthier Environment

John Kerry's plans for a cleaner and healthier environment

And here's what leading voices are saying about John Kerry & the environment

Wired News: EPA Lets Old Coal Plants Fire Up

EPA under Bush . . . . way to go: EPA Lets Old Coal Plants Fire Up

Plankton in the Press

Nanotech & pytoplankton. . . Tiny Bots to Scour Big Blue Ocean

Proving once again that the closer you look, the more you see . . . Plankton Cool Off With Own Clouds


I skirt about the normal bounds of earth.
What you see by day
is an altogether other by night.

Sometimes I feel as if I might one day set myself completely adrift.

stay, lay;
that I might settle in and spoon
while first light dawns behind the mountains;
that you might be the anchor
that sees me to remain another day.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Thoughts while Driving - July 20 & 21, 2004

Traveling to and returning from Putnam & West Chester Counties

July 21 Early AM
Fat summer rains pelt my windshield
As day begins to dawn
Yellow headlights pierce the mist.
Trees, green-black - silhouettes against a steel pearl sky.
Wood smoke mist rises through mountain gap
Showing damp on damper still.
Unmarked miles, thoughts adrift like the mist.
Clouds come to ground in the Adirondack woods
whether dark or holy spirit I do not know.

Heading Home, July 21 early PM
1.5 hours from home,
up the Adirondack foothills
through the Cascade Gap,
around about Lake Placid.
Slip through the village of Saranac Lake
and on out to Donnelly's Corners to Cedar Eden,
spread out before the westfacing slopes of Whiteface, Moose & McKenzie,
and overlooking the Bloomingdale Bog.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

heavy sigh

A dark and troubled sky -
climatic conditions to match my mood.
Angry bands of grey give loft
to tufts of brooding clouds unfurled.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Barred Owl Visits Cedar Eden

Last night we were visited by a barred owl. It woke us up in the middle of the night, hooted for awhile, then took a break. And hooted again just about the time we drifted back to sleep!

sound file from Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs: Eastern Region by Lang Elliott w/Donald & Lillian Stokes: a wonderful 3 CD set of bird calls from 372 species in the Eastern United States. Buy it from Books-A-Million cheaper than

Migraines: Myth Vs. Reality

Migraines: Myth Vs. Reality -- A must read for anyone who suffers from migraines or loves someone who does.

See also my poem: a migraine*

Olympics: coming to a PC near you!

Olympics: coming to a PC near you! An article from Wired News

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Amber spring

The spring gushed forth in a swirling torrent, and leaped down joyously to make its swift way along a willow-skirted channel. Moss and ferns and lilies overhung its green banks. Except for the rough-hewn stones that held and directed the water, this willow thicket and glade had been left as nature had made it.
from Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey

The Trapper's Lament

Every ringing sledge-hammer blow had sung out the death-knell of the trapper's calling. This railroad spelled the end of the wilderness. What one group of greedy men had accomplished others would imitate; and the grass of the plains would be burned, the forests blackened, the fountains dried up in the valleys, and the wild creatures of the mountains driven and hunted and exterminated. The end of the buffalo had come -- the end of the Indian was in sight -- and that of the fur-bearing animal and his hunter must follow soon with the hurrying years.
from The U. P. Trail by Zane Grey

Neale & Allie together at last!

A hand slipped into his -- small, soft, trembling, exquisitely thrilling. Neale became still as a stone -- transfixed. He knew that touch. No dream, no fancy, no morbid visitation! He felt warm flesh -- tender, clinging fingers; and then the pulse of blood that beat of hope -- love -- life -- Allie Lee!
from The U. P. Trail by Zane Grey

Worry you not. . . .

Worry you not.
I will be alright someday soon.
I will. If you'll only keep loving me.

posted via PDA email

Monday, July 12, 2004

Lunch Fortune • "Ask a friend to join you on your next voyage"

China Jade, Saranac Lake, NY

China Jade, Saranac Lake, NY

A fortune, my fortune

•shot on location using my Sony Clie PEG-TH55

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Just something that strikes a chord

"It angered him that he was ashamed of himself. He was a victim of many moods, and underneath every one of them was the steady ache, the dull pain, the pang in his breast, deep in the bone."
from The U. P. Trail by Zane Grey

Friday, July 09, 2004

Trout Fishing • Zane Grey

The first cast Neale made fetched a lusty trout, and right there his pretensions of indifference vanished, together with his awareness of Allie's proximity. Neale loved to fish. He had not yet indulged his favorite pastime in the West. He saw trout jumping everywhere. It was a beautiful little stream, rocky, swift here and eddying there, clear as crystal, murmurous with tiny falls, and bordered by a freshness of green and gold; there were birds singing in the trees, but over all seemed to hang the quiet of the lonely hills. Neale forgot Allie -- forgot that he had meant to discover if she could be susceptible to a little neglect. The brook was full of trout, voracious and tame; they had never been angled for. He caught three in short order.
from The U. P. Trail by Zane Grey

Sunday, July 04, 2004


Time spent with old friends is bittersweet.
Company enjoyed,laughing and talking,
now of our children.

Comforting to know
true friendship stands the test of time.
But bittersweet the time now lost only to memories.

And less than memories
are the hidden loves never shared,
held too long to heart, now too painful to reveal.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Miscellaneous Notes From the Road

assorted unrelated thoughts as dictated into my Sony Clie PDA -- random, perhaps works in progress, perhaps stuff for the cutting room floor. I know they are not all "keepers"
Pearlescent clouds on baby blue
the sky, to me, today.

I marvel at the glorious scene
how many shades of green?


What if Jesus were to come into the world today,
at a time when we idolize sports figures, fashion models, and pop stars;
How would he be received?

Would we receive him for who he was
Or would we, like the Pharisees of old,
doubt him and seek to condemn him to death?

How would we recognize him?
How would he make himself known to a world
that is hung up on TV,
and the internet,
and instant messaging,
and Hollywood?


I know your life is sometimes hard.
And that I at times make it harder.
But I do have a deep love for you.
Like the deep love I have for
this green earth and its waters.

It's not a unique love.
I feel it for some, at times for many.
But it is a deep love, a true love.
And hopefully knowing that will make your life
just a little easier.


A trampoline
is a fun machine.
It recalls to you your youth.

Jump a while.
Can't help smile.
And that's the God's honest truth.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Solstice Rain

Rain on the roof,
murmuring like an excited crowd.
Rain water streams off the eaves,
splashing to the ground, like bacon sizzling on a griddle.

The rainfall crescendos,
the crowd roars, rising from their seats,
filling the air with cheers.

The summer squall fades,
the applause slowly falters,
the quieting crowd sits, hushed, whispering
leaving only the sound of a breeze through trees
and scattered dripping.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

a migraine*

sickening pain, up one side of the neck,
through half the face,
sizzling at the scalp and searing through one eyeball

the mind screaming in agony
sickness rising from deep below the stomach
pushing against the back of the throat

no hope for reasoning
no ability to focus externally
the mind collapsing in upon its miserable self

the clock ticks too loud
each second crashes like cymbals
sending synaptic shockwaves through the brain

any light is too bright
but sunglasses do little to help closed eyes
when eyelids phosphoresce hot white, lime green & purple

and any medicines that DO work, make you much sicker first,
intensified pain & nausea until you finally pass out
and sometime later your brain reboots, and you awake

but its not over then
for now, though thankfully pain-free,
follows a period of wiped out listless detachment

and some days the meds don't work, the pain grows,
mounting upon itself in cressendo triple forte and life becomes meaningless,
the mind collapses upon itself, no longer able to escape the blackhole of pain

on those days, at that time
you have but one angel of mercy, one savior
and that is the one who finally jabs you with demerol

*Not The migraine, just one of many

Not such a good day @ Cedar Eden

The highlight: Mathew had his fifth grade graduation (Moving UP) ceremony tonight, and received High Honors w/Effort all four marking periods.

Beyond that, Marlene was up all night sick with what Emily had Sunday. And I've got a splitting headache that won't quite. And I have to be up at 4AM to sample four West Chester & Putnam County lakes. E-Yikes!

So, here is what tonight looks like at Cedar Eden . . .

Marlene sick on the couch

Mathew watching HP on DVD

Emily IM-ing her friends

These pictures, BTW, were taken with my new Sony Clie PEG-TH55 and uploaded to my smugmug site directly from the PDA using its built-in wireless capabilities. . . pretty cool (I really wanted the Palm Tungsten C but I went through two units in one week with failing WIFI and others had similar experiences so I switched to SONY)

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Father's Day, Q & A

Q: So, what are you going to do for Father's Day?

A: Oh, take it easy, do nothing, sit around and watch TV, maybe fall asleep in my chair

Q: I see. . . So pretty much like every day for you, eh?

Thursday, June 17, 2004


Fort Wayne Airport,
early Thursday
Tired, so tired.
Hours of flying ahead of me,
into storms that will blossom at ALB.
Traveling is exciting, interesting
but its always so nice to be heading home.

Sometimes I return with mixed emotions:
Both good and bad lie ahead
Still, there is nothing like comfortable sorroundings,
one's own shower, one's own bed.
And though I feel like I earned a day of rest
It's right back at it tomorrow morn.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

When all is said and done . . .

When all is said and done
and you reach the dusty end
will you have had some fun?
will you leave behind a friend?

When all is said and done
will the truth be finally told
of a spirit bright as sun
or a heart of dark and cold?

When all is said and done
and your time has passed away
will you leave a basket full
or a cache of empty days?

When all is said and done
If you knew the how, the when
would you change the here and now
or just live it all again?

Monday, June 14, 2004

Dinner & A Movie
or My Fortunes Tonight

• You will spend old age in comfort
and material wealth •

• Handsome is that handsome does •

source: First Wok, West Bethel Avenue, Muncie IN

p.s. I had the eggroll, Hot & Sour Soup & double-cooked pork (3 stars)
p.p.s. Had dinner and show: Bruce Almighty (two thumbs up!)

First Wok Still Life

First Wok Still Life

On the Road. Again
June 14, 2004

Well, here I am,
On the Road again.
Indiana, flooded Indiana.
A bit warm for my adirondack mountain blood.
But green. With water and wetlands. All that I need.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Driving to Redwood
June 10, 2004

I've been wasting my days
wasting my nights
on things that, in the end,
do not matter;
things, that in the long run,
provide no enjoyment,
no precious memories;
serving only myself,
ignoring all responsibility,
and all others so much more deserving.

Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,
but only say the word and I shall be healed.
Sometimes I feel I have dug myself so deep,
there is no point in climbing out.
But then I see the beauty of the world around me,
nature as God's gift, and realize:
to see through these eyes
is reason enough
to rise up, and go on.

I have been blessed
with vision and talent
but so much more blessed
with love unconditional,
love forgiving (if not understanding),
from close friends and family:
a true sign that the holy spirit
is working in our lives.

Thoughts while Driving to NH
Early February 2004

If I could rewind the clock of life
twenty five years
and had the chance to live it all again
looking back, I would not change a thing

our time is here & now
our lives brought us here
I wouldn't change a single thing
and risk not having
this time with you, here and now


I want to hold you so close,
wrapped up in my arms,
that you can see the world through my eyes.


Every day life binds me.
Does it really matter who I am with?

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Kayaking Last Weekend
June 5, 2004

Here are some images from our recent kayak trip. See the whole gallery on my Smugmug gallery.

A pitcher plant from Little Polliwog Pond

A pitcher plant reflected in Little Polliwog Pond

A pitcher plant from Little Polliwog Pond

A beaver lodge in Little Polliwog Pond

A sundew (Drosera) from Little Polliwog Pond

A sundew (Drosera) from Little Polliwog Pond - note the insects being "eaten"

A frog from Osgood Pond

A frog from Little Polliwog Pond

Mathew exploring in Church Pond

Emily exploring in Church Pond

Driving Exam

On August 3rd, I must attest,
I filed for my driving test.
If on the road I'm to prevail,
this test I must not, MUST NOT FAIL.
After the written test is done
there still is time for much more fun.
With a stranger I'll drive about
to see if I know what it's all about.
If he says that I did fine,
I'll drive until I'm 99.

from Confusion: a finer distinction
by Michael R. Martin c.1976


. . . is not the cute little loving creature that I thought she was. I knew she wasn't loving but I still though she was cute.
. . . is really a tough little woman who rules her friends and for some reason they respect her. I saw her acting like the little gang leader she is at Party '78.
. . . is not loving because she doesn't have to be. Her friends love to be with her because she laughs and has lots of cute mannerisms.
. . . can see that I have something better to offer but she lusts for power. SHe doesn't have to go to her so-called friends, they will come to her.
But this one will no longer ! !

She was a classic example of
"that cute little thing
who never did nothing but
who got everything."
She's still quite a charmer
and she's everyone's pet.
But you've kept her from caring
and she still can't care yet.

Now I'm mad at the world
for what you've done to her soul.
I've tried hard to help her.
She'll probably never be whole.
How can she miss caring?
She never had to try.
How can she know sharing?
You have her living a lie.

You;ve cared for her and loved her,
impressed by her charm but
never making her care back
did less good than harm.

I gave her my love but
she could not respond.
Now the damage you did
has broken our bond.

from The secret lives of Fibber McGee
by Michael R. Martin c.1978

Monday, June 07, 2004

The Fire Opal

"Ooo say, aren't you sweet,"
cooed the maiden to the glistening stone
she spied awash of the rushing stream.
From that day forth
it would rule her mind 'til the end
of her days and her dream.

A cold, black stone to the touch,
to the eye, as red as fire.
The bright hue could make
the Pheonix blush
as did the maiden's desire.

She stopped to pick the ripened rock
and to clutch it to her heart.
The river, lusting for its own,
quickly swept the two apart.

They say she is crazy,
for she walks within a haze.
The river took the precious stone
and her wish of finer days.

from Confusion: a finer distinction
by Michael R. Martin c.1978

The road I travel

I travel
a road of gravel,
of ruts and bumps,
of trees and of stumps,
with hills I must climb
in my own time.

I don't seem to move
until I look back
and see that I couldn't be happy
on any other track.

from Confusion: a finer distinction
by Michael R. Martin c.1978

Dorm Hyenas

Animals outside my door
fightin' o'er the scraps of new girls on the floor.
Chicks born near a lion's den
and as the battle rages, i'm alone inside again.

So much inside me with nowhere to go
so much inside me with no one who knows
If you don't want it, good luck to the wolf
who'll gobble you up and widen the gulf.

Time passes much to quick
though i've got as much as you
one day we al look back
and wonder where time went to

Don't waste your time with hyenas.
Their look is death, their intentions meaner.
unconcerned with all but their deepest urge
for satisfaction, the countryside they'll purge.

You have the choice of who you want to be
the decision is up to you, not me.
But life is mine, the world is my backyard
Don't search too long. Don't look too hard.

I can give freedom at the same time i give love
tell you things of beauty 'neath the sky above
songs of peace -- poetry
everything which is me

All this and more is yours if you choose
or stored until later if you refuse
I can't stop you from having the blues
so don't come for help once you'be been abused.

Though I've never turned 'round on a pretty face
(they can push me and shove me all over the place),
I'm subject to the moods of the whole human race
from the dance of euphoria to the dregs of disgrace.

from Confusion: a finer distinction
by Michael R. Martin c.1978

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Snow flakes

the snow flakes . . .
racing hectically to the ground
only to find that they've lost all identity.

from Confusion: a finer distinction
by Michael R. Martin c.1978

I'm in love . . .

I'm in love with my stereo
It puts me in the mood I choose
It drowns out my thoughts
And repaints my blues

I'm in love with my motorcycle
It flies me where I want to go
It gives me something to concentrate on
Easing my brain when I feel psycho

I'm in love with speed,
It erases the clutter within.
The faster the better
To let my thoughts reform again.

I'm in love with my fountain pen,
Flowing my soul onto the page.
The only true connection 'tween me and you.
My inner soul knows no age.

I'm in love with you,
Whoever you are.
I only wish you could see
Someday I'm going far.

from The secret lives of Fibber McGee
by Michael R. Martin c.1978

Curse of the Gemini

It's hard on me
to have been giving all along.
I wanted to see
if your love for me was strong.

And what I feel now is hurt.
Guess I'm not worth the effort.
You kept it to yourself
as you watched me walk away.

And what else can my thoughts be
Except that it was just me
Who was keeping us together!
It's over, probably for the better.

I'm sure I'm wrong / I'm sure I'm right.
My soul will never win this fight.
You'll see me smile / You'll hear me sigh.
It's the curse of the Gemini.

from The secret lives of Fibber McGee
by Michael R. Martin c.1978

Saturday, June 05, 2004

I'd rather be . . .

I'd rather be just me, alone
Rattlin' 'round an empty home
Controlling why and where and when
You'd be invited 'round, as friend.

And if I chose to paddle west
You'd only be along as guest
And so much happier I would be
controlling my own destiny.

A Woe to Be

A woe to be
alone, with me.
No one here but I.
To long for love,
to touch be touched,
While living out a lie.

A flame that sparks
then sputters out
A heart as dark as night.
Reaching out
for hands to hold
And yet no wings for flight.


The forms, the patterns, the images . . .
a million tiny pieces which can't
all fit together at the same time.

from Confusion: a finer distinction
by Michael R. Martin c.1978

The Mike within

I will never have a girl.
It's something in the way I think.
All alone in the world,
I could probably use a shrink.

But I won't go.
I already know
that it's me;
It's in my chemistry.

Once accepted,
I'm anticepted.
I'll survive;
Remain alive.

I'm taken wrong everyday
I guess somebody wants it that way
And though I won't fight it
I never invite it

Nobody knows what I'm like
They only see the outer Mike
You will never begin
To see the Mike within.

from The secret lives of Fibber McGee
by Michael R. Martin c.1978

Questioning Infinity

Why am I confronted with infinity?
Am I supposed to make sense of it?
Or just let it rattle around in my mind?

Could it be I no longer function rationally?
That the world I view is seen through prismatic eyers?

Disorientation confronts me, stifles me.
There is no reflected image in the mirror.
Will someone ever stand beside me?

from Confusion: a finer distinction
by Michael R. Martin c.1978

Friday, June 04, 2004

Driving home after a day with you

Fire in the mirror,
the sunset paints the roadside red
Dylon's in my jukebox, playin'
I keep forging on a head.
Snowwind has my fingers freezin'
the heating unit has gone dead.
I grip the cold, biting steering wheel.
Visions of a night in bed.

As I unwind the twisted road
frostheaves jar my pearly whites
Dreamin' of the western sunshine
through long, cold days and lonely nights
In all-consuming wish for warmth
I fail to notice wondrous sights
As dusk burns the country to ashen-grey
Come down to earth, turn on my headlights.

from Confusion: a finer distinction
by Michael R. Martin c.1978

Night fall

A crystal moon set in a cornflower blue sky
which darkens to indigo as night falls.
The brightest star ventures forth,
then another, and another,
in the order in which they appear every night.
Soon Orion's familiar form is watching
over the small, New-England community.

from Confusion: a finer distinction
by Michael R. Martin c.1978

This poem follows "Driving home after a day with you" in my journal and may actually be the ending to that poem, although it was written in a darker pen and stands on its own.

Not Noise

The fluorescent light sings like a cricket
from some dank corner of a cellar.
And perhaps it is calling me into its den;
It is to me, after all, sound and not noise,
though to some it comes across as irritating static.

A train passes like the climax of a great symphony,
reverberating through the perfect acoustics of a clear, winter eve.
Each note executed in random perfection,
warming my weary spirit with the grace of a song.
It is to me, after all, music and not noise,
though to some it comes across as a bothersome interruption.

from Confusion: a finer distinction
by Michael R. Martin c.1978

Thursday, June 03, 2004


As introduction to this poem, I wrote:
The next poem is a cycle with no beginning and no end. The point at which it starts is not random, however. This is the point where it is noticed that something beautiful has been lost, or more correctly, is slipping away.

I do not believe that it, this beauty, ever really slips away. Our inner selves convince us,however, that it has. I shan't go into that here, though.
To prove that [the poem] cycles, go back to the start when you reach the end. Do not pause. It should appear to be like a flattened glove or sphere; like you see in some maps of the world.

This was sort-of inspired by "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." But, nonetheless, it came from within me. To set the record straight, it is not drug-induced or -related.

. . . Quality is failing me
where once I was sailing free
locked in a world of windows
I cannot feel from where the wind blows
And can only hear their rattling pane
only watch the advancing rain
aware that the senses lie
gazing cautiously with a questioning eye

I look to the future, in my past
hoping the past in my future doesn't last,
from my platform - a speck of the present,
a way-station to rest where rest isn't.
I won't say I'm lost, perhaps a bit tired
of fighting through the space in which I'm mired.

Fleeting moments of insanity
as control breaks down and loses me
asking why too many times.
Reading what between the lines?
To my back, a black cloud creeps
somewhere ahead, a faint light seeps.

As my physical funtion sleeps
my frient soft and gently weeps
only for himself, I am sure
for we are separated by this glass door.
With mere sight as comunication,
we will not share in revelation.
Nor will we share in inspiration
but only share reitteration.
And taste a foul degradation.

The signal breaks. I lose the station
Once more nakedly alone
sinking like a weighted stone.
temptations tugging at my laces,
I turn to stare into their faces.
A cold, electric shock strikes out.
With the blow, I scream and shout,
"Release me, cut the bands, release me."
Where will the missing, dented piece by?

On my knees, blindly crawling
Stand ye up, now, cease your stalling.
I heave my chest to catch my breath
It's much too cold, I'll catch my death.
Strong arms wrap me in a blanketm
gone before there's time to thank it.
The ceiling's high, the floor is low.
How I'm suspended, I do not know.

It suddenly occurs to me:
I'm not suspended but sailing free
throughout a vast and open place
no windows, nor ceilings, only space.
All else is nothing but illusion
a manifested, vile intrusion.
Distractionless, I plainly see
existence of pure quality.
And for a second I beleive
that I will never have to leave.
But images reform the maze
my vision melts into the haze . . . (return to start)

from Confusion: a finer distinction
by Michael R. Martin c.1979

This poem was inspired by my reading of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig, who wrote:

"Quality, or its absence, doesn't reside in either the subject or the object . . . (At) the moment of pure quality, there is no subject and there is no object."
"Quality isn't something you lay on top of subjects and objects . . . Real quality must be the source of the subjects and objects. . . "

To Nancy Cray
March 20, 1979

There are times I've called myself a poet
Probably unjustifiably so
But as long as I've gotten your attention
There's one thing I'd like to know

I think I'm feeling what I shouldn't
It seems that I've got designs on you
You seem to me a most beautiful person
I'm hoping that you'll tell me what to do

There are times when I haven't been sure of myself
I concealed that fact most carefully
But this once I'm breaking down to tell you
You determine what this friendship grows to be

I think it's a feeling I'd be best to hide
for the eyebrows raised would be more than a few
But I've just got to tell you, for I do believe,
if someone understands, it will be you.

from Confusion: a finer distinction
by Michael R. Martin c.1979

Where's it at?

She came in and she sat
then she asked, "Where's it at?"
I said "The world in which we live
is all relative."

"But I don't know," said she,
"just, where, exactly I should be."

"I think you'll do your best
if you let some time progress.
But don't do it passively
for there is lots to do and see."

from On Tap
by Michael R. Martin c.1978

At the Well

"You are dirt," she yelled with a heathen cry.
"You are dirt," she yelled and then spit in His eye.
"I put my faith in you but it turned out a lie."
You are dirt," she said . . . then He let out a sigh.

"You put your faith in me," He said, "It's true."
"But what on eart did you want me to do?
"I've given you life, your world, and you.
"Look around you. Is there more I can give you, too?"

"Think of loving, of laughter, and of deep, blue skies.
"Look around, then tell me that they were all lies.
"I've given you everything, make your own ties.
"Look around you and within you and you'll realize."

"I am sorry," she said, and she let out a sigh.
"I am sorry," she said, and she wiped off His eye.
"I put my faith in you, but I was living a lie.
"I am sorry," she said, and she started to cry.

And in the shadow of the world above
We must spread the source of love.

from The Secret Lives of Fibber McGee
by Michael R. Martin c.1978


I'm messed up in the barbwire of your soul
And though I'll come out scratched, I'll come out whole.

from The Secret Lives of Fibber McGee
by Michael R. Martin c.1978

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Own a Fly


maintenance free.

Eating molecular spots of food
which you can not see.

No need to walk it
(they don't walk much).

It won't make noise
(they're quiet as such).



from The Secret Lives of Fibber McGee
by Michael R. Martin c.1978


A vision: swooping, graceful, upwards into infinity . . .
An edge of confidence, barely defined . . .
A convergence, into one corridor, of all past experiences . . .
A window into the future, diverging into every conceivable and inconceivable direction . . .
An unsatisfiable thirst for knowledge . . .
A mind: thinking, knowing no boundary . . .
A universe.

from The Secret Lives of Fibber McGee
by Michael R. Martin c.1978

The Dungeons of Depression

The air hangs heavy
in the dungeons of depression
it casts a might weight
upon your soul.
Life passes by
in the dungeons of depression
each day inside its walls
brings a heavy toll.

I know what its like here
in the dungeons of depression
I've been cast here for
a length of time unknown.
The last time I laughed is
a million years gone by
and the voice inside my head
is not my own.

from Confusion: a finer distinction
by Michael R. Martin c.1976


A mattress,
wet with the moisture
of a September day,
struggling to remain green
but losing the battle
on several fronts.

Total defeat
by the frosts of October.
But its ideals live on
for the coming
of the spring thaw;
for the day
when it will return
in all its glory.

from On Tap
by Michael R. Martin c.1978


The brick building,
as the tree,
knows no time,
but stands quiet testimony
that patience achieves
its own glory.

from On Tap
by Michael R. Martin c.1978

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Thirteen Years
September 22, 2003

Thirteen years is a long time, is a short time.

In thirteen years (plus a few before),
we’ve shared an apartment in Lansdale,
bought an old house in Perkasie, fixed it up,
spent a frozen winter in an Adirondack cabin,
cozied up in a small apartment in Bloomingdale,
moved into a run-down camp in Harrietstown,
fixed it up and made it a home.

In thirteen years,
we’ve shared in amazement our first experiences
as expectant parents, and then new parents.
We’ve rejoiced in the birth of a healthy baby girl
and did our best to give her the best in life and parents.
We’ve rejoiced in the birth of a healthy baby boy
and did our best to give him the best in life and parents.
We have watched our two grow, from diapers to kindergarten,
from kindergarten to fifth and seventh grade,
from rattles and stacking blocks to cross-country running, basketball,
baseball and hockey.

In thirteen years,
we’ve been together and sometimes apart,
sometimes near and sometimes far,
sometimes close and sometimes distant.

Thirteen years.
It hasn’t been a perfect ride, but I think
we’ve loved more than we’ve fought,
comforted more than we’ve aggravated each other,
and couldn’t have done any of it at all without each other.

Happy anniversary.
Love, Michael.
September 22, 2003

Mom . . .

When the world has made me crazy,
you are calm,
When my life has lost direction,
you are inspiration.

You are comfort when I’m ill
A companion when I’m well
A voice I can rely on
A shoulder I can cry on

I owe you everything – just for being Mom.

If I could be with you now
12/23/2003 10:09PM

If I could be with you now
I’d curl you up with me on a couch somewhere
and time would stand still
future and past melting into the one now
and we'd hope and dream that it would never end

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Dos Rosas

tu corazón y el mío
son como dos rosas floración
una casa caliente en invierno
el batir junto como ondas sobre la orilla

Mi Amor Para Ti

amor oscuro
amor profundo
mi amor para ti
a nada es segundo

naranjas y pomelos
y dos onzas del ron
y soñaré con el día
usted y yo seremos uno

Friday, May 28, 2004

. . . so it is written

I take time,
but a time too rare,
to read what others have written.
At once, it gives pleasure, then pain,
to see that which sounds like me
and that which sounds like I would was I.



Thoughts on Seattle

Westin, North Tower, Room 3036
(Seattle, at Night -- 11/29/93)

Seattle, at night
wrapped up in its cocoon
of cloud-reflected light;
a sodium glow
pierced by an occasional aircraft flight.

no gunshots, no sirens,
no street brawls, no fights
is Seattle at night.

In Seattle
(the night before home -- 12/4/93)

Sizzle, sazzle Seattle.
headlights snaking endlessly into Seattle.
I'm trying hard to hold it together
on the night before home.

I feel like I've been living
in a different quantum state,
here in the west coast time zone.

A New Jersey Trilogy


Another train, another minute
another night with me stuck in it.
Another streetlight going on
another long time come 'fore dawn.

Seven men in seven mansions
seven crooks who climb the stantions.
Seven dogs to bark a warning
seen hours come 'fore morning.

A toilet far-off distant flushes
a young love dreams her young love crushes.
A mother yearns for husband touches
a broken spirit 'pon her crutches.


I light another cigarette,
this one to savor.
I know that to an outsider
I must look a million miles away
as I search the universe,
scanning infinite space with my mind's eye
for the words, the thoughts.
The body dissolves,
the room fades,
slips I into a formless,wordless.


It becomes so hard to transcend
the drudgery
and the picayune bitchery
of life...

With the sounds of people talking,
in a room that's not my own.
The t.v. set is raging
the same soap operas of my home
(or the house my mother lives in;
it's not the same home so forgiving).
I am too old to live there
yet too young to make home elsewhere.
Like the self-full little skunk
I have been hit crossing the road.

Wearing my Heart Out

I turned back the clocks and crawled into bed
a dusting of snow on the ground
Without you the nights here are silent and long
a fly in the lamp is the only sound

I'm tired and I'm lonely
Just wishing this long night was through
So we can get on with our lives
I'm wearing my heart out on you

That Sunday morning, it came much too soon
you snuck out of bed before dawn
You packed some essentials, the children, utensils
Next thing I knew you were gone

I'm tired and I'm lonely
Just wishing this long night was through
So we can get on with our lives
I'm wearing my heart out on you

Yesterday morning, I woke to a sound
A bear and two cubs in the yard
I turned on the spotlights, stared into their eyes
And wondered why love was so hard

I'm tired and I'm lonely
Just wishing this long night was through
So we can get on with our lives
I'm wearing my heart out on you

a song from October 1992

The Miles of Yesterday
Letters to Susan

There was a world
some summers ago--
another senseless epoch
reacting, again, alone on instinct.
I feel meaning that I may never know.

White rectangle words,
singularities in the void,
as time irreversable marches on--
whirling, expanding space-time--
gone but never destroyed.

I remember myself then
as yourself do you alone.
A destiny passed;
unspoken thoughts of familiear feelings;
the other never known.

And what can I do now
as we both suffer of life's strange way,
the very same we love.
Friends, close as the mail flies,
but forever distant as the miles of yesterday.

April 14, 1993

Clouds dissolving,
a crystal blue day dawns over the campus.
Birds sing in the golden morning,
their calls, like chapel bells,
ring as if the very air I breath is resonating.
A mourning dove wonders, "Whooo is this sun?";
"Ours," grackles and starlings and blackbirds reply,
while a gleeful little chickadee intones...
"Springs here....Springs here!"

Morning on a Hot Day
Short Sands, York Beach, ME - 1988

A pearl blue haze
bleached nearly white by the sun
swallows the horizon
so that sea and sky blend mutedly

The sun, haze hot overhead,
pierces through,
flattening everything with its glare

cool waves collapse offshore,
but throw no relief up the
sand incline of the shore

The beach, freshly raked,
holds every passage in distinct relief
barefoot prints and webfoot prints alike

The expanse of sand fills steadily
persons arriving in multiples of one
with chairs and blankets to stake their claim

beaches are the only real estate
man still occupies

Newcastle, 1986

A damp grey, of speckled sand
and tangled black
dried by the sun.
Scrambling ants
kicking sand.
I feel this place and I are one.

A hill of green - spartina grasses
tops a jumbled tide-strewn sand.
A swallow sweeps
in fluttering passes
and cares not which is beach
or man.

A February's Daydream

a summer's dusk;
hazy, dreamy;
too soon for sleeping;
hot and steamy.
blue-grey purple;
horizon-distant black clouds creeping.
pearl explosions;
lightning nearing;
soft breeze heading;
new leaves cheering.
barefoot warm
ivory bullets on blacktop spreading.

The Power of Spring - Message for May 23, 2004

Every year, at about this time, I am totally amazed, totally in awe of the power of spring. It almost seems that one day I am just noticing a slight haze of green across the hillsides, then suddenly I am looking out and seeing leaves. The landscape changes so dramatically . . . the woods fill in, the trees appear to almost expand; the neighbors’ houses vanish, blocked by the new leaves. And the color is always the most intense bright fresh green one could possibly imagine.

Friday, I had to leave the house at 6:30 AM to meet a client by noon down in Mohegan Lake, down almost to Westchester County NY, a good five hour drive. I left the house and started down the hill towards Saranac Lake and was immediately struck by the greenness that surrounded me. The lushness of new growth in the valley, with Two Bridge Brook meandering through it was simply astounding. It reminded me that I forgot my camera, which I take nearly everywhere with me. I did go back and get my camera but never took any pictures, because I KNEW there was no way to capture the way the beauty of this new green spring. So I continued on, and when I got to Old Military Turnpike, just outside of Lake Placid, a large Department of Transporation sign informed me that Route 73 was closed, and I was detoured out up through Wilmington to Jay and back down to Keene Valley. Now, typically I might have fretted about the lost time and being late. But it had been a long time since I had driven out that way, and instead I was just nearly overcome with the beauty of spring bursting force along the rivers and upon the hills and mountains. THAT is the power of spring.

In this part of the world, we are fortunate that Easter, the season of promise, coincides with the bursting forth of Spring. Today’s readings are about the POWER and PROMISE of Christ Jesus.

Our reading in Acts 16 tells the story of Paul and Silas, locked in prison together for their discipleship. One night around midnight, the two are praying and singing, while the other prisoners gathered ‘round to listen. Suddenly a violent earthquake shakes the very foundation of the prison, and the doors to the prison cells are cast open. The jailer awakes in alarm and takes up his sword to contain the outbreak. But Paul says to the guard, “Don’t harm yourself. We are all here,” for the prisoners had not fled but stayed to listen to the gospel in sing and prayer. Seeing this, the guard throws himself at Paul’s feet, asking what he should do to be saved. And Paul replies “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.”
THAT is the power of Christ Jesus.

We also have a reading today from the very end of the bible, Revelation 22. I will read to you from my bible, the New International Version, Revelation 22:12-14 & 16 - 17.
THAT is the promise of Christ Jesus.

Lastly, let me read to you from John 17, verses 20 – 26, entitled “Jesus Prays for All Believers.” I invite you to close your eyes and listen while I read Jesus’ words. This prayer, given by Jesus, takes place shortly before Judas leads the soldiers to the olive grove, shortly before Jesus is arrested. Speaking of His disciples, whom Jesus has sent into the world, Jesus says . . .

And THAT, is the power AND the promise of Christ Jesus. If you truly believe, you are one with the great community of believers, one in the Father, as Jesus is one in the Father and the Father one in Jesus. If you truly believe, you are given the glory that the Father gave Jesus. Remember the POWER and the PROMISE of Spring – God loves YOU as much as he loved his only Son, Christ Jesus. Believe – so that the world see in you the love God has for them.

Message by Michael R. Martin, Certified Lay Speaker – May 23, 2004
First UMC of Saranac Lake, 8:30 AM Service of Praise & Worship

I long . . .

I long to lay down next to you;
with time upon our hands.
to touch . . . to talk . . . to empathize;
each other to explore.

I long to look into your eyes,
your heart, your soul, your mind;
Until the whole world fades away
to you and nothing more.