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.