The Fragility of Skin


The Fragility of Skin

The ingenious coverings of living things

Reflecting the light

In a thousand textures and colors

The shells of beingness

Found on the strand

Some hard, some soft

Some smooth and others coarse and thick

And then our own

With the delicate sensuousness of a dewy peach

Separating me from you

And you from me

A porous and permeable membrane

Soft enough for movement

And thin enough to allow the most tender touch

And the most searing pain

The fragile container of our being

Which both protects and inhibits us

The fine line between life and death

Meant to keep us whole

From our birth to our demise

Thin as the flimsiest of paper

A translucent barrier

It´s colors all beautiful

So easily broken and torn

How profoundly it can be damaged

How wondrously it heals

How insistently we defy the cut, so personal,

That which pierces the illusion of our singularity

And denies us oneness with our beloved

Children, lovers, friends and heros

I ask,

How can I truly know you?

The Most Important Question


The Most Important Question


We have all heard

Sometime in our lives

Someone, perhaps ourselves

In a moment of self pity

Or in the depths of despair

Ask why?   Why me?


Why am I here?

Why was I ever born?

Is it only to experience

Suffering and pain?

To struggle to maintain my life

In some barren existence

From day to day?


Or have we been given life

To make a choice

Whether to use our imaginations

And all our many resources,

All of our energies

To create a world around us

In which love and happiness

Joy, beauty and harmony

Abound and fulfill us

And all those who share our lives


Or to create a world

Of dust and ash?



Russell Rosander

Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, Mexico


The Tragedy and Hope of Our Generation


The Tragedy and Hope of Our Generation

The terrible moment of realization

When we first discovered the deception

That came to weigh so heavily on our hearts.

That which took us away

From those that gave us our existence

And nurtured us.


When the repetition of those beliefs

Handed down through generations

By our forbearers

Seeped out of our hearts

Could no longer be held

And signified the moment of our betrayal.


When the fantastic notions

Of those who preceded us,

Patriotism, duty, God and reward in the hereafter

Crumbled like the pages of an old book

When exposed to too much light

And no longer held prescience for us.


We were expected to continue our father´s battles

To fight the good wars against all others and colors.

To maintain the banners

Of the causes of the past.

But one by one

In the light of those troubled times

The suffering was exposed

Making the paths provided for us

Impassable, unconscionable and indefensible.


We suffered the distain of our parents

Who believed it was they

Who had been betrayed,

They who had been wounded

When we strayed from the path of their righteousness

And caused them endless suffering

In choosing our own beliefs.


The war went on and on

And hundreds of thousands died

Thousands more wounded for life

In heart and body and mind

On both sides, needlessly

Believing their cause was just.


Many of our parents believed

That this new war was a continuation

Of the battles they had fought

In their youths, in the good war

When God was on our side.


That death was an honor bestowed on heros

Sacrificed to make the world safe

For the continuation of all their hopes and dreams

Thus were the lessons they had learned in life

And they came to believe that

The reason for their current loss

Was the fault of those they had disinherited

Traitors of their own seed

And those who had lost heart in battle.


The wounded of mind and soul who fought

Still wander the streets homeless

All but forgotten by those

Who sent them into battle

Some joining the disenfranchised who had refused to go

And those who went and saw

The meaninglessness of that destruction

And other exiles from our society.


But to their credit

Many of those same parents

Having reclaimed the truths of their mothers and fathers

That only love and forgiveness

Can heal the wounded soul

And having passed that knowledge on

To their children before the war

Have now reunited and joined the search

For a better way.


And they and we continue on our way

Leaving the past behind

Traveling new and unknown roads together

Seeking new paths, kinder to our feet

Working together to create a new world

Of love and understanding and kindness

In which war and hatred of others different

Can no longer exist.


Knowing that there were other wars

Proclaimed to be the last.

Fought by our grandfathers

In trenches and no-man´s land

With brutal precision and insanity

An brought them also to dream of a world

In which peace prevails.


And now we have seen, that our war

Would not be the last

That they continue to this day

Leaving more suffering and hatred

In their wakes

But we can hope that our children and grandchildren

And those that come to lead them

Will find a way

Leading to the day.


And hope that what we have given them

Will be enough to be remembered

Because we no longer wish to carry the old pains

And that our truths

Shall not crumble into dust

From exposure to a brighter light

That no more good young men and women

Will be discarded needlessly

Or need to turn away

From those who they know still loves them

And whom they love still


That next time,



Ormazd´s Big Bash or the Farce of Life – Chapter 6


Chapter 6

Ormazd looked adoringly over his right hand at Marilyn.  She had fallen asleep after they had made love.  She was tired and had fallen asleep.  They had been busy makin´ preparations for the big bash all day.

He had no particular dislike of monks in general.  In fact, he loved them as much as he loved everyone else.  They were mostly just humble and confused people who were trying who were tryin´ to figure it all out, but this presumptive little shit he´d left the invitation for was way over the top.  “Does he really think I´d prefere him over Marilyn Monroe?  What an ego!”

He smiled as he watched her snooze.  She bore little resemblance today to the woman that had born his son, depicted so many times in icons and paintings and sculpture by the old masters of the past.

These days he insisted that she adhere to a strict regimen of birth control.  Neither of them wanted any more sons runnin´ around gettin´ themselves crucified.

He had tried to warn the boy.  “They´re just too damn mean yet.  Give `em a while.  If you go now, you´ll only find a few that will listen to what you have to say about love and kindness and you´ll just get those folks in trouble with the others.”

“But someone needs to plant the seed!” he´d argued.

“There are already people out there practicing love and kindness quietly in their own way.  I put the seed in their DNA a long time ago.”

“Then someone needs to point the way!” he insisted.

“Hell,” Ormazd repliedm “When the time comes there´ll be plenty of signs.  All that mean crap they´re doin´ to each other and their planet down  there will seem so stupid, they won´t be able to turn around without trippin´ over one.  You can´t speed up evolution.  It only happens when there´s the greatest need, when their survival depends on it.  When they reach the brink of their own self destruction, they´ll either get it or perish.”

But the boy was headstrong and wouldn´t listen, so he went down there anyway.  Just as another son, the one they called Buddha, the enlightened one had gone and others before him.  They went full of the compassion and idealistic fervor of youth.  “They never listen,” Ormazd thought.  He supposed he had been the same way when he was young, but that was so many eons ago, it was hard to remember.


All in all, the little monk wasn´t all that bad.  He and Marilyn had debated whether to send him an invitation at all.  At least the little guy confined most of his self degredation to himself.  It had never occurred to him that life was meant to be enjoyed in love and communion with others; and it never would, as long as he stayed in that damned cave of a monastery.  Omazd had given the Abbot his response to the anouncement of the kid´s `vision´ in hopes of gettin´ him outta there and off his self-denial kick.

It was always fear that blinded people from the truth about what they really needed.  He was deathly afraid of being rejected by his imaginary and separate god.  The C.I.U. had never been separate from his creation.  In fact, he was still creating it; he´d never finished.  “Hell,”  he thought, “I´ve never rejected anyone no matter how bad their behavior was of how they defied their own self interests.  I favor them all!”

The little monk needed to open up and live a little, make some friends, love others and be loved in return, instead of becomin´ an isolated, pious, pompus, perfectionist, self important little prune driven by fear and guilt.  That would never cut the mustard.  “Sheesh!”  That´s why he had decided to give him the invitation.  The C.I.U. himself loved a good party!


Ormazd look down on Marilyn layin´ beside him, asleep. “Gawd how I love her!” he thought.  She had left him once to persue a dicey affair with that rakish rascal, Jack Kennedy.  He´d never blamed her and she´d never regretted it.  Jack had refused to divorce Jackie and it´d broken her heart.  It was the love of his humanness and all it´s foibles that had gotten her into the situation.  The C.I.U. had had a fling or two himself.  In creating humans, he had become, in a way, human himself and was evolving right along with them.  These affairs seldom worked out and generally, they only caused a lot of anger and hurt all around.  Such were the lessons of live.

There was never really any need for forgiveness or appologies.  She was part him and he, her.  She was the yin to his yang.  They were one and always would be, whether together or apart.

Actually, he´d really liked the young man and despite rumors to the contrary, he´d had nothing to do with his assassination.

He was not a vengeful God.

No Radio in a Tropical Breeze


No Radio in a Tropical Breeze


The sweep of banana leaves

Clicking in the shush of a breeze.

The whisper of grasses

Fluttering calypsos in the warm air.

Then, a stillness visits the afternoon

So abruptly, in such contrast,

Even the insects forget to buzz.


A rest, a silent beat.

I hear the missing note

In the resonance of my heart

Playing my part, standing aside

Listening with admiration,

An audience of one.


As the leaves resume their lift and fall

The stately dance continues

In a rhythm set

To currents of wind and star

Syncopated by the steady beat

Of a billion tiny wings

In masterful precision.


And over this

A dove, a divine soloist

Begins another verse

Of well rehearsed lyrics

From the dawn.


Barra de Navidad, Mexico 2014

The Re-birthing of a Wildflower


The Re-birthing of a Wildflower


In my hour of darkness

Curled in the detritus of the past

Along a forgotten road,

A place so forlorn and empty

No light could possibly penetrate it,

I emerge from a field of hopelessness

Into the lightness of dawn.

An Infant

Born of a windblown seed

Out of the blackness of the earth

On the night of my becoming

Unfolding tiny leaves

A pale and fragile thing

Lifting it´s head to the stars.

Unseen and unnoticed

By travelers passing by

Hidden among the vestiges

Of past delights,

Candy wrappers, cigarette butts,

Old shoes and plastic bags,

A weed unfurling from it´s nest

Into a beautiful flower.





My soul has wings

I flutter un-tethered

Drifting on the breeze

Chasing sunbeams.


Soaring and plummeting

On invisible currents

Whimsically spinning

An ecstatic dance.


Words flitting like butterflies

Through the boundless expanse

Unspoken syllables

Floating on air.


Unfettered and undefined

By patterns of thought

Or having any purpose at all

Never touching the page.


Barra de Navidad, Mexico 2014

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Returning to the Garden



Returning to the Garden

The fragile beginnings of leaves

Unfolding into the intricate lacework

of creation

First one, then two, then three

Following the ancient course

of patterns learned

from primal experiences

in the dawn

Until exploding into splendid blossoms

of color and light.


Altering here, altering there

As each obstacle is encountered

Multiplying and dividing

Into ever more complicated forms

A beautiful tapestry

Rich with unbounded diversity

totally new

unlike any other.


Just as each new word beckons another

Following patterns learned in childhood

Our experiences in play and nuture,

pain and delight

Form the fabric of who we are

As we alter here and there

this and that

As each obstacle presents itself

And each new experience takes us

to what we become.


But the plants and flowers in the garden

Are following certain paths

determined in their genisis

we think

And we have been…

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Song of Nothingness



Song of Nothingness


I am the dust

Gathered on your feet,

Swirling around an invisible center,

Beyond existence.


The stars are my subsistence,

Brief flickers of light.

I have no being

Other than what I become.


I am not of time

Yet I fulfill each moment.

There is no reality,

Yet I encompass it.


I am whatever you choose

To imagine me to be,

May it fulfill your needs.

You are my beloved.


Love is the spark of life,

My only passion

And that which

Sustains it.


As substance, I am mortal,

But at the heart,

I am nothingness – I am all

I am light – I am darkness

I am eternal – I am you.



Barra de Navidad, Mexico 2014


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The Beggar



The Beggar

The smiling faces of beggars

Beseeching charity

From exposed street corners

Audaciously revealing

The dirty shame of fortune .

One legged and half minded castaways

Loitering in the doorways of enterprise

Appealing to the discomforts

Of those who pass by

Scorning at their ineptitude

With averted eyes.


The “undeserving” you decry

But not too loudly

Because there are tinges

Of guilt in the proclamation

Which you do not wish to acknowledge.

“What,” you ask, “have these mendicants

Contributed to your well-being?”

“Was it I who ordained them

To their station?”

Am I the maker

Of the fates of others?”

You continue on your way

Wondering if it´s all a ruse

Just another attempt

To gain something for nothing

And not from need

Just another “business”.

Your walking slows

There is distance now and safety.

But, In your mind, you see the stump of the limb

The smile…

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