Thursday, January 03, 2008


Looking in my bathroom mirror
I see the steady progress of death
as he moves like an eclipse
across my face

My skin grows more taut
my beard is shot through with gray
my eyes are increasingly bloodshot
I can't recognize this person staring back at me --
in fact
this stranger is scaring me

My physical weakness astounds me
my arms don't listen anymore
my sense of balance has forsaken me

But, blessing of blessings
I can still feel the life spark
I can still feel the life spark


Gabs said...

I've found you via noimpactman and am overwhelmed at how you are dealing with things. I admire you - I can only hope I could face this the same way. I wish you peace on your journey and send you good thoughts from California.

Mike Cross said...

You won't get a Buddhist "gassho" from me, you Japanophile fraud.

But your post is a strong stimulus to practise joining hands and bowing.

I sit in lotus now, and I will sit in lotus in other worlds, with you, for you, to you, joining hands and bowing.

YourFireAnt said...



ellF said...

Thank you for your words, poetry, and photography. All three have been utterly honest, and free of ego-stroking.

Best wishes in a hard time.

Fonk said...

Kind of a (understandably) bleak picture, but great poetry.

jcybill said...

We've never met, but I wanted to thank you for sharing your story in such a public way. You put a face and a reality on a process we will all go through in one way or another...and serve to remind that we all should look for that life spark everyday. I hope you feel bolstered by the many people following along, even if silently.

Stolenswan said...

there's nothing quite like feeling that life spark, is there?

east village idiot said...

You might think this sounds crazy but I want you to get your brother to place a comfy chair near the window - in the sun. Please sit in that chair when you can with a nice cold glass of ginger ale - with a straw. Sip it slowly and take nice deep breaths.

Don't let the mirror scare you. The mirror isn't the truth. The spark is the truth. love, ellen

melissabalmer said...

Oh Michael. Oh what to say when nothing is at all adequate. I am delighted you still feel the spark. I am delighted to have the privilege of reading your words. Thank you for sharing this journey we are all so terrified of. May you be held in each moment in tender loving kindness.

Dogo said...

Hi, Michael -

Just thinking about you...


Shawndra said...

I have just caught up on your last several posts. What a gift you are giving us by sharing all that you are experiencing. I feel honored when I read your words, knowing the energy it must take to sit at the computer and compose. I hope you feel surrounded by love and light every minute of every day and night, from all of us who have not met you in person but feel as if we could know you.

Antoinette said...

Hi, Michael. I have recently returned to the paper after being on temporary disability for 4 months. Please know that I am praying for you every day.
I believe one poem needs another. This one's for you.
— Antoinette

Washed ashore,
discards from the sea,
some intact
most broken.
All beautiful
glistening in the sand
waiting, waiting
for someone
to pick them up,
hold them
in the palms of their hands.

nancy said...

michael, hi. my name is nancy (from nutley) i found your site through bill ervolino's blog. i thanked him for this gift. the gift of you. namaste, is all i can think to say to you. i wanted you to know that a virtual stranger out here is holding you up in prayer and hopes to meet you on the other side one day when you're not editing God's words : )

i am so sad to hear of your pain and struggle. little i can do to help alleviate it i suppose but i am praying, i am sending reiki energy...i hope it at least helps to know you have touched another and i care.

i pray your moments are not filled with pain and that you will enjoy more than you don't. thank you.
thank you for sharing your words, even those of pain.

someone once told me i was so courageous. reading your words allows me to understand true courage.

god bless you michael.
love indeed.
i send you love.

Anonymous said...

your poetry is amazing. you are in my thoughts.

Ordinary Extraordinary said...

I've been following your blog off and on for a few years now. I've always admired your courage and the quality of your photography and poetry. I'm sad that the situation is deteriorating. I recently lost an old friend to MS. In a sense we're all in the same situation, just perceived to be at different stages. 'From birth to death ir is just like this'. Just know that the world is still beautiful, peace is still available and that there are clearly many people - some you've met and some you've never met - who care about you. Best of wishes.

Chel said...

In the morning
After taking a cold shower
What a mistake..
I look at the mirror.

There, a funny guy
Grey hair, white beard, wrinkled skin
What a pity
Poor, dirty, old man!
He is not me, absolutely not.

Land and life
Fishing in the ocean
Sleeping in the desert with stars
Building a shelter in the mountains
Farming the ancient way
Singing with coyotes
Singing against nuclear war --
I'll never be tired of life.
Now I'm seventeen years old,
Very charming, young man.

I sit down quietly in lotus position,
Meditating, meditating for nothing.
Suddenly a voice comes to me:

"To stay young,
To save the world,
Break the mirror."

- Nanao Sakaki

ted said...

I miss you buddy...

katia said...

i hope you're ok.

om mani padme hum

frog said...

It's been awhile... ?

Tom said...

I'm very sorry.

Mungo said...

Hello Michael,
Hope you are doing okay - thinking of you here in Toronto...

Kitty said...

I carry you with me, your words and images, in my heart and mind.




Anonymous said...

Thank You. God speed.