Rhyme-N-Reason: Archives

Category-Monthly Archives

January 22, 2009

Driving For More genre: Do Not Resuscitate & Hip-Gnosis & Rhyme-N-Reason

Driving For More

I drove a Dodge
He drove a bargain
I asked for more,
He left me starvin'

Easy street may never get you there
But the expressed way seems vacant
And the bus driver stares

Life passes us by
On the way to the grave
You can drop in your tokens
But the bill's never paid

If your debts are defined
But the numbers won't sum
Is the soul so sublime,
If we live on the come?

The bargains we make
May make us feel fine
But the living it takes
Negates the divine

I'm driving for more
I hope to arrive
To those keeping score
Fuck death...today I'm alive

Tagged as: Death, Faith, Poetry, Religion

Daniel DiRito | January 22, 2009 | 3:38 PM | link | Comments (1)
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December 28, 2007

Endings & Beginnings: Not The Same Auld Lang Syne genre: Do Not Resuscitate & Happy Remembrances & Rhyme-N-Reason & Tuned Out & Video-Philes

Life can be about symmetry or it can also be about irony...and occasionally it can be about both at the same time. As I've pondered the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008...looking for words to say goodbye to one year as well as to greet the new year...Dan Fogelberg's death came to mind as did his song "Same Old Lang Syne".

Both seemed to fit the moment as well as capture the essence that so often eludes us during the holidays...a realization that in the course of one year, life and death have traveled hand in hand. What one takes, the other returns...though the ledger never seems to satisfy as losses and gains are difficult to measure.

Life and death, one year stacked upon another, the constant parade of seasons...all mark endings and beginnings though none are quite the same...yet each prevails when it arrives. Some bring symmetry, some bring irony, some bring neither, and some bring both.

Regardless, at the end of any journey, all that remains are the stories we tell. As we enter 2008, may your stories be filled with joy, may your losses leave you with treasured tales of times gone by, and may you gain the wisdom to accept what yesterday has brought...as well as what tomorrow may bring.

The following video is a holiday greeting set to Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne". Below it is a poem I wrote many years back while seeking to make sense of the countless dichotomies found in this existence. Today, I simply accept that their constance represents the nature of our uniquely human story.

Season's Greetings

Oh snow,
Not desired,
That which blankets...
Smothers fire.
Be gone now
it is said...
Life shall come;
remove the dead.
Beneath the snow,
The seed survives...
Till when at last,
the sun shall rise.
The freezing wanes
Where life begins...
The water flows,
We start again.
Blazing colors
Will fill our eyes...
Death at bay;
The living thrive.
Visions fury,
Burning bright...
But who shall lead
The blind to light?

Tagged as: 2007, 2008, Auld Lang Syne, Dan Fogelberg, Death, Holiday, Music, New Year, Poetry, Same Old Lang Syne, Season's Greetings

Daniel DiRito | December 28, 2007 | 4:08 PM | link | Comments (0)
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November 21, 2007

A Thanksgiving Wish genre: Happy Remembrances & Rhyme-N-Reason & Snapshot Thoughts

I'm not a big fan of the way we celebrate holidays...especially the focus that is placed on the commercial aspects. In my own way, I have made them all about a celebration of people I have known who are no longer here. Thanksgiving for me is about my friend Mike who died on October 27, 1995. The following poem is from a card Mike made before he died that he asked me to send out on Thanksgiving if it turned out that he didn't live that long.

Maybe that's when I began to make holidays about the dead. In making cards to send out even after he died, Mike kept giving of himself even though he was no longer with us. His insightful gesture captured the essence of remembrance...found in our ability to give and receive even though we no longer share the same existence...but all the while sharing something far more valuable...our humanity. I am thankful to have known Mike and so many others who have left this world and I celebrate them all each day.

Fountain in Auckland - 2005

A man searched for a gift to give
To a troubled, divided and despairing world
A token to radiate his unfailing hope
For better things, for better times;
A gift to becalm the tormented soul
Of a world suffering from its own inhumanities
A gesture, perhaps, to give a voice
To his fervent yearning for a mood of peace;
Something to express what he could not say:
That universal love for man must survive.
Yet he found no gift, no token, no gesture -
Nothing in the shops, nothing in the faces,
And wept at the futility of his search,
Not knowing he had it - the gift of himself.

Daniel DiRito | November 21, 2007 | 8:19 PM | link | Comments (0)
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August 5, 2007

Change The Chains genre: Rhyme-N-Reason

I wrote the following poem while thinking about how our choices establish our fundamental connection to the freedoms we hold. All too often fear and hesitation keep us from embracing those freedoms...and in that fear we not only fail to become the person we envision we will be in the future, we lessen what we are in the here and now.

The poem also talks about the shortness of life and how easily time can pass and we can find ourselves lacking the will to enact and accept change. Life is a risk and those who want to live it to the fullest understand that dynamic...those who avoid risk may be doing little more than limiting the living they do.

Lastly, life is often a random chain of events which we cannot alter...but those moments when we do exert influence, if we leap to action, we often find untold happiness. In knowing as much, we can "Change The Chains".

Outside the Sydney Opera House - 2005

Change The Chains

Locked in place without a chain
The verse submits to the long refrain

The roots attach to the barren soil
Yet each one rejects the others toil

At loggerheads with the pensive me
While saplings are scattered aimlessly

The links to life become the tether
Sarcophagus lips are clenched together

Irony laughs as the crevasse grows narrow
The chortle echoes when the will meets harrow

The cycle is broken with a simple leap
The purpose you live will soon bury the grief

The choices you make need not slay the past
But the cautious will die before the dice are cast

The melody’s found when the voice is unfettered
Refrain is replaced when the spirit gets better

Let the song of your soul be all that you speak
The chain of events is the freedom you seek

Tagged as: Freedom, Poetry, Risk, Self-determination

Daniel DiRito | August 5, 2007 | 9:43 AM | link | Comments (0)
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June 7, 2007

I've Met My Self genre: Rhyme-N-Reason

I've always been fascinated with identity and awareness...perhaps that is why I studied psychology in college. I wrote the following poem while pondering the nature of one's identity and how one comes to understand the nature of its many components.

It seems to me that we're prone to assume that self awareness is a given...something that we possess automatically. Unfortunately, I'm of the opinion that isn't the case. In fact, I suspect getting to know one's self may be as difficult, and perhaps more difficult, than getting to know another person. I say that because what we do know about ourselves enables us to ignore or deny those elements that frighten or frustrate us.

Its as if we know enough about ourselves to be able to avoid knowing more...which allows us to function at a level of self awareness of our own choosing...even if that level lacks the depth that comes from objective self examination and the willingness to face our fears and shortcomings.

I'm reminded of the many conversations I've had with friends and family who have expressed disappointments with relationships. When asked my opinion about a particular relationship or relationships in general, my first observation is to posit that perhaps we all spend too much time trying to figure out the other person...and I usually follow it up by suggesting that many relationships fail because most people don't really know who they are so they seek out external understandings for the internal anxiety that is created by the avoidance of self awareness.

That doesn't bode well for a stable relationship because the internal anxiety that is hidden...but likely a driving force...is unpredictable which no doubt leaves the relationship vulnerable. In the end, I think all relationships would be enhanced if we first took the time to better understand ourselves. I realize that is a process that unfolds throughout one's life...but just maybe we should spend a little more time alone with ourselves before jumping into relationships and commitments that we may not be ready to maintain.

Anyway, feel free to share you own insights and observations and I hope you'll enjoy the thoughts expressed in the following poem titled, I've Met My Self.

Store signage in Vienna - 2004

I've Met My Self

Without a thought
The words left my mouth…
I’m more who I am than I ever was
How could I be someone I’d been?
When being my self is all that exists
Who had I been when I wasn’t me?
How could it be that I couldn’t see
Why I could be someone I wasn’t?
It seems the truth of me was often elusive
Can I be with me or are they both exclusive?
If I know my self, can we get along?
When we are together, do we both belong?
Those who inhabit the me that I am
Together become what I understand
The mergers we make with the partners inside
Set into motion the will to decide
To be who we are no matter the cost
When all is embraced, nothing is lost
I am all that I was and I was all that I am
The words that I spoke are the me I invoke
My thoughts have become the life I’ve begun
I’m more who I am than I ever was…
I’m more who I am than I can become

Daniel DiRito | June 7, 2007 | 9:28 PM | link | Comments (0)
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May 9, 2007

Dig Deep...Reach High genre: Rhyme-N-Reason

I've always loved symbolism and metaphor...and the following poem is rife with both. I wrote this poem while imagining life to be like a leap from a cliff into a still body of water. The leap symbolizes decisiveness and the water below is the canvas upon which one's will is painted. Life, like a body of water can swallow the soul in an instant and leave one scrambling to find solid ground upon which to land. If we succeed, we catch our breath and resurface to try again.

When we finally become who we are, the ripples of our actions not only reach the shore and leave their mark for all to see...they return to remind us where we've been and who we've touched. Such is the tenuous nature of our travels...all of which are defined through the prism that illuminates the fragile reality of our human condition.

I've included a photograph of the Tiber River that I took on a chilly wintry day while walking in Rome...thinking about the countless reminders of those who went before and left so many symbols of who they were and what they believed.

Tiber River in Rome - 2004

Dig Deep...Reach High

The weight of life engulfed me
While from the cliff I leapt

I sank to the bottom of the sea
In hopes I’d find some depth

The surface leaves me restless
It’s substance that I seek

The journey leaves me breathless
Facades are frail and weak

In haste I grasp a gasp of air
The ocean’s really deep

The bottom line is hidden there
The price of truth is steep

Make no waves is what they say
The boat will not endure

But if you plan to find your way
Still waters must be stirred

I break the barrier with my feet
My soul will touch the floor

Victory’s stolen from defeat
The lighthouse shines once more

Beneath the picture is complete
My ripples reach the shore

Daniel DiRito | May 9, 2007 | 5:11 PM | link | Comments (0)
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April 16, 2007

Reunion genre: Happy Remembrances & Rhyme-N-Reason

As a follow up to the prior posting on the tragedy at Virginia Tech, it seemed appropriate to share the following poem. I won't offer much explanation but suffice it to say that I wrote it while reflecting on the struggles we all endure to feel whole. It amplifies my concerns about the message we give children as they attempt to make sense of the world and the path they must navigate in order to feel connected.

I included a photo I took in Amsterdam of a building with brightly lit display windows that reminded me of a face with vivid eyes. I find it ironic that our eyes look out into the world when it seems that finding one's self so obviously requires us to look inside.

Feel free to share your own poetry and reflections on seeking to understand the events at Virginia Tech in the comment thread.

Display windows in Amsterdam - 2004


I walked away from myself
So I could see who was behind me
Suddenly it became clear I had not been alone
The being I glimpsed seemed quite familiar
Had he been in the background for some time?
And yet remained obscured by my shadow
His gate matched mine as if in strident synchronicity
All the while silent and subtle, yet substantial
No words were spoken yet his influence resonated
Can the leader be led by that which follows?
Do the fragments that constitute the persona
Orbit the soul as if attached to a nucleus of necessity?
As I faced my newly found and often felt accomplice
I saw in his eyes a conciliatory connection
But as our eyes met, we both recoiled
Frozen like the charmer and the cobra
Melded together by magnetic minutiae
Yet comforted by the serenity of stasis
Each dared a final look with stoic glances
Knowing I would never walk away again
Without hesitation I returned to myself
Facing forward I resumed the journey
Comforted by my conflation
Strengthened by solidarity
Wholly alive…again…

Daniel DiRito | April 16, 2007 | 9:03 PM | link | Comments (0)
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April 2, 2007

Best Of Thought Theater: Pieces - 04/25/06 genre: Gaylingual & Rhyme-N-Reason

Best of Thought Theater is a new feature. Since Thought Theater is a relatively new blog, much of the older content didn't get a lot of exposure and I decided to bring back some of my favorite postings for new readers. Much like a television program, if you miss the early episodes, it can be difficult to get a feel for the program and the characters. Hoepfully, these postings will fill in the blanks for newer visitors.

My apologies to those who may have already read these postings.


The subject line read “blast from the past". It was an old high school friend who I hadn’t spoken to in twenty-three years. It was last Thursday and at the time I took it in stride. I instinctively responded and we traded emails to fill in the gap. However, by Sunday night my anxiety was palpable…not because I didn’t want to communicate with my friend…but because all the emotions that I had neatly packed away came racing to the surface.

Truthfully, I can’t recall the specifics aside from the emotions. They remain vivid like so many others from that period of my life. You see…it was when I announced that I was gay. I think a lot of gay people talk amongst themselves about their coming out experiences but I don’t think many of us talk about it with the straight people in our lives. Sometimes I think we’re protecting ourselves and at other times I think we are protecting them. It’s probably some of both.

My friend told me he had run across my name on the internet and after checking out Thought Theater he concluded that it was me. In his third email, he broached the subject of our last conversation. He mentioned that he had hesitated to email because he wasn’t sure what to say to me or what I might say to him given that last uncomfortable discussion. In retrospect, the words hit me like a ton of bricks but I ignored them and simply responded to the rest of his email.

I went to bed around 11:00 Sunday night but I couldn’t sleep. I lay there for probably fifteen minutes before I just suddenly started to cry. At first, I wasn’t even sure what was happening or the source of my emotions. My mind started to race and I suddenly found myself returned to that period of my life some twenty-three years prior. My brain locked in on one thought and I actually started to repeat the thought aloud over and over. The words were these…"one by one, I lost them all…one by one, I lost them all."

As the tears subsided, I was able to return to the present and look back and see me as that person in that place that I had tucked away for all these years. Strangely, my first observation was that I didn’t know how I had survived it all. How can a person walk into a new identity in an instant, leaving behind an entire lifetime’s identity? What could ever be so compelling? Anyone who is gay knows the answer to that question.

One by one, everybody I had ever cared about let me go when what I needed most was to know that I was worth enough for someone to keep holding on. I remember feeling like I was being pushed out of one world and pulled into another. The people I was leaving knew me but didn’t understand me. The people I was running to understood me but didn’t know me. In a matter months, everything and everyone I knew and loved was gone.

The whole of me that had been divided all my life came together for an instant as I began to cross from one world into the other. Sadly, it became apparent that once again I could only hold onto half. I wondered if the whole of me would ever exist.

My friend shared one other piece of news. One of our high school classmates died a couple of weeks ago. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that fact. Twenty-three years are gone…one is lost and one is found. Something is received and something is taken away. Much as I’ve come to believe, this life we live is shared with death. At some point we pass from one half to the other. It all seems to fit so well and yet I still don’t know if the pieces can ever be connected.

Few people know this, but one of my favorite movies is Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It’s funny and its sad; its silly and its serious. On the surface the movie is about two people who fall in love and then fall apart. It is actually far more complex. In reality, the movie is about only one person who is struggling to find the second half of him. I have lived a life of halves as well. My life has been filled with dichotomies…more of necessity than choice…but then I tend to think the world is ordered accordingly. Through it all, though none may know, whether on this side or on that side, whether this piece of me or that piece of me…I loved them all with with the whole of my heart.

I wrote the following poem that I call Pieces while I was traveling around the world. It captures this idea of life being made up of different parts.



Life is made of pieces
The pictures incomplete
The paint slips off the canvas
While tears fall at your feet
Has the picture already met the screen?
Can you erase what you haven’t seen?
The search is on to find what’s gone
And yet it’s impossible to know what belongs
Soldier of love in the house of the heart
Tell us our purpose, who to defeat
Does victory ever bring us relief?
Life is a tightrope, its balance we need
Poles on each end, yet the center we seek
Is the puzzle solved when the spirit leaves?
Or is the spirits resolve what makes us complete?
With brush in hand and colors lucid
The image forms, the walls obtrusive
Building blocks just block your view
Tear it down, you’ll be renewed
It doesn’t matter what you can’t see
Each piece is a part of your destiny
Life is made of picture frames
No two are quite the same

Daniel DiRito | April 2, 2007 | 4:01 PM | link | Comments (0)
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February 14, 2007

Can Love Be Wrong? genre: Rhyme-N-Reason & Uncivil Unions

Since it is Valentine's Day, I thought I would post the following picture and poem. I wrote the poem while traveling and thinking about relationships. Sometimes it's possible for people in relationships to feel more alone than if they were actually not in a relationship. Unfortunately, our society places such a value on being in a relationship that people are often in one without ever examining whether or not it is beneficial to their well-being and if it is actually a source of happiness.

To answer my own question, "Can Love Be Wrong?"…I think the answer is yes it can. The poem explores how it is possible for people to sacrifice themselves for love only to find that the pursuit of love has actually inflicted harm. Facing the pain of knowing that the love we may have pursued or engaged in may actually be far more difficult than coming to grips with the reality of living alone without a love partner. Sometimes learning to be happy alone can be a far better endeavor than struggling through the contortions required to make a bad love relationship seem acceptable and rewarding.

When all is said and done, love is one of those human complexities that will always be explored and studied...though likely never fully understood. Notwithstanding, it will always be sought.

Display signage in Amsterdam - 2004

Can Love Be Wrong?

I’d die for love
And so I will
I’d die for love
Yet love you still

Your chin a quiver
Your brow a frown
Without a word
The curtains down

Tears of travel
They meet your lips
The bond is broken
They seal the script

Mere seconds pass
For years remiss
Life is altered
In just a glimpse

You spoke in silence
The message spilled
I died within
I love you still

And in departure
Your gaze affixed
My eyes were empty
The rain eclipsed

I’d die for love
And so I will
I died in love
I love you still

Where did love go?
Can love be wrong?
I died for love
When love was gone

Daniel DiRito | February 14, 2007 | 12:23 PM | link | Comments (0)
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December 7, 2006

Papal Mache - The House Of Cards genre: Hip-Gnosis & Rhyme-N-Reason

The following poem was written after my visit to the Vatican. While I have my differences with the Catholic Church, anyone who travels to Rome should take the time to visit the Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica. It is truly a spectacular site and one filled with historical significance.

The poem explores many of my issues with the fact that the Church seems to place more weight on preserving the institution than addressing the needs and concerns of its followers. As I was once told, originally there was God and man...and sometime thereafter the church arose. That pretty much summarizes my thoughts about the place of the Church and its belief that people should communicate with God under the guidance of the Church.

St. Peter's Basilica in Rome - 2004

Papal Mache - The House Of Cards

In a plaza made of a million stones
A dynasty stands adorned in gold

A pound of flesh, expose the bones
The price is steep, just pay the toll

The promise is made to slay the beast
The futures forever, you must believe

Hear the words, ignore the deeds
Slight of hand, the message deceives

Gilded statues adorn the grave
Figures carved by men of faith

Cowards live on the blood of brave
The flames you made, you won’t escape

Another invention, you sell redemption
Remove the sins, confess your own

Rape the child, immaculate deception
The hell you made will be your home

Infallible fables are lies the same
Good men of truth, you tried and killed

Preserve the temple, absolve the blame
Your house of cards, that’s all you built

They enter the lair, they genuflect
You pass the tray, without reluctance

From every soul, you must collect
The god you made is now repugnant

True spirits now live in another place
Upon your rock, you sealed your fate

The executioner comes to raise the blade
The end draws near, your long charade

The place called heaven you contemplate
True spirits now stand to block the gate

Daniel DiRito | December 7, 2006 | 12:15 PM | link | Comments (0)
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November 10, 2006

Finding Value genre: Rhyme-N-Reason & Six Degrees of Speculation

In the aftermath of the election, the prevailing instinct is to either feel vindicated or vanquished. Unfortunately, that is an oversimplification and likely a skewed perspective. Granted, elections create winners and losers in the conventional sense…but if one was to step back and ponders the intention of an election, it is only a success if it has brought us closer to "truth"...not the "truth" that one group can impose upon another but a "truth" that advances all of us and therefore all of humanity.

Victory is an elusive concept. For those of us who found the results of the midterm election to be satisfying, it’s easy to conclude that life is good and that our beliefs have been affirmed. However, little has actually been achieved. The country remains largely divided...pundits have begun their efforts to spin the outcome and to craft messages meant to undermine the opposition in order to insure a future victory...thus perpetuating the process while ignoring the purpose.

It seems to me that victory should actually be found in our ability to understand each other and to engage in civil debate that seeks to find our shared "truths" rather than reinforce our intolerance for the views of others. The validation / repudiation model is convenient and often comforting...but far removed from the fundamental principles behind the creation of this country. I believe our forefathers intended government to be the glue by which we could bring our diverse beliefs together under the shared umbrella of freedom without the fear that any of our beliefs would be unfairly abridged by the will of others.

The following poem talks about these issues and is offered with the hope that we all step back and take more time to understand ourselves better before we endeavor to influence those in our midst. Happiness is primarily an internal construct and an individual concept and the more easily that it can be altered by external factors, the more suspect I believe it must be. All too often, we look to obtain our happiness from external sources because it lessens the responsibility we take for our own self-fulfillment. Politics and governance should not be the vehicle to happiness. It should insure our individual right to pursue it but it should not predetermine the means by which to achieve it.

As we all attempt to make sense of this election, my hope is that it serves as an entree to more understanding and more cooperation. In the end, there is little joy in being the villain or the victim. Truth has neither as its goal.

Church in Rome - 2004

Finding Value

Empty lives walking busy streets
In search of something to believe

The bargains we make for happiness
Will another dollar mean success?

Winning and losing is a state of mind
Pursuing the truth is how life’s defined

Is life a game that we can ever win?
The outcomes certain before we begin

Filling the void with book and verse
The fear of death becomes the church

Dueling gods are created by men
The righteous use them to condemn

Values established by men in robes
Freedom’s values cannot be imposed

The Shaman’s tell of another place
Collect the tariff and guard the gate

The weak decide they're born again
Afraid to face that death’s the end

The hole you find inside yourself
Cannot be filled by something else

Feed the spirit, build your soul
Build it well, the truth your goal

Freedoms found when truth is told
Befriend it now and be consoled

Death’s an end, forget tomorrow
The spirit lives, no need for sorrow

Have faith in life, face your fear
Live life well, heaven’s right here

Daniel DiRito | November 10, 2006 | 8:58 AM | link | Comments (0)
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October 15, 2006

The Devil's Disguise genre: Hip-Gnosis & Rhyme-N-Reason

I wrote the following poem, The Devil's Disguise, while thinking about politics and religion and how those that embrace one or both are often consumed by the power that each can provide. In recent years, the two have become more and more intertwined in our American culture. All too often men and women are called upon by those in positions of authority within politics or religion to make sacrifices that cannot be justified.

In the end, the simple concept of love is far more instructive than either of these human constructs and yet one is often left to wonder if love will prevail. I've often questioned if we humans are more willing to fight for the concept of love or succumb to our propensity to hate. Were politics and religion created to promote love or are they the means by which we seek to legitimize the hatred we harbor? Lastly, if one embraces love above all else, then what actions can be justified in the name of love and at what point do our actions to uphold love corrupt it?

St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney - 2005

The Devil's Disguise

Half alive and half way dead
I see this life inside my head
But hearts the only path that’s left

Colors on a canvas, the shadow’s relief
Pieces put together, glued with grief
The spirit pushes forward from beneath

Holy men, politicos
Devils in disciple’s clothes
The fire’s wrath begins to grow
Draw the sword, the blood must flow

Love prevails when hate is slain
The weapons used are not the same
The heart is there to fix the brain

Medicinal maggots, corporate magnates
The poisons captured by the dragnets
When loves alive the virus stagnates

Holy men, politicos
Laws are made, imposed
The spirit stirs from its repose
The war is fought, the blood must flow

Twisted words, the tide will turn
Temples fall, the bricks will burn
Another language, its time we learn

The army grows by word of mouth
The devil’s drones begin to shout
A song of love must drown them out

Holy men, politicos
Evil falls like dominos
The spirit speaks the truth it knows
The heart sustains, the blood must flow

Daniel DiRito | October 15, 2006 | 1:18 PM | link | Comments (0)
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September 9, 2006

NASCAR...Last Car genre: Do Not Resuscitate & Rhyme-N-Reason

I wrote the following poem, NASCAR...Last Car, while thinking about the similarities between life and a car race. Sometimes we know where we are going and we easily steer our course; other times we keep moving but haven't a clue where we're headed. Regardless, life is a journey that must be navigated. We often look to others to tell us the way but ultimately each life is an individual adventure. Though our paths may cross and we occasionally travel together, in the end we leave this existence alone.

As I read the poem tonight, it made me also recall my time in Barcelona...particularly the Gothic District, one of the oldest areas in the city which is a virtual maze of buildings through which traverse narrow streets not intended for vehicle traffic. Each time I walked the district I seemingly found another walkway or a new area that I had previously missed. In these recollections, it was apparent that life unfolds similarly...sometimes the path is familiar and mundane and other times it's uniqueness kindles an awakening that moves the spirit. Sometimes we feel we can't go on...but if we persist, somehow life presents us with more and we are renewed.

Barcelona Gothic District - 2004

NASCAR...Last Car

Another disappointment, the doubting settles in
Searching for an answer, what’s it take to win?

Standing on the precipice, the future staring back
The past has left its mark, the tires in its track

The fuel is in the tank, the engine needs some gas
Brakes will hold us back, breaks will move us past

The odds are on the board, you’re the odd man out
Opponents all around, it’s you against your doubt

Can the course be altered, or is it set in stone?
Is fate your destination, can your destiny be known?

A leap of faith essential, but faith has up and leapt
You haven’t got a prayer; the will is all that’s left

The race is always lost if the track is never taken
The circle is the journey, it can never be forsaken

Inside a fire rages, the structures built to save
Smoke obscures the way, flames insure the grave

The blaze becomes a candle, there to light the way
The bullet leaves the barrel, checkers end the day

The vessel must be driven, it’s driven all alone
The answers are within; you win it on your own

Daniel DiRito | September 9, 2006 | 9:00 PM | link | Comments (0)
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August 21, 2006

Eden's End genre: Econ-Recon & Rhyme-N-Reason & Six Degrees of Speculation

I wrote the following poem, Eden's End, some time back after focusing on the many people one sees on the roadside with signs asking for money because they are without work or homeless or any number of other reasons. I've read articles that a number of these individuals actually do this for a living. I've also read that many of them are in fact homeless and suffer from addictions or mental illnesses. There is a tendency to assume the worst and doing so usually provides the rationale to ignore their requests and drive on without acknowledging their presence.

The other day I was driving around and came upon a stoplight at which a young woman was standing with a sign that simply said "Need Help". What caught my eye was the fact that she was wiping tears from her red face as she stood on the corner. It looked to me that she must have been crying for a while. I was in the second lane and I watched a car ahead of me in the lane closest to the curb roll down the window and hand her some money. While I reached for my wallet, the light changed but I was determined to give her some money so I remained stopped as she ran towards the car while avoiding the traffic. I handed her the money and she thanked me profusely. I said good luck and moved on.

It made me think about this poem and this photo I took while in Vienna. They seemed to be a perfect match for this posting since we often hope others will see us and see our need for a kind word or a warm smile or just an acknowledgment that we exist. In a world that is often cold and callous, it’s a shame that those in need are often overlooked. I'm reminded of the images from New Orleans during Katrina. Perhaps we should all be more mindful of those in need.

Store signage in Vienna - 2004


Alley ways and cardboard castles
Vagrants vanquished by life’s hassles

Treasures kept in grocery baskets
Empty lives to fill the caskets

Jacked around, Jack Daniels downed
The story’s broken, without a sound
Lying motionless on the ground

A message scribbled to get a buck
Hungry and homeless and out of luck

The passers by eat their apple pie
The American dream drives on by

Heroin highs, while the heroine cries
Darkness dwells, where once were eyes
Death is hidden in life’s disguise

Crack the window, give them five
You did your part, and off you drive

Raise your glass, let’s have a toast
You looked around, you did the most

The beggar begs, you beg their pardon
Just turn your head, the heart will harden
The seeds are dead, and soon the garden

Daniel DiRito | August 21, 2006 | 11:20 AM | link | Comments (0)
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July 21, 2006

The Price Of Love genre: Rhyme-N-Reason & Uncivil Unions

The category “Rhyme-N-Reason" is intended to be a place to share poetry that stimulates thoughtful reflection. For me, writing poetry is cathartic. It’s a way to encapsulate a group of feelings or thoughts that might be on my mind such that when I’m done writing, I experience a level of resolve that is both comforting and motivational. It has the same effect for me as listening to a song with which one has a significant connection. It takes you somewhere you’ve been or to something you’ve felt or experienced and allows you to further interpret the intended meaning or the lesson learned. Hopefully this can be a place for readers to pause and reflect on their own thoughts and feelings. Your comments are welcomed as well as any poetry you might want to share.

The following poem, "The Price of Love" talks about the duality of love. I wrote this while thinking about the meaning of love. I've often wondered how two people in love can suddenly become mortal enemies. Granted, relationships are complicated but it seems strange that love can be lost in an instant...and yet it often appears to be the case. Perhaps that simply means it was never love? It seems that truly loving someone ought to be somewhat unconditional.

It also seems odd that friendships can last forever despite obvious differences between two people. Why is it that the love between friends is frequently more unconditional than the love between spouses? The only explanation I have is that the expectations we have for a spouse often exceed those we have for our friends. That seems somewhat counterintuitive to the notion of loving someone and yet I think it better describes the reality of many love relationships. Unfortunately, it also tends to make love relationships more fragile and less apt to endure. In the end I'm left to wonder if love is something we give or something we need...and in that thought is it possible that our vision of true love is an illusion?

Sydney - 2005

The Price Of Love

Love under lock, yet love is key
My love is fatal, it’s killing me
Love devours, love’s a feast
Life is burdened by the beast
When love is poison, what can you give?
If love is offered, can love be lived?
Romance reveals, yet love is blind
How do I tell you my love’s resigned?
What I’ve accepted keeps love away
Once it’s inside you, will it remain?
When loves infectious, can it be caught?
If love’s forever, has death been brought?
This love equation, I can’t resolve it
Tally the ledger, love is insolvent
Sometimes indifferent, there’s no escape
Love is still in me, my heart still breaks.

Daniel DiRito | July 21, 2006 | 9:04 AM | link | Comments (0)
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