May 25, 2017

Visionaries (The language of roses)

Here is another poem that captures my attention


(In Memory of Mary Rudge)

Seekers of the exotic,
riders of water and wind,
shapers of jewels and images,
builders of bridges/breakthroughs,
explorers of Mars, the psyche,
artists, students,
celebrants, elders,
embryos this moment conceived—

whatever we will be in an hour,
tomorrow, a hundred years
or at the last turn of the earth
under moonlight's incantations,
whatever comes
   may we lean toward
      the language of roses.

-Claire J. Baker

from San Francisco Peace and Hope (A literary journal devoted to poetry and art)

Steve Eulberg's Poetry and Writing Blog 2016-08-06 06:10:00

Here is another poem I've found for you.

I was the musician for a marvelous event near Earth Day at the Gallery at HerChurch in San Francisco.

This was a poetry reading by the poets of San Francisco Peace and Hope.  

It was published in their Literary journal devoted to poetry and art.  (4th Issue)

Out of Temper Out of Tune

Out of Temper, Out of Tune
Piano's out of temper, piano's out of tune.
She clangs instead of sings, I don't want to play with her.
Mister Tuner, his black leather bag,
long strips of red felt, dampers and fork,
will bring us together again.

He starts in the middle, tempers the octave
expands the fourths, contracts the fifths,
like a crossword puzzle of cheating tones
so the highs and the lows will blend with the middles
when he's done.

He seems to bang the keys, not musical at all,
and in his other hand, a funny lovely wrench,
rosewood handle, cranks the pins a tiny bit
tight, a little too tight, a tiny bit looser.
I don't know what it is he hears.

Eighty eight keys, two hundred twenty two strings,
all needing to vibrate at their own perfect speed
so the bad temper will sweeten again to beauty.
In the end it does, and it makes me wonder,
isn't there such a craftsman
for our human relations?

Someone who knows exactly how far
to tweak each of us
to render the whole chord of us
from cacophony to harmony?
Someone who hears in each string of us
Our potential for resonance?

-Jan Dederick

Steve Eulberg's Poetry and Writing Blog 2016-08-06 05:48:00

A Better Weapon
by Andre

A poem is a better weapon
Than a knife
Because a poem will lead you
To a better future
To succeed
A poem will set your mind free
A knife will lead you
To violence
To jail
And maybe
To death

Published in They Call Me 299-359:  Writings by the Incarcerated Youth of Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop

Strange Irony in “Merry Christmas”

by Steve Eulberg

Sifting through past Advent reflections, I found this quote which I had highlighted in the newsletter for the amazing inner-city worshipping community for which I served as pastor.

The quote is from Howard Thurman, whose writings supported my vision and flagging spirit, as the winds of hope that fill the sails that are unfurled for the journey.

This one comes from his Meditations of the Heart. A thoughtful blogpost about Dr. Thurman can also be found here.

Now, back to the quote which made me pause in my sifting:

"There is a strange irony in the usual salutation, "Merry Christmas," when most of the people on this planet are thrown back upon themselves for food which they do not possess, for resources that have long since been exhausted, and for vitality which has already runs its course."

Despite this condition, the inescapable fact remains that Christmas symbolizes hope even at a moment when hope seems utterly fantastic. 

The raw materials of the Christmas mood are a newborn, baby, a family, friendly animals, and labor. An endless process of births is the perpetual answer of life to the fact of death.

It says that life keeps coming on, keeps seeking to fulfill itself, keeps affirming the margin of hope in the presence of desolation, pestilence and despair.

It is not an accident that the birth rate seems always to increase during times of war, when the formal processes of [man] are engaged in the destruction of others. 

Welling up out of the depths of vast vitality, there is Something at work that is more authentic than the formal, discursive design of the human mind.

As long as this is true ultimately, despair about the human race is groundless."

The Muse

Some of us bleed on the road
some of us bend under the load
  of a real, day-job career

Some of us have to wait
  until the children are asleep

Some of us sing only
  in the privacy of the bath

But ALL of us dance with the Muse.

The Muse
She appears when you have no time
coaxing you from other pursuits
waking you from stone-cold sleep

The Muse
never will leave us alone

We all want to dance with her
all desire attention
longing for one more kiss
is our secret wish.

©7/1/2012  by Steve Eulberg

Sunday in the Park

Sunday in the park
with Zach
Washington Park:
A hula hoop group
skillfully spinning
and stretching
one square, many round
teaching a child;
Beneath the twin spires
of Sts Peter and Paul church

A large happy group
clothed in white
standing around a table
with open bottles of celebration

The Asian woman
who says only
"Thank-you" as she
reaches for your
empty (or full) pop can

The Mime troupe
packing up its stage
and sound gear

The open-ring-frisbee tossers
whose trajectory overlaps
the football throwers

The Broadway Muni,
The Duck and open-top
tourists busses all
traversing the same path

The couples scattered here and there
He--head lying on her legs
She--focused on her phone

The black bikini-clad sausage woman

The dog who quietly finds
something to roll in

This couple who lay, side-by-side
heads turner toward each other
beneath the shade of his hat
balanced on both their cheeks

The aspen shade that approaches us
As the sun saunters its path
behind the puffy marine clouds
that scurry by

The white reflections off of
certain grass blades that, trodden down,
lie flat
between and beside
the deep green of those that resiliently arise

That couple, trying two different
trees as the hangers for their
cupcake piñata

Connie raises her turquoise hood
to protect her fair head from
lengthy solar exposure
I revel that we can sit so long
without worry for burning
Zach, simply glad to have the sun's presence

We mention
the musical
and the painting
and converse
and bask

Sunday in the Park
with Zach

(c)2013 Steve Eulberg

Brain Pickings Weekly

by Steve Eulberg

I am so grateful to the patrons who support my work, that I am trying to pay their generosity forward.

Maria Popova has created and curated a resource of wisdom that has become one of my favorites named Brain Pickings (

I have subscribed to its weekly newsletter, which posts arrives every Sunday called Brain Pickings Weekly.  It is described as a "free weekly interestingness digest."  For me, it certainly IS full of interestingness.

Recently, Maria shared 9 Learnings from 9 Years of hosting this labor of love.  She notes that they are an expansion of what was originally 7 Learnings from 7 Years, published in 2013 for her seventh Anniversary of the project.

Over the past 9 days I have been sharing them in my Facebook Feed, one at a time (except I divided #4 into 4A and 4B).  Many commenters have responded with how powerful and timely they find these reflections to be.

I want to encourage all who have found these insights powerful to join me in supporting Maria's work.

So that you can have all the posts in a quick reference list, I will only list the first lines of the 9 here, but I highly encourage you to not only visit and read, chew, savor and digest the original post, but I want to encourage you to join me in subscribing AND donating to support the continuation of this thoughtful, fun and invigorating project.

And now, here is the list:

1.  Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.

2.  Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone.

3.  Be generous.

4A.  Build pockets of stillness into your life.

4B.  Most importantly, sleep.

5.  When people tell you who they areMaya Angelou famously advised, believe them. Just as importantly, however, when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them.

6.  Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity.

7.  “Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.”

8.  Seek out what magnifies your spirit.

9.  Don’t be afraid to be an idealist.

And let me know which of these 9 speak the loudest to you today!

Soul’s Passage

My soul's passage
on a winding, twisting path
is a way with many bends
harboring surprises

These I both fear and welcome 
these intrusions in my rhythm
that open both my heart
and my ears to the possible new song 

A melody that is born
from a melancholy shadow
haunting and taunting this sun-drenched traveler

A memory that is borne
across hidden generations
as a salt sea journey carries stowaways

A mercy that gives form
to an untested hope
emerging from a chrysalis of discouragement

Breathe the air
draw it in deep
hold it while your lungs burn
and yearn to set it free

Release your hold
Give up your grip 

Let your ship sail
and ride the breeze

Lead the breeze
on briny, balmy seas

Leaving this passage

Loving this passage in its wake.

(c) 2005 Steve Eulberg

Finding My Pen

So many unwritten lines
over such an expanse
of time.

The thoughts have flooded,
roiling and pounding like
boiling waves

the images bright and vivid
pale and diffused
clearly confusion

The transition to a keyboard
For journaling my thoughts, poetry and dreams
Never successfully negotiated.

The ink flowing from the scratching penpoint
even if aided by the rolling ball tip
is a lubricant to my awareness...

The thoughts tumble as
socks and towels, T-shirts and jeans
in the heated air of the crucible
until ideas form, and/or
Are tossed away with the clinging lint.

And/or are collected,
sweet-smelling in the basket
For careful, crease-less folding
sorting, stacking
re-stocking the closet shelves

To be retrieved and worn again
And tossed into the hamper.

In the daily and weekly routine
A rhythm which comforts
by its constant repeating

Yet now and again breaks forth
into awareness
causing my fingers to reach for
and grip the comfort of my pen.

(c)Steven B. Eulberg
10/13/05 journal

The Music In His Soul

The music gently called him in his cradle
While he was just a child
Before he could even talk

He hungered and reached to play along
They made him wait.
Made him wait until he was six years old
then he took to it like bees make honey.

The longer he studied
the elss he understood
how to sing the song
in his soul

Eventually he left those lessons
and started searching on his own
Some see that he is searching still

What is the music in his soul?
What is that song that weaves
his parts into a whole
He is searching, always searching
to play the music in his soul.

He'd listen to Gospel choruses
study folk performers
he'd pick the Lester Flatt Bluegrass G run
explore jazz chords and Celtic rhythms

He'd seek out traditional players
and try to learn their songs
delighted whenever he could play along.

Then one old fiddler
put down his bow and asked,

"Sonny, you're always asking me for the tunes
I like to play, and
I am glad to share them with you
But a thought occurs to me
don't know if you knew,
but I wonder,
don't your people
have some music, too?"

What is the music in his soul?
What is that song that weaves
his parts into a whole
He is searching, always searching
to play the music in his soul.

Journal entry 7/30/08  SBE