Julia Robert’s Smile

Troublesome emotions unchecked
Anger deepens, rises and overflows
Where does this deepening depression lead?
Meanwhile the stars dance and twinkle
Uncaring, unsharing shards of light
A smile widens; teeth shining bright white
Happiness is a viral happening at times
Like Julia Roberts in Notting Hill
No need to swallow any bitter pill
Laughter tickles in the back of my throat
A sneeze of exquisite joy explodes
Those little drops of laughter burst out
Infecting those around me
It’s simply now a cacophony
Infectious, riotous and bold
As global laughter takes a hold.

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I know that you blame me

And everyone else

But I can tell you

You must blame yourself

You can’t live life

Without actually doing

You can’t truly experience

Without taking some risks



Accept the responsibility

That comes with living

Reach out and thrive

It’s not the taking but the giving

You can’t live life

By never being a part of it

You can’t truly experience

Without just diving right on in



You say that they don’t matter

But it’s better to be silent

Than to utter ugliness

The Word created this firmament

You can’t live life

Cursing those around you

You can’t truly experience

Especially, if you completely alienate



All that you can achieve

Raise yourself and fill that cup

Let light shine down on you

Pull yourself onwards and up

You can’t live life

Shut up inside your own shell

You can’t truly experience

The intensity of this gift of Life



This poem from Dr. G. Michael Vasey’s Moon whispers collection.

The Five Characteristics of Rich People

I was just over on Linkedin where some business/wealth magazine had posted an article with the above title. Their five characteristics were the ones that you would expect… communication, blah blah blah blah….

In my life I have met my fair share of rich people. I don’t mean wealthy and I do mean rich – in excess of $10 million minimum. They did all share a set of characteristics but it wasn’t the ones I just read about. The first characteristic was to be honest greed. They coveted money and they would do almost anything to get it and absolutely anything to keep it once they had it. One man I know whose child played on a ice hockey team with my son would routinely call me up and ask if I would be renting a car for the weekend tournament in Denver or wherever it was? I always said Yes and yes again when he asked if he and his son could share it with us. After about 4 of these trips I began to realize what he really meant was would you give me a free weekend when it comes to a rental car please chump? He was worth many millions of USD this man and he was a devout christian but it never once entered his head to pay half the car rental with me….. Another very wealthy person I know has no friends. None. You see he is paranoid that anyone he meets is after his money and he feels that no one can be trusted… poor guy.

I think another trait of very wealthy people is utter selfishness. They don’t give money to charity unless their tax accountant tells them it will help and they display characteristics like those above. They out for one person and only one person and that is themselves. They would sell their grandmother and rent out their wives to make more money. Ego is usually another characteristic. They are rich, they did it from nothing. They are the special gifted and talented one. Everything they touch turns to gold and they have that Midas touch. My fourth characteristic would be tirelessness. When it comes to getting more money they work ceaselessly and tirelessly to do so and they expect others to work with the same work ethic to make them money too – employees are worked and worked hard. Finally, the other characteristic is a good tax accountant. Someone who can make sure they don’t pay any taxes on all that dosh or, if they do, its not very much.


I can’t think of a single rich person I have ever met that didn’t display these traits frankly. Even the heiress I met when a student as she was a lecturer at a college and involved in a similar field wore the same dress day in day out, drove an old beat up car, spent nothing but was constantly seeking her next dime….

I’m not anti rich people by the way. I’d love to have 5-6 million myself so I could relax and take some time for myself. I just do think that the way we try to emulate their super characteristics is ridiculous. Usually these so called characteristics are a myth and the real reason they got rich is because they used people, stole ideas and got lucky. Bill Gates didn’t think of windows, Richard Branson screwed his best friend over crying as he did so…. I do really think these people sell their soul for material wealth and power. They don’t write a contract with the Devil (usually anyway) but they do lose sight of their inner treasures and are deceived by material things. They sell themselves down the river….

Let’s stop trying to emulate these people. Putin is such a person – he is worth billions all stolen from the people that elected? him. Berlusconi, the just ousted Ukraine President, Gaddafi and on and on…. Richard Branson, Bill Gates and so on aren’t people to emulate but people to feel sorry for and to avoid like the plague quite honestly.

Just my view….

Life’s Junk

Just over 7-years ago, I arrived in the Czech Republic with one suitcase. Later, I shipped one box to myself. It wasn’t a large box. I left a large house stuffed to the brim with stuff and do you know what, I didn’t really miss any of it. Anything I did miss turned out to have a connection to someone in my life. I did miss being able to look at certain photographs of my family, my boys, my parents, my college days. I did miss the framed picture bought for me as a gift by my Aunt in New Orleans as it reminded me of my Uncle who died too young. I missed a few items – trinkets mainly – given to me by my father and by my mother. All of these have since been retrieved. I also did subsequently panic about where my Ph.D thesis was again because its a one off put together the hard way before word processors and easy printing. My son has it so its safe.

So here I am 7-years later and we begin to pack to move back to Brno from Prague. Once again, I am surrounded by life’s junk. The stuff you think you need but really don’t. The stuff you keep because you may actually one day need it but never do. How did I accumulate so much crap again? Why?

What is it that I really value? That’s the question I ask myself right now. To be honest, it is again the small treasures probably worthless to anyone else that have an association with someone special that are the only things I value. The photograph of my Father on Eigg, the photo of my eldest son sat in the cockpit of a 747 mid-atlantic (shows how dated that is!), the electric guitar that I spent more than a year delivering newspapers at 1GBP per week to purchase, the photo collection of my boys, my parents and my brothers, the letter Gabriela sent to me with a 4-leaf clover in it and perfumed, the family history notes my Dad made as we worked on our ancestry together, the drawings, paintings and scribblings of my daughter saved in folders….. you get the drift.

At the end of the day its about memories but more importantly its about people for the treasured items are people-focused and trigger memories. Those memories are both good and not so good but they are strong and vibrant. When I move, I take with me my memories. I don’t need to pack them in a bag they are just there and a certain item, a certain smell will conjure them immediately in my mind. I suppose these memories, experiences, are the treasure that we accumulate in life while we somehow also accumulate so much bloody material junk.



A little reminiscing
Passing of a life
Not even thrilling
It’s been a long ride
Dancing through time
Losing my pride

Where did it go
Where did they go
All of those people
All of those places
Those ups and those oh so downs
Times and time, sand grains falling
Moments of glory and moments of hell
Moments when you knew that you’d done well

Listening to second hand Bolan
A Child of his revolution
Just like that Jean Jeanie
Crossing the Atlantic Ocean
Houston, I heard you calling
Or am I confusing you with the Clash?
All that trans Energy wasted
Never did make my splash

Where did it go
What did I really do
All of those faces
All of those names
The heights and the valleys
The passing of my life’s graces
Moments of glory and moments of hell
Moments when I knew I didn’t do so well


Where Is My Enthusiasm?

From time-to-time, we lose our way a bit. Distractions or pure bloody laziness are usually to blame. For the last several weeks, it has been the latter for me. I can’t be bothered to meditate I really can’t. I feel flat – not down – but flat, lacking in excitement and with no zest at all for anything. It’s a strange feeling. A bit like treading water or something. Is it the weather, the time of year, my age???? Who knows? In a couple of weeks or so, we move back to Brno and I am hoping that a change of scenery makes the difference and rekindles the fires.

What is missing is enthusiasm.


Enthusiasm has always been my driving force. The fuel for my engine. My inner fire. Enthusiasm is similar to desire but it supports desire in the sense that it feeds and drives the desire to action and hopefully results. My enthusiasm has gone. But where the hell did it go and why? I have been looking for it around the house but to be honest, I don’t really know what it looks like and so I haven’t found it. How do you get enthusiasm back? Does anyone know? If you happen to see my enthusiasm somewhere, please chase it back.


I wrote a poem many years ago that seems to fit my mood. It’s called Gone again and it appeared in my first book of poetry – Weird Tales. Here it is…

Gone Again

Gone again
Hardly a moment to spare
I don’t know where life is leading
And I don’t really care
Gone again
Was I ever really there?

Slot machine bingo
Maniacal stares
Readily unfolding
In front of me
Unzip and down to flesh again
Automatic eyes
Lasered to see

Pull another cocktail
Molotov type
Shoving it down inside
Deep inside
Dilation and comforting sensation
Try me
I am on your side

Gone again
Not a moment to spare
God only knows what I am doing
And he doesn’t care
Gone again
Was I ever really there?

Sometimes Everything Just Goes Tits Up….

This last few weeks has been pretty interesting. Its not so much that we have a had a run of bad luck but that things just appear to be testing and frustrating us.

First off, we have a had a string of unexpected bills. First we got a fine for having no car insurance last year for a few days – it just arrived in the mail saying we notice you had no car insurance and here is your fine, signed the Czech Government. They are correct actually as the car was leased and insurance included and I forgot to get new insurance when the lease ran out (and no one wrote from said insurance company saying would you like to keep your insurance going)…

Next, we got a gas bill from RWE for our unoccupied apartment in Brno. Its not been a cold winter by any standards and yes, the heating is on but set at minimum just to keep anything from freezing. My expectation of the bill was that it would be negligible but let’s just say it initially looked like I had expected until I counted the zeroes and saw an extra one included. Now this is daylight robbery and I am trying to get RWE o talk to me but emails and voicemails have so far elicited no response whatsoever.

As if unexpected bills (and that is just two out of several) where not enough, the IRS inexplicably denied my daughter a TIN (Tax ID). This after the embassy denied her a social security number. Now this makes my blood boil as it simply means that I cannot get a tax deduction for my own daughter! Of course, the only way to move this forward is to call the 800 number rumoured to connect to the IRS, wait hours while listening to dreary music and an infuriating voice telling me my call will be answered in the order it was received….

Funnily enough, I need to call the IRS anyway because out of the blue and without any explanation I got a tax refund check from them two weeks ago. Ahhh, I hear you say, a change in fortune? Maybe…. maybe…. but neither my accountant nor I can figure out why I got a refund as according to our calculations I owed them! It’s just more aggravation.

There has been quite a lot more aggro from destiny this last week or so including my fight with a TOMTOM upgrade for the car in which I ended up losing everything on the disk and had to purchase a new map! That was 4 hours not well spent…


I don’t quite know what is going on but at the moment is does feel as if I am forcing my way through jelly to get anywhere and my limited financial resources are being overly strained…

Is there some astrological event going on I am not aware of or what?