light holiday red art


I can't offer you 
Words of comfort
Promising a future of permanent flux
I cannot sacrifice you a candle
Cut off a rabbits foot.
I do not have in my hands
The egg timer tipping over sand
Telling you we have the time
To reach some promised land
Where things are somehow better than before
Where there is no disease, no hunger, no war.

I can't offer you a solution
To the fire in your head
I cannot give you a cure for
The sick the lame the dead
I cannot tell you those things
That open up the road:
I cannot tell you how to make sure
Your Prince is not a toad.
I cannot tell you anything
That is straight and true
I cannot offer you surety:
I don't know anyone that will.

What I can offer you
Is the nervous assertation
That everything changes and
Nothing stays the same.

Everything ends

That nothing ever stops
That cold bold march of time - 
That there will always be dissonance
Amongst the order in the rhymes.

I can tell you secrets
Of the naked the mortified
The flesh:
That it is all is much the same 
And same again
After a time's time
Pinned upon the mast.
I can tell you that there will be 
A time to move
And a time to rest,
That there will be growth
Amongst the chicks up in the nest.

I can tell you this
By the sweat upon my brow -
That the sway of the hips
Will be met by the waves and water and swell

I cannot promise you there will be some golden shore
But only that the human heart wants to be
Good and sweet and pure.

And if this does not comfort,
If this just won't suffice, that
There is the heat of the sun
As surely as there is the burn of ice.


Everything changes.

Nothing stays the same
Not even in the skip and hop
Of your heartbeat against


  1. Ron Pavellas

    This is a poem I understand and am at one with.. My family traditions, if any truly remain, are rooted in ancient Greece where Heraclitus said this a few thousand yeas ago:
    “By cosmic rule, as day yields night, so winter summer, war peace, plenty famine. All things change. Air penetrates the lump of myrrh, until the joining bodies die and rise again in smoke called incense. Everything flows and nothing is left unchanged. Men do not know how that which is drawn in different directions harmonizes with itself. The harmonious structure of the world depends upon opposite tension like that of the bow and the lyre. This universe, which is the same for all, has not been made by any god or man, but it always has been, is, and will be an ever-living fire, kindling itself by regular measures and going out by regular measures.”

    1. The Paltry Sum

      I know very little of ancient Greece, bar some schoolgirl vocab and basic training in classics, but there remains a simple truth to those lines. Did you ever like Joan Baez? As she was fond of saying “there is truth to that, isn’t there?” There is comfort in flux, albeit a cold and harsh one. Thank you for writing to me, Ron. I appreciate your time.

      1. Ron Pavellas

        Yes, I feel I know Joan Baez well. I have always been in awe of her musicality and presentation, her diction and simplicity. I admired that she walked her talk, even though I didn’t always agree with her politics of the time. I saw her perform on the steps of Sproul Hall at the beginning of the The Free Speech Movement at the University of California in Berkeley, where I was then a graduate student, 1964.

      2. The Paltry Sum

        How lovely! That must have been quite the event! She was fiercely political, wasn’t she? Dragging Dylan along for the ride until he decided he wanted to be a simple song and dance man! I always admire people who have the courage of their convictions, and am a bit of an old commie myself, so Joan and I have always seen eye to eye, across the generation gap.

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