One House That Served Five Generations Of My Family

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

My part in the neighborhood began in 1947, but my mother had lived there since 1925 when she was three years old and her family moved into the house where I was raised. I inherited the good will that she had built up over the years. In all there would be five generations of my family that would live there for at least part of their lives. There were no single family homes on our street, and even a few cold water flats remained just around the corner from us. Most of the residents were Jewish people, with the elders…


A Poem

Image by Jimmy Lau from Pixabay

As Summer’s end approaches

With a recognition of inner turmoil

And a hint of sadness

It is a time to pause and reflect

On all that recently transpired:

Beautiful flowers and firestorms

Connections and discord

Masks and defiantly unmasked

Calm spirits and troubled souls

Love conquering some

Hatred others

Brothers and sisters against Brotherhoods

Searches for justice

And denials and betrayals

Heroic actions of health care workers

Lack of national focus and leadership

Powerful displays of humanity

Acts of senseless violence

God fearing people

Uttering godless proclamations

Peacemakers seeking listeners

With full heart and mind

This prayer is rendered

That…


A Poem

Photo by Scott Broome on Unsplash

The music envelops me
Invades every pore of my being
The rhythm of its melody entrances
I am helpless in the face of its entreaty
The beat is in perfect sync with that of my heart

Past wounds suffered
Ghosts of failures
Will be cast aside for the duration of this siren song
Replaced by the pleasant burning sensation
That is the hallmark of new growth
And the onset of true healing
Which this rapturous symphony will surely hasten

No time for further reflection
The urge to dance seizes me
Compels movement
But knowing intuitively that on my own
I will not hear the…


A Poem

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

Nature has its autumn
When leaves disconnect from their home
Conveying a certain majesty
Making no sound as they gently float downward
Finally coming to rest
Their colors tell of a life fulfilled
From the glory days when sap flowed freely through their veins
To the faded elegance of maturity
Marked by a different beauty
Highlighted by yellow and orange and brown hues
Ready to nourish the earth in their new incarnation
As my life is now immersed in its own autumn

Looking back brings many memories
Some happy
Others bittersweet
A few sad
First there were the earlier years
The spring time with its…


And A Few More

Photo by Tommy van Kessel 🤙 on Unsplash

While sitting on a kitchen chair as my wife cut my hair, I recalled my first memory of having my hair cut. I was six years old and was told to go alone to the barbershop. My instructions from my father were broken into three parts. First came directions on how to get there. Then, “Say that you want a regular haircut( I repeated that every step of the way).” Lastly, with a serious look on his face, “Be very still when he is cutting because he doesn’t like children. …


A poem

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

As our awareness first arose
They were present
Companions to walk ahead of us
Friendly guides preparing the way
Playmates with whom
We could create magical animals
And people of our own design
Or engage in games of chase
In which they seem to tease and laugh at us
As they never could be tagged

We realized that they
Were not for us alone
Given the right conditions
And the sun’s indulgence
Everything animate and inanimate
Could participate and have
Their own display
Crafted specifically for them

The dull color was a drawback
But we could always glance aside
To find the…


A Poem

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

What do your eyes tell me
Are they really a window into your essence
Such a mixture reflected there
Like a kaleidoscope
The focus shifting frequently
There
That looks like warmth
Concern now appears
Jealousy flickers on and off
A sense of humor
And a dollop of confusion
Anger blazes forth
Your eyes momentarily on fire
Vulnerability
Sensitivity to the feelings of others
Disappointment flashes
(In me or yourself
Probably both
But is quickly guarded)
Is that what I think it is constantly lurking
Yes
Love is always present
Sometimes only in the background
Other times almost overwhelming in its intensity
Yet always there…


A Poem

Photo by Prado on Unsplash

A recurring dream over many years
Now rarely encountered
But remembrance still brings a smile
And a special glow
That has been missing for so long
Only its shadow lingers

There I am
Walking along outside
Clear skies
The air so pure and rich
Almost intoxicating
A comforting silence surrounds me
Sensing that a momentous event is about to unfold
Not knowing where it will lead me
Though confident it will be exciting
With a will and a small leap
Lift off
I’m up
The adventure begins
Seeing how far I can go
Defying gravity
Before my feet next touch the ground…

John O'Neill

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