Unspoken Word
April 01, 2020

Here's a beautiful, soulful, sung-for-these-times song by Rob Laurens, my "nephew-in-law" (the husband of my niece, Ali). Thank you, Rob, for continuing to write and sing your songs of love and possibility. It is so much needed during these crazy, Coronavirus days. Keep singing for Ali, Eila, and the rest of us! You have a gift.

PS: When Rob isn't writing and performing his songs, he is working from home, in Cambridge Massachusetts, coordinating global research studies for rare diseases. The limitations on international travel have really stressed the research world, these days, and for many of the patients in the studies Rob coordinates, getting to their clinical trial is truly a life-or-death matter.

Here's to perseverance, focus, and dedication!

Rob's YouTube Channel. Subscribe!

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:09 PM | Comments (0)

March 31, 2020


There is an aching deep within my heart
that cannot be explained.
It wakes me in the middle of the night
and write these lines --
a kind of fishing in a great sea I cannot find by day.
This escapade is not the search for something new,
it is not the need to find --
more it is the being moved,
my being pulled by an unseen moon,
how small birds, when days get cold,
make their way across dark skies
to the place where they were born,
how a feather falls to earth
and a child, finding it, looks up,
why dogs pace back and forth before a door
as their master turns for home.
Ah, this restlessness, this thirst, this ache,
this silent undertow inside
that takes me back to the hidden spring
where lions come to drink,
and snakes,
why birds sing when they are all alone
and the long ride home on an empty train
often feels like an arrival.

Painting: Evelyne Pouget

Excerpted from Full Moon at Sunrise
Oil pastel: Evelyne Pouget

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:53 PM | Comments (0)

March 23, 2020
The Width of the Universe

Blake Universe2.jpg

Astrophysicists, as of this precise moment in time,
believe the universe is 92 billion light years wide.
Please don't ask me how they know, I can't tell you,
especially since the half-life of scientific knowledge,
these days, is only five years,
meaning that 50% of what Earth's wisest think is true
will be proven false by the year 2023.
OK. So maybe the universe isn't 92 billion light years wide,
or maybe there isn't just one universe.
Maybe there are many,
what's been called, the multiverse, for lack of a better name,
kind of like this poem if I

leave a space between verses,

or maybe the whole concept of distance
is completely old school, like penmanship or Ritz crackers
and, in reality, absolutely nothing exists
except this moment
of you reading these words
and me writing them
or, perhaps, as my father used to say
"that and $2.50 will get you on the subway."

The point of it all?
Love is the name of the game.
Love and kindness and compassion and forgiveness
and gratitude and, of course, consciousness,
speaking of which,
the most advanced space craft ever reverse engineered
from another world,
had no moving parts,
no dials, no dashboard, no grommets, no chips,
no nothing.
It was powered by consciousness alone,
the mind waves of the beings who traveled inside it.
And this, my friends, is precisely why I love baseball so much.
The shortstop doesn't give a shit about how wide the universe is.
And the center fielder,
he of the big biceps and rugged good looks,
has just hit a 468 foot home run into the upper deck,
thousands of ecstatic fans high-fiving each other forever.
Now that's far.


My clients. Trippy, huh?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:09 PM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2020
The Value of Nothing

didn't do2.jpg

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:27 AM | Comments (0)

March 09, 2020

Today I wrote the most beautiful poem in the world,
something so pure I wouldn't mind dying,
the perfect song of praise
hewn from the dark forest of my secret heart.
Not a wasted word it was,
rhythmic, elegant and holy,
poetry for the ages, why sages dance,
timeless in its pauses,
with a long white beard and a thousand Santa Clauses
ringing their bells for love.
Yes, I wrote this poem today
or rather, it wrote me,
flooding through my body
onto a singular white page,
which I, amazed at having said it all
and having signed my name,
left, for a moment, on my favorite chair
beneath the willow tree just outside my kitchen door,
then turned inside again and took my leave
to celebrate this unexpected visitation of my muse
by listening, with great respect,
to Mozart in the living room.
I did not hear the rain,
not a single drop.
It was only later, after dinner, I discovered
the many ways ink drips down a white page
in a sudden, summer shower.
I could see, I think, small patches of blue,
a cloud, a flower, a silhouette,
perhaps a word or two,
my perfect poem now watercolor --
the many colors of my love for you.

Full Moon at Sunrise

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:00 PM | Comments (0)

The World Is My Day Job

The world is my day job,
but it's the night that is my calling,
when everyone is gone
and Adam's done with falling,
when there's nowhere left to go,
and nothing else to do,
just staring at the moon
and thinking,
as slowly as I can,
about you.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

My Uber Driver

My Uber driver, I just found out,
sings in a Mexican rock band.
80's covers. Spanish only.
That's why he asks me to sit in the front seat with him.
If I sit in the back, he explains,
the State Police will impound his grey Toyota
and he'll never get to a gig again.
They will keep his car for two months behind a barbed wire fence
next to a field where many dogs bark.
35,000 pesos it will cost him if he ever wants to see his vehiculo again.
You see, the Regional Governor, owns the local taxi company
-- 100 shiny green and white cabs.
That's why the State Police, in leather boots,
stop Uber drivers in my little town,
but only if their passengers are sitting in the back seat.
Not today, however.
I am sitting in the front.
Like his best friend.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

February 28, 2020
I Share My Poetry Too Soon

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:24 PM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2020
Floodgate Poetry

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Sometimes, when I least expect it, something opens up inside me. A Red Sea parts and I am flooded once again. That's what happened to me today. I wouldn't call it a state of inspiration, but more a feeling wanting to be freed. During the course of an hour, the following emerged, requiring just a bit of cleaning up afterwards, not unlike a drunk about to enter paradise.


I am not proud to say this,
but I want someone
to look into the mirror of who I am
and finally see themselves,
but more than that,
as soon as they see their reflection,
I want them to dance in the diminishing space between us,
their movement a language I do not speak,
an embrace unheld, the love we make,
lighthouse keeper within me
just about to turn in for the night.


The moon I am howling at without a sound
is sometimes full and sometimes not,
many waves made larger by its pull
somewhere in a world I will never go.
Poets, saints, and lovers
far more wide awake than I,
have also stood beneath this orb,
their stunned silence having the same origins as mine.
It leaks out of course, this mutant palpatation of the heart,
in a thousand different ways:
tea made for a friend,
the touch of a cheek,
a glance held just a little bit longer than it needs to be.


I am reading the great hieroglyphic of my soul
and am actually deciphering it,
knowing there is nothing left to do but praise.


The space between thoughts is where my life begins,
God's temple, cathedral, and mosque,
places with no need to be swept
they already being clean,
no incense needs to be lit there,
its scent already sweet,
no prayers need to be said,
the brief pause between now and whatever comes next
the perfect invocation.


"What is freedom? the young monk asked his Master.
"What does it mean to be free and how do I get there?"
The Master, smiling, looked up from his cup of tea.
"Do you see this cup of tea, my friend?
Do you see how it has taken on the shape
of that which it has been poured into
and how it warms my hands here on this chilly morning?"


I read my poems to cows,
I love the way they moo
and turn their heads just slightly towards me
though I do not know what moves them.
Is it the words I speak
the sound of my voice,
or do they think I'm hiding a carrot behind my back?


It is not the poem, song, or work of art,
it is that which moves us to create,
to write, to sing, to paint,
the bold attempt at expression
by that small, shelled creature,
pecking from within,
wings folded into its side.


Here is the secret:
There is no secret,
but if that's the secret,
then there IS a secret,
and if there is a secret,
then the second line of this poem
is a complete and utter lie
even though I was doing my best
to speak the truth.

Mitch Ditkoff
My book of poetry
Want to facilitate Wisdom Circles?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:26 AM | Comments (2)

February 14, 2020
Disguised as Myself

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:21 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2020
Who Can I Share My Joy With?

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Full Moon at Sunrise
Photograph: unsplash-logoNathan Dumlao

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:54 PM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2020
Every Bubble of Water is a Jewel


Not excerpted from this book
Not referred to on this website

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:01 PM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2020
Find Yourself, Lose Your Self

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:47 AM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2020
Does Anyone Really Understand?

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:49 PM | Comments (2)

December 20, 2019
Pavarotti and I


Luciano Pavarotti just walked into my kitchen,
he is crying,
not for all those arias that made their way though him
when he was a much younger man,
but for the ones not yet written,
the joy of a thousand composers unborn.
He asks me if I have a clove of garlic,
which I am glad to say, I did,
and toss it to him,
amazed at how large a man he is.
He finds the knife, himself,
humming as he makes his way across the room,
and begins chopping, slowly at first
and then with great abandon,
almost as if the 10 million people he has performed for
were all in the room with us, which they were,
stunned, speechless, hearts bursting,
like unpicked pomegranates beneath a Tuscan sun.
Pavarotti, I am happy to say, keeps on chopping,
even when I think, for the third time,
the pieces are small enough for the sauce
he won't begin to make
until all my neighbors are asleep,
everyone of them.
We ate well that night, Luciano and I.
We laughed a lot and drank a lot of wine.
He told me a few stories about the time
he was way too drunk to sing
in a country he couldn't quite remember.
Way too drunk.
There's a very good chance I may never be hungry again.

Photo by Vlah Dumitru on Unsplash

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:53 PM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2019
Inspiring Quotes About Music


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything." - Plato

"If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music." - Albert Einstein

"Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness." - Maya Angelou

"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - Aldous Huxley

"Where words fail, music speaks." - Hans Christian Andersen

"Music is the shorthand of emotion." - Leo Tolstoy

"Without music, life would be a blank to me." - Jane Austen

"I don't sing because I'm happy. I'm happy because I sing." - William James

"Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing anyway." - Emory Austin

"When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest of times, and to the latest." - Henry David Thoreau

"The only love affair I have ever had was with music." - Maurice Ravel

"Music is the universal language of mankind." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain." - Bob Marley

"Music can name the unnamable and communicate the unknowable." - Leonard Bernstein

"Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without." - Confucius

"Music is a higher revelation than all Wisdom and Philosophy." - Ludwig von Beethoven

"Virtually every writer I know would rather be a musician." - Kurt Vonnegut

"Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife." - Kahlil Gibran

"Music in the soul can be heard by the universe." - Lao Tzu

"Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens." - Maria Augusta von Trapp

"Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music." - George Eliot

"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono

"To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the music the words make." - Truman Capote

"If I cannot fly, let me sing." - Stephen Sondheim

Photo: OC Gonzalez, Unsplash

One cool way to get music out into the world

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:58 AM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2019
The Fling

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:51 PM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2019

One of the illusions of life
is that something needs to be done:
a field to mow,
a room to clean,
a destination to reach.
Actually, it's quite the opposite.
something needs to be undone,
untangled, unraveled, unmade,
like the spider web I weave each morning
pearled with dew,
to catch what I already have.

Not excerpted from Full Moon at Sunrise


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:13 PM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2019
Buddha in Winter

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My storytelling blog
The True Fruit of the Spiritual Path

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:19 PM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2019
Rilke's Late Night Violin Music


Rainer Maria Rilke, the genius German poet
who translated God in ways
no scripture has ever come close to,
once wondered why every time he walked
beneath a high window
(out of which violin music could be heard)
he thought it promised him a future lover.

When I die, I want to meet this man,
standing, as I imagine he will be, just beyond
the gathering of my long gone relatives waiting to greet me.
I don't think he will be saying much of anything,
just looking in my general direction, his dark eyes singing,
his body completely at ease, having just released
a thousand poems he never needed to write,
the lips of his high-windowed lovers still unkissed,
summoned as they were by violins to embrace him
far beyond the body's few pleasures.

Rilke will not be looking up,
remembering as he was, from a few years ago,
a beautiful young couple crossing the street before him,
laughing, talking, holding hands,
but not his glance, always reserved, it seemed, for someone else,
but if you dared to ask "for whom?"
he would only fumble for his pen,
reach inside the quiet pocket of his favorite coat,
and find the old notebook he always kept there
for precisely moments
like this one.

Painting: Leslie Dietrich

More of my poetry here

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)

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“I have nothing to say, I am saying it, and that is poetry.”
— John Cage

Welcome to my new blog — brief ruminations on what it is that moves me (and maybe YOU, too). If any of my poems inspire you, please forward them to friends. Good muse travels fast. Or could, with your help.

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