Unspoken Word
August 27, 2018
Be a Peacemaker

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TimelessToday

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FIREFLY

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Linda Laino

PHOTO: unsplash-logoMolly Belle

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August 25, 2018
Full Moon Rising

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August 15, 2018
Here's a Little Secret

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MitchDitkoff.com

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August 10, 2018
The Poetry of Storytelling

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If you've been enjoying this blog, there's a good chance you will also enjoy my new book, Storytelling for the Revolution, available on Amazon as a downloadable, Kindle ebook or an old school paperback.

More about the book
More about me

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August 09, 2018
The Slightly Overweight Modern Art Museum Security Guard

He stands there, barely,
a kind of slow moving
piece of performance art,
just a bit off-stage,
not comprehending
the apparently fabulous shapes
recently described in the New York Times,
though he is, indeed, dressed for the part.
His hands, lightly clenched behind his back,
hold no brushes, no paint, no cloth.
His eyes, unsure of much,
here in this large white room,
glance off into somebody else's distance
while the rest of him,
curious for the moment,
wonders if the tuna fish sandwich
his wife packed for lunch
will be quite enough today.
Now he is leaning up against the wall,
now is he not,
now he is not leaning up against he wall,
now he is.

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May 28, 2018
Now You See It

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We are here for just a little while,
freshly fallen snow
on a half-opened rose.
That's it. No more.
It doesn't take much
for the vanishing act
to begin,
a burst of sun,
a sudden breeze
someone knocking on our door
and we are gone, done,
a tale told by a friend
tending his garden at dusk.

One more for you

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March 24, 2018
Easier Done Than Said

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TimelessToday

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February 11, 2018
Like an Old Mexican Woman

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February 05, 2018
The Buffet in Your Living Room

In memory of Joan and Stanley Deutsch. Written by their loving daughter, Cathy, upon the passing of her father several years ago, and recently remembered as her mother left this mortal world.

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The buffet in your living room
is now a shrine to your life.
Shiva book open to hold the names
of friends and family come to call.
A candle burns in memory
it's Hebrew markings a prayer.
A petition for mercy
that your soul rest in peace.
I have arranged the flowers differently
than the ones from my garden.
These carry a thorn of sadness
as I place them in a clear glass vase.
I strive not for beauty
but for some pictures of you,
the reds your fire
pink of tenderness,
elegance of rose and
simplicity of fern.
Many splendidly open
and others never to bloom.
This still life set for a stilled life
sits not for the painter's eye.
It hold fast your memory
and too will find you in its return
to soft brown earth.

Cathy's email: crotoncath@aol.com

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January 30, 2018
Laugh Lines

The only lines
I want to wait on
are the ones
around your eyes.

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December 29, 2017
I Used to Write Love Poems

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December 13, 2017
THE CALL TO CREATE!

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A star exploded deep within you years ago
and still the light has not yet reached your eyes,
not yet turned the night to day for birds to leave their nests
or monks their caves to play.
Blind to your own infusion, you insist there is nothing to see,
nothing to celebrate your reasonless being for,
and yet you feel it, you quake, you quiver to begin.
An unseen trembling turns your head,
the way you stand, the wind, the ground beneath your feet.
You think the shock of this bodily remembrance is fear
and do not sing, do not burst into song,
do not wring the beauty of the sound long buried in your bones.
You stop and throw a stone, half hoping it will come back to you,
and wait as if there was time,
wait, like a beggar ashamed to ask for a bowl to beg with.
How can this be?
The sky is bluer that the eyes of your own mother
on the day she first beheld you and still you cast your gaze down.
Don't you remember?
You were made in the image of God!
The Creator! The One who creates
river, eagle, ladybug, leaf.
If anyone else gave you the moon you'd call him a thief
or worse, refuse to look.
Give up the notion of stealing from God,
the only crime here is to hoard.
Prometheus?
Only board of chilly nights
with no flame to write his poetry by.

TimelessToday

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December 05, 2017
There Is a Poem I Will Write

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November 08, 2017
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)

October 29, 2017
Face Your Life Like a Cuban Trumpet Player

Face your life
like a Cuban trumpet player
standing his ground
for whatever comes next,
eyes straight ahead,
not a thought in the world
and blowing,
I said blowing his horn
at the peak of his power
so his long gone grandfather,
the man who worked the sugar cane fields
and always had a kind word for strangers,
will hear.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:04 AM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2017
THE PATH

The path is simple,
but not always easy,
kind of like a teenage boy,
on his first date,
who discovers he has a pimple
right before he goes to kiss
the girl of his dreams
who,
as it turns out,
is in love with someone else --
a nice enough fellow,
or so I'm told,
but with wicked temper
and a red '63 Corvette.

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September 24, 2017
Hiding in Plain Sight

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September 17, 2017
Poetic Justice?

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The Best Archer in All of China
A Bag of Small Red Berries
What I Learned from Listening to Bolero for 14 Hours

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September 01, 2017
I Share My Poetry Too Soon

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TimelessToday

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August 18, 2017
Cruisin' With Rumi

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On a bone cold February afternoon, 23 miles from home, in a Japanese car leased three months ago, I listen to Rumi, 800 years gone from praising everything that breathed.

Lights are flashing everywhere, especially behind me, not white like those that lit up Rumi's eyes. No. More like red, the kind that signal stop and oops and maybe I should slow down and pull over.

Rumi, on the 5-CD changer, is completely unconcerned, his monologue of love making perfect sense, as I, poised, tribal, and whole, notice a large man of the law approaching and reach for my license -- not the poetic kind, but the other kind, the one with the photo no one shows their mother, even as the uniformed man standing tall by my door beckons me to roll down my window and announces, like a small town accountant wishing he was home for lunch with his wife, my speed, which, he informs me, was 20 over the limit, Rumi still holding forth beneath an ancient Persian moon.

He has kind eyes, my sudden companion for the moment in his well-pressed uniform, kind eyes and a smile that speaks of long winters keeping roads safe for travelers like me who, somehow, must have missed the sign about a mile back, veiled, as it was, by that old willow tree and the last few rays of light finding their way past the steepest hill in town, the one where all the kids go sledding, kids, as far as I can tell, who have never heard of Rumi, the officer of the law, or me.

TimelessToday
MitchDitkoff.com
Rumi and Kabir bowling (in the HuffPost)

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August 16, 2017
My Pen Is a Butterfly Net

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TimelessToday
Heart of the Matter
Butterflies

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August 07, 2017
The Holiest of Prayers

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MitchDitkoff.com

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June 14, 2017
Like an Old Mexican Woman

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June 10, 2017
Rumi and Kabir Bowling

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Last year, as I understand it, Rumi was the best selling poet in the United States -- more than 800 years after he was alive. Kabir, too, is still being widely read -- as is Hafiz, Gibran, and a host of other ecstatic poets from times gone by. Many people assume these guys must have been praying, meditating, or fasting all day long. I don't think so. This next poem is an homage to Rumi and Kabir -- my fantasy of how the two of them might have spent an evening, in a bowling alley, knocking back some brewskis, if they were still with us today. PS: For maximum value, read this poem aloud, with some drama in your voice.

RUMI AND KABIR BOWLING

Rumi
I have been to the place where Rumi and Kabir are... bowling all night long. They are rolling perfectly round balls down a perfectly polished alley, laughing at the sound of the pins falling down, again and again and again.

Every time they bowl a strike even when they miss which is often, I must say, their aim wandering in fabulously random ways around this grand interior space.

Rumi orders a shot of Red Eye, Kabir, a Bud Lite, their clinking of glasses some kind of esoteric temple bell ritual neither of them understand.

They keep drinking and laughing and drinking again, knocking back the elixir of their late night bowling life and muttering under their barely moving breath about the strangers outside returning home from yet another too long night shift.

Rumi opens his mouth to speak, but nothing comes out. Kabir, long beard flecked with foam, orders a second round and then a third as if the world was on fire.

Suddenly, Rumi looks over his left shoulder. More pins fall, this time leaving a perfect 7-10 split. Kabir, sweet Kabir, knowing he never has to write another poem to prove himself whole, leaps from his chair and hurls himself down the perfectly polished alley, arms outstretched, moving at the speed of lite... beer.

Bang!

Both pins fall, like cedars in Lebanon... like Adam from Grace... like trees in a forest with no one near enough to hear whether anything had actually happened or not. No one, that is, except Red Eye Rumi now swiveling like a madman in his chair and pointing to the door.

A small man, in a starched white uniform, enters, many keys hanging from his belt.

"HEY! You two! What are you doing here? This place is closed!"

Rumi just smiles, tilts his head back and speaks into his empty glass now megaphone for the moment.

"I beg to differ, my good man. This place is not closed. It is open! If it were closed, we would not be here. Open it is, I say! Wide open! Open like the Red Sea, like a window on a summer night, like the eyes of a young man upon seeing the most beautiful woman in the world walk across the room, her body the perfect mix of spirit and flesh. Open, I say... like a book, like the sky, like the heart of one not yet disappointed in the ways of human love. Go about your business, friend, and leave us here, two happy hieroglyphs of love."

"We have a perfect game on Lane 23," intones a disembodied voice over the PA system "A perfect game!"

Rumi and Kabir pull over another chair, pour another drink and beckon to the man in the starched white uniform, many keys dangling from his belt.

"Good friend, come closer, come drink with us. Come now! The night is still young."

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June 07, 2017
They Barely Looked

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May 26, 2017
There Is a Poem

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MitchDitkoff.com

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May 25, 2017
The Fling

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MitchDitkoff.com

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May 24, 2017
I Used to Write Love Poems

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MitchDitkoff.com

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May 20, 2017
Prometheseus Speaks

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April 01, 2017
Where Poetry Comes From

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TimelessToday
A Man of Few Words
Choosing the Poetry of Life

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March 24, 2017
Another Kind of Wall in Mexico

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Watercolor by Evelyne Pouget

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March 22, 2017
Give Everything You Have

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Excerpted from this book

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January 05, 2017
THIS THIRST

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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

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December 23, 2016
How ee cummings Writes a Poem

Big thanks to Scott Cronin for the heads up!

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October 02, 2016
May I Stay Here Forever

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TimelessToday
Excerpted from this book

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September 03, 2016
Poets, Lose Your Pens

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April 07, 2016
Welcome to UNSPOKEN WORD: THE POETRY OF LIFE!

Greetings! Mitch Ditkoff here, author of UNSPOKEN WORD: The Poetry of Life. My intention with this newly launched blog is to spark some inspiration, reflection, and gratitude -- a chance for you to take a breath, pause, and savor some of the sweetness of life. Knowing how busy you usually are, each post will take you less than a minute to imbibe. Today's launch is the exception, one that includes ten posts -- my attempt to give you a flavor of what's to come. Please enjoy. And if you do, please spread the word. Good muse travels fast...

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TimelessToday
PremRawat.com
Heart of the Matter

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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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