Tag Archives: Mentor

Thoughts on a friend

I want to tell you a story. A story about a dear friend of mine who saw potential and possibility when even I did not see it in myself. He had a face like a turtle. His eyes were kind and when he laughed… when he laughed, the stars were jealous of the way he shined. He would sit with me for hours and hours talking about life and all that there was yet to discover. I laid upon him my fears, and he gave me encouragement. I told him of my dreams, and he helped me to build the possibilities of them. When I told him I wanted to write music, he opened up his studio to me. He would listen for hours from dinner time until sometimes 3 in the morning, until we got a song just right. He would sing songs from his childhood and laugh when I could not spin the words.

He would call me up sometimes, checking in and making sure I was ok. He would sing, when I first answered, in his best Elvis impression, “Are you lonesome to night?”

I would say “yes”

He would then continue,. “Do you miss me tonight?”

I would laugh and say “no!”

We would both end up laughing for a good minute before starting our conversation.

His name was Takeshi Sato. By any measure, he was old enough to be my father – and in many ways he made sure to look after me as I traversed the world of Japan on my own, always reassuring me I had a place and a home if I needed it. Never once did a disparaging word come from his mouth. Never once did a moment of anger entreat upon the doorstep of our friendship. He was one of the kindest souls I have ever had the possiblity to know. For some reason I wanted to tell you this. I wanted to share with you this story – how brief it is and gives no justice to the light he was and in many way still is. Here. Here in these pages, in these words, in these poems and words of encouragement – lay the seeds of his first kindness.

I wish tonight he would call me. So that I could answer him, with a yes and a yes. As I embark on new journeys and put my words on paper, I would wish for him sit with me until the sun rose again. Telling me It was going to be ok, and that I was on the right track. Instead, I stare at a keyboard gathering dust, wishing I could hear the notes of his soul one more time.

Instead, now I write the notes and hope I carry on your legacy by doing for others, some I will never have the chance to meet, what you did for me and in your memory… still do.

Take-san, zootou zootou wasuraenai. zootou.

To my hero

To [insert your hero] – read it till the words sink in

You are
ears listening upwards
heart embracing unwants
hands creating symphonies
feet running
towards desperate calls
You are
lips kissing sadness
soul encouraging wings
legs standing bitter falls
words lifting up
beyond walls
You are
fall down get up
climb on without rope
search sand for stars
reach down to get go
You are
regular waiting blue
average laughing brown
short tall magic blonde
bean story telling
You are
Cloud kingdoms making
Rock castle mending
tree salvaging leaf
treasures in
golds, reds and yellows
so hands may raise up
and smile in rainbows
you are
his song unsong
her reason unrealized
their bright eyes
dreaming on stars
yet unshining on too bright days
you are
took the time to be
who you are
so someone else
could be
who they are
so when you ask
who are you to
make a difference
I say
you are….

::read again::

Wesley’s Words

His days are numbered

cumbered and layerd

with vice

well whithered hours

mix with sour

moments believed

to be lost

and he wonders

if the price was

worth the cost.

His hands lay bare

tattered and worn

from gageing to

wiring, saddles

and thorn

as they cast

credit on framed


ages gone

his was the life to be


now he sits in empty stands

waiting for the field

to blossom with fierce


claw, talon, and shields

but sometimes he wonders

why he is here.

His, wife is beautifuly

aging, she works in

the office

mingles the


His children are grown

some forgot

some known

all are proudly his and

most would say

he’s everyone’s trust

But he wonders

has it

been enough.

Most days he

lectures morning

tradition of wood, shop

and farthing

lingers in hallways

leather on paved


After the noon

he picks up the skin

and teaches

what it takes to win

but what are they winning

when the timer is up

when the moment of luck

wears out and

all they have

is looking at them selves.

As fading features

fade farther under glass


will he say enough.

Will he




Coach….  Coach… 

we’re ready….


Stumble, tumble,

meander and maze

he takes a breath in

as words work on

the way

out of his mind into

the air, held for a

second on tongue

cheek and hair

before diving




suffer this field

day in

day out

we bleed for the ‘Mater

the glory and crowd.

We tramble those

who dare to engage

we revel in


or languish when

halls of great men

call others to their side.

We wear colors and letters

with pride


His conjuntion lending

silence a nod

as he looks to

the glowing board for

council and pause

as almost men


they… wait


“but what is worth a life

if that life does not find

life worthy?

You are not just warriors

you are leaders and

take care

those you trample should

ONLY be out HERE!

The halls and ways

of the walls of our

days hold our

souls they are the

same, different

scuffle, shadows

of forgotten shoes

they are less and more

rich and poor

they are


they are your charges

not stones to be kicked

not boards for bantering

your bitting wit

Not the conquest of your

smaller mind

not the details found

on cheaper wine

they are your concern

care and court

they give weight to

your sport

for if they did not


your worthy game

would not be



am I making sense?

Treat that place

as what you protect

not what you pillage

because what you pillage

may come to haunt

you…. when time

clock and luck

run out.”


He tosses the ‘back

the worn out frame

one face circled

in the crowd of


And inquisitive faces

return nothing

as coach’s




“Figure it out

see you at


on Tuesday.”

Fire for Sam

She paces with

cadance, attention

and hesitate

in polished shoes

and polished smile


her hands fiddle

with paper pointed pens

eyes lingering over


she sat in the desk

just to the left

of wonderment

and infront of

never going to make it

but she made it.

And it is then the

world shift begins

The bell rings


a distant past

a mind of 12

and a heart of glass

she scuttled here

every day

in the every way

getaway life

of a nothing girl

the invisible world

of not bad enough

nor good enough

for anyone to notice

a slip through the cracks


a lingering spirit world

girl of just inside doorways

and subsequently out of way

when the Others

paraded by.

Even teachers

professors and mighty

persons failed to

figure her out for

more than a mously

girl with mousely hair

but… fate has a way

of hearing prayers…

fate has a way

of knowing the hearts

of even the smallest


and her whisper came

in the form of

Ms. Setaworldonfire!

She gleamed when she walked

into the room

a sense of pride

the newly doomed teacher

of English Comp 104


swayed to the back and forth

with a smile lingered

on hope and expectation

and plans

of great things

from each and


including Sam.

Could it be possible

one soul could reach out

of the darkness

see into the light

what every other eye

had dismissed

diminished by lack of


Could it be possible

for one hand to write

out the lines of a spark

so sharp

to start a fire in the

places called hopeless

and redefine the meaning

of maybe into a dream

of possibilities?

She straightened herself as

the clock stroked close to 7:50

the sounds of lockers slamming

doorways jamming

the smattering mattering

morphology of the life of school

transforming a building into

a world all its own

and living

began to breath.

Sam began to breath.

As one foot

two then three

until there were more than


Her smile

lingered back and forth

with expectation

fire made plans

that started in a desk

just to the right of wonderment

and just in front of

never going to make it

but she did.

“My name is Samantha…

This is English Comp 104. 

Yes please, shut the door… 

Shall we begin?”