Reflections on Life, Leadership, Mindfulness, Change, and other Important Stuff

Month: December, 2016

Long Trail Home–cover reveal

So here it is.  Finally! Details soon about how and where you can get your copy! And you can take a look at my new website http://www.jimowenswrites.com and like my new author’s page On Facebook @jimowenswrites!  


These flames,

these white-blue flames,


ignited by every old thing,

every branch of misunderstanding,

every dry leaf of expectation,

every notion of what things are,

or what they should be

or might have been,

rising on an alter dismay,

set aflame by yesterday,


devouring kindness and hope,

and the distant sound of children’s laughter,

the breaking of bread,

the sharing of heartache and joy,

of victory and defeat;


but no,

surely there is something,



something by which to douse this fire

this unspeakable rage,

these ever-rising flames

and relentless stoking,

to quiet this fiery madness;



amidst the charred rubble,

amidst the smoke-stained remnant,

amidst the barren landscape,

surely there is something,

something spared,

some treasure to redeem,

some jewel to be found

beneath the soft black and gray ash of anguish,

something from which to wipe away the soot,

something refined by the heat,

purified by the flame,

washed now by the rain of grace,

hardened by the cooling waters of wisdom,

of humility,

and gratitude,

some glistening treasure of remembrance;

come with me;

let us search together,

amongst the sorrow,

amongst the litter of grief,


into the charnel ground

let us walk,


joining hands in the sullen silence of exhaustion,

let us search,

find our treasure,

let us carry it together to the other side,

to the lush green grasses,

where the bird still sings,

and where the cool winds blow,

to lean against the oak,

to dip our hands into the crystal brook and wash,

wash away the sweat and grime of confusion and regret, 

and the stains of despair,

to taste the sweet water of hope,

and joy,

and peace,



come now,

search with me.





Give Heed

when emerald waters turn dark,

and placid seas boil,

and the wind howls like a dying beast,

when brave men cry,

and plead with their gods and

curse their fates,

when tattered sails

slap a furious dirge,

and the ship groans with fatigue,

and the noonday sun dissolves

behind an angry sky,

give heed;


when the regret of words spoken

or those yet unsaid

brim within an aching heart,

and harbor’s calm is but a distant memory,

and tomorrow’s troubles are a desperate longing,

and the waves break high above the bow,

and the deck is awash in chaos and desperation,

when the ravenous sea opens her gaping maw

to feast upon dreams and hope,

when heaven opens and

she pours out despair like a weeping mother,

and when death calls like a familiar friend,

when the Captain calls “heave to,”

give heed;


give heed.

give heed and come about.

give heed and turn into the tempest

to roar downward on the wave and into the deepest trough

then rise high upon its crest,

whether with a shaken fist, a shout,

or in quiet resolve,

be not mastered by despair,

be not mastered by regret,

be not mastered by delusion,

let not fear be your master,

let not despair dwell where peace might reign;


give heed.

Temptation at Five O’Clock

It’s five o’clock—p. m.  I know I shouldn’t, but there they are staring at me, beckoning me, like sirens of indulgence.  Bathsheba bathing before David, tempting me.


Perhaps, it’s okay and I won’t regret it.  Just this one time.  Is that music?  The angels? A heavenly host singing the virtues of sweet delight?  Or some demon come to torment me?  Teasing me with the aroma of fleeting pleasure, the beauty of golden perfection.


Get behind me temptress, thou harlot of desire. Where is my resolve? I am weak.  Compromise approaches—overwhelming my conviction.  Perhaps just one taste.   Just one. Then I will return to the path of righteousness—flee, run away from destruction.


Surely, there is a god.  Some god.  Surely this is a sign, the burning bush, water becoming wine, the profound evidence of a god who loves us. A god who forgives us, I say, licking my fingers, as condemnation and guilt visit themselves upon me once more and I plead for forgiveness.


Forgive me. I have strayed.  Lead me back, I say, reaching for another.  Just one more. Just one more.  This time, perhaps just a Crueller.  Or maybe cake.  Yes.  Cake.  No sprinkles.  No crème or raspberry filling.   No patina of chocolate.  There it is!  My dignity returns.  I have my limits—my soul is safe.  I will not fall beyond redemption.