Flashback: Grateful Dead

What A Long Strange Trip

A friend from Cleveland, Ohio, Brian Daley, showed up at my apartment in Holland, Michigan during the summer of 1985, asking if I’d be interested in traveling to Wisconsin to hear the Grateful Dead perform back-to-back shows. After gathering my backpack, we then scoured the town in order to purchase the only remaining original formula Coca Cola available – following the recent change – and hit the road in his Honda Prelude.

Along the way, we must have bumped into at least a dozen people on the road that Brian, a Deadhead, knew from various shows he’d attended. That seemed rather unlikely – what were the odds? – though, less so upon arrival at the venue.

We set up a tent on the edge of a farmer’s field near the concert grounds, purchased tickets and proceeded to the first show, on Friday night. It was an excellent concert, though it took quite a while to exit the amphitheater, afterwards; something was obstructing the door at the top of the hill.

Once finally outside, we saw that a large car (a dark blue, Oldsmobile Delta 88) had parked crosswise, directly in front of the exit. That car belonged to friends of ours – Bernie, Libby & Roger – from Holland, Michigan, who heard that we had gone to the show and took a road trip to join us. Realizing that we would likely be very difficult to locate among the crowd, they decided to be as conspicuous as possible. Indeed!

The Shows


PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.

Mysterious Sphere

Tales of A Time Traveller

I set down on the mid-sized planet in the Alpha Centauri system, with dwindling fuel reserves and enough water to sustain me for only a few more days.

In the distance, my objective – the Sphere of Trevallon, an encased repository of ancient, inter galactic data. It also has 24-hour food service, Tang drinks, and an air hockey table, I’m told.

Now, if I could only get beyond this sea of corrosive, deadly acid…

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Dreaming At High Tide

Beach Comber

Water rolls in with the moon at high tide, as stars flicker behind a curtain of space.

I can sleep through this dream until morning, then collect seashells and treasures of ships sunken centuries ago.

The beach is my tomorrow. The moonlight, a distraction.

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Stepping Back

It’s like I’m outside at a circus, looking through a dirty glass window, watching all the kids having fun inside…

Climbing tall ladders to reach high wires. Pulling a lion’s tail. Stepping on the oversized shoes of clowns.

In time, I turned back to pass between bended fence posts and begin my journey home – 10,000 steps.

PHOTO CREDIT: this is a modified photo from unsplash.com.

Poem About A Writer

I have a friend who is a gifted & imaginative writer. She also is often a source of inspiration for me to write poetry, including the following…

She Writes From The Heart

Putting pen to paper she writes
Words flow from her creative mind
Imagination without limitation
Always, one of a kind.

From deep in her heart, filled with love
Her life experiences teach
With wisdom and inspiration
She shares advice but doesn’t preach.

A humble woman with courage
She’ll tell you to believe
She knows the best is yet to come
Her goals set to achieve.

I’m so grateful to call her friend
Yet sometimes my heart skips a beat
Her eyes and face, so beautiful
And precious soul, so sweet.

Poem of Togetherness

Her Hand In Mine

If I reached out and took your hand,
Would you take it back or squeeze?

Would you tell me where I could go,
Or move closer, as you please?

If the former,
Then please explain –
My heart is in your hand.

If the latter,
No need to talk –
Your wish is my command.

I want to make things right with you,
And drift into the night.
For both to share our love as one,
Until the morning light.


Photo Credit: this is a modified photo from unsplash.com.

Poem of Love

I was inspired to pen this poem after reading a writing by a friend…

In My Heart

Her eyes drew me in to a soul I found pure
Very precious and rare, of that I am sure

Not cut as a cookie
Her beauty unique
Both inner an outward
Distinctive and chic

A place in my heart very special to me
This spirit-warming love which will always be


Photo Credit: this is a modified photo from unsplash.com.

A Poem

Keep On Moving…

Her eyes look right through me
As if I wasn’t there
It’s not the way it was
In fact, she used to care

But times have changed, today
More folks have come along
No longer a bright light
She’s found another song

I guess that I should go
To find a pretty face
Another girl to meet
And welcome to my space

Be grateful to share smiles
And break bread together
Write poems and laugh anew
Nothing lasts forever

It sure would be nice, though.


Modified photo from unsplash.com.

Poem of Trees

With a love of hiking & the great outdoors, I was inspired by the beautiful words of a friend’s writing, “Trees Are The Poem The Earth Wrote To Heaven”, to create this poem:

Of roots and trunks and branches, too
And don’t forget each leaf
With bark that’s better than a bite
More sun is warm relief

Let’s not discount the rain
It’s most important, too
Each season brings real change
In sum, that’s how I grew

The sky above has quite a view
With colors close to ground
Each forest has so many trees
Go hike, and look around


Photo: I took this photograph last autumn at the Fall Creek Falls State Park.

More Poetry

Saying Goodbye To A Ghost

Simple themes on a canvas –
on the wind, a transient cloth
Like a dream or ghost in my heart.

A weight of emotional scale –
From equilibrium, light rises to dissipate
An apparition of appreciable bearing.

In likeness absent chamber –
A transcendent mirage, untimely and apart
Goodbye my beautiful little ghost.


Modified photo from unsplash.com.

Short Story: She’s A Dream

Based on a recent comment I made on the web site of a friend, I wrote this short story this morning. Entitled, She’s A Dream, I hope that you’ll enjoy reading it.


I rested on a tropical sandy cay, comfortable in a low seat with my bare feet in warm, shallow water. Small waves carried the tranquil and continuous rhythm of ocean currents on shore, breaking into sand and drowning in retreat.

With a cooling but mild summer breeze rustling palm fronds through the trees on shore behind me, I dreamed I heard a British woman from the past – Clementine – sounding a conch shell from a hillside in the distance.

I was at peace as the sun grew old, slowly dropping from the sky, setting colors of gold, orange and peach in brilliant illumination across scattered clouds on the horizon. Then, on the edge of time, sunlight refracted through a level plane in the ocean, casting a bright, blinding green flash!

Moments passed into minutes, until my sight returned. And, then I saw her – the silhouette of a beautiful woman slowly walking along the shoreline in my direction. Long, flowing hair wafting on thermals, hips swaying slightly with each casual step, I could tell that she wasn’t very tall, and watched closely as she approached.

She was barefoot with a lovely figure, suntanned, wearing a bikini top and fishnet skirt, and also wore a small diamond piercing on her nose. Immediately, I was drawn to the most beautiful pair of brown eyes I’d ever seen…she was a goddess!

I was captured by a vision of her beauty, when suddenly she spoke –

Hello my dear friend, Phil. How are you today?

What?! I’d never seen this woman before – though very much wish that I had. Who was she? I was on a remote tropical island in the Caribbean… At that moment, a small coconut detached from a palm tree, dropping on my head and knocking me to the ground.

When later I regained my senses, I was alone and realized that she was only a dream.

Modified header photo from unsplash.com.

Poem In Response

Inspired by a friend, writer Carla Milho & her recent work, “Rest In Peace” – where she discusses the gift of life, present challenges, and an optimistic future – I wrote this short poem in response

The dark corners of empty rooms
Negative events of the past
I’ll put aside such memories
Like ghosts not meant to last.

Instead, the sounds of happiness
From friends who really care
This miracle of life, so grand
It’s mine – to live and share.

My dreams ahead, pursued with hope
I’ll focus on the positive
Because the best is yet to come
And, yes, I’ve got so much to give!


Modified photo from unsplash.com.