Queen Bee

I dabble in poetry a bit. I write with dverse, a friendly place – almost a Cheers bar where poets, some aspiring, some accomplished meet and share. Here’s one poem I wrote recently.

Someone commented: I would like to be the Queen bee but am destined to be a drone worker bee…will and hand:)

It might be a joke, for she seems unlikely to fail. I looked her up, she’s young and talented and I hope she dares follow her dream. Some times the cost is high – but if we acquire the skills, commit the time our dreams can happen. I always tell kids, somebody has to win the race, why not you ? Someone needs to be the Queen Bee, why not you ?

My life is in transition, we have a certain number of months to wind down the data-center following a corporate merger. After that, I might have passed the expiration date for jobs in IT. Jan and I are talking about new dreams now. Somebody has to visit Fiji and New Zealand, why not us ? Somebody has to teach English overseas, why not us ? The possibilities are endless. But if we don’t dream it, it will never happen.

I hope you realize that you can dream all your life, and reach those dreams. My dreams started out “If I could make enough money to travel and play club rugby” a lifetime ago.

Here’s to you, the next Queen Bee.

older and better

Sifu Mohr once said that we needed to strive to improve all our lives. We looked at him uncomprehendingly, eventually we would age and fail. In the senior instructor’s class our goal was always to train harder, be fiercer, stronger, more powerful. Master Mohr taught us that there is the hard and the soft, the perfect positioning of the arm for a block, flawless footwork, unshakable balance, anticipation and flow. The hard skills will always wane in time, but the soft skills can be honed as long as we are willing.

It’s been a lifetime since I was a martial artist and this is a lesson which took decades to learn. Where else can I better my mind, my spirit, my body, for when we cease to grow, we start to die. While part of me diminishes, I can continue to strive for wisdom, to love better.

There are doors in life that I would have bashed down that I now knock and ask permission to enter. Is that not improvement ?

mixed blessing

When it was bedtime for my youngest a lifetime ago, I would stop in and we would sing a short song, then I would place my hand on her forehead and give her a blessing.

One night I must have been distracted, and as I was leaving, she said “Dad” in an exasperated tone then took my hand and placed it on her forehead.

I Learned that night, never withhold a blessing.

Of course, this is the same child who received a hard cure for bad dreams.


When we have lived with anger for a long time it’s hard to let it go. It leaves a void in us, one to be filled by hope or despair. It seems more difficult to open to hope. Perhaps that’s why we cling so to anger, the alternative seems much more frightening.

May you be brave enough to let go of your anger and dare to hope.


I read with sadness that a six foot five inch tall three-hundred and twenty-five pound professional football player was bullied. It got so bad that he just left the team. Of all men offensive linemen are powerful almost indestructible. Maybe he just wanted to belong, be part of the group, but the cost was too high.

Sifu Mohr used to tell us that when martial artists cross hands the consequences will be severe, even to death. What happens when these giants of men do so? The player in question walked away, maybe from the game forever.

Long ago I worked with one of the meanest SOB’s I have ever known. I was young, he some years older than me. His cubicle sat right next to mine. He rode me hard, unmercifully criticizing and demeaning me. One day he said something that crossed the line. I walked away.

I composed myself then walked over to the HR director, stuck my head inside the door and said: “You can handle this however you like, but if he ever speaks to me like that again, we are going to duke it out until only one of us gets up.” She never said anything to me, but the next day they moved our cubicles and I got a window view.

Soon after that, I left and became a consultant. One day years later I heard that the SOB had been fired for stealing from the company. I laughed out loud.

Let’s hope this football player laughs last too.


I ordered a DNA kit the other day. It’s from a place called 23andme.com. We send them a sample of saliva and they evaluate our genotype. It will tell some about who I came from, and some about what may lie ahead as far as disease goes. I am looking forward to the results. I suppose sooner or later the government and the NSA will steal the data, but so be it.

Perhaps someone will someday make a clone. It’s nature vs nurture, I wonder if he would carry my sins and failings.

Today I ate lunch with three executives. A Friday lunch with wine and drinks, appetizers and wonderful courses. One of the fellows who now worries about what private school to send his kids grew up hard. His brothers are in prison and at 15 he emancipated himself from his family, sold his food stamps for thiry cents on the dollar to generate eighty dollars a months which worked out to an old trailer and a little food. Here we sat sharing a lunch that cost four months rent.

Which was it for him, nature or nurture? Maybe it was spirit.


I was at a funeral a while ago, and someone spoke out of the hurt in their life from the deceased. I thought of Klingon revenge “A dish best served cold”, but wondered at the aftertaste.
There was pain, real pain there. I hoped for healing, but healing is hard to get from death. Perhaps forgiveness would better serve.

Rage hurt and anger dig deep inside us. They can fuel us in a crazy manner, great for sports like rugby or martial arts. However, in the end they own us and the person who harmed us takes something, controls something, our ability to experience joy. I think only forgiveness releases joy.

It’s strong medicine admitting we were wronged or hurt. The consequences of the action from the law, the world stand beyond our control. But if we can forgive we take back the ability to see them or not for reasons of our own. Our lives flow forward, nothing expected, just a free future.

Forgiving is something we do, we need no one’s permission or even their presence. Sill, make your peace while others are here. Too often I have seen the weight of words unsaid.

Forgive often, and let your full life be your revenge. Soon there will be no revenge, just joy.


Do you sleep enough? When I trained hard in the martial arts, the Chinese saying “Every hour before midnight counts twice” was often quoted and little heeded.

Having fought cancer, I think that sleep and thought, sleep and wellness, sleep and strength and sleep and healing are companions.

In our family we often misquote Tolkien from “The Lord of the Rings” concerning the hobbits, hole dwellers, and their sojourn in a tree under the protection of the elves.

May you sleep the sleep of the content, if logs can be content.

the challenge of our times

Living consistently with honor and integrity is the challenge of our times.

r & r – horses

Rest and recovery is as important as action.

work is over, time to graze

work is over, time to graze