Sean’s Journal — December 22 “The doors behind me”

As the holiday approaches the meetings are fewer. Decorations and gifts and well-wishes lead to smiles and random acts of kindness. I finished one of those meetings with five of our clinical leaders. We spoke of what is possible and ideas around an early ’17 project that will effect people for the better. I left the nicely furnished and comfortable conference room and offered Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday wishes to the incredible executive assistants that line our suite. It was to be one of my last meetings of the year. As the sliding doors from the hospital to the garage closed behind me I heard the unmistakeable sound of grief.

the-healing-touch-jpg_sia-jpg-fit-to-width_800_trueThe sounds of prayer and weeping came from a family in a huddled embrace at the end of
the walkway. The gravity of sorrow brought two of them to their knees. It was clear they had just experienced a loss unimaginable and most likely unexpected. I approached and asked if I could offer them a place with some privacy. A woman turned and offered a muted smile through her tears and said, “Thank you, but we will stay here for a moment more.” I reached for her hand and she clutched mine as if we were old friends. We released and I slowly walked to the corner of the garage to make my turn for the line of cars waiting for those anxious to finish their rounds and their surgeries and their meetings and their small talk about plans and gifts and the little slice of joy that this time of year so often brings.

I glanced back at the family and offered a prayer for peace and comfort. As they so often do when I round and visit, my eyes welled up. I opened my car door and just stood. In just a few moments of uncharacteristic quiet, my mind raced through this last year. Its victories and tragedies. Its highs and lows and even the occasional uneventful.

My first thoughts were of those who were lost. Those whose lives ended so early and those who lived theirs out so well and just said, Farewell. No matter how expected or not, death takes away from the whole we know. The images of times we knew and experiences we had flood back in. There always seems to be a moment of doubt that they have actually “left”us.

My replay reminded me of how the depth of friendship can carry through the hardest times and complete the joy that comes with a milestone of good. I was awakened to the more shallow and fragile side of relationships when our flaws are exposed. I got to sing, and speak, and learn, and grow, and paddle, and pedal, and grow up how I hoped I would. I have loved well and have been loved so well. I realized how much I take for granted, especially with family and love, and I was ashamed. I became equally determined to change that; not in a New Years Eve kind of way, but in one of dialogue and awareness. I will battle cynicism and remain an idealist about this life.

To the family in their loss, I have thought of you every hour since walking through those doors yesterday. Peace be with you. And, in the most tragic of ironies, I am struck by how your loss—and tha
of so many others—gives me this grateful and grounded perspective.

Live well.


Sean’s Journal: Chronic pain and a little victory dance

We hold up in high regard those warriors on the athletic field who play through injury and pain. Impressive? Admirable? Sure.

But I see daily those whose pain is constant. Dull and then biting. Chronic. Genetic or illness-born. A product of a physiology fragile. Complex and mysterious.

sad-maskThey are among the heroes. They wake and face the day. Moving and stretching and finding ways to negotiate with their nemesis. They shower and make breakfast and raise their children. Go to work and labor through the tribulations of the day. They exercise to heal or to thrive in spite of the trials or to balance the pain here or the pain there.

Then, one day, after sucking it up and smiling through it, after finding ways to get the most out of life when the body says “I don’t want to,” after navigating through the maze of symptoms and root causes and the plethora of treatments, your patience and determination pays off. For the lucky few there is a potion in a script. A chemical cocktail that finds its paradoxical match.

Then, there is the victory dance. Hands moving freely. A morning wake without the long moments of adapting to the body’s need to move and greet the challenges ahead—holding a cup, writing a sentence, grabbing the wheel of a car, holding a hand, lifting a bag from the store. Things most of us take for granted.

Watching the ebb and flow has its emotional rhythm. Your quiet fight does not and did not go unnoticed. It isn’t the entertainers or the entrepreneurs or the athletes who command the respect stored in me. It is those who fight for our lives to live, and those who live to fight their own battles. You who war against demons that strike the mind or the toxins that grow and invade and steal us away. The spoils of injury. The aching that loiters and occupies the space between.

I watch with a quiet and empathic awe.

I am glad for you. I am inspired by you. I will do this work that might bring others to a place with less suffering and remember your example. Just wanted you to know.

Sean’s Journal: My Birthday Letter to Dad

Dear Dad,

Major Carmon Logan Keyser, USAF  April 13, 1962
Major Carmon Logan Keyser, USAF, circa 1962

I sit here on the eve of the anniversary of your passing. You left us the day before my birthday. April 13 was destined to forever be a day of sad memory and less one of celebration. Then, two years later, your grandson, Logan, was born on the 14th of the same month. As providence would have it, the quieting of your time here and the grief that came with it was redeemed with the joy of his arrival, and Chelsea’s only weeks before.

I am only seven years shy of the age you were when you left us and jetted to the ultimate TDY. Not one of these years has passed without a thought of you; who you were, what you stood for, what you wanted to be, and what you hoped for me—or at least what I imagined you hoped for me.

I think you would have been been proud of me. You would have been disappointed and a bit judgmental. You would have raised your patented eye brow at my choices and offered your Cheshire Cat grin at others. You would have questioned my reasoning and celebrated my curiosity and adventure.

You saw too many things we shouldn’t see. The emotional flak that seemed to burst relentlessly all around you for so many years took its toll and fed the cynic that was sure to mount after seeing all that you saw in defense of us.

As a patriotic teen, seated tightly in a turret, you shot guns that put men down from the sky. Later, as a pilot, you airlifted boys and dropped them over badlands. Many would never again see their mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers and girls whose letters inspired them to live. You flew secretly in places we didn’t acknowledge. You served—even when the motive wasn’t clear, but the mission was never questioned. You attended ceremonies and wrote letters than no one should have to write and heard the macabre sound of twenty-one gun salutes too many times.

An army of dying cells would declare war on your decorated being. You and and your own squadron of medicine men and gadgets and chemicals fought and then surrendered. In those last days you became a child again. Curious and wondrous. Grateful and regretful. Kind and spiritual.

You greeted your beautiful granddaughter on the day of her birth, in my own hospital, and held her and spoke to her in your broken, but quietly clear voice with the words, “You be a good girl. I love you.” You kissed her forehead and let the next days be your last. Reconciled. Finding fragments of peace in this world of wars.

Logan has grown and has followed you. He graduated college a healer. He bypassed the prestige of OCS and enlisted with plans and a vision of the highest honor to be among the ranks of the most prestigious of fighting men. He has become that man. His legacy of defending this beautiful land is in the best hands.

Chelsea, the little girl held in your arms only days before you left us, fights for those who can’t fight. She listens empathically to stories that wage war in the minds of precious kids and young adults. She combines her learning and her intuition and offers hope through diagnosis, treatment, a kind touch, and words, and prayer.

I woke at the earliest hour. I remembered our time. Tonight I will sit on my deck and quietly meditate on the last days that were good, and too few. I will hold the letter in my hands that you wrote for my first birthday. You wrote it to me from one of those secret places in southeast Asia that would later become an awful killing ground. It never left you. I will think of how Chelsea and Logan inherited some of your spirit when your body resigned. And I will be forever grateful that the years and years of not knowing youDadsLetter - Version 2, of misunderstanding you, of unrequited pride would evaporate in a matter of those last months. Replaced by a round of golf, talks about a good book, revisiting and conquering regrets, and, finally, a gentle goodbye.

I will celebrate my own birth and stand grateful that you and mom chose to bring me in later in your lives (or at least that is the story you stuck to). I will celebrate Logan’s day the day after mine. We will salute you in our own traditional and civilian and loving way.

I miss you, Dad.

“The birds will keep us in touch”


Trumpinol: revealing the hidden evidence of crimes against humanity (or at least Constitutional intent)

This will hopefully be one of the last, if not the last politically cynical posts I pen. After spending four days in a mindfulness/awareness retreat recently, I re-realized that my core isn’t negative in the least. I knew this. I operate from a place of idealism and hope. But this campaign season has chipped away at that core. I have no illusions that these GOP men aren’t human or don’t have flaws.

But good Lord–Really?

And to think, at one time I was actually a leader in the Young Republicans in my old stomping grounds. This year, since Jeb Bush walked away (say what you like, I was actually ready to support him and consider moving more to the moderately conservative place of yesteryear), the character, the tone, the substance and the players scare the hell out of me. One in particular has me greatly confused. I actually reached a point where I was convinced I just wasn’t smart enough, or in touch enough, or patriotic enough to realize he might just be right. Not.

Each day–up until even the last few with the War-of-Wives shit, I am convinced that this animal has created and deployed Twitter Fairy Dust and has created an almost zombie following that rationalizes his absurdity in the name of being “great again.” In the most ironic of twists, seven (7) of my friends/colleagues in the last 3 days have written me to express first hand that they are walking away from this guy. He has more interest in picking on Ted Cruz’s wife (careful…she would kick has ass on all fronts and is a class act) than speaking about the world’s challenges with terror from any other point than declaring all muslims as probable terrorists. Just another in the latest of uninformed and myopic lunacy. My journal entry of a few weeks ago was therapeutic. Please try and not be offended if you support this guy. This was just my expression and opinion. I am not on a track to change minds. Again, the fairy dust is already in the neurologic system and likely can’t be reversed on logic or moral conscience alone 🙂


Trumpinol: revealing the hidden evidence of crimes against humanity (or at least Constitutional intent).

It was Super Tuesday (the first one). Kind of reminds me of “Super-Sizing.” Adding more bad to an already bad thing that eventually clogs the blood flow and the wellness of an otherwise health-seeking miracle of a thing. And it happens from a point of will…of choice…a seemingly robotic and mindless auto-response fashioned by sound bites and media crack doses of empty and provocative rhetoric. But, it works!

As I sit and attempt to dialogue with healthcare strategy consultants over dinner, I can’t help but check my phone that is pegged to With each moment, my heart sinks further and my mind clouds as if in a nightmare I keep thinking I might wake from. Then again, why? Maybe its time.

But there is evidence. Let’s explore, class. Circumstantial evidence can be a good thing to come along, especially if a crime isn’t solved in the first 48 hours. It can reveal the source of vile acts and bad judgement.

I have this love of—no, perhaps an obsession with—true crime channels. Investigation Discovery and Crime & Investigation Network are my favorites. Great detective and forensic work often reveals what criminals attempt to cover.

One of the many tools in forensics work is this spray. Curiously simple, but entirely revealing. Luminol. According to Wikipedia, mixed with a little garnish of my own, the following definition is offered to the common folks, like me:

Luminol: Forensic investigators use Luminol to detect trace amounts of blood at crime scenes, as it reacts with the iron in hemoglobin. Biologists use it in cellular assays to detect copper, iron, and cyanides, [xenophobia, character forgery, Constitutional contempt, and, and bad manners].

Being a lifelong idealist and amateur silver-lining chaser, I try and find SOMETHING in most bad situations. In perhaps the strangest and most ironic political twist, the current histrionics and calculated oration of the leading republican candidate for the great office of President is likely to have at least one unexpected “value.” Like Luminol, the positions and “plain talk” have ignited largely dormant, albeit restless sentiment. Lurid as it is.

The pseudo-nationalism commanding so much attention would fit more in a Game of Thrones episode than in today’s world. I am shocked and almost numb at the flood of ignorance that suggests that if we build and fortify “The Wall” and keep out the undesirables (anyone lacking a Judeo-Christian position or isn’t white enough or doesn’t always win or hasn’t been captured in war, or is a woman, or has a mental or physical challenge, or…fill in he blank) that all will be fine and we will return to being “great again.” I’m at a loss over this man who seemed to wake up from some cryogenic state from the first Ice Age to grunt and bully club his way to 36% of one party’s constituency that finally has found its long lost quasi-arian voice. He is proxy for tucked away emotions of fear and anger over encroachment of the life they believe was intended by the Constitutional founders.

Oh, the irony again. Our founders would have loved the diversity of thought and look and dress and language and collective patriotism. The current stage of commentary energizes the ethnocentric base and and appeals to the equally anxious base that feel valuing diversity is synonymous with “politically correct.” This actually speaks more to their ignorance and intolerance than to their humanitarian or constitutional wisdom.

I have friends, dear friends, who do not hold nationalistic ideals and who do not have a prejudiced bone in their body that are supporting the reality star and real estate tycoon. They are good people. And, they genuinely believe that his derisive “plain talk” is good for us. They feel his “anti-establishment” (the most trendy, and entirely inaccurate term applied this election, self proclaimed by virtually every candidate) speech represents them, like a preacher who seems to be speaking directly to you as you sit passively and then nervously in the pew.

I have moved through the stages of political grief.

(1)Denial began when I first saw evidence of folks taking this man seriously. Followed by the (2)anger over his shocking and divisive words and attacks. I then entered the next stage of (3)bargaining with the political gods, those deceased and those remaining, hoping their influence could somehow create a an exposé of his entire self not matching a word of his newfound conservatism. They acquiesced, mesmerized by the unprecedented gamesmanship that is the RNC. Then, as support grew and the hate spewed and the children fought in the political sandbox, (4)depression sat in. It remains. It carries through and is handing off to the final stage of (5)acceptance that this might actually happen. Perhaps it is time.

Wait. I almost gave in to the fairy dust. I will vote. I won’t use the pitiful “I’m not even going to vote” cop out. I will dialogue. It is my right. It is my privilege.

I need a glass of wine and a hammock.

Sean’s Journal: Remembered things

There’s not much good that can be said about dementia. In fact, there is nothing, unless it could be called on selectively to remove those things not worth storing or that hurt.

This journey with Patti (that would be Mom) has taught many lessons on the wonders of the body and the mind.

She has said as far back as I can recall, “Always have something to look forward to.” In this curious case of visiting her while an ICU and telemetry patient, dementia has a bit of twisted benefit.

It’s the short term effected the most. Questions asked and answered over and over—some with less patience than others. Names and even faces that leave almost as soon as they arrived.

If there is silver lining to the loss of fragments of memory in this case, it is that each visit becomes new. An unexpected and positive surprise. A big smile breaks through the tubes and the vapor of the breathing treatments and past the blinding lights of a room occupied by precious life and inanimate machines keeping the precious life precious for a little longer.

Memory has its blend for evil and for good. There is a neurological yin and yang about it. The recall can allow grudges to never die; for pain or sorrow or anger or all manner of negative emotion to be reignited. Whole wars have happened because of a collective or individual memory. It can haunt and stay, even if begged to leave. It can also remind us of the best parts of life. The births and the dates and the songs and the quiet moments and the celebrations and more. It can fill the mind’s canvas like a colorful and beautiful montage.

Mom’s memories are vivid. They are offered in headlines repeated over and over and with the same enthusiasm as if delivered for the first time. They are mixed with pride and melancholy. They are the best of what she wants to remember, and that is good enough. Some have become a little exaggerated over the lifetime. So what? What’s the harm in refreshing or adding a hue here and there to a life recalled?

We walked into the semi-private room tonight. Her eyes moved from the window the to the door as she could sense our approach. “Ohhhhhhhhh, it’s youuuu,” she exclaims with a smile. It had been only an hour or so, but it was new now…and so appreciated.

Using this time to reflect (as I always seem to do when trials present) leads me to consider changes or reinforce the best of my current path –which is so strong and hopeful. I am more determined to design and create and fulfill those moments that will become the memories of good. Equally determined to fight harder against those memories that intermittently plot a coup to create the dark moods and times quiet neglect.

Always have something to look forward to (and back on)!

Love you, Mom.

Strange Is Just A Different Point of View (original post february 27, 2011)

acoustic_guitar_valiha6smWe hadn’t spoken much since college. Close friends in those days when carefree mixed with the looming reality of a world waiting for citizens who thought beyond guitars and beach bars and life’s cadence being a force of the gulf tides.

We found each other through the web waves. There was the thrill of connection followed by the soundbites of a history twenty-five years in the making. He spoke of the “missing years,” sometime between our undergrad days and about a decade ago. My friend struggled to describe how his mind kind of left him. While those around us had experienced bodily demons of their own, his attacked his mind. Left him “different.” It cost him a job or two; it carried with it an addiction or two; it stole much of his normal existence.

Meantime, he found the only thing that added clarity to an otherwise obscure and chaotic world. His art. Its form in painting and song and lyric. He shared a bit with me. I listened and wept. I viewed in awe.

I didn’t see a man who had lost a thing. I saw a man who might have just found what few of us do in this marching ant existence. While we try so hard to define reality through science or religion or laws and codes…this man just allowed his reality to define itself. Honestly. He had no choice but to surrender. It found him. The drugs were a chemical warfare on something so natural. No more.

Today my friend is a tradesman instead of an architect. His days require his hands and tools more than math and angles and physics. His nights and weekends open to his mind and his craft. He tells stories of his kind–those misunderstood tribes of beautiful people who might be a little different from the rest of us. These people who are stereotyped as “ill” instead of “blessed” with a different point of view.  Our messages were anchored with a phone call. In his voice I heard peace. I sensed a depth of understanding of life and his unique place in it. I found myself a bit envious that through his battles he might have just discovered a better place without having to leave this one. Your mind, my friend, is art itself. Your place here has made me a better person.

Thank you for allowing me in your “stained glass rooms.”

On the road to safe

I kinda tripped along the way

It just seemed like a nasty hassle

The path was greener on the one less traveled

That’s where I remained

People so high they think

I can’t hear the whispers

I can see it falling off their face

Their trying to shoot down my plane of grace

It seems like it’s already hard enough

So tell me what it is about me

Where did everybody go without me

So, I like to fantasize

And watch the sunrise like it’s a big surprise

Life moves and I stopped to taste it

I drank it up till it left me wasted

But my rains have bled

A softer red

Oh you should see the world inside my head

I feel better when I paint my days

With purple seas

And left out grays

Strange is just a different point of view

— Sister Hazel

à votre santé (posted November 7, 2010)

There is a scene at the beginning of the show Friends where they are sitting on a couch and watching the flow of a fountain. A simple chord pulled on a lamp suggests it’s time to reflect … be present … be quietly together.

We gathered to celebrate a lost friend at a place we had all celebrated together before. Our common bonds: friendship, great wine, great food. It was a wine dinner. A combination birthday party and passing on party. Our chef-friend J. enthusiastically brought each dish of magic to the table. We laughed, reflected, talked about the absurdity of death and life, and generally relished in the preciousness of friendship. Each plate and its wine pairing reminded me of the characters in my life. We create or stumble into likely and unlikely mixes and pairings. The whole is better because we constantly blend and invent and find what works. Each course of life gets richer and more interesting. More luscious. Like our wines, the aging of friendship adds value and complexity and something to pause and appreciate.Canvas Wall Art - Wine Bottles

We began with a reception and clinked glasses of “J” Coveee 20 Sparkling. Our friend was effervescent. It was the most perfect beginning.

First Course: Grilled Swordfish over a Pumpkin Puree with a Paresan Crisp. Paired with a Falcor Sonoma Chardonnay, 2006. Buttery and full. Smooth and inviting.

Second Course: Black Tea Braised Duck over Roasted Mushrooms and a Grit Cake. Paired with Melville Sante Rita Hills Pinot Noir, 2008. Full. Like drinking a holiday.

Third Course: Tobacco Infused Beef Carpaccio with Arugula and Shaved Onion. Fourteen Napa Appellations Meritage, 2005. My absolute new favorite red. A blend, an “invention” from the best of 13 vinters in the Appellation of Napa.

Fourth Course: Prosciutto Wrapped Tuna, Sweet Potato Medallion, and Berry Reduction. Partnered with Paradigm Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006.

Finish: Port Pot de Creme with a Nieport Colheita 1995. A toast of sweetness to say goodbye, and hello.

We raised glasses and toasted in different languages and to different elements of life and death.

Then, for just a moment, it was quiet. Not a word. Unplanned. We looked around the table of eleven. The unspoken words were of thanks and wonder and absolute awe of the temporal beauty of friendship and the hope of an eternal connection. A votre santé, my friends scattered on this planet and beyond it.

The Thing About Grass…

There is something about coming home. At least this version of home. I drive around, wondering if a building or a sign or a landmark will draw me back.  It doesn’t. Stop driving! Having been a corporate gypsy for most of my adult life, “home” is where I make it, if you will.

With each move there was a promise of something better, something greener. It’s not that the proverbial grass wasn’t green enough in the places before. Maybe just a restlessness. The idea of staying somewhere, anywhere, just didn’t appeal to me for the better part of thirty years. But seven years into the most unlikely of places, in a little village in North Carolina, I am finding I sort of belong. But that’s just it…it’s not the place.

It’s the grass, you see.

photo by florence barreau

After building my house in Nashville I decided to to sod the back forty. The sod guys showed up and we placed the squares of turf in rows along the big hill and down to the flatter ground by the deck. After staking in the last piece, Eric (sod guy) pulled me aside and offered his Kentucky Fescue wisdom.

“Okay sir…let’s get some water on this right away.” I said okay and turned to head for the garage to grab sprinklers and hoses. He grabbed me by the arm and said, “I need ya to listen to me for a minute.” His tone was serious.

“Now let’s get water on this now. And after you’ve watered it, WATER IT AGAIN.”

I said, “Okay, got it.”

He never released my arm and his voice got a little louder, almost paternal.

“And THEN, after you’ve watered it again, WATER IT AGAIN.” I complied.

It grew and flourished and coloured the scape of my little slice of the Tennessee hills. I had to mow it, weed it from time to time, feed it, and give it drink when rain was on hiatus. I loved that damned grass.

I am seeing that it isn’t about the real estate. My “turf” is made up of these blades of grass that are deeply human. In this metaphorical overflow there is a point here. I find myself comfortably placed among a few others on a small piece of this planet. Growing together. My family of new. The very sight of them brings a smile. They are there in joy and crisis and in the mundane. I was lucky enough to be aware when we met…opening the opportunity to be known and loved and treasured by them, and them by me. These few who make this life full again. It doesn’t matter the state or the city or the hill. I am here with them. It is where I choose to be and I choose because I grow well.

Giving thanks for the dear ones in my life. I’ll keep watering.

…and the Happiness of Pursuit

“Are you going to watch the game today?” my friend asked. It hit me. I haven’t watched a game completely through in the last two years. I don’t follow any teams in any sport anymore. It used to be a big damned deal to me.

My television is hardly ever on. I cancelled everything but the most crude of cable service when I moved. Something has changed in these  last years. I spend more time in pursuit of change than entertainment. My free time is spent with a small and dear band of friends from here and across the pond who need little more than some space, a glass of something red, music (ideally live), and a laugh. Books, my dog, my guitar, my bike in the woods, my kayak in the river, and conversation with such significant people have become the stuff of time away from the executive payroll.

In this mid-afternoon of my life, I find there is much to say and less to be consumed. I have sold or given away most of what I acquired over my baby boomer evolution. What’s next? Lyle Lovett in singing Guy Clark’s lyrical masterpiece said it so well:

Step Inside This House

That picture hangin’ on the wall
Was painted by a friend
He gave it to me all down and out
When he owed me ten
Now it doesn’t look like much I guess
But it’s all that’s left of him
And it sure is nice from right over here
When the light’s a little dim

Step inside my house Babe
I’ll sing for you a song
I’ll tell you ’bout where I’ve been
It shouldn’t take too long
I’ll show you all the things I own
My treasures you might say
Couldn’t be more’n ten dollars worth
But they brighten up my day

Here’s a book of poems I got
From a girl I used to know
I guess I read it front to back
Fifty times or so
It’s all about the good life
And stayin’ at ease with the world
It’s funny how I love that book
And I never loved that girl

Hold this piece of glass
Up to the light comin’ through the door
It’s a prism glass I found on the road
Can you see that little rainbow
Well it’s not really a prism I guess
It just broke in a funny way
I found it on my way from Texas
Headed for L.A.

This guitar was given me
By old man Thomas Gray
It’s not too much to look at
But I pick it every day
It’s been across the country
Four or five times I guess
Between me and old man Tom
It never got much rest

Well that’s about all I own
And all I care to I guess
Except this pair of boots
And that funny yellow vest
And that leather jacket and leather bag
And hat hangin’ on the wall
Just so it’s not too much to carry
Could I see you again next Fall

Guy Clark (sung best by Lyle Lovett)

Yes, I have much to say, sometimes if not only for myself. My pursuits are my happiness at this point. Considering ways to reduce poverty, improve delivery of health, expand my mind and my heart, maybe some travel. I may ride solo, but I find myself less interested in acquisition or the win. The journey is good for now. I’m not thinking it’s right; just right for where I am in this turn. It is these nights of quiet, on a deck, digging the energy of a little suburban village that turns me on. Then, mid-week there will be toasts and music and the company of these incredible humans – now family – that dance and laugh and share each others’ burdens and joys for a few hours. I will walk from that place in the late hour and be so reminded of why I am here.

Step inside this house. I did. They Brighten Up My Day.

Wind Chimes At Dawn

photo by arimapsy

I am re-posting one of my poems after the short, but powerful storm that swept through this Carolina morning. Dad taught me to love storms. As the early morning clouds gathered and blackened, and thunder roared in their mass, I was reminded of the morning after Christmas, 2010. I sat in Mom’s Florida Room and listened to the wind chimes as they played through a storm like this morning’s.

Wind Chimes at Dawn

by Sean Logan Keyser

The quiet of the dawn interrupted
Early morning wind stripped leaves from limbs
Voices from the night now memories
Outside the door were hymns

Angry clouds corralled and whipped their rage about
An acquiescing sun tucked its flare
Windows bend and panels creak
Still a song is in the air

Tempest paused and took a breath
As if to ready for a blow
A quiet took its place for now
The song more quiet and slow

The air was loud at the stormy return
Things moved and tipped and fell
But still a melody unmistakable; now a chorus
Rose to meet the swell

When dark or sad or storm will come
Our windblown lives scatter here and scatter there
Through it all, if I listen well
A song is in the air

December 26, 2010 Lynn Haven , Florida