On the Road

Once the outer rim of reality

is breached

you wonder where you were

your perception jaded

lashed by feelings

run amok

your body contained.

Brain fog doesn’t

announce itself.

When you’re in brain fog,

you don’t know

you’re in brain fog.

Only after,

it’s clear.

Still, a path

is traveled

to freedom.

An island of

peace that says

you earned it

from your travels

along the way.

Everything’s ok out

there.  You just have

to see it that way

and give up your

cockeyed outlook on

how you think it’s

all going to come












Categories: creative, creative writing, growth, outside, Poetry, Uncategorized, vision, writing | Leave a comment

Summer’s Heat

Some summer days

just try to intimidate

your courage to walk

upright & boldly

through them

unfazed by their

scorch of sorts.

The wind battles

the oppressive

furnace fire

of fossils making.

A welcome movement

shifts the air

just enough

to cool

& refresh.

All of nature

loves her change


they adjust

and keep

on moving

to another









Categories: courage, creative, creative writing, Poetry, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


The spirit within me

is a little kid.

Who wants to play

all the time!

Have fun and laugh

and generally

have a good time.

That’s what (real) little

kids do endlessly.

I want to be silly

with someone–many

someones who take

me seriously at having

a good time.  I guess

I could “play” like an

adult some of the time

so I could process reality

to get to where I want to

go.  Maybe that’s not even

necessary.  Give up my fun

just to get somewhere?

The adult’s tired of being

serious.  And responsible–

for everybody else, as if

they didn’t have enough

problems worrying about

me worrying about them.

I wonder if there are any

people left in this world

who still want to have fun

all day long?  And are bigger

than 2 feet tall.  Still have

their spirit?






Categories: creative, creative writing, fun, Poetry, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Start Now

He who hestitates…well, he’ll just

have to wait longer for a result

to happen.  You got all day?  I don’t

either.  So, unless I get started,

nothing will get finished.

Hesitation, procrastination–all

garbage can candidates.

You know what you want.  It’s

inside, sometimes buried under

heaps of non-essentials.

But go digging with whatever

clarity you can manage, and

an acceptable solution will


Sometimes you just have to

take your best guess as

to what your inner being

is wanting you to see

& do.

But if you wait & don’t

try something–like I

tell my students–I

can’t correct a blank

paper.  Write something,

anything & we’ll see

what you’ve got.

Eroded rock formations in Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

Eroded rock formations in Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

Photography © Dennis Frates Photography








Categories: creative, creative writing, now, Poetry, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Someday I will change

but for now I’m stubbornly

holding onto my walls

of insecure security.

Insecure because there is no

real ultimate protection

that I’m aware of.  No magic

immortality pill that

renders you invincible to

all attacks.


I could change today.  Would

that upset the apple cart?

Flinging apples here and

there, to and fro

rolling down the street

creating havoc in every

one’s way.

I could.

But would I?  Hit by

a lightning bolt of

inspiration, I may

jump out of my

“comfort” zone and

take a bigger risk than

I’m normally prepared

to take at the drop of a

hat on a moment’s notice.

Is someday today?

Fruit stand at Pike's Market. Seattle, Washington

Fruit stand at Pike’s Market. Seattle, Washington

Photography © Dennis Frates Photography





Categories: awareness, courage, creative, creative writing, Poetry, risk, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Another day

another week

another (school) year


I wonder how I find

the energy to do what

I do each day.

It’s a lot.

I get inspired from

project to project

not really following

a script.

Looking back

I did a lot of

good things for

myself & others

which I hardly take

time to reflect upon

& give myself credit


Pink Lady Hellebore flower in fall grasses. Al's Nursery. Woodburn, Oregon

Pink Lady Hellebore flower in fall grasses. Al’s Nursery. Woodburn, Oregon

Photography © Dennis Frates Photography




Categories: busyness, creative, creative writing, flow, fun, growth, Poetry, stop, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Happy.  That’s the goal.

You can start from there.

That would be best.

If it’s a ways away,

the trip is worth taking,

gently stepping in

each moment toward


Some are impatient

and rash.

They take “foolish”

risks to remain


Leaps often

are greater than

we can take

or are ready


Risks cannot

be avoided in


Let them



carrying you

to the next


A lot of baby

steps amounts

to a lot at

the end of

the day.


Golden helicon (Heliconius hecale) on Black Eyed Susan flower. Portland Oregon Zoo

Photography © Dennis Frates Photography


Categories: courage, creative, creative writing, Poetry, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Flowing with it

Toxins and nutrients

duel it out

coursing through

my system.

One moment I’m a


the next, a villain.

My friends seem ok

(which they are)

or they’re so far out

on a limb

I don’t know where

they’re coming


I’m feeling desperate

and self-sufficient

almost in the same


I have money

coming in

and I’m on

extended vacation

until further


The ebbs and flows

of life

keep me on my


I’m mostly there


just in case.







Categories: abundance, creative, creative writing, faith, friends, Poetry, possibilities, surprise, timing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Walk with the Trees

Wood Duck in pond at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens. Oregon

Wood Duck in pond at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens. Oregon

Saw a hawk, the family of wood ducks

that have moved into

our little pond sharing it with

a white egret and a couple of mallard


Doves, airplanes, boats.  You never

know what you’ll see once

you leave your home for a walk.

Nature, people, new paths, old

paths, new day, sun setting

clouds drifting, billowing

air clear to breathe.

Leaving what you see every

day inside is a big boost

for your mood.

No problems leave with you

less problems come back

it seems, at least a happier

frame of mind and an

academy award-winning

experience of nature’s varied


Geese landing with fall colors. Montana

Geese landing with fall colors. Montana

Photography © Dennis Frates Photography






Categories: clouds, creative, creative writing, flowers, freedom, fresh air, inside, nature, outside, Poetry, surprise, Uncategorized, walking | Leave a comment

A Tree

If I was a tree I don’t know

if I’d grow so big as to not fit in the

forest without standing out so

conspicuously that everyone always

looked at me when they walked by,

I was so noticeable.

So, I might consider growing to

just ‘average’ height so I’d

blend in and be a part of the

forest & feel like I belonged to

something bigger than myself.

Sometimes, I’ve been watered so

intensively and been planted in

the best sun spot that my growing

took off into the sky unrestricted

& unrestrained.

I was destined, determined to be

the tallest, widest, most dense,

beautiful tree in the forest.


Redwoods with path and big leaf maple tree in fall color. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California

No one could come up to my

height & join my primo

basking ability.

Still in all, I was still a tree

and just because I was big

didn’t mean there wasn’t

a place for me in the


I’ll wait, happily growing

bigger & see who sits in my

shade, climbs my branches

for a better view and puts me

in their photographs the most.


Photography © Dennis Frates Photography



























Categories: creative, creative writing, freedom, fresh air, friends, Poetry, rain, sunshine, Uncategorized, visibility, writing | 3 Comments

Create a free website or blog at