A good day

Foggy, cloudy & cool

turned to warm, sunny

and blue.

If we waited long enough

the sun would dominate

the “pesky” fog that cast

somewhat of a ‘gloom’ on

the day.

I can see my shadow! I

exclaimed as we walked to

lunch!  I can make a

rabbit with my hands!

It was all good until we

had to go back for the

tickets for the drawing

at lunchtime.

Gathered up, on the way

back & excited to get

to lunch I said,

don’t…but too

late…as she rounded

the corner…run…

I mumbled to


Sunburst through rock arches. Bryce  National Park, Utah

Sunburst through rock arches. Bryce National Park, Utah

Photography © Dennis Frates Photography  http://www.fratesphoto.com/









Categories: abundance, awareness, clouds, creative writing, faith, fresh air, happiness, outside, Poetry, sunshine, Uncategorized, visibility, walking | Leave a comment

With or Without

I want it

yet I don’t want it.

I want to let

it go–be happy without it.

Is that possible?

I have to tear all the programming

in my head apart

and put it all back together

again leaving out

having to have something

or else I will forever

and eternity be

as unhappy a

bloke as

the next bloke

walking down the


I would not stand out.

If I was happy, voila

I would be noticed

and have what I want

but then don’t need it

because I’m already

what that thing or

person would give me.

I think my brain is going

in for an overhaul and some

major repair work so

it can live in the

21st century world again.

Halema‘uma‘u crater on K?lauea volcano glows at eveening. Hawaii Island.

Halema‘uma‘u crater on Kilauea volcano glows at evening. Hawaii Island.

Photography © Dennis Frates Photography  http://www.fratesphoto.com/


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


The tail.  Is it the tail that wags

the dog?

Some think it is so.

Expression of tail

overrides even the

bark of delight, glee

at a walk, a run

or freedom in any

way from home.

Home is where the heart


Yet freedom yields

powerful exertion

over home if it is


The whole body

knows freedom

or not.

It’s not hard

to decipher.

Silhouetted Joshua trees and sunset. Joshua Tree National Park. California

Silhouetted Joshua trees and sunset. Joshua Tree National Park. California

Photography © Dennis Frates Photography  http://www.fratesphoto.com/

Categories: creative writing, freedom, fun, happiness, nature, outside, Poetry, Uncategorized, walking | Tags: , | Leave a comment


3 letters.  If they’re not in your life

put together like that–you

don’t have much going into your fond

memory account.

It’s not the be-all & end-all but its

absence is.

Just doing without enjoying is

racking up a lot of “things” while

you’re not feeling particularly happy

about it all.  Joy is missing–

sometimes we forget or don’t

even know to feel what we’re

doing as enjoyment.  To relax

into that.  It may be there 5%

but it needs to be there 90-100%.

Not of the time–I’m talking about

the quality of experience.  Deeply

felt ones are like wringing the

last bit of water out of a sponge.

Most of us have soggy sponges.

Unused joy that is in the shadows,

the wings, waiting, to color

our experience of life.

Otherwise, it’s a black & white

movie, over at the end & that’s

that.  Not much to write

home about.  Just another

check off the list.  Your bucket

is getting empty, but it often

times doesn’t mean too much.

Fun.  Is it or isn’t it?


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

Escape Within

I want to crawl into my page

pull the covers up

turn on the flashlight

and disappear from the

world for a long, long


My own personal ‘hole’.

Who would ever think

I’d be happy in a (w)hole

lot of darkness with the

aid of a flashlight?

But I am.

I don’t even want to peek

out to see if the world

is still there.

I know it probably is

but I don’t want to

know I know.

I don’t want to think

about anything else

but what’s on this

page basking in the

light of my desk

covered up from the

world with my

one-focused attention.

I’ve been out there too

long taking in stuff.

Now I just want to

let some of it flow out

like a calm, serene lake

reflecting the majesty of

the heavens on a starlit



Categories: awareness, creative writing, flow, happiness, inside, love, nature, outside, Poetry, time, Uncategorized, writing | Leave a comment

Humor in Class

The kids often come up to me

in class or after class and say:

“You’re funny” in a rather

deadpan way.  I rarely see,

though, any of them smiling

or laughing at my efforts to

cheer up a rather bored and

oppressed looking class (or

when I try to target some likely

looking “unhappy” individuals.

I can usually get through to some

of the toughest cases :).

I’m thinking of offering “extra

points” for laughing, or even

smiling, at my jokes much like

what I do when I’m “desperate”

for participation and offer “extra

Eagle Bucks” for the “right” answer

I’m looking for for a thoughtful

topic we’re reading and discussing.

I don’t want to “load the question”

for a “better mood” if they’re not already

feeling it.  But I might experiment and see

what I can come up with.  Today’s kids

are often a sorrowful bunch when it comes

to offering them what the school curriculum

is dishing out…in class…on the playground

they seem to recover quite a bit!








Categories: creative writing, fun, happiness, humor, inside, learning, outside, Poetry, school, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

!! 100 Birthdays !!

My friend invited me to

his mom’s 100th birthday

party!!  Relatives-very

elderly relatives


thousands of miles

to be in his mom’s

backyard this afternoon.

I felt so honored to be

welcomed into their


I met the most interesting

people!  I was willing to

take risks, and, as always,

was rewarded.

I’m ready, as much as I’m

capable, and at a step at a

time, to rearrange my life

to reflect my new awareness,

it seems, that is dawning or

beginning to dawn on

me.  I want to be

braver, living my

life without later regrets.

Some way, I will

be able to change

my tack, heading

off in a new direction.

I’m glad I went.

Very rich experience.


Categories: best buddies, courage, creative, creative writing, fear, fresh air, friends, fun, growth, happiness, love, nature, outside, people, Poetry, possibilities, risk, shy, surprise, Uncategorized, writing | Tags: | Leave a comment


Chocolate searches me out

like a bloodhound sometimes.

No matter how hard I try to

hide (from) it, it finds me.

That’s all well and good

if I could get straight with

accepting its good qualities

and influence on my life.

It really does help me feel

‘OK’ if I eat some.

I don’t need much, so I

need to focus on other

things to fill me up.

A garnish it is to the

main meal in life.

Anyway, that’s how

I look at it usually

for best results in

its use.  I admit it.

I’m a user!  And I

feel better now that

I’ve written this about


It shows some self-love

for myself.

That I’m worthy of

a treat now and then.





Categories: awareness, creative writing, disclosure, happiness, love, Poetry, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Day dreamers.

Night dreamers.

The night is for dreaming.

Sweet dreams, she said.

Sweet.  My favorite taste.

Happy ones, too.

You get what you want,

or think you want.

Maybe you’re asking

for too little.

The universe has a big

dump truck.

How wide is your lawn?

Big truck.

Sometimes less is more

and more is less.

Whatever.  If you’re

happy quantity is


Your heart has to

decide what it is

ready to handle.

Not ready?  You can still

choose happiness and

keep truckin’.











Categories: creative writing, happiness, Poetry, sleep, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

10 Cents

Spent.  My last dime

on a friend who has

my back.

Good investment.

Great return.

That 10 cents was a

gift anyway.

All I had to

do to receive it

was open my palms.

10 cents, please.

No problem says

the almighty care-

taker of dimes.

So I was rich

and gave my last

one to my friend.

10 cents is 10 cents.

You either have it


you don’t.

I don’t…









Categories: creative writing, happiness, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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