Loss is gain


adapting to change

we survived

as a species.

We’re pretty much

‘softies’ these says.

We have it within us

to be much stronger,

much heartier if we just

used what nature gave,

built-in to us.

Use it or lose it–

So we could be so

much more–

human potential

is so unused , so

untried.  We’re softies.

We have to go to a/c

gyms to pretend to be

strong–then come down

with some illness

infecting all those muscles–

Where are we headed?

Where am I headed,

more specifically?

Bald Eagle. Oregon High Desert Museum. Central Oregon

Bald Eagle. Oregon High Desert Museum. Central Oregon

Photography © Dennis Frates Photography

Categories: creative writing, inside, outside, people, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment


To stop seems dangerous.

Like riding a bicycle,

only forward movement

keeps you up.

No more, I’m full.

The flow has to reverse

in order to make room

to continue intaking.

A rest of sorts is needed.

A feeling is necessary

to give direction,



A soul-searching

feeling–it was

in there all along

but buried under

mounds of


Too much, too fast

dictates an overflow

run amok

flooding every direction

at once, inundating

all channels to anywhere.


Photography © Dennis Frates Photography

Categories: awareness, busyness, creative writing, inside, Poetry, running, time, Uncategorized, visibility | Leave a comment


I’m living my life on the edge

between the lines

in the pauses

unnamed words never said

say more than all my jabbering.

Just look at me.  I cannot hide

what you see, selectively or


You can read me like a book

between my words I find truth.

It hides on the edges of the lines

waiting to get in to be a full-

fledged word of words

announcing my offerings,

however humble.

I’ll pick you apart–but you

asked for it–and welcome it

as an agent of change &

we will get along marvelously.

Yet most of my real essence

stays cowering in the shadows

avoiding the inevitable barbs

that may come my way.

Such a pittance of offering


Large Wood Nymph butterfly (Cercyonis pegala). Near the Snake River. Oregon

Large Wood Nymph butterfly (Cercyonis pegala). Near the Snake River. Oregon

Photography © Dennis Frates Photography

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



Close up view of fall colored aspen trees. San Juan Mountains. Uncompahgre National Forest, Colorado

It was cold & dreary

then the sun broke through.

There was still blue sky above

white, puffy chiffon-like clouds

floated by as carefree as the

wind they rode upon.

It warmed our souls, not to mention

our body, that selfless sun.

We played like it was summer or

spring–anything but the

cold winter day it had been.

The fog kept us company

earlier to remind us of our

place, and that it’s not

nice to (try to) fool mother

nature or anyone else’s mother

as if we really could.

So the sun had its way

with us while we learned

new games in bliss and joy

out from the stifling confinement

of 4 walls–a roof and a floor

“box” living–never meant

for humans or any other animal

for very long and they were out

of there, back to nature feeling

at home as anywhere else they

could build.

Pacific Albus (Poplar) tree farm, Boardman Tree Farm, Oregon

Pacific Albus (Poplar) tree farm, Boardman Tree Farm, Oregon

Photography © Dennis Frates Photography


Categories: clouds, creative, creative writing, inside, nature, Poetry, sunshine, Uncategorized, visibility | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Standing Tall

My plant said, “I’m thirsty”.


Give me some water.

I do but then you

fall over on me

if I give you too much.

You have shallow roots

and don’t hold up too well

in abundance.

But you refuse to die.

I keep you around

moderately watering

your healthy roots

because I like your


Thank God for a good



Categories: abundance, creative writing, inside, Poetry, tall, Uncategorized, visibility | Leave a comment

Hide and Seek

You are the invincible



that’s the key word



a fortress

a fort

walls so high

seeing through


is easier

than seeing

over them.

Sticks and stones

hurt me


one little word

can do damage

more than

all the

stones thrown,

the sticks

swung through

the air


to penetrate

your heart

if only the walls

of Jericho

would tumble.


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


I have a strong




‘Something’ is wanting

to break forward/out/into…

something else–

becoming unstuck

from a cemented post hole,

let loose from a lifetime

of restriction

largely self-imposed.


Categories: awareness, creative, creative writing, freedom, inside, outside, Poetry, timing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sleep or Meditate

Sleep or meditate

either way

your eyes

are closed–

at least in

the meditation

I do.

You’re not

missing much

outside your


the world just

goes on as usual–

the good, the bad

and the ugly–

while you are at

peace within,

in bliss

while the

world battles

it out

for top dog.

Sleep or meditate

what a choice

to make

when your

eyes are tired

and within

is beckoning.

Tomato with yellow sepals.

Tomato with yellow sepals.








Categories: awareness, creative writing, inside, Meditation, outside, Poetry, sleep, 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

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