Touch a Heart

Touch a Heart

She was a good woman, about thirty-five
Worked down at Denny’s with a pretty smile
Had three kids that she loved more than life
When everyone was around
They were all she talked about
That, and maybe a little politics
Then one night when we were alone in the restaurant
She said to me, “John, I’m toasted
I think I need a doctor
Been on pills in years past
My life is a wreck and I don’t know
If I’m gonna make it
I feel so alone
I need to reach out and touch a heart”

I could see the pain on her face
I smiled and touched her shoulder
‘Said, “Barb, I’ve got some news for you
Everyone is toasted
If you only knew the messes everyone gets in
You’d see you’re not so alone
The life you hear about from everyone
Is just smoke and mirrors”

Everyone has relatives they can’t hardly put up with
Everyone has had trouble with their spouse
Everyone’s got bills they can’t afford
Everyone is one paycheck from the street
Everyone has hassles every day
It doesn’t matter who you are
King of the world or homeless
Jennifer Lopez or holed up in a half-way house
We all are trying one way or another
To just make due

Then there’s the private inner life
Our brainboxes got
It’s only got three modes—
One that says
‘Everything’s shit and I’m all wrong’
And one that says
‘Everything’s fine, my toes are tappin’
And then there’s day when you say
‘Wahoo! damn! I’m happy!’
Barb, everyone is like you
And I tell you what
When you’re in ‘Everything’s shit’ mode
God almighty, things look fucked up!

Barb, here’s what I do
I just keep in mind
My attitude affects the way I see things
And nothing is hardly ever quite as bad
As it might seem
I tell myself no matter how messed up it gets
I’ll find a way through
It might take awhile
But good times always, always follow the bad
And when the days are hardest
Reach out and touch a heart
Barb smiled, suddenly happier
“I just did” she said

Dewey Dirks

Walkabout Book

Walkabout Book

In a vast and ancient land
distant, far beyond the rolling blue sea
in the glade of a primeval forest
I’m reading beneath a tall and timeless tree

A life in the living, water in the flowing
words in the reaching, it’s the Walkabout book I read
Is it a moments diversion, an idle fantasy?
a dream in the dreaming?
or a final and singular reality

Sometimes short and simple
sometimes long and obscure
now a novel, now a short story
complex and winding, or childish and naive
each time when I open it
walkabout is a new book to read

It’s told me of an elemental mystery
where behind an old brown desk
cluttered with crumpled probabilities
a ten-space case is pondered by Robin Williams, private-eye
On the floor beneath his feet
Schrodinger’s kitten plays with a ball of quantum twine
Outside the window, a busy city street
Enterprise cabs honk impatiently,
so far to go
and the damn law limits their speed
On the corner, Hawking hawks white papers, a dime a at a time
while Einstein does strange matter pantomime

‘Times I’ve opened walkabout to find
the Sunday ads for Uncle Sam’s Supermart
You can get a two-pack, army tanks and fighter planes for $5.93
Fast Billy Gates window blinds are on sale
and there’s liberty dolls, autographed by Martin Luther King
your choice, get’em in desert tan or olive green
If you’re on a diet CBS prime’s a good buy, no substance, just air
Buy in to it all at Uncle Sam’s
where there’s always a rebate on Rambo justification
and a special on 2 liter bottles
of sodium-free Califorinication
Sometimes the walkabout book is a song
where Glen Miller and his boys
play to the rhythm of a wartime metronome
and Sade sings soft and sultry
of an exotic land where thunder rolls in Cerwin tones
There, locomotives breathe Blues Brothers breath
Tom Sawyer dances Mambo No. 5
and I look for a time for us
among parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme

My walkabout began with Johnny Tractor on Dads lap
ten small fingers happy helping to wrap
a great big black John Deere steering wheel
I read of firecracker cannons and prairie dog towns
of hunting blackbirds and walks in rolling wheat fields
as harvest neared and July ran down

Later, I read a lot of questions
and many stories of outlaws, mystery,
math, and science fiction
Would she, could she be wanting me to
kiss her deeply again and slowly unsnap
that one last snap?
Flat out, will this Mustang truly do
fifty times three?
I read that someday I’d go far
if only I stayed in school and got a degree
Alone on the winding road late at night
drifting corners, thinking speed
somewhere between now here and nowhere
the walkabout book became philosophy
and there, in between the lines I could read
of a shadowy ghost following me

Much time has passed
I’ve read many, many tales great and small
still, there is much more to read
The walkabout can be a book of answers or a book of questions
sometimes it’s a story of misty secrets and scarlet mystery
most of the time, it’s about heavy traffic
finding more dollars for more donuts
about school assemblies, and HBO TV

Now, there’s someone beside me
here in this timeless glade,
reading under this ancient tree
Together we see stories of hard work and asshole humor,
tales of mutual hopes and common worries
and of common partners in mutual crimes
Late at night
we read of gently touching lips and soft velvet lucidity
of high-speed electric rushing ascent
and eternities of silky smooth sensuality

when the leaves filter the sun just right
when the mountain air is especially sweet
when the clear blue sky
is a reflection of my lady’s turquoise eyes
— then I can read with a special clarity
all the world becomes a single moment
and the walkabout book is a poem
I open it to find only a single page with two words,
Feel. Breathe.

D. Dirks



Some say the world
is full of crusty people…
Hey dudes,
I’ve got some news for you.
What you give out
is what you tend to get back.

Just look at the facts, my friends—
I talk to around fifty people
every day.
Each day, it’s not the same
fifty people.
That equals
around three-hundred fifty
people each week
or around eighteen thousand
people per year.
The vast majority
of all those people
are very nice to me…
Geeze, do you suppose
it’s because I’m nice to them too?

Have kind consideration
for everyone you meet.
Treat everyone
how you expect to be treated
Don’t wait for them
to be kind to you first.
Don’t just do it on facebook
and twitter
do it everywhere you go.
I guarantee you will find
the more kindness you show
the more you’ll get back.

Dewey Dirks and Elaine Cunningham



Life is a long journey.
The time you enjoy along the way
is not wasted time.
Each day you spend in love is worthwhile.
Everyone teaches, everyone learns.
We walk a great circle.
There is a time to spend staying at home.
There is a time to move on.
Time to spend idle.
Time to love.
Time to be busy at work.
Time to return home again.

Each person is an endless series of moments passing by.
You can give each moment its own reason.
Make sure the moments that are you
lend kindness to others
and always give you good things to do.
Love life and others as best you can.
Let fame and fortune come and go as they may.
But forever dream to strive.
Always strive to dream.

Forgive others their mistakes the best you can.
Realize you make a few mistakes too.
Try to be as balanced as you can
and when you get off balance
remember, everyone falls down every once in awhile.
When you are fearful
remember things are never as bad
as you imagine them to be.

Everyone lives life the best they can.
Everyone’s journey takes twist and turns.
If my life draws memories to leave behind
that are uncommonly true
and spreads a little happiness to others
I’ll have lived my life
as I wanted to.

Dragon Muse

Dragon Muse

My name is Samantha,
I’m a starving musician.
Not a whole lot of work these days
when you’ve got your own style
and you aren’t in some kind of cover band
but I do get to play two nights a week
down at Derby’s bar.

A few months back I met a man
and we became, fast, good friends.
He was very smart, and sexy
witty, funny and very kind.
He gave me a lot of good advice
and had lots of great ideas
I’d never heard anywhere before.
One night I invited him back to my place
figuring I was about to catch myself
a really nice guy.

He waited in my living room
as I went to the kitchen to get us a drink.
I walked back in the room
carrying two screwdrivers
just as a white mist
began to swirl around him.
My jaw dropped
and the drinks fell to the floor
as my guy began to turn
into a sapphire blue dragon
right before my eyes.

I was very frightened
and almost turned to run out the door
but there was kindness
in his great dragon eyes
and something inside me
told me to stay right there.
“My God John!
Just who are you?
And what are you doing here?”
I asked in a whisper.

He said,
“I’m Kalledy the Hapal.
I’m from a world very far from here.
I’m called ‘the Hapal’
due to my contact with other species,
just as the earth creature Socrates
is known far and wide
as Socrates, the Monkey.
I’m on vacation
and figured I’d drop by earth
to hang out
and chat for awhile.

On my world I’m a muse.
A muse is a creature
who has learned
how to pass through the veil of death
without succumbing to amnesia
of his life before,
who can shape shift,
who has grown wings
and who lives for thousands of years.
Earth has its own muses as well
and in a little while
I’ll look a couple of them up
talk shop, and have a beer.

My wings can easily be seen
by individuals of many other species,
although most members of my own kind
can only sense them
and are often not at all
aware they are there.
Besides the word ‘muse,’
in times past, members of my species
who have happened
to notice me and those like me
have called us  angels, demons, gods, elves,
aliens, ghosts, knomes, shengren
dragons,  memes, and spirits.
(shape shifting can do wonders
for your publicity)

Although I live, work and play
as any other member of my species,
I  also walk among my kind
at once seen and unseen,
both known and unknown,
both physically alive
and an ethereal mist
that visits upon the dreams
of my people in the night.

I, and several score others
who have learned as I’ve learned
wander the halls of our species
inventing, and helping to invent ideas, and technology,
songs, art, philosophy, literature and poetry,
carefully nurturing individuals
who may one day also become muses.

In times of great need
we help invent ideas
that provide aid and comfort
and in times of great threat,
we help invent means of defense
and weapons of war.
In our breath the winds of time
rise and fall for my species.
Though us
the great sea of eternal change
creates ebb and flow for my kind.

I’ve invented devastating war strategies
composed great love songs,
and written literature
powerful as any ever written.
I’m known best among the Hapal
for helping invent ideas
that are teaching the great variety of cultures
on my world to co-exist,
and for being among those
who are helping my species
move beyond money
as a means of compelling
individuals to strive.
One day, I will be among those
who will help my species
invent the physics
that will allow us
to journey to distant stars.”

Why on earth are you talking to me?”
I asked.
Kalledy smiled,
“You’re very creative and intelligent
and a real nice person.
A woman who one day
might herself become a muse
And Socrates the Monkey
is busy in Africa
so he asked me to do him a favor
and bring you up a bit more up to speed.”
Just then, Kalledy the Hapal
suddenly turned back into a guy
I looked at him very carefully and asked,
“I’ll never know if you’re really an alien
a dragon or a human will I?”
He chuckled a little and said,
“Probably not in this lifetime”

Dewey Dirks


Morning Sunshine

Morning sunshine
Always good for the spirit
Morning sunshine
Always brings a fresh day
Morning sunshine
Feels like love

Dewey Dirks copyright 2011



For some people,
to love God is easy.
To love yourself is harder.
To love others as you love yourself
now, that can be the hardest.

Dewey Dirks copyright 2011

Two Pens and a Page

Two Pens and a Page

Without exception
On his walk through life
Each of us carries with them a sadness and a jewel
They mold our moods, frame our thoughts
And shape the world our eyes believe they see

In some the sadness is an evil they feel they have done
Some wrong they once dealt
That cannot be forgiven by man or heaven or wind or sea
In others the sadness is brought by chances
They believe they have been unjustly handed
Still others carry the sadness
Of arrogance and deception, or ignorance, selfishness and spite
Whose hatefulness mars their days with turmoil and strife

But in each of us too there is a jewel
Americans call it spirit or soul
The Chinese call it te, the Egyptian’s named it ka
Arete is what the Greeks call it’s touch
Indian’s believe it is the breath of God in all of us
Now, the jewel we each carry is special
It’s what others like in each of us
It gives us our creativity and makes humans humane
Makes your brother care for you
Makes you love your wife
It gives painters their paintings and poets their poems
Gives lovers their passion that burns bright all through the night
Gives athletes their strength and mothers their special touch
It can turn a bad man good, keeps dying men alive
Can turn the ignorant into wise men
And can reach across the deep valleys of death
It’s connected to everything around you
And reaches high into the heavens above

The measure of a man is simple to read
These two are the pens we all keep
For writing our lives on this world’s long page
And the one with which we choose to scribe most
Writes the story we see at the end of our days

Do what you can, do what you need to do
Do whatever you want
But lay blame only where it really needs to go
And give credit where credit is really due
Remember the one who writes your story
Is you
What pen do you think you’d like to use?
The best most ever manage
Is a bit of both

Dewey Dirks copyright 2011


Circle of Thought

So much to think about
So much to know
So much to wonder about
So much worries me now and then
With each decision I make
I hope with all my being
That I’ve done what is needed
That I’ve done what is right
You cannot know everything
You cannot know the whole story
You just make your best guess
And do what you think is best
So much to think about
So much to know
So much to wonder about
So much worries me now and then
With each decision I make
I hope with all my being
That I’ve done what is needed
That I’ve done what is right

Dewey Dirks copyright 2011