She was a very pretty young woman
with a young son at home,
makin’ do as best she could.
She was just struggling
to find her way and get by.
She’d been through
some pretty hard times
with an ex-husband
who had a bad turn in the army
and came home
refusing to treat her right.
She told me as we sat talking,
“John, I’ve got to pull myself back up
and get on with my life.
‘Get back to my art and my writing.”

Her spirit was a bluebird,
flying high and untamed
in an endless summer sky,
and I could see a powerful magic
in the bright spark of her eyes.
I knew, even if she didn’t right then,
that come what may,
she would find a way through.

‘Said to her,
“If you believe
the wide screen television,
all you gotta do
is drink the right beer,
get a few tattoo’s,
use the right toothpaste,
and buy the right brand
of pick-up truck.
Do this, they tell you,
and life will be perfect.
Buy lots of stuff
you don’t really need
with money you don’t really have
and everything will all fall
right into place for you
and you’ll be a resounding success.
Now, anyone with half a brain
knows that’s all a scam
and a big pile of horseshit.

I took a drink of my coffee
and went on,
“Invest time, instead, in your son
and in your family.
Invest in those whom you love
and who love you back.
Remember, true love begins
only when two share
what is deep in their souls.
Everything before that
is just practice.
Invest time in your own creativity,
in your own art, writing and music.
Invest in the voyage to discover
the world inside yourself,
and in your long journey
out into the world around you.

Invest time in books
and in the great thoughts
of those who came before you.
Trust always the voice
that speaks from your heart.
Remember to laugh
at yourself like Red Skelton.
Let the child that you are deep inside—
The one who plays peek-a-boo
with the work-a-day world,
come out and romp in the green grass
and make splashes
in the puddles when it rains.
Remember to notice the sliver moon
high in the sky at night
and always keep a look out
for beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

Invest, your time, my friend,
in people, emotions, ideas and ideals.
As all the years roll on by,
you’ll be very much happier for it.”
She went off to think for a bit.
When she returned,
she poured me some more hot coffee,
then she smiled and said,
“Thank you much, John.
I think you’ve inspired me.
Hold on for a minute
while I find a pen and paper.”
I smiled back and told her,
“I’m just returning the favor.”

Dewey Dirks

Don’t Need Much

Don’t Need Much

Give me sunshine
and a good rain,
clouds in the sky,
beautiful sunrises
and sunsets
and the moon
and stars to see
in the velvet night.

Give me
a good conversation
with a stranger
every once in awhile,
a few good friends
to chat with
from time to time,
and my family to care for.
I’ll be needing my dog
to meet me at the door,
and a cat or two
who like my lap.

I’ll need a roof
over my head
that doesn’t leak
too much when it rains,
a bit of food
in my belly each night,
and some clothes
for my back.

I’ll be needing
and a few good books
to read now and then,
my computer
with a passable
word processor
and a game or two
for my work
and my play.

With these few things
I’ll figure
I have a hand
that’s pat.
I don’t need much
to make my days
happy and content.

Dewey Dirks

Soul Sea

Soul Sea

Every creature
you ever see,
and every creature
you never see
has awareness
and a soul.

All around you
in the air,
filling full
every sea
and deep, deep
into the ground
under your feet
are things alive
each with awareness
and a soul.

The secret, my friends,
is that Mother Earth
is a blue orb
filled completely full of life,
—much more so than most
ever happen to imagine.

Like fish never aware
of the waters they swim
We each
wander Mother Earth
minding our phone bills
or figuring out
how to buy a better car
never realizing
we all live
in a vast Soul Sea.

Dewey Dirks

Soul On Fire

Soul On Fire
(For Elaine)

She could break your heart
with the look in her eye
and just standing near her
could light your soul on fire.
Long, long ago I watched
her motor on through men
like a fast, fast mustang
on a midnight moonshine run.

To this day
I still don’t know why
I was special to her
though she tried to tell me
a thousand times over.
To her last breath
the light in her turquoise eyes
was ever a mystery to me.
She lit my eternal flame
out of soggy wet mud
and saved my life more than once.
She was my lover, my best friend,
my reason for waking each day
for half my lifetime.
For these, I owe her
a debt of gratitude
I never can repay.

She never put down her colors
and told all
who might do us any harm,
“Do whatever you like
but don’t you
fuck with my family.”
She could fight as fiercely
as a snow white tiger
and was as intelligent
as the midsummer solstice
is long
She carried with her
a magic as powerful,
as wise, high, and beautiful
as Shengren mountain sides—
one part in the dark shadows,
the other bathed
in vivid sunshine.

She could break your heart
with the look in her eye
and just standing near her
could light your soul on fire.
In the end, for me she did both
because she lit my eternal soul
with a flame brilliant, bright and true
and then one dark winters night
she left me standing alone.

They say every angel
who gets their wings
also becomes a light and a song
to kindly guide those who wander
the green hills, rolling seas
and sandy deserts of Mother Earth.
Tonight, tonight my friends
look high up into the Southern skies
there shines a new star
in the velvet night
whose name
sounds like a wildflower.

Dewey Dirks

Who Built a Civilization

Who Built a Civilization

Our modern mass media,
ruling institutions,
and entertainment industries
try to make you think
it was the men of the military
and men of business
that built our civilization.

Now it’s true they played
their part, but it was the guts, gall
sheer bravery, and down to earth
creativity of millions upon millions
of everyday people struggling through
year and years of unspeakable poverty
and terrible hardship that did by far
the lions share of the work.
Their names are countless
and you will not find them
in any history book.
It is upon their backs
that our civilization rests.

Dewey Dirks



We share
Our blue dot
In the sky
With around
nine million
other species
We are just
One small member
Of a very large family

Mother Nature
Is a very busy lady
Life cannot,
Will not
Make every decision
About our biosphere
In the best interests
Of humanity

Our species has grown
A little older
Now it’s past time
That we realized
We have a place
In the scheme
Of things
But certainly
Not the only place

Humanity must learn
To share the world
With millions upon millions
Of other creatures
Least we lose our place
And fall behind

Remember, my friends
On planet Earth
Is going to happen
We are here or not

Dewey Dirks

Walk a Better Earth and Happiness

Walk a Better Earth

Look for the best
in each person
you meet.
When you talk to them,
speak to that part of them
even if they don’t
recognize it in themselves.
It will help those you meet
to discover and strive
for their dreams,

Talking to the best
in those around you
allows you to see
more clearly
the best in yourself.

Seeing the best in yourself
and in those around you
allows you to walk
a better Earth.

Dewey Dirks


Some say that you
need to surround yourself
with people who will
make you laugh so hard
you’ll forget the bad things in
life and remember the good
and then you’ll be happy

My friend, I’ve got some
news for you—
Take some responsibility
for yourself
You need to learn to laugh
on your own,
learn to see the quiet joy
in everyday things,
and everyday happenings
Don’t depend to other people
to make you happy
Instead, first find happiness
and laughter in yourself
and pretty soon
happy people
will want to be with you

Dewey Dirks