Bob Schwartz

Tag: love

Dream in Love

Dream in Love

Years and days
Drain the sense of love
An embrace even in a dream
Brings it flooding back
It is still you and me


Note: If you have loved for a moment, or been loved for a moment, or for years, or not yet, you may forget exhilaration, but it never disappears. You will dream it.

Valentine’s Day: Radical Love

Radical Love

For K

Hannah, Mary
Radical lovers.
Wives, mothers
Asking not asking
For a birth
Offering surrendering
A life for good.

Hannah says
The bows of the mighty are broken
but the faltering are braced with strength.

Mary says
The princes are pulled down from their thrones
and the lowly raised high.

All is as it should be
All is upside down.

Elkanah, Joseph
Husbands, lovers
Stand dumb
Awed and grateful
To be sharing
The better world.

Sweet Things Happened on Election Day Too


Eight dozen cupcakes were baked, filled and decorated here on Election Day, having nothing to do with Election Day. Lemon, red velvet, chocolate raspberry, etc. Sweet things from the heart happened and will continue to happen. (They are delicious!)

Friendly Fire and Ice

Friendly Fire and Ice
based almost entirely on Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

Some say that friendships end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

With deep apologies and appreciation to Robert Frost for the misuse of his poem.

The phenomenon of friendships fading and ending is for me akin to observing or experiencing illness and death. Of all the many things I don’t pretend to understand, this is in some ways the deepest mystery. As many reasons and explanations as I can come up with—time, distance, divergence, ignorance—the extinction of the flame of friendship remains as chilly as the extinction of the flame of love. Maybe because the best friendships, for me at least, are identical with and indistinguishable from love.

Music for the Last Gasp of Summer: September

Earth Wind & Fire - September

Depending on where you are, September may or may not be the last gasp of summer.

But it is the name of the greatest piece of September music ever recorded.

Play September by Earth Wind & Fire.

The bell was ringing
Our souls were singing
Do you remember
Never a cloudy day

If you’re not moving, check your pulse, or have someone else check it for you (that can be fun).

Me? I’m out front, dancing among the flower and vegetable beds, in front of God and everybody. Who cares how it looks? It’s September.

(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace Love and Understanding?

Coldplay Glastonbury

After watching the chaos surrounding the Trump rally in Chicago on TV, I surfed and came across a Coldplay concert, which served to cleanse my soul.

The huge crowd at Glastonbury looked very happy. I wondered if, when the political conventions are held this summer, we can magically replace them with music festivals.

Coldplay performed Wonderful World, and then that anthem of making things better, Fix You:

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

I thought about other positive music I love. Like Elvis Costello’s (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace Love and Understanding? What is?

As I walk on through this wicked world,
Searching for light in the darkness of insanity,
I ask myself, is all hope lost?
Is there only pain, and hatred, and misery?

And each time I feel like this inside,
There’s one thing I wanna know,
What’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?
What’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?

And as I walked on through troubled times,
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes,
So where are the strong?
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony

‘Cause each time I feel it slipping away, just makes me wanna cry,
What’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?
What’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?

Valentine’s Day

Love is
The boldest embrace
A stroke of the brow
A symphony
A single note
Distance in miles
As close as skin to skin.
Yesterday remembered
Tomorrow imagined
Meeting here now.
Confusion and clarity.
Intoxicated and sober.
Treasure found
Never found
Misvalued or lost.
Glad to sleep
To awake knowing
Or hoping.

A Message to Americans Descended from Once Hated or Feared Groups: Stand Up and Speak Up

The majority of Americans are descended from national, ethnic or religious groups that once were—and may still be—hated and feared by other Americans. Italian-Americans. Irish-Americans. African-Americans. Chinese-Americans. Japanese-Americans. Mexican-Americans. Jewish-Americans. On and on. This means you, too, Mayflower-Americans. Your Pilgrim ancestors were refugees from religious persecution.

This is the message: Stand up and speak up in the face of a growing tide of “Americanism” that translates to hate and fear of “the other.” You and your ancestors were that “other” (ancestors may even mean your parents). Don’t do it because it is the right thing or the American thing to do, though it is. Do it because if you and your family are lucky enough to have transcended that pernicious nonsense, there but for grace go you.

There is a special part of this message for my Jewish-American brothers and sisters. If I say “how dare you!” that may sound too shrill. So let me instead say “you of all people should know better.” Those who want the Holocaust to be eternally remembered don’t seem to completely understand what “Never Again” means. It isn’t that we should never allow mass extermination of much of Jewry. It isn’t even that we should never allow the mass extermination of any group.

“Never Again” means never allowing anyone, including ourselves, to express our baser selves in ways that diminish the humanity of anyone. Because if you believe in divinity then you believe in the divinity of humanity. And if you diminish anyone with shouts and protests and politics and prohibitions, based on no more than identity, you have denied their humanity and their divinity.

And your own.

Spring Love Thing: Slinky Spinwheels

Slinky Spinwheels
If you’re lucky enough to love somebody, and even luckier to have that somebody love you back, you’re always thinking of little things that say I love you.

The candy, the cards, the flowers, the stuffed animals are always appropriate. But if you’ve been together a while, been there, given that. Today, one of the first truly gorgeous days of an inconstant spring so far, the aisles of the local Walgreens offered the just-have-to-get-this-for-her item: the Slinky Spinwheel.

Okay, it’s just a happy-colored mylar pinwheel. But consider this. The candy gets eaten, the card gets put in a drawer, the cut flowers wilt, the live flowers need water and when they don’t get it die, the stuffed animals cutely live on a closet shelf.

The spinwheel lives. It spins prettily and magically in the spring breeze. Or in the summer, fall or even cold winter breeze. Just like the one you love and who, if you’re lucky, loves you back.

(Note: For the cynical among you who may think that this sounds like advertising for Walgreens or Slinky Spinwheels, please be assured it isn’t. There are lots of stores that have lots of pinwheels. If it is an advertisement for anything, it is for love and spring. There is never enough promotion of those.)