O Poor Man


O poor man you so quickly give up
when diverse atmosphere
shrouds an otherwise happy
moment grasped onto as securely
as climbing a rope of cascading sand.

Life is nothing more than a
failed memory, joy faded,
peace penetrated, melody unresolved
in chords connected to hope in your
unsettled soul’s symphony.

Existential nightmare of
a vacant horizon accepting
your last step – the only hope
there must be something
in your self-convincing argument

I pity you yet i love you.
In your eyes I see the redness of
many tears and the preponderance
of failure to find purpose
in a world that demands it.

I can offer a hand
so to reassure you in your dread
in that moment when
argument does not convince,
that there is hope.

Alas, your arrogant rejection
opts for the weight of the world upon
shoulders of hope certainly lost.
Your cries of pain and loathing
fearing the next certain moment.

Know poor man –
the curious will seek
and the cynical shall retreat
but the finder always rests and
the outstretched hand of God

With peering eyes of peace
He shall surely inspire you
with an eternal perspective
begging you poor man
to never give up.

(c) 2015 rick stassi

above the blue


enticing murmurs hold subtle sway.
come with us on our gentle way.”
and if i do i surely shall spy,
deception in a peppermint-coated lie.

sirens call ships upon the jagged shore.
O ravaged soul despair no more,
for if I shall, surely I witness true,
personal optimism bids adieu.

there is a truth that we fail to heed
the sweet savory sip of honey-mead.
consider more than the outward dead
for these murmurs originate inside your head.

and with pastel hues of setting light
days long gone, wing-ed ones taken flight.
fall not into the finite snare,
of limited wisdom ever unaware.

settled, peaceful, all, and all again,
eternal bliss bathing skin.
there is one who comforts you,
beyond the sea, above the blue.


“for those seeking purpose…”

remembering, revisited

"Weeping Willow" Claude Monet

“Weeping Willow”
Claude Monet

Who do you weep for, willow?
you, certain, stalwart of goodness-
roots seeking solid footing,
leaves seeking light ever faithful…
Ne’er do you hasten to where you know not to go.
You shout to the heavens
from your core of ringed reminders
of years past.
Shed are the layers of yore
for the treasures of the present…

You see he who adulates his own virtues-
Yet still you smile upon and
watch him run within four walls.
He hastens to where he cannot go.
But you know where peace exists
and in your patience,
it is him you weep for.

Even as the glass plane of still water
will hold a wrinkle from a passing breeze…
underneath, a maelstrom of
of unsettled molecules
in motion,
alas all colliding…
O the exterior contrivance!
All is not always what it seems.

I possess a bit of you both.
Grappling with desire
I hasten away from where I should not go.
Tho’ my roots bemoan my outward facets-
contented depth confused with the shallow surface
of my wanderlust and weeping-
in my self-pity…

I hear your wise whispers, willow:
“pray, delighted soul, let the breeze visit, but
reject temptation to force wind
upon icy countenance
through self-mass in motion.”

I now, upon your word, shall not be moved
despite my own desire.
I am held
as weeping branches
hold leaves
in the wind.

That is life, willow.
I rejoice.

…and I close my eyes
to remember the breeze.


Propelled to Sanity


Artist: Phoebe Stassi

Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter‘s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? Isaiah 29:16 (KJV)

We cannot guide the Potter’s hand. We cannot influence the Creator. Can the flowing tide argue with the waxing moon any more than the ebbing with the waning? How we try to change things about ourselves. How dissatisfied we sometimes are. Why do the grasses seem greener beyond our grasp?

I know who I am. I have felt inferior by self-examination many times.  It is a burdensome yoke to walk in. I busied about those things which I could change to make life feel better. Feeling better about me, built my self-esteem. However, it was on a shifting-sand foundation. Changing a purposeless life was my plight and climbing a mountain of sand was my method.

Can the limited become limitless? Are we fated for a single place in a long life? Puzzling are the questions the broken people have about life and we are all broken.

I was very inquisitive growing into adulthood. I enjoyed the long evening conversations with equally inquisitive friends. There was wine and curiosity. The Big Bang is so interesting, I thought. Yes discussing Stephen Hawking for hours was a captivating conversation. How surreal is the birth of the Universe or the creation of Man. Then our conversations would move to other things: books and movies. There were films with enticing metaphor and romantic existentialism. Directors like Peter Weir using their own curiosity to rouse mine. I remember the swans in Weir’s “Picnic at Hanging Rock” and how they must symbolic of angels. Still, moving on, how romantic Nabokov’s deserts, the brutal eroticism of Miller, or the tragic plague of Camus. There was always enough night and always enough wine.

Despite all this curious intelligence, I failed to finish college. Wine and beer finished for me. They forgot to give me my certificate though. I struggled through work and I became a second-tier person. Others were smarter and it was depressing feeling this way. I was still inquisitive and that in itself propels one further down a path. It evades stagnation for when you stop being curious, your mind rearranges all it is limited to work with.

I am intelligent. But in this intelligence, I kept trying to compete. I learned this:  Just because a person is convincing, doesn’t mean they are right, or even smart. They just know how to subdue. It is dominating control and now it is so obvious, it makes me ill.

My curiosity propelled me; the problem was the path I was propelling down. Understand it is good to seek but be cognizant of the direction. You can travel though wormholes and nebulae, love affairs, and perspiring, dusty Algerian deserts; but, with such scattered curiosity, it is hard to stay grounded. Soon all are tossed onto a pile of books of master writers and even Hawking’s universe is uninteresting. All external wisdom and contemplation is consumed by the hands of the Potter.

When we have quit trying to be the author of our lives we become sane. We are insane to try and fix a broken life with the tools at our disposal. We are all broken. Remember Adam fallen? We have a single chance to stand back up through Jesus.

The wine eventually stopped –abruptly and with casualties. Our Father waits for people like me to unravel and fall in a heap of remorse. We find we do not control anything except control itself. Yes we yield control, open vulnerability, become humble, and pray for God’s help to fix a broken body. He is in control and He creates the path on which we are propelled down. Curiosity is great. Be inquisitive about the things of our Lord. He answers all questions. I am frustrated to try to fully articulate what He means to me. So I rest in simplicity. God takes me to places I would not have found myself.

Joy whirls inside my heart. It comes out in bits and pieces and signifies the true Potter is molding me. I can feel His hands of Love. Shed your skin and expose your hidden heart. God protects us when we make ourselves vulnerable. He uses these moments to show others that we are all so much alike and we can compassionately love each other. We all try to fix things and we all worry deeply about our apparent inadequacies. Know this: you are not inadequate. You are more than adequate as you are worthy of dinner with a King.

Rick Stassi

December 18, 2012

Note: Originally posted Dec 4th on baaaaa.com -rick


The Yearning Heart Pines

Artist: Sean Seal

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

2 Corinthians 4:16 (KJV)

We must look and listen intently. As our focus fades outwardly, He fortifies inward. Trust your inward life.

There is a world we walk in that is bent on material subjectivity. There is a plan this subjectivity has and it is to sway emotion. We compare and we covet and we consume. We believe in our temporal nature, there is a goal in our action – an end to our means. We are taught to look to the stars. To dream dreams! All our awareness is inspired curiosity and all wisdom is first theory, then proven law, or sadly it is simple self-reasoning without substance. There is a fragile, dying, law in this world. Too many abide by it and it is temporary.

Man carries the weight of generations on his shoulders. Crying, “There must be more!” He spins his ideas rooted in his head and others do the same. They look to a depleting ego.

Man carries traces of all generations going back to Adam. He is truly fallen but he has, in his subconscious, the One’s heart of compassion that blows gentle  breezes carrying feathers of hints spurring wonderment. This One’s heart speaks, whispering into churning souls that hear something but continue looking off into the night. There in the night it is dark and the answers float in and out of sight. They lure and tease. They tempt and lustily comply. The churning heart of a hopeless a man will be teased for a while then it yearns. It yearns for something real.  Maybe the One Who is real?

Beyond the nebulae and galaxies and any star,

There is a place where a King sits afar.

His gentle thoughts caress agitated minds,

Where a spirit looks until it finds. 

Peace and love and comforting glow,

The One who sits will surely know

how the yearning heart pines.

The world is subjective and each one upon its face carries a subjectivity with him to survive. The angst of death is much too strong. We must placate this existence with things that float to and fro, in and out of the light-less night. The world upon the shoulders of all. Guilt torments and erodes the outward face of a tired soul. Help them O Lord.

So He does. He gives us His Word. But the word says there is a perfect Law of Liberty [a]written upon the hearts [b] of we who follows His path. Too weary to search the darkness anymore, we turn to God. He is the One. We now look inward to this Law written on our hearts. What is perfect? Jesus is perfect and He is our beacon of all hope. Now all can look to One beacon rather than contrive ideas eternally from endless self-reason. This is the contrast between the Absolute and the Relative. Man always will debate.

It is inward where we go to see eternal. A seeming paradox. Inside is an Ego – it is our ‘self’. Why should we look there?  The sanctified people die inside to live [c]. Slowly our outward perspective fades and the inward flourishes. As we become keen to our inward perspective, we see the eyes of God. We talk with Him and He reassures us in all times. It is in this way we learn to trust. With a trust that spurns the temporal, there is born an eternal trust. Jesus did not die in vain, but He died because Man was born perfect in the image of God and fell into guilt. He reaches out for God and God understands. He sent His Son to show just how much we mean to Him. When we see Him now, inwardly, we see His gentleness and beauty. There is so much beauty is one second with God than a lifetime of charm that floats out of the darkness.

I pray we seek Him on bent knees and really try to listen. Pray two ways: talk to Him and listen to Him. He always speaks and when we wonder of the goodness of His answer, we thank Him regardless of what pieces of our outer self tell us are bad. There is only good.

Rick Stassi

December 12, 2012