Cityscapes and Citysounds

city sounds

City sounds

Passing traffic

Making rounds

Loudly graphic

Screeching tire

High and shrill

Hot as desire

A construction drill

Children’s laughter

A pounding hammer

Happily fading ever after

Heavy, breathless clamor.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2014

*painting Cityscapes by Jeremy Mann

Weight of the World



It’s the little things

That bring tears

And weigh you down

Bringing the secret feeling

That you just want to quit

Then you breathe.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2014

*Art by Margarita Georgiadis

The Joy of Essence

joy of essence

“The real Joy is the joy of being yourself. It is derived not from something that happens or some object, but from the very essence of your Being.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

 * Photo from Pinterest via milk

Shadow Play


Shadows of play

From today

Reaching out 

Towards yesterday

Without delay

To bring about

A new tomorrow

Without sorrow.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2014


Arbitrary in Meaning


Meaning in life is arbitrary

Why ruin the universe with rigidity?

Why do we make the choices we do? After all, we do not have unlimited freedom to do things. We find ourselves constrained by our gender, our race, our economic circumstances, our personalities that were shaped both by genetics and the random processes of life. Furthermore, we find that other people have their own ideas of what we should be doing, and they constrain us still further.

A person born into one culture will have entirely different options than one born into another. They may both lead valuable lives, but they will most certainly differ in many respects. The meaning that they find will come from different palettes. We cannot say that one person’s life is more valuable than another’s.

Of all the people who have lived, have any of them been truly “better” than another? We see in their lives only the exercise of preferences, not differences of inherent meaning.

All meaning in life is arbitrary. It is not tied to god, family, or self unless we define it as such. Nothing in life gives us meaning in and of itself. It is we who assign meaning to objects and relationships. We all try to make the structure of our meaning pretty, but in the end, there is no escape from the feeling that it is all arbitrary.

It might be better not to ruin the universe with our own patterns.

-Deng Ming-Dao-

*art from

One Last Kiss


Hazy green horizons

Gradually dipping

Into foothill valleys

A flutter of wing

Interrupting chirping twitters

And lazy zooming insects

One brilliant, metallic beetle 

Bravely fumbling along a path

Of pine needles, pebbles, and twig

Bare-breasted I sit

On a cliff perch happily tasting

One last kiss of summer.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2014

*Photo from

Beyond Permanence

cloudy light

Deep within

The mental processes

Outside the window

Of cloudy light

And twittering chatter

I wake up

To a new way

Of living life.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2014 

*photo from