A Well Run Life

By Peter M Deeley Jr.

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Come in. Sit down. Take a second. You get enough advice. This is about nothing. And everything. And all of it in-between. It’s not a sprint. Travel to A Well Run Life.com Tell us how you are. Music: www.bensound.com

Episode Date
Monsoon Season

Some dirty rotten scoundrel stole my Trailer at Grace Farms.

I doubt the thief realized that it was my trailer.

To the thief, it was “A” Trailer or “The Trailer.”

Be that as it may

I am taking it personally.

Jul 31, 2018
Not Small

Every wave seems to make it a point to let me know how powerless I am to stop it.


But this doesn’t bother me.


I go over or under their power without any fear.


I don’t sit still easily. I prefer motion to rest.


And I must like to worry –


Because I do it all the time.


I have a relentlessness to me

that is endearing if I am solving your problem


And irritating if I am trying to get you to answer my question.


The ocean keeps me quiet by forcing me to hold my breath.


I have been taught by some that

A man should know if limitations


And told by others

“I am large, I contain multitudes.”


You sit wherever you please. I don’t have any advice today.

Jun 17, 2018
On Kale and Daughters

I am staring at the Kale.

And the Kale is staring back.

When it was a seed – small and full of potential – it needed me to coax it from it’s confining shell out to a wide-open world of possibility.

Now, it’s life is largely its own. Sun and water feed it

and it grows nearly perceptibly in front of my eyes.

Always reaching towards the sun

I assist nowadays, but mostly does the work without me.

May 30, 2018
For Example

If you are wondering if you are ready for the big adventure ahead.


Let me report form the edges of competence


It’s a dangerous ledge with risks of may even be fatal.


But, let me be an example


I have survived all the consequences of my mistakes


– serious as some have been.


Let the voice in your head keep you humbly honest


And believe me when I tell you:


None of us are hitting mark all the time.


Attend to the details of your desires and try your best to be a good example.


May 18, 2018
My Last Card

I am crying.

Two seconds ago, I was a middle-aged man planning his day over an Americano.

Then, I get a text from my cousin.

I am not crying quiet – dignified-like.

My nose is running and I am thanking god the bill is already paid.

On the way to the car, I compose myself.

The week is chock-full of the type of news you carry in your belly.

In what appears to be a moment of calm, I call my boss.

I report to him that I won’t really be myself today.

And then

As if to prove the point

I start to cry again.

Apr 09, 2018
Chicken Eggs

I am standing in front of a steaming pile.

It’s taller than I am, and so I get to work. I am raking and shoveling the mulch delivered to Grace Farms with the discipline of an army ant.

It’s about 6:30 AM – my morning farm shift –

As I shovel deeper into the pile of chipped trees, the heat is obvious.

The tree was upright, then it wasn’t.

The tree was alive, then it wasn’t.

And again – it is one thing becoming another.

The morning shifts are short, the responsibilities of day have no pause button for my messy farm project.

Mar 22, 2018
House Marks

The desert winter can be harsh.

There are times when it I so wicked one is compelled to put their socks on.

Since I am a tough guy, I am going without socks this morning. Out into the garage I step to retrieve the almond milk for this morning’s Americano, and I am stabbed with a razor sharp ice pick straight to my bone.

Ok – perhaps that over states the moment 

I stepped on a scorpion who met the assault with a sting on the bottom of my middle toe.

A scorpion sting is some sort of poison that is basically a cross between Cobra venom and Agent Orange. And for weeks I can trace the nerve that leads from my big toe to somewhere just below my ass.

Because that little bastard lit up that neural pathway like so much napalm.

Feb 21, 2018
DM's Triumph

It is an hour after Thanksgiving dinner.

Family traditions throttle the pace of any high holiday – national or religious.

I am currently throttling my 13 year-old nephew on the nearest basketball court in a post-turkey dinner game of HORSE. 

In my family, you won every contest against an adult until you were a certain age. The victories may have been assured, but every adult made in feel authentic. They would wince under the weight of the child’s crushing strategic genius on a game board, cry tears of frustration as the little one dribbles a soccer ball mercilessly or yet another goal, and howl under the pain of the kid’s wrestling

I can still remember thinking:

I am clearly a genius!

I am an unstoppable force of nature in mind and body - the worlds of both Checkers, soccer and wrestling never witnessed such brilliance until the beginning of my reign. 

And so we launch you out into the world with the notion you are unstoppable.

This Golden Era of your Life lasts until you are about 4 and half – maybe 5.


– and perhaps it is the lingering influence of the Catholic Church or the immigrant experience or simply a desire not to raise spoiled brats –

 The Adults in the family crush the kids in every possible contest that occurs.

Nov 26, 2017
Rockin' The House

I am 20 and playing lead guitar.


I am by far the worst musician in the band. 


They likely would have been a house-hold name if they had not been saddled with me. 


We played together for a year, and thank god You Tube had not been invented - my children would not survive the embarrassment.




There was this one gig. We were wedged between two head banging acts - but the crowd had a few friendly faces


And out there.


for one night


we rocked the house.


And I was a rock-n-roller


Or at least that was my experience of it.


27 years later I am on Grace Farms.


We are throwing a party

- a dinner

- an event.


I am  - by far – the least important person in the execution of


I safely report to you: we rocked the house. 




It was awesome.

Nov 18, 2017

The Road Runner at Grace Farms is eye-balling me.

He was there before me, and he is intent on not letting me forget it.

The bird presents himself to me every time I arrive. The colors of his plumage are much more subtle than I realized.

I know Road Runners differently because I focused on this Road Runner.

Oct 23, 2017
Heroic Dips***

“Don’t talk to Pete. He is a dipshit.”

In another era of my professional life, I read this love-note on an e-mail from a disgruntled client to her boss. I am unsure whether I was copied intentionally – but I am sure it gave her a certain amount of pleasure that I got to read what she thought of me.

At that time of my life, I was part of an international sales-force of a company that did business on 5 continents.

And a month before I am called a dipshit –

I was celebrated

as the highest performing sales-person

Among hundreds of sales people around the globe.

In fact, they give me a bunch of money and big, fat prize

for being so great.

The Divine likes to remind me:

The distance between hero and dipshit is the length of time it takes to read a two-sentence e-mail.

Oct 22, 2017
The Unlikely Is Not The Imposible

Somewhere in the mid- 1960’s he is in the 10th grade and doing a handstand on the top rails of the Empire State Buildings observation deck.

Some volunteer parent looking after the high school kids take one look and faint dead-away.

An unfortunate gust of wind sends him tumbling like a fall leaf.

But it didn’t and the story lives on in family infamy.

Oct 17, 2017
Leave A Message

"Ya ought to be ashamed of yourself!"

This is my first voicemail of the day.

When I worked for a giant company and held a position of authority and influence

I liked the money -

Everyone likes the money.

But next on the list was this:

Everyone returned my calls.

Oct 07, 2017
The Gospel of Doubt

It goes without saying: 

I do not know what I am doing.

I killed all the tilapia in my aquaponics farm because I misunderstood how to keep them healthy.

30 chickens on the farm died because I built a substandard chicken coop that some average coyote easily penetrated.

I am not a famer

Yet I farm.

There are people in my life that want me to focus. To do one thing and do that thing with excellence.

But I have lived with the keen awareness of my death since I was 12.

I don’t fear it.

When I go, I want to be satisfied with my courage to have done my best and to have seen what was possible with my life.

There are seasons of plenty in our lives. Seasons where your actions align with just the right needs of the moment and your imagination blooms in the world vibrantly. 

I am not in one of these seasons.

Sep 26, 2017
Bee Careful

I am in no danger of becoming an expert.

In Anything.

She is calling me because she wants me to be safe.

I want to pick-up to tell her I am safe.

However, I am standing on a ladder

In a bee suit –


If I knocked on your door wearing this bee suit

You would think I was there to clean the Ebola virus out of your carpets.

I am wearing leather gloves – giant ones.

They look like I should be handling glowing red bars to be smashed on some anvil

And my hands are roughly the size of the average 3 grade girl

Which makes my ability to do anything but the most blunt work

Basically impossible.

I have been getting reliable texts from the man who is my mentor when it comes to beekeeping.

But the phone is ringing persistently in the pocket of my bee suit from my future wife.

Competing with the phone is the sound of the biggest bee swarm I had ever had my face nose deep in.

I can say this with confidence

Because it was the first bee swarm I ever tried to rescue

Sep 22, 2017
46, 47

Somewhere in the development of the human species we learned to use tools. There is a great scene in the move 2001: A Space Odyssey that imagines the moment when our primordial ancestors learned to use a hammer.

In my development as a farmer on Grace Farms, I have somehow regressed to just before the point in time when human beings learned to use tools.

In trying to authentically develop a place where food can be grown,

my enthusiasm for avoiding contamination of any kind  

created a sort of blindness to my own stupidity in how I am accomplishing simple tasks.

A good friend of mine – who works with me on the farm – illustrated this by showing how a project that had taken me 9 hours could be completed in 30 minutes.

What felt virtuous just minutes before his tutorial on using tools – immediately became evidence of my stubborn habit of taking the long, hard way to learning my lessons.

Sep 17, 2017
In The Weeds

In our desert, water occasionally falls from the sky sufficiently to create Flash Floods and awaken the seeds of future tumbleweeds and voracious milk weeds.

Let me do my best to avoid the farming – garden cliché of discussing the spiritual virtues acquired by weeding their growing soil.

Don’t trust anyone who writes about how pulling weeds freed their minds.

I am walking along the fence line of my tiny farm

looking like the world’s ugliest cheerleader

holding two massive pom-poms of freshly pulled weeds

Sep 02, 2017
Clever or Not You're Ready

My mom says I am smart, but that I am not clever.

I am sure I am not smart enough to know what she means – but I have thought about her description often over the years. 

My thinking is not elegant. I don’t come to conclusions with deft

– deductive

– Sherlock Holms-ian clarity.

I have go over and under and around and through ideas

And then I need to feel the idea in practice.

I am a reader – I enjoy learning – but I only learn lessons after feeling the consequences of screwing something up or the pleasure of bringing something beautiful into the world.

Aug 27, 2017
Needful Things

I have a very particular style of home improvement.

My instincts attune to the whatever is the easiest, most efficient route

And I travel that path only after exhausting every single difficult road first.

I come from a family who deeply values language and we look for metaphors everywhere

But we’ll save the obvious corollaries to my life for another, longer podcast.

Aug 14, 2017
Salad Days

As I type this the tender heads of my babies are passing through the digestive tracks of my enemies. 

I don’t know about you, but when I see a baby – eating it’s head off is not the first thing that comes to mind.

That is not the case for the birds near my farm.

I grow – with care and tenderness – little sunflower shoots from the seed. I do this in the house.

Where it is safe.

Aug 09, 2017
Chicken Hit

If the Chickens had a Mafia, this is how I imagined they would settle old scores.

Upon returning from a trip out of town, I walked on to Grace Farms.

There, I found all my girls- who I raised from baby Chicks - scattered in various poses of death and dismemberment.

I am vexed.

I built a Chicken Cathedral.

A good home, safe from any reasonable predator. But, clearly the neighbor houses an animal member of ISIS who hunts young chicks on my farm.

I have been reminded that this is the natural order of things. The predator was just looking to survive.

 I have been told it is not personal.

Jul 29, 2017
Snow Storm

The movie in my imagination shows a mid-sized dog launching from an easy boy and chewing the nose off my face.

To make matters worse, Jon Snow is back in town tonight.

Right along side my wife, I have been pining for him for months.

Jon Snow will soon face the White Walkers while I am faking bravery in front of a family pet.

I would like to report I did not soil myself.

Having survived the encounter,

my wife and I looked great at a very fancy event

we drank and danced and had a great time.

As if that isn’t enough, we will be snuggled up to watch the brave Jon Snow in about two hours.

I am thinking of having a Martini –


Not Stirred.


Jul 17, 2017
Pale Cucumbers

Placing the cucumbers in the harsh desert light seems a harsh.

Under the pressure of the summer heat they will either shrivel and die, or come into the fullness of their flavor.

 I trust their grit and I am anticipating a great harvest.

Jul 17, 2017

We are obsessively watching The Americans on Amazon Prime.


If you tasted this bit of Telivision Crack, chances are you’e done the same.


The show is overtly political but it’s engine is the relationship between husband and wife:


Phillip and Elizabeth.


Elizabeth is this teeny tiny woman.


Now, my wife and I see the world vastly differently. There must be days when she cannot believe she married someone with my political views.


But we both agree: Elizabeth is a badass.

Jul 14, 2017

If you knew how much I hate the ants in my garden, you would be creating a Kickstarter campaign to cover the bills associated with my much-needed therapy.


The little demons aside, I am under the spell of growing food.


It’s cucumbers, melons and sunflowers that generously fill my garden under my unforgiving Arizona summer sky.


I am barely surviving the blistering heat. And so, when I see a watermelon or cantaloupe resting on the ground


Vibrantly soaking in the over-available sunshine




It surprises me.

Jul 04, 2017
Stinky Honey

My wife’s palate is very sharp. She can parse flavors in dishes down to the spices and the addresses of the pigs who gave their lives for the pork in our stew.

With great tasting powers come great smelling powers. Which can be a blessing and a curse.

“Honey,” she says while I have come in from working on a small farm we are shaping to lay next her for a brief moment, “you need a shower.”

Jun 25, 2017
Unambiguous Work

My record as an entrepreneur is unambiguous. 

I am an awful entrepreneur.

 I have been pretty-good at making large sums of money for other people, but I have recycled my earnings through a series of business train wrecks that will make most every business person in the world feel better about their own skills.

Jun 05, 2017
Straighten Out

The bones of the spine want to sit directly on top of each other.

The shoulders want to be down and back.

Pull yourself out of alignment and tell me you like it.

Slouch and crumple yourself and say it feels good.

But, when you see a dancer move, an athlete run, you know better.

The premium placed on sarcasm still surprises me.

I may be getting soft, but crassness seems to have become the surrogate for wit.

Harmony looks easy, but it requires holding the spine upright – it takes a bit of effort.

Beware of harshness.

In my opinion it is just the false promise of slouching spirit.

Stand up straight.

Most things will fall into line.

Apr 27, 2017
The Promise Of A Blue Sky

I hear the engine of a small airplane and the sky is very blue.


Who knows how memory works.


This is among my earliest recollections. Somehow, I remember it outside my body – looking at my 4 year old self in the front yard of the first house I ever lived in.


From that moment until today, I associate the sound of a small aircraft with beautiful days.

Feb 03, 2017
Parking Lot Prayers

You never want to call someone crazy, but he was dressed in the blues of the local mental hospital. We were standing in front of a local grocery store. 

I truly enjoyed this neighborhood.

But, family and friends found this an unusual predilection of mine.

A cross dresser in his early 70’s fed stray cats outside the Starbucks from an open tuna can every morning.


My porch somehow became a garage-sale wherever thing was free. The theft was so common I put out everything I would otherwise donate for the petty thieves to sell on Craigslist.


Even when I entered my own home to find it in the processed of being burgled – I still liked the place.

Nov 30, 2016
Two Dogs

In cultural wisdom that I have incorporated into my world view, I learned that there are two dogs inside all of us.

The good dog.

And the bad dog.

And they fight with each other.

Which dog wins?

The one we feed the most.

Nov 13, 2016
Dog's Life

I am making my dogs omelettes in the morning. 

They love it.

It’s true, my family and I are all a bit snobby about food.

In an over-quick yes, my fiancé mistaken said yes to a quartet of baby chicks. “Yes” to her meant that we would talk later. “Yes” to me meant she found them in boxes on the kitchen counter by lunch.

In a previous life, she an I lived in the time of great famine. There is no other explanation for the quantity of food that we purchase. We are 7 in total – but at any given time - each of us could invite three others for a meal and we would have ample food in the fridge to feed them all.

Not being particularly social, we have considerable fodder for composting each week.

At least we did.

Oct 25, 2016
Shofar, So Good

Not to be indelicate, but it is a menstruation. And I walked right in on her.


I am pretty sure she was thinking: I need to get a bell around that guy’s neck. Clearly he was not raised right.


The four chickens in the backyard are laying eggs now. And I am eye-balling them every few hours waiting for the next one to drop.


My $6.78 tomato plant went in about 4 PM. By 6:30 PM half my investment was in the belly of some neighborhood terrorist. By the next morning, he’d finished the job.


I am pretty sure the bird in question here is a roadrunner. He is fond of mad doggin’ me when I enter the garden without a proper level animal dominance. Contrary to my chickens’ opinions, I am a gentleman and so won’t repeat the exchanges.

Oct 02, 2016
Chicken Patzer

My organic chicken is in a giant Tampax Tampon carton.


This vexes me.


However, Costco is unmoved by my consternation. It is possible they did not even notice.

Sep 26, 2016
Use Your Words

"TV rots your brain.”

My parents tell me this early in life.

Being stout, I braved it nonetheless. At age 8, watching Batman, I calculated: I am doing OK in school and I still have good motor skills. It must affect the organ slowly.

At 16, I realized my parents had offered the gem as a metaphor. I have mentioned that I am slow?

Metaphors amplify the truth. Lies hide it.

Sep 22, 2016
The House Smells

Once, when the family was broke – we bought that muffin dough that comes in an exploding can was on sale: 1 can for a dime.

We bought some sort of pig rind that the butcher essentially gave to us.

We rendered the fat – fried that cheap dough into doughnuts. 

It was a triumph.

Sep 22, 2016
Turner for the Worst

I left the church because I would not be – what we called at the time – a “cafeteria” Catholic. This is somebody who picks and chooses what they believe, rather than believe the entire fabric required by the faith.

I once made my  - now 16 year-old -  cry because I sternly corrected what I believed to be selfish behavior on a Christmas morning when she was about 4.

Not my strongest moment as a parent, which she reminds me of from time to time. She and her 20 year-old sister would say that I overly emphasized the notion that consequences accompany behaviors.

They are likely right.

Sep 07, 2016
Wilder, DNA

I skip many comedies because they seem to be striving for the "most shocking" of crassness and volume. Too little use of language and subtlety for me.


Maybe if more comedians had giant eyes like Mr. Wilder, they'd rely less on their volume.


Years from now, when asked about the memories of the first movies that made me laugh in a way that made me feel smart, I will surely the report that memory has not died. "It's Alive! It's Alive" I can safely say will be my response.

Aug 30, 2016

I am pretty sure the grapefruit crime was victimless.

It is impossible for me to know if my Nana was just making a mundane task more interesting by placing me in the role of Law-Breaker or whether she really was grooming me as an earner in her own Cosa Nostra.

Aug 02, 2016

I just returned from an island.

One side was calm and the sea placid.

Almost too calm – as if the Pacific was just some big lake.

The other side churned.

The wind, relentless, pushed the sea around in dramatic fashion.

It was beautiful, exciting and dangerous.

The water smashed against rocks – not so unbreakable – performing gymnastically, acrobatically, ephemerally.

Aug 02, 2016

If you can name it, you change your relationship to it.

That is my father in a mask.

That’s a ledge – not a plank I will be forced to walk.

A dog bit me, but all dogs won’t bite me – I am just afraid from that old injury – not the cuddle bug at my feet.


When you can name the truth of the situation, you can experience it more fully.


Name what scares you – it scares you less.


This is also true:


Naming the good - amplifies its goodness.


You love someone – say it. You happy about it – shout it.

Who cares when your judgment falters on what might be worthy of fear and perhaps what is dangerous.

Living is just full of ways to get hurt – mostly it’s going to be OK.

But those good things, those happy things, those joyful things – make the biggest noise you can about those – don’t miss them.

Aug 01, 2016
Spring Break

Despite the evidence, I know I am not stupid.


My daughters accepted our vacation with perfect, un-solicited gratitude. They enjoyed the trip un-self consciously. Is this not what we all hope for as parents?


I have a simple heart.


It’s an uncomplicated question to answer: What do you want? Decide what it is and then act accordingly.  It doesn’t require any special genius.

Jul 28, 2016
Not Russian It

It takes 6 and a half minutes of vapid attention to scrape my big melon clean.


This hair-cut takes 45. And I am told:


 what’s what


 what should be


 what is lamentably not so.


He is fearless. No doubt, no hint of uncertainty surfaces in this time. At points I wonder: I am leaving this chair with my ears attached? How close is that blade to my throat?

It’s Valentine’s Day. What’s it mean?


You decide.

Jul 27, 2016
Draw Carefully

When you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

We all need the whole toolbox.

Not full of one thing, but with many rulers, saws, pliers, plumb lines.

Where you aim at is where you land.

Even when it takes more time then you expect, the trajectory you pick will carry you forward unless you really bend yourself towards a new path – and this is hard.


Best to draw the bow carefully. Want what you want. Aim at a life you will love.

Jul 27, 2016
Passion Fruit

I am insecure about a great many things, but my work ethic isn’t one of them.

I can worry a problem into submission.

Of this I am supremely confident.

But, I must report, my yard is full of weeds.


I am growing food to eat.

I am experimenting with eating things untouched by chemicals.

These plants grow in boxes – large and small  - throughout my yard.

They are modestly prospering.


If I could figure out how I cultivated such a heaven for weeds –

and apply it to the calorie reaping plants –

hunger in the Southwest would be a thing of the past.

Jul 27, 2016
Honest Wages

I am a not a good cheater.

I always pay a deeper price than the bargain I ask for.

If I want something that is to be earned, I always have to travel the full nine yards.

Jul 27, 2016
Man Up

“I would flex, but I like this shirt”


This is written across a tee shirt my children bought me for Christmas. They have an ironic sense of humor.


My many tee shirts neatly folded in front of me, I am trying to rationalize the quantity. How many tee shirts does one man need?


Like everyone, I have my insecurities. There are many. However, for many years, I have felt entirely comfortable in describing myself as a man.


I am not a boy.

Jul 26, 2016
The Lion and His Lioness

Most things should be shared.


But not everything.


My parents celebrated 44 years of marriage on Friday with a bouquet of flowers and a hotel room in Seattle.  On Facebook they allowed us a photo of the small garden and a note to us that they were happy.


44 years.


On one level I feel like I had a front row seat to their romance. But, I also know, what goes on between a man and a woman in love is private.


It is a mystery.



Jul 19, 2016

We should make all spiritual talk Simple today:


God is trying to sell you something, But you don’t want to buy.


That is what your suffering is: Your fantastic haggling, Your manic screaming over the price! (Hafiz)




My 4 year-old baby sister screams at an intractable seed she planted the day before. Her ferocious spirit commanding the plant to sprout. The seed remained unmoved that morning.


I water the dirt in my garden. I bought a bunch of worms. They all impolitely died. The dirt is housed in a fancy pergola that I am sure any vegetable would love to sprout from. I am supposed to be writing about what a master of agriculture I have become. Instead I make a little mud everyday.

Jul 19, 2016
The Last One

I like athletes. But not all athletes.

 “Souls are like athletes, that need opponents worthy of them, if they are to be tried and extended and pushed to the full use of their powers, and rewarded according to their capacity.”

― Thomas MertonThe Seven Storey Mountain

Does that make sense to you? Or not?

Jul 19, 2016
In The Sack

I bought a sack of Red Wrigglers and they arrived on my porch yesterday.

Here’s how it’s supposed to work: I give them my vegetal table scraps, they eat them and shit agricultural gold.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

November 2013 I became a gardener.

By January 2014 I will be a goddamn farmer.

Jul 19, 2016
Morning Presence

In 1978 our Christmas tree made the Charlie Brown Christmas tree look like the one in Rockefeller Center.

I’m not sure it wasn’t actually a branch.

It is the only tree we ever talk about.

It always delivers – we laugh and joke each time about how we kept spinning it looking for its “good side.”

Good side? It was barely three-dimensional.

What a gift that scrawny little guy gave us.

Jul 19, 2016
Being Knotty

I am composing this missive in my head while at the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall.

An elderly Chinese man has his elbow buried in between my spine and scapula.

He is using a level of force usually reserved for extracting information.

Jul 19, 2016
Somethings Should Leave A Mark

He says: “How about this?”

And now, my right shoulder and his right shoulder carry the same mark.

Seen or unseen, he’s right there.

From here  – ’til the end of my road – at every pool, beach, shirtless work-out – the old man is doing his best to make me look cool.

Jul 19, 2016
Graceful Moves

I am a crier. It’s just the truth, what can I say?

As such, I have to watch The X-Factor in private.

I realize they are just shilling for Tide, condoms, Toyota and whatever else.

But when the coaches offer a psychological disposition of support – frankly I don’t give a shit if it’s fake – I always bite.

Belief in another – support of someone’s hopes – vocalizing the notion “I believe in you” simply touches me in some indefensible place.

Jul 19, 2016
A Lovely Planet

I may not be the luckiest person who ever lived, but I have extreme good fortune.

There are many many problems I do not have.

My plane is leaving soon to return me safely home.

At different times, I have lived precariously balanced.

My loved ones kept me upright.

I am on more solid footing now.

More often than not, I trip into great surprises – seeing wondrous, beautiful things and meeting curious people.

It is a lovely planet. 

Jul 19, 2016
#4 in 30

When I was very young, I didn’t like onions.

I think it was that my taste buds were still so new.

Everything tasted so precisely, vibrantly, purely what it was.

I now like jalapenos on everything.

Jul 19, 2016
Athlete Artist, Artist Athlete

The artist has an audience.

In that relationship, a person can delight, antagonize, soothe or jolt another.

There you will find a moment of some consequence between two people.

It is a beautiful thing.

My mom is a successful and brilliant poet.

Before other people wrote blurbs on the back of her books and gave her awards and spent money to own her writing, she woke at 4:30 in the morning, sat at the kitchen table and wrote  – every day – before kids, work and a million other demands would claim her attention.

Jul 19, 2016
Not So Fast Eddie

I am a slow learner.

Impatience and haste have cost me a lot.

But, against all my instincts, I have decided against rushing to any conclusions.

Things break apart – I rack ’em up– and start again. 

Jul 18, 2016
Paper Tiger

The New York Times and I have a mixed relationship.

Without meaningful argument, consistently high levels of thoughtful, careful writing land on my porch every Sunday.

But I can’t help but feel it is saying,

“You are smart for reading this, but not as smart as I am for writing it.”

Jul 18, 2016
'76 Olympics

Alas, I grew up in a family of smokers.

Not the modern variety of cat burglar-ing  smokers hiding from us,

trying to find a place to smoke

that doesn’t require wearing a yellow vest asking people not to run them over.


I grew up among Olympians of smoking,

and holidays were game days.

Jul 18, 2016

When I was 21 I met with – what can only be called a “recruiter” – of the Order of Preachers. The Dominicans. He wanted me to become a priest.

I tried to explain to him that I was celibate not because I was particularly moral but because I did not have a car, I was skinny and socially awkward. An unholy trinity for a young man.

Jul 18, 2016
Check Please

At 32, I finally beat the old man. And since he doesn’t have a blog yet, let me say it was a crushing defeat of brilliant tactics and impossibly subtle strategy.

But in all fairness, I do have the body for it.

Jul 18, 2016
Tail Tale

I just replaced the “tail” of my dryer. The “tail” is a fancy name for the plug. When I asked the smart-ass attendant at Lowe’s if this was a difficult job, he replied “Can you work a screw driver?”

Jul 17, 2016
In Loco Parentis

I have the 12-year-old by the collar and he grips the 14-year-old by the arm. Again, I am clueless. I look at him blankly. Ethan Hawke to his Denzel Washington in Training Day, I hear him bark in a tone of voice that still rattles my sister and me:

“You want to die?”

Jul 17, 2016
Kitchen Heat

I will save you the narrative of the world’s fastest Internet search, a disappointing shower and the absolute gratitude of having this experience by myself – and just remind you:

If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

Jul 17, 2016

Our puppy caught a bad lottery ticket in an instant and then vomited and barfed his way through the week while we all hope he doesn’t die.

You have to be careful what you touch. And if danger lies in that crap pile – why you gonna touch it twice?

Some of us think we can wade through the nastiness and not be affected.

And then wonder why your toothless yells can’t get you a cab out of the Flop Casa of Broken Dreams.

Jul 14, 2016
The Interrogative

The minute I heard my first love story,

I started looking for you, not knowing

how blind that was.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,

they’re in each other all along.

 The year ends. The year begins. May yours be the most beautiful yet.

Jul 12, 2016

A man of normal intelligence would have checked the spigot for water pressure. Being of abnormal intelligence I cut through the three quarter pipe to test how thorough I had been in turning off the water.

Jul 10, 2016
Something to Cry About

We really needed a round-the-clock team of counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists and exorcists working 7 days a week with us.

And a bunch money.

Jul 09, 2016

Evil is obvious, even if you turn a blind eye. It is plain. Unmistakable.

Jul 09, 2016

The man in the first stall of the Barnes and Noble restroom at Tempe Marketplace may have actually hidden the trumpet of Zion up his ass.

Before exiting this afternoon, I was treated to a solo who’s impressiveness was only over shadowed by the magnificent stench that changed that innocent space into a nearly lethal foyer to the other side.

Jun 27, 2016
Puppy Love

How many times does Something thing have to happen to you

Before Something occurs to you?

           Robert Frost 

Jun 21, 2016
Squishing Time

Some things seem to require cultivation and some things seem to erupt.

My little house is quiet as I write. Time is wrapped up in a tiny blanket beside me sleeping – snoring predictably - indifferent to my instructions to stop, start, back-up. I pat it gently as to not harm it.

In silent mystery of this moment, I hope you are well loved and safe under our shared sky.

Jun 21, 2016
quick reflection

I am stiff not crippled.

Things will loosen up.

Jun 21, 2016
Captain Mork

“….they paid Roman soldiers in salt, which is how we get the word Salary…and when your pool breaks it into its components, the chloride acts as the chlorine…”

My sister is unimpressed.

“Just pass the salt.”

As a kid my parents called me Chatterbox.

Indeed, I talk too m

Jun 21, 2016

The Eiffel Tower surprised me.

Like you, I have seen it 13 million times. I thought I knew it.

But it always struck me as sort of industrial. Distinctive but not subtle.

I was wrong.

Jun 21, 2016
Petite Penance

He was rude.

French rude.

Turns out French rude looks a lot like Manhattan rude with a slightly more charming accent.

Jun 21, 2016
Above the Tree Line

There is a picture when I am 16 of my father and I in the identical position while playing basketball in our driveway.

I am playing defense against him but somehow are bodies are mirror images for the moment.

He and I were away this week. In the jungle, while being fitted for helmets in order to zip-line,

I am asked my name.


Jun 20, 2016
One More Time

For 15 years - while I honed my ability to eat ice cream - Dan threw millions of punches.

Jun 10, 2016
Of Mice and Women

To My Mice: You never know what life may require of you,

but you are the heirs to this strength and courage.

No need to go looking for a fight.

Sometimes it finds you.

And if so, don’t worry - you’ll know what to do.


Jun 08, 2016
The Grip

Let me report I understand this:

If you don’t hold a golf club correctly, you will not swing it right.

You gotta start at the beginning.

Jun 08, 2016
Street Logic

By 16 I had hit people and been hit.

Once, winning a skirmish, I was in position to truly hurt a person.

Onlookers were looking for a ferocious beating.

I reckoned it’s one thing to make a point - another thing to inflict injury just because you can.

Jun 07, 2016

It’s midnight and I am stuffing my face with almond butter I made when I was conscious.

My body unreasonably insists on eating.

Jun 07, 2016
Not One Thing

I was 100% certain these things would make me happy.


Jun 06, 2016
The Middle

When you want to lift weight over-head,

keep the load balanced over the middle of your feet-

because that’s how the body works.

It is not arbitrary. Not capricious.

It’s a rule because it is the best course of action.

Jun 04, 2016

The cycle of life is gritty, no?

I am a thinker. At least, I think I am.


Jun 04, 2016
To Conspire

I don’t relax well.

Once, for a moment on soft grass above the fat sea lions of La Jolla, I breathed easy.

Sprawled out on the ground, my daughters kept a look-out for the cutest boy on the beach.

My eyes closed, a pelican shat right on my chest.

Not a dainty pigeon poop- an earthy, full-bodied excrement bomb.

Jun 04, 2016
An Irrational Insurance Policy

My ten bucks was a selfish, irrational insurance policy against a lack of prosperity in 2013.

By accident and grace, I have been delivered from most problems of the world.

Jun 04, 2016
Box of Chocolates

People will not be controlled for long.

They will enjoy whatever strikes them, and it is foolishness to think you can make it otherwise.

Last Saturday, on a very ordinary street in Phoenix,

I saw a rooster.

Out of nowhere.

Apropos of nothing.

Jun 03, 2016

I don’t think anyone ever woke-up and thought

“I am living in ordinary times.”

As a species, we have always rigidly thought: these are the end times, the new times, a shallow echo of a utopian past, or at the dawn of a grand future.

Jun 03, 2016
The Wait Shift

A week ago, I am in the grocery store

with an imaginary barbell laid across the top of my shoulders

and I am squatting.

In front of the yogurt, two squats.

Beer cooler- 5 quick ones.

I am squatting my way through the entire market.

My squats are repetitively predictable- I drop my ass “below parallel”

and try to gauge where my weight is settling on the bottom of my feet.

The sins of the father are visited on the son:

I am chasing my own precise weight shift.

Jun 03, 2016
Naked Ambition

I have a pudgy belly.

Not the type of belly that spills out in the street.

Let’s just say that my clothed body

writes a check

that my naked body can’t cash.

Jun 03, 2016
I am Gifted

I have ambitious, improbable -

verging on the impossible -


about embarking on this journey

But -

what I am trying to tell you is that-

I am gifted. 

Jun 02, 2016

My daughters are sun and sand people.

When in the surf,

they ride ocean waves -

however they come -

all day long.

Jun 02, 2016
By Degree

No judge would pardon the June Arizona sun.

It’s homicidal.

The homeless near my neighborhood vie for attention.

It’s a competitive marketplace for mercy.

Jun 01, 2016
Scraping By

Scrape out what you can.

Ecchymosis won’t kill you.

Get help.

Get more help.

The past can bind you.

But it can be undone.

Healing can hurt.

It is unlikely to kill you.

Things are meant to move easily.

If they don’t something’s wrong.

You can fix it.

Jun 01, 2016
45, 46...



Regarding the process more than the result.

I am starting again.

From the beginning.

In the fullness of time –

with an expectant joyful heart –

I am pursuing with baby steps  -

 that which has eluded me.

It won’t always be heavy.

May 28, 2016
Let's Start At The Beginning

We will start at the beginning.

There's lots to say.


Peter M. Deeley Jr.



Music Credit: Ben Sound


May 28, 2016