L.P. Stribling

Start over, you need to start over.

Not entirely, but with your thoughts,

With where you think you need to be.

Start over.

’T’s cold outside. Empty.

Don’t see many people walking around.

You’re not them. Focus on you.

You’re ready to meet your own people,

Remember, we’re starting over.

I’m a writer. Regardless.

Regardless of what words are,

Written on my lanyard, of what it says

on my driver’s license, my résumé,

or what comes of the mouths of my loved ones

Pertaining to the question of “what it is I do.”

I’m a writer.

And I recognize that,

Because I’m starting over.

Quick drive down. Cut the engine.

Now I’m with them – the only ones who know

Who I really am. I know them too.

We smile, we laugh as we snack.

Because we all get. Regardless.

Regardless of what words are used out there.

We’ve started over.






L.P. Stribling

A departure beginning with an embrace,

A frigid evening, a driver,

The black back seat, my own silence,

My own space,


An airplane ride,

Commotion, all things foreign,

The hanging smiles bewilder me,

Crossing miles, I’ve crossed cultures,


Days occupied with meetings,

Shackled am I underneath the formalities,

Of these business layers,

And at night, each night, all I do is miss you,


“It’s only three weeks,” they say,

“You can do that in your sleep.”

My head nods, my heart hangs,

Transcontinental flights, 13 hours away.


I’d go longer to see you.

Does my return begin the same way?





When Vacation Ends


When Vacation Ends


L.P. Stribling

What do we do when vacation ends?

Cry to our families,

Make calls to our friends,

Tell them all that we’ll be back again,

Saddened and sulky to see it come to an end.

What do we do when we have to go back?

Throw mini tantrums,

Throw our backs out of whack,

Complain every minute that we don’t want to pack,

Why in Hades do I have to go back?

What do we do when work calls again?

We pout and throw fits,

Do we have to go in?

Our heads shake in dismay, our fists tremble enraged,

Can’t I just have one more vacation again?

And sadly we pack, angered and grumpy,

We don’t want to go back. And the road home is bumpy!

And isn’t there snow, or hail, or a storm?

There must be some reason I can stay where it’s warm.

But alas, our heads hang, we arrive at the station,

Or drive back or board planes,

It’s the end of vacation.

At least there’s some sugar somewhere in my bag,

And no damn resolution can keep me from that.

So what do we do when we have to return?

We could bewail the present while the daylight burns,

Or seize what we have; Carpe Diem, and all.

Hope you’ve enjoyed your vacation,

Each, every, and all.


The Wizards’ Plan

The Wizard’s Plan


L.P. Stribling


They’re the ones to blame,
Singing in silent voices, making the world rain,
They parade in the daytime, take flight at night,
They watch us when we sleep, and sleep not themselves.

Violet robes, long noses, wild hats, peaking above us all,
They carry staves, of course, what wizard would be
without one? And they read, you see? Read, read, endlessly.
Spells, or songs (although those are mostly for the bards),
Incantations, curses, and give no care,
Unaware, perhaps, of right and wrong.

Yet we’re the ones who suffer, aren’t we?
We bare the brunt of their frivolity, their unbidden wizardry.
They are the voices in our heads,
The man in the moon,
The mischief under our beds,
And the men behind the Rune Witches.

I can provide one reason upon another,
Hoping that you’ll understand,
But you’ll never look past my own responsibility,
When I know the truth,
It’s all a part of the Wizards’ plan.


The End of the Academic Tunnel

The end of school quickly draws near and oh, the adventures we’ll have then. I have been run ragged these past few weeks (no, no, I’m not making excuses. I’ll have you know that I did finally complete the first draft of my short story, which currently has a lengthy length of 9K+, but that should shimmy on down to at least 7.5…one can hope. So there’s that. 

     And then there’s China. Yes. Writing, reading, and going to China. 

I am in the middle of a book of poetry by none other than Garrison Keillor and, they’re okay. Here is, as the Writing Excuses Gang would say, a can of worms for later, but I would like to state here, publicly that I am opposed to spoiling things for others. Yes, movies, books, short stories, t.v. shows, all of the above, don’t want to spoil for others (probably because I don’t like them spoiled for me). 

BUT – 

    I do agree with a statute of limitations…at least with movies or television. I mean, c’mon, if someone hasn’t seen the original Star Wars (ESB) by now, it really doesn’t matter. It was made over 40 years ago; odds are you’re probably not going to watch it tonight.

With books, different game, I feel. I mean, if I haven’t ready Hamlet or Crime and Punishment, or The Shining….maybe I just haven’t gotten to it, but I’d like to. I know, that’s not a real solid basis for argument, but that’s how I feel. If I want to read The Alchemist, don’t ruin it for me. 

       Look, movies, those take a whopping two-hours. Books – much longer. Therefore, I want to still enjoy the book and I want others to enjoy the book and I realize it takes time. If you haven’t had two hours in the past 40 years to watch a movie, that’s you, but if you’re a slow reader, I guess I can justify that a bit. 


      Okay, ’nuff for now. Back to work. 



When the student is ready…

I am reminded again today not to seek wisdom or knowledge simply from those dressed in elderly raiment, for it is easily guised. I have returned anew to the words of an ancient master.



How a man may find instructors for himself.
The Master said, “When I walk along with two others, they may serve me as my teachers. I will select their good qualities and follow them, their bad qualities and avoid them.”

At all times I am embraced by the teachings of my master, and in this recognition, will in those times be prepared to learn.  I am humbled and thankful for these teachings.


“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”



Legge, J. Confucian Analects. http://www.cnculture.net/ebook/jingsishu/lunyu_en



Releasing ‘Perfection’

One chip at a time.
One chip at a time.

Nothing is ever perfect on the first try,

You know why?

Because nothing is ever perfect.

The only expectation you should have,

Is one in which you will be there,

At the appointed time,

At the appointed location,

Just as you’ve told the world (as you’ve told yourself) you would be,

To again lift the dulling nib of the old iron nail,

Regaining one’s grip,

And with diligence, with focus, and a day’s more experience than the day before,

Returning to the marble slab,

And continue one’s work in yet another attempt,

As feeble as the world around you tells you it is,

At releasing the shackles of your ideal from the

Abominable grips of this dull reality.