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Positive Images

Part II
Timothy Ballan


I. Dreamlike Images



Chronicles of a Road Trip to a Jungle in Florida.............................11

I'll Pay Later.....................................................................................14

II. Dreamlike-Contemplative Images


Dr. Ko's Discovery...........................................................................20

III. Contemplative Images


Tragedy and Always-Lingering Good.............................................35


About the Author..............................................................................39

I would like to acknowledge my friend Molly Kienzler for helping
proofread this book.

I refuse to use quotation marks in such a way that envelopes any
commas or periods not suggested by the quoted material. For
example, quoting a child saying the words "I don't want to go now",
I did not put the comma within the quotation marks, as the comma
is not suggested by the child's words. On the other hand, I will end
this next sentence in a different way. As someone once said, "Use
your head, not your rule book."
With a similar emphasis on clarity over convention, I also
follow dashes with commas at times. Even if preceded by a dash
as I will now demonstrate, I retain commas that retain usefulness.
Beyond just punctuation, though, I'd hope abundant clarity pervades
my writing, from word order, to sentence structure, to overall
presentation of ideas.

I. Dreamlike Images

Impossible Modern Buses

Riding on this noiseless clean and modern fuzzily-interiored bus I

sit the only passenger but near the pearly-bearded smiling driver as
he reaches back to hand me well-ripened tomatoes and tangerines I
happily eat upon warmly gazing into the setting sky met by the
saltish gleam of its first star Venus, where I hope soaringly
approaches in his own modern bus the small smiling wrinkled
creature whose darkly blue eyes I met miles back by a rusted wire
fence to the left of this seemingly eternal semi-vegetated desert's
rural highway that doesn't exist.

I Just Spoke

I just spoke with an opossum in an early morning light rain in


Levels of Infinity

There are infinite levels of elevators extending down from the

earth's surface.
Each elevatorten on each levelgoes to a different wonderland.
Each elevator connects with a different set of infinite levels of
elevators, though, each also connecting with different

The Land of Zunn

Once I visited the Land of Zunn,

where I met the tilly-water snails
of Sullysee Swamp,
and swam with them down Munn Trum Brook,
through Neelilly Hollow

and Ummywaeder Woods,
until we reached the dry meadows of Nunnyfield,
and dined with cat and opossum alike
on acorn pie and carbonated juniper water.

Gelital Spots and Bubbles

Gelital spots and bubbles, bubbles shrinking, spots tilting to unveil

thin, glassy tubes subtly varying in width while approaching distant
glowing iridescent pinkish stars.

The Waves of Grey Grass

the waves of grey grass

mirror the electrostatic force
of blue suns
between the sky's golden glow

The Lone White Birch

The lone white birch in the field bluely softened by the stars who,
even in their waking tears,
blessed every waving patch of grass and reddish spot of sand
between wiry leafless growths of different heights while evenly
even the pinkly steaming streaming springs glowing
from the last fiery screams of the sun sinking behind out backs.

And I know the birds smile in their hidden nests,

even as all will soon blacken,
just as the pines cloak so much of beauty that we will never see.

Distorted Material

All material in the world distorts shape without changing its type of

without losing or gaining any material,
without connecting to other material not already connected with it,
and without breaking into any parts.

Flags stick out straight like boards,

chairs and stairs become twisted and/or shaped like stars,
window glass turns into large spiky blobs floating within window
poles become curly,
and floors/the ground becomes wavy and/or with raised rectangles
everywhere at odd angles to one another.

A gigantic grey cat with a yellow leather collar lined with small
crystals takes up most of the space in a large church sanctuary that
is made entirely from mostly clear-ish glass and rounded, holding
no corners or straight lines. Outside one stained-glass window near
the ceiling and next to a balcony that covers half of the sanctuary's
length we can see another rounded glass room, though much
smaller than the sanctuary. Through a window beyond that room is
another rounded glass room, and we continue traveling through
these and other such rooms, finding no space under water or in the
sky free from rounded glass rooms connected by windows.
A huge, Hoover-Dam-sized vat filled with logs and sticks forming
pockets of various sizes creates areas for animals to live, from
shallow burrows for chipmunks to room-sized dens for bears. The
dam is filled with squirrels, woodchucks, beavers, other rodents,
bears, and deer. While it begins flooding with translucent orange-
yellow water, only the lower third of the dam is filled, creating
pools that all the animals use to bathe in.
Out of the corner of my eye, I notice a person running along the
right side of my car, though some distance to the side. The person
is running the same speed as I am driving, forty-five miles per hour,
parallel to my car, and yet not seeming to notice or care to notice
me or my car. As I turn my head, intending to quickly glance at the
person, they are no longer there.
On the side of the road to the left of a driver in a heavily wooded
area at night stands a life-sized plastic doll bobbing in slight wind.
The driver pulls to the right and crosses the road to investigate the
doll. Tapping the doll gently, it tips over to reveal thousands of ants
spreading out from under where it stood. The driver, who is a four-
year-old boy, backs away and reenters his car.

A hayfield accompanied by a french horn overlooks bails and
golden plants of all sorts surrounded by scattered green and blinding
rays of sunlight as I slowly dance out a waltz with a wolf in my
bedroom and all else in time has stopped frozen still. I and the wolf
are soon transported to some woods also frozen still, scattered with
seventeen nearby frozen female nymph-like creatures dressed in
leaves and posed with a grace and calm, but holding expressions
and positions of relative unease.

Chronicles of a Road Trip
to a Jungle in Florida
We stop at a motel in Delaware a few hours into our road trip. I
wake up to find near my bed a large fluffy hamster-sized insect with
large black eyes and bee-like black and yellow stripes. I'm afraid
and shoo it out of the room. However, local residents tell me later
that these are common and harmless insects found outside of New

As we stay a little too long in Delaware, it is nearly sunset again

and three foxes come to try to attack me along with my friends. I
read in a magic book that if you hold foxes by their napes and fling
them, they will think certain self-critical thoughts depending on
their color and gender. As I follow the book's instructions, the white
mother appears to feel that she is ugly and that her husband never
loved her, the bright reddish father seems to feel like a useless mere
braggart, and the reddish brown son seems to feel like an inadequate
mistake. They each run off soon after I observe these reactions. I
feel somewhat guilty but hope and believe that the foxes will
ultimately realize that their feelings were only brought upon by a
magical spell.

In southern Virginia, we sleep at a 24-hour Walmart next to a 24-

hour Best Buy in an enormous commercial development with nearly
twenty other enormous chain stores. Once we awake, the daylight
reveals that the development overlooks a broad and expansive green

After observing this inspiring vista, we walk toward a lone old

house far on the edge of the development. We are motioned in by
two fat nearly toothless ladies. Even while they don't speak, we
somehow know that one of the ladies is from eastern Texas and the
other is from western Texas. We also somehow realize that these
ladies want us to dig in front of their yard. Since there is no

pavement across the whole development, we know this won't be
prohibitively difficult.

At first, we only find multiple bottles from recent years, but soon
discover centuries-old belongings of the person we somehow know
to be the original owner of the house and of the farm on which this
whole development was built. These belongings include small
ornate gilded wooden vessels of different sizes and shapes. One
vessel holds coins, one holds jewelry, and one holds pearls. In
addition to these belongings, we discover an old clock with drawers
containing pictures from the farmer's family. I don't know how all
this was preserved without being enclosed and why it was so near
the surface; all this appears to be at least two hundred years old.

We finally arrive in Florida and find that a whole oceanside

preserve has been plowed through so that water skiers could see
further into the distance while skiing. We wade through the opened
area only to find some type of newly-discovered shellfish almost
violently clinging to our skin. Feeling like overly intrusive tourists,
we gently pluck the shellfish off and leave them by the entrance of
the preserve.

Though we decide to leave the preserve, we decide to walk along a

nearby wooden walkway built to the left of a river that is equally
shallow, meandering, swampy, and yet clean and clear enough for
us to see all sorts of unique and sometimes almost frightening-
looking fish swimming throughout the river. As we walk along the
river, we see that it seeps into fields and forests to our right, where
some type of cattails full of tiny red blossoms grow in the soggy
field. To our left, the river spreads out to become an estuary for
about as far as we can see.

Soon we have walked probably two miles from our car, and a dark
purplish sunset has already nearly filled the sky. However, strange
blue-green glows from within swamps now on either side of us
mostly light our way. From the fading sunlight and blue-green

glows, we see enough to notice that, as we walk on, the vegetation
is continuously becoming fuller, greener, taller, and closer to the
walkway that, at this point, is guarded by side rails.

Though we have fearedfor some reasonthat the blue-green

glows from within the swamps might go out, we continue walking.
As we continue walking, however, we notice that the glows only
become more intense, as if emanating from bright waterproof
lanterns scattered underneath the jungle-like trees and other plants
growing for as far as we can see now.

The plants and trees to either side of us soon encroach on the

walkway, though, and so much so that we are forced to walk
sideways. And, soon, the plants are so thick that we cannot
comfortably proceed.

While we are afraid, we turn around and know that we will easily be
able to retrace our steps and come out to the car before morning.

I'll Pay Later
Sliding down the glass slide to pay for my textbooks, I stand up to
approach the register.

I tell the register worker that I'll pay later. He instructs me to

simply leave my books by one of the cottages when I'm ready to

I leave this atrium via the glass escalator and come out to the
classical-style flower park surrounded by paths intertwining old

My parents are talking to what appears to be a pigeon. As I move

closer, though, I realize that it is not a pigeon, but a pigeon-shaped
hawk with the beak of a pelican. I also see barberries growing out
of its tattered feathers and move to pick one off and eat it. The
berries smell strange, though, so I decide not to eat one.

My parents are in love with this hawk. Her name is Dommie. She
seems developmentally disabled.

I wander past cottages and discover a long path encircling not just
the cottages, park, and textbook center, but spots of dense woods,
wanderable gardens, and lonely fields of tall grass. I follow the
path for some time and discover more cottages interspersed with
several pavilions that house different groups of people holding
different types of picnics and parties. I intend to explore more
before I pay for my books.

II. Dreamlike-Contemplative Images

Too Small

Too small or large to exist,

Too distant in time to be real.

Hidden Loops Outside

time going backwards now forward into backwards into forward

now backwards going, hidden loops outside of

The Elephant Who Fell Behind

The elephant who fell behind the herd

after blinded by sand
attempted to find at least his mother
by following her footsteps and scent;
but he never found any other thing,
following his mother's past backward in time,
toward their abandoned, waterless home.

My Head Is Slowly Falling Off

I am so afraid to tell anyone that my head is slowly but inevitably

loosening from my neck. I want to let them know, but if I tell them,
they will be afraid and sad and try to fix me in vain. But I know
they will be more feared and saddened when my head suddenly falls

I Believe You're There

A woman has a son who was born at five thousand tons. He was
surgically extracted from her and developed in a large laboratory
well before his deemed-birth, however. And yet, just about when he

was taken home from the laboratory into his mother's house
specially redesigned and structured for him, he began steadily
shrinking. By the time he was five, he could only be seen through a
powerful microscope housed in the laboratory where he spent
months of his prenatal life.

The boy's mother has made a habit of spending hours in the

laboratory speaking to him while peering through the laboratory's
most powerful microscope. At a certain point, however, she can no
longer see her son and pleads with the laboratory scientists to obtain
a more powerful microscope. Having exhausted their budget,
though, the scientists can only remind the mother that her son's
shrinking is only accelerating and soon he will be gone, just as his
growing only accelerated until he was officially "born" fully
developed. Peering back through the microscope in front of her, the
mother cries and weepingly sings, "I believe you're there, I believe
you're there".

Some Thoughts that Nothing Had

No one who sees me believes I am real,

My existence has never been affirmed by another.
All the while, I firmly believe I am real,
Though I have known those who deny their own existence,
Even while all others believe them to be real.

There is one who does believe in me, though

My reflection in the bathroom mirror,
Who tells me that only I believe him
When he says he does not exist.

The Girl Without a Name

To the girl without a name,

from a lost letter

I pray thee well,
and let out your dragons
from underneath their spell,
beyond to above,
the lines on ye dwell,
under bridges and barricades
and far into Hell.

Let there be time and a place

where you sleep in a bed
and have your own mother
who calls you friend.

The Gigantic Man in the Mountain

I later dreamed of a gigantic man who lived his whole life buried
within the rock of a certain mountain,
never exposed to other humans;
he was only discovered when a cannon ball knocked through the
mountain and through his head.

The man was assumed neither sentient before nor after the cannon
ball hit through his head,
but he was indeed sentient both before and after being hit;
the gigantic man even knew that he was always assumed non-
but he held no animosity toward those who were ultimately
disparaging his existence.

The Brightness of Blood

It began to press on the slowly cracking mirror,

glassy lines curling with different lengths and widths,
those in clusters the first to break
against the unstalling approach of a thick red gel

someday to touch my nose.

As bulbs burnt out and fans fell quiet,

I kept fixed in stance but for my mind,
even once only windows past the closed bathroom door provided
at most dim light.
I unflichingly eyed the rounded waves ever stretching toward me
and in terror knew I would eventually meet a splash.

And years went by

before I knew it must all end somehow.
My face at last begrew a smile,
I was thankful for a somehow granted readiness for death
and then, lit with a sudden brightened red,
the blood stole my face.

I Choose to Force Away

I choose to force away the holding negative and worrying thoughts

that fill the cracks of a broken mind born again the willow shrieks
into the air hearts of flora I reach for my pen again completely
dropping the ground beneath and letting go I hear the resplendent
starry sound of lifted airy dreams a part of my soul flown free.

Cathartical Representations

I pull away from my mind,

out through bending vegetation surrounding a word melted into a
I sit frozen and there is no more stable ground,
only walking stick insects of various gigantic and microscopic sizes,
composing ground, space, and air,
and nothing changes as it could all be true,
swirling in a turquoise netherlunding strange fur millow whyce.

Dr. Ko's Discovery
Our destination is the center of the universe, the "key" that we have
been told makes all wonders nothing.

Each step in this journey is informed by the old Japanese recluse's

code-like written directions, though. And, when we cannot
understand or do not respond quickly enough to his instructions, he
screams out what was written in even more incomprehensible terms.
Still, he is our only chance.

We maneuver to find the "estopethormic" "banner" he has built to

bring us to the center of all galaxies. We don't understand nearly a
tenth of what Dr. Ko does, but we are here for three main reasons:
he did not want to witness the "key" alone, he is old and cannot
work his personally-designed shuttle alone in the way he would like
to, and he has personally entrusted us with the knowledge we are all
about to uncover.

I thought at first that it was unwise for Jen and Jim to bring their
pets, but Jen's Pomeranian Betsy and even Jim's blind cat Dugger
haven't gotten in the way. And, more importantly, the pets have
lightened the mood and calmed our nerves. I didn't expect how
frightening it would be to know that we are all about to undergo the
most important experience of ourand anyone'slives.

Riding the "banner" feels a little like riding a conveyor belt to what
all of usand I'm sure especially Dr. Koknow we will never be
able to mentally and emotionally prepare for enough. The belt's
rippling translucent neon colors are dazzling, but we know that
these visual wonders are just a byproduct of the belt's function to
lead us to what will be both ultimately meaningful and superlatively

And then we are whisked into some tangibly "central" place where

we see encircling us all that we've passed and bypassed on what
seemed a relatively straight route.

Dr. Ko screams, "This is the go!" as he rushedly and somewhat

shakily points to his final instructions taped above our heads across
the shuttle's wall. It says, "1. PUSH. 2. STEER TO 600-PLUS. 3.
BE TAKEN INTO ONE." Neither Jim, Jen, nor I have really been
able to picture what these instructions would look like in action,

"Push!" We bring the shuttle to its full travel capacity.

"Steer!" We find that there is only one obvious place to steer

toward: what has materialized as the only visible object in this
central area of the universesomething like a system of sharp
opaquely white icicles seemingly arranged so that as many of them
as possible fit within the system's bounds.

As we continue forward, we notice a resplendently metallic

"beehive" pattern stretched across each "icicle". We then notice that
each beehive-pattern hole in the patterns holds another entire
beehive pattern and, similarly, each beehive-pattern hole there holds
yet another entire beehive pattern and so on down and down. As we
approach more and more closely, I lose track of which level of
beehive patterns I am focusing on compared to where I started
counting. And, it seems we are already down into at least one level
of these beehive patterns.

We continue passing through levels of beehive patterns for what

could be a relatively short or a very long stretch of time; my
thoughts are so saturated with the visuals at hand that I know I have
lost perception of time. I can equally imagine that either days or
only seconds have passed. What I do know, however, is that, with
each passing moment, I care less about which level of beehive we
are passing into, and I become more enthralled with the surrounding
metallic tones, from silver to gold to bronze to copper to something

like platinum. And, slowly, my visual ability is not enough to
perceive what is in front of me.

I don't think I lost consciousness, but it seems I perceived too much

for my brain to process in any normal manner. What I do know,
however, is that we have reached what Ko thinks to be the center of
things. But I only know this because we are now standing at the
edge of the pond behind his research center in Michigan.

And then I see him point up to the night sky, and I see all that we
had passed through, what will now clearly be written on the
terrestrial sky for the remainder of time.

As I stand with Ko and my friends and their pets on this icy shore, I
am made anew, but I feel as if there were more of us on that shuttle
and I mourn their absence. But then I realize that those I mourn are
all the people in the world, and I no longer need to mourn them or
anything. I no longer need to mourn because all anyone needs to do
now is look up to the sky where everything is clearly explained and
makes so much sense.

III. Contemplative Images

Circles on Earth

The Earth as if agriculture and settlement had never Been

Thousands of years past the last of fallen Structures
A thick black gel coats all living and non-living Things

Millions of square miles of fields and Trees

Swamps and marshes lying pure and Clean
The oceans cloudless and suffused with Life
For all but a time where a certain Ape
Slowly defeated yet its own Self
With all it altered for no one's Need

The Earth without agriculture or Settlement

Thousands of years before the first Structures
A thick black gel coats all living and non-living Things

Burn the Suburbs

Burn the suburbs.

Burn everything there except any however small parcels of open
Start with the newest homes and businesses,
and work backward chronologically,
until the only structures standing are now-unused exits and
entrances to and from the highways that so conveniently
connect to city workplaces.
Let's return to population centers that only dot expansive rural

As forests respring after fire,

so shall nature reclaim the suburbs,
to offer not just life-giving beauty,

but sustenance for all we love
except excess.

Screaming in a Theater

It's against the rules,

as we sit watching our idealized future selves
wither on a stage.
It's against the rules to climb up
and rescue our dreams,
except for some.
The rest of us resort to begging
though most begging is against the rules,
or we attempt to escape with our dreams,
or, as we sit surrounded by the rule-breakers chained back to their
we learn to become docile spectators.
But it is only when we give up that we wither along with our

The Rule-Followers

They are the people who obviously sing "dweam" or "twy" instead
of "dream" or "try". They follow classical vocal technique in
pronunciation, but without thought to a larger context beyond mere

They are the people who follow common but inherently optional
punctuation rules in writing, even as their sentences become
unintelligible: "I know the school offers programs in humanities,
arts and sciences, too. However, do these include programs in
'critical theory?'"

"Programs in humanities, arts-and-sciences... too." That's how it's

read. How about you write for clarity instead of mere approval

from common but optional convention? And, as for "critical
theory?"... What is the reason for quoting the question mark itself?
Have you thought about this optional rule's purpose?

Although, how dare I veer from currently trending but inane

"rules!" Or, I could think for myself and attempt to be an effective
communicator over a rule-follower, using quotes in an actually
intelligible way, like "this".

These people are those learning for tests *all* their lives, learning
rules to make the grade, make the raise, make the neighborhood
image, find success through discrete and concrete followable steps.
They know nothing of genuine interest in life and its parts. They
fear perceived failure far too much to learn to find enjoyment in
anything but prizes and compliments.

You Have Little

You know many facts

and have memorized many words,
but you have little idea of how to effectively apply them,
either in theory or in life;
you have little imagination.

A Symptom of Snobbery

A symptom of snobbery is lavish praise extolled on subjects or

people at least indirectly reflecting the praiser, a professor speaking
of a personally-studied "*wonderful* philosopher who wrote
*beautifully* clearly... just an *excellent*, *amazing*
philosopher... of... mathematics".

The Antidote for Snobbery

The "educated" snob offers that "You'd be a *fool* to think it less

than certain" that, assuming "a" and "b" as certain, the conclusion
"c" is certain as well, while a student humbly offers that claims
about deduction are still based on inference, and that any conclusion
can be imagined as indeed somehow wrong.

This "educated" snob will not listen or understand, befuddled to

only reassert his arrogant claim and more rudely.

The "uneducated" snob refuses to help investigate the disappearance

of change forgotten at a gas station, only repeating spitefully and
rudely, "I would have heard if there was an overage! I would have
heard if there was an overage!"

This "uneducated" snob will not listen or understand, befuddled to

flash mere empty, angry eyes.

To admit that there is more to learn is to question a thought and

those based upon it; none are reasonably certain, as neither is this
claim. To question is to avert snobbery for as long as you remain

Untouched Hands

Their hands desire but dread a touch

Locked into the prison of shame
That hides the harm along with the good
Of what could be
If only freed and inspected in the light
As worthy of embrace.

Frozen Flower Buds

Worlds apart for so long but for twin cages of desire once opened to
both a bud of a blossom of what could have been and the expected
feared punishment of even the most innocent, harmless, and

beautiful behaviors, I run from a full love and life lost and from
those who have and will further destroy me in the minds of others,
driving cautiously to the Hudson Bay and walking miles and miles
to find the cliff of my fears and fantasies that I was finally pulled to

I let myself fall and crash into a frozen state of blissful regret and
hope, dreaming that my pure intentions will be widely known
through my life's practical and artistic work, and that I might yet do
some good through what my life's history might still communicate.

Yet, as my limbs stiffen and my breathing stifles, I become a part of

peace as I rest in the belief that any good that has or will come from
me is forever framed in time and cannot be erased.

My last desire is simply for the good of all, including for my friend,
whom I speak to with my last breath, and whom I believe I will
continue to speak to through the life I have lived. With my last
breath, I wish him only the full love and life I have lost.

The bud of our blossom ends in a bittersweet rush of freezing blood

as somewhere another life begins, one like mine that will live to tell
a longer and brighter story.

The History of Unmet Human Longings

From the birth of man,

A bloodline of unrequited love
and desires unfulfilled,
An unfading disease of hollowing undeserved unrecognition,
The legacy of neglect, abuse, and dismissal,
of starving loneliness,
The unbroken custom of ignored important messages,
and all leaving the poisoning question,
Am I worth what I think I am?

Let the collective wound of the desperate throughout time bind and
comfort us.

A Tribute to the Unmemorialized

This is a modest memorial for all those whose lives have never been
highly publicly commemorated, either in yearly televised
remembrance services, prominent statues of honor, or any other
fashion, either because of relatively unremarkable forms of death,
chance, or lack of social status.

Rivers and Streams

Rivers and streams pouring from one day to the next,

overlapping one another with slowly morphing oldness to newness,
but with random jolts of surprise here and there,

I find myself reflecting on the days that continue to create me,

a subject standing amongst countless others concerning myself and
what I am a part of,
and I become lost considering the indefinite expanse of issues
that weigh on the prospect of improved life for me and

I will make connections,

but I wish for a default perspective lending to one question with one
a simplicity that can never be.

But some good can come from pushing through confused

some breakthroughs for a better life, however slightly better, even if
just for me,
but my more thoughtless days feel so much more secure.

I Don't See Art in the World

I don't see art in the world

While falling in my bed
Surrounded by walls upon walls pressing infinity away from me

Rushing from the Shower to Write

Rushing from the shower to write,

delayed by simple frustrations like a shower glove
catching on the hook I intend to hang it upon,
hindering my ability to recall all the ideas
that might make me look good and feel good.

A Hindered Ability to Communicate

To others,
my madness is most obviously manifested in a hindered ability to
even to communicate this madness,
a hindered ability likely stemming from never finding in my mind a
natural separation between my beliefs and how they could be
best communicated;
I then only guess at how this might occur in a normal brain before I
ever communicate.

But I find no dichotomy existing in my mind at all,

between what is subjective and what is objective,
between what is good and what is not,
between dream and wake,
between reality and desire.

I find none of these schisms,

just a wave of experiences swirled into one impenetrable pool.

But it is the attempt to understand schisms that causes most trouble.

Although, I wonder if this is understandable at all,

and if these words are only found to signify a hindered ability to

If I Were Forced to Change My Worldview

If I were forced to choose an alternative to what I actually believe

about reality that I could never change from again, it would be that,
since it seems that, no matter what I've believed about reality, that
that's what I've believed was real, reality is created by belief.

Personal Potions

Mix some truth and some wrong,

into a personal potion both tonically and toxically strong

Just What I Can Know and Measure

Taking just what I can know and measure,

all the thoughts my mind could think
a computer could list forever,
given infinite time or space.

Yet there are other minds

whose thoughts would list far longer;
and there might be creatures' minds
whose potential far outpaces man's.

Yet this universe's highest mind

is still constrained within its laws,
though written in the human mind
there's a thought of what transcends these laws.

There could be another universe
and with other laws that could even allow
minds still greater than the best in ours,
and there could be a third or even an infinite array,
and any or all extending forever.

But these are all just thoughts in one finite universe

in one of a finite species' finite minds.
Yet they still bring me as far from the fixed as I have yet to be,
while taking just what I can know and measure.

Disparate Corners

Disparate corners, compartments, divisions

unified into wholes of self-explanation, rounded self-existence
All my pursuits and interests,
and all that seems important,
wrapped into one great thing that I must only be a part of
No mere part of a self-explanatory whole would be as self-
explanatory and whole

Random Spots Pointed To

My body is not a wandering, hopeless soul.

I am this corner of the universe that I occupy,
as much as the stars are their own places,
though just as the smallest seemingly-empty space is its own place.

I am only a random spot to point to, like anything else is,

but I am not alone.
I am forever unlooseably threaded to all around me,
and everything.

Days Gone By

Days gone by frozen in time still lived but far from now as my heart
folds and whimpers in a rosed glow of yearning cherishes for a
shining purity naively holding itself as loosely as I now grasp for
what my learning is freed from ever staining.

The Bones and Brain

the bones and brain are less apt to heal than the skin and organs,
but the brain's mind can still learn
to heal the worries of even aching joints and dementia.

To Let Go

To let go of a stone
In favor of an outstretched hand,
To take the frightening path
Though known to be far better

No Story So Beautiful

No story so beautiful
as the pasts we carry,
each a curved and winding line
of warmth and desire to forget,
of detailed triviality and horror,
faded in parts and brightly vivid in others,
our stories as remembered,
which transcend the linearity of telling.

My Chronologically-Ordered Journal of Life Experiences

My chronologically-ordered journal of selected life experiences

is not the history of progression and regression of a self only
consistent in being a streaming perspective housing desires
and limitations.

The Story of the Dream

The story of the dream,

the dream of the story,
stories and dreams,
and dreams and stories,
hourglasses tucked away within hourglasses,
Don't look for meaning; it's a beautiful dream.


That will be fine,
Everything will work out,
I can help,
This is for you,
I will hold you when you need me to,
I love you,

Tragedy and Always-Lingering Good
While we are parked on the mountain's crest overlooking the sunset,
we play a dramatic pop song that gradually rises to a climax
accompanied by words I feel to reflect my past struggle for finding
a sense of truth. The song's narrative suggests the singer to be very
much like I had been, but with an added bonus of a relationship
which I had yet to find. But I realize, now that I have a relationship,
it seems my past is mended and as if I had had a relationship all
along; I now feel completed with the savior I had searched for for so
long, completed even to a point beyond my discovery of the ethical
system I've settled into. But, as I hear these words, I begin to
realize that I'm dreaming as I begin to see above myself. My view
slowly widens as I see the landscape around me and while slowly
tilting up toward the sky. And then, at the very start of the last
chorus of this pop song, I wake up. I hear the final words and
realize that I still don't have a relationship and that I am without a
person who would complete me, help me be happier and thus better
fit to serve others. I know I had to become my own savior before
being able to find another, but, now that I have become fulfilled in
the completion of my journey to find a workable ethical system,
along with living the rest of my life by that system, I need to
embark on the journey to find love.

Soon after, I am driving in the dark back from a trip to visit Matt
where he now lives in Central New York, and I talk to Mel and
Diana separately on the phone about how I just finished writing my
book of philosophy and now just need to type it up. I talk about
how I feel free now, and for the first time in years.

"Yup, I'm actually gonna type it upI think I'm actually gonna
finish it tonight... Okay... Bye..." Soon after I put the phone
down, I forcefully brake in reaction to a pickup truck coming at me
head-on in my lane; I swerve to avoid a collision but slip on the icy
road into a tree. After then, things slowly fade to black, but I can at

first see enough to notice a drunk man stumbling over to me.
Before reaching my car, he says "Oh my God what happened! I'm
sorry man!" After seeing brains and blood all over my face, though,
he walks away in shock. I hear him breathing nervously and
heavily. He leaves my door open and, while driving away, skims it
enough for it to slam shut.

The last thing I see is my last dream. Its perspective starts with a
close focus on my tombstone's epitaph but slowly widens and at an
angle quite higher than the conversing gravediggers next to it. They
talk of the meaning of my epitaph. One says that my mother said it
represented what I spoke of mostly in my last days. She would
have gone through at least my most recent writings from my
computer and papers in all sorts of bags, but she didn't want to
misinterpret my ideas. The details of these thoughts were lost, yet,
as one of the gravediggers comments, "I suppose anyone's life goal
can exude through to others, even without words". My
philosophical conclusion never published but hopefully
communicated through my life, at least toward its end, was to "Be
Effective for Yourself and Others".

While continuing to slowly widen, my dream's perspective soon tilts

up toward the soft sky. After a few seconds of a still-widening view
of the sky, sudden black coincides with a pounding of a bass drum
in some new emotional pop song that had been growing in volume
since the beginning of the scene, first heard coming from the
speakers of one of the gravedigger's radio.

Wherever there is poverty of mind and of spirit,
there you will find God, and in abundance.

The average traditionalist refuses to honestly intellectually

investigate the possible validity of what they initially instinctually
and/or culturally find reprehensible.

"Reason is so unreasonable!" says the self-deluded Evangelical.

There are no absolute enemies but those of reasoned decency.

The facts aren't all there is to consider.

Normalcy is a mind-eating, contagious disease.

Sad people take too many things seriously.

I fear reality is the termites behind the bark of a tree we think we


It's so easy and temporarily gratifying to point the finger in order to

justify our own unhappiness.

Time and energy spent on a seeming human tendency to blame

takes away from time and energy available for working to actually
improve one's own life and the lives of others.

Anger is addictive, and corrosive with time.

We are the assholes that we hate.

The most carefully-crafted and generally-thought beautiful human

art can be nothing to intelligent creatures somewhere who lack our

history of experiences and/or who have evolved differently.

A perfect society will not be approached through laws and other

but through effective education.

A perfect social system is not the highest goal,

but a symptom of attaining a happy world.

"Principled Tenacity"

Life is too rare to live insincerely.

Everything is really just one thing,

one thing so singular that it is as nothing.

Your struggle to know is already part of what you seek to know,

as thoughts in your brain are part of a fully-intraconnected reality.

All beautiful dreams are derived from reality; our greatest

imaginings are tied to our lives already.

What do you have now that you once so anticipated?

About the Author
Timothy Ballan is a composer and writer who currently resides in
Western Massachusetts. As a composer, Timothy mostly writes
accessible classical music. As a writer, Timothy mostly writes
plotless stories, atmospheric vignettes, poems, and non-pretentious
philosophy. When not composing or writing, Timothy teaches
private piano lessons and leads several musical groups in urban
schools and youth development programs. In his free time, Timothy
enjoys driving on country roads, hiking, watching scary movies, and
sharing time and an absurd sense of humor with his human and
mint-flavored bobby-pin friends.