Our Gift To You

Our Gift To You

Happy Holidays. Our gift to you is a free Kindle copy of Allan’s latest book, ‘YOUR PLACE AT THE TABLE.’

Expectations

Expectations

What you thought was, wasn’t.
What you think is, isn’t.
It’s like putting out
a new idea, but the last
words won’t come
and your listener
completes it for you.
Yes, Yes, you exclaim.
Until you arrive you can’t know
the “that’s it,” and perhaps

Messenger

Messenger

Behold that old sink in a small enterprise, hardly
a centerpiece effort, but still taking up space in a
corner of the warehouse.

A wire soap dish hangs from the faucet and a ragged
gray towel has its place dangling from a rusty rack at
the sink’s side, and the faucet drips.

Do we talk about the faucet presenting itself as a
still-life scene, or the drip or just the sink—as its own story?

Your Place At The Table

Your Place At The Table

Tired of being on teams that don’t work and waste your time? You know there are many teams that are successful, but you, and lots of other people, don’t know the secret to their success. Simply put, teams are essential. Without a team, there can be no comprehensive vision. Every member of your team should have a contribution to make or s/he doesn’t belong at the table. 

The average executive spends 17 hours a week in meetings and another six hours preparing for them. Ugh! Truth told, the only meeting worse than the one you’re invited to is the one you’re NOT invited to. Your goal should be to make a contribution to every meeting you attend.

Bond

Bond

An old friend
came to visit—
a few days with
one who shared
grade school times;
like a brother he
calls me and
I am moved.
Stretches of years
from time-to-time—

Caps

Caps

Caps are back in fashion
in town, especially for men.
This because baseball caps
and their offspring
are de rigeur among financial types
strutting their informality
along Wall and LaSalle,
crowning their tasteful top coats
and sensible shoes with this
regular guy adornment.

Fear

Fear

Is fear our most impeding quality?
I say yes. True,

we’re taught rightly from birth
that fear can serve us well.
We know those times and
circumstances. So be it. Yet 

what undermines us is fear’s adult
falsehood—epidemic among us—

Arriving

Arriving

We know each other,
not really well.
I come to your office.
Before I sit down,
you ask if I’d like coffee.
I say yes.
We go to the alcove
together and fill up.
When we return
there’s the agenda—

Chicago Magazine (April 1985)

Chicago Magazine (April 1985)

31 years ago this month, an interview with me was published in Chicago Magazine. I talked about finding that big job, how to land it, and how to make a success of it by challenging the system. Still has relevance today.

Incidentals

Incidentals

On my way to a word
in the dictionary,
I found another
and another.
How life in whole
is like this.
e went to dinner
in Port Crouesty in Brittany
and as we sipped our drinks
on this Bastille Day

Knot

Knot

What is it
that troubles me,
that won’t come clean?
It’s an irritant
in itself,
compounding the situation.
If my closest friend
came to me with
the same complaint
I would have

Presence

Presence

If a believer
in living with grace
with the way things are
at the moment,
then it seems
the day after
is the one that trains.
How the heart settles
after bliss,
the body in whole

Doughnut

Doughnut

It was an act
that captivated me,
at least the first time,
when I saw it on
the old Ed Sullivan show.
The man with
the spinning plates—
how he kept them going—
how nervous we got
when one, then the other,

Starbucks: The Way I See It

Starbucks: The Way I See It

Starbucks had a cup campaign a while ago called, "The Way I See It," featuring insightful quotes from personages all around the world. These special cups were intended to create community, curiosity and conversation in the stores and I was honored to be #296 in a group of about 300...

Trace

Trace

The light of the sun each day
Breath in and out each moment
Functioning of our bodies
till illness or death intervene
Vision to see the way
Hearing to absorb danger messages
and the gifts from wise lips
The rolling of rivers and oceans . . .
         and on it goes—
A list of chaos and

Mortality

Mortality

I’m working at
feeling how it is
with a snowman
being thawed to death.
I’m thinking I would
like the pace,
the orderliness of it all.
I would have felt
the joy at being rolled
into being by the children.

Palms

Palms

San Diego, hit by a storm
is a city of joy.
There is a drought
and it still goes on.
The rain came as
a zephyr off the ocean,
beat on our skylight
like a bad drummer
and sucked me in
as I turned my ear.

Kairos

Kairos

She prepared.
She cared.
She wanted
more than anything
to shine,
yet it must be admitted,
she wanted even more
than that anything
that it would work.
Work it did—

Startled

Startled

Herein, reliance—
of the brief account
of my Aunt Maggie,
star citizen of a hamlet in
Paris, Alabama, 1953.
She was the only white
in this rutted road life
baked six inches deep
in summer,
mud slop in winter.