Too much this’n and not enough that’n
Too much pitchin’ and not enough battin’
All that bare headin’, and too little hattin’
Too much mud slingin’, and not enough back pattin’
All this finger pointin’ and very little hand shakin’
We need more singin’ and a passel more caring
A lot less cringin’ and a whole lot more daring
A bunch more listening and no more cursin’ and swearing
Less walkin’ alone and instead, strollin’ with a hand to hold
Too much hatin’…too much of even the liberal use of that word
More compassion, more holdin’ and givin’
Less livin’ like we’re dyin’ and best to be dyin’ to be livin’, and lovin’…and cherishing
Too much gamblin’, and too little faithin’
Way more mindless chatter than old fashioned prayin’
Too much leavin’, and not near enough stayin’
All this actin’ up and hardly any behavin’
Hey friends…I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin…

(a fresh original, ’cause I was a little bored, Matty)

Sometime next week will mark the passing of a very relevant occasion in this life of mine. On January 31, 1987 I was arrested for a DUI on my way home from a birthday celebration for a friend. Several days later, facing all the collateral damage of accepting the charges, losing my license, and also favor of my status as custodial parent to my then five year old son…I chose to plea for a deferred sentence, a two year program to heal my soul, and make a fresh start. On or about February 9th, 1987 I was at lunch with an old friend. I turned down a cocktail with my meal and instead had a simple soda water with a twist of lime. I informed the waitress in a private moment that I’d decided to be clean and sober. She said she had recently done the same…So began my journey of real life, real emotions, real tilling of the soul that had been my home for growth, or the lack thereof.
I knew without a doubt that if I had chosen to continue on the way I had been, that my life at a mere 28 years would soon be over and my child would have been fatherless.
And I never touched another drop. Not for 29 years now, over half of my life. Is my life great? Sometimes. Is my life easy? Rarely. Is my life a windfall of great earnings and opulence? Hardly. Have I found the love of my life? Many times. What I do have in the bank and in my heart is life itself. One day, sometimes one hour at a time. I have no guarantees other than the fact time will continue to pass, with or without me.
Is my health well and worry free? Far from it. But it is MY health to be concerned over and struggle with, come what may. Good or bad, it is me, alive and among those walking above ground. I have overcome much difficulty and challenge. Much adversity and frustration. I still am. But the key here, is that I’m alive, striving, trying, and trying to make the world around me better. The lives of those around me better.
I still have issues with alcohol. More specifically; those in my life who drink and are overflowing with issues and toxicity because of their intake. Without having had a drop in near to thirty years, I have fought with the demons of those others. I have used their ineptitude as my incentive to continue on sober. I have no issues with happy drinkers. I actually prefer some folks loosen up a tad and join me in my mostly jovial state…and a couple libations often do the trick.
I’m not against alcohol per se. What I am against is its abusers, and their ultimate abuse of others. I hate mean drunks. Remorseless drunks. Rationalizing drunks. Blame passing drunks. Omniscient drunks (who by the way are anything but). Belligerence drunks. Controlling, bullying drunks. Angry drunks. Drunks in vehement denial that they are in fact drunks, and are of the opinion they have their drinking “under control”. There is a word for that state. And I call it, “BULLSHIT”.
February is the month I celebrate my most relevant birthday. The one that I chose healing, more sound mental health, kindness to others, to listen, to care, to be a part of the solutions, and not the problem. But mostly, for the past twenty nine years, I have chosen LIFE itself, over certain death and the collateral damage that mine would put upon others. My life is far from pain free, but it is in fact; life. And that’s a fine place to begin again, every morning. Matthew Lyle.

In my corner, it is often dark, mostly simple, chilled and stark. In my corner, I’m not so sure what to think of it all…or whether to look to the distance or turn and face the wall. In my corner I wonder if I ought to seek refuge there, or to seek escape.
In my corner, I often see you and some others there. And I make note of those absentees. Like a storm cloud off in the distance, some avoid the idea of weathering the storm, and yet others seek it and offer shelter from the deluge…and wait it out with the others.
In my corner there are seldom tears. But in the quiet might go unnoticed, a silent wail and a quiet vigil there. In my corner lays a stack of words…some I’ve shared and some unheard. In my corner one sits on the floor and stands by chair.
In my corner, I’m often not there. Instead I can be found in yours, where I see all these things and even more. In my corner, you are welcome, but you may have to linger in wait, until I return from theirs…Matthew.

She: I’ve been working hard to not fall down. It’s been tough.
he: I felt broken today. Took the night off of work
she: I know the feeling. I took two days off last week. Spent one of the days mostly just crying.

he: …and you know, when we’re doing God’s work and do fall sometimes…we land very softly. Angels keep us from crashing down.
Then, just act as if you meant to be there…like you were picking something up. And a feather will appear in your hand.
Angels lose feathers. Especially Grandma Angels. I found one in the dash of my little car.


she: I like that
he: Of course you do…because it is true. AND I just now wrote it just for you.
But I may share it with the world. ‘Cause that’s how God works.
Go and have a good night. Your Uncle loves you thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much! (arms opened all the way)
she: Ditto. Sleep well.

he: Of Angels and feathers; that’s all the proof I need.


Looking forward, and hoping to find only all that’s ahead of me…and not what’s been left behind.


Just a few hours of snow, and some rains that did freeze. A frigid wind, that faded to breeze. A bit of slippin’ and slidin’, then hot cocoa did the storm to ease.
Then came dawn, and the promise of sun. A morning of skating, then the promise was won.


the melt…

A not so distant memory of the chill that I felt. Now in the moment of noon, nature sings a chorus from the eaves and trees. She sings the songs of the melt.
Stay warm my friends, in your heart and your cheeks.
For the love of the sun and the Son. Have a glorious winter afternoon, Matty

If you should strain to listen for me on a soft warm breeze, you won’t hear me. But I’ll find you when you aren’t listening. And I shall whisper, I shall sing with you…our favorite songs. I’ll read a line from that book; the one that we made our own. Don’t listen for me, and I’ll find you no matter where the breezes may blow. They will always carry me to you.


…I’ll be on the breeze

When you walk some days, to nowhere special, and have little on your mind, except the tasks of the day, a call to make, a bill to pay…I’ll join you then and put a song in your heart. And your step will grow lighter and a smile will come sneakin’ and make your eyes brighter. And even if others are watching, right there on the sidewalk of a crowded avenue…that’s me there with you, and we’ll dance. Just like before, as it always has been. I’ll be your happy feet, you and me together friend.

dancin shoes

…happy feet!

Come midnight, I’ll rustle your curtain and be the song that fills your room when you first turn on your tunes. I’ll be subtle. I’ll be loud. I’ll be a whisper in the midst of a crowd. I’ll be there on a misty morn…hiding in plain sight. Walk with me and speak aloud. I will echo your words, especially when you sing.


Hidin’ in plain sight…

I’ve taken your love with me, and promise to share it with others. That way they can return it to you over time. You’ll know it when the moments come…please open your heart again. I’m always right here.
My heart still beats, my eyes still shine. My face still lights up with a smile when you cross my mind. I still read the pages time and again. And sing along with every line. Please do the same, with others too. I know you’ll always remember me, and I shan’t forget a thing about you. But do sing, and do dance. Love can be found most anywhere, so do keep your heart open, and soft. It will find you, as you found me. Don’t listen for me. I’ll find you no matter where the breezes may blow. They will always carry me to you. I love you so…

I’m not sad where I am. I am whole and filled always with all the love that comes my way. The breezes are sweet, the rains are warm. The flowers have the love of morning dew. And regardless of where I wander, the sun is always peeking my way, and I always find home ahead of the storm. Be glad for me. I’m here for you, and I’ll let the love overflowing me here find its way to you.


Princesses only please…

Celebrate the times whenever you please. I’ll see you one day, but not real soon. Bring your best shoes, and a pair of princess mouse ears, and your smile too love…’cause here, there are no tears. And we’ll dance, just like before…See ya!

(penned by Matty Landsman)

Souls and soles…

Perhaps souls and soles are one and the same, if one might walk a while in another’s soles, and has opened his mind and heart…then one has truly walked in the soul of another…Empathy is a divine thing, of that I am convinced friend. I’m not so sure if your shoes or mine are dustier today, but I am sure that you’ve touched mine; sole and soul. MLL

Adieu to Jordyn…

My three days with Jordyn Kube were the most generous and rewarding in kind. Jordy girl, you were so kind, so strong and oh so sweet. I shall gladly never be the same for the gifts of your embrace and trust on your last few days here.

Jordyn Kube ~ 1990-2015

Jordyn Kube ~ 1990-2015

I wasn’t in the room when the merciful Angels came, but I felt a gentle breeze precede them there, and heard them softly call your name. And those last few times I held you close to me, you squeezed my fingers tightly whilst I quietly hummed “In the Arms of the Angels”, so only those Angels, you, and I could hear. Jordy, Jordy, so sweet Jordy…a thousand times I thank you for knowing and showing your sweet love. For this I am eternally grateful. Love, Matty

Where Jordyn lives…

There is a light in a yonder window, that glows there all night long. There is a life behind that window blanketed in love, in care, and tiny hour songs. There is a breeze that softly blows, from Angel’s wings and heaven knows…a kindness abides where that window glows.

There’s a collective laughter, a buoyant prayer, a knowing sigh, and a whisper there. A quiet wishing, an asking why. And friends, and friends and family gather. They come and go and return anew. They hope and hold and support one another. I see a place where the window glows, and love abounds, and heaven knows…

And come what may, our Jordyn knows that faith prevails and the storms that rumble and rain that falls, are a reminder that tomorrows hold blossoms and life springing always in the desert beyond that window…where she prays to that same God for a life well of her own.

Behind that always illuminated pane and door, gather aunts, and cousins, and kinfolk there. Gather friends and family and well wishers there. Always a full table and a brimming glass, a fresh course of laughter and reassuring smiles exchanged. Where an air of hope and miracle reside…Perhaps the miracles are the life and love behind that softly lit window there…

And when I move away beyond that door, I shall never be same. Never so strong, nor so weak. Never so faith filled, or question filled. Never so solemn nor amazed.There is a breeze of that softly blows, from Angel’s wings and heaven knows…a kindness abides where that window glows.

I love your family my friend Kaye. Matty