Spirituality Past, Present and Future


Why are my thoughts drawn so much to the past
where pleasure and pain of remembering doth last?
How is it I struggle to ponder the Now
where life is most vivid but wrinkles my brow
in confusion and wondering just why there is haste
that moves days so swiftly — and they have no taste?
The future is also approaching with speed,
with oblivion’s grave and the thing I must heed.
So into the past I find anchor to slow
the pace of the march played by Now’s singing bow.
The music remembers the living while young
and vibrates the harp from which thinking hath sprung.
A time that was strengthened by youth in its age
of vigor and wishing outside of the cage
that aging doth bring with its ups and its downs,
its joys and its pleasures with smilings and frowns.
Experience teaches a spiritual tune
that prompts us to seek from the holiest rune
a whisper of God in our mid-life-tuned ear
that something else needed is coming quite near.

© 2000 Arthur Ruger


Ok Ok kiss and make up

Belonging to life is not yours to decide,
to deny you belong deny’s where you reside.
As the river and sea are both separate yet one,
all of life is within you — that’s how it was done.
The here and the now is just where you reside,
a part of totality — timeless inside.

Yesterday’s slave is unable to grow
but tomorrow’s free man is the one we should know.
Claim back to yourself all the portions that be
made from experience to portray all you see,
that leads to the knowing of earth as it is
as one with your being — not hers and not his.

Living and dying are one and the same;
one comes in then goes out as on plays the game;
a continuous round where the soul does expand
to growth and exploring to then understand
that moments are moments which leave and return,
for timely is timelessness making us yearn
to find with each other to whom we belong
and learning is trying without right or wrong.

Experience is primary and stands as the goal
to live life with power accepting the role
designed with specifically just you in mind
so God in entirety is what you will find.
The life and the death are but one and the same
as the sea is the river from whence we all came.

© Arthur Ruger, 2000

At Play With Life

Seven Years Old

Me and my brother: Cowboy Bob and the Rustler

The soul knows its secrets, the body does too.
With an infinite wisdom do both speak to you.
Listen inside, hear life whisper its plan
where to play – and play well – is one purpose in man.

Are not playing and working both one and the same?
Is not testing one’s thoughts a rule to the game?
Challenges question the game into play.
With reason and passion you choose where to lay

a piece from your thinking created within
to add to your portrait of playing to win.
To play is to work with a pleasure to find,
and working is playing with treasure in mind.

© Arthur Ruger, 2000

From Slumber

Awakening slumber from morning’s fresh light
doth beckon to me from my place in the night,
reminding me softly that I’m really here
with songs of the dawn just pleasuring my ear.

I’m never alone in my corner of living.
Abundance surrounds with a generous giving
of substance and form to the life that is mine,
while the soul in its sanctum continues to dine

on the outer sensations and feelings within,
exploring with wonder the vast mortal din.
Aloneness is longing — they’re one and the same
the spark of desire igniting God’s game.

He gives to us souls three-dimensional suits
from which tangibility grasps at the roots
of existence – but only in one of its forms,
self-limited, thereby providing its norms.

By such God presents the wise venue for learning
how being connects with our eternal yearning.
To yearn from aloneness suggests how it’s wrong
to perceive we’re in life but don’t truly belong

to what is not like us yet still plays its part
in harmonious cadence with all in our heart.
In a time and a place where neither exist,
my moment with God in His Heavenly Mist,

was a thought given breath from a source so divine
with a glimpse of perfection for which I would pine.
From that instant forever was longing that grew
to a loneliness wanting to know what God knew.

The longing was needed to gather the force
required for entry to mortality’s course.
My longing and loneliness reached thru the veil
to the soul of another who agreed to travail

and sacrifice pleasure to take on the pain
of easing my longing to return once again.
A woman then offered her tangible portal,
a gift born of love that I might become mortal.

The awakening slumber of morning’s fresh light
doth beckon to me from my place in the night.
I open my eyes with remembering smile
my longing has brought me to earth for a while.

© Arthur Ruger, 2000

Argument & Illness

Is what made me ill what afflicted you too?
Have you been where I’ve been, do you do what I do?
Is all illness a blight with but one common source
and the consequence meted to all in its course.

Does affliction with symptoms reflecting dis-ease
and the payment of pain and discomfort to tease
come upon us in ways quite the same unto all
with a sense that the sickness is blind in its fall.
Illness doth strike in dissimilar ways
tho the same by its label, it’s impact quite plays
different tunes in each person whose lives aren’t the same,
who’s choices are moves in life’s ongoing game.
Disagreement is sickness that’s blind in its prime
like disease, lack of harmony lives for a time
between souls in dispute who do struggle to win
what’s perceived as a victory though small as a pin.
We will learn by our feelings when we disagree
and find understanding to greater degree
in knowing our opposites, how we compare
when agreement is wanting or even quite rare.
If I know where you stand and the place is amiss
in my own set of values, your thoughts are not bliss.
They’re in contrast and emphasize clearly a split
in our thinking, reflecting that all does not fit
in a tidy container where values are set
in a limit of rightness or wrongness, but let
Mother Wisdom come forth in her powerful gown
of perception that differences don’t mean we drown
in a sea of our discord where winning is king
but where learning brings harmony, living and being.

© Arthur Ruger, 2000

A Favorite Song and writing poetry


In 1975 I was less than a year out of the military, having moved my family from Offutt Air Force Base (Omigosh, Nebraska) to Houston, Texas.

Later that year my grandfather passed away at age 87 and I drove the family to Idaho for the funeral. People who know me best would insist that I turned out more like my Grandfather than my father, who, for most of my adult life was distant and emotionally unavailable.

After the funeral, we left immediately from Idaho for Texas. Driving down the eastern front of the Rocky Mountains near Colorado Springs, I was in my own inner world thinking of my childhood, my grandfather who had been so much more a male role model than my father, and listening to after-midnight radio to help me stay awake and alert.

A song began that immediately captured my attention, A beautiful but simple melody with chords and phrasings that even I, a church organist for most of my life, recognized as something I could immediately sit down and replicate in my own style. The song was powerful and to my delight, the DJ must have felt the same way. When the song ended, he simply commented on its beauty and played it again.

That double dose left the imprint I needed to replicate the piece the next time I was at a keyboard and I then made it one of my all-time’s and have played it ever since – mostly for personal pleasure and internal spiritual battery-charging.

About 15 years ago my wife and I had joined with St. Johns Episcopal Parish in South bend, WA, and I became the alternate organist, playing generally every other week.

I remember sitting at the organ and turning the page to the next hymn which – although I knew the title of my favorite song – did not register when I read it. I started playing a portion as the introduction before the singing commenced and suddenly recognized the melody – and lost it.


I become so confused with the commercial version – having never known that this song was originally a Christian hymn – that I lost my place and the congregation lost its place. I could not play it as written in the hymnal and so closed the book and played simply played by ear – of course losing synchronicity with how the congregation had for years casually sung this hymn.

This tune is probably my all-time favorite. It came into my life due to the efforts of an artist who eventually became a Muslim and is more noted in today’s world for his “Muslimness” than the beauty of his music.

From Wikipedia : Morning Has Broken

… a Christian hymn with lyrics written by Eleanor Farjeon (1881–1965). It can be found in the hymnals of many denominations. It was written in Alfriston.

It has often been erroneously attributed to Cat Stevens, who recorded a popular version of the song on his album Teaser and the Firecat.

The familiar piano arrangement was recorded by Rick Wakeman, a classically trained keyboardist with the English progressive rock band Yes. Wakeman was not credited with nor paid for his contribution. In 2000, Wakeman released an instrumental version of “Morning Has Broken” on an album of the same title.

The tune to which it is normally sung is called “Bunessan”, based upon a Gaelic melody. Before Farjeon’s words, it was used as a Christmas carol with lyrics which began “Child in the manger, Infant of Mary”. The English-language Roman Catholic hymnal also uses the tune for the hymn “This Day God Gives Me”.

Morning Has Broken
As sung by Cat Stevens
lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the world
Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass
Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day

And this, a poem I wrote about music


Spiritual thought is often expressed in tones of our hearts,
harmonic with feeling, our thinking’s alive when music starts.

Music is magic, the language of spirit, whose gentle sounds remind
of moments with feeling with words insufficient to help us find
a passion forgotten, a pleasure remembered, a tear once shed
in times of before when alone in our mind, our spirit was led
to places of vision where quick understanding of something profound
was ours to enjoy while feelings exploded in musical round.

When musical thoughts come a knocking to enter our feelings of pain,
they bring in their baskets rememberings sweet which had dormantly lain
asleep until needed, a gift from the past come alive in the now
to comfort the child who lay sleepless from worry and not knowing how
to summon the mother who sang oh so sweetly to bring on relief
when mortal confusions and misunderstandings were harboring grief.

We summon our music from memories laden with wisdom of old
when sweetness of melody, power of drum re-ignited the cold
silent flame of desire and the vigor for life in whatever is dealt
a soul up and dancing when hearing the tones for which courage is felt.

Love for the music that dwells within is a mark of wisdom’s presence.
Being wise as the serpents yet gentle as doves is your music in its essence.
Songs of the world dance with songs of the heart to oppose the burden of fear,
with music you more than just hear the Great Father — you feel his presence near.

© 2000 Arthur Ruger

My Secret Thoughts


Thoughts are the blueprints from which my words flow;
the source of the questions of what I would know

about life’s many lessons and where I fit in
to wend on the arduous path where I’ll win

the gifts of sweet Wisdom who shares willingly
with those who seek goodness and what that might be.

My thoughts drive my words which provide me a tool
to bring to reality what gives me rule

and a sense of relationship with all the lives,
the knowing of such is all that life gives.

© Arthur Ruger, 2000

Poetry in Motion

Something I wrote 14 years ago when retirement was never gonna get here.

The Form and Substance of Idleness

The body becomes idle by command of the soul
thru the mind and thinking that’s part of the whole.
Tis fear and doubt that hampers the will
by accepting an emptiness work might fulfill.
The Mother of all’s a great teacher with time
for planting and reaping a harvest sublime
in coming to know there’s a time and and place
to work or to idle with lack of disgrace.
Disgrace of the spirit’s what weakens our souls
leaving famine and drought to carve large gaping holes
in the form and the substance of quality life
torn to wavering shreds by the unholy knife.
When form becomes rigid, the style follows suit
and lazy is born out of idleness’s root
to thrive as a cancer giving rise to the doubt
that it’s better to work than to make do without.
The mind in its home is reluctant to quit
so long as to work is to make our life fit,
for the time and the seasons with wisdom we’ll know
that from idle to lazy is against Nature’s flow.
The garden of spring still awaits its renewal
tho summer be here, the unplowed has no jewel.
How long will you go with the soil left untilled
distracted by trivia with no purpose filled.
While anger doth dim the light’s life-giving boon
does reason enlighten to brightness of noon.
Take reason abroad where the field lies inert
unturned and unused serving nothing but dirt.
Turn over your anger and then plant the seeds
that reason facilitates in meeting your needs 
to overcome idleness beset so with fright
by working your land from the dawn until night.
With reason and love you must plant your desire
to blossom with nourishment undimmed by your ire
and free to break forth to a joyous age
ignited by love quite untrammeled by rage.
Your wisdom bears fruit as by reason you’re wise
and discern where your passion expresses no lies.
To be idle in sulking will no harvest bring.
No time to be wasted with anger as king.
Make peace with your brother, let bygones be bye
for life’s much to short to live mad, then to die.
© Arthur Ruger, 2000