The Victim


“We shall be friends to those
heartbroken and in sorrow.
We shall share their sorrow.” ~Rumi

There is always one more victim

When rescued no longer alone.

Though the victim is finally rescued

The rescuer’s work is not done

The rescuer also a victim

Has been so all along.

They both become better victims.

Their lives become as One.

With Steps to become better victims

Their lives are no longer their own.

Their lives are no longer their own.

Their lives have become as One.


By Lee Broom. From Leadership. A Love Story.


The Importance of Frank and Nako.


At the peak of my ten-K days I had two jogging buddies who accompanied me on evening runs. In earlier days I ran alone at dawn, usually five to ten miles, depending on my schedule. I lightened the load when I acquired these small companions.

These pals of mine were Frank and Nako.

Frank, a black toy poodle who never had to worry about getting a sissy-cut, was named after St Francis of Assisi. He was stoically silent when I rescued him from the pound and completely unaware of my presence. This curly-headed little critter seemed to be much more interested in the huge, dark, big-dog stool near the back of his cell. It had apparently been contributed by a previous tenant. I was informed by the doggie warden that when this little guy was first discovered running the streets of Phoenix, he was wearing a mute collar. He was arrested and interred and sentenced to death in a gas chamber unless someone adopted him before his ninety day appointment with the county canine killer arrived.

“If you don’t mind” I implored, “would you bring him around and introduce us, please?”

Instant friends, I took Frank home to present as a birthday present to Terri. But Frank eventually became my jog dog as Terri’s enthusiasm for the evening ritual began to wane. I kept my pal on a leash at first, until he knew the way. As his behavior became more predictable I released the tether allowing him to run leashless, gradually increasing his free time.

One evening as Frank and Terri and I started across a busy intersection we heard a strange cat sound from about a hundred feet to our rear.  Meow ow ow ow, Meow ow ow ow. It was Nako (Japanese for cat). Nako was Terri’s pet. Offensively independent, this strange animal and I were becoming very attached to each other.  The three of us turned to investigate. Each long meow which sounded more like a howl was interrupted every time one of Nako’s paws hit the pavement. Meow ow ow ow.

She was apparently stating her refusal to be left behind and demanding to be part of the team. Very assertive, this kitty; she never experienced the tethered restraint but she would soon demonstrate that she knew exactly what to do.  We waited for her to join us.

A year or so later we sold our Phoenix home and moved to Scottsdale. On our first evening in our new environment, Terri and I left Frank and Nako locked in the back yard after having jogged next to us daily for more than two years. This was our first evening in our new home and Terry had resumed our evening habit. Being in a strange neighborhood and respectful of the new pet control rules contained in the CC & R’s we decided to go it alone this first evening. Five minutes from home we heard this heart-rending doggie howl that just had to be Frank. We ran back home and opened the gate and in one and three-quarter seconds I had a wiggly armful of doggie as Frank leaped through the air like a refugee from an acrobatic dog act with a weekend Gypsy Circus. Nako greeted Terri by rubbing against her legs, purring like a buzz saw and we all enjoyed a brief reunion. Frank was no longer mute. His voiced approval and disapproval of every family event took some getting used to.

A year later Nako and Frank and I were jogging on the Scottsdale Country Club golf course, late at night; Terri who was no longer part of the team and homesick for a previous way of life had returned to familiar climes.

As we ran geysers suddenly erupted and Nako was blasted by the full force of a stream of water meant to arc over a twenty-foot span. Nako was only a foot from the sprinkler head when it struck and was knocked five feet through the air. She hit the ground running and disappeared, never to return. Or so I thought.

Some months later I was entertaining former  team-member Terri, who was asking me about our Big City Kitty. As I was telling her the story we heard a familiar sound.

Meow ow ow ow, Meow ow ow ow.

I miss them. I really do. I jog on a treadmill. I live in a condo. Maybe an iguana.

Who, Not What (by Zippety Zot) Repost from Amo Apr 27 2012



The WHAT of life is found ‘neath the neck.

The WHO resides in the head.

What I want to know by zippety zot

Is Who is this in my bed?

The body’s familiar, it has two legs.

But who’s at the other end?

A woman it seems, she’s not a horse.

So what path down was I led?

This must be a dream, of course that is so.

Another one’s coming and

Off I shall go

I’m going

I’m going

I’m gone.



To Rock or Not to Rock the Boat.


I read Life of Pi yesterday. It was captivating. After all, I do enjoy reading about myself, don’t you? The last few pages sounded like the last four years of my life. The Rest of the Story sounded like all the rest of my life, save for a couple of details (I am all the characters).

Like Pi, I am the tiger, the hyena, the ship’s cook and the creator of my own mythology. I am the inquisitor, the carnivorous algae and the mother who would die for her offspring. I’m the irresponsible father who allowed his teenage son to help supervise this most dangerous of all endeavors.

Like everyone, I am Slave to my Beliefs. though I must insist that I have a higher regard for the esteem of self honesty however illusive, than to the accuracy of an ever-changing Group Myth. This innately creative facet of human behavior was made clear in the final chapter as Pi was being interviewed by representatoves of the sinking of the ship, the result of which was the prospect of an ever-changing reality, not only in Pi’s future but in his past.

Also displayed in this chapter of varying realities was the united expression of shared belief as dominate any kind of group activity and which sought to exert control over this brave teen. These skeptical interviewers sought facts, not stories. Had Pi been interviewed by a Hollywood writer rather than these insurance motivated fact finders, this story might have gone differently………..or “Not”.

And I, like Pi, in order to getalong with the singalong, often hear myself reducing my music to the basic chord structure in an attempt to honor not only myself but my groups and the individuals within.

After all we are all in this boat together, aren’t we? (Sorry, that just slipped out.)



The Automat


I saw a silent film a few years ago. I don’t remember the title; it was probably about fifteen minutes in length. The photraphy was shot in black and white. It was not a pre-talkie; the silent feature and the lack of color were important special effects. The story would have to support itself:   

And  the cameras begin to roll……………….

An expensively attired, middle-aged woman is seen entering The Automat. She peers into several windows, puts money into the slot, removes her food selection – let’s say it was pork chops and broccoli; she spots an empty table and seats herself. Then, realizing that she failed to select eating utensils she rises from her seat and walks to the counter containing the necessary extras. As she returns to her table she sees a man in a shabby suit seated there, eating her food. Several expressions cross her face in quick succession; surprise, anger, pity and finally a sort of resolve. She seats herself opposite the haggard looking and apparently hungry, consumer and again displays the conflicting emotions. Should I allow him to eat my food(?) she seems to ask herself, or should I stand my ground(?).

She places her utensils on the table and reaches for the plate of food. As she begins to eat, her newly acquired dinner companion extends an arm and rescues his meal. They look at each other, he with curious eyes, she with the look of strength and determination. She repeats her previous performance as does the ragged gentleman on the other side of the booth. What now(?) they seem to wonder.

Eventually, it is the man who appears to have the problem solved. Clearly, he is not going to relinquish his claim on the meal but he also appears to be something of a gentleman in spite of skid row appearance. He places the plate of food at a point halfway between them and motions for her to partake of some nourishment. She slowly and with a cautious look and manner, complies. He then carves the pork chop and with the edge of his knife moves a few pieces in her direction. With his fork he places a morsel of meat into his mouth and motions for her to do the same.

What, I wondered would motivate this woman to give in so easily? What would I have done in a similar situation? In a matter of only a few minutes the food is nearly consumed by these two people. She moves the plate toward her dinner partner and rises to leave. He thanks her with his eyes and with the wave of his hand and a final tap of the napkin on the corner of his mouth seems to be saying “No thank you, I couldn’t possibly eat another bite. Thank you for joining me; have a wonderful day.”

She returns his smile. They turn their backs to each other and depart, each exiting in different directions. As she passes the booth situated directly behind the location of her meal of moments ago, she notices a plate of pork chops and broccoli with no utensils; there was no one seated before it.

Who, What, Where, When, How. (Never, Never ask Why)


Who asked that question; who wants to know?

What exactly is the question?

Where were you when this question first occurred to you?

When did this first occur to you?

Why is this so important to you? (Never mind.)

How did you happen to develop this train of thought? (There, that wasn’t so difficult.)

Have you developed any theories in your quest for data?

Is there a point beyond which you will cease to wonder?

Does it bother you that all your friends have the answers to these questions?

Does it bother you that your friends haven’t a shred of evidence to support their answers to your questions?


This is not a poem, Lee.

This does not exist.

This does not, you silly thing

Reveal more than the gist

Of anything.

Be still


Grab your camera.


Who, What, Where, When, How. (Never, Never ask Why)
Self inflicted monologue and not-a-poem by Lee Broom.

Singin' the bleus.