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A friend's inspiring poetry is riding PA buses...So,"The bus came by and I got on..."

A poet-friend Mary C. M. Phillips just sent me a link to yet another SPACEious place where her word gifts are being shared...with all interested bystanders like in a Long Island gazebo (*)...and now, with strap hangers inside PA transit buses...SO, hold onto the rail or strap...and read on...

Along the route, you'll see how buses have played an important "ROLL" in my 76 years...

Mary's online coffee house

Here's her site:

And here's the link to her poem-on-the-bus:

Mary's YouTube "bus" Route

Mary and friends...shown here with fellow musician and husband Mark Phillips.

[from the description] WWBA is delighted to present Spoken Word Reading with Mary C. M. Phillips. She recently launched her new CD Music of the Forest: Spoken Word Poetry. Special guests include two special guests: musician, Paul Ammendola (Red Words) and poet, Linda Trott Dickman (Road Trip and Robes). Music of the Forest is a metaphysical romance. An escape. A journey from subway-to-forest floor via seventeen offerings of poetry and music. Listening to poetry is a bit like stepping into a forest. We enter an environment in which our hearts may be stirred by a smattering of enlightened words - as if we’ve found a place in which we feel we belong. Poetry is the language of love, the sword of the psalms, the blade that cuts through the noise so that LIGHT can enter in…and somehow be understood.

Red Rose Transit buses in Lancaster County

Here's Mary's offering (lyrics are also below this image):

"Like Jonah this poem was rescued from a sea of despair

when grace plucked it up from the deep

to carry it inside the belly of a bus

just to tell you this.

Don't give up.

Inhale. Swim".

Mary C. M. Phillips

Here's the bus outfit that's carrying her and her fellow bards through the streets of Lancaster County, PA. I like their slogan: "We Move People in Our Community"...

...Breathing Underwater...

The closing...inspiring words of Mary's work led here...

About 12 years ago, I was led to the recovery rooms after reading Fr. Richard Rohr’s “Breathing Underwater: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps.” I never had an alcohol problem…BUT, cocaine could have been my undoing...where it not for Eileen's loving challenge to me: "It's either ME or your crazy behavior!"

After reading about how to breathe underwater, I applied my sociology degree, and went to my first meeting to see what “they” (alcoholics, addicts) were like. As I sat and listened to their stories, I realized that I had a lot of their disordered thinking, so, I stayed for 2 years. I stopped attending when we left that church that we had been part of for over 30 years.

Then, about a year and a half ago, on one of my daily rounds around our neighborhood, I met a neighbor who invited me to go with him to one of his regular meetings - every Thursday from 11-11:55 AM at the Witches Brew Coffee House in West Hempstead – one block from our home. I participate every week…so I will continue to pay attention to my thoughts… “take captive every thought…” before it captures me...

Poem by: Sr. Carol Bieleck, RSCJ (from an unpublished work)

Read by: Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM

"The bus came by and I got on..."

From one of my favorite "DEAD" YouTubers...

"Spanish lady come to me, she lays on me this rose

It rainbow-spirals 'round and 'round, it trembles and explodes

It left a smoking crater of my mind I like to blow away

But the heat came 'round and busted me for smiling on a cloudy day"

"Coming, coming, coming around

Coming around, coming around, in a circle

Coming, coming, coming around

Coming around, coming around, in a circle

Escaping through the lily fields, I came across an empty space

It trembled and exploded, left a bus stop in its place

The bus came by and I got on, that's when it all began

There was Cowboy Neal at the wheel of the bus to never ever land

Coming, coming, coming around

Coming around, coming around, in a circle

Coming, coming, coming around

Coming around, coming around, in a circle"

--The Other One - Grateful Dead

My life's bus version

  • My first car...was a bus...'65 VW surf bus

  • I once worked as a dispatcher for Varsity Coach-NYC's largest school bus company

  • I drove a mini-bus for a Montessori school in Forest Hills, NY

  • I made 4 cross-country trips to that "warm California sun"...2 with friends, 1 with my younger brother Mike...and a 4th: "TO:" with my parents when I moved to California in 1973...and "FROM:" with some of my sisters in 1975 when I returned to NY

  • there are extended versions of these tales in other posts on this site

Fellow surfer, Deadhead, and my younger brother Mike had this '61 Bus:

My BUS had flowered curtains & hand-carved wooden bumpers because of the books I read...

Not a avid reader, but the ones I picked expanded my vision...Among these early consciousness-raisers were Ken Kesey, Tom Wolfe and Ram Dass.

Quoted in Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968)

--a book I "grokked" because I was livin' the adventure...Still AM!!!

My BUS had flowered curtains & hand-carved wooden bumpers because of the places I traveled...

Here with Mom & Dad who accompanied me when I decided to move to California in the Summer of '73.

Next image shows my bus's original color until, with the help of a neighborhood guy, we repainted it 1970 Cadillac Green. Kevin, a fellow DeadHead from Tennessee, who I first met when I worked for Avis Rent-a-Car, is sure to love this image...

My BUS had flowered curtains & hand-carved wooden bumpers because of toys I still play with & foods I eat...

Shelf above my writing desk...

My BUS had flowered curtains & hand-carved wooden bumpers because of a band I followed...Or, we're they following me?

Steve, a fellow surfer, V Dub owner and also the guy who taught me "to play with cars" (became my CAReer path)...Steve used to say,

"There's a Grateful Dead song for every occasion."

Seeing the bus company's's one for our online turntable...

The rose is a ubiquitous symbol of the band and its followers. Often combined with a skull, the combination reminds us of:

...the reality of the passage of time...

"Come hear Uncle John's Band

Playing to the tide

Come with me or go alone

He's come to take his children home

It's the same story the crow told me

It's the only one he know

Like the morning sun you come

And like the wind you go

Ain't no time to hate

Barely time to wait

Whoa, oh, what I want to know

Where does the time go?"

--Uncle John's Band - Grateful Dead

Here's a favorite children's choir from Barton Hills, TX performing "Uncle John's Band"...Note the symbols in their artwork"

As well as many invitations to more fully appreciate the life we have...

Bobby and Donna are nailing this Rose...

Sunshine daydream

"Walking in the tall trees

Going where the wind goes

Blooming like a red rose

Breathing more freely

Ride out singing, I'll walk you in the morning sunshine

Sunshine daydream

Sunshine daydream

Walking in the sunshine


Grateful DEADucation

For "furthur" DEADucation...inhale the wisdom and aromas of David Dodd's reflections on the rose. He is my Subject Matter Expert on the band. His piece is loaded with imagery from multiple cultures, religions and spiritual perspectives...

The Rose


"single rose is, in essence, a symbol of completion, of consummate achievement and perfection. Hence, accruing to it are all those ideas associated with these qualities: the mystic Centre, the heart, the garden of Eros, the paradise of Dante, the Beloved, the emblem of Venus and so on."

"...Soon the mysterious rose, sacred to Venus in earlier times, became the flower of the Virgin Mary, who herself became the Rosa mystica. The temple of Jupiter Capitolinus became St. Peter's, the temple of Juno Lucina the church of S. Maria Maggiore, and the processions honouring the Mother of God walked on rose petals, just as the processions carrying the images of the pagan gods had done." (p. 43)

"A floral symbol sacred to Venus and signifying love, the quality and nature of which was characterized by the color of the rose. A symbol of purity, a white rose represented innocence (nonsexual) love, while a pink rose represented first love, and a red rose true love. When held by a martyr, the red rose signified 'red martyrdom' or the loss of life, and the white rose 'white martyrdom' or celibacy. According to Ambrose, the thorns of the rose were a reminder of human finitude and guilt as the roses in the Paradise Garden had no thorns. A thornless rose was an attribute of Mary as the Second Eve." (p. 296)

IF...Heaven has an entrance exam...

I'll give you a tip...There's only ONE question...and it AND THE ANSWER are contained -- not in some DaVinci Code or Celestine Prophecy...but right here in this tune...

...So, let's all prepare for our FINALS...


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