PLW (Peace, Love and Wisdom)
I was born in Los Angeles in 1938 to Jewish parents and raised in
California until my last year in high school. My parents divorced when I
was six years old and both my brother and I were raised by our mother who
had great difficulties at the end of the war when there was a stigma
attached to divorced women. I was mostly raised in foster homes and a
Jewish orphanage, though we were not orphans. We can skip the childhood as
all people have to overcome their childhoods. Mine was a very difficult
one, and it took me many years to work out the problems. I started
studying the piano at 7 years and a kind lady gave me lessons. Later on at
high school, in the orphanage, I insisted on piano lessons which were given
to me on the condition that I play hymns at the Saturday service at the
Synagogue. I hated the organ and the Hebrew hymns, and thus turned out to
be the WORST organist in the history of the Jewish religion as I constantly
had my congregation singing off-tune. However by immersing myself in the
piano, it became my passion and refuge.
College years were spent at the University of California at Los Angeles
(UCLA). I was an English major and now my artistic passions brought me to
the writing of poetry. At some point in my last year (1959), after having
written perhaps 200 poems, I finally wrote my first truly great poem. Then
promptly threw away all the early attempts at poetry and made a lifetime
committment to myself that POETRY would be my life's work.
Here is that first poem:
Whoever you are
walk out into twilight
and gaze at the blue
until you hear it.
Then breathe in deeply, deeply,
until you have drained
the last blue sound
into your soul.
Then close your eyes
and listen to the color
fade within you.
When you are invisible
and have grasped the meaning,
Open your eyes
and gently, let them go . . .
As a parallel to my budding literary career, I continued to study piano
with a beloved lady, Esther Lipton, who believed in me and gave me a
scholarship to study with her for my four college years. It was in this
period that I began to compose music, only for myself. Since poetry was my
life, I decided that music would be my secret treasure, known to only but a
few. I was, and still remain, an absolutely incorrigible classical music
After completing my studies at UCLA, I had saved $500. and decided to go to
Europe and live there. So I picked up, despite the supreme protests of my
mother, and went first to France, and then to Italy. It was in Italy that
I settled. In the city of Florence, and sat in on classes in Art History
at the University of Florence, (I was an Art History minor at UCLA) Living
costs were extremely low in those days (1960 to 63). I worked by teaching
English to Italians. Rented a Bluthner piano, played my heart out in the
twentieth century style of music, and wrote poetry. It was a lyrical,
free, uninhibited life-style, totally artistic, absorbing a new language
and culture. I remember taking a pee in an outdoor urinal while looking up
to a statue by Donatello in the square. That about summed up Florence,
magical, historical, cold, unhealthy in the winter, inspiring, ravishingly
beautiful, and poetry to be found at the turn of every corner.
And when love as the sea
invades the obscure flesh,
and coils around those stones
from where you once towered over the heart,
you now lay shipwrecked
in the bottom of your ecstasy,
as alone and nameless as seaweed on the sand.
After three years (including European hitchhiking with a typewriter in my
rucksack) I decided I had enough and took a long Spanish freighter filled
with emigrating Cubans fleeing Castro to New York. In those days they had
to first go to Spain to get their papers and that is where I picked up the
boat. After one of those classic shipboard romances, hot, scandalous,
passionate with hickeys all over our necks to the aghast looks of our
fellow Cuban passengers, somehow I made it to New York alive where I was to
live for the next five years until 1968. I also was transating Chinese
poetry by one of the world's finest poets who lived in the 8th century, TU
To grasp the essence of all creatures
is to leave the secrets of nature untouched.
Fish are most joyous in deepest waters.
Birds love the refuge of their hidden jungles.
I am content being old, ill and poor.
Wealth and fame cannot bring one peace within.
So long as the clear autumn air lets me
stand and walk, I will be grateful
to eat the simplest herbs in solitude.
These were the fabulous sixties, and me, the classical nut, was falling in
love with the Beatles and with Bob Dylan. I worked for the airlines and
the travel industry by day; by night, well that was another story, art
films, off-broadway, and really, off-off-broadway were my haunts. It was
in New York that I became a photographer, a serious one, and was dedicated
to the human scene. To the human condition. The art history background
gave me a natural sense of composition. So with my Leica, I lurked in the
shadows of New York, photographing life and it was lived, and gave it all
the philosophy and beauty that could be summoned. Purchased a darkroom,
and the nights until dawn were spent printing black and white on the finest
Agfa paper. O, I was in love with the art of photography, with
photo-journalism in its purist form, and with poetry and music.
Though they stand
One day, I found myself in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and the Japanese
pool, the beauty was so intense and gave such a feeling of awe and poetry,
that I suddenly woke up and said to myself: What am I doing in New York?
That day I made the decision to leave, but where on Earth would I go? A
few weeks later, a stranger comes up to me and says: Fly to Hawaii, change
planes and go to Lahaina. Rent a car and check into the Pioneer Inn Hotel.
Within one week, your life will begin. Well, by golly, by gee, by George,
the stranger was right. I did just that a few months later, EXACTLY as I
was told to do. And what do you know, I wind up in Maui for the next 16
years of my life, living the dream come true, the beautiful life, becoming
vegetarian, sorry, no violence toward animals for me, and learning all
about natural health and spiritual philosophies. It was idyllic, suddenly
all these dis-affected mainlanders were coming to Maui. We would go up to
the waterfalls, take off our clothes, and go skinny-dipping for days on
end, eating guavas off the trees. Swimming in the moonlight on crystal
clear beaches, learning about the spiritual disciplines of far-off lands,
studying massage, healing, kinesiology, herbs, natural medicine, etc.
After years of this, I turned back to music and started creating music for
the healing and well-being of others. One day, I recorded my piano
compositions for the first time and was shocked to find out I was indeed a
composer. The music was so beautiful, and I was so uplifted and overjoyed.
And people listened with rapture. Before long my first albums were
released in 1979 and a musical career was on its way.
So many Maui stories to tell, the studies with the Hawaiian people, the
kahunas, the mystics, the continued poetry, I was the first person who ever
played live piano music to whales at sea. The life-long and profound
friendships which resulted, the beauty, o yes, the beauty, the radiance of
the Hawaiian landscapes, the feelings inside, the spiritual awakening to
our highest good. And the humanitarianism which resulted. The works for
humanity, for the whales and dolphins, for the Earth. All books of poetry
devoted to each subject.
Here is a Whale poem from THE ORACLE OF WHALES written in those days:
I am the mother of a Whale.
The whole world loves a mother.
Please, I beg you as a lover
to cease from killing one another.
I appeal on parent grounds,
to men of reason and the women too.
A baby Whale is just as precious
to a father as a human child is.
I am a simple being,
though many people
could fit inside of me.
Do you think all your hearts together
would equal one dear loving daughter?
Reflections in the water
change their shadows every instant.
Remember me with all the others,
and be a Whale, just be.
In 1983 I returned to the mainland and settled in Santa Cruz, California -
about 75 miles south of San Francisco. Since that time,We have developed a
company which distributes my music direct to the public throughout the
United States. At the present time, my music is symphonic in nature. You
can access my home page:(http:www.plw.ch.com) and see some of the current
albums on the Internet. For the past ten years, I have been writing books
of poetry, have completed over 25 books, and of course, creating music. I
take electronic keyboards out to the wilderness and power them with
deep-cycle batteries. When I see the beauty of nature around me, what can
one do, but to become inspired and feel the intensity of the natural world.
Our company has sold over 750,000 albums directly to the public, and the
music is heard by people all over the planet.
At this point in my life, I am completely dedicated to creating a greater
world for humanity and have re-dedicated myself to the raising of the
consciousness of the human race through poetry and music, and of course,
through action in private, personal and public life. Presently I am
lovingly and spiritually bonded with a woman who is dedicated to the same
path as we are.
At the present time I am recording an epic musical work about the
magnificent life underwater. Environmental issues are just as important as
violence issues because pollution represents violence to the Earth.
Master each moment,
aware to the full.
Look the world around you,
each human being - a person
to be recognized.
Gaze into souls
of loved ones and friends.
Feel the magnificence
of being alive,
peaceful, yet energized.
Extend our hands and help
those less fortunate than we.
Volunteer our efforts
to the cause of liberty,
justice, and peace for all.
Not utopia do we seek
but the realms of nations
aligned in spirit
to the common weal
to serve a higher purpose.
To be oneself,
serve the needs of others first.
Work for what's fair, good, and just.
Give back to Earth the goodness
she gives to YOU.
And so dear friends, our work is just begun. So much to do, and so much
life left to do it in.
Thank you for reading this letter. You will find my heart united with
yours in a common purpose and bond.
To help evolve humankind to a higher level. And once violence is
eliminated from the face of this earth,
and it shall be many years away from now, we will be ready to meet our
counterparts in the stars.
Return to WHO WE ARE