About Lawrence F. Hawk
All forms of art and creativity have always been my preferred means of expression and communication. That said, what I believe I have learned is no secret really. It is common sense and the guiding vision that knowledge and kindness are the pathways away from fear, that all living things are irrefutably interconnected and that greed is not sustainable. Also, that I am what I do and that what I do defines my journey.
Over the years, I have become a poet. These are the principle foundations from where I have chosen align myself while peacefully processing adversity with my actions and writings. In service we find purpose, community and healing. In joy we find ourselves.
Lawrence F. Hawk aka ~ hsh
My Poetic Autobiography
Born in San Francisco, California
March 25th, 1953
Camp Presidio, Letterman Hospital
Astrologically—geographically, booming into
another evolving bohemian, cultural experiment.
I suspect my spirit was not as innocent as it appeared
to have been drawn there.
Both parents, white army brats.
Both grandfathers, becoming bird colonels in the army.
Both grandmothers, each, uniquely subservient
for the era during the Great Depression and WWII.
Despite all having personal servants
while the world was in crisis
they I'll head there a burden to bear.
I suspect their aristocracy caused great personal comfort,
Both parents first met at Scofield Barracks,
Honolulu, Hawaii at 11 and 12 years old.
San Francisco State University
at a required nude study art class.
She the sacred model working for rent money,
he the beholder—becoming an artist.
Both, ’want to be beatniks’,
prime for cultural expectations, and making babies.
I suspect I was his first, but not necessarily.
Me, the first of four,
born into the Irish Catholic 1950’s standard,
by an already pregnant Episcopalian mother.
She, converting to Catholicism.
A requirement for family blessings of their marriage
to protect elitist social opinion and family honor
while the church continued to practice their lack of it and, unmentionable historical childhood traumas
lurking throughout and around the corner
I suspect I was not kicking my way out yet.
Fast forward 17 years later in the 1970’s,
my new favorite pass time,
joy rides in my fathers car while they slept,
turned into a car theft charge
manifesting my great escape to anywhere.
The last choice, the only choice, the Marine Corps.
Charges were dropped,
parental release required their signature.
No one else wanted me, except Mclaren School For Bad Boys.
Me, ‘a want to be Hippy’
—I am still not clear on what that means—
A passport birthday gift to myself. (gratefully no combat duty)
Then, as now were bloody dayz, everywhere…
Most of what you have heard about the Catholic Church, about Vietnam, the civil rights movement, or most of the counter cultural hippie movements of that era…, are all true,
depending on who is telling the story.
I observed them in part, but I did not care to understand.
I suspect this was a time for me to graduate without a diploma,
to heal DNA of previous family incarnations.
Self medicating to manage shell-shock
from my previous education, and
creativity was not very successful,
and yet not without merit.
Now a high school dropout,
with an early military psychological
General Discharge under honorable conditions
for my inability to adapt to military expectations,
paid for my G.I. Bill and put me in college for several years.
High School Completion but no diplomas…
Subjects of interest: art, physical education,
writing, and later—real estate assessment and,
of corse—Drug and Alcohol Counseling.
I suspect more details would be a bit tedious.
My best art and writing was probably before
I left for the home for the Marine Corps.
Curiosity, some research and brave experiments
proved potential and talent to myself, even
if not to anyone else.
My mother knew my father was jealous.
I probably should not have
broken the nose of my high school art instructor,
also a Junior Varsity track coach.
To my great surprise,
my father defended me to the Silverton Union High-school Principle.
(Two weeks suspension)
I suspect now, that that is when he began to fear me.
The most challenging and informative experience
was losing my right hand in 1979,
an industrial summer accident,
in-between terms at Chemeketa Community College.
Psychologically crippled again, lack of self-confidence, and
needing a better income
led to an education in growing marijuana,
and a Class A Felony at the time.
When they knocked on my front door,
I asked them, “What took you so long.”
Crime was exhausting.
However, I should not negate long term affects of
my four year binge prior, back in San Francisco.
Once again, proving an inability to adapt and,
winning a Social Security Disability (SSD) claim in 1976.
Regardless, my art did hang and sell
in the S.F. Museum Of Erotic Art in the bookstore just prior.
I suspect these experiences are shaping my expressions to this day,
Although, there was creativity throughout.
A little sacred geometry / jewelry, greeting cards and logo design,
some clay pottery and sculpture, but mostly
combinations of watercolor, prisma-color pencil,
and pen and ink paintings.
Swearing, there was no crime left in me,
I could not do time again.
I found love and meaningful coexistence.
Marriage required sobriety, writing became more required,
effectively processing my life experience
while driving a taxi cab in Portland, OR for almost 20 years total.
At the tail end, back to college studying alcohol and drug counseling.
Becoming a salesman for start up company
Trellis Earth Products selling disposable
biodegradable bio-plastic products.
I learned the term greenwashing the hard way.
I suspected low self-esteem, creeping around the corner again.
During that time volunteering on a steering committee
and later becoming a project and program director
for a nonprofit organization,
the Earth and Spirit Council, Natural Way Program.
We invited wisdom keepers, and indigenous elders to speak.
Generating video documentaries to be sold and donated
In schools, prisons and public libraries,
possibly the most meaningful work I have ever done..
Eventually, the money ran out.
Then divorce (an almost twenty year marriage)
and a new love.
One that lasts to this day
even though we cannot live together.
We are healthier together when we are, and apart.
Then my 2nd attempt as a band manager / producer
(The 1st was fueled by ill-gotten gains)
while coordinating development of a new nonprofit.
Eagle Heart Music aspired to support
local native needs and values.
I suspect my projections were a noble exaggeration of reality.
Illusions of love and hope had its way
of slapping a mirror in my face.
Conceding to true motivations came much later.
High minded aspirations, a disguise for survival.
Perceptions of multiple shunning’s and failures
crippled me once again,
begging again for Social Security Disability.
Falling through the cracks, living in tents,
were not as culturally acceptable back then.
Then and before then, I now had the time to write.
Disguising myself with a pen name,
creating a Facebook the business page,
creating and developing montages
of poetry, art and music, over time
the Strongheart Clan found over 2,600 followers
I suspect that other peoples photography, and art were the main attraction.
SSD allowed me to make a limited amount of money
while still collecting benefits.
Later, going back to driving a taxi cab,
a job I swore I would never do again.
My new love going back to serving in a restaurant,
affording paying the same rent and bills
allowing time to experience our fatal attraction.
There was no room for illusions.
No longer room for blaming the world, we
had each other, and that was enough,
I suspect my evolving, my mediocre and my worst poetry
came as a result.
Somehow, someway, it all made me stronger.
Eventually, more and more grateful…
The undercurrent and drive to survive,
woven by a passion to express myself,
seeking self respect and sustained contentment
in connection with what I have come to call
The Great Mystery.
Circling back to my beginning
by writing a poem for children of all ages.
A mysterious gift received to be given,
becoming a co-creation,
an illustrated children's book.
Coming soon, “Our Lady Gaia.”
I suspect it was all meant to be.
~ hsh © 122222