wonder is good enough for me

November 18, 2022

What holds all the molecules together?
Was there a beginning of time?
Does space go on forever?
What makes you so clever?
Is there any reason in my rhyme?

I wonder about everything I see
Who made all the tygers and the trees?
I wonder why I met you
And what you’re gonna do
Wonder is good enough for me

I wonder about things I’ll never know
I wonder if our love is gonna grow
What’s inside the sun?
The biggest number plus one?
Wonder is good enough for me

by Richard W. Bray

To Fight Aloud Is What You Do

October 30, 2022

To fight aloud
Is what you do
To hide from
What's inside of you

Refute the things 
That people say
And box in bars
On Saturday

To fight aloud 
Is what you do
To hide from 
What's inside of you

Upset, attack  
Disturb, annoy
Nag and nag
And nag your boy

To fight aloud
Is what you do
To hide from 
What's inside of you

Bicker, fuss
And fight and feud
And then you say
"You're being rude"

To fight aloud
Is what you do
To hide from 
What's inside of you

by Richard W. Bray

space and time

October 15, 2022

The world is made of frozen light
Everything connects
Nothing in the universe
Works like you expect

Does a tree know it exists?
Does a star know how to love?
Look at thirteen blackbirds
Listen to a dove

Make some room for kindness
As you straddle space and time
The world is charged with grandeur
Everybody shines

by Richard W. Bray

Distinctive Makes a Difference

July 10, 2022


A Thousand Songs in My Pocket

I remember thinking I was the coolest guy in the world when I took my iPod to the gym. It’s funny because I’m not an early adopter and I’ve never really been into gadgets. But I got my first iPod about a year after they came out, and I can’t think of anything I ever bought that made me feel so good. 

Effective advertising tells people how your product is going to solve their problem. My iPod solved a problem I didn’t even know I had. I needed a device smaller than a Sony Diskman that could hold my entire CD collection. And there it was. 

“A thousand songs in your pocket” was the perfect slogan, even though an iPod actually holds a lot more songs than that. A thousand songs on one device sounded pretty miraculous at the time, and the slogan flows really well. (Like all forms of writing, copywriting is essentially poetry.)

Selling Joy

Byron Sharp* notes that the iPod advertising campaign “did not mention the term ‘MP3 player.’” In fact, “their advertising didn’t talk about this new technology at all.” 

Instead of selling new technology, Apple was selling joy. As Sharp explains, the iPod advertising campaign 

always employed the same silhouette figures against colourful backgrounds and these figures were always joyfully dancing (while listening to their iPods) and the white headphones were always obvious. Technical details were left to sales people and web sites to explain.

Carbonated Cough Syrup


A lot of people are willing to pay three times as much for an 8-ounce can of Red Bull than they would for a 12-ounce can of soda. But when it comes to ingredients, the only real difference is that Red Bull has a lot more caffeine and a smidgen of Vitamin B. 

So how did Red Bull convince so many people to pay so much more for a beverage that tastes like carbonated cough syrup?

The obvious is answer marketing, which is the art of convincing people to buy things. One of the most effective ways to convince people to buy things is by appealing to their internal narrative, which is the story everyone tells themself about who they are.

According to Seth Godin**, “our actions are primarily driven by one question: ‘Do people like me like things like this?’” If you align your product with the customer’s internal narrative, you can make oodles of money.

To align their product with the internal narratives of millions of customers, Red Bull spends billions of dollars in advertising every year, creating the perception that people who drink Red Bull are:

  • Young
  • Healthy
  • Athletic
  • Male
  • Carefree
  • Adventurous

Different Can, Different Product

People drink Red Bull to get amped up on caffeine. But Red Bull had to convince customers that they weren’t just buying a new type of hyper-caffeinated soda. Instead, Red Bull sells people a whole new lifestyle.

By making the can so distinctive, Red Bull creates the perception that it’s a totally different type of product. 

Rory Sutherland*** of Ogilvy & Mather Group explains: 

How can Red Bull charge £1.50 a can when Coke only charge 50p? Weirdly you make the can smaller. Suddenly people think this is a different category of drink for which different price points apply. If the can had been the same size, I am not sure they could have charged £1.50. Logic won’t tell you that and research won’t tell you, because in research we all pretend we are maximisers and hyper-rational.

by Richard W. Bray

* How Brands Grow, p142

* *This Is Marketing, p104

***Quoted in The Choice Factory by Richard Shotten, p67

the space between

May 18, 2022

Time was somewhere else
In a universe of two
Bewitched and bedazzled
There was only you

The light, the air
The space between
Charged by the sparks
That cannot be seen

Colors overflow
Molecules conspire
Angels hold their breath
And stop to admire

The light, the air
The space between
Charged by the sparks
That cannot be seen

by Richard W. Bray

the love of a child

July 17, 2021

unruly, rambunctious, exhausting and wild
there’s no greater love than the love of a child

boundless, colossal, extending for miles
there is no restraining the love of a child

needy and hopeful, touching and mild
the heaviest burden, the love of a child

investing your marrow, refunded in smiles
there’s no greater love than the love of a child

by Richard W. Bray

The Sparkle in My Dreams

June 6, 2021

I'm at the tip of the top
There's a pep in my step
I got the hippity hop
Winning all of my bets

I’m hanging on a hope 
Met a special sort of friend
I’m such a silly old dope
Am I falling again?

Gonna get a new start
I’m so happy I could scream
For the bounce in my heart
And the sparkle in my dreams

I’m hanging on a hope 
Met a special sort of friend
I’m such a silly old dope
Am I falling again?

By Richard W. Bray

i love u like a puppy

February 2, 2019

i need to see you
every day
my insides hurt
when you’re away

i love you like a puppy
i couldn’t love you any more
i just wanna hold you
and curl up on the floor

you melt all my defenses
just by being you
you invigorate my senses
and fill me up with you

i love you like a puppy
i could live inside your gaze
you could make me happy
in a million different ways

by Richard W. Bray

Fancy Land

May 24, 2018

All is grand in Fancy Land
With towering mushrooms growing wild
There’s purple skies that mesmerize
And no one ever hurts a child

The unicorn band in Fancy Land
Plays heavenly tunes with a thundering beat
Wishes are granted and all is enchanted
And everyone has enough to eat

Hate is banned in Fancy Land
Everyone lives how they want to be
An endless sensation of happy creation
Where all the creatures are roaming free

You’re welcome to visit Fancy Land
As long as the magic lives inside you
With access forbid to all but kids
But grownups wanna go there too

by Richard W. Bray

goofy in the head

November 16, 2016


I feel my face smiling
All day long
And I can’t stop humming
An old love song

Flowers gonna bloom
The fiddler gets paid
Love is too dizzy
To be afraid

Every step I take
Is a leisurely stroll
And my head is all full
Of Nat King Cole

Flowers gonna bloom
The fiddler gets paid
Love is too dizzy
To be afraid

I’m probably crazy
In this melancholy world
Cuz I’m goofy in the head
For a brand new girl

Flowers gonna bloom
The fiddler gets paid
Love is too dizzy
To be afraid

by Richard W. Bray

A Supple Heart

June 12, 2016


I say and do
Has a single

I long to know
The tender soul
That lurks below
The surface

Ramparts guard
A supple heart
Bruised to

Time to go
Cuz she says “No”
And gives no

What I adore
Is nothing more
Than my

by Richard W. Bray

Tell Me Where It Hurts

August 7, 2015


tell me where it hurts
you don’t have to tell me why
maybe you don’t know
don’t be afraid to cry

tell me where it hurts
you don’t need me to reply
i’m just gonna listen
just gonna be nearby

tell me where it hurts
bleed it till it’s dry
i’m not gonna judge you
remember i’m your guy

tell me where it hurts
where it went awry
together we can heal
together we’ll get by

by Richard W. Bray

Best Friend

June 22, 2014


You always listen
To my words
And you never
You’re astute
And self-assured
And wise

When we’re alone
I take solace
And comfort
In your eyes
You’re solid
As a stone
Your presence

We don’t even
Have to talk
I love to
Brush your hair
I love it
When we walk

Thanks for keeping
Me content
And helping
Me survive
Truly heaven-sent
You’re the
Dog alive

by Richard W. Bray

Sorry Love Pain

March 6, 2014


you deserve so much better
   than me
i picked you up and then i
   set you free

there ain’t a thing that i could
   say or do
to make up for the hurt that
   i gave you

i’d live my penance for ten
   thousand years
but i could never pay for
   all your tears

we’ll never resurrect what’s
   dead and gone
i’ll try to be more careful
   from now on

i hope you find a man who
   helps you see
you deserve so much better
   than me

by Richard W. Bray

Alliterative Animal Kingdom

April 8, 2013

download (2)

Round the rampant rugged rocks
Rude and ragged rascals run.

W.H. Auden

Queasy koalas quarrel and quibble
Noisy gnus nag and nibble
Hefty horses heave and hoe
Shameless sheep shop and show

Playful pigs prance and preen
Careful cats cook and clean
Dancing dogs dally and drink
Thirteen thoroughbreds thank and think

Buoyant bunnies broil and bake
Rampant rhinos rush and rake
Slippery seals splash and splish
While wayward weasels wonder and wish

by Richard W. Bray

My Funny Farm

July 13, 2010

Monkey Driver

My Funny Farm

My monkey makes my mother mad
He also aggravates my dad
He took his car the other day
And drove it to the Hudson Bay

My kitty cat is kooky too
He likes to strut down to the zoo
And tell the tigers to all stand back
If they don’t want to get attacked

I have a hamster named Houdini
And though he is rather teeny
He’ll quickly pick a thousand locks
You could not hold him in Fort Knox

My kangaroo’s a real joker
Up all night playing poker
His friends come to destroy the house
I think I shoulda’ got a mouse

I got a hippo last July
He really is one swell guy
Everything he does is super
I got a giant pooper scooper

Living on this funny farm
I know my pets don’t mean no harm
But both my parents moved away
And no one wants to come and play

by Richard W. Bray

How do I Say?

April 29, 2010

How do I Say?

How do I say when it’s over
I meant every word that I said
When the world we knew is dissolving
And the love we shared is dead?

How do I tell you it matters
The joy you brought to my life
When the dreams that we shared are all shattered
And you’ll never be my wife?

How can I tell you I’ll miss you
Every day for as long as I live
When the well that we drank from is empty
And nothing is left to give?

I don’t blame you if you hate me
Cuz’ right now I hate me too
I hate the whole damn world
For what I did to you

I just want to see you happy
But there ain’t nuthin’ I can do
Neither one of us will be happy
Till we get past me and you

Someday when you’re not lonely
Cuz’ you’ve found a better man
I just hope you will remember
When my heart was in your hands

by Richard W. Bray

Sunshine and Happiness

September 25, 2009


Sunshine and Happiness

Melanie Margaret McClintock, The Third
Can’t stand to hear an encouraging word
So if you want to send her away
Here’s a list of words that you can say:

Sunshine and happiness, polka dots and pie
Puppy dogs and moonbeams, a clear blue sky
Friendship and families and root beer floats
Kindness and cleanliness and cozy woolen coats
Flowers and rainbows, warm winter gloves
Freedom and Motherhood, goodness and love
Birthdays and holidays, crunchy candy bars
Bubble baths and babies, twinkling little stars
Fairgrounds and Fridays, fun that’s always funny
Pinballs and pizza, a truck with loads of money
Grandpa and gumballs, a week at summer camp
Barbeques, fresh-cut lawns, a genie in a lamp
A night under the stars and a day at the beach
Everything that’s good and true, all within your reach

But if you are with Melanie, try to be polite
Speak of dark and gloomy days and long, depressing nights
Mention graveyards and garbage and grungy old grime
And the two of you are sure to have such a lovely time

by Richard W. Bray

wish away the past

November 26, 2022

Telling your life story
Leaving out the facts
Time travels sideways
Turkeys go quack

Nothing that happens
Is ever your fault
Look inside a mirror
See who you're not

Crazy as a hound dog
With a pigeon up its ass
Fantasize a future
Wish away the past

Nothing that happens
Is ever your fault
Look inside a mirror
See who you're not

Blood on all your garments
Dripping from your hand
But you never stop saying
You're an innocent man

Nothing that happens
Is ever your fault
Look inside a mirror
See who you're not

By Richard W. Bray

empty soul

November 9, 2022

paint a picture
sing a song
tell yourself
you’re never wrong

swallow anger
exhale fear
stomp on hope
and plug your ears

busting kindness
crushing faith
feasting on
an empty plate

live your hatred
love your lies
empty hearts
and cold goodbyes 

by Richard W. Bray

Fragrant Thinking

November 6, 2022

My doctor said "Your thinking stinks
You're sick inside from all them drinks
You need to fix what's in your head
Or else you're gonna wind up dead"

Fragrant thinking
Keeping people sane
Try to stay happy
But don't deny the pain

Fragrant thinking
You're gonna make mistakes
Don't emphasize the negative
And give yourself a break

Fragrant thinking
Focus on yourself
Don't waste your time obsessing 
About everybody else

Fragrant thinking 
Serenity Prayer
Change the things you can
Who said life was fair? 

Now I filter everything
All the stuff I say and think
Eliminating all the shit
That don't serve me no benefit

by Richard W. Bray 

If You Don’t Tell Yourself the Truth, You’ll Go Crazy

October 27, 2022

I read a lot of books
About psychology and stuff
Crammin knowledge in my head
I’ll never get enough

Tried to figure out
Why some people fall apart
Wondered if the problem’s 
In the head or in the heart

The answer is so simple
And amazy
If you don’t tell yourself the truth
You’ll go crazy

Deception is a poison 
It destroys and complicates
Honesty alleviates
It cures and it regenerates

Living all those lies
Is gonna rot your loving soul
Heal your wounded heart
And let yourself be whole

The answer is so simple
And amazy
If you don’t tell yourself the truth
You’ll go crazy

The Smallness of You

October 22, 2022

Double-cross a lover
While she's sleeping upstairs
Betray your best friend
And never give a care

You could eat a flea for breakfast
Put a saddle on an ant
Ride it like a pony
To the centipede dance

The lies you tell yourself
The lies you tell the world
The never-ending lies
That pushed away your girl

You could hide inside a thimble
Crawl under a door
Get lost for an hour
In a crack in the floor

Leave a trail of destruction,
Misery and loss
Turn and walk away
Let others pay the cost

You could build yourself a castle
With toenails and sand
And declare yourself king
Of Tiny Little Land

by Richard W. Bray

When you don’t wanna know what you know

October 6, 2022

"To see what's right in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle."
–George Orwell

When you don't wanna know
What you know

It takes a massive toll
It'll singe your living soul

When you don't wanna know
What you know

The fables that you tell
The fiction that you sell

When you don't wanna know
What you know

What people say and do
What's right in front of you

When you don't wanna know
What you know

His face is full of doom
He smells like cheap perfume

When you don't wanna know
What you know

When you don't wanna know
What you know

When you don't wanna know
What you know

by Richard W. Bray

glad for every moment

September 24, 2022

I'm sad we broke each other's hearts
Didn't want to leave you blue
I'm sad we'll always be apart
I hate the stupid things I do

I'm glad for every moment
I got to spend with you
Your sweet and blessèd soul
Your heart was always true

A snowflake and a rainbow
A sunset and a flower
They fade and fall from view
But they never lose their power

I'm glad for every moment
I got to spend with you
Your sweet and blessèd soul
Your heart was always true

by Richard W. Bray