When I am sitting and gazing upon the living room floor or searching and scanning for that spot on the door or cooking and looking at that wall in the kitchen or dreaming and staring at the ceiling for a mission or resting in bed inside my head,  I think of something so far away, within a silent time, to sigh and play as I follow the waves along harmony’s way”

While along the path to finding my essence, I noticed that my persona was continually transforming.  When I look back and see where I have been from where I am I have seen my existence from many unique and varied  points of view.  I have have often wondered and asked,  “Why?” Throughout my consciousness during my short visit on earth I never once thought of or acutually stopped being  curious.  Over the years I have discovered threads within life’s tapestries of experiences that reveal and link similar truths that are common among many different modalities. Water. air and the transference of energy create a never ending cycle of waves and patterns that manifest order amid the chaos.
It all started when I was called Bobby in my earlier years and was called my others by a long list of friends.

Then I started thinking about a pseudenymn and I thought for a long time pseudenymn AboutIWBFrom the desert he weaves a tapestry of truth and awareness with narratives, music, art and videos that unveil the important experiences and lessons in life.  Writing, music, video, paintings collage, concrete sculptures, mobiles are combined into experiential workshops that reflect this journey. His life experiences reveal hope and joy as he gains wisdom and empowers all to nurture positive change.

Like the Ironwood tree of the desert.


There are many trees in the world that are called Ironwood trees.  The Ironwood tree that I am describing here is a special one that grows in the habitat that matches the Sonoran Desert boundary in southwestern and south central Arizona, USA; California, USA; northwestern Sonora, Mexico; eastern Baja, Mexico and most of Baja California Sur, Mexico.  It’s scientific name is “Olneya tesota” and is often called the Desert Ironwood. The trees are found in the dry locales below 2,500 feet in dry ephemeral washes where freezing temperatures are uncommon. The ages of the oldest trees can only be estimated since the trees do not produce rings.  They have been known to live up to 1200 years old and are famous all over the world for their dark, hard and dense wood.  With a density of 66 pounds per cubic foot, these trees are denser than water.  In addition to its density, the wood contains resins that repell insects and make it virtually non-biodegradable.  Pieces of dead ironwood found in the desert have been dated to 1600 years.Legends say that carvings made from the beautiful wood bring good fortune and luck to the owners.

The tree grows up to 45 feet high and makes an advantageous perch for hawks, owls, osprey and eagles to roost.  Their dense canopy supports nearly 150 bird species. This shaded sanctuary benefits the surrounding environment as it creates a micro-habitat with less direct sunlight, lower surface temperatures, more organic matter, higher water availability.  This environment also protects many herbivores.  It is very thick and slow growing.  The trees are often seen with many plants sprouting beneath its canopy.  Air temperatures may be 15 percent cooler under an Ironwood tree than in the open desert sun only five feet away. It shelters frost sensitive young saguaros, organ pipe cactus, night-blooming cereus and many other native plants growing beneath them.  More than 230 plant species have been recorded as starting their growth within the protective microclimate of the Ironwood tree.  The Ironwood tree increases diversity and provides benefits to wildlife.  It’s foliage and cacti that grow beneath it provide nesting opportunities for doves, quail, coyotes, many small rodents, reptiles, and insects.  As with other legumes, the ironwood’s leaf litter supplies nitrogen to the soil and its seeds provide protein-rich food in June and July as they are sought after by many desert animals.  Roasted seeds are eaten whole or are ground for  use as meal in gruel or baking.  As a wildflower nursery is foraged by rabbits, bighorn sheep, desert tortoises, packrats and other native species.  There are 62 reptiles and amphibians and 64 mammals that use ironwood tree for forage, cover and birthing grounds.  One Ironwood tree was found to shelter 188 kinds of bees, 25 ant colonies and 25 other types of insects.  The Ironwood-Bursage habitat near the Silver Bell Mountains just ironwood-rlowers-img_20160426_134817awest of Tucson, Arizona nurtures more than 674 species.  The Ironwood tree could be called the  “Mother of the Desert”  as it contributes much needed resources to the enormous biodiversity within the interdependent web of life in the Sonoran Desert.

As Ironwoodbob, I also reflect upon my life experiences, ancestry and relationships as I search for truth by telling stories, performing music and displaying arts.  First, I search history from many points of view to find my origins or the “Beginning.” It is my “SANKOFA,” sankofabird2athat is traditionally represented as the picture on the left of the bird looking back to an egg.  The origins of the word Sankofa comes from the Akan language of Ghana and translates in English as to go back, seek and get it. It is often associated with the proverb, “Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi.” This translates as, “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten. “The “Sankofa bird” symbolizes one taking from the past what is good and bringing it into the present in order to make positive progress through the benevolent use of knowledge. We must go back to our roots in order to move forward.

And so I wrote this song,  “Oh Ironwood Tree”

     I dedicated it to my maternal Grandfather, Albert Major (October 1, 1895- October, 1963). He always sung and lead “Oh Tannenbaum” every Christmas with his strong German accent.  He was a simple man that owned an extra subdivision lot next to an Elementary School just to raise flowers and vegetables in his garden. The garden became his claim to fame in the surrounding neighborhood. 

Although the lot now has a house on it, I am sure that all the children who attended the school across the street from this lot will remember the beauty that he created for many years. The melody is loosely based on “Oh Tannenbaum.”

Oh Ironwood Tree Chords and Lyrics
© 2013 Robert Francis Leesley

 G   C                     G9 C
Oh Ironwood tree, Oh Ironwood tree,

G             Dm G7        C
Nurturing all that surrounds thee.

G   C                   G9 C
Oh Ironwood tree, who  aspire to be.

G          Dm   G7           C
Your natural gifts, they inspire me.

                       F7 C     G   G7
Transforming limbs to firewood.

                G              G9        C
Fostering all in your neighborhood.

G   C                     G9      C           A7
Oh Ironwood tree, Oh Ironwood tree

               Dm G7       C
Nurturing all that surrounds thee.

G   C                   G9             C
Oh Ironwood tree, stand high with pride.

       G               Dm      G7          C
Pink flowers in May, a shield of resin inside

G   C                    G9               C     A7
Oh Ironwood tree, gnarly, dark and dry

                     Dm      G7        C
Offering beans, helping fauna survive.

        F7  C                   G   G7
To glorify your desert sainthood

                     G       G9             C
When desert rains anoint your parenthood.

G   C                      G9     C
Oh Ironwood tree, more seeds to sow,

    G                Dm G7          C
Enriching the soil, granting flora to grow.

(instrumental bridge)

G C G9 C
C G Dm G7 C
G C G9 C
G Dm G7 C

C F7 C G G7
G G9 C

G   C                            G9         C
Oh Ironwood tree,  the desert’s living coal

       G           Dm        G7            C
You give me warmth with your kind-hearted soul.

G   C                           G9    C               A7
Oh Ironwood tree, the birds roost on high.

                  Dm         G7        C
Your cool shade, provides a place to lie.

                F7 C      G        G7
Surviving all for a million years,

                    G        G9  C
With joys of peace and wars with tears.

G   C                     G9  C
Oh Ironwood tree, my life-long guide.

    G                Dm G7         C
I’ll follow your way walking by your side.

G   C                    G9                C     A7
Oh Ironwood tree, the desert’s holy soul.

                 Dm    G7           C
I sleep soundly  atop your mixing bowl.

G   C                    G9         C          A7
Oh Ironwood tree, Oh Ironwood tree.

G                 Dm  G7        C
Nurturing all that surrounds thee.

 The meanings of childhood nicknames and given names

Bob, Robert and Francis that have many other meanings  and the represent many traits that can be manifested in spirit.  Robert means bright and glory, as its origins comes from the word, hrod, that means glory or fame and berht, that means bright.  Robert is the third highest of the most common name  (3.143% of all the names in the U.S). The current number of meanings in the Urban slang dictionary has over 45 different entries for the slang definitions of Robert as of 2012. Robert is also a female name and is used in Spanish as Roberto and Roberta. Francis means Frenchman or freeman.  Francis is used as a male as well as female name.


A tap
Light blow
Hanging cluster
Docked tail

Sharp jest
To move up and down
To make a fool of
A Scottish dance
A quick courtesy
Rap with the fist
Float on a fishing line
Long racing sled
Long racing skate
A working beam
A short refrain in a song
A short curl or knob of hair
Shilling monetary unit
A knob like weight or pendant
To try to catch a suspended or floating fruit with the teeth.

Small wheel make of leather with rounded edges used in polishing.

Bob, an onomatopoeic word, has many definitions in the English language besides the nickname for name, Robert, as listed below.

A short story about Bob using all the definitions of bob.

“They bobbed Bob during the bob as he bobbed very bob and bob and then ended with a bob. Bob bobbed them with a bob and then with a bob and a bob to the bob that bobbed in a bob.  They bobbed, bobbed and then bobbed at him as they had tried to bob Bob.  As they tried to bob and bob Bob, he bobbed them with a sharp bob as they hung a bob like a bob and gently moved the bob as he tried to bob. Bob looked instead like a bob with his bob on the end of the bob.  They all bobbed him as they bobbed on his bob as the bob.”

The Translation

They mocked Robert during the Scottish dance as he moved up and down very quick and jerky and then ended with a quick courtesy, .Robert struck them with a long racing skate and then with a rap with his fist and a light blow to the knob of hair that bunched in a hanging cluster.  They jeered, taunted and then scoffed at him as they had tried to cheat and trick Robert.  As they tried to deceive and make a fool of Robert, he blasted them with a sharp jest as they hung a shilling like a float on a fishing line and gently moved the knoblike pendant as he tried to catch it in his teeth.  Robert looked instead like a small polishing wheel with his docked tail on the end of the working beam.  They all flouted him as they tapped on his log racing sled as a short refrain in the song.

There are also many related words include bobby pin (1936); and bobby socks (1943), which are “shortened” (compared to knee-socks); derivative bobby-soxer first attested 1944. Also bobsled (1839), a short type of sled. Bobtail, Bob white, bobble head, boba tea, Bobd (Boulevard of Broken Dreams), Bobn, Bobo, Boblin, Bobby pin, Bobr, Bobcat. and finally “Bob’s your uncle, meaning and there you have it.

The inorganic materials in our rocks on the earth, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the living organisms that we experience are his subjects. The effects of belief systems, concentration, breathing techniques, physical activity, diverse diets and other sensory awareness techniques that can open portals into our subconscious and unconscious thoughts , allowing us to change thought and behavior patterns.

This viewpoint gives us a better understanding as we manifest our purpose as we find that something in life that stirs our interests and fives us self worth and meaning to our thoughts and actions in our lives resulting in peace, harmony and happiness.

“When our individual interests and prospects do not seem worth living for, we are in desperate need for something apart from us to live for. All forms of dedication devotion, loyalty and self surrender are in essence a desperate clinging to something which might give worth and meaning to our lives.”  Eric Hoffer (1902-1983), The True Believer (1951)

    Ironwoodbob’s something is to seek and nurture peace and harmony with everything on and surrounding our host, the Planet Earth.  Ironwoodbob walks along a skewed path while living on the fringe as he touches the edges of reality in mostly unknown places. Sometimes patterns form within the randomness of nature.  Along the way as he rides on top of a crest(flight), sinks below the trough(fight) in the calm or “bobs” (freeze) in the wake.  Eventually waves meet and form new patterns of energy within time.  Some patterns happen abruptly and some patterns change over a long period of time.  The same time can appear to be both long and short.  Absolutes like good and bad don’t exist because everything is relative. The original cause is incomprehensible because it happened beyond our point of view.  Outcomes are also unknown and at best can be seen only as potential probabilities.

     Over time many waves bundle together to synergistically form a mass. These unique masses unify and interact together to form a unique whole that creates another whole with sensory receptors that facilitates all sentient beings to understand  and exist in the universe. Every time energy is released, actions stir the local surroundings and affect movements, stirring more waves into action as as a new mass is formed.  Mass moves and follows the larger mass.

“We are all the God in a moment in time within our small, surrounding universe.”

     Ironwoodbob is continually searching for harmony in a very small world where all is local, mundane and sublime.  He has has been influenced by a world religions, many scientific disciplines, many writers, musicians, composers, healers and thinkers.  They all have helped him to see from outside the box of common perceptions and values.  He looks beyond normal perceptions to discover new horizons.  His human body, mind and spirit are made up of a unique combinations of organisms, chemicals and waves that contribute to his greater whole. These parts have transformed into a life with a conscious awareness of some parts of reality. We all dart around and contributing to the greater whole,  the spirit of the earth and the continuation of creation of the grand universe. We are just a part of the unified whole. All is One.

“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Albert Einstein (1875-1955)

“Ironwoodbob walks along life’s path while unraveling the truth and finds harmony.”

Find harmony!
Celebrate diversity!
Live simply!

 Be happy, Practice compassion.
Attend to your thoughts, emotions, senses, breath  & body!!

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, what you do are in harmony.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

Be mindful of all your senses!
Be in the moment, be here now!
Cheerfulness is the very flower of health.
Be the hub of your network!
Make your viewpoint outside the box.!
Assist the Indigenous, threatened & endangered!

Ironwoodbob’s Takamine 2006 Limited Edition Guitar deserves special attention since it derived it’s theme from the spiritual realm with a Tibetan Tantric inspired design on a Solid Sitka Spruce top.  The ancient wisdom of Tibetan culture is captured in a Mandala rosette that is skillfully inlayed with Koa, Cocobolo, Abalone woods and Lapis stone. The Mandala represents the four elementsof life Air Fire Earth and Water.  On the 12th Fret of the neck made with Rosewood, the Tibetan Knot of Life is inlayed with Koa and Cocobolo woods and represents the binding of all things together in unity. The back and sides are Indian Rosewood.

Fender Janguar 1964 transformed to Ironwoodbob custom.

1964 Jaguar

The end of 1964 brought the handover of Fender management to the CBS corporation and the beginning of what’s known as the transition era for the company. Changes seen on the Jaguar in this period include a switch from clay to pearloid fingerboard inlays in 1965, as well as the use of a three-layered plastic pickguard and Kluson F-style tuners which were both fully integrated by the end of 1966.

A note on finishes: Like all Fenders from the ’60s, custom and rare finish options increase the value of a vintage Jaguar substantially. Sunburst was standard. Any other original finish is considered more sought-after. Fender’s palette of colors used in the ’60s closely aligned with those used on General Motors cars, with most of the paint coming from the same place. For the Jaguar, a guitar targeted towards surf guitar players, this connection is all the more obvious. Think, for example, of classic images of the Beach Boys cruising through Southern California with Jaguars in hand.

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