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Narrative Home Poems | Narrative Poems About Home

These Narrative Home poems are examples of Narrative poems about Home. These are the best examples of Narrative Home poems written by international PoetrySoup poets

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Details | Narrative | |

Will You Tie My Shoes When I Grow Old

You were beautiful, 
my tiny child, 
wrapped tightly in my arms, 
close to my heart.
I listened to you breathing.
I counted your fingers
and your toes.
Helpless, 
you cried out to me
and I loved you
with every ounce of my soul.

Will you hear me
when I cry out? 
Will you hold me close
as I held you then? 

I remember the day
You took your first step.
There was no stopping you.
Your feet gave you freedom
to explore the world
like never before
but danger lurked.
I opened those doors anyway, 
cautiously, 
and introduced
you to the world.
Where will you be
when my legs
no longer run? 
no longer work? 
Will you realize
that I love
freedom too? 

I laugh
about that day
you first tied your shoe.
We tried and tried
to get that rabbit
in that hole
and you finally did it.
You pointed your toes
for everyone to see
how proud you were.

I am proud too, 
of my writing
and my drawing, 
of my needlework
and my cooking.
But my hands are beginning to ache
and my fingers will not bend.
I will lose the things
that make me proud
except for you.
Hopefully not you.
Will you let me
brag on you? 
Even tell wild stories
that are a bit beyond the truth? 
Will you be proud of me too? 

I waved good-bye
that morning when you left
on that large, yellow bus.
I was so scared.
I know you were too.
You waved at me bravely
through the dusty window
but I saw the water
forming in your eyes.
You came home, however, 
full of pride and joy.
You sang the alphabet song
and got most of it right.
You practiced for hours
until you could sing it
even in your sleep.

But 
I'm afraid.
I forgot
whether I took
my pills today or not.
I forgot
if I told this story before.
I even forgot once
who you were
and it terrified me.
My mind
is my treasure
the only thing I have left, 
and I heard you make
fun of me
for not remembering
that I gave you the
same gift as last year.
Will you love me
when I no longer
know who I am? 

You came home blushing
from the glow of
your first kiss.
Your first love, 
the one you thought was real.
You talked about him non-stop.
You changed for him. You gave.
But he left you anyway
for a blue-eyed girl
and I held you
while you cried for him.

I too have a
broken heart.
The love of my life
left me after
fifty-six years.
He left me here
to live life on my own
while he moved on
to another realm
And I cry for him too.
I long for his shoulder
and strong embrace.
I feel betrayed
because he and I
made a deal
that we would never
leave the other alone.
Yet I am alone
sitting in an echoing house
with no hands to hold.

You welcomed her home today- 
your tiny baby girl.
She has your eyes
and possibly your toes.
I see you counting them
as they roll me
into the room.
You finally came
to visit.
It has been a while.

You look up at me
with tears in your eyes
and ask
almost desperately, 

"Will she tie my
shoes
when I get old? "


Details | Narrative | |

Eat Pray Love

On the edge 
of the evacuation zone
Miyuki holds her daughter 
tip-toeing in pink sneakers 
her small hands fragile 
blossoms opening
to the man with the beeping wand 

They were outside in the karesansui 
washing and raking 
rocks, when the school 
heaved, convulsed 
then pressed into silence
one-hundred-and-seven 
voices rising inside

So now they wait with strangers
in ordered lines of sorrow 
for bread and drinking water 
as an adolescent, eyes downcast
sees the small pink laces and
offers up his only ration 
of precious onigiri

Hooded and white masked they walk 
three days and bed-less nights toward 
Ishinomaki by the ocean
to family, friends, and home forever 
transformed 

The landscape jumbles unfamiliar
with plastic wreckage 
and automobiles 
detritus flooded in a field
where Japonica once grew
while moon-suited men 
and women gather
albums for the living

And after sunset Miyuki moves 
her little girl away 
from a white-taped blue-bagged 
lifeless form 
toward the humming black-robed Monk, his
prayers for light 
and workers burned
exposed to radiation ten 
thousand times too high 

And in the shadows one old man kneels
beside a fetid pool and scoops  
rice to carry back to neighbours 
moved to higher ground, un-opens 
one last bottled spirit
bows his head and offers
Miyuki and her first and only 
everything  he has 

At last they reach the shelter’s glow
beneath the starless robe of night 
not used to wearing 
shoes indoors
Miyuki helps her daughter fold
sheets of painful news into
an origami box to hold
her last and only pair

And in the morning as they face
the stretch of road for home 
to unknown love and losses there 
they turn and gaze toward the east 
awaiting still 
spring’s warming breeze 
to rise with brilliant red once more
new light of wondrous dawn 


      ~~~~~~~~~

'karesansui' is a Japanese rock garden or 'dry landscape'.  Rocks are often washed.
'onigiri' is the emergency rice being distributed to survivors in Japan.
'Japonica' is a type of (short-grained) Japanese rice.



for Debbie Guzzie's contest, 'Tribute to Japan'

by ~Soulfire~ 

 


Details | Narrative | |

The Story of the Door

Part One- Reality

The door is closing
I’m loath to close it
And yet….and yet
I feel….I must
Close it gently
Close is surely
Close it….SLOWLY
Oh, so very slowly
Hoping against hope

Part Two- Fantasy

How I long to fling it open
And dash outside
Grab your retreating frame
And pull you inside
Eager to show you
The wonders I’ve prepared
The love decorations I’ve hung
Perhaps if you could see
With your own eyes
My little and cozy heart
The warm fire that continually burns
The bed that I’ve prepared and perfumed
The food…delicacies for your tongue
Treats bursting with flavors 
You’ve never tasted before
Sweet dainty desserts for when
The night has turned to day
And we arise hungry
Searching for what will sustain us
For our next expenditure
Of passion tinged energy
From which we never tire
Perhaps then
You'd come inside 
My heart kingdom

Here, you reign
In this kingdom
All is under your command
My soul and body
Yours to do with as you wish
Without asking
Without demanding
For I belong to you
And I know you well
Aware of what will please
When to appease
When to placate
And when to tease…

I serve you with tender hand
Longing to satisfy you
So you will never want to leave
To make you dream contented dreams
As you sleep soundly
On the soft silken pillows
Of my body
And awake to dream again
For life is but “A Dream within a Dream”

Part 3- Back to Reality

No, your figure continues to retreat
My voice does not reach you
My tears fall unnoticed
This door of my heart
Must close forever
I will bolt it too
For I cannot bear the thought
Of letting another in
Only you
Only you…

I sigh behind the door
Looking at the bed
That will not hear
My moans and cries of ecstasy
Nor your contended sighs
A bed that will never hold
Our entwined bodies
Tossing and turning
Finely tuned to the rhythm of delight
A bed that will never feel
Hands that clutch at its silken sheets
Desperate to hold on…a little longer
In that pulsating world of blinding light

Part 4- The Final Act

I lean with all my strength against the door
To close it “forevermore”
And yet…
There is resistance
It will not close
Frustrated, with tears spilling down
Threatening to turn into a deluge
I fling the door open
Only to look at a massive chest
My eyes travel up to your face
And those beautiful eyes
My source of delight
Your hand reaches out
And wipes away tears
My breath catches in my throat
As I hear your mellow voice speak
“Won’t you invite me in?”

Part 5- Yes, the happy ever after! 

Eileen Manassian Ghali


Details | Narrative | |

A Dark Man

         This piece is dedicated with love to J.E. Gauthier, Jr. Active addict and father. 
Only by the grace of God may he be saved from the error of his ways.

 For years a dark man walked through a seemingly revolving door
 Steadily leaving his wife and kids as he searched for something more
 Occasionally calling home every now and again
 In his voice they could hear the taint of black sin
 
 Back then life on the road meant drugs money and women far as the eye could see
 He said he'd never look back 'cuz he was born free
 
 Life grew emptier as he grew older
 The drugs grew heavier as his heart grew colder
 His four children left behind with no place to call home
 From day one they made it in this world alone
 
  For years a dark man walked through a seemingly revolving door
 Steadily leaving his wife and kids as he searched for something more
 Occasionally calling home every now and again
 In his voice they could hear the taint of black sin

 Every few years he'd arrive unannounced offering money and a hug
 All while using the garage to hide his drug
 His spitting image could smell his guilt a mile away
 She rolled her gloomy blue eyes in unison with every false word he had to say

 Today his girls are grown raising girls of thier own
 December came and went
 February turned to Lent
 On a stormy midnight he still turns to his blue eyed spitting image
 As the clouds clear she is again lost in the scrimmage

 She lies awake with a bottle of wine in hand
 On her mind weighs a dark man
 His ways make him lonely and lost
 Yet to her death she will fight for him at all costs

  For years a dark man walked through a seemingly revolving door
 Steadily leaving his wife and kids as he searched for something more
 Occasionally calling home every now and again
 In his voice they could hear the taint of black sin


Details | Narrative | |

Remembering The Children of Beslan

It was the first day of the new school year
The children of Beslan had no need to fear
In anticipation they eagerly left home for school
Some walked hand in hand with Mom and Dad
Others skipped along the well known path
Excitement filled the sidewalks and the streets
As fleeting thoughts collided in mid air

Some thought of new friends to be made
Others of old friends with whom to play
A little sister left at home 
Of baby brother asleep in his crib
Much too young to run and play
Some favorite lullabies which Grandmama sang 
As Grandpapa played his violin

The first day of the new school year
Mothers beamed with such pride
How their little ones had grown
Never would they ever want to let go
Others gave in to their children’s cries
‘Mamma, I do not want to go to school.
May I stay with you today?’

On wings of hate evil had already arrived 
With diabolical plans and bombs in hand
To maim and murder the children of Beslan
Who became captives in their little school house
After the dastardly deed was done
Dreams and aspirations lay splattered 'cross the floor 
Childhood innocence forever vanished! 

On the day of internment the sun in his temple hid
Earth wept pouring rain, her bitter tears
As Mothers’ voices cracked and strained 
Cried out loud, their children’s names
While others pleaded in vain for death
Fathers in a state of shock stood stoically in the cold autumn rain
Wearing faces carved in stone

The blood of children cried out to Heaven
Where at the throne of mercy 
Sits a God who is just 
Though their bodies lay broken in tiny white coffins
On angels' wings their souls did ascend  
He will judge all men and their deeds 
All, on one appointed day

A tribute to the children of Beslan, No. Ostetia, Russia 9/1-3/ 2004


Details | Narrative | |

Mike Never Came Home

Mike came home from Afghanistan yesterday,
I ran into him at the VFW...he looked at me
from behind eyes that had seen what no 22 yr. old
kid should have to see....he told me he didn't 
belong here, that his brothers were in the s---
and he wasn't there to help......

Mike came home from Afghanistan two-weeks ago,
but only his body was here, his head was
still playin' tricks on him....... Mike didn't say much,
just blasted his drinks and looked uncomfortable.

Mike came home from Afghanistan three-months ago,
I heard he had been a recon sniper in the Stan,
 and watched as one of his brothers had been 
ambushed and snatched in the distance,
unable to help.......

Mike came home from Afghanistan four-months ago,
people said he went crazy at the bar, raced-off
on his motorcycle and crashed goin' 110 mph.
around a highway crossover in the pourin'-rain.

Mike never came home from Afghanistan,
but his body's in a box, buried in his hometown.


Details | Narrative | |

Death Of The Saints

A cousin called the other day saying "Another cousin has passed away".

Well my husband said "How old was she.""

"Ninety-eight".

A stalwart woman who had served family and community well. Producing one child that 
became a missionary serving in a foreign land..

While talking the cousin asked "Did you know ______"?

My husband answered, "Well, I don't think that I knew them".

The cousin proceeded to tale this story.

"The man had been down with cancer for a while and passed recently..The funeral had been 
conducted and the hearse had gone on to the cemetary..The family car with the family was 
not to far behind..But when it pulled up, the wife of the deceased did not get out and the 
funeral home staff was gathering around..The funeral home director decided to go see what 
was going on ...."

The cousin said, " That this funeral home director told him". "That he had been in this 
business for thirty-five years and faced something that he had never had happen to him or 
any other funeral home director that he knew."

The funeral home director said, "When I got to the family car, I found the wife of the 
deceased had passed from a massive corornary."

She had said, "I don't know how I will live without him." She didn't have to learn. God called 
her home..

The roosters crow, the crows craw and are answered by the gobble of the turkey across the 
way..


Details | Narrative | |

The Artist

The Artist
 


Once described as an intense artist
He now sits comfortably
Patiently being interviewed 
By a reporter
Half his age
He begins
When I was a younger
I would come home from school
To an empty apartment
To keep myself occupied 
Until my mother came home 
I would spend hours 
Drawing random sketches 
And imaginary shapes in a notebook
That I kept hidden behind a couch
My mind was full of images
I was young
I was vulnerable
It wasn’t until
I got much older
That I decided to study art.

Speaking softly, he continues
People respect art and imagination
But recognition for an artist has a life of its own 
An artist must push himself to do 
What he hasn’t done before
But art is complicated 
What often comes with it 
Is all extraneous stuff
Which you try to control 
Before it consumes you.

The interview
And the questions ended hours ago
Returning home
The artist gazes out his bedroom window
Outside 
The Greek Orthodox   
Dome of St. George 
Maintains a stoic vigil
Over the East Village
Facing upward
Toward the dusky sky
Light from an open window 
Highlights his forehead
Drifting down to his lips
Gradually disappearing
Near his open collar
Only to resurface
In the middle of his shirt
Hands, calloused and strong,
Are down by his side
The left touching his thigh
The right hand dangling in freedom
Deep lines furrow his face
Shadows under his eyes
Mark a life spent
Perfecting his craft.

In the silence
He takes a deep breathe
Grateful
That the Roman in his heart  
Always unwavering
Prideful and defiant
Never surrendered
A day of his life.


Details | Narrative | |

The Cottage

The long drive is almost over
Slowly I head down the hill
In anxious anticipation 
Of what I will find
I don't really know what I'm expecting
Just something new maybe 
An overgrown path in the center of the road
Lets me know I am one of the first
I wildly shift my eyes back and forth taking in all
The beauty this place gives never disappoints
Sometimes it's a flower peeking through the leaves
Or a vine growing, maybe a new bush
Slowly I exit in anticipation of familiar scents
The cedar, the green, the lake all have their own flavors
As I put in the key and slowly turn the knob
The scent of cottage envelops me
For a second, I am at peace, home
And after all is settled, and all is unpacked
I listen, to the sounds of the forest
I try to hear the waves, are they crashing 
Or still, I wonder what tomorrow will bring
But for now, I lie still and exhale
Nothing can find me here
No stress, nothing, but peace
And a familiarness felt by those before me
I often wonder if they visit here too
But for now, I am alone in my calm
Until tomorrow, when I will explore
My favorite places, do my favorite things
If I want to 
Because here time stands still



Details | Narrative | |

The Sugar Cube House

Love is a season
And holidays mark the seasons, like signs in the road
Reflecting the bumps in our journey, but showing us a way back home...

Sixteen, in pajamas, watching the rain pelt down
It was long past midnight, Christmas eve
Twinkling lights on one house across the road, stared back at me
It was if they were trying to fill our void with color
The block was filled with a hundred black windows
And the blackness somehow seemed more appropriate  
There was no Christmas tree in our house this year
I suppose Dad felt it was too soon, or perhaps just the effort to get through each day
                                                                            had taken all the strength he had...
We had stayed up and watched a Christmas program together...
It was Perry Como, I think....somehow I remember how he sang "Ava Maria"...

My brother had come home from the Air Force earlier that week
He had helped bring us a bit of cheer....at least for awhile...
but he had been called back to duty, and I missed him terribly...

The house was silent after Dad had gone to bed
I wasn't sleepy....and it was lonely looking out at the cold night
It seemed the whole world was sleeping, 
                                 getting ready for the sun to shine on Christmas morning...

I started to head for bed, but noticed a light had been left on in the front coat closet
I opened the door, and looking up, to pull the chain, I noticed the box...
   The little box that kept the sugar cube house
It was one that Mom and I had made together when I was 8 years old... 
         Little sugar cubes stacked into walls and a roof, glued together with red frosting.
We had copied one out of her Ladies' Home Journal....surrounding it with little trees, and 
people skating on a mirror for a pond, things we had found at the 5 and 10 cent store
Carefully packed away last year, on Mom's last Christmas....

Throughout the night, I sat in the dimness of the house, laying out the sugary scene on the 
fireplace mantel....as Mom would have done .

When the freckled morning moved into day...
I woke on the sofa...Dad sitting next to me.  He had covered me with a warm blanket.
He held me and we cried together.
After breakfast....he disappeared outside, and soon came in carrying a sorry looking branch 
from our old evergreen tree.
We decorated that bedraggled branch...it wasn't the most beautiful tree we had ever had
But it brought Christmas back to my family...


For Constance La France's contest "Your Saddest Christmas Ever"
Carrie Richards


Details | Narrative | |

Coming Home

For a few days each year they call this house home
as once it had been before they started to roam.
The walls will be ringing with so much love and good cheer
they'll be storing it up to last through the year.
Every chick of my own will be under my wing.
I've prepared all their favorites, planned everything.
Twenty-one loved ones at once in my home.
The house is too small, should have rented the dome.
I call out each name as they enter the door
and think of the ones who aren't here any more.
My heart is so full of thanks to the Lord,
that the love my heart holds is returned many fold.
They greet each other with laughter and jokes.
This home and I have raised some good folks.
The turkey and gravy, did I make enough?
We've all eased our hunger but continue to stuff.
The pie will come later when the dishes are done.
Even the clean-up is happy and fun.
I gaze at them all and know in my heart.
they'll be as sorry as I when it's time to depart.


Details | Narrative | |

In Pleasure

In Pleasure          
By Nate Spears
Published 2013 in “Death OF A Rose” By Nate Spears


White suit, top hat, pride feeling higher than spectacular 
The ugly duckling has opened a new chapter
Revealing transformation that’s becoming a true sensation
Buried in his inaugural feelings of gold treatment
There’s always a silver lining after the disaster
Every battle, each day 
Sanity is mastered
Life tries to defeat us, expiration tries to meets us
But tonight he’s on top of the world
He’s on top of Thee
He’s on top of a feathered fame beak 
This is one hell of a duckling I must proclaim.
Our love floats in current 
Through the City of Jacks
You’re the only Queen of my deck 
As we coast along these sparkling waters splashing our tails
The momentum of the St. Johns River flows to a love hotel
Vapors of our spirits arises above
Elevating beyond the skies
There’s no limit tonight 
As my mind is blown on cloud nine 
With love and happiness is in the atmosphere
Scrolling the screams of these peaceful waters 
With mean swagger
This night is unbelievable 
Unbelievable is this; unbelievable I won’t miss
 
I was once viewed as a total tragedy, with no immunity from havoc
Or grievance
Frowned upon by my community as a under achiever
As if I was an oil spill disaster 
With no relief at hand, 
But to tonight I clean up well with Dawn
 
The river flows peacefully after the storm deforms
Accompanied by grace, I’m accompanied by love
Accompanying my side 
Is a woman of grace.
As we keep our heads above these judgmental waters in Florida
The rivers will flow to Fingers Point
At the end of this place called home sweet home tonight
I’m just a kiss away 
From the Full Moonlight.
 


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Teaching an Old Dog

All I remember is going into the garage to get the snow shovel.
 
I am not even sure how much of the driveway I managed to shovel.  Apparently, I was lying in the snow for several hours before one of the neighbors noticed me.

The next thing I remember is waking up from a deep sleep to the sounds of beeping machines with tubes and wires stuck into and on my body.

As I slowly regained consciousness and my eyes were able to focus, I was aware of a young, bald child looking down on me.

“Hi,” said the smiling, angelic face.  Given the child’s age and complete baldness, I could not tell whether they were a boy or a girl.  And, with the tube inserted in my throat and taped to my mouth, I was in no position to return their salutation.

I tried to remember who this child might be and why they were here with me.  I guess my eyes displayed my confusion as the child said, “I'm Elizabeth.  They let me walk around the hospital a little.  Sometimes I sneak out of the oncology wing and look for people who have no visitors.  I like to make sure someone is there when they wake up.  I know I always like to see someone when I wake up from my operations.”

She just stood above me smiling.  I then noticed she was holding my hand.

“Sometimes it is hard for family members or friends to come visit.  Some people just really don’t like hospitals.  And, I guess”, she said, “not everybody has someone that close to them.  So, I like to become their visitor for them.  I hope you don’t mind.”

I didn’t mind.  Although it did make me embarrassed to realize that I fit in the latter category; I didn’t have anybody that close to me.

She just smiled at me and petted my hand as the medications worked their magic on me and I started to drift back off to sleep.  I heard a nurse come into the room and say, “There you are, Honey.  You need to get back to your room now and leave this nice man be.”

The next time I regained consciousness, I noticed a hand drawn picture of a house with a Christmas tree out front with a note that said, “I hope you get home before Christmas” and was signed by Elizabeth.

Each new day, I was welcomed by another drawing of Christmas scenes; smiling faces; reindeer; and, starry skies.  All containing a happy note and all signed, ”Love, Elizabeth”.

After ten days of recovery and following the insertion of two stents into my heart, I was well enough to return to my empty home.  On my way out of the hospital, I stopped by the Oncology Wing to say good-bye and thank you to Elizabeth.  When I asked the nurse at the floor station where I could find Elizabeth, she replied, “Oh I'm sorry, Elizabeth is no longer with us.”

I then said, “Well can you tell me her home address or phone number, I would really like to thank her for visiting me in my hospital room this past week.”

The look on the nurse’s face indicated that I misunderstood what she had meant.  Elizabeth was no longer with us.

Sadly, I started walking towards the exit.

Just before I got to the elevator, I noticed an open door with a man lying on his bed, with tubes in his nose and throat and nobody else in the room with him.  I went into his room and sat in the empty chair.

When he opened his eyes two hours later, I said, “Hi, I'm Joe.  I noticed there was nobody here when you were brought back from your operation and I know how nice it is to see a smiling face when you wake up, so I thought I would sit here with you for a while.  I hope you don’t mind.”

He squeezed my hand; gave a slight smile; and, slowly drifted off back to sleep.


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Home

There is no place as better as home
not even heaven is as better as home

He strolled aimlessly in the streets of Amsterdam,
deep in reverie and gnashing his teeth.
Here, he had come for greener pastures
and gold,he had hoarded.
He lives in affluence, in destitude of nothing.
But lurking somewhere in his heart is a longing,
a longing that cannot be satisfied there,
A longing for home.

To yaounde because of an obligation
that is important for my education,
I embarked.
Everything cruises well for me but for one thing;
A longing for home.

A home is a haven more that heaven
She is the mother to all orphans
a place to relieve you of your solitude
it is an antidote to loneliness and homesickness

On several occasions, from Amsterdam he had called,
calling to tell me of his one unhappiness.
‘MICHAEL, I MISS HOME’

So really, there is no place as better as home,
NOT EVEN HEAVEN


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Battling Addiction

No one knew his background, he did not speak of family 
Not even the one left, whom he felt was a burden
His younger sister with whom he’d been out of touch

Financially, he was doing alright, handsome and perfectly fit
Friends wondered why he wasn’t dating
When asked, he’d merely laugh it off

If they only knew the burden he bore, haunted by his crippling addiction
A demon that had seized his body now hungered for his soul
Making its lustful demands at will by day or night

At first he seemed to keep his secret well, appearing as, just one of the guys
While apart, he rode the subway daily
With eyes of a hunter he surveyed

A different girl he took each time, In his home or some dark street corner 
When he had no access to girls, alone, he’d easily play “solitaire”
Or browse the magazines and internet

Secrets like acorns take a while to grow, his were no different; just biding 
time
Til the day of discovery arrived unannounced
Hidden files on the office hard drive

Confronted, he walked away in shame, and some ray of light seared his mind
At home he bagged and trashed his toys
Especially his favorite, the laptop

Temptation came fiercer and with maddening force, took him on a binge
That night he sank to the lowest belly of the beast
Ignoring his sister’s desperate call for help 

When he'd had his fill of a sordid, assortment of lust, a flicker of conscience 
emerged from within
Off he ran in the cold, pouring rain to find his sister alone 
Alone, in the bath with her wrists cut; her precious life slowly ebbing away

It was mercy which kept her alive, barely, and by her hospital bed he sat for 
three days!
Later, outside her room in the parking lot as he left, beyond broken he fell 
upon his knees 
And through his tears and the rain, he cried out loud , “God have mercy!”

That’s how a man, bankrupt; without love or self worth gained a second 
chance...
At a most pivotal time in his life; in need of redemption
The shackles of addiction laid broken in torrent rain...free once more to be 
himself.
~*~
02/25/13
Inspired by the HBO movie, "Shame"


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Glen Campbell -- A Special Person

Glen Campbell – A Special Person
      It was September 4th, 1968 and I threw an empty suitcase into the trunk of my car, telling Joan, my daughter, that I might not be home to celebrate her birthday. She would turn 13 the following day and Wanda, my wife, had planned something special. As I dropped her off at school she had no clue as to what was in store.
      Joan had become an ardent fan of a young Glen Campbell and he was due to be in town that very night for a concert.  We led Joan to believe we had given up all hopes of taking her to see him since my travel plans would probably keep me out of town that night. Joan reconciled herself to the distinct possibility she would not be in attendance at his concert. She was a very understanding young lady.
      When I returned home that evening, Joan was advised we would celebrate her upcoming birthday with a simple dinner out and maybe a movie. As we drove, Joan was very animated and proceeded to tell us of all the activity of the day. She didn’t pay much attention to where we were headed. Her chatter told us she wasn’t on to our plan.
      Well, when we approached the Music Hall in Houston, TX Joan realized where we were and became so excited I thought she was going to faint. She shrieked with joy and showed the textbook signs of one about to see their idol.  I don’t believe we had ever seen her so excited.
      Wanda had managed to reserve some wonderful seats, center stage 3 rows back. We took our seats and soon were enjoying watching our daughter watch this young performer transform the audience, mostly young people, into an almost hypnotic state.  We had joined Joan as fans of this young man from Arkansas. He was really putting on a great show. But something special was about to happen. 
      He finished the first half of his show and we sat there and listened to Joan excitedly chatter about what was taking place. 
      About halfway through the 2nd half Glenn pulled up a stool, sat down and asked, “Is there a Miss Joan Posey in the audience?” Joan was literally dumbfounded. We acknowledged to Glen that indeed she was here. Glen looked at here and said, “Well, tomorrow you’ll become a teenybopper. This one is for you.” He proceeded to sing “Hey, Little One” and there were probably as many tears in Dad’s eyes as in Joan’s. Her insistent question was, “How did he know?” repeated time after time.
      Wanda, in her fantastic way of pulling off the impossible, had written to Glen Campbell, in care of the Music Hall, and told him of Joan’s upcoming birthday. It would mean a lot to her if he could only wish her a happy birthday.  It was a long shot and he only received the letter some 2 hours before show time. Someone on his staff picked up on it and took it from there. He finished and instantly became a very special person to two proud parents. Joan became an instant VIP since almost half her class had been in attendance. It was a most memorable time and Glen Campbell will always have a special spot in our hearts…. Jake


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The Forest

A woodland path stippled with sun, hushed and quiet -
but the path I found myself on was a dark and dangerous one.
I'd been blackberrying - bramble-scratched, branch-slapped -
snapping from barbs berries fat as leeches
seeping blood-juices on my fingers.
Wood anemones opened pale hands to reach for me,
their fragrant star faces enticed me.
They beckoned, pulling me further and further away
from the world I knew and deeper into the wood.

The forest closed around me, trapping me
in a tangle of twining paths and trembling trees,
the ground layered with brown and golden leaves. 
Treetops cackled with the black caws of crows,
bushes bled red berries, grasses lashed my legs.
And every time the footpath forked
I went deeper, I went darker.
Tick-tock time slowed to a crawl,
watch hands wound backwards.

The whispering wood grew dimmer;
what little light there was struck trees and disappeared.
Fly agaric mushroomed into blood-raw open sores,
ivy ropes dangled nooses from branches.
Crying was useless, my panic-forced tears were hopeless.
Moles mouldered, luminous with maggots,
rabbits rotted, their throats ripped out.
Sky turned ink-dark, lonely wood-wild nights engulfed me.

With time, thoughts of home began to fade,
the seething forest seemed friendlier;
trees were a tease of teal and green,
rippling with strange and teeming life.
Amber algae scorched sunsets on umber bark,
wood sorrel crept, beetles burrowed, lichens came alive.
The forest floor was feathered with ferns
and plush with sponge-soft moss.
Now and again I caught the briefest glimpse of blue,
cool and welcome as water,
and once or twice, through distant trees, I spotted
what I took to be the twinkling lights of a town,
but it was only rainbow flickers glinting on leaves.

I've been gone too long, I'm too far gone.
Faint memories of home still siren-sing to me,
but just when I think I've found the right track
the forest tightens its grip, drawing me back.


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Work is love made visible-w

I do not know what work there is as many feel
I have always worked with love and taste
In my teens my second home was Library
Reading Gulliver travels and one-act plays.

After getting my master’s degree in English
I got a job in the university campus as a lecturer
And never felt teaching as a work but joy there.
My house was where I could hear college bells.

My class-room lectures were for three hours
And reading at home for next day preparation.
I *dramatized great works for the college fine arts
Even I *directed those works in my spare times.

After retirement my sons look after my needs 
I enjoy looking after my needs for the fine arts.

                         *************  

*The title  of the poem is a famous
quote of Great Urdu Poet Khalil Zibran 

*P.S. I shall be posting some photographs of my activities in
France and England, 1989. in my blog shortly

====================================
Eighth place winner in
Contest: The work you do in Honor of Carolyn Devenshire


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Good Son

That summer your dad died 
and we brought your mom
to stay a few weeks 
‘til she moved to the nursing home 

we drove east to Saskatchewan
the huddles of family 
I’d never met 
softly recounting your father’s fading  
while Bessie washed dishes without a word 
and looked for something 
newly misplaced

Only you 
her fiftieth gift child
who’d strategically shirked 
corporate success 
could flick the switch of recognition  
her pleading eyes a conversation
translated in flesh

Back at home with a change of plan 
to live together 
as long as we could
with the front door swinging 
the kettle screaming 
dry on the stove 
and Bessie shuffling the winding road
in search of church or bingo

'Til leaning down to hug “goodnight” 
your eyes her open sky 
where every memory softly whispered 
Bessie back into the light


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Eight-Year-Old Logic

(Learning prudence at a young age.)

Granddaughter is back 
for another weekend visit. 
She's a voracious talker.

"Mom and Kenny,"
she says. "argue about
who gets to do the dishes.
Mom says, I will do them.
Then Kenny says, No,
 It's my turn."

"That will soon be resolved,”
I say. “Your mom will decide 
Kenny gets the job." 

"I said that in my mind,”
she quips. 
“But not out loud.” 


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Kindred

~The Healer, I lay…Meditating, The Shaman’s path is inward and up, up, from the bed up, up, my astral body rises. Silence, surrounds … Looking down I see myself in a pit of covers my astral self slips from the window viewing home and hearth from outside and high above… No earth born sounds, awaken me from my flight. NO earthly forest, lush or deep entraps the Shaman she. NO bird calls fills the Predawn light… NO dewdrops distract~ Astral I recedes in time… a Dreaming Back, back, back without knowledge of time, or space like a fallen leaf~ twirling and swirling, letting the current take me, where it will through lifetimes to the womb and beyond . . . ~The Healer, I.. ghosts in space… my home but a speck lit with Chi. Silence, surrounds… Fair astral form of gossamer light, I…thread space on umbilical silk, the healer...reaches, reaches for the light, the He and She……God and Goddess. The Healer, I... reaches the World Tree, Yggdrasil, white crystal roots tendril into the primordial sea of space time, branching upward cradling Heaven. There below the tree in the soft grass an ancient one, a familiar soul, waits. ~Oh I am held by She, ancient Grandmother, and garner the wisdom of ages.~ But, the bodies time is now, and calls and as the clay rests, it calls down, down, down… I go ~Past the jumble-tumble between lifetimes, within the cycling universe of all, The Healer, I, reforms, snaps to the umbilicus of prone body, within the tumbled nest of sheets, in the now plane of existence. ~Arms reach out brushing cheeks, eyes gleam, and sparkle with the joy of sharing, kindred spirits having touched the ancient wisdon of the Light! Silence surrounds.
*revised


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Good Bones

Winding around the curve of the road
the brilliant blue of the morning sky had faded
and seemed it had been left out too long in the sun......
Something,...... some new kind of threshold, waited in the November chill
We didn't know yet, just what it was, but the memory 
would be imprisoned by our young, and eager eyes
for decades, to come

We had arrived........
with an alive sense of enthusiasm and a vivid anticipation

We left our children in the car, for a few minutes
until we saw the perfect yard.....that seemed to go for miles
the hills surrounded.....and a battered, eye-sore house, somehow had found us

I remember the house half timbered
with white paint peeling on the southern side
We had been expecting nothing much,
nothing more than a weekend's new adventure
not realizing we were entering the future
while the grey haired woman, who met us there, 
produced a key, and unlocked  the door.
 
We looked out behind us, 
where our children were already running up and down the grassy slope
"Twin Pine Real Estate" ,  scrolled across the door of the woman's car parked next to ours

If hesitation and....common-sense had overruled
The story would end here...


I do recall.....we said it all......
"Ramshackle dump" ! ? "Good bone structure"
"Good inspiration"  "They'll think we're crazy"
"With sweat and guts......."IF ....AND....or  BUT!"
"Elbow grease"........"Dedication"     "Celebrations"

We fell head over heels........we'll... beg, borrow, steal!

We hollered out to call the children
and then brought them in.   They shared the wish, 
to own a place to call our own, a home, some land, a mountain view
our grand ideas of property....of priority, of possibility, of probability, ..of family.....
Everyone would work, everyone would reap,  
A house we loved.........a dream to keep
and years have come, and years have gone......
         .........in the place that we still call home


_____________________________________________
9/16/14  A Special Memory Contest: sponsored by Regina Riddle


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Granny And Your last glass of water

He starts singing songs of Ireland and we are home in a jiffy
"What's a jiffy," my mother wonders
"Guess  where we went Granny?"
"I don't know but I have a feeling you are gonna tell me," answers my grandmother
"And Don't call me Granny!"
"We went to church so Poppy could ask secret questions."
"The priest gave Poppy a shot and a beer and Poppy sent me next store and he gave me money for  taffy."
"He told me not to tell anyone especially you about the priest cause it's only for the priests ears."
"He said God would take away taffy and I'd never get another goodie and God would strike me dead if I told."
"So I can't tell anyone."
"He did," and she starts yelling and grabs a weapon,"what kind of idiot would be scaring a little child?"
Granny is standing on  Poppy's toes and and asking him questions of where he'd been and getting a sniff of his breath
"So what did you tell  the priest and him giving you consolation and a shot and beer."
"That little rat ," and thinks about the money for candy
Later, Granny is chasing Poppy with that big iron frying pan and poppy running and singing
"In Heaven they have no beer, that's why we drink it here."
"You damn fool I'm gonna bust you in the head, "and throws the pan at his head
And later
Cousin Francis has bill collectors come to the house looking for him
Granny was four foot seven  inches and she starts kicking him in the shin
My Mother grabs his Dick Tracy hat and she jumps on it and flattens it
I ask my mom where I was when this happened and she pauses
" You were in Heaven Patrick waiting with your brother!"
The truancy officers bang on the door and want to know where Uncle Charles is
Granny shrugs and says, "He is upstairs and the sound of the window going up sounds
They all run upstairs and see Uncle sliding down the tree and running as fast as his
seven year legs can move
He comes home later that evening holding a goose under his arm
And Poppy has a soft-boiled goose egg for breakfast every morning
I ask Uncle what happened to that goose and He said,"one day he came home  and
they had chicken for dinner."
And Poppy was gone to heaven to get me and my brother ready Mom says
And Granny sits my brother and me on her lap and says,"you two knuckleheads listen up."
"This is very important so don't forget it."
"Treat people the way you want to be treated, because you never know who is going to hand you your last glass of water"


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Dedication to Everyone

I feel that I have found a home in this cyberspace
with full of hearts and ideas in a special place
I wonder of all the people in the world to make me smile
with antics that help me grow in every mile
I do want to say to all of the people with respect
because of all of you my mind is not in a wreck
I would lie if I did not get ideas from all of you
without you my poems would not come true
I bless everyone with care 
with kindness and without dis-pare
I hold my hands high and put them together
with this I bless you with good weather
I do read some of the poems that people put out
sometimes I feel with out a doubt
I feel the pain in the poems that some has revealed
with hopes that they can read with their mind not sealed
I smile a bunch with every word
it is like a music in my head making a cord
I do want you all to know that you have made my day
to be a better day in every different array
I cherish my time with all the people in my heart
the words flow in my mind is just but a start
I'm happy with everyone in PoetrySoup.com 
with hardship that came this cyberspace makes me calm
I cannot choose five cause if I do I don't think it's right
just to tell you that is just my own insight
I thank all for helping me grow with all the poems that are shown
with faith and humor, with views of kindness this site has grown

If I had to say or dedicate my poems to who 
would be the first five who reads my poems with a point of view


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THE FORIEGNER'S STORY

THE FOREIGNER’S STORY

INTRODUCTORY NOTE TO THE POEM: It is a well known fact that we all shall die eventually, for it is inevitable. God, our creator and the owner of the world created us for a purpose. This purpose He wants us to achieve, so He sent us to the world to do so. The world is a difficult yet an easy place to stay. Back to Him we shall go. To Him we are responsible to. Heaven is our home, the earth isn’t.

On a journey I embarked
Through a dark tunnel
To an unknown world
A world of pains and
Afflictions
A world of joy and
Sorrow
Who am I to challenge him?
Into a foreign land He sent me
A nine month journey I embarked
To the great land.

Into the land I arrived
After a stead fast nine month journey
A weeping arrival I had
Down on my cheeks rolled tears
As I cried bitterly
Who knows?
It might be painful to 
Leave home
Home sweet home.

Into the land I arrived
After a steady fast nine month journey
A joyful arrival I had
Happiness I brought into 
My foreign home
So little I was
Every man joyfully welcomed me
A sweet sad moment.

The hard way I grew
On a rough road I walked
In a difficult world I walked
In a difficult world I lived
	Struggling……
		Working……
			Sweating……
To make ends meet
My master is with me though

A foreigner I am
Back to my home, I’ll return
One day
Having no say
My master is there to decide
My day of return He decides
Back to my home
In the bosom of my master
In the bosom of my father
That day I long for
For this life is a journey
A traveler must surely
Return home
Home sweet home.


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Stone cold

He betake himself to his room
Does a clear blue sky betokening a bright day?
His motivating memory needs to retrace the day,
The reverberating revival and the doom.
In the boulevard, sloppy and slippery
Derelicts yet living on the streets
Where are the members of the expedition?
Buster! Prominent players on the pains.
In his fatherland, full of luxuries,
Where he is used and kicked
With nothing like honey moon or period
His readiness is there forever,
Like compatriots who look to their history.
For words he wails in himself is not of doubt:
What goes around, comes around
And what comes the world goes the world.
A deranged attacker, could he be?


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One Day I'll go Home

One Day I’ll go Home.
Home is where I could do anything. I would listen to my music and clean as often as 
I liked. There was no right or wrong as time belonged to me. When I listened to my 
music nothing else mattered I was just happy. Happy was a simple thing with only 
music and cleaning for my home was a happy place for me!
Music brought an upbeat rhythm to lift my spirit at all times. I felt the beat as I 
moved about doing all things in time with the songs. I enjoyed cleaning my home 
with joy as things shined so for my pleasure. A combination of music and cleaning 
nothing could beat. I wanted and needed to feel so complete.
Now a new house and life with music I still have. Now the music is less and the 
cleaning so rare. The joy of the shine is far from my home and the call of pleasure 
and being complete I’ve left behind. The feeling’s once felt while my music played 
and I scrubbed things down has been handed over to another. 
My purpose has changed to be that of another. I fill this house with things from life 
with part time music and rarely clean as someone other does this. I have a purpose 
in this house and although kept secret my spirit knows things come to pass. The 
rhythm of my music and the spirit of the song will ensure happiness come along!
Now as I grow old my mind turns inward to find my home. I am there at last the 
place where my music plays and I find rhythm. I see myself start to clean and the 
shine appears. What welcomed relief to hear and see these things that made me so 
complete. Once again I am just that for joy fills my heart and I know I am home 
again.
                                                                                                    Debbie Knapp.


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Growing Up Rich

Growing Up Rich

My childhood home was just four rooms, heated by a black stove in the kitchen.
No phone, no car, a toilet in the basement. Money was tight. The rent had to be paid.

I spent my days in youthful endeavors. Playing baseball in the field where the high school now stands.  My dad, a laborer, walked to work each day, every day. My mom typed envelopes at home for extra money.

At dinnertime my mom would ring a cowbell, calling me home. Responding was not an option. I'd ride my bike home, wash my hands, and join the family at the table. Food was not plentiful, but prepared with love.  I never went hungry.

In my teens dad took ill and could no longer work. Mom got a job at the Woolworth s
I got two paper routes, my earnings split with my parents.

Neighborhoods were tightly knit then. Bad news arrived home before you did. Fruits of backyard gardens were shared, and helping hands lived right next door

School clothes were few in number, but were always clean and ironed. You took them off after school and donned the jeans with ironed on patches. Shoes were passed down from my brother, their lives extended by glued on half-soles or cardboard, cut to shape and stuffed inside. But mostly, I wore my high top P.F. Flyers.

Christmas meant a cut tree with strings of large colored lights. Our stockings were hung on hooks behind the old black stove, to be filled overnight with oranges, apples, candy, and maybe a toy. We thought we were the luckiest kids in town

Sitting here now, reflecting on my childhood, how hard it must have been to make ends meet, but meet they did. The things my folks must have gone without to make sure their kids didn'. We learned early the value of a dollar. They taught me to respect my elders, to know the difference between right and wrong, and to practice it. Their values became my values and stood me in good stead. Their greatest gifts were the love and guidance they provided

I realize now all my memories are good ones. My folks gave me everything it was important for me to have, and although I didn't realize it then, I understand now how lucky I was to have grown up rich.



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letter to Eden

My deplorable emotional collapse. 

Lucky for me, she happened to be in her many hour siestas!

My dear sister amelie came over (previously arranged to pick up some rocks that z mama rolled in a pile) and upon opening the front door all internal hell broke loose!

Utter torturous sadness tore thru every fiber of my being - hence a logical explanation conclusion per the abdominal distress that thankfully diminished. 

Aside from helplessness as of crumpling like a heap of cards, an extreme fright gripped me at the thought of yourself and shana returning to ramshackle mishmash.

Early today, she many hours sweeping (what her hands formerly hurled from the upstairs bedroom or glass and/or plastic containers blithely tossed on the kitchen floor) with some improvement.

Though, i might need to spend later today (Wednesday) gutting the refrigerator and discarding any potential alien life forms.

A prediction that a. you and shana will be quite sad leaving the tranquil home of the dunning family and b. stepping back into a place where disorder and entropy feast.

Please try to express sentiments per how you feel toward me! Such emotion might well be, but not necessarily limited to (just guessing) -- > anger, grief, hatred, loathing, rage.

Despite your impression or reaction toward and/or against me, i do value you more than any precious gem!

Matthew can honestly claim that "mother" acts considerably more pleasant to me. She politely greets me with what her "GOOD MORNING MISTER HARRIS"!

This message blurted soon after she espies me shuffling to the bathroom tending to that human toy let trees.

This and other of her cheery inquiries for attention (talk, contra dance, back rub...) find me practically catatonic at such ordinary desires. 

Years on end never er or rarely found me to experience this personable facet, yet...SHE WANTS NOTHING TO DO WITH OCTAVIA LAMB NOR GAYLE BAIR!

As (possibly) mentioned in the previous email, i too shared similar antipathy, hostility, offer dollops of voluble vulgarity!

At some juncture in the recent past, a strong objection against reacting in that manner (no matter the three musketeers - as referred to by thee senora and chief television watcher), spoke to this papa in crudely fierce, immeasurably lambasting tone.

Matter of fact, i emailed Octavia to inform her of the legal documents en-route to her home in gap, pennsylvania and reiterated appreciation for our (albeit unwelcome and long overdo) stay at blank greentree lane.

No intent to augment change in the counterpart. We seem to be diverging in any former opinions. 

Now, (meaning within the recent present)
 numbness freezes and seems to cease up desire to be alive
sometimes i do not care if the grim reaper takes me for an eternal drive
aware that you and shana would be well tended in that busy bee hive
comprising cheerfulness, delight, happiness, liveliness, joy, kindness mirth,
 et cetera where amity, comity, energy...does strive
among lovely offspring of shari and Andy, both troopers against challenges 
 as if...he married a heavenly wive. 

Shari and amelie encouraged me to express churning agitation within me
which best be conveyed now rather than per your return, 
where communication will be done as ease a lee.

Omg! The hour fast approaches four-ante meridian. Gawd cooks the time away. The task to organize the refrigerator hardly seems like a choice! You may not even notice since, (though the kitchen floor swept) aversion to enter the eatery might deter courage. 

Your risk to board a plane considerably less than the hazards that lurk in said innocent locale.

Take care my dear. 


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Golden Windows

A young shepherd living near the hill,
taking his flocks everyday to drumlin.
He wonders deeply while sitting upon the rocks,
looking at afar house while feeding his flocks.

The shepherd's desire is fantasy of afar home,
that has golden windows behind hedge of anemone.
He wonders if the windows of the house are gold
how other appurtenance of the house are mould?

He starts his journey to there, finally after some time, 
going along the way across the hill while biting a loaf of naan.
When arrives, he finds the house in fully collapsed condition. 
There are no golden windows but a poor crumbled house. 

He looks to his own house down the drumlin
surprised by the heavenliness of his own dwelling
The sun was casting back on his house's stained windows 
just like the sparkling on the gold as the sun downs


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Wishing to go home

I wonder what it feels like
To live another life
One without the sickness
One without the pain
Yet i'm still stuck here
In the cold Alaskan wind
Where Florida awaits me
And maybe the pain will fade


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Brother and Sister

Susan sits by an open window
Remembering her brother
It was during the sixties when it happened
The exact date was May 8, 1966
They called the Sixties liberating
A time when America accepted change
But it wasn’t like that for everyone
Her brother Stevie
Was two years younger than she was
The guys in school used to call him names
Like sissy boy and queer
Saying if he got into trouble his sister would have to stick up for him.

But Stevie was better
Way better than the bullies at school.

At home Susan and her brother 
Would move the living room coffee table 
Push the old couch back 
And then sing the old favorites 
In close harmony
Songs about teenage love
Like the sad love ballads by the Everly Brothers
Or the Righteous Brothers
The sadder the love song
The more they liked it
They would stand together
Moving ever so slowly
And sing those songs so loud 
And so close 
To each other’s face 
Over and over 
And then Stevie would whistle the ending
While their parents 
Clapped and clapped
And clapped. 

Then one late afternoon
When Stevie didn’t come home from school
The phone rang and rang
With a strange incessant kind of ringing
That jarred their mother  
It was someone from the school saying 
That horseplay got out of hand
Then the police came 
A man in a suit spoke to father in the kitchen
Whispering over the clouds of cigarette smoke 
Susan could barely hear his hoarse whisper 
Only things like “We‘re going to investigate this”
And  “I promise I’ll do what I can”
Her family never did find out what happened to the investigation.

Along the way
Away from home
Something peculiar happened to Susan 
She lost something of herself
And would sit   
Staring out of the window 
Not seeing anything
Just thinking of her brother.

She still does it today
Just staring
Out to nowhere
Every time she hears one of those old songs
She feels that Stevie is still with her.

Forgiveness is a long word
For what happened a long time ago
All Susan has are memories
If she could just absorb them  
And put them in a little bottle 
And carry them around
So whenever she started feeling down
She’d open the bottle 
And all those good memories 
Would remind her just how special life is 
 And Stevie would still be there
Their bodies entwined
Singing harmony
She holding the last note
He snapping his fingers
Whistling the last sad tune.



.
 


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Before The Light

There are too many times when my eyes open and it’s still dark.

It’s useless to think that I’ll go back to sleep, and it’s no good at all to lay in bed and watch the passing parade of worries that comes marching down the Main Street of my mind. When I do that, the entertainment seems to take on its own life. The parade grows longer, more spectacular, with the noise of marching bands, my thoughts, growing louder. Clowns scurry ahead of the band leader, throwing red balls in the air. There are too many balls to count.

The best thing I can do for myself is to rise from my bed. But there are days when it seems too much to bear being home before the rest of the world rises. There’s just too much emptiness in my small house. 

I leave, escaping to DD's, where I sit and sip my coffee over a newspaper. Sometimes there are others sitting waiting for the light to come, too–like the woman who gives an animated “Hello” to everyone she meets, staring too long into our eyes. She takes out her cell phone to call a friend about the rashes on her legs. Something is biting her during the night. Raj and the other DD workers snicker, and I am drawn to–but at the same time repelled by–her morbid troubles.

Sometimes, in the winter, it seems as if the time I spend in the dark before the light comes is endless. I don’t think it’s normal for darkness to last so long; it’s probably one of the punishments for eating the apple in Eden.

I much prefer the early light of June and July, when the morning allows the gentle unfolding of life around me. Somehow, when the sun is in the sky at 6:30 a.m., a passing gasoline truck rattling my windows does not sound so lonely. Nor do I mind the sun revealing the stains from spring rains on my windows … or the birds loudly announcing their presence in the trees. Their manic chirping awakens schoolchildren eagerly counting down the days til summer.

When the darkness is especially long, and I have already sought out the comfort of others who cannot sleep, I will sometimes return home and do what I am so reluctant to do — sit still. I take up my position in a special chair near a window that looks out onto the street. I close my eyes and listen to the heated rhythms that only my body can make. My breath … my ins and outs.

But I wonder; why is it so hard to be still? Especially in the dark before the light.


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Of Man and Chicken

There was shelter and it was warm
At the meat-eating man's home;
Where chicken once went for aid,
And back to forest his way never made.

Two birds, once upon a time,
Were inseparable friends of great match and rhyme!
In great forest where it never gets warm,
There they stayed in grassy and shaggy home.

One was chicken, and helmeted Guinea fowl was the other;
And none was father nor were any mother:
But they lived together, just and equal friends,
And their love seemed boundless, that of no ends.

Morning the early up the two did wake,
And hastily smart breakfast could make;
Before they went on bread-winning errands,
Pecking into woods and foraging under sands.

They flew back home together and ate dinner together,
And also they slept together;
So to keep their bodies warm in the cold weather:
And you could hardly unsay “these are birds of the same feather.”

One chilly, dull and frosty morn
At the crack of exactly dawn,
Earlier chicken woke up while fowl still did snore,
And “gosh!” he scared fowl to sight when he exclaimed, poking fingers into ice-cold coal.

Eerie faced Fowl “Mad you,” abused Sir Chicken,
Who still murmured in anger in an open-top kitchen;
Laughter once and quietly Chicken went out—
To solicit for burning coal I have no doubt.

There out he met man who fire promised to give,
 But wanted to trick Chicken with him to live;
“You’ll catch cold there. Get in my house there’s heat.”
Cheap minded Chicken therein saw maize, and began to eat.

Sun arose and Fowl wondered
Where chicken went, and thus he thundered,
“Chi-ck-en-i-e-e!” and twice and thrice,
Yet chicken thought to answer would be no wise.

And over again, and again and again,
Fowl shouted until voice could no more attain;
But once and never twice, "My friend there’s no fire here”
(Chicken replied, but Fowl will come to eat maize was his fear)

Tired Fowl went for earthworms,
And was sad, for Chicken had defied their norms;
To date they have never been of the same feather,
But man and Chicken live in home together.

Lonely though, Fowl in the forest is safe;
He can escape man, he is wise and brave:
Poor Chicken by man is on fed,
And can not resist when to slaughter house led.

There was shelter and it was warm
At the meat-eating man’s home;
Where Chicken once went for aid,
And back to forest his way never made.



 


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Chapel by the Sea

"The music in my heart is from the tolling of the bell"



I drove in silence, watching the road closely as it coiled along the rocky coastline, occasionally flipping on the wipers to remove the sea mist that gathered on my windshield.  How long had it been, I mused, since the last time I was here.  More years then I liked to think I’m afraid.  Yet still, the closer I came to the village that was my childhood home, the more a sense of belonging reawakened.

I entered the village, passing the old high school and several of the shops on Main St, most with new names and new owners while others sat dark and vacant.  I couldn’t help but feel a little sad.  This town was the soul of my childhood and I guess I had never expected it to forsake my memories.  It would somehow remain frozen in time, waiting for my return to begin anew.

I searched for the familiar as I neared the old port, only to be greeted by a today I had not anticipated.  I was home and my home was no longer there.  Then I heard the bell.  The mellow chime called to me, like the voice of an old friend.  I drove with haste until arriving at the little Chapel by the Sea. 
 
I stared as if seeing it for the first time, savoring the weather beaten wood and frosted windowpanes.  The sturdy steeple urging me to enter.  As I stepped into the dim, cool interior, it was as if I never left.  I was that kid again with shined shoes and slicked down hair that came here every week to profess my faith.

  The silence was overwhelming as I slid into a pew, letting the nostalgia of the moment wash over me.  I had found my anchor.  For all my absence, it had waited for my return and, wrapping me securely in its embrace, seemed to say "welcome back, I've missed you.


Bob Quigley
September 24, 2011
Written for “The Church by the Ocean” contest


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The Ong Civilization

If unable to read, see translation at end of poem!


THE ONG CIVILIZATION

Wonghongilonge songailinonggong tonghonge Pongacongifongicong, I dongisongcongovonge rongedong a songunongkongenong rongeefong.

Itong wongasong tonghonge longononggong longosongtong Isonglonge ofong Ononggong.

Mongy dongisongcongovongerongy longedong monge tongo fonginongdong tonghongatong
tonghongisong tonginongyong isonglonge hongadong bongeenong tonghonge hongomonge ofong tonghonge Ononggong congivongilongizongatongionong.

Tonghongrongee mongilongesong anongdong tongwongomongilongesong wongidonge,  itongsonganongkong bongecongausonge tonghonge Ononggongesonge wongeronge songo hongeavongyong tonghongeirong wongeigonghongtong wongasong songogongrongeatong tonghongatong itong wongasong longosongtong fongorong congenongtongurongiesong 
unongtongilong mongy dongisongcongovongerongyong anongdong itongsong longanongonguagonge wongasong tongronganongronglongatongedong.

Translation:  While sailing the Pacific, I discovered a sunken reef.  It was the home of the long lost Isle of Ong.  My discovery led me to find that this tiny isle had been the home of the Ong covilization.  Three miles long and two miles wide, it sank because the Ongonese were so heavy and their weight was so great that it was lost for centuries until my discovery and its language was translated.


Curtis Moorman
28 January 2012

For contest:  New Language


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Remembering

 entering into the Sea of Words contest by Leighann Anderson    7/3/2011

Remembering...
I was 27 years old, and in my second year of working for my first real "grown
-up" 
job.  There is something powerful about wearing a pair of pressed matching scrubs, a 
name tag addressed by first name only, and a stethoscope around the neck( a lot 
heavier than the plastic one I was so accustomed to in my junior doctor kit.)  I 
thought I had the answer to any medical problem thrown my way...I was wrong.
In between bringing patients to their rooms, the receptionist, who is the spitting 
image of Barbie, minus the plastic legs, informed me I had a phone call, and is very 
important.
Being my first "personal" call at my job as a registered medical assistant, I 
immediately had to remove my "work hat" and don my "me hat", something I tend to 
lack some knowledge in.
My head overflowing with a thick fog, I try to navigate everything out before saying 
the usual greeting, to no avail.
My sweaty palm takes hold of the receiver and a voice I barely recognize mouths the 
appropriate greeting;
This is the phone call that would change my life forever...
I could sense through the black receiver plastered with a large "911" sticker, my 
mom has been crying for quite sometime.  Her trembling followed the same route I took home from work everyday after I left work and went 
home.  This is my safe haven, no one or nothing could harm me here.  This is home 
voice cracking the words of an accident.
With the word accident replaying over and over like a 33 vinyl record skipping at the 
best part of the song,  I hung up the phone.
I began to wipe the stream before it formed a puddle on the dirty blue carpet of the 
doctors office.
Coworkers hands patting me on the shoulder, back, hand and arm, I was taking on the role of the patient, with not a clue of what to say or do.
I got in my beat-up white Mazda 210, not sure where the road would lead me.  I followed the same route I took home from work everyday and went home.  This is my safe haven, no one or nothing could harm me here.  This is home sweet home, where
everything is so routine.  I so longed for that right now.  I pulled into the driveway, alone,  scared, confused, and filled with the question of why .   
I stumble to the front odor.   to be continued....


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The Art of Living Part One

Helen Caccumise was a very inspirational person. She loved drawing, painting, music 
and reading books. She owned a Veterans home in Greenwich Ohio, where I live. She 
has known my grandma Sandy for thirty years. They started the Veterans Home 
together. I always went up to the veterans home when I was little; it was around the 
time I started to call Helen, Granny Helen. She was a second mother to everyone. She 
would be the one to say that everyone looks for the perfect life to step into. They take 
all the right paths to get where they want to go, but no matter what, they always come 
back home to themselves. I usually went up there to hang out with a guy named Pat, he 
was a veteran. He went into the service when he was in his twenties. We were best 
friends but then something happened and everything changed when Megan (Helen’s 
Daughter) took over the veteran’s home. Helen lived in the house across from ours, so i 
always went to her house. She bought me my first ferby. She was the one that told my 
sister if she ate a full cigarette that she would be a smoker when she got older. Of 
course my sister ate it; guess what she is now a full time smoker, it’s funny how things 
work out that way.I’m writing about what happened the day Helen died because it’s still 
fresh in my memory, like it happened yesterday. I’m still getting over the loss of her. I 
spent most of my time with Helen because she helped me through my troubled times 
and she always wanted to listen to me play my bass guitar. So I owe her everything I 
own. If writing this memoir would help me find a way to get rid of the guilt then I’ll do it.


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Flying Fortress Mi Amigo Rememberance

Mi Amigo It happened in the year nineteen forty-four Ten young lives from that day were with us no more They were flying a B17 bomber plane A ten man crew “Mi Amigo” was her name Returning from a raid over Denmark Badly damaged and struggling back to her mark Her radio dead and engine misfiring The skin in tatters from all the shell firing A nurse plane was left to guide her way home But they lost sight in the clouds and presumed she was gone But the pilot valiantly tried to find the English coast He needed to reach Charleston but managed Sheffield, their last post It was just before five on that February day Children in the Endcliffe Park with a football to play Mi Amigo couldn’t wait she had to come down She spiraled and tried to land in the Park ground The pilot he saw the children playing there He lifted the nose and tried to climb in the air There is a Memorial Stone in the park these days They planted ten oak trees for the boys they couldn’t save The boys were all American aged twenty-one to twenty-four February Twenty Second, they were lost far from their own shore The Pilot determined he missed the children and hit in the trees Heroes to the parents of the children playing in that February freeze My mother watched the plane as it struggled overhead The engine sound and smoke from it filled them with dread They had souvenirs made from the Perspex nose of the plane But they are now lost like the lives of the boys that were claimed
It was the anniversary in Feb of 10 American boys that died in a Park where I played as a child. My mother would normally have been playing there with the others but she watched it from her sick bed at home as the plane passed yards from their roof. Although she was an eyewitness this information is from A book By D Harvey called Mi Amigo Sheffield's Flying Fortress


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Solitude

Here In the wide open Wyoming wilderness,
My eyes capture what can't be enhanced.
A campfire crackling beneath a star filled sky, 
time that stands still as consolations pass by.
shadows of sage that dance beyond campfire light.
A realization of the treasure it is;  this Wyoming life.
The plateau breezes that naturally eases,
the mind of this callused man.
Take's me back to a time now long forgotten,
when solitude, was the attitude,
of every Nation, Tribe and Clan.
With the stillness of the night,
you can still hear that plight, 
through the cry's of the coyote howl. 
So it seems; that all poetry brings, 
is solitude that will last just awhile.


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Life of a Cowboy

I've got me a woman, a sweet lovin' woman
So, "Why", do you ask, "am I sayin' goodbye?"
A cowboy like me, has a hankerin' to be free..
Free to be roamin' under sweet prairie skies
                                                every once in awhile,
Even tho' I'll be missin' her lovin' and kissin'
                                               and the sight of her smile.

I saddled my horse, knowing of course
That she wants me to stay....
But I kissed her goodbye, saw the tears in her eyes
                                               as I mounted my pony and trotted away
I knew she'd be grievin', because of my leavin'
But I gotta have space with walls closin' around me
I gotta get riding, where fences ain't binding.

As I ride dusty trails, I'll be hummin' a song
"The Red River Valley", or some others I've known
I'll play my guitar, harmonizing with birds
While the crickets at sundown, know all the words
Then night after night as I lay by my fire
After cooking up bacon, and some biscuits and beans
I'll think of my life, and my home and my woman
About my 'lil' darlin', and 'bout what love really means
I'll remember the good times, forgetting the bad times
I won't sleep 'cause the moonlight shines in my face
With coyotes a howlin', and the rocks in my bed roll
I'm tossin' and turnin', and for my woman I'm yearnin'

When I'm done with my roamin', ...well, then I'll be home bound
Back to my sweetheart, where you know I should be
I'll saddle my horse....knowing of course....
That I'll tell my sweet woman, I'll hang around this time....
Until that old fever gets me, and I'm scratchin' and itchin' 
Then I'll catch up my pony, throw on my old bed roll
I'll head for the mountains, smell sage on the prairie
And I'll gallop through the valley of the thick chaparral
  _________________________________________






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giants do fall

Look up in the sky now tell me what do you see

people tell me I need to go down on my knees and say something to, but everytime I call 

on you I always get a beep... I am starting to feel like there is nobody home up there, if

so why am I laying my head down in places where it is illegal for me to sleep?

my mind is full of troubles and in my time of need all I keep running into is struggles...

they say being gay is a demon and if it bothers you why didnt you think about all of this 

when you found out he loaded you up with his semen?...

I wasnt asked to be in this world just like you didnt expect to be beaten, but damn I am one

of your kids too so why am I so mistreated?...

they also say what goes around comes around..... now you really got me thinking back to 

all those nights when I wasnt eating... (it wasnt by choice but by force)

but that didnt stop you cause you would still be home whipping up a main course...

you waited 22 years to finally get a divorce because you thought your man was gonna 

wife you up, until he figured out your ways and threw up them deuces to you, but luckily 

for you, you still living in high class, but what are you gonna do when that child support

stop coming to you?


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Kaleidoscopic Dreams

Today there was no electricity
So I slept off the day
Most of the nights past had been so long

Soon it was as usual
Went into my past
It wasn’t as enticing
Still a lot of mediocrity
Met a few friends 
Still as they were when I left

Soon I found myself with someone I love so much
Still as pessimistic and unhappy as she has always been
God, thanks I still have some self esteem
For the past I had was tailored to make me believe
...that there was nothing I could achieve

Soon I realised a dream
I was in a media house feeling so ecstatic
But something interrupted the TV
It appeared as though it was a coup from the 60’s
The broadcast was shut
Then on the screen I saw three earthquakes or volcanoes
Couldn’t really tell what coz the map was geographic
The three volcanoes or earthquakes were due to hit my country
One around Lake Turkana the other two down in the Coast
Somewhere in the Indian Ocean
I know not what to make of that dream

Then I was somewhere in Iowa or Ohio
Couldn’t tell where of the two it really was
In a state that had a railway station, a factory and only three residents
Wondered how they got along

Soon I was in another county in the 1880’s
Here I met a lovely family of many
They were struggling just to get by
And there was a young man just my age
You could see in his face that he was a dreamer
And for sure he dreamt big
The strong sugarless tea and crusty bread
...couldn’t work for him anymore
In his soft voice I had strong resolve
He was gonna go and build his home stark in the middle of his dreams
And before I could see the intensity in his eyes
He was gone
His former home didn’t even miss him

As I rubbed off my eyes to wake up at five
His is the first dream that came to mind
And yes, as sure as I was he would succeed 
So shall I


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Our Home

Mother called up when I was busy at work
Be home early, raw dinner awaits to be cooked
As I open the door of our dear little home
I felt welcomed upon seeing my loving folks

Dinner was a festive and we were full
Then together we watch our favorite show
When my parents eyes betrayed sleepiness
They bid me goodnight then doze

Before I lay down on my inviting bed
I muse for a while, then recited a prayer
I thank the Lord for keeping my family
In this sweet home as together we stay
 
Our home, our little heaven is where my heart
Here I was raised full of affection and bliss
To my parents I give my care and undying love
A day's a treasure with them, not to be missed


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At Top of the Stairwell

When I was a young boy of five years old, I became very ill.  My parents took me to the Doctors shortly after Christmas.  I was immediately rushed to the hospital and there I would stay for the next six months of my young life.

Even though I had five siblings, my father would visit me in the hospital every day.  The nurses assumed I must be an only child based on how much time my father spent visiting me.

When it came time for my father to go home each night, we had a little ritual we would perform.  My father would try to sneak me out of the hospital to take me home.  I would climb out of bed, stand on top of my father’s feet and wrap my arms around his waist.  My father would button up his long trench coat over top of me and start walking out of my hospital room with me holding on tight.

As soon as we reached the nurses’ station outside my room, one of the nurses would stop us and say I was not well enough to go home yet and we would return to my room where my father tucked me in for the night.

One night, for some reason, we made it past the nurses’ station all the way to the top of the stairwell exiting the hospital.  My father unwrapped his trench coat and announced we had made it!  We could go down the stairs, out of the hospital and home to my mother, brothers and sisters.

I remember standing at the top of the steps looking down the long stairwell to the door leading outside to freedom; away from the doctors, away from the needles, away from the medicines, away from lonely nights, away from fear, away.

We stood there for what seemed like an eternity.  My father said it was up to me.  Do we go home or stay there?

The image of that long stairwell has stayed with me ever since.  Whenever I feel conflicted in my life; whenever I have a tough decision to make; whenever I am under stress; I see the image of that stairwell and the choices it represented to me.

On that night in 1963, I told my father we had better go back to my hospital room until I was well enough to go home.  Most times in my life since then, I have made the practical, safe decision.  But every once in a while – with the image of a frightened boy standing at the top of the stairwell in my mind – I have decided to take the chance and walk out that door.  Luckily for me, my decisions seem to all work well for me.  

But, that image still returns as those tough decisions seem to repeatedly present themselves.  I am just glad I am still around to make the choice.


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Small Town In California

In that far northern part was where I was born,

Over forty years ago my journey started in my home.

My Mom and Dad worked so hard to feed us eight kids,

If one can learn to love anyone in this world it was them.

My mom told me one day her mom was born on a wagon train,

Of how Great Grandma traveled over Donner Pass in winter,

Just two weeks after the Donner Party passed away.

Great Grandpa never got over it she would say.

Still, 16 children her mom would birth way back then,

It gave me enough aunts and uncles and cousins for life.

In fact it was almost enough to start our own small town,

Of course that's also another story left for the pondering.

My Dad's real father died when Dad was only 4 months old.

His name was Charles Epps and was kin to the Wilkinsons,

Dad has told me stories of the famous English iron masters,

And of how George Washington by marriage was my relative.

Isn't it funny how that fact now makes no difference to me?

Because I feel akin to all my brothers and sisters of earth.

We all started somewhere on this world and no matter where,

And I didn't have a damned thing to do with what George did.

So isn't that much more relative to the point we all make?

All I know is I watched my Mother and Father sacrifice for us,

That is all that truly matters and is all that truly counts.

To love all the billions is what flies my current mortality.

Famous or unknown we all end up just exactly the same,

Spirits with no mortal baggage holding us down for take-off.

Free at last to roam a universe forever untied from greed, 

And beyond a place that once was called a human's paradise.


Copyright © 2014 Robert William Gruhn - All Rights Reserved

"A poem to me is the essence of any thought,
Being built from its foundation into tower scraping sky.
It can fly like no other bird to places never seen,
Even spaceships can only dream of taking its place."

© 2014 Robert William Gruhn


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Stormy Christmas Eve

A Stormy Christmas Eve It had been snowing all day and the skies were looking glum. My mama started crying when the mailman didn’t come. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day; Dad said, “I’ll ride to town.” He put his warm raccoon coat on and pulled his big hat down. Then my mama began to fret. I saw her fingers drumming. “Do you think that you really should? I fear a storm is coming”. My daddy said, “I’ll be okay if I am riding Dan. You know that horse will find the way. He’s smarter than a man.” Then Mama gave him a big kiss and said, “Now do take care.” She waved him off into the storm and wiped away her tear. My mama plucked the turkey and kept looking at the clock while little brother prattled on about his Christmas sock. The storm was growing stronger and the light turned into dark, while I was just a wishing I would hear old Ringo bark. Mama lit the kerosene lamp and started slicing bread. “I should have told him Christmas could be late.” I think she said. About then I heard Ringo bark and saw my mama smile. I knew I’d hear my daddy at the back door in a while. That horse of Daddy’s brought him safely home through blowing storm. He said that he was glad to be back home where it was warm. Then he said he’d met a stranger while on his homeward way. He recognized old Santa Claus with reindeer and red sleigh. Santa said he would be happy to lighten up his pack and be obliged if Daddy would relieve him of plump sack. So little brother went to bed to wake to a surprise from Santa Claus whom our Daddy had seen with his own eyes. By Joyce Johnson (inspired by “Seein’ Santa” picture)


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Cold winds blow


The cold winds bitterly start to blow.
Frost glistens as my breath shows.
The cold seeps all the way to my bones.
My feet start to drag like a couple of stones.

I walk for a while to escape this freeze.
My joints ache I can’t outrun this breeze.
The sun rises I feel warmth with its light.
It combats the wind with which I fight.

The air is so cold it freezes my thoughts.
My stomach is turning and twisting in knots.
As the sun warms my head thaws out.
I slip to a dream, winter is about.

The day gets better but soon it is done.
I watch colors explode with the setting sun.
As it ducks down behind the hills,
I feel the return of winter chills.

On the way home I feel like a lost sheep,
I get home to find I’m too tired to sleep.
I close my eyes my thought still seep,
I think that perhaps I got in too deep.


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Terry

Granddad loved to kid around.
I can still hear his loud gregarious laugh.
He teased me saying that a boy in the neighborhood was …
My boyfriend!
At first, I didn’t know what a boyfriend was.
We were about five or six years old back then.
When we walked home from school,
Granddad put me up to giving Terry a kiss.
Try as I might, with granddad taunting,
“Run Dane Run!  Give him a kiss!”
Terry squealed all the way home -
Running as fast as he could,
He always got away!
Granddad laughed and laughed.
I chased the poor boy almost every day.
And Terry cried.  But we were still friends.
Then, came the day we had our first date.
Our parents dropped us off at a movie.  
I think it was “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
At the ripe old age of seven, maybe eight,
It was the perfect choice.
We sat there together with some older children.
Holding hands never crossed our minds.
Neither did kissing.  
(I guess the fun was in the chase 
And granddad laughing.)
We went home awestruck by animations.
We played a lot, never thinking about a kiss.
My family moved away that same year.
Terry grew up and married somebody else.
We never did K-I-S-S at the movie…
Or in a tree, or anywhere at all!
But I always remember him fondly.
Smiling!


© July 9, 2011
Dane Smith-Johnsen


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Don't Forget The Chips!

“Honey, did you buy the chips?” No baby, I’ll get that later"
Are you sure you won’t forget?” “Naw” 
“I’ll run by the store” on my way home from the gym
“What are you looking for?”  I ask. “My keys”. He says
“Where did you leave them?” I ask.  Right there” Pointing, He says 
"No", I shake my head as I point towards the top of the fridge, 
Where he left the keys
A quick exchange of a kiss and he's running out the door
"See you later babe.. I’m running late"
“Yeah, be home early to light the grill” I yell
Don’t worry, I will”. Those are the last words he says

It’s Monday Night Football everyone’s prep for the game. 
The beer is chilled, the beef set to grill 
Soon the guys will be over as it’ is our turn to host
Only ten minutes to game time, when loud laughter erupts
As seven men carrying beer kegs burst through the door
After the greetings and teasing and jostling subside
Every seat occupied and one bellows out, “Where're the chips?”
Each one looks at the other. Then they all look at me!
“Hey, don’t look at me!” I say. I exit and return, bringing bowls laden with chips…
He looks up at me with that smile and all I see, is the excited little boy in him


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Life, Home and Salvation

Like sunshine after clouds and rain
Is a loving note, though briefly jot,
And companionship amid one’s pain
As bedrock holding house and lot.

Like water poured on open fire
Is a soft reply to an angry voice,
And composure in the face of ire
As concrete set beneath the joist.

Like tulips after winter’s plight
Is a newborn close to mother’s blouse,
And comfort after labor’s fight
As heated hearth in winter’s house.

Like rain on dry and barren soil
Is a tender kiss from one of yours,
And compassion for a hurting world
As brilliant light and open doors.

Like air to every life that breathes
Is a Savior to the sinner’s plight,
And comprehending love that bleeds
As a beggar finds the Bread of Life.


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IF DADDY WERE HERE

Why is everybody always picking on me?
Why does it seem like they enjoy making me cry?
These days they seem to always be shouting "Just shut up, Pee-Wee!"
If Daddy were here...
But he left without even saying goodbye.
My heart and soul seems to always be filled with so much sorrow
and my tears rush down from my eyes like an angry river,
But I just can't bare to live to see another tomorrow
If Daddy were here...
Just the thought of him leaving me behind makes me shiver.
Oh, God! Why were you so quick in taking my precious daddy away?
He didn't even have time to speak any final words to me,
So much I long to up and just run away
because this doesn't seem to much like home without Daddy.
If only Daddy were here to see how they're treating me now
I know it would make him madder than Hell!
This wouldn't be happening if Daddy were still around
since he's been gone it seems that they're determined in making my life a living
hell.
It has been just two days and my daddy has been long buried and forgotten
and no one seems to give a care about how I really feel,
Deep down inside I feel so mixed-up and just plain rotten!
this pain hurts much too real.
If only Daddy were here for me to talk to
sadly, he's no longer here because he's gone and left me behind forever,
Maybe God's the one that I need to be talking to
because my daddy's at home with Him up in Heaven.


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Once Upon a Christmas 1954 Part 2

.          We worked it out on paper and realized if we saved our ten cents a week allowance, 
it would take years to pay for them, so we decided we needed to get a job.  So began our 
first enterprise ‘Hal and Elaine’s snow Removal.’

	Each day after school we would go door to door offering to shovel the snow from 
sidewalks and driveways for a fee of twenty- five cents.  Each day we would return home 
with our frozen hands clutching a quarter and our minds clutching the visions of those 
bicycles as we prayed for snow once again.

	Mom had taken a job working from home.  Each night she would soak piles of 
leather pieces to soften and stretch over balls of twine to stitch together the next day 
making a baseball.  She was paid five cents for each one that met their standards.  Mom 
stitched hour after hour, day after day until her fingers bled.

	Dad would come home from Camp Borden after many hours of hard labor and 
army maneuvers to have supper and make us giggle and laugh with his outrageous stories of 
the day’s events.  After supper he would leave again returning much later with red and blue 
paint stains on his hands and a tired smile on his face.

	The days flew by in a blur as we shoveled up and down the streets dreaming of 
those bicycles that grew more solid with every quarter we put in our piggy banks.  I would go 
to sleep each night and ride through towns and cities and over hills and through valleys until 
I heard the sound of buoy bells ringing in the harbor.

	I would pedal faster and faster, knowing I was almost there.  I could see my old 
home just down the road.  As the bells got louder, I would slowly awake to the truth as the 
alarm clock wound down on the night stand.  Once again I would head off for school and 
stand daydreaming, peering at that gleaming bicycle in the window of the bicycle shop.

	Suddenly – Christmas was almost upon us and we needed to buy mom and dad a 
present, so we pulled the plug on the piggy bank and tool our loot, a total of four dollars each 
to Woolworth’s

                                               continued in part 3.....


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Rules Are Rules

“I’m sorry, sir, but our bathrooms are only for our patrons.”

“Well, I patronize this restaurant all of the time, I am just not eating here today.
And, I really need to use the bathroom, so, if you could please, get out of my way.”

(Funny how I talk in rhymes even when I don’t intend to.)

Not only did he not move, but another employee joined his side for reinforcement.

“Look, fellows, it’s up to you; I am just out on a walk and my stomach suddenly feels upset and I am quickly reaching the point of no return.  Either you can let your silly rule slide this one time and get out of my way, or, you can stand by your silly rule and ruin the lunch of the patrons that are here today.  But you better decide fast, because I am not going to last.”

“Sorry, sir, rules are rules.”

Now I and, my guess would be, about twenty-five other people, no longer frequent that establishment.

Even though I was now covered in – well, you know – I agreed to stay while the police were on their way; after all, my emergency was now over and all I needed was to get home and take a shower.

The police officer was very sympathetic and understanding.

“There is nothing I can really do here.  Next time, I suggest you let him use your bathroom.”

“Aren’t you going to even make him clean up this mess?!”

“No, I think you earned the right to do that yourself.  This man is sick and needs to go home and take care of himself.  A little compassion for his situation on your part could have avoided this whole mess.”

I politely declined her invitation to drive me home – I didn’t want to mess up her patrol car – and walked the remaining two miles home in soiled pants, but with some sense of dignity in my stride.

Maybe, sometimes, rules shouldn’t be rules.  Or, at least, enforced with some sort of common sense.


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The Tale of Old Man Withers Gold part three, Conclusion

As the boys walked and walked
Through the forest of many lost souls
The boys began to feel they were lost
And would never find old man withers gold

But as the boys, were about to give up
The oldest had another feeling
And decided to look up
There he saw, what looked to be a cave
He told the other two, and they all shouted YaYYYY!!!!!

But this cave that he saw
In the forest of many lost souls
Didn’t seem to even contain
Any of Old man withers gold
Instead of precious gold
There lay a big pile of bones
Bones of little lost children
Children from there town back home

As the three boys noticed
That this was no treasure chest
The oldest boy realized
Head home would probably be best

But as they turned to head back home
The oldest boy heard
 A scary and vicious groan

So he looked into the darkness
To see what he could see
A big blackish wompass cat
With big ole shiny teeth

The three little boys 
That set out on a quest
Found themselves alone
Almost frightened to death

This wompass cat they saw
In forest of many lost souls
Was very big and very tall
I guess he ate all the souls

But these boys couldn't give up
As they didn’t do before
But they couldn't just outman this beast
For there strength was way to poor

As time was running out
For all the little boys
The oldest boy picked up
A stone that was on the floor
As he threw the stone
With all he had in store
To keep this wild and mangy beast
From getting all three boys souls

With this throw of the stone
Draw a quick blow to the head
There this mangy beast cat lay 
This wompass cat was dead 

As the boys started to leave
Towards there home they would head
The oldest boy noticed a light
Behind the cat that lay dead
This light was pretty gorgeous
A beauty often unseen
The boys took a closer look
The oldest said Cha Ching!!!!!


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Don't Go Near The River

Don’t go near the river a tree has fallen down
The flow is blocked and it caused a dam if you fall in you could drown
But to us children this an invitation was
A big happening in our lives we had to see the cause
Of course we would not climb down to the tree
From high upon the bank we would satisfy our curiosity

Down Milfort Avenue we all trouped 
The excitement mounting with-in our group
The boys were there first of course
Down at the roots torn from the ground with such force
You girls they shouted stay away it was their find
Just go home play with your dolls and leave our tree behind
Well did you ever hear such rot 
We will soon show that lot

Mother’s warning soon forgot down we went to the spot
Those roots from up high did not seem so tall
But now down beside them we were made to feel small
Like gaint arms they were all slimy and wet
But we girls would conquer this climb you bet 
I never was brave and from the start
My legs were shaking and in my heart
I knew I should back down and risk being the fool
But pride would not let me so I tried to act cool

The others had climbed over and to the far side had gone
Knowing I was frightened they egged me on
Up I went onto that tree trunk
Looking down to the river below my heart sunk
What would I do if I fell in I had never learned to swim
Well it happened and into water I fell for my sins
Plunged to the bottom then up I floated gasping for air 
Again the depths called the water my death would share
With bravery someone dived in to save me from my watery grave
Trailed to the bank and with the water pumped out my life was saved

A neighbor heard the commotion and running came
Then into her house to recover my legs some strength to gain
For the walk back home to face Mum my misbehavior to declare
I really was a sorry sight but I did not care
Jumper and tartan skirt soggy the red dye running down my thighs
Perhaps she would think it was blood I had better start to cry

Water filled the fur lined leather boots which slopped and weighed a ton
My dad had worked for hours to pay for them and look what had I done
So sorry I was for myself but punishment I had to accept 
My friends there with me for support they stayed and yet
When Mum’s face through that front door appeared
They drifted away the blame they feared
In I was hauled and asked to explain
Why I had ignored her orders given so plain


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I Am Going Home

I’m looking for my home That’s where I wanna be It’s not a place that I own Nor that I can even see Home is where I’ve never been But I know that it’s there Something tells me from within It’s not a place around here In any house that I may live It’s never really home for me Just a storage room and a bed And a place for my company I’m getting closer to my home I can feel it in every day I guess I should’ve known This life vacation wouldn’t stay When I finally get home My days will be filled with time From the past my thoughts have grown Deep within my mind At home there will be peace And never will I need For the wanting will soon cease Without a thought of greed Yes, I’m going home I know the time is here Should I have to go alone I will certainly find myself there! Florence McMillian (Flo)


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Going Home - The Bravest And The Best

Johnny’s going home today
His glory days are past
His buddies stand at attention
Eyes tearful and downcast
The sound of taps is softly heard
The mournful tune rings true
And all rise to salute him
As his cortege comes in view

Another soldier laid to rest
A warrior going home
Taps are played
Honor paid
To the bravest and the best

Billy’s going home today
Church Bells toll the news
His family softly weeping
As they line up in the pews
They reverently laid his coffin
Gently on the bier
As his mother reached out to touch him
Just wanting to be near

Another soldier laid to rest
A warrior going home
Taps are played
Honor paid
To the bravest and the best

A car bomb placed in Israel
Claims children passing by
Mothers are left helpless
Crying to God and asking why
Soldiers in Afghanistan
Patrol the land night and day
While the natives only wonder
When they will go away!

Ellen’s going home today
Her children still too young
Restless in their seats
As familiar hymns are sung
Her husband in his uniform
Stands stiffly as she goes by
They had met when they were rookies
And he tries hard not to cry

Another soldier laid to rest
A warrior going home
Taps are played…honor paid
To the bravest and the best 
Lord when will we have peace
This peace for which we yearn
And the Lord answered ‘It’s up to you
When will MANKIND ever learn?”

Copyrright©2011 Beatrice Boyle
(All rights reserved)





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POW - MIA

POW – MIA


Grandma, when Grandpa went to Vietnam
And left you at home alone
Did you ever think he wouldn't return
And be forever gone

No, dear I thought he'd be back
And never leave again
But that crazy war in Vietnam
Was one we couldn't win

Well, Grandma, where is he now
Is he still fighting the war
Will he ever come home to be with us
Why did he go so far

My child your Grandpa had to go 
And fight for freedom's sake
But he won't be coming home again
And that's so hard to take

But Grandma, if he's not coming home
Why did he have to stay
I'd like to see Grandpa again
So he and I could play

Well, son I'm sorry to tell you this
There is no other way
Your Grandpa may be a prisoner of war
Or what the Army calls MIA

Well, why is he in prison
Did he commit a crime
I don't understand, Grandma
It's been a long, long time

Yes, dear, you're right, it's been so very long
Since Grandpa went away
But all the love he gave to us
Is with us every day

You're right Grandma
He really did love us all
He had to go to Vietnam
To answer his country's call

My child you are so very wise
And one day you'll understand
Your Grandpa had to go and fight
For the freedom of our land

Grandma, I love you so
And I'll never go away
I won't leave you home alone
Home is where I'll stay

Thank you dear, that's very kind
But Grandma will be alright
I love you too
God is my guiding light

He's my light too, just like Grandpa said
He's always by our side
He helps us every day
And dries the tears we've cried


	Curtis Moorman
	June 17, 2011


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Incredible Tale

Halloween night 
A few years ago
As dusk fell
It was blowing with snow

Billy Burke a young boy aged eight
Stayed after school until it was late
Helping teacher clear the party debris
When they left school they could hardly see

Teacher wanted to give Billy a ride
But brave little Billy politely declined
I'm taking the short cut thru the woods
And as he set out he drew up his hood

The wind howled and the air cold
As Billy struggled up another knoll
The trees were bare glistening with frost
Then Billy realized he was hopelessly lost

He should have seen his home by now
But all he saw was a broken down plow
Left in a clearing by a farmer years ago
Rusty and useless now covered with snow

Billy trudged on with beginnings of fright
But as he topped a rise a welcoming sight
The old Colby mansion but what was that din
Music and laughter he heard from within

The mansion had been abandoned for years
But not empty now he could tell by his ears
Billy drew closer light spilled on the snow
Thru the open door he stepped out of the cold

A Halloween costume party he saw at a glance
And by a blazing fireplace took up a stance
Carved out pumpkins had candles inside
These lit the room and the hallway besides

Billy saw monsters and a witch on a broom
His eyes opened wide as she flew about the room
How did she do that he wanted to know
But the guests only laughed in the fire's glow

They played games and ate party food
Then Billy hid a yawn he didn't want to be rude
He was bundled in his coat and sent on his way
But Billy protested he wanted to stay

However in a flash he was on the outside
The witch guest acting as guide
She led him back through the trees
Took him up on her broom when he said please

Billy looked down on the houses below
As they flew around town high above the snow
The storm had passed and they saw the moon
He was set down by his home and she flew off in the gloom

Billy went back to the mansion the next day at dawn
Imagine his surprise everything was gone
Dust thickly covered the furniture in the room
But in a cobwebbed corner he found the witch's broom

He remembered the witch goblins and ghosts
And the Count Dracula who acted as host
The dust in the mansion lay undisturbed on the wood
Except by the fireplace where Billy had stood

No one believed the story he told
Of Halloween night being lost in the cold
He stuck by his story they didn't know why
But you and I both know Billy wouldn't lie



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For Mark

His home is always
where he is –

Beneath the trestles
of clattering trains, he huddles
in the damp & sandy wind,
eyes across the ocean,
sandwich crumbled,
filthy in his coat pocket

His home is just
where he is –

Now inside a box behind a dumpster in the middle of downtown nowhere, 
surrounded by the 
bizarre aroma-therapy of steaming, festering garbage 
His home is exactly
where he can
no longer go –

Inside the placid, welcoming walls
of the house
where his sanity lives

~~~

He stumbles, aching,
crying from his
wretchedness,
crying from his soul –

His pants encrusted 
with what he could not leave behind, 

His hands 
clutching a desperately empty bottle, 
His hair in stringy,
unkempt ribbons,
slapping his face in the wind

~~~

He, trapped & terrified
in a life beyond his living,
seeks suicide
by public transportation,
wishing it could all
just be over

Wishing he could somehow
force his feet to take his body
into the path
of the oncoming bus –

But the driver
will not mow him down,
will not have him on her conscience –

She refuses his anguished gift
of responsibility
& slams the bus to a squealing,
furious, bone-shaking stop
& screams at him

"NO!

I will not do it!"

Sad, relieved, horrified, pleased,
he views the scene as
one more evidence
of his beleaguered, hated,
ridiculed immortality


And laughs his drug-indentured way
back to the motel 
which has a dumpster 
behind which he can once more 
box himself in 
until he thinks he can afford to
take the public transportation system on 
again, 

And maybe this time, he’ll 
find his win, 

he’ll 

be successful 

And never have to live 
inside these walls of pain 

(again) 

which he only knows as home 


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THE PLAGUES OF OUR DAY

The blind man waited, 
at the intersection, for someone
to help him cross the busy boulevard...
and he was accustomed to live in twilight,
fumbling for a hand on his right;
and he finally found mine!


Judge humanly...not pettily,
you could be in that situation 
and feel abandoned and helpless,
unless somebody extends compassion
and lends that hand in time of need;
only human love can render a good deed!


The orphan girl recognizes a greed so mundane,
her body has grown, so has her world's view;
that person who abandoned her at the orphanage
when icy rain pelted against the foggy windows,
was her own mother that refused to knock on the front door!
She still feels unwanted, unloved and rejected by who,
for some shameful reason, dropped her off and was gone
into the dreary autumn's night to forget her despair!


Judge the pain...not the circumstance
that impels a misguided heart to err;
beneath an appearance of denial,
there's a certain humanity we can't conceive,
and what prompts us to act in unreasonable and strange ways,
is still not quite understood by all;
all we can perceive is the guilt we can't bear,
and the resentful restlessness which shortens this very existence!


The elderly woman, sitting in an old wheel-chair,
waits at the traffic light as the whisking wind
brushes her frizzy and gray hair;
the sunken-cheeked lady is the regular beggar,
whose life has never been mellow,
but full of tragedy and sorrow!
Her frail voice is not insincere, but thankful and kind... 
when I hand her a dollar out of my car's window!


Judge fairly... that could be you standing there,
or someone you love;  fate can be changed if we dare...
we assert truths without clarity and condemn unjustly!
Let's take the mendicant's place, at the same corner, and beg all day;
wouldn't we be humiliated, be scorned or even be ignored
by the glances of passerby that regard us not as their friend?


The run-away teenager with lots of make-up,
looks like a madam out of a brothel,
who tries to hide her identical age by smiling at strangers...
and her trade is that of an inexperienced gal,
unprotected and exposed to many dangers;
and it might cost her life...that's already a living hell!     


Judge not too harshly...when facts aren't known,
and the only assumption rests with our pity;
along the side of the street there are many eyes that weep,
eager to return home, to a home that was so warm and cozy!
And the lucky ones will make until dawn,
others will not open their eyes, but eternally sleep!



THE PLAGUES OF OUR DAY 


The blind man with a steel cane  stooped and waited
for someone to help him across the busy boulevard;
he felt warm sunlight, and wished his sight back without living in darkness,    
then he saw a glimpse of that light when he was touched by my kindness.   
The orphan girl wants to escape, but she is afraid to venture in the outside world
still feeling unwanted, unloved and shivering unable to shield herself from the cold.   
On many rainy nights, she sits by her barred window recalling her frail mom fleeing 
into the Autumn dreary night, and inside she longs for caresses to begin the  healing.
Another teenager, hustles in the dangerous streets of night...she barely 
can walk on high heels, but she endures pain for gain;
her home was blessed with good parents, but she rebelled and ran away... 
she has no choice but sell her body...what will she attain?  
Lend a hand to anyone in time of need,
only human love renders a good deed;
How can we help abandoned babies and run-away
and get rid of all the plagues of our day that infest society?


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Love's Strong Bond And Guiding Hand

There once was a young, freckled faced girl, who had the world
wrapped around her finger. 
The world was glad to be touched by such a precious hand as hers. 
Talent did flow from 
these precious hands to the artist's canvas. 
Dreams never ceased, and love did flow. The 
sky was the limit, of what God and this young girl could achieve.  

In a small farming town, there was a young man, 
the fourth brown eyed, curly haired son of five boys from a 
loving couple. He worshipped God, 
and worked hard on his job and also at church for Jesus. He had 
a simple prayer one day to find a christian wife to 
be his help mate. God has a plan for your 
life, even if we don't see it.

The freckled face girl, was not expecting
to find a life long mate in Butler, GA, the home of 
her grandparents, because she too had 
prayed for a christian man to share her life. The girl 
had to mature and find her way in the world, 
then God put a matchmaker into her life.

The Curly haired young man of twently nine,
thought that God had not heard his prayer, he 
moved out of his parents home to make his
way in the world. His neighbor Mrs. Laurette 
Stewart, thought he would make a fine husband
for the freckled face girl. A blind date was 
set, it was love at first sight and God had
found a mate for the young couple that prayed.

Inspried by James Fraser's poem Farm Girl


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FIRST DATE

FIRST   DATE

Her name was Judy McCormick, she was fourteen - barely
I was also fourteen, but claimed to be fifteen
She was slim,  pretty with  shortish dark brown hair,
Almond eyes, loveliest I'd  ever seen
And a soft sweet smile, I just knew she would be nice

Noticed  her in the movies, one glance followed another
Found ourselves laughing at the same things we’d see
After  the theatre  walked her home  with her little brother
Would she come again next week   with me ?
She said yes.  I felt ten feet tall

We met at the theatre as arranged, it had rained
We went dutch. I bought her ice cream after a while.
We watched Steve Reeves  in  HERCULES UNCHAINED
Cant recall the plot, only her eyes and smile
Kissed her secretly in the dark  -  salty, gently.

In those days  sex hadn’t been invented.
We walked home hand in hand and kissed again at her door
Yeah, corny, improbable, but true  - virginity undented
How did  the first date end? We both were delighted and more
With ourselves and decided to arrange another date. 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Written  for  Carol  Brown’s   Contest    “My First Date”


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Our Conversations...


Our conversations

You always seek my approval i know...
yet you never want to show...
we drink coffee.. you buy me cake we talk bitter sweet nothings till they say its time to close
our conversations are never complete... thats just the way it is...
and then we go our separate ways with our own thoughts swaying back and forth in the train
and then i go home thinking about what i forgot to say.... and you go home thinking about 
tomorrow's day

I notice many little things while we talk... the way you sometimes are but these are my 
private thoughts not to be shared.
I sometimes strip you naked bare...i dissect you in and out sometimes... but you would 
never know .. these dissections are private.
You look at me but you dont look beyond... you look at us but not at the horizon...I dissect 
you and you.. our conversations.


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Home

		A home is a place where you feel warm and contralbe.  This house is your home to keep
you safe from all the climates outside. A home can be 4 walls, or a home can be just small
shack as long you got a roof over your head you have a home. My home is full of laughter
and sometimes tears, but most of the time there is a lot of love.  You can always have a
lot of love in your home, when you know it’s going to be there ever time you come home.


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The Chain Called Life

   

I remember the day I left home and my old momma telling me it was time I was 
on my own.
    She said son you’re not a boy you’re nearly full grown.
She said you’ll make it fine please don’t despair.
    For I will always love you, you know son I care.
As my journey took me to many places and so many sites I have seen.
   The grass will never match that of my home nor of its pastures so green.
You can’t go back is what everyone seems to say.
    You can’t go back to live in those days of yesterday.
I just thank God for having a mother who knew how to share.
    I sure miss her soft words and the saddest part knowing that she is no longer 
there.
Each person is a link in life’s glorious chain.
    As some merely fade away others form new links to the ones that remain.
Each makes their mark as best that they can.
    Each mark is a link be it of woman or man.
Some links are shiny while others seem dull and quite pale.
    Each link has its purpose each link has its tale.
As life’s circle is connected in oh so many ways. 
    Remember only its laughter and life’s happier days.
                                                                  


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The long walk home

I remember as a child walking through the countryside,
People were so polite to greet each other – how are you?
With simple lifestyle in an agricultural ambience,
Theirs is my goal, my future longing to welcome.

While I’d always prefer to walk - rain or shine,
I couldn’t help but see first my friend close by;
my hero who saved me while getting drowned
the time of our town fiesta of Our Lady of Peñafrancia.

Old folks who used to hang out and visit us,
because of my grandma who’d say ‘come’,
some of them would really come and say:
‘we’re here to join you for a nice meal.’

On big celebrations like Christmas and town fiesta,
family relations would come in droves to see us;
their children would come along to ask something,
especially gifts and some money for this event.

For a child like these things serve as imprints,
a treasure trove of memories I still cherish;
a connecting link to my past with sentiments
indeed, it’s a heartland of true importance.

Described as a centerpiece of family interaction,
our home was like a rendezvous of some people,
whose attachments to our features of being hospitable,
welcome them to enjoy our kindness and compassion.

Though, to some of them our place was quite a distance,
but it didn’t matter to walk on foot, to come to our home;
It’s because they saw and felt truly a welcoming culture
from each member that fashioned to say no problem at all.

The long walk home may set the tone of exhaustion, 
But this reminds me of a pilgrim like in the bible;
The Holy Family who, in their flight to reach their destination,
Finds a place where they can be safe and call it a home.


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A World of Shame and Neglect

 
The little child was born into a home of violence and abuse.
      Sadness was the closest thing to love and that was no excuse.
A little child screaming as his mother gets slapped and tossed all around,
     While his worthless father struts thinking he is something he is quite profound.
The little children with ragged clothes and snotty noses just stood there in tears,
      What an impression this father has made for them through the years.
We live in a monkey see monkey do get messed up society,
     Most of the children grew up watching their parents fighting never knowing 
sobriety.
 Alcohol or drugs, seemed to dominate most of the poor.
     The thing they didn’t realize this was only a temporary escape door.
The pain that was eased only led to more grief.
      Till violence took over in the name of relief.
 The daddy was loaded up paying the bills, food, utilities and rent,
      While momma stayed home pregnant and got fussed at for the money she 
spent.
They had sunk so low they were ashamed to attend any church,
      Afraid that the pastor might point them out as he stood on his perch.
What is the answer if any to this little tale of mine,
       How can we make it stop, can we ever draw a line.
 I do know that hate begets hate so could love be the key?
       Has anyone ever tried it long enough to truly find the answer of this I  would 
love to see.
All of my life I have heard do unto others as you would have them do unto you,
        Such a simple answer could this be all we need to do?
Think About It!!!


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Damaged (part 2)

One particular guy took advantage,
Of my dad choosing him to be with exclusively.
He ended up being with me in private and in public, 
With this chick who resembled a beast,
Who did not resemble in any way of her hometown symbol.
Her appearance made a mockery of a Ruston peach
He had the nerve to call me a “b”,
In front of her and called the authorities
Only after a few days of visiting me at my home,
And getting busy with me.
My home and love life should be described as this:
Complete tragedy.

The list goes on of the men who did me wrong,
But it all links to how I was treated at home.
Like a puppet, walked over, talked badly to constantly
Always being told that I would let men get the best of me,
Always being told if I wanted to do certain things,
 That I would be another word for a garden tool.
Often I was called an educated fool.
Being held on to by someone who meant me no good
Was not helpful to me at all.
Often I wish that I had no dad,
Because he is the worst man that I ever had.


My home life was simply disadvantaged.
It was bad enough that we were poor.
Women don’t worry about a man:
Only focus on God’s plan
For you.
The real Father on whom I depend,
Your life he will manage.
Don’t settle for earthly men and even your father
Look to God for your inheritance.
So you won’t be damaged.


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JUST TELLING IT LIKE IT IS

So what's your excuse this time
for coming home late again?
I've been sitting here worried sick out of my mind
I want to know have you been out creeping?
Don't you dare give me that look!
You're not as innocent as you claim,
You should've been here at home hours ago from work!
but instead you're out having a good time with "Ms. Thing"!
Shh. Before you begin get your lies together
I don't want to hear any stammering and studdering,
I've stuck by your side through the worse kind of weather
and this is how you thank me!
I've been allowing you get by for quite a while now
when you come home late I've managed to not say a peep,
But I think it's high time that you tell it to me straight right now
we're going to settle things before we go to sleep.
You say you've be out with your friends
just hanging out and shooting the breeze,
But I've noticed that when you come back you don't have any more of your ends
you out spending like the bill don't need to get paid and we don't need to eat.
But it's not your friends that you be out with late at night
that's the same, tired story you always give me,
For quite some time my suspensions have been right
you've got another woman on the side other than me.
Tell me what on earth have I ever done to deserve such pain?
Tell me what on earth have I ever done to deserve such betrayl?
Things between us are never going to be the same
Just pack your bags and raise on up out of here!
You may think there's no way I can survive without you
because all of this time I've been so dependent of you,
With the help of God and my family I know I'll pull through
be gone! I no longer need you!
I'm just telling it like it is...


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Stormy Christmas Eve

It had been snowing all the day and
the skies were lookin glum.
My mama started crying when
the mailman didn't come.
Tomorrow would be Christmas Day,
Dad said, "I'll ride to town."
He put his warm racoon coat on
and pulled his big hat down.
Then my mama began to fret,
I saw her fingers drumming.
"Do you think that you really should?
I fear a storm is coming."
My daddy said, "I'll be okay
if I am riding Dan.
You know that horse will find the way.
He's smarter than a man.
Then Mama gave him a big kiss
and said. "Now do take care."
She waved him off into the storm
and wiped away a tear.
My mama plucked the turkey
and kept looking at the clock
while little brother prattled on
about his Christmas sock.
The storm was growing stronger and
the light turned into dark,
while I was just a wishing I
would hear old Ringo bark.
Mama lit the keorsene lamp
and started slicing bread.
"I should have told him Christmas
could be late."  I think she said.
But then I heard old Ringo bark
and saw my mama smile.
I knew I'd hear my daddy at
the back door in a while.
That horse of daddy's brought him
safely home through blowing storm.
He said that he was glad to be
back home where it was warm.
Then he said he'd met a stranger
while on his homeward way.
He recognized old Santa Claus
by reindeer and red sleigh.
Santa said he would be happy
to lighten up his pack
and be obliged if Daddy would 
relieve him of plump sack.
Brother and I went to our beds
to wake to a surprise
from Santa Claus, whom our daddy
had seen with his own eyes.

Joyce Johnson

Posted in Cowboy Poetry Bar D Ranch Christmas 2004


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LAND OF THE FREE

It started at the harbor, The Harbor of Pearl,
When the Japanese shook up the White Man’s' world,
The bombing of the harbor brought tears to our eyes,
To see that the Japs took us by surprise,
This was our entry into the Big War,
The first time terrorism has touched our shore,
Since the British were seen the exit door,
In retribution to such a dastardly deed,
These slant-eyed people and all their seed,
Were gathered into camps, their property labeled Void!
The Island of Iwo Jima utterly destroyed,
We won the war at such an intemperate expense,
With Japanese Americans routed and fenced,
Stripped of their pride and dignity'
In the Home Of The Brave and The Land Of The Free...
Spoken in true Hypocrisy!
Our founding fathers built this land,
On the backs of the Slave and the eradication of the Redman,
ALL MEN ARE GREATED EQUAL, so it is written,
But when it was written, the Black and the Red, 
Were no more than a horse, cow, dog or kitten,
When finally realized and legalized as men,
The Civil War had come to an end,
When the North and the South reunited as one,
Separate but Unequal was the anthem now sung,
In the Home of the Brave and the Land Of The Free,
Sung in perfect Hypocrisy,
One vote, one White man is now the law of the land,
Enforced by virtues of the Klu Klux Klan,
Terror was the weapon used to destroy,
The spirit of the Injun and the nigger boy,
When the oppressed and the depressed rose above this Ill,
Freedom was the cry from doorstep to window sill,
I HAVE A DREAM, was the anthem to shout,
Equality For All is what America's about,
Freedom from illegal seizure and search,
Is now the law of the land,
Unless it affects the National worth,
And you're not a Caucasian man,
Profiling is the word they use today,
To route the Arabs in the same way, 
As the Cowboy herded his runaway stray,
In the land of the free and home of the brave...
HOME OF THE BRAVE, LAND OF THE FREE,
THIS IS THE WHITEMANS' HYPOCRISY! 



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January Third

The day of your birth, so close to my birthday
We always shared a cake and ice cream
You lead us through the branch, and dark, shady forest every summer
Over hills and stumps, we found all sorts of childish treasures along the way
We would swim in the branch most every afternoon to cool off the summer heat
We stumbled apon an old rusty moonshine still that had ax holes in the woods, scared that 
we would get in trouble because of it, somehow.
Our canine friends would follow along to see where you would take us, then follow us home 
again.
We had to be home by supper time, we couldn't miss supper.


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To The Band Of Brothers From Viet Nam

  
What did I do when I was a kid?
    Loved life, had fun that’s what I did.
Enjoyed what I had, and had what I enjoyed.
    Never to be bothered seldom ever annoyed.
Stood tall, felt proud, proud of this country, The Home Of The Free!
    Proud to be an American, lucky to be a part of such a great society.
Then something happened that ripped this country apart.
    It was called a police action but it ripped and tore at the very soul of this country 
it tore at her heart.
 Was it right or was it wrong?
    So many mixed emotions were played out in the words of yesteryears songs.
The seventy’s brought on free love, drugs, and the start of a decline in our morals 
in this story.
    Viet Nam brought both shame and honor, but very little was given in the name 
of glory.
Many young Americans lost their life or were crippled and maimed.
   And had to come home to a country that held them in contempt or made them 
feel ashamed.
They were pushed aside refused work treated like second class dirt.
    And what did they do they too had feelings they too could hurt.
We blamed our soldiers instead of the politicians that sent them there.
    They were the ones that were dying but no one seemed to care.
So to the Viet Nam Vets I say I for one am proud of you this very day.
   And may God Bless you all each and every one is the prayer for you I pray.
And maybe someday there will no longer be wars are reason for blood shed.
   In thanks to The Band Of Brothers from Nam we should all give thanks as we 
bow our heads.


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Our Time Is Running Out

  
What is going to happen when every ones credit gets shut off? 
   We will be like a bunch of pigs scrambling, only to find no food is in the trough.

If  the National Debt were paid off today, do you know how much it would cost 
every man, woman, and child?
    Each person would have to pay $29,000.00, now ain’t that wild?

It’s like we’ve gotten ourselves into a bog with no way out.
   Well I know of but one way but skeptics will argue and try to show their clout.

How did we get to be this great power, the Home of the Free?
   It was when God was given the honor and glory, this some will agree.

God is our Father and He only wants to give us His best.
   And all He asks in return is for us to honor and praise Him, such a simple 
request.

But no something happened we let the minority rule,
   By taking away the simplest of things like prayer in our schools.

If you felt unwanted somewhere I wonder if you’d stay?
   Did you ever stop and think just maybe God too feels this way?

Has the Doom Day clock already been set?
    I think it can be turned around there maybe hope for us yet.

But first we must unlock and open the door and invite Him back again.
   Then we will see a change in things when our Savior is home my friend.

We’ve tried both ways and the latter did not work.
    So bend your knees and ask Him back, stop listening to those jerks.


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Married Life

 
He comes home from work, tired and weary just needing to relax,
    When she starts fussing you don’t ever show you love me, catching all her 
flack. 
Honey he said I love you but I’m tired I had a hard day.
    She said at least you get out of the house that’s all I can say.
I don’t want to fight so won’t you please just leave me alone,
     She says maybe you’ll be happier when I pack up and out of your life I’ll be 
gone.
He knew he couldn’t win ,
    Not with the mood she was in.
So he said baby let me drink this one beer and I will shower and take you to town,
     She said well hurry up, the whole time glaring at him showing her frown.
To town they headed and he asked where she would like to go,
     How about lets take in a restaurant and later a show?
Where would you like to dine was his next reply?
     She looked at him and started to say something but instead began to cry.
She said it’s over you don’t love me so why do you pretend?
     What did I do he asked, I wasn’t trying to offend?
Just work and come home it’s always the same,
      While I sit home all alone just wondering what happened to loves flame.
She said I fix myself up nice in hopes that you might see.
      But you pay more attention to the television than you do to me.
She said it hurts and I think you’re a jerk.
      You put me second to things including your work.
Well he stops the car and gently wipes the tears from her eyes.
      And says I’m sorry please don’t cry.
Well they share a long embrace and he drives away looking now for a motel.
      And the rest of the story is personal not needing to tell.
          Goodnight All…..?


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I Told You So

   Of course you can come back home dear you know you don't even have to ask.
Yes ,I'm sorry it didn't work out,but it was in his eyes ,you can always tell by their 
eyes you know. wierd and shifty or something,yes.
   It will be nice to have you home again.We can get back into our old routine.
we'll watch all our soaps and then play scrabble.I'll give you a fifty point 
lead,how's that?Then after that we can watch our exercise show.
I haven't been doing it without you.
   I know it's difficult now but just go with the flow,this too shall pass,
remember?It's so true .Just like last time.You felt better in two weeks
didn't you? well okay then,same thing.
  Just get a grip now and don't cry.I'm always here for you,you know that.
No I promise not to say it but you know it's true .
Tonight we'll go for a walk and get ice cream just like always
Just don't give him my new phone number.He hates me you know
Someone told me he wants to actually kill me .Says it's my fault.
It's not my fault that he's a big loser!
when was the last time he actually had a job?
His mother makes his car payment and he does have two
children that he never sees
Is that my fault?
Okay,okay I'm sorry but a mother knows what's best for her own child
just wait until you have children,
then you will understand.
you can always tell by there eyes and that young man has weird eyes!
can't you see that?


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Killing Bobby

In their home they make me ashame
they're not aware of my pain
I will run,there's much to gain
I don't look back & my spirit sings
    
In my mind my legs are wings
freeing me to fly to my dreams
my heart is strong and pushes me on
my fear is stronger & clips my wings 
    
Again I walk,my steps are slow
my heart is heavey,my head hangs low
return to their home I know I must
    
As soon as I'm in the sermons begin
she cannot see she's hurting me 
can't they see I'm gonna crack
they won't let up,I can't fight back
I pray for strength but I am told 
it well be hell I will go
    
I have a friend, she sends for me
on a bus I travel there
I run to her and spread my wings 
far to the north I live with her
    
We love to dance,the music loud
I will try to be proud 
away from them I will stand
begin to love who I am
    
By the phone she does the same
hurting me with words of gloom
she penns her poison from the book
preaching of my future doom
  
I shed my tears not my pain
she only sees the ugly me 
She cannot see,till it's late
the man I dream I need to be
    
They kept their hold and wouldn't let go
I was wrong to have told
now I know I'll never be free
my soul is dark and turing cold
I know I'm weak but I'm not a freak

The darkess is coming
bringing me peace
at last I find what I seek


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A Letter From Paul Harvey

      
Here I sit reading our local rag. 
    Our little newspaper full of good stuff and hometown brag.
Anyway a story caught my eye. 
    A story by Paul Harvey in his quest to find the answer why.
He speaks of different religions in our land.
    But the majority is Christianity, and the point he makes, makes you understand.
He said get your phone book out and let it prove my point I try to make.
    Christian churches outnumber all other by 200 to 1 for goodness sake.
He said a thirty second prayer before a football game isn’t asking that much.
    We’re not praying to change the world, just let our boys be safe and have a 
safe trip home and such and such.
Just humor our wish is all we ask.
     Surely your god will look the other way while we perform this simple task.
We’re not out to convert no one or asking that you even share.
      And the atheist’s can even take a toilet break while we say our prayer.
 But speaking as the majority why is it that we have to ask?
     No one is asking to come home with you just let us perform this one simple 
task.
If I were in Bagdad at a soccer game, I’m sure they would say a Muslim prayer.
     Which I would understand and that would be okay, I don’t think I ‘d care.
Or someone praying to Buddha in China at a ping pong match.
    It wouldn’t upset me or cause an itch, you know one that you cannot scratch..
Paul goes on to say we have been silent for much too long.
   We live in a country where majority rules so let that be the name of this song.
In closing he says God bless us all especially those that denounce Him.
   God bless our service men and women, God please bless them.
This is the year the silent majority needs to be heard.
   And bring our troops home was his final word.
Well I for one agree with Paul.
    He puts his job and reputation on the line to stand for one and all.
He’s a man of honor and conviction.
    He loves this country and to him with God there should be no restriction.
Thank you Paul Harvey .

     And that’s the way it was!!!!!!


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Memory of Summer

Silent mornings...bright crystal light
filtered lukewarm and pale 
through long white stratus veils
gliding through an ancient void of neon blue
To our naked eyes...its chemicals mix unseen
confined to our sight's simple color scheme

On an endless road far from home  
my destination unknown
tanned by solar glare , my skin glistened in the humid air
passing flowerfield gardens sweet
their reap my secret keep
tasting fruit ripe and bruised 
tasting...raspberry dew

Walking barefoot through tall blue grass
Crossing white coal stone paths  
to white sand beaches covered with glistening particles of glass

Oceanshore...intides turned sand tender as clay
sunlight burning...yearning relief
I found shade beneath 
white cedars 
Maple leaves,their colorful expanse cool and pleasant  
filtered solar incandescence
I nestled on blankets of paper leaves 
and slept until eve

No summer forgotten,past winters...I can't remember

Skyward gaze, the skies bright yet its still night
and I'm miles from home in the distance dark overcast and thunder
Yearning tomorrow morning...the memories of summer



 



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The Story of the Dumpster Diver

 I asked him what he did?
    As he stood up and opened the lid.
He said some people call me a dumpster diver but hey that’s okay.
     He said I just reuse what people throwaway.
I asked him aren’t you afraid you might catch some incurable disease?
     He said you can do that just breathing the stuff that floats in the breeze.
I said it just seems like you’re taking an awful big chance.
    He did not speak but his eyes met my wandering glance.
I asked him did you choose this life or was it thrust upon you?
    He said I once had a home a really nice one too.
A little girl and a wife every mans dream.
     Everything was perfect like a fairytale theme.
One evening quite late we started home from the park.
     And I saw this car coming and saw flashes in the dark.
It was bullets they were firing that struck us all three.
     One hit my arm and one struck my knee.
One struck my wife they said it went right through her heart.
    The one my little girl caught ripped her apart.
My money all went for paying doctors, and morticians and such.
     In six months time I lost my family, home, and job that’s why now I don’t care 
too much.
I could have drawn unemployment, welfare and stuff.
     But instead I just turned to the streets I’ve just had enough. 
I said man I’m so sorry, I just didn’t know.
     He said that’s okay I catch it everywhere I go.
Well I bid him fair well and silently turned away.
     I often think about that old dumpster diver and the words he had to say.
I guess if this were to have a moral: How about never judge a book by its cover.


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Braggin Rights

 I’m from the great state of Texas, the biggest and the best.
   No other place is like it, be either east, north, south, or west.
I went to California, to see the golden state.
   I even seen that bridge out there, one called the golden gate.
I realized really quick, I wasn’t happy here.
   So I turned my truck right around, and for Texas I did steer.
As I reached El Paso town I stopped and had a bean.
   And admired the senoritas there, the prettiest I think I’ve ever seen.
I kept on heading east I guess, I drove for days  and days.
   Big D is just up ahead, the lights are all ablaze.
The Cowboys must be playing home tonight, I think I’ll check it out.
Victoriously they won their game, but was there any doubt.
  I left that town, heading south to Corpus, the city by the sea.
   I longed to see the sandy shores of Padre, a place so dear to me. 
I guess I must be getting close, I smell the briny air.
   Corpus is the place I love, with people kind and fair.
I stayed and got my rest, I stayed for two whole nights.
   I decided San Antone I’d visit next, and just check out her sights.
I wanted to see the Alamo, but saw the dome instead.
   What was I really thinking, twas rocks inside my head.
Laredo was next on the list, lowest point on the Texas map.
   Upon this map I’m looking at I see a two inch gap.
If I left early enough in the morn, I should make it in a day.
   Well here I am in this border town, reckon here is where I’ll stay.
It’s good to be back home again where the scorpions and rattlers play.
   They’re just a common site for us we see them every day.
I once had me an old snake nearly eight foot long, I taught him how to fetch.
  He must a been getting old cause he’d tire real quick of this game of catch.
One day I threw it out I guess a little too far.
   He got ran over , poor old thing was killed by a car.
             


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The Great Escape

      
As the old couple were placed in a nursing home the other day,
   They were placed in different rooms on separate floors so far away.
Their children thought it would be for the best,
    So they placed them there thinking they need the rest.
They had never been separated since the day they wed,
    Now they lay grief stricken in separate beds.
They cried out to the Lord to hear their cries,
     Neither wanted the loneliness neither could understand why.
They felt as though they had lost all dignity,
      No decisions could they make this to them was pure insanity.
They were not allowed to make decisions they were treated like children,
    Then a new light came into the old mans eyes and he managed to grin.
He said I’m breaking out of this joint just me and my wife.
       And we ain’t coming back if it means giving up our old lives.
He said I’ve treated my dogs better than you’re treated in here,
      He said I’m old but I’m still a man and I want my wife near.
He said I’d rather be shot like an animal than caged up in this coop.
     And I sure don’t need some little want to be nurse telling me it’s time to go 
p__p.
He found his wife and she looked like she’d aged ten years,
    As he held her and loved her he fought back the anger and tears.
He said we’re leaving right now and we’re going away.
     She said papa where will we go where will we stay?
He said I don’t know as he sat down on the foot of her bed,
     He said I need you with me as he hung down his old head.
She said if you want to leave I’ll stand by your side,
      So out they went as they had to sneak and hide.
Pajamas on him and a flannel nightgown on her was all that they wore,
     As they made their way out an unlocked side door.
Well they wandered around till they found a school ground .
     And he sat her on the merry-go- round and gently spun his love around.
There was a bench just a few feet away,
      That’s where they found them frozen in each others arms is what the papers 
say.
The paper had read two elderly runaways from local nursing home were found 
frozen to death,
      But a strange smile was frozen on their faces as they drew their last breaths.