I have a special story I wish to share
About a seamstress beautiful and fair
She would fade away turning into smoke
Of her amazing beauty, no man would joke
The spiraling smoke would then re-form
I know only an angels face could be so warm
Before her a beautiful quilt was spread
Upon it the story of my life was said
As she once again started to dissipate
She said, “Mike this quilt records your fate”
As the smoke traveled over to a new place
And then formed together creating her face
Looking over her shoulder back at me
She said, “This area will hold what has yet to be”
Most of the quilt looked like twisted evil tattoo
Simply because, my life’s quilt was quilted true
I looked the quilt over and then met her gaze
She was so beautiful in so many different ways
The last part of the quilt way over to the right
Showed the beauty of someone changing their plight
Upon her beautiful hand, which seemed so nimble
I noticed she was wearing my grandmother’s thimble
From a young maiden so beautiful to see
My grandmother appeared right in front of me
I guess up in heaven we return to our youth
My grandmother was beautiful; such is the truth
I thought of the price grandma was asked to pay
The shame of knowing I had turned out that way
I thought of her sitting there stitching my shame
My grandmother didn’t deserve an eternity of pain
She said, “Michael be still with the pain in your heart,
Your story encourages others to make a new start.”
“The deeper the wrong the stronger the right
I always knew my boy would take up the fight”
With a smile much brighter than an ice covered sea
She said, “I love the man my boy has grown up to be”
As she turned to the quilt and started to sew
She said, “Michael, its now time for you to go.”
“Believe in your story believe in your truth
For Salvation is the true fountain of youth”
One night in a dream, which I’ll hold forever divine
I learned; my Grandmother is now,” The Seamstress of Time”
When I was a boy I would help my Grandmother roll
her quilt, find her glasses, as well as, her thimble. I
never thought about how amazing her art truly was.
From a pile of rags she would make the most beautiful
quilt's. I sleep under one of her quilts to this very day.
Thea, grandfather Alferd's dog died, she was so old and sick
Now is Thea on the moon, says Adrian who is six
Michael Jackson died so unexpectedly and abruptly
He is on the moon and plays with Thea, says Adrian who is a big fan
Betzy, grandfather Arild's dog died, she was also old and sick
Now Betzy is also on the moon with Thea and Michael Jackson and play all day
Great Grandmother died so unexpectedly and abruptly
Adrian who is six had difficulty understanding
Adrian who is six cried many tears for Great Grandmother
but comforted himself with the fact that she is sitting on the moon and
makes waffles to Thea, Michael Jackson and Betzy.
A-L Andresen :) - A true story -
Terror seizes you, and it isn't kind.
You try to go somewhere peaceful in your mind.
But the pain rips you right back to here and now.
Not wanting to give him the satisfaction of even saying "ow."
You try to be strong, but he tears from you, a scream.
Oh God, please let this be a terrible, terrible dream.
I thought he was supposed to be a friend of mine?
As the tears grow down my face like vine.
He tells me I wanted it, even though I screamed no.
He says my attitude and outfit told him so.
In the same breath, he threatens me never to tell.
If they ask why the tears, you better say you fell.
As I got out of the car he pulled me to him and hugged me tight.
He kissed my forehead and said Don't worry you'll be all right.
Just remember, if you open your mouth, no one will believe a dirty whore.
Now go inside before I take you for another ride and give you some more.
Into the house and straight into the shower.
I was in there for what felt like hours and hours.
My grandmother knew right from the start.
Please don't tell, it would break Daddy's heart.
Please, Grandma he's not worth Daddy going to jail.
For my sake and his, you can never, ever tell.
She kept her promise and never uttered a word.
At night, she told me, my cries she heard.
For six weeks I kept my secret and told not another soul.
For six weeks I sunk deeper and deeper into a hole.
Not until I heard that he raped a fourteen year old girl.
Knowing I could have prevented it, shattered my world.
I finally told my horror story to the cops and to my Dad.
I don't think I'd ever seen him so violently mad.
Mike was arrested, but in jail he would not stay.
He lived around the corner and we had to move away.
He got probation, but not for me, his word against mine.
I was sixteen, of legal age to consent, so for me he'd get no time.
His punishment, probation for only a couple of years.
Me and his other victim were left with our fears.
Would he find us and take revenge for what he said was a lie?
Would my father hunt him down, and go to prison for a rapist to die?
He got away, pretty much scot-free for his deplorable crime.
His victims were the ones who were serving the time.
This IS a true story, my story, but not my story alone. After 8 years and raping several
other women Mike was sentenced to 35 years in prison. As he pleaded his innocence, we were
all in some way vindicated. He never did a day for brutally raping me, NOT ONE DAMN DAY.
But he's doing plenty now. I hope he gets ALL that he deserves.
It was at Christmas time that she invited me to her home
This wonderful Northwest lady that I feel I’ve always known
Her coffee pot was brewing as I entered her living room
To find her tree adorned with an angel who had died too soon
Little Joycie was but a child when God called her back to him
As we shared a cup, tales of our past and future were woven
A grandmother with a gift for words reached out and touched my heart
I brought a hand-made Christmas stocking, hoping joy to impart
A special connection I made with this talented poet
To be able to call her a friend, I am blessed and I know it
Written by Carolyn Devonshire and Dedicated to Super Souper Joyce Johnson
For Michael's "First words over coffee" contest
So many trials seem to be filled up with so much fear
So many ask, “Oh Dear Lord, what am I doing here”?
So many questions that I have come to know
If we just plant a seed, with water it will grow
I have a natural green thumb that now is wasting away
Along with a mind that does love to go out and play
Times I still ask, “How did this all came to be”
What was it that my wife was able to see in me?
She says that my heart was the most beautiful around
It still blows me away, for I clearly remember the sound
Her voice was so soft, her tone was so sweet
I was nothing less than pure evil upon two feet
Had been years since anything had took me by surprise
Ice cold is what the rest of the world had seen in my eyes
I looked at her smiled and laughed in my cold convict way
She smiled and said, “Why you want to be mean anyway”
I told her, “I reckon we are all born to just what we are”
She said, “So why are you a dope cook instead of a star”
That question stopped me right there dead in my tracks
I thought, “This girl is a looker but God she is whacked”
Last night her and I sat out underneath the moon
Two very blessed souls swinging in our sliver spoon
Just a little swing we built together out in our back yard
Place to just sit back and rest after a day long and hard
I once again ask her, how in the world could you ever know?
“My Grandmother was preacher, I could see her in you soul”
Which led me to speak out my truth for I learned to not lie
"My grandmother was also in yours, answering the entire “Why”
Grandmothers we respected and held above all others
Brought each of us together in the land born of lovers
Two Grandmother Spirits full of pure heavenly delight
Led their grandchildren into the valley born of the light
Now here we sit holding each other, each other high above
Because we share in the blessing of our Grandmothers love
Toni and I had lost our Grandmothers before we had ever met
though I knew of hers because she was a very powerful lady
and a down home speak in tongues Pentecostal Preacher that
had great respect up in these parts. After all these years we
confided in each other that we could see our grandmothers in
each others eyes. Thank you and God Bless, MJ
There’s taxes on underwear, dresses and ties,
and taxes on ointments your grandmother buys.
There’s taxes on food at your local D.Q.
and taxes on food even good for you too!
You’re taxed on most services; and you are taxed
if you get your most private areas waxed.
You’re taxed every year (it should be a crime)
on the same house and car that you bought just one time!
The plan for which all your work’s taxes went in,
when finally used, you’ll be taxed for again!
You’re taxed more for smoking! You’re taxed if you fly.
Your loved ones get taxed on your stuff when you die!
Rich brats have their loopholes and still get ahead.
But most of us won’t find relief till we’re dead.
Inspired by Carolyn Devonshire's "Taxing Times" Contest
Born American, sixth generation of great-grands all German,
not much liking sausage or sauerkraut, English speaking all the way,
except the Germany of my ancestry was fought over and broken
so I’m a bit of France, Germany, Poland, Hungary all the Holy
Roman empire, dissolved down, fought over, egotized, horrified
and remade Into some new state where English is as common as German.
We share a love of flowers in the face of cold and rain, I drink less beer
and wine, meet up somewhere, anywhere around the world on a beach.
From my parents and grandparents, I know to serve up too much food
seven sweets, seven sours and drink and whirl the night away to a band.
Hardworking sorts, unafraid of a little dirt, loving dirt, the turnover
and young sprout brought to fruit, wearing overalls and then washing up.
To sit before a pressed linen table cloth, served up on the finest china,
the cha in my father’s name, the uff da, and other exclamations.
The morning rosaries, the blessed churches where we give thanks for all good
and the setting aside of pride while we work together to make our food.
Sure there are aprons for cooking. Shorts for summertime. A dive into any pool.
What do I know of being German, not much, it's just somewhere in my roots.
It seems ages since we met over your long, golden hair
an hour glass on the table keeping the meter.
It seems like too many dress up doll days when we played
take me to the river but don’t get our feet wet.
It seems we lost our inner selves painting our faces
painting our nails, singing karaoke at the bars.
Oh, to regain those lost years of our youth, unwrinkled skin
turn back all the pages, like winding gold on a spindle.
Instead we have just leaves, grieves, and grandchildren
with their laser guns, plastic skin and smug attitudes.
They never challenged gamey little midgets with foul intent
they had us to pad them safely with money, love and scent.
Dear Rapunzel, do please let your hair down one more time
and play climb out of the cellar and up the apple tree with me.
Signed Your Dearest Play Mate.
Our team, Pat and Mike, pulled the wagon over rough ground.
When the iron wheel rolled over a stone, we bounced around.
On the way to Grandma’s house, our hearts would sing with joy.
A happy day loomed ahead, filled with freedom from daily toil.
Aunts, uncles and cousins filled up Grandma’s kitchen,
food for our bellies, playful lambs, and baby kittens.
Peals of laughter among parents visiting with each other,
far too busy to watch everything we could discover.
A small house bursting with love and uncommon harmony.
Sweet memories of where we learned the value of family.
Don't tell me to visit,
When you refuse to let me in.
Don't preach your religion,
When you've done nothing but sin.
Don't show me your tears,
When you refuse to wipe mine.
Don't load me with guilt,
Saying "It's been a long time"
Don't tell me you love me,
Then shut me out of your life.
Don't bother wasting anymore of your time,
I'm done handing you the knife.
The sweetest smelling flower that I have ever seen;
Lavender it’s called, it grows down by the stream;
It has beautiful purple blooms that sway upon the breeze;
Tempting me to take it, my senses it does tease;
I use it for a lot of things, like dried and put in tea;
It has the most relaxing smell, I like to mix it with potpourri;
Sometimes I like to pick it and just hold it in my hand;
Some people think that it is ugly but they just don’t understand;
Not only does it smell sweet but it’s soft and delicate;
It has so many medicinal qualities and it burns so fresh when lit;
My grandmother told me that if you braid it to hang above your bed,
The soothing scent will catch nightmares and give you good dreams instead;
Everything about Lavender is so appealing to me;
And with all the special traits it has, I’m sure you will agree!
~Honorable Mention in the "The Flower" Contest by A Rambling Poet~
I SAW AN OLD MOTHER WITH SILVERY HAIR
SHE SEEMED SO NEGLECTED BY THOSE WHO SHOULD CARE,
HER HANDS WERE ALL CALLOUSED AND WRINKLED AND OLD
A LIFE OF HARD WORK, WERE THE STORY THEY TOLD,
AND I THOUGHT OF AN ANGEL, AS I SAW HER SIT THERE
ROCKING ALONE IN HER OLD ROCKING CHAIR
BLESS HER OLD HEART-DO YOU THINK SHE'D COMPLAIN
THAT HER LIFE HAD BEEN BITTER,SHE WOULD LIVE IT AGAIN
AND CARRY THE CROSS THAT'S MORE THAN HER SHARE
ROCKING ALONE IN AN OLD ROCKING CHAIR
IT WOULDN'T TAKE MUCH TO GLADDEN HER HEART
JUST SOME REMEMBRANCE ON SOMEBODY'S PART
A LITTLE WOULD BRIGHTEN HER EMPTY LIFE THERE
JUST ROCKING ALONE IN HER OLD ROCKING CHAIR
I KNOW SOME YOUNGSTER IN AN ORPHAN'S HOME
WOULD THANK THEIR OWN HEAVEN IF SHE WERE THEIR OWN
THEY NEVER WOULD BE WILLING TO LET HER SIT THERE
JUST ROCKING ALONE IN HER OLD ROCKING CHAIR
I LOOKED AT HER- AND I THOUGHT - " WHAT A SHAME"
THE LOVED ONES THAT FORGOT HER, SHE LOVES JUST THE SAME
AND I THINK OF AN ANGEL AS I SEE HER SIT THERE
ROCKING ALONE IN HER OLD ROCKING CHAIR
Written By My Grandmother Mamie Rachel Sterling/Sinner/Earl 1950
Loyal to her husband, church and kids
How can I start to explain all that she did?
I speak these words because they are true
Grandma never did less than she could possibly do
Just like our body is but a shell for our bones
A house is just a building it was grandma made it home
My life started with a terrible fate
Thanks to my grandmother my childhood was great
These days I can't help but look back through the years
As I do I can't help but shed an ocean of tears
Because all I was taught I cast aside
See addiction took me for a hell of a ride
But through all of the heartache and all of the tears
All of the miles and all of the years
I remember brushing her hair and rolling it into a bun
How she played the big bad wolf because I thought it was fun
Helping roll her quilts or thread her needle
Work her fingers to the bone until she was feeble
How she stood by me through thick or thin
As I disappointed her again and again
How she always bragged that I was so smart
And never let me doubt I was all of her heart
Through all of the bad and evil I've done
I remembered what she taught me and turned to Gods son
In prison I did the strangest thing one day
Through the love of my grandmother I knelt and I prayed
The things that she taught me have all turned out to be true
Jesus was born to forgive us for all that we do
I have no doubt up in heaven she is bragging on me
Saying, “Just look at the man my boy turned out to be”
A million memories fall like crystal raindrops on a summer day
as I make my way along the winding road above the Fundy Bay,
where you wait for me beyond the gate where wild flowers grow.
In an open field as old as time where gentle ocean breezes blow,
once again I am a child resting in the arms of your sweet embrace.
As you erase my tears with your gentle loving kisses on my face,
and the torment and the anguish that have troubled me so long
are finally put to rest in this rightful place that knows no wrong.
For it is now with 3 score beneath my wayward feet I come to realize
that all the roads I travel still lead me to this place my heart resides;
and as I lay the lilacs that you loved while on earth upon your grave,
I bow before you now and thank you for the everlasting love you gave.
In Loving memory of my precious Grandmother ‘Cecelia Evans’
A Child Blossomed
I saw in your face a valley of love
Spreading as spiderwort smiling above.
I felt your devotion and saw your grace.
Oh, calming influence amid life’s place.
When sadness came near you wiped away tears.
Freely helping throughout many long years.
The strength of your memory in my heart,
Grants me the courage for each day’s new start.
A child in your hands blossomed in these lands.
Where the mountain slopes meet the oceans sands.
Wherever I go, I know you are near.
Watching from heaven, grandmother dear.
© Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen
January 25, 2010
Poetic form: Couplets