Brutal was the biting wind,
sweeping brown locks of a tiny urchin
side to side, often hiding her eyes.
Oversized slippers she had donned
were lost in deep snow drifts.
She plodded forth barefoot, risking frostbite.
Little daylight remained to guide her;
a dangerous holiday trek she undertook.
Villagers in passing carriages didn't notice her.
With snow falling fast and accumulations growing deep,
she didn't realize she'd left the main road.
If only she could find her grandfather's cottage!
For Christmas Eve it was,
but in her heart there was no joy.
Her cruel stepmother’s house she left in search of love.
As darkness fell, the biting cold increased.
Her weary legs she dragged; with teary eyes she searched
in vain, for only shadows could she see.
A green-clad elf with lantern lit was homeward bound
deep in the woods, when all at once he spied this forlorn girl,
sprawled on the snow deprived of strength and shivering.
He shone the light on her white face; eyelids moved and flickered.
He read her thoughts and understood; he knew just how to help her.
No time was lost; his crystal flute he blew to call his trusted friends.
An entire family of elves pulled the shivering child,
placing her gently on a sled,
fully decked out in Christmas flare.
The elves had been on their way to Santa;
Yuletide deliveries had to be made,
but the wee girl's plight took priority.
Once she was aboard the sled,
reindeer arrived on cue,
ushering the crew to the North Pole.
The little girl came to quickly,
nestled in Santa's arms.
With pleasure he brought her to her grandfather's cottage.
Grandfather sat alone by his roaring fire
when a knock came to the door.
He went to see who it could be so late into the night.
There on the doorstep his young granddaughter stood with shining eyes,
a dream come true for those who never give up hope.
He picked her up in welcome arms, a warm embrace of love.
The clock struck twelve. They heard the sound of jingling bells
as Santa waved goodbye and off he sped across the sky.
Christmas had arrived, and his first gift had been delivered!
[Inspired by the first paragraph of The Little Match Girl by H.C. Andersen]
Co-written by: Paul Callus~Carolyn Devonshire~Valentina Stagno-Navarra
Contest: A Christmas Tale
Sponsor: Debbie Guzzi
I wandered and travelled
Nor knew where I'd gone .
Life became a problem;
T'was one long cruel song.
My problems seem to multiply;
They came from every side.
I vowed to find the answer;
by this I would abide.
I looked into nature
And tore apart my mind.
Then put them on the table
To see what I could find.
I found that I'de been greedy
and avaricious, too.
Whenever projects of mine failed
I put the blame on you.
I found that I was lonely;
I thought you didn't care.
But what I really didn't know
Was you were always there.
You tried to fill the void
That always was in my Life.
you tried to ease the sorrow
You've been a real good Wife.
Yvette & Grandpa Murray
From James Murray to , Janet Murray ..his beautiful wife.
" In great respect of Grandfather Murray's poem he wrote for my Grandmother Murray "
My grandfather and I had a special relationship.
When I was young we lived near his home in Baltimore. But, my family moved away from
Baltimore when I was five and we lived most of my life in another state far away from my
grandfather. Whenever he called, however, I was the one grandchild he always wanted to
talk to so we could discuss his beloved Baltimore Orioles. I was the one grandchild who
followed sports closely and always remained a true Baltimore sports fan.
Later in life, I learned that my grandfather was actually a gifted baseball player himself when
he was young. In those days, he would explain, professional baseball players did not make
enough money to support a family so he had to make up his mind to either play baseball or
get married and raise a family. As it turned out, his love for baseball was only surpassed by
his love for my grandmother and, although he hung on to the newspaper clippings that
labeled him a “can’t miss professional baseball prospect”, he hung up his cleats and glove,
married my grandmother and went out to find a “real” job.
But his love for the game survived and year in and year out, he and I discussed the
intricacies of the game and enjoyed or lamented each baseball season based on the
successes and/or failures of the Baltimore Orioles. As crummy as the Baltimore bums are
today, I was fortunate enough to experience and share many more successful seasons than
poor ones during those limited years that I shared life with this amazing man.
I always felt sorry for my grandfather, considering him a victim of poor timing. Had he
been born about 50 years later in life, he would not have had to pick between being a
baseball player or earning a living – in fact, with his talent, he could have earned a much
better than average living while enjoying the one thing he loved most in life.
When my grandfather passed away, I was sure that he was joining a heavenly nine to once
again strap on his spikes and don the leather. Without a doubt, they must play baseball in
heaven. And I wait for the day that I sit in the heavenly bleachers and cheer on a young
grandfather playing this wonderful game with other boys of summer.
(Inspired by, “is there baseball in heaven”, by Constance, A Rambling Poet)
Here lies the best Grandfather,
One who was very considerate.
Remembering him as a child,
I would sit on his lap.
He was a rare person indeed.
He was a colonel in the Army.
Also superlative of a gentelman.
Here lies the best grandfather,
May he rest in peace.
Let another sun set,
Let another flower wilt,
Let another autumn cast its gloom,
Let another tear role,
As ye part, and bid
The final adieu.
St. Stephen’s college
I never met Grandpa
so I do not know
if he ever went dancing
or stubbed his toe.
But I do know
Grandma loved him.
And Grandma died
when was in 8th grade.
So we didn't talk
I am afraid.
But I do know
Grandpa loved her.
When i was about 5 i was put in to a SRS. I was there tell i was 7 and when i got out i move to my grandma and grandpa. When i was 9 my older brother started to beet me up every day and all day long and then when the beating he was giving me stop working he started doing other thing to me. When i was 12 i losted my grandma and then my grandpa didn't want nothing to do with use and still don't. i took my brother *****tell i was 15 then started to beat on him. My brother put me in jail for a few year because if the *****he made me do now i am 21 and have losted and got back the girl that i love and care about her name is Holli Sczenski. Her family don't want use together so they are making her choose between them or me she dues not want to have to choose between use she loves use both and i know it and her family know it but there still doing it. On top of all that my own family is going throw somethings as while my mom is not doing vary good and we may or may not lost her in the next few years.
I’ll tell you a little story
About a little boy, I know
He has a mind at ten years old
That has a kind of glow
That says, “this boy’s intelligent”
He’s got something to say
He glows with curiosity
And learns more every day.
He has this sense of fairness
He’ll never let you down
And with his sense of humour
Each time he sees you frown
He’ll put a smile back on your face
We love him oh, so much
This boy, he has a way with him
A kind of magic touch.
He be my one time only friend
He’s only ten years old
And yet he has a heart so big
And made of purest gold
No matter where this boy goes to
My heart, it will go with him
I guess I’ll love my grandson Jake
Until my light grows dim.
30 July 2013 @ 1757hrs.
Just down the road there is a cemetery
for World War One vets and for them only.
It is not quite full and it never will be.
They are all dead now, everyone who served;
those who died young and those who survived.
My gramps is buried there; he survived the war
and lived to the ripe old age of ninety-five.
Gramps was wounded twice while he was there
by those he called “them damn stinking krauts”.
I still miss my gramps to this very day
and every now and then I will visit his grave
at the cemetery just down the road;
but not very often because each time I do
I break down and cry for he was not only gramps,
he was also my very very bestest friend.
I do not know?
Pictures and moments stick
Past life sticks
The boy knows but cant see the light of
the unknown picture of you grandpa.
It was a tin-roof wooden house standing
Across the red brick cobblestone street
Adjacent to a wide open field full
Of shady live oak and sweet smelling tangerine trees where
My father’s boyhood home was nestled
Quietly in his home town.
Often times we’d travel to visit
The grandparents still living there
In that Americana corner of our lives.
We didn’t know much of anything at all except
The sky was blue, love was true and we
Youngsters were the apples of the old folk’s eyes.
We’d sit for hours in white wicker rocking chairs
I helped paint one time with newspaper on the floor
And a horsehair brush grandma gave me
To teach me that painting needn’t be a lesson
In staying between the lines. “Sometimes,” she’d say,
“It’s better to let the paint flow
And speak for itself in time.”
And granddad liked to watch the sky – especially at night
When stars were burning bright and would point towards Polaris and say:
“Heaven’s over that a-way.” And during daylight hours
When storm clouds appeared and we could hear
Thunder and lightning all around, he’d laugh and dance
As if the circus were coming to town.
We watched mocking birds and blue jays flying in and out
Of all the tree top branches and leaves singing
Their love making lullabies to us and one another and then
As quickly as they arrived,
Disappeared into the wind.
It seems we’re not much different
Rather family, foe or friend.
Accordingly, the old house still stands today
But the dear old folks have slipped away.
Perhaps to the place once pointed to
High above that night sky view
Where comets roam and grandpa liked to call “Up yonder,”
Leaving me with thoughts of gold
And memories made to ponder.
It’s a question usually posed with an inquisitive frown
On an angelic face with large, limpid eyes
And whatever I’m doing, I stop and put down
Peer sagely over bifocals and look grandfatherly wise
“Can you fix this grampa,” shy tentative pleas
Red plastic toy held out in soft delicate fingers
Tear tracks on pink cheeks, scraped, dirt darkened knees
Touches deep to my heart, on child’s face my gaze lingers
Sad, liquid eyes under brows scrunched and worried
Timid, flowerlike smile slowly blossoms on small face
My broken toy examination, slow and unhurried
Parts and pieces put back together with exaggerated grace
Rose bud lower lip, bitten by tiny white teeth
With young brow furrowed with intense concentration
A wondrous thing, this childhood belief
Mouth morphs to O shape in amazed celebration
Grampa’s done it again, that ingenious ‘ol geezer
By fixing the toy has come through in the clutch
I’m arthritic, and smell funny and I’m a puffer and a wheezer
A pushover when she whispers, “gramps I love you so much”
A huge happy hug and a loud sloppy kiss
On grey bearded, prickly cheek
These things I’ll treasure and will too soon miss
When no longer ‘ol grampa they seek
#What we want#
What we want is worth
Let love live,
Peace perfect praise...
...Let long lasting law
rule round reign.
Strange or not
Odd and fun.
That’s not all
And still are
Strange and odd.
life is life.
Not is lies.
Truth seeps from
Lies, lies, lies
Move, move, move
Lies are life.
Lies are death.
Lies are homes.
Lies are pain.
Lies are truth.
Truth is life.
Truth is death.
Truth is home.
Truth is pain.
Truth is lie.
Truth is that.
Lies will die.
Lies will cease.
Truth will live.
Truth will be.
To crouch beside him in the rows,
Counting seeds beneath rainbows.
Three in each hole, I’d count with glows.
He let me help; his garden grows.
To sell the pears he grew and picked.
Red wagon wheels click-click, clacked, clicked.
One penny each, the price was strict.
The neighbor kids their fingers licked.
To shave his beard while on the couch,
To hear his words; those never grouch,
And tales of ghosts for whom he’d vouch.
Yes, all of this without one ouch.
To sit beside him while he sleeps
In quiet stillness without child peeps,
Until, alas, his scare would creep.
Awake he snored; was not asleep.
Or hear the tales of where he’d been
His work on waters with boatmen,
Three busy tugboats from docks to glen.
Granddad, my hero, way back when.
To hear his laughter once again,
Reliving days that were back then.
Alas, his death brought my chagrin.
I live to hug him once again.
Copyright January 14, 2013
Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen
(Forever Families, God taught the way
Grow pure love of Christ everyday.
That’s what the L.D.S. people say.
I live my life to hug granddad someday.)
He sits on top a dusty shelf;
his care when he showed none.
I think you gave me your
And yet this
the only thing
you gave my family,
better than a beating.
I forgive you because
you are a fellow human,
but I hate you.
I hate how you remind me
that my family is jealous.
I hate how I have to hold
onto you; I don't want you.
You old, dusty,
boxed race truck;
I don't want you.
In his damp, snail smelly, back yard, water boiled in a vat.
"Hurry honey", said Grandpa, "the tide has just gone out".
In my six year old mind, we were in for a "great big treat".
Willingly, I'd fill my bucket full with sand crabs we'd all eat.
Overcast dark sky and dank fishy cold wind didn't dampen
spirits while scanning wet sand for holes that were sunken.
Intently digging, then oh so thrilled, I yelled,"I found one!"
Clunk! Into my little tin sand bucket it fell; one prize won.
Sadly looking, seagulls mocking, I'd managed only eight.
Grandpa smiled, dumped them in the vat with, "GREAT"!
When we are with you, we always have fun,
You make us feel we're your special ones!
If we really need a hug or two,
we know that we can always depend on you.
Giving hugs is what grandparents do best,
And you do it better than all the rest!
Everything that my grandma does
is something special made with love.
She take time to add the extra touch
that says, "I love you very much."
She fixes hurts with a kiss and smile
and tell good stories grandma-style.
It's warm and cozy on her lap
for secret telling or a nap.
At 1 in the afternoon,It is always grandpa's call.
he asks"this app.... how to install??"
My Grandpa is a wonderful man,
Always believed in me, he knew that I can.
Wisdom of life, openly shared,
Comforted me, when I was scared.
Here is a secret, and it is true-
Grandma & Grandpa, my hearts belongs to you!
See problems they no worry Timothy
He was raised by his Great Grandmother
One day she taught him
Miho you can make life beautiful or ugly
Work hard, find a woman who has a strong back
Beauty fades it doesn’t last long
Now let me tell you
A woman with a strong back may not be your perfect companion
Times are changing, I think Faith is more important these days
I say okay Grandma, can I have the horachata now that you made me
No hush up! You can have it when I’m finished talking
Timothy come your poor Grandfather wanted you to have this
It is his Journal and I have never read out of it
She hands it to me
I am struck by it’s cover, it is brown and plain
Yet it spoke to me by it’s elegant style
These words were printed on the cover “Blanco Vendetta”
I was drawn and pulled in untill I was covered by the spell
The first page I open too it says “My first Mil Besos”
The Temptess that blew my heart away
I turn to page 33
It says “The story of an Apache Warrior”
There are no rules to an Apache Warrior when it comes to fighting
He says if you are my enemy I don’t care how but I’m gonna kill you
Page 41 is like a fist full of words thrown across the page
Barrio boxing, The protection of the Shield of Faith
Brokenhearted for my careless speech has left her heartbroken
Strengthened by Love “Amor”
Nourished by the sunshine in her hand
There is healing in its beams
Blessed by her presence Del Dios I am Greatful
I’m like Grandpa what did you say wrong
Then these words come to me
Give her your full attention when she speaks to you
Because the Heart of the Wise studies how to answer
So I close it and my finger brushes a bookmark
It’s the Last page
It says To: “Timothy my son who is as mighty as an army”
I Thank you for the Greatest Gift
For the Greatest Gifts are as small as your small hand that touched me
I plant these seeds and they will take root and grow because you are good ground
Timothy let me say That without you I would of never found my Faith in GOD
Listen for it is your Grandfather who is dead and speechless
Timothy you see the good in everything
And I know you will understand my words clearly
If a man gives you his word
Promise me not to plan your future on it
And if you give your word my son
Do everything in your Power to fulfill it
AND NEVER Promise more than you can deliver
For it is better to put out more than you promised
Everyman is considered unwise when he appears foolish
I wish I could give you some insight about women
But your Great Grandmother may help you better than I can
But never timothy, Never be quick to fall in Love
Or give your heart to a woman
Listen carefully to her words when she speaks to you
Cherish Her give her your full undue attention
Because the Heart of the Wise studies how to answer
Love your neighbors as yourself
And do not strive against another man
If he has done nothing wrong to offend you
AS much as it is possible live peacefully with all men
And it is okay for you to speak these things with your Great Grandmother
She is a very wise and God-fearing woman
Amor take the greatest care of her, I Love you Son
Timothy when the time comes to avenge my death
Hit harder then you ever have before
But not in a Duel son, not like an open Vendetta
Marry his daughter Maria
The one who is pretty and Two years younger than you
Oh! He will suffer greatly!
And it will kill him to know that I chose this way to repay him
And remember son to be ready to fight any man at the drop of a hat
Standing there alone at the graveyard
Calling yearning memories of the past
Can't stop his tears , that's truly hard
She has gone , What a dote didn't last!
Shrouded by thoughts , downcast eye
Her voice is still beating in his ear
She was singing like a bird under the clear sky
When he played harp and waterfall was near
Can't forget these hoary promises to be together
On good and bad , To make love their guide
He just wanna say he will be loyal forever
Until his soul meets her on the other side
By: A. Badr
Nana told me once
how she and Pop-pop
went courting in a
How quaint I
thought, and was a
amazed how far we
humans have gone--
from a smelly
plodding horse to
an ocean in an
afternoon six miles
Then Grandma told me
she said they went
out in that carriage
to make love! Nana!
I gasped silently,
until I saw she
meant the words
my grandparents went
courting to make
the love that would
hold them together
years...and I am
because two young
people took long
buggy rides behind a
tired, smelly horse.
A Home Brew Fiasco
My lips were parched, my tongue on fire
another shot I did so very much desire
Thank my pappy for this kicking home brew
O' Lord, how to make it, if only I knew!
Sun was about set into its rosy red glow
three hills over was square dance and show
I set me a mighty happy and quickened pace
so very eager to get to that dancing place!
I hear that fast fiddle singing from afar
stop to drink last liquor from my fruit jar
Another burn that went down mighty fine
whiskey my favorite, never cottoned to wine!
One more high hill to just climb on past
swirling head tells my legs to please last
Sun has set and darkness so rapidly falls
music rings louder its beckoning calls!
Another hundred steps and I'll be there
singing, dancing and pretty gals everywhere
Ease myself up against this restful oak tree
surely a rest will be so very good for me!
Eyes heavy and dark clouds coming on down
now is no time to worry, no time to frown
Darkness races into this tired old brain
no worries, rest easy avoid all the strain!
Morning sunlights breaks between the trees
O' my, pray I didn't sleep all night please
Suddenly I hear the morning call of a dove
I missed out on last night's dance and love!
My lips were parched, my tongue on fire
another shot I did so very much desire
Thank my pappy for that kicking home brew
O' Lord, how to make it, if only I knew!
Robert J. Lindley , 08-21-2014
Inspired by a story my uncle told me back in
1965. How grandfather once made moonshine and
missed out on his first date with grandmother.
Luckily she was a forgiving woman and grandfather
a very handsome man or else they'd never married
and I would not be here to sling tha' ink!
The perfect gift
Is often a myth
It's clearly out of reach
You're already gone
Never to respawn
But listen to me preach
The best gift of all
Is hearing your call
And having you back with me
It's been too long
I wrote us a song
I wish you were here to see
Christmas is about love
The innocence of a dove
But also family
Grandpa that's you
We all know it's true
I fall right under your tree
You are my gift
That one wish
I'll glance up at the moon
I'll blow you a kiss
It'll never miss
Grandpa I'll see you soon
I don't understand why we live a life were the ones we love die young or the wise ones we love die too soon for us to have learned enough from them we walk on the path we choose but it seems there’s always a road block or tough times we have to learn from with the loss of a loved one that’s a family member or a child we have bared along the way to whatever destiny has planned for us at the end of our road I guess it’s god way of telling us he needed them to be our guardian angels instead of them walking with us on our path we have so many unanswered questions an things we don't yet understand I guess when the time comes we will understand the why's we don't yet have answers to an the path we walk will be the rite path in the end I just hope when time comes we will all see the ones we lose on our path an get the why's an questions answered
I knew an old wise Angel
Who was generous with his’ time
He could make anyone feel special
Until the stairway to heaven he did climb
He took me to my first confession
And had my rosary beads blessed
He introduced me to religion
And finding my faith became my quest
He told me the most wondrous stories
And had the wildest imagination
His stories still live in my memories
Cos we were characters in his creation
His lap was where we’d love to sit
He made us feel at home
Loving vibes he did emit
Love, the reason I wrote this poem
His name was Spencer Gagan
He was my Great Grandfather
A wonderful Christian, a great man
To me there was no other
He did what he could for everyone
And received nothing in return
Even his partner, and Peter, her son
Took him for granted without concern
He loved Peter like his own
Taking the place of his Dad
But when Peter was nearly grown
They up and left him alone, sad
He lived many hours away
So I treasured the time we spent
When he’d stay at Nan’s for a holiday
Until back home he went
He became ill and placed in a hostel
Where I think he was alone quite a lot
I’m not sure if he was cared for well
I hated the place, it was a depressing spot
We knew he wouldn’t last much longer
We would visit every second Sunday
His spirit weakened, where it used to be stronger
I would hold him tight, not knowing what to say
The last time I saw him, we held each others’ hand
He went to say my name but stopped
His memory disappearing like the sifting sand
My heart filled with sadness, just popped
Then a week or so later, while lying in bed
I awoke in early hours of the morning
To my Great Grandfather gently stroking my head
He had come to give me a warning
He had just passed and was on his way
He comforted me as I lay crying
He told me he wished he could stay
But the time had come, there was no compromising
He said so much but spoke not a word
And I understood the silence
Our bond grew stronger, my emotions stirred
As I witnessed his spirits disappearance
I woke my Sister to tell her what I knew
Tears falling from my eyes
The phone started ringing out of the blue
To inform Mum of Great Grandfathers’ demise.
©copyright Juanita Torr
“She was mine” was all he thought
His spark was gone, forever had seemed so long
The gleam in his eye, dulled as days went by
He’d been trying hard to carry on, she was two months gone
He could no longer cry, all life was now, was a lie
His sadness growing deeper, as the world continued to fly by
His girl was gone now, his reason and purpose no longer around
For years he cared, he couldn’t show, but those actions spoke louder than any words
she would’ve known
His poor tired soul began to appear on his face
His heart numb from losing the one love that who with, his life had begun
Now it was his time to start, for in his heart, he knew……
They wouldn’t be far apart.
Dedicated to the memory of my Grandparents
William Lee Neeland Sr. 02/22/27 – 07/10/04
Pauline Sue Neeland 07/27/46 - 12/24/03
with all my love, #2
Down from the
His little cottage.
I looked all around me hoping to find any traces of
Jeremy's presence, but
Katherine had been thorough and
Nothing, to remember him by.
Out of the corner of my eye a
Purple flag flapped outside the
Quietly warning us of the
Storm that had
Threatened the lot of
Very slowly I
Worked my way to the window and
Xamined the sky outside,
Yawning for lack of