My father had been out of work for way too long.
At night, I often heard him and mom weep
Food was scant, but love was strong.
As was that hunger pain when I lay to sleep.
My little brother was too young to understand.
Still a babe in arms, he brought our only smiles.
I loved to play with him and hold his tiny hand.
It seemed to take away the hurt from life trials.
Then, one-day dad came home all excited.
He was talking so fast, grinning from ear to ear.
He said that our future was well fated.
That we were in for adventure was clear.
It was that new ocean liner, the Titanic.
Dad had been hired for the maiden voyage.
We were going along as his sidekick.
A family destined for American homage.
In just five days we boarded that ship.
Immigrating was a dream come true.
Accommodations would be a hardship.
But it was worth opportunities…new.
Dad worked as a scullion in the restaurant.
We were housed on the lower deck.
It was a very crowded lodgment.
We stayed together until the shipwreck.
Sirens were screeching people screaming.
We could not find dad anywhere.
Was he locked up as a cageling?
Could it be true; was he trapped down there?
Lifeboats were being lowered.
Mom held my brother, crying.
Dad must be somewhere cloistered.
We all feared a dreadful dying.
Someone put me in a lifeboat.
I reached for mom as it descended.
The Titanic was still afloat.
But my family separated.
The water was freezing.
I had forgotten my coat.
People crying, sniffling, and sneezing.
The lifeboat soon became an iceboat.
Within a few hours, death began.
Shivering, I crawled beneath two corpses.
A young girl destined to live without her clan.
Hidden from polar breezes.
That was the last time I saw my mother.
My mind holds the image clearly.
She, calling for dad, was cuddling brother.
Oh, how I loved my family dearly.
When rescuers finally arrived.
I was the only one alive in the lifeboat.
Beneath those bodies, I survived.
Then, I was wrapped in a warm coat.
I never did see America.
I was sent to an orphanage back home.
Life had dealt a great trauma.
Forever had sunken in the ocean's foam.
© April 9, 2012
Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen
Written for Poetry Soup Member Contest: My heart will go on and on.... Free Poetry
Sponsor Tracie ~*~ Indigo Dreamweaver
Know how to make
The best of what you've got in you
You do it everyday in your life
Roses are red,
violets are blue,
this flower bed,
is just for you.
Among the stone,
and in the mud,
a flower shone,
a beautiful bud.
It grew so tall,
proud and strong,
it learned all,
right and wrong.
Giving it water,
and warm sun,
your only daughter,
learned about fun.
Mommy come see,
look what I did,
now I can be,
a grownup kid.
This flower bed,
is just for you,
with roses, red,
and violets, blue.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
Today I dedicate a verse to you
For you are the one to fill me with hue
Whether red, green or purple
By your side I keep laughing in ample!
I find none more caring than you
Seeing me through and through
All the times when I cried
Pretending not to notice each time I lied
For a mother, I would not wish for another
Even if I did, I could not get any better
Hey I do dream to hold your hand
And I do dream to cherish you for times on end
A verse so bejeweled
Spelling harder than those life spelled
For without you, I would swim in the blue
Devoid of any joys, oh a truth so true!
Mommy loves me more than laundry
More than dirty dishes too
She’d rather spend her time with me
Than doing things others do
She would rather play with me
Than take a nap or sew
I love Mommy ‘cause she loves me
More than any TV show
She’s always there to pick me up
And love away my tears.
She prays to Jesus every night
To keep me from my fears
She gobbles like a turkey
And loves to dance around
I always smile; always laugh
She’s better than a clown
She’d rather eat her food all cold
So she can feed me “HUM”, and
Then wipe my face and clean the
Walls and floor of food I’ve flung
Mommy makes the greatest faces
When I do something she likes
But, saves the best for when she finds
She’ll need the baby wipes
She mostly talks like grownups do
But tries to talk like me
She hasn't mastered yet just how
To speak in baby-ese.
If there’s just one thing I could say
To Mommy when I’m grown…
“Thank you for who you are
And the love you’ve always shown.”
Happy Mother's Day
to each and all.
For the one who picks you up
when you fall.
To the one who's unafraid
to say "Go back and try again!",
for she knows you can do better
and will support you to the end.
To the one who adds her own shade
when life makes you feel blue.
She'll be there to encourage
with statements like, "Just be true to you!"
To the one who brought you into the world
by means of intense pain.
There will always be those who make you feel like less
but she will be your gain.
I thank you Mom for all you do,
and though it is Mother's Day I need no special occasion.
No date upon the calendar will dictate
when I can or cannot show my deepest appreciation.
I hope these words brought a smile
upon your beautiful face.
Here's to you and mothers everywhere -
The woman in your life who cannot be replaced.
“Egads and little fishes”
Reminds me of my dear old mum
Covering her head uttering this phrase
Thunder made her come undone
Terrified by each electrical storm
Dear mum would nearly passed out
With thunder, lightning, and pelting rain
She'd cower in a corner throughout
Really felt bad, she was truly scared
Tried hard not to laugh at the sight
Of mum with her apron over her head
Praying hard with all of her might
Things that happen during childhood days
Stay with us as by us life swishes
I'll always remember mum's little saying
“Egads and little fishes”
© Jack Ellison 2013
I’ve placed it in the most visible place
This old photo of black and white
Taken in 1943, the edges worn and frayed
Papa, Mama, Winnie, eyes bright
Though one by one they’ve all gone
They’ve left legacies of love, faith
And the sweet memories linger on
This beautiful photo transmits
When I look at their eyes
Warmth and gentleness residing
Dressed in their best, wearing subtle smiles
Beauty is captured, surviving!
Inspired by a beautiful photo of my parents and eldest sister...R.I.P.
Bows in the pigtails, bows on the dress
swinging her arms, loving all the sass
bouncing and beautiful, rounding and rue
we flow into the coming days, of kissing Sue.
Sue is immortal, holding her babes,
loving her man, cooking her meals,
wanting for the beyond, entering her days
slowing and slowing until she sits more than swings.
And there you find her bowed back all alone,
waiting for a call, wanting everyone back home,
kisses so remote, we wonder how they disappear
until we find warmth with the one who calls us home.
From the wood where coyotes play
Blackie cat came on a summer’s day.
Called seemingly, to fill the place
where Rocky the cat lay dreaming.
A proud old tom who’d seen his end
Rocky had held it long at bay.
A Guardian was he of Mom you see,
but when he passed she’d stay.
And he’d not leave till he knew
she would not be alone…
He’d found ole Blackie for her
to give them both a happy home.
Blackie and he had many a day
of lolling in the grass and sun.
But Rocky’s porch he would not share
that was for Mom and he the only one.
She feed them both, each to his own
and cared for both in kind.
Rocky’s plan, he was the man…
was to not leave her alone inside.
So, Rocky's sweet self sacrifice
of staying much too long
was blessed with painless passing
He died in Mommy’s arms.
Now everyday, ole Blackie comes
as Rocky told him too.
To keep his Mommy company
another Guardian true.
Still too frightened to come inside,
Mom’s sure he will one day.
And on that day they’d both be sure
that Blackie’d come to stay.
On Sundays my big family loved TV
for Disney and Bonanza. Mom would pop
delicious smelling popcorn, buttery,
and once I start to eat it, I can’t stop!
It never seemed enough when Mom got done
with popping our best snack food, and since our goal
was not to miss the shows, how fast we'd run
during the commercials to refill each bowl!
It's like a weight lifted off of my heart;
I am no longer torn apart.
Thank God you are safe;
Everything is okay.
My Mom was a simple lady
That's not meant to be demeaning
A sweetie with a heart of gold
Still see her gentle face gleaming
Passed away over forty years ago
But I still remember her smile
A smile that told me all was good
In her own sweet tender style
You'd think that after over forty years
Her memory would surely fade
Not so, her memory is alive and well
Just proves the impact she made
She was simple in the way she lived
Just a plain old fashioned Mom
The kind they write about in novels
Always graceful as a swan
Still miss my dear sweet Mom
Lived a good life until she was eighty
Always admired the best in people
A true description of a lady
© Jack Ellison 2013
My stepdad’s name was Eldon, but his best friends called him Jake.
“Missoura” born, he loved guy things like fishing on a lake.
He’d gone into the Navy after having grown up poor
and then got shipped across the ocean for Korea’s war.
Later with three kids, divorced, he met my mom and then
he married her, and we became a family of ten!
This new dad, Jake, a simple man, worked hard to keep us fed.
He liked his breakfast “Wheaties” and his lunch made out of bread.
He told us how he’d walked to school with cardboard on his feet,
and how they’d not had much to eat of costly things like meat.
I don’t know if Depression Era kids ate many greens,
but one thing we became aware of. . . Jake sure loved his beans!
I couldn’t understand how he could be so crazy for
the one food that he ate so much of back when he was poor.
But Eldon liked all kinds of beans, like those slow cooked with ham,
then topped with ketchup, and he liked beans straight out of the can.
In summer we’d be packed into his station wagon car,
a camper hooked behind us, and we always traveled far.
We’d eat bread and bologna, chips, and cans of pork and beans.
No fancy eating out for our large clan, by any means!
And on those rare occasions Mom was not around to cook,
Jake had a recipe not in Mom’s Betty Crocker’s book.
He’d mix some pork and beans with fried ground beef and heat it up
over buttered cornbread and we heartily would sup!
Recalling happy supper times like those, I sometimes wish
that we could all again be meeting for that great bean dish!
For Mom fixed lots of kinds of meals, and Eldon’s attitude
was “Clean your plates” so I (thin then) became a fan of food.
We kids moved on; Mom cooked for only Eldon. How time flew!
Our step dad passed away, and Mom no longer cooks for two.
She eats Weight-Watcher’s way now, but I bet she’d love to make
a pot of Navy beans again for her good man called Jake.
For the relatives poetry contest
There once was a gray cottontail rabbit.
All of her brothers and sisters were brown.
The gray one, named Suzie, had a habit.
She would hide when the family went to town.
One Sunday they were on their way to church.
All the brothers were clean with white pressed shirts.
But Suzie did her brand new dress besmirch.
Chocolate and yummy nutty filberts -
Come now, my sweet bunnies their mom did call.
It's Easter Sunday, let's be of good cheer.
The babies ran to mom who counted all.
A perfect celebration please, this year.
But they panicked when they found Suzie gone.
Once again, they went searching everywhere.
They saw Suzie's tail, a pink bow thereon.
She was hopping to a basket with flare!
“Come here, now, Susie rabbit.” Mother called.
But inside the basket were colored eggs.
Thus, Suzie had become very enthralled.
About then Suzie felt some hairy legs.
Giant bunny put his eggs on the ground.
When he saw her, he jumped back pretty quick.
All the while, Mother called her with a frown.
I must be brave, she thought, in a panic.
Her whole family swiftly hopped to her side.
But Easter Bunny picked Suzie up fast.
He stood straight tall with two feet far astride.
Wide-eyed, terrified, Suzie shrieked aghast.
Easter Bunny held Suzie in his lap.
I heard that you hide when you go to town.
You must stop or ensue an evil trap.
Then he hugged her and set sweet Suzie down.
Her mother, brothers, and sisters all sighed.
Alas they were together once again.
They hugged her and loved her; everyone cried.
Then, took Easter eggs to the preacher, Ken.
© February 28, 2012
Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen
I'll box your two ears into one
Screamed a disheveled, distraught mum
I do not think that can be done
Quipped a grinning, impish son.
And if you do it mommy dear
And I then only have one ear.
I'll have to turn each time you talk
Or you will have to scream and squawk.
Son, let me make it very clear
So listen up so that you hear
To what it is I have to say
My nerves are all in disarray.
The microwave in on the fritz
The next door neighbors thrown a fit
About a certain little boy
That's you my precious pride and joy
Please do not say that life's not fair
As you march yourself up the stairs
I need a moment to unwind
Before I lose my bloody mind.
“Gossip is the fastest form of communication”
seven small homes on a cul de sac
seven homes from the rest, set back
time passed and brought a mystery
seven sets of twins, neighbors see
one boy, girl pair all the same age
the blond, blue eyes fueled a rage
questions asked of mothers alone
the father never seemed at home
ignorance fueled gossip, bred hate
they wanted answers which relate
who was the father who so spread
from mom to mom and bed to bed
answers came, they slowly evolved
legal contracts can’t be dissolved
their father’s name thus protected
never faced charges formally read
the secret team had gathered facts
they were convinced of evil acts
gossip spread certainly fueled it
but "in vitro" was named the culprit.
Aug 27 2011 Charles Henderson
for Rambling’s “Mother” contest
MOM AND POP GOES THE DIESEL
There we were, four in the same place
where the only thing one could do was pace
you could pray from morning until night
four men surrounded by fright
to the left was a hard right to the chin
to the right was a man about to remove your grin
straight across was a threat we all ignored
but he was, for a good reason, called “The Lord”
he wasn't the son of man or born of a virgin birth
but everyone knew to respect this man who seemed to own the earth
it was four against fear and fear was winning
four in the same place because four had been caught sinning
it was a quiet summer afternoon with nothing to do
then we had a brilliant idea that came out of the blue
alas, we were all four of us were charged with the same thing for defying the law
because what junkie can resist robbing a mom and pop convenience store?
© 2012....copyright PHREEPOETREE ~free cee!~
SHE REALLY ISN’T SHE ANYMORE
Whenever my world seemed as if it were going to implode
Or explode exponentially from an internal bomb
When one single pound seemed like a hundred ton load
I would always be enlightened and brightened by my beloved mom
When what I thought was right turned out to be terribly wrong
And the wrong thing had consequences consistently appalling
When it seemed as if I had nowhere to go or for me to belong
The telephone would ring and it would be my merciful mother calling
Whenever terror terrified my soul and threatened me so
When fright began the night and the day delivered further dread
When I required knowledge my mom would offer that which I needed to know
And bring comfort to my weary body and a very woeful head
Whenever things seemed askew and went thoroughly awry
When my mind said “no” but my body demanded “yes”
Whenever my mom saw right through my every lie
She’d still love and forgive me well after I decided to confess
Whenever whatever I ever did was insidiously iniquitous
My mom’s dedication never wavered in a single or even the slightest way
Her forgiveness and devotion were both uniquely ubiquitous
But now my mom’s tenuous well being scares the hell out of me every damnable day
© 2013 copyright PHREEPOETREE ~free cee!~
The little boy reclined in his bed.
Out of reach, by his foot, a blue rose lay.
His mom had been looking for quite a while
for something she thought would make his day.
Where did this come from mama?
She moved it to within his grasp.
When the little boy touched its stem
His mother’s computer recorded a gasp.
The rose, rather limp, in a sad sort of state,
stood straight and firm, back from the dead.
And as he and mom stared in wonder;
one by one by one, each petal turned red.
His short hair, mistaken at first glance
for a buzz cut, military style.
Revealed upon closer inspection,
radiation treatments for a long, long while.
Fact is, this was his last night with mom,
with his cat and his parakeet.
His last night with this magic rose,
left, again wilting, on the sheet.
Later when she could bear the pain,
she went back and gathered his clothes.
All the things of his, she should keep,
but, she could not find the red, red rose.
As she made her way down the long hall,
she glanced from the elevator door,
at a frail little wisp of a girl in bed,
and a long stemmed blue rose on the floor.
© Jun 15 2010 For Mac's "Blue Rose" contest
Danger gripped that day so long ago.
Sunshine and a picnic should be fun!
One mom and five children, friends, you know.
Hysterically shouting, mom screamed, “Run!”
There they were, skipping rocks on the lake.
Two boys, one was ten and one seven.
Both carefully watching for a snake,
Sisters nearby played, each soft spoken.
Boys had fun counting skips. One. Two. Three.
Mom by the grill, busily cooking,
Watched; two girls laughed and giggled by a tree.
The toddler hugged her mom, clinging.
The boys, soon, tossed some stones at a log.
Competition: who could hit it most?
One after another in the bog,
Counting their hits, they both were engrossed.
All of a sudden, the log rose up.
“Come get the baby; go climb a tree!”
Life or death seemed to be a tossup.
Terror stuck; like mom screamed, we did flee!
Boys in a tree, girls on a table,
Mom and the gator stared eye to eye.
He moved forward, each step gradual.
She stood her ground; I feared she might die.
Not one step back, she stood there and dared.
Would he attack? We all watched Mom’s back.
He wanted to…Mom won as she glared.
He slithered back, Mom’s courage, no lack!
The picnic was over; we packed up.
Mom loved her babies; she saved our lives.
Needless to say, it was a shakeup.
Amazing how much a mother gives.
© October 8, 2011
Oops...too late for the "Stand Out Day Contest"
Brother, Big “J”, was the first born
I was the last to arrive
Born to some loving parents
Our family life did survive
In my family as I grew up
It was Dad who was “Da Man”
And Dad and Mom would speak as one
That’s how our family ran
Never did I hear a cross word
Spoken between Dad and Mom
If waters churned behind closed doors
I only saw waters calm
My folks both come from the old school
Sparing the rod’s not their thing
Dad did most of the discipline
Sometime he punished with pain
When Big “J” or I, did bad things
Mom would say in a low tone
Words that we both hated to hear
“Just wait till your Dad gets home”
As I grew older, I soon found
A whipping isn’t so bad
Punishment by a tongue lashing
Could really make you feel sad
It was off to church each Sunday
Then we would go out to eat
To Luby’s Cafeteria
To me that was such a treat
We took a family vacation
To a new place every year
It was planned to fit our budget
We did things kind of austere
Most of his life, Dad was a cop
Of one sort or another
A grandson became a cop too
As did one of his brothers
Now Dad was a “Jack of All Trades”
Must have learned lots on the farm
My Mom was an excellent cook
Our food was always served warm
Both had a great sense of humor
My Dad could tell a good joke
He did have one bad habit though
For many years he puffed smoke
I lost Dad at age fifty three
Mom left at seventy two
I’m the only one still alive
Brother Big “J” is gone too
Of course I miss them all so much
They left me here all alone
Those memories from my early years
No longer shared, since they’re gone
THE WATERMELON THIEVES
Once when I was oh so young,
My mom decided she,
Would show us where some melons grew,
Beneath some large orange trees.
A farmer man she knew of,
Grew them there she said,
So folks would leave alone the fruit,
That grew above their head.
The melons were okay to take.
Just let the oranges be,
So off we went to pick some,
My mom, my sis and me.
I was only five years old,
So I sat in the car,
With Mama's friend who drove us there,
No light from moon or stars;
Because the orange trees blocked their light,
And I was sore afraid,
Because it was so dark in there,
Hidden in the glade.
Suddenly I saw my mom,
Running like the wind,
Right behind her came my sis,
A melon 'neath each limb.
Then in a flash my mom went down,
She tripped and broke her melons.
"Run Ruth, Run!" I heard her say,
They're runnin' and they're yellin'.
Mother! Wait! I heard Sis call,
For she had gone down too,
Stepped in a rotten one and fell,
They both were in a stew.
A flashlight beam then pierced the dark,
They made the car just barely;
And we took off just like a shot,
Took out the fence gate squarely.
We made it back home just past one.
They laughed until they cried.
I was so young I just sat there,
Agape with my eyes wide.
My mother had skinned both her shins,
My sister, she smelled funny,
Because that melon she stepped in,
Was rotten and real funky.
Some thought my mom as mothers go,
Not what you'd call high scoring,
But I can tell you life back home,
For sure was never boring.
FOR NATHAN D.'s - LET'S PUT A SMILE ON MY FACE CONTEST
Green peas and all kinds of beans
are split open to release their seeds,
like those peas in a green pod,
that mother cooked in a huge pot!
One of my dad's friends who wore a veteran's brooch,
would shamelessly cheat to get a delicious split-pea soup;
mom didn't know he was a cheater, and surely would have hit him
with the wooden dough roller when he peaked with a grim!
And mom slowly stirred the vegetable soup,
she used to say, " The longer it cooks, the better it tastes! '
And my mouth was drooling to taste those soft peas...
that I took out of the seeds' casings without miscue!
Mother rushed in the kitchen with a roar of an enraged lion,
" That idiot is playing no fair game! He is a menace to all!
And he passes glasses of brandy to get everybody drunk! "
" He wants to win no matter what the cost...oh, clever maven! "
The split-pea soup steams like a hot volcano erupting,
the cover of the pot blows off, " What a mess on my stove! " mom screams...
" It's all his fault that I am in this state! " she continues yelling...
" I still hear his big mouth mocking...wait 'till I have finished cooking these peas! "
Entered in Nathan's Laccese contest, " Two peas in a pod "
Copyright 2009 by Andrew Crisci
I was a kid about eight years old
Went shopping with Mom downtown
The Duncan man’s in store I was told
Isle three, where yoyos are found
I had a yoyo I got somewhere
Could make it go up and down
I saw there was a crowd over there
Checked it out, here’s what I found
A man had kids watching his scene
Had a yoyo in each hand
Doing yoyo tricks I’d never seen
They called him the Duncan man
Duncan yoyos became such a hit
I begged Mom and she bought one
The yoyo string’s not tied at the end
Spins free, unlike my old one
I practiced till some talent unfurled
At most tricks I was able
Like “loop the loop” and “around the world”
“Walking the dog” and “rock the cradle”
Time moved on, put the yoyos away
Till my kids became that age
They asked Mom for a yoyo one day
Told her it was all the rage
Found my Duncan yoyos, bought new strings
My kids were outside at play
Started doing fancy tricks and things
Old Dad amazed them that day
Who can tell a mother’s worth?
Who knows the wealth of such?
What do children know from birth?
Their mother’s blessed touch.
Who can tell a mother’s worth?
Who knows the gains thereof?
What exceeds the wealth of earth
Like mother’s boundless love?
Who can tell a mother’s worth?
Who can count her gifts?
What on earth brings greater mirth
Than mother’s tender kiss?
Who can tell a mother’s worth?
Who gives her ample praise?
What gift can any give on earth
That begins to show “repaid”?
Who can tell a mother’s worth?
All of heaven knows and sees…
The height, and depth and girth,
Of the love He has for these.