She used to wake me up in the middle of the night
"come out here and talk to me" ... I'd sigh and say "alright"
I'd sit beside her, on the couch, my legs tucked under me
she'd light her cigarette and then she'd start in with a story.
She'd tell me of her childhood, all the stories of her past
I'd listen, so enraptured, she tried to make them last
sometimes just an hour, sometimes till the sun came up
but I never tired of listening, I could never get enough.
Turn the pages Gramma, in your book of hopes and dreams
Take me with you Gramma, on your trip of memories
Turn the pages Gramma, I feel so close to you now
Turn the pages Gramma, take me back with you somehow.
Then came the day my sister called, said Gramma passed away
I held the phone up to my ear I didn't know what to say
I didn't want to believe her, I didn't want it to be true
I didn't get to say goodbye, I didn't say I love you.
But for a chance to say those things, Gramma came to me that night
One last time she woke me up, hair black and gown so white
She stood there in my doorway and waved a last goodbye
Though I knew she was alright I couldn't help but cry
I knew I would always love her and I'd miss having her around
and I knew I'd miss her stories, I wish I'd have written them down
No more will I hear her laughter, no more will I see her tears
I'm glad she gave me my own stories to pass down through the years.
Copyright © Betty Johnson
Twenty sets of footprints
scattered in the snow.
Twenty wings that flutter
as the breeze begins to blow.
Twenty peals of laughter,
Twenty toothless grins,
Twenty eyes that twinkle
as their journey begins.
Twenty desks left empty.
Million hearts that mourn.
Six will join to guide them,
unsung heroes born.
Twenty little angels
playing in the snow
dropping tiny snowflakes
on those who stayed below.
Copyright © Rachel Kovacs
I Folded My Mother Up
I folded my mother up
Into a creased peace of paper
Folding memories into intentions.
Flattening the dementia of unstructured emotions
Into a neat, file-able document.
We arc this abyss; tightening ropes over time.
We are not our worst intentions,
but we are the acts that follow.
Like clobbering footsteps tripping over
broken pavements of Being.
We are the not sum of our categories
or the crimes that we have witnessed
But we are the balance
That keeps us falling forwards without stumbling
Over our own shoelace sense of time.
Copyright © Igor Goldkind
High-backed chair facing the corner,
Window over books so cherished
Like the greatest of scholars, but still humble
He was a trove of stories
Air of silence on a place once full
Of stories from a time past,
A time of honor and courage and duty
Of country and spirit; fighting an enemy
Made from indescribable evil.
Tales of valor, sand, and bullets
Lions and machine guns, young men in battle
Fighting for their lives.
Knowing the enemy was like a jackal
Cruel and twisted, an army of evil
He witnessed it all
First hand, in the heat of the day
And cold of night. Tales passed on, spoken
In a way that conveyed such knowledge
That one was to sit in amazement, and hear it
Firsthand from the chair facing the corner.
Like a throne of deep thought.
The day he left this world, I wept.
Seeing him not but a day before,
It was harder than I could have imagined.
The pain is real, but so were the memories
And so the legacy of the veteran lives on.
The chair sat vacant, but I felt him there.
The books on the shelf, the other treasures
Left behind held him here on earth
While the memories anchored him in our hearts.
The man in the chair shall never be forgotten
And the stories shall pass far into the generations.
Copyright © john locke
Reminisce of Southern streets honey suckle vines, Magnolia air
strolling my Pepe down old streets , flowers wild growing everywhere ~
What was in that carriage as I walked proudly down a sidewalk ?
My poodle Pepe, a blue bonnet tied, Pepe sat up faithfully, bonnet on his head .
spectators driving by with smiles , the girl with a baby poodle was the talk ~
On a old plantation porch calling Pepe ? Pepe come home ? I patiently await .
Where was my furry lamb with silk black curls ? My puppy needed his walk .
Told by my parents after several cries many weeks straight ~
~ For they knew of my Poodles Fate ~
"Come inside , Pepe will come back ." He would not come home , Winter cold.
Parents hearing tireless cries , the truth was reveled , In a shed Pepe died.
My Mother told me what no Parent wants to share with a child of five years old ~
My Poodle had been in a shed with my brother and Dad , curiosity he always had.
A ladder had fallen on him , taking him away . Calling for Pepe the same day ...
We buried my Pepe , wrapped in blanket with his bonnet, in the back yard.
~ A cross made of branches , brick inscribed " here lies Pepe " bouquet by side. ~
I can not explain this love that left my heart broken , tireless nights I cried.
Copyright © Shanity Rain
In my cradle,
My tiny body was cradled
In my mothers arms.
My gem among gems,
I remember when I cried
You comforted me with
your soothing words.
Your re-assuring hands
Secured me till Death's
Cold hands snatched you
From me,a sucker I was
That needed you most.
Adieu! Sweet mum till
We cross paths again!
Ifeanyi Bob Ekechukwu
Copyright © Ifeanyi Bob Ekechukwu
I remember you fading in a playground frenzy,
Like the love and hate
Scribbled in the washroom stalls.
You wore a purple velvet hat
In September's warm glow,
And the same jacket as me;
Black with coloured flowers,
A zipper that always seemed to stick.
Young eyes squinting in the orange light of the sun;
You became one with the fresh air
While we only breathed it.
Your smile was wise and knowing.
You began to dance with one foot in heaven.
I remember a train of us running,
Our wild laughter the whistle.
I reached for your doll-like hand,
But this world had tired you too much to keep up.
Your mother's door remained boarded up
The day you were gone.
In my innocence I could not fathom
The empty running shoes in the hall,
The scent of the crayons
Once warmed by your hands.
But the longer I've roamed this place of uncertainty,
The better the pieces fit.
You may have been the catalyst
For my fear of death,
But you may too be
A disarming sting
In my empathetic heart.
Copyright © Katy Lesperance
The clouds look so harmless, so meaningless
But when they're there, and the sun can't shine through,
I feel you a little bit less.
I hope you watched me today,
I tried to let nothing get in the way of my unexpected ambition.
Seeing my dreams come to fruition, though, is nothing compared
to having you here to be able tell you about it.
I am unlearning morse code, it's like going blind,
I have to adjust, change, roll with the times and get used to it.
I feel like you and I are without a conduit.
I went to send you a message,
but is a message still sent if you're not there?
I feel scared, the phone is a reminder
of when you'd tell me to be just a little bit kinder.
Listen, remember, regret.
Look at the photographs, cry, weep, repeat.
The touch points of my life are still in place, milestones still not met
but the memory of your smiling face
stops me like a fox in the road,
scavenging on tatty Polaroids to feed
something that everyone says I should be soon throwing away.
I'm not ready yet to do all that.
Your fingerprints on a glass are the only things I can make last.
Copyright © Em Kidd
I wish they taught more about
Heartbreak in English class;
That I would see your face
In stormclouds, when
Bronze from the sunset scribbles
Our names in the sky.
It is happening every day.
I am no prize
In my Rossington-Collins band teeshirt
And deliberately torn jeans,
Sitting on the end of the street-
The place where horizon brush strokes
Copyright © Jenna-Nichole Conrad
He’s living in a game
Of heart’s hide-and-seek
No he got no shelters
And yes he is very weak.
He’s living in a world
Where laughter is a fantasy
Where tears can never be hidden
Oh loneliness he felt.
Oh mother, oh father!
His heart is in need
Oh mother, oh father!
Why did you leave?
He was never in a sight
Of any mankind eyes
The ones who’s in rich
Never knew he exists.
He’d been seeking for his heart
For a love that he missed
He’d been searching for his soul
For a life he had wished
People cast their eyes on him in disgust
Oh friendship he’d got none
Their laughter shakes upon him
While his tears starts to fall.
He wanted to be where his parents are.
He wanted to know what life means
Happiness, his friend, would never come
Oh his patient disappears.
The day had sadly ended
Another day will start
But when his life had ended
Will another one start?
Oh poor little orphan
You’re the darkness in the light
Never had you got in sight
Of any mankind eyes.
Copyright © Celine Tran
Peter Pan is no fictitious being
When a soul in unable to cross the threshold into manhood
Who does this make him be?
Maybe seeing is believing
He was just very misunderstood
I wish all of you could see
When childhood is stolen and crippled by pain
Some just give up and others create
Adults are built on what was once a child
Compensating for the missed train this is true
His imagination just went wild
He had the means
In loving memory of the real Peter Pan Michael Jackson
Copyright © R Kumari
There is a glare of stray sunlight
daring to reverberate
through spiderwebbed glass I haven't
found energy to fix
in the span of four years.
It is too much of a mirror,
too tangible a thought,
to make new.
It's lithe fingers, thin and bony,
and mockingly bright,
steal over embossed cardstock that arrives, like clockwork,
in deepest sympathy.
And a thornless bouquet of pastels laden with
only draws on blood long lost;
nobody seems to comprehend such an allegory,
or lack there of,
so it can't be carried
over the steps.
"Bloodless On Mother's Day"
Copyright © Jenna-Nichole Conrad
We talked sanely a few times,
About how he also had a condition like me,
Although my dad, who had a Medical Doctorate, when James was small wouldn’t say,
Obvious as it was that he had CF from his inward-growing finger-nails,
Dad decided to bypass the issue, medicine to assail.
I have CP, and needed James’s comfy chair to read,
It was given to him in misogyny because it was blue,
About three months before he died he said,
I could have it, and must convince mum and dad that it was mine;
They were Christians, fundamentalist and strict,
And so sometimes there was an elephant in the room,
Between me and James, about the physical.
Death is inevitable, but to them it was only a maybe for James,
When the doctors had said that 14 was the expectation,
I prepared myself for the worst well before it occurred,
As an atheist I am, with no qualms or hesitation.
James wanted for me the best, happiness and friends,
Wanted me to do my best physically, ‘cos he knew I wanted that too,
But he also suspected that I would grieve for him rightly,
Not like a sentimental fundamentalist who believes that Jesus is risen,
But as a steadfast atheist who knows what has been given;
So he knew to remark on my immediate life without him so as to adjudicate.
I cherished Christinna Georgina Rossetti’s poem, Remember,
Long before and for some time after James’s death,
And quietly held in my heart the loved-one’s good wish,
Mum used to think that sometimes I was cold as stone,
But really I'd faced the fact that James was dead and gone.
Although Rossetti was by no means an atheist,
Her poem recites the mantra of the bereavement psychologist,
That to get on with your life as best you can,
Is a right, the partner of grief, and the pathway for your lone self;
In the Bleak Mid-Winter puts Christ as relational to nature,
Instead of pertaining nature to Christ, as it is normally,
And so we must partake of it within our space and our pasture.
Copyright © Rhoda Monihan
When we lose someone
we have loved so much,
especially the one
who made a difference
in our past life...
we lose something of our own.
And our sorrow reflects every
thought cherished by the deepness
of that love; and for sometime, consolation
will not be found: unless we realize,
we are bound for the same destiny
in our predestined time.
Copyright 2010 by Andrew Crisci
Copyright © Andrew Crisci
My great-grandmother is sitting
outside in the winter sun,
with a double-felted deel,
snow white hair,
and a hat,
just taking it in.
I play at her feet, and I
make a racket,
running fast about,
I raise dust in front of Great Mother,
whom even the birds ignore.
The quiet fire in her gentle soul
was once very fierce they say
but all I see when I look at her,
is the calm warmth in her eyes,
while I play at her feet
with the clouds, rocks
the desert spirits, and the sky.
She moves with effort, no complaints,
she takes upon all the worldly cares
feeds, clothes, and shelters me,
fetching and tending,
to food, water, and fire--
Ah, fire, they say, she broke hearts
of men who rode over mountains
who crossed icy rivers;
and they say, she knew,
Knew, and her hair grew more gray,
when five of her seven children--
the exact moments they each died.
As I play with the clouds,
the rocks, the desert spirits, and the sky,
I know my Great Mother--
she lives in them all now,
somehow in that cold winter sun, she's still
sitting there with a double-felted deel, and a hat.
As I play at her feet, running fast about
sometimes I glimpse her snow white hair, and,
she takes upon herself
all of my worldly cares.
Copyright © Misheel Chuluun
speak up my dear
the class can't hear you
when you mumble
stand up straight
pull that hair back
from your face
no wonder no one wants
to play with you
at recess all you ever do
is sit outside the classroom door
nose in a book
"look, look! it's bug-eyes"
she hears somebody say
"she's such a booger-nosed,
she waits . . .
until their voices fade
to wipe her tears
Copyright © teresa guild
So on this day 6 years ago a child was born,
my precious daughter, who deep inside still mourns.
Although she is young she will always be sad,
knowing the one that is not home is her dad.
There's said to always be a special connection between daughter and father,
but this has been taken away by a mother and when it comes to our marriage, won't even bother.
Will she feel blame in the years to come?
That her mother and fathers marriage has come undone.
I can only hope that she dose not harbor anger at her parents,
mom and dad apart adds to the torment.
For my part I never wanted it to be this way for her,
I'm nothing more that a memory to mother and daughter.
So on this day I remember seeing my child's first breath of air,
now all I can see is a girl that mom and dad must share.
On this day life is bittersweet, cause I am no longer part of home,
another day of celebration with me left all alone.
Copyright © Jon B. Rangel
Oh please little boy, please don't cry
Mommy went away
Daddy's here to stay
Please little boy, I love you so
Mommy's coming back
She didn't go!
Oh please little boy don't go away
Mommy will cry
While we go play
Please little boy won't you stay?
Still this day
Copyright © Paula Moyer
I remember the wooden floors of Catholic school;
And the grin reflected in glossy planks;
And how I learned of God, love, peace, white, pure,
But never knew anything else,
A warm embrace of family in the house of God,
His warmth raining on me in the Spring of my youth.
And the friends I had, who were wet with me,
And in the name of childhood
We danced and sang.
But it was a child who shot down
His school, covering steel bullets in blood;
More powerfully covering childhood in the truth:
There is no safe place.
The planks hold doubter’s eyes, now,
The reality that death is for all of us,
That each person holds the end
Of strangers’ worlds in his hands.
If I could take the Hokies,
And all the murdered youth of this greatest nation,
And heal them, I would.
But I did not invent the safe feeling
Only remaining…hopefully somewhere.
Copyright © Will Hollis
His name is Ricky
He's gone for good
He was so beautiful
No one understood!
She went to work
And when she came back
He was laying there lifeless
He had suffered a smack
She cried and cried
Her little Ricky was gone
She could not help him
The damage was done!
Copyright © Paula Moyer
Somewhere a poem
is waiting for me
to write it in the jewelry box,
coiled into an old ring
or stopping the hands
of a watch;
in the vanishing barn risen
to the top of the pail
to be skimmed off;
or in the tree outside
engraving in green ink
on the other side of a leaf.
In my old room
the white curtains blow
like ghosts of themselves
over the sill;
under the bed misplaced words gather
to grab my helpless ankle
it is a poem
the Child I was hides
in the ear of the woman
I have become a poem
who's lines were the lines
of my fathers' face.
Copyright © April Bartaszewicz
(Part 3 of Trilogy for My Father)
I took my children to the cemetery, a rare visit,
But they did not understand
---could not understand---
of lives and dreams turned to dust,
of a childhood lying buried in those graves.
Or is it the childhood I wished for those many years?
"Where's Anddad?" my daughter asked.
"There, beneath that stone. His ashes," I said.
Ashes of a relationship as cold as this frosted grass.
"Anddad all burned up!" chortles my youngest.
"And here is Grandma," I tell him, but it's just a word.
"See the rose on the plaque? She loved roses."
I remember when the dog peed on her prized
yellows until they died. Until she cried.
I thought her tears silly at the time but not now.
"Grandma would have loved you," I inform my
Loved you like she never loved me.
I reach for the vase set in the grave marker,
but time has rusted it in place.
There will be no flowers today.
Copyright © Mary Oliver Rotman
a dory caught off guard in the billow of a wild frontier,
the south paw always an adverse of nature,
tranquil can be the fire,
but the the sparrow will mature,
a dormant trammel becomes earsplitting when broken,
now freedom promised as a perpetual token,
in the splendor of the petal the truth does not appear,
cripple the word and clarity becomes obscure,
deception weaved from inner fear,
not even gone and the cinerarium is in the picture,
oh! look at the view, raw are their souls preaching such an unholy scripture
Copyright © lacey vann
If Rocky (aka a black lab )were your teacher, you would learn stuff like this :
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.
Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
Stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout.... run right back
and make friends.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
Stop when you have had enough.
Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
Copyright © Julie Kinsley
To face one's fear
That must follow
One more minute
Until the hour
In which the bully
Will make you cower
One more second
In this life
Is all it takes
To grab a knife
Now if only
You could turn back time
Make life into a movie
And hit rewind
If you could do this
And only then
Could you hit play
And start again
But this isn't a movie
This is real
And so my blade
You begin to feel
And now your blood
Runs out of your skin
(Inspired by the movie: Bowling for Columbine)
Copyright © Sara Wilson
I'm shedding tears just thinking
Of all the beers she is drinking
There goes one, two, three, now four
She stumbles to the car and opens the door
Im screaming as I watch her go
I hate it when she drinks but I'd never let it show
That night I went to bed not thinking
I'd be waking up to hear she's dead.
Copyright © Nicole Blake
The light turns yellow and the mother hauls on the brakes,
the truck behind her tried but it was already too late
the little girl is knocked unconscious the ambulance soon arrives
the mother has minor bruises but the child is listed in critical
and the bedside vigil begins
Alejandra, my baby, please get better for I need you with me
her angels are hovering over waiting on the word that is yet to be
tears seep through the mother's eyes whispering
Alejandra, darling, how could this be
one moment we're together and now I pray I'll have another chance
to say how much I love you
Twenty-four hours went by when Alejandra passed in the night
she looked just like an angle so sweet in the light
How will I ever live with this pain inside of me?
When all I want to do is go and be with my baby
Alejandra, my gift was taken all too soon
and now my baby's in Heaven so brief and all too soon
Copyright © Teresa Allman