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.
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,
you to the world.
Where will you be
when my legs
no longer run?
no longer work?
Will you realize
that I love
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.
whether I took
my pills today or not.
if I told this story before.
I even forgot once
who you were
and it terrified me.
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
The love of my life
left me after
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
It has been a while.
You look up at me
with tears in your eyes
"Will she tie my
when I get old? "
I am standing outside my bedroom, on the precipice of lost innocence.
Wide eyed, and barefoot on cold hardwood.
Someone is hammering on our front door.
My father, looking a bit annoyed, shuffles anxiously down the stairs.
Tussled hair, a bewildered vein bulging in his forehead,
wearing his old, blue plaid robe, the one with the woven rope belt,
he looks like a lightweight boxer, ready to enter the ring.
There are two grim faced policemen waiting on the front porch.
My mother, at the top of the stairs, clutches the neck of her gown.
She looks as if she might choke herself.
Confused concern, reflects in sleep swollen eyes.
They ask my father, “How well do you know those folks across the road?”
As they notice me standing on the stairs, they quickly lower their voices.
In a hushed, rather husky monotone, they explain to my father...
whispering something about a boy who has taken a shotgun out into the hills…
He has taken his own life…and has been identified as the boy...,
the teenager, who lives kitty-corner across our road.
The same kid who mowed our grass when Dad was sick for a spell last summer.
The one who bags Mom’s groceries at the local A & P.
They think I don’t hear them ……but I do…
and I hear them ask my father,
would he, please, come along to help them break the news?
My father, glazed eyes, and head low, steps away a moment, to quickly dress.
I remember hearing my mother gasp, then suck in a sob,..
But then is right behind me, pulling me towards her…..
and I can feel her heart pounding, through flannel of my pajamas.
She is squeezing my shoulders..so hard that it hurts,.... somehow I don’t mind.
I look up seeking reassurance,.... her eyes are huge, …
and she knows that I have heard….
And we both know,...that nothing will ever be the same.
After this day is over, the childhood of yesterday, will wear a different face…
Father pulls a coat over his pajama tops, …he gives my mother a touch on the arm.
With a desolate look at me, he touches my head.
He steps out into the darkness of a not quite dawn.
And through the window, I can see the line of shadows on the lawn.
Three men, like hunched over soldiers, walking slowly into the wounds of a new day.
(Sadly, this is based on a true story)
I remember as a young boy, going out to play, I would sometimes see old Mr. Kimball, sitting on the steps of his porch, often reading the paper. World War II was in full swing so the newspapers and radios were avidly sought out for the latest news. Mr. Kimball was a fireman, and probably not even that old, but he seemed that way to me.
Sometimes, he would invite me to sit with him and we would talk about everything and nothing. I loved spending time with him because, he was the only grown up I knew that took the time to entertain the mind of a young boy.
In his front window hung a small flag. It had a red border surrounding a white field, upon which there were two blue stars. I was always curious about it, so I asked him what it was. He said “It's a Sons in Service flag. One star for each son serving. You remember my boys don't you?” I did of course. Chuck, the oldest, used to tease me, calling me a sissy to get a reaction. Bobby was a couple of years younger, and the bike I was riding once had been his.
Mr. Kimball went on to explain how Chuck was now in the Army and fighting in France. Bobby was in the Navy, aboard a ship somewhere in the Pacific. He didn't say it, but I'm sure he was worried about both, communications being what they were back then.
One day, when I was walking over to see him, I noticed that the flag had changed. It now carried one blue star, but the other one was gold. With the innocence that comes of being a child, I asked what the gold star meant. He quietly said “It means Chuck is coming home”, and without further comment, he turned and went in the house.
A couple of days later, I saw a hearse pull up to the Kimballs house, and four men carry a flag draped box up the porch steps. That is the moment the meaning of war came to a small boy. I knew Chuck was home.
On the southern side of the old cemetery
there was a field on the corner of Gilmore and 1st,
thick with hidden gopher tunnels and blackberry bushes
where bare feet constructed cupped paths, trampled deep in tall amber grass
It wasn't far beyond a patched wire fence
that hemmed my Grandmother's russet old house.
Westerly whirlwinds would rattle the ragweed
and seeds of the bull-thorns, that prickled our toes
would race with the tumbleweeds, once tossed into rows
like last winter's snowmen, hot sun had decomposed
Traces of honeysuckle mixed with wild rose
from Grandma's old arbor, which loomed in the distance
A rusty old weathervane, cruised 'round, and 'round
The ivy was overgrown, and a sleepy dog snoozed
But, deep in the field, was a land of our own
A place we called 'Neverland', our loft in the wind
In the yoke of one tree, with the help of our dad
a fort built of scrap wood, from piles by the shed,
And by hook or by crook, I would take all commands
from my brother's wild brainstorms, while his black plastic hook,
assigned him the Captain, and me of his crew
of a ramshackle ship, like the old storybook
While I dangled in air, from the tired old swing
"Tinker" my name...in this all-boy domain....
I would push off, he'd pull me right up to the sky
and into the branches, brittle leaves in my eyes......
I would fly to the depth's of a steel gray-blue sky
I could grovel, and shovel, to have his approval........
for he was much older, much wiser than me
and I would play like a tomboy,.....shoving doll-drums away,
on those hot summer days......with red hot splintered rays
in the dry summer sun, that would spotlight our play.
We would play until twilight, and watch the day fade
Defying all gravity.......I could see to eternity
Tootsie Pops clinging to the tip of our tongues
while the sun of the twilight, dipped over the dunes
and the call of our mother, slipped over the moon
Inspired by Charlotte's Contest "Places"
It is October again, but I have another in mind
One long ago, and it brings tender memories
It wasn't the usual, of Halloween kind
Of parties and goblins, of which there were many
It was a year of some changes, our family had moved
I was ten years old...struggling and shy
A small little town, I'd been replanted and torn
It was late in October...now uprooted and more...
A different school....a country lane....no close neighbors next door
On Halloween night, it rained and it poured
The end of the world...I was unhappy and bored
Leaving what had been home, familiar and sure
Where our old street had been filled
With Halloween thrills
Here in the country, ...no one came to the door
I was dressed to go out...but storms plagued the night
My mom understood....she saw my sad plight
She went up to her room, made up her face
She combed up her hair, until it stood on it's roots
Covered her face with black fireplace soot
She threw on her robe, and pulled on dad's boots
Crept out the back door, and to the front porch
When the doorbell rang....I jumped in delight!
Trick-or-treaters had come to our house this dark night!!
When I opened the door, at first I didn't see
It was mom, ...trying to hard, bring me some glee!
She grabbed me and laughed and pulled me to come
Out into the rainstorm....up the road we would run
We ran in the downpour, getting soaked to our skin
Laughing and yelling....such fun it had been!
Later that night, we warmed by the fire
She let me stay up....no one was tired
So cozy and warm...no longer so cold
With popcorn, and candy...and the ghost stories told
That one Halloween, on that night of the storm
Was the best Halloween....and reminds me of home.....
I'll never forget when each Halloween comes
The gift of the fun.... all thanks to my mom.....
I read Darryl Ashton’s poem Called Pinocchio Rex and this brought back
memories of a childhood incident
When I grew up we had a smallholding – the house was called ‘Longacre’ as we
had over an acre of land. Over the years we had chickens, pigs named Pinky
and Porky and a goat called Susie… she had kids called Billy and Nanny – guess
I was no good at names back then… but I digress
Attached to the house was a small village shop but my parents also made a
small income from selling fresh eggs and in the summer home grown
strawberries – I would help pick washing baskets of them and bag them up to
Every week a little old man would arrive for his dozen eggs and if the shop was
shut he would ring the doorbell. He wore a pointed felt hat, had steely blue
eyes and the most enormous nose you have ever seen. Unbeknownst to him
my parents nicknamed him 'Pinocchio'.
When I was aged about 7 years old the doorbell rang – mum was busy baking
in the kitchen so I answered it. There in front of me stood this old man wanting
his eggs. Mum shouted from the kitchen
‘Who is it Janet?’
I replied ‘Oh its only Pinocchio’
At once mum appeared from the kitchen, her face was the colour of beetroot.
She apologised for the comment from her ‘cheeky daughter’ The man
purchased his eggs and walked away – never to return!
The moral of this true tale is that parents ALWAYS tell the truth and that
children have ears the size of an elephant and a mouth just as big … so if you
don’t want them to repeat something YOU have said keep it zipped!
11th August 2014
A child with a crayon can color an imaginary world,
With dolls of mommies, daddies, boys and girls,
Full of horses, cowboys, cars and trains,
Can scratch them out and draw them all again,
Color me a rainbow with a pot of gold,
Color me a fairy with ribbons and bows,
Paint my face, a bright yellow sun,
In a green grassy field where a blue river runs,
With mountains and trees set in a colorful scene,
Monkey bars, teeter-totters, an old tire swing,
Color my face with a bright happy smile,
In a wonderful world, if only for awhile,
I can pretend my life is happy and gay,
Not worry about the mean stuff, just for the day,
Not worry about what I will eat, or where I will sleep,
Or the cockroaches and rats that make me creep,
Color me a family with brothers and sisters,
Color me a man to call Daddy, not Mister,
Color my mom in a bright yellow dress,
Stretched in a hammock under a tree with a nest,
In the yard of the house, we can call our own,
With neighbors on each side of our lovely home,
Color my dreams carefree and wild,
Color my life always as a child,
Color me a father, color me a Dad,
Color me the life that I never had.
Color me a garden with fruits of all kinds,
Apples, pears with grapes on the vine,
Color me a crayon that’s really a crayon,
Not this old sharpened pencil that I just found,
To draw my picture on this brown paper bag,
That was once filled with gin and Ole’ Granddad,
Now, Dream me a dream…Once upon a time,
I had a real father that I can call mine!
There once was a girl,
Who's name I can't tell.
To spare her the pain,
I'll just call her Belle.
Belle was a beauty
And all the beasts could see,
She was everything in a girlfriend
That they wanted theirs to be.
Belle was so trusting,
Because she was never treated wrong,
But little did she know that
Her innocence wouldn't last long.
She had two friends,
Sasha and Trevor,
And a boyfriend that she thought
She'd love forever.
Her boyfriend, Sam,
And Trevor were friends.
So this fearsome foursome
Had fun to no end.
The youngest of the four
But the smartest, she thought.
But what a friend was
Was not what she was taught.
Trevor and Belle
Would hang out all day.
She would try to be like him
In her own boyish way.
You see, the Trevor I speak of
Was King of the Beasts
And everything he wanted
Was laid at his feet.
And, although curious,
Belle stayed true to Sam
And that made Trevor feel
That he was less of a man.
One day, in a summer
5 years ago,
Belle told me something
I needed to know.
She told me what happened
The day that she ran.
The day that will forever
Be burned in the sand.
She told me what happened
When she looked over her shoulder
And saw him walking towards her
As the room grew colder.
She told me her tears
Were no match to his power.
She told me what made this beast
She told me she screamed
And hollered and yelled
But her cries were soon muffled
By his lips, dry and pale.
She told me how she felt
The day that she was bruised.
Never in her life
Had she felt so used!
I asked her why she didn't fight
Or get tough like she does on the field.
She just said I'd never know the
Weakness that I would feel.
I couldn't help but to cry for her
As she blamed herself.
Belle had always wanted to be
The beauty on everyone's shelf.
"But not like that," she said to me,
"Not with one of my friends."
She let a tear roll down her face
As she spoke of her life's end.
Some may ask why'd she tell me;
"What made her come to you?"
I simply look at them and say,
"You don't know Belle like I do."
I know this story in great detail
And if you look real close you'll see
The tear I shed while writing this
Because...Belle is me.
My daughter`s budgie "Sissie" died a late night
The next morning I told her that "Sissie" was dead
With tears on her eyes and cheeks, she asked her mom
- Is "Sissie" in heaven with God and grandmother ?
- Yes, she is with God, grandmother and the angels
I answer her
Surprised at this answer, my daughter investigate
whether it was true
She walks into the room where the cage with
the budgie used to stand
After a short while, she runs back to mom....
- Mom, mom.... God has not only taken "Sissie"
- God has taken the cage too
This is a true story - - - from gold child`s mouth
dedicated to: Laila A.Mjelde
Your face and rotting teeth and heavy jowls
and sunken breasts with bulging waist and
Your image of laughter, lovemaking, seeking
bourbon tweaked philosophies
of life begins
The hands that tremble as you tilt
the glass that begins another
Tirade thoughts, empty lies, money spent on
lipstick coated leeches who prey on
Through these wintry days pass faces long past
into what was then
while with the coming spring ...
at last! at last!
One can remember
and want no more
what could never be: