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? "
On the southern side of the old cemetery,
corner of Gilmore and 1st,
a field was claimed by children.
It was riddled by gopher holes, and nettled with blackberry bushes
and 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, tossed into rows
like last winter's snowmen
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
was a fort built of scrap wood, from piles by the shed.
And by hook or by crook, I would take all commands
While my brother's brewed brainstorms, and his black plastic hook,
assigned him the Captain, while I was the crew
of a ramshackle galleon, as if from our books
While I dangled in air, from the tired old swing
"Tinker" my name...in this all-boy domain....
I would push off, while he pulled me, right up to the sky
and into the branches, crisp leaves in my eyes......
I would fly to the depth's of the 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
Have some time to spare in-between a work schedule
burning me from the inside, out.
Wasted too much time on the computer already,
my body aches from physical inactivity.
Thoughts are racing faster than the speed of light,
the routine of modern life is trying to cage in a free spirit-
a pen for a wild horse with boundless energy,
a strong kick and large teeth.
Haven't come down to this part of the bay for years.
Not sure why anymore?
Not too sure about anything right now.
Believed I was too young to be having these thoughts,
but here they come like a booming drum beat,
keeping time with the pounding of my heart,
but always just a little louder,
to remind me how this warning isn't about to depart.
The putrid stench of kelp and dead crabs
baking in the afternoon sun,
curls up my nostrils, awakening memories of childhood....
....the salt in the sea is the salt in my blood;
we have been one since conception.
The salty, deep green rot, smells like bliss to me,
compared with the scents of over-heated wires,
burnt coffee, and industrial-gray carpeting.
Sit down on a large chunk of driftwood.
The waves aren't crashing in their usual rhythmic crescendo,
but lapping quietly like chortling laughter.
The ocean is chuckling,
laughing at my insignificance
in comparison to its almost limitless horizon
of cruel, cold water.
A familiar pungent aroma creeps my way-
the high citrus scent of bergamot
mixed with the sweet perfume of skunk.
Two young punks are hauling on some reefer
up the beach from where I am sitting.
Can hear their youthful, carefree chatter.
The last time I smoked weed, seems eons ago now.
The smell invokes the rebel still alive inside,
giving a glimpse of who I had once been-
eyes blazing red,
mind full of humble awe
flying high above the clouds like an eagle.
The shrill cries of gulls fighting over a starfish
breaks my stupor of reminiscence,
reminding me of the hungry ways of nature-
the hungry ways of mankind and money.
Damn! My stupid job awaits!
As I make my way back,
pant legs causing the sand grass
to sigh in dry moans and whispers,
I make up my mind to visit
this old stomping ground more often.
In fact, I might start coming out here
on all of my lunch breaks.
Out here, the wild horse has ample room to roam,
even if for only a few moments of escape-
an illusion of escape is far better
than having only stifled dreams
and no hope left at all-
feel much better already.
History journeys along with its meandering flow as
a wide birth from bank to bank has eyes straining
trying to see across to the other side, far too wide.
Muddy rivulets stirred up by the river boats drift by
and my dreams become intertwined with what
I have read and the sleepy house boats floating near
the banks that the river dwellers call home.
A huge stainless steel arch with its catenary curve
looms gracefully nearby as a gateway of welcome,
built as a monument to Thomas Jefferson and the
pioneers who braved making their way to St. Louis,
why it is fondly called “the Gateway to the West.”
I felt as if the Arch was paying homage to the mighty
Mississippi with its tall shadow falling on her erratic waters.
Children were waving from the banks at contented tourists
waving back as they drifted slowly by and time stood still
with the music of the river taverns mingling with the
contrasting sounds of riverboat whistles, and I drifted along
with them sensing serene pleasure into another time and place.
I'd almost forgotten, how fondly this little hamlet
snuggles tight against the purple hills, and how State street
divides the town into two parts, like a pizza, one half a progressive present,
and the other half, the antiquated past. The old library building still exists,
although now home to an upscale art gallery, but, over there, on the western slice, is a geometrical shaped building that
is now called library, even though it looks more like the Star-ship Enterprise.
I drive slowly past old Gibble Park, and across the street is the same,
weathered brick building, where I spent many early summer mornings
Suddenly, I surrender to the decade when I was seventeen,
working a summer job, helping Mrs. Casey.
Back then, it was the only bakery in town, and I worked a morning shift.
I was cashier, and handed out powdered donuts, jellied scones, and giant bear claws,
to familiar faces that never seemed worried about cholesterol, sugar, saturated fats.
Day after day, they sampled with satisfaction, and gossiped, and enjoyed the morning routine.
I remember, with my own naive' innocence, befriending
a quiet, middle-aged man, with glossy dark hair, Cary Grant looks, and his overly charming smile.
I thought him to be nice, and knew who he was, from his daughter, who was a school mate, from a class below me at my high school
Mrs. Casey, (with a crease in her brow) telling me
"Look out for that one" but never quite making it clear just what she meant by such a comment
He always came by on his way to work, ordered a buttermilk bar, ...helped himself to a paper cup of coffee, then often talked with me, while I wiped down the glass cases, and waited on other customers. But, I was flattered by the attention,
Unexpectedly, when the end of summer came, while paying me for his buttermilk bar,he smiled sadly, barely said a word, and out of his pocket, he handed me a small package.
He quietly told me to open it when I got home,..... it was to be our little secret.
Not knowing how to respond......I said nothing.
Upon arriving home, ....alone in my room, I opened the small gift, and inside a gold cross, on a long gold chain, and a small. brilliant diamond smack-dab,
mid-center of the cross. I didn't know what to think, and I never told a soul.
It has never been worn.....it is still in my drawer....and though I had been warned,
somehow it makes me sad to think that some things still aren't clear.
I was green, wet behind my ears......but there seemed nothing to fear, ....
the lines were blurred....
Even now....I can't be sure.
For the Short Story Contest: Sponsored by Carol Eastman
Birth was suppose to come easier than this.
I pant quickly as I was taught,
but it isn't helping, nor does squinting my eyes.
But again, the pain evaporates for a moment
like the tears in the corners of my eyes.
It fools me in thinking it is almost over now, and I try to relax.
But all I can think about is my mother
and how different it was for her,
especially, since her young husband was so far away
My back aches, and once again, I look for the owner of the mysterious voice
That voice is my own...
I groan, and the doctor finally makes a quick-fire decision.
I am given a block for the pain, an incision is made,
and although I feel numb, and my mind is foggy,
I can feel someone's hands groping,
... a tug, a void,...a small noise... of a babe..
The next several hours are a bit of a blur
until everything clears and I'm back in my room
on the sterilized sheets, too stiff, and too sleek,
too fragrant of bleach, to think about sleep.
This miracle I bore, as soft as fine silk,
with tiny closed fists, rose-petal nails
fills me with joy, with relief, I am filled
with a deep pang of grief
for a long ago thief
I can feel the connection, mixed joy, and compassion
I bathe in the scent of my brand new beginning ......
But my thoughts stream behind me,...... to a hope that had ended
My mother in bed, after losing her first....
So young, in her bed, without child,........ bleeding red
from the war that she fought, while my Dad fought his own
I cry tears all alone.... for the grief that she owned
I so cherish the breath.....of this babe on my breast
The circle of life, starts with birth .....sometimes, death
(Mood- happiness/mixed with sadness)
Huddled over that old black radio
waiting for the final announcement...
School canceled tomorrow!
Bedtime? We actually have to SLEEP?
Where am I? Is that light coming from...
No-No! Don't look out the window!
Then why-what-when and where?
Oh me oh my, the door, the front door...
Some has swept up onto the porch
And the steps, the steps!...
Breathe a deep, icy breath first
Go ahead now, look on out and note
how everything is smothered,
kind of muffled and quieted
by the blanket that covers all,
covers all but the perfect silence
Breath another deep, icy breath
Go ahead now, step on out
Step out in the yard and note
dainty, delicate bird tracks
And rabbit footprints too?
(How DARE they get here first?)
Fence posts measure how much
Wearing comical, tilted hats
Pesky sprinkles of sleet
tease and tickle my nose...
Like a magical wide-awake dream,
familiar yet so unfamiliar...
A brand-spanking new kingdom of white
custom recreated just for me
Oh, you BAD little brat!
Will you again tromp out and ruin
Mother Nature's picture of perfection
and forever scar this eternal moment?
Oh yes, I believe you will
Hurry! Get dressed! Now GO...
Don’t you remember, love, how we danced that first night;
beneath the sun’s rays, toes dipping in the cooling sand,
to the tune of our favorite song –
with me humming the best I could –
(I sounded terrible, but you told me I sounded divine, remember?)
while falling all over myself, and your delicate feet;
and you, trying so hard not to laugh as I made such a fool of myself!
Did you ever think we would go
from being love-sick teenagers dancing on the beach,
to a couple of old-timers reminiscing
about our best years – our long ago days together?
If there is any part of that teenage girl
left within that beautiful head of yours…please;
please, just look in my eyes as you once did…
look at me, sweetheart…
Don’t you remember?
My love, do you hear?
They’re playing our favorite song…
*Inspired by Izzy Gumbo's Solfege Contest
I really hope I did this right! :)
I remember the fairground when I was a child, there
was the candy Fairy Floss machines, and you could
See them spinning the spider webs of sugar which
Made up the sweet delight, that children loved to eat
Then There was Sideshow Alleys with its clown stall
With the moving heads and popping the balls into it's
Mouth, there was the shooting galleries and penny
Toss events and many other things to play, there was a
Ghost Train and the Dodgem Cars and Boats, where
Bumping deliberately was not allowed, the Penny Arcade
With Pinball games and the Claw Crane where you tried
To grab a prize If you where lucky, penny slots which
Could give you a free ball and your penny back by flicking
A lever, and now the main events, the Big Dipper or
Roller Coaster, it would leave you going back for your
Stomach, the large Slippery Dips, Hall of Mirrors and
The Tunnel of Love river caves, Ferris Wheel and the
Helter Skelter where you rode down a spiral on a mat
But the one thing that stands out in the Fairground
Was the giant Carousel, a beautiful hand crafted
Turntable loaded with beautifully crafted wooden
Horses, which where all hand painted, children would
Always want to ride this iconic ride and if you where
Able to grab the brass ring, you would get another
Ride absolutely free, yes the Fairground was an event
In itself, as children would always want to go there
All of the time and even the adults would ask their
Children to go, because inside every adult lived
Another little child, they all loved the Fairground.
With the palms of well-worn leathery hands that in younger days guided a Tall Ship round
the globe many times with the help of stars that still twinkled in his eyes, the old man made
a porthole in the frosty forest of swirling ferns that had been painted on the kitchen window
pane by Jack-Frost during the night.
As I sat on his lap, he told me the creaking sound made by the rockers from the rocking
chair we sat in on the hardwood floor - if he closed his eyes, could make him believe he was
back with the wind in his sails, rising and dipping and swaying with the whims of the
waves ‘ore the sea.
Back- and- forth, back-and-forth, we rocked as the porthole on the window pane grew larger,
exposing the winter wonder land outside where trees and roads and roof-tops lie frozen
beneath a layer of fluffy snow that looked like icing on a birthday cake, as the house
softened and swelled in the warmth of the burning kindling wood that snapped and crackled
in the stove.
Rocking back-and-forth, back-and-forth, I asked him, looking into those eyes of green, with
that far away look. “Grandpa, won’t you tell me please, what lies beyond the sea?” He
paused for a moment, blowing silver halos that rose from his pipe in an aroma of sweet
smelling ‘Old Sail’ tobacco, and with the magic of his words, he took me on a journey,
rocking across the sea where he showed me all the places and wondrous things he’d ever
That was many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea, where an old man, taught a
little girl, that life is but a dream.
In memory of: Captain James George the Third - My Grandfather
2nd place in 'Anything Goes #2 Contest - sponsered by Constance La France
This is one entry of many that will appear in my next book ' A Journey of Roses and Thorns'.
They are true events that have happened in my life - some where roses, some were
thorns. I have learned valuable lessons from both.
Once I had a bicycle,
A loving present from my grandfather;
Since I was his favorite granddaughter,
He granted my wish at a snap of my finger .
Since he was so old,
A new bicycle he could hardly afford;
He took his bike when he was young,
Which I found it once at the back of our barn.
As far as I remember,
It was really so old and rugged;
But my grandpa was like Mr. Mac-Gyber,
Amazingly fixing all things all-over.
My granda was a well-known painter,
I thought he will repaint and use sandpapers;
When I surreptitiously sneaked into his hut,
He was there recycling all my milk cans.
When everything was done,
He gladly gave it to me with a big hug;
I hurriedly drove it at once,
Down the street and field with so much fun.
“My bike was real a unique one!” I thought.
So different from others in our neighborhood,
Its wailing siren was made up of a cow’s horn,
Tubes were made of dried bamboos and corn.
Other parts were still the same,
Like forks, hubs and chainwheel set,
The rest were made up of my milk cans,
They were pedal, brake and seatgear stem.
Handle bars were what I like most,
Converted from the handle of his old plow;
So sturdy and so strong all I knew,
And I can drive it so long in full control.
However, when I travelled quite afar,
Parts were falling one at a time;
Until everything suddenly split apart,
Eventually it dropped and rolled me down.
Date: Aug. 3, 2012
( A loving tribute to my dearest Dad)
4th Place Winner (My Very First Winning Poem)
Contest: Any Poem of the Week Contest
Contest Judged: 8/4/12
Poet Sponsor: Poet-Destroyer
Poems from old and yellowed
Chinese scrolls make me sad,
make me sad: stored in shiny,
lacquered boxes of perfumed teak,
they crumble when unrolled.
And the hands that must have written
Chinese thoughts upon the rolls:
little, leathern, patient hands,
painting poems -- stroke and stroke
and careful, delicate stroke --
stopping, meanwhile, to twirl
a waxed mustache --
for someone else, a foreigner,
who cannot understand, to read,
mull over, and be sad.
And this when Chinese thoughts
are gone, and tiny, trembling
Chinese hands are dust.
My Grandfather's Grocer Shop
I was born in Liverpool - England and
I remember back to when I was a child
how I marvelled at the way things were done
in my Grandfather's Grocer shop. in the early 1950s.
I saw him getting a portion of butter and
by using two paddle boards, knock up the butter
to form a block of butter, then wrap it up in
white shop paper, and then he would go to this
large bacon slicer which operated by turning
a huge wheel with a handle, then removing
the bacon from a butcher's hook and then
carving large slices of bacon on it, he would then
hand slice the cheese and wrap it by hand
then give it to the customer, eggs had no cartons
back then, so they were just put into brown paper bags,
customers would often return over broken eggs
and want replacements, if children came in they
would spend the pocket money on a bag of broken
biscuits, straight from the large tins they came in
as there were no packets of biscuits during those
early years of the 1950s, the shopkeepers would
often give free samples out to promote new products
as advertising was very rare and visual advertisements
were often seen on counters or on walls, I used to go in
my Grandfather's shop and was given a large peice
of cheese or some chocolate biscuits as a family gesture.
I watched in amazement as my Grandfather would count
the days takings out of the old fashion till, he would
turn a handle and the draw would pop out, it did not even
have push keys like the more modern cash registers of the
time, but it was vintage in every way, my Grandfather is
now gone, his shop has been knocked down for redevelopment
as many old businesses went the same way but
I will never forget the wonderful memories of my
Grandfather's Grocer Shop.
Trees still shade the road
where Gramps and I once rode
in his old green car -- I drove --
on dusky early evenings
in my fifteenth year.
We stopped, as he insisted, at every spot
where an armadillo scratched
among the tender greenery
I was dispatched,
with Gramps' strong wood cane,
to kill a pesky armored creature
by striking hard, once, upon its snout.
Gramps waited in the car,
called encouragement or condemnation:
"That's it! Hit him hard!" or
"Can't you do a damn thing right?"
He knew I didn't like to kill
but was determined to toughen up
That hard old man was not accustomed
to being crossed or contradicted.
But part of him was tender,
and he had a sense of what was right
in the bayou country of his day.
How could I tell him that I hated
killing just to please him?
Often, I killed, then killed again,
although, at times, I'd miss the snout
or be slow to follow up,
and permit an armadillo to escape.
Sometimes, I'd temper force with moderation --
I'd stun the creature, grab the tail,
fling it far into dense bushes
to revive and live another day.
My grandfather eyed me darkly then,
but often kept his peace.
He gave me the treatment
I gave those stunned armadillos.
Could he have felt the same
toward me as I toward them?
Suddenly a very soft and familiar voice spoke to her conscious saying “Lovely”
“Yes” she replied
“Tomorrow you are coming back home”
“OK” she said breathing heavily
The conversation ended right at that instant
Seven minutes later the unpredictable happens and Lovely dropped into a short comma.
A new day arrives.
Ding dong, ding dong, sounds the door-bell
Lovely wakes up; open the golden windows the sun is raising
Knock, knock someone is at the golden door
She didn’t know what was going on this time
She walks all the way to the door not noticing that her house was made out of the finest
marble, and the finest gold that ever existed.
Lovely answers the door thinking is the mail man with the missing letter.
When she finally opens the door instead of the mail man was her husband with open arms and
a smile on his face.
Saying “welcome home baby” “I had been waiting for you”
WE ALL GOING TO A BETTER PLACE SOMEDAY. OUR REAL HOME.
I saw death in the face of the viper
The day he broke my heart
Deep inside I know he set you free
Sang the Meadow Lark
Another I do! Another pledge
The treacherous viper wore the same black suit
He wore the colors of devil’s cape the second time around
Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way
His face shines as he fake a smile
A sort of camera pose,
I saw death in his face and Pinokio nose
The well-wishers whisper “no taste
What a disgrace! , what a waste!
A pitiful image of a man
The pastor sadly said Amen!
I saw death upon the face of the haunted soul
The cracks in the old brick wall whistle a tune
“Thou stand before the alter another fool”
A wedding or a funeral an evening of doom!
The middle-aged groom
The love, kindness in him decline.
Love is blind.
Ding dong, ding dong, sounds the door-bell
She wakes up; open her window the sun is raising
Knock, knock, some one is at the door
She rushes to the door thinking is the mailman
She is expecting a love letter from Iraq
She finally answer the door but stead of the mail man is an officer from the army, he is
well dress and carries a small box with him and inside of the box is an American flag with
three different medals.
One medal is for being a soldier of the US Army, the second medal is for being a national
hero, and the third one, is a medal of honor for dying for his country.
She goes crazy crying out for help, screaming all out that she was expecting a baby.
“I’m really sorry” the officer says
“If there anything I could do please call me” he reached his wallet and pulled out a
business card and gave it to her.
“He was a brave man” he said
The officer turned around and left the house with out hesitation.
Poor girl was drowning in her own tears; she still didn’t believe what just happen
“Lord please help me”, “help me go through this horrible pain” she cries out.
She goes back to the bed and tries to sleep it off, but it didn’t work out, the pain was
too much just to act like nothing didn’t happen.
She finally falls as sleep after several hours of crying painfully.
She tosses and turns all night long, sweating like crazy with massive pain on her chest
While she was having a horrible nightmare; dreaming about the death of her husband-
Before spring came, in late February
to the blooming and jolly hills
I ran, breathing heavily and frantically,
touching the perfumed blossoms
of a solitary, old cherry tree;
and underneath it I sat writing poetry
that hadn't a perfect rhyme and beat!
Weren't my skills marred by imperfections?
Canaries and red-breasted robins
flew down and rested on my outstretched legs;
perusing my lines to spot their names,
and when they did, they flapped their wings in gladness!
I could have imagined their joyful words,.
if only they had acquired the gift of speech,
and deeper in their thoughts I would have reached:
to dispel the myth that they had no feelings...
After my short poem was completed,
I reached for my harmonica to play my favorite classic tune;
and being surprised by the paleness of the fading moon,
I dedicated that happy melody to her not to let her despair:
by waving my hand to make her farewell less sad, while I whispered,
" Silent moon, eternal companion of every poet,
what's beyond the realm of this universe?...
Tell us more of those invisible suns and planets! "
Before spring came to the dormant valley,
the mountains' peaks allowed the sun to melt their snows,
to create gushing torrents to feed its water to the dry and cracked soil,
which needed rain instead of harmful frost;
and I drank the freshest water and washed my sweaty face,
while fighting off the bees' stubborn rivalry!
That spring has come again to dress herself with incredible splendor,
and this discontent and wishful heart desires nothing more than being there!
My theme is: Happiness In Childhood
They fought the tide to own this land
A fight I did not understand
They fought the plow, they fought the drought, they fought the debt
But yet,…by God,……they owned the pride
In retrospect, I'm still ashamed
It was, my flippant pilgrimage
I had come a stranger to this place
About to step upon the moon,
A cratered space of rocks and sage
Of rolling hills, with no escape
She saw it differently, of course
Although her body weary, worn
Her eyes were strong, ...she saw a home
Her age was then, what mine is now,
It had been her home, and it had been her vow
To come again, just one more time.
I was thirteen, and dragged along
I overlooked the great attraction
I could not see the satisfaction
I missed the light upon her face
She saw the youth she left behind
Her gray eyes drinking up the sun,
I saw the dust, I saw the bones,
Where she saw beauty, I saw none .....
Nothing more than a sea of weeds, the crumbling brick,
A place to shuffle my restless feet
But stories came, and they sunk in….
And now I view with wiser eyes…
She told me all these things back then…but now I smile,… remembering.
How it awakens in spring with sprouting grain, after brittle frost, the slush and rain
I can see how gold a wheat field grows
I shall know how a dark-framed wagon rests beside a shed,
Quivering trees, and stiff shocks of corn
The amber of the sun-cured hay
Milking cows, and a chicken shed
And a barn filled with horses, waiting to be fed
A lone, white farm house, with a big front porch
And how a bible rests..., next to the bed
They had to fight to own this piece of land
They fought the plow, they fought the drought, they fought the debt
And yet,…oh yes,…….they owned the pride
A Memory of My Grandmother's Homestead _________________________________________________
I watched them go to work each morning
A kid growing up in the coal regions
Remembering the dirt and the pride
The self respect that came from earning
The self reliance and the sense of community
I never knew the need to knock on a door
My dad’s keys were in the ignition of the old Ford
Kids playing baseball with taped up baseballs
Carpenter’s nail holding the bat together
And eight gloves between seventeen kids
Catcher didn’t need one
Wednesday afternoons the miners filled the bars
Sunday mornings they filled the churches
I watched them coming home each late afternoon
A kid growing up in the coal regions
Remembering the dirt and the pride
Blackened faces smiling
Another rugged hard day in, walking proud
Wrestle with the kids, family time
The important things
I watched them converging on a home
A kid growing up in the coal regions
Remembering the dirt and the pride
Mining accident, covered dishes, neighbors
One town, one neighborhood, one family
A feeling of belonging, community, our town
Clothes lines, party lines, coal mines
The dirt and the pride. TAMAQUA.
Saturday afternoon with a few moments to kill
Took a ride by the park up on Dutch Hill
My mind went back to a time and place
When I wore a little boy’s smile on my face
So much had changed since those innocent days
I drifted back through the years where a child plays
I played in the sandbox and rode the swing
Climbed the monkey bars in the Early Spring
I remembered church picnics and being there after dark
Playing cowboys and Indians with my friends in the park
We rode the sliding board and climbed in the trees
Spraining our ankles and skinning our knees
Sometimes we gazed at the stars while we lied on the ground
Or tried to see how fast we could push the merry go round
We learned from each other as we grew up back then
And drifted apart as we became women and men
We played from sun up until it was dark
The best years of our lives were spent at the park
It began on a high note
Dreams of a New Frontier
Those dreams were shattered in Texas
In the Fall of the same year
Christmas time was solemn
Before the storm there was the calm
We saw them escalate a war
Sending our young to Vietnam
It was a vibrant time to be alive
A good invasion hit our shore
The British sent their music
Our lives would be changed forever more
The times they were “a changing”
Was it better, was it worse
There was no time for apathy
Was it a blessing or a curse
In June came graduation
The fulfillment of our dreams
The Four Seasons sang about a Rag Doll
We were introduced to the Supremes
Now that our senior year was over
And we would go our separate ways
There remained a bond to hold us
Until our dying days
Some went off to college
Not knowing what’s in store
Almost all would serve their country
Some went off to war.
Tomorrow’s times are in these eyes of mine.
Away and far my world shall part.
The Seas shall rise from their depths of deep.
And in the glow of the shadows the willows will weep.
The Sun will rise as my days still come,
The glory, the power, it is the rains with Sun.
Tomorrow’s times are in these days of mine.
Far and gone my world shall bond.
The Mountains will fall from their heights they climb.
And in the glow of the shadows the willows will shine.
Tomorrow’s times are in these thoughts of mine.
Gone and here my world shall fear.
The Lands will separate the world by Sea,
And in the glow of the shadows the willows will be.
Tomorrow’s times I know are mine.
Here it is that I fear I’m near.
My Land, my Seas, my Mountains of plain sight,
And in the glow of the shadows the willows shall shed their light.
®Registered: Ann Rich 1998
I remember summers past in the south
and the sultry heat.
Iced tea and back porch confessions.
Making time with that first love.
The swing underneath that old tree.
The radio playing softley in the background.
Thoose ways have long since died.
Replaced by a breakneck pace.
As were all to willing to forsake a conversation between
two human beings.
It's all about one night stands and bragging rights.
It's like comparing velvet to burlap.
All harsh no mystery.
Where people would rather surf the internet
The passion of the kiss.
Is but a dinosaur that people
view as some old silent film.
A blanket underneath the stars
Has been replaced by a encounter in a
Upward we advance as deeper we sink within the
As the poet reflects ink drying
in he pen.
I recall thoose times so very slow.
To this sudden stand still.
Like a pile up on the interstate.
I no longer live I wait.
But the sunset still haunts me.
Along with the scent of the salt filled air.
that tree's swing does no longer stand.
As in dust and memories it's been taken with
The road echos of another time.
For all that was free and wild.
Is slowley vanishing.
As we blindly advance.
I'll sit and watch the tide.
And be happy to be left behind.
Early 60’s feeling my oats, slow moving wasn’t my bag
56 Chevy, foot to the floor, looking for someone to drag
He’s a Rebel on the radio, smell of gasoline was strong
Marked off a stretch of highway, exactly one mile long
I made my way to the starting line, foot getting heavy
Ford was revving up hot, but nothing beats my Chevy
There’s no feeling on earth like starting to drag
Her sweater on a stick was our checkered flag
I said I’d like to hang around but I’ve got a hot date
So while you’re driving that Ford, read my license plate
I slammed my foot to the floor and could feel the thrust
When I looked in the mirror, the Ford was eating my dust
Next Sunday morning, I was on the way to see my girl
I saw a Nash Rambler and thought I’d give him a whirl
I pulled along side him as we approached a mile long hill
Thinking that beating his butt would give me a thrill
Now I looked over at him, smiled and waved good bye
Then he waved back and I thought I would cry
There was no way it should happen the Rambler went pop
I was half way up the hill, he was over the top.
Instead of seeing my girl, I drove all around town
Trying to find the car that put my Chevy down
The fastest thing I had ever seen moving on dry land
I just wanted to find the driver for a chance to shake his hand
Sometimes I think of times we had, drag racing way back then
Though I searched for years I never saw that Nash Rambler again
Company stores taking most of the paycheck
Days were long and hard at the breaker
It beat being down there, rats were moving
No injuries today, good news
Body hurts, but the kids will be home from school
Stop and have a few before supper
They're growing so fast, soon the hugs will be gone
Shower in the cellar, she doesn't ask for much
Don't want all that tracked through the house
Daddy's home, their bright eyes shine
Got to take care of what matters most
It doesn't get any better, mom, give me a hug
Supper was great, need help with the dishes?
Got some change in my pocket
Might be enough for some ice dream cones
Let's go kids, we'll take a walk
Stop by Grandma's house on the way
Piggyback ride for the little guy
No money left 'til payday
Got all we need. Grab a bucket
We'll pick some blueberries on the way home.
So nice. Almost a touch of Heaven
Just taking care of what mattered most.
Life in a small minig town. Family, friends, co-workers were what mattered
most. I'd trade it all for yesterday.
“Send them to Coventry”! I often hear them say
Please send them, send them right away!
We tend to tar people and a place with the same brush
Stop, look and listen your pre-conception is under crush
Difference can tear some places apart
In such a small Coventry, diversity pulsates to the same big heart
On the outside you may say it sounds grim
But if you open your eyes it brightens an opinion that was once dim
I often climb the cathedral spire
It’s a journey that takes me higher
Why? I can see the whole of Coventry
In each corner I see a reflection of you and me
Awakened from a startling dream
Remembering the scene that dazed
A projection it would someday seem
Would speculation raise
Flying high above the ground
She soars above her home
Previously a rented space
But now it was alone
A Frisbee on the neighbours roof
The chimney burned coal black
She sees this almost instantly
With Dead dogs in the back.
Returning to her rented home
Remembering the dream that waked
Dreading truth and on her own
Bad feelings she would shake
Passing by her neighbours’
She spots a flying disc
No car within her driveway
And occupancy missed
Once inside with shivers
She noticed the soot
They left the fire burning
From dinner they had put
In disbelief she took a stroll
And stepped into the yard
Dead puppies strewn to her surprise
In haunting disregard
Fables they do come and go
Remembering what seems to sway
But tales of truth like this I quote
Are taken to the grave.
Under the microscope we are under watched by a near by species
For some reason they think we are a life form that takes it to easy
Over the years we were abducted; that was a mistake the aliens became uneasy
Unique in several ways we are human and that they see we are strange
Fooling them we act very hostile yet our mindset needs be rearrange
Opening our minds they started to look, but our minds seems to weird and derange
Upset, the aliens take our species to try to understand
Freaks of nature we seem to gather with costumes and sounds of band
Old as time they been coming to our planet and this is what they found, like us, land
Unrelenting we humans seem to focus on a different path
Feelings we have the aliens do not understand what we have
Odd we are, we are the only species in the galaxy that really know how to have a bath
Unrealizable that we do adore the stars and lights in the sky
From all our studies we look up and see the lights that make our world, we cry
Only now we reason with the aliens we are fools in our world and we sigh
In the past I remember how things were so simple
When I was little my cheeks had such cute dimples
Looking back I remember how sweet I was as a child
When I think again my heart told me I was so wild
Yet, in time my simple choices was revealed as true as anyone
The reason I was the way I am today, I did things, to get done
Finishing lots of my undone ideas was so incredibly hard
So I figure my heart and choices should never hold in no bard
I never thought I would learn heart aches and pain
With such under statement I did things for no gain
I was a child who held true to what he has learned
But as we got older those kinda perspective would get me burned
When I made up my mind that people was not kind
I led myself in a confusion that I was blind
In the past I do recall that seeing is believing
So I was the one who stood their with friends leaving
Alone, I felt I did not belong, I cherish each person who knew me
I got older too see how the world works it stung me like a bee
The feeling of tingling ran through my vain
My view of the world and people who knew me was stained
Now I know they are out for their selves with no kind feelings
Life I know is just a joke because of who I hung out with seeing
Today as I look at the world it is in such shambles and astray
And rather fallow everyone I just walk away