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
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"
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.
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.
Birth was suppose to come easier than this
I pant quickly as I was taught, but it isn't helping,
nor is squinting my eyes, helping to make the pain go away
But, then when pain evaporates like the tears in the corners of my eyes,
without ever getting a chance to slide slowly down my cheeks,
it fools me in thinking it is almost over now, and I should be happy
But all I can think about is my mother
and how different it was for her,
especially while her young husband was so far away
My back aches, and then once again,
I look for the owner of the mysterious voice, that is my own
I groan, and the doctor finally makes the desperate decision
I am given a block for the pain, an incision is made
and although I feel numb, and foggy, my mind in a haze
I can feel hands grope, ... a tug, a void, and then...the small noise... a cry...
And the next several hours are a blur
until everything is clear and I'm back in my room
on the sterilized sheets, too stiff, and too sleek,
too fragrant of bleach, to think about sleeping
This miracle I bore, soft as silk, with tiny closed fists, rose-petal nails
fills me with joy, with relief, with a deep pang of grief
for another time, another place, a place long ago...
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, 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
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! :)
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
Contest: Any Poem of the Week Contest
Contest Judged: 8/4/12
Poet Sponsor: Poet-Destroyer
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.
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.