My Grandpa was inimitable… uncommon.
He could make a story out of a passing wind
and have me crying, giggling like an imp--
this God-given knack could spin yarns of myth
that even my siblings rasp with bulging eyes ,
mouths wide as a crater, entranced from
delicate plots soaked in mystery.
Every trail was one step away from anticipation,
but a story was a story, the larger the better…
how could a pirate turn into a lizard
or a starlight emerge as a queen?
It didn’t matter what the tale was about,
for between, “And then” and “Later on,”
my gasp was sucked deep into
another world beyond my own knowing.
Oh Gramps would pull out his violin
while we both serenaded the clouds,
unmindful of Granny’s holler
from the kitchen. Somehow, no one
had the power to wheel us back to reality –
not yet: Not until he passed on in his sleep
at 68--- my young adult-heart ravaged, minced.
I wipe these vintage books he left for me,
a scent of faint cigar drifting among earmarks
which likely mesmerized, invigorated
those he entertained around his theater-stage…
and I , a dear audience, was the special one of all.
Broken Wing’s Contest: Old jewelry or Just old things,
or Old, Old Poems
Copyright © nette onclaud | Year Posted 2016
My grandfather on my father’s side, was a pecker-toothed sidle who raped his
daughter when she was just ten. He threw down vodka from an eternal well and took my father out to buy prostitutes when he was just fifteen... It was here that my father first learned the true value of a woman. Mercifully, a permanent steel brace got loose at the Pennsylvania steel mill where he worked and crushed Grandfather into a pool of blood and urine.
My father was a dried seed rattling in an empty gourd… he had grown up
hardened with leather-stiff roots exposed too long in the sun. My mother knew
that he wanted to rape me, so I kept guard with knives and ran away whenever I could. I went to bed fantasizing how to sneak into his bedroom and kill him with
the kitchen carving knife.
My older brother hadn’t adjusted well to the chaos either, so he put all his expectations and dreams into a matchbook and burned down three houses in the neighborhood. He secretly, robbed his friends of their valuable coin collections. He grew weary and confessed and was taken to a local Mental Hospital for evaluation. At fourteen, I needed a good stiff drink! I was transferred to two different foster care homes and grew up like a weed.
My mother Dolly was an auburn haired porcelain bisque, matt finished doll from a
discriminating collections of dolls... her father's dolls. She was not a witty woman
but silent, afraid and alone. She gave birth to three children who grew up like
wild dogs while Dolly made Betty Crocker weekends and otherwise TV dinners
until she grew tired... very tired.
One day the brothers were playing with Dolly tossing her back and forth…
like a ball, one to another... until we dropped her. Fragile, she shattered into pieces
on the gray cement patio. My father came out determined to put the pieces back
together but clumsily, he repeatedly stepped on Dolly crushing the refined
fragments into powdered dust.
Copyright © julie heckman | Year Posted 2011
My grandfather and I had a special relationship.
When I was young we lived near his home in Baltimore. But, my family moved away from
Baltimore when I was five and we lived most of my life in another state far away from my
grandfather. Whenever he called, however, I was the one grandchild he always wanted to
talk to so we could discuss his beloved Baltimore Orioles. I was the one grandchild who
followed sports closely and always remained a true Baltimore sports fan.
Later in life, I learned that my grandfather was actually a gifted baseball player himself when
he was young. In those days, he would explain, professional baseball players did not make
enough money to support a family so he had to make up his mind to either play baseball or
get married and raise a family. As it turned out, his love for baseball was only surpassed by
his love for my grandmother and, although he hung on to the newspaper clippings that
labeled him a “can’t miss professional baseball prospect”, he hung up his cleats and glove,
married my grandmother and went out to find a “real” job.
But his love for the game survived and year in and year out, he and I discussed the
intricacies of the game and enjoyed or lamented each baseball season based on the
successes and/or failures of the Baltimore Orioles. As crummy as the Baltimore bums are
today, I was fortunate enough to experience and share many more successful seasons than
poor ones during those limited years that I shared life with this amazing man.
I always felt sorry for my grandfather, considering him a victim of poor timing. Had he
been born about 50 years later in life, he would not have had to pick between being a
baseball player or earning a living – in fact, with his talent, he could have earned a much
better than average living while enjoying the one thing he loved most in life.
When my grandfather passed away, I was sure that he was joining a heavenly nine to once
again strap on his spikes and don the leather. Without a doubt, they must play baseball in
heaven. And I wait for the day that I sit in the heavenly bleachers and cheer on a young
grandfather playing this wonderful game with other boys of summer.
(Inspired by, “is there baseball in heaven”, by Constance, A Rambling Poet)
Copyright © Joe Flach | Year Posted 2010
Grandmothers and grandfathers how they look,
how can we see that there is a grandmother or a grandfather
When I was a little girl we could see a grandmother and a grandfather
Grandparents used hats, glasses, and walking stick
The skin of their face was weathered and wrinkled
Some had teeth they put in a glass in the evening
Grandmothers always had time for a glass of juice and a hug
She was never impatient, tie shoelaces with pleasure
Always in floral dresses, which smelled like grandma
Grandmothers wont not be at work tomorrow, she has time for an adventure
She does not skip a single word, to be finished soon
It was always sweets in grandmother's hand bag
She never spared, but shared with a beautiful smile
Grandfathers were a bit more restrained,
bit concerned about the day's news in their newspaper
He would like to go for a walk, and he walks with small cautious steps
When he meet someone he knows, he lifts a bit on his hat and nod
He has very little hair on his head, and his head shines in the sun
Grandfathers have a strong hand to hold, I was confident in his hand
He could tell me what all the birds called, he was so wise
Everyone should experience an old-fashioned grandmother and grandfather
one that does not have a television, computer or washing machine
A grandmother and grandfather who always have good time
But it was in the past ..... not today...
A-L Andresen :)
Copyright © Sunshine Smile | Year Posted 2013
My mother, my grandmother before has always held a place in my heart.
My father, and my grandfather before has the same part.
I was young and very active with unwillingness to listen fully to what they had to say.
I had a problem, never could be solved without my parents and grandparents till today.
With patience they all come to my aid when I fall on my face.
With little dishonor I listen to them and what they had to say, I embrace.
Over the years I go to them with no doubt a feeling of no dismay.
Over the years I go to them and they help me solve problems that to me is O.K.
Now I am getting a bit more aware of what had happen to me when I was growing.
Now I remember how the ride was in my beginning: it was a trial of not knowing.
With the guided words of my parents and grandparents I survive through them all.
With it some being a problem that I remember I recall.
My mother and my grandmother always said to be patient and it will be easy to solve.
My father and my grandfather always knew that I would grow and evolve.
I could wonder everyday what if my parents and grandparents was not in my life.
I could just think that would be fatal like a stab with a knife.
With knowledge that they had past on to me of what they had experience.
With their proof of teachings they had past on to me is their self existence.
Over the years I grew with life so full of happiness that was because of my families love.
Over the years it showed me the path that led me to all the above.
Now cherish those words that help me through my troubles in my new family.
Now I listen to my parents healing words of wisdom and except them gladly.
Copyright © Reynaldo Mast | Year Posted 2013
By Curtis Johnson
In May of ‘63, daddy’s demise came early when he was only 58, leaving mama widowed at 35 with eleven minor children. Essentially stair steppers, our ages ranged from 9 months to 16 years.
I would be proud to own something that my father once possessed.
There was the Social Security benefit of $89 per month from the Feds.
It appears there was a welfare check of $30 per month from the county.
I also recall that there was a one time cash benefit of $200 from the Masons.
I remember my dad owning a 22 rifle, which my mom still possessed in ‘71. However, beyond then, I do not know what mama eventually did with it. Essentially, beyond that rifle, daddy did not own anything to pass on
to the next generation. It appears that daddy’s hard work acquired
many benefits for him and his family, but very little in ownership.
Daddy was a company man. He drove a company car; we lived in a company house; and a company doctor handled our health care.
I am 66, and I have a friend who is 86. We were talking a week ago primarily about his recent move to a new community. He and his wife sold their home and is presently renting a much smaller property. They are freed from many cares relative to upkeep, and they were able to dispose of things they no longer needed.
However, one item that he mentioned stuck to my mind like glue. This treasure piece will be kept, because it is not only a material item, but is also connected to a long family tradition. My friend inherited the clock from his father, who inherited it from his father. When he passes on, his grandfather clock, originally owned by his grandfather in Sweden, will become the treasure piece of his son in the fourth generation. How grand is that!
I could not help but remember that ‘I did not inherit’ any kind of treasured traditional piece from my father. Of course, I do not underestimate the Christian heritage that he provided, and the valued lessons he taught. I also inherited his DNA and the memories.
O, back then, a grandfather clock would have been unthinkable. But I cannot deny that something tangible of my father’s memory would have been great. Any way, my friend’s grandfather clock inspires me as I look ahead to the next generation. I am just a little more motivated to be sure that I pass on something tangible to my children.
04262016 cj PS
Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2016
Said goodbye so many times,
To its occupants that once were babies.
New cradle to so many grand parents,
Gently rocked to sleep by memories.
Grandpa once told me he felt a kinship,
To this chair that creaked once in a while.
His limbs and its were very much the same;
Only difference was it would always have new customers.
As a little boy it was my rocking horse,
I climbed its high back like spiderman.
Couldn't tip it over no matter how hard I tried;
Just swung on a wooden toy that Grandpa hated to love.
My father sat there in that very same chair,
Swaying away in a chariot he had surely earned.
I sat next to him then and we reminisced,
Knowing that soon I would take his place.
Copyright © 2014 Robert William Gruhn - All Rights Reserved
"A poem to me is the essence of any thought,
Being built from its foundation into tower scraping sky.
It can fly like no other bird to places never seen,
Even spaceships can only dream of taking its place."
© 2014 Robert William Gruhn
Copyright © Robert Gruhn | Year Posted 2014
“My grandfather was strong and mighty, till he died at age of ninety.
The clock then stopped to run no more.
Then one of my relations wrote a song, sung for generations.
I think of it more and more:
“My grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf,
So it stood ninety years on the floor.
It was taller by half than the old man himself,
Though it weighed not a penny-weight more . . .”
Shaken from his quaint digression, his face in tense expression,
He renewed his dire obsession
About what made the clock strike in the night.
He slipped to the room adjacent, above an empty basement,
Where stood the clock’s encasement – opened so very slight.
Moving with stealth, and in no hurry,
He saw an object hunched and furry;
His cat stood vigil in the night, with eyes reflecting light.
A mouse, the cat had faced, into the clock was chased,
And up the pendulum raced, quickly taking flight.
Climbing the clock’s encasement, the mouse’s weight displacement,
Tripped the spring so tight; it struck with awesome might!
Striking twelve it had numbered, his muddled thoughts encumbered,
Scared awake from slumber in the night.
“All of this is so confusing, could I, these years be using
The clock with spring so tight?”
In his mental delusion he added to the confusion,
For this intrusion in the night.
There was nothing he couldn’t handle
With his shotgun on the mantle by the door,
With it he could surely even up the score.
With the menace looming bigger, he quickly pulled the trigger
Then the grandfather clock was no more
And the cat and mouse— a taxidermy chore.
Copyright © James Tate | Year Posted 2011
His wrinkles on face,
A crack on his tooth
He remembers too well
The glimpse of his youth
The fiery passion
His sweltering desires
He’s a scout leader
He’s a disciplinarian
Few don’t understand
But it all makes sense
Accord to his plans
His young dreams
I see as sun rises
But will he remember
The smiles on our faces?
Copyright © Lei Strauss | Year Posted 2015
I was year 3 at Riveroaks School. I was doing my spelling words with my Mum. Nana was over from Tokyo for a holiday, she was reading the newspaper.
Suddenly I realised that something wasn’t quite right, there were no high pitch screams or continuous cries. “Wheres Tom” said Mum calmly. “Last time I saw him he was on his trike” I said. We rushed outside to see if Tom was riding on his trike, but to our surprise he was nowhere to be seen.
We went over to our next door neighbor's house to see if he had wandered over. He wasn’t there but she reminded us that we go over to Riveroaks School a lot and that he could have walked over there.
After a thorough search around the school we thought we should check the backyard to see if he was playing with a ball or crawling around on the grass. We weren’t surprised when we found that he wasn’t playing on the grass.
We then decided to see if Papa knew where Tom was. But Nana thought we should think about what we did with him. “We took him to Riveroaks School then he went on his trike then we didn’t see what he did next.” We came to the conclusion that Papa knew where Tom was.
So we went to the lounge and as we opened the door we were surprised to see my Papa reading the paper and Tom watching his favourite tv show. “Why didn’t you tell us Tom was here”, Nana said. “You didn’t ask” Papa replied.
Copyright © Caleb Thompson | Year Posted 2016
Electric Mosquito Bat
Reached out for my windbreaker jacket, lifted it off its peg…
Slipped my left hand into the left sleeve to be followed by my right…
My mind was ever so clear, my heart ever so light, for tonight I strike back..
Selfconsciously I smirked a grin, for tonight, The Empire Strikes Back…
The other family members, they are all engrossed with the TV in the living room…
Some silly local production drama, lots of overacting and tears aplenty to flood a room…
That was not for me, I have a higher mission to answer for this cannot wait…
Tonight I begin a mission with my newly gifted rechargeable electric mosquito bat….
It has been fully charged, I had timed it to perfection by my alarm clock....
Luke Skywalker, even Hans Solo , eat your hearts out for I have this sword…
It is electric, fully charged, it is lethal upon touch, mosquitoes and flying insects are cinders…
No, I do not have to swat nor strike out, I only need to wave it about to destroy all insects…
Furtively I stole a look into the living room, then turned back and flicked softly a light switch…
The lone bulb flared instantly and bathed the patio outside the kitchen in soft yellowish light…
As I leaned forward to peer through panel window in the back door, mentally I smiled again,
Now out there, in that patio, yours truly and this electric mosquito bat, we‘ll do battle to win..
Left hand grasping my electric mosquito bat, my right hand grasped the kitchen door knob…
There was a soft click as I slowly pulled open the wooden door, the battlefield beyond beckoned…
My heart was light, a silly tuneless humming still on my lips as I eagerly stepped forward…
Flying insects by the hundreds are mine to slay, the thrill and body counts will be my rewards…
Hey, who left the back patio light on?
Grandad, why are you out here? Better get inside before you catch a cold!!
Copyright © KENG CHUAN SENG | Year Posted 2015
O What A Night
My name is Benny, and I was one of those shepherds who were watching over the sheep the night that Jesus was born. It's a night that we will never forget, nor cease to tell others about our encounter of a lifetime. How could we ever forget those sudden sounds and how the heavenly host lit up the night sky?
I remember from a very young child on my grandfather’s knee, stories were read to me from the Book of Isaiah. But who could be sure when these things would happen? Would it happen in my life time? Only God knew for sure, even though the prophets were clear about the times and seasons for the Christ child.
I was always gazing into the sky, but I saw nothing extraordinary that night. Who would have thought that an amazing announcement would be made in an open field to lowly shepherds? And never in a million years would I have thought that we would be among the first recipients of an amazing message about the Messiah’s birth. Well, that’s what happened.
On a dark and quiet night as we tended our flocks, we were startled as an angel suddenly appeared! We were quickly put at ease by the angel's calming voice as he told us the purpose for his appearance. I had to pinch myself, wondering if I was dreaming. We followed the angel’s instructions and went into Bethlehem where we met Joseph and Mary, and were among the first to see Jesus. He looked as normal as any baby I've seen, except for his eyes. His eyes, so clear and pure, said to me, "I love you."
We shared with them the things that we were experiencing, and they appeared to be as amazed as we were and hungered to hear more. We told them everything that we encountered. Afterwards, we started spreading the news all over town. O what a night! I felt like a major player in this awesome event, being privileged to share the best news the world had ever heard. Sure, angels had appeared to Abraham and Moses, but I found it hard to imagine that I, a shepherd, had been visited by a heavenly being.
We later heard that there were wise men from the East who presented to Jesus gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. We also learned that the King felt threatened by Jesus. We were among many that night who went about doing their assigned task and returned to their jobs. None of us considered ourselves to be anyone special, because we all realized that the baby born in the Bethlehem manger was the only one special.
11212015 contest: Christmas With Christ
Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2015
Rechargeable Electric Mosquito Bat
What a joyous Christmas season it is gonna be…
This little gift my favourite little gal has just bought me…
Tore away the gift wrappings to reveal another plastic wrapping……
Shades of blue with a coastal scene and a hue of orange…
Turn it over, the same shades of blue and a set of instructions…
Hefted and gingerly ran fingers all over this gift for confirmation…
As realisation slowly dawns and elation builds up to a crescendo..
I spied a rounded sticker, prominently displayed with a design logo…
Slowly I carefully read the words inscribed in the black outer rim of the sticker..
Rechargeable Electric Mosquito Bat, clearly lettered in bold white colour…
Ho, ho, ho..!
Gave out a pent up whoop of lengthy cackled laughter..
A Rechargeable Electric Mosquito Bat, just what I have been after…
Felt an adrenalin rush, knowing now I can be the master…
Come what may, mosquitoes by the hundreds I shall not falter..
In my hands now, a supreme weapon of destruction made in China…
With a mere flick of a switch and a wave, every mosquito will be cinder…
I can almost smell the acrid aroma of a roasted flying mosquito..
And hear the shrill sizzling of another hapless insect in death throes..
Ho, ho, ho..!
Can’t wait till night fall when the little flying creatures come a calling…
Gonna to stay alert for quick kills when the mosquitoes come flying…
Maybe I should go about the house and start a mosquito hunting exercise..
Better still, let me get my windbreaker jacket, I'll go outside for an immediate exercise…
If I get started now, I will have a headstart and man, I will get to kill hundreds..
Today is the dawn of Armaggedon for all those pesky mosquitoes and flying insects…
Maybe neighbour Joe would like to join me in this worthwhile mission..
Heck, think I will pop over and invite him along and together we’ll see some action…
Hey, Grandad, where are you going with that gadget now?
These instructions, they say you’ve got charge it for 10 hours first time round!
Copyright © KENG CHUAN SENG | Year Posted 2015
The oldest patriarch in the close family
Wise, historic, brave and a quiet shroud of dominance
I grew, I matured, I aged
He shrunk, he slowed, he aged
Age and frailty grew: worsening health
He held my arm as we walked along
I was now the carer
He was the one being cared for
The order changed
The positions had swopped
Copyright © Alexander Seal | Year Posted 2015
Albert you were an inspiration to my life
you were like my second father
you’ve taught me to keep the ancient words
from Genesis to Revelation,
strapped to my heart like a locket
Remember on Sunday mornings
I used to rest my miniature body
onto your lap like a furry little kitten
massaging your bald plated head
while everyone looked on with envy
and labeled me your little pet
Albert, thank you for being the shepherd
of your flock of sheep
you’ve watched my mother
sprung up from childhood to womanhood
Albert thank you for all of the memories
you gave me in my life
I will always cherish every minute of those
We thank you for all of the time
you’ve spent with us on earth
and we hope we’ll meet you again on the golden shore
in the heavenly skies above us
Written by Mia Pratt, 2014
Copyright © Mia Pratt | Year Posted 2015
Way aback upon the fog of the swamp and the itch of the tree
lay a beautiful lady that no one ever got to see.
She was a runaway of sorts but not by her will.
She ran to stay alive so that she would not be the next kill.
Now she sits in her little house with her grandfather trying to do what she can do
but she hasn't seen a soul since five years old and her grandfather had given up very
Her grandfather said it was an army that came through her town that carried off everyone
who spoke her tongue.
Out of the bed she was pulled and they began to run.
They had heard the stories that were put by her grandfather into her ear.
Stories of unspeakable things, ones that brought panic and fear.
Her grandfather lifted her in his arms and ran as fast as he could frantic to stay alive.
It wasn't until they were well into the woods he realized the others had been left behind.
For the first time she'd seen a grown man cry.
Then he hugged her closer and through the woods they began to fly.
Now they sit in their home waiting for any news.
The people in his town knew this house and she waited for any clues.
That hope had gone along with her grandfather's mind.
The house was so far back it seemed just to hard to find.
One day the beautiful lady saw something move and out of the house she ran.
It was a man.
He looked at her with an admiring face.
His eyes began to gaze.
The woman was beautiful but she never knew.
She had nothing to compare herself to.
The man was dressed in very unusual clothes.
She heard something ring and was shocked to see a cellular phone.
She wondered what had happen over the past fifteen years since she'd been here.
A phone with no cords. How queer?
He hung up the phone and she ran to him "What's going on with the Jews in Germany?"
"What is going on with the war?"
The man looked very concerned and knew not what to say for sure.
"Ma'am, That war has been over for many years. It's 2004."
Copyright © Misty Hoot | Year Posted 2010
A long and narrow road. Trees stretched in the summer breeze.
The dirt and fallen leaves crescendoed under my footsteps.
As I walked down this road, my mind turned to the towering trees.
They were cool, and smooth to the touch.
I closed my eyes and breathed.
I could smell salt in the air, and I knew that ocean was near.
I emerged from the end of the road
There I found a great white house, perched at a sea-side cliff.
The salty winds had taken a toll on the old mansion, it’s paint chipped.
An old man came into view. He sat on an old log overlooking the sea.
He had a fiddle and bow in hand.
He contemplated, pondered, and thought, of the perfect note to end his song.
Then he heard me, and called me over.
He told me to sit, and be still, to open my mind to the notes he played.
Together we sat, on that sea cliff, as he played on that old fiddle of his.
Nothing seemed to matter, not the time, nor the weather.
Everything was peaceful, as we sat, listening to that old fiddle, of his.
Copyright © Anthony Stern | Year Posted 2014
Where there is strength
you will find unity.
Let there be no more division.
May the grandfather spirits
place forgiveness in your hearts, and soften them
while pride moves out of the way.
May the blood you share become strong
and never again be poisoned by
un forgiveness and hate.
Can't you hear the songs
the warrior spirits are singing
about lost battles, broken families
and battle scars?
May their cries ring in your ears
some warriors never come home
from their battles.
May the rains come down
on both of you and
wash away the war paint,
so you may recognize each other.
May the skies above thunder
as grandfather spirits dance
a dance of remembrance.
May your paths cross again
and the winds join together
what has long been separated.
May spirits of wisdom guide
both of you toward your destiny.
And may father time heal
Copyright © cheryl rodriguez | Year Posted 2007