Category Archives: Family

She Hates Purple

She hates purple
simply because
it was
my favorite color

or maybe it’s because
I stole
her coveted role
as baby of the family

Who knows why
I only know
it’s hard to be resented
for something you can’t control

Yet I must let it go
forgive
love her more than
I love purple

(Which, incidentally,
isn’t my favorite anymore)

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What Shall I Do?

Shall I watch you
drink the Kool-aid
when the nectar’s
free for all

Shall I watch you
peer into the abyss
when I can see
you’ll surely fall

Shall I watch you
pour water in your tank
when I’m certain
it’ll make you stall

Shall I watch you
attempt to escape
when there’s danger
beyond the wall

Or shall I warn you?

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Roman

Black
Fluffy canine
Cutest little sweetie
Tail wagger of mine
Friend

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Giving up Fear

Over at dVerse Poets Pub today, Abhra has challenged us to write letter poems. I had someone specific in mind when I wrote this, but there are so many people I know who live with unnecessary fear and anxiety that it could easily be an open letter to them all. The final stanza is a reference to Philippians 4:6-7.

Giving up Fear

I learned of your anxiety
This news I’m sad to hear
I long ago was in your shoes
Crippled by my fear

You daren’t go out on the town
Lest the fear cause you to take cover
Even to celebrate with friends
Is a challenge, you discover

Yet “Do not fear” the Lord has said
He longs to keep you near
Trust in Him to care for you
Give to Him every fear

With petition and thanksgiving
Each care and worry release
As I have experienced so can you
He’ll grant you abundant peace

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I Remember Eucalyptus

I remember the scent of eucalyptus wafting on the wind.

I remember the scent of summer rain on the hot, dry dirt road.

I remember dust devils swirling down that same dirt road before the rain came.

I remember the hot, arid Santa Ana winds in the California sun, pushing wildfires in their path.

I remember carrots and green beans and radishes and cucumbers (and dill) and ripe red tomatoes in the garden.

I remember riding my bike to the Elliots’ house and barely making it up their steep paved driveway off the dirt road below.

But mostly, I remember the scent of eucalyptus.

 

This poem was inspired by the April 5 prompt from The Daily Poet by Kelli Russell Agodon & Martha Silano.

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Childhood Dreams

The prompt at dVerse Poets Pub yesterday was to write a poem about our calling, or the calling of someone else. One of the suggestions was to write about what you wanted to be when you were a child. So I went to Facebook and asked my Facebook friends to tell me what they wanted to be when they were a kid and whether their actual job was close to that dream. I didn’t get a ton of responses (only three—maybe I picked a bad time of day or I made the mistake of saying the commenters would end up in a poem), but I got enough to write this poem.

Childhood Dreams

Diminutive Donna dreamed of writing
Stories weaved that were exciting
Getting published to boot would be great
And published author became her fate

Little Leanne dreamed of being a novelist
Or perhaps a world-renowned columnist
Now inspiring young minds with famous prose
Means her life is like a beautiful rose

Petite Patty dreamed of being an actress
Or hamming it up in front of school classes
Now preaching and teaching the Word of God
Is a calling we all can certainly laud

Then there is me who wanted to be
A dance choreographer fit and carefree
But since words and reasoning are my expertise
A career in law and publishing I did seize

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Impossible Madness

Why does it feel like I’ve lost you
when you aren’t even dead?

Why am I the only one
who wants to make amends?

Why does it have to be so hard
after all these years?

Maybe it’s the tears
mine and yours, and theirs,
that makes breathing and living
loving and forgiving so impossible

I guess sometimes families and madness
can’t survive one another

Because that’s what you are, you know,
mad, or crazy, or mentally ill
whatever you want to call it

It’s torn us apart
because you don’t understand
why they can’t begin to comprehend
what’s going on inside your head

It’s torn us—you and me—apart
because you’ve convinced yourself
that I don’t at all understand
what’s going on inside your head

You forget I’ve been there
that those crazy, mad thoughts
have been inside my head, too

But then you’ve forgotten a lot of things
all the times I was there for you
just to listen
and the times you were there for me

My greatest desire is to forgive
and to be forgiven
to live and laugh and love again
to mend what has been torn asunder
to heal the thoughts inside your head

But right now, in this moment
it feels like you might as well be dead
at least that would be easier to live with

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My Son Shine – Reduction

Son Shine

His smile
a thousand rays of sunshine

His laugh
a hundred birds singing

His dancing
a silly smile and laugh

His curiosity
a hundred cats

His temper
a howling hurricane

Sweet, silly, stubborn, bold
is he

The Meeting the Bar prompt at dVerse Poets Pub today offered choices. My initial thought was that the Oulipo option was perfect for the Terza Rima / Hebrew Acrostic I’m working on because I enjoy working with forms and combining them. And I may finish that in time to post to Mr. Linky for this prompt, but I may not. So I decided to take one of my older poems and respond to the Reduction option. The original poem titled “My Son Shine” is here if you want to compare.

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My Schedule

I wrote this poem last Saturday during a poetry workshop at the Oregon Christian Writers’ 1-day winter conference. The assignment, if you will, was to write a poem similar to one titled “Holiday Concert” by Maryann Corbett. This is what I came up with. And when I read it to the group, it made me cry.

My Schedule

He needs my help; I don’t have time
I’m too busy with Bible study lessons,
calling all my ladies, leaving voicemails
They don’t want to talk
But he does, he needs me

He needs my help, my love, my advice
But there’s laundry to do, poems to write
Groceries to buy—milk, eggs, more canned goods
just like the ones already in the pantry
I’m just too busy, it never ends

He needs my help; I promise “tomorrow”
or the next day, but there’s a conference
I simply must attend, and a poem to write
and a funeral to drive to in another state,
and then work. Still he waits, patiently

But I wonder, does he know how much
I love him so, I want to help him
to listen to his woes, to encourage him
Once I’m done paying the bills and
doing the taxes and sorting the mail

One day I’ll look back and wonder why
he wasn’t a bigger part of the endless
schedule of less important things

3/10/15 Update: Linked this today for the Poetics prompt at dVerse Poets Pub where Anthony is calling for confessions. This seemed to fit.

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Gathered

To his people God has gathered him
Those who love him mourn our loss
But sing in praise a joyful hymn
Thankful for the cross

Life will never be the same
Without his mirth, his smiling face
We’ll join him someday at Heaven’s ballgame
Thankful for God’s grace

In memory of Uncle Eddie Shane.

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