Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Garden Guardian


The Garden Guardian

The sunflower sentry stood guard.
His demeanor: solemn, alert.
It was his job to keep out intruders,
standing watch, so that no one got hurt.


He allowed no twinkle in his eye;
not a smile, not a grin, not a smirk.
Sounds easy, but it wasn't.
Being serious was hard work.


He stood tall and proud,
facing down the sun.
Firmly rooted, he held his ground.
He would never run.


A winged intruder breached the perimeter.
The guardian never suspected an invasion from the sky!
All he could do was stand there and take it.
The invader went straight for his weak spot--his eye!


The sunflower sentry stiffened,
trying to keep a straight face.
While across his features,
the butterfly danced, tickled, and traced.




The sunflower squirmed under the tickling torture,
until at last he could take no more!
He doubled over with roaring laughter.
He laughed harder than he had ever laughed before.


His laugh was so loud it startled the butterfly,
who flew quickly away,
but she circled around and returned,
ready again to play.

Sunflower and butterfly became fast friends
and whiled the summer away.
Sunflower decided laughing was good.
He's beaming still to this day.



Thursday, August 16, 2018

My Little Girl Life

My Little Girl Life

My little girl life happened way back when,
when I was eight or nine, or maybe ten.

I can remember...

Dipping cinnamon graham crackers into milk after school.
Riding bikes with my brother and sister - bragging, 
"Look no hands!" (Weren't we cool?)

Being in awe of the stars, sequins in the velvet-sky night.
Waking up in the morning to birds singing, welcoming first light.

Sleeping on sheets: clothesline-dried, smelling of sun and air.
Drifting into dreams: tired, happy, no troubles to bear.

Listening to Dad's stories, told with a grin.
He'd get tickled at his own tales before he'd even begin.

Picking ripe, red strawberries straight from the patch.
Eating Mom's cookies - warm from the oven, love in each batch.

Husking corn, snapping beans, and shelling peas.
Running barefoot in the yard, steering clear of bees.

Making homemade churned ice cream, waiting for it to freeze.
A kiss from Mom, the miracle that healed our skinned knees.

Making gum wrapper bracelets and blowing dandelion wishes.
Sharing chores: setting the table, feeding the dog, and washing dishes.

Playing with the neighbors, games like hide-and-go-seek.
"Maple tree is home. Close your eyes. Count to 25, and don't peek!"

Lining up, hand to hand, calling, "Red rover, red rover."
Making nosegay bouquets from Queen Anne's Lace and clover.

My little girl life happened way back when,
when I was eight or nine, or maybe ten.

Imagine what it would be like to live that life again.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Sort It Out

Sort It Out

Why do we let our possessions
take over and become our obsessions?

Things we acquire,
that we think are a must,
end up on a shelf
collecting dust.

All sorts of gizmos and gadgets,
we save up our money to buy.
Later, we realize we don't need them,
although they once caught our eye.

Closets and attic are overflowing.
Good grief, what a mess!
All this clutter. Too much stuff!
The chaos causes stress.

Getting it all sorted and tidy
is on my bucket list.
I must figure out what I really need,
and get rid of what will never be missed.

It's time to prioritize what we've got.
Decide which things still bring joy,
and dispose of those which do not.

Who knew letting go
could be such a chore.
Repeat after me,
"Less is more. Less is more."

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Summertime Tune


Summertime Tune

Singing a summertime tune.
Loving the month of June.
Having some summertime fun.

With popsicles dripping,
flip-flops flipping,
vacation tripping,
and sunset seeking when day is done.

With playground slide slipping,
backyard pool dipping,
croquet mallet gripping,
and getting soaked with a water gun.

With a summer read (bodice-ripping),
lawn mower grass clipping,
lemonade sipping,
and a hot dog on a bun.

With jump rope skipping,
flower bouquet snipping,
puppies nipping,
and watching the horses run.

With golf ball chipping,
canoe tipping, 
and clotheslined laundry whipping
out in the midday sun.

Singing a summertime tune.
Loving the month of June.
Having some summertime fun.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Family Portrait

Family Portrait

I wonder why it is that:

Roger has to sneeze;
Grandpa starts to wheeze;
Mary closes her eyes;
The baby screams and cries;
Jillian makes a face
at Francine (who stole her space!);
Mom's upset 
because her hair is mussed;
while Aunt Sally 
has primped and fussed;
and Randy and Ryan squabble
over who sits in the chair with a wobble...

Just as the photographer says,

"Now everyone look at me, please."
"Smile pretty and say, 'Cheese!'"
"One, two, three..."

SNAP!

And then there we are, in all our glory,
one small piece of our family's story.
Preserved so future generations can see
just how many nuts are in the family tree.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Lilacs and Love


Lilacs and Love

"Nothing says spring like a lilac breeze,"
Mom closed her eyes, smiled, and sighed.
The scent would come drifting in,

with curtains billowing and windows wide.

My mother gathered them by the armful,
bunches of lilac blooms with a fragrance that was heaven sent.
She took them to my grandma every Mother's Day,
sharing her love, showing her gratitude,
knowing how much it meant.

She loved lilacs too, my mother did,
and she was glad we had plenty to spare.
It doubled her joy for them, I think,
knowing she was able to share.

Grandma would bury her nose in the lilacs,
and breathe in the heady scent too.
She arranged them carefully in a milk glass vase,
and there was one thing I always knew.

Grandma loved me, and my mom did too,
so fierce and wide and deep.
Remembering those lilacs they shared
is a memory I'll always keep.

Forever the sight of a lilac bush,
or the hint of its fragrance in the air,
will remind me of those two ladies before me,
who had lilacs and love to spare.


*   *   *    *   *

This poem is from the book, Old Broads Waxing Poetic, copyright © 2014 Julie Kemp Pick and Susan Flett Swiderski.

This poem is a repost. There are several new readers here who haven't seen this, so I am posting it, with apologies to those readers who have followed my blog for a while and remember it. I hope you don't mind a rerun.


Above is a photo from about 35 years ago of my mom on the left, my grandmother in the middle, and me on the right.     



  Happy Mother's Day to all!  


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Sudoku


Sudoku

Finish the grid to exercise your brain.
It's a fun diversion 
when you're cooped up by rain.
Write each number in every line,
by row and column, every number, 
from one to nine.
Fill every block, each three by three.
No repeats  - check and see.
Each grid, like each line, 
must contain all nine.
No math is needed, but...
rules of logic must be heeded. 
Have some fun, 
spend a little time.
Then, to be like me, 
turn the subject 
into a rhyme.


 Learn about Sudoku.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Secrets

Secrets

Some secrets are good and well-intentioned,
like a birthday party--SURPRISE!
Others are more on the shady side,
like when somebody has something to hide.

Some secrets are heavily guarded.
Trouble strikes if they're revealed.
You've been forewarned...you'll regret it,
if those secrets aren't kept sealed.

For example: the government 
likes to keep its secrets under lock and key.
And watch out if you let spill
a woman's age, or weight, or family recipe!

Other secrets are gleefully spread,
especially about those who are famous or rich.
Splashed on the internet in celebrity gossip columns:
rumors or truth? It's hard to guess which.

I know a secret.
Do you want me to tell it to you?
Can you keep it quiet?
Can you? Can you?
You can?
Well, guess what...I can too!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Nightmare

Nightmare

I hate waking up from a drifting dream
where things aren't always as they seem.
Where the tick-tock from a clock
becomes an evil stranger's knock.
And someone I thought about during the day
is acting in a peculiar way.
He's invading my thoughts while I slumber.
How does he know me? How'd he get my number?
I'm late. I'm lost. I don't know anyone here.
I'm sound asleep and full of fear.
I'm in a hazy state of confusion.
Is this real, or is it illusion?
I'm in a maze. I'm falling, falling.
Wait! Stop! Stop! I hear someone calling.
"Wake up. Wake up. You're having a dream."
I try to focus. I can't move my feet. 
I'm groggy. I realize I'm tangled in the sheet.
"You're OK, sweetie," you say. "I'm right here."
I wake up and see your familiar face so near.
I try to gather my wits about me.
What is real and what is fantasy?
I hate waking up from a drifting dream
where things aren't always as they seem.
How can there be so much chaos in my head,
when I am safe at home and snug in my bed?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Winter's Final Picnic


Winter's Final Picnic

Winter set a picnic table
with a sparkling cloth of snow.
But one scruffy squirrel
was the only guest to show.

Squirrel brought his own lunch
packed away in his cheek.
He had a big, black walnut, 
dug up by the creek.

Squirrel gnawed on that nut.
He left shreds of shells all around.
He finished his messy meal.
Then he jumped down to the ground.

Spring came along 
and melted Winter's snow.
She tapped Winter on the shoulder
and motioned for him to go.

Winter grumbled a bit.
He coughed out a chilly breeze.
"Don't push me. I'm going," he bellowed.
"But I'll be back later, and I'll bring a hard freeze!"

Spring smiled and waved goodbye.
She said, "Yes, yes, I'm sure you will."
Then she taught the birds to sing again
and kissed a daffodil.


*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Wishing a happy spring to all of my readers!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Sure Sign


A Sure Sign

There are minor signs about.
Birds are singing in the trees.
Warm weather is calling, "Come out!"
Crocuses are buzzing with bees.

But the real sign that spring has arrived
is right here at my feet.
Not much of the road has survived--
just potholes where there ought to be street.

So... I hit a newly-formed crater.
My car lurched and jerked and sighed.
I knew it would happen, sooner or later.
My front tire hit a pothole and died.

Now, I've got a flat, and my axle is bent.
I think I heard laughter from the birds in the air.
My tire hit a pothole, and it's spent!
(Happy Spring to you! Aren't you glad that it's here?)
Well... at least, I do have a spare.


Friday, February 9, 2018

Sounds of Snow

Sounds of Snow

Silence descends
with the snow;
slowly sifts down,
insulates, and muffles.

Boots break the surface 
and crunch
across the icy crust.

Children squeal with delight
as they tumble from their houses.
Triumphant cries of "SNOW DAY!" echo.

Their sled runners slice down the hill.
They groan and huff, 
breathing in the arctic air,
dragging their toboggans,
climbing up to the top for the sole purpose 
of being hurled to the bottom once again.

More grunts and heavy breathing,
while, with soggy mittens,
they roll up snowmen heads and bellies, 
making criss-crossed trails through the yard.

Forts are built, snowball weapons stockpiled,
imaginary war is waged,
with whoops of victory and yelps of surprise
when frozen spheres splat on their intended targets.

Adults and teens groan and grunt,
as shovels bang and scrape
on sidewalks and driveways.
Loads of snow thump to the sides.
Salt pellets from cans and cups rattle down.
Plows rumble and clank over the roads.
Piles of white slush, morph to gray.

Snow melts
back to a muddy silence,
as water drips to the ground
from trees, rooftops, and gutters.
Trickle, glug, gurgle, seep gone.



Thursday, January 25, 2018

Companions

Companions

Twice daily they pass by:
the scruffy-bearded man with a slouch hat,
and his little dog Fritz, 
who yaps at the stray cat.

Arthritis embers smolder
in both knees and one shoulder.
The old man's stiff walk
is a badge he wears,
for daring to grow older.

Fritz the dog, 
the man's closest friend for years,
wears a tiny, red coat
and a tiny, yarn hat 
with holes knitted in, 
to make room for his ears.

In all but the worst of weather,
they make their way down the street.
The man shuffles and lingers,
the dog stays close,
just to the right of the man's feet.

Each, without the other, would be alone:
the little dog with no one to toss him a bone;
the old man with no pet to settle in his lap.
Together, they retreat from the world,
to catch an afternoon nap.

Twice daily they pass by:
the scruffy-bearded man with a slouch hat,
and his little dog Fritz, 
who yaps at the stray cat.