Graeme's Poetry

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Seafoam Poet
Posts: 267
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:56 pm
Location: Arizona

Post by Graeme » Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:02 pm

My Poetry

Is not obscure.
It is art,
a picture
composed with words
Carefully chosen
by this artist
to create
to evoke emotion
to give life to an idea
Never to confuse.

If you the reader
wish to interpret,
feel free.
If you
need to ruminate,
so be it.

But first
immerse yourself
in the poem
luxuriate in the
warmth of the words
as they bubble
to the surface.
the tingle of the analogies
let them
titillate the senses.

Only then,
if you must call on
are you welcome
to turn my
painting into
sophomoric rhetoric.

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A Poem

A poem is like kitten’s purr
starting deep within your throat,
bubbling up from contentment
rumbling through despair
until it becomes a lion's roar


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[anchor]three[/anchor] Damn you Corporate America

You wrap your tentacles around your victim.
You squeeze away happiness.
You rob intimacy.
How dare you take
what is not yours?
How dare you demand
what is not mine to give?
You shoot a smoke screen
of dollar signs.

You idiot,
Do you really think the pennies you dribble out
can hid the millions you steal?
I can see past
your clutching appendages,
your screen of smoky green.
I am perfect.
I pay my taxes
so you can claim
voracity as an exemption.
I have created
three productive citizens
to appease your ravenousness.

I am the capital G
to your minuscule one.
Never will I bow down to you.
I do not worship you!
You will kneel at my feet
begging for the mercy
I’ll never give!


You are sick!
You gorge yourself on defenseless companies
like a gluttonous predator.
Your appetite
is insatiable.
mine you scream!
take from the innovators
of this world!
Until you lose interest
then you vomit us.
Barf out families,
Barf out dreams,
Barf out lives
What do you care?
You insatiable piece of trash!
What do you care about the pain you cause?

you bulimic parasite.
You swallowed up my life
and spewed it out in
Los Angeles of all places,
leaving me alone
to face the repercussions of
your rapacity.

I am bigger than you Corporate America!
I can feel,
I can love,
I will retaliate,
It doesn’t take dollar signs to influence me.
I will conquer you.
I will blast you off in a contraption
of your own making
to Mercury.
Let the sun burn away your slovenly fat.


You self serving adolescent
with your
whining and crying,
“If you tax me, I can’t modernize.
If you tell the truth about me,
people will go without jobs.”
I know
you had record profits last year.
You sell me computers
that are obsolete
the day I install them,
and then charge me for
obscenely expensive upgrades.
You plaster your lies
on billboards
across the nation.
Do you think
your billboards will always serve you?
They are nothing but
spreaders of your lies
staring down
at honest, hardworking people.
They pass meaningless fantasies
off as reality.

Let me tell you about reality
you pubescent punk.
My reality is
eating alone,
sleeping alone,
crying alone,
suffering alone,
while my love of thirty-three years is
eating alone,
sleeping alone,
crying alone,
suffering alone.
You spousenapper
My reality is
farewell kisses in an airport,
nightly vigils by the phone.
My babies are scattered
across the country.
Corporate America taught them
how to say good-bye
and they did.
Do you want billboards on reality?

let me tell you this!
I will advertise reality!
I will personally stop you.
I will paint every billboard.
Every interstate across the country
will boast signs screaming--

gobbles up talent in mergers,
and spits out lives
in down sizing frenzies.”
Be on the lookout
Corporate America
will rob you of your identity!”

Billboard reality will be the last straw;
how you will suffer
Corporate America!


You are nothing
but a reeking,
stinking sponge.
You soak up our spirit,
leaving a stench of decay
from the creativity you have killed.
Whenever you swipe across our lives
you transmit
You are blinded by your own greed.
In your arrogance
you think I too am blind.

You ignoramus,
I am not blind;
I am omnipotent!
You may cause me pain,
but you will never break me.
For I am the natural force
you can not reckon with.
I am Hurricane Susan.
I will slam into you with gale force reality,
and I will separate you
from what you desire most.
I will blow down your facade.
I will take your money.
I will leave you powerless.
I will outlive you.
I will retire with HIM.
He has chosen me.
We will live forever!
we will suck you dry!
You will pay
pension plans
401 Ks
Social Security!

ca, you owe ME

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Home from Washington
color photos in hand,
Our daughter describes
the Vietnam Wall
in stirring detail.
of names etched
in shining black granite.
The tear stained reflection
of a man tracing an inscription.
A single rose placed
beneath a name.

Nowhere on that list
will she find her brother Daniel.
Daniel, who exists only
on two lines of a yellowed letter
I sent to John while he was in Lai Khe in 1969
I lost the baby on Memorial Day,
Dear. Don’t worry, everything is all right.

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Sunday Love at Sixteen

He takes me for a summer Sunday drive
in his candy apple, red 1960 Chevy convertible, through
the “Emerald Necklace” known as Cleveland Metropolitan Park.
He’s a notorious one-armed bandit at his best
as he gropes until a hand finds my breast. I cuddle close.
This must be love, this quivery feeling deep inside.

The breeze is cool, the car a safe haven inside,
So I shut my eyes to better take delight in the drive.
Old Spice and Ricky Nelson hold me close.
His leg touching my thigh throbs through
my sixteen year old heart. True love feels its best
meandering along Cleveland Metropolitan Park.

I sense he’s searching for a secluded place to park,
while his bold hand plunges deeper inside
my dress. With a squirm, I do my best
to direct his focus on the drive.
I grasp his wandering hand through
the flimsy fabric and hold it close

to my trembling heart. I am much too close
to longing for him to find that place to park.
I shiver from the desire pulsating through
me. And the battle begins from somewhere inside
Do I give-in, or do I force him to continue to drive?
Will my Adonis dump me, if second base is the best

I can give? His cerulean blue eyes are the best
I’ve ever seen. Heaven has never been so close.
What will happen if I demand him to drive?
When suddenly he finds a place to park,
he begins in earnest to try to score deep inside
my virginity. All gentle foreplay is through.

With a start, I know the battle for his home run is through
going all-the-way, this way, is not my best.
When he realizes that his throbbing scepter will not penetrate inside
me, his love turns frosty, he no longer wants to hold me close.
With screeching tires, he thunders away from the park
and with a sneer deposits me at the end of my drive.

Devastated, I trudge inside the ruts, alone, up that long drive,
aware inside that everlasting love was through at the park.
My best was not enough for him to want me close.

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Homage to my Thighs

My thighs are marvelous thighs,
glorious limbs
never meant to be confined to
mini skirts,
sheath dresses
blue jeans.
My thighs sway like seducers
beneath flowing skirts
They are bedroom thighs
meant to be wrapped around my man
holding him to my breast

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Ode to Your Hands

Often we played “King of the Mountain.”
Sturdy as a concrete statue,
Hands planted on your knees -

You set yourself. Powerful as a grizzly,
With hands as large as bear paws,
You laughingly swatted at me.

The strength of your hands -
Could easily overpower a little girl.
Yet, gleefully, I pulled you to your knees.

Later those same hands were an embarrassment
Broken nails - stained fingers - torn knuckles
Visible signs of the working class.

Your love was unconditional.
Yet with a look of disdain, my self-absorption,
I dropped you to your knees.

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My Mountain

This afternoon
my mountain
dressed in pink
for afternoon tea.
She steals my breath away.

she, like a fickle adolescent,
her outfits on a whim
Rorschach ink spot black
austere gauze white
desert tortoise gray
A reflection of her moods.

So like her Creator
yet the center
of all things.
Like him she is eternal
and I a flicker.

Does she know me?
Does He know me?
Or am I no more than a
speck of dust
across their playground?

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It’s a game you play
Hide - n- seek
with brutish whimsy
you change the rules
to suit your fancy.
Please we beg,
we don’t want to play.
Your stakes are too high,
your rules too vague.
At least give us a chance
to win
to tie -
to break even.
You laugh
a selfish laugh
and reply
with an attitude,
“If I play by the rules,
I can’t win!”

So, we must continue
the game
or lose -
God’s most precious gift
to one microscopic cell.

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Cinderella Rocs – Get Real

You don’t even know me, yet you hate me
It has been so for generations.
I have no name,
No real identity,
For I am the ugly step-sister.

It’s as if that label alone makes me
Not worthy of happiness.
The object of your ridicule,
Cruel, mean,
A wretched human being.

Cinderella, with her tiny feet
Is the blessed child, she has a
Gentle, loving father,
A doting god-mother
Even a prince to worship those tiny feet.

And you, the reader, idolize her
Dream of your own prince charming
Rescuing you from your life of drudgery,
And carrying you off to fame and fortune,
Just like Cinderella.

Don’t you know Cinderella is a lie?
I, the ugly step-sister, am the truth.
Yes, I have my flaws,
My personality is prickly
I lie, I whine, I am sometimes lazy,
My feet are too big.

And there is no promise that my dreams will come true.
No fairy god-mother to rescue me from daily drudgery.
I live in quiet, desperate anonymity
I am authentic in my struggles
To conquer my weaknesses.

I am everywoman.

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The Secret to Our Success

It was a matter of survival.
Had I not learned how to cook,
Hansel would have died.
The delicious meat dishes
Are just the end product of our survival.

The secret -well,
It would be the quick searing.
Yes - the searing of the meat -
Of course, the oven must be hot,
Very hot - The meat fresh.
And, there is the nasty.
Meat driven by nastiness,
Cruel – Heartless – Despicable meat.
Perhaps it’s the element of surprise
That gives the meat its tangy flavor.

Hansel and I did keep the house.
At first we thought -
Donate it to an orphanage.
But then came the question,
How do we best serve mankind?
And looking at the magnificent oven
We knew what must be done.

Hansel searches out the meat
And lures it to the house.
You’d be surprised at how willingly it comes.
Eyes on the prize – deceit – greed
Pulsating through its veins.
Then comes the inevitable tour,
First around the gumdrop, candy exterior,
Ultimately ending in the kitchen,
Standing before that glorious oven.

I open the door
The meat leans forward to inspect,
And with a quick shove
We begin the process.
After the meat is cooked
Hansel and I package it
and donate it to the poor.

Thank you for the humanitarian award
It proves our life’s work has not been in vain.

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The Years of Hard Work Are Finally Done

The years of hard work are finally done
Our children have all grown and moved away
We can look forward to having some fun.

Searching for our treasures has just begun
Obtaining necessities is passe
The years of hard work are finally done.

We don't have to answer to anyone,
When at night I dress in a negligee
We can look forward to having some fun.

Promotions and careers have been hard won
We can say farewell to that dossier
The years of hard work are finally done

We'll sail on a cruise to bask in the sun
Travel to Scotland and explore Taipei,
We can look forward to having some fun.

With our sports car, our grandkids we will stun
Which leaves me with just one more thing to say
The years of hard work are finally done
We can look forward to having some fun.

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Telephone Numbers

Scribbled on scraps of paper
Stuffed into pockets
Etched on the back of envelopes
Dropped into the bottomless pit of my purse
Skeletal remnants
Of yesterday’s pressing agenda
Left to haunt today
What the heck do I do with them now?

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Thoughts on Marriage

Marriage is...
a silken umbilical cord
binding two alien species on
a mutually created island
fighting for survival
with heart-honed tools

Marriage is...
an open wound
a scratch that will not heal.
For the sake of love
you gouge the gash deeper
until you fall into it

Marriage is...
forever saying you're sorry
because pain inflicted
upon yourself hurts less
than injuring
the one you love

Marriage is...
the cherry filling
at the center of a cordial
the succulent treat that
makes unwrapping
worth the effort

Marriage is...
the small i
within the capital U
in order to weave
our tapestry of life

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Whistling Blades

Whistling blades of grass
caught between thumb and finger
raucous spring sounds.

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When I was a child
pain was a simple thing
a sliver - removed
comforted with a kiss

As I grew older
pain was heart ache for
love lost - insecurity
soothed by a caress

During my middle years
pain was having to let go -
friends, family –losses
eased by a new generation to love

pain is my friend - a blessed
reminder from my body that I
have survived another day

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Who are You to Say. . .

You ride a hot air balloon
through life.
High among the clouds
you look down at me,
tiny worker ant
scurrying around.
With a lord’s detachment,
you judge me
without ever
sharing the experiences
or walking the path
that has made me
who I am.

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Why I Sold the blasted Cow For Three Beans

It’s this way
I was supposed to sell the cow for cash.
I know, I know!
Money that would buy
Practical necessities.
Which would be gone,
All too soon
And then what?

The peddler on the road into town
Offered me a dream.
Is a cow such a terrible price to pay
For a dream?

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It was such a tiny nibble,
hardly worth mentioning.
I couldn't help my self.
I was amazed at how
quickly I did it,
[indent][Indent] tarsals[/indent][/Indent]
slid in so easily.
I was choking
wishing I could spit
the whole thing out
what could have
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¿Quién vivió aquí?

The summer sun scorches. Parched
Ocotillos drop crimson blossoms. Pack
Rats scurry across the saltillo tile
Courtyard. ¿Quién vivió aquí? in this
Hand mortared adobe cottage
Crumbling at the freeway entrance?
The saguaro spine door lies
Shattered on the floor. The tile
Roof is scattered to the winds.
Fifteen quail chicks flutter in their
Fireplace nest. The dry desert
Wind sucks all moisture from the
Wooden bucket hung near the dry sink.
All that is left of her tortilla comal is
Black carbon. Her laughing niños are
Now travelers in far off lands.
Their childish ways outgrown like
Vestiditos hecho a mano. I drive by
In my modern day rush. The pressures
Of my life choking all memories of
Her glory. Just as the future rushes in
To capture my moment in time.

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The Pussy Willow

Winter sheds its icy coat
Beneath dapple gray skies,
While naked trees
Shiver in raw March winds.

Only the gentle pussy willow
Clad in kitten soft fur,
Bravely greets the chilly morn
Dressed in silken buds.

So like the song of life
To purr spring’s simple promise
Beyond the frosty tentacles
Of dormant dreams.

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Excuse me God

Excuse me God
do you have a moment?
I have a small concern –
I know it may seem
[indent]but…[/indent]Two missionaries
stopped by today.
They told me
paradise awaits me
in the after life -
a garden of my own
where I will reap
my rewards
if only I believe.

Dear God
I do believe…but
this scares me.
I am no gardener,
if I had to sow my
own sustenance,
I would starve.
I can’t tell a weed
from a daffodil.
Do people starve
in heaven?

Excuse me God,
if you work this way,
could you make me
Elizabeth’s cat?
You know – then I
could sleep on a pillow
on her bed -
have my own place mat
at her table - and
be fed nicky-nickys
wrapped in cream cheese.

You see God
I would purr for her
and sit at her feet
while she naps,
so she would never
be lonely -
and she loves to garden.

But most important God,
I would always have her near-
and that would be heaven.

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Baby Tenderlove

She is such a beautiful child, my fair haired angel. My Bonnie with her flaxen blonde hair and big blue eyes. No wonder she wants Baby Tenderlove; the doll looks just like her.

Every day we act out our ritual. Bonnie places the little star on her chart, claps her hands and asks, "Is it a seven days yet?" We are both delighted. Today is the day, she has been dry seven days in a row, and today Bonnie gets her Baby Tenderlove.

What a relief, potty training Bonnie has been far harder then I could have imagined. She has had all of the signs for months; dry four to five hours during the day, dry at night. And I should know. In her three and a half years of life, Bonnie has only worn plastic pants over her diapers a hand full of times. With her fair skin, avoiding diaper rash has been a constant challenge. I am so glad to no longer have to double wash, double rinse, and hang her diapers out on a line to sun bleach.

We started our potty training odyssey casually preparing the tiny potty seat. Bonnie loved to sit on it in the beginning; she'd run from her toys to sit down every few minutes. When she had a success we'd clap and laugh and celebrate. It was those other times that disturbed me. For no apparent reason Bonnie would be wet all of the time for four or five day straight. She would cry, throw temper tantrums, and hate the potty seat. It seemed like she was never dry and never happy. Then, just as suddenly, everything would be fine again.

It was like:

I had the little girl, who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.

And when she was good, she was very, very good
And when she was bad, she was horrid.

But all of that is over. She understands. I feel it. Bonnie knows what potty training is all about, and she wants to be dry. This time it is working. I have my happy little angel back. She looks so cute in her ruffled panties, and she is so proud.

We head for Children's Palace as soon as the store opens at 11:00. As we enter, Bonnie and David are dancing and giggling with delight. The children love the store; it is such a magical place. It is shaped like a castle, and every time we pass it, they beg to go inside. David, of course, has his own agenda, and Bonnie and I leave him to the bicycle aisle. He knows where to find the dolls, and he understands that today is Bonnie's special day.

Bonnie tugs on my hand, pulling me along. It is one of those moments when I am misty eyed. I can't help it. This has been such a struggle, and I am so proud of her. We rush past the unwanted doll, Barbie, Betsy Wetsy, Tiny Tears, and there she is. Baby Tenderlove. For a moment I panic, how will Bonnie ever decide, from all these Baby Tenderloves, which one is hers? But with a budding mother's instinct, she knows her baby. There is no hesitation, Bonnie reaches for a flaxen haired Baby Tenderlove dressed in pink, and she cradles it in her arms.

The bliss of that moment lasts for two days. Baby Tenderlove never leaves Bonnie's side. She is lovingly named Beth. She is washed at least fifteen times, sleeps with Bonnie and eats with Bonnie. Even Billy, Bonnie's best friend, graciously accepts Beth as part of their playtime.

On the third day, when Bonnie wakes up, she is cross and I fear this is going to be a bad day. Somewhere in the back of my mind is the nagging fear; is everything going to unwind today? Is Bonnie going to test me? How I hate these children tests. I always fail.

I tiptoe through the day. Bonnie cries because her favorite green pants are in the laundry. Cheerios are not the breakfast of choice; a temper tantrum tells me this. Captain Kangaroo signs off to a tearful Bonnie, who is not ready to say good bye. By lunchtime I am frazzled. All I think about, as I carry the load of clothes containing the much coveted green pants from the basement to the second floor bedrooms, is naptime. It can't come too soon.

As I reach the top of the stairs, Bonnie rushes to me. Her tear streaked face is as wet as the fancy lace panties on her bottom. Sobbing, she thrusts Baby Tenderlove into my hands, "I am sorry, I didn't mean to, if I don't have any accidents for another week can I have her back?"

My baby is distraught. Suddenly, it's like a fog has lifted, and I can clearly see the pattern of her behavior over the past few months. Temper tantrums, crying, wet pants there is a relationship. This is no test. Something is wrong, dreadfully wrong. I sit down on the top step, and take Bonnie into my arms. I tell her everything is all right. I will not take Beth. I hold Bonnie and Beth, and I rock them, and I cry. I cry for my Bonnie who has tried so hard. I cry for myself, for my shortcomings. Why hadn't I seen the signs that something was wrong sooner? I cry in fear. What is wrong with my baby?

In the grand scheme of things, I learn that chronic urinary tract infections are neither catastrophic nor life threatening. I learn eventually that Bonnie's Siamese kidney anomaly can be lived with. However, this first stage of our journey together has revealed the nature of the path we will share for the next fifteen years. The subtleties of Bonnie's symptoms rarely warn of trouble ahead. Far more often her emotional state and tiredness are the indicators of a raging infection.

Bonnie and I have a relationship that is defined by her physical condition. We have become partners in an odyssey of self discovery and growth for us both. But lest anyone think that we are Bonnie's kidneys, let me explain that we are so much more then that. Bonnie and I are soul mates, co conspirators, and adventurers on a quest.

Baby Tender Love- Bonnie

There are moments in my life that stand out as extraordinary. Kodak moments, snapshots that never fade with time. Several occurred when I was three-years-old. The toy store in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio is one of those snapshots. I can still picture the day I was allowed to choose my own baby doll.

We walk into the Toy Palace, a large, gray, stone building; it looks just like a castle in a fairy tale and just as magical. This is the largest collection of toys that I have ever seen in my whole life. My body vibrates with excitement. Today is the day. Today I get Baby Tender Love. I made it a week, the longest week in my life, but I did it. No accidents for a week. Mommy said that a week is over, and I can get my baby.

I grasp tightly to Mommy’s hand. My older brother, David, stops to look at bikes. He wants to go to the G.I. Joe and matchbox car aisle, but my focus is on getting to the dolls. I know my baby is waiting for me to take her home. It seems like an eternity of wandering through aisles, but finally we get to the doll aisle.

There are thousands of dolls in all shapes and sizes: big dolls, small dolls, dolls that talk, dolls that eat, dolls in fancy dresses, and dolls in baby clothes. The shelves of dolls seem to stretch on forever, the top shelves too high to see. But that doesn’t matter, I know exactly what I want, Baby Tender Love. I release Mommy’s hand and run over to cradle the pink box that holds my baby. Curly blonde- hair, painted blue eyes, my baby is wearing a pink dress trimmed in white lace. She is perfect. Everything I dreamed she would be, and now she is mine. I immediately name her Beth.

Another picture superimposes itself, time passes, how long is irrelevant and unknown in my child’s eyes. All I know is that my Baby Tender Love dream has become a nightmare. My beloved baby, my Beth, is going to be taken away. I know she is. I am trying so hard; I constantly fight my body to stay accident free. But it is over; I stand in my bedroom holding my Beth, feeling the pee run down my legs. I couldn’t stop it. I can’t move; fear and sadness grip me. My body has betrayed me, given me no warning, just a minute twinge and then a flood.

I walk slowly down the stairs, gently cradling Beth in my arms. I know I have failed and have to give up my beautiful doll. Tears stream down my face as I stand on the landing, facing Mommy. I hate to disappoint her. I tried so hard, and I don’t know how to fix it. I just know that I am bad. Holding Beth out towards her, I tell her, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to. If I don’t have any accidents for another week, can I have Beth back?”

Mommy looks at me with such a sad face. I want Mommy to smile at me, but she is crying too. She pulls me down onto the steps, wrapping her arms around me and kissing me on the head; she whispers to me as I cry. She tells me it will be okay. Beth is mine. I get to keep my baby.
Through my tears I see hers, and I want to fix it, but I don’t understand. I just know that ‘wetting your pants’ is bad, and I am bad for making Mommy cry. I feel as hopeless now as I did a short while ago in my room, when my body betrayed me.
It was years later that I comprehended what happened at that moment. I learned about my mother’s struggle to understand the ramifications of my urinary tract problems. My distress that afternoon was the catalyst that began her search for answers. That moment defined so much of what occurred in the following years.

All I knew that day is that Mom kept her promise to me. I didn’t have to give back Baby Tender Love. Beth and I had wonderful times together. I bathed her, feed her, dressed her and loved her until her untimely demise in our wading pool - apparently even waterproof dolls will eventually mold when bathed too often.

The year I turned thirty my mother found a 1972-model Baby Tender Love on the Internet. She gave it to me for Christmas. Beth II lies in a toy cradle in my sewing room, a symbol of the journey Mom and I took together. It was not an easy journey; it was filled with lots of tears, angry ones, happy ones and ones of fear. We made mistakes, we had misunderstandings, but we came out the other side. We survived.

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Curse of the suburbanite
marring that manicured marvel
called lawn;
I am the Dandelion.

Hear the kachunk of change,
money in the bank,
a gardener’s retirement security,
kill that damned dandelion.

Sunshine yellow
clutched in a child’s chubby hand.
Love is a dandelion
delivered with a wet kiss.

Dandelion rebel,
dares to be yellow
in a world demanding green.

Bright sun
shining across a field of dandelions,
vision of hope,
gives promise of glorious summer days to come.

Selfless father,
altruistic dandelion sacrifices his life
to send his children
into the world
on the winds of fate.

Portrait of courage,
defending her home,
dandelion patriot plants her feet
deep within the soil
determined to survive the ravages of war.

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Winter Water

(after Jack Gilbert)

Standing at the pump at the corner of Edgerton
surrounded by empty plastic milk cartons
because if I do not get water tonight
there will be no dinner, no washed hair,
no flushed toilets, no morning coffee.
How simple it would be to lose myself
in the swirling snow, to lay dreamless
beneath a blanket of white until
spring thaw washes away my weariness,
thaws the water pipes, brings life
once again to this frozen valley, I imagine
as I tighten the cap on one more filled container.
Then I hear the beckoning chirp of a robin calling
to his mate. I can do this, I say
and continue to work the handle on the pump.

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Do Not Ask Me to Cry

There are not enough tears
To fill the bottomless
Well of my sorrow.

Tears, like drops of rain
Falling on a sun parched desert,
Too few to stave my thirst.

Let me search for comfort
In the sweet nectar of memories,
Covered with thistles of loss.

Tears cannot soften
The sharp shards of pain
That tear at my heart.

I need to hold tight
To what little there is left of me,
Or I will shatter into a million pieces.

Do not ask me to cry.

Back to Index :arrow:


Flames lick at my toes and
I dance a dance of desperation, first
I balance on one foot and then
the other, juggling my transgressions.

There is no reprieve
would ofs -
should ofs -
could ofs -
sins of omission
sins of commission
add fodder to the flames.

The flames reach my knees, relentless
merciless, desolation of my own
making. I reach out in desperation,
uttering prayers for salvation.

But there is no reprieve
would ofs -
should ofs -
could ofs -
sins of omission
sins of commission
add more fodder to the flames.

The flames leap higher, dancing
in jubilation. The victory is theirs.
Decisions and indecisions of a life
time have reaped this harvest.

And there is no reprieve
would ofs -
should ofs -
could ofs -
sins of omission
sins of commission
ashes in the flames.

_Back to Index :arrow:__

Chain Link Memories

I sit on a bench
The sun warm on my face
The breeze has a hint of salt water
I raise my hand to shade my eyes
And there he is- blond hair bleached white
Hands raised into the air
Sturdy toddler legs staunchly set
Against an in-coming wave of the Atlantic
I raise my hand to wave

And he waves to me from
A line of smiling second graders
Singing “We wish you a Merry Christmas”
Each to his own rhythm
Each to her own tune
He finishes to thunderous applause and bows

Bows to kiss his new-born sister
Lightly on her forehead
And so begins the rhythm of their lives
He bravely leads the way
And she races to keep up
Sometimes running - sometimes cheering

Cheering him to victory
As he races around an oval track on a 50cc Honda
Winning his first race
When the other two 8 year olds
Crash into each other on the final turn
He turns to me thumps up - So proud of himself

So proud of this American Eskimo
The hard earned puppy snuggled in his arms
Today it was worth while to complete those chores
That empty kitty liter box won him the prize
Gandolf the White – his precious Gandy Dancer
And he eagerly accepts this new responsibility

Just as he graciously accepts
The crowd’s standing applause for his part
In the high school musical
The timber of his voice still ringing through the hall
This my first encounter with his love for music
We sometimes struggle through our first encounters

Especially the inevitable encounter
With college separation
Tempers flair – angry words are spoken
Which hurts more – which pain is more defining
His fear of leaving - Or my fear of losing him
Still his future rushes in and snatches away pieces of me

Now he comes to me in tiny snatches
Pieces of his life – shared via
Telephone calls across miles of separation
Brief visits during trips too short
To fill in those empty places in my heart
And yet my heart is so full it feels like it will overflow

I sit on a bench
The sun warm on my face
The breeze has a hint of new mown grass
While I watch my son on the shore of a pond
Reeling in a 6 inch blue gill
With his blonde-haired son
Tightly gripping the cane pole
His sturdy toddler legs staunchly set
Against the weight of the incoming fish
I raise my hand to wave . . .

_Back to Index :arrow:_
Penis Envy

So, what could you possibly do
That would cause me to envy your maleness?

Go ahead, drive that 1000 pound mazaltov cocktail
Solo, seven hundred miles a day across the country
Without every asking for directions.
Go for it, my pioneer spirited spouse,
I have no need to be like you.

So, you can lift those 100 pound boxes,
Move that couch, change that tire without help.
Have at it, my tantalizing hulk.
Let me feel those muscles, oh, you’re the man.
Here let me lift the tab on your beer can.

You’re a man among men
And I’m the little woman.
So be it, I’ve got nothin’ to prove here
I don’t need to compete with you

But take me on a seven mile hike
Deep into the wilderness,
Far from any modern conveniences.
When our bladders scream to take a leak
And you stop, unzip, and sigh that sigh of relief-

Then and only then do I have penis envy.
You’re damn right I do!

__Back to Index :arrow:__

Weight Problems

So I can’t wear mini skirts, and
Straight skirts are a definite no-no
Because they hug my thunder thighs,
Empire waists have become as fashion statement.
No problem, I can live with that.

In family pictures I always
Stand on my tip-toes in the back row
My smiling face peaking out
From behind someone’s shoulder.
That’s all right, I can live with that.

Puppy smelling grand babies snuggle close,
Little arms wrapped around my neck,
“Can I take my nap on Graeme’s lap,
She’s so soft and squishy.”
Ah, yes, I surely can live with that.

But when we’re stuck while driving along
On a sandy, unimproved road, in our pick-up,
And I am sent to sit in the truck bed
Because I am the much needed ballast,
Now that’s a weight problem

__Back to Index :arrow:__


Words fail me
[indent]lost in a snarl of feelings,[/indent]
strangled by emotions .

Words, sustaining words,
[indent]inspired by love,
reach across loneliness
like a humming bird,
spreading life’s nectar.[/indent]

Words, taunting, meaningless words,
[indent]drip from my pen.
Like tears from my eyes
they cover the pages of my life,
mocking the ache in my heart.[/indent]

Words, sensitive, sympathetic words,
[indent]sharing memories.
Tender melodies,
softening life’s tempests.[/indent]

Words, harsh, abrupt, abrasive words,
[indent]snarled and growled,
attack my very soul,
leaving me battered.[/indent]

Words, perceptive words.
[indent]like arrows, surge beyond the pain
piercing my heart,
healing my wounds.[/indent]

Words, powerful words,
[indent]plow onward
proving their point
without passion or pity.[/indent]

Words, laughing, lyrical words,
[indent]light and lively,
give me joy,
brighten my day.[/indent]

Words, bombarding, relentless words,
[indent]surround me
until I want to scream,
“Leave me in silence.
Be still and let me know my God.”[/indent]

__Back to Index :arrow:_

The Doll

[indent]With delicate stitches
she embroiders eyes
on his muslin face.

Like Gipetto
she dreams of the son
has denied her.
she whispers.

But life is not
a fairy tale - Dolls
don't come alive
and loneliness
is a merciless
___Back to Index :arrow:

Farewell Uterus II

[indent]you have served me well.
We were partners
you and I,
in a dance called new life.
we choreographed
captured the tempo,
swayed to the melody,
time and again
to a crescendo.

How it saddened me
when you lost the rhythm
and missed the beat,
the artist fallen
before her time.

As your
final curtain falls
Our dance may be through,
yet I have a dance
of my own
to perform
on another day.[/indent]

____Back to Index :arrow:

Live Softly Now

Live softly now -
While winter snows flutter
Through shimmering trees
Blanketing outstretched arms
One snowflake at a time.

Beyond the sunset
That ends each day,
Sparkling moonbeams
Dance off your window reflecting
The promise of tomorrow,
Your gift to so many generations.

As dawn’s radiance
Creates a translucent delight,
Bask in the warmth of a life well lived,
Surrounded by those whose lives
Have been nurtured by your devotion.

Live softly now –
Wrapped in the gentle cocoon
Of promises bravely kept.
Draw strength from
Paths wisely chosen.
We love you, Dad.

____Back to Index :arrow:

The Clam Bake

The Leasa women, a formidable force
not a scrub tree in the clan.
legs like giant sequoias
bottoms as broad as Texas -
the Cleveland Browns coveted
linemen like them.

Grandma and Aunt Betty
ringleaders of the five sisters.
What these two lacked in height
they overcame by kinetic energy -
mustering clambakes, poker parties
family reunions with precision.

At the annual clambake,
Grandma commandeered the troops
Aunt Betty swatted hands and flies
that swarmed in anticipation over
- clams wrapped in cheese cloth,
potato salad, Lawson’s orange drink .

Uncle Mack
tall - thin as a poplar
was out of his league when,
with his plate heaped high, he
meekly sat at the picnic table
flanked by the boisterous Leasa women.

Eating was a Leasa passion.
First Aunt Min, then Aunt Emma
stood to get seconds, followed by Aunt Annie.
There sat the toothpick – Mack
in the diagonal corner across from
thunder thighed Aunt Betty and Grandma.

Ancient pine two-by-sixes shuddered
cross beam legs quaked,
timbers creaked in agony as
the food laden picnic table
tipped like an ocean liner
sinking into the sea.

Up shot Uncle Mack. Catapulted
into the air, he was tossed clear
of the impending disaster.
Grandma and Aunt Betty sank
with the cargo – arms flailing
balloonous bottoms crashing aground.

They landed in a tangled heap
of clam covered paisley dresses, and
corkscrew curls drenched in beer, with
their colossal - potato salad filled -
pantalooned - legs raised in the air
like twin victory signs.

____Back to Index :arrow:


Majestic ocotillo,
Whose spindly arms
Reach toward the heavens
In silent anticipation
Of God’s gift of
Life revitalizing rain.

In the barren depth
Of my tormented soul
I think of you
Stoic ocotillo, so like Job
Patiently accepting
Each day’s harsh reality.

Ah, that I too might -
Shed the outer trappings
Of my self-glorifying mantle,
Accept the purity of God’s love,
Blossom in the acceptance
Of his life revitalizing gifts.

____Back to Index :arrow:


The storms roll in late in the afternoon.
A cold gray mist settles over the mountains.
Black thunder clouds reach their tentacles,
Across the parched desert.
Washes fill with torrents of water
That gush beyond their banks
Destroying everything in their path.
Microbursts spin out of control
Toppling trees, filling underpasses,
Leaving motorists stranded.

As quickly as they came, the storms pass,
Leaving a trail of devastation.
Yet in the wake of nature’s fury,
Tiny dormant wild flowers
raise their faces to the sky
in gloriously colored supplication
to this gift of manna from the heavens.

____Back to Index :arrow:

_ The Scavenger Reporter

sniffs out news
like a jackal
driven by primordial lust
chasing a bitch in heat.

Mounting her
he plants the seeds
of his bastards
without regard.

Like a hyena he lifts his head
catching the scent
of a juicy chunk of life
the more rancid the better.

Snarling and growling
he fights other mangy mongrels
gorging himself on garbage
ripping and shredding it apart.

He buries the truth
deep in holes,
scavenger he is,
sharing only the dregs.

He sniffs through life’s litter
looking for dirt.
How can we be surprised
when he come up with shit?

____Back to Index :arrow:

Teach Me

Teach me the words to
The song of your life, that I
May honor our love

____Back to Index :arrow:

My Amigo

Crickets, friends of my childhood,
singing sentries.
In the blackness of night,
They drove away sprites
with mystical melodies.
Hiding behind coats of black
in the shadows of
sweet smelling grass
they reached out to me
through my open window.

I left Ohio in my nineteenth year,
a bride, eager to follow the
dreams of my groom.
But I return to the comfort of
my childhood whenever
I hear the song of the cricket
- in the swamps of Louisiana-
- the mountains of Colorado -
- the deserts of Arizona-

Today a cricket enters my classroom;
twenty-eight puppy-smelling bodies
fidget, eager to destroy
the crooning intruder.
Yet I defend our visitor,
welcomed friend of my childhood,
partner during my traveling years.

"Let it be, this nightly slayer of demons,
who sings praises and applauds life."

My amigo nestles in the corner
In melodious song he calls to me
taking me from split infinitives
to the infinity of memories.

Back to Index :arrow:

Death Rolls In . . .

Carried by the currents of a tide
Hidden deeply within life’s flow
Relentless it crashes against the shore
Driven by forces beyond the realm of man

Death stretches its icy fingers
Deep within the heart of the living
And so carries him out to sea
Beyond the reach of his loved ones

Only gentle etchings in the sand
Remain for those left behind
To cling to, until they too are
Carried away by the currents of a tide

Back to Index :arrow:

The Saint

Dedicated to Mom the unsung saint who sacrificed so much to keep our world secure.

By: Susan Cosby Patton

[indent][/indent]Phil leaned back in his chair holding two small children. This was his favorite time of the day. Dinner was finished, and he could relax for a few minutes with the children before starting the endless work, that demanded attention, on the house.
[indent][/indent]His one arm was wrapped around Andrew's body and his hand lay on his heart. " How like a bird" he thought, as he felt the rapid heartbeat with his fingers. "So tiny and fragile a little person, entrusted to me."
[indent][/indent]Suddenly the phone rang interrupting his thoughts.
[indent][/indent]"Don't answer it." Maggie yelled from the kitchen.
[indent][/indent]Phil slid the children from his lap and headed towards the phone. "You know I have to answer it," he replied.
[indent][/indent]"It's just a service call," Maggie insisted, "there's too much that needs to be done here, you can't go out tonight."
[indent][/indent]"Crammer Heating and Air Conditioning, Phil speaking...Yes... What is the thermostat set at? Is the pilot light on? Did you try to relight it? All right… No problem I will be there as soon as I can."
[indent][/indent]"You're not really planning on leaving, are you? If you don't fix the pump tonight, we'll have to go another day without water."
[indent][/indent]"Please, let's not go through this again. This is my job. These people need me. The D'Amico's baby has croup and I can't leave them without heat, it's the coldest night of the year." Phil turned towards the closet to get his coat, and was quickly followed by five children.
[indent][/indent]"Can I go Daddy, please Daddy?" Five pairs of eyes eagerly searched his face, each begging to be the special one to ride with Daddy in his truck tonight.
[indent][/indent]"Sorry kids, not tonight. This call is over on the East Side, and it may take awhile." Phil knew how much these trips meant to children, especially Dede. She never seemed to get enough attention, she needed so much more than the rest of the children.
[indent][/indent]"By the way Maggie, I put that check from Stranquest into the business account today, you can pay off Jones Plumbing Supply tonight. Oh, do we have enough water for breakfast? I can stop by the community pump for more on the way home." He hugged and kissed each child good-bye, "By the way, I think the children should sleep downstairs tonight, I couldn't get any more furnace oil today and we may have no heat by morning." He paused with his hand on the door and waited for Maggie to speak.
[indent][/indent]"Yes, I'll pay Jones off. Don't worry about the water, we have enough for breakfast. I've already filled my trunk with the empty containers and I'll get more water on the way home from work tomorrow." Maggie's irritation was evident " How could you not get oil! If it's the coldest night of the year for THEM, it is for us too. "
[indent][/indent]"Babe, I just didn't have the money. We'll get by. Make sure the children bundle up before they go to sleep. I'll be back as soon as I can."
[indent][/indent]Maggie sat at the dining room table, the old hand crank adding machine beside her, a pile of business bills in front of her. She was weary, bone weary. Each number she neatly registered into the bookkeeping system seemed a draw against her energy.
[indent][/indent]Her mind rebelled against the work in front of her with thoughts of its own "Damn that accountant, and damn Phil and HIS INTEGRITY! He could have filed bankruptcy like any other business man. What's the harm in admitting defeat. He could have started again. But no, he had to pay each creditor off. Now look at us. This was not the life I intended to live when we bought this outmoded old farm house five years ago. I was going to have a garden, remodel the house, and enjoy life."
[indent][/indent]The list of bills in front of her appeared to be marching endlessly on, until Maggie could neither remember the beginning nor see the end.
[indent][/indent]"Pay to the Order of Jones Plumbing and Supply the sum of... One more finished. Next on the List is Waters Electrical."
[indent][/indent]"Waters... water do I hear water running?" Maggie dropped the pencil and ran into the kitchen.
[indent][/indent]"What are you doing?" she screamed as she saw Dede pouring the last of the precious water over her hair.
[indent][/indent]"I'm washing my hair Mom, but I'm not wasting the water. See I'm saving it to scour the sinks."
[indent][/indent]"What's wrong with you, how can you be so inconsiderate? You've used all the water for breakfast. Now there is nothing for anyone else. Can't you think?" Maggie knew she was overreacting but couldn't stop the tirade once it had begun.
[indent][/indent]"But Mom I haven't been able to wash my hair in a week." Dede's sensitive face showed the depth of her despair, and tears filled her eyes. "I'm sorry Mommie, "
[indent][/indent]"Sorry doesn't give us breakfast. Just finish what you are doing and get ready for bed." Maggie returned to the dining room to once again face the neatly stacked business past due invoices. She methodically put them away.
[indent][/indent]Tomorrow would be her pay day, and she needed to decide which of household bills to pay from the small salary she received as a bookkeeper. She laid them out in front of her and quickly prioritized them. " First, I have to pay the electric bill or they'll turn it off. Then the phone bill, Phil's business depends upon that..."
[indent][/indent]Phil squatted in front of an old, converted gravity air furnace, there was a look of deep concentration on his face while he tried to decide what to tell the nervous little man beside him. He wanted to just walk away, this furnace was not worth the trouble it took to continuously repair it. He reached into his pocket and felt the "8 Ball" he kept there for moments like this.
[indent][/indent]"Keep behind the' 8 Ball" meant a lot to him and as he fingered it he knew what he had to do. "Mr. D'Amico," he sighed, "we both know how old this furnace is. It can't last much longer. The repairs I do are just makeshift. I fix it today, and It'll break again tomorrow, do you understand."
[indent][/indent]"Oh yes, Mr Crammer. But you make it go through vinter, yes. Times they are bad. Nobody vant bricklayer in February. I replace in summer, vhen I vork." Mr D'Amicos face begged for the miracle that he alone knew Phil could create.
[indent][/indent]"Don't worry," Phil replied, "I just want you to know where we are. I will try to get this running for you today, and do my best to keep it going through the winter. But you must replace it in the spring." with that Phil tinkered deep within the bowels of the offending monster, Eventually, with a groan, the furnace growled into action and once again began heating the house.
[indent]"[/indent]Oh, tank you, tank you Mr. Crammer." The grateful Mr D'Amico practically wrung Phil's hand in his gratitude. Then his eyes clouded over. "How much vill that be?" he asked timidly, afraid to hear the answer.
[indent][/indent]"Nothing Mr. D'Amico, I didn't fix your furnace. When I can truly fix it, you can pay me."
[indent][/indent]"Oh, no, I pay my own vay. I can gif you no money. But you must take dis." and Mr. D"Amico scurried up the stairs ahead of Phil.
[indent][/indent]When Phil reached the top of the stairs, Mr. D'Amico rushed to him, his precious gift in his hands. He thrust it towards Phil exclaiming, "You are a saint Mr. Crammer, Gott in heaven has a special place for you. Tank you."
[indent][/indent]Phil accepted the gift graciously, knowing the sacrifice it meant to the man, and knowing also the importance of allowing him his dignity. They walked together towards the door.
[indent][/indent]The children came in one at a time to say goodnight, and as she turned her cheek towards each in turn for a kiss, Maggie couldn't help but feel overwhelmed by their dependency.
[indent][/indent]As Dede came towards her, Maggie wanted to say something to sooth her, but didn't know what to say. So she said nothing.
[indent][/indent]Slowly the noises of the house settled, as the children fell asleep. Maggie neatly assembled the household budget, placed a rubber band around the bills, and cleaned the dining room table.
[indent][/indent]She then went through all the cupboards looking for blankets to protect the children against the cold blast this night would bring. She wrapped the children like oversized cocoons, and tried not to think about what the next few years would mean to them.
[indent][/indent]More then anything, Maggie wanted to sleep. Five o'clock would come early tomorrow morning. A new day would have to be faced, with a two hour drive into her job, going to the Laundromat after work, and getting water from the well, before she could return home.
[indent][/indent]But first, before she could sleep, lunches had to be made. Maggie stood at the sink trying to divide the left over meatloaf. Finally, in resignation, she decided she really didn't need a lunch and gave a sandwich and a half to Mark. Fourteen-year-old boys are always hungry.
[indent][/indent]Then Maggie took five pairs of children's shoes and lined them up on the table. She lifted each shoe and carefully inspected it for holes in the sole. Marks were particularly bad, he had already worn down the heels by not untying the laces, and she knew he would need new shoes soon. "Why is that boy so careless with his clothes?" she wondered.
[indent][/indent]Maggie searched through the garbage for some cardboard, found it, and quickly traced the outline of a new sole. In a matter of minutes the new sole was in the shoe and the shoes were ready for tomorrow.
[indent][/indent]The only thing that remained before Maggie could finally sleep was Phil's return. She reached for an afghan, wrapped it around her exhausted body, and sat back in her rocking chair. Maggie closed her eyes, to rest them for a moment, when she heard the sounds of the truck laboring up the driveway.
[indent][/indent]"Did they pay you? Were you able to get some oil for the furnace?" Maggie burst as Phil came through the door.
[indent][/indent]"No Babe, they had no money. But they gave me this." Phil handed Maggie an old wooden radio.
[indent][/indent]"You took a radio! We can't eat a radio. It won't heat our house. How could you?" Maggie was filled with despair as she looked at the antiquated piece of junk.
[indent][/indent]"Babe, they are so poor. They gave me all they could. How could I ask for more? “ Phil begged for an understanding he knew Maggie didn't have.
[indent][/indent]" But what about us? What about our children, while you are taking care of the world, who will be taking care of us?" Maggie retorted.
[indent][/indent]"We'll be all right." Phil said, as he wrapped his arms around Maggie's shaking shoulders. "We'll get by."
The furnace clicked off.

Back to Index :arrow:

Ebony Sorrow

Through ebony sorrow,
I search to recreate
the image of my father’s face.
He was the lamp to guide me.
Without him
I am a waxen candle
without a flame
The path of my life
flung into a smoky-haze.

Back to Index :arrow:

Last edited by Graeme on Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:53 pm, edited 39 times in total.
This above all to thine own self be true.


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The Fat Cat
Posts: 8406
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2001 12:01 am
Tag line: Do no harm
Location: Novato, CA

Post by heinzs » Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:25 pm

An' it harm none, do what ye will. Blessed Be.
My Poet's Page Archive | Topics I've started

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The Fat Cat
Posts: 8406
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2001 12:01 am
Tag line: Do no harm
Location: Novato, CA

Re: Graeme's Poetry

Post by heinzs » Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:50 pm

links repaired
An' it harm none, do what ye will. Blessed Be.
My Poet's Page Archive | Topics I've started

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Seafoam Poet
Posts: 267
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:56 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Graeme's Poetry

Post by Graeme » Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:54 pm

Thank you so much, :angel: Heinz. :angel: I think I can do it now. :thewave:
This above all to thine own self be true.


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