"We're all just fragile threads, but what a tapestry we make." – Jerry Ellis

Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

A Poem 50 Years in the Making

My brother turned 50 in April, and I decided to write him a poem for part of his present.  Don’t worry—I got him some tacky 50th Birthday gifts, too, to go along with this cheesy little ditty.

 

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Kevin and I many moons ago. Judging by our faces, I’m guessing they might have startled us with a squeaky duck or something else equally ominous.

 

I know an old, old geezer

His birthdays more than mine by far

His foolish youth I still remember

And how he built me my first car

 

Now I can’t get sentimental

That just wouldn’t fly

Cuz my older brother’s

Just not that kind of guy (in public, anyway)

 

The Three Stooges still can make him laugh

As can Smoky and the Bandit

Buford T. Justice chasing that black Trans Am all around

The point?  I’ll just never understand it

 

But there are many things about him

No one really knows but me

Like when we were kids at Grandma’s

We each had claimed a maple tree

 

His grew up a little taller

Its branches higher up the trunk

While mine housed the homemade swing

Played on ‘til the sun had sunk

 

Like most older brothers

He liked to aggravate

From pulling off my Barbie’s heads

To stealing goodies off my plate

 

I never will forget the time

He wiped boogers on my wall

His made up lyrics of victory

Ensuring I would squall

 

But there were times aplenty

Partners in crime were we

Sneaking peeks at our Christmas gifts

Before they appeared under the tree

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Easter around 1974

 

Growing up I idolized this goof

Wanting to be just like him

I even tried standing up to pee

Much to my mom’s chagrin

 

The music in his teenage years

Influenced me as well

.38 Special, ELO and Billy Squier

And of course, “Highway to Hell”

 

He still likes his fancy cars

And watching Cardinals on TV

He likes drinking nasty Natural Light

And plates with roast turkey

 

I’m glad I have a brother

Who taught me to be tough

A guy who likes to share his beer

And on the outside seems quite gruff

 

But you see I know another side

As sentimental as can be

And I hope that turning 50

Is an awesome memory

Happy Birthday, Kevin!

 

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Kevin and his kids around 2001. I like this picture of him because it shows him smiling.

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Ode to Thanksgiving Home Improvements

Erin with sledgehammer

We have a weird Thanksgiving tradition in our home. We tend to start extensive home improvement projects just as the holiday season is kicking off. Sometimes they’re not very huge undertakings—one year we just replaced the dining room chandelier the night before company came for Thanksgiving. (When we bought our first house, the chandelier there had been held up in part with toothpicks. Really.) Other projects are much more intense—like the year we ripped out our master bathroom the Friday after Thanksgiving and used the kids’ bathroom for almost a year while Darrell re-built it pretty much from scratch. (On HGTV they do entire houses in an hour!)

The first year we were married, we wallpapered the kitchen of our condo the night before Thanksgiving. We were hosting my family for the first time; so excited to have our own place to have the holiday as a newly-married couple. When we came downstairs to the kitchen the next morning, we found that the wallpaper had all peeled off the wall (we’d wallpapered over paneling) in long, curled-up sheets. We had prepped it properly, but it was such a long sheet that the weight of it caused it to fall off the wall. Frantically we managed to get it put back up before company (family) arrived, finishing it just in the nick of time.

One would think after that episode, we would have learned a lesson, but gluttons for punishment that we are, we didn’t. I’m not sure if it’s because the weather changes and we find ourselves inside more or what, but it seems like we’re always doing some kind of construction when Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around. While other people are trimming the tree with gusto, we’re trying to figure out where to put it where there will be minimal dust for the lights and ornaments.

This year, Darrell got super-industrious. He took out the wall between our kitchen and the living room. We’ve talked about doing this for years, but I never dreamed we’d do it this week. Erin’s been watching a lot of HGTV, especially Property Brothers, and had been begging to get to take the first whack at the wall with a sledgehammer. We all did get a few licks in, but Dad, being the Project Manager Extraordinaire, put the kibosh on it and took the rest of it down “neatly”. Ahem.

I hope to have some after-photos to share with you by the end of this weekend. Yes, I’m hosting Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, so it’s going to be interesting to see exactly how finished this wall is by mealtime tomorrow. At least all the dusty stuff will behind us by the time tonight’s done. I hope.

Progress

Progress!

 

 

Until then, here’s a little poem in honor of this wonderful family tradition:

Sawblades are buzzing
Dust is everywhere
We took the kitchen wall out and
We haven’t time to spare
 
The Home Improvement Monster
Reared ambitiously this week
A project this size before Thanksgiving
Is not for the weary or the meek
 
Somehow this time of year
Is when we get the bug to change
From installing chandeliers and flooring
We get the itch to re-arrange
 
Most likely our week’s timeline
Isn’t quite enough to git ‘er done
We’ll face our guests on Turkey Day
Hoping they won’t turn around and run
 
We wish to beg your pardon
As we‘ve made our home a wreck
We promise that, when you return
Of dust you’ll see no speck
 
It wouldn’t be the holidays
Without some project underway
Happy Thanksgiving, friends and family
Please enjoy the holiday

 

 

Anniversary Poem

Look how young we were!

Look how young we were!

Twenty-one years ago on July 17, Darrell and I were married after knowing each other for four years. We met in college, where so many love stories begin. I’m biased, I know, but I think we have a romantic, beautiful love story. To mark this happy occasion, I’ve tried to put into words what it’s been like being my husband’s bride. You can laugh at my clumsy attempt at rhyming if you’d like. (Just don’t let me see you doing it.)

 

This love story that we call ours

Could be written in a book.

Joined fates aligned across the stars began

When the seat next to me you took.

 

You started off as just a friend

Parking Lot H conversations lasting hours;

Who knew then the “perfect angle” line you said

Would lead to wedding flowers?

 

The seventeenth came bright and sunny

In a summer plagued by flooding rain.

We joined our hearts as man and wife

With a reception party quite insane.

(Not really, but give me some creative license here.)

 Our Wedding Party

The early years of just us two

Seem so long past I can hardly remember.

Two became three when Tyler arrived

Emily and Erin, our final family members.

 

Our family has fond memories

Of the good times that we’ve had

I never dreamed that guy I fell in love with

Would be such an awesome Dad.

 

You take us all out on the boat

When we go to the lake

It’s fun to see kids fly in the air

With the wild tube rides that they take.

(This stanza was requested by Erin.)

 

As we promised in our vows, we’ve made it through

In times of sickness and in health.

We may not own worldly treasure

But of laughter and love we’ve much wealth.

 

You make me a better me

With your generous and loving ways;

With you I can be who I truly am

Throughout each mood and phase.

 

I’m so glad that in this great big world

I’m the person that you chose.

I mean it when I say you’re my better half

And my love each day for you still grows.

 

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Happy Anniversary, Darrell

Thank you for making these past 25 years amazing!

A Silly Little Ditty Bout Grandma and Her Birds

It’s the Friday before a long weekend, and I’m finding it hard to write anything serious.  This poem is part biographical.  No the birds did not escape and come back, but my mom’s birds are mean and they do poop on everyone and dive-bomb the dogs.  Oh, and they DO sit on their feet.  Grandma’s name has been changed to protect the innocent.

 

These are NOT my mom's actual birds...there's no way they would pose like this.

These are NOT my mom’s actual birds…there’s no way they would pose like this.

 

Grandma Cecil had a lot of birds
When we would visit, you couldn’t hear our words
The birds were so loud, and sometimes they were mean
Especially the one whose feathers were green.

 The birds flapped their feathers
All around the bird cages
Grandma kept them locked up
When they flew into rages.

 They would drown out the TV
And poop on your shirt
They’d dive-bomb the dog
But he never got hurt.

 Then came the day
Grandpa left open the door
“Freedom at last-
We’re behind bars no more!”

 The birds couldn’t believe it,
Up and away they did fly,
They flew past the stars
All the way to the sky.

 They were pooped when they got there
Wanting something to snack,
But once they’d escaped,
There was no looking back.

 How they missed Grandma Cecil!
And those crazy old mutts.
They missed those fine days
When they just sat on their…uh, feet.

 God had mercy upon them.
An angel he sent
But they had to go back now
To be sorry and repent.

 To this day they still talk
‘Bout that day and the flight
But never again
Left the house out of sight.

The Achievable Poem

Happy Friday!  Today I was going through old computer files to clear some electronic “clutter” when I found an old poem I’d written for a class taught by Eva Shaw called Writerrific: Creativity Training for Writers.  It’s been at least five years ago, and I couldn’t remember much about what was going on in my head when I wrote it.  What made me laugh was that my writing style is still…ME.  Some things never change.

Here it is, including the prompt that started it.

Okay, Amy. I have a special nudge for you. I want you to write a poem of possibilities that you can achieve.

The poem should begin with:

Writing comes easy. I’m such a nut
When glued to the typing chair with my petite, pretty butt.

Okay, now that you’ve fallen off your chair…seriously I want you to finish the poem and post it. No excuses.

 

Writing comes easy. I’m such a nut

When glued to the typing chair with my petite, pretty butt.

I ponder exchanges between characters cross

And when the protagonist cries, I lament her sad loss.

 

She is such a dear friend, unfolding her story

In my ear she whispers with details—all the gory.

The antagonist, she bellows inside my head.

“She’ll get under your skin,” her past lover has said.

 

Of course, this is chapter 3

There’s much more to the tale

I’ve only just finished where she’s first drunk on ale.

It’s funny, endearing, and so fun to write.

To finish this section, I’ll be up half the night.

 

Oh the words how they tumble

From somewhere deep in my soul

They flow from my fingertips,

Like the ultimate goal.

 

“What a delicious day writing!” I marvel aloud.

I finish my piece and walk away on a cloud.

 

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