Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Poem: Shady Shuffler

Shady Shuffler

He’s quite the shady shuffler,
Shuffling cards all night,
A spade, a club, a bleeding heart,
A sign he’ll do all right,

A diamond is the priceless one,
His luck is with him now,
He bets the pot, no turning back,
A flush he will avow,

A bluff is in the offing,
His eyes stray left and right,
A steady hand and level gaze,
Gives off an air of might,

Some say it’s just a game,
Some say its more like life,
No matter what you think,
A loss cuts like a knife,

A knife honed sharp, without regard,
A sleight of hand with bite
Cards and life are fraught with risk,
Beware the fearsome sight,

Of the shuffler in the night.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Poem: Sipping Tea

Sipping Tea

Susie Sylvester was sipping her tea,
while Sammy slurped soup from a silver tureen.
they stared out the window as squirrels skittered by,
and silly sapsuckers flew through the sky,

when Mrs. Sylvester sashayed through the room,
she stopped to sweep peanuts and scrub the spittoon,
Mr. Sylvester slammed the screen door,
and sputtered his rage at the cat on the floor,

he slunk to the table and picked up his spoon,
spilling soup on his shirt and his shiny right shoe,
before he could shriek at this newest snafu,
his wife served him chocolate soufflé and beef stew,

the family continued to sup, slurp and sip,
and a squirrel sauntered by with a saucy, sly skip.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Poem: Gaze Quietly, Embrace, Love

 Gaze Quietly, Embrace, Love

Cross lines,
Remove fences,
Breach barriers,
Knock down walls,

Gaze quietly,

Ford streams,
Climb peaks,
Span the globe,
Fly through space,

Gaze quietly,

Walk paths,
Hike woods,
Wade streams,
Climb dunes,

Gaze Quietly,

Be present,
Stay near,
Find peace,
In place,

Gaze quietly,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

To Know Truth is Magic - One Act Play

Play while reading story

To Know Truth is Magic – One Act Play

Scene One:  Neighbors gathered at the end of their cul-de-sac on a summer evening.

“He’s such an odd kid.  Danny, right?  I hardly ever see him playing outside.  He seems happy enough, but it seems like his folks should get him outside more.  I’m just sayin’.”

“Well, honey, maybe he has allergies or is afraid of bugs.  Maybe he bruises easily.  I think there’s some disease like that.  Maybe he’s allergic to sunlight.  I just heard a story on NPR about a kid who’s allergic to the sun.  Weird, huh?”

“I bet it’s video games, or computer games.  The kid’s probably in his basement hooked up to all kinds of games and never even thinks about going outside.”

“His parents seem nice enough.  They always smile and wave, but you just never know what goes on inside people’s houses if you know what I mean.” 

“How old do you think he is now?  They home school him, too, so the poor little bugger doesn’t even have that many friends.  I did see a little boy go over there one day but he didn’t stay long.” 

“I think he’s probably about ten or eleven years old by now.  I see them go by in the car every once in a while, so at least they take him places sometimes.” 

“Probably to the doctor to see what’s wrong with him.”

“Real nice, Joe.”

“I guess it’s none of my business, but don't blame me if I say I told you so when he turns out to be one of those weird teenagers who turns violent and starts shooting people.”

“That’s a bit strong don’t you think.  He’s just a kid.”

“I’m just sayin’.”

Scene Two:  Family room of the neighbor’s house.    Danny is sitting at his desk with a notebook in front of him and a pencil in his hand.  Irish music plays softly in the background.  His parents are sitting nearby both reading.  The cat is curled up on the couch.  The delicious aroma of corned beef and cabbage emanates from the kitchen. Here is the story Danny is writing…..

Once upon a time in a land far away there was a place full of magic and elves.  The most magical part of all was that only children could see the elves and experience the magic.  Each year on the 17th of March, they gathered at dusk near the stream that ran beneath a tangled grove of alders.  To get there they passed sheep grazing in the meadow and walked beneath clouds all puffed in splendor.  The trail had been forged many years before by the very first children who made their way to the magic spot. 

Once the children had gathered and the last light of day drifted below the horizon, the elves appeared marching up from the stream in single file with tiny sacks slung over their shoulders.  There was one elf per child – never more, never less.  An elf approached a child and without saying a word, opened his sack and gave the child the contents.  It might be as simple as a four leaf clover or as grand as a gold nugget.  Each child put the treasure in his pocket, bowed to the elf, and gave him a flower plucked from the meadow as a small gift of thanks.  The elves then turned and marched single file back to the stream where they remained ‘til next year's meeting.  

The gift each child received protected him from harm for one year and brought comfort when sadness or loss occurred.  The gift also imbued the child with courage to face each day’s challenges.  In the land far away, all children were loved, all magic was true and elves most assuredly existed. 

Once the children were grown, which could be different for every child, the need for the gifts diminished and the children knew they were strong enough to face the world alone.  But the magic was always with them in their hearts. 

The End

“Mom, Dad, do you want to hear my story?  I think it’s pretty good.” 

“Of course, Danny.  Come over here and read it to us.  Your stories are the favorite part of our day.”

Danny stopped and looked out the window.  “I worry about our neighbors.  It seems like they don’t have anything better to do than stand out there and gossip.  I wish they were as happy as us.” 

“So do I son.  Some things are just hard to understand.”

The End

Monday, March 14, 2011

Poem: A Wise Man from Cork

Cork, Ireland

A Wise Man from Cork

There once was a wise man from Cork,
Some people thought him a dork,
But lucky for him and lucky for you
He knew twice as much as any man who
Lived half of the days the wise man had lived;
In fact, he knew more than any man did,

The wise man was wise despite his dull looks,
Who cared how he looked when he memorized books,
He had all the answers when questions arose,
It wasn’t just luck he really did know,

So watch who you call a dork my dear friend,
He might be the man who’ll help in the end,
He’ll figure the whos, the hows, and the whys
As we stumble about with bugs in our eyes,

Yes, lucky for him and lucky for you,
The wise man from Cork is a humble man too,
He cares not a bit for bragging and such,
He rarely accepts the offer of lunch,
He’d rather be left to read his fine books,
And ponder the wonders of rippling brooks,
Yes, lucky for him and lucky for you,
The wise man is lucky,
And so are you.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Rain: One Act Play

RAIN – One act play
“John, do you think we should pull off the road?  The rain is coming down in sheets.”

“We’re fine.  We’ve gotta be getting close to the campground.”

SCREEEEECH    Brakes grip.  Car slides.  A dull thump.

“My God, what was that?  I didn’t see it until the last minute.  Are you okay?”

“Yes, yes, I’m fine……I think.  Geez, that scared me.  We better get out and take a look.  I’ll grab the ponchos.”

Car doors open and shut.  They walk behind the car.

“Oh, John, it’s a dog!  A German Shepherd!  I think he’s still alive.  He is alive……look at his chest going up and down.  Oh honey, we’ve got to get him in the car and get some help.”

“We’re out in the middle of nowhere, Susie.  Where are we going to take him?”  

“I don’t know.  We’ll make some calls and see what’s in the area.” 

They pick up the dog and gently lay him on a blanket in the back of their van.  As they start driving the soft whimpering begins. 

“His crying is going to break my heart.  I’m just going to pet his head and put a blanket over him - no tags, no identification, but he sure is a beauty.  I bet somebody’s going to miss him before long.”   

A few phone calls later they find an emergency vet clinic.  A half an hour later, they pull up to the door. They are met by the staff veterinarian. 

“We hit him on the highway.  He’s still breathing, but it sounds bad.  He’s been whimpering for miles.”

“Let me take a look.  You two wait out here.”  

John and Susie fall asleep in the lobby; both of them drenched and exhausted.

The vet comes out with the news.
“He’s going to live, but we need to keep him for the night.  He took a bad blow to his hip and may have bruised a kidney.   I think by morning he’ll be doing much better.” 

“We can’t leave him here alone. Is it okay if we pitch our tent out back?”  

“Sure,but why don’t you warm up inside and wait for the rain to let up?  There’s a pizza joint down the street.  You can call and get some dinner delivered here. Also, just so you know, there will be a tech here all night to keep an eye on your dog. I’ll be back in the morning.”

By 8:00 the rain had let up and John and Susie got the tent out of the van and pitched it under a stand of pines behind the clinic.  By 9:00 they were both sound asleep.

The next morning they stumbled into the clinic, grabbed a cup of coffee in the lobby and asked about their dog.  

The doctor said, “You’re not going to believe this, but he snapped back like nothing had happened.  He may have a limp for a few days, but he’ll be as good as new before long.”

They went into the back room and were greeted with some furious tale wagging and a friendly bark.  They carefully bundled him up, put him in the van and headed back out on the highway. 
They drove past the spot where the accident had occurred, drove up and down intersecting roads, even knocked on a few doors, but no one knew about a missing dog.

After the last stop, they got back in the car and Susie looked at John.

“I think we have ourselves a dog.”  

“I think you’re right.”

“Let’s call him Rain.  He’s our little miracle from the rainstorm.  And you know a good rain is always followed by sunshine and a rainbow.”

“Aren’t you full of good ideas?  Let’s get Rain home and introduce him to his new neighborhood. This may be the best camping trip we ever took.” 

One happy bark closes the scene.  Curtain closes. 


Friday, March 11, 2011

Poem: Enough I Say

Enough I Say

Okay winter, you’ve finally won,
 I’m in a bad mood,

I look out the window
At more fresh snow
And shudder from the cold,

You’ve won,

That’s right,

You’ve succeeded
In knocking me out,
A one-two punch
To the gut,

Are you satisfied?
Do you have no shame?

Bringing cold and snow
In the middle of March,
It’s unseemly even for you,

It’s not enough to begin your fun
In November?

We humans need a break,
There’s big stuff here on earth
We can’t control,
And then you have to add your part,

Enough I say,

Go away for awhile,
Rest up,
Plot next year’s weather disasters,

We’ve had it with you!

I admit defeat – for now,
But not next year,
You’ll see!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Poem: Why do we Sing?

Why do we Sing?

So words
Can take wing,

When we sing
They sparkle and rise,

Like a bird floating free
On a light summer breeze,

Or a kite in the wind
Flying high in the sky,

Why do we sing?

So words
Can bring hope,

When we sing
They lift up the soul,

The spirit is freed
From fear and distress,

Leaving light, leaving love,
Bringing joy

Why do we sing?

So words
Can bring grace,

Helping those who've
Lost their way,

Lift up your voices,
In glorious praise,

The echoing sound
Will offer a place

For others to rest for awhile.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Poem: A Few of my Favorite Things

 A Few of my Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses,
 A glorious sight,
The scent is so sweet
On a warm summer night,

Whiskers on kittens,
Finer than silk,
Sweet little cat,
Lapping warm milk,

Bright copper kettles
Polished so bright,
Heating the tea,
Reflecting sun’s light,

Warm woolen mittens,
Sturdy, soft yarn,
Woven with care
From sheep in the barn,

Brown paper packages
Tied up with string,
A precious sweet prize,
The gifts that you bring,

These are a few of my favorite things,

Cream colored ponies,
A delicate shade,
A tiny, wee horse
That leads the parade,

Crisp apple strudel,
A light tasty treat,
Feathery crust
Too perfect to eat,

Doorbells and sleighbells
Ringing out clear,
Arrival is nigh,
Visitors near,

Schnitzel with noodles
Cooked fresh this day,
Warm the cold belly,
Then back in the sleigh,

Wild geese that fly
With the moon on their wings,
Beautiful birds,
Royal, sky kings,

These are a few of my favorite things,

I remember them each
From a song I once knew,
The lyrics so pure,
The rhyming so true,

My favorite things,
They bloomed in the past,
When all else is gone,
The ones that will last,

These are a few of my favorite things.