Some people keep a diary. Over a hundred poems in Along the Way tell of my journey through life.  They capture those special moments of family and friends, of distant places and people, of patriotism and falling in love.


ďHe Passed this WayĒ won the Brown County Writers Group Award for best poem in their April, 2004, anthology, Through the Window: Visions of Spring.  Other poems included in that edition are ďThe Gift of FriendshipĒ and ďA Motherís Magic.Ē


"All the Unknown Heroes," a moving poem about patriotism, was read at the American Legion Post No. 113.  Afterwards, it was published in the Franklinton's newspaper, The Era-Leader, on November 10, 2004, and read at the Veteran's Day ceremony at Franklinton High School.


Upon Awakening
A brash intruder filters through my room,
Solving all the mysteries of the night,
Giving form where form was not,
Searching every crevice, every darkened spot.

With laser speed it fills the room
And drumming on fluttering lids,
Announces yet another day.



At four a.m. the frost is awake.
Unruffled by a homeward tom,
It stretches out in endless white.
At play with the wind,
It races down cooled streets,
Bumps parked cars,
And wraps its arms around unsuspecting houses.
Soon, the wind falls still.
Left alone, the frost waits at darkened windows
For the stirring sounds of warmth.
Then, with dripping arms, it lifts its head
From waking roofs and reaches again for the wind,
Riding the rays of the sun.


Winterís Playground
I see through the kitchen window
A lonely, wind-pushed swing.
Behind it stands a thick ligustrum hedge,
Grayed and weeping with the rain.
Winter is mourning the playground of children,
Only the leaves come to pay their respects,
And fools like me.


He Passed This Way
To catch a cloud and toss it up,
To drop a dream in a blind manís cup,
Or give a cripple legs to stand,
Canít be done by just a man.
Make the sun fade out of sight,
Then lift it up to end the night,
Or breathe a life into some clay,
Such a man once passed this way.


So Begins Summer
The smell of freshly cut grass,
The fading and then too loud sound of the mower,
A mocking birdís reproachful squawk,
Scurrying ants in route to hidden homes,
A dappled sky and startled breeze at play
In a fantasy of chase...
So begins summer.


All the Unknown Heroes
(a song)
Have you ever stood in silence among the soldiersí graves,
Wondering just how it must have been?
And you touch a weathered marker, and trace an unknown name,
Looking for that story deep within.

No, you didnít rise to glory in the battle,
You never got a heroís shiny star,
But you paid the greatest cost...
Your life is what you lost,
And a hero canít do more in any war.


You clashed with swords at Bunker Hill, fought at New Orleans.
I find your name everywhere I go.
You marched the field at Shiloh, the forest of Argonne;
How you must have loved this country so.

Repeat Chorus

You heard the shells at Dunkirk, threw grenades at Pork Chop Hill.
Heroes now have never been so brave.
The Me Cong Delta saw you flying helicopter raids.
God, please let this be his final grave.

Repeat Chorus

How many did you leave behind when you went off to war?
Was it worth the price you had to pay?
Then I felt the marker tremble, and tears rolled down the stone.
ďSign me up again!Ē I heard him say.


The Gift of Friendship
This is the one gift worth giving.
It is the gift most rare.
It canít be bought, yet itís priceless,
And this is the gift I share.

I give you the gift of friendship,
The one thing that I bring
That has no box or wrappings
No tag, or ribbon or string.

And with my unseen gift
Is the hope that we will share
For many years to come
This gift that is most rare.


(Written for Thad and his wife, Grace during his last days of battling cancer.)
Itís raining now, I knew it would
As if to try as best it could
To some way ease this awful pain
And hide the one who calls the name
Of Thad.

Thereís but you, God, who can erase
The one who comes with shrouded face.
And all the rain that falls and falls
Can never drown the voice that calls
To Thad.

Donít leave me, God, Iím scared and weak.
My heartís heavy...trembling to speak,
Seeking the words I want to say,
Knowing I have the need to pray
For Thad.

Spare his for Grace, spare him, Iíd pray.
Itís Death whoíd die if I had my way.
But without death, what would we do?
All that God promised could never come true
For Thad.

Your will be done and let it be
Done without help of fools like me,
Who awe at the power you hold
To mend the body...feed the soul
Of Thad.


Monsters N Stuff
(A Fun Piece - A favorite of the boys when they were little.)
Have you ever been the only one awake at night in bed,
And the dream that just awoke you is still racing through your head?
You were running from some monsters, but your feet had turned to lead,
And everywhere you looked were the faces of the dead.

Too scared to move, you look around, to see if theyíre still there.
Now you wish you hadnít cause theyíre standing everywhere!
You want to run to someone, but you know you wouldnít dare,
Cause youíre way down in the covers, and you plan on staying there.

As you snuggle down a little more and pull the covers tight,
You wonder why these horrors only come to you at night.
So you lie there in your bed, and you pray youíll see the light,
Cause the daytime makes them disappear and everything all right.

It seems as if the morning is a million miles away,
So you lie there, and you lie there, just waiting for the day,
But the next thing that you know is you hear your mother say,
ďTime to get up! Out of Bed! Youíve got school today!Ē

You listen as your mother calls again from down the hall,
Then you push back all the covers and out of bed you crawl.
The dream that had you shaking, well it isnít clear at all,
And all the ugly monsters were just pictures on the wall.


So Comes My Child
How gentle the rain tonight,
As if Godís fingers trace the way
Then cushion every falling drop.

Such gentleness has touched my womb.
Such warmth has set a heart to beating.


A Motherís Magic
Iíll try to tell you of the things
You ask about so much Ė -
If you let me add some magic
Thatís called ďa motherís touch.Ē

The WIND is but a newborn song
That someday will be sung,
And STARS are tiny Christmas lights
Just waiting to be strung.
RAIN is only angel tears
That color all the flowers;
The NIGHT is when you close your eyes
And chase away the hours.
The MOON is just a soft, white light
For when you cannot sleep;
And the CLOUDS are magic sponges,
And dreams are what they keep.
At last, the SUN, a breath of fire
To warm us from above;
And all the magic that I used
Was just your motherís love.


Leighís Song
(A song written for a neighbor)
Iíll sing you a song, a song just written for Leigh.
Ruffles and curls in a make believe world is Leigh.
Dressed up in high heels and jewelry,
Made up to look like youíre grown,
Please donít go too fast my little one,
Too soon your world will be gone.

Iíll sing you a song, a song just written for Leigh.
Moonlight and candles, sunburn and sandals is Leigh.
Iíve seen you go wading in puddles,
Youíve raced the wind down the street.
Your world is so full of wonders,
Like feeling the rain on your feet.

Iíll sing you a song, a song just written for Leigh.
Youíll never grow old, now that Iíve told about Leigh.
Cause years from now when Iím lonely,
And thinking of my little girl,
Iíll think of this song and its story...
Once again visit your world.



A sprawling worn, land, crawling with worn people.
The young wear the countenance of the old,
And the old are forgotten by time.
A paradise not yet born--
Where God has seen fit for the sun to rule,
Where rain and earth are but casual acquaintances.
The land, the people--
Elements of endurance in a vast incubator
Awaiting the cry of life.



Only Silence
Listen to the cry of silence,
The wail that comes from a childless womb.

Listen to the cry of silence,
The whimper of an unborn time.

Listen, for the silence whines around you.

To cup the air is to hold it in you hand.

When will this restless silence taste of sleep?

Perhaps by the approaching storm,
Ushered in on soundless waves of light.

Each falling drop of rain,
A hushing sound...
A hushing sound.


Fifteen Kilometers from Sarbo
The pond is shallow,
The slightest of dips on this rolling plain.

Within its seepage, the reeds stand thick and green
And speak of coolness.
Across the plateau, the weeds, deceitful fields of
Golden wheat scratch the breeze and
Whisper of their thirst.

And set against the fading light,
The blue of bordering mountains...
Above their silhouetted peaks, one small cloud, aflame,
As though the sun were just beneath it.


A Child of Punt
With mucous smeared across his face,
He sits with eyes half closed by crowing flies
And motherís care.

The remnants of a too large shirt
Hangs heavy and short of his unnoticed nakedness.

An outstretched hand reaches for he knows not what,
Small, yet so full of emptiness,
There is not room for nothing more.


The Beggar
He has no legs.
His cracked, callus hands fumble over stones as he
Drags his twisted torso through the streets.

He curses time, yet time is his only companion.
He chants his lament, incoherent words
Soon lost to the babbling of the market place.

Many pass his way, but seldom is he seen.

A few coins, perhaps, then time steps in to tell him
He must leave.
Already the alleys are dark.

A blur of a shama can be seen dusting the rocks on his way.
A second longer, only darkness.
Even time is no more.


I Do Not Think of You Always
I do not think of you always.
There are times when even the wind is still.

Only when Iím lonely do I think of you,
Like when the rain taps softly on the roof,
Or when the sun falls warmly on my face,
Or when I close my eyes to sleep.

Perhaps the greatest gift of love
Is not to have loved at all.


Gay Profusion of Love
Love me like the gay profusion that love is:
Speak to me with BLUE
When all thatís sweet and tender tempts your thoughts.

Touch me with RED
When love screams to be heard.

Sing to me with YELLOW
When merriment fills your heart and eyes.

Write to me with BLACK
When endless nights come between us.

Pray for me with WHITE
When only dreams are all you have of me.


Summer and Thoughts of You
Today is like summer,
The breeze is warm and heavy,
The sky, speckled with clouds,
Yards filled with lazy people lingering past the daylight.

The sounds of summer float to me on the breeze,
Music coming from a window closed all winter,
Childrenís feet against the first carpet of green,
A dripping hydrant.

I think of you away from me.
In my silence, I hear your voice.
I listen again. Nothing.

Soon youíll be home.
My heart, my soul, my mind will echo only you.
Even death could not cheat me.

It is late now...
The breeze is cool,
Long shadows blend into darkness,
All the yards are empty.



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