Poetry Friday 5

Parents lose children to mental illness, drugs, alcohol, death, and even unwelcome distance. Sometimes it helps just to say, “Yeah, me too.” Read this from the collection Little Boy Lost
Son Shine
It seemed a magic season
When as one of us he’d come
To bring the light into my heart
And steal a piece of sun.

Holding the treasure tightly
In his grimey little fist,
He gave it to me proudly
On that day before the mist.

No thunderheads foretold the change.
No lightning proclaimed his going.
But fog and rain clouds dimmed the light
‘Til only gloom was showing.

The gold and sparkle slipped from sight.
Hide and seek played in the skies.
Star dust traces his little steps.
His smile peeks through sunrise.

Must I just be glad he was here
And left a piece of sunshine?
Or may I cry to say good-bye
To the days that made my son shine?

Poetry Friday 4

Parents lose children to mental illness, drugs, alcohol, death, and even unwelcome distance. Sometimes it helps just to say, “Yeah, me too.” Read this from the collection Little Boy Lost.
Today’s goal is simply, to love.
Not for what you were,
In spite of what you aren’t
Or in fear of what might be.
But because we are linked
In need, joy and sometimes sorrow,
This day we will simply love.

Poetry Friday 3

Parents lose children to mental illness, drugs, alcohol, death, and even unwelcome distance. Sometimes it helps just to say, “Yeah, me too.” Read this from the collection Little Boy Lost.


3:22 p.m., March 12 and
The messenger’s nearly here
With this year’s diagnosis.
The package will be gaily wrapped.
Sometimes they add balloons.
In the following procession
The addendums march in,
Gilded with the newest rules
Tossing current practice
Like multi-colored confetti into the air.
Gentle reprisals in white lab coats
Complete the cortege with brooms in hand
Sweeping up discarded instructions.
And with a grand huzzah
They toast their cleverness,
Present the gift,
And leave.
3:25 p.m., March 12 and
Nothing’s changed at all.

Poetry Friday 2

Parents lose children to mental illness, drugs, alcohol, death, and even unwelcome distance. Sometimes it helps just to say, “Yeah, me too.” Read this from the collection Little Boy Lost.

Mother G’s Lament
Red Rover, red rover,
Where has he gone?
London Bridge has fallen
And the words are all wrong.

Hey diddle diddle,
Where’s Little Boy Blue?
The haystack is empty
And the dream is through.

Upstairs and downstairs
I’ve looked for what was
.Humpty Dumpty’s answer is
Not why, but just because.

Goldilocks is sleeping.
Her journey nears its end
The bears are creeping closer.
The wicked queen lets them in.

I take up shield and sword
And step into the fray.
Can I reach you, slay the danger?
And win, or simply pray?

Poetry Friday

As a new feature, poetry will be published here every Friday. Pieces from my collection, Little Boy Lost, will lead the way.

Parents lose children to mental illness, drugs, alcohol, death, and even unwelcome distance. Sometimes it helps just to say, “Yeah, me too.”

Blind Justice
A prophet once said that endurance and pain
Sit on magic scales that always balance out.
That we are not given more than we can bear.

That we sacrifice only in proportion
To what we  receive
That the world is flat,
And the moon, green cheese.

The Children’s Hour

Turning, twisting and wrenching away,
Dissolve, then reappear.
Not in Chalot or a viper pit,
Your room, top floor, in the rear.

A place bereft of childish joy,
A place that’s filled with tears.
Where ice cream tastes like castor oil
And kindness disappears.

Your very private kinder-hell,
A too-exclusive club.
No dogs or girls may enter here.
No laughter and no love.

You’ve built a wall with anger boards
Nailed in place with fear.
You slip inside that secret space
And then you disappear.

I climb the stairs. I speak your name.
But no trace may I find
Of the child I once called happiness,
Of the boy who once was mine.


Online dating services don’t always turn out the way you want.

Man4U – Tall, healthy, 40-ish, divorced eight years (no re-bounding). No children. Successful
career. Ready to settle with an intelligent, funny, attractive, professional woman. One or two children okay. More children in our future? Open for discussion. Dogs, cats? Pets within reason okay, too. Tell me why we should meet.
DreamGirl – Beautiful, professional woman. Gym rat, marathon training. Financially secure and you should be, too. Loves classic rock ‘n roll, travel, reading and time with my son. Divorced three years. Looking to the future. Go slow; love long. Message me if you like a creative, independent woman.
Man4U – Hi, DreamGirl. You spark my interest. But before I get too interested, I want to make sure we’re not GU (geographically undesirable). I’m in Arlington. Oh – I didn’t notice your age or approximate age. It may not be polite in normal circumstances, but . . . you know. No surprises, right?
DreamGirl – You’re appropriately cautious. I’m good with that. I live in Germantown, so that should be close enough. I’m in my late 30s. Why don’t we exchange pics? Here’s mine. Have you been on this site much? I just joined.
Man4U – Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. I had a busy week at work. Your photo looks really nice, but I wish you weren’t in such a shadow. What do you do for a living? I’m in sales and I don’t mind saying I’m good at it. I go to the gym, too. Usually two times a week. Here’s my photo. I know that you’re new to Couples. I saw you on the new member list.
DreamGirl – Well, that was a surprise! LOL I didn’t expect your shirt to be missing. Not that I didn’t enjoy the view, however. It just startled me. I think you didn’t get that six pack by working out only twice a week. I go four times a week and I run five days a week. I’m totally going to do the next New York marathon. I do have to get up early, though, to get all this done before work and such so I don’t do many late nights. Oh, you asked about work. I’m in the marketing department of a major company here in Memphis.
Man4U – I’d like to talk with you on the telephone. If that’s okay, send me your number.  btw – My name’s

DreamGirl – Hi Charles. I’m Brenda. Before we get to telephone numbers, why don’t you tell me some more about yourself? What do you do in your spare time? What kind of sales are you in?
Man4U – This is your go-slow thing, right? Okay. I like reading. I actually go to the gym more than I said earlier. Just wasn’t counting. I like music and I like movies. I have an interest in retail sales.
DreamGirl – Interesting. Similar to me, huh? I wonder what an “interest” in retail sales” means. As for other hobbies, I’m a real people watcher. I like to lunch or have coffee at patio restaurants and watch the other customers and passers-by. Sometimes I even eavesdrop. LOL Do you ever do that?
Man4U – Fraid not. I prefer to pay attention to the person across the table from me. I know I’d pay a lot of attention to you. Why don’t we continue this on the phone?
DreamGirl – Okay. My number is 281-6060.
DreamGirl – Charles, how are you doing? I enjoyed our conversation, but I haven’t heard from you since we talked. Yeah, I’ve been busy, too, this week. So, drop me a note or give me a call when you can. I have to run for now. Really — run.  LOL
Man4U – Hey, Brenda. I didn’t realize I’d let a few days go by. Yeah, good conversation. You have a very sultry voice. I could listen to you all day – and all night, too. So let’s get together. Dinner would be good.
DreamGirl – That might be jumping in too fast. Let’s meet for coffee first. How ‘bout Saturday at two at the Starbucks at the big mall? I’ll pin a rose on my blouse. LOL
DreamGirl – Charles, I’m hurt and offended and angry. I was at the coffee shop for an entire hour and you never showed up. I shouldn’t even bother to send this message. Maybe something important happened to keep you away, but you never sent a message and certainly not an apology. If you’re not dead or in the hospital, this is just bad behavior.
Man4U – Brenda, I was there. Late thirties, my ass. You’re not going to get anywhere on this site if you don’t tell the truth. Set your sights for older guys.
DreamGirl – You absolute creep! And, btw, looking back, I think I saw you lurking about. Forty-ish? I think not. And whose photo did you send me, anyway? Your only six-pack came from the 7-11 store. Oh, and btw, I got a private message from a woman I don’t even know. She’d seen us communicate and wanted to warn me. She said you’d gone through most women on the site, leaving behind some very angry ladies. That’s why you troll the new members’ list — — cuz they won’t know your reputation.
Man4U – You want honesty, lady? I’m betting that your only marathon is from your car to the door at Baskin-Robbins.
DreamGirl – You want to go there, buddy? Your “interest in retail sales”? Turns out that’s more like stocking shelves at Piggly Wiggly!
Man4U – Okay, all right. I’m busted. So are you. So – do you want to hook up?
DreamGirl – My place. Tonight. 8 p.m.

Story Gift for You

As we’re all being safe and socially isolated, we’re also casting about for entertainment, so my gift today is one of the stories from my newest and available book, Warren County Days — just for you. If you recall from the first book, Opal, our Opal Pratt had kept a change purse savings in hopes some day of having her own television. Most people have them, you know. The title of this story says it all — Queen for a Day.

Most of your local bookstores will order books for you. Online ordering is also available at barnesandnoble(dot)com. Yes, both my Opal and Warren County Days may be purchased through those means.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this.