I believe the only club I joined in high school was the Forensic club. There weren’t many who joined, just a handful. Still, I was excited. It seems we were going to be able to pick out pieces of poetry or short stories and read them aloud. The first one I picked was Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s, “The Blessed Damozel.” It was perhaps his most famous one, partially inspired by Poe’s “The Raven.” In Poe’s, he writes of a lover on earth lamenting the loss of his loved one. In Rossetti’s, he writes of a lover in heaven, observing her loved one on earth, and her unfulfilled yearning for their reunion in heaven.

I practiced this poem and practiced. We were timed, and a received instruction from my teacher on which parts should  show great emphasis. I had a ball doing it. I remember feeling as though I was tapping into the dramatics of Anne of Green Gables when she read aloud at her club.


The blessed damozel leaned out

From the gold bar of Heaven;
Her eyes were deeper than the depth
Of waters stilled at even;
She had three lilies in her hand,
And the stars in her hair were seven.

Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem,
No wrought flowers did adorn,
But a white rose of Mary’s gift,
For service meetly worn;
Her hair that lay along her back
Was yellow like ripe corn.

Herseemed she scarce had been a day
One of God’s choristers;
The wonder was not yet quite gone
From that still look of hers;
Albeit, to them she left, her day
Had counted as ten years.

(To one, it is ten years of years.
. . . Yet now, and in this place,
Surely she leaned o’er me—her hair
Fell all about my face. . . .
Nothing: the autumn fall of leaves.
The whole year sets apace.)[1]



Ode to Summer

Sunset_2007-1I wrote on our white board this morning, “13 more days until school starts…saddest countdown ever.” I know most parents can’t wait until the school year begins; I’m not one of them. I suppose I get it from my mother, who hated when the summer was over, too. I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t have to be up and out of the house at 6 a.m. or come home, dragging their tired bodies, only to do another hour of homework. By the time they eat and get everything ready for the next day, it’s time for bed. Gross. I can’t stand it. Seven straight hours of whatever they do there at that school should be sufficient. Why saddle them with more book work when they retreat home?

But, back to summer ending. The retailers don’t really give you a chance to lament the end of summer. They begin carting in school supplies early July. And, I promise you, I went into Hobby Lobby for some curtain backing material last week (July, mind you) and their Halloween items were 40% off and they were unpacking Christmas trees. Say what? Can we just take a breather here? July is for kiddie pools going on sale, gooey bottles of blow bubbles marked down, and gardening supplies half off. Not jingle bells and mistletoe!

It made me want to come home and rip up all my flowers out of the gardens and dig holes for mums, while they were still at the store and not being muscled out by the Frasier firs. I looked around at my ol’ Geraniums. Worn out by the beating sun and weeks of drought. They were tired. My Hydrangeas were faded and the blooms were crunching at the edges. The Drift rosebushes, however, were giving one last thrust of a second bloom and probably wishing they had arms to swat the pesky beetles that are snacking on the petals. But, alas, it’s all coming to an end… in just 13 short days. I don’t need to remind myself that this is the last year my oldest son will be returning to high school. Take out the tissues now, please!

So, I scratched down something this morning, marking such a sad realization:

Chasing the end

like a cat to a tail

Summer is fading

And I’m not feeling well.


Time is fleeting

Going too fast

like after a hard run

And all that’s left is a heavy heart beating.


It sounds loud in my ear

Reminding me of all that’s slipping away,

Youth, warmth, good times, and another year.


One step closer

One step farther away,

To the end

To the beginning.

It just depends on what you say…

Good-bye summer or,

Hello Fall









grass-nature-sky-clouds-field-87504Lying on my back feeling the coolness of the grass

It’s summer, I watch dreamily as clouds pass

I close my eyes; the veil of my eyelids red

Thoughts of you teasing and laughing fill my head

I see your brown eyes, mature and wise

You tease me yet love me, a constant surprise

I remember the times when you’ve honestly employed

How you can’t make me happy, can’t bring me joy

I’ve often listened but I never made it clear

That all I need to be happy is to have you near

But when you say to make me happy there’s nothing you won’t do

Is the reason I’m happy and why I’m in love with you.

E.B. (written for me)


Welcoming Waters


Depression is an azure, infinite sea.

With bittersweet waters that quench every taste bud.

The lullaby of the swooshing sounds it makes, sets my mind at ease.

Its smell is intoxicating, forcing my eyelids to droop lazily.

The blueness paralyzes my cognition, sedating me,

Welcoming me with pulling arms that are ready to embrace.

Surrounding me until I realize what it’s done.

And I begin to drown.



Striking A Nerve

bulliesSet aside the feelings I have for bad car drivers, and I’ll tell you something else that gets my blood boiling … BULLIES! I’m not quite sure what it is about them, but I have zero tolerance for any type of bullying. It’s such a touchy subject with me, at times I wonder if in a previous life I wasn’t some type of victim or protector of these fragile, innocent preys of bullies. (No, I’m not really into thinking I was in a previous life…it’s just a thing to say!)

I remember a time in high school, there was a girl who was an easy target for a group of mean girls to pick on. Her hair got washed maybe once a week, her skin wasn’t the clearest, and her clothes alternated only a few times. These were the types I enjoyed talking to. It was as though they had the real pulse about what life was truly about. Not the girls who thought all there was to living was to go shopping and having a gas card handed to you, along with the newest make and model car.

It’s almost like war; would there be wars if all the troops had to come together and get to know one another before firing the guns? Then again, if the mean girls were made to engage in conversation with the “normal” ones, perhaps that would only prove how shallow most of the popular ones really were. Something to ponder. Anyway, I digress. One day in class, the mean girls were making fun of the quiet one. Laughing and pointing until I felt my heart leap out from my chest. It banged so hard, it drove me right out of my chair. I was a little amazed about what I knew was happening. Still, I forged right ahead! By now, the bell had rung and the teacher was approaching the front of the class, ready to begin the lesson.

I shoved my chair back with my legs and drove great penetration with my angriest of eyes, toward the mean girls. I, very loudly, said, “Do you all have a problem? Is there something funny you want to let us all in on? Do you think it makes you look big laughing at someone else? Does it make you feel better?” I felt faint as the heat in my core shot up thirty degrees and the walls of the room began to squeeze in on me. But, I didn’t stop staring until they looked down at the floor in shame for what they had been doing. I had made my point.

The teacher asked me if everything was alright. It wasn’t in character for me to act as I was doing, and she figured I must’ve had good reason. I replied that everything was fine, now. Then, I took my seat and heard the sweetest victory bells chiming in my ears. I had called them out. Me! I couldn’t believe I had the gumption, but I did. And, I never felt so good.

So, when this last weekend, I received news that one of the freshman in my son’s high school shot another one and killed him just because he didn’t like him, I became very sad. The parents had told authorities this boy threatened their son’s life, but because there was no law broken, they couldn’t do anything formally about it. Girls would have to walk this boy to class so he wouldn’t be picked on.

On Saturday, the bully took a gun and shot several times, killing the young freshman. He, too, was only sixteen years old. When questioned by police, he was quoted to have said “I would have shot more times, but I ran out of bullets.”

I’m speechless.

Innocence Lost

It’s the way she looks

Imperfect or completely without flaw.

It’s the way he walks

Or talks, or maybe it’s nothing at all.

It’s because of one person;

One person who was never taught,

Everyone is different

They have their own style, have their own thoughts.

Shame should not be inflicted on one perfect life

Just because someone feels the right

Instead, the masses should rise up together

Protect the weak, crush the bullying and fight the fight.

Take the power from the bully

Disable their ability to cause pain

Give back the innocence and life

To the ones who never deserved the shame.