Pears - pale white
Green Beans - (green)
Corn - a lovely yellow
The stored vegetables were some type of artistic display as well as a collection of good foods for the winter.
How do I love the way my mother stuffed the toes of the shoes so she and I could BOTH wear them - we were so poor, but her feet were bigger........
How do I love the yellow dress my mother wore at her wedding, and years later, made into an 8th grade graduation dress for me....
How do I love the way my mother pulled 3 old coats together; stripped off the better parts to make 'trim' for the worn parts, so I could stay warm.
How do I love the days and nights?
My mother and dad would tie a chain to an old tree or Lilac bush to uproot it so we could cut it up for wood to fuel the fire to keep us warm.
How do I love the way my parents would stack the baled straw against the house that was so drafty to shield us from the cold winter weather.
How do I love the old rags that were shoved against the doors and windows - keeping the drafts out.
How do I love the way dad made the popped corn for a treat.
How do I love the way mom froze Kool-aid in ice-cube trays (complete with tooth-picks) to give us a treat that wasn't expensive (and our favorite flavor was Grape).
How do I love the old detergent boxes that were cut open; the 'plain side' made into Valentine hearts for our gifts - we each got
A pack of gum
A bar of chocolate...pasted to the heart forms with home-made paste made with flour and water..........
Why do I admire the long nights of mother and dad stacking the wood gleaned from the fence-rows...cut by dad; stacked and stored by mom.....
The soil tested by dad; vials of colors for us all to give our opinions as to the color and how much
Potash that should be spread on the new crops to increase the yield.
Why do I remember being the holder of the flash-light,
so dad could see to fix the car...The single light-bulb that was placed under the hood of the car.....so it would start in the morning.
The flower garden flourished because mom made it happen.................The crops grew because dad tilled and fertilized the soil. We picked the edge-rows of the field for pop-corn
From Mr. Nidy's plantings.
We scoured the dump for 'treasures'.
In the Spring, we gathered the wild violets to replant around the well-pit and house. We stacked the pumpkins around the power-pole so it would look pretty for Halloween.
We learned how to take a Willow twig; sprout it in water,
And stake it to make a sturdy tree.
We divided the strawberry plants to make new babies;
We saved seeds from the harvest
To make a bigger one the next year......
We watched dad turn a salvaged furnace into a
That kept us warm.
We saw my father make a 'water-heater' from bits of steel and ingenuity.
My mother has never gone to a hair-dresser; my dad never played golf.
My mother doesn't know what an LBO is....
My father wouldn't have cared.
My mother washes her car by herself; my dad polished the ones he adored.
My mother will shop at Good-will; she'll give it as well.
My dad would save old inner-tubes; a myriad of 'things' he'd make from these rubber scraps.
My dad would laugh at Red Skelton while my mother would be so tired, and fall asleep.........
My mother tried to learn more words; thanks to READERS' DIGEST...my father would gather financial information from US NEWS & WORLD REPORT.
My parents played softball; bowled, and enjoyed a 35 cent movie.
My mother sang; my father played trumpet - both could dance beautifully.
My dad painted all of the toy furniture he made for us the same green he painted his tractor....
My mother wrote the letters from Santa Claus
My dad made tiny blocks with his wood lathe - then he built a fort from those tiny blocks - glued them all together, and made us cry when we couldn't build anything else
From the blocks he made for "US".
But, not to 'fear'....Mother soaked all the blocks so the glue would 'yield', and we had
Blocks to build with again....
And these blocks
That we built with
Didn't build the
House that Jack Built, but what lived in the house
That my parent's built
Were young kids; pretty poor - pretty scared,
Yet pretty inspired
By the parents who lived in the house;
Who made do with what they had
Who showed us the way
Without "showing us the way'...
Because they took life in stride, and never said "Shit Happens" - they just said:"Life happens"...
We learned to deal with it
As mom and dad did
For so very many years.
Thank you mom - poor turned out to be the best child-hood we could have had.
With love to my mom and dad.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
as tears stream down my tired face,
For Sandie Smith, and 'Macee' - Macee died
Written by Sandie's friend:
Friday, March 21, 2008
The last of the out-house generation
For Shirley Valentine***
***Shirley reminded me about how we all had out-houses, and what is was like in the winter (brrrrrrrrrr).
Inspired by Shirley's lovely e-mail
Tromp, tromp, tromp....
Not a tired soldier
A gray little shack looms in the distance,
And I walk slower as I near it
...wishing I were bolder
Opening that creaking door
Checking for snakes upon the floor
Are there spiders anywhere
...waiting to join my seated fanny; possibly my
Goose-bumps they'll want to share
Goose-bumps; little lumps - rise up
All over my body
All because it's winter; it's late at night,
And I had to go 'to potty'......
Oh yes, I looked under the bed; the cold
Enameled vessel bid me sit
I felt the icy edge touch my leg;
Yet since I wasn't doing #1 that I could easily toss
I didn't want to clean up my smelly sh..........t
I was so glad constipation hadn't gripped me
At least that wasn't part of my 'decision dilemma'
Because then Mom would come; syringe in hand,
And that nasty thing called 'an enema'
So, decision made; tromp, tromp, tromp....
The snow crunches as I walk
A flashlight is safely in my hand
I look around for ghosts; the moon is bright,
And I begin to talk........
I talk to myself; assure myself that there's
No one who lives in the city
Who faces this daily and nightly 'chore'
But, hey, they're 'sorely neglected' because
They don't get to do
Then one Sunday we go to visit; some friends who live
In Battle Creek
We enjoy their running water
We use their bathroom; love the toilet,
But we get puzzled by the roll of toilet paper
When it's a Sears' Catalog we seek.
Now we're running to the park - happy to see a swing
We climb the fence; glide down the slide
We're so happy with this outing
...yes, we all begin to sing.
Then a couple passing by tell us we're too loud
We quiet - go to the ice cream store; wait in line
(gee, there's such a crowd)!
We realize we're not prepared for this 'city war'
While we dodge the charging cars and trucks
(gad, what is all this turmoil and confusion)?
This city really 'ain't' so great;
in fact I'd say - IT SUCKS!
Tromp, Tromp, Tromp - but with a lighter step
Skip - jump a little; smile about this
'special trip' - no longer feeling those city folk have it 'better'
Tromp, skip; ask myself if I'm glad I'm 'country-folk',
and as I answer "Yes"...
old Bossy puts her head
Over the fence and moos...
I guess I'll stop and pet her.
Love, Diane - for my life-long friend, Shirley (Valentine) Salisbury
I heard the saplings spring forward
From the velvet
mountains who cuddle
The rain chose
To drench these babes
(they were in cahoots)
While the sun shown brightly
Over this sprawling land
I saw a forest
That was so grand
The Tetons were never blessed
Nature simply didn't toil
To make a deposit
It dumped rain so
On solid rock yet
Delicate flowers had need of a home;
They ever be
Annualy, they took up residence
How they blossom for all of
But only those that will see
must challenge great heights;
Be 'not 'afraid' - trudge, walk
Joyfully, the bees fly from flower to flower
Never aware they should shouldn't be 'air-borne'
These chubby little insects - wings so paper-thin
Admired by humans
Penguins survive the Antartica
Worms burrow in the earth
Grumpy old people curse the day
Children laugh in the rain; we say they're
Filled with joy and mirth
What I find as I grow older
Beauty is definitely in the beholder
And anger might never really exist
Except because of what I perceive
In my own selfishness, I often blurt out
Pissed isn't a nice world - it shouldn't be
Placed in a poem;
Only words such as 'velvet' - 'soft'
'loving' - and other expressions
Like the 'joys and comforts of home!'
Home - in the ghetto
Home - in a war zone
Home - without food
Home - and I hear a moan
Home - for the aged
Home - for the sick
Home - for the mentally ill
Home - which one do I pick?
Do I pick my home; is it something I can control?
Home - at best I can see
Is what I find in my soul
I search my soul; I search my 'house'
I search for what I can find
At times the search ends up being
But then, it's possible "Paradise'
Is all in the mind
Mind - Soul - Heart -intertwined
And salvation might be
'one of a kind'.
That velvet grass folds upon itself; the wind
Rolls it into that fold
The trees grow slightly - and like you and me,
They're showing those signs
If I live in a land - barren...not a tree
If I think I'm a desert, I might
Sometimes I wish I were a tree
No brain; no speak - no pain - a gain
If I were a tree, I'd stand
And I wouldn't question
'Who' put it there.
Copyright Protected (yup, I keep saying that cuz they tell me to) by:
January 27, 2008
Where are my plastered walls;
What is this 'cardboard' stuff?
Oh how I hate this 'west-coast' construction
Ceilings finished with this 'flaky stuff!"
My, oh my - I miss those solid walls
How I miss the brick and pillars
Now I live in this condo' cube
Where holes (once drilled) are full of fillers!
So, what did I do when I set up the desk;
The computer and phone were in place
I used locking screws to hold up the shelves
...had my little office - my tiny 'home-base'
Not basing a business - no more in my home;
Retired (and tired) ...I sat down on my tush
Letters; photos - cards came flooding in
And each time they were saved, because I could 'push'...
...Into those cardboard walls; painted so fresh
A collage of memories have I collected
Now I look at this corner; feel calm and refreshed
...love in my life - now reflected.
Crinkled - wrinkled (yes, some of them are)
But I keep them all posted where they landed
When too many showed up; no space left to to display
I bought plastic boxes; kissed the cards - and with rubber loops
...they're now banded.
Today my mother said it was snowing so hard;
Too cold to get out in the snow
So mom went to the basement - sat on a crate
Went through all her memory boxes; saying
"Some of this stuff has to go!"
But when mom looked through the pile
Mom put back all that she'd sorted
Yes, mission was accomplished
When her mission was aborted!
Written and copyright protected by Diane Stirling-Stevens for herself, and her mother:
I think I'm burning calories
I think I'm going to sneeze
I think I might have a cold
I know I might be a wee bit old
I think that if I'm 'just being'
A bit of weight-loss I'll be seeing
I think if I eat a bit
My clothes (soon) will fit
I think if I eat a lot
I might not like the 'bod' I've got
I think and therefore, I am
I think I'd like a chunk of ham
I noticed Emeril's gaining weight with 'bam'
He should spray his pans with Pam
Some use too much olive oil
Some fry while I steam and boil
I might sound like a scary witch
I might like a tomato sandwich
Boil, boil, toil and trouble
Watch my chicken soup do a bubble
See the pounds vanish this year
I'm so glad I've 'settled here'.......
Where others care about my goal
Where some even feel my loving soul.....
Where I can post my beautiful smile
Now it's time I walked that mile
..or two, and maybe three..
As I get more beautiful - myself,
I, and Me!
Now, when one writes such a 'bad' Christmas poem (only for fun) one must 'get serious'. So, this was my thought at Christmas, 2007.
The picture of life is completely laid out.
The picture of life is like a landscape; all the elements are in the picture, but it seems humans must have 'holidays' so they can focus on the good things.
The camera pans back, and we see the big picture.
If we get 'lost' in the big picture; feel afraid, or lonely, we make up Gods and holidays so we can cling to something....we focus!
Humans 'zero in' on parts of the picture that make them feel warm; happy, and safe.
Christmas is ALWAYS part of the landscape; it can be celebrated at any time - all the time, not just in a 48-hour period.
On December 24, we wake up - something is supposed to be 'different' - this difference carries us until December 26 when we wake up and everything is back to the sameness we felt on December 23.
The spirit of Christmas is resident year-round; it is a thought process that makes us aware of the joy of life, and those we love.
We do NOT have to spend lots of money; travel great distances, and put our financial state into a disarray just to show others we 'love them'.
We do not have to make this 'trek' to 'love' and the feeling of warmth from others when we can do simple things throughout the year, to exchange and feel that CONSTANT love that should be for all - not just a selected few.
Possibly the reason for the Christ to be born, was because this individual would remind those around him, how important it was/is to keep that feeling of good-will towards others, a 'constant' - something that doesn't 'live or die' during the better part of any given year, or time-period.
We can BE Christmas - we can choose to exude kindness, and become aware of those in our lives...we can understand the human condition, and contribute positively to it.
There's probably more I could 'think about', but for now, this is the 'essence' of what my thoughts were - no doubt, some of this thinking has come to your mind as well. Happy 'thinking'....
Not of stars
Or a chest of service bars
For serving in a foreign
Nor a score
3 or more
And four score and many years ago
Had to write
A pen would skip
And leak a lot
Upon a parchment page
And the 'sage'
The loss of inspirational
Meant for those who'd read
As did I
While lying in my queen-sized bed
Wondering what was
Inside my head
Not a queen - but something seen
In my memory's eye
I could spy
This photo of 3 girls
Bobbing heads of golden curls
One now lies with head so bare
Golden curls have gone somewhere
Silver has replaced the gold
Mother said her head
Treatments given for her cancer
Hoping for recovery...
Back after so many years
See in her eyes
Her joys; some fears
Shorty - her twin
All their smiles
Me to write of
What I see in
Solid; strong - Mary Isabel
Stands near my mother
And her sister
M.I.H. Is so strong
And in this trinity, she does
As the sturdy root
Holds up a tree...
Mary is the strong-hold
Of that trinity
Marian - so sweet
Marie - casual and free
...I guess that's why they nick-named
Breezy - the wind;
Marian - tiny and short
Mary Isabel their strong-hold
All who see this photograph that I see,
Can see this power
Mary Isabel, and the
See beyond the barren head
See their spirit...
Feel their joy that keeps them free...
And my mother called
Love to all 3
June 11, 2007
(in memory of George W. Riley, who died this day - 1977)
Some think it to be a concession;
If they show compassion; with near-obsession,
(because their life is 'wrecked)
Or jealous - thinking they're being in some way abused....
Mis-used - oh many can conjure up
Nearly any reason
And with each season
The calendar turns
And their hatred earns
Them another month of self-pity;
Selfishness - hating the 'nitty-gritty'....
Holding to old arguments; complaints
...laments that soul who can't forgive
So on and and on they continue to live
And if they can 'buy' themselves enough
'joy'...toys and material possessions
They won't have to make
I wonder if it should be called 'confessions'
And if we'd remember that old adage
That says to 'forgive and to forget'
...a compound request, some don't seem to see it quite yet...
I think the heart has to love
In order to forgive;
Then the part about forgetting
Comes only when you
REALLY DO FORGIVE!
To me, that thought makes sense to me
At this point-in-time...
Even tho' the words I just wrote, don't carry
The proper 'rhythm'
With my previous attempt to rhyme.
Still, if a poem rhymes but has no reason
And there are many reasons that aren't
Written in rhyme,
Hmmmm - I ponder,
And ask: "Will some of us
run out of time?"
Or will we continue just to 'run'
...simply focus on what we call
Fixate on what we deem success
and soothe our actions
by simply calling this world
What is a mess, but simply our opinion
...a conclusion - viewpoint; in our world
over which we have dominion...
But, if each world of one perceives itself as bearing no debt; no obligation - always right...correct
Correct me, I said to me - and stay as correct
as I can be....
Don't base how I live on the way others do; help
me to forgive....
...Let me learn that that's when I will 'forget'...
Let me remember each day, and not fret...
Were it not for others whose kindness has shown me
That 'tolerance'; 'understanding' - common
All gifts from those who have this forgiving love
within their heart
and allowed me to remember if I've stopped.
And when and where, I again should start....
For 'GJR' - Mr. Riley....stern; honest - and
intelligent; resourceful ...yet struck with
George's 'sharp tongue'...
....yes, many of us got 'hung'...
....but each time I dangled on my own mistake
each time Mr. Riley scolded me...I would take
...a second look - and I'd see
Mr. Riley only wanted to 'improve' on 'me'!
So with eyes wide awake - early morning; today,
For my own sake....
I remembered years ago - praying....
...."if I should die before I wake"...
When it hit me within the blink of an eye:
that: "I should wake before I die!"
Diane Stirling-Stevens, January 30, 2008
I saw a film about a tiger
In the zoo
Shared his cage with 6 piglets.
I see a lion
In the zoo
Who lays down with the lamb
Because the zoo feeds him dinner
I see the zoo
and wonder if it's like a Super-power
The government who provides
..some, but not all
When the zoo fails to feed that tiger;
When the zoo doesn't bring the lion
I see 6 piglets as the main course
And the lamb turned into lamb-chops
When the zoo can't pay its workers
The zoo will lay the workers off
The workers will climb on each other
As one slave climbs on the back of another
To get out of the quarry
The lion and the tiger will fight
There will be blood; death, and their
Off-spring will be meat for the
And what vulture
W. Diane Stirling-Stevens
January 30, 2008
Written while our I-net server was down over 5.5 hours, and could
give us no answers why.
Guess that was good, because I wanted to get this bit of prose done
someday when I had time - today, thanks to CMA, I had the time.
Orange for my carrier to pick me up
Orange is not a word that can rhyme
Unless you orange for the Queen - with her accent - it's time
To orange for Linda (no word can I find)
A rhyme for Linda - but no poet shall bind
Me to such lingo - such restriction can I 'foller'
When I decide on what is proper; and what I'll allow her!
Linda - that lady - how she does inspire
Linda - that woman - in no single day does she tire
Linda - the inspiration to all who live
Linda - she does all; she is all that can give
Linda - the inspiration; late at night ... ever active
Linda - the lady - not only productive, but reactive
Linda - my precious - how you do labor...
Linda - my goodness, I do wish you were my neighbor!
Polemic Polecats and Pollsters
Contrary opinions - skunks, and Questionnaires
Combine all P's and you have 3
Oh pollster, do not question me.
I'm not anemic
I don't do Polemic
...if I get tired
I get sick
Sick of people picking my brain
Picked too clean - I could go insane
Oh Mary, Mary - how contrary
and did your profits grow
Mary, Molly, Many flowers
Of blabbing daffy-dills - all in a row
Row, after row - line 'em up
Up and down; pick their opinions - tell me
'plant' them on a public spot
...tell the world
Ah, now that felt good - got that off my chest!
And there really is a season for all things
February 11, 2008 (from my book of poems)
For Dances with Forks - inspired by her words
(c) Diane Stirling - March 1, 2008
Sometimes we're hindered - we have so many words
We'd like to say
But those we'd like to share them with
Live so many miles away
Long ago, many lived next door to mom
A few miles from grandma - and to our
Home, they'd often come
A basket of 'goodies' - bread; a pint of cream
Old bossy had given up her gift of milk;
.while that coffee pot would perk
.and we all would dream
Dream - aloud - share our joys
Talk about the girls all growing up
.and the naughtiness of our thriving boys
Then a recipe we'd tried; each would write it down -
.maybe one would drive that pick-up; rattling
.loudly as we drove to town
A quick hello to the postal carrier; a wave
.to the man who ran the hardware store
.but now it's the I-net; a computer - a 'flight' of letters
.'sent quickly through at 12:34
They tell me it's called 'packet-switching'
A technology so bewitching
How nice to send our gifts of love
(and no one sees how my skivvies are itching).
I don't have to comb my hair; don't even have to
.wear my shoes
I can do my laundry; watch my soup
....still share my heart
- and the latest news!
Today I walked among the trees
Lulled by the music of the birds
Caressed by the soft,
Warm summer's breeze
Life and death - both join the moist morning air
I am 'linked' - ever so inter-twined
No life is without purpose
No death without some despair
The warm soft earth beckons my return
it's black; it's soft - comforting is the sod
It holds the roots of the Redwood;
It will hold me safe when I return to God
No one breaks the chain of life
The cycle that ends
With a new beginning
No one decides who loses the battle to breathe
No one declares (but God) who is
So, I beckon the morning; walk upon this humid sod
I'll pass through that portal - farther from my home-land
But closer to the hand of God.
Yes, this is the God that some define;
Others just accept
...some require no definition
But one thing they all have in common...
.......all of them, have wept.
This dark-some burn, horseback brown,
His roll-rock highroad roaring down,
In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam Flutes and low to the lake falls
A wind-puff-bonnet of fáwn-fróth
Turns and twindles over the broth
Of a pool so pitch-black, féll-frówning,
It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning.
Degged with dew, dappled with dew
Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through,
Wiry heath-packs, flitches of fern,
And the bead-bonny ash that sits over the burn.
What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
-- Gerard Manley Hopkins