Tuesday, April 29, 2008

'ALL OF THIS......'

.......and without Miracle-Gro
no roto-tiller
- no bags of 12-12-12
no 'soaker-hose'
- no 'weed-killer'
.......missing from the cover
nothing to mow
and nothing to hoe.

Friday, April 4, 2008


In memory of those that perished in the Oklahoma City Bombing.
Diane Stirling-Stevens
The fences carry toys; notes
the memories - a simple token
of what reminds each of their sadness
hearts so broken
Offerings placed for this future museum appear
about the many people
who've shed a tragic tear
Those that grieve - and still believe
in love, life - renewed birth;
flowers - rabbits - nature's mirth
the wind that whispers; the
flower that smells so sweet
the early spring rain
the touch of a new baby's feet
the laughter of a child
the summer night
calm and mild
The autumn - twisting turning
blustering winds
the golden maple leaf
it sends
like a feather - floating
to the soil below
the seeds of cycle; of love
we all must now commit to sow
Reaping - weeping
this harvest yields
too often this militant voice
yet so few - these are the facts
but they too often
in vicious anger
wield these terrible and
These actions that make the evening news
our confidence in human-kind
..often, they sorely bruise
Does it matter of their fame and glory?
Did they think it would make
a 'news-worthy' story?
Did it matter on that April day
when in Oklahoma the blast
took any and all away?
Yet we must remember
Hiroshima - Nagasaki
to the millions of deaths
in some Nazi camp...
the tears shed on each dying loved one
are still wrenched from deep heart sorrow
and are still
just as wretchedly
and damp!

Thursday, April 3, 2008



By: Vern - THE

My little cat
so quiet in the house
suddenly 'click'
and the magic mouse
rousted up the General Memos, Letters and
other documents entered format
who was one step above the 'ruler'
and had more authority
than the
I saw the font read 'normal'
but then I could choose 'times' - or
'new Roman' (they had given up)
Now centered and leaning to the right
was the italic
(the ever-noisy new-born pup)
Off went the Christmas lights
they'd been on all through the night
dangling from the umbrella
tiny snowmen in
plain sight...
Red feet in the breeze
flexing from ribbons so very red
I heard the cat - the mistress of this house
Then a chipping; clipping - snipping
a humming bird had started to burp
from the sweetened sugar - a wise disguise
flitting - not noticing
silent bird
of Paradise
It ignored the Bluebird of Happiness - a critter
quite elusive
and the Sweet Bird of Youth
(something that is conducive)
Sweet Bird of Youth
my father never knew
with pen in his hand
he wrote of things so true
Scraps of paper by his side
The Old Crow of bourbon - his lover; then
his bride
The Old Crow was always dad's
life-long friend
with his quivering hand he'd labor
until both their lives would end
Things kept dad thinking
ever awake and blinking
like those modern
Christmas lights
He poured out his heart and his liquor
as he wrote of bugs
and blights
So many a night - a precious rhyme and then
...scratching his head in frustration,
he'd try to start
Dad never was a 'General Memo' - but he did
letters and filed his taxes
Dad wasn't rich at all
no computer; modem...
never 'faxes'....
Dad didn't have a keyboard and mouse
he didn't use ten fingers
to do his typing
Dad used his fountain pen...
..it leaked, and took a lot of
No, this Old Crow had nothing soft
not even his favorite chair
Life was hard for papa
and most of it was never fair
Mom - a maiden
with hunger; responsibility
and poverty
Not only was this my mom & dad;
it was my entire
Sitting back among the trees
was our tiny farm
dad worked so hard
then one day
an arm
blown away by his own gun
now his 'speaking hand'
was paralyzed; frozen
as it laid
idly in that
summer sun
The Old Crow never again did land
because it stood constantly staring
by dad's right hand
Staring - grumbling - now the gray is
covering my dad's aging head
Cancer joined the Crow
and now my dad is
Dad, you left your imprint
like Hansel and Gretel, I've found
those crumbs of bread; I feed
them to my wireless mouse
and this is what they've said...
The mouse did click - General Memo led the way
I found it quite so easy
to write this poem
Now the times are new
and a stylish Roman font
set up this form and let me 'say'
...it moved about because my clicking rodent
was working right (finally) this
August summer day...
I found the 'center' - set this style for me
and the Noisy Bird of Happiness
will forever set us
And I promise, my dear father - I'll always relish
another breaking-day
I'll never indulge in 'Old Crow'
and throw my life away!
Dad, I'll make you the Phoenix bird
now that your ashes are in that tiny box
Like you dear father, I've done my share of battles
and graduated from that school they often call
'Hard Knocks'
But when someone knocks it will open
and when someone seeks
one will find
No doubt there will be some type of answer
that will pop into my mind
Thoughts for now - those things you asked me
so many years ago
"Why do you play the Moonlight Sonata so quiet
and so very slow?"
"Why do you race to catch that grounding ball?"
"Why do you climb to the roof-top; I don't want to see you fall!"
Dad, I'm glad I saw your pride as you stood proudly by your
Dad, I'm glad I was born 'Rambow' even if I had to
dress up like 'Bo-Peep'
In great grandma Grace's costume; I was only 6
I held my rod with confidence
..that fancy bow - the ram that
I got to be that straight-A student
then later chosen Bible-School Queen
Only grandpa and mom came to this 'coronation'
you refused; you were drunk - this celebration
...it went (by you)
As did the concerts I played - certainly 3; even four
But dad, you stayed with
Old Crow
and lay drunk upon the floor
You drank your Ancient Age; Old Crow
and Seagrams 7 too
but you didn't live to that ripe old age
No lucky 7's did you
So now I've written again - I've talked to you
in this early morn'
Many times I've talked to you with my heart
since the day that I was born
But when I look at my tired eyes
'tearful and green' like yours were
I can not see the blue of skies
when crying creates such a blur
And now I see the humming bird - its always attracted to red
I hear you singing in your wooden box
but, dad - I'll make you rise up (again)
..the Phoenix-bird -from the dead
So, 'pop' - you are the General Memo, letters and faxes too
You are the words I spill on these pages
..I'm just the early-morning typist
who's telling (again) what you always
Now that another document is finished
and it's ready to go to print
I see the tiny sparrow in the tree; it's
stolen another piece of
Soon she'll go to her nest - make fluffy bedding
for tonight
And dad - thanks for helping me do the
...in this poem - the truth, we both
did write!
Love, Diane

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

'CINCINNATI GHETTO' - JULY 4, 1976 - Diane Stirling-Stevens

I titled this "With Little Encouragement From the Wind"

(note: All poems on this 'blog', have been put under copyright April, 2002 - you're welcome to copy or print; I can always write another...Diane)

A rusty pole


in an

amber beer bottle;

a ragged flag - 2 foot high


faded flag

the 'do or die'

50 yellowed stars - on this field of blue

in reality - it was in a nearby field

and what grew

were thistles; weeds - no freedom seeds

and the red; splotched, botched and patched

flag - hatched

from this listless tree

blowing not with any encouragement from a wind

so mighty and free

This ghetto; crumbling homes - struggling roses

buckhorn stalked the frail children

who played with twigs and sticks

as they dug for

lost coins - they loosened the concrete - looking for treasures

'in the mix'...

Yes, on

this 4th of July -

and I asked...'why'...

Frail; dirty - aged faces framed windows

with eyes scorched from poverty's touch

yet they proudly displayed this frail cloth

in a land they loved; that had

promised them much!

These tenements; owned by slum-lords (recently in the news)

as the headlines told how they were counting

their 'stocks and bonds'

(and their colors were in the chips of blues)

as they mingled their good-fortune

with the Governmet 'sound' which was

that of a


paid for - not 'idle'


their yachts - they are the 'haves'

and they prosper off the


This slender thread of destitution; somewhere a line in our

Constitution - twisted round with the

knot and the 'have' knot

is tightly


in these ties, lies,

...it defies

the balance of what is not


but confusing and filled

with educated nomenclature

..be they words..

or pictures that

are painted;


and foiled

framed - lame

as the pig-hocks that are 'boiled'...

My heart ached on that so-called 'Freedom Day'

and I dragged one foot as I went upon my way

a tiny blister I'd developed

from wearing my new and expensive shoes

I took them off - both, so I could truly feel what it is to


my feet on this broken pathway; with splintered glass

painfully aware of that lower-income


Prayers; chanting - haunting me as I left

Yes, I would leave - but speak (now) with

words quite deft:

"It's long past due - yes, this tragedy must end;

...yet there's still no encouragement from the wind!"***

***as of July 4, 2007 - "The Song Remains The Same"

(Yes, that's the title of a Led Zeppelin song/album)

'WHEN I PLAY ALIEN' - written August 10, 1997 - Diane Stirling-Stevens

I saw the face on Mars
wondered about all the stars
I see four faces of
the human races
and wondered if they'd ben sent
sort of
to this earth
and their birth
was a remnant of a face
we'd find in
Some land-mark on a planet
cast in concrete
eternal granite
Once burned in
nose and chin
traveling for years
some type of galatical
of the basic four
the four doors - opening
and chose to land
on desert sand
recreating faces in eternity
seeking; finding - new

This would result in
'inbred bigotry'
not because they do it
with concious choice
but because it's a
subconcious voice
So the sister planets who launched their travel
would easily find 'them'
and not have to unravel
why the faces had changed
by marriages and procreation
..now arranged'
resulting in new features of face
integrated by
mixing 'race'

Imagine that the retrieval spaceships
trying to bring the
'pure' race home
would have to determine as they
..scanning; befuddled
faces muddled
Could not retrieve
not pertinent to
or in 'faith'
to rely
merely by technology
the 'eye'
programmed to scan and pan
across this globe
this orb
must obey and return
to their beginning
not concerned with mistakes
or someone
No heaven or hell
not required to
pray or yell
So in the quiet of the night or dawn
this evolution and growth
new and continued
..yes, they would
'spawn' and grow
preserve the lineage
no goal or pilfer
no need to pillage
merely a quiet
native - pure; refined, not 'divine'
With the need to recreate what they've learned
in the event their earlier planet burned
destroying all history
creating this 'big bang' mystery!
Allowing some type of economy
that required enslavement
paid with coin
but holding a
Held by a few
grown wealthy
ignoring the weak
80% of society
truly unhealthy!
The device
by sacrifice
burdened to the slaves of experiment
shack and tent
the abode of bricks
or sticks
dotting a garden
Eden forbidden
hidden - distorted - aborted
and only the chosen upon the ark
would be allowed to leave their mark
this tiring search and generations confused
commercialism - capitalizing
quality of life
so abused
data mis-used
I only wonder and speculate
What makes some love; others hate
I believe this universe is doing just fine
I believe that all that lives
is truly
I can never live to see this white-haired God
I have to die - 6 feet under the sod
I can't reach from that grave
except by imparting
my thoughts; my notes
that I'm starting
and finishing as I type
and certainly with no goal
to hype
or stir emotion or notion
Just by devotion
to my brain - my fingers - I did train
as my mouth; these little letters
release me from ponder
freedom - no fetters
no burdens - no ties that bind
I read my thinking
I'm glad I can see - I'm not blind
I put down on paper - it becomes external
it's added to my journal
my thoughts - eternal
I do not sell it - I don't need a purse
I enjoy writing in meter and verse
To me each is a divine conception
life - itself - in all its forms
life - it's always in season
surviving as it conforms
confirms and advocates
through instinct
with no selection
Trees are never asked to advocate
or participate
in a presidential election;
flowers don't know if they're
weeds or 'deeded'
they remain in tidy rows so carefully tilled
animals - some chosen as beloved pets;
others eaten as food - their bleating or
cackling stilled
by the slaughter and some priority or
that determined what made
it right or wrong
I'm still puzzled by so many things
so this is my simple-minded effort
and song
but I like myself and so glad am I
to have lived
and learned
and when I die
I'll be glad I lived - asked, and tried;
I'll be glad I loved, laughed and cried
I'll be glad I cherished each day that came
I'll be glad I was true to me
and for the seasons that
remained the same
and even if I did come from the sky
if I'm not supposed to be on earth
I'll remember what made me happy;
what assigned me 'worth'
It was my mother's words (like food)
when mom said the other day:
"Oh my daughter - you are so good."


Just walking down the railroad tracks
still observing
but never searching
still watching
and when I say:

"Who's calling please", the lines of
the telephone company
reach - the lines range
and run
across our country
and the trains still take our
loved ones
across those miles
to Fort Hood
where mother rode
to Florida
where great grandmother
traveled - 1906
not graveled
the many years of railroad service
ran across those ties
the 'ties that bind'

yet the ties that were 'broke'
were the backs
of the many immigrants
who from 5/16/1846
had to struggle
to fix
those miles of routes
so we could ride
those broken and gnarled hands
and their weathered skin
could never hide
and no one was there
as the rain was falling
No phones answered their call
No one said:

"Whom shall I say is calling?"


I tap my feet
thinking about
the duck
trying to catch
the fish
having another wish
But if I were a duck
that had a bill
and I could bob
for a delectable treat
maybe I'd catch
that fish
then share this
after it was grilled on
some charcoal
but for this
I rely on
and I can only do
when I can muster up the bob
but now that he's gone,
my meal won't be complete
I can't do do this


Oh what a story that house might tell
for every house has ears
it absorbs
what families leave
in their wake

Good times; bad - births and deaths
to be had
and always a singular presence
a house alive
sometimes happy
often too sad

We take it for granted
when we're living there
We gaze distantly after we're gone
wistfully thinking back
and wondering
if we ever lived

Bill sent this poem as a gift to me - he was a very special man!


It's not a choice
and it's not a child
unwanted - potentially
destined to be
dying a more painful death
when do we take away
a breath
Born into a world of drugs
possibly sent to war
shot by a 'drive-by' shooter
racing in that speeding
The warm choice
a mother's voice
not termination
but determination
to render this
angel's release
surrendered now
to heavenly
By Diane Stirling-Stevens - May, 1993


Every day brings a new sheet
with stories told anew
a poem here; a message there
the scroll just grew
and grew...

Yet still the band wraps it tight
and holds its pages bound
to keep them all from breaking loose
and scattering on the ground!

How many times will it stretch
before the stretching's done
and all that it holds securely
will be left for a
newer one?

How far will life pull it
how many pulls will it take
how far can it be taxed
before it will finally

I like to fondly imagine
that if it snaps one day
the little band will somehow
confidently find
a way

to splice itself together
then tightly knot the ends
and bind the pages of its book
so its story
REMARKS ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPH: The frame was made by a friend of mine who was injured in the 911 attack - she made this during the course of her rehabilitation.
The rubber bands were sent to me by a friend (Jim) after my 4/29/02 automobile accident that nearly killed me.
The picture is of my great grandmother Grace; my great grandfather Charles, and my grandpa Reese (his first birthday). Great grandmother took a flat-bed wagon to Florida in 1906 - it took her 4 months to make the trip.
Great Grandpa Charles looked after the children and the farm while his wife took 2 hired hands who drove the flat-bed looking for land in Orlando.
Years and years later, that land was sold to Disney - it is now Epcot Center (or part of it is).
I think the poem fits not only my own 'trials and recovery'; Norma's beautiful recovery, but my great grandmother's strong will to become a millionaire at a time when few women were.
I guess it's all about rubber bands......


Two pines whisper
two birds nest
two eggs (or more)
mama-Robin will rest

Spring - what's on my window sill?
A few Crocus
and a

Then comes August...
a rainy
then a wintry

Life is short - so enjoy
cherish the sounds
of your
who give you
'eternal spirit'
they are your


He never heard the voice
of a political puppet
He only heard the sound
of a heavenly trumpet
What a golden voice
that he fought for
in this land of choice
Dad - in the army
under the red, white and blue
Dad, blew his trumpet; and fought bravely
for me
and you
The taps - later, at so many funerals
he played
On that cold windy hill - he quivered
yet brave
he buried his sister
and brother-in-law too
that same day - dad never skipped a note
and that sweet sound of his music
resounded; echoed
over the caskets
remembered and cherished
Then dad's turn came -
he left mom; my sisters
my brother
and me -
in the spring
of 1993
Now I hear my dad when I see
that early morning sky
I know he's making music
when that horizon is bright and blue.
Blew, blew - the wind and his
Dad, how I miss
you in this
we call


Ogden bogged in
Nash Bash
Slash gash
sleeve leave
margin chargin'
wider sider
error slippin'
coffee sippin'
loppin' droppin'
crumbs bums
him out
blow snout
glasses lashes
nose pose
prose goes
thin when
man stand
tall all
slop mop
brow now
bag sag
pant slant
wrinkle crinkle
paper caper
limerick sick
slave save
ribbon glib on
rhyme time
for more
later cater
to reader
creed or
pun fun
none done
better sweater
ravel gravel
pile smile
dig rig
dump slump
slouch couch
choose snooze
snore more
best test
read seed
thought wrought
naught fought
lot bought
smile while
write right
snappy happy
rend' end


I walked behind 4 carpenters
1 mason; 1 roofer - this tired troop
from Arizona
work - very little
out of money
I had to feed this
I thought about the earth-preserve
saving our planet
birds and horses
Special-interest funding; government grants
..other studies
and college courses
If I feed a starving stranger
could that person one day succeed
and be a
forest ranger
Would it take just a caring heart
a few dollars
and a fresh
new start
Heart-to-heart; ashes-to-ashes
$10 for gas - take a bus,
or go bust
Ears hear better as you walk behind
hearing the needs of human-kind
in a bind
relative, my dear
ears truly deaf
cannot hear
Walking with no legs
would be an acrobatic stunt
finding nonsense tax-sheltered 'puppies'
I'd call them simply 'glorified runts'
Given this blessing to be this near
fortunate to hear the command so
No one begged; I freely 'gave'
no contingencies - or
'how to behave'...
I gave all I had; didn't feel bad
but realized I had no food, you see...
then upon returning to my waiting car
there was a 'note' waiting for me...
There was a flyer - on my wind-shield
..power in that coupon; what did I wield?
A coupon for a 'dog' - free, and what's more...
A large 'soda-pop'...
...I called it a 'score'!


The Jesus hung upon the tree
a sacrifice for you & me
Yet, if Jesus played as a child in the tree
wouldn't his laugh be more of a delightful
sight to see?
If Jesus has no hands to nail;
no feet
no sandals - no blood
would his love or wisdom
I think hands or feet
crippling not his purpose
or his heart
I'm wondering what is showing
in all that 'age-old' art....
Hanging head not in agony or shame
but instead - head held up
and no one taking blame
I don't need someone to die for me
I don't want anyone hung upon a tree!
No tree wants to be doused with martyred blood
or become the post for a blessed life, lost
No, let's not write this man was betrayed
Let us join with him - that's why THIGS-BEAR prayed...
THIGS-BEAR thought he heard his name; 'bearing' down - the burden
was it his at birth?
Did he have to 'bear up'; smile - be 'bare' - be cold..
'bear' the truth
...and for what it's worth?
THIGS-BEAR wore his sandals so he could walk
where no 'bear-feet' were allowed;
where shirt and shoes are required
..among the 'people' crowd...
THIGS-BEAR came into 'compliance' - he adhered
to people laws
THIGS-BEAR even learned how to write and type
(difficult with his furry paws)
THIGS-BEAR took to making rhyme
- and a little reason too
THIGS-BEAR often wonders; pondering
all the things that people do.
My story of THIGS-BEAR: I wanted to write, and not use my name - so I 'created' a bear (had a real stuffed bear hand-made in 1989). I had no idea what to name him - but I knew his eyes had to be crossed so he could see more clearly.
I knew he had to wear sandals - like Jesus. I knew he had to have a tree (not a cross) - so I had Bruce Sanborn finish my drawing because Bruce is a talented pen-and-ink artist.
I knew 'all these things'....waiting for an idea for the bear's name, I got a letter from my young nephew (Danny). I'd sent Danny some gifts; he'd had a very tough beginning - but what a darling boy he was (and now is a wonderful man). I got the mail that afternoon -
about 6 days after my bear arrived via UPS from Cincinnati where Gary Kramig had
made the bear according to my design.
The letter from Danny read: "Dear Aunt Diane: Thank you for the thigs you sent me." Then a p.s.: "I'm sorry I spelled 'things' wrong, but I only have my dad's pen and I can't change it'.
I thought: "Everything is fixed, and you can't change it......"
I didn't want Danny to feel bad - I wondered what I could do...........
My new bear looked across the room from 'his chair' that I'd given him - he seemed to 'talk' (and still does by the way).........
"You can call me thigs", he said. I did!
About one week after I wrote Danny that I'd named my new bear 'thigs', my bear spoke again: "Do you know what thigs means?"
THIGS-BEAR did not wait for a reply....
THIGS stands for TRUTH, HONOR, INTEGRITY, GOOD-SPIRIT......So it did - and in 1989, I did a
copy-right on all my poetry, and a short-story - it's called: 'IN THE SPIRIT OF SELF'.
I re-named my promotion's
business (very small), THIGS, TWIGS, AND CHALK-TALK.
THIGS then told me that TWIGS (which I loved to pick up and save from the trees after a storm), meant: THIS WORLD IS GOD'S SON.....
Chalk-talk was for the children; we handed out pieces of large colored chalk - had the kids draw on the sidewalks and drive-ways; I'd take the photos, and save their drawings 'forever'. I got this idea when I lived in Seattle; a poor little girl (only poor because her parents were) loved to draw with chalk on our sea-wall. She'd cry each day when the tide rose, and washed her drawings away. One day I saw her crying; I talked to her and said the next day we'd save all that she drew. She drew; I took photos - I developed them, and framed them. They were by her bed-side when I left Seattle in 1983.
Now THIGS-BEAR and I are retired; we just make 'blogs' and enjoy our simple ways.
THIGS-BEAR says that blogs sounds like someone spilled 'blogs of milk' on the floor - and what is that 'blog' on the rug??? I say a 'blog' is a 'biographical-log' - the story of our lives unfolding, and we have the chance to 'spill it' not on the rug, but on the I-net where we become just 'another candle' for others to see, and get to know better.
Diane Stirling-Stevens -