Poetry & Prose

When I Was a Little Girl

My Daddy took me to the park
In the park was a kiddie pool
Daddy brought my bathing suit
He also brought a towel along
He thought he was well prepared
But you shall see how well he fared.

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Volume 6, Issue 13, Posted 9:14 AM, 06.24.2014

Old People Can Be Scary

Maybe they are sometimes hairy
And sometimes can look sort of scary.
They do have lots of wrinkles
When they smile the wrinkles crinkle.
I'm sorry to tell you that we are sappy
And what's more can look quite happy.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 9:33 AM, 06.10.2014

Free-form Haiku

Honey bee
Hovering by the blossom
Sweet reward
Lily pads
across the pond
Like stepping stones

As they wed
Daughters changing
to new names

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 9:57 AM, 05.13.2014

They Say

THEY SAY ... "Meet the Press" is the longest-running TV show in American history. It started in 1947.

THEY SAY ... That President James Garfield could simultaneously write in Latin with one hand and Greek with the other!

THEY SAY ... The hummingbird is the only bird that can fly backwards and sideways.

THEY SAY ... The term "Here's mud in your eye" is an allusion to a horse race. The losing rider is very likely to get mud in his eye from the horse that is winning.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:51 AM, 04.29.2014

Imagine That

Westlake resident Amie Volle wrote this in 1993 at age 15, just before she was badly injured in an accident. She volunteers at the Knickerbocker two times a week, and the residents look forward to her visits. Many of the poem's themes are still relevant 20 years later.

Imagine that the air was clean,
the water fresh,
the grass so green.

Imagine that school was fun,
work was easy,
our job was done.

Imagine that there was peace,
a world without drugs,
the war would cease.

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Volume 6, Issue 8, Posted 10:15 AM, 04.15.2014

They Say

They Say... Robert Wadlow of Illinois was the world's tallest man at 8 feet, 11 inches. He died in 1940 at age 22.

They Say... That they have a road called "Tater Peeler" in Lebanon, Tenn.

They Say... The ant has the largest brain in proportion to its size.

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Volume 6, Issue 8, Posted 10:17 AM, 04.15.2014

Spring cheer-up

Goodbye winter! (Please go already)

Want to feel upbeat, let's anticipate the early spring flowers and blooms.

As you drive by a river or a lake, look for a Weeping Willow near the water. It's one of the earliest trees to bloom. The small leaves look almost like a green haze on its dropping branches.

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Volume 6, Issue 7, Posted 9:22 AM, 04.01.2014

An Early Bird Speaks

Where are the leaves?
Where are the flowers?
Where's the green grass
And soft April showers?

Either winter stayed too long,
Or else I came too soon.
Next year I'll by pass April
And not fly north 'til June.

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Volume 6, Issue 7, Posted 9:22 AM, 04.01.2014

Where Did Baby Elden Go?

I looked into the closet,
I looked underneath the chair.
I looked behind the stair,
I can't find him ANYwhere!

Elden, did you hide him?
Because you thought he was a toy?
But no, baby Elden just grew up
Into a happy little boy!

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Volume 6, Issue 7, Posted 9:21 AM, 04.01.2014

History of words and phrases

Put lipstick on a pig: A term used  to describe a weak attempt to deceive people by trying to make an ugly person or thing appear attractive.

Rub salt into the wound: To increase someone's pain or shame. It came from the custom of errant sailors who were flogged on the bare back, and afterward salt was rubbed into the wounds.

Blind alley: A gate or opening in a wall at one time was called an "eye." So an alley with no opening at the end was called "blind."

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Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 9:20 AM, 03.18.2014

They Say

They say: In Houston, Texas, they have an intersection of Clinton and Fidelity streets.

They say: That teenage girls who wore socks "bobbed" to half length became know as "Bobby Sockers."

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Volume 6, Issue 5, Posted 9:52 AM, 03.04.2014

The Recipe for a Good Life

The following are the ingredients for a good life.

As you know your tastes best, some will take a full measure, others a tablespoon, teaspoon or perhaps as little as a dash, pinch or hint.

List of ingredients: Caring, Fortitude, Optimism, Humor, Empathy, Courage, Resolve, Trust, Patience, Love, Giving, Friendship, Fidelity, Compassion.

Whisk them all together for a recipe that will last you a life time. Bon Appetit!

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Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 9:25 AM, 02.18.2014

History of words and phrases

On skid row:  It means the rather grimy quarter of the city. The expression comes from the Seattle timber industry. A "skid row" was a row of logs down which other felled timber was slid or skidded. It became slang for an area that the lumberjacks would seek brothels and liquor.

A-1: This was started as a Marine insurance term. The ships were graded by letter; the cargo by number. "A" meant the ship itself was perfect; "1" that the cargo was likewise perfect.

Pleased as punch: Comes from puppet show Punch and Judy. Punch had a lot to be pleased about; his quick wit was triumphant even over the devil.

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Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 10:26 AM, 01.21.2014

They Say ...

They say ... He was a premature baby. He was born before his parents were married.

They say ... He's studying to be a trapeze artist so he can catch her in the act.

They say ... He is a dry talker who is usually all wet.

They say ... The only exercise she gets is running up bills and jumping to conclusions.

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Volume 5, Issue 25, Posted 10:54 AM, 12.10.2013

Newspaper Union

sunny men set on the outside of parachutes
wait wait then spread fog across bread
the inland note, the island temper
funny how men set
in long pajamas creeping cats up on the side
until the baggage runs dry in the mosque uptown
until the dimmer runs low in the lights downtown
until Papa quits the union? we’re eating twice

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 10:03 AM, 11.26.2013

Cloud Gazing

It's been called nature's poetry.
Clouds are for dreamers with magical moments as they morph into various shapes and sizes and hint at the definition of infinity as well as immensity.
Cloud gazing is relaxing to both mind and body. You get a deep sense of harmony within a serene atmosphere.
If you're a "joiner," consider The Cloud Appreciation Society. It has more than 50,000 members!
Why not a life with "your head in the clouds." Keeping looking up, it is something you will never tire of!

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 10:00 AM, 11.26.2013

The Mighty Mayflower

Over stormy seas
The mighty ship struggled
To stay afloat.
It was a seaworthy boat.

Against raging winds
Thunderous waves, sleet and rain
The stalwart vessel
Pitched and groaned
over and over again.

The overburdened ship
Nearly went under
Leaving passengers and
Crew to wonder.

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Volume 5, Issue 23, Posted 10:11 AM, 11.12.2013

History of words and phrases

Havoc:  From the Middle Age French word "havok," it was a war cry – a signal for the invading warriors to attack, sack and plunder a village.

Raining cats and dogs: This phrase goes back to the Middle Ages when people believed that cats and dogs had magical powers. Cats  were thought to have a lot to do with storms and dogs with wind.

Like a bat out of hell: Moving extremely quickly or suddenly. The phrase came into use at the turn of the century and Charles Earle Funk later theorized that bats avoid light as if it were cast by the fires of hell.

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Volume 5, Issue 22, Posted 10:19 AM, 10.29.2013

Second Sight

I look in the glass
And what do I see?
An aging woman
Staring back at me.

Where has she been?
What has she done?
Was her life full of joy?
Were her days full of fear?

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Volume 5, Issue 22, Posted 10:12 AM, 10.29.2013

A walk in the rain

The morning was a little cool and it was drizzling. Mum said, "Dress warm or the wind will go right through your coat."

I was helping to pull the wagon mostly because it was empty. The Depression was in full swing so buying a new coat or anything else was out of the question. "Where are we going, mum?" I asked. "You'll see," she answered. My birthday was next week and I thought, maybe we are going to get a present for me.

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Volume 5, Issue 21, Posted 10:06 AM, 10.15.2013

Morning coffee in the empty nest

She was wearing a white silk kimono as her soft hand slides across my shoulders as she passes me on the way to the coffee pot to get her morning cup.

We shared the paper across from each other on the kitchen table, in the cozy sun filled breakfast nook, at the "No Rush" retirement pace.

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Volume 5, Issue 21, Posted 10:17 AM, 10.15.2013

The Smell of Odor

Well, just the other morning, I went out for a jog,
Not in the best of shape, I sat down on a log.
A little exercise was all I was contemplatin'.
Never thought at 5 a.m. I'd engage in conversatin'.

Now it is important to note, that the path I do take,
Is rather remote – and acquaintances – so few do I make.
But do you ever get the feeling, that something lies ahead,
Whether it's just a premonition – or something more instead?

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Volume 5, Issue 18, Posted 10:42 AM, 09.04.2013

Soul Mate

You are my alpha, my omega.
You define me,
Refine me,
Then set me free.

I am.
You are.
My reason
To be.

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Volume 5, Issue 18, Posted 10:28 AM, 09.04.2013

Moment of Tranquility

We are all surrounded by "white noise." A cacophony of babble, racket and hubbub that we tend to accept as part of our American lifestyle. Elevator music, hip-hop radio racket. Everywhere you look, people have sound plugged into their ears, etc.

I walked out of the downtown office building along a short, tree-lined way to the parking lot. I heard a bird sing. I don't know why I picked this particular sound from all the background roar, but I did.

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Volume 5, Issue 17, Posted 10:03 AM, 08.20.2013

History of words and phrases

Instamatic: Name of a Kodak camera. Also to mean to do immediately, right now; to do without hesitation. Rocky Balboa used this term in the first "Rocky" movie.

It's all Greek to me: Is used to mean that something is completely unintelligible to the speaker. Greek being a particularly tricky language to grasp because of its different alphabet.

Throw one's hat into the ring: To enter a contest or to become a candidate for office. An early 19th-century boxing custom to show you wanted to fight. Teddy Roosevelt used the saying in 1912 when he announced his candidacy for president.

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Volume 5, Issue 16, Posted 9:31 AM, 08.06.2013

The Garden Gnome

Little garden gnome
Sitting on a shelf
Lonely little guy
Whispered take me home.

Sorry, little buddy
No garden do I own
A third floor walk-up
Is all I've ever known.

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Volume 5, Issue 15, Posted 9:48 AM, 07.23.2013

They Say

They say: Everyone calls him "Webster" because words can't describe him.

They say: He is as glum as a bankrupt undertaker.

They say: He calls a doctor when all he wants is an audience.

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Volume 5, Issue 15, Posted 9:52 AM, 07.23.2013

History of words and phrases

Break a leg: To wish an actor prior to his going on stage to "break a leg" is a well-known practice. Germans enlarge on the malediction, wishing him to break his neck as well! It's said to bring him luck and make sure that his performance will be a success.

Fiasco: It can mean failure or a type of bottle. In Italian, the word is used to describe a type of bottle with rope around  the bottom. The French use it to mean a humiliating failure.

Grand slam: Think this word comes from baseball or tennis? You would be wrong! It was first used in the card game Contact Bridge.

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Volume 5, Issue 14, Posted 9:54 AM, 07.09.2013

They say

They say: George Washington explained our flag's features to the people in stirring words. "We take the stars from heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing liberty."

They say: Justice is blind. This is an ancient principle. The Egyptians, who applied it literally by their courts, would meet in a darkened chamber to make it impossible for a judge to see and recognize the accuser, defendant or witnesses.

They say: No one can boast of his modesty.

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Volume 5, Issue 13, Posted 10:40 AM, 06.25.2013

Good Things

Warm apple pie

Holding hands

Cold beer, hot day

Scratch an itch

Field goal to win

Pride in your children

Anonymous good deeds


A no-hitter

Happy endings

Filet Mignon

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Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 10:49 AM, 06.11.2013

History of Words and Phrases

Cute as a button: To be charming, pretty or attractive in a dainty way. The "button" referred to here is actually the flower bud on a bachelor's button.

Cock and bull story: A rambling or incredible tale; a tall story invented as an excuse; lie. In 17th-century London the stage coach stopped at two inns: The Cock and The Bull. The waiting passengers would exchange stories and jokes.

Kitty-cornered: A colloquial variation of cater-cornered, meaning "diagonal." This French word was in use as early as 1519.

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Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 10:47 AM, 06.11.2013

Mother and Daughter Reunion

I was three cars back from the big yellow school bus when the two large caution lights, like dragon eyes, started winking and the red stop sign by the driver's window popped out.

Oh no, stuck again as the miniature people dribbled  off. A small blond girl half-skipped up her driveway towards her waiting mother.

Mom placed a wisp of her blond hair behind the child's small ear as they met. Her child, as the Irish say, was "safe home."

A mutual hug; the child's arms around her mom's waist, mom's more of a "bear hug" – backpack and all.

They turned, hand-in-hand, headed for the house, school day events to review.

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Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 10:10 AM, 05.29.2013

White Bird

He swooped down
To visit awhile
Regal plummage
Delights my eyes.

Bright white feathers
With a touch of tan
His ring of feathers
A perfect crown.

Those piercing eyes
Look through my soul
His eyes as dark
As newly mined coal.

He shook his head,
Ruffled his feathers and
Swayed side to side
Then began to glide.

He soared air bound,
Dipped, cried out
As he disappeared
Into the space
I call memory.

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Volume 5, Issue 9, Posted 10:30 AM, 04.30.2013

The Seagull and the Tree

My father was Jonathon Livingston, the renowned seagull. He made famous the saying "The gull sees farthest who flies highest."

I asked my mom, "How come seagulls don't land in trees like other birds? Those birds seem happy. They and their friends gather in the trees, sing with each other and sometimes eat fruit from the trees. In fact they enjoy trees so much they make their homes in them!"

My mother shuffled her web feet and said, "Son, some things are not meant to be."

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Volume 5, Issue 9, Posted 10:33 AM, 04.30.2013


About this time I begin looking foward to the coming spring. Anticipating the stirrings, the buds about to blossom, the start of new life cycles and the earth full of promise as things begin to warm.

They say to keep your eye on the Weeping Willow – It will be the first to bloom. Another early entry are the crocuses, aggressive as they punch through the crust of snow to wink colors on a background of white.

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Volume 5, Issue 8, Posted 10:38 AM, 04.16.2013

They say...

They say... "April is a promise that May is bound to keep."

They say... "Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush."

They say... "The sun was warm but the wind was chill. You know how it is with an April day."

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Volume 5, Issue 7, Posted 10:51 AM, 04.02.2013

Mixed Emotions

You can see his cardboard sign, held chest high, as you get off the Innerbelt Freeway at the Chester Avenue exit.

All it says is "HOMELESS" as he stands there. If you get stuck at the light, he will stare at you with pleading eyes.

I can't help thinking to myself...suck-it-up, go flip hamburgers, bag groceries, wash cars, anything but begging!

As I drive away, my heart softens. The Good Book says we will always have the poor with us. Easy for me to judge. Here's hoping that the dirty Starbucks cup he thrusts at you fills with money and perhaps a little hope!

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 10:36 AM, 03.19.2013

Up For Grabs

As February ends, and turns into March,
There’s something that I’d like to say:
Winter BEGONE! With your snow and slush,
And your skies of endless gray:
Can I dare to hope that my wish will be granted?
Can I shed some layers of clothes?
I’d sure like to see some signs of Spring,
But the truth is, I suppose,
That as long as I live in Cleveland, Ohio,
No rhyme or reason or sign,
Will ever predict the weather;
Every guess is as good as mine!

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 10:00 AM, 03.05.2013

Lunch Box

It's the end of my shift as I sit  on the bench looking at my open locker.

My eyes come to rest on my old beat-up lunch box with its dings, dents and scratches.

It seems a lot like me. A union man from the "school of hard knocks."

Over the years I have suffered my share of dents and dings, but still take pride in my American work ethic.

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Volume 5, Issue 4, Posted 9:50 AM, 02.19.2013

Little Things

The scent of an orange

Awakening songs of morning birds

Dew sparkling in the dawn sun

A baby's skin so smooth and soft

A hovering hummingbird

A faithful pal dog

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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 10:19 AM, 02.05.2013