Lest We Forget

Submitted by Judy Trefz of Bay Village, who recently discovered a poem written by her grandmother.

Loudly the bell for liberty rung.
Loudly the crowds cheered as it swung.
Valiant men had signed the Declaration
bringing freedom to the new found nation.
Through the years we celebrate
this glorious day
with parades,speeches, picnics and recreation
holding full sway.
Lest we forget, let us pause to reflect
on the cost of this freedom we thus far have kept.
On Valley Forge and the suffering there
of the brave men who fought and died
through those dark days of despair.
Lest we forget, not for a few
was this freedom to be.
Our forefathers decreed that all mankind should be free.
Brave Lincoln dared to make this mandate come true.
A great Civil War was fought 'twixt the southern grays and the northern blues.
Once again victory for freedom was won anew.
Let us guard well this priceless heritage we cherish.
Let no foe invade to destroy or to conquer,
lest this great nation of freedom should perish.

– Written in 1975 by Grace C. Speer, 1883-1979

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Volume 12, Issue 13, Posted 10:09 AM, 07.07.2020

Stay Away

I stand, 
Unable to move,
Barely breathing.
I live with fear, 
If you come too near
I may disappear.
Or I might shatter
Into a thousand tiny pieces,
Broken, like glass.
So for now 
Please, please,
Stay away.
Remember, social distancing saves lives!

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Volume 12, Issue 7, Posted 9:42 AM, 04.07.2020

Golden River Birch

The river birch in fall, some leaves have fallen gently at the feet of their mother or, in gusty winds, find new homes. Other golden leaves wait to say goodbye later in the season. Light now shines through the birch, the blue sky stands out and the full moon lights more of the tree. The trunk is shedding some of its bark in to allow expansion of the girth of each main limb. Shouldn’t we all try to shed something to allow new growth in our spirits?

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Volume 11, Issue 21, Posted 9:25 AM, 11.05.2019


Dusk descends. From the mowed lawns all around me, thousands of lightning bugs, fireflies ascend as from the soils where they may have rested all day. Instant bright lights on, it seems for only one second. Who called for them to light up the world? No patterns as they skitter about. In time, as darkness descends, those lights of hope, lights of joyful abandon, ascend to the trees keep us company until sleep calls us to rest, our eyes and brains not revved up by artificial lights of a TV. While I know there are scientific facts to describe what I see, I prefer the fancy of my mind.

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Volume 11, Issue 15, Posted 10:12 AM, 08.06.2019

In the Game

Walking on the court, other feelings go away.
All that matters is basketball.
I can soar as high as I want to.
There are no limits and the court
Is my dream world. 

Dribbling down the court,
I feel as if I'm in heaven.
I shoot the ball, then watch it
Spiral toward the hoop
And fall through the net.

The only noise I hear is the swish
As I see the net
Hanging on the rim.
Whenever I step onto the court,
The rest is history.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 9:42 AM, 06.18.2019

A Dancer's Dream

Little snow flakes
Drift lazily
From the sky.

Like ballerinas they
Twirl and dance,
Jump and fly.

With perfect execution
They pirouette and
Pas de deux, a show

Outside my window,
Encore, encore
What a view.

Then the tears flow
As I look back on
My dancing years.

So long ago,
So young,
So fair.

An arthritic grandma
Washing dishes
With greying hair.

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 9:53 AM, 02.05.2019


The night sky was lit
By a million stars, twinkling.
The moon was full,
Glowing with amazing brightness

Which shone incessantly.
Who cares if the moon is
Not really made of cheese
or the man in the moon is an illusion?

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Volume 10, Issue 22, Posted 9:30 AM, 11.20.2018


Choices make us
Who we are
Looking glass past
Reflections seem far

Resistance pulls tight
When starting anew
Decisions bring growth
Years turn to few

Sunsets of hope
Offer strength from Above...
A compass of wisdom
That navigates love

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Volume 10, Issue 14, Posted 9:57 AM, 07.17.2018


Oceans of plastic
Floating bobbing blobs and bits

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 10:08 AM, 05.01.2018

Gifts From Above

Hypnotic winds off summer waves,
Cool the tar paved roads.

Unforgiving sun enslaves our day,
Until the moon escapes.

Beautiful leaves from autumn trees,
Brings one thing left in mind.

When picking out a color scheme,
God was more than kind.

Darkness hath a way with snow,
Spritzing it with light.

Crunching down our feet touch ground,
Amidst the silent night.

Raindrops fall a hopeful song,
Shedding new from old.

Sacred light illuminates,
God sprinkles rays of gold.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 10:17 AM, 03.20.2018

Find Your Voice

I have no voice.
I speak in quiet whispers,
Desperate sighs.
I have been traumatized.

My cry is unheard.
Soundless murmurs,
Inaudible pleas.
Please listen.

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 9:27 AM, 03.06.2018

Prose for the Seasons

Spring enters, with daffodils heralding

Easter lilies, proud and strong.

Summer comes with warmth and peaches,

Lazy days of swimming and straw hats,

And country streams that flow along.

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Volume 9, Issue 17, Posted 9:42 AM, 09.06.2017


Many years ago, I rescued a little white dog and he turned out to be the best friend I ever had. He lived for 17 years; his only bad habit was toilet paper. When I would come home from work, I would find that the toilet paper had moved all around my apartment, pulled by this half-pint little dog, and I would have to clean it up!

I have a little dog who loves paper by the roll!
And when he starts to play, they go down the toilet bowl.

His bark really is far worse than his bite,
but if you give him trouble, he's ready for a fight!

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 9:25 AM, 06.20.2017

Poet Susan Grimm to lead BAYarts' next Storytellers session

The next BAYarts Storytellers Series hosts Cleveland poet Susan Grimm. The session, which will take place on Saturday, June 3, at 10:30 a.m., will incorporate a reading of her own poetry along with time for questions. This is free event will take place in the Fuller House on the BAYarts campus, 28795 Lake Road.

Susan Grimm is the author of "Almost Home," "Lake Erie Blue" and "Roughed Up by the Sun’s Mothering Tongue." Her work has appeared in Blackbird, The Journal, The Cortland Review, Seneca Review and Tar River Poetry.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 10:14 AM, 05.17.2017

Finding Hope

We walk the world, alone
Afraid, wanting someone
Or something to fill
our lives.

But the emptiness persists.
We grab, we cling in
An attempt to
Feel alive.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 9:41 AM, 05.16.2017

The Wall

As I push against the brick and mortar,
Nothing moves. Its thickness
Was created to withstand any
Man’s attempt to enter.

My fists are battered and bruised
From the constant beating.
I claw, maul, nothing moves.
The fortress before me
Will never weaken.

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Volume 8, Issue 17, Posted 11:14 AM, 09.07.2016

Paul McCartney Poems

Two poems in anticipation of her first concert, the Paul McCartney show this August at The Q.

Sir James Paul McCartney’s Musical Life of Fame

There is a famous Beatle and, no, I don’t mean the bug,
His name is Paul McCartney, and I’d love to give him a hug.
His voice is soft and loud all at once, and it matches his electric guitar,
His music is so fabulous, which makes him a famous rockstar!
The Beatles are my favorite band,
And I still think they were the most talented in the land.

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Volume 8, Issue 13, Posted 9:30 AM, 07.06.2016

Sugar Glider

Gliding though the air,
Tree to tree so gracefully,
The sugar glider.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 9:56 AM, 05.17.2016

Blue Jay

Oh how beautiful.
The blue jay soars though the sky.
Then returns home again.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:52 AM, 05.03.2016


Lemonade, oh, lemonade!
Oh, how I love lemonade!
If when it rained, it rained lemonade
I'd go out with a jar for jam;
And when it stormed,
I'd bring out the old sauce pan.
If a pond was filled with lemonade,
I'd bring a pail four feet tall;
And if the salty ocean were lemonade,
I wouldn't bring anything at all!

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:09 AM, 04.05.2016


When I was a child
I drank cool lemonade on a very hot day
Saw children laughing hard at play
Loved cats and dogs – birds and bees
Jack-o-lanterns and burning leaves
Smelled the scent of new spring flowers
And fresh air after April showers
Liked snow on my lashes, wind in my hair
Fluffy clouds high up in the air
Now the sounds are muted
The eyes clouded over
The sense of smell diminished by age
And acid reflux rules the day
Yet childhood memories will never fade away

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:13 AM, 04.05.2016

The Lily and The Dandelion

The Lily

The lily is a very pretty, white flower. Its petals emit a gentle fragrance. The strong, white petals are like a mother’s arms holding a sleeping child. A mother’s love is strong and forever. When you get elderly, the lily may be the last flower you smell. The sweet odor will follow you into eternity.

The Dandelion

The Irish are glad because a flower is bright yellow on top of a green stem. The yellow flower is like the sun shining and the strong green stem is like the powerful resolve of the Irish spirit. It may bend, but never break, no matter what happens.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:07 AM, 03.15.2016

The Necklace

A beautiful broach with a teardrop attached at the bottom,

But it's not a teardrop.

It’s a love drop coming right from my heart,

Sweet, gentle, and loving.

As smooth as your sweet touch,

Showing your warmth of spirit, my dear.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:57 AM, 02.16.2016

A lesson from the stars

Stars, shining messengers of
Light, harbingers of safety
This cold, cold, night.

Allowing the Magi
So long ago a
Special sign,

Leading their way
To a humble stable
And a child so divine.

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Volume 7, Issue 22, Posted 9:07 AM, 11.17.2015

The Christmas Stocking

(a true story)

Toby was our black miniature poodle,
Tabby was our cat.
From day one animosity was ripe,
Though it never spilled over into a fight.

Tabby was our only pet for quite awhile;
Toby was given to us, fully grown, by a friend.
Both our pets really made us smile,
But neither one an inch would bend.

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Volume 7, Issue 22, Posted 9:19 AM, 11.17.2015

It's Summer

It's summer! Long, lazy days
Gathering with family, friends and
Neighbors after the long winter and
Chilly winds of spring.

Grilling burgers, the flavor of
Barbeque lingers, hot and spicy
With salads and fixings
And oh that watermelon.

Swimming, pool parties, cruising
The lake in the new boat.
Savoring spectacular sunsets,
Chasing fireflies, watching the stars
Shining in the night sky.

Fireworks, Bay Days, crowds,
Children, laughter, togetherness.
Dancing in the park
After dark, young and old
Together. Making memories.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 9:29 AM, 06.16.2015

Snow Globe

Spring lives inside my snow globe
With its delicate blossoms, a
Tiny stream painted blue and
Little animals sitting quietly in
The artificial grass.

I go to my shelf
Wanting the feeling
Of spring as the storm
Outside rages, and hail pellets
Pummel my windows.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 9:37 AM, 06.16.2015

Setting My Valentine Free

It was just barely over a year ago,
When my true love came to me,
And said, "This relationship stinks, you know,
So I demand that you set me free."
The revelation sent me to depths quite low,
My tearful reply: "I see."

Not willing to give up so quickly was I,
Stubbornness – a big part of me.
Though adamant on her part in saying, "Good-bye,"
I would somehow get her to see.
Then convince her to give us just one more try,
And she would then be mine, hopefully.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 10:04 AM, 02.03.2015

My Daddy

My stories about Daddy and me
Make Daddy out to be
An oaf, but that's not true.
He was smart and had common sense too.

Daddy was 38 when I was born.
I was his only child.
He worked his way to become assistant fire chief
Of a large Cleveland suburb, which he did admirably.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 9:44 AM, 02.03.2015

Merry Kittymas To All

'Twas the night before Kittymas
When all through the house  
Not an creature was stirring,  
Not even the mouse. 

The kitties were snuggled  
And snuggly in their beds,  
While visions of homemade cat treats  
Danced in their heads.

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Volume 6, Issue 25, Posted 9:40 AM, 12.09.2014

Merry Christmas Daddy

Many church Sunday schools
Have Christmas programs every year.
Family members gathered to see
Their pride and joy perform fearlessly.

When I was five my kindergarten class
Did the carol "Away in a Manger."
I was chosen to sing the song.
The other kids had motions to go along.

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Volume 6, Issue 25, Posted 9:42 AM, 12.09.2014

Thanks-Giving the Bird

Thanksgiving arrives so quickly it seems,
then again, it's family tradition.
We kick back and watch some NFL teams,
Well – for me – that's the primary mission.

To visit those we haven't seen all year,
renders this day a special occasion.
Barely noon – Uncle Joe's on his eighth beer,
and on the verge of inebriation.

But good Joe's not the only one impaired,
lest we forget, there's my Great Aunt Mary.
None of the booze in the house shall be spared,
Seems she's located the cooking sherry.

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Volume 6, Issue 24, Posted 10:10 AM, 11.25.2014

Please Understand

Be patient, my friend, for
You do not understand
I'm lonely, afraid and
Need a helping hand.

Even though we are
Different and often
Disagree, can we live
Here together in peace
And harmony?

I am too thin, too tall,
Too quiet, too loud.
I limp, I'm clumsy and
Fearful of crowds.

I am not perfect, but this
I know, we're both
God's children and so
Please respect my humanity.

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Volume 6, Issue 23, Posted 9:52 AM, 11.11.2014


Autumn brings chilly winds,
Falling leaves, rainy days
And mud.

Occasionally, fall days are
Glorious with bursts of color,
Bonfires, homecomings and
Long walks in the woods.

Although not my favorite season
I do look forward to it
With delight.

Each season its own merit,
Giving us its days
To enjoy and create memories

Which help sustain us
During the years
To come.

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Volume 6, Issue 18, Posted 9:45 AM, 09.03.2014

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