Ron's Poems - 1998

Poem of the Week: 12/24/98

The Day Before Christmas

'Twas the day before Christmas,
And all through the house.
An air of unanticipated panic,
Itched like a louse.

I was sleeping alone,
Hungover, in bed.
Visions of winning the lottery
Spinning 'round in my head.

When suddenly, I awoke,
To such a clatter.
The sound of my head hitting the floor, as I fell out of bed,
Was what was the matter.

I arose to see,
My place like a shipwreck.
I fell back into bed, and to myself I said,
"What the heck."

Then, the phone rang,
With such glee.
That I slammed into the dresser,
And banged my knee.

"Yea," I said,
Clinching my teeth.
"What can I do you for."
Rubbing myself beneath.

What did I hear?
To my surprise.
But my mother's voice.
It made my blood pressure rise.

"Hi sweetie, we're here at the airport.
Won't you come and pick us right up?
Does your Lexus have a rear cup holder?
For my coffee cup?"

I looked around my dingy little rented dig,
And let out a wail.
Now they would find out.
That all my success was fail.

My fine degrees, stock options and such.
The house, filled with friends and rare art.
Were all figments of my imagination,
To keep them happy and us apart.

Donning my leathers,
A cold wind in my face.
My Harley sputtered, then cranked up.
And I rode off to my disgrace.

I didn't have no tree,
No last minute shopping to worry about.
But my head was filled with dread.
What would they think when they found me out?

The airport was crowded,
With the hurried and happy passing through.
I pushed on through the crowds.
Tears obscured my view.

In the lounge they waited.
One large, happy family.
Brothers, sister, cousins, all decked out.
What a sight to see.

"Mom, ..." I started to say.
"That's okay, son, we know, ... we know.
I hope you parked your Harley safely, dear,
We're leaving right away."

After hugs and salutations
We boarded a silvery sleigh.
To the islands for the Holidays
My cares so far away.

I thought to myself,
As the city disappeared from sight.
May you all be as happy as me,
And your Christmas as bright.

RWH 12/24/98


Poem of the Week: 12/6//98

Christmas was Late

Christmas was late this year.
It was far too warm, and, I fear,
My annual letter won't be written.
Because, with the procrastination bug,
I've been bitten.

It isn't that I consciously wait.
For I think about it all the time.
It's just that my choices are so many,
And there's so little time.

I've got this to do and that.
Ever present bills to pay and debts to keep.
No time to worry,
No time to sleep.

My agenda is getting so crowded,
With trivial wastes of time.
All the time savers in the world.
Spend a dollar to save a dime.

In another year it will make no difference.
If there is a Christmastime.
The new millennium will be upon us,
With its shifty paradigm.

Will I shift in time?

RWH: 12/5/98


Poem of the Week: 11/29//98

She Fills Me Up

There is a hollow feeling,
I simply can't abide.
It slips into my consciousness,
Way down, deep inside.

Alone, I'm strong and defiant,
Independence suits me to a tee.
But there is something missing,
I'm as empty as can be.

Being strong and courageous,
Is no easy feat.
Depression creeps in on all sides,
And steals into your meat.

With her there is no sadness,
No agonizing doubt.
When love is unconditional,
Life is complete, filled out.

Her touch is like magic,
Descending from above.
It fills me from tip to toe,
With warm, fulfilling love.

No matter how harsh the wind,
Or angry the world around us.
She fuels my inner strength,
With overflowing kindness.

Before, I was half a man;
A dream unfulfilled.
With her at my side I'm a champion,
And my emptiness is filled .

RWH: 11/28/98


Poem of the Week: 11/21//98

Man Eating Bugs

Man-eating bugs were all around.
The largest bug eating predator to be found.

This was real, not a dream,
And not at all what it seemed.

I didn't wake up, in a cold sweat.
I sat down for breakfast, my appetite to whet.

In my bowl of Total Raisin Bran,
Little black bugs, floating with abandon.

I checked them out, and they were quite dead.
So I ate them with the cereal, and a bit of dread.

I can see all across the land,
Man eating bugs without knowing, off hand.

And if you think, that this is not true.
Your next bowl of Total Raisin Bran has a surprise for you .

RWH: 11/22/98


Poem of the Week: 11/15//98

Soggy

To say I'm all wet,
Would be a lie.
Sky ceiling low,
And river high.

Not a dry spot to be found,
Though I've searched and searched.
Looking for shelter from the dread,
For a dry place to lay my head.

Soaked flour and soggy bread,
Gloppy, gooey, mildewed, dead.
Slimy, slippery, yucky too,
Tonight, there'll be no hot food for you.

Slush and slosh, too soft ground,
Mud and pestilence, all around.
Water in everything, everywhere,
But not a drop to drink.

Slimy, putrid, foul, and stink.
Do not wade, and do not drink.
Water, wash these sins away.
Filthy water go away.

Come, a sunny day.

RWH: 11/14/98


Poem of the Week: 11/8//98

Changing Seasons

I spied a pair of red birds in my dead peach tree,
A woodpecker happened by, a wren, and a chickadee.
As if blown in on the cold wind from the north,
They stopped in my back yard, for what it's worth.

Babies raised, they're on the move.
Ever southward in that ancient groove.
Stopping for the moment, in my tree.
For food or rest, whatever it may be.

To remind me of autumns lost,
When I flew the winter too,
And landed upon this spot,
And planted a peach tree for fruit and view.

RWH: 11/7/98


Poem of the Week: 11/1//98

The Good Times

These are the good times,
The best they're going to get.
If you think they're bad times,
You haven't seen anything yet.

Oh, there'll be famine and pestilence,
And misfortune all around.
Earthquakes and volcanoes,
And wind and floods abound.

But it's been true,
For recorded time.
The record's just better,
And so is our time.

Memory softens the harsh edge of strife.
It makes the best of bad times, shine.
The pain and misery, is easy to forget ,
Making those seem the best times yet.

But would you relive the Holocaust,
Or the time you almost froze in the snow;
The car crash you survived,
Or cancer's cruel blow?

I don't think so.
Or to face again, those who died?
Perhaps in our arms.
Who can abide?

When the past is viewed through our protective glasses,
The good times shine through.
But these times are the good times,
For me and you.

Live them.

RWH: 10/31/98


Poem of the Week: 10/25/98

A Good Night's Sleep

Some will pray,
And some will weep.
All for the chance,
Of a good night's sleep.

Troubled, they toss,
And troubled, they yearn.
For peace and quiet,
As they burn.

On a spit,
Of their own making.
As the night,
Their thoughts keep taking.

It's own sweet time,
To bring the dawn.
And end this endless,
Ride they're on.

That's running the brain,
From pillor to post.
When it's a good night's sleep,
They need the most.

Oh again, to sleep like a baby.
To dream and forget, maybe.
Get through the night ,
With no bad thoughts in sight.

In the end,
Deep sleep will come
There will be sunset,
But no dawn.

RWH: 10/25/98


Poem of the Week: 10/18/98

Renewal

Everything old is new again,
Yet retains its familiar charm.
The seasons teach us a lesson,
To keep the old from harm.

Just as the withered seed,
Sheltered from the cold.
Returns with new growth.
Produces new from old.

An old thing kept well,
Refurbished or restored.
Retains a charm and beauty,
That can't be ignored.

Body parts can be rejuvenated,
Replaced, or restored.
Giving new life to wisdom,
And old age reexplored.

An old idea can be dusted off,
Revisited, reformulated, or revised.
Giving it new power and life,
In the user's eyes.

It is not a nostalgia trip,
To stroll down memory lane.
It's more like a rebirth,
Of a fond refrain.

RWH: 10/16/98


Poem of the Week: 10/11/98

Sew Me Up

Select your cloth carefully.
A fine brocade.
Lined with smooth satin,
So as not to abrade.

Style it with a flair,
But not too absurd.
Make a statement,
Without saying a word.

Select thread of the right size,
Strength, and color of hue.
To hold the pieces together,
But stay out of view.

Unless the stitch itself is the thing.
Then boldly go forth,
And lay a thread pattern,
Of strength and worth.

Lay down your stitches,
Straight and true.
The love that you put in,
Will show through.

Fit it carefully.
Fit it to me.
Sew me up.
Just for thee.

RWH: 10/11/98


Poem of the Week: 10/4/98

Baggage

We all attract stuff to our lives.
When we are small, it's toys and trinkets and things.
We want to hang on to the joy of our lives,
The memories each new day brings.

We hoard our most precious stuff,
And hide it away.
If our sisters and brothers don't find it,
We'll look at it again some day.

And if our mother didn't find it,
We really got away.
And our cherished treasures,
Were ours alone each day.

Thoughts and bodily functions,
Collect along the way.
And find their little hiding places,
To store our stuff away.

You can have a garage sale,
To sell the junk that grows.
And keep the priceless mementos,
Whose value only friends and family knows.

But you cannot sell the guilt and shame,
Of a lifetime's little sins one day.
You easily forget where you left your keys,
But the memories of your transgressions never go away.

They're in your thoughts every day,
And in your dreams at night.
You can't put them out of mind;
You can't put them out of sight.

It gathers under your eyes,
And under your chin.
It hangs over your belt,
The wages of your sin.

Those who live long lives,
Are not burdened down.
They smile and carry light loads,
Little baggage to be found.

RWH: 10/4/98


Poem of the Week: 9/27/98

Traffic

We have a herd mentality,
That is innate in us.
We love to follow our fellow man,
In our leaders we trust.

Our pathways and halls far and wide.
Untraveled, have an empty ring.
But let there be a big event,
And a crushing crowd they'll bring

The way we travel,
And occupy space,
As we navigate highways and byways,
Is as varied as the human race.

Some are early.
Some are late.
Some are arrogant.
Some are great.

Some know the rules of order,
And are polite.
Some know little of the rules,
And just want to fight.

Rush hour brings them all out.
Man and the machine.
Vying for a position.
In the traffic stream.

Two objects cannot occupy,
The same space at the same time.
An immutable law of physics,
Like stopping on a dime.

It isn't speed that kills;
Just the sudden stop.
So how can you run with lemmings,
Without doing the bunny hop?

I don't know.

RWH: 9/27/98


Poem of the Week: 9/20/98

Beauty

Is beauty more than skin deep?
Or just what we've sown to reap?
Can we make a more beautiful tree?
Can we make a more beautiful thee.

The power of natural selection,
Can't be denied.
The strongest, smartest, and most beautiful,
Survive, reproduce, and thrive.

But beauty's always been in the eye of the beholder.
And gems appear, here and there, of even finer view.
And, odd as it may seem,
Exotic, even strange, defines beauty too.

But we're not sure,
If we're beautiful enough.
So we cover, primp, and trim,
Trying to keep up,
With that perpetually changing "in".

Aging and nature conspire,
To rob us of our youth and beauty.
Modern medicine to the rescue,
As if it was its duty.

To make us young and beautiful again;
Regardless of the cost.
What's mere money anyway,
When compared to beauty lost?

RWH: 9/20/98


Poem of the Week: 9/13/98

No Clue

I haven't a clue,
What I'm going to do.
But I must write,
A poem for you.

Do you think it's easy,
Weekly to create,
A poem that is timely.
A poem that is great.

Then here is what,
I must do.
The question is,
Would you do it too?

Write and write,
With all your might.
Throw in a rhyme or two.
If it doesn't read just right,
Edit it again, until you're through.

When I was young,
And life was hard; poetry was a passion.
Now I write to fill your need,
Just another obligation.

RWH: 9/12/98


Poem of the Week: 9/6/98

The Good and the Bad

Ya gotta take,
The good with the bad.
Sometimes it's easy to think that bad's
All you've had.

Ya like ta think,
That you've earned what's good.
Even if you end up,
In the wrong neighborhood.

Fortune is fickle,
And those who don't dare,
Are destined to nowhere,
And bad's fair share.

All we can hope for,
Is to live our life right.
And count our blessings
As we bed every night.

And hope that when ,
The counting is done,
That the good out weighs the bad,
By more than one.

RWH: 9/5/98


Poem of the Week: 8/23/98

Hurricane Man

I wanna be a hurricane man.
Just like Dan.
And look Carla in the eye,
Rather than who I am.

Now he anchors CBS News.
Just because he didn't die.
He braved her full force,
Now, he's as believable as the CBS Eye.

Or like Neil, so Frankly speaking.
Armed with his degrees and weird flattop.
The National Hurricane Center under his belt.
And the weather on his channel non-stop.

I wanna be a hurricane man.
To surf the highs and lows,
Searching for a tropical wave,
That I can ride to where the wind blows.

Now every Tom, Dick, and Mary,
Weather caster or reporter extraordinary;
Is at a spot on the coast.
Hoping to be the one to report the most.

Talking wind velocity, barometer reading, and high tides.
Warning citizens and surfers about storm surges and riptides.
Telling people to evacuate.
Get out before it's too late.

Oh, to chase the storm to find the exact spot,
Where the eye will cross.
Testing equipment and body to wind.
To hell with the cost.

The idea is simple, and yet so plain.
Only fools and the hurricane man,
Go out in the wind and rain.

You could be a big star.
Or anchor some day.
Or get caught in the tidal surge,
And washed away.

RWH: 8/23/98


Poem of the Week: 8/16/98

Sweet Rain

The rain falls gentle on my mind;
And taps a sweet refrain.
It pitter patters in my heart;
And soothes my heat-stressed brain.

Survival was all I thought,
As days, then months, came without a drop.
When my crops and animals withered and died,
And I struggled in the heat and drought.

This land that was so free and bountiful,
Cost me everything.
Until I scratched day-to-day,
And prayed for sweet rain.

A cool wind blows from the north,
As the rain falls all around.
The old and weak are all dead,
But the young and strong will rebound.

The hounds of death were at my door,
But, I, somehow, held on.
I listen to the rain on the roof,
And mourn what is gone.

The sweet rain will bring bounty back,
And plenty to the plain.
But it is too little, too late for me,
Because, I alone, remain.

Crying in the sweet rain.

RWH: 8/15/98


Poem of the Week: 8/9/98

Get It Down On Paper

"Get it down on paper."
They used to say.
But I'd forget to do it,
Things got in the way.

It was so much easier,
To talk the day away.
Than put pencil to paper,
And record it right away.

Now I've got this new-fangled device,
That records what I say.
Puts it down on paper,
For all to see.

Doesn't that make life easier,
For you and me?
I don't know,
We'll just have to wait and see.

Wasn't it Aladdin,
Who said, "Open Sesame"?
When we control our world by voice;
That's a sight to see.

Sure as jet planes have replaced,
The sailing ship at sea.
As the fastest way around the world.
The voice-activated world will be.

No more readin', ritin', or rithmetic.
Just you and your machine.
"Put your money where you mouth is."
And finally come clean.

Everything you say will be monitored,
And can be held against you.
So practice now saying things right.

RWH:PowerSecretary 8/8/98


Poem of the Week: 8/1/98

Long, Hot Summer

What a bummer.
This long, hot summer .
Can't keep the blues away.

Crops are dead in the fields.
Won't give their expected yields.
One more blow to the family farm,
As it slowly fades away.

The water hole shrinks and grows more stagnant,
With every blistering day.
Millions of creatures, large and small,
Struggle in their silent way.

We only count the human dead,
As heat and drought works its way.
A feast of insects await amphibians.
Drying to death in burnt clay.

The silent killer stalks the night..
And catches the neglected, old and weak.
Kills them in their beds or on their porches;
From obsessive, progressive heat.

The smell of dust and smoke fills the air,
Every dewless night.
The long, hot summer stretches on,
With no relief in sight.

Hurricane, Blue Norther,
Come, blow my way.
Let your flooding rain and cold wind,
Soothe my hot summer blues away.

RWH 8/1/98


Poem of the Week: 7/26/98

The Glitch

There's a glitch in my hitch,
And I can't tell which .

Is it animal or vegetable?
Electronic or electrical?
Mechanical or programming code?

Do I look like a toad?
I should have knowed,
That it's logical, for sure,
But is it a cure?

Will the problem magically disappear?
Or will my stuff lie there like junk.
Lifeless and undeserving.

Until some troubleshooting genius,
Brings the whole thing back up.
The glitch is gone, the glitch is gone.
And so's my coffee cup.

Long live the wicked glitch.

RWH 7/25/98


Poem of the Week: 7/19/98

She's an Angel

She's an angel,
She's true blue.
Though her features are of different hue.

She has no wings, no wand, no eerie halo for her head.
She's warm, live, living flesh and blood;
No perfect apparition from the dead.

She heals me with her loving hands;
And touches me through and through.
I can feel her radiance deeply,
As she comes into view.

Her smile is as wide as her eyes.
Filled with sweet innocence.
Her voice is an overflowing cup,
That warms and fills me up.

Lifting me to a higher plane.
Above my daily toil.
Floating in her ambiance,
Like some sweet, fragrant oil.

If you are troubled and feeling low;
And don't know what to do
Just be patient, and hang on.

Your time will come.
And your angel will come for you.

RWH 7/18/98


Poem of the Week: 7/12/98

Just in Time

Sometimes, in every life,
Help comes just in time.
Life's troubles play no favorite;
It may be yours, it may be mine.

Sometimes life seems just too much.
Full of misery and pain.
Then, just when all hope is lost;
Like a sweet refrain.

Help comes wearing unlikely clothes.
Like a dry spell brings the rain.
And touches you just right;
In time to ease the pain.

So keep your head up, and face each day.
You may not see it when it comes;
But help is on the way.
Just in time.

RWH 7/11/98


Poem of the Week: 7/4/98

Holiday Dreamin'

The day was hot and the sky was blue;
It seemed like it was the 4th of July.
I was daydreaming of you;
Watching white clouds roll in, then by.

Just a summer day like any other,
Full of humidity and heat.
Separated by my window,
And the a/c's steady beat.

"What are you doing for the 4th?"
They all ask, for what it's worth.
"Staying home and eatin' good."
I reply with all my mirth.

It would be nice to one more time,
Chase the closing day.
And get to the park just in time,
As rockets announce Independence Day.

To hear the crowd roar, "Ohhh and Aaaah!"
As colors light the sky.
To smell burnt power in the tepid air,
With my honey held close by.

But I'll just sit here with my computer and TV.
Internet a bit, and watch a movie or two.
And dream of what have could have been;
On holiday with you.

RWH 7/4/98


Poem of the Week: 6/28/98

It Just Don't Fit

Independence is the whole idea.
Let the Genie out.
The right to fail is in front of you.
Of that, there is no doubt.

Assistive technology will bring you back.
You'll walk, run and dance again.
Those bonds of gravity and pain will break;
It's only a matter of, "When?"

Here's something you've just got to have;
It's only money.
Your old one is worn out;
Looks out-of-place and funny.

You don't have to grow into it;
But sometimes, it just don't fit.
They say, "Oh, you'll get used to it."
Just chomp down and bite the bit.

Some things are like an old shoe.
You can just fall back into.
Relax and be carefree.
So you can just be or not be.

Some things just don't fit.
You can pour time and money into it.
No need to fight, if it's not right.
New or not, get rid of it.

RWH 6/27/98


Poem of the Week: 6/20/98

Lionize

You can Simonize your reputation all you want.
Lie, cheat, and steal.
You think you're so hot,
That it's no big deal.

To say that you are pathological.
May miss the point
You've even convinced yourself,
That you're some kind of Saint.

Behind all the honors and awards,
Where you've been lionized.
You can't escape your true self,
Showing through ... your lying eyes.

RWH 6/20/98


Poem of the Week: 6/13/98

Cul-De-Sac

Once in a while, in every life,
We reach a cul-de-sac.
A place to ponder,
And look back.

It stops our headlong rush.
But that's okay.
Time to explore the neighborhood;
And refind our way.

Hidden back in the neighborhood,
Fine homes grow.
With daily lives entwined,
That we don't know.

Sheltered from the beaten path;
An eddy in the maelstrom of life.
With many dead ends and crossroads,
Designed to escape strife.

When you finally get out,
No need to look back.
You've learned from your experience,
In the cul-de-sac.

RWH 6/13/98


Poem of the Week: 6/7/98

A Good Man

"I need a good man around the house," my wife used to say.
She didn't mean it in a demeaning way.
It's just that my hands would no longer work.
It didn't make me a lazy jerk.

We divorced and she is long gone.
The house and me? Well, we stayed on.
There is always something that needs to be done.
The big question is, who'll be the one?

"The ad said, "No job too small."
But when I made the call, "$55 an hour" didn't seem small at all.
If the job required a turn of a screw.
It's amazing how that little job grew.
And something that would have taken a minute.
Required a major replacement once they got in it.

Throw quality and workmanship out the window.
Artistry, harmony, and taste, too.
When you hire a reformed drunk to work for you.

I tried taking in male tenants, but that didn't work either.
They didn't lift a finger, and tended to linger.
Without paying rent.

So I have surrounded myself with women.
And I am well cared for, cleaned, and fed.
But heaven help us when an appliance goes dead.

My house is deteriorating all around.
The girls try their best, and sometimes, a solution is found.
But, there's something I must do, as soon as I can.
Some how, some way, I must find a good man.

RWH 6/7/98


Poem of the Week: 5/31/98

Smoke

Where there's smoke, there's fire," they used to say.
They didn't know, it was two thousand miles away.
Borne on a hot wind, high and low.
It wandered northward, ever so slow.

It started with, smoky, lazy, hazy, crazy days.
But El Nino's effects work in many ways.
Locked in high pressure's grip.
The smoke made its long, wayward trip.

Now it's putting a hot lid on life.
The ground is dried up and cracking.
Conditions unleashing hordes of insect life.
Soon, even the ground itself, borne on the hot wind, will blow away.

The air will turn from smoke to grit.
You won't be able to summon enough water to spit.
Does this foretell Armageddon, for those who believe it?
Or just the way the Earth turns?

RWH 5/31/98


Poem of the Week: 5/23/98

Memory Day

I remember days like this, summer's first.
Days that began with a burst of rifle fire and Taps.
So all could see, that we were honoring the long gone dead.
Who saved this country with vigilance that never lapsed.

Days of new green grass and lilac air.
When the sun was warm enough to burn our backs bare.
But the water still cold enough to shock the soul.
When to enjoy the day was our only goal.

Everyone was there.
Smoke filled the air with a hint of what was cooking.
To steal a kiss when no one's looking.
Dogs barking and children laughing.

Those were the days, my friend,
When we were young and summer would never end.
So red, white, and blue.
Most of all, I remember you.

RWH 5/23/98


Poem of the Week: 5/17/98

Just Getting There

"Yew cain't git thar from herre." They used to say.
When the next town was thirty miles, and a day, away.
Though I miss those West Virginia hills,
I've traded them in for big city ills.

Like going to a reception the other day.
For me, there seemed to be, only one way.
Ride a big van, radio dispatched, with private driver and A/C.
Carrying three wheel chairs and up to ten ambulatory.

For a week we plotted and schemed,
Called for reservations early, or so it seemed.
But, in a traffic jam of calls and busy signals got through to them an hour too late.
Only one dance card left; but we still had a date.

Was it with fate?

Took the whole day off to party, then dressed to the nines.
"She's just down the street." Dispatch lied.
Fifteen minutes, I figured between the lines.

We rushed to be ready, hearts beating fast; but, oh, the cost.
Fifty minutes later, she finally arrived. Excuses were tossed, but the fact is, she'd been lost.

I asked if we'd get there on time?
The supervisor gave me the same old arrival line.

When we got underway, we were shocked to find out.
That we had to go still much further out.
To pick up another and drop her off first.
That put us between a rock, a hard place, or worse.

When she heard that, my good friend and helper made such an outburst.
Insisting, we head on home, "Now!", or else.
After seventy minutes on the road, we reached home and party's end at precisely the same time.

Our day turned into total bust; and, oh, how stupid of us.
Why didn't we just take a bus?

RWH 5/17/98


Previous Week's Poem: 5/9/98

Speed

Slow down for the speed humps of life.
Steer clear of trouble and strife.
If you miss seeing speed bumps from afar.
Expect your life to come ajar.

And if you don't have built-in radar.
A speed trap will get you and more than your car.
Slow down, and smell the sweet roses of life.

Savor the moments so relaxing and free.
Where speed used to be.

RWH 5/9/98


Previous Week's Poem: 5/3/98

Too Many Choices

Are you bored, with nothing to do?
Or, are too many choices haunting you?
Do you lie awake in bed, thousands of choices in your head?
Or do you just lie there, near brain dead?

We are the choices we make.
We become the choices we take.

Our ancestors had no choice in life.
Their lives were as predictable as the seasons, filled with suffering and strife.
And their plight?
They faced just one choice: survival, every night.
They spent their lives and spent their days.
And few had the choice to change their ways.

Now, we all have so much choice
Our lives are like a roll of dice.
Who do I want to be today?

Unwise choices will take our choice away.
Leaving us a bit wiser, with,
Survival, lurking just around the corner.

Simplify or die.

RWH 5/3/98


Previous Week's Poem: 4/26/98

Pruning

Does a tree hurt when you cut off its limb?
Or does it rejoice its unladen burden, just a whim?
Do the birds miss singing in their favorite perches?
Or do they enjoy free flight and clear view bug searches?

Do young children trying to climb,
Find their favorite branches missing?
What a crime.

I don't know, I just cut the tree.
And marvel how it continues to be.

RWH 4/26/98


Previous Week's Poem: 4/19/98

Rain

The sweet rain falls outside my window and droplets run down the pane.
The air is heavy with anticipation and smells of damp, musty refrain.
The darkling skies surround my world in a warm, wet blanket.
And turn the leaves and grass into the greenest green carpet.
To feel the soft, wet earth move beneath my feet and squish between my toes.
To have accumulating soft water droplets soak my shoulders and trickle off my nose.
To run and frolic again, carefree, water splashing with every bound.
That's what the rain brings 'round.

RWH 4/18/98


Previous Week's Poem: 4/12/98

When Did You Stop Loving Me?

(Can be sung to the old country refrain).

Oh, when did you stop loving me?
Was it when you bit off my ear, and threw it in the beer?
Or when you locked my door, made me sleep on the floor?
Or was it when I asked for a hug, and you pulled out the rug?
Was that when you stopped loving me?

Oh, when did you stop loving me?
Was it when you seasoned my soup with dog poop?
Backed over my hammock, with me sleeping in it?
Or stood me up, for over a year, dear?
Was that when you stopped loving me?

Oh, when did you stop loving me?
Was it when you asked me to pet the pretty tiger for you at the zoo?
Or asked me step back at the edge of the cliff, to give you a better view?
Or when you stomped on my face and left without a trace?
Was that when you stopped loving me?

I should have known, when you hired a hit man to be our best man.
Was that was when you stopped loving me.

RWH 4/12/98


Previous Week's Poem: 4/4/98

The English Language

I've always enjoyed the way my friends from other countries say things. It's more than their accents; it's the way they express themselves with the vocabulary they've acquired. Here are three examples from Beh (whose mother tongue is Vietnamese, but speaks English like an American). I thought of sending them to Reader's Digest, but will post them here instead.

When she started driving my '73 Monte Carlo, I told her to be careful and listen when filling it, because gasoline would gush out if she overfilled it. One of the first times she tried filling it, she came back smelling of gasoline. I asked what happened. She replied, "I couldn't hear the voice of the gasoline!"

The other night she was discussing what to wear to the gym she's going to. She said, "I need to wear stockings, because I don't want to show the roots on my legs."

This morning she was getting me ready in the bathroom and had a teapot on the stove in the kitchen heating water for my coffee. Suddenly, she said, "Oh, I have to go. Your coffee is yelling at me."

RWH 4/4/98


Previous Week's Poem: 3/28/98

My Love (For Your Birthday)

My love is an enigma, growing younger every day.
She is a woman for all seasons, yet so constant in her way.
Am I too ugly? Am I too fat? How do I look in this or in that?
Am I too curvy? Am I too flat? Am I tall enough to wear this?
Or should I wear that?

I nod in acceptance, and try to agree. Don't want to get into, is it her or is it me?
The fact is she's fine, and growing older like wine.
It's just that time and the mirror, act differently, year to year.
And you can't rely on others' opinions, either.

The answer, my love, is in thyself.
Do you feel cared for, loved, and desired?
Are you relaxed and carefree?
Or are you lonely, picked on, or wired?

Is life a long lonely path?
Or full of opportunity with no aftermath?

Just don't worry; be happy day to day.
And we'll grow old together, happy in our own way.

RWH 3/28/98


Previous Week's Poem: 3/21/98

Power Outage

"We've had a shortage, sir!"

That's short for "short", and the long and short of it is that I'm down, way down--my power is all running out, and I really doubt, that I'll last the night without a charge, or make it up in the morning without a jumper start.

Right now, I'm beginning to feel all tuckered out, my neurons have all drained out, and I'm down to my last gigybyte before I, then the world goes out.

This is, without a doubt, a disaster of cosmic proportions.

First one, then two, then on down the line until all energy flows to the borders of the mind; turning out the lights, cutting all off, until the last hat is doffed.

And all energy in the Universe is evenly spread out, flat, and uncharged.

RWH 3/21/98


Previous Week's Poem: 3/14/98

Mistakes

Oh, the mistakes I've made.
Why I never made the grade.
Got the girl, or job I want.
Put me in this awful spot.

Why, only last week, a time or two, mistakes cost me time and money, and maybe even a friend, too.
That equipment is now quite shot, got my stomach in a knot.
Seems every time I open my trap, ill-phrased words pop out;
What I thought was just a joke, gave somebody near and dear, a stroke.

Progress and character, it's safe to say, are not made in a day.
It's the opportunities in the mistakes we make that take us on our way.
But for someone's mistake, you wouldn't even be here to take the time to ponder this question with me.
Would you?

RWH 3/14/98


Previous Week's Poem: 3/7/98

Weeds

Weeds have flowers too.
The first to come into view, when the winter retreats and the sun warms the land.
They're on hand, to taste the drops of melting snow and polluted muddy row.
The first to make a stand on poisoned land, where nothing else will grow.
Clinging to barren, charred, forbidden soil, as if guided by nature's hand to renew.
And yes, they're ugly, scrawny, and straggly to the sight.
But they struggle, against all odds, like you and me, to flower and spread their seed.
It's not an evil deed.
For to birds and bees, and countless creatures too small to see, they're the land of milk and honey.
And you who would pull one out, I challenge you to look closely.
Then you will see peerless beauty in the tiniest of flower, exquisite leaf and myriad color.
You may try to stamp them out; but in the end, they win.
Transported by full belly or errant wind, they will reseed again.
And cover the naked Earth, every barren spot.
And long after you are dead and gone, the weeds that grow on your grave are not.

RWH 3/7/98


Previous Week's Poem: 3/1/98

I'm Late

I'm late! I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date!
I promised you this poem, you see; and now I'm slacking.
It just isn't me.

To let you down, when all around, thoughts and words abound, and must be caught and put down in this weekly tome.
Before I go home.

To sleep in my bed, and not worry my head.
Because I was late and missed this date, and no poem was found on your plate.

RWH 3/1/98


Poem of the Week: 2/15/98

Hearts and Flowers

It is that time of year, when once again, hearts are pumping with a yen, for springtime to begin.
When the cold and dark of a winter's night, makes us yearn for light and bright, and for a springtime rain.
When love, trapped in the mind of daily grind, caught in the cold and left behind, yearns to break through.
When I begin to think of you.
When flowers and springtime share the light.
And bring summer days of clouds so white, and you.

RWH 2/15/98


Poem of the Week: 2/8/98

Lines

Lines on paper deftly trace these words I write about a face.
Like highway lines that guide our way, we queue up, for another day.
Line up for our daily bread, lines of music in our head.
Power lines to drive our way, down the Internet highway.
Lines of light across my fence, and layers of paint to heal the rents.
No surgery or cream can erase, the lines of time, on a face
They are etched in the Universe.

RWH 2/8/98


Poem of the Week: 1/31/98

Blue Sky Day

Out of the blue, come, renew, drive my blues away.
Nothing soars my spirit, like a blue sky day.
Deep and dark, perfect hue, half my world is pure blue.

Throw your worries to the wind, a blue-sky day will make old new again.
What? Me worry? No way, Jose.
What we got here is a blue-sky day.

Don't we know, it's just refracted light, and without the atmosphere, our sky would be blacker than night?

RWH 1/24/98


Poem of the Week: 1/24/98

Winter Sunset

I ride a van home every night; twenty miles, in waning light.
It gives me time to contemplate, the changing seasons; and all the reasons, why the city steals my time, and doesn't rhyme.
Sometimes in winter, a front comes through, clears the air, and brings to view, a winter sunset, to renew.
My soul; and make me whole, in a melancholy way, basking in the warmth of the blood red glow behind tall buildings of a dying day.
Soon, the night will come down like a cold rock on my heart.

RWH 1/24/98


Poem of the Week: 1/18/98

Deer

Like ghosts, they inhabit the meadows of my mind. Blending with the season, as gradually as shadows, they venture into the light, ready for flight, from the dark corners, into my sight.

Nature's original pruners, they keep the forest neat. Then, lie under their self-made canopies to escape the heat of midsummer's day, only ears and tails to shoo flies and give them away.

Gentle forest foragers, red brown to gray, they roam the world over from night to day. And who hasn't wondered at a buck in full rack, silhouetted against the sky, as he surveys his harem from on high.

And the innocence of fawns, covered in spots. With doe eyes are on them as they frolic and play, unmindful of childhood's end, a short summer away.

When the wolf, bear, and big cats are gone, they proliferate. And we, who now hold their fate, must act before it is too late. Until we bring natural predators back; deer will die from starving, disease, and senseless attack, from man's best friend in vicious pack.

Or on the road, to the sound of shrieking tires and one dull thud. It is ironic that Jack, who spent his life killing deer with a bow, should one early morning have them get back. While swerving to avoid a deer on the road, he rolled his car and hit his head. One instant he was going to hunt deer; the next, he was dead.

No one wants to kill Bambi or her parents; but when all is said and done, I for one, enjoy the stalk and the hunt, and the wild taste of venison.

RWH 1/17/98


Poem of the Week: 1/13/98

Dreary Day

Rain, on this dreary day, come, wash all my blues away.
Hide my tears, and my shame,
Wash my sorrow from this window pane.

I'm on the inside, looking out,
But I'm cold and dreary, inside out.

Dark and dreary,
Still, my heart.
Plunge it deep into my art.

Until the sun shines again.

RWH 1/13/98


Poem of the Week: 1/3/98

Cognac and Coffee

Cognac and Coffee, I feel so low.
Since you done left me, I've no place to go
Except into this bottle, of spirit so fine;
That helps me near lose my right mind.

Cognac and Coffee, where have you been?
I've tried and tried, not to do it again.
But I hurt so much and you are like wine,
So easy to taste, yet so hard to find.

Cognac and Coffee, roll me slow;
Like new tobacco in paper, let me go.
Savor me, and size me up,
Burn my ash into your coffee cup.

Cognac and Coffee, why do you do me so?
Seduce me sweetly, then let me go.?
Why do you do me this way?
Make me throw my life away.

Night comes easier than the day;
When the first cup of coffee,
Can't drive the taste of Cognac away.

RWH 1/2/98



               

       The Kaleidoscope Effect    A Love Story

       Alone?    A Life Story

       Hanging by a Thread    A Love of Life Story

       War's End    A Love of Humanity Story

       American Mole:  The Vespers    A Love of Country Story

       American Mole:  The Cartel    A Lost Love Story

       It's in the Water and Other Stories    A Love of Short Stories

       Verge of Apocalypse Tales    End of Earth Stories?

Poems

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