PERCEPTION


Ugly

I believed I grew up in an ugly town,

A small community tucked in a small corner

Of nowhere,

Where smiles stayed hidden

And were rarely found.

The land was hot and dry in summer,

But cold and wet in winter.

Everyone said it was ugly

And I believed it to be the center

Of a cosmic mistake.

Where was the beauty?

The town pulled at me

Tied me down,

Trapped me in webs of misery

And kept me bound.

“Leave it. Leave it,” I was warned.

“There are places to see, places to be,

Stay away from this town where hope cannot see.”

For years I searched for beauty and smiles,

Crossed oceans and mountains and countless miles.

I did not find the city of my dreams.

Happiness did not exist,

All cities were the same.

I returned to my city,

Weary and worn from my search.

I had learned to smile, learned to enjoy,

Learned to change my attitude.

I greeted each person I chanced to meet,

With a smile.

I looked around and found

Changes in my ugly town.

In the summer it was kissed by the sun,

And the cold in winter was also fun.

This was not a town of misery,

But a town of hope for all to see.

Each smile I encountered brightened my way,

And the town grew more beautiful day by day.

My town, a place to live and grow,

An Eden, a garden below.

Beauty is now found inside of me,

And my smiles are there for all to see.

By Dan Roberson

MISSING PIECES


MISSING PIECES

In a basket on my desk there are twelve coins of various values,

A few handwritten notes jotted down when things began going wrong,

Seven unclaimed keys, one left behind after a few drinks too many,

Three keys meant to open padlocks of long deserted farmhouses,

And two keys from a car missing somewhere on the back roads.

The stately clock in the hall ticks steadily along,

Unaware that the weather has changed and a cold storm approaches.

It’s raining outside and my arms are empty.

But I know my destiny is calling and I must answer,

The rain will turn into snow and cover my tracks.

Tonight she’s with someone and I wait impatiently,

My rage contained and hidden behind a smile and a promise.

I know which farmhouse they’ve been visiting,

And I know by now they have had too much to drink.

The missing car is lost forever, just like my love for her.

If we could have kept our love unblemished,

We could have grown closer instead of apart.

If she had been faithful and remained committed,

Those keys would have rusted away without being used.

It’s snowing now and I know I’ll miss her warm embrace.

The blanket of white is so appealing,

All the ugliness will be covered until spring.

All that I’ll keep are the coins to remember,

Erasing the pain from my broken heart,

Each coin represents a lover. Why did they all go wrong?

By Dan Roberson

That’s What Matters


You Walked In
You Walked In (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That’s What Matters

When we first met,

You were so beautiful,

Your eyes, your face,

The way you talked,

Your hair, your voice,

The way you walked,

Each day you were more beautiful,

Your smile brightened my day,

We shared more each day,

We were learning to compromise and agree,

And that’s what mattered to me.

 

Every day with you was a new day,

You were more beautiful than the day before,

Your eyes, your face,

The way you talked,

Your laugh, your voice,

The way you walked,

Each day you were more special,

The happiness you spread,

With the things you said,

You let my heart fly high and free,

And that’s what mattered to me.

 

We changed over the years,

But you always are beautiful,

Your eyes, your face,

The way you talk,

Your hair, your voice,

The way you walk,

Each day you are more beautiful,

My life is full as I face each day,

I want to love you always,

Your heart is what I see,

And that’s what matters to me.

 

 

 

Our Valentine Tree


Anthropomorphic Valentine, circa 1950–1960
Anthropomorphic Valentine, circa 1950–1960 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Our Valentine Tree

 

We fell in love on Valentine’s Day.

 

The minute you laughed I knew.

 

I was destined to be yours, my love,

 

And I would be blessed with you.

 

 

 

We planted our special tree that year.

 

We cleared away the snow.

 

You insisted our love would always be strong

 

And you wanted the whole world to know.

 

 

 

You’re in my thoughts again, my love,

 

I imagine you under our tree.

 

Remember all the pledges we made,

 

And the passion between you and me?

 

 

 

The years passed by rather fast,

 

Then our kids were grown and gone.

 

We were there in our empty house,

 

Still together but each all alone.

 

 

 

My heart grew hard and I forgot our tree,

 

I insisted it blocked my view.

 

I was determined to chop it down,

 

Without even telling you.

 

 

 

It was early morning on Valentine’s Eve,

 

When I approached our special tree.

 

I was shocked and pleased with what I saw,

 

Then ashamed of the heart in me.

 

 

 

Instead of the tree being stark and bare,

 

Pink and red covered the tree.

 

Valentines and notes from all our years,

 

Proclaimed your love for me.

 

 

 

 

 

My love had been erratic.

 

There was little that I could boast.

 

But you were there as you always were,

 

Just when I needed you most.

 

My dreams and heart were renewed, my love,

 

By the valentines that covered our tree.

 

There was only one thing I could say,

 

“I’m glad you married me!”

 

 

 

I miss all you gave, my love,

 

And the tenderness you showed to me.

 

I want our love to be clear each year,

 

As I hang valentines on our tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Inquiring Mind


English: Allie Darum
English: Allie Darum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

My Inquiring Mind

 

I see you in the mirror

 

As you put on your face.

 

Carefully your makeup goes on.

 

You didn’t miss any place.

 

 

 

Eye liner, perfume, lipstick,

 

Even more than I recall.

 

I’ll never say I love you best,

 

When you wear nothing at all.

 

 

 

You have nothing to wear,

 

Is a complaint you often share.

 

But ,darling, if that was true,

 

You’d be walking around cold and bare.

 

 

 

Don’t tell me what you want.

 

Just tell me what you need.

 

Your silence and body language

 

Are not very hard to read.

 

 

 

I’ll give my best for you.

 

You mean the world to me.

 

I’ll try to keep you in clothes,

 

Good enough for the world to see.

 

 

 

You’re not very happy with me..

 

You might think I’m a dunce.

 

You could wear that wedding gown,

 

Because you only wore it once.

 

 

 

Who cares if you clothes look worn?

 

For once we would finally agree.

 

Throw on sweats and come along.

 

You could be comfortable like me.

 

 

 

If going to a concert makes you mad,

 

Why do you always want to go?

 

I don’t understand that about a woman,

 

And my inquiring mind wants to know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Is This Thing Called Love?


Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Photo credit: Kaptain Kobold)

 

 

What is This Thing Called Love

 

What is this thing called love

 

That rips and tears at my heart?

 

Knowing how much love hurts me,

 

Why did I allow love to start?

 

 

 

Yet what is loneliness but a need for love

 

A void that cries to be filled?

 

An absence of love that teases in dreams

 

A restlessness that longs to be stilled?

 

 

 

Why do I have tears late at night

 

Endlessly flowing down my cheeks?

 

Is it because I’m desperate for love

 

And for the companionship my heart seeks?

 

 

 

When will romance come my way

 

Giving me a brand new start?

 

I don’t want to see a barren world

 

With no connections to my heart.

 

 

 

How do I find the one for me

 

Who waits for a heart like mine?

 

Where will I discover what is true

 

And find that new love divine?

 

 

 

I’ll wait and hope for ages yet,

 

I know she is somewhere near.

 

Soon she’ll be within my arms

 

Where I keep things I hold dear.

 

 

 

What is this thing called love?

 

No answer will suffice.

 

For it seems to be a combination

 

Of flames, sacrifice, and ice.

 

 

 

A Bee’s Night Before Christmas


Cover of "Bees (Denver Museum Insect Book...
Cover of Bees (Denver Museum Insect Books)

 

A Bee’s Night Before Christmas

 

It was the night before Christmas

 

And all through the hive

 

Bees were clustered together

 

Keeping warm and alive.

 

 

 

Three pairs of stockings

 

Were glued up for each bee

 

In the hopes that Santa

 

Would put gifts under a tree.

 

 

 

Each young bee was snuggled

 

Way deep in her cell

 

Dreaming of a honey flow

 

That the older bees knew well.

 

 

 

The queen was in her chamber

 

Guard bees sleeping close by

 

All of them as excited about Christmas

 

As a swarm on the fly.

 

 

 

The night was clear

 

The new moon was bright

 

Everyone knew for certain

 

Santa would be there that night.

 

 

 

When up on the roof

 

There rose such a clatter

 

The queen went with the guards

 

To see what was the matter.

 

 

 

On the roof they could see

 

A sleigh full of toys

 

Most of them for workers

 

Only one or two for the boys.

 

 

 

Eight bumblebees had been pulling

 

They made it look hard

 

Would Santa have the time

 

To reach each bee yard?

 

 

 

The driver’s face was red

 

From the cold (I suppose)

 

And icicles hung down

 

From the tip of her nose.

 

 

 

Her eyes were coal black

 

Her mouth made for smiles

 

She looked a little weary

 

She had traveled for miles.

 

 

 

Her coat was real thick

 

Made to keep her warm

 

Her wings were slightly tattered

 

From a late summer swarm.

 

 

 

She was quick as she placed gifts

 

Near where each bee lay

 

Then she pulled a beautiful tree

 

From off of her sleigh.

 

 

 

With a wink she said,

 

“These bumblebees are tired.

 

I’m looking for workers

 

Who want to be hired.”

 

 

 

Six volunteers jumped up

 

(they refused any money)

 

So she promised they’d receive

 

Extra stores of honey.

 

 

 

They darted out of the hive

 

And while they were in sight

 

Santa Bee buzzed, “A golden Christmas to all,

 

And to all a good night!”

 

 

 

Over almond orchards and clover

 

They flew on their way

 

They finished their task

 

Before Christmas Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Son, Listen to My Words of Wisdom (Part 2)


wisdom with toast
wisdom with toast (Photo credit: Leonard John Matthews)

 

My Son, Listen to My Words of Wisdom (Part 2)

 

My son, the time for choosing friends is ripe,

 

First, you can tell a tiger by its stripes.

 

A friend can fool you when he growls or talks.

 

You can discover more by the path he walks.

 

Others will know you by the friends you choose.

 

If you don’t pick winners, someday you’ll lose.

 

If a friend observes danger but pretends he’s blind,

 

You would be wise if another friend you’d find.

 

A friend will always tell what is true,

 

Even when the truth might hurt you.

 

A friend is there to watch your back,

 

And he will reason with you if wisdom you lack.

 

A friend will help when there’s nothing to gain.

 

A friend will listen and share your pain.

 

He’ll be there always even unto death.

 

But a fair weather friend has wasted your breath.

 

If he doesn’t want you to be better, he’s not a true friend.

 

Like a drowning swimmer, he’ll pull you down at the end.

 

Someone who always flatters you has a concealed goal.

 

He’s shallow and self-serving and playing a role.

 

Beware if he’s not loyal all the way through.

 

He’ll sell you out and then desert you.

 

A friend is there all life to share.

 

So choose wisely, son, a true friend is rare.

 

My son, as for girls, your future is bright.

 

You’ll find contentment if you treat one right.

 

A girl needs thoughts of love to fill her day.

 

If she has love she has less reason to stray.

 

A girl’s world is different from the one you know.

 

Relationships and emotions help her bloom and grow.

 

Look in her eyes each and every day.

 

Her feelings are important. Listen to what she has to say.

 

Don’t be afraid to show a little romance.

 

Hold her in the moonlight and laugh and dance.

 

Your thoughts will remain positive, son,

 

If you count your blessings one by one.

 

Tell her she’s beautiful and just what you need,

 

Then it’s like dancing and you’ll have to lead.

 

Don’t look for things she might do wrong.

 

Mention what she does right. Then move along.

 

There will be days when your cup is half full.

 

Choose to be positive and life won’t get dull.

 

Surprise her with flowers, whether picked or bought.

 

Keep your romance smoldering and the flames hot.

 

Kiss her each night before you sleep.

 

A kiss will remind her your love is deep.

 

Whisper sweet words as you hold her near.

 

And the wisest of all, son, always be sincere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life’s Mirror


An illustration from page 30 of Mjallhvít (Sno...
An illustration from page 30 of Mjallhvít (Snow White) an 1852 icelandic translation of the Grimm-version fairytale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Life’s Mirror Is a Friend or Two

 

“You’re incompetent!” he screamed as he sat in his chair,

 

But, oh, how he wished that mirror wasn’t there.

 

He wanted to look regal perched on a throne,

 

But that was impossible when his friends were gone.

 

Tears splashed down his cheeks

 

As he stared up into the sky,

 

“How can my friends show respect

 

To such a fool as I?

 

Throughout my life there was much,

 

I wanted to say and do,

 

I wanted to be a good Samaritan,

 

I’d help someone, it didn’t matter who.

 

I thought I’d take trips to exotic  places

 

But I chose to work instead,

 

By then I had a growing family,

 

and the children needed bread.

 

How can I prove I’m a cultured man?

 

I haven’t traveled very far,

 

All my knowledge is about small town folks,

 

I never claimed to be a star.

 

I thought I’d try to be an example

 

Of how a man should be,

 

But I’ve failed every time with even my best,

 

Because all you get is me.”

 

 

 

He had been confessing to a mirror,

 

That he’d failed every worldly task,

 

“What’s wrong?” I ventured through the open door,

 

Yet I had no need to ask,

 

The old man was surprised to see someone he knew,

 

I considered myself a friend,

 

“I’ve been listening for quite some time,

 

Your self pity needs to end.

 

You’ve raised five kids all alone,

 

You took that burden in stride,

 

I don’t know about the rest of your friends,

 

But I think of you with pride.

 

You coached several teams in summer leagues,

 

You taught some kids to drive,

 

You were there to greet strangers,

 

When they were anxious and newly arrived.

 

You helped families who lost their homes,

 

Or anyone out of luck,

 

Even when you were stretched real thin,

 

Somehow you found a few bucks.

 

You might think you did things wrong,

 

I think you did things right,

 

There’s a crowd gathering in the dark,

 

Could I welcome them in with the light?”

 

One single line came through the door

 

and seemed to stretch for miles.

 

Each person had something good to say,

 

and ended their comments with a smile.

 

“We wanted you to know we learned from you,

 

We always knew your love was wide.

 

All the love we have for you

 

We can no longer keep inside.”

 

The old man’s eyes grew large and dark,

 

He glanced around the hall,

 

“Thank you, my friends, for loving me,

 

For you know I love you all.”

 

He shook the hands of all and each,

 

It filled his heart with pride,

 

Then because he had been deeply touched,

 

He lowered his head and cried.

 

 

 

I’m Organic, Not Perfect


 

English: A sign warning about pesticide exposure.
English: A sign warning about pesticide exposure. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In the produce department,

 

A perfect apple caught my eye,

 

No blemishes, nothing amiss,

 

I thought, “Pesticides! Oh, my!”

 

 

 

Around the corner in another bin,

 

Organic apples awaited hugs,

 

They were far from perfect,

 

They’d been chewed on by bugs,

 

 

 

What a difference between the two,

 

The beautiful shiny outside shell,

 

Or one blemished just like me,

 

One that I understood, oh, too well,

 

 

 

My skin doesn’t have to please anyone,

 

I have become organic but not good,

 

I’m filled with unique qualities all my own,

 

My faults don’t have to be understood,

 

 

 

And the real me is worthy and valuable,

 

Not like the apple that learned to pretend,

 

Shiny and perfect, lying in the next bin,

 

Attracting those who didn’t look within,

 

 

 

No poisons were needed in my life,

 

I’m organic as anyone can see,

 

No artificial coatings protect me,

 

I’m just happy learning to be me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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