Life, like a crossword of questions and clues,
Phrenic play with words; what great toys they make.
This jumble of absurd dailies amuse.

Moments pandered to bemoan or bemuse
The quizzical quakes human tongues bespoke.
Life, like a crossword of questions and clues.

A grid of blank blocks to fill in with truths.
Black holes, the pathways of trails not to take.
This jumble of absurd dailies amuse.

Words, these truths, depend on another’s cues.
Mortals cluster for sodality’s sake.
Life, like a crossword of questions and clues.

Blunders, falsehoods, a domino of rues
Taint the game in a maniacal wake.
This jumble of absurd dailies amuse.

New dawn.  New match for word warriors to muse.
No prize, reward, just gray matter at stake.
And, Life, like a crossword of questions and clues,
This jumble of absurd dailies amuse.

Source of Inspiration for Crosswords
Crosswords, like poetry, are word games–great toys for people of all ages.  I began my writing career at 49.  Before that, I was in hand-to-hand combat with life, living memories to write later.  I encouraged my children to learn the play of words, which they learned early on would serve them well.  Thus, they are expressive and savvy writers.
Crosswords was published in International Who’s Who in Poetry, 2012.

The Swine Waltz

You danced the waltz with queens and kings,
The minuet with dames and earls.
But now you dance the jig and sing
The blues with whiny swine in pearls.

Loud, jivey tongues with silver spoons
Warbled words with flowery long stems.
But forked tongues sing dulcet tunes,
Banal words from the Devil’s hymn.

You danced the minuet in glitzy jewels
Such finery from toe to hair.
But clothes make not the man, the fool,
Won’t cover the shame that you bare.

The dance is charming, so divine
With champagne and pate’ you’re wooed.
But an old adage lost with time,
“Always dance with the one who brought you!”

Dance, dance while the music goes on.
New partner, the Devil’s cut in.
He’s leading now.  But it won’t last long,
As they say, “All good things must come to and end.”

Source of Inspiration for  The Swine Waltz
Pardon my soap box!  I was raised in East Texas by my mother, an elected government official, and my father, a Texas Highway Patrolman.  They taught me to read the newspaper, know what is going on in the world around me, have an opinion, and vote.  Thus, the multimedia world of sensationalism gives me explosive subjects on which to write dramatic opines in poetic form.  Since many of the people in the largest city in Texas (Houston) were affected by the Enron corporate scandal, I was enraged and moved to pen this poem, The Swine’s Waltz, which was originally entitled, “The Enron Waltz”.  
The Swine Waltz was published in The Best Poems and Poets of 2005

Weathered Love

As the gentle rain caresses and nourishes
Tender fibers of Spring’s virgin seed,
So his love bathes my heart, my soul,
Saturating every pore, sating every need.

Love’s tender shoots burst with frenzied fervor,
Heeding not ethereal time.
Fibril scions strengthen as trust imbues
Affirming refuge from variable clime.

But a vile world’s hate will blow hard and cold
A thunderstorm of prejudice, jealousy, and pride.
Fierce thunder will threaten; brash lightning will flash,
But true love will endure Life’s inevitable chide.

Source of Inspiration for Weathered Love
I beg the readers indulgence with yet another poem about love.  But what better words to paint the Colours of the Heart?  After 33 years of marriage, I know the passion and pain of love.  I know the rarity, strength, and power of true love.  And I know that true love is worth all the time and fortitude it takes to safeguard the health of such a gifted relationship.  Never take love for granted!
Weathered Love was published in Colours Of The Heart, Noble House, London, 2004.

Nature’s Symphony

Symphonic sounds mocked nature’s harmony.
His music conjured skies pristine, unspoiled,
Concordant notes like artist’s brush paint
Pastoral scenes obscured from mortal rape.
Majestic mountains painted purple peaks
Crescendoed as the bow and strings embraced.
On notes, the raven’s wings glissade warm winds,
Ascending envied lofts o’er Teton tips.
G clef and F clef render raven’s wings
Such freedom rarely seen on earthly ground.
Effortlessly broad wings traverse the skies,
These cleansing breezes free the raven’s soul.
Melodic resonance, sweet songs of peace
Suffuse the raven’s grand inherent winds,
Negating sounds of hunger, babes in pain,
Reporting waves of war despoiling lands,
Of souls in search of hope and blissful peace,
Exalt the raven’s hallowed haven high.
Play on, young maestro!  Paint sweet sounds of life.
Expose the raven’s eye for minds to view
A world unknown to unwinged, mortal souls.
Athirst for healing notes of life’s sweet song.
Play on, the sounds of nature’s symphony.

Source of Inspiration for Nature’s Symphony
I was a guest at a gathering of the Houston, Texas Symphony Supporters in 2002.  A cellist with the symphony performed a movement he was inspired to write during a vacation to the Grand Teton Mountains.  His musical interpretation of a raven effortlessly gliding on the summer winds over the Tetons moved me to jot words and thoughts down on a page in my day-timer.  In 2009, I found that page in a file and his music came rushing back inspiring this poem.  Thank you, gifted maestro, whoever, and wherever you are.
Nature’s Symphony was published in Eternal Heartland, Interstate 40, 2010.  The Editor’s Comments:  Your poem’s authenticity comes from its imagery.  With powerful, vivid imagery your poem renders a picturesque scene.  Its controlling image leaves us with strong sensory impressions, placing us within your vision.

The Statesmen of Eden

Ardent, earnest path, sight on civic need,
Yet, choked by past’s unctuous wheels did jade,
Seasoned reputations of pomp and greed.

Vibrant Eden beckons souls to be freed,
Obtuse lambs polish the grand dream man made.
Ardent, earnest path, sight on civic need.

Hacking at Eden’s ceaseless warts and weeds,
Good souls, their fates aborted in the trade.
Seasoned reputations of pomp and greed.

Jobless.  Debt.  Health.  Discontent, oh indeed.
No earmarks.  No aid.  Just get the bills paid!
Ardent, earnest path, sight on civic need.

Embattled servant poised to take the lead,
Ravaged by obdurate scribes, and left flayed.
Seasoned reputations of pomp and greed.

Restless denizen of Eden cry “Cede!”
For career statesmen — their roles overplayed.
Once ardent, earnest paths, sights on civic need,
Seasoned reputations of pomp and greed.

Source of Inspiration for The Statesmen of Eden
I was born to a Texas politician, my mother, and a Texas Highway Patrolman father.  I was taught to read newspapers daily, pay attention to the wheels that governed, and keep an open mind for the platforms of both ruling parties.  Vote for the person not the party, Mom would say.  I tell the readers this in an effort to explain;  we are bombarded with constant media hype for and against the candidates.  But I guess we’ll all survive one more year of blarney!
The Statesmen of Eden was published in Best Poets of 2011.

Birth Days

Age is a factor we acknowledge each year.
We face it with dread, or embrace it with cheer.
We add a one to the year just past,
Pausing in wonder how it went so fast!

The date when first we entered this world,
And life, like a rose, the petals uncurled.
A young bud, closed, tight and strong,
Danced with the wind to the moon’s love songs.

With warmth and love, the petals unfold
Revealing a palette of colors so bold,
Red and yellow, green and blue,
Each color special in the spectrum of hues.

Along comes Life with pests and storms,
But love from the Sun sustains and warms.
A thirst for knowledge of the world around,
Petals open wide to the gifts that abound.

Life, like a rose is more beautiful each day.
Ponder this point as you greet the day.
Face the Wind, Dance in the Sun,
Smell the Rose, and Thank the One.

Source of Inspiration for Birth Days
In celebration of my brother’s birthday, I wrote this poem for his birthday card. We should always celebrate birthdays and the gift of life!
Birth Days was published in the book The Best Poems and Poets of 2002, and was recorded for audio tapes and is in the National Library of Poetry.

A Mother’s Heart

A Mother’s heart
Broken by pain,
The ache so intense
It’d drive you insane.
A hole in her heart,
A scar left by death.
Despair, such despair
Chokes every breath.
An angel, a gift
Once safe in her arms
Cradled by love
Warding off harms.
One fleeting moment
Just a turn of the head
In rushes danger,
The devil’s soul fed.
Stunned by the sting,
Blank stare of disbelief
Anguish, then anger.
Blind rage, bitter grief!

Alas, a whisper
Warmed the cold wind.
Peace o’er took pain,
A message He’s send.
“The devil’s web
Of disease and deceit
Lays hold of sweet souls
In a faltering heart beat.
But he’ll not have this one!
In My arms she rests,
Safe and secure,
Nestled to My breast.
Young Mother, dear Child,
My Heart’s broken, too.
The devil’s evil scheme
Changed My blueprint, too.
But know I am with you
My strength will abide
I’ll blanket you in peace
Your pain will subside”

Source of Inspiration for A Mother’s Heart
Just before moving back to Texas, some dear friends of ours called with news of the death of their three year old daughter to Ries Syndrome.  I was utterly devastated!  As a writer, my way of releasing anger and pain was through words.  So I sat down to write these words.  However, I couldn’t finish it until several months later.  It was just too painful.
A Mother’s Heart was published in The Best Poems and Poets of 2001.

The Unspoken Ministry

Some call him “Grumpy”
Some say he’s mean.
Some even run at the sound of his name.
Some shutter, others cower.
Still others say he’s sour.
Jealous words and the price of his fame.

Yet they’ve awarded him.
Some have courted him
To coach for their teams.
Big money, more power,
Prestige, greater fame.
Success of which everyone dreams.

Why does he stay?
Why won’t he go?
Why does he tolerate
Small minds, jealous foe?
Why does he keep on day after day
Challenging our children in his own special way?

Look past the frown.
Look ‘neath the skin.
Go deeper – yes, deeper
To his heart deep within.
There beats a life force full of love and concern
For his kids whose lives he quietly discerns.

When high school is over
His kids must go on.
College is the answer
So he gets on that phone.
Hours and hours, all day and all night,
He finds them a college that for them is just right.

Few thank him.
Few laud him.
So few are aware
Of his unspoken ministry and how much he cares.
These great kids, the legacy he gives to the world
Future leaders, his kids, and God’s special pearls.

Source of Inspiration for The Unspoken Ministry
My son’s football coach was inducted into the High School Football Hall of Fame for his dedication to the sport and his record of wins.  But his underlying message went unnoticed until I wrote this poem for him on the occasion of his 50th birthday.  The people who knew him the best, his family and close friends, cried when they read the poem because they knew what Coach did was for his kids, not for the glory of the win.  Time and again, colleges would offer him more money and prestige to coach college football, but his place was at the high school level helping his kids get scholarships playing football to pay for the college education that many of them would not get if he didn’t help them.  When the fall football season was over, Coach didn’t stop there.  He got on the telephone talking to recruiters all over the nation trying to place as many of his kids as possible.  His ministry was his kids he coached, and giving them the opportunity to earn a higher level of education through the sport they loved.

The Timid Prayer

Lord, I speak these words with care,
Are You listening?  Are You there?
Will You laugh or think me dumb,
This wee voice from which it comes?

When I come to You in prayer
How will I know that You are there?
Will You find my words too thin?
Will You answer one so full of sin?

When the world demands so much of me,
Will You calm my soul as You do the sea?
My tasks are great; I am so small
I fear the failure worst of all.

Lord, if I give my fears up to You,
Will You give me strength to see it through?
Will You set a path for me to walk?
Will You nudge me on when I start to balk?

Lord, I know, there’s no other way,
But will You walk with me everyday?
Will You help me the right words to say?
Lord, will You teach me how to pray?

Source of Inspiration for The Timid Prayer
Yvonne answered a call to work as a Youth Director for a large church in Florida.  But as an emerging Christian, she had to learn the art of prayer.  Yvonne’s story and poem of how prayer affected her life were featured in a church publication created for Commitment Sunday.

When You’re Away

The silence of the house when you’re away,
Each room devoid of the sun’s bright rays,
No indication of life around.
Each room a vacuum of unheard sound.

The silence in my head when you’re away,
Each thought is shelved; nothing to say.
Things to do, but no cause to act.
Motivation numb, no energy, just slack.

The silence of my heart when you’re away,
Held in suspension, each beat at bay.
The blood stagnant, no where to go,
A dam of emotion diverts the flow.

The feel of the house when you are here
No strange noises, no shadows to fear.
The rooms quiet, yet fragrant and warm.
Coffee’s brewing, no need for alarms.

The sounds of my head when you are here
Awaken my thoughts, senses are clear.
Plans to make, organize the day,
Things to do, so we can go play.

The sounds in my heart when you are here
Echos of joy from peels of loud cheer,
Pulsing, pounding, life’s blood resumes,
A rush of love my body consumes.

Source of Inspiration for When You’re Away
The years with your children, growing as a family, pass so quickly.  Then you and your mate are thrown into the “empty nest phase”.  It takes some getting use to at first.  Then those familiar feelings and special moments before the children came along resurface.  A wonderful closeness reappears with a comfortable love and close companionship.  Unfortunately, work will necessitate brief periods of travel.  During one such occasion, the quiet and loneliness of the house prompted me to write this poem to my husband.  I emailed the poem to him so he would have it to read when he answered his email the following morning.  It’s always nice when he comes home and those familiar sounds and sights resume.  And love goes on.