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.
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.
Bucolic Way, known only to locals
A treasured route in the famed Forest Trails
Steep rolling hills chase valleys and meadows
Beguiling the eager trekker to seek
Obscure, idyllic lea o’er the next ridge.
Hot Summer winds tickle pale wheaten shafts
Waving to hawks glissading lofty skies
The cattle hunker in circles as clouds
Roil, winds howl, then warm rain showers the earth.
The Fall leaves flaunt flashy, terminus hues
Awaiting chilly, blue norther’s volley
Fussy fat squirrels amass their nutty cash
Bucks seek asylum deep in the thicket.
Bitter Winter winds forecast icy roads
Snow dresses the hills, a chaste cloak of white
And diamonds dance on the frigid waters
The hush crushed by a heckling filly.
Ah, Spring, yes, sweet Spring on Bucolic Way!
Such green! Clean green! In shades likely not seen
By the nescient. Twin fawns leap, for life
On Bucolic Way, a covert sanctum.
Source of Inspiration for Bucolic Way
Bucolic Way is actually CR 3357, a short road connecting my country home to the small town of Winnsboro, Texas, in the heart of the Texas Forest Trails, where I shop the grocery and pharmacy. I coined this obscure, but beautiful road Bucolic Way because of the topography, rolling hills, fabulous green meadows, thick forests. Bucolic Way was published in Who’s Who in American Poetry, 2015.
The malevolent winds pummeled my world,
Deafening sounds of fury evoked fear,
Great oaks plucked from the earth like dandelions,
Yanked from the gardens of the southern belles.
Cold, dark, muddy waters surged, effacing
Floors, walls; encompassing all matter,
Human and inanimate. No regard
For life or value. No hope for the weak.
Climb! Climb! Sanctuary in the attic.
Katrina wailed as murky waters rose.
My haven, now a bleak muddy coffin.
Shrieking frenzied prayers, grasping at shadows,
Groping frantically——for what? Miracles?!
The ax! A blessed instrument of hope!
Climb yet higher! Ascending through the roof,
Now a solitary island scoured
By a vile, savage sea. Exhaustion weighed
As a heavy shroud, compelling slumber,
A brief hiatus from reality.
Vigil screeching gulls beckoned consciousness.
Dawn’s soft haze revealed images–faces!
A soldier, a fireman, and a medic
Heroes! Bearers of hope for the living!
Greeters to a new dawn, a new day — a new life.
Source of Inspiration for Katrina’s Heroes
My husband and I work for the largest catastrophe firm in the nation, contracting to large insurance companies for added personnel during disasters. Our assignment to work Hurricane Katrina revealed countless stories of horror and devastation. My job was to monitor “high priority” claims, claims involving death. After reading the adjuster’s reports in the computer, I was overwhelmed by the terror Katrina inflicted on the people of the southern coast. These stories led me to write about Katrina’s heroes, the thankless rescuers. With this poem, I honor those heroes of Katrina’s survivors.
Katrina’s Heroes was published in Songs of Honour, Noble House London, 2006. This poem was also published in Centres of Expression, Noble House, London, 2007.
Tenebrae, the darkening, cloaked the earth.
The Spirit wailed from the horns, heralding
The agony of the Christ.
Human cries begot a host of angel choruses.
The Crucifixus crescendoed.
Grey clouds, angry vile cumulus boiled, rolled and roared,
Fervent fury for the sins of all men.
His last breath, surrender to grateful death.
Christ’s ascension, melodious, light and free.
Celestial music, soft, adagio,
A wash of mercy and peace – sweet, sweet peace.
Cherubic words affirm hope through His love:
“Jesus loves me this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.”
Source of Inspiration for Good Friday, A Tenebrae Service
Tenebrae, Latin for shadows or the darkening, is an ancient Christian service recreating the emotional aspect of the passion story, usually celebrated on Good Friday. I attended such a service at Christ Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth, Texas, 2007 Holy Week. I was enthralled by the magnitude of the music from the orchestra and the voices of the choir, each one empowered by the heavens to recreate every emotion felt by the people at the foot of the cross. I penned this poem that night to commemorate this unforgettable event.
Good Friday, A Tenebrae Service, was published in Centres of Expression, Noble House, London, 2007.
Reunion time! We’ll have to look our best!
We’ll shed some pounds, and buy a flattering frock,
That hides our hips, and lifts our dipping breasts.
Yes, cleavage wasn’t part of physique
In ’66, there wasn’t much to see.
We came from innocence and small town views,
Embraced a world of hope we thought we knew.
But we were destine to rewrite the codes
Of moral standards, long the social guides.
Free love and peace and pot would fix our world
Of bigotry and hate and futile war.
Oh, yes, old friend, we fixed it good! So good
We rue our days. Our children suffer most.
Single moms with phantom dads, the carnage
Of free love, my friend, that wasn’t free at all.
But we’ll go back and talk old times and skirt
The pain we caused. We’ll flash the pics of kids
And grands, and analyze our aches and pains.
What fun we’ll have. I just can’t wait! Can you?
Source of Inspiration for The Reunion
The Reunion was written to assign responsibility to the “free love” movement for the premature loss of youthful innocence, and the degradation of the sanctity of marriage, a holy union now taken lightly, thus easily voided by the divorce express lane. The Reunion was published in The International Who’s Who in Poetry, 2004, in which I was sited as one of 4 featured poets and the only American poet. The other featured poets were from Thailand, Italy, and Greece. This was an amazing honor!