Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Killing Time

Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.
Fingers on the table rap.
Rocking, swaying forth and back...
Counting tiles and ceiling cracks...
Pacing, pacing to and fro.
Waiting as impatience grows.
Blankly twiddling a thumb
'Til the appointed time has come.
Making up a silly rhyme
Soon forgotten...
Killing time

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Kindred Spirits

I can't remember...
Was there a time I didn't know you?
Was there a me before we met?
Seems as if we've always been.
If we haven't... I forget.
All my youth was spent in search of
Everything I found in you,
And now every day is special,
Every morning fresh and new.
When you find a kindred spirit
In your trek with father time,
In your search for truth and meaning,
In your quest for the sublime,
Hold on tight and make the most
Of every second that you share.
Life is short and oh! So precious,
And such luck is truly rare.
Beating hearts keep time together,
Breathing out, breathing in.
Walking step by step beside me
'Til we reach the very end.
Kindred spirits in our longings,
Sharing secrets day by day,
Walking through life's welcome garden,
Smelling roses on the way.

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Keepsakes

Where are your keepsakes?
Your treasure chest?
Do you keep them under lock and key?
Do you hide them from others?
Keep them in private?
Is that where they ought to be?
Those items you treasure
That bring up fond memories
With which you would never part,
Are they simply possessions?
For keepsakes, true keepsakes,
Dwell deep within the heart.

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Justifying Tomorrow

It was yesterday that brought us to
This place, this here, this now.
A ship of time continuing
As we stroll stern to bow
Taking in the scenery,
Learning as we go,
Wrinkling gray matter
As the ship rocks to and fro.
Building aspirations as
We learn more of our fate,
Longing to be rich or famous,
Striving to be great.
All our yesterdays compile
And build on joy and sorrow,
Contemplating what's to come
To justify tomorrow.

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Just One More Time

Going swimming Saturdays
At the Fish and Fiddle Inn,
Little sandy strip of beach
Just up around the bend.
Jumping off the deep end
Between boats docked at the pier.
Daring one another touch the bottom,
Testing fear.

Happy, carefree, lazy days
Cloud my memory with haze.

Sunday afternoon,
Rock Dodger Stadium awaits.
Hurling baseballs through the air
'Til evening sun abates.
Summer, winter, didn't matter,
Not as I recall.
The only thing that changed
Was the dimensions of the ball.

Running, catching, in my prime.
How I'd love just one more time...

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Jealousy Hurts

Green is the color
Of nature's true glory,
A marvelous uplifting shade.
But green as the color of
Human emotion
Is one we should always evade.

Jealousy creeps on
The borders and edges,
Silently praying on fears
Real or imagined.
Flagrantly flaunting,
Hoping to bring us to tears.

No one can accurately
Speak of the outcome.
No one predicts what may be.
Jealousy hurts
When fidelity's challenged.
Trust holds the ultimate key.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Illusion

First it was there...
Then it was gone...
Then it was back again.
Was it magic,
Real or imagined,
Or was it just slight of hand?
Wizardry's easy when
Played to an audience
Of young impressionable minds.
Innocence entertains without question
The story as it unwinds.
How sad that growing up
Breeds skepticism...
The loss of an innocent age.
Illusion is wasted,
Delusion forsaken.
Maturity turns the page.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

If at First...

Mother? Please!
All the other kids...
What if father says I can?
"I said no! Now just what part
Did you not understand?"
But if dad agrees...
"If he agrees, it would be
A surprise to me."
May I ask?
"He'll just say no and
Give you the third degree."
Dad, may I?
"Go ask your mother."
But she said to ask your advice.
The other kids...
"What other kids?"
Oh, they're all very nice.
"Who are they? Names. Addresses.
What do their parents do?
Just what time will you be home?
Who'll be there to look after you?"
Is all this necessary? It's a party, not a war.
Just this once. I promise. I'll never ask for more.
Obstacles of childhood want
Can be a harsh deterrent.
So, if at first you don't succeed,
Ask the other parent.

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Images

Gazing at old photographs
In glossy black and white,
Washed out grays or textured browns,
Antique plates of imagery.
Who are these faces who stare from the page
As if I were their camera?
Asking me to give back their souls
As though that gift were privy to me.
Bustles and bolos and high hats and spats,
Hooped skirts and derbies and all such as that.
Vaguely yet strangely familiar wear
Seen in old movies or at the state fair,
Where for only ten bucks you can put on old clothes
And they take your photograph
Striking a pose.
But who are these images?
Where did they go?
Will they be us someday?
How can we know?

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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother

She was
     And is
My most treasured memory, 
Instilling all that is decent and good.
Gentle hands
     Gentle soul. 
Gliding through life on gossamer wings. 

Wise in her measure, she 
Spoke without judgment, 
Softly, quietly, never in anger, 
Unless in defense of those she called
Family, 
In which case she fought 
With the heart of a lion. 

Always near
     In spite of the distance, 
Always dear 
     To those she adored, 
Playfully childlike 
     Without being childish, 
Quick with a smile 
     Or a soft-spoken word.

Mothers are jewels,
Honored and precious.
Keep them forever.
You only get one.


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Honeymoon Suite

Who really cared if it rained all week?
Who noticed anyway?
Young and in love and alive for each other,
We hardly knew night from day.

Waterlogged room in a spot near the ocean,
Too wet for exploring the sands.
Beaches deserted by fair weather visitors
Walking the shore hand in hand.

We were so much making two into one,
With no time to notice the skies,
And the only exploring we needed to do
Was deep into each other's eyes.

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

High School Hijinks

Smoking in the boy's room...
Kibitzing a test...
Peeping the girl's locker room,
A brash unwelcome guest.
Monday morning cutting class.
Off to "Mickey D's",
Sneaking peeks at skirts hiked high
Above the teacher's knees.
Empty hallways populate
And scurry off from harm,
'Til moments later someone yells
"It was a false alarm".
Wondering who the moron was
Who pulled the bitter joke.
Although thankful for the break,
We still hoped they would choke.
Waiting for the final bell,
The governor's reprieve.
Knowing if we ne'er returned,
Not one of us would grieve.
High school hijinks. What a blast!
A howl! A hoot! A wow!
If I had only known back then
Half of what I know now.

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Hiatus

Happily vacationing.
Inactive situationing.
Attuned to rationalizationing
To ward off logic's rationing and
Useless aggravationing.
Simplification bid "come in".
Hiatus...
Surely, not a sin.

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Gone but Not Forgotten

Sunday morning trips to Atlanta,
Grandpa would open his barbershop
For us rag-headed boys who would
Raid him of quarters
And drink up his profits in soda pop.
Calm, sedate and stalwart was he,
Keenly attuned to each sight, every sound.
Striding the sidewalks, leaving us children
Scurrying, trying to cover his ground.

Tall straight-backed rocking chair,
Front porch theater,
Cigarette rolling machine.
Don't disturb grandpa now.
He's much too busy.
Try not to make such a scene.
While granny fries bacon and ham
In the kitchen,
Grandpa has only one goal.
With tobacco and paper,
He sits in his rocker,
And gives a new meaning
To rock and roll.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Getting Mugged

Suddenly, unexpectedly,
A flash of cold steel in you face.
Eyes transfixed on muzzle and trigger,
No time for logic,
No time to brace
Against evil surprise as it springs into gear,
Quickly confronting mortality's fears.
The bold perpetrator relies on surprise,
Sensing the terror he finds in your eyes.
Swiftly he moves in his dastardly deed,
His mind set determined on feeding his greed.
Leaving his victim a cold hollow shell,
Cast in the dark of their own private hell.
There won’t be many events on your life
That cause more grief,
Cause more strife,
Than the cold realization a mugging can bring,
That life, at it's worst,
Is a precious thing.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Games of Childhood

Cowboys and Indians,
Good guys and bad,
Coppers and robbers,
Hero and cad.
Fire engine driver,
Bull dozing man,
Tall tree top cropper,
Rock and roll band. 
A young boy goes chasing
A young man's desire,
Socially teaching him
What to aspire.

Dollies and doilies
And playing at house,
Learning to screech at
The sight of a mouse,
Wild flowers forming
A lovely bouquet,
Tea party centerpiece
Proudly displayed.
A young girl goes chasing
Young women's desires,
Socially teaching her
What to aspire.

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Monday, May 07, 2018

Flowery Branch

The Indians named you Flowery Branch, most appropriately.
Nestled on a hillside sitting high above the brook.
Sleepy little village where the
Train-tracks used to stop for just a moment,
Hardly long enough to look.
Almost missed when driving by
If sunlight makes one blink an eye.
Causing you to miss the charm
Which there within her borders lie.
The style of Simpson's grocery
Or Carlisle's barber shop
Where Saturdays were made for swapping tales
And drinking soda pop.
The small town manufacturing...
The bait and tackle store...
Wood framed homes so old
Nobody lives there anymore.
A little slice out of the past,
This small town by the creek.
Treasured gemstone from our youth...
An American antique.

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Sunday, May 06, 2018

Figments of My Imagination

Aaron and Curtis and Betty Mae,
Judy and Janice and Jimmy Ray,
Childhood companions from our congregation?
Or were they just figments of imagination?
Names from the past, from a youth thought forgotten.
Memories stolen, some fresh, others rotten.
Laughing and playing...
Running and fighting...
Learning our 'rithmatic,
Reading and writing.
Where are they now?
Are they living or buried?
Did they switch off the airwaves
Or just change the station?
Were they real?
Did I touch them?
Did they touch me back?
Or were they just figments of imagination?

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Saturday, May 05, 2018

Echoes

Echoes of my mother's voice
Are always in my mind,
Bounding and resounding
In a melancholy way.
Sound advice is her forte,
Although she never presses
Or preaches or demands
That I obey.

Tolerance and temperament,
Patience, hope and faith,
Honesty and charity
And even-handed truth.
All will echo back to you
And be a faithful guide
If your mother's voice
Instilled them in your youth.

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Friday, May 04, 2018

Every Day Life

Morning breaks slowly
As eyelids peel upward,
Blinking and rubbing 'til fully alert.
Rising with dread of
The workday ahead,
Headaches and heartaches
And fingernail dirt.
Breakfast... A doughnut...
A fast bite or two...
Gulping down coffee,
A quick glance at news...
Skeptically donning the workday apparel
As daily routines help to keep us on cue.
Five days a week
The rat race continues,
Living for weekends and vacation breaks,
Hoping the golden years
Make it worthwhile,
That everyday life gives back
More than it takes.

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Thursday, May 03, 2018

Experience: The Great Teacher

Books are filled with wonders,
Unbounded in their scope,
Filled with trinkets, tidbits,
Treasure troves of faith and hope.
Classrooms and instructors teach
The fundamental learning
Meant to give direction
And thus instill a yearning.
But doing is the only way
To find out where and whence.
The greatest teacher of them all
Is plain experience.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Distant Relations

Remember the family reunions
You were dragged to as a child?
Aunts and uncles pinching cheeks
Until it drove you wild.
Cousins, first, second, third,
Twice removed or more,
In-laws, outlaws, closet-dwellers,
Relations rich,
Relations poor.
Roots run deep in family,
Surviving through both fire and ice.
Children often can't
Appreciate the sacrifice
Of those who went before
Too blaze the trail,
To give their passage ease
So they may sit in sun and shade
And just enjoy the breeze.
Do you still remember
All the distant names and faces?
Relations of our youth
Disappearing without traces.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Dad's Come Home

Weekends were special in our house.
That was when dad came home.
His journeyman labor was rough on us all.
He just never knew where his job bade him roam.

He did what he did... What he had to do
For food on the table, clothes on our backs.
He fought and he struggled to make our lives better,
Taking the strain that hard labor exacts.

But no matter how far his travels would take him,
How hard the journey back home was required,
Weekends were his and ours together.
He was never too busy,
Never too tired.

Saturday morning...  Crack of dawn...
Mother was up... Breakfast was done...
No time to dawdle...  Too much to do...
No sleeping in today... Dad's come home.

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Monday, April 30, 2018

Discontinuity

Isn't life supposed to be
A logical sequence of events?
Why then are we all too often
Confronted with things that make no sense?

Things fall into, out of place,
Rise and fall with gravity.
We choose bodies to embrace in
Fantasy, reality.

Moving forward, never backward,
Blinders keep our focus keen.
Logically progressing to a point ahead
As yet unseen.

Looking for an even flow,
That's the way it's meant to be.
Life's disheartening when we face
Too much discontinuity.

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Confessions

"Confession" they say, "is good for the soul".
Though not always good for the seat of your pants.
Fessing up isn't always so easy when
Confronted by one who raves and rants.
Little Billy was taught from birth
That truth is important, lies are a sin,
That honesty builds character,
Crime doesn't pay,
Cheaters don't win.
But the reality of growing up
And learning of the end result
Can make the truth a bitter pill,
Can make confessions difficult.

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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Truth video



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Where Are the Brave Souls?

Where have all the brave souls gone? The ones who could inspire;
Who could lift our spirits then proceed to take us even higher.
Could it be we've lost the simple trust that they endow?
Can their like be found again? Where are the brave souls now?

When Cochise broke his arrow and declared an end to war,
Many stood against him. They shouted, cried and swore.
But standing firm against the odds he found a lasting peace.
A braver soul cannot be found than this great chief, Cochise.

Another stood in time of war; a nation torn apart.
With brother fighting brother he became the nation's heart.
When Mister Lincoln lost his life, the country lost its soul,
And wandered aimlessly for years to redefine it's goal.

Others such as Lindbergh and Earheart gave us hope.
Vicariously we can live through them. They help us cope.
To think that one can bravely leap into the great unknown,
Inspires us all to greatness and thrills us to the bone.

But when I look around today I wonder where they've gone.
Who will give us hope? Inspire the will to carry on?
There must be someone somewhere who will rise and show us how.
We sit and wait and wonder. 
Where are the brave souls now?

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Plastic Money

Plastic money isn't funny.
It's become our way of living.
Whether for necessities
Or buying gifts for giving.

It's so easy when we're asked,
"Will that be charge or cash?"
We lay that plastic money
On the counter in a flash.

Yes, it's easy. Much too easy.
We seldom contemplate.
We charge and charge like raging bulls
'Til sometimes it's too late.

We really need to think on all
The spending we are doing.
This crazy madcap lifestyle that
Too many are pursuing.

For when it all is said and done,
Remember what they say.
The piper's waiting down the road,
And someone has to pay.

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Wheels

What is this magical creation
We celebrate with zeal?
This modern man-made miracle
Referred to as the wheel.
So unique in it's concept...
So basic in design...
So quick to make life simpler
And ease the daily grind.
It brought man out of cave and stone
Into the modern age.
In history's great chronicle
It has the opening page.
It's made us mobile, spreading man
Across the great expanse.
It taught us to be unafraid;
To dare to take a chance.
Whether made of plastic, wood, or
Rubber, stone or steel,
Our lives would not be what they are
Today without the wheel.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

July Fourth

The streets are lined with bunting; alternating red and white,
With midnight fields of royal blue atwinkle with starlight.
The sun is burning deep into the thick mid-morning haze,
And a gentle breeze begins to flutter as Old Glory waves.
The boulevard is filling up as folks with folding chairs
Begin to jockey for their spots away from midday's glare.
The very old... The very young, and all ages in between
Have come to watch the pageant soon to burst upon the scene.
As vendors hawk their wares and toddlers wave their flags with glee,
Anticipation rises to a fever-pitched degree.
They stand and watch the boulevard awaiting the first sign;
A drumbeat or a bugle or a fire engine's whine.
Now, somewhere in the distance rings an old familiar sound;
The whistle of the bandleader as drums begin to pound.
Now suddenly the street is filled with brass and tambourine.
The band is playing "Sousa" as the crowd begins to scream.
With flag and flourish they proceed to march in unison.
They look as if they could continue 'til the setting sun.
Another band. Another tune. The crowd fills with applause.
And in between the snare and fife fill every break and pause.
Jesters and jugglers make their way along the avenue
As Joey sits on grandpa shoulders for a better view.
Cotton candy, hot dogs, ice cream, every kind of fare.
Smells of summer rising, falling, wafting through the air.
The funny cars and unicycles, clowns with funny feet;
Floats and flowers, soldiers, sailors fill the crowded street.
And every politician who the crowd helped to elect
Is kissing babies, pressing flesh and craning at the neck.
And now, a pause. The honor guard, both silent and aloof,
Stills every hand and every heart; demanding quiet proof
That this above all other days is filled with truth and worth.
For this day is the day we celebrate our nation's birth.
The parade at last is over. The crowd is satisfied.
They make their way to home and hearth. Their hearts filled up with pride.
Their afternoon is spent in reminiscence of this day
And others they have passed in quite the same familiar way.
And soon the evening stillness and its' shadows fill their eyes.
Again they stand in silence. Their gaze fixed upon the skies.
The back yard and the barbecue are just a memory
As darkness bodes excitement for what is soon to be.
And now the skies burst open with flash and flare and boom.
Horizon to horizon fills until there's no more room,
And every flash and every bang and every boom and pop
Is cheered on by the crowd who pray the spectacle won't stop.

But when the final rocket bursts and the cannon's roar is stilled,
When with moonlight high above the starry night is filled,
The rowdy crowd will dissipate, as pride fills up their chest,
In a land where no one settles for being second best.
So let no foe defame her nor her dignity deride.
Hoist her banner skyward. Saluting it with pride.
A day like any other?  No.   This is a special day;
The birthday of our country.   May god bless the U.S.A.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Clouds

I love to watch the clouds roll by.
They paint a picture in my mind.
The ever changing images unfold,
Untangle and unwind
Into a vast collage of treasures
Meant for just my eyes.
Reflections of familiar feelings
Scattered 'cross the skies.

Taking in their tattered edges...
Tucking in their ends...
Forming shapes for fleeting moments...
Driven by the winds.
Roving, rolling, climbing, falling
Singly or in crowds,
Images abound aplenty
Riding on the clouds.

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Amazon Author's Page: http://www.amazon.com/Dennis-S-Martin/e/B004SXY4LG/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1394055582&sr=1-2-ent

Monday, April 23, 2018

Silliness

Acting silly,
Willie nillie,
Donning lace
Or something frilly.
Being silly
Can be fun...
Skipping, hopping
One by one.
Don't take life
Too seriously.
It pays to
View it curiously.
Take the time
To smell the lily.
Take some time for
Acting silly.

Lulu Storefront: http://www.lulu.com/dsmartin Amazon Author's Page: http://www.amazon.com/Dennis-S-Martin/e/B004SXY4LG/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1394055582&sr=1-2-ent