In Memory of a Dog

Remembering our dog always takes me back to certain experiences with him. Sometimes in a person’s life, a special animal will touch your heart. On occasion, there is a memorable trip to the veterinarian. This, in fact, was our most adventurous appointment! Reminiscing this day is one way I can cope with the grief and honor his life. This story is in memory of a very wonderful dog!

Our poor old beast of a dog was just a few days shy of eleven years. He answered to TyOhni which is Native American for wolf. A lab and border collie mix, he was pure black with the exception of white toes as well as a white star on his chest. His coloring, of course, made him the most adorable of his littermates. He was, when approaching eleven years, showing his age with a frosting of white fur forming on his muzzle. Unfortunately he was not feeling well, so my husband and I had to take him to the vet. This would involve getting a sample.

Ready for my Memory of a Dog Trip?

The last few years of his life, it had become a necessity for both of us to attend his vet visits. I think it is because he got rather nervous having the vet look at him while he was naked. (FYI, the vet wasn’t naked, but TyOhni was.) Also, he could get a bit nippy while he was there, so he required a muzzle once he arrived. (In case you’re wondering, I mean our dog, not my husband.) One of the requirements for this particular trip was to produce a urine sample. (This was TyOhni’s responsibility, not mine.)

Once we got home that afternoon, we were planning to find a suitable container for the sample. Before we got out of the car, our dog tauntingly flooded the drive with what appeared to be gallon of well, you-know-what. Many times when a male anyone would urinate outside, TyOhni, despite being a dog, would “copycat” by claiming back the scent of his territory. Considering our timing this trick, however, did not work.

We got up the next day and put on the harness and leash (not on us, but the dog.) As our dog was acting anxious, I had the presence of mind to dash into the house for my Peace and Calming essential oil. I’d never tried this oil on him before. I gave him a drop or two around his neck. It worked wonders as this was the only time of not panting and standing in the vehicle on the way to the vet. (I mean the dog, not us.)

Reminiscing Our Dog at the Vet

Once we disembarked in the parking area of the vet’s office, TyOhni was skittishly sniffing around checking out great smelling tires. One of us (not me) had the leash. This meant I was the lucky bearer of the empty thirty-two ounce cottage cheese container. Hubby pulled him away from the tires. (I mean the dog, not the vet.) The other side of the graveled area near the fence seemed attractive. All at once our dog let loose (not barking, but urinating). I hastily maneuvered the receptacle to the appropriate vicinity and was rewarded by the warm, gushing, pale, yellow liquid. That is probably the only time I’ve gleefully giggled about the feat of filling (not full) a container with urine. I was so proud of myself, I didn’t get a drop on me.

Perhaps the vet was too busy to be overly impressed over our accomplishment. He did acquire the necessary sample for testing our dog. The next time I get involved with any samples, my only hope is that it involves chocolates or cheese or art supplies or writing materials or…

Our vet reported that more than likely TyOhni was just feeling the effects of his age. This story was written in memory of our dear old dog, TyOhni, with whom we had many amazing adventures and good times. Here is second story of another of our wonderful dogs: The Goodbye Dog. This is a good resource for pet grief: May you find comfort in remembering your pets as well.

How to Welcome a New Year

It is important to know how to welcome a new year. A never experienced calendar year is always exciting! It represents a fresh start on life. Evaluating what the past year has been can be an invitation for improvement in the next year. This passage of time gives us the opportunity to release any stress from the past year. A new born trip around the sun allows us a reset to make this our best year yet!

In this past year, it seems many of us have experienced challenges of some sort or another. It appears that so many systems appear to be breaking down, from ways of life, social structures, durable goods and weather patterns, even to the make up of the very planet we live upon.

New Year – New Perspective

Back in my college years, I thrived on art classes. These classes taught me to be creative, to make new things, to imagine. Philosophy courses opened my mind to possibilities. I learned to contemplate, to analyze, to ask why. Because of these leanings, I have an imagining and questioning mind that always wants to ask how and why.

I’ve always thought that literally everything has a purpose. Why do we think we have so called bad experiences as well as the good ones? Are all these happenings guideposts to influence our actions? Sometimes it may be tempting to curl up into a ball and exclaim, “Oh, woe is me!” Perhaps we may want to tell the whole world, “Oh my, guess what just happened to me!” While these reactions might semi-soothe for a time, they are not constructive, long term solutions. These behaviors do not seem to serve us well. Maybe we would do better to examine why and contemplate creative and positive solutions.

On my art studio bulletin board is this quote:

Everything you can imagine is real. Pablo Picasso

What if, all together, we imagined that all situations given to us have a grand purpose? What if all situations were labeled not as good or bad, but as learning opportunities?

Along with the new year approaching, this is a potent time for other reasons. I formerly thought that when the winter solstice occurred that this was also the point when the sun began rising earlier each day. The sun rise actually happens later following solstice until early January. Here is a great site explaining the process, albeit from the viewpoint of the southern hemisphere: However, the total time of sunlight does increase the next day after winter solstice. I like to equate this time of experiencing and anticipating the lengthening of light to an uplifting time of incubation, of planning, of imagining what the new year could be.

Now I come to another quote upon my studio board.

Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it. Leonardo da Vinci

Let us use our time wisely. I welcome you to join me to creatively contemplate these times during the approaching increase of light. Just imagine the positive possibilities our new year possesses!

My blog post, HOP into the New Year!, may be just the icing on the cake that you need to successfully forge ahead into your new year. May you have the happiest of new years ever!

P.S. Just as I finished this draft, I was gazing out our kitchen window. A bald eagle flew straight over our home! This was a beautiful and timely reminder for me to welcome the new year with a 21 day gratitude journal. Back when our son was in hospice, my husband spied an eagle flying over our roof. Due to a writing I came across, I was inspired to do a 21 day gratitude journal during that time. Looking for gratitude when life was challenging was a life changing experience. A gratitude journal provides a perfect reset point for me to encourage looking for the good in things for the upcoming year! See Gratitude for Hard Times.

A Relaxed Holiday

Have you ever experienced a relaxed holiday? Generally the Christmas season tends to be anything but that. A certain Christmas a number of years ago stands out in my memory. Typically, that holiday involved not only celebrating at home with our littles, but also making a bee line to two sets of grandparents all in one day. Not only was our day spent, but each and every one of us was spent as well. This particular year we were snowed in by a blizzard. There was no way we could have travelled anywhere.

Our initial disappointment soon turned to a relaxed joy. Rather than rushing and worrying about cramped time schedules, there was something about the endless privilege of feeling in the now moment. It was a harkening back to simpler times. With passing years, our children fondly remembered that as one of their favorite Christmas days.

Plan Changes

Many centuries ago, a young man and woman were enrolling themselves in the census. They, too, endured plan changes. They had to lodge in a manger for there was no room for them at the inn. Their journey was also delayed by Mary giving birth to Jesus.

Sometimes life makes other plans for us. The year 2020 was a prime example. Who could have predicted all the sifts occurring in our collective plans for that year?

A change in our expectations of events makes me think of the old song lyrics penned by the Rolling Stones, ” You can’t always get what you want, but you just might find, you get what you need!”

A verse in the Bible comes to mind, “Be still and know that I am God.” This is an apt message not only for a holiday time, but also for any time. There are instances when we simply must be forced to slow down to see more clearly, to feel more deeply and to breathe more freely. Many times, this is exactly what we need!

For a relaxed holiday, is it time to jump off our merry-go-round identities of being human-doings?

Life is so much more than running a race to see how much we can accomplish, how many miles we can travel or how may dollars we can spend. Sometimes life is easily and simply seeing, feeling, breathing, and sharing. This holiday season may be a wintering of ourselves, much as the trees withdraw their external leafing energies as they build the internal. So, sit back and relax, inhale and be still. Enjoy your true namesake of being a human-being! Ponder the treasure of your memory in recalling the shared blessings of Christmases past. May the recollections gently caress your heart and soul. Through the gift of being still, may you find what you truly need this holiday season and always!

Here is another feel good holiday story about an unusually beautiful sign from our dearly departed son: OUR VISITOR. While your plans for this holiday are already set, here are some considerations for future celebrations:

Blizzard Heroes

Well, our weather forecasters are predicting a good old fashioned blizzard for our area. Whenever I experience a blast of this winter weather, I think of the blizzard heroes. This may include folks that clear the roads and keep the electricity flowing. Any essential health care, transportation, emergency service workers and others are thought of as well. However, I must say that my dad would be at the top of my blizzard hero list!

When I was a mere second grader, just a “few” decades ago, our area experienced a whopper of a storm. The snow hit right before Christmas break. It developed so quickly that some of the school buses could not properly negotiate the roads. Some students’ parents were not able to get their child or children from school. The principal of the elementary went above and beyond to host an impromptu slumber party at school for perhaps twenty or more students. He saw that they were fed from the lunch room and somehow found places for them to lay their weary heads for the night.

My Dad – The Blizzard Hero!

Fortunately, Dad, my blizzard lion heart, was able to pick me up. However, by the time we got on our gravel roads, our car high centered on a snow drift. We were a half mile from home in near white out conditions. Dad made sure we were properly bundled before we got out of our old black Plymouth.

My little child legs couldn’t quite negotiate the growing banks of snow, so he did what any good daddy would do. He picked me up and carried me. If you’ve ever tried to navigate into a whaling, blizzarding snow, you know it’s not easy. Just carrying one’s own weight while battling the wind and snow is effort enough, let alone the extra weight of a child in arms.

He headed down the white, blustery road with the wind pummeling his face. Unbelievably, he carried me a quarter mile to the nearest neighbor. Fortunately, the good neighbors were home and welcomed us into their toasty abode from the brutally frigid outdoors. I was really hoping that Dad would stay, but once he warmed a bit, he walked, sans child, another quarter mile to our place. He, after all, had cattle and hogs, a dog and cats to feed and water. Mom, as well as my little brother and sister, awaited him in our warm, toasty home.

The Neighbor Blizzard Heroes

Meanwhile at the neighbors, I was with the mom and dad and their high school aged daughter. Additionally, there was another stranded neighbor girl a year older than me. All of them were champions, too! They each did their best to make me feel at home. The mom made all sorts of wonderful homecooked food, as all the women did back then.

I recall our sleeping quarters for the three of us girls was a large bed. It was in an unheated bedroom with a pile of quilts at least as thick as my little second grade body. I’m certain the weight of the quilts would have been more than some of the weighted quilts that people occasionally buy nowadays!

Another memory was that I feared I would not be home by Christmas. That particular winter was the first that I knew there was no Santa, but nonetheless, I didn’t want to miss celebrating with my family. I also wanted to be home to play with my two younger siblings!

Some people must be prepared for just anything. Here is what happened. The two of us who were guests, somehow magically, had a little gift for us under our neighbors’ tree! We each received a pretty necklace and bracelet set! Our new jewelry was the perfect size for each of us. Some people simply go above and beyond in being neighborly! These fine folks were certainly blizzard champions as well!

Homeward Bound Hero

I honestly do not recall if I spent more than one night at the neighbors or not. My Man of the Hour, Dad, eventually got out his little orange Allis Chalmers tractor and dug a path to rescue me. We rode on the open air tractor and got home – just in time to celebrate our Christmas with the five of us! Despite my disappointment of the story of Santa, I was to find that it is the generous hearts of all those around us that fuel the spirit of Christmas. That and Dad – he was truly my blizzard hero!

If you are in a wintery location, you may enjoy my Winter Cozy post as well as the Call of the Winter. Here is a resource with winter safety tips: Stay warm!

The Goodbye Dog

We once had a certain dog. He was officially dubbed with the name, Teddy Baron. Later, he earned the nickname, Bear Dog. Eventually, he became the Goodbye Dog.

He was such a cute, mostly black dog with long fur. His tail was constantly wagging, especially when our kids would be playing with him out in the yard.

My husband’s favorite activity after I’d finished mowing the lawn was to currycomb Bear Dog. Since our dog’s hair was so long, the pile of loose hairs resembled another whole dog in the midst of our freshly manicured lawn!

Not only could our dog be a play companion and a pampered pet, but he could also be a beast. One time, I witnessed him tackling and killing a raccoon. Needless to say, that was a harrowing sight to behold.

The Goodbye Moniker

I bet you wonder how in the world a dog could earn the moniker, the Goodbye Dog. This is how it happened. One fine Mother’s Day, my husband and I had my parents over for Sunday dinner. When they left, we were sitting on our front steps with Bear Dog. The two of us were waving goodbye. Since sometimes our pets think they’re human, too, he raised a front paw and joined us in waving goodbye!

After that point, he would wave on command if we did the motion or if we told him, “Wavy Gravy”!

Bear Dog lived a good happy life. However, toward the end of his life, he went missing. We eventually discovered his body. However, that wasn’t the end of his story.

Our daughter lived halfway across the country at that time. She felt bad that she couldn’t be with him for one last farewell.

One night, shortly after our dog’s passing, our daughter was gifted a beautiful dream with Bear Dog. She was so thrilled he came to her. Each of them got to love on one another, one final time. Before her dream ended, a large, fluffy white dog came to escort our dog to the afterlife.

The White Dog

For a time, all of us puzzled who the white dog was. We found out a short time later. One of my aunts had passed, so we were gifted some old family photos. There was a snapshot that took my breath away. It was an image of my grandparents, my aunt and my dad. Dad was petting a large, long-haired white dog! This picture was taken when my dad was roughly upper high school age. When I spoke to Dad about his canine, he told me his name was Hoppy, short for Hop-Along-Cassidy!

Fascinatingly, we live on the same property now. I could only imagine Hoppy in spirit form, frolicking in the yard when our Bear Dog was playing during his earthly life.

How could it be that two dogs roughly six decades distant could have their stories intersect? What are the chances that a dog named Hoppy could jump into the life of a dog who could wave goodbye when he was bidding farewell?

Isn’t this greet and escort into the afterlife fascinating? I’m certain our Goodbye Dog, Teddy Baron, AKA Bear Dog, was grateful and comforted. Our family, our friends and now you may feel reassurance from this story. May you find solace that someone will be there for you, for our loved ones, whether two or four legged, when the time comes.

Here is a beautiful story of another sign from the other side: My Mother’s Day Guest. It is important as well as healing to tell your stories during the grieving process. Here is a resource:

Finding Gratitude

Finding gratitude can be a life changer in regards to securing inner peace. Can you find gratitude? Let’s start by imagining for a moment. What if two potentially disastrous things happened to you in one week? What if that particular week happened to be Thanksgiving? Do you think you could find it within yourself to be thankful?

Many times, thinking about events with an “if this, then that” mindset may end with the same answer, like an algebraic or a logical given.

A New Way to Gratitude

First of all, ponder looking at these events in a new way. Is there anything good at all which occurred? Could there be even a part of these occurrences which may deviate into a positive direction?

Fortunately, my brain works differently. Sometimes the optimist in me strives to see the world in a different light. Perhaps it is the artist within who wants to color the world more attractively.

Upon self examination with one of the events I quickly saw that, at the root, it contained the seeds of something I had been desiring. It involved breaking one habit while simultaneously nurturing a more pleasant one.

In thinking of the other of the happenings, I could see it as perhaps serendipitous if I looked past the initial veneer. It was far too easy to think and question, “What if this had not happened?” Thinking of these occurrences in a new way could be life changing.

Back and Forth Bargaining

I felt the pull of this back and forth bargaining. Rather than back and forth, perhaps my journey toward gratitude could be down to up. However, I must admit, both scenarios stirred much fear, anger and angst. It would have been quite easy in a theatrical mode of expression to place my hand upon my forehead, exclaiming, “Woe is me!”

With my paint the world pretty attitude of creative thinking, I ticked off a number of gratitudes for both of these events. How much happier and healthier I felt by being thankful rather than feeling resentful.

Truly any situation we could imagine may fall into one’s life. Our perspective is the determining factor in how we may resume resilience.

Finally, have you tried to find gratitude in the midst of what may appear to be turmoil? Would it be possible to invite a new perspective into your life? Just as a mirror image is reversed, sometimes our view point could also do well with a reversal. If you only look in the mirror, perhaps your reflection may thank you!

Here is a related post: Gratitude for Hard Times. This article,, is a wonderfully extensive resource on gratitude.

Opposites in the Arts

We can learn much from opposites in the arts. In fact, the very contrast of opposites can help us in coping with grief.

Just think of a painting. If all of it was equally dark, there may not be enough contrast to be informative or interesting. The same could be true if it was equally light. If a painting was entirely in warm colors or entirely in cool colors, there may not be enough contrast to have some pop. It is the concept of opposites which allows us to identify something. Are you in a dark space or light? Does your mood feel warm or cool? On the feeling spectrum, do you feel closer to grief or peace?

  • All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves. In reality opposites are one – art shows this. Eli Siegel
  • The principle to remember is that all dualities and opposites are not disjoined but polar. They do not confront each other from afar; they originate in a common center. Michael Michalko
  • A dark object seen against a bright background will appear smaller than it is. A light object will look larger when it is seen against a background darker than itself. Leonardo da Vinci
  • Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift. Mary Oliver
  • In order to understand the dance you must be still. And in order to truly understand stillness you must dance. Rumi
  • It belongs to the imperfection of everything human that man can only attain his desire by passing through its opposite. Soren Kierkegaard
  • Music is the harmonization of opposites; the conciliation of warring elements. Pythagoras
  • God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly, not one. Rumi
  • Breathing involves a continual oscillation between exhaling and inhaling, offering ourselves to the world at one moment and drawing the world into ourselves at the next. David Abram

As you can see, opposites in the arts have much to teach us in regards to how we may cope with grief. In order to find peace, we must pass through the grief. May all of us make our opposites one by searching for beauty, painting our feelings, dancing our delights, singing our songs, breathing our breaths, being still in the darkness, and shining our lights.

You may be interested in EMPOWERED LIVING by learning what effects practicing the visual arts have had on my students. This link offers suggestions for ways to use the arts to cope with grief:

Miracle Mindset

What if you adopted a miracle mindset? How do you think this could change your life? This is how my life changed as a result of contemplating miracles. Fairly early into our son’s pancreatic cancer (p.c.) illness, I came across a quote which lived on our refrigerator for several years. Here is the quote.

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

Albert Einstein

I must admit that immediately following our son’s diagnosis, I lived in a terrible state of fear. This fright was born of the phrase, “what if…”. Of course with such a diagnosis as p.c., at first my what-ifs did not include miracles. Much of the difference for me, besides finding some complementary health practices to help our son, was simply in being open to the concept of miracles. Here is what we found.

Out of difficulties grow miracles.

Jean de la bruyere

Absolutely no one dreams that one’s child would have such a life threatening illness. However, we found ourselves in this situation. We could have chosen the “woe is me” scenario. Making that choice would not have been good for any of us. Choosing the hope of miracles in our time of difficulty was the more pleasant path. This miracle formula could be true, regardless of one’s challenges in life.

Miracles are like pimples, because once you start looking for them you find more than you ever dreamed you’d see.

Lemony Snicket, The Lump of Coal

When we looked for miracles, they actually popped up everywhere! Sometimes it would be something relatively “small”. Perhaps it was that our son was able to properly digest a meal. Maybe it was that he felt well enough to go to work that day. Other times it was huge! Those were the times he received clean health scans. In retrospect, however, all of these miracles were quite spectacular.

Miracle Mindset in Grief

Believe it or not, this miracle mindset has also been quite a godsend following our son’s passing.

Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.

Louise L. hay

Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you focus your life in awe.

Wayne dyer

Yes, love and gratitude have been essential in our grief journey. Keeping our minds on this higher road lifts our spirits. Gratitude for Hard Times may be just what you need if you are experiencing grief. Here are some gratitude practice benefits: Appreciatively giving thanks for even the smallest things seems to ripen the field for growing miracles.

One of the gifts I received during our son’s illness was noticing the tiny pinpoints of light reflected from a sun-drenched flower. For whatever reason, I’d never been able to perceive this spectacle before this time. Now, I notice it anytime I see a flower basking in sunlight. It is so awe inspiring for me to gaze upon the beauty of such a short lived creation.

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.


Lastly, may you experience the miraculous by losing yourself in the sparkling beauty of a single flower. May you be blessed with many miracles!

Signs from the Universe

Sometimes I receive signs from the universe. Allow me to explain. I began noticing many such signs especially while our son experienced a lengthy illness. These indicators from the universe have continued more than six years past him leaving his earthly body. Signs intrigue me. Of course, many questions arise. Through my self dialogue and analysis, I find comfort.

Just this morning, I awoke at 4:44. I lingered in bed awhile. The next time I looked at the clock, it was 5:55. Sometimes when I desire to write, the first thing in the morning can be the best time, so I arose. There was already a piece I’d written some time ago which I wanted to reframe. Interestingly, in this particular writing, I mentioned when we parked our car, the odometer had four sixes in a row! Articles I’ve read claim that the universe is connecting with us when we see repeated numbers. Does this really mean the universe has my back? Is it working with me? I’ve decided if it helps me to have more hope, then it is worth considering. The extra reassurance is always worth it!

Within my writing to be revised, my husband and I arrived at our destination and I noted that the clock had an intriguing time. The hour just happened to be the month our son was born while the minutes matched his day of birth!

More Signs from the Universe

You see, we were at the first of two memorial services that day. Fortunately one was in the morning, while the other was in the afternoon. Once we entered the sanctuary, we were offered three options for seats. It was perfect timing as we were able to choose a pew to sit next to a dear friend. Midway through the service, I centered my sight on the sculpture of Jesus behind the alter. His arms are extended out from His sides, palms down, while His head is bowed in a downward glance. This took me back a number of years ago when our son was an usher for a wedding in that very church. My thoughts centered not on the actual event so much as a certain photo captured that day.

After our son passed, I was combing through our photos for his memory board. Once I cast my eyes upon this particular photo, my heart skipped a beat. Within the back row, our son’s head was slightly taller than the others and centered right below the statue of Jesus. It hauntingly appeared as if Jesus was focusing solely on our son. I imagined a redo of Matthew 3:17: “This is my sacrificial lamb with whom I am well pleased.” The image almost made it seem prophetic that he would die an early death. I wondered if I was reading too much into the photo.

Signs and Questions

A song chosen for one of those two memorial services was “I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry”. That was also a selection at our son’s service. One of the lines is, “I’ll be there when you are old.” That led me to question what is old? Our son most certainly wasn’t old at age thirty-eight. Of the two services that day, one was for someone in their sixth decade while the other was for someone nine decades young. None of these folks were the age of Methuselah. (He was the famed figure of Judaism, Christianity and Islam who lived to an age of 969 years.) This begs a few questions. What is old? Why are some allowed a lengthy earthly visit while others may not survive the birth process? Where is the dividing line between young and old? The age old, old age questions linger.

When I contemplated signs from the universe, I also thought about the complexity of signs and/or visits from our departed loved ones. Go figure that my art teacher persona feels that my Mobius Strip Mindset soothes my brain. If you’ve never make a Mobius strip, try making the examples I provided for you in the previous clickable post if you like. (Here is a scholarly article on these strips: Somehow the twists and turns of this paper device imaginatively show me how our departed loved ones can simultaneously be here as well as not here. My humble homemade Mobius Strip is yet another of my signs from the universe! What are some of your signs from the universe?

Power of Poetry!

Have you ever contemplated the power of poetry? I just had a dream that I was nominated to be the poetry ambassador for a county fair! Initially, it seemed this role was a nondescript, superfluous position. At first it made me chuckle. Then, within the dream, I pondered. Perhaps if I was in this position, this is what I would do to help others understand how potent poetry can be. I was making a plan. When I awoke, I recalled my dream. I then realized I was just given the outline for this post! Let’s see how this dynamic art form can help to ease our grief.

Far from frivolous, I can tell you that poetry has power. It is capable of painting pictures in the mind. The rhythms and rhymes make music. Expressing ourselves poetically allows us to educate, illustrate, captivate, incubate, orchestrate and speculate. Writing poetry can soothe, intensify or justify our emotions. Poetry has the potential to help us in times of grief as well as in other times of our lives.

Powerful poetry, incidentally, doesn’t have to have rhyme or rhythm, but I prefer to create rhymed and metered pieces. I thrive on the challenge of finding and fitting syllables and sounds to make meaning. It is much as condensing the free form of everything as choice, but then situating it within a structure. Even as a child, I loved to write poems. With over a quarter century of published poems, I must admit, I am over twenty five years old! Here are three of my poems, each with a very different purpose.

Poetic Power – Work with the Grief

When Christopher Reeves, who played the character Superman, passed I was quite saddened. I could have written to indulge in my grief. However, I desired to honor his life and career as well as to express hope.

Epic Hero

A hero's life by many standards stood 
for what was right and countered that of wrong.
He was a mild and mannered man who could
be brave and brazen to protect a throng.

His broad and sculpted shoulders made girls melt.
He led a double life or so it seemed.
A humble writer, writing what was dealt;
in secret saw that right would be redeemed.

Emblazoned scarlet letter on his chest
did mark his life upon the silver screen;
and yet the accident became a test;
revealed more epic hero than we'd seen.

Too soon St. Peter puzzled o'er a streak.
No bird or plane but Superman he seeks!

First Publication Rights, Iowa Poetry Association, Lyrical Iowa 2005

Poetic Power – Try on a New Emotion

A few years ago, I taught a week long elementary level poetry residency which was sponsored by the Iowa Arts Council. My next poem was shared with some of the older groups of students. This particular one has a more light hearted mood. Sometimes writing something in a humorous vein can brighten our spirit.

Give a Frog a Tour

I'd give a tour and if I could,
tis for my friend, the jumping frog.
He'd try to let me know he's there,
but hopped right past my barking dog.

Since frog does not know how to knock,
he flatly squeezed beneath my door.
His quiet ribbit was quite soft,
so he hopped across my floor.

He found my plants and thought, "Oh boy!"
jumping in the nearest flower.
Meanwhile I fetched my water can
I gave poor frog a shower!

He was quite shocked and leapt right out,
He squeaked that he was soaked,
I did explain, "You didn't knock."
Frog's terse response: he croaked.

Celebrate Beauty with Power of Poetry!

Living in a rural midwestern area, blizzards are an event that can create a beautiful transformation of the landscape! Searching for the sublime when an unexpected event occurs can be healing for the soul.

Iowa Blizzard

Behold post blizzard: landscape thickened white.
The hibernating humans hidden well.
Leave nose print evidence on windows bright.
Avoid frost-bite and live the tale to tell.
They saw Tom Sawyer - overhead he roams
Dispersing frozen whitewash in the sky.
A twinkling transformation of our homes,
To gingerbread with icing by and by.
Near marshmallow hay bales sparkle brightly.
The snow plows rumbling, lumbering to fetch
our fast paced lives from immobility.
Snow plows scratching pathways like Etch-A-Sketch!
Ye blizzards come. Oh yeah come winter, slow
our lives of busyness, with winter snow!

First Publication Rights, Iowa Poetry Association, Lyrical Iowa 1999

During your grieving process, remember my dream inspiration. Writing (or reading) poetry can help. Search the recesses of your mind to find deep meaning, to express grief, to look for hope, to find some humor, to portray the beauty. If you’d like another poem, here is Michelangelo Inspiration. I close with Maya Angelo’s poem, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Poetry can create a grief healing response. Reading, writing (or singing) poetry may express, appease or release your grief.

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