The Last Rose of Summer

‘Tis the last rose of summer

Left blooming alone;

All her lovely companions

Are faded and gone;

No flower of her kindred,

No rose-bud is nigh,

To reflect back her blushes,

Or give sigh for sigh.

I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one!

To pine on the stem;

Since the lovely are sleeping,

Go, sleep thou with them.

Thus kindly I scatter

Thy leaves o’er the bed

Where thy mates of the garden

Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow,

When friendships decay,

And from Love’s shining circle

The gems drop away.

When true hearts lie withered,

And fond ones are flown,

O! who would inhabit

This bleak world alone?

—Thomas Moore

A Name in the Sand

Alone I walked the ocean strand;

A pearly shell was in my hand:

I stooped and wrote upon the sand

My name—the year—the day.

As onward from the spot I passed,

One lingering look behind I cast;

A wave came rolling high and fast,

And washed my lines away.

And so, methought, ’twill shortly be

With every mark on earth from me:

A wave of dark oblivion’s sea

Will sweep across the place

Where I have trod the sandy shore

Of time, and been, to be no more,

Of me—my day—the name I bore,

To leave nor track nor trace.

And yet, with Him who counts the sands

And holds the waters in His hands,

I know a lasting record stands

Inscribed against my name,

Of all this mortal part has wrought,

Of all this thinking soul has thought,

And from these fleeting moments caught

For glory or for shame.

—Hannah Flagg Gould.

The Rainbow

Triumphal arch, that fills the sky
When storms prepare to part,
I ask not proud Philosophy
To teach me what thou art.
Still seem, as to my childhood’s sight,
A midway station given,
For happy spirits to alight,
Betwixt the earth and heaven.

— Thomas Campbell


     I think that I shall never see
     A poem lovely as a tree.    

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
     Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

     A tree that looks at God all day,
     And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

     A tree that may in Summer wear
     A nest of robins in her hair;

     Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
     Who intimately lives with rain.

     Poems are made by fools like me,
     But only God can make a tree.

— Joyce Kilmer

The Days of the Month

A short poem from a book of poems called “POEMS: Every Child Should Know” by “The What-Every-Child-Should-Know-Library”.  This is a song and memory aid for children, which I remember from my youth and which I thought was still useful today.

Thirty days hath September,

April, June, and November;

February has twenty-eight alone.

All the rest have thirty-one,

Excepting leap-year—that’s the time

When February’s days are twenty-nine.

–By anonymous

The Field Of Honor

The Field Of Honor

Today was a good day
because we’re still here.
None of us has become a statistic
in our hometown newspaper.
None of us has turned into a knock
at a loved one’s front door.
Simply because we made it out alive,
today was a good day.

Today was a good day
because I have no wounds.
Better yet, no bullets blew by,
no scope pointed on me,
no near miss,
no ready, aim, goodbye.
Today was a good day.

Today was a good day
because I slept through the night,
and a good night’s sleep at that.
There was no watch to take,
no explosions breaking through my dreams,
bursting me awake.
In fact, I didn’t dream.
And because of that,
today was a good day.

Today was a good day
because I’ve had something to eat.
I’ve had three full meals (plus snacks)
of food that I chose, food that I wanted
because I knew it would taste good,
food that I could prepare or buy
to make me feel good. I ate it and
today was a good day.

Today was a good day
because it’s ending in bed.
It’s ending at home,
where I can read a book or watch TV,
stay up too late or go to sleep early.
Tonight, I am home, and so
today was a good day.

Today was a good day
because I’m able to look back.
I’m able to be proud of those I’ve known,
what they’ve done, who they’ve become.
I can look back on that field of honor
and remember when days weren’t this good.
Because I can remember,
today was a good day.

–Albert L swope

Mr. & Mrs. In The Yard

Mr. & Mrs. In The Yard

My dogs and I returned from the park, all crammed into the car,
We had not been gone for long, it’s really not that far.
My dogs saw them first, and then so did I,
New neighbors had moved in, we should stop to say hi.

We tried to go and meet them, but they never would stand still.
Running this way and that, they’re mouths they would fill.
You see, our new neighbors were a pair of light grey squirrels,
I called them Mr. & Mrs., for they seemed like a boy and girl.

They’d taken residence in our largest oak tree,
And seemed to be quite happy since the rent was free.
They seemed very friendly and wanted to play games,
Even though they were driving my dogs totally insane.

Mr. Squirrel would hit the ground, which got my dogs running,
He’d lead them on a wild chase, while Mrs. Squirrel was sunning.
Then he’d run across my roof, to tease my barking dogs,
And always made things worse, when Mr. squirrel took his jogs.

Down the tree and back up again, was Mr. Squirrel’s chosen path,
Putting the dogs in a frenzy, knocking over our bird bath.
I was not sure I liked my scampering new neighbors,
Things got interesting, at least that was in their favor.

Eventually, things would settle down, and Mr. & Mrs. would just watch,
They had settled into our oak tree’s strongest hollow notch.
I could watch them for hours running to and fro,
As they were settled in, I would not make them go.

I started liking them, which surprised even me,
So, Mr. & Mrs. new residence became our old oak tree.
When thinking about neighbors, they were not my first choice,
But I liked their gentle chirping, they really had so little voice.

I watched them run and jump, then scurry and scamper,
Climbing everything in sight, they were two happy campers.
The dogs got exercise, which they badly needed,
And I was entertained, my expectations far exceeded.

If you’re looking for new neighbors, you might give squirrels a try,
They’re really quite amazing and some species even fly.
The conversations might not challenge your intellect,
But Mr. & Mrs. Squirrel we never will forget.

–Albert L swope

Down The Lane

Down The Lane
Down The Lane

Gravel driveway–
Footsteps, footsteps;
Crisp, clean air flowed through our lungs.
Laughing, talking;
Languid noise rolled off our tongues.

Light broke through the limbs of trees;
Branches rustled in the breeze.
Conversation came with ease–
Bright autumn hues were all we’d see.

Golden apples–
Footsteps, footsteps
Slowly met to harvest more.
Years behind us,
Laughing, talking,
Childish noise that I adore.

We would know just what to say
And walk that gravel path each day.
We’d play and harvest as trees swayed,
Words spun and dipped like a ballet.

Sunbeams dancing,
Fading, soft light,
As we gathered together.
Buildings crumble,
Concrete erodes;
Memories last forever.

–Albert L Swope


Forgotten Roses, bee on Rose

How many years
had he watched them,
and how many years
had it been?

He remembers
the sunbeams
streaming through the treetops

He remembers
the green growth
enveloping the scene

But he always returns
to the patch of old roses.

In full bloom,
they look like a sunrise,
hues of orange and apricot
and peach tinted petals.

The flowers return
year after year
waiting for visitors
to see their true glory.

The once bustling farm
had long stood still,
with no human or animal
eyes to see the roses.

Who else knew of this patch?
Possibly none still alive.
The boy gone fishing
year after year
is among the only
living souls
still in
on their secret.

Life Is an Opportunity

Life Is an Opportunity

Life is. Not life should be, or I wish life was,
Life happens, just because.
A wolf preys on a weakened elk, not because it prefers the taste,
But rather it is nature’s way to end the elk’s fate.

The elk provides nourishment for the wolf clan,
This is natural, it is life’s plan.
No vote is taken in the pack,
To determine the best plan of attack.

The wolves know in order to survive,
Acting on opportunity will help them thrive.
Indecisiveness would result in failure,
And failure leads to death.

If you are looking for fairness in nature, it will not be found.
If you are looking for kindness, stop looking around.
If you are waiting for opportunity to present itself to you,
It will pass you by, and then you’re through.

Look for opportunity and act without hesitation.
Seize opportunity it is the means to an end.
Life is opportunity, no room for rivals.
Embrace opportunity, for it is survival.

Winter Storm

Winter Storm

It starts with a flurry and a gentle westerly wind,
That’s just the beginning to a terrible end.
It’s been predicted for days, but never fully believed,
Not till the first warnings of the storm are received.

You’re still on the road, thinking there’s still plenty of time,
Then a gust of wind hits your car and you start to slide.
Pushing yourself back onto the roadway,
You know you better get home now, some way!

There’s already a drift in front of your door,
You say to yourself, “Really, how much more?”
Then you realize your shovels are still up in the attic,
You thought there would have been time not to panic.

It’s late at night, not much you can do now,
You’ll get them in the morning and start shoveling somehow.
You still have your snowblower in the garage, thank goodness,
But what about fuel; Oh no! What a mess!!

You try to sleep as the wind starts howling louder,
The temperature drops, there’s two feet of fresh powder.
The lights flicker for a moment then all goes black,
This is not a storm it’s a winter blitz attack.

The generator you wanted was still on back order,
One good thing, you’ve always been a toilet paper hoarder.
You find an old flashlight with dead batteries inside,
And the fifty used candles from your last birthday surprise.

You’ll have a little warmth as you light them one by one,
But, not near enough light to get any work done.
So, off to sleep you go with 10 blankets on top,
Hoping and hoping the snow will just stop.

You awaken in the morning and the alarm clock’s flashing.
Your jaws are tired from all the teeth gnashing.
You relight the furnace and reset the clocks,
Looking out the window nothing’s moving for blocks.

Schools are closed and most businesses too,
There’s no place to go, and you can’t get through.
Neighbors you have never met,
Start popping from the snow, shoveling and wet.

You meet some new friends and old ones as well,
Going house to house with blankets and lots of shovels.
When everyone is safe, and you are stuck waiting on plows,
You start sharing ways how you’ll all get through it somehow.

Life slows down for a few hours or days,
The first plows come by, to a huge “Hip, Hip, Hooray!”
Storms always come at the worst possible time,
But, bring people together who need to share life.

Autumn’s Song

Autumn’s Song

Autumn’s flocking, trumpeting, migrating geese,
Signaling the finale’ of the season’s powerful masterpiece.
Shadows stretch out in the late afternoon,
Announcing winter is coming soon.

Days grow shorter while colors explode,
Every tree, each bush, hitting the perfect note.
Grasses cease to grow, taking a dramatic pause,
Allowing rest for landscapers to enjoy the applause.

Farmers rejoice to see bounty from their labor,
A successful harvest for all to savor.
Reaping what was sown so many days before,
Fruits and vegetables, beans and corn.

The harmony of sun and rain,
Has brought us to this joyous refrain.
So much to be thankful for,
Enough for all and even more.

Soft golden sunsets emblazon the skies,
Gentle warm days and crisp cool nights.
This is Autumn’s song of praise,
A standing ovation that lasts for days

Poetry – Guardian



A storm forced sea batters

Kelp obscured cliffs.

The frosty mist,

Deluge the whistling rock

And mortar cone walls.

In the distance,

A single powerful light is seen,

Flooding the sapphire blues of the water.

Like a mother’s soothing hand

On the back of the belligerent child

that is the sea.

A single structure

Standing in the middle of a raging sea.

Stone walls and bright light.

It leaves you wondering…

It leaves you wanting…

What mysteries do you house?

What wonders fill you?

A solitary door looms,

Like a single guard daring you to enter.

“Enter at your own peril!”

It seems to scream.

Inside, spiral stairs,

Twisting and turning like a sea-monster

Lead to rooms of glass walls.

With rotating lighting unit,

In its center,

And a walkway made of stone as old as time,

Your hands, laid on intricate artwork made of metal…

The handrail.

You stare out.

From the solace of the lighthouse.

The sailor’s guiding light pierces,

Through fog saturated night air,

Showing a Squall’s violently,

Crested waters.

To one side, a cove,

Whose beaches go undisturbed.

Behind the cliff gates,

Atop which stands a silent guardian.

Protector, savior.

Staring out,

These waters are as treacherous as they are beautiful.

Swallowing sailors, old and green alike.

The guardian does not rest.

He takes no day off.

For fates rest in his hands.

The guardian makes the difference between life and death

Other Poetry

Poetry – Morn

Morning Sunrise


Darkness yields,

Cool winds blow,

Cross the frost.

A golden crest blossoms,

Painting the land anew,

the day breaks

Lonesome heavens

Bled reddish dawns

On mountain tops.

Woods shivered

ancient sunrise

in their slumber.

Rivers cried their mirrors

inside the endless fields

of white,

timeless morning came

to bring the temple

of dreams to life

once more.

Sacred light

filled all my scars

with warmth and love,

as our souls sung

by every angel

in the sky.

Blinded by the black

that was, the memory

of past grew silent.

And in that solitude

a whisper rose

above the stone

to call me home.


Other Poetry



Poetry – Mary Kay

Student Learning
Mary Kay


Mary Kay


The silence that echoed the room

Where kids initially will equip

The board staring so deep at me

It’s slates as empty as the wind

The playgrounds look scattered

Though it has experienced many laughs

Of kids who wouldn’t leave without saying goodbye

The summer is here am alerted

The streets to school looks deserted

The salesmen left their counter

For no one to commend their burger

Now dust finds its solace

All over the walls, even the stairways

The pipes will rest in peace

For no one to remove its clips

The sport complex

As dry as an empty can

Even the pool is without waters

For every swimmer is home for summer

The kitchen where loads of kids do gather

The rats in there now have their festivals

For no one will dare pass by

Not even a pot can dare stop them

The red bricks stand so rigid

Even though empty breath lies within the bricks

The building lies fallow, just for this bit

For very soon, new life it will receive

When off from summer the kids return bit by bit

Now Mary Kay’s spirit will rise.


Other Poetry