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Creative Expressions/Poetry

My Mother's Last Moments, by David Platzer
My Father's Vigil, by David Platzer
Uncle Kenny, Home in Heaven, by David Platzer
George Harrison, by David Platzer

A Psalm of Life
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!-
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Finds us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, - act in the living, Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er lifes solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing
Learn to labor and to wait.

Jennifer W. Goodwin is a licensed social worker who suffered the loss of her husband at a young age. She writes, " Here are some poems I wrote in the year following my husband's death. Writing them was terribly healing for me... This work is very important as, particularly for young widows, many of us do not have peer support at the time that we need it. We are rudderless as we venture into a bleak unknown. Whatever support we can offer each other is critical... I hope you like my poetry."
Jennifer is Director of Crisis Response Services in Biddeford, Maine.

By Jennifer W. Goodwin

I wear it like a cloak
The dark folds encasing the shards of my life--
Some sharp and jagged, dangerous to gentle senses
Raw and pure
Some soft and smooth, as if worn by the sea
Solid and sure

Quickly embraced, tragically comfortable
A weaving whose patterns reflect both serenity and horror
The shadowed surface disjointed, bleak, desolate

Life forces the fabric of widowhood to forever shift
It is never still
Sometimes my fragmented soul is exposed--
Cradled by gently caressing winds
Or battered relentlessly by emotional storm
Sometimes I am swaddled and protected--
    Retreating from the world
Sometimes the cloak is smothering
and I fight to emerge

If I cast off this shroud,
What will define me?
What will happen to the shards?
Maybe they will scatter--
    Pulled like magnets to the iron of life's roles
    Beauty lost -- turned functional
    Diluted by necessity
I don't want this
There would be nothing left to enshroud

Or perhaps they will cascade--
A waterfall of shattered soul
Pieces reforming -- some further fractured -- some newly joined

And the cloak?
On the riverbank,
There if needed
Deferring its power,
Its painful definition, to the shining new me--

Both familiar and unknown.

By Jennifer W. Goodwin

I lay, mired in emotion
No reaction, no pulse
Energy is merely a concept
Release beyond hope
The day that he died
I sunk down in these depths
All of my life force used just to cope

By Jennifer W. Goodwin

Fiercely protective, primitive and proud
Basic and beautiful, promises vowed
An era ended, why now?

First Summer
By Jennifer W. Goodwin

Sun bright
Breeze slight
Heart tight
Widow's plight

By Jennifer W. Goodwin

Dazzling flashes of bluest blue
Seductive cobalt flame
Cold as ice

Thick full mustache
Tickling baby bellies
Burning my tender skin

Laughter twinkling
Eyes shining like sun on fish scales
You spawned until you died
You will never return to me

Earthy, rough and charming
Salty gentle man
Where have you gone?
What is wrong with our Mother?

I am adrift
My soul untethered
I thrill at the autonomy
And despair at the loneliness

Living with loss muffles emotion
Like snow muffles sound
Or fog softens vision

My feelings do exist
But they are separate and isolated,
Buffeted in the wrappings of grief
I notice them
If I sit still long enough
I can feel them

Anger and frustration are different somehow
They drift alongside of me
Never straying far

Flashes of displaced irritation,
Deluging disproportionate rage,
Rain down upon my children
    Huge blue eyes
    Wondering why?

They have done nothing more than react to the death of their father

Neither have I.

By Jennifer W. Goodwin

Throbbing heart
Idle mind
Retreat from it all
Exhausted by

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9/5/02 thinking of Mom

It rains as
My heart cries in Pain
It has only Begin
The storm within
every drop its own
like every smile
that ever were
on your face
Its a disgrace you were
taken too early from your
earthly place
rain down flowing
streams, like your memory
Again and Again

Eileen S Dorsey
Copyright 2003 Eileen Dorsey

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Mr. Music, be happy

Love you from the soul
In the place where I am whole
It's Not just my heart you stole
Because where I love you is in my soul
The place that is pure and whole
Love like this nothing will take a toll
Love like this breaks the mold
Because this love is whole-souled.

Eileen Shannon Dorsey
Copyright 2003 Eileen Dorsey

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Childhood Joys
By Dora Dorenburg

Through out all the dark days,
There still remains a bright light.
So brilliant to the eyes,
Blessings it must be.
Childlike lures begging to be bitten,
From depths below the surface.
Teachers for adults; visual educators
For all whom see them in the mirror.
I see through their eyes,
I feel their pain and sorrows.
I share their fears, their struggles,
I cry along with them, their cries out that
Very few seem to hear.
Value their honesty and their innocence.
Choose to defend, up build, and defend them.
Choose to stand by them and respect them.
Allow them to be children-Remember yours?
Allow them to be human. After all aren't we all?

Copyright 11-11-2002 Dora Dorenburg
I am an old soul, my years amount to 28 however, inside I am not only 15, I am 50. I have survived a trivial life and overcome so many obsticles, one struggle after another, I learned valuable lessons at the age of 13, homeless with no family to care what happened to me, I survived severe drug abuse, gang affiliation, an extremely abusive upbringing, robbed of my childhood, nervous, physical, mental & emotional abuse. Yes, I am a survivor not a victim of anything. By the strength given to me by God, His word and the theraputic process of writing, I have been able to cope and reap the rewards of my troubled life. My wonderful family, handsome sons and a beautiful soul I am now giving back to those whom may not have anyone to encourage them thru my writings. I hope ones who need it, are able to benefit from my 15 years worth of self poetry. My motto today is Live! Love! Laugh! Life! My four L's of life.

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From Darkness to Light

I love you Steven 2 , you are my hope and inspiration.

From Darkness to light, Oh the hell of the fight
In the dark it is scary, hairy and queer.
Why do I do it? I am full of Fear!
I can see the dark is just a demon inside of me.
I thank my father for letting me see.
The dark is not where I want to be.
To see the light from the dark, is an awesome sight.
Thank you Lord, I was able to fight.
I see with new eyes
It's only the beast I despise.
Oh, to see the light in my nephews eyes.
Oh, what a beautiful sight to go from the
darkness to the light.

Eileen S Dorsey
Copyright 2002 Eileen S Dorsey

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I see you lying there cold and dead.
Not a vision i want in my head.
I also see a soul who was set free. To come
And watch over me. You were a young
Beautiful imprisoned soul in an old body
With illness and pain.
Wouldn't you know it the lord holds a plan.
As it is in my memory you will always stand.
Etched in my mind for all time,
All that you were and all you be,
Sitting at the right hand of the father
Watching over me. At sunset you were given your
Wings. Spread them sweet soul, and fly
You have been set free

Eileen S Dorsey
Copyright 2002 Eileen S Dorsey

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Mommy I Miss you

Seems like yesterday
we were talking and laughing on
the phone. Now I dial your Number and there's
nobody home! Here you left me in this
world all alone! Your memory Always in my
heart like a diamond stone! Come by and see
us as you make your rounds and Roam! I know
Mama Your Heavenly father Has called you home!
You are no longer alone!

June 16, 2002
Mom I miss you, your Daughter#1 Eileen

I wrote this poem for my Mom, Betty, who died on 6/8/02. My mom was my only parent and she died suddenly. She had just turned 57, 8 days before she passed away. If you like you can read my other poems at www.poetry.com.

Eileen Dorsey
Copyright 2002 Eileen Dorsey

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The Reality of It All
by Barb Hutchins*

The reality of it all just suddenly enveloped me
woke me from a deep sleep and stared right into me
There will be no tiny cry
No little fingers grasping mine
No cooing and giggling
No first tooth
No first word
And inside I froze in the silence of the house
The reality of it all made itself clear and plain
Maybe it was the acceptance
Settling in
enveloping me
gripping at my heart
Not letting me shut it out.
Maybe that was what made me freeze inside.
The knowing that the tiny infant I once carried
Inside my womb
Is now gone
Never to be held by me
Tickled by me
Touched by me
Cuddled by me
Maybe that was what made me freeze.
All I know for sure is
The reality of it all just hit me.
She is gone.

*Barb Hutchins wrote this poem after she and her husband lost their first baby on February 25, 2002 to a miscarriage. She was 12 weeks pregnant. Their baby was named Joylynn Elizabeth.
Copyright: Barb Hutchins 2-25-2002

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The charge of the hate brigade
by Meera Khanna, Joint Secretary, Guild of Service

These lines were written after the terrible carnage in the state of Gujarat in India, when Hindu and Muslim fundamentalists, in frenzied attacks went on a spree of looting, burning, killing and maiming. They were deaf to reason and blind to any human right to life or security. The mobs were whipped up into this mania in an attempt to build a temple, or build a mosque on a disputed land. This happened in the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, who has been an apostle of peace for the whole world. Can there be a greater tragic irony than this?

The charge of the hate brigade
Meera Khanna

They charged
Fuelled by hate
Accelerated by ignorance
The charge of the hate brigade

Chanting the mantra of cruelty
Knotted by the taviz of brutality
The majority and the minority
Humans devoid of all pity

In the name of Ram they chopped
In the name of Rahim they burnt
Had they seen Ram?
Had they heard Rahim?
Blinded by violence
Deafened by hate
How could they?

Limbless babies wailing
Childless mothers shrieking
Houses burnt, livelihood laid bare
The agonizing cry of despair
Was that a Hindu cry...a Muslim rail?
Who can tell the language of a wail?

What is the religion of hunger?
What is the faith of despair?
Does poverty know politics?
Can loss care for numbers?

A Hindu orphan, a Muslim widow
Ramdas burnt, Rahim Khan chopped
Do charred bodies go to temples?
Can decapitated heads recite the namaz?
Can a temple parent an orphan?
Can a mosque protect the widow?

Licking flames rise to the sky
Like burning hands supplicating mercy
Stench of death pervades
Face of human violence terrifies
In the land of the apostle of peace
Yes there is peace...the lasting peace of death
Yes there is calm...the stoic calm of loss
Yes there is silence...the numbing silence of despair

Fundamentalism, separatism
Terrorism communalism
Where in this confusion of isms
Is humanism?

The right of the majority
The security of the minority
The authority to build a temple
The responsibility to defend a mosque
Where then, is the right of the human?

In the grave yard of hate
Shrouded by distrust
Suffocated in the coffin of cruelty
Burnt in the violence of brutality
We search for the birth of God

We burnt Him in the houses
We silence Him by the shrieks
We chopped Him to pieces
In the name of religious peace
Now how can He be born
In the cemetery of our minds?

(If you have some comment on the poem or the subject, do write to me at: khannas@id.eth.net.)

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Does Anyone Know the Answers To . . .
by Nancy Kingsbury, Cancer Survivor, Wife, and Mother

Shouldn't there be a time limit to "all good things happen to those who wait?"
Shouldn't we teach the 'children having children' that the actual 'labor' begins after the delivery?
If you don't think you have anything to say, why open your mouth and remove all doubt?
If you say, "just wait a minute" why are we so surprised those 60 minutes later no one is still waiting?
Maybe the reason babies don't speak is because there are too many people talking already and not enough people listening.
If 'children are the promise of the future' maybe we should stop abusing their present.
If Santa Claus knows if we've been 'good or bad and naughty or nice' then doesn't God know too?
Is it considered neglect if I decide I don't want the responsibility of nurturing my 'inner child'?
Who exactly are we supposed to be the 'adult children' of?
Wouldn't it have made more sense to build schools closer to our parent's houses so they didn't have to walk those four and one half miles in raging blizzards?
Is it really fair to say, "This is going to hurt me more than its going to hurt you?"
How can children 'go out and have a good time' and be expected 'not to get their clothes dirty'?"
Didn't we promise ourselves that if we ever became parents there wouldn't be so many rules and regulations to 'having fun'?"
Isn't it physically impossible for children to be expected to 'keep up' when their legs are at least two feet shorter than ours?
If you "just knew this was going to happen" why didn't you say something before it did!
Why do children have to "wait till their father gets home?"
If there is wisdom to be found through experience why do we ignore our elders?
If our children are to be safe in school again then guns and knives shouldn't be 'back to school' supplies.
When did everyone get so many 'issues'?"
So you don't have to say with regret "I should have been there"; just GO.

When did the 'good ole days' end?
If you "did the best you could" how can it possibly "not be good enough?"

Why are we at our very best, when things are at their very worst?
Can't anybody invent a scale that can let us know when "We've had just about enough?"
If time is so precious to us why do we waste so much of it?
What shade of green grass are we looking for so we'll be as happy as the guy on the other side of the fence?

Did you know the answer to any of these questions?
Is it true you won't find the answers in any book?
Maybe there is one book that always has and always will be able to answer our questions.
"Hey, does anyone know where I put my Bible?"

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by: Anonymous from the Internet

I have a new delightful friend,
I am most in awe of her.
When we first met I was impressed,
By her bizarre behavior. That day I had a date with friends,
We met to have some lunch.
Mae had come along with them,
All in all ... a pleasant bunch. When the menus were presented,
We ordered salads, sandwiches, and soups.
Except for Mae who circumvented,
And said, Ice Cream, please: two scoops. I was not sure my ears heard right,
And the others were aghast.
Along with heated apple pie,
Mae added, completely unabashed. We tried to act quite nonchalant,
As if people did this all the time.
But when our orders were brought out,
I did not enjoy mine. I could not take my eyes off Mae,
As her pie a-la-mode went down.
The other ladies showed dismay,
They ate their lunches silently, and frowned. Well, the next time I went out to eat,
I called and invited Mae.
My lunch contained white tuna meat,
She ordered a parfait. I smiled when her dish I viewed,
And she asked if she amused me.
I answered, Yes, you do,
But also you confuse me. How come you order rich desserts,
When I feel I must be sensible?
She laughed and said, with wanton mirth,
I am tasting all that's possible. I try to eat the food I need,
And do the things I should.
But life's so short, my friend, indeed,
I hate missing out on something good. This year I realized how old I was,
She grinned, I've not been this old before.
So, before I die, I've got to try,
Those things for years I had ignored. I've not smelled all the flowers yet,
There's too many books I have not read.
There's more fudge sundaes to wolf down,
And kites to be flown overhead. There are many malls I have not shopped,
I've not laughed at all the jokes.
I've missed a lot of Broadway Hits,
And potato chips and cokes. I want to wade again in water,
And feel ocean spray upon my face.
Sit in a country church once more,
And thank God for It's grace. I want peanut butter every day,
Spread on my morning toast.
I want un-timed long-distance calls,
To the folks I love the most. I've not cried at all the movies yet,
Nor walked in the morning rain.
I need to feel wind in my hair,
I want to fall in love again. So, if I choose to have dessert,
Instead of having dinner.
Then should I die before night fall,
I'd say I died a winner. Because I missed out on nothing,
I filled my heart's desire.
I had that final chocolate mousse,
Before my life expired. With that, I called the waitress over,
I've changed my mind, it seems.
I said, I want what she is having,
Only add some more whipped-cream!


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