Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Poetic Pursuits

 I know it's been a while since I've posted but I haven't stopped writing, quite the opposite. Now actively writing children's books and being part of a wonderfully talented critique group l'm writing or critiquing on a regular basis. Over the last week l took a brief departure due to birthdays, anninversaries and a need to write a specific poem for someone who had given up her cancer battle and chosen to go into hospice. I've posted the poems here as proof that I indeed have been busy writing.

The first two are ones written for my dear grandsons who will turn 14 on the 30th:

 #1 - HAPPY 14TH BIRTHDAY 2020


My goodness, it’s your fourteenth year, I can't believe it's true.
It seems like only yesterday I held & sang to you…
And taught you how to tie you shoes, and wiped your tears away
And watched you swing and run & jump your way through every day.

Yes, that was many years ago, you've changed a lot since then,

But Grandma's keep these memories that mean so much to them.
And you will have some memories of these Pandemic days
For things have changed so much for you in oh so many ways.

 It’s made a big impression on you and all of us

For life is so much different, we’ve all had quite enough…
Of being very careful, and staying very far
From everyone but family and, boy, it’s been bazaar!

But with some social distance we’ve kept at least some friends…

From being, though restricted, just Covid odds and ends.
Because it takes more effort and some technology
For us to stay connected, it’s strange, quite honestly.

 With all of that it’s still a year that shown how much you’ve grown

In inches and in who you are, those changes you have shown,
The kind of human you’ve become, that caring side of you
That lets me see the moments that show Jesus coming through.

 And so on this your birthday, I wish the virus past

So we can all experience some healthy days that last.
I pray the years ahead of you are filled with all good things,
Of school that’s like it used to be, the happiness that brings.


#2 - HAPPY 14th BIRTHDAY 2020

So here it is, another year, and changes by the score!
I marvel at how much you’ve grown, in inches and much more.
I still remember when you were that boy that loved those gears
And always chose the color RED. You’ve kept that through the years.
 
I know you’ve heard me say these words, “Come on, where are my babies?”
But that just tells you you’ve been loved, no ifs, no ands, no maybes!
Of course, you know, that even though this Covid nightmare’s real
And getting it for anyone can be a great big deal…
 
That I don’t like this distance stuff and just a hug would do,
But most of all it would be nice to just sit next to you.
We must accept the way it is, thanks to the White House guy,
Who we all hope won’t serve again and Joe will make him fly.

But if He’s serves another term, the thought of it still bites,
We’ll pray he’ll listen to the facts, let science set things right.
But this is for your birthday, your 14th year, oh, my!
Each time you age the part I hate is, Gavin, so do I.

You’re finished with your schooling and are feeling quite fulfilled.
And I’ll be even shorter then and I’ll look up at you
A “Pocket Grandma,” that’s for sure, and I’ll just say, “What’s new?”
But I will try to slowly age and stick around until…

It’s hard for me to see you grow for soon you’ll be a man,
But I know God’s got much in store, though we don’t know His plan.
I just know this, you’ll make your mark, “Look out world, here he comes!”
Creating beats and Covid raps and playing on his drums.


Happy 18th Anniversary 

I can’t begin to tell you what you both mean to me.
You’ve given me so many things and much that you can’t see,
The blessing of your kindness, the love you’ve always shown,
The constant understanding like few have ever known.
 
You’ve always made me welcome and I’m always glad I’ve come.
I’m blessed to be, so willingly, both Grandmother and Mom.
But long before those boys were born I was so proud of you,
The strength you’ve shown when things get tough, those times, there’ve been a few.
 
Yet when the trials of having twins brought challenges your way
Your love grew even stronger still, each moment, every day.
But of the ones that take their toll, the family kind can drain…
The very best of marriages and brings both stress and strain,  
 
But somehow you’ve come through with strength, a trait I so admire,
A strength that’s gained from love that’s deep that marriages require.
My Kerrie, you’re my daughter and be my friend for life,
A mother who’s both loving and forgiving through the strife.
 
And Will, I’ve told you many times how much you mean to me.
You’ve proven an example of just what a son should be.
So on your anniversary I want you both to know
I’m blessed to be a witness to the years I’ve seen you grow.
 
You bring me many blessings, I’m honored that I am
The Mom and, yes, the Grandma who can see the diagram…
Of just what true love looks like and what marriages should be,
Not perfect, but it comes darn close, comes with no guarantees,
 
Yet nothing can be perfect but if your love is strong
A marriage that you work on, can last a whole life long.
And so I wish the two of you, on this your special day,
A Happy Anniversary, my love I send your way.


Because God Does Forgive

Our hearts were sadly broken when we learned that you no more
Will fight your cancer battle. But glory is in store...
As you leave earth behind you and those who’ve loved you long
To be where God will greet you to sing your triumph song.
 
You’ll be with our Dear Father and look into His face
And see His loving kindness and live His wondrous Grace.
So those of us who’ll miss you will have to wait until
We’ll join you there forevermore, as is the Savior’s Will.
 
And so, Dear Friend, just know that you have truly left your mark.
You’ve shown God’s love in all you’ve done, have truly been the spark
That lit the very light of Christ in all the lives you’ve touched
And for that reason we will keep your essence closely clutched
 
Inside our hearts in memories while wishing it weren’t so
And we could keep you here with us and never let you go.
God grant you peace that comes to those who’ve had a life well-lived,
The joy of reaching heaven's home, because God does forgive.
 
We pray that your transition is both swift and free from pain,
As you keep ever mindful of the treasure you will gain.
May God be with your family and help them as they grieve
And may they all accept the love and comfort they receive. 

Well, that's what I've been up to!!!Whew!


Monday, July 27, 2020

SCHOOL vs VIRTUAL

As many, many parents face the dilemma as to whether to send their children back to school in the face of this pandemic, our family does also.  My daughter's two boys are the children of consideration and as a very close grandma we all are facing this impossible choice.  As always, I deal with this in poetry form.

SCHOOL vs VIRTUAL

 

What do we do, I’m asking you, with school this coming fall?

This virus has us so perplexed, we just can’t think at all.

We thought our isolation would give a fighting chance

But Washington was late to act and all they did was dance.

 

So we looked to the scientists, to follow their direction

But Covid’s not been seen before, they guessed, then gave correction.

We thought that through the paths they took there’d come some understanding,

But all we’ve learned was they don’t know and this fight’s never-ending!

 

But faced with an economy that couldn’t get much worse

We hoped to open up again to fill the nation’s purse.

Then businesses that suffered could slowly start anew

But anxiousness, too much too soon, revealed the Covid truth.

 

And that is, Covid’s virulent, affecting young and old

With numbers and statistics that prove it’s not controlled.

That’s bad enough but some don’t even practice common sense

Resuming life without a thought, at everyone’s expense.

 

Not only that they thumb their nose and do it all with fervor,

They care not that they're spreading this and flaunt their choice as clever.

My worry has profoundly grown for schools, likewise our nation.

The state of things, it breaks my heart, I can’t sit back with patience…

 

As if someday this all will change and we’ll live as we did.

The world we knew is gone for good, that life we’ll never live.

How can we send our children back, resume the schools again?

The danger’s real and yet they need activities and friends.

 

The sixth-month isolation has left them all depressed.

How can they do assignments and study then for tests?

They yearn for what they had before, returning to their school

But aren’t we really throwing them into a virus pool?

 

How can we trust the school to do the disinfecting tasks,

Remind them all to wash their hands & always to wear masks?

And will the virtual option here provide a teacher who

Will talk to them, and every day, sometimes to parents too?

 

How will it look inside the school with six-feet ‘tween them all?

Will they be watched, reminded too, as they walk down the hall?

And has this really been thought out with real consideration?

I’m not convinced that this is wise, all I feel is frustration.


Sunday, May 31, 2020

UNBELIEVABLE

Like many of you, what happened to George Floyd affected me in a dramatic way. I know similar events have happened before, I’m sad to say, but to see it from start to finish on my TV tore at my heart.  That this still occurs in our world, a world that almost two hundred years ago freed the slaves, hasn't advanced, but more importantly, seeing someone no, not just someone, a “civil servant,” blantantly feeling justified in taking the life of another human being, no, committing murder, on-camera was beyond words.  The poem that follows is my attempt.



DESPICABLE
By Pat Severin

I think that it’s despicable that prejudice still reigns,
That some Whites view their race as pure, while hatred leaves such stains.
What makes them feel they’re justified to put the Black race down,
Regard themselves superior to ones whose skin is brown?

Have they not learned a single thing since blacks were bought and sold,
The lesson of the Golden Rule, so simple and so old?
ALL men have been created by the perfect Master’s hand.
If one race stands above the rest the flames of hate are fanned.

But CRUELTY is race-less and it must be judged as that
No matter who engages in a thoughtless heinous act.
For no one is above the law, it stands for HUMAN justice;
When men pledge to uphold those laws, ALL citizens should trust this.

What’s happened to our country that Black men must live in fear…
Of being judged because they’re black, where is the justice here?
Our laws are made for ALL men and applies to all the races
And yet the black man's singled out, just tell me where the grace is?

It must be this that laws are laws no matter who you are   
And treatment is humane to all and doesn’t go too far.
Aren’t all regarded innocent before considered guilty
And shouldn't those who take an oath, uphold it as it should be?

And what conclusion should we draw when one who should know better
Ignores the law and demonstrates how he’s by hatred fettered,
Then filled with hate and vitriol feels murder’s justified,
That George Floyd’s not deserving of his basic human rights?

But if we let our anger rule, the harm of that deduction
Is innocents will suffer from our unchecked mass destruction.
And what is gained from cursing those, can that change this injustice?
It only makes the ones who watch grow more and more disgusted.

All I can say is this MUST stop, that justice must prevail,
And never should we stand to hear another black man wail…
That he “can’t breathe” and watch such hatred daily taking place!
We can’t stand by while judging's done by the color of a face!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

WHEN?

Guess we're all in the same boat but the boat has a hole in it so when will we sink?  Yes, that is the question for boats and for America.  If I hear the word "unprecedented" one more time I think I'm going to lose my lunch!  It is, mind you, unprecedented times we're going through but "find another word!"  All I'll say on the subject is we'd all be better off if we could make it "unpresidented" time.  Wake up, America and above all else, VOTE, AMERICA,VOTE!

“New Normal?”

Pandemic, pandemic, upending our lives,
We’re hoping that someday our “normal” arrives…
So we can go back to the way things had been.
But dreams that are like that are hollow and thin…

Because things have changed & forever will be
A new kind of "normal" for you and to me.
No more big events, no public embraces,
No more giving kisses with masks on our faces.

When will it be safe to again shop in stores,
Or bathe in the sun on the beach by the shore?
We’ll have to remember six feet is as close 
As we'll ever be, for how long? No one knows.

Vaccine, oh vaccine, how we long for completion
But when will it happen? no rhyme and no reason,
For those who’re in charge, oh, I use the term loosely,
Keep us in the dark, so when will the truth be…

Given to us for we all need to know it,
But the evil’s so deep, keep it quiet, don’t show it.
Yes, we’re in the hands of such liars and cheaters
Whose role is to be our country’s mistreaters.

America's dying not just from the virus.
It’s death executed by those in disguises
Who care not for us but only their gains
And love of themselves and the sound of their names,

For fame and for money, does that sound familiar?
Their only allegiance is found in their mirrors.
So, please approach slowly for some will chastise
Self-love is contagious…
                                    just look in their eyes!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

BECAUSE...


QUESTIONS?

How can this be, why is it so?
Where is the end, why don’t they know?
We came to this so unprepared,
But who's to blame, yes, who has erred?
And if we knew, would this thing pass?
Would all be cured, this gone at last?
These questions come but answers don’t,
For those in charge, the answers won’t
Come easily for this is new
And some succumb, more than a few.
So if I’m careful to contain
The ones I love, will health remain?
But what is sacrificed for this?
A hand’s sweet touch, a tender kiss?
Togetherness of old is gone
My loved ones near, for this I long.
Mere memories can’t take its place,
With FaceTime, Skype there’s no embrace.
No comfort from this means I find
And so I fear I’ll lose my mind.
For now we leave our lives behind
Not leave the house, remain confined,
And be content to spend our days
Until outside we catch the rays
Of morning sun that filters through
The tree’s green leaves that dapple you,
Reminding us that summer’s here,
Though not like those of other years.
So we must pray and pray some more
For this to pass so spirits soar
And life becomes as once it was,
God’s still in charge, that’s why…BECAUSE!

A CHAOTIC LIFE

So here we are in the midst of something that most of us have never seen in our lifetime.  I can't say anything profound or deep or anything you don't know about this terrible Pandemic.  It's taken over our lives and we are left wanting.  But as always my thoughts on this are best expressed through poetry.

PANDEMIC

Another day I’m stuck at home
While longing to be free to roam
Through stores to look, perchance to buy
A trinket that has caught my eye.
I took for granted times like these,
The freedom to go where I’d please.
But now restricted, wondering when,
When we'll be free to roam again.

Pandemic’s what they call this thing
But I, I’d call it shattering.
This virus strain not seen before,
We watch each day as cases sore.
But all we want is life to be
The way it used to be, you see,
Back to before, to yesterday.
We promise we’d respect the way
We lived our lives that seemed mundane
And thoughtlessly would oft complain.

But now we see through different eyes
Our life before, sometimes despised,
Is one we long for, hope can be
A life returned, yes, now we see
How precious were those days gone by.
And thinking back can’t help but cry
Such tears of sadness for we know
The gift we had, we’ve seen it go,
And pray it will return again
But none can say exactly when.

So here it is, another day
We’re stuck at home until they say,
“We’ve found the cure, the answer’s clear,
A new vaccine's been engineered.
Your life can now return to be
The life you had, a life that’s free.”

Will we remember what we’ve learned
Before our “normal” is returned?

Saturday, February 29, 2020

A CHILDREN'S STORY & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Alright, already!  I know, I know, but I've been really busy.  I finished the biography on my Mother and have gotten a proof copy and ordered the books for my collection and they will be here in about a week.  As much as I've neglected this blog I have been writing.   I wrote two poems, one each for my grandsons for Christmas, wrote poems for my wonderful neighbors for all the help they continue to give us, wrote a Christmas poem to go into my Christmas letter and have been active with my writing and critiquing for the Children's Book Writer group to which a belong. Phew!!  So you see I haven't stopped writing.

I just posted one of my Children's stories to our critique site just a few minutes ago so I'll add it here to share with all of you.


MONSTERS
By Pat Severin                                          

If you’re scared of monsters like I used to be

I’ve something to tell you, just listen, you’ll see.

I had that scared feeling, I used to, before.

I used to be frightened but NOT anymore.


Monsters aren’t real, they DO NOT exist.
           
I KNOW that they don’t, in fact, I INSIST!    

But it’s so much fun pretending they do,
   
I made up this story especially for you.

                                   
My story starts out with me snuggling in bed.

I pull up the covers right over my head,
                                                                       
I say to my Mom, “Do you hear it, that noise?”
                       
I point to my closet, “It’s beneath all my toys!”

                       
I say, “Mom, it’s scary, like nothing I’ve heard.

Just listen, Mom, listen…and don’t say a word.

I say, “It’s a Monster, and boy, he sounds mad.”

I whisper, “Pretend with me, Mom.  Go get Dad.”


They wink, play along and say, “We hear it, too!

That noise is so scary, oh what should we do?”

I tell Mom, “He’s hungry, I’m worried he might

Start eating my toys and not just a bite!”


“In that case,” my Dad says, “It’s all up to you,”

Your bedroom, your closet, your toys and your rules!”

I say, “Pretend monster, you get out of there!

Come out of my closet, come out!  I’m not scared!”


But Mom says, “It’s bedtime, now get into bed.”

So she tucks me in with a kiss on the head.

For a while, when she’s gone, I pretend I’m asleep
Then tiptoe my way to my closet and peek,

And whisper, “Now, monster, I will let your stay
But not in my closet, off limits, no way!”
(I always talk quiet when I make believe.
It sounds more convincing, now don’t you agree?)                                                                    

 I say to my Monster, “Now, here is the deal.

The toys in my closet should NOT be a meal.”

“Go sleep in the corner, not under my bed!

Now, listen up, Monster! D’you hear what I said?”


 I wait till he’s settled and I hear him snore,

Then cover him up and prop open the door

In case he gets thirsty and might want a drink,

Then he can get up and go right to the sink.


And maybe tomorrow we’ll play hide and seek.

If he’s having fun, he might stay for a week.

We’ll play lots of games, my Monster and I.

I bet that he’s real good at playing “I Spy!”


So my pretend monster and I became friends
And that’s just exactly how my story ends.
The story’s pretend and my monster is too.

Since monsters aren’t real, they can’t frighten you.


Tonight when your Mom comes to tuck you in bed,

Look right in your closet, remember I said,

“Monsters aren’t real, they’re not anywhere,

Not under your bed, in your closet, by your chair.


You’ll probably find shoes and a whole lot of toys,

But nothing’s in there that can make a strange noise.

You’ll see for yourself, NO MONSTERS IN THERE!

Monsters aren’t real, they aren’t ANYWHERE.


 If you’re scared of monsters I want you to know

That fear that you're feeling, just let it go.

Monsters aren’t real, now do you see?

They do not exist, just take it from me!