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Poetry by Mary Ellen Smith
from Whittier, California



Ah, deary, come and sit with me.
I've just made a pot of tea.
Just shoosh the cat, now there's a spot.
Here's your tea. Mind now, it's hot.

So good to see you passing by
Give this yummy cake a try.
A napkin dear, you've got a crumb.
No, yes, right there. More, by your thumb.

Now, tell me everything that's new,
My visitors are very few.
Just move those newspapers a bit.
Make it easier to sit.

Now, what were we just talking 'bout?
I can't hear, dear. You'll have to shout.
Yes, yes the weather has been fine.
Mm, ummm. Yes, the cat is mine.

No, no. Bad kitty. Sorry dear.
He's just so used to sitting there.
Try a crumpet. Here's some jam.
What's that, dear? The cat? It's Damn.

Can't hear. It's gonna rain?
Um. Sorry dear, yes, a funny name.
A neighbor from an upstairs flat,
Said, "How 'bout I give you this damn cat?"

Damn cat, get down! He's spilled your plate.
Forgive me dear. It's getting late?
Oh, must you go? You're on your way?
Well, stopping by has made my day.

Just bend a bit. Bit more. Oh there.
I've got him. Damn cat's off your hair.
Bye, bye. Yes, just shut the door.
Wish she could have stayed some more.

Here kitty kitty, want some tea?
Come and sit over here with me.
Yes, you are a good damn cat.
But must you treat our guests like that?



They take their meals from petals, pink.
Morning dew becomes their drink.
In moss and fern their home is made
Amid the woods, deep in the shade.

Weaving flowers into their hair
Faces aglow with beauty, rare.
They dress in emeralds from the trees
Adorned with butterflies and bees.

The ladybugs are welcome friends
Bearing good gifts from garden tends.
A sweetpea pod, a bite of peach,
Tender tidbits just out of reach.

Oh! If their little wings should stray
Into the telling light of day,
Into the gardens of the land
Where gentle granite statues stand,

Where ivy grows it's lazy way
And songbirds sing throughout the day,
Where fawn and flora drink the sun
The fairies life would be undone.

Captured in beauty, none surpass.
Examined surely, under glass.
Tis best in secret to stay amid
The moss and rock where they are hid.



Oh, hummingbird your quickened heart carries you so well.
Your little wings beat oh, so fast that I can barely tell.
You hardly sit and in your flight you swiftly find your way,
Feathered iridescent in the dawn and dusk of day.

If I could hold you in my hand, gentle I would be,
Captured for a moment, you would have a friend in me.
Little one, I must content myself in your delight,
And listen to the music that your wings beat to in flight.



He circles now with silent feet, eyes yellow like the moon
Around the huddled mass within he thinks to feast on soon.
I hear him scratching at the door, his claws cut in the wood.
Invite him in to reason? No, I don't think that we should.

His shadow looms, dark on the sill. I strain to see the night.
Though peeking out through drapes drawn close gives me the coldest fright.
Inside, the fire will keep us warm until the light of day,
Where hope anew arises and we are no longer prey.



In a garden never weeded nor pruned or given care,
In a bed that's poorly seeded where watering is rare.
The fruit can never sweeten from a root that's hardly grown
And the gardener will be reaping a sorry seed that's sown.

Morning Glory's glory will never reach their peak.
Chrysanthemum has a story but will never learn to speak.
Nothing left of cherries except the dreaded pits
If the Bachelor Button marries, Stephanotis calls it quits.

The bees will make their honey from someone else's bloom
The Babies Breath will be in another garden's womb.
Her rose will be a wilting red, the gladiola, sad.
Tulip bulbs grow from this bed, but they will grow up bad.

Daisies won't last till May, the Sunflowers won't shine
The Heather smells a lot like hay, the grapes make sour wine.
The Cyclamen are little boys who cry at every turn
So don't forget a garden's joys are something you must earn.

The Dandelion will lose it's roar, the Foxglove needs a hand
Every bit of clover's poor, a vined Trumpet leaves the band.
In a garden that's not weeded butterflies won't flit
And the only flower seeded is a blooming idiot.



Through the sleeting rain of gray, the shale of winter's coldest day,
The knight came riding in his best, soaked and chilled down to his vest.
Rhythm of the hoofs and rain with echoes of the why he came
Into these nether parts of sod bereft of warmth of green of God.

In honor carried he his shield, his sword was kissed, he would not yield
Instead alone upon his steed intent in his appointed deed.
The dragon in his hidden lair could see the rider riding there.
Another come to find a story, seeking fame and wanting glory.

In his cave of rocks hid sure, the dragon smells the battle's lure
Yet looking on the young knight's face he feels a strange and giving grace.
This dragon in his countless years had faced so many unfound fears
So many knights so bold and brave too easily sent to their grave.

Yea, from the rocks his plan is laid, he is set sure and unafraid.
And to the sky in thunderous flight he gifts the knight this wanted sight.
The dragon's roar is heard for miles but neath it all he only smiles
As cold the steel finds true it's mark, there in the rain so damp and dark.

Sore tired of the fight and kill long ago void of the thrill
The dragon feigns a winged retreat but dies there at the young knight's feet.
Red blood runs pale into the storm from his majestic mythic form.
The knight cries out in great relief shaken and cold beyond belief.

Stilled for a moment pausing there this sight he knows is oh so rare,
He plucks a scale of shimmering green, his trophy from this beast of mean.
Through the sleeting rain of gray, the shale of winter's coldest day,
One knight returns his sword to lift, because of this old dragon's gift.



You stand taller than the rest.
You do your best.
In brightly colored bursts of hue,
it's you
declaring to be beautiful too.

Though your bloom's alive with seed
your stem is sparse
standing alone,
you're just a weed.

So gather on the hillsides
the by-ways and the highways!
Reach out on the breezes
sending sneezes.

Settle where the cracks in life
can't mow you
squeeze you
kick you
pick you.

Yes, gather you
in blankets and beds
gather in numbers
hold up your heads.

Grow next to the roses
nasturtiums and vines
next to the grapes
they turn into fine wines.

Grow in the sunshine
on pavement and plain
next to the wheat
before it is grain.

Wherever you land
till your beauty is found,
stand your ground.



Reason not
Intertwined unconcious thought.
Forgotton faces
Mirrored eyes,
Old man whimpers
Infant cries.
In the night the darkness follows
Everything the daylight swallows.
Braided dreams
Tied not with bows,
Kept intact by sleep's repose.



Oh, that people were more like teddy bears.
Fuzzy and warm, soft and snugly.
Quiet manners, never ugly.
Content at tea in mother's hat,
Attentively sitting whilst we chat,
Over our steeped imagined brew.
Twouldn't it be awfully dear
If on rainy days, they gathered near
Happily gazing at the sky
Counting raindrops falling by,
Simply smiling at the clouds?
What if people were more like teddy bears?
Needle and thread could mend a heart
Tho the stuffing's old, they'd never part,
Gladly sharing o'er the years
Joyful triumphs, stinging tears?
Oh, that people were more like teddy bears!





Clouds gather
Fluffed together in the arms of the sky.
Promises of rain tease the senses.
The first few drops wet the asphalt.
Liquid dirt.
We all know that smell
Not really pleasant, but welcome
We lift our faces
And raise our arms
As if to catch a barrelful.
A breeze
And a cool refrain....
Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.





They can embrace, erase,
Stand tall, fall.
Good, bad, happy, sad.
They can comfort or destroy.
Whisper life.
Shout, scream.
Understand the misunderstood.
Read them carefully.





God has planted every seed
Be it flower or grow to weed.
He has greened the velvet land
Counted every grain of sand...
God has painted desert sky
Meadow lakes, and mountains high.
He has set the wind to cool
Gathered fish into a pool.
Splashed the earth throughout with dew,
Reflected skies from oceans blue.
God provides in the plain
Where wheat fields sway,
A gentle rain.
Tending earth, amazing grace.
Because He loves the human race.





From up atop the castle wall, she braids her hair to let it fall
To her one true and only love plaits she,
Her braids from high above. Her heart,
Tho trapped within her breast, shatters the twilight
From its rest, and as the shadows melt to one,
When day at last is finally done her breath is caught.
With hand to ear she hears her prince as he draws near.
He thinking only, lips of wine, climbs his way on winding Vine,
Where sure of foot and pure of heart pledges he,
To not depart. Embracing hearts, blushing, kissed,
They sit entwined till dawning mist quietly creeps along
The wall, heralded by the lonely call of lost love,
Unrequited still. He slips away and o'er the hill
From whence he came, a parting wave,
Her lips still warm from kisses gave.
She wipes away a tear of sorrow
And brings up her tresses for the morrow.





Grandpa's friends are old and smelly, some of them are
Mostly belly. None of them can see too good,
I think their teeth are made of wood.
Grandpa's friends have lots of wrinkles. When they smile
Their faces crinkle. I'm afraid they're gonna break
How much crinkling can they take?
Grandpa's friends have knobby fingers. When they pass
Gas it really lingers. I like to look at their hairy ears and the
Way the chair molds to their rears.
Grandpa's friends have lots of worries, I can tell just from
Their stories. Aches and pains and bending backs and the
High price of cigarette packs.
Grandpa's friends are fun to talk to
They laugh real loud the way that I do. They give me
Lifesavers and gum and they don't yell when I act dumb.
Grandpa's friends walk with walkers
Or sit on the porch and rock in rockers.
I sit and watch the things they do
Someday I'll be someone's grandpa's friend too.





Frankenstein bolted out the door
His green grimaced face elated.
To his bride he ran, stiff-legged high upon his shoes,
His scars she didn't see
But traced his stiched brow so coquetishly...
Blushing as she said "I do"
To 10,000 volts of electricity.




Savanna grasses
Muted greens.
Not far off
Dinner screams.
Lions' breath
Rising heat.
Melting rock
Rotting meat.
Friend and foe
At water's edge,
Receeding plenty
Nature's hedge.



Morning glories lead the way
Down the path to yesterday.
Watered and kept alive, well.
Tears of sadness, joy that fell
Upon this ground, seed was sown
To flowers not, only grown.
For, weeds too, can live on tears
And given time, will choke the years.
Tend therefore with loving hand,
This life that is a fertile land.



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