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Emily Sep 2018
[How high is it?]

I’m not exactly sure—how tall are you?
[I’m about as tall as I’ll ever be—one day soon, I’ll probably start shrinking. I’ve heard that happens when you get older.]

[Well, you say? How deep is it?]

It’s hard to tell, since I never used it for water.
[Deep wells are best—why I still remember the drought of ‘34 and all the trips we made to the neighbor’s well after ours dried up.]

I’m sure those were quite the days, but how are you today?
[Today? Today I do as I long as I’m pleased to do as I’m suppos’d to.]

That sounds like a good strategy.
[Thanks. You’re welcome to adopt it—I won’t even charge you for it.]

How generous of you. Thanks. You have a good day now, ok?
[I hope to, because every day above ground is a good day.]
Inspired by and compiled from conversations with my Grandpa, who lived with my family during my formative years. He’s the first literalist I ever met and frequently said: “You talk so much, you talk so much, you worry me to death.”
Emily Nov 2018
Emily Nov 2018
Emily Nov 2018
Emily Oct 2018
Smooth, like
Top-shelf drinks,
Fresh churned butter, and
A con man’s tricks.

Sharp, like
Well-aged cheese,
Finely honed steel, and
Sarcastic words.

Quick, like
Just-launched rockets,
A jester’s wit, and
Those not yet dead.

Slow, like
Just-woken sloths,
Chilled molasses, and
A Southern drawl.

Stuffed, like
Just-mounted deer,
A child’s bear, and
Stomachs after feasts.

Hungry, like
Late-winter bears,
Inquiring minds, and
Black holes in space.

Well-spent words,
Crafted with care, and
Filled with meaning.
Thanks to my cousin Michelle who helped me think of a third meaning and examples for a few stanzas.
Emily Oct 2018
What would you do for adrenaline?

Speed along uneven country roads,
Aim just right for that special ****,
Fly upward unexpectedly,
Drop back down with a thump?

Sweat in a long queue,
Strap oneself in tight,
Fly up and spin around,
Drop to earth from a great height?

Hop on an airplane,
Wear a parachute,
Jump bravely,
Create a new route?

The great lengths some will go,
Simply for a rush of adrenaline,

But what would you do for adrenaline from these?

Misplacing a wallet,
Racing to its last known location,
Discovering a stranger took it,
Wondering if it will ever return home?

Driving placidly along,
Stopping abruptly,
Missing by an inch a hit headlong,
Hoping the car behind will stop?

Why pay hundreds to risk life and limb by diving through the sky, yet do anything to keep one’s wallet?

Both produce adrenaline;
one for free with no risk of life and limb, yet it’s the riskier one,
that’s sought even at great cost!

Perhaps it’s because:
adrenaline is best enjoyed when expected?
What do you think? Is my theory valid?
Emily Jul 2018
Miraculous is a father’s love
When his child’s screaming in his ear

Exceptional how he can bear
High decibels without complaint.

His behavior emulates a saint:
But instead of changing water into wine

He does something much more divine—
Transforms frustration into joy.

How simple is his ploy
Gently covering intermittently
The source of high-volume sound

His sense of timing is profound
Creating novel, unique rhythms
By interrupting the one-note noise
With silence, not violence

Amazing is his patience
As the magic of complexity
Distracts his progeny from overwhelming woes
And produces giggles in its wake.

Sometimes life’s trials we can take
To create beauty from chaos and
Complex rhythms from discordant noise.

Yet friends will often speed our choice
Distracting us from life’s turmoil and
Helping us see the wondrous possibilities.
Inspired by a recently observed father-child interaction.
Emily Jan 2019
Overwhelmed with anxiety,
Hoping one day to live again,
Filled with joy and delight in life.
Someday worries will cease their din.
Emily Oct 2018
Beautiful form,
Color of cement,
Rough texture,
Heavy weight.

Thin brush,
Melted white wax,
Pattern applied,
10 minute wait.

Wide brush,
Turquoise and white glazes,
Alternating in bands,
Around the tall vase

Sitting on a plank,
Drying in the breeze,
Sunning itself,
Just another in a line-up.

Dark place,
Intense heat,
Wax burns,
Glaze melts and fuses.

Brief glimpse of sun,
Put out in the trash,
Newspapers below ignite,
Lid closed down tight.

Flames suffocate themselves,
Reducing environment,
No longer oxidizing,
Affects the final look.

Carbon floats, turning
What was covered by wax into shiny black,
Adding lines of black to the white glaze,
Covering the vessel with burnt debris.  

Exposed to the sun once more,
Cooled in the breeze,
Rinsed with water,
Scrubbed clean.

Admired by the crowds,
White vase with black cracks,
Copper bands with hints of turquoise,
Interspersed with black vertical leaves.

Each one different,
Results never predictable,
Never to be reproduced,
Variables too complex.

Raku-fired pottery, treasured for its unpredictable color variation
Why can’t nature’s palette of skin color,
be likewise prized,
instead of despised?
Emily Feb 2019
Why do hackers think so highly of boot camp?
Who pays through the nose to send footwear abroad?
Why use boots and not sneakers nor sandals?

Stick with the proven approach,
Used over thousands of years,
Billions of satisfied users,
Faster and cheaper to boot.

Throat lozenges—guaranteed to improve hacking.
Emily Jul 2018
Dreaming and drafting.
Sketching and scribbling.
Wedging and working with clay.
Throwing and thinning.
Molding and making.
Drying and drizzling for play.
Firing and filming.
Showing and sharing.
Never thought I had artistic talent until I sat down at a potter’s wheel and started slinging clay. Now I wish I’d started earlier. Never let your fears prevent you from discovering hidden aspects of your personality.
Emily Oct 2018
Uncontrollable quivering,
Innumerable butterflies,
Uncertain future.

Concrete set,
Mind at peace,
Course decided.
Emily Nov 2018
If before eleven,
I should pass,
Peacefully into the Sandman’s grasp,
I hope you know I wish you a Good Night.

But if I manage to withstand,
My drooping eyelids and slowing brain,
Then, perhaps,
I’ll wish you Sweet Dreams.
May all have peaceful slumber tonight.
Emily Nov 2018
Taking the first step on a journey,
Turning away from innumerable directions.

Choosing to face forward,
Leaving all other options behind.

Eagerly hoping for the best,
Slowly letting go of the past.

Grasping hold of tomorrow,
Feeling yesterday slip thru clenched fist.

Listening intently for His direction,
Wanting to hear, “This is the path.”

Knowing that His path is life,
Following Him will lead to fullness of joy.
Sometimes the first steps are the most difficult.
Emily Mar 2019
A piece of the pie
Is what all seek to obtain,
Instead of the bar.

Bar for average,
But if in dark chocolate, is
Tastier than Pi.
Seriously, though, Happy Pi Day to all—I’ll be celebrating with friends...and...plenty of pie.
Emily Nov 2018
Silence. Peaceful? No!
Questions. Unanswered. How long?
Patience, not my thing.
Emily Feb 2019
Silence once again
I guess my questions needed
Some extra thinking?
Emily Nov 2018
Burning eyes.
Heavy eyelids.
Pounding head.
All indications of too little sleep.

Won’t shut up.
All descriptions of my too active brain.

If only my brain were as determined to experience
Sleep for an entire night,
Instead of pondering age-old questions,
Such as what will tomorrow bring?

Unfortunately, I cannot convince my brilliant, yet misled, brain that:
Lack of sleep will just increase tomorrow’s challenges, and
Thinking about potential events cannot minimize that simple fact.

Oh where can I get a hamster wheel for my brain, so the rest of me can finally have peace and quiet in which to sleep?
Emily Apr 2019
Acquila could float a flotilla
On all the blood she did draw—I’m quite filled with awe!
For she did it first try, though my vein was quite shy.

My thanks for her skill; she has all my goodwill.
May her efforts be lauded and from near and afar be applauded.
Emily Apr 2019
To cheerful Nurse Sue and her point of view,
Who, to chaos that’s thickening, nods, and says “Interesting.”

She’s on top of her game, not one to shame,
For inquiries serious, or requests quite mysterious.

I’d hate for her work to be boring, but maybe something less “interesting.”
But whatever might come, I know she’ll never be glum.

May her high spirits be contagious for they’re quite advantageous.
Emily Apr 2019
To you, who will clean, this room to a sheen,
I thank you right now, to you, I do bow,
With deep appreciation and this versification.

May you clean with great glee, making others carefree.
Emily Apr 2019
Sandy was better than candy.
She helped me to smile without any guile.

Quick with a stick, for me, she did *****.
I hope her yesterday was quite good anyway.

With my blood she absconded, and to questions responded,
Quick to smile and go the extra mile.

May her draws always succeed, her patients willingly bleed.
Into the vial without a great trial.
Emily Apr 2019
Kelly, not Machiavelli,
Did puncture my skin, to get the line in,

For her I am grateful, would never be hateful.
Impressed with her skill, I’d not wish her ill.

I hope she ever will find, great peace of mind,
Doing her best, even when stressed.
Emily Apr 2019
Dr. Morley was for me.

He helped me right quick
With my fingers quite thick.

He quickly devised and then exercised
A plan of attack, so I wouldn’t be back.

May he forever be successfully clever,
Able to think on his feet and achieve greater feats.
Doctor diagnosis
Emily Apr 2019
Mike I did like.

For he took the time, kept track of my dime.
Helping me find, great peace of mind.

His careful attention, I think, I should mention,
For it’s not every day that someone works in that way.

I hope he’s rewarded for counting what others have hoarded.
Emily Apr 2019
Takeria and Rachel never did pull
The wool over my eye, but they always did try
To ease my transition; they were each a magician.

Calming my fears, they kept me from tears.
Helping me find, some peace of mind.

May they ever succeed for they’re quite good, indeed!
Emily Apr 2019
Kind Dr. Lin went out on a limb.
All to be shown, why she did moan.

At great personal cost (for it might have been lost),
He loaned out his charger, and didn’t pre-charge her.

Delighted to find, that, with his great mind,
And the evidence found, he became quite renowned.

May he ever be generous and known for his cleverness.
Emily Apr 2019
Jack had the knack
Of showing quite quick with one single flick.
I called him for aid; he did as I bade.

Cheerfully willing to always be filling
Water and ice for my cup, he heard me speak up.

May he never get bored of pleasing the horde,
And find satisfaction, in his quick action.
Emily Apr 2019
Aileen was not mean.

She moved with all speed, but always did heed
Her patient’s queries and calmed all her worries

Though quite understaffed, performing her craft,
She left smiles of great cheer, and grins, ear-to-ear.

May her vacation have shouts of elation.
And her energy never seek to evade her.
Emily Apr 2019
To all, whose names I’ve not got, right here by my cot,

I’m quite grateful as well, for how you helped me feel swell,
And sorry I can’t give you a personal chant.

So this will have to make do, for I’d give you your due.
From the start of my arrival, you ensured my survival.

Registered me with care,
Despite the ongoing repair,
Making you do, more than your share.

Asked me the same questions (again and again),
Slowly getting more info, while helping me grin.
Diagnosed me with care, not willing to err.

Wheeled me to room 248, with a gentle, slow gait.
Observed me all night, until all was right.

You all did your part, but I hope to depart.
Never to be seen, again in this scene.
Emily Nov 2018
If only,
Sleep did not limit conversation.
Distance did not limit interaction.
Prudence did not limit possibilities.
Weak muscles did not limit contortions.
Pain did not limit endurance.
Life would be perfection!

And yet,
Without sleep, who can speak coherently?
Without distance, is proximity as sweet?
Without prudence, would life continue?
Without motivation, why exercise?
Without pain, is pleasure as enjoyable?
Perhaps limitations are camouflaged benefits?
Somewhat ironic how sometimes the things we hate the most, actually help more than hurt.
Emily Oct 2018
Presuming on your goodness,
Believing in your ability,
Perceiving you will not break me.

Willing to obey your instructions,
Hoping you will teach me,
Waiting impatiently.

A thirst for learning is a virtue,
E’en when paired with impatience,
Emily Oct 2018
Hours of fruitless frustration,
Rotating slowly through paltry poses,
Crushed by substantial somnolence.

Innumerable thoughts racing rightward,
Abruptly leaning left,
Splitting up like schools of frightened fish.

Darkening the room to calm cares,
Plumping the pillow to enhance elevation,
Removing the phone to disrupt distraction.

Turning up the fan to aid complacent cool,
Pulling up the blue blankets,
Burrowing deep as if a mother mole.

Yet nothing brings the sought silence,
The rejuvenating recovery,
Of simple sleep.
Emily Jul 2018
Planned a long road trip
In the name of friendship
Seven hundred miles that day
Home and bed five miles away

Midnight sky with fireworks high
Red “H” on engine gauge much closer by
The sight was quite a fright
No longer feeling such delight

Pulling to the side
My time to bide
Until a tow appears
To relieve my fears

Mosquitos delight
They win the fight
On the interstate highway
Above their lakeside byway

Vibrations move the car
While passing trucks go far
E.T.A. at 1 am
Police set flares at 2 am

2:20 rolled around
At last the car was found
Speedy hookup
Not another hiccup

Left car at garage
Free ride home removed my rage
Doubled the driver’s tip
Reduced the bother to a blip

3am can go to bed
Yet so wired in my head
It takes an hour to mellow out
In four more, the sun from bed will rout

Was it worth it in the end?
Any day, I’d do it for my friend.
Emily Apr 2019
Wind blowing hard.
Sun shining hot.
But this girl, is
Loving it not.

She’s not outside,
She’s stuck at work,
Exhausted, and
Wanting to shirk.

Clock on the wall.
Please faster spin.
Spring my cage, please,
Or I will bawl!
The irony, of course, is that I wrote this during my commute home, while NOT stuck at work. :)
Emily Feb 2019
Oh to be known so completely,
That one would know perpetually,
Exactly what is best for me,
Without needing other’s advice.

One does exist like that and more,
He knows me so intimately,
That He could orchestrate my life,
And work things out for good as well.

And yet I find it difficult,
To trust His guiding hand at work,
And let Him do whatever’s best,
Without me second-guessing Him.

Oh may I learn to give my trust,
To Him who always wants my best,
And not to cheaper substitutes,
Which glitter, and yet, are not gold.
For You formed my inward parts;
            You wove me in my mother’s womb.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
            Wonderful are Your works,
            And my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from You,
            When I was made in secret,
            And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
            And in Your book were all written
            The days that were ordained for me,
            When as yet there was not one of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
            How vast is the sum of them!

If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
            When I awake, I am still with You.
Psalm 139:13-18 NASB

For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:22-28 ESV
Emily Aug 2018
Gray blur in my periphery
Imagination or something real?
Mystery solved within the hour
2nd gray form traveling far

Home no longer sacrosanct refuge
Peace and relaxation a distant concept
Startled shrieks upon their bold forays
Pervasive worry over their next sortie

Fearful defense setting full of trepidation
Will my fingers or their necks be snapped?
Is electrocution—more humane?
Or are they too obese to fit in the tunnel?

How long will this battle perpetuate?
Will the small hordes or large singularity win?
Will peaceful repose ever be possible again?
Or always interrupted by rustling, shrieks, and blurs?
Emily Feb 2019
Your gaze is ever upon me,
So as to help and heal, not harm,
And you have shown me how to love—
Completely, unreservedly.

Or have I simply learned to love,
Emily Nov 2018
Temporary ceasefire with insomnia,
Marked by cheerful birds.

Start of hostilities with drowsiness,
Combating alertness ceaselessly.

Opening salvo with heavy caffeine support,
Awakening the senses with hot beverages.

Food, an uncertain ally.
Alertness or comas—it’s sometimes close.

Battle lines redrawn,
But war continues perpetually.
Emily Dec 2018
Cocooned by warmth,
Surrounded by fluffy blankets,
Peaceful equilibrium.

Serenity shattered by noise,
Blaring alarms that won’t be silenced,
Brain disrupted from its long hibernation.

Groggily stumbling to the ergometer,
Directed by muscle memory, not sluggish neurons,
Peppy music leading neurons to eventually fire.

If only that were my routine, not this:
Preserve peace by silencing alarm,
Much later, scrambling to avoid being late!
Emily Nov 2018
Dear friends met through HP,
Not to be confused with antlered ones,
Despite the graceful beauty seen throughout your poems,
Or the fleetness of your fingers when messaging me.

I’ve appreciated everyone’s praise and comments on my poems,
But I especially want to thank the ones who’ve privately written,
Seeking to encourage me,
While knowing your kindness would be hidden.

It’s impossible to say if I would still be writing poetry today,
If it weren’t for your kindness.
While I wouldn’t know what was missing,
I’d likely be an emotional mess.

I’m very grateful for:
Your quickness to respond—the words often brighten my day and countenance!
Willingness to discuss anything—you’ve quickly reached confidant status.
Unique perspective on life, which I would likely never have encountered otherwise.
Genuine care for me as a person, not just a poet.

Truly, it would take more words than I have to do you justice, so I won’t attempt that Sisyphean task.
Instead, I’ll be forever grateful for what you’ve done for me, and try to pay it forward.
Perhaps others will also be inspired by your example, and welcome new poets as warmly into our community that is HP.

[Thanks, HP, for making everything from poem posting to private messaging available for free and free will donations—I might have never tried my hand at poetry if I’d had to pay to join!]
Emily Jul 2018
All smiles and giggles when six
Turns quickly to fussing and fits
Whenever is said,
“Naptime. Go directly to bed.”

Yet sleep achieves a great feat,
For when they are woken
The grumpies are beat.

If only all woes were
as easily solved.
Imagine a workplace
that had evolved

To give people a bed
Whenever they needed
more sleep for their head.

Can you imagine, “Siesta right now.
You may not metaphorically plow.
Until kindness to rule, you allow.”

If only siestas for adults
Would bring forgiveness for insults.

Perhaps sleep would like magic reduce
The times of backstabbing and power abuse,
The number of errors, but creativity loose,
And lead to more income and clients profuse.
This really isn’t that novel—what I’d like to know is who will pay me to take a siesta at work and if I’ll still be able to finish the day’s work?
Emily Dec 2018
For best effect, the following piece should be read/sung to the rhythm of the lines “With cat-like tread, Upon our prey we steal” from “With cat-like tread” in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance:

With cat-like tread,
Upon a hot tin roof,
Crossing the road,
To see the other side.

No sound at all,
Not even from a mouse,
Searching about,
Without a periscope.

But infrared,
Within our night-time scopes,
Eyeing the wolf,
Howling up to the moon.

Not made of cheese,
But maybe one will see,
The smiling face,
Of Maggie my own cow.

You did not know,
That I once had a cow,
But then she went,
And jumped up on the moon!
Emily Nov 2018
Due to what will never be:
Dishes that wash and put themselves away,
Lessons that squirrel themselves away into my brain,
Relationships that begin and mature through no effort of my own.

Character is developing within me:
Perseverance, and
Patience with a dose of selflessness.

So even if I grumble audibly,
I am grateful to what will never be,
For the character it is forcing into me.
Emily Nov 2018
Grown beneath the sun,
Holding the occasional rain drop,
Surrounded on all sides by companions.


Cut off forever from nourishment,
Collected with a few companions,
No clue what the future will hold.

Moving swiftly through the air,
Higher than ever dreamed, but
Fearful of sky diving without a parachute.

Misted occasionally,
Attempting to maintain appearances,
Despite being starved of food.

Enduring more body-jolting aerial swoops,
Drowned in a swift waterfall,
Losing companions that did not maintain their appearance as deftly.

Chop, chop, chop!

Sliced into innumerable bits,
Wondering if life is over,
Now that one’s shape is forever lost.

Perfuming the air with a distinctive aroma,
Blending it with those already in the air,
From other small bits of greenery.

Fears realized at last:
Falling from a great height to the ground,
But falling on a soft cushion.

Smothered with white strings,
Rolled up tightly in the soft cushion,
No escape route possible.

Dying in the heat,
Spreading into the gooey whiteness,
Wondering what the point of it all was.

Eventually cooling down,
Being exposed to air once again,
And hearing (if it were only possible):

This is the best herb cheddar bread I’ve ever had!

Was the result worthy of the chives and Italian parsley’s sacrifice?
All who partook of the savoury goodness certainly believed it was!
We may never know how others will one day benefit from our sacrifices, but hopefully they will one day appreciate them.
Emily May 2019
Lying on my couch;
Lying to myself.
Claiming I will work;
Knowing I will not.

Hiding from the world;
Leaving friends alone.
Hating what I do,
Letting my life rot.

When will I decide,
To face life again?
When no dish is clean?
When all food is gone?

I wish, that I had,
Motivation, an
All-consuming force,
Inspiring action.

But, alas, just me.
Too lazy to work,
Too tired to sleep,
Just dissatisfied.
Emily Nov 2018
When I see pride in others,
Open my eyes to my own pride.

When I hear of injustice,
Open my ears to the cries of those I have wounded.

When I feel neglected,
Make me sensitive to those I have ignored.

In short,
When I am upset by other’s wrongs,
Show me how I am guilty of the same.

When my internal voice rejects who I am,
Open my ears to hear the affirmations of others.

When I feel unlovable,
Enable me to receive the love of others.

When I am in need of a hug,
Point me toward someone who could use one too.

In sum,
When I am believing lies,
Open my ears to the truth shared by others.
Emily Dec 2018
She meanders through life,
Seemingly undisturbed by other’s anger.
To rouse her,
One must be lazy or disrupt her plans.

She’s incessantly crafting improvements,
To reduce waste and chances for error,
But she overlooks the human element,
Forgets people need to interact, like machines need oil, for optimal functioning.

She enjoys helping others out,
Explains things in novel ways, which
Those who listen seem to enjoy,
But if you pester her too frequently she just might snap!

Snap with the pressure,
For no matter the interruption,
She rarely gives herself permission,
To fail to meet that day’s deadlines.

Perhaps some day she’ll learn,
The perfect amount of leeway to incorporate,
So she can patiently help everyone,
Without putting her own goals in jeopardy.

Or, perhaps,
She’ll learn that people are always more important than things,
For things can’t hold a grudge or learn much,
While happy people, once trained, are more productive!
Emily Nov 2018
Pursuing new things.
Focusing poorly on life’s routines.

Losing the novelty.
Struggling to maintain new habits.

Missing long conversations.
Craving unceasing attention.

Struggling now.
Disappointing failures.

Fearing novelty alone drew me.
Longing to know what’s best.
Most things seem perfect at the start, but when the novelty wears off one starts to wonder if they’re worth pursuing after all.
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