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Heather McDaniel Nov 2018
Just hours since I learned of the great fall
my childhood enemy has taken.
My heart is shaken in internal squall.
Yet still, there is joy which I partake in

Why feel guilt at such a time, so long sought?
When others still roam the alleys of night;
our nightmare meetings still frequent and fraught.
The terror still real in the broad daylight.

I have been, largely, where she has now stood.
I have ground teeth on the obloquy.
I can’t rejoice now, though I wish I could
**** this infernal anisotropy!

And yet anger smolders at the pylons;
burning bridges and lashing at icons.
A few still remain but I never believed even this much justice could be had. I've learned late of this but it is still hard to decide how I feel about it. I certainly never expected to feel anything but contempt for this person but I can't help but to remember much of what they probably experienced. It's almost like reliving it and impossible to enjoy without unease.
Heather McDaniel Jan 2017
I heard a bird sing today
And stopped still along my way;
My churning thoughts forgotten
In the haunts of yesterday.

Merely for a moment then
I was that younger soul;
Worries gone and wonder found
Atop a snow-capped knoll.

But in another instant
Just the breeze was at my ears.
As I sank into the present
And lost again those stolen years.

Yet, my heart was lighter.
Those problems not so dire.
I just heard a little bird today
While slogging through the mire.
A great walk to a long day.
Heather McDaniel Jan 2017
Recall the warmth of love untold.
Once found in manure and rags at night
Outcast of men-yet gifted gold-
Now celebrated in smiles and lights

Recall the sweetness with each sip
The sweetness of his face,
As immortality faded away
To become the greatest gift of grace

Let peppermint sticks bring to mind
The innocence and blood
From birth to death he carried
Now, forevermore, his legacy of love

And on this night remember
the childhood wonder once known
When chocolate, presents and stories
with Christmas came into your home

But the marshmallows are for family
Who cushion life’s many blows
May your Christmas be sweet and merry
As your love for Christ and family grows
I don't really like this one so much but I wrote it for my dad and mom to go with gifts to his parishioners, their neighbors and my mom's workmates. I tried to create something within their sphere of beliefs and leave my own convictions out of it. The accompanying gift was hot chocolate packets, gingerbread mangers to sit on the rim of the cup, mini-candy canes and marshmallows. I confess, the gift was also my idea. Conceived primarily because it seems I spend more time baking cookies for the many gift boxes they give out every year than doing anything else. This way, I spent about three hours in the kitchen and, with a little help boxing, was free of baking for the rest of my short Christmas. It was a much more merry Christmas for it.
Heather McDaniel Jan 2017
We’ll light the wedding candle
Each year upon this night.
Remembering why as years speed by
We first stood to make this light.

Not for a love that’s ever true
Or a smile that ever cheers.
Not for the sick or crummy days
Or to share and conquer fears.

It’s for the days we forget to love
and when aggravations start to weigh.
It’s for the times we’ve both ******* up
But have chosen to love again a new way.

The candle will burn and the wax melt.
Someday, the wick will sputter and gutter out.
But it’s just a reminder and can be replaced
As long as we remember what it’s all about.
It seems I'm writing more often for events or gifts than anything else lately. I wrote this to go with a wedding gift for a friend. She seemed alright with it so I'm calling it okay, for now.
Heather McDaniel Nov 2016
Hope often dies in
lonely vanity when not
paired with wise action.
Heather McDaniel Mar 2016
My value is up in the air again.
“Be confident,” they say.
“Do your best!”
But what is my best?
When all my contributions are turned back,
when my best is thrown away,
I need to reassess.

Perhaps the value I've given
is not valuable.

When I am trapped in a single
uncomplimentary description,
when they smile
and turn away,
am I now worthless?

I may decide I am worth
a kings ransom
and my thoughts and actions
his right hand
but I cannot be confident in
the assessment
unless there is one
willing to buy.
On sticks and stones
censuring tones
and going home alone.
Heather McDaniel Feb 2016
Part 1
Pressed from all sides
'neath a mountain of gifts,
each blessing designed
to create yet more rifts.

Weighed from above
and compressed from all sides;
useless and helpless
and angry besides.

Defending forever;
with no give to take.
Now tired and broken,
just one decision to make.

Keep defending or not;
be compressed or fight.
claw my nose above water
or slip out of sight.

Still searching for reasons
to seek each new day
and continuing on is just
the most familiar way.

It's ever more appealing
to cease and be gone.
So tired of fighting,
of playing the ****.

I ache for the stillness
I hope could be mine.
Yes, this lone hope is morbid
but it's serving just fine.

If hope springs eternal
there should be more around.
Perhaps they are waiting
within frozen ground.

Part 2
I've realized, I don't really want to die
I just want my world to die around me
the hypocrites circling to seek a cause
to be rid of unsuitable me
the family burdened by growing cost
clutching insurance in case I never succeed
the home I may lose- any time, many ways-
due to spite, envy and greed
the smile that I share, every day everywhere
despite what remains unseen
the pain ever there, never slack, always bare
finding new cause, in everything new, everywhere...
I don't really want to die
I just want my world to die around me
but in the absence of that, there is me
which could leave me similarly free
and that is well worth considering.

Part 3
Though I've realized this
no decision is yet made
I remain adrift

Part 4
Wrung out and still dripping,
these tears still slipping away,
under my skin;
Sallow thin skin.
A weekend lost to agonizing over
what is beyond my control
and always was
because I am still swayed by
those I care for and those I don't.
Shaken by each puff of breath
and screaming gale.
The thought of a mere ten minutes
has me terrified
and just for tonight
I would trade for almost any fight
that would allow me to run away.
One part written for each day of a long weekend spent stressed over a many circumstances in general and one pressing circumstance in particular.
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