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Sandra Lee Jul 2017
Today we all gather to listen to the merits(?) of mining the Iron Range
Not for iron, but for copper and nickel and other precious metals.
Are these metals more precious than clean water?
Are these metals more precious than our pristine wilderness?
Are these metals a legacy of what is to become of our planet Earth?
We have taken the oil and turned it into plastic that cannot be broken down and turned back into nature.
We have burned the coal to perpetuate our desire for more and more comfort via air conditioning and heat.
We have polluted our atmosphere, melted our icebergs and glaciers
Destroyed our coral reefs
And now we want to risk the pure waters of our northern wilderness
Reaching out to Lake Superior, Hudson Bay, the Mighty Mississippi
And our entire planet.
Why not keep a tiny part of our planet clean so that our children can say-
Look, this is what we once had, this was Eden in our parents' time.
1.5k · Oct 2016
GMO What Do You Know?
Sandra Lee Oct 2016
Soycorn, rice-a-roni-what is all this baloney?
Genetics don't scare me none
GMOs sound like they could be fun.
Only thing that ever worried me
Was first cousins marrying on the family tree.
Now that's somethin to get your knickers in a twist about
No doubt we haven't seen the end of this come about.
GMO, HMO, what do you know
Where will it go?
805 · Jun 2018
Copper Mining
Sandra Lee Jun 2018
        Unsafe, Hazardous
          Polluting,  Contaminating, Fouling
        Waste,     Blight,     Damage,     Liability
        Spoiling,  Dirtying,  Poisoning
       Tainted, Unclean
This is a Diamante poem, shaped like a diamond. Thanks to APriCoT for her influence and encouragement. See her poem Global Warming for information on how to write one.
789 · Apr 2019
Forgotten Birthday
Sandra Lee Apr 2019
My sister's birthday
How could I forget?
Well maybe it is because I am older now
Dementia, maybe hit.
She can't be 71
It's impossible
Are we old
No, we will never be old
We will always be
Two little girls
Playing with our friends
Til the end.
565 · May 2018
Palindrome of Spring
Sandra Lee May 2018
536 · Jun 2021
Plastic Barbie
Sandra Lee Jun 2021
She is about as warm as a plastic Barbie
About as cool as lukewarm water on a sunny day.
Not exactly someone you want to get close to
But maybe there is a real person
Under that thick skin.
Do you think it is possible to reach her
To find a small opening
And maybe someday
Count her as a friend?
513 · May 2018
Earth Day Acrostic
Sandra Lee May 2018
Every Day should be Earth Day
All of us live here don't we?
Right here on this very planet
The one with the rivers and mountains and plains,
Hot sunshine, cold snow and beautiful things.
Do you want to inhabit a garbage space?
Ain't nobody gonna be happy when
You got egg on your face!
with thanks to APriCoT for her encouragement to write different types of poetry.
Sandra Lee Nov 2019
What a dog!
He never ceases to amaze me
Night before last he was up at 2:30 am and again at 4:15
After letting him out and taking him out
Five or 6 times,
I had to leave for an appointment
He was hungry early in afternoon
Gobbled his dry food before I added the white meat chicken.
Let him out where I thought he would rest
Under a shade tree in the 96 degree heat.
My husband asked "Where is Scout?"
I said he was by the porch
Before I went to brush my teeth.
Now disappeared, so I walk around the house
Listening for movement in the woods
Calling occasionally
Although he is pretty deaf
Finally I go back in and tell husband
I am driving to neighbor to see if he has
Crossed the road
Gone through the woods
About 1/2 mile
Call neighbor and tell her I am coming over
We all are outside,
She and her three dogs
When around the front of her house
Comes guess who-Scout
She insists on taking him in for a treat
And he wants water-it is 96 degrees Fahrenheit on October 3.
She also insists on keeping him
while my husband and I attend a meeting.
Pick Scout up afterwards
He is happy to see me
And ready to go home for the night.
What a Dog!
487 · Sep 2016
My Dog Scout
Sandra Lee Sep 2016
Had him since he was a baby sitting on my lap until he grew up
What a baby dog he will always be
This curious Airedale who befuddles me
Outsmarts me
Friends, oh he has friends
Especially people
What a cute face they always say
As he looks at them quizzically or innocently
I don't always tell them that his brain is working overtime
And this seeming charm is a facade.
Escape artist watching me garden and taking off to visit the neighbors
Once ran away during a thunderstorm down a busy road
to be rescued by strangers and taken to a nearby town's vet
Heartbreaking, wondering where he was
Not the last time he disappeared
Once on a mountain hike where only the visioning of a friend brought him back
Now he is twelve
How much longer do I have to be with him
To sense his vitality
His love of life
And love of walks
And love of chicken stuff
He will always be special in my heart and the hearts of others.
431 · Apr 2018
Earth Day, Have it Your Way
Sandra Lee Apr 2018
Coming soon to a planet near you
Air we can't breathe
Plants we can't chew
If the EPA has it it's way
The skies will blacken
The rivers will burn
Automobiles will be our ruin
Heat our houses,
Cool our stores
America will still use More and More
Rachel Carson saw this coming our way
Citizens cried enough is enough
It's time we made polluters
Eat their own stuff
Then along came an administrator
Determined to ****
Not only the laws
But the people as well.
Rachel made sure that DDT went away
and by that research
We still have eagles today.
Eagle the symbol of America still
But with more pollution
We are determined to ****.
**** the law and thereby **** the people.
What did God say
"The earth is mine, sayeth the Lord."
That is not exactly what God said. Here are a few verses with what was said concerning taking care of the earth. Isaiah 24:4-6, Job 12:7-10,
Leviticus 25:23-24, Deuteronomy 10:14, Deuteronomy 20:19, Psalms 95:4-5.
428 · Apr 2017
Frank and Lamar
Sandra Lee Apr 2017
My dad and his friend driving out to the pasture to sit in the pickup truck and talk about what?  How the cows are doing, the upcoming hunting season, growing quail, fishing, the state of the country.
I don't know what these men talked about but they spent hours together.
While they were out talking Eunice and Marie sat smoking in the living room, discussing stuff. I could sit and listen to them for hours, but don't remember what they talked about. Maybe Marie would get out one of her poems or show my Mama some of her ceramics or paintings.
We girls would dance together the bop to the latest 50's music or we would ride our horses through the pastures and at night we would play Scarin' with their brother-a hide and seek game in the dark.
We spent every weekend together, eating greens, fried cornbread and chicken.  I always thought I was Marie's favorite because she was always so kind to me. She was a kind of Earth Mother, quite different from my own Mama.  Sometimes Sonny, the boy, would get in trouble because we girls would tell on him for throwing corncobs at us. Then Marie would go after him with a skillet, a switch or a paddle, whatever was handy.
Lamar had been in WWII and had been too close to a grenade. He developed terrible skin cancers which left horrid scars on his face. When I was 15, he died and Marie started working in the Catholic School so the three kids could still attend.
Here we were the Baptists (us) and the Catholics (them) never realizing that our friendship in rural Mississippi was a bit unusual.  Mama would lend her Bible to Marie because the Catholic church did not allow the people to read and interpret for themselves at that time.  
When we were really young, the family lived in an old unpainted two-story house with Lamar's Dad-Cap'n-a strict old grumpy German who we tried to stay away from.  We would come up from Louisiana when I was four and spend the night for the nine months we lived in Louisiana.
Saturday night baths were in a tub-four girls first, then Sonny last-he was a boy and the dirtiest.  No running water and a two-seater outhouse. Those were the days...
418 · May 2017
A Day of Delight, Maybe
Sandra Lee May 2017
Don't know why some days just seem more delightful than others
this was one of those
My car at the dealer,
Me shopping in a thrift shop for 3 hours while it literally poured down rain
Come home to my dog who is ready to go out after 6 hours of aloneness
Check out the pawpaws
They are growing bigger and bigger
The wet grass, the green trees, the weeds in the garden
Oh, so lush after a spring of constant heavy showers
Weather hard to explain
A drought last summer and fall
Causing the deaths of large trees
Now, through winter and spring
An abundance of rain
This is God's world
We must accept the rain or the drought
Sadly on this day we must accept the deaths of innocents
Killed in Manchester
We ask, why God, why?
414 · Apr 2017
Payment for Too Much Sun
Sandra Lee Apr 2017
A trip to the dermatologist
Please check out this sore on my lip
And the one above it.
Yes, think I need to do biopsies of those.
Phone call-you have a basal cell carcinoma
And a squamous cell carcinoma.
We'll need to remove those and send you to the Plastic Surgeon.
That's a little concerning.  
I will tell a few friends and relatives
About my condition, but no big overall announcement.
One month later
Wake up at 4:30 am to eat breakfast
It will be a long day.
Take the dog to the neighbor for the day,
Leave for first hospital with Husband
Driving My Car!!! Scariest part of the day!
Check in to the Dermatologist
Numbing hurting needles to my lips and face,
Tissue cut away, searing hot cauterization.
To the waiting area and another cutting away of my lower lip.
Back to the waiting area. Four hours after our arrival
We are out the door, through the corridors to the parking garage
Back on the interstate to the second hospital.
Check in, ride the elevator and frighten a 5 year old boy with my
Face bandages-they were pretty frightening to me.
To the staging area to dress in a gown, have i.v. attached,
Anesthesiologist, Doctor, Nurses, and finally I start to go under.
Wake up with new bandages, ride home via drugstore and grocery-
12 hours later.  Study prescriptions and instructions.  Made it through the first night and hopefully to full recovery.
Warning-wear a hat, use sunscreen on skin and lips.                              Hope you will never have to take this trip.
Sandra Lee Oct 2016
So went my early years
With my life so filled with fears
Brought home measles and chicken pox
Skated up and down the blocks
Walked to school in the rain
Oh how the playground was a pain
An athlete I was not
Chosen last for every spot
If you've been there
Then you know what I mean
We'll never make any team.
Moved to the country when I was ten
Certainly a new life to begin
A farm with a dog named Buster
A horse of my own
Ducks in the  pond
Cows in the barn.
A new country school
With teachers who loved you
Several new friends I made
Free time at lunch
And jacks to be played.
Four years spent at this wonderful school
Then time to move on
To an unknown life
And a brand new school.
Algebra, English, Geography, Science, PE
what had happened to me?
College ahead
How can that be?
Dorm rooms and roommates
Chemistry, Speech
New challenges
Only a scholar could reach.
First job, oh no
Big city, traffic
Not for me
I think I'll move to Tennessee
Finally life sublime
Well, it was
At least part of the time
Mountains and rocks like I had never seen
Parties, new friends
At last, life could begin.
380 · Apr 2019
Our World? Our Future?
Sandra Lee Apr 2019
Oh, we love mines and clean water;
We plant plastic flowers and **** them
For hours and hours.
Our yard is a monument
To the things we hold in our hearts.
Signs of the past, signs that will last.
Mining is King
Can you imagine such a thing
As real flowers, perfuming the air
For hours and hours;
Trees for the bees,
Honey or money?
Foxes or Toxics?
378 · Sep 2016
Sulfide Mining Heartache
Sandra Lee Sep 2016
Up here on the Iron Range
Where the skies are blue
And the air is cool,
There are those who say
Let's go back to the old way
When mining was king.
And the people still sing,
Our families need the mine
Just like the old time.
What they don't know
Is that ain't so.
The new mines would spew
Sulfuric Acid anew;
The waters would ache
With a big bellyache;
The fish will die
And the people will cry.
Sandra Lee Sep 2016
Someday when I leave this earth
They'll need some details from my birth
Who is a better biographer than me
To let all know of my family tree.
Just to get the story straight
I think I need to participate.
No one would ever know
Of fears I had so long ago
How as a child of four
I questioned my Mother from door to door.
Thought I was adopted
but when I learned to read
I found the truth
A birth certificate
Showing that I was
the Baby girl of my parents
Frank and Eunice
Or at least I appeared to be
I needed documentation
Even then
What was I thinking?
My poor Mother sometimes
Covered her ears
I asked so many questions
Had so many fears
School was not fun when I began
I was so nervous I could barely walk in.
The principal looked like a witch
No kidding
What kind of place was this?
Sandra Lee Nov 2017
Do you often wonder how you are perceived by those you meet?
What does a stranger think, what is his/her first impression?
Most of us wish to leave a good (?) impression or at least an impression.
So just how do we accomplish this?
Some wish to be remembered as Beautiful
Some wish to be thought of as Smart
Others like to be considered Funny
Or maybe Clever, Caring,... Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful,
Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave,  Clean or Reverent if you are a Boy Scout.
Maybe if you are a Christian you want to be remembered as following  
the Ten Commandments or Being a Good Neighbor, Doing Unto Others as you would have them do unto you.
If an environmentalist, caring about the Earth, loving nature, the seasons and all living things.
If a teacher, then concern for your students' futures
If an investment counselor or banker-wealth.
If a politician, then winning the next election.
Most of us do have some kind of agenda when we meet a stranger
So what is your agenda?
Does your agenda make the world a better place, help other people,
No matter what their religion, race or creed?
Or does your agenda simply build you up in their eyes?
Or do you just assume that you look good to them?
Do you really think so?
In writing this little ditty, I determined to use a thesaurus in order  to improve my writing so that I would be perceived (identified, observed, regarded, sensed) as an intelligent poet of great merit and in doing so I learned a lot of new things which I will pass on to you, my readers. One thing that I realized is that my writing is not without enjambment and maybe yours is too.  In addition my parti pris could be incorrect.  Possibly the driving force behind this piece of writing could be an ulterior motive or an incentive to find out more about myself. It is also probable that I am participating in a bit of log rolling, pork barreling or establishing myself through the cronyism of you fellow poets.  
Help me, I myself am really not sure.
263 · Jun 2018
The Mother-in-Law
Sandra Lee Jun 2018
****** into a new role
With a brand new moniker.
Do you think that I may now be the Queen Mother,
The First Lady, The Duchess of Somewhere?
No, I am The Mother-in-Law
It is only a handle, a label
A sobriquet or alias
My nom de plume
Henceforth I shall be Sandra Lee,
Aka Mother-in-Law
I shall identify as MIL.
My son and longtime girlfriend just married. I suddenly realized I am now the much maligned mother-in-law at least in name and historically.
249 · Sep 2016
This Life
Sandra Lee Sep 2016
It is often said that we have only one chance at life
One time, one opportunity
But in my many years I have had many opportunities.
What is opportunity?  Taking a risk at trying something new.
Getting out of the chair when one could remain seated...
Asking a question when you already know the answer
Then acting upon someone else's suggestion as if it were a novel idea.
I want my life on earth to have purpose
To help others when I can
To follow God's plan
But often find myself at odds with myself
Can't make my mind up
Can't act...too tired, too grumpy, too unsure, too afraid.
This is my life and I am living it however that may be.
Sandra Lee Mar 2018
Arrived for my annual physical
Sat in the doctor's office for 30 minutes
Finally called to the window to consult with the clerk
Who informed me that I had no appointment.
Interesting? I told her that I was there for my annual physical which I had scheduled over the phone.
"Ah, that is next week" she informed me.  
I was a week early
The good side was that all my paperwork was filled out.
I had another week to develop new ageing symptoms,
An opportunity to have more thoughts as to what to discuss with the doctor
One week to improve my eating habits, reduce cholesterol, exercise more and
I have a whole seven days to do it.
After I left and was listening to the radio I heard an interview by Bobby Osborne who wrote the song "Rocky Top."  
Bobby is in his 80's and the interviewer asked to what he could attribute his old age.
Bobby answered "Alcohol, drugs and exercise."
The commentator says don't you mean avoiding those and Bobby answered "Yes."
Well, Bobby, I think I will just continue the alcohol and the exercise
Both in moderation.
Maybe my memory will improve and I will get to my doctor's
Appointment next week.
223 · May 2019
Sandra Lee May 2019
Words can have meaning or they can be confusing.
Thoughts are sometimes words and other times only pictures or feelings.
What should we do if we feel that our words are confusing to others?
201 · Jan 2021
Miss Daisy Mae, Airedale
Sandra Lee Jan 2021
Another dog, another poem what shall I say?
I wrote of Scout, my second Airedale who lived
To the ripe old age of 15 2/3.
He started waking and wandering all night,
Not a happy state for such a great dog
So I decided the time had come for him to be put to rest;
Not an easy decision certainly.
Ten days later I received an email from a friend
About two Airedales who were taken back to the *******
At almost 7  months, a pair of puppies, a male and a female,
Whose owners decided ?? they were too much to handle.
I contacted the ******* who said they had reclaimed the male.
I explained that my husband only wanted a male and I had just
Parted with my dear Scout.  She said "I'll send a picture."
I knew I had to go see this dog so I did.
Needless to say, I took a look
And watched the *******'s teenage son call the dog and rub her belly
"Well" the people asked, "what do you think?"
"I will take her" I said.
Off we started in a huge rainstorm with Daisy in the backseat,
Standing, sliding onto the floor.
I gave my neighbor a call and asked if she could
Spare some dog food. Of course she said "yes"
Almost as excited as I was about this new puppy.
She came out to the car with food and treats
Crawling in the back seat to meet Daisy.
"By the way, Daisy threw up all over the floor."
Sandra Lee May 2019
Dear Ebay, Amazon, WalMart:
Looking to buy
A New Mother Earth
Trying to find one
Not ravaged by dearth
Of beauty, of health, of kindness, of mirth.
Please contact me soon
Before it's too late
I already have
Too much on my plate.
I have roadways and beaches and oceans to clean;     Insurmountable obstacles
If you know what I mean.
Politicians to woo
And humanity too
Wars to end
And more round the bend.
Babies to hold
And children to scold.
Then there's
Skinheads, Radical Right
They all put up a fight
So much to do
Feel like the old woman who lived in a shoe.
Had so many children
She didn't know what to do.
Tyrants to fight
As well as forest blight;
Including bad news
Almost every night.
Please contact me soon
By email or phone
Just whatever you do,
Don't leave me alone.
Our precious Earth and humans. What are we to do to protect all.
182 · Sep 2019
Sandra Lee Sep 2019
Just the other day I met a friendly man
His career is air conditioning
He spoke of growing up on a farm
And seemed pleased with life.
Then I noticed one of his arms-the right one
Was undevolped
I thought this man has gone through life
With this disability
I'm sure at times he must have suffered rejection
By seemingly normal people
Yet he seems content now.
Later that day as I walked into a convenience store
I passed and smiled at a man barely five feet tall
He smiled back at me
And I thought
It must be a tough life
Being a man and being so small
What discrimination has he had to deal with?
Many that we meet in our daily lives
Have problems that don't show up as easily as these did
So let us remember wherever we are
To smile, be kind and try to make everyone's life
A little easier.
By doing this, we also bring happiness to ourselves.
Our smiles and small kindnesses are amplified.
178 · Jan 2021
Miss Daisy Mae, Part II
Sandra Lee Jan 2021
One man after hearing Daisy's story said
"She landed in high cotton" which I believe to be true
172 · Apr 2019
Copper Mining
Sandra Lee Apr 2019
Acid ain't so placid
Mines ain't so fine
Toxins aren't rockin
Sulfuric fumes or flower blooms?
Mine emissions
Are you listenen?
Cool, cool water
Couldn't be hotter.
Mining pollution vs. clean water
158 · Jul 2022
Miss Daisy Mae, Airedale
Sandra Lee Jul 2022
She's not a lady
In the strictest sense
She's my puppy dog
And that's her defense.
Got her at seven months
Wild and crazy
And it's been so since.
She's not like the others
Both male
And gotten as pups
But we love her nevertheless.
Oddly she and I have the same birthday
We are both Virgos and that's a fact.
Had just put down dear old Scout
Didn't know what my life would be without
Miraculously an email appeared
From a friend who knew my pain
Said someone took their pups back
To the ******* again.
We wanted a male
But who could resist
An opportunity like this.
How can I describe her
Noisy, enthusiastic, Stubborn
Playful, Insistent, Beautiful
And Special as all dogs should be.
153 · Nov 2019
Thanksgiving ???
Sandra Lee Nov 2019
Yesterday I met a woman
Who seemed to be a decent person.
Last night as I spoke with her
She told me that there was a young exchange student
From Germany
Who described Donald Trump as ******.
I told this woman that I thought so too.
After that she said that the Germans don't get the true news
From the USA so they do not realize what the Democrats
Are doing to Trump.
After that, this woman turned away and did not wish to speak to me anymore.
So sad that we in this country cannot openly speak our thoughts
Without angering those who are in opposition.
Is there an answer?  It feels like we are dug in in our foxholes
Refuse to see the white flag of surrender or truce or exchange of ideas.
This type of behavior will not get us anywhere.
We must talk. We must talk.
152 · Apr 2019
Walk a Mile
Sandra Lee Apr 2019
Things are not always as they seem;

Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.

So easy for us to get a glimpse of another's life

And come to a hasty judgment.

Walk a mile in that person's shoes

And we may want to go home and change shoes.
Sandra Lee Nov 2018
What does this word mean?
I thought the word was disenfranchise.
Little did I know that is means
Depriving a person of some of the rights of citizenship
Specifically the right to Vote.

On Tuesday, November 6, 2018
All who are of proper age,
Carrying correct identification
Containing a perfect likeness of themselves
Having a legitimate street address
Arriving at the proper location
Having transportation
Or the ability to perambulate properly
May have an opportunity to express their preferences
For who will represent their


Speak for the Voiceless
election, voiceless
137 · Dec 2018
Minnesota Memories
Sandra Lee Dec 2018
Around the campfire we listened
To the stories
From Girl Scout Leaders, Boy Scout Leaders, Moms, Dads, Sons, Daughters
Whose lives had been forever changed through wilderness experiences in Northern Minnesota and Canadian Boundary Waters.
Humans touched by the spirit of the wild places
Inhabited by loons, bears, giant turtles, moose, and lynx.
The desire to return to this place so special that it must not be Destroyed by those who only crave to extract the minerals copper, nickel, rare metals
And leave behind contaminated waters to run to Hudson Bay,
Lake Superior, Rainy Lake
Forever leaching into the once pristine environment.
There is no other place on earth like this,
A land preserved by those who understood the importance of such Exquisite jewels that they spent their lives trying to protect it.
117 · Dec 2018
Which Path?
Sandra Lee Dec 2018
Sometimes our hearts are confused.
Life gives us too many choices,
Too few choices
What is the right thing to do?
Which is the path to be taken?
What should one let play in the decision?
Where will this lead me?
Is it a dead end?
I've been down that road before.
Is everything we do in life a learning experience?
Is it worth the trouble?
Would there be an easier way
To learn the same thing?
I don't know. Only God knows.
65 · Jan 2020
MLK's Birthday
Sandra Lee Jan 2020
What an amazing human being
And I just discovered he made a C in Speech in Seminary!
Now that is a lesson for us all;
Maybe everyone won't appreciate our efforts
But don't give up.
Having grown up in the rural South
During the time of the Marches and the Segregation
I was determined when I had children
They would understand that
The color of your skin, your ethnicity
Your place in society
Is not something that matters.
What really matters is that you have respect
And concern for others,
That you spend time helping
Them out of the proverbial ditch.
I am proud to say that my two sons
Grew to be humans that are caring,
Responsible members of our society.
On this MLK Day, let us all strive
To make the world a better place

— The End —