Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Rhyme of the Ancient Heron-er

A heron stood in silence, as a witness on the shore;
He had seen this strange scenario unfold one time before.
It happened on a sunny day, back in the month of June ~
The human male who drove the boat was laughing like a loon
As he flung his flailing sister, (an aging former lass),
Up and down the alley that the humans call Stump Pass.
She was on a yellow tube, and about to be disgraced;
He was at the helm and drove the boat as if in haste
To expose her vulnerability and her ineptitude;
To force her to acknowledge her great decrepitude.
But though he tried to throw her off, as he increased his speed,
His efforts simply came to naught, for he did not succeed.
Instead of flying off the tube, like a pancake off a griddle,
His sister simply got sucked down, right through that old tube's middle.
And now the heron wondered why she'd come back here in September;
If not her brains, her bones, it seems, would cause her to remember
What even an old heron knows, and fully understands ~
That she was putting life and limb into her brother's hands.

And so it was, the brother now revealed a manic grin
As he prepared to take her on a catastrophic spin.
The sister smirked because she'd learned some tips from brother's wife,
And this time she'd out-smart him if he tried to take her life!
And so the merriment began, in earnest, one more time;
The sister rode the tube and looked like she was in her prime!
But her brother was determined to succeed, whate'er the cost.
He drove that boat and laughed as if his mind was truly lost.
With his skill and expertise, and a will to overwhelm,
His sister was a gone-er, with her brother at the helm!
The heron heard the engine roar and saw the speeding craft;
A sinister intent was there, as the crazy brother laughed.
The boat spun left, the boat spun right, the tube was building speed
And the omen was a bad one ~ should the heron intercede?
For the tube was whipping wildly and the heron stood aghast,
Believing that the sister, this time, would breathe her last.
The brother's glee was evident, as he made his final turn;
The heron's face was ashen, as he showed his deep concern.
The rope was taut, the tube was hot, it slid into a swing
That sent the sister upside down, in an acrobatic fling.
Her head was buried in the muck, her torso convoluted;
She twisted like a pretzel, as her brother laughed and hooted.
Then all they heard was silence, and the heron felt such dread
For he thought the sister stood no chance and surely, now, was dead.
Another boat pulled up to her, before her brother claimed her,
And they were heard to say aloud that her brother's prank had maimed her!
But she emerged and stood there dazed, as her brother pulled beside her ~
The heron, though, was quite amazed that this aging, tubing, rider
Had survived her brother's antics without a broken limb;
She had risen from the water ~ and simply glared at him.
And so the sister got back in that boat and rode away,
And the heron heard their laughter, which brightened up his day.
But still, he's left to ponder in his little heron brain
Why some humans show their love
By inflicting aches and pain!

Innocent-looking Brother, Dave
with wife, Janet, who chastised him.
Poem Written 14 September 2011
by Linda Moser Winebrenner (at age sixty-three)
after surviving a Labor Day near-death experience at the hands of my brother

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Written Six Days After 9/11

It began like any Tuesday for ten thousand precious souls,
With a quick good-bye to loved ones, as they faced their daily goals.
Some boarded planes, while others rode the elevators high,
And each one had a special view of that early morning sky.
But they had no indication that this day would ever be
Much different than the others, and none of them could see
How a simple Tuesday morning could be any other way ~
For a nation rose believing it was just another day.
It wasn't that we felt immune, but our nation seemed secure;
Who among us woke believing that such evil could occur?
We'd seen the awful face of war, we knew its gravity,
But how could we prepare our hearts for such depravity?
We weren't naive, but we believed, in spite of quarrels and strife,
That every nation not at war still valued human life.
Before that terrifying day how could we realize
That hearts devoid of conscience could abominate our skies?
We learned a costly lesson on that Day of Devastation,
When evil stepped inside a plane and commandeered a nation.
We watched, aghast, in disbelief ~ could these events be real?
But we saw the fires raging, we beheld the melting steel.
We learned our nation's Capitol was vulnerable that day;
We learned our mighty Pentagon was even easy prey.
Would we safe within our land?  How could we even know,
If even military's high command was dealt this mighty blow?
The questions go unanswered as they're asked across our land ~
Perhaps it's just too soon to even hope to understand.
But, as the rain falls on Manhattan, and our nation weeps its tears,
A half-forgotten old refrain falls on our nation's ears.
It began as just a whisper, then it spread from shore to shore,
Just an old refrain, not fashionable to sing much any more.
Yet the simple words were echoed from the East Coast to the West,
Sung by simple working men and by businessmen well-dressed.
Across the oceans of the world the precious words were heard,
As our nation taught its children every line and every word.
As our nation's leaders led us while we sang that old refrain,
We cried, "God Bless America," in voices etched with pain.
And as we rise up from the ashes on an eagle's broken wings,
The world has stopped to listen as a battered nations sings.
And the world will be our witness, as they watch us from abroad,
That when terror struck this nation...we turned our hearts to God.
Linda Moser Winebrenner
17 September 2001

Written six days after 9/11, then I was honored
to have it published in the "Clay Today", our local paper

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Breakfast and Tea Prepared for me...

Just a favorite memory of mine.
Granddaughter Jessi came to visit in December of 2009
and one morning she brought a wonderful breakfast to me 
while I was still in bed.
Menu:  Strawberries, Toast, Little Smokies & 
Constant Comment Tea.
My own grandmother's lamp lit my morning;
the teapot was a Mother's Day gift 
from daughter Carla and Greg;
the tea was friend Elizabeth's special blend, shared with me.
A photo I took of Jessi and Aly is in an old frame.
The teacup was a vintage find.
All these treasures, and the love they represent,
sitting on the bedside table my husband, Allen, made for me.
To this day, I remain grateful for that sweet morning.