Thursday, April 3, 2008

I call this: HE HAD SUCH BEAUTIFUL FEET - written 8/12/1992 @ 11:12 p.m.

I wrapped him once in swaddling clothes
and now I wrap him again in death
I wrapped him special to keep him warm
I wrap him carefully as he takes his last breath
I hold him close
the cloth is too short
his feet will be cold
Oh my God - help me
I've kissed those toes so many times before
I watched him crawl on
wee chubby knees
I've prayed on mine today
bruised and cut
like his face
our blood now mingles again
as I hold him
in this final embrace
If only I could cover
his trembling feet
please help me find more cloth
Such long toes
still so very sweet
his muscles lean - straining
going limp
his wet hair - matted
could someone help me dig the grave
that holds him now
so warm
and find me a scarf
the one
I dropped on the way?
We'll wrap his beautiful feet together and forever in all
men's hearts he'll stay - I promise
you one day they'll cherish
what you tried to say...
I promise you, my son, you'll
live years beyond your time
and all that you've done will be legend
in song
in prose
and in rhyme.
Yes, all mothers will sing
kiss their children's faces as I
kiss yours
and cover their tiny feet with bootkins;
as they walk the many shores
by many oceans - on grass
and soil
and though they sweat
in the pain of birth
and toil
they'll kiss their sons
all their children
..their fingertips and nose
holding their babes - eternal
Eternal and Delicate
is my
beautiful ROSE
The thorns that have cut my fingers; the thorns that
have crowned your head
each will I pick out carefully
carefully as once
I laid you in your bed!
I fold your hands across your chest
and remember when you waved good-bye
I've wrapped my son
so your feet and hands will stay safe
Dry - safe; from head to toe
dry and warm you'll always
dry - wrapped again in your
'swaddling' shroud
One day from the manger mansion you'll arise....
" you can take my

I call this NUMBERS DO COUNT - I wrote it in memory of the TWA FLIGHT #800 - July, 1996

The Indians once asked how
saying hello I think was their motive
Now I see burning candles - all sizes
tiny - squat - they call them
Why is the curiosity summary
awaiting explanation
from the child
who grows up to salute
a nation
what is for the out-come
or definition
of answers and
who also - as the owl
who croons while
the evening's quiet
in the midst
and balloons rise
with air so buoyed
and dolls or trucks
are orphans
now that their
owner is
When the quiet is because its owner
has not returned
so it becomes a 'loaner'
to the neighbor or charity
carrying on its legacy
fragile little parts of stuffing
loved inanimate dragons
and now they go
as the smoke upon the waters
are not but
debris there is
once a part of an inventory list
when that vital person packed up all their
cares (not woes) and moved to their
new home
the precious framed memory of the
Who, what, why, how, and the now - precedes
when the time has come to say good-bye
and it was never expected
that a loved one would die
not in the arbitrary due time of nature's course
coined are our phrases, thoughts with never
This does come as a sad surprise
the surprise if our loved one
as a result of error; design - carelessness
or evil - a tragedy
tragic always -but with enormous terror
we now must deem it
It's insane and anguish that's impossible to define
when or if it's one close to you
or you say
"at least this tragedy isn't mine"...
No? Not yours? Yes, it really is
only if you can shut off your compassion
or shutting out awareness
can you avoid the questions and the quiz?
Delivering some report or letter
struggling to make that widow somehow
feel so much better
or our child died bravely
in service of their flag
concluding that somehow you'll carry a heavy medal
about which you still
can brag?
No one wants to hold anything
other than a living and loving hand
and no one wants to line up in that tribute
with some blaring marching band!
The dismounted mount
and a lonely single horse
bridled; decorated
its gait never off the chartered
Photos - pages turning slowly; tears
dropped on protected pages
each heart - reaching and touching
searching for comforting words
written by poets
and departed sages!
Feeble seem our gestures
yet as feeble as they be
the enormous love and dedication
all show at times of death
their caring is what moves me!
And by the passing of a life
still the spirit of that person is the angel
who continues so alive
reminding others to cherish each day
and to do more than
'just survive'!
This blessed 'tickler' spirit
is on the calendar each hour of every day
helping us to contribute and positively extract
to family, neighbor, and who is living
and far away!
Bound still - alive; in some breathing form
memory of that loved one
keeps now
more than just
its small family
Laughter sings; not only for joy close-by
aching - crying - tired
one - or many now
will sigh
sometimes with relief
sometimes with sorrow
Storm - terror - make it
Let the angels drop petals of belief
because one day we'll become that angel
and we won't be the consoling or loved one
another close
instead we'll have no awareness
so while we can, we spoon up the love
and give it a whopping
filled with sunshine - only we can give as one - unique and single solution
we tell to others while we live
because after we can no longer share a thought
what remains resident
is merely what we've taught!
Tiny mortal teacher
without title or certificate
don't set any watch or mark on the calendar
any date you've set
when you took your first breath
and cried
somewhere on this earth,
another person died
and only people matter; living creatures - flowers - trees
nodding while babies slumber
and there is no need to count the hair
there is no need to 'number'....
there's no tally sheet - nothing to delete; or deplete
just be certain that everything is
only the opportunity to participate
make great each and every day
you greet
and even if you don't shake the hands of Father-Time
or set down your recall
with any reason or rhyme
your smile and kindness makes its mark in history
when you become another's loved one - another
if no one could remember
or hear that tree that fell
history still would record it
and only time will tell
what is the sound of Time's voice
has anyone ever heard it
no doubt it's heard inside
those silent while
they fondly reminisce
About the angel's kiss they miss.
So make certain that the kiss
they miss
is imparted - be it by action
some gesture of
thoughtful selection
pile them on with true affection.
Make certain that later they have an ample supply
be sure you've wrapped up packages of hugs -
just in case you die
Wrapped up affection; packages of 'arms-around'
...likes 'bows' of living ribbons
as the 'ends' flutter in the wind.
Now you've wrapped up all your cares
that ends those woes
so the numbers really will count
and when news of that bitter end
brings another message
and you have to send
the numbers that died;
the numbers that mattered
be careful how you carry them
so no more lives are
like the glass - the splinters; and as they weep
with unbearable hurt
Help them with your loving words as they dry their
eyes on your favorite shirt!

I call this one: FATHER REFLECTIONS - written July 6, 1983 while traveling in the mountains - Diane Stirling-Stevens

Praise ye Father, Sun and Holy Ghost
so I
praise the night as a loving Father - snuggled in an enormous black
holey old quilt;
creating light passages that
reflect upon the many pieces of heavenly rock
upon which a church
could be built
Yes, we experience this 'nightly' and it soothes
those who lie awake
coping with their guilt
The Sun is like a mother - she radiates and nourishes the
she wakes up each morning to glow and shine
while many of us pray
on our knees
which is of course, why our knees get dirty
and sometimes we put holes
in our knickers
but mom just makes patches - fixes them up
and reminds us to laugh and my
brother snickers
The Holy Ghost of the many comets
light - trailing tails
join the clouds like many angels
flying in the sky
ships of streaming sails
seem to bring the bounty
distribute the ever-lasting joy
and dust the heavenly orbs
the stimulation and activation
building up water
it rains and the earth
giving birth to oceans - life to plants
returning again - cycle complete
we're cleansed by these showers
fed by the fruit
we splash in the cold river
that cleans our soiled
The lightening is music - like the 4th of July
it's the heart-beat of nature
it's the crack that splinters the sky
It's Father's alarm clock
it's Mother's reminder
That nature might be a bit rowdy
and sometimes we think she should be
to those below who have worry and fears
who don't like winds that gust
and thunder that hurts their
The Clouds appear like 'Ushers' -
They move these events across land
escorting them to the ocean
out there they play - have their frolic
and tackle waves
water spouts turn about
and for a time seem like
as they rise and swirl
unable to escape
with fluid strength
they rise tall
so rainbows can manifest
inside their foam; suddenly they're released
freedom - and they make
their way back
There is no anger or death-ward purpose
in the play of Nature and its extraordinary
it is only a normal day in the galaxy
in unlimited ranges
From low to high
its frequency
is heard by our internal awe
it's documented by the human species
who likes to make record of what
'he saw'....
Man uses his fingers for pen; chisel and high-tech key
little letters jumping and poked
history saved for humanity!
Precious notes; journals - books and symbols
prose, poetry - acting out in mime or rhyme
History allowed to repeat itself and made
because someone decided to take the time
to make the time
to create the time
moved by the joyous spirit
and aren't we all so forunate we have
ears that can really hear it?
Remember it's not the ears that hear audible sound
it's the ears inside us
the knowing and belief we've found
We thank the Father of the Night
the Mother-Sun of Day
the Holy Ghost of Comet Angels
this exciting trinity that loves to rally
in what I define as
Diane Stirling-Stevens

"Elena, My Mother's America" - for Mildred who was conceived in Germany; born in the USA! - 8/21/1989

Golden-haired; over 80
smiling blue eyes
thin - like a reed
charming - kind
what is this lovely lady
now my newest friend
I find...
She told me how her mother came
to America years ago
on a boat
that she'd fled
so she wouldn't be dead
nor her baby growing
and Mildred was
as she told me this
when Elena told her
about what she
do and scolded her
reminding her of her freedom
and all she had
Elena said Mildred had
better 'watch her talk'
showed her the 10 Commandments
wrote them on a black-board
with some crumbling chalk!
Mildred said she fought back
challenging Elena about 'free speech'
Elena heard her daughter
and some type of agreement
they tried to reach.
"What would you know about freedom;
you were riding in my womb...
I took you across the waters
in that tiny
"I brought you to America
so you could be born into a free and better land...
I watched you learn your first steps
on the seashore of the Pacific sand!"
Anger was in Elena's heart
but love was guiding her as well
she knew her daughter had the right
of speech
and she loved that thought of that
Liberty Bell
Suddenly she realized that because she'd made this trip
she'd brought her precious unborn child
who was growing up and now had been quite rude
..full of questions - even 'flip'
Yet her daughter was exercising the very right
she'd longed for her child to have
because both could debate and disagree
and so Elena
Elena forgave her daughter, but her daughter saw
Elena's tears
Suddenly Mildred realized her mother's efforts;
dedicated for these many years
With head bowed - her handed extended
Mildred reached to her mother
and so the quarrel
This quick exchange that day
in their quiet back-yard
while the flowers were smelling so sweet
Mildred realized it hadn't been hard
so each held the other
looked toward the sky
each showed understanding
knowing the reason why
the clouds were blue - blue in the Flag
red-blood of kinship
they walked back to the porch
for a rag
to wash off the soil
from their wooden lawn-chairs;
the 'dirt-FREE' country
where all citizens care
Where dads kiss the moms - and all the kids too
Where we all learn to cherish, the
red, white, and blue!
That night the sun kissed the trees; the moon kissed the night
Both were glad this spat had ended
--there was never a 'fight'
There was never a doubt
their thoughts were 'said and out'....
With the light of freedom's candle
there's no problem in this country
that one can not
Note: Essentially this was what Mildred (just not in a poem) told me as we had lunch in Laguna Beach, CA - 3 hours - a beautiful day in America.
Diane Stirling-Stevens


Your crowning spires
your towering glories
of glass
and steel
you have stolen
the deer that roamed these hills
before you leveled them to make
roads of concrete
You've sired the ghettos
and molded men into vagrants
their ladies
are now roaming the streets
looking for recyclable trash
or pinning notes on doors offering
to clean the offices
to fluff the carpet
for your expensive shoes
to walk on!
Walking to your desk
phoning to make another
deal to develop
more human waste
Your deal with those who will give
the nod much like the
wild mustard nods...
nodding to me this morning...
it agreed that it was perfectly fine for all
the tiny Finches to nest
in the near-by willows.
It nodded that it heard the
trees crash when they
It nodded that it did hear
the crack of the
eggs the birds had laid
and it
nodded that
that 'yes, it's sad' there's no
when the abortion of their babies takes
place - no controversy, as to
whether it was legal
moral, or right
to kill
unborn Robins!
The token playgrounds;
the basketball poles
the nets that hang
still hang while you
the homeless
at the same time!
The nets swing - rotted from rain
and sun
the wind blows the truth
it shreds the cotton
as you shredded the lives of so
many now
Chain-link walls are twisted; bent - backs are broken
like the bottles from the near-by bar
where the unemployed spend their checks
and welfare dollars
because they'll never make
enough to get out
so why not watch the bubbles
take their troubles
up to the sky
like smoke spirals
from your
industrial chimneys!
And where is the land that grew the food
you dehydrate and package
so you can send to the victims
of foreign wars
you started to insure
your energy resources
that fuel our cars, trains, planes, and
future wars?
The baby is in a cardboard box
maybe abandoned
or maybe just a cradle in the corner
of the cold-water flat
The cereal is in the cardboard box
but there are little cartoon characters
to cut out
and a toy to play with
while mom is out mopping
and dad is out sweeping!
The cardboard box carries the paper
and the news
gets printed
on that paper
That paper tells of sorrow
that paper tells of prosperity
that paper burns nicely
when you add a few sticks
so you can warm your hands
by firelight
before you go to sleep
on the streets!
The cardboard box
makes a great shelter
if it once housed a refrigerator
for the appliance store
The cardboard box is my boat if I believe it to be;
my car is my coffin if I don't find a warm blanket
for the night
and no one knows my name!
The birds and I cry; the Golden Rod and I nod together
the mist still seeks me out
though it has to bend and
stretch harder now that
the buildings block its path!
The morning sun is reddened by pollution
yet it glows in my heart
and the music I hear
is not coming from your newly-built symphony hall; the
Art's Center exhibits - no painting as real to me
as the one pervading my pathway
while I walk over
to smell that April violet that somehow found a reason,
and a way
to bloom!
Diane Stirling-Stevens - Nevada


Crazy-purpose reason
locomotive season
blind is who
not love
selfish seizin'

wind and rain
shall not remove
human will
internal spirit

simple happiness - nothing
we want to kill
parting the seas and
from our money, honey
slave to save
nature's fits - yet it is not funny

saw - saw 'saw-dust'
debate and whine
not intelligence experts

No war is real
it is only when we kneel
to the leader
who's appeared to be a friend,
dear 'reader'...

collection of spoils
tho' the common lives
will end
ending so violent
so silent

new toys
shall liberty be
chained to all
those innocent boys?

Shall naive be classified
patriotic - yes, so brave
protect no goverment
writes to its citizens in
'form letters'
when it appears to 'respond' to
its loyal working

Note: To see and hear a tribute to those that served
in the Viet Nam War (as my husband did), here's a 'touching' link:


A jeep - bro'-peep
never lies - can't stammer
dad with his charming smile
and wielding his ballpeen hammer
a non-glamor pose - smile
that leader's red nose glows
Dad fixed General MacArthur's favorite
dad - Vern - hum for me;
laugh you happy fart
Smile for me
sum dumb fool
move mai guy pan to
what a canal gal
and the Honey B29
spell it wrong - the fun is
just a pair of dux
ducks in a line
Metaphor and traded bucks
Rudolph the red
knows rain dear
daddy writes on pain
never flown
passed him by
the sweet bird of youth
that does not fly
but it whimpers
growls - really sings
rusty pole
and Kayla swings!
With joy, she flies - captured attitude
eyes of love
positive altitude
did you think I should change
all those lines around
If I did
would YOU get off the ground?
Either way edit - it's mine; dear author
yet interpretation is thine - and you're entitled to bother!
Sweet flies; youth prevails
happy appreciative heart of love
with might - delight; freedom sails
Like fresh paint and summer sun
Kayla glides in August fun
Yes - she won
the beauty through her words and eyes
"Thank you, Gramps" - and Grandma Lisa
What's revealed - no Pandora, it is not sealed
FREE BIRD - Styx - pick me up with 'licks'
Chops - brow mops
dancing toes; tired
Whisks of hair without despair
beauty oh my precious flier
how you'd have lit
Great Great Grandpa's fire!
SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH - would have grabbed him by the middle
unraveling my father's sinister poem;
the one that contained a riddle
With no more quibble, dad would giggle
and his 'gufaw'
would fly with 'Old Crow' - that had rendered dad
a paralyzed 'south-paw'
Dad - Old Crow - this bird carried him through
flash-back fights;
it had flown so fiercely
on those dark, night-marish
'Bourbon' nights!
Dawn - sun - Kayla dear
"V" is humming
loud and clear
Dad, I think the day is coming
can you hear that 'hummer' humming?
I wrote this on 9/21/98 - the day they announced the 'FOR GO-ANYWHERE DRIVER; IT'S A HUM-DINGER!"
This was the 'lead story' on the new Hum-V; written by Jim Mateia, Chicago Tribute (photo of the auto acrobat - 4-wheel-drive Hummer; can go almost anywhere off the road; ride sideways along a 22-degree slope - climb a 31-degree grade, and ford a stream almost 3 feet deep.




By Diane Stirling-Stevens (c) - 6/15/1990

Alcohol abuse or misuse
love abuse or a ruse
accusing the spouse who's fucking up
the fuck-up

Put to the test
the spouse needs to rest
the spouse has to cry
but 'hey',
the spouse should not die

The spouse gives you love - you
you've been selected
standing by your side
but you - it is YOU
that's defected

Gone to 'Bud' -who's the 'wiser'
sucking on his tit
and if you think that's all you're doing
that's not
the half
of it.
The family's suffered pain
when you chose Mr. Bud or Mr. Jack
the family thinks it would be better

if you'd put that bottle
of "Old Jack"

Go out; smell the coffee - put that shit
upon the shelf
and instead, oh precious loved-one
indulge in the
spirit of

one is not intoxicated
one is merely exhilarated
in the joy of your own birth
be a mirror of your worth
and return this gift of love
not as a screaming hawk
but as a gentle dove!

No one is a salamander
unless one is a salamander
No one stays in the gutter
unless they're too
afraid to utter

what is really being free
is making sweet-talk about
what is very right with me!

It's the foolish man who tries to fool
and it's not the same as
what I do
It's not about making poetic words and rhyme
having run-off-at-the-mouth
while running out of time!

The death-bed's your confession cradle
much too late you are too wise
the coffin is the cap - the cork
that bottles you up permanently
death is no disguise

Yes, your downer will be your down
and like some jaded and drunken clown
you'll be sealed up in your tomb
then it's back to another womb

and if there's a new beginning
a second birth of your spirit
this time when some one says "I love you"
do you think you'll really hear it?

Be it boot-straps or be it springs
will you pull up; spring up and sing
will you reach for that shining star
or just be sitting in a bar?

The stool of the dunce
is the throne of the king
the stool of the fool
is the bar stool that stings

your ass is in a sling
your butt is in a wringer
the bottle you rely on
will give you nothing but
a zinger.

Is your back-bone your only brace
and that shoe with the untied lace
is it the quicker-tripper-over
when another death you face?

A walking death; yet you function
playing near to your destruction
maybe you're a carpenter who's daily duty
is hammering up new construction

but you're blowing smoke while being sucked in
the black-hole's the carpet
that you've laid and cast in concrete
the DUI's from the car you drove

the joy ride you should be taking is the

Who's your daddy - who's your caddy
who's caused you all your problem
Is it because you've been spoon-fed
and you don't like the taste of

So put the throttle to the bottle
from the mother's milk to beer
blame everyone but yourself
because your buck's now lost - you're out of work
and your only buck's stopped here!

You say you like it better fishing
watching your bobber float
and even when your body's stinking
you're sinking in that rotting boat
You're without a motor; without a paddle
you said being sober was nothing
but fiddle-faddle

You don't care - you don't see
With 'Bud, the Wiser' - you can't be free
You've played this game and this game's too long
and how many cards did you have to hold

and when you had the chance to bet
you laid down your hand, and said

"I fold"....

Well sweetheart, I can't hold you now
it's curtain-call - take your final bow
and before I leave you - hey, 'nice guy'
I'm glad I won't be beside you
when your liver's 'shot' - and you're going
to die!

Yes I'm bowing out; yes I might be bending
But I don't want to be around
to read the condolences they'll all be

You say you'll never quit
you won't stop drinking until you're dead
Well honey, this round's on me

"Hey, what's the damages - did you say your name was Fred?"