Camp Helen

The others were asleep.

When he was there, the others were asleep.
The beach was empty, but for gulls and waves;
The morning tide receded in the deep
As music written on the ocean’s staves

With all the somethings that had been amiss,
Beside these pillars, once a mighty pier,
He knew, some way, they’d get through all of this –
Like standing promises
Of yesteryear

Tonight’s Truth

Her husband left her.

Her husband left her, telling her that he
Just couldn’t go on anymore this way;
And so, in shock, still reeling from it, she
And our grandson are with us for a stay

And she – she cannot look me in the eyes,
Afraid that she will break completely down;
And when this fact I did at once surmise,
I backed away – but I am still around –

She fears to let the tears completely go
With her young son so very, very small;
And she her full attention turns to him,
To try to make some sense out of it all

My daughter, oh, I’d rip out my own heart
To ease the pain that’s just about
To start

My All-Time Favorite Summer Read

When a teenage boy gives up eating for a book, he really, really likes it.

Our bus was parked – somewhere.  A shopping mall.
Some college singers, two weeks gone nonstop:
Four hours to waste for fun, and so we all
(Except for one) got out to eat and shop.

That one, he had a book he had just bought
And started reading on that very day.
He couldn’t put it down, though thrice was sought
To join the others in the mall cafe.

The book: by Charles Dickens. And it’s plot
Concerned an older boy whose father died;
Who had to earn his keep, and learn a lot,
Who mid humiliation, kept his pride.

A book I loved and did not want to end:
That still today, I highly recommend.



(The book, by the way, was “Nicholas Nickleby” by Charles Dickens, and since my mother did not own a copy, I did not know it existed.)

One-Act Play

(Alternate title: “Remembering My First… Celebrity Crush”)

I saw an actress in a play
At twenty years of age;
And fell for her, or at least reached
The fascination stage.

I sought her out, and talked to her;
We went out on a date —
With dinner, drinks and causerie
Till very, very late.

Oh, she was beautiful, but more;
She had a madcap way –
And I was taken with her act,
For three weeks and a day.

And then, she had to leave my town,
But somehow, that was fine;
Someone who wasn’t meant for me
Whose memory could be mine.

Remembering My First Real… Date


One day you barely know someone
The next, you think she’s gold;
This is a lesson that I learned
At seventeen years old

I’d been alone for sixteen years
Plus one year more, for sure;
When suddenly, she just appeared,
Or, I appeared to her

Her best friend dated mine, and so
He asked me if I would
Get her aside, out of his way
I said I thought I could

And where, before, I’d half-seen her,
I saw the other half;
Like she was smart and beautiful
And really liked to laugh

In a small room by a big room
Where choirs oft were heard
We flipped off all the light switches
Then other stuff occurred

That night, I went on a real date
A thing that shocked my dad

And it’s amazing, looking back,
Just how much fun we had

One day you barely know someone
The next, you’re making out;
But that’s the way it is with floods
They come after a drought


My parents both were singers.

My parents both were singers,
Taught us each to sing a part;
We would go out at Christmas and
Would carol folks by heart

I didn’t mind it very much
Out in the frost and rime:
I usually was rather shy
But not at Christmastime

When light and music filled the air –
The sound comes back to me –
There’s still no gift more special than
To sing
In harmony