Category Archives: Family

The Marker


How did the stain of past life find its place upon this silent grave?
What aged the emerald crescent’s arc, kindly blotched the written stave?

What of its words and heartfelt kiss
that left a summer’s rain amiss?

What countenance divine embraced
this site befitting, this resting place?

Through what redacted soulful truths
did heaven ride to seal the proofs?

Who stood upon this sullen ground
in saddened prayer, in whispered sound?

What happened here? Who knew the scene?
What time sustained and held between
the moments of the resting?
What moments from the fight?
Who stoops above this sacred stone,
in haunt and love each night…?


Filed under Angels, Family, Memory, Perspective, Poetry, Universal Soul


The years upon themselves will close,
once folded then unfolded,
as unaged born, to ageless turns,
through aging’s twining scolded.

Through years of moment’s pleasures,
grafted to the ether’s breath,
whispered dreams in flags of prayer,
escape the truth of death.

When just the pyre’s ash remains,
when autumn’s hushing gently stirs,
when absence seems too stark to hold,
life’s long red thread endures.

Stitched through laughter’s echo,
knotted through a true love’s seam,
hung as memory’s bunting,
graces truths we’re left to dream.

For these will not escape us,
born free above what ash remains,
as time reclaims its holdings,
these memories, this life sustains.

for Judy Arterburn (July 25, 1944 – January 5, 2016)


Filed under Family, Memory, Perspective, Poetry, Uncategorized

Eternal Patrol

O’er the western sea she gleams,
the dawning sun in diamonds bright,
gold in silent solitude,
brilliant hopes adorned in white.

I stand upon the rolling hills
above the gentle sleeping bay,
wondering what’s become of you,
quietly wiping tears away.

To sea the dawning stretches west
across these verdant hills of green
that hide between the misty rills
cascading on to ends unseen.

O’er sleeping gentle wave below,
my heart gives rise to your return,
yet no reward of sailor’s share,
no treasure granted, no fires burned.

My brother! Oh brother!
Upon the deck your name is notched.
The boson softly calls eight bells.
Eight bells to end your watch.

Unto the depths your earth returns
upon eternal patrol,
in service to the ones you’ve loved
and those since called to roll.

Amidst the blinding glints of dawn
the bay stands still revealing you,
there upon the deck with pride,
your courage smiling through.

Peace be yours my brother.
Calm seas to you forever more.
To you we are indebted.
May you, dear sailor, rest your oars.

For my brother Mike – 21-Dec-1944 to 12-June-2015
United States Navy – Submarine Service
1962 – 1969

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Filed under Family, Poetry, Universal Soul

Of Passing…

Ashes drift across the page,
smudged in ink that lies in rage
left loosened by these blotted stains,
so holds the moment thick.

I sit with silenced, emptied mind
denying few the words I find,
yet nothing blunts the pain
that bends these lays in pages sick.

There is no hope in honesty,
when to the last, emotions fail.
There is but lucid clarity,
that paints the final moments pale.

Flesh deprives the man behind.
Sickness ebbs the soul in kind,
but still the eagled spirit shines,
so baits us to the end.

Moments pass as prayers drift
until the spirits seeking, lift
his deity’s smoky lines,
that in our presence mend.

All life is left in moments played
between the poles of death and birth,
yet left perplexed in passing’s sum
we stand here heavy on this earth…
Waiting our return.


Filed under Family, Perspective, Poetry, Universal Soul

Quiet Now…

Quiet now the sighing comes as day’s extent is done,
and here I sit in corner’s chair that by this pen might cull the sum,
the sum, that is, of life and love that passes through the day
and pulls the corners down to fit among these thoughts that stray,
that stray through life’s long memories with children gathered home,
who share sweet smiles in reverie, recount the years we’ve come to roam.

Can there be a heaven blessed beyond a peace as this?
Can there be some greater gift than drifting through this day’s sweet bliss?

I pause to see their faces, feel their hands from small to tall,
hear their laughter’s timber and the path that each one’s life does call.
By grandkid’s eager smiling eyes, by children’s happy grins,
my life in purpose rounded whole sets full within my soul again,
blessed to know the kindest fabric of life in fullest stride
where time grants blessing’s happiness to those I love and hold in pride.


Filed under Family, Perspective, Poetry

From the Bottom of the Ladder

For company, for policy, for rule and regulation,
for managers and presidents, and once a year vacations.

Hey! Listen!
You and I cannot be friends
for where your social antics start
is where my patience ends!
Yes, you were made my master
by the men for whom you slave,
and you think if you work faster
and make your men behave,
that you will one day be rewarded
by promotion up the ladder,
and the fools who did the work for you
will stay, they do not matter.

Oh yes, it’s very possible
and even what you need,
and you know with every rung you climb,
the more you’ll have to bleed.

For company, for policy, for rule and regulation,
for managers and presidents, and once a year vacations.

But remember this each time you kiss
the ass of your employer,
and he allows you to step further
form this common labor toilet,
that you should listen closely
for a thunder from below,
for it’s the laughter of this little man
who works down here, you know.

You wonder why I’m laughing?
All you climbing doesn’t matter.
I’m laughing ‘cause I’m watching you,
and it’s I that hold your ladder!

posted for
Don Arterburn
(aka D. A-Bone)
somewhere in the 1970s


Filed under Family, Perspective, Poetry

Family Memory – a Prayer

How quiet is the lonely wood
where ‘midst these markers lay –
How lonely are the steps between
the graves of those I walk today –
How peaceful is the summer corn
around this church’s graveyard stands.
How steadfast this emotion seems
When pen’d from living hands –

At rest and peace I find thee,
silent ‘neath the clustered trees –
With truth and love I bless thee,
while praying from my knees!


Filed under Family, History, Memory, Poetry