An avalanche of chills covers me in epiphany
And this once desolate icicle called my heart – gives pause
I was not ready for the shiver given on this
Thus when the tingle does vanish I am left with naught
But the sounds that words cannot express
And this simple gift of truth from you to me
You are all I ever wanted
Not because you are anything
But simply because you ARE
Welcome to the world my child


dVerse ~ Poets Pub \ OpenLinkNight : Week 127

The Angels

The angels up in heaven guide every thing we do
They watch us and support us and gently help us through
All that life has for us, the unexpected and the planned
From the moment that we’re born, until next to God we stand

Some stand watch above us as when we just can’t sleep
Others give us comfort for the times we weep
Some angels gather up the dreams that come during the night
So when our eyes are open their sisters get the details right

There are angels whose voices whisper in our ear
at just the right moment to conquer all our fear
They are sisters of the voices that guide you when you stray
From the His path, they help set you back on the right way

There are unique angels who help keep friendships whole
should we hurt the ones we love when we lose control
There are angels for our hearts and we give them plenty to do
As we go through all the wrong ones, for our soul mates true

Season Angels guide not our earthly clime,
but rather our earthly time
From the Spring angels trumpeting our birth,
until the Winter angels’ last bells chime

Granted some Angels paths are shorter,
while other have a longer phase
But each in turn guide through
the Summer and the Autumn of our days

From the moment that we’re born, until next to God we stand
All that life has for us, the unexpected and the planned
They watch us and support us and gently help us through
The angels up in heaven guide every thing we do

dVerse ~Poets Pub | The Mind of a Child–dVerse Poetics


Yesterday morning was one of those “I just can’t get my act together” morns. I was just arriving to the train station I should have been at some thirty minutes ago. That kind of morning.

At the foot of the escalator to the train station, I notice a fellow commuter put something in the hand of a young man  standing there. He is asking for money for breakfast.  Emphasizing that it really was for food, he was hungry.

By the time I reach him three others with their heads averted have blown past him in the typical New Yorker “invisible beggars are invisible” fashion.  Normally, I would be among them, but something about the kid, he could not have been more than thirteen, reaches out to me. Before he starts asking, I have stepped to he side, reaching for my wallet. As I dig in my bag a woman just shy of flies between us, ducking away as though the boy had leprosy. It was beyond rude how she did it.  His hurt expression said it all.  He clearly didn’t want to be there and she must have been the last straw for him. Head down he started to turn to walk away.

I don’t know what came over me.

“He is still a human being you know!” I yelled up the woman, “May you continue to be blessed in your life so you may never learn what it must take to do this.” The boy and the woman both stopped and looked at me. She was on the escalator, but her expression was murderous as it lifted her away.

“Thank you, miss.” he said, still hurt, accepting the bill I held out without looking at it.

“Enjoy your breakfast honey. You’ll be alright.” I stepped onto the escalator and waited for it…

“THANK YOU MISS! Now I don’t have to share half a McDonald’s with my little sister. I can get cereal and milk and she can have her own. Thank yoooooooou!” I hear him yell, the gratitude in his voice totally free of the hurt.

I look out of the windows as the escalator rose and sure enough he ran across the street to the grocery store. I was already late for work, but once I reach the top, I wait at the side windows. A few minutes later he came out carrying grocery bags with a gallon of milk and what looked like two boxes of cereal, half running up the block. I smile.

“How much did you give him?!” I hear a voice right behind me. I turn and it is the woman I yelled at minutes before.

“Just $5, not enough for all of that. He must have been there for a few minutes asking.  You couldn’t even be so bothered as to even look at the child. Did you even realize that was a child? What do you care?” I ask annoyed.

“You reminded me, that I haven’t always been this ‘blessed’. I was coming back to see if he was still here to give him some money.”  She takes three dollars out of her purse and hands it to me. “Split what you gave him?”

“Keep it. You’re getting on the subway, there will be other someones who needs it. Give it to them.” I say walking away, but then I stop. “Just do yourself a favor and look the person begging. You may still choose to dismiss 99% of them – just as I know I will, but at least look at them for a moment so you don’t miss the chance of the 1% who will be truly be grateful for it. And you feeling grateful for having to chance to do it.”

As I say the word grateful, I realize I am just as grateful that I took a chance with him. I think about the boy -and the little sister I didn’t know existed until he mentioned her- about to sit down and have some cereal. I don’t know their story, I just know that instead of one split meal, at least for the next couple of days they have breakfast.  I am grateful for my small part in that.

I just have one question now: Who the hell is this nice person I am turning into? Ugh!

30/30 – 23 | Flowers

Lisa looked around at the other children in her class.

Each hunched over a sheet of construction paper, little fingers tightly gripping crayons, their young brows furrowed in concentration as they drew. The others had proceeded to draw the moment their teacher handed them the materials and instructed them to draw flowers. From what she could see, the other children slowly drew yellow petal flowers on straight green stems.

She had quickly drawn pretty flowers of orange colored petals, on purple stems. Flowers do not look like that, she was told. Her drawing was taken away and she was given a new sheet of paper. Lisa then drew a rainbow of multi-hued petals on swirls of green vines. Again, the drawing was taken away. She was told, to only yellow petal flowers on straight green stems.

Lisa’s paper remained blank. She complained she did not want to draw yellow flowers on green stems, that there were other colors. It did not matter. They only wanted yellow petal flowers on straight green stems. She had to draw to yellow petal flowers on straight green stems. The other children started to tease; the teacher was clearly losing patience. When it finally became too much, Lisa drew yellow petal flowers on straight green stems.

A few couple of years later, her family moved and Lisa was now in a new school. Her new teacher instructed the class to draw flowers. Lisa wanted to know what kind? Whatever kind Lisa wanted to draw was the response.

Any kind of flower?
Any color flower?

Any way she wanted it to look, the teacher smiled kindly.

Lisa her selected crayons and drew…

…yellow petal flowers on straight green stems.

I’ve Got The Look…

All mothers have a certain look in which their children instinctively comprehend to mean  stop and desist NOW.  I do not care how “no mannered”, “fresh”, “no home-trained” et cetera the children may be, all instinctively understand the most powerful wrath short of the Lord Almighty’s is about to reign down upon their little souls and behinds should they continue with the offending activity.

There are the mothers whose look will only work on their own progeny. There are the mothers in which the look not only works on their children,  but other family members’  children and sometimes the neighbors’ children.  And then there are the mothers. Those special mothers who can utilize the look with such force, that even the children of complete strangers will take heed.  It does not happen often, for I realize I have to be in a certain mood and the child involved must have seriously crossed my invisible line of intolerance for it to be at maximum force, but I am definitely among the last group.

That being said, while all mother are capable of that look, not all mothers have the ability or the desire to use to its full potential and that is a shame. Mothers who cannot put the fear of Mom unto their little darlings at a very early age are soon victimized by the tiny terrors they’ve brought forth unto this world.  I ran into one of those unfortunate types this morning.

I heard the mother already pleading with the child the moment the subway doors opened.

“Sweetie won’t you please sit down.”
“You’re going to hurt yourself!”
“Didn’t I say sit down, Sweetie?”
“You’re going to get a pow-pow.”

The mother did not say “Sweetie” I’m using it  instead of the child’s actual name to protect the little hellion more so than the parent.  I also cringe when parents of young children use cutesy names for things. If you are about to discipline your child, the child should fear it. It is not a “pow-pow” it is a “spanking”.  Children do not fear the cute, especially when spoken in that sing-song sugar coated speak most adults reserve just for young children. Sweetie was not that young and I’m guessing having heard such idle threats all his young life, this child was no exception.

I partially read my book, partially listened to my music and partially watched as I sat across from them.   The little boy climbed up and down from the seat, swung on the pole and yelled back at his mother in turns. Several people were giving the mother the stink eye as Sweetie ran among them nearly causing one passenger to spill her coffee and causing another to trip. Mother would apologize, yell at her child, the child would be still for all of two seconds and then the boy was off again.  Even as the train became crowded he still misbehaved, just contained his mini-mayhem to a smaller area.

At some point a woman who had had enough touched Sweetie on the arm and nicely suggested that perhaps the child should sit. Sweetie turned around, screamed at the woman from the top of his lungs on how she is not his mother and hit the woman with the plastic bat he had in his hands.  The mother grabbed the bat from him and apologized to the woman. This was twenty minutes after I first embarked and now even I had had enough. I took off my ear buds and put my iPod and the book I’m reading in my purse and stood just as Sweetie turned around and started to run.   Right on cue Sweetie accidentally ran into me. He spun around and raised his hand as though to hit me and I’m guessing that was the moment it happened.

The Look had made its appearance.

I raised an eyebrow at him and whatever he was thinking about doing, he rethought it as his hand slowly came down to his side.

“Say ‘I’m sorry. Excuse me.’”  I looked down on him.

“I-I’m sorry, excuse me.” He echoed contritely, taking a step back.  I heard someone exclaim “Daaaamn!” as I pointed at the boy and then at the seat next to his mother. Without another word exchanged, he picked up a toy that was on the floor and sat down close to his mother looking at me penitently.  The mother looked at me balefully as though she was about to say something and I looked at her waiting for it.  She thought better of it also, putting a protective arm around Sweetie as I returned to my seat.  There was a small bout of applause as I sat down, put on my iPod and returned to my book. The man sitting next to me looked from me to the kid and back “How’d you do that? And can you please teach my wife?” I just smiled, shrugged and returned to my reading.

A chapter or so later I realized it was still quiet. When I looked across the aisle from me Sweetie was fast asleep. The mother still looked like she wanted to do me bodily harm, but I was not worried about her. A few stops later, she and Sweetie disembarked.

Someday, someone is going to be there when I give some unfortunate soul “The Look” and have his or her cell phone camera ready to capture the moment. Obviously, I have no idea what I look like when I use this unique expression, but it apparently has some mystical power in it and I would really like to see it for myself.


Slice of Life Story Challenge

Slice of Life Weekly Story Challenge


Walking the relatively quiet streets (quiet for a rush hour afternoon anyway), of my neighborhood made me realize something…

The streets were relatively quiet.

It’s summer in the City (don’t you dare start singing The Lovin’ Spoonful!). Where are the kids? Other the occasional break out two-hand football or a soccer game, or the always popular open fire hydrant on the oppressive days, you really don’t see young children playing in the streets anymore.

Once upon a time when inner city children played outdoors it was not varsity. We played in the schoolyards, on the sidewalks and in the streets! I know this is something damn near unfathomable in this X-Craft Station day and age (see what I did there?), but it happened. I have the scars and wonderful memories to prove it.  In fact, kids pretty much ruled the streets, at least until the street lights came on (don’t act like you don’t know what that means!).

We learned how to get along, even I  couldn’t stand that nasty little Devon from Creston Avenue who had cooties and oh – er – excuse me  – I digress…  We learned how to deal with each other. We learned to play by the rules (whatever they were per game, per moment).

The blocks in front of our apartment buildings were our backyard. We played games such as stick ball (or curve ball, if you didn’t have a stick), ring-a-levio, steal the bacon, Johnny on the Pony and of course Skelly (a.k.a. skully, skilsies, skelsies).

Skelly Board

Colorful Skelly Board

I found this picture of a Skelly board online for reference.

Now this is some fancy/schmancy Skelly board painted here. When we were kids, we’d draw this out with our white chalk. Even if we had some of those big, get dust on everything color chalks, it never looked as good as this, but we got the idea. Once the board was drawn we make loadies, if needed, melting candle or crayon wax or tar into bottle caps to load them (give them weight), then we would scuff them up on the street to make them slick enough to slide.

There was a start line two feet away from the actual square. (That is two feet, as in one child stepping at the edge of the number 1 box and placing one foot directly in front of the other for “two feet”.)  You’d slide your bottle cap from the start line into the square marked number 1 and work your way around until you made it into the center, number 13.  There were a ton of rules, to make it fun and challenging. Above all, you had to remember to grab your loadie out of the street before a car would run it over or you were out the game, because unless you had another one ready to go, odds were the other players were not waiting for you to make another one.

With the advent of video games, sports more organized in schools and kids having an extracurricular activity calendar as jam packed as any executive’s 9 to 5 schedule – being told to just go play, is not the same as it was when I was a child. As a result, some of these street games are dying out and that is a shame.

This morning on my way to work I saw a man rolling what had to be a four foot square Skelly board on a hand truck and it brought back memories. I have seen the occasional Skelly board show up professionally painted on grounds of a schoolyard over the years, but it seems the popular street game is now making its way indoors.  And I have to say, it is an odd comfort to know that kids still play the game, indoors or out.

Wanna Kick the Can anyone…?