Brandy Verses

By J P Ronan

Drawing by M X McDonald


An eve’s repose with a tranquil mind, music and warm brandy may lift the humble soul. The reader shares not the moment of its origin but the visitor is welcomed to split the benefits of the verse forged herein. May the writings here placed forth bring serenity and respite to the being of those who are curious.

Drawing by M X McDonald

NSBN 1526373849 A Published by Ronan’s Press in 2009


Dedicated to the loving memory of Mary Ann McElwain



Winter’s Still It is? Beneath the Boughs When Kind Words Grandma’s Hearth Christmass Tree My Leave Dreams Simpler 101 Famous Poems Rusted Rail Better Wishes Soldiers Grandpa’s Cellar Acclaim One Wish Visiting What to do? Life’s List Lawful Taxes Mid winter Snowy Path Mild Winter’s Warmth First Buds My Worth They Wait Life Winter’s End Holiday Cheer New Year


Turkey’s reign Where Christmass Goes

Springtime’s Calendar Robin’s Nest First Purple Blossoms Phlox Hidden Spring Rain She shows Spring’s Torrent She Moves Aged Mother Dear A Good Son Spring Rain El Nino First Buds

Gifts Come Simpler Writing Confused? Living Life’s End Smiles Whisky City Street?


Cruelle Grandma’s Crow Coyotes Grandma’s Pal Jay Jay When

Mother’s Passing Sister in Prayer Some Cousins Young Wife Age Mother Dear Parents Lost I Love’s Progression Love’s Cause Who Would? Highland Woman

A Forest of Magic Framer Cloug’s Chicken Story The Man Who Becomes King The Princess Who Fooled the Man Who Brings Winter The Witch Who Stole Children



Winter’s Still

Hills rise with bare trees. Softly fall the snow. White flakes chase in the breeze. Upon mounds and drifts they stow.

Children’s glee erupts entire. Parents’ concerns abound. Dreams and visions expire Familiar joys resound.

True end begins in rush

Midst life most full When love is ever flush And held in winter’s still.



It is?

It comes in boxes long and small. It comes in cans round and tall.

Cones, pyramids, spheres and polyhedrons show, The various shapes that help it go.

In one or many it is found. Each price is measured in pound.

Drips, and flows are never lost, Within the package of it’s cost.

In purses, pockets, drawers it hides. With hidden safety it resides.


Abused by heat and mechanical plunder, it is roasted, packed, and stamped by number.

Desired, caressed it is cherished. Too soon from life it is perished.

Bars, wedges, bricks of it are stacked, Soon in cartons to be packed.

Here and there it finds a home. Unexpected, or invited it stands alone.

Passed as treasure it is pure pleasure, For any in business or in leisure.

It is carried in earnest by child and soldier. Mothers and wives give it love young or older.

Hot or cold its place endures,


To all mankind it allures.

Come holiday or not, Stirred it is within the pot.

It is weakness, it is need. It is rich dark chocolate indeed.



Holiday Cheer

Within glass or bowl it does hold, Until good cheer is out by toast. Hand to hand as arms unfold, Rightly chosen by the host.

Lights to sparkle, songs to rise, Poems yet spoken are confined. All to gather to one size, Which heaven only has defined.

Mother daughter, father son,


Each to other, each to bear. To new fellows just as done, Holiday greetings, holiday cheer.


Beneath the Boughs

Beneath the boughs of Christmas passing, Little feet stumble with tiny hands clasping. Eyes full wide with color glows that bright sprinkle, Ears dampen closed from loud toot, chime and jingle. Among boxes, wrappings, and much gifting, Marches the new life of a first Christmas lifting. Wanderings below shelf, door and table,


Explore fresh surface with height that unable. In clothes not worn but frilly and right, Hands and face kept cleaned for others’ delight. Over large slippers both old and humble, Around big hands that out stretch to stop tumble. Sips of new drink with bites of sweet crumble, Flow down from above mixed full with wild mumble. The new smell of cologne, cream and glass jar, Hold off old fragrances found not from afar. In light and darkness long sleep be dismiss, But naps filled with sugarplums each end in a kiss. Under boughs of every holiday tree To each little one, A Merry Christmas be!




When the limit of sums the integral gives untrue, When the fish of the sea their schools dismiss, When no closed door has cause to bar, When the angels to earth descend for grace, When the bound of the cosmos is lastly placed, When no mother’s heart needs mend, Then true love does hold all reign.



Kind Words

Words loosed with kindness meant, Heal not harm by their composed content. Caring sounds await by injured heart, Send sorrow collecting to depart.

The young are forward led from speech. In ready visions the nouns beseech. Fresh hope of future will remain, With acceptance of self, nice words sustain.

For those long of age our thanksgiving marks, Past words of forgiveness from loving hearts. The after life will not deny them from us,


But hold closer by prayers of remembrance.

Gain by much effort through midlife deed, Is swift rendered lost by family need. Years of toil in denials not heard, Give prize to the essence from herald word.



Grandma’s Hearth

The fire begins deep in night, The kitchen cupboards move open wide, Flower spills cover surface and floor, Fresh loaves in aged pans find towel and cloth, Small twists with cinnamon and sugar bake, Soiled aprons hang on basement door, The air is scented by labor’s reward, The sound of our feet on cold wooden floor, Matches the readiness of country tea and household jam, At the last of the hearth’s daily need, A mess of children with love now feed, They nourish complete at grandma’s hand.



Chrismass Tree
B The Earth Happy Tonight Christmass Cheer proceed Peace fulfilling Good hearts lifting Love’s gift compelling Forgiveness to us dwells Prayer for others answering Till heavens gate be opening God Son Spirit Reign ______ ________ _________ | Christ | | is | | born | -------------------------------




My Leave

The rain now comes soft and long, While steps are made alone for one, The earth is frail which does me keep, From you now gone from life to sleep, There is no pain with trembling seized, The heart of empty, no mercy plead, Dulled senses still perceive the loss, Their needs of you the void to cross.

Where is your voice, Your smile and face? Where is your gentle hand, Your laugh, your caress to mend?

Not you but I have formed this strife, My leave to stay yet in this life.


It is only the present that holds no love!




Like hawks that soar in heights above, On pinnacles risen to rest and stop, Better is man there to place his love, Than by slighter flutter seek a lesser top, Within the bound that time will lend, To fill the space of nature’s discount. In effort mind and heart shall blend, Creations as self the world to mount.




Simple is preferred, Complex is never heard, Linear rises the temperature, Debts repay in quadrature, Words of mother settle, Legal talks but meddle, Sport is made with ball of round,

Odd coaches in groups abound, Flowers from small buds escape, Beauty queens in heavy fashion bake, Children play in space that’s near, Adults collect stadia at prices dear, Elderly do warmly smile at all, Corporate facades show but appall, Good news is ever-welcomed deer, World news by few is chose severe, Nature’s diet of veg and fruit, Require no drugs need go in it, Water is thirst’s first appeal, Liquor from our health will steal, Sleep with dreams is the heart’s delight, Late wake to weakness gives great height, Lightly eaten is life’s charm, Heavy portions the waist shall harm, Charity to all returns, Self merely eternity spurns, Diversity avoids adversity,


Centricity defies universality, Shyness from dangers keeps, Boldness bruise and injury heaps, Only cleanliness is not, Simpler than ways soiled got.



101 Famous Poems

Henry Longfellow’s weakness gave, In “The Children’s Hour” to our rave, As Poe with “Bells” and Kilmer’s “Trees”, These all failed us not to please, Emily tried by “Not In Vain”, Whitter’s “Barefoot Boy” was plain, So to Rudyard Kipling’s “If”, Wardsworth’s “Sonnet” did to lift, “The Cloud” by Shelley states from time, That most of these 101 poems do rhyme.

Shakespeare’s words are laid many great for “Hamlet”, Their meter kept in the mystic as born in his soliloquy. Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall”, does oblige a neighbor’s wish, Expressed in rural phrases that orders row of country stone.


“Grass” by Sandburg has few but most forceful tones, That hold colossal sorrow passed from of old. Nature’s course alone knits lovely themes, As Emerson in “The Snowstorm” disposed. The remaining 101 do not same the sounds at end, Unrhymed poems be not short of worth shared by all.



Rusted Rail

The shed of grandfather stands weather worn, Next to the house in which my father was born. Upon this land my grandson now hoes, The same sweet field round the graveyard goes. The leaves again this year fell soft, To land and stay upon the loft. The road has sunken deep with wear, Mounding dirt and bush with most fitting care.


My last steps shall fall where called to be, Upon patches worked by love that I long to see. No horse but tractor now sounds out, When farmer and wife are busy about. The chicks and peeps have long been kept, Loose among trees with their trunks long bent. They warn of wild pig come to nourish, Among peach, apple and cherry that flourish.

With walking stick I stand daily, Once held by mother as a shalayle. Many a dog had followed its pointing, To bring to barn cows home for the sorting. The path that rolls down in the long meadow, Only in short season walk I with kind fellow. The gray cold clouds in the distance roam, To bring snow and ice that shall frame me home.

Before the last winter that I shall keep, Visions of my youth’s memory I will heap.


Thoughts of parent, child and spouse, Collect from times lived best outside the house. Short is my eye to see the text, Of days and souls to come as next. Near Christmas shall as ever hail, Snow sleighing begins on rusted rail.



Better Wishes

Dreams of hooves markings on the rooftops? Better plumb puddings to find on our stovetops. Needs for great many large gifts collected? Better one tree with love as erected. Hopes for real visions come true by larger fortune? Better is credit consumed in lesser a portion. Feelings, desires most inwardly bent? Better to others our excesses be sent. Long on hours and occasions to dine? Better our knees to bend avant the divine. Many our friends to gather to stay late? Better good welcome to all at our gate. Rare and precious objects home sent? Better love and warmth to all to be meant. Greater beauty to hold and the old to distain?


Better good friends and our health do we maintain. Confused, forlorn and at the last impasse? Say hello and mean Merry Christmas.




Boys their leave from fathers go, To march in boots grouped row on row. Sons from mother’s arms do part, Steel they keep and duty start. Homes abandon and danger embrace, With heart and courage they take our place, Upon sea, sky and land unwelcoming They labor, wait and stand unwavering, Peril’s approach to forestay, They for us their lives down will lay.

God bless those true hearts on which we all rely!


Grandpa’s Cellar

The stairs are long and steep, The rail is high for young hands to keep, All steps in darkness rest, Small feet their courage do strongly test, Into sterile world of white, Of walls and ceiling light, Show from bare bulbs held over, Tools and machines aliened with order, No kitchen cupboard smell, No warmth of mother’s dwell, No fresh scent of outside stay, No place in manly space for play, Empty not of grandpa’s pipe and ash, Fill here much labor, and toil in stash,


To a boy child his first vision draws, In grandpa’s cellar as man to life with cause.



No fame has ever lifted high his name, No award did call him front to all, No banner had hung to his proclaim, No song be composed to hold long his remain, No mistake ever escaped his earthly course, No wound of life ever passed him by, No debtor ever his recompense absolved, No set but grave did this earth special honor save,


No dreams did unfold to guide his fate, True father he was till end from start, His acclaim shall ever fill full my heart.

Dear father in heaven you are to be, Until the day we together next shall see.

This child’s love, you above nature made.



One Wish

If one wish were free to last and stay, If one vow never ruined it must be, If one promise could entirely become made, If one prayer to heaven only reached, If one oath placed did soundly set, If one plea could justly granted be, If one entreaty should by all be heard, It would be the same from each at the last, To let the innocence of birth persist through life’s ending pass.




Two feet step along a Christmas path, Amid cozy warm houses they glide to pass. Out from the deep cold darkness twinklings glow, Winds constrain about the holiday dwellings fresh whiteness to stow. Cheerful contentment within all lodgings reside, Forlorn and loneliness between exterior doorways only abide. Footfalls crunch soundly keeping an icy beat, To smoke billowing up chimneys showing the village’s heat. Soot from coal ash descends with pale sulfurous scent, True bearing mid snow squall from this mixture is lent. The way is determined by hopeful Christmas intent, To children singing and bounding without fair relent. In night and in snowstorm other choice is easily made, More readily by the fireplace one is wished to have staid.


A collection of fresh packages bound in color and frill, Guarded onward move huddled for several children to thrill. The long panes of each home passed gives vision to tree, Decorations, illuminations, and candies placed forward to see. Past frozen figures carved out from an earlier snow, To a place of dear intention the feet are headed in go. Christmas presents arriving through a winter’s fierce blast, To waking children held waiting the whole year just past. Steppings need no rooftop, no cellar, no mysterious flue, To conclude their effort of delivery for gifts spreading anew. Through cold and dismay overridden by heart, This visit brings the warmth of a Merry Christmas at start.



What to do?

Comets in space may not calculate their trace, A mountain’s peak requires no measure from height to set its view, Fish to spawn consult first no instructions’ set, Clouds form without design chose among the architect, Birds in flight chase no equation’s rule, Lions do not feed by a menu’s print, Rose buds blossom not by a gardener’s decree, Tomorrow’s coming requests no permit to disembark, Leaves to fall prepare no legal breif need agree.

Human course goes much the same, Through life to proceed by heavenly grace.


Worry and deceit shall never be base to a life of bliss!


Life’s List

If man had power in life to live as wished, Would he plan only for he to wealth acquire?

If man could his friends true did choose, Would he but one keep closer dear?

If man one woman were construct to share his feelings prized,


Would he another wife ever need to make?

If man his sons in his likeness sought, Would he greater strength to them need give?

If peace for all his days his desire became, Would not each other then so too need to share?

If hunger and thirst to end is made never near, Would not want of all be then rendered just as dear?

If man choose not but love from those that be his kind, Would not each then find the other be just alike?

If man had the power to live as wished, What would a few pence more to him truly give?





In life the fear of simple wrong made done, Does cause the liable soul to veil itself, In guilt massed dire by foolish acts that followed behavior makes, Until the knowing wrong be fully turned, By false manners void of innocence, Where true self is hoped safe from all seers’ gaze.

So great the pain from slightest earthly harm! Why then does not our shame so full become, At trespass of commandment that is from heaven gave?



Like hidden sharply axes, That strike against all paxes, To bend lower the strongest baxes. They dispel the worn souls’ wish to relaxes, With concerns made to pay more taxes!



Mid winter

While the snow may bluster in winds that swirl, While ice may set for early steps to till, While the day behind great shadowy clouds may hide, The night may frost in a starry sky.

The sun shall yet make warm an earthly embrace. The calf and lamb shall newly arrive. The green sprout shall hasten to erupt. The spider shall its new web knit.



Snowy Path

The sky has moved from darkness to gray, The birds in the nests as yet keep to their stay, Nor upon the ground are easily found, Tracts of life what must scurry all round.

The storm did rise in the midst of the night, To quiet all life that loves not the light, Black is slighter with whiteness extreme, To questioning eyes beholding the freshly chilled scene.

The air is composed in total of cascading flake, That the cold shall let stand long on soil and lake. Whiten ground beneath a vast ashen sky, Quietly sets while large snow bits do fly.


The winds from all directions seem sent, To mix and stir white with what nature has lent. The past transports to a world now new, Where the many hearts beat together as few.

Heavy boots and wraps of wool on top of wool, Hat, scarf and gloves adorned to full shun the cool, From the warm hearth buried deep within, Out to walk and greet the welcomed winter’s begin.

The snow quickly flies past with steps brisk or with none, First travel direction is settled from beauty as done, To inspect the best makings of an artic deep chill, The land fully altered does the young heart thrill.


The top of birdbath emerges as castle of frost, To fairies and sprits only its presence will host, The shed sits as sculpture in a meter of snow, Lost doorway and hinges its corners do not show.

Each twig, branch and trunk is covered in snow, Deep stacking as no winds moving do blow, Short is the vision of the tracker before, Lost are all apparitions not standing to fore.

Sunken below surface deep deposited white, Objects familiar all covered last night. Edges of boots do stumble beneath, Slowing one’s movement for balance to keep.

Deeply placed neighbors be hidden in showers yet full, Ahead to fresh sightings the inspector’s interest does pull. Treasures of winter unstore just for this day,

Only to the adventurer does nature display.

No heaven above or floor seen below, Just near space unveiling as footfalls go. The snows walk last hours as bonuses heap, The world of fresh winter the lone spirit shall keep.

Gone is all presence of yesteryear’s traveled earth, To frosted permanence in the cold of tempest’s winter birth. Each snowy path is always taken anew, Just as young life starts the first time to view.



Mild Winter’s Warmth

The sun looms long in the midst of cold, The ground and trees do take short reprieve, From ice and snow that be sent to forced retreat, While birds that perch the day in covered bush, Foretell the passing folds of spring’s advance, By such flutters never made in deeper chill.

The expectant heart does now prepare, By thoughts of green and flowers bare, Into changing works found unwise for frost, As nature’s steps into a midst winter’s warm, That brings the lambs and calves to be, And allows first sap to run in every branch and tree.


First Buds

Winter’s end comes first at hand, As small buds midst bracken show upon the tufted land Small probes from brown and gray not green, Extend past frost worn branch to spring, And by their measured promise tell, Within two weeks new flowers here shall dwell.



My Worth

How am I to gage my worth? By some mark in time of mortal advance?

My birth was celebrated true but by mother dear, Who from this earth is now cherished near. Only my wife did contrive in way, For my young manly heart to her to stay, In my final year there shall only be, By treasured children my death to see.


How to others then am I to be judged? By sums of currency compounding in my name?

In life each man must accumulate, Facts, accounts and numbers prized, By bank and firm and government. Wife and family the father’s soul most appreciate, To the rest solely the kindness of my heart I trust, Shall be the true measure thus to test my worth.



They Wait

Children steeped in nightly dreams step out in early gray, About small circles they collect where all are joined to stay. Hurried forms outpace the slow that nearby wait in play, Hat and bag will drop to ground in damp and frost the same. No pending strive shall these small angels’ musements tame, As mothers, fathers observe the spot where guarded offspring game. Small children have no need to share their parents’ passing fuss, Neither school nor teacher shall these hearty children best.





Old and new both serve in cause, Through dark and frosted pause, Not of call to glories, Not in claim of new captures, To live the term that nature’s promise gives, Merely in life, As the warmth of longing sun endures a fleeting colder blast, And nearing future moves toward the present ending past.



Winter’s End

The lowing willow in yellow weeps, The dove in darkness’ midst makes loving coo, The robin surveys all upon which it shall choose to stand, Buds no longer hide on naked limb and branch, Blossoms from brown grass in gray pasture diverge, Cottage windows release to warming breeze, The farmers have fields turned in earth. And nature twists from further frost. Thus is spring made here.



Holiday Cheer

Within glass or bowl it does hold, Until good cheer is out by toast. Hand to hand as arms unfold, Rightly chosen by the host.

Lights to sparkle, songs to rise, Poems yet spoken are confined. All to gather to one size, Which heaven only has defined.

Mother daughter, father son, Each to other, each to bear. To new fellows just as done, Holiday greetings, holiday cheer.




New Year

New cheers, New beers, New tiers, New peers New gears, But, Old taxes, Old bills, Old debts, Old habits, Old shoes, Stalemate!



Turkey’s reign

Turkey bake, Turkey loaf, Turkey pie, Turkey gravy, Turkey stew, Turkey casserole, Turkey toast, Turkey surprise, Turkey sandwich, Turkey neck, Turkey cards, Turkey pattern, Turkey lights, Turkey parade, Turkey Day!



Where Christmass goes

Onto beacon lifted high, In steep Bronx darkness to show.

Draped on beam of bayou barge, Above Texas waves to see.

Atop bridge of longest view, Off Ohio River’s flow to shine.

Warmly set at dirt path’s end. For Appalachian way to greet.

Humbly let at mansion’s start, The California estate to remind.

Stands post on metropolitan ride, LineTwin Cities road in divide.


Festively laid in South American place, For few rich and many poor to meet.

Posted in vast Asian Step Turns Artic sweep to meek. .

Yet told is Christmass first, When the cosmos wandered past

Christmass goes ever to be Where men’s hearts most want free.




Springtime’s Calendar

No mark here may be placed to pronounce, When wind, thunder and rain are to be permit, All signed partitions however rightly expose, The moment that man to love shall go.



Robin’s Nest

During winter’s long passage the birds must abide, Frosted testing by nature that keeps all side to side,


Warmly huddled together they hold in community perch, Till spring’s come and aviaries scatter into separate search, Feathered petulance rises swiftly in cackling chase, Paired Sparrows covet boldly the Magpie’s chose place, One at the other, the many strive to their best, None to the fierce Robin shall capture his nest.




The old grass is first to rise in new green, The Crocus bright violet is first from under the earth, The Robin’s red chest is first blush from birds in return, The first yellow blossoms are on bare Forsythia’s stem, The Dogwood gives the first sunshade of whiteness and pink, All are made champions in springtime’s first breath.



Purple Blossoms

Upon the hill sides Wild Plums bloom, Amid bare rocks in scenes of widely wintered ruin, Alone they rise in handsome early spring, And herald to the ground of tiny buds the warm winds to bring.




The Phlox in masses of coverings grow, And from the floor of earth their spring colors early show, For but two weeks they paint spring’s best, The more of spring’s flowers place second best.




Below sweet green stems, Passed easily by the holding winter’s eye, Delicate micro buds in violet lie, Even first flights of bee near miss, Too small, too frail, too quiet of place, Small violets in hiding lend spring due grace.



Spring Rain

Long and gentle, warm and good, The ground glistens in freshen green, Earliest shoots up rise in holding light, Puddles form and feathers bathe, Rooftop drips fall to rocks and steps, The rain of spring washes dry winter away.


She shows

Nearing she comes to stand,


Stilled by unmoving concern, Posed for viewing males, Fainted notice she returns, Her preference from further distance made, Closing now his choice to bear, The season does bring her needed there.

As robins to nest, As bees to swam, Herself the young girl shows in spring.


Spring’s Torrent


Life’s refuge holds below weighty branch, Not sun, or moon may stay the force, Of thunderous winds driving bows to ground. Lost are the fields to sight by heavy rush, Of rain and hail in most dense pursuit, To earth where in swelling flows they hide, In shelter dear close hearts bind, Till silent air and sweet calm return.

Fierce torrents in Spring do untamed new passions bring.



She Moves

Not by reason, Not by plan, Not by circumstance of gain, Not by ordained chance, Not by profit or occasion of loss, Not by society’s consent.

She moves.

By feelings bound in life, By nature’s first decree, By divine consent, By eternal form,

By majestic appeal, By prosperous reach,

She moves the man to her side.



Aged Mother Dear

A cane for sight and movement grant, Life’s last measure to hold, Till eternity shall bear, More love than our heart could ever share.

Unsteady feet, Unable hands, Confused in thought, With kind memory true.

No rule shall bound, No weakness break,


No year fatigue, Our mother’s love.


A Good Son

In his mother’s womb entertained he shall be, To father’s knees constantly will he stray, Mother’s need shall be forever seen,


Father’s word to heed he shall lastly take, Lone retreat in home as child be his keep, Laughter his fare is first to choose, True friend to peers remain, Good companionship be forsaken not, No woman need he ever use, No person should to him cast out go, To elders kindness be his give, To lesser his patience view, Temper quickly does he lose, Pleasures his duties bring, Honesty never as stranger by he found, Life fulfilled to he be easily done, Harm by blessings be escaped, Angels jealous of he must be, Want to him God shall not grant, Lost his soul does not chance, Mercy does his soul pronounce, Fairness his business holds, Pride in self achieved,


Honor in act maintained, Sound in judgment made. No fault persists, No sin deforms, The good son to heaven is ordained. The son’s goodness our heart claims.



Spring Rain

Long and gentle, warm and good, Ground now glistens in freshen jade, Earliest shoots up rise in holding light, Puddles form and feathers bathe, Rooftop’s drip to rock and step, The rain of spring washes dry winter away.



El Nino

Water early……..Water midst ……Water late. Water light……..Water heavy….....Water deluge, Water puddle…...Water flow….…..Water fall, Moist…………...Damp……………Wet.



First Buds

Winter’s end comes first at hand, As small buds midst bracken show upon tufted land Small probes from brown and gray not green, Extend past frost worn branch to spring, And by their measured promise tell, Within two weeks new flowers here shall dwell.




Gifts That Come

Gifts come early, Gifts come not, Gifts come large, Gifts come not, Gifts come welcomed, Gifts come not, Gifts come thoughtful,

Gifts come not, Gifts come needed, Gifts come not, Gifts come pricey, Gifts come not,

Some of the best gifts come from nots!




Simple is preferred, Complex is not heard, Linear raises temperature, Debts repay in quadrature, Words of mother settle, Legal talks meddle, Sport is made with ball of round,

Lost coaches abound, Flowers from small buds escape, Beauty queens in heavy fashion bake, Children play in space that’s near, Adults collect stadia at prices dear, Elderly warmly smile at all, Corporate facades show appall, Good news is welcomed here, World news is chose severe, Nature’s diet of veg and fruit, Require no drugs be added in it, Water is thirst’s first appeal, Liquor our health will steal, Sleep with dreams is heart’s delight, Late wake to weakness gives great height, Lightly eaten is life’s charm, Heavy portions the waist shall harm, Charity to all return, Self does eternity spurn, Diversity avoids adversity,


Centricity defies universality, Shyness from dangers keep, Boldness bruise and injury heap, Only cleanliness is not, Simpler than ways soiled got.



The beautiful game

The ball rolls from toe to toe, About the green it quickly goes, To net past stopper the wishes rise, Our boys to home to take the prize.



Word added, Word removed, Words condensed, Words new chose, Words rearranged, Words replaced.

Not first writing forms the finished work,




Aunts can into jars, Ants into jars can.

Aunts porches scrub, Ants porches scour.

Aunts collect flowers in bunches, Ants in bunches flowers crunches.

Aunts bring food with their purse to hutches, Ants carry from purse food by their clutches

Aunts in letters be respectfully yours,


Ants in letters yours be sanitarily poors.

Aunts in closet seek matched shoes to wear, Ants in closet hatch eggs in shoes to rear.

Aunts on walks go to masses, Ants in masses on the walks go.

Aunts an army may be in row of twos, Ants in bee annoy may be in danger too.

Aunts in spelling take an extra vowel, Ants as littler spell easier now.



Living life’s End

Failure in life need not be, By lack in life’s use to squander hope, When not to heaven one’s soul tries, Only the base is left for heart’s content, Love no mortal aim grows, With earthly trust it embarks In divine grace eternity to claim, There to dwell with days’ best massed. To our end let us strive, God’s treasures ever to mound.

The Lord keeps only His like near.




Invite, Welcome, Forgive, Approve, Reward, Comfort, Heal, Instruct, Please, Share, Nurture, Love, Inform, Laugh, All these benefits come for free!




Whisky makes pesky, Liquor makes slicker, Wine makes fine, Scotch makes posh, Rye makes sigh, Vodka makes polka, Bourbon makes sturbon, Beer makes cheer, Saki makes cocky, Malt makes no halt, Ale makes some tale,


Sherry makes purry, Port makes court, Sour mash makes hash, Moonshine makes opine, Stout makes pout, Wives make temperate!



City Street?

At dawn the raccoon ways, Home for day with pup she stays, The rodent to pass on other side, In small steps in darkness stride, The cats abound near car and walk, To each they sniff and call in talk, If not for traffic before first light, Wilderness rules the city life at night.

My dog sleeps peacefully until the mail arrive. This does not my Duke as wild life count!




In morn below birdfeeder she lays, Under hosta at noon she bides, My cat late day on bird bath sits, Eve in the nock orange bush she climbs, Birds of my lane and I perceive, No feather’s capture will Cruelle ever report, By many trips to kitchen floor to feed, The flock about keeps count.



Grandma’s Crow
Broken wing did grandma heal, Of raven fallen by, Upon porch kept with screen, The wound to repair in time, Restored close to grandma’s hand, The crow in appreciation stayed, Visiting friend the bird remained, Human words to return, Grandmother thrilled to show, With loud calls to fields in search, The raven’s answer came afar in speech,




Upon hillsides they dwell, Near big houses they hole, Our family pets to hunt, In victorious feed they howl, Small children at near they observe, Handguns to parents sell, Rabid encounters rise, Better environment they bring? Better environmentalists need found!



Grandma’s Pal

Small collie was she, Shy to bark was she, Never lost from home was she, Sweet and simple always was she, In photos of grandma was she, Cherish she today do we.



Jay Jay

No object of height failed he to climb, Nature in nearing pass escaped not his snatch, His length and slender hide, Made slippery he to fold in pet, His mischief surprised with delight, In weeks I laid ill near my head he stayed, His young treasured heart longer deserved to be.

I shall never overcome his loss.




Mother’s Passing

By her hand to wear first shoes, At her knee in church with first suit, To school her escort found first book, Into manhood her approve gave, To follow in passing her life to my grave.

Her loves brings me to share her reward..



Sister in prayer

Her knees in bend, Her hands in fold, Her mind in fix, Her thoughts in prayer,

No angel, No saint, No intercessor, No eternal judge could fault or refuse grant, Where such purity as she shows bare.



Some Cousins

In hospital. In jail, In debt, Indigent, In need, In our prayers.



Young Wife

Much love to be given, Much caring to be provided, Much devotion to be gained, Much the husband to be spoiled.



Aged Mother Dear

A cane for sight and movement grants, Life’s last measure to up hold, Till eternity shall bare, More love than lone heart could ever share.

Unsteady feet, Unable hands, Confused in thought,


Tender memories stay true.

No rule shall bound, No weakness break, No year fatigue, Our good mother’s love.



Parents Lost

In life’s last arrive, When our parents home to God are gone, In their stead we take place. To show the following loves maintain, And offer till final our lifted hope, That those behind gain eternal shape, For paradise to own.

In parents death we do posses The closing right to God’s first command.

Their mortal end we distain, And eventual joining we proclaim.


Our release will inspire, Children to glory to aspire.





I love I need I want I desire I hold I with I YOU you you you you you

you you



Love’s Progression

I To You Send Loves Future Promise Together


Love’s Cause?

Music hearts release, Wine passions inspire, Dance tenderness brings, Darkness intimacy permits, Sun obsession makes, Youth connection needs, Soft breeze ardor stirs, Wealth attention gets, Health desire steeps, True love together keeps.



Who Would?

Who would of the poor man make choose, And with the belligerent soul share muse?

Who would the largest other assure, Or the deserted spouse console?

Who would with fortune create chance, Otherwise to distant hardships close?

Who would in deformity see grace? And to the inadequate lend trust?


Who would to undeserving give love, As we such be?

Would be he that to death’s cross mounts, So man’s soul be ever free?



Highland Woman

Slight and soft in form, Straight and proud of shape, Severe but warm in care, Frugal yet generous of spirit, Hard while tender in feeling, Distant but loving of heart, Quiet but bright in wit.

Such a lady creates Lorna Dunne.




When limit of sums the integral gives untrue, When fish of the sea their schools dismiss, When no closed door has cause to bar, When angels to earth descend for grace, When the bound of the cosmos is lastly placed, When no mother’s heart needs mend, Lasting love will then hold reign.




A Forest of Magic


In an ancient time a land is home to a forest of magic. A pool of water illuminated by the moon gives visions by incantation to a young sorcerer named Cavan. Here we share his enchantment of secret passage through the woods.

A great forest that fences the land of the Giollabhain assures privacy in the east of the land. A deep wood completely covers a stretch of the land that partitions the kingdom into unequal halves. Cavan views the form of a magnificent stag that prances along a trail in this deep wood. This deer moves in a lordly fashion surveying all about him. The bright rust color of its fur allows the stag to pass among the forest hidden from mortal view. Stands of oak, ash, and elm mix with thickets of briars growing so dense the even deer cannot pass through. A maze of tangled trails and paths confound any human traveler who enters into these woods. Although man is not welcomed in this mysterious wood, the stag prince navigates freely.


The deer moves close to a place of the wee folk. He pauses not for fear. He wishes to create no disturbance of their valuable work in nature. Near a small stream that trickles through a glade of ferns, the stag observes four small men. They are digging roots and carrying them into a mound. “We have only a million of these left.” A small round fellow with green jacket and yellow pants declares. “Why didn’t anyone tell me we are almost out ginger root.” Three tiny fellows all in shades of black and brown, scratch furiously at the earth beneath small delicate plants. Little drops of a blue-white glowing liquid falls from under their red stalking caps which upon hitting the ground little flashes of light sparkle. “How is one to have beer with his supper? There are no big folk here to depend upon.” The fairy leader complains as his helpers dump tiny buckets into a tiny wagon drawn by a ground hog.


The stag moves onward deeper into the darkest woods. As he wonders, the sound of laughter and music call him into a camp among a stand of mighty oaks. A band of spirit folk make music and dance with the lost children of the Giollabhain. Fairies young and old play flutes and beat drums. Harps made from tree branch and spider’s webs play a captive sound. Small children fly through knotty holes that mar the oaks. Through fairy doorways they dart in and out of the trees winging one after the other. As high as a hundred feet above the ground the lost children rise through the air at the chase. Black birds carry tiny men and women elves through the branches and leaves. Little trumpets of gold sound as the birds fly about with such gaiety that is never to be seen among mortal man. The trail left by the stag closes after him. It is said that the path made by a human traveling through the forest may disappear altogether by the work of the fairies that dwell there.


In the center of the forest is a lone lofty mountain which stands in mist. Its peak is perpetually shrouded in a cloudy vapor. Here is home to a most malevolent spirit of death and destruction, the Banshee. Our deer scout will not come near this place. He as well as all the creatures of the forest, animal and spirit alike takes much dread by it. The supernatural quality of the forest has given home to a range of spirits and animals not to be found elsewhere on the land. For many such reasons the people have long made this forest a forbidden place. Only the Druid and people of Giollabhain dare to pass through. This forest is also home to Eta. She is a true spirit child of the forest. The stag passes around the evil mountain. He moves toward the land east of the enchanted forest. He approaches a narrow strip of flat land, which is scared and almost barren. The trees will not grow here nor bush nor holly. He will not tread upon the soil of this place.


He waits and watches. Soon small flickering lights approach as a swarm of fireflies. The tiny lights make busy among the sparse bracken on the parched soil. Here the fairy entomb their dead. The stag is motionless. His breath is seized. Only after the dancing sparkles depart does he circle about. Our stag emerges into land east and out of the forbidden forest. Here the scout will fade into a stretch of meadows, glades, isolated stands of trees, and flowing streams that is Cavan’s home.



Farmer Cloug’s Chicken Story

A tale that should have been told for generations to children in the early days of America because it is almost true.

“In the spring time when families stroll to search for the first flowers, inevitably one comes upon a bird’s egg lying abandoned upon the open ground. The lost egg is always found misplaced, broken and empty. Often, if not the damaged shell is a blue robin’s egg.


“The robin is a bird that tends little its nest as it must dance from sunrise to sun set upon the earth that holds the worm. So then the birds that prey seek the nest unprotected. Without difficulty the robin’s egg is carried away so that the contents may be eaten. Much practiced is the blue bird and raven in such tactics.” “In years past there was a ranch up toward the higher ground. It was a short flight by feathers from the tallest mountain peaks. This here homestead was set in a natural ravine with one narrow access way at each end. Wide enough it was that the family kept chicken, goose, and turkey easily. So bountiful was the ranch that the number of birds became sufficiently large that the long ravine was packed full.” “The raven is a bold intelligent rascal who is capable of stealing from any nest. They are grand fliers as good as any critter in the air. Seems some ravens will try their thieving ways as far away as the mountain tops.” “One day a black bird was carrying an egg what it made off with from a distant nest. It wanted to take that egg to its own home form dinner. It weren’t no ordinary egg from no ordinary nest.” “Well sir that raven was so anxious and in such a hurry to return with that stolen egg to its neighborhood it just got right clumsy and dropped the thing.”


“Down from above the egg tumbled with that crow a cawing and fussing over the loss.” “That there one egg landed smack dab in the center of the old chicken ranch. Fell right into a pile of hay in the chicken yard. Landed safe and sound. Caused a mighty stir among them hens what feared for the welfare of that unborn bird that just arrived from the sky.” “There was one larger than normal female chicken what won out and toke to sitting on that newly arrived egg.’ ‘Well by and by that egg took to hatching. Out came a bird what weren’t no chicken, or duck, or turkey. It was a might good sized critter and a mighty strange looking peep. In no time this here hatchling was a big as any rooster” “In fact them roosters began at once to pick on the critter whilst it were still a baby.” “Before them roosters could do any harm to that young bird it grew to be taller than any thing what was in the chicken yard. In a matter of a few weeks that there new hatched bird grew to stand over three feet tall.” “Believe it or not that ravine had stole an eagle egg. It weren’t no small eagle but an egg from the largest eagle’s nest.”


“That eaglet thought it were as much a chicken as any other in the yard. It went about strutting and pecking just as the hen what hatched it. It’s different size and color didn’t make no mind for any critter on the ranch.” “That there young eagle was accepted as being as proper a chicken as any young chicken ever could be.” “So large was it’s eagle beak and eagle claws that critters what normally would hunt for chickens got sacred off. No hawk, or falcon, or other eagle would swoop near the ranch. The weasel, the mink, the fox all feared to become dinner for the great eagle in the chicken yard. All the birds in the ranch hailed the wonderful changes the eaglet brought to their lives. “That there eagle never had cause to learn to fly. It never left its chicken family. It lived its life out as a full grown chicken.” “To this day some say there are found up in them mountains chickens 3 to 4 feet in height with dark feathers like an eagle except for the chicken colored white heads and tails.” “Them mountain chickens are fond of perching in the tallest trees and that’s about the only place one can see then.”




The Man Who Becomes King

In early Celtic times, a legend grew among fairy folk of a human that came to be king. In the ancient Isle of Mahr lived a people called Chead. The son of a Druid named Oiche was called to service by the king. He carries a magical spear made with metal made from a fairy’s fire. An elf’s tale of how this man came to wed is here rendered by Maeve, the eldest spirit in the land.


“While on patrol in the western coast of the ancient Celtic Isle of Mahr, The

young king’s soldier, Oiche passes into a remote seaside village of the Chead.” “Upon the last storm to wash the coast, a fisherman was lost from the last boat making its way home from the sea. The young sailor has left a wife, three small children and a small-unpaid debt to a bully of a man in the village.” “Now the king's law provides that an unpaid debt is to be settled by way of placing one or all of the debtor's family into slavery. This is decreed until payment of the credit is made good.” “Although the size of the debt is quite small and as the land is poor, no one wants more hungry mouths to be feeding. The widow is without the hope of assistance.” “The debtor is a hard ugly man and is insisting that the woman’s children be taken for sale in the capital city of Cliath whence the amount due is to be remitted. In addition, he demands the widow to work under his roof to clean and cook. Once more, this is proper under the king's law.” “The children face exile from their home and mother.”

“The young widow woman is hysterical.” “She says, she’ll kill any wretch whose hand reaches for a child. She asks, to let her have the husband's place at sea until the fish run and the debt be settled as agreed.” “The greedy villain sees only an opportunity to collect the debt and make the additional profit from a child's sale.” “Oiche is overpowered.” “The plain looking woman is in a piteous state, and the three very young ones of hers are barely new at walking.” “The soldier wishes the debt to be settled and the lost sailor's family left suitably provided.” “No other party in the village or there about is soon to take on a debt with the black heart of the likes of the one standing over the woman now.” “Oiche has no choice but to pay the debt at once and take on the care of the widow and her children by himself or he will have to take them all straight off to the slave pens of Cliath.” “The amount of the debt is a barrel of fish or the equal.” “Oiche strikes a deal with the lender”. “Payment to be accepted as two barrels of pork to be made good within a week.”


“Now the flat land of the west of the island is full of brush and briars and wild boar roaming at the plenty. The openness of the land makes the hunting of the wily beast nearly impossible.” “Oiche has the idea of making a deep circular pit in a clearing of trees next to the field where the great boars are fond of foraging. Here the smell, the sound and the scent of an intruder give early notice to the beasts which they are quite dangerous in such circumstances.” “The boars are large, some nearing the size of a small cow in height and nearly twice the weight.” “All through the night, while the pigs sleep in their boroughs, Oiche prepares his trap” “He digs a large pit covered over with patches of brush and makes a swing of vine to carry him safely across to the other side of the pit.” “Oiche climbs atop a tree above the pit and looks out, seeking for the great boar moving about with her brood.” “It was not long before the movement of many hoofs and snorts fill the air from a short distance away at the opposite side of the field with gently sloping hills. They graze and play while their mother eats grass and root.”


“Oiche climbs down the tree quietly, and focuses his attention on three piglets wondering off a ways from the mother’s side. He covers himself with pig manure so as not to alert the mother beast” “He heads toward the side of the field where the piglets graze. He turns the shaft of his spear so that its fairy blade rotates in the light of the early sun to catch the pig’s eye.” “When he is within twenty feet from them, he charges onward with his spear and impales one of the small boars. It lets out a loud anguished squeal, and in an instant the mother boar is heading in Oiche’s direction.” “In one fast charge of fury, the huge boar makes straight towards him with her tusks erect and her squealing brood behind her. Any thread of caution in the sow gives way to the frenzy of a charging pack of ravenous pigs.” “The bunch races out in mass onto the thatch covering the pit. Oiche dares not look behind, for a moments delay may cost him his life. He grabs hold of the swing and hears the cries of the brood behind him as they fall into the pit.” “Here Oiche slays the great beast with his spear and holds captured seventeen young sucklings” “The meat from the female boar fills four barrels for that’s how large was she.”


“Oiche pays the widow’s debt.” “The woman and her three children, two barrels of pork and piglets would find their way to a new home in an abandoned ring fort of the west. The widow would by and by be taken as Oiche's wife. She would bear him several large sons as well.”



The Princess Who Fooled the Man Who Brings Winter

Early Native America tells in legend of the coming and passing of winter. Here is a version that did not survive but it is worth pretending. Here the native warrior named Mara Nar tells the tale over a campfire.


“When the earth was very young, the land and the seasons were much different. Our early ancestors lived not as we natives now. There were great hairy beasts that ran the hills. Some had great long horns upon their head. Some had great horns upon their face with noses longer than a man’s arm. The skies were filled with birds of a size large enough to lift up a man full grown.” “The medicines of the early people were not as many as the medicines of today.” “The trees and plants were young as the earth.” “The people were few.” “The villages were small and distant, not as the great camp of Chief Many Horns today.” “So early was the time of the land that the horse was but the size of a large dog, none bigger.” “None rode any beast. All natives walked.” “In winter sleds were drawn by hand or pack of dogs upon the snow.”


“It was very dangerous for all that lived long ago. Great cats with teeth the length of a man’s hand stalked the terrain. Great bears much larger than any bison to be found today strode the earth.” “Only by cunning and disguise could the natives hunt and live”. “In the hills near here, a tribe of warriors dwelt long time ago. A small band of hunters moved after the great herds of hairy beast as they roamed after forage. In the middle of the year, when the earth warmed, the beasts would settle in the open meadows of the forests.” “The natives could make long camp. In this time of the year, the women would give birth.” “”During this period the newborn would have time to grow strong enough to make the difficult marches of winter. “Among this tribe was an older woman and wife of the chief that was to give birth before winter resumed. She had not carried an unborn child for 16 springs. Her last child, a princess would come of age at the time of the coming birth.’ “One by one the other pregnant women of the tribe gave birth.” “The elder maiden was having difficulty because of her advanced years.”


“The medicine men told the woman’s family that if the birth was late then the mother and the child would not likely survive the first months of the new snows.” “The maiden’s daughter was distraught. The princess sought the advice of all in the tribe. None could comfort her. There was no medicine, no practice, and no help that would come to save her mother.” “The princess sought visions from the spirits.” “She slept little.” “She ate little”. “She held her mother’s hand and prayed sacred chants to their ancestors. There must be a way to spare her mother’s life.” “Late in the warm time no birth has arrived for the mature maiden. All in the tribe begin to prepare for the man who brings winter.” “There is a spirit who brings winter and later he returns to take winter away. He comes in the form of an old man dressed in heavy hides.” “Here at the native’s long camp the coming of winter is first seen along the trail that follows down through the high passes of the mountains.” “The maiden’s daughter decides to make a camp in the midst of the trail to be used by the man who brings winter. So alone by herself away from the protection of the warriors’ bow and spear the young girl resided”.


“Day after day the girl waited. Then at last came a tiny old man wearing a heavy bear hide walking along the trail.” “As a stranger nears a native’s camp it is the custom to ask permission to enter”. “It is also the custom to ask permission to leave a camp once entered.” “It is the further custom to offer assistance to the camp while present.” “The old man finds a beautiful young princess living alone. He was much taken by her looks and courage.” “The young native girl was busy crushing white hazel nuts between two stones. The old man offered his help.” The princess sent him back up into the passes to gather more of the special nuts, which were just beginning to ripen.” “After many days the old man returned”. “He again asked permission to enter her camp.” “Again he found the handsome young maiden alone. She was again busy but this time she was boiling herbal leaves from a red birch tree. The work was so consuming that he had to offer assistance to his desirable host. Again the old man was asked to search the highlands but this time for the rare precious leaf.” “After several weeks he returned”.


“The lovely young native girl was yet found busy”. “The old man was now late upon his journey and wished to pass through her camp without further delay.” “He asked for such permission to continue his journey south”. “The princess paused to consider his request.” “There was just one more task that needs his assistance then he should be permitted to pass. He agreed.” “The maiden produced a small white stone. It was perfectly round with a natural hole passing through its center. There are only a dozen such stones needed to complete the necklace that the maiden was making”. “The old man hurried off to seek the needed stones.” “Many months passed.” “So long delayed was the man who brings winter that the warm season had turned into the first season of heat upon the earth.” “When the old man finally retuned from his task the young princess had long returned to her village with the birth of her sister.” “So impressed with the condition of the earth was the old spirit that he has delayed the bringing of winter each year since.” “This hot season upon the earth is named after that young princess who tricked the old man of winter.”


“The maiden’s native name means summer.”



The Witch Who Stole Children
Tales from the old world. in difficult times persist yet today. The success of these tales rely not on the possibility of their truth. It rests on the cause of fear that may come to pass. Our story teller holds captive a group of children before a fireplace deep in the country.


“In years long ago, in a land far from here, a land beyond the great ocean, a land distant from any like unto our ways of living, there dwelt an evil woman.” “An old hag, her body curved with bend, she walked only with the help of a great uneven stick.” “The weather had been cruel for several years all around the small kingdom where the witch resided.” “The skies were gray and wet all year long even in the midst of summer” “A cold settled over the land. A cool that can only be found in the deep of the grave held below the earth.” “Hunger, and cold could not be moved from the kingdom.” “Men worked, women worked, children worked.” “None played, none made merry.” “Animals and all the inhabitants were starving.” “The people in groups prayed for relief.” “Only one person lived well amidst all the hardship. The hag showed no hunger, she showed no cold, she showed only bitterness and resentment at her fellow countrymen.” “This old monster of a female had four small children that in later years would disappear. One at a time, in the middle of the night by torchlight the


ugly prune of a woman took her children to be sold in the land beyond the mountains of her valley.” “With each of her wicked crimes she became uglier and meaner.” “After each child disappeared her greed and avarice grew.” “Animals would not live with her. All ran from her presence.” “Birds would not near her house.” “Flowers would not grow aside her door.” “Her body began to give an scent that repulsed all whom she passed. An aroma that does not wash from the flesh as it is comes from inside a rotting soul.” “Evil breeds evil.” “As the heart blackens, the need for wickedness becomes insatiable.” “Darkness of the soul brings one in malevolence to haunt the shadows of the night.” “The detestable old ghoul was hardly ever seen and never to come under human eye during the day. Only at night and more often only her putrid smell was left to tell of her passing.” “In the worst of those times, in the midst of the most severe want and need about the land, when hope had vanished from all hearts, when tomorrows


came with more hardship than yesterdays, Children began to vanish from their homes.” “Mothers began to find the beds of the children empty at first light.” “Fathers’ walked the day to search in vain for their lost ones.” “One night the men gathered with axes, shovels, pitchforks. With torchlights they mustered.” “Hounds were put to leash.” “Doors were barred with mothers and children kept inside.” “Blessed Water from the churches was bottled for use.” “All the graves were covered with crucifixes so no sprits could emerge or submerge under the ground.” “The men dispersed in groups with canine to seek the trail left by a decomposing soul.” “The first parties to take scent sounded their horns. Across plowed field and wide meadow, along the bank of stream the host of men pursued.” “Out toward the mountains the hated hag made stride. The boom of the army in chase, the frenzy of the baying hounds drove the malicious wench into a rugged unused mountain pass.” “Her path is to end upon a ledge that over looks a deep rocky abyss. Here at the narrowest point of the broken path the men halted. They collected


boulders to block the footpath. So high and so deep is the obstruction that no one human can make way. The devilish hag is forever held at the far side.” “A wooden crucifix washed and blest by Holy Water was mounted to hold the witch’s soul from retuning.” “To any who may dare, to those who chose to tread where angels shun, for living souls that keep no faith, the evil on that mountain yet stands.” “To the reckless who seek from near or far, there is dreadfulness that continues behind a stone façade below a wooden cross.” “In present days, upon the foulest nights, sounds not just from gales of wind but unnatural howls carry into the villages. The mothers still watch their children in the night and the fathers hitherto guard their doors.”



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