Poems of Family

Hooray for Skin

Rejoice, and celebrate the skin
That keeps the veins and muscles in
That keeps the cold and germies out.
That is what skin is all about.

Suppose, when God created skin,
He turned the skin-side outside in
So when you talk to Mrs. Jones
Your eyes meet over fat and bones

And tissues, blue and white and red,
That stretch from toe to hand to head.
It makes me glad to have a skin
To keep the outside bone-side in.

Now there are folks who would be mad
If our insides were all they had
To tell all kinds of folks apart.
Perhaps they’d learn to read the heart
Instead of judging from a hue
If that one’s false or this one’s true.

Let’s all join hands and feast our eyes
On skins of every shape and size
Of every tone of gold or white
Of luscious black, of dark or light,
Of every shade that folks come in.
Rejoice, and celebrate the skin!

Hooray for Skin PDF

Poems of Family

Which Wealth?

Have you heard the story told
Of how a king turned things to gold,

Turned all to gold with one small touch?
King Midas loved this gift so much!

He touched his cup. (I’m sure you know.)
He touched his bed. He touched his bow.

He touched his table, rug, and chair,
His soup, his cheese, his grapes, his hair!

He whirled around in joyous fun
And reached to touch his dearest one,

His precious child. Alas, alack!
She turned to gold! “O give me back,”

The one whose love lights up my way!”
His wish was granted. Happy day!

Now do you think our king was sad?
No! Gold was gone, but he was glad.

He’d found that love was irreplaceable
And gold, mere gold was, well, erasable.

Sometimes I wonder just how much
I would enjoy the golden touch.

Would I have chosen, if I could,
The gold for now, or love for good?

Which Wealth PDF

Poems of Family

Night Walk

The house is quiet, O so still.
The moon shines on my windowsill
And draws me out in silver light
To hear the language of the night.

The doves and owls, the crickets near
Are voices that I often hear
When moonlight waves its tempting hand
And I obey its soft command.

But on this night, the rustling trees
Sing different songs upon the breeze.
Tonight the woods out past the lawn
Cry out, “Where have the People gone?”

The People. Yes. The ones whose lands
Have passed to others’ eager hands
The ones who sing Earth Mother’s song
Not heard in this woods for so long.

The ones who tell the tales of dreams
Of sacred mountains, lakes, and streams.
Where are they now? I long to see
Their fires and lodges close to me.

Too soon the moon sets round and red.
I wander back to my warm bed.
I pray the People will return
That, hearts together, all might learn

The language of the earth and sky,
The songs of stars that pass me by,
The secret of the moonbeam’s light
That calls me out to walk at night.

Night Walk PDF

Poems of Family

My Grampa and I

My grampa and I
Are the bestest of chums.
We both run outside
When the ice cream man comes.
We even have long, kind of bendy-back thumbs,
My grampa
My grampa and I.

My grampa and I
Hunt for mushrooms and rocks
When we’re walking together.
And Dad says our socks
Are all smelly from wading in mud by the docks,
My grampa
My grampa and I.

My grampa and I
Like our fireworks loud
Search for men in the moon
And the moon through a cloud.
And when we do dishes, we do ourselves proud,
My grampa
My grampa and I.

My grampa and I
Have decided to be
Like two peas in a pod,
Like a lock and a key.
And I’ll always love him and he’ll always love me,
My grampa
My grampa and I.

My Grampa and I PDF

Poems of Family

Fairy Tale

Far, far away in the kingdom of Murth
Lived a king with two sons and a daughter.
The king called his male offspring the salt of the earth,
But his girl child was dearer than water.

One day, the king beckoned his children to him
And said, “Children, my heart’s joy, my progeny,
I need to sort out, ere my mind becomes dim,
Simple truth from all kinds of hodge-podgeny.

“I’ll set you a task, send you out for a week,
Unadvised, unprepared, on your own,
And the one who returns with the answer I seek
Wins the kingdom, the crown, and the throne.”

“No problem,” said Harry and Tom, the two boys.
“Just tell us the task we must do.”
Miranda looked up from her books and her toys.
“I will do my best, Papa, for you.”

“The task is quite simple. Now sharpen your mind
And your eyes as you scour the land.
The winner must bring the most fruits you can find
That will fit in the palm of my hand.”

Young Harry and Tom both jumped up and left town
Before those who were watching could blink.
Miranda stopped reading and put her book down,
Then retired to have a good think.

Slowly and quickly the seven days passed.
The two boys scampered in from their questing
Very eager to share the small fruit they’d amassed.
In the throne room, Miranda was resting.

“What ho!” sang the boys as they drew near the throne.
“Was your search so unfruitful, our sister?”
And thinking that she had failed, out on her own,
They leaned over and quietly kissed her.

Miranda just smiled. “Welcome home,” said the king.
“Let us see what your journeys have wrought.”
And from packages tied up with paper and string,
The boys pulled forth the fruit they had brought.

In Harry’s large hand sat sweet cherries galore.
“There are twenty that fit,” he declared.
“I have many more grapes. In fact, I’ve thirty-four,”
Countered Tom as they looked and compared.

“Now, daughter, come forth,” came the king’s soft command.
As Miranda arose with aplomb.
A hush fell on the court. Then she opened her hand.
Three small seeds nestled in her plump palm.

“These seeds,” she explained, “which in number are three,
Have no visible leaves, trunks, or roots.
But waiting in each is a new apple tree,
And each tree carries dozens of fruits.”

“Brava!” cried the king. “Simple truth has been found.
May Miranda rule wisely and well.”
Several cheers for Miranda arose all around
Like the sound of a deep-ringing bell.

Now in faraway Murth, daily classes are held
To teach folks in the kingdom to see
All the words that unfold when we spend time in thought
And find, deep in the seed, a new tree.

Fairy Tale PDF

Poems of Family

Autumn Lullabye

Geese are flying overhead
Flying off to winter bed
Flying off to downy nest.
Summer’s yawning, time to rest.

Squirrels are bouncing here and there
Finding acorns everywhere
Finding velvet moss for bed.
Autumn’s humming, rest your head.

Whales are diving through the seas
Swimming south before they freeze
Swimming, sleeping, spouting sighs.
Winter’s calling, close you eyes.

I will hold you. No more crying
No more bouncing, no more flying
No more shouting, little one.
Snow is near and day is done.

Bunnies cuddle. Grizzlies snore.
Nothing moving anymore
Nothing talking, not a peep.
Autumn loves you, go to sleep.

Autumn Lullabye PDF

Poems of Family


Everyone laughs
Everyone cries
Everyone giggles
Everyone sighs
No matter our outsides
Our father or mother
We really and truly
Belong to each other

Everyone hurts
Everyone grins
Everyone loses
Everyone wins
Fat, tall, thin, short
In one shade or another
We really and truly
Belong to each other

Everyone thinks
Everyone knows
Everyone touches
Everyone grows
In each shining face
Is a sister or brother
We really
And truly
Belong to each other

Everyone PDF


Poems of Family

The Reluctant Seed

In the dark, dark earth
Small Darcy Seed was all curled up,
Softly humming to himself throughout the spring.
How he loved his gentle life
With naught to do but rest and think
And smile and wait and giggle quietly and sing.

Above his head, below his knees,
His parents’ roots gently entwined.
Yes, they loved their little seedling snuggling near.
But as the days rolled slowly by
And other seeds began to sprout,
The parents’ thought began to turn to doubt and fear.

“Mr. Sun,” they called out loud,
“What shall we do with our small seed?
He’s lying happily, content to rest and hum.”
“Where is his nest?” the sun inquired.
“I’ll send out special warming rays.
He’s just not ready, but his sprouts will surely come.”

And, sure enough, old Mr. Sun
Glowed gently, thinking of the child,
And comfy, cozy, peaceful warmth flowed all around
That little sleepy Darcy Seed.
He turned his shell to feel the rays
Which softly, tenderly soaked through the cold, dark ground.

No shoots appeared. Now Mom and Dad
Were mighty worried once again.
“Suppose we call on Mrs. Rain to help us out?”
They raised their shiny, suppliant leaves.
“Dear Mrs. Rain, please shower down.
Our stubborn baby isn’t growing. Not one sprout.”

The soothing rain gave forth her best,
Most charming raindrops to the seed.
Darcy turned once more and let the drops seep in.
And, really, quite against his will,
The hardened seed began to swell.
Darcy yawned and felt a stretching urge begin.

In the dark, dark earth,
Darcy Seed stuck out a root.
It was so tiny that it almost didn’t show.
Mr. Sun and Mrs. Rain
Had worked their magic once again.
Small Darcy Seed felt loved enough to crack and grow.

You should see him now.
Darcy Seed is one fine plant.
Healthy roots and shiny leaves have blossomed out.
Darcy loved the peace
Of the dark, dark earth,
But he gave it up to take a chance and sprout.

The Reluctant Seed PDF

Poems of Family

My Nana Is Perfect

My nana sings in bathtubs
and toy stores
and parking lots.

My nana gives me presents
and toothpaste
and polka dots.

My nana takes me shopping
and swinging
and to the zoo.

My nana likes my drawings
my dollhouse
my kangaroo.

My nana’s good at napping
and popcorn
and picture books.

My nana’s brave with splinters
And spiders
And fishing hooks.

My nana hides the band-aids
and lipstick
and china dolls.

My nana gets things backwards
like slippers
and overalls.

My nana feeds me liver
and okra
and barley grass.

My nana cries at soccer
and play group
and dancing class!

But when the rocker holds us
And stars are dressed in sparkles,
I snuggle with my nana
And give her tiny kisses.

She sings about a baby
A-rockin’ in her cradle
And tells me how my elbows
Are so much like my daddy’s.

She says “I love you darlin’.”
And I say, “Me too, Nana.”

You see?
My nana is perfect.

My Nana Is Perfect PDF

Poems of Family

America Dancing

Black and white
White and black
Two steps forward
One step back
Circle round and do-si-do
Let’s all join hands.

Daily, let the dance begin
Black and white, white and black
We move together, we all win
Two steps forward, one step back

Swing your partner, allemande right
Black and white, white and black
In and out of rainbow light
Two steps forward, one step back

Play, O Fiddler, wild and sweet
Black and white, white and black
And we’ll be dancin’ in the street
Two steps forward, one step back.

Black and white
White and black
Forward, forward
No more back
Circle round and do-si-do
Let’s all join hands.

America Dancing PDF