Nature’s Gifts (Haiku Series #84)

Sweet Fragrance

Nature sending love

Despite social distancing—

Smelling sweet flowers

Photo by Gustavo Fring on

Concert in the Pines

Deep in the forest

Harmony reigns over all—

Are we listening?

Photo by Taryn Elliott on

Catch Us—If You Can

One, two, three, four, five

Their heads bobbing up and down—

Turkeys in tall grass

Photo by Simon Migaj on

Living with Confidence

A very early poem of mine was entitled “Still a Desperate Man” which was inspired by Eric Church’s top country music hit of “Desperate Man.”  If you missed the earlier poem, follow the link.  I want to thank Jim Borden of Borden’s Blather for encouraging me to write this sequel.  I encourage you to check out Jim’s blog with its wonderful and inspiring variety of posts.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Waking up each morning, right on time

My alarm clock allows this day to climb

Feeling happiness—this life now rhymes


Driving to work in a brand new set of wheels

With low monthly payments, my wallet squeals

Feeling joy—kicking up these dancing heels


Returning from work, this day’s in the books

Satisfied with how that hefty, new raise looks

Feeling elation—inviting a new life’s chinook


Opening up the fridge, filled with favorite delights

Dinner tonight, taking taste buds to new heights

Feeling serenity—life marches in bright lights


Opening the mail one quiet afternoon

My love’s note makes this heart swoon

Feeling peace—love takes us to the moon


Looking forward to seeing her this weekend

Her love will always be a blessed godsend

Feeling humility—life no longer at loose ends


This incredible life now follows a new game plan

Sailing calm waters aboard life’s catamaran

No longer will I ever feel like a desperate man

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Values of a Nation (Elfchen Series #20)

Common Ground


Many examples

Sheltered from fear

Basic human need for


Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on

Working Together


Different meanings

Across a nation

Finding common ground as


Photo by Nicolas Poupart on

Moving Forward


Competing views

Seeking the light

Finding balance for a


Photo by Pixabay on

The German-inspired poetry style of Elfchen (or Elevenie) contains five lines of poetic verse, usually without the use of rhyming verses.  A total of 11 words are used with a sequence of one, two, three, and four words before ending with a single word in the final verse.

Monday Memories: Nightly Sentinels

Photo by Josh Hild on

Silent darkness arrives along the lake’s shore

Bringing beauty, but there is danger and more


Nightfall’s murkiness shrouding any potential peril

Hiding exposed reefs and shoals that may imperil


Loaded vessels silently lumber toward their destinations

Navigating through the gloom to reach their final stations


Danger lurking along a concealed shoreline in the empty dark

Demanding the skipper to plot a course so steady on its mark


A lighthouse stands alone by the shore’s breakwater

Warning of unexpected hazards so ships don’t falter


For years, Lake Erie’s travel routes have been patrolled

Providing warning lights and fog sirens, bright and bold


Numerous nighttime sentries light up along Ohio’s coast

Protecting ships and crew at locations that harbor a post


Ashtabula, Sandusky, Conneaut, Marblehead, and Lorain

Marking safe passage for crossing Erie’s shipping lanes


A misty fog blanketing the rocky shore this lonely night

Synchronizing light with sound, a lone sentinel’s might


Today’s ships cruise with improved navigational systems

Sparking too many lighthouses to decline and fall victim


Some guardians along Erie’s shore are preserved

Reminding visitors of a rich, past history to serve


Unique and fascinating designs still live to shine

Preventing accidents and calamities for all time

Photo by Marsh Williams on

Defeating Darkness His Way

From Ephesians 6:10-11:  “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His power.  Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

Photo by Petr Ganaj on

God’s people under attack

Roaring lion on the prowl

Looking for prey to devour

Evil presence brings a scowl


Days becoming the darkest

Running away from the Lord

But, hope waits like eagles’ wings

Holy Spirit comes aboard


Remaining strong with our Lord

Under His mighty power

Wearing protective armor

God’s Word will carry the hour


Our Father’s righteousness speaks

Spirit with us on this day

Withstanding what evil brings

Defeating darkness His way


Time to witness hope-filled faith

Praying daily for action

Quench evil’s flaming arrows

Calling for man’s retraction


Behind His truth, standing firm

Urging others to repent

Proclaiming Gospel of peace

Our Holy God will relent

Photo by Felipe Borges on

From Psalm 85:6-7:  “Will you not revive us again, so that your people may rejoice in you?  Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.”

Nature’s Endless Song

I feel so fortunate to have so much of nature’s treasures not far from my front.  Two metro parks are a short drive away, and their endless song always beckons me to return.  The photos used with this poem were taken in central Ohio at various times of the year.

Nature will never sing the blues

Her beauty sends out blessed clues


Walking with her in tranquil woods

Sharing her soul, always feels good


Moments cherished, singing with joy

Her spirit brings much to enjoy


Spending endless hours in her care

Filling with melodies to share


Life’s journey follows nature’s tune

Her endless smile reaches the moon


Smelling the essence of tall pines

Tasting better than vineyard’s wines


Cycle of living never fades

Nature coyly playing charades


Changing seasons bring new décor

Hearing symphonies, voices soar


Autumn sets up winter’s game plan

Spring fading into summer’s tan


Composing its endless, ageless song

Hearing nature, singing along

Nature’s Living Spirit (Tanka Series #2)

Angry, stormy seas

Nature’s spirit at its worst

Fear of tomorrow

Across the horizon comes

Peace and love in a new light

Photo by James Wheeler on

Darker and darker

Harshest words shouting through clouds

Louder and louder

Sunshine opening these skies

God’s rainbow showing His peace

Photo by Matt Hardy on

Nature’s harmony

Unbalanced and falling down

Lightning splitting peace

Sudden calmness comes to all

Rebuilding broken pieces

Photo by Johannes Plenio on

A Tanka is a Japanese form of poetry, which is related to its cousin Haiku.  The poem uses 31 syllables covering five lines (with syllable counts following a 7, 5, 5, 7 and 7 sequence).  An effective Tanka uses personification, metaphors, and similes in its construction, and it performs well in expressing a mood, a thought, or a feeling.   

Calming Our Fears

From the words of Dr. Martin Luther King:  “Courage faces fear and thereby masters it.  Cowardice represses fear and is thereby mastered by it.”

Photo by Gianluca Grisenti on

Worry arrives with concerns never to come

Building upon past fears, stoking future ones

Life’s landscape fills with looming mountains

Instead of gentle molehills, fear gathers and stuns


Concerns about future challenges come forth

Transforming into worries, fueling more fear

Darkest clouds come together and gather

Who will grab the wheel and start to steer?


Waiting for our Lord, He renews our strength

Living by faith, His Word restores our soul

Rejoicing in hope, patient in suffering

Renewed by the Spirit, we feel more whole


God always walks with us, seek Him in prayer

Darkest valleys ahead, His love casts out fears

With compassion for our sufferings, hear His Word

Comforted by His rod and staff, God never veers


Asking of our Father, seeking His counsel

Bringing clearer witness, through His precise scope

His guidance renews our hearts, calming fears

His wisdom touches minds, filled with Gospel hope

Photo by Skitterphoto on

From Mark 5:35-36:  “While He was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?’  But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.'”

Headlining the News

From recent editions of The Columbus Dispatch, here are some headlines pulled together into a poetry format.  We are blessed in the United States to experience the presence of a free press.  I am blessed to be able to read a local newspaper which does an effective job of being objective in its reporting.

Photo by Hasan Albari on

School funding equity reform continues to vex lawmakers

Economic downturns, budget cuts turn into deal breakers


Racism proclaimed as a public health plague

Insuring equitable policies, no longer vague


Spare bedrooms shouldn’t be a home for junk

Cleaning and decluttering this neglected funk


Underpaid, essential workers feeling pushed to the brink

Working under conditions, where danger doesn’t shrink


Books delve into joys, thrills, mysteries of living

Rediscovering one’s love to read, always giving


Peaceful protest awakens a small community

Exercising constitutional rights, walk for unity


Expectant women consider giving birth at home

Fearing pandemic at hospital, isolated and alone


Protest arrives in another small town

Rumors and hatred stir up all around


Cool investment of money can buy posh LA chateau

Dazzling, skyline residence requires hefty cash flow


Local man walking the state, one step at a time

His reflections leading to a quiet, new paradigm


Crippled postal service tackling financial woes

Pandemic cutting usage, usual revenue slows


Walking, marching together—freedom as one

Tired of hatred and discrimination—never fun

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

Hope Overcomes Fear (Haiku Series #83)


Stormy clouds approach

Life’s storms threaten with darkness—

Christ quiets the wind

Photo by ArtHouse Studio on

With Us

Jesus promises

Another Advocate comes—

The Holy Spirit

Photo by Adrien Olichon on


Jesus walks ahead

Emmanuel, God with us—

Coming to save us

Photo by Sebastian Palomino on