Vanity of Efforts

Everywhere I walk, someone
is jumping up, down, yelling,
“Hey, look at me. I’m somebody.
I can do something. Look.
Tell me that I’m special.”

There are so many voices
all crying out with a personal
message, a promise of what?
Who knows. Nothing lasts,
not even the emptiness

that comes after success,
only a hunger for more
which leads to longing for
yet more. “Vanity. Vanity,”
the Preacher said. “All is
vanity.” Wasted efforts

on mortal gains. Perhaps
to acknowledge our maker,
unselfishly give our gifts
to those who walk beside us
along this road from time to time.

Perhaps, that
is purpose enough and requires
little jumping and no yelling.

This Award Goes to Nancy

Michael died. Farrah died.

Yet, it was Nancy Rose’s death

which left a deeper impression.

She loved

Jesus and family. She gave

kindness and forgiveness.

Her time here was spent

storing heavenly treasures.

She received no Oscars,

nor People’s Choice, no

glittering trophies of adoration.

Her legacy was the smiles

she brought her family,

her friends. Her infectious

humor and graceful poise.

Being human is never easy.

Our battles often leave blood’s

bitter taste in our mouths, tears

to our eyes. Yet, angels long

to experience the joys

by which we are touched

in this mortal realm.

*In honor of Nancy Rose, who made a difference and knew how to give. This poem was originally written in the summer of 2009 as part of a stream of thought as I reflected upon the events that had impacted me the most that summer. Nancy Rose was a grandmother to one of my students. She gave of her time to often come and visit with my children, to bring pets and became a grandmother to our entire class that year. She touched those children’s lives more than any celebrity ever could. Cancer may have beaten her body, but it could never erase the kindness she set into motion in this world.

Go to Customer Service, Please

I would like pink rose petals,
mimosa smell and magnolia blossoms
for Christmas.

I would also like
a hint of honeysuckle,
a barefoot strole over shady moss
and the sound of a bubbling brook.

You see, this cold doesn’t fit me.
It causes my lips to fray,
like a weathered rope,

It drains the colors from cheeks
and leaves my face faded, splotchy,
like untreated wood.

It causes my hair to friz,
my skin to itch and produces
a constant shiver
I cannot shake,

regardless of the layers
I wear. So I’ve I’m looking
for the reciept to this winter
that someone gave me.

Maybe I can get a cash refund.