Tracks of a Wandering Mind

Poetry, stories and random thoughts from a wandering mind.

Vignettes of Two Men

(True stories that should not be lost.)


Entwined anchors were tattooed on one arm,
A dancing hula girl on the other.
“I got ’em in Pearl, we was drunk one morn,”
“Just before we shipped out in bad weather.”
“We took that island one cave at a time,”
“And we tossed in charges to take them down.”
“I watched up the hill as a bunch of the boys”
“Raised our flag on a long pole at the crown.”
He died just as drunk as he always lived
And there are few that remember his name.
What they recall is a man that drank wine
And told stories that they thought were insane.



He was a gentle man, preacher by trade
And he lived just to spread the Good Word.
He lived a long life and stayed close to God
And he never forgot Whom he served.
“We were dropped in France behind enemy lines,”
“And they killed us as we ‘chuted down.”
“I prayed to the Lord to see me down safe,”
“And I hit a fresh dug grave in the ground.”
He’d tell of the fighting they did in France,
One long winter in a land far away.
His service was quiet, just a few of us there,
And some old soldiers who saluted his grave.

They are both gone now forgotten by most,
But for the stories that they left behind.
Just two short tales of two old soldiers
So that we might still keep them in mind.


September 25, 2011 Posted by | Poetry | , | 6 Comments

Cane, Chair and Painting

(Three tankas written from a picture of an empty grandparents’ bedroom.)

Old, worn oaken cane,
Abandoned to a corner.
Polished smooth with use,
Dusty now, long forgotten,
Its owner ever sleeping.

Painted rocking chair,
Knitted, faded shawl tossed down
Over one worn arm.
Memories of children here,
That linger like settled dust.

Folded hands praying,
A faded painting askew,
Glass cracked, stained with age,
Marked by the years on its wall,
Reminder of the Master.

September 22, 2011 Posted by | Poetry | , , | Leave a comment

Story on Page Four

(Written after I read about a teen that committed suicide after being bullied.)

He’s a picture in the paper,
A column on page four,
Not really very newsworthy,
We’ve read these things before.

He’s a victim of hate they say,
And I just wonder now,
That children learn to hate so well
If we don’t teach them how.

We teach our children right from wrong
And that hate has a cost,
But now I can’t help but think
That our message has been lost.

He’ll be forgotten fairly soon
As one more tale is told
On page four of a newspaper
Where little stories go.

September 21, 2011 Posted by | Poetry | , | 4 Comments

The Land of Broken Toys

(Written after I read about an abused child.)

There’s a land you have not heard of
In any lullaby.
It’s not so very far away
And always out of sight.

I’m surprised that you don’t know it,
It’s filled with girls and boys.
It’s for children of all ages,
This Land of Broken Toys.

Here’s a little boy named Billy,
They say he’s not so smart.
Or is it that life’s cruelty
Taught him to hide his heart?

There’s a little girl named Susan,
A tiny little thing,
Who stares at you with quiet eyes
And wonders what you’ll bring.

Will it be feast or famine
And what will be her share?
Or will it be a heavy hand
That feeds to her despair?

If we could only mend these toys,
What course would our lives take?
If we could only save but one,
What difference would it make?

The only way to answer this
And then to understand,
Is to put ourselves in their place,
Where it all began.

Perhaps we might then come to see
Why they would make no noise,
And we might not then want to live
In a land of Broken Toys.

September 18, 2011 Posted by | Poetry | , | 8 Comments

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