When the native peoples walked for water
This same valley was here resonating.
They called a section “Stillwater” because
The water spread between limestone bluffs.
Iced-over river and overcast sky
Slopes of bare trees and snow the clean cold air
The quiet settling among the bluffs
Prepare this place for reverberations.
Sioux and Ojibwa fought in a hollow
Lumberjacks floated rafts of logs downsteam
A frontier prison held the Younger Gang
And steamboats plied the townsfolk with supplies.
Pioneer Park has a southward view
For sunrises and sun speckled water.
A name is a gift that accompanies
A life and the christening of a child
Is a bestowal of your parent’s best
Intentions and wishes for the passage
Of a life as if they could be present
To smooth the way so to proclaim “may you
Be Kristine” is to wish in all your days
That you be moved with wisdom and love like
Christ and Kristine is a lovely name you
Should cherish as a gift but a name is
Only a word repeatedly pronounced
And the magic of the naming does wear
Off and the essence of spirit is yours
To express and no one else can do it.
It’s much easier
to say Kris and pronouncing
Kristine instead is
Her parents left her behind at a gas
Station and at a swimming pool and they
Didn’t intend to hurt her but worse they
Forgot she was one of the family —
And though they retrieved her they also gave
Her the impression she’s worthless
And now the grown woman can’t get enough
Attention to lose the expectation
She is forgettable — just as if she
Were given a piece of a puzzle and
And assigned the task of finding where it
Belongs — so it seems she’s been abandoned
She’s lost and upset and struggling to
Compose herself and to find the way home.
To compose herself
to discover the way home
is quite a puzzle —
in a world full of strangers
to find those who are loving.
I remember my first friend beyond my
Family the first intimacy when
We discovered there were secrets to share
And with innocence I gave my trust and
I encountered how much fun it was to
Delve and roam the neighborhood and then my
Family moved to Minnesota and
I left my friend in Kansas — and there was
A procession of friendships and there were
Disappointments and betrayals and I
Had to grow a layer of armor and
I began to measure how much trust was
Sensible and I’ve tasted bitterness —
But I want to be gentle and sincere.
lost — but I have
A rascal put a
snail shell in a
rumble has rattle
curlicue in curves.
Matt’s a six-foot banana today on
The sidewalk and might have been Gumby a
Coke bottle or Spiderman yesterday
And he’s standing and driving a Segway
A T-shaped vehicle with two wheels and
He was a soldier in Afghanistan
Was shot in the head has memory loss
And headaches and because he can’t work he
Passes the time in a costume looking
Ridiculous to snare the attention
Of passersby attempting to impart
Happiness because he intends to turn
Around a bad day someone is having
Because his humor is the best of him.
It’s too easy
to become isolated
laughter is magic
humor communicates and
people need inspiration.