Sounds of the City

I wrote this during a trip to Italy in 2012 and found it written on a scrap of paper. 
It is true that when you have free time, you make room for creativity.
The sing song Italian words I hear
Motorbike sputtering, the city sounds near

Behind, in front and to the side
In Rome there is no quiet to find

The air is warm and humid too
With all the sun, you can't feel blue

A moment of peace is in your heart
That is where peace starts

A place of calm, a place of home
Where else can you be alone?

A great big city with people everywhere
As you stroll through winding streets without a care

Sitting on the sidewalk drinking espresso
How can I move from here? To get up and go?

I don't want to leave but I know I must
At some point, espresso runs out, what a fuss!

Tourists walk by I can hear them laugh
I don't feel much like them at all, too bad

And so I finish my Roma cappacino
At last its time to leave, here I go.

A Love of Writing


I have a passion for which I write
Little of which will see the light

Channelling a message, I feel it come
One thought at a time, soon I am done

I wander across the page in time
Selecting each word and filling a line

My emotions are bleeding onto the page
I can't control it, like a lion in a cage

I wonder how people contain their ideas?
Mine flow out in a variety of ways

In lines of prose or poetic form
It rains down words like a thunderstorm

To write is something that I must do
My passion to write, I'm sharing with you

As you travel from place to place
I hope you will capture words in this space

Thoughts and ideas will always appear
A pen and paper should also be near

By writing you clarify a thought or a feeling
It will keep you and your mind from reeling

A safe haven, a place to write
In early morning or late at night

Even if the words just stay in a book
Years from now you might take a look

What today is foggy, tomorrow is clear
Each day you will learn, or that's what I hear

So write a word, learn something new
A writer must write, it is all he can do


Burp This

IMG_1542I asked my 12-year-old son to suggest a topic for a blog. He burped at me. And so I wrote it.

Why is it that the older you get the more unacceptable burping in public is? Let’s start with babies. A baby burps and everyone is proud. Or relieved.  Gas in a baby is painful to the baby while the baby’s incessant crying from gas pains becomes painful to a parents ears.  Burping for a baby is no small feat. It often requires vigorous patting on the back and bouncing up and down. It even can require walking around the house in circles with the baby positioned upright.  Parents expect the baby burp and sometimes beg for it, “Please, just burp!”. It gives the baby (and the parents) relief when the burp finally arrives.

As children get older, they may burp loudly after drinking a soft drink and no one thinks much of it. Kids laugh at each other. Even parents may continue to laugh at the burp of small children. Approaching the teenage years the burp becomes less funny and more inappropriate. It becomes a teaching point – “If you are going to burp, please say ‘excuse me’ or please burp quietly.” Even better, ‘boys don’t like girls that burp’.  What pre-adolescent girl isn’t going to take this statement to heart?

I don’t know too many adults who burp in public. If they do, they certainly keep it to themselves. If they have an audible burp they may turn a rosy shade in embarrassment or bow their head down to look at the floor in hopes that no one saw them. Something as simple as a burp (a normal bodily function) shouldn’t be viewed with such disdain, but it is. It is too bad we don’t laugh with other adults about this sort of thing. Where is the camaraderie and humor in burps? Perhaps it was left in the 4th grade? Does all the fun belong to babies and children who can burp without refrain or embarrassment?

Unfortunately the answer is yes, burps are for babies and children. The next time you have to burp I don’t expect you to do it out loud, but maybe you can be a kid for just a moment transported in time back to the time when burps were funny and didn’t require, “Excuse me”.  What other fun things could you laugh about as a kid but cannot now?

Distractions From Life

Nothing like the birth of a baby to prevent you from writing for nearly a year. Since this was not my first child, you would think I would remember the challenges of having a new baby in the house. Now when I have a few minutes to spare I don’t think about writing. I think about eating, resting or just falling asleep. These are the things that new mothers do (or dream about) because the rest of the time they need to constantly focus on keeping the baby happy. Or at least not crying. Well, how about not crying too loud?

Motherhood has its ups and downs. Today as I look at my 10 month old Jacob I see so much of his father in him. His smile. His laugh. His plentiful hair. He is so much that I am not. He is innocent. He has very simple needs and I have the feeling he doesn’t worry like adults do. He really knows how to live in the moment. When he needs something he needs it now. Now you understand why babies cry all the time. Living in the moment seems so easy for children while adults spend time planning, organizing, and worrying. It is no surprise that so many people have depression due to all the worrying. Why can’t we just live for the now?

It seems our brains, although powerful, can also lead us down paths of thought that are not healthy. The mind is capable of so many things yet most days I would like to turn it off parts of it. Why can’t I just do a task or eat a meal without having all sorts of other thoughts going through my brain. I just want to enjoy a quiet moment and most of the time I can’t. Your brain is like a computer that shows one program on the screen while other programs are running in the background. Have you ever been driving along and suddenly realized you didn’t remember driving that last stretch of road? Somehow your mind wanders to think about other problems instead of focussing on the road. (Like keeping the car on the road is not a problem?)

Lately I have been so busy with one task after the other I haven’t had much time to think. No time to worry. My only concern was whether I had enough milk and food to feed my baby for tomorrow. Now I see that still was not living in the moment because I was worrying about the future! Our darn brains. I understand why we watch too many movies and television shows. Watch others makes us feel like we are living in the moment (albeit someone else’s moment) and this distracts us from our own worries and fears. How do we force ourselves to live more in our own life and worry less? How do we prevent distractions from impinging on our critical moments in life. The giggle from a baby. A hug from a loved one. These are moments to cherish and should not be interrupted by the solving of a work problem in our head or worrying about what we are making for dinner tonight.

I sit peacefully on the sofa in my living room with my eyes closed. I take a deep breath in. I listen to the sounds in my house to try to focus. I hear the whir of the washing machine, the almost inaudible hum of the television and the sshhhgg of the dishwasher. All the sounds seem to mix together, at least until I hear baby Jacob and his quiet whimpering. Again he needs something and my focus is back on him.The baby has forced me to live in the moment.  The only other thing I have done lately to live in the moment was to write this blog. I didn’t think about it. I didn’t plan it. It wasn’t on a to-do list. What can you do today to  live in the moment without distraction?

Are you having twins?

It is official, my enlarged and rapidly growing pregnant belly announces that I am pregnant. Unfortunately when I tell people my due date, the next question is, “Are you having twins?”. You would think I would be used to this sort of comment from my first pregnancy when I received the same exact questions. My body style just does’t hide a growing baby very well. It never has and it never will.

I suppose I should take these comments as compliments because at least they don’t think I am fat, they KNOW I am pregnant. They also assume there is a rational explanation for what appears to be a watermelon hiding under my shirt. Even my doctor commented on the baby utilizing every inch of my torso from my ribs to my hips for his own expansion.

I still have a lot of weeks to go in this pregnancy which I plan to take in stride. Today I contemplated joking with strangers when they comment on my pregnancy by telling them I am not pregnant and that I am just smuggling watermelons.  Although last time I checked, watermelons don’t kick like this baby who punches me after ever bit of spicy food, chocolate, or ice cream.  They say that every pregnancy is different, yet so much seems that same.

Kids: Never a Quiet Moment

IMG_0781Why do kids make parents mad?
Why do they behave so bad?

Kids are kids they say, its true
It seems they make me crazy too

All the times they misbehave
It’s just attention that they crave

Attention good or bad they’ll take
From morning to night – I need a break!

At 5 in the morning they wake me
Only 6 hours sleep they need

What happened to all the naps in day
Those stages of sleep are far away

Each day they test me on another thing
My heart melts – did I hear them sing?

The ups and downs of parenthood
not every day is going to be good

Today is quiet as they watch cartoons
The silence will be broken again soon

A poet’s life

I wake up thinking only in rhyme
Why does this happen all the time?

The poems emerge with little thought
Others efforts to rhyme hard fought

A simple talent I seem to have
A family heirloom descended perhaps

I wonder how many have this gift
I can write just looking at lake mist

The gift of writing an old-time skill
For me not lost, but here still

I work each day on creativity
Unknown worlds of poems I see

A gift of poetry I have always had
Time to use it, it isn’t bad

A gift worth sharing for all to see
Won’t you join in rhyming with me?