dirt on the welcome mat

Monthly Archives: December 2010

Secret treasure he sealed
In a small sandwich bag
And hid in the depths
Of his first grade desk.

He didn’t dig up his goods,
But he did take a risk,
They were stolen,
At least in a sense.

His fellow buccaneer
Was none other than
A fair-headed lass
In the desk before his.

Their common enemy
Paced the classroom deck
With a red pen for a hook
And tally sheets for a plank.

These daring young pirates 
Had sworn to keep 
The desk’s sacred contents
A secret for life.

They might have sailed the high seas
With their cunning and skill
Had their dreaded foe
Not shrieked at her discovery.

From boogers to bloody band aids,
The teacher had seen it all,
But the plastic bag’s contents
Unleashed an unmistakable “Arrgh!”

“Jameson! You CUT her hair?”
The two scalawags bravely smiled,
Knowing all too well
They’d have to walk the plank.

Gooey marshmallow crème

Plops and oozes

All over the earth

Until children,

Chubby in their puffy coats,

Squish it between

Their gloved fingers,

Roll their tobogganed heads

And padded tummies

In the ground’s thick spread,

And stick out their tongues,

Hoping for more magic to fall in this

Willy Wonka

Winter Wonderland.

Her jaws are hinged shut
As his swing open wide,

Her head’s screwed on tightly,
His jerks side to side.

A practiced Stoic,
In silence she sits.

Her bored expressions
Say it’s not the first of his fits.

Completely different genres
Pulse through their veins,

Only the faintest hint
Of their song remains,

The faint harmony
Barely reaches my ear

As I watch the drama unfold
In my rearview mirror.


Sparrows sit like music notes

On thin telephone wires.

Poised with puffed-up chests

Like opera singers,

They feel their elevation

Above buildings, people, cars.

Man’s voice,

In its constant travel

Beneath tiny bird feet,

Becomes only a weak

Mechanical murmur,

A meaningless silence substitute

That lacks the strength

To burst forth from

Its tiny wire prison,

Strung from pole to pole.

The sparrows’ song,

Pure and sweet,

Bounded only

By the open sky,


What beautiful melodies

Humanity may sing

If we like sparrows

Sat and let our Maker

Fill us with music.

December twenty fifth,

The city saw snow.

She saw a blanket of white too,

Draped across her hospital bed.

Stark sterile snowflakes

Covered the walls, ceiling, floor

So cold, so bright.

Not like the warm yellow lights

On her Christmas tree.


The coffee beans grinding
May have grated on his goodwill,
Perhaps the stirring and sloshing
Was too bitter a pill.

Maybe his name tag hung crooked
All day on his shirt,
Or the new mocha flavor
Made his head hurt.

Whatever the source
Of his obvious pain,
Working at Starbucks
Was undeniably the main

Root of this young man’s
Bitter hatred of the world.
When one customer ordered
Some fancy swirled

No-fat, no-whip coffee concoction,
Muttering in hushed annoyance he
Created the mixture
Just slow enough for her to see

That perhaps he didn’t quite
Remember each important detail.
Trembling, he poured out the drink
And corrected his first fail.

This anti-climax was
A shocking surprise,
Especially to himself,
You could see in his eyes.

Uncertain of his own
Character’s strength,
He stepped outside
For an undisclosed length

Of time, and surely
As he stopped to think
He realized that when life makes you boil,
You just make something hot to drink.


By the words of his mouth,

Water splashed against land.

With skillful imagination,

He formed human hands.

By his power and choosing,

Kings fall and they stand.

From the love of his heart,

God became man.

December twenty fourth
Most know as Christmas Eve,
The holiday that,
Standing by itself,
Only Santa-loving kids believe
Has any meaning,
They celebrate ”Delivery Day.”

For the rest of America
Pre-Christmas excitement
Can be found
In the national holiday
That is spent 
Idolizing a thick white drink-
We celebrate eggnog.

Like a festive cake batter
Served in glass goblets
Some chug, some sip
This curious liquid.
In mystery it sits
Tempting taste buds
With Christmas spice.

Wooden nutcrackers
Half covered in snow
Stand single-file,
Thirty in one row.

Guarding a brick house
Red as their uniform,
They silently wonder
Why this is the norm,

Why soldiers
With clenched teeth
Are often found
Standing beneath
A Christmas tree.

Why “peace on earth”
Fits right beside
The nutcracker
At Christmastime.


Pass the plate of memories

Down the table, please,

I’d like to fill my plate

With something warm.

And send some of

Your fresh stories my way,

Since you season them

So well with humor.

I loved your new dish of family plans,

And the casserole

Summarizing the past year

Was really enjoyable.

This conversation meal

Was the best our family’s had-

I’ll meet you in the kitchen

For some recipes.