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Sample Poetry by Toni Louise Diol
Ghosts
 
Where do early memories go?
Do they die
as we leave childhood
or adolescence?
Do they become ghosts
that follow us
through life
and appear
at unexpected times,
visiting,
making us laugh
or sometimes cry.
The memory disappears
like stars
we no longer see
in the light of day.
We know the twinkling lights
are in the heavens,
waiting for night,
hoping for a cloudless sky,
just like a memory,
intangible.
Ghosts follow us
like the stars we canít see.
Both are always there
just waiting
to reappear.
Fleeting snippets
of our past
that our minds replay,
gift us with visions
of who we once were.
Thanksgiving
Thank you for the sun
that gives daylight
and warms our bones.
Thank you for the moon
that controls the tide
and provides
a romantic ambience
for lovers who walk
along shorelines,
tree lined streets,
or secluded pathways.
Thank you for the trees
that drop their leaves
and for those
that remain ever green.
Thank you for good bugs
who oversee our gardens.
Thank you for friends
who share our dreams
and are always there.
Thank you for family
that puts the sparkle
in our every day.
Thank you for turkey
that fills our tummies.
Thank you for life.
Too Many Good Byes
Another loss.
I try to forget.
Memories tumble from my head.
I try not to feel, but I do.
I canít stand the pain.
Too many people Iíve loved
have gone to their forever sleep.
I gaze out my window
and begin to write.
Words drip from my nib,
purple ink colors my page
and I force todayís thoughts away.
A tree,
a squirrel,
birds in the honeysuckle bush,
sun hiding behind gray woolly clouds,
frozen water in the bird bath.
Soon, soon robins will return.
Iíll clean and fill the bath,
plant pansies,
and watch tulips bloom.
In a corner of my brain
thoughts of the past swirl.
Iíll survive.
September Eleven
I said goodbye to innocence
that September morning
when the sky wore blue
and the sun peaked through
my kitchen windows.
Mesmerized by clouds of dust
and rubble
that chased New Yorkers
who ran from the World Trade Center,
I stared at the t.v.
in stunned silence.
My world tumbled
along with people
that jumped or fell
first from one tower,
then the next.
Voices of newsmen
and witnesses trembled.
People cried.
Firemen, policemen, citizens
just like me,
ran,
ran to help,
ran up flights of stairs,
guiding others to safety.
Samaritans gave up lives.
Weíre all victims
of this holocaust of freedom,
freedom gifted to us
by birth in America
and now threatened.
My virginal past
was buried with the dead.
Though my innocence
no longer flies free,
and I feel afraid,
my flag waves proudly
and reminds me
how lucky I am
to be an American.
Pacer
We talk and walk
the two-mile path
around the lake,
his stride
long than mine.
Soon he moves ahead,
while I race to keep up.
I fall back, pant, catch up,
and hook my arm through his.
Heís like a horse,
needs to be paced
and Iím just the filly
who can do it.
Monterey
Sea mist floats
toward circling seagulls
that wait for me,
sensing that Iíll toss poems
into the salty breeze.
Patiently, they ride air currents
and sing shrill songs
until I tear sheets
into a hundred bits†††††††
and throw them
to the wind.
Scavengers chase
and snatch my discards,
useless nouns and verbs
I strung together
during the night.
When the gulls discover
my phrases canít be eaten,
they drop empty calories
into the blue sea
and its unsettled waves
that crash against large
black boulders
where sunning sea lions sleep.
They awake and roll over,
enjoying natureís bath.
But when soggy bits of words
and stanzas wash onto their rock,
they read, wince
re-write in their heads.
Ready to spout verse,
they wiggle whiskers,
pull back ears,
and honk,
creating Pacific poetry.†
Lovingly
Two oak trees
reach for each other,
intertwining limbs,
lovingly,
as I intertwine my arm
through his.
They rattle branches.
I tremble and press
against his flesh,
warming myself
as we walk through the park.
He chuckles, claims,
Iím always cold.
One tree shivers
against the other
and I wonder,
does the other laugh?
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