a poem by hannah

Lucy and Hannah doing a jig (Hannah and Lucy, 2006)

The Cabbage Patch Children
by Hannah Dykstra

The Cabbage Patch Children can you guess who they are?
They’re your friends that don’t live vary far
They're bunnies of course do you know their names?
They’re Cupcake and Candy and don’t leave out Shames
They dig in your garden looking for clovers and peas
But all they find is a few brown old leaves
But when they find carrots, now that’s a treat
Although they always eat neatly cause neatly is neat
When they are finished they end with a fart
But when they are ready they go back to the start



I just took down the Christmas tree. But before I did, I sat and looked at it to see if I could conjure up a poem. This is a tradition I started last year (hopefully I can maintain it); a poem that is Christmas tree related. My Christmas tree is very personal, so I wanted to capture some of the memories. Again, I'll say what I say every time I write a poem: I am not a poet. However, I do find the exercise and discipline of trying to write a poem good for me.


White paper angel
crowning my tree
Hailing love and good tidings
from friends near the sea.
Christmas morning
A heavenly being of
gold sequins and thread
Bittersweet reminders
of memories dread.

A blond angel in a red dress
and a brunette in blue
Bearing pictures of daughters
aged one and two.

White feathered angel
that shines a blue light
Bidding me love from
my darling tonight.

Angels of beeswax
and alabaster too
Crystal and gold from
friends old and new.

My angels bear greetings,
love and goodwill
Bringing annual joy to
my heart with appeal.

gordon's birthday

(My honey, Gordon)
Gordon Tomorrow is my Gordo's birthday. We had our birthday celebration tonight. We had his mother over for birthday supper. He chose taco salad for the menu and I made an apple pie for desert.

I wrote a poem for the girls to read to him. I am no poet, and I know it. Therefore, I felt like quite the achiever getting this to rhyme. It won't win any awards, but it goes like this:

On this your 44th Birthday
To honor you in a special way,
We’d love to tell you o’er and o’er
Of your many traits that we adore.

We can’t list them completely,
Because we’d all get sleepy.
But let us name a few,
To thank you for all you do.

Do not be disappointed
With our gifts so disjointed.
Our gifts may be small,
But our love is very tall.

Corny, I know, but can't you feel the love?

His big gift was a Space Pen. Does that sound like a lame gift? Let me assure you it's not lame. It happens to be an expensive writing devise designed for astronauts. Now when Gordon is investigating accidents in 30 degrees below zero, his pen will not "freeze up." Matter of fact, he could go to the moon and his pen would write. He could boil and write me a love note at the same time. He could go to the depths of the sea, and his pen would still write. This pen is no small potato.

We also got him a gift card to see "Fighter Pilot" at the IMAX. That is right up his alley.

Now about those small disjointed gifts. They were little things with notes attached to them.

A bag of mints - "Thank you for your commitMINT"

A package of bacon - "Thank you for the work you do to bring home the BACON"

A SKOR bar - "No matter how you slice it, you SKOR big with us."

A box of SMARTIES - "You're the SMARTest daddy we know."

A package of EXCEL gum - "You are an EXCELlent daddy and husband."

A bag of LAYS potato chips - never mind what was written with them.

Happy Birthday Noogie Boy. I love you.

(When I call Gordon Noogie Boy, he returns the favor by calling me Pudgy Girl. Gosh, I love this guy.)

lucy and bear


My two furry babies, Lucy and Bear.

Lucy is an amazing dog and a poet. Here is her poem:

I am a D-O-L-L.

I have eyes of autumn brown.

I have ears of softest silk.

My teeth are like ivory.

My legs like tree trunks.

Yes, I am a D-O-L-L.

Bear's poetry isn't quite as good:

I am an S-T-U-D.

I have eyes of steely gray.

My teeth are sharp as needles.

My tail is like a curly fry.

My ears are always at attention.

Yes, I am an S-T-U-D.

judy blume

Judy Blume is a children's writer with many books to her credit. I didn't know she wrote adult books until just now. Her book Wifey, was not well received by many because it has some raunchy stuff, at least it's perceived as raunchy by some. I've never read it so I don't know what's in it, but I can appreciate the dilemma. She was rebuked and chided for Wifey.

Among the letters she received was this verse:

You’re rude and crude
Depraved and lewd
You’re caught in a moral crunch
You’re vexed, perplexed
And oversexed
So when can we have lunch?

poetry month

(Sweet Hannah, 4 years old, picking dandelions for me.)

Scan20159April is almost over and I haven't honored poetry.
My all time favorite piece of poetry is this one:

Roses can say 'I love you,'
Orchids can enthrall,
But a weed bouquet in a chubby fist,
Oh my, that says it all.

I would love to credit the one who penned that but I have no idea who she is. My days as recipient of weed bouquets from chubby fists, are quickly coming to an end. My girls are growing up and are not into picking me flowers anymore. But those memories are precious to me and I'll never forget them.

I remember with clarity the guilt I felt when Hannah caught me trying to kill the dandelions in the yard. They were her yellow garden patch and she was shocked when she found me destroying them. Oh I felt badly.

Her little bouquets came with such regularity that I bought a tiny little vase to showcase her weedy expressions of love. Ironically, that vase broke last summer. I was sad to say goodbye to it as I recognized I probably wouldn't need to replace it. The little bouquets weren't arriving like they had in years past and I knew an era was ending and a new one beginning. Sigh.....

A poem I recite regularly is taken from a book of poetry Rachael and Hannah had when they were wee ones. This poem has stayed with me long since the pages of that book fell apart. This one is by Dale Evans Rogers.

Thank You God for this new day,
And for the time to work and play.
Please be with us all day long,
In every story, game, or song.
May all the happy things we do,
Make You our Father happy too.

I say this little prayer on days when I find myself dashing out the door without having prayed "properly." It's also a prayer I can say first thing in the morning when I'm still sleepy-eyed and not thinking too clearly. It has served me well for 10 years.

These are not Tennyson or Elliot or Whitman, but I appreciate their simple poignancy.

all things work together

Salty tears,
Bitter remorse.
All things work together.

Deepest valleys,
Darkest nights.
All things work together.

Mournful memories,
Unrelenting guilt.
All things work together.

Tangled thoughts,
Disjointed emotions.
All things work together.

For my good,
Yes, my good.
All things work together.

Last night I read this latest poem of mine to Gordon. He let me finish and then said, "One of your lighter little ditties, eh?" He is so funny.

the light

I sit in silence
The ticking of the clock is the only distraction
The fir tree in the corner lights the darkness with delicate intrusion

"He is your light," they say
"He lights the way"
"His light drives the darkness away."

His light is His gift to me.
My gift to Him? Receive His light.
Let Him light my dark path.

He is in my darkness.
Only in darkness can I experience
the the dawning of a new day.

Only by dying can I be resurrected.


i do not know.
the in-between is painful, unclear.
questions. what it truth?

emotions are raw,
hurt is palpable.
afraid of the truth,
afraid to know.

alas, i know.
i cry.
i hurt.
i surrender.
i accept.

now it is clear.
truth is in the open.
no more nagging unsettledness.

painful? very.
searing? yes.

truth! it will set me free.

april is poetry month

(1992, Gordon and me, Spokane Washington airport. My first trip to Canada to see my future husband.)
Gordon and val first trip northApril is Poetry Month. Last year I wrote a poem - a poem to my husband Gordon. I am not a poet. I've always struggled understanding poetry but this poem came easily for me. There is a verse in Song of Solomon the uses the expression My Lover, My Friend. Early in our marriage I adopted that expression for Gordon. He's my lover, my friend.
My Lover, My Friend

Can I trust you with my heart,
My feelings, dreams and fears?
Will you care for me gently?
Will your kindness dry my tears?

Will we grow old together,
Sharing life’s problems and play?
Will you love me when my skin is aged?
Will you love me when my locks turn gray?

My Lover, My Friend,
How you touch me through!
I did not know the grace in love.
I did not yet know you.

In your presence I am unafraid,
Trusting and secure.
Your tenderness tore down my walls.
With you, my life feels pure.

You have filled my life with laughter,
Embraced me with goodwill.
You saw beyond my hardened shell.
Forgave, and entered still.

My Lover, My Friend,
How you touch me through!
I did not know the grace in love.
I did not yet know you.

Will you be there when I am dying,
Our last and sacred date?
Will you weep when I am passing?
Will you walk me through the gate?

If you should leave before me,
I will whisper through my tears,
“My Lover, My Friend,
I am glad we had these years.”
Valerie Dykstra 2004