Sunday, October 10, 2021

A Necessary Environment For Poetry...

I find that I need alone time with my own thoughts to be able to write poetry - or much of anything else original for that matter.

It's no small wonder to me that I wrote my first poem in nearly a year while walking a little more than two miles alone on a pleasant Autumn afternoon.

The vast majority of my poetry was written while I was on third shift for nearly 20 years. Those quiet times in the wee hours when nothing was broken or planned were perfect for it.

First shift in a riled up pandemic era is just way too much noise for an artistic soul to see the precious things in life through a time of inner reflection that has no time to exist.

That and this little chatterbox in its hip holster is both a blessing and a curse. I wish we were still only using laptops and desktops sometimes.

How is everyone?


Saturday, October 09, 2021

The Walk...

The Walk... 

A little more than two miles,
Sunny cool Autumn afternoon,
The sidewalk is quiet,
Tires on the street are not.

The occasional foot wanderer passes by,
One young couple holding hands,
We nod like members of a sunshine club,
Soles for our souls instead of tires.

I snap a fallen leaf on the sidewalk,
Perfectly in Autumn's spotlight,
Half- listening to a podcast,
Trying to hear over the tire noise,
And over my own walking thoughts.

Crossing intersections,
My shield of painted lines,
Red green orange white lights,
I wave at the observational kindnes of strangers,
Remnant of polite society.

It strikes me how much better the world could be,
If only we could commute on our feet,
The amazing investment we'd make in public health,
The connection to nature and seasons,
Something our society doesn't seem to see.

I think of how it is we view people on their feet,
We who ride on magic carpets of glass and plastic and steel,
Our lives so rooted in seats.

It was just yesterday I overheard,
"He was walking down rhe street like he was homeless,"
I know we need to change that frame,
In search of,

I remember the clear and clean skies,
Spring of 2020,
I could see the distant hills,
A reminder of my childhood,
I know how clear we could see and breathe.

All I know,
It doesn't matter who thinks what,
Given the choice,
I'll take the walk.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 10/09/2021

Monday, July 05, 2021

In The Path Of Moving Air...

In The Path Of Moving Air...


It's all about heat,
From fireworks to haze,
A shimmer over pavement,
Who needs a microwave oven?

The Sun shines practically at night,
Everywhere in it feels like the depths of the Sahara.

Much as I love,
Come nightfall,
I'm putting bare skin in the path of moving air.


© 07/05/2021

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

First Breath Of Chicago Winter...


First Breath Of Chicago Winter...

I saw flurries last night,
Walked the charcoal- dark crush of silent Chicago night,
It wasn't the city lights that dazzled in those quiet hours;
The vast emptiness of glass and steel,
It breathes and exhales people,
Near to numerous as air molecules,
Yet in the night there's only my now-visible breath,
Cabs prowl the streets in search of migrating oxygen;
Capital thrives on the back of this magnificent strange.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 11/13/2014

Saturday, December 12, 2020

The Un-Loved Christmas Ornament..

The Un-Loved Christmas Ornament..

Akin to the ugly duckling,

You don't have to fall in love,

You don't have to take it home.

It just sits there on your desk,

Keeping you company at work,

Reminding you of a kinder season.

Someday when this door closes,

It will still be there in a drawer,

A little something holiday warm,

To keep a working person company,

A little touch of grace,


Of all that hustle-bustle.

Merry Christmas,


Happy New Year!


By: Daniel A. Stafford

(C) 12/12/2020

Sunday, December 06, 2020

A Universal Constant...

A Universal Constant...

Law of nature,
Ever present,

There is care,
Reasons for gratitude.

A good one.

To be lost in the same eternity with you?

That's pretty lucky.

Write on,


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 12/06/2020

Author's Note:
For my long-time poetic peer and friend, Rick.

Friday, November 27, 2020

The Queen Of Colorful And Loud Has Found Her Cloud...

The Queen Of Colorful And Loud Has Found Her Cloud... 

I don't know much about you coming into this world,
But I doubt it was quiet.

Everything I ever saw you do,
It was colorful, 
Like LED headlights on the road,
An amazing dance that whirled,
A sunset that kept you looking.

An old family friend,
Little sister at a distance,
Your voice always raised for what you believed,
Hair-raising to the quiet ones like me,
All about attention,
Whether it was you that needed it,
Or for someone you loved.

Even leaving this world,
Quiet wasn't on the menu,
It was colorful,
Loud and in our faces,
True to your nature.

When we look up,
See a crazy bright star,
Twinkling on a late twilight cloud,
Won't let you look away,
We'll all know who it is,
Hear your voice echo,
So say hello for us to the welcoming committee,
Laugh at our crazy down here,
Until we see you all again.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 11/27/2020

Authors note:
For my "little - ha! - sister," Denise Pribbenow Webber