Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Superior Paddle-Wheeler...

 


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/13/2000 1:16:32 PM
9/26/2022 8:32:43 AM
1011

Superior Paddle-Wheeler

When I was just a little tyke,
Off to Grandma & Grandpa's we would hike,
Even though it was way up north,
We would dare to sally forth.

Pine trees line the highway in the summer sun countlessly.

Water was every where, lakes, streams, ponds.
Road-side bill boards like magic wands,
Attract tourists from the road in hunger,
"Eat now, you're not getting any younger!"

God's Country, Northern Wisconsin, The U.P.

Pulling into Grandma Varden's drive,
Everything would come alive.
Hugs and smiles all around,
Thankful for every time we found,

Our way back here.

Morning, breakfast cooking on the wood stove,
Pack us up and off we drove.
The giant indian stands downtown at 120 feet,
And Copper Falls, well they can't be beat.

Woods and water, shadows dance in summer breezes.

Walking trails under trees, wooden walkways,
We could soak this up for days.
Further north, it was time to go,
We hit the beach at Lake Superior, you know.

Endless water, white frothed waves rolling.

Smooth round stones upon the beach,
Skipping them as far as we could reach,
The time would come when Grandpa was the star,
He'd made wooden paddle boats, would they go far?

Table saws, sawdust, rubber bands.

The garage down the steepest hill,
Created memories that still thrill.
Tiny boats of hope and wood,
Fun times that were truly good.

Keith H. and I were going to race!

Waters of Superior are cold under a sixties summer sun.

Memories are not.

AquarianM

By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C)2000

Author's Comments

When I was very, very young, we would all pile into the car and head to Ironwood, MI. My Grandparents lived in the old mining town, Stories of the old copper & iron mines caving in crept around. The wood stove in the kitchen evoked Spells crafted of Magic Grandma Cooking Smells,
And my Grandfather would head out down the hill to the garage and make little wooden paddle boats
powered with rubber bands. We would all climb the feet of the giant towering statue of ?Squantoe?
at the park in town. The following day, we would fill the cars and go off to Copper Falls, followed by Lake Superior. The waters of Superior are endless seeming, A small ocean of fresh water, and cold. Smooth stones made up the beach. My hair was so blond then as to be near white. My uncle Keith H., adopted, a year younger than I. Wading with rolled up pants in little jeans, sunshine, paddle boat races, picnics, smiles. It seems like a magical bygone Heaven now. Like a cameo faded into my mind...



AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/13/2000 1:16:32 PM
9/26/2022 8:32:43 AM
1011

Comments

Daniel A. Stafford
8/13/2000 1:44:08 PM
Copper Falls Park info:
**************************************
Copper Falls State Park
Ancient lava flows, deep gorges and spectacular waterfalls make Copper Falls one of Wisconsin's most scenic parks. Stone buildings from the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) add a special charm. 2,676 acres. Features 55 campsites, 13 electric sites, winter camping, showers, a dumping station, backpack camping, handicap-accessible picnic area and campsites, concessions, seasonal naturalist programs, lookout tower, vistas, shoreline with marked beach area, canoeing, boating, fishing, 1.7 miles of nature trails, 7 miles of hiking trails, 7 miles of off-road bicycle trails, 13.7 miles of cross- country ski trails.

Call 715-274-5123. 

On SR 169, 2 miles N of the intersection of SR 169 and SR 13/77,
4 miles N of Mellen, Ashland County.

Janine Danielspinnys@hotmail.comwww.spinnys.com8/21/2000 2:06:01 AM
Again you've shared your memories with me, and now I feel like I've been there too. What a wonderful childhood you had. I barely knew my grandparents. Thanks Dan...*S*

Ice Covered Jewel...

 


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/11/2000 9:55:49 PM
9/26/2022 11:02:06 PM
2657

Ice Covered Jewel

Ice Covered Jewel:

Europa, thy name strikes a chord most fair,
As you shine in the dark I stare,
A world of ice under the sway of the King,
Jupiter, your master, do you wear his ring?

Under the shell of ice you wear, could it be?

A mystery in the blackness of night,
Farther from the Sun and light.
Tidal pull doth create your heat,
is there an ocean underneath thy sheet,

Of crystalline ice.

Could you harbor life out there,
Best hope yet found beyond Earth's air,
Future of Mankind you may call,
Oh, largest living crystal ball.

We shall see you soon, fair one.

AquarianM

By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C)2000


Author's Comments

The possibility of an ocean out there on this beautiful world
hidden under a shell of crystalline ice, perhaps hiding life
in darkness warmed by the tidal effects of Jupiter's gravity.
It calls to us, "Come see!" Even if the idea is wrong or the
ocean exists in a barren state, it is a very good bet for
colonization by Mankind in the future. Jupiter's moon so fair.



AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/11/2000 9:55:49 PM
9/26/2022 11:02:06 PM
2657


Comments

Janine Danielspinnys@hotmail.comwww.spinnys.com8/21/2000 1:25:30 AM
I really, really love this poem. It makes me want
to jump in my spaceship and explore the stars some more...*S*

Blackbird Track...

 


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/11/2000 9:09:26 PM
9/28/2022 3:55:52 AM
811

Blackbird Track

Walking down the railroad track,
One sunny day I was under attack,
Blackbirds didn't like me there,
So they dive-bombed me from the air.

I grabbed a handful of stones. Battle commenced.

Four or five birds at a time,
Decided my hike was a crime,
As they came swooping down,
I ducked and threw rocks up, then down.

Slowly advancing down the rails.

It seemed forever the gauntlet to run,
But when the story was done,
Not a bird had I hit,
But nary a flying twit,

Touched me.

I shook my fist and went on my way.

AquarianM

By: Daniel A Stafford
(C)2000



By: Daniel A. Stafford

Author's Comments

Madison, Wisconsin, summer 1977.
I was walking down the railroad tracks amidst all the green,
and this colony of blackbirds apparently took offense to my
passage. I fended them off with handfuls of thrown stones from the
railway bed until I was past "Their territory", but it was so twilight
zone. Reminds me of the old movie, "The Birds". They were
perched on the phone lines and poles along the way, and groups
of four or five at a time would swoop down towards my head.
Freaky!



AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/11/2000 9:09:26 PM
9/28/2022 3:55:52 AM
811

Comments

Sue Alliebttfly9@yahoo.comhttp://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Garden/98438/11/2000 9:17:57 PM
This poem is so funny, but not for you being attacked! I can just picture you running as fast as you can.
Janine Danielspinnys@hotmail.comwww.spinnys.com8/21/2000 1:21:31 AM
The movie "The Birds" was the first scarey movie
I ever saw and I've never forgotten it. Any birds
lined up sitting in a row remind me of this movie.
I'd be terrified if your poem happened to me. My
screaming would probably scare them off... *S*

Rollin' Rockets...

 


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/11/2000 6:12:32 AM
9/25/2022 7:40:04 AM
2475

Rollin' Rockets

Rocket Cowboy full of dreams,
I really dig those blast off schemes.
Innovation all the rage,
Help us beat the gravity cage.

$10,000 a pound is sure steep.

If you can find your way into the sky,
At $100.00 a pound I think I'll try,
Take a shot at the moon,
Who knows, maybe a launch in June.

Can this vision be fulfilled?

If the bank won't pass the buck,
Well, please don't feel you're out of luck.
There are those who would up & cry,
If they could just get to fly so high.

The rocket of the future is on the verge.

Helicopter rotors with rocket tipped blades,
Visions in a thousand shades.
Space travel as common as flight,
Another launch most every night.

Lasso that buck and build your dreams!

AquarianM

By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C)2000

Author's Comments

I've followed some of the developments in rocketry
innovation in recent years. I really hope some of these
things come to pass, a new paradigm in rocketry might
just open the solar system for real, once the cost to get
up from Earth's gravity drops as these folks are envisioning.
See: http://www.rotaryrocket.com for just one of these ideas
that promise to change completely our future if developed.


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/11/2000 6:12:32 AM
9/25/2022 7:40:04 AM
2475

City Glow...

 


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/10/2000 6:45:47 PM
9/26/2022 7:53:07 AM
2408

City Glow

City Glow:

One of mankind's follies,
If you get your jollies,
From trying to see a star,
You certainly won't get far,

If you're in the city glow.

Under a cloudy sky,
Orange sunset that won't quite die,
It's even on the wrong side of the sky,
No need to wonder why,

Everyone's afraid of the dark.

It really can be beautiful,
And also when the Moon is full,
The stars hiding behind a man-made veil,
To obscure the astronomy trail.

Put your telescope away and enjoy.

Far away from the city, in lonelier nights,
Comes a breath taker, star light sights,
No scarce pin prick dancing here or there,
The universe in all it's glory, everywhere.

A falling star, brief, a satellite, so faint.

There really is a Milky Way, but it's not a candy bar.

AquarianM

By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C)2000

Author's Comments

Just wishing I could have a better view of the natural night sky.
Once in awhile.

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/10/2000 6:45:47 PM
9/26/2022 7:53:07 AM
2408

Total Comments: 2

Comments

Sue Alliebttfly9@yahoo.comhttp://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Garden/98438/10/2000 10:01:03 PM
I agree. A nice cloudless night, far from the city and I know I would enjoy watching the stars eating a Milky Way.
Daniel A. Stafford8/21/2000 5:36:54 AM
Please visit http://www.darksky.org to find out how you can help
reduce light pollution and preserve our natural night skies.

Missing Felicia...


 

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/10/2000 5:46:09 AM
9/28/2022 4:19:38 AM
871

Missing Felicia

Aunt Felicia, friend and confidant,
Raven hair, tall slender good looks,
What more could you want?
Nephew who listens to your ideas, not books.

Teenage years, so uncertain who to be.

There were things you told me then,
No, I'll never forget when,
I always listened, to your voice,
Because I trusted in that choice.

Could you sing Rose Garden for me again?

You friend Carol my not-so-secret crush,
And the things you blatantly said made a freshman blush,
Moonlight bike ride along the beach,
Certainty just a bit out of reach.

Where, oh where could you be?

Those younger days haunt me now,
Because it's clear that I don't know how,
To find you or to come near,
You're hiding in the pictures and the voices that you hear.

Tiffiny looks so like you I can hardly believe my own eyes.

I heard California is the place for you,
But since Grandma died, I wonder if that's so true.
Your daughter a young woman now,
It's been so many years,

But you are one of the voices, that I'll always hear.

I miss you.

AquarianM

By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C)08/10/2000

By: Daniel A. Stafford

Author's Comments

My Aunt Felicia. She was like a mix between teacher and confidant.
One year older than me, and we used to spend hours talking late
into the night one summer that she came to stay. We were riding my
bike down past the beach when a dog chased us, laughing home.
All I know now is that she succumbed to her battle with
schizophrenia and is in a home somewhere in California.
It's been since I was in high school that I last saw her. Her daughter
Tiffiny is now just a bit older than she was then and her mother's spitting
image, very near. (Update 2022: Aunt Felicia passed away several years ago. She will never be forgotten.)

Library Home
AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/10/2000 5:46:09 AM
9/28/2022 4:19:38 AM
871

Swimming Heavy...

 


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/10/2000 2:45:40 AM
9/25/2022 10:47:10 AM
791

Swimming Heavy

Lake Ute, New Mexico, fifty foot cliffs.
Two hundred feet of deep blue straight down.
Sunshine, warm breeze, mind drifts.
Fifty campers from the base around.

What harm a little bet, Airman?

I know you swim quite well,
In fact, I'm better, do tell.
I bet that you will lose,
Cannot swim from cliff to camp in jeans & tennis shoes.

I couldn't let it rest.

Shirtless in our blue jeans,
Never heard about sun screens,
Jump the fifty feet,
Splash and I won't retreat.

Three miles of cool lake under an azure sky.

Tan stone bears silent witness,
To this contest of our fitness.
He gives out around half way,
heading for the shore today.

My jeans weigh heavy as I pull up on the beach at camp.

Light the fire while I grin in triumph!

AquarianM

By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C)2000

By: Daniel A. Stafford

Author's Comments

When I was stationed at Cannon AFB, NM, we all used
to go on camping trips to Lake Ute. Another Airman heard me
explaining away some of the ladies' concerns regarding all
the swimming that I was doing, talking about swimming a mile
easily at eight years old. It was fact. He decided to bet that he
could swim the three mile lake in blue jeans and tennis shoes, and I couldn't.
Well, he lost, and I'm stubborn and a damn good swimmer, so
here's the rest of the story...circa 1980


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/10/2000 2:45:40 AM
9/25/2022 10:47:10 AM
791

Comments

Sue Alliebttfly9@yahoo.comhttp://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Garden/98438/10/2000 9:57:08 PM
Cute poem. I feels good to win and here you won again!

Hand Trim The Grass...

 


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/9/2000 9:41:13 PM
9/25/2022 6:46:39 AM
985

Hand Trim The Grass

Just a childhood memory,
From when I was maybe two or three,
A place Noni & Nono took me to see,
A gray headstone in the cemetery.

Hand shears snip-snipping in the shade and sunshine.

Flowers and memories that weren't mine,
Of someone that time had left behind,
My grandmother's mother resides above,
Maybe one that time had left, but not love.

I doubt I could find it now, except in my mind.

Just an adulthood memory,
Driving past the catholic school where I used to be,
In the cemetery a low reddish stone with letters,
Two I love free of life's fetters,

Gino and Sadie Nofri say the letters.

I can't read the numbers to the right with dry eyes,
But over there Uncle Ross resides,
Every time I drive by,
I can't help looking out of the corner of my eye.

I never will say good bye.

God trims the grass, too.

AquarianM

By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C)2000



By: Daniel A. Stafford

Author's Comments

When I was a child, my grandparents would go to the cemetery once a week in the summer
to trim my great grand mother's grave and put up flowers. I remember helping with the hand
trimmers, those little grass shears. Their grave is in another cemetery, just inside the fence off the
street, right next to where I used to go to school. My brother's house is two blocks away from them
and I am always right next to them in my heart.


Library Home
AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/9/2000 9:41:13 PM
9/25/2022 6:46:39 AM
985

The Family Reunion Speech...


 

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/9/2000 6:11:09 AM
9/24/2022 10:24:21 PM
9702

The Family Reunion Speech

The "Family Deal". Hmmm. Some deal, you all get to eat and watch me give this speech!
That's ok, I love to talk & now you have to listen!

Family. It's a different thing than any other word. These are the people you hang with whether
you love them or whether they just bugged you right out of your mind. Of course, they're stuck for
it if you bug them right out of their skin, so watch it! Paybacks come with a "You never know when"
guarantee!

Family. These are the people you turn to when the last "Significant Other" in your life turned
in to that Mr. Hyde lookin' creep right in front of your eyes. They might say "I told you so", but
you turn to 'em anyway! Of course, if they do, you know every time their "Ex" drank the evil
monster potion, too. You already know the guarantee terms and who you are!

Family. If you're hungry, they will feed you, if you're cold, they'll give you a blanket. Whether or not
you're curious, they'll give you advice. Of course, they get cold and hungry, too, and I know the
guarantee terms, too!

Family. If you're upset and crying, they'll give you a towel, a hug, and be stuck listening to you whine.
Then when you get done whining, they get to give you a load of advice and make you wash the towel.
The guarantee terms apply to this clause, too.

Family. If your house just got hit by a runaway bulldozer, they'll give you a couch and a blanket.
They might charge you rent by the day, but the advice is still free. All 25,000 words of it! God help
you if you can't pay the rent, there's a lot of dishes and laundry hanging around…..Of course, that
pain in the butt guarantee is still working.

Family. You wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them. Good thing, too, because you'd probably be stuck
working if you weren't here. I sure am glad I have all of you for family! 'Cause that guarantee means
next time it's your turn to give the speech. And I have to listen no matter how silly it is because you're
family.

I wouldn't have it any other way!

AquarianM

By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C)2000

By: Daniel A. Stafford

Author's Comments

A friend asked me to write a humorous speech on the subject of "Family" recently,
as she has been elected to give this year's speech at the Family Reunion.
This is the result, which I hope is good for some fun.

Library Home
AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/9/2000 6:11:09 AM
9/24/2022 10:24:21 PM
9702

Nebraska Scout...


 

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/8/2000 4:12:29 AM
9/25/2022 5:08:08 PM
854

Nebraska Scout

Eight years old and in uniform,
My mom the Den Mother in perfect form,
Little boys and plaster tracks,
Arrowheads and Indian attacks,

The Cub Scout Fair is this weekend!

We're doing a circus theme,
Blue shirts, yellow scarves, eyes that gleam.
I'm going to be the tattooed man,
And win the county art fair in which I ran.

Driving down a gravel highway a hundred miles.

Get to the place it's lot's of fun,
Clowns and strongmen and balloons with a BB-gun.
Poke your head there in place of the face,
And have good humor and good grace.

Head home with the blue ribbon and smiles on my tattooed face.

Take bath and wash it off they say,
But we soon find out not today,
The tattoos just won't come off of me,
For a whole week they will all see.

Magic Markers really work!

AquarianM

By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C)2000

By: Daniel A. Stafford

Author's Comments

That was so much fun, and Mom & Janet did a wonderful job
drawing tattoos every where my blue jean shorts weren't.
Scrub all I might, that magic marker might as well have been India Ink.
I just laughed like a wild man and ran around in my "war paint". Grinning like
an idiot.

Library Home
AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/8/2000 4:12:29 AM
9/25/2022 5:08:08 PM
854

Devil's Lake Imps...

 



AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/8/2000 3:55:26 AM
9/27/2022 7:39:46 AM
906

Devil's Lake Imps

Five young children in swim suits all day,
Chasing canoes in the summer sun,
Never out of the water while we can swim,
Picnic for adults and out here on a whim.

Seventies tanned child in the golden hot sun.

Nudists play on the far shore,
And the sleeping beauty without any clothes will snore,
Out on an air mattress in the lake,
Wondering how much the sun will bake.

I won't tip her over.

We swam and swam all through the day,
Must have spent eight hours that way,
Water rats until our fingers wrinkled,
We definitely were more than sprinkled.

Devil's lake, memories that glisten in the sunlight.

Dive back in!

AquarianM

By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C)2000


By: Daniel A. Stafford

Author's Comments

Just a day camping picnic by the lake,
Childhood fun, Mom, Ginny, Al,
Me, Lori, Jeff, Brian, Brook. Early 1970's.




AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford8/8/2000 3:55:26 AM
9/27/2022 7:39:46 AM
906

Monday, August 08, 2022

That Pastel Hour...

That Pastel Hour...

Sky as soft as baby's breath,
Water color gold,
Turquoise,
Lapis lazuli,
Indigo,
Breeze comes to dry,
Brush-stroked Temecula evening,
I'm walking in a dream.

AquarianM

By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 08/08/2022

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?

Dan

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,
Sanity,
Health,
Longevity.

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.

AquarianM

By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 10/09/2021

Monday, July 05, 2021

In The Path Of Moving Air...

In The Path Of Moving Air...

Summer.

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.

AquarianM

© 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;
Somehow,
Capital thrives on the back of this magnificent strange.

AquarianM

By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 11/13/2014