Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Remember Your Ghosts:

When someone we love dies,
It is appropriate to miss them -
For a time.

It is the natural thing,
We think of all we will miss,
The loss - we - bear.

When we are finished with - our - loss,
We face a great choice how,
They will live on in us.

Make no mistake,
They live now partly through us,
Partly through God.

The part through us is small yet,
It is their connection here,
To the Earth.

We can show the Earth their angry bad,
Face or remember their love,
Faces leaving war masks,
To the silent invisible dust.

That choice only slightly defines their existence yet,
It greatly defines our own.

How do you call upon your ghosts how,
Do they appear when you call?


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/31/2004

Author's Comments;
I picture like in legends where we call upon our ancestors to save us in dire times of need, yet we live in the shadow of the way we choose the memories of them to hold every moment we breathe.

All of my currently available poetry books can be purchased at:

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Why Must I Cry?

I could write a thousand pages,
Of woe and tears and gloom,
Like every child I suffered wounds that can not be seen.

Where does the pursuit of these tales bring me?

I comb through my life looking for gold,
Because the dross isn't worth immortalization,
Let it lie buried in the past.

If I fill my eyes with jewels from the past life sparkles.

If my poetry is golden,
If it is like a ray of sunshine in Summer,
Why should I shed light on the rotted leaves that fell out of season?

The balm of a rich life is not found in a bucket of pain.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/26/2004

Author's Comments:
I've heard from somewhere that my poetry is one sided when it comes to
childhood. My reply? "Thank God I have that choice."

Manna, Manna

In the heat and confusion,
Rest from wailing and tears shall come,
Look to the sky and see it rain.

Manna from Heaven is needed again.

Bless the children oh Lord,
Those that run from steel and lead and blood,
Rest their weary feet upon green grass in a garden.

The loaves from the sky fall with an end to tears.

Soothe the mothers' worried brows,
Fill with love distant hearts,
Let manna fall like rain.

Somewhere there is a place for them all.

Manna from Heaven and love abounding,
We give thanks it shall be so.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/26/2004

Author's Comments:
For the souls lost in Darfur.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Outfly Your Wings:

Outfly Your Wings:

In the seconds before you disappeared,
I know your souls flew up,
Did you outfly your wings there below the pearlescent throne,
Like butterflies exiting chrysalis,
Irridescent and glittering,
The dew of many tears may follow you,
Though yours no longer flow,
I feel compelled to hold prayer for you,
May God grant those who love you solace,
To see you dancing with the stars,
Unlike poor Icarus,
You outflew your wings.


By: Daniel A. Stafford

Author's Comments:
In sympathy with the passengers of the two planes down in Russia and those who lost them.

On God's Doorstep -
ISBN 1-4116-0710-4
The Beach Poems - ISBN 1-4116-0112-2
are available for sale at:

Blessings And Rain:

I have a friend who will be travelling,
I will be practicing the saxophone outside,
Under the wooden roof at the park.

Blessings and rain - bring the green grass and a safe flight.

I am thankful for the cocooning of a grey day,
The quiet place in the soul that reflects off fog and raindrops,
The flowers that rise when the sun returns.

Blessings and rain between brass notes and airplane wings.

I feel the sun shining on my saxophone looking golden,
Just as I'm thankful it will after she lands,
A flowering of life unfolding.

Blessings and rain from God's tender hands.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/25/2004

Author's Comments:
For our friend Hope.

Question Spiritual Aspects Of Poetry

Often when writing poetry, the writer feels a sense of "tapping into a
source." The sensation is as if something larger than you is actually giving
you the words to put down on the page or keyboard. The favored manner of
writing differs from author to author, and really is irrelevant for the
purpose of this discussion. Many times when writing under this "spell" or
"trance" state, for lack of better words, and author feels they have written
some of the most important and profound writing.

Another interesting phenomenon that I have noticed in such instances is that
usually two or three other poets at the boards I post to will write on very
similar themes when I feel this happen. Most often it is two other poets,
and it seems to happen with three of us at a time.

Another area of interest is the concept of prayers through poetry, or as
poetry. I would like to investigate this type of poetic expression in my own
writing, and to hear from others if they use the same technique. I have
written a few poems of my heartfelt wishes in the past with lines like
"releasing prayers to electronic winds." I wondered even back then if poetry
could be used as a request for spiritual energy, for the feelings and
desires of readers to resonate with the request inherent in a poem. In
effect, the reader is "speaking the word to God for the writer" by
sympathizing with the poem's emotional content. Readers of Florence Scovel
Shinn's work "Wisdom" will have a deeper understanding of the subject I am

Could wide-spread poetry be used to bring the energies of peace, love, and
prosperity to a wider group of people? Certainly writings in the Bible's
last books, as well as things such as Norse mythology's Ragnarok and others
have brought a view of a cataclysmic end to the world into the larger
consciousness of mankind. Writing of any nature can do this. Writing of a
spiritual nature may in some way alter the universe we inhabit by altering
our basic beliefs about the universe we inhabit at a very deep level. Modern
physics touches on the possibility, theorizing that the universe exists out
of unlimited probability streams because we observe it to exist. The Bible
says in one part that "He who believes enough can move a mountain." and that
we should give thanks to God as if what we ask is already granted. Some
modern preachers warn us that the words we speak to ourselves are also heard
by God, and we can speak ourselves into trouble or into joy.

This raises many questions about poetry, and how it might be put to use to
bring positive spiritual energy to a large group of people. If this is true,
and possible, then poets bear a heavy responsibility for the visions they
craft and display. Perhaps it is time we poets as a sub-culture examine this
aspect of our art in detail. Certainly the world could use all the positive
spiritual energy that can be found in these times. It seems that the world
is at a turning point and the focal point of this is here in the United
States, in the ideology and path we choose to follow going forward. There is
a great rift in this country in view point at this time. Could the gentler,
kinder side of poetry be utilized to help heal this to some extent? Could we
possibly write our way to a somewhat better world?

Please address any comments on this topic to the e-mail link at the top of
this blog. I would like to deepen this discussion if possible.


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Spiritual Poetry:

Spiritual Poetry:

Is this a poem,
Perhaps the rambling of a creative mind?

Is this a path,
That passes through healing,
Into self-knowledge and light?

Do the fingers on the keyboard,
Become driven by some cosmic under-mind?

How do you explain,
Poets on similar topics,
Usually posting in threes?

Can a poem become a prayer,
If written in love and light?

If so then let's pray for peace and love,
Good  things,
All across the world to come...

Starting with tonight.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/24/2004

All of my currently available poetry titles are
for sale at:
Poetry Is In The Moment:

In the mindless foolish transition,
I lost my words in searching too deep,
Looking for mountains of meaning to pour out,
Hoping for some grand place in the heavens,
Forgetting the simplest of things,
When my eyes are opened and I see a small space,
The dusty trails I walked between cornfields,
The footpath along the railroad tracks in early 1960's sunshine,
The insects and prairie flowers of Wisconsin Summers,
The goldenrod and oriole and wild child hair,
Deep in rural Nebraska,
The stark contrast of dark night skies in the desert,
The deep blue of a rare New Mexico lake,
The salt tang of a midnight beach in Galveston,
Poetry is in the moment,
In the small places you live and see and breathe,
Those slices of life too precious to forget,
And all the moral ground and beliefs,
Wishes for the future and hopes and dreams and fears,
Nothing is exempt,
No single piece is all there can be,
Because poetry is life,
In the words you can find to capture it.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 07/08/2004

Author's Comments:
Sometimes I forget and my voice falls silent in a false lack of words.
With The Voice Of Rain:

In no uncertain terms I described the sky,
Every hue and color and their meaning to me,
The mesmerizing dance of leaf and wind and raindrop,
The utter rhythm of raindrops upon roofs,
The chill I feel at the way ideas fall on Earth,
The frightening vistas of change and passage,
How it burns that those younger do not know the value,
How it burns that I fail to see the worth of new,
In these moments I chastise myself and find youth,
In others I find staunch deliverance in timelessness,
Still leaves whisper upon the branches of trees,
Fall is filled with beautiful contrast,
Love is the final air we all breathe.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 07/22/2004

Author's Comments:
I miss old times and love new times. Sometimes I wish I were more a part of them, others I realize I am.
Rainbow Of Hope:

The thin thread of light in the sky,
The painted wisp of God-word,
Contract of peace in one fashion,

When the triple rainbow of peace falls across a Northern sky,
I will rejoice in the futures now untouched,
In the rich silk of youth coming home,
In the fine glow of the stars that just exceeded black clouds.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 07/26/2004

Author's Comments:
I will rejoice when the last person standing has walked home.
Flowers In Dull Places:

A bloom in a window,
In a yellow brick wall,
In an alley seen only,
From the height of a parking ramp,
Hearts reach everywhere,
One piece of beauty that lights the definition of invisible,
Just look where you expect nothing wondrous to live.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 07/27/2004

Author's Comments:
Inspired by a real sight in the middle of nothing in real life.
Invasion Of Bones:

The breeze blows softly,
Flowing through open truck windows,
Carrying the sounds of parking lot denizens to my ear,
Home Depot breathes in the heart of the Burbian Blob,
With the setting of the sun imminent,
I stare at the steel bones digging into concrete laid over the Earth,
Metal frame studs reaching two stories,
A see-through cut-away precursor of more blocked sky,
Where the crops once grew,
Gone - verdant fields and slow time daisies,
Creeping steel bones and parking lots.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/03/2004

Author's Comments:
Incessant sprawl was driven home by my surroundings.
Digging A Spark Out Of Exhaustion:

They said it'd never be done,
It was too cold a place,
All frozen ground and ice chips and whatnot,
Red-eyed like a demon with tears streaming,
Mouth yawning open every five minutes,
Yanked by the anchor to fall into the sleepy sea,
Still my fingers flew on keys like a tattered sail fluttering in a gale,
Struggling - reaching - clawing for a bit of tack,
In a humble moment of utter faith,
The sun struck down through the clouds,
The muse flew back in from Saturn or wherever,
And !WHAM! there it was on the page,
A bit of profundity and dazzlement,
Lighting up the decks and scaring off the sharks,
The oil lamp lit and my head hammered pillow down.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/06/2004

Author's Comments:
Weeeeee'reee Baaaaack!
Stars After Sunset:

The cool breeze of the evening whispered from the left,
Grasses waving and tree leaves danced,
Birds flew and gold lined every cloud,
The sun was fallen below the building across the street,
Cigar smoke was swirling slow and easy,
The fading blue and orange West called to me,
Haunted by the twinkling lights overhead,
The first stars winking knowing another day gone,
Further and further from roots and nostalgic longing,
Closer and closer to whatever knowledge or wisdom,
Well something like that I suppose,
The music on the new CD full of beautiful angst,
The red cherry of my cigar glows,
Still I wonder what we really know,
Thankful the only lights and sounds,
Only music and grass rustles and glowing stars and clouds,
Underneath all our worlds we know it,
The sadness is borne each day in bloody blackened sand,
Search for hope or meaning whatever you will,
Should we hurry or hold slow a major dilemma,
Another day’s light is going out,
And I want to crawl slowly through the beautiful night,
Up into the far haunted twinkling bejeweled sky.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 08/07/2004

Author's Comments:
The politics of the day seem unwilling to leave the back of my mind. I want to see right and humane choices made, want the country I grew up loving to touch once more it’s kinder and hopeful soul. I feel like we’re all searching for that somehow, like we’re all lost in a nightmare with morning glowing just out of reach.
Bannana Freeze:

Hot sunshine on endless cornfields,
The sky free of haze and open blue,
The fearsome high dive,
First time swimming under without holding your nose,
Ripples of golden light on blue-painted concrete,
In the ear-ache deep end,
Sounds magnified clicking rocks on bottom,
Flying like Superman with mask and fins,
Holding your breath until desperate tingling,
Driving up with all you can muster,
Splash fights and cannon balls,
Hating the sounds of distant thunder,
Lifeguard whistles and numbered pin in your suit,
Lying on a damp towel and hot grey concrete,
Everything from Elvis to Beatles playing,
Tinny grey bullhorn speakers,
Finally-over fifteen minutes trying not to run,
No eating they say you'll cramp up,
Fifty cents for a day in Heaven,
Hop on your bike at hot evening,
Last ten cents gets you a cherry-dipped,
Frozen luscious bannana at the Tasty Freeze,
Just a tiny-town Nebraska swimming pool.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/07/2004

Author's Comments:
1970 Genoa, NE, population 1050.
King Of The Orange Track:

Fifty cars strong,
Two Slingshots,
Rubber band powered zoomers,
Two loop the loops,
A California Eight set,
Juice Machine and ten Sizzlers,
Twin side-by-side thirty foot runs of orange track,
The best Hot Wheel set in town,
The pinnacle of it all,
A purple 1968 Didge Charger RT,
Would run the whole circuit every time,
Never flew off,
Eight year old King of the Orange Track.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/07/2004

Author's Comments:
1970 Genoa, NE
One Black And White Step:

Third grade I remember,
Teacher said it was something special,
Something completely amazing,
Rolling a black and white TV out,
Front of the room on a metal cart,
Quick draw the shades so we can all see,
I heard the tinny voice live,
Tranquility Base it's one small step,
Followed by incredible bounds,
Eagle had landed on the Moon,
And in those moments everthing had changed,
In all our hearts hope sprang forth,
Earth was tiny and beautiful,
Too small to hold us,
We'd witnessed the fire three days back,
Burning away the infancy of Mankind,
We all grew up expecting to someday fly.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/07/2004

Author's Comments:
Winter 1969, Genoa, NE.
August At Four A.M.

Standing over the wall four stories up,
The gentle scent of cigar smoke slows me now,
Hot perked coffee sips on my tongue,
Looking down from the parking ramp where I stand,
Each pool of street light on the world below is a little universe,
I wonder if the man pacing by the bus stop knows he's famous,
Carrying his umbrella and wearing a back pack,
Staring down the street waiting for the one that will take him,
I watch the red LED signs at the EL stop scroll,
Illuminating no one in particular,
Occasionally someone strolls down the street,
What strikes me is none of them hurry at all,
Just an easy gentle walk every one of them takes,
The low lights of empty restaurants and offices,
Apartment windows like a million dark shining mirrors,
Delivery trucks stop by the newspaper machines,
Herald or Tribune or a fresh baked batch of help wanted ads,
Cars and cabs driving easy without any edge or push,
Trees sway over sidewalks ever so slightly,
As I watch another ghost flow up up up off my cigar in the quiet,
Thinking in poetry and believing that this is the real world,
I see the clock glowing down the street on the side of a building,
Looking like the only warm frozen object under heaven,
I reach decision time with reluctance,
As the bus rolls past with people sleeping,
Will it be one more puff or two,
Before I lay something gently glowing,
In the ash tray atop the garbage can,
Thankful I'm a creature of the night,
Free of the harsh world of five minute cigarettes,
High voltage coffee shop hustles and watching a watch,
I slide into the sunset truck,
Turn up NPR's gentle Jazz hour,
Listening to the thrum of an acoustic bass expertly strummed,
Thumping easy like the ocean a saxophone floats over,
Passing the river on the draw bridge,
I see the sheen of lights rippling off it like city stars,
Out onto the barely full interstate,
As NPR slides into gently romantic latino hour musica,
And the cruise home is soft and cool with the window cracked,
Ten miles an hour less and home twenty minutes faster,
Pulling into the drive with a soft blue glow in the East,
Venus brilliant high above the approaching dawn,
I close the door and ease out the poetry of the night,
A place where you can now go without fear,
Without urgency or drama or tears,
Kiss my barely awake wife in a space of comfortable love,
And leave the day to those in high gear,
As the pillow key eases my engine off.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/15/2004

Author's Comments:
There are some good things about working nights.
Mirror The Eyes:

In the space of sixty blinks another story flashed in,
Watching the Watchers was the hard and fast line,
Moment after moment filled with shadows of great import,
Would that it could be,
Poetry can make of no less reality the flood,
Your eyes wide open are all that stand,
Sooner break a leg than leave the booth unattended,
There's a call to duty in the push of a button,
The reason you're not walking laryngitis,
The flash of a silver handle flicker,
If you say it doesn't matter and walk,
Don't waste your bacon grease,
Considering you left your eggs in everyone else's basket,
Shut your mouth as everyone else feeds,
It doesn't matter it's an overflowing flood of ink on white,
If you don't sip and spit you forge your own chains.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/19/2004

Author's Comments:
Educate yourself as much as possible then vote.
Words are the mind's bridge - it's connection to all the universe.
Love is the heart's bridge - it's connection to all other souls.
A Walk On The Side Of The Hill:

Fourty five degrees is not something to sneeze at,
But this was only a gentle slope so no worry,
Grass underfoot and green interspersed with ancient stone,
The same grass crowds had sat millennia past,
Olympia was calling her own home,
The bodies glisten in the sun after 2,000 years and more,
The columns dinged and cracked and fallen,
The sea visible off in the distance and salt on the breeze,
The challengers were all hushed with awe,
This was the birthplace of Democracy,Of philosophy and more,
The place where heroes were granted stars up in Heaven,
A place where the strongest youth of all nations journeyed,
The Games are the oldest contiguous tradition,
Maybe, maybe - and then you realize the voting booth,
That and the debate circle are all equal in birthday count,
More or less a crown of olive wreath,
In this place and time where the only war of the moment,
Is an attempt to shatter conceptions of human limits,
In that spirit then let the games begin,
There in fair Olympia.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/20/2004

Author's Comments:
I find it utterly fitting that the Olympic games this year are being held back in Greece and at least some of them on the same field where ancient Olympians challenged the limits of human nature in so many brilliant ways. Take a pictorial tour: http://www.magicaljourneys.com/Olympia/olympia-interest-photos.html
Unfortunately, Literary Angels Publishing went out of business after only ten copies of On God's Doorstep were printed. I have now moved the book to a new publisher, Lulu Press at http://www.lulu.com/Daniel-Stafford . I have also released three other titles at the same publisher with more coming in the works. You can find a link to all four titles currently out in the right-hand column of this blog or you can visit the link in this post to see them. Such is the nature of Mejik - when one good thing leaves you many new good things return. I am stil on good terms with the former Chief Scribe of Literary Angels, often reading her poetry to my great enjoyment.