Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Plight Of The New World Witch:

One has to wonder at the stereotypes,
Green-nosed Halloween caricatures,
black hats and totally missed points.

Thum datta thum datta thum datta thum...

Maybe some ancient crone playing with black arts,
Maybe just a vicious tale,
Made to scare children abed.

Unmask the wicked ancient dreams...

When reality is blown free of October fog,
The magic is in the balance,
The dance of Love and Faith against Fear.

A clean clear wind whispers over the green hills...

There's a white light in the world today,
A gift from God and not an enemy,
Simple teachers of believing in Love.

Thum datta thum datta thum datta thum...

When the message is to have Faith,
Mountains will move,
When the message spreads Fear it sadly landslides.

Fear is only Faith that Evil will win...

Satan paints with Fear,
Rejoices in each soul bathed in that tool,
The exact opposite of Loving Faith.

Love is Faith that God wants us all to win...

God's own word teaches,
Faith is the source of what could be called magic,
Granted only through His universal Love.

Thum datta thum datta thum datta thum...

Faith blighted with Fear only illuminates pain,
Faith lighted with Love illuminates the way,
Have Faith we're all meant to be one in a new world.

Embrace Love each night and day.



By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/15/2004

Author's Comments;
It's there in His words - all one need do is look.
Broom Rider:

I've often wondered if it was a cackle of glee,
Or a twitch of black cat claw on the backside,.
That lifted the first broom off the cauldron lip.

Perhaps the long green stockings,
And whippy black cloak,
Just trappings to hide picking broom splinters,
Out of something "nether" or such.

What they don't show you in corn bristle assembly class,
Is how to wrap milkweed fiber over toad skins,
So you can cling to an upside down spinning yew spear,
After you blast up the chimney in a puff of soot and sparks,
Big screeching black tom spike hackled and all.

The big question of the day,
Corn strings or long straw,
Batwing leather or worn old scalps,
The best method of cleaning black wax off cracked skulls,
Which type of toadstool stew to use for broomsores,
Or the best angle from which to cross an ambered gibbous moon.

Just remember to tip the vampire valets,
After you finish landing in the pumpkin patch,
Never let them catch you out racing ghosts,
And make sure you have a solid supply of sandpaper,
Before you take off for any spell casting match,
Standing naked and green under the stars,
There in the pentagram of a Druid circle.

There's a reason Fall brings out slang like,
Cold as a witch's...well,
Considering the entry fee is getting kicked in the face by a unicorn,
Is it any wonder you'll eat only small things stewed?


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/15/2004

Author's Comments:
For some ghastly reason, I'm looking forward to Fall and Halloween.

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.
Loving words can work miracles.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

In The Burning Shadow Of Fallen Leaves:

It's another year gone and the leaves are piled,
Awaiting their day to smoke and burn into the sky,
The glistening blue of a sky grasping the frost of every breath in the world,
The flames only erase the most visible past,
The ash lies underneath - infiltrating the ground,
The building blocks and foundation for what new will come,
Is it a Spring of green you await,
Shall the harvest soon to come be forgotten?

See the shadow of leaf smoke long across the ground,
It's day is nigh and the stars of Summer are falling below the Earth,
Even as the Hunter rises in the sky once again,
Eternal with sword and bow twinkling in the night,
In the night that comes all manner of ghouls and flying things will rise,
Haunting the inner vision in annual respect of death's reaping,
In the time when each flower knows it's season was too short,
Must pass and fade and brown like last Summer's grass,
And when we breath in the smoke that shadows fallen leaves,
Watch the sparks leap up and licking orange flames,
The bare dead tree limbs and endless night question us,
Did you ever love enough in your short season?

Looking through the knot hole of a gourd,
It begs a question,

"When it comes to love,
What could possibly Oh Great Pumpkin,
What could possibly ever be enough?"


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/14/2004

Author's Comments:
I feel this every single Fall. Some more than others, but every one.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

On this day, September 11th, of all days:

Turn Away Cold Voices...

Close your ears,
Listen to the heartbeat of Earth,
Close your ears,
Feel the touch of love and all it's dear worth,
Close your ears and see clear and clean,
Close your heart,
To the siren of the war machine,
Turn away cold voices,
Leave heartache far away in the dark,
Turn away cold voices,
Forget to fan the spark,
Let not the liars tell you,
That death becomes them,
For no heart that beats,
Should by any man's hand end,
Turn away cold voices,
Cause not any river of tears,
Turn away cold voices,
Full of hatred, lies, and unjust fears,
Hold out your hand in kindness,
Together love this Earth,
Turn away cold voices,
And remember the measure of your worth.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 04/24/2002

The Thorn Of Crowns:

One doesn't need to be crucified to die on the inside,
Heavy responsibility is not always easy to bear,
Temptation can blind you at times,
And losing you objectivity can be worse than being blind.

The sepia tones of old photographs can't hold you at night.

Never forget those times you cried,
And how they came about,
Remember the times you smiled,
And what gave those smiles birth.

Everyone has those moments in greater or lesser degree.

Even if you are King of the World,
You can't eat diamonds and emeralds,
And fast cars and jets can carry away,
Just as easily as to.

You could be haunted even on yacht at sea under forever stars.

Think about it,
Will the world truly have been better for you having walked it,
Even just one little bit,
The sum answers of that question alone are set in stone.

The true bits of gold carried by men.

When power comes upon you,
And you've walked the the halls of rulers,
Lying with a rattle in your throat,
As the angels gather round you,

Was the life you wore torn useless by the Thorn of Crowns?


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 03/15/2004

Author's Comments:
I think most people will understand.

Return My Colors:

I saw them waving in the breeze,
Those threads and dyes of freedom,
Pursuit of life, of liberty, of happiness,
Red of courage,
White of purity,
Blue of truth,
They stand for freedom,
They do not belong,
Upon the collars of intolerance,
Upon the poles where heads hang,
In the circle of a lake of tears,
In the halls where our lives are pried open,
Like a clamshell overfed on statute pages.

I want my colors back.

I want those colors to bring tears,
Because they mean a home where one is soveriegn,
Upon the lands we've worked to earn,
Where spies are some dark shadows across oceans,
Or figments in story books,
And no one is disappeared without a trace,
Just upon the say-so of fear's hounds.

I want my colors back,
To wear with pride,
Because they represent a place of good hearts,
And live as you are.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/28/2003

Author's Comments:
Our rights and liberties are critical to the character and identity of this country. There is no place on Earth like this place was just two and a half years ago. I want that place back, and the colors that go with it.

Walking The Needle:

We all must face a darkness today,
As a world and as a nation,
For the man-made shadow cast yesterday,
And that just a cumulation of many all over the world,
And as our hearts are torn with rage and grief,
We must remember that we are moral beings,
And that wanton retaliation is no such thing as moral,
And we must remember that violence only breeds violence,
And insanity does not bring death to life,
For how many bombs have been thrown in truth by whom?

We all must face a darkness today,
As a person and as a human being,
For the manmade shadow we contemplate casting today,
And that just an addition to those all over the world,
And as our hearts are torn with rage and grief,
We must remember that we are moral beings,
And that much of what races in our minds is not,
For long after we extend our hands in violence,
We will remember that we were amoral beings,
And ultimately the cost is a ticker tape of blood spots,
And shadows upon more souls.

We all must face a darkness today,
And wonder how to bring back the Sun,
And in no way can I poor poet that I am,
Give out the definitive answer,
For I must face a darkness today,
Staring at the fires within my own heart,
And perhaps that is a good place for each of us to start.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/12/2001

By Candle Lit Tears:

You see a soft yellow glow everywhere now,
Millions of points of gentle light at night,
All over this vast land with a common heartbeat,
And the faces may change but not so the tears,
You will know if you look and see,
Down from up above where you are now,
Your gift is remembered well,
The one you didn't know you would give,
As you left for your work and errands on that fateful day,
But you will know it if you look,
Not by the words of angels or historians,
Though those may come your way,
No, you will know it if you look,
By the rivers of candle lit tears.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/17/2001

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.
Loving words can work miracles.

There will be no further posts today in remembrance of the people and cherished intangible treasures that were damaged on this day in 2001.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Fish Doctah Blues:

We've got fish flying 'round the room,
There in the downstairs powder parlor,
Inspired by a picture about dreams,
Something about most people and wealth,
And the writer walking backwards,
Between flying fish and speaking animals,
So we found the little wooden trout at the hobby shop,
Looking just like the ones in the picture,
And I gave them rainbow shimmer wings,
Flew them on the wall like some creator,
And they look at me with beady eyes,
Every time I'm in there,
Like "He made us fly but what's stapled on next"?

Got a wooden child with wings coming loose,
Need to pull out the tape and glue,
Put the imaginary magic back,
Before sad-eyed trout rainbows swim my dreams,
I much prefer scaly ripples of free flight imagination,
Guess it's practice for some future responsibility,
Or just the silliest poet heart,
But if you give fish wings,
It's no fun taking a chance on them splashing down.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/08/2004

Author's Comments:
Yes, we do have this surreal scene in the downstairs powder room, and
this piece is both figurative and real life at the same time.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

A Spin Around The Prairie:

I walked in the bright sunshine,
In the glad light of time alone with my wife,
In the calm of footstep after footstep,
A hawk backlit by the afternoon sun drifting,
Low over green milkweed pods and tawny dead Queen Anne's Lace,
Darting swallows around a dead tree,
The still green leaves along the river in low September sunlight,
Thinking of giant pumpkins to come,
Small yellow butterfly you flutter along with us,
Only to be followed by the regal orange-black monarchs,
The prairie flowers native to this land,
Some call them weeds the little tiny white daisies with yellow centers,
The brown of dead thistles with the occasional late blooming vivid pink,
I hold a cigar and coffee in hand strolling slowly,
And we speak of future past and present,
Hopes and dreams and wishes,
Filled lungs with the local slow breeze,
Soon enough we'll roll across the creek past weeping willows,
Burst free of the corn field into a world of concrete and brick,
Yet for the moment I feel close to the living Earth,
In synch and in time without looking once at my watch,
Feeling like a high thin white cloud over the field,
Embracing the Zen of a tree trunk that only grows in one place,
A child at play on the swings racing dandelion tufts,
Dancing on the wind in a place that deserves to live.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/07/2004

Author's Comments:
A slice of the afternoon - one I want to enshrine, to bottle up and take

Plainfield Live Poetry

I've just added a new link to our live poetry reading group in
Plainfield, Illinois in the right hand border column. Take a peek if
you're interested.


Labor Day Rain:

I kind of wonder if the edge of Frances is touching us here,
Thinking of far away friends scattered about the windy circle,
But here it's gentle rain and breezes blowing,
No hullabaloo in an unhurried morning,
Ducks on the pond and vast green view out the window,
Simply four Mallards paddling,
A little yellow tinge on leaves everywhere,
Yesterday's ride through the country as gold climbs down the soybeans,
I've thoughts of amber leaves and red and brown,
Of milkweed tufts burst free,
Of wandering the corn maze holding my wife's hand like children,
Of the passing of another year,
Amber moons with black cloud veils,
The occasional bat flying past,
Even in this season young hearts falling in love,
Caught in the hurricane of time,
Enjoying every rest of landing feet,
Yet for now the warm coffee calls me,
And Fall can wait another sleepy day.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/06/2004

Author's Comments:
Fleeting thoughts, a note from one of my nieces, a morning of reading
poems after a wonderful day and night.

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.
Loving words can work miracles.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The Ghost Bird Of Plainfield

It was something graceful,
The way the tree leaves streamed with the afternoon breeze,
The sharp slant of early afternoon sunshine,
Easy old music on the baby blue cream white and chrome radio,
Retro with dials and red hands and yellow numbers,
A wasp flew by and two butterflies,
Three flies and a swift flock of pigeons raced over the rooftops,
Grey and speckled white and seeming swift,
I looked to neighbor Ron's swaying red flowers and purple tall grasses,
It was then that I saw it unrecognized at first,
Hovering at first one red bloom then another then gone,
It took a moment to register,
Just three tiny inches with invisible wings,
In that flash of fleet beauty,
I had witnessed the appearance of the hummingbird.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/02/2004

Author's Comments:
Instant replay via poetry.

Under The Vision Tree:

In the soft fog of morning,
Rays of sunlight just peeking through,
A silence of the birds is reverent,
Under the vision tree.

The grass is green in the field yet,
Just beyond the branches drooping,
Eerie white clouds hug the ground,
Back-lit leaves appear black.

The old barn and farm house sit,
Silent and empty of all but shadows,
With the encroaching suburbs at my back,
I feel the ghosts of children who once laughed.

The park has become prairie again,
The boarded windows look over a barren silo,
Bare stone foundations like headstones,
Presiding over the reminiscence of past glory days.

How many children climbed those branches,
Full of imaginings in Summer heat,
Dreaming of grown up lives far and wide,
Or of the school year's end in Spring?

In the spine-tingling shadows,
I see hints of sunlight just breaking through,
The bees will awaken as morning warms,
Blooms will open to hummingbirds and rabbits.

Like the husk of last year's monarch,
Faded orange and dead black,
The laughter of children long faded to empty silence,
Perhaps echoed betwixt nursing home walls.

Still I can almost see horses,
An old grey tractor and fresh brown Earth,
Clothes pinned on a line and puppy tails wagging crazily,
Long lost music staring me down,

As I stare afar under the vision tree.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/03/2004

Author's Comments;
The park where I practice saxophone in the Summer was a farm once. Most of
it is still there, but not the people, nor the life. It is a haunting place.

Under The Turning Light Of The Moon:

The evening was fallen between clouds and stars,
Billowing black traipsed across the face of amber,
It was as familiar as bats flying on All Hallows Eve,
As the wind whispers departing secrets,
Soft syllables upon the just-turning leaves and grasses,
Milkweed pods full almost to bursting yet still green,
Brown tinge at the edge of Queen Anne's Lace,
Black birds are gathering upon the wires as the calendar comes to nine,
The breeze is warm in evening and cool after the witching hour,
Prairie flowers fading away to golden seeds,
The stars are changing and Summer is growing weary,
Yet for a time yet she will warm us still,
Watching as the corn leaves edge with yellow,
As the fruits begin to bear,
Squirrels hoarding and rabbits burrowing,
Sweaters and jackets checked for repair,
The passing of another season looms,
Beautifully bittersweet,
The only way left to greet it is like a child,
With wonder and wide open eyes,
And the feel of ghosts rising into foggy nights.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/03/2004

Author's Comments:
It seems we've hardly had Summer this year. There have been so many cool
days, rain and fifty degree days in August. Another year gone, another year
farther from Spring. I'm going to ride my bike for all I'm worth and just
try to remember.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

American Stones Face East:

Stones Face East...

...In the new museum of Native Americans in Washington,
This is true that there is reverence for the sunrise,
Yet another sun may be rising.

In the cool morning of golden rays Red and White touch the Earth together.

In Tibet the ancient religion of Bon,
Belief that there was undying spirit in all things,
Animals and winds and the very stones of the Earth.

In the Time of Ice men crossed the world hunting.

Somehow the Manitou walked across water while changing names,
And where is the surprise in this,
For Spirit is beyond our limits and small understanding.

Man can not create so much as a leaf without a living seed.

God is a complexity we can scarcely understand,
The strange mirror of East and West yields reflections to careful patience,
Tibetan ancestors would know the soul of Native America.

In the distant mists of time we all have a Source.

In the march of time,
Buddhists walked East,
Christians walked West.

Bloody footprints must be washed from this Earth.

Many spirits flew beyond Mother Earth,
In these tangles of early Spirit and complex God,
Borne of misinterpreting intolerant followers.

Only love can heal ancient pain.

In the ages to come there is another mirror,
Perhaps West and East can see each other,
For in Tibet and Washington mergers play out.

It is long past due we learned to become one again.

It is long past time for reconciliation,
For the long painful birth,
For the best of ancient and modern to merge.

We must no longer be children as we step out of the cradle.

In both lands those of ancient wisdom still stand,
While hordes of younger ideas swarm,
Youth and wisdom both lose in separation.

The stars are twinkling above and the sky is all one vast lonely place.

There is much for Youth to learn,
Yet Age is not all there is to wisdom,
Where do the generations finally meet?

The seasons go on and we have much to lose as leaves bury the path behind

How can we ever heal and become one?
How long will there be two sides to the mirror?
The best of each place and time is there in the dichotomy of silvered glass.

In the Autumn the Earth is bearing fruit yet we must plant seeds for a new

The evil Manitou Spirit Devil laughs as he melts more sand -

How long will we be grains within his intolerant fires?


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/01/2004

Author's Comments:
There are interesting similarities between China's relationship to Tibet and
the United States relationship with Native American Nations. In both cases
both the younger and older cultures would stand to gain much if they could
find a way to take the best of both cultures and blend them into a new world
that was good for both. In the larger picture, the same is true of East and
West. In the microcosm or macrocosm each is diminished without co-existence
with the other. Native Americans and native Tibetans in their own ways bring
a spritual value to reverence of and stewardship of the Earth and nature. I
feel that impact in the environmental movement in the Western hemisphere,
and I wonder if it is not present in the East. This is but one example - if
we took the time, I would imagine there are many more subtleties that could
be of great value to the world as a whole, yet the fear of change tinges
everything. A question: if God created everything, is it wrong to think that
everything is imbued with a bit of His undying Spirit? Another: Could not
His name have been heard differently in the aftermath of Babel around the
world? It's always been we humans who misunderstand Him. I wonder if there
aren't fractions of truth and misunderstanding all about this world. Two web
links help to illustrate:
and .