Saturday, October 31, 2020

Broom Rider...


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford9/15/2004 3:10:59 AM
9/17/2020 11:52:19 PM

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 set out 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

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford9/15/2004 3:10:59 AM
9/17/2020 11:52:19 PM
Daniel A.

Candlejack's Night...


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford10/7/2004 5:16:33 AM
9/26/2020 11:32:59 PM

Candlejack's Night...

It was deep in a moonlit night,
Amber was writ large in Luna's face on the horizon,
Even as she danced in and out of a veil of thin black cloud,
Frost was gilded like white on grass and stone,
Deep in the woods even the magical Little People stayed far from,
The occasional star peeping through the night,
Peering down through shadows upon a long cold trail,
Overgrown nearly with ripping brambles,
Flush in the rustling of flaming October leaves,
If it were daylight you'd see the red,
Now just a black cowbell of announcement for lost feet.

She wandered between groping black oaks,
Wicked buckthorn dressed in black cloaked night tearing the sky,
Stones now began lining the sides of the path,
A soft green glow tracing the lines of ancient characters upon them,
A language she didn't know at all,
But the path was clear now,
Even cobwebs had fled the darkness of this place,
And in the eerie glow of Stonerune light,
She could feel every drop of crimson pulse in her veins,
Every beat within her shivering chest was amplified,
Spine chills and hackle-raising tingle flames on the back of her neck,
Yet she couldn't bear going back into the woods,
Hearing the rustling of some creature back at the first stones,
Pawing and huffing and a mournful howl thrown into the long night,
Resigned she stumbled on and on.

Set now upon smaller stone pedestals that danced the sides of a monolithic valley,
Giant pumpkins with glowing red candle faces carved in them,
Pools of softly glowing light illuminated leaves fallen from the heights,
The only thought of life and bounty to drift into this bleak place,
Save her and her wayward lost feet that wouldn't stop cold,
Something daylight's more rational tone might have stressed,
Far more so when the first pile of small creature bones appeared,
There in the candles' puddle of orange-yellow glow,
Feet that carried her unasked,
As each candle stand claimed it's own bony pool.

Wide eyes and silent scream the Candlejack leapt out of the dark,
Towering stick body supporting a huge pumpkin head,
Vile purple glow in the carved-looking eyes,
The curl of bony fingers danced snakes across her soft throat,
She whimpered as her bones shrank back,
Her mind was beyond stopped,
Another spirit soared the sky as Candlejack,
Screamed and something lifeless fell,
There at the base of the pumpkin stand,
Harvest of another Fall and victim of her own fear,
For Candlejack's cold rest was again undisturbed,
The silent tomb was brushed with one more falling drifting leaf.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 10/07/2004

Author's Comments

Inspired by the season.

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford10/7/2004 5:16:33 AM
9/26/2020 11:32:59 PM
Daniel A.

Dark Night Of The Pumpkin Gnarls...


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford10/28/2008 3:47:13 AM
9/24/2020 5:17:39 AM

Dark Night Of The Pumpkin Gnarls...

The King of Frost comes,
King Jack The Crystal Whisperer,
Blowing in on the night wind howling,
He rounds the corners of your house,
Stealing mercury from thermometers,
All the better for the crazy webs he weaves.

His armies steal the heat from everything,
Setting Summer to sleep,
Mimicking the twinkling cold lights in the sky,
He whites the grasses and leaves,
Ghostly for your awakening,
Leaving his stealth army waiting.

The Pumpkin Gnarls sit on sidewalks and porches,
Orange with green warrior's top knots,
Awaiting their birth in pain of the carvers' knives,
Dreaming of seedy earth and loam,
Seeping waters and worms and bees,
Frozen or tucked away tight from Crystal Jack's thieving reach.

Faces come alive as they spill their guts,
Spend their seeds in roasting ovens,
Fearing the threat of Bakers' pies,
They await their lighted fate.

Bats and spooks are their companions,
Witches cackle and howl,
With tea lights and candles the Gnarls live their brutal short lives,
Waiting for the darkening night winds,
When the lights flicker out that night beware,
For the Gnarls rise.

Filled with the darkened souls of a century of dead Lanterns,
The Pumpkin Gnarls twitch and twitter when the candles die,
Rising as fearsome Pumpkin Jacks to stalk the candied frozen night.

Frozen vine claws clench,
Become legs that skitter and skooch,
They search for anything living,
To taste their bright warm eyes,
Soul-stealers and flesh-slashers,
In a day or two they melt away,
In the rotted death of their wicked ways.

Keep clear your face from the Jack O' Lanterns,
Lest their light flicker out,
They see you then on All Hallows Eve,
A tasty treat all gore and warmth,
Waiting to scream out steaming last breaths,
All for the plucking of eyes,
Green and brown and blue and grey,
You see them then they see YOU.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 10/27/2008

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford10/28/2008 3:47:13 AM
9/24/2020 5:17:39 AM
Daniel A.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Floating Away

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/25/2000 9:29:40 PM
9/17/2020 7:34:02 AM

Floating Away

As I lay upon the beach, staring into the setting sun,
And warm breezes waft over me, as the day is gently done,
And the rhythm of the gently washing waves,
Reaching up to tickle my toes with soft fingers of blue-white foam,

I dream of a place far away.

The kindling of a camp fire, lit upon the golden sands,
Snapping and crackling, a time without demands.
I hear the voices of seagulls, crying over head,
And see the paint brush of our Lord, in a sky of golden red.

My mind drifts like a bird free of fetters.

Tiny puffs of gold lined clouds decked in shades of glowing orange,
and the sight of Venus, the first of wanderers and hope of lovers,
First speck upon the twilight sky, twinkling bright point of light,
Frames magic soon to grace the night.

I see your smiling form dancing over the waves.

So as the sun reaches down, to meet Poseidon's domain,
And says a watery good night to us, in the waves washing refrain,
And the sparkles of the stars, jewels of the night,
Begin their dancing fair, yes do grace our sight.

Can you hear the call of the flame?

Washing out colors, the moon rise full and bright,
Reflected from a calmer sea, now flat as glass to sight,
And the soft glow of the Milky Way, seeps gloriously across the sky,
I'll thank you kindly to drift with me, as I let magic fly.

A candle flickering in the salty breeze.

I'll dream of tiny Pegasus, fitting in the palm of my hand,
and laughing faerie goddesses, barely three inches they stand.
And as they flit away, rings of light shooting 'round my head,
They laugh in a merrily tinkling way, tiny peals and happy words said.

A pretty dream to grace our minds.

A mermaid swimming gracefully, down the river of moonlight upon the sea,
And a laughing leprechaun, free of rainbow duty, laughing jig I see.
Soon the candle will fade, just the campfire left,
But a lightness of spirit lingers, and refuses to increase it's heft.

Smile as you float away to the land of dreams.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 06/25/2000

Author's Comments

A party on the beach? let's grace it with imagination. What's life without a moment of magic, sprung from the middle twilight?

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/25/2000 9:29:40 PM
9/17/2020 7:34:02 AM
Daniel A.

Total Comments: 3


Janine Danielspinnys@hotmail.comwww.spinnys.com6/25/2000 11:27:12 PM
Dan, I was sitting here reading this poem and saying (out loud)! This poem is SO beautiful! You're talking about so many things that I love. WOW! You're good. I wish I could write them like you...*S*
Daniel A. Staffordaqmstaffo@mailbag.com6/26/2000 11:13:48 AM
Janine, I have a little secret to tell you. Your work I was reading brought this inspiration my way. Your work is so gracefully done that I could see no need of you to write like me, but would rather you write like you. I am very glad to see your poetry here near mine, it's like two friends dancing with words from across opposite ends of the Earth and laughing a merry jig. If you wrote your poems just like I write mine, or I just like you, it would be like a dancer with a mirror, nor half so fun. So please, just keep writing like you. You do a beautiful job of it, I'll have you know! Now I must be read some more!
Claudklugecc7/19/2000 10:47:04 PM

It occurred to me that as poets we tend to be somewhat self-centered at times and thereby miss a lot of good things that others have to offer. I, therefore, have undertaken to read and comment on all the poems posted on the 50 most veiwed and 50 most recent catagories. I can find some good in the poorest of poetry and something to critisize in the best of poetry. The project may take some time but the fact that you are reading this should indicate that I've read this piece and enjoyed, at least, some if not all of what you ‘ve written. I'll leave the judging to the experts. It.s enough for me to know the you cared enough to share your work with us all. I would also encourage you all to share your thoughts with me and all the others that have contributed to this website.

Just remember:




The Ocean of Hearts


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/24/2000 4:15:35 AM
10/2/2020 7:40:35 AM

The Ocean of Hearts

This is the essence of our existence in many ways. Our choices reflect down time like ripples in a
pond and take a long time to fade. If one could see a line of time as a flat surface, it would look like
a pond in a rainstorm with all the effects choices have causing waves and patterns all across the
surface. However, instead of just horizontally across the surface, it would be like a sphere of waves
spreading out in every direction and fading gradually over vast distances down the dimension of time.

Think you of a great, endless ocean, soft blue, with our actions the silvery crystal of a spreading
bubble that expands and mingles in with the bubbles caused by other souls as they make their way
through the great ocean. As the bubbles interreact with one another, they create rythms and
waveforms and patterns that affect the qualities of our surroundings, with tumultuous tempests and
gentle rockings at various times.

If I were to make someone happy today, and that person was on the verge of a choice whether or
not to turn in one direction, and my effect on them changed the direction they chose, the
remainder of their life and every life they touch is colored in the hue of that single moment in time....

It is so worth the time it takes in consideration to attempt to make the dimensions of life around us
ripple in the direction of happiness....and when that wave washes over the shore and returns back in
our direction, as in some small way or huge wash of change it must, and just perhaps our own
journey should be moved in a more kindly fashion.

In my mind's eye, I see kindness and cruelty as opposing frequencies of waves in the ebb and flow
of life. Sow kindness, and it will reverberate and grow more kindness. Sow cruelty and it will also
feed upon reverberation. Hopefully, more souls will choose kindness, and such waves will take
precedence in the ocean of hearts our world contains.

And now I shall rest my typing fingers.....and move on to poetry in my fashion. Hoping.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 06/24/2000

Author's Comments

This poem was a bubble expanded by the wave below, Daniel's well spoken quote on the power of choice in our lives. I thank you, sir, for your gift of inspiration. Often I find others spark my muse in ways I could not foresee. You could say you have caused a ripple in the great ocean in choosing your quote.

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/24/2000 4:15:35 AM
10/2/2020 7:40:35 AM
Daniel A.

Wandering Mage


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/22/2000 4:12:42 AM
10/19/2020 12:21:43 AM

Wandering Mage

He works his magic in the quiet of the night,
The light of a modern crystal ball illuminates his sight.
The world he roams, in spells of crafted imagination and dreams.
When daylight comes, his heart carries more than from looking it might

There is a universe crafted inside his mind's eye.

He crafts his spells with utmost care,
Hoping his light shall shine forth, oh, brightly and fair.
Transported on electric winds, a creation of the Midnight Mage,
Spells of beauty and power to last beyond an age.

Waiting to be set free in verse.

With love of all within his heart,
He finds a way to make a grander start,
To shining his lighted verse upon the world.
Heart, soul, mind, spirit, called forth and hurled,

At the wall of time, yea that depth of forgetfulness.

Hoping to let all he loves and dreams live beyond him,
He chooses his components with a care but keeps them trim.
Tiny glimpses cast in words, secrets you can trace,
To the fact that plagues us all, death eventually wins the race.

The gift of magic in poetry and literature is all that it leaves.

Shining keys, gleaming screen, a light shining in eyes,
Carefully crafted spells of words, care that never dies.
So if you care read him well,
For of glory and love and golden times he casts the spell,

Of ever lasting sighs.

Candle, crystal, heart, stars, center of the night.
I pray that I can gift my love, and cast my spell just right.
Peace and joy, dreams and visions are my gifts,
And from a Wandering Mage, imagination drifts,

Shows all in timeless light.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 06/22/2000

Author's Comments

It is my fondest wish, to gift my readers with a vision of what I write, to take them to pleasing vistas beyond the ordinary every day world. I pray I can cast such a spell and let it drift on electronic winds through time. The wish of the poet from all ages.

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/22/2000 4:12:42 AM
10/19/2020 12:21:43 AM
Daniel A.

Total Comments: 1


Janine Danielspinnys@hotmail.comwww.spinnys.com6/22/2000 9:45:40 PM
Dan, I feel so proud to be the first one to comment on this poem. I really feel like I can identify with what you're saying and I'd like to add that way back then, in the "freaky forum frenzy" of our youth (haha), I'm going to tell you something you never knew before. When everything was going crazy and someone (or more than one) person was  trying to spoil our fun and make a mockery of us all, you would come along and smooth everything out with your beautiful and wise
words and then everything was alright again for awhile.

Without telling you this I felt like you were the magic wizard or wise sage who had the gift of putting his words down in such a way (but not with these actual words obvious to an idiot) .... you said, hey you immature brats, stop your bickering and listen up! Because if you don't wisen up you will never understand that the written word, such as  you bash it into your computers, is imortalised this how you want to be remembered forever more? Haha... ok, now I'm being tongue in cheek here, (another expression) but what I'm trying to say in too many words is, it was  you who taught me to be more honest with my feelings and be aware of just what and how much I was or wasn't saying when I published something, even if it was only a crummy public forum place!

It didn't keep me from completely staying out of trouble but at least I became aware why? 

Thank-you for writing these words and putting into print something which I thought I knew all along .... :o)

Bye for now, Janine.

The Silence Of Hot Air


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/21/2000 12:41:36 PM
9/29/2020 3:17:20 PM

The Silence Of Hot Air

Sunlight, dancing in the tree leaves,
playing hide and seek with puffy little white clouds.
Warmth, the freshest breath of spring breeze,
Green grass to tickle young toes.

A Sunday drive, windows open, countryside alive with green.
The cattle in pastures fair, rustic farms and windmills twirling in
Winding creeks and winding roads, a weekend June delight.
Redwing Blackbird darts on past, an arrow in the air.

Butterflies at the field, where the flowers grow.
Upon the ground before me, colored cloth so bright.
The basket of wicker there, the source of my delight.
The whooshing of hot air, filling luminous colored cloth up tight.

Stout ropes do hold us now, tethered to the ground.
Into the basket like an oversized picnic, a wonderful sight!
Overhead the balloon is full, painted rainbow on blue.
Released tethers snap loose, rushing roar of the burner sounds true.

A gentle rise into the azure sky,
And looking down the people are, tiny in my eye.
Towering white clouds claim the distance,
Lost in turquoise haze.

Right past your eyes the hawk soars by,
Never did he expect to see us fly!
Binoculars increase our gaze, upon the spread out world.
A toast with champagne, the blue sky totally unfurled.

The quiet here is beyond belief,
But maybe now that I float here in heaven,
'Tis to my great relief.
And with this thought I leave you now,

Dance timelessly, slowly, gracefully, partner to the wind.
Smile, you're on top of the world,
living in the realm of sunshine and eagles.
Yes the silence of hot air, and distant seagulls.

Serenity and peace.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 06/21/2000

Author's Comments

My imagination takes me to lovely places. Care to join me for a dream?

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/21/2000 12:41:36 PM
9/29/2020 3:17:20 PM
Daniel A.



AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/20/2000 5:27:50 AM
9/6/2020 10:32:48 AM


Heat, walking down the tarmac strip.
Helmet, hard in my hands.
Sunlight, glares off cockpit windshields.
Flight suit, tight, hot, green.

I'm shaking but proud, it's what I do.

Ladder, climb up and mount my steed.
Instruments, eyes of my iron dragon eagle.
Crew chief, signs me thumbs up, let's roll.
Flight line, rolls by bandaged with rubber marks, white lines.

I'm closing myself into a new world that moves.

Runway, up ahead, waiting for my turn.
Throttle, an open invitation to speed.
Joystick, reins on the dragon, signals for his teeth.
Navcomm, spouting magic commands of release permissions.

I've lined up to take my part in the stand.

Orders, barked from a tinny speaker pushing me off.
Engines, tongues of flame and roaring whine of the iron beast.
G-force, buries me in the seat, pinned to the dragon's saddle.
Blue sky, open wide, my soon to be domain.

Leaping upward, I join the fray.

Clouds, racing by in moments.
Ground, so small and yet so large below.
Wingman, without him I'd dare not go.
Beauty, for a few moments shows.

Incredibly sunny above the clouds.

Miles, eaten by the thirsty beast.
Enemy, radar says two at least.
Fear, iron in my gut, heart racing.
Adrenaline, pushing me on high.

Moments fly by like lightning up here.

Fire, show teeth of the dragon, fangs bared in defense of my world.
Alarm, howling in my ear, time to drop and dodge.
Reflexes, never fast enough, racing to gain height.
Afterburners, get me clean away, safety so far.

My dragon races for our lives, and those we defend.

Going supersonic, praying to fly home.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 06/20/2000

Author's Comments

Placing myself in a seat I never sat, imagined most of my life, can understand somehow instinctively. I used to dream of flying fighter jets when I was little. I didn't get to. I learned later what that really meant.

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/20/2000 5:27:50 AM
9/6/2020 10:32:48 AM
Daniel A.

Fireflies' Union


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/19/2000 12:32:59 AM
9/12/2020 12:05:11 PM

Fireflies' Union

There is a place, gracing the edge of a lake.
A strange part of history, it does partake.
A romantic place found in my mind.
A gentle place, with memories kind.

The Union Terrace, at the edge of the lake.

Madison is quite a liberal town.
Walking down state, all types can be found.
Gothic, punk, hippie, yuppie and more.
Every culture, tiny shops and stores.

Blues music from the gazebo.

No cars do there they allow,
Busses and bikes, or on foot, that's how.
And when you get down to the end,
Enter the great university grounds with your friends.

Party lights, hanging from poles, decking the boats.

Cross past the library, beyond the park, other side of the fountain.
An old building there, really quite grand, and the memories tall as amountain.
A terrace on the lake in the back, there in Capitol City, on track.
A beer party place, outdoor bar, music and you, I'd love to be back.

Sunsets over the water.

If you possess, a student I.D., you can be there laughing with me.
Old trees reposed in state, fireflies and music, until way late.
I tend to forget how time flies, I'm too busy looking into your eyes.
Rocking with the sail boats and band, darkness comes as I take your

Your eyes reflect the lights, so does the water.

The moon is full, hanging low, it sits across the lake with a silvery glow.
Flowers in planters now black and white, but you are there, to color my night.
Sweetness and love fill the air, as I hold you with no worries or cares.

The fireflies dance in the air, magic fills my heart.

Fireflies Union, summer, me, evenings and you.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 06/19/2000

Author's Comments

Madison, Wisconsin. State Street. The University Campus. The Student Union Terrace,
The night, the lake, the music, the romance. Unforgettable. A fantasy, mixed with memories,
Hopes for the future, someday. The setting is lovely....I want to share it with my Lady.

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/19/2000 12:32:59 AM
9/12/2020 12:05:11 PM
Daniel A.

Channahon Ride


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/18/2000 11:23:16 PM
9/25/2020 6:42:27 PM

Channahon Ride

Awaken, oh, on a Sunday morn, yawn, stretch, peek out at the newly risen sun.
Stumble down the stairs to my own kitchen cafe, open the white blinds.
Look through the slats at the ripples on the pond, turn around.
Look out the blinds at the patio, making coffee and stretch, flowers in their pot.
Green grass, deeper than emerald. The wading white heron turns and looks me in the eye.

Natural grace, pure beauty.

Sitting on the couch, sipping, my Sweetheart and I, sitting in robes and greeting a new day.
Planning how to take our Sacred Sunday, where to go, what tiny piece of the world to know.
Fathers' day dinner, eaten as lunch, we speak, architecture, history, interests shared.
Gifts are given, a enjoyably nice affair, dumpling soup, roast duck, happy days.

Bridges between generations still stand.

Back home, changing into jeans, loading pedal power in the car within the hour.
It's time, for the Channahon Ride. I'm truly awaiting, happy inside.
Off we go, through our little town, pretty lawns, flowers all around, community pride.
Hit the highway, twenty minutes in store, passes in a flash, my love and I talking a bit more.

Channahon bound, as the world speeds round.

Sunshine abounding, four wheels pounding, prairie grass along the road, prairie flowers grow.
Pull into the trail head at Channahon, smell of the water, rushing water over the dam.
People canoeing, little kids in floats, fishermen watching, trees in their full summer coats.
Put the bikes together, shadows and sun, peering fingers of light through the green tree leaves.

Red, pink and white prairie flower blooms, sitting in the sunshine.

Hop on the bikes, hit the trail, see the lock-house, old lock number eight, still standing.
Ride across the bridge out in the sun, couples everywhere, sharing our kind of fun.
Ride down the trail past wading cows, green old farms, pretty as pictures, across the canal.
See a three foot gray heron wading at the far edge of the canal, takes, flies across the causeway.

Twenty feet from our faces, the gray heron glides.

Shadows and sunlight dance on the trail, breezes through tree leaves prevail.
The sounds of birds singing in my ears, rhythms of sunlight dancing on the canal to my right.
The sounds of the river on my left, lapping waves, roaring bass of the motor boats.
The old I & M seems timeless, history for sure, but the serenity we share is something more.

Priceless, love and togetherness, home with nature.

Across the trail, another heron, wading in the shadows. Still life watching us ride by.
At the far edge of the river, the white heron wades, watching, and the tan doe shares his pool.
Twenty feet apart, the deer and the bird, beautiful, I'm breathless, watching with my love.
Through the trees as we ride, we spy these little magic moments of glory.

Six hawks are circling, landing in a dead white birch, across the river.

We ride a little further, down the trail, red squirrel runs, up the old oak tree.
I'm riding in front, then behind, but the ride is best, right by her side.
Chipmunk, he peeks and runs, little tyke come to join the fun. He lives every day on the trail.
A woodchuck swims the canal, leaves a wake, but he's enjoying summer, no mistake.

Two butterflies fluttering together at the rivers edge.

At the far end, of the Channahon Ride, we stop, there at the tiny point, sit on the bench.
Softly we speak, of life and us. The butterflies are dancing in the air and sunlight, shadows.
Standing on the mound we see the snake. All must share the sun here.
The pontoon boat slowly crawls down the river, a ruby red speedboat flies by.
Greeting others, brief "Hi", "Hello", passing on the ride. Returning, the green of the marsh.

Cattails grow there, you know?

Returning, the marshes, the trees, the tiniest yellow, white or purple and blue flowers,
Peeking through the greenery of every type. We greet the staring heron, dressed in gray,
And see his gray brother, a few feet further, just down the way. Retracing the Channahon Ride.
Back the way we came, trying to beat the setting sun, again the white heron, and wading doe.

Peaceful, timeless, living the Channahon Ride.

Stop at the dam, a man with pictures to take, white heron standing on a branch, watching.
People fishing, young and old, a couple on a double bike, sun of gold.
As we pass along across the bridge, a few moments more, stolen from time.
The little houses, a dreamy wistful pretty yard, front door opens to the trail.

Peaceful settings abound.

Rushing water through the sluice gates, shimmering, frothing white, wooden railings.
They line the path down the timeless line, ancient concrete and rusting steel,
The dimensions here have historical appeal, and the prairie flowers scent is sweet,
Mixed scent of river, as it forever runs, sun rain or snow, a never-ending race.

A free enjoyment, nature found.

Stopping tired, on the way home, strawberry sundae, vanilla cone.
Sunshine fading, just beat the sun. We arrive, and the bikes return home into the garage.
Outside now, one very long last look, at the pretty sunset, from a picture book.
Robins' egg blue, to fine to be true, wistful clouds, golden lined orange and white fleece,
Fading to red, purple, indigo, the further east your eye should go.

Pink shades on the pond through the blinds.

The white heron, and his brother gray, wading the pond while I look the other way.
And as I turn, they catch my eye, into the dying sun, the twain gracefully fly.
This is our day, my love and I. A special day, frozen in time with words.
And now, through talents given by our Lord, I give you all, the Channahon Ride.

And fade with the evening sun, flying away with the heron.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 06/18/2000

Author's Comments

This was how Lady Saren and I spent our day. Every piece is fact. Sometimes reality can be more beautiful than the grandest fictions. Dreams are necessary, but reality we live in. I pray that we ride the Channahon Ride many more times in this life. It heals our souls. And for those who wonder, the pronunciation is like "Shan-a-han". Beautiful? In my eyes!

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/18/2000 11:23:16 PM
9/25/2020 6:42:27 PM
Daniel A.

Total Comments: 2


Daniel A. Staffordaqmstaffo@mailbag.com6/21/2000 9:25:51 PM
I missed a point. This was Fathers' Day 2000.

Janine Danielspinnys@hotmail.comhttp://www.spinnys.com6/22/2000 9:09:15 PM
Hi Dan, thanks for inviting me to read your poetry.

I started reading from the top of course, so I didn't see your comment that this was all fact until I finished reading it, yet all the way through I kept thinking, this is so real ... I feel like I'm seeing it like a movie in my head as I read. I felt like I was  experiencing it as if I was there. Your descriptions of everything were so graphic that I could see the Heron and smell the flowers, catch the flash of the colored butterfly and hear the waters lapping on the bank. I could feel the breeze blowing through my hair and best of all I felt like you were letting me in on a very private and secret moment which you were only telling  me...:o)

I was living the emotions as you felt them. 

I loved how you tied it all together with the Heron... which seems so insignificant yet I wonder if the Heron isn't the link which made it all the more real to the reader... I mean, so innocent yet so... "right there" and demanding not to be over-looked.

I love this poem. I hope I haven't written too much but I've never done this before so I don't know the right way to do it. I've just written  to you what I felt. I hope that's all right?

Bye for now, Janine.

The Detective Instinct


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/18/2000 2:09:11 AM
10/30/2020 6:35:12 PM

The Detective Instinct

There's a nosy nose hangin' on my face.
I can't quite wait to retrace,
The times that once lived in grace.

Obscurity hides things from view,
Tiny fascinations not many knew,
Large details consistently let slide,
I'll find them out and do it with pride.

The foundations were quite a stir,
A controversial story, I tell you sir!
Only the old ones know how deep they run,
But digging them up is really quite fun!

Helpful people see the curiousity,
With a pointer or two, I just might see.
If I can find the truth I'll bring it to light,
But another little piece fell into place tonight.

Truth be told, it's a fascinating tail,
But I have to wonder why no one's hot on it's trail.
The elegant gentlemen designed it right,
But while they were building it, they caused quite a fright!

The story is cold, long covered in dust,
Or maybe ashes left from when the O'Leary cow did the bust.
Rising from the ashes like a Phoenix unknown,
Overshadowed by the ring where the hats were thrown.

I tell you, if there are pieces left, I'll find them yet,
And I'll write a story someday I bet.
Just wait!
I have a legend to create!


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 06/18/2000

Author's Comments

I just located a story that confirms the Tribune was located at 7 South Dearborn. The original Tribune Building burned in the fire....and everyone had thought it was fireproof if anything was. It wasn't. There's a picture of the burned out hulk at the corner of Dearborn & Madison. It went up in flames in 1871. I wonder what was there before Holabird & Roche built the building I'm
researching? There's a thirty year gap, 1871 to 1902. And there's a lot of reference books to dig through.....*Grin* A mystery indeed. The Tribune had a contest to design the Tribune Tower in 1922...and that building certainly overshadowed the places the great newspaper lived before it. 95% of what I've found so far begins and ends with the tower & the famous contest. Holabird & Roche had an entry...but I don't think it won. I guess I'll have to keep reading.

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/18/2000 2:09:11 AM
10/30/2020 6:35:12 PM
Daniel A.



AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/17/2000 12:49:58 PM
9/13/2020 3:09:12 PM


I believe in you.
I will see you through.
I need you too.
I want to be with you.

Lord, you are so fine,
Always there on my mind.
I want to see you tonight.
I want to hold you tight.

I love you.
You know it's true.
Think that I would die,
If I ever made you cry.

I'll take you by the hand,
I'll always be your lovin' man.
I've got to make you understand,
I'm your biggest fan.

Will you please marry me?
Oh, how happy we will be!
I want to love you endlessly,
For the whole world to see.

We'll live a life of love,
A precious gift from above,
And like the peace of a dove,
We'll fly away.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 06/17/2000

Author's Comments

This is dedicated to the Lady Saren. She is the one who has made me whole again.

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/17/2000 12:49:58 PM
9/13/2020 3:09:12 PM
Daniel A.

Fading Treasures


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/17/2000 12:51:28 AM
9/24/2020 9:01:49 AM

Fading Treasures

Thousands of miles of decaying film memories told to a few generations, then allowed to waste.
Golden dreams that barely will exist. Articles in basement vaults, rotting away gave us a taste,
Saving our memory as a nation, people as fast as we can race, make haste!

Precious times fading away into the mists.

Losing our minds one slip at a time, little tiny pieces forever gone with each death.
No need to forget, not like before, we could live forever, we could restore,
The golden times which we have lived, the elegance, heartaches, loves sweet baby breath.
How can we let things go so far that were so near to our hearts, that which deserves so much more?

The very thought makes me clench my fists.

We're dying as our memories and history fade, slowly away.
If we only tried, we'd be here forever to stay,
Remembered, recorded, in exquisite detail.
The very first people not to fade beyond the pale.

The lessons we've learned should not go to naught!

Beauty, oh beauty, irrevocably lost! Who could imagine life without memory?
Bogart, Monroe, Dean, and more, please, oh please hurry, digitally restore!
Could we lose Elvis to the blight, of aging media?
Look at how deeply we must dig, to remember the anchients of yore.

They're mostly just legends now.

It doesn' have to be. We do not have to fade away into the cold mists of time.
WE are the first, with a chance to climb, the mountains of distance through dimension four.
We can be remembered, and our time retain it's beauty and glory, if we but have the will.
Is living with everything disposable to make our very memories so?

Do you not care, that you'll be vanished, not fair?

Why do we suffer fading treasures?
The truly rich being is the one who is remembered, and passes something on.
Let the future know us, who we were. Ours is such a lovely time in many ways.
Golden dreams and fading treasures in temporal graves,
They do not belong buried! They do not belong lost!

Save our times, it's well worth the cost!


By: Daniel A. Stafford

(C) 06/17/2020

Author's Comments

Day by day, hour by hour, we are losing our memories. Films rotting in vaults, newspapers turning to faded scraps of acidic waste. Where can you find a drive in movie now? We are the first group of generations that has a chance to pass on the vivid and clear memory of who we are, how fair our time was and is, the lessons we learned, the dreams we shared, and the richest heritage of culture ever amassed in recorded media. We desperately need to get our times recorded in digital format....CD's last for hundreds of years. Newspaper and film vanish in just a few. We have lost far too much already. The thought haunts me. Such a terrible shame, that we let our real treasures fade away.

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/17/2000 12:51:28 AM
9/24/2020 9:01:49 AM
Daniel A.

Elegance In Motion

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/16/2000 11:51:03 PM
10/29/2020 12:52:47 AM

Elegance In Motion

You see it in those rare moments, the ones of ethereal beauty.
It's quite evident in the sunset, as she walks past.
The highlights of her hair gloriously dance before your eyes.
Does it make you tremble inside, does your heat beat fast?

Designer clothes are not the reason.

As her body moves before me, a vision in every light,
the sight of her steals my breath for a moment,
eyes locked where they can't help going as she moves,
magnetic rhythm in the sway of hips, incandescence touches her lips.

Manicured nails do not define her season.

A certain economy, in a soft feminine way,
poised and pure, brighter than the sun at height of day.
When this vision overcomes me, there is no restraint.
Feelings beyond control or holding, future dreams unfolding.

She is the essence of love from the inside.

It comes from a certain sense of self that only she can have,
matching the heart of me as my other half.
There is a place, in the depths of my soul, yes running deep.
It's registered in her form, but comes from inside.

I know that tonight, we'll share a wild passionate ride.

And the sight of her, elegance in motion, makes me burn with desires.
Oh there will be soon when we share our fires.
And as timlessly we reach the peak,
I won't waste breath, trying to speak.

But we'll be elegantly in motion.


By: Daniel A. Stafford

(C) 06/16/2000

Author's Comments

Some things need no further explanation.

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/16/2000 11:51:03 PM
10/29/2020 12:52:47 AM
Daniel A.