Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I think I've written this poem before
so correct me if I'm wrong,
the one about the quaint cafe;
a lover's tryst amidst the throng

or should I say a mob it was
of eavesdropping ears
trying to hear three words
that could melt away the years

of relationships cheating
the signs don't always behave
one double-crosses the other
breaks promises they gave

and all at once commitment
jettisons from the heart,
all because two lusty souls
were uncommitted from the start.

Does this sound familiar?
I'm sure I've said these words
in perhaps another voice,
a common theme not unheard.

Prompt inspiration: 3WW (behave, jettison, mob)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Backwards Story

A path of golden bricks did not appear
nor did their love survive each passing year

like irksome weeds grave complications grew
outside the rain an omen with “I do.”

One Friday night a t-shirt contest wet
when through the crowds their eyes imploring met

her aspirations as a wife to be
while a wild cougar on the prowl was he.

Two clashing hearts can’t force a jointed climb
not once upon a lonely wayward time.

@laurie kolp

Poetic inspirations: Poetic Asides PAD Challenge- _____ Story, With Real Toads Open Link Monday

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Christmas Story to Share with Children

At Christmas, Christians celebrate the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. It is a festive season of joy and merriment typically associated with the image of Santa Claus bearing gifts for all.

What if there was a real connection between Jesus and Santa?

Mary's Son by Darryl Nyznyk does just that. It's as if God has sent Santa to do His will today like He sent Jesus to do the same so long ago. It is the delightful tale of two confused children - one a rich spoiled brat, the other a poor gang leader - and how they learn to love selflessly after Santa Claus takes them back to the first Christmas to witness the birth of Jesus. They discover God's encompassing love and return forever changed.

Mary's Son is an inspirational story reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas. I can see why it has received three Gold awards as Mom's Choice Awards: Inspirational/Motivational book. I can't wait to read it to my children this holiday season.

Signs of Life

a ruddy imprint on the bricked underpass
one tobacco-tainted sofa, sans cushions
deemed passe haute couture for some
while others spring on the posh decor

@laurie kolp

Picture inspiration: Magpie Tales

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

God’s love
Radiates when
Attitudes of gratitude
Take over all thoughts
Instantly replacing
Tense nonsense;
Underlying worries
Disappear and
Eternal peace reigns

@laurie kolp

Read more poems on gratitude at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads' A Word with Laurie

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gratitude A-Z

A- Apples, although Pete would disagree. You'll have to ask him why.
B- Boys. My boys are the best.
C- CARDINALS, of course. And caramel, coffee, chocolate...
D- Dogs. My dogs, Jake and Snowy, or as I sometimes call them Joey and Snake.
E- Exercise, even though I don't do it much. I've already exercised for a lifetime.
F- Family and friends. They're the same.
G- Girls, giggly girls... especially my wonderful daughter.
H- Husband. How did I get such a good one?
I- Inspiration. What inspires you?
J- Justin Bieber (just joking)
K- Kids; they see everything with unbiased innocence, and live in the moment.
L- LOVE always. Love is GOD.
M- Music, music, more music.
N- Nephews and nieces. You know who you are.
O- Oak trees, cloud dreams, summer days and moonbeams.
P- Poetry, of course.
Q- Quip; Keep It Simple, Stupid
R- Relaxation on a sandy beach.
S- Sunshine; it makes me smile.
T- Treading water.
U- Utopia. I wish!
V- Vegetables, but not Brussels Sprouts!
W- Windows and wishes
X- Xmas, although I prefer Christmas.
Y- Yellow; I love the color, plus I couldn't come up with anything else.
Z- Zoos, especially zebras. Black on white or white on black? Who cares? Remember love!

Scandalous Supposition

Misery lies within the hollow depths of nothingness
a spiraling void wrought through shallow minds
obsessing on circumstantial myths
situations miffed

(what-if next year my lover leaps from a cliff?)

leading to complete hysteria
in a bottomless pit
while the present moment flies away
a dove in search of inner peace.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: 3WW (hollow, misery, shallow)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

He's the Best (Strophe form)

From the Ukraine or Korea to Cajun Country
he takes on their accents unconsciously;
my husband globally communicates.
His coworkers and friends delight in the fun
to hear him speak in native tongue
like a movie star, he punctuates.
Once on a Polish ship, speaking like they do
a Coon-Ass called on the phone, too.
He ping-ponged back and forth in hot debate
from one slang to the other with such ease
others begged for tips from their knees
while he said, “Hurry up we can’t be late,
my family needs me now, let’s go.
They’re number one on priority’s row.”
Yes, one of many reasons why my husband is just great.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: With Real Toads (Strophe form) & PAD

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fleeting Moments (Puente form)

a planet in the night sky
a spark in crackling fires
an ice cube clinking crystal
a whiff of sweets the nose acquires

~pay attention to the little things ~

a stranger trapped in silence
an adult drowned in alcohol
a mindless one oblivious
a smolder brewing in the hall

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: The Sunday Whirl (diamond, mindless, spark, fires, ice, smolder, oblivious, sky, silence, planet, trapped, drowned, fleeting)

*Click here to learn more about the Puente form

Friday, November 18, 2011

Leaving the Pit

I used to think that I
Was but a bothersome fly,

And perhaps less important
Than a crack in cement.

That what I said didn't matter,
So why mouth it?
That if I left I'd be forgotten,
So why visit?

I felt guilty with each gift or praise
Each accolade my doubt did raise.

Could it be that I
Was nothing more than shy?

Perhaps a little fearful
Of your discriminating eye?

Today I'm still working on it
Thanks to you I'm leaving the pit.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Poets United Thursday Think Tank

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Words

A Circle of Love

A rainbow of hands
multi-sized, clasped
like a jeweled necklace
grasped, together as one
in an impetus circle of love,
a vindication to God's testament
of inner peace and acceptance
utter tolerance and truth;
solace from above.

Once Upon a Prayer

a false accusation
of indecent exposure--

(when everyone relieves
themselves on the roadside,
so why should it matter
at the Boy Scout camp out?)

the impetus to prayer
for complete vindication
which after awhile worked,
and as a full moon
on a clear, starry night
spread solace within

(mooned ya!)

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: 3WW (impetus, solace, vindication), Poetic Asides PAD (Once upon a _____)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Falling Leaves

Whew. After fearing for days that I was indeed succumbing to the falling leaves within my mind swirling piles of scattered memories, I can now bag those piles of rubbish thoughts and move on with my life. You see, last weekend we went out to eat and when Pete realized he had forgotten his wallet, he asked me for my debit card. I was in the middle of a serious conversation with my mother when he said, "What's your password?"

All of the sudden my mind became as blank as a winter tree. My password? I thought about it for a minute and tried to recall the pattern I so effortlessly typed into keypads too many times a day; but I could not remember those five digits.

I covered up the blank I drew. "Uh, can't you see I'm in the middle of something? Can you just charge it?"

The fear of rejection kept my debit card pocketed for the next day. If I punched in the wrong ID number, I might get accused of stealing my own card! I over-thought about what the PIN could be with no luck whatsoever, while at the same time scheming like an identity thief; if I try it there, they'll confiscate my card and handcuff me, but if I try it here I might be able to get away with it.

I tried to use it when I filled up with gas, but it was incorrect. What was I going to do? Go into the bank and tell them I'm losing my mind?

Yesterday I'd had enough. I psyched myself up and when the time came to give my debit card a try, I swiped it, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I then let my fingers do the typing. Guess what? I got it right!

Sometimes I think my fingers know more than I do. After all, they are the ones who take off writing and leave me running behind falling face first in the crunchy leaves.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Danger on the Other Side

Beyond the hedge danger lurks
Burdens hide as leaves take fall
Mayhem in the murky ditch
Aroused by swirls of black mold
Algae morphing into asps
Ready to strike its victims--
Stay on this side of the fence

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: With Real Toads (Orion poetry form), Poetic Asides PAD (Deadly/dangerous)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What Mama Left Out

Mama had told her about the birds and the bees
long before boys rendered her motionless, made
her heart swivel, like August of last year at the
country club when Lifeguard Sean rapidly pulled

that poor kid to safety and she saw the ripples
in his golden six-pack abs, the strength in his
Popeye arms. All rationale lost balance to her
fluttering heart, made her giggly and embarrassed
when he was cleaning the pool. She wore a coral

bikini, tried to point her finger and invite him
over to her lounge chair, but he never took notice
to her eloquent sentiments because he was too busy
flirting with Fred. Mama hadn’t mentioned that.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: The Sunday Whirl (bees, balance, cleaning, coral, finger, eloquent, motionless, safety, rapidly, point, strength, swivel)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Faithful Flight

When you wish upon a blackbird
spread your wings in golden sky,
dreams take flight, faith guides you
a magic silhouette on which to fly.

@laurie kolp

* I know, mine's not dark, but it's what I saw in the picture.

Picture prompt inspiration: Imaginary Garden with Real Toads

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mustered Strength

He lived through his hitch
made a toast to victory and
drank a pitcher with his buds

and then another and another

so he could muster up
the strength to go home

wheelchair bound.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: 3WW (drank, hitch, muster)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Through Thick and Thin with... Peanut Butter?

When I married Pete and promised to stick with him through thick and thin, I never imagined that peanut butter would be the adhesive. When I sit down and analyze our relationship, how it's grown and changed through the years, I can easily see that peanut butter has molded us into contentment.

Pete loves it. He told me stories while we were dating of how his mom bought the institutional size spread and left it on the counter with fresh white bread so that Pete could swoosh it down whenever he wanted. Pete was rail thin and always on the go, and she practically begged him to snack on it.

I'd had my share of PB&Js growing up and was of the attitude that it would put five pounds on my hips if I dared a mere sniff; but shortly after we married, Pete proved me wrong. He reawakened my love for the stuff while I was pregnant (which occurred three months after marriage) by making toasted peanut butter sandwiches for me. When he spread the creamy concoction on the warm bread, it melted. That was sheer ecstasy for my cravings, and I took advantage of eating as much of the fattening goo as I could since I was already gaining weight.

By the time I had Katie, I was already addicted to nighttime foldovers with peanut butter and grape jelly. The healthy, protein-packed snack gave me a lift during those sleep-deprived months. I made it through the next four years of birthing three and having foot surgery in between on the delectable snack. It was quick, filling and good. I discovered I didn't have to run five miles a day and eat salads all the time to stay fit and trim. And as happens in most marriages when partners take on each other's habits and idiosyncrasies, Pete had converted me to a peanut butter lush. At least I lured him over to the wheat bread side. I mean, as long as it's fresh enough to melt in your mouth, who cares?

Through the years our taste has changed a bit. Variety is the spice of life, right? We started out as Peter Pan lovers (of course, I love Peter!), but quickly converted to my childhood favorite, Jif, after the salmonella scare years ago. Pete's gone from peanut butter and jam to just peanut butter to crunchy with black raspberry. He's now back to smooth and jam. I always try out his new love, but revert back to dependable smooth and grape jelly with an ice cold glass of milk.

And at the end of the day, after the kids are tucked in bed, we cuddle on the couch with our treat. There's nut-n-butter than that.

Maybe we should invest in peanut butter stock... what do you think?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Time Won’t Wait

Time doesn’t sit by the back
door like a hungry dog, it
can’t be retrieved from the
marshes or chased up a tree

rather time runs as fast as
a greyhound, packs a trail
of conditioned modalities
until you let go, break free.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: PAD Challenge
Also shared at With Real Toad's Open Link Monday

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Animalistic Love

a piercing strident boom flew through the air
when your delirium set in and suddenly I was
a dappled monster trying to eat you up

with the drooling swish of a rabid wolf and
Herculean strength you stopped in mid-step
ripped your pleated clothes off then dug
your fingernails in my clammy skin

all the while screaming at perfect
shatter-crystal pitch, the demon living
within your shell emitting words that always
seem to reignite my desire for you

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: The Sunday Whirl (dappled, piercing, shell, air, strident, reignite, delirium, emit, pleat, pitch, swish, seem) & Poets United Poetry Pantry


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Implosion on Highway 105

Do you remember that spontaneous
road trip when, like shards of glass,
your cutting words crashed in my lap,
shattered our happily-ever-after dreams?

Everything I thought we had
now engorged in lies, glazed over
that scarring day our future
imploded on Highway 105.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Poetry Jam, PAD challenge

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hope O-O-Os

They passed the calumet
around the campfire
a ceremonial rite of passage
marked with peace.
To the heavens smoke rings
lifted O-O-Os
hoping disharmony
in the world to cease.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Click here for more on today's world blog-blast for peace

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lessons with Food on Peace and Acceptance


When I taught children with the reading disorder dyslexia, we broke down syllables and studied word origins. It was easier for them to understand the words if they could be dissected and analyzed. With every new group of students the same question arose; why is the English language so complicated?

I'd explain to the children that America was like a big pot of spicy stew. Through the years different countries have added special ingredients, or words, to create the language we know today. For some reason that metaphor was good enough for them, especially after we made our own special olla. Each student would bring a certain item to add to the mix: meat, chicken, sausage, potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, seasoning. Whatever they chose to bring we'd mix in. We'd listen to the crock pot making funny gurgling noises as we coded words using colored markers. And at the end of the day, when we were able to taste our delectable creation, all was good.

I used food a lot when I taught in a regular second grade classroom. It was like fish bait for learning. I mean, what better way to teach kids how to write "How To Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich" than by having them make one using their first draft as their guide? They quickly learned that if the sandwich was going to turn out right, not one step could be omitted or they'd have a sticky mess. After they succeeded with the sandwich we moved on to banana splits; and I had a classroom full of enthusiastic writers mixing vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream with caramel, chocolate and whipped cream. Everyone's dish looked different, but each child loved his/her unique sprinkled-to-goodness treat.

From last year's garden (we're in a drought)

Each year when we reached the not-so-beloved vegetable study, we had a sampling at the unit's culmination. Students would bring in raw carrots, mushrooms, radishes, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers and more. I would bring a big bottle of Ranch dressing or other type of dip. They mostly drank up the dressing and nibbled on the "oh, my gosh, this came from the ground" and "gag me with a spoon" vegetables; but they were being exposed to a palette of healthy food they might not have been willing to try at home. The children also learned that the vegetables weren't as bad as their preconceived notions had built them up to be once they gave them a try.

Of course, at Thanksgiving we had the infamous pilgrim/Indian feast. We talked about how the two came together in peace and gave thanks for their bountiful harvest and many blessings. Half of the kids dressed up as pilgrims and the other half as Indians. We all sat together around the bulletin paper table and enjoyed the meal.

At Christmas, we studied holidays around the world and sampled food from each country. The kids were able to dress like the culture they represented and travel from table to table (country to country). Never was a word uttered about disgusting tastes or flavors; rather, a greater appreciation for different ethnicities was garnered. Each country was represented in that one room. There was no fighting or name-calling. A good time was had by all, and the common denominator was food.

Wouldn't it be nice if all the countries in the world could gather in one room and celebrate each other's heritage like children do at school? We sure could learn a lot from our nonjudgmental innocent kids.

Exposure to different kinds of food not only enriches our cultural awareness, but it also brings us together for a bigger purpose; peace.
A magnet my daughter created when she was in preschool


Read more on food in the 12th issue (November-December 2011) of language/place blog carnival hosted by Linda Hofke here.


Seeds of fall~
a taste of orange
juice on sun-dried lips

@laurie kolp

Picture prompt inspiration: Poets United Thursday Think Tank

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Ears Are Killing Me

"Listening looks easy, but it's not simple. Every head is a world."
— Cuban Proverb

cymbals echo in my ringing ears
a cacophony, a cry for clarity
!crash! permanent hearing loss
!ping! it might be a tumor, a tumor, a tumor
colliding my world suddenly
all thoughts and words go back to that
!crash! permanent hearing loss
!ping! it might be a tumor, a tumor, a tumor
November’s debut symphony
instead of music from my muse
my ears are killing me

@laurie kolp

Written for PAD Challenge, Day 2

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


While sweeping remnants of Halloween’s
ruckus I find a candy bar wrapper which
leads me to last night’s treat bags where
a breakfast of champions awaits. Of course
now I need some milk which leads me to the
fridge where I notice fingerprints and
crumbs, outdated food and limp lettuce
which I must throw away. I remember today
is garbage day and we forgot, so I hurry
through the house and gather trash where
I find my daughter’s clothes piled up on
the floor which leads me to the laundry
room which I notice is a slipshod excuse
for cleanliness. While I’m at it I dust,
vacuum, mop, scrub toilets, shower, shave
my legs, finally get around to that pile
of someone else’s treasure for Goodwill
which leads me to my computer to look
up locations where I find the blank page:
Poetic Asides Poem-a-Day Challenge 2011.
Oh, yeah… that’s where I started.

@laurie kolp

Click here to find out more about the Poetic Asides November PAD Challenge. Come and join the fun!

How to Journey Through Life with Christ-like Friendships

The Girlfriend's Guidebook by best-selling author Marian Jordan is an excellent resource for women striving to achieve more meaningful Christian friendships with one another. In this vade mecum, Jordan uses examples of real life traveling abroad experiences with girlfriends to demonstrate some of the obstacles women face in their female relationships, and she maps out a plan for overcoming these difficulties. Below is a list of what I found to be the highlights of her book.

1. No friendship should be more important than your relationship with God. Jordan says, "When you and I hand over the power to make ourselves feel secure to another person, we make an idol of that person." Relational idolatry leads to dysfunctional friendships with negative characteristics of "guilt, fear, manipulation, exhausting demands, and general lack of freedom." No person should be used as a means of boosting our feelings of self-worth and value. People always let us down because we are not perfect. God will never let us down.

2. Emotional baggage can block us off from God's true intention of friendship in our lives. "Unhealed wounds ring alarm bells, triggering our internal flight or fight mechanism, otherwise known as fear," states Jordan. In the book, a list of roles women take on as ways of dealing with their past helps us identify our behavior in relationships (drama queen, center of attention, victim, fake, etc). Since we all have some degree of baggage, Jordan invites us to own our baggage and seek healing from Jesus. Then we will be rewarded with Christian friendships.

3. Characteristics of a true Christian friend can be found in the Bible; Jordan gives us a list of the top ten. They include loyalty, trustworthiness, encouragement, genuineness, connectedness, integrity, compassion, kindness, grace/forgiveness and love/selflessness. Love is "seeking the best for others" which could mean confronting a friend when she has a problem rather than ignoring it because you don't want to hurt her feelings. True friends want the best for one another.

I highly recommend this book for all women seeking more meaningful Christ-like friendships in their lives. Marian Jordan is an excellent writer who uses her own experience mixed in with Bible versus and notable quotes to support her purpose. You can learn more about her at Redeemed Girl Ministries which she founded, or on her website.