Thursday, June 30, 2011

Freedom in America

Fireworks with Lee Greenwood* and Eminem*
(Battle of Radios)

An excited young family of five sat

in lawn chairs, AM synched to the show’s

music as patriotic fireworks splayed perfectly.

Lee Greenwood sang, “’Cause the flag still

stands for freedom and they can’t take that

away,” as red, white and blue stars lit

up the sky and warmed all hearts. Until

a group of loud teenagers drove up, radio blaring,

emitting smoke, rudely parked their cranked up

car by the family; was this a joke? Eminem belted,

“I don’t give a damn, what you think, I’m doing

this for me, so f....” The dad jumped out of his

seat turned his radio up, “’Cause there ain’t

no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA.”

The fireworks were growing bigger, beautiful

colors everywhere. All around were oohs and aahs,

the grand finale was near. The rebels danced

and laughed, turned their music even louder.

“Everybody come take my hand we’ll walk this road

together, through the storm.” At the same time,

even louder like a tug of war melody. “I’m proud

to be an American where at least I know I’m free.”


That’s America.

@laurie kolp

*God Bless the USA, Lee Greenwood

*Not Afraid, Eminem

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Transfixed on Time

Her finger was a kangaroo hopping
through the forest; up on a bump,
back down to the ground. In January
Roo was king of White Knuckle Hill,
come February she bounced in a groove.
March up, April down; the hops grew
higher with each month of the year.
Secret smiles were the fingernail
marks on her bloody palm, harsh
reminders that things would improve
with time. At least she hoped so.

@laurie kolp

Prompt Inspiration: 3WW- bump, knuckle, transfix

Poetic Asides- Things change

Monday, June 27, 2011

Childhood Summer Memories, Part IV

All of the neighbors on Mimosa Drive had a huge block party every year on the Fourth of July.  As a young child, I looked forward to these outdoor social events. A smorgasbord of food could be found on red and white checkered card tables joined perfunctorily in the middle of the street; barbecued links, brisket, hamburgers, chips, cole slaw, potato salad, raw vegetables and fresh fruit. The dessert table was a sinful temptation for all of the women, but it was always where I stopped to fill my plate. The appetizing smells drifting through the thick, humid air always made my mouth water. 

My mom rolled our upright piano out into the street and provided music for everyone.  As the night wore on, people gathered around and sang along. Some danced cheek-to-cheek and moved around like stiff grasshoppers. I never quite understood why the adults grew friendlier and louder, but I did know that those adult beverages I was banned from had something to do with it.

The neighborhood kids and I played hopscotch, roller-skated and jumped rope while we waited for the main event. The summer heat and nagging mosquitoes never stopped us from having a good time, even though I was always the main target.

Sweaty supple skin

A mosquito’s sweet dessert

Temptation buzzing


We spent days practicing for the talent show to be performed for the grown-ups.  One neighbor’s mom was a seamstress, and she loved making elaborate costumes (with our help, of course).  We had so much fun prancing around the animated parents and making them laugh. Their lawn chairs lined the curbs, and we would parade up and down the street like kids on Halloween.

We always stayed up way too late so we could set off fireworks. Boom, boom, boom, even brighter than the moon, moon, moon.* I was lying in the grass with my friends watching the colorful explosion in the sky when all of the sudden I heard screaming.  In the blink of an eye, all became still and silent.

I looked up to find people hovered around an older boy I did not know.  I ran over to see what all the commotion was about, but my mom stopped me before I could make it through the crowd.

“Don’t come any closer, honey,” she said.

“Why not?  What happened?” I asked.

“A teenager had fireworks explode in his hand and face. He’s badly hurt.  We’re going in now.”

I reluctantly followed my family inside, turning around several times to sneak a peek.  I never got a close look, and I never saw that boy again. I stayed away from firecrackers for many years.

The Fourth of July

fireworks exploding

in his face

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Poetry Jam- Use lyrics from a song

*Katy Perry, "Firework"

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Offerings/ 6-26-11

For the Sake of Grace

It all began to take shape not long
after his business trip--
the copper-breath kisses he planted
on the surface of her wanting lips
like a mechanical dippy bird,
the growing silent treatment
within an ivy dream-like haze,
the flitting thoughts of swarming bees.
Inhaling pepper sand, she took the plunge
cornered him in the shade of beseeching eyes
asked him who the hell Grace was
and why he called out her name
in the heavy stillness of night’s embrace.

@laurie kolp

Prompt Inspiration: Sunday Whirl (kisses, pepper, sands, grace, copper, inhaling, flitting, shape, shade, silent, surface, haze)


  Rocketed to the Fourth Dimension

Floating in the sea of space
my worries drift through time.
Medusa lost in orbit,
I prey on heaven’s climb.

Dare I trust this leap of faith,
release all inhibitions?
Pride cometh before the fall
trailing~ euphoric conditions.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Poetic Bloomings and Jingle Poetry

**Hop on over to Poets United for more!!**

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Truth (A Palindrome)

mirror~ the axiom

see monomaniac reverie

ego and pride


pride and ego

reverie monomaniac, see

axiom~ the mirror

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Poets United- Thursday Think Tank Thursday

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A garden awaits all who enter

It was an unexpected surprise last week when I was contacted by Walt Wojtanik and Marie Elena Good, authors of the blog Poetic Bloomings. They wanted to do an interview of me for their Web Wednesday feature.

Probably no one will read it, I thought; but I accepted with vim and vigor.

When Walt sent me the questions, I was amazed at how personal they were. It was obvious he hadn't sent me a general list that he sends all the guests. He and Marie had actually taken the time to dig up some dirt on my past experiences.

Excited, I tackled the assignment right away. I let my fingers do the typing, spent time reflecting and even sat on it a few days before I sent it back.

I sure did learn a lot about myself... who cares if nobody reads it? I thought.

And if I had to give you a three-word synopsis of my interview, I would have to say PLEASE READ IT. Oh, and a comment would be nice.

You'll learn much more about the significance of this blog if you do... and maybe a thing or two about me you didn't know.

Wednesday Words: An interview and some poetry

I am truly humbled and proud to announce that Poetic Bloomings:Web Wednesday has interviewed me. I hope you'll hop over there and take a look. Thank you!

I also want to thank the folks over at Poets United for their continued support.

The Sky’s Not Falling!

To maintain her poetic sanity
Chicken Little tried not to gag
when rejection slips fell from the sky,
instead she tried to omit such thunderous thoughts
wash them away with renewed hope for sunshine tomorrow.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: 3WW (gag, maintain, omit)


Poke Away Rain
Last time we met I turned around  
your icy pokes a curious kid,
~poke~ “Excuse me” ~poke~ “Excuse me”

~Sigh~ “Can’t you see I’m busy?”

You wouldn’t leave me alone
wallowing in nonstop tears
throwing temper tantrums-
I wanted you to go away.
But then I missed you
needed your cooling comfort
to quell the fires spreading fear.
I prayed for you, danced in circles
I knew you’d come in your own time
and you did today.
Thank you rain,
poke away.
@laurie kolp
Prompt inspiration: Poetic Asides, Poets United

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Butterfly or Bee?

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. ~ Muhammad Ali

Float like a butterfly

Intricate patterns

a stained-glass window

 bright and bold colors

yellows, blues, purples

reds, oranges and blacks

truly nature’s collage.

Each wing a mirror image

symmetry no man can match

immaculately reproduced

exactly perfect each time,

fluttering by with class

light, airy and dainty

a gentle breeze that stirs the air

each fragrant blossom floats

barely noticed, blatantly beautiful

the miraculous butterfly.


  sting like a bee

She lives her Stepford-wife life

putting on quite the facade

to make herself look better

than all the rest. She reels

in those five-inch heels like

she’s the queen of the world,

the best. Chilling eyes ski down

a deep steep nose as if you

were a wee little bee. To tell

you the truth, that’s what I’d

like to be-- a bee buzzing around

her fake cake face, fancy hair

scaring her half to death

stinging her just right there!

@laurie Kolp

Prompt inspiration: Carry On Tuesday


“You know it won’t be fun.” I was pretty sure the voice was mine (it had the same Southern twang and soft tone), but the words sure weren’t. What I had meant to say was, “You know we won’t have fun without you.”

As soon as those alien words spilled out, my nine-year-old son’s big brown eyes turned from beseeching to questioning.  He had been nominated by his school to attend a month-long Science and Math Academy this summer. I’m sure he wondered why his mom, who used to be a teacher, would say something so derogatory about such a nice honor that had been bestowed upon him. I guess the freak show ain’t over, Ma.

I call it “mommy-itis,” this over-the-top behavior that began with the hormonal tsunami created by childbirth: jumbled words, misplaced items, loss of memory. In fact, I think I might have a brain tumor (I’m a little hypochondriac-like that way). I was writing a novel when all of the sudden an idea sparked from ghost lightning: one of my characters would have a brain tumor and that would describe his unusual behavior.

The more I thought of it, the more I wondered if I were the sick one. Perhaps, God was trying to tell me something. I read the symptoms over cold coffee one night. As it grew later, I began to feel like a spectator at Wimbledon.  The words became fuzzy tennis balls, and my concentration volleyed back and forth like a tight match. Everything I read came back to one thing; I had a brain tumor. All the signs were blaring. Here are the clinchers I used to diagnose myself:    

1.  Jumbled speech- Flabbergasting flubs such as furn tirst for turn first, and merging mania like eedle for eye and needle were happening more and more often.

2.  Confusion- Sometimes I forgot which child I needed to pick up where and when. Oh, and which child was mine? No biggie.

3.  Headaches- Irksome and annoying, especially when hubby approached me panting like a puppy dog with a wet tongue.

4.  Memory loss- After long hot showers, I sometimes forgot if I used soap or shampooed my hair. Then I would forget if and when I took a shower. (Falling asleep in the shower is a story for another time).

5.  Personality changes- Once upon a time I was reckless and carefree. Then I got married and wanted to have a family. I was supposed to be a responsible grown-up, but I didn’t feel like one. Where was my mommy?

6.  Lethargy- I became the dolls my daughter played with. Need I say more?

 I thought “mommy-itis” would go away as the kids aged, but it hasn’t. Mothers everywhere know what I mean. Hairbrushes in the refrigerator are minor mishaps when bombarded with multi-tasking to the nth degree. At least my kids are used to it.

Oh, and after I got a little sleep I realized I probably didn't have a brain tumor after all.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Baglady Finds Herself

An old vintage photograph lies
hidden beneath dusty antiques
today but a mere memory
of yesterdays long forgotten.
She sees herself in that face
those soft, supple features
almond eyes, bushy brows
full lips begging for amour.
How can mere pennies
buy a priceless story
about someone
who once had

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Magpie Monday

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My dreams can be crazy

I was up a lot last night. I have a bladder infection and it was driving me crazy. In fact, it hit me right before I got in bed- the nagging urge and stinging pain- and everything went downhill from there. I had to get up in the middle of the night, so I came to my computer and checked things out. I couldn't believe people were posting things on FB at one and two o'clock in the morning. Once upon a time I stayed up late, but becoming a mother squelched that desire. I need my sleep.

When I finally returned to bed and was able to fall asleep, I had a crazy dream. I'd like to share it with you because I find it so fascinating how our brain works. Mine is like a food processor. It takes a little bit of this and a little bit of that and then mixes it all together to form weird concoctions, or dreams.

In my dream, I am inside a school I've never seen before. It is close to the end of the day, and I am in so much pain I can't stand it. I find the nurse's office and tell her about my urinary tract infection. She makes me climb onto the same kind of examining table you'd find at a gynecologist's office and place my feet in the stirrups (suddenly I was in one of those blue gowns). All the while, sick kids are sitting around with thermometers in their mouths. Suddenly a big old grouchy man wearing a doctor's coat and stethoscope appears from nowhere. He proceeds to examine me while giving me a lecture about... who knows what? I finally get the meds I need as my kids walk in. We leave the school building and I discover that we are in Galveston. We are going to meet Pete at an office-related function on the Strand.

Around us all hell is breaking loose. Sirens are blaring, firetrucks honking, and people running the streets in utter panic. Somehow the kids and I make our way to Pete. He tells us wildfires are spreading throughout the whole island. An evacuation order had been called; everyone is to be out of Galveston by morning. The line to the ferry is outrageous and I have to go to the bathroom like crazy. The kids feel bad for me because they know I'm in pain. I hear them talking. Katie, Andrew and Nicholas chant from the back seat. Nicholas' tender voice says something. I can barely hear it.

"Can I wake up now?"

I open my eyes and he is standing beside my bed looking down at me. It is 6:30 a.m. and I've only been asleep two hours. And now I remember why.


Do you get where my dream came from? I need to go to the doctor, I'm still dealing with schools because of the Math and Science Academy, we just got back from a work-related trip to Galveston and raging wildfires are everywhere around me. Our mind's are quite amazing, aren't they?

Like a Heretic

He greets you at the door
(like a hotel concierge)
Dollar signs in blank eyes
(like a shopping center sign)
Running relays on each entrant
(like a social climbing snob)
Until he spots your money pocket
(like a package to be opened)
Becomes a fairy full of kindness
(like Glenda the Good Witch)
Passes a silken pillow case
(like a wedding ring bearer)
Becomes a rebel if declined
(like a spoiled rotten kid)
Directs you to a burning cot
(like a revengeful nerd)
Next morning he tries again
(like a bipolar heretic)

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Poetic Bloomings ('Cross' words)

morning, package, fairy, shopping center, aluminum, pillow,
heretic, pyramid, rebel, door, concierge, pocket, cot

Saturday, June 18, 2011

At the Threshold, Part II

I was thrilled when Paula Wanken commented on my last piece, At the Threshold. She said the poem inspired her to write a haiku. They both sounded so good together, we've combined them into one piece. My original poem is first, followed by Paula's haiku. She provided the perfect picture. Thanks, Paula!

Try to walk alone, bigshot
Hands in pocket, head high
Random thoughts of another
Each one with a sly motive
Slanderous gossip slithers
Heavenward– tempers reach
Open flames they burn, too
Leaving scars on self-will
Don’t slam the door on God


He stands at the door
He doesn’t force His way in
He waits patiently

2011-06-18 / L. Kolp & P. Wanken

At the Threshold

Try to walk alone, bigshot
Hands in pocket, head high
Random thoughts of another
Each one with a sly motive
Slanderous gossip slithers
Heavenward-- tempers reach
Open flames they burn, too
Leaving scars on self-will
Don’t slam the door on God

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Writer’s Island (Threshold)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Barriers: A Tanka

One brick at a time
I watched you slipping away
Through the underbrush--
Your herculean wall block
My dynamite will knock down.

@laurie kolp
Prompt inspiration: Theme Thursday

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Signs warn of extreme forest fire conditions, so why toss a cigarette out your window, Dude?

Outside, summer's heat wave fills the heavy air. Concrete hotter than an oven's floor zaps your energy with each forward step. It's like a broiling vacuum. All of this is normal for summer in Southeast Texas, except for the absence of rain and presence of smoke.

The Texas drought has gone on way too long, and forest fire danger looms in the near distance. It creates pseudo-clouds in the sky and tickles the nose with a burning firewood aroma. Yesterday I was driving all over hell's half-acres: one direction for swim team practice; another for Math & Science Academy; this way for dance recital practice and TaeKwonDo lessons; and that way for Vacation Bible School pick-up and other sundry errands that need to be done. I felt like a frazzled commuter as I zipped from one highway to the next in a hurry to pick each child up at the right time because Pete was in a four-hour long class. ~sigh~ It was exhausting.

The highway warning signs that just days ago alerted travelers of hurricane season now read:

"Extreme forest fire conditions"

... (or something very similar). Every day another fire breaks out. They seem to be creeping closer to my territory, and it's scary. Firefighters, paid and volunteered, risk their lives to fight the flames in temperatures of 100 and more. Several have lost their lives.

So when I saw Mr. Rickety-Truck Dude toss a burning cigarette out his side window, I nearly gagged to death. I wanted to honk at him and flash my lights. Or stop and wave him down. Better yet, go look for the fuse and put it out myself. I didn't though, because I couldn't. My precious cargo was with me and I never want to trigger road rage from shady individuals.

Instead, I'm begging you to spread the news instead of the fire:


Tainted Hues

Grip the needle between your teeth
a deluge of rainbow thread beckons
all proclaiming the perfect match,
say not a word nor move your tongue
lest you paint red their sunny views.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: 3 Word Wednesday- grip, prefer, thread

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Vacation Bible School?

Through stained glass windows

he sits.

Music proclaiming God’s love

rocks the house.

All he hears

are garrulous kids

teasing him




God must be running errands.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Jingle Poetry

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pushing Buttons

Nary an opportunity did he miss
To push a button: BANG, BUZZ, HISS
Imagine the look on his baby face
When a seashell tip he poked in place
Reacted with a SISS, BOOM, BAH
Then snapped his finger with a claw

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Magpie Tales Monday

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Live Like Children

Age saw two quiet children
Go loving by at twilight*
Holding hands and a’skipping
Twas quite a lovely sight

Without a care or worry
Over looming senescence
They hit the ground rolling
In earth’s field of innocence

Until they set their eyes above
Reveled in the moment’s hand
Made wishes on stars falling
Reveled in God’s mighty land

Age watched in disillusion
Wondered why the merriment
Did not these children realize
Life’s too short for sentiment?

Then at that very moment
An overwhelming flash of light
Encircled Age with calming words,
“The children have it right.”

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Poetic Bloomings- Favorite line from a poem

*Carpe Diem by Robert Frost: "Age saw two quiet children go loving by at twilight."

A Typical Day at the Club

Outside summer’s inferno tempts

pool-goers. Alluring chestnuts,

their torsos roast and burn.

Enchanting stories are shared

to pass the time, some with

devious plots more flesh

they bare. Inside the club lotus

position inspires bold limbs.

A kinship forms through pretzel

twists and turns. Strange breathing,

eyes closed, mouths in Os; those

unaware might think like

this they sleep.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Sunday Whirl

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bubbles or Whistles?

“Johnny knows how to
blow bubbles from
his nose when
he cries,
but I am the
ONLY one
in the class
who knows how to whistle,”
said the boy to his mother.

@laurie kolp

*Prompt inspiration~ Writer’s Island: Incomparable

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Belly Dancer

Kalama dances with fear,
every swift move of the hip
a slap on sweaty cheeks.
Bystanders gather ‘round
the flaming torch, hypnotic
eyes and mouths are 'O's.
Wafting smoke lifts all
doubt lulls anxious hearts
who believe in The Power
with gifts of gratitude.

@laurie kolp

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nobody's Perfect

I never claimed to be perfect,
only God in that game can win.
So stop it with the nitpicking,
one wee wittle typo’s no sin.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Poetic Asides~ ”Don’t start that again”


At the ship’s stern, altered
Forces diffuse conflict, fond
Thoughts fall with ashes, tranquil

@laurie kolp


Prompt inspiration: 3WW- alter, fond, tranquil

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sharing my stories about challenging times helps me

I went through a very difficult time in my life that started shortly before Hurricane Rita. The Christmas before Rita hit, I had to have an emergency hysterectomy. Katie was hospitalized with pneumonia the day I was released (which was the day before Christmas Eve). My story, A Christmas Basket, published in Christmas Miracles, tells about that unfortunate incident and how good came from it.

In June that same year, Pete and the kids were involved in a horrendous car accident because a teenager was not paying attention. He was going full speed ahead while fidgeting with the radio when he ran into my precious family and changed our lives forever. Thankfully my children were okay, but pulling shards of glass out of a two-year-old's hair is not fun. The one who suffered was Pete. He had ruptured discs in his neck and eventually had to undergo surgery. Even so, he is not the same active man he once was. That has spurred quite a bit of poetry and unsent letters.

Also that summer my father was diagnosed with prostrate cancer. The BIG "C" WORD always brings a lot of anxiety and apprehension. My mother had breast cancer years before so we knew it would not be easy. Luckily my dad is fine now, but he did have a second run in with it several years after his first treatment. I am proud to say both of my parents are cancer survivors. That's a story in and of itself.

Then Hurricane Rita came along and we were forced to evacuate. Eight hours in the car, Houdini acts, diaper stints and three restless kids under the age of six are enough to make anyone crazy. When Ike came several years later, we stayed for the storm. Big mistake! The article (next paragraph) I have written tells about what I went through during those two hurricanes. For me, the chaos occurred before the storms hit. After Rita, we were in Dallas having a grand old time with family. We evacuated to a friend's home two days after Ike and also had a lot of fun. The kids think hurricane means vacation. Not!

My article, The Calm After the Storm: How to Survive a Hurricane, is highlighted on I have author Gina Misiroglu and the editors from Red Room to thank for this accomplishment. When I joined Red Room several months ago, I never dreamed they would be so helpful and personable. Gina helped me get my article from page to publication in less than a week. If you are a writer, I highly recommend you join Red Room.

Many other things happened between the two hurricanes, much of which I attribute to the mere fact of raising kids. And of course, there's Mary. She died shortly before Ike hit. I have written these stories down and hope to share all of them some day. I never knew something so rewarding could come out of life's struggles. That's what "sharing" is all about; it cleans us out.

Cheery Cherry Thought

Beware thoughts that come in the night
of homemade cherry pie ice cream delight
from the darkened void a brief respite;
these cravings camouflage unspoken fright.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration~ Poetry Jam: picture & Carry On Tuesday: “Beware thoughts that come in the night,” (opening lines of William Least Heat-Moon’s novel Blue Highways)

Galveston: A Picture Story

We had a great time in Galveston. I tried my best to be a kid, but the mommy in me came out as needed. Here are some highlights from the trip.
Our view from the 10th floor hotel room
Checking out the beach
Friday night dinner at Landry's (walking distance from hotel)
Hurry up! Get away from the pool bar, boys.
Riding through the rainforest

Gotta feel it!
Schlitterbahn (notice blue Hurricane Ike water level marker sign above their heads)
Nicholas is wiped out from the day... the Rainforest Cafe couldn't even keep him awake!

Shopping at The Strand
We had to stop by and visit our nephew/cousin, Jonathan