Graduation poem: Counting the Ways You Amaze

Can I count the ways that you amaze

and sum it up in written praise?

Can the moon measure its luminous glow

on newly captured fallen snow

or the sun count its glorious rays

as night fades to dawning day?

Can stars fall from awesome heights

to quench their luminescent light

or eagles soar on wings of time

 to prove our created paradigm?

Can all the waves on all the shores

be placed in drawers to be stored?

No, for these are marvels beyond compare

yet my heart does boldly swear

that my life will run out of days

before I stop counting the ways that you amaze.

I modified a prior birthday poem for my daughter for a graduation poem for my nephew Jeremy.  A shout out to all the amazing graduates!

Secrets and Lies

The world revolves around secrets and lies!

Crafted stories underscore this theme.

Initiates feast with innocent eyes

and drink from the cup of this sly scene.

With pure intentions, naive novices try,

the “Power of One” their motto’d phrase,

and soon discover this unpleasant surprise:

Absolute power corrupts in absolute ways.

They look to those who are older and wise,

confounding the essential part they play.

But eventually this passion for truth dies,

and dissolves in the deceitful  buffet.

Children taught not to lie in tender youth

yet, when older, slowly open the crafty door.

Discomfort follows in the wake of  truth

to reveal, “unpeel” the secret rotten core.

Failure to deviate now seems uncouth;

as we forget when we valued what was pure.

We sell our integrity at the character booth

and victimize new initiates once more.

This evil circle renews on the new crop of youth

as we  collectively seek to “even the score”……

Secrets and lies are an unending circle taught to the young and encouraged by the world.  While it is rather “heavy”, I hope it strikes a chord in you.

And no matter where you work, even in the best of places, there are times when the truth is not encouraged or wanted.  “Political correctness” is the sly lie that slides off the tongue of those who want and need to suppress the truth.

On a more universal scale, it is time for the light of truth to expose the shadows, and in so doing, bring to light the desperate sin that is running rampant.  Shining the light in the darkness will do nothing but intensify evil unless repentance is part of the solution.


Unholy Pain

I have a condition understood poorly.

Chronic pain the hallmark to sufferers all.

A syndrome of many symptoms, surely

the scourge of physicians, sour with unbelief!

Whiners, hypochondriacs we are called.

In restless sleep there is no relief;

the pain similar to muscles mauled.

Burning fatigue, nerves’ constant  bite

waxing, waning but never gone.

Vindication, every sufferers’ right;

yet support of others’ often withdrawn.

 “Fibromyalgia Fog” a lippy phrase

as we struggle with memory and tasks.

Life becomes a fuzzy, misty maze.

Raining inside, with smiling masks

as medications throw us in a daze.

To some, other problems appear

TMJIBS, stiffness and muscle spasms,

Healthcare now our unwanted sphere;

feeling well grows into a widening chasm.

Often undiagnosed for many years

as all other conditions are ruled out.

Then tossed aside, stepchild for life;

Unbelieved, even we begin to doubt.

Is it in our heads? Are we our own strife?

“Never give in” our mottoe’d shout

I may not conquer this Demon Beast

but some day I will even the score.

This unholy pain will surely cease

with  death’s long sweet kiss

and I will feel it’s sting no more.

No, I shall attempt to not depress you too much, but I cannot ignore a condition that has affected me, and affects 1 in 12 new visits to a Rheumatologist.  I was 14 when I realized I Had A Problem that was diagnosed as fibromyalgia in my early 20’s. While 14 is unusually young, it does happen, and is associated with inflammatory disease later in life.

I will never forget sitting in English in Miss Yost’s class and trying to get comfortable for the 1000th time and suddenly realizing that I couldn’t remember anymore a day without pain.  As a very stoic kid-I lived at my ENT doctor’s office due to a congenital problem—I had been told all my life how my parents paid for his kids’ college with my medical bills. And I somehow knew that this would not be an easy answer.

So I suffered in silence and tried in a typically weird teenage way to cope by exercise and anorexia.  Back then FM had a poor prognosis, so it was a good thing that I kept it to myself. But when I got married and got a very stressful job I just couldn’t do it anymore, so I went to my doctor for help.  He jabbed my arm, I yelled and he told me I had FM and there was nothing I could do, but he could put me on Prozac and BTW he thought I was bipolar.  I cried, it had taken 10 years for me to tell anyone and that is the treatment I got.  In a rather cruel twist of fate, bipolar was not my diagnosis either and I was finally diagnosed last year with the true problem that affects so many people in our culture today: Borderline Personality Disorder.

While he was partly correct, his uncaring attitude lost me as a patient.  I suffered for another 15 years, then began with weird and frightening symptoms with very high inflammatory markers so my GP sent me to a Rheumatologist, who said I did have FM and he did have some medications to help, but he was much more interested in my mystery medical condition.  I went to him for a year for an undiagnosed inflammatory condition, then I seemed to get better, so he released me and said he could see me every six months for FM.

Six days later I woke up in horrible pain with fingers as big as sausages.  In true Lori fashion, I tried to live with it until I couldn’t even put clothes in the wash, then I dragged myself back. His first response?  He sat down and yelled at me that he couldn’t do anything else for my FM.  I teared up and said I wasn’t asking him to then showed him my hands.  Ahhh….a  REAL medical problem!  So I got the icky news that I had a pre-rheumatoid arthritis condition that needed a load of medications to keep it from progressing.

While I am grateful for the medications available now, and for the medications that are helping FM sufferers, it still is a condition that is the stepchild of the medical community.  My Inflammatory Arthritis is more painful, but I can walk it out;  only one medicine helps with my chronic muscle pain. And shame on all the physicians out there who dismiss this as Something Beneath Them.  As the payer, THEY are serving ME, and I believe that most of them have forgotten this.

Pearl in the oyster? I am one  tough cookie; I have a wacky sense of humor; I am grateful to live in a time period where medications are available and I think my struggles to shine despite my tarnish have made me a better person.  Live, Love, Learn.

Physical and mental health are so intertwined. I recently discovered that I am my own worst enemy, as my “catastrophizing”  coping skill, and severe depression prior to the start of my symptoms (which were in turn the start of borderline personality disorder) probably helped to initiate the cascaded that led to FM disorder.  So if you have FM or BPD or emotional dysregulation and your doctor wants you to get a mental health evaluation, dont fight it.  It really is all related, and getting your emotional and mental health in good shape is critical.

For My Daughter [on her Eighteenth Birthday]

Can I count loving you 18 ways?

Can the moon measure its luminous glow

on newly captured fallen snow

or the sun count its glorious rays

as night fades to dawning day?

Can stars fall from awesome heights

to quench their luminescent light

or eagles soar on wings of time

 to prove our created paradigm?

Can all the waves on all the shores

be placed in drawers to be stored?

No, for these are marvels beyond compare

yet my heart does boldly swear

that my life will run out of days

before I stop loving you eighteen ways.

Ode to Newly Fallen Snow

Night, star-sparkled world of white,

bright as new moon-lit glow;

secretly blanketed through the night,

a smooth-scaped uncrevassed show.

This white-hued world blinds my sight;

this fragile beauty, though transient,

forces mankind to slow-manic rush.

 In this untainted frail-frozen landscape, lovers’ lament

as children play and cars quickly crush,

and life slows, captive to  the whirling torrent.

White canvas transforms to dull, dirt-blackened slush.

Beauty, like new formed snow, endures but a moment.

Star-bright eyes, unwrinkled smooth brow, youth’s first blush;

there must be more to slow, sagging, life aging torment.

Like faces, love for this transient beauty turns to mush

An “18 incher” was just part of winter life growing up in Pennsylvania.  There was nothing more amazing as a kid then to wake up to mom yelling, “School is closed today!” and then feeling that glorious, hyper-screaming, jumping-up-and-down moment, relived far and wide. There was a set of unspoken “rules” to the day. Get on my  snow suit and regalia.  Get a shovel.  Fall into (then) thigh high snow.  Play with my brother (who always shoved me face-first in it).  I would come in cherry red and get hot chocolate, dead tired but satisfied.

Missouri is quite disappointing in the winter.  It rarely snows, preferring ice storms to their softer cousins.  Now as an adult, either of these weather messes bring a very different view, mainly stress and aggravation.  But when one has nowhere to go, plenty of food, a great fire and time, virgin snow still is a beautiful gift.

Frayed Grey Days

As icy rain falls and clouds collide

Visibility disappears in the frozen fog

Temperatures, now negative on the Farmer’s log….

Depression’s chill seeps deep inside


Deep blanketed coverings warm my body well

Darjeeling steeped to the third degree

A smile, priceless, when once so free

Nothing warms this mad winter spell


With bleak eyed, blank-walled stare

my IQ is suspended as I “rain on my own parade.”

Zombie like, a death walk through the shadow glade

and my armor of cheer, stripped bare.


Picture by:

Butterfly Kisses

I lace your skin

with butterfly kisses.

Sweeping nose and chin,

this innocent, intimate bliss

flicks shivers along wakeful nerves.

Intricate patterns emerge as each stroke

licks along musky, brawny contours,

for these sweetest of kisses evoke

ticklish thrills through your core

as I sweep in crisscrossed lines.

We join with sensuous rapport;

my mouth  ravenously dines

until your finest wine spurts forth.


Look for the image…..



This insanity within me, doomed
by years of self-hatred, fumes
out stygian disputes in every room.
If I could bite out my own tongue
and take back those words I flung
as I tumbled down your ladder rung….

Tears washed out, emcumbered thought inward turns.
Am I so lost to kindness that I spurn
the same friendship for which I yearn?
Your replies put me to shame
for my tempestuous responses are to blame
yet I fear the result would be the same…..

My anger fattens on pernicious self-hate
an unsolicited, pitiable estranged state!
Perhaps…someday…you will relate
and forgive my deleterious faults
when I, with impulsivity halted,
tirelessly re-stock our friendship vault.

Now bereft from redolent friendship, so hard won!
I would gladly eat those words, that foul dung,
for I am lost in this haze of shunned
scorn! How can that blasted sun
shine with fiery joy that duns
my squeezing heart, heavily stunned…..

                           ∼ 〈 ◊ 〉∼

We have all lost friends from tempestuous words hastily said….

Once there were Dragons

Since the Dawn of Time, universal legends told

of a mighty fearsome creature, called Dragon in every tale.

Was this legendary creature once alive, its’ fiery breath now cold?

Gossamer webbed wings, iridescent scales;

Ruler of God’s created Beasts.

Fearsome fiery breath, sharply barbed tail;

Now cursed, hated, you slither among the least.

Stripped of all you possess, your unearned fall!

Satan’s cruel lie used your beauty and grace;

Your permanent loss suffered by man most of all.

Now a product of legend, your fearsome form and face

live in legend memory, drawn on ancient walls.

Though stolen by the Great Lie, your majesty earns your place.

Mighty Dragon, greatest Beast in all Creation!

Struck down by Adam’s sin.

Cursed creature, stripped from all nations;

now a slithering serpent kin.

Known for your words, intelligent and wise,

Satan used your form, doppleganger in your skin,

to delusion innocence and open their eyes.

We mourn your loss, stripped by God’s curse,

Victim of the Father of Lies.

My imaginings lead me to what the Great Serpent of the Bible was. This poem imagines that it was the great and mighty dragon, stripped of his glory when Satan used his image to tempt Eve.


Unicorn Dreams

I ride the wind on Unicorn dreams……..

Unsighted eyes view truth within.

Slipping through misted moonbeams;

Filtered light caresses’ incandescent skin.

You touch my hair with ancient horn….

a surging moment of magical delight….

Pure joy purges feelings forlorn!

We meander through slumberous night…..

Hands encircled around your face;

Foreheads join as gentle tears flow.

Misery drawn out with noble grace

as Beauty fills my minds’ dark hole.

Innocence chisels stygian thoughts apart.

Enchantment appeases this sorrowing soul.

For Fantasy heals fragile….forsaken….heart.


Uni–One  Coru–horn

I adore unicorns.  My room as a teen was a unicorn paradise.  I believe that unicorns are an extinct animal that once roamed the earth!  Yes, I am a creature of pure imagination!  I love this picture.  It gave me a shock when I first saw it.  I felt like a generation had slipped away on one instant as memories of my posters and pictures and figurines threw me a quarter century back in time. It would have been perfect for my teenage room as it was dark-blue and white, and I decorated it with dark blue and white unicorn posters.