Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Poetry Jam - Stepping Out

All Souls Day – Jules Bastien-Lepage -1882

Stepping Out

Old Gramp blusters through the door,
Trailing sunshine and morning air.
“Come, sprouts! The day awaits!”
Eager, I bounce down off my chair.

Brown hands reach out, hard and soft
A chain of years go marching out-
Hair and collars meet the breeze
Footsteps staccato, strong and stout.

The hedgerows pass and nod our way.
Sparrows startle, flock, and chatter.
Not long, I flag and slow my stride.
Gramp turns, “Child, what’s the matter?”

“I need to rest!”, I whine and plop.
I land down on a sitting rock.
He stops and winks and hunkers down,
Settles for a morning talk.

He talks of times, when on the march,
He watched young families wave and smile,
Raise the flag, and urge him on
Each dusty mile after dusty mile.

Then, they were gone and others faced him,
Far across a field of gold.
That was when he knew for sure
This was a venture long and cold.

He carried on as soldier should, resigned
To do what must be done,
Took care to keep his comrades safe,
‘Til bitter victory could be won.
“You know, he says with serious tone,
My time is precious here and now.
I’ll have the time when I’m laid out
To rest with laurels on my brow.”

“I must keep on and move each day,
And so should you, my little one.
Grab all that you can hold and see
For life is short and is soon done.”

“All rested? Good ! Now, let’s keep on.
This golden day just seems to fly.
There’s coffee in the square for me
And cookies on the plate nearby.”

Perhaps some milk and chocolate too
I think, as we hop up and go.
His words stay with me as we stroll -
What did he mean? Where did he go?

I crane about and look at him.
His eyes look upward, far away
Then, he looks down and smiles at me
And we march off and through the day.

                                                    - 4/24/2013

UGH! To punctuate or not! Comma, commas, commas!

Stories as poems are a challenge … to rhyme or not to rhyme, how to handle dialogue, mixing imagery with story line without letting things get confused, so much to learn! This attempt is shared with other writers at Poetry Jam, a weekly writing share. Click over and see what others have contributed!


  1. story...and an endearing moment between the boy and gramps..makes me think of life shared across the generations and how sometimes we dont understand it all...but those passed stories and learnings are important...gramps is a bit wise...smiles.

  2. Very enjoyable read. I think you handled the story poem format well and I really like the characterisation and wisdom you share with us here :)

  3. This warms my heart... and I think the punctuation is perfect. To rhyme or not is the poet's perogative. It works great here.

  4. This is lovely and a wonderful fairy tale feel that makes it magical. I think this is just great.

  5. Oh, this is a poem with a wonderful message. So true there will be plenty of time to rest when one is laid out to rest with laurels on one's brow. Until that time it is best to grab as much of what life has to offer as one can. We just have to keep carrying on......

  6. What a beautiful and tender story, and I love the rhythm and lovely!

  7. This is one of my all time favorite poems! (punctuation included) It is sweet, tender, teaches a lesson, it's generational ... and on and on.

  8. This is truly a wonderful poem! The story is a lesson for us all to keep on and move each day!

  9. You are right that stories are sometimes hard to tell in poems but you have done a fine job of it. I love the rhythm you have here too. Thanks.