Thursday, November 30, 2023

“Shouts of Joy!”

Poem of the day, Thursday, November 30, 2023

This concludes November poem month! I hope you have enjoyed reading my November poems.

“Shouts of Joy!”

So many challenges
and bleakness
confront us each day,
oozing over us,
often filling our lives
with despair and sadness.

All this can darken our lives,
thoughts, and our very beings—
if we allow it.

Yet, there is much light
and joy within us
and around us
that chases away this darkness—

The joy and love of family,
our abilities to see
good in all things,
the kindness we share
with others around us,
the many blessings 
we have received,
the knowledge
of our divine destiny
and whose we really are
can carry us away
from the forlornness
of impending doom.

Looking to the heavens
and aligning with Him
whose birth
we gloriously celebrate
in December—
hopefully each day—
propel us
into the light
and the joy of it all.

Each day we can sing
the joyous songs
and memories of our lives,
thinking of the positive and eternal.

Let our shouts of joy
be loud and clamorous!

Let our exclamations
of joy be filled
with what we can become!

Let our joy be felt and heard
against the din of despair,
and we shall have
everlasting joy!

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

“On the Banks of Spring Creek”

Poem of the Day, Wednesday, November 29, 2023

“On the Banks of Spring Creek”

Just before dusk, I trudge slowly
in late fall snow through Hunting’s 
patch of trees, careful where I step,
not wanting to flush any animals.
The brush is thick on both sides
of the meager trail, heading to Spring Creek.

I approach the creek quietly,
find a secluded spot beneath
a large cottonwood where the snow
has not bothered to find shelter. 
My warm breath spews mist 
into the air until it dissipates
into the cold air while I sit and wait
for darkness to engulf me.

Just to my right, mallards paddle,
quacking while other friends flush in
and land gingerly on the water
with a mere splash and the finesse of dancers,
close their wings, their beaks nudging
their feathers in place along their sleek bodies.

From my hiding place, I see the creek’s banks
covered in snow and ice with slim rays
of the setting sun in the west laying down
oranges on whites up and down the creek.
Above, sparrows flit here and there.

Not far up the bank, a cock pheasant drums,
spooking a rabbit just in back of me.
I sit for a while, listening to the sounds
of dusk closing in on the creek
and the gurgle of the water as it moseys
between the cold snow-covered banks
to the meandering Snake River.

Honking just above me, Canadian geese fly
rather low searching for a safe place
to land for the night, away from watchful eyes
and a wheat field with extraneous kernels
of grain lying just below the surface
of the snow ready to be scooped up for dinner.

I peek out for a moment,
see a muskrat gliding through
black water near the far bank, a speck
of sunset guiding her way downstream.

As the sun sets, the noises become
more distinct and musical, serenading
the night to come, opening the curtain
of night as they renew their compositions
of melodic harmonies with others
throughout the serenity of darkness
until the sun arrives again tomorrow.

When it is dark, I rise from my spot
under the tree, stare across the way
and turn back into the bushes and trees.

Only then do I shine my flashlight
along the trail out of sight
and sound of the ongoing choir
on the banks of Spring Creek.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

"An Awakening While Moving Sprinkler Pipe"

Poem of the Day, Tuesday, November 28, 2023

"An Awakening While Moving Sprinkler Pipe"

I remember the day well,
moving sprinkler pipe in potatoes,
standing there on that rocky knoll,
looking over the pond filled
with muddy runoff water,

croaking frogs and swimming pollywogs,
my muddy chaps strapped on
to my legs, mud on my face
and arms, a pipe at my feet,
and me swatting dancing flies,

thinking ever so out loud
that this was definitely not a life
that I ever wanted to live.
I wanted to live a better life,
less dirty and not in the sun

and mud. Maybe college
was a better choice,
a choice I could make
when others around me
in other field, from other places

could not make at this time
or any time, based on where
they came from, the papers
they did not have, like I did
somewhere in my house

in mother’s drawer, safe
until I needed them for something.
I decided right there
on the knoll, mud splattered
everywhere, bugs buzzing

around my head thinking
we were friends when
we were definitely not,
in the heat of the day
that I was going to do

something different
with my life, and no one
was going to tell me
differently. I finished
my quarter-mile line,

refreshed, resolute,
as I watched the pipe movers
in the next field
doing what they had to do
to survive.

Monday, November 27, 2023

"The First Time Crying”

Poem of the Day, Monday, November 27, 2023

"The First Time Crying”

The first time I remember really crying
was when Mrs. Jeppson started reading
Where the Red Fern Grows
when I was in 4th grade.

I sat in the first seat in the third row
of desks against the north window
of the old rock school in Menan.
I remember taking the book home

and reading it out by the barn
as I sat on the haystack
out of sight of everyone.
That’s when I cried so hard

for the first time when I read
about the sad demise
of Old Dan after a fight
with a cougar in the woods

and later the sad ending
of Little Ann on top of Old Dan’s grave.
It was tragic then
and is just as tragic now

when I think of that book
and my tears falling
on bales of hay that we fed
the horses and cows.

When my brothers asked why
my eyes were so red, I just told them
that hay dust got into my eyes
as I did my chores, knowing it was

really the catastrophic deaths
of Old Dan and Little Ann swimming
in my heart and eyes and lingering
longer than they should have.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

“Sunday Ponderings”

Poem of the Day, Sunday, November 26, 2023

“Sunday Ponderings”

My mind often ponders
on Sunday between the prelude
and the Sacrament

about the meanderings
of my mind during the week.
Did I maneuver off the beaten path

too much or did I spend
enough time in the scriptures,
mediating and praying along the way?

Sometimes the shivers of past sins
clamor for attention before
I can yield them to Him

before the Sacrament
comes to me. I think
about all these things

more intensely, more profoundly,
praying and hoping
I know the true meaning

of the Sacrament, Christ’s Atonement
and sacrifice for me
and everyone else on the planet.

The moment I touch the bread
or water to my lips,
I sense a relief that I am enough,

that I can move on once again
for the week, knowing
I will continue to plow forward,

more diligently, knowing
that I must do more to earn
the grace that He proffered me,

knowing that it is I
who must align with Him
because He is already there,

ready for me to come unto Him, 
arms always outreach 
for an eternal embrace with me.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

“Driving North on I-15”

Poem of the Day, Saturday, November 25, 2023

“Driving North on I-15”

Can driving north
on I-15 past Idaho Falls
and Roberts,
the metropolis of Hamer,
and then Dubois,
the Sheep Experiment Station,
and Spencer, Idaho,
home to the famous opals,
ever get boring
with fence lines,
Larsen’s thousands of acres
of spuds and grain,
vast open land deposits,
mountain ridges,
and a few outcroppings
of buildings,
along the way?
Fields full of angus
and a few Herefords mixed
with a few deer add
some diversity
in the immensity
of space
almost too big
to comprehend.

In the winters,
Monida Pass
is treacherous
yet stunning, especially
when the sun is out,
the wind blowing boatloads
of snow across the road,
climbing high on both sides
of the road
where the snow fences
meet it, try to sway it
to stop before entering
the highway on either side.
The enormity of it all
keeps your eyes wide
open, hands clutched
on the steering wheel,
hoping never to miss
something that might
swish you off the road
and into the barrow pit
where you may stay
until spring
or until a trucker comes
upon you in the darkness
as he slows down
to put his truck
into a lower gear
to climb higher.

The key is to stay put
on the road you can see
and travel on, slowly,
methodically, ever attentive,
perhaps listening
to Fleetwood Mac,
Chicago, or maybe
some Three Dog Night
and miles to go
before you sleep.

Friday, November 24, 2023

“The Frolicking of Waves and Wind”

Poem of the Day, Friday, November 24, 2023

“The Frolicking of Waves and Wind”

We lose ourselves early mornings,
sauntering along the beach,
just as the sun rises in the east,
a glowing ball of orange sliding
ever so gracefully, up and over
the lip of the world, until full arrival,
breathing a shimmering line
to the beach and beyond.
We stooped to pick up
a few pieces of sea glass,
eyes wandering, searching
up and down the beach,
                          into the water, crawling ever
                                so gracefully up the beach,
                                      infiltrating the sand as it moves
                                          forward, filling holes, depositing
                                               a few things along the way,
                                      and then suddenly receding,
                              somehow reaching its limit of life
                            beyond the sea, ending its stoic dance
early, dragging with it rocks, old shells,
pieces of seaweed, and what it can
before it retreats to the sea.
Sometimes, we stop and stare
at this ritual of sea water,
                             reaching its limits up on the beach,
                                   seeping into every crevice it can
                            and then back out again.
It’s both mesmerizing
and charming, and suddenly,
we are standing still, watching,
our eyes focused on both
the water and the rising sun,
and the moon somewhere hidden,
now a familiar inflection,
yet still a bit foreign
mixed with the playful motions
of wind frolicking in the waves
as they serenade us so early
in the morning on the beach
in a rhythmic cadence
that entrances us, thinking
they know the wooings of the mind.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

“Grateful Every Day”

Poem of the Day, Thursday, November 23, 2023

“Grateful Every Day”

I am thankful and grateful
for many things, not just today
but every day, especially
today for Thanksgiving.

For some reason, we express gratitude
the most during the month of November,
when gratitude should be a daily thing.

For me, I am grateful for:
Jesus Christ, my Savior and Redeemer.
My wonderful wife who loves me
everything single day.
My two daughters, both miracles,
who have become incredible women.
For my grandchildren—
all four, all talented, all amazing!
My two sons-in-law
who are good fathers and husbands.
My brothers and sisters.

My ability to read and write.
The many things we have been able to do
in this life, from Idaho to Montana
to Wyoming to the Dominican Republic,
the isles of the Caribbean
to southern California to Utah.

The many friends and friendships
throughout the world
who have enhanced our lives.
A nice home and delightful neighbors.

Being free in the promised land.
The blessing as a child of God,
a child of the covenant,
and a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Being grateful is a choice I wish
to make every day, every day, every day.
For that—and so many other things—
I am grateful to all those
who have made my life
happy and joyful and gratifying
and wonderfully blessed!

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

“Cold Weather Coming”

Poem of the Day, Wednesday, November 22, 2023

“Cold Weather Coming”

Cold weather is coming.
I shiver at the mere thought.
I remember growing up
in eastern Idaho, a few miles
from the windy Snake River.
Winter there is like none other.
As kids, we didn’t know the difference.
We knew it was cold
because mom warned us
to bundle up in our snowmobile suits,
beanies, yellow fuzzy gloves,
snow pacs, and maybe a scarf.
Often, we had to shovel
our way to the barn
through tall snow drifts,
and a biting wind,
the wind chill hovering at -30.
We milked the cow, chipped ice
so we could water the animals.
We let them drink, chipped more,
and let them drink again.
After chores, we readied for school.
Seldom, if ever did a snow day come.
We just bundled up and waited
for the bus to turn the corner,
and we raced outside, just in time.
Our yellow Blue Bird buses
were tough, snow tires and all.
We just plowed through, unloaded
in front of the school, and raced
for the warm classroom.
Cold days were just a way of life for us.
We complained, but we still played
outside, made snow forts,
had snowball fights
when the weather allowed
for decent snowballs,
went sledding and tubing,
being pulled behind
the old white station
with a long nylon rope,
and we shoveled a lot of snow.
Now, that I think back, I realize
the fun we had, not realizing
how dangerously cold
it really was for us to be out.
We were kids. Who cared?
Now adults, we see it differently.
Maybe we shouldn’t.
Instead, when it snows,
we should be the first ones
to tromp outside, flop down
into the deepest snow,
and make the first snowman,
dismissing the cold
like we do a spam telephone call.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

“A Feeling of Belonging”

Poem of the Day, Tuesday, November 21, 2023

“A Feeling of Belonging”

For some of us, it seems,
we don’t belong anywhere.

The world is changing
around us so quickly
and drastically
that sometimes we cringe.

People have grasped
the chains of prosperity,
many at any cost,
losing their grip
on reality
of what should be.

Some redefine happiness
and joy to be more
superfluous, banal,
and outright contradictory,
and begin to be caught up
in themselves
and no one else.

At home when they stand
in front of their mirrors,
they know not who they are
and sense a declining connection
to everything around them,
including a sense of belonging,
putting them into a spiral spin.

Surely, there is some way
to climb out of this abyss
of loneliness, self-pity,
and disengagement.

The only way I have discovered
is to make a personal choice
to begin to see things differently,
think of others, love God,
follow His will, and hear,
heed, and hearken
to prophetic voices,
true, constant, personal.

Once we begin to choose
a different path,
pivoting just so a degree or two,
clawing our way out 
with all our might,
the light will return,
spreading an innate understanding
and recognition of who
we really are,
from whence we came,
and where we are divinely
destined to go,
our true nature returning
to us and in us,
and we will begin
the climb again,
upward and ever onward
to where we really belong.

Monday, November 20, 2023

“We Live in Momentous Times”

Poem of the Day, Monday, November 20, 2023

“We Live in Momentous Times”

We Live in Momentous Times.
Just look out the window,
check out the changing
of the weather, the rains,
the snows above 6,000 ft,
and clouds loaded
with snow, thick and white.
You cannot help but feel something
is a brewing just across the mountains,
even just across the street.
But think of what is happening
all around us and in our lives—
temples scattered across the globe,
more missionaries and senior missionaries
than we have ever seen before;
a dozen or so of new missions;
prophets and seers traveling the globe,
teaching about belonging,
the gospel of Jesus Christ
and bringing people unto Christ
with an emphasis on temples and covenants;
messages to the youth, young single adults,
and the rest of us, plowing through life,
no matter the challenges or barriers;
prophetic invitations to do better,
think Celestial, eradicate contention,
seek peace, focus on education
of all throughout the world;
emphasis on personal revelation
and listening to and heeding
prophetic counsel, the purposeful
message of loving thy neighbor
in such tumultuous times;
the rapidity of change
in everything around us,
and so many, many more.
Surely, there has never been
a better time to live upon the earth.
Yes, we live in momentous times,
saved especially for us in these latter days.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

"The strength to plow forward"

Poem of the Day, Sunday, November 19, 2023

"The strength to plow forward"

Sometimes the dregs of life shroud our minds,
even overwhelm us without even asking
if we are ready for them or even want them.

They just descend in torrents
like the Puerto Montt rains in the winter.
They are even embellished by the media

and our so-called friends who wallow
in negativity every single day on their pages.
They paint callous pictures of darkness and doom,

even the “woe is me” in a threatening
and deviant cadence that usurps my power
to decline or accept the inevitable.

Yet there days when I immerse myself in mountains,
walking along the paths of changing colors
from greens to yellows to deep browns, golds, and reds.

A slight breeze beckons me to hearken back
to the light that gives them life, propelling
life’s juices to flow readily and happily

through their veins all the way to the roots,
pressing deeply beneath the ground,
establishing the never-ending underpinnings

of strength, courage, and resilience,
creating life above and below the ground,
extending itself throughout the forest.

It is at these times when those awful dregs dissipate,
disperse across the landscape, disappearing
into the deep crags of rock, out of sight,

sound, and senses, leaving me
whole again, full of light and hope,
gifting me a new direction and meaning.

It is at these times when I feel the Son
more powerfully upon me, in me, giving me
the strength to plow forward and beyond.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

“Beauty comes in pieces and parts”

Poem of the Day, Saturday, November 18, 2023

“Beauty comes in pieces and parts”

Beauty comes in pieces and parts,
and I have often wondered why.
Overtime, I have concluded
that we cannot handle all the beauty
at once for there is just way too much,
no matter where you look
or where you travel
or what you see.

Think of the quaken aspens in the fall,
laden with their beautiful golden leaves,
gently rustling in the wind
as it dances between the branches.

Think of high mountain lakes, pristine and cold,
fat rainbow and brook trout surfacing
just in time to capture the small flies
or mosquitos hovering just above the calmness
while an osprey lingers nearby, waiting for its turn.

Think of the herd of does moseying,
through the meadow,
flicking their tails as they saunter
while a six-point buck stands
in the shade at the edge, waiting and watching.

Think of the rows and rows of potatoes
ready to be harvested in the fall
in eastern Idaho and the section
of golden wheat next to it,
standing guard until the combines come.

Think of my mom’s double peonies
sagging because of the weight
of their blossoms—reds, whites, pinks—
and the huge snowball bush in the front yard.

Think of playas of Bayahibe and La Isla Saona
and snorkling just off the shore in turquoise water,
near the old dock and seeing types of fish
you have never seen before or ever will again.

Think of our children and grandchildren
as they grow and develop,
become conversationists and successful.

It is no wonder God does not let us see it all at once.
The greatness and the extravaganza of splendor
would overcome and overpower us.

But each piece and part that we see
and experience encircles us
for those precious moments we are there,
and then we tuck them away in our brains,
our phones, our Facebook and Instagram pages,
and let our fingers stroll through the beauty
one picture at a time, kindling memories
that will seldom fade because new beauty
all around us never ceases to be,
always magnificent, never-ending, and eternal.

Friday, November 17, 2023

“The day after rain”

Poem of the Day, Friday, November 17, 2023

“The day after rain”

The day after fall rains comes
expectantly, the Sun now free
from gray clouds crowding out light,
hanging over the mountains
like curtains, while thick clouds hover
over the valleys, shrouding them from view.

The night before, we sheltered
in our homes, heard the pounding
of rain drops overhead, watched
the golden leaves being stripped
from the trees, the last semblance of fall,
and then slept soundly, snuggled under blankets
and a heavy fall quilt.

In the morning, the sun bursts
over the east mountains, unencumbered
by suffocating dark clouds and mist.

We saunter out, basking
in the brightness and warmth,
inhaling the fresh air
that the rains cleansed
throughout the night.

Some trees still have their golden leaves
although many of them now lie scattered
upon the ground until they dry,
and the wind picks them up
and hustles them away.

It’s refreshing the day after rain,
one that soothes us, causes us
to breathe deeply,
clarity of thought overwhelming us.

Yet, we pray that more rain will come
in snow form, more deliberately,
strategically, causing our rivers
and reservoirs to fill,
ultimately quenching
our parched lands and lives,
creating within us a sense
of newness and purity.


Thursday, November 16, 2023


Poem of the Day, Thursday, November 16, 2023


On cold evenings, cool air seeps
through the front door
painted bright red.
Even old blankets beneath the doors
only stop it for a moment.

Inside though, the fire roars
in the fireplace with its great mantle,
buoying up all the trimmings of family—
photos of children, grandchildren, fishing trips,
the Tetons, special rocks, and graduations.

We sit there, quietly, just the two of us now,
melancholy seeping through our veins,
remembering the good times,
while we sip hot chocolate
with extra scoops of Marshmallows.

We look fondly at each other,
devotion infused in each other’s hearts,
seeing and feeling the endearing past
and the immense love in the moment.

These are our times now, together
before the fire, mesmerized
by the flames and popping of wood,
and smoke rising lazily, hesitantly,
knowing that it will dissipate
into the cold air and disappear forever.

Our memories do not disappear.
They settle on the surface and descend
deep within our hearts and minds,
conjuring up another time,
another place, always lingering,
never leaving us, even for a moment.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

“Juliet’s Eternal Question”

Poem of the Day, Wednesday, November 15, 2023

“Juliet’s Eternal Question”

Romeo’s Juliet asked an important question
on that famous balcony and one
that we must ask ourselves:
“What’s in a name?”

When people think about us,
our name, our persona, our doings,
what images conjure up in their minds?
Kindness or cruelty,
compassion or meanness?
What about loving or cold-hearted?
A sense of goodness and trust?
Or maybe they draw a blank,
remembering a wisp of something
or someone passing by?

It’s more than just a name—

It’s how we live, act, speak,
how we conduct ourselves in private
and in “the public haunt of men….”
It’s how we treat others,
how we lift them up,
help them become better.

It’s more than just a name—

It's our smile and manners.
It’s elevating others above our own needs.
It’s our persona, outward and inward,
striving to be the same each day.

It’s more than just a name—

When we climb out of ourselves
to be kind, gracious, and trustworthy,
we rise to be someone different,
someone noble and worthy
of whose we are and destined to become.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

“Leaning In”

Poem of the Day, Tuesday, November 14, 2023

“Leaning In”

Life’s winds will always blow,
some short and gentle,
others gale-force and vicious!

Yet, we must not take a break
during those tumultuous times.

Rather, it is about leaning into the wind,
head bowed, looking up periodically
forging ahead, not letting it
blow us off course or deter us.

Leaning into the wind fortifies us
to continue forward until the wind dies down,
perhaps dissipates for a moment of reprieve.

At that moment, we can look at our steps,
realizing we have continued on our path—
a bit frayed, clothes tattered, hair askew,
feelings on the edge, but we are moving
forward, ever forward, still trundling on.

Instead of being harried, disheartened,
we now feel refreshed, energized,
and renewed because we have leaned in,
steadied ourselves to carry on
into the sunshine of life, stronger,
poised, ready to take on another gale,
which will come in time.

Monday, November 13, 2023

“The Birthing of Poems”

Poem of the Day, Monday, November 13, 2023

“The Birthing of Poems”

Poems come to me
in different ways
and in different places.
Often, they just come
as I type on the keyboard,
flowing like creeks
and sometimes rivers
onto the page.

Most, however, flop out like fish do
when fish hatchery trucks pull up
to some distant creek bank and dump
their fish into the water.

The flopping makes lots of noise
and chaos for a few minutes
until the truck finishes
dumping its load,
and then there is silence,
while the fish scatter,
swimming in some direction,
up or down the stream
or laying low for the moment.

For them, it doesn’t matter.
They are free now
to go where they wish.
So, too, are words
that flop out of my mind

onto the page, swimming
chaotically around,
trying to find a free place to rest
for just a moment until they find

their direction, their spot
of connection to their new life.
Once they find the way, they swim
exuberantly as if they had never been

cooped up before
in schools in a pond.
And there, suddenly,
onto the page emerges
a semblance of a poem,
mostly neat and pretty,

a few of the words
shuffling to their preferred spots,
finally squeezing in tight spaces,
truly parallel parking at its best.

Then, they bask in the glory
of their new environment,
knowing full well they are safe
and sound and looking delicious.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Seven Haiku for You

Poem of the Day, Sunday, November 12, 2023

"Seven Haiku for You"

Water flows calmly
through cottonwoods and sunshine
whispers life to all.

Leaves rustle and fall
slowly down, down, on the ground
giving life to earth


My breath coalesces
perforates clouds in the sky
returns with water.

Praying mantis clings
to hidden stems beneath leaves
perfect camouflage.

Pinks, oranges, and reds
create sunsets for all to see
for brief moments of time.

Silence in the woods
interrupted by the chirping
of living forest.

Calla lilies bloom
their majesty overwhelms
our lives forever. 

Saturday, November 11, 2023

“The Right of Passage of Growing Older”

Poem of the Day, November 11, 2023

“The Right of Passage of Growing Older”

Is there some right of passage
when one gets older?
How many 20% coupons
can you really use?
Or the fact that no one
cards you anymore.
They assumed by the way you look
that you must be a senior citizen,
and give you the discount
without even asking you.
Of course, I don’t mind
the discounts and people willing
to hold open the door,
smiles behind your back
or even the kind looks
when they pass by like
they might feel sorry for you
since you look like their grandparents.

My looks may be congruent
with how they see me,
passing by hurriedly,
eyes mostly glued
to the phone in their hand,
but my mind seems to be
still pretty sharp.
I keep up on things
so, I can have a decent conversation
I still drive with astuteness,
within the posted speed limit
and, yes, with a wee bit of caution,
especially at night.

I do grouse and groan
just a tich when I see
these young people
with phones in their hands,
hand on the steering wheel
with a drink in it
or their heads staring down
at stop signs and signal lights,
reading what I suspect
are text messages
and then texting
someone back
about “cool emoji”
or some nonsensical thing
or whatever,
probably not even
grammatically correct
or with the proper punctuation
or using appropriate
upper and lower case.

I am definitely not ready
to sit in the recliner,
flip through channels,
play on my phone.
But if there is right of passage
that allows a nap
during the middle of the day,
I suspect I am willing to succumb
to that even if I will still call it
my “power nap.”

Friday, November 10, 2023

“Time is a sacred thing"

Poem of the Day, Friday, November 10, 2023

“Time is a sacred thing"

Time is a sacred thing.
What we do with it can cause
us insufferable pain and much grief,
or great joy and never-ending happiness.

As puppeteers of our lives,
we can choose our futures
depending on what we do
with our time in the present.

Time offers us opportunities
to squander, embellish,
or to enhance our lives.

We can be habitually late
or blissfully on time.

We can fritter away our time
or be wise with every ticking second.

Time can be our eternal friend
or our crippling foe.

It’s up to us how we spend our time
like Gandalf said to Frodo:
“All we have to decide is what to do
with the time that is given us.”

Our clock is ours and ours alone
to progress or retrogress!

Thursday, November 9, 2023

“The Art of Life”

Poem of the Day, Thursday, November 9, 2023

“The Art of Life”

Growing old tends to make one reflect
on the past, the present,
the upcoming future.
It is no wonder that people panic,
feel they have wasted their lives.

When you really analyze it,
put pen to paper
or fingers to keyboard
and write the things,
even the simple ones,
that you are proud of,
see as your accomplishments,
or those that make you happy,
it will truly amaze you,
maybe even surprise you.

You can assess your choices,
good and bad,
review the twists and turns
of your life, knowing full well
that many were good,
propelling you to do the things
you were supposed to, needed to.

Granted, there are things
that frost us, cause some pain
and, perhaps, a bit of shame,
but those are in the past,
not worth dredging up
or opening wounds again,
especially if you have worked 
through them and have healed.

Yet, when we think
of the positive things,
we smile, tears fall unabashedly,
feelings of happiness wash over us.

At that moment, we understand
that our past created us,
allowed us to become
artists in the art of life,
creating, composing, learning,
absorbing, changing, and becoming
better, kinder, and more self-aware
each day, knowing
that our choices made us
who and whose we are.

Yes, we have done well.
Still, there is more to come.
Our past will propel us
to the future so we can live
each day more selflessly.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

"Chasing Sunsets"

Poem of the Day, Wednesday, November 8, 2023

"Chasing Sunsets"

There is a powerful extravagance in sunsets.
Some linger longer, spilling deep gold,
orange, and black rays and spreading stunningly
across the western highline, stretching its exquisiteness,
hoping, just hoping, the earth will stop
for a few more seconds so they can spread
their resplendent colors like a giant peacock
with a horizon for wings, waiting for an encore.

Other sunsets are bold for a blink of an eye,
and you must be there to capture
their beauty and magnificence.
Often, I sit and wait for them,
so they do not sneak upon me
like my brothers used to
after doing late chores in the winter.

At dusk, the sun glides gracefully across the sky,
disappearing surreptitiously behind globs
of dark gray clouds, a few wispy white ones,
and then dropping precipitously, lower and lower,
perhaps a bit reticent, unpretentious at first.

Yet just before it slouches behind the mountain
and beyond the horizon, it flashes,
radiant deep oranges, yellows, blacks,
browns, and other mixtures of radiant colors,
cascading across the horizon,
embellishing everything around it
and casting a view of splendor
on another stage on the east mountains.

For a few brief moments, we bask 
in its glory and momentous beauty,
and then, it is gone, leaving a few tailings
of grandeur and grandness to dally just bit
longer to entice us to stay each evening
when it will return again and shower us
with another majestic array of magnificence!

Tuesday, November 7, 2023


Poem of the Day, Tuesday, November 7, 2023


It’s really about perspective,
aligning yours, mine, his,
hers, theirs, ours, etc.

My perspective is different
and still acceptable if you look
at the things I have accomplished
along the way in my long life.

I grew in the country, had chores,
early mornings, cold days, cows,
chickens, pigs, horses to feed,
lawns to mow and snow to shovel,
and a father who was adamant
about doing chores early
and being on time.

He had more work for us
when we complained.
His method of discipline was old-school
and would not be approved today.
Yet, it worked for us.

I learned much about paying attention,
working hard, knowing I could
do lots of things on my own.
I didn’t complain much
because it didn’t do any good.
Just plowed forward, doing,
improving, and doing more.

Now, when I see others not doing
the same things and moaning
about doing simple things
and not having this or that
or playing on phones and video games,
wasting time like time is nothing,

I see it from my perspective:
Pay attention. Be anticipatory.
Just do what needs to be done.
Quit moaning! Work. Learn.
Move forward! Go and do—
All with a dose or two
of kindness and compassion!

Monday, November 6, 2023

Lifelong Learning

Poem of the Day, Monday, November 6, 2023

"Lifelong Learning"

I have discovered along the way
that life is all about learning,
not just schoolbooks, degrees,
parchment, and such.
It’s really about learning to learn,

learning how to change,
and then changing what we should have
learned and learn just a bit more.
For some, learning stops
at the end of college,

those fateful days
in May or December
or whenever someone hands you
a diploma or certificate,
when you line up in caps and gowns,

wait our turn for our three seconds
on podium and then off we go
into a world we really know little about.
In actuality, if you take notes,
it’s just the beginning

of real learning, real practice,
real time, and real application.
Lifelong learning enhances us, provides us
with methods to see more clearly
and profoundly and a way

to elevate our own being
in so many innovative situations.
It includes a sense of achievement
of knowing you really can learn more
than you can ever imagine.

Life is all about learning things.
Knowledge oozes out of every corner
and crack in our lives during good
and challenging times.
Often it just seeps by us, ready for us

to just reach out and grab some,
or hangs from luscious baskets
within our reach,
but often we do not take advantage
of the proliferation of learning new things.

Perhaps, now is the time to begin
anew, sense the newness around us—
in the air, on the street, at our job,
at church, and within our families.
Learning is an investment,

yielding high benefits and interest
and no recession ever.
Invest now and often
and keep your bank account growing.
Every. Single. Day.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

"Sundays are Special"

Poem of the Day, Sunday, November 5, 2023

"Sundays are special"

Sundays are special—
When we know the reason why.
When we recognize our worth
and our divine nature!
When we ponder and reflect
upon our many blessings.
When we experience
the sacredness of the Sacrament,
each torn piece of bread
and cup of water, symbols of His Son
who was torn and broken
and who bled from every pore
for each of us.
As we sing the hymns of Sunday
that teach us doctrine and eternal truths.
As peace and comfort distill upon us
like the dews from Heaven.
As we feel the love of our Heavenly Father
enveloping us, touching our very souls,
especially when we feel
down and despondent, lifting us
from the abyss of darkness
through His Son’s infinite Atonement
that wipes away our tears,
soothes our fears,
and teaches us to hear Him,
His soft and tender voice,
always lifting,
always calming,
always filling us
with love, compassion, and mercy.
Still, we have to obey,
do what He asks, live like He did,
love others, strive with all our might,
and minister to all—
surely a small price to pay
to live with Him
and our eternal family

Saturday, November 4, 2023

"Finding Solace"

Poem of the Day, November 4, 2023--"Finding Solace"

"Finding Solace"

It’s a shame to realize that the loudness
and cruelty of world pound us
from every corner of the earth today
and surrounds us with the thickness of dread.
Often, we think there is no safe place

where we can feel solace and peace.
I stay away from the news, hoping
I will not be singed or even burned
by the ugliness and pervasiveness of it all.
Instead, I seek solace in the usual places—

on the beach, listening the waves lap
against the gray sands, retreating,
and beginning again, never tiring
of the push and pull of seeping sand;
or sauntering through the forest and trees,

feeling the softness of the debris of leaves
as I walk along, listening intently
to the sounds of life all around me;
or maybe just sitting in my room, reading,
studying, hearing the tick of the old clock

that Dad made from a stump.
For me, the best place for solace is sitting
and contemplating in the Lord’s House,
the temple, where the Spirit distills it
throughout every room as lights beam brightly,

enlightening my mind and soul,
allowing solace and peace
to encompass me in eternal bliss.
For those brief and tender moments,
I feel I am in my real world,

from which I came and must return.
It is here in the House of the Lord
where we learn to listen to and learn
about solace, surround ourselves with it,
and then share it with others

until they, too, can feel the challenges
of the world weave their way out,
dissipating into the quietness of night,
finally filling them with soothing solace
they deserve and have felt before.


Friday, November 3, 2023

"The Profundity of Simplicity"

Poem of the Day 3, Friday, November 3, 2023

"The Profundity of Simplicity"

It’s odd when you really think about it—
the profundity of simplicity.
Most things in life reek
of a ephemerality and shallowness,
non-starters from the beginning.

People seem to be ever learning
but never arriving at the truth
about the simplicity of life.

They draw the things of the world
too close in their line of vision,
thus obstructing simplicity.

They make things too hard
as they overthink
even the simplest of tasks.

No wonder our lives careen
out of control because the simple
has been too distorted, too garbled,
for even simple contemplation.

Simplicity allows us to move forward,
unfettered with the overwhelmingness
of life’s challenges that engulf us
forcing us to spend far more time packing,
unpacking, and repacking non-essentials
and stuffing them away, hoarding them,
instead of shedding them forever.

It is past time to seek the simplicity
of life that will ultimately produce
a profound sense of becoming and being
seeing with utmost clarity.

Darrel L. Hammon