The setting was an old wood framed church house.
Built on the crest of a gently sloping tree-covered hill.
Its wood siding all faded and weather-worn.
The brass church bell for years had been still.
He walked up the hill to the church house.
With each step, old long-past years reappeared.
Soon in his mind, he could hear the congregation singing.
Then down his cheeks streamed the warm, wet tears.
Once again, the old song leader was his grandpa.
His young Mama on a pump organ played.
Packed on the third pew were his mischievous boy cousins.
Standing by the back door to the music his dear daddy swayed.
And old remembrances flooded his being.
A grand family reunion was well underway.
Hearing again the stories of King Jesus,
He couldn’t hold the tears at bay.
Then he moved from the little wooden church house.
Walked down the hill on the path just ahead.
The music and memories slowly fading in the distance.
He arrived at a cemetery with the graves of his family long dead.
There will be a great reunion in heaven in the future,
They’ll all be reunited one wonderful day.
They were all Believers in Jesus,
He’s the Light, the Truth, and the Way.
What if there were no “C’s” to say with our A’s and B’s? What if all the C’s went out on strike? Tired of being seen by you and me as just average unlike the letters A and B. Now here is how your life might be if out on strike went the letter C.
You begin your day with a ‘up of hot ‘offee while in your lap is your ‘urled up ‘at. Then later you ‘ould take your dog for a walk While wearing your favorite ball ‘ap to keep the sun out of your eyes Unless of ‘ourse, dark stormy ‘louds filled the sky.
On to the park where the ‘hildren and ‘anines go to play Where you li’k an i’e ‘ream ‘one bought from a man pushing a ‘art. While sitting in the park table’s ‘hair you ‘arefully observe the ‘ars Driving down the street wondering about the driver’s worries or ‘ares.
A gust of wind makes you need to retrieve your ‘ap that just blew off your head. Your hair now a mess needs ‘ombed but instead of ‘ombing it the ‘ap you wear The favorite team’s ‘ap does its job of hiding your unkempt hair. And you let your dog lead you ba’k to the house.
Ba’k inside your ‘ondominium a box of ‘andy ‘alls your name. The temptation is too hard to resist so you pi’k a ‘ho’olate that’s ‘herry filled Get a ‘up of hot ‘appu’’ino and sit on the ‘ou’h. Then into your lap jumps the ‘at and she quickly ‘urls up.
Finally, resting in his home he re’alls his manners, And remembers to remove his ‘ap, and loves on his ‘urled up ‘at. Now you know how it would be if there were no “C’s” to say with our A’s and B’s Because you’ve seen how your life might be if out on strike went the letter C.
Jimmie Aaron Kepler Written for my granddaughter Aurora Written during November – December 2017
Note: I have had a number of people ask me to share the “No C’s Poem” I wrote a few months back again. So, as you requested, here is “What If There Were No C’s?”
I wrote the below poem several years ago. I began working on it one morning after listening to my parents and their friends discussing their dreams, what they hoped to do “someday.”
All the men and women were in their late 70s to early 90s in age as they discussed their bucket lists and the future. They talked as if they had all eternity to reach their dreams.
A Composite of My Observations
The poem is a composite of my observations of the people. One point stands out. Most of the couples loved each other dearly but never reconciled their hopes leaving many of their life goals unfulfilled.
More recently with my wife’s passing away from Melanoma cancer, I have found myself being very reflective. No, I have not gone down the trail of regrets. That path is only destructive.
I have thought of some of her last words. When she awoke in the hospital ICU after two days of not knowing who or where she was and realized I had followed her wishes and told the surgeon, not to perform another brain surgery, she said, “I knew this cancer was going to kill me. I just didn’t know it would be today or in the next few days.” She added, “I’m so glad you made me take my bucket list vacation in 2016 when I was still healthy enjoy to enjoy you and the vacation.”
If you have dreams, go for them. Don’t delay. You never know when the time will run out. And maybe, like my late wife, you will have no regrets.
We Never Lived In the Now
Your face shows your age,
though your countenance is still glowing,
Your age says grown-up,
but you’ve never decided where you’re going.
You’ve grown older.
Yes, I’m older too.
The remainder of our lives is before us,
oh, what’ll we do?
What were the dreams
you had so long ago?
What was your vision?
Where did it go?
You traveled your way.
I went mine.
A history so different,
The gray now shows in our locks,
showing how much we cared.
Your grin still lights my life,
my smile brightens yours when shared.
You lived for then.
I lived for when.
We never lived in the moment.
No, we never lived in the now.
Sweetheart, do you have a preference on where we go out to eat?
No. Anywhere you want is okay with me dear.
Great, there is a McDonald’s Restaurant; they have a senior discount …
Oh, but look, there is a Subway Restaurant; I think that would be better.
Okay, Subway it is. I’ll let you off at the door and then park the car.
Do you see anything on the menu you prefer?
No. Anything you want is okay with me dear. We can share a foot-long sub.
Great, how about a foot-long Italian Meatball submarine sandwich?
Oh, but the Black Forest Ham sub; I think that would be better.
Okay, make it a foot-long Black Forest Ham on wheat bread, please.
Oh, get whatever you want dear, but white bread …
Ma’am, can you change that to white bread, please
I’d like American cheese …
Dear, Pepper Jack; I think that would be better.
Okay, make it Pepper Jack cheese.
We’d like lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, green peppers, banana peppers, jalapeños ……
Anything you want is okay with me dear, but maybe not the tomatoes and pickles …
Ma’am, hold the tomatoes and pickles, please.
What if we skipped the green peppers, banana peppers, jalapeños and just got black olives?
Okay, make it black olives and mayonnaise instead of green peppers, banana peppers, jalapeño.
Oh, maybe you should go with the light mayo; remember your waistline …
Yes, dear. Ma’am, we’ll take light mayo instead, please.
Sir, do you want to make that a combo with chips and drink?
Dear, we’ve got water and apple slices in the car. No need to splurge, but …
Okay, just the sub, not the combo.
That was a very good lunch. Thank you for taking me out to eat
Aren’t glad I let you have whatever you wanted dear?
And he was glad he remembered,
“Love is patient, and is kind;”
Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Written in Estes Park, Colorado
“Going Out to Eat” was originally published in vox poetic. Kepler, Jimmie A. “Going Out to Eat,” vox poetica, January 27, 2014, Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://voxpoetica.com/eat/.
When I read the first draft of this poem to my late wife, I was shocked at how visibly upset it made her.
“You’re making fun of me and telling the whole world!” she said.
I was taken aback by her comment.
“I don’t understand,” I said with honesty.
“That’s what I did at the Subway Resturant at Amarillo,” she said. She didn’t smile. She only lowered her head.
It was apparent the memory was fresh on her mind.
“It’s a composite of so many of the older couples we see at restaurants. It seems the wife frequently tells the husband to order what he wants. As he orders, she tweaks the order to what she wanted,” I said.
Again, she did not smile. She rolled her eyes.
“It’s not about you,” I said attempting to reassure her.
“It’s about me. Everyone will know it’s about me.”
“But it isn’t about you. Even if it were, who do you know that reads poetry?”
“So you admit you wrote it about me.”
“Sweetie, it’s a composite of so many of the older couples we see at restaurants,” I said trying to reassure her.
“And you’re going to submit it for publication?”
“Only with your permission. I don’t want it to upset you.”
“So it’s my fault if you don’t submit the poem?”
This time I rolled my eyes.
She glared at me for a minute and then sat silent for another five minutes. Finally, she started laughing and said, “I guess if I’m honest wives do that to their husbands. Go ahead and submit your silly poem.”
I submitted it. It was accepted for publication. And no, it wasn’t about Miss Benita. It really is a composite of so many of the older couples I’ve seen at restaurants. It seems the wife frequently tells the husband to order what he wants. As he orders, she tweaks the order to what she wanted and then hands him a coupon to use.
Jean – “Jimmie! Beautifully written and all too true. I like the way you ended as you began. Thank you so much for this engaging poem.”
Annmarie – “Jimmie Kepler writes a love poem to a rock star.”
Brittany- “I love his story poems. He writes wonderful narrative poetry. They frequently remind me of the lyrics of a folk song.”
Marissa – “I heard Jimmie do a reading of ‘Forever Still’ in Plano, Texas a few years ago. His poetry has the passion of the Beat Poets, the tenderness of the hippie poets, and the intellect of the renaissance man. His southern gentleman manners and charm as well as his soft, soothing, Bill Clinton like voice and pacing makes a woman dream he’s reading his magical words to just her.”