Sunday, March 14, 2010

ANANKE (what has to be)

They come and go
these people who
make brief appearances
in our lives.
We collect them
as if ownership were
a real possibility.
There's no way to
measure how much
they leave of themselves
or how much they take
of us, but even
without absolutes
we feel obliged to participate.

Tomorrow when I awake
I'll try again to make
the connection.

Grandma Proses
Shirley A. Bender
Copyright © 1985

Last Will and Testament for the 21st Century

To establish continuity, I'll begin where I came in.
They gave me Treblinka, Hiroshima, and Wounded Knee,
slavery scars, two world wars, and fewer living species.
Because this type of legacy requires such constant care,
we decided luxury would be the gift we'd share.

For you, we built an island (three-mile high), and to
oversee security employed the agent Orange.  It may
take more than macintosh to shield you from our rain,
but when the o-zone layer's gone WHO will dare complain?
You'll find our toxic dump sites well within your reach.
and the rest is in the fine print at the bottom of this sheet.

With this last will and testament, I bequeath these things
to you.  Take care my heirs of your fair shares and salvage
what you can.  It just may be technology that will re-cycle

Grandma Proses
Shirley A. Bender
Copyright © 1985

Trying to Breathe

Misters Octapus and Centipede
more arms and legs, I need.
I move in cycles, run in circles
and to failure must concede.
I keep the books
keep the house
wash, iron, cook and shop.
Bake the pies
answer the cries
and write the letters, too.
Remember what the rest forget,
steal eight for sleep
and even yet
be the lover
be the wife
what ever happened
to my life?
No muss, no fuss
just wind me up
but as I play the mime
please help me find
some part of me
before it's time
to die.

Grandma Proses
Shirley A. Bender
Copyright © 1985

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I think of her as a Violet
almost hidden in the woods.
Tiny as the forest goes but
stately where she stood.

She never ask for anything
save her tiny little space,
and yet within that framework
made a lasting place.
The beauty of the Violet
is not easy to explain
But trying to forget it
would be totally in vain.

The preacher said, "She died
once the day she left the womb."
This time she left memories
to fill her empty room.

Grandma Proses
Shirley A. Bender
Copyright © 1985
'Remembering' set to music...
Composed by Laurie Stonerock

Friday, March 5, 2010

War Games

Rally round the flag boys
and give me your attention.
Ignore your mother's mournful cries
and follow my advise.

trade in your childish thinker toys
for a dozen half-mast causes
and you and i can take that hill
before the Phoenix rises

Rally round the flag boys
and follow my direction.

don't listen to the ripe old men
who tell you wars aren't won
we have filled up graveyards
with victories by the ton

Rally round the flag boys
and steady your position.

pay no heed to epitaphs
of killed-in-action schemes
glass enclosures weren't designed
to hold the end of dreams

Rally round the flag boys
it's time to go to war.

Grandma Proses
Shirley A. Bender
Copyright © 1985
'War Games' set to music...
Composed by Laurie Stonerock

301.43 Retirement

(For Marjorie)

The radio and the sea bird
were placed carefully in
the box, on top of books
and paper pads, all vital
to the job.
It seemed a simple matter now,
to pack away the years.
The only problem that involved
was holding back the tears.

The task was quickly finished
with surprising self control,
as each and every memory
was put away to store.
It wasn't till the key was turned
for the last time in the lock,
that all the final planning failed
to ease the final shock.

But as it is with everything,
beginnings need an end, and
so it's to that premise that
I offer this, my friend.
May there always be a reason to
greet the morning still,
and time and strength to do
those things, you said,
"Someday I will".

Grandma Proses
Shirley A. Bender
Copyright © 1985
'Retirement' set to music...
Composed by Laurie Stonerock

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Life Ago

My grandmother's spirit has long since left her body and as I sat by her bedside holding her frail hand, I traced each age line with my finger.

Here's the yummy pies....
Here's the juicy pulp scraped from an apple and fed to me on a knife...
Here's the laughter......
Here's the thousand hours of understanding.....
Here's the extra dime I didn't earn....
Here's the wisdon I forgot to tap....
Here's the sacrifice I never noticed....
Here's the quiet love that sustained me...
Here's the disappointment never mentioned....
Here's the home I needed....
Here's a life.

Thank you God for Grandma.
I write this because I don't want to forget.
Is there something you should remember?

Grandma Proses
Shirley A. Bender
Copyright © 1985
'A Life Ago' set to music...
Composed by Laurie Stonerock