Category Archives: Poetry

Baxter, Joanne Bailey: When I’m an old lady (1991)

Old lady tagger

When I’m an old lady

When I’m an old lady, I’ll live with my kids,
And make their life happy and filled with such fun.
I want to pay back all the joy they’ve provided.
Returning each deed! Oh, they’ll be so excited!

When I’m an old lady and live with my kids

I’ll write on the wall with reds, whites and blues,
And I’ll bounce on the furniture wearing my shoes.
I’ll drink from the carton and then leave it out.
I’ll stuff all the toilets and oh, how they’ll shout!

When I’m an old lady and live with my kids

When they’re on the phone and just out of reach,
I’ll get into things like sugar and bleach.
Oh, they’ll snap their fingers and then shake their head,
and when that is done I’ll hide under the bed.

When I’m an old lady and live with my kids

When they cook dinner and call me to meals,
I’ll not eat my green beans or salads congealed.
I’ll gag on my okra, spill milk on the table,
And when they get angry, I’ll run as fast as I’m able!

When I’m an old lady and live with my kids

I’ll sit close to the TV, through the channels I’ll click,
I’ll cross both eyes just to see if they stick.
I’ll take off my socks and throw one away,
And play in the mud ’til the end of the day!

When I’m an old lady and live with my kids

And later in bed, I’ll lay back and sigh,
I’ll thank God in prayer and then close my eyes.
My kids will look down with a smile slowly creeping,
And say with a groan, “She’s so sweet when she’s sleeping!”

God Bless All Moms and Grandmas Everywhere!

© 1991 Joanne Bailey Baxter

This copyright has been disputed in below comment. ©2002 May Baker Winkel


Wonderful description of the addiction of writing.

Gifford MacShane, Author

Please Say Goodnight by Gifford MacShane
Sung to the tune of “All Through the Night”

Midnight now, my head is hanging,
Time to say goodnight.
Voices in my head, stop clanging,
It’s time to say goodnight.
I know there are chapters waiting,
Characters anticipating.
I don’t need your conversating,
Please say goodnight.

Heroes have good deeds to do,
But please say goodnight.
Villains will do evil, too,
But please say goodnight.
Demoiselle is left in peril,
Terrified of all things feral,
I don’t really mean to querul,
But please say goodnight.

Night is gone, the dawn is breaking,
PLEASE say goodnight.
My eyes are fried, my hands are shaking,
PLEASE say goodnight.
If I don’t sleep I will perish,
And your story none will cherish.
Voices, please, it may sound churlish

Not familiar with this Welsh carol? Here’s the Kingston Trio’s version of the original. Obviously…

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Kay, Loralie: “Old Joshua” / “Dawn” (2014)

The Joshua tree was given its name by the Mormon pioneers, who were reminded of the Biblical Joshua of old lifting his arms to God, when they saw the high-lifting branches of the tree.

Joshua tree in sunset by Sam Scholes, 2010
Joshua tree in sunset by Sam Scholes, 2010

Old Joshua

Old Joshua tree, you lift wild limbs
as a shield from the heat of the sun,
still as a statue, standing in sand,
named after Joshua of old.

Wild jack rabbits scamper and jump
around your shaggy brown bark,
scorpions crawl up and down your bent spine
and lurk in your odd-jutting arms.

Your pointed quills are home to lizards and wrens
and snakes slither past those cruel ends.
Yet just yesterday your sharp swords brought death
to thousands who stained the land red.

You marched around Jericho day after day
raising your bugles high, then you
gave the command, the walls tumbled down,
and your troops slaughtered all those inside.

You smote all the country, all of the hills,
with the edge of your mighty sword,
slaying soldiers and mothers and babes in their beds,
and kings, even thirty and one.

Joshua, recall how you lifted your eyes to exclaim,
“Look—the sun stands still!”
Even the sky’s light refused to go out
as it witnessed such carnage below.

Now you’re alone, epic Joshua tree,
grown old and smitten with time.
A lonely silhouette with bent twisted limbs
against a red flaming sky.

No mighty armies can you command
no promised land can you seek.
Only branches braced high against a searing hot sun
to block scorching memories.

Do you lift your prickly arms high in praise
for the heated battles you’ve known?
Or to beg forgiveness for the carnage you’ve wrought,
and seek peace to quench your parched soul?

Loralie Kay

 Dawn by Prophetic Explorer - used for Loralie Kays Dawn


Many years I’ve lived the single life,
these long years since children and divorce,
a life complete with friends, laughs, and loves.
But not love.

Through these years I’ve wondered,
Is true love, the kind of love that lasts and endures
and often extolled in fairy tales,
merely a fantasy?

Then as my 66th year breaks over me,
love arrives, alive with hopes and promises
of fantasy springing to life,
with a new sky, and a new dawn.

We love quickly, perhaps too quickly,
before exploring the flaws that compose us both.
Then we slowly discover each imperfection
as we undress each other in the bed of familiarity.

Fantasy, so long sought, grinds slowly to reality,
complete with shards of gray and flashes of bright.
Ecstasy, tears, a day is still a day.
Did I really expect a different sunrise?

Then a new hand reaches toward me.
Fingers flicker faintly on mine.
“Fly away with me” he coaxes,
“We would be good together.”

If I reach forward to grasp this new hand,
will I discover yet another fantasy?
Bearing unknowns and hapless hopes,
a misty castle in the sky?

I turn back to the love
sleeping close at my side,
taking deep and steady breaths
in the early dawning light.

I look past illusive fantasy
and into his face filled with reality,
as the morning sun floods the room
and illuminates us.

Loralie Kay

The Lay of Lambert Linkin

Being the kind of person I am, I had to gather as much information as I could on Long Lankin when I reviewed the novel by the same name. Horror tales were popular in the good ol’ days as well as today.
Belinkin and the nurse are two extremely frightening people who “had it coming” when IT came.
Kilbryde Parish Church;  Credit: University of St. Andrews
Kilbryde Parish Church;
Credit: University of St. Andrews
Thought to be the original version
Belinkin was as gude a mason
As e’er pickt a stane;
He built up Prime Castle,
But payment gat nane.
The lord said to his lady,
5 When he was going abroad,
“O beware of Belinkin,
For he lyes in the wood.”
The gates they were bolted,
Baith outside and in;
10 At the sma’ peep of a window
Belinkin crap in.
“Gude morrow, gude morrow,”
Said Lambert Linkin.
“Gude morrow to yoursell, sir,”
15 Said the fause nurse to him.
“O whare is your gude lord?”
Said Lambert Linkin.
“He’s awa to New England,
To meet with his king.”
20 “O where is his auld son?
Said Lambert Linkin.
“He’s awa to buy pearlings,
Gin our lady ly in.”
“Then she’ll never wear them,”
25 Said Lambert Linkin.
“And that is nae pity,”
Said the fause nurse to him.
“O where is your lady?”
Said Lambert Linkin.
30 “She’s in her bouir sleepin’,”
Said the fause nurse to him.
“How can we get at her?”
Said Lambert Linkin.
“Stab the babe to the heart
35 Wi’ a silver bo’kin.”
“That wud be a pity,”
Said Lambert Linkin.
“Nae pity, nae pity,”
Said the fause nurse to him.
40 Belinkin he rocked,
And the fause nurse she sang,
Till a’ the tores o’ the cradle
Wi’ the red blude down ran.
“O still my babe, nurice,
45 O still him wi’ the knife.”
“He’ll no be still, lady,
Tho’ I lay down my life.”
“O still my babe, nurice,
O still him wi’ the kame.”
50 “He’ll no be still, lady,
Till his daddy come hame.”
“O still my babe, nurice,
O still him wi’ the bell.”
“He’ll no be still, lady,
55 Till ye come down yoursell.”
“It’s how can I come doun,
This cauld frosty nicht,
Without e’er a coal
Or a clear candle licht?”
60 “There’s twa smocks in your coffer,
As white as a swan;
Put ane o’ them about you,
It will shew you licht doun.”
She took ane o’ them about her,
65 And came tripping doun;
But as soon as she viewed,
Belinkin was in.
“Gude morrow, gude morrow,”
Said Lambert Linkin.
70 “Gude morrow to yoursell, sir,”
Said the lady to him.
“O save my life, Belinkin,
Till my husband come back,
And I’ll gie ye as much red gold
75 As ye’ll haud in your hat.”
“I’ll not save your life, lady,
Till your husband come back,
Tho’ you wud gie me as much red gold
As I could haud in a sack.
80 “Will I kill her?” quo’ Belinkin,
“Will I kill her, or let her be?”
“You may kill her,” said the fause nurse,
“She was ne’er gude to me;
And ye’ll be laird o’ the Castle,
85 And I’ll be ladye.”
Then he cut aff her head
Fra her lily breast bane,
And he hung ‘t up in the kitchen,
It made a’ the ha’ shine.
90 The lord sat in England A-drinking the wine:
“I wish a’ may be weel
Wi’ my lady at hame;
For the rings o’ my fingers
95 They’re now burst in twain!”
He saddled his horse,
And he came riding doun;
But as soon as he viewed,
Belinkin was in.
100 He hadna weel stepped
Twa steps up the stair,
Till he saw his pretty young son
Lying dead on the floor.
He hadna weel stepped
105 Other twa up the stair,
Till he saw his pretty lady
Lying dead in despair.
He hanged Belinkin
Out over the gate;
110 And he burnt the fause nurice,
Being under the grate.

Tores. The projections or knobs at the corners of old-fashioned cradles, and the ornamented balls commonly found surmounting the backs of old chairs. Motherwell.


Other names that this lay is know by: Lammerlinkin, Lammikin, Lamkin, Lankin, Linkin, Belinkin, Long Lankin, Lantin, Long Lankyn or Longkin, Rankin or Balcanqual.

Campbell, Rolf: Scotian Poet

Rolf Campbell: stolen from his facebook page
Rolf Campbell: stolen from his facebook page

My very good friend Rolf Campbell happens to live a ways away from Norway, just across the pond in Scotland. Or as he might say it:

In a place I have loved all my lifetime;
In Auchmithie I wish to remain
Until the wheel turns its full circle,
Until I’m reborn once again.

When I’m Gone: From the Heart

As some of you might know, poetry is not my forte because so many poets speak over the head of my autism. But Rolf Campbell speaks to my heart. Except maybe when he extolls his favorite rugby team 😉 in Always An Arab from his For Better or Worse collection.

He has made me laugh, brought forth my tears and caused me to sit quietly afterwards – my mind finally empty of thought. Some of his poetry is painful, such as Rebecca’s Song in From the Heart. Rebecca’s pain clung to my heart and was the poem that caused my thoughts to flee.

Mary’s Wish made me snort with laughter. Cross-communication or misunderstandings arise from the smallest comments and can bring about interesting experiences. She is not in any of his collections on his web-site.

On Rolf’s website you will find examples from each of his collections. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Mr. Campbell also has a facebook page.

I just discovered (22 jan 2019) that Mr. Campbell just died. In homage to his memory, here is the complete version of the above quote:

When I’m Gone

It’s important folk think on their ending,
And tell other friends of their choice
To be buried, cremated – whatever –
Leave no doubts, let them all hear your voice.
For myself, I would wish for cremation,
But no garden remembrance for me:
Instead, my remains should be scattered
From the cliffs, high above the North Sea,
In a place I have loved all my lifetime;
In Auchmithie I wish to remain
Until the wheel turns its full circle,
Until I’m reborn once again.

My reason’s threefold for my choosing,
For a cemetery holds no appeal.
How morbid, depressing and sterile,
Forgotten loved ones, it seems so unreal
With graves overgrown and neglected
And dead flowers ranked on each side;
I’d rather folk gazed on the ocean
And remembered my friendship with pride.
Have a meal, raise a glass to memory,
Maybe walk on the beach for a while;
Save your tears for the living who suffer
And remember my life with a smile.

I’ve always been proud of my country,
Loved Scotland with all of my heart.
Every atom’s a product of Scotland
From my home my remains shouldn’t part.
And when all that’s left are the ashes,
If everything goes as I planned,
Let the sea winds disperse them through Angus;
My remains, give back the life to the land.
Fertilise all that grows in Glen Isla,
And nourish the berries and fields,
Repay my debt to Caledonia,
Participate in future yields.

While my last reason’s really quite silly,
I’ve never done things by a half.
Even now I imagine the mourners,
For I’ve always been fond of a laugh.
As the winds that blow up from the harbour
Carry what’s left in their wake,
I can picture folk diving for cover,
Hear the voices that shout “Heaven’s Sake!”
And while at the end I’ve departed,
I enjoyed all my days, foul or fair,
Though memories may not long linger,
You’ll not get me out of your hair.

Rolf Campbell (1964-2019)

Plath, Sylvia: Ariel

There are many advantages to having an autistic mindset. Worry isn’t really much of a problem because my thinking is much to linear. Abstraction is a mystery to me – at least in poetry form. I can get poetry written for children, but when it comes to stuff as abstract as Plath’s is I’m lost. I read the words and think that they’re beautifully written, but interpreting them is out. So, I cheat.

The internet is a wonderful place to analyse collections like Ariel. But it will be a while until I brave poetry again.