When Tempted to Quit Dreaming

Remaining hopeful when hope seems gone

Our baseball team is struggling.
But that is nothing new.
This is the time of year they usually swoon.
In April we have cause to cheer.
In May they win and lose.
But then we know what happens come mid June.

It’s tough remaining faithful
to a team that breaks your heart.
You can’t stay up when they keep falling down.
Just when we start believing
that their bats will catch on fire,
our lofty hopes come crashing to the ground.

And yet somehow we don’t give up.
Against all odds, we dream.
Our loyalty’s indicative of more.
In spite of how life falls apart,
we never call it quits.
We will not be defeated by the score.

Knocked down, we find our feet again
convinced that we can win.
The will to persevere is in us all.
Refusing to cash in our chips,
we play another hand
in cards, in life or in a game of ball.

Deception Can Be Deadly

Lessons from the NAACP leader from Spokane

She said that she was really black,
but she is very white.
When questioned, Rachel Dolezal turned red.
Embarrassed (yet defiant)
she’s transracial (so she claims).
But transparency would help her case instead.

Bill Clinton didn’t tell the truth
and Nixon flat out lied.
Lance Armstrong cycled through the facts like dew.
Playing fast-and-loose with details
undermines integrity.
And Eden’s Garden proves it’s nothing new.

Yes, deception can be deadly.
It can kill more than your job.
It can rob you of the life you love with friends.
When you shade the truth (or bend it),
trust is buried six feet down.
There’s a price tag to the game of “Let’s Pretend!”

The Speaker Has Little to Say These Days

Here’s hoping he finds his voice again soon

Hastert the Speaker has dirt in his past.
The Speaker has little to say.
By hushing accusers, the Speaker’s been hushed
as he prays that his plight goes away.

We, too, should be praying for one who’s been shamed.
The shame that he bears must be great.
His character blemished, his status reduced
not to mention the pain for his mate.

His long-hidden secret no longer is hid.
Once buried, it now is unearthed.
Integrity suffers and trust takes a hit
not to mention the drain to his worth.

Let’s hope that the Speaker will soon find his voice
confessing and making amends.
And may we forgive him with grace in our hearts
acknowledging everyone sins.

Gentle Shepherds

A tribute to kindergarten teachers

I call them gentle shepherds
who are charged with pint-size lambs
about to graze on truth where e’er it’s found.
Though underpraised, they’re worthy of
far more than what they’re paid.
The pasture where they lead is holy ground.

They welcome children primed to learn
wide-eyed (yet quite naïve)
who anxiously leave home for most the day.
They take the hands of little ones
and guide them to their room
where tears are dried and nervous fears allayed.

Yes, kindergarten teachers
are a cut above the rest.
If truth were told they are a special breed.
Who else can make arithmetic an interactive game
while teaching future scholars how to read.

The ones who take our five year-olds
into their confidence
help shape their view of school for years to come.
They grease the skids for learning
as they model etiquette
in a lifelong search for learning just begun.

** I dedicate this poem to my middle daughter (Allison Asimakoupoulos Anderson) who has devoted the last seven years of her life to shepherding pint-size learners at North Park Elementary School in Chicago.