Tending the Family Tree

A grandparent’s charge

A tender shoot sprouts from a tree
that’s rooted in a trunk called me.
That little branch that bears my name
will grow into a limb.

And how it grows depends on much.
Their parents’ guidance, friends and such.
But, Lord, I know Your grand design
includes grandparents, too.

How straight and strong that branch will grow
will be determined (I well know)
by words of blessing, loving touch
and what grandkids observe.

Lord, may my children’s children see
Your Holy Spirit’s work in me
through what I do and what I say
and how I make them feel.

Welcome to “My Rhymes and Reasons”

You’re always welcome here!

After two decades of writing a weekly poetry blog known as “Rhymes and Reasons” for the Partial Observer website, I have decided to branch out and write my own blog on my own site. Appropriately it will be called “My Rhymes and Reasons.”

While I will maintain my tradition of posting a weekly poem dealing with current events, popular culture and faith, this new site will allow me the opportunity to post on a more regular basis. I hope my faithful readers who have followed me since my first post in the fall of 2002 will continue to look forward to my words.


The Cross is Our Ground Zero

Why the cross is the crux of our faith

The cross is our Ground Zero
where death gave way to life.
Where love reached out amid a world of terror.
It’s where we are reminded of
the peace God longs to give
to every man and woman everywhere.

The cross is our Ground Zero
where history recalls
a day that no one ever can forget.
A day God spoke amid the groans
of pain and misery
while canceling our unpaid moral debt.

The cross is our Ground Zero
where (with gratitude) we bow
acknowledging a sacred sacrifice.
This symbol of our liberty
and freedom from our past
forever calls to mind sin’s ugly price.

A Score Recalled

Remembering September 11th twenty years later

9-11… A score
from a game we will never forget.
As you will recall, that was the day
evil appeared to have won.
But evil started celebrating prematurely.
For in the end freedom prevailed.
Over three thousand lives
were taken from us that day.
But nothing can take away
the legacy of liberty
those lives
(and countless other lives)
purchased for us
with the currency of their courage
and their blood.
We recall their sacrifice
with unceasing gratitude
and ongoing sorrow.

9-11… A score of years has passed
since four planes crashed
and twin towers fell.
And every year we ring a bell
and read the names of the fallen.
We remember
that September day somberly.
A sunny morning forever gray.
We pray. We cry.
We lay a wreath.
And in our grief
we beseech Almighty God
to bless America once again
and give us cause to sing “Amen”
when love will triumph over hate
and peace at last prevails.

A Symphony Heard Around the World

Remembering September 2, 1945

The deck of a ship
became a platform for peace
as an instrument of surrender was signed.
In Tokyo Bay, that longed for day,
a General was quite specific.
There was no wasting time.
His mission was clear.
He knew the score.

Having orchestrated every minute detail in advance,
he conducted a symphony at sea.
His baton was a Parker fountain pen.
And the joyful melody MacArthur coaxed
from those seated beneath his gaze
could be heard around the world.

I have it on good authority
that the piece played that day
was much shorter than the peace that followed.
You see, a 19 year old Marine
(who would become my father seven years later)
was there.

My dad made mental notes
of this once-in-a-lifetime performance.
As an eyewitness to history,
he told me his story
time and again
until his time came.
And when at last it did
there was a surrender ceremony
of another kind.
And another symphony.
This one requiring but one instrument.
A solitary bugler playing “Taps.”

  • My dad (Edwin Asimakoupoulos) was one of fifty members of the Marine detachment on the USS Missouri in 1945. He saw action in the South Pacific (including Iwo Jima). He was an honor guard at the surrender cermonies aboard the Mighty Mo on September 2, 1945. As such he was assigned as an attache to the Russian General who signed the treaty on behalf of the Soviet Union. It was a red-letter day in his life. My dad died on November 4, 2008. That would prove to be a red-letter day for our nation. It was the day we elected the first black man to live in the White House. A Mariner bugler played Taps at his memorial service on November 10, 2008 (the 233rd anniversary of the establishment of the United States Marine Corps).