Melba Christie at Poemattic

Poetry and Art for the Soul

Haiku 47



A cicada’s life 






 a source of fascination






symbol of rebirth







Magicicada septendecim, male
Magicicada septendecim, male (Photo credit: DanCentury)

























Photographs tell lies


smiles were forged

by a simple command

” Say cheese!”

That moment, that instant

will freeze emotions

of all kinds

for eternity to witness

and judge.







Memories of Memorial Day


A visit to the cemetery

where he was finally laid to rest

where all the buried are equal now

white stones aligned perfectly

in rows of infinite glory

small flags placed at each grave

wave as we walk in

The large flag ushers in the visitors

fresh flowers placed around the pole

Small town parades

celebrate their own

in remembrance

the President places

a wreath at the tomb

of the unknown soldier

known to us all

Taps played

My mother cries.

Then the family gathers

to relish the steaks on the charcoal grill

along with the side dishes

of potato salad, or macaroni and cheese.

Our  uncle shares a story about the

day he entered the armed forces

and then he retreats to sip on a beer.

Even Memorial Day is not the same anymore

no memories left to tell about

A big sale at Sears is the topic of the day

A silent prayer survives it all.

Taps are played again on the late night news

I think about you

and whisper to myself,

He would have been a grandpa by now

I tell you how much I’ve missed you

and put your picture back in the

album mom made for you

the cover says it all:

We are all proud of you.

May 30, 1977

What is around the corner?

It seems like a simple question. What is around the corner? All one needs to do is look and see. But obviously the question is rhetorical and sometimes plain scary? However, it is probably a very common question these days. English writer and poet G. K. Chesterton once said, “There is one thing which gives radiance to everything. It is the idea of something around the corner.” As a child I would love to play hide and seek. I’d always hide in a corner so that I would not be seen and could ultimately surprise whomever had been called”it”. As they turned the corner I would jump out and tag them and most of the time scare the heck out the person. Today it is I who is scared to turn the corner. J.R.R. Tolkien  once wrote,”“Still round the corner there may wait a new road or a secret gate and though I oft have passed them by a day will come at last when I shall take the hidden paths that run West of the Moon, East of the Sun.”

As I grow older and some say wiser (I hope  that’s the case); I have learned to take the paths that help me become a better human being. I am wary of where the road may lead me so I try very hard to forge new paths for myself and others. The surprise element is not as attractive as it use to be. This does not mean that I will not take risks every so often. Life is about taking chances and meeting challenges face to face. But one never knows what’s around the corner. As an optimistic I try to keep positive and look forward to wonderful things. I visualize what I want to be around the corner and usually find what I looked forward to finding.

The reality is that this is not the case for a lot of people. The violence and uncertainty that some folks have to live with on a daily basis makes it difficult to be optimistic about what can be found just around the corner. Some missing children barely turned the corner from their homes when they were kidnapped or attacked. Other innocent young children cannot turn any corner on any street in their neighborhoods without finding themselves at risk of being killed in the crossfire of drug dealers. Some families reach the corner and find themselves at a dead-end about finding jobs or getting the proper housing or health care they need. Therefore, many folks are not too enthusiastic about what they might find just around the corner.

I propose we work collectively to improve the odds of what children might find just around the corner. We must protect our children because not only are they our future but they are our present as well. Our children fill our lives now.  I often put myself in the shoes of parents who have lost their children or babies to violence. The thought that some children are abducted or killed within walking distance of their homes and sometimes even in the presence and company of their parents is torturous. But we must be more vigilant and watch our corners carefully. We must make sure they are safe. We cannot conform to the violence. We must act and act now. These past few days I have heard of several killings that simply do not make sense.

We must look forward to what’s just around the corner for all of us. Some of us live on safe corners and we cannot wait there while others are not safe. Albert Camus once said, ” At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike anyone in the face.” Thus, we have the obligation to work collectively to take back our street corners in all neighborhoods and make them safe for our children. We must not allow thugs and violence to corner us. All children need all of us in their corner. We cannot paint ourselves into corners and let fear take over. Neighborhoods must organize in coordination with schools, churches, libraries and any other safe havens that might be out there for children and young people.

We must believe that great things will be found just around the corner. Al Sharpton says,  “I’ve seen enough things to know that if you just keep on going, if you turn the corner, the sun will be shining.” I believe this to be true. We must turn the corners together. No corner of our being should abandon the idea that we can carry out anything when we unite for a just cause. This is the American way. Our country is the corner of the world where people from all around the globe want to be.  Let us take a stand and turn the corner together. Let us once again as a nation corner the market on humanity and selfless giving of ourselves.

On Friends






We look good together.

               On Friends

Go forth into the busy world  and love it

interest yourself in life, mingle

kindly with its joy and sorrows,

 try what you can to do for others

rather than what you can make them

do for you,  and you will know

what it is to have friends

                 -Ralph Waldo Emerson


This poem is dedicated to my sister Daisy. Tomorrow would have been her 75th Birthday. 


Daisy on my front porch


I am reminded

of her everyday

in so many different ways

especially at dawn

as the sun slowly sneaks up

on us to help us watch

daisies dance with buttercups

she was the sunshine

of the night

and made our lives

feel just right

She was my confidant

and keeper of my hopes

she never let me down

and taught me how to cope

with life’s imperfections

Daisy was my sister dear

when around her

I never feared

I could tell you so much more

of the things that made her special

but as you know

of daisies sweet

the bees converge upon their feet

My sister Daisy

spread her love

and made you believe

that angels looked down on only you

from the heavens  above

I am reminded of her everyday

in so many different ways

and when I see a garden near

I look for daisies among the rest

because of all the flowers on the earth

daisies are the very best.









Be Happy

There are as many nights as days,

and the one is just as long as the other

in the year’s course. Even a happy  life

cannot be without a measure of darkness,

and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning

if it were not balanced with sadness.

Carl Jung


What makes you happy? Please post your thoughts on Twitter or right here at Poemattic.


After reading this quote, I thought about the things that make me happy and better still what I can do to be happier. I believe the secret is this: be unafraid of change, savor the moment when big things happen but be the happiest with the small things. Small events happen every second of the day that may bring a smile to your face.

Accept happiness unconditionally. Restore what childhood and youth provided for us which is the ability to see beauty in many things. Most of the time beauty is present in the small things. Happiness will sneak up on us and we must learn to keep it close by.

Thoreau said to “keep pace with the drummer you hear, however measured or far away.” That  drummer announces the happy and the sad and there lies the balance we need. So like the song says, “be happy, don’t worry.” Happiness is never far away.

These are a few of  the things that make me truly happy and not necessarily in the order they are in:

  • waking up to a gorgeous sun rise
  • watching the trees sway
  • a child’s chuckle
  • my grandsons’ smiles
  • my daughter’s eyes when she is happy
  • my son when he calls just to say hello
  • my family
  • my husband’s tender look
  • a field of aromatic lavender
  • sincerity
  • when I observe someone being compassionate
  • a conversation with my best friend
  • knowing I have been helpful to someone
  • cooking for family and friends
  • listening to old records or CDs
  • a crunchy apple
  • a vase full of fresh cut daisies
  • Painting
  • Writing
  • Poetry




Butterflies love lavender


This is dedicated to my infant grandson. I see them mostly in photographs and short video clips his parents sent me. And sometimes it seems he is in deep thought.


It’s hard to tell what you are thinking about

all day you are snug in your bed

or being swayed in your mother’s arms

or being fed,


What is it that you think about all day?

What are you beginning to understand?

Are you marveled at the world you see?

Do you have some thoughts about improving it?


What do you think about when you look into your mother’s eyes?

Do you wonder what everyone thinks about you?

Do you know you are so cute?


Thinking is a tedious task sometimes.

But a word to the wise,

Thinking should be done very carefully.

It should always be thoughtful.

Thinking should be purposeful.


You are just a few months old

I would love to know what you think about but,

now it does not matter.


what I want you to know is that

we love you so much

and that we

grandma and grandpa

think about you all the time.









Flowers Bloom

Flowers bloom in May

Their beauty is here to stay

Daffodils, Tulips, Lilies like Callas,

and Stargazers, Orchids and Paper Whites

Fressia, Gerbera,  and Irises

Peonies, and of course the Red, Red Rose

All of them knows

They bloom to bring cheer

to mother dear.






      “The perfume of sandalwood,the scent of the bay







“The perfume of sandalwood,

the scent of the bay leaf and jasmine

travel only as far as the wind 

but the fragrance of goodness travels 

with us through all the worlds 

Like garlands woven from flowers,

fashion your life as a garland of 

beautiful deeds” –  Buddha 


Love Will Teach Us All Things Or Will It?

Love will teach all things

it will teach us forgiveness

it will teach us to understand

the deep pain some people

suffer in silence

“A loving heart is the truest wisdom.”


Love will teach us all things

the things that truly matter in life

It will teach us to  accept others

It will teach us

“Peace is not a season but a way of life'”

It teaches us that we must learn

to cultivate human relationships

and the ability to live and work together

on this planet

because it is all we have.


Love will teach us  all things

like being faithful to ourselves

it will teach us

the greatest love of all

is learning to love yourself first

It will teach us that sowing just one seed

might bring us a love song strummed on a guitar


Love will teach us all things,

like Sam says to Molly

in the movie Ghosts,

“It’s amazing Molly,  the love inside, you take it with you”

It lasts forever. It is eternal.

It is aligned to the Divine.

Love teaches us all things in time.





Nothing is more delightful than one’s own pillow

one can squeeze it without

it protesting

the sweet aroma that remains

of the dreams

you wish would come true someday

but hope deep inside

you keep dreaming about them anyway


soft and fluffy

like clouds be

filled with foam or feather

especially in cold weather

one can puff it

plunk it

or drape it over one’s head

hug it and hug it again or

flatten it out

like a pancake

shape it

to suit your fancy

like southern comfort;

it’s home.


Nothing is

more delightful

than one’s own pillow

on a plane

in a car

on a cot

in a hammock

on someone else’s guest bed

It is just the perfect spot

to rest one’s head

because of course now

pillows have a memory.




A Love Poem Found in the Attic

A dried rose

marks the place

in her poem book

where underlined

verses were once

read aloud

by a lover

no one knew

her secret then

only the rose

he gave her

one sweet day in spring

the rose was once deep crimson

before it became imprisoned

the verses spoke of an infinite love

of a passion so intense,

as immense as the sea

and blue as the sky above

and now on another

beautiful day in spring

roses bloom to remind her

only a memory survives.



Photo by Melba Christie (c) 2012




In Remembrance of My Grandmother

She barely smiled

but when she did

it was like she smiled

for all of us, all at once

She sequestered herself

away from the world outside

her humble home

soon after my grandfather died

I never met him

but she made him come alive to me

with stories of his exquisite chivalry

His portrait sat on the table

beside where Grandma sat

to fold the laundry and fine linen

Each fold she made

was purposeful

and perfectly aligned

her wrinkled hands

caressed the fabric

with great tenderness

a pillow case could not

possibly appreciate

I felt her love

one day

when she gently brushed

my hair for the first time

(I could remember)

and wrapped it in a bun.

She told extraordinary stories

about her childhood, my grandfather

and the things that according to her

every girl should know

about life in general.

She smoked cigars

which I found unreal

but she did it with the grace

of a queen.

What I remember most

is her love for her pets

although not the traditional

dog or cat.

She raised chickens and hens, and roosters

gave them all names at that

Had short conversations with them every day

about the weather and what was on her mind

Then on any given day

at any given time

when she felt they were fat enough

she’d decide

to cook one of them

for us to dine.

As I remember the many conversations I had

with my beloved grandmother

we all called Mita

and do not ask me why

I think about

the things that my grand children

will remember about me after I have died.

I hope Mita knows how

much she influenced

me as a storyteller and poet.

I could almost see her smile.

and once again it warmed my heart

because when she smiled

it was like she smiled for all of us.

*My grandmother passed away 37 years ago.


Brett Kristian

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